Dream Evil ($5 Special)

SKU: R225612
Label:
Warner Bros
Category:
Power Metal
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"Dream Evil is by no means a departure from the Dio formula that was so successful for his first three solo albums. All of the elements that made them so successful are yet again retained here. However, what makes things different this time around is that Dio has more of a melodious side to him, which he puts use here rather than relying on the riffs and delivery he learned at the school of Sabbath. He even touches on the power ballad (a sure sign that the style had fully infiltrated metal) with "All the Fool Sailed Away." The title track and "Sunset Superman" also proved to be two of Dio's most well-known, and most loved songs in his massive catalog. Not an essential release, but one that diehard fans will be sure to want in their collection." - All Music Guide

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  • Remastered edition with 2 bonus tracks."Easily one of the most important heavy metal albums ever released, Stained Class marks the peak of Judas Priest's influence, setting the sonic template for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal more than any other single recording. This is the point where Priest put it all together, embracing their identity as the heaviest band on the planet and taking the genre to new heights of power, speed, musicality, and malevolence. Not until Painkiller would the band again be this single-minded in its focus on pure heavy metal. Their blues-rock roots have been virtually obliterated; largely gone, too, are the softer textures and gothic ballads of albums past. The lone exception is the morbid masterpiece "Beyond the Realms of Death," on which the band finally finds a way to integrate the depressive balladry of songs like "Epitaph" and "Last Rose of Summer" into their metal side. Starting out with quiet, mournful verses, the song's chorus is ripped open by a blazing guitar riff as Rob Halford shrieks about leaving the world behind, a dramatic climax that sounds like a definite blueprint for Metallica's "Fade to Black." Yet it wasn't this song that inspired the ridiculous 1989-1990 court case involving the suicide pact of two Nevada teenagers; that honor goes to the Spooky Tooth cover "Better by You, Better Than Me" (penned by none other than the "Dream Weaver" himself, Gary Wright), on which the band allegedly embedded the subliminal backwards-recorded message "Do it." Astounding implausibility aside (as the band pointed out, why encourage the suicides of fans who spend money?), it isn't hard to see why Stained Class might invite such hysterical projections. On balance, it's the darkest lyrical work of the band's career, thematically obsessed with death, violence, and conquest. That's not to say it's always approving. Sure, there are battle cries like "White Heat, Red Hot," horrific nightmares like "Saints in Hell," and elements of the fantastic in the alien monsters of "Invader" and stone classic opener "Exciter." But the band stays philosophical just as often as not. The twisting, turning title track adopts the biblical view of man as a hopeless, fallen creature preyed upon by his baser instincts; "Savage" foreshadows Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills" in depicting violent colonizers as the real savages; and closer "Heroes End" laments the many legends born from untimely deaths. So in the end, what really cements the celebrated morbidity of Stained Class is the sinister atmosphere created by the music itself. Never before had heavy metal sounded so viciously aggressive, and never before had that been combined with such impeccable chops. Seemingly at will, Tipton and Downing spit out brilliant riffs that cut with knife-like precision, usually several per song. This means that there's a lot to take in on Stained Class, but if there's nothing here as immediate as the band's later hits, there's also a tremendous amount that reveals itself only with repeated listens. While the album's overall complexity is unrivalled in the band's catalog, the songs still pack an enormous visceral impact; the tempos have often been jacked up to punk-level speed, and unlike albums past, there's no respite from the all-out adrenaline rush. Heavy metal had always dealt in extremes -- both sonically and emotionally -- but here was a fresh, vital new way to go about it. It's impossible to overstate the impact that Stained Class had on virtually all of the heavy metal that followed it, from the NWOBHM through thrash and speed metal onward, and it remains Judas Priest's greatest achievement." - All Music Guide
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  • "Sometimes you have to wonder… why do Ulver albums still get reviewed on metal blogs? After all, the band themselves haven’t had a shred of “metal” in them for a long time.Still, there’s a connection – and it’s more than just nostalgia or a sense of obligation due to the band’s “seminal” early years.I know quite a lot of metal fans who love the strange, otherworldy music that Ulver make, but don’t really have anything else even vaguely similar in their music collections.I think, ultimately, what draws people in, and what makes them stay with the band through all their digressions and deviations, is the boundless (stubborn, even) sense of artistic integrity they display. From poppy exuberance to dark psychedelia, they are a band who embrace, and revel in, contradiction. Each of their albums is simultaneously daring and difficult, challenging yet compelling, filled with a warmth of emotion yet governed by a calculating intellect.And Messe I.X-VI.X is no different, in that regard.Characteristically for the band, it’s an album of contradictions, eclectic elements woven together in perfect (dis)harmony, part avant-garde electronic expressionism, part organic classical composition.As they themselves say, “Much of this was recorded live, yet it is not a live album. We’ve spent long hours in the studio translating what happened that night”.Again – contradiction. The music here is the result of a pre-planned composition, performed live, then re-translated in the studio. Both dynamic and controlled. Calculated, but with the potential for chaos.Despite its seemingly contradictory nature, the struggling symbiosis between the organic and the electronic, each song on the album – each a movement in the grand ballet of sound and symbolism – has its place and purpose.Unusually (and perhaps once again re-affirming the contradictory nature of the band), it’s almost 25 minutes before we hear the first sound of Kristoffer Rygg’s magnificent singing voice, on the solemn “Son of Man”. Yet that’s not to say the album is an instrumental one. To call it that would be a mistake. It’s threaded through with a multiplicity of voices. It’s just that few of them issue from a human throat.Case in point, the lengthy and sombre orchestration of “As Syrians Pour In, Lebanon Battles With The Ghosts of a Bloody Past” uses its many instruments as voices, melodies rising and falling like phantom choirs of unseen angels. Above a moaning undertow of gloomy synths and soundscapes, the hiss and sigh and soft flutter of strings speaks with a universal tongue, cold foreboding building towards haunting rapture.In contrast “Shri Schneider” is the conscious antithesis of this, a sci-fi soundtrack of psychedelic electronica which pushes the subtle wailing of strings into the background, natural nuance giving way to artificial artistry.“Glamour Box (Ostinati)” brings the two together, first quietly – as the electronic elements twist the strings just so, and the orchestra respond in kind by moulding pulsing electronic rhythms into fluid forms – then louder, ebbing and flowing with a digital heartbeat so that the divide between the organic and the inorganic sounds becomes almost imperceptible.The aforementioned “Son of Man” makes full use of Kristoffer Rygg’s plaintive vocals – albeit only for the barest of minutes –  using them sparingly to set the scene for a Hans Zimmer-esque orchestral offering, cut through with an undercurrent of simmering electronic tension, building into a glorious fountain of emotion, loss and longing, and quiet desperation.“Noche Oscura Del Alma” is an oddity, waves of alien distortion cascading across a tapestry of low, rumbling, augmented strings. Its strange, cybernetic orchestration soon opens up into a piece of oddly disturbing ambience and unsettling atmospherics. Digital thunder crashes and symphonic shadows loom, as strange samples and broken shards of avant-jazz flit in and out of perception. It’s almost nightmarish, yet fits within the dreamscape atmosphere of the album.After this, “Mother of Mercy” is like a balm to the soul, as Kristoffer Rygg’s soulful voice returns once more, wrapped in a soft shroud of weeping strings. Subtle synths slowly make their presence known, introducing unexpected trip-hop beats that flicker and fade almost as quickly as they appear. As the song progresses, this soothing harmony of sound is distorted and disturbed, the translation of live organic sounds into digital expression slowly stripping away its warmth until, finally, entropy conquers…Messe I.X-VI.X truly is an album of contradictions – both modern and medieval, peaceful, yet agitated. It’s an album about love, and about the fear that engenders. Or it’s an album about fear, and the toll it takes on love. I’m not quite sure yet.The band state that “Shadows reverberates – It feels like a companion piece.” And I agree with them. It’s a similarly powerful experience, and one that demands a certain level of patience and openness from the listener to fully appreciate.If the stark minimalism of Wars of the Roses was in many ways a reaction to the languid, organic warmth and life of Shadows, then Messe must surely be its ghost, a haunting shade that follows after, as the night which comes with the setting of the sun. Where our dreams dwell and our fears linger." - No Clean Singing 
    $14.00
  • The third album from Haken once again demonstrates why they are at the forefront of the progressive metal scene.  The first two albums Aquarius and Visions are quite different.  Aquarius is a much quirkier album - lots of twists and turns that kept you off balance through out.  It had more of a prog rock feel and some real oddball approaches that resulted in some reviewers referring to it as circus meteal.  Visions was quite different.  It was much more linear and clearly defined in terms of content.  It was a prog metal album and wonderful one at that.The Mountain is the first release for the band's new home at Inside Out.  The direction of the band takes a bit of a u-turn.  The music falls somewhere in between the first two.  There is a quirky, prog rock vibe but you get the heaviness and complexity of prog metal.  One particular track I keep going back to is "Cockroach King" which essentially pays homage to Gentle Giant's counterpoint vocals.  Regardless of which direction you preferred, The Mountain has enough diversity to go please everyone.If you want to keep track of where progressive metal is headed then climb the mountain - this is where its at.  Highly recommended.US jewel box edition with the same two bonus tracks included on the import digipak.
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  • "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
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  • "Next To None is the band of four young guys that are from Lehigh Vallay in Pennsylvania. Their names? Max Portnoy (d), Thomas Cuce (key/v), Ryland Holland (g) and Kris Rank (b). Portnoy, Portnoy, Portnoy? Yes, Max is the son of Mike Portnoy who some of you know from his time at Dream Theater or many other projects.The boys began already at the age of 12 and 13 to write own music. Additionally they also could gain already some live experience by being on tour with Adrenaline Mob and The Winery Dogs.The music of Next To None has many influences. There is the harder stuff that Max brings in and on the other hand the classic rock component that comes via Holland. The result is an interesting metal cocktail that is very entertaining.The diversity of sound comes back in songs like the melodic "Runaway" which is a straight-forward one. It includes a heavy riff, but also a keyboard-based middle part that give the tune a slightly new expression.The opener "The edge of sanity" instead is an nine minutes long epos that start with pouring rain, thunder and a chiming bell. It builds up to an dark prog metal track that reminds to Dream Theater not a big surprise. Their are two more of those extraordinary long tracks on "A light in the dark". "Control" is another nine minute long tune while the closer "Blood on my hands" is with eight minutes a bit shorter. Also those two numbers are more complex prog metal that shows the musical quality of the guys.Next to these extralong tracks it's the different influences that enables Next To None to numbers like "You are not me" too. Here we are talking about a raging metal track with a brutal verse. The chorus is more melodic, however, it is one of the heaviest tunes on the album. And it still fits into the context.But it also shows the wide vocal range of singer Thomas Cuce. He can handle the angry screams like on the before mentioned track as well as some soulful vocals that are need for e.g. "A lonely walk". The classic rock influences are very present in this song and I had to think about the good old Rainbow times. Cool stuff.There are maybe a few smaller parts that sound a bit unfinished but it's amazing how far the four guys got already. Still being in their teenage days the boys write already excellent songs and their musical talent is amazing. If these guys continue we can expect something very special for the coming years.These boys did a great album that has for sure a 'Wow'-factor." - Markus' Heavy Music Blog
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  • "At first glance I was not entirely convinced there was a genuine reason for this release, after all the guitar legend scooped Prog Magazine’s 2013 Progressive Music Award for “Event Of The Year” following another Genesis Revisited sell out performance at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. So why the release of a second CD/DVD box set inside of 12 months capturing his Genesis Revisited tour only this time filmed at the Royal Albert Hall?Any artist/group would choose the Royal Albert Hall over the Hammersmith Odeon just on prestige alone, and maybe Steve choose to record this event for posterity, after all the reaction to the tour – worldwide – has been unprecedented, with more UK dates added in October / November 2014 to satisfy demand.But there must be more to it than that, and there is, a change in the setlist.But this does present something of a quandary for fans. Is it worth buying ‘Live At The Royal Albert Hall’ in addition to ‘Hammersmith’? And if you have neither, which one then is the better buy?The set list was altered for the second leg of the tour, with the ‘Albert Hall’ gig gaining ‘Carpet Crawlers’, ‘The Return Of The Giant Hogweed’, ‘Horizons’, ‘Ripples’ and ‘The Fountain Of Salmacis’ at the expense of Hammersmith’s ‘The Chamber Of 32 Doors’, ‘The Lamia’, ‘Shadow Of The Hierophant’, ‘Blood On The Rooftops’, ‘Entangled’ and ‘Eleventh Earl Of Mar’.In order to re-live such a seminal chapter of prog rock history live on stage for Genesis Revisited, Hackett surrounded himself with a team of exceptional musicians including keyboardist Roger King (Gary Moore, Snoop Dog, Jamelia), Gary O’Toole (Chrissie Hynde, Kylie Minogue) on drums, percussion and vocals, Rob Townsend (Eddie Henderson, Bill Bruford, Django Bates) on sax, flute and percussion, Lee Pomeroy (Rick Wakeman, Take That) on bass, and Nad Sylvan (Abbas’s Michael B Tretow) on vocals.Special guests are Roine Stolt and Amanda Lehmann reprising their respective album contributions on ‘The Return Of The Giant Hogweed’ and ‘Ripples’, Ray Wilson does exceptionally well with lead vocal on ‘Carpet Crawlers’ plus ‘I Know What I Like’, and not to be outdone, a certain John Wetton sings on ‘Firth Of Fifth’.Deconstruct this, analyze it, and then put it all back together again, and then you really have a choice to make, Visually and audibly, there’s little to pick between these stunningly masterful performances, the only choice you have to make, is which songs you want to hear, and being Genesis fans we want to hear them all, so if you have one, buy the other, and if you have none, buy them both, as you will regret it if you don’t." - Planet MoshFull track listing:1. Dance On A Volcano2. Dancing With The Moonlit Knight3. Fly On A Windshield4. Broadway Melody of 19745. Carpet Crawlers (w/ Ray Wilson)6. The Return Of The Giant Hogweed (w/ Roine Stolt)7. The Musical Box8. Horizons9. UnquietSlumbersForTheSleeprs10. In That Quiet Earth11. Afterglow12. I Know What I Like (w/ Ray Wilson)13. Firth of Fifth (w/ John Wetton)14. Ripples (w/ Amanda Lehmann)15. The Fountain of Salmacis16. Supper’s Ready17. Watcher of the Skies18. Los Endos
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  • "Right from the start, a vastly different Weather Report emerges here, one that reflects co-leader Joe Zawinul's developing obsession with the groove. It is the groove that rules this mesmerizing album, leading off with the irresistible 3/4 marathon deceptively tagged as the "Boogie Woogie Waltz" and proceeding through a variety of Latin-grounded hip-shakers. It is a record of discovery for Zawinul, who augments his Rhodes electric piano with a funky wah-wah pedal, unveils the ARP synthesizer as a melodic instrument and sound-effects device, and often coasts along on one chord. The once fiery Wayne Shorter has been tamed, for he now contributes mostly sustained ethereal tunes on soprano sax, his tone sometimes doubled for a pleasing octave effect. The wane of freewheeling ensemble interplay is more than offset by the big increase in rhythmic push; bassist Miroslav Vitous, drummer Eric Gravatt, and percussionist Dom Um Romao are now cogs in one of jazz's great swinging machines." - All Music Guide
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  • First time on vinyl - now spread out over 6 sides of beautiful 180 gram vinyl.  Comes with the album on 2CDs as a bonus."A legendary band in their own right, The Flower Kings have been at the forefront of progressive rock since their formation in 1994 by guitarist, vocalist, composer, astronaut, chef and veteran nut head icon Roine Stolt. Dedicating themselves to producing a strain of prog they like to call symphonic rock‘, they incorporated classical music, movie soundtracks and both jazz, ethno, blues and seventies metal elements to much success - and building themselves a dedicated fanbase in the process over ten studio albums before taking a break.After a triumphant return to action in 2012 - following an almost 5 year hiatus, The Flower Kings released "Banks Of Eden" in the summer of that year to a brilliant reaction from fans and critics alike. In celebration they toured the world for the better part of a year, visiting locations including Europe, Japan, Russia, Israel & USA. The following year the band hit the road once again, this time with old friends Neal Morse & Mike Portnoy to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of label InsideOut Music, where they played a hugely successful prog extravaganza to packed venues across Europe and the US.Never ones to rest on their laurels however, The Flower Kings immediately entered Fenix Studio in Sweden to start work on the recording of a brand new album. Recorded "live" in this classic, but modern, studio and on reel to reel tape, the album features a glut of grand vintage keyboards such as Hammond B3, Mellotron M 400, Fender Rhodes, Minimoog and a whole host of Tube amps.The band even decided to try a new approach to writing and recording, assembling music on the spot and arranging it as a team.The result of this wonderfully collaborative effort is an epic 10 song cycle entitled ‚Desolation Rose‘; an album that revolves around some of the more disturbing observations of mankind's failure to create the paradise they once hoped for – and the greed, fear and ignorance that caused that failure. The scenario is an observation by an angel who resides in a mysterious tower, looking down on all this ongoing perpetual insanity, yet unable to reach out and help.The band is very much back to their cinematic and melodic symphonic rock best, but with a heavier edge no doubt honed while on tour for the past year. The 10 songs contained within are to be heard as a sequence and the lyric thread is wonderfully cinematic, but again it is more of an observation that works both as a whole or as separate parts. It might be considered one of their most focused efforts to date, such is the impact the tracks have on the listener from the very beginning. From the opening 14-minute tour-de-force that is ‚Tower‘, right through the moody swagger of ‚White Tuxedo‘ and beyond, this album sees the band crafting what might be their most varied album yet.The Flower Kings are truly back where they belong, at the beating heart of the modern day progressive rock scene, and ‚Desolation Rose‘ is testament to their continued vibrancy, sonic potency and determination to keep the music driving forward."
    $32.00
  • Another good Italian symphonic band unfortunately banished to the overpriced Maracash Records label. This is the third album from Conqueror. The music has a delicate, fragile laid back feel juxtaposed with some nice classically influenced heavy handed prog. Simona Rigano's vocals have a nice serence quality enhanced by use of flute and keys. The band finds a nice balance between the two styles. Think of this as a updated version of Celeste. Nicely done - an easy recommendation to fans of Italian prog.
    $20.00
  • At this point in time the hard rock kings of Long Island were pretty much living up to their name. Their initial "black and white" trilogy didn't make a huge dent on the national scene. They recorded a live album that was "ok". They went into the studio for their fourth album and came up with their masterpiece. If we never hear "Don't Fear The Reaper" again it would be OK with us all but it shouldn't overshadow the power of this disc. It shot the band to world wide prominence and they became a headlining act. The rest...as they say...is history. Remastered edition with 4 unreleased bonus tracks.
    $8.00
  • "In the interim between Van Canto albums, it was such a pleasant surprise to see Stefan Schmidt start up another project, this time shedding the a cappella metal he invented to incorporate more guitar and return metal to its roots….which doesn’t mean Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, or even The Beatles. No, Schmidt went back to the real roots of metal: Ludwig Beethoven and Johan Sebastian Bach. Joining him is recently retired and again activated drummer Jorg Michael (Ex-Every Metal Band In Europe), Sebastian Scharf (Schmidt’s former mate in Jester’s Funeral) and David Vogt on bass. The result was precisely as expected, a stunning album of metallic perfection that comes close enough to Statovarius’ “Nemesis” to make 2013 very challenging at year end.With nothing dramatic added or employment of new types of metal, Heavatar takes the power of metal and mashes it with classical (Beethoven and Bach are credited writers) without any string instrument orchestration. Sounds like a recipe for basic chicken soup, huh? Well….that may be true, but Schmidt’s secret weapon is really no secret at all: Van Canto. Try to envision the greatest band you can create and then relegate the world’s only a Capella band as your “backup singers.” What you just did was automatically make your choruses unattainable by any average band.Countless times throughout “All My Kingdoms” there are moments that evoke such feeling for a fan of power and “true metal.” There’s the incorporation of the Beethoven’s “5th” right at the onset of “Replica,” the galloping twin guitar attack of Schmidt and Sebastian Scharf during “Abracadabra” as Schmidt belts out “You accuse me, I don’t give a f**k” like the bastard child of James Hetfield and Eric Adams, and the rapid fire riff attack of “Elysium At Dawn.” Schmidt has such a commanding voice, and it is so nice to hear him come out from behind his vocal Stratocaster to shine again as a soloist.Another thing that stands out from other recent power metal releases (barring Mystic Prophecy) is the ability to sound solidly within other “euro” metal without sacrificing a deadly guitar crunch. This album is far from being happy power metal - it’s devastatingly heavy. Check out “Luna! Luna!,” a track with a punishing and pounding rhythm while the chorus soars above the crumbling earth. It’s like “Hail to England” era Manowar with Blind Guardian choruses. Speaking of Manowar, the album’s final track “To the Metal” is so over the top in metal pomp it rivals anything in Manowar’s cheese arsenal (the big difference – honesty and no bass buzz).“Opus I: All My Kingdoms” is a pure masterpiece of power metal in the truest sense of the word “power.” Though I uphold and admire Van Canto and it’s never-boring-always-brilliant material, when you add some punch the listener gets a glimpse of what truly could be like with that vocal talent over a six string. For those power metal fans that prefer more power with choruses that reach the stratosphere, this is just the gem you were looking for." - Metal Underground
    $12.00