Reign In Blood

SKU: 602537352241
Label:
Def American
Category:
Thrash Metal
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Expanded edition with bonus tracks.

"Widely considered the pinnacle of speed metal, Reign in Blood is Slayer's undisputed masterpiece, a brief (under half an hour) but relentless onslaught that instantly obliterates anything in its path and clears out just as quickly. Producer Rick Rubin gives the band a clear, punchy sound for the first time in its career, and they largely discard the extended pieces of Hell Awaits in favor of lean assaults somewhat reminiscent of hardcore punk (though distinctly metallic and much more technically demanding). Reign in Blood opens and closes with slightly longer tracks (the classics "Angel of Death" and "Raining Blood") whose slower riffs offer most of the album's few hints of melody. Sandwiched in between are eight short (all under three minutes), lightning-fast bursts of aggression that change tempo or feel without warning, producing a disjointed, barely controlled effect. The album is actually more precise than it sounds, and not without a sense of groove, but even in the brief slowdowns, the intensity never lets up. There may not be much variation, but it's a unified vision, and a horrific one at that. The riffs are built on atonal chromaticism that sounds as sickening as the graphic violence depicted in many of the lyrics, and Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman's demented soloing often mimics the screams of the songs' victims. It's monstrously, terrifyingly evocative, in a way that transcends Reign in Blood's metal origins. The album almost single-handedly inspired the entire death metal genre (at least on the American side of the Atlantic), and unlike many of its imitators, it never crosses the line into self-parodic overkill. Reign in Blood was a stone-cold classic upon its release, and it hasn't lost an ounce of its power today." - Allmusic Guide

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  • Album number 14 from the premier American symphonic rock band.  Steve Babb and Fred Shendel mix up the deck a bit with different cast of characters but the core sound remains intact.  If you are unfamiliar with Glass Hammer what you need to know is that Steve and Fred have assimilated the best elements of 70s US and Euro prog and melded it into something fresh.  Vocalist Jon Davison sounds so much like Jon Anderson that he was actually poached by Yes!  This is lush symphonic rock with killer keys.  Think in terms of Yes, Kansas, ELP, and Gentle Giant and toss 'em in a blender.  That's the Glass Hammer sound.  Lots of interesting guests this time around.  Old GH alumni Walter Moore and Michelle Young make and appearance.  Higher profile guests include Randy Jackson (Zebra - not American Idol!), David Ragsdale (Kansas), and Rob Reed (Magenta).  Another triumph from the good old southern boys of prog.  Highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • "San Francisco has produced countless acts that have defined, and even created, entire genres of music from the psychedelic movement to some band named METALLICA. On “The Zodiac Sessions”, Stoner Metal darlings ORCHID, somehow manage to add their name to the list with a seedy, grooving, bong hit ripping trip through the dark side. Poster children of the Stoner-hipster-Metal phenomenon, ORCHID has released a mess of music since forming in 2007. “Zodiac” is a collection of the bands earlier work, the “Through the Devils Doorway” EP and the killer full-length, “Capricorn”. Newly re-mastered, both records sound excitedly crisp and full, begging to be played at full volume with no remorse.If you really stretch your chemically altered imagination, you can see ORCHID onstage at the Fillmore ruining every ones buzz with their hemorging wall of sound and message of absolute Doom. Maybe that trippy vision is a little too heavy for your current state of mind but these guys are making retro sound progressive, conjuring the very best of classic BLACK SABBATH, PENTAGRAM and DUST while burning a path all their own. “Capricorn” is just plain creepy as the boogie virtually drips off Mark Thomas Baker’s guitar. It’s almost impossible to understand how the refrain gets so heavy with one guitar player but Keith Nickel hammers the bass strings so hard it shakes the ice in your glass. Carter Kennedy handles the back end nicely with deeply body shaking drum work, the perfect complement to the classic crushing being done by Baker and Nickel. Theo Mindell leads the charge with a howling voice resembling Bobby Liebling at his evilest.Baker throws the black cloak of doom gently over the listeners head with “Black Funeral”, the perfect late night graveyard hang out song, Mindell sounding like he is trying to raise the old souls of San Francisco’s past for an undead freak out. On “Eastern Women” we hear the marching guitar rhythm that has lead Orchid to the head of the stoner rock pact. It’s raw and unrelenting, showing a hint of what was to come as the band grew into their already legendary “The Mouths of Madness” record. It all comes to a crashing conclusion with “No One Makes a Sound”. Mindell lays it out on the line, letting us know that ‘they ain’t going to listen now, until no one makes a sound’. Eye opening stuff reminding us that heavy licks and heavy lyrics are how this whole San Fran thing got started.While a double re-packaging of not one but two records, neither one a decade old, is a little pretentious, original ORCHID vinyl is already fetching a pretty penny online. Sporting some groovy new art from multi-tasker Theo Mindell, “Zodiac Sessions” gives first time listeners a chance to pick up some old ORCHID on the cheap (for now) and gives those who were there the first time a second hit off the good stuff." - Metal Temple
    $14.00
  • "After last year’s glorious live album/DVD Swedish Empire Live, Sabaton return with a new studio album, Heroes. It’s their first effort following the mass exodus of four members who left and formed Civil War.Vocalist Joakim Broden and bassist Par Sundstrom rounded out the lineup with guitarists Chris Rorland and Thobbe Englund along with drummer Hannes Van Dahl. With plenty of touring under their belt, including the aforementioned live album, the transition into the studio was a smooth one.There are no big surprises on a Sabaton album. You know you are going to get bombastic power metal with lyrics based on war and battles. That’s exactly what you get with Heroes. It gets off to a potent start with “Night Witches,” and the momentum continues with “No Bullets Fly.”The songs have huge melodies, singalong choruses and top-notch musicianship, and the lyrics are about real-life war heroes. Those featured on Heroes range from American World War II hero Audie Murphy (“To Hell And Back”) to a Belgian infantry group that fiercely resisted the Germans (“Resist and Bite”) to Polish soldier Witold Pilecki, leader of the resistance movement in Auschwitz (“Inmate 4859“).Sabaton change things up with the arrangements, sometimes emphasizing big orchestral parts, and other times going more straightforward. “The Ballad Of Bull” comes about halfway through the album, a nice change of pace before things crank back up with “Resist and Bite.”Peter Tagtgren has worked with Sabaton for a while, and does another yeoman’s job behind the mixing board. The production is crisp and punchy with a big drum sound. The guitars shine through, mixing effortlessly with the symphonic and atmospheric elements.It’s a streamlined effort with little if any filler. The 10 tracks clock in at a brisk 37 minutes, with the longest song just over 4 and a half minutes long. Heroes shows that Sabaton have carried on nicely after the lineup changes, with their patented style and sound fully intact." - About.com
    $11.00
  • German import arrives in a mediabook with a patch."Our anticipation levels had maxed, as four years passed by since Sanctuary announced that they were releasing a new record. It is easy to imagine that the only going through their fans' minds was whether their new material will resemble the work they did 25 years ago. I was rather reluctant and ultimately, I was right.First things first, let's get some things straight. Is "The Year The Sun Died" close to the feel of their two emblematic records? Nope. Does it sound like Nevermore? Yeah, as Dane's vocals are closer to that type of delivery, without that being a bad thing. He wouldn't risk going back to his old type of delivery, even if he could achieve such levels with pro tools magic. Modern production trends have also played a significant role to the final cut of this album. On the other hand, the composition approach is quite different to that witnessed on Nevermore albums, as musical themes are much more approachable. On the other hand, even though we don't have the outbursts we were used to, there are a number of theme and tempo changes in many of the tracks which make them very interesting indeed.In general, if we were to analyse its style, we would conclude that we are dealing with a rather heavy record that incorporates bulky guitars in mid-tempo layouts, without that meaning that there are no tracks with a faster pace. Lyrically, it is quite dark and a constant claustrophobic atmosphere is always present, as there is no abundance of melodic guitar themes. It's multifaceted compositions do provide a rather "proggy" feeling, but nothing more than that. Sheppard and Budbill's rhythm section is poignant and to the point, but lacks the ingenuity we were used to them providing.Opening tack "Arise And Purify" is clear evidence of the two contradicting elements that comprise this record. The intro riff is heavy and modern, whereas the chorus uses backing vocals that reminds us of their past. Solos by Rutledge and Hull are unleashed from the get go, and are as precise and technical as required. "Let The Serpent Follow Me" is on the up-tempo side of things but winds down during the chorus, followed by a wonderful, nostalgic bridge. The first slow track is "Exitium (Anthem Of The Living)", which starts off with a calm intro and follows with an awesome riff. Dane also performs really well in this track. "Question Existence Fading" follows a similar path of interchanging musical themes. It sets off with a fast, edgy and fierce riff, includes great solos, awesome vocals and thrilling drumming."I Am Low" is one of the calmer moments of the record, which slowly builds up to a rather heartfelt climax. Another highlight would be "Frozen" which again starts off strong and dials things down during the chorus whilst guitar solos are flying around left, right and centre. The weakest moment of the album would be "One Final Day (Sworn To Believe)", whilst "The World Is Wired", which at first won me over with its groovy attitude, ultimately let me down after multiple listens. The strongest moment is definitely the self-titled track (introduced by the wonderfully acoustic "Ad Vitam Aeternam") which concludes the record. Words don't really give it justice. It is slow, heavy and very memorable. Everything from the Latin chants in the beginning of the track to the despair in Warrel's vocals during the chorus and inspiring guitar work makes this song great. A truly great composition.With this release, Sanctuary did what they had to do. They evolved. Now, because it took them 25 years to do so might not go down well with many people who were expecting a second "Into The Mirror Black", which is totally understandable. Having Nevermore in the meantime might have substantially reduced the shock factor anyway. Let us not forget though that one of the reasons why we loved this band is because of their progressiveness (for lack of a better word). It would be silly to assume that they would not have changed tones even if they hadn't disbanded in 1992." - Noisefull
    $10.00
  • "Drop was the first fruit of Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison's collaboration with singer and extended range bass player 05Ric, and featured contributions from Robert Fripp, Dave Stewart and Gary Sanctuary.Nine carefully crafted songs combined with ground-breaking multi-layered guitars, vocal harmonies and rhythms.This is the 2013 Kscope edition of the duo's astonishing debut."
    $15.00
  • Raise The Curtain is the latest effort from the former Savatage mastermind.  Its quite different from the Jon Oliva's Pain project and in a surprising way.  The music has a strong 70s vibe blending elements of progressive rock, AOR, and metal.  Oliva plays all the instruments but he collaborated on the songwriting with Dan Fasciano.  From the opening roaring organ sounds you know you are in for something a bit different.  You can tell this is Jon Oliva - there are parts that will remind you a bit of Savatage but you will also think in terms of Kansas, ELP, Alice Cooper.  A mash up of styles for sure but quite well done.  A friend who heard an advance copy summed it up perfectly: "A fun album".  This is the first pressing that has one bonus track.  Grab it while we got 'em.
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  • San Francisco's Orchid has been kicking around a bit, jumping around a bunch of small labels.  A buzz has been developing around the band so it was only a matter of time before they stepped up to the big time - they got snatched up by Nuclear Blast.  I would say that NB scored a major coup here.  Orchid's reputation has been built upon a doom metal sound that draws heavily from the early Black Sabbath canon.  Plain and simple.  These guys have the retro sound down pat and the look as well.  If you are into doom its not going to come any better than this.  Highly recommended. 
    $13.00
  • After their last performance at Nearfest Apocalypse, Anglagard's lineup went through a bit of an upheaval.  Luckily it didn't materially affect the band's sound.  Anglagard is still Anglagard.  Prog Pa Svenska is a 2CD set that documents the band's three day residence at Club Citta in Tokyo, Japan back in March 2013.  Material is drawn from all three studio albums.  The recording is beautiful and the performances are stellar.  What else do you need to know?  How about this review:"May 14th of this year will see the release of a new Änglagård live album: Prog på Svenska—Live in Japan. Some of you may have been lucky enough to have been following Änglagård from the very beginning, but if you’re anything like me, you came into the game when Änglagård’s small catalog of music was either out of print or near impossible to find without spending a fortune; that is, with the exception of one little disc which somehow was available when snagging a copy of albums like Epilogue seemed to be a Herculean feat. That album was Buried Alive, the live recording of Änglagård’s last show prior to their 1994 breakup. While the liner-notes of Buried Alive reveal a band that was not 100% satisfied, 20 years later with the release of Prog på Svenska—Live in Japan, Änglagård is back and going strong with a new live recording that is rich in dynamic and deep in maturity, a performance that I am confident that they are proud to immortalize for their fans.Prog på Svenska represents the first of three consecutive nights that the masters of dark Swedish prog delivered at Club Città in Japan alongside The Crimson ProjeKCt (featuring the legendary Adrian Belew and Tony Levin). For me personally this is a special album that transports me back to when I witnessed their unbelievable performance only three weeks later at Baja Prog. Among a plethora of canonized acts at the festival (such as Hackett, New Trolls, and Three Friends), Änglagård’s remarkable performance showed that they stand in no one’s shadow. While there’s nothing like being there in person, Prog på Svenska is about as good a live recording and performance as I’ve ever heard on disc. I certainly am jealous of the Japanese fans who got to see them three nights in a row last year.The live-set on this album shows a balanced representation of the old and the new, featuring two tracks from each studio release along with an unreleased intro track which I assume (and hope) will be on Änglagård’s next studio production. So that the anticipation doesn’t kill anyone, I’ll start right off with the new song: ”Introvertus Fugu Part 1.” Perhaps the first thing to know about this track is that it’s our first look into the composition of the new band featuring Linus Kåse and Erik Hammarström alongside Anna, Johan, and Tord. I can happily say that “Introvertus” shows a band that knows how to move forward without abandoning the distinctive identity that they are known for, a fact that strongly hints at a powerful album to come in the future. The opening moments of the song show the band increasingly incorporating elements of modern classical and atonal music through the delicately dark chord changes on the piano before constructing a wave of tension with ambient bass noise, a distinctive guitar motif,  and a descending melody on flute playing against tuned percussion. As the ambient textures continue to swell, a big percussive crash shockingly interjects, setting the stage for an ominous swelling of Mellotron chords, resulting in an eerily delightful sound. The intensity continues to build with a drum roll on snare and cymbals that transition the piece into an aggressive angular instrumental attack featuring howling Minimoog modulation; enter a fiercely dark melody which is doubled or harmonized on most instruments before the band takes the listener into their signature dose of woodsy folkiness. Johan and Linus continue pounding in the rhythm section before the eerie central motif returns to bring “Introvertus” towards its close with the full force of Anna and Linus’ dueling woodwinds, one hanging on the melody while the other produces chaotic squeals before withering off the melody in a very unsettling (but cool) way.After kicking it off with an exciting intro the band takes us back 20 years with “Hostsejd.” The rich dynamics, especially the meticulously controlled Mellotron swells, really shine on this one while some small differences in instrumentation (such as the sax on the first main melody instead of flute) really keep the piece fresh and exciting. Although I was craving the intro on the follow up track, “Längtans Klocka,” the supreme level of interplay between all instruments that starts off the piece is fantastic. Furthermore, the guitar/Mellotron duet at about 6:30 that leads into a memorable theme is quite the highlight. Finally, the circus-y melody towards the end of the song somehow becomes even more diabolic in this slightly stripped down version as Tord’s demented waltzy riff serves as a perfect backdrop for the drunken saxes. Speaking of Tord, it certainly is nice to see him back in the band, and I must add that his guitar playing and sense of emotion is perfect for the band and has improved over the years. This is perhaps most clearly demonstrated on “Jordrök,” a quintessential song in Änglagård’s catalog. The reality of the matter is that despite the fact that the band was quite mature at the time of Hybris‘ release, their capacity to bring out all the nuances in pieces like this shows that they are musicians who have truly refined their craft over the years. “Jordrök” sounds more alive than ever; the Mellotron flute section in the middle, one of the band’s absolute trademark melodies, is to die for, and Linus’ superb use of phrasing and pacing in the piano intro certainly takes this classic piece up several notches.Moving deeper into the performance we see “Sorgmantel,” one of my personal favorites from Viljans Öga. The first thing I noticed about this particular performance is that the intro sounds much more raw due to differences in instrumentation, this version starting out with a guitar and bass call and response. While I absolutely adore the studio version, this new arrangement and performance was also wonderful and brought its own set of advantages to the table. First, the bass/guitar duet at the beginning really exposes the melody and shows you that its not just about fancy instrumentation, it’s a gorgeous melody through and through. Second, the band is not concerned in the least bit with rushing through the performance of this piece; the pacing is delicate, precise, and emotional with plenty of space for ritard and sway as the intro melody gets passed around from guitar to bass and flute and is then countered by the piano, making the fugue-nature of this piece even more evident. The playing is incredibly tight but busting with dynamic throughout as “Sorgmantel” takes its many twists and turns before working its way to a quiet ending; graceful… even breathtaking.To wrap up the night, Änglagård once again goes back to the early 90′s, this time with “Kung Bore” and “Sista Somrar.” Although the former leans more on the folky side of the band, as does much of their first album, the highlight of the piece actually ended up being the mysterious and ambient middle section where the band shows that they have mastered perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of music: playing quietly with vibrant emotion. Between the light swells of guitar, weird effects on bass, a steady organ pattern in the upper register, and a lightly beating drum, this section goes beyond merely doing justice to the original. Finally, the depth and emotion of “Sista Somrar’s” slow, dark intro is, quite frankly, deadly, and goes miles deeper than the original studio recording (which was in and of itself very impressive) as an ominous sax melody flanked by stormy percussion and effects guides us to the unleashing of an uncanny tron female solo voice that will haunt your nightmares for weeks to come.In my opinion, Prog på Svenska—Live in Japan is an essential live album that you don’t want to miss out on. Quite honestly, I am a person who rarely enjoys live albums because oftentimes the performances and production are either significantly worse than the studio recording, or the live version ends up being stripped down to the point where there’s just something missing, or the band simply doesn’t offer an experience which is significant enough to enjoy the live version deeply; in most cases you sort of ‘had to have been there’ to get what’s so great about it. Such is not the case with Änglagård’s latest live documentation. From the performances to the production and the differences in detail from the originals, Prog på Svenska is a stellar capturing of live art through and through. And of course, I might add that if you ever get the chance to see Änglagård perform, take the opportunity; if your significant other isn’t a prog fan, take them anyways. Änglagård’s extreme level of delicacy in phrasing and dynamic is a tough match to beat in progressive music and should hold up even in the face of the snootiest of music connoisseurs." - Progulator
    $18.00
  • "With a shockingly tight performance and a handful of evil anthems, Glen Benton and company managed to craft a death metal classic with their eponymous debut. Taking their Satanism to a new level of seriousness, Benton was burning crosses into his forehead and desecrating churches to promote this album, something that didn't exactly endear them to the mainstream metal media. While similar (and even weaker) groups were getting hyped up as the leaders of the death metal underworld, this album struck a chord that would, for good or bad, instantly inspire legions of like-minded groups. The riffs are actually memorable, with insane blastbeat drums and an uncanny sense of timing guiding the songs as they charge through one by one. "Lunatic of God's Creation" may be one of the best death metal songs written in this period, taking all of these elements to their natural extreme and crafting an ugly Satanic epic. "Carnage in the Temple of the Damned" is a speed-happy chunk of blasphemy that borders on grindcore, while "Dead by Dawn" is another gem that survives on the creative riffing and horrible vocals. Benton's vocals are actually one of the main features, as his guttural growl is touched up by production tricks to sound absolutely hideous and tortured as he spews his Satanic nonsense. At the time it seemed quite evil, and the press surrounding him suggested that he was willingly possessed by demons that sang through him. On top of that, he also claimed that since he was the antithesis of Jesus Christ, that he would kill himself at the age of 32 to mimic Christ's death. Heady stuff for a death metal band, but even though the gimmick may have banished them from the cover of Hit Parader, it didn't take away from the effectiveness of the album. They would later go on to make questionable musical progress and strip away much of the brash suggestiveness of their image (for the record, Benton failed to commit suicide when he claimed he would), but before all of that they still managed to craft one truly great album in the death metal genre that will survive long after the gimmicks are gone." - Allmusic Guide
    $8.00
  • "Are we being manipulated? Who would benefit from us, to follow pre-established rules? Careless. As sheeps. Political parties? Religious organisations? Commercial companies? TV networks? Beware of everything, even NEMO...NEMO is one of the leading Prog Rock bands in France, and after 13 years of existence they conquered the world community of Prog lovers with their previous albums (Si, Barbares, R€volu$ion…). Their 8th studio album is about every kind of manipulation. On 2 CDs, 12 songs, they warn you about everyone, even them! Musically you will hear a varied and strong blend of what Nemo is all about, featuring a big dose of experimentation and new exploration. Beware of this album, you will succumb to its charms! "CD1:01. Stipant Luporum 2.0102. Trojan (Le ver dans le fruit) 8.5303. Milgram, 1960 5.5904. Verset XV 7.5505. Un pied dans la tombe 7.1106. Neuro-Market 6.3407. Le fruit de la peur 9.43CD2:01. A la une 5.0802. Triste fable 7.4603. Allah Deus 5.0804. Opium 9.1005. Arma Diania 17.19
    $22.00
  • "Prior to the release of 'Visions Fugitives', Mekong Delta had been no stranger to classical music. Their style of thrashy progressive metal exuded the influence of many a composer, particularly those with a darker sound to their orchestral observations. When it came to actually performing classical music however, the band up to this point had more or less limited themselves to using neoclassical tricks within their metal context, even doing a cover or two. With that in mind, 'Visions Fugitives' and its centerpiece 'Suite For Group And Orchestra' was quite a long time in the making. Although some may go to criticize the band for never going as far as to use a real-life orchestra in its recording, few albums within the 'thrash metal' umbrella have engaged me so much. Throw in a few pieces of cerebral prog metal to flesh things out, and you have a piece of work that would make the old giants of progressive rock proud.Although 'Suite For Group And Orchestra' is planted right in the middle of the album, there is still a clear division here between the ornate classical 'epic', and the more traditional songs. Like Rush's '2112', or Fates Warning's 'No Exit', Mekong Delta follow prog metal canon by giving listeners a clear cut of both gears, although every track on 'Visions Fugitives' falls firmly within progressive metal territory. As they have in the past, Mekong Delta shares the neighborhood with Voivod and Watchtower, in that their brand of thrash favours the cerebral over the speedy riffage of many of their contemporaries. Besides band founder Ralph Hubert, Mekong Delta has been a revolving door of musicians since their inception, and 'Visions Fugitives' is no exception. Mark Kaye brings a guitar performance to the band that fits their mission statement like a glove, fusing technicality with the sort of frantic atmosphere Mekong Delta had been capitalizing on with prior records. As far as Mekong Delta's metal edge is concerned, Douglas Lee's vocals may be the most controversial aspect of the sound. Although the complex vocalizations at the end of 'Them' declare that he is definitely has the ear for singing, his vocals have a tone to them that would fit much more comfortably in prog rock rather than thrash. Fortunately, Mekong Delta's metal side is never far ahead of the 'prog', and his performance here works just as well for the context as Wolfgang Borgmann's did on their debut.The classical aspect of 'Visions Fugitives' is without a doubt the most important part of the album. Though the four progressive metal songs are too worthy of being deemed masterful in their composition, 'Suite For Group And Orchestra' takes up a damned half of the record, and a listener's appreciation of the record will brink largely on their openness to heavy metal being crossbred with classical music so openly. Although classical music has been going steady with metal since the days of Yngwie Malmsteen and even long before, it rarely gets to the point where the two sounds are mixed to the extent where neither is the dominant force. This is the case with 'Suite For Group And Orchestra', an elaborately composed twenty minute piece worthy of the highest commendation. Here, Mekong Delta mimic the atmosphere of Romantic-era classical music rather than the erudite complexity of composers before, the result being a piece with plenty of epic melody and variety, not to mention a fair deal of room for the band to incorporate their rock instruments into the fray. The soothing acoustic 'Introduction' leads into an eerie 'Preludium', complete with low horns and eerie bells to make it sound like something out of the haunted mansion in Super Mario Brothers. 'Dance' and 'Fugue' bring the piece into less frightening and more proggy, technical realms, often letting the band play powerfully without getting in the way of the orchestration. As far as the composition itself goes, it's remarkable to hear how many places both emotionally and sonically Mekong Delta can take a listener within a twenty minute period.In terms of flaws, the use of a computerized, or 'fake' orchestra may not hurt the compositions or music, but there is always the feeling throughout listening to 'Visions Fugitives' that things could be even more impressive, had the band had the resources to make a full orchestral rendition of their music a reality. A less-than-excellent production quality carries over to the prog metal songs as well, with the vocals sounding somewhat muffled and less mixed than they rightfully should have been. None of these studio issues are ever enough to take away from the excellence of the band's 'vision' however; it might even be said that the muffled sound and artificial instruments even add to the atmosphere. Mekong Delta have long been one of the most engaging acts to come out of German thrash metal, and 'Visions Fugitives' sees them finally realize their dream of bringing classical music to the thrash realm. Even still, it feels as if this project left open room for improvement, but if Mekong Delta never tops the majesty they have created here, I won't be one to complain." - Metal Archives
    $12.00
  • "Too many people mislabel “technical” or “math” for “progressive”. The vast majority of the bands in the djent movement are, at best, technical. The only prog-like changes in the music are from a riff to a breakdown. Elsewhere, some noodly math band is labeled “progressive” because the guitars make pretty twinkle noises. That is hardly the stuff of prog legends. Enter The Omega Experiment, whose debut helps re-define a genre that really needs clarification.I don’t mean to get ahead of myself, as The Omega Experiment is no classic. These Michigan natives have the story of a djent group, but the sound of a bygone era. The group consists of multi-instrumentalist Dan Wieten and keyboardist Ryan Aldridge. The group is, in essence, a bedroom project, one of the many disciples of the prophet Misha Mansoor. Yet, The Omega Experiment treks down a different sonic road than Periphery.While the latter worshiped at the altar of Meshuggah, these gentlemen prefer to take heed from the success of Rush, Dream Theater, and most evidently, Devin Townsend. The band’s particular brand of progressive metal is light on the metal, favoring towering vocals to screamed sentiments. Also, half of the group is the keyboardist, so you bet your sweet ass that the keyboard plays a heavy role on the proceedings here. The blazing solos aren’t too shabby either.The album tells the story of Dan Wieten’s struggles over the past ten years and his search for a way out of his own mess. The music helps tell the story of transcendence; each melody seems to come from a place of light as Dan fights off his inner demons. Like any concept album, The Omega Experiment is best enjoyed in one sitting. Because of this, the album lacks absolute highlights and lowlights. If you are a fan of the throwback prog style, surely each new track will uncover something pleasing to your ears. The entire album is laden to the brim with vocal melodies, guitar pyrotechnics, and enough keyboards to please any Styx fan. The record is such a treat that the band even named its first track “Gift”.With an album like this, it’s not easy to point out complaints, but two become evident upon multiple listens. While the drum programming is certainly adequate, there is no substitute for live drums. For the most part, the kicks and snare sound good enough, but the programmed nature of the percussion occasionally irked me. The other complaint is really a matter of preference. The album’s standout track, “Furor”,  is also the only track where the band seems to really unleash the metal they're clearly holding in. I wish the band let loose a few more times throughout The Omega Experiment; however, too much gusto might detract from the sound the band has cultivated.Overall, The Omega Experiment has reminded this reviewer how progressive music can be when it’s actually progressive. If the mention of Devin Townsend or Rush makes you want to run to the hills, then The Omega Experiment will not change your viewpoint. However, if you’re looking for a sampling of a new crop of progressive metal acts, then take a careful listen to The Omega Experiment." - Decoy Music
    $15.00
  • Deluxe digibook edition comes with a bonus CD featuring an instrumental mix of the album."After an absence of three years, and several personal trials and tribulations, Austria's Edenbridge arrives with their eighth studio album, The Bonding. Edenbridge has never done anything half way or half-heartedly, sideways or otherwise. So what could the band do to turn the knobs to 11 for their grand symphonic power metal?How about recording with a full orchestra to make those symphonic parts sound even more grand than simple synthesizer twiddling? Through the support of fans and sponsors, Edenbridge was able the Klangvereinigung Orchestra of Vienna to push the band's already impressive symphonic sonics to the stratosphere and beyond.Is this to say that this substantial addition makes The Bonding great, even more spectacular than previous Edenbridge outings? Well ... yeah. There are oodles of melodic symphonic metal bands, many with female lead vocalists, producing their large bombastic sound. Putting the orchestra into the symphonic seems like a no-brainer. Edenbridge gets it right. The orchestra, the symphonic parts of the arrangements, are exactly that, a part of each arrangement. They neither lead nor smother any song, but they certainly add authenticity to Edenbridge's chosen style. The opener Mystic River is a perfect example of this balance.And you still get nice keyboards, big riffs and even bigger solos, and Sabine Edelsbacher’s voice, which sounds better than ever. She's smooth, controlled, clear, and simply powerful. Listening to her on Alight A New Tomorrow, The Invisible Force, or Death Is Not The End, by example, are impressive as they are inspiring.Perhaps we've hit the highlights of The Bonding. All these elements find their culmination, apex as it were, in the title cut which closes the album. It's better than 15 minutes of symphonic melodic power metal bliss. It also features Ms. Edelsbacher in duet with Erik Martensson (WET, Eclipse). Holy shiite! What an awesome combination. The song also displays that aforementioned balanced, more than nuanced, of the orchestra for the symphonic parts with entire arrangement. Principal composer Lanvall desires major kudos for this musical score. The Bonding is grand, engaging, and entertaining, more than a little epic, melodic symphonic power metal from a terrific band. Is it their best album yet? Could be. Strongly recommended." - Danger Dog
    $17.00
  • "That it only took them two albums to reach a point of such accomplished ambition is testament to Deadly Circus Fire’s grit and tenacity, propelled from London’s fickle trend-following scene by their devotion to creating something earnest, intelligent and arresting.If you’ve heard their 2012 debut The King And The Bishop, The Hydra's Tailor will surprise you.No longer reliant on the suits-and-facepaint theatrical shtick to get them noticed, their maturity speaks volumes. The Hydra's Tailor is thick, pulsating melodic progressive metal. It plunges into moments of gothic-tinged post-metal, is as playful as Haken and discordant like Mastodon while hooking into melodies that expound the confidence and subtle anguish of Adam Grant’s vocals. The emotive potency of songs like Where It Lies, House Of Plagues and Universe are the icing on the cake from a band who have finally arrived." - Metal Hammer 
    $11.00