Chimera (Remaster)

In my mind these guys can do no wrong. Fans bitch and moan about the first two albums because they sound a bit different from one another. I like 'em both and I like this new third one just as much if not more. Everyone knows I'm a freak for keyboards in my metal and Chimera is loaded with them (maybe too much for some people's taste?). Great great hooks and melodies, flowing guitar riffs, and yes David Fremberg is the right voice for the band. This is progressive metal the way I like it. Highest recommendation - a great album.

New remastered edition on Inner Wound Recordings.

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  • 2nd album from this New York based prog rock band. They are obviously from the new breed of progressive rock bands like Spock's Beard, The Underground Railroad, and Echolyn in that they wear some of their influences on their sleeve but they wrap it up in an original package. Izz places more of an emphasis on hooks, memorable melodies and intelligent lyrics than they do balls to the wall playing. Which is not to say there isn't some great instrumental bits through out. At times I hear elements of Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Porcupine Tree, and The Beatles. Overall if there was one band I could compare them to it would be The Underground Railroad. I think it's safe to say that this is a band that in the years to come will make a name for themselves in the genre - this is a good start. Really good stuff - recommended!
    $12.00
  • Digipak edition with bonus track."These Power Metal merchants are held in high regard thanks to their personnel who have the experience, plus the previous four albums by Silent Force have held the attention mixing the hooks with rampant guitar riffs and their flair for clinical execution.Their last album, 'Walk The Earth', was unleashed back in 2007 so there has been plenty of water under the proverbial bridge leading up to this release.One notable difference for fans of Silent Force is the absence of D.C. Cooper on lead vocals. He has returned to the mighty Danish Melodic Progressive Rock band Royal Hunt and on this album is replaced by Michael Bormann known for his work with Bloodbound and Powerworld.Known as the main brain behind these Metal marauders, Alex Beyrodt starts the proceedings with some Yngwie Malmsteen style fretwork before 'Caught In Their Wicked Game' runs loose. Fast paced and ready to eliminate the competition the band sound hungry and eager to please.The new vocalist here really complements the sound, but may have some struggles winning over purists who yearn for their favourite original singer. 'There Ain't No Justice' and 'Circle Of Trust' both thrust the sword through the torso as the energy remains relentless.I really enjoyed the opening salvo of these three songs the first time I heard this album, through to the fifth spin and so on. The latter of these three tracks retains a pop sensibility, but loses none of the Metal credentials that you'd expect from this band.Not much to find fault about regarding 'Living To Die' which doesn't have the same prominent and obvious hooks as the previous songs, but still retains the quality. Listen out for some tasty keys from Alessandro Del Vecchio in the song 'Before You Run' and there's some mean riffing throughout 'You Gotta Kick It'. The balancing trick between the keys and guitar is the love affair that makes this album so appealing to the ears. They are the real stars from start to finish.Sarah has a lot to answer for as 'Turn Me Loose' tackles a relationship lyrically and maintains the groove in the backdrop. Solid drumming from André Hilgers keeps the good ship Silent Force on course providing a solid backbone, but is still unable to save this song from being below par in comparison to the rest. Perhaps slipping a little through the gears and reaching auto-pilot, 'Born To Be A Fighter' goes through the numbers competently enough, but the sparks aren't flying.Meanwhile, 'Anytime Anywhere' picks up the level of quality and mixes things up with a fine arrangement oozing melodies at each turn. This brings us to the final track 'Kiss Of Death' which chugs along like your favourite Metal anthem. The chorus stands up well and is a great way to round off what overall has been an enjoyable journey.Eight out of ten of the songs here are monuments to their reputation and abilities. Top quality musicianship, crisp production and power found in the crevices are all that I was hoping for initially, plus a feisty and strong delivery from the new vocalist. Thankfully, they tick the boxes consistently apart from a couple of weaker tracks that don't quite reach up to the benchmark they set with the rest of the album. Let power and melody unite in a blissful collision once more, as album number five aligns itself with their back catalogue." - Metal Talk  
    $16.00
  • First album from Dan Swano actually works in a progressive rock style not that different from Landberk.
    $20.00
  • I'm going to get straight to the point.  If you are a fan of female fronted metal you must own this album.  The Human Contradiction is a complete triumph.  It finds the band returning a bit to their roots.  There are still poppy elements - that's part of their core sound - but there is a heaviness that will remind you of Lucidity.  Nightwish's Marco Hietala returns contributing on clean vocals. Also back is Orphanage vocalist George Oosthoek who is one of the best growlers in the metal scene.  Arch Enemy vocalist Alissa White-Gluz makes a guest appearance.Timo Somers' guitar riffs are chunkier, Charlotte's voice is impeccable as always, and Martijn's keyboards are simply epic.  The album was recorded at Studio Fredman and sounds massive.  Weaving the whole album together is a sci-fi theme borrowed from the writings of Octavia Butler.This is an album filled with a enough earworm hooks to drive you crazy but at the same time its heavy!  For my taste its a top 10 album for 2014.  BUY OR DIE!Limited edition 2CD mediabook edition.  The bonus CD contains 2 additional new studio tracks as well as live tracks and two orchestral versions of tracks from The Human Contradiction.  Essential.
    $16.00
  • This is a new project put together by ex-Xystus drummer Ivo van Dijk.  Its cut from a similar cloth to that band's Equilibrio album in that its a full blown epic all-star project.  While Equilibrio was based on an opera, Karmaflow is actually based on a video game that Ivo was involved in developing.  The album features the Metropole Orchestra and the following participants:Vocalists:Simone Simons - EpicaMark Jansen - Epica, MaYanDani Filth - Cradle Of FilthLindsay Schoolcraft - Cradle Of FilthMarc Hudson - DragonforceAlica White-Gluz - Arch EnemyElyse Ryd - AmarantheCharlotte Wessels - DelainHennning Basse - Rage, MaYanMariangela Demurtas - TristaniaTony Kakko - Sonata ArcticaDaniël de Jongh - TexturesLisette van den Berg - Scarlet StoriesBas Dolmans - XystusMusicians:Ariën van Weesenbeek - EpicaCoen Janssen - EpicaRuud Jolie - Within TemptationIvo Severijns - PowerplaySander Gommans - HDKMerel Bechtold - Delain, MaYan, Purest Of PainBob Wijtsma - Blaze Of DarknessLuuk van Gerven - After ForeverUri Dijk - Textures, EtherealWill SchutAnd did I mention the Metropole Orchestra?  Yes I did.  Again.This one is crazy good.  Highest recommendation.
    $14.00
  • New limited edition digipak - remastered gold disc edition of the band's fourth album. Features one bonus live track.
    $16.00
  • Arguably the best American prog band going present us with their first album in 8 years.  Its a 47 minute mindf**k of a journey - just one long continuous track.  It starts out in quiet, ambient territory and then transmogrifies into something else.  Guitar leads snake to the fore and then disappear, Mellotrons and Moogs carry you along into the deepest regions of your mind.  Flute and bouzouki and there...and then they are gone.  Intense stuff that walks a similar path to early 70s Pink Floyd.  The band recommends you listen with headphones.  I agree!  Highly recommended.
    $11.00
  • Second album from this phenomenal instrumental trio from Norway. Keyboardist Ståle Storløkken has expanded his palette a bit but still relies heaviy on Hammond organ and Fender Rhodes. The keys/bass/trio connect telepathically and the whole thing works in a weird ELP meets Tony Williams' Lifetime kind of a way. SLAMMIN'!!!
    $18.00
  • The DVD features the new video for lead track ‘Drive Home’ along with the video for ‘The Raven That Refused To Sing’, both directed by Jess Cope. It also includes four tracks recorded live in Frankfurt during the recent tour.  In addition, the DVD features audio recordings of two previously unreleased tracks, ‘The Birthday Party’ and an orchestral version of ‘The Raven That Refused To Sing’.‘The Birthday Party’ was recorded in the LA at the same sessions as the tracks that made up the album while the version of ‘The Raven That Refused To Sing’ is a new mix that strips the track back to just the orchestra and vocals. These tracks are also featured on the CD, along with the audio from the live tracks and an edit of ‘Drive Home’. The set is packaged in a ‘mini-LP’ sleeve pac.
    $16.00
  • "Twelve years, eight studio albums, two live DVDs and tours that have taken them from Moscow to Quebec. Now one of the most enduring third wave progressive rock bands on the scene returns - a band that has never made an album using the same personnel as the previous album. In fact, the same lineup has (to date) never been used twice.But there are regulars. And some of the favorite regulars are back for the 8th album: Flower Kings bass legend Jonas Reingold; the ever-faithful and gifted Theo Travis, familiar to many from his work with the Steven Wilson band, Gong and Robert Fripp, with his arsenal of wind textures from saxophones to flutes; and the return to the fold of the amazingly talented Luke Machin, a guitar hero for a new generation who can even wow the old generations (and who also fronts his own band, Maschine). And of course there's band leader Andy Tillison (keyboards and vocals), the only member of the band to have played on all the records.This team is joined by Morgan Ågren, Swedish drumming phenomenon who can even count Frank Zappa among his previous jobs (others include, but not limited to, Kaipa, Devin Townsend, and his own acclaimed Mats/Morgan Band). Morgan introduces to The Tangent a real live energy full of inspiration and eccentricity.The band, who were only supposed to make one single album in 2003, are now back with their eighth! A Spark In the Aether is a joyous and uplifting romp that sees the band concentrating on their forté: delivering driving, melodic, thoughtful and inspired songs with a large grin on their faces as they do it."Using protest, sadness and negative images in music is a part of an artist's job" says Andy Tillison, "and it's something we have often done. But every so often I think we need to turn to the music itself and remember why it is we get so much from it. On this album I just wanted us to play - have fun, make music and mischief that can be enjoyed just for the sake of it"So, twelve years further down the line, after albums about dystopian societies, midlife crises, alienation, homelessness and communications - the Tangent return to the very beginning and once again celebrate The Music. You are invited to join in."
    $16.00
  • Second album from German band led by vocalist D.C. Cooper. Almost sounds like a different band than the one that recorded "The Empire Of The Future". First off the production is much better . Also it sounds to my ears that D.C. is singing with a touch more aggression and there is overall a bit more of a speedy feel. Still plenty of intricate keyboard lines and smoking guitar solos from Alex Beyrodt. Comes with an MPEG video clip of "See Beyond".
    $10.00
  • Second (or first - they are interchangeable) half of the simultaneous release from this Argentinian prog rock band.  "The Facts" might differentiate itself slightly from "The Tales" in that there seems to be a bit more of a crunch factor in the guitarwork but overall this is still symphonic rock.  Pretty damn good too!  Guesting on this album is the great Damian Wilson on vocals.
    $13.00
  • "Empire 21 is a new Swedish act featuring some native heavyweights in the hard rock and heavy metal venue, including CJ Grimmark (Rob Rock, Narnia, Fullforce, et al) on guitar and Tobias Enbert (Darkwater, Harmony) on drums. However, the one to watch in the band maybe Ricard Hulteke, a natural melodic vocalist with smooth voice and good range for rock and metal.Empire 21 sound also fits into that blur between melodic hard rock and heavy metal. The thickness of the riffs and the deep bottom end of the rhythm section may give some cause to a 'modern' rock or metal label. But their sound is hardly harsh or intrusive as current trends go. Instead, melody, harmony, and groove are all active and ambitious across this album, from vocal to guitar arrangements, admidst the hard and heavy wrapper. You'll find this within I Can't, This Is My Story, 100 Nights or Heard It All. Yet, that last song trips you up at the start with it's classical piano intro. Groove and metal heaviness combine any many songs as well. All Is Lost, Would You, and No Matter The Winds of Change have those sharp riffs and rumbling bottom end spun through catchy groove. All the while, Grimmark rips off some feisty solos and Hulteke keeps pace, raising above the heaviness. Althought sometimes, if only briefly, the density of the arrangement can squelch his vocals as within Traveler and Empire 21. Basically, then, Empire 21's sound is an interesting and entertaining one, putting melodic heavy metal in a contemporary context that should appeal both to fans of the both old and new schools. Recommended." - Dangerdog
    $15.00
  • "Retribution” is the new album from Sweden’s Nightingale, the intended one-off project that refuses to die. Established by musical multi-talent Dan Swanö almost 20 years ago, the band is proof that good music can take on a life of its own, often when the artist least expects it.Known for his work both as a producer/engineer and with metal acts Edge Of Sanity, Bloodbath, Pan-Thy-Monium and most recently Witherscape, Swanö began his unplanned Nightingale journey in 1995 with “The Breathing Shadow”. It was a one-off goth-flavoured solo album heavily reminiscent of The Sisters Of Mercy, meant to satisfy his interest in the genre and then be put quietly to bed as Swanö moved on to other projects. The album was successful enough to warrant a follow-up according to his label at the time (Black Mark), but Swanö was, as he puts it "so over the goth thing.""I thought that if I was going to make a second record it had to reflect what I was listening to at the moment. I was going through a big revival of Gamma, Foreigner, Journey and all that super melodic AOR pomp rock stuff. It was a weird turn from the first record, so I decided to make Nightingale a home for music that I write in the moment, no matter what it is."Nightingale released five more albums between '96 and '07, slowly establishing a band line-up that began with Swanö's guitarist/keyboardist brother Dag in 1996 acting as a co-producer and session player on “The Closing Chronicles”. He officially came aboard in 1998 under his Tom Nouga moniker. The band was fleshed out by bassist Erik Oskarsson and drummer Tom Björn, who had their first rehearsal with the Swanö brothers on Christmas Day 2000. “White Darkness” from 2007 could well have been the last Nightingale album, as it featured very little songwriting input from Swanö due to severe writer's block. He decided to focus on his career as an engineer and chose to make music as a hobby. His creative side won eventually, however, as the urge to write and play again became irresistible."I bought a few instruments that would inspire me, and eventually the riffs started piling up," Swanö recalls. "I was collecting them for some kind of death metal release, and the other stuff that came out ended up being what could be used for a future Nightingale record."Originally titled “Bravado” in the working stages, “Retribution” offers up 10 songs steeped in uncomplicated '70s and early '80s-flavoured rock. Tracks such as 'Chasing The Storm Away', 'Forevermore' and 'The Maze' could have easily found a home on commercial rock radio 30 years ago, yet the album is completely relevant in 2014. Fans of Swanö's heavier works that are unfamiliar with Nightingale may be surprised the simplicity of the music and the band's non-aggressive approach."It's not easy to write simple stuff that's good," Swanö points out, suggesting people take a good long listen to “Retribution” rather than dismissing it.In Swanö's estimation “Retribution” succeeds because the songs "just kind of happened." He never set out to write any specific parts; the music is in fact a result of spontaneous moments, whether it was an accidental combination of notes on a keyboard that became an opening riff ('On Stolen Wings') or an odd guitar tuning ('Warriors Of The Dawn'). On top of that, the songs were hashed out in the rehearsal room before the band went into the studio, resulting in major changes to some of the music as it developed."When I listen to the record I don't want to have any regrets," explains Swanö. "There's no point in releasing a new Nightingale record if I don't think it's the best we ever did. That a pretty high standard to have, but if I don't feel that way when I listen to it the moment it's ready, it's got nothing to do with our back catalogue. That's the way I've felt with every record."Asked to sum up what “Retribution” means to him with regards to Nightingale's legacy, Swanö offers the following: "Classic rock with that pomp attitude really inspired me. I just wanted a good production that could hold up well against a band like Alter Bridge but still have a bit of the sonic charisma of the records from '79, which was a great year for music. The target was to make a timeless record with good, classy songs that the four of us can agree are really cool."Nightingale’s “Retribution” comes packaged in beautiful artwork courtesy of Travis Smith (Opeth, Nevermore, Katatonia, etc.) and should equally appeal to open-minded atmospheric metal and also to melodic prog rock supporters into bands like Rush, Marillion, Styx, Kansas, The Mission, Queensryche, Enchant, Threshold, Arena oreven Opeth and Katatonia."
    $13.00