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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  • "‘Les Fleurs du Mal’ is a conceptual album by Swedish band THERION that features only French lyrics and consists of cover versions of old French pop songs from 60-70s. THERION celebrates by "a special art project", headlining by the material, its 25 anniversary. It was also said that the album is available only during the tour and from THERION online store; it is sponsored by the only founding member, Christofer Johnsson. But you can buy it i.e. on Amazon as well. I am not going to go at length comparing THERION old and new and trying to rationalise things. The reason is simple, as this album was actually the first that caught my full attention. I start from the cover: it's full of topless females. Obviously, Charles Baudelaire's legacy is quite reminiscent there. The cover is made of a quite rich artwork of Saturno Butto, themed mainly erotic and varying from matte painting to charcoal sketches.Most of the songs here are quite short, yet powerful. Why these songs? I have at hand some lengthy explanations from the press kit, but in fact it boils to one single thing: the overall direction of French songs that are dark and telling some quite grim stories. Yet we all aware of a largely poetic language and melodic music background of French culture. Christofer has a great, fluent knowledge of musical styles and approaches, so he claims influences from King Diamond, Candlemass to folk music and ABBA. The album is beating with energy, in carries you along with its set of 15 songs performed mainly by the lead opera singer, soprano Lori Lewis.Of course I was curious about how exactly the original songs were altered. It's too much of effort to get past all these tracks, so I picked few favourites. ‘Mon amour, mon ami’ by Marie Laforet is a playful pop song, performed originally in circus-like up-tempo, but THERION specialists worked closely in order bring about the "inner darkness", toned down tempo and timbre and added traditionally "darker" music instruments such as organ - so song became indeed heavier and more minor, yet more powerful and strong. ‘Polichinelle’, performed with a cute teenage girl's voice by France Gall, is initially a pretty love ballad that relates to a Commedia dell 'arte character (note that comedian masks are worn by the naked ladies on the album booklet. (Thumbs up for the throughout conceptual work!) THERION ended up with an operetta rendering of the song, making of it somewhat of an opera house hymn, this type of sound you would expect from contemporary French musicals. Despite being one of the most experimental pieces on the album, it would be, probably, one of the most noticeable tracks.Finally, Victoire Scott's ‘Une fleur dans le coeur’ - Christofer did not like very much a feature you can hear in original, the honky-tonk (tuned-off) piano that he only describes as "dreadful". Instead, THERION interpretation is deeply lyrical, with plenty of acoustic guitar and strong soprano of Lori multiplied by the riffs you might expect from Jann Tiersen, metal additions and whole lot of different styles changing one to another. One drawback that I see is that the vocal style often remains of the same across album, so if you listen to 15 songs in a row, you might be tired a bit with the similar style. Yet the band paid enough attention to insert pleasant breaks by quest vocalists. The album sounds sound, fresh, and original and there is additional fun to compare originals to the covers." - Reflections Of Darkness
    $11.00
  • "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
  • "Formed in 2008 under the (thankfully dropped) name Rightdoor, Within silence are a melodic power metal band in the vein of Blind Guardian. As such you can expect huge swathes of guitar, souring vocals and banks of keyboards all vying for space amidst the pounding rhythms and heroic soloing. Growing steadily, the band have taken their time to draft their debut offering, the gleaming ‘gallery of life’, and it appears that it has been time well spent because the rehearsals, the time spent writing and then honing material on the road with the likes of Blaze Bayley has paid off with this confident and powerful album.Opening with a short, choral ‘intro’, ‘gallery of life’ immediately sets out its stall as an ambitious body of work designed to be heard as one contiguous piece. The intro builds nicely to the powerful guitars of ‘silent desire’. A perfect opening song, ‘silent desire’ immediately highlights the fact this is a production that oozes quality. The guitars are razor sharp, the choruses soar memorably and the playing is ultra-precise. It shows that Within Silence will settle for nothing less than perfection and there’s a sparkling ambition here that is impossible to ignore. ‘Emptiness of night’ is a fast-paced rocker with blazing guitars and a full-on vocal performance that is both powerful and brimming with confidence. There’s a strong Iron Maiden influence underpinning the cracking pace and guitar work, and it’s clear that the band have nothing less than world domination in their sights. Keeping the energy levels high, ‘Elegy of doom’ is another taut rocker with a rampaging riff and just the right amount of keyboard to add atmosphere without overpowering the song. It’s an early highlight of the record and make no mistake, within silence are a band who like to rock! It’s a trend that continues on the equally stunning, ‘The last drop of blood’, a full-on belter of a track that sounds like the band channelling Metallica, Maiden and Judas Priest all at once. It’s one of those adrenalin packed tracks that will get the blood pumping no matter what, and it must surely be a live favourite with its brutal riffs and memorable chorus. The track reaches its peak, however, with the excellent extended solo that runs wild over the second half of the song. Showing a lighter touch, ‘Love is blind’ keeps the energy levels maxed out but offers up a more pop-infused side of the band than found elsewhere, and whilst it still remains on the metallic side of the musical spectrum, it shows that Within silence have both the talent and confidence to fully explore their genre.The band briefly slow their pace for the more subtle opening strains of ‘anger and sorrow’, although the song does not take long to explode into a typically multi-stranded beast complete with extended solos and deft changes. Representing Within Silence at their most commercial sounding, ‘Judgement day’ is the sort of rollicking heavy metal ride that would have been all over the radio back in the eighties. Powerful and driven by a chorus that is only slightly less addictive than crack, ‘judgement day’ is a beast of a track. Next up, pounding drums lead us into ‘the world of slavery’, a song with a strong folk influence. Another track that benefits from some stunning guitar work, ‘the world of slavery’ is a metal epic that only gets better with repeated listens. The album concludes with ‘road to paradise’ which dips into ‘seventh son…’ era Maiden for inspiration. Another epic length track, it is a last chance for the musicians to spread their wings and soar, something which they duly do in impressive fashion. A short ‘outro’ sees the disc spin to a halt with choral voices echoing in the dark. It is a suitably dramatic ending for a CD that takes the listener on a wonderful journey from start to finish.Power metal can be, all too often, a genre where the keyboard elements overshadow the metallic elements. Thankfully, Within Silence, perhaps because of their lengthy time spent out on the road, keep their sound hard-edged throughout and the result is an album that packs a similar punch to the classic Maiden albums of the early eighties. There are crunchy riffs galore, endless solos and the sort of huge, soaring choruses that have made Blind Guardian such a powerful force. Talented, oozing confidence and with a wonderfully powerful set of songs, Within Silence have arrived and metal fans had best sit up and take notice, because these guys have the skill and the burning ambition to go far." - Sonic Abuse
    $14.00
  • "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 L├╝dke 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
  • Now here is a beautiful slice of contemporary progressive rock.  Anubis is an underrated band from Australia - bands down under don't seem to get the attention they deserve.  Hitchhiking is their third full length album.  2011's A Tower Of Silence was a big hit around here and frankly when it arrived it came as a huge surprise.  This long awaited follow up reinforces that the prog rock world needs to take notice.  The music has a cinematic Floyd-like feel.  Vocals from Robert James Moulding are emotion driven and have plenty of impact.  This is not a band who's music is filled with tons of soloing but what's here is solid.  In other words this is not old school prog - its very forward thinking but with a modern sound.  Highly recommended."I have long dreamt of an Australian progressive rock album that would inspire me to click the repeat button, in order to drift through its world all over again, and I am happy to declare that Hitchhiking to Byzantium has been on constant rotation for weeks at this point. Bringing an enchanting blend of Floydian melancholy and the energy of Rush to the table, Anubis have come to stake their claim as heavyweights in the Oz scene with their third opus.Whilst being equally impressed with their 2011 album A Tower of Silence (which I have only just heard recently also), I have found myself returning to Byzantium more to explore the subtle nuances contained within the album’s ten tracks. ‘Fadeout’ as an opening diddy is like riding a gentle breeze for just a short while before being swept up in all the drama and opulence of ‘A King with No Crown’, a reference quality track on every level, cinematic in scope and full of drama and tension and certainly an inspired choice as opening single for the album. ‘Dead Trees’ is a classic prog cut with all the bells and whistles sporting a vocal performance that harkens to a young James Labrie and a chorus that will have you by the balls from the first time you hear it.I mentioned a notable influence from Floyd and Rush earlier, but if I was to be honest, I would love to ask them if they are fans of American prog band Tiles and those wonderful Brits Anathema, because both bands are called to mind on this album amongst others like Sweden’s Anekdoten. The title track is a sublime centrepiece and features a plaintive aura that is sent soaring when spine-tingling female backing vocals lace the chorus. It’s so hard to choose a favourite song when they are all so filled with creamy goodness, but any of these three  - ‘Blood is Thicker than Common Sense’ (a seductive groover), ‘Tightening of the Screws’ (a majestic slice of melancholia reminiscent of early The Pineapple Thief) or ‘Partitionists’ (a lyrical and musical marvel) - could easily take the title for this humble listener.The final triptych features dark drama in ‘Crimson Stained Romance’, a song that reminded me most of a classic Floyd epic, the 15+ minute ‘A Room with a View’, which is nothing short of a sweeping symphony of moods and tones and the closing ‘Silent Wandering Ghosts’ sounds exactly like its title would suggest, haunting and transcendent with an outro to die for.These seven talented lads are a gifted lot, with every performance of outstanding quality, enhanced by a jaw-dropping production that let’s every instrument tell its own little story and play its part in this emotionally resonant work that as the band state themselves: "I feel that there's more of us in there - the hurdles that life throws at us and the only way to feel true inner peace - by examining the love around you. It's certainly an introspective record - but it's real life. It's about you, it's about me, it's about all of us. Hitchhiking to Byzantium. That journey is life."And somehow I believe them." - Loud Mag
    $15.00
  • 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
  • "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
  • 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
  • "Since the early days of Sonic Pulsar, Portugal's Hugo Flores's output has been prolific and impressive - and Factory Of Dreams is his latest project.Designed to counterpoint the complexity of his Project Creation music, Factory Of Dreams is - by comparison - more straightforward and approachable, less creative and experimental, and it's song-oriented instead of a sweeping concept piece.Poles should find a wide audience as it slots neatly into the genre originally created by The Gathering, and since enriched by luminaries such as Within Temptation, Nightwish, Edenbridge, Lacuna Coil, After Forever, and Epica - et al. It is goth metal, though the 'metal' label is used lightly, fronted by the rich soprano of Sweden's Jessica Lehto. But unlike its genre-mates, Factory Of Dreams isn't a band - it's a 2-person project, an Internet collaboration, with vocals and many arrangements provided by Jessica while multi-instrumentalist Flores provides the rest. Consequently, there's a fair amount of variety from track to track, though the dynamics and the energy - and the synth percussion - are consistent, and some might accuse each song of sounding somewhat similar to the next.Although it isn't a concept piece in the sense of the complicated Project Creation story, Flores remains close to his sci-fi story roots with this one. The theme here revolves around a place on some distant planet comprising two lands called Poles, separated by a river, divided by good and evil - or "positiveness and negativeness". This world is ruled by a "Generator Of Illusions", hence the Factory of Dreams title. It gets more complex, and hints tenuously at modern society's inclination to ingest what we're told as the absolute truth. That may sound somewhat over the top, but the theme does add a layer of sophistication to the record."Electric Boom" is a guitar-led piece, and showcases Flores's virtuosity on his primary instrument - rich guitar work underscored by a fat fretless bass, and only a few brief lines sung by Jessica. "Air Powerplant" is a standout - one of the simpler tracks, yet the tempo changes from elegant piano work to a huge metallic wall of sound, and with Jessica slipping in and out of an operatic style, it has an appeal of its own. "The Piano In The Sea" is another soft ballad, with piano and electronica floating above that soothing songstress. Closing track "Crossing The Bridge To The Positive Pole" ends rather abruptly, leading you to check your CD player - because surely there ought to be another song?If you're a fan of the progressive goth format of a semi-operatic soprano contrasting dark atmospherics and power-chord driven bass-heavy hard-rock, Factory Of Dreams is not Poles apart from others in the genre - but it's a pleasing listen, and has a lot going for it." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $3.00
  • "A more ruminative effort than Sanguine Hum’s well-regarded 2010 debut, The Weight of the World is post-prog in both the most “post” and the most “prog” sense of the words.Recorded at Evolution studios in Oxford, The Weight of the World finds Joff Winks, Matt Baber, Brad Waissman and Andrew Booker absorbing, and then brilliantly modifying, some of the best of what’s come before, imbuing The Weight of the World with the impressive gravitas of very familiar antecedent influences.For instance, dreamscape reminiscences associated with Radiohead (“System For Solution”) find a home here. There are whispers of Steven Wilson (“From The Ground Up”), too. You’ll recall the wonders of Gentle Giant (“Phosfor”), and the mesmerizing sound collages of Boards of Canada (“Day of Release”), as well. Yet, on free-form, ambient-meets-jazz-meets-math rock moments like “In Code,” Sanguine Hum never sounds like anything so much as itself.That holds true even when the band swerves into the murkier waters of epic songcraft, though — like much of this project — the title track takes shape slowly, or at least more slowly than Diving Bell. As it does, however, there is a lot to recommend about The Weight of the World — so much that reveals itself, so much that rewards repeated listenings.Even as its most complex, Sanguine Hum retains an approachability that steers these proceedings well away from any polyester-era excesses. In other words, The Weight of the World remains all proggy, but also all post-y — in the very smartest of ways." - Something Else! Reviews
    $15.00
  • 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 sophomore effort from the extraordinary drummer Sebastiaan Cornelissen featuring an all-star lineup - guitarists Alex Machacek, Mike Otram, Susan Weinert, Richard Hallebeek; keyboardists Gary Husband, Scott Kinsey, and Steve Hunt; and bassists Hadrien Feraud, Jimmy Earl, Gary Willis, and Tom Kennedy among others. Since first coming on the scene in the early 2000s, composer and drummer Sebastiaan Cornelissen has emerged as one of the most distinctive new voices on the European fusion scene. Whether acting as a leader, sideman, or group member, Cornelissen's playing combines a sharp sense of empathy and staggering technique with impressive improvisational grace and intensity."
    $8.00
  • Its been seven years since the first release from The Fractured Dimension.  The core of the band is led by two ex-members of the avant metal band Scholomance: Jimmy Pitts (keyboards) and Jerry Twyford (bass).Given the extensive lineup of guest musicians Pitts and Twyford have corraled one would expect a supreme tech metal blow out.  In parts you get that but there are very strong symphonic rock, classical and fusion elements woven into the music.    Essentially they let the musicians be themselves and it makes it more challenging and interesting to hear them work their styles in to the compositions.OK so here is who is on th album:Jimmy Pitts (keys), Jerry Twyford (bass), Hannes Grossmann (drums), Vishal J Singh, Tom "Fountainhead" Geldschlager, and Tom Kopyto on guitars, Joe Deninzon (violin), Kasturi Nath Singh (Indian Classical Fusion Vocals), and guest guitar solos by Christian Muenzner, Marcel Coenen, Alex Machacek, Mike Abdow, Pete Pachio, Aaron Roten, Bill Bruce, and Jeremy Barnes.So you have guys from Obscura and lots of insane guitar soloists letting it all hang out with overlays of keyboards, violin all thrown at you with lots of intensity.  The whole thing will keep you off balance and I promise you won't be bored.  Highly recommended."“How can less be more? That’s impossible. More is more”, is a famous quote by Yngwie Malmsteen, and US/Germany-based super-group The Fractured Dimension have turned that statement into their modus operandi through their new album ‘Galaxy Mechanics’. By just looking at the star-studded 16-man line-up, not many would expect anything less than all-out super-technical music: a sound the band itself has labelled ‘Cosmic Instrumental Metal’.Despite the large number of members, from over 7 countries, Keyboardist Jimmy Pitts and bassist Jerry Twyford are the ones spearheading The Fractured Dimension, while the others have special and guest appearances on the record. Where you’d see drummer Hannes Grossmann (ex-Necrophagist, ex-Obscura, Blotted Science, Alkaloid), you’d see his Alkaloid band-mate and guitarist Christian Muenzner, and where you’d see Christian, you’d see current Obscura guitarist Tom Fountainhead Geldschlager, and the list goes on. It includes guitarists Tom Kopyto, Mike Abdow, Jeremy Barnes, Bill Bruce, Marcel Coenen, Alex Machacek, Pete Pachio and Aaron Roten. Indian guitarist Vishal J Singh is also among the ranks, as is Indian classical fusion vocalist Kasturi Singh and violinist Joe Deninzon.The album is extremely complex, and features an incredible range of musical styles not just through different instruments and tones, but through stylistic variations within an instrument itself. For example, the guitarists exercise their own style of playing, and since different guitarists worked on different tracks on the album, each song is given a unique vibe. The songs are progressive and only subtly repetitive, while each one is quite different from the other not only in terms of the guitars, like mentioned, but also in the way they’re structured and layered instrumentally.Dealing with each track individually is impossible because of their highly complex nature, but some of the high points from the album include songs like “Displacement” and “Elysian” which, like the other tracks, make use of interesting keyboard patches and time changes. The bass and keyboards are prominent everywhere and along with some brilliant drumming, form the backbone of the sound around which the guitars weave their magic.However, the main issue that needs to be addressed is this: does all of this complexity and variation give rise to music that is, put simply, enjoyable? Not everyone may appreciate the highly intricate music, but it makes no sense to say that The Fractured Dimension tried to impress everybody anyway. What can be seen, or rather, what flares up and makes itself obvious in the music, is the honesty behind it. The songs do not feel like they are forced, and the creative freedom of the musicians is in full display here. If one can see this honesty for himself/herself, that person will end up enjoying Galaxy Mechanics. There aren’t many other albums for which the same thing can be said, so the album is a definite hit and not a miss, and while dealing with super-technical and intricate music it is very easy to go wrong.A quarrel one could pick with Jimmy Pitts and Co. involves intriguing song titles, like “Bolshevikian Mythological Creature” and “Seventh Hymn to Nibiru” for example, and no vocals and lyrics to explain them. This doesn’t mean the music would be better off with vocals, but it means that there is no vocal expression of these concepts in a manner everybody can understand. Other than this, Galaxy Mechanics is a sublime effort from The Fractured Dimension, and one can only wonder what this exceptional pool of talent will conjure up next." - Metalwani
    $9.00
  • Second album from this Sieges Even offshoot/rebranding. Touchstones is a bit heavier than the debut as Markus Steffens struts his stuff again. Mid-80s Yes is an obvious influence on the band's direction. On some of the material vocalist Arno Menses sounds like a dead ringer for Jon Anderson. The music sits on the fence between the prog rock and metal realms. If you like the post-reformation Sieges Even albums you'll find much to sink your teeth into. Further - if you found the first Subsignal a bit on the light side you'll find this one has a bit more heft and frankly its better for it. Highly recommended.
    $19.00