Discovering Kaipa (3CD Box Set)

"As part of its ongoing series of Original Album Collections, InsideOutMusic invite you to discover three albums by classic prog rock band KAIPA at a superb price. Active since the 70's, the Swedes' albums "Notes From The Past" (2002), "Keyholder" (2003) and "In The Wake Of Evolution" (2010) are stellar representatives of their vast catalogue."

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  • "This album was recorded soon after the band's legendary concert on the steps of the Reichstag in Berlin in 1980 and includes the emotive 'In Memory Of The Martyrs' and the hit 'Life Is For Living'.This reissue has been newly remastered from the original master tapes, includes two bonus tracks and features a booklet that fully restores all original album artwork with a new essay by BJH experts Keith and Monika Domone."
    $17.00
  • Once again Andy Franck unleashes his heavy side. Funny how different this sounds from Symphorce.
    $11.00
  • "This is the second expanded edition of this 1968 paean to psychedelia to have appeared in just 28 months -- it was preceded by a "Deluxe Edition" two-disc hybrid SACD/CD edition from Polydor's European division in the late winter of 2006; apparently, those in charge of the label either didn't think the U.S. could support that high-priced package, or that the Super-Audio CD market is purely a European and Japanese phenomenon. Whatever the reason, this edition has shown up here with no multi-channel SACD layer, but with the remastered CD sound from that hybrid release. In Search of the Lost Chord was originally the most poorly-served of all the Moodies' original albums on CD, with a late-'80s edition from Polydor that literally had a crack in the sound on one song. Since then successive remasterings have made it one of the group's more satisfying CDs, as the nuances and layers are brought out -- the original album was done in a spirit of experimentation that was unusual for a pop album, with the members very consciously seeking out the richest, most outre sounds that they could generate in the studio, piling on one exotic instrument after another, along with many layers of voices; they would get better and bolder at this process over the next two albums (until they realized, in 1969, that they'd painted themselves into a corner as far as actually performing their new material on-stage); but beneath the psychedelic sensibilities on numbers like "Voices in the Sky," "The Best Way to Travel," "Legend of a Mind" etc., as one listens to the cleanest, crispest mix the record has yet had on CD (and one should state here that the multi-channel SACD mix on the European Deluxe Edition does outdo it), in the layers of finely nuanced playing, one does get a real sense of five musicians reveling in their own skills (and perhaps a recently ingested controlled substance or two) and the freedom to take them as far as the moment will carry them. That experimental nature has always resided just below the surface of what was otherwise a very pretty and smooth exercise in pop music mysticism ("Visions of Paradise" is still one of the most profoundly beautiful records this reviewer has ever heard from the psychedelic era) -- but here it's a little more up front, amid the enhanced clarity, and one would like to think it could help this album hold and renew its audience for another 40 years. The sound is so good that it's almost a shame that anything was put on here after "Om," the original album closer, but it was obligatory in these times that there be bonus tracks -- and as there was less room here than on the Disc Two of the Deluxe Edition, some decisions had to be made about removing some extras. The released Mike Pinder-sung version and the alternate Justin Hayward-sung take of "A Simple Game" are present, bookending the bonus tracks, whilst the rest includes the Mellotron track for "The Word," the lost Hayward song "What Am I Doing Here," two BBC performances ("Dr. Livingston, I Presume," "Thinking Is the Best Way to Travel"), and extended, unfaded versions of "Om" etc. They would be certain to delight serious fans, except that it's hard to imagine too many of the latter not having already bought them on the Deluxe Edition of this album over the preceding two years. Still, they may open the door to the group's sound a little further for the casually curious." - Allmusic
    $20.00
  • "Germany's Brainstorm turned the corner from traditional Teutonic power metal with 2008's Downburst, by offer a little more intrigue in their musical compositions. Yet, the band hasn't veered from mainstream melodic heavy metal at any time. This year's On the Spur of the Moment continues the current path with some subtle nuances.While still melodic, the songs seem heavier, maybe even darker, than previous material. Nevertheless, from chord structure to vocal arrangements, melody and harmony remain. Notable is the opener Below the Line, No Saint No Sinner, and the impressive In These Walls. Additionally, many songs have a strong metal-rock groove that adds to their accessibility: check out Temple of Stone, A Life on Hold, or No Saint No Sinner. One surprising feature is the nature of the guitar solos. Many are both traditional and fiery as on A Life on Hold, Still Insane, and Temple of Stone. Then, sometimes they're muted as on In the Blink of an Eye and No Saint No Sinner. Considering the breadth and depth of the guitarists' skill, I'm not getting this at all. Conversely, there are some impressive performances by individual members: most significant is Dieter Bernert's drum work on Temple of Stone and My Own Hell.Characteristic of a talented and proven band, Brainstorm's On the Spur of the Moment is consistent and entertaining material. Definitive, visionary or breaking new ground? Perhaps not. But fans of traditional melodic heavy and power metal should be pleased. Recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $15.00
  • "Mystic Prophecy is one of the best up and coming metal bands coming out of Germany. It’s hard to believe that Killhammer is the bands eighth studio album and the third with the current line up of RD Liapakis (vocals), Markus Pohl (Rhythm guitar), Laki Ragazas (Lead guitar), Connie Andreszka (Bass), and Tristan Maiwurm (Drums). The band straddle the fine line between energetic thrash, power, and classic heavy metal with finesse and have been cranking out albums since 2001. The band are just beginning to hit their stride, playing ProgPower USA metal festival in 2012.The title track kicks things off with a blast of sinister metal aggression in the tradition of early Black Sabbath. Vocalist RD Liapakis’ gritty delivery fits the song perfectly. Armies of Hell takes things up a notch with pounding double bass drums of Tristan Maiwurm and blistering guitar riffs from lead shredder Laki Ragazas. The chorus is a raise your horns in the air shout-a-long. Their latest single/video for To Hell and Back is a sing-a-long mid tempo rocker with a melodic verse and a powerful memorable chorus with soaring harmony vocals. Kill the Beast is another fast paced high-octane metal anthem with a heavy verse and an almost thrash metal shouting chorus. Hate Black begins with a middle-eastern flair and kicks into a headbanging Metallica inspired mid tempo guitar riff reminiscent of the title track of their last album Ravenlord. A shred-tastic guitar solo by Ragazas. The next song Children of the Damned (no not the Maiden song!) is a pounding heavy and melodic metal skullcrusher. This is the type of song that the band excels at, a blend of heaviness and melody with a strong chorus.The band shows their penchant for writing powerful thrash metal anthems with the blitzkrieg of 300 In Blood, which judging from the lyrical content, is based on the graphic novel/film 300. Angels of Fire is a power groove of a metal song with RD’s growling yet melodic vocals taking no prisoners during the chorus.The boys take on epic fantasy war metal subject matter on Warriors of the Northern Sea and Set the World On Fire. The last track, a cover of the Ozzy classic Crazy Train, while well done, is unnecessary to cover such a renowned song and could have been left off the album to make way for another original song or to have a more cohesive effort with ten strong tracks. In comparing Killhammer with the bands previous effort Ravenlord, I found many similarities in the writing style between the two albums. The band knows their sound and they don’t try to push boundaries by incorporating different styles or genres into their music. Killhammer is exactly what it sets out to be, no frills, balls out heavy fucking metal, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that!" - Lady Obscure 
    $15.00
  • "Factory of Dreams is a project uniting multi-instrumentalist Hugo Flores and Jessica Lehto, on vocal harmonies and arrangements.Hugo Flores formed the band "Sonic Pulsar", which released two albums, 'Playing the Universe', in 2003, and 'Out of Place', in 2006. The success of the two albums further inspired Hugo to create a massive multi-album story project under the moniker "Project Creation", from which he released another two albums, 'Floating World' in 2005 and 'Dawn on Pyther' in 2007.In 2008 Hugo was once again inspired, this time by vocalist Jessica Lehto to create new music outside of the style he'd been working. In 2008, the duo released 'Poles'. It was received well critically, and they followed the success with 'A Strange Utopia', in 2009. 'Melotronical' followed in 2011.Jessica Lehto has performed on many outside projects, including recently on Beto Vazquez and Infinity's, 'Beyond Space Without Limits'. Lehto has her own project: 'Once There Was'. She's now also writing music and scripts for TV and movies."This is the kind of album that is a pleasure to experience.'Prelude' is a warning of a conceptual sci-fi future that follows the adventures of Kyra, a unique and mysterious character who holds the key to the Earth's fate. Angela Merrithew narrates the opening as Kyra, as she awakes exhausted and in distress from a dream, to a world in transition. The spacey synth sound effects are some of the best I've heard since last year's masterpiece, Atoma's 'Skylight' The rapidly increasing decibels of the pre-launch rocket sounds will take your mind out of this world. Close your eyes as you are listening to this one. It is as visual as it is an incredible aural experience.More cool spacey synths and keys, offered by Shawn Gordon as 'Strange Sounds' opens, before Jessica Lehto's beautiful soprano voice slices through the mix. Her siren calling sounds are simply ear-bending. Then piano – like keys take over along with growling lead electric guitar and pulsating drums and bass. "The stars are screaming. A storm is coming". Yes, a storm of vicious thrashing electric guitar…and it is fantastic set against Lehto's soprano. Excellent.Shawn Gordon is back to add some more very cool spacey synths as 'Escaping the Nightmare' opens slowly. Then Lehto's voice returns with male vocal support from Flores. The amount of spacey electric guitar solos flying around the soundscape will amaze you.'Angel Tears' opens with piano – like keys and Raquel Schüler on lead vocals. It is a soft song, full of emotion. "Kyra I wanna be with you. Kyra please let me through. Kyra share your dreams with me. Kyra don't shut me out", as destruction across the planet fills the storyline. Power keys, flashing electric guitar licks, heavy bass and drums overwhelm. Mark Ashby provides narration, as Kyra's boyfriend, as the two drive out of the destruction of the collapsing city to the seashore ahead.Nathan Ashby, as the child, opens 'Seashore Dreams' with story narration. Then, Tadashi Goto provides some awesome synth solos. Later Lyris Hung provides expert violin dashes which will be remembered long after the album completes. All this excellent music while Lehto's dream-like voice soars over the soundscape.'Dark Season' opens slowly with excellent synths before slowly growing drum pulses turn into full blown thunder. Magali Luyten's vocals provide a dark and powerful magic to this track.'Sound War' is full of brilliant keys at the opening, before piano like keys take over. Lehto's voice races to catch up to the keys fleetingly dancing across the soundscape as crushing bass, drums and grinding lead electric guitar roar forward.'Hope Garden' offers some of Chris Brown's guest slicing electric lead guitar soloing. Lehto's voice is consistently brilliant as she continues to deliver the spacey storyline. The thundering bass, drums and Brown's electric lead will make this track memorable long after the disc finishes."Show me the way to your mind" from the soft and beautiful voice of Lehto, as Chris Brown's roaring electric guitar solos and Tadashi Goto's synth solos electrify 'Traveling'. "Childhood memories. Hidden and now awaken. Reaching the deep corners of Space. Entering the realm of the Star's Mind..." Yes!'The Neutron Star' is full of Chris Brown's power electric guitar grinding, while Lyris Hung provides soft violin to balance the sound as Lehto and Flores help provide the continuing storyline and vocal effects.Mark Ashby returns to narrate the opening of 'Join Us Into Sound', as Tadashi Goto provides stellar synth solos, while the rushing electric lead guitar, bass, and pounding drums deliver their consistent rhythm.'Playing the Universe' closes the album with soft and dramatic accelerating keys that are some of the best on the album. Then the lead electric guitar explodes as the bass and drums build a powerful wall of sound surrounding the soft flute like keys in the middle. Lehto's siren – like vocals call you from the center of the mix as those electric riffs cut and bend all around you. Nice effect. ;^)This is an album filled with great music and excellent female lead vocalists. The storyline is interesting and the lyrical development is well conceived. Definitely an album you will want to experience with headphones in the comfort of your easy chair…with your eyes closed. Venefica Luna's artwork is simply out of this world. Some of the best I've seen since the 'Master', Ed Unitsky. Let the story unfold as you bask in the glow of the surrounding soundscape." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $3.00
  • Budget priced but nice slipcased set includes both the "Solution" and "Divergence" albums complete. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"12256","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"200","width":"200"}}]][[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"12255","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"200","width":"200"}}]]   
    $14.00
  • With new kid on the block, Mike Mangini, fully assimilated into the group, Dream Theater has come up with a stunning new album.  Expect nothing less than full on prog (with a nice tip of the cap to Rush in spots). Enigma Machine may be the best instrumental piece they've cooked up yet.  Highly recommended.This is the mega-deluxe box set.  It includes:Exclusive Artwork by Hugh Syme.Custom Box Set Holds:• Custom 2GB Majesty Symbol USB Stick containing:     - Isolated stems of "Behind The Veil"     - "Take This For The Pain (Mike Mangini Audition Improv Jam)" - 30 minute documentary.• Exclusive 7" of "The Bigger Picture" on clear vinyl, wrapped and sealed with a custom wax seal.• Gel-skin iDots of Majesty Symbol for iPhone.• 2-Disc embossed Deluxe Edition digi with bonus disc of 5.1 audio mix + expanded packaging.• 180-gram 2-LP embossed gatefold vinyl with high quality FLAC files of full album. 
    $99.00
  • New album clocks in near 80 minutes. No insanely long epics and the album is probably all the better for it. About as proggy as these guys have ever gotten.
    $9.00
  • Digibook edition at a reduced price comes with a 24 page booklet."At the dawn of each new year, there’s already usually a batch of albums I am looking forward to. 2011 opened up with the great promise of music to come, and the new Ulver album was up there on my list of albums that were making me excited. Stealing my heart with their opus ‘Shadows Of The Sun’ from a few years ago, I checked out the new album from this band at the earliest discretion once it was made available for listening. Although I will be the first to say that the album is slow to grow on a listener, Ulver has made a great album with ‘War Of The Roses,’ although at times it may be a little too mellow and drawn out for its own good.With ‘February MMX’, Ulver begins their latest work off on a surprisingly upbeat note, an atmospheric rocker that introduces ‘War Of The Roses’ on a somewhat misleading note. Although the song here is far from my favourite offering on ‘Roses’, it is without a doubt the most energetic, and gets the listener expecting something a little more active from these guys, only to scurry back down an ambient path with the second track ‘Norwegian Gothic’ and onwards. Luckily however, the first two tracks here make up the weakest material ‘War Of The Roses’ has to offer; it only gets better from there.The first piece of real interest here is ‘Providence’; a cunning melange of styles, ranging from the classical cellos to delta blues ad-libbing. Following that is another highlight- and my personal favourite- ‘September IV’, which feels as if it loosens up on the ambient nature with some more conventional songwriting, this time in a melodic post-rock style. Throughout all of this are the deep, distinctive vocals of Garm, who is certainly a great vocal presence, but doesn’t feel as if he has such strong melodies to guide his voice, instead feeling almost as if Garm’s voice is simply there for it’s looming resonance and little else. That being said, the strength of ‘War Of The Roses’ is in its grand instrumentation and clever electronic arrangements.The track that might be of most excitement to people is the fifteen minute ‘Stone Angels’, backing the rest of the album and eating up a third of the disc time. While some might expect a complex suite from Ulver here, ‘Stone Angels’ is instead a fairly minimalistic ambient hymn, with the poetic ramblings of a surrealist narrator speaking overtop. It may not sound like much, but the way Ulver does it is really majestic, making it feel like much less in length than the time spent listening. Eerie effects, pleasantly melancholic tones underneath and an ethereal vibe makes ‘Stone Angels’ a perfect piece of music to chill to. The one thing here that does get in the way are the pieces of narration themselves, which generally add little to the music besides something to raise an eyebrow to. Many will certainly find ‘Stone Angels’ to be a disappointing snore, but if you take it for what it is, you may be pleasantly surprised.I must say though, I did not care for ‘War Of The Roses’ at all when I first listened to it. I found it both too diverse and too boring to get much into, and the vocals felt misplaced, if anything. But there’s no denying after a couple of listens onwards that ‘Roses’ has alot more musically going for it than many ambient albums of its time.Although the album is far from being perfect or Ulver’s best, it’s certainly an album that grows with each listen; after all, hasn’t the music of Ulver always been one to play hard-to-get?" - prog-sphere.com
    $13.00
  • "When I did my first listen to the opening and title track of Secret Sphere’s upcoming release, Portrait of a Dying Heart, I knew instantly that I was going to run out of adjectives for “awesome” before the review was done. It opens with a soft chime, then another, a quick announcement of something amazing to come, and it does. With a quick buildup, the textbook thunderous opening chord is hit, and the song goes from zero to hell yeah in a heartbeat. There is a personal term I like to use, an ”epic moment”, that describes those moments in a song, especially in prog songs, when all the jumping around and teasing and tension that is inherent in prog music is released and all the instruments come together, creating that personal release, that little moment of music that I thrive for. The opening track, Portrait of a Dying Heart has about five of these, and it’s an instrumental overture. The album kicks it up another five notches when the vocals enter the mix.Founded in 1997 by guitarist Aldo Lonobile in, Secret Sphere has been showcasing their own brand of symphonic power metal over a span of fifteen years and six albums, and even the departure of long time lead singer Ramon Messina didn’t stop them, as they found the amazing pipes of Michelle Luppi to take over on their new album.  Fellow founding member Andy Buratto on bass, Federico Pennazzato on drums, Marco Pastorino on rhythm guitar, and Gabriele Ciaccia on keyboards fill out the rest of the band. While they credit heavyweights such as Dream Theater, Helloween, and Savatage among their influences, Secret Sphere has definitely evolved a sound all their own.Portrait of a Dying Heart is a concept album, based on the short novel She Complies with the Night by author Costanza Columbo, and commissioned by Lonobile. The full text of the story is included in the release disc, but was unavailable at the time of this review; so many secrets will be awaiting the listener and this very anxious author. As to the album, holy crap is it good. Secret Sphere is classified as symphonic metal, but that term really doesn’t do justice to the sound of this latest release, it is a step beyond. Though symphonic elements are definitely present, they don’t by any means carry the musical timbre of the album, the sound presented here is one step up the evolutionary ladder from most symphonic metal fare.After the six minute overture is X, the track that introduces the story, and it does it in fantastic bard-like fashion. The opening guitar squeals are accompanied by expertly done flourishes from the rhythm and the drums immediately set a breakneck, frantic pace, setting up a suspenseful atmosphere for the coming events. Luppi’s vocals hit right away as emotional, powerful, and stellar across the board, whether he is in scream mode or in the more subdued narrator moments. This track uses its variant musical elements to set the stage, leading perfectly into Wish and Steadiness, which for me is the best track of the album. It opens with classic symphonic keys, and uses them perfectly to transition from the more subtle tension of X to this track, building up before literally exploding in a fiery wall of metal. Notes come fast here, very fast, drawing out the tension and angst of the listener quickly. The hints of the frantic drums in X are joined by all the other instruments, and the panicked despondency of Luppi’s voice can almost be tasted it is so palpable. Highlighting it is a soul wrenching solo by Lonobile, bringing the despair of the song to full front. I don’t say this often, but this song for me is near perfection, everything fits together so well.With the tone set, the album digs into telling the story in full, with a spectrum of styles and paces. It truly is a musical narrative, events and emotions ebb and flow throughout the album.  The next song, Union, takes on a softer tone, adding an organized edge to the metal. It is catchy as hell, and sets a silent fervor in motion for The Fall, which has epic all over it. All hands are in play in this one, another searing track that leaves the listener breathless.The album carries on in this fashion throughout its entirety. The multitude of musical styles and themes are performed wonderfully by every member of the band. Lonobile is a monster at lead, and Pastarino carries a heavy load on rhythm superbly. The drumming is frantic yet precise, the fills and rolls just fantastic. Bass is a subtle undertone of organized thunder, and the keys carry the heavy weight of the symphonic elements so well. Add to it Luppi’s vocals, which are emotional and powerful throughout, and Secret Sphere delivers all the requisite parts, firing on all the right cylinders. Collectively though, they combine to create a truly special piece of music.From beginning to end, Portrait of a Dying Heart is a musical narrative in every sense of the term, it carries the listener through a slew of emotional states. The album is not only a summation of its talented parts, but also has a touch of ethereal wonder, something uncommon in the genre. There is a hurried sense of desperation, almost akin to that feeling of trying to hang on to the world with a single string that is slipping fast, that is carried throughout the work. Artist strive to transmit emotion to the audience through their chosen medium, Secret Sphere uses this concept to take us on a thrilling ride of spiritual turmoil, and does it very, very well." - Lady Obscure
    $14.00
  • "There are few bands, with a better than 25 years career, that have been as consistent in their sound and output as Denmark's Royal Hunt. Sure, they've had their share of personnel changes, significantly in the vocalist position, yet they carry on with increasing success. Recently, some of that success comes from one simple yet significant change. They brought Pennsylvania native D.C. Cooper back on the microphone. For my money, he'll always be the voice of Royal. He remains so, and the band records their thirteen album with Cooper, XIII - Devil's Dozen, his fifth on vocals for Royal Hunt.For those unfamiliar with Royal Hunt, which I doubt if you're reading this, the band performs melodic and symphonic heavy metal, with large emphasis on the first two descriptors. The symphonic element comes from founder and principal songwriter Andre Anderson's influence and keyboard presence. I'm presuming it's his synths that account for the large than life orchestration and not an actual orchestra. PR material was wanting on that information. Suffice to say, the symphonic layer provides two things. It provides a lush and lavish canvas and reinforces the melody of the arrangement, in every song. After this, Anderson offers keyboard solos throughout, sharing the limelight with the guitar leads. And those leads are as present and immense as everything else. Actually, I think the guitar presence is even larger on this album than most. Jonas Larsen is at the top of his game.Following these things, Cooper is also in top form, with a strong vocal presence. His skill comes from his natural ability to follow the melody and harmony of an arrangement, and then stay in range. Then there's the character of the songs, which has been alluded to by speaking of the particular musical elements.What's notable in those song arrangements is the importance of harmony and melody, but also the basic rock groove. This is where, from the band's inception, classic melodic hard rock has been as much a pillar of the musical foundation as the symphonic element. When these things dovetail together as with So Right So Wrong, How Do You Know, Way Too Late, and the quite catchy Hear On A Platte, Royal Hunt is a formidable melodic metal powerhouse. And that was only to mention four songs. They're all outstanding, all terrific and no filler. Once more, with XIII - Devil's Dozen, Royal Hunt's melodic and symphonic heavy metal is consistent, creative, and entertaining. Sweet stuff and strongly recommended." - Dangerdog.com 
    $16.00
  • Evergrey are back and better than ever!  I think the general consensus is that as the band became more and more popular the music became a bit more commercial and the production slicker.  Tom Englund has gone back to the basics and its clearly the right move.  Jonas Ekdahl (drums) and Henrik Danhage (guitars) have returned to the fold and production has been handed over to Jacob Hansen.  This is a return to the "classic" Evergrey sound - that perfect balance of melody and heaviness with the right amount of "prog" injected when necessary.  COMEBACK ALBUM OF THE YEAR!  BUY OR DIE!"One of the leading names in the power/progressive metal world is the Swedish five-piece, Evergrey. Forming in 1995, the band has released eight full length albums, with number nine releasing this fall. The band has been known for relatively dark lyrics and concept albums since their debut, and because of this fact, it was very difficult for me to get into their music. I can easily count the amount of times I thought “I should listen to Evergrey” on one hand. Though I wasn’t well versed in their discography, what I had heard was moving quite slowly, was downright melancholic, and just couldn’t catch my attention. That was until the Hymns for the Broken album landed in my inbox.First off, the notable changes in the lineup, with the return of Jonas Ekdahl (drums) and Henrik Danhage (guitar) grabbed my attention immediately. Though the band briefly spoke about the addition of the two previous members on their Facebook, “What can we say? We missed each other.” I truly believe that this decision, and the amazing mixing by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Amaranthe, Primal Fear) and production quality are what set this album up for its coming success.The album kicks off with a very eerie intro track, then jumps into the first single and video, “King of Errors”. Even without being an Evergrey fan in particular, I have always known who Tom Englund was, as his voice is so unique and legendary in the industry that I couldn’t ever really escape it. This song is a great display of the power and ability he has as a vocalist to truly bring a wonderfully written song to an entirely new level. The blend of the guitar riffs and keyboard work is perfection to say the least, but when the awe-inspiring guitar solo hit, I knew this album had me by its teeth.Immediately following is another one of the strongest tracks on the album, “A New Dawn” with a strong and hard-hitting guitar and bass riff that doesn’t ever really let go throughout the song. This song features one of the more beautiful keyboard solos on the album, but yet again that guitar solo just comes out of nowhere and destroys any solo I have ever heard this band release. “Black Undertow” is another perfect example of why Englund is so well-respected in the music world. It begins with his chillingly lower vocal range, but builds back up to where he truly shines. This song not only features another soaring and strong chorus, but the rhythm work between all instruments keeps it dark and eerie, though the keyboard lightly dances above it all.The title track to the record explodes into this phenomenal musical intro, but fades just as quickly as it hits. Boasting some of the strongest, most emotional lyrics on the album, the song hits a chord in many personal ways. “Scream loud, these hymns are for the broken,” are just some of this crowd enticing chorus that Englund sings flawlessly throughout. Bringing the album to a close is the over seven minute song “The Aftermath” which begins in a ballad-like fashion, but builds to a very strong finale. The tempo remains slow, but the flawless movement in the instruments keeps it absolutely enthralling. The last half of the song is entirely instrumental, and the conversations between keyboard, bass, and drums is something that I could listen to on repeat for hours, especially when the haunting lead melody soars above it all.If you can’t tell, I can’t think of a single moment on this album I don’t absolutely love. As someone who could never get hooked by an Evergrey album, I can assure you this is not just ‘fandom’ talking. Hymns for the Broken is a perfect album that even after weeks of constant play, I can not get enough of. Perhaps it is indeed perfection, or perhaps it just hit me at the right time in my life, either way I am in love. Easily a current contender for album of the year, it’s so full of beautiful melodies and amazing arrangements that any fan of power or progressive metal will absolutely love. I don’t doubt that all previous fans of the band will appreciate this album as much as I do, but I sincerely hope that new listeners give this record a fair and objective chance as well.This is definitely their most ambitious release yet, and they absolutely nailed it!" - Metalholic 
    $15.00