Auf Der Bahn Zum Uranus

"Gäa was one of the more obscure German underground bands from the 70s.  They recorded one album for the Kerston label.  According to legend, after the album was released, many copies were destroyed due to poor sales.  Of course this has driven the price of an original copy into the stratosphere.

The five piece had a sound a bit similar to early Eloy.  Lots of organ, some flute, but more importantly some of the most wicked Hendrix influenced leads you will hear.  Whip it all together with production that sounds like it was recorded in a massive echo chamber and you've got a winner.  A stone cold killer." - ProgArchives

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  • "Santana's fourth album, Caravanserai, finally being reissued and remastered by Columbia Legacy/Sony, is a landmark recording for the band. Originally released in 1973, this album marked a change for the band, as they were moving away from the Latin tinged psychedelic pop rock of their earlier recordings to a more ethereal, jazz fusion based sound. Change also brought about line-up shuffles, as after this album second guitarist Neal Schon and keyboard player/singer Gregg Rolie left the band to form Journey. Famed keyboard virtuoso Tom Coster made his first appearance on this release, and he later spent many years alongside Carlos Santana in various incarnations of the band. The influence of groups such as Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Lifetime, Miles Davis, Larry Coryell's Eleventh House, and John Coltrane are heard all throughout this CD. Latin percussion mixes with swirling organ while Santana and Schon's guitar licks run rampant on each track. While the bands signature melody on "Song of the Wind" still remains a classic, it's the extended breakouts on tunes like "La Fuente Del Ritmo" , complete with an amazing electric piano solo from Coster, and the energetic "Just in Time to See the Sun" that really shine. Drummer Mike Shrieve comes into his own on this albums more jazzy context, and the percussive tandem of Jose "Chepito" Areas, Mingo Lewis, and the legendary Armando Peraza provide the perfect Latin rhythms. "Every Step of the Way" features some wicked guitar work from Schon and Santana, supported by manic percussion and raging organ from Rolie, and stands out as a classic example of Latin jazz fusion.My advice to you all, don't walk, but run to your local CD shop and indulge yourself in this timeless classic. The remaster job is superb, with every instrument crisp and clear, and you get a nice booklet that goes into the history behind the album. A must have!" - Sea Of Tranquility
    $5.00
  • Here's a prog rock band from New Jersey that frankly was completely unknown to me until I stumbled on them recently.  Good thing too!No More Pain is a quartet that blends contemporary sounds with classic old school prog.  My initial thoughts when I first heard the band was going to lead me to comparisons to Spock's Beard and Echolyn but the deeper I dug into it the whole thing clicked - BEARDFISH!  Lots of similarities to that great Swedish band in the way they take elements of the 70s and wipe the schmutz off it and make it sound fresh and new.  Some nice flashy keyboard solos will make you flashback to 1973 Tony Banks.  Scrub the comparisons you might read referencing Dream Theater - none of that is going on here.  This is pure prog rock.  If you are looking for metal move on - you'll be disappointed.  Lots of music packed into this disc, capping off with the 17 minute epic "The Network".  These guys need a publicist and maybe get out and play some festivals.  Highly recommended.
    $10.00
  • Remastered edition now featuring three live bonus tracks taken from the 1983 tour!! "Performance" is a bit maligned for some reason. The tunes are a bit more concise but it still captures the essence of the band. Recommended for sure.Please note this disc incorporates EMI copy control technology which seems to allow you to do whatever it is you would normally do with a CD but you can't rip it. Bummer.
    $13.00
  • A couple of years ago I scored some of these in a warehouse find and they blew out of here immediately.  Some more turned up but how long they will last is anyone's guess.Dadawa is the stage name of Chinese singer Zhu Zheqin.  Think of her as China's answer to Enya.  No Celtic influences here - its purely Asian.  She collaborated with producer/composer He Xuntian on Sister Drum (and later titles) and he knows what he's doing.  The music builds and builds and draws you in.  Her voice is purely hypnotic.  The production is such that it unfolds in layers and layers - of vocals and instrumentation.I have to make a point of discussing the audio aspects of this set.  Its simply unbelievable.  While compatible with standard Redbook CD, the dynamics on this album are utterly insance.  If you crank this one up you are in danger of smoking your woofers - the bottom end on this recording is cavernous but tight as can be.  This is an XRCD24 disc.  It is a special pressing utilizing JVC's proprietary mastering process.  You want to be a show off?  This is the disc to play.  A total lease breaker and gorgeous music to boot.  BUY OR DIE!
    $5.00
  • "History will undoubtedly enshrine this disc as a watershed the likes of which may never truly be appreciated. Giant Steps bore the double-edged sword of furthering the cause of the music as well as delivering it to an increasingly mainstream audience. Although this was John Coltrane's debut for Atlantic, he was concurrently performing and recording with Miles Davis. Within the space of less than three weeks, Coltrane would complete his work with Davis and company on another genre-defining disc, Kind of Blue, before commencing his efforts on this one. Coltrane (tenor sax) is flanked by essentially two different trios. Recording commenced in early May of 1959 with a pair of sessions that featured Tommy Flanagan (piano) and Art Taylor (drums), as well as Paul Chambers -- who was the only band member other than Coltrane to have performed on every date. When recording resumed in December of that year, Wynton Kelly (piano) and Jimmy Cobb (drums) were instated -- replicating the lineup featured on Kind of Blue, sans Miles Davis of course. At the heart of these recordings, however, is the laser-beam focus of Coltrane's tenor solos. All seven pieces issued on the original Giant Steps are likewise Coltrane compositions. He was, in essence, beginning to rewrite the jazz canon with material that would be centered on solos -- the 180-degree antithesis of the art form up to that point. These arrangements would create a place for the solo to become infinitely more compelling. This would culminate in a frenetic performance style that noted jazz journalist Ira Gitler accurately dubbed "sheets of sound." Coltrane's polytonal torrents extricate the amicable and otherwise cordial solos that had begun decaying the very exigency of the genre -- turning it into the equivalent of easy listening. He wastes no time as the disc's title track immediately indicates a progression from which there would be no looking back. Line upon line of highly cerebral improvisation snake between the melody and solos, practically fusing the two. The resolute intensity of "Countdown" does more to modernize jazz in 141 seconds than many artists do in their entire careers. Tellingly, the contrasting and ultimately pastoral "Naima" was the last tune to be recorded, and is the only track on the original long-player to feature the Kind of Blue quartet. What is lost in tempo is more than recouped in intrinsic melodic beauty." - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • "It's a bit surprising that Pantera waited until 1997 to release a live album, considering how brutal and powerful the band had been in concert. At an average Pantera show, it would not be unusual to see security evicting overzealous fans, and club bathrooms filled with bloody wads of paper towels from mosh pit injuries. Official Live 101 Proof captures the group in its natural, violent element, combining abrupt, barbed riffs with pulse-pounding beats and furious vocals. The record spans Pantera's career, from the classic guitar lick of "Cowboys from Hell" to the fuzzbomb fury of "Suicide Note Pt. 2" (from album The Great Southern Trendkill). As an encore, the band offers album buyers two new studio tracks, the bluesy bonecrusher "Where You Come From" and the grinding piledriver "I Can't Hide." As the fortress of alternative rock continues to crumble, Pantera stomp vindictively through the rubble, their metallic legacy intact."--Jon Wiederhorn
    $6.00
  • "Despite what the name might lead you to think, progressive metal is among the most static and boring of all heavy music genres. Half the bands that fall under the moniker exist merely as a vehicle to show off the skills of the players involved, which is fine in small doses, but rarely sustains a creative career. The other half of the bands stick rigidly to the blueprint of one of the fore-bearers of the genre, giving us music that sounds exactly like something we've already heard. Very little of progressive metal is actually interesting, because it is a genre that lacks people dedicated to the art of songwriting. Songs are what makes any band successful, no matter how much sheer musical skill they possess. Dream Theater didn't get to where they are just because they are amazing musicians, they also wrote a slew of great songs and albums. The number of progressive metal bands who have impressed me with their songwriting in recent years is miniscule, but I mention all of this because Ascendia is one of them.As “At The End Of It All” swells into focus with a tribal drum beat and chanted vocals, it's already obvious that this is not going to be prog-by-numbers. The song kicks into gear with a syncopated guitar riff, before the vocals soar over the top of everything, slapping a thick coat of melody atop the sound. There's a quiet section in the middle of the song that feels like a cousin of Killswitch Engage, which is a fresh sound to hear in this kind of music. When it opens back up into the chorus, the song is massive, and it's hard to believe all of that music was contained in five and a half minutes.The songs on the album are more bite-sized than typical progressive metal, but that plays into the band's strengths as songwriters. By keeping the songs lean and tight, they hit harder than if the instrumental sections had been extended by a minute here and there. There is interesting playing going on, but it's all done within the framework of the songs, and never put out front to dominate the spotlight. It's an approach that is smart not just because of how easy it is to get bogged down in instrumental pyrotechnics, but because an album of that sort would never be able to survive the Herculean vocal presence of singer Nick Sakal.With more than a little bit of similarity to the former singer of the aforementioned Killswitch Engage, Howard Jones, Sakal's vocals dominate the album, making you wonder where a voice like that could have come from. His baritone is warm, rich, and not at all what you would expect to hear in a band that isn't playing down-tuned hardcore.But what is most important are the songs, and that's where Ascendia proves themselves as standouts. Whether tackling more modern fare like “Remember Me”, or more traditionally melodic songs like “Moonchild”, there's a phenomenal blend of heavy riffing and soaring melody. I can't tell you how rare it is to hear a progressive metal band that is so in tune with melody, and can write songs that could stand up if they were stripped down to the chord structure and the vocals. We get an example of that with the duet ballad, “The Song That You Deserved”, a largely piano and voice song that is as beautiful as it is heart-breaking. Ascendia's ear for songs is excellent, and that is what makes “The Lion And The Jester” such an engaging listen. Song after song, there's a warm and inviting chorus waiting to wrap its arms around you after you've heard the heavy and intricate moments.This year has been off to a ridiculously great start, with at least half a dozen legitimately great records having already come my way. Add “The Lion And The Jester” to that list, because Ascendia is making progressive metal the way it was always supposed to be. Both challenging and gratifying, intense and cathartic, “The Lion And The Jester” is a phenomenal piece of work that reminds me of the very best progressive metal I've ever heard. This is an album you need to hear.Oh, and how awesome is that cover art? That is one album that will look as good as it sounds in a collection." - Bloody Good Horror
    $10.00
  • "Formed in 2008 under the (thankfully dropped) name Rightdoor, Within silence are a melodic power metal band in the vein of Blind Guardian. As such you can expect huge swathes of guitar, souring vocals and banks of keyboards all vying for space amidst the pounding rhythms and heroic soloing. Growing steadily, the band have taken their time to draft their debut offering, the gleaming ‘gallery of life’, and it appears that it has been time well spent because the rehearsals, the time spent writing and then honing material on the road with the likes of Blaze Bayley has paid off with this confident and powerful album.Opening with a short, choral ‘intro’, ‘gallery of life’ immediately sets out its stall as an ambitious body of work designed to be heard as one contiguous piece. The intro builds nicely to the powerful guitars of ‘silent desire’. A perfect opening song, ‘silent desire’ immediately highlights the fact this is a production that oozes quality. The guitars are razor sharp, the choruses soar memorably and the playing is ultra-precise. It shows that Within Silence will settle for nothing less than perfection and there’s a sparkling ambition here that is impossible to ignore. ‘Emptiness of night’ is a fast-paced rocker with blazing guitars and a full-on vocal performance that is both powerful and brimming with confidence. There’s a strong Iron Maiden influence underpinning the cracking pace and guitar work, and it’s clear that the band have nothing less than world domination in their sights. Keeping the energy levels high, ‘Elegy of doom’ is another taut rocker with a rampaging riff and just the right amount of keyboard to add atmosphere without overpowering the song. It’s an early highlight of the record and make no mistake, within silence are a band who like to rock! It’s a trend that continues on the equally stunning, ‘The last drop of blood’, a full-on belter of a track that sounds like the band channelling Metallica, Maiden and Judas Priest all at once. It’s one of those adrenalin packed tracks that will get the blood pumping no matter what, and it must surely be a live favourite with its brutal riffs and memorable chorus. The track reaches its peak, however, with the excellent extended solo that runs wild over the second half of the song. Showing a lighter touch, ‘Love is blind’ keeps the energy levels maxed out but offers up a more pop-infused side of the band than found elsewhere, and whilst it still remains on the metallic side of the musical spectrum, it shows that Within silence have both the talent and confidence to fully explore their genre.The band briefly slow their pace for the more subtle opening strains of ‘anger and sorrow’, although the song does not take long to explode into a typically multi-stranded beast complete with extended solos and deft changes. Representing Within Silence at their most commercial sounding, ‘Judgement day’ is the sort of rollicking heavy metal ride that would have been all over the radio back in the eighties. Powerful and driven by a chorus that is only slightly less addictive than crack, ‘judgement day’ is a beast of a track. Next up, pounding drums lead us into ‘the world of slavery’, a song with a strong folk influence. Another track that benefits from some stunning guitar work, ‘the world of slavery’ is a metal epic that only gets better with repeated listens. The album concludes with ‘road to paradise’ which dips into ‘seventh son…’ era Maiden for inspiration. Another epic length track, it is a last chance for the musicians to spread their wings and soar, something which they duly do in impressive fashion. A short ‘outro’ sees the disc spin to a halt with choral voices echoing in the dark. It is a suitably dramatic ending for a CD that takes the listener on a wonderful journey from start to finish.Power metal can be, all too often, a genre where the keyboard elements overshadow the metallic elements. Thankfully, Within Silence, perhaps because of their lengthy time spent out on the road, keep their sound hard-edged throughout and the result is an album that packs a similar punch to the classic Maiden albums of the early eighties. There are crunchy riffs galore, endless solos and the sort of huge, soaring choruses that have made Blind Guardian such a powerful force. Talented, oozing confidence and with a wonderfully powerful set of songs, Within Silence have arrived and metal fans had best sit up and take notice, because these guys have the skill and the burning ambition to go far." - Sonic Abuse
    $14.00
  • First time on CD for the complete two part debut from this German acid psych trio.  The band is lead by guitarist Sula Bassana who you may know for his incredible solo albums.  The rhythm section is held down by Komet Lulu on bass and Pablo Carneval on drums.  Long psychedelic guitar driven space explorations that goes down the same road as the first Ash Ra Tempel and early Pink Floyd masterpieces.  The CD seet was mastered by Eroc of Grobschnitt fame so you know he gets it.  I'm getting high just typing this description!  Highly recommended.
    $21.00
  • "In the year 222 B.C., deep within the dangerous jungles of east Asia in the country of Zhongguo, the young and terrified king of Qi, with his back against the wall of water on his eastern border, frantically sent 300,000 men to his shrinking western border to fight the cruel and powerful Qin leader Zhào Zhèng. You see, Qi was the last, and farthest east, of the warring states in ancient China. Zhèng fooled his inexperienced and terrified enemy and invaded from the north instead, thus easily capturing the young king. With the last territory conquered, Zhèng declared himself “ShiHuangdi,” the very first emperor. With his rule of the newly unified country, Zhèng standardized Chinese writing, bureaucracy, law, currency, and a system of weights and measures. His reign developed a road system, massive fortifications and palaces. Under this “Qin Dynasty,” the emperor formed the Great Wall of China to stop invading barbarians from the North. Thy Majestie’s latest album is a conceptual tribute to his legacy, one that would unify China for 2,000 years.The album’s most amazing success is the weaving in of classic oriental music with its own symphonic “majestie.” By definition, this is symphonic metal. From a listener’s perspective, this is an audio historical text book that covers a period of history rich in culture and war over a soundtrack of beautifully crafted melodies and a truly phenomenal vocal performance.Much like “Hastings 1066" and “Jeanne d’Arc,” the band perfectly blends music of the historical period with its own. With “ShiHuangdi,” sounds of the ancient guzheng can be heard in songs like “Farewell” and the closer “Requiem.” Most bands merely use history as subject matter for lyrics, but “ShiHuangdi” is more than just a history lesson. The album has a real sense of the orient embedded within the soundscapes Thy Majestie presents. Where Cthonic and Myrath expertly blend the culture of respective native homelands with metal music, Thy Majesite morphs its symphonic metal style around the cultural sounds the album's subject matter, with the band members as movie score composers.The album's breathtaking orchestrations are highlighted by gigantic and fetching choruses. Among the best include “Siblings of Tian,” “Seven Reigns,” “Ephemeral,” and “Farewell.” The euro-blasted riffs of Simone Campione have never sounded better than when drenched in the soy sauce of the must-hear keyboard brilliance of Giuseppe Carrubba. The album is an Asiatic journey with a side of duck sauce, and from the opening jungle scene set by "Zhongguo" (the original name of China), the listener is whisked away to a time long ago to watch modern day China take form.In yet another vocal change (the band’s sixth and fourth over the last four releases), Thy Majestie has finally found “the one.” The wonderfully impressive vocals come via Alessio Taormina (Crimson Wind), who has a range that leans towards Fabio Lione, in terms of ability. Incidentally, the comparison can easily be tested with Lione manning the helm on “End of the Days.” Taormina’s high range is perfect, especially in songs like “Seven Reigns,” “Harbinger of a New Dawn” and “Under the Same Sky.”After a darker departure from its true sound on the 2008 release “Dawn,” Thy Majestie has come full circle to the glorious Italian euro-metal that many U.S. fans will hate because of its “stereotypical” and “overdone” sound. I am not one of those. There are enough metal bands in this world to satisfy the tastes of pretty much every fan. If you are one of those metal fans that expects every single band to create new styles or redefine old ones with every single release, then Thy Majestie is not the music you are looking for. For those fans that never tire of the spellbinding melodies, soaring vocals, and movie score majesty, “ShiHuangdi” should be on the ever growing "short list" of great albums released this year.Highs: All the brilliance of Italian euro power metal over a bed of white rice.Lows: Will not impress anyone that hates the stereotypical Italian symphonic metal.Bottom line: Confucius say: 'When stuck in musical mud....press play on 'ShiHuangDi.'" - Metal Underground
    $8.00
  • There is no denying that Nemo's JP Louveton is one hell of a guitarist. His staunch commitment to having French lyrics with Nemo's music has stiffled the band's exposure within much of the progressive rock community. Wolfspring is a new project he has put together - but with English vocals. The music isn't particularly symphonic like Nemo. Instead he goes for a contemporary guitar driven sound that rocks hard. Nemo keyboardist Guillaume Fontaine is also a member of the band but he definitely takes a supporting role. Louveton's guitar takes center spotlight through out.
    $3.00
  • Iced Earth's tenth album features a new vocalist - Stu Block, formerly of Into Eternity. This digipak comes with 3 bonus tracks a sticker and fold-out poster."Iced Earth's revolving door of vocalists continues on their newest release Dystopia. Matt Barlow's second go-around with the band ended earlier this year, and his replacement is Canadian singer Stu Block (Into Eternity).Over the years Iced Earth has cultivated a thrashy power metal sound, which is intact on Dystopia. The songs are dramatic and grandiose, packed with melody and potent riffs. The title track gets the proceedings underway in fine fashion, a very catchy and bold track. After a mellow start, “Anthem” kicks in and becomes appropriately enough, anthemic.Iced Earth has had a legacy of outstanding vocalists, including Barlow and Tim “Ripper” Owens. Block continues that tradition. He has a wide range, and really hits the high notes on songs like “Boiling Point.” He brings a varied performance, and delivers the lyrics convincingly no matter if it's an aggressive lower pitched section, traditional singing or belting it out. He is able to dial it back a notch when needed as well, such as on “Anguish Of Youth.”Like Block's vocal performance, Dystopia as a whole is a varied and diverse release. From ballads to bombastic power metal to harder edged material, Iced Earth covers a lot of bases. It's also much more streamlined than their last couple of albums, with 10 songs clocking it at about 45 minutes.Lineup changes can have a negative effect on a band, but Iced Earth has shown over the years it doesn't phase them at all. That's also the case with this CD. Block fits in extremely well, and Dystopia finds Iced Earth losing no momentum. It may have even given them a little boost." - About.com
    $6.00
  • "My countrymen of The Quill are back with a new album, another one to add to their collection of albums which now equates to seven. They are an experienced band and the album has a sleek and very good looking cover artwork, it almost looks like my cat although he is a bit more wild coloured. Is there any tiger blood in their veins? Well, the title certainly points in that direction, but other than that I don’t know much about these guys and I have never heard them before this album. It is a first, and I always like firsts even though it makes it difficult to compare and also accurately evaluate the album in the grander scheme. But then again, I don’t really know much about stoner rock or metal either.But that is what it is, stoner rock, stoner metal or heavy metal if you like. It is plain and simple rock n roll, no nonsense just heavy, rocking and powerful. It is also rather well produced with a strong singer, and very varied as well. The songs come in a wide range of styles from Status Quo-ish boogie styles guitar playing, some Final Fantasy VII-like melodies and simple stoner rock and many other little interesting angles. It is a rather impressive product that is well performed and the ten tracks are even kept in a decent length with a 45 minute playing time. Compared to earlier works it may or may not be like the predecessor, it is interesting and well made in my book and it feels fresh but of course that isn’t anything I can be certain of as I haven’t heard them before.I think this is a very good album, the songs are all strong. The album has some very good and powerful stuff, it is also catchy and entertaining. Definitely an album well worth listening to as it pushes all the right buttons for anyone wanting straight, simple no-nonsense heavy metal. But not only that, it also feels fresh, and varied so you will not easily get bored with it either. It is a strong and very well crafted album and one that definitely can be recommended to anyone into this kind of music. I don’t think it lacks appeal to fans of other styles of music either. The question is though, will they reach that prospective audience?I think that they might but it needs to be more visible, they have good hits like the opening track Freak Parade which is very strong. Then I also really enjoy the lovely ending track which is a calmer one which is the perfect ending. So it starts well and ends well, and the stuff in between isn’t too shabby either. We have a strong album here, one that I can clearly recommend to anyone who likes their music plain and simple with an in-your-face attitude. It is an enjoyable album, no doubt about that." - Hallowed.se
    $15.00
  • 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