Nature/Existence ($3 Special)

Excellent debut from this Venezuelan band. Echoes skirts the edge between progressive rock and metal. Clearly Dream Theater (and Rush to some degree) are an influence but the music isn't as heavy as most progressive metal bands. There are some great atmospheric parts that have more of a prog rock vibe. There are a number of guest vocalists that contribute to the album and they are all quite good. I'm surprised there isn't more of a latin influence going on - these guys could pass for a US band. I can see this easily appealing to fans of both prog rock and prog metal. Highly recommended.

Product Review

Tue, 2010-06-08 10:00
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Here's a candidate for album of the year..... from Venezuela, no less. Truly stunning and complex compositions that are just swimming in great melodic ideas. And, boy, can these guys play. The vocals are top notch courtesy of a number of guest singers who all speak English very well. Very, very highly recommended. Leyth
Tue, 2010-06-08 10:00
Rate: 
0
Agree with fellow reviewer, Leyth...Good album..Sits more comfortably at the heavier end of Prog rock than Prog metal..but should keep most fans of each genre happy. Good musicianship, good vocals and good compositions...Highly recommended.
Tue, 2010-06-08 10:00
Rate: 
0
So far my favorite cd of 2010. The vocals on 'Leaf Motif' really blow me away. 'Lullaby' and 'Bonfires' are some really great, powerful, emotional instrumentals. Reminds me of a mix of Riverside/Dreamscape/Dali's Dillema. A+
Tue, 2010-06-08 10:00
Rate: 
0
A very refreshing release here. Very powerfull stuff going on here. All the elements are top notch, Vocals, And all intruments,, Good touch on the Sax on ""Winds of Dread""B.Ricci
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Product Review

Tue, 2010-06-08 10:00
Rate: 
0
Here's a candidate for album of the year..... from Venezuela, no less. Truly stunning and complex compositions that are just swimming in great melodic ideas. And, boy, can these guys play. The vocals are top notch courtesy of a number of guest singers who all speak English very well. Very, very highly recommended. Leyth
Tue, 2010-06-08 10:00
Rate: 
0
Agree with fellow reviewer, Leyth...Good album..Sits more comfortably at the heavier end of Prog rock than Prog metal..but should keep most fans of each genre happy. Good musicianship, good vocals and good compositions...Highly recommended.
Tue, 2010-06-08 10:00
Rate: 
0
So far my favorite cd of 2010. The vocals on 'Leaf Motif' really blow me away. 'Lullaby' and 'Bonfires' are some really great, powerful, emotional instrumentals. Reminds me of a mix of Riverside/Dreamscape/Dali's Dillema. A+
Tue, 2010-06-08 10:00
Rate: 
0
A very refreshing release here. Very powerfull stuff going on here. All the elements are top notch, Vocals, And all intruments,, Good touch on the Sax on ""Winds of Dread""B.Ricci
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  • "The second live DVD release by the outstanding art-rock band from Poland. Believe's music appeals to the lovers of Collage, Satellite, Porcupine Tree or Pink Floyd. This concert was recorded in November 2011 in Wyspianski Theater in Poland. The DVD also includes over 100 minutes of additional video material: 2 bootleg videos, an interview with Mirek Gil and Karol Wr+Ýblewski, and "Music for One Leg" documentary!"
    $18.00
  • Fifth studio album from this always interesting Polish prog band.  Lizard's music always has a dark quality to it.  At times there is a noir quality that reminds of King Crimson but there is a strong symphonic rock component that dominates their music.  Master & M is a conceptual album based around Mikhail Bulgakov's "The Master & Margarita" novel.  It consists of five long chapters with some intense instrumental passages.  Vocals are excellent but the problem with Lizard is that band leader Damian Bydlinski sings in Polish.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • “I love the CD...the sheer skill and gusto with which they tackle it makes you laugh out loud. Great drumming. Jonathan plays and writes like a demon. Congratulations to them.” - Bill BrufordDistrict 97’s 2010 debut “Hybrid Child” took the progressive rock world by storm. Since then the band toured across the US, performed at a number of high profile festivals, and even opened up for prog icons Kansas. The band now returns with their second opus “Trouble With Machines”. Former American Idol finalist Leslie Hunt fronts District 97. With a fantastic voice and looks to match, she has captured the hearts and imagination of the progressive rock world. Complexity is one of the hallmarks of District 97s compositions but the album is laced with catchy vocal melodies. The track “The Perfect Young Man” features a guest vocal appearance by King Crimson/Asia bassist John Wetton. Rich Mouser who has produced albums for Spock’s Beard and Neal Morse mixed the album. Audiophile mastering comes courtesy of Bob Katz.
    $14.00
  • "Heavy metal dudes and fools! Prepare to kneel down in obedience. Benedictum returns with the fourth album, expecting you to Obey. Yet the new album comes with some changes and also revisits earlier albums. The band introduces to new members with drummer Rikard Stjernquist (Jag Panzer) and bassist Aric Avina (ex-Tynator). Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Dio, Foreigner), who produced the first two Benedictum, returns to the nobs for this one.What has not changed one iota is Benedictum's commitment to classic American heavy and power metal. The character of their metal has always had a heavy and dark feeling due mostly to the lyrical content, deep rhythm section, and Peter Well's thick, working class, riffage. Yet these things are balanced by Benedictum's natural bent to weave melody and harmony into each song.Then, of course, there's vocalist Veronica Freeman's vocals which can range from somberness as on Cry (featuring Tony Martin (Black Sabbath ,et al)) to raging metal as on the title cut or Scream. That last song is a good example of where Freeman's vocals are on point becoming the pivot on which everything turns. Another is Evil That We Do, where the vocal arrangement has a choral quality. It's also a song where Benedictum brings more rock groove and general catchy accessibiliity.Otherwise, Obey is pretty much straight American heavy metal from the start to finish. Most time the pace is swift as with Apex Nation or Fracture; sometimes more moderate as with Die to Love You, likely my least favorite song here, and the finishing longer epic feel of Retrograde. Fundamentally, it you liked everything about their previous releases, especially the first two, you'll dig Obey and should add it to your collection. If you expected something more novel or progressive, rather than constant, then you'll be disappointed. Recommended to 'true metal' dudes everywhere." - Dangerdog.com
    $18.00
  • Crystal Breed is a new prog metal band out of Germany. While there is plenty of chops from hell on display there is also a very strong melodic side to the band. They constantly emphasize vocal harmonies. In an odd way I am reminded of Queen, Neal Morse, The Beatles, ELO, and Muse...and that's just all in one song. The band catches your ear with a pop element but then they hammer you with some killer solos. If I had to make a comparison it would probably be to A.C.T (and whatever happened to those guys anyway?). Clever catchy stuff. Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • "In what seemed like an eternity since the details on the second Darkology album surfaced in December 2013, the running joke was that the second album should be renamed “Fated to Never Be Released.” “Official leaks” of demo tracks surfaced ahead of a European tour “in support of the album” (and without Carptenter who had other commitments). The demos only served to deepen fan desire for the release, as they revealed vocalist Kelly Sundown Carpenter (ex-Firewind live, Adagio) absolutely KILLING IT with a sharpened buzz saw edge that makes Ripper Owens look like an absolute chump. Flash forward to 2015 and finally a release date through Prime Eon and/or Nightmare (depending on where you live) would happen in late Spring. Was it all worth the wait, agony and hype? You betcha it was.The album is a steamroller from start to finish – with some parts here and there that tend to drift slightly (the title track for one) – but it never disappoints. As evidenced in the demos, Carpenter proves why he should be a vocalist in demand as he drives home the heaviness with his ultra-sharp brilliant delivery. Unlike most singers who like to live in the rafters, Kelly pulls it off with zero annoyance. His shredding high end is absolutely essential given the musical assault of riffs (from the great Michael Harris of Thought Chamber) and pounding rhythms (from bassist Michael Neal and drummer Brian Harris) that back it up. Though not similar in style per se as total impact, “Fated to Burn” gives me the same feel as the first time I heard Winter’s Bane’s “Heart of a Killer” and Sanctuary’s “Refuge Denied,” where the first blush with both the young Ripper Owens and Warrell Dane were absolutely life changing. If you add a little dose of “Breaker” era Accept and a tiny drop of Symphony X you have just the tip of just how brilliant “Fated to Burn” truly is.The Harris brothers have struck upon an exciting formula of U.S. power and traditional with just a touch of progressive. In terms of comparison with 2009’s “Altered Reflections,” this album packs five times the punch and power, sure to please fans that prefer metal heavy, guitar driven, and with shredding vocals. The album is a flurry of amazing grinding riffs with Kelly’s lethal vox that make tracks like “Shadows of Oth,” “Quantum Genocide,” “Kill Me If You Can,” “21st Century Frankenstein (Nobot 2)” and personal favorite “Festival of Fear” sound, and in many ways exceed, “Painkiller.” In fact, Darkology is a Metal Church for a new generation – and “Fated to Burn” leaves such an indelible vibe of “The Dark” that I swear the spirit of circa-1986 David Wayne seems to have implanted itself inside of Kelly.In one of the most exciting and pure metal releases in well over a decade, “Fated to Burn” is well worth the wait. Darkology stakes its claim in a busy circuit and with one flap of burning wings created an album that can easily be labeled an instant classic, thus raising its stock as one of the best U.S. bands out there today. This isn’t a mere claim only to be dashed away by a short time – this is the real deal! If you call yourself a fan of metal than heed these words….”Fated to Burn” lives up to and exceeds any hype you may have for it. If you haven’t familiarized yourself with the band, then you picked the right time, because the album isn’t “fated to burnout” anytime soon. Darkology has arrived.Highs: One of the best pure metal albums in a decade, Kelly Sundown Carpenter shines.Lows: Some songs drift a little, but not by much.Bottom line: Darkology strikes back with an album that is "Fated to Burn" into the memory for a long long time." - Metal Underground
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  • "For their fourth album (the first I’ve heard), Finland’s Five Fifteen continue their tradition of long psychedelic titles. Gong fans don’t be fooled, the mention of the French cheese does not bode any resemblance. Five Fifteen are a hard rock band with progressive and psychedelic leanings, not really of the metal variety. Obvious referents might include Deep Purple and Golden Earring, but the presence of two lead vocalists, male and female, really sets the band apart from any comparison I can think of. The lyrics are all in English, sung with slight accents, and a bit on the goofy side, though not embarrassingly so. Lyricist Mika Järvinen has a strange sense of reality. Perhaps he sums it up best himself in “I Don’t Remember”: “I’m the psychedelic redneck, a progressive punk / A bebopalula with a freaky funk / .. / I’m a second generation of the electric warriors / A flowerblues child of the space cowboys.” What really strikes me are the band’s arrangements, going from a delicate acoustic section with flanged singing into a blues stomp with a killer electric riff, then a guitar solo over a tricky 11/8 rhythm. Very inventive and full of surprises. The disc ends with an strange uncredited story about a guy who meets three Martians and takes them to Las Vegas." - Expose
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  • "The telling strikes of new power metal have been falling left and right this most righteous of autumns, and the Frenchmen of Operadyse have seen fit to lend their sword arm to the collective effort to bury us listeners utterly in a mountain of releases. The band’s debut release, Pandemonium, is a symphonic power metal affair that draws upon the considerable vocal talents of Frank Garcia (better known as the erstwhile frontman of Spheric Universe Experience), and boy do I ever like him in this setting!Drawing to mind similar recent projects like Fogalord and perhaps Galderia, I find Operadyse outstanding for its sheer buoyancy. This is not, as some may say, “yet another Rhapsody clone”. Please. If that statement were true of half the bands accused of it, we’d be dwelling in a cesspool of artistic stagnancy – and that is hardly the case. Pandemonium, the album’s title, should be interpreted in the most jubilant, energetic way possible. Often a generally uplifting, almost martial power metal beat (“Unfold Legend”), Operadyse nevertheless varies its formula more than you might think, featuring variety in the mystique of “Fairies Secret Garden”, a sudden black metal lapse in “Keeper Of The Flame”, and the absurdly joyful strains of “Nevermore”.A large part of what makes this work outstanding is its bombast. String samples, synth brass, rich choirs, lots of tom rolls from the drum kit, extremely good supporting female vocal work, and even some timpani and big crash cymbals in the background – Operadyse pulls out all the stops to make this as big and as ambitious a project as possible. While that’s true, this isn’t as ludicrously over-the-top as a band like Pathfinder. As explosive as the aural pyrotechnics are on Pandemonium, there’s also a noticeable sense of restraint. This tendency is best manifested in the sweeping breaks that take place in the music from time to time. Mark my words – wherever Pathfinder would insert a shriek or spin up a brazen guitar solo, Operadyse is more than happy to draw back, lay off the guitars and vocals, throw in some deep brass, and let the scale of the compositions grow. As a result, we have a pronounced “peaks and valleys” feeling with this album – but I’m not addressing the quality of the music, which is universally good to great – but rather the dynamic and textural sensations. Further emphasizing this behavior is the tonality – so much of this album abounds in uplifting major key revelry that when anything discordant arises, it is very pronounced, and consequently that much more powerful.There are only a couple of very minor drawbacks to this otherwise very impressive album. The first is my sometimes back-and-forth relationship with Garcia – a singer who wasn’t remotely on my roadmap prior to this album. He has the typical French slur that affects his enunciation with much of the lyricism, and I feel that his softer vocals leave something to be desired. On the other hand, when he ratchets up to the high register and gives his voice a bit of a bite, he reminds me of Bill Makatowicz of Illusion Suite – which is a rather flattering comparison in my book. Secondly and finally, in terms of real criticism, and I’ll put this simply: I want more guitar. For all my talk of comparing this to Pathfinder and praising its subtlety, I miss some of the bright and flashy guitar work that that album featured. Operadyse definitely does not excel at “heavy” metal.Pandemonium is, however, a symphonic power metal lover’s blissful release, and a joy for anyone that craves the inspiring, feel-good brand of power metal that genre stalwarts Freedom Call and Power Quest once emphasized. This will get dismissed by those who don’t like “flower metal”, but the devil take them – this is exciting and not insubstantial material. Just one more banger on the books for 2013 to you and I, perhaps, but this album is an auspicious beginning to a career for Operadyse." - Black Wind Metal
    $15.00
  • 150 minute NTSC DVD from these German power metal icons. Featured performances include Wacken 2001 and from their Black Sun tour in 2002. There are video clips, stuff from Wacken 1999 as well as "bootleg" footage from various tours going back to 1998. The set includes a bonus CD called "Official Live Bootleg - Live In Wacken".
    $18.00
  • "Esoteric Recordings are proud to announce the release of a newly re-mastered and expanded of Galactic Zoo Dossier , the first album by Arthur Brown's Psych / Space Rock outfit Kingdom Come. Issued on Polydor in 1971, the album launched the band, gaining instant notoriety. Touching on the musical territory of fellow travellers Hawkwind, Galactic Zoo Dossier was a masterwork and is now rightly regarded as a classic. This newly remastered edition includes bonus tracks of three alternate versions of Metal Monster , Space Plucks and Sunrise , together with both tracks from a BBC Radio One John Peel session from March 1971 (previously unreleased on CD)."
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  • "Here's an unusual progressive-rock project. Spearheaded by drummer François Bernatchez, Qwaarn isn't just the name of a band with members rotating in and out as needed; it's also the main character in the sci-fi-meets-real-world story spanning Aberrations and its predecessor, 2004's The Word of Qwaarn. While some of the Canadian band's influences from that debut album remain on Aberrations (including Genesis and Yes), the new disc is being billed as a "pop-gressive" record by its label, Unicorn Digital, with echoes of The Beatles, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Tears for Fears and The Cure. Didier Berthuit often sings with a heavy accent, and his lengthy carnival-esque soliloquy on "The High Muckity-Mucks" grates after only a few seconds (even though it's meant to be satirical). Guitarists Antoine Bernatchez and Martin Bleau, however, evoke David Gilmour on tracks like "Privilege" and "Dream in Am," and their warm, acoustic material also helps set Aberrations apart from some of the other artists on Unicorn's roster. While the Middle-Eastern flavor of the murky alt-rocker "Mr. Lotto" unveils another side of Qwaarn, the epic "Did You Say Salmon?" proves this collective is first and foremost a progressive-rock band. A bit of an odd progressive-rock band, but a progressive-rock band nonetheless." - sea of tranquility.com
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  • "New album  from Daniel Cavanagh of Anathema, introducing the brilliant Sean Jude.Leafblade was born out of a calling. A calling to bring the writing of Sean Jude towards a wider audience; or so thinks Mr. Cavanagh of Anathema, who originally formed Leafbladewith Jude several years ago.In May 2013 Leafblade release their new album, The Kiss of Spirit and Flesh, on the Kscope label.Daniel and Sean are joined on the new album by Anathema's portuguese multi instrumentalist Daniel Cardoso who plays drums, supported by Kevin Murphy and recorded by Mark Ellis who worked on anathema's 2010 masterpiece, We're Here Because We're Here.Produced by Cavanagh, The Kiss of Spirit and Flesh steps up the dynamics from debut albumBeyond, Beyond.Showcasing Cavanagh's unmistakable production work, his signature electric guitar playing and heartfelt 'musical weaving', all of which is built around Jude's unique and brilliant progressive songwriting, his lute-like nylon strings, his articulate lyrics and passionate vocal delivery.Cavanagh feels that the album has found a natural home at Kscope, the label that he has worked with extensively over the past few years, "the writing is absolutely top class and the progressive and organic nature of the music makes it very much part of Kscope's orbit."He continues; "we feel the album is a special one thanks to the beautiful lyrics, top class arrangements and excellent musicianship, and it should appeal to Anathema fans and progressive fans alike."""
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  • 2LP orange vinyl edition in a gatefold sleeve and one bonus live track.You know this band is like money in the bank. They don't get a lot of hype but they've never made a bad album. They change singers from time to time but they always come up with a great one. They tinker with the formula from time to time just to keep it fresh but you can always expect great harmonies, blistering leads of guitar and keys and melodies that stick in your head for days on end. Wounded Land was one of the first progressive metal albums I ever heard and really drew me into the genre. Critical Mass doesn't disappoint at all.
    $30.00
  • Great debut from this new Italian quintet.  Pure retro prog that channels the spirit of early 70s British prog.  The band's sound is dominated by organ and heavily spiced up with guitar and flute leads.  Hugh Banton or Tony Banks' roadie must have helped set up Paolo Tognazzi's organ because it seems like its ripped right out of 1971.  Vocals are in English and while Andrea Calzoni's accent creeps in now and then he aquits himself quite well - he's got a bit of an Ian Anderson thing going on.  Nice long instrumental breaks with keys playing off the flute and guitar.  Definitely a VDGG - Osanna - PFM - Orme vibe, but keep in mind the early versions of these bands.  1971 vs 1975.  This is the good stuff.  The REALLY good stuff.The LP version comes with a gorgeous gimmix die cut gatefold cover.  I've been in this crazy business for almost 25 years (2013 is year 25).  The Italian labels always come up with the best and most innovative packaging.  They seem to cherish the way things used to be done - when album artwork was more than just something to hold the disc.  They treat the cover like a piece of artwork and ultimately the collector is rewarded with pride of ownership.
    $29.00