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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    $17.00
  • "Deluxe two CD + DVD Edition. 2013 live release from the Tampa, Florida-based Heavy Metal outfit. Since Dystopia was released in October of 2011, Iced Earth has been on the attack in a big way, playing more shows in the past year than in the previous 10 years...combined! Early on in the World Tour the band decided that they wanted to capture this newfound energy and passion on film and tape. When the offer came in to film at the ancient Kourion Theater in Limassol, Cyprus, they were immediately attracted to that idea. The history and culture there, as well as the Cypriot audience, which the band experienced in December 2011, solidified the decision to record in Cyprus. Filming and recording a 2 1/2 hour show in an amphitheater that is 6000 years old and is not set-up for a Rock concert, paired with 40-degree Celsius heat, were just some of the obstacles to overcome. But the finished product makes up for any of the challenges that the band and crew faced on that special night."
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  • Bjorn Riis isn't exactly a household name but if you are a fan of the Norwegian band Airbag he's more familiar than you realize.  Riis is the band's lead guitarist.  For his debut solo album he's enlisted members of Airbag in all aspects of the production.  Riis himself says that the sound doesn't stray too far from Airbag but its a more personal affair.  This is pretty accurate.  Riis is an avowed disciple of David Gilmour.  In fact he set up a website dedicated to Gilmour and his iconic (and easily recognizable) guitar sound.Many aspects of Airbag's three albums owe a heavy debt to Pink Floyd and Riis' solo album fits neatly into the same box.  The album consists of six tracks - three of which run 10+ minutes.  The easiest and most concise way to describe "Lullabies" is that it sounds like a head on collision between Wish You Were Here and The Division Bell.  Nothing wrong with that!  BUY OR DIE! 
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  • "Fans of musical subtlety and cerebral introspection may struggle with DragonForce's remorselessly preposterous, high-velocity take on traditional heavy metal. In fact, plenty of metal fans – let alone anyone predisposed to disliking something that sounds like Eurovision: the crystal meth years – struggle with their sound. To embrace the band's startling blend of ultra-cheesy melody, fret-melting technical lunacy and quasi-futuristic, videogame bleeps requires an insatiable appetite for self-indulgent, bombastic silliness.Six albums into their career, DragonForce should really be running out of steam. Yet Maximum Overload is as wickedly infectious as their high point from 2006, Inhuman Rampage, and more exciting and substantial than their two subsequent albums. There are more than enough anthemic choruses, startling detours and flashes of ingenuity lurking within the adrenalised bluster of The Game, Tomorrow's Kings and Symphony of the Night to counter the notion that the London-based crew are a one-trick power-metal pony, and an endearingly ludicrous, hyperspeed cover of Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire brings the whole demented enterprise to an explosive close" - The Guardian
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  • Now here is a beautiful slice of contemporary progressive rock.  Anubis is an underrated band from Australia - bands down under don't seem to get the attention they deserve.  Hitchhiking is their third full length album.  2011's A Tower Of Silence was a big hit around here and frankly when it arrived it came as a huge surprise.  This long awaited follow up reinforces that the prog rock world needs to take notice.  The music has a cinematic Floyd-like feel.  Vocals from Robert James Moulding are emotion driven and have plenty of impact.  This is not a band who's music is filled with tons of soloing but what's here is solid.  In other words this is not old school prog - its very forward thinking but with a modern sound.  Highly recommended."I have long dreamt of an Australian progressive rock album that would inspire me to click the repeat button, in order to drift through its world all over again, and I am happy to declare that Hitchhiking to Byzantium has been on constant rotation for weeks at this point. Bringing an enchanting blend of Floydian melancholy and the energy of Rush to the table, Anubis have come to stake their claim as heavyweights in the Oz scene with their third opus.Whilst being equally impressed with their 2011 album A Tower of Silence (which I have only just heard recently also), I have found myself returning to Byzantium more to explore the subtle nuances contained within the album’s ten tracks. ‘Fadeout’ as an opening diddy is like riding a gentle breeze for just a short while before being swept up in all the drama and opulence of ‘A King with No Crown’, a reference quality track on every level, cinematic in scope and full of drama and tension and certainly an inspired choice as opening single for the album. ‘Dead Trees’ is a classic prog cut with all the bells and whistles sporting a vocal performance that harkens to a young James Labrie and a chorus that will have you by the balls from the first time you hear it.I mentioned a notable influence from Floyd and Rush earlier, but if I was to be honest, I would love to ask them if they are fans of American prog band Tiles and those wonderful Brits Anathema, because both bands are called to mind on this album amongst others like Sweden’s Anekdoten. The title track is a sublime centrepiece and features a plaintive aura that is sent soaring when spine-tingling female backing vocals lace the chorus. It’s so hard to choose a favourite song when they are all so filled with creamy goodness, but any of these three  - ‘Blood is Thicker than Common Sense’ (a seductive groover), ‘Tightening of the Screws’ (a majestic slice of melancholia reminiscent of early The Pineapple Thief) or ‘Partitionists’ (a lyrical and musical marvel) - could easily take the title for this humble listener.The final triptych features dark drama in ‘Crimson Stained Romance’, a song that reminded me most of a classic Floyd epic, the 15+ minute ‘A Room with a View’, which is nothing short of a sweeping symphony of moods and tones and the closing ‘Silent Wandering Ghosts’ sounds exactly like its title would suggest, haunting and transcendent with an outro to die for.These seven talented lads are a gifted lot, with every performance of outstanding quality, enhanced by a jaw-dropping production that let’s every instrument tell its own little story and play its part in this emotionally resonant work that as the band state themselves: "I feel that there's more of us in there - the hurdles that life throws at us and the only way to feel true inner peace - by examining the love around you. It's certainly an introspective record - but it's real life. It's about you, it's about me, it's about all of us. Hitchhiking to Byzantium. That journey is life."And somehow I believe them." - Loud Mag
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  • "Formed nearly 20 years ago in Madrid by guitarist Enrik Garcia, Dark Moor is not slowing down. The band returns with their ninth long player, Ars Musica. Their trademark symphonic and melodic metal remains at the forefront on this album.Actually, even though there are elements of traditional melodic heavy and power metal, Ars Musica reminds more of symphonic and melodic hard rock record, simply because of the catchy groove and accessible hooks in most every song. Certainly, the opening intro and following First Lance of Spain sounds like sweeping and epic symphonic power metal.But the tide turns with It Is My Way and The Road Again. Both songs charm your ears with the great melody, groove and friendly accessibility. This continues through Together As Ever, The City of Peace, and the beautiful ballad Gara and Jonay. Then the tide turns once more. Living in a Nightmare is clearly symphonic power metal, a swift and rushing composition, as is Saint James Way, though not quite as fast. Dark Moor taps their heritage with El Ultimo Rey and the closing Spanish Suite, the latter an epic instrumental. Once more, besides the excellent melodic rock and metal, the vocals of the talented Alfred Romero leads the way; he's easily one of the best melodic metal vocalist of our day. Dark Moor's Ars Musica is an excellent accomplishment and strongly recommended." - Dangerdog.com
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  • Third album from this progressive metal band based out of Sweden.  The band is fronted by former Seventh Wonder/current Aeon Zen vocalist Andy Kravlijaca who frankly is very underrated.  Silent Call touches on a variety of genres while firmly rooted in the metal realm.  You'll hear some fluffy AOR bits and some prog rock at times.  Very much a band that is strong on melody.  Highly recommended."I’m torn. Torn between championing the cause of a massively underrated and under-exposed Metal band, and the pride I feel when chatting about Progressive Metal to like minded people and playing them Silent Call – who invariably they have never heard of, and can’t believe they have passed them by! The secret will be out of the bag y’see. No more gloating for yours truly, no more “Surely. You’ve heard of Silent Call”, complete with knowing smile. Nope, people can just read this review and know all about them – which is the least the band deserve! Decision made then. Ladies and Gentlemen, fans of Melodic Progressive Metal, I give you Silent Call…unless, of course, you’ve already heard them and it’s just here in the windswept hills of deepest Yorkshire where they are unknown…a bit like super fast reliable broadband…This is Silent Call’s 3rd album – I got their debut way back in 2008 because it was on Escape Records (home of all things light and fluffy) and someone sold it to me after being horrified that Silent Call weren’t in the least bit light OR fluffy! He even wrinkled his nose (the nerve!) when he described the heaviness of the guitars and drums. This was the same day I informed him that one of his favourite Melodic bands of the 80’s – Fate – were in fact previously called Mercyful Fate (omitting the fact it was only Hank Shermann in Fate), so he rushed off to buy their back catalogue, Harrgh Harrgh, Harrgh…I don’t think he’s ever forgiven me… But I digress – Silent Call are way too heavy for a Melodic Rock label, and hopefully now they have found a worthy home on DOTT.For existing fans (because I’m sure there are many fans outside the UK), “Truth’s Redemption” is just as good as their previous two – The production is a little bit heavier and fuller which just enhances things more and allows the songs to have even more impact. You will not be disappointed! For the uninitiated, Silent Call have their sound rooted in the best of the Progressive Metal bands around the turn of the Millennium. Blending aspects of Angra, Lion’s Share, Eldritch, Stratovarius, Labyrinth – even early Kamelot and Sonata Arctica to name but a few. Their technicality is more subtle, crafted, and less showy than Dream Theater and their ilk, leaning more towards a sound centred around melody and memorability than individual musicians egos. And this is what really works for Silent Call and widens their appeal. The vocals are an expertly delivered mid-to-high range, somewhere around an amalgam of Carsten Schulz, Apollo Papathanasio, David Readman and maybe Tobias Sammet…but then, it isn’t really, as his tone – his ‘timbre’ if you pretentiously prefer – is quite unique to Andi Kravljaca. The Drums, Bass, Keys and Guitar are all executed with precision and flare, always complementing each other yet shining when it is their moment or when specifically listened out for. Musically, I’ve covered some of their bases, but their attention to detail, delivery and arrangements open the band up to fans from Pink Cream 69 through to Evergrey.The predictable thing to do here is to try and sum up the album with one or two songs – well I’m not going to make it that easy for you. Mainly because I can’t pick out a favourite OR a track that if you randomly chose it, then it wouldn’t convince you to hear the rest of the album. Every band member’s performance on every well-crafted track is first rate, there are no fillers – just top quality Melodic Progressive Metal from start to finish. If you’ve got this far through the review then surely you have thought this album is worth checking out? So one of my best kept band secrets is now out there – the cat is out of the bag as it were, so run Kitty run, run and be free…LOOK OUT FOR THAT TRUCK…!!!" - Ave Noctem
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  • Rhino Records will release a 2CD Anthology featuring Steve Howe solo works outside the borders of his various band involvements. the collection, called Anthology: A Solo Career Retrospective. This set will provide 34 tracks in all, many of them receiving a new 2015 remaster (see track-list below). An impressive booklet will be included as well with the expected essays, credits, and photos.Track-List of Anthology: A Solo Career RetrospectiveCD1:01 So Bad (2015 Remastered Version)02 Lost Symphony (2015 Remastered Version)03 Pleasure Stole The Night (2015 Remastered Version)04 Pennants (2015 Remastered Version)05 Look Over Your Shoulder (2015 Remastered Version)06 Surface Tension (2015 Remastered Version)07 Sensitive Chaos08 Running The Human Race09 Desire Comes First10 Luck Of The Draw11 Maiden Voyage12 Walk Don’t Run13 Momenta14 The Collector15 Just Like A Woman16 Buckets Of RainCD2:01 Distant Seas02 Curls & Swirls03 Meridian Strings (2015 Remastered Version)04 Simplification (2015 Remastered Version)05 Rising Sun (2015 Remastered Version)06 Westwinds (2015 Remastered Version)07 Ultra Definition (2015 Remastered Version)08 Ebb and Flow (2015 Remastered Version)09 Dorothy10 Sketches In The Sun11 Diary Of A Man Who Vanished12 Devon Blue13 King’s Ransom14 Bachianas Brasileiras No.515 Beginnings (2015 Remastered Version)16 Mood For A Day (with The English Chamber Orchestra)17 Sharp On Attack
    $22.00
  • When Worlds Collide is the latest release from Portuguese prog metal band Forgotten Suns.  When the band first burst onto the scene they were very much in the neoprog camp.  Their sound evolved over time with guitarist/founder Ricardo Falcao taking the band into more metallic territory.  With his chops from hell its no wonder.  This is squarely prog metal in the Dream Theater style.  Vocalist Nio Nunes doesn't go for the stratosphere.  He sticks to the midrange and there even some growls in spots.  Apparently keyboardist Ernesto Rodrigues collaborated on the writing.  The results seems to be the band's heaviest work.  While the keyboard work is more than fine the defining sound of the band is guitarist Falcao.  He's the focal point and really delivers the goods.  Forgotten Suns amps up the tried and true prog metal formula and comes up with something quite memorable.  The album runs 79 minutes and is packed with epic length tracks through out.  By the time the album is over you will be exhausted!  Highly recommended.
    $13.00
  • Svart Records can be thought of as the Rise Above Records of Finland.  Both labels covers similar territory.  Somehow Svart signed the British band Messenger right from under the nose of Rise Above.  Messenger are a superb retro-band that push all the right buttons for a fans of 70s prog and folk.  This isn't a bombastic throw back album like Astra or Diagonal.  Instead Messenger's music is cut more from the cloth that Midlake are exploring.  In other words what you get is a kind of mystical, pastoral folk with strong prog overtones.  Flutes and 'tron fuse with echoey acoustic guitars in a way that transport you to some ancient forest.  At various points through out the album I'm reminded of Pink Floyd, Trespass-era Genesis, early King Crimson and Traffic.  The band started out as a trio with guests and has now expanded into a full fledge touring ensemble.  I expect we will hear quite a bit from this band in the immediate future.  Highly recommended. 
    $8.00
  • "In the year 222 B.C., deep within the dangerous jungles of east Asia in the country of Zhongguo, the young and terrified king of Qi, with his back against the wall of water on his eastern border, frantically sent 300,000 men to his shrinking western border to fight the cruel and powerful Qin leader Zhào Zhèng. You see, Qi was the last, and farthest east, of the warring states in ancient China. Zhèng fooled his inexperienced and terrified enemy and invaded from the north instead, thus easily capturing the young king. With the last territory conquered, Zhèng declared himself “ShiHuangdi,” the very first emperor. With his rule of the newly unified country, Zhèng standardized Chinese writing, bureaucracy, law, currency, and a system of weights and measures. His reign developed a road system, massive fortifications and palaces. Under this “Qin Dynasty,” the emperor formed the Great Wall of China to stop invading barbarians from the North. Thy Majestie’s latest album is a conceptual tribute to his legacy, one that would unify China for 2,000 years.The album’s most amazing success is the weaving in of classic oriental music with its own symphonic “majestie.” By definition, this is symphonic metal. From a listener’s perspective, this is an audio historical text book that covers a period of history rich in culture and war over a soundtrack of beautifully crafted melodies and a truly phenomenal vocal performance.Much like “Hastings 1066" and “Jeanne d’Arc,” the band perfectly blends music of the historical period with its own. With “ShiHuangdi,” sounds of the ancient guzheng can be heard in songs like “Farewell” and the closer “Requiem.” Most bands merely use history as subject matter for lyrics, but “ShiHuangdi” is more than just a history lesson. The album has a real sense of the orient embedded within the soundscapes Thy Majestie presents. Where Cthonic and Myrath expertly blend the culture of respective native homelands with metal music, Thy Majesite morphs its symphonic metal style around the cultural sounds the album's subject matter, with the band members as movie score composers.The album's breathtaking orchestrations are highlighted by gigantic and fetching choruses. Among the best include “Siblings of Tian,” “Seven Reigns,” “Ephemeral,” and “Farewell.” The euro-blasted riffs of Simone Campione have never sounded better than when drenched in the soy sauce of the must-hear keyboard brilliance of Giuseppe Carrubba. The album is an Asiatic journey with a side of duck sauce, and from the opening jungle scene set by "Zhongguo" (the original name of China), the listener is whisked away to a time long ago to watch modern day China take form.In yet another vocal change (the band’s sixth and fourth over the last four releases), Thy Majestie has finally found “the one.” The wonderfully impressive vocals come via Alessio Taormina (Crimson Wind), who has a range that leans towards Fabio Lione, in terms of ability. Incidentally, the comparison can easily be tested with Lione manning the helm on “End of the Days.” Taormina’s high range is perfect, especially in songs like “Seven Reigns,” “Harbinger of a New Dawn” and “Under the Same Sky.”After a darker departure from its true sound on the 2008 release “Dawn,” Thy Majestie has come full circle to the glorious Italian euro-metal that many U.S. fans will hate because of its “stereotypical” and “overdone” sound. I am not one of those. There are enough metal bands in this world to satisfy the tastes of pretty much every fan. If you are one of those metal fans that expects every single band to create new styles or redefine old ones with every single release, then Thy Majestie is not the music you are looking for. For those fans that never tire of the spellbinding melodies, soaring vocals, and movie score majesty, “ShiHuangdi” should be on the ever growing "short list" of great albums released this year.Highs: All the brilliance of Italian euro power metal over a bed of white rice.Lows: Will not impress anyone that hates the stereotypical Italian symphonic metal.Bottom line: Confucius say: 'When stuck in musical mud....press play on 'ShiHuangDi.'" - Metal Underground
    $8.00