Imaginos (Remaster)

SKU: RGM-0144
Label:
Real Gone Music
Category:
Hard Rock
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"The tangled history of Imaginos, Blue Oyster Cult's last (1988) album for Columbia, has passed into legend for BOC fans. The name and concept comes from late-'60s sci-fi/fantasy writings by band manager/producer Sandy Pearlman that inspired the original band name; they then became the basis for a planned trilogy of solo albums by BOC drummer/songwriter Albert Bouchard, who had been working on the material since the early '70s with Pearlman. After Bouchard was fired from the band in 1981, he recorded a 90-minute album with such sidemen as Aldo Nova and the Doors' Robbie Krieger, but this version of the album was rejected by Columbia execs in 1984. After the release and commercial disappointment of BOC's Club Ninja, Pearlman then resurrected the idea and began production in 1986, adding vocals by BOC's Buck Dharma and Eric Bloom and guitar parts by Joe Satriani among many others. The result was no surprise BOC's most controversial album (and ironically, the first in years to feature the original line-up), probably their heaviest and most proggy outing, and an appropriately complex swan song for a complex band. Our Real Gone reissue features a new 2012 remaster and new notes by BOC expert Scott Schinder, along with the original album and inner sleeve art."

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  • "Germany's Eden Circus is a band that has been together for a while but worked tirelessly on the songs that make up this, their debut album, "Marula." Much like the time they invested in the album and its songs, the listener should be just as committed to listening to the album and giving it the necessary time to plant its seeds and grow. When I first listened to "Marula," I thought it was just a good album with a fair amount of contrast in each song. But when you have those contrasts (i.e., quieter moments and heavier moments), it's important to pay closer attention to how they are used and what is going on. It's easy to think "Wow, that's so subtle" and not really listen to the vocal or the intricacies of the music underneath.The fact that vocalist Siegmar Pohl has a very quiet, raspy voice that tends to blend with the music just makes it more challenging. But the key to music that has a thick layer of complexity is to listen to it over and over, allowing it to reveal itself. You cannot force "Marula" to be something it isn't. It has elements of '90s alternative progressive metal like Tool, but don't expect them to attack you like Tool would. They have post-prog moments like Porcupine Tree, yet they never commit to sounding like them. Eden Circus is familiar but still a stranger. You think you know what will happen next but when it doesn't, you aren't sure why.The opener "Devoid of Purpose" starts off quietly before it works its way into heavier riffing. "Comfort" has quieter verses leading to a very angular riff that works as the chorus. Siegmar does have a harsh vocal in his arsenal but uses it quite sparingly, which makes those moments all the more powerful. A perfect example is "101" where he works his way to a growl.The majority of the songs are long, which allows them room to ebb and flow as needed. In addition to the aforementioned songs, my favorite tracks are the two closers, "Her Lovely Hands Upon the Black Earth" and "Playing You." Both are atmospheric, progressive and epic - full of dynamics.Eden Circus has figured out how to be melodic but not make it so obvious that you tire of them. "Marula" is a textbook "grower" of an album. If I were to give it a rating a month from now, it would probably be an even higher rating." - Power Of Metal
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  • Darker is the long awaited second album from Swiss progressive rock band Dawn. It has been 6 years since the quartet rocked the prog world with their expert take on old school symphonic rock.Dawn formed in Montreux, Switzerland in 1996.  Since then the band has performed at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival, as well as at Swiss prog rock festivals Progsol, and Montreux Prog Nights.  The band has also opened for Kansas and Fish.  After a series of line up changes the band began to focus on their sophomore release in 2010 and perform them in concert.Dawn’s music is riddled with vintage keyboard sounds and flowing guitar solos.  Plaintive vocals ascribe a kinship to the British Canterbury prog family tree.  The album is conceived as a series of compositions dealing with Man in the 21st century: his fears, his conception of life, his reaction to technology, nuclear power, and the planet’s suffocation.  Darker was recorded in 2013 by Olivier Charmillot and mastered by noted audiophile engineer Bob Katz.
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  • Exile is the long awaited third album from this British progmetal band.  To-Mera is fronted by Julie Kiss with the principal songwriting coming from guitarist (and her husband) Tom MacLean.  Some of you may recognize Tom's name from his membership in Haken as their bassist.  It gets slightly more confusing as Haken's main composer/guitarist/keyboardist is To-Mera's keyboardist Richard "Hen" Henshall.  Yes life can get complicated sometimes.The new album is a conceptual work about human existence.  Ms. Kiss' vocals flow like a constant river over some real bad ass and complex prog metal.  At times MacLean breaks out some incredible fusion leads taking the band in a whole different direction.  Hen's keys have a very specific sound.  At times you will be reminded for a moment of the Haken sound but in general this doesn't sound like a Haken album.  The album does feature some special guests...Marcela Bovio (Stream Of Passion), Stefan Forte (Adagio), and Ray Hearne (Haken) all make appearances.  An intricate and involving listen, this is easily going to be one of 2012's best metal releases.  Highly recommended.
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  • "The live recording was taken from their critically acclaimed performance at RoSfest USA at the beautiful Majestic Theatre in Gettysburg. Following the success of their award winning second studio album 'Moments', IOEarth present their first live album to the world, showcasing 11 tracks from their ground breaking albums including the sublime 'Cinta Indah' , the explosive 'Home' and the dynamic 'Harmonix'. "
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  • DGM has been cranking out albums for years and with all the lineup changes they go through, somehow the music gets better and better.  Forget that Russell Allen and Jorn Viggo Lofstad guest on the album - sure that's cool.  More important are the facts that vocalist Mark Basile is rock solid and the band has come up with a perfect blend of melodicism, heaviness and proginess. (not sure that is a word).  This one makes all the right moves. File under: AWESOME!   Highly recommended.
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  • Follow up to 2011's Disobey once again finds this Scottish band clinging to the British neoprog sound that helped define the genre.  To their credit there is a bit more playing than most of their brethren.  I particularly like the ornate keyboard work.  Nothing wrong with some old school prog sounds to remind us how it should be done.
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  • "From the moment the then still teenage Protest the Hero announced themselves to the world with their phenomenal debut record Kezia in 2006, the Whitby, Ontario quintet have been considered somewhat of a divisive force in the heavy music scene. Almost universally revered for their technical proficiency, but often misunderstood by casual listeners due to it, Protest the Hero have amassed an equal amount of fans as they have detractors for the spasmodic, genre-hopping nature of their compositions. Thankfully for the band, the fan base that they have acquired is a loyal, dedicated, and above all, passionate one. As a result of this, the band was able to finance their latest release, Volition, via the popular crowd funding service Indiegogo, and after repeated listens I can tell you that those fans are about to see their investment in Protest the Hero pay off big time.Volition, the band’s fourth full-length and first since 2011’s impressive, Scurrilous, is without a shadow of a doubt Protest the Hero’s best and most consistently mind-blowing release to date and it should see the band ascend to their rightful place amongst the upper-echelon of the progressive-metal scene. Opening with the barnstorming lead single, “Clarity,” a track that encapsulates all that is good about this band (soaring melodies, frantic shredding, earth shaking breakdowns and a rhythm section tighter than your metronome), Volition sets a cracking pace, grabbing the listener’s attention from the get-go and refusing to let go until it has had its way with you. It’s as if from the moment vocalist Rody Walker (channeling his best Sebastian Bach) screams, “Without a word uttered, a comparison is drawn,” your ears have been taken hostage by an evil musical overlord and your body has no choice but to nod along in reverence. And nod along you will as “Clarity” is followed in quick succession by the equally impressive “Drumhead Trial” and oh-so-appropriately titled “Tilting Against Windmills” (seriously TRY not windmilling to the sheer face-melting shred-fest taking place in this track) in an opening trilogy of stunning quality.With the albums modus-operandi in place, Protest the Hero continue the all-out sonic assault with the incendiary “Without Prejudice,” a piece of thrash driven metal majesty that highlights the thunderous groove provided by fill-in drummer Chris Adler (of Lamb of God fame) before letting up briefly to allow space for bassist Arif Mirabdolbagh to lay down one of the most impressive bass solos in recent memory. In fact, the rhythm section is simply stellar across the whole of Volition, with Mirabdolbagh’s talents being brought to the forefront unlike ever before, and Adler’s stick work undoubtedly causing many a Protest the Hero fan to bemoan the fact he is not sticking around as a permanent member — (the band has announced Mike Ieradi as a permanent replacement for the departed Moe Carlson).From this point onward Volition takes the listener on a bit of a journey through the most impressive elements of Protest the Hero’s past-works, incorporating their familiar genre-hopping habits as they effortlessly make the leap between the progressive-metal of “Yellow Teeth” into the punk-influenced “Plato’s Tripartite” and “Underbite,” through the more sprawling “Mist” and ferocious hardcore influence of “A Life Embossed” and “Animal Bones.” Considering the amount of sonic territory the band covers here they would be forgiven for losing or burying melody in the mix of all the technical proficiency, but it has to be said that the opposite is true, as it is arguably on these tracks that the melodic elements of Protest the Hero really shine.This is as much a testament to the work of the much-heralded guitar tandem of Luke Hoskin and Tim Millar as it is the input of Rody Walker, who it has to be said puts in his finest performance to date on Volition. Whether busting a nut in his trademark power metal howl on tracks such as “Clarity” and “Without Prejudice” or cutting loose with a guttural roar on the likes of “A Life Embossed” and “Animal Bones,” or crooning hauntingly in the outro of “Mist,” Walker absolutely nails it and this should be the album that puts the end to any criticism people might have about his unique vocal style. The lyrics are also much improved on previous outings, moving away for the more fantastical style of the band’s earlier works and instead occupying a middle ground between self-reflective introspection and intelligent social commentary, a maturation that blends superbly with the more rounded songwriting style displayed on the album.For their part, Hoskin and Millar put on a near-peerless display on Volition. From the opening tracks they display a rare ability to juxtapose beautiful melodic passages with breakneck riffing, all the while leaving themselves enough room to dazzle listeners with their rather unique take on all-out-shredfest. The end result of this slightly more thought out approach is that the solos actually stand out more, ensuring that although they are fewer in number than on previous albums, the ones that are there are spellbinding. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than on album closer, “Skies,” a track that incorporates all of these elements into one of the most bat-shit-crazy tracks you will ever hear.As per usual with Protest the Hero, there are several guest appearances scattered across Volition, including the now traditional vocal contributions from folk singer Jadea Kelly on “Plato’s Tripartite” and “Yellow Teeth,” a track that also features violin from Raha Javanfar and guitar from Wyatt Shun. The absolute stand out of all of these guest appearances (there are too many to mention them all) however has to be the blistering solo contributed by Ron Jarzombek of Blotted Science on “Drumhead Trial” — it is seriously bordering on otherworldly what that guy is capable of doing with a guitar, and his contribution helps to take the track to another level of awesome.While I am conscious that I have thrown out a lot of superlatives in this review, this album is not the perfect progressive-metal release, there is times where the band still manage to get caught up in their own cleverness at the expense of the quality of the songs, but these moments are few and far between and Volition benefits greatly from the slightly more controlled approach the band has taken to crafting these songs.There is a lot of skepticism around about bands using crowdfunding to pay for the recording process, but if bands back up their fans’ investment by producing the best record of their career like Protest the Hero have done with Volition, then the music industry may have found its best business model yet. Seriously go out and buy it. You won’t regret it." - Under The Gun
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  • It s nice to hear a band like Siena Root playing it for real in this overly-processed world that we live in. Power to them, and I wish them all the success in the world! - Mick Box (Uriah Heep)"Siena Root is an experienced live act and an experimental project with its roots in analogue old school rock music. The group was founded in Stockholm in the late 90s. The sound is classic but yet original, based on heavy organ, howling guitars, bass riffing and big drums. It is also often enriched with bluesy soulful vocals, various guest musicians and psychedelic vibes.Siena Root is well known for its unique spectra of appearances, its many great guest artists, its broad musical range and its different interpretations of rock music. Yet, with a foundation in a traditional quintet, and a sound rooted in late 60s analogue gear. Don't expect to experience the same Siena Root show twice.In the sense that blues is blue, hard rock is black, and reggae is pan African coloured, this music has the colour of siena. It is a warm colour, originally from the muddy roots of the earth. Because this sound has roots that go deep, it was also natural to let root be a part of the bands name.Four full length studio albums, one live album, one DVD and two 7 singles have been released so far, each one marking the development and refinement of the bands diverse style. Through touring the music has developed in such a way, that jamming and improvising has become an essential element, always keeping you on the edge of your seat. A Siena Root concert is dramatic and exciting, visually, as well as emotionally. It's a dynamic root rock experience.""The musical world is rich and powerful and that is also a correct description of Siena Root's music. This is a Swedish hard rock band which aren't very progressive but still play in a progressive spirit or a psychedelic mood, without being psychedelic thankfully. "Pioneers" which is totally new is their fifth record and all their records has got very high (but few) ratings on this site. Especially their first "A new day dawning" from 2003 and their third "Far from the sun" from 2008. 2014 year's record follows a five year spectrum of now records. Their record has a lovely cover with a yellow landscape and the sillouettes of the five band-members heads in the background sky. Left from former line up is Love Forsberg, the band's drummer and Sam Riffer, the band's bassist. Otherwise the lead guitarist and organist KG West is gone as well as the lead vocalist Sartez Faraj. They are replaced by the keyboardist Erik Errka Petersson(who has played with my choir actually), the new vocalist Jonas Åhlén and the guitarist Matte Gustafsson."Pioneers" is a record of very high standard music which will please folk who like the hard rock of the late sixties and early seventies. The music is straight and melodic, filled with heavy organ sound and a caressing hard rock vocal. The musicians themselves has beautiful beards and it's obvious they love what they are doing. The only shame is that they have chosen to sing in English, that makes their music less interesting. I compare with the Norwegian band Höst which did a better choice. But still this music is lovely and very pleasurable. I think almost every track is similarily good but "In my kitchen" is absolutely the best(9/10), calmer and more atmospheric than the others. "Between the lines" and "Root rock pioneers" are two other songs I recommend(8/10). The record is extremely even so you won't find any bad or uninteresting tracks. This is specially a band and a record for fans of classical hard rock such as the late sixties' Deep Purple. This record is definitely at least a four star record. Recommended!" - ProgArchives
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  • Another winner from this fine Savatage offshoot.  
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