Aberrations

SKU: UNCR5048
Label:
Unicorn Digital
Category:
Progressive Rock
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"Here's an unusual progressive-rock project. Spearheaded by drummer François Bernatchez, Qwaarn isn't just the name of a band with members rotating in and out as needed; it's also the main character in the sci-fi-meets-real-world story spanning Aberrations and its predecessor, 2004's The Word of Qwaarn. While some of the Canadian band's influences from that debut album remain on Aberrations (including Genesis and Yes), the new disc is being billed as a "pop-gressive" record by its label, Unicorn Digital, with echoes of The Beatles, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Tears for Fears and The Cure. Didier Berthuit often sings with a heavy accent, and his lengthy carnival-esque soliloquy on "The High Muckity-Mucks" grates after only a few seconds (even though it's meant to be satirical). Guitarists Antoine Bernatchez and Martin Bleau, however, evoke David Gilmour on tracks like "Privilege" and "Dream in Am," and their warm, acoustic material also helps set Aberrations apart from some of the other artists on Unicorn's roster. While the Middle-Eastern flavor of the murky alt-rocker "Mr. Lotto" unveils another side of Qwaarn, the epic "Did You Say Salmon?" proves this collective is first and foremost a progressive-rock band. A bit of an odd progressive-rock band, but a progressive-rock band nonetheless." - sea of tranquility.com

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  • Flaming Row is a studio based project coordinated by multi-instrumentalist Martin Schnella of the band Steel Protector. In addition to Steel Protector bandmate Kiri Geile, Schnella has enlisted a number of high profile guests. Shadow Gallery's Gary Wehrkamp and Brendt Allman are prominent as well as Circa's Billy Sherwood and Spock's Beard's Jimmy Keegan. All together there are over 30 musicians on the album.Elinoire is a conceptual rock opera with various vocalists playing out the parts of the characters. The music runs the gamut from old school symphonic rock (love the Mellotron, flute and organ) to progressive metal. Not too dissimilar to Arjen Lucassen's projects as the different styles hit you from all angles. Highly recommended. 
    $15.00
  • "ALLEN/LANDE (or ALLEN-LANDE) is a Melodic Hard Rock/Heavy Metal super group / band project formed in 2005 by guitarist Magnus Karlsson (PRIMAL FEAR, STARBREAKER) with two highly acclaimed metal vocalists - vocalist Russell Allen (SYMPHONY X) and former MASTERPLAN vocalist Jørn Lande. The band released such albums: "The Battle" (2005), "The Revenge" (2007), "The Showdown" (2010) and "The Great Divide" on 17th October 2014.Opening track “Come Dream With Me” takes listeners on the journey through the Melodic Rock & Metal world where you can find stronger melodic guitars with wonderful vocals, clear rhythmic section, catchy chorus with an impressive guitar solo which makes goose-flesh, and little PRIMAL FEAR echoes. Powerful drums and mega energetic guitar riffs in “Down from the Mountain” are truly kick-ass with amazing vocals in climate of BLACK SABBATH, AXEL RUDI PELL and memorable refrain in high style. All tracks have similar sounds to GAMMA RAY and TIMO TOLKKI songs. The energetic atmosphere of “Dream About Tomorrow” is caused by heavier riffs, SCORPIONS echoes, great solo, and keys in Power Metal style.My favourite song on the album is “Lady of Winter”, which has everything that is the best in Hard Rock and Metal music – so gentle piano opening, then heavy riffs, clear drums, fabulous memorable high chorus, and perfect worked guitars full of melody. Stunning track with rockin sounds, mid-tempo, perfect bass, slower climate, and totally in the style of JORN. Stronger riffs with gentle keys and massive JORN vocals in pathetic melodic refrain in track “Solid Ground” is perfect, also with a massive and brilliant guitar solo!The band proves that they are on high-class level in powerful “In the Hands of Time” where keys and melodic guitars have STRATOVARIUS echoes. The energetic “Reaching for the Stars” with gentle keys in the background with memorable refrain and massive sounding “Hymn to the Fallen” with mixing Heavy Metal sounds together with rockin style.Also I like very much the ballad titled track “The Great Divide” with beautiful strong voices of singers, calmer guitars, keyboards, and passionate guitar work and chorus in high style with choir in amazing slower tempo – what a wonderful sound! Another ballad “Bittersweet” has a slower rate, clear drums, piano, and brilliant singing together with climatic stronger high riffs. Sounds total perfect!ALLEN/LANDE, again, proved that they are Kings of Rock and Metal. They connect different kinds of sounds – Hard Rock, Heavy Metal with doses of melody. The band creates music with passion. Every track is a masterpiece and in each sound the experience of musicians is hear able. ALLEN/LANDE is simply a fantastic band, and their fresh CD “The Great Divide” is more than highly recommended to every lover of Melodic strong sound!" - Metal Temple
    $16.00
  • Limited edition embossed digipak with one bonus track."It was the friendly split heard round the world: two bands – same logo, same history….huh? Two Rhapsody’s? Would they sound the same? What does Rhapsody even sound like without Luca? All those questions are now about to be answered as Rhapsody of Fire (RoF) will finally present the response album to the overwhelmingly cinematic masterpiece spewed by Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody (LTR) in 2012. In the interim, there is a new record company (AFM), the first North American Tour and a Hess in….a Hess out. The split with the former HolyHell guitarist has left Roberto De Micheli as the lone guitarist, which turns out to be the best move of all. Meanwhile, Fabio Lione has been the busiest and a singer for hire – guest starring on a multitude of releases, including a long stint with Brazil giants Angra – and permanently joining Hollow Haze on top of Vision Divine. Fans wondered, when would that long awaited response album from Alex Staropoli be heard? The time is now and “Dark Wings of Eternity” is upon us. Right, right….you want the verdict! Well this album will definitely distinguish the band from LTR, but at the same time all of the key RoF qualities remain.Is it a win? Absolutely! Alex Staropoli takes RoF in a more organic and metallic direction, which on the first listen may come across sounding “under produced” when compared to the grandiose “overly produced” previous albums. Successive listens unveil the beauty of “Dark Wings of Steel,” an album that favors drama over theatric, proving there really is room for two Rhapsodys without picking sides.Luca’s vision of Rhapsody is the cinematic grandiose direction – a grand production of sight and sound, dazzling and spectacular. Alex Staropoli has side stepped and stripped down Rhapsody of Fire just a bit towards a purer “heavy metal” direction. Fans might take that statement as a step backward, but keep in mind, having two bands that are exactly the same would be silly and certainly wouldn’t help either. The guitar sound is more prominent, darker, and little less speedy as in the past (save for two of the album’s tracks). The choirs and choruses that fans have come to expect remain intact, as well as those building and sweeping melodies, written to perfectly balance the strengths of Fabio’s voice. Clearly, this is Staropoli’s band and he makes his presence known in a huge way (more on that later), and Roberto’s work is absolutely brilliant and cannot go unnoticed! His riffs are engaging and his solos are masterful, in many ways exceeding Luca’s own (which Turilli would freely admit). Many people do not realize that Roberto was actually in Thundercross in 1993, the band that would change its name to the famous Rhapsody in 1995 (though he did not play on the “Land of Immortals” demo of 1994).For any true fan of the band, approaching “Dark Wings” brings a certain level of both excitement and concern, especially considering Luca’s absence, the band’s back catalog and history, and LTR's post-split opening salvo that only raised the bar. It is nearly impossible for any fan of these bands to simply turn off the past and not instantly begin with comparisons. By giving “Dark Wings of Eternity” room to fly and breathe, I guarantee with each successive spin any concerns will quickly fade. In the end, you will find that RoF really isn’t all that far from where it already was! As soon as "Vis Divina" (intro) and opening track “Rising From Tragic Flames” begin you will notice the hallmarks – choirs, speedy riffs, Fabio – are all there, but the sound, especially the drums, is more natural. Staropoli’s keyboard play is much more modern and flamboyant juxtaposed to De Micheli’s neoclassical style. When that choir bridges you to Fabio’s first verse, you quickly realize this is classic RoF.For purposes of keeping this review from becoming more like a novel, lets group the tracks into “quicker” and “slower.” History has proven that Rhapsody of Fire is more often than not associated with quicker tunes, which are the ones that tend to be prominent among the fans. “Rising From Tragic Flames” is akin to classics like “Unholy Warcry” as the choir and speed is strikingly similar. “Silver Lake of Tears” presents a fierce and angry Fabio on the verses, which will be just what many fans have been hoping for (and no…we aren’t talking “Reign of Terror” angry). The title track is slightly more mid-paced with a De Micheli riff that is just as lethal as the speed. The song has one of the coolest guitar vs. keyboard solo battles, something that happens in multiple tracks on the album. “A Tale Of Magic” is an up-tempo half-speed with one of the most memorable choruses on the release. It’s a challenge to pick and outright favorite, but for now the pendulum swings in favor of “Tears of Pain,” with its simple, though highly fetching, riff that just draws more anger from Fabio’s voice.As for the “slower” side, which encompasses ballads and mid-paced tracks, the crop includes the building layers of “Fly to Crystal Skies” - galloping into the chorus along the bass pedals of Alex Holzwarth and the stunning ballad “Custode Di Pace”- a song like so many other greats from RoF and another pedestal for Fabio. “Angel of Light” showcases Fabio’s current strengths - the upper mid vibrato – matched in perfection only by Alessandro Conti. The song sports another one of the best choruses, as well as a slow Manowar type gallop as the song progresses. One of the real standouts in this category is “My Sacrifice,” which rises like a mountain, each level progressively heavier, ranging from near ballad from the onset, to mid-paced bass centric while pausing on the bridge with a uniquely Italian acoustic flair before cascading into the chorus.As mentioned earlier, a word about Alex Staropoli. For starters, I’ll admit that I had my concerns about his “flying solo” as a writer and those concerns were dispelled by “Dark Wings.” His play is much more flamboyant and modern than on previous releases, including a number of keyboard solos that battle back and forth with Roberto’s guitar. It’s an exciting element that really enhances the album. If I had one stylistic gripe, it would be that the keyboards are so prominent in the mix that they suffocate the guitar riffs at times (examples include the opening riff to the title track and “A Tale Of Magic.”). In those heavier tunes, the riffs could easily drive the melody alone.In summary, “Dark Wings of Steel” is a well written and fantastic effort. It demands attentive and successive listens before its true beauty is revealed. Changes are both bold and subtle, especially the more organic sound. The mix meter tilts with Staropoli, which throttles the riffs at times, but the quality of play is superb. The song writing is top notch, leaning more dramatic and less theatrical to distinguish the band from LTR, and Fabio shines not only with his voice, but also in his role as lyric writer. Enough cannot be said about Roberto, who has taken over and stepped up in the absence of Luca. For me, this album is a testament to his play. “Dark Wings of Steel” will not replace the classics, but it will find its place among them. The future is bright for one of heavy metal’s veteran acts." - Metal Underground
    $16.00
  • "Most bands will reach a creative peak at a certain point in their career after which they simply continue in a less interesting fashion before eventually calling it a day. Not so with Motorpsycho. After more than 20 years they continue to develop and to to challenge themselves artistically. On this epic, double concept album, easily their most ambitious yet, Motorpsycho has assembled the cream of classical and jazz musicians from world class ensembles established in Trondheim, their hometown. ”The Death Defying Unicorn” was first commisioned by Molde International Jazzfestival for their 50th anniversary in 2010 where it was performed on the main outdoor stage. This, however, has been partly re-arranged, refined and recorded from scratch at Propeller Studios in Oslo with Kåre Chr. Vestrheim once again co-producing as he did with ”Heavy Metal Fruit”. Ståle Storløkken (Supersilent, Elephant9, Humcrush, Terje Rypdal) is considered one of Norway´s top keyboardists but here he also comes into his full as a writer and not at least arranger of the two ensembles. His contributions to this album can not be stressed enough. Among the players in Trondheim Jazz Orchestra are wellknown names such as Kjetil Møster (Ultralyd), André Roligheten (Albatrosh) and Mathias Eick, not to forget star violinist Ola Kvernberg." Heavyweight cardboard gatefold sleeve and 180 gram pressing. Looks real sharp!FOREIGN CUSTOMERS PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO THE HEAVIER WEIGHT OF VINYL YOU WILL BE SUBJECT TO ADDITIONAL SHIPPING CHARGES.
    $30.00
  • New solo album from the former Uriah Heep keyboardist features a who's who of AOR and hard rock. Guest vocalists include Jorn Lande, Glenn Hughes, John Lawton, and Eve Gallagher. It's a autobiographical story based on Hensley's exploits on the road in the 70s. Comes in an elaborate digipak.
    $10.00
  • "New live album from Swedish prog rock sensation Moon Safari. Recorded at the band's performance at the classic Baja Prog festival in Mexicali, Mexico. The album features some of their classic tunes as well as pieces from their latest studio release Himlabacken Vol. 1. Drumming on this release is Mikael Israelsson from Swedish prog rock band Black Bonzo. Recommended for all fans on melodic prog rock."
    $16.00
  • I can't remember a buzz on a band's debut since Circus Maximus.  Perhaps due to the album being released in Japan a year ago and its unavailability elsewhere, maybe because they are lined up to play ProgPowerUSA.  Whatever the reason the album finally gets a wide debut and it was worth the wait.  Damnation Angels is a British symphonic metal band fronted by a Norwegian singer.  He goes by the name PelleK and was a contestant on Norway's version of X Factor.  The band's stock in trade is epic sounding metal that pays a huge debt to Kamelot.  The instrumental passages take on the grandeur and scope of Nightwish.  PelleK does a sold job out front - he's obviously listened to a Khan quite a bit.  Highly recommended.
    $14.00
  • "It seems these days that metal musicians collaborate with players from other bands quite a bit. Personally, I have mixed feelings when these collaborations happen. Sure, they can make some great music, but for some reason I tend to prefer what said players do with their main bands as opposed to their cross–band work. OSI is an exception to that.Started in 2002 by Fates Warning Guitarist Jim Matheos and former Dream Theater keyboardist Kevin Moore, OSI has remained a long–distance cooperative between the two. Several guest musicians have been brought in for each of their records, such as drummers Mike Portnoy and Gavin Harrison, bassists Sean Malone and Joey Vera, and vocalists Tim Bowness and Mikael Åkerfeldt. This most recent effort, their fourth, sees Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) returning on drums, with Moore taking care of lyrics and main vocals. Matheos and Moore worked together on all other aspects of the music.As I said earlier, I typically listen to these kinds of albums once or twice and then return to their normal band’s material. But Fire Make Thunder isn’t an album to do that to; sure, it sounds very much like what you’d imagine this trio would create, but all three players are known for creating some great music on their own. And here, put together, they don’t disappoint.The opening track “Cold Call” and the follow–up “Guards” have a sort of sinister tone to it, but aren’t very aggressive tracks. “Indian Curse” is completely void of drums and percussion of any sort, and sounds rather bleak. It’s a good song, but don’t listen to it on a dark, rainy day in March. “Enemy Prayer” is much more metallic than its predecessors on the album, sounding a bit closer to what these two wrote in their main projects. It’s also an instrumental track, a key component of a prog metal record. “Big Chief II” continues the picked up the tempo a bit, and the guitars sound a bit angrier. But the vocals don’t really get that intense, lending a sense of control to the turmoil. “Invisible Men” clocks in at just under ten minutes long, so these two haven’t lost their touch when it comes to lengthy songs either.Thinking of something to compare this album to was difficult at first, but then it hit me. This album is like a horror movie that uses menace to scare, playing on the viewer’s mind, rather than excessive gore or monsters leaping suddenly out of nowhere. Granted, this music isn’t scary, but one can’t help but notice its dark tone. The ambience it captures is one of many things that make this album great. The album artwork is another–I like how the cover kind of reflects the primitive nature of the title, Fire Make Thunder.If the only kind of Prog Metal you’re into is twenty–minute songs with six trillion notes in them, this album won’t interest you in the slightest. None of these songs get even close to becoming exercises in technical wizardry. They are simply well written songs. Each one sounds unique enough that they don’t blend together. They’re short enough to keep just about any listener’s attention for the entire songs’ duration, and there’s enough creativity in each one to ensure that. Moore and Matheos have proved they can write material as well as any prog legend, without having to play more notes than God. This is an album both novices and prog experts will enjoy. Good job, OSI." - Muzikreviews.com
    $11.00
  • 30th Anniversary remastered edition.
    $15.00
  • "VOICIANO is the new acoustic project of the EDENBRIDGE's Sabine Edelsbacher (vocals) and Lanvall (grand piano, acoustic guitars and other string instruments, percussion). VOICIANO is based on acoustic instruments exclusively, mainly the grand piano. However, many other instruments like acoustic guitars, hammered dulcimer, kacapi, bouzouki, mandolin, saz and diverse percussion instruments, can be heard on the album. There is also a real string orchestra, Junge Philharmonie Freistadt.The music for "Everflow" was recorded almost exclusively without click tracks — in other words, without any predetermined tempo — which accentuates the liveliness and soul of the songs. The piano parts were recorded live.Says Lanvall: "The idea [for VOICIANO] was born after our EDENBRIDGE promotion acoustic show in Vietnam."In 2010, Sabine and I flew to Vietnam for a 10-minute showcase to perform three songs at the 1000 Years Hanoi festival. The simplicity of the whole process concerning the rehearsals and the show were pure fun for us. You just request a microphone and a grand piano, enter the stage and perform."When we came back, I went through my files and piles of sketches of numerous ideas, which remained unused to this point. I was astonished how many great songs I found in layouts in this acoustic form. This inspired me immediately to write completely new songs additionally."Adds Sabine: "I always had the idea for a solo project with more balladesque songs. VOICIANO is exactly what I had in mind."In VOICIANO, my voice gets more room in all its nuances. This is what I enjoy, of course. Furthermore, I will bring myself in into the lyrics. The mystic atmosphere of our songs will remain, of course. I think we cannot do it differently; it's a part of us."Sabine and Lanvall were also able to procure some great guests for the album. Most of them are longtime friends with prominent names.Says Lanvall: "After the huge production of the last EDENBRIDGE album, 'The Bonding', it was extremely important to gain distance musically and be involved in something which is different."The reduction in the music and the process to record much of the music live gave me tremendous joy."I believe that everybody who loves EDENBRIDGE will love VOICIANO too, although it shows us from a completely different side."When I began to arrange the songs, I was immensely touched by the feeling and the souls of the songs. This inspired me to learn new instruments like the hammered dulcimer, which can be heard in a couple of songs and creates an own mystic atmosphere."The "Everflow" cover artwork was created by Günter Leitenbauer and can be seen below.Will Sabine and Lanvall now concentrate on VOICIANO exclusively?Says Lanvall: "No, of course not. VOICIANO is a project among our main band, EDENBRIDGE, to live out this faible for acoustic music. All songs would also work with just vocals and piano in the live situation. I think that after this album I will also be really inspired for a next big EDENBRIDGE album!"Adds Sabine: "I am convinced that we will attract a bigger audience apart from the metal scene with VOICIANO. Even better when they learn about EDENBRIDGE then. This will be a total win/win situation."Concludes Lanvall: "With all the wonderful experiences we made with the crowdfunding action related to our last album 'The Bonding', where we were able to outfinance the whole orchestra costs. We wanna continue this way with our new project VOICIANO, and here even more than in the past. In recent times the relationship fan to musician/band is more important than ever. It was extremely enriching to see in the process of 'The Bonding', how many people wish to support 'real' music. Therefore we wanna bring in our fans to join in as part of a record label and advance suppliers, and came up with some special and interesting packages. With your pre-orders and sponsoring donations, you guarantee the best possible production of the VOICIANO album 'Everflow'." 
    $15.00
  • Complete gig from March 1997 at Billboard Live in Hollywood. Almost 2 1/2 hours long including bonus footage of the band rehearsing. Great set list stretching all the way back to the beginning and up through Harbour Of Tears.
    $24.00
  • "Chapter 1, the debut album from Level 10 is the first collaboration between vocal powerhouse Russell Allen (Symphony X, Adrenaline Mob) and bassist/producer/writer Mat Sinner (Primal Fear, Voodoo Circle) Frontiers President, Serafino Perugino initiated the duo to team up for the creation of a new Metal project which could melt the more contemporary sound of Adrenaline Mob with the more traditional European Power Metal melody and aggression.Sinner enlisted his Primal Fear/Voodoo Circle bandmates Randy Black (on drums) and Alex Beyrodt (on guitar) and Roland Grapow (ex Helloween, MasterPlan, Serious Black) and Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline, Voodoo Circle) to complete the lineup on lead guitar and keyboards respectively. On the songwriting side – besides the band members – the album features the songwriting talents of Magnus Karlsson, Carsten Schulz, Ralf Scheepers, Johann Fiegl, Sander Gommans and Amanda Somerville.For those fans of Russell Allen who were expecting Symphony X, you will be slightly disappointed, aside from Allen’s trademark pipes, there is not much here resemble Symphony X’s brand of neo-classical prog metal. By the same token, those fans of Allen who fear the agro-vocals and Godsmack-esque brand of “modern heavy rock”, can breathe easy, as the music on Chapter One leans closer to Euro power metal than mainstream hard rock.The album opener, Cry No More kicks off with a vengeance, with a guitar riff that would sound at home on one of Voodoo Circle albums. Allen’s vocals are powerful during the verses and soar on the multi-harmony chorus. Del Vecchio adds a 70’s moog synth sound on the keys and Black pounds the drums mercilessly. There is a crunchy, heavy groove on the mid-tempo Soul of the Warrior, featuring stellar vocal work on the chorus and a catchy as hell chorus. The tempo picks up with an 80’s sounding rocker with a driving beat, heavy chugging guitar rhythms, and Allen sounding aggressive while still maintaining his trademark melodic voice. The chorus features another killer multi-harmony vocal and Beyrodt and Grapow get to flex their muscles during the harmony guitar solo.The album takes a more AOR tone on the heavy rock anthem One Way Street, which has a 70’s Bad Company meets Motley Crue’s Dr. Feelgood feel to it. Randy Black’s percussion skills are on center stage, showing why Black is one of the most versatile drummers in power metal today. The albums first single titled Blasphemy has the symphonic bombast of European power metal and Allen’s voice is at it’s most evil sounding during the vocals and shows off his upper register during the chorus.Last Man On Earth is another hard rock song with a great hook and sing-a-long chorus, which does get a little repetitive after a few listens but I guess that’s what why they call it a hook! Scream And Shout is another old school power mental anthem straight out of the 80’s with it’s, for lack of a better word, *shout* a-long chorus. The guitar harmonies and shredding solo section blend in perfectly and Black’s double bass drumming drives the song once again.Allen flexes his vocal muscles on the mid-tempo rock of Into The Wilderness, using his upper register as only he can. The song itself isn’t as memorable as some of the other material on the album save for the chorus, which has some fine harmony vocal work. The requisite piano power ballad All Is Gone is a fitting showcase for Russell Allen’s amazing vocal prowess, even though the song itself sounds like a combination of Symphony X’s When All Hope Is Lost and something off of one of the Allen/Lande albums, which is not surprising since Magnus Karlsson is one of the credited songwriters here.The crushing riff of Demonized brings the heavy power metal with Russell at his most sinister sounding. For those fans wanting to hear something heavy, this one is for you. Chugging guitar rhythms, aggressive vocals, pounding drums, and shredding solos, this one has it all, a headbangers delight! The groove-heavy Soul Is Enternal has a mid-tempo fist pumping rhythm with Allen using a more soulful vocal approach during the verses and letting loose during the chorus.The album closer Forevermore is a power metal classic filled with melody, a HUGE multi-vocal harmony chorus and superb vocals from Allen and guest Ralf Scheepers vocals are quite noticeable in the mix. This song is probably the closest to the sound of Primal Fear and tied with Cry No More for my favorite song on the album. In an age where so-called supergroups are becoming more prevalent, Level 10’s debut album finds itself in the upper echelon, even if its destiny is to be a one off studio project, only time will tell." - Lady Obscure
    $14.00
  • Xandria are back with a new singer and don't miss a beat. Replacing Lisa Middelhauve is Manuela Kraller, formerly with Haggard. The band doesn't deviate from their tried and true formula. This is epic symphonic gothic metal similar to Visions Of Atlantis, older Within Temptation, Edenbridge and countless others in the genre. Having said that they do this style of music about as well as it can be done. Napalm Records has pretty much cornered the market on this sound and I'm sure Xandria is sitting at the top of their roster.
    $12.00