Are You Sitting Comfortably

SKU: 15422
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Progressive Rock
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Second album with the new singer, Paul Menel...for my taste the magic is gone and the music is more commercial...apparently for others he was actually their best singer.

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  • The release of 2012's critically acclaimed Trouble With Machines ushered in an exciting era for Chicago-based Progressive Rock band District 97. In 2013, the band toured both Europe and the US with legendary bassist and vocalist John Wetton (King Crimson/UK/Asia), which was documented on 2014's live release, One More Red Night: Live in Chicago. 2013 also saw the band nominated for a Limelight Award by Prog Magazine. Rather than rest on their laurels, District 97 took to the studio in 2014 to record the new material they'd been honing at home and on the road. The resulting album, In Vaults, continues and accelerates the upward trajectory of great songwriting and incredible musicianship that's been evident since the band's 2010 debut, Hybrid Child. One listen perfectly illustrates why John Wetton says, “I've said it before, and I maintain that D97 is the best young progressive band around right now. Gifted players, great material, and a brilliant, charismatic singer in Leslie Hunt."In addition to its evocative and powerful songwriting and performances, In Vaults features the immaculate mixing of Rich Mouser (Spock's Beard, Transatlantic), mastering by Grammy winning engineer Bob Katz and the stunning imagery of Björn Gooßes of Killustraitions. 
    $13.00
  • "This fifth album for the underground Norwegian Prog / Power Metal kings starts with a short Flamenco guitar and compass handclap pattern intro named “Esperanto”, luckily DIVIDED MULTITUDE will quickly manage to change everything soon with a real Metal riff and a double kick onslaught, they set the power to maximum heaviness mixed with sheer elegance, indeed since then the remaining 10 tracks on the album are pretty sharp with furious drums and almost Thrashy rhythmic guitars but moderated with ultra-catchy vocals in the real Scandinavian method. I like to think of them about as an heaviest version of CIRCUS MAXIMUS (“What I See”), applicant of a few hyper challenging Melodic motifs with a stunning Schizophrenic vocal rendition, indeed Mr. Sindre Antonsen alternates brilliantly between "testo-tenroic" multi layered singing like Jekyll & Hyde, in the great PRETTY MAIDS & Ronnie Atkins tradition with a two-faced styled that switch from velvet to sandpaper in the same sentence.Of course all the players are ultra-competent, Christer Harøy (PS: his other band with his brother Rayner called TEODOR TUFF is also warmly recommended by yours truly) is a solid guitar player but stay quite discrete leaving much room to another essential strong element in their sound: the fantastic yet subtle Eskild Kløften, who provides some fine effective performance in multipl(a)ying synthetic ambient waves & Progressive Rock keyboards.In this genre the songwriting should be uselessly complicated, well it’s not exactly the case with “Feed On Your Misery”, but don’t get me wrong please, there is plenty of weird or cerebral moments as some strange structures mixed with passionate and luxurious arrangements quite rich in complexity with an average over six minutes in length without never sounding hermetic or rigid.The smartest cuts like the title track “Feed On Your Misery”, the delicious “Crimson Sunset” or the dark “Vicious By Heart” are also pretty much influenced by early QUEENSRYCHE or CRIMSON GLORY with some modernized vocals taken from the inherent omnipresent obvious reference while speaking about Prog Metal singer, the soulful, the one, the only: Sir Russell Allen (SYMPHONY X / ADRENALINE MOB) himself (“Scars”).Finally, the best comparison could have been PAGAN’S MIND meets ANUBIS GATE meets CONCEPTION. I already said it, I will say it again: “Feed On Your Misery” by DIVIDED MULTITUDE, that’s Scandinavian Melodic Prog at its Best." - Metal Temple
    $14.00
  • "What are we going to do with Angra? I don't really enjoy their early material that much – sure it's very well written, and technically sound at that, but it has not yet engaged me and the vocals of then-frontman Matos rub me the wrong way. Temple of Shadows was good but held back by a lot of things that made it hard to listen to all the way through – for instance, it was fruity as hell, and overloaded with too many ideas. Aurora Consurgens fixed those problems and delivered a great album of modernized power metal. But I still thought they could do better...and hence, Aqua.This album is just really awesome. It's proggy and dense – much more so than anything else they've ever done. This is not the kind of album that you would expect after hearing Temple of Shadows alone, and for that I think this is getting a lot of unwarranted bad press from the metal community. In reality this is the sound they seem to have been shooting for all along. Where on Temple they just tossed random elements into a melting pot and hoped it came out with some good hooks – succeeding only half the time – on Aqua, they condense their rumbling guitars, folksy melodies and epic vocal lines into full-throttle progressive metal without any apologies.The restraint on this album is just maddening, as when you think the song might explode into a high-flying chorus or screaming climax...it doesn't. And that's what's so good about it – they've managed to construct a bunch of tunes that never go for the obvious hook, rather choosing to try for a new twist – most of the time it works really well. Edu Falaschi's vocals are reigned in to a deeper, darker intonation than he's ever had, and his vocal melodies are just superb on here. They're slow-burning growers, but once they hit you, they really hit you, as on "Hollow" or "A Monster in Her Eyes." "Weakness of a Man" is just great with this, too.The guitars are always heavy and rhythmic, not always going for a straight-ahead metal attack, but always being complex and riveting – check out the blistering "Awake from Darkness" or the more straight-ahead power metal cruiser "Arising Thunder." There are some subtle folk elements on a few tracks like the excellent "Lease of Life" and the crushing, searing "Weakness of a Man," and a lot of slow, ballad-esque moments that allow Falaschi to stretch out his pipes and the guitarists to cook out some more emotive moments. "A Monster in Her Eyes" is absolutely stunning in this regard.Nothing on here is really done in a way you'd expect, and since the hooks are so angular and fresh, the songs never wear out their welcome, always sounding cool and innovative. There is a somber twinge to the melodies here at times, and at others, an angry, wrathful one, making this album sound somewhat like a journey through the raging, untamed wilderness – if not for the pristine sense of refinement in the songwriting, that is. With Aqua the band eschews more and more of what held them back in the early days and also brings closer the themes and motifs they always wanted to get down in their lyrics and atmosphere. This album is progressive, raw, subtle and a huge grower if there ever was one, revealing new layers with each spin. Angra has never sounded better." - The Metal Crypt
    $15.00
  • Latest from German power metal Gods. On a roll with Theater Of Salvation and Avantasia. Can they follow it up?
    $20.00
  • "The empire of the eminent Floor Jansen strikes back with an absolute startling release, a great surprise for all lovers of modern female fronted sound and an inescapable altercation towards anyone protesting against trying new and versatile notions. Set for release on August 23rd via Nuclear Blast, “Wild Card” really blew me away, in a level that my mind started whirling with the bands mesmerism in creating a very fresh and present album.After three years of agonizing waiting time, the down to earth yet class plethoric Symphonic/Melodic Metal act’s sophomore release settles down in the average CD player; revealing the hermetic catalyst of music to an extent that time-dimension seems unable to debilitate the magic of cardinal passion. And there’s a lot of passion and energy in “Wild Card“.Guided by Joost van den Broek, the band manage to conserve the known REVAMP vibe present in each and every single note performed, resulting to a set of eleven shining tracks full of charisma, sentiment and individuality. However “Wild Card” is by far heavier and much more aggressive than the 2010s self-titled debut album. Definitely guitar oriented and featuring one of the best vocal performances ever recorded in the history of heavy metal music. The compositions are quite variegated providing an intense kaleidoscopic view of interpretation by the listener.You can tell Floor Jansen had the need to redeem herself after her illness and thus resulted lyrically into some heavy stories and very personal experiences in which the Symphonic Metal Queen let out of her system with some quite openhearted screams and massive growls. Floor’s vocals are indeed very diverse and there’s not a single blemish throughout the record. From operatic, melodic lines to straight forward metal vocals, to grunting and growling everything is extremely powerful and it matches the albums violent music.Talking about music, “Wild Card” has a monstrous industrial atmosphere all around and it’s breaking new grounds to the sound of female fronted bands. The production is exquisite and it meets the bands polished songwriting, which makes me a very happy customer! Keyboard solos and compound synth sounds are everywhere to be found and together with the abundant heavy guitar riffs, make for a solid foundation in which bass and drums encircle beautifully.“Wild Card” features a plethora of guest musicians; to begin with, Devin Townsend sings on the track “Neurasthenia” which is part three of “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown” theme-song and he sounds amazing, then there’s Mark Jansen (EPICA) who delivers some terrifying growls on the song “Misery’s No Crime“. In addition to that, Marcela Bovio (STREAM OF PASSION) and Daniel de Jongh (TEXTURES) recorded the choir parts and harmonies together with Floor and that really adds to the whole Metal feel of the record. Finally Johan van Stratum (STREAM OF PASSION) was recruited last minute to record the bass for “Wild Card” and he did a splendid job if I may say.Thanks to the extreme variety in REVAMP’s “Wild Card“, there’s not a single dull moment overall and with every listening session I find myself discovering more and more in each song; and that’s a wonderful feeling and really what makes “Wild Card” a first-class album. Highlights include “Wild Card“, “Distorted Lullabies“, “Amendatory“, “Misery’s No Crime“, “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: Neurasthenia” and my personal favorites “Precibus” and “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown’: On The Sideline“. Honestly though, you should listen to the entire album back to back.The CD cover is quite remarkable as well. Definitely recognizable by REVAMP fans due to its connection with the debut album, the dual nature of the Queen of Hearts is a strong image which relates to the music in such drastic and fascinating ways. A perfect visual to accompany the fierce character of the music and props go to Richard Stark who created the artwork. A very well thought concept, indeed.A “Wild Card” is an unpredictable and unforeseeable factor and I feel like REVAMP won the bet and have successfully release a unique and brilliant album that will inspire many generations of heavy metal fans and for that they deserve immense credit. Many tunes off this album have the potential to become REVAMP classics and this itself makes the purchase essential for everyone that does not so far have REVAMP in his/her collection. A piece of thriving Symphonic, Melodic Metal history is now available, make no mistakes. You can’t let it go." - Metal Divas
    $14.00
  • New budget priced 2 CD set combines both halves of the Universal Migrator series: "The Dream Sequencer" and "Flight Of The Migrator".
    $15.00
  • "London based Neonfly, are Willy Norton on vocals, Frederick Thunder on guitars, Patrick Harrington on guitars, Paul Miller on bass and Boris Le Gal on drums.They have managed to get onto some pretty cool and important supports slots lately, including Power Quest, Magnum, Sonata Arctica and Dragonforce. They lit up the Sophie Lancaster Stage at Bloodstock 2013 and their rapidly rising reputation as a force to be reckoned with live won them an invitation to open for Alice Cooper on the German leg of his Raise The Dead Tour 2013.Neonfly released their explosive debut album ‘Outshine The Sun’, in September 2011 on Rising Records, to critical acclaim. Now they are back with the ever difficult 2nd release ‘Strangers In Paradise’.What is clear about this new offering, is that they have used the three year gap in recording time wisely, so many bands get rushed into making their 2nd album that it is generally a poor effort, full of tracks that never made the final cut the first time around, however I am pleased to say that Neonfly have not done this. The new album is a step up both in songwriting, playing and overall production than the debut, so anything left over from the debut will still be on the cutting room floor.Opening song ‘Whispered Dreams’ is a massive opener, with a big chorus and the soaring melodic vocals of Willy Norton. Both “Better Angels” and “Heart Of The Sun” are catchy enough to win over casual fans and draw them in at festivals, before discovering the deeper delights this album has to offer.The use of keyboards and orchestrations on most, if not all of these songs help to lift them above the norm and add a touch of quality to an otherwise good track. ‘Sons Of Liberty’ has a String section at its heart and this works really really well.‘Aztec Gold’ is another track that benefits from the orchestration treatment yet remembers its power metal roots with a great guitar solo trade-off between guitarists Patrick Harrington and Frederick Thunder.‘Fierce Battalions’ is a fast-paced track allowing drummer Boris Le Gal to show us his skills, a basic yet effective trip down European power metal road.‘Chasing The Night’ and ‘Falling Star’ are two outstanding tracks, both for different reasons, the former is the longest track on the record and it has a more progressive rock feel to it. It’s also has a great lead guitar solo at the mid-point and plenty of explosive passages throughout. The surprise on the cd is the last track though, a ballad, the lyrics on “Falling Star” are just beautiful, this is a massive ballad and AOR rock band would be proud off.This is a very complex album that needs quite a few listens to fully experience it: is it Power Metal, is it AOR , is it Progressive?, the simple answer is Yes, it is all these and much more.
    $15.00
  • Official (?) release of a live performance that has been circulating among tape traders for decades.  This was a live in the studio performance recorded for the BBC in 1973 in front of an invited audience.  Its a classic gig that features Wishbone Ash's Andy Powell on Ashes Are Burning along with Al Stewart.
    $14.00
  • "Formed nearly 20 years ago in Madrid by guitarist Enrik Garcia, Dark Moor is not slowing down. The band returns with their ninth long player, Ars Musica. Their trademark symphonic and melodic metal remains at the forefront on this album.Actually, even though there are elements of traditional melodic heavy and power metal, Ars Musica reminds more of symphonic and melodic hard rock record, simply because of the catchy groove and accessible hooks in most every song. Certainly, the opening intro and following First Lance of Spain sounds like sweeping and epic symphonic power metal.But the tide turns with It Is My Way and The Road Again. Both songs charm your ears with the great melody, groove and friendly accessibility. This continues through Together As Ever, The City of Peace, and the beautiful ballad Gara and Jonay. Then the tide turns once more. Living in a Nightmare is clearly symphonic power metal, a swift and rushing composition, as is Saint James Way, though not quite as fast. Dark Moor taps their heritage with El Ultimo Rey and the closing Spanish Suite, the latter an epic instrumental. Once more, besides the excellent melodic rock and metal, the vocals of the talented Alfred Romero leads the way; he's easily one of the best melodic metal vocalist of our day. Dark Moor's Ars Musica is an excellent accomplishment and strongly recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $15.00
  • 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
  • OK WE GOT A HOT ONE HERE!  Latest album from keyboard maestro Lalle Larsson is full-on balls to the wall fusion.  He's hooked up again with Richard Hallebeek, who is one of the great Holdsworth clones out there.  The rest of the band is Stefan Rosqvist (rhythm guitar), Jonas Reingold (bass), and Walle Wahlgren (drums).  Larsson lays down lethal synth leads and swaps back and forth with Hallebeek who matches him with dexterous legato runs.    Time will tell but I think this may be Lalle Larsson's best solo album yet!  Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • Setna is a superb French ensemble whose style of progressive rock firmly falls within the zeuhl framework.  Their 2007 debut was a bit controversial.  There was quite a bit of anticipation for the release as fans of the genre were anticipating a full on Magma assault.  What they got was something that smoldered and didn't explode but it did so consistently.  So for some fans their expectations fell short.  For more wide eared listeners they recognized a band that was influenced by Magma but didn't slavishly imitate them.Guerison is the follow up and finds them stretching out a little bit more.  Magma is still the prime influence but there are equal influences from the Canterbury sphere.  The band employs a dual keyboardist configuration.  Florent Gac's overdriven organ will definitely remind you of David Sinclair.  There are some Mellotron bits scattered about and among the many guest musicians you will find Magma alumnus Benoit Widemann on Mini-Moog.Outstanding stuff.  Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • "It's a strange thing, but hardly uncommon in the Internet age. I had to find out about Pennsylvania's Mindaze through a German promotion outfit distributing promotional packages for Swedish label Inner Wound Recordings. Mind you, Mindmaze's roots are in Allentown, a mere hour drive from Dangerdog HQ. Here we have their sophomore effort Back From The Edge, soon to get more and better interest thanks to this international promotion.Mindmaze works from the roots of traditional melodic heavy metal, and then throws in female lead vocals with a good mixture of progressive power metal. The band is essentially a trio, led by siblings Jeff and Sarah Teets, with guests filling the bass guitar chair. For the album session recording that duty fell to Symphony X's Mike LePond. They get additional support from Stratovarius keyboardist Jens Johansson (Moment of Flight), Pharaoh guitarist Matt Johnsen (The Machine Stops), and Lord guitarist Lord Tim (Onward Destiny Calls II).Keeping good company with talented musicians is one thing, but delivering the heavy metal goods is another. And Mindmaze does. I was particularly impressed at the depth of the songwriting and arrangements. All the songs are thick with groove, harmony, and melody, yet sufficiently intriguing thanks to shifts and twists from tempo to instrumentation. Significant to the latter is Jeff Teets' impressive guitar lines. His riffs and leads are rather rather large, rousing and entertaining. So much so, one might call this a guitar-oriented metal album. If you like sharp guitar work, you will definitely enjoy this album. As for sister Sarah's voice, her vocals are essentially straight foward, easily in the range of hard rock and heavy metal. What she's not is some crazy operatic singer trying to impress you with her range and pierce your eardrums. She reminds me of A Sound of Thunder's Nina Osegueda, but not as screamo. With that reference, I would suggest that, if you like ASoT, you're going to love Mindmaze.As for individual songs, I won't bore you with minutae. You can listen to a few tracks below. I was immediately pleased with Dreamwalker, Moment of Flight, and The Machine Stops. The latter two having perhaps the most 'proggish' moments of the album. Not so much for Consequences of Choice. It's not a bad song, but just seems more riff driven and even-handed, with little intrigue. But it in no way diminishes the strength of the whole as Back From The Edge a fine listen from start to finish. Easily recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $15.00