Inside Of The Machine

"Assignment is another band releasing a new album on a new label after a short silence, five years to be correct. Inside Of The Machine, the progressive metal band's third work, finds them signed to Belgian's Mausoleum Records. It's also a quite ambitious work at that: a concept album with four different vocalist player character parts, and several guest guitarists.

For the concept and vocalists, which include Robin Beck, Mats Leven, and Michael Bormann, and their parts you can check out the information following the review. Of three guest guitarist the most notable wizard is Bernie Versailles from Redemption offering some lead songs, though I don't know on which song(s).
As for the music, this Assignment at their best, creating a progressive metal package by mixing elements of classic melodic hard rock, melodic and symphonic metal metal, power metal, and even a little rock fusion. That comes in the latter half of the instrumental Bug In The System, one of the best songs here. Some the best vocal songs are those with Bormann and Robin Beck (only because she's one of the best rock vocalists around), specifically Love Between Heaven & Hell and Ending Love. The latter one finds Beck's presence a bit stronger in front end which makes the song even more compelling. The antagonist in the story is obviously The Machine and it's introduction in I Am The Machine has a heavier darker feel. Alternatively, the concluding End Of The Machine has more melodic and brighter, yet still forceful, timbre to it. Throughout you get lots of ripping guitar leads often paired alternating synth solos. I'm guessing the full CD package comes with all the lyrics, otherwise, at times, the story is difficult to follow. Once more, Assignment's Inside Of The Machine is an ambitious and entertaining work of melodic progressive metal. Recommended." - Danger Dog

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  • "Forever tied with fellow gothic symphonic metal band Tristania, Sirenia were formed when Morten Veland left Tristania over musical and personal differences in 1999, despite the band just releasing their breakthrough record Beyond the Veil. Now twelve years later, Sirenia have taken two and half years to perfect the songwriting for their latest opus Perils of the Deep Blue.Early on Sirenia followed the approach of the “Beauty and the Beast” style vocals where they blended operatic female singing with guttural death metal vocals. That all changed with 2009’s release The 13th Floor where they brought in female vocalist Ailyn as their permanent vocalist. She had just participated in the Spanish version of X Factor and her wide vocal range brought a sense of melody and more of a rock style vocal to the band.Perils of the Deep Blue is a marked improvement over their last release The Enigma of Life. This time around the songs sound inspired and not so formulaic. Their utilization of combining clean male and female singing with harsh vocals is second to none. Despite utilizing more of his raspy vocals, Veland is on fire with his clean singing on “Ditt Endelikt.”Ailyn is the star here though, as her vocals play a major role in the songwriting. “Decadence” captures her accessible side as she embodies Within Temptation’s Sharon den Adel. She also utilizes an amazing range and uses opera inspired vocals on “Darkling” and the first single “Seven Widows Weep.” Her ability to capture the mixture of technicality and memorable vocal lines is impressive.The use of orchestration is not over the top and executed with a lot of finesse. “Seven Widows Weep” also incorporates a choir and the interplay between the heavy riffs, double bass drumming and strings is outstanding. “Profound Scars” has a driving tempo and incorporates some electronic elements to go with the energetic guitar riffs. A little reminiscent of later day Theatre of Tragedy, Sirenia should incorporate faster tempos more often.The 12-minute plus “Stille Kom Døden” is epic in scope. By far the longest song of their career, the melody lines on the guitar are gorgeous and work well with the orchestration. The pace is very slow and is a great throwback to Veland’s doom past. A moving riff comes in half way through the track as Veland’s vocals annihilate the listener.At an hour and seven minutes, Perils of the Deep Blue is a lot to digest. Even though the songwriting is more focused this time around, it is simply too long. It could have been shortened considerably as the tempos aren’t varied enough and we do run into some monotony.A more inspired release that we have seen from Sirenia in a long time and their best with vocalist Ailyn. Their continued use of three distinct vocal styles is impressive and Veland is an exceptional musician. Not only does he sing and play guitar but plays a plethora of musical instruments throughout.I was concerned with the future and direction of Sirenia after the release of The Enigma of Life, but am pleasantly surprised with their renewed focus as the songwriting is not lethargic this time around. Not many do the symphonic gothic metal style better, and that tradition continues with Perils of the Deep Blue." - About.com
    $13.00
  • "In 2013, Norway's ever mercurial Motorpsycho released Still Life with Eggplant, with second guitarist Reine Fisk added to the fold. It was a collection of "other songs," those written for previous albums but not recorded. Those five cuts, despite their random sources, did have another connecting thread: they reflected some of the band's earliest explorations into hard rock and neo-psychedelia as displayed on records like Demon Box and Timothy's Monster. The way forward for Motorpsycho was apparently through the lens of the past. Behind the Sun marks the band's 25th anniversary, and once again, they journey further into that back catalog of unrecorded material. Produced by bassist and vocalist Bent Sæther, Motorpsycho once more employs Fisk as well as violist Ole Henrik Moe and violinist Kari Ronnekleiv. These nine tracks are as focused as those on Eggplant and often more adventurous. Opener "Cloudwalker (A Darker Blue)" begins as something of a Baroque psych tune and unwinds into a taut dynamic rocker with the strings and multi-part vocal harmonies adding texture and force. "On a Plate" is furious, riff-driven guitar rock that recalls the unhinged energy of the band's earliest sound. Rumbling tom-toms and pulsing synths introduce the instrumental "Kvæstor (Incl. Where Greyhounds Dare)," but are quickly joined by the twin-guitar attack of Hans Magnus Ryan and Fisk. A throbbing bassline and strings drive the front as the guitars sing, churn, and shape-shift between intensity and melody. The "Hell, Pts. 1-3" is a suite that began on Eggplant. It continues here with "Hell, Pts. 4-6: Traitor/The Tapestry/Swiss Cheese Mountain." Over nearly 13 minutes, it commences as airy, twisting prog rock with blended acoustic and electric guitars, synths, and strings, all buoying Sæther's urgent vocal. While a fingerpicked vamp holds the center, tension begins to ebb and flow as stinging guitar solos, dreamy keyboard interludes, and cymbal washes gradually erect an architecture of transcendent, anthemic rock. "Entropy" reveals Motorpsycho's more subtle dimensions. At over seven minutes, it gradually unfolds with a lyric bassline, lush, layered vocal harmonies, shuffling drums and skittering cymbals, and breezy keys and guitars, all contrasting sharply with its melancholy lyrics. "Hell, Part 7: Victim of Rock" closes the set with a screaming solo guitar and drum assault over a frenetic bassline. Unhinged sonic psych effects -- loads of reverb, backmasking, etc. -- frame this labyrinthine, careening rock ride that sends Behind the Sun off on stun. After more than 20 records, Motorpsycho remain inexhaustible in their creativity, fully, energetically, in command of a musical vision that is boundless." - Allmusic Guide
    $18.00
  • "Despite what the name might lead you to think, progressive metal is among the most static and boring of all heavy music genres. Half the bands that fall under the moniker exist merely as a vehicle to show off the skills of the players involved, which is fine in small doses, but rarely sustains a creative career. The other half of the bands stick rigidly to the blueprint of one of the fore-bearers of the genre, giving us music that sounds exactly like something we've already heard. Very little of progressive metal is actually interesting, because it is a genre that lacks people dedicated to the art of songwriting. Songs are what makes any band successful, no matter how much sheer musical skill they possess. Dream Theater didn't get to where they are just because they are amazing musicians, they also wrote a slew of great songs and albums. The number of progressive metal bands who have impressed me with their songwriting in recent years is miniscule, but I mention all of this because Ascendia is one of them.As “At The End Of It All” swells into focus with a tribal drum beat and chanted vocals, it's already obvious that this is not going to be prog-by-numbers. The song kicks into gear with a syncopated guitar riff, before the vocals soar over the top of everything, slapping a thick coat of melody atop the sound. There's a quiet section in the middle of the song that feels like a cousin of Killswitch Engage, which is a fresh sound to hear in this kind of music. When it opens back up into the chorus, the song is massive, and it's hard to believe all of that music was contained in five and a half minutes.The songs on the album are more bite-sized than typical progressive metal, but that plays into the band's strengths as songwriters. By keeping the songs lean and tight, they hit harder than if the instrumental sections had been extended by a minute here and there. There is interesting playing going on, but it's all done within the framework of the songs, and never put out front to dominate the spotlight. It's an approach that is smart not just because of how easy it is to get bogged down in instrumental pyrotechnics, but because an album of that sort would never be able to survive the Herculean vocal presence of singer Nick Sakal.With more than a little bit of similarity to the former singer of the aforementioned Killswitch Engage, Howard Jones, Sakal's vocals dominate the album, making you wonder where a voice like that could have come from. His baritone is warm, rich, and not at all what you would expect to hear in a band that isn't playing down-tuned hardcore.But what is most important are the songs, and that's where Ascendia proves themselves as standouts. Whether tackling more modern fare like “Remember Me”, or more traditionally melodic songs like “Moonchild”, there's a phenomenal blend of heavy riffing and soaring melody. I can't tell you how rare it is to hear a progressive metal band that is so in tune with melody, and can write songs that could stand up if they were stripped down to the chord structure and the vocals. We get an example of that with the duet ballad, “The Song That You Deserved”, a largely piano and voice song that is as beautiful as it is heart-breaking. Ascendia's ear for songs is excellent, and that is what makes “The Lion And The Jester” such an engaging listen. Song after song, there's a warm and inviting chorus waiting to wrap its arms around you after you've heard the heavy and intricate moments.This year has been off to a ridiculously great start, with at least half a dozen legitimately great records having already come my way. Add “The Lion And The Jester” to that list, because Ascendia is making progressive metal the way it was always supposed to be. Both challenging and gratifying, intense and cathartic, “The Lion And The Jester” is a phenomenal piece of work that reminds me of the very best progressive metal I've ever heard. This is an album you need to hear.Oh, and how awesome is that cover art? That is one album that will look as good as it sounds in a collection." - Bloody Good Horror
    $10.00
  • "“Oblivion” is the early episode of a conceptual saga set to be released in a trilogy format by this Multinational band called EXXILES, the man behind all that is the former REIGN OF THE ARCHITECT’s drummer Mauricio Bustamante (EVANGELIUM) from Mexico, he started working on his new production right after his departure from R.O.T.A. with a new goal in mind : Created a new entity under a variable geometry size, working as a band with a core of fellow Mexicain players, like guitar player Sergio Aguilar (AGORA), on Bass the talented Simon Rojas , Noel Martinez on keyboards or axeman Antonio Rivera (from the Death Metal band SOLITUDE) and a bunch of illustrious guests coming from every corner of the Prog Metal Universe, in order to form a community around a musical project with a strong focus on the human relationship notion.Of course the renowned musicians around Mauricio are coming from different area of the world and some are quite popular, as their original bands are among the most respected in the whole genre : namely SYMPHONY X / SAVATAGE / T.S.O./ REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE or CIRCUS MAXIMUS but also more underground but quite highly regarded such as COMMUNIC /AGORA or STREAM OF PASSION and to complete the team, some less known musicians yet hyper talented from the fertile Scandinavian ground, with members from LOST IN THOUGHTS/SPIRAL ARCHITECTS…Indeed, Øyvind Hægeland is brilliantly taking the Lead Vocal role on the odd timing driven pace of “Hopelessness”…Generous in circonvolutions and complex to the max!Musically very rich, it’s not easy to understand it at the first encounter, but I immediately discerned some obvious qualities, notably in the vocal department… Indeed the performances by Zak Stevens (CIRCLE II CIRCLE/ ex SAVATAGE) in the opening cut “A Better Legacy ” is convincing in his traditional majestic mode, but most of all the sonic enlightement comes from the great vocals provided by the Brazilian citizen Gus Monsanto (SYMBOLICA/ex ADAGIO /ex REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE / HUMAN FORTRESS) which are uppar with the most exigeant taste or in total coherence with the excessive perfectionism of some HM bloggers!This album will expand its qualities later, in a precise and clever way little by little, a long process to fully enjoy it in its fullness, the tagged identity is based around a Dark classy sound with some Melodic method and some intricate harmonic arrangements, more dramatic in the ambiances than it seems, while the smartness and the complex shape of their creative ways are updated by an evolutive style in a thick schema of Heaviness, and this intrepid proof of their capacity to created some unexpected ideas in a fresh theory and a regenerated light!Another great surprise is the Wilmer Waarbroek (already known from AYREON) vocal input at the end of the album in the duet of song “Awakening Part I (Dark Renaissance)”& “The Messenger”, ultra rewarding numbers, those songs along with Marcela Bovio in the Spanish song “Llorona” is another persuasive addition and a good alternative to the superb cast of vocalist!However, the superb singer Gus Monsanto is quite omnipresent while singing on 50% of the songs, this man is holding a serious set of pipes, giving a demonstration of his great polyvalency and contrast (“Page of the Night”), each track is well arranged, the succession of different pace is salvatory sharing some subtle progressive moments with some more Heavy spark in a very dense manners (the fantastic pair “Dictator of Trust”/”Anthem Of Lies”), some epic bombastic instrumental parts like in the unvocalized track “Entropy”,  a few piece of Prog Symphonic Metal with weird structure and some experimental orchestral sounds to create an impressive outcome, very well written with some incredible talented writing and utmost playing skills in every area, notably in the soloing sector, thanks to the guest appearances of some terrific players such as Mats Haugen (CIRCUS MAXIMUS) or David Grey (LOST IN THOUGHT) is the icing on the cake, the ultimate uplifting details to complete the whole .After the overflowing of essential releases in this genre, the ambitious EXXILES “Oblivion” first chapter is another good advice for the Smart-Metal-music avid fanatics and a tip for those who already missed PANTOMMIND ,,Searching For Eternity” or SOUL SECRET ,,4”…This time I hope my reminder will not fall into oblivion." - Metal Temple
    $12.00
  • Pro-shot live DVD (with bonus CD) from this Scottish pirate metal band filmed in Australia and New Zealand in 2013.  I can't believe I typed "pirate metal".  Shiver me timbers!   
    $17.00
  • White Willow's third album receives new treatment from Jacob Holm Lupo's Termo Records.  This remastered edition comes with new artwork and liner notes as well as 3 previously unreleased bonus tracks.White Willow is one of the most significant progressive groups of the current eraThe Billboard Guide To Progressive MusicWhite Willows third album "Sacrament" is a mystical blend of gothic atmospheres and intricate, classically influenced progressive music. Having firmly established themselves around the world as one of the premier progressive ensembles, "Sacrament" is one of 2000s most anticipated progressive rock releases.The Norwegian bands 1995 debut "Ignis Fatuus" is enshrined in the Top 100 releases of Billboards Guide To Progressive Music. This album launched the band into the world spotlight culminating in a highly acclaimed performance at Progfest 95 in Los Angeles. The 1998 follow up "Ex Tenebris" brought further attention to the group with its mystical blend of gothic, folk, and classical music within a progressive rock framework."Sacrament" shows the maturity of the band. Perhaps a bit heavier than before but with all their trademark ingredients in place, White Willow will easily once again capture the attention of progressive rock fans around the world. Imagine a blend of The Gathering, King Crimson, and vintage Jethro Tull and you have just scratched the surface of the intense sounds this band creates. Soaring female vocals, mondo-Crimsonoid guitar leads, and blistering flute work set against a backdrop of symphonic rock keyboards will effortless ignite the imagination of the dedicated progressive music listener.Also of note is the stunningly transparent and three dimensional audiophile sound.
    $16.00
  • Its been some time since Michael Harris' Thought Chamber project made its debut.  The band consists of Michael Harris (guitars), Ted Leonard (vocals), Bill Jenkins (keys), Jeff Plant (bass), and Mike Haid (drums).  Ted Leonard and Bill Jenkins will be familiar to you from their membership in Enchant (Ted is also fronting Spock's Beard now).Psykerion is a sci-fi cybermetal concept album.  Harris plays with a lot of restraint compared to some of his solo albums.  In fact I would classify it as tasteful.  Leonard is one of the best vocalists in prog and he doesn't disappoint.  Lots of solos flying around on guitar and keys but it maintains a melodic integrity through out.  Hopefully we don't have to wait another 7 years for the follow up.  Highly recommended.This is the limited edition import version that comes with 2 bonus tracks.
    $14.00
  • "Sweden’s Bloodbound has returned with the fifth album “In the Name of Metal.” If you think this album is all about dripping anthems raging about the glory of metal and all related topics...you would be right. If you think you have heard it all before, well, perhaps you have. BUT....if you love "Franken-traditional" comprised of parts of Manowar, Accept, ancient Queensryche, Helloween, Skid Row, and oddly, old Bon Jovi, well you have a new master. What Bloodbound did was take the sum of those parts, add the slick 2012 production and put out one of the greatest true metal albums in memory. For every single solitary thing that Manowar did wrong with “The Lord of Steel,” Bloodbound did ten things right. If you will indulge me, let me impart a few words that apply: “Glory, majesty, unity Hail! Hail! Hail!”I often speak of songs of yore back in the great times of the beginning to mid-80's and how it evoked a spirit, a feeling...a metal brotherhood, if you will. I’ve pointed out many recent albums that evoked that spirit, and I am back to tell you that this is another of those, but the best of all - complete with the hair standing on the back of my neck. Only my favorite bands have the ability to do this, and Bloodbound was not in that realm up to this point. As far as an album that lives up to its name, “In the Name of Metal” is glaringly perfect. As an album that breaks new ground, it “falls flat.” As an insult, that last statement is completely the opposite.Having heard the song “In the Name of Metal,” it wet my appetite providing more Manowar than the aged egos of its members have since “Gods of War” (for some, much earlier). This is nothing compared to what follows: the Accept-ish “When Demons Collide” (a personal favorite), the “bonecrushing” sound of first album HammerFall on “Bonebreaker,” back to Manowar with “Metalheads Unite,” Bloodbound took every working formula and made it better. “Son of Babylon” had me head scratching wondering where I had heard that chorus and it dawned on me, if Bon Jovi made “In and Out of Love” a heavy song, it would be this. “Mr. Darkness” doesn’t just scream Helloween for nothing: it has “Mrs. God” all over it (or was that “Dr. Stein,” no...no “Mr. Torture,” wait, no “Mr. Ego”). “I’m Evil” has a chorus that echoes (linear wise) Queensryche’s “Breaking the Silence.” The comparisons here are merely meant to show the affluence of talent drawing influences from all over the metal spectrum.The most interesting combination is found within “Monstermind.” The verses present a riff right from Motley Crue’s “Dr. Feelgood.” Then right before the bridge it grinds down with that brash riff from Ozzy’s “No More Tears” (complete with the Zack Wylde style). So many great styles meld to make “In the Name of Metal,” which works in terms of catchy head banging greatness. It helps that a band has a phenom on vocals in the form of Patrik Johansson (from Dawn of Silence, not to be confused with Nils Patrik Johansson), a brotherhood of guitarists (Tomas & Henrik Olsson), the absolutely non-buzzing bass of Anders Broman, and the perfect (not mechanical) drumming of Pelle Åkerlind (Morgana Lefay). Fredrik Bergh is one of those keyboardists that is unassuming, but who’s presence is notable when absent. Even he would agree, in Bloodbound it’s all about the guitar.So, when you are all done mocking power metal for its lack of originality, Bloodbound will still be there: totally unapologetic, balls to the wall, hail and kill, steel meets steel, bells of seven hells metal that makes you want to be a metalhead. Music doesn’t always require over the top orchestration or melodramatic progressive Malthusianism. Most days, it’s what makes you instantly feel great, even though the world laughs at you for being in a “pre-pubescent phase.” For the metal faithful, every achievement in life is all “in the name of metal.”" - Metal Underground
    $15.00
  • ""The name SEVEN KINGDOMS has been floating around me for a while now and while receiving mostly good to great reviews, I never got around to checking out any of their two previous albums, so when the chance arose to snatch the promo for their third effort “The Fire Is Mine”, I took it - and I was not disappointed.Technically you could lump the band into the Power Metal genre with female vocals, but by just doing so, you would do the quintet injustice for they are not your run-of-the-mill girl-fronted Power Metal group. And instead of trying to do the smoke and mirrors trick of blinding you with a huge hype but in the end a weak album to follow it (*cough* HUNTRESS), SEVEN KINGDOMS offer us sharp riffing, great melodies and powerful vocals united in excellent songwriting, confirming the positivity I had come across all over for their previous releases.After the obligatory intro, opener “After The Fall” blew my socks off (I am still missing one to this date), double-bass driven, edgy guitars, great, expressive vocals and very nice melodies setting the pace. Good parts of the album are upbeat, mid- to fast-paced, but the Americans mix things up with great melodies, a bit of choir, some slower passages, creating a great and dynamic flow, above which reign the vocals of Sabrina, which are powerful and strong, blowing any thoughts of a Tarja clone out of the water. The riffing sometimes reminds me of a mix of BLIND GUARDIAN ("Flame Of Olympus") and ICED EARTH ("The King In The North"), but without coming off as copy cats, though.Another thing I really enjoy about SEVEN KINGDOMS is that while having a hand for catchy and epic melodies, they put enough of a twist on them not to make them too in-your-face, but a little lower, given them a different mood and more longevity. Best example for this are the already mentioned "Flame Of Olympus" and "The King In The North" as well as "Symphony Of Stars" (love the choir) and "Fragile Minds Collapse". The only track that is distinctly different, is the ballad "Kardia", which alternates between very calm and acoustic and the electric side of the six string, with THEOCRACY's Matt Smith on backing vocals."The Fire Is Mine" is one of Power Metal's strongest outings of the year, with sharp guitars, tight rhythm, great melodies and powerful vocals, I will definitely dig into SEVEN KINGDOMS' back catalogue!"" - Metal Observer
    $13.00
  • I believe this gem of a disc is out of print. Second album from this Swedish progressive metal band has more than a touch of Marillion in the mix. Good melodic but crunchy stuff - grab it while these handful of copies are around.
    $7.00
  • "In the mighty and fertile cold lands of Sweden in the early 2000, Markus Sigfridsson, a skilled young guitar player, with his best friend, Tobias Enbert behind the drum kit, created HARMONY, a Christian Power Metal band influenced by the great Scandinavian Neo-Classic tradition updated with a strong Melodic Prog-Metal tendency…The perfectly named HARMONY, is an ambitious group that was immediately warmly acclaimed by our community, a general positive consensus that occured right after the succesful release of their debut album, “Dreaming Awake”, in 2003, an impression that was even reinforced by its solid sucessor, "Chapter II: Aftermath", published in 2008.In late November 2014, it was the next crucial step in their career, their third offering, "Theatre of Redemption", was available. The big announcement was that it featured in the Lead Vocal role, one of the most reputed Metal singer from Sweden, the one and only LOST HORIZON’s former Daniel Heiman, who provides, as expected, a superb performance; very impressive in every section, displaying an amazing range and an outstanding emotional imperssonated feeling, and I had the privilege to review it with a good rating of 9 in result…"Theatre of Redemption" finally ends up really high, in my famous top list for 2014…They also encountered some kind of achievement with DARKWATER as a side-project; the duet of musicians is still very active and full of ressources!On May 22nd in Europe, and on May 26th in North America, the Swedish melodic Power Metal band HARMONY, will release a new work in EP format, entitled “Remembrance”…Once again published through Ulterium Records will features the legendary vocalist Daniel Heiman (ex LOST HORIZON/ex HEED/ now frontman for LAVETT) on vocals. This six track EP includes four re-recorded songs from the HARMONY's debut album, “Dreaming Awake”, as well as two brand-new songs.Of course, “Eternity”, “Dreaming Awake”, “Without You” or “She” are the reworked tracks; the running order is still the same, keeping the original successivity, while at the final slots, the songs ”In His Heart” and ”Feed My Hunger” are the newest compositions; you can count on the ultra precise sonic rendition in the purest Swedish Tradition as, like “Theatre of Redemption, “Remembrance" was mixed by the same glorious team at Studio Fredman (DREAM EVIL/HAMMERFALL/IN FLAMES).Although a little short, "Remembrance" is fully packed with the best exemples of "how Modern Power Metal has evolved" with orchestrated arrangments, a few ballads, sporadic acoustic elements and more subtle, understated interludes (“Without You”) and something sounding quite parallel to Progressive Rock (“She”), the whole is clearly well played and superbly produced with with a huge dynamic range .The epic side and the Metal straightness is still present, strategically added, giving a more accessible feel to the listener with song like the opening cut, “Eternity”.If the style of the early album is respected, obviously the new found technically and proficient focus has given another color to this EP, a challenging method crafted under a even more epic flavor, the title track and “She” were two of my favorites in their “Dreaming Awake”. Now maybe in concurrence with the quality of the recently added tracks, like the infectious chorus within ”In His Heart” and its numerous layers of harmonized vocals, or ”Feed My Hunger”…The second being the most emblematic; it fit into the existing stylistic musical realms and show the more Melodic way forward for what could be the band's future, with a sophisticated Eastern/Oriental chord-structures mixed with the refreshing harmonic excellence!Another warning coming from the North…Will you remember?" - Metal Temple
    $10.00
  • This was originally released in 2004 and has been out of print for some time.  The band has just reissued it but with the inclusion of a newly recorded 10 minute work "The Day The Earth Stood Still".Here is what I wrote many years ago..."Superb debut release from this Massachusetts based prog rock band. Eccentric Orbit is an instrumental quartet with an odd lineup - bass, drums, keyboards and wind-controlled synths. The band is led by bassist Bill Noland and features Mark Cella (M&M Music) on drums.The music of Eccentric Orbit sounds like a long lost album from the 70s. A heavy debt is paid to King Crimson and ELP. Think Red crossed with Tarkus! Mellotrons (real not samples), organ and blazing synth runs got me booging all over Casa Laser's Edge. I haven't heard much good old fashioned prog rock lately - this one has hit me hard. Will easily be a top 10 year end candidate for me. Man o' man this disc has me grinning from ear to ear.  Essential. "
    $12.00
  • "NEWLY REMASTERED EDITION OF THE RARE 1978 ALBUM BY CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE ROCK BAND FM BOOKLET WITH FULLY RESTORED ARTWORK & ESSAY. Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of a remastered edition of the 1978 mini-album by the Canadian Progressive Rock group FM, Direct to Disc . The band began life in 1976 with CAMERON HAWKINS (Synthesisers, Bass, Vocals) and NASH THE SLASH (Jeff Plewman) (Electric Violin, Mandolin, Vocals) coming together as a duo, making an appearance on national TV in Canada in the Summer of 1976. By March 1977 FM became a trio with the addition of MARTIN DELLAR on Drums. The Canadian Broadcasting Company offered to release the band s debut album, Black Noise on the CBC label later that year. By the end of the year Nash the Slash had been replaced by BEN MINK on Electric Violin and Mandolin in time for the sessions for Direct to Disc , an album that featured one track per side and was recorded directly to a master disc from which records were pressed, rather than from a master tape. This mid-priced Esoteric Recordings release is the first time Direct to Disc has been issued in Europe and has been newly remastered and includes an illustrated booklet and a new essay."
    $14.00
  • "It's a strange thing, but hardly uncommon in the Internet age. I had to find out about Pennsylvania's Mindaze through a German promotion outfit distributing promotional packages for Swedish label Inner Wound Recordings. Mind you, Mindmaze's roots are in Allentown, a mere hour drive from Dangerdog HQ. Here we have their sophomore effort Back From The Edge, soon to get more and better interest thanks to this international promotion.Mindmaze works from the roots of traditional melodic heavy metal, and then throws in female lead vocals with a good mixture of progressive power metal. The band is essentially a trio, led by siblings Jeff and Sarah Teets, with guests filling the bass guitar chair. For the album session recording that duty fell to Symphony X's Mike LePond. They get additional support from Stratovarius keyboardist Jens Johansson (Moment of Flight), Pharaoh guitarist Matt Johnsen (The Machine Stops), and Lord guitarist Lord Tim (Onward Destiny Calls II).Keeping good company with talented musicians is one thing, but delivering the heavy metal goods is another. And Mindmaze does. I was particularly impressed at the depth of the songwriting and arrangements. All the songs are thick with groove, harmony, and melody, yet sufficiently intriguing thanks to shifts and twists from tempo to instrumentation. Significant to the latter is Jeff Teets' impressive guitar lines. His riffs and leads are rather rather large, rousing and entertaining. So much so, one might call this a guitar-oriented metal album. If you like sharp guitar work, you will definitely enjoy this album. As for sister Sarah's voice, her vocals are essentially straight foward, easily in the range of hard rock and heavy metal. What she's not is some crazy operatic singer trying to impress you with her range and pierce your eardrums. She reminds me of A Sound of Thunder's Nina Osegueda, but not as screamo. With that reference, I would suggest that, if you like ASoT, you're going to love Mindmaze.As for individual songs, I won't bore you with minutae. You can listen to a few tracks below. I was immediately pleased with Dreamwalker, Moment of Flight, and The Machine Stops. The latter two having perhaps the most 'proggish' moments of the album. Not so much for Consequences of Choice. It's not a bad song, but just seems more riff driven and even-handed, with little intrigue. But it in no way diminishes the strength of the whole as Back From The Edge a fine listen from start to finish. Easily recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $15.00