The Great Southern Trendkill ($6 SPECIAL)

SKU: 7559-61908-2
Label:
East West
Category:
Thrash Metal
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"Since Phil Anselmo joined Pantera they had gone from strength to strength with sales increasing for each subsequent album and along with their worldwide reputation as a devastatingly violent and energetic live act; this album was highly anticipated in the barren metal years of the mid-nineties. The pressures of success had however, along with excessive alcohol consumption, exhausting touring duties and Phil's drug problems, caused a rift in the band and the recording of this album was anything but a smooth process. What this in-fighting, drug addiction and despair with success spewed forth was one of the most powerful pieces of pure hatred, attitude and anger filled music ever to come out of the American deep south.

The first ten seconds is an aural assault on the listener as the screams come at you with the full force of all Phil's pent-up frustrations. The guitar barbarity and drum battery will quickly have you starting a mosh pit with any unsuspecting and unfortunate individual to cross your path. Before long Dimebag Darrell's trademark Southern Hard Rock, groove layered guitar flair rears its head and the riffs are as enticingly sinister as they are absorbingly technical. The lyrics lecture us on a wide variety of topics from the evils of the media to the corruption of the justice system. There are momentary breaks from this franticly heavy barrage on tracks like the comparatively slower "10's" and most notably on "Suicide Note Pt. 1" an acoustic tale of depression. Using unusual sound effects this sombre episode looks at the man contemplating suicide and divulging his innermost emotions. "Suicide Note Pt. 2" is Pantera's attempt at creating their fastest and heaviest offering yet as they get deep down into the angers and frustrations of life and offers a warning not follow the same path. One of the major standout tracks on this album is "Floods", the guitar solo on this song is widely renowned by guitar aficionados as one of Dimebag Darrell's very best in his illustrious career and the song itself is again a rather morbid look at the state of mankind.

This album is anything but easy listening and can come across as quite disjointed on the first few listens, but given time you will soon find that this album is right up there with any Pantera album and the songwriting is at times truly astonishing. It may possibly be the heaviest album they ever did yet they never got too caught up on being heavy on this one. The slower tracks really add to its diversity and make the heavier tracks sound that much more heavy. You can see why this was the beginning of the end for this band, any group this angry and self righteous would find it simply impossible to stay together indefinitely and this album sums up everything Pantera were in one nice little package." - Metal Storm

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  • An odd departure for this prog rock subsidiary of the Altrock label. Autumn Chorus are a British ensemble. Their music has been described as "pastoral" and I suppose that is applicable. Its a big sound that is a mixture of Sigur Ros, Explosions In the Sky and Anthony Phillips "The Geese And The Ghost". Real dreamy sounding - almost hypnotic.
    $17.00
  • "Accept's creative breakthrough, 1983's Restless and Wild, begins with one of the most unexpected, surprising, and hilarious mock intros ever recorded. Untold thousands no doubt furrowed their brows in confusion at the perky German folk song emanating from their speakers, only to be rudely interrupted by a scratching needle and Udo Dirkschneider's incomparable shriek, as the band launch themselves into the stunning violence of "Fast as a Shark." Not just a thrilling, light-speed juggernaut, the song was probably the last thrash metal prototype waxed in the pre-thrash era (officially inaugurated by Metallica's Kill 'Em All a few months later). Though nowhere near as frenetic, the title track and "Ahead of the Pack" are just as fierce, and despite a sudden stumble with the mediocre "Shake Your Heads" (an overtly cheesy, Judas Priest-style metal anthem, and the album's only stinker), the dramatic "Neon Nights" ends side one on the upswing once again. As for the album's second half, it's pretty much beyond reproach. Introduced by the solid "Get Ready" (another nod to Priest with its "Living After Midnight"-inspired drum intro), it builds from strength to strength with increasingly mature and melodic (though lyrically obscure) tracks such as "Flash Rockin' Man," "Don't Go Stealing My Soul Away," and the colossal "Princess of the Dawn." The latter closes the album as it began, in unexpected fashion, when its extended outro is abruptly interrupted mid-verse. The bottom line here is that this, like its successor Balls to the Wall, is an essential heavy metal album, and any fan worth his salt should own them both. But for the sake of first-time visitors, Restless and Wild is the slightly grittier, less melodic of the two. Whichever you chose, you can only win." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • "Iced Earth are going through a bit of a renaissance period at the moment. While they do have many hardcore fans who would defend their back catalogue to the end, honestly the heavy metal titans haven’t made a truly exciting album in about twenty years; that is, they hadn’t, until the release of 2011’s Dystopia. After two decades of putting out stale and generally uninteresting meat and potatoes heavy metal, finally they had an album that managed to match up to their first few records, one with the power and energy to justify their continued status as metal heroes. Plagues of Babylon is its follow-up, and thankfully they have managed to take this momentum forward and release another great album.Opening with the title track’s marching drum beat (strangely similar to Dystopia in that regard) and ominous harmonized leads, as soon as the heavy, chugging main riff kicks in it’s clear that this album is going to be a worthy successor. Noticeably, the production is very good, giving the guitars a sharp razor edge that albums like the totally flat The Glorious Burden lacked. Mainman Jon Schaffer churns out some of the best riffs in his career on this album, especially on the raging and thrashy Democide. Some new blood is brought in with an all new rhythm section, bassist Luke Appleton helping give the album its low-end crunch while drummer Raphael Saini (who was sadly since left) punctuates the songs with intricate tom patterns and ride cymbal work while maintaining a constant driving power. Stu Block meanwhile, who debuted as vocalist on Dystopia, continues to make sure that fan favourite Matt Barlow is not missed too much, his gruff voice helping give the songs a darker edge while his highs are utilised when appropriate, never being over-used.This is hardly perfect though. Plagues is a bit front-loaded, the second half never quite managing to match up to the first, especially considering it contains two somewhat unnecessary covers. The first is Spirit of the Times by Sons of Liberty, a Jon Schaffer side project, and you can’t help but question the logic in covering your own material, especially as aside from the darker and heavier overtones it’s not massively different from the original. The second, Highwayman by Jimmy Webb, is hardly electrifying either.That said, many of the problems that plagued previous Iced Earth efforts no longer show up. The obligatory cheesy metal ballad only appears once in If I Could See You, which is one of the better ones they’ve done, and only a couple of songs have a clean guitar intro, unlike on The Dark Saga where they appear on nearly every song. Iced Earth are a band who are at their best when they’re firing on all cylinders, and that is largely what they stick to here. With it’s almost death metal cover art, Plagues is for the most part a balls-out thrill ride, and honestly might be Iced Earth’s most complete work to date." - Sound And Motion Magazine
    $12.00
  • "Wow! The new album from Italian metallers SilentLie is pretty damn cool. The band formed in 2005 and after two EPs, SilentLie have signed to Bakerteam Records and the result is their excellent full-length debut “Layers of Nothing”.SilentLie combines melodic metal with a modern metal approach with some guitar riffs that would make Black Sabbath proud. In lead vocalist Giorgia Sacco Taz, SilentLie has a charismatic front woman with a huge voice which conveys plenty of power and emotion. “Unbreakable” kicks things off in ferocious fashion. The band keeps the riffs coming on songs like “Invisible Fall”, “Layers of Nothing” and “Slave”. There is something very old school and classic about their sound, but SilentLie still manages to inject the songs with a modern metal influence. It definitely is the best of all worlds.With “Layers of Nothing”, SilentLie pretty much goes from strength-to-strength. There is no arguing with the results, like I said, pretty damn cool and then some." - Femme Metal
    $13.00
  • "There is plenty of excellent melodic Metal to come out of Italy; RHAPSODY OF FIRE, TRAGODIA and ELVENKING, but upon closer inspection of the more progressive side of the scene, we have a band like CHRONOS ZERO. An ambitious project with grand lyrical and musical aspirations, they have finished their debut piece, “A Prelude to Emptiness”, and it is by no means empty. The thing I love about brand new modern bands is how I'm always surprised at the sheer quality of the debut release, and this band is no exception. They adapt Progressive Metal from the masters such as SYMPHONY X and NEVERMORE, add the melodic flourishes of KAMELOT and an aggressive, yet melodic singer such as Gustavo of ADAGIO.The album has one monster of an opening track in “Spires”, which is completely instrumental, but is unrelenting in progressive riff artillery, not so dissimilar to MESHUGGAH in heaviness. Woven under this neck-snapping guitar playing is innovative, high-end bass playing and foreboding keyboard atmospherics. The MESHUGGAH vibe is noticeably carried on in “Breath of Chaos”, where the mixing of the extremely down-tuned bass adds a much deeper dimension to the album's already crunchy guitar work. The particular riff that characterises most of this song instantly made it one of my favourite tracks on the record. Here we also first hear a taste of the vocals, and it appears to take great skill to pull off a convincing combination of aggressive raucousness and grasp of melody, and the hitting of high notes, which Gianbattista does unquestionably. In addition, there are also featured seductive female vocals, which add a further, interesting dimension to the already-deep music.Parts I and II of “Lost Hope, New Hope” are exemplary of true progression in heavy metal music; two parts to a story, they are both very different, but intelligently interwoven tracks. Part 1 is very much so up-tempo and more aggressive, thrashing about that glorious riff sound I have come to love from this band, and experiences sudden mood swings to jazzier, quieter sections; here, the neo-classical influences are shining throw, as does a blistering guitar solo. Part II contains no vocals, but leans much more to the atmospheric side, but contains even more complex riff mastery, the sheer heaviness and stunted rhythm of which is brain-addling.  “Sigh of Damnation” marks a subtle change to a more melodic sound, dominated by a greater presence of interwoven male and guest female vocals, and the range of the main vocalist is fully explored here, proving that he is most capable of tender pieces in addition to his powerful bellows. The final track, “Sorrowful Fate”, begins with an effective minor scale acoustic trill, and features almost solely female vocals by Claudia; it is about time she and her beautiful voice had almost a whole song to itself. Expectedly, yet unexpectedly, it features a drastic change from a settled, yet foreboding sound, to an explosive and punching beat down, characterised by a further, small performance from Gianbattista, perhaps hitting his most powerful notes yet.I found this an extremely enjoyable album to listen to. An issue that sometimes brings down some Prog albums is the overuse of instrumentals, but I found this to not be the case, because of the sheer musicianship purveyed here. This is exactly what I look for in Progressive Metal." - Metal Temple
    $13.00
  • How many of you remember Tritonus?  Back in 1995, there was a Norwegian sampler CD called simply "A Gathering of 8 Norwegian Progressive Metal Bands".  Besides Spiral Architect, Trivial Act, and Manitou there were other bands that managed to score record deals.  Most of them disappeared.  Tritonus was on the sampler.  Despite having some of the strongest material on the CD the band never signed with a label, and despite years of trying, never released any material.  Band leader/virtuoso guitarist Carl August Tidemann would time to time mention that Tritonus was working on its debut, but after almost 2 decades everyone pretty much took it with a grain of salt.  Well...better late than never!If you've been listening to prog metal for a long time you know that the sound has changed a bit over the years.  Tritonus' debut turns back the hands of time.  This is a stunning example of prog metal the way we used to know it.  Stunning musicianship with plenty of jolts of technicality.  At this point, the lineup has changed over the years.  In addition to Tidemann, Tritonus now consists of Rolf Kristensen (vocals), Ole Devold (drums) and Thor-Axel Eriksen (guitars).  Lots of guests contribute (my guess is many of these were past members).  Keyboards (courtesy of Circus Maximus' Lasse Finbraten) tend to be put to good use - you hear the occasional solo but mostly its there for texture - the twin guitars weave together with incredible proficiency and dominate.  I have to point out the vocals of Rolf Kristensen.  This guy is amazing!Its a shame that its taken so many years for Tritonus to release this.  Its quite a great album and in a way it makes me a bit sad.  Had it come out 15 years ago, they could have easily risen through the scene.  We are lucky we have it.  Is it closure for Tritonus or the opening of a new era?  Let's hope for the later.  They deserve a better fate and damn I'd want to hear more music from them.  BUY OR DIE!
    $15.00
  • Remastered with 2 bonus tracks."The last quality album from Judas Priest's commercial period, Defenders of the Faith doesn't quite reach the heights of British Steel or Screaming for Vengeance, in part because it lacks a standout single on the level of those two records' best material. That said, even if there's a low percentage of signature songs here, there's a remarkably high percentage of hidden gems waiting to be unearthed, making Defenders possibly the most underrated record in Priest's catalog. Musically, it follows the basic blueprint of Screaming for Vengeance, alternating intricate speed rockers with fist-pumping midtempo grooves and balancing moderate musical sophistication with commercial accessibility. It's a craftsmanlike record from a band that had been in the game for a full decade already, but was still vital and exciting, and decidedly not on autopilot (yet). The record opens high-energy with the terrific "Freewheel Burning" and "Jawbreaker" before moving into lost anthem "Rock Hard Ride Free," the more complex "The Sentinel," the cold, oddly mechanized single "Love Bites," and the slightly darker "Some Heads Are Gonna Roll." Coincidentally (both were released the same year), there's a bit of Spinal Tap creeping into the band's approach on side two -- not just in calling a song "Heavy Duty," but also in the ridiculous rough-sex ode "Eat Me Alive," which comes off like an S&M-themed "Sex Farm" (albeit without the tasteful subtlety). It wound up getting the band in trouble with Tipper Gore's PMRC, though one wonders if it would have helped or hindered their cause that the song's sexual aggression was, in hindsight, not directed at women. At any rate, Defenders of the Faith charted only one spot lower than its predecessor, and was certified platinum. Hereafter, Priest would have significant difficulties adapting to the fast-changing landscape of heavy metal in the latter half of the '80s." - Allmusic Guide
    $9.00
  • "In June 2013, Peter Hammill, Hugh Banton and Guy Evans took to the road in Europe to present a series of live concerts that featured a set list that excited devotees of Van Der Graaf Generator like no other for many years. The band had decided the time was right to present their epic classic piece "A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers” in its entirety on stage for the first time, along with Peter Hammill’s equally epic "Flight”. As the centrepieces of the band’s live set, a series of wonderful concerts took place, drawing on the classic material from the band’s past, as well as their more recent albums such as "A Grounding in Numbers”.Fortunately, some of these shows were recorded for posterity and have now been gathered together to form "Merlin Atmos”.  Arguably the finest live album in the history of the band, "Merlin Atmos” confirms Van Der Graaf Generator as a continuing musical force and explains the loyalty and respect they continue to receive from devotees the world over. "Merlin Atmos” is a stunning musical statement from a stunningly innovative band."
    $18.00
  • "In 2012 Katatonia released Last Fair Day Gone Night on vinyl (and vinyl only), which is a live compilation of shows the band played in 2011 and includes a performance on the band's 2001 Last Fair Deal Gone Down album in its entirety. Now the band will be releasing the same set on September 30 via Peaceville Records, which will also include two DVDs! One of the DVDs will be footage of the shows from the audio CD above and a second DVD will be a 20-year retrospective for the band.While the music portion is pretty damn good, I'm interested in the retrospective and to hear the band chronicle their history! Especially how they went from being a band playing stuff like Dance of December Souls to what they are now. A lot of that history is readily available online, but hearing the stories from the group will really bring it to life!"
    $20.00
  • Digipak edition with one bonus track"Fans of gothic metal, rejoice! Tristania, one of the genre’s true pioneering bands, has just released their seventh studio album entitled Darkest White. The Norwegian powerhouse act has a storied fourteen year history stretching back to their 1998 debut – and they haven’t lost a step thanks to some much needed lineup stability. Darkest White contains all the near-theatrical arrangements, darker moods, and diverse tones that fans of the band would expect – delivered with a solid three-singer attack and technically tight musicianship. After numerous line-up shuffles, the now stable group has really hit their stride again, producing an album that clearly outshines their previous effort (2010’s middling Rubicon).Tristania has always focused on delivering solid vocal performances, and continue on with the duet of the angelic Mariangela Demurtas and the theatrical Kjetil Nordhus. Demurtas has a silky, clear voice and she remains her own singer rather than pushing towards the operatic stylings of other Gothic bands. Nordhus delivers with great emotion and depth, whether singing softly and clearly or doing some Broadway-style emoting. Guitarist Anders Høyvik Hidle now contributes a good amount of growled / death metal vocals, giving the band a bit of “beauty and the beast” sound at times. Overall, Tristania continues to deliver the clear and precise metal that has won them a worldwide following. Excellent musicianship backs up the great vocal harmonies, delivered by guitarists Hidle and Gyri Losnegaard, keyboard player Einar Moen, and bottom end Ole Vistnes (bass / backing vocals) and Tarald Lie (drums).“Number” opens the release with growled vocals and a kicky drum line, intense bass and great guitar hooks. Demurtas and Nordhus also contribute well done duet vocals making this track the quintessential example of the rebuilt Tristania. The heavy and intense “Darkest White” showcases the male vocalists. This track has a more conventional heavy metal feel to it, with strong contributions from guitars, bass and drums. “Himmelfall” is a slower, darker rock tune with hooky guitars and a great rolling rhythm line, and theatrical vocals by all. “Requiem” is a sweeping, epic soft track – very different from the previous songs. Demurtas’ voice is at its best here, and the softer keys and guitars combined with multi-layered vocal harmonies make it arguably the best track on the album. The languorous vocal lines of “Diagnosis” contrast nicely with the high speed rhythm lines, and both carry emotional intensity.“Scarling” starts off as almost an old school rocker, but becomes a moody progressive / Gothic track driven by vocals and drums. The vocal chorus, and interplay amongst the three leads is quite impressive. “Night on Earth” features great growl vocals over a simple but effective guitar riff and a real head banging rhythm line. The haunting “Lavender” is a major contrast, filled with soft guitars and mellow, soft vocals – the epitome of dramatic rock. “Cypher” is a somewhat gloomy sounding rocker with very well done male vocals and a brooding rhythm line. “Arteries” wraps up the CD, and features great back and forth between growl and clean voices along with top notch drum and bass.Darkest White is a very good release from a veteran band. The returning lineup now has a good deal more experience working as a team and has gelled into something special. Although the band’s technical abilities were never in doubt, they have addressed the weaknesses apparent in their last album – the song structure is better, the lyrics and themes more consistent, and the members of Tristania now seem more comfortable working together. They are tight and confident, once again pushing musical boundaries. Diversity in song style, tempo, and tone highlight the band’s superb use of multiple singers, and keeps the album interesting throughout. The excellent production values and strong engineering allow the many subtleties and great depths of the music to flow without seeming forced or unnatural.Highly recommended for fans of the genre." - Hard Rock Haven
    $13.00
  • "When a performer releases a collection of covers, it sometimes (but not always) symbolizes a lack of creativity and vigor. Having spent X amount of years producing original stuff, he or she is burnt out mentally and decides that the easiest way to produce something “new” is to do a quick one off of other people’s music. Fortunately, Steven Wilson (once again) proves to be an exception to the norm with his newest compilation, Cover Version. A gathering of new material and external reinterpretations from the last decade or so, it’s yet another breathtaking work in an already magnificent catalogue. Wilson clearly has a lot of admiration for these pieces, as he approaches them with plenty of love, attention to detail, and imagination.If you’re familiar with Wilson (and you probably are since you’re reading this), you know that he’s one of the strongest, most prolific and multifaceted songwriters and producers of the last couple decades. Having crafted many wonderful songs as both a solo artist and a member of other bands (including Porcupine Tree, Blackfield, and no-man), his vision seems limitless. However, he’s also quite versed in helping other musicians, such as Opeth and Anathema, finely tune their output, so he’s no stranger to putting his own spin on outside compositions. It comes as no surprise, then, that his take on these songs is confident, unique, and quintessentially Wilson in tone and atmosphere. Expectedly, the five original songs are also fantastic.Perhaps the most interesting thing about Cover Version is Wilson’s choice of exterior selections. A lot people unfairly pigeonhole him into being just a progressive rock virtuoso, so they may assume that his influences and favorite albums must come from the same genre. He proves this theory wrong, though, by putting his spin on songs by Alanis Morrisette, ABBA, Prince, The Cure, Momus, and even Donovan. In addition, the set spans 2003 – 2010, so it’s intriguing to hear how he grows artistically from the first track to the last.Cover Version begins with a simple yet poignant and beautiful spin on Morrisette’s “Thank You.” Wilson strums his acoustic guitar patiently as he sings the verses with the same fragility that made masterpieces like “Stop Swimming” and “Heartattack in a Layby”so devastating. His take exudes exceptional passion during the chorus too, and his falsetto harmonies, as well as the subtle orchestration, make the second half especially touching. ABBA’s “The Day before You Came” receives a similar treatment, although it’s a little more layered and forceful.Grippingly, his take on The Cure’s “A Forest” is quite industrial, malevolent, and sparse, with eerie loops throughout. If you’re familiar with “Index” from Grace for Drowning, you’ll have an idea of what he does with it. As for Prince’s “Sign O’ the Times”, it’s full of distortion and angst, with a funky electronic rhythm and stabs of electric guitar that evoke what Jonny Greenwood did on Radiohead’s “Creep”. Also, Wilson’s take on the timeless English folk song “The Unquiet Grave” (which has also been covered by Ween, Faith & the Muse, Steeleye Span, Elliot Morris, Gryphon, and Joan Baez, among others) is easily the most haunting and abstract inclusion. It consists mostly of ghostly harmonies and children’s voices, alongside some poetically phrased lamentations. It immediately envelopes listeners in stunning dread and never lets up.Naturally, his own contributions are equally charming and commanding. “Moment I Lost” is a straightforward piano ballad with acoustic guitar and orchestral accompaniment. As with a lot of his work, it begins quietly and then swells into a luscious and pained soundscape that stays with you. Melodically, it’s modest but masterful, as is “Please Come Home”. A catchier and more upbeat (though still melancholic in subject matter) offering, it demonstrates Wilson’s resilient vocal range and tasteful guitar playing. “Four Trees Down”, on the other hand, is more nuanced and otherworldly, with a nice balance between its arpeggios and percussive elements. It sounds like a lost track from The Raven that Refused to Sing, actually.The last two tracks are also superb. The first, “Well You’re Wrong”, is also poppy on the surface and sorrowful underneath, with Wilson’s falsetto stretching farther than ever. It’s a bold attempt, but luckily it works well with the surrounding timbres. On the other hand, the concluding track, “An End to End”, is possibly the most heartbreaking and powerful one here. Wilson truly has a skill for causing a lot of emotional destruction with fairly unassuming arrangements, and this track is no different, as it consists mainly of only a few chords and a very gentle melody. The trick is that he delivers his words with crushing sincerity and weakness; we can almost hear him weep as he sings, and the way he coats its core with delicate effects makes it very intense and profound. Like the title track to Raven, it expresses a sense of loss and yearning that any listener can relate to. It’s brilliant.As with the majority Wilson’s releases, Cover Version offers unmatched songwriting, positioning, and texturing (and I mean that as an attentive listener, not a biased devotee). Be it his variation on a classic tune or something solely his, Wilson creates one remarkable experience after another on this collection. The most impressive part of all is how well he makes widely unalike pieces sound like siblings to his own makings, so everything fits together seamlessly whether or not Wilson wrote it. Once again he exceeds expectation and delivers something priceless, and one can only hope that there’s a follow-up on the horizon." - Pop Matters
    $14.00
  • "On March 25th, 2014, Dream Theater performed at the Boston Opera House with very special guests from the Berklee College of Music orchestra and choir. Filmed and directed by Pierre and François Lamoureux, and mixed and mastered by Richard Chycki, Breaking The Fourth Wall (Live From The Boston Opera House) is over 2 hours in length, complete with special bonus features." 
    $21.00
  • Third album from this fine Italian band.  Empyrios is led by DGM guitarist Simone Mularoni. In the past the band would seamlessly blend prog and industrial metal.  This time the music veers much more towards the heavier end of the spectrum.  There are some remnants of prog left but really they are going more for a sound akin to Nevermore and Mnemic.  Vocalist Silvio Mancini jumps back and forth between clean and harsh vocals enough to keep things interesting.  Crushing stuff.
    $14.00
  • New edition comes with a bonus DVD filled with videos and documentaries. Same price as before!!Amaranthe are a new Swedish/Danish band signed to Spinefarm. The band is fronted by Elize, who you will know from her touring with Kamelot. To say Elize is hot is an understatement. The band don't take the expected gothic metal route. Their order of business is a mix of poppy-melodic metal laced with death metal. Curiously the band features three vocalists. Elize is front and center but she shares the spotlight with the death growls of Dreamland's Jake E and the clean vocals of Andy Solvestrom. At times there is a similarity to some of Delain's poppier tunes but the death growls add a heavier aspect. There was a buzz developing on this disc before it hit here - I have to say I was quite surprised.
    $12.00