Reinventing The Steel

SKU: 62451-2
Label:
East West
Category:
Thrash Metal
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"Pantera's back, and all is as wrong with the world as it ever was. They're going to make sure you know it, too. Despite the four-year absence from the studio between Great Southern Trendkill and Reinventing the Steel, Pantera's unflagging aggression is confirmed by the full-throttle rhythms, throat-ripping vocals, and crunchy guitars. Call it their Metallica legacy, except that Pantera are more Metallica than Metallica these days. Heavy metal of this breed may be past its heyday, but Pantera's not going away quietly. In fact, evidence suggests that they're not going away at all--no matter how low you keep the volume knob, Reinventing the Steel is loud, loud, loud!" --Genevieve Williams

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  • "As history has demonstrated, a female singer is a good way to change the landscape, or at least get more eyeballs pointed in the desired direction. And since there a few landscapes as dry as power metal, it manages to work for Polish-based power metallers Crystal Viper. On Legends, the band does manage to use every power cliché known to man (or woman), but the added element of singer Marta Gabriel gives it the apropos nudge in the right direction. Gabriel is hardly spectacular, but neither was Doro, so when she’s belting out the choruses to the valiant “Blood of the Heroes” or “Goddess of Death,” it’s easy to drop her into a band like Hammerfall, who are probably the closest cousins in terms of comparison. Gabriel also gets high marks on “Sydonia Bork,” a tender ballad that shows the Pole can do more than rasp her away through an album. Flashy Crystal Viper is not, so they’re often left to rely on the previously-done melodies and song constructs, namely the very Stratovarious-esque “A Man of Stone.” Elsewhere, the surging “The Ghost Ship,” and “Night of the Sin” are traditionally-styled PM romps, complete with rousing choruses and ample amounts of gang vocals which are the stuff that Doro made her uh, “legend” out of. Indicative of just how willing some power metal bands are in terms of playing it close to the vest, Legends won’t blow the doors off anyone, yet it’s the tried-and-true formula of simple songs, bombastic choruses, and a vamping female singer that gets the job done. Amazing what a touch of a woman will do, eh? " - blistering.com
    $14.00
  • "Temperance is back with the sophomore release “Limitless” and as predicted/foreshadowed, the album takes a more distinctive directional turn towards Amaranthe, but fortunately, with enough Delain and Italian songwriting/musicianship to balance. Over the year since the release of the debut from the musicians who were once known as Bejelit, I began padding my mind with enough psychic cushion to soften the distraction of glitzy "popcore" keyboards while straining to hear what lies beneath. Pushing aside the glitz will reveal the heart of Italian power/progressive still beating – one that produces excellent songwriting, fantastic solos and a vocalist who can actually sing rather than belt out "Cavalleria Rusticana." If you can bear the glamour and core style vocal distractions, in many ways “Limitless” is superior to its predecessor. Unfortunately, even a strong will may not be able to overcome.Let's get one thing straight - a band should not be faulted for trying to make a living. What many call “selling out” is akin to deciding that every band must cater to the whim of every listener, with no care towards the lives musicians try to lead – especially in this day and age. Temperance has molded its sound in a way to make itself globally appealing, keeping an ear to the trends that will allow the group to circle the globe and realize a dream. This doesn’t mean everyone has to like that style, just look around – there are thousands of bands that can garner one’s attention. The same can be said for Amaranthe, which has cracked the U.S. market, sadly something that Olof Morck’s incredible fantasy power metal act DragonLand has yet to do. Temperance recently cracked the U.S. market and “Limitless” will only widen the door to hopefully an east coast run.What “Limitless” presents is a formula that is currently hot: the three singer mold – one female, two male (harsh/clean) - and elements of symphonic, pop, core, Scar Symmetry-esque modern metal, all creating a symbiotic relationship. It all boils down to whether you find it palatable or not. Apparently, this works and finds appeal with a large fanbase – where fans can bounce and have their fun. I’m sure hordes of teenage fans will fall for tracks like “Here & Now” and “Save Me.” Temperance plays it so well and is actually superior to bands like Amaranthe because rarely do the Italians completely abandon their roots. Patience and endurance will reveal that the heart of Bejelit still beats. You may take the renaissance out of Italian metal, but you can never take away that neo-classical training. It still shines…just buried beneath overbearing modernization.You can hear it in songs like “Side By Side” and “Burning,” two of the best songs the band has written, the former being the favorite. Marco Pastorino is among Italy’s best guitarists (with a voice to boot) and his riffs, solos, and melody lines are as great as ever, even if they are completely slathered by techno/dance style keys. Chiara is as uber talented as she is super attractive. However, if it were up to me, nixing the keyboards completely along with the harsh core vocals would allow the real music to breathe, but surely that would undermine what the band is trying to accomplish here. Bottom line…we don’t always get what we want. Other notable tracks include the Delain inspired tracks “Amber & Fire” and “Stay," "Mr. White," and the gorgeous piano driven “Goodbye.”As far as production, “Limitless” sounds top notch and expertly mixed. You can take Simone Mularoni’s name as your stamp of auto-perfection. For fans seeking bands with supercharged pop, core, modern influenced styles along the lines of Amaranthe, Temperance plays it with more style and grace than all of them. For fans of the classical influenced power/progressive style of Bejelit – it really is still there, only entombed behind a wall of glitz for which it will take “limitless” concentration to block the distractions." - Metal Underground
    $15.00
  • Remastered edition of this star-studded first solo album comes with a bonus track.
    $17.00
  • "‘Les Fleurs du Mal’ is a conceptual album by Swedish band THERION that features only French lyrics and consists of cover versions of old French pop songs from 60-70s. THERION celebrates by "a special art project", headlining by the material, its 25 anniversary. It was also said that the album is available only during the tour and from THERION online store; it is sponsored by the only founding member, Christofer Johnsson. But you can buy it i.e. on Amazon as well. I am not going to go at length comparing THERION old and new and trying to rationalise things. The reason is simple, as this album was actually the first that caught my full attention. I start from the cover: it's full of topless females. Obviously, Charles Baudelaire's legacy is quite reminiscent there. The cover is made of a quite rich artwork of Saturno Butto, themed mainly erotic and varying from matte painting to charcoal sketches.Most of the songs here are quite short, yet powerful. Why these songs? I have at hand some lengthy explanations from the press kit, but in fact it boils to one single thing: the overall direction of French songs that are dark and telling some quite grim stories. Yet we all aware of a largely poetic language and melodic music background of French culture. Christofer has a great, fluent knowledge of musical styles and approaches, so he claims influences from King Diamond, Candlemass to folk music and ABBA. The album is beating with energy, in carries you along with its set of 15 songs performed mainly by the lead opera singer, soprano Lori Lewis.Of course I was curious about how exactly the original songs were altered. It's too much of effort to get past all these tracks, so I picked few favourites. ‘Mon amour, mon ami’ by Marie Laforet is a playful pop song, performed originally in circus-like up-tempo, but THERION specialists worked closely in order bring about the "inner darkness", toned down tempo and timbre and added traditionally "darker" music instruments such as organ - so song became indeed heavier and more minor, yet more powerful and strong. ‘Polichinelle’, performed with a cute teenage girl's voice by France Gall, is initially a pretty love ballad that relates to a Commedia dell 'arte character (note that comedian masks are worn by the naked ladies on the album booklet. (Thumbs up for the throughout conceptual work!) THERION ended up with an operetta rendering of the song, making of it somewhat of an opera house hymn, this type of sound you would expect from contemporary French musicals. Despite being one of the most experimental pieces on the album, it would be, probably, one of the most noticeable tracks.Finally, Victoire Scott's ‘Une fleur dans le coeur’ - Christofer did not like very much a feature you can hear in original, the honky-tonk (tuned-off) piano that he only describes as "dreadful". Instead, THERION interpretation is deeply lyrical, with plenty of acoustic guitar and strong soprano of Lori multiplied by the riffs you might expect from Jann Tiersen, metal additions and whole lot of different styles changing one to another. One drawback that I see is that the vocal style often remains of the same across album, so if you listen to 15 songs in a row, you might be tired a bit with the similar style. Yet the band paid enough attention to insert pleasant breaks by quest vocalists. The album sounds sound, fresh, and original and there is additional fun to compare originals to the covers." - Reflections Of Darkness
    $11.00
  • "After some high profile releases and particularly impressive ubiquity, the ex-DREAM THEATER / A7X drums God Mike Portnoy is back again with his new musical partner the magnificent Bass Maestro Billy Sheehan (NIACIN / TALAS / DAVID LEE ROTH / MR BIG / STEVE VAI / PSMS), under a power trio format, completed by none other than one of the most gifted Guitarist of his generation once Sharpnel Records alumni Richie Kotzen but this time no instrumental trickery, no instrumental knitting, because Kotzen beside his absolute skilled six strings wizardry is also indeed an hell of a fantastic soulful singer and a very underrated vocalist of the best brand. This is a  supergroup, a Dream Team hell yeah…but mostly a great band.With such a busy time schedule for both workaholics Portnoy & Sheehan, we could have feared a fast almost sloppy affair, luckily with this first album is exactly the opposite. Sheehan & Kotzen were working many years together with MR BIG and in fact the sound of THE WINERY DOGS isn’t that far from what Sheehan, Paul Gilbert , Pat Torpey and Eric Martin have magnificently achieved.The album start with groovy 70s infused blast of “Elevate” and followed by the heavy Funk flavor of “Desire” each track feature an intense rhythmic groove with short but impressive unison synchronized lead bass / lead guitar whirlwind licks of exuberant virtuosity, some unexpected harmonies that coming out of the Jazz-Rock / Rhythm N' Blues recipe book owned by Kotzen, but every song carries most of all a strong focus both on the catchy melodies and on the sing-along hooks which are everywhere boosted by rich Backing vocals (“The Other Side” or “The Dying”) really magnetic & irresistible. Those who are familiar with the prolific superb Kotzen’s discography knows that he’s an hugely skilled songwriter with a lot of style in his arsenal, so THE WINERY DOGS debut album is out of the same tradition as THE MOTHER HEAD'S FAMILLY REUNION, “Not Hopeless” contains however some over the top sharing duo between Richie & Billy, in the real MR BIG's shredding frenzy fashion, like a modern day GRAND FUNK RAILROAD with full injection of high tech dexterity.Cuts like “One More Time” or “Six Feet Deeper” seems to be outtakes from the breath taking 1990s “Fever Dream”, with furious playing and great musicality concentrated for an even more efficiency. The Japan only bonus track, “Criminal” is strangely one of the most commercial song with an almost AOR chorus, a syncopated bridge and another outstanding lead guitar solo spot in two parts with a tasty sound. The closing number “Regret” is the sole composition handled exclusively by Mr. Kotzen: it’s a soul music track with slight Hammond layers and a real harmonious balanced to finish this album in a positive way. The pristine production is powerful and crystal clear, still organic with a strong vintage feel but not muddy, in fact it sounds like how Classic Rock in its purest form should sound in 2013. Just unadulterated genuine Rock played by an exemplary bunch of extremely talented musicians and it’s an understatement.After an imposing huge list of albums and projects under his belt, Mike Portnoy with the help of another all-star lineup show to the incredulous crowd of jealous fellows, how his playing field is broad and how he can multiply in an almost monthly omnipresence the recording with the same prestige and the same success as FLYING COLORS / NEAL MORSE / PSMS / ADRENALINE MOB and the forthcoming BIGELF." - Metal Temple
    $14.00
  • Deluxe CD/DVD digipak.  The DVD features a "making of" documentary and lots of other stuff."Opening up the autumn season in grand fashion, a deluge of fantastic releases are upon us and spearheading that charge is veteran progressive black/Viking metal titans Enslaved and their newest and likely earthiest opus RIITIIR. Continuing along the long and illustrious progressive path the band first started drifting toward with 2000’s Mardraum: Beyond The Within. But if 2010’s Axioma Ethica Odini was a return of punishing metal authority, RIITIIR is an exercise in extremes and bombast – everything here is enormous in scale and execution. The songs themselves (most shooting well beyond the eight minute mark) each featuring a myriad of movements and cascading motifs, everything the Enslaved fan loves about the band here and in grand style!Glacial sheets of guitar are par the course for RIITIIR, the opening salvo of “Thoughts Like Hammers” steamrolling right out of the gate, near equal play of harsh and clean vocals coming into play with time, threatening and soothing in equal measure. These peaks and valleys return in epic fashion on “Veilburner,” trade-offs and synchrony of the two ends being used to tremendous effect, the cleans in particular used better here than on any release since Herbrand Larsen joined the group in 2004. This clean expression comes through in grand fashion on 11 minute closer “Forsaken,” a decidedly low key but super effective end to the journeys the album takes.It isn’t all clean wailing and atmospheric pomp however, the band lovingly riffing out with rediscovered metallic bravado with “Roots of the Mountain” and “Storm of Memories.” Though the harsh cliffs at the outset are soon met with clean voiced and mellotron-drenched ridgetops, eventually the listener is firmly kicked back into the abyss, this time accompanied by some fantastic and ongoing solos. It’s fascinating to see the rediscovered metallic vigor that came to life on the last release mixed so fervently with the band’s ever-growing melodic sense and expressive voice. These two aspects of the band, combined with their increasingly complex compositional sense, make for an exhausting and enthralling journey.All that being said, what’s featured on RIITIIR won’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s listened to the band for even the past couple years, let alone the last decade – the album is simply another notch along the belt of progression by degrees. The compositions are bigger, more ornate, bristling with finer features and bombast. It’s the band’s thickest release in a long line of releases guitar Ivar Bjørnson has joked are ‘all two weeks long’. With each of those releases however the joy lay in divining the details over repeat listens, unearthing the secrets between the out layers. That remains the case here, RIITIIR another fantastic from a band that burst past the 20-year mark and is showing zero signs of aging. " - Blistering.com
    $15.00
  • Stunning second solo effort from Riverside frontman Mariusz Duda. Lunatic Soul explores the quieter, introspective side of the progressive spectrum. Duda plays most of the instruments himself, but he is also helped out by Indukti's Wawrzyniec Dramowic on percussion, and flautist Maciej Szelenbaum. The music has a definite Asian influence with a wonderful melodic flow. Think in terms of Riverside's quieter moments or Opeth's Damnation. It does rock out but not HARD since (once again) there are no electric guitars. This fact doesn't make the album any less intense. Album of the year candidate? Highest recommendation.
    $14.00
  • Special edition of the 18th studio album from these British melodic hard rock stalwarts.  Comes with a bonus disc with unreleased acoustic and live tracks from the band's vault. "There are some bands who just seem incapable of making bad albums, the odd inconsistent one maybe, the odd ill advised departure, but never bad. Well step up with pride those Brummie boys Magnum, who over the last 34 years (admittedly with a 5 or 6 year break) have regaled us with some of the best British pomp you could ever care to hear. Which judging by studio album number 17, is something that isn't liable to stop anytime soon!To be fair, On The Thirteenth Day isn't the sort of album that is going to change any minds, I doubt very much that was intention. Instead it builds and ever so slightly expands upon the impressive catalogue Magnum have amassed over the decades and stands tall and proud alongside their most revered releases. Only nostalgia will stop long term fans of the band proclaiming that this release is as good as On A Storyteller's Night, or Wings Of Heaven (or whichever is their fave reminisce), but it is. Yes the formula runs pretty close to the last three Magnum offerings, Princess Alice And The Broken Arrow, Into The Valley Of The Moonking and The Visitation, but considering how pleasing on the ear they all were, the fact that On The Thirteenth Day betters them is recommendation enough.Ease into the uplifting "Shadow Town", the ever building and instantly memorable "So Let It Rain" (the stick in your head song of the album), the wonderfully titled and welcomingly familiar "Blood Red Laughter", or stomping, melancholy intent of "From Within" for confirmation that this is a vintage motor still running at full tilt. Pleasingly there are a couple of curve-balls, with "Dance Of The Black Tattoo" having a chunkier riff than this band are known for, while "Broken Promises" follows a similar path, but with a bluesier edge.The voice of the band, Bob Catley, maybe sounds a little lived in these days, but few frontmen can offer up the warmth and emotion of his delivery, while long standing (someone get him a seat please!) keyboard player Mark Stanway adds the layers of atmosphere that mark out the Magnum signature sound. The new (a decade of service still denotes newbies in this band!) lads also stack up well, with Harry James on drums and bassist Al Barrow proving once again that having the most solid of rhythm sections is priceless in any band of any genre. However without guitar player and songwriter Tony Clarkin, this band simply wouldn't be, so let's all doff our caps to "The Hat" and pay reverence to yet another cracking set of songs and another stunning six string performance.On The Thirteenth Day is a fantastic blend of all of the elements with which Magnum have impressed, seduced and won our affection for almost as long as we can remember now and is an impressive statement from a band that would have every right to be sitting with their feet up and living off past glories at this stage of their careers. The fact that they are not is a reason to rejoice and so is On The Thirteenth Day!" - Sea Of Tranquility
    $16.00
  • 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
  • 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
  • Glass Hammer get all existential on us...Perilous is the new band's new concept album about a man dealing with grand scale issues like mortality.  A bit of a downer but like all Glass Hammer projects there is a ray of sunshine at the end.  Glass Hammer is fronted by Jon Davison who was plucked away by the remaining members of Yes for current tours and cruises.  He remains a member of GH as well.  Naturally with the voice of a Jon Anderson sound alike, the music bears remarkable similarity to Yes.  Some of Fred Schendel's piano work reminds a bit of Going For The One.  When Fred is hammering away on the organ the music takes on a Kansas quality.  So essentially not much has changed.  Glass Hammer's sound has pretty much evolved into a Yes/Kansas hybrid over the past decade and there it remains.
    $13.00
  • "With this, their fourth album, SANDSTONE give the fans a perfectly prepared album which will make not only fans of progged metal structures happy, but also those who prefer fisty, hard compositions. The cleverly designed mixture of Power and Progressive elements, with a large dose of melody, attracts comparison with the greats of the scene, such as Fates Warning, Queensryche, Pagan's Mind, Symphony X or Vanden Plas - and also convinced ex-Judas Priest singer Tim 'Ripper' Owens to add some guest vocals!"
    $13.00
  • "Chastain offered up a unique brand of progressive metal, combining his over the top guitar playing with Leather's unique vocal sound at a time when Shrapnel was enjoying success with then-new label mates and fellow guitar heroes Paul Gilbert, Vinnie Moore, and Tony MacAlpine.There has been a resurgent interest in musician-oriented records and the early shred scene. The re mastered Ruler of The Wasteland is one of those seminal records that helped to shape the emerging progressive metal movement." Comes with 2 bonus tracks.
    $16.00
  • This is another one of those classic Renaissance radio broadcasts that tape traders have circulated for years.  It gets an "official" release courtesy of Purple Pyramid.  It was recorded on the Turn Of The Cards tour at the Academy Of Music in NYC on May 17, 1974.  If you are fan and you don't have a cassette squirrelled away somewhere you need to own it.
    $17.00