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SKU: 781676657223
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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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  • Latest from German power metal Gods. On a roll with Theater Of Salvation and Avantasia. Can they follow it up?
    $20.00
  • Mayan is the other band of Epica founder Mark Jansen.  As you can expect by now from Jansen, he doesn't do anything on a small scale.  Like Epica, Mayan is an epic sounding band.  The raison d'etre of Mayan is melodic death metal.  The band features Lauren Macri providing soprano vocals, Henning Basse on clean male vocals, and Jansen handles the death growls.  There is actually a pretty good balance between clean/death vocals.  As expected, lots of great guests - Floor Jansen appears on a couple of tracks, and Stream Of Passion's Marcel Bovio sings on three.  Dimitris Katsoulis contributes violin.  Mayan has coalesced into a band, as opposed to the debut which really was more of a project.  Symmetry guitarist Frank Schiphorst provides the shred, and ex-Delain bassist Rob Vander Loo is on board as well.  After Forever's Joost van den Broek co-produced the album and you get that larger than life sound that this music craves.   Oddly enough the album actually starts off with the bonus track...its a good one!  Highly recommended.
    $5.00
  • In 1991 Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso inexplicably decided to revisit their first two albums. The band completely re-recorded the albums and in fact expanded on some of the earlier versions of some of the songs. Shockingly it worked really well. There wasn't an attempt to do radical rearrangements or modernize anything other than the instruments they used. Perhaps just for sentiment I prefer the warmth and nostalgia of the original version but this an interesting attempt to revisit the material and add a bit of polish. Highly recommended - even if you have the original.
    $11.00
  • "It all begins at the end of one man’s life. He hangs on the noose, lit by a single spotlight as a viscous clot of blood gradually oozes from his mouth. Misshapen, deformed and attired in archaic garments he dangles, suspended in death, as dark ambient shamans Ulver are hidden below him on a blacked-out stage.A piano plays a fragile lament while rumbling effects and growling samples ebb and flow. And a song that is one man’s coda becomes redefined as a sunrise is projected upon the screen behind the band, and Kristoffer Rygg steps up to the microphone to begin “EOS”. Thus begins Ulver: The Norwegian National Opera, the mesmerizing and stunning beautiful live DVD release from Norway’s masters of avant-garde and enigmatic electronica.Ulver of course know a few things about redefining expectations. At one stage they were a celebrated black metal band, but in the late ’90s they dispensed with the traditional accoutrements of black metal and morphed into an entirely different beast. Traces of their metal past remain fixed in their DNA, especially in their desolate iciness and forever-questioning aesthetic, but for many years now the band has been releasing acclaimed works that blend progressive electronica and glacial neo-classical treatments with shimmering, hypnotic rock.Aside from one show in 1993, Ulver had always been a studio-based outfit. But in 2009 the band was lured onto the stage for Norway’s Festival of Literature, which in turn led to them play a series of sold-out shows in some of Europe’s most renowned venues throughout 2010. Ulver: The Norwegian National Opera was recorded in Oslo at the end of that touring cycle, not long before the band went into the studio to record 2011’s highly rated Wars of the Roses album. Captured by 6 HD cameras, the show features guest appearances by electronics guru Christian Fennesz and performance artist Ian Johnstone (who plays the aforementioned role of the late Mr. Ark Todd, and look out for his inscrutable resurrection to end the show on an enigmatic note).The DVD features material from throughout Ulver’s electronic and experimental years, with tracks from the Perdition City, Svidd Neger, Blood Inside and Shadows of the Sun albums, and the Silence Teaches You How to Sing and A Quick Fix of Melancholy EPs. It’s best to think of the DVD in terms of an all-encompassing experience. Breaking the show down into constituent parts defeats its purpose entirely. I could obviously explain to you how the band’s performances of “For the Love of God”, “Funebre” or “Let the Children Go” play out in regard to the overall set, but there’s a clue on the DVD menu to remind you that plucking fragments from the show is inadvisable—there’s no ‘play all’ choice here, just one word: witness. That, more than any of the words I’m about to type, sums the DVD up perfectly.Spectacular visual accompaniments are projected on a mammoth screen behind the band. Ulver’s set is built atop waves of oscillating and juxtaposing currents, and as the rhythmic pulse shifts the imagery evolves. Varying images of mankind’s atrocities, nature’s majesty and preternatural mystery mimic the cadence of the show perfectly. The vast array of metaphoric, allegorical or representative imagery bolsters or offers a stark counterpoint to the tracks, and as the show progresses it becomes impossible to separate the visual from the musical.That’s not to suggest that taken in isolation the music is somehow lacking, it’s not, and a CD release of the soundtrack alone would be incredible. The vintage synths, creeping effects, droning guitar, dulcet vocals, piano and percussion that Ulver wield all fuse into a singularly mesmeric force. The set-list has obviously been assembled with a cinematic vision (perhaps operatic is more apt), and the music alone sets you on a path where the idea of stepping off is unfeasible. For 90-plus minutes the band unhurriedly manipulates and tweaks their sound. With many songs bleeding into one another, Ulver constructs a show that takes you on a skillfully paced, sweeping and euphonious voyage—where the pitch and sway, the crescendos and hypnotic undercurrents, guide you through a raft of emotive states.I had high expectations for Ulver: The Norwegian National Opera and I was not, for one second, anything less than enthralled. Expertly edited by Erlend Gjertsen, and mixed by the band at their own Crystal Canyon Studios in Oslo, the entire package is pristinely rendered, and is a sumptuous feast for the eyes and the ears. Ulver have always been a prime example of the transformative beauty of artists dedicated to producing work that is innovative and imaginative. And galvanized and inspired by celestial, terrestrial and otherworldly endeavors, Ulver: The Norwegian National Opera is a firm reminder of the transfixing (and yes, even transcendental) power of authentically progressive music. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough." - Hellbound.ca
    $15.00
  • OK now this is over the top indulgent and incredibly limited.  I doubt we will be able to restock it as a limited amount has been made available for North America.  This is an oversized hardbound slipcased book with a 44 page booklet.  It also comes with a CD plus a DVD with the album in 5.1 surround and 24 bit hi-res stereo mixes.  Finally there is a second DVD with a "making of" documentary.  Certain to be a collector's item in years to come."It’s been quite a past few years for the incredible Anathema. Honors have been bestowed upon them, they’ve released an instant classic album in “Weather Systems”, and last year they released one of the best live concert films I’ve ever seen, “Universal”. Anathema is on top of the world, and they are only getting bigger. With all of this on their shoulders, they approach the world once again with their new album, “Distant Satellites”, a fitting name for a massive album. Again, with all of their recent success creating huge expectations, can this band meet such critical reception? Needless to say, Vincent Cavanagh on vocals, Danny Cavanagh on guitar, Jamie Cavanagh on bass, John Douglas on percussion, Daniel Cardoso on drums, and Lee Douglas with her wonderful vocals were all up to the challenge.“Distant Satellites” is a very different album from “Weather Systems”, or anything else they’ve done, for that matter. It is different, yet somehow instantly familiar. It includes everything that makes them Anathema, but adds new and exciting elements to their already excellent formula. If you’ve never heard Anathema, their formula (in their last few albums, anyways) includes soaring guitars, amazingly catchy melodies, spiritual lyrics, and emotional flow both vocally and structurally. They are the masters of melody, and they remain complex and progressive even while being simple and accessible. They are truly masters of their craft.This new album, then, is no different in those terms. The melodies return in force, such as the serene beauty of “The Lost Song” parts 1-3. And, yet, there is something different here. The melodic lines are somewhat more complex, less in-your-face, and more organic. This especially shows in the song lengths, most of them being over five minutes. This allows for more growth and more progression. Indeed, then, the melodies on “Distant Satellites”, while not being as instantly lovable or recognizable, are certainly more difficult and possibly will have a longer “shelf life” in my mind. Yes, the orchestrations seem to be lower key, as well, allowing the vocalists to express themselves more personally then ever.There are other improvements, too. I feel that the musicianship is more fervent and on a higher plateau of difficulty than Anathema has tried. Drummer John Douglas, especially, plays amazingly well from start to finish, accenting the music with awesome pounding and fills. The rest of the band are at their peak, too, with Vincent and Lee being especially great with emotional and meaningful vocal performances.“Distant Satellites” is different in more meaningful ways, too. Utilizing post-rock/metal structures is nothing new for Anathema, but they really do perfect them here, as on “Dusk”, a dark, climactic song. Yet, there is a sense of continuity between tracks, too. This is obviously the case between the three parts of “The Lost Song”, but it’s also apparent throughout the album, as if Anathema is telling us a story, convincing us of our true selves and our connection with the universe and with each other.This album is wonderful in the first half, but my excitement reached new heights in the second half. Anathema has taken it upon themselves to change things up a bit. They wanted to progress their sound, but make it all seem so natural. So, in the second half, the album climaxes with one of the best songs, simply called “Anathema”. But then, we are thrown for a loop somewhat, as “You’re Not Alone” features a hefty portion of electronic vibe. It’s great, but the best is still to come.Next, “Firelight”, a darkly ethereal instrumental track that is completely electronic, is thrust upon us, and is followed up by what may possibly be the best song Anathema has ever produced, “Distant Satellites”. This track combines everything that has ever made Anathema great: soaring melodies, climactic structure, gentle spirituality, amazing vocals, and now an electronic beat that is both complex and catchy. Vibrant, mesmerizing, and pure, this track elates me every time I hear it. It takes this album, and my heart, to new heights. The album finishes with a gentle ballad that just seems so fitting, yet it still has the strong electronic influence.So, is “Distant Satellites” a winner? In every way! Is it their best album? I don’t know; it has the potential, but it might take time, just like “Weather Systems” did. What I can tell you is that this new album is more mature, more progressive, more interesting and eclectic, and less formulaic then anything Anathema has crafted yet. It does sacrifice some accessibility and some instant likability for these things, but I respect their decision massively, and I fully expect to see “Distant Satellites” at the tops of many lists at the end of 2014." - Progulator
    $70.00
  • Double 180 gram vinyl edition.  Semi-acoustic interpretations of classic Anathema tracks.
    $29.00
  • Now here is a beautiful slice of contemporary progressive rock.  Anubis is an underrated band from Australia - bands down under don't seem to get the attention they deserve.  Hitchhiking is their third full length album.  2011's A Tower Of Silence was a big hit around here and frankly when it arrived it came as a huge surprise.  This long awaited follow up reinforces that the prog rock world needs to take notice.  The music has a cinematic Floyd-like feel.  Vocals from Robert James Moulding are emotion driven and have plenty of impact.  This is not a band who's music is filled with tons of soloing but what's here is solid.  In other words this is not old school prog - its very forward thinking but with a modern sound.  Highly recommended."I have long dreamt of an Australian progressive rock album that would inspire me to click the repeat button, in order to drift through its world all over again, and I am happy to declare that Hitchhiking to Byzantium has been on constant rotation for weeks at this point. Bringing an enchanting blend of Floydian melancholy and the energy of Rush to the table, Anubis have come to stake their claim as heavyweights in the Oz scene with their third opus.Whilst being equally impressed with their 2011 album A Tower of Silence (which I have only just heard recently also), I have found myself returning to Byzantium more to explore the subtle nuances contained within the album’s ten tracks. ‘Fadeout’ as an opening diddy is like riding a gentle breeze for just a short while before being swept up in all the drama and opulence of ‘A King with No Crown’, a reference quality track on every level, cinematic in scope and full of drama and tension and certainly an inspired choice as opening single for the album. ‘Dead Trees’ is a classic prog cut with all the bells and whistles sporting a vocal performance that harkens to a young James Labrie and a chorus that will have you by the balls from the first time you hear it.I mentioned a notable influence from Floyd and Rush earlier, but if I was to be honest, I would love to ask them if they are fans of American prog band Tiles and those wonderful Brits Anathema, because both bands are called to mind on this album amongst others like Sweden’s Anekdoten. The title track is a sublime centrepiece and features a plaintive aura that is sent soaring when spine-tingling female backing vocals lace the chorus. It’s so hard to choose a favourite song when they are all so filled with creamy goodness, but any of these three  - ‘Blood is Thicker than Common Sense’ (a seductive groover), ‘Tightening of the Screws’ (a majestic slice of melancholia reminiscent of early The Pineapple Thief) or ‘Partitionists’ (a lyrical and musical marvel) - could easily take the title for this humble listener.The final triptych features dark drama in ‘Crimson Stained Romance’, a song that reminded me most of a classic Floyd epic, the 15+ minute ‘A Room with a View’, which is nothing short of a sweeping symphony of moods and tones and the closing ‘Silent Wandering Ghosts’ sounds exactly like its title would suggest, haunting and transcendent with an outro to die for.These seven talented lads are a gifted lot, with every performance of outstanding quality, enhanced by a jaw-dropping production that let’s every instrument tell its own little story and play its part in this emotionally resonant work that as the band state themselves: "I feel that there's more of us in there - the hurdles that life throws at us and the only way to feel true inner peace - by examining the love around you. It's certainly an introspective record - but it's real life. It's about you, it's about me, it's about all of us. Hitchhiking to Byzantium. That journey is life."And somehow I believe them." - Loud Mag
    $15.00
  • 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
  • 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
  • “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
  • "Early 2012 the Welsh progressive rock band Karnataka embarked on a fifteen- date tour across the UK. Under the name New Light Tour 2012, the band reached as many areas of the country as possible; in particular those towns and villages they missed on previous tours. The band performed at some of the most unique and beautiful venues in the country, from traditional theatres and art centres to a stunning fourteenth century converted barn. Yet they couldn't perform in all places and therefore many fans − especially those from abroad − couldn't see how the new line-up managed to perform the band's back catalogue. So New Light Live In Concert, Karnataka's latest double album and DVD has been recorded for those people who missed them live on stage. However, it's by all means a great souvenir for people who attended their live shows as well. On this almost two-hour live album, DVD and Blu-ray you can witness and listen to an entire live performance.The live performance has been recorded at the start of their New Light Tour at the Met Theatre in Bury, England on February 23, 2012. This tour marked the first live show for a line-up featuring the new lead singer Hayley Griffiths. For those who aren't familiar with the band's third female singer an introduction is in place. She's a classically trained soprano who has achieved global recognition and critical acclaim for her role in the international phenomenon Riverdance and Michael Flatley's  Lord Of The Dance. She has sung for the emperor of Japan in Tokyo, at the Kremlin Palace in Moscow and for an audience of 20,000 people in Taipei Arena. Moreover, in 2010 her debut album Silver Screen won the Best Classical Crossover Artist Award. Her second album Celtic Rose was released in 2011; it's her first complete Celtic album composed of traditional and contemporary Irish and Scottish songs.Other new members in the band are the Turkish keyboard player Cagri Tozluoglu from Istanbul and the talented multi-instrumentalist Colin Mold, who was the driving force behind the folk rock band Kara. During the tour Mold played additional lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars, violin and he did some backing vocals. The fourth new member is drummer Matt McDonough. Last but not least Karnataka's new line-up still consist of founding member Ian Jones on bass and bass pedals and Enrico Pinna on guitars and backing vocals. The latter made his debut on the band's latest studio album The Gathering Light (2010, see review).When you watch and listen to New Light Live In Concert you'll soon notice that the performed songs differ from the original album versions. This is mainly due to the fact that Hayley Griffith's vocals strongly differ from Karnataka's prior singers Rachel Jones (pre-1998-2004) and Lisa Fury (2008-2010). Her soprano voice provides the music a rather new sound that I like a lot. In my opinion a live album shouldn't be a copy of a studio album. I think it should sound differently and this is something in which Karnataka succeeded very well. However, not only the vocals differ from the original versions. Take for example The Calling, an instrumental piece from their latest studio album. It featured the Uillean pipes played by guest musician Troy Donockley. Since he wasn't available during the New Light Tour, the electric violin replaced the pipes. This worked perfectly and made the song still very enjoyable. The addition of several new violin parts on the older songs suited these songs quite well.Also the addition of twin guitar parts throughout the concert is a real treat to the ears. The combination of Enrico Pinna and Colin Mold playing both the same guitar parts makes the music sound very melodic. However, it's mostly Pinna who steals the show with his great electric guitar playing. His talent for playing excellent solos can be especially heard on the superb piece Forsaken. The band must have known that  Hayley's voice couldn't always shine during the songs from their back catalogue. Therefore she got a special solo spot. This way she got the chance to show all of her vocal talents on tracks that aren't original Karnataka songs. So they also included two Hayley Griffith's tracks on this album that demonstrate her vocal talents. Lagan Love from her Celtic Rose album was performed brilliantly. She sings it wholeheartedly and only accompanied by some beautiful string synthesizer parts. It's followed by Our Love from her Silver Screen album. This time her voice sounds rather operatically. It fits in perfectly to Karnataka's new arrangement which includes fine playing on the violin as well. Besides Griffith's skills as an amazing singer she also proves to be a real entertainer who can keep the audience focussed during a concert. To mention any highlights is rather difficult, because in my opinion the entire concert is just one highlight.Both the CD and the DVD versions benefit from a tremendous production and capture the details of the vocal performances as well as the arrangements without one musician over-powering the other. Also the camera work has been done well capturing the musicians at close range and from a distance showing the whole band in action. They perform material from The Storm (2000), Delicate Flame Of Desire (2003) and The Gathering Light in the best possible way and in 5.1 surround. In addition to the concert they included interviews with all musicians. They were asked about their background and musical influences and about the future and the past of the band. Finally a tour photo gallery can be enjoyed. New Light Live In Concert is a real must to listen to and to watch. Especially people who like bands as Iona, Mostly Autumn and Clannad are advised to check out this great new live release of Karnataka! " - Background Magazine
    $18.00
  • They don't come as often as we'd like but a new Vanden Plas album is almost a guaranteed success.  Chronicles Of The Immortals may well be their best effort yet.  It sounds like Vanden Plas that we know and love but scaled up.  The band collaborated with noted German author Wolfgang Holbein to create a rock opera.  After a series of live performances the band hit the studio and shaped it into the first half of a duology.  Highly recommended."Four years after the release of The Seraphic Clockwork, German progressive metallers Vanden Plas are back with their seventh full-length Chronicles of the Immortals – Netherworld. Known for creating highly detailed conceptual albums, in 2012 the band teamed up with Germany’s one of the biggest selling authors Wolfgang Hohlbein to create a rock opera for the stage based on his The Chronicle of the Immortals series of novels. The resulting rock musical named Bloodnight ended up having 25 sold-our performances during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.The next challenge for Andy Kuntz and Vanden Plas was to adapt the theatre musical to the Vanden Plas standards and produce an album comprised of the first act of Bloodnight. Chronicles of the Immortals – Netherworld – Path 1 is a full title of the record that includes ten songs. The release of Path 2, the final part of the story will be released early in 2015.Musically speaking, since the release of their debut Colour Temple Vanden Plas continued to mature and improve – eventually hitting the top with 2006′s Christ 0. However, Netherworld proves to be the band’s most demanding release. In most cases, the problem with conceptual albums is that the music suffers the lack of quality on behalf of the actual story or opposite, but Vanden Plas relying on experience forged a record that possibly may serve as a light of hope for progressive metal in 2014.One of the biggest differences between this one and the previous Vanden Plas efforts lies exactly in the theatrical atmosphere Netherworld brings. Although it can be said that the visual factor is on par with music on almost every Vanden Plas album, it’s Netherworld that stands out for the balance between the two. Heavily rooted in the progressive metal genre with plenty of melodic lines on top of it, the whole story is dependant to Kuntz‘s interpretation and singing.The album flows as a single song, although it’s divided into ten songs (visions) what ultimately brings to mind that these ten titles are there just to separate the distinctive parts or moods of the whole story. These parts are pretty well balanced, the story dynamic follows the music. And what is perhaps most important for a progressive metal album today – it incorporates a number of different elements.Three crucial segments for a Vanden Plas album are strong melodic side, progressive metal and conceptual story. And these three segments are present on Chronicles of the Immortals – Netherworld. In which measure, time will be the best judge." - Prog-sphere.com
    $13.00
  • "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