Lifesigns

SKU: EANTCD1011
Label:
Esoteric Antenna
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Lifesigns is a new band put together by keyboardist journeyman John Young, along with Nick Beggs (Steve Hackett), and Martin Beedle (Cutting Crew).  Featured guests include Steve Hackett, Jakko Jakszyk, Thijs Van Leer, and Robin Boult.  

5 long tracks that have a contemporary prog sound but with nice extended instrumental parts.  Not a technical tour de force - emphasis here is on melody.  I'm reminded a bit of Steve Hackett's recent works.  While John Young has written all the material, bassist/Stickist Nick Beggs quietly steals the show.

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  • Beautiful sounding symphonic prog from Italy. The music has a very laid back refined quality that touches on folk elements at times. Female vocals (in Italian), flute, keys, electric guitar, bass and drums fill the soundspace in a way that lets the compositions develop and breath. The 31 minute epic "Morgana" features long languid instrumental passages in which the flute weaves around the keyboards and guitar to mesmerizing effect. The music never gets too heavy but there is an ever present ebb and flow that is appealing. Very impressive - these guys need to find a real label.
    $16.00
  • Remastered edition with a whopping 7 bonus tracks! If I ever hear "Bungle In The Jungle" again it will be too soon.
    $11.00
  • "Drummer Ian Wallace (King Crimson, Jackson Brown, Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt) is joined by Jody Nardone and Tim Landers, and special guest Mel Collins, on this masterful interpretation of Crimson classics which is sure to please King Crimson fans and jazz aficionados alike. Volume Two takes the CJ3 a step further in its interpretations of the King Crimson catalog.These songs represent the final recordings in this life by the extraordinary drummer Ian Wallace. They represent the culmination of a lifelong dream and years of study, devotion, hard work and passion for the drums. They honor his past and his love of the music made with, and made by, his brothers in King Crimson. They celebrate his love of jazz. They are a beautiful swan song from an incredible musician.Volume Two is a slight departure from CJ3's first release, finding the trio taking more liberties with the material. The listener will hear more experimentation in the playing as well as the arrangements. The recording features ex-Crimson saxophonist Mel Collins on two pieces and finds Jody Nardone lending his vocals to a track. Like Volume One, Volume Two is, as it was intended, more experiment than a tribute album. It stands alone as a beautiful, and perfectly performed jazz album, as well as a medium to experience Crimson in music's most improvisational art form."
    $15.00
  • "Legendary rock band Rush have unveiled details of its highly anticipated 2012 album, Clockwork Angels. The recording of Clockwork Angels began with Grammy Award winner Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Deftones) who collaborated with the band on their 2007 studio album, Snakes and Arrows - and Rush co-producing. Lyrically, Clockwork Angels chronicles a young man's quest across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy as he attempts to follow his dreams. The story features lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnival, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life. With more than 40 million records sold worldwide and countless sold-out tours, Rush - Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart - is not only one of the most inventive and compelling groups in rock history, but remains one of the most popular."
    $17.00
  • "Another excellent release from Poland's OSADA VIDA. Better than their last one "The Body Parts Party" in my opinion, but not as good as "Three Seats Behind A Triangle"."Uninvited Dreams" opens with a good heavy sound with keyboards. It settles when the vocals arrive 1 1/2 minutes in. It picks up before 3 1/2 minutes. Great sound 6 minutes in as the guitar makes some noise. Vocals are back to end it. "My Nightmare Is Scared Of Me" is my favourite track. Love those melancholic keys to open. It makes me think of OPETH's "Damnation". Drums then take over as they beat slowly as synths wash in with bass. Amazing sound. Those melancholic keys are back briefly before the song kicks in with guitar leading. Nice. It turns heavy with synths playing over top. Vocals before 3 minutes as it settles. It kicks back in at 6 minutes. "Childmare (A Goodnight Story)" kicks in hard with lots of heaviness and guitar. Vocals and riffs before a minute. Check out the bass and guitar 2 1/2 minutes in. Vocals are back followed by organ before 5 minutes. I like the section 6 minutes in with the relaxing guitar and heavy drums. It gets even better as it plays out. So uplifting 8 minutes in."Lack Of Dreams" opens with heavy drums as guitar joins in. It settles with synths but it's still powerful. Vocals follow including guest female vocals. How good is this ! It settles before 4 minutes then we get a sample of spoken words before it starts to build. So good ! Bass after 7 1/2 minutes then the band kicks in. It settles after 9 minutes with dual vocals. Guitar and synths follow. "Is The Devil From Spain ?" is a Spanish flavoured instrumental that sounds fantastic with those intricate sounds. "Is That Devil From Spain Too?" has a nice heavy sound to it with prominant bass. Guitar before a minute. Here we go ! It then settles some as synths lead the way before 4 minutes.The guitar is back 5 minutes in as it kicks in heavily. Keys before 6 1/2 minutes followed by guitar in a relaxing soundscape. "Neverending Dream" opens with some atmosphere. It picks up after 1 1/2 minutes. Vocals 3 minutes in. It kicks in more a minute later. A guitar solo after 4 1/2 minutes as bass throbs and drums beat. It settles with vocals before 8 minutes.Another great sounding album from this band. You have to pick up at least one of their last three records, you won't be disappointed." - ProgArchives
    $15.00
  • "There’s a certain irony to a band naming its debut album A Long Time Listening and then waiting five years to release its follow-up – but whether by accident or design, this is exactly what Agent Fresco have done. In the interim, however, with only occasional ventures outside of their native Iceland, the quartet have managed to build something of a cult following with music that is both electrifying and emotional in equal measure. Amongst their fanbase, anticipation levels for second album Destrier are several orders of magnitude beyond stratospheric. So how can they possibly be met?So let’s put everyone who may have clicked on this review with a sense of trepidation at ease as soon as possible, because not only have Agent Fresco met those expectations, they have surpassed them with almost astonishing ease. Destrier is, bluntly, a fucking masterpiece. Whether you read what follows this paragraph or not, you need to hear Destrier as soon as you can. You have been told.For those of you that are still with us, let’s delve a bit deeper into exactly what makes Destrier (pronounced DE-streer, linguistics fans) so very special. Like its predecessor, the contextual nucleus of the album is an extensive exploration of the complex web of emotions surrounding a pivotal event in the life of singer Arnor Dan Arnarson. Whereas the theme of A Long Time Listening was the grief following the death of his father, Destrier deals with the aftermath of a particularly violent attack that left some significant physical and mental injuries. As one might expect, Destrier is a considerably more burly – at times even angry – affair.A significant proportion of what makes Agent Fresco’s music so special is how cohesively the band operate together. Throughout Destrier, they pulse, flex, twitch and turn together like the sinews of a single, well-honed muscle. There is layer upon layer of complexity in the sound they create, yet it coalesces into something so immediately accessible that it reaches out to hug the listener like a long-lost friend even during that first, glorious, play through the record.What’s more, whilst each individual track stands firmly on its own two feet, they are given an extra lease of life in the context of the album as a whole. This is particularly apparent with lead single “Dark Water“, whose eruption out of the ominous, brooding, Massive Attack-esque tones of opening track “Let Them See Us” pushes it into a practically euphoric release. The album ebbs and flows as a single, continuous work of art that makes pushing the stop button tremendously difficult, so it’s best to make sure you have a free hour for that first listen. What’s more, as my colleague and our resident Icelander Jon Þor pointed out to me, final track “Mono No Aware” fades down to the same delicate note that opens the album after reprising the title track. This effectively means that the album loops almost seamlessly, which is a magical thing.The titular Destrier itself is a type of medieval war horse, whose use was reserved for battle alone. It is metaphorically deployed here by Arnor as a kind of spirit animal, giving him the fortitude to confront the anger and vulnerability he felt in the aftermath of the attack. This shows neatly the cryptic yet vivid imagery that Arnor is capable of conjuring through his lyrics, placing him in the same league as Maynard James Keenan, perhaps coupled with Muse‘s Matt Bellamy in both his sense of theatre and his achingly beautiful falsetto. However, without access to a full lyric sheet as I write, I’ll refrain from any hamfisted analysis of half-heard lines; I think it deserves more than that.Destrier also shows that whilst their music is almost immediately identifiable as Agent Fresco, they are not bound by any restrictions of genre, making the album as much of a musical voyage of adventure and exploration as a lyrical one. Perhaps the most surprising moment lies in the title track itself, which suddenly drops into dense, practically atonal shards of syncopated noise. Elsewhere, elements of greasy garage rock, slinky lounge music and soft, bubbling electronica can be found alongside more familiar choruses (which are often big enough to be visible from space), delicate piano-led sections and ebullient math-rock riffing.With more dynamic surprises like the vulnerability of “Bemoan” dropping into the brash savagery of “Angst” to be discovered, Destrier is a near-perfect artistic expression that stimulates mind, body and spirit in equal measure. Listeners may well find themselves immediately besotted, then even more deeply gratified through repeated listens.As you can probably tell, Destrier is a most uncommon delight. It will almost certainly prove to be one of the most essential listens of 2015, and maybe an even longer timescale than that. We can only hope that it won’t take another five years for Agent Fresco to release their next album, but even if that does happen, we will probably not have tired of this one by then. Destrier is a masterpiece; a glorious, life-affirming masterpiece that, once heard, will make you wonder how you managed without it. Go seek." - The Monolith
    $15.00
  • "Once upon a time there was a guitar god who had grown bored with all his fame, riches and glory. He longed for something more than another multi-platinum selling record. He desired not simply acclaim, but respect. He knew to get it he would have to walk away from the distinctive style that made him popular and wealthy. It was a risk to confuse his band and his fans by making a radical change in his musical direction. But he did it anyway and broke up the classic version of his band, alienating much of his audience in the process.It must have seemed worth it at the time to Carlos Santana. Appearing at Woodstock had announced to the world there was a new guitar hero on the scene, a skinny Mexican who fused elements of rock, Latin, jazz and funky R&B in one soul-stirring stew. Santana delivered on the promise with a trilogy of terrific albums.The initial effort in Santana's amazing adventures in fusion, Caravanserai (Columbia, 1972), is the sound of a band uncertain of its music and its leader equally uncertain of the direction he wants to take them. Following Santana III (Columbia, 1971), it must have puzzled executives at Columbia when Santana presented it to them. While it has its definite highs, the low points of Caravanserai are very low.Gregg Rolle was skillful on the organ, acceptable as a vocalist and totally out of his league trying to fake it as a jazz musician. Rolle simply lacked the feel for this dense, hook-free tunes and soon would leave to form Journey, taking guitarist Neal Schon with him.The record is disjointed as Santana can't fully let go of the Latin rock that made him wealthy and famous. Never the strongest vocalist, Rolle sings on three unmemorable songs. The songs aren't strong and neither is the playing. You can almost feel Santana's frustration. If he were going to succeed in this new path he was on he would need something conspicuous in its absence from Caravanserai.He would need better musicians to play the way he wanted and better music for them to play. Carlos took the first step when he joined with guitarist John McLaughlin for Love, Devotion and Surrender (Columbia, 1972). Santana brought along members of his band and teamed with McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra to produce an eclectic electric guitar summit that perplexed fans, critics and record executives.Welcome solved both problems. David Brown (bass) and Michael Carabello (percussion) were already out by that time and Rollie and Schon were eyeballing the exit sign as well.Santana has always fused the spiritual with the secular and Welcome is as close as the guitarist has ever come to the former with no regard for the latter. Welcome yielded no hit singles and was never conceived as an album rock radio would play. This is Santana's John Coltrane/A Love Supreme moment: creating transcendent, reverent, passionate music conceived and executed by a virtuoso artist without the slightest trace of concern for commercial considerations.The opening drone of the two organs on "Going Home" played by Tom Coster and Richard Kermode build gradually and soar high with grandeur. Santana lays out here and frequently fades into the background entirely. He is finally secure in his own playing and doesn't have to take the lead. His new-found confidence comes from knowing he finally has a band capable of delivering the goods and they do. Welcome is every bit as much of a classic as the first three Santana albums. It sounds great nearly 40 years after its release.The only comparable rock guitarist who altered his sound as drastically as Santana did with Welcome is Jeff Beck, with his career-altering Blow by Blow (Epic, 1975). The critical difference is Beck was taking the next step after a series of unremarkable bands and records that had flopped. Santana was at the peak of his fame when he drastically altered course and followed the path of A Love Supreme in seeking to make music that satisfied his soul, not a record company's ledger sheet.Even Robert Christgau, the noted (and notorious) rock critic/curmudgeon, and former music editor of The Village Voice smiled upon Welcome."More confident and hence more fun than Caravanserai, this proves that a communion of multipercussive rock and transcendentalist jazz can move the unenlightened—me, for instance. Good themes, good playing, good beat, and let us not forget good singing—Leon Thomas's muscular spirituality grounds each side so firmly that not even Flora Purim can send it out the window."Not everybody completely "got" Welcome in 1973. It wasn't slightly different like Caravanserai, with one foot still in rock and another with a toe dipping lightly into not only jazz fusion, but even free jazz. The signature sizzling guitar solos were there, but more restrained and at times even submerged within the collective of the group.The secret weapon is Michael Shrieve's energetic drumming and the dual keyboard attack of Coster and Kermode. They push and pull Santana to go beyond and stop holding back. Some have called the album disappointingly thin and self-indulgent, but that's a harsh assessment. There are no hit singles or any concessions made to radio here. Maybe an adventuresome jazz station would play "Samba De Sausalito," but even the vocal tracks, "When I Look Into Your Eyes" and "Light of Life" feature Leon Thomas' vocals. Alternating between soulful singing and off-the-wall yodeling, Thomas is perhaps the most polarizing of the many Santana vocalists.The other unique aspect to Welcome band was the band's first female member, Wendy Haas, a vocalist and keyboard player Santana plucked from Azteca, the same band he found a hot-shot 17-yr-old guitarist named Neal Schon, the future guitarist of Journey.If Welcome is the summit of Santana's jazz fusion era, Lotus (Columbia, 1974) and Borboletta (Columbia, 1974) are the sound of that era falling off a cliff. Lotus was a mammoth three-record live set that was only available as a high-priced import, but in 1991 Columbia released it domestically whittling it down to two CDs. It's brilliant, messy and at times, total overkill in overlength and Thomas is inept trying to front Santana standards such as "Black Magic Woman." Borboletta showcases a sullen Santana fronting an equally lethargic band and cursed by the ugliest cover art ever to appear on a Santana record. It's the splat of the band finally hitting the proverbial wall.frustrated by tepid record sales, Santana ditched his dalliance with jazz and returned to Latin rock glory with Amigos (Columbia, 1976). Though he was still billed as "Devadip" Carlos Santana he was drifting away from his guru, Sri Chimoy, and would leave both him and jazz behind for the rest of his career. Blues For Salvador (Columbia, 1987) won a Grammy for Best Instrumental and Santana Brothers (Universal/Polygram, 1994) is good, but these are primarily instrumental recordings and not really jazz.The Swing of Delight (Columbia, 1980) pairs Santana with trumpeter Miles Davis' classic quintet colleagues Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Ron Carter and Wayne Shorter, with Santana's blistering guitar leads replacing the lonely fire of Davis' trumpet, but the result isn't as incendiary as might have been hoped for. Most of the songs on The Swing of Delight are merely star-filled jam sessions lacking the structure and passion of Welcome.Santana has continued to release instrumental albums, but they aren't jazz and since the 15 million-selling Supernatural granted him late career superstar status on him in 1999, he has wasted the better part of a decade chasing similar success minus similar results. The bottom of the barrel is Guitar Heaven, which sounds like the name for a video game but is a pandering mess of classic rock covers.At this point in his life, Santana should be financially secure and has married his second wife, jazz drummer Cindy Blackman. In May he released the 22nd Santana album, Shape Shifter (Starfaith, 2012). With the exception of one vocal track it is a recording of instrumentals exclusively, with just the man and his band and no awkward guest stars crow-barred in except his son Salvador playing keyboards.In an interview, Santana explained why he was taking a break from his overly commercial direction of the past decade."In a lot of ways, yes, because I don't need to accommodate lyrics, and I don't need to accommodate artists. I say this in a funny way, but it's more about letting a Mexican play the guitar, you know?""I'm never going to wait so long to brew 'em like this anymore. I'm going to make sure that I do one album like this and then another kind. I remember reading that John Coltrane would do one Pursuance album, and then he'd do a ballads album where he'd hardly play a solo—he'd just play the melody verbatim."Shape Shifter may be a slight retreat for Santana from pop music and a return to pulling power chords from his guitar, but it's not going to be "Welcome: The Sequel." That was a different man making different music in a different time. The Santana of 1973 is not the Santana of 2012, but that man would not be the one he is now had he not chased his inner Coltrane and made a record as bold, brave and eternally beautiful as Welcome."- All About Jazz
    $7.00
  • Remastered edition of the second ELO album.  Roy Wood split to form Wizzard and Jeff Lynne pretty much took control and ran with the concept.  While there were better things to come, it was all in all still a pretty damn amalgam of prog, classical and pop.  Comes with 4 bonus tracks.
    $8.00
  • Second release from this superb progressive metal band from France - and their debut release for Sensory. Everything about the sophomore effort is an improvement - from the production to the performances (and there was nothing wrong with Mental Torments). If you are fan of mega-tight ensemble work, chops from hell and real songs then you have to hear Anima. We are very proud to have SUE as part of the Sensory roster."The early beginnings of Spheric Universe Experience dates back to 1999, when guitarist Vince Benaim decided to create a progressive metal band together with his friends Sam (on drums) and John Drai (on bass). The band did some local gigs in and around the southern parts of France, going by the name of Gates of Delirium.They knew that they limited their own repertoire by not incorportating vocals and keyboards, so by 2001 keyboardist Fred Colombo entered the band together with vocalist Alex. Now going by the band name of Amnesya, the guys did lots of liveshows and one demo CD.In August 2002, the band split because of musical disagreements leaving Vince, John and Fred to continue under the name of Spheric Universe Experience.During the next 8 months their passion for composing led them to write a complete album, which they recorded at home as a demo in April 2003 with session vocalist Franck Garcia, who came in just a few days before the recordings began. The vocals were recorded in a professional studio, and although Franck didn't have much time with the band prior to recording it, the result is very convincing, which is why he joined the band fulltime.The 2003 demo, "The Burning Box", was sent to Intromental Management in Denmark, who immediately fell in love with the bands sound, and decided to offer them a management-deal.Helped by session-drummer Volodia Brice, the band began recording the debut album, “Mental Torments”, in August 2003.In summer of 2004 Spheric Universe signed a worldwide record deal with French label Replica Records. An American license was also inked with Nightmare Records.Nico "Ranko" Muller joined the band in fall 2004 as their new drummer, and with him on-board the line-up was complete. The debut album, Mental Torments" was finalized by the great mix of Tommy Hansen (Jailhouse Studios, Denmark - a.o. Helloween, TNT, Pretty Maids). The cover artwork was created by famous Swedish artist Mattias Norén at ProgArt Media (www.progart.com).2005 was spent writing new material plus playing various live shows, opening for acts such as Scorpions and Uli Jon Roth in France.Now, the band has finalized their 2nd effort, “Anima”, which is a strong follow up to the debut, showcasing S.U.E. from their finest side. The album was recorded by Charles Massabo during the summer of 2006 in Coxinhell Studio Studio and Kallaghan Studio in France and was mastered at Jailhouse Studios in Denmark by Tommy Hansen, giving the music of S.U.E. the extra powerful touch that is needed in today’s music market. Artwork was this time around handled by Björn at Killustrations Media in Germany (www.killustrations.com).The music of Spheric Universe Experience is technical, melodic and possesses a top-notch progressiveness, that can be compared to bands such as Dream Theater, Pain Of Salvation and Fates Warning, but filled with an incredible intensity and an original identity of their own."
    $13.00
  • This was always a weird but charming album.  Recorded on a low rent budget in 1977, Akasha made this one and done album.  The album kicks off with a lengthy track loaded with 'tron.  The rest of the album is full on prog rock with lots of wacked out twists and turns.  It literally was recorded in the bomb shelter in the basement of a hotel so it has a real primitive sound but the music does shine through.
    $25.00
  • "Animals as Leaders have slowly been building momentum since the release of their self-titled debut album in 2009. Just two years later Tosin Abasi has gained a cult following and dropped jaws around the world with his technical style and virtuosic experimental compositions.The production on this album is phenomenal, the band have been seamlessly fused to create a flawless ride through unpredictable time signatures and complex song structures that suck you straight into the heart of the album. Animals as Leaders may not be the easiest band to listen to for those unacquainted with technical progressive metal, but their inimitable blend of jazz, metal, and even classical Spanish guitar at one point, makes for an oddly relaxing listen.The first album was a powerful showcase of Tosin Abasi’s mastery of the guitar which could leave a listener bleeding internally from the pounding of sampled drums. Weightless however, shows a far greater amount of variation and experimentation, it is great to see that Abasi has developed his style and added even more spice to his already delicious stew.There appears to be a lot more synth in this album, yet the addition of a real band instead of the sampling track method used in the previous album really works to create a fusing of the synthetic and the organic. Classic motifs appear alongside new and unexpected turns in the soundscape, fresh cuts of riff and a richly textured sound provide a meaty dish with just the right amount of vegetables and a good helping of gravy to help it go down. What I really mean to say, is that the sound varies between slow, fast, rich and sparse often, unexpectedly and in ways that make this album a box of mysteriously flavoured Revels. You never know what you’re going to get. There is even a hint of the underwater theme from Super Mario in ‘Odessa’, title track ‘Weightless’ is oxymoronically heavy but an incredibly light and easy listen. Isolated Incidents too stands out with its animalistic style and evolution into a more complex, dense sound until exploding into the palm muted disjointed world of djent.Once the end of the album looms you may expect a large underwater octopus to come into the room wielding a SNES, a portal to the 90s and one of those hoverboards from Back to the Future. Further symptoms may include feeling as if no other progressive metal will ever be good enough.This is a progression from the debut album that is precisely what fans need: still a trademark Animals as Leaders album but containing so much more. This is a masterpiece of a second album that is a great improvement on the first in terms of development and style whilst exceeding all expectations. I can only hope Animals as Leaders create something like this once more. So what if this album isn’t a carbon copy of the last one, this band is precisely what the genre needs: some fresh new ideas." - Metal Injection
    $14.00
  • A tremendous album where they mix the avant-garde stuff in a bit with the tunes and it really works! Don't let this description drive you off. This is a powerful fusion band. Just one with a fervent imagination. I know several people that hate that squeaky stuff but love the tune Evaporazione from this disc. Fusion with accessible avant-guarde moments.-Rick Eddy
    $15.00
  • Its been a bit quiet on the prog metal front as of late but hopefully this new band from Norway will shake things up a bit. Dimension Act pretty much adheres to the Dream Theater formula although there is a healthy injection of prog rock as well. Plenty of keyboard solos to go around and killer guitar work. If you rachet down the complexity one notch you will be reminded a little bit of Spheric Universe Experience.
    $3.00
  • "Following on from the recent 'Easterfaust' album, and in anticipation of upcoming six week European tour -- we're excited to introduce 'Orbiting Salvation' from our favourite resident psych adventurers, THE COSMIC DEAD.Released exclusively on Paradigms -- this sprawling 79 minute long album showcases the band at their most kosmische. Four vast, shimmering works that float above your consciousness in a haze of enlightened kraut / drone / psyche ambience. A perfect accompaniment to your next sit-in, freak out or astral projection session.Presented as a limited edtion of 500 cds in digi-pak format."
    $16.00