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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  • Remastered with 2 bonus tracks."Given the less violent moniker Hell Bent for Leather for U.S. release (as if that makes any sense), Killing Machine is a transitional album between the progressive-minded complexity of Stained Class and the more commercialized stadium rock of British Steel. In terms of image, however, Judas Priest comes into their own here, creating modern heavy metal fashion by donning studded leather outfits that recalled biker subculture (a connection Rob Halford supported by riding a Harley-Davidson on-stage) but -- in one of metal's supreme ironies -- actually came from gay S&M clubs. Now looking as fierce as their music sounded, Priest set about scaling back the ambition of Stained Class, making the songs more concise and immediate, with simpler structures and fewer underlying subtleties. However, the band largely maintains its then-trademark aggression; the simpler songs actually allow them to hike the tempo on the proto-speed metal numbers even more, and there are hints of blues-rock creeping back into the overall sound, complementing the newfound tough-guy swagger in the band's attitude. At the same time, the relative simplicity also provides the first glimpse of the band's more commercial instincts. If these competing impulses don't make for their most cohesive album, it's also true that most of what's here was still pretty peerless for its time. If Stained Class was the death album, Killing Machine is the sex album -- "Delivering the Goods," the title track, "Burnin' Up," and "Evil Fantasies" are all loaded with S&M imagery, while "Running Wild" is a nightlife party anthem, and "Before the Dawn" a morose heartbreak ballad that nonetheless works in context as the downside of all this carnality. "Delivering the Goods" in particular ranks with their best straightforward rockers, while "Hell Bent for Leather" pushes ever farther towards speed metal proper, crystallizing Halford's leather-and-motorcycle obsessions into one of the band's signature statements. The other title track, "Killing Machine," is a midtempo stomper about a contract hitman, and there's yet another brilliantly reinvented cover song, as the band transforms the Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac chestnut "The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown)" into a heavy, sinister groover. Of the more commercial material, the anthemic chorus of "Evening Star" leaves the best impression, while "Rock Forever" is their first explicit ode to heavy metal itself (and there would be many, many more to come). The uneasiest implications for the future come from "Take on the World," a lunkheaded stadium shout-along that gave the band its first British hit single, and is clearly patterned after Queen's "We Will Rock You." Occasional missteps and all, Killing Machine closes the book on Judas Priest's early period, which constitutes some of the most influential heavy metal ever recorded. The flood of NWOBHM talent they'd inspired was about to be unleashed on the record-buying public, and henceforth, Priest was intent on reaping the rewards. They would remain a vital force in their second, more commercial phase (more so than some fans of their late-'70s classics might care to admit), but their work of redefining the genre had largely been completed." - Allmusic Guide
    $8.00
  • Remastered edition with two bonus tracks."After the failed experiment of Turbo, Judas Priest toned down the synths and returned to the basics, delivering a straight-ahead, much more typical Priest album with Ram It Down. The band's fan base was still devoted enough to consistently push each new album past the platinum sales mark, and perhaps that's part of the reason Ram It Down generally sounds like it's on autopilot. While there are some well-constructed songs, they tend toward the generic, and the songwriting is pretty lackluster overall, with the up-tempo title track easily standing out as the best tune here. And even though Ram It Down backed away from the territory explored on Turbo, much of the album still has a too-polished, mechanical-sounding production, especially the drums. Lyrically, Ram It Down is firmly entrenched in adolescent theatrics that lack the personality or toughness of Priest's best anthems, which -- coupled with the lack of much truly memorable music -- makes the record sound cynical and insincere, the lowest point in the Rob Halford era. Further debits are given for the cover of "Johnny B. Goode."" - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • Third album from a band that is essentially a mash up of members from Sieges Even, Sun Caged and Dreamscape.  Their music carries on very much in the style of the later Sieges Even albums.  In other words progressive rock that leans towards the heavier side of the spectrum.  Rush, Rabin-era Yes, Saga, and Dream Theater come to mind as influences.  Quite melodic and if you are so inclined you'll hear some incredible chops from guitarist Markus Steffen.  The band corraled Stream Of Passion's Marcela Bovio for a guest vocal appearance, dueting with Arno Menses.This is the deluxe 2CD edition.  It sports a really cool looking 3D cover.  The bonus CD is a live concert recorded in Mannheim in 2012.
    $19.00
  • Darker is the long awaited second album from Swiss progressive rock band Dawn. It has been 6 years since the quartet rocked the prog world with their expert take on old school symphonic rock.Dawn formed in Montreux, Switzerland in 1996.  Since then the band has performed at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival, as well as at Swiss prog rock festivals Progsol, and Montreux Prog Nights.  The band has also opened for Kansas and Fish.  After a series of line up changes the band began to focus on their sophomore release in 2010 and perform them in concert.Dawn’s music is riddled with vintage keyboard sounds and flowing guitar solos.  Plaintive vocals ascribe a kinship to the British Canterbury prog family tree.  The album is conceived as a series of compositions dealing with Man in the 21st century: his fears, his conception of life, his reaction to technology, nuclear power, and the planet’s suffocation.  Darker was recorded in 2013 by Olivier Charmillot and mastered by noted audiophile engineer Bob Katz.
    $14.00
  • "Markus Grosskopf has been a busy man for more than twenty years and he is an even busier man now. The bass player of Germany's melodic metal legend HELLOWEEN has just released the 12th studio album called "Gambling With The Devil" with his band and is preparing for yet another extensive world tour with one of the most successful metal acts of the present. And Grosskopf has one more ace up his sleeve: it is called Markus Grosskopf's Bassinvaders and it shows a completely new side of his musical talent. Bassinvaders has been a creation of Markus while sitting in a bar and enjoying a few drinks. There it was that he got inspired to an impressive idea: a heavy rock record without any guitars at all. Could such a concept work out? Indeed it can! As you will experience on this first Bassinvaders-record called "Hellbassbeaters" lying in front of you. It contains all basic elements a heavy rock song really needs and so much more. You got the strong vocals, rhythmic bass, intoxicating drums and even bass & twin bass solo parts. What you hear is what you get: 100 % genuine heavy / rock record with absolutely no discordant guitar note on it at all. To guarantee a great variety of different influences Markus invited some well-known singing bass players from the German metal scene to join the band. And they didn't need an extra invitation. In DESTRUCTION's enfant terrible Schmier, SODOM's frontman Tom Angelripper and RAGE boss Peavy, Markus found some real Bassinvaders-friends. To push it even further Markus invited a few of his bass heroes to play solos on some of the tracks. When he started searching for support making this album excellent he expected to get a cautious response of 2 or 3 musicians. He ended up organizing more than 13 people for a solo appearance on the album. They named themselves - like the album title - the Hellbassbeaters: Billy Sheehan (Steve Vai, ex-Mr. Big, ex-David Lee Roth), Rudy Sarzo (DIO, ex-Ozzy Osbourne, ex-Whitesnake, ex-Quiet Riot), Lee Rocker (Stray Cats), Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy, ex-Whitesnake, ex-Ted Nugent), DD Verni (Overkill), Wyzard (Mother's Finest), Dirk Schlächter (Gamma Ray), Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Fates Warning, ex-Anthrax), Stig Pedersen (D.A.D), Nibbs (Saxon), Tobias Exxel (Edguy), Jens Becker (Grave Digger, ex-Running Wild), Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69), Peter Baltes (Accept), Jan S. Eckert (Masterplan) and Michael Müller (Jaded Heart). Markus has also invited some guest singers for the songs he wrote: Apollo Papathanasio (Firewind, Time Requiem, Evil Masquerade, Majestic) and the frontman of the legendary Danish stadium rock band D.A.D - Jesper Binzer. While the guest drummers are André Hilgers (Rage, Axxis, Silent Force) and Stefan Arnold (Grave Digger). This guest list and the killer line-up make the first Bassinvaders-album something very special but it's not only about the name dropping. Songs like Boiling Blood, We Live, Voices, Razorblade Romance, Armageddon or the storming Bassinvaders version of the classic Helloween anthem Eagle Fly Free are proving that Markus' late night idea won't be just a one-off slap, but the foundation for another "battlefield" for the always smiling bassist."
    $5.00
  • 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
  • Remastered edition with two bonus tracks."Searching for a way to retool their sound, Judas Priest attempted to accentuate their melodic side on Turbo by incorporating synthesizers and '80s pop-metal stylings ("Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days" sounds more like Poison, albeit with synths). The restrained songcraft sometimes pays dividends, especially on the synth-driven leadoff track, "Turbo Lover," easily the best song on the record and a successful reimagining of the Priest formula. But often, the band simply sounds directionless, unsure of exactly which path to accessibility it should follow; moreover, the synth-guitar backing and overly polished production give the album an oddly mechanized, processed feel. It certainly doesn't help most of the material, which is often at least competent but rarely inspired enough to make much of an impression. That's unfortunate because Turbo's best moments indicate that with a clearer focus, the album could have been a creative success; however, it's overall Judas Priest's weakest release since Rocka Rolla." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • Axxis has been around since 1988 with "Time Machine" being their ninth album. This German band emphasizes melody and hooks with subtle touches of speed and crunch. Mixed by Dennis Ward it features very full production. This is the limited edition digibook and features and enhanced CD with a multimedia section.
    $9.00
  • In Crescendo is the fourth studio album from this Italian progressive band.  While originally working in a purely metal direction, the band has expanded the scope of their sound to encompass elements of progressive rock as well.  There is a very strong atmospheric component similar to Riverside, Porcupine Tree, and Pink Floyd but the heavier, metallic side of Opeth and Dream Theater is clearly present as well.Over the past two years Kingcrow has expanded their fan base with a European tour in support of Redemption and Jon Oliva as well as appearances at ProgPower Europe and ProgPower USA.  An announcement about 2013 US tour dates is imminent. 
    $13.00
  • "Six albums in, and we've got some changes happening with long running melodic power metal act Ilium. For starters, ex-Riot/Masterplan vocalist Mike DiMeo is now an ex-Ilium member as well, and he's been replaced by the equally well travelled Lance King, who now lends his vocal talents to the band. With that move, Ilium also find themselves on King's Nightmare Records, a perfect fit all around actually if you ask me. My Misanthropia is their brand new effort.Those not familiar with this Australian act can expect a wealth of classic & power metal flavors, as the band take their influences that range from Helloween, Iron Maiden, Iced Earth, Judas Priest, and Blind Guardian and combine them to form a hard hitting, melodic, and instantly accessible style. For his part, King sounds a bit more aggressive here, but he seems right at home on blistering speed metal fare like "Penny Black" and the title track, his tone filled with slightly more venom than we normally hear from him, but it works within these blazing heavy metal songs. His soaring passages on "Queltzalcoatl", "Lingua Franca", "Godless Theocracies", and "Orbiting a Sun of Sadness", some of the albums more progressive numbers, are vintage King, and show his highly melodic side. Musically, savage riffing, blazing lead guitar solos, rock solid rhythms, and beds of orchestral keyboards adorn many of these songs, with the closer "The Cryptozoologist" being one of the more adventurous of the lot, an action packed tune with plenty of guitar & keyboard exchanges, sounding like a head-on collision between Dream Theater and Blind Guardian. All of the tracks contain memorable melodies to go along with their musical might, so it's a great combination from start to finish that ultimately results in a very enjoyable album.The pairing of Ilium and Lance King seems like a match made in heaven, and their first album together, My Misanthropia, is highly recommended to lovers of melodic, progressive power metal fans of all ages." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $14.00
  • New reissue of the band's 1994 release features two new acoustic tracks from Jon Oliva.
    $14.00
  • New remastered edition of The Window Of Life has the added bonus of the Falled Dreams And Angels mini-album tacked on to create one 79 minute disc.
    $14.00
  • This 2CD is perhaps the band's crowning achievement. You can even perceive this to be their "Lamb" so to speak. Extremely ambitious work firmly implanted in the neo-prog style but with lots of cool intricacies. Peter Nicholls and Co. take it to the next level on this one.
    $16.00
  • "This is an interesting crossover in that this album is reflective of a storyline that runs in the lyricist's recently published allegorical fantasy novel, The Edge of the World. Based on two opposing religions that consider the same city as a holy element, they agree to sign a peace treaty. But, as strife will have it, this ends in the literal burnt ashes of the city as an all consuming fire destroys the city setting both religious sides against each other yet again. The author was drawn into a music rendition of his story and supplied all lyrics while a coterie of prominent Prog Rock and Symphonic Rock form to create a band to present this story. Most prominent is the music-writing for the Anderson/Moesta lyrics supplied by Erik Norlander of Rocket Scientists. Vocally, the chores are shared between heavyweights like James LaBrie (Dream Theater), Lana Lane (a remarkable Ann Wilson sound-alike with a powerful voice, who has sang for many bands, and who is married to Norlander), Michael Sadler (Saga), and John Payne (later period Asia). The vocalists take on characters and throughout the album sing the appropriate parts. Musically, this band known as Roswell Six, have created a fine Prog/Symphonic effort named Terra Incognita: Beyond the Horizon. The clear influences are here. You'll hear Yes in the mix as well as the sounds of ELP, Kansas, Freedom Calls, and other usual suspects. The lean is toward symphonic rock with plenty of violin performed by David Ragsdale (Kansas), cello by Mike Alvarez, and flute by Martin Orford. The results are often grand. The works heard on Terra Incognita do the genre justice and are recommended for fans of such music. But when you bring such talents together, you're going to get great music. There are thirteen high-grade songs, two of them instumentals. The booklet is filled with enticing art, all lyrics, and a connecting storyline that brings the book and album together for those that want the full experience." - Matt Rowe/MusicTap.net
    $3.00