Empire ($5 Special)

SKU: 724358107029
Label:
EMI
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24 bit remastered reissue in deluxe packaging at a budget price. A masterful blending of progressive metal and rock, "Empire" features two of their best known songs - "Silent Lucidity" and "Jet City Woman". Comes with 3 bonus studio tracks.

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  • Time Machine is without any doubt one of the most influential bands on the European progressive metal scene. Since their formation in late 1992 through today, their music has been described by the worldwide media as some of the most interesting and original prog metal ever to emerge from Italy.Reviviscence is the second part of the Eymerich Trilogy. This is an album that showcases Italys most experienced band in their right element; a world of beautiful melodies, huge soundscapes, breathtaking guitar solos, wonderfully crafted acoustic passages and an accented technicality that flows hand in hand with the songs.Lyrically Reviviscence is an exciting tale of the evil walking among us, making our everyday filled with greed, war and corruption, while the young hopefuls of the world are searching for something that can make this a better place to live in. Its the ancient tale of good versus evil.For the bands sixth album the core lineup is augmented by special guests Rafael Bittencourt and Kiko Loureiro, world renowned guitarists from ANGRA, as well as Fabio Ribiero, keyboardist for Shaman and Blezqi Zatsaz. The North American release by Sensory comes housed in a digipak and features "Signs", an exclusive bonus track.Time Machines legend continues to grow
    $4.00
  • German power metal sounds just like Angra.
    $11.00
  • Deluxe digipak edition comes with a bonus DVD chronicling the recording and mixing of the album."It is refreshing to see Timo Tolkki making new music instead of in the middle of some controversy. Over the last few years Tolkki has been embedded in a war of words with his former Stratovarius band mates.He has released records with new bands Revolution Renaissance and Symfonia, but both have failed to live up to his past legacy. He is now attempting another new project, Timo Tolkki’s Avalon. His debut, The Land of New Hope is a symphonic power metal opera in the style of Avantasia.This feels exactly like what Tobias Sammet created with Avantasia. Stylistically we are in the same territory, and Tolkki has enlisted the help of some of the best musicians that the power metal genre has to offer. Contributing vocals are Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween), Elize Ryd (Amaranthe), Rob Rock, Russell Allen (Symphony X), Sharon Den Adel (Within Temptation) and Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica). That is a who’s who of singers and they do not disappoint.The album also features stellar musicians such as Jens Johansson (Stratovarius), Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater), Alex Holzwarth (Rhapsody Of Fire) and Mikko Harkin (ex-Sonata Arctica).At the end of the day the quality of the talent isn’t the only thing that matters, as the songwriting has to be up to par. Over the years this is where Tolkki has been incredibly inconsistent. For every “Visions” and “Infinite” he has written he has also written “New Era” and the self-titled Stratovarius record.I can assure you that this is the best record Tolkki has written in thirteen years or maybe even in his career. As this is a rock opera, all the songs follow the storyline about a small group of survivors in 2055 A.D. who search for a sacred place known as “The Land of the New Hope” as planet Earth has been destroyed.The bulk of the vocals are by Ryd, Allen and Rock, who all rise to the occasion and sing with much emotion and power. The tender “In the Name of the Rose” is a magical moment. Ryd and Allen are meant to sing together. Allen shows off his vocal range in the chorus that you will no doubt be chanting along with. He delivers a throaty verse before singing a Maidenesque melody line for the chorus. A heartfelt lead by Tolkki puts an exclamation point on an incredible song.The title track is the only song that features Kiske, and he doesn’t disappoint. The almost nine minute epic begins with some gorgeous orchestration and an arpeggiated guitar line very reminiscent of the Scorpions. Kiske's vocals are soaring and he shows why he is one of the most in demand vocalists still at 45.Kiske is that rare singer that is technically perfect, but also has the gift to bring out a special emotion in his voice. This is the highlight of the record and these two legends should collaborate more.It is an incredible comeback story for Tolkki who was all but down and out. I am happy to see him put his demons to rest and release a record that he might be known for when his career is completed.He is enormously talented and I think this is the perfect atmosphere for him, as he doesn’t have a permanent band but only musicians who guest on the album. We know he is a dynamic personality who struggles to get along with band members, so with this unique situation he is the only permanent member.My biggest concern is that Tolkki seems to get bored with projects and moves on to the next one. Someone needs to guide him to stick with the Avalon project and continue to release records under this moniker.The Land of New Hope is Tolkki’s crowning achievement and I am glad to see one of the best guitar players in power metal return to his rightful place at the top of the genre. Let’s just hope he can keep it together." - About.com
    $11.00
  • New studio project put together by noted guitarist Henning Pauly of the band Chain. Most notable aspect of this project is the inclusion of Dream Theater vocalist James Labrie on all tracks. The music has a cinematic quality, melding progressive rock with a lighter style of progressive metal. At times the layering of Labrie's vocals are reminiscent of an old Queen album - it's almost larger than life. There are definite similarities to Dream Theater at points. Early listens remind me quite a bit of Pauly's band Chain but with a better singer and further refinement.
    $3.00
  • Magnus Karlsson's name might not be that familiar to you but if you are a fan of melodic metal you probably own an album or two he was involved in.  The Swedish guitarist's original band was Last Tribe.  After a number of albums for Frontiers he was the man behind the curtain for the two Allen/Lande albums as well as a bunch of other projects for the label.  Ultimately he became a member of Primal Fear and toured with this.Freefall is his first solo album under his own name.  He plays all the instruments except drums which are handled by Danny Flores of Mind's Eye.  Calling in favors, Karlsson has enlisted a who's who of vocalists from the melodic metal realm: Russell Allen (Symphony X), Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), Tony Harnell (TNT), Rick Altzi (Masterplan), David Readman (PC69), Mark Boals (Malmsteen), Michael Andersson (Cloudscape), Rikard Bengsston (Last Tribe), and Herman Saming (A.C.T).  That's a lot of good pipes!
    $13.00
  • New issue of Pendragon's neoprog classic from 1996. Now comes with a bonus live version of "The Last Man On Earth".
    $13.00
  • The split between Geoff Tate and the rest of Queensryche took an ugly turn awhile back and now we are seeing the first fruits of the fallout.  He finds himself on Cleopatra Records - the perfect marriage of exploitation partners.  I'm not sure why anyone would want to actually own this album but I guess if you are an uber-Tate fan you have to have it.  Tate's version of the band features Kelly Gray, Rudy and Robert Sarzo, Simon Wright, and Randy Gane.  The music sounds a lot like all the crap Queensryche was putting out over the past 10-15 years but maybe even less inspired.  Tate took it upon himself to cover 4 classic Queensryche songs as a bonus (oh joy).  Special guests on the album include KK Downing, Chris Poland, Ty Tabor, Paul Bostaph, Lita Ford, Brad Gillis, Dave Meniketti, and Craig Locicero.  If Jimi Hendrix was on this album it couldn't ressurect this swill.  There is one good thing about the album - the cover.  Its a pretty clever jab at his old bandmates.  I'll give him that and not much else.  Fanatics only please.
    $6.00
  • "With 1985's Metal Heart, German metal institution Accept attempted to add catchier choruses and melodies to their high-octane guitar riffing in a clear ploy to crack the American market. Not that this move in any way upset the balance of their thus-far smooth-running metal machine, which had been gaining momentum with every release since the start of the decade. No, Metal Heart was certainly a step toward accessibility, but a cautious one at that -- and, frankly, there was no toning down when it came to the lacerated larynx of gifted lead screamer Udo Dirkschneider. You gotta hand it to Accept, they sure knew how to make an entrance by now, and the apocalyptic title track is about as dramatic as it gets (the operatic "Bound to Fail" comes close), with guitarist Wolf Hoffman taking the helm on a long, mid-song solo excursion containing equal nods to Beethoven (very nice) and Edward Van Halen (get real). First single "Midnight Mover" is next, and along with the even more melodic "Screaming for a Love-Bite," it places obvious emphasis on hooks and melodies (and proved to be the toughest to stomach for the band's more hardcore fans). But despite another strange detour into jazz territory with the bizarre "Teach Us to Survive," Accept still packed amazing power, heaping on their Teutonic background vocals for the ultraheavy "Dogs on Leads" and gleefully pile-driving their way through relentless moshers like "Up to the Limit" and "Wrong Is Right." The brilliantly over-the-top "Too High to Get It Right" finds Dirkschneider screeching like never before, and to cap things off, the band really cooks on "Living for Tonight" -- arguably the best track all around. A winning set." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • Steven Wilson's solo career apart from Porcupine Tree, is for this listener, far more interesting.  Whereas PTree currently skirts the line between rock and metal, his solo work fits squarely in the progressive rock arena.  The Raven That Refused To Sing (and other stories) is easily his magnum opus.  The musicianship is stellar - he recorded with his touring band: Nick Beggs (Stick), Guthrie Govan (guitar), Adam Holzman (keys), Marco Minnemann (drums), and Theo Travis (flute, sax).  Mr. Wilson has also dug two things out of mothballs - King Crimson's Mellotron and Alan Parsons.  It was Steven Wilson's wish to one day work with Alan Parsons, who came on board as engineer.  I can't tell you who is responsibile for what but I can tell you that the production is impeccable.  The opening epic "Luminol" drips with the holy 'tron sounding like a cross-generation blend of King Crimson eras.  And so it goes through out the album.  Some utterly fierce playing on this album.  From beginning to end a stunning effort.  BUY OR DIE!
    $11.00
  • New remastered edition of The Window Of Life has the added bonus of the Falled Dreams And Angels mini-album tacked on to create one 79 minute disc.
    $14.00
  • "When I did my first listen to the opening and title track of Secret Sphere’s upcoming release, Portrait of a Dying Heart, I knew instantly that I was going to run out of adjectives for “awesome” before the review was done. It opens with a soft chime, then another, a quick announcement of something amazing to come, and it does. With a quick buildup, the textbook thunderous opening chord is hit, and the song goes from zero to hell yeah in a heartbeat. There is a personal term I like to use, an ”epic moment”, that describes those moments in a song, especially in prog songs, when all the jumping around and teasing and tension that is inherent in prog music is released and all the instruments come together, creating that personal release, that little moment of music that I thrive for. The opening track, Portrait of a Dying Heart has about five of these, and it’s an instrumental overture. The album kicks it up another five notches when the vocals enter the mix.Founded in 1997 by guitarist Aldo Lonobile in, Secret Sphere has been showcasing their own brand of symphonic power metal over a span of fifteen years and six albums, and even the departure of long time lead singer Ramon Messina didn’t stop them, as they found the amazing pipes of Michelle Luppi to take over on their new album.  Fellow founding member Andy Buratto on bass, Federico Pennazzato on drums, Marco Pastorino on rhythm guitar, and Gabriele Ciaccia on keyboards fill out the rest of the band. While they credit heavyweights such as Dream Theater, Helloween, and Savatage among their influences, Secret Sphere has definitely evolved a sound all their own.Portrait of a Dying Heart is a concept album, based on the short novel She Complies with the Night by author Costanza Columbo, and commissioned by Lonobile. The full text of the story is included in the release disc, but was unavailable at the time of this review; so many secrets will be awaiting the listener and this very anxious author. As to the album, holy crap is it good. Secret Sphere is classified as symphonic metal, but that term really doesn’t do justice to the sound of this latest release, it is a step beyond. Though symphonic elements are definitely present, they don’t by any means carry the musical timbre of the album, the sound presented here is one step up the evolutionary ladder from most symphonic metal fare.After the six minute overture is X, the track that introduces the story, and it does it in fantastic bard-like fashion. The opening guitar squeals are accompanied by expertly done flourishes from the rhythm and the drums immediately set a breakneck, frantic pace, setting up a suspenseful atmosphere for the coming events. Luppi’s vocals hit right away as emotional, powerful, and stellar across the board, whether he is in scream mode or in the more subdued narrator moments. This track uses its variant musical elements to set the stage, leading perfectly into Wish and Steadiness, which for me is the best track of the album. It opens with classic symphonic keys, and uses them perfectly to transition from the more subtle tension of X to this track, building up before literally exploding in a fiery wall of metal. Notes come fast here, very fast, drawing out the tension and angst of the listener quickly. The hints of the frantic drums in X are joined by all the other instruments, and the panicked despondency of Luppi’s voice can almost be tasted it is so palpable. Highlighting it is a soul wrenching solo by Lonobile, bringing the despair of the song to full front. I don’t say this often, but this song for me is near perfection, everything fits together so well.With the tone set, the album digs into telling the story in full, with a spectrum of styles and paces. It truly is a musical narrative, events and emotions ebb and flow throughout the album.  The next song, Union, takes on a softer tone, adding an organized edge to the metal. It is catchy as hell, and sets a silent fervor in motion for The Fall, which has epic all over it. All hands are in play in this one, another searing track that leaves the listener breathless.The album carries on in this fashion throughout its entirety. The multitude of musical styles and themes are performed wonderfully by every member of the band. Lonobile is a monster at lead, and Pastarino carries a heavy load on rhythm superbly. The drumming is frantic yet precise, the fills and rolls just fantastic. Bass is a subtle undertone of organized thunder, and the keys carry the heavy weight of the symphonic elements so well. Add to it Luppi’s vocals, which are emotional and powerful throughout, and Secret Sphere delivers all the requisite parts, firing on all the right cylinders. Collectively though, they combine to create a truly special piece of music.From beginning to end, Portrait of a Dying Heart is a musical narrative in every sense of the term, it carries the listener through a slew of emotional states. The album is not only a summation of its talented parts, but also has a touch of ethereal wonder, something uncommon in the genre. There is a hurried sense of desperation, almost akin to that feeling of trying to hang on to the world with a single string that is slipping fast, that is carried throughout the work. Artist strive to transmit emotion to the audience through their chosen medium, Secret Sphere uses this concept to take us on a thrilling ride of spiritual turmoil, and does it very, very well." - Lady Obscure
    $14.00
  • "Since it's billed as "Directions in Music by Miles Davis," it should come as little surprise that Filles de Kilimanjaro is the beginning of a new phase for Miles, the place that he begins to dive headfirst into jazz-rock fusion. It also happens to be the swan song for his second classic quintet, arguably the finest collective of musicians he ever worked with, and what makes this album so fascinating is that it's possible to hear the breaking point -- though his quintet all followed him into fusion (three of his supporting players were on In a Silent Way), it's possible to hear them all break with the conventional notions of what constituted even adventurous jazz, turning into something new. According to Miles, the change in "direction" was as much inspired by a desire to return to something earthy and bluesy as it was to find new musical territory, and Filles de Kilimanjaro bears him out. Though the album sports inexplicable, rather ridiculous French song titles, this is music that is unpretentiously adventurous, grounded in driving, mildly funky rhythms and bluesy growls from Miles, graced with weird, colorful flourishes from the band. Where Miles in the Sky meandered a bit, this is considerably more focused, even on the three songs that run over ten minutes, yet it still feels transitional. Not tentative (which In the Sky was), but certainly the music that would spring full bloom on In a Silent Way was still in the gestation phase, and despite the rock-blues-n-funk touches here, the music doesn't fly and search the way that Nefertiti did. But that's not a bad thing -- this middle ground between the adventurous bop of the mid-'60s and the fusion of the late '60s is rewarding in its own right, since it's possible to hear great musicians find the foundation of a new form. For that alone, Filles de Kilimanjaro is necessary listening." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • Quite a bit of buzz has been circulating about this young Swedish symphonic rock band. The band formed in 2003 and sent a demo off to Tomas Bodin, keyboardist extraordinare for The Flower Kings. Tomas basically took the band under his wing and produced this album (as well as providing some keys in spots). The music has a real positive vibe without getting spiritual. A prime influence on the band seems to be Yes. The opening track "Doorway" sounds like an out take from the Going For The One sessions. One of the best aspects of this band is their vocal harmonies which at times sound like The Beach Boys! The vocal layers blend in with the Mellotron to glorious effect. The 25 minute "We Spin The World" opens with some beautiful keyboard work and then the Rickenbacker bass kicks in and we are clearly spinning around some distant moon circling the planet Flower Kings. Nothing dark and evil here - this is pure "feel good" prog rock that shows a young band displaying maturity and intelligence. Excellent first effort - check these guys out.
    $14.00
  • The Custodian is a new British post-progressive rock band formed by Richard Thomson, vocalist for cinematic death metal band Xerath.  Unlike Xerath, The Custodian is an outlet for the more melodic, rock oriented writing from Thomson.While there are moments in the album that harken back to old school bands like Genesis and Yes, the music of The Custodian is contemporary in sound.  Necessary Wasted Time is an album full of dynamics - light and dark shadings balancing acoustic vs electric, heavy vs pastoral.  While atmospherics and tension are a strong component of the album, the band demonstrates their adept musicianship offering up long instrumental passages to complement the emotion filled vocals.  When needed the band unleashes some complex electric runs.The Custodian's debut should deeply resonate with fans of Steven Wilson, Riverside, Pineapple Thief, and Anathema.Necessary Wasted Time was mixed by noted engineer Jacob Hansen and give the full audiophile mastering treatment from Bob Katz. 
    $14.00