In Crescendo

SKU: SR3064
Label:
Sensory Records
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In Crescendo is the fourth studio album from this Italian progressive band.  While originally working in a purely metal direction, the band has expanded the scope of their sound to encompass elements of progressive rock as well.  There is a very strong atmospheric component similar to Riverside, Porcupine Tree, and Pink Floyd but the heavier, metallic side of Opeth and Dream Theater is clearly present as well.

Over the past two years Kingcrow has expanded their fan base with a European tour in support of Redemption and Jon Oliva as well as appearances at ProgPower Europe and ProgPower USA.  An announcement about 2013 US tour dates is imminent.
 

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  • Uptempo power metal from Italy.  Evershine don't retry to reinvent the wheel.  Their stock in trade is melodic (catchy) metal with a touch of speed.  Some nice symphonic elements are present as well.  Somehow the Italian metal scene is able to turn up a slew of excellent singers.  Evershine has a good one in Marco Coppotelli.  He reminds me a little bit of Andre Matos.  In fact some of the music reminds me of Angra with also some touches of Helloween.  I'm a prog guy and I think its pretty decent.  I'm sure power metal fans will burst a vein over this.
    $15.00
  • 70s style instrumental prog homage courtesy of Edo Spanninga (Flamborough Head), Menno Boomsma (Odyssice), and Eddie Mulder (Flamborough Head). Keyboardist Spanninga began this project as a studio experiment when he was mucking around with some new Mellotron samples. This evolved into a full blown trio recording. Spanninga only uses Mellotron samples - flute, oboe, strings, organ, cello, choir and vibes. The organ samples are pretty wild - they were run through a leslie and it sounds pretty damn fine. Mulder's playing all guitars and basses and takes the 70s high road with his sounds as well. Boomsma is a bit laid back and probably the weakest link here so I'll give him a B-. The music will freak out anyone who loves Genesis, Camel, Spring, and Fantasy. The package is capped off with a full blown artwork package courtesy of Jasper Joppe Geers - this is the ultimate tribute to Roger Dean. This looks more like Roger Dean than Roger Dean!  New digipak edition with 2 bonus tracks.If you love the Mellotron you need to own this! 
    $15.00
  • Vocalist Hubi Meisel is best known for his work with the German band Dreamscape. For his second solo album he has collaborated with keyboardist Vivien Lalu to create a symphonic metal conceptual album. The theme of the album is based around water. Lalu has written the music and Meisel co-arranged and wrote the lyrics. He's put together a fantastic lineup including Marcel Coenen (Lemur Voice, Suncaged) on guitars, Daniel Flores (Mind's Eye) on drums, Lalu on keyboards and Bamby (?) on bass. As you know by now I like my metal to serve up a nice portion of keyboards and EmOcean comes through in spades. Lots of lush atmospherics set the stage for Coenen's crisp, crunchy riffs and arpeggios. Hubi's vocals tends to stay in the upper register and he never loses control. He has a real soulful, melifluous voice and this may the best I've ever heard him. The killer track is the 13 minute epic "The Soul Of Atlantis". It's been fairly dry for good prog metal lately but EmOcean fills the bill nicely thank you. Limited edition digipak with 2 bonus tracks. Scoop this one up quick.
    $14.00
  • Magnificent spacerock journey is a conceptual work that was one half of a duology completed by "Time To Turn". Stunning Floyd-like soundscapes with Frank Bornemann's ever present guitar runs. Comes with a live version of "On The Verge Of Darkening Lights". Highest recommendation.Please note this disc incorporates EMI copy control technology which seems to allow you to do whatever it is you would normally do with a CD but you can't rip it. Bummer.
    $13.00
  • Third album from this Swedish ensemble that features Reine Fiske as a member.  It has a soft and gentle vibe that touches on psych, folk, and pop with undercurrents of prog creeping in (thanks to Reine).  Beautiful stuff."On Picture You, The Amazing incorporates traces of psychedelic rock, ’60s pop, and even twee, mostly in the soft-spoken, accented vocals of lead singer Christoffer Gunrup. If that all sounds like chaos, it isn’t. The Amazing has a plan, and they’re rewarded for following it to its furthest conclusion.Almost every track on the band’s third album finds itself on the far side of the five-minute mark, and that’s because no one in The Amazing is in any kind of rush. Their ability to combine all of the aforementioned disparate elements not only into one album but into one song is jaw-dropping.Even though Gunrup rejects terms like “prog” for his band’s work, that doesn’t mean they don’t apply. The seven-and-a-half-minute “Fryshusfunk” screeches over from hazy summer nap music into something much more complex and challenging in a moment of disruption that’s unparalleled throughout the rest of Picture You. The song is as easy to slip into as a dream, but once you’re inside it’s nearly impossible to extract yourself.The nine-minute title track forms the record’s gooey center, shimmering and changing shape from an airy hymn to lush, free-form instrumentation. The song’s ethereal qualities belie its muscle; about halfway in, the tone shifts to a faster pace, propelled by a swift, driving beat. It’s a song that unfolds as it goes, demanding that you spend more time with it only because it’s a hard piece of music to map after only a few listens.The languid, easy “Circles” and “Safe Island”, the former sliding into the latter, create a kind of tropical hurricane eye in the album’s first half, invoking a high-energy euphoria that could just as easily wash over listeners or whip them into a frenzy. This is big music, meant to be played over a quality sound system or, even better, live; tinny laptop speakers can’t possibly do it justice.Maybe due to the nature of its formation — the band’s lineup features members of Swedish-language bands Dungen and Granada — the band has never struggled to define its sound like other nascent bands do. It sprung forth fully formed, like Athena from Zeus’ forehead: powerful, lovely, hard to wrap your mind around sometimes, but all the more intriguing because of it." - Consequence Of Sound
    $12.00
  • New band put together by Renato Tribuzy, the former singer of the Brazilian power metal band Thoten. In addition to his regular band Tribuzy got some incredible guests to appear: Bruce Dickinson, Michael Kiske, Roland Grapow, Kiko Loureiro, Ralf Scheepers, Roy Z, Matt Sinner, Dennis Ward, and Chris Dale.
    $9.00
  • "‘Map of the Past‘, the fifth studio album from Cumbrian prog rockers It Bites, will most likely inhabit a strange, disturbing place in your heart. It’s a release that is obscurely beautiful and tender, but also one that can occasionally sound incongruous and lost in time. Very often, when it comes to progressive music, people will often justify anything odd by defending it with its genre. In the case of It Bites, there is a temptation to lean on a sound from their 80s heyday, which occasionally makes ‘Map of the Past’ seem staid and not just a little cheesy.In places this album is a wonderful, soaring retrospect vision of a forgotten generation, built around the ‘discovery of an old family photograph’. Although not a concept album per se, ‘Map of the Past’ explores the idea of lives captured within photographs, and reflects these contemplative visions with equally thoughtful music; album opener, ‘Man In the Photograph’ opens with the fuzz of radio static and soon leads into sound of organs and John Mitchell’s recollections borne from this one picture. The song blends into the more progressive sounding fare of ‘Wallflower‘ and its indulgent synth solo. The title track is more engaging, with soaring chorus vocals and disorientating time signatures, showcasing the tight musicianship and richly mature songwriting ability that has grown from their 30 years of existence.The strength of this album falters with ‘Flag’ and its irrepressibly outdated smattering of 80s memorabilia and Sting powered vocal lines, although the lyrics are undoubtedly more engaging than any Police offshoot. The album does have a tendency to wander into these unpalatable territories, but more than often than not redeems itself; as the grandiose, irresistible flounce of ‘Send No Flowers‘ resurrects its orchestral bombast and moves into ‘Meadow and the Stream’s artistically detailed backdrop, it’s clear that this album is more rollercoaster than record. The album finishes, as it started, relying on simply constructed songs and that radio static to bookmark the end; ‘The Last Escape’ is honestly beautiful, and seems even more so in contrast to the tumult of the remainder of the record.‘Map of the Past’ shifts between temporal paradigms rather than changing between tracks; it’s a scintillating album that is honest to itself, and stays true to It Bites’ form, even if it does rely on sounds from their back backcatalogue occasionally. Despite this, the depth of the album is phenomenal and is genuinely rich in its storyline, with music that peaks and troughs fittingly. Well worth a listen if you find yourself pointed at the progosphere." - Bring The Noise
    $5.00
  • "From the symphonic mastery of DEVILISH IMPRESSIONS to the almighty blackened glory of BEHEMOTH, to the majestic power of CRYSTAL VIPER, Poland has proven itself to be a proficient exporter of influential Heavy Metal bands. In celebration of some of the band’s finest works, CRYSTAL VIPER has re-released “The Curse Of The Crystal Viper”,which was originally released in 2007, and has thrown in the mix a few fun bonus tracks as well as photos and all lyrics. It’s a more complete package than my childhood Easter gift baskets. This album is a masterpiece that will be especially savored by lovers of power metal, aka the most powerful of all metals. CRYSTAL VIPER’s ability to maintain the savage spirit of power metal while polishing the genre with their own intelligent musical style is apparent in songs like “Night Prowler” and“The Fury Undead”.The band honors their greatest predecessors in the metal world as well. The groovy intro that presents “Demon’s Dagger” follows in the footsteps of SABBATH, and “I Am Leather Witch” has a distinct IRON MAIDEN touch that would warm Bruce Dickinson’s heart.Additionally, the re-release offers covers of MANILLA ROAD and WARLOCK songs, as well as a Polish version of “The Last Axeman”, and a few 2008 versions of songs that repeat in this album. This album is as engaging as it was when it was first released, and long-time fans are not going to be disappointed in the slightest." - Metal Temple
    $16.00
  • Quite fine new album from Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Knight. If you haven't heard Blackmore's Night before, essentially it's Blackmore's English folk/Renaissance meets rock band with his wife's gorgeous vocals on top. There are a few cover tunes sprinkled through out including a cover of Deep Purple's "Child In Time", Ralph McTell's "Streets Of London" but my fav is their reworking of Rainbow's "Street Of Dreams". This is the US edition which basically takes the bonus tracks from the more expensive Euro deluxe edition and includes them as well. One of the 3 bonus cuts is yet another version of "Street Of Dreams" but with Joe Lynn Turner. I'm a Blackmore fan and really enjoyed the disc - highly recommended to the similarly inclined.
    $7.00
  • "The last few years have been a turbulent time for British tech bands and their vocalists. Along with TesseracT and Aliases in particular, Monuments have had more than their fair share of strife in securing the right frontman. However, the recruitment of the multi-talented Chris Barretto last year seemed to reinvigorate the band’s live performance, and second album The Amanunensis gives us the opportunity to see whether the chemistry apparent onstage translates into the writing process.The short answer to that question, hinted at by the singles that have broken cover in the lead-up to the album’s release, is a resounding yes. Right from the first listen, The Amanunensis grabs the listener by the hair and demands their attention. With a number of the songs that comprised debut album Gnosis having existed in one form or another for more than two years before its 2012 release, The Amanunensis shows clearly how far the band have progressed, on pretty much every front.It is only natural, though, that the attention falls first on Chris, as the new guy. As well as his prodigious vocal talents (which we will return to in a moment), he has built the lyrical concept to The Amanunensis around a complex story that ties the whole album together, effectively turning the individual tracks into chapters. Rather than reprise that entire concept here, Chris helpfully outlined it in a recent interview with Noisefull, and we can probably expect to see it fleshed out further in the future.Drawing from various strands of spiritualism and science fiction, it seems that The Amanunensis - both in concept and execution – is best described by another eastern construct; the Yin and Yang. The twin pairing of “I, The Creator” and “I, The Destroyer” that effectively bookend the album seem to be a nod in the direction of the Hindu god Vishnu, which together with the Buddhist concept of “Samsara” provide the spiritual yin to the yang of an album title inspired by David Mitchell’s novel Cloud Atlas and other sci-fi influences.But, deeper than that, Chris’ angelic, Michael Jackson-inspired falsettos provide a light to contrast the shade of some pretty fearsome screaming. Equally comfortable in both extremes and at numerous points in between, Chris unabashedly stamps his identity on the band’s sound. The net result proves that whilst the path to finding the right vocalist for Monuments was at times difficult, it was definitely worth the effort.Comparisons to the yin-yang can also be found in the real driving force of the Monuments sound: the riffs of guitarist John Browne. More so now than ever before, Browne’s riffs balance intense neocortex technicality with a more primal reptilian rhythmicality. There are tricksy time signatures and extended metre riffs aplenty, but they are always subordinate to the great God of Grooves, providing The Amanunensis with both immediate accessibility and the depth to warrant repeated listens and close attention. This is most immediately apparent on “Quasimodo“, which combines Tool-esque shifting rhythms with Sevendust‘s soaring melodies and guitar crunch.If this wasn’t enough, the tracks are then underpinned by the vibrant and imaginitive rhythm section of drummer Mike Malyan and bassist Adam Swan. Mike has spent much of the Monuments downtime as a key part of The Algorithm‘s headbending live performances, which have pushed out the boundaries of his already considerable skills even further, but once again the temptation to simply show off has largely been resisted, and his innovative beats and fills augment the songs rather than dominate them. Adam, too, seems to understand that the notes left unplayed are as important as those which are struck, and his understated basslines are deftly deployed, particularly on the verses of “Origin of Escape“.“Origin of Escape“, incidentally, is possibly the finest Monuments track to date, neatly encapsulating everything they have to offer in one four minute package that is both danceable and mosh-friendly. “Atlas” and “Horcrux” give free reign to strutting pop sensibilities, whilst “The Alchemist” and “Jinn” are blasts of lip-curling heaviness. Throughout the album, the choruses are huge and the hooks are numerous.With this combination of almost feral aggression and unashamed embrace of pop melody, The Amanunensis could almost lay claim to being ‘Angel Dust for the tech generation’. If anything were to stand in the way of that claim, it would be that it doesn’t quite have the same degree of diversity as Faith No More‘s magnum opus. Even with the yin and yang counterpoints discussed above, all of the songs rely on the key device of syncopated stabs interspersed with technical flourishes, so it will be interesting to see if the band can feel their way beyond that from time to time in the future.Nevertheless, The Amanunensis is bold, brash and thoroughly infectious. It delivers in full on the promises made by Gnosis and points to an even richer future ahead of the band, hopefully drawing a line under their somewhat tumultuous past.What we have here is the sound of Monuments coming of age. With this second album, their place in the pantheon of great British tech-metal bands is assured. Whilst there are hints that suggest there are still greater things to come from them in the future, there’s no reason not to see The Amanunensis as the must-have, feel-good metal hit of the summer." - The Monolith
    $12.00
  • Wow!!  Pro-shot live performance of Manuel Gottsching, Harald Grosskopf, and Steve Baltes filmed in concert in Berlin on June 8, 2012.  Over two hours long and features material drawn from Blackouts and Correlations.
    $24.00
  • Fourth album from this outstanding jazz metal band from Hungary getting outside exposure with their signing to IQ's Giant Electric Pea label.  Special Providence started out their career as a pure fusion band - not unlike Tribal Tech and Return To Forever.  With their third album, Soul Alert, the band injected a heavier metal presence primarily in the guitarwork.  Essence Of Change carries on from Soul Alert in terms of heaviness and the use of distortion but at the same time there is clearly more of a jazz/fusion emphasis in the writing.  This gives us a nicely balanced sound that has a lot of cross over appeal.  Liquid Tension Experiment and Morglbl fans will love this and I expect open minded fans of RTF and Mahavishnu will enjoy hearing the young kats update the sound they developed in the 70s.  Expect a non-stop assault of laser beam synth solos and blistering distortion laced guitar solos.  Yeah this one hits the sweet spot and after many future spins I suspect this will sit at the top of their already impressive discography.  BUY OR DIE!!
    $15.00
  • Third album from this New Jersey symphonic rock band.  All of the band's albums are conceptual pieces based around literary works.  In fact the band's name is derived from a Ray Bradbury story.  On A Dark And Stormy Night is based on Madeleine L'Engle's fantasy novel of the same name.  The album is a wet dream for any fan of symphonic prog.  As I make my way through the album I'm frequently reminded of some similarities to Glass Hammer.  This is very keyboard driven music with a healthy amount of guitar leads.  There are even some nice Mellotron sounds popping up now and then.  These guys dream big and hit the mark.  Highly recommended.
    $11.00
  • Upsilon Acrux is amazzzzzzzzing. --Thurston Moore, Sonic Youth"New Atlantis Records is thrilled to announce the release the seventh Lp from legendary avant-prog unit Upsilon Acrux, titled Sun Square Dialect! This band will pillage your stereo field, butting coruscating, contradictory lines of unequal measure against explosive percussion, compelling resolutions, and intricate melodies. Boasting a revamped lineup of dual drums, dual guitars, and Fender Rhodes, the group delivers a massively propulsive, wildly asymmetric takedown of conventional rock structure. Longtime fixtures of the Los Angeles experimental music community, their approach to instrumental rock is unique, stellar, and sweeping. These sounds are burning, stoked by angularity, mania, and profound mastery of the balance between beauty, tension and release."
    $11.00