Ophidia

SKU: AFM257-2
Label:
AFM Records
Category:
Metal/Hard Rock
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Second album from Neverland which is in reality a collaboration between the Turkish progressive/power metal band Dreamtone and Greek vocalist Iris Mavraki. The album has a larger than life sound coming across as a more progressive version of Blind Guardian. The band does spice things up a bit bringing in Jon Oliva, Edu Falaschi, and Urban Breed as guest vocalists.

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  • Third album from this Greek melodic metal band. Like so many of the releases on LMP, these guys are pretty much indistinguishable from the next one. Nothing awful but nothing particularly wonderful either. OK move along...
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  • Remastered edition."Straight Between the Eyes undoubtedly has one of the worst album covers in rock history, but the record is an unexpected return to form from the journeyman hard rockers. Just a record before, Rainbow sounded as if they were verging on Billy Squier territory, but here, they reverse course and deliver a solid, no-frills hard rock record. It isn't just that the material is stronger, though it certainly is, it's that Roger Glover abandoned his smoothed-out, radio-ready production that marred Difficult to Cure. That's not to say that Straight Between the Eyes doesn't sound dated -- Rainbow was a band that was forever tied to its era -- but the album does have a harder-hitting, muscular sound that is more appropriate for the band. Similarly, vocalist Joe Lynn Turner sounds more comfortable with the group, and the entire band just seems to gel, turning even the generic numbers on the album into enjoyable, straight-ahead hard rock. There may not be any specific showcases for Ritchie Blackmore, but his playing is better heard in this setting, where he's not only soloing, he's propelling the band with his powerful riffs. As always, he's the driving force behind the band, but this is truly a band effort, which is one of the reasons why Straight Between the Eyes is one of the strongest albums the group ever cut." - All Music Guide
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  • New remastered edition with bonus tracks.Second Consortium sideproject put together by Ian Parry, lead singer for Elegy. Also appearing in this supergroup is Elegy bandmates Patrick Rondat and Dirk Bruinenberg, Vanden Plas guitarist Stephan Lill, and Thom Youngblood of Kamelot. This concept album is melodic metal all the way. What were you expecting???
    $14.00
  • Brazilian melodic metallers ANGRA celebrated the 20th anniversary of the release of their 1993 debut album, "Angels Cry", with a special concert on August 25 at HSBC Brasil in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The show, which was recorded for a DVD, featured guest appearances by Tarja Turunen (NIGHTWISH) and Uli Jon Roth (SCORPIONS).ANGRA's setlist was as follows:01. Angels Cry02. Nothing to Say03. Waiting Silence04. Lisbon05. Time06. Millennium Sun (intro w/ Kiko Loureiro on keyboards)07. Winds of Destination (intersection w/ Kiko Loureiro on keyboards)08. Gentle Change09. The Voice Commanding You (Rafael Bittencourt on vocals)10. Late Redemption11. Silence and Distance (intro w/ Kiko Loureiro on keyboards)Acoustic set12. Reaching Horizons (Rafael Bittencourt on vocals)13. Unholy Wars / Caça e Caçador (Rafael Bittencourt and Kiko Loureiro on vocals)14. A Monster in Her Eyes (Rafael Bittencourt and Kiko Loureiro on vocals)15. Make Believe (Rafael Bittencourt and Kiko Loureiro on vocals)Encore:16. No Pain for the Dead (with Familia Lima on strings)17. Stand Away (Tarja Turunen on vocals and Familia Lima on strings)18. Wuthering Heights (Kate Bush cover) (Tarja Turunen on vocals and Uli Jon Roth on guitar)19. Evil Warning (Amílcar Christófaro on drums)Encore 2:20. Unfinished Allegro (Familia Lima on strings)21. Carry On22. Rebirth23. The Sails Of Charon (SCORPIONS cover) (Uli Jon Roth on guitar and Rafael Bittencourt on vocals)24. In Excelsis25. Nova Era 
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  • "Prior to the release of 'Visions Fugitives', Mekong Delta had been no stranger to classical music. Their style of thrashy progressive metal exuded the influence of many a composer, particularly those with a darker sound to their orchestral observations. When it came to actually performing classical music however, the band up to this point had more or less limited themselves to using neoclassical tricks within their metal context, even doing a cover or two. With that in mind, 'Visions Fugitives' and its centerpiece 'Suite For Group And Orchestra' was quite a long time in the making. Although some may go to criticize the band for never going as far as to use a real-life orchestra in its recording, few albums within the 'thrash metal' umbrella have engaged me so much. Throw in a few pieces of cerebral prog metal to flesh things out, and you have a piece of work that would make the old giants of progressive rock proud.Although 'Suite For Group And Orchestra' is planted right in the middle of the album, there is still a clear division here between the ornate classical 'epic', and the more traditional songs. Like Rush's '2112', or Fates Warning's 'No Exit', Mekong Delta follow prog metal canon by giving listeners a clear cut of both gears, although every track on 'Visions Fugitives' falls firmly within progressive metal territory. As they have in the past, Mekong Delta shares the neighborhood with Voivod and Watchtower, in that their brand of thrash favours the cerebral over the speedy riffage of many of their contemporaries. Besides band founder Ralph Hubert, Mekong Delta has been a revolving door of musicians since their inception, and 'Visions Fugitives' is no exception. Mark Kaye brings a guitar performance to the band that fits their mission statement like a glove, fusing technicality with the sort of frantic atmosphere Mekong Delta had been capitalizing on with prior records. As far as Mekong Delta's metal edge is concerned, Douglas Lee's vocals may be the most controversial aspect of the sound. Although the complex vocalizations at the end of 'Them' declare that he is definitely has the ear for singing, his vocals have a tone to them that would fit much more comfortably in prog rock rather than thrash. Fortunately, Mekong Delta's metal side is never far ahead of the 'prog', and his performance here works just as well for the context as Wolfgang Borgmann's did on their debut.The classical aspect of 'Visions Fugitives' is without a doubt the most important part of the album. Though the four progressive metal songs are too worthy of being deemed masterful in their composition, 'Suite For Group And Orchestra' takes up a damned half of the record, and a listener's appreciation of the record will brink largely on their openness to heavy metal being crossbred with classical music so openly. Although classical music has been going steady with metal since the days of Yngwie Malmsteen and even long before, it rarely gets to the point where the two sounds are mixed to the extent where neither is the dominant force. This is the case with 'Suite For Group And Orchestra', an elaborately composed twenty minute piece worthy of the highest commendation. Here, Mekong Delta mimic the atmosphere of Romantic-era classical music rather than the erudite complexity of composers before, the result being a piece with plenty of epic melody and variety, not to mention a fair deal of room for the band to incorporate their rock instruments into the fray. The soothing acoustic 'Introduction' leads into an eerie 'Preludium', complete with low horns and eerie bells to make it sound like something out of the haunted mansion in Super Mario Brothers. 'Dance' and 'Fugue' bring the piece into less frightening and more proggy, technical realms, often letting the band play powerfully without getting in the way of the orchestration. As far as the composition itself goes, it's remarkable to hear how many places both emotionally and sonically Mekong Delta can take a listener within a twenty minute period.In terms of flaws, the use of a computerized, or 'fake' orchestra may not hurt the compositions or music, but there is always the feeling throughout listening to 'Visions Fugitives' that things could be even more impressive, had the band had the resources to make a full orchestral rendition of their music a reality. A less-than-excellent production quality carries over to the prog metal songs as well, with the vocals sounding somewhat muffled and less mixed than they rightfully should have been. None of these studio issues are ever enough to take away from the excellence of the band's 'vision' however; it might even be said that the muffled sound and artificial instruments even add to the atmosphere. Mekong Delta have long been one of the most engaging acts to come out of German thrash metal, and 'Visions Fugitives' sees them finally realize their dream of bringing classical music to the thrash realm. Even still, it feels as if this project left open room for improvement, but if Mekong Delta never tops the majesty they have created here, I won't be one to complain." - Metal Archives
    $12.00
  • "Doro Live was the first official live album by German hard rock singer Doro Pesch, recorded during the Angels Never Die tour in Germany"
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  • Fourth album from this Swedish power metal band finds them with a new lineup and new label. The music emphasizes melody and crunch with a good amount of galloping rhythms as well.
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  • New solo album from Stratovarius guitarist. Tolkki doesn't exactly give you any suprises - it's exactly what you expect: neoclassical laced symphonic speed metal. Guest vocals provided by Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween) and Sharon Den Adel (Within Temptation).
    $16.00
  • Redemption is one of the leading progressive metal bands in the world today.  Formed in Los Angeles, California in 2000 by guitarist / keyboardist / songwriter Nicolas van Dyk, the band features legendary progressive metal vocalist Ray Alder of Fates Warning, as well as guitarist Bernie Versailles (Agent Steel), and the phenomenal rhythm section of Chris Quirarte (drums) and Sean Andrews (bass).Redemption’s combination of heaviness not usually found in progressive metal, irresistible melodies and emotional urgency has created a unique and resonant voice for this band that sets them apart from the many clones in the genre, and which has gained them the attention of fans, critics and musicians.Through the band’s first three studios CDs (2002s self-titled first release, 2005’s The Fullness of Time, and 2007’s The Origins of Ruin), Redemption gained a loyal fanbase and garnered rave reviews worldwide from critics, who describe Redemption’s music as“one of the best progressive metal acts to emerge in the past decade” – DPRP“magical aura and incredible songwriting” – BLABBERMOUTH“it's powerful, catchy, enslaving, technical; it's the whole bunch” – LORDS OF METAL“the new star on the US prog-metal sky” – SQUEALER ROCKSAfter touring in support of Dream Theater and documenting at headlining show at tour’s end entitled Frozen in the Moment, the band returned to the studio to release 2009’s Snowfall on Judgment Day and 2011’s This Mortal Coil.Performing in support of that record, in 2012 Redemption co-headlined the world-famous ProgPower Festival in Atlanta, where the band recorded a unique show featuring nearly 80 minutes of material and staged with complementary visuals that drive home the compelling emotional impact of this band.   That performance is now being released as a CD/DVD set with additional bonus material through Sensory Records, the band’s original label.  From fan favorites such as the never-before-performed Parker’s Eyes to the crushing emotional weight of Stronger than Death, Redemption’s performance captured the special ability of its music to deeply connect with fans.  In the words of one concert-goer, Redemption’s show “was definitely the most exhausting, personal and emotional musical experience I’ve ever had.” 
    $17.00
  • "Not many tunes delivered by bands from my southern neighbors, within the borders of Germany, are haunting my mind during these grim and frostbitten cold days of wintertime. Only melodies of Andy Kuntz & Co from prog metal act Vanden Plas, and one of last year’s best prog metal debuts “The Old Man and the Spirit” created by Beyond the Bridge are still able to cradle me to sleep. The question is then how the hell has prog rock/metal act Dante gone unnoticed by my eyes and ears so many years? That is still a mystery to me. I guess it’s time for some changes now. After watching the official trailer of the full album “November Red” describing it as “A New Masterpiece of Progressive Music” and getting my face slapped by words like Power, Passion, Epic, lyrical, Progressive and Breathtaking, I have packed my gear and ready for a great adventure into their musical universe. Will you follow me on my musical adventure? I’ll leave that up for you to decide, but if this has sparked your curiosity, then please keep on reading our fellow reader. You will not regret…Let us start from the beginning. Seven years ago guitarist & bassist Markus Berger, who sadly passed away early this year (R.I.P. metal brother), teamed up with his longtime friend Markus Maichler on keyboards & piano, and created prog rock & metal act Dante after playing around with some of their own musical ideas in Berger’s own studio. Two positions were still left open, so they recruited vocalist Alexander Góhs (former frontman of Berger’s previous act “Twelve”) and drum machine Christian Eichlinger to complete their crew of musicians in control of this new German prog machinery. With some fine tuning of this machine based in Berger’s recording studio, they unleashed after two years their self-produced & self-financed debut “The Inner Circle”, which was applauded and met with great respect by many metal reviewers all around our globe. Same year bassist Michael Neumeier was hooked up, and took over the bass duties of Berger, and then became a permanent member of the band. Two years later in 2010, and the sophomore album “Saturnine” saw the light of the day, released by their new label ProgRock Records, continuing the success of the band. The following year bassist Michael decided to leave Dante, and they welcomed guitarist Markus A. Bader on board their prog metal flagship instead, and Berger returned to his old role as the bass player of the troop.So finally here they are, welcoming 2013 with their long awaited third craftsmanship entitled “November Red”, ready to quench the thirst of many progheads out there…My great adventure through the challenging musical landscapes created by Dante has sudden come to an unexpected end after counting more than one hour of total playing time. It was a continuous bombardment of my ears with strange & complex rhythms, tempo changes, awkward time signatures, mellow passages, gorgeous 70’s styled keyboard sounds blended with heavy and crunchy guitar riffs and solos, all complemented with symphonic influences to make it an interesting and pleasant listening experience. Maybe they borrow some ideas from legendary prog titans Fates Warning and Dream Theater, but arresting them for being a copycat would not hold up in court. It’s a roller coast ride through the whole album, and each of the seven songs is molding our ear wax as different as night and day. The opener “Birds of Passage” is a soft and mellow introduction, whereas the following song “The Lone And Level Sands” is exploring the more heavier and aggressive sound of Dante. “Beautifully Broken” is walking on a total different path, and is the only ballad song included. It’s a melancholy song told with beautifully and mesmerizing piano melodies and by the voice of Alex singing with great control and emotion in his preferable low to mid range registers. Fourth song, and the star of the show is “The day That Bled” a tune delivering myriads of shades and musical colours for you prog enthusiasts to delve into. Next on the list is the song “Shores of Time” following in the footsteps of its predecessors, followed up by the softer and slower song “Allan”. The title song “November Red” is the final destination of our journey, and closing of with a big bang. It’s the epic of the album, delivering some of the most heavy and aggressive moments, broken up by mellow passages.Production-wise, this is wrapped into a high quality package, and the musicianship is first class, but it still suffers in the vocal department. Vocalist Alexander Góhs would not be my first choice in the front seat of a traditional prog band, because of his lacking range and dynamics in his vocal performance. He knows his weaknesses and strengths, and mostly stays in his comfort zone the low to mid range registers, and then actually becomes quite enjoyable. His voice definitely takes time to get used to, but is one of the band’s signature sounds for better and worse.So let’s cut to the chase. The latest creation “November Red” delivered by Dante is not a quantum leap forward for progressive music, but they still have a huge and very unique distinct sound of their own. It’s a moody and melodic progressive music experience, and if your ears find comfort in listening to the likes of Fates Warning and Dream Theater, then don’t let this release slip through your fingers. “November Red” takes time to grow on you, but stay open-minded, and it will bury itself deeper and deeper under your skin. It’s definitely one of those progressive bands I’ll keep my eyes and ears locked on too for many years to come." - Power Of Metal
    $15.00
  • "There is definitely something in the water over in Gothenburg, Sweden that encourages the creation of superb music. Stratosphere is one of the latest in a long line of powerful Scandinavian bands, and will be releasing their debut CD entitled Fire Flight on Escape Music. Masterminded by well-respected keyboardist Jeppe Lund, Stratosphere blends elements of orchestral and progressive metal together with a huge dose of melodic rock to come up with a tight and polished sound that is sure to impress anyone who likes melodic metal. Fronted by the familiar and distinctive voice of Goran Edman (Malmsteen, Street Talk, John Norum), Stratosphere makes classically influenced metal that is not overly pretentious or highbrow and is easily accessible to the casual listener. The music from start to finish is dominated by vocals, guitar and keyboards, and each song is well crafted and well performed. The engineering is crisp and clear giving the entire album a polished and unified sound no matter the intensity or musical arrangement.The members of Stratosphere are all immensely talented and work together as a team. Goran Edman’s voice is as solid as ever whether singing softly or pushing the limits of his range. He gets to sing with varying levels of intensity across a broad range of rock styles and handles everything well. Guitarist Jonas Larsen is a fine classical player, but he is not a one trick pony. Larsen can lay down wonderful Malmsteen-esque classical fills, and just as easily blast out some super heavy but simple lines. He is a fine soloist and is not hung up on playing “fast” and adjusts his style to suit the music. Jeppe Lund’s keyboard work is awesome without doubt. His work is a solid counterpoint to Larsen’s guitars and is as important to the overall feel and structure of the music as any other member of the band. Jim McCarty (drums) and Anders Borre Mathiesen (bass) are both capable players as well, but are so overshadowed by the other members of the band that they only really get to shine during the band’s two instrumentals.“Russian Summer” opens the disc and sets the tone for the balance of the album. The keys dominate the intro while the guitars lay down a simple but hooky rhythm line. Once Edman’s vocals kick in there is no doubt that this is razor sharp Scandinavian metal. “The Battle Within” is a high-energy track with a very classical feel that provides an introspective look at a soldier’s post-duty life and the problems he may face. The intro to “Enemy Of My Soul” is a quiet and haunting symphonic passage that breaks out into a huge vocal chorus, but the band switches to a more conventional hard rock style when they visit the “Streets Of Moscow.” Edman’s vocals are particularly strong and expressive on both tracks. The instrumental “Rendezvous” gives Edman a breather and lets the other guys really show their chops. It is very classical and very intense, allowing everyone to blend together in layer upon layer of music.“Shining Star” opens the second half of the disc. It is a very arena friendly AOR love song – a bit syrupy and overly sentimental, but Edman’s vocals are at their best throughout, and Larsen lays down some great guitar fills. “China Girl” has a “pop metal” feel to it, not fitting in fully with the rest of the album, perhaps added as a time filler, but it does feature some nice guitar work. “Princess of the Night” is a very soft ballad built around the vocal but featuring amazing guitar and keyboard teamwork underneath it all. “VIP” starts off light and melodic, but quickly becomes a very gritty song that paints a less that flattering look at the “celebrity” lifestyle and gives Goran a chance to growl a little. The sweeping instrumental “Fire Flight” wraps the album in fine style – big keyboards, soaring guitar riffs, great bass and drum rhythm lines, and is musically the strongest track on the release.On the whole, Fire Flight should be on the “must have” list of every orchestral / classical / symphonic metal fan. The big hooks and catchy rhythms will easily appeal to any hard rock fan, and be instantly familiar to anyone who has ever listened to Yngwie. The quality of performance, solid teamwork and overall enthusiasm make Stratosphere’s debut a winner all around. Even though some of the elements of Fire Flight are a bit predictable, the plusses easily outnumber the minuses. A good listen from start to finish, and very highly recommended!" - hardrockhaven.com
    $8.00
  • German true metal featuring Mike Tirelli (Holy Mother) on vocals. Fist pumping stuff - not my bag. Yours?
    $15.00
  • Limited ediiton with O-card slipcase.  Comes with multitrack versions of 3 songs that you can remix on your own."I have an odd history with this band, first being introduced to them through their debut album Sanctus Ignis, which was described to me as Symphony X, only not quite as good. I agree with that statement, but the next material I heard from this band was this, Archangels In Black, which is so dramatically different from their debut album that I was wondering what the hell happened to them. So I went on a journey through the rest of their discography in order to discover what had happened. The style in this album is very heavy. Much heavier than their first two albums, and maybe just a bit more so than their previous recording, Dominate. It has more death metal growling and dark, crunchy riffs, whereas their first two albums were very neo-classical, symphonic, and progressive with lots of piano usage and more progressive elements. Previously, it may have sounded like Symphony X, but now they have turned in a whole new direction, towards what I would consider to be progressive/power metal with melodic death elements thrown in for effect.What really entrances me about this album – and make no mistake, it’s a great album – is how the softer bits and orchestral parts are woven so tightly around the raw power of the rest of it. The atmosphere of this album is really dark, gothic, and creepy; the orchestral arrangements really enhance that atmosphere and provide an excellent balance between heavy and light while still maintaining that atmosphere. This, my friends, is some top-notch song writing. I’ve heard a lot of people knocking this album, saying it should have been better, but I really don’t agree with that. It’s a great improvement over Dominate, though I suppose it could be longer.Of course, albums are judged by their songs rather than their overall sound. “Vamphyri” is the explosive opener as well as the chosen single for this particular album which you’ll understand the moment you hear this song; it begins with a very heavy riff building up into a scream/growl from Christian Palin (whom incidently is my favorite Adagio singer so far) that immediately tells you this is some seriously heavy metal and not for the faint of heart. Vamphyri is definitely one of the better songs from this with a great melody and chorus that is sooo much fun to sing; this song should be very pleasing to power metal fans.“Fear Circus” is another noteworthy track, as it is the only music video from this album. It’s got a very cool groove that makes it easy to fall in love with. Actually the part of this song that captivated me the most was the middle section when the metal backs off and the orchestra comes in with a rather haunting melody that leads into a fantastic keyboard/guitar solo. “Undead” is also a great song, with a very well done piano solo introduction which is actually kind of misleading, because when the metal part kicks in it does so with an immediate and not even remotely subtle bang. The melo-death growls are very prevalent in this song, more so than most of the other songs; while I’m not a huge fan of melodic death metal, I don’t mind it as much when they are used sparingly in collaboration with normal vocals mostly for effect; Adagio has really managed to find a good balance in this album. “Codex Oscura” is the epic here, and it’s quite good, combining an orchestral opening with creepy atmospheric effects, memorable melodies, and exciting dynamic changes.For the most part, all but one song is great: “Twilight at Dawn”. It starts off well enough, but around the two minute mark it introduces the chorus, which is the least melodic chorus and the least enjoyable of the album. It’s not bad, but it repeats over and over again more than any chorus really should. With all the repetition of death grunting, it just gets old (though I think a melo – death metal fan would be able to appreciate it more).Overall, Archangels In Black is a great album, and the band’s finest to date. Adagio has managed to create a unique sound and make it their own. The orchestrations they use are some of the best I have heard on any metal album (Blind Guardian’s At The Edge Of Time might have a slight edge), and with it, they’ve managed to produce something special. Honestly, with the constant vocal lineup changes (three singers in four albums), I’m amazed they have managed to stay as consistent as they have. This is one incredibly talented group of Frenchmen, and I can’t wait to see what they bring out next." - Black Wind Metal
    $12.00