Reflections From The Firepool

Reissue of their first album. A total corker!

Product Review

Tue, 2010-06-08 10:00
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This album got me into DK in a big way. Excellent instrumental progressive rock/fusion/acid trip from these California boys. This one and "Burning The Hard City" cook from start to finish. If you're expecting to hear anything accessible on a DK disc, think again. Leyth
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Product Review

Tue, 2010-06-08 10:00
Rate: 
0
This album got me into DK in a big way. Excellent instrumental progressive rock/fusion/acid trip from these California boys. This one and "Burning The Hard City" cook from start to finish. If you're expecting to hear anything accessible on a DK disc, think again. Leyth
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  • Originally released in 2012 on vinyl (and apparently cassette), the second album from this Scottish based space quartet finally gets a CD release...but its a limited edition of 500 copies so you might want to be snappy.The Cosmic Dead wear their influences on their sleeves.  The music is heavily invested in the sounds of Ash Ra Tempel, Can, and even a touch of early Hawkwind.  Loooooong jams that take you further and further into deep space.  A non-stop assault of burbling synths, echoplexed guitar leads, and a rhythm section that is playing off in another galaxy.  Pure unadulterated psychedelic space rock.  These guys played the Roadburn Festival and I'm sure they must have gone down a storm.  If the numbers 7 - 1 - 4 mean anything to you then I think this should be filed away in your collection.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • "My countrymen of The Quill are back with a new album, another one to add to their collection of albums which now equates to seven. They are an experienced band and the album has a sleek and very good looking cover artwork, it almost looks like my cat although he is a bit more wild coloured. Is there any tiger blood in their veins? Well, the title certainly points in that direction, but other than that I don’t know much about these guys and I have never heard them before this album. It is a first, and I always like firsts even though it makes it difficult to compare and also accurately evaluate the album in the grander scheme. But then again, I don’t really know much about stoner rock or metal either.But that is what it is, stoner rock, stoner metal or heavy metal if you like. It is plain and simple rock n roll, no nonsense just heavy, rocking and powerful. It is also rather well produced with a strong singer, and very varied as well. The songs come in a wide range of styles from Status Quo-ish boogie styles guitar playing, some Final Fantasy VII-like melodies and simple stoner rock and many other little interesting angles. It is a rather impressive product that is well performed and the ten tracks are even kept in a decent length with a 45 minute playing time. Compared to earlier works it may or may not be like the predecessor, it is interesting and well made in my book and it feels fresh but of course that isn’t anything I can be certain of as I haven’t heard them before.I think this is a very good album, the songs are all strong. The album has some very good and powerful stuff, it is also catchy and entertaining. Definitely an album well worth listening to as it pushes all the right buttons for anyone wanting straight, simple no-nonsense heavy metal. But not only that, it also feels fresh, and varied so you will not easily get bored with it either. It is a strong and very well crafted album and one that definitely can be recommended to anyone into this kind of music. I don’t think it lacks appeal to fans of other styles of music either. The question is though, will they reach that prospective audience?I think that they might but it needs to be more visible, they have good hits like the opening track Freak Parade which is very strong. Then I also really enjoy the lovely ending track which is a calmer one which is the perfect ending. So it starts well and ends well, and the stuff in between isn’t too shabby either. We have a strong album here, one that I can clearly recommend to anyone who likes their music plain and simple with an in-your-face attitude. It is an enjoyable album, no doubt about that." - Hallowed.se
    $15.00
  • "With a well-received studio album in the form of “The First Day” issued in summer 1993, Sylvian/Fripp took to the road for a lengthy tour to support the release. Trey Gunn reprised his role from the earlier tour and studio recordings as stick player, while Pat Mastelotto joined the group on drums, a position which led to his being offered a role in the 1990s King Crimson, a band in which he has remained a member of every line-up since. Producer and recordings artist Michael Brook completed the touring ensemble.“Damage” was recorded at the final London concerts in December 1993 and issued in 1994. Whereas the studio album had a measured grace and power, the live album was even more muscular on the rock pieces, drawing some extraordinary performances from all contributors. This made the contrast with the quieter, more ambient material even more pronounced, with audiences able to hear every nuance of the material. David Sylvian had rarely sounded better or more comfortable in a live setting. Robert Fripp provided some of his most blistering solos. Songs from the recent studio album were featured as were fan favourites from David’s solo albums and Rain Tree Crow, alongside one new song “The First Day”.Initially released as a limited edition in 1994, the album quickly sold out and became a highly sought after recording. The album was remixed by David Sylvian and issued in 2001 with a slightly altered track-listing and running order.It is this second edition of the album that is now being reissued.""Damage is derived from the closing shows of the 1993 Road to Graceland tour, which heralded the collaborative reunion of King Crimson's Robert Fripp (guitar) with David Sylvian (guitar/keyboards/vocals), the former leader of Japan. This hour-plus set finds Sylvian in tremendous voice and Fripp sonically enveloping spaces and respecting silences in a bout of well-manicured fretwork. The pair is augmented by soon-to-be Krim members Pat Mastelotto (drums) and Trey Gunn (Chapman stick/vocals) as well as former Martha & the Muffins axeman Michael Brook (guitar). The contrast in styles from Fripp's ethereal Soundscapes and edgy guitar inflections to Sylvian's smoother and refined demeanor is reminiscent of Brian Eno's early collaborations with Roxy Music. The fact that both know how to manipulate the spaces between the notes unites them further. Damage is full of those moments; so many, in fact, it is amazing that Fripp and Sylvian do not make the time to work together more often. "Firepower" contains a premier example of exactly how each craftsman is able to compliment the other. Fripp's extended solos at the end of the piece are definitive and singularly his own, yet the context in which he approaches his role as soloist yields an overwhelmingly palpable symbiosis between music and musician(s). Likewise, listeners who consider Fripp a calculated and overtly technical guitarist might be shocked by his cerebrally funky additions to tracks such as "God's Monkey" and "20th Century Dreaming (A Shaman's Song)." The syncopated nature of the melodies allows for a great deal of interplay and collaboration between Gunn and Mastelotto -- a trait they'd further incorporate into the mid-'90s version of King Crimson." - Allmusic
    $9.00
  • Germany’s most famous progressive rock band is back. In celebration of Eloy’s 40th anniversary, band founder/guitarist/visionary Frank Bornemann has returned to the studio to grace us with the band’s first studio album in 10 years. Bornemann’s goal was to recreate the vintage sound of their most popular period. To that end he assembled a lineup featuring members of the band’s past. Time was spent recording at world renowned Horus Sound Studios in Hannover, Germany. Actually owned by Frank Bornemann, it is the place where the classic Eloy sound was created. The result is “Visionary” – an album that can be simply described as pure Eloy. Frank Bornemann formed Eloy in 1969. By 1973 the band was signed to EMI’s prestigious Harvest label. Through constant touring they became a tremendous success in Germany and later on in the UK. Their 1977 album “Ocean” has now sold over 250,000 copies in Germany alone and was certified gold. The music of Eloy transcends genres. One of the originators of the European “space rock” sound, they added symphonic elements to their music that appeals to fans of both progressive and hard rock. The themes of Bornemann’s lyrics are derived from science fiction and ancient mythology with a liberal sprinkling of cosmic consciousness. The Laser’s Edge is proud to be part of this new chapter in Eloy’s history and present this historic new album to their North American fan base. “Visionary” arrives in a deluxe package, featuring a 16-page booklet and a “making of” video.
    $15.00
  • Although their international success was only short-lived, Alquin was an eclectic band filled with inspiration.Over the course of six years, they made four critically acclaimed studio albums. Marks (1972) was a promising kick-off to Alquin’s recording career and showed a band searching for a definitive style.As several tapes from the original sessions were unearthed earlier this year, The Marks Sessions contains a fascinating one-hour journey through the making of the album, featuring demo-versions of I Wish I Could, Oriental Journey and Marc's Occasional Showers, among many others.In addition, this 2cd-set features a recording of the concert Alquin performed at the Circustheater in Scheveningen on July 2nd, 1972. This gig represents the band in their first line-up, just before the recording of Marks and already pointing musically of what was to come on its follow-up The Mountain Queen.The recordings have been exclusively remastered from the original master-tapes. In addition, The Marks Sessions contains an informative booklet with the complete Alquin story and rare memorabilia.Track listingCDP-1109  2CD ALQUIN – The Marks Sessions – Expanded EditionCHAPTER 1 – The Marks Sessions1. Oriental Journey 4:45 – demo 12. Oriental Journey 3:28 – demo 23. Soft Royce 9:12 – demo 14. Soft Royce 7:05 – demo 25. I Wish I Could 11:52 – demo 16. I Wish I Could 3:13 – demo 27. You Always Can Change 3:08 – demo 18. You Always Can Change 3:01 – demo 29. Marc's Occasional Showers 8:47 – demo 110. Marc's Occasional Showers 4:04 – demo 211. Catherine’s Wig 2:38 – demo 1Tracks 1 – 11 previously unreleased sessions 1972TOTAL PLAYING TIME: 61:28CHAPTER 2 – Live At The Circustheater1. Overture / The Least You Could Do Is Send Me Some Flowers 9:042. Hard Royce 2:443. Soft Royce 9:484. Marc’s Occasional Showers 9:175. I Wish I Could 10:026. Mr. Barnum Jr.’s Magnificent And Fabulous City 10:05Tracks 1 – 6 previously unreleased live concert 1972TOTAL PLAYING TIME: 51:02
    $20.00
  • Following two highly successful tours with established Progressive metalists PAIN OF SALVATION and two years of exacting work, DARK SUNS have finished their third album "Grave Human Genuine.""Grave Human Genuine" – this unconventional title was chosen with care and purpose, as it represents the three characteristic elements of this work: "Grave" signifies darkness, the sinister force, and the inevitable fate. "Human" is synonymous with the music’s inherent soul-depth, while "Genuine" means "real" or "authentic" and hence refers to DARK SUNS’ uncompromising approach to music.But what about the music? DARK SUNS don’t merely pick up where the successful predecessor "Existence" (2005) left off, they present themselves as many-facetted as never before. A clear nod to Doom, complex polyrhythms, unusual and diverse instruments and, last but not least, drummer NIKO KNAPPE’s characteristic yearning vocals comprise the album’s cornerstones. The variety of sounds stretches from angular Metal riff attacks via atmospheric ambient soundscapes and Techno reminiscences to Avant-garde influences – despite this complexity, an accomplished musical mosaic of enormous expressiveness.Exciting nuances are created by the incomparable bass of Pain Of Salvation’s long-time member KRISTOFFER GILDENLÖW, a friendly turn that resulted from the tours mentioned above, and DISILLUSION’s SCHMIDT’s guest vocals in "Flies In Amber."With "Grave Human Genuine," DARK SUNS have created a haunting album full of autonomy and instrumental class, self-consciously charting new musical territory. In this, the band from Leipzig embodies the essence of every true progressive band: compositional genius coupled with advancement. The dark suns radiate: gloomy, human and egregiously genuine.
    $6.00
  • Obviously the band was feeling a ton of pressure to follow up Dead Winter Dead and the result, The Wake Of Magellan, more or less holds up. For some people the album was a bit flat but the way I see it Dead Winter Dead is a masterpiece and perhaps an insurmountable summit for the band. Taken for itself, Magellan is a fine disc with the classic Savatage sound. The production is simply flawless...bordering on audiophile. This new digipak remastered version comes with 2 bonus tracks and new liner notes.
    $12.00
  • "Like any respected underground band staging a comeback, Gorguts have a lot to live up to. In order to understand why expectations are unusually high for Colored Sands-- the first new LP since 2001 from this Quebec death-metal institution-- you have to look back to 1998'sObscura, one of the most pungently progressive albums ever made, in or out of metal.Obscura didn't just register as technical; it sounded downright excruciating, as if its shuddering blastbeats, doleful bellows, and deliriously inventive guitarwork were being torn straight from the chests of its makers.But as brilliant as Obscura was, and as wide as its influence has spread-- it holds a hallowed place not just among discerning death-metalheads, but in open-eared jazz circles as well-- it wasn't exactly a definitive Gorguts release. The band made their name playing in a very different style. Their first two LPs, 1991's Considered Dead and 1993's The Erosion of Sanity, demonstrated impressive tightness and a flair for involved composition, but they were very much of their time-- unrelentingly intense dispatches descended from the bulging-vein aggression of 80s thrash. Conceived as early as 93, but not issued until 98, Obscura shocked longtime listeners, who couldn't believe the madness the band's lengthy gestation had birthed.That chapter of Gorguts was short-lived, though, as guitarist/vocalist Steeve Hurdle-- a key co-architect of Obscura, who died tragically last year at age 41-- left the band in 1999. On the next Gorguts LP, 2001's sorely underrated From Wisdom to Hate, founder and sole constant member Luc Lemay streamlined Obscura's demented sprawl, yielding a less outlandish yet equally distinguished statement. This was a wise move; there would've been no way to out-weird Obscura.Fans have known for a while that the next Gorguts record was shaping up to be another fresh start. When Lemay revived the group in 2009, after a suggestion from Hurdle that he commemorate Gorguts' 20th anniversary, he took a new approach to bandbuilding. Gorguts had always been a locally sourced project, staffed by musicians from Lemay's Quebec home base-- including Hurdle, bassist Steve Cloutier and current Voivod guitarist Daniel Mongrain-- but this time, he set about assembling a North American progressive-metal all-star team. This band, which appears on Colored Sands, includes two NYC luminaries: bassist Colin Marston, of Krallice and Behold… the Arctopus, and guitarist Kevin Hufnagel, Marston's bandmate in Dysrhythmia. The drummer is John Longstreth, best known for his work in Kansas's hypertechnical Origin. It would be reductive to peg any of these players as members of a post-Gorguts generation, but their work during the past decade embodies the same spirit that drove Obscura: a conception of metal as art music, not in the Sunn O))) sense-- where the genre commingles with drone, noise and other abstracted forms-- but in the sense of a creatively restless pursuit, a union of unfettered imagination and rigorous virtuosity. Like Luc Lemay, Marston, Hufnagel, and Longstreth have each established themselves as master players driven to expand their idiom without assailing its core tenets.The highest compliment you could pay Colored Sands would be a simple description of what it is: a fully formed outing from an outstandingly pedigreed new incarnation of an already legendary band. Thanks to Lemay's trademark anguished roar and dark-prog riff savvy,Colored Sands feels unmistakably like a Gorguts record, but the compositions-- most by Lemay, with Marston and Hufnagel each contributing a single song-- don't mimic any particular chapter of the band's past. The record's greatest strength is its vast dynamic range. On one hand, it contains some of the thorniest, most aggressive death metal ever issued under the Gorguts name; on the other, it includes moments of stunning textural beauty. That duality is a perfect fit for the album's surprisingly specific lyrical theme: the way Tibetan culture encompasses both ancient majesty and modern despair.It seems odd to praise a Gorguts record for its prettiness, but some of the most memorable passages on Colored Sands are also the subtlest-- transitional sections that punctuate the band's signature gritted-teeth shred. Opening track "Le Toit du Monde" orbits a hypnotic, clean-toned motif-- a waltz-time riff marked by chiming harmonics-- and Hufnagel seasons his extraordinary "Absconders" with a dreamy interlude, an oasis of eerie calm in the middle of a churning epic. Other pieces thrive on adrenaline. Marston's "Forgotten Arrows" features a thrillingly complex central theme, which seems descended both from Dysrhythmia's intricate chiaroscuro riffs and the blastbeat-driven turbo-prog of Behold… the Arctopus. On the other hand, Lemay's title track-- a doomy plod that trades math-metal daredevilry for hard-grooving 4/4-- is one of the most straightforwardly headbangable tracks in the Gorguts discography.Diverse approaches aside, all the songs here share a rare coherence: they're as info-packed as the pieces on Obscura or From Wisdom to Hate, but their construction feels especially logical. While not the most extreme compositions Gorguts have issued, they might be the richest and most memorable; the patiently unfolding arrangements-- complemented by a spacious, full-bodied production job that contrasts sharply with the harsh, brittle sound of Obscura andFrom Wisdom-- give each idea room to really sink in.There's also a strong band unity at work here, honed onstage over the past several years. No Gorguts album has grooved harder than Colored Sands, a fact that has a lot to with John Longstreth, who excels at making dauntingly proggy riffs feel sprightly and pliable. His rapid-fire snare/hi-hat stutter on the verse sections of "Ember's Voice" and the chopsy yet remarkably relaxed post-fusion fills he busts out during the "Absconders" outro exemplify how technical flourishes can enhance a song's momentum rather than hinder it. During moments when the full quartet digs into a meaty pattern-- the sci-fi thrash episode in the middle of "Forgotten Arrows," the lurching slam breakdown in "Enemies of Compassion"-- you're hearing four expert players uniting with Voltron-like purpose: not just a provisional assemblage but a real band at work.At the same time, Colored Sands is, like each of the four Gorguts albums that precedes it, a personal statement from Luc Lemay. For those inclined to read liner notes and follow a lyric sheet, there's a hefty amount of thematic data in the margins of this record that gives it a very different feel than any of the band's prior efforts. The first two Gorguts albums dealt with standard-issue death-metal topics (disease, corruption, madness); Obscura turned inward, tackling depression and spiritual crisis; From Wisdom to Hate was a topical grab-bag, covering religious delusion, political megalomania, and the fascination of antiquity. Here, simply put, Lemay has Tibet on the brain. An admitted outsider to the culture, he nevertheless taps into some profound emotions, touching on the deep spirituality of Tibetan Buddhist tradition, as well as the region's purgatorial struggle with Chinese rule.The idea of a death-metal vocalist howling about sand mandalas and snow lions might look iffy on paper, but the concept sticks, thanks to the dynamism of the music and the conviction Lemay brings to every line. The frontman isn't holding Tibetan culture at arm's length; his seething bellows on tracks such as "Reduced to Silence" come off as a kind of rigorous method acting, as though he were revisiting personal trauma in an effort to comprehend the Sisyphean ordeal of the culture he's depicting. It's admirable that just as Lemay has regularly renovated the Gorguts sound, moving ever further from death-metal orthodoxy, he's also worked to find fresh thematic approaches like the one that unifies Colored Sands.Lemay also shows off his creative breadth on "The Battle of Chamdo", an instrumental piece for string ensemble. Previous Gorguts albums have featured classical-style intros and interludes, cluing fans in to Lemay's training as a violinist and composer, but "Chamdo" is the first full-length stand-alone track of this type issued under the band's name. The composition's strident, martial rhythms and mournful melodies give it a distinct soundtracky quality, as though Lemay were narrating rather than simply evoking China's 1950 invasion of Tibet. "Chamdo" appears at the album's midpoint, and while the piece isn't as arresting as the metal-oriented material that surrounds it, it serves as a smart palate cleanser.Obscura found Gorguts reemerging in bizarrely mutated form; Colored Sands represents a subtler yet similarly striking evolution. Just as he did on Obscura and From Wisdom to Hate, Luc Lemay has chosen expert collaborators here and given them the freedom to leave their mark on the band's legacy. With Colored Sands-- an album of breathtaking detail and scope-- he, Marston, Hufnagel and Longstreth pay fitting tribute to Gorguts' remarkable history. Instead of reclaiming the past, they've pooled their resources to create a new present." - Pitchfork
    $12.00
  • "Henry Fool's Men Singing is an ambitious four track instrumental album featuring members of No-Man, I Monster and Roxy Music. Equal parts dynamic drums, spiky guitars and atmospheric washes of fluttering flutes and vintage keyboards, the album was produced and arranged by Stephen Bennett (keyboards) and Tim Bowness (guitar), and mixed by Jarrod Gosling (I Monster/Regal Worm), who also contributes Mellotron, glockenspiel and artwork. Appearing on two of the four tracks, Phil Manzanera's legendary guitar skills can be heard in the context of long-form instrumental music for the first time since his celebrated stint in 1970s mavericks Quiet Sun. Other contributions come from Peter Chilvers (bass), Michael Bearpark (guitar), Andrew Booker (drums), Myke Clifford (sax/flute) and violinist Steve Bingham. A vibrant and instinctive contemporary take on Progressive, Psychedelic and Jazz Rock styles, Men Singing is available as a limited edition cd in vinyl replica artwork. Mastered by Pink Floyd sound engineer, Andy Jackson."
    $15.00
  • Hyperdrive marks a new era for Knight Area.  The long running Dutch progressive rock band had previously released four studio albums and toured Europe and USA extensively, performing at all major prog rock festivals.  1n 2012 the band welcomed guitarist Mark Bogert as well as legendary bassist Peter Vink (Q65, Finch, Ayreon) into the fold. With these newcomers onboard, Knight Area introduced a heavier element and fuller sound to their repertoire.  All the classic symphonic rock traits of their previous albums are still clearly evident but the songs on Hyperdrive are more immediate and concise.The band invited noted prog guitarist Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Star One) to participate as a special guest on one track.  Joost van den Broek, who is known for his production work with Epica, Mayan, and After Forever, mixed the album.   Rounding out the package is startling artwork by Gustavo Sazes.
    $14.00
  • Second album under the Gan Eden moniker by multi-instrumentalist Angelo Santo Lombardi. Clearly done in the classic Italian style ("Rock Progressivo Italiano"), this conceptual work in heavily in debt to early ELP, Goblin and Le Orme. Epic length tracks with long, sweeping instrumental passages. There are no credits here so I imagine Lombardi is playing all the instruments. He's clearly a virtuoso on keyboards, demonstrating a beautiful touch on the piano and a fierce attack on the organ. This is the good stuff!
    $20.00
  • "The story gets kind of complicated, so stick with me. In 2010, then-Iowa-based psych/prog five-piece Mondo Drag released their Alive Naturalsound debut, New Rituals (review here), which was full of ’70s-style lysergic serenity, open spaced guitars and heady vibes. It was, in short, a winner. The next year, Mondo Drag‘s labelmates Radio Moscow — who also have their roots in Iowa — imploded. It was the stuff of viral video. Radio Moscow bassist Zack Anderson and drummer Cory Berry moved home shortly thereafter, to Iowa, and got together with Mondo Drag vocalist/keyboardist John Gamino, guitarist Nolan Girard (also synth), and guitarist Jake Sheley. At the same time they were recording as the new rhythm section of Mondo Drag, Anderson and Berry were also putting together Blues Pills with Swedish vocalist Elin Larsson. That band took off, and the bass player and drummer moved to Sweden as a result, but not before Mondo Drag had recorded — mostly live — the seven tracks of their self-titled sophomore outing, which also found Gamino taking the vocalist role, using a host of vintage gear and analog tape to further play into a classic feel. After the departure of the rhythm section, the remaining three members of Mondo Drag picked up and headed for the West Coast, where swing-drummers and warm-toned bassists looking for psych rock acts to join rule the land, and in Oakland, California, they met up with bassist Ventura Garcia and drummer Andrew O’Neil, who along with Gamino, Girard and Sheley, comprise the current lineup of the band.Got all that?When you whittle down all the complexities of comings, goings and relocatings, what you’re left with is the fact that Mondo Drag‘s Mondo Drag (released on wax by Bilocation Records) captures a very special moment in the life of the group. It’s a credit to Mondo Drag that it exists at all, and not just because Anderson and Berry would go on to attain a higher profile in Blues Pills (Berry has since left that band as well), but also for the cohesion they managed to make out of all that flux. With ultra-organic atmosphere across the board — guitar, bass, keys, drums, vocals — the seven-song/35-minute run of Mondo Drag is gripping on side A, hypnotic on side B and wonderfully progressive throughout. Later moments like the penultimate instrumental “Pillars of the Sky” call to mind a wash of keys Astra might be able to conjure, but the analog spirit of the recording is relentless, and the album winds up with its own character, warm and welcoming. No need for pretense here, whether it’s the key-led fade-in and shuffle of “Zephyr” or the organ-soaked build of side A closer “Plumajilla,” which comes brilliantly to an instrumental head after swinging verses and choruses that foreshadow the sleazier side B finale “Snakeskin,” the guitars providing a highlight solo to transition into the quiet start of the build. Second cut “Crystal Visions Open Eyes” brings Gamino‘s vocals forward to create an immediately memorable impression, moving quickly through verses of subtle intricacy toward a descending instrumental finish in an early showing of how well the guitar and synth work together throughout, and of course how well that work rests atop the rhythmic foundation of the bass and drums.Some jabbing starts and stops pervade the three-minute “The Dawn,” but nothing about its garage psych roll is abrasive or interrupting the overarching flow, a boogie solo and run emerging in the midsection to help ease the way into “Plumajilla”‘s two-movement run, which in linear form — i.e. digital — makes a fitting centerpiece solid transition into the second half of the record, which slips into more exploratory material with the tense undercurrent of synth and bass on “Shifting Sands” and the interwoven lines of keys and synth on “Pillars of the Sky,” which follows, taking the best of pre-noodling progressive heavy psych and topping it with a bluesy-but-not-overdone plotted guitar lead. A peaceful mood emerges, the song in conversation with the back half of “Plumajilla,” and the richness of Mondo Drag‘s layering becomes a hook unto itself, despite no actual chorus present. Closer “Snakeskin” arrives quietly but unfolds a Doors-style throb given bluesy fervor not unlike the echoing output of Maryland’s The Flying Eyes, but perhaps more atmospherically dense. A final reaffirmation of swagger at the heart of Mondo Drag‘s Mondo Drag only makes the album more impressive, both in the actual listening experience and in context when one considers how quickly such fluid chemistry emerged between the five players involved, two of whom would soon enough be gone. As Mondo Drag was recorded in 2011/2012, and since the band has moved to the fertile psych ground of the West Coast, one can’t help but wonder what conjurations they may have come up with since these songs were written, and when those might appear and follow-up the lush but humble resonance of this self-titled. More important right now, however, is the achievement Mondo Drag managed in capturing this fleeting incarnation of the band, which will be plainly evident to any among the converted whose ears it reaches." - The Obelisk
    $14.00
  • Phase - Midnight Madness is the third release in our limited edition Modulus series.  Pressed in an edition of 500 copies, it comes housed in a old school style tip-on mini-LP jacket.  A 12 page booklet features detailed liner notes from the members of the band.Phase was a New Jersey based quartet formed in 1978.  It featured Regan Ryzuk (piano, Moog, Celeste), Dave Anderson (electric and Anscor stereo guitar), Carl Scariati (Carl Thompson electric bass), and John Hvasta (drums/tympanis).  All members were young but highly accomplished musicians with a serious interest in jazz, classical composition, and progressive rock.  Their high energy instrumental music clearly demonstrated these influences.  The music of Phase can easily be classified as fusion but there are strong undercurrents of progressive rock that weaves its way through the album - not just in terms of the instrumentation or playing, but the compositions as well.The band signed a deal with QCA/Red Mark Records in Cincinnati.  The band left New Jersey and heading out to Ohio to record Midnight Madness.  The album was recorded and mixed very quickly.  It saw a release in 1979 and unfortunately sank without much of a trace.  Keyboardist Regan Ryzuk reissued the album two years label, rebranding and repackaging the release under the Fusion Quarter moniker.Hearing this music for the first time was quite a revelation.  I was blown away to say the least.  When I'm asked to describe the music I typically reply "Return To Forever meets Emerson Lake & Palmer".  Not only did this quartet have chops from hell but the compositions were challenging as well.  If you are a fan of RTF, Mahavishnu Orchestra or the prog giants ELP, Yes, Zappa, and PFM you will find much to enjoy here.Please keep in mind that when this edition sells out it will be gone forever.  
    $27.00
  • Submarine Silence is a side project from Moongarden's Cristiano Roversi.  The bands first album was released 12 years ago on Mellow Records.  It was an instrumental album that paid a huge debt to early Genesis.  This low awaited follow up album is cut from a similar cloth but it does feature vocals.  Most of the band is fleshed out with other members of Moongarden and Mangala Vallis.  Vocals are sung by Mirko Ravenoldi, who frankly I'm not familiar with.  He sings in English and truth be told he's a much better guitarist than singer.  Luckily the album features long swathes of instrumental passages - all cut from the Genesis cloth.  Roversi's keyboard arsenal is chock full of all the old favorites - Mellotron, Hammond organ, Arp and Moog synths, etc.  Lots of similarities to Tony Bank's set up and I believe that is the whole point.  Not very Italian sounding at all.  If you long for the old school sounds of Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot check this one out.
    $18.00