Calling The Gods

SKU: LMP1211-135
Label:
LMP
Category:
Melodic Metal
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"The second album from melodic power metal quintet Civilization One finds a few member shifts as well as a label change- so fear sets in when three-fifths of the lineup receives a re-boot. In the case of these musicians, it was necessary due to proximity and related productivity. Enter drummer Michael Stein- who also plays with vocalist Chity Somapala in Red Circuit, along with new guitarists Oliver Marmann and Nicklaus Bergen. What does the mean in terms of sound relative to their 2007 debut "Revolution Rising"?

For one, the emphasis on these 12 songs (plus brief "Aazis" 54 second intro) appears to be on a more lively, easier to replicate sound than the multi-tracked vocal harmonies and waves of keyboards lurking in the shadows. Chity is an affable front man- professional and more than capable of keeping the melodies versatile and memorable: be it in a lower / mid-range capacity for the commercial leaning "The Land In Flames", the more heart-tugging ballad "Reunite" or his potent lung capacity for the conventional double bass driven number "True Believer". Oliver and Nicklaus perform to high caliber standards: challenging the listener with many dazzling lead breaks and a mixture of riffing techniques that combine crunchy, almost thrash-like parts in "The Supernatural Virtue" as well as standard Firewind meets Brainstorm guitar hero work on the title cut and "Hell Awaiting". Many will even smile at the Phil Collins/ "Take Me Home" laid back percussive aspect of closer "Dreams of Fire"- once again illustrating the band's desire for individuality.

Another aspect I enjoy is the shorter time frames for the twelve songs: proof that you can cut to the chase, provide the level of energy and excitement, and move onto your next arrangement in a tidy 3-4 minute measure. "Calling The Gods" is a proper follow up to its predecessor, which is always a great move in today's crowded power metal sweepstakes. Those on the fence after their five year layoff will be adequately appeased." - Eternal Terror

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  • "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
    $15.00
  • Reissue of the band's first album.  Fantastic progressive power metal with a strong spiritual message. Normally I'm not a big fan of the one-man-band concept but composer/singer/multi-instrumentalist Matt Smith really blew me away with this first time effort. Elements of Savatage, Queensryche, Symphony X and even Kansas pop up. Long epic sweeping tracks with lots of power and melody. Matt's proves he's got the voice and the chops to go far. Highly recommended.
    $13.00
  • "What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you think of Italy? It will probably be the scenery, the beauty and the great food. For me it’s the same but I also think of great music as Italy has produced some great musicians and artists. So is the band featured in this review one of them? Only one way to find out so here we go it’s time for a review.The band in question is called BURNING BLACK, who is a quintet of Italian rockers from the Treviso part of Italy that formed in 2004. In 2008, their debut album, “Prisoners of Steel”, was unleashed upon the world showing what this new fresh European band could do and a year later they came back with their second album, “MechanicHell”, and now here in 2014, their third album, “Remission of Sin” is upon us.The album clocks in at roughly 49 minutes playtime with a total of 11 tracks that consist of nothing but pure bred Heavy Metal but the question is, does it play and sound like an album that belongs in that genre? Well when you first listen to it, it certainly has all the right ingredients needed for a great European Heavy Metal album and the more you listen, the more you start to realize that the ingredients are a part of a great recipe which results in good music.So to answer my earlier question, yes this does play and sound like an album that belongs in the Heavy Metal genre? Let’s start with the music which is crisp, clear, heavy, fast and loud just like a normal Heavy Metal album but sometimes that can be a good thing as there have been cases where the recipe has otherwise failed or not been as successful.Here that is far from being the case as you are treated to some pretty insane guitar riffs and some rather impressive vocals which yes at times may sound a bit hit and miss but overall it’s not really something to worry about it as it’s the performance which can often impress and come out on top over any little niggles you may find.The album has a total of nine vocal songs including “Flag of Rock”, “Mercenary of War”, “Soulless Stone” and “Far Away” to name a few along with two instrumentals which include the opening introduction track “Do Lung Bridge” and “Spaceman’s Theory” with the latter being a sweet little acoustic and electric guitar jam.So what do I think of the new album from BURNING BLACK? It comes as no surprise that this would sound good as it is from a European band after all but that said some European bands have released slightly mediocre material that is far from perfect and not as enjoyable as others. With the good European bands however, you get quality music and although some of them may have their little faults here and there, you enjoy them for what they are especially if it’s from a band you like or a band you’ve been a strong follower of. I am glad to say it’s the same here as despite any issues I may have addressed in this review, I was impressed overall with this album and I will definitely come back to it and listen to it again." - Metal Temple
    $15.00
  • Last copies of the Brazilian digipak."Veterans in the Power/Progressive Metal scene, Brazil’s ANGRA set the world on fire right out of the gate on their debut album “Angel’s Cry” – at the time in 1992 a throwback to the classic Kiske-led HELLOWEEN era with its “Keepers of the Seven Keys” uplifting melodies and speed/ guitar harmony attack. Since that time they’ve blazed their own trail, surviving key member changes in the vocal and drummer departments as well as expanding their musical template into more of an original, Progressive Metal sound. Their eighth studio album “Secret Garden” will be another barometer test for their fans, as RHAPSODY OF FIRE vocalist Fabio Lione steps in the singer slot – and drummer Bruno Valverde slides into the percussion position. What does this mean overall for ANGRA? Will it be a step into the past- or a move into the future?After a solid 20 playbacks, this will probably be one of the favorite ANGRA records in their discography due to the quality and dynamic diversity for these 10 tracks. Those who expect Fabio to soar to high heavens solely on this record, well expand your minds because he truly delivers one of the best performances of his career – stretching out his lower and middle registers more so on this record than ever before. Check out opener “Newborn Me” and the serene ballad “Silent Call” for new facets to his range – emotionally connecting like never before. Musically you can hear a lot of the South American nuances plunging head first into more New Age/ jazz-like Progressive textures on highlight “Upper Levels”, something I would appreciate more from DREAM THEATER and helps ANGRA achieve that surprise element necessary beyond their obvious instrumental talent level.Those who desire the fast paced, double bass, scream to the sky Power anthem material, well “Black Hearted Soul” or “Perfect Symmetry” should give you the fist-pumping adrenaline workout you crave. Special guests include EPICA’s Simone Simons on the dramatic, Symphonic-laden title cut ballad and early Metal icon Doro Pesch who does a vocal duet with Guitarist Rafael Bettencourt on the heavier, bouncier “Crushing Room”. Add in a conceptual storyline that features a fictional account of a scientist seeking happiness after dealing with the tragic loss of his wife in an accident and stunning production values where all parts shine (including the bass heroics of Felipe Andreoli) and I’m sure this 49 minute record will receive consistent airplay for not just 2015, but an eternity as the best albums should.“Secret Garden” could be ANGRA’s best album to date: rich in Progressive Metal highlights but also remembering the right balance in terms of individual songwriting and melodic/hook aspects, this should be a benchmark for other bands to study and up their creative game. A great start to 2015 for sure." - Metal Temple
    $14.00
  • "Every year since I have started listening to metal music I have always somehow got myself in the comforting grip of a brilliant solo album that doesn’t heavily rely on singing. Whether discovered or newly released, it’s nice for the instruments to do the talking when you see names like Steve Vai cropping up on the new releases shelf in HMV. Gus G is mainly recognised as the guitarist for Firewind, but he’s also the guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne and raised his profile even higher as a sensational guitarist. He finally gets to shred until he bleeds, and he has help from Jeff Scott Soto, Elize Ryd, Jacob Bunton and Mats Leven to lend their vocals to Brand New Revolution. With plenty of bands and experience, Gus G will have the spotlight shining upon his strong posture.The Quest already pumps you up for what is yet to come on the album. It’s absolutely incredible. An action-packed, energetic introduction that fades out softly into the album title track as Bunton sings on that as well as Burn and We Are One. All of these have a savage hard rock sound that stamps its way along the audio waves that are shooting through my headphones with excellent solos (what else would you expect?) that sizzle that brain of mine like bacon on a grill. Elize Ryd lends her vocals on What Lies Below, adding some aggression and crunch to the album, making way for the ballad Behind Those Eyes. Jeff Scott Soto provides his legendary voice on Gone To Stay, returning to the hard rock vibe Bunton provides along with One More Try. This song is sandwiched between ballads, decent ballads to be precise.Come Hell or High Water is the first song to feature Mats Leven, possibly one of my favourites on the album, along with his last two If It Ends Today and The Demon Inside. His vocals screeching through these songs something to behold, as it is with the vocalists on this album. If It Ends Today is added to the soft rock list, as the ballads on this album aren’t ‘80s glam cheesy it makes this album essential. Scott Soto has one last song with Generation G that is in between the latter two of Leven’s tunes, a song that has a similar vibe to Youth Gone Wild by Skid Row when it comes to uniting a group of people one way or another, it’s uplifting. The Demon Inside finishes this album with slow tempo and crunching riff and catchy chorus, fading out quickly.Brand New Revolution is a remarkable listen, for those guitar fanatics who are just expecting instrumental songs from a guitarists solo album will be hushed by The Quest as well as Gus G‘s incredible talent that shifts through the album. It’s blend of hard rock and ballads often made me think of Whitesnake, but only for the mix of moods, not the sound. The vocalists were an absolute treat to listen to and the production work from Jay Ruxton and Mike Fraser was just perfect. Brand New Revolution does everything perfectly to show that Gus G doesn’t fuck about, he has stuck to his guns and fired out this monstrous yet honourable album." - Heavy Magazine Australia
    $12.00
  • Italian band featuring soulful strong female vocals and deep male vocals that remind me of Sebastian from Braindance. Broadly speaking this band will be lumped into the gothic metal category but in actuality the music sits closer to the doom camp but it's not slow moving. The band uses lots of chunky riffing and keyboards - with hooks and melodies to spare. Excellent stuff.
    $7.00
  • "One of the interesting and strangely rewarding things about being a power metal enthusiast in 2015 is the fact that, due to the general indifference shown by media outlets and the metal population at large, particularly within the United States, fans don’t really get hit over the head with an uninterrupted outpouring of releases 8 days a week as you might for, say, death and black metal. Perhaps that seems like a strange thing to celebrate, but during an age where glut has become the new standard, it’s refreshing to exist in a realm where you often don’t have much of a choice but to really get to know the releases you count as triumphs. To illustrate the point: While there have been a few noteworthy power metal releases in 2015, there haven’t been enough to completely overshadow what's still getting regular play from 2014's sufficient crop. In this sense, power metal is defying the "churn & burn" mandate that seems to govern much of music today.The shortage of a comprehensive power metal vogue also means that, for the most part, the bands that commit to the genre are by-God in it for a true love and obligation to the game. In other words, there’s little evidence of bandwagoning, which is equally refreshing.With that in mind, if you’re lucky enough to resonate with power metal and haven’t been paying attention to what’s been rumbling down the chute from the U.S. lately, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. Releases haven’t exactly been dropping from the trees, per say, but a good portion of what we’ve gotten certainly qualifies for medal contention. To keep things pinned to 2015, consider Artizan’s The Furthest Reaches, Tanagra’s None of This is Real, and Judicator’s ludicrous At the Expense of Humanity. Three high-quality PM records from one country in one year might typically be sufficient, but St. Paul, Minnesota’s Chaos Frame apparently prefers to kick the festivities up to a deafening roar, because Paths to Exile, their sophomore effort, is nothing short of extraordinary.First of all, are you shittin’ me with this thing? Who? Wuh? Where’d?There's nary a bad tune to be found on this record. Seriously. That fact alone should be enough to inspire some of you to pound some samples into your ears and free the tight velcro grip on those wallets, but just in case it’s not: Chaos Frame shares current, ex- and guest members from Noble Beast, a band that released one of 2014’s most sublime examples of exhilarating, aggressive modern power metal. And while Paths to Exile certainly shares some of that band’s Blind Guardian-galvanized strut, particularly in those exquisitely stacked choruses, Chaos Frame is an entirely different beast altogether. An even more... noble beast, one might wager? Inconceivable. Just a more proggy, less dungeon-inspired incursion that shares the same level of skill in terms of first-string musicianship from a relatively unheralded act.Something a number of American progressive/power metal acts seem to be managing in excess lately is the idea that you can be uplifting without being overly bubbly, and Chaos Frame nails that notion home with a one-ton hammer. There are no “Heavy Metal Hamsters” or squirrelly circus jigs within a hundred miles of these dudes. Outside of the opening track, every song flashes moments where things seamlessly break off for a stretch of surprisingly dense or FAST execution that strikes with as much oomph as Brian Blessed charging atop a Clydesdale. For comparison’s sake, think Pharaoh, Falconer, Manticora and Spirit of Ukko era Kiuas all balled into one. Now add one of the better vocal performances this side of a Daniel Heiman-fronted Lost Horizon/Heed record and you’ve got the basic gist.Lofty praise, for sure, but Paths to Exile delivers, front to back. And as satisfying as the entire picture manages to be, the weight delivered in its midsection via “Terra Firma,” “Paper Sun” and “Giantkiller” is just staggering. Nimble acoustic picking blends with knotty riffing and ample time signature shifts; infectious choruses swirl into falsettoed, King Diamond-inspired “oh-ohhhs”; bolts of blast-beating drums run like hellfire; pretty leads split the sky without ever being overblown; and there’s even a bloody saxophone solo that winds up resting so perfectly within the overall scheme of things that you’ll wonder why more bands of this nature don’t work this oft-maligned instrument into their own blueprint. Embrace your inner Tim Cappello, heavy metal.It’s been a while since I’ve come across a prog/power metal record as altogether satisfying as Paths to Exile. In the end, however, one probably needs some level of appreciation for the style to fully acknowledge what’s going on here. It’s too bad, really, because above all else, Chaos Frame simply succeeds at delivering great heavy metal – energetic, exciting, empowering heavy metal that’s perfectly suited for those who appreciate impeccable musicianship, towering vocals and just generally feeling fucking fantastic after listening to one of the better records that 2015 has to offer." - Your Last Rites
    $12.00
  • "Transformation is a very apt title for Canadian Prog veterans FM, for not only has their music transformed numerous times over the years, so has their line-up. Joining bassist/keyboard player Cameron Hawkins this time round is drummer Paul DeLong (Roger Hodgson/Kim Mitchell), violinist/mandolin player Edward Bernard, who has performed with Druckfarben and violinist (yes, there are two violinists here) Aaron Solomon. The recording group being completed by legendary Rush, Dream Theater, Fates Warning producer/engineer Terry Brown, who does an excellent job.So you'll gather then that the first proper FM album since 1987's Tonight still follows in its predecessors footsteps of placing violin front and centre. Yet while that may sound risky in today's often sanitised Prog world, Transformation sounds remarkably contemporary and, at the same time, true to this band's 70s roots. More beautiful than punchy, in places the songs on this album feel like Yes with copious amounts of violin strung over it, the air being light, melodic and captivating. DeLong is stunning throughout, his rare ability to be ridiculously busy and intricate, underpinned by a solidity which fixes everything in place. Nary a second goes by where the percussionist isn't whispering a ghost beat, paradiddling the toms to within an inch of their lives, or alternating between snare, hi-hat and cymbals at break neck speed. However, amazingly, he never interrupts the beautiful flow of the vocals provided by Hawkins, Solomon and Bernard; the trio causing another reason for celebration in the process. However no album was built on drums and voice alone, so the stunning, varied violin, viola and mandolin work which weaves and dances across Hawkins deep resonant bass and darting, lilting, pointed synth contributions, are as impressive as they are vital to the unbridled success of this album.There's a real depth of sound and arrangement across the nine tracks on show, the likes of "Tour Of Duty" a journey from fragile art through fractured beauty, into controlled frenzy. "The Love Bomb (Universal Love)" and "Brave New Worlds" contrast this approach excellently, a sparse framework thriving on roaming bass, while gentle string stabs allow the vocals to express the emotions of melancholic introspection, but overriding hope and belief displayed in every one of the songs on this album. And it's that uplifting feeling which really infuses Transformation with the power to captivate and control your attention from start to finish, whether through the harsher attack of the bristling "Re-Boot, Reawaken", unsettling pulse of "Children Of Eve", the almost jauntily optimistic "Safe And Sound" or idyllic "Heaven On Earth".Often when a band reappears from the past, as if by magic to reclaim their past glories, the results are safe and deflating. Transformation however falls far from that trap, instead announcing itself with a triumphant confidence which never fades once as its beauties unfold, and vitally it just gets better with each and every luscious visit to the land of hope and understanding it creates." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $17.00
  • Lots of changes in the Mangala Vallis camp with this new release.  Bernardo Lanzetti is out, replaced by the great Rob Tiranti aka Rob Tyrant.  Many of you know Rob from his work in the metal world with Labyrinth but he has alway worked with New Trolls so he knows how to dial it back.  Great, great set of pipes.  The music has changed a bit too.  Its not as overtly retro although at times the keyboard sounds harken back to the 70s.  Definitely more of a contemporary neo feel.  Its a concept album about a hacker who infects the world with a virus that will destroy all the digital files on the planet.  Good times!
    $16.00
  • Armed Cloud is a new Dutch band that straddles the line between progressive metal and symphonic rock.  The vocalist moves in the stratospheric realms from time to time drawing Geddy Lee comparisons.  I'm particularly enjoying the keyboard solos which remind me immediately that I'm listening to Dutch "sympho"."Just by looking at the artwork, I knew this was gonna be a good album. Sometimes, you just know. The cover art reminded me Dream Theater's seminal album Awake with the wide array of details and the odd characters. I think it's charming and represents their genre pretty well as it's intricate and nuanced. Fortunately, the album lived to my expectations and it's one of the best progressive metal record I heard in 2015. Obsidian Desert, the debut album of Armed Cloud manages to be a modern yet interesting and fresh take on classic progressive metal/rock. The quintet has all the ingredients to play this complex form of music, an engaging bass presence, super talented guitarist and keyboardist, a singer who can actually sing very well and a versatile drummer who's not afraid to use some blastbeats.While they're obviously technically skilled and that's proven at numerous occasions by the guitar solos and the way the keyboard interacts with the rest of the instruments, they're very emotional and has this frank desire to write compelling songs instead of flashing their technicality, a concept often plaguing their peers, like the later Dream Theater work to give an obvious example. They have a symphonic flair intertwined with some pop tendencies but it's thoroughly enjoyable and it's not saccharine. I think the ballad “Meltdown” is really beautiful and fits their identity as it remains highly atmospheric.Daan Dekker has a particular voice, powerful and with a lot of range but it's also soft and rich. A track like “My Own Kind” is a good showcase of his abilities. For some reasons, I thought of Ray Alder when I first heard them but I enjoy him more than the Fates Warning frontman who never managed to beat John Arch in the heart of many. The vocal melodies are well written and the addition of some aptly placed back vocals add an epic touch to the songs (see “Pyramid of Charlatans”). In fact the band reminds me of the American legends from Connecticut in their capacity of mixing technicality, songwriting and emotions in one solid package. There's also some influences from progressive alternative rock like Muse, Gazpacho or later days Marillion in the vocal department and considering I'm a big fan of these bands as well, it's a big bonus for me.Augment their formula with obvious nods to the more progressive side of power metal (see Kamelot or even Angra) and you have a very solid mix of influences. Furthermore, compared to many progressive metal acts, their songs are cohesive and on the shorter side except perhaps the eight minute closer “Wasted” and the excellent “In Your Mind”. Sometimes, it feels like they're a more streamlined version of some of Ayreon's stuff. There's no fluff as the album is a little bit under a hour and it doesn't feel this long either. There's no self indulgent long ass instrumental track but there's a serene, symphonic one before the last track and it gives the listener a break and a change of atmosphere.To conclude, If you like your progressive metal with solid solos but still in possession of its soul, Armed Cloud is a band that you should check out." - Metantoine's Magickal Realm
    $14.00
  • "Founded in 2011 by music composer an lyricist Luca Gagnoni with the intent of creating epic, powerful music with a peaceful message, Astral Domine have signed a deal with Bakerteam Records for the release of their debut album ‘Arcanum Gloriae’. Produced by the band itself, with mixing and mastering duties held by Andrea De Paoli (Labyrinth, Vision Divine) at Multimedia Sound Studio, ‘Arcanum Gloriae’ features special guest appearances by renowned singers Fabio Lione (Rhapsody Of Fire, Vision Divine, Hollow Haze) in the song ‘Where Heroes Die’ and Giuseppe “Ciape” Cialone (Rosae Crucis) on the song ‘Falsi Dei’. Inspired by fantasy themes and landscapes, Astral Domine’s music is perfectly depicted by the ‘evocative album artwork, which recalls the epic scenery of the Game Of Thrones series.After the epic-intro, comes the first big moment of the album; "Holy Knights" is an impressive epic and powerful metal song that combines the melody with the heaviness in such a unique way. The acoustic mellower parts give to the song the extra flavor and make this song an ecstatic moment. With "Moonlight" the band delivers a really heart-full tune filled with some amazing guitar lines. Brilliant stuff! "Where Heroes Die" is yet another highlight from this debut release. The appearance of Fabio Leone in this one takes the whole track into a higher dimension! "I'm The King" recalls some Malmsteen's earlier works while in "My Lord" the theatrical-movie elements along with melancholic vibe are making this tune a true highlight!All in all, this is an extremely interesting release all the way. This is not the ordinary epic power metal band; ASTRAL DOMINE delivers a solid record with a 'clever' way that finally achieve to fascinate the listener from start to finish! " - Heavy Paradise
    $12.00
  • Over the past two decades the Dutch have pretty much cornered the market for female fronted gothic metal.  The Gathering pretty much kicked it off, followed by Within Temptation, After Forever, Epica, and Delain with countless others filling in the gaps - some good and some very much derivative.  Kowai is a new Dutch band that has a sound that harkens back to the beginnings of the scene.  The band is fronted by Laura van Nes who has wonderful voice that is very much reminiscent of Sharon Den Adel.  The band occasionally uses the "beauty and the beast" format - Ms. van Nes' voice juxaposed against the harsh growls of guitarist Bertran Zwijnenburg but that doesn't crop up too often.  The music is filled with melancholy and borders on slow moving doom at times.  After Forever's Joost van den Broek and Stream Of Passion's Jeffrey Revet are responsible for the production.  Given their background they come up wtih the requisite sound - atmospheric and epic.  So here's a band that attempts to reinvent the wheel and they do a damn fine job as well.  This is a still a popular and potentially overcrowded scene.  Musically speaking Kowai has what it takes.  Hopefully they will get the attention they deserve.  Highly recommended.
    $17.00
  • New 2 CD reissue of the classic first album to feature Anneke van Giersbergen (chronologically speaking it was the band's third album). The bonus disc contains rare b-side tracks, a load of unreleased demos and the video to "Leaves".
    $9.00
  • Darker is the long awaited second album from Swiss progressive rock band Dawn. It has been 6 years since the quartet rocked the prog world with their expert take on old school symphonic rock.Dawn formed in Montreux, Switzerland in 1996.  Since then the band has performed at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival, as well as at Swiss prog rock festivals Progsol, and Montreux Prog Nights.  The band has also opened for Kansas and Fish.  After a series of line up changes the band began to focus on their sophomore release in 2010 and perform them in concert.Dawn’s music is riddled with vintage keyboard sounds and flowing guitar solos.  Plaintive vocals ascribe a kinship to the British Canterbury prog family tree.  The album is conceived as a series of compositions dealing with Man in the 21st century: his fears, his conception of life, his reaction to technology, nuclear power, and the planet’s suffocation.  Darker was recorded in 2013 by Olivier Charmillot and mastered by noted audiophile engineer Bob Katz.
    $14.00