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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  • Double CD features a wild 60 minute tune!
    $12.00
  • "By opening their self-titled album with a group of children reciting a sing-songy version of the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. flag, keyboardist Frank Lucas, drummer Chuck White and bassist Steve Edsey prove early on that their self-titled LWE debut will be unlike so many other instrumental progressive-music CDs flooding the marketplace these days. First of all, there are no guitars. Lucas' piano — rarely does he use synths — propels this music into a feel-good stratosphere, while the rhythm section of White and Edsey provides a mighty backbone. (The subtle potency of this trio is no surprise, really, considering that all three men have gigged with the likes of guitarists Michael Angelo and Neil Zaza, as well as the prog-metal band Ion Vein.) Edgar Gabriel, a principal violinist for Cirque de Soleil, also appears on three of LWE's eight tracks.Pre-release comparisons to Emerson, Lake & Palmer and the Chick Corea Electrik Band might have been overstated. This music is less pretentious (although no less dramatic) than ELP's work, and it lacks the blatant fusion references of Corea's late-1980s/early-1990s outfit. Instead, listeners get a steady 54-minute stream of clever, quippy and wholly engrossing music that includes the marvelous, bouncy opener "Liberty," the beachcomber anthem "Hasta Mañana" and "The Nightcap," an uncharacteristically dark, mysterious and sexy piece. LWE milks its cleverness with songs whose titles reference the Chicagoland trio's influences: "A Note to Jordan" (as in Dream Theater keyboard maestro Jordan Rudess) and "Waiting for Bela" (as in premier banjo player Bela Fleck).Count LWE among the most promising acts on ProgRock Records' burgeoning roster of talent." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $3.00
  • While this Pennsylvania based band flirted with prog metal in the past, their fifth album finds they going full bore in the direction of symphonic rock. Its a conceptual work that borders on rock opera. The band is always fronted by a female vocalist - with different ones over the years. The one constant is that Rowen Poole is always able to find excellent ones. Vocalist Ashley Peer sings in an upper register that reminds a bit of Sally Oldfield. A wide variety of keys (even 'tron) imparts a sound that is very reminiscent of Knight Area crossed with Novella-era Renaissance. This is the good stuff.
    $13.00
  • Perhaps we all burnt out on this album some time ago - I know I played it to death. Released in the US as "Security". In retrospect it may well be Gabriel's solo album that held up the best and could be considered the pinnacle of his solo career. Gabriel explored world music tribal rhythms and sampled sounds The whole album has lots of electronic processing courtesy of Larry Fast which lend an otherworldly quality to the production (which is of audiophile standards). It's an extremely dynamic recording that will tax your audio system and your brain. This one is filled with classics like "San Jacinto" and "Lay Your Hands On Me". Not prog rock per se - but progressive for sure. Very forward thinking thought provoking intense music. A classic.
    $12.00
  • Great early Italian prog with connections to New Trolls. Heavy concentration on organ/guitar interplay reminds me a bit of Deep Purple but this is their proggiest effort and veers more towards the prog side rather than the hard rock side.
    $15.00
  • UK band Touchstone take a surprising (at least to my ears) turn in a heavier direction.  While I would never call this full on metal, mixing engineer John Mitchell decided to turn their guitar up a notch.  Some good crunchy guitar bits through out the album.  The band was never a complex prog band.  Touchstone always had a melodic sensibility touching on AOR and neo-prog.  There is a symphonic element that keeps the music rooted in the prog world but you can tell that this is a band that is looking to cross over into other genres.  Their strongest asset remains vocalist Kim Seviour , who along with Leslie Hunt is one of the best female vocalists in the prog world."Returning once more to confound listeners and music reviewers alike, such as yours truly, with their ever evolving and pleasing neo-prog is England's Touchstone with their fourth long player, Oceans Of Time. Dare say, for their benefit, it's hard to pigeonhole Touchstone's sound. Is it hard rock? AOR? Progressive rock? Yes and then some, and it's not necessarily all that confounding really.However, I might say that Oceans Of Time could be their most 'proggy' album to date. If anything, the songs are quite varied, visiting old territory and exploring the new. Touchstone also returns to some familiar themes. The title track continues the Wintercoast story, and Shadow's End wraps up the Shadows trilogy begun on Discordant Dreams.These songs are also good examples of the strong progressive nature of the album, with Touchstone throwing curves to your ears. Yet Oceans Of Time will also sound more like familiar Touchstone as well. The musical canvas is quite grand lavished with layers of instrumentation, notably Hodgson's guitar and Cottingham's keyboards. Flux is another fine example of Touchstone's exotic musical brew. It's got some hard rock chops mixed with the prog, and then, about the three minute mark, it calms down. Synths stir, then Kim Seviour's vocals arrive, and the arrangement swells to sweet crescendo. It's one of best moments of the album.Other highlights include the bass and drum lines of Contact, a moody piece where Seviour's voice is alluring and graceful; the clever drumming within Fragments, possibly the closest thing to straight melodic rock song here; and, Spirit of the Age, a song with balancing lighter moments with heavier ones, and Seviour at her most sublime. Touchstone is band that keeps evolving and getting better, and so is always interesting and entertaining. Oceans Of Time is well recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $7.00
  • "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
  • Deluxe CD/DVD digipak.  The DVD features a "making of" documentary and lots of other stuff."Opening up the autumn season in grand fashion, a deluge of fantastic releases are upon us and spearheading that charge is veteran progressive black/Viking metal titans Enslaved and their newest and likely earthiest opus RIITIIR. Continuing along the long and illustrious progressive path the band first started drifting toward with 2000’s Mardraum: Beyond The Within. But if 2010’s Axioma Ethica Odini was a return of punishing metal authority, RIITIIR is an exercise in extremes and bombast – everything here is enormous in scale and execution. The songs themselves (most shooting well beyond the eight minute mark) each featuring a myriad of movements and cascading motifs, everything the Enslaved fan loves about the band here and in grand style!Glacial sheets of guitar are par the course for RIITIIR, the opening salvo of “Thoughts Like Hammers” steamrolling right out of the gate, near equal play of harsh and clean vocals coming into play with time, threatening and soothing in equal measure. These peaks and valleys return in epic fashion on “Veilburner,” trade-offs and synchrony of the two ends being used to tremendous effect, the cleans in particular used better here than on any release since Herbrand Larsen joined the group in 2004. This clean expression comes through in grand fashion on 11 minute closer “Forsaken,” a decidedly low key but super effective end to the journeys the album takes.It isn’t all clean wailing and atmospheric pomp however, the band lovingly riffing out with rediscovered metallic bravado with “Roots of the Mountain” and “Storm of Memories.” Though the harsh cliffs at the outset are soon met with clean voiced and mellotron-drenched ridgetops, eventually the listener is firmly kicked back into the abyss, this time accompanied by some fantastic and ongoing solos. It’s fascinating to see the rediscovered metallic vigor that came to life on the last release mixed so fervently with the band’s ever-growing melodic sense and expressive voice. These two aspects of the band, combined with their increasingly complex compositional sense, make for an exhausting and enthralling journey.All that being said, what’s featured on RIITIIR won’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s listened to the band for even the past couple years, let alone the last decade – the album is simply another notch along the belt of progression by degrees. The compositions are bigger, more ornate, bristling with finer features and bombast. It’s the band’s thickest release in a long line of releases guitar Ivar Bjørnson has joked are ‘all two weeks long’. With each of those releases however the joy lay in divining the details over repeat listens, unearthing the secrets between the out layers. That remains the case here, RIITIIR another fantastic from a band that burst past the 20-year mark and is showing zero signs of aging. " - Blistering.com
    $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
    $5.00
  • "Neo-prog-rock giants' outstanding come-back! Shortly after the release of their latest album "Pure", undoubtedly one of the most noteworthy prog-rock releases of the year 2008, the legendary Pendragon for once more visited the Wyspiański Theater in Katowice, Poland, to celebrate the band's 30th anniversary. With their outstanding performance, possibly one of the best the Polish audience had ever had a chance to witness, and with their line-up strengthened by the addition of a new drummer Scott Higham (also known from his past cooperation with Clive Nolan on the project Caamora), the band surely proved that they're still a formidable force on the prog-rock scene! 150 minutes of Pendragon live, an exclusive bonus video featuring interviews with the band members and behind the scenes footage, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, photo gallery and more!'
    $17.00
  • Intense new band fronted by former Zero Hour vocalist Fred Marshall. The focus of the band is the dual guitars of Marc Pattison and Christian Wentz. The formidable rhythm section consists of Sadus members Jon Allen and Steve DiGiorgio. Marshall sings in a purely clean style and it mates very well with the speed/tech/thrash compositions. Don't look for too much in the way of keyboard action here. Guitars are the focus. Many played in unison, Pattison and Wentz are super tight. Plenty of nice soloing as well. This one will make many Top 10 lists at years end. Oh yeah - nice to hear Fred singing again after the stint with the Tiptons. Highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • Collector's Edition of the band's fourth album comes with a 16 page booklet with lyrics, sleeve notes, 5 bonus tracks.
    $14.00
  • This was the second album with this lineup assembled by Chick Corea - the first one being released on ECM. Members consisted of Corea (electric piano), Joe Farrell (tenor sax, flute), Stanley Clarke (bass), Airto (drums), Flora Purim (vocals, percussion). This is not the high intensity electric fusion to come. Instead this fits more into the kosmigroov jazz realm. It's electric but without the rock elements instead relying more on Corea's latin heritage.
    $12.00
  • "Retribution” is the new album from Sweden’s Nightingale, the intended one-off project that refuses to die. Established by musical multi-talent Dan Swanö almost 20 years ago, the band is proof that good music can take on a life of its own, often when the artist least expects it.Known for his work both as a producer/engineer and with metal acts Edge Of Sanity, Bloodbath, Pan-Thy-Monium and most recently Witherscape, Swanö began his unplanned Nightingale journey in 1995 with “The Breathing Shadow”. It was a one-off goth-flavoured solo album heavily reminiscent of The Sisters Of Mercy, meant to satisfy his interest in the genre and then be put quietly to bed as Swanö moved on to other projects. The album was successful enough to warrant a follow-up according to his label at the time (Black Mark), but Swanö was, as he puts it "so over the goth thing.""I thought that if I was going to make a second record it had to reflect what I was listening to at the moment. I was going through a big revival of Gamma, Foreigner, Journey and all that super melodic AOR pomp rock stuff. It was a weird turn from the first record, so I decided to make Nightingale a home for music that I write in the moment, no matter what it is."Nightingale released five more albums between '96 and '07, slowly establishing a band line-up that began with Swanö's guitarist/keyboardist brother Dag in 1996 acting as a co-producer and session player on “The Closing Chronicles”. He officially came aboard in 1998 under his Tom Nouga moniker. The band was fleshed out by bassist Erik Oskarsson and drummer Tom Björn, who had their first rehearsal with the Swanö brothers on Christmas Day 2000. “White Darkness” from 2007 could well have been the last Nightingale album, as it featured very little songwriting input from Swanö due to severe writer's block. He decided to focus on his career as an engineer and chose to make music as a hobby. His creative side won eventually, however, as the urge to write and play again became irresistible."I bought a few instruments that would inspire me, and eventually the riffs started piling up," Swanö recalls. "I was collecting them for some kind of death metal release, and the other stuff that came out ended up being what could be used for a future Nightingale record."Originally titled “Bravado” in the working stages, “Retribution” offers up 10 songs steeped in uncomplicated '70s and early '80s-flavoured rock. Tracks such as 'Chasing The Storm Away', 'Forevermore' and 'The Maze' could have easily found a home on commercial rock radio 30 years ago, yet the album is completely relevant in 2014. Fans of Swanö's heavier works that are unfamiliar with Nightingale may be surprised the simplicity of the music and the band's non-aggressive approach."It's not easy to write simple stuff that's good," Swanö points out, suggesting people take a good long listen to “Retribution” rather than dismissing it.In Swanö's estimation “Retribution” succeeds because the songs "just kind of happened." He never set out to write any specific parts; the music is in fact a result of spontaneous moments, whether it was an accidental combination of notes on a keyboard that became an opening riff ('On Stolen Wings') or an odd guitar tuning ('Warriors Of The Dawn'). On top of that, the songs were hashed out in the rehearsal room before the band went into the studio, resulting in major changes to some of the music as it developed."When I listen to the record I don't want to have any regrets," explains Swanö. "There's no point in releasing a new Nightingale record if I don't think it's the best we ever did. That a pretty high standard to have, but if I don't feel that way when I listen to it the moment it's ready, it's got nothing to do with our back catalogue. That's the way I've felt with every record."Asked to sum up what “Retribution” means to him with regards to Nightingale's legacy, Swanö offers the following: "Classic rock with that pomp attitude really inspired me. I just wanted a good production that could hold up well against a band like Alter Bridge but still have a bit of the sonic charisma of the records from '79, which was a great year for music. The target was to make a timeless record with good, classy songs that the four of us can agree are really cool."Nightingale’s “Retribution” comes packaged in beautiful artwork courtesy of Travis Smith (Opeth, Nevermore, Katatonia, etc.) and should equally appeal to open-minded atmospheric metal and also to melodic prog rock supporters into bands like Rush, Marillion, Styx, Kansas, The Mission, Queensryche, Enchant, Threshold, Arena oreven Opeth and Katatonia."
    $13.00