Legions Of The Brave (BLOW OUT PRICE!)

"Wow, what lovely album!

When we talk about North American Metal, always comes to our minds the idea of a good level of musical technique and the use of great melodies. It’s a characteristic of their scene, and the Power/Heavy Metal trio NINTH CIRCLE is to be as melodic and catching, knowing how to be heavy and melodic on the same proportions. And their new album, “Legions of the Brave”, is an excellent sample of what your Ol’ Big Daddy here is saying.

Their music is catching, elegant, heavy, full of life and energy, with good level of technique. And their music really is charming, with excellent clean vocals, great guitar riffs and solos, a rhythmic kitchen showing a good work in terms of technique and weight, and the keyboards work is lovely. And their music is not simply a mix of Heavy Metal with Power Metal aspects, but has high doses of AOR/Hard Rock touches. And it’s excellent.

The sound production really is on a high level, making the band sound clear and the arrangements appear, but without losing the notion that we’re dealing with a Metal band.

So, you will got in love with their work listening great and perfect songs like “After the Rain”, “Living on the Sun” (what great chorus), “The Quickening” (the great chorus and keyboards are giving a delicious taste to the music), the bold and heavier “Legions of the Brave”, and “Grinding the Bastards Down”. But don’t get the wrong idea: the album is wonderful from beginning to the end.

Listen, got on the circle, and buy it. Illegal downloads are for sissies, wimps, posers and other sick mind idiots." - Metal Temple

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  • Time Machine is without any doubt one of the most influential bands on the European progressive metal scene. Since their formation in late 1992 through today, their music has been described by the worldwide media as some of the most interesting and original prog metal ever to emerge from Italy.Reviviscence is the second part of the Eymerich Trilogy. This is an album that showcases Italys most experienced band in their right element; a world of beautiful melodies, huge soundscapes, breathtaking guitar solos, wonderfully crafted acoustic passages and an accented technicality that flows hand in hand with the songs.Lyrically Reviviscence is an exciting tale of the evil walking among us, making our everyday filled with greed, war and corruption, while the young hopefuls of the world are searching for something that can make this a better place to live in. Its the ancient tale of good versus evil.For the bands sixth album the core lineup is augmented by special guests Rafael Bittencourt and Kiko Loureiro, world renowned guitarists from ANGRA, as well as Fabio Ribiero, keyboardist for Shaman and Blezqi Zatsaz. The North American release by Sensory comes housed in a digipak and features "Signs", an exclusive bonus track.Time Machines legend continues to grow
    $4.00
  • Wonderful new reunion album from Hans Lundin and Roine Stolt that recaptures the flavor of their first 3 albums from the mid-70s. If you first instinct is to ask yourself what the difference is between this release and a Flower Kings disc you should know that all the material was written by Hans Lundin. Roine is the guitarist but it's pretty much Lundin's show here. Drums are handled by Morgan Agren (ex-Zappa) and Jonas Reingold of Flower Kings plays all basses. This is pure Kaipa in execution - loads of Mellotron, organ and analog synth sounds. 79 minutes of prime epic prog.
    $14.00
  • German import arrives in a mediabook with a patch."Our anticipation levels had maxed, as four years passed by since Sanctuary announced that they were releasing a new record. It is easy to imagine that the only going through their fans' minds was whether their new material will resemble the work they did 25 years ago. I was rather reluctant and ultimately, I was right.First things first, let's get some things straight. Is "The Year The Sun Died" close to the feel of their two emblematic records? Nope. Does it sound like Nevermore? Yeah, as Dane's vocals are closer to that type of delivery, without that being a bad thing. He wouldn't risk going back to his old type of delivery, even if he could achieve such levels with pro tools magic. Modern production trends have also played a significant role to the final cut of this album. On the other hand, the composition approach is quite different to that witnessed on Nevermore albums, as musical themes are much more approachable. On the other hand, even though we don't have the outbursts we were used to, there are a number of theme and tempo changes in many of the tracks which make them very interesting indeed.In general, if we were to analyse its style, we would conclude that we are dealing with a rather heavy record that incorporates bulky guitars in mid-tempo layouts, without that meaning that there are no tracks with a faster pace. Lyrically, it is quite dark and a constant claustrophobic atmosphere is always present, as there is no abundance of melodic guitar themes. It's multifaceted compositions do provide a rather "proggy" feeling, but nothing more than that. Sheppard and Budbill's rhythm section is poignant and to the point, but lacks the ingenuity we were used to them providing.Opening tack "Arise And Purify" is clear evidence of the two contradicting elements that comprise this record. The intro riff is heavy and modern, whereas the chorus uses backing vocals that reminds us of their past. Solos by Rutledge and Hull are unleashed from the get go, and are as precise and technical as required. "Let The Serpent Follow Me" is on the up-tempo side of things but winds down during the chorus, followed by a wonderful, nostalgic bridge. The first slow track is "Exitium (Anthem Of The Living)", which starts off with a calm intro and follows with an awesome riff. Dane also performs really well in this track. "Question Existence Fading" follows a similar path of interchanging musical themes. It sets off with a fast, edgy and fierce riff, includes great solos, awesome vocals and thrilling drumming."I Am Low" is one of the calmer moments of the record, which slowly builds up to a rather heartfelt climax. Another highlight would be "Frozen" which again starts off strong and dials things down during the chorus whilst guitar solos are flying around left, right and centre. The weakest moment of the album would be "One Final Day (Sworn To Believe)", whilst "The World Is Wired", which at first won me over with its groovy attitude, ultimately let me down after multiple listens. The strongest moment is definitely the self-titled track (introduced by the wonderfully acoustic "Ad Vitam Aeternam") which concludes the record. Words don't really give it justice. It is slow, heavy and very memorable. Everything from the Latin chants in the beginning of the track to the despair in Warrel's vocals during the chorus and inspiring guitar work makes this song great. A truly great composition.With this release, Sanctuary did what they had to do. They evolved. Now, because it took them 25 years to do so might not go down well with many people who were expecting a second "Into The Mirror Black", which is totally understandable. Having Nevermore in the meantime might have substantially reduced the shock factor anyway. Let us not forget though that one of the reasons why we loved this band is because of their progressiveness (for lack of a better word). It would be silly to assume that they would not have changed tones even if they hadn't disbanded in 1992." - Noisefull
    $14.00
  • This is one half of a two CD simultaneous release, marketed by the band separately.  Human (The Tales) is the second (or third) album from this Argentinian band.  The music is hard edged symphonic rock.  Although Dream Theater-isms crop up this has more of an affinity with prog rock than prog metal.  I'm very much reminded of the Dutch band The Aurora Project.  Solid chops and a great singer in Santiago Burgi.  Special guest on the album is Cosmosquad's Jeff Kollman.  Highly recommended.
    $13.00
  • "From the very first bars of music on Therion's fourteenth studio album, a grandiosely operatic opening to title track 'Sitra Ahra', you know that the Swedish symphonic metallers are back in business from the off after a three year wait since previous full length release 'Gothic Kabbalah'. And this first track is classic Therion - mid-tempo in pace; simplistic, yet effective, palm-muted heavy guitar riffs; operatic female and rockier male lead vocals interposed with passages sung by a mixed choir; orchestral instrumentations underlying the metal elements; and rich with melody throughout. It's the musical template they firmly established back in the day of 'Vovin', and dominated just about every composition on said release. However, over the years, the Swedes have stylistically progressed with their songwriting, diversifying into disparate musical territories whilst maintaining the essence of what one would expect from a Therion album. And that's just what you should expect with 'Sitra Ahra' as the classic sound inherent in the opening piece gives way to sonic diversification throughout on an album that twists and turns in the most pleasing of ways. Some, I know, will be put off by the over the top choral/orchestral bombast, but these are the people who have perhaps never clicked with Therion's aesthetic. The band's art is supposed to be over the top in one sense - that is to say, in a theatrically exciting manner. For musical theatre is most certainly an apposite description of Therion's creative impetus, and one they fully embrace once again on 'Sitra Ahra'...unashamedly so, of which such conviction and serious intent is clearly audible in each of the songs. Take the epic ten and a half minute 'Land of Canaan' as a prime example, a track with its bell chimes and sitar Eastern-themed opening segueing into metal riffs with concomitant operatic, choral, and sung vocals, before guitar leads give way to a harmonica-led section, itself followed by a passage that sounds inspired by Belarusian folk...and so on, you get the idea. Lesser bands who play around with such a fusion of styles fail through their attempts whereas Therion are in no small way afraid to experiment, and it's experimentation that pays off as 'Sitra Ahra' is a riveting listen from start to finish. Not their greatest work to date, I must add, but an album that sees the Swedes at their experimental best, and one to please established fans and newcomers alike. Oh yes, and penultimate track, the succinct two and half minute 'Din', is perhaps the heaviest song they've written in a while, complete with blast beats, death vocals, and heavy riffing. So, has 'Sitra Ahra' been worth the three year wait? Most certainly so." - Metal-Discovery.com
    $6.00
  • "Esteemed international metal label Season of Mist began pursuing the two-guitar, three-singer Vancouver quartet Anciients after hearing a series of early mixes for what would become the band’s debut album. It’s easy to imagine what initially lured the diverse label to the band: The tracks on Anciients' nine-song entrance, Heart of Oak, are hyperkinetic but heavily anchored. They surround the hooks you might expect from a Baroness anthem with tangential and technical playing that trends toward prog rock but stops short of Opeth or Enslaved’s maze of redirections. Anciients excel at muscular and agile guitar solos, while the guitarists, Kenny Cook and Chris Dyck, also volley the vocal duties, jumping from death metal bellow to pop-metal lift. It’s exciting stuff, really-- often complicated without seeming excessive, skillful but soulful, approachable but not pedestrian. At its best, Heart of Oak is immediate and electrifying, an album that suggests Anciients’ half-prog, half-pop metal is bound for big stages.By this point, though, you’ve probably wondered what’s up with the band’s name: Why, after all, add an extraneous vowel to a perfectly good handle? That excess is emblematic of Anciients' chief musical foible-- time and again, they add unnecessary sidecars to songs that would have been more effective left alone. Of these nine tracks, only one doesn’t break the six-minute mark. The exception is a tender but predictable instrumental, a mid-album interlude meant as a tribute to some late friends and family members. But the rest of these things are hyperbolic monsters that speak to a rookie act attempting to get through all of their influences at once, even though three of the members have been playing together in other groups for a decade. They are trying to make a very big point all the time, and the weight collapses in on itself. “The Longest River”, a nine-minute cut with a woefully apropos handle, swivels from acoustic foreboding to contract-and-expand thrash, from distended solos to dense stomp, from sweet-singing verses to growled impasses. None of it’s bad, but none of it is astounding enough to pardon the way it obviates an excellent refrain.That’s a consistent problem for Heart of Oak, a record that adulterates many incredibly exciting moments with consistent excess. “Flood and Fire”, a late-album highlight, seems more like a string of song pieces than a proper song, with a righteous solo swiping momentum from a great chorus that, in turn, stymies several great and grim hardcore shout-alongs. As Cook told Metal Underground, album opener “Raise the Sun” initially keys on Fleet Foxes before leaping into a verse so sticky and warm that ASG or Torche might like to have it back. Elsewhere, the song convincingly invokes metalcore and psychedelic rock, hangman riffs and fleeting blast beats. The parts are exhilarating, but strung together with more enthusiasm than wisdom so they’re mostly exhausting. Taken a track or two at a time, Heart of Oak is manageable; make it from end to end, though, and it’s difficult not to feel frustrated by the fatigue.These complaints aren’t meant as some preclusive warning against Heart of Oak; rather, they’re only an honest assessment of a band that, in years to come, is probably going to be great. If Anciients choose to venture further deeper into labyrinthine prog, they’ve got the riffs and rhythms to make it compelling over the long haul. They seem as steeped in the suffocation of black metal from Scandinavia as they do in the sweetness of Allman licks from Georgia, as capable of thrash sprints as they are stoner lulls. And as the pealing organ and rumbling field recordings of the gorgeous (but, again, incredibly excessive) closer “For Lisa” suggest, they bring a wide-eyed approach to their music. Heart of Oak doesn’t have a compelling, cohesive narrative thrust, but there’s always time to buy a book of folklore, right?Alternately, Anciients could choose the route of bands such as Baroness or even Mastodon, embedding that sharp technicality within songs that make their points with concision that doesn’t forsake intricacy. The kernels of these songs are strong enough to suggest that they’re not very far off-- that is, their biggest problem as a band isn’t a dearth of ideas but, rather, discretion with those ideas. Anciients are exciting new prospects, with or without that cumbersome vowel chaiin." - Pitchfork
    $13.00
  • Its quite rare that a metal album gets proper care and attention when it comes to sound quality.  This Audio Fidelity hybrid SACD release of the classic Dio title was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Stephen Marsh.  This is about the best its every going to sound.
    $24.00
  • "I would not have thought in my wildest dreams about a comeback from German speed metaliacs Scanner. The band from Gelsenkirchen, Germany had two pretty good records in the end of the 80's. In 2002 their latest record "Scantropolis" was published before the band disbanded.And now the unforeseen new album "The judgement" is now in the starting blocks; waiting to be released during January via Massacre Records. It is a bit of the same question as it was with the new Stormwitch longplayer: What to expect?Compared to the guys from Swabia, Scanner's "The judgement" became a real surprise. The new record contains 10, mainly fast, power metal anthems and one intro. The sound of the album is powerful and the big gain is singer Efthimios Ionnidis. His voice fits very good to the German speed metal from Scanner and he is doing a great job.But also the riffs of bandleader Axel Julius are remarkable. One of those is the base for the heavy "Warlord". The song has an enormous punch and the high vocals of Ionnidis remind to old days in power metal. "Warlord" is a definite highlight on the album.Looking back on "Hypertrace, the debut, and "Terminal earth", Scanner was known for their outer space passion. This comes back in "Eutopia", which is a mid pace rocker that grooves very well.Looking on the seven minutes of "Battle of Posedon" you might expect an epical metal anthem. But Scanner pushes the pedal to the metal and here and there the early Helloween is shining through. This was actually a thought I had a few times while listening to the album. Scanner brings back this typical German speed metal from the 80's. Listen to "The race" and you know what I mean.That Scanner can also reduce the pace without losing the heaviness is what they show with "Known better". It's a slower track that has an gloomy chorus and the riff reminds very much to Dream Theater. Pretty cool stuff."The judgement" was a big surprise to me. Scanner added an album to their discography that at least can live up to the first two records of the band. I personally think, that it's even their best one so far. Welcome back." - Markus' Heavy Music Blog
    $15.00
  • According to the label's blurb this is "a must-have for all fans of Hammerfall, Sabaton, Helloween, & Iron Maiden". Believe it - record companies never lie.
    $15.00
  • "Sinbreed is the project around 27 year old Guitarist Flo Laurin who joined forces with dedicated artists of the European metal scene. The blistering combination of speed, melodic and aggressive arrangements combined with high and soaring vocals characterizes Sinbreed's distinctive Power metal, and they now present their debut album "When worlds collide".The project has been in the making since the late nineties by founder Flo Laurin, and piece by piece everything has fallen in place; from the style of the music, the influences and the band members. Three demo’s were recorded, and the last one was voted “Best newcomer of the month” in Germany’s Heavy Magazine. During spring 2009 a deal was made with Sweden’s Ulterium Records, and the band started to work hard on their debut album.The members of Sinbreed are Frederik Ehmke [Blind Guardian] on drums, Hebie Langhans [Seventh Avenue] on vocals, Alexander Schulz on bass and Flo Laurin who handles guitars and keys. For the mixing and mastering of the album the band decided to work together with the highly acclaimed producer Markus Teske, famous for his work with Symphony X, Vanden Plas, Neal Morse among others.Guests on the album includes Thomas Rettke [Redkey, Ex. Heaven's Gate], Joost van den Broek [Ayreon, Star One] and Morten Sandager [Pretty Maids]. The artwork was created by Felipe Machado Franco [Iced Earth, Ayreon, Pyramaze] and the booklet by Markus Sigfridsson [Darkwater, Harmony]."
    $15.00
  • One of the great Italian symphonic prog albums of the 70s. Recommended to fans of Banco and PFM. New mini-lp sleeve edition from Vinyl Magic.
    $18.00
  • Fourth album from this excellent Italian progressive rock band. Madame Zelle is a concept album based on the life of double agent Mata Hari. Plenty of solos from keyboards and flute without sounding dated. In fact this doesn't sound like 70s Italian prog at all - they achieve a contemporary sound that bears a striking similarity to White Willow's Storm Season period. I wish vocalist Simona Rigano sang in English. It would bring this band acceptance from a much broader audience. She has a nice voice that serves the music quite well. Overall an album with a nice flow to it. Highly recommended.
    $19.00
  • "Despite the rumors, pre-fusion acid jazz-rock is alive and well, living it up in Southern California. Psicomagia is the joint forces of leading members of noted prog and stoner-rock outfits Astra and Radio Moscow. The band serves up a mixture of the same essence that Soft Machine, Tony Williams Lifetime, and Magma pioneered during that magical period just seconds before progressive electric jazz was grabbed by the institutional jazz scene. A formula thought lost until this day, when seemingly out of the blue, the relentless force of Psicomagia appeared. Spearheaded by multi-instrumentalist and producer Brian Ellis' roaring saxophone, constantly interplaying Tyler Daughn's franticly screaming organs and synthesizers, the soul of Psicomagia is in the endlessly permutated bursts of energy of the two. The relentless heart, however, is kept going by drummer Paul Marrow (Radio Moscow), who carves out a constantly brooding and shifting rhythmic base along with the heavy, travelling bass of Trevor Mast. Together they balance a line between an insanely tight and rhythmic notion of progress, as well as transgressing each instrument's carved path on this cataclysmic journey of musical events. Imagine, on top of that, two poets, repeating obscured mantras, rumbling bells and gongs, and you're getting closer to playing your own Jodorowsky-does-jazz movie playing in your head via Psicomagia. If Psicomagia sounds like a thing of the past, it's simply because they have inherited a unique quality lost in music today: grabbing onto a wide array of genres, and permuting them into their own distinct musical landscape. "
    $23.00
  • Last copies of the Brazilian digipak."Veterans in the Power/Progressive Metal scene, Brazil’s ANGRA set the world on fire right out of the gate on their debut album “Angel’s Cry” – at the time in 1992 a throwback to the classic Kiske-led HELLOWEEN era with its “Keepers of the Seven Keys” uplifting melodies and speed/ guitar harmony attack. Since that time they’ve blazed their own trail, surviving key member changes in the vocal and drummer departments as well as expanding their musical template into more of an original, Progressive Metal sound. Their eighth studio album “Secret Garden” will be another barometer test for their fans, as RHAPSODY OF FIRE vocalist Fabio Lione steps in the singer slot – and drummer Bruno Valverde slides into the percussion position. What does this mean overall for ANGRA? Will it be a step into the past- or a move into the future?After a solid 20 playbacks, this will probably be one of the favorite ANGRA records in their discography due to the quality and dynamic diversity for these 10 tracks. Those who expect Fabio to soar to high heavens solely on this record, well expand your minds because he truly delivers one of the best performances of his career – stretching out his lower and middle registers more so on this record than ever before. Check out opener “Newborn Me” and the serene ballad “Silent Call” for new facets to his range – emotionally connecting like never before. Musically you can hear a lot of the South American nuances plunging head first into more New Age/ jazz-like Progressive textures on highlight “Upper Levels”, something I would appreciate more from DREAM THEATER and helps ANGRA achieve that surprise element necessary beyond their obvious instrumental talent level.Those who desire the fast paced, double bass, scream to the sky Power anthem material, well “Black Hearted Soul” or “Perfect Symmetry” should give you the fist-pumping adrenaline workout you crave. Special guests include EPICA’s Simone Simons on the dramatic, Symphonic-laden title cut ballad and early Metal icon Doro Pesch who does a vocal duet with Guitarist Rafael Bettencourt on the heavier, bouncier “Crushing Room”. Add in a conceptual storyline that features a fictional account of a scientist seeking happiness after dealing with the tragic loss of his wife in an accident and stunning production values where all parts shine (including the bass heroics of Felipe Andreoli) and I’m sure this 49 minute record will receive consistent airplay for not just 2015, but an eternity as the best albums should.“Secret Garden” could be ANGRA’s best album to date: rich in Progressive Metal highlights but also remembering the right balance in terms of individual songwriting and melodic/hook aspects, this should be a benchmark for other bands to study and up their creative game. A great start to 2015 for sure." - Metal Temple
    $14.00