Tag Archives: spitfire records

“Then And Now” by Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Artist: Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Title: “Then and Now”
Label: Spitfire Records
Release Date: 11/24/1998
Genre: Progressive Rock
Rating: 3/5

Did you ever find yourself listening to a live recording and wondering what actually went into the planning process before the release came out? I sometimes do, and have to admit that these were the thoughts that went through my mind as I listened to this classic live release by legendary Progressive Rockers Emerson, Lake & Palmer. The double disc set spans two very different eras in the bands history and based on the way it is laid out, it comes across as a little disjointed. You might be wondering how this is possible for such an incredible band and I shall do my best to explain what I mean. The release begins with music from the legendary California Jam in 1974 where ELP had headlined and performed for something like 250,000 people which was quite a few for an outdoor concert of this kind at the time. Our introduction to that part of the CD begins with Carl Palmer’s drum solo after a brief portion of “Toccata” and that makes no sense. Why not bring us in from the start and skate around a bit instead of coming in at the tail end of a tune for the solo break and then letting the shaky wander down the path grow even worse. From here the show now becomes acoustic and Greg Lake sings a medley of tunes with “Still You Turn Me On” and “Lucky Man” being a part of the mix and notable highlights. Yes, he has an incredibly powerful voice that shines through but to go from blazing drum solo to acoustic tunes was just leaving me wanting more “oomph” from the respected trio. The “vintage era” of the band on this CD ends with a part of their mega-epic “Karn Evil 9”. It’s not the best version I have heard from the band and I will take the studio version or the one done on the superb live release “Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends, Ladies and Gentlemen Emerson, Lake & Palmer”. Find that one if you can remember the albums very difficult to remember title. It was remastered in 2007.
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“The Spitfire Collection” by Testament

Artist: Testament
Title: “The Spitfire Collection”
Label: Spitfire Records
Release Date: 3/13/2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 3.5/5

Testament has long been a band that is listed among the revered when it comes to the brand of Thrash Metal that originated from the Bay Area in California so many years ago. Albums such as “Practice What You Preach”, “The Ritual” and “Souls Of Black” are cited as classics in the genre and the membership of Billy, Clemente, Skolnick, Christian and Peterson are named as legends in Heavy Metal as a whole based on these releases. While popular with Metal heads far and wide, they would not achieve the levels of success that bands like Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeth did but despite this would continue to thrive for the sake of the genre. “The Spitfire Collection” is an interesting release for while it might touch upon a couple of notable numbers from the bands historic past, its true aim is to give you a taste of the bands last decade or so. The CD covers the albums “Live At The Fillmore”, “The Gathering”, “Demonic”, “First Strike Still Deadly” and “Live In London”, all of which were released on this label when the band signed on to them. As you leaf through the liner notes, you will see that while Testament remained a very active band since their inception, they were plagued with a number of lineup changes over the years. Don’t get me wrong as these changes would often find some incredible players in the bands roster, and how bad could they do with drummers such as Gene Hoglan and Dave Lombardo behind the kit. The material presented from both “The Gathering” and “Demonic” is perhaps the heaviest that the band would ever release and the songs showed the band could change with the times as necessary. Through it all, Chuck Billy and Eric Peterson remained the only members of the original lineup across this span of albums. The changes continued until making almost a complete 360 degree turn as the original members would reunite for the “Live In London” CD and DVD. The album closes with three tracks from this particular release and should make many run to the shops or online to purchase their own copy.
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Overkill @ B.B. King Blues Club (1/28/2007)

The place is always insanity when Overkill comes a knocking and tonight would be no different as the band took to the stage at B.B. King Blues Club. This would be only my second show into the Metal Year 2007 and the exciting time found Joey Belladonna and Metal Church opening the show. Meliah Rage appeared as well but we sadly missed them. Photos and comments about what we did catch are easy to find, just click the logo below to be taken to our article on the main PiercingMetal.com site.

Logo - Overkill

Artist: Overkill
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Metal Church, Joey Belladonna, Meliah Rage, Red Red Hand
Date: 1/28/2007
Label: Spitfire Records

January was almost over in Metal Year 2007 and what an ending it would have with another great show at B.B. King Blues Club. Tonight would be an appearance by the legendary Overkill – a band that for over two decades have always known the formula for making the audience insane, causing intense neck strain from mass head banging and capable of making the blood to flow faster in ones Metal heart. Are you excited yet? Well, imagine how those members in the audience felt tonight because it would also find Meliah Rage, Joey Belladonna from Anthrax, and the mighty Metal Church as well as newcomers Red Red Hand performing. The very definition for the evening would be Metal, pure and simple. Accepting no substitutes, we adventured into our familiar stomping grounds and found Meliah Rage completing their set. Sadly, we missed this new band RRH and by the sound of the last couple from Meliah we knew we had missed some worthy introductory thunder. Oh well, lets hope they come back around soon so we can make up for this. Joey Belladonna would come up next and this performance was almost immediately following the breaking news that he would no longer be taking part in the reunited Anthrax. We had reviewed the appearance of them at Starland Ballroom and the last time we saw Joey solo he was on the drums. Tonight he would remain in front of the microphone and command a very energetic group of musicians. There was a long turnaround time in setting up and I feared a cut back set as result of this, but as soon as he hit the stage, I worried no more since JB was kicking some ass once again for a hungry Metal crowd. He had a limited amount of room to perform on and this allowed the audience to be very close to him during this set. He was continually reaching over the photo pit on a number of occasions and slapping the hands of the fans. His set was made up of original numbers and a couple of Anthrax classics, but the slow setting up time caused him to play about five out of the seven listed numbers. He was entertaining, and still has the pipes for these songs and was met with a large level of approval so here is to continued success Joey. Be you with Anthrax or not we are waiting with excitement for more material from you.
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“Deuce” by Beautiful Creatures

Artist: Beautiful Creatures
Title: “Deuce”
Label: Spitfire Records
Release Date: 8/23/2005
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

The Beautiful Creatures know the successful formula for kick ass Rock & Roll primarily because lead singer Joe LeSte originally hails from Bang Tango; a band that was rocking heavy in the years before the Seattle Sound spun things around and Metal still was everyone’s mind. “Deuce” is their second album and the first for Spitfire Records and while it comes four years after the bands debut it is loaded with solid Rock and Roll hooks that make it something that was worth waiting for. There is a lot of killer music on the release and one thing that struck me very quickly when I listened to this CD was some of the similarities that it brought to mind. With “Freedom” they reminded me of Ian Astbury & The Cult, and since “Sonic Temple” was a favorite CD of mine, I truly enjoyed the song that much more. There are flavors that you would remember from bands such as Guns ‘N Roses and LA Guns and pretty much any band that was dead on serious about the Rock they hit you with. That does not mean that BC is some clone band of these references but just something that if that was what appealed to you then this is something you should also be looking for right away.
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“Gilby Clarke” by Gilby Clarke

Artist: Gilby Clarke
Title: “Gilby Clarke”
Label: Spitfire Records
Release Date: 1/30/2007
Genre: Rock & Roll
Rating: 3.5/5

Gilby Clarke is no stranger to Rock & Roll and despite his background, there is always the chance that younger fans are largely unaware of his many accomplishments. For those of you who only know his name from the blockbuster television show “Rockstar: Supernova” then this CD offers you the perfect chance to see just where the performer comes from and what he has brought to the table musically for so many years. Clarke’s resume reads most prominently with his contributions to the music of Guns ‘N Roses where he replaced Izzy Stradlin while the group was on tour back in 1991. He left in 1994 (Axl machinations as expected) and proceeded to record and produce on his own showing quite the prolific body of work. That brings us to this tasty compilation release. Musically the best way to define the songs that Clarke usually delivers is by saying its a little bit Black Crowes and a lot of Rock attitude. Listeners will find this collection as a cool treasure chest since it covers his solo releases (Pawnshop Guitars, The Hangover, Rubber, ’99 Live and Swag) which cover 1994-2002 along with some other trinkets. From start to finish, this is solid Rock & Roll and even if you were never a fan of his the diversity and groove of the tracks offers you the chance to try him once again. In 2006, Clarke was a prominent figure in the public eye as the guitarist for a Tommy Lee fueled show and band that would feature Jason Newsted (Metallica/Voivod) as well.
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