Arc Light

SKU: KSCOPE304
Label:
KScope Records
Category:
Post Progressive
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"A 5-track mini-album ‘little brother’ to the splendid Not The Weapon But The Hand, Arc Light features 4 new tracks and a new version of Intergalactic featuring Aziz Ibrahim (Stone Roses, Ian Brown) on guitar.

Not The Weapon But The Hand was the 2012 debut album from the cult hero collaborative. It featured appearances from Danny Thompson on double bass, Chris Maitland (ex Porcupine Tree) on drums and Dave Gregory (XTC) on guitar, bass and string arrangement

Steve Hogarth is best known as the frontman of Marillion, the progressive rock legends that he joined in 1989, following spells in The Europeans and How We Live. In addition to the 12 albums Marillion have released in this time he has also recorded and toured as a solo artist, under the name ‘h’.

In recent years Richard Barbieri has been a core member of Porcupine Tree playing keyboards on all the band’s albums since 1993 as well as releasing two solo albums, Things Buried and Stranger Inside. Prior to this, it was in the new-wave pioneers Japan that he originally came to prominence, helping to create the ground-breaking synthesiser sound that defined the band and influenced the likes of The Human League, Duran Duran, Gary Numan, Talk Talk and a whole raft of artists to follow."

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  • Joyous Lake was one of two dead on fusion albums recorded by the illustrious jazz guitarist.  Pat Martino's career is legendary and he is one of the premier guitarists in the world.  When he left Muse Records in the mid-70s he signed with Warner Brothers and briefly jumped on the fusion bandwagon.  Joyous Lake was the first effort in 1976 and Starbright followed.  Both are essential.Joyous Lake featured support from Delmar Brown (keyboards), Kenwood Dennard (drums), and Mark Leonard (bass).  Martino experimented with early guitar synthesizer in places and it sounds like he moved over to a solid body guitar since his tone cuts through like a knife - as opposed to his hollow body guitar tone that has a very muted treble.  High energy playing from a very skilled quartet.  This will appeal to fans of Al Di Meola, Return To Forever, and Mahavishnu Orchestra.  One of the great fusion albums of the 70s available from Japan at a bargain price!
    $12.00
  • Second album from this incredible fusion trio from North Carolina will blow your skull off.  Trioscapes consists of Between The Buried And Me bassist Dan Briggs and Walter Fancourt (tenor sax/flute), and Matt Lynch (drums).  Don't let the absence of keys or guitar throw you.  This is mild altering, high energy fusion. You get the chops from hell, tripped out soundscapes, and head throttling melodies.  And that's just the first tune!!!  Utterly lethal.  BUY OR DIE!!"Much of what can conceivable be written of Trioscapes‘ most recent album Digital Dream Sequence is exactly what could be written about their previous offering Separate Realities.Musicians, jazz musicians particularly, may spit their coffee all over their keyboards on reading that, apopleptic and petulant – pointing out that where the previous album was underpinned by Ionic mode progressions, that this one is rooted in the Chromatic (or somesuch muso guff). Suffice to say that, as with Separate Realities, Digital Dream Sequence does not cling to homely pentatonic melodies or major chord, 4/4 song structures.It is a surprising and joyful departure from the predictable, which would be easy to describe as mind-expanding if it did not so closely follow its predecessor in structure and feel.As it is, there are a few physical embellishments to the formula worth noting, but not many. Keyboard fills (or what sounds like keyboards – what Dan Briggs can do with a bass guitar and effects pedals can be confusing at times) bring an extra accent to the pieces, as well as atmospheric depth on, say, the opening sequence of ‘From the Earth to the Moon’. On that track, the use of keyboard wash with a glockenspiel voice is foregrounded in something that tips a hat to Pink Floyd’s exploration of moon themes, before it takes off into something more definitely Trioscapes in its saxophone/bass/percussion attack. The track goes on to finish with an outro that co-opts much of the main theme from Tubular Bells.Keys, elsewhere on Digital Dream Sequence, play a role more to do with sound dynamics than with song structure – they fill a gap in the lower mids that is left between Walter Fancourt’s flute and alto saxophone moments.To state outright that this album sounds like Separate Realities is misleading though – there is much in the way of progression to note, and a gelling of roles between band members who have, onstage and in the studio, found a way to fit their individual talents into a group dynamic. Although there were moments of more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts alchemy on the earlier album, they were rarer than they are on Digital Dream Sequence. The latter has more raw groove, embeds moments of individual technical dexterity into the compositions less abruptly, and overall displays a more comfortable fusion (arg – that word!) between the funk and metal aesthetics that comprise the Trioscapes recipe.Of that curious mix, the mention of both Pink Floyd and Mike Oldfield above may offer some clue – there is a smattering of prog rock reference on Digital Dream Sequence (the intro to final track ‘The Jungle’ particularly) which opens a world of musical territory to the trio. Particularly the rhythms of Mali, which fascinated prog musicians for much of the 80s. Or perhaps that is too fanciful (jazz and funk have, historically, a more direct conduit to African rhythms than anything channeled through prog, after all).Nevertheless, that final track, once one has re-accustomed the ear to the Trioscapes tag-team approach to rhythm, tension and controlled saxophone madness, throbs with a primal, sweaty and utterly invigorating energy that transcends jazz, funk, metal or rock and is its own glorious creation.Which is something that never quite happened on Separate Realities (and bear in mind that Separate Realities was chosen by this reviewer as the album of 2012). This time Trioscapes have thrown off the anxiety of influence, have coalesced their individual contributions into a smoother whole, and have dug deeply to find an immense gravitronic groove.It’s a throbbing monster of an album." - Trebuchet Magazine
    $14.00
  • OK I don't know who thought this was a good idea but someone let Billy Sherwood run wild again.  Your move."From the producer of The Prog Collective comes a new supergroup of unparalleled musical virtuosos who cut loose on this jazz-rock fusion album!Features performances by members of the biggest names in fusion including Mahavishnu Orchestra, Yellowjackets, Brand X, Soft Machine, and Spyro Gyra PLUS Yes, Dream Theater, King Crimson, Tool, Porcupine Tree, Hawkwind and more!"Track Listing:1. Random Acts Of Science - Rick Wakeman (Yes) Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra) Nik Turner (Hawkwind) Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets / Alan Holdsworth)2. Stone Cold Infusion - Steve Stevens Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater / Liquid Tension Experiment) Mel Collins (King Crimson) Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) Billy Cobham (Mahavishnu Orchestra)3. Molecular Breakdown - Jay Beckenstein (Spyro Gyra) Billy Sheehan (Steve Vai) Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) David Sancious (The E Street Band)4. Particle Accelerations - Larry Coryell Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater / Black Country Communion) Eric Marienthal (Chick Corea Elektric Band) Chester Thompson (Genesis / Brand X)5. At The Edge Of The Middle - Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs) Jim Beard (Mahavishnu Orchestra) Randy Brecker (Blood, Sweat & Tears) Percy Jones (Soft Machine / Brand X)6. Atom Smashing - John Etheridge (Soft Machine) Tony Kaye (Yes) Chad Wackerman (Frank Zappa)7. In The Spirit Of... - Steve Hillage (Gong) Scott Kinsey (Tribal Tech) Theo Travis (Steven Wilson Band) Justin Chancellor (Tool) Asaf Sirkis (The Orient House Ensemble)
    $14.00
  • Ninth album from this Swedish band.  Katatonia's music shares a kindred spirit with that of Opeth and Tool.  Very much emotion driven with a dark vibe through out.  It doesn't come more melancholy than this one... "Despite being into their third decade, gloomy Swedish progressive metallers Katatonia are still producing fine work. 2009’s Night Is the New Day was heralded as the band’s finest ever album, and with prog’s increasing influence evident across the more facile end of the metal spectrum, this band is doing better than ever. Dead End Kings marks another progression for this outfit – in terms of album structure, anyway. While their previous effort was a sumptuous effort with a sum greater than its parts, this ninth album is a collection of fantastic, searching songs that stand alone as well as they do together. It’s still completely and utterly miserable, though… so very, very miserable. The cellos in opening track The Parting add solemn layers to music that is already laden with sorrow and introspection. It’s a multifarious affair from then on in. The slightly sinister Hypnone adds strength before the album succumbs to the mellow, emotive The Racing Heart. Buildings is the most resolutely metal track here. Its humungous riffs are positioned at exactly the moment where the listener may have been lulled into a false sense of security, bludgeoning guitars swelling the song’s belly with a fiercely charged beauty. There are other moments of grandiose, majestic beauty breaking up the murkiness, but Buildings is the only piece of metal you’re going to get.Dead Letters is massively reminiscent of Tool – and while the American prog-grungers remain at work on their overdue fifth LP, it’s a very welcome sound. It doesn’t last though. As with everything Katatonia do, the song wanders off into another direction, atmospheric moments splintering into sparse orchestration, Jonas Renkse’s murmured voice flying across the top throughout. <br><br>The closer is certainly the finest standalone song here, bringing Dead End Kings to a glorious and complex end. There’s no grand climax. It just fades to dust, allowing you to reflect upon yet another excellent album from Katatonia." - BBC
    $15.00
  • Third album from a band that is essentially a mash up of members from Sieges Even, Sun Caged and Dreamscape.  Their music carries on very much in the style of the later Sieges Even albums.  In other words progressive rock that leans towards the heavier side of the spectrum.  Rush, Rabin-era Yes, Saga, and Dream Theater come to mind as influences.  Quite melodic and if you are so inclined you'll hear some incredible chops from guitarist Markus Steffen.  The band corraled Stream Of Passion's Marcela Bovio for a guest vocal appearance, dueting with Arno Menses.This is the deluxe 2CD edition.  It sports a really cool looking 3D cover.  The bonus CD is a live concert recorded in Mannheim in 2012.
    $19.00
  • "Why was David Fricke, Senior Editor at Rolling Stone, seen wearing a huge grin on his face at 2014's SXSW festival in Austin, Texas? Well, he happened to be digging the pummeling, ecstatic vision of Norway's Hedvig Mollestad Trio at the time. Double-tracked with a ghostly haze of background fuzz, Hedvig's lightning-rod guitar blazes a trail that comes in the wake of the heaviest guitar giants -- there's Hendrix, Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi and Led Zep's Jimmy Page swirling around the cauldron, but also the exploratory, disciplined free-play of Pete Cosey, John McLaughlin and Carlos Santana buzzing out of her fingertips. Born in the Norwegian town of Ålesund in the early '80s, Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen has been steeped in the guitar since fooling around with her mother's nylon-string acoustic at the age of 10. Together with drummer Ivar Loe Bjørnstad and bassist Ellen Brekken, and recording with an 8-track tape machine, her Trio turn the full force of heavy rock and electric jazz to demonic purposes. It can be sledgehammer sludge, stoned to a crawl as on "Arigato, Bitch." Or it's nimble as a phantom on "Rastapopoulos," a dizzying churn that's named after the archvillain of Hergé's Tintin cartoons. And for the Mollestad Trio at its intuitive, ESP-connected finest, check "Liquid Bridges." "Laughing John" gestures towards the great Mahavishnu Orchestra guitarist as well as a music teacher, named Jon, who heavily influenced Hedvig's development. The album's fine balance between looseness and control follows a year of world touring, and tracks reflect such odd venues as "La Boule Noire," a former Portuguese disco in Paris whose walls are studded with bullets from a gangland shootout. Enfant Terrible follows the Trio's previous Rune Grammofon releases, the Spellemann (Norwegian Grammy) nominated All of Them Witches (RCD 2141CD/ RLP 3141LP) and Shoot! (RCD 2115CD/ RLP 3115LP) and, like label-mates Bushman's Revenge, Elephant9 and Grand General, represent a thrilling new progressive wave of Norwegian avant-rock/free-metal energy. Don't be fooled by the deceptively innocent portrait of Hedvig herself on the front cover -- a rare example of designer Kim Hiorthøy working with classic black and white photography, and an unusual departure from Rune Grammofon's familiar digipacks. Enfants terribles are a disturbance of the peace. But the regular enfants terribles make changes, they are creative, they force you to think differently. This Enfant Terrible is one of those."
    $18.00
  • Raise The Curtain is the latest effort from the former Savatage mastermind.  Its quite different from the Jon Oliva's Pain project and in a surprising way.  The music has a strong 70s vibe blending elements of progressive rock, AOR, and metal.  Oliva plays all the instruments but he collaborated on the songwriting with Dan Fasciano.  From the opening roaring organ sounds you know you are in for something a bit different.  You can tell this is Jon Oliva - there are parts that will remind you a bit of Savatage but you will also think in terms of Kansas, ELP, Alice Cooper.  A mash up of styles for sure but quite well done.  A friend who heard an advance copy summed it up perfectly: "A fun album".  This is the first pressing that has one bonus track.  Grab it while we got 'em.
    $15.00
  • "When Jethro Tull released Benefit in 1970, it signaled a new, more progressive musical direction for the English band. It also became one of the best-known albums of their career, which is going strong more 60 million records and 40 years later. The Grammy winning group is revisiting that pivotal album with a 2-CD/DVD-Audio collector s edition.The 2-CD/DVD collection comes loaded with a massive amount of music recorded by the band, which at the time featured: multi-instrumentalist frontman Ian Anderson, guitarist Martin Barre, drummer Clive Bunker, pianist John Evan, and bassist Glenn Cornick.The first disc contains the album s 10 original tracks, plus five bonus tracks that include both the U.K. and U.S. stereo versions of "Teacher. " All the songs are newly mixed by Steven Wilson and approved by Ian Anderson. The second disc includes newly remastered versions of rare tracks and singles recorded around the same time as Benefit, such as "Sweet Dream" in both stereo and mono.The audio-only DVD, which is available exclusively with this version, is packed with 58 tracks, including the album and bonus tracks in 5.1 surround sound. It also contains the U.K and U.S. versions of the album. The American version was sequenced differently and replaced the U.K. track "Alive and Well and Living In" with "Teacher. " In addition, the set also comes with a handsome booklet filled with rare photographs, an essay by Martin Webb, and interviews with band members."
    $28.00
  • Well Steve is done resucitating the Genesis catalogue and back to concentrating on fresh solo material.  The new album Wolflight is a bit of a loose concept album and I find it to be one of his strongest releases in years.  The album is filled with lots of guests (including Chris Squire) contributing exotic instruments to the mix adding an old world sound.  Steve's trademark sound is locked into place so if you are looking for the wailing guitar, liquid runs and acoustic delicacy you won't be disappointed.  His vocals has never been my favorite part of a Steve Hackett album but either I've mellowed in age or his voice has - not sure which.  Regardless it fits the music just fine.  Classic Hackett and nothing less.  BUY OR DIE!
    $12.00
  • Third album from this Dutch progressive band is a conceptual work.  This one has strong political leanings so it might bother some of you out there.  It basically deals with changes in the geopolitcal climate since the late 90s.  While the band's first album was squarely in the metal camp, the subsequent albums find them moving more and more into the prog rock arena but maintaining an underlying heaviness.  Plenty of keyboards featured throughout the mix in a way that complements the guitar driven heaviness.  For me the stand out is vocalist Dennis Binnekade.  He has a stunning voice and I noticed that this time around someone coached him on his pronuciation. Rock solid contemporary prog. Highly recommended.
    $14.00
  • "It’s been five years since their last album, Buried Alone: Tales Of Crushing Defeat, but in that time, the lord of Knifeworld, Kavus Torabi, has been very busy indeed. He’s been part of Gong and various other bands, hosted a prog radio show with snooker legend Steve Davis (who is in fact, more interesting than people might have ever suspected) and of course spent his time working on more Knifeworld material.Since his days with Monsoon Bassoon, Torabi has always been someone who writes dense yet strangely hookladen songs. With Knifeworld things are no different, if anything this album is about as ambitious as anything in Torabi’s long and extensive career to date. The Unravelling is an eight song cycle, is performed as an octet, and is nothing if not grandiose in its intensions. The idea of a song cycle might well sound pretentious, and perhaps it is, but what keeps The Unravelling from unravelling into a unwieldy mess is Torabi’s deft songwriting nous and keen ear for a hook. These songs might well form a cycle, but they are all quite capable of operating independently too.Opening track I Can Teach You How To Lose A Fight starts in muted fashion with delicate keyboards and strummed acoustic guitars complimenting Mel Woods’ beautiful but understated vocals. The whirring of clock parts and machinery in the background give a wonky Victorian feel, but also suggest that the cogs that drive the album are slowly clunking into life. Before long the full band has launched into a freakish prog-hymn, like a kind of feral Rick Wakeman freakout. “Why’d you grow those teeth in your heart?” asks Torabi sounding as if his has been chewed up and spat out by an evil Queen. It’s essentially the dialogue of a relationship winding down, but with its winding musical motifs, joyful honking sax parts mixing with solemn vocals and dramatic guitar stabs, the introduction to the album feels like a kind of synopsis of what’s to follow or an overture of sorts. There’s joy, threat, love, anger, fun and a fair bit of magic too.Send Him Seaworthy starts life as a kind of lurching boy’s own adventure, with nautical themes and a sense of wonder seeping into the orchestration, but come the telling conclusion it becomes tale of paranoid love. Don’t Land On Me meanwhile meanders along in a faintly jazzy way until a sharp stabbing rock riff cuts across its bows. Suddenly, it becomes a curious mix of swing, The Osmonds‘ Crazy Horses and Kenny Rogers‘ version of Condition. The Skulls We Buried Have Regrown Their Eyes meanwhile is a woozy old-school nursery rhyme that contains a requisite amount of grotesque imagery.Destroy The World We Love is the pop nugget around which the album truly revolves. It possesses a laid back lollop, a very deliberate hook with the line “secret in your hands” digging deep into the ears early on, but it quickly reveals itself to be an expansive and exquisite journey. Fans of Genesis (and naturally Cardiacs) will find plenty to appreciate here but as usual Knifeworld stop short of being self-indulgent and ensure that the song never disappears up its own firmament.If The Skulls We Buried hinted at something a little unsettling, then This Empty Room Was Once Alive confirms that there is something genuinely creepy lurking under the surface of this album and it just so happens to be in the form of a Victorian ghost story. Fortunately I’m Hiding Behind My Eyes quickly takes over and steers back towards folk inflected prog before things get to terrifying. Once again, the Octet are in fine form creating a bucolic world for the band to inhabit and explore.The key to this album is in its title. It is well written, and beautifully performed, but in order to get the most out of it, a certain amount of unravelling needs to be done. The five year wait has been worthwhile, and Torabi’s Knifeworld seems ready to begin creating its own universe. As strange and creepy as it seems at first, it is fun to spend time exploring." - MusicOMH 
    $15.00
  • New vinyl pressing of the band's magnificent second album.  Remastered numbered limited edition of 500 copies.  Gatefold sleeve and has a nice large fold out poster.
    $32.00
  • "To avoid any lingering confusion right from the outset,  you may already be aware of this band because AudioPlastik began life under a different name or names to be more precise. Both Alpha Flood and Brave New Sky were trialled before the trio settled on the name AudioPlastik. Whatever the name though, it’s a musical collaboration which will more than prick the ears of fans of progressive rock or metal music. The trio is fronted none other than Dec Burke, the vocalist for Darwin’s Radio and Frost* as well as being a well thought of solo artist in his own right. Dec also plays the guitar and is joined by the impressive duo of Simon Andersson (Darkwater, ex-Pain Of Salvation) and Threshold’s keyboardist Richard West. Being a fan of all of the names mentioned in the preceding sentences, I have naturally been very excited to hear the final product ever since a debut album was announced to see the light of day early this year.The album is due out in the very near future and goes by the title of ‘In The Head Of A Maniac’. With a title like this, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the content of this record might be a bizarre, challenging or even a wild schizophrenic beast. However, you’d be wrong, at least to a certain extent anyway. This is progressive music and as such, it does blend many ideas into its collective whole. But it is far from being impenetrable or a difficult listen.To be honest, the most difficult thing is to accurately describe the musical direction on ‘In The Head of a Maniac’. In itself it’s an absorbing listen full of wondrous aspects, one that is instantly likeable but ever more addictive as the number of spins increases. But to be more exact in order to offer a worthwhile review? Ok…If I was to try and sum this album up in a few words, I’d say it’s an absorbing blend of melodic progressive rock, metal and pop with rich cinematic overtones.Dealing with the latter aspect first, the cinematic, symphonic flavour can be heard right from the outset via the relatively brief instrumental opening. This is Richard West at his best, creating a piece of music which is subtly dramatic, emotive and pure film soundtrack fodder. In fact, much the same can be said of the even more dramatic ‘Traveller’ which is equally as enthralling and which could easily fit a suspense or action thriller.That said, West’s stamp is all over each of the thirteen compositions, bringing a rich elegance to proceedings just like he does with Threshold. Whether it’s via more subtle layers of atmospheric synths or more in-your-face modern-sounding embellishments, of which there are several (‘John Doe’) it always fits the song perfectly, providing a foundation of real depth and richness upon which all else is built.Next there’s the guitar playing of Burke and Andersson which is actually surprisingly heavy. Occasionally it is reminiscent in tone of numerous djent artists, particularly when the riffs chug in step with a rumbling bass (also courtesy of Andersson) and powerful drumming. ‘It Matters So Much’ illustrates this perfectly and is also a track that also greatly benefits from a rare and decadent lead guitar solo. This being prog, naturally many of the riffs play around with interesting, complicated tempos and time signatures but they are never complex for the sake of it and never detract from the essence of the songs. A prime example being ‘The Sound Of Isolation’ which contains a riff which befuddles my brain but which works in and around the simpler aspects of the song.One of the biggest strengths on this record however is its melodic sensibility. I mentioned earlier about the pop influences and its in the choruses that this is most noticeable. Just about every song has a hook or a melody that’s memorable. Some are immediate and others take a bit longer to work into the psyche. Regardless, they are there and many of them, alongside those modern programmed flourishes, lend the music that more mainstream feel. ‘Leave Me Here’ and the beautiful ‘Now’ for example, might not be out of place on mainstream popular radio. Elsewhere, ‘Bulletproof’ offers one of the most gorgeous choruses I’ve heard in recent times, ironic given that it’s also one of the heavier, busier tracks that packs a lot of light and shade as well as apparently disparate elements into its relatively short length. Oh and then there’s the stunning closer, ‘Distant Skies’ which pushes ‘Bulletproof’ very close, almost beating it depending on my mood when I listen.Then, to top things off, you’ve got the vocals of Burke. Those familiar with his other work with Frost* or Darwin’s Radio will know exactly what to expect and he doesn’t disappoint. Burke has a tone that’s very melodic and almost soothing but which also has a slightly rough, gritty edge to it that I really like. It means that the vocal delivery can fit both the softer, more introspective parts but which can also do justice to the heavier moments that require something a bit edgier vocally.As you can probably tell, I’m completely enamoured by this album. Almost imperceptibly, it has burrowed into my head and my heart and it refuses to let go. If your tastes dictate that you enjoy music that is rich and varied, deep and thoughtful, beautiful and genuinely unique, look no further than ‘In The Mind Of A Maniac’ by AudioPlastic. You won’t be disappointed." - Man Of Much Metal  
    $16.00
  • One of the great overlooked prog metal albums of the 90s made available again. This album with the odd name was only released in Japan by Toshiba-EMI in 1998. It was the debut album from this Swiss trio and featured the great Thomas Vikstrom on vocals. The music was keyboard driven, a bit off kilter and totally amazing. The band didn't release anything again until this year's Retrospective but the similarities are superficial. Retrospective is a great album but a bit more conventional. Cosmic Handball has a lot more personality. Its been remixed and remastered which can only help as the original production was a bit murky sounding. Highest recommendation.
    $5.00