Crafty Hands

SKU: FGBG4314
Label:
Musea Records
Category:
Progressive Rock
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The band's second album for Arista. Personally I always preferred this one ahead of their debut but that's a personal choice (no hate e-mails please). Indispensible prog.

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  • Wearing their influences on their sleeves this young Utah based band has blown me away with their very progified version of prog-metal. Influences from Metallica, Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Rush and even Yes pop up all over the place. I'm a hardcore sucker for keyboard laced prog and Hourglass' debut is loaded to the hilt with it. Jerry Stenquist's synth leads mesh with Brick Williams' Petrucci-esque leads clawing their way to the forefront on these epic length tracks. Although a latecomer to the band, vocalist Chad Neth has a solid midrange style that slips comfortably within the fold. The rhythm section of Jonathan Berrett and John Dunston hold their own anchoring the proceedings. The 27 minute title track in a monster composition that demonstrates the band's ability to balance old school prog rock with cutting edge prog metal. Flowing and melodic this is the deal. The band doesn't bludgeon you with heaviness but it's the overall scope that makes me categorize this in the metal category. A similar band that I would compare them to would be Clockwork.Sorry to gush - this is about as fine a debut as I've heard in a long time. I can confortably say that this is a band we will hear a lot more from in the future. Naturally I think you should all be falling all over yourselves to hear this band.
    $12.00
  • Second album from this Swiss band draws very heavily from the Katatonia musical gene pool.  Melancholy metal that actually has a groove.  Some of the proggier bits remind of Tool.   
    $13.00
  • 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
  • This release is part of the "Deep Jazz Reality" series that explores obscure jazz titles.  Often the music touches on modal, spiritual, and even psychedelic jazz.  While Japanese artists are often featured, the series is a bit wide open, touching on musicians from all over the globe.  These CD reissues are limited releases in mini-lp sleeves and often go out of print, at which point they sell for ridiculous prices.Toshiaki Yokota is a legendary jazz flautist in Japan that is apparently still going strong.  He was involved in four 1970 albums, three of which he was the leader.  All of his early albums sell in the "if you have to ask you can't afford it" range.  While Exciting Flute is the most conventional of them all it still has quite a bit of charm.  Its a fully plugged in set, in which his Beat Generation ensemble run through their interpretations of the current pop hits of the day - with Yokota's flute work at the fore.  Its all a bit campy now, listening to beat psych/big band interpretations of "Venus", and "Born To Be Wild" but still fun.
    $30.00
  • 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!
    $12.00
  • Tripped out album from South American guitarist Alfonso Lovo. Recorded in 1976, this only existed as an unreleased acetate.  With Santana percussionist Jose "Chepito" Areas on board, you can hear the obvious influences but there is a definite psychedelic vibe - this isn't straight up latin rock.  Synthesisers waft through the air with a lysergic randomness that reminds of some stoned out Jamaican session.  Snakey wah-wah'ed out guitar leads add to the fun and the horns and percussion treat the whole thing like some weird out take from Abraxas.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • Phenomenal new release from this NY based band with ties to Coheed & Cambria. 3 are fronted by Joey Eppard, one of the great prog rock vocalists going these days. 3 is not a band about complexity although they have great chops. Their music is a roller coaster ride of melody, emotion, and intelligence. Some heavy moments but nothing approaching metal. While not sounding similar, I could see fans of Porcupine Tree falling all over themselves for 3. Highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • "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
    $11.00
  • Redemption is one of the leading progressive metal bands in the world today.  Formed in Los Angeles, California in 2000 by guitarist / keyboardist / songwriter Nicolas van Dyk, the band features legendary progressive metal vocalist Ray Alder of Fates Warning, as well as guitarist Bernie Versailles (Agent Steel), and the phenomenal rhythm section of Chris Quirarte (drums) and Sean Andrews (bass).Redemption’s combination of heaviness not usually found in progressive metal, irresistible melodies and emotional urgency has created a unique and resonant voice for this band that sets them apart from the many clones in the genre, and which has gained them the attention of fans, critics and musicians.Through the band’s first three studios CDs (2002s self-titled first release, 2005’s The Fullness of Time, and 2007’s The Origins of Ruin), Redemption gained a loyal fanbase and garnered rave reviews worldwide from critics, who describe Redemption’s music as“one of the best progressive metal acts to emerge in the past decade” – DPRP“magical aura and incredible songwriting” – BLABBERMOUTH“it's powerful, catchy, enslaving, technical; it's the whole bunch” – LORDS OF METAL“the new star on the US prog-metal sky” – SQUEALER ROCKSAfter touring in support of Dream Theater and documenting at headlining show at tour’s end entitled Frozen in the Moment, the band returned to the studio to release 2009’s Snowfall on Judgment Day and 2011’s This Mortal Coil.Performing in support of that record, in 2012 Redemption co-headlined the world-famous ProgPower Festival in Atlanta, where the band recorded a unique show featuring nearly 80 minutes of material and staged with complementary visuals that drive home the compelling emotional impact of this band.   That performance is now being released as a CD/DVD set with additional bonus material through Sensory Records, the band’s original label.  From fan favorites such as the never-before-performed Parker’s Eyes to the crushing emotional weight of Stronger than Death, Redemption’s performance captured the special ability of its music to deeply connect with fans.  In the words of one concert-goer, Redemption’s show “was definitely the most exhausting, personal and emotional musical experience I’ve ever had.” 
    $17.00
  • Brief Nocturnes is the band's 11th album.  It marks their return to Inside Out and quite frankly its the best album they have released in a very long time.  Chalk it up to Ted Leonard handling vocals or Neal Morse contributing writing to a couple of tunes?  Not sure.  I am definitely hearing more vitality and overt progginess in the compositions.  Ryo is going off his nut here - keys are whizzing all around - organ/'tron/the whole schmear - and Alan's guitar runs are matching him step for step.  Maybe I haven't been paying attention as closely as I should have for the past few years.  I do know that I'm enjoying the hell out of this.  Highly recommended.Mediabook edition is essentially a fancier hardbound version fo the domestic release.  No additional music.
    $9.00
  • "There are no surprises in sound and style on Morph the Cat, Donald Fagen's long-awaited third solo album, nor should any be expected -- ever since Steely Dan's 1980 masterwork, Gaucho, his work, either on his own or with longtime collaborator Walter Becker, has been of a piece. Each record has been sleek, sophisticated, and immaculately produced, meticulously recorded and arranged, heavy on groove and mood, which tends to mask the sly wit of the songs. When it works well -- as it did on Fagen's peerless 1982 solo debut, The Nightfly, or on Steely Dan's 2001 comeback, Two Against Nature -- the results go down smoothly upon first listen and reveal their complexity with each spin; when it doesn't quite succeed -- both 1993's Kamakiriad and the Dan's 2003 effort Everything Must Go didn't quite gel -- the albums sound good but samey on the surface and don't quite resonate. Morph the Cat belongs in the first group: at first it sounds cozily familiar, almost too familiar, but it digs deep, both as music and song.Sonically, at least superficially, it is very much a continuation of the two Steely Dan records of the new millennium -- not only does it share Fagen's aesthetic, but it was recorded with many of the same musicians who have shown up on the Dan projects. There are slight differences -- without Becker around, there's a greater emphasis on keyboards and the songs stretch on a bit longer than anything on Everything Must Go -- but this, at least on pure sonics, could have functioned as a sequel to Two Against Nature. But Morph the Cat is very much a solo affair, fitting comfortably next to his first two solo albums as a conclusion to what he calls a trilogy. If The Nightfly concerned the past and Kamakiriad was set in a hazy future, Morph the Cat is rooted in the present, teeming with the fears and insecurities of post-9/11 America. Fagen doesn't camouflage his intent with the gleefully enigmatic rhymes that have been his trademark: his words, while still knowingly sardonic, are direct, and in case you don't want to bother reading the lyrics or listening closely, he helpfully offers brief explanations of the songs (for instance, on "Mary Shut the Garden Door," he writes "Paranoia blooms when a thuggish cult gains control of the government," a statement that's not exactly veiled). On top of this unease, Fagen faces mortality throughout the album -- he talks with the ghost of Ray Charles, borrows W.C. Fields' phrase for death for "Brite Nitegown," writes about attempted suicides -- and every song seems to be about things drawing to a close.It's a little disarming to hear Fagen talk so bluntly -- although he came close to doing so on the deliberately nostalgic The Nightfly, the fact that he was writing about the past kept him at a bit of a distance -- but despite the abundance of morbid themes, Morph the Cat never sounds dour or depressing. In large part this is due to Fagen's viewpoint -- he never succumbs to mawkishness, always preferring to keep things witty and sardonic, which helps keep things from getting too heavy -- but it's also due to his smooth jazz-rock, which always sounds nimble and light. This, of course, is how Fagen's music always sounds, but here, it not only functions as a counterpoint to the darkness creeping on the edges of the album, but it's executed expertly: as spotless as this production is, it never sounds sterile, and when the songs start stretching past the five-minute mark -- two cuts are over seven minutes -- it never gets boring, because there's a genuine warmth to the clean, easy groove. More so than on Kamakiriad, or on the tight Everything Must Go, there is a sense of genuine band interplay on this record, which helps give it both consistency and heart -- something appropriate for an album that is Fagen's most personal song cycle since The Nightfly, and quite possibly his best album since then." - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • New budget priced 2 CD set combines both halves of the Universal Migrator series: "The Dream Sequencer" and "Flight Of The Migrator".
    $15.00
  • Pro-shot NTSC Region 0 DVD live performance from this amazingly insane (and brilliant at the same time) jazz-metal band from Germany.  If you are a fan of Morglbl there is a good chance you will love Panzerballett."The Live-DVD of the latest tour and studio-album "Tank Goodness". Filmed at Theatron-Open Air/Munich in August 2013."Content: Concert “Live At Theatron Munich 2013” (filmed at 5th Aug 2013)Bonus material: Concert Backstage Munich (26th Oct 2012), “Vulgar Display of Sauerkraut” (12th Oct 2012 Berlin), Interview Mattias IA Eklundh, Film “Panzerballett on US-Tour”Digipack, Dolby Digital 2.0 StereoTracklist:01. Mustafari Likes Di Carnival02. Some Skunk Funk03. Zehrfunk04. Time Of My Life05. Der Saxdiktator06. Vulgar Display Of Sauerkraut07. Donnerwetter08. Friede, Freude, Fußball 
    $16.00
  • A deluxe 2CD edition of the classic No-Man album – now remastered and on Kscope with bonus disc, featuring mini album, b-sides and rarities including four previously unreleased tracks. No Man is Tim Bowness and Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree).Since releasing their first single in 1990, No-Man has produced a unique body of work that has developed from the band's proto trip-hop/ambient origins into something beyond easy categorisation.After receiving ecstatic press reviews, indie top 20 hits and high profile contracts (with One Little Indian and Sony) in the early 1990s, the band has continued to evolve and has developed a loyal Worldwide cult following.Redefining itself with a constantly changing musical palette, No-Man has most recently released material through celebrated post- progressive label Kscope, who have now released a deluxe edition of one of the band’s most sought-after albums.Wild Opera, No-Man's third album, originally released in 1996, is regarded as the most inventive and unpredictable album in the band's catalogue.Rapidly shifting from distorted grooves to sinister, jazz-inflected trip-hop and from choked rock riffs to more traditional ballad fare,Wild Opera represented a thrilling departure for the band and has since become seen as a classic one-of-a-kind statement of uncompromising creative intent.Long out of print, the original CD is now a highly- collectable rarity, with copies changing hands for over £100 on Ebay.Kscope’s remastered 2CD reissue additionally includes all of the Dry Cleaning Ray mini-album, alongside b-sides and exclusive rarities from the era, including four previously unreleased tracks.The digi-book package features an essay from Richard Smith, the director of Mixtaped, the recent documentary about the band, and new artwork from long-time No-Man collaborator, Carl Glover.CD1 - WILD OPERA1 RADIANT CITY2 PRETTY GENIUS3 INFANT PHENOMENON4 SINISTER JAZZ5 HOUSEWIVES HOOKED ON HEROIN6 LIBERTINE LIBRETTO7 TASTE MY DREAM8 DRY CLEANING RAY9 SHEEPLOOP10 MY RIVAL TREVOR11 TIME TRAVEL IN TEXAS12 MY REVENGE ON SEATTLECD2 - DRY CLEANING RAY1 DRY CLEANING RAY (REMIX EDIT)2 SWEETSIDE SILVER NIGHT3 JACK THE SAX4 DIET MOTHERS5 URBAN DISCO6 PUNISHED FOR BEING BORN7 KIGHTLINGER8 EVELYN (THE SONG OF SLURS)9 SICKNOTEBONUS TRACKS10 HIT THE CEILING11 WHERE I'M CALLING FROM12 HOUSEWIVES HOOKED ON HEROIN (ALTERNATE VERSION)13 MY RIVAL TREVOR (ALTERNATE VERSION)14 TIME TRAVEL IN TEXAS (RADIO SESSION)15 PRETTY GENIUS (RADIO SESSION) 
    $13.00