Pretest

SKU: 781676657223
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Second full length album - this one produced by Steve Albini has a more angular feel. The music is a little more towards the dissonant side and veers a bit away from the Crimson vibe that was on No Interference.

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  • "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
  • Third album from this Tunisian metal band is their best. It marks the second album with Zaher Zorgatti on vocals. In my opinion Desert Call was a bit of a misstep. Zorgatti is a phenomenal singer but the band tried to mix Middle Eastern vocal stylings in with their power metal sound...and it was quite odd to these Western ears. Zorgatti is on vocals again and this time he sings in a bit more of a traditional sound. Tales Of The Sands reminds a bit more of Hope. The older Symphony X sound is here in spades but the Middle Eastern sounds blend in perfectly. In other words - on Desert Call the band took things a bit too far in the Tunisian direction where this sits just right. Mix a great vocalist with a familiar sound and add that special exotic twist and you come up with something unique and really involving. Pray these guys don't mess with the formula they have finally perfected. Highly recommended.
    $14.00
  • Exile is the long awaited third album from this British progmetal band.  To-Mera is fronted by Julie Kiss with the principal songwriting coming from guitarist (and her husband) Tom MacLean.  Some of you may recognize Tom's name from his membership in Haken as their bassist.  It gets slightly more confusing as Haken's main composer/guitarist/keyboardist is To-Mera's keyboardist Richard "Hen" Henshall.  Yes life can get complicated sometimes.The new album is a conceptual work about human existence.  Ms. Kiss' vocals flow like a constant river over some real bad ass and complex prog metal.  At times MacLean breaks out some incredible fusion leads taking the band in a whole different direction.  Hen's keys have a very specific sound.  At times you will be reminded for a moment of the Haken sound but in general this doesn't sound like a Haken album.  The album does feature some special guests...Marcela Bovio (Stream Of Passion), Stefan Forte (Adagio), and Ray Hearne (Haken) all make appearances.  An intricate and involving listen, this is easily going to be one of 2012's best metal releases.  Highly recommended.
    $14.00
  • Second album from this fine Polish prog band is cut from similar cloth to Quidam, Riverside and Porcupine Tree. The band is led by vocalist/keyboardist Michal Dziadosz. He's got a pretty good voice and mostly provides atmospherics from his keys - not a lot of flashy pyrotechnics. Some nice edge to the sound gives it a slight nod in the Crimso direction. Good stuff!
    $15.00
  • “Known/Learned’ is the third album from this thought provoking progressive band from Brisbane, Australia.  It’s a sprawling 2CD collection of themes and moments, captured between recurring characters. While never explicitly told in the traditional vein of the ‘concept album’, the imagery of Known/Learned depicts fragmented moments in the lives of a father and his daughter, their loss, their love, their journey. A bittersweet love song for life.Occupying a unique place in the Australian progressive music scene, Arcane’s transcendental live performances and 2009’s critically acclaimed, dark and enigmatic concept album 'Chronicles Of The Waking Dream' have earned them a inimitable reputation as one of Australia’s premier progressive rock bands.Sharing stages with artists as diverse as Anathema (UK), Soilwork (Swe), Queensryche (USA), Dead Letter Circus, Ne Obliviscaris and hundreds more, Arcane's live show, often accompanied by a backdrop of staggering visualizations, is a vast sensory experience.Arcane's immersive sound, and the vocals of Jim Grey quickly found favor throughout Australia, headlining the annual Progfest tour, providing touring support for Ne Obliviscaris, and performing to capacity crowds at Sonic Forge Festival in Melbourne. A crowd funding campaign in July, 2013 heralded the 2015 release of 'Known/Learned' a 16 track conceptual double album. Arcane blends the technicality of progressive metal with the atmospheric intensity of bands like Tool, Riverside and Anathema.  The world is about to discover what their Australian fan base already knows – that Arcane is a rising star in the world of progressive music.
    $14.00
  • Svart Records can be thought of as the Rise Above Records of Finland.  Both labels covers similar territory.  Somehow Svart signed the British band Messenger right from under the nose of Rise Above.  Messenger are a superb retro-band that push all the right buttons for a fans of 70s prog and folk.  This isn't a bombastic throw back album like Astra or Diagonal.  Instead Messenger's music is cut more from the cloth that Midlake are exploring.  In other words what you get is a kind of mystical, pastoral folk with strong prog overtones.  Flutes and 'tron fuse with echoey acoustic guitars in a way that transport you to some ancient forest.  At various points through out the album I'm reminded of Pink Floyd, Trespass-era Genesis, early King Crimson and Traffic.  The band started out as a trio with guests and has now expanded into a full fledge touring ensemble.  I expect we will hear quite a bit from this band in the immediate future.  Highly recommended. 
    $8.00
  • Latest from German power metal Gods. On a roll with Theater Of Salvation and Avantasia. Can they follow it up?
    $20.00
  • "The Aristocrats by any measure the hottest new band in instrumental rock/fusion today rewrote their own rules for their third studio album, Tres Caballeros. After two fairly raw trio albums, guitarist Guthrie Govan (Steven Wilson, Asia/GPS), bassist Bryan Beller (Joe Satriani, Dethklok) and drummer Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani) set up camp at legendary Sunset Sound studios in Hollywood, CA, where Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Van Halen all recorded landmark albums. The result: Nine new compositions of greater sonic depth and breadth than ever before, with unique textures and lush layering augmenting the band s preternatural ability to improvise at the highest levels possible. But it s all still tempered with a steadfast refusal to take themselves too seriously, and The Aristocrats are still having more fun than a fusion band has any right to have. We ve learned a lot since we started this band four years, three studio albums, two live DVDs and about a billion notes ago! and I think our latest offering reflects this in all kinds of ways, says guitarist Guthrie Govan. The decision to road-test our new material in front of a live audience before commencing the recording process; the choice to record in a studio which had some thoroughly inspiring rock'n'roll "mojo"; our sudden urge to become more bold and experimental with overdubs rather than feeling any pressure to record exclusively in a strict trio format... all of this has had some kind of positive effect on the way the new record came out. Plus, I think the material on this album is some of the most interesting stuff we ve ever written for each other, so... here s hoping our noble listeners will like the finished product as much as we do! Deluxe Edition Bonus DVD Features 30min documentary w/exclusive individual interviews, studio & live footage Bonus audio (outtakes/demos) & group interview"
    $19.00
  • HOLY %&@#!!! This disc is a total monster. Biomechanical is a UK-based band led by vocalist John K. (late of Balance Of Power). Imagine a mix of Nevermore, Judas Priest and Queensryche with an added subtle touch of technicality - a highly listenable trash/power blend. This is massive sounding music designed to penetrate and clear out all the cobwebs in your skull.
    $6.00
  • "The empire of the eminent Floor Jansen strikes back with an absolute startling release, a great surprise for all lovers of modern female fronted sound and an inescapable altercation towards anyone protesting against trying new and versatile notions. Set for release on August 23rd via Nuclear Blast, “Wild Card” really blew me away, in a level that my mind started whirling with the bands mesmerism in creating a very fresh and present album.After three years of agonizing waiting time, the down to earth yet class plethoric Symphonic/Melodic Metal act’s sophomore release settles down in the average CD player; revealing the hermetic catalyst of music to an extent that time-dimension seems unable to debilitate the magic of cardinal passion. And there’s a lot of passion and energy in “Wild Card“.Guided by Joost van den Broek, the band manage to conserve the known REVAMP vibe present in each and every single note performed, resulting to a set of eleven shining tracks full of charisma, sentiment and individuality. However “Wild Card” is by far heavier and much more aggressive than the 2010s self-titled debut album. Definitely guitar oriented and featuring one of the best vocal performances ever recorded in the history of heavy metal music. The compositions are quite variegated providing an intense kaleidoscopic view of interpretation by the listener.You can tell Floor Jansen had the need to redeem herself after her illness and thus resulted lyrically into some heavy stories and very personal experiences in which the Symphonic Metal Queen let out of her system with some quite openhearted screams and massive growls. Floor’s vocals are indeed very diverse and there’s not a single blemish throughout the record. From operatic, melodic lines to straight forward metal vocals, to grunting and growling everything is extremely powerful and it matches the albums violent music.Talking about music, “Wild Card” has a monstrous industrial atmosphere all around and it’s breaking new grounds to the sound of female fronted bands. The production is exquisite and it meets the bands polished songwriting, which makes me a very happy customer! Keyboard solos and compound synth sounds are everywhere to be found and together with the abundant heavy guitar riffs, make for a solid foundation in which bass and drums encircle beautifully.“Wild Card” features a plethora of guest musicians; to begin with, Devin Townsend sings on the track “Neurasthenia” which is part three of “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown” theme-song and he sounds amazing, then there’s Mark Jansen (EPICA) who delivers some terrifying growls on the song “Misery’s No Crime“. In addition to that, Marcela Bovio (STREAM OF PASSION) and Daniel de Jongh (TEXTURES) recorded the choir parts and harmonies together with Floor and that really adds to the whole Metal feel of the record. Finally Johan van Stratum (STREAM OF PASSION) was recruited last minute to record the bass for “Wild Card” and he did a splendid job if I may say.Thanks to the extreme variety in REVAMP’s “Wild Card“, there’s not a single dull moment overall and with every listening session I find myself discovering more and more in each song; and that’s a wonderful feeling and really what makes “Wild Card” a first-class album. Highlights include “Wild Card“, “Distorted Lullabies“, “Amendatory“, “Misery’s No Crime“, “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: Neurasthenia” and my personal favorites “Precibus” and “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown’: On The Sideline“. Honestly though, you should listen to the entire album back to back.The CD cover is quite remarkable as well. Definitely recognizable by REVAMP fans due to its connection with the debut album, the dual nature of the Queen of Hearts is a strong image which relates to the music in such drastic and fascinating ways. A perfect visual to accompany the fierce character of the music and props go to Richard Stark who created the artwork. A very well thought concept, indeed.A “Wild Card” is an unpredictable and unforeseeable factor and I feel like REVAMP won the bet and have successfully release a unique and brilliant album that will inspire many generations of heavy metal fans and for that they deserve immense credit. Many tunes off this album have the potential to become REVAMP classics and this itself makes the purchase essential for everyone that does not so far have REVAMP in his/her collection. A piece of thriving Symphonic, Melodic Metal history is now available, make no mistakes. You can’t let it go." - Metal Divas
    $14.00
  • Simply one of the greatest Italian progressive rock albums of all time. Brilliant keyboard work in the grand tradition.  Really one of THE defining albums.  If you don't own this one you should feel embarassed and do something about it.  Seriously.
    $15.00
  • "Orang-Utan were in fact a London-based band called Hunter, featuring vocalist Terry "Nobby" Clarke (of psych-pop legends Jason Crest), guitar player Mick Clarke, drummer and songwriter Jeff Seopardi and bass player Paul Roberts. They recorded their sole album in 1971 at DeLane Lea studios. In a bizarre twist of events, their producers/managers ran with the tapes to the U.S., where they placed the album on Bell Records under a new band name: Orang-Utan, without telling any of the band members. A lost classic of blazing, early hard rock with minor psychedelic hangover vibes, a twin-guitar attack, and waves of fuzz/wah, along with powerful vocals. Think Leaf Hound, Budgie, Bang, Sir Lord Baltimore, Hard Stuff. First-ever legit reissue done in co-operation with the original band members. Includes an insert with rare photos and liner notes by Jeremy Cargill (Ugly Things/Got Kinda Lost), telling the bizarre story of the band for the first time."
    $29.00
  • "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