Manipulation Under Anesthesia

"Abnormal Thoughts Patterns is a new technical metal trio that comes onto the scene equipped with twenty-plus years of experience. Featuring Mike Guy on drums and twins Jasun and Troy Tipton on guitar and bass respectively, ATP is perhaps better known as the musical backbone of underrated prog metal purveyors Zero Hour. Apt comparisons between the Californian three-piece and acts such as Death and Animals as Leaders have been made, but when Abnormal Thought Patterns are at their most frenetic, they also share Blotted Science's aptitude for conjuring up aural insect swarms. Some of this stuff is guaranteed to make listeners' heads spin.

Manipulation Through Anesthesia is ATP's debut full-length release, and it gets off to an excellent start, extending on the saga of the very first tracks they wrote, "Velocity and Acceleration" parts 1-4. These songs, numbered from 5 to 8, flow together as one connected work, clearly taking place in the same universe and containing shared motifs. It's 13 minutes of some of the finest instrumental metal out there. The album then takes a left turn in the form of "Calculating Patterns", a pleasant, jazzy cooldown. It is the first of several mellow tunes that demonstrate Abnormal Thought Patterns' diversity.

"Harmonic Oscillators", the album's most challenging cut in more ways than one, is also worth a mention. Here, the guys in Abnormal Thought Patterns lose themselves in mathemathics for the first and only time on the album. It's the type of song to make aspiring musicians seethe with envy and set their instrument of choice on fire, being a technical tour de force full of mindboggling time signatures and incredibly dexterous playing. It's also, again with the maths, the only 7+-minute song on an album where the average one clocks in at 4 minutes, and without changing the formular around much. For many, this all-out assault will no doubt be considered the highlight of the album. For others, it'll be a bit too much of a good thing.

Speaking of the formular, ATP seems to have carved out a more than solid niche for itself already. Though the notes-per-minute count is oftentimes off the charts on Manipulation Under Anesthesia, the majority of its content manages to stay quite musical. The main event of their faster songs tend to be a heavy, hypnotic, repeated guitar riff, assisted by the always-very-audible bass humming surprisingly melodic tunes while the drums keep everything in place, usually prioritizing cymbal and snare patterns over flashy tom fills. On that note, the album is in no way lacking in heaviness or rhythmic depth despite foregoing the use of double kick drums. Quite an unusual feat in the shred-based instrumental metal environment.

For anyone familiar with Zero Hour, it should come as no surprise that ATP succeeds in shredding with style. But there's a lot more to them than that. Abnormal Thought Patterns keep an excellent balance between all three instruments (which are occasionally joined by some light synth accompaniment), making sure there's always something worthwhile happening on several fronts, and they're able to impress even when venturing out of their comfort zone. Manipulation Through Anesthesia does lose a bit of steam towards the end, but is nonetheless an impressive album and a very promising debut." - Metal Revolution

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    $10.00
  • In their brief existence, Haken are already highly respected within the British metal community, and their unique and imaginative genre-bending approach to music has garnered praise from all corners of the globe.Haken’s debut “Aquarius” was well-received by world wide media including Classic Rock Presents Prog, Outburn, Decibel, Progression as well as webzines. Their new release, “Visions” is yet another conceptual work encompassing sci-fi themes. Haken seamlessly meld metal with progressive rock, drawing influences from contemporary bands like Dream Theater and IQ as well as “old school” icons Genesis and Queen. Often bombastic and over the top, “Visions” features the addition of a string section and audiophile production from Spacelab Studios in Germany.During the past year, the band has toured extensively in Europe highlighted by an appearance in Germany at the prestigous Night Of The Prog festival in support of Dream Theater. The band made its US debut at ProgPower USA in September 2011.
    $13.00
  • New 2CD edition includes both Home and NY Suite resequenced into their originally intended order. Comes with a slipcase.
    $18.00
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    $16.00
  • "Upon listening to Trivium's The Crusade for the first time, it seems remarkable that this is the same band that recorded Ember to Inferno a scant three years ago. While last year's Ascendancy hinted at what was to come, it still doesn't prepare the listener properly. The former thrash metal band from Ember to Inferno disappeared and was replaced by this insanely talented quintet that plays an aggressive form of syncopated, intense progressive metal. With vocalist/guitarist Matt Heafy, drummer Travis Smith, guitarist Corey Beaulieu and bassist Paolo Gregoletto, Trivium should be ready for the world stage at this point, and this album should clue in those who think is speed metal is some passé form of rock music. Check the twin guitars in "Detonation" as Trivium weave dynamic, melodic passages around a crunching riff. Or the vocal chorus that opens "Entrance of the Conflagration," before it erupts into kick drum-driven mayhem without ever delving into cliché. Sure, early Metallica are an influence on Trivium (the Metallica who released Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets, not the current incarnation who left those guys in the dust to become a respectable rock band). This is not to say that thrash doesn't have its place in the mix -- check "To the Rats." Never has a drummer sounded so crisp and so completely in control of the beat than Smith does here. The quick yet devastatingly tasty guitar riffs that Heafy and Beaulieu concoct are creative, knotty and canny. Other notable cuts on this fine outing are "Becoming the Dragon," "The Rising," and the eight-plus-minute title cut that closes the set.Let's face it, though it's made and listened to primarily by the young, as a genre, metal has grown up and become far more sophisticated than it's given credit for. If anything, it's the only place in rock & roll music where innovation and creativity are flourishing because other than electricity and volume, there are no rules; the musicianship is top-notch, the writing gets better all the time, and production techniques are not the focus, music is. Trivium's The Crusade is a perfect example of what's possible. Along with other American bands like Mastodon and Slayer -- and an entire slew of groups from their home state of Florida -- Trivium are redefining the genre." - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • Special edition with bonus tracks."At first, I was somewhat unsure what I was going to get when I was sent this promo. The name seemed to be an attempt at a funny pun on the name of a “Harry Potter” character from my childhood. Then I read the press release, and just who was involved and realised it was going to be something awesome. Featuring ex-HELLOWEEN member Roland Grapow on guitars, as well as Thomen Stauch, who used to be in BLIND GUARDIAN, amongst other particularly good musicians, I just knew it was going to be a power metal treat.The album opens up with “I Seek No Other Life” and we’re straight into awesome riff territory, and some fantastically delivered vocals from Urban Breed, combined with awesome riffs and a powerful rhythm section, further developed by some nice bombastic keyboard melodies from Jan Vacik (ex-DREAMSCAPE). This is followed by “High And Low” and this has an awesome main melody that meets perfectly with the powerful chorus as well. A nice sense of groove really moves this song along.Some nice piano melodies open up “Sealing My Fate” in a delicate fashion, with some equally soft vocals here, before the song slams into a nice heavy yet melodic riff. This song has a really nice powerful chorus, and some great playing throughout. “Temple Of The Sun” is an instrumental with a fitting melody considering the title, with a highly symphonic sound to it, which then slams into “Akhenaton”, which is of course thematically similar to its instrumental introduction. This one has a real STRATOVARIUS feel to it, with really good use of dynamics in amongst some fantastic musical moments.“My Mystic Mind” is a real hard hitting track with some great guitar melodies and some nice use of dynamics, clashing stabbing guitars with piano melodies in a really interesting way. “Trail Of Murder” is straight off the bat a fantastic song, with some great guitar riffs meeting some tasty melodies. Again, the strong sense of dynamics is at play here, with lots going on in the song.Title-track “As Daylight Breaks” is a softer track, mainly relying on symphony and vocals to carry the track, with some really well performed parts all around making this a nice emotional sounding track with plenty of build and atmosphere. “Setting Fire To The Earth” follows this up and this one feels like PRAYING MANTIS on steroids, with heavy riffs and some great lyrical themes and vocal harmonies colliding to form a great track.Penultimate track, “Listen To The Storm”, builds an aptly moody atmosphere to start off with, with thunderous sounds meeting some nice guitar parts. The song develops nicely as it goes, with a really nice catchy chorus!The album ends on “Older And Wiser” and this is a nice high energy power metal track to finish things off, with some nice virtuosic playing and a nice fast pace throughout. This closes the album on a real nice note, leaving you feel pumped up and ready for more.The production is spot on, everything has a nice sense of power to it when needed, and softer moments are also equally well done. All the different things that are going on are mixed nicely, from heavy guitars to the softest piano moments. The vocals are also really nicely done, and a heavy rhythm section sound really powers this album along.“As Daylight Breaks” is a must-have for fans of Power Metal the way it should be done, there’s heavy and melodic riffs, soaring vocals, and great songwriting throughout this mammoth of an album. Keep your eyes peeled for this in 2015." - Metal Temple
    $16.00
  • ""If the voice don't say it, the guitar will play it," raps Saffron on "Pork-U-Pine," the third track on Jeff Beck's minimally titled Jeff. And he does. Beck teams with producer Andy Wright, the man responsible for his more complete immersion into electronic backdrops on his last outing, You Had It Coming. This time the transition is complete. Beck used electronica first on Who Else!, moved a little more into the fire on You Had It Coming, and here merges his full-on Beck-Ola guitar heaviness with the sounds of contemporary spazz-out big beats and noise. Beck and Wright employ Apollo 440 on "Grease Monkey" and "Hot Rod Honeymoon," and use a number of vocalists, including the wondrously gifted Nancy Sorrell, on a host of tracks, as well as the London Session Orchestra on others (such as "Seasons," where hip-hop, breakbeats, and old-school Tangerine Dream sequencing meet the guitarist's deep blues and funk-drenched guitar stylings). As for atmospherics, David Torn (aka producer Splattercell) offers a shape-shifting mix of glitch tracks on "Plan B" for Beck to wax on both acoustically and electrically, and make them weigh a ton. But it's on cuts like "Trouble Man," a purely instrumental big drum and guitar skronk workout, where Beck truly shines here. With a rhythm section of Dean Garcia and Steve Barney -- and Tony Hymas appears as well -- Beck goes completely overboard: the volume screams and the sheer crunch of his riffs and solos split the rhythm tracks in two, then four, and finally eight, as he turns single-string runs into commentaries on everything from heavy metal to East Indian classical music.The industrial crank and burn of "Grease Monkey" is an outing fraught with danger for the guitarist, who has to whirl away inside a maelstrom of deeply funky noise -- and Beck rides the top of the wave into dirty drum hell and comes out wailing. For those who feel they need a dose of Beck's rootsier and bluesier playing, there is one, but the context is mentally unglued. "Hot Rod Honeymoon" is a drum and bass sprint with Beck playing both slide and Texas-style blues à la Albert Collins, letting the strings bite into the beats. The vocals are a bit cheesy, but the entire track is so huge it's easy to overlook them. "Line Dancing With Monkeys" has a splintered Delta riff at its core, but it mutates, shifts, changes shape, and becomes the kind of spooky blues that cannot be made with conventional instruments. His turnarounds into the myopic rhythms provide a kind of menacing foil to their increasing insistence in the mix. Before gabber-style drum and bass threaten to break out of the box, Beck's elongated bent-note solos tame them. "JB's Blues" is the oddest thing here because it's so ordinary; it feels like it belongs on an updated Blow By Blow. In all this is some of the most emotionally charged and ferocious playing of Beck's career. Within the context of contemporary beatronica, Beck flourishes. He find a worthy opponent to tame in the machines, and his ever-present funkiness is allowed to express far more excess than restraint. This is as fine a modern guitar record as you are ever going to hear." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • "Houston, Texas is the place that the group who go by the name of Six Minute Century call home. Six Minute Century have a new album Wasting Time and it's one that comes with some serious hooks courtesy of guitarist Don LaFon. This melodic power/progressive group's well received debut Time Capsule introduced us to Six Minute Century in 2008 so it has been quite a long period between albums for fans of that release, but now the wait for their sophomore release is over.The first thing that I noticed about this group was the soaring vocals of Chuck Williams that is in a John Arch kind of way and fans of the heavier side of Fates Warning should give Six Minute Century a go. His approach totally suits the intriguing metal of Wasting Time, Six Minute Century is also group with very competent musicians the bass and drums really give Six Minute Century a hard driving sound not to mention some dynamic performances of their own along the way.Six Minute Century aren't afraid to put their bass player Michael "Dr. Froth" Millsap in the spotlight like on the instrumental "Czardas" and you can soon tell why as this guy is impressive, he also puts in a very nice introduction to "Last Days in Paradise". Two mid tempo songs that easily won me over thanks in a large part to guitarist Don LaFon are "Just Remains" and "The Killing Fields" these aren't the only memorable songs Six Minute Century have on Wasting Time but they certainly do reel you in promptly. Six Minute Century have a real knack at writing songs that entice you back again and again.Six Minute Century are onto something very agreeable here, and yes while their debut Time Capsule was quite good this new album Wasting Time shows a band that have lifted their game and the results are much more impressive." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $14.00
  • Since the release of 2013’s In Crescendo, Kingcrow toured North America in support of Pain Of Salvation, and headlined a European tour.  Kingcrow kept busy in 2014, touring Europe with Fates Warning and at the same time crafting the material that would become Eidos.“Eidos” is a new conceptual album about choices, consequences, dealing with regret and disillusion. Their earlier album Phlegethon dealt with childhood and In Crescendo about the end of youth.  Eidos can be considered the third part of a trilogy about the path of life. Musically it sees the band exploring new territories and pushing the extremes of its complex soundscape with a darker atmosphere and a more progressive attitude.Describing the band today is quite a difficult task, but one could state that the influence of such artists as Porcupine Tree, Riverside, Opeth, Anathema, Radiohead , King Crimson and Massive Attack are all present in the music of Kingcrow.With each release Kingcrow has taken a step further away from their original roots as a classic metal band and is now one of the most personal and exciting bands that Italy has to offer.
    $13.00
  • Second full length studio album from this British band finds them with new vocalist Ashe O'Hara replacing the great Dan Tompkins.  This shouldn't be inferred that O'Hara is any less a vocalist than Tompkins - he's excellent as well.While the core djent sound is there the band has moved a bit more into a prog rock direction.  In general its less metal and more rock.  O'Hara's vocals don't go in the screamo direction that a lot of djent bands prefer.  The instrumental parts are still stupifyingly crazy but crazy in a King Crimson meets Tool way.  I'm not sure what the djent metal community will think of this shift in course but I like this new direction.  The old was good - to my ears this is better.  Highly recommended.
    $9.00
  • New 3 CD edition of the long out of print album from Glass Hammer.  Arguably their best effort, the band was never fully satisfied with the mix so they decided to remix and resequence the album.  Bob Katz handled the mastering to give the album the sound it ultimately deserved.PRODUCTION NOTES - FRED SCHENDELNotes On The Inconsolable Secret “Remixed” CollectionThe project that was ultimately known as The Inconsolable Secret was conceived as a grandiose undertaking from the outset. We knew we wanted to do a themed album and we had the idea to try and incorporate orchestral elements, but hopefully in a way that bands often didn't; that is, written and orchestrated by ourselves as just another palette in the band and not as something grafted onto the music by an outside arranger.But as the project wore on we soon realized that it was going to be even more daunting than we had envisioned.Finally, the double cd was released and went on to a warm reception from fans.As time went by and Steve and I realized a new perspective on The Inconsolable Secret, we were forced to admit that maybe the album didn't truly reflect what we had envisioned as we worked on it. One conscious decision we had made (largely at my insistence, if I recall) was to mix the album in a very raw, unprocessed way. I felt that approach would help give the album a classic vibe. Also, we carefully avoided a lot of overdubbing, especially of keyboards, in an attempt to give the album a live feel, and looked to the orchestration to add the extra fullness and color. That was fine as far as it went but again, in hindsight, we clearly realized that was not the only approach to the material and there might be considerable merit in pursuing a more typical approach - that is, to make the production as big as the concept.It was probably as early as 2008 I first began to tinker with remixing parts of the album. It started with the drums. Our approach to the mix originally was basically to push the faders up and, there you go! Natural. When I revisited the drum tracks, there was frankly only so much that could be done due to the way we had mic'd them in the first place. But I did what I could to punch them up in the manner we would for a more "modern" sounding recording.Phase two of the revisit was overdubs, whatever and however many we felt would sweeten the overall sound to our liking. I started with guitar. I had played guitar initially on A Maker Of Crowns and basically ran out of steam after that. I had my hands full at the time and felt the last thing I needed to do (on what we hoped to be our ultimate recorded statement) was to fumble around in the studio trying to be a guitar player. Walter Moore's time was limited and better utilized as a singer. So we didn't get any guitar from him on the project. We asked David Carter add his talents to the project. He did manage to record guitar on Long and Long Ago, then left abruptly to play golf! Fortunately, Steve and I decided we were liking the idea of a power trio; keys, bass and drums enhanced with orchestra. So, The Inconsolable Secret inevitably had very little guitar. I have since added acoustic guitar to almost every song. As the remake stretched out over the years we ultimately had several guitarists add electric here and there and they all did a stellar job.Next, I added all the little keyboard pads and subtle embellishments we had eschewed originally.We then turned our attention to the vocals. While most of the vocal tracks fit well with the music, we couldn't say that they all did. A couple pieces in particular had always been envisioned, in a perfect world, to feature more of an archetypal high clear tenor, shall we say. At this point we saw no reason to reign back our ambitions in any way, so we searched the Internet for someone who might fit the bill and subsequently contacted a very nice young man from California to see if he'd like to try. He did, and susequently sang three albums for us and joined Yes as well.The last few odds and ends involved unfinished business in the orchestral department. There were some solos intended for real instruments that we just never got a chance to do, most important among them being the solo flute in Having Caught A Glimpse. There were attempts originally to beef up the orchestral sound to what some call a "Hollywood" or "film score" style in terms of its size; using samples and keyboards that I thought I could address and improve. We also re-recorded some choral parts to reflect new arrangements that we had been performing live.In the meantime, The Inconsolable Secret had become the only album of ours ever to become unavailable, simply due to the huge cost of keeping it in print. This had the unintended consequence of raising its status to near-mythic in some quarters and we knew we had a great opportunity to reintroduce it with our new embellishments in an (ironically) even bigger and more expensive version.Any time an artist revisits a work there will be controversy, especially when that work was generally highly regarded in the first place. We are well aware that the new versions will be regarded as heresy in some circles and it was always our intention to make sure the album was included in its original form. We warrant that the two discs representing the original album here are identical to the old release in every regard, save for the deletion of the multimedia files that had been on Disc One. Nor is it our intent to present the new mixes as definitive, or necessarily the “correct” ones. They do however represent a move toward the album as we originally had conceived it in our minds from a sonic standpoint. Obviously, since not all the material is represented, to experience the album as a conceptual whole you must refer back to the original (although we welcome you to assemble your own version from the two provided if you are so inclined). We realize that with the changes come some losses - the openness and simplicity of the original sound has been traded for a denser, fuller feel and we respect those who consider that a bad tradeoff. As for us though, we feel the effort to revisit this material was well worth it, and invite you all to enjoy both what was, and what is. In the end we hope that the music itself wins out over all the technical considerations.
    $25.00
  • New studio project put together by noted guitarist Henning Pauly of the band Chain. Most notable aspect of this project is the inclusion of Dream Theater vocalist James Labrie on all tracks. The music has a cinematic quality, melding progressive rock with a lighter style of progressive metal. At times the layering of Labrie's vocals are reminiscent of an old Queen album - it's almost larger than life. There are definite similarities to Dream Theater at points. Early listens remind me quite a bit of Pauly's band Chain but with a better singer and further refinement.
    $3.00
  • One of the really great progressive bands from the 90s is back with their first album in 7 years.  The band is fronted by Fredrick Ohlsson, one of the great voices in metal.  He sounds very much like prime era Geoff Tate so the band has often been compared to Queensryche.  Truth is there is more of a melancholy/doom power vibe going on but there are progressive overtones and it never becomes plodding in a Sabbath/St. Vitus/Candlemass way.  Its all kind of weird since this is a professed Christian band and those themes do crop up.  Even still Veni Domine should be enshrined in the Metal Hall Of Fame."After nearly seven years of silence, we hear again from Swedish metal band Veni Domine (latin: Come Lord) with their new album Light, now with Massacre Records. Early in their nearly 30 year career the band got 'labeled' as a doom metal band. It's a rather interesting thing as the band pursues Christian themes in their lyrics. Christian is not a religion of doom and despair, but of life and hope.Nevertheless, with a spin of Light, you may hear some of those 'doom' elements: deep sound and a brooding pace. Even Fredrik Sjöholm's voice has low, sober, feel. Yet, Veni Domine work in other elements as well like both symphonic and acoustic elements, and some simply fundamental heavy metal. Where They Story Ends is good example of the merger of the elements. It's at once atmospheric, heavy, and somber, yet gets speedy later on. This is perhaps the reason why some listener tack on 'progressive' when speaking of the band. Alternatively, listening to In Memoriam or Last Silence Before Eternity, the mood and music of Veni Domine might remind of Candlemass-like epic doom metal. More curious company to keep. Sometimes the mood, pace, and soberness of the music matches the title of the song as with Waiting, moved along mostly by voice, acoustic guitar, and steady drums. Finally, the band revisits some of their past by re-recording Oh Great City from their first album 1991's Fall Babylon Fall. I've never heard the original, so I can't speak to difference. It is, however, more brooding heavy metal. If progressive, sometimes epic, doom metal is your flavor of the month, you'll likely enjoy Veni Domine's Light." - Dangerdog.com
    $15.00
  • Magnus Karlsson's name might not be that familiar to you but if you are a fan of melodic metal you probably own an album or two he was involved in.  The Swedish guitarist's original band was Last Tribe.  After a number of albums for Frontiers he was the man behind the curtain for the two Allen/Lande albums as well as a bunch of other projects for the label.  Ultimately he became a member of Primal Fear and toured with this.Freefall is his first solo album under his own name.  He plays all the instruments except drums which are handled by Danny Flores of Mind's Eye.  Calling in favors, Karlsson has enlisted a who's who of vocalists from the melodic metal realm: Russell Allen (Symphony X), Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), Tony Harnell (TNT), Rick Altzi (Masterplan), David Readman (PC69), Mark Boals (Malmsteen), Michael Andersson (Cloudscape), Rikard Bengsston (Last Tribe), and Herman Saming (A.C.T).  That's a lot of good pipes!
    $13.00