Exodus

SKU: UNCR5058
Label:
Unicorn Digital
Category:
Progressive Rock
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New album from Guy LeBlanc finds Nathan Mahl with a new lineup and a bit of a new direction as well. The first thing that strikes you is that the overall soundscape is much heavier. Guitars have real CRUNCH. This isn't at all a metal album but its clear that he has been listening a bit to Dream Theater. He lets loose with some devastating keyboard solos that reminds you that this soft spoken guy can play like the devil. There is also a slight AOR sheen to the proceedings but never in a particularly offensive way. Curiously this is a concept album based on Exodus - the story of the Jews exodus from Egypt. Given the subject matter and this reworking of the formula I've of the mind to annoint Nathan Mahl as the Canadian version of Glass Hammer. Lots of similarities the more you dig it. To these ears this is much better than the Heretic trilogy and is highly recommended.

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  • "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
  • In recent times there has been very little new music coming from the Magma camp.  "Slag Tanz" is a new composition that the band has been performing and its finally been recorded in the studio.  Its got the classic Magma sound and if you are a zeuhl fan this is indispensable.Funny that their new label is referring to this as jazz metal.  Perhaps they should try a different marketing ploy."Powerful, hypnotic, unclassifiable, incomparables. MAGMA are in a class of their own. Finally, music to set the cat among the pigeons... Magma are the dynamite that will explode the conventions of a music scene that is becoming rather too self-satisfied with its own beauty... Magma are unlike anything that has gone before...So people were saying in 1970.In 2015, nearly half a century later, this is truer than ever and the new mini-album Slag Tanz (pronounced schlag tanz), this veritable symphony of jazz metal that has erupted from nowhere, radiates with all Magma s singular intensity!"Slünd AImëhntösz - Alerte ! (2:19)Slag (3:03)Dümb (2:57)Vers la nuit (3:30)Slünd BDümblaë - Le silence des mondes (2:58)Zü Zaïn ! (2:16)Slag Tanz (2:29)Wohldünt (1:23)Lyrics & Music : Christian VanderStella VANDER : voiceIsabelle FEUILLEBOIS : voiceHervé AKNIN : voiceBenoît ALZIARY : vibraphoneJames MAC GAW : guitarJérémie TERNOY : pianoPhilippe BUSSONNET : bassChristian VANDER : drums, piano, voice on "Wohldünt"Recorded and mixed between september 2013 and september 2014 at UZ Studio by Francis LINON
    $13.00
  • Remastered edition comes with 5 bonus tracks. At this point Tull was in full blown prog rock mode.
    $11.00
  • US prog band's classic third album remastered. Comes with two bonus tracks - demos of "Child Of Innocence" and "It's You".
    $5.00
  • Metal Mind Productions has grouped together Iron Curtain and Memento Z Banalnym Tryptkiem jewel boxes together in a slipcase at an attractive price.
    $16.00
  • Remastered edition of this great 2CD live album features loads of bonus tracks. Disc 2 is the complete live recording of The Snow Goose - apparently containing the original Andy Ward drum tracks as opposed to the previously released version which featured overdubbed drums. Still great either way.
    $14.00
  • I have to plead ignorance.  Until recently I never heard of Innes Sibun.  Turns out the guy is a world famous British electric blues guitarist.  Back in 1993 he was a member of Robert Plant's touring band and has a signficant solo career.  Can't Slow Down was recorded with his quartet live at the Estro in Harderwijk, Netherlands on March 12, 2011.  This disc burns beginning to end.  If you are a fan of Rory Gallagher or Roy Buchanan and even guitarists along the lines of Hendrix and Trower you need to hear this guy.  Serious wah wah laced guitar driven excursions with backing of keys and a solid rhythm section.  A scorcher!!  Highly recommended.
    $14.00
  • 5 CD budget slipcase set combines: Spectrum, Total Eclipse, Crosswinds, A Finky Thide Of Sings, and Shabazz. 
    $27.00
  • Remastered edition with 2 live bonus tracks."Foreigner promptly followed up its blockbuster debut with the equally successful Double Vision LP in 1978, which featured the FM mega-hits "Hot Blooded" and the driving title track. Opting not to mess with a good formula, the band wisely sticks to the polished hard rock sound that made its first record such a hit. Aside from the big singles, other highlights include the swaggering "Love Has Taken Its Toll" and the more restrained "Blue Morning, Blue Day." As always, Lou Gramm's impeccable rock vocals lead the way, supported by Mick Jones' tasteful, arena-sized guitar riffs." - All Music Guide 
    $5.00
  • "Blue Öyster Cult tried a new producer on Mirrors, replacing longtime mentor Sandy Pearlman with Tom Werman, a CBS staffer who had worked with Cheap Trick and Ted Nugent. The result is an album that tries to straddle pop and hard rock just as those acts did, emphasizing choral vocals (plus female backup) and a sharp, trebly sound. But this approach appeared to displease longtime metal-oriented fans without attracting new ones: "In Thee" became a minor singles-chart entry, but the album broke BÖC's string of five gold or platinum albums in a row. The real reason simply may have been that the songs weren't distinctive enough. Much of this is generic hard rock that could have been made by any one of a dozen '70s arena bands." - All Music Guide
    $7.00
  • Instrumental fusion quartet from Japan recorded back in 1993. Clearance priced to move.
    $10.00
  • Special edition arrives with a bonus DVD of the band performing material from Concrete Gardens filmed at EMGTV."Sound: Tony MacAlpine was one of the Shrapnel label guitarists of the '80s, and also played keyboards for the debut releases of Vinnie Moore and other Shrapnel artists. Tony's debut solo album, "Edge of Insanity," came iout in 1986 - the same year as his first side project, M.A.R.S., with release of the album "Project: Driver." Since that time Tony MacAlpine has released numerous solo albums, participated in collaborations, made live guest appearances, and even acted as part of Steve Vai's backing band. "Concrete Gardens" is Tony's twelfth solo studio album, and is entirely instrumental like the vast majority of Tony's solo work. The album has been in the works since 2013, but took a while to release due to Tony's numerous collaborations and other projects. Jeff Loomis provides a guest guitar solo on the album on the track, "Square Circles." The album contains 12 tracks with a total runtime of just under sixty minutes. The album differs from Tony's previous work by having more of a progressive metal flavor to it, while I think of most of his previous releases as just being straight instrumental rock.The album opens up with the track "Exhibitionist Blvd," with some seriously flanged guitar and a major key melody that builds into something a little different as the track goes on. There is a specific passage that shows the influence that Vai has had on MacAlpine, though I would rank them close to equal in the virtuoso racket. "The King's Rhapsody" opens up with a keyboard intro, played by Tony, of course. Heavy guitars come in and takes the song to a few unexpected places, and actually gets my foot tapping, too - which is an accomplishment for instrumental rock! "Man in a Metal Cage" has some interesting note choices, with some mildly middle-eastern sounds for a few brief moments in the track mixed in with some obligatory sweep tapping. Otherwise, there are several passages working to create several moments of extreme tension. There are a few arpeggiated parts that are reminiscent of some other song that I can't quite place. "Poison Cookies" has a weird jazz-fusion funk feeling going on with it that I definitely appreciated - if for nothing else it changed gears long enough to shake off any monotony I thought the album might be working towards."Epic" was both a more laid back song, but also was very cerebral - the keyboard and guitar parts built on each other in a weird/cool way. "Napoleon's Puppet" very briefly reminded me of some material written by Brendan Small for his album, "Galaktikon," but it had that rhythm part to it that definitely separated it by giving it some incredibly strong groove. "Sierra Morena" is played on piano/keyboard in the intro but guitar, bass and drums come in pretty quickly. The song is named after a mountain range in Spain with the same name. I can't quite connect the music as being descriptive of a mountain range unless they're being written about the context of flying over them. "Square Circles" has some moments in the track that remind me a little bit of King Crimson, though the sense of melody is still a tad more traditional. Jeff Loomis guests on this track for a guitar solo, and it is a fairly outstanding solo in the context of the song, having a good balance of being emotive and twisted."Red Giant" is a pretty intense track, with some more middle-eastern vibes going on, and one of the most engaging and vocal-like melodies from the album, to my ears. "Confessions of a Medieval Monument" definitely grabs a certain type of vibe from the opening, with a cool (but fairly simple) bassline running behind it. This is definitely one of those songs that creates a fertile atmosphere for a little mind movie to play along to it. The way the dynamics are used on this song, as well as the recurring melodic theme, make this easily one of the strongest tracks on the album. The title track, "Concrete Gardens," is interesting with a heavy rhythm guitar and a (initially) much cleaner lead part. Something about this track reminds me of Frank Zappa, which is absolutely a good thing. The album closes out with a song called "Maiden's Wish," which is played on keyboard/piano as a solo piece. It is a fairly light-hearted song to end the album with, and I enjoyed it. If you just listen for the crazy guitar, then you can stop short of "Maiden's Wish." // 8Lyrics: There are none. // 8Overall Impression: I have always been extremely impressed with Tony MacAlpine, and this album just reinforces my opinion. While he may not be quite at the technical/speed level of some other virtuoso guitarists, especially the whole Shrapnel bunch, he makes up for it in a strong sense of feel and musicality. I especially enjoy the melodies he uses as recurring themes in many of his songs. I highly recommend this album to anyone who's a fan of instrumental rock or metal. // 8" - Ultimate-Guitar.com
    $15.00
  • "'Hand. Cannot. Erase.' is the highly anticipated fourth studio album from Steven Wilson - four-time Grammy nominee and founder member of cult legends, Porcupine Tree.Hand. Cannot. Erase. follows the critical and commercial success of The Raven That Refused To Sing, released in February 2013, and a run of sold-out shows around the world including London's Royal Albert Hall. Steven will embark on an extensive 'An Evening With Steven Wilson' European tour in March & April 2015.Recorded at London's illustrious Air Studios, Hand. Cannot. Erase, reunited Steven with Guthrie Govan (guitar), Adam Holzman (keyboards), Nick Beggs (bass / stick), and Marco Minneman (drums), the spectacular band responsible for The Raven That Refused To Sing album and world tour.The album follows the critical and commercial success of 2013's 'The Raven That Refused To Sing' (Germany #3, UK# 28) and an international run of sold-out shows, including London's prestigious Royal Albert Hall.Joined by Guthrie Govan (guitar), Adam Holzman (keyboards), Nick Beggs (bass / stick), and Marco Minneman (drums) - all part of the world-class band that graced The Raven and the 2013/2014 world tours - Wilson recorded 'Hand. Cannot. Erase.' at the renowned Air Studios in London."
    $14.00
  • "San Francisco has produced countless acts that have defined, and even created, entire genres of music from the psychedelic movement to some band named METALLICA. On “The Zodiac Sessions”, Stoner Metal darlings ORCHID, somehow manage to add their name to the list with a seedy, grooving, bong hit ripping trip through the dark side. Poster children of the Stoner-hipster-Metal phenomenon, ORCHID has released a mess of music since forming in 2007. “Zodiac” is a collection of the bands earlier work, the “Through the Devils Doorway” EP and the killer full-length, “Capricorn”. Newly re-mastered, both records sound excitedly crisp and full, begging to be played at full volume with no remorse.If you really stretch your chemically altered imagination, you can see ORCHID onstage at the Fillmore ruining every ones buzz with their hemorging wall of sound and message of absolute Doom. Maybe that trippy vision is a little too heavy for your current state of mind but these guys are making retro sound progressive, conjuring the very best of classic BLACK SABBATH, PENTAGRAM and DUST while burning a path all their own. “Capricorn” is just plain creepy as the boogie virtually drips off Mark Thomas Baker’s guitar. It’s almost impossible to understand how the refrain gets so heavy with one guitar player but Keith Nickel hammers the bass strings so hard it shakes the ice in your glass. Carter Kennedy handles the back end nicely with deeply body shaking drum work, the perfect complement to the classic crushing being done by Baker and Nickel. Theo Mindell leads the charge with a howling voice resembling Bobby Liebling at his evilest.Baker throws the black cloak of doom gently over the listeners head with “Black Funeral”, the perfect late night graveyard hang out song, Mindell sounding like he is trying to raise the old souls of San Francisco’s past for an undead freak out. On “Eastern Women” we hear the marching guitar rhythm that has lead Orchid to the head of the stoner rock pact. It’s raw and unrelenting, showing a hint of what was to come as the band grew into their already legendary “The Mouths of Madness” record. It all comes to a crashing conclusion with “No One Makes a Sound”. Mindell lays it out on the line, letting us know that ‘they ain’t going to listen now, until no one makes a sound’. Eye opening stuff reminding us that heavy licks and heavy lyrics are how this whole San Fran thing got started.While a double re-packaging of not one but two records, neither one a decade old, is a little pretentious, original ORCHID vinyl is already fetching a pretty penny online. Sporting some groovy new art from multi-tasker Theo Mindell, “Zodiac Sessions” gives first time listeners a chance to pick up some old ORCHID on the cheap (for now) and gives those who were there the first time a second hit off the good stuff." - Metal Temple
    $14.00