Dimensions (Digipak)

Metal Mind
Death Metal
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New 24bit remastered gold disc limited edition digipak re-release of the band's third album. More progressive sounding and if I can tap my ancient neurons I recall some very cool violin and cello being featured as well on the epic "Trilogy Of Knowledge". Comes with three live bonus tracks from1989. I'm not a huge fan of death metal but even this one is in my collection. Recommended.

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  • Mayan is the other band of Epica founder Mark Jansen.  As you can expect by now from Jansen, he doesn't do anything on a small scale.  Like Epica, Mayan is an epic sounding band.  The raison d'etre of Mayan is melodic death metal.  The band features Lauren Macri providing soprano vocals, Henning Basse on clean male vocals, and Jansen handles the death growls.  There is actually a pretty good balance between clean/death vocals.  As expected, lots of great guests - Floor Jansen appears on a couple of tracks, and Stream Of Passion's Marcel Bovio sings on three.  Dimitris Katsoulis contributes violin.  Mayan has coalesced into a band, as opposed to the debut which really was more of a project.  Symmetry guitarist Frank Schiphorst provides the shred, and ex-Delain bassist Rob Vander Loo is on board as well.  After Forever's Joost van den Broek co-produced the album and you get that larger than life sound that this music craves.   Oddly enough the album actually starts off with the bonus track...its a good one!  Highly recommended.
  • One of the really great progressive bands from the 90s is back with their first album in 7 years.  The band is fronted by Fredrick Ohlsson, one of the great voices in metal.  He sounds very much like prime era Geoff Tate so the band has often been compared to Queensryche.  Truth is there is more of a melancholy/doom power vibe going on but there are progressive overtones and it never becomes plodding in a Sabbath/St. Vitus/Candlemass way.  Its all kind of weird since this is a professed Christian band and those themes do crop up.  Even still Veni Domine should be enshrined in the Metal Hall Of Fame."After nearly seven years of silence, we hear again from Swedish metal band Veni Domine (latin: Come Lord) with their new album Light, now with Massacre Records. Early in their nearly 30 year career the band got 'labeled' as a doom metal band. It's a rather interesting thing as the band pursues Christian themes in their lyrics. Christian is not a religion of doom and despair, but of life and hope.Nevertheless, with a spin of Light, you may hear some of those 'doom' elements: deep sound and a brooding pace. Even Fredrik Sj√∂holm's voice has low, sober, feel. Yet, Veni Domine work in other elements as well like both symphonic and acoustic elements, and some simply fundamental heavy metal. Where They Story Ends is good example of the merger of the elements. It's at once atmospheric, heavy, and somber, yet gets speedy later on. This is perhaps the reason why some listener tack on 'progressive' when speaking of the band. Alternatively, listening to In Memoriam or Last Silence Before Eternity, the mood and music of Veni Domine might remind of Candlemass-like epic doom metal. More curious company to keep. Sometimes the mood, pace, and soberness of the music matches the title of the song as with Waiting, moved along mostly by voice, acoustic guitar, and steady drums. Finally, the band revisits some of their past by re-recording Oh Great City from their first album 1991's Fall Babylon Fall. I've never heard the original, so I can't speak to difference. It is, however, more brooding heavy metal. If progressive, sometimes epic, doom metal is your flavor of the month, you'll likely enjoy Veni Domine's Light." - Dangerdog.com
  • "There are some bands that have been around for years that seemingly just go through the motions of putting out material not worthy of their own back catalog. Then there are bands like Rage that take the sum of its 29 years (26 as Rage, 3 as Avenger) and continually put out the highest quality pure metal. Rage has seen many stylistic changes in those years from the power metal origins of “Reign of Fear” to the ultra thrashy “Perfect Man” back to the power metal on “Trapped” and “The Missing Link” to the total classical/metal collaboration of “Lingua Mortis” (which came three years before Metallica even thought of “S & M”), then to the metal opera of “Ghosts” and now to power/thrash/groove of “21” (and all the albums in between). The one constant through it all is that Rage has been one of the mainstays of metal and the one band any metal fan can always count on to release albums that get better with age.It takes just one pass to hook the listener into the Rage web (or “strings on a….”) of thrash, power, groove and melody on this album, which is one of the best the band has ever released. “21” represents not only the “blackjack” theme that the intro and title track suggest, but it is the exact number of full length releases the band unleashed since the 1984 Avenger release “Prayers of Steel.”One thing is certain, Rage is at its most deadly as a three piece, which saw the band’s finest releases from 1988-1993 and again from 2001-present. In 2001, with the release of “Welcome to the Other Side,” Rage unleashed one of its biggest assets, guitar god Victor Smolski. Smolski’s combination of crushing riffs, blistering solos, and unleavened groove are some of the best in metal and simply made the band that much better. However, there would be no Rage if not for bassist/vocalist/founding member Pete “Peavy” Wagner. His vocals are as unmistakable as his proficient bass playing (check out “Eternally”) added to his already larger than life presence.On “21” the band has never sounded heavier and tighter. The listener is treated to an entree of soaring melody with thick gravy like groove over a bed of punishing riffs. From top to bottom, there is no discernible flaw. “Twenty One” sets the crushing tone along with “Forever Dead” and “Feel My Pain” until you get to the album’s biggest surprise “Serial Killer.” Here is one thing I haven’t heard on a Rage album...Peavy doing near death growls on the verses following a woman’s loud shriek at the onset, which is silhouetted with riff upon riff and melody upon melody. It’s the wildest track the band has ever written. “Psycho Terror” follows it up showing the younger bands exactly how to properly choke a riff, lay on the groove, and make it an album favorite.“Death Romantic” takes on the sore topic of love in a way only Rage can. “Destiny” comes very close to the sound of “Perfect Man.” “Black And White” and “Concrete Wall” fill the gaps with the signature Rage style. “Eternally” takes what would be an “average” power ballad for any other band and “Rage-ifies” it with chunky riffs and unprecedented melody.Rage has been a model of consistency and power in a German scene that the group helped define. “21” is another in a stellar catalog of albums that span three decades and should be celebrated as one of the band’s finest." - Metal Underground
  • Originally released in 1990, this is Realm's second album. Gold disc reissue feature 24 bit remastering, a bonus track - a cover of King Crimson's "One More Red Nightmare", as well as liner notes from Takis Kinis. This digipak reissue is a hand numbered edition of 2000 copies.
  • "Sometimes, as strange as it may sound, tragedy inspires creativity. Such seems to be the case with the latest release from Canada's Into Eternity, one of the brightest stars on the progressive extreme metal landscape. In the last two years, bandleader, songwriter, and guitarist Tim Roth lost his mother, and then later on, two of his best friends, both brothers, died from cancer within two months of each other. Many would have crumbled under the weight of such loss, but Roth was able to move on, digging down deep and using his grief and anger to come up with the concept for The Incurable Tragedy, an epic technical metal extravaganza that runs the gamut of all the human emotions that one goes through in a situation like Roth dealt with over the last two years.Though shorter than some of the past Into Eternity albums, it's no less spectacular and perhaps this concept album is better suited for a less lengthy, more direct approach. Instrumentally, the guys are blazing as always, Roth and Justin Bender ripping some insane guitar harmonies on the complex mind-bender "Diagnosis Terminal", while drummer Steve Bolognese and bassist Troy Bleich provide the intricate rhythms. Despite all the wild instrumental interplay that has seen the band's musical talents continually grow (all the touring with bands like Symphony X, Dream Theater, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Lamb of God, Arch Enemy, Opeth, Megdeth, and Dark Tranquility has obviously paid off), the thing that grabs you the most here, are the multi-faceted vocal dynamics. Stu Block has developed into one of the most impressive singer in extreme metal, and his wide assortment of raging, Halford-ish wails, black metal screams, death metal growls, and melodic clean passages, is wonderfully on display throughout this CD. Just listen to his gorgeous melodic voice on "The Incurable Tragedy I (September 21, 2006)", or his assortment of extreme metal styles on "Tides of Blood", showing his great versatility. Of course, having the superb backing vocals from Roth and Bleich also helps, as both of these guys also are able to mix in solid extreme styles as well as clean vocals depending on what the songs need. All three turn in fine performances on the excellent "Indignation", one of the CD's strongest cuts, and a perfect example of how Into Eternity combines complex, technical progressive metal, death metal, varied vocal styles, lots of melody, and a compelling story.In the end, The Incurable Tragedy is gripping stuff, especially from a concept/storyline perspective, but also the album grabs you by the throat musically as well, delivering a statement that Into Eternity are now ready to play with the big boys, even though for many of us they have already been there for a few years now.Easily one of the best releases of 2008 folks-a concept album of epic proportions that carries a message that is totally relevent in this day and age." - Sea Of Tranqulity
  • "Since a long time I have stored in one of the synapses in the very deep part of my brain some information about a small country named Andorra somewhere in Europe. By its name I would assume that it would be close to Spain if I ever need to recall that information for further processing. In 2011 that information surfaced back into my brain when I found out (thanks to my dear friend Vagelis) that not only it exists but it a band from that country kicks serious ass. That was the time that I found about NAMI. Upon further inspection and research I found that while NAMI was at their first album there was another band that had already released three albums and they were also into kicking arse. That band is PERSEFONE. Two years later and back into present I was really excited to hold the promo for their brand new release “Spiritual Migration” and indeed the only two words that came out of my mouth from the first notes were “Fuck” and “Yeah” with lots of exclamation marks.“Spiritual Migration” is the fourth progressive death metal album follower of the “Shin-Ken”, a conceptual story that unfolds in 13 tracks. The album starts with the instrumental “Flying Sea Dragons” creating an epic tone before the first blast of highly concentrated progressiveness strikes with “Mind As Universe”. Riffs high as the sky, terrific solos, crazy drumming, kick arse bass, raging and beautiful clean vocals and on top of all keyboards that dress and bind everything into one solid entity. Nothing gets into standard forms but instead the band is insanely unpredictable changing tempos, styles, brutality and whatever else you name with amazing ease making each part flow into the next one effortlessly and naturally. The duration of the compositions is varying, having four out of them clocking over seven minutes (“The Majestic of Gaia”, “Inner Fullness”, “Spiritual Migration” and “Returning To The Source”). There are also four instrumental tracks that are very beautiful and add to the overall atmosphere of the record.PERSEFONE continue to evolve the sound that has defined in “Snin-Ken”. They continue based on the soul recipe of progressive and very technical Death Metal that is fused with atmospheric parts that enhance the overall outcome of the record. This time the lyrics deal with Buddhism, meditation and spirituality and it is really cool to see bands that deviate from the classical hate god / praise Satan stereotype (sic). The songs are heavier than before and the brutal vocals tend to be a bit deeper than those of the previous records. Concerning the performance of the band all the band members are delivering astonishing performances using the best of their instruments. The brutal vocals might estrange some (I quickly got used to them) but they serve their purpose more than well while the clean ones contradict perfectly with them and offer moments of tranquility amongst the Death Metal onslaught. The artwork has been done by none other than Travis Smith and is another great work by him. Finally the record was mixed by Jacob Hansen in Denmark who also has worked with VOLBEAT, PESTILENCE and DESTRUCTION.It is surprising, in a good way, that Andorra has very cool bands which deliver very good records. PERSEFONE being one of those bands, has delivered an amazing record that is full of complex structures, unpredictable riffing, epic atmospheres and sheer raw brutality and a very intelligent concept. Put the speakers on, sit down comfortably, close your eyes, open your mind and get ready for “Spiritual Migration”." - Metal Temple
  • Please note that we are offering the 2CD import Mediabook edition which is not available in normal retail outlets.  This is a much nicer version than the standard digipak version that will be available through normal distribution channels....but at the same price.  The bonus second disc features instrumental and orchestral versions of Haven tracks."Opener ‘Fallen Star’ has a couple of elements that are comparable to ‘Silverthorn’. Mostly the intro, but something in the refrain also reminds me of the previous record. However the riffs are more aggressive, Karevik is giving it his everything in his very own way. It’s a unique feeling to listen to the opener like this.There are two ballads on the record and first up is ‘Under Grey Skies’. It’s somewhat of a typical Kamelot ballad, combined with the pipes of Troy Donockley (Nightwish) and an amazing appearance of Delain’s Charlotte Wessels graces this track.But on the other hand there is ‘Here’s To The Fall’, the other slow song. It could easily be one of the best refrains I’ve ever heard in a ballad. Everything on the track is gentle, the vocals are brilliantly executed and the refrain is only a little bit more bombastic than the rest of the track.'My Therapy’ is a brilliant showcase of Kamelot songwriting. It has the well-known romantic touch that is ever present on the records. “You’re the antidote for solitude, injected in my vains. Let the touch of your hand forever be, my therapy.” The rest of the song is slightly heavier than we are used to hear, but very well played and mixed as well.At the end of the record we find what is probably the most heavy song that Kamelot has ever recorded: ‘Revolution’. The grunts of Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy) are very well integrated, way better than on ‘Sacrimony (Angel Of Afterlife)’ from the last record. It’s heavy, fast and aggressive, yet it never loses its symphonic sound. ‘Revolution’ is the last official track and it fits perfectly. With the melancholic ‘Here’s To The Fall’ before it and the two minutes of the somewhat triumphant instrumental closer ‘Haven’.What an album! I couldn’t have wished for anything better than ‘Haven’. Kamelot have reinvented themselves, without losing their very essence. The sound has become somewhat more modern, while the vocal work of Tommy Karevik is spot-on the entire time. When the tunes of the short closing track ‘Haven’ fade away, all that’s left is a triumphant feeling. They nailed it again, but in an entirely different way. Kamelot has taken the next step and it has been in the best direction possible!" - Overall Loudness
  • "SOLUTION .45 is a side project made up from musicians who are or were currently in bands SCAR SYMMETRY, MISERATION, SONATA ARCTICA and STATOVARIUS. The band released their debut album in 2010, with guest musicians Mikka Haarkin (ex-SONATA ARCTICA) and with Mikael Stanne (DARK TRANQULITY) providing the lyrics. Following some line-up changes over the past five years, the band presents their second full-length album here which contains ten tracks.“Wanderer from the Fold kicks off the album. It has a fast paced, get-up-and-go sound, and an almost futuristic quality to the balls-out chorus. If I didn’t know any better, I might mistake the song for a track from SOILWORK. There are also some nifty key changes and lightning fretwork from the lead guitar. The clean vocals in “Protecting the Void” are just sublime, and are in sharp contrast from the overall brutality of the remainder of the sound. The diversity of the vocals is also duly noted. Adding in some acoustical complexities and more subdued harmonic singing in “Bleed Heavens Dry,” the track also features a really strong chorus that seems to beam light straight into the dark skies above. “Where Losing is All” could go either way in terms of anger or pensive introspection, and it seems to encompass both. Once again the vocal harmonies are the highlight of the song in my opinion.“In Moments of Despair” is the breezy, ethereal song on the album, akin to “Lethean Tears” from their first solo outing. The subtle use of piano augments the emotional passages marked again by the beauty of the voice of Christian Alvestan. When the electric guitars, bass and drums hit the ground together, the magnitude of the moment could be heard on another world. It’s almost enough to reduce you to tears. “Targeting Blaze” is another undeniable winner, alternating between warm, playful melodies, and the crushing inevitability of death. You can listen to this with an enormous smile while pounding your fists and feet at the same time. Artfully alternating the method of impact that the album delivers to you is the song “Alter the Unbearable State of Nothing,” which features spacy, zippy sounding keyboards over a spiked bed of uncompromising Death Metal. This song is like an oversized asteroid beaming towards Earth, bouncing and knocking off of everything in its path without wavering in speed or force.Closing the album is the over-eleven minute closer “Nemesis.” What a solidifying and all-encompassing way to display the bevy of sounds and techniques that they have on masterpiece of an album. It has a slow, grinding intensity and a well of darkness that knows no depth. You can definitely sense growth in the band from the line-up changes and additional time together to compose since their first album. Though there is plenty of heavy, bottom end meatiness and Death Metal punch, I find the moments of beauty, harmony, emotion and soul-bearing vocals to be the best part of this cornucopia of auditory bliss. If they made this their full time gig, all the other bands in this style just got put on notice." - Metal Temple
  • New 25th anniversary edition of the doom pioneers first album. Candlemass is the brainchild of Swedish bassist Leif Edling. He took the Black Sabbath sound of slow doom laden metal and took it to the next level. This is the band's first album and does not feature Messiah Marcolin on vocals. This digibook edition comes with a bonus CD featuring track by track commentary from band founder Leif Edling.