Return To Desolation

""Return to Desolation" is the third album from Canadian band Moonlyght. The album features 9 tracks of progressive dark metal with folk elements, melody, symphonics & lots of atmosphere. Clocking in at 71 minutes this is Moonlyght's grandiose masterpiece! There is literally something for every metal fan on this album. For fans of Barren Earth, Ensiferum, Ne Obliviscaris, Amorphis & Wintersun!"

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  • "“Oblivion” is the early episode of a conceptual saga set to be released in a trilogy format by this Multinational band called EXXILES, the man behind all that is the former REIGN OF THE ARCHITECT’s drummer Mauricio Bustamante (EVANGELIUM) from Mexico, he started working on his new production right after his departure from R.O.T.A. with a new goal in mind : Created a new entity under a variable geometry size, working as a band with a core of fellow Mexicain players, like guitar player Sergio Aguilar (AGORA), on Bass the talented Simon Rojas , Noel Martinez on keyboards or axeman Antonio Rivera (from the Death Metal band SOLITUDE) and a bunch of illustrious guests coming from every corner of the Prog Metal Universe, in order to form a community around a musical project with a strong focus on the human relationship notion.Of course the renowned musicians around Mauricio are coming from different area of the world and some are quite popular, as their original bands are among the most respected in the whole genre : namely SYMPHONY X / SAVATAGE / T.S.O./ REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE or CIRCUS MAXIMUS but also more underground but quite highly regarded such as COMMUNIC /AGORA or STREAM OF PASSION and to complete the team, some less known musicians yet hyper talented from the fertile Scandinavian ground, with members from LOST IN THOUGHTS/SPIRAL ARCHITECTS…Indeed, Øyvind Hægeland is brilliantly taking the Lead Vocal role on the odd timing driven pace of “Hopelessness”…Generous in circonvolutions and complex to the max!Musically very rich, it’s not easy to understand it at the first encounter, but I immediately discerned some obvious qualities, notably in the vocal department… Indeed the performances by Zak Stevens (CIRCLE II CIRCLE/ ex SAVATAGE) in the opening cut “A Better Legacy ” is convincing in his traditional majestic mode, but most of all the sonic enlightement comes from the great vocals provided by the Brazilian citizen Gus Monsanto (SYMBOLICA/ex ADAGIO /ex REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE / HUMAN FORTRESS) which are uppar with the most exigeant taste or in total coherence with the excessive perfectionism of some HM bloggers!This album will expand its qualities later, in a precise and clever way little by little, a long process to fully enjoy it in its fullness, the tagged identity is based around a Dark classy sound with some Melodic method and some intricate harmonic arrangements, more dramatic in the ambiances than it seems, while the smartness and the complex shape of their creative ways are updated by an evolutive style in a thick schema of Heaviness, and this intrepid proof of their capacity to created some unexpected ideas in a fresh theory and a regenerated light!Another great surprise is the Wilmer Waarbroek (already known from AYREON) vocal input at the end of the album in the duet of song “Awakening Part I (Dark Renaissance)”& “The Messenger”, ultra rewarding numbers, those songs along with Marcela Bovio in the Spanish song “Llorona” is another persuasive addition and a good alternative to the superb cast of vocalist!However, the superb singer Gus Monsanto is quite omnipresent while singing on 50% of the songs, this man is holding a serious set of pipes, giving a demonstration of his great polyvalency and contrast (“Page of the Night”), each track is well arranged, the succession of different pace is salvatory sharing some subtle progressive moments with some more Heavy spark in a very dense manners (the fantastic pair “Dictator of Trust”/”Anthem Of Lies”), some epic bombastic instrumental parts like in the unvocalized track “Entropy”,  a few piece of Prog Symphonic Metal with weird structure and some experimental orchestral sounds to create an impressive outcome, very well written with some incredible talented writing and utmost playing skills in every area, notably in the soloing sector, thanks to the guest appearances of some terrific players such as Mats Haugen (CIRCUS MAXIMUS) or David Grey (LOST IN THOUGHT) is the icing on the cake, the ultimate uplifting details to complete the whole .After the overflowing of essential releases in this genre, the ambitious EXXILES “Oblivion” first chapter is another good advice for the Smart-Metal-music avid fanatics and a tip for those who already missed PANTOMMIND ,,Searching For Eternity” or SOUL SECRET ,,4”…This time I hope my reminder will not fall into oblivion." - Metal Temple
    $12.00
  • Of all the Yes albums that needed a remix this is the one that needed it the most!"Relayer (1974) is the third in a series of remixed and expanded Yes albums.Presented as a double digi-pack format in a slipcase with booklet featuring new sleeve notes by Sid Smith, along with rare photos and archive material, the album has been remixed into stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound from the original studio masters by Steven Wilson and is fully approved by Yes.The DVDA also contains the original album mix in high-resolution, and a complete alternate album running order drawn from demos/studio run-throughsRestored artwork approved by Roger Dean, the release of which coincides with the 40th anniversary of the album’s original late 1974 appearance."
    $20.00
  • Four mammoth length drugged out tracks that will blast you off to the deepest part of the cosmos."The fifth instalment of the Cosmic odyssey on Paradigms. As as you will surely now expect, it's a potent kraut mammoth of the highest order. Four towering psych beasts inhabit this album, commanding 74 blissful minutes. You can hear one of them below.Only previously available on cassette, 'The Inner Sanctum' is now available as a luscious, limited digi-pak album, laden with glorious artwork and some of the band's hardest cuts. Only 500 of these wonders are available. THE COSMIC DEAD on top of their freak-out game, right here.."
    $16.00
  • "Iced Earth are going through a bit of a renaissance period at the moment. While they do have many hardcore fans who would defend their back catalogue to the end, honestly the heavy metal titans haven’t made a truly exciting album in about twenty years; that is, they hadn’t, until the release of 2011’s Dystopia. After two decades of putting out stale and generally uninteresting meat and potatoes heavy metal, finally they had an album that managed to match up to their first few records, one with the power and energy to justify their continued status as metal heroes. Plagues of Babylon is its follow-up, and thankfully they have managed to take this momentum forward and release another great album.Opening with the title track’s marching drum beat (strangely similar to Dystopia in that regard) and ominous harmonized leads, as soon as the heavy, chugging main riff kicks in it’s clear that this album is going to be a worthy successor. Noticeably, the production is very good, giving the guitars a sharp razor edge that albums like the totally flat The Glorious Burden lacked. Mainman Jon Schaffer churns out some of the best riffs in his career on this album, especially on the raging and thrashy Democide. Some new blood is brought in with an all new rhythm section, bassist Luke Appleton helping give the album its low-end crunch while drummer Raphael Saini (who was sadly since left) punctuates the songs with intricate tom patterns and ride cymbal work while maintaining a constant driving power. Stu Block meanwhile, who debuted as vocalist on Dystopia, continues to make sure that fan favourite Matt Barlow is not missed too much, his gruff voice helping give the songs a darker edge while his highs are utilised when appropriate, never being over-used.This is hardly perfect though. Plagues is a bit front-loaded, the second half never quite managing to match up to the first, especially considering it contains two somewhat unnecessary covers. The first is Spirit of the Times by Sons of Liberty, a Jon Schaffer side project, and you can’t help but question the logic in covering your own material, especially as aside from the darker and heavier overtones it’s not massively different from the original. The second, Highwayman by Jimmy Webb, is hardly electrifying either.That said, many of the problems that plagued previous Iced Earth efforts no longer show up. The obligatory cheesy metal ballad only appears once in If I Could See You, which is one of the better ones they’ve done, and only a couple of songs have a clean guitar intro, unlike on The Dark Saga where they appear on nearly every song. Iced Earth are a band who are at their best when they’re firing on all cylinders, and that is largely what they stick to here. With it’s almost death metal cover art, Plagues is for the most part a balls-out thrill ride, and honestly might be Iced Earth’s most complete work to date." - Sound And Motion Magazine
    $12.00
  • Third album from this Danish band is a futuristic concept album based on the book Hyperion by Dan Simmons. Manticora play mega-fast power metal that mixes US and European styles. At times it has the coarsness of Iced Earth and at other times there is a more produced symphonic feel.
    $12.00
  • Guitarist/vocalist Clay Withrow is the heart and soul behind Vangough.  He's made some fine albums in the past but this is clearly his best as you can tell that he's exerting more of his own vision.  The previous albums were fine slices of progressive metal, bu they were clearly influenced heavily by Pain Of Salvation.  While there is some of that early PoS feel, Between The Madness has more of Clay than Daniel.  Its very angst driven music - from the vocals to the grinding guitar solos.  This is one pissed off band.  Its a non-stop prog metal roller coaster ride.  BUY OR DIE!"Over the last two full-length albums leading up to this, the band’s most important release, one thing is strikingly clear: Vangough has been eating their Wheaties. Whereas the last album couldn't find its center of gravity despite merits and high replay value, "Between The Madness" bridges the gap between Vangough's left brain and right brain. Moreover, the band feels much more balanced with the addition of drummer Kyle Haws. Further, it sounds like mastermind Clay Withrow had pushed himself beyond his limits to expand the Vangough tone palate.On the “Acoustic Scars” EP, Withrow developed a vocal technique that finds full maturation on "Between The Madness:” the rage-sing. Almost a yell, but neither a scream nor a simple vocal fry and free of any pitch interference, Withrow's rage-sing makes the lyrical intent as clear as it can be. The album offers bile to many parties, lyrically, and puts the listener behind a sometimes uncomfortable but necessary first-person perspective: any other perspective simply would not do justice to the intent. Vangough has always been more effective at conveying feelings than telling stories, but never before had the songs had such a natural novel-like flow to them. All the while, Withrow peppers his versatile clean singing with elaborate layers of harmony and polyphony, making for subtly different listening experiences each time.The overall sound hasn't drastically changed, and even shows some musical nods to prior songs. In "Vaudeville Nation," a scathing condemnation of a track, a clever link is established with "Mannikin Parade" around 4:28. The main melody of the latter is re-introduced on guitars in a straight-played manner. Later in the song, a similar "Mannikin Parade" vocal melody emerges in the line "...and burn the circus to the ground," and up through the yell following it. Further, continuing the storyline started with "Road To Blighttown" on the “Acoustic Scars” EP, "Depths of Blighttown" adds a fitting dark and ominous chapter to the story.The added input from Haws and bassist Jeren Martin have made the songs seem more logical, acting as balancing forces. The drumming style of Haws is noticeably organized, nuanced, and thought-out and could be accurately categorized as a blend of the styles of Lamb of God's Chris Adler, Opeth-era Martin Lopez, and Pain of Salvation-era Johan Langell. The mixing job by Sterling Winfield is a stunning step forward for the band as well, and the drum sound is particularly remarkable for its bright, punchy, but balanced character. Lead guitarist Jay Gleason makes several shred-tastic appearances to accentuate the technicality of Vangough's instrumentation, while Justus Johnston and Jose Palacios make appearances on strings to further amplify the feeling of the songs and add a superb creep factor touching on Resident Evil levels at times.No song feels out of place or unessential, with "Infestation," "Schizophrenia," "Vaudeville Nation," "Useless," and "Corporatocracy" as highlights. The dynamic growth between “Kingdom of Ruin” and “Between The Madness” makes this album out to be Vangough's “Blackwater Park,” what many will no doubt cite as the band’s seminal record. Put simply, there has never been a better time to jump off of whatever progressive metal train you've been on and ride with Vangough. "Into the dark I take you," Withrow jabs at us. Make sure your seatbelts are securely fastened." - Metal Underground
    $11.00
  • With each successive release the question always is asked – How will the Tipton Brothers top their last album? The band’s fifth album, Dark Deceiver, is another jaw-dropping achievement of technical metal. The quartet of Jasun Tipton, Troy Tipton, Mike Guy, and Chris Salinas take their “chops from hell” attitude to a new level. In creating Zero Hour, the brothers envisioned a dark, heavy, emotional vibe, expressed through intricate arrangements, forceful vocals, and meaningful lyrics.2006 found the band in a curious situation. Although they were attracting attention and accolades around the world they were in need of a new vocalist. The problem was solved by the arrival of noted vocalist Chris Salinas, formerly of Power Of Omens. The resulting album “Specs Of Pictures Burnt Beyond” met with stellar reviews, a US tour and a headlining slot at the Headway Festival in Netherland. The year culminated in the band’s third appearance at ProgPower USA in Atlanta – the largest progressive metal festival in the world.For the recording of their new album the band once again collaborated with producer Dino Alden. Dark Deceiver finds the band experimenting with their already defined sound. The compositions are more technical than before. Alden took advantage of Salinas’ incredible vocal talents to apply some interesting and dramatic treatments, creating something very different from their previous recordings. This is without question the band’s crowning moment.
    $13.00
  • "This album was recorded soon after the band's legendary concert on the steps of the Reichstag in Berlin in 1980 and includes the emotive 'In Memory Of The Martyrs' and the hit 'Life Is For Living'.This reissue has been newly remastered from the original master tapes, includes two bonus tracks and features a booklet that fully restores all original album artwork with a new essay by BJH experts Keith and Monika Domone."
    $17.00
  • "Countdown To Revenge is album number five from Italian metallers Hollow Haze, a band who’ve been rattling out grandiose metal since 2003 but never getting the recognition they deserved. Mind you, gigs with German metal kings Accept certainly did them more good than harm, and this 11-track affair comes straight out of the box writhing like a metallic serpent, bolstered by the venomous vocals of Fabio Lione (Rhapsody Of Fire / Vision Divine).This is the first Hollow Haze platter to showcase the soaring talents of renowned frontman Lione, who replaces Alex Sonato, the singer on the band’s last two records, including the critically acclaimed Poison In Black (2012). For me, Lione is a marked improvement on Sonato, having a far greater and certainly more epic range for this style of powerful, majestic metal.This sort of metal can be an acquired taste due to its orchestral drama and polished feel. Hollow Haze, among numerous others (often European), are certainly one of the more adequate bands carving out this type of vast, melodic metal landscape. Any fan of hard-hitting metal should certainly give this record a spin as well, though.Firstly – and revisiting that vocal style – we’re hearing a set of lungs that combines the glorious heights of Ronnie James Dio and Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) with a more modern, epic range. These strengths are complimented by the clean orchestrations of Antarktica and the Wintermoon Orchestra which, rightly so, give the platter an icy, clinical feel as Nick Savio’s guitars chisel out those huge valleys of sound.Storming in after a brief orchestral intro (‘Room 212’), album opener ‘Watching In Silence’ adopts all the theatrical nuances one would expect from such heroic metal. Hollow Haze have always been an ambitious band, keen to tell their tales by way of lush arrangements and stately dynamics. The band keeps the drama going with the pacey ‘Still Alive’, a track which combines classical preparations with a thrashy drum and ominous guitar chug.Clearly Fabio Lione has found his fiery home with Hollow Haze, his voice slipping in without trace of any cracks as ‘No Rest For The Angels’ sweeps into the room, evoking images of grand halls and luxurious tapestries unfolding. It’s the sort of track that would need to be heard to be believed live; the solos are punchy, the drums racy and again the vocals soaring into the zenith – Lione aided by Rick Altzi (At Vance / Masterplan / ex-Thunderstone) – to create another vast landscape of sound.With this type of album, it’s always difficult to pick out a favourite track because there is always a conceptual feel about proceedings due to the textures and overlying drama. For instance, ‘Life Has No Meaning’ – one of the more melodically subtle tracks on the opus – is far removed from the pounding eight-minute title track, but both songs are testament to a band and its ability to create moods and sprawling pastures.There are certainly sceptics within the metal fraternity who would deem this sort of heavy metal as being over the top in its quest for atmosphere. I can see where they’d be coming from, but in small doses bands such as Hollow Haze need to be experienced. After all, how can one fault the reflective symphonies of ‘Il Tempo del Fuoco’ or the Helloween-styled power metal soar of ‘A Fading Angel’s Life’? It’s metal at its purest, metal which doesn’t rely on anything remotely evil or weighty to deliver its message.Hollow Haze may be stuck within hair metal pomp and goth-laced histrionics and theatre, but for some this is what makes metal such a tour de force. Hats off to mix-master Sascha Paeth (Avantasia) for giving Countdown To Revenge such a clean, yet furious sound, and let’s hope Hollow Haze keep hold of Fabio Lione – this guy has added an extra dimension to that already flourishing landscape." - Metal Forces Magazine
    $15.00
  • "To be in a band remotely related to the realms of Progressive and Power, is to be an immensely accomplished instrumentalist in your own right. However, it is all too easy for entire bands to be lost in the sea of generic driven mass, regardless of the title of 'progressive', swamped in unusual and atonal melodic progressions and multi-rhythmic drumming. Sometimes even the lyrics can become a drawl; who wants to hear about the same knight fighting the same dragon across 10 different bands? This is where Floridians SKYLINER come into play, ablaze with fresh ideologies, tried-and-true Power Metal establishments with Progressive embellishments, and very real lyrical philosophies.The intro track blew me away with its eerie soundscape and powerful vocal delivery, not unlike a cross between VOLBEAT's Michael Poulsen and ex-ICED EARTH vocalist Matthew Barlow. Pulling no punches is "Symphony in Black" delivering a speedy and uplifting cascade of riffs steeped in creative melodies. Jake delivers a unique vocal effort, sticking to an aggressive Heavy Metal approach with unusual, yet catchy inflections in his melodies. "Forever Young" is a powerful track that hits home with passages evolving in both speed and technicality, with abrupt crescendos marked by drastic blast-offs in tempo; an incredibly solid track with creative drumming and even more diverse vocal performances.I would devote a significant portion of my writing towards the epic "Worlds of Conflict", wherein the lads "pulled a DREAM THEATER" and wrote an enormous, 21-minute track. Rarely does one hear something of such epic proportions. Never stale, it seamlessly weaves in and out of passages of their own individuality that coalesce into powerful crescendos, or on the other hand may diverge into various sentient soundscapes. The bass work in this track is thoroughly impressive, going past a meat-and-potatoes approach to offer an astounding array of dynamics to add to a track that would ordinarily require a great amount of fleshing-out. I stress, this is not something you would chuck on to fit the mood. Absorb it, and embrace it.Individually, the tracks are excellent. The 21 minute monster is at a masterpiece level, I cannot get enough of it. If I had a single qualm it would be that each of the tracks are 'too' different from the next, that the album feels more like a collection of works as opposed to, well, an 'album'. But then, I could be wrong; I could be too used to listening to 2-hour, drawlish concept albums. It is my belief that the end product was their 100% intention. They have done this right." - Metal Temple
    $15.00
  • Third album from this excellent Norwegian band.  Arabs In Aspic is yet another prog band influenced by the sounds of the 70s.  Lots of similarities to Black Bonzo.  Vintage keyboard sounds and nice heavy-ish guitar leads.  Vocalist Rune Sundby of the 70s Norwegian band Ruphus guests.  That band would be a pretty good comparison but you can definitely hear undercurrents of Uriah Heep and Deep Purple but there is more going on here. On the longer, jammier tracks the music takes on the psychedelic feel of Echoes period Pink Floyd.  Beautifully done.  Highly recommended.
    $24.00
  • "Skewered blasts of noisome, Red metal shatters through rough and tumble landscapes of shuddering percussion, ominous, gravelly basslines and wheezing synths. An all-instrumental bulldozer of an album..." – i/eHappy Family first appeared in the early 1990s as part of the explosion of exciting, underground bands that came roaring out of Japan at that time, such as Ruins, Bondage Fruit, Tipographica and Boredoms.An instrumental quartet of keyboards, guitar, bass and drums, they released two albums of over-the-top, metal, King Crimson & Magma influenced avant-progressive rock for Cuneiform Records in 1995 (Happy Family) & 1997 (Toscco) and then fell silent...until now!Reforming with 3 of the 4 members of the group who appeared on Tossco:Kenichi Morimoto - keyboardsTakahiro Izutani - guitarKeiichi Nagasse - drumsand with new bassist Hidemi Ichikawa, 15 years later, they are back with a fantastic new release, Minimal Gods, and just as heavy and intense as they ever were and they still sound like no one else except Happy Family!
    $15.00