Revolutions

SKU: 200105
Label:
Tiger Moth
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Superb double album debut from this female fronted symphonic rock band. Magenta was put together by former Cyan leader Rob Reed and also features Fyreworks drummer Tim Robinson. Lead vocalist Christina sounds remarkably like Annie Haslam (for real!). The disc is filled with epic tracks that run the gamut of influences from Renaissance to Genesis and Yes.

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  • 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
  • "The Jefferson Airplane opened 1967 with Surrealistic Pillow and closed it with After Bathing at Baxter's, and what a difference ten months made. Bookending the year that psychedelia emerged in full bloom as a freestanding musical form, After Bathing at Baxter's was among the purest of rock's psychedelic albums, offering few concessions to popular taste and none to the needs of AM radio, which made it nowhere remotely as successful as its predecessor, but it was also a lot more daring. The album also showed a band in a state of ferment, as singer/guitarist Marty Balin largely surrendered much of his creative input in the band he'd founded, and let Paul Kantner and Grace Slick dominate the songwriting and singing on all but one cut ("Young Girl Sunday Blues"). The group had found the preceding album a little too perfect, and not fully representative of the musicians or what they were about, and they were determined to do the music their way on Baxter's; additionally, they'd begun to see how far they could take music (and music could take them) in concert, in terms of capturing variant states of consciousness.Essentially, After Bathing at Baxter's was the group's attempt to create music that captured what the psychedelic experience sounded and felt like to them from the inside; on a psychic level, it was an introverted exercise in music-making and a complete reversal of the extroverted experience in putting together Surrealistic Pillow. Toward that end, they were working "without a net," for although Al Schmitt was the nominal producer, he gave the group the freedom to indulge in any experimentation they chose to attempt, effectively letting them produce themselves. They'd earned the privilege, after two huge hit singles and the Top Five success of the prior album, all of which had constituted RCA's first serious new rock success (and the label's first venture to the music's cutting edge) since Elvis Presley left the Army. The resulting record was startlingly different from their two prior LPs; there were still folk and blues elements present in the music, but these were mostly transmuted into something very far from what any folksinger or bluesman might recognize. Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen, and Jack Casady cranked up their instruments; Spencer Dryden hauled out an array of percussive devices that was at least twice as broad as anything used on the previous album; and everybody ignored the length of what they were writing and recording, or how well they sang, or how cleanly their voices meshed. The group emerged four months later with one of the rawest, most in-your-face records to come out of the psychedelic era, and also a maddeningly uneven record, exciting and challenging in long stretches, yet elsewhere very close to stultifyingly boring, delightful in its most fulfilling moments (which were many), but almost deliberately frustrating in its digressions, and amid all of that, very often beautiful.The album's 11 songs formed five loosely constructed "suites," and it didn't ease listeners into those structures. Opening "The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil" (a Kantner-authored tribute to Fred Neil) amid a cascading wash of feedback leading to a slashing guitar figure, the band's three singers struggle to meld their voices and keep up. A softer, almost folk-like interlude, highlighted by Slick's upper-register keening, breaks up the beat until the guitar, bass, and drums crash back in, with a bit of piano embellishment. Then listeners get to the real break, an almost subdued interlude on the guitars, and a return to the song at a more frenzied pitch, the guitar part dividing and evolving into ever more brittle components until a crescendo and more feedback leads to "A Small Package of Value Will Come to You, Shortly." This brilliantly comical and clever percussion showcase co-authored by Spencer Dryden and the band's manager, Bill Thompson, is a million miles beyond any drummer's featured number in any popular band of that era, and it leads into Marty Balin's "Young Girl Sunday Blues," the most rhythmically consistent song here and one of a tiny handful of moments that seem to slightly resemble the band's past work. The aforementioned tracks comprise just the first suite, designated "Steetmasse.""The War Is Over" suite opens with "Martha," the album's folk-style interlude, almost a throwback to the group's original sound, except that the listener suddenly finds himself in the midst of a psychedelic delirium, heralded by the dissonant accompaniment and a high-energy fuzztone guitar solo (spinning out sitar-like notes) coming out of nowhere and a speed change that slows the tempo to zero, as though the tape (or time, or the listener's perception of it) were stretching out, and the pounding, exuberant "Wild Tyme," a celebration of seemingly uninhibited joy. "Hymn to the Older Generation" is made up of Kaukonen's "The Last Wall of the Castle," an alternately slashing and chiming guitar pyrotechnic showcase that rivaled anything heard from Jimi Hendrix or the Who that year, and Grace Slick's gorgeous "Rejoyce," a hauntingly beautiful excursion into literary psychedelia, whose James Joyce allusions carry the Lewis Carroll literary allusions of the previous album's "White Rabbit" into startlingly new and wonderful (if discursive) directions and depths. "How Suite It Is" opens with the album's single, the lean, rhythmic "Watch Her Ride," whose pretty harmonies and gently psychedelic lyrics persuaded RCA that this was their best shot at AM airplay and, true to form on an album filled with contradictions, it leads into "Spare Chaynge," the crunching, searing, sometimes dirge-like nine-minute jam by Kaukonen, Dryden, and Casady that wasn't ever going to get on AM radio -- ever -- and, indeed, might well initially repel any Airplane fan who only knew their hit singles. "Shizoforest Love Suite" closes the album with Slick's "Two Heads," with its vocal acrobatics and stop-and-go beat, and "Won't You Try"/"Saturday Afternoon," the latter Kantner's musical tribute to the first San Francisco "Be-In" (memorialized more conventionally by the Byrds on "Renaissance Fair"); it features many of the more subdued, relaxed, languid moments on the record, divided by a killer fuzz-laden guitar solo.Needless to say, this is not the album by which one should start listening to this band -- "Spare Chaynge" remains an acquired taste, a lot more aimless than, say, the extended jams left behind by the Quicksilver Messenger Service, though it did point the way toward what Kaukonen and Casady would aim for more successfully when they formed Hot Tuna. But most of the rest is indisputably among the more alluring musical experimentation of the period, and Kantner's "The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil" and "Watch Her Ride," as well as Balin's "Young Girl Sunday Blues," proved that the group could still rock out with a beat, even if not so prettily or cleanly as before. [After Bathing at Baxter's was represented poorly on CD until 1996, when it was finally reissued in an upgraded edition, which was later deleted and was only available as part of the bizarre 2001-vintage Ignition box. It has since been remastered again, with very important, downright essential bonus tracks, as of 2003. Additionally, After Bathing at Baxter's was the last Jefferson Airplane album to appear in a mono version, which sounds very different than the more common stereo mix, and has yet to show up on CD." -All Music GuideRemastered edition with bonus tracks. 
    $7.00
  • "Ashent, an Italian Progressive Metal band, return in 2012 with their third release, Inheritance. This being a milestone for any band, it also sees Ashent returning after a period of change, with changes in the band's lineup. After the 2009 release of Deconstructive, Ashent announced three new members would be filling in: Titta Tani (Goblin,Daemonia, ex-Necrophagia, ex-DGM) on lead vocals, Gilles Boscolo on keyboards and Alessandro Cossu on second guitar. And so, with lineup changes like these, it comes as no surprise that Ashent are redefining themselves a bit. Inheritance finds Ashent taking a very unique stance on Progressive Metal, melding together various styles and sounds to create a somewhat unusual blend. Along with what might be considered the "typical" combination of Progressive Metal instruments with heavy guitars and synths, Ashent mixes in some Mellotron, Hammond, and Saxophone. This gives their sound an almost Neo Prog take on Progressive Metal. And dynamically, Ashent swings between more atmospheric and mellow sections to some louder, chaotic blends. Ashent has a way of using chord progressions where they fill every chord out to the point of almost bursting, adding dissonant tones to the more conventional structures. This is not only achieved with the instrumentation (often combining atmospheric keyboards that are reminiscent of Devin Townsend with some heavy, rhythmic guitars) but also with some very full harmonies in the vocals. Add to this a very dynamic rhythm section, and the music can at times be a little overwhelming. And Ashent deploys many different textures throughout the album, with modern synths, orchestral parts, sequencers, choirs, and even some fusion, making for a very dynamic experience. All this combined also gives them a sound that has a very new, crisp and modern feel to it. This is definitely an album that breaks the mold, and as such will leave some scratching their heads, while others will praise it highly." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $14.00
  • This Japanese edition comes with two bonus tracks: "Lonely" and "Sweet Enclosure".
    $15.00
  • 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
  • Dial is the new project put together by Kristoffer Gildenlow upon his departure from Pain Of Salvation. His partners are Liselotte Hegt and Rommert van der Meer, formerly of Dutch prog metal band Cirrha Niva. The music has a modern feel with emphasis on mood and textures. I'm reminded a bit of Kate Bush. Some nice male/female harmonies. The band is rounded out by Elegy drummer Dirk Bruinenberg with contributions on vocals by Devon Graves (Dead Soul Tribe). Certainly a bit different and nothing at all like PoS.
    $3.00
  • The third and final album of the Blackmore/Dio marriage was a fine one. "Gates Of Babylon" and "Kill The King" and the title track are now timeless classics of hard rock.
    $5.00
  • US prog band's classic third album remastered. Comes with two bonus tracks - demos of "Child Of Innocence" and "It's You".
    $5.00
  • One of the great hard rock albums of the 70s.  After Uli Jon Roth left the band he was replaced by Matthias Jabs.  His guitar technique was far removed from the neoclassical stylings of Roth, taking a more traditional hard rock/melodic metal approach.  Returning to the fold is Rudi's brother Michael Schenker.  With streamlined songwriting it all comes together.  A non-stop killer.
    $5.00
  • Remastered edition."Adding a new rhythm guitarist, Dire Straits expands its sounds and ambitions on the sprawling Love Over Gold. In a sense, the album is their prog rock effort, containing only five songs, including the 14-minute opener "Telegraph Road." Since Mark Knopfler is a skilled, tasteful guitarist, he can sustain interest even throughout the languid stretches, but the long, atmospheric, instrumental passages aren't as effective as the group's tight blues-rock, leaving Love Over Gold only a fitfully engaging listen." - Allmusic Guide
    $8.00
  • At this point with The Flower Kings on hiatus, Jonas Reingold's "other" band Karmakanic has stepped up to the plate and assumed the mantle of Swedish neo kings. Highly melodic - dare I say catchy? - with chops from hell. Goran Edman is a great vocalist that is chameleon-like in his ability to fit in with a prog rock or metal band. When will Lalle Larsson get acknowledged as one of the best keyboardists in progressive music? This guy continues to amaze. Reingold sounds like he's strapped on a Rickenbacker and is out-Squiring the old man. Fans of The Flower Kings and Spock's Beard need to get on board if they already haven't. These guys throw it down with the best of 'em. Highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • "Maxi Nil (ex Visions of Atlantis) and Raphael Saini (ex Iced Earth) after touring the world and captivating audiences along the way, decided to join forces and re enter the music world as Jaded Star!Exploding with energy, experience and drive the band's debut album "Memories From The Future" is ready.Produced by Maxi Nil, mixed and mastered by Fredrik Nordstrom at the legendary Fredman Studios in Sweden, this album showcases Maxi's electrifying vocals and the masterful drum work Saini is known for.Guitar hero Kosta Vreto with his unique finger strumming style, eschews the plectrum in favor of a raw, organic sound that literally comes straight through his hands. Babis Nikou on the bass brings a solid foundation and the chemistry between he and Maxi as the song writing team provides emotion to match the power of the sound.The elements are there, the forces have aligned, the Jaded Star is ready to shine!" 
    $13.00
  • "This is something of a family album, co-credited to Paul Kantner and his wife, Grace Slick, and featuring on its cover a photograph of their infant daughter, China. It also features the family of San Francisco Bay Area musicians, including David Crosby, Graham Nash, Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, and other current members of Jefferson Airplane and future members of Jefferson Starship. Its style of loosely arranged acid rock music and radical left political lyrics is similar to such recent albums as the Kantner/Starship Blows Against the Empire (December 1970) and the Airplane's Bark (August 1971), which were made by most of the same players. But Kantner and Slick's usual stridency is not counterbalanced by substance as much as on earlier efforts, perhaps because they were making too many albums too quickly to keep up the quality of their songwriting. Still, anyone who enjoys the sweet-and-sour unison singing of X's John Doe and Exene Cervenka should listen to Sunfighter to see where they got it from." - Allmusic Guide
    $8.00
  • James LaBrie once again that there is life outside of Dream Theater.  His solo band features a stable lineup consisting of Matt Guillory (keyboards), Marco Sfogli (guitars), Ray Riendeau (bass), Peter Wildoer (drums, death vox).  Jens Bogren once again mixed. An interesting twist to the mix is the inclusion of Soilwork's Peter Wichers who contributes some guitarwork and also collaborated on songwriting with LaBrie.While the music is square on prog metal and all in all not too dissimilar to Dream Theater its different enough to have its own vibe.  Wildoer's coarse vocal approach offers an interesting counterbalance to LaBrie's upper midrange clean voice.  The limited digipak edition comes with two bonus tracks.  Highly recommended.
    $13.00