Caress Of Steel ($5 Special)

SKU: 314534625
Label:
Atlantic Records
Category:
Progressive Rock
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This is where the progressive elements really start to coalesce ie. the 20 minute "The Fountain Of Lamneth".  Remastered edition.

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  • "Once considered a hot property, like much of the real estate market, their value has taken a hit in recent years. Jerusalem is something of a thematically linked project, surrounding the problems Christianity has brought to the world: from long ago (title track) to the present (revved up “Operation Freedom”). However, ASTRAL DOORS couldn’t completely stay focused on the plot, opting for tracks like the autobiographical (for singer Nils Patrik Johansson, at least) “Child Of Rock N Roll”, as well as “With A Stranger’s Eye” and the historical (ultra-infectious) “Pearl Harbor”.A greater emphasis was placed on returning to the rocking RAINBOW sound (my comparison, not theirs) of their first two platters. In that regard, they were completely successful. The high energy tracks, punctuated by Hammond organ, virtually segue one into the other. “Lost Crucifix” is a slower, more brooding number, while “Babylon Rise” travels a similar road to the Blackmore/Glover composed “Can’t Happen Here” off the RAINBOW disc of the same name (Joe Lynn Turner’s debut with the band).Talk about throwbacks, the lyrics even mention “Evil Is Forever”, the title of these Swedes’ sophomore effort. “The Day Before Yesterday” begins acoustic, before morphing into a fist pumping anthem, Johansson’s usual high pitched voice in more restrained mode for at least a portion. The titular epic closes things out, referencing the town as a crossroads (and therefore the tinderbox flashpoint for conflicts) for three major religious orders: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Welcome back, ASTRAL DOORS." - Metal Temple
    $15.00
  • Dutch symphonic metal band EPICA celebrated their 10th anniversary with a one-night-only event, dubbed Retrospect. The band was accompanied by the seventy piece Extended Reményi Ede Chamber Orchestra and the Choir of Miskolc National Theatre, playing an unforgettable 3-hours best-of set.According to respected Dutch newspaper the Volkskrant "The band wrote a chapter of Dutch metal History" this evening. Rock Tribune (Belgium) thought it was "an unforgettable show".Ten high definition cameras captured this very special sold-out show while Epica played in front of nearly five thousand ecstatic fans in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. In addition to a collection of the band’s biggest hits from across the spectrum of their entire catalog, this once-in-a-lifetime spectacular also features the live debut of “Twin Flames” and the previously unreleased “Retrospect”, covers of classics by Vivaldi, Pergolesi, and Oscar-winning film composer John Williams, two guest collaborations with the venerable Floor Jansen (Nightwish, ReVamp), and a very special performance of their breakthrough single, “Quietus”, with founding members Jeroen Simons, Ad Sluijter, and Yves Huts.Nuclear Blast will release Retrospect as a deluxe hardcover book with 32 pages. Both as a 2DVD/3CD and 2Blu-ray/3CD version. Retrospect will contain the following fan favorites:01 - Introspect02 - Monopoly on Truth03 - Sensorium04 - Unleashed05 - Martyr of the Free Word06 - Chasing the Dragon07 - Presto08 - Never Enough09 - Stabat Mater Dolorosa10 - Twin Flames11 - Serenade of Self-Destruction12 - Orchestral Medley13 - The Divine Conspiracy - Anniversary Edition14 - Delirium15 - Blank Infinity16 - The Obsessive Devotion17 - Retrospect18 - Battle of the Heroes & Imperial March19 - Quietus20 - The Phantom Agony21 - Cry for the Moon22 - Sancta Terra23 - Design Your Universe24 - Storm the Sorrow25 - Consign to Oblivion26 - Outrospect                                                                                                                                                                                 Retrospect features this massive performance in its entirety, as well as exclusive interviews with all band members and behind-the-scenes footage from the show. 
    $45.00
  • "Esteemed international metal label Season of Mist began pursuing the two-guitar, three-singer Vancouver quartet Anciients after hearing a series of early mixes for what would become the band’s debut album. It’s easy to imagine what initially lured the diverse label to the band: The tracks on Anciients' nine-song entrance, Heart of Oak, are hyperkinetic but heavily anchored. They surround the hooks you might expect from a Baroness anthem with tangential and technical playing that trends toward prog rock but stops short of Opeth or Enslaved’s maze of redirections. Anciients excel at muscular and agile guitar solos, while the guitarists, Kenny Cook and Chris Dyck, also volley the vocal duties, jumping from death metal bellow to pop-metal lift. It’s exciting stuff, really-- often complicated without seeming excessive, skillful but soulful, approachable but not pedestrian. At its best, Heart of Oak is immediate and electrifying, an album that suggests Anciients’ half-prog, half-pop metal is bound for big stages.By this point, though, you’ve probably wondered what’s up with the band’s name: Why, after all, add an extraneous vowel to a perfectly good handle? That excess is emblematic of Anciients' chief musical foible-- time and again, they add unnecessary sidecars to songs that would have been more effective left alone. Of these nine tracks, only one doesn’t break the six-minute mark. The exception is a tender but predictable instrumental, a mid-album interlude meant as a tribute to some late friends and family members. But the rest of these things are hyperbolic monsters that speak to a rookie act attempting to get through all of their influences at once, even though three of the members have been playing together in other groups for a decade. They are trying to make a very big point all the time, and the weight collapses in on itself. “The Longest River”, a nine-minute cut with a woefully apropos handle, swivels from acoustic foreboding to contract-and-expand thrash, from distended solos to dense stomp, from sweet-singing verses to growled impasses. None of it’s bad, but none of it is astounding enough to pardon the way it obviates an excellent refrain.That’s a consistent problem for Heart of Oak, a record that adulterates many incredibly exciting moments with consistent excess. “Flood and Fire”, a late-album highlight, seems more like a string of song pieces than a proper song, with a righteous solo swiping momentum from a great chorus that, in turn, stymies several great and grim hardcore shout-alongs. As Cook told Metal Underground, album opener “Raise the Sun” initially keys on Fleet Foxes before leaping into a verse so sticky and warm that ASG or Torche might like to have it back. Elsewhere, the song convincingly invokes metalcore and psychedelic rock, hangman riffs and fleeting blast beats. The parts are exhilarating, but strung together with more enthusiasm than wisdom so they’re mostly exhausting. Taken a track or two at a time, Heart of Oak is manageable; make it from end to end, though, and it’s difficult not to feel frustrated by the fatigue.These complaints aren’t meant as some preclusive warning against Heart of Oak; rather, they’re only an honest assessment of a band that, in years to come, is probably going to be great. If Anciients choose to venture further deeper into labyrinthine prog, they’ve got the riffs and rhythms to make it compelling over the long haul. They seem as steeped in the suffocation of black metal from Scandinavia as they do in the sweetness of Allman licks from Georgia, as capable of thrash sprints as they are stoner lulls. And as the pealing organ and rumbling field recordings of the gorgeous (but, again, incredibly excessive) closer “For Lisa” suggest, they bring a wide-eyed approach to their music. Heart of Oak doesn’t have a compelling, cohesive narrative thrust, but there’s always time to buy a book of folklore, right?Alternately, Anciients could choose the route of bands such as Baroness or even Mastodon, embedding that sharp technicality within songs that make their points with concision that doesn’t forsake intricacy. The kernels of these songs are strong enough to suggest that they’re not very far off-- that is, their biggest problem as a band isn’t a dearth of ideas but, rather, discretion with those ideas. Anciients are exciting new prospects, with or without that cumbersome vowel chaiin." - Pitchfork
    $13.00
  • Remastered edition with two bonus tracks."Journey's ninth new studio album found the group reduced to a trio of guitarist Neal Schon, singer Steve Perry, and keyboard player Jonathan Cain. But even without their regular rhythm section, the group was able to re-create the accessible pop/rock sound perfected on earlier albums such as Escape and Frontiers. Schon's guitar still cut through the fat keyboard chords, and Perry's fluid tenor still gave the songs an airy, melodic appeal. All of that was good for sales of two million copies and five chart singles, four of which made the Top 40 and one of which, "Be Good to Yourself," reached the Top Ten. That didn't match the seven-million-selling number one Escape, but it confirmed that Journey's music had a large audience right to the (temporary) end of its career." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • New band from France courtesy of Musea Records. Negative Zone is a relatively unknown quartet notable for the inclusion of Fabrice Dimondo and Bruno Ramousse - both from Eclat. The quartet are inspired by early 70s Pink Floyd. You can easily hear elements of Obscured By Clouds and Meddle. There are nice acoustic parts but a psychedelic haze overlays the whole affair. There seems to be more of an emphasis on mood and atmosphere as it has a dreamy feel. A change of pace from the norm these days and quite nice actually.
    $14.00
  • "After the breakup of Deep Purple in 1976, guitarist Tommy Bolin wasted little time beginning work on his second solo album, Private Eyes. While it was more of a conventional rock album than its predecessor, Teaser (which served primarily as a showcase for his guitar skills and contained several jazz/rock instrumentals), it was not as potent. The performances aren't as inspired as those on Teaser or even those on Bolin's lone album with Deep Purple, Come Taste the Band, although there a few highlights could be found. The nine-minute rocker "Post Toastee" merges a long jam section with lyrics concerning the dangers of drug addiction, while "Shake the Devil" is similar stylistically. But Bolin wasn't simply a hard-rocker; he was extremely talented with other kinds of music: the quiet, acoustic-based compositions "Hello, Again" and "Gypsy Soul," and the heartbroken ballad "Sweet Burgundy." With his solo career starting to take shape (after the album's release, he opened for some of rock's biggest names: Peter Frampton, Jeff Beck, Rush, ZZ Top, etc.), Bolin's life was tragically cut short at the end of the year due to a drug overdose in Miami, FL." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • I've always been disappointed that Avalon broke up. Eurasia was one of my favorite Sensory releases and vocalist Chity Somapala was one of the main reasons. After kicking around with a number of projects he has put together a new progressive metal "supergroup" of sorts that has the earmark to be something really special. Red Circuit was put together by keyboardist Markus Teske, a producer who has worked with Vanden Plas in the past. He enlisted Chity to sing. The music is a great blend of melodic prog metal that will appeal to fans of Vanden Plas. Special guest guitarists include Patrick Rondat (Elegy), Stephan Lill (Vanden Plas), and Stephan Forte (Adagio). This will be one of 2006's best prog metal releases.
    $6.00
  • New 2 disc expanded edition of Shallow Life comes with a bonus disc with live tracks and b-side tunes and 2 new acoustic versions of "Spellbound" and "Closer".
    $6.00
  • Think HUGE...no...EPIC..."Section X" is the second conceptual work from Twilight keyboardist Finn Zierler. This time he has enlisted a newcomer on vocals - Kelly Carpenter of the Texas band Outworld. It is an outstanding choice as Carpenter has a tremendous voice that complements this larger than life production. The music of "Section X" is keyboard driven symphonic metal with a futuristic "cyber" twist. A spectacular release that mines from the same musical quarry as Ayreon. Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • Third album from this progressive metal band based out of Sweden.  The band is fronted by former Seventh Wonder/current Aeon Zen vocalist Andy Kravlijaca who frankly is very underrated.  Silent Call touches on a variety of genres while firmly rooted in the metal realm.  You'll hear some fluffy AOR bits and some prog rock at times.  Very much a band that is strong on melody.  Highly recommended."I’m torn. Torn between championing the cause of a massively underrated and under-exposed Metal band, and the pride I feel when chatting about Progressive Metal to like minded people and playing them Silent Call – who invariably they have never heard of, and can’t believe they have passed them by! The secret will be out of the bag y’see. No more gloating for yours truly, no more “Surely. You’ve heard of Silent Call”, complete with knowing smile. Nope, people can just read this review and know all about them – which is the least the band deserve! Decision made then. Ladies and Gentlemen, fans of Melodic Progressive Metal, I give you Silent Call…unless, of course, you’ve already heard them and it’s just here in the windswept hills of deepest Yorkshire where they are unknown…a bit like super fast reliable broadband…This is Silent Call’s 3rd album – I got their debut way back in 2008 because it was on Escape Records (home of all things light and fluffy) and someone sold it to me after being horrified that Silent Call weren’t in the least bit light OR fluffy! He even wrinkled his nose (the nerve!) when he described the heaviness of the guitars and drums. This was the same day I informed him that one of his favourite Melodic bands of the 80’s – Fate – were in fact previously called Mercyful Fate (omitting the fact it was only Hank Shermann in Fate), so he rushed off to buy their back catalogue, Harrgh Harrgh, Harrgh…I don’t think he’s ever forgiven me… But I digress – Silent Call are way too heavy for a Melodic Rock label, and hopefully now they have found a worthy home on DOTT.For existing fans (because I’m sure there are many fans outside the UK), “Truth’s Redemption” is just as good as their previous two – The production is a little bit heavier and fuller which just enhances things more and allows the songs to have even more impact. You will not be disappointed! For the uninitiated, Silent Call have their sound rooted in the best of the Progressive Metal bands around the turn of the Millennium. Blending aspects of Angra, Lion’s Share, Eldritch, Stratovarius, Labyrinth – even early Kamelot and Sonata Arctica to name but a few. Their technicality is more subtle, crafted, and less showy than Dream Theater and their ilk, leaning more towards a sound centred around melody and memorability than individual musicians egos. And this is what really works for Silent Call and widens their appeal. The vocals are an expertly delivered mid-to-high range, somewhere around an amalgam of Carsten Schulz, Apollo Papathanasio, David Readman and maybe Tobias Sammet…but then, it isn’t really, as his tone – his ‘timbre’ if you pretentiously prefer – is quite unique to Andi Kravljaca. The Drums, Bass, Keys and Guitar are all executed with precision and flare, always complementing each other yet shining when it is their moment or when specifically listened out for. Musically, I’ve covered some of their bases, but their attention to detail, delivery and arrangements open the band up to fans from Pink Cream 69 through to Evergrey.The predictable thing to do here is to try and sum up the album with one or two songs – well I’m not going to make it that easy for you. Mainly because I can’t pick out a favourite OR a track that if you randomly chose it, then it wouldn’t convince you to hear the rest of the album. Every band member’s performance on every well-crafted track is first rate, there are no fillers – just top quality Melodic Progressive Metal from start to finish. If you’ve got this far through the review then surely you have thought this album is worth checking out? So one of my best kept band secrets is now out there – the cat is out of the bag as it were, so run Kitty run, run and be free…LOOK OUT FOR THAT TRUCK…!!!" - Ave Noctem
    $5.00
  • Now here's an album that kicks ass from start to finish. Easily going to be one of my favorite discs of the year. Venturia is a new French progressive metal band put together by guitarist Charly Sahona along with drummer Diego Rapacchietti. Charly found this incredible vocalist from New York named Marc Ferreira and paired him with Lydie Robin the band's female vocalist who primarily sings back up as well as the ocassional lead. Adagio's Kevin Codfert guests as the keyboardist. The New Kingdom is an impressive mix of phenomenal chops, infectious melodies and complexity. The closest comparison I can think of is Arabesque. A tune like "Words Of Silence" crushes but at the same time it's hook laden and will stay with you for days. Lydie Robin has a breathy gorgeous voice that works blends well with Ferreira. Venturia are to be applauded - they drew from a variety of different inspirations and put together something really fresh. Highest recommendation - I love this disc. Top 10 candidate.
    $14.00
  • "Garden Wall would get heavier in subsequent albums, but on their debut the band seems to be paying tribute to a whole host of neo-prog bands like Marillion, Pendragon and Cathedral. In fact they remind me quite a bit of Cathedral with their heavy rhythm section grounding the guitar arpeggios and keyboard flourishes. The vocals here are measurably better though.I don’t know much about these guys, but this album shows they have a strong knowledge of eighties progressive rock. Musically they remind me a little bit of fellow countrymen Sad Minstrel with their highly expressive and heavier rock sound, but these guys rely a lot more on synth orchestral layers than that group. The songs all exude plenty of energy, although I’m left with a general feeling that this is closer to slightly moody eighties music than some of their neo contemporaries.While I said the vocals are better than bands like Cathedral, vocalist Alessandro Seravalle does have a strong attribute of the throaty singing of many eighties crooners like Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Holly Johnson or the Romantics Wally Palmar. The music isn’t anything like those bands, but Seravalle seems to be another in a long line of Bryan Ferry soundalikes who have graced album tracks over the past thirty years or so. Not necessarily a bad thing, and considering the band’s penchant for moody synthetic sounds on tracks like “Silent Waves in a Raging Ocean” and “Ekpyrosis”, his voice is for the most part a reasonable fit.Speaking of “Ekpyrosis”, this is the most lengthy song on the album at more than thirteen minutes, and while it features some grand climaxes and really cool chamber vocals, for the most part I think the thing drags on for a bit longer than is necessary, especially in the middle section.The band shows a glimpse of what’s to come with the closing “Onde Radio” though, a prototypical neo- prog number with driving drums, soaring electric guitar and a torrid pace. This is much close to the sound the band would show on their next couple of albums, but on this debut the brooding synth arrangements seem to be much more prevalent.This isn’t a great album by any means, but it is decent. So three stars are not unreasonable. I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on a copy, but at a fair price this would make an okay addition to most neo-progger’s collections. Recommended to fans of late eighties neo bands and those who like Italian music that isn’t awash with symphonic pompousness." - Progarchives
    $9.00
  • "Sinbreed is the project around 27 year old Guitarist Flo Laurin who joined forces with dedicated artists of the European metal scene. The blistering combination of speed, melodic and aggressive arrangements combined with high and soaring vocals characterizes Sinbreed's distinctive Power metal, and they now present their debut album "When worlds collide".The project has been in the making since the late nineties by founder Flo Laurin, and piece by piece everything has fallen in place; from the style of the music, the influences and the band members. Three demo’s were recorded, and the last one was voted “Best newcomer of the month” in Germany’s Heavy Magazine. During spring 2009 a deal was made with Sweden’s Ulterium Records, and the band started to work hard on their debut album.The members of Sinbreed are Frederik Ehmke [Blind Guardian] on drums, Hebie Langhans [Seventh Avenue] on vocals, Alexander Schulz on bass and Flo Laurin who handles guitars and keys. For the mixing and mastering of the album the band decided to work together with the highly acclaimed producer Markus Teske, famous for his work with Symphony X, Vanden Plas, Neal Morse among others.Guests on the album includes Thomas Rettke [Redkey, Ex. Heaven's Gate], Joost van den Broek [Ayreon, Star One] and Morten Sandager [Pretty Maids]. The artwork was created by Felipe Machado Franco [Iced Earth, Ayreon, Pyramaze] and the booklet by Markus Sigfridsson [Darkwater, Harmony]."
    $15.00
  • "Factory of Dreams is a symphonic metal gothic project consisting of Hugo Flores and Jessica Lehto. Hugo produces and creates all the music while Jessica provides her beautiful vocals. Following their album POLES in 2008, Factory of Dreams are back with a new production bringing a whole new epic and progressive feel to the sound crafted on their debut. More complex, heavier, faster and at the same time catchy, this is a huge album, featuring the hallmark of Factory of Dreams, with great melodic sense and shivering moments and a great cast of guest singers and performers. As a highlight, the near 10 minute Epic E-motions, and the beautiful track Sonic Sensations depicting a World created by Sound and Music."
    $3.00