Fragments Of Light

SKU: FGBG4509.AR
Label:
Musea Records
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Nicely done third album from this Spanish band. The main man behind Kotebel is keyboardist Carlos Plaza but he frequently defers to guitarist Cesar Garcia Forero. The female vocals of Carlonia Prieto has a light ethereal quality which joins with the flute of Omar Acosta to create a balance or counterpoint to the fiery keyboard/guitar interplay. A nice mixture of classical, traditional prog and Spanish influences. This 71 minute effort is a real class affair.

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  • "After several years' absence with members going off in their own various directions, Echolyn returned with a new offering. Cowboy Poems Free shows a decidedly more straightforward sound than their earlier days, while retaining the layered harmonies and often intricate phrasing for which the band is known. In many ways, this album strikes me as a worthy modern-day successor to The Band's work, a promenade of the American mythos part past and present, an examination that seems at once both of a particular time and universal. "Texas Dust" is a powerhouse of an opener. Brett Kull's plaintive, everyman voice is the perfect harness for this tale of live-by-the-day Texas farmers trying to eke out a living while at the mercy of nature. From the forceful, offbeat main riff that drives the tune, to Kull's final awe-engulfed cry "the wind came on," this is my favorite track of the album. Ray Weston, now taking over bass duties for the band, provides vocals ranging from the Prohibition-defying, hedonistic "Swingin' the Ax" to the loneliness of "1729 Broadway" (if I recall correctly, the lyrics to this one are adapted from an actual letter of an ancestor). "High as Pride," seems to point the way towards the band's next release, Mei. A sharp observation here from Kull: "At 18 our convictions are hills on which we look/At 45 they're caves into which we hide." The band takes one easy target liberty: urbane yuppie types in "Gray Flannel Suits," which is probably the least of the tracks, though I do like the line about "martini glasses that shimmer all weekend." Apart from that, this is pretty compelling music throughout, and the lyrics are consistently top-notch. Like Mei, well worth a listen." - Ground And Sky
    $14.00
  • "IRON MASK stand out from many other artists of the neo-classical metal genre because they manage to combine high musical ambitions with a certain kind of accessibility and lots of variety. With 'Fifth Son of Winterdoom', Dushan Petrossi and his band manage the musical claim to be very catchy, so fans of Firewind, Dio, Iron Maiden, Yngwie Malmsteen and Rainbow will all have their joy in this extraordinary album."
    $15.00
  • "Proving that Norwegian metal is not relegated to corpse paint, grimness and blasphemy comes the new record from progressive metal champions COMMUNIC. Not quite a comeback album, but it has been a while: three years since their release of Payment of Existence (Nuclear Blast). In that time they have continued to refine and redefine their sound. They have always identified as a “prog” band, but they clearly still fly the flag of metal high and proud as ever too. As evident on The Bottom Deep, the band has consciously streamlined their writing process while not sacrificing the quality song-craft they have been known for. Starting off the the blistering opening track “Facing Tomorrow” the track starts off with a hail of machine-gun fire riffs and expansive drum parts. The first few seconds have more in common with KREATOR than say DREAM THEATER and says a lot about their intentions on this album. The marching pedaled beats and chords give way to interesting textural guitar parts that lay on top of the chaos. Once again the stunning tenor vocals of guitarist Oddleif Stenland is what congeals the song together. His voice is rough enough for metal, but never ceases amaze as an expressive melodic instrument. Second track “Denial” begins with modern rock elements, but has a sizzling guitar solo and nice double kick drum fills. Downshifted into atmospheric metallic balladry, the song is emotional and has a cool chorus. More of Stenland’s emotive vocals really get to you and his range is very impressive. There are some moments of the song that will remind you of recent songs from VOIVOD or TOOL and this could be a breakout song for the band. “Flood River Blood” is more of a straight up rocker with a light verse and heavier climax. Bassist Erik Mortensen gets to stretch out and play some dewy lead lines during the verses. Two-thirds of the way through, the song turns harsh and Stenland does his best ROB HALFORD-like high scream yet. In contrast to their last album that had more obtuse structures and longer songs, COMMUNIC has reduced the sonic fluff a bit to good results. The very heavy and introspective “Voyage of Discovery” is next and has a little bit of everything the band is good at in the song. Drummer Tor Atle Andersen is the star here with his excellent playing. The song finds the band covering some of the territory better known by NEVERMORE or even BLIND GUARDIAN. Just really well written songs that are not prog for the sake of randomness, but out of a true reverence for musical aptitude. Later cuts like “In Silence With My Scars”, “My Fallen” and “Destroyer of Bloodlines” are some of the heaviest and best songs on the album with many inventive twists, time signature shifts and turns musically. “My Fallen” is certainly the most crushing track here with terrific interplay with guitars and drumming. Although not groundbreaking, The Bottom Deep is a strong and enjoyable effort start to finish." - Metal-Army.Com
    $20.00
  • Live recording from 2012 at the Rites of Spring Festival in Gettysburg PA USATracklist CD1:When the world is caving inWhere earth meets the skyTurn it upDo U tango?1969EternallyCD2:Send a message from the heartUndertow/When the world is caving in repriseJonas Reingold: BassguitarMorgan Ågren: DrumsGöran Edman: VocalsNils Erikson: Keys and VocalsLalle Larsson: KeysKrister Jonsson: Guitars 
    $15.00
  • "The UK progressive synth group known as Zoltan have been turning heads since arising in 2010 as one of the most interesting projects signed to a then-fledgling Austrian label by the name of Cineploit Records.Fast forwarding four years later, both Zoltan and Cineploit are hitting a creative stride in their partnership, as the Sixty Minute Zoom LP will strongly attest. This sophomore effort from Zoltan follows up an EP for famed British doom label Rise Above-an audio take on director Amando De Ossorio's classic Blind Dead series of horror films-as well as a Cineploit-released tribute to John Cameron's score to the equally iconic Seventies film Psychomania, while at the same time leaving nearly every prior release from the band in the proverbial dust, so epically addictive and immensely blissful is this sound.Sixty Minute Zoom takes the building blocks of influence carved from the likes of film composer Fabio Frizzi, Italian prog giants Goblin and Pittsburgh duo Zombi and erects here a monument to their own creativity and unique compositional eye. Indeed, every aspect of Sixty Minute Zoom sounds more focused, confident and actualized as keyboardist Andy Thompson, bassist/keyboardist/guitarist Matt Thompson and drummer Andrew Prestidge lock into each others' musical strengths and unleash what is most certainly the defining Zoltan release up until this point in the band's career.Highlight tracks such as "The Ossuary" pulse with a malevolent bass drone and swirling, atmospheric synth, while the album's epic, twenty minute closer "The Integral" moves effortlessly between horrifically mood-setting soundscapes and low key electronic experimentation, anchored by an absolutely amazing drum performance from Prestidge. The drummer's lock-tight groove at the thirteen minute mark through the track's sizzling finish is bested perhaps only by the subtly powerful groove Prestidge hits upon as the Thompson's growling synth stabs lift the opening movements of "The Integral" as the best soundtrack theme never featured for an Italian horror or giallo film.No hyperbole or exaggeration here: Sixty Minute Zoom demands immediate attention from electronic music fiends and Eurocult soundtrack buffs the world over, as it bucks the late year trend as one of the finest albums of 2014." - The Examiner
    $18.00
  • STAR ONE – Victims Of The Modern Age (53:09) 1. Down The Rabbit Hole (1:20) 2. Digital Rain (6:23) 3. Earth That Was (6:08) 4. Victim Of The Modern Age (6:27) 5. Human See, Human Do (5:14) 6. 24 Hours (7:20) 7. Cassandra Complex (5:24) 8. It's Alive, She's Alive, We're Alive (5:07) 9. It All Ends Here (9:46) "With a career spanning more than three decades, composer and multi-instrumentalist Arjen Lucassen has firmly established himself worldwide as driving force in progressive rock. While best known for his rock opera project Ayreon, the multi-talented Dutchman also regularly embarks on musical side projects such as Ambeon, Guilt Machine and Star One. These projects all explore different aspects of Lucassen's musical personality, with each new release being a creative reaction to the style of its predecessor. As his previous project (Guilt Machine’s "On This Perfect Day" 2009) was a relatively relaxed and subtle affair, Lucassen's muses responded by urging him to record something loud, heavy and anything but subtle for this new release. Thus it was a perfect opportunity to launch his musical spacecraft towards the galaxy of bombastic sci-fi rock by revisiting his Star One project. The result is the album "Victims of the Modern Age," the follow-up to the Star One debut album, “Space Metal” (2002). Lucassen strives to keep a consistent cast of vocalists for Star One rather than mixing it up with the ever-changing vocal line-up that characterizes Ayreon. For "Victims of the Modern Age" he reunited the stellar cast of lead vocalists from the first album: Russell Allen (Symphony X), Damian Wilson (Headspace, Threshold), Floor Jansen (ReVamp, ex-After Forever), and Dan Swanö (Nightingale, Second Sky, ex-Edge Of Sanity). Ranging from soaring power vocals to hauntingly melodic passages to brutal growls, the contrasting vocal styles of these magnificent vocalists provide each song with a stunning variety of vocal textures. When it comes to instruments, the tall Dutchman played the rhythm guitars, Hammond organ, Mellotron, Solina strings and analog synths himself, and invited drummer Ed Warby (Ayreon, Hail of Bullets, Gorefest) and bassist Peter Vink to lay down the powerful rhythm tracks. He also enlisted the intimidating solo skills of former After Forever keyboardist Joost van den Broek and guitarist Gary Wehrkamp (Shadow Gallery), each of whom provide their trademark scorching solos. While Star One is not technically a rock opera like Ayreon, it is still very much a concept album. Rather than following continuous storyline, each song is based on a different sci-fi film and tells its own story. Lucassen describes the concept of "Victims Of The Modern Age" as follows: "I based the songs on dystopian and post-apocalyptic sci-fi movies that have made an impression on me throughout my life. Unlike the first Star One album ‘Space Metal,’ where all the songs were set in space, this time most of the songs take place right here on Earth. No, I’m not going to tell you which movies inspired the tracks -- that would spoil all the fun! And I do hope that the dark subject matter won’t keep people from enjoying this journey through time to some of the more grim possible outcomes for humanity's future." Compared to 2002's "Space Metal," the overall sound of "Victims Of The Modern Age" is darker, heavier, more guitar-oriented, and slightly less "spacey." Arjen has also raised the bar significantly when it comes to the album's sound: "I think it's my best sounding album to date; it's a huge difference compared to the first Star One. For the guitars I spent weeks experimenting with different amps and settings in every combination imaginable -- and it was worth it. The drums sound fantastic, and the vocalists all outdid themselves, putting in even stronger performances than they did the first time around." With its stellar musicianship, strong melodies, meticulous production and compelling concept, Star One "Victims of the Modern Age" is yet another exciting project from one of rock's great visionaries. STAR ONE is: Vocalists Sir Russell Allen Damian Wilson Dan Swanö Floor Jansen Instrumentalists Arjen Anthony Lucassen - guitars, Hammond, Mellotron, Minimoog, Solina strings Ed Warby - drums Peter Vink - bass Joost van den Broek - keyboard solos Gary Wehrkamp - guitar solos PLEASE DO NOT COMBINE PREORDERS WITH YOUR REGULAR ORDER AS IT WILL ONLY DELAY PROCESSING OF YOUR ORDER.
    $12.00
  • "Suddenly, Polish progressive-rock bands are infiltrating the international scene. While many of them are reaching new audiences thanks to the rise of the homeland's Metal Mind Productions, ProgRock Records in the United States managed to nab one of the best. Sandstone initially was formed in 2001 without a keyboard player. But as the band's sound evolved into a hybrid of neo-progressive and progressive-metal music – think, maybe, Arena meets Dream Theater – the quartet quickly realized it needed keys to add texture and depth to its songs.Sandstone's debut, Looking For Myself, is an expansive, six-song journey chronicling one man's struggle for nothing more than to love and to be loved. It sounds more upbeat than Riverside (arguably one of the biggest acts to come out of Poland in recent years) and less technical than Dream Theater. But the sheer ambition of these songs – only one of which clocks in at shorter than seven and a half minutes – propels Looking For Myself into the ranks of those debut discs that leave listeners not only wanting more but also wondering where else the band could take the music. The best indication of Sandstone's capabilities can be heard on "Birth of My Soul," which opens with clear and concise soloing from guitarist Jarek Niecikowski and eventually reaches David Gilmour aspirations near the song's conclusion. Vocalist Marcin Zmorzynski's thick accent is a minor distraction early on, but getting used to it is easy.As is listening to this album." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $3.00
  • "The Aristocrats by any measure the hottest new band in instrumental rock/fusion today rewrote their own rules for their third studio album, Tres Caballeros. After two fairly raw trio albums, guitarist Guthrie Govan (Steven Wilson, Asia/GPS), bassist Bryan Beller (Joe Satriani, Dethklok) and drummer Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani) set up camp at legendary Sunset Sound studios in Hollywood, CA, where Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Van Halen all recorded landmark albums. The result: Nine new compositions of greater sonic depth and breadth than ever before, with unique textures and lush layering augmenting the band s preternatural ability to improvise at the highest levels possible. But it s all still tempered with a steadfast refusal to take themselves too seriously, and The Aristocrats are still having more fun than a fusion band has any right to have. We ve learned a lot since we started this band four years, three studio albums, two live DVDs and about a billion notes ago! and I think our latest offering reflects this in all kinds of ways, says guitarist Guthrie Govan. The decision to road-test our new material in front of a live audience before commencing the recording process; the choice to record in a studio which had some thoroughly inspiring rock'n'roll "mojo"; our sudden urge to become more bold and experimental with overdubs rather than feeling any pressure to record exclusively in a strict trio format... all of this has had some kind of positive effect on the way the new record came out. Plus, I think the material on this album is some of the most interesting stuff we ve ever written for each other, so... here s hoping our noble listeners will like the finished product as much as we do!"
    $13.00
  • UK band Touchstone take a surprising (at least to my ears) turn in a heavier direction.  While I would never call this full on metal, mixing engineer John Mitchell decided to turn their guitar up a notch.  Some good crunchy guitar bits through out the album.  The band was never a complex prog band.  Touchstone always had a melodic sensibility touching on AOR and neo-prog.  There is a symphonic element that keeps the music rooted in the prog world but you can tell that this is a band that is looking to cross over into other genres.  Their strongest asset remains vocalist Kim Seviour , who along with Leslie Hunt is one of the best female vocalists in the prog world."Returning once more to confound listeners and music reviewers alike, such as yours truly, with their ever evolving and pleasing neo-prog is England's Touchstone with their fourth long player, Oceans Of Time. Dare say, for their benefit, it's hard to pigeonhole Touchstone's sound. Is it hard rock? AOR? Progressive rock? Yes and then some, and it's not necessarily all that confounding really.However, I might say that Oceans Of Time could be their most 'proggy' album to date. If anything, the songs are quite varied, visiting old territory and exploring the new. Touchstone also returns to some familiar themes. The title track continues the Wintercoast story, and Shadow's End wraps up the Shadows trilogy begun on Discordant Dreams.These songs are also good examples of the strong progressive nature of the album, with Touchstone throwing curves to your ears. Yet Oceans Of Time will also sound more like familiar Touchstone as well. The musical canvas is quite grand lavished with layers of instrumentation, notably Hodgson's guitar and Cottingham's keyboards. Flux is another fine example of Touchstone's exotic musical brew. It's got some hard rock chops mixed with the prog, and then, about the three minute mark, it calms down. Synths stir, then Kim Seviour's vocals arrive, and the arrangement swells to sweet crescendo. It's one of best moments of the album.Other highlights include the bass and drum lines of Contact, a moody piece where Seviour's voice is alluring and graceful; the clever drumming within Fragments, possibly the closest thing to straight melodic rock song here; and, Spirit of the Age, a song with balancing lighter moments with heavier ones, and Seviour at her most sublime. Touchstone is band that keeps evolving and getting better, and so is always interesting and entertaining. Oceans Of Time is well recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $5.00
  • Insane Japanese quartet stomp thru long tracks of instrumental jamminess with strong references to Crimson, UZ and Magma.
    $15.00
  • This 2CD is perhaps the band's crowning achievement. You can even perceive this to be their "Lamb" so to speak. Extremely ambitious work firmly implanted in the neo-prog style but with lots of cool intricacies. Peter Nicholls and Co. take it to the next level on this one.
    $16.00
  • "After the lack of success garnered by 1970's The Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, Randy California (guitar/vocals) -- who had recently suffered a nearly fatal horse-riding accident -- split from the combo, leaving only Ed Cassidy (drums) and John Locke (keyboards) to carry on from the original lineup. They were joined by brothers Al Staehely (bass/lead vocals) and Christian Staehely (guitar/vocals), with the former supplying a majority of the album's solid material. His consistently strong songs were perfect for this seemingly hastily collected aggregate. Unlike Jay Ferguson (vocals) and Mark Andes' (guitar/vocals) boogie outfit Jo Jo Gunne, Spirit remained steeped in equal measures of pop, rock, and jazz. That said, "Cadillac Cowboys" could have just as easily passed off for Gunne, with the propulsive backbeat centered down the spine of the slightly syncopated rhythm, perfect for Cassidy's percussive inflections and innate sense of timing. Locke's instrumentals "Trancas Fog-Out" and "Puesta del Scam" also put the drummer in the driver's seat, as his compact interjections propel Christian Staehely's guitar and Locke's aggressive piano leads. Producer David Briggs captures these in an almost v rit manner, as each musician spontaneously reflects his counterparts la the band's 1968 debut -- and perhaps more pointedly Locke's ten-minute epic "Elijah." "Darkness" is another Locke side that is worth mentioning with regard to the interaction among the quartet members, as the noir waltz perfectly captures the strengths of this lineup. "
    $5.00
  • Remastered edition contains 6 bonus tracks include 2 previously unreleased songs."A stunning self-reinvention by a band that many had given up for dead, 90125 is the album that introduced a whole new generation of listeners to Yes. Begun as Cinema, a new band by Chris Squire and Alan White, the project grew to include the slick production of Trevor Horn, the new blood (and distinctly '80s guitar sound) of Trevor Rabin, and eventually the trademark vocals of returning founder Jon Anderson. His late entry insured that Rabin and Horn had a heavy influence on the sound. The album also marked the return of prodigal keyboardist Tony Kaye, whose crisp synth work on "Changes" marked the band's definitive break with its art rock roots. "Owner of a Lonely Heart" was a huge crossover hit, and its orchestral break has been relentlessly sampled by rappers ever since. The vocal harmonies of "Leave It" and the beautifully sprawling "Hearts" are additional high points, but there's nary a duff track on the album." - Allmusic Guide
    $9.00
  • This superb Swedish band follow up their white hot performance at Nearfest with the release of their fifth album and its their best. The band really has developed their own identity. There is an underpinning of humor but at the same time the lyrics don't deal with unicorns and magical forests - in fact there is plenty of heavy duty swear words through out so if that is offensive to you stay clear. Its a musical monster with devastating organ work - check out the closer "The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of" (my dreams ARE made of this stuff!). In general the musical talent is mega-high and full on display here. Oh yeah - for about 10 seconds the Cookie Monster rears his head so watch out!!One of the finest (if not THE finest) example of contemporary progressive rock. Beardfish give a wink and a nod to the old timers but clearly have carved out a path of their own that ANY fan (with a strong heart) should endorse. This will make everyone's top 10 list at year end. BUY OR DIE!!
    $11.00