Notes From The Past

SKU: IOMCD097
Label:
Inside Out Music
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Wonderful new reunion album from Hans Lundin and Roine Stolt that recaptures the flavor of their first 3 albums from the mid-70s. If you first instinct is to ask yourself what the difference is between this release and a Flower Kings disc you should know that all the material was written by Hans Lundin. Roine is the guitarist but it's pretty much Lundin's show here. Drums are handled by Morgan Agren (ex-Zappa) and Jonas Reingold of Flower Kings plays all basses. This is pure Kaipa in execution - loads of Mellotron, organ and analog synth sounds. 79 minutes of prime epic prog.

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  • Second album from this incredible fusion trio from North Carolina will blow your skull off.  Trioscapes consists of Between The Buried And Me bassist Dan Briggs and Walter Fancourt (tenor sax/flute), and Matt Lynch (drums).  Don't let the absence of keys or guitar throw you.  This is mild altering, high energy fusion. You get the chops from hell, tripped out soundscapes, and head throttling melodies.  And that's just the first tune!!!  Utterly lethal.  BUY OR DIE!!"Much of what can conceivable be written of Trioscapes‘ most recent album Digital Dream Sequence is exactly what could be written about their previous offering Separate Realities.Musicians, jazz musicians particularly, may spit their coffee all over their keyboards on reading that, apopleptic and petulant – pointing out that where the previous album was underpinned by Ionic mode progressions, that this one is rooted in the Chromatic (or somesuch muso guff). Suffice to say that, as with Separate Realities, Digital Dream Sequence does not cling to homely pentatonic melodies or major chord, 4/4 song structures.It is a surprising and joyful departure from the predictable, which would be easy to describe as mind-expanding if it did not so closely follow its predecessor in structure and feel.As it is, there are a few physical embellishments to the formula worth noting, but not many. Keyboard fills (or what sounds like keyboards – what Dan Briggs can do with a bass guitar and effects pedals can be confusing at times) bring an extra accent to the pieces, as well as atmospheric depth on, say, the opening sequence of ‘From the Earth to the Moon’. On that track, the use of keyboard wash with a glockenspiel voice is foregrounded in something that tips a hat to Pink Floyd’s exploration of moon themes, before it takes off into something more definitely Trioscapes in its saxophone/bass/percussion attack. The track goes on to finish with an outro that co-opts much of the main theme from Tubular Bells.Keys, elsewhere on Digital Dream Sequence, play a role more to do with sound dynamics than with song structure – they fill a gap in the lower mids that is left between Walter Fancourt’s flute and alto saxophone moments.To state outright that this album sounds like Separate Realities is misleading though – there is much in the way of progression to note, and a gelling of roles between band members who have, onstage and in the studio, found a way to fit their individual talents into a group dynamic. Although there were moments of more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts alchemy on the earlier album, they were rarer than they are on Digital Dream Sequence. The latter has more raw groove, embeds moments of individual technical dexterity into the compositions less abruptly, and overall displays a more comfortable fusion (arg – that word!) between the funk and metal aesthetics that comprise the Trioscapes recipe.Of that curious mix, the mention of both Pink Floyd and Mike Oldfield above may offer some clue – there is a smattering of prog rock reference on Digital Dream Sequence (the intro to final track ‘The Jungle’ particularly) which opens a world of musical territory to the trio. Particularly the rhythms of Mali, which fascinated prog musicians for much of the 80s. Or perhaps that is too fanciful (jazz and funk have, historically, a more direct conduit to African rhythms than anything channeled through prog, after all).Nevertheless, that final track, once one has re-accustomed the ear to the Trioscapes tag-team approach to rhythm, tension and controlled saxophone madness, throbs with a primal, sweaty and utterly invigorating energy that transcends jazz, funk, metal or rock and is its own glorious creation.Which is something that never quite happened on Separate Realities (and bear in mind that Separate Realities was chosen by this reviewer as the album of 2012). This time Trioscapes have thrown off the anxiety of influence, have coalesced their individual contributions into a smoother whole, and have dug deeply to find an immense gravitronic groove.It’s a throbbing monster of an album." - Trebuchet Magazine
    $14.00
  • The Japanese East Wind label was active in the 70s and into the early 80s.  This was a jazz label that focused on Japanese artists but also covered many popular US players.  While not as overtly audiophile as Three Blind Mice, the East Wind label was always noted for immaculate reference quality production.Universal Japan has released 72 titles from the East Wind catalog in extremely limited editions.  We've cherry picked those titles that we think are of interest to our customer base.Masahiko Togashi is a wheelchair bound percussionist who has had quite a prolific career.  Much of his output would fall into the free jazz/improv category.  Spiritual Nature is a bit different.  While its probably the most "out" recording on East Wind it holds together and is quite a beautiful work.  The album features a large size ensemble of musicians, the most notable being Sadao Watanabe (reeds) and Masahiko Satoh (piano).  You need to think of the album as one continuous organic work.  The music has a definite Japanese feel in sound and lives up to its title - its quite spiritual sounding.  Taken as a whole it has a cosmic, spaced out vibe.  OK some skronking here and there but overall quite powerful.  Definitely a late night listen with the lights out.  Superior recording to boot!  
    $16.00
  • Gentle Knife is a new band from Norway that will definitely bring a wide grin to the face of any prog fan.  This is a huge 10 piece ensemble that features both male and female lead vocals, tons of keys (yup - you get your Mellotron right here), reeds, guitar, bass and drums.  Male vocals seem to predominate but even still I'm reminded quite a bit of White Willow's debut Ignis Fatuus - even more so when the female singer comes on board.  There is a dark and mystical quality to the music.  Not surprising - I did say they are Norwegian.  When the instrumental jams kick in there are jazz overtones blending with Crimsonoid evil.  This just arrived at Casa Laser's Edge so it needs more plays to really sink in.  The first few times through the album I'm liking what I'm hearing...a lot!  Highly recommended."Gentle Knife is a Norwegian progressive rock band counting 10 members. With both male and female vocals, guitars, synths, mellotron, woodwinds and everything else you would or would not expect, the band combines the mood of the ‘70s with a modern take on the genre. The band has a clear visual identity based in the artworks of Brian Talgo. The band has a long time perspective.Gentle Knife’s eponymous debut recounts the tale of an ill-fated wanderer lost in the depths of a haunted forest. An 8-part suite rooted in the classic rock concept album. Recorded/premixedby Øyvind Engebretsen at Sound Lab Studioes, with final mix by Neil Kernon. Mastered by Morten Lund at Lunds Lyd."
    $14.00
  • "The second album from Yes spin-off supergroup featuring Billy Sherwood and Tony Kaye of Yes!CIRCA: also features Jimmy Haun who recorded with Yes on the Union album as well as Air Supply PLUS drummer Jay Schellen of Hurricane and Asia!"
    $14.00
  • "Some four years ago Borealis released their Fall From Grace, and my conclusion was simple. They presented adequate, yet typical, melodic European power metal just misplaced in Canada. To the present, it seems things may have changed, even improved, for the band for their third album, Purgatory.Yet, I'm not sure I want to get ahead of myself here. One spin and you hear echoes of previous material: riff heavy and intense, speedy power metal. As Mets manager Yogi Berra once said, "It's deja vu all over again." Actually, for my money, you could boil this album down to two things: blistering power metal and lots of epic guitar solos. Now, you say: "Dude, I love that shit!" Okay. Stop reading and go buy the album.But there's more. The keyboards seem more present, even adding a large portion symphonic orchestration to add to Borealis' naturally bombastic sound. Take note of My Peace, for example. Also, and not knowing who the principal guitarist is, Matt Marinelli or Mike Briguglio, the guitar lines are phenomenal. Forget the twin bombastic riffs, the leads are killer: soaring to the wow factor. Additionally, the arrangements are more dynamic; the progressive metal has gotten a bump here over the last album. Yet, this is not a hyper-technical leap. It's more changes in tempo and breakdowns. You'll catch some of this within Place Of Darkness or Welcome To Eternity. The latter also a good example, in the second half, of Borealis adding some thrash metal to overwhelm you.The wild card in this mixture is vocalist Matt Marinelli. I would like to say he can sing, and I think he can. But he's so often totally overwhelmed by the music to be nearly underwater. He's seems always striving and straining to stay ahead or, to continue the metaphor, stay above the music. Then you find out he has a generally pleasing voice and presence when you listen to Darkest Sin or Rest My Child, the two quietest songs here. I would imagine when you hear Borealis live, you'll have a Pink Floyd moment, from The Wall, when observing Marinelli: "Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying." Nevertheless, Purgatory is definitely an advancement for Borealis, a fine album of more ambitious progressive power metal than past efforts. Recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $15.00
  • Salvaged from the vaults of RCA Italy is this legendary prog album from Morgan Fisher and Co. Anyone who is a fan of British progressive rock must own this keyboard intensive masterpiece. New remastered edition gets the Mark Powell/Esoteric love. Essential.
    $17.00
  • "Founding members of the original "Rock In Opposition" [R.I.O.] movement and the inventors of "chamber rock", Univers Zero have continued to change and grow and develop over their entire career, while still keeping a ensemble sound and spirit that is easily recognizable. Clivages is their first studio album in over five years, but much more importantly, it is their first studio release since 1986's Heatwave to feature the energy and sound of a working, rehearsing, live ensemble performing in the studio! It features the current line-up of the group who have been playing concerts and working together for quite some time now: Michel Berkmans (bassoon, English horn, oboe), Kurt Budé (clarinet, bass clarinet, alto sax), Pierre Chevalier (keyboards), Daniel Denis (drums, sampler), Dimitri Evers (bass), Martin Lauwers (violin) and guest Andy Kirk (guitar and percussion). Univers Zero are rightly famous for finding the perfect balance between classical and rock influences and drawing on musicians from both worlds. In terms of this, Clivages is possibly their best-balanced release , featuring a couple of small chamber works for the trio of strings, reeds and double reeds of the group. The rock side has not been ignored in any way, however and in addition to contributions from band members Denis, Budé and Berckmans, Clivages features Andy Kirk's 12' piece "Warrior", which harkens back to the sound of the band circa Heatwave!"
    $15.00
  • This is the album where I had a hard time telling these guys apart from The Police. A fall off in quality from Moving Pictures - the tunes are shorter and more radio friendly.  Remastered edition.
    $5.00
  • Third album from this Swedish stoner rock band takes equal parts Mastodon, Pink Floyd, and Baroness and jumbles it together.  Toss in a touch of retro-folk in places (I guess that would make it unequal).  It can get a bit sludgy at times and then turns around and blasts off into space.  All I know is I want what they're smoking!"New Keepers Of The Water Towers are a Stoner Metal Band who have been going since 2006 and have a loyal following within the Stoner Metal scene. They have released two well-received albums – 2009’s Chronicles and 2011’s The Calydonian Hunt.Their blend of high voltage Stoner Metal riffs mixed with Fuzz and a slight hint of Sludge Rock made these hugely talented Swedes a band to look out for. Well things are about to change big time for the band thanks to their stunning new album – Cosmic Child.For the 3rd album – the band have went under a spacey transformation of sorts. Cosmic Child sees the band incorporating huge elements of Progressive Rock and Space Rock into their already set great sound.So if you’re a fan of Pink Floyd and Mastodon then your surely going to dig this like I did. Cosmic Child is the band’s creative and most daring work to date. They are a band reborn. This is New Keepers Of The Water Towers like you have never heard before. The band has reflected this in the 47 minute running time. An almost epic length by their standards.First track – The Great Leveller – is the perfect 6-minute introduction to show you the bands new sound and outlook on all things Stoner Metal. Blending Progressive Rock riffs with Space Rock shows you this band have taken a more direct Sci-Fi vibe to their music. What else would you expect with the excellent album cover and cool title?Imagine if NASA wanted the world’s finest Stoner Metal bands to record an album about Space Exploration then The Cosmic Child would be that awesome result. New Keepers have created an astonishing album that will take you to different galaxies and dimensions without ever leaving the comforts of your own home.2nd track – Visions Of Death – might start as a cheerful Space Rock opera but listen to the lyrics and you find something dark and mysterious lurking in the background. Before the album takes you off for an epic journey into the cosmos. 9 mins on show here feel like light-years instead of mins. However, you will not know the difference as you will be enjoying the ride too much. Just more action-packed riffs to show you that New Keepers Of The Water Towers have evolved as musicians and writers since their last release. Wait until the 5:30 minute mark before an amazing Space infused Stoner Rock riff comes out of nowhere.3rd Track – Pyre For The Red Sage – is another magical epic journey through Time and Space. Well 12 minute to be precise but you get another outstanding track, which takes time building the listeners emotions before letting rip with more top-notch Space Rock riffs. Throw in great vocals and lyrics and this album is now firmly in the realm of brilliance. This is a love letter to Pink Floyd as it contains some highly recognisable rock passages that legendary band were known for.I had the feeling when listening to the album that the band had been reading or watching 2001 – A Space Odyssey or other philosophical sci-fi classics as some of their ideas on the album might actually need a degree of some sort to fully understand. However, the riffs contained on the album will keep fans happy for many years to come.The last 3 songs follow the same path as the first 3 songs. More epic progressive space rock riffs blended with sublime Stoner Metal riffs. 18 more mins to keep you transfixed from start to finish.Best track of the remaining 3 is the 12:32 minute instrumental epic – Lapse – which showcases some of the bands finest instrumental work to date. Ambient noises have been beautifully added to create a world that is unnerving as it is exciting. Damn – this track is a work of art at times. Moods and atmospheres collide with intent and purpose. Just close your eyes and let the riffs take you on another great journey into the vastness of space.All in all – The Cosmic Child – is a wonderful album for everyone to experience. It has soul and heart like you would never imagine. It’s expertly produced and played by all involved.The Cosmic Child is going to launch New Keepers Of The Water Tower onto another level within the Stoner Metal scene.Excellent and Highly Recommended." - The Sludgelord Blogspot
    $14.00
  • Remastered edition with 2 bonus tracks."Easily one of the most important heavy metal albums ever released, Stained Class marks the peak of Judas Priest's influence, setting the sonic template for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal more than any other single recording. This is the point where Priest put it all together, embracing their identity as the heaviest band on the planet and taking the genre to new heights of power, speed, musicality, and malevolence. Not until Painkiller would the band again be this single-minded in its focus on pure heavy metal. Their blues-rock roots have been virtually obliterated; largely gone, too, are the softer textures and gothic ballads of albums past. The lone exception is the morbid masterpiece "Beyond the Realms of Death," on which the band finally finds a way to integrate the depressive balladry of songs like "Epitaph" and "Last Rose of Summer" into their metal side. Starting out with quiet, mournful verses, the song's chorus is ripped open by a blazing guitar riff as Rob Halford shrieks about leaving the world behind, a dramatic climax that sounds like a definite blueprint for Metallica's "Fade to Black." Yet it wasn't this song that inspired the ridiculous 1989-1990 court case involving the suicide pact of two Nevada teenagers; that honor goes to the Spooky Tooth cover "Better by You, Better Than Me" (penned by none other than the "Dream Weaver" himself, Gary Wright), on which the band allegedly embedded the subliminal backwards-recorded message "Do it." Astounding implausibility aside (as the band pointed out, why encourage the suicides of fans who spend money?), it isn't hard to see why Stained Class might invite such hysterical projections. On balance, it's the darkest lyrical work of the band's career, thematically obsessed with death, violence, and conquest. That's not to say it's always approving. Sure, there are battle cries like "White Heat, Red Hot," horrific nightmares like "Saints in Hell," and elements of the fantastic in the alien monsters of "Invader" and stone classic opener "Exciter." But the band stays philosophical just as often as not. The twisting, turning title track adopts the biblical view of man as a hopeless, fallen creature preyed upon by his baser instincts; "Savage" foreshadows Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills" in depicting violent colonizers as the real savages; and closer "Heroes End" laments the many legends born from untimely deaths. So in the end, what really cements the celebrated morbidity of Stained Class is the sinister atmosphere created by the music itself. Never before had heavy metal sounded so viciously aggressive, and never before had that been combined with such impeccable chops. Seemingly at will, Tipton and Downing spit out brilliant riffs that cut with knife-like precision, usually several per song. This means that there's a lot to take in on Stained Class, but if there's nothing here as immediate as the band's later hits, there's also a tremendous amount that reveals itself only with repeated listens. While the album's overall complexity is unrivalled in the band's catalog, the songs still pack an enormous visceral impact; the tempos have often been jacked up to punk-level speed, and unlike albums past, there's no respite from the all-out adrenaline rush. Heavy metal had always dealt in extremes -- both sonically and emotionally -- but here was a fresh, vital new way to go about it. It's impossible to overstate the impact that Stained Class had on virtually all of the heavy metal that followed it, from the NWOBHM through thrash and speed metal onward, and it remains Judas Priest's greatest achievement." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • "Germany's Mob Rules hit an absolute home run in 2010 with their album Radical Peace, and the band is back with the equally stellar Cannibal Nation. Don't let the title fool you into thinking that the veteran power/prog metal act has gone all horror on us, as Cannibal Nation is another sizzling collection of melodic, heavy, power & progressive metal songs. With a singer as good as Klaus Dirks, Mob Rules already has a step up on the competition, and he once again delivers a stunning performance here. "Tele Box Fool", "Lost", and the brilliant opener "Close My Eyes" all feature his confident, powerful vocals amidst plenty of catchy melodies and challenging metal arrangements. "Ice and Fire" has been picked as the first single from the CD, and it's a hook laden slice of melodic power metal with Dirks' soaring vocals over tasty guitar riffs & solos from Matthias Mineur & Sven Lüdke with just the right amount of keyboards courtesy of Jan Christian Halfbrodt. The CD has its share of heavy thumpers too, like the headbanging "Soldiers of Fortune" and the crunchy, harmony guitar laden title track. For those that like the more proggy side of Mob Rules, there's the atmospheric "Scream for the Sun (May 29th 1953)" and the textured "Sunrise", both heavily melodic and dripping with emotion.Cannibal Nation is another fine, classy release from Mob Rules, a band that consistently delivers one winner after another without relying on traditional European power metal or progressive metal characteristics." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $15.00
  • Sixth and easily best album from this long running UK based prog band. The core band is Andy Poole and Greg Spawton. The new vocalist is ex-Gifthorse member David Longdon who interestingly enough was one of the finalist as Phil Collins replacement in Genesis (Ray Wilson got the gig). He sounds remarkably like Collins. Lots of interesting hired guns on this disc: Nick D'Virgilio (Spocks Beard), Dave Gregory (XTC), Francis Dunnery (It Bites, Robert Plant), Jem Godfrey (Frost*). The album was mixed by Rob Aubrey who has worked with IQ, Transatlantic and Asia. If you dig Phil Collins era Genesis this album is going to send you into fits of ecstasy. This couldn't be characterized as anything but British progressive rock - they've got the sound nailed down pat. Grandiose neoprog with an obvious nod to Genesis and a real maturity about it. This is the good stuff. Highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • Compilation for this Italian power metal band comes with 2 unreleased tracks.
    $15.00
  • "The name On Thorns I Lay sounded rather familiar, so I did some digging in the old promo suitcase, and what do you know? I found the album ‘Crystal Tears’ from the same band. Well, I listened to the new album and I did the same with its predecessor, followed by that old-time but ever thrilling game ‘find the differences’. ‘Angeldust’, which was released last year (if the info in the booklet is correct, that is) sounds quite well, and the overall atmosphere reminds a bit of the Italian band Cayne, the Danish band Loveless, The Wounded from Holland, even influences from Paradise Lost rear their heads. In other words, romantic wave rock with heavy guitars, clean male vocals and the same moody violins we know from ‘Crystal Tears’. Now… the new album sounds maturer than its predecessor. The band does not use a female singer anymore (except for the spoken words in the opening track), which can hardly be considered as loss. Not that she was bad or anything, but this band does not need female vocals, they are impressive enough as it is… " - Lords Of Metal
    $4.00