Presto (SACD)

SKU: AFZ182
Label:
Audio Fidelity
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Numbered limited edition hybrid SACD of this late 80s Rush title.  The key here is in the mastering.  Kevin Gray is at the controls and he does a consistently great job.  I would expect this to be the definitive digital edition.

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  • "Artistry is never about conformity and straight lines. It’s about taking risks, and then pushing boundaries to a point where the impossible suddenly seems a little more flexible. Such has been the career of Devin Townsend, one of the most uniquely insightful musicians of the 21st Century. And it’s certainly the case with the Retinal Circus.Staged at The Roundhouse in London on October 27, 2012, this was the chance for Townsend to present a performance that summarised his career so far. And he did it with aplomb, style, humour, a sense of blackness and a touch of the bizarre.“My manager and I were looking for a way to sum up 20 years of my music, without making it seem that I was some kind of multi-headed hydra. And over a period of time we came up with the idea of the Retinal Circus.”The concept was to piece together a presentation that was musical, visual and startling. One that reflected Townsend’s own remarkable ability to take up almost any idea, twist it within his own show, thereby adding to the overall impact.“To me it’s like somebody putting a cauldron in the middle of a room, with only a nail in it. Eventually someone comes along and says, ‘That cauldron could do with some potatoes’. And then someone else says, ‘Let’s add some tomatoes’, and before you know it you have a cauldron filled to the brim with all sorts of interesting items. That’s how we approached this concept.”Over a period of eight to 10 months, during which time he was also working on other projects, Townsend assembled all the factors and talents that would eventually help to spit this Circus into something so fascinating that it took The Roundhouse by storm, and is still being spoken about as one of the great triumphs of the live environment over the past decade. While the centrepiece was clearly the music that has helped to propel Townsend to such eminence, it’s very diversity allowed for the introduction of characters who were wild and wacky enough to be the music made flesh and blood – not to mention fire breathing skills, in some cases!“We always knew that it was going to be a one-off performance. It’s not as if we planned to repeat the process. So what you see and hear is captured from the one night when the Retinal Circus will ever be brought to life.”Given the complexity and wide-ranging nature of this production, it’s astonishing to think that there were just one-and-a-half days of rehearsal time prior to the show itself. But it would all prove to be quite extraordinary, as the night in question brought out a kind of collective feral belief from everyone.“To me, it’s like going on a long bicycle ride. You can always give up at any point, but what do get out of that? It’s far more satisfying to keep going, whatever the problems you face, and to know that you’ve made it on your own merit and in your own time.”Since the show itself happened, Townsend has been busy getting together the live release, and ensuring that every aspect reflects the night itself in the best possible sense.“I wanted the sound and musical quality to be of the highest order. I wanted the commentary, the visuals...everything about it to be appealing and comprehensive. And I feel that’s what I’ve now got. This will never happen again, so what I release to the fans has to be of a quality that reflects the original ideals. It was so much fun to do, and had so much passion. I believe you can feel that when you watch and listen.”The Retinal Circus was so extreme, full of depth and intelligence that it should have taken much longer to produce with considerably more financial and manpower back-up. But then the beauty of Townsend is that he made it work on his own terms and in his own times.“It was an absurd project to start. But it was an even more absurd project to finish. But I am proud of what I did. I will always have a special place for the Retinal Circus.”"
    $16.00
  • "CRYSTAL VIPER are Poland s most promising Heavy Metal act. The band from Katowice has earned a fabulous reputation in the Metal underground with their previous releases and have recently played the Keep It True, Swordbrothers and many others major festivals. Singer Marta Gabriel is the centre point of the band, and implies a nice and charismatic appearance with a powerful Metal voice. Heavily influenced by the 80´s Metal of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, early Manowar and the like, Crystal Viper draw immediate comparisons to the legendary WARLOCK (with Doro Pesch on vocals) but hold their own with their unique stylings. Crimen Excepta is their highly anticipated fourth album and features guest appearances by David Bower of Hell and Piotr Wiwczarek of Vader." Comes with 2 bonus tracks.
    $15.00
  • Beautiful limited edition vinyl reissue of the classic Dutch psych album.  Any fan of early Pink Floyd needs to own this.  Comes with the 3D glasses.  Taken from the original analogue masters.  Only 500 copies pressed - hurry!!"Agemo's Trip to Mother Earth was one of the most ambitious psychedelic albums to emerge from continental Europe in the late '60s. The LP's nominal concept was, like many early such endeavors, obscure, involving something like the journey of Agemo from a paradise-like planet to the more chaotic imperfection of Earth. Musically, the record owes a lot to late-'60s British psychedelia (particularly of the Pink Floyd school), with hints of the onset of progressive rock in its less-conventional passages. Although plenty of melodic shifts, celestial organ, wiggling distorted guitar, harmony vocals, Gregorian chant-like singing, Mothers of Invention-like horns, beatific respites (on "Reborn"), and general freakiness entertainingly convey the exploration of new psychic territory, it ultimately lacks the lyrical and musical cogency of, say, late-'60s Pink Floyd. At times the bold weirdness gets self-indulgent, throwing in phased drum soloing, solemnly intoned spoken female romantic exclamations, and multilingual murmuring." - Allmusic Guide
    $38.00
  • Here's another one of those great German bands that fell through the cracks but thanks to Long Hair Music, their music is available for us to hear.  For Example was a large scale ensemble HEAVILY influenced by Chicago Transit Authority.  Notice I mentioned CTA as opposed to Chicago - this was not commercial music like the later incarnations.  For Example also utilized a horn section to excellent effect but also like their US counterparts there is killer guitar work all over this material.  Vocals are present but the music is predominantly instrumental.  So basically excellent jazz rock with killer guitar leads.This set consists of a session the band recorded for SWF Radio in 1973 as well as unreleased demos from 1972 while they were shopping for a record deal that never came.  Highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • Raise The Curtain is the latest effort from the former Savatage mastermind.  Its quite different from the Jon Oliva's Pain project and in a surprising way.  The music has a strong 70s vibe blending elements of progressive rock, AOR, and metal.  Oliva plays all the instruments but he collaborated on the songwriting with Dan Fasciano.  From the opening roaring organ sounds you know you are in for something a bit different.  You can tell this is Jon Oliva - there are parts that will remind you a bit of Savatage but you will also think in terms of Kansas, ELP, Alice Cooper.  A mash up of styles for sure but quite well done.  A friend who heard an advance copy summed it up perfectly: "A fun album".  This is the first pressing that has one bonus track.  Grab it while we got 'em.
    $15.00
  • Second album from this superb Italian prog metal band. Long out of print, this new edition is remastered and features four bonus tracks including the original Japanese bonus track, two demos from 1993 and a rehearsal version of "Erase" from 2006. Limited edition of 3,000 copies comes housed in a slipcase and has a poster. One of the killers!
    $12.00
  • Lance King is out...replaced by Iced Earth's Matt Barlow."Formed in 2001, Danish power metal band Pyramaze has managed to maintain a fairly steady line up. However, there have been several recent changes to the vocalist position. After releasing two albums with Pyramaze, 2004's "Melancholy Beast" and 2006's "Legend of the Bone Carver," vocalist Lance King decided to step down. Pyramaze would find a surprising replacement in Matt Barlow, who stepped down from American power metal giant Iced Earth in 2001 to pursue a career in law enforcement. However, Barlow's stay in Pyramaze would be brief, as he was only used to record vocals on "Immortal" before reuniting with Iced Earth. Urban Breed is now the current vocalist for Pyramaze."Immortal" has a predictable, but interesting theme. Each song depicts a different form of immortality. Including the recount of the 300 Spartans gaining immortality both historically and mythologically during their legendary last stand at the battle of Thermopolea, to the horror of not being able to escape from a nightmare and a ghost that wanders for eternity. The theme also covers emotional subjects such as finding peace via suicide to suffering in hell and the never ending battle against the demons that plague us everyday. Though immortality has become a cliche in the power metal subgenre, Pyramaze has shown how diverse the theme of immortality can be.Stylistically, "Immortal" is intended to be a power metal epic, and it delivers. The main influences seem to be Iron Maiden and Iced Earth's "Horror Show" and are dominating throughout. Other influences that appear are the Kamelot inspired piano ballad "Legacy in Rhyme," the Children of Bodom keyboard tone and riff in "Ghost Light" and the King Diamond influenced "Touched by the Mara." Symphonic elements give the album a very epic sense. The opening track "Arise" and the closing track "March through an Endless Rain" sound like they could have come from the "Gladiator" or "300" movie soundtracks.The music on "Immortal" is quality symphonic power metal. Guitarist and mastermind Michael Kammeyer puts in an excellent performance with Matt Barlow showing that he hasn't lost a step and delivering a stand out performance. However, the use of some cheesy Dragonforce-esque guitar effects for a few solos along with some cheesy vocal melodies and overly simplistic riffs are my biggest criticism of the album. However, these complaints are nothing new, as every Pyramaze album to date has incorporated those elements. Even so, the cheesy elements are only a small portion of the album and don't take away from the overall epic feel. Overall, "Immortal" is a positive step for Pyramaze." - Metal Underground
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  • New 24 bit remastered 2 cd edition of the debut from After Forever. This comes with a 28 page booklet, tons of non-album and unreleased demos, rarities, and session tracks.
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  • "Drop was the first fruit of Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison's collaboration with singer and extended range bass player 05Ric, and featured contributions from Robert Fripp, Dave Stewart and Gary Sanctuary.Nine carefully crafted songs combined with ground-breaking multi-layered guitars, vocal harmonies and rhythms.This is the 2013 Kscope edition of the duo's astonishing debut."
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  • Remastered and remixed version of the album arrives on 180 gram orange vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with new artwork."Our world was very different 5 years ago. The Pineapple Thief was very much an underground affair, with a small but loyal band of followers. Kscope, a name conjured up by Steven Wilson as a play on kaleidoscope, didn't exist as a label back then. It was only when Steven introduced us that the concept of a dedicated label was born, and we were lucky enough to be their first signing. The band was effectively reborn on that day. Now, after 5 years, the label has become a huge part of the post-progressive renaissance. As I sit here in my studio remixing this album, my mind is cast back to 2008 when we were playing a launch gig for Tightly Unwound, in front of 40 people in pub in London. How different our world is now." - Bruce Soord
    $29.00
  • New remastered edition with a bonus second disc with 16 unreleased tracks."Death writes about life, but not as we know it. They profile the dregs of society: the malformed, the defective, the insane. Spiritual Healing opens with “Living Monstrosity”, a song about a baby “born without eyes, hands, and a half a brain” — the product of a coke-addled pregnancy. The band follows with the aptly-named abortion-themed “Altering the Future”. Frontman and chief songwriter Chuck Schuldiner debates both sides of the argument (“Creating a life only to destroy” v. “Abortion when it is needed”) before concluding pro-choice (“The one who is with child, it’s their choice to make”).This is thinking-man’s metal, and 1989’s Spiritual Healing, which is being reissued by Relapse Records, is Death’s most lyrically dominated album — a conceptual piece about the physically and mentally crippled. It’s as though Schuldiner based his words off medical journals, police reports, and Oliver Sacks novels: “Defensive Personalities” observes bi-polar schizophrenia; “Spiritual Healing” is about a pseudo-religious murderer; and “Low Life” rails against amoral bottom-dwellers who cheat to get by.Feeding off anger and neuroses, Death plays minimalist heavy metal at high speeds and with brutal strength. The thin production (accentuated by the reissue’s improved mastering) is purposefully bleak; it’s a platform for skull-pounding power chords, growled vocals, and tales of the intrinsically hopeless. It’s hard to enjoy this music; it’s so abrasive that it can only be felt and experienced. But in this way, it’s affecting. You will react to it.The three-disc deluxe edition includes outtakes and an audience-recorded live show. Neither is practical, but they do serve academic purposes, depicting how these songs came to be and what they sounded like live. Although the band’s earlier albums are lauded as the origins of death metal, Spiritual Healing saw Schuldiner’s intellectualism blossom into unadulterated aggression. Relapse gives it the comprehensive reissue that it deserves." - Consequence Of Sound
    $15.00
  • Great debut from this new Italian quintet.  Pure retro prog that channels the spirit of early 70s British prog.  The band's sound is dominated by organ and heavily spiced up with guitar and flute leads.  Hugh Banton or Tony Banks' roadie must have helped set up Paolo Tognazzi's organ because it seems like its ripped right out of 1971.  Vocals are in English and while Andrea Calzoni's accent creeps in now and then he aquits himself quite well - he's got a bit of an Ian Anderson thing going on.  Nice long instrumental breaks with keys playing off the flute and guitar.  Definitely a VDGG - Osanna - PFM - Orme vibe, but keep in mind the early versions of these bands.  1971 vs 1975.  This is the good stuff.  The REALLY good stuff.
    $16.00
  • Who would have believed that Greece has one of the strongest and most fervent markets for heavy metal in the World. Not only is it a required destination for any band touring Europe but many home grown bands achieve attention from fans and the local metal media. It is from this hot bed that Wastefall emerged to create two superb progressive metal albums for the Greek label Sleaszy Rider Records. Sensory Records has now signed Wastefall world wide for the release of their third album Self Exile.While Wastefall has often been compared to Swedens Pain Of Salvation their music is much more aggressive and dynamic. The bands desire to take their music to the next level led them to Denmark to work with noted producer Tommy Hansen (Helloween, Pretty Maids, Wuthering Heights). The results are quite evident Self Exile retains all of the bands trademarks but the music is heavier and more immediate. When you hear Self Exile Pain Of Salvation will instantly spring to mind but also Pantera, vintage Metallica, and Nevermore as well. This is an album that has more than enough complexity and passion for the prog fan but is also heavy enough for any metal fan.Wastefall will be making their North American debut appearance at the world renowned ProgPower USA festival on September 16, 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia. 
    $5.00