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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  • A jaw dropping jazz rock monolith from an unlikely source - Southern Lord Records.  Fontanelle was formed years ago from the ashes of the space rock outfit Jessamine.  Led by guitarist Rex Ritter and keyboardist Andy Brown, the Fontanelle ensemble set out to recreate the sound of early 70s fusion icons Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock.  Vitamin F genuinely sounds like a mash up of Davis' Bitches Brew and Hancock's Mwandishi.  No other way to describe it.  The band is augmented with horns and lots of guests.  You would never imagine that these guys were connected with Sun O))).  Not only highly recommended but possibly 2012's best release.  "When Southern Lord Records – home of Eagle Twin, Sunn O))), Black Breath and Earth – releases an album by a jazz fusion collective, you know that things are not going to be entirely as you might expect. At the very least your expectations will be challenged, and it’s possible that you might be very surprised indeed. That being the case, then, what is this Portland, Oregon band all about?Well, the good news is that the music is challenging, engaging and intelligent; it takes its cues from jazz, fusion, post rock, avant-garde, ambient and even some forms of metal (doom, for example). Most obvious is the debt it owes to Bitches Brew (but then, what modern jazz doesn’t?), but there’s also Head Hunters-era Herbie Hancock and indeed something of Can in the mix.Metal it is not, but the boundaries of what musicians – and, for that matter, fans – will allow themselves to get involved with are more fluid than ever (think Alex Skolnick Trio and Steve DiGiorgio’s Dark Hall as two obvious examples). Add to that the phenomenon that is post rock with its penchant for extended, sometimes improvised pieces, and there is absolutely no reason why this album shouldn’t cross over successfully. Those with long memories or suitably expansive record collections can cast their minds back to the exciting, innovative movement that was ‘70s jazz fusion, with its links to the heavier side of music – John McLaughlin’s machine gun guitar, The Brecker Brothers’ Heavy Metal Be Bop and Jeff Beck’s Wired.So the influences are many, the lineage can be traced back to some of the key works in the pantheon and the album provides an eclectic mix of songs. It’s part acoustic, part electric: Fontanelle don’t tie themselves down to a particular style, or burden themselves with a musical template that must be used at all times. They are so much more than that. While there are moments of quiet, acoustic sound, there are also passages of fuzzed up keyboards, guitar and space rock-like electronica.Opener ‘Watermelon Hands’ needs no expansion of its influences – they’re hidden in plain sight – although the sound is in many ways just as close to an album like Future 2 Future as it is to Head Hunters. It has a steady tempo that introduces the album very well and features a host of sounds and instruments within its five minute duration. ‘The Adjacent Possible’ continues in a similar stylistic vein, although I like to think I can hear something of Ray Manzarek in there too. And understand that these comparisons are used purely to provide some context: the music is very much Fontanelle’s own sound and not something that is just derivative. It would do the band a huge disservice to fail to acknowledge the level of originality on display throughout Vitamin F. The band plays with sounds on ‘When The Fire Hits The Forest’ as effects-laden guitar and keyboard add a cosmic element to the song, its hypnotic rhythm the backbone upon which is hung the complexities of the composition. This is jazz for the new millennium, in spite of any ‘70s influences, the band really letting loose with wave after wave of musical themes and ideas.‘Ataxia’ utilises brass melody with a heavy accompaniment, perhaps as close to rock as you can get while still maintaining a jazz demeanour; while ‘Reassimilated’ is quieter but no less interesting as it brings the album to a gentle and satisfying close.If you like jazz or jazz fusion you will like this album, of that I have no doubt. If you’re not familiar with those musical genres, then Vitamin F could be the ideal place for you to start. It’s a great album and well worth checking out. " - Ghost Cult
    $14.00
  • "Stellar electric instrumental folk rock. Skenet are four young musicians who grew up in rural Sweden and started playing the fiddle when they were kids. They stand for the renewal of the genre and take it in new and truly exciting directions with electric guitars and Mellotrons, among other instrumentation. Members Lena and Staffan, who both are also legitimate riksspelmän (National Folk Musicians of Sweden), have previously worked with bands like Dungen. Now they present their own musical vision. If you dig progressive psych and folk this is definitely for you."
    $16.00
  • 1978's Casino is considered by many to be the pinnacle of DiMeola's solo career but frankly I'm not sure how you can pick and chose. By now he had established his sound and stuck to his guns. A masterful display of musicianship.
    $7.00
  • Salvaged from the vaults of RCA Italy is this legendary prog album from Morgan Fisher and Co. Anyone who is a fan of British progressive rock must own this keyboard intensive masterpiece. New remastered edition gets the Mark Powell/Esoteric love. Essential.
    $17.00
  • "The Netherlands are a fertile ground for bands that are strongly influenced from the heavy sounds of the early 1970's, and Orange Sunshine and Wallrus may serve as good examples here. New to that bands is DEWOLFF, founded in 2007 in a Southern part of the Netherlands (Limburg) called Geleen. The band consists of three very young guys between the ages of 14 and 18, but they sound as if they were playing music since twenty years. Here, we have their debut album, released at the end of 2009 by REMusic Records and I'm surprised in a positive sense about the quality of their music. Even though the riffage, harmonies, guitar leads are reminiscent of all well-known classic rock bands - Deep Purple, Atomic Rooster, Groundhogs, Cream - this album distills it all and still manages to sound totally different. It's all there with smokin' guitars and bellowing organs that summon the gods back to the days of 1970's hardrock. Despite this, the production is modern which makes sure that the band isn't on a complete musical retro trip. What also strikes me is the variety of 'Strange Fruits And Undiscovered Plants'. You can find heavy organ-based songs such as the opener 'Mountain' or 'Don't You Go Up In The Sky' which convinces with powerful rippin' leads that are guaranteed to rock your ass.In contrast to the aforementioned tracks, 'Birth Of The Ninth Sun' is a soulful ballad with additional piano. In the middle section is a sinister psychedelic segement which reminds me to The Doors. But not only there are strong doses of psychedelia. 'Parloscope' awakens the spirit of 1960's psych with the help of intense melodies - interspersed with heavy organ. With 'Red Sparks Of The Morning Dusk' DEWOLFF displays their talent to combine psychedelic pop with organ-based hardrock and jazz. Especially the saxophon in the last quarter is simply excellent. What I also like very much are the clear vocals of organist Robin Piso that fits in beautifully with their sound. Moreover, he also takes on the function of a bass player with his organ just as Ray Manzarek (The Doors) had done years before. Well, to put it simple: all songs are packed with great memorable riffs, cool arrangements and superb musicianship. I can assure that 'Strange Fruits And Undiscovered Plants' will please every fan of classic/retro hardrock. Oh yes, not to forget, that the LP has a different cover artwork, but the packaging of the CD is also very tasteful." - Cosmic Lava
    $15.00
  • Pain Of Salvation started it, Opeth followed, and Steven Wilson capped it...we thought. Dark Suns continues to evolve with no two albums sounding alike. Grave Human Genuine found them moving into an avant metal/progressive rock direction. Orange now finds the band wholly embracing 70s progressive rock. There are heavy moments but the band shows its hand offering up Hammond organ and Mellotron. The heavier tunes feature angst driven vocals that will scratch that VDGG itch. Melodic and intricate Dark Suns has somehow managed to come up with an album that will appeal to fans of old school prog, modern prog, and even the quirky side of metal. Highly recommended.
    $11.00
  • Numbered limited edition hybrid SACD of this late 80s Rush title.  The key here is in the mastering.  Kevin Gray is at the controls and he does a consistently great job.  I would expect this to be the definitive digital edition.
    $27.00
  • 2013 debut from this outstanding space rock/stoner offshoot from 35007.  Lots of burbling keyboard sounds but the guitar riffs are heavy and relentless.  New album due momentarily!This reviewer got it right:"Although at its most expansive, Monomyth‘s Monomyth ranges well into a cosmos of Krautrock-infused progadelia, there isn’t one moment of the album that feels like happenstance. Rather, the den Haag instrumental five-piece put an immediate sense of purpose into their Burning World Records self-titled debut — which is bound as well to grab extra attention owing to the involvement of drummer Sander Evers, formerly of Dutch heavy psych groundbreakers 35007 — and each of the five extended cuts on the 57-minute outing offers a complete individual journey while also flowing directly one to the next, so that the whole of the album is built up around these at times breathtakingly cohesive parts. The exception to that rule of flow is the 17-minute closer, “Huygens,” which comes on following silence at the end of the penultimate “Loch Ness,” but even that seems to have been a conscious decision on the part of the band — Evers on drums, Selwyn Slop on bass, Thomas van den Reydt on guitar, Peter van der Meer on keys and Tjerk Stoop credited with “synthesis and processing” in the album’s liner, which I assume means laptop — and certainly “Huygens” doesn’t detract from the overall liquidity of Monomyth for its slow fade in from the aforementioned silence, only adding to it a grand payoff patiently built toward that justifies the song’s position as the finale without losing sight of the progressive vibe. One could spend a lifetime immersed in the heavy prog spectrum of the early and mid ’70s, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that one or more of the members of Monomyth has, but in truly progressive form, the production here is modern-sounding to its very core. Modern-sounding, but not over-produced, it’s worth pointing out, and Monomyth walk just as careful a line in their presentation of their self-titled as they do in the intricate sense of composition and technicality that rests at the core of “Vanderwaalskrachten” (11:26), “Vile Vortices” (8:28), “The Groom Lake Engine” (10:06), “Loch Ness” (10:24) and “Huygens” (17:04) — all the titles coming together to blend into a theme of something unknown, scientific and otherworldly.Whichever came first, those titles or the songs themselves, the pieces are clearly meant to be taken in a complete listen with how each feeds into the one following. Still, there doesn’t seem to be a narrative at work across them, or at least not in the sense of “Jack runs here, Jack goes there.” “Vanderwaalskrachten” begins with sparse guitar and synth hum, setting up a swirl and lushness of sound that will prove almost constant but for a few purposeful moments of minimalism. Setting a patient tone, the drums kick in around two minutes in with the bass and the dynamic at the core of Monomyth‘s Monomyth is established; the rhythm section holds pieces together so that the guitar, keys and other elements are free to explore, which they do, again, not without a pervasive sense of purpose. The initial impression is similar in its smoothness and moody underpinnings to Germany’s My Sleeping Karma, but as “Vanderwaalskrachten” — named for the attractions between molecules and intermolecular forces — hits a pre-midpoint peak of heavy guitar riffing later to reemerge as a kind of instrumental chorus, it’s that much clearer that the band haven’t yet played their entire hand. A solo follows topping space rock pulsations and carries into a quiet bridge marked out by some funky organ work, only to find that chorus return again late in the track, giving all the more an impression of structure. Actually, “Vanderwaalskrachten” winds up rather traditional at its heart, just presented in a much different form than a phrase like “verse/chorus structure” might conjure in the mind of the listener. Likewise careful not to get underway too quickly, “Vile Vortices” — aka the Devil’s Graveyards; the Bermuda Triangle, Indus Valley, Algerian Megaliths, et. al. — unfolds to Floydian leads punctuated by xylophone-sounding percussion given flourish by jazzy keys before bass and organ introduce the crux of the build, Evers holding steady on drums behind. Those leads return, but structurally, “Vile Vortices” is different from its predecessor, more linear, and after five minutes in, it breaks to introduce a heavier riff that acts as the foundation for the build over the remainder of the track, which rounds out with a drone leading right into “The Groom Lake Engine,” the  centerpiece of Monomyth.To expect an immediate rush from “The Groom Lake Engine” would be ignoring the overarching flow from the first two tracks. The song unfolds from the drone that becomes its intro to airy guitars, periodic stretches of heavier progressions and synth filling out the spaces between. Groom Lake, Nevada, being the location of Area 51, the track remains consistent with the mysterious, potentially alien elements at work from earlier cuts, and true to “Vile Vortices” before it, with about three minutes left, the guitar introduces a heavier riff — following a few measures of surprisingly bluesy wah — that will march the song out, though in a blend, a chugging refrain from the first few minutes returns at the end. No matter how far out they may have gone, Monomyth haven’t forgotten their basic methodology. A telling moment hits prior to the halfway mark of “The Groom Lake Engine” and gives a glimpse at the dynamic that seems to be at the root of the band’s approach; Slop and Evers sticking to repetitions of a central figure while van den Reydt adds flourish around it, soon joined by the keys and other elements. For a moment, it’s easy to see where the songs actually come from. Feedback after the ending crescendo fades to a quiet opening for “Loch Ness,” which is Monomyth‘s most mainstream reference and their most effective linear build, starting serene and psychedelic at first and moving slowly towards the six-minute mark, at which a turn brings about darkly progressive riffs — sustained organ notes add a sense of classic horror cinema — and further, heavier build. They are still well in control, however far they delve into that movement, and the transition to “Huygens” afterwards is no less easy to make for the small break between the tracks. Curious synth winds around exploratory guitar lines as bass and drums — as ever — keep steady, and soon start-stop bass and guitar emerge to set the tone for the song’s first half, contrasted a bit by a heavier “chorus” but never too far away from whence it comes.Named for the probe that was the first to land in the outer region of the solar system — it went to Saturn’s moon Titan, presumably to look for sirens — “Huygens,” also the name of the Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens who first studied Saturn’s rings, splits at about halfway in. This is all the more fitting conceptually, since the Huygens probe was launched with Cassini, which went on to take the farthest-from-Earth photograph that’s ever been taken, shot from Saturn’s orbit. Whether or not that split had anything to do with the music of “Huygens,” I don’t know, but it would be easy to conceive of the descending guitar lines at the song’s midpoint as entry to an atmosphere. That descending figure remains layered in beneath the ensuing build and payoff, which, gorgeously melodic and pushed seemingly ever forward, leaves nothing to be desired in terms of providing an apex for Monomyth as a whole. The band finished surprisingly noisy over the course of their last minute-plus — could that be the signal from Huygens breaking up? — but when they bring “Huygens” down to radio silence, the effect is striking and shows one last time that whatever Monomyth might be pushing toward aesthetically with any given part, they remain aware of their surroundings at all times. If I thought this was as far as they could or wanted to go creatively, I’d call it mastery, but it seems that with their debut, Monomyth are beginning a journey rather than ending one. They’ve made it from a molecular level to the rings of Saturn and offered no lack of mystery between, all the while managing to offset prog’s usual staid technicality with a stridently human consciousness, resulting in a first outing as engaging as it is accomplished." - The Obelisk
    $9.00
  • New edition of the band's second album features a remix by Rob Reed and remastered sound courtesy of Bob Katz (who called me to proclaim this "reference recording material"). There is a bonus DVD (NTSC - region 0) which features a 5.1 remix and video footage of Rob and Steve Reed in the studio as well as some Magenta official bootleg clips of Seven material. Wonderful followup to their 2001 debut. "Seven" is a concept album based on the 7 deadly sins. So you get 7 tracks crammed into a 76 minute disc filled with stunning female vocals and a musical melange that recalls the salad days of prog bands. Genesis fans will trip out on this one! Highly recommended.
    $19.00
  • 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
  • Their first real prog effort. Killer keyboard excursions in an ELP vein.
    $12.00
  • This is the special edition that arrives in a digipak. There is a bonus DVD containing all kinds of documentary material as well as an instrumental mix of the album.After the successful release of Milliontown it appeared as though composer Jem Godfrey got the prog itch out of his system and was going to abandon any future Frost projects. Planned live gigs were cancelled leaving his fanbase wondering. Well he's put the band together again, now with Darwin's Radio guitarist Declan Burke on vocals, and created another neoprog disc that will get fans buzzing again. Like Milliontown its obvious that Spock's Beard is a primary influence on him. The musical resemblance is uncanny in spots. The music is dynamic and modern and extremely melodic. To his credit Godfrey isn't afraid to heavy it up - there is some good crunch here (by prog rock standards at least). With John Mitchell, Andy Edwards, and John Jowitt returning this one turns out to once again be a neoprog fan's wetdream.
    $12.00
  • "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
  • Termo Records reissue program of the White Willow catalog continues.  This remastered edition features new artwork and liner notes as well as 4 previously unreleased bonus tracks.Seven songs of melancholy and mysticism... White Willow's music embraces gothic, folk and classical elements within a progressive rock framework. The second release from Norway's White Willow carries on in the tradition of their debut Ignis Fatuus. Joining founders Jacob Holm-Lupo and Jan Tariq Rahman are new members Frode Lia, Sylvia Erichsen and Anglagard's Mattias Olsson. Also returning is engineer Jo Wang who's audiophile approach to recording has once again created a sonic masterpiece. Ex Tenebris features a dynamic mix - from moody quiet instrospection to heavy symphonic pyrotechnics. Perhaps more personal and focused than Ignis Fatuus, yet the album offers a more mature sound. Clearly one of the finest progressive rock bands currently recording.
    $16.00