Blood

SKU: 8874-2
Label:
Century Media
Category:
Gothic Metal
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"After In This Moment's 2007 debut, the Los Angeles quintet took part in something called the "Hot Chicks of Metal Tour." More recently, Revolver named vocalist Maria Brink one of the "Hot Chicks in Hard Rock." But all that boob-centric press is just a distraction from the band's cathartic and colorful brand of metal, and — in particular — Brink's crotch-punching wonder of a voice. In a thoroughly male-dominated genre, she's the real deal — and on Blood, her band's fourth full-length, she's never been more hypnotic. Throughout, producer Kevin Churko helps balance creepy, electro-tinged art-rock and Hot Topic-styled metal-core. The results are intermittently fascinating: opener "Rise with Me" is a simmering electro-orchestral stunner, with Brink belting some of the most powerful vocals you'll hear all year, regardless of genre. The industrial grind on title track "Blood" is both demented and undeniably catchy, with Brink shrieking, "I'm a dirty, dirty girl" over a souped-up bassline and atmospheric guitar fills. Meanwhile, on "11:11," our hostess channels her inner goth-soul princess over gorgeous, wordless harmonies — sort of like Amy Winehouse drowning in a bath of acid. At its most conventional (like on the rote, quiet-loud metal-pop of "Whore"), Blood sounds like R-rated Evanescence — a waste of such devilish talents. Elsewhere, In This Moment are up to some weird, wild, wonderful stuff." - The Boston Phoenix

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    $14.00
  • "Progressive rock and boy-band pop seem like natural enemies at first. The former's fascination with ornate, elongated passages of finger-exhausting musicianship is in almost every way the opposite of the latter's emphasis on catchiness first; it's hard to imagine turn-of-the-millennium hits like "Bye Bye Bye" with extended guitar and keyboard solos. Yet ever since A Doorway to Summer, their 2005 debut, Moon Safari has put to rest the notion that progressive-minded songwriters can't make pop that's as hook-driven as it is ostentatious. Grandiloquent epics like "Other Half of the Sky," from the 2008 double album Blomljud, weave together widescreen arrangements with the band's signature five-part vocal harmony, a feature unmatched by few groups in any genre, anywhere. It's easy to isolate the audience with solipsistic soloing and obtuse orchestrations, but from day one Moon Safari has made prog that—assuming the layperson were more amenable to songs that run upwards of thirty minutes—could lead them to something like a pop crossover hit.But while the union of hook-heavy vocal interplay and '70's prog stylistics gives Moon Safari an unmistakable, unique sound, it also handicapped them in a significant way for their first two LPs. The group's accessibility on A Doorway to Summer and Blomljud, along with its technical prowess, is unassailable, but the high-fructose sweetness of its style leads to a diabetic rush when stretched out onto songs that span ten to thirty minutes. For example, "Other Half of the Sky," the titanic thirty minute showstopper off of Blomljud, has so many memorable hooks that by the time it's run its time out, it's hard to remember all of them. The classic problem of "too many voices leads to a noisy room" was the defining problem of Moon Safari's otherwise enjoyable sound for some time. All that changed, however, in 2010 with the release of Lover's End.It is no exaggeration—even as the decade remains young—to say that Lover's End is one of the finest progressive rock records of the '00's. Hell, it's not even crazy to say that it's one of the finest pop albums of the '00s; anyone, even those turned off by prog's eccentricities, can find something to love on this mellifluous collection of songs. From the a cappella charm of "Southern Belle" to the hook-loaded "New York City Summergirl," Lover's End is chock full of goodness from beginning to end. What explains its genius is that in contrast to A Doorway to Summer and Blomljud, the songs are given exactly the amount of space they need, and not a second more. Some songwriters may feel hamstrung by the verse/chorus structure, but it's a perfect fit for Moon Safari's joyous approach to music.With their newest studio outing, Himlabacken, Vol. 1, Moon Safari continue the refining of their sound, and while this isn't the breakthrough that Lover's End was, it nonetheless attests to the brilliance of this group. Whereas the latter was bound by a loose concept (love and heartbreak), Himlabacken Vol. 1 is less a lyrics album than its predecessor. The cost of this is that the music is less distinct in its cohesiveness, but there are no shortage of catchy passages and amped-up solos. "Mega Moon" comes off as a tribute to musical theatre, with "The Very Model of A Modern Major General" vocal delivery interweaving with Queen-esque bombast to an impressive effect. "Too Young to Say Goodbye" sees and matches the polyharmonic beauty of "Lover's End (Part One)." By sticking to concise song formats—the longest cut here runs nine and a half minutes—Moon Safari ensures that things never run out of steam, an essential quality to any good progressive rock band.If nothing else, Himlabacken, Vol. 1 proves that there's one thing Moon Safari can't be accused of: being unaware of themselves. Grand finale "Sugar Band" is as much a statement of identity as it is a slice of epic pop: "Sweet and saccharine are we," they declare, followed by "syrup's the blood in our veins." (Less successful is the clumsy Katy Perry innuendo of, "suck our big candy canes," which is thematically consistent but tonally off.) Both "Sugar Band" and "Little Man," one of the few Moon Safari songs to feature a solo vocal, are emblematic of the mushiness that might turn some prog fans away from their music. The latter, while obviously a touching document of a father's love for his son, does feel a bit out of place in how deeply personal it is; part of the strength of this group's sonic is the universality of its pop appeal, and the intimacy behind "My Little Man" makes listening to it an almost voyeuristic experience. "Mega Moon" and "Sugar Band" are better at capturing the convivial spirit of the band that's accessible to all.As with past outings, even those drawn to vocal harmonies might find it hard to stomach all of the sweetness of Himlabacken, Vol. 1. But what ultimately makes this LP successful is its unpretentious commitment to fun. Moon Safari are a rare collective that prove daunting musical chops aren't anathema to accessibility, and with Himlabacken, Vol. 1 they've made a recording that, while not the magnum opus that Lover's End was, is as true a capturing of their ethos as there could ever be. Sating a sweet tooth brings to mind the phrase "guilty pleasure," but there's no guilt involved with music as first-class as this. Who knew being in a boy band could sound so classy? " - Sea Of Tranquility
    $16.00
  • "Danish hard rock group Pretty Maids has been around since the early 1980s, and was founded by guitarist Ken Hammer and singer Ronnie Atkins - both of whom are still very much part of the outfit. With numerous line-up changes over the years, Pandemonium was recorded by long-time bassist Kenn Jackson (now no longer with the band), and more recent additions Allan Tschicaja on drums and Morten Sandager on keyboards. Back in 1983 Pretty Maids already had a record deal and were opening concerts for the likes of Black Sabbath and Rainbow. By 1987 they had released their 3rd LP Future World, an album produced by Roger Glover (Deep Purple, Rainbow). The LP was something of a breakthrough in Europe, America and the Far East, and was followed over the years by numerous other albums, seldom with more than 2 or 3 years between each. Pandemonium, the band's 12th album, follows 2006's Wake up to the Real World. Produced by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat), the album has a big sound with tons of clarity and a monstrously big vibe. Every performance is first class; from the sleaze-tinged vocals to the epic symphonic keyboards. In fact it's bloody hard to criticise anything on the record. The only downside is that some of the songs are merely 'good', not outstanding. Still, an album full of good songs with the occasional amazing one is not to be sniffed at... Best moments? The rampant title track will leave you breathless. The chorus of the cleverly titled (think about it) 'I.N.V.U.' is sooo catchy, as is the chorus of the superb 'Little Drops Of Heaven'. The retro-keyboard-led 'Final Day of Innocence' has an understated beauty. The aggressive 'Cielo Drive' shows just how versatile these guys are. The Bon-Jovi-keyboards-meets-power-metal of 'It Comes at Night' is a beast. The Def Leppard X-era 'Old Enough to Know' is a nice slow ballad. Best of the lot though is the power-ballad 'Breathless'. It really is superb and deserves all the praise it has thrown at it. Definitely a song that'll be in the running for ballad of the year. All in all, this album only misses out on greatness by a mosquito's hair-width. What Pretty Maids have created is so close to brilliance it hurts. One thing is certain: you won't go far wrong buying this. Unless you like reggae. But the less said about that the better." - rockrealms.com
    $15.00
  • Hardbound mediabook edition with one bonus track."I haven't had anything similar on my musical plate for a while, so Gazpacho's eighth album Demon was an interesting, beautifully surprising and absolutely brilliant variation. Again Gazpacho mixes progressive sounds with electronic elements and folk instrumentation with the addition of dynamic riffing and amazing vocals. The outcome is a unique sound that is quite inimitable and rare to find. How much you enjoy the new record will mainly depend on how you respond to this incredible mix and the singing style used by the vocalist. Anyway Gazpacho rules, especially at night.I'm a great fan of these guys and for those of you that still don't know who they are, Gazpacho is a band formed in Oslo, Norway in 1996 by childhood friends, Jon-Arne Vilbo and Thomas Andersen, along with Jan-Henrik Ohme - later joined by Mikael Krømer, Lars Erik Asp and Kristian Torp; they released their debut album Bravo in 2003.Demon, the upcoming record, is a concept album based on the true story of a manuscript found in an apartment in Prague where the writer, a previous resident, had detailed his chase of an evil, “The Demon”. Demon is for sure full of emotion and humanity and the way the Norwegian band reproduces in music the diabolical story and the psychosis of the protagonist is wonderful.The story is told in four parts and it starts with 'I've been walking – part 1' and it couldn't start in a better low-key fashion way. There’s something disarmingly powerful about loud vocals from Jahn Henrik Ohme that add incredible depth to a song. The intermittent piano notes are just perfect and the delicate violin sound is like a nice shade of color you don't notice on painting but that painting wouldn't be the same without it. A great bonus.The second part of 'I've been walking' – that is the third track of the album – starts exactly where the first movement of the piece ends but adding a dark shadow to the overall atmosphere. There are still vocals but now are slower and they mix perfectly with the other instruments. The bass is gorgeous and the way the song turns into a more ambient and atmospherical dimension is great. It's such a damn good track and together, 'I've been walking' parts I and II, might be the best tunes that Gazpacho has ever written.The mix of sounds of the opening track changes completely in 'The Wizard of Altai Mountain' becoming electronic in the first part of the track and turning into a sort of gipsy or Yiddish sound in the second half. We are all crossing lands pursuing the demon.The story ends with 'Death Room' and the motifs of the 'The Wizard of Altai Mountain' come back like creating a circle with that song. Oriental sound, progressive rock and folk are all mixed together and the resulting fusion sound is incredible. I rarely make direct comparison among artists but this time I cannot avoid to think of Radiohead's music mixed with folk elements to create an intricate yet beautifully original tone. Other times they make me think of the Scandinavian prog-rock band Airbag but again Gazpacho find their way to be definitely unique.The story ends here and Demon too, a captivating and intriguing album that is absolutely brilliant. I like the way it flows song by song and the variety of sounds blended in it. Such experimentalism is the proof that the Norwegian guys are really talented and they deserve to be considered one of the best progressive rock bands on the scene today.Demon is an album that requires time and patience to be understood and to gain the listener's estimation and it will reward open minded audience. Play it in the dark to fully experience its great music." - Echoes And Dust
    $13.00
  • 30th anniversary edition of the last album from the 80s lineup. This album is a bit hit and miss - it has some extremely adventurous material but also seems like a band about to fracture (no pun intended). This features six bonus tracks and is HDCD compatible.
    $15.00
  • District 97, is the only progressive rock band in the world to feature an American Idol finalist and a Chicago Symphony Orchestra virtuoso cellist.The band was formed in the Fall of 2006 by drummer Jonathan Schang, keyboardist Rob Clearfield, bassist Patrick Mulcahy and guitarist Sam Krahn. The foursome from Chicago honed a no-holds barred style of Liquid Tension Experiment-inspired instrumental rock before deciding the right vocalist was needed to complement their sound; enter 2007 American Idol Top 10 Femal Finalist, Leslie Hunt. With a look, sound and stage presence comparable to a young Ann Wilson, Leslie's dynamic performances pushed the band into a new direction that forged a unique marriage between accessible, cathy vocal melodies and an adventurous instrumental prowess.After attending a show and being highly impressed, Katinka Kleijn, cellist extraordinaire from the world renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra joined the band. She was soon followed by one of Chicago's finest young guitarists, Jim Tashjian. With this new lineup of peerless musicianship in place, District 97 began wowing crowds and establishing a devoted fan base through packed shows at legendary Chicago venues such as House Of Blues, Schubas and Martyrs.Hybrid Child balances a meticulous attention to detail and studio-craft with the visceral power of a rock band that is firing on all cylinders. Running the gamut from Meshuggah-inspired metal, the epic majesty of Yes, and the melodicism of The Beatles, Hybrid Child unveils District 97 as a true force to be reckoned with, and one that is poised to take the music world by storm. With fans ranging from high school students to world class musicians, this process is clearly well underway.
    $14.00
  • Magenta's latest finds them returning to an overtly progressive rock sound and the music is all the better for it.  The Twenty Seven Club is a concept album based around famous rock stars that died at the age of 27 (Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hedrix, Kurt Cobain, ao).  The core lineup is Rob Reed, Christina Booth, and Chris Fry.  For this album the band is rounded out by guest drummer Andy Edwards of IQ.  Reed's keyboard work is back in the fore and Fry's Howe-isms on guitar always bring a polish to the music (and grin on the face).  Christina Booth's voice is a real gift and she shines as always.  Overall the music makes some overt references to Yes and Genesis so you get that old school flavor that the band hasn't offered in many years.  The album arrives in a special edition with a bonus DVD.  You get the complete album in a 5.1 mix, documentary footage and a promo video for one of the tunes.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • Third and best album from this Italian band that started out in a psych/proto-prog direction. Great example of "Rock Progressivo Italiano". Long suites filled with spacey keys and slashing guitar leads. The keys really make this album - 'tron, phat Moog sounds blast into the ether. Dynamic listening experience with quiet interludes and vocal harmonies interspersed with exciting outbursts of keyboard/guitar interplay. In that respect I'm reminded of Le Orme's Felona E Serona. I've seen this album get knocked on some prog forums and for the life of me I can't imagine why. To my mind this one is a classic and a must own. Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • "NEWLY REMASTERED & EXPANDED EDITION CD OF THIS CLASSIC 1976 ALBUM BY GORDON GILTRAPREMASTERED FROM THE ORIGINAL MASTER TAPESFEATURING THREE BONUS TRACKS, ONE PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASEDESOTERIC RECORDINGS are pleased to announce the release of a newly remastered and expanded edition of the classic album "VISIONARY” by GORDON GILTRAP. For over forty years Gordon has enjoyed the well-deserved reputation as one of Britain’s greatest guitar players. He made his first recordings in the 1960s as folk artist, but by 1976 he had crossed into the Progressive Rock genre, backed by a band of outstanding musicians such as JOHN G. PERRY (Bass), ROD EDWARDS (keyboards) and SIMON PHILLIPS (drums)."VISIONARY” was the first of Gordon’s "Progressive” albums and was released on the Electric label in 1976.This Esoteric Recordings edition is newly remastered from the original tapes and includes three bonus tracks, including the previously unreleased 13-minute composition "Concerto”. The reissue also features a lavishly illustrated booklet with new essay and interview with Gordon Giltrap."
    $17.00
  • "Unavailable in the U.S. 1986 debut from this British Art-Rock/Prog-Pop quartet fronted by Francis Dunnery. Produced by former Gong member Steve Hillage, this album was the most commercial of their releases and includes the bona-fide hit single 'Calling All The Heroes'."
    $12.00
  • Tenth studio album from the reconstituted verison of Focus led by Thijs van Leer.  Returning is original drummer Pierre van der Linden.  Bobby Jacobs handles bass and Menno Gootjes lead guitar.  X doesn't break any new ground.  This sounds just like classic Focus - van Leer concentrates on flute and Hammond organ and vocals.  Pure prog with strong jazzy overtones in places.  Neat cover art and logo courtesy of Roger Dean.  Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • Xandria are back with a new singer and don't miss a beat. Replacing Lisa Middelhauve is Manuela Kraller, formerly with Haggard. The band doesn't deviate from their tried and true formula. This is epic symphonic gothic metal similar to Visions Of Atlantis, older Within Temptation, Edenbridge and countless others in the genre. Having said that they do this style of music about as well as it can be done. Napalm Records has pretty much cornered the market on this sound and I'm sure Xandria is sitting at the top of their roster.
    $12.00
  • “I love the CD...the sheer skill and gusto with which they tackle it makes you laugh out loud. Great drumming. Jonathan plays and writes like a demon. Congratulations to them.” - Bill BrufordDistrict 97’s 2010 debut “Hybrid Child” took the progressive rock world by storm. Since then the band toured across the US, performed at a number of high profile festivals, and even opened up for prog icons Kansas. The band now returns with their second opus “Trouble With Machines”. Former American Idol finalist Leslie Hunt fronts District 97. With a fantastic voice and looks to match, she has captured the hearts and imagination of the progressive rock world. Complexity is one of the hallmarks of District 97s compositions but the album is laced with catchy vocal melodies. The track “The Perfect Young Man” features a guest vocal appearance by King Crimson/Asia bassist John Wetton. Rich Mouser who has produced albums for Spock’s Beard and Neal Morse mixed the album. Audiophile mastering comes courtesy of Bob Katz.
    $14.00
  • New solo album from Arjen Lucassen demonstrates a lighter hand than the Ayreon and Star One projects. This has a more overtly prog rock feel - quite melodic and at times spacey. Lots of similarities to Pink Floyd circa "The Wall" in places."The story of "Lost In The New Real" follows Mr. L, a 21st-Century man who was cryopreserved at the moment of clinical death from a terminal disease. The album begins as Mr. L is being revived at a point in the distant future, when technology has advanced enough to cure his disease. Mr L finds himself in a world that has drastically changed — to the point that the line between what's real and what's not is no longer clear.Mr. L's appointed psychological advisor (played by legendary screen actor Rutger Hauer) is tasked with helping him emotionally adapt to this strange new world. The songs on CD1 follow the main character Mr. L's emotional journey as he is confronted with both serious and comical aspects of the "New Real", and desperately tries to decide if he can find a meaningful place within it.CD2 is a mix of songs that are part of the concept but didn't fit on CD1, and cover songs that are (more or less) related to the concept. "
    $16.00