Aardvark

SKU: ECLEC2286
Label:
Esoteric Recordings
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Aardvark was a one and done band that recorded for Deram/Nova in 1970. Originally a vehicle for Simon Kirk and Paul Kossoff before they split to form Free, Aardvark evolved into a guitarless quartet. Led by the organ led keyboards of Steve Milliner, the band bore similarities to Egg and The Nice. Milliner owed a bit more to Jon Lord than say Keith Emerson but when he put his organ through a fuzz box it definitely will remind you of Dave Stewart. This reissue has been given the usual gold standard treatment from Esoteric.

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    $12.00
  • Trillium is the new project from Amanda Somerville. You may not be overtly familiar with her but you've heard her work. In addition to the Aina album, she has collaborated with Avantasia, Kamelot, and Epica among others. In fact she filled in for Simone Simons on one of Epica's US tours. In addition to being a songwriter she is a prominent vocal coach.Trillium is a collaboration with Sander Gommans (ex-After Forever) and noted metal producer/musician Sascha Paeth. Musicians from the Paeth universe are featured through out. Most notable are duets with Jorn Lande (!) and Matt Sinner. The music is an amalgam of hard rock, symphonic metal, and perhaps even a smidgen of gothic metal. Ms. Somerville is a great singer and is adaptable to all the styles she presents. Shockingly good!
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  • "2013 five disc (three CDs + two DVDs) digipak. It takes a legend to bring a myth back to life. A unique treat for music fans worldwide, Steve Hackett's critically acclaimed live production 'Genesis Revisited' has so far triumphed in Europe, Japan and North America alike and is still going strong; on May 10th it celebrated its success at a sold out London's Hammersmith Apollo with an ecstatic audience. Genesis Revisited - Live at Hammersmith - a unique performance with guests including Nik Kershaw, John Wetton, Jakko Jakszyk, Steve Rothery and Amanda Lehmann. The pioneering guitarist comments: "The 5.1 DVD with stereo CD is a feast for all the senses. I was blown away by the fantastic response to those May UK gigs!""
    $25.00
  • "Alice Cooper's third album, Love It to Death, can be pinpointed as the release when everything began to come together for the band. Their first couple of albums (Pretties for You and Easy Action) were both largely psychedelic/acid rock affairs and bore little comparison to the band's eventual rip-roaring, teenage-anthem direction. The main reason for the quintet's change was that the eventually legendary producer Bob Ezrin was on board for the first time and helped the Coopers focus their songwriting and sound, while they also perfected their trashy, violent, and theatrical stage show and image. One of the band's most instantly identifiable anthems, "I'm Eighteen," was what made the album a hit, as well as another classic, "Is It My Body." But like Alice Cooper's other albums from the early '70s, it was an incredibly consistent listen from beginning to end. The garage rocker "Caught in a Dream" as well as the ass-kicking "Long Way to Go" and a pair of epics -- the Doors-esque "Black Juju" and the eerie "Ballad of Dwight Fry" -- showed that Alice was easily in league with other high-energy Detroit bands of the era (MC5, Stooges). Love It to Death was the first of a string of classic releases from the original Alice Cooper group." - All Music Guide
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  • "This is the 1st album by a French band whose sound & compositional style are firmly rooted into Zeuhl and who features a line-up of vocals, guitar, bass, drums, synths, & flute.Vak started in 2008, centered around the prog/zeuhl compositions of drummer Vladimir Mejstelman : repetitive patterns, asymetric measures, crafted melodies and emphatic moments. After several musicians changes over the years, further influences completed the melting pot, from the rhythmic progressive metal influences reminiscent of Tool or some of Mike Patton's projects, to experiments echoing the Rock in Opposition scene, such as Guapo.Vocalist Aurelie Saintecroix does a great job, her wordless vocals strongly evoking Eskaton's early works. This first album has been recorded between 2011-2014, originally planed to be issued as 2 EPs (6 long tracks) - which never happened!Vak is currently heading towards a new kind of zeuhl with broad perspectives and influences, notably including metal & space-rock touches; a second album which will features more of this sound will hopefully be issued in 2016, but now, finally, you can hear all they have accomplished up to now!"
    $17.00
  • New album featuring Mike Mangini replacing the thought-to-be-irreplaceable Mike Portnoy on drums. No changes in direction - still the prog metal leaders that other bands follow.This is the 2 LP Vinyl edition. Foreign customers note that we will have to adjust your shipping charges to reflect actual postage fees.
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  • Import hardbound "mediabook" edition with the Iron Man bonus track.So here's my personal confession...after Neal left I felt that Spock's Beard lost their way.  Nick is a fine vocalist but there was something quirky about Neal's writing that had a reverential old school quality that I found lacking.  The albums didn't grab me.  Nick left and Ted Leonard took over on vocals.  Whether it was Enchant or Thought Chamber, he's always stood out and he fits Spock's Beard quite well.  The new drummer Jimmy Keegan slipped into the blend with no dificulty.  The result is (to my mind) a resurgence from this band.  Ryo Okumoto always puts on a show - in particular his heavy reliance on Hammond organ reminds me quite a bit of Steve Walsh.  In fact the sound of the whole album has a Kansas vibe. Coincidentally David Ragsdale guests on one track.  I'm not sure I can remember the last time I said this about a Spock's Beard album - Highly recommended."Very few bands are so recognizable that you know who you are listening to within 2 seconds.  That is all it takes at the beginning of the first track on The Oblivion Particle to know you are listening to Spock’s Beard.  There is no slow buildup or keyboard swells, just straight BAMM!, here we go.  And if the opening notes don’t get you, the organ 5 seconds in will.  The band’s 12th studio album, this one the second with singer Ted Leonard and drummer Jimmy Keegan, is a culmination of years of perfecting a sound and identity, one that not even 2 major lineup changes could fracture. With this new album, Spock’s Beard up their game again and show that this lineup is here to stay.If there was a track that defined what Spock’s Beard are, it might be the opening track, “Tides of Time.”  There are certain checklist items that mark their sound and they are all in this track.  The organ, the harmonies, the acoustic breakdown, the rocking middle and the epic ending.  Each member finds their moments to shine on this one and it provides a jaw-dropping sound overload that could leave one satisfied at that moment; only there is another 60 minutes to go.The album zigs and zags through a few more experimental moments, mixing in some surprises with more traditional Prog elements.  The album’s second track and first single is “Minion”, is a perfect example.  The opening a cappella harmonies provide the sort of memorable chorus and harmonies we’ve come to expect from the group.  While, the following distorted keyboard section is also standard Spock’s Beard.  But the verse and middle of the song is much darker and takes us on a surprising journey.The most unique song the album is the brilliantly titled “Bennett Built a Time Machine”, which the album’s cover is based on.  Drummer Jimmy Keegan takes lead on the vocals here and sounds incredible.  His voice actually fits the track better than Leonard’s probably would have.  The song is one of the album highlights and helps keep the record from sounding redundant.  It is almost a pop song most of the way through until turning on the jets and shifting into Prog mode.There are some heavier moments such as “Hell’s Not Enough” and “Get Out While You Can”. “The Center Line”, however, might be the most similar to something you might have found on their group’s previous album “Brief Nocturnes…”  The track opens with an expansive piano recital piece, before turning into a combo Prog-Western bounce with acoustic guitars carrying the groove. Ted’s voice lifts the choruses flawlessly and creates an almost cinematic soundscape.Even with all of these great moments, it is the album’s closing track that is the best song on the album.  “Disappear” might be one of the best songs the band has recorded since Neal left the group.  “We could disappear, you and me, we could be, anyplace else not here” sings Ted in the chorus as he wonders what might be if we left with no one knowing what happened.  The song is really the closest thing to a ballad on the album, but it doesn’t stay that way for long.  2 minutes in, the song stirs into a frenzy just before a brief cameo by Kansas’ David Ragsdale, appearing with his violin.  Of course, the big epic orchestral ending takes us home as Alan Morse provides the finishing touches with his unique finger picking soloing excellence.Spock’s Beard are Prog rock’s most reliable unit.  They have yet to disappoint and always provide comfort to their faithful fans with music that is both inspiring and breathtaking.  And while The Oblivion Particle shows a harder edged Spock’s Beard, it also displays a group that shows no signs of slowing down and is ready to take on all comers." - The Prog Report 
    $18.00
  • "I’ve been waiting for the release of “Endgame” for some time now, this is honestly the first time I have been excited about a Megadeth album in years and this is due partially to the hiring of the incredible Chris Broderick, but mainly due to Dave Mustaine’s change of attitude toward the writing process with the album. Dave has been quite open during the recording process regularly updating his fans on the Megadeth forums and his latest venture TheLiveLine where he has been posting audio messages. I’m not sure if this was a conscious effort to restore some respect but it seems to have worked, there has been a lot of praise for Mustaine and the new Megadeth lineup over the last few months and has helped elevate not only Megadeth’s public profile but apparently Dave Mustaine’s songwriting abilities back to a level we haven’t experienced for some time. Before I go any further I want to point out that I have managed to avoid reading any reviews of this album as I wanted to approach Endgame without any kind of outside influence before writing about it.Dave Mustaine has always made good choices when it comes to hiring new talent and although he is probably sick of hearing it the appointment of Chris Broderick was the most exciting news since Marty Friedman joined the band. Don’t get me wrong though, Chris certainly won’t be taking all the glory, Dave’s brutal rhythm playing is as crisp and perfectly timed as ever. There is a lot of texture on this album such as the excellent “44 Minutes” with its machine gun verse riffs and layered guitar melodies over the chorus and trademark Megadeth solo trading. The outro on this track has some jaw droppingly terrifying playing from Chris Broderick.The first track on Endgame is an instrumental which I was surprised about but it is almost like Dave is saying, check out how awesome my band are! It is a great double-bass pedal thumping track with solos galore, a nice way to introduce Chris as the new Mega-Shredder™.“1,320” is another classic sounding Megadeth song, the lyrics are a bit cheesy (is it about drag racing?) but the riffs are brutal, the solos are harmonised, Dave sounds angry and the ending is double-time, always a winner!Other highlights including the chugging rhythms of “Bodies“, the fierce audio assualt that is “Head Crusher” which was released as a teaser track a while back. This was a great marketing idea to get people interested because it is probably the most “Thrash” sounding track on the album with “Holy Wars…” kind of punch you in the face riff except with much bigger and better sounding production.The production on this album is up there with United Abominations (which takes some beating) for quality. Everything has a lot more space compared to United Abominations, although I did like the in-your-face dry guitar sounds on that album, the reverb on Endgame does push the solos into the background a little more.The only part of this album that I don’t like is the ballad “The hardest part of letting go – sealed with a kiss“… ballads on a Megadeth album? Dave singing a love song really sounds wrong to me, especially the whispered “goodbye” toward the end of the track. The only thing that saves this song is that after 1:40 the acoustic love song turns into a galloping metal riff for 1 1/2 minutes where the song is much more Megadeth and less Def Leppard, then it returns back to the power ballad. A small blemish on an otherwise brilliant album.If you are an old school Megadeth fan you are going to love this album, I actually finished listening to it the first time wanting more tracks. If you are new to Megadeth you couldn’t have discovered them at a better time, Dave Mustaine has firmly taken hold of the reigns in order to re-establish Megadeth as one of the greatest Metal bands in history with an album that will be talked about for years to come." - Guitar Noize
    $10.00
  • "The kings and queens of Scandinavian folklore are back! Thundering in on a north wind from the ancient forests and Scandinavian skies full of fire and mystery. Once lost inside ice and snowcapped mountains and forbidden islands, where you cannot remove a stone, lest you face the curse of bad tidings forever…returns the wonder of Kaipa, with their latest effort: "Vittjar". This time they return to inject wonder into the dog days of summer, much as they did for the springtime with their last album, "In the Wake of Evolution". Kaipa, in case you are new to the band, includes such well-known artists and composers as Hans Lundin, on electric and acoustic keyboards and vocals; Per Nilsson, from Scar Symmetry, on electric and acoustic guitars; Morgan Ågren, from Mats & Morgan and Zappa on drums; Jonas Reingold, from The Flower Kings and Karmakanic, on electric basses; Patrik Lundström, from Ritual; on vocals, and Aleena Gibson on vocals. Hans Lundin is the leader of the band and has been making music since 1965. The band's discography dates back to the mid – 1970s, so these are old pros venturing into new uncharted territory, with music that combines inspiration from the folklore of their past. It makes for a wonderful combination that will provide hours of listening pleasure. I didn't stop playing their last album until deep into the summer after receiving it in early spring. "Vittjar" will be available in the USA on August 28th, 2012. The opening, "First Distraction" is a Renaissance – like, triumphant march, full of flutes, keys, and later lead guitar and strong drums. You can almost visualize the musicians emerging from an opening in the forest to join the field of play. Off to a nice start. Then the action truly begins. "Lightblue and Green" opens with firepower from keys, heavy drums and power lead guitar…just like…yes…one of your favorite Yes songs from the past. Lundström begins the story, "painting my morning in light blue and green…a nice picture indeed. You can visualize early morning sunbeams and the feeling of awakening from some interesting dreams. The power drums, bass, and keys set an excellent tone and build a strong soundscape to surround Lundström's "visions". An awakening from winter and its frigid surroundings, into the fullness of spring. The heavier guitar licks and drums separate this album from the golden charm of the last, with its spring – tinged softness. "Our Silent Ballroom Band" is the epic and longest track at 22:11 minutes, on the album. Few bands can pull off the epics. And even fewer can do it well by adding a great story that raps you into the theme like Kaipa. This track brings the return of Aleena Gibson, reprising her role, singing as a little girl sharing her experiences and reflections of the world around her. The flutes that surround her take you right to Scandinavia and a field, where she is "dancing in the misty summer grass…in a deafening dance of her life". Lundström's vocals return to compliment Gibson's. The keyboard and guitar instrumentals add even more wonder to this, my favorite track." "Reach for the stars"… and they do. The Yes – like power of this journey – filled track will bring back memories of the power of the 70s. "Vittjar", the title track is up next and it features Lundström's vocals, in native language providing a violin filled, Renaissance – like track which is easily the second best track on the album. Even if you don't understand the lyrics you can feel the emotion in the vocals and the strings, guitars, keys, bass, and drums. The instrumentation helps create that magic environment we fans remember so well, from all of their albums. "Treasure House" is a good track full of amazing guitar."A Universe of Tinyness" is another of the best songs on the album. The violin work so compliments Gibson's careful vocal delivery that holds the listener spellbound to the story. "Tiny soldiers reach my shore"…"I'm moving back in time…in search of missing lines...I'm moving in reverse in my own universe". The violin is back in "The Crowded Hillsides", and this time it and the cool lead guitar play a major role. Simply spectacular music. The track is full of great Squire-like bass reminders that really help make this track an instant classic like some of the best tracks off "In the Wake". "All of the wonders that hide in the sky…the sky is the limit"…yeh! "Second Distraction" is a great closer full of fantastic lead guitar, bass, mysterious keys and explosive drums. This is a great follow up album to "In the Wale…" This band is expanding its abilities and delivering on the promise of mixing modern rock music with the folklore, music and traditions of the past." - Sea Of Tranquility
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  • Last album of the 70s finds the tracks a bit shorter. This one tends to get overlooked as it was the follow up to the successful Point Of Know Return.
    $5.00
  • "This double album is a great testament to all the musical journeys and experiences that Nolan and Swita enjoyed as they spread the word about ‘She’ with their many ‘two-man’ shows. ‘Journey’s End’ features over 130 minutes of acoustic live performances from around the world, as well as a selection of never before heard demos, bonus tracks and interview footage. These live tracks also feature some great guest appearances: familiar ‘She’ faces such as Mark Westwood (guitar) and Christina Booth (voice), as well as new friends like Claudio Momberg from ‘SETI’ (keyboards) in Chile and Sebastian Medina from ‘William Gray’ (guitar) in Argentina."
    $20.00
  • Amazing new solo album from Keith Emerson in collaboration with guitarist Marc Bonilla. Easily the best thing he's done outside of ELP/The Nice. He's playing his standard arsenal of grand piano, Hammond C3, the modular Moog, pipe organ plus assorted other synths. Handling drums is Greg Bissonette and Bob Birch is on bass. The album kicks off with the 35 minute suite "The House Of Ocean Born Mary". From the first note you hear the unmistable imprint of Keith Emerson. The album is littered with trademark organ solos - enough to give you flashbacks. Bonilla is a more than satisfactory vocalist, sounding closer to John Wetton than he does Greg Lake. He tends to shy away from shredding, keeping guitar in a supporting role and leaving the spotlight to the keyboards. The album includes "The Art Of Falling Down" which is a reworking of a piece that ELP played on their last tour called "Crossing The Rubicon". Of course you get one of Keith's expected classical interpretations. This time it's "Malambo" taken from Alberto Ginastera's Estancia Suite. This digipak set comes with a bonus DVD featuring live footage of the band as well as interviews. Highest recommendation.
    $15.00
  • "BLACKCUBE is a French Progressive Metal band. Amongst their main influences are Symphony X, Queen, Dream Theater and Deep Purple, but they take pride in building their own musical identity, which ranges from psychedelic and relaxing moments to sections of catchy heavy-prog. Exploring many changes in time signature and arrangement, the band strives to present different moods within single tracks while preserving its substance beyond the soulessness of mere technical exhibition.Formed in 2004, BlackCube was at first dedicated to covers and went through numerous changes in its line-up. It was not until the summer of 2008 that the sextet found its current line-up when a full-time singer joined the band. The band wrote four songs at that time and went on to record them, pressing with their own money their first EP.Quickly it appeared that it was not enough for them and they went on writing a full repertoire with the purpose of not having to play covers at their concerts anymore to fill in the gaps. They wanted an entirely original setlist.Within the writing process, each of the six members of BlackCube adds his two cents. The direction is simple yet demanding: the members badly want songs they take pleasure in playing and listening to. The lyrics revolve around many different themes, including cultural, poetical, and metaphysical subjects with an inclination towards a certain form of onirism."
    $14.00