Marbles (2CD Digibook)

SKU: SMACD972
Label:
Madfish
Category:
Progressive Rock
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"Marbles was originally released on the band's own Racket Records label and attracted a lot of attention when it was released as the album had been funded by donations from fans who had pre-ordered the album before they started recording in return for having their name printed within the album artwork (over 18,000 names). This new 2CD Madfish edition of the album is packed in a deluxe 36 page digibook re-worked by original designer Carl Glover. The book features unseen pictures not used in the original artwork. The tracks on the second disc have previously only been available through the band's own website."

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  • Reissue of the first album from this eclectic British neoprog band. Red Jasper always stood out from the crowd. They drew equally from the genres of progressive rock and folk rock. You get this weird hybrid of Fairport Convention meets Marillion. Instrumentation included electric mandolin and tin whistle so you get this sound that was somewhat like late 70s Jethro Tull but with much more elaborate song forms. Lead vocalist Davey Dodds is like a cross between Geoff Mann and David Bowie. Long out of print, this new edition comes with three bonus tracks.
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  • The technical metal genre has pretty much been dormant for many years. It has somewhat morphed into djent metal these days which bears a lot of similarities but it isn't quite the same thing now is it? After an 8 year pause the UK tech metal band Linear Sphere has returned with their second album. Back in 2004 the band released Reality Dysfunction, an album somewhat molded in the Spiral Architect vein. Their new album, Manvantara, carries on in that direction. Its a conceptual work of an existential and metaphysical nature. What you can expect is mind bending metal cut with extreme precision melded with jazz/fusion breaks. With the departure of Charlie Griffiths who went on to join Haken, the band carried on with founding member Martin Goulding handling all the guitar parts. Vocalist Jos Geron still takes a bit of getting used to - he has a bit of raspiness - but his singing has improved substantially from the debut. Plenty of shred to be heard but all done tastefully. This is one of my favorite styles of metal so it was real nice to hear something along these lines after so many years. Highly recommended.
    $13.00
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  • Gnô is a French power trio whose style is often described as Pantera meets The Beatles. After releasing Trash Deluxe (Janvier records) in 2002, Gnô is back with a new opus entitled Cannibal Tango, even more brutal though more melodic as well. The three piece combo play heavy rock with a good balance between metal riffs and catchy melodies. Their stock in trade is daredevil chops highlighted by insane stunt guitar. The rhythm section, powered by the roaring bass of Gaby Vegh and thunderous drumming by Peter Puke, provides an ideal foundation for the wizardry of Christophe Godin (Morglbl), considered one of the finest guitar players today! Not one, but three lead singers is another characteristic of the band, and they pay great attention to vocal harmonies à la Beatles or Kings X. While the musicianship will leave you shaking your head in disbelief, the humorous lyrics will have you laughing out loud. These three French maniacs revolve around the same planet as their musical brethren Freak Kitchen. If Frank Zappa had made a metal album it would sound something like this.
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  • "When one thinks of countries that are a hotbed of prog metal bands, places such as Norway, Sweden, and Finland come to mind. However the Land Down Undah’ otherwise known as Australia has been churning out amazing prog metal bands for the past decade. Bands such as Hemina, Voyager, Lord, Carnivool, Caligula’s Horse, Teramaze and Melbourne’s Vanishing Point have been wowing the prog metal scene for the past decade. It’s been seven long years since the release of Vanishing Point’s The Fourth Season, but the melodic metal quintet consisting of Silvio Massaro (Vocals), Chris Porcianko and James Maier (Guitars), Simon Best (Bass), and Christian Nativo (Drums) have finally returned with their fifth studio album Distant Is The Sun on AFM Records. The band has stayed true to their unique blend of progressive, power, AOR metal and have secured the talents of Sebastian “Seeb” Levermann of Ordan Ogen for mixing duites on Distant Is The Sun. Picking up right where The Fourth Season left off, the musicianship and songwriting on Distant Is The Sun is exceptional.The album kicks off with the short instrumental track Beyond Redemption and powers right into the first song King of Empty Promises. The double bass drum attack from Nativo and melodic keyboards lead the way and the harmonious soaring vocals during the chorus are a perfect way to officially start the album.The title track is next and begins with a heavy groove and transforms into a light piano tinged verses with Massaro’s impressive vocals leading to a catchy and melodic chorus. The twin guitar harmony lead attack from Porcianko and Maier is a thing of beauty during the solo section.Symphonic keys signify the start of When Truth Lies, an epic slab of energetic melodic progressive metal with a driving headbanging beat. Sonata Arctica frontman Tony Kaako lends his melodic pipes to the fast and furious power metal of Circle of Fire. Kaako and Massaro’s vocals compliment each other extremely well and create an amazing metal duet.The keyboard prominence on Denied Deliverance is pronounced in the mix but never overshadows the heaviness of the track, it just adds to the overall melody of the song. A blazing guitar solo section highlights the middle portion of another stellar song. Let the River Run has an impeccable acappella vocal harmony section that begins this mid tempo metal gem. The beautiful vocals during the chorus will be stuck in your head for days after listening.The album slows down for the piano based Story of Misery but don’t be fooled into thinking this is a traditional power ballad. The emphasis is on POWER with a emotive vocal performance from Massaro. Era Zero speeds things right back up with a frenzied double kick attack with plenty of soaring melodic vocals throughout and a shredding guitar solo from the tandem of Porcianko/Maier and culminates in a symphonic ending and bursts right into Pillars of Sand which keeps the hard and fast metal flowing.The eerie keyboard intro of As December Fades melds into a Maiden-esque guitar harmony and a glorious AOR sounding chorus with a symphonic element that is reminiscent of Within Temptation. A bright piano melody signals the beginning of Handful of Hope. Once again Massaro gets his chance to shine with an impressive vocal performance filled with passion and emotion. The bands penchant for writing catchy power metal is on display on Walls of Silence. The brilliant symphonic melodies and heavy guitar compliment each other perfectly. The album closes with the acoustic guitar tinged instrument titled April, an understated yet effective piece of music with a keyboard accompaniment underneath in the mix. It is a curious choice to end the album, but well done nonetheless.After a seven-year absence, the world of melodic prog welcomes back Vanishing Point with open arms and hopefully Distant Is The Sun will shoot the band to the next level of popularity outside their native Australia. This goes to show that like a fine wine, Vanishing Point only improves with age!" - Lady Obscure
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  • "Forming in 2008, the floodgates appear to be wide open creatively for releasing full length product for this UK progressive metal act. Two albums within two years, as well as a prime support slot for the Devin Townsend Project across 12 countries in Europe during 2011 leads us to the third record Enigma. Filling out as a quintet with new keyboardist Shaz, the nine songs on this effort illustrate the ability to siphon the old, complex template with a modern, semi-staccato meets djent guitar style in shorter, compact arrangements.Aeon Zen isn’t afraid to add a light, jazzy horn break during the tranquil section of the somber “Seven Hills,” which contrasts the conventional Dream Theater-like musical montage that opens the record instrumentally entitled “Enter the Enigma.” Drummer Steve Burton is adept at death metal blasts just as he is twisting tempos at will- check out the Opeth-esque “Divinity” for his double bass maneuvers, lightning fast fills and impeccable sense of timing.Alongside the professional skills of vocalist Andi Kravljaca (Silent Call), three other vocalists appear to add their own texture to the band’s cause. Atle Pettersen (Above Symmetry), Jonny Tatum (Eumeria) and Nate Loosemore (Lost in Thought) give Enigma a deeper emotional platform, as the clean and extreme deliveries match the mood of each arrangement.It’s a younger generation who seem willing and able to push parameters and use technology to deliver a wider scope of feelings, emotions, and contrasts. Much like the peanut butter and chocolate argument of whether each is better separate or together, Aeon Zen has no qualms about loving Symphony X, Threshold, and Megadeth as much as Periphery or Between The Buried And Me- and making it work within their output.Melodic, modern progressive metal that should grab a wide scope in audience enthusiasm - Enigma could be a sleeper hit if these gentlemen land the right touring situations. " - Blistering.com
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  • First album with the Annie Haslam fronted band. Not their best but a just a foreshadowing.  Still solid classical prog rock none the less.  Must have.
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  • First time on CD for this brilliant album from 1980. Cybotron recorded three studio albums as well as a live official bootleg. The band hailed from Australia and were led by Steve Braund. Their musical roots were actually based in krautrock. They were heavily influenced by Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel. The differences were pretty dramatic actually. Implosion features wild synth flourishes, as well as an active rhythm section as well as sax. It has much more of a rock feel than the Tangs. When they go electronic it's heavily sequenced along the lines of Phaedra and Stratosfear. Great stuff actually. The booklet comes with detailed liner notes and photos and more importantly 25 minutes of unreleased material for their proposed next album that never materialized. A prog classic!
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  • Although Jeff Lynne found fame and fortune in the later years of ELO, it was the early albums that featured some great and innovative progressive rock. Originally conceived as an offshoot project of The Move, ELO featured Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne (of The Idle Race). The two had a falling out over the direction of the band and Wood split to form Wizzard. After the mixed bag that was ELO II, Lynne found firm footing with On The Third Day. It's a fantastic fusion of classical, pop, and prog. The Beatles are an obvious influence but it was ELO's use of cellos and violin within the context of rock music that made them stand out (OK - they were not the first to do this but they were the best). This is a remastered edition that features a number of bonus tracks including unreleased material. Perhaps I'm nostalgic about this album as it was part of my formative years of listening to progressive rock. File under highly recommended.
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  • "The second installment of our 20th Anniversary celebration, "Off the Floor 02" continues with more live-in-the-studio performances of staples from our live sets. Taken from the same sessions as "Off the Floor (01)," the track list draws from each of our five studio albums and includes a healthy dose of improvisation, a bit of re-imagining and even a little new music in the form of a bass & drums interlude.We won't repeat the "Brief History of Tiles" from the OtF (01) liner notes, but will take a moment to revisit the basic 'off the floor' concept. After much discussion about our "platinum" milestone (unfortunely not for sales!), we decided to do a live album using the somewhat non-traditional approach of recording live in the studio. This is actually what the phrase 'off the floor' means in recording lingo: to record a song as a complete performance without adding more parts (overdubs) later. We recruited a few friends to be our audience – for inspiration and to keep us on our toes.Having the controlled environment of a private 'soundstage' allowed us to focus on the music. We didn't have to haul a bunch of equipment into a club and deal with recording technicalities, show promotion and other business distractions. Although we were in a studio, "OtF 02" is still "live" – complete with the occasional less-than-perfect note and other minor imperfection. We did, however, take advantage of the relaxed setting and usually played each song twice, picking the best version for the CD. Occasionally we didn't need a second take, but a couple of times we needed a third take ("Patterns" oddly enough!).To offer a little something different, "OtF (01)" had a couple special guests plus an expanded arrangement of 'The Wading Pool.' For "Off the Floor 02" we dug into our archives and dusted off a few tunes from our appearance at the 2005 Rites of Spring Festival (ROSfest). We had recorded our entire 2-hour set, but filed the hard drive away with little thought it would see the light of day. Technical problems had dogged us the moment we hit the stage and left us feeling unsatisfied with our performance. Sampler and keyboard sounds would mysteriously reset and the bass amp would cut in and out. Figuring out why these intermittant problems were happening was made even more challenging by Jeff's state of exhaustion; even though it was a good kind of exhaustion caused by the birth of his daughter just four days before the show. Since the problems were on his side of the stage he had to play detective and keep up with the songs! Eventually, the issue was discovered and duct tape strategically applied to a loose electrical wall outlet – which worked just fine unless someone happened to use the side-stage walkway.Although tempted by the 12-minute "venting" version of "Capture the Flag," we didn't want to repeat any songs already included on either Off the Floor disc. Fortunately, "Facing Failure," "Ballad of the Sacred Cows," "Paintings" and "Window Dressing" were in all-around good shape. We only needed to drop in a couple missing samples and a keyboard part. By including selections from ROSfest as part of the Off the Floor project we get to acknowledge Pat Deleon, our drummer from 1997 to 2005, and present a complete live history of Tiles." - Chris Herin/TilesDisc One: Off the Floor 021. Patterns (4.38)2. Hide & Seek (8.09)3. Taking Control (5.14)4. Remember To Forget (5.00)5. Analysis Paralysis (5.18)6. Cactus Valley (7.01)7. Sacred & Mundane (6.30)8. Dancing Dogs (5.45)9. Safe Procedures (7.31)10. Another's Hand (6.26)Mark Evans: Drums & PercussionChris Herin: Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Backing VocalsPaul Rarick: Lead VocalsJeff Whittle: Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing VocalsDisc Two: Live at the 2005 Rites of Spring Festival1. Intro/Facing Failure (6.48)2. Ballad Of The Sacred Cows (7.24)3. Paintings (5.04)4. Window Dressing (17.03)Paul Rarick: Lead VocalsChris Herin: Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Backing VocalsJeff Whittle: Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing VocalsPat DeLeon: Drums, PercussionBonus Videos (from the Off the Floor sessions):1. Landscrape (4.27)2. Remember To Forget (5.00)
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