Move

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This is the first North American release for Move, the fifth album in the Freak Kitchen discography.  Freak Kitchen is led by renowned guitarist/vocalist Mattias Eklundh. The band describes Move as "More metal, more experimental, more fascinating… will please the fans and will without any possible doubt convert the newcomers." It is also the first album to feature drummer Bjorn Fryklund.  Intense guitar driven music that blurs the fine line between progressive rock and metal.  Essential for fans of Frank Zappa, Bumblefoot, and Steve Vai.

"Freak Kitchen return with their fifth album, a new drummer and bass player. The first noticeable difference is the inclusion of double kick drums at the beginning of the opening track "Propaganda Pie." They definitely add an extra metal "oooomph" to Freak Kitchen's sound.

Of course Eklundh fills the album with crazy, off-the-wall, impossible to play solos and licks. His playing alone is worth the price of the album. But that is not even the best part, as basically every song on the album is extremely catchy and memorable. These are the type of songs that get stuck in your head for hours.
The lyrics generally deal with real world issues, such as sweatshops ("Logo"), divorce ("Seven Days In June"), and drug addiction ("Herion Breakfast"). The topics are serious, but generally the music is upbeat; they are addressed in a somewhat sarcastic way, although a few songs could be considered 'depressing.' Probably "Seven Days In June" and "Razor Flowers." The latter track is sung by the bassist, and he does a great job.

Move is definitely not 100% TR00 METUHL, but it rocks, and it has the high quality of musicianship that metal fans enjoy, so it should appeal to many a listener." - Metal Archives

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    $15.00
  • "Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of a remastered edition of the 1980 album by the Canadian Progressive Rock group FM, City Of Fear . The band began life in 1976 with CAMERON HAWKINS (Synthesisers, Bass, Vocals) and NASH THE SLASH (Jeff Plewman) (Electric Violin, Mandolin, Vocals) coming together as a duo, making an appearance on national TV in Canada in the Summer of 1976. By March 1977 FM became a trio with the addition of MARTIN DELLAR on Drums. The band s debut album followed. In 1978 Nash the Slash was been replaced by BEN MINK on Electric Violin and Mandolin. City of Fear was the fourth album by the band, released in 1980 and was produced by Synthesiser wizard Larry Fast (of Synergy and musician with Nektar and Peter Gabriel). This Esoteric Recordings release is the first time City of Fear has been issued in Europe and has been newly remastered and includes an illustrated booklet and a new essay."
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  • "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."
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  • "My countrymen of The Quill are back with a new album, another one to add to their collection of albums which now equates to seven. They are an experienced band and the album has a sleek and very good looking cover artwork, it almost looks like my cat although he is a bit more wild coloured. Is there any tiger blood in their veins? Well, the title certainly points in that direction, but other than that I don’t know much about these guys and I have never heard them before this album. It is a first, and I always like firsts even though it makes it difficult to compare and also accurately evaluate the album in the grander scheme. But then again, I don’t really know much about stoner rock or metal either.But that is what it is, stoner rock, stoner metal or heavy metal if you like. It is plain and simple rock n roll, no nonsense just heavy, rocking and powerful. It is also rather well produced with a strong singer, and very varied as well. The songs come in a wide range of styles from Status Quo-ish boogie styles guitar playing, some Final Fantasy VII-like melodies and simple stoner rock and many other little interesting angles. It is a rather impressive product that is well performed and the ten tracks are even kept in a decent length with a 45 minute playing time. Compared to earlier works it may or may not be like the predecessor, it is interesting and well made in my book and it feels fresh but of course that isn’t anything I can be certain of as I haven’t heard them before.I think this is a very good album, the songs are all strong. The album has some very good and powerful stuff, it is also catchy and entertaining. Definitely an album well worth listening to as it pushes all the right buttons for anyone wanting straight, simple no-nonsense heavy metal. But not only that, it also feels fresh, and varied so you will not easily get bored with it either. It is a strong and very well crafted album and one that definitely can be recommended to anyone into this kind of music. I don’t think it lacks appeal to fans of other styles of music either. The question is though, will they reach that prospective audience?I think that they might but it needs to be more visible, they have good hits like the opening track Freak Parade which is very strong. Then I also really enjoy the lovely ending track which is a calmer one which is the perfect ending. So it starts well and ends well, and the stuff in between isn’t too shabby either. We have a strong album here, one that I can clearly recommend to anyone who likes their music plain and simple with an in-your-face attitude. It is an enjoyable album, no doubt about that." - Hallowed.se
    $15.00
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  • "I actually found Carving an Icon quite the retroactively blind purchase, suspiciously ironic since I had been tracking this project for quite a while and assumed I knew what to expect from Morfeus in regards to his avant-garde songwriting and abstruse, distinctive approach to the axes. From this isolated point of view, his sonic handprint is indeed all over Viper Solfa, making the unreasonably long wait for Dimension F3H’s This Mechanical World somewhat easier to mitigate since the dude has at least kept the old creative mind juiced as ever. What I wasn’t quite able to ready myself for was the remaining contributions, hardly something to just gloss over, as Viper Solfa is presented as something of a “supergroup” after all as opposed to a mere side-project.Ronny Thorsen supposedly leads Viper Solfa for all formal intents and purposes, the proclivity for many a conflagration granted by his burly speaking timbre and rousing death roars is a concerted force to be reckoned with. It can be argued that he is just another head in the pack, hardly boasting the standalone merit to turn one’s knees to jelly, but Viper Solfa isn’t done yet. The centrepiece of the band isn’t actually Thorsen, but Miriam Renvåg, whose swaying, affecting timbre opens doors unexpected for the band both conceptually and stylistically. So while I can’t feign shock now, I do recall bemused skepticism at the introduction of such audaciously disparate factors. Renvåg’s voice is very sleek and refined, with an almost pop-caliber cadre of appeals that land Viper Solfa closer to bands such as earlier Sirenia once the vocal trade-off between Thorsen is taken into account. It isn’t what I expected, having come into this project for Morfeus alone, but I certainly applaud Viper Solfa for attempting to merge sodden, opaque, death growls with avant-garde female vocal idiosyncrasy.With nearly all preconceptions espoused by this point, and with Renvåg’s quivering and psychedelic banshee wails taking their mental toll, I realized that there are plenty of parallels that can be drawn between Dimension F3H and Viper Solfa. Symphonics are used sparingly and as punctuation as opposed to the primary arsenal. Morfeus is basically the main songwriter here, and he is still shipping out crunchers of high order in the modern black/death format he began employing in earnest on Legacy of Evil during his waning years with Limbonic Art. In fact, the hard-lined, basal distortion sounds very similar to that record, and as the rollicking, flighty webbing of tremolos grow thicker and denser, Carving an Icon hammers out a welcoming mat to the most unexpected clientele.This ends up being the album’s tripping point, however, as far too much time is spent grooming vocal melodies that sound almost shoehorned in just for the sake of keeping the singers occupied. Thorsen’s petulant rasp gets one-upped by Renvåg’s (sometimes sorely overacted) caterwauling, and the end result borders on the monotonous more often than it should. The band still makes a good show of their missteps, what with a dense, abysmal grandeur pervading the nether reaches of what is honestly a relatively compact and easy listen on the whole, but these shortcomings remain. Carving an Icon may not be a masterpiece, or even the best outlet for all of the talents involved, but I can promise that it sounds like absolutely nothing you have heard lately, or likely will in the near future. At the end of the day, a neat project that delivered at least a few truly lethal numbers like “Whispers and Storms,” “Deranged” and most notably the floods of choppy, aggrandized viscera that embody the aptly-titled “Vulture Kingdom.” My expectations are not in line with the norm due to my familiarity with Morfeus’ back-catalogue, so take of this what you will, but Carving an Icon got more than a few spins out of me."
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  • What needs to be said about this album? It's a complete masterpiece. This is the typical US Warner Bros pressing that's been kicking around for years.  CHEAP!
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  • "“Some things never change”; that’s one of the unwritten rules in the music industry, proving that some bands may take a rest for a while, having the strength and the cojones though to fight back and face every challenge. MUSTASCH’s history goes back in 1999 and Ralf Gyllenhammar hasn’t stop doing a great job behind the mic, delivering way successfully the heavy-loaded lyrics of the Swedish Heavy Rock quartet. Ok, currently the band is a trio, since drummer Danne McKenzie decided to quit last December due to personal differences.From “Ratsafari” and “Powerhouse” till “Latest Version Of Truth” and their self-titled album released 3 years ago, MUSTASCH is the tangible guarantee in the Heavy/Stoner Metal scene and their next step was highly anticipated by the fans. Well, it might have taken a bit longer that it should, but “Sounds Like Hell, Looks Like Heaven” is here to confirm the boulder that listen to the name ‘MUSTASCH’. Without wasting time, the listening of the album’s opener “Speed Metal” was a really pleasure, spitting 100% the MUSTASCH dynamics and the ‘dirty’ sound we all have learned to love. “The Challenger” continues in the same exponential pattern, spreading some frenetic panic and Metal riffs through its pass, thanks to Ralf’s readings, giving the feeling that not a day has passed since the release of “Powerhouse”.“So far, so good”, you may think, but there are more inside the ‘Hell/Heaven’ pack. And what’s that? A new, shinny face of MUSTASCH that made its first appearance in their previous work, but nowadays seems to be more confident to deal with some THIN LIZZY-esque influences, some AC/DC-driven guitar riffs and some METALLICA-laden attitude (“Reload” period), holding though steady the band’s love for some real heavy and shaking stuff. The only con of this album is the feeling that things got a bit rushed, since I can’t justify the presence of songs like “Your Father Must Be Proud Of You”, “Northern Star”. I’m not saying that these are bad songs, but they don’t fit at all in the whole album’s atmosphere, making me push the ‘skip’ button twice. If these two were avoided, we’d be probably talking about the mind-blowing comeback of a band who knows how to really shake things up and make the fans fold. Plus, MUSTASCH would have escaped at least two of the three negative points of my rating...“Sounds Like Hell, Looks Like Heaven” contains great compositions that I’m sure you have missed for so long. So, feel brave, grab your finest booze and skip a couple of unfortunate moments; of course, you’ll be rewarded without doubt, ‘cause this album is freaking awesome! Ralf’s name in the drill, one of the most badass singers out there, talks by itself, don’t ya think? Horns up!" - Metal Kaoz
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  • Previously unavailable on CD, Hermann Szobel’s “Szobel” was originally released by Arista Records in 1976. Over the years the album has established a worldwide cult following and the mysterious Mr. Szobel has become a bit of an enigma. Szobel was a 17-year virtuoso pianist who arrived from Austria with aspirations to become a star in the world of jazz. He also happened to be the nephew of rock impresario Bill Graham. Originally intended for release on Arista’s Freedom jazz imprint, the decision was made by Clive Davis to release the debut album on Arista proper in order to give it a chance at a broader appeal. An extraordinary band was assembled to record Szobel’s highly complex music: Michael Visceglia on bass, Bob Goldman on drums, Dave Samuels on percussion including marimba and vibraphone, and Vadim Vyadro on tenor sax, clarinet, and flute. Szobel was highly influenced by Martial Solal and Frank Zappa. His compositions are rooted in jazz, rock and Western classical composition. They are extremely complex and the recording sessions were quite laborious. While he gives space to all of the musicians, his phenomenal technique as a pianist is clearly displayed. In the September 6, 1976 issue of Downbeat the review said that Szobel had "a conception and technique far in advance of most musicians twice his age." Upon its release the album did not sell well and Szobel’s behavior became more and more eccentric. In the middle of recording a second (still unreleased) album, rumor has it that he suffered a mental breakdown. He disappeared from the music world forever. Since then rumors have swirled and a mythology has been created. Unconfirmed reports have Mr. Szobel currently living in Austria. “Szobel” has now been mastered for CD release by audiophile engineer Bob Katz. Extensive liner notes by bassist Michael Visceglia unlock some of the mysteries of Hermann Szobel.
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  • For some this was the start of an era for others the end.  This took my hopes and dreams for a true progressive supergroup for the 80s and stomped them into dust.  Your mileage may vary.
    $5.00