Heaven Born And Ever Bright

"Easily the “odd-duck” of the major Cardiacs records, the most controversial, and probably the hardest to get into at first. Some fans actually think this is an outright failure. Tim Smith has been quoted calling it his favorite record! The album’s fumbled release is part of the it’s weird reputation – it was the first full-length by the new stripped down line-up (already grounds for fear in the hearts of fans), and it was set for release on Rough Trade. But the label tanked and the album sat in the vaults for years until Smith’s label eventually released it with a different master. When I first heard it, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. The sound is definitely way different from “On The Land..” (though if you’ve heard “Sing To God” first it won’t be a huge surprise). The production is odd and harsh and obviously put together in the late 80s/early 90s. The songs are often really violent and complex, with a lot less breathing room than even before. But like all this band’s work, the compositions started to reveal themselves, and now I have very few bad things to say about any of these tunes. Is this my favorite Cardiacs record? No. But it’s cram-packed with amazing tracks and ideas. The opening track is a Cardiacs staple – the majestic anthem “Home of Fadeless Splendour.” Done entirely as a large-group-chant, it sort of sounds like a German political rally song, albeit one with Smith’s patented melodic style. It’s a genius tune. Next is the crazy and head-dizzying “She’s Hiding Behind The Shed,” one of my favorites. There seems to be a more trashy sound to some of these songs – the energy and thrust taking precedence over melody and intricacy (that’s particularly true on “Shed” as well as the pedal-to-the-metal “Anything I Can’t Eat”). “Goodbye Grace” is another trashy poppy standout. There’s another side to the record as well – a psychedelic 60s pop vibe represented by “Day Is Gone,” the absolutely beautiful ballad “Helen And Heaven,” and the incredible indescribable haunting closer “Snakes-A-Sleeping.” That last track has the best psych-out ending I’ve ever heard on a record – just hilarious and terrifying!!! I’ve come to appreciate every track here, though it definitely took some repeat listens and a push through the unappealing production  (“Core” has a fantastic vocal melody, “For Good And All” and “Bodysbad” are both insane and magical Smith-ian wonders). Not the best place the start, but a wonderful one to end up at!" - Madnest

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  • Subsignal is the new progressive rock band put together by former Sieges Even singer Arno Menses and guitarist Markus Steffen. The rest of the band has a great prog pedigree - Ralf Schwager and David Bertok from Dreamscape as well as Roel Van Helden from Sun Caged. It doesn't have the overall heaviness or rhythmic pyrotechnics of Sieges Even but fans of Art Of Navigating The Stars and Paramount should dig this immensely. When needed Steffen coughs up the goods - lots of great guitarwork through out. Oh yeah - I really enjoyed Bertok's keyboard work. Its tasteful and is spotlighted when necessary.
    $15.00
  • "…And now for something completely different. This is a record I've been waiting two entire years for- as (Hellride-spawned) lore would have it, this record was devoured by the gluttonous maw of Black Widow Records swiftly following its recording, and has been withheld for flabbergasting reasons till now. Now, I'm not entirely clued in to the politics of Black Widow, but the furor the label has engendered among the underground doom community of late (what with the spurning of Minotauri for refusing to play ball with their “add some flutes and Hammonds to your doom or else!” doctrine) has cast them in a rather dubious light of late. Thank Azathoth and his blind pipers, then, as they have finally deemed it fit to disinter this gloriously graven masterpiece.As many sworn doom droogs will know, this is a band that developed parallel to, and contemporaneous with, the eminent Reverend Bizarre, and features all three members of said luminaries as well as a supporting trio of prodigious musical ability. Aesthetically, however, the two bands share scant similarities- true, there are some passing parallels to RB's more contemplative passages, but whereas Reverend Bizarre quaff deeply from the sarcophagus of Saint Vitus, Cathedral and Witchfinder General, Orne present a uniquely somber, arrestingly emotive take on late ‘60s/early ‘70s British progressive rock. Painting with broad strokes of Meddle and Wish You Were Here Pink Floyd, and tasteful brushes of In The Court Of The Crimson King King Crimson, Spring and Nursery Cryme Genesis, Orne's expansive sonic canvas also exhibits a healthy affinity for vintage Finnish prog, particularly the likes of Tasavellan Presidentti (though they are never as sprightly or upbeat as most TP material), Wigwam and Kalevala. Rest assured, then, that this is not even remotely close to the neo-prog tripe that countrymen Amorphis have been plumbing to nauseatingly poor effect for the last decade.Patrick Walker ushers us into the catacombs of Orne with a suitably ominous sermon, offering a portent to the contents of the record. Fittingly, the entire record has a weightless, dreamlike, yet assertively disciplined feel that lends a ritualistic, yet not austere feel to the proceedings. Instead, the record juxtaposes Bacchanalian Black Widow/Comus whimsy and flightiness with a dolorous melancholy, creating a very interesting dichotomy between orgiastic mischief and grave introspection. This contrast becomes corporeal in the band's exquisitely dynamic compositions- the bewitching “A Beginning” opens with lush clean guitar, mournful, grieving saxophone, sparse percussion and markedly subdued cooing from Albert, who further cements his extraordinary versatility and emotive range. At the 01:40 mark, the song escalates into a swinging, upbeat groove that surely would not be awkward on Reverend Bizarre's more uptempo material. All the hallmarks of said band are here and accounted for- swerving, elegantly expressed and nuanced drumming by Void, propulsive Peter riffing, and cocksure, swaggering Albert vocals. The song continues this dramatic ebb-and-flow to great effect, the transitions proving as fluid and natural as the tasteful musicianship. For all its unabashed idolatry and reverence (the influences would be blatant for anybody who has some background in progressive rock), the instrumentation never feels studied or contrived, and the organic feel of the album truly distinguishes this troupe from other similar minded artists (many of which share the same label).Another merit that becomes apparent once one begins to peruse the accompanying booklet is the expansive breadth of Orne's vision- one must digest the contents of this record with its visual supplement, as the soporific, halcyon images conjured in the lyrics, as well as the images contained within the booklet (one of which is a brilliant still from Mario Bava's greatest movie, The Whip & The Body), collectively form the whole of the Orne experience. One cannot help but feel as though Lord Dunsany has as much of an overarching influence on this recording as the aforementioned prog giants- “Island Of Joy” has the same meandering, sprawling, bittersweet feeling of drifting on Dunsany's River Yann, or embarking upon a nautical expedition on Lovecraft's phantasmal White Ship, though the surging, stormy denouement (an unresolved climactic torrent of frantic flutes and tumbling percussion) suggests that the journey is perhaps not fated to be pleasant, and the affectionate warmth of the song is savagely undercut- shipwrecked on Ashton Smith's Isle of the Torturers, maybe? Truly spellbinding stuff, this.“Frontline Dreams”, again, has a distinctly Dunsanian/Lovecraft ‘Dream-cycle' feel, juxtaposing the romance of imagination with the harsh ennui of crude reality, the band dispelling doe-eyed, wistful Pink Floyd atmospherics at the 5:08 mark with a deeply reverent bow to Black Sabbath's “Black Sabbath”, as Albert projects an affectionately Ozzy melody atop fierce gushes of Iommi-esque riffing and white-knuckled drumming. “Opening By Watchtower” pricks a vein bled by vintage Foxtrot Genesis and Peter Hammill, while GORGEOUS album-closer (though maybe a bit incongruous with the vision of the rest of the record) “Lighthouse” reveals a proclivity for English prog's more bucolic propositions- Affinity is the most obvious parallel here (particularly on the hook, TOTAL Affinity, and it is a bit weird to hear Albert's voice on this instead of Linda Hoyle's!), though one could also point out Curved Air, Saturnalia, Mellow Candle and the like.Now, I know this review doesn't exactly relate to the bulk of the material reviewed on here, but cognizant of the fact that progressive rock and heavy metal have nurtured amicable ties over the years, and the probability that many of you have enlisted yourself to the Reverend Bizarre cause over the years, I thought this record might interest some of you. Rest assured that if you nurture a penchant for brooding fantasy/early weird fiction and an appreciation for the vintage, characteristically mercurial English prog sound, championed by everyone from Procol Harum and the Moody Blues to Arcadium and T2, you will find much to adore here. A most satisfying, indulgent feast for all dark prog gourmands…will we have another hearty platter anytime soon, Peter?"- diabolicalconquest.com
    $16.00
  • I and Thou is a new band project put together by Renaissance keyboardist Jason Hart. If you've seen Renaissance on their recent tours you've seen Jason perform all the symphonic/orchestral parts that really filled out the sound in a way that the old lineup couldn't without the aid of an orchestra.Not only does Jason play all the keyboards but he also is the lead vocalist and contributes on sundry instruments. His overall sound is extremely reminiscent of Tony Banks. Jason brought in a bunch of ringers from Izz - John Galgano plays bass, Paul Bremner is one of the guitarists, and Laura Meade contributes on backing vocals. Most of the guitar work is handled by Jack Petruzzelli. Oh yeah Steve Hogarth actually makes a guest appearance providing vocals on the last piece "Go Or Go Ahead" - a cover of a Rufus Wainwright tune.The music has a laid back and refined quality but there are still plenty of undercurrents of complexity that are most evident during the instrumental passages. Consisting of 4 epic length pieces plus the one cover the listener will be reminded of Wind And Wuthering period Genesis, Renaissance, Echolyn, and Izz. Quite a beautiful album, rounded out with beautiful cover art courtesy of Annie Haslam. Highly recommended.
    $11.00
  • Ambient/prog reworking of Dead End Kings arrives in a limited edition 2 disc digibook.  You get the CD version as well as a DVD featuring a 5.1 and 24 bit hi-resolution stereo mix."After last year’s successful release of their 9th full-length Dead End Kings, Katatonia have returned with a special release entitled Dethroned and Uncrowned. This album is special for two reasons. Firstly, it was brought to life with the help of the so-called ‘Katatoniacs’; that is, the fans were the ones who financed this project through a pledge campaign the band had set up where fans could pledge for various album formats and other items such as drumsticks, lyric sheets, posters, backdrops and even one of Anders’s old guitars. Needless to say, the pledge campaign was highly successful and reached its goal in four days. Secondly, the album is special music-wise, as it contains the same tracks that were found on Dead End Kings, but all of them have undergone a major makeover. As Katatonia wrote on their website: ‘the drums will be dethroned and the distorted rhythm guitars will be uncrowned’. What they have basically done is that they have kept the vocal lines intact but have experimented with the rest of the music, creating stripped-down, semi-acoustic versions of the songs with the focus on ambience and atmosphere, showcasing the band’s progressive song-writing talent. Katatonia have masterfully and rather elegantly transformed the songs into totally different entities and have given themselves as well as the listeners the opportunity to discover different aspects of each track, by adding little interesting details or emphasizing some parts that were not as noticeable as in the previous version, like the Jan Johansson-esque piano touches in ‘Leech’, or the 70s prog vibe in ‘Dead Letters’. All in all, Katatonia have managed yet again to create a beautiful, melancholic and touching piece of work that will certainly fulfill the expectations of the majority of their fans. Those who were not very keen on Dead End Kings (if such people exist), might enjoy some of the songs in their new versions, and, who knows, they might even appreciate that album a bit more after listening to this." - Metal Recusants
    $9.00
  • After a 10 year absence Enchant are back.  The band started in 1993 making them one of the earliest prog metal band.  Actually they are sort of an interesting band in that they seem to exist in both the prog rock and prog metal realms.  Some metal fans think of them as a bit lightweight and some prog rock fans think they are too heavy!  One thing is for sure they are wildly successful.  This is definitely prog but it never loses sight of the melody.  Fronted by the great Ted Leonard (who is now doing double duty with Spock's Beard) this one is a no-brainer - whether you are metal or prog head.  "irst impressions are the similarities to Spock’s Beard. Hardly surprising since Ted Leonard has been singing with them since 2011. He’s been with Enchant longer; their first CD came out in 1993. And familiarity doesn’t breed contempt here, fortunately.Bay area progressive rockers, they steer a straight course composing guitar-structured songs that they extemporise over. Guitarist Douglas A Ott is also the band’s main producer, with The Great Divide having been recorded at his own studio, but if in the past the band’s followed his direction they’re now more involved after a ten year gap working on other projects. Also, while integral, Ott doesn’t dominate Enchant’s sound but flows in and out adding a hard rock bias to their generic musical flavouring. Drummer/percussionist Sean Flanegan and bassist Ed Platt have the solidity of early Kansas and musically there are some pretty snazzy and often too brief keyboard solos from Bill Jenkins.A rolling cyclical bass line forms the basis of opening number ‘Circles’ with Leonard pondering life going round well, like a circle – while the lyrics aren’t profound they feel right and though this isn’t a concept album, despite the band stating otherwise, there are common themes concerning the human condition in a loosely existential manner. Mainly straight verse and choruses ‘Circles’ breaks out into more complicated time signatures before an acoustic comes to the fore, vocals return, an electric guitar take over and it concludes with a nicely warm keyboard solo. ‘Within An Inch’ follows with a steady rock backbeat over which Ott’s playing echoes Camel’s Andy Latimer interrupted briefly by some John Ellis punk-styled sirening. ‘The Great Divide’ follows suit in a more epic manner, the arrangement akin to Genesis in their golden period.Enchant don’t play with the fairies, despite what their name suggests. If anything they’re two steps removed from an AOR sound leaning in towards early Asia with some latter day Beatles thrown in, and a less grandiose take on Spock’s Beard. One might refer to them as technically proficient rather than emotionally overwrought, meaning there is a heartfelt flavour to their songs, and they tend to grow on you.The subdued opening to ‘Life In A Shadow’ throws a brief curveball echoing the Canterbury sound of Hatfield & The North before a heavy chorded chorus takes this into a rocking tune with soulful harmonies. ‘Deserve To Feel’ pours on the technical drumming and dribbling triplet bass figures with some flashy pyrotechnics predominantly on guitar but with keen keyboard flourishes, moving into a more intricate musical score as Jenkins and Ott trade inspired lines towards its conclusion. Likewise, ‘Here And Now’ builds reflectively moving towards emotional drama.Finely composed, played well, Enchant’s The Great Divide might not have you falling under its spell, but you may well be surprised how you find yourself being drawn to playing it." - The Midland Rocks
    $13.00
  • Remastered edition of the band's classic 4th album with two bonus tracks.  Its a concept album that literally defined classical rock.  Sure its pop oriented but the overarching progressive elements are prominent through out.  Highly recommended and at 5 bucks a steal.
    $5.00
  • New remastered edition of Sirens and The Dungeons Are Calling. Originally conceived as all of their debut album, the material was split up because it was too long for vinyl release. Jon Oliva states that this is the first time the material is appearing as it was conceived. This "complete session" release includes one new bonus track recorded by Oliva in 2010.
    $14.00
  • "The great dream of Fabio Zuffanti since he began writing the music on Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem "The rime of the mariner ancoent" was to transpose the whole opera in a theatrical version, giving people a version that could visualize its magic words and music. Thanks to the meeting with genoese director Susanna Tagliapietra, author of the great achievements in the field of the musical with his versions of "Aida" and "Jesus Christ Superstar", the dream has become reality.Susanna has helped to bring alive the musical world of Zuffanti creating a multimedia work and reproducing on stage the supernatural universe of Coleridge with multimedia elements, dance and stage actions. The first of the show was held last December 16, 2012 in the prestigious Teatro Verdi in Genoa getting a great success.From that evening comes this double album, containing a DVD with the shooting of the show (and a funny backstage) and a CD with the audio recording of the evening. Compared to the studio version, published on CD last year, the theatrical version contains many new arrangements and a brand new piece ("Interlude")."
    $25.00
  • Import hardbound "mediabook" edition with the Iron Man bonus track.So here's my personal confession...after Neal left I felt that Spock's Beard lost their way.  Nick is a fine vocalist but there was something quirky about Neal's writing that had a reverential old school quality that I found lacking.  The albums didn't grab me.  Nick left and Ted Leonard took over on vocals.  Whether it was Enchant or Thought Chamber, he's always stood out and he fits Spock's Beard quite well.  The new drummer Jimmy Keegan slipped into the blend with no dificulty.  The result is (to my mind) a resurgence from this band.  Ryo Okumoto always puts on a show - in particular his heavy reliance on Hammond organ reminds me quite a bit of Steve Walsh.  In fact the sound of the whole album has a Kansas vibe. Coincidentally David Ragsdale guests on one track.  I'm not sure I can remember the last time I said this about a Spock's Beard album - Highly recommended."Very few bands are so recognizable that you know who you are listening to within 2 seconds.  That is all it takes at the beginning of the first track on The Oblivion Particle to know you are listening to Spock’s Beard.  There is no slow buildup or keyboard swells, just straight BAMM!, here we go.  And if the opening notes don’t get you, the organ 5 seconds in will.  The band’s 12th studio album, this one the second with singer Ted Leonard and drummer Jimmy Keegan, is a culmination of years of perfecting a sound and identity, one that not even 2 major lineup changes could fracture. With this new album, Spock’s Beard up their game again and show that this lineup is here to stay.If there was a track that defined what Spock’s Beard are, it might be the opening track, “Tides of Time.”  There are certain checklist items that mark their sound and they are all in this track.  The organ, the harmonies, the acoustic breakdown, the rocking middle and the epic ending.  Each member finds their moments to shine on this one and it provides a jaw-dropping sound overload that could leave one satisfied at that moment; only there is another 60 minutes to go.The album zigs and zags through a few more experimental moments, mixing in some surprises with more traditional Prog elements.  The album’s second track and first single is “Minion”, is a perfect example.  The opening a cappella harmonies provide the sort of memorable chorus and harmonies we’ve come to expect from the group.  While, the following distorted keyboard section is also standard Spock’s Beard.  But the verse and middle of the song is much darker and takes us on a surprising journey.The most unique song the album is the brilliantly titled “Bennett Built a Time Machine”, which the album’s cover is based on.  Drummer Jimmy Keegan takes lead on the vocals here and sounds incredible.  His voice actually fits the track better than Leonard’s probably would have.  The song is one of the album highlights and helps keep the record from sounding redundant.  It is almost a pop song most of the way through until turning on the jets and shifting into Prog mode.There are some heavier moments such as “Hell’s Not Enough” and “Get Out While You Can”. “The Center Line”, however, might be the most similar to something you might have found on their group’s previous album “Brief Nocturnes…”  The track opens with an expansive piano recital piece, before turning into a combo Prog-Western bounce with acoustic guitars carrying the groove. Ted’s voice lifts the choruses flawlessly and creates an almost cinematic soundscape.Even with all of these great moments, it is the album’s closing track that is the best song on the album.  “Disappear” might be one of the best songs the band has recorded since Neal left the group.  “We could disappear, you and me, we could be, anyplace else not here” sings Ted in the chorus as he wonders what might be if we left with no one knowing what happened.  The song is really the closest thing to a ballad on the album, but it doesn’t stay that way for long.  2 minutes in, the song stirs into a frenzy just before a brief cameo by Kansas’ David Ragsdale, appearing with his violin.  Of course, the big epic orchestral ending takes us home as Alan Morse provides the finishing touches with his unique finger picking soloing excellence.Spock’s Beard are Prog rock’s most reliable unit.  They have yet to disappoint and always provide comfort to their faithful fans with music that is both inspiring and breathtaking.  And while The Oblivion Particle shows a harder edged Spock’s Beard, it also displays a group that shows no signs of slowing down and is ready to take on all comers." - The Prog Report 
    $18.00
  • In Hoc Signo is the blowtorch debut from this Italian band playing in the "Rock Progressivo Italiano" style.  Its a young band based out of Rome.  Their goal was to use vintage sounds and replicate the sounds of the 70s and they do it in spades.  Mellotron M400, Hammond B3 Organ, Mini Moog Voyager, Electric Piano, Elka Synthex - all the good keyboard stuff that will send chills down your spine.  Killer lead licks on violin and guitar fight for space with the keys.  I'm reminded of Quella Vecchia Locanda, PFM, King Crimson and Le Orme!  If this isn't enough the band added a couple of guests: Anglagard's Mattias Olsson plays on a track and helped with arrangements.  The legendary David Jackson plays sax and flute.  This one kills and it kills and it doesn't stop killing.  BUY OR DIE!
    $16.00
  • With almost forty minutes of new material, AGUSA delivers a wide array of seamlessly-executed, organic rock on the aptly titled Agusa 2. The band’s tranquil output blends tripped-out psychedelic and progressive rock structures are inspired by more folk than occult influences, instilling visions of nature, the cosmos, and dreamlike passages, meandering into realms of a possibly supernatural or parallel existence. While not a fully instrumental recording, backing vocal mantras only seep in through purposeful cracks in the construction of these immense movements, adding an even more spacious feeling to the overall flow of the album.AGUSA was formed in the springtime of 2013, when Tobias Petterson and Mikael Ödesjö, former members of Kama Loka, recruited Dag Strömqvist and Jonas Berge for their early ‘70s progressive rock project. In the Summer, the outfit ventured out to the countryside where Dag lived, to a place called Agusa — virtually only a loose gathering of homes deep in the forest. Within these secluded surroundings, and the most amazingly sunny, warm Summer day, the new collective had an extensive, extremely inspired jam session which somewhat solidified the direction of their sound, so of course, the name AGUSA was simply perfect for the outfit.In the Autumn of 2014, the band went into the studio to record their first album, Högtid, which was released on vinyl and digital media in early 2014. After a handful of gigs during the Winter, Dag decided to leave AGUSA to travel around India, and following a number of auditions, Tim Wallander, also a member of blues trio Magic Jove, joined the band. In the beginning of 2015, the refreshed lineup went into Studio Möllan once again to record their sophomore full-length, this time having asked a close friend of theirs, Jenny Puertas, to play flute on the recording. The match was so perfect that the band instantly invited her into the band on a full-time basis, expanding their lineup once again. They began performing with this new arrangement weeks later, and have not looked back.CD mastering is courtesy of Bob Katz, done to his usual audiophile standards.
    $13.00
  • Fifth album from this German instrumental psych/stoner band is a real mind crusher.  You like My Brother The Wind?  You need to hear this.  If Samsara Blues Experiment recorded an instrumental album it might sound something like this.  The album is interspersed with quieter introspective interludes that just seem to made the heavier parts heavier and the spacier parts trippier.  If you like your psych served up hard you can't pass it up.  Devastating stuff.  BUY OR DIE!BTW - the angry metal guy tells it way better than I can:"It was difficult for me to turn down a promo so intertwined with one of the subjects of my recently-completed dissertation. Aldous Huxley‘s migration to Eastern philosophy, influenced by both Taoism and Buddhism, is well documented in his final novel, Island. The inhabitants of the idyllic island practice such spiritual, philosophical models, culminating in the consumption of so-called “Moksha-medicine,” a hallucinogen which permits heightened awareness and understanding. The band which explores similarly Zen and reflective topics is one to catch my eye and I excitedly embarked on this quest for internal liberation.Moksha is the fifth full-length by Germany’s My Sleeping Karma, succeeding their previous release Soma (also a reference to Eastern spirituality and prominently interpreted in Huxley’s Brave New World). It accordingly incorporates Eastern instrumentation in a groovy, psychedelic exploration of exactly how mellow one can be while the music can still be interpreted as metal. Though it could be described as relaxing mood music, the distorted guitars and surprising technical proficiency of the band grounds Moksha in the space between rock and metal (and also qualifies it for AMG, you goddamned haters).If Kraut or psychedelic rock is your jam then you will assuredly find plenty to enjoy here. The minimalist approach with sparingly-used instruments and catchy but repetitive leads will worm its way into your skull. There aren’t multiple riffs throughout each song; rather, a core motif which gradually progresses and develops throughout, lending a charming coherency to the album – see opener “Prithvi” for this. Occasional synths and piano keys afford an ethereal air too. However, it’s the points at which more overt Eastern instrumentation is used that the material really stands out. The five “Interlude”s which split each of the main songs strongly evoke My Brother The Wind, with groovy bass-lines and the interesting use of monk’s chants and hand-operated drums. The album’s concept is thus drawn into the music and it creates a quite captivating effect. The sudden and disturbing emanation of pop shite from one of my housemates’s bedrooms drew me from my trance and alerted me to how involving the material is.Despite the repetitive and seemingly improvised nature of the music, its technicality is another boon. As the songs progress and layer, the guitars and drums can become quite intense despite the over-arching serenity (I’m aware this sounds like a contradiction but it’s a testament to the subtle song-writing). The nifty transition at 2:30 of “Akasha” foregrounds a sound very similar to mid-era Anathema, and the transition at 4:00 demonstrates the talent of the bassist and drummer, leading into an appropriately-climatic harmony. This is just one song, but jazzy drum fills and strong bass work permeate the entirety of the release. The Floydian jam on “Interlude 5” is compelling too.I would argue that Moksha effectively achieves its goal and nails the style it strives for. However, I do feel that it may be too niche for some listeners – it’s easy for me to concertedly listen for the technical accomplishments as a reviewer, but the music can slip to the background into the realms of mood music. Though a pleasant listen it may be, one could argue it’s a little safe and it certainly doesn’t arouse my passions sufficiently to push my score to excellent. Furthermore, each of the main tracks can sound quite similar if not explicitly listening – that said, the interludes split up the record nicely so this effect is mitigated. I’m also part of the niche rock and metal market that appreciates the spiritual subject matter, if only on an academic level.Turning my gaze to the empirical and away from the spiritual, the solid dynamics certainly aid affairs. The principle tracks hit a DR score of 8, with the “Interlude”s varying between 10 and 14. There is good breathing room for each instrument and each is clean without being over-produced. A holistic sound is achieved which envelops the listener well.I imagine there is quite a specific demographic that this music hits so it may not be for everyone, but I’m enjoying my journey to the geographic heights of Nepal, the enigmatic Sadhus of India and through the tenets of Yin Yang. The ultimate dearth of diversity and Moksha‘s intrinsic tranquility limits my true passion for the record, but it’s a worthwhile investment nonetheless. Aldous would be proud." - The Angry Metal Guy
    $13.00
  • Full length debut from this excellent UK based djent metal band. Led by the clean/scream vocals of Dan Tompkins, Tesseract effortlessly balances melody with technicality. Similar in nature to Periphery but with MUCH better vocals. This special edition comes with a bonus DVD that features them performing Concealing Fate live in the studio as well as band interviews, road footage, and more. Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • "Devin Townsend - fully 30 records into an astonishing career - has now just raised the stakes in the form of a new double album combining Ziltoid The Omniscient’s triumphant return and the follow-up to the critically acclaimed “Epicloud!” Feasting upon Z2 is akin to immersing oneself in the arcane creases of the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT catalog, bludgeoning heaviness and angelic melodies living under the cathedral of Devin’s more contemplative solo vision. The effect is lush, full- range, cinematic, and expressive. Addressing the creative tension between the two discs, Devin explains “...it’s DTP...the ‘humans’ against Ziltoid, and it’s a battle of sorts...The DTP and Ziltoid side of my writing has evolved to where this statement was necessary and undoubtedly inevitable. The battle between the two seems like a great way to priced to the next chapter of my work. It’s a backdrop for something that hopefully engaging for people. I hope that the point that I’m trying to make with Ziltoid and the metaphor behind it, isn’t lost in just a sea of absurdity.” Guest musicians include Anneke Van Giersbergen (solo artist, ex-THE GATHERING) and Chris Jericho (WWE star, FOZZY) as Captain Spectacular! Also featuring the "Universal Choir", 2000 voices strong, the biggest choir on a metal record ever! "
    $15.00