Stanley Clarke ($5 Blowout Price!)

SKU: EK36973
Label:
Epic
Category:
Fusion
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Second solo album from the legendary RTF bassist, originally released in 1974. Its a burning set featuring Jan Hammer and Tony Williams. Oh yeah...a guy name Bill Connors is playing guitar and going off his nut.

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  • "This is ROYAL HUNT’s tenth album already? It’s hard to believe, but when you think about it, the band released their first album all the way back in 1992. They should have chosen a better name than “X” though, especially since so many bands have done that before them.This is the second album to feature former Yngwie Malmsteen singer Mark Boals. He did a fine job on their previous album and is one of several great singers that ROYAL HUNT has employed over the years. Their final album with D.C. Cooper, “Paradox,” was one of my favorite albums of all time. Their final album with John West, “Paper Blood,” was excellent as well. However, I hope Boals stays on for at least another album because this one is disappointing.In the months before the album was released, main composer AndrĂ© Andersen stated in several interviews that the band was attempting a more 70s rock sound on this album, which excited me a bit because I love rock music from that era, despite this being different from ROYAL HUNT’s traditional melodic metal sound. However, the results were something more like an 80s rock sound.The guitars are buried, aside from showing up a few times in admittedly solid solos. I admire Andersen’s restraint with the keyboards, but all of the instruments are so simplified that there’s not much to stand out besides Boals’ vocals. Boals does a fine job with the material he’s given, particularly on “End of the Line” and “The Well,” but unfortunately he cannot make this a magnificent album on his own. There are still a good amount of pleasurable songs, but nothing approaching the heights that I know this band is capable of.“X” shows ROYAL HUNT breaking relatively new ground, but it sounds much different than advertised. There are still some fine moments, but overall this is somewhat disappointing. This is probably still worth hearing, it just won’t end up on my best of 2010 list any time soon." - Metal Temple
    $12.00
  • I have to give props to Valensia and David Clarkson. They have perpetuated their homage to Queen exquisitely. I know it's sacrilege to say but I was respectful but never really much of a Queen fan myself. Regardless, the Clarkson's have the sound nailed down, taking "Sheer Heart Attack" era Queen, mixing it with pure unadulterated AOR and giving it a well produced sheen. If you miss Freddie and think Paul Rodgers singing with the Queen guys is a bad idea then this should be like a big security blanket. At times it sounds so much Queen it's startling. Enjoy!
    $8.00
  • "Oh Italy, will you ever stop delivering kick ass metal? Now don’t get me wrong folks, I love the San Francisco Bay Area I’ve called home for the majority of my life, and am very pleased with the area’s contributions to heavy metal, namely the thrash era of the 1980’s, but at the present moment, no country has been consistently delivering like Italy has, especially when it comes to just buckling down and busting out some no holds barred, guitar crunching, drum smashing, vocal chord tearing heavy metal. And when it comes to metal that is blunt and to the point, Astra pretty much nails it on their album Broken Balance.Astra began their journey in Rome in 2001 as a four piece instrumental band, three of which are still in the band today, Andrea Casali (vocals and bass), Silvio D’Onorio De Meo (lead guitar), and Emanuele Casali (keyboard and rhythm guitar), and after a few changes, settled on drummer Filippo Berlini. According to their bio, they cut their chops on Dream Theater covers, and managed to win the first Italian Dream Theater Tribute Contest, leading them to a show with the Wizard Rudess himself for the Italian fan club’s 10 year party. From that point, they followed the tried and true path of releasing albums and touring. In 2005 they released About Me: Through Life and Beyond, and followed that with the 2007 release of From Within. Now, it’s time for that ever crucial third album, so let’s take a look at Broken Balance….Now, unlike a lot of the music I’ve been reviewing in recent days, there is no genre bending, no quirks or hidden aural agendas. From note one of the opening track, Losing Your Ego, Astra makes it crystal clear that they just want to rock the fuck out. The song, and the whole album for that matter, is a catchy riff fest with a strong hard rock/metal vibe. It’s the type of music that would have taken a very high place in the annals of late eighties metal, with the searing high vocals of Casali, the constant double bass of Berlini, and the relentless guitar riffs and solos. They do mix it up a bit, throwing in a few time changes here and there, some subdued moments, and a growl or two, just to add some flare and color to the overall product. Hole in the Silence picks up right where the opener drops off, without skipping a step. The third track, Sunrise to Sunset, has a slightly balladesque touch to it, with a soaring and catchy chorus that really showcases the vocals of Casali. Buried in the midst of the soaring vocal work is a brilliant instrumental section and a jaw dropping solo. It’s surely my favorite on the album, a song that will be listened to many times, me singing at the top of my severely under qualified lungs.From there they go right back to the metal. Song after song they are relentless, one of those albums that screams “LIVE SHOW PLEASE!!!!!!”.  Too Late has yet another catchy chorus, something of a standard throughout the album actually. The title track, Broken Balance, opens with a sultry tone, something else they are rather adept at, and delivers a fairly complex song afterwards, teasing at exploding out multiple times before restraining themselves, working the listener into a furious sense of expectation as to what’s going to come about. Then comes the instrumental, where they let loose in a fury of notes scattered around before the guitars take control. Six more tracks follow, delivering a good variety on their version of solid metal. Another ballad comes in the form of Mirror of Your Soul. Risk and Dare is a crushing and rather dark number on an album that is overall fairly uplifting. Three more rockers lead into the closing track, You Make Me Better. This one opens on the heavy notes, and then settles into ballad zone. It’s a love song of course, with all the requisite cheesiness lyrically and the solid climactic moments.Astra gives at the core of this album a polished sound for sure. Though there are very few mistakes on it, they also don’t break down any barriers. It is altogether a good, fun rocking album, the kind that is meant for cranking up and punishing your neck and your neighbors. Their tightness as a band is clear on every song, and the catchiness of the album should ensure a good deal of longevity for yet another addition to the growing pantheon of Italian metal." - Lady Obscure
    $15.00
  • "The album is the third release by the band who formed in 2009 when Belgian Producer and musician Frank van Bogaert and keyboard player William Beckers established FISH ON FRIDAY as a studio-based Progressive Rock project. The band’s debut album was released in 2010 and saw the band augmented by Californian guitarist Marty Townsend and drummer Marcus Weymaere. The album’s melodic Progressive approach soon drew very favourable critical stylistic comparisons with the progressive side of Alan Parsons Project. The reaction to the group was encouraging enough for them to embark on performing several live shows in Belgium, before embarking on their second album, "Airborne”, which gained a wider audience and sales by receiving airplay on mainstream Belgian radio alongside specialist Progressive Rock stations globally. "Airborne” also featured the virtuoso bass player Nick Beggs (Steven Wilson band, Steve Hackett band, Lifesigns) guesting on one track, an experience that led to Nick officially becoming a member of Fish on Friday for the band’s new (and arguably most Progressive) album "Godspeed”.This stunning album features a grasp of melody on songs such as ‘Callin’ Planet Home’, ‘Just a Nightmare’, ‘Ghost Song’, ‘Sanctuary’ and the album’s epic ten minute title track. "Godspeed” also features a special guest, Theo Travis, the virtuoso saxophonist and flautist noted for his work with Steven Wilson, Soft Machine Legacy, Robert Fripp, Gong, Bill Nelson et al. All in all "Godspeed” is a Progressive rock album of fine songs, excellent musicianship and is the eagerly anticipated next step in the story of Fish on Friday."
    $15.00
  • This Swedish doomsters does an uncanny job of channeling 70s dark hard rock sounds.  Black Sabbath comes to mind instantly and you'll hear some similarities to bands like Pentagram and Candlemass.  This time around they have opened up their sound a bit - I distinctly hear more than a little bit of Zep inscribed in their genome.  Highly recommended.
    $13.00
  • Latest album from this UK band that used to embrace doom metal but ultimately morphed into a Pink Floyd inspired band with metal influences. This time around the band continues to ramp up the atmosphere quotient and seems to downplay the metal aspects. So what we have here is a heavy version of Radiohead or Porcupine Tree. An easy recommendation but if you are looking for metal stay away. Great album now available at a midline price.
    $13.00
  • Here's a nice archival discovery courtesy of Esoteric Recordings.  Fields was the post-Rare Bird trio consisting of keyboardist Graham Field, ex-King Crimson drummer Andy McCullough, and bassist Alan Barry.  Their 1971 eponymous release on CBS is a prog rock gem in which Field shows off his abilities as an organ player.Contrasts is a previously unknown to exist second album that sat on a shelf gathering dust since 1972.  It finds Alan Barry replaced by ex-Supertramp Frank Farrell on bass and vocals.  Field concentrates on organ but he does play some synthesizer.  The music has a melodic feel that reminds a little bit of Spring.  Comes with plenty of liner notes by Sid Smith.
    $16.00
  • "This is an interesting crossover in that this album is reflective of a storyline that runs in the lyricist's recently published allegorical fantasy novel, The Edge of the World. Based on two opposing religions that consider the same city as a holy element, they agree to sign a peace treaty. But, as strife will have it, this ends in the literal burnt ashes of the city as an all consuming fire destroys the city setting both religious sides against each other yet again. The author was drawn into a music rendition of his story and supplied all lyrics while a coterie of prominent Prog Rock and Symphonic Rock form to create a band to present this story. Most prominent is the music-writing for the Anderson/Moesta lyrics supplied by Erik Norlander of Rocket Scientists. Vocally, the chores are shared between heavyweights like James LaBrie (Dream Theater), Lana Lane (a remarkable Ann Wilson sound-alike with a powerful voice, who has sang for many bands, and who is married to Norlander), Michael Sadler (Saga), and John Payne (later period Asia). The vocalists take on characters and throughout the album sing the appropriate parts. Musically, this band known as Roswell Six, have created a fine Prog/Symphonic effort named Terra Incognita: Beyond the Horizon. The clear influences are here. You'll hear Yes in the mix as well as the sounds of ELP, Kansas, Freedom Calls, and other usual suspects. The lean is toward symphonic rock with plenty of violin performed by David Ragsdale (Kansas), cello by Mike Alvarez, and flute by Martin Orford. The results are often grand. The works heard on Terra Incognita do the genre justice and are recommended for fans of such music. But when you bring such talents together, you're going to get great music. There are thirteen high-grade songs, two of them instumentals. The booklet is filled with enticing art, all lyrics, and a connecting storyline that brings the book and album together for those that want the full experience." - Matt Rowe/MusicTap.net
    $3.00
  • Remastered edition now featuring three live bonus tracks taken from the 1983 tour!! "Performance" is a bit maligned for some reason. The tunes are a bit more concise but it still captures the essence of the band. Recommended for sure.Please note this disc incorporates EMI copy control technology which seems to allow you to do whatever it is you would normally do with a CD but you can't rip it. Bummer.
    $13.00
  • Classic Italian jazz rock.
    $15.00
  • This is kind of a shocking release to turn up on Napalm Records. It looks as though they are joining the ranks of Nuclear Blast and Century Media in picking up progressive metal bands...and that can't really be a bad thing. Serenity hails from Austria. They've been kicking around for awhile but this is their debut release. The music is a mix of melodic and progressive metal with some power touches. Georg Neuhauser's vocals have a plaintive, emotional feel that suits the music quite well. They focus on melody but are smart enough to lure a prog head like me in with occassional instrumentals of the Dream Theater variety. Savatage, Vanden Plas, Threshold, DT - these guys have their bases covered. Solid debut. Highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • Deluxe remastered edition features a bonus of 3 live tracks from 1973 consisting of Future City (!!), Castle In The Air, and Flying High
    $13.00
  • Remastered edition of the iconic first album from Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. At the time frontman Ronnie James Dio was an unknown singer from an upstate New York band called Elf. This released turned the hard rock world upside down. "Man On The Silver Mountain", "Catch The Rainbow", "Still I'm Sad"....it didn't get better than this...ever!
    $5.00
  • "Finnish power metallers BURNING POINT are an active part of the European Metal scene since the late 90's. Led by mastermind Pete Ahonen, the band has released five studio albums since then, all to critical acclaim. In 2014, Ahonen (who was responsible for vocals and guitars) asked former Battle Beast singer Nitte Valo to join the band as new vocalist. Now the first album with Nitte has been recorded: simply titled 'Burning Point', the CD includes five brand new songs and six BURNING POINT classics in re-recorded versions. It's inevitable to realize that Nitte's presence and unmistakable voice adds the special something to the already established band. BURNING POINT are now bursting of power and motivation. Also, sonically 'Burning Point' is the best sounding album the band has released so far. And seeing this promising new constellation, it is just the beginning with much more to come…"
    $15.00