Man

Man

BY Man

(Customer Reviews)
$18.00
SKU: ECLEC2012
Label:
Esoteric
Category:
Progressive Rock
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"Man's first classic album for liberty / ua - now 24-bit re-mastered from the original master tapes with previously unreleased bonus track. Man's importance in the history of welsh rock music cannot be understated. Fusing the worlds of Psychedelia, Blues, Rock and Roll and west coast inspired Rock,
They were simply one of Britain's most original groups of the 1970's. Recording a series of classic albums for Liberty / United Artists, Man, along with label-mates Hawkwind, were true champions of the "underground" spirit. Esoteric recordings are proud to undertake the reissuing of man's entire legacy for united artists beginning with their debut for the label released in march 1971. The reissue features a previously unreleased 17 minute bonus track and liner notes exclusively penned by man guitarist and raconteur Deke Leonard. The time is right to re- experience the musical ages of man!"

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  • "Decline and Fall is the long awaited sixth album from a group who personifies the term 'beloved underground favorites'. From the group's beginnings as a duo doing basement recording experiments nearly 30 years ago until now, Thinking Plague has always had a strong vision of their unique take on progressive rock music. Despite the very long lifespan of the band and the many years between records, the basic sound of the group and instrumentation was set early and the years since have seen interesting variations on their sound, from the stripped down approach of the earliest work to the deep layering of electronic sounds and samples of their last album. Decline and Fall strips back a lot of the 'studio-isms' and more than ever, sounds like the work of a really powerful band. The album adds a few other new surprises, most notably the addition of wonderful vocalist Elaine Di Falco who fits right into what may be the band's most demanding job. She sings with great poise and control the band's hallmark melodic lines - passages that would trip up a lesser vocalist. Also new is keyboardist/drummer Kimara Sajn who plays with tremendous authority on both instruments (although just before finishing up the album, the group added drummer Robin Chestnut who appears on one track). Returning are long-term members Mark Harris on saxes and clarinets, Dave Willey on bass and Mike Johnson, the band's guitarist, leader and composer. A new album by Thinking Plague is always an event; working slowly and unwaveringly, the group has released a handful of brilliant, art-rock classics. Decline and Fall is the latest of them."
    $15.00
  • Once upon a time there was a brilliant Canadian composer musician named Franck Dervieux. In 1971 he recorded a great album of classically influenced progressive rock called "Dimensione M". Dervieux passed away at an early age due to cancer. The members of his ensemble essentially formed Contraction upon his passing. The main drivers behind contraction was vocalist Christiane Robichaud and bassist Yves Laferriere. While the self-titled debut didn't hit the lofty heights that their second album reached it's not without it's charms. The focus is on Robichaud's ethereal vocals with all the firepower a bit in the background. Start with "La Bourse Ou La Vie" first.
    $18.00
  • "Whereas certain metal splinter genres like sludge and doom have found their requisite bands experimenting in ways that are still decidedly metal – or at least "extreme" by any measure – other areas such as black and post-metal see their own representatives in a practical race to see who can shed their extreme proclivities altogether. Alcest is one such band.Flirting with 90's indie rock trappings is nothing new for this French duo – essentially the one-man project of multi-instrumentalist Neige backed since 2009 by the drumming skills of Winterhalter – but Shelter is their first complete abandonment of metal altogether… there is nary a blastbeat, growl, nor brutal riff to be found anywhere on the album's concise 45-minute running time.That's not to say that Neige is reinventing the wheel, though; Shelter is a straightforward mix of 4AD dream pop and the type of ethereal post-rock that Explosions in the Sky are best known for… not to mention the gauzy shoegaze overlay that such an alchemy implicitly guarantees, of course.It sounds derivative on paper, but somehow Neige transcends his cookie cutter influences and produces a work of heart-stopping elegance and profundity. "Voix Sereines", in particular, is hands down the most plaintive and delicate work of the man's already illustrious career, a despondent lullaby of music box melodies and wistful singing that is fittingly placed in the middle of the track listing… it's the soul of the album, and belongs as its nucleus.The twang at the end of the guitar lines on the title track could – if taken out of context – herald the introduction of a new Mazzy Star single, but Alcest aren't quite that predictable. Twang aside there is no further evidence of roots rock assimilation, no blues aside from the heartache rendered potently clear in Neige's understated vocals. Nonetheless, this would make a fine crossover single aimed at whatever constitutes indie rock radio in 2014.Then again, so would "Away", which many reading this will insist even more a graceful composition than my pick of "Voix Sereines" above (those who aren't chastising the band for "going soft" in the first place, that is). I can't really argue that point, but all it does is prove what a deep bench Neige is culling for inspiration this go round.Perhaps the best evidence that Neige is not beholden to the orthodoxy of his influences is the way he builds toward a crescendo on album finale, "Délivrance". Rather than the ringing chimes that have become the hallmark of tension-building in post-rock (Explosions in the goddamn Sky), Neige shows restraint by settling for a very gradually rising chorus with subtle percussive acceleration. The final 2:30 minutes of the song consists of an unnecessary reprise, but in spite of contributing minor bloat it's still a fitting tribute to Neige's classical ambitions here.The word "masterpiece" gets thrown around a bit too frequently – often in service of albums that will be forgotten altogether a few years down the road – but if you can wrap your head around the fact that Alcest are no longer a metal band in any way, shape or form, Shelter is deserving of whatever hyperbole you care to throw at it." - Metal Injection
    $15.00
  • 30th anniversary reissue of the first album of the Mk III lineup with David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes.  One of the classic hard rock albums of the 70s.  This version comes with 5 bonus tracks featuring 2004 remixes.
    $9.00
  • "Death.Taxes.Ozric Tentacles.Since 1984 this loose collective have been releasing reliably great music from the mind of leader Ed Wynne. Their margin of error is enviably tiny – there is no such thing as a bad Ozrics album. Sure, some are better than others, but the body of work is as inescapably consistent as mortality and societal contributions. Technicians of the Sacred is their fifteenth studio album, second double album and the first release in this format since Erpland in 1990. It is also one of the best they have ever recorded.The blend of electronica and inner-space rock is instantly recognisable with ‘The High Pass’. World music and gently undulating synths take their time to ease us back into the required frame of cosmic consciousness. It takes almost 6 minutes for the secret weapon, Wynne’s signature lysergic lead guitar, to be deployed and that is the modus operandi of the whole album – nothing is rushed, each track unfolds lotus-like.‘Changa Masala’ distils all the band’s ingredients into a spicy side-dish. Sequencers, vocal samples and a reggae skank provide the base while acoustic guitar rips like a John McLaughlin solo, interjecting a nod to their past, a musical in-joke for the fans, which I won’t spoil for those who haven’t yet heard it.The Steve Hillage (Gong, System 7 and sometime Ozrics collaborator) influence is foregrounded in the first disc’s closer, ‘Switchback’. Tap-delay guitar slithers over a web of ambient keyboard washes. Portamento bass notes slide and glide their way through the patchouli-scented psychedelic haze.f the first disc was an aromatic treat, then the second is manna. ‘Epiphlioy’ recalls the classic ‘Saucers’. Its serpentine twelve-string acoustic riffs employ Eastern modes to evoke a scene that is paradoxically earthy and otherworldly. Staccato strings conjure Kashmir while a celestial orchestra of whooshing keyboard pads threatens to levitate us into the stratosphere and beyond. We are back in the bizarre bazaar, folks. Brandi Wynne pins down the ethereal mix with a heavy dub bassline. The track changes constantly. This is the most compositionally complex music the band has ever produced.While there are references to Ozric history and a more organic feel similar to early classics with the occasional use of non-electric instruments and ethnic voices, the album as a whole is a step forward. The painstakingly crafted symbiosis of synthesised sounds and rock instrumentation, coupled with a slick production, lend Technicians of the Sacred a holistic integrity not heard since Jurassic Shift (which incidentally entered the UK charts at a very respectable number 11 in 1993). The whole gels together and flows with the multi-layered sophistication of a symphony while retaining some of the jam-band aesthetic of the free festival days.‘Smiling Potion’ features interlocking sequences even Tangerine Dream would be proud of and a tribal metronome-sense beat straight out of Peter Gabriel’s soundtrack for The Last Temptation of Christ.As ‘Rubbing Shoulders With The Absolute’ throbs along on a blissed-out dub rhythm artificially generated voices ensure the weirdness meter is kept firmly in the red.Hungarian drummer Balázs Szende makes his first studio appearance and throughout the album he proves to be a superb addition to the group, whether approximating the tight programmed style of The Hidden Step era or, as on the closing track, ‘Zenlike Creature’, tackling elusive prog time signatures with ease and finesse. As Ed Wynne winds up a solo worthy of fusion maestros Mahavishnu Orchestra he introduces a shimmering Hillage-esque repeating motif that stays in the mind long after the music has stopped.Technicians of the Sacred, for all its dynamic shifts and intricacies, is a very chilled-out release, one for relaxing to and for transportation to the other, wherever that may be. There are no jarring wig-out rock guitar hero sections or all-out sonic attacks like ‘The Throbbe’. Rather this is Ozric Tentacles’ most cohesive and accomplished effort in almost 20 years and a highlight of a long and peerless career." - Echoes And Dust
    $35.00
  • "All albums are important and significant in the life of a band, no matter what the circumstances, but it’s fair to say that some can be regarded as genuine milestones, even game-changers, in that they’ll influence the whole future of the band. In view of what The Reasoning have gone through over the last two years, I think it’s fair to say that ‘Adventures In Neverland’ is going to be one of the most important in the band’s career. For a start, the personnel upheavals since the band’s last album, Adverse Camber, have seen the band slimmed down to a five-piece, and with a new guitarist, Keith Hawkins, to replace Owain Roberts. It’s also the band’s first full length release since signing a deal with the Esoteric Antenna label, so even without the personal issues, there is an awful lot riding on this album for the band.So, back-story aside, what about the music? Opener ‘Hyperdrive’ is something of a statement of intent, as if the band are ready for a full-powered launch into the future. They sound like a band with something to prove, but this really couldn’t be any other band than The Reasoning with Rachel Cohen’s soaring, passionate vocals over backing that has so much going on, it’s really hard to take everything in on one listen. ‘Urgent’ and ‘fast and furious’ haven’t often been phrases used to describe the band, but this really sets out to almost forcibly grab the listener’s attention.Some of the songs on the album have been played live for a while now, such as ‘The Omega Point’. Inspired by the novels of Scarlet Thomas, it references the band’s past work a little more than the opener, but even so it still sounds as if there’s a lot of pent-up energy in the band and there’s some fine soloing by Keith Hawkins and Tony Turrell on keys. Other highlights on the first few listens include ‘Stop The Clock’, with its extended intro almost making you assume the song is an instrumental, until Rachel comes in with the vocal, and there are some previously unheard folky influences that make ‘End of Days’ a particular treat. I should also mention ‘No Friend Of Mine’, a song about the perils of Facebook and Social Networking as a whole. It’s another song that has already been road tested live for several months and as soon as I heard it I thought it to be one of the best things the band has ever done, and I see no reason now to change that particular opinion.Inevitably, there are some who will pore over the album and the lyrics in particular for any references to Owain Roberts, and I suspect ‘Threnody’ (Dictionary definition: ‘a poem, speech or song of lamentation, especially for the dead’) will get particular attention in this respect. I don’t intend to discuss that any further here, suffice to say it’s another very fine song, and it has to be said that throughout this album new boy Keith Hawkins sounds a real find, with some excellent work, including some very nice neo-classical links on ‘Stop The Clock’. Having said that, all the playing and indeed singing, on this record is absolutely out of the top draw. There are some albums you can make your mind up about fairly quickly, but each time I listen to Adventures In Neverland I hear something new to enjoy.The recent Classic Rock Presents Prog Awards, where the band were nominated in the New Blood category, not only brought the legends of the genre into the mainstream spotlight, but also highlighted the absolute wealth of new talent that the scene in the UK can boast. By anybody’s standards, this is a very strong release from a band who more than one commentator has said are ready to break through to the next level, and this could well be the album to take them there." - The Midland Rocks
    $17.00
  • "Forget the NWOBHM band name, CD title and cover art: Invisigoth's Alcoholocaust is not New Wave of British Heavy Metal. In fact, it's the antithesis of that. And it's actually quite terrifying, in a laid-back, arty sort of way. Think Porcupine Tree or Blackfield providing the soundtrack to slow torture. Yet, this is an engaging and imminently listenable spin. Consisting entirely of two members — Cage on all instruments and Viggo Domino on all vocals — Invisigoth sets out to make a primal musical statement with foundations in esoteric philosophy, hedonism and psychedelics. Domino takes his voice in so many multiple and moody directions that he often sounds like more than one vocalist, and Cage deserves a drink for his ability to make music epic, dense and sparse (and then somehow piece it all together effectively). The duo throws in a Led Zeppelin cover at the end, for some reason. Ultimately, this is one for goths, proggers and rockers that will leave them with a sense of uncomfortable satisfaction." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $3.00
  • This is the eighth album from the Pennsylvania prog band and first in three years.  2 LP vinyl edition in a gatefold sleeve.Echolyn's music has never been about complexity - although there is plenty of it.  They are all fine musicians and when the song calls for it they ably step out front and show off their chops.  No...this is a band who's music packs an emotional wallop - I dare say almost a spiritual nature.  Credit this to the vocals of Ray Weston who really is able to drive it home with the listener.  So a good Echolyn album is one that connects with the heart and the mind.  I Heard You Listening achieves both and perhaps in a better way than any of their previous efforts.  BUY OR DIE!
    $32.00
  • Limited edition digipak features 2 bonus tracks on the CD as well as a bonus live DVD."There has always been something about Orden Ogan that has made the band step out from the prototypical “Euro-power” boundary…a darkness, if you will. Perhaps it’s the post-apocalyptic “Road Warrior” look of the stage outfits, which ironically fit perfectly with serrated riffs that emote with an industrial edge. Better yet, it is the overall sound combining the beauty of fantasy with a jagged gritty blue collar delivery, as if to laugh in the faces of power purists who demand everything be so “squeaky clean.” Perfection comes in many shades….especially black. I’ve been guilty of calling Orden Ogan the second coming of old Blind Guardian, but that really isn’t fair. Orden Ogan has evolved into so much more, having immersed a trademark sound with elements of the ever influential Blind Guardian and Running Wild, but one that has become so unique it appeals to more than just the average fan of European power metal. With “Ravenhead,” the band has reached its defining moment.When “To the End” was released, there was a distinct separation from the holy trinity of “Easton Hope,” “Vale,” and “Testimonium A.D.,” both in terms of sound and production qualities. It elevated the band to a different level. As classic as the first three albums were, the full effect took some time to grow with multiple listens. I can almost see some of you shaking your heads thinking “Are you kidding? ‘Nobody Leaves,’ ‘We Are Pirates,’ ‘Farewell,’ ‘To New Shores of Sadness,’ ‘The Lords of the Flies’ were ‘instant classics.’” Sure…hindsight and multiple listens would make any of those "correct." In fact, it took “Vale” and much of “Easton Hope” a lot more time to resonate at the time they were released. “To the End” was truly an instant classic and nothing the band wrote before that had such staying power. Now with “Ravenhead,” fans can expect even more of the same – starting immediately with the “masculine humming” of the eponymous intro track.“Orden Ogan” starts off like that opening scene out of “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” with that gang chorus of “Hoist the Colours” (minus the kid). It has a real pirate feel, even more so than Running Wild has ever conjured…only it has nothing to do at all with the age of piracy. “Ravenhead” – the song – kicks in and the band never looks back….saw-toothed riffs from Sebastian Levermann and Tobias Kersting overlay Levermann’s distinctively clean, yet gleefully abrasive, vocals. The chorus jumps out immediately, with no surprise. Orden Ogan has become one of the best at impact choruses and they come no better than what you will hear on “F.E.V.E.R.” This one sticks in the mind so well I’ve found myself subconsciously humming it as I awake each morning. Encircling the chorus is a riff (not too far removed from “Land of the Dead”) and a subtle, but impressive bagpipe. The sheer number of times you'll hear “False believer…true deceiver…she’s the F.E.V.E.R….stealing the life from you” may seem repetitive within in the 4:24 minute track, but it sure is effective!At this point, we get into the real meat of the album, “The Lake” and “Evil Lies in Every Man,” the two best tracks not named “A Reason to Give” (more on this in a bit). “The Lake” starts with a riff like a handsaw to steel…complete with broken teeth and sparks flying everywhere backed by Dirk Meyer-Behorn’s tommy-gun drum strength. “Evil Lies in Every Man” takes the now uneven barbed saw and buzzes through panel board….against the grain! Both songs are deliciously rough in stature, though the album is phenomenally produced (by Levermann himself, who has quickly become one of the best producers in Europe). “Evil Lies in Every Man” has a creepy vibe right from the start as an old woman sings the chorus in an equally craggy voice, a chorus that is the best on the release. The best part, though, is the sudden eruption into a “Prelude to Madness” style with dramatic orchestration at 3:31.“Here at the End of the World” (featuring a guest appearance by Grave Digger’s Chris Boltendahl) ends the torrid and brilliant first half of the release, with a chorus not far removed from Turisas' "The Great Escape." The second half of "Ravenhead" never quite reaches the same stratosphere of energy as the first five songs. “A Reason to Give,” a personal favorite, is another emotional tear-jerking power ballad a la “Take this Light” or “Ice Kings.” Like Blind Guardian, Orden Ogan's ballads are as much a staple as the album's heaviest tracks. That being said, it doesn’t detract an iota from the perfection of this album…it just goes at a more deliberate and “cleaner” pace. “Deaf Among the Blind” is the speediest on the second half and it even has a little tinge of Evergrey (you’ll know it when you hear it). “Sorrow is Your Tale” features a guest vocal appearance from HammerFall’s Joacim Cans and features yet another outstanding chorus in an album chock full of them. Rounding out the album is the instrumental “In Grief and Chains” and the ballad “Too Soon.”“Ravenhead” has it all, with odes to the band’s past and major influences, but a straight line up from the direction of “To the End.” It has even more insanely catchy choruses anchored by saw-toothed riffs and Seeb’s patented clean, yet gnarly vocal style. For Orden Ogan, it gets no better than this. For music, its another victory for songwriting and the right amount of hooks. Germany prevails yet again…and Orden Ogan has the formula to erect a tower that stands eye to “eye of Sauron” with Blind Guardian." - Metal Underground
    $16.00
  • Grotesk is the third album from this French trio. Their two previous albums brought them world wide acclaim for their intriguing amalgam of jazz and metal fused together with a strong dose of Zappa-esque humor. Mörglbl was born in 1996 after noted guitarist Christophe Godin decided to form an instrumental fusion rock band. After meeting Jean Pierre Frelezeau (drums) and Ivan Rougny (bass), they decided to work together on the project. In 1997, Morglbl’s first cd named “Ze Mörglbl Trio!!” (IHL) was released and received good reactions from the French press. The band toured intensively in France, placing Christophe as one of France’s top guitar players. In 1999, the band’s second album “Bienvenue a Mörglbl Land” (IHL) was released. The band toured Europe, and Christophe started working as ambassador for Laney Amps, Vigier Guitars, Zoom Effects and Alvarez acoustic guitars. In 2000, Mörglbl disbanded, and Christophe released one cd with metal band GNO (“Trash Deluxe” Janvier Rec.), and became a worldwide in demand clinician. Ivan toured with fusion guitarist Cyril Achard and Y. Malmsteen’s drummer Mike Terrana, as well as rai star Cheb Bilal. In 2004, Christophe started his first solo project, named Metal Kartoon, and asked Jean Pierre and Ivan to be part of the band. The cd was released in 2005 (“Christophe Godin’s Metal Kartoon” Nocturne) and did pretty well in France. Christophe toured intensively (Germany, Italy, China, South Korea, USA, UK). He also released one cd and toured Europe with jazz guitar legend Pierrejean Gaucher (“2G” Nocturne) After hitting the road regularly with Metal Kartoon, Mörglbl regrouped and started working on new material. They recorded their newest cd “Grotesk” and toured Russia, Italy, Germany, Holland, USA as well as France of course, where their popularity rapidly grew after the news of their reunion spread. Christophe is going to be co-headliner of Tokyo Shred Fest in November, part of his next Asian Tour (China, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore) as Laney ambassador. With the release of Grotesk, Mörglbl has created an album with cross genre appeal. Fans of shred and fusion Gods like Allan Holdsworth, Steve Vai or Freak Kitchen’s Mattias IA Eklundh will find much to sink their teeth into. Morglbl on Myspace
    $13.00
  • "As we’ve been chronicling all year long, 2013 has been a great year for Norwegian progressive metal with some excellent progressive power metal from Illusion Suite, Tellus Requiem and Pellek, the new album by the long-running prog metal band Divided Multitude, the fantastic new album by Leprous and the exciting debut by Withem (you can read our review here).  Now, into that great mix the young band Vicinity has just released their debut full -length album, Awakening and it easily stands with the best of what their countrymen have produced this year. The band works in a decidedly melodic and dramatic fashion anchored around the wonderful voice of Alexander Lykke, the multi-faceted guitars of Kim-Marius Olsen and the powerful drumming of Frode Lillevold.  Interestingly there are no keyboards on the album (except for a few background sounds for effects) which wasn’t readily apparent to me at first because the songs are so well written and the vocal melodies are so strong. Olsen multi-tracks soft and harder textures to really give the album a rich sound.  The album has a great full sound and was mastered by the prolific Jens Bogren.Awakening is an hour long album but only has six songs.  Three are in the 11-14 minute range and the other three are between 5-6 minutes. The longer songs are not really more complex, but just feel necessary to the structure of each song which is really a testament to the band’s composition style -- the band will do a long song if warranted but works well in both long and short song formats.  The album begins with Mass Delusion which starts as a high-energy rocker but has a great instrumental mid-section that propels the song to its energetic conclusion. Opportunities Lost is the longest song on the album at over 14 minutes and is a deceptively simple song that consistently builds tension throughout the piece, alternates between short instrumental interludes, both soft and hard, and has a great vocal melody that ends in a wonderfully dramatic finale. Again, it’s fairly simple in structure but is so well written that I couldn’t believe it was as long as it was.  I was reminded of what great neo-progressive bands like IQ often do so well -- take a great idea and vary and expand on it to great emotional conclusions.  Across The River is a shorter, five minute song and is mostly a ballad that builds in intensity throughout to a powerful finale.   Walk All The Way is an 11-minute song that’s easily my favorite on the album as its got some of the most beautiful vocals on Awakening, has the heaviest section on the album right in the middle (complete with some harsher vocals for contrast and intensity) before building to a wonderfully majestic finale.  Olsen also really shines here as well with some great emotional soloing.  The Time For Change is next and it’s yet another amazing power ballad that shows, yet again how well this band can create drama and excitement.  The album ends with the 11 minute album title song that has a fairly heavy opening section but ends with a stunningly beautiful epic finish.  Honestly there’s not a weak moment on this album and if dramatic and emotionally affective progressive metal is your cup of tea, this album will hit you hard.Awakening is a really, really solid album that has so much going for it. It’s got a great, joyously youthful spirit and is decidedly focused on the emotional content instead of trying to wow the listener with technicality.   Vicinity is primarily a band of great melodic songwriters and they have the perfect vocalist in Lykke to carry out their vision of exciting  progressive music and if they continue on this path could really make some waves in this great genre." - Prog Metal Zone
    $15.00
  • Second album from this Sieges Even offshoot/rebranding. Touchstones is a bit heavier than the debut as Markus Steffens struts his stuff again. Mid-80s Yes is an obvious influence on the band's direction. On some of the material vocalist Arno Menses sounds like a dead ringer for Jon Anderson. The music sits on the fence between the prog rock and metal realms. If you like the post-reformation Sieges Even albums you'll find much to sink your teeth into. Further - if you found the first Subsignal a bit on the light side you'll find this one has a bit more heft and frankly its better for it. Highly recommended.
    $19.00
  • Already dubbed "Toddrÿche" by their fans, Queensryche turn back the clock with their new eponymous titled album.  With Geoff Tate given the boot, the band sounds revitalized with the addition of former Crimson Glory vocalist Todd La Torre.  While its not going to supplant Operation: Mindcrime, the sound harkens back to the band's roots.  La Torre was previously a member of a Queensryche cover band so he does a pretty damn fine approximation of Geoff Tate's glory days.  For years fans have been hoping the band would return to their progressive roots and it took this youth injection to get it done.Please note that this is the standard edition.  It comes with a patch and a slipcase.  There will be a deluxe version forthcoming.
    $12.00