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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  • 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!"
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  • In 1991 Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso inexplicably decided to revisit their first two albums. The band completely re-recorded the albums and in fact expanded on some of the earlier versions of some of the songs. Shockingly it worked really well. There wasn't an attempt to do radical rearrangements or modernize anything other than the instruments they used. Perhaps just for sentiment I prefer the warmth and nostalgia of the original version but this an interesting attempt to revisit the material and add a bit of polish. Highly recommended - even if you have the original.
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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
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  • "The album is the third release by the band who formed in 2009 when Belgian Producer and musician Frank van Bogaert and keyboard player William Beckers established FISH ON FRIDAY as a studio-based Progressive Rock project. The band’s debut album was released in 2010 and saw the band augmented by Californian guitarist Marty Townsend and drummer Marcus Weymaere. The album’s melodic Progressive approach soon drew very favourable critical stylistic comparisons with the progressive side of Alan Parsons Project. The reaction to the group was encouraging enough for them to embark on performing several live shows in Belgium, before embarking on their second album, "Airborne”, which gained a wider audience and sales by receiving airplay on mainstream Belgian radio alongside specialist Progressive Rock stations globally. "Airborne” also featured the virtuoso bass player Nick Beggs (Steven Wilson band, Steve Hackett band, Lifesigns) guesting on one track, an experience that led to Nick officially becoming a member of Fish on Friday for the band’s new (and arguably most Progressive) album "Godspeed”.This stunning album features a grasp of melody on songs such as ‘Callin’ Planet Home’, ‘Just a Nightmare’, ‘Ghost Song’, ‘Sanctuary’ and the album’s epic ten minute title track. "Godspeed” also features a special guest, Theo Travis, the virtuoso saxophonist and flautist noted for his work with Steven Wilson, Soft Machine Legacy, Robert Fripp, Gong, Bill Nelson et al. All in all "Godspeed” is a Progressive rock album of fine songs, excellent musicianship and is the eagerly anticipated next step in the story of Fish on Friday."
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  • "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 
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  • Excellent new sci-fi prog metal project put together by Carptree mainman and keyboardist Carl Westholm. While Westholm is probably better known for his involvement with Carptree he has also been working in the metal field for many years in bands like Abstract Algebra, Krux, and Candlemass.Westholm has assembled an interesting cast of musicians for this larger than life Ayreon-style project. First off, Mats Leven in handling vocals. Right there that is enough for me. Leif Edling, the driving force behind Candlemass plays bass and helps with lyrics. What else do you need? Various members of Carptree and others fill out the heavily symphonic sound lending an epic scope and feel. Highly recommended.
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  • "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
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  • New edition comes with a bonus DVD filled with videos and documentaries. Same price as before!!Amaranthe are a new Swedish/Danish band signed to Spinefarm. The band is fronted by Elize, who you will know from her touring with Kamelot. To say Elize is hot is an understatement. The band don't take the expected gothic metal route. Their order of business is a mix of poppy-melodic metal laced with death metal. Curiously the band features three vocalists. Elize is front and center but she shares the spotlight with the death growls of Dreamland's Jake E and the clean vocals of Andy Solvestrom. At times there is a similarity to some of Delain's poppier tunes but the death growls add a heavier aspect. There was a buzz developing on this disc before it hit here - I have to say I was quite surprised.
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  • "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
  • "Fair to say their name is still as dislikeable as it was when we covered their excellent album Eight Pieces, One World album two years ago but musically the Belgian metallers still rock the juices out of us as proven by new encounter Odd Memories. Max Pie fills their third album with all the essences which made its predecessor a surprising and compelling proposition but it is with bigger and bolder imagination and creative energy. We are no major heavy/power metal fans here to be honest but once again Max Pie has given us one thumping and rousing time.The band was formed in 2005 by vocalist Tony Carlino taking inspirations from bands such as Symphony X, Van Halen, Toto, Queensrÿche, and Dream Theater into their emerging ideas. A slightly unstable time in personnel graced their early years before Max Pie released debut album Initial Process in 2012. Fan and critically acclaimed it was surpassed by Eight Pieces – One World a year later in presence, sound, and praise. Its release was followed by the band playing numerous festivals and undertaking tours with the likes of Symphony X, Evergrey, Fates Warning, Avantasia, and Queensrÿche. Now they return with, as the last album, the Simone Mularoni mixed and mastered Odd Memories and simply their finest, most inventive proposal yet.The album opens with its title track; an instrumental ripe with a foreboding atmosphere and epic textures all cinematically imposing on the imagination. This type of beginning is becoming a common practice across varied metal offerings but when done right, as here, it makes a potent invitation into any release. As the track slips into the following Age of Slavery, a sizzling electronic coaxing colludes with rampant riffs and a melodic embrace of keys. The thick commanding rhythms of drummer Sylvain Godenne shape and invigorate the track further, framing the growling vocals of Carlino perfectly. The frontman’s diverse delivery is as magnetic as ever, some elements more powerful and potent than others but like the music, a constant lure that likes to stretch and push both song and musician. As the guitar and keyboard craft of Damien Di Fresco builds and expands its enterprise, the track blossoms into a sturdy and fiery encounter to really kick things off.It is also, in many ways, a relatively straight forward and maybe expected proposal from the band, the new exploration showing itself more from Odd Future on. Keys breed the first mesmeric caress on the third track before guitars and the wonderfully dark throated bass of Lucas Boudina bring their hues to the emerging and stirring landscape of the encounter. Once vocals join, the song settles into a melodic roar and sonic flame of melodic and heavy rock ‘n’ roll, their union a heated and tenacious arousing of ears and thoughts veined by sparkling, and at times understated temptation from the keys. It is when things go off kilter with a glorious stretch of discord kissed invention and melodic bedlam that the song really comes alive and if there is any moan it does not play in this great moment long enough.Promised Land opens on a vivacious escapade of keys quickly encased in storming riffs and rhythms, it all quickly blooming into a virulently contagious slice of rock pop with classic metal and progressive rock hues. It has single running through its potent craft and lusty veins, every second of the track a bold and rousing incitement for body, voice, and emotions. Such its power and lure, it gives next up Love Hurts a hard time trying to follow it, and as mesmeric in melodic beauty within tempestuously emotional and physical terrain that it is, it never quite finds the same full-blooded personal reactions as its predecessor. It is undeniably superbly crafted and woven though and does leave only fully satisfied thoughts before the darker, ravenous excellence of Don’t Call My Name takes over. The guitars alone are predatory with their creative rummaging of the senses whilst the keys float with celestial temptation above them and the uncompromising rhythms spearing it all. Reaping the ripest elements of technical and progressive metal, band and track pulsate as they gnaw on ears, adding melodic and harmonic balm to the increasingly irresistible voracity on offer. With Carlino also on fine form, the track is the pinnacle of the album, reason alone to eagerly approach Odd Memories.The acoustically brewed Hold On slips in next to transfix and from a slow start to its persuasion grows into a big favourite. Whether by chance or intention, it has a Bowie-esque essence to it, a floating whisper in quieter moments which does it no harm. It is a scent soon out flamed by vocals and the sonic blaze giving the song rich crescendos and a breath-taking finale before Unchain Me takes the listener on another tumultuous ride of rugged metal and tantalising electronic adventure.No prizes in guessing some of the scenery within Cyber Junkie, its electronic and industrial endeavour a potent spicing to another song offering a compelling fusion of bestial metal and melodic flirtation, the former steering the ship with invigorating success. As Don’t Call My Name before it, the track is a masterful web of varied and diverse styles in one predacious provocateur, thoughts of bands from Anthrax to Armored Saint, Dream Theater to Skyharbor coming to mind across its exciting and again show stealing soundscape.The album is finished by The Fountain Of Youth, a song which either a raging storm of a canter or a gentle caress enthrals and sparks only the keenest attention and support from ears and emotions. Like a couple of other songs it takes longer to get all of its hooks inescapably entrenched but with its additional symphonic elegance and emotively hued strings, the song has seduced long before realisation notices.Wrapped in the excellent artwork of Didier Scohier, Odd Memories and indeed Max Pie have caught us again with a tempest of sound and invention driven by craft and passion. This time it is bigger, more adventurous, and confirming the band as one of progressive power metal’s finest." - The RingMaster Review
    $15.00
  • "Devin Townsend - fully 30 records into an astonishing career - has now just raised the stakes in the form of a new double album combining Ziltoid The Omniscient’s triumphant return and the follow-up to the critically acclaimed “Epicloud!” Feasting upon Z2 is akin to immersing oneself in the arcane creases of the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT catalog, bludgeoning heaviness and angelic melodies living under the cathedral of Devin’s more contemplative solo vision. The effect is lush, full- range, cinematic, and expressive. Addressing the creative tension between the two discs, Devin explains “...it’s DTP...the ‘humans’ against Ziltoid, and it’s a battle of sorts...The DTP and Ziltoid side of my writing has evolved to where this statement was necessary and undoubtedly inevitable. The battle between the two seems like a great way to priced to the next chapter of my work. It’s a backdrop for something that hopefully engaging for people. I hope that the point that I’m trying to make with Ziltoid and the metaphor behind it, isn’t lost in just a sea of absurdity.” Guest musicians include Anneke Van Giersbergen (solo artist, ex-THE GATHERING) and Chris Jericho (WWE star, FOZZY) as Captain Spectacular! Also featuring the "Universal Choir", 2000 voices strong, the biggest choir on a metal record ever! "
    $15.00