Between Daylight And Pain

SKU: ETLCD20
Label:
End Of Light
Category:
Power Metal
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"Italian power metal band Holy Knights have managed to let ten years elapse between releases. This is not often the best business model- just ask Axl. The band currently consists of Simone Campione (Nexus/Thy Majestie/Ex-Irencors): Guitars, Bass with Claudio Florio (Crimson Wind/Trinakrius/Ex-Synthesys): Drums and Dario Di Matteo: Keyboards/Vocals and they have produced an easy-to-review-for-the-lazy album. Why is it easy? That would be because it would be simple to say something along the lines of, "If you like (insert Euro power metal band such as Rhapsody)...then you'll like Between Daylight and Pain.

In the main this is a generally accurate comparison as Holy Knights bombard the listener with a massive wall of sound including fairground/carnival type music on "Frozen Paradise". They are not quite as over the top as some of their contemporaries and when they rein it in they are like Royal Hunt which is a good thing. Yes it is somewhat of a cheesefest but it reveals a joie de vivre lacking in so much modern music and that makes this reviewer happy." - Sea Of Tranquility

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  • Remastered edition with one bonus track."With Jonathan Cain, Steve Perry, and Neal Schon leading Journey once again, and bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith behind them, it would seem that Trial by Fire would contain the same elements that gave them their stardom in the '80s. Disappointingly, though, there is nothing captivating or even the least bit attractive about this unimaginative release. Perry's singing hasn't lost too much of its power, but the faster tunes come off as contrived and messy. Sounding hard and scattered, the smoothness of their trademarked music is nowhere to be found, replaced with brash, beat-up, hollow rock riffs. The ballads fare no better, as the passion that once flourished within the band when it came to slowing things down has long since faded. Just the fact that Journey reunited may lure fans to this album, but it won't be long before the discontentment begins set in." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • Mr. Norlander's latest opus is in fact a symphonic hommage. It pays tribute to the progressive icons of the 70s. Utilizing the talents of Think Tank musicians Kelly Keeling, Gregg Bissonette, Don Schiff, Mark McCrite and others, Norlander interprets classic prog material from ELP, King Crimson, ELO, Jethro Tull, Procol Harum, Yes ao. You won't believe your ears when you hear his version of ELP's "Pirates". He nails all of Emerson's parts and then some. Impressive!
    $9.00
  • Klone is a French band that has been kicking around for 20 years.  Their sixth album, Here Comes The Sun, finds them changing course adding a more progressive element to their sound.  The music is very melancholy but spacious...quite beautiful in fact.  Think in terms of the mellowest Riverside tracks, Katatonia's unplugged release, Anathema.  In fact quite a bit of this has a similar vibe to their French compatriots Cloverseeds.  Very immersive sounding music that is predominantly about mood but as you scratch your way past the veneer you'll hear all the progressive elements that are lurking underneath.  Quite superb and a 2015 top 10 candidate.  BUY OR DIE!"One spin of this disc and the irony of the album title will loom large; ‘Here Comes The Sun’ is not a record full of funeral doom, black metal or brutal death but the content is certainly dark, bleak and paints vistas in the mind of the listener upon which it would be difficult for the sun to penetrate and cast it’s warm glow.The Poitier-based quintet have been steadily building a following over the course of their 20 year career, with previous albums garnering a fair amount of praise and critical acclaim in the process. However, with ‘Here Comes The Sun’, their sixth album, French progressive rock/metal band Klone have arguably created their finest moment to date, an intense and melancholy affair that isn’t afraid to bare its teeth when the need arises.Klone are not a band that has been content to stand still and recreate the same album each and every time. But then neither has their evolution been full of stark contrasts; instead the talented Gallic bunch have appeared content with a slow and gradual evolution that has seen them shake off a large amount of their more extreme heavy metal influences in favour of a more challenging, almost minimalist mélange of styles centred around more rock-based climes.Sitting at the heart of the music on ‘Here Comes The Sun’ is vocalist Yann Ligner who has a very intriguing style. On the one hand, he has a fragile-sounding clean approach that’s full of emotion and fleetingly reminiscent of Jonas Renkse of Katatonia. On the flip-side, Ligner is able to belt it out with some real power. It’s here that the gravel in his voice becomes apparent and, coupled with his phrasing and intonation, he heavily calls to mind the late Kurt Cobain. Given the fact that I have a strong dislike for grunge, it surprises me quite how much I enjoy Ligner’s voice. Having thought upon it long and hard for a few days I think it comes down to a combination of factors: there’s variety in Ligner’s delivery that shifts to suit the changing moods of the music and perhaps more crucially, I connect with the strong compositions themselves unlike with the vast majority of grunge.And that brings me nicely onto the subject of the music itself which I have to admit is of the highest order. In fact, in the form of ‘Nebulous’, ‘Here Comes The Sun’ features one of the very best songs that I have heard in 2015 so far. It’s one hell of a piece of music which has got me thoroughly addicted. Beginning quietly with a magnificent bass line overlayered with some subtle guitar melodies, it soon delivers a chorus to die for. Ligner croons over a hook-filled and inspired section of music that is achingly beautiful, poignant and catchy as hell. The mid section of the song introduces some post-rock influences before the track reaches its conclusion via another burst of the chorus. It sends shivers down my spine every time and I cannot speak highly enough of this song.Importantly, the remaining nine songs on the album are no slouches either, although I have to say that the cover of ‘Summertime’ that closes the album is my least favourite moment. It’s an interesting version of the classic upon which Klone have stamped their personal mark, but I’m simply not a fan of that song if I’m being entirely honest.In terms of the original material on offer, ‘Here Comes The Sun’ opens up with ‘Immersion’, a real grower of a track that starts off with a quiet melody and modern sampled sounds over which Ligner puts in a mesmerising performance. Big, hypnotic and ominous metal riffs join the fray as the track inexorably builds towards its conclusion. Post-rock/metal influences loom large but it is the power of the driving central riff that carries the song wonderfully without ever fully succumbing to the explosion of sound that threatens to materialise. I’m not normally a fan of brass instruments in my rock music but Mattieu Metzger’s lead saxophone actually adds another positive dimension upon its entry towards the tail end of the track.A feature of Klone’s music is an impressively strong rhythm section, courtesy of drummer Florent Marcadet and bassist Jean Etienne Maillard. Both put in impressive performances but it’s Maillard that catches the ear most of all, thanks to some intricate and genuinely inventive bass work throughout the entire album. I could pretty much pick any song but just take ‘Fog’ as an example of what I’m referring to.‘Gone Up In Flames’ is the closest that Klone get to the mainstream thanks to a cheeky, almost up-beat melody. It is also here that the aforementioned grunge influences come most to the fore. ‘The Drifter’ has a demonstrable prog rock vibe that is vaguely reminiscent of the likes of Riverside and more recent output from Long Distance Calling. Once again the bass is prominent within a very atmospheric composition that benefits from a strong sense of melody and a clever use of shifting dynamics which allows the track to ebb and flow smoothly. ‘Gleaming’ is an instrumental piece that is heavily influenced by recent Katatonia, especially in the tone and delivery of the lead guitar lines courtesy of messrs Guillaume Bernard and Aldrick Guadagnino. However, despite its short length it covers a lot of ground including a brief dabble with ambient sounds.This ambient influence is largely understated within ‘Here Comes the Sun’ but is never far from the surface, meaning that many of the songs are interspersed with gentler, calmer moments to increase the sense of bleak drama that pervades throughout. ‘Come Undone’ is another personal favourite thanks to another gorgeous central melody whilst ‘Grim Dance’ is basically a monster that smoothly blends the best elements of the band and distils it into a single track. The original material is then concluded with ‘The Last Experience’. The longest track on the album, it is also one of the darkest and most claustrophobic, culminating in a post-rock crescendo which comes crashing down in a jarring and deliberately uncomfortable dystopian-esque blaze of static noise.Despite the bleak and grim visage, as the album concludes, I am also left with a vague sense of hope and maybe, going back to the title of the album, it’s here where the glimmer of the sun can be glanced. It may be fleeting and gone in the blink of an eye but it’s definitely there. And perhaps, therein lies the magic of this album. On ‘Here Comes The Sun’, Klone have combined brilliant songwriting, unfaltering execution and a willingness to experiment both musically and lyrically to create a collection of diverse, challenging and evocative soundscapes for the modern world. Highly recommended." - Man Of Much Metal
    $16.00
  • Its been decades since The Gathering would be associated with the metal genre so look elsewhere if you are expecting that.  Afterwords is a bit of a hodge podge release.  Its a follow up to last year's Disclosure.  It features re-recorded/deconstructed versions of material from that album as well as new tunes and tracks that were on the Afterlights EP from 2012.  The album also features a guest appearance by founding member Bart Smits, sounding quite different from how he did in the early days of the band.
    $15.00
  • "The Scottish heavy metal scene is well known for being heavy as hell – bringing the world some of the finest death metal and grindcore bands around. From Cerebral Bore to Achren the musical calibre from Scottish musicians is superb, and it only seems fitting to introduce who break free of this typical scene and go for a more traditional approach to metal. Presenting Ascension, a melodic power metal band from Aberdeen who has so much flare and style in their music, they give the likes of Power Quest, Freedom Call and Blind Guardian a run for their money. By combining lightning fast guitar riffs, powerful melodies and superb, sing along chorus’s, Ascension have created one of the finest power metal albums of the past ten years with Far Beyond the Stars, and hopefully we will see the eventual rise to power of this Scottish five piece within the next few years!Ascension are a band who are putting the British heavy metal scene on the map, and it’s songs such as ‘Blackthorn’, ‘Moongate’ and ‘Orb of the Moons’ that really show just how amazing British musicians are. From the moment the album kicks in, every instrument has it’s time to shown, and whether it be the powerful dual guitar lines, or Ricki Carnies’ phenomenal falsetto voice. Ascension flies the flag, not only for power metal musicians. But all metal musicians, showing that if you have a pure talent for something, you should go out and use it, and that’s what Far Beyond the Stars is jammed full of, brilliant musical talent.Every track on Far Beyond the Stars is a potential single, purely because each song has the wow factor needed to hook a listener. Every song has an extremely catchy chorus that will have you singing along like the characters of Brave Heart on a monster energy drink in no time. Songs like ‘Somewhere Back In Time’, ‘Reflected Life’ and ‘Heavenly’ will sound heavenly when played live and as soon as they come pouring out of the PA – one thing is for sure, the crowd is going to go mental!There are some absolutely mind blowing progressive and acoustic elements on this album too, giving Far Beyond the Stars an extra dimension to this already mind blowing album. Not only showing the bands diversity, but also the bands song writing skills, Ascension have thought outside the box with this release, and through tracks like the beautiful power ballad that is ‘The Silver Tides’ and the 10 minute epic ‘The Avatar’, show just why they are one of the best UK based metal bands….. Hell to that in fact, one of the world’s best metal bands.If you are a fan of power metal, you will absolutely be blown away by Far Beyond the Stars. If you call yourself a metal fan, you will also be blown away by Far Beyond the Stars. It’s an album that appeals to everyone. People say that European power metal rocks…… The fact is that Scottish power metal doesn’t just rock…….. It kills! " - Planet Mosh
    $13.00
  • "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
  • "Newcomers, UK rock band Snakecharmer is a super-group comprised of long-time veterans from some very successful British blues/hard-rock band and the band’s self-titled debut album comes out on Frontiers Records on Feb. 5th. The band plays bluesy, guitar-driven arena rock so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the band was brought together by original Whitesnake members Micky Moody (guitar) and Neil Murray (bass). Other members of the band include Adam Wakeman (Ozzy/Black Sabbath) on keyboards, Laurie Wisefield (x-Wishbone Ash) on guitar, Harry James (x-Thunder, Magnum) on drums and Chris Ousey (x-Virginia Wolf, Heartland). Similar to Moody and Murray’s previous project, Company of Snake, this new band is closer in sound to Bad Company than Whitesnake but you can hear elements of the ‘snake and even early Foreigner in some of the songs." - Brooklyn Rocks 
    $9.00
  • "“Appalachian Court is a new, all acoustic album from Odin’s Court, firmly rooted in acoustic rock. It has its own, unique, well blended sound featuring aspects of various genres such as rock, progressive, folk, country, bluegrass, reggae, jazz, and more.” The album contains completely rearranged versions of tracks from three previous Odin's Court albums: Driven by Fate, Deathanity and Human Life In Motion. For the first time, the band is including covers on the release."
    $3.00
  • "Australia is home to many fine progressive acts like Voyager, Arcane, Vanishing Point, Karnivool and the Melbourne based band Eyefear. The Inception Of Darkness illustrates once again why Eyefear are such a likeable group, and together with those fellow bands mentioned above are proving the land down under has plenty of progressive talent.This band has been around for quite some time and Eyefear's last release The Unseen came out in 2008 and it is one CD I have returned to many times. The Unseen is such a good metal album, and as you can tell from my score below I like The Inception Of Darkness a great deal also.Like Tomorrow's Eve and the heavier progressive bands, Eyefear perform a potent selection of animated metal, while clean vocals dominate this recording with some darker spoken words on track four which really suits the haunting material. Eyefear's lead vocalist Danny Cecati has a different style than most as he tends to hold his notes longer and is well suited to their songs. With eight tracks on the standard version, the special version has additional tunes which are orchestral versions of three songs off the album and are very well done indeed. I really like the use of keyboards on this recording, they are very tasteful and combine so well with the other instruments which also sound impressive. The two part title tracks "The Inception Of Darkness Part 1 – Transcending" and "The Inception Of Darkness Part 2 – Reborn" are two of the best being both dramatic and powerful, "Redemption" is another good lively song that opens this new album while "Legions" is a fine heavy closer. The Inception Of Darkness has plenty of appeal and that attraction continues to grow with each listen of this newest Eyefear release.Of the vast number of Progressive Metal groups, Eyefear certainly belongs amid the upper ranks, as The Inception Of Darkness is that good." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $15.00
  • Second album from this exciting band from Tunisia. Myrath is heavily influenced by the progressive power metal style of Symphony X but on this album they have given us a swerve. Although he sings in English, the band's new vocalist sings in a traditional Arabic style. There is a more pronounced Middle Eastern flavor in the songwriting but there is still the neoclassical/prog element very much present. Its a unique sound - I wouldn't even compare them to Orphaned Land who take a different path. These guys clearly are not afraid to carve out their own path.
    $14.00
  • New 2CD edition includes both Home and NY Suite resequenced into their originally intended order. Comes with a slipcase.
    $18.00
  • 2nd album from Norwegian prog band now signed to Elevate Records. The music stays the course featuring lots of symphonic keyboard leads, crunchy guitar riffs but this time there is a touch more agression in Sindre's vocals. Fans of the the first album will dig this one as well.
    $21.00
  • Its been seven years since the first release from The Fractured Dimension.  The core of the band is led by two ex-members of the avant metal band Scholomance: Jimmy Pitts (keyboards) and Jerry Twyford (bass).Given the extensive lineup of guest musicians Pitts and Twyford have corraled one would expect a supreme tech metal blow out.  In parts you get that but there are very strong symphonic rock, classical and fusion elements woven into the music.    Essentially they let the musicians be themselves and it makes it more challenging and interesting to hear them work their styles in to the compositions.OK so here is who is on th album:Jimmy Pitts (keys), Jerry Twyford (bass), Hannes Grossmann (drums), Vishal J Singh, Tom "Fountainhead" Geldschlager, and Tom Kopyto on guitars, Joe Deninzon (violin), Kasturi Nath Singh (Indian Classical Fusion Vocals), and guest guitar solos by Christian Muenzner, Marcel Coenen, Alex Machacek, Mike Abdow, Pete Pachio, Aaron Roten, Bill Bruce, and Jeremy Barnes.So you have guys from Obscura and lots of insane guitar soloists letting it all hang out with overlays of keyboards, violin all thrown at you with lots of intensity.  The whole thing will keep you off balance and I promise you won't be bored.  Highly recommended."“How can less be more? That’s impossible. More is more”, is a famous quote by Yngwie Malmsteen, and US/Germany-based super-group The Fractured Dimension have turned that statement into their modus operandi through their new album ‘Galaxy Mechanics’. By just looking at the star-studded 16-man line-up, not many would expect anything less than all-out super-technical music: a sound the band itself has labelled ‘Cosmic Instrumental Metal’.Despite the large number of members, from over 7 countries, Keyboardist Jimmy Pitts and bassist Jerry Twyford are the ones spearheading The Fractured Dimension, while the others have special and guest appearances on the record. Where you’d see drummer Hannes Grossmann (ex-Necrophagist, ex-Obscura, Blotted Science, Alkaloid), you’d see his Alkaloid band-mate and guitarist Christian Muenzner, and where you’d see Christian, you’d see current Obscura guitarist Tom Fountainhead Geldschlager, and the list goes on. It includes guitarists Tom Kopyto, Mike Abdow, Jeremy Barnes, Bill Bruce, Marcel Coenen, Alex Machacek, Pete Pachio and Aaron Roten. Indian guitarist Vishal J Singh is also among the ranks, as is Indian classical fusion vocalist Kasturi Singh and violinist Joe Deninzon.The album is extremely complex, and features an incredible range of musical styles not just through different instruments and tones, but through stylistic variations within an instrument itself. For example, the guitarists exercise their own style of playing, and since different guitarists worked on different tracks on the album, each song is given a unique vibe. The songs are progressive and only subtly repetitive, while each one is quite different from the other not only in terms of the guitars, like mentioned, but also in the way they’re structured and layered instrumentally.Dealing with each track individually is impossible because of their highly complex nature, but some of the high points from the album include songs like “Displacement” and “Elysian” which, like the other tracks, make use of interesting keyboard patches and time changes. The bass and keyboards are prominent everywhere and along with some brilliant drumming, form the backbone of the sound around which the guitars weave their magic.However, the main issue that needs to be addressed is this: does all of this complexity and variation give rise to music that is, put simply, enjoyable? Not everyone may appreciate the highly intricate music, but it makes no sense to say that The Fractured Dimension tried to impress everybody anyway. What can be seen, or rather, what flares up and makes itself obvious in the music, is the honesty behind it. The songs do not feel like they are forced, and the creative freedom of the musicians is in full display here. If one can see this honesty for himself/herself, that person will end up enjoying Galaxy Mechanics. There aren’t many other albums for which the same thing can be said, so the album is a definite hit and not a miss, and while dealing with super-technical and intricate music it is very easy to go wrong.A quarrel one could pick with Jimmy Pitts and Co. involves intriguing song titles, like “Bolshevikian Mythological Creature” and “Seventh Hymn to Nibiru” for example, and no vocals and lyrics to explain them. This doesn’t mean the music would be better off with vocals, but it means that there is no vocal expression of these concepts in a manner everybody can understand. Other than this, Galaxy Mechanics is a sublime effort from The Fractured Dimension, and one can only wonder what this exceptional pool of talent will conjure up next." - Metalwani
    $9.00