Mirrors

SKU: ALT-030
Label:
Altrock Records
Category:
Avant Garde/RIO
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""Two years after Iridule, finally the italian band Yugen comes back with its first live album. The cd captures the show at RIO Fest 2011, in Carmaux, France, and presents the group in an extraordinary seven-member line-up.

As Sid Smith writes in the liner notes, Mirrors is "a dizzying cavalcade of turn-on-a-dime rhythms, intriguing harmonies and striking, anthemic melodies that have a habit of drilling down deep into the consciousness of the listener".

"Yugen represents an exciting forward-looking trend in European music", Smith underlines, "marrying both intellect and emotion in one seamless and coherent partnership. How successful they are in this endeavour you can judge for yourself by playing this remarkable and frequently thrilling live souvenir.""

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  • "With 1985's Metal Heart, German metal institution Accept attempted to add catchier choruses and melodies to their high-octane guitar riffing in a clear ploy to crack the American market. Not that this move in any way upset the balance of their thus-far smooth-running metal machine, which had been gaining momentum with every release since the start of the decade. No, Metal Heart was certainly a step toward accessibility, but a cautious one at that -- and, frankly, there was no toning down when it came to the lacerated larynx of gifted lead screamer Udo Dirkschneider. You gotta hand it to Accept, they sure knew how to make an entrance by now, and the apocalyptic title track is about as dramatic as it gets (the operatic "Bound to Fail" comes close), with guitarist Wolf Hoffman taking the helm on a long, mid-song solo excursion containing equal nods to Beethoven (very nice) and Edward Van Halen (get real). First single "Midnight Mover" is next, and along with the even more melodic "Screaming for a Love-Bite," it places obvious emphasis on hooks and melodies (and proved to be the toughest to stomach for the band's more hardcore fans). But despite another strange detour into jazz territory with the bizarre "Teach Us to Survive," Accept still packed amazing power, heaping on their Teutonic background vocals for the ultraheavy "Dogs on Leads" and gleefully pile-driving their way through relentless moshers like "Up to the Limit" and "Wrong Is Right." The brilliantly over-the-top "Too High to Get It Right" finds Dirkschneider screeching like never before, and to cap things off, the band really cooks on "Living for Tonight" -- arguably the best track all around. A winning set." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • Remastered edition finally taken from the original master tapes and transferred utilizing 24 bit / 96 khz technology.
    $10.00
  • "1981's Mob Rules was the second Black Sabbath album to feature vertically challenged singer Ronnie James Dio, whose powerful pipes and Dungeons and Dragons lyrics initially seemed like the perfect replacement for the recently departed and wildly popular Ozzy Osbourne. In fact, all the ingredients which had made their first outing, Heaven and Hell, so successful are re-utilized on this album, including legendary metal producer Martin Birch (Deep Purple, Whitesnake, etc.) and supporting keyboard player Geoff Nichols. And while it lacks some of its predecessor's inspired songwriting, Mob Rules was given a much punchier, in-your-face mix by Birch, who seemed re-energized after his work on New Wave of British Heavy Metal upstarts Iron Maiden's Killers album. Essentially, Mob Rules is a magnificent record, with the only serious problem being the sequencing of the material, which mirrors Heaven and Hell's almost to a tee. In that light, one can't help but compare otherwise compelling tracks like "Turn Up the Night" and "Voodoo" to their more impressive Heaven and Hell counterparts, "Neon Knights" and "Children of the Sea." That streak is soon snapped, first by the unbelievably heavy seven-minute epic "The Sign of the Southern Cross," which delivers one of the album's best moments, then its segue into an unconventional synthesizer-driven instrumental ("E5150") and the appearance of the roaring title track. Side two is less consistent, hiding the awesome "Falling off the Edge of the World" (perhaps the most overlooked secret gem to come from the Dio lineup) amongst rather average tracks like "Slipping Away" and "Over and Over." Over the next year, the wheels fell off for Black Sabbath, and Dio's exit marked Mob Rules as the last widely respected studio release of the band's storied career." - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • "Newcomers, UK rock band Snakecharmer is a super-group comprised of long-time veterans from some very successful British blues/hard-rock band and the band’s self-titled debut album comes out on Frontiers Records on Feb. 5th. The band plays bluesy, guitar-driven arena rock so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the band was brought together by original Whitesnake members Micky Moody (guitar) and Neil Murray (bass). Other members of the band include Adam Wakeman (Ozzy/Black Sabbath) on keyboards, Laurie Wisefield (x-Wishbone Ash) on guitar, Harry James (x-Thunder, Magnum) on drums and Chris Ousey (x-Virginia Wolf, Heartland). Similar to Moody and Murray’s previous project, Company of Snake, this new band is closer in sound to Bad Company than Whitesnake but you can hear elements of the ‘snake and even early Foreigner in some of the songs." - Brooklyn Rocks 
    $9.00
  • "Secret Voyage is another kaleidoscopic musical journey through time and space, incorporating and rearranging traditional melodies from all over Europe, blending the "old" and contemporary. The brilliant guitar stylings of Ritchie Blackmore, the enchanting vocals and lyrics of singer/songwriter Candice Night and the saturation of authentic Renaissance instruments woven throughout the melodies, create a unique style of music they call Renaissance/Folk/Rock. Secret Voyage consists of twelve new tracks, recorded by Candice Night, Ritchie Blackmore and their Band Of Minstrels. This musical journey is inspired by nature and incorporates acoustic and electric guitars, strings, renaissance instruments and Candice Night s ethereal voice and mystical lyrics."
    $15.00
  • "After successfully establishing themselves as one of America's best commercial progressive rock bands of the late '70s with albums like The Grand Illusion and Pieces of Eight, Chicago's Styx had taken a dubious step towards pop overkill with singer Dennis DeYoung's ballad "Babe." The centerpiece of 1979's uneven Cornerstone album, the number one single sowed the seeds of disaster for the group by pitching DeYoung's increasingly mainstream ambitions against the group's more conservative songwriters, Tommy Shaw and James "JY" Young. Hence, what had once been a healthy competitive spirit within the band quickly deteriorated into bitter co-existence during the sessions for 1980's Paradise Theater -- and all-out warfare by the time of 1983's infamous Kilroy Was Here. For the time being, however, Paradise Theater seemed to represent the best of both worlds, since its loose concept about the roaring '20s heyday and eventual decline of an imaginary theater (used as a metaphor for the American experience in general, etc., etc.) seemed to satisfy both of the band's camps with its return to complex hard rock (purists Shaw and JY) while sparing no amount of pomp and grandeur (DeYoung). The stage is set by the first track, "A.D. 1928," which features a lonely DeYoung on piano and vocals introducing the album's recurring musical theme before launching into "Rockin' the Paradise" -- a total team effort of wonderfully stripped down hard rock. From this point forward, DeYoung's compositions ("Nothing Ever Goes as Planned," "The Best of Times") continue to stick close to the overall storyline, while Shaw's ("Too Much Time on My Hands," "She Cares") try to resist thematic restrictions as best they can. Among these, "The Best of Times" -- with its deliberate, marching rhythm -- remains one of the more improbable Top Ten hits of the decade (somehow it just works), while "Too Much Time on My Hands" figures among Shaw's finest singles ever. As for JY, the band's third songwriter (and resident peacekeeper) is only slightly more cooperative with the Paradise Theater concept. His edgier compositions include the desolate tale of drug addiction, "Snowblind," and the rollicking opus "Half-Penny, Two-Penny," which infuses a graphic depiction of inner city decadence with a final, small glimmer of hope and redemption. The song also leads straight into the album's beautiful saxophone-led epilogue, "A.D. 1958," which once again reveals MC DeYoung alone at his piano. A resounding success, Paradise Theater would become Styx's greatest commercial triumph; and in retrospect, it remains one of the best examples of the convergence between progressive rock and AOR which typified the sound of the era's top groups (Journey, Kansas, etc.). For Styx, its success would spell both their temporary saving grace and ultimate doom, as the creative forces which had already been tearing at the band's core finally reached unbearable levels three years later. It is no wonder that when the band reunited after over a decade of bad blood, all the music released post-1980 was left on the cutting room floor -- further proof that Paradise Theater was truly the best of times." - Allmusic Guide
    $8.00
  • Remastered with 2 bonus tracks."Over the course of their first three late-'70s albums, Foreigner had firmly established themselves (along with Journey and Styx) as one of the top AOR bands of the era. But the band was still looking for that grand slam of a record that would push them to the very top of the heap. Released in 1981, 4 would be that album. In producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange -- fresh off his massive success with AC/DC's Back in Black -- guitarist and all-around mastermind Mick Jones found both the catalyst to achieve this and his perfect musical soulmate. Lange's legendary obsessive attention to detail and Jones' highly disciplined guitar heroics (which he never allowed to get in the way of a great song) resulted in a collaboration of unprecedented, sparkling efficiency where not a single note is wasted. "Nightlife" is only the first in a series ("Woman in Black," "Don't Let Go," the '50s-tinged "Luanne") of energetic, nearly flawless melodic rockers, and with "Juke Box Hero," the band somehow managed to create both a mainstream hit single and a highly unique-sounding track, alternating heavy metal guitar riffing, chorused vocals, and one of the ultimate "wanna be a rock star" lyrics. As for the mandatory power ballad, the band also reached unparalleled heights with "Waiting for a Girl Like You." One of the decade's most successful cross-genre tearjerkers, it has since become a staple of soft rock radio and completely eclipsed the album's other very lovely ballad, "Girl on the Moon," in the process. And last but not least, the surprisingly funky "Urgent" proved to be one of the band's most memorable and uncharacteristic smash hits, thanks to Junior Walker's signature saxophone solo. Through it all, vocalist Lou Gramm does his part, delivering a dazzling performance that confirmed his status as one of the finest voices of his generation. Three years later, Foreigner would achieve even greater success on a pop level with the uneven Agent Provocateur, but by then Jones and Gramm were locked in an escalating war of egos that would soon lead to the band's demise. All things considered, 4 remains Foreigner's career peak." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • Magnificent spacerock journey is a conceptual work that was one half of a duology completed by "Time To Turn". Stunning Floyd-like soundscapes with Frank Bornemann's ever present guitar runs. Comes with a live version of "On The Verge Of Darkening Lights". Highest recommendation.Please note this disc incorporates EMI copy control technology which seems to allow you to do whatever it is you would normally do with a CD but you can't rip it. Bummer.
    $13.00
  • "Storia o Leggenda is often referred to as a "lesser" Le Orme album, but the truth is, Le Orme never put out a bad or less than committed record before the 1990s, with the one exception of Smogmagica (1975), a failed experiment. Of course, a faction of the progressive rock intelligentsia disses Verità Nascoste, Storia o Leggenda, Florian, and Piccola Rapsodia dell'Ape in order to better highlight magnum opuses like Uomo di Pezza and Felona e Sorona. Still, where other major Italian progressive rock bands like Premieta Forneria Marconi and Banco del Mutuo Soccorso were starting to show signs of exhaustion (or compromise), all of these albums are worthwhile listening, and Storia o Leggenda more so than the others. Something magical happened on this 1977 LP, as several factors came together to produce a splendid opus. First of all, the band turns back to acoustic guitars, to an extent not heard since 1973's Uomo di Pezza. And, here, the band that made a name for itself as a keyboard-led trio finally manages to show why adding a guitarist was so important. They had failed to do so with Tolo Marton on Smogmagica. This time around, Germano Serafin, introduced on Verità Nascoste only a few months earlier, perfectly fits into Le Orme's new sound. For Storia o Leggenda does represent a new sound, one that is now totally removed from the group's beginnings as Nice wannabes, and much more in line with the Italian progressive rock ethos (Banco, PFM, Il Volo's eponymous debut). In fact, Storia o Leggenda represents the best of both worlds between the more pronounced rock leanings of the previous record (Verità Nascoste) and the next, all-acoustic, almost instrumental LP Florian. It has the complex metrics and driving rhythm section of the first ("Al Mercato delle Pulci" and "Il Musicista" are very strong prog rock mini-epics) and the lush arrangements and pastoral feel of the latter ("Tenerci per Mano," "Un Angelo," the title track). One final point: Aldo Tagliapietra never sang better than on this album, his voice pure Italian honey. This album has been worthy of high esteem for a long time and will continue to deserve such esteem in the future." - Allmusic Guide
    $10.00
  • "Think of the new Megadeth album like this: take Endgame and add a large dose of Youthanasia and Countdown to Extinction, then mix it all in a blender and you’ll get a good idea of how it sounds. For die-hard Megadeth fans (like me), the album is a catchy, solid slice of good metal. Much like Endgame and United Abominations, Th1rt3en has a few weak spots, but is generally a decent album. Far from just generic recycling however, it has some fantastic highlights.The three opening tracks easily fit with some of Megadeth’s classic material, as Dave Mustaine has lost none of his talent for catchy melodies and thrash-metal attitude. Well produced and composed, the album flows much better than Endgame and more consistently than United. Dave’s voice retains much of its character but is not what it once was. He has wisely chosen to stay in his lower range, perhaps in order to avoid having to use his falsetto (…case in point). A curious thing about this album is its inclusion of earlier Megadeth material from past sessions. One of my favorites has to be Black Swan, from the United Abominations-era. As it happens, Dave’s voice was still in good condition in 2007, and it shows. Lyrically, Dave sticks to standard Megadeth-themes: the apocalypse, personal demons, ect. Some of the lyrics here are very compelling and well-written, but his pedantic musings on the “New World Order” have become a little obnoxious. Dave’s lyrics on political paranoia and deception worked very well with cold-war topics like those on Rust in Peace, but nowadays I can only cringe when he mouths off about The Illuminati and a “one world currency”.  That and, for obvious reasons, I would advise some caution when writing lyrics that denounce “A book written by man, use to control and demand” (from New World Order), when you espouse a similar book in your private life. I won’t even start with the lyrics on Fast Lane (you’d think Dave would have learned from Moto Psycho, ugh). Anyway, I should say that the guitar playing from Dave Mustaine and Chris Broderick is absolutely mind-blowing and it’s great to have Dave Ellefson back in the rhythm section as well. Aside from some of the things I've moaned about here, I found Th1rt3en to be a very satisfying Megadeth album." - Metal Injection
    $10.00
  • "Brilliant release confirming the 90's kings of Prog! "Flower Power" is a 2 CD set of epic proportions. CD1 basically runs as 1 long track which contains some of The FLOWER KINGS' most diverse and powerful pieces ever recorded! Epic track,"Garden Of Dreams" runs 59Mins in length and builds in emotion and intensity until the most beautiful, symphonic climax in unleashed upon the listener. The final 10 mins of the track contains in my opinion the FLOWER KINGS's highest moment ever recorded. This long track moves so cleverly in atmospheres, moods and emotions that the listener will not be tired throughout at all (a real trick to pull off for such a long track!). "Flower Power" contains the classic FLOWER KINGS lineup (Bodin, Stolt, Salazar...) who sound even better than ever!. There is no question about Roine's guitar talents and "Flower Power" gives him loads of room to play his guts-out which he does with that unmistakeable Stolt - emotion. CD2 builds nicely off the 1st CD in many ways and compliments the overall theme. "Flower Power" contains lots of real FLOWER KINGS classic progressive rock moments which will please all prog heads out there in prog land. Recommended with the highest regard!" - ProgArchives
    $12.00
  • "The rise of Greek power metaller, Firewind, has give the world two new metal heroes. They are Bob Katsionis (keyboards) and Gus G. Both are skillful musicians, now world class respected. Bob released his solo album in 2012, but only in March 2014 that Gus G finally catch up with a release his long waited solo album. Gus G's solo album titled as I Am the Fire, he is well backed by world class musicians and singers. As Gus G was previously active in Ozzy Osbourne team, the styles of heavy metal and hard rock in this solo album is not surprising, a bit step further away from his main band of Firewind, which is a power metal band.Let's see the two most interesting tracks by observing the guess list. Vengeance is back by Megadeth's David Ellefson. This is instrumental track for sure, the riffs are heavy, fast double pedal drum and of course Gus' shred + David's bass attack was more than cool enough. The second instrumental is fall to "Billy Sheehan's track". Terrified is yet another ultra fast shreds with a title that reminds us to Scarified by Racer X. Both instrumental tracks is enough to made guitars fans demand an exclusive instrumental guitar album from Gus!On the vocalized songs, they are all excellence. Mat Levén is acting as host singer, he tackled four tracks. From the opener My Will Be Done, a straight forward modern rock tunes, then Blame It On Me, a happier glam metal one. On the later are Eyes Wide Open, this is kind of late '80s hair metal scenes feel. The last from Mat is End Of The Line, acoustic ballad in the style of wild wild west. Mat Levén was once Firewind singer also.I Am The Fire is a collaboration with Devour The Day / Blake Allison. The riffs quickly brings us to modern nu-metal feels, this concurred with the style of singing, the song's structures, and utilizing of choruses, which is in the spirit of alternative metal. Long Way Down on the other hand is the only female guess track with Alexia Rodiguez. Alexia is from the band Eyes Set To Kill. The song can be categorizing as a heavier version Evanescenes style. Jacob Bunton from Lynam / Adler fame contributed in Just Can't Let Go. This is yet again in alternative / US modern metal feel. Michael Starr from Steel Panther trusted with Redemption, a track that focused on wild glam metal form, fit the image of Steel Panther. Veteran singer Jeff Scott Soto is in the spiritful AOR track of Summer Days. Finally there at least an European feel in Dreamkeeper, where Evergrey singer Tom S. Englund delivered it epic-ly!What a great packed of quality materials in one album. Of all tracks not only Gus G able to fit the styles of his song to the respected guess, he also seem like outdone the guess' each band. For example in Tom Englund's track, we can feel Evergrey's music in it. There are enough punches on each song, added more  replay value to the album. Interestingly, Gus G decided to not gives any clue about his music from Firewind. A good choices, meaning his creativity in the area of power metal will still dedicated to the main band. I Am the Fire is a great album with fresh ideas stretching  from modern metal to oldies glam metal. A must have." - Metal Harem
    $12.00
  • This is what the ancient bearded one has to say:"Morgan Ågren is one of the great drummers of our time. Best known for his work with Mats/Morgan Band, he's also a fine composer and musical thinker.Since the mid 2000s, one of his interests have been to combine the intense jazz/rock stylings of the Mats/Morgan's earlier work with more contemporary technology, stylings and sounds (think 'beats' and 'electronica'); while those words might scare some folks reading this away, if you liked the sound of "Thanks For Flying With Us" and "[schack tati]", you've heard what I am talking about.He's been working on this album for the last number of years and it's very much a companion to "[schack tati]" stylistically, some of it completely solo (but not solo drums by any means) and some of it with Mats, as well as Devin Townsend, Fredrik Thordendal, Jimmy Ågren, Simon Steensland and others. Highly recommended! Released only in Japan, in a elegant, mini-lp sleeve!"
    $20.00
  • Killer retro-prog from Norway laced with strong elements of doom metal.  This band is an offshoot from the outrageous Procosmian Fannyfiddlers, a rather bizarre band that created a rather unique, expletive drenched form of burlesque prog.  This is something totally different and a hell of a lot better.  Highly recommended."Abandoned By The Sun’ is a non-linear narrative, its focal point being the dubious disappearance of a 15-year old girl, her disappearance securing a downward spiral and a grave ripple effect that threatens to ruin the lives of everyone close to her. The idea projected is that nothing can be worse than to lose someone dear without getting any answers.Opening track, ‘Sudden Dereliction’, establishes a link to the previous record and the album’s finale, ‘Finite’, offers a glimpse of what really happened that fatal day, though leaving the listeners sufficient interpretive space to make up their own minds. In-between these bookends, the music moves in multiple, unexpected directions, showcasing great melody lines, and a high degree of diversity, underlining the sadness and despair of the libretto’s protagonists.On ‘Abandoned By The Sun’, Mater Thallium explore the inter-human mechanisms at work when a person vanishes without a trace.This is old-school heavy progressive rock, with a twist of doom, topped with flourishes of Scandinavian folk music." 
    $17.00