Grace Under Pressure ($5 Special)

SKU: 314534634
Label:
Mercury
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Although it's a good album, Grace Under Pressure marks a change in the band's sound. It is a bit more synth laden, the tunes are a little short. Somewhere along the line they got it into their heads to become The Police. The similarities in sound are too scary.  Remastered edition.

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  • "Three years after Ai, Taiwanese symphonic power metal band Seraphim is back in strength with the well-titled Chinese language record Rising, which was also released with English lyrics to the international market one year later. A lot of things have changed between the third and the fourth (and up to now, last) records from the band. Guitarist Lucas Huang, drummer Simon Lin, bassist Jax Yeh and even singer Pay Lee left the band for numerous reasons. Band leader Kessier Hsu was responsible for guitar and bass duties on this release. The new singer Quinn Weng had joined the band back in 2004, and new drummer Van Shaw completed the trio in 2005. Bassist Mars Liu only joined the band shortly after the recordings in 2007, while second guitarist Thiago Trinsi from Brazil came to the band in 2010.Despite all these changes, the fourth record is typically Seraphim, with all the trademarks that distinguished the first three records, and only a few minor differences. The clean male vocals and death growls are less present on this release, and the music focuses on the vocal duties of new singer Quinn Weng. She had quite a difficult task in replacing the unique and powerful voice of Pay Lee, but does a very solid job. Her vocals are very grounded, but nevertheless variable. They are less operatic and spiritual than those of her predecessor, but I think she appeals to a wider audience, as her vocals rock more and fit more neatly into the power metal genre. This being said, the new record has less symphonic elements and focuses on more power metal sounds. The songs have become faster and heavier than ever before, and the drumming in particular is a killer on this release. Just listen to an energizing song like “Spring Wind” and you will understand what I mean. The music makes me think of the Liechtenstein gothic metal outfit Elis or Germany’s Xandria at times.The softer tracks are much less prominent on this album, but once they finally appear they are very strong. “No More” is a dreamy and transcending rock ballad with some commercial potential (and I mean this in the most positive way). The track has an amazing guitar solo, but it’s the calm parts that make me think of a symphonic new age epic. Let me add that Quinn Weng gives her best performance of the record on this track, truly equaling Peggy Lee. She sounds almost as heavenly as her predecessor did, but adds her very own touch upon this track that sends shivers down my spine. This song is definitely one of two highlights of this release, and also one of the strongest tracks in the band’s entire discography, as far as I’m concerned.My personal highlight of the record is nevertheless an epic symphonic piece that goes back to the style of the previous records and takes it to a new level of greatness. The stunning title track “Rising” is easily among the best of Seraphim’s catalog. In almost ten minutes, the song never gets boring, and features very elaborate song writing with catchy parts and diversified changes, as well as folky passages and heavier instrumental parts with tight riffs. This track is a firework of diversity and an absolute must-hear anthem for fans of gothic, power, and symphonic metal alike.In the end, this record is generally much heavier and obviously power metal-oriented than previous releases. Gone are most of the heavenly symphonic elements, but Rising is a lot faster and really rocks. Despite this new direction, old and new fans alike should be kept happy, and funnily enough, the two most outstanding songs are the ballad and the self-titled epic. The new line-up sounds fresh and promising, and I still hope for a new fifth release that might arrive in coming years. The band members are now living all around the world in Canada, Iceland, and Taiwan, but they are bound to meet again this year, and will hopefully work on new compositions. I will certainly keep in touch with Seraphim, and suggest that you do so as well, as well as (re)discover their back catalog while we wait for new things to come!" - Black Wind Metal
    $13.00
  • Essential third album from the Mwandishi band. A pure kosmigroov classic in which the ensemble touches on African based rhythms and electric fusion. Hancock and Patrick Gleeson somehow integrate a battery of electric keyboards into the jazz realm but in a way that was organic and seems just about right. A must own.
    $5.00
  • "Edguy are not going to win over Necrophagist or Portal fans with their new album, Space Police – Defenders Of The Crown. That isn’t what Edguy are about. They’re not Kvlt, tr00, etc. They do 80’s metal with massive amounts of fun and they do it really well.All the while annoying people who take music far too seriously. They are also are a superb band live, taking cues from Maiden with sing-along choruses and an almost pop sensibility towards song writing. After listening to Space Police once I was singing some of the tracks without realising it! The last couple of albums ‘Tinnitus Sanctus’ and ‘Age of the Joker’ took a more straight forward hard rock approach and while they were good albums, they didn’t have the pomposity and sense of ceremony ala Helloween or Gamma Ray of the preceding albums. This was for me, always part of the Edguy charm.Studio album number ten starts off almost where “Age of the Joker” left off with the track ‘Sabre and Torch‘ and quickly builds to an over the top masterpiece that brings back memories of  ‘Vain Glory Opera’ and ‘Hellfire Club.’ For some reason singer Tobias Sammet sounds a little restrained on this track and dare I say, somewhat tired. It’s almost as if this album was recorded live and he needed some time to warm up but there is no need to worry he quickly proves me wrong.The title track harks back to something off 2006′s superb Rocket Ride; a keyboard lead epic with a bouncing tempo to get a festival crowd going. It is like it was written for inclusion early in the live set. ‘Defenders of the Crown’ is where the smile really come across my face; double kick drums and a Manowar-esque chorus. It is nothing short of brilliant. ‘Love Tyger’ and ‘The Realms Of Baba Yaya’ are mid to fast tempo numbers that are as catchy as anything they have previously written and prove that Mr Sammet and co. are back in flying form! As usual, the band are excellent; loads of feeling and virtuosity, though not always at the same time….I love this album and it keeps getting better with their version of Falco’s ‘Rock me Amadeus’. Some tracks sound like they were Avantasia (Tobais Sammet’s metal opera side project) tracks but were considered to Edguy for those albums. ‘Do me like a Caveman’ and ‘Alone in Myself’ for example. ‘The Eternal Wayfarer’ is the kind of song Def Leppard wish they could write now, lucky for them Edguy still have it.Space Police- Defenders Of The Crown isn’t just the best thing Edguy have released in years, it is one of the best power metal albums released in years." - Planet Mosh
    $6.00
  • Yet another reissue of this unreleased album - this time given the definitive touches of Rise Above Relics. Necromandus were a short lived UK band managed by Tony Iommi. He was able to get the band a deal with Black Sabbath's home Vertigo. In 1973 Iommi produced their sole album (and played some guitar on one track). For whatever reason Vertigo shelved the album and it didn't see the light of day until the 90s when it was reissued a couple of times. Despite the title and some hard rock leanings this is actually more of a prog rock release somewhat in the realm of early Yes. What's really notable is the guitarwork of Baz Dunnery. This guy was the real goods. This new edition comes with a slew of live material recorded 3/30/73 in Blackpool.
    $16.00
  • "Building from the jazz fusion foundation of Pretzel Logic, Steely Dan created an alluringly sophisticated album of jazzy pop with Katy Lied. With this record, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen began relying solely on studio musicians, which is evident from the immaculate sound of the album. Usually, such a studied recording method would drain the life out of each song, but that's not the case with Katy Lied, which actually benefits from the duo's perfectionist tendencies. Each song is given a glossy sheen, one that accentuates not only the stronger pop hooks, but also the precise technical skill of the professional musicians drafted to play the solos. Essentially, Katy Lied is a smoother version of Pretzel Logic, featuring the same cross-section of jazz-pop and blues-rock. The lack of innovations doesn't hurt the record, since the songs are uniformly brilliant. Less overtly cynical than previous Dan albums, the album still has its share of lyrical stingers, but what's really notable are the melodies, from the seductive jazzy soul of "Doctor Wu" and the lazy blues of "Chain Lightning" to the terse "Black Friday" and mock calypso of "Everyone's Gone to the Movies." It's another excellent record in one of the most distinguished rock & roll catalogs of the '70s." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • "Founding members of the original "Rock In Opposition" [R.I.O.] movement and the inventors of "chamber rock", Univers Zero have continued to change and grow and develop over their entire career, while still keeping a ensemble sound and spirit that is easily recognizable. Clivages is their first studio album in over five years, but much more importantly, it is their first studio release since 1986's Heatwave to feature the energy and sound of a working, rehearsing, live ensemble performing in the studio! It features the current line-up of the group who have been playing concerts and working together for quite some time now: Michel Berkmans (bassoon, English horn, oboe), Kurt Budé (clarinet, bass clarinet, alto sax), Pierre Chevalier (keyboards), Daniel Denis (drums, sampler), Dimitri Evers (bass), Martin Lauwers (violin) and guest Andy Kirk (guitar and percussion). Univers Zero are rightly famous for finding the perfect balance between classical and rock influences and drawing on musicians from both worlds. In terms of this, Clivages is possibly their best-balanced release , featuring a couple of small chamber works for the trio of strings, reeds and double reeds of the group. The rock side has not been ignored in any way, however and in addition to contributions from band members Denis, Budé and Berckmans, Clivages features Andy Kirk's 12' piece "Warrior", which harkens back to the sound of the band circa Heatwave!"
    $15.00
  • Live DVD filmed in Tampere, Finland on November 19, 2011.  This was part of the farewell tour for drummer Jorg Michael.  Comes with a 30 minute documentary covering the band's history and interviews with band members.
    $15.00
  • From the stunning operatic vocals of Francesco Di Giacomo to the dual keyboards of the Nocenzi brothers, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso were the cornerstone of the entire Italian progressive movement. They were simply brilliant. This debut is a foreshadowing of greatness to come but is a masterpiece in it's own right. 24 bit remastered gold edition in a digipak!
    $10.00
  • "The return of Iron Maiden's "classic" Dickinson/Harris/Murray/Smith/McBrain lineup (plus third guitarist Janick Gers) in 1999 led to an incredibly successful world tour that saw the New Wave of British Heavy Metal legends commanding stages with the same unmitigated power and authority as they had during their mid-'80s heyday. But the question remained as to whether the reconstituted group would be able to carry this momentum into a studio setting and recapture the songwriting chops of its glory years. This question made Brave New World one of the most highly anticipated metal releases of 2000, and thankfully, the eventual answer to that question was a resounding "YES!" In fact, the album pretty much picked up right where the "classic" lineup had left off on 1988's Seventh Son of a Seventh Son: with a faithful rediscovery of Iron Maiden's best-loved sonic aesthetic and compositional quirks, updated only insofar as was necessary to measure up to new-millennium recording standards. In every other respect (and much like Seventh Son of a Seventh Son), Brave New World's meticulously orchestrated three-guitar attack still allowed for a greater sense of space than early Maiden albums (as well as the use of subtle keyboard textures in a supporting role), while boasting a beefier, in-your-face mix à la Piece of Mind or Powerslave. The remarkable pipes of singer Bruce Dickinson actually seemed to have benefited from a less grueling touring schedule over the previous decade, and his renewed songwriting partnership with bassist Steve Harris (and other assorted bandmembers) yielded several new Maiden live standards such as punchy first single, "The Wicker Man," and the positively anthemic title track. Also worthy of special mention were Harris' emotional solo copyright, "Blood Brothers," Adrian Smith's distinctive solo licks throughout "The Fallen Angel," and six-string stalwart Dave Murray's Arabian-flavored contributions to "The Nomad." These highlights notwithstanding, a more lucid appraisal revealed that Brave New World was no Number of the Beast, once the initial euphoria died down. But as comeback albums go, its excellence was undeniable, and announced not only Iron Maiden's triumphant return, but an important turning point in heavy metal's long, arduous climb back to respectability after years of critical abuse." - Allmusic
    $13.00
  • "Dimension is a progressive metal band, based in Denver, CO, USA. It was founded in 1999 by David Quicho (guitars and vocals) & Mane Cabrales (drums) . They play a heavy yet melodic brand of progressive metal, and Revolution is a double disc with over 90 minutes of music.With The Source, it begins with a haunting piano, with Quicho's vocals coming in shortly after. His vocals use an almost phaser like effect, which can sound a little weird to someone not used to it. Though soon afterwards he shows his strong vocal range. Ranging from a John Arch(ex-Fates Warning) Or Charlie Dominici(ex-Dream Theater, Dominici) high to a more aggressive mid range, ala Harry Conklin(ex-Jag Panzer). The next two songs offer something a little bit different, with a huge melodic chorus during Pale Horse that showcases some great drumming from Cabrales and vocals from Quicho. With a little title like The Waltz Of Death you might expect a symphonic intro, and it does, with a waltz to boot! After that intro, the song is a big melodic song with some nice guitar solos, and tempo changes as well. New Day is a haunting slower melodic song, that really highlights Quicho song. This song you will either love or hate his vocals, but the vocal melody matches the song perfectly. Some great instrumentation as well mid song, and an added heaviness heard midway adds a dynamic to the song. Tears of Blood and The Resistance are two mid to faster paced songs, with the latter having a great straight-ahead guitar riff, that easily induces headbanging. The added keyboards in the beginning of The Resistance definitely gives the song a progressive feel to it. Some great drumming, with certain notes being accented more than others, gives the song an aggressive feeling, though the song itself is very melodic. Welcome To America is a song you will want to listen to the lyrics for, especially if you live in America. The last song on disc one is a cover of The Beatles classic, Eleanor Rigby. While this song has been covered numerous times, I really did enjoy this progressive metal take on it. At just barely over two minutes long, it definitely is short and sweet.Angel starts off disc two, and much like what was heard on disc one is a mixture of heavier parts and melodic parts lead by Quicho's unique vocals. The song has a great instrumental section just after the three minute mark. The next song Human Device shares a lot of the same ideas presented in Angel without sounding like the same song. The instrumental, The End Of All Things is next, and it takes its time building up into one massive piece of precise musicianship. Unlike a lot of their contemporaries, Dimension does not over do it with the instrumentation. Yes there is definite technical skill from all three members, but they don't stray too far away into wankery-land where the song ends up sounding like one long jam section. There is definitely a well thought out song structure here. The epic not only in length, but in melodies, time signatures, and everything else you would expect from a solid progressive metal band, can be found in the nineteen minute plus, War Dream. A heavily melodic song with great instrumental passages, weaves back and forth between melody, technical prowess, and heavier parts of the song. I could write a review about this one song. Much like Eleanor Rigby ended the first disc, the classic Led Zeppelin, Immigrant Song ends disc two. Maintaining the Page riff, and the Plant vocal melodies, the song does not stray too far from its source material, but has a personal and welcomed Dimension touch to it.Reviewing a double disc from a band I don't know, has been daunting, but definitely a welcomed challenge. I researched the band's previous releases to find that Marty on this site had reviewed their 2007 disc, Ego. From the samples of Ego I have heard, I honestly believe the band has taken the next step in their evolution. Dimension is definitely a solid band, and one that should be on the radar for fans of the genre. Most songs have complex song structures, yet are accessible to those who enjoy melodic music as well." - Metal Reviews
    $14.00
  • BLOW OUT PRE-PROGPOWER USA SPECIAL DEAL! Surprisingly great project from one of the founders of Savatage and forefathers of the entire progressive metal movement. To cut to the chase - this sounds more like Savatage than Savatage does these days. A must own for any Savatage fan - you will not be disappointed. LIMITED TIME SPECIAL PRICING
    $8.00
  • Cheap copy of the good old typical Warner Bros. US pressing of this iconic live album.  Nothing fancy - just amazing music for 5 bucks.
    $5.00
  • "A while back I reviewed a “live” album that sounded like it was recorded in a pub in the middle of nowhere on a wet Tuesday, attended by one man and his dog.  It was awful.  If you’re going to produce a live album there are rules.  First, the sound has to be good, there’s no point if it isn’t studio quality.  Second, and this is vital, if you are recording an album in front of a live audience, the sound of that audience must make it onto the album.  If you can’t hear them cheering, clapping, singing along you’d have been as well staying in the studio.  After the disappointment of the aforementioned review, I was keeping everything crossed that Live With the Curse would reflect the electric atmosphere at Glasgow’s Classic Grand on that night back in November.  You see, I know the crowd was rocking that night, and I know the band sounded great, because I was there.So, I sat down today to listen to the album, hoping against hope that Eden’s Curse had got it right.  Man have they ever got it right.  I defy anyone to listen to this without feeling like they were actually there.  Mixed and mastered by Dennis Ward, who has worked with the band throughout their career, every bit of the live experience is included, from their onstage introduction by Tom Russell to the little chats with the crowd and the unholy racket the crowd made at every opportunity.Tom Russell, Godfather of Rock is a legend in these parts, he’s been presenting rock radio for longer than I’ve been alive (sorry Tom!) and having him announce you is quite an honour.  From that point on this album is relentless.  Nikola’s vocal never misses a note, Thorsten plays guitar like a man possessed and Paul, John and Steve bring it all together into something pretty close to perfection.  Nikola does a brilliant job of bringing the crowd into the show as well, introducing songs, explaining what they’re about and getting some crowd participation going.  It all adds to the atmosphere, which as I’ve already said is crucial to a live album.Highlights for me include opening track Symphony of Sin, which sets out the bands intentions from the very beginning.  This gig, this album is going to break you.  The pace and energy is non stop, as Nikola roars at the crowd and they roar back.  Covering tracks from all four Eden’s Curse albums the band powers through a set list which translates to a two disc album of over 100 minutes.  It’s long, but it never drags, as the energy refuses to drop.  Towards the end of disc one look out for an extended guitar solo from Thorsten.  Now, I don’t play guitar, but I know enough to know that this man is one of the best guitar players you will see.  He rarely lifts his head, lost in the music but he plays as if he has two pairs of hands.  One of my favourite things about Eden’s Curse is the storytelling in each song, from Masquerade Ball to Rock Bottom.  It means that the songs improve with each listen, as you move from listening to the tune to actually taking in the lyrics.  I have to also mention my personal favourite Eden’s Curse track Evil and Divine.  I don’t know why I love it, I just do.  And that’s what it’s all about.As final track Angels and Demons ends the crowd begin to chant, “Eden’s Curse, Eden’s Curse, Eden’s Curse,” and I sit here straining my ears because if I just listen hard enough I might hear myself.  I cheered them that night, and I’ll be cheering this album from the rooftops.  It’s out on Friday, March 13th and I will personally Curse any of you who don’t buy it!" - Planet Mosh
    $15.00
  • "The second installment of our 20th Anniversary celebration, "Off the Floor 02" continues with more live-in-the-studio performances of staples from our live sets. Taken from the same sessions as "Off the Floor (01)," the track list draws from each of our five studio albums and includes a healthy dose of improvisation, a bit of re-imagining and even a little new music in the form of a bass & drums interlude.We won't repeat the "Brief History of Tiles" from the OtF (01) liner notes, but will take a moment to revisit the basic 'off the floor' concept. After much discussion about our "platinum" milestone (unfortunely not for sales!), we decided to do a live album using the somewhat non-traditional approach of recording live in the studio. This is actually what the phrase 'off the floor' means in recording lingo: to record a song as a complete performance without adding more parts (overdubs) later. We recruited a few friends to be our audience – for inspiration and to keep us on our toes.Having the controlled environment of a private 'soundstage' allowed us to focus on the music. We didn't have to haul a bunch of equipment into a club and deal with recording technicalities, show promotion and other business distractions. Although we were in a studio, "OtF 02" is still "live" – complete with the occasional less-than-perfect note and other minor imperfection. We did, however, take advantage of the relaxed setting and usually played each song twice, picking the best version for the CD. Occasionally we didn't need a second take, but a couple of times we needed a third take ("Patterns" oddly enough!).To offer a little something different, "OtF (01)" had a couple special guests plus an expanded arrangement of 'The Wading Pool.' For "Off the Floor 02" we dug into our archives and dusted off a few tunes from our appearance at the 2005 Rites of Spring Festival (ROSfest). We had recorded our entire 2-hour set, but filed the hard drive away with little thought it would see the light of day. Technical problems had dogged us the moment we hit the stage and left us feeling unsatisfied with our performance. Sampler and keyboard sounds would mysteriously reset and the bass amp would cut in and out. Figuring out why these intermittant problems were happening was made even more challenging by Jeff's state of exhaustion; even though it was a good kind of exhaustion caused by the birth of his daughter just four days before the show. Since the problems were on his side of the stage he had to play detective and keep up with the songs! Eventually, the issue was discovered and duct tape strategically applied to a loose electrical wall outlet – which worked just fine unless someone happened to use the side-stage walkway.Although tempted by the 12-minute "venting" version of "Capture the Flag," we didn't want to repeat any songs already included on either Off the Floor disc. Fortunately, "Facing Failure," "Ballad of the Sacred Cows," "Paintings" and "Window Dressing" were in all-around good shape. We only needed to drop in a couple missing samples and a keyboard part. By including selections from ROSfest as part of the Off the Floor project we get to acknowledge Pat Deleon, our drummer from 1997 to 2005, and present a complete live history of Tiles." - Chris Herin/TilesDisc One: Off the Floor 021. Patterns (4.38)2. Hide & Seek (8.09)3. Taking Control (5.14)4. Remember To Forget (5.00)5. Analysis Paralysis (5.18)6. Cactus Valley (7.01)7. Sacred & Mundane (6.30)8. Dancing Dogs (5.45)9. Safe Procedures (7.31)10. Another's Hand (6.26)Mark Evans: Drums & PercussionChris Herin: Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Backing VocalsPaul Rarick: Lead VocalsJeff Whittle: Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing VocalsDisc Two: Live at the 2005 Rites of Spring Festival1. Intro/Facing Failure (6.48)2. Ballad Of The Sacred Cows (7.24)3. Paintings (5.04)4. Window Dressing (17.03)Paul Rarick: Lead VocalsChris Herin: Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Backing VocalsJeff Whittle: Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing VocalsPat DeLeon: Drums, PercussionBonus Videos (from the Off the Floor sessions):1. Landscrape (4.27)2. Remember To Forget (5.00)
    $15.00