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  • New vinyl reissue of this US prog rarity.  Even the CD reissue from a decade ago is long out of print!  Considered by many to be one of the best examples of US prog."An overlookied US band, formed in early-70's and led by guitarist/keyboardist/sax player Robert Williams aka Roberts Owen (R.I.P.).The original line-up featured also multi-instrumentalist James Larner, keyboardist Mark Knox, drummer Jim Miller, bassist Paul Klotzbier and Jeff McMullen on lead vocals/guitars.Maelstrom had a private press LP out in Canada, recorded in 1973 at Fort Walton Beach in Florida and very rare nowadays, originally released under the title ''On the gulf''.Why this band is so overlooked remains a huge mystery to me, as Maelstrom had one of the most eclectic and intricate sounds back in the days.Every track shows a different amount of influences and musical approaches, always played under a very complicated yet well-structured musicianship, offering a huge and dramatic sound like a cross between ETHOS, CATHEDRAL and YEZDA URFA.There are strong amounts of melodies and acoustic passages in the vein of GENESIS, huge sax-based more improvised sections in the vein of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR and SOFT MACHINE, smooth electric parts with delicate vocal harmonies as tribute to CARAVAN, complex interplays as GENTLE GIANT first ever presented and YES-like adventurous symphonic orchestrations with a superb atmosphere.Heavy loads of Mellotron and organ, jazzy-flavored sax atmospheres, dramatic orchestrations with good electric parts, instrumental battles and endless changing climates can be detected constantly, leaving the most demanding proghead satisfied.In 1997 Black Moon Records re-issued the album in CD format under the title ''Maelstrom'' and this work contains a couple of extra tracks recorded live by Maelstrom in 1980 at the ''Three Rivers Festival'' in Indiana with only Owen and Klotzbier from the original line-up along with keyboardist Kent Overholser and Rollin Wood on drums.''Opus one'' has a strong E.L.P. vibe with organs leading the way along with some dramatic synth work in a classic Symphonic Rock track, while the longer ''Genesis to geneva'' is a bit more of a loose instrumental composition again in a Symphonic Rock path but surrounded with some more Avant-Garde/Fusion atmospheres, where synths, organ and electric guitars are on the forefront.A fantastic discovery for all fans of adventurous Classic Prog.Interesting combination of Symphonic Rock, Cantebury Prog and Jazz-Rock, where so much is going on.Definitely among the finest releases of the time in the USA/Canada and highly recommended." - Prog Archives
    $24.00
  • When the vinyl came in I proclaimed this as one of the frontrunners for album of the year and nothing has changed since.  Stunning album.Agusa is an instrumental quartet from Sweden.  The band is derived from members of Sveriges Kommuner & Landsting, Kama Loka and Hoofoot.  This is a VERY retro sounding album that will appeal to fans of Kebnekajse, Pink Floyd, and perhaps even Anglagard.  No symphonic elements - just straight up organ, guitar, bass, and drums ripping it up over four long tracks.  Very dynamic sounds going on - shimmering echoey guitar leads that will remind you of Kenny Håkanson or Achim Reichel battling it out with undercurrents of organ that erupt into solos.  Overarching the music is a mystical psychedelic vibe - like this whole thing was cooked up in an Arab hashish den.  BUY OR DIE!!
    $15.00
  • This Swedish ensemble are one of the smartest prog band going at the moment. The band somehow finds the middle ground between modern "alternative" rock and old school prog. There is a quirkiness that reminds of Gentle Giant without it sounding dated - in fact just the opposite - it sounds fresh and full of life. Even Mike Portnoy loves Beardfish! Highly recommended.
    $11.00
  • Beautiful new live recording from the Swedish prog ensemble led by guitarist Peter Bryngelsson.  The show was recorded at Silver Elephant in Tokyo on 11/23/11.  The material is drawn from their debut as well as their last studio album, released in 2008.  They close out with a cover of "21st Century Schizoid Man".  If you are unfamiliar with Ragnarok you really should check out their first two studio albums.  Their music blends symphonic rock a la Camel with the occasional edge of King Crimson as well as Swedish folk themes.  I love that echoplex'ed guitar sound.  This is the good stuff.  Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • 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
  • "Although I had no idea what has been running inside his head, I have always known that Michael Kiske, once the leading vocalist of HELLOWEEN and one of the prime candidates that was suggested to replace Bruce Dickinson in IRON MAIDEN back when the latter left in 1993, would come back big. Along with his old partner in crime back in the hungry days of 80s HELLOWEEN, Kai Hansen, and with members of PINK CREAM 69, including the wonderful producer Dennis Ward on bass, and Kiske's other band PLACE VENDOME, the UNISONIC band was born. Though it's not the rebirth of old HELLOWEEN but more of a mix with melodic Hard Rock music following GAMMA RAY signatures, this joint force showed true class just as it was expected from these veterans with a superb self-titled debut under Edel / Ear Music. Just for the record, I had the feeling that I won't be stumbling upon a Power Metal album as for Kiske obvious Hard Rock notations over the years that kept him somewhat locked out from the Metal world. I can't count his guest appearances as those weren't enough for new fans to accumulate this guy's amazing abilities. Though his band of late, PLACE VENDOME, has been playing something that is near Metal and its second album, "Streets Of Fire", knocked me to my feet, I knew, just like many others, that no matter how soft Kiske would go and no matter his opinions regarding the evil side of Metal, that is where he belongs. The UNISONIC band proves it pretty well. Kiske might not have the long standing high pitches of the past, yet he has more than enough vocal qualities that top most of the old guard of vocalists. As for his partner and amazing artist, Kai Hansen, it seemed as if his place was to be next to Kiske all along, together they made wonders and I believe that two "Keeper Of The Seven Keys" albums are enough as elaborations. When it comes to UNISONIC, I must say that I was glad it wasn't a sort of continuance to the old HELLOWEEN era, even if the opening hit "Unisonic" blasted as if it was a blast from the past straight from the glory days, yet with the addition of a superstar second lead guitarist in the image of Mandy Meyer. Though heavier and more Metal than anything other thing that Kiske has been involved in the last two decades, UNISONIC still relies on the vibes of melodic Hard Rock. The Metal edge serves as an appetizer and a little spicy ingredient to energize things up. "I've Tried" and "We Rise" delivers true class right to your table. Kiske voice sounds so rich, still full of youth while spewing majestic singing rhythms and I can't also ignore the emotive and crunchy soloing of both crushing guitarists. To this fine selection of high quality features I can account also "My Sanctuary", "Never Change Me", "Never Too Late" and blazing "Star Rider". Kiske, Hansen, Ward, Meyer and Zafiriou delivered a well written Hard Rock / Heavy Metal album with plenty of taste. In general I felt the touch of Kiske rather tuned the band to treads a lightly than if Hansen was at the helm, but with a voice like this and such amazing talents, which also involved a striking production, only good can come from this." - Metal Temple
    $14.00
  • New edition of the controversial 1986 album that featured both Steve Hackett and Steve Howe.  The music was a blend of AOR and prog rock.  Surprisingly they had a lot of commerical success with the album and a hit single with "When The Heart Rules the Mind".  I want my MTV!This new version includes a remastered version of the album with a few bonus tracks.  The second disc is a live recording from the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles on July 19, 1986.  Lots of liner notes from the appropriate culprits as well.
    $23.00
  • Boy...talk about an enigma wrapped around a conundrum!"Be" is the new existential epic from the brain of PoS mastermind Daniel Gildenlow. Incorporating the aid of the 9 piece "Orchestra Of Eternity" the band completely shift gears and explore a variety of musical genres - celtic, classical, soul, jazz, R&B, and of course progressive metal are all tossed about interchangeably. There are some delicate acoustic pieces that will rip your heart out as well as heavy riffing that fits right in with the typical PoS canon. Spoken parts and even sound effects figure prominently. How the whole thing fits together is the interesting part. Any fan expecting "The Perfect Element Part 2" will be disappointed - this is more along the lines of performance art. It's way too early in the game to decide if this is in fact a masterpiece or a folly - that will take at least the dozen listens this recording deserves. As I sit here typing, I have to sit back and scratch my head as I try to decipher what is going on here. I honestly can't remember when the last time I said that about an album...
    $15.00
  • "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
  • "Periphery have been an omnipresent force in the prog metalcore realm since their first album released in 2010 – band founder Misha Mansoor has served as producer on several of the genre’s albums, and the other members are all famous in their own right, whether it’s simply for their craft (Matt Halpern), their involvement in other projects (Spencer Sotelo, Mark Holcomb, Nolly Getgood), or just simply being the nephew of someone exceedingly famous (Jake Bowen). This makes whatever they decide to do extremely important, and the band’s decision to release a concept double album has created hype of hugelargic proportions. In my humble opinion, the band has delivered on all fronts, but not without some disappointments in the “could’ve been” area.Since their inception, Periphery have changed from a chugga-chug ambidjent project posting demos on the internet in the late 2000s to a full-fledged prog metal band with heavy elements of metalcore, post-hardcore, and pop music in general. If you weren’t onboard for “Periphery II”, “Juggernaut” likely won’t change your mind (unless your issues were relatively small), as it’s more of the same poppy atmosphere and less of the techy downtuned riffs, though god knows THOSE are still around. But there’s also a lot of style experimentation – jazz fusion, death metal, and various forms of electronica are all utilized on a semi-normal basis, and range from being seamlessly integrated into the music to being tacked on to the ends of songs like gluing a top-rate dildo onto an already particularly throbby penis. If this all sounds a bit schizophrenic, rest assured that the songcraft is, for the most part, tighter than it’s ever been. Singles from Alpha like “22 Faces” and “Alpha” itself show off Periphery’s pop prowess with choruses and hooks that refuse to leave your head, and complex riffs that are somehow just as ‘wormy as the vocals. And the songs on Omega are longer, more complex, and still manage to be as infectious as the most annoying of STDs – even the twelve minute sprawling title track that has more in common with the bombastic riffs of Periphery I has a shapely middle section that rivals even the hottest of…ugh, fuck it, done with the metaphors. It’s just insane. I cried when I heard it.And now onto what I don’t care for; first off, the decision to split the album into two parts was definitely well-informed from a marketing standpoint. Most people don’t go around listening to 80 minute records all day, myself included, and the supposedly delicate structure of a concept album also means that listening to Juggernaut by skipping to different songs would devalue the experience. So the band broke it into two records to make it seem more manageable to listen to in daily life. Another stated reason was so that newcomers to the band would be able to buy Alpha at a discounted price, decide if they liked it, and then purchase Omega if they were so inclined (music previewing doesn’t work like that anymore, but hey you can’t fault the band for trying to turn that into tangible record sales). The problem I have is that Omega isn’t really paced to be its own album, which makes releasing it on its own instead as simply as the second disc in a package a little pointless. It’s not like the excellent “The Afterman” double albums from Coheed and Cambria, which were each albums that worked in their own right. I realize that this is really just semantics, but I think calling Juggernaut both the third and fourth album from Periphery, while technically correct, is just disingenuous, and judging them fairly on their own as separate albums is impossible (which is why all reviews being published are including them together).Periphery has always had a unique way of pacing their albums, regularly including playful, sometimes relatively lengthy interludes between tracks. Juggernaut is no different, and these interludes are now occasionally used to seed songs that will appear later on the album, or provide callbacks to tracks already present. The transitions aren’t always elegant however, and can range from grin-inducing to head-scratching to just plain grating. Thankfully, the band isn’t going for the illusion that each song flows seamlessly into the next, at least no more than they were going for it on any of their previous albums, and it’s easy to get used to everything given multiple listens.Overall, Juggernaut is a dense album that’s going to take a myriad of listens to fully sink in, just like most of the band’s prior releases (I don’t think anyone is gonna argue that “Clear” has any depth that you would find after about the fifth listen or so, but hey hey that’s ok kay). But it’s also accessible on the surface with deceptively simple rhythms and poppy choruses, which draw you in to appreciate the deeper cuts. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes unique and thoughtful music in the post-hardcore, metalcore, and progressive metal genres, but I’d also recommend it to anyone ever, because this is my absolute favorite band and I think they’ve created a masterpiece. So take from that what you will, and then get the fuck out of here. The play button is calling my name." - iprobablyhateyourband.com
    $11.00
  • Limited reissue for North America of only 400 copies. This was the band's 2001 release and not available here for some time.
    $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
  • First time on CD - reissued in a gorgeous gatefold mini-lp sleeve. "Live In Montreux" is actually their first album, released in 1975, consisting of just four long tracks. This is great jazz rock that will appeal to fans of Weather Report and Perigeo.
    $18.00