Microsolco

SKU: MRC029
Label:
Maracash
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Lots of changes in the Mangala Vallis camp with this new release.  Bernardo Lanzetti is out, replaced by the great Rob Tiranti aka Rob Tyrant.  Many of you know Rob from his work in the metal world with Labyrinth but he has alway worked with New Trolls so he knows how to dial it back.  Great, great set of pipes.  The music has changed a bit too.  Its not as overtly retro although at times the keyboard sounds harken back to the 70s.  Definitely more of a contemporary neo feel.  Its a concept album about a hacker who infects the world with a virus that will destroy all the digital files on the planet.  Good times!

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  • "The beauty of Progressive music is the myriad of ways by which it may be approached by listeners and musicians alike. The Danish quartet ANUBIS GATE are soon to release their 6th album, “Horizons”, the first album without long-time members Morten Sørensen and Jesper M. Jensen, and doing well to stay with long-time producer Jacob Hansen. New members Morten Gade and Michael Bodin offer their exceptional instrumental skills in the mix. With “Horizons”, we see a continuation, albeit tangential, from the major turning point that was the self-titled album. With this release, one can expect the darkly melodic-melancholic and song-oriented Progressive music they have since become known for. As much as I loved the self-titled album, “Horizons” tops it in almost every way.“Never Like This” is exemplary of the band's ambitious, but inevitably excellent and evocative songwriting, that fuses liquid but hard-hitting riffs and airy, creative melodic work. Henrik expands his vocals here quite significantly, his immense range travelling from spectrum to spectrum and delivering catchy hooks in a deliciously Jazzy fashion. Coming from Pop roots, he offers something unique and tangible to the Metal table.  “Hear My Call” is my favorite track here; I was instantly hooked, even months ago, hearing just snippets on teasers. A deceptively heavy, yet groovy intro riff, drives the majority of the song, with yet again a creative display of melodic progressions. The chorus is delightful, with Henrik showing a soaring facet to his vocal repertoire. Both guitarists possess a unique ability to seamlessly transcend between the heavy and melodic in an instant, which is sudden and followable at the same time.Of course, “A Dream Within A Dream” requires a mention; their longest track, at 14 minutes it even surpasses “The End of Millennium Road”, but similarly combines an array of amorphous soundscapes. It also continues a neat little trick I have noticed the band perform, where certain lyrical passages would link back to previous tracks; such occurred with “Ammonia Snow” on “The Detached”. The highlight is the delicious passage demonstrated on the recent teaser, displaying a symbiotic melody between Henrik's bass and his vocals. “Erasure” is a surprising and very enjoyable acoustic piece that garnishes the end of the album. As opposed to the ballad “Ammonia Snow”, this track features predominantly acoustic guitars and a dramatic crash of distorted electric that breaks up any potential monotony. Did I mention the hauntingly beautiful lyrics?It is repressively hard not to ramble on about Progressive music with such surreal, engaging properties. In the end, any expectations I had of this release were not met, but blown away. The year is young, but it is already in my proverbial, annual top 10." - Metal Temple
    $12.00
  • Swedish masters of melancholy KATATONIA have announced a new concert film, "Sanctitude", to be released in North America on March 31 via Kscope."Sanctitude" will be released in four formats:* Blu-ray/DVD in 5.1 Surround Sound plus "Beyond The Chapel" documentary, including brand new interviews with Anders Nyström and Jonas Renkse.* CD/DVD package - audio / visual set including "Beyond The Chapel" documentary.* Double LP (incl. download code)* Digital download (audio)"Sanctitude" was filmed and recorded in the stunning, candle-lit setting of London's Union Chapel during KATATONIA's May 2014 "Unplugged & Reworked" tour — an intimate acoustic evening performing tracks from the "Dethroned & Uncrowned" album alongside atmospheric classics from the band's entire career, stripped and reworked. The 80-minute set features 17 songs across the albums "The Great Cold Distance", "Viva Emptiness", "Brave Murder Day", "Last Fair Deal Gone Down", "Dead End Kings" and "Dethroned & Uncrowned", including fan favorite "Teargas". The show closes with the sublime "The One You Are Looking For Is Not Here" and a special guest appearance by Norwegian vocalist Silje Wergeland of Dutch rockers THE GATHERING. The band was also joined on guitar and vocals by THE PINEAPPLE THIEF frontman and songwriter Bruce Soord."As a band we set out on uncharted waters, but while apprehensive about the journey ahead, our intentions couldn't have been more genuine to undertake this beautiful experience," commented guitarist Anders Nyström. "Sailing this project into harbor turned out to be bliss and has ultimately enriched all the members of KATATONIA."All audio on "Sanctitude" has been mixed and mastered by Bruce Soord, with artwork once more supplied by longtime visual collaborator Travis Smith.Disc 1:01. In The White02. Ambitions03. Teargas04. Gone05. A Darkness Coming06. One Year From Now07. The Racing Heart08. Tonight's Music09. Sleeper10. Undo You11. Lethean12. Day13. Idle Blood14. Unfurl15. Omerta16. Evidence17. The One You Are Looking For Is Not HereDisc 2:* Concert Film (80 minutes)* Documentary "Beyond The Chapel" (66 minutes)
    $16.00
  • "Christianity and Heavy Metal have never really been the most obvious of bedfellows. Ever since the formation of the genre at the end of the 1960's, the relationship between Heavy Metal, in particular the more extreme variations of it, and the established Church, have been, for the most part, frosty. This doesn't mean that the two cannot come together though; There are countless great bands that have been playing great music that pays homage, rather than expressing outright hatred, to Christianity; TROUBLE, MORTIFICATION, HORDE, CRIMSON MOONLIGHT and DIVINEFIRE are the first bands that spring to mind for me every time I hear some closed minded moron quote that old, cringe-worthy and wholly incorrect adage about the Devil having the best tunes. Slovakian Power Metallers, SIGNUM REGIS, are one such band that are not only proving this phrase wrong, but are also using their knowledge of their faith to create great themes and concepts for their albums. Their last full length, for example, was based around Moses' liberation of the Israelites and their trials in the desert. This latest EP is full of the sort of classic Power Metal that many have grown to love, and it sounds amazing.This EP opens with a very solid, powerful opener, "Living Well". This is a great piece of Power Metal, with all the hallmarks of the genre; with a few harder aspects peppering the classic sound, which gives it it's own unique flavour. All this track’s elements work well together; it's really well mixed, and doesn't wander into the realms of cheesiness as some Power Metal has a tendency to, and above all, it's a great way to kick the record off. "Through the Desert, Through the Storm" treads down a much more straightforward Heavy Metal path, with razor sharp guitar lines, angelic vocals and some fairly interesting keyboard parts thrown in for good measure. The chorus is great, with some genuinely hair-raising parts that were just made for singing along to. "My Guide In The Night" is another really good piece of Power Metal with brilliant vocals and guitar work, punishing drums and some really cool keyboard sections. The fourth track, "Come and Take It", is perhaps the most straight forward Power Metal song on here, with plenty of great hooks to keep the listener interested. The penultimate track, a re-recorded version of "All Over the World", sounds even better for having been redone, and sits very well among the bands newer material.  "Vengeance Liar", which closes this EP, is perhaps the strongest song on this record apart from "Through the Desert, Through the Storm", and has a really cool, classic Power Metal sound with some genuinely inspired guitar playing and really spectacular vocals to match. It sounds awesome, and is a very good high note to end this record on.This EP is very good. Anyone who loves Power Metal will most likely enjoy this. This sounds like a band that have honed their style and perfected their image, now ready to take their music to the world at large. I'd highly recommend this EP, and indeed the rest of this bands awesome back catalogue, to anyone who loves, powerful, uplifting Metal music." - Metal Temple
    $10.00
  • "This is the 1st album by a French band whose sound & compositional style are firmly rooted into Zeuhl and who features a line-up of vocals, guitar, bass, drums, synths, & flute.Vak started in 2008, centered around the prog/zeuhl compositions of drummer Vladimir Mejstelman : repetitive patterns, asymetric measures, crafted melodies and emphatic moments. After several musicians changes over the years, further influences completed the melting pot, from the rhythmic progressive metal influences reminiscent of Tool or some of Mike Patton's projects, to experiments echoing the Rock in Opposition scene, such as Guapo.Vocalist Aurelie Saintecroix does a great job, her wordless vocals strongly evoking Eskaton's early works. This first album has been recorded between 2011-2014, originally planed to be issued as 2 EPs (6 long tracks) - which never happened!Vak is currently heading towards a new kind of zeuhl with broad perspectives and influences, notably including metal & space-rock touches; a second album which will features more of this sound will hopefully be issued in 2016, but now, finally, you can hear all they have accomplished up to now!"
    $17.00
  • Remastered edition of the brilliant first solo album from Peter Hammill, recorded after Van Der Graaf Generator cut "H to He". Backed by various members of VDGG and Mr. Robert Fripp it is by any standard an impressive classic that still holds up today. This new edition comes with five previously unreleased bonus tracks of demos recorded at the original Trident Studios sessions. Essential.
    $9.00
  • "Henry Fool's Men Singing is an ambitious four track instrumental album featuring members of No-Man, I Monster and Roxy Music. Equal parts dynamic drums, spiky guitars and atmospheric washes of fluttering flutes and vintage keyboards, the album was produced and arranged by Stephen Bennett (keyboards) and Tim Bowness (guitar), and mixed by Jarrod Gosling (I Monster/Regal Worm), who also contributes Mellotron, glockenspiel and artwork. Appearing on two of the four tracks, Phil Manzanera's legendary guitar skills can be heard in the context of long-form instrumental music for the first time since his celebrated stint in 1970s mavericks Quiet Sun. Other contributions come from Peter Chilvers (bass), Michael Bearpark (guitar), Andrew Booker (drums), Myke Clifford (sax/flute) and violinist Steve Bingham. A vibrant and instinctive contemporary take on Progressive, Psychedelic and Jazz Rock styles, Men Singing is available as a limited edition cd in vinyl replica artwork. Mastered by Pink Floyd sound engineer, Andy Jackson."
    $15.00
  • Limited edition included a bonus DVD (PAL - region 0) with live footage from their Loreley gig."At last, XXV, the long awaited album from heavy proggers Pallas is to be released on the 24th of January 2011 on Music Theories Recordings, a sub of the Mascot Label Group. It will be the first album to feature new vocalist Paul Mackie and as previously announced it is the sequel to the bands hugely successful ‘Sentinel’ album 25 years on. Recorded at the band’s Mill Studio in Aberdeen, XXV has been over a year in the writing and recording and marks a welcome return to Pallas’ heavier rocking prog and as anyone who has recently seen the band on their handful of XXV preview shows there is a new dynamism to the band, brought about in the main by Paul Mackie’s far more upfront vocal style."
    $23.00
  • Sophomore release from this Sabaton offshoot.  This time the Swede's fixation is on the American Civil War.  Whatever floats your boat (or sinks it as the case may be).  Digipak edition with two bonus tracks."Civil War: a Swedish metal band styled after the American Civil War of 19th century. I'm not sure I get foreigner's fascination with one of the worst times in my country's history. But here they are. This is my first experience with Civil War, so for those who know the band, bear with me for a few words about their origins.Civil Was started by four original members of Sabaton, Daniel Mullback, Rikard Sundén, Daniel Myhr and Oskar Montelius, when they bailed from the band in 2012. They hooked up with Nils Patrik Johansson, of Astral Doors fame, for a lead vocalist. They returned to their melodic power metal roots for their chosen musical style. Next, lyrically, the tell tales of war and warriors. Did I say four guys were original members of Sabaton? Yup. It appears there's a recurring theme here, and it is possible to reinvent the wheel.As for the music, it's rather typical power metal and really requires no explanation. However, in combination with the lyrical themes, you may have difficulty shaking off the Sabaton vibe. Yet, if you like military history, Civil War becomes somewhat of a thinking man's heavy metal band. Though their name suggests the songs would be about that American war, Civil War speaks to a variety of persons and conflicts.Some of these are self-explanatory like Braveheart (William Wallace), Schindler's Ark, Back to Iwo Jima or the Bay Pigs, the failed invasion of Cuba by rebels financed by the American government. Some need a little explanation like Admiral Over The Ocean which concerns Nelson and the sea battle of Trafalgar or Tears of the North, about Vikings in Russia. Two songs speak specifically to the American civil war: USS Monitor, about the first ironclad steamship created by the Union Navy and Gods and Generals. The intent of the latter is more sketchy; it could have something to do with the Jeffery Shaara novel of the same name. My digital promo came with a lyric sheet which was helpful. I'm sure the lyrics will be in the CD booklet.Again, all these things are wrapped up in melodic heavy and power metal: good melody and harmony, quick pacing, flourishes of synths, and lots of guitar solos. The wild card here is probably Johansson's voice. He has the gruff sandpaper style which, for me, has always taken some to time to appreciate. Overall, Gods And Generals is solid, if not typical, European power metal, with the thoughtful militry history lyrics the strong feature, though this is not novel either. Recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $13.00
  • RPWL are a popular German prog band. They began life as a Pink Floyd cover band. The vestiges of that sound are still apparent. It would probably be safer to say that the material bears some similarity to David Gilmour's recent solo work but there are other influences at play here as well - particularly Porcupine Tree's harder edge."12 years after the formation of one of Germany's most successful modern Prog/art rock bands, RPWL takes its first shot at a concept album. Beyond Man and Time is a musical journey through the world outside of Platon s cave. The basic idea is a so-called revaluation of value in terms of a new way of thinking. In this world beyond man and time there exists creatures of higher knowledge that the protagonist meets allegorically along his journey: the keeper of the cave, the willingly blind, the scientist, the ugliest human, the creator, the shadow, the wise man in the desert and the fisherman. These create the musical themes for the characters in Beyond Man And Time , and along with oriental percussion, expanded Moog-soli and Indian sitar, create a well placed, atmospheric and colorful adaptation of the theme. RPWL have always been about originality and experimentation and Beyond Man And Time is a vast sociological journey through the depths of man s psyche and a welcome addition to their catalogue of exceptional and creative releases."
    $14.00
  • "If Astral Doors had an intention to re-revolutionize the metal and rock industry – flipping it on its ear and leaving mouths agape - well, it might be time for you to awaken from the fantasy. Astral Doors has and always will play badass rock ‘n’ metal that is so steeped in the historical realms of Rainbow and Ronnie James Dio that the material is stained a deep reddish brown. With that said, if you set those expectations to moniker of reality, “Notes from the Shadows” really is one of the most enjoyable metal albums you'll hear all year.Although I do think vocalist Nils Patrik Johansson (Civil War) plays tribute to the great Ronnie James Dio, he is quite distinctive and is by no means the “replica” which many people have stamped him as. A much closer listen to his work (check Civil War, Wuthering Heights, and Lion’s Share for reference), reveals a much deeper variety in style than the stigma he has received from critics who lazily overgeneralize. I’m sure Johansson is likely flattered by the comparison (who wouldn’t be), but on top of drawing influences from a myriad of vocalist admired over the years, he has a style that is easily identifiable.With that said, “Notes from the Shadows” presents a basic rock ‘n’ metal approach – a heavier Rainbow, if you will, so if this is not your bag…move on. For those that enjoy well written songs with bad ass Hammond style keyboards (from Joakim Rodberg) and absurdly infectious hooks (from Joachim Nordlund) all shadowed by Johansson’s bold vox, then this release will be met with insane enjoyment. “Last Temptation of Christ” and “Confessions” have all those typical Astral Doors hallmarks, including Johansson’s trademark “intro shouting” of the song title just shortly after the start. The best offerings include “Disciples of the Dragon Lord” (perhaps the heaviest on the album), “Walker the Stalker” and “Desert Nights” – all with more hooks than a Bassmaster tournament.My personal favorite is “Shadowchaser,” which starts with a melody that is a near replica of “Man on the Silver Mountain” (which certainly won’t help with that Dio/Rainbow stigma). It quickly turns into one of the most accessible tracks on the album. “Die Alone” – which is a drum clinic of badassery from Johan Linstedt (and not for awe inspiring fills, just ability to inspire headbanging) – is another in a string of tracks that would make the Astral Doors best-of release.Don't expect “Notes from the Shadows” to teach you a new way to rock. If that happens, you probably are not listening to Astral Doors. Consider this a lesson in how to properly rock through echos of the greats like Rainbow, Sabbath and, of course, Dio. If you enjoy the extension of a great legacy carried on through newer acts, you will find much to enjoy on this album. "Notes from the Shadows" is just a continuation of the great song writing and unique ability to force the body rock out which you should come to expect from Astral Doors." - Metal Underground
    $15.00
  • "Hailing from Poole in Dorset, the band featured GARY MARGETTS on guitar and vocals, TRISTAN MARGETTS on bass guitar, vocals and synthesiser and TONY BROCK on drums.Formed in 1971, the band was originally known as Transient Sand and was managed by local promoter John House, a friend of GREG LAKE of EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER. Through this association Lake offered to produce the band, now known as Spontaneous Combustion. With Lake’s interest confirmed a recording contract was arranged with Harvest in the closing months of 1971."TRIAD” was the band’s second album, released in October 1972 and over the coming years has become a sought after Prog Rock classic.This Esoteric Recordings reissue includes three bonus tracks from the band’s singles of the period, two of which are previously unreleased on CD. It has been newly re-mastered from the original master tapes and features a booklet that fully restores all original album artwork with a new essay."
    $7.00
  • "Progressive rock and boy-band pop seem like natural enemies at first. The former's fascination with ornate, elongated passages of finger-exhausting musicianship is in almost every way the opposite of the latter's emphasis on catchiness first; it's hard to imagine turn-of-the-millennium hits like "Bye Bye Bye" with extended guitar and keyboard solos. Yet ever since A Doorway to Summer, their 2005 debut, Moon Safari has put to rest the notion that progressive-minded songwriters can't make pop that's as hook-driven as it is ostentatious. Grandiloquent epics like "Other Half of the Sky," from the 2008 double album Blomljud, weave together widescreen arrangements with the band's signature five-part vocal harmony, a feature unmatched by few groups in any genre, anywhere. It's easy to isolate the audience with solipsistic soloing and obtuse orchestrations, but from day one Moon Safari has made prog that—assuming the layperson were more amenable to songs that run upwards of thirty minutes—could lead them to something like a pop crossover hit.But while the union of hook-heavy vocal interplay and '70's prog stylistics gives Moon Safari an unmistakable, unique sound, it also handicapped them in a significant way for their first two LPs. The group's accessibility on A Doorway to Summer and Blomljud, along with its technical prowess, is unassailable, but the high-fructose sweetness of its style leads to a diabetic rush when stretched out onto songs that span ten to thirty minutes. For example, "Other Half of the Sky," the titanic thirty minute showstopper off of Blomljud, has so many memorable hooks that by the time it's run its time out, it's hard to remember all of them. The classic problem of "too many voices leads to a noisy room" was the defining problem of Moon Safari's otherwise enjoyable sound for some time. All that changed, however, in 2010 with the release of Lover's End.It is no exaggeration—even as the decade remains young—to say that Lover's End is one of the finest progressive rock records of the '00's. Hell, it's not even crazy to say that it's one of the finest pop albums of the '00s; anyone, even those turned off by prog's eccentricities, can find something to love on this mellifluous collection of songs. From the a cappella charm of "Southern Belle" to the hook-loaded "New York City Summergirl," Lover's End is chock full of goodness from beginning to end. What explains its genius is that in contrast to A Doorway to Summer and Blomljud, the songs are given exactly the amount of space they need, and not a second more. Some songwriters may feel hamstrung by the verse/chorus structure, but it's a perfect fit for Moon Safari's joyous approach to music.With their newest studio outing, Himlabacken, Vol. 1, Moon Safari continue the refining of their sound, and while this isn't the breakthrough that Lover's End was, it nonetheless attests to the brilliance of this group. Whereas the latter was bound by a loose concept (love and heartbreak), Himlabacken Vol. 1 is less a lyrics album than its predecessor. The cost of this is that the music is less distinct in its cohesiveness, but there are no shortage of catchy passages and amped-up solos. "Mega Moon" comes off as a tribute to musical theatre, with "The Very Model of A Modern Major General" vocal delivery interweaving with Queen-esque bombast to an impressive effect. "Too Young to Say Goodbye" sees and matches the polyharmonic beauty of "Lover's End (Part One)." By sticking to concise song formats—the longest cut here runs nine and a half minutes—Moon Safari ensures that things never run out of steam, an essential quality to any good progressive rock band.If nothing else, Himlabacken, Vol. 1 proves that there's one thing Moon Safari can't be accused of: being unaware of themselves. Grand finale "Sugar Band" is as much a statement of identity as it is a slice of epic pop: "Sweet and saccharine are we," they declare, followed by "syrup's the blood in our veins." (Less successful is the clumsy Katy Perry innuendo of, "suck our big candy canes," which is thematically consistent but tonally off.) Both "Sugar Band" and "Little Man," one of the few Moon Safari songs to feature a solo vocal, are emblematic of the mushiness that might turn some prog fans away from their music. The latter, while obviously a touching document of a father's love for his son, does feel a bit out of place in how deeply personal it is; part of the strength of this group's sonic is the universality of its pop appeal, and the intimacy behind "My Little Man" makes listening to it an almost voyeuristic experience. "Mega Moon" and "Sugar Band" are better at capturing the convivial spirit of the band that's accessible to all.As with past outings, even those drawn to vocal harmonies might find it hard to stomach all of the sweetness of Himlabacken, Vol. 1. But what ultimately makes this LP successful is its unpretentious commitment to fun. Moon Safari are a rare collective that prove daunting musical chops aren't anathema to accessibility, and with Himlabacken, Vol. 1 they've made a recording that, while not the magnum opus that Lover's End was, is as true a capturing of their ethos as there could ever be. Sating a sweet tooth brings to mind the phrase "guilty pleasure," but there's no guilt involved with music as first-class as this. Who knew being in a boy band could sound so classy? " - Sea Of Tranquility
    $16.00
  • "Volume 2 of the Bavarian broadcast series present further recordings of Area, for once from the period 1977-1979.Five live tracks from 2 concerts and four tracks recorded in Bavarian Broadcast Corporation owned studio "Franken" "at Nuremberg". Aera played a lively jazz-rock dominated by soloist and sax and flute player Klaus Kreuzeder, based on powerful and clever keyboard playing all held together by amazing bass player Matz Steinke and drummer Lutz Oldemeier (of Missus Beastly-fame) and lots of percussions. Aera were in a very good shape and gave their best. Highlights are the 17 minutes long version of "Draculas Fruhstuck' and nearly 10 minutes version of "You need some speed". All titles were digitally remastered from the original tapes. Booklets contains the history of the recordings and rare photos."
    $16.00
  • Album number 14 from the premier American symphonic rock band.  Steve Babb and Fred Shendel mix up the deck a bit with different cast of characters but the core sound remains intact.  If you are unfamiliar with Glass Hammer what you need to know is that Steve and Fred have assimilated the best elements of 70s US and Euro prog and melded it into something fresh.  Vocalist Jon Davison sounds so much like Jon Anderson that he was actually poached by Yes!  This is lush symphonic rock with killer keys.  Think in terms of Yes, Kansas, ELP, and Gentle Giant and toss 'em in a blender.  That's the Glass Hammer sound.  Lots of interesting guests this time around.  Old GH alumni Walter Moore and Michelle Young make and appearance.  Higher profile guests include Randy Jackson (Zebra - not American Idol!), David Ragsdale (Kansas), and Rob Reed (Magenta).  Another triumph from the good old southern boys of prog.  Highly recommended.
    $12.00