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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  • "Four years in the making, Norway's Triosphere returns with their third album, The Heart of the Matter. It was worth the wait. While reviewed previously on this site by another reviewer, this is my first experience with the band.There's many things to like about Triosphere. Not the least of which, for a female-fronted band, is that vocalist and bassist Ida Haukland is a pure melodic metal singer, not swaying to the extremes of operatic or death vocals. Another significant element is simply their superb sense of songwriting. They have an arsenal of weapons to draw from whether an abundance of catchy riffs, a strong melody, vocal harmony, notable rock groove, or sizzling leads. I think, more than anything, the guitar structure, riffs and leads, are rather immense and attractive, propelling the album. You can't avoid the swell of riffs and leads within songs such as Steal Away The Light or As I Call, melodic and inspiring. But Triosphere wraps all these elements up in imaginative and entertaining arrangements, nearing progressive metal, that make for essential melodic metal listening.While the entire album is a rich tapestry of melodic metal, a few songs deserve some attention thanks to some interesting passages within. One is Breathless, a steady sturdy number that has this interesting breakdown after the half way point. The riffs collapse for this light guitar work, almost fusion, over equally slight drums. Another terrific song follows in Departure. It has its share of riffs and some staccato drums, but once more, it's the latter guitar segue that grabs you. More emotive and lighter leads over subtle bass and drums. A third song of interest is the later Remedy with a smooth melody and enormous vocal harmony. But the kicker, once more, is the guitar breakdown in the latter half. Different than the previous songs, it's sharper and heavier, riff based yet fiery, and propelled by some intricate drumming. Finally, the entire swail of riffage is abandoned at the end of the album for the acoustic and gentle ballad Virgin Ground. A respite perhaps? All in all, Triosphere, with The Heart of the Matter, has turned out a rather terrific and enjoyable album of melodic heavy metal. Easily recommended." - Dangerdog
    $16.00
  • Remastered edition finally taken from the original master tapes and transferred utilizing 24 bit / 96 khz technology.
    $10.00
  • “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
  • Magenta's latest finds them returning to an overtly progressive rock sound and the music is all the better for it.  The Twenty Seven Club is a concept album based around famous rock stars that died at the age of 27 (Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hedrix, Kurt Cobain, ao).  The core lineup is Rob Reed, Christina Booth, and Chris Fry.  For this album the band is rounded out by guest drummer Andy Edwards of IQ.  Reed's keyboard work is back in the fore and Fry's Howe-isms on guitar always bring a polish to the music (and grin on the face).  Christina Booth's voice is a real gift and she shines as always.  Overall the music makes some overt references to Yes and Genesis so you get that old school flavor that the band hasn't offered in many years.  The album arrives in a special edition with a bonus DVD.  You get the complete album in a 5.1 mix, documentary footage and a promo video for one of the tunes.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • Double 180 gram vinyl edition.  Semi-acoustic interpretations of classic Anathema tracks.
    $21.00
  • When progressive rock icon Neal Morse was preparing to tour his highly acclaimed 2012 studio release, “Momentum,” he turned to YouTube to audition touring players to support his faithful duo of Mike Portnoy (drums) and Randy George (bass).He had high hopes, but the final players selected from more than 70 applicants dramatically surpassed his expectations. They hit the road for an 8-stop North American tour. And now that band’s epic New York performance is captured on the new “Live Momentum” 2DVD/3CD Box Set.Fortified by the energetic live contributions of Eric Gillette (keyboards, guitars, vocals), Bill Hubauer (keyboards, violin, sax, vocals) and Adson Sodré (guitar and vocals), Morse, Portnoy and George blazed through two lengthy sets that spanned Morse’s entire, highly-heralded catalog, with the exception of material from “Testimony 2,” which was previously captured in 2011’s “Testimony 2: Live in Los Angeles” box set.The setlist is mammoth. The players are virtuosic. Their performances are jaw-dropping. And this dynamic box set documents it all—including a special one-hour behind the scenes look at the tour.It’s a Morse tradition to go big, and this new release unquestionably extends his powerful legacy of merging musical madness with addictive melodies in epic compositions that showcase the masterful musicianship of every member on stage.“Live Momentum” reveals the exceptionally inspired nature of this unique band and leaves listeners andviewers mimicking those in the audience on this tour—shaking their heads and wondering, “How could they possibly top that?”This ENORMOUS 3 cd / 2 dvd set includes 4 hours of video, including and exclusive Tour Documentary and over 3 hours of audio.DVD 11) Momentum2) Weathering Sky3) Author Of Confusion4) The Distance To The Sun5) Testimony Suite (Sleeping Jesus, Prince Of The Power Of The Air, The Promise, Wasted Life)6) Thoughts Part 57) The Conflict (From Sola Scriptura)DVD 21) Question Mark Suite (The Temple Of The Living God, Another World, Entrance, Inside His Presence)2) Fly High3) World Without End4) Crazy Horses5) Sing It High6) King JesusBonus Feature: A Long Strange Journey – Tour Documentary (Edited By Randy George)CD 11) Momentum2) Weathering Sky3) Author Of Confusion4) The Distance To The Sun5) Testimony Suite (Sleeping Jesus, Prince Of The Power Of The Air, The Promise, Wasted Life)CD 21) Thoughts Part 52) The Conflict (From Sola Scriptura)3) Question Mark Suite (The Temple Of The Living God, Another World, Entrance, Inside His Presence)4) Fly High CD31) World Without End2) Crazy Horses3) Sing It High4) King Jesus   
    $15.00
  • "For composer and keyboard player Carl Westholm humanity's future is bleak, and ends in death. The apocalypse is at hand, and Westholm's Jupiter Society tells its inevitable and fateful story in the third effort From Endangered to Extinction. Again Westholm is helped by members of several Scandi bands including Carptree, Krux, Candlemass, Soilwork, Opeth, and Evergrey.Needless to say, with the bleak concept, this is a dark and despairing album, from lyrics to music, with Westholm's ominous synth layers establishing the foundation. Lyrically, the story revolves more around the invaders and destroyers of the earth, led by the Queen of Armageddon, possibly aided by some satanic element, mentioned in the song Invasion, rather than the people of earth.The latter, the people of earth, get some reference in the last three songs, but with little hope. The song Fight back is crushed in the vice of No Survivors and Defeat. It's not good day on Planet Earth. And this is where Westholm's song composition comes to the fore. The music intentionally propels the frustration, devastation, and defeat of humanity in both tone and power. In other words, this dark and bleak story gets played out in a proper musical context and, therefore, makes From Endangered to Extinction creative and engaging. But considering the subject matter, again, entertaining may become a highly contested moot point. Recommended." - Dangerdog.comThird album in the futuristic prog metal series from Carl Westholm.  You may know him from his involvement from Carptree, Krux, and Candlemass.  Westholm always puts together an interesting cast of musicians for these projects.  This time he draws from bands like Krux, Carptree, Candlemass, Soilwork, and Evergrey.  Most notable are the great Mats Leven (as one of a few lead vocalists) and Leif Edling of Candlemass.  Intense apocalyptic stuff with a cyber metal angle to it.  Highly recommended. 
    $15.00
  • 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
  • "While Ki was a rambling, spacious and highly melodic trip through a futuristic world of transcendental art rock and Addicted was a sparkling, sugar-drenched turbo-riff glitter bomb, the final two parts of Townsend’s latest masterwork take both him and his legion of listeners on a far less expected and disorientating journey. Part three, Deconstruction, is arguably the most deranged, complex and extreme record that Devin has ever made. Fans of Strapping Young Lad will almost certainly feel at home with its bug-eyed maze of riffs and breathtaking dynamics. Fans of Devin’s more mellow work will have to grit their teeth and hold on for dear life."
    $13.00
  • Latest from German power metal Gods. On a roll with Theater Of Salvation and Avantasia. Can they follow it up?
    $20.00
  • 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
  • "There’s something to be said for the willingness to change. Some bands get stuck in the mud, developing a signature sound and then finding that they are unable to shake free of it. Iceland’s Momentum is not one of those bands. The band technically started in 2002 as a one-man black metal act called Afsprengi Satans. The first transformation came a year or two later as drummer Kristján Gudmundsson began to add musicians that could help play his music in a live setting. Those early sounds ranged from black metal to death metal, and the Momentum moniker arose out of the realization that this wasn’t the same band that Gudmundsson had started.As the band has progressed, from their first recorded demo Death to Christianity to their newest release The Freak is Alive, they have mutated into a three-piece progressive sludge/doom act. Kristján Gudmundsson is still playing drums, with bandmates Ingvar Sæmundsson and Hörður Ólafsson handling guitar and bass duties, respectively. With tinges of post-metal and deep clean vocals that are reminiscent of some kind of Gregorian chant, Momentum certainly does not rest on their laurels.he Freak is Alive is an album I picked up simply because I thought both the title and album artwork were a little ridiculous. I had no prior experience with Momentum, but I was immediately taken with Holaf’s vocal stylings. The album’s lead off track ‘Bury The Eyes Once Gold’ is one of my favorites, and demonstrates the range in Holaf’s voice. His howls are intense and full of emotion, while his clean singing is low and haunting. The track starts off heavy and sets the tone for the rest of the record. ‘Between Two Worlds’ has opens with a clean, melancholy guitar progression. Other standout tracks include ‘Gauntlet’, a six-minute journey that makes use of a sitar, and ‘Creator of Malignant Metaphors’ with its intricate guitar lead. The record has a gloomy, heavy feeling that is well represented in the first two tracks and carried through final seconds of sound. Whether the guitars are clean or distorted, whether the vocals are clean or howling, The Freak is Alive stays heavy and a little sad.Momentum makes good use of odd time signatures, strings and sitar, and melds progressive and post-metal with sludge in a really interesting way. My only issue with the album is that by the time I get to the final two tracks, ‘Undercover Imagination’ and ‘Depth of the Whole’, the melancholia is played out. The last two tracks don’t grab your attention the way the earlier songs do. It leaves the ending of the album weak. Overall though, I appreciate and enjoy what Momentum has done on this record. I’m very glad to have discovered this treasure from Iceland, and I certainly recommend you dive into their previous albums." - Echoes And Dust 
    $12.00
  • 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
  • Phil returns (and sings).
    $9.00