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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  • Deluxe digipak contains a bonus DVD featuring a "making of" documentary and the vaguely worded "bonus materials"."Karnataka are survivors. Since their inception at the tail end of the 1990s, they have most definitely had their ups and downs: they found some success fairly rapidly, helped in no small part by a scorched earth gigging mentality and some fairly prestigious support slots with the likes of progressive rock favourites Porcupine Tree and the much-loved, oft-lamented All About Eve. By 2004, it seemed nothing could prevent the band’s ascent to progressive rock favourites, and larger venues started to beckon.Sadly, their upward trajectory ran abruptly aground when internal relationships fractured and the band went their separate ways. One of the chief songwriters, founder member Ian Jones, decided to keep the Karnataka flame burning, however, and assembled a new-look band. Critics and fans were divided about the reborn band, but Karnataka forged ahead, delivering several well-received tours and their most successful album to date, 2010’s The Gathering Light – but just as the album finally appeared, the band found itself short-staffed once more as various members elected to pursue other interests.The Gathering Light possessed more of a progressive rock influence than any of the band’s previous albums: opening with two instrumentals, and possessed of three further tracks that all clocked in at over ten minutes in length, its sprawling atmospherics housed a haunting, soulful but introspective record which felt like a side-step from the Karnataka of old. Life had thrown many obstacles at chief writer Jones, and the album reflected them all, as Jones and the band overcame adversity to deliver a bruised but unbowed album of survivor anthems. The band’s new album, Secrets Of Angels, however, overflows with confidence: it’s not so much bruised as bruising. Here the band sound truly re-energised, thrumming with barely suppressed vitality. The progressive rock influence has for the most part been dialled back substantially, only really surfacing significantly on the epic, closing title track; the result is a much more immediate and focused album with more immediately hooky and memorable songs.Secrets Of Angels is the band’s first studio album with a new line-up, and it’s a testament to Jones’ deep understanding of the music he’s making that the new look Karnataka are so evidently a force to be reckoned with. The renewed emergy and sense of purposes within the band is exemplified by opener ‘Road To Cairo’, which fuses Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’ with Jones’ fine ear for an anthemic chorus. Powered along by a relentless, powerful rhythm, it fair leaps out of the speakers, a sharp contrast with previous albums that tended to open far more gently. Incredibly, this energy level is maintained throughout the next four tracks with barely any let-up: ‘Because Of You’ opens as if it will be a gothic ballad, but soon delivers huge power chords, a dynamite vocal from vocalist Hayley Griffiths, making her first appearance – hopefully the first of many – on one of the band’s studio albums, and one of guitarist Enrico Pinna’s most outré solos to date, a cascading wail of rage and frustration that will pin you to the nearest wall. ‘Poison Ivy’ goes straight for the jugular, its chanted verses and soaring chorus underpinned by a crunching riff and elaborate orchestrations, a pattern followed by the instantly addictive ‘Forbidden Dreams’, a sprightly rocker with a hugely memorable chorus that is certain to become a sing-along favourite for fans.The album continues with ‘Borderline’, a track with two faces: after opening with another suitably gothic flourish, all wind and a tolling church bell, it reveals itself as a chugging riff-based rocker, with a grimly accusatory lyric; however, the mood is utterly transformed by the distinctly pop chorus. Catharsis and hope in the face of adversity is perhaps Karnataka’s bread and butter, and ‘Borderline’ is an almost perfect distillation of that duality. It’s followed by the highly dramatic ‘Fairytale Lies’, which is reminiscent of Within Temptation at their most balefully reflective, a glorious concoction of tumbling keys and a striking string arrangement, topped off by a lyric that is superb in its cynical acceptance of reality and Griffiths’ astonishing vocal, a masterclass in mood and atmosphere. Yet the mood lifts once again with the penultimate track, ‘Feels Like Home’, a pretty, touching ballad about discovering “the one” that happily avoids the trap many ballads fall into – the cardinal sin of over-sentimentality. The way it develops is compellingly cinematic: as the song goes on, more and more layers are added to the music and the vocal, as if the virtual camera is pulling slowly back to reveal more and more of the stage. It ends in a cascade of harmony vocals, like embers from a firework display drifting back down to earth, and is possibly one of the best ballads the band have ever delivered.After all this drama, it would take something very special indeed not to be anticlimactic, but the title track itself – all twenty minutes of it – is certainly not that. Karnataka have shown themselves to be masters of longer pieces before, never falling into the self-conscious prog trap of simply pasting together a bunch of disparate pieces of music and hoping for the best. Although this magnum opus is comprised of seven separately numbered and titled parts – count ‘em! – it somehow manages to feel organically grown rather than stitched together in a lab. In many ways, it’s the ultimate distillation of what the new-look Karnataka are all about: we have folky, Celtic sections featuring guest appearances from Nightwish’s Troy Donockley; delicate balladry; a pounding symphonic metal interlude, and some outright prog courtesy of penultimate section ‘In The Name Of God’, which opens like Marillion in their pomp and steadily dials up the intensity. The effect is almost total sensory overload, and it will likely take many listens to unlock all the detail, musically and lyrically. Any piece of this length has to end strongly, and happily Karnataka have saved their ace in the hole for the dying moments of the album, as everyone pulls out all the stops for the grand finale. Pinna delivers one of his most devastating solos; Donockley serves up a Uillean pipe solo to die for, and the rhythm section get stuck in as Cagri and the assembled string section provide a backdrop of dizzying beauty for Griffiths to deliver possibly her finest vocal to date. It’s unspeakably moving, a beautiful lament for the losers on the battlefields of life and love that will quite likely require more than one handkerchief.It feels wrong to call current vocalist Hayley Griffiths the “new vocalist”, since she’s been touring with the band since very early in 2012. With a background in large musical productions (Irish dance spectaculars Riverdance and Lord Of The Dance both feature in her quite extensive CV), fronting a rock band was something completely new for Griffiths, and it isn’t perhaps surprising that the first batch of dates she undertook with the band – where the live release New Light was recorded – saw her nailing the demanding vocal parts without breaking a sweat, but looking slightly self-conscious on stage. As anyone who has seen the band recently will attest, any inhibitions that Griffiths may once have had on stage are long since gone, and that confidence has found its way onto the album, where she delivers a flawless, powerful performance. From fiery rock vocals to the lofty, operatic extreme of her range, Griffiths is perfectly on point throughout, as at home with riff-based rockers like ‘Road to Cairo’ and ‘Poison Ivy’ as she is with the gothic balladry of ‘Fairytale Lies’. It’s a bravura showcase for a highly gifted performer, and it’s practically impossible to come away from hearing her in action here not having reached the conclusion that she is the perfect foil for the band. Powerfully charismatic, hugely versatile and technically magnificent, her vocals on the closing title track in particular shame many better known female rock vocalists.Çağrı Tozluoğlu, on keys, is a similarly impressive recruit. Eschewing the more traditional progressive rock influences of previous keysman Gonzalo Carrera, Tozluoğlu brings a welcome modernity to the band. His soloing is sparsely used, but when it does appear (as on ‘Poison Ivy’), it’s wonderfully fluid. Where Tozluoğlu excels is in his shaping of mood and his orchestrations: his epic approach to arrangement means that this is the biggest-sounding Karnataka album to date. The danger of dialling up the drama is that sonically the music is weighed down until it sounds overwrought, but Tozluoğlu knows exactly when a bit more is too much. Nowhere is this more evident than in the expansive title track, where the gradual crescendoes and sudden juddering launches into explosive instrumental sections are handled with a very fine hand. Even as the song builds more and more layers upon Tozluoğlu’s musical architecture, it never feels like drama for the sake of drama; it all feels natural, logical.Last of the new arrivals is the most recent one, French drummer Jimmy Pallagrosi, whose performance here is frankly the stuff of future legend. With all the energy of progressive legends like Mike Portnoy, Pallagrosi’s explosive playing lends the material added potency and urgency whilst anchoring it to earth, playing a key role in giving it real weight and momentum. His Bonham-esque voyages around his kit during ‘Road to Cairo’ are a joy to hear; at the same time, his restraint on some of the quieter pieces – such as ‘Fairytale Lies’ – demonstrates a keen musicality and a knowledge of where to leave space for the music to breathe. In a world seemingly filled with drummers who appear to treat every song as a drum solo, Pallagrosi’s keen sense of dynamics is both refreshing and exactly what the material needs. He is, in short, the right drummer at the right time.Secrets Of Angels is a triumph. Wonderfully melodic, hugely dramatic without being in any way corny, varied in feel yet somehow effortlessly cohesive, beautifully recorded and mixed, and very sympathetically mastered, it is fairly easily the best-sounding album the band have made. The material is fabulously strong, and managed to both tread new ground and sound like ‘classic’ Karnataka at the same time – no mean feat, especially with all the new blood involved in its writing. As the epic title track draws to a breathless close, the listener may find themselves exhausted – drained by an album that runs the full gamut of emotions and leaves no stone unturned in its quest to powerfully move anyone who takes the time to sit down with it and listen. Hands down, the band’s finest hour, and a validation of the belief and skills of the new-look band. The only difficulty Karnataka now face is how to top it." = Echoes And Dust
    $21.00
  • "Unwritten Pages’ Noah is an album born out of a passion for progressive, driving music, concept albums and 80’s science-fiction film. It combines the broad musical taste of its creator Frederic Epe and the stylistic and unique musical backgrounds of each project member, reaching from rock and metal to Latin influences and more classical/score-oriented arrangements.The album features soaring guitars, fat organs and bone-breaking drums, as well as a healthy dose of retro. But most of all, it never loses its focus on unique and melody-driven song-writing. And it comes in the form of an ambitious story, told through the eyes of the vocalists and musicians.Noah tells the story of a boy born in the ruins of the futuristic Utopia City, and Maria, the daughter of a ruthless politician who has – literally – split Utopia City in half and driven the poor to a district known as LS01X. As the political climate escalates, a few hundred people from both sides of the city are forced to leave their home world and start a new life on Mars. Here, both Maria and the boy grow up in the middle of a rising conflict between two factions that are unwilling to ignore their grudge-ridden past. Noah features the talents of Damian Wilson (Threshold, Ayreon, Les Misérables), Karl Groom (Threshold, Shadowland), Davy Mickers (Stream of Passion, Ayreon), Alejandro Millán (Hello Madness, Stream of Passion) and many others."
    $3.00
  • 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
  • Remastered edition with bonus tracks."Jefferson Airplane's first live album demonstrated the group's development as concert performers, taking a number of songs that had been performed in concise, pop-oriented versions on their early albums -- "3/5's of a Mile in 10 Seconds," "Somebody to Love," "It's No Secret," "Plastic Fantastic Lover" -- and rendering them in arrangements that were longer, harder rocking, and more densely textured, especially in terms of the guitar and basslines constructed by Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady. The group's three-part vocal harmonizing and dueling was on display during such songs as a nearly seven-minute version of Fred Neil's folk-blues standard "The Other Side of This Life," here transformed into a swirling rocker. The album emphasized the talents of Kaukonen and singer Marty Balin over the team of Paul Kantner and Grace Slick, who had tended to dominate recent records: the blues song "Rock Me Baby" was a dry run for Hot Tuna, the band Kaukonen and Casady would form in two years, and Balin turned in powerful vocal performances on several of his own compositions, notably "It's No Secret." Jefferson Airplane was still at its best in concise, driving numbers, rather than in the jams on Donovan's "Fat Angel" (running 7:35) or the group improv "Bear Melt" (11:21); they were just too intense to stretch out comfortably. But Bless Its Pointed Little Head served an important function in the group's discography, demonstrating that their live work had a distinctly different focus and flavor from their studio recordings." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • After a 10 year absence Enchant are back.  The band started in 1993 making them one of the earliest prog metal band.  Actually they are sort of an interesting band in that they seem to exist in both the prog rock and prog metal realms.  Some metal fans think of them as a bit lightweight and some prog rock fans think they are too heavy!  One thing is for sure they are wildly successful.  This is definitely prog but it never loses sight of the melody.  Fronted by the great Ted Leonard (who is now doing double duty with Spock's Beard) this one is a no-brainer - whether you are metal or prog head.  "irst impressions are the similarities to Spock’s Beard. Hardly surprising since Ted Leonard has been singing with them since 2011. He’s been with Enchant longer; their first CD came out in 1993. And familiarity doesn’t breed contempt here, fortunately.Bay area progressive rockers, they steer a straight course composing guitar-structured songs that they extemporise over. Guitarist Douglas A Ott is also the band’s main producer, with The Great Divide having been recorded at his own studio, but if in the past the band’s followed his direction they’re now more involved after a ten year gap working on other projects. Also, while integral, Ott doesn’t dominate Enchant’s sound but flows in and out adding a hard rock bias to their generic musical flavouring. Drummer/percussionist Sean Flanegan and bassist Ed Platt have the solidity of early Kansas and musically there are some pretty snazzy and often too brief keyboard solos from Bill Jenkins.A rolling cyclical bass line forms the basis of opening number ‘Circles’ with Leonard pondering life going round well, like a circle – while the lyrics aren’t profound they feel right and though this isn’t a concept album, despite the band stating otherwise, there are common themes concerning the human condition in a loosely existential manner. Mainly straight verse and choruses ‘Circles’ breaks out into more complicated time signatures before an acoustic comes to the fore, vocals return, an electric guitar take over and it concludes with a nicely warm keyboard solo. ‘Within An Inch’ follows with a steady rock backbeat over which Ott’s playing echoes Camel’s Andy Latimer interrupted briefly by some John Ellis punk-styled sirening. ‘The Great Divide’ follows suit in a more epic manner, the arrangement akin to Genesis in their golden period.Enchant don’t play with the fairies, despite what their name suggests. If anything they’re two steps removed from an AOR sound leaning in towards early Asia with some latter day Beatles thrown in, and a less grandiose take on Spock’s Beard. One might refer to them as technically proficient rather than emotionally overwrought, meaning there is a heartfelt flavour to their songs, and they tend to grow on you.The subdued opening to ‘Life In A Shadow’ throws a brief curveball echoing the Canterbury sound of Hatfield & The North before a heavy chorded chorus takes this into a rocking tune with soulful harmonies. ‘Deserve To Feel’ pours on the technical drumming and dribbling triplet bass figures with some flashy pyrotechnics predominantly on guitar but with keen keyboard flourishes, moving into a more intricate musical score as Jenkins and Ott trade inspired lines towards its conclusion. Likewise, ‘Here And Now’ builds reflectively moving towards emotional drama.Finely composed, played well, Enchant’s The Great Divide might not have you falling under its spell, but you may well be surprised how you find yourself being drawn to playing it." - The Midland Rocks
    $13.00
  • "Whereas certain metal splinter genres like sludge and doom have found their requisite bands experimenting in ways that are still decidedly metal – or at least "extreme" by any measure – other areas such as black and post-metal see their own representatives in a practical race to see who can shed their extreme proclivities altogether. Alcest is one such band.Flirting with 90's indie rock trappings is nothing new for this French duo – essentially the one-man project of multi-instrumentalist Neige backed since 2009 by the drumming skills of Winterhalter – but Shelter is their first complete abandonment of metal altogether… there is nary a blastbeat, growl, nor brutal riff to be found anywhere on the album's concise 45-minute running time.That's not to say that Neige is reinventing the wheel, though; Shelter is a straightforward mix of 4AD dream pop and the type of ethereal post-rock that Explosions in the Sky are best known for… not to mention the gauzy shoegaze overlay that such an alchemy implicitly guarantees, of course.It sounds derivative on paper, but somehow Neige transcends his cookie cutter influences and produces a work of heart-stopping elegance and profundity. "Voix Sereines", in particular, is hands down the most plaintive and delicate work of the man's already illustrious career, a despondent lullaby of music box melodies and wistful singing that is fittingly placed in the middle of the track listing… it's the soul of the album, and belongs as its nucleus.The twang at the end of the guitar lines on the title track could – if taken out of context – herald the introduction of a new Mazzy Star single, but Alcest aren't quite that predictable. Twang aside there is no further evidence of roots rock assimilation, no blues aside from the heartache rendered potently clear in Neige's understated vocals. Nonetheless, this would make a fine crossover single aimed at whatever constitutes indie rock radio in 2014.Then again, so would "Away", which many reading this will insist even more a graceful composition than my pick of "Voix Sereines" above (those who aren't chastising the band for "going soft" in the first place, that is). I can't really argue that point, but all it does is prove what a deep bench Neige is culling for inspiration this go round.Perhaps the best evidence that Neige is not beholden to the orthodoxy of his influences is the way he builds toward a crescendo on album finale, "Délivrance". Rather than the ringing chimes that have become the hallmark of tension-building in post-rock (Explosions in the goddamn Sky), Neige shows restraint by settling for a very gradually rising chorus with subtle percussive acceleration. The final 2:30 minutes of the song consists of an unnecessary reprise, but in spite of contributing minor bloat it's still a fitting tribute to Neige's classical ambitions here.The word "masterpiece" gets thrown around a bit too frequently – often in service of albums that will be forgotten altogether a few years down the road – but if you can wrap your head around the fact that Alcest are no longer a metal band in any way, shape or form, Shelter is deserving of whatever hyperbole you care to throw at it." - Metal Injection
    $15.00
  • 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
  • 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
  • Reissue of the band's first album.  Fantastic progressive power metal with a strong spiritual message. Normally I'm not a big fan of the one-man-band concept but composer/singer/multi-instrumentalist Matt Smith really blew me away with this first time effort. Elements of Savatage, Queensryche, Symphony X and even Kansas pop up. Long epic sweeping tracks with lots of power and melody. Matt's proves he's got the voice and the chops to go far. Highly recommended.
    $13.00
  • "I know that an album is timeless when, after many years, I return to it and it still sounds fresh. This is what happen to me with ...and so we destroyed everything by Sleepmakeswaves. The instrumental post-rock four-piece band from Sydney is now back with another amazing album, Love Of Cartography, that, starting from the name itself and its fantastic album cover, proves the tendency the band has to map new creative directions within the instrumental rock framework.The new album was recorded in Byron Bay with producer Nick DiDia (Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Rage Against The Machine) after fans – and me of course among them - helped to raise over $30,000 through a Pozible campaign. I listened to Love Of Cartography many times before writing about it and, even now, 'Emergent' is playing fulfilling my room with its melody and creating a somber climax.The first thing you'll notice listening to Love Of Cartography is how the Aussie band has moved towards a electro-rock sound that is gonna blow your mind. As masters of meticulous instrumental rock, apocalyptic guitar landscapes, they spoiled us delivering great music, and Love Of Cartography is gloriously no different.Kid, Otto, Alex and Tim, again wonderfully demonstrate their ability to swap pursuing rhythmic sections with soothing ambient segments without losing a step. Love Of Cartography is full of emotional passages that captivate the listener more than the most beautiful mermaids.The journey through the ten tracks of Love Of Cartography starts with 'Perfect Detonator' that launches the listener into the Sleepmakeswaves's space. 'Perfect Detonator' is a complete listening experience, peppered with sonic leitmotifs that fold back onto themselves once the final chords are drowned out by silence. The exploration of this instrumental rock world by the Aussie band continues: ‘Traced in Constellation' flits between glitchy synths and shimmering guitars, whilst the short 'Singularity' unfolds as an interlude and creates a beautiful tension that explodes in the brilliant 'Emergent' that incorporates both post-rocky and electronic elements and suggests that there’s room for the old and the new Sleepmakeswaves's styles to coexist.'Emergent' has a slow-burning introduction but the band doesn't hesitate to proves that they have lost none of their appetite for noise and pursuing rhythm. This track is a journey within a journey; simply awesome.There’s space, too, for the band to expand upon loud-quiet dynamics; 'Great Northern' has a great mix of those segments and listening to it is pure joy. 'The Stars Are Stigmata' is of a bit heavier ride instead that brings us back to the Sleepmakeswaves's style we already adore. This track is as engaging as it is dramatic and the balance between acoustic and electronic elements is a killer.Passing through the soft 'A Little Spark' that invites quiet contemplation, we land onto 'Something Like Avalanches' that is a perfect track with its amazing guitar riffs. The journey through Love Of Cartography ends with the beautiful 'Your Time Will come Again' that blends in it several music genres and the outcome is a beautiful, notable electro-rock ballad. 'Your Time Will come Again' is a credible substitute for nirvana, demanding you to set yourself free from all corporeal existence. Your mind will thank you later.Love Of Cartography ends here but its music won't leave you. The journey is one way." - Echoes And Dust
    $15.00
  • This was a pleasant surprise and frankly a return to form. "Room V" is actually a sequel to 1998's "Tyranny" and in many ways betters it. I find the album to be a bit laid back - by Shadow Gallery standards. I would say that this leans more towards the prog rock side rather than metal reminding me of a heavier version of Glass Hammer although lots of similarities to Dream Theater are evident. The album is filled with warmth, perhaps due to the emphasis at times on keyboards. So this one straddles the line between symphonic rock and progressive metal doing both with panache - this one is easily recommended.
    $12.00
  • BLOW OUT PRE-PROGPOWER USA SPECIAL DEAL! Surprisingly great project from one of the founders of Savatage and forefathers of the entire progressive metal movement. To cut to the chase - this sounds more like Savatage than Savatage does these days. A must own for any Savatage fan - you will not be disappointed. LIMITED TIME SPECIAL PRICING
    $8.00
  • "Getting your head and ears around an Andromeda album can be a challenge. It's not that their music is perplexing, but it is often varied and eclectic. Consider the first two songs on their fifth album, Manifest Tyranny. Preemptive Strike is a short introductory piece of mostly heavy and thrash metal. The following Lies R Us slows the pace offering a melodic, yet heavy in parts, prog piece with a great melodic vocal arrangement. It's quite accessible. Okay then ...Expect more than a little intrigue throughout Manifest Tyranny. Stay Unaware offers an abundance of riffage, but also noticeable synth layers and solo. False Flag, the longest cut here, seems a moderation, like heavier prog rock (also noticeable on Survival of the Richest), but shifts and moves with the clever ease you expect from progressive music. Then there's simply some strange stuff. Chosen by God has a muted ethereal vocal arrangement, lots of riffage and synths, which evokes a lighter atmospheric motif. Then there's the integration of words (speeches) from political leaders. (This occurs throughout the album, often to the point of distraction.)The nuance of progressive rock returns later in Go Back to Sleep. It offers a lighter blend of electric and acoustic guitar, with a later synth solo, and some disturbing lyrics. Of note, this song displays David Fremberg's supreme vocal talents. Allowing some more convention and accessibility, Asylum offers complexity but provides a hard rock edge in the guitar solo. Play Dead and Antidote find Andromeda simply offering an arrangement of, sometimes heavy, but certainly complex and delectable progressive metal.With Manifest Tyranny, Andromeda continues to challenge and entertain. This is what a fan of progressive metal should expect: intrigue and enjoyment, and the need for more than one listen. Fans and critics will wonder if it's equal to, or better, than their critically acclaimed first outing Extension of the Wish (2001). Perhaps this is a question left to the fans or, perhaps, those who are braver than me. Strongly recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $14.00
  • Mutum is a phenomenal gothic metal band from Monterrey, Mexico.  Fronted by Myrthala Bray, the band creates an epic, symphonic metal sound very much from the same mold as Epica, After Forever, and Delain. Ms. Bray has a great voice (and looks to match) for this style of music.  The music has a bit of speed to it and there are some nice orchestrations that gives the music a larger than life feel.  Apparently 60 musicians were involved in the recording and it sounds it!  In an oversaturated female fronted metal scene, Mutum has immediately rises above the pack with their debut.  Highly recommended.
    $13.00