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  • Limited edition live recording of Spock's Beard's complete set at the second High Voltage Festival at Victoria Park, London on July 24, 2011. Some odd stuff about this gig...Nick D'Virgilio was unable to appear so Enchant's Ted Leonard filled in (he has now done so permanently) and Jimmy Keegan played drums. Neal Morse joined the band during the set as a special guest.
    $10.00
  • Later album - some good moments.
    $15.00
  • 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
  • CD/DVD digipak version.  The DVD contains a "making of" documentary."It feels like it’s been longer than two years since Lacuna Coil’s last release, Dark Adrenaline, but where that album fell a little short, Broken Crown Halo feels like a true return to form for the band and this is perhaps one of the band’s strongest releases to date.Broken Crown Halo begins with Nothing Stands In Our Way, which slowly builds up into an absolute earworm of a tune and it’s no wonder that this was the track chosen to represent the album because it just has everything – fantastic vocal performances from both singers with a small hint of heaviness amongst the melody, and this wonderful heavy tone to the guitars atop of crushing drums.It’s not just the opener that will get stuck in your head however; with this album it really does feel that Lacuna Coil have crafted a whole collection of wholly memorable tracks. There’s Zombie, which features one of the best vocal performances from Andrea to date, with him seamlessly blending harsh and clean vocals together, and then there’s Die And Rise which begins with an introduction so catchy it’ll be stuck in your head for days. In all honesty, there isn’t a single track on the album that stands out as being bad.In essence, Broken Crown Halo is an exceedingly strong release from the band. It’s adventurous and fresh, whilst still retaining the classic Lacuna Coil ‘sound’ – and it’s excellent." - Soundscape
    $6.00
  • Everyone has their favorite Rush album...this one is mine. "A Farewell To Kings" is a pure masterpiece of progressive hard rock. Their use of dynamic shadings on this record are outstanding, most notably on "Xanadu". Essential prog.  Remastered edition.
    $5.00
  • James LaBrie once again that there is life outside of Dream Theater.  His solo band features a stable lineup consisting of Matt Guillory (keyboards), Marco Sfogli (guitars), Ray Riendeau (bass), Peter Wildoer (drums, death vox).  Jens Bogren once again mixed. An interesting twist to the mix is the inclusion of Soilwork's Peter Wichers who contributes some guitarwork and also collaborated on songwriting with LaBrie.While the music is square on prog metal and all in all not too dissimilar to Dream Theater its different enough to have its own vibe.  Wildoer's coarse vocal approach offers an interesting counterbalance to LaBrie's upper midrange clean voice.  The limited digipak edition comes with two bonus tracks.  Highly recommended.
    $13.00
  • Digipak edition with one bonus track."Tasting The Tears in the ninth studio offering from Italian prog metal masters Eldritch. For those who are unfamiliar with the band, that is what we here at Lady Obscure are here to do! We shine the spotlight on bands that may have flown under the music fans radar. Eldritch perform a technical form of melodic progressive metal with elements of thrash metal thrown in to create a style that is instantly recognizable as Eldritch. Following up on the success of the bands previous album Gaia’s Legacy (which included an invitation to perform a powerful set at the famous ProgPower USA festival in 2011) is no easy task, but after several listens of Tasting The Tears, I can safely say that Eldritch are up for the challenge. After the global warming concept of Gaia’s Legacy, the band turns to more personal subject matter. The lyrics on Tasting The Tears share a common theme: love in all its different forms. Not exactly progressive metal forte but Eldritch pull it off thanks to vocalist Terence Holler’s emotive delivery and some excellent songwriting.Tasting the Tears was produced by Eugene Simone at ES Studios in Livorno, Italy. and mixing and mastering duties have been handled by Simone Mularoni (DGM) at Domination Studios in San Marino, Italy. The album combines melody, complexity, and dark compositions to create a cohesive album. The production is crisp and all the individual instruments are given a clear representation in the mix. The album kicks off with Inside You, a moody and catchy headbanger with a soaring melodic chorus, and lots of tasty riffs courtesy of the guitar duo of Eugene Simone and Rudj Ginanneschi. The title track features the keyboard wizardy of Gabriele Caselli overlapping the thrash metal machine gun drumming of Rafahell Dridge with melody. The mood takes on a melancholy and darker tone with Alone Again. The band combines the clean guitar tones with keyboards and Holler’s melodic voice combined with superb vocal harmonies. Based on the lyrical content, Waiting For Someone is a song about loneliness and the search for love. The music is heavy and progressive with plenty of melody and guitar crunch. Seeds of Love has a driving intense drums and chugging guitar rhythms. A piano intro starts of The Trade, a song of betrayal and the tone relects the seriously dark subject matter. The thrashing mad Something Strong is filled with brutal riffs, technical drumwork, and impassioned vocals. Don’t Listen the trash influence is apparent but Caselis keyboards and Hollers vocals add the perfect melodic touch. The band shows their diversity and takes a chance with the moody piano ballad Iris. The song is well done although personally I would rather hear the band rock hard. Luckily the next song Love From A Stone shows the band doing what they do best and that is playing intense and melodic prog metal.The energy is ramped up on Clouds, an intense heavy progressive song with some fantastic keyboard work and a fantastic memorable chorus. As with Gaia’s Legacy, the albums closing song is a cover song, this time of the Queensr├┐che classic I Will Remember from Rage for Order. The song is given the Eldritch treatment with added piano and Holler’s voice which is drastically different from vintage Geoff Tate, but he adds his own unique spin to the song and make it his own. Is it better than the original? Of course not, but it is a faithful rendition and tribute to one of the bands influences and I commend the band for taking a chance on recording a song of this stature in the metal world.Although it is not a perfect album, s a fan of Eldritch, I can highly recommend Tasting the Tears. It’s not as heavy and lively as Gaia’s legacy or Blackenday, but being one of the lucky fans to catch their last U.S. performance, I can say that the band puts on a highly energetic show and one can only hope that they return to U.S. shores soon. Fans of melodic progressive metal with a touch of thrash will appreciate the latest Eldritch offering." - Lady Obscure
    $15.00
  • Remastered edition of the band's 1987 album comes with a few bonus tracks (some incosequential single edits truth be told) as well as fresh liner notes and photos. Not a lot of "prog" happening here.
    $8.00
  • "Riot has always been ahead of the curve, be it their powerful riff machine, or their unapologetic status as pioneers in the speed metal genre. I would like to take an opportunity to differ once again with the common viewpoint here, this is not “almost” Painkiller 2 years before; it is its doppelganger, at least in terms of kick ass aggressiveness and image. It is a more musical and complex answer to the thrash genre that it fathered; its spirit is that of a triumphant warrior cutting down its foes. While the heroic Painkiller soared through the sky putting fear into the hearts of his enemies, Thundersteel’s half-cyborg/half-tank body stood tall to face them on the ground.In 1988 metal was mostly known by its image, and if you judge these guys by that alone, they look like the bastard sons of Motley Crue and Judas Priest. But when Tony Moore blasts his high banshee voice into the microphone, he sounds like a crazed Viking Berserker ready to behead an army of frightened Romans. Mark Reale, the only remaining originator of this outfit, wields his guitar like a battle axe and challenges the likes of K.K. Downing, Dave Murray and Ross the Boss. Bobby Jarzombek, who is well known for his work with Rob Halford’s solo project, as well as several other bands, gives the performance of his life on here. Don Van Stavern keeps the bottom end solid and has a wicked bass intro in “Johnny’s Back”.There is never a dull moment on this album, from start to finish it grabs you by the throat and commands you to praise the Gods of Metal. Be it the fast as hell title track, which rivals anything Judas Priest has ever put out, or the more moderated Deep Purple riff monster “Sign of the Crimson Storm”, it screams metal. You’ve got an anthem of rebellion and non-conformity at warp speed like “Johnny’s Back” in the running, or the Manowar inspired heavy ballad “Bloodstreets”, which gives Heart of Steel a run for its money. “Fight or Fall” and “Flight of the Warrior” have memorable choruses and plenty of amazing lead work, all done by the original speed metal riff man Mark Reale, while “On Wings of Eagles” is a better produced version of something you might find on Kill Em’ All.We’ve got two highlights on this album, both of which are a good bit different than the lion’s share of speed driven songs on here. “Run for your life” is an upper mid-tempo crusher with tons of great lead guitar work, but it’s true charm is the chorus, which reminds me a bit of the high/low vocal interchanges that you hear on Dio’s early material. “Buried Alive (The Tell Tale Heart)” is actually a bit reminiscent of Crimson Glory’s work on Transcendence, which came out the same year that this did. You’ve got a rather odd spoken intro with a clean and somber guitar line, followed by some brilliant twin guitar soloing (all done by one guy, just the same way Tony Iommi did it). After 3 minutes of mind-blowing, we get a slow and evil sounding groove that grows into a brilliant homage to the NWOBHM, names like Iron Maiden and Angel Witch come to mind.In conclusion, this is a piece of metal history that demands to be listened to. If you are a power metal fan who lives for speed and melody, get your tight jeans wearing ass to the store right now. If you’re a holdover from the glory days of traditional metal and you don’t have it, get it now or risk having your credentials as a metal head questioned. If you love thrash with attitude, this gives the bands that carry that label a run for their money. Fans of Judas Priest, Manowar, Helloween, Running Wild, and Iron Maiden in particular will love this. There is a new power alive in the distance, carrying a fully charged plasma cannon, followed by an army of true metal warriors, and his name is “Thundersteel”." - Metal Archives
    $7.00
  • Obscure German prog private release from 1976, reissued on vinyl from the master tapes including 2 non-lp bonus tracks.There were many unsigned German prog bands doing their thing in the mid-70s.  El Shalom borrowed a little bit from Genesis and a lot from Faithful Breath and Eloy.  Keyboards remind quite a bit of Eloy but done up in a bit of a low budget way that some will hate and some find endearing.  Vocals are a mix of English and German."I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that a band with a Hebrew name sings in both German and English. Darned if I could explain this 1976 album, as it’s one of the more unique albums to have come my way in a long time. Leave it to Garden of Delights to reissue this oddball. It would appear the German sung tracks are for their more aggressive work, while they use English for the lighter fantasy fare (ala Yes, Nektar, Eloy). So the Deutsch songs could be seen as the successor to Prof Wolfff or Eulenspygel – that is a heavier rock base, with some snotty attitude. The exception would be the German narrated ‘Alvin Zweistein’, which recalls Minotaurus, when coupled with the spacey nature of the music. One note about the keyboards: They almost seem homemade. The organ is of the mid-1960s variety, whereas there are some electronics that one might hear on some experimental albums from 1967 or 1968 (think Silver Apples). Flute, sax and dual guitars round out the lead chores. Overall, El Shalom have provided us a very intriguing album. There doesn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason to what they were doing, certainly not a play for anything commercial.  “Frost” came out at a time when private releases, such as this, were quite rare and there wasn’t any preset audience expectation. Other than the production quality, which is charmingly muffled, the album is well composed and professional. Don’t make the same mistake I did and pass this one up. A chance encounter allowed me the opportunity and now it will get continual study for a good number of years. CD contains 4 relevant, and good, bonus tracks. Interesting trivia note: “Frost” was recorded in the same obscure, tiny studio as Dom and Kalacakra!" - Cun Cun Revival Blog
    $26.00
  • Remastered edition of the long out of print one-off band. It's a short one but a classic. Festa Mobile was actually a precursor to Il Baricentro. While they never displayed that band's pyrotechic fusion leanings, they did have some subtle jazz overtones but a classical influence dominated. The music is dominated by virtuoso piano runs and fuzzed out guitar leads. Gorgeous disc.
    $16.00
  • "One of the most elegantly complex and fully realized of the "difficult" Italian classics, Melos is for fans of the Osanna, Balletto di Bronzi, RRR, and Semiramis styles. I have a hunch that fans of Crimson, VDGG, and Gentle Giant will also approve. It will probably be less appreciated by fans of the gentler and more accessible bands like Celeste and Locanda delle Fate. The musical approach and the sound are very sophisticated and unique. A combination of primarily guitars, flutes and saxes are tightly woven into a very dense, often dark, unsettling, and just plain eerie feel. Some sources say there are no (or very little) keyboards used to create this sound palette which is certainly unusual. Sometimes I think I hear some but I can't be sure the way the other instruments are employed. It took me many plays to really get past the rather exhausting outer shell and discover the melodies hiding inside and now I just cannot get enough of this excellent material. This band from Naples was related to the Osanna band via the Rustici brothers, the younger one in Cervello was another example of how the very young were leaders in the Italian scene back then. Corrado Rustici was but a teenager when the band recorded Melos in Milan back in 1973. While Osanna's big album "Palepoli" generally gets the most attention my personal view is that "Melos" is a better album. While not as trippy as the wildly freaky "Palepoli" I feel that Melos is more overtly musical and more genuinely satisfying in the long run.Juan at ItalianProg describes the Cervello sound like this: "There is great deal of excellent acoustic guitar work and mellotron-like sounds created by the saxophones. The vocals coupled with the acoustic guitar and flutes hypnotize the listener into a technical yet fluid atmosphere so the music then breaks into a frenzy full of sax and adventurous guitar playing. The tempo and mood change from calm and melodic to violent and bizarre (interweaving between scales). No keyboards present, but they are not needed due to the "cerebral" arrangements these musicians have created for us on this album."[Juan Carlos Lopez] In another great review Warren Nelson sums up the sound perfectly: ".with soaring and complex melodies, compelling and angular instrumental passages culminating in some aggressive individual performances, all weaved together in a tapestry of beautiful and emotional musical syncopation. One of the few Italian prog releases without a prominent keyboard arsenal, the rich sound of this band is achieved with powerful drumming, multiple woodwinds, and intelligent scaler runs on guitar. But not least of all are the typically emotionally powerful vocals. Dynamic change-ups and exquisite group interaction complete another example of one of the finest Italian progressive albums you will ever hear."[Warren Nelson]My own take on the specific tracks: "Canto Del Capro" begins with layers of flutes over what sounds like a foghorn and cymbal splashes moving left to right in the stereo spectrum. Soon an acoustic guitar precedes delightfully freaky operatic style vocals like only the Italians can do. A thrilling opening. Suddenly the drums kick in and you think it might be "normal" for a bit but soon these ungodly compressed vocals rattle your eardrums. Strange acoustic and electric guitar flares round out the rest of this unsettling start. "Trittico" is an enchanting initially with sentimental flute melody, acoustic and vocal. Eventually a crazy sax and percussion crash the party for a bit before the soft opening style returns with additional guitar noodlings. After a brief fade the end section is a bizarre cacophony of choral voices. My one complaint is wishing the bass were a bit more clear and upfront, sometimes it is distant and muddy but it's a minor nitpick. "Euterpe" begins with acoustic and flutes again in a warm and inviting mood. This eventually leads into the full band jamming with a real e-guitar and saxophone workout. "Scinsicne" begins with guitar that sounds like it came from an outtake of "Astronomy Domine!" In comes great flute and bass interplay and then vocals which are another strong point on this album. As the band comes on full the saxes jump into the fray and the sound gets brutal. At 3:48 is one of my favorite parts of the album, these mutant bizarre sounds and drums that mimic some sinister funeral dirge. This is followed by a maniacal e-guitar solo. "Melos" features great flute and sax workouts again with another Rustici axe thrashing at the end. "Galassia" is a feast of inventive vocal interludes over beautifully played acoustic guitars. Dabbles of flute precede a full blown e-guitar freakout challenged by pursuing sax and percussion attacks. You'll need a shower after this track. "Affresco" is a rather traditional sounding closer piece, very short and there just to bring you gently back to Earth after your cerebral pummeling.I guess the reason I light up the magic star 5 would be this: Even when listening to most good albums it is evident that I am doing just that. I'm listening to a collection of songs that are just too structured and I know what is coming. They might light up my pleasure center and my brain says "oh that's a good song, let me listen to more of the same!" Melos does not allow me to stagnate. It's more like eavesdropping on someone's thoughts (presented musically) than listening to the next "killer song, dude." Their thoughts or perhaps their nightmares in this case with everything being so strange, the album starts and it's like this bizarre trip occurs. Even some of my favorite albums are relatively predictable but not Melos. With each play I still wonder what the hell is going on. It still pushes my buttons and challenges me, my definition of a genuinely progressive album. That's not the only way an album can get 5 stars from me but it is one way.This is one of the Italian albums you hear people describe as "harsh" and you might hate it the first several times you listen. Don't get discouraged. Put it away and spin it every other month..like many of the best prog albums you may end up loving it a year from now. That's how it was for me-a real grower. But while many of us are thrilled by this album it is not universally loved in the way that PFM is. It's rather confrontational sonic style does have its detractors so read plenty of reviews before you take the plunge. In my book this is essential for Italian fans and recommended for fans of stuff like "Red" era Crimson. Try to find the Japanese mini-lp sleeve edition which features decent sound and a high quality reproduction of the cool artwork. I love the cover of this album..fantastic stuff!" - ProgArchives
    $11.00
  • "InsideOutMusic present three albums by US prog metal act REDEMPTION as one attractively priced limited 3CD box set. Featuring the mighty Ray Alder (Fates Warning) on vocals, "The Origins Of Ruin", "Snowfall On Judgement Day" and "This Mortal Coil" are perfect examples of high class progressive metal fusing heaviness and epic melodies."
    $18.00
  • Second album from this Belgian band fronted by guitarist Dusan Petrossi. This is extremely similar to his other band Iron Mask. Exceptionally well executed neoclassical metal that is a slavish imitation of Malmsteen with just a touch of Rhapsody tossed in for good measure. Not one original note or move but still quite enjoyable if you gravitate towards this style of power metal. Former At Vance vocalist Oliver Hartmann guests on two tracks.
    $15.00