The Obsidian Conspiracy (Ltd Digipak)

Limited edition digipak comes with a bonus track - a cover of The Tea Party's "Temptation".

First studio album in five years from this revered band. Like a fine wine, Nevermore keeps getting better with age, improving their game along the way. For my personal taste they are the best of the US power metal bands going and probably the heaviest. This album was produced by Peter Wichers and Andy Sneap mixed.

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  • Great instrumental symphonic band led by Finisterre leader Fabio Zuffanti. This is the 3rd of 4 parts celebrating the seasons. Pure analog keyboards (Mellotron, Moog, Hammond), flute, sax, guitar, etc. The music has a bit of a melancholy and sombre feel but at the same time it can be quite exhilarating. In some ways it reminds me of SFF... Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • Mother's Ruin is the second album from the band formed from the ashes of Black Bonzo...and its a sprawling 2 disc set.  The agenda is the same - to recreate the sound of 70s hard rock.  The Swedes nail it in spades.  When the keys are out front you'll immediately think of Deep Purple and Uriah Heep.  The guitar driven songs are a bit more reminiscent of Humble Pie and Rolling Stones.  Vocalist Magnus Karnebro (ne Lindgren) is the perfect front man.  I'd love to hear from him more often.  If I didn't tell you otherwise I could easily convince you this album was recorded in 1974 (and I think that was the objective).
    $17.00
  • After spending some time battling (and winning) a life threatening disease, Andy Latimer has reactivated Camel.  The reassembled lineup consists of Andy Latimer (guitar, flute, keys), Colin Bass (bass), Guy LeBlanc (keyboards), and Denis Clement (drums).  Latimer recently took the band on a short European tour (it will be ongoing in 2014).  I'm not sure of the motivation to re-record The Snow Goose.  Perhaps it was so he had new merch to sell on the tour.  I honestly don't know but here it is.For the most part this new version is quite faithful to the original.  There are some new bits and pieces that integrate well and won't give you pause.  Of course each of the musicians add their own signature to the production.Good to see him back up and running full blast.
    $16.00
  • UK band Touchstone take a surprising (at least to my ears) turn in a heavier direction.  While I would never call this full on metal, mixing engineer John Mitchell decided to turn their guitar up a notch.  Some good crunchy guitar bits through out the album.  The band was never a complex prog band.  Touchstone always had a melodic sensibility touching on AOR and neo-prog.  There is a symphonic element that keeps the music rooted in the prog world but you can tell that this is a band that is looking to cross over into other genres.  Their strongest asset remains vocalist Kim Seviour , who along with Leslie Hunt is one of the best female vocalists in the prog world."Returning once more to confound listeners and music reviewers alike, such as yours truly, with their ever evolving and pleasing neo-prog is England's Touchstone with their fourth long player, Oceans Of Time. Dare say, for their benefit, it's hard to pigeonhole Touchstone's sound. Is it hard rock? AOR? Progressive rock? Yes and then some, and it's not necessarily all that confounding really.However, I might say that Oceans Of Time could be their most 'proggy' album to date. If anything, the songs are quite varied, visiting old territory and exploring the new. Touchstone also returns to some familiar themes. The title track continues the Wintercoast story, and Shadow's End wraps up the Shadows trilogy begun on Discordant Dreams.These songs are also good examples of the strong progressive nature of the album, with Touchstone throwing curves to your ears. Yet Oceans Of Time will also sound more like familiar Touchstone as well. The musical canvas is quite grand lavished with layers of instrumentation, notably Hodgson's guitar and Cottingham's keyboards. Flux is another fine example of Touchstone's exotic musical brew. It's got some hard rock chops mixed with the prog, and then, about the three minute mark, it calms down. Synths stir, then Kim Seviour's vocals arrive, and the arrangement swells to sweet crescendo. It's one of best moments of the album.Other highlights include the bass and drum lines of Contact, a moody piece where Seviour's voice is alluring and graceful; the clever drumming within Fragments, possibly the closest thing to straight melodic rock song here; and, Spirit of the Age, a song with balancing lighter moments with heavier ones, and Seviour at her most sublime. Touchstone is band that keeps evolving and getting better, and so is always interesting and entertaining. Oceans Of Time is well recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $5.00
  • Like Uriah Heep?  Deep Purple?  What about Black Bonzo?  Yeah???  Well we've got a band for you.  Tarot are a trio from Australia.  Using the pseudonyms of The Hermit, The Hierophant, and The Magician they whip up some awesome retro-hard rock/proto prog that will make you think you are listening to some recently unearthed archival album from 1972.  Heavy swirls of Hammond organ and analogue synths abound underpinning the old school guitar solos.  Is that a real 'tron?  No clue but it sounds close enough for me!!This CD is actually a compilation that pools together the bands previous cassette releases and adds on 2 new tracks.The spirit of Jon Lord wafts through the aether as you listen to this one.  Its got the vibe through out.  If they would have just added some flute I think they would have sent me over the edge but as is its a non-stop killer that pushes all the right buttons.  BUY OR DIE!"Here's a very intriguing release brought to us by Australian label Heavy Chains Records, the latest from psych/prog/hard rock act Tarot (not to be confused with the veteran Finnish metal band of the same name). The Warrior's Spell contains songs from various 2014 cassette & compilation releases and brings them all together on one CD. Tarot are comprised of The Hermit (guitar, organ, synths, vocals), The Hierophant (bass), and The Magician (drums)...not household names by any means, but their music is just as mysterious as their stage names. "The Watcher's Dream" and "Twilight Fortress" offer swirling, '70s styled prog rock keyboards, effects laden vocals, and heavy rock guitars, and the nightmarish "The Wasp" gives the listener a heavy dose of occult rock mixed with some serious Deep Purple & Uriah Heep influences. You'll hear some vintage Wishbone Ash on the soaring "Eyes in the Sky" as well as the title track, two majestic rockers with plenty of searing lead guitar, Hammond organ, acoustic guitar, and emotional vocals. Other highlights include the heavy "Street Lamps Calling", complete with irresistible harmony guitar work, the gritty blues/prog rocker "Mystic Cavern" (which could have been a leftover from Deep Purple's Machine Head), the evil sounding "Dying Daze", the lumbering psych/doom that is "Life and Death", and the dark yet groove laden "Vagrant Hunter".To be honest, there's not a weak track to be found here on The Warrior's Spell, an album full of surprises and more than a healthy nod to classic sounds of the '70s. Though a name change would probably be recommended to differentiate themselves from Finland's Tarot, either way this is a serious band with some serious talent, and this new release is going to get some major time in my CD player for the foreseeable future. Highly recommended, and a band to keep your eye on." - Sea Of Tranquility 
    $10.00
  • Please note that we are offering the 2CD import Mediabook edition which is not available in normal retail outlets.  This is a much nicer version than the standard digipak version that will be available through normal distribution channels....but at the same price.  The bonus second disc features instrumental and orchestral versions of Haven tracks."Opener ‘Fallen Star’ has a couple of elements that are comparable to ‘Silverthorn’. Mostly the intro, but something in the refrain also reminds me of the previous record. However the riffs are more aggressive, Karevik is giving it his everything in his very own way. It’s a unique feeling to listen to the opener like this.There are two ballads on the record and first up is ‘Under Grey Skies’. It’s somewhat of a typical Kamelot ballad, combined with the pipes of Troy Donockley (Nightwish) and an amazing appearance of Delain’s Charlotte Wessels graces this track.But on the other hand there is ‘Here’s To The Fall’, the other slow song. It could easily be one of the best refrains I’ve ever heard in a ballad. Everything on the track is gentle, the vocals are brilliantly executed and the refrain is only a little bit more bombastic than the rest of the track.'My Therapy’ is a brilliant showcase of Kamelot songwriting. It has the well-known romantic touch that is ever present on the records. “You’re the antidote for solitude, injected in my vains. Let the touch of your hand forever be, my therapy.” The rest of the song is slightly heavier than we are used to hear, but very well played and mixed as well.At the end of the record we find what is probably the most heavy song that Kamelot has ever recorded: ‘Revolution’. The grunts of Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy) are very well integrated, way better than on ‘Sacrimony (Angel Of Afterlife)’ from the last record. It’s heavy, fast and aggressive, yet it never loses its symphonic sound. ‘Revolution’ is the last official track and it fits perfectly. With the melancholic ‘Here’s To The Fall’ before it and the two minutes of the somewhat triumphant instrumental closer ‘Haven’.What an album! I couldn’t have wished for anything better than ‘Haven’. Kamelot have reinvented themselves, without losing their very essence. The sound has become somewhat more modern, while the vocal work of Tommy Karevik is spot-on the entire time. When the tunes of the short closing track ‘Haven’ fade away, all that’s left is a triumphant feeling. They nailed it again, but in an entirely different way. Kamelot has taken the next step and it has been in the best direction possible!" - Overall Loudness
    $16.00
  • This one has been out of print forever and has now been properly remastered by EMI. At this point the band experimented with a more direct sound bordering on metal at times. I always loved that great Rodney Matthews cover.Please note this disc incorporates EMI copy control technology which seems to allow you to do whatever it is you would normally do with a CD but you can't rip it. Bummer.
    $11.00
  • Outstanding second album from this instrumental five piece from Finland. Scarlet Thread eschews keyboards for a lineup that features dual guitars, violin, bass and drums. There are two guest flautists. The music has a nice relaxed feel with some great soloing from violinist Erja Lahtinen. I'm not sure which of the guitarists play leads but whoever it is he offers up some nice grit that contrasts with the smoothness of the violin and flute. Some of the quietier moments have a folk feel but when these guys ignite it is more reminiscent of an early Dregs jam. I can listen to this kind of prog all day. Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • A Liquid Landscape from The Netherlands is a bit of a departure for The Laser's Edge. Their slice of post-progressive music has a contemporary edge that finds them sitting alongside bands like Dredg, Anathema, and Porcupine Tree. The band has been a live act for several years and shared the stage with bands like Karnivool (AUS), Anathema (UK),Thrice (US) and Riverside (Poland).During the past year the band also was a finalist at the prestigious annual Dutch Grand Prize contest and on top of that they had 3 sold out Noorderzon gigs, featuring a stunning visual show.With all the material they had written, the band reached out to Forrester Savell (Karnivool, Helmet). Forrester liked the material a lot and he agreed on mixing the album and doing some production work as well.‘Nightingale Express’ is a concept album. This inspired moviemaker Lex Vesseur to make a short movie with music from the album. He also made the artwork and the visuals for the live show. So both the music and the film return in an interactive rock show with a live VJ.Washed up, tired and staggering across a beach in the early hours of the morning. Somewhere in the twilight between desperation and surrender, there is still a glimmer of hope. That sense that everything will be alright, no matter what the odds are. This is what A Liquid Landscape sounds like. 
    $8.00
  • Nicely done third album from this Spanish band. The main man behind Kotebel is keyboardist Carlos Plaza but he frequently defers to guitarist Cesar Garcia Forero. The female vocals of Carlonia Prieto has a light ethereal quality which joins with the flute of Omar Acosta to create a balance or counterpoint to the fiery keyboard/guitar interplay. A nice mixture of classical, traditional prog and Spanish influences. This 71 minute effort is a real class affair.
    $15.00
  • Ian Parry's first new solo album in 10 years arrives with a bevy of solid players behind him. The lineup reads a bit more like a Consortium Project album. Kamelot's Casey Grillo and Vanden Plas' Andreas Lill handle the drums while Vanden Plas guitarist Stephan Lill is all over this as well.
    $3.00
  • "German band Argos have delivered four albums since forming out of a solo project begun by multi- instrumentalist Thomas Klarmann in 2008, and their latest `A Seasonal Affair' is a standout release in 2015. They present a mix of symphonic prog, 80's Neo Prog, New Wave elements, folk, jazz and even dark theatrical drama. Despite the Neo Prog tag, this is hardly some slavish recreation of the likes of Marillion, Genesis, I.Q, with many contemporary and modern elements worked in, and a strong emphasis is placed on Robert Gozon's distinctive voice, which occasionally calls to mind not only Peter Hammill and Fish, but the second Arena vocalist Paul Wrightson who featured on their `Pride' and `The Visitor' in a few moments as well.`Vanishing' makes for a mysterious opener, with Gozon's raspy croon, gothic piano trickles and a mix of twitchy programmed and Ulf jacob's skittering live drumming. A definite 80's poppier Neo Prog flavour permeates `Divergence' with its boisterous chorus chant that wouldn't have sounded out of place on those early Twelfth Night albums and no shortage of Moog soloing, and the `How did it come to this?' finale is lovely. `Silver and Gold' drifts into slinky grooving 80's New Wave pop with tasty scratchy Mellotron slices, the symphonic schizophrenia of `Lifeboats' channels both the vulnerability of Fish-era Marillion with an overwrought Hammill-esque wail, and the multi-part twelve minute suite `Not in This Picture' combines acoustic pastoral moods with Big Big Train-like soft harmonies and endless instrumental interplay.The title track `A Seasonal Affair' marries sombre piano and flute with romantic Camel-like guitar/synth bursts, a gothic crooned vocal and a dreamy `A Trick of the Tail'-era Genesis outro. `Forbidden City' is a tasteful lightly jazzy instrumental, glistening with electric piano, quirky synth trills and fluid drumming with murmuring bass weaving in and out, and just a few hints of the Canterbury sound bands in Thomas Klarmann's flute. Melancholic closer `Stormland' closes the album in gloomy fashion with spectral organ drones and a grand guitar solo from Rico Florczak filled with power and genuine emotion.But most special of all and deserving of mention all its own is the lovely ballad `Silent Corner'. A gorgeous mix of Thomas' drifting flute and restrained saxophone courtesy of United Progressive Fraternity musician Marek Arnold, delicate acoustic guitar and electric piano tiptoes, and the soothing chorus and harmonies throughout could have easily fit on Big Big Train's last few albums. It offers plenty of crossover appeal, and it easily one of the best melodic moments to appear on a prog album in 2015.The Tangent's Andy Tillison (who actually contributes some keyboards on this disk) rates this album very highly, and it's not hard to see why it would appeal to him. Like with The Tangent, Argos places a distinctive vocalist with great character in his voice front and centre in the music, with strong melodies, a wondrous mix of keyboard variety and brief jazzy diversions all coming together. `A Seasonal Affair' is a very subtle grower, and modern Neo albums don't come much finer than this, nor offer as much variety with the style as Argos do here. It's an album that has kind of flown a little under the radar and is in need of some more praise and attention, by a highly skilled band deserving of more acknowledgement.Four stars - If you're a Neo fan, this should be an essential purchase!" - ProgArchives
    $15.00
  • "Death’s widespread influence on death metal has never been in denial, but picking one favorite album from the Florida act is no easy feat. Some factions prefer the raw death metal days, while others look to the free-forming arraignments heard on The Sound of Perseverance and Symbolic. Though it’s hard to choose the defining Death album, Leprosy can be argued as the most important release in the development of Death’s future. Released just a year after Scream Bloody Gore, Leprosy was an admirable sophomore effort from the mind of a musician still finding himself creatively. Chuck Schuldiner was not working from some patented formula; he was penning the death metal manifesto as he was going along. Playing unpolished and straightforward music was not to Schuldiner’s liking, and Leprosy was where his focus became clearer. The songs became more composed, the production was much improved, and the instrumental playing started to get craftier in execution. Schuldiner handled the guitars and bass yet again (Fun Fact: though Terry Butler is credited as the bassist, he did not play on the record). This time, guitarist Rick Rozz help share some of the load, and he and Schuldiner had enough interplay to make it work. Drummer Bill Andrews, on the other hand, was average at best. He had to follow-up Chris Reifert’s amazing work, and Andrews wasn’t on the same skill level. Also, the production put an odd echoing effect on the snare, making it louder than the rest of the instruments. A smart move made by the band was to pare down the amount of songs to eight, which would later become a standard for much of ‘90s death metal. By doing this, it allowed Death to eliminate any chances for filler. While only one song would remain a prominent set-list favorite (the premier anthem “Pull The Plug”), a claim could be made to the slow-burning title track or the progressive finisher “Choke On It.” Just because Death tried to expand their creative palettes was not an indication that their first album was a one-off experiment. Most bands put their best songs up front, but Leprosy reached its peak near the end with the double attack of “Open Casket” and “Primitive Ways.” Any sense of the future was replaced by a blood-thirsty sonic bombing of death metal so fast that a few vertebra had to have been snapped by head-banging listeners. To Schuldiner, Death was more than just a guts-and-blood death metal group, and Leprosy was the beginning of that transformation. The band began to get more technical and progressive, with the help of an array of temporary bandmates. Leprosy was not just a bland sequel to Scream Bloody Gore, but a worthy second act to a band that had plenty more to come. For continuing to help set the guidelines for the death metal genre, Leprosy gets the nod for this week’s Retro Recommendation." - About.com
    $8.00