The Human Contradiction (2CD Mediabook)

I'm going to get straight to the point.  If you are a fan of female fronted metal you must own this album.  The Human Contradiction is a complete triumph.  It finds the band returning a bit to their roots.  There are still poppy elements - that's part of their core sound - but there is a heaviness that will remind you of Lucidity.  Nightwish's Marco Hietala returns contributing on clean vocals. Also back is Orphanage vocalist George Oosthoek who is one of the best growlers in the metal scene.  Arch Enemy vocalist Alissa White-Gluz makes a guest appearance.

Timo Somers' guitar riffs are chunkier, Charlotte's voice is impeccable as always, and Martijn's keyboards are simply epic.  The album was recorded at Studio Fredman and sounds massive.  Weaving the whole album together is a sci-fi theme borrowed from the writings of Octavia Butler.

This is an album filled with a enough earworm hooks to drive you crazy but at the same time its heavy!  For my taste its a top 10 album for 2014.  BUY OR DIE!

Limited edition 2CD mediabook edition.  The bonus CD contains 2 additional new studio tracks as well as live tracks and two orchestral versions of tracks from The Human Contradiction.  Essential.

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  • "A while back I reviewed a “live” album that sounded like it was recorded in a pub in the middle of nowhere on a wet Tuesday, attended by one man and his dog.  It was awful.  If you’re going to produce a live album there are rules.  First, the sound has to be good, there’s no point if it isn’t studio quality.  Second, and this is vital, if you are recording an album in front of a live audience, the sound of that audience must make it onto the album.  If you can’t hear them cheering, clapping, singing along you’d have been as well staying in the studio.  After the disappointment of the aforementioned review, I was keeping everything crossed that Live With the Curse would reflect the electric atmosphere at Glasgow’s Classic Grand on that night back in November.  You see, I know the crowd was rocking that night, and I know the band sounded great, because I was there.So, I sat down today to listen to the album, hoping against hope that Eden’s Curse had got it right.  Man have they ever got it right.  I defy anyone to listen to this without feeling like they were actually there.  Mixed and mastered by Dennis Ward, who has worked with the band throughout their career, every bit of the live experience is included, from their onstage introduction by Tom Russell to the little chats with the crowd and the unholy racket the crowd made at every opportunity.Tom Russell, Godfather of Rock is a legend in these parts, he’s been presenting rock radio for longer than I’ve been alive (sorry Tom!) and having him announce you is quite an honour.  From that point on this album is relentless.  Nikola’s vocal never misses a note, Thorsten plays guitar like a man possessed and Paul, John and Steve bring it all together into something pretty close to perfection.  Nikola does a brilliant job of bringing the crowd into the show as well, introducing songs, explaining what they’re about and getting some crowd participation going.  It all adds to the atmosphere, which as I’ve already said is crucial to a live album.Highlights for me include opening track Symphony of Sin, which sets out the bands intentions from the very beginning.  This gig, this album is going to break you.  The pace and energy is non stop, as Nikola roars at the crowd and they roar back.  Covering tracks from all four Eden’s Curse albums the band powers through a set list which translates to a two disc album of over 100 minutes.  It’s long, but it never drags, as the energy refuses to drop.  Towards the end of disc one look out for an extended guitar solo from Thorsten.  Now, I don’t play guitar, but I know enough to know that this man is one of the best guitar players you will see.  He rarely lifts his head, lost in the music but he plays as if he has two pairs of hands.  One of my favourite things about Eden’s Curse is the storytelling in each song, from Masquerade Ball to Rock Bottom.  It means that the songs improve with each listen, as you move from listening to the tune to actually taking in the lyrics.  I have to also mention my personal favourite Eden’s Curse track Evil and Divine.  I don’t know why I love it, I just do.  And that’s what it’s all about.As final track Angels and Demons ends the crowd begin to chant, “Eden’s Curse, Eden’s Curse, Eden’s Curse,” and I sit here straining my ears because if I just listen hard enough I might hear myself.  I cheered them that night, and I’ll be cheering this album from the rooftops.  It’s out on Friday, March 13th and I will personally Curse any of you who don’t buy it!" - Planet Mosh
    $15.00
  • "The return of Iron Maiden's "classic" Dickinson/Harris/Murray/Smith/McBrain lineup (plus third guitarist Janick Gers) in 1999 led to an incredibly successful world tour that saw the New Wave of British Heavy Metal legends commanding stages with the same unmitigated power and authority as they had during their mid-'80s heyday. But the question remained as to whether the reconstituted group would be able to carry this momentum into a studio setting and recapture the songwriting chops of its glory years. This question made Brave New World one of the most highly anticipated metal releases of 2000, and thankfully, the eventual answer to that question was a resounding "YES!" In fact, the album pretty much picked up right where the "classic" lineup had left off on 1988's Seventh Son of a Seventh Son: with a faithful rediscovery of Iron Maiden's best-loved sonic aesthetic and compositional quirks, updated only insofar as was necessary to measure up to new-millennium recording standards. In every other respect (and much like Seventh Son of a Seventh Son), Brave New World's meticulously orchestrated three-guitar attack still allowed for a greater sense of space than early Maiden albums (as well as the use of subtle keyboard textures in a supporting role), while boasting a beefier, in-your-face mix à la Piece of Mind or Powerslave. The remarkable pipes of singer Bruce Dickinson actually seemed to have benefited from a less grueling touring schedule over the previous decade, and his renewed songwriting partnership with bassist Steve Harris (and other assorted bandmembers) yielded several new Maiden live standards such as punchy first single, "The Wicker Man," and the positively anthemic title track. Also worthy of special mention were Harris' emotional solo copyright, "Blood Brothers," Adrian Smith's distinctive solo licks throughout "The Fallen Angel," and six-string stalwart Dave Murray's Arabian-flavored contributions to "The Nomad." These highlights notwithstanding, a more lucid appraisal revealed that Brave New World was no Number of the Beast, once the initial euphoria died down. But as comeback albums go, its excellence was undeniable, and announced not only Iron Maiden's triumphant return, but an important turning point in heavy metal's long, arduous climb back to respectability after years of critical abuse." - Allmusic
    $13.00
  • 2nd album from this New York based prog rock band. They are obviously from the new breed of progressive rock bands like Spock's Beard, The Underground Railroad, and Echolyn in that they wear some of their influences on their sleeve but they wrap it up in an original package. Izz places more of an emphasis on hooks, memorable melodies and intelligent lyrics than they do balls to the wall playing. Which is not to say there isn't some great instrumental bits through out. At times I hear elements of Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Porcupine Tree, and The Beatles. Overall if there was one band I could compare them to it would be The Underground Railroad. I think it's safe to say that this is a band that in the years to come will make a name for themselves in the genre - this is a good start. Really good stuff - recommended!
    $12.00
  • Third album from this Danish band is a futuristic concept album based on the book Hyperion by Dan Simmons. Manticora play mega-fast power metal that mixes US and European styles. At times it has the coarsness of Iced Earth and at other times there is a more produced symphonic feel.
    $12.00
  • "Christianity and Heavy Metal have never really been the most obvious of bedfellows. Ever since the formation of the genre at the end of the 1960's, the relationship between Heavy Metal, in particular the more extreme variations of it, and the established Church, have been, for the most part, frosty. This doesn't mean that the two cannot come together though; There are countless great bands that have been playing great music that pays homage, rather than expressing outright hatred, to Christianity; TROUBLE, MORTIFICATION, HORDE, CRIMSON MOONLIGHT and DIVINEFIRE are the first bands that spring to mind for me every time I hear some closed minded moron quote that old, cringe-worthy and wholly incorrect adage about the Devil having the best tunes. Slovakian Power Metallers, SIGNUM REGIS, are one such band that are not only proving this phrase wrong, but are also using their knowledge of their faith to create great themes and concepts for their albums. Their last full length, for example, was based around Moses' liberation of the Israelites and their trials in the desert. This latest EP is full of the sort of classic Power Metal that many have grown to love, and it sounds amazing.This EP opens with a very solid, powerful opener, "Living Well". This is a great piece of Power Metal, with all the hallmarks of the genre; with a few harder aspects peppering the classic sound, which gives it it's own unique flavour. All this track’s elements work well together; it's really well mixed, and doesn't wander into the realms of cheesiness as some Power Metal has a tendency to, and above all, it's a great way to kick the record off. "Through the Desert, Through the Storm" treads down a much more straightforward Heavy Metal path, with razor sharp guitar lines, angelic vocals and some fairly interesting keyboard parts thrown in for good measure. The chorus is great, with some genuinely hair-raising parts that were just made for singing along to. "My Guide In The Night" is another really good piece of Power Metal with brilliant vocals and guitar work, punishing drums and some really cool keyboard sections. The fourth track, "Come and Take It", is perhaps the most straight forward Power Metal song on here, with plenty of great hooks to keep the listener interested. The penultimate track, a re-recorded version of "All Over the World", sounds even better for having been redone, and sits very well among the bands newer material.  "Vengeance Liar", which closes this EP, is perhaps the strongest song on this record apart from "Through the Desert, Through the Storm", and has a really cool, classic Power Metal sound with some genuinely inspired guitar playing and really spectacular vocals to match. It sounds awesome, and is a very good high note to end this record on.This EP is very good. Anyone who loves Power Metal will most likely enjoy this. This sounds like a band that have honed their style and perfected their image, now ready to take their music to the world at large. I'd highly recommend this EP, and indeed the rest of this bands awesome back catalogue, to anyone who loves, powerful, uplifting Metal music." - Metal Temple
    $10.00
  • New 2CD live set recorded in North America 1998 and Japan 1999.
    $6.00
  • "From December 1971 to April 1972, Carlos Santana and several other members of Santana toured with drummer/vocalist Buddy Miles, a former member of the Electric Flag, and Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsys. The resulting live album contained both Santana hits ("Evil Ways") and Buddy Miles hits ("Changes"), plus a 25-minute, side-long jam. It was not, perhaps, the live album Santana fans had been waiting for, but at this point in its career, the band could do no wrong. The album went into the Top Ten and sold a million copies." - All Music Guide
    $7.00
  • "I’ve only just got hold of this one, but it’s jumped to the top of my review list on the basis of being awesome. Being off ill at the start of the week, I had a significant pile of demos and promos to download at the weekend and I was ploughing through them. I always give a couple of tracks off each album a very quick listen just so I know what genre they are.Being a puerile child at heart, I obviously picked “Fuck You” out from the tracklist on Nightglow’s latest release and was immediately blown away. It’s a heavy song, full of groove and rhythm with harsh yet understandable lyrics.OK, so a lucky choice. Let’s pick… erm… “Scream”. That sound good. And it is. As was “On My Knees”, “Psychotropic” and every other song on Orpheus. What started as a quick check of the mp3s turned into two full listens to the album.Nightglow have been kicking around since 1998, but didn’t become Nightglow until 2003. Up until 2013 they were primarily a live band playing their own music, covers of songs by classic acts (Maiden, Priest and the like) and also enjoyed a stint as the official Italian Manowar tribute act!Metal credentials well and truly approved, the band finally released their first album, We Rise, in 2013. Obviously by now the band had a wealth of their own material so it only took another 18 months or so before the follow-up, Orpheus, was announced.This is a great album. Totally unpretentious, balls-out heavy metal. It doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously, remembering that metal is about having fun and being loud! Oh, and doing the stock power ballad (“Stay With Me”)." -  The Moshville Times
    $13.00
  • "A keyboardist from Milan, who begun his career in mid-70's at the age of 25.Colombo was signed by Ricky Gianco's obscure Ultima Spaggia label, on which he released his debut ''Sfogatevi Bestie'' in 1975.The album features a huge line-up of 12 musicians, among them some very well-known figures such as Nuova Idea's Ricky Belloni on guitars along with his brother Gigi on bass, Pepe Gagliardi on pianoforte, guitarist Maurizio Martelli from Gramigna, Perigeo's Claudio Fasoli on sax and drummer Flaviano Cuffari (formerly with Nuova Idea as well).The album contains elements from Jazz Rock, Progressive Rock and Fusion with complex themes and an alternation between improvised and structural parts.It opens with the short ARTI E MESTIERI-inspired ''Sono Pronto'', where piano, violin and deep bass hold the interest in a nice and frenetic jazzy opener.The longest track though ''Caccia Alla Volpe'' is the perfect example of Colombo's approach.Manic grooves blended with experimental improvised bits and nice interplays, performed on piano, drums, xylophones and saxes.On ''Entereneuse'' there is a light FRANK ZAPPA influence with some humourous wordless vocals but also some fine musicianship with Colombo's keyboard work on the forefront along with a trumpet section and Fasoli's saxes.The eponymous track is pleasant guitar-based Jazz/Fusion with a fiery rhythm and some good soloing, while ''Metronomo 138'' is sort of Experimental Jazz Rock with obscure persussion parts, effects and piano, rather too long and too improvised.''Assurdo P.II'' will close this release featuring the vocal work of Marco Ferradini but the instrumental sections are the winner on this with some very well work on saxes, guitars and keyboards, always in a Rock/Fusion style.Good energetic Jazz/Prog/Fusion with a light experimental edge, headed by its dynamic sounds and decent interplays.A must-have for fans of the style or anyone deep into the aforementioned bands/artists  .Recommended" - Prog Archives
    $15.00
  • ""If the voice don't say it, the guitar will play it," raps Saffron on "Pork-U-Pine," the third track on Jeff Beck's minimally titled Jeff. And he does. Beck teams with producer Andy Wright, the man responsible for his more complete immersion into electronic backdrops on his last outing, You Had It Coming. This time the transition is complete. Beck used electronica first on Who Else!, moved a little more into the fire on You Had It Coming, and here merges his full-on Beck-Ola guitar heaviness with the sounds of contemporary spazz-out big beats and noise. Beck and Wright employ Apollo 440 on "Grease Monkey" and "Hot Rod Honeymoon," and use a number of vocalists, including the wondrously gifted Nancy Sorrell, on a host of tracks, as well as the London Session Orchestra on others (such as "Seasons," where hip-hop, breakbeats, and old-school Tangerine Dream sequencing meet the guitarist's deep blues and funk-drenched guitar stylings). As for atmospherics, David Torn (aka producer Splattercell) offers a shape-shifting mix of glitch tracks on "Plan B" for Beck to wax on both acoustically and electrically, and make them weigh a ton. But it's on cuts like "Trouble Man," a purely instrumental big drum and guitar skronk workout, where Beck truly shines here. With a rhythm section of Dean Garcia and Steve Barney -- and Tony Hymas appears as well -- Beck goes completely overboard: the volume screams and the sheer crunch of his riffs and solos split the rhythm tracks in two, then four, and finally eight, as he turns single-string runs into commentaries on everything from heavy metal to East Indian classical music.The industrial crank and burn of "Grease Monkey" is an outing fraught with danger for the guitarist, who has to whirl away inside a maelstrom of deeply funky noise -- and Beck rides the top of the wave into dirty drum hell and comes out wailing. For those who feel they need a dose of Beck's rootsier and bluesier playing, there is one, but the context is mentally unglued. "Hot Rod Honeymoon" is a drum and bass sprint with Beck playing both slide and Texas-style blues à la Albert Collins, letting the strings bite into the beats. The vocals are a bit cheesy, but the entire track is so huge it's easy to overlook them. "Line Dancing With Monkeys" has a splintered Delta riff at its core, but it mutates, shifts, changes shape, and becomes the kind of spooky blues that cannot be made with conventional instruments. His turnarounds into the myopic rhythms provide a kind of menacing foil to their increasing insistence in the mix. Before gabber-style drum and bass threaten to break out of the box, Beck's elongated bent-note solos tame them. "JB's Blues" is the oddest thing here because it's so ordinary; it feels like it belongs on an updated Blow By Blow. In all this is some of the most emotionally charged and ferocious playing of Beck's career. Within the context of contemporary beatronica, Beck flourishes. He find a worthy opponent to tame in the machines, and his ever-present funkiness is allowed to express far more excess than restraint. This is as fine a modern guitar record as you are ever going to hear." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • HDCD remastered digipak with 3 bonus tracks."As the second long-player by the Grateful Dead, Anthem of the Sun (1968) pushed the limits of both the music as well as the medium. General dissatisfaction with their self-titled debut necessitated the search for a methodology to seamlessly juxtapose the more inspired segments of their live performances with the necessary conventions of a single LP. Since issuing their first album, the Dead welcomed lyricist Robert Hunter into the fold -- freeing the performing members to focus on the execution and taking the music to the next level. Another addition was second percussionist Mickey Hart, whose methodical timekeeping would become a staple in the Dead's ability to stop on the proverbial rhythmic dime. Likewise, Tom Constanten (keyboards) added an avant-garde twist to the proceedings with various sonic enhancements that were more akin to John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen than anything else coming from the burgeoning Bay Area music scene. Their extended family also began to incorporate folks like Dan Healy -- whose non-musical contributions and innovations ranged from concert PA amplification to meeting the technical challenges that the band presented off the road as well. On this record Healy's involvement cannot be overstated, as the band were essentially given carte blanche and simultaneous on-the-job training with regards to the ins and outs of the still unfamiliar recording process. The idea to create an aural pastiche from numerous sources -- often running simultaneously -- was a radical concept that allowed consumers worldwide to experience a simulated Dead performance firsthand. One significant pattern which began developing saw the band continuing to refine the same material that they were concurrently playing live night after night prior to entering the studio. The extended "That's It for the Other One" suite is nothing short of a psychedelic roller coaster. The wild ride weaves what begins as a typical song into several divergent performances -- taken from tapes of live shows -- ultimately returning to the home base upon occasion, presumably as a built-in reality check. Lyrically, Bob Weir (guitar/vocals) includes references to their 1967 pot bust ("...the heat came 'round and busted me for smiling on a cloudy day") as well as the band's spiritual figurehead Neal Cassidy ("...there was Cowboy Neal at the wheel on a bus to never ever land"). Although this version smokes from tip to smouldering tail, the piece truly developed a persona all its own and became a rip-roaring monster in concert. The tracks "New Potato Caboose" and Weir's admittedly autobiographically titled "Born Cross-Eyed" are fascinatingly intricate side trips that had developed organically during the extended work's on-stage performance life. "Alligator" is a no-nonsense Ron "Pigpen" McKernan workout that motors the second extended sonic collage on Anthem of the Sun. His straight-ahead driving blues ethos careens headlong into the Dead's innate improvisational psychedelia. The results are uniformly brilliant as the band thrash and churn behind his rock-solid lead vocals. Musically, the Dead's instrumental excursions wind in and out of the primary theme, ultimately ending up in the equally frenetic "Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)." Although the uninitiated might find the album unnervingly difficult to follow, it obliterated the pretension of the post-Sgt. Pepper's "concept album" while reinventing the musical parameters of the 12" LP medium. [The expanded and remastered edition included in the Golden Road (1965-1973) (2001) box set contains a live performance from August 23, 1968, at the Shrine in Los Angeles. This miniset features an incendiary medley of "Alligator" and "Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)" concluding with over four minutes of electronic feedback.]" - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • "West German rock band Grobschnitt will see a very limited 17CD super deluxe box set of all 14 of their albums released later this month that comes with almost seven hours of bonus material.The box set is titled 79:10 and covers the entire output of the band from 1972 to 1989. Everything has been newly remastered and in total there is over 22 hours of material for fans to enjoy. The reason for ’79:10′ is that each of the 17 CDs has 79 minutes and 10 secs of audio, so they are packed with content!This box set has been put together with the help band founders Lupo (Gerd Otto Kühn) and Eroc (Joachim Ehrig) who have dug into the archive for pictures, press releases, lyrics and personal stories to create new booklets for each album in this collection – much of it unseen. The CDs are all ‘mintpack’ digipacks.In addition to the CD booklets, there is also a large format (12″x12″) 92-page booklet (with German and English text) with more rare photos and new liner notes.These box sets are rather special because each set comes with a SIGNED ART PRINT of the image that adorned the inside of the gatefold 1977 album Rockpommel’s Land. The three founding members, Lupo, Eroc and Willi Wildschwein, have hand-signed each single art print individually. The print is approximately 13″ x 26″ in size." 
    $210.00
  • "No need for introduction here I think, however I will write something about this Juggernaut band GRAND MAGUS. GRAND MAGUS are with us from around 2001, they started has more of a Doom \\ Stoner Metal band that moved into a more traditional Heavy metal with lyrics regarding, War, middle ages fights and the good against the evil conflict just with swords and less guns. I will tell you a little secret, I used to be a big fan of GRAND MAGUS from start till the “Hammer of the North”, their fifth album, it came after their masterpiece “Iron Will” but couldn’t stand high as the latter. However, after the release of the following, “The Hunt”, I kind of lost faith, with hoping that the “Triumph And Power” will bring back the blood in my eyes and the passion in my fists for GRAND MAGUS’s awesome Metal edition.“On Hooves Of Gold” and “Steel Versus Steel” are very similar musically, both of them starting with a more classic intro. “Steel Versus Steel” with an acoustic guitar and “On Hooves Of Gold” with cathedral music and a chant, both harboring classic GRAND MAGUS riffing. I started to become a believer again the moment I started to listen to the third track “Fight”, twitched with a low tempo riffing and high sound bass, however it changes into a speedy riffing that reminded me of the early “Fear Is the Key" of “Iron Will”. The title track, “Triumph And Power” shows Janne "JB" Christoffersson’s vocal versatility, really admire the guy’s voice, kind of a low thumping voice that strikes you directly in the chin, “Triumph And Power” is great track that has the quality to become a hit with the very classic chorus. “Dominator” ushers the diversity of the album with a faster pace, reminding more of classic hits of JUDAS PRIEST.“Arv” is an instrumental so I will jump directly to the best track on the album and I’m talking about the mighty “Holmgång” with amazing riffs by JB prompting past albums with miscellaneous riffing. The solo has that Glamish style that provides an elusive quality to the track. “The Naked and the Dead” continues the “Dominator” and “Fight” high paced riffing and drumming that made GRAND MAGUS to be a great band, I mean the combination and diversity; don’t miss “The Hammer Will Bite” that starts like a classic Power ballad however changes to a classic Metal riffing beast.I can’t say that it’s a masterpiece. it’s very hard for bands like GRAND MAGUS  that are veteran and known, the audience are expecting a masterpiece in every release and after a little set back by GRAND MAGUS with “The Hunt”, at least for me, I think that “Triumph And Power” made me a believer again, so GRAND MAGUS, I Believe." - Metal Temple
    $6.00
  • "Forming in 2008, the floodgates appear to be wide open creatively for releasing full length product for this UK progressive metal act. Two albums within two years, as well as a prime support slot for the Devin Townsend Project across 12 countries in Europe during 2011 leads us to the third record Enigma. Filling out as a quintet with new keyboardist Shaz, the nine songs on this effort illustrate the ability to siphon the old, complex template with a modern, semi-staccato meets djent guitar style in shorter, compact arrangements.Aeon Zen isn’t afraid to add a light, jazzy horn break during the tranquil section of the somber “Seven Hills,” which contrasts the conventional Dream Theater-like musical montage that opens the record instrumentally entitled “Enter the Enigma.” Drummer Steve Burton is adept at death metal blasts just as he is twisting tempos at will- check out the Opeth-esque “Divinity” for his double bass maneuvers, lightning fast fills and impeccable sense of timing.Alongside the professional skills of vocalist Andi Kravljaca (Silent Call), three other vocalists appear to add their own texture to the band’s cause. Atle Pettersen (Above Symmetry), Jonny Tatum (Eumeria) and Nate Loosemore (Lost in Thought) give Enigma a deeper emotional platform, as the clean and extreme deliveries match the mood of each arrangement.It’s a younger generation who seem willing and able to push parameters and use technology to deliver a wider scope of feelings, emotions, and contrasts. Much like the peanut butter and chocolate argument of whether each is better separate or together, Aeon Zen has no qualms about loving Symphony X, Threshold, and Megadeth as much as Periphery or Between The Buried And Me- and making it work within their output.Melodic, modern progressive metal that should grab a wide scope in audience enthusiasm - Enigma could be a sleeper hit if these gentlemen land the right touring situations. " - Blistering.com
    $8.00