Immortal?

SKU: VGCD019
Label:
Verglas
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Well it seems like the boys have gotten the formula bit closer to my taste this time around. Arena shows off their British neoprog roots with Clive Nolan's trademark wall of keys prominently jammed into every nook and cranny. But this time the band has come up with just the right touch of crunch to the guitars and general heaviness to instill interest in veteran prog metal fans. New vocalist Rob Sowden isn't going to make me toss my Dio albums out the window but he isn't half bad at that! A Clive Nolan album wouldn't sit right without an epic and Arena produces one in spades - the near 20 minute "Moviedrome". My pick of the litter is the 9 minute "The Butterfly Man". Gobble 'em up lads and lassies...

Product Review

Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
This CD was my introduction to this band and I'm very impressed.Real songs with a great singer to sing them. At last a true rock singer not a metal dude trying to sing past his range! Tasty guitar work too.Ghost in the Firewall/ButterflyMan and Moviedrome are all top notch tunes.Five out of Five!
Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
It has ugly artwork, but don't be fooled by it! This is the best Arena's album, IMHO. It has all you can expect from Arena: excellent melodies, great musicianship and production, epic and dramatic songs.
Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
What "Script Of A Jester's Tears" was to the 80's prog scene, this release is to the current decade. Absolutely outstanding prog rock in the classic vein from messers Mitchell and Nolan. "The Butterfly Man" alone is worth the price of admission. Get it now before it disappears forever. Leyth
Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
I dont know why everyone gave it 5, I would say 4.6, yeah this cd rocks, pure prog very good production and sound as well, a joy to listen to and I never hesitate to put it in my player, everytime I see it I play very appealing so i guess I should give it 5 then? :)
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Product Review

Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
This CD was my introduction to this band and I'm very impressed.Real songs with a great singer to sing them. At last a true rock singer not a metal dude trying to sing past his range! Tasty guitar work too.Ghost in the Firewall/ButterflyMan and Moviedrome are all top notch tunes.Five out of Five!
Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
It has ugly artwork, but don't be fooled by it! This is the best Arena's album, IMHO. It has all you can expect from Arena: excellent melodies, great musicianship and production, epic and dramatic songs.
Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
What "Script Of A Jester's Tears" was to the 80's prog scene, this release is to the current decade. Absolutely outstanding prog rock in the classic vein from messers Mitchell and Nolan. "The Butterfly Man" alone is worth the price of admission. Get it now before it disappears forever. Leyth
Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
I dont know why everyone gave it 5, I would say 4.6, yeah this cd rocks, pure prog very good production and sound as well, a joy to listen to and I never hesitate to put it in my player, everytime I see it I play very appealing so i guess I should give it 5 then? :)
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  • "Progressive rock and boy-band pop seem like natural enemies at first. The former's fascination with ornate, elongated passages of finger-exhausting musicianship is in almost every way the opposite of the latter's emphasis on catchiness first; it's hard to imagine turn-of-the-millennium hits like "Bye Bye Bye" with extended guitar and keyboard solos. Yet ever since A Doorway to Summer, their 2005 debut, Moon Safari has put to rest the notion that progressive-minded songwriters can't make pop that's as hook-driven as it is ostentatious. Grandiloquent epics like "Other Half of the Sky," from the 2008 double album Blomljud, weave together widescreen arrangements with the band's signature five-part vocal harmony, a feature unmatched by few groups in any genre, anywhere. It's easy to isolate the audience with solipsistic soloing and obtuse orchestrations, but from day one Moon Safari has made prog that—assuming the layperson were more amenable to songs that run upwards of thirty minutes—could lead them to something like a pop crossover hit.But while the union of hook-heavy vocal interplay and '70's prog stylistics gives Moon Safari an unmistakable, unique sound, it also handicapped them in a significant way for their first two LPs. The group's accessibility on A Doorway to Summer and Blomljud, along with its technical prowess, is unassailable, but the high-fructose sweetness of its style leads to a diabetic rush when stretched out onto songs that span ten to thirty minutes. For example, "Other Half of the Sky," the titanic thirty minute showstopper off of Blomljud, has so many memorable hooks that by the time it's run its time out, it's hard to remember all of them. The classic problem of "too many voices leads to a noisy room" was the defining problem of Moon Safari's otherwise enjoyable sound for some time. All that changed, however, in 2010 with the release of Lover's End.It is no exaggeration—even as the decade remains young—to say that Lover's End is one of the finest progressive rock records of the '00's. Hell, it's not even crazy to say that it's one of the finest pop albums of the '00s; anyone, even those turned off by prog's eccentricities, can find something to love on this mellifluous collection of songs. From the a cappella charm of "Southern Belle" to the hook-loaded "New York City Summergirl," Lover's End is chock full of goodness from beginning to end. What explains its genius is that in contrast to A Doorway to Summer and Blomljud, the songs are given exactly the amount of space they need, and not a second more. Some songwriters may feel hamstrung by the verse/chorus structure, but it's a perfect fit for Moon Safari's joyous approach to music.With their newest studio outing, Himlabacken, Vol. 1, Moon Safari continue the refining of their sound, and while this isn't the breakthrough that Lover's End was, it nonetheless attests to the brilliance of this group. Whereas the latter was bound by a loose concept (love and heartbreak), Himlabacken Vol. 1 is less a lyrics album than its predecessor. The cost of this is that the music is less distinct in its cohesiveness, but there are no shortage of catchy passages and amped-up solos. "Mega Moon" comes off as a tribute to musical theatre, with "The Very Model of A Modern Major General" vocal delivery interweaving with Queen-esque bombast to an impressive effect. "Too Young to Say Goodbye" sees and matches the polyharmonic beauty of "Lover's End (Part One)." By sticking to concise song formats—the longest cut here runs nine and a half minutes—Moon Safari ensures that things never run out of steam, an essential quality to any good progressive rock band.If nothing else, Himlabacken, Vol. 1 proves that there's one thing Moon Safari can't be accused of: being unaware of themselves. Grand finale "Sugar Band" is as much a statement of identity as it is a slice of epic pop: "Sweet and saccharine are we," they declare, followed by "syrup's the blood in our veins." (Less successful is the clumsy Katy Perry innuendo of, "suck our big candy canes," which is thematically consistent but tonally off.) Both "Sugar Band" and "Little Man," one of the few Moon Safari songs to feature a solo vocal, are emblematic of the mushiness that might turn some prog fans away from their music. The latter, while obviously a touching document of a father's love for his son, does feel a bit out of place in how deeply personal it is; part of the strength of this group's sonic is the universality of its pop appeal, and the intimacy behind "My Little Man" makes listening to it an almost voyeuristic experience. "Mega Moon" and "Sugar Band" are better at capturing the convivial spirit of the band that's accessible to all.As with past outings, even those drawn to vocal harmonies might find it hard to stomach all of the sweetness of Himlabacken, Vol. 1. But what ultimately makes this LP successful is its unpretentious commitment to fun. Moon Safari are a rare collective that prove daunting musical chops aren't anathema to accessibility, and with Himlabacken, Vol. 1 they've made a recording that, while not the magnum opus that Lover's End was, is as true a capturing of their ethos as there could ever be. Sating a sweet tooth brings to mind the phrase "guilty pleasure," but there's no guilt involved with music as first-class as this. Who knew being in a boy band could sound so classy? " - Sea Of Tranquility
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  • Remastered edition of one of Eloy's great space rock creations. This was the first disc to feature Hannes Arkona on keyboards. Comes with two bonus tracks "Wings Of Vision" and a single edit of "Silhouette". Great disc!! Please note this disc incorporates EMI copy control technology which seems to allow you to do whatever it is you would normally do with a CD but you can't rip it. Bummer.
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  • "With 'Home', for the first time since their critically acclaimed 'Posthumous Silence' of 2006, Sylvan have taken the chance to create another full-on concept album. Even though the Hamburg natives attach great importance to creating contextually comprehensive pieces of art with any of their albums, this time around Sylvan have upped their ambition another notch and taken on the mammoth task of building an overall concept around the never ending quest of the human condition for 'home' - that very special place that can provide a feeling of complete safety."
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  • UK band Touchstone take a surprising (at least to my ears) turn in a heavier direction.  While I would never call this full on metal, mixing engineer John Mitchell decided to turn their guitar up a notch.  Some good crunchy guitar bits through out the album.  The band was never a complex prog band.  Touchstone always had a melodic sensibility touching on AOR and neo-prog.  There is a symphonic element that keeps the music rooted in the prog world but you can tell that this is a band that is looking to cross over into other genres.  Their strongest asset remains vocalist Kim Seviour , who along with Leslie Hunt is one of the best female vocalists in the prog world."Returning once more to confound listeners and music reviewers alike, such as yours truly, with their ever evolving and pleasing neo-prog is England's Touchstone with their fourth long player, Oceans Of Time. Dare say, for their benefit, it's hard to pigeonhole Touchstone's sound. Is it hard rock? AOR? Progressive rock? Yes and then some, and it's not necessarily all that confounding really.However, I might say that Oceans Of Time could be their most 'proggy' album to date. If anything, the songs are quite varied, visiting old territory and exploring the new. Touchstone also returns to some familiar themes. The title track continues the Wintercoast story, and Shadow's End wraps up the Shadows trilogy begun on Discordant Dreams.These songs are also good examples of the strong progressive nature of the album, with Touchstone throwing curves to your ears. Yet Oceans Of Time will also sound more like familiar Touchstone as well. The musical canvas is quite grand lavished with layers of instrumentation, notably Hodgson's guitar and Cottingham's keyboards. Flux is another fine example of Touchstone's exotic musical brew. It's got some hard rock chops mixed with the prog, and then, about the three minute mark, it calms down. Synths stir, then Kim Seviour's vocals arrive, and the arrangement swells to sweet crescendo. It's one of best moments of the album.Other highlights include the bass and drum lines of Contact, a moody piece where Seviour's voice is alluring and graceful; the clever drumming within Fragments, possibly the closest thing to straight melodic rock song here; and, Spirit of the Age, a song with balancing lighter moments with heavier ones, and Seviour at her most sublime. Touchstone is band that keeps evolving and getting better, and so is always interesting and entertaining. Oceans Of Time is well recommended." - Dangerdog.com
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  • Kaipa's first two albums were probably the pinnacle of 70s symphonic rock in Sweden.  The band featured a very young Roine Stolt on guitar.  The band also featured keyboardist Hans Lundin who also handled vocals (in Swedish so be forewarned).  Lundin resurrected Kaipa and they are still going now.The first album from 1975, features a sound that is very much an amalgam of popular British bands like Yes and Genesis.  Hell - toss in a touch of Camel if you like.  Lundin's upper range vocals will remind you a bit of Jon Anderson in places but he never goes for the stratosphere.  On the other hand his keyboard work features a fair amount of Mellotron - never a bad thing.This 2015 remastered edition comes with two bonus tracks.
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  • New album from UK melodic prog metal kings. This time around they play up the prog aspect offering 7 epic tracks.
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  • "Transformation is a very apt title for Canadian Prog veterans FM, for not only has their music transformed numerous times over the years, so has their line-up. Joining bassist/keyboard player Cameron Hawkins this time round is drummer Paul DeLong (Roger Hodgson/Kim Mitchell), violinist/mandolin player Edward Bernard, who has performed with Druckfarben and violinist (yes, there are two violinists here) Aaron Solomon. The recording group being completed by legendary Rush, Dream Theater, Fates Warning producer/engineer Terry Brown, who does an excellent job.So you'll gather then that the first proper FM album since 1987's Tonight still follows in its predecessors footsteps of placing violin front and centre. Yet while that may sound risky in today's often sanitised Prog world, Transformation sounds remarkably contemporary and, at the same time, true to this band's 70s roots. More beautiful than punchy, in places the songs on this album feel like Yes with copious amounts of violin strung over it, the air being light, melodic and captivating. DeLong is stunning throughout, his rare ability to be ridiculously busy and intricate, underpinned by a solidity which fixes everything in place. Nary a second goes by where the percussionist isn't whispering a ghost beat, paradiddling the toms to within an inch of their lives, or alternating between snare, hi-hat and cymbals at break neck speed. However, amazingly, he never interrupts the beautiful flow of the vocals provided by Hawkins, Solomon and Bernard; the trio causing another reason for celebration in the process. However no album was built on drums and voice alone, so the stunning, varied violin, viola and mandolin work which weaves and dances across Hawkins deep resonant bass and darting, lilting, pointed synth contributions, are as impressive as they are vital to the unbridled success of this album.There's a real depth of sound and arrangement across the nine tracks on show, the likes of "Tour Of Duty" a journey from fragile art through fractured beauty, into controlled frenzy. "The Love Bomb (Universal Love)" and "Brave New Worlds" contrast this approach excellently, a sparse framework thriving on roaming bass, while gentle string stabs allow the vocals to express the emotions of melancholic introspection, but overriding hope and belief displayed in every one of the songs on this album. And it's that uplifting feeling which really infuses Transformation with the power to captivate and control your attention from start to finish, whether through the harsher attack of the bristling "Re-Boot, Reawaken", unsettling pulse of "Children Of Eve", the almost jauntily optimistic "Safe And Sound" or idyllic "Heaven On Earth".Often when a band reappears from the past, as if by magic to reclaim their past glories, the results are safe and deflating. Transformation however falls far from that trap, instead announcing itself with a triumphant confidence which never fades once as its beauties unfold, and vitally it just gets better with each and every luscious visit to the land of hope and understanding it creates." - Sea Of Tranquility
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  • Deluxe remastered edition features a bonus of 3 live tracks from 1973 consisting of Future City (!!), Castle In The Air, and Flying High
    $13.00
  • Third album since the resurrection of this Swedish symphonic band led by keyboardist Hans Lundin and guitarist Roine Stolt. No major surprises here - symphonic rock perhaps a bit in the vein of Flower Kings. FK bassist Jonas Reingold is here as is Ritual vocalist Patrick Lundstrom. Female vocals are quite prominent and supplied by the single-named Aleena. Mats & Morgan monster drummer Morgan Agren holds down the fort. The 26 minute title track is clearly the standout.
    $12.00
  • Latest from the resurrected Swedish symphonic band continues to sound perilously close to The Flower Kings but with Patrick Lundstrom (Ritual) and Aleena Gibson sharing vocals. A surprising new member is guitarist Per Nilsson from Swedish death/trash metal band Scar Symmetry. He seems quite comfortable hanging with the decidedly softer nature of this music. The great Morgan Agren plays drums and FK/Karmakanic bassist Jonas Reingold is here as well. Keyboardist/leader Hans Lundin holds the whole thing together with as much vintage sounds as you could possibly want.
    $12.00
  • "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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  • Nine Paths is the fourth album from respected Dutch band Knight Area. They have garnered attention around the world, performing in North America multiple times as well as tours through out Europe. Knight Area has performed at NEARfest in the US as well as The Night Of The Prog festival in Loreley, Germany. Not content to simply stick to a musical formula, Knight Area will surprise their fanbase with Nine Paths. While remaining firmly faithful to the symphonic rock tradition, the band has gone one step further and added a harder edge to their sound. This transformation comes courtesy of noted producer Neil Kernon (Cannibal Corpse, Queensryche, Nile) who’s mix has provided a more contemporary approach to progressive rock. The track “Please Come Home” features a guest vocal appearance by Charlotte Wessels (Delain). The music of Nine Paths is perfectly complemented by the fantasy art of Dennis Sibeijn at Damn Engine "Knight Area's fourth release, Nine Paths, is simply a great sounding album of melodic progressive rock. Earlier works were likely gathered under the symphonic rock genre also. But Nine Paths seems to find Knight Area upping the rock ante just a bit. With that said, don't think that founder, composer, and keyboardist Gerben Klazinga is not offering an abundance of his synthesizer finesse. Yet you'll notice an emphasis on straight melodic rock in Clueless, where prog nuances have been vacated. Even the instrumental Pride and Joy sounds more like a rock tune, even though keyboards and guitar get into some serious duets and dueling. Perhaps the clearest representation of melodic rock (also with some symphonic notes) is the incredible ballad Please Come Home, where Mark Smit is joined by Charlotte Wessels (Delain) in a brilliant duet. Yet, those rock notes arise in segments within other tracks as in the latter half of Summerland or with larger sound created by big riffs over synths in the heart of The Balance. Fundamentally, Nine Paths is melodic progressive rock. The opener Ever Since You Killed Me looms large in both progression and instrumentation. Later, The Balance, Wakerun, and Angel's Call offer more flashes of ingenuity than some bands can offer over several albums. One overarching element amidst these three is the impressive bass line within each. Next most notable is the satisfying drum work, as within Wakerun around four minutes where it the movement with near atmospheric color. It also introduces a heavier part of the song, advancing again that greater emphasis on a rock edge. In the end, as said earlier, Nine Paths simply sounds great. The musical canvas is large and Knight Area fills it with color and imagination to entertaining effect. Nine Paths is a must have for fans of melodic progressive rock. Strongly recommended." 5.0/5.0 - Danger Dog.com
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  • Its been quite a long time since we've heard from Magic Pie.  They went through lots of trials and tribulations getting this album finished but now its finally arrived.  If you are not familiar with this band here's the deal: Magic Pie are a Norwegian band with a retro 70s sound.  The music is a bit of a high wire act balancing the neo-prog sounds of The Flower Kings with the heavier elements of classic Uriah Heep.  They also seem to be the darlings of Rosfest having played there multiple times."It's hard to believe it's been 10 years since these proggers from Norway released their promising debut "Motions of Desire". At that time, their music struck me as an enthusiastic combination of classic prog and classic hard rock. (Think Deep Purple for the hard rock side of that equation.) At their best, they offered memorable passages and pieces that sounded like they very well could have been long lost recordings from many years ago. At their worst, they sometimes fell short of filling the big shoes of the legendary bands whose music they strove to emulate. That's actually not bad for a debut album from a new prog band. I found much to like and looked forward to hearing from them again in the future.Checking back in on them a decade later, I must say that I am very impressed with how they have developed and matured. No longer do I get the feeling that certain sections of songs are direct homages to any particular band from any one particular decade of prog's illustrious history. Their influences, while still very present and valid, are now more varied, including a greater percentage of modern reference points. More importantly, their influences are just that--merely influences rather than templates or even primary reference points.The sound quality on "King for a Day" is superb thanks in large part to the enlistment of sonic genius Rich Mouser (whose resume includes similar work for prominent contemporaries like Spock's Beard, Transatlantic and Dream Theater).Keyboardist Erling Hananger is an excellent addition to Magic Pie's recipe. His keyboard parts are expressive, dynamic and integral to the music. When appropriate, his leads seamlessly blend, harmonize, and work synergistically with electric guitar.The lyrics have a melodramatic and somewhat tragic flair this time around, but this is prog so you should be accustomed to the musical ride including a few tragic tales from time to time by now, right?OK ' so it's time for the "magic" question... A decade after their debut album, how has my impression of Magic Pie changed?On "King for a Day", I now hear a band which has found "its own voice", one that resonates confidently in the space somewhere between classic arena rock of yesteryear (on prog-steroids of course) and modern melodic prog of the 21st Century (like Spock's Beard and The Flower Kings). Add a few dashes of modern prog-metal to taste and you, my friend, have baked up a very nice confection indeed... MAGIC PIE!If you love modern prog anthems with big harmonies and 'sing along' choruses, give "King for a Day" a listen! I'm glad I did!" - ProgArchives
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  • 4th album now remastered in a deluxe edition at a budget price (go figure...). Only bonus is a dispensable remix of "The Bells Of Notre Dame". Perhaps the band's most underappreciated album. A space rock classic.
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