Cultosaurus Erectus ($5 Special)

"Signing on with Deep Purple/Black Sabbath producer Martin Birch, Blue Öyster Cult made more of a guitar-heavy hard rock album in Cultosaurus Erectus after flirting with pop ever since the success of Agents of Fortune. (They also promoted this album by going out on a co-headlining tour with Sabbath.) Gone are the female backup singers, the pop hooks, the songs based on keyboard structures, and they are replaced by lots of guitar solos and a beefed-up rhythm section. But the band still were not generating strong enough material to compete with their concert repertoire, so they found themselves in the bind of being a strong touring act unable to translate that success into record sales." - All Music Guide

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  • This one was totally unknown to me but I once I heard it I knew I had to stock it. Eero Koivistoinen is a well regarded Finnish sax player. In 1976 he uncharacteristically made this blazing fusion album. Notable members of the lineup include Wlodek Gulkowski on synths, Pekka Pohjola on bass, Olli Ahvenlanti on piano, George Wadenius and Jukka Tolonen on guitar. Gulkowski once again comes through with really sick synth leads. Koivistoinen is quite the impressive player but its the cohesive band sound that really struck me. Definitely recommended to any fan of Weather Report, Hot Rats-period Zappa or Return To Forver. 24 bit remaster.
    $20.00
  • Believe it or not this is where it all began for me. After coming home from school one day I saw Rick Wakeman on the Mike Douglas show. He was this odd looking guy with long blonde hair and a flowing cape to match. He had an arsenal of keyboards making strange sounds...it was "The Battle". That appearance led me down to Sam Goody's to buy my first prog album - Journey To The Centre Of The Earth. Sure it's pompous, overblown, whatever. I still have fond memories of it and love Wakeman's elaborate keyboard work and the band's integration with the orchestra. A personal classic.
    $5.00
  • First time on CD for this masterful fusion album originally released in 1981.  Guitarist/violinist Alain Eckert was a key member of Art Zoyd from 1976 to 1981 - he popped in and out of the lineup during that time  but recorded on their key albums.  This album was recorded after his final departure from Art Zoyd.  The quartet also includes Patricia Dallio (grand piano), Alain Lecointe (electric bass), and Serge Bringolf (drums).  Eckert's playing is breathtaking - his fingers fly - but he's matched every step of the way by the rest of the quartet.  I'm reminded a bit of Larry Coryell and Pat Martino in his approach.  There are even some undercurrents of Canterbury that creep in.  The album is augmented with 30 minutes of previously unreleased live recordings - just 2 unreleased monster tunes.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • New album from this Austrian symphonic metal band.  The band has been a bit of a revolving door with vocalists but Maxi Nil has settled in nicely.  The music is based in the traditional female fronted gothic style with clean male vocals trading leads back and forth.  This time around I hear more of a poppier, catchy sound - somewhat like the direction Delain is moving towards.  Highly recommended to fans of the genre (I wave my hand proudly).  Digipak edition with one bonus track.
    $12.00
  • First time on CD! Early MPS session for this great keyboardist who is still going strong. Recorded in 1967, it reads like a who's who of krautrock and fusion. Members of the septet include Jean-Luc Ponty (violin), Gerd Dudek (tenor sax, clarinet), Eberhard Weber (cello), Jurgen Karg (bass), Mani Neumeier (drums), and Fred Braceful (drums). Frankly I was expected a wild free set and actually it's not too crazy at all. The music actually swings in spots. Gorgeous reissue arrives in a mini-LP sleeve with detailed liner notes and photos as well as 24 bit mastering.
    $21.00
  • First time on CD - reissued in a gorgeous gatefold mini-lp sleeve. "Live In Montreux" is actually their first album, released in 1975, consisting of just four long tracks. This is great jazz rock that will appeal to fans of Weather Report and Perigeo.
    $18.00
  • "As of late, at least with their previous album, and the current Pariah's Child, Finland's Sonata Arctica has been throwing their faithful some musical curve balls. Putting them in the category of traditional Scandi power metal is no longer fitting, although they do play the same and often.No, their sound is much more diverse, enterprising, these days. A good example is the song Half A Marathon Man. It's opening strokes of guitar, keyboards, then drums could lead to most any sound. But it delivers this huge rock grooved melodic metal monster, with hooks galore, from vocals to lyrics to riffs. Then there's the power metal romp of X Marks the Spot, disguised as a rock tune, and wrapped in the motif a religious revival. It's familiar, but strange; clever and a whole lot of fun. Also of note is What Did You Do In the War, Daddy which merges the feel of classic heavy metal anthem with the bluster of power metal in places.Yet something more familiar comes with the longest number, Larger Than Life, which sounds like old school Sonata Arctica, where they draw upon their symphonic progressive power metal roots. Perhaps still more straight forward Sonata Arctica is the first half of the album. Notably The Wolves Die Young or Take One Breath are classic Scandi melodic power metal tunes, straying little from the foundation from which the band was built. Yet, fans should know that it is no less interesting than the aforementioned more crafty pieces. Once more I think Pariah's Child represents Sonata Arctica as a band being carefully faithful to their roots, yet always moving forward in their creativity. Easily recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $14.00
  • 2 LP limited edition silver vinyl.  Only 500 copies.  Oh yeah...there is a bonus track as well.'Insane instrumental tech metal project from former Reflux guitarist Tosin Abasi. The album was engineered by Misha Mansoor, the equally adept guitarist for the (amazingly) unsigned band Periphery. Mansoor contributes some guitar parts and is responsible for the drum programming. While I strongly prefer an actual drummer, its a marginal distraction from this intense guitar album. Abasi plays 7 and 8 string guitar and the solos are pretty sick. The whole thing has a Spastic Ink meets Canvas Solaris vibe. I understand that Abasi has a live version of the band. The album is pretty crazy - I can only imagine what the live band is like. Highly recommended.
    $23.00
  • German import arrives in a mediabook with a patch."Our anticipation levels had maxed, as four years passed by since Sanctuary announced that they were releasing a new record. It is easy to imagine that the only going through their fans' minds was whether their new material will resemble the work they did 25 years ago. I was rather reluctant and ultimately, I was right.First things first, let's get some things straight. Is "The Year The Sun Died" close to the feel of their two emblematic records? Nope. Does it sound like Nevermore? Yeah, as Dane's vocals are closer to that type of delivery, without that being a bad thing. He wouldn't risk going back to his old type of delivery, even if he could achieve such levels with pro tools magic. Modern production trends have also played a significant role to the final cut of this album. On the other hand, the composition approach is quite different to that witnessed on Nevermore albums, as musical themes are much more approachable. On the other hand, even though we don't have the outbursts we were used to, there are a number of theme and tempo changes in many of the tracks which make them very interesting indeed.In general, if we were to analyse its style, we would conclude that we are dealing with a rather heavy record that incorporates bulky guitars in mid-tempo layouts, without that meaning that there are no tracks with a faster pace. Lyrically, it is quite dark and a constant claustrophobic atmosphere is always present, as there is no abundance of melodic guitar themes. It's multifaceted compositions do provide a rather "proggy" feeling, but nothing more than that. Sheppard and Budbill's rhythm section is poignant and to the point, but lacks the ingenuity we were used to them providing.Opening tack "Arise And Purify" is clear evidence of the two contradicting elements that comprise this record. The intro riff is heavy and modern, whereas the chorus uses backing vocals that reminds us of their past. Solos by Rutledge and Hull are unleashed from the get go, and are as precise and technical as required. "Let The Serpent Follow Me" is on the up-tempo side of things but winds down during the chorus, followed by a wonderful, nostalgic bridge. The first slow track is "Exitium (Anthem Of The Living)", which starts off with a calm intro and follows with an awesome riff. Dane also performs really well in this track. "Question Existence Fading" follows a similar path of interchanging musical themes. It sets off with a fast, edgy and fierce riff, includes great solos, awesome vocals and thrilling drumming."I Am Low" is one of the calmer moments of the record, which slowly builds up to a rather heartfelt climax. Another highlight would be "Frozen" which again starts off strong and dials things down during the chorus whilst guitar solos are flying around left, right and centre. The weakest moment of the album would be "One Final Day (Sworn To Believe)", whilst "The World Is Wired", which at first won me over with its groovy attitude, ultimately let me down after multiple listens. The strongest moment is definitely the self-titled track (introduced by the wonderfully acoustic "Ad Vitam Aeternam") which concludes the record. Words don't really give it justice. It is slow, heavy and very memorable. Everything from the Latin chants in the beginning of the track to the despair in Warrel's vocals during the chorus and inspiring guitar work makes this song great. A truly great composition.With this release, Sanctuary did what they had to do. They evolved. Now, because it took them 25 years to do so might not go down well with many people who were expecting a second "Into The Mirror Black", which is totally understandable. Having Nevermore in the meantime might have substantially reduced the shock factor anyway. Let us not forget though that one of the reasons why we loved this band is because of their progressiveness (for lack of a better word). It would be silly to assume that they would not have changed tones even if they hadn't disbanded in 1992." - Noisefull
    $14.00
  • Sanctuary "Expanded De-Luxe Edition" remaster released in 2003. First album plus the following bonus tracks:1. Bird Of Prey (US album version) 2. Born In A Trunk (prev. unreleased alternate version) 3. Come Away Melinda (prev. unreleased alternate version) 4. Gypsy (prev. unreleased extended mix) 5. Wake Up (Set Your Sights) (prev. unreleased version) 6. Born In A Trunk (prev. unreleased instrumental version) 7. Dreammare (BBC live version) 8. Gypsy (BBC live version)
    $13.00
  • Originally released privately in 1978 and long sought after by collectors, III was the one off album by this Dutch progressive rock band. The dual guitar driven quartet injected a touch of anarchy into their mix of improv and Crimso influenced prog. This release marks the first time it has ever appeared on CD. It comes with extensive unreleased bonus material, detailed liner notes and unpublished photos. The album was mastered by audiophile engineer Bob Katz from the original analogue master tapes. This is a strictly limited edition of 500 copies and arrives housed in an old style mini-LP tip-on sleeve.
    $27.00
  • "It started in 2000 with "Down with the Sickness." Disturbed's thick, rhythmic take on alt-metal was perfect music for stalking bloody zombies, and vocalist David Draiman's jaw-snapping Pavlovian grunts made the trigger fingers of first-person shooters itch. There were threads of other groups in the sound -- Pantera's wrenching power, Slipknot, the ill-lighted parlor games of Tool -- but Disturbed held their own from the start. If 2002's Believe downplayed Draiman's guttural responses a little, that tact's long gone for 2005's Ten Thousand Fists. From Todd McFarlane's evocative wronged misfits artwork -- Suicide Girls stand fists upraised next to ghoulish fiends and disenfranchised truckers -- to the rousing staccato of the title track and the "Sickness" rewrite "Stricken," Disturbed solidify their stance as the black knights of gaming-console rock. Creepy electronics slither behind Dan Donegan's guitar, and he mostly forsakes soloing to concentrate on the visceral groove. When he's not hacking like a chained-up pit bull, Draiman emotes from the valley of reverb (that's next to the valley of death), and his moments of epic roar make the songs' choppier parts more effective. Now, "Overburdened" takes the epic stuff a little too far. Draiman starts off the song in narration, muttering "Fate is so unkind" like a monster who's been given the power to feel. But even in its swirling pretentiousness, you can't deny his intensity. Luckily the majority of Fists sticks to mid-tempo punishers that pound back anger-gritted teeth and no anesthesia. (Remember, Disturbed's tours are underwritten by Jägermeister, the black licorice firewater that punches Saturday night in the face.) "Deify" rails against blind devotion to political leaders and "Sons of Plunder" stalks at a faster, more aggressive faster heart rate, while "Decadence" and "Sacred Lie" drop into the rhythmic grip that by mid- to late album is almost comfortable in its gloomy thump. (Disturbed's ill-advised cover of Genesis' "Land of Confusion"? No comment.) Ten Thousand Fists does start to sound the same after a while. But those bloody zombies aren't going to stop pouring though the doorway, so it's a good thing it has at least 12 burly alt-metal rockers. Fire!" - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • Yet another one to file away under the "I never thought I'd see this in my lifetime" category. NTSC Region 0 DVD of the live appearance by these Polish symphonic rock legends at Rockin' Jamboree '80. The DVD also contains videoclips of various appearances on Polish television as well as a video clip by Madmax - a band put together by four of the members after Exodus broke up. As a bonus there are some audio tracks taken from The Most Beautiful Day and Supernova. Make sure you don't mistake this for the thrash band from California or you will be in for a real surprise.
    $18.00
  • "The story of King Charlemagne, First Holy Roman Emperor, acted and sung by the legendary actor Christopher Lee, one of the most popular and highest grossing actor of all time, with cinematic milestones such as "Lord Of The Rings", "Star Wars", "The Man with the Golden Gun" and "Dracula". The Carandinis, Lee's maternal ancestors, were given the right to bear the coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire by the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. Christopher Lee, directly linked with Charlemagne, has decided for the first time in his life to pay homage to his distinguished ancestor, who is credited as "The Father of Europe". Charlemagne is a concept album with original words and symphonic metal music. Marco Sabiu - best known for his collaborations with Kylie Minogue, Take That, Ennio Morricone - has composed a huge epic canvas of sounds in the form of a movie score, introducing modern metal symphonies for orchestra, choir, two metal bands, and several guest vocalists. The mesmerising lyrics meld with this powerful story, transporting the listener into the Dark Ages and allowing for the imagination to run wild. All these elements bring to life the legend of Charlemagne."
    $15.00