Mandylion (2 CD Reissue)

New 2 CD reissue of the classic first album to feature Anneke van Giersbergen (chronologically speaking it was the band's third album). The bonus disc contains rare b-side tracks, a load of unreleased demos and the video to "Leaves".

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  • "Inevitably, I find myself coming across bands that I "wish I had found all those years ago". WHILE HEAVEN WEPT is one such band. Born in 1989 in Virginia, US, the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Tom Phillips, the current line-up is a strong and long-standing one; 2014 sees the release of "Suspended At Aphelion", which is essentially a single, 40-minute track split up into 11 parts. This is one of those bands that seemingly woke up one day, and decided to do a complete 180 on their tried-and-true style, and recent albums see Progressive, Epic… I'm not even going to try and name just how many genres the band's style fits into. Sufficed to say, the new album is big; very, very big. One needs only to glimpse the cover art to know that one is set on course for a cosmic journey.I must put this out there immediately; it is imperative that you listen to this album from start to finish, because the flow from piece-to-piece is what sets this album on its axis. From the haunting, classical guitar introduction provided by guest Christopher Ladd, the sweeping ambiance experiences a momentary decrescendo, and "Icarus And I" makes its grand entrance. For the most part, it is kept at a light-hearted and airy marching pace, with intricate melodic arrangements courtesy of the band's 3 keyboard players and stringsmen, taking the place of metallic riffs, beginning to sound like a graceful amalgamation of BORKNAGAR, ARCTURUS and ANGRA. In dramatic moment of panic and surprise, the track picks up in speed and heaviness, impacted by a delivery of coarse vocals. Now, the band's primary vocalist, Rain; I'm a little shocked that he has not yet become a world-renowned vocalist, because the man's talent is phenomenal, seemingly borrowed the genes and vocal powers of SERENITY's Georg, SEVENTH WONDER's Tommy Karevik, with even a few ROY KHAN moments thrown in. You can see where I'm going with this: a voice that varies markedly in intensity, with a massive range capable of emotive singing at either end of the pitch spectrum.There is no doubt that individual tracks in this 'song' are part of a grand thematic design, but they manage to stand out on their own. For one, "Indifference Turned Paralysis" tantalises us with exquisite Progressive Power musings with Neoclassical flourishes, and many a KAMELOT moment here and there; entirely instrumental, the instruments sing us their song. "Souls In Permafrost" is one of my favorite moments on the record, with melodic harmony the focus of the arrangement, but this time Rain's vocals are even more powerful and less restrained, delivering both memorable and unpredictable vocal progressions; at times, the band's Doom roots began to show; those will never fully disappear. "Lifelines Lost" is the part to wait for, to best experience the excellent guitar work of helmsman Tom, but additional beauty is found when closely examining the ambiance and atmospherics in the background.Time and time again this record washes us over with inescapable pleasantries and harmonies that resonate infinitely in the mind. I'm genuinely having difficulty getting my head around the scope of this creation, and it's doing my head in because I cannot coherently describe its grandeur in entirety. I might never be able to, no matter how many times I loop it; what a deliciously excellent excuse to have it on repeat.Remember: start to finish, and no skipping. You won't regret it." - Metal Temple
    $15.00
  • "This double album is a great testament to all the musical journeys and experiences that Nolan and Swita enjoyed as they spread the word about ‘She’ with their many ‘two-man’ shows. ‘Journey’s End’ features over 130 minutes of acoustic live performances from around the world, as well as a selection of never before heard demos, bonus tracks and interview footage. These live tracks also feature some great guest appearances: familiar ‘She’ faces such as Mark Westwood (guitar) and Christina Booth (voice), as well as new friends like Claudio Momberg from ‘SETI’ (keyboards) in Chile and Sebastian Medina from ‘William Gray’ (guitar) in Argentina."
    $20.00
  • 2LP vinyl edition featuring the remixed and remastered version of the unexpurgated Voyage 34. Originally released as a now OOP single in '92, Voyage 34 is the ultimate psychedelic space rock head trip.
    $30.00
  • Sezione Frenante are not young guys.  Apparently they've been kicking around since the first half of the 70s but with no recorded output.  They opened for some of the Italian prog bands of the day and then went on hiatus...until now.  This is a concept album based on the life of poet Dante Alighieri and the material was conceived back in the early days of the band.  Sonically it doesn't have the 70s imprint that a lot of the retro bands go for but compositionally it fits squarely in the "Rock Italiano Progressivo" mold.  So we are talking about music composed in the 70s and recorded today.  To my ears the production is quite excellent - it almost has a live in the studio feel.  The closest comparison would be to Le Orme which is not surprising given the band's long friendship with Aldo Tagliapietra.  All of the musicians in the band are quite good and have plenty of room to solo.  The star for me is vocalist Francesco Nardo.  He has good range and fits neatly in with the music.  Nothing operatic - just right.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • Limited edition double LP set recorded at the 2013 edition of the Roadburn Festival in Netherlands.  Five long extended jams that will take you to the outermost regions of the solar system (maybe beyond!).  The improvised session revolves around twin guitars, bass and drums with occasional keyboard (Mellotron!).  The set comes with a bonus CD of the recording so even if you are analogue challenged you have a chance to hear this lethal set.  
    $34.00
  • Ever wonder what Jasun Tipton does when he's not recording with Cynthesis and Zero Hour? Well apparently he forms a new project! Abnormal Thought Patterns is an instrumental project featuring Jasun on guitars, Troy Tipton on bass, and Mike Guy on drums. Essentially the core musicians of Zero Hour. Further they are augmented with Richard Sharman as the second guitarist. This is tech metal to the max - somewhere along the lines of Blotted Science and Spastic Ink but with that unmistakable Tipton Brothers sound. Its an EP and frankly I don't think you could digest any more in one sitting - lots of notes here. Guaranteed to have many moments where you will stop and ask yourself "how the hell did they do that?". Complex thinking man's metal at its best! Highest recommendation.
    $8.00
  • Bulgaria doesn't immediately come to mind as a hot bed of musical activity but that is where Sensory made their latest discovery. In 2000, the band created their calling card to the progressive metal world a demo that was well received in the underground press. Affter a series of lineup changes the band set about recording their debut "Shade of Fate". The result is a tour de force of progressive metal that will appeal to fans of Dream Theater, Vanden Plas and Queensryche. Pantommind use gorgeous symphonic soundscapes as a backdrop for intricate keyboard solos, crunch-filled guitar riffs and pure soaring vocals. This is a band poised to capture the imagination of progressive metal fans around the world. Sensory's release of "Shade Of Fate" also features two exclusive bonus tracks.
    $8.00
  • Limited edition 2CD set includes a live set recorded at Buxton Opera House."The bleak setting of BJH’s first album in 14 years – and their first since Woolly Wolstenholme cut his life short – evokes rumination on the times when the harvesting is done and one is to gather stones. That’s how the things are set in motion with a tiredly flowing “If You Were Here” until its pining ennui takes a vertiginous turn at the song’s end, when John Lees’ voice starts spinning from channel to channel for the listener to land on familiar ground which hasn’t been trodden for so long. Nor for nothing the record’s cover features a scenic view from the Northern parish of Saddleworth where the group come from.Once on terra firma, the band’s patented sense of humor kicks in, too, and the riff of “The Real Deal” casts rocks far enough, with “it’a a long way back” argument, to convince yer olde fan the album is exactly what this track’s title suggests, yet even those who’ve been following BJH for four decades won’t be prepared for the brass-brandishing “On Top Of The World” that makes the homecoming glorious. Anxious love pours out of the record’s title piece depicting local landscapes and the twangy memory-lane emotions, but the album is as ancient as it is modern.Thus, the slow boogie “In Wonderland” satirizes today’s ways of communication, with web acronyms thrown in for a chorus, and alloys the slang use of “schmetterling” with the ensemble’s symbol: a butterfly. Such an integrity lurks also in the alliteration between “North” and its predecessor, “Nexus,” as well as in the literary appropriation of Saddleworth’s Ammon Wrigley’s poem for the parting that is “The End Of the Day” wherein the gods of Ale and Mirth give birth to a child which can be a child of the universe, an important part of BJH’s lore. It’s elegiac rather than jolly, though, but Jez Smith’s piano in “Ancient Waves” and Lees’ guitar render this melancholy warm and delicate, while, for all its twilight shimmer, the 9-minute “On Leave” – surely a Woolly tribute – joins the pantheon of the band’s best ballads, whereas the quiet communal merriment fills the folk lustre of “Unreservedly Yours” that oozes the ultimate, if autumnal, dedication.With the parallel existence of another BJH, featuring Les Holroyd, “North” could have been a simple attempt of reclaiming the legacy; instead, it turns out to be a shining addition to the classic canon." - Let It Rock
    $17.00
  • "The Prog Rock supergroup whose debut became the surprise hit of 2012 returns with a brand new album featuring an even more impressive lineup of stellar musicians and artists lending their talents to this incredible project!Features performances by mindblowing musicians Steve Stevens, Rick Wakeman, Steve Morse, Peter Banks (in his final appearance) as well as Captain Kirk himself William Shatner, PLUS members of Yes, Dream Theater, Nektar Asia, Gong and more!Deluxe digipak packaging!Performed by:Rick Wakeman Steve Stevens Chris Squire Peter Banks Steve Morse Larry Fast Alan Parsons Sonja Kristina Jordan Rudess Steve Hillage John Wesley Nik Turner Geoff Downes Roye Albrighton Gary Green Tony Kaye William Shatner Colin Moulding Mel Collins John Wetton Derek Sherinian Billy Sherwood Fee Waybill Patrick Moraz Jim Cuomo "
    $15.00
  • New edition comes with a bonus DVD filled with videos and documentaries. Same price as before!!Amaranthe are a new Swedish/Danish band signed to Spinefarm. The band is fronted by Elize, who you will know from her touring with Kamelot. To say Elize is hot is an understatement. The band don't take the expected gothic metal route. Their order of business is a mix of poppy-melodic metal laced with death metal. Curiously the band features three vocalists. Elize is front and center but she shares the spotlight with the death growls of Dreamland's Jake E and the clean vocals of Andy Solvestrom. At times there is a similarity to some of Delain's poppier tunes but the death growls add a heavier aspect. There was a buzz developing on this disc before it hit here - I have to say I was quite surprised.
    $12.00
  • "Insurgentes is the new documentary film about Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) directed by Lasse Hoile. Porcupine Tree are currently enjoying massive success across the world with their latest album, The Incident. Insurgentes is a musical road movie that follows the making of his solo record of the same name, and is a portrait of an increasingly rare artist who works with music and media out of love and not for fame and fortune, persisting in making art on his own terms in a world where 'throw away' mentality is increasingly becoming the norm. The film features footage of Wilson with other artists and friends including Mikael Akerfeldt from Opeth, Jonas Renkse from Katatonia, the Israeli superstar Aviv Geffen, and the legendary producer Trevor Horn."
    $9.00
  • After releasing a lengthy EP a few years ago, this eclectic French jazz rock band have returned with a full length release. I say eclectic only in that the instrumentation is a bit unusual: harp, vibes, electric guitar, bass, drums, trumpet, ao. The band's music is very melodic with a lot of energy. There is an obvious influence from Frank Zappa at his instrumental best (and they manage to leave Frank's humorous aspect behind). The band's name also gives away their affectation for the music of Gong - but of the later period when Pierre Moerlen was at the helm. The music of Forgas Band Phenomena also comes to mind. Very highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • Third part of a trilogy from this Norwegian gothic metal band. Dreaming female vocals courtesy of Catherine Nyland float over electronics and tight groove oriented riffing. This reminds a bit of Delain but with a slightly more commercial orientation. Not bad!
    $15.00
  • "The Moody Blues returned after a five year hiatus with a very different sounding album. The punk and disco era were now in full flower and such groups as Styx, Journey, and REO Speedwagon were dominating the rock charts. Octave would abandon the cosmic and symphonic sound of the group’s past, and move toward one more in tune with the era. As such it would not stand out as a unique creation as did their core of classic albums.Octave would also be the last album for founding member Mike Pinder. He had always provided a spiritual and in many ways the classical center of their music through his mellotron and chamberlin. Now playing a synthesizer the sound was different and not as grand. Years later it would come to light that he was not pleased with the musical direction of the group. Patrick Moraz would replace him as the group’s keyboardist and tour in support of the album.Octave would have no unifying theme and be the most diffuse album that The Moody Blues had released up until that time. Each song would match the individual personality of its composer.The John Lodge composition, “Steppin’ In A Slide Zone,” was typical of the new sound. It is a typical energetic Lodge rocker but the musical center was the keyboard-guitar interplay which was in vogue at the time. Still it was catchy and was a commercially successful single.Justin Hayward is in ballad mode for this release and while he would not create anything as wonderful or unique as “Nights In White Satin,” his music is still very listenable because of the innate beauty of the songs. “Had To Fall In Love” and “Top Rank Suite” are both very mellow. “Driftwood” is the best of the three as it is a gentle love ballad which was a Hayward trademark by this time.Ray Thomas created two songs for this release. “I’m Your Man” just disappears but “Under Moonshine” contains a strong lead vocal by him plus some classic harmonies by the other members of the group.“One Step Into The Light” would be a final spiritual statement by Mike Pinder and his only composition on the album. The music would be more progressive rock than the grandiose sound of his past as he would bring his Moody Blues career to a conclusion.A fourth Justin Hayward song would close the album. “The Day We Meet Again” would unintentionally or intentionally point toward the future as a new keyboardist was on the way and the grand classical sounds were being left behind.Make no mistake, Octave remains a very good late seventies album but does fall short of the group’s best work. It was different, more modern, and ultimately a transitional work. Despite all that it still remains a good, if not essential, Moody Blues listen today." - Blogcritics.org
    $9.00