Room V

SKU: 40952
Label:
Inside Out
Category:
Metal/Hard Rock
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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.

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  • "Kenny “Rhino” Earl is involved in two projects this year (so far). One is the new metal super group Death Dealer with Sean Peck, Stu Marshall, and Ross the Boss, offering their debut War Master. The other is this album Thundergod, the second appearance of his band Angels of Babylon.The two project are interesting juxtaposition in heavy metal. The former is bombastic, punch you in the face, kick you in the balls, even coarse, heavy metal. Thundergod is more towards melodic heavy and power metal. The emphasis in the metal here is more melody and harmony, while still remaining powerful and driven.Frankly, this is the more favorable, and accessible, of the two projects. For one thing, against the Death Dealer project and for AoB, you won't feel a need to take a break from this album because it's sledghammering your head into mush. Rhino takes a different approach in his songwriting, persuading you not only with metal, but a hard rock groove and an abundance of overt uncompromising melody. You get this throughout, but welcome, notable and enjoyable in Sondrio, Queen Warrior, True Brothers, or the racing metal rocker, Bullet. Sure AoB can get rougher, heavier, with The Enemy or King of All Kings, but it's never at the expense of good melody. This formula allows for some songs to develop into anthems with an epic feel with Redemption and Turning the Stone. Additionally, Rhino handles all the vocals on this album, and also adds to the timbre of the music with his melodic metal vocal style. Frankly, Thundergod is top notch melodic heavy metal. Very recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $15.00
  • "A more ruminative effort than Sanguine Hum’s well-regarded 2010 debut, The Weight of the World is post-prog in both the most “post” and the most “prog” sense of the words.Recorded at Evolution studios in Oxford, The Weight of the World finds Joff Winks, Matt Baber, Brad Waissman and Andrew Booker absorbing, and then brilliantly modifying, some of the best of what’s come before, imbuing The Weight of the World with the impressive gravitas of very familiar antecedent influences.For instance, dreamscape reminiscences associated with Radiohead (“System For Solution”) find a home here. There are whispers of Steven Wilson (“From The Ground Up”), too. You’ll recall the wonders of Gentle Giant (“Phosfor”), and the mesmerizing sound collages of Boards of Canada (“Day of Release”), as well. Yet, on free-form, ambient-meets-jazz-meets-math rock moments like “In Code,” Sanguine Hum never sounds like anything so much as itself.That holds true even when the band swerves into the murkier waters of epic songcraft, though — like much of this project — the title track takes shape slowly, or at least more slowly than Diving Bell. As it does, however, there is a lot to recommend about The Weight of the World — so much that reveals itself, so much that rewards repeated listenings.Even as its most complex, Sanguine Hum retains an approachability that steers these proceedings well away from any polyester-era excesses. In other words, The Weight of the World remains all proggy, but also all post-y — in the very smartest of ways." - Something Else! Reviews
    $15.00
  • "Chapters From A Vale Forlorn is Falconer's second studio album, they play mostly mid-tempo power metal with some slight Folk influences. Their vocalist, Mathias Blad strongly reminds me of a medieval bard. The bass guitar just accompanies the vocals while the guitarist basically just does as he likes, starting or ending interesting riffs and soloing in the middle of a chorus or a verse. This makes Falconer an extremely interesting band to listen to, it also gives them a quite playful edge. The drum machine just kind of trots along, sometimes a bit slower and sometimes a bit faster, but it doesn't sound as annoying as drum machines often tend to do. The keyboard is only used very seldom and when it is used it is only to contribute to the atmosphere. They also use flute, Hammond organ, piano and violin to add depth to their music on a few songs.The weak point of this album though, is the bad production; this especially shows on the beautiful ballad "Portals Of Light" of which I'm sure it would sound twice as good with the production a song like this deserves. Their lyrics are about the hardships of medieval times and the greed of the church, however a lot of the passages also remind of modern life. The lyrics are presented in the form of a few neat metaphors "If you look hard you'll see me in the sky, showing you the light that now is for sale. Don't you hesitate, but buy yourself a Grail."This is clearly one of those CD's which you can listen to over and over again. The songs are rich in variation, ranging from slow ballads, to fast and very catchy songs and tracks with very folkish passages. Despite the use of a drum machine even the drumming has quite some variation. When listening to this CD you will almost always find something new, a strange guitar note you didn't notice before, a nice flute tone in the background accompanying the singing, a change of time signature, anything. This album is so full of such things that listening to it will never get boring.All in all what we have here is a catchy power metal band with good lyrics, not at all cheesy, some folk influences and a very playful attitude. Definitely a band I would recommend not only to all fans of power metal but also to fans of folk metal or traditional metal; actually this is a band I would recommend to just about anyone." - Metal Storm
    $12.00
  • "The empire of the eminent Floor Jansen strikes back with an absolute startling release, a great surprise for all lovers of modern female fronted sound and an inescapable altercation towards anyone protesting against trying new and versatile notions. Set for release on August 23rd via Nuclear Blast, “Wild Card” really blew me away, in a level that my mind started whirling with the bands mesmerism in creating a very fresh and present album.After three years of agonizing waiting time, the down to earth yet class plethoric Symphonic/Melodic Metal act’s sophomore release settles down in the average CD player; revealing the hermetic catalyst of music to an extent that time-dimension seems unable to debilitate the magic of cardinal passion. And there’s a lot of passion and energy in “Wild Card“.Guided by Joost van den Broek, the band manage to conserve the known REVAMP vibe present in each and every single note performed, resulting to a set of eleven shining tracks full of charisma, sentiment and individuality. However “Wild Card” is by far heavier and much more aggressive than the 2010s self-titled debut album. Definitely guitar oriented and featuring one of the best vocal performances ever recorded in the history of heavy metal music. The compositions are quite variegated providing an intense kaleidoscopic view of interpretation by the listener.You can tell Floor Jansen had the need to redeem herself after her illness and thus resulted lyrically into some heavy stories and very personal experiences in which the Symphonic Metal Queen let out of her system with some quite openhearted screams and massive growls. Floor’s vocals are indeed very diverse and there’s not a single blemish throughout the record. From operatic, melodic lines to straight forward metal vocals, to grunting and growling everything is extremely powerful and it matches the albums violent music.Talking about music, “Wild Card” has a monstrous industrial atmosphere all around and it’s breaking new grounds to the sound of female fronted bands. The production is exquisite and it meets the bands polished songwriting, which makes me a very happy customer! Keyboard solos and compound synth sounds are everywhere to be found and together with the abundant heavy guitar riffs, make for a solid foundation in which bass and drums encircle beautifully.“Wild Card” features a plethora of guest musicians; to begin with, Devin Townsend sings on the track “Neurasthenia” which is part three of “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown” theme-song and he sounds amazing, then there’s Mark Jansen (EPICA) who delivers some terrifying growls on the song “Misery’s No Crime“. In addition to that, Marcela Bovio (STREAM OF PASSION) and Daniel de Jongh (TEXTURES) recorded the choir parts and harmonies together with Floor and that really adds to the whole Metal feel of the record. Finally Johan van Stratum (STREAM OF PASSION) was recruited last minute to record the bass for “Wild Card” and he did a splendid job if I may say.Thanks to the extreme variety in REVAMP’s “Wild Card“, there’s not a single dull moment overall and with every listening session I find myself discovering more and more in each song; and that’s a wonderful feeling and really what makes “Wild Card” a first-class album. Highlights include “Wild Card“, “Distorted Lullabies“, “Amendatory“, “Misery’s No Crime“, “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: Neurasthenia” and my personal favorites “Precibus” and “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown’: On The Sideline“. Honestly though, you should listen to the entire album back to back.The CD cover is quite remarkable as well. Definitely recognizable by REVAMP fans due to its connection with the debut album, the dual nature of the Queen of Hearts is a strong image which relates to the music in such drastic and fascinating ways. A perfect visual to accompany the fierce character of the music and props go to Richard Stark who created the artwork. A very well thought concept, indeed.A “Wild Card” is an unpredictable and unforeseeable factor and I feel like REVAMP won the bet and have successfully release a unique and brilliant album that will inspire many generations of heavy metal fans and for that they deserve immense credit. Many tunes off this album have the potential to become REVAMP classics and this itself makes the purchase essential for everyone that does not so far have REVAMP in his/her collection. A piece of thriving Symphonic, Melodic Metal history is now available, make no mistakes. You can’t let it go." - Metal Divas
    $14.00
  • Shockingly good reunion album from 1978 that gave us the athemic title track which now has classic status."Deep Purple's definitive Mark II lineup reunited for 1984's Perfect Strangers. It is one of the better examples of a reunion album, although the band's uneasy camaraderie only lasted a few more years. "Knocking at Your Back Door" opens the album with a roar. Ian Gillan's lyrics don't make much sense, but Ritchie Blackmore's guitar riffs and Ian Paice's thunderous drumming carry this song as well as the rest of the album. The robotic rhythm of the title cut relies on Jon Lord's organ work. The 1999 remastered reissue features the bonus track "Son of Alerik." This fascinating, mid-tempo, ten-minute instrumental was the B-side of the "Perfect Strangers" 12" single in the U.K." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • "Downtime doesn’t appear to be in this Swedish traditional group’s mindset, at least in this point of their career. Striking while the iron’s hot from their 2011 Heads Will Roll debut and touring with the legendary Lizzy Borden across mainland Europe, the quintet from Gothenburg set about writing the follow up, Storms of War rather quickly. With King Diamond guitarist Andy Larocque behind the production chair, Storms of War will either make Katana another worthy Swedish contender to the Wolf/Enforcer new brigade throne or may cast them into the land of bargain bins forevermore.The opening salvo of riff peeling from guitarists Patrik Essen and Tobias Karlsson on “Reaper” rivals the best 80’s Judas Priest with Accept for good measure- and the trade-off solos are pure ecstasy for all air guitarists worldwide. Sometimes the reference points get a tad obvious: Iron Maiden on “Wrath of the Emerald Witch,” Loudness on “The Samurai Returns,” but Anders Persson’s poised drumming and the multi-octave, high-octane melodies from Johan Bernspang more than make up for any similarities.Bernspang even shows off a lighter, lower playful side to his voice ala Bruce Dickinson during the shorter, gallop-worthy “City on the Edge of Forever.” The swirling wind effects and a slow moving bass line signal the start of the eight-minute epic “In the Land of the Sun,” the verse melody mirroring the open clean plucking before the tempo moves upward and you feel like you are experiencing another NWOBHM journey with a series of Egyptian point-counterpoint guitar refrains. And how about the Omen up and down guitar harmonies throughout “Modesty Blaise” circa Warning Of Danger?Since Iron Maiden feel that their fans desire more progressive rock-length arrangements over the classics they rendered on the first seven studio albums, Katana could fit that missing niche in your collection with Storms of War. Thank you gentlemen for bringing me back to my teenage years with this one. " - Blistering,com
    $14.00
  • With new kid on the block, Mike Mangini, fully assimilated into the group, Dream Theater has come up with a stunning new album.  Expect nothing less than full on prog (with a nice tip of the cap to Rush in spots). Enigma Machine may be the best instrumental piece they've cooked up yet.  Highly recommended.This is the CD/DVD deluxe edition.  It arrives in an embossed digipak with expanded artwork from Hugh Syme.  More importantly, the DVD contains a 5.1 mix of the album. 
    $19.00
  • Virtuoso keyboardist Vivien Lalu has created a new progressive metal epic featuring an all star cast:Band [A-Z]---Martin LeMar (Mekong Delta) - VocalsMike LePond (SymphonyX) - BassSimone Mularoni (DGM) - GuitarsVirgil Donati (PlanetX)- DrumsVivien Lalu (Shadrane) - KeyboardsGuests [A-Z]---Jens Johansson (Stratovarius)Joop Wolters (Shadrane)Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater)Marco Sfogli (James LaBrie)Mike Andersson (Cloudscape, Fullforce)Peter Wildoer (Darkane, James LaBrie)Born of Noelle and Michel Lalu, musicians from the ‘70s French progressive act Polene, Vivien Lalu has released a surplus of recordings through an array of different bands and projects since 1997, as the keyboard player for underground black/doom band Time For A Change. At the turn of the millennium Lalu played keys for two underground progressive metal bands from Paris, Sad Warden and then Mind’s Orchard, and in 2002 was hired by Hubi Meisel (ex-Dreamscape vocalist) to compose and record the keys for his solo album EmOcean, the following year doing the same for Meisel’s sophomore album Kailash, both of which were released by Lion Music.It was at this time Vivien Lalu begins recruiting his own associates from major prog and metal bands — some of which he shares time composing music alongside in progressive metal act Shadrane — and forms his own solo project, LALU. The first full-length Oniric Metal was released on Lion Music in 2005 and began an entirely new chapter for this composer and his insatiable need to create mind-expanding, cinematic music.These accomplishments helped Lalu to begin securing score and soundtrack work for film and television; over the last few years he’s written many cues for the orchestral soundtrack for the Warner Bros movie Seuls Two, for the show Science X made in association with Lucasfilm Ltd. Additionally he joined the production team behind Laszlo Jones in order to assist the recordings and production of Banana Nation (Universal Music Group). He’s composed many soundtracks for French television, music and sound effects for Neko Entertainment, worked as a sound designer for Ubisoft Entertainment and much more.After collaborating with Shadow Gallery for a song on their Digital Ghosts album, and working with Canadian drummer Chris Nalbandian for his Paralysis of Analysis solo album — recording all keys and sharing solos with Derek Sherinian and Alex Argento — Vivien finally settled in and began work on the second LALU opus. Handling all composition and songwriting duties, as well as all keyboards on the massive production, Vivien weaved the cloth of the new album with vocalist Martin LeMar (Mekong Delta), bassist Mike LePond (SymphonyX), guitarist Simone Mularoni (DGM), drummer Virgil Donati (PlanetX), the album’s parts recorded in several countries including the United States (Los Angeles and New York), Germany and Italy, produced by Lalu in his own studio, and mixed at Boumbox Studio in Paris by Yan Memmi (Dio’s Lock Up The Wolves, Marcus Miller’s The Sun Don’t Lie, etc.). Additional contributions from Jens Johansson (Stratovarius), Joop Wolters (Shadrane), Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Marco Sfogli (James LaBrie), Mike Andersson (Cloudscape) and Peter Wildoer (James LaBrie) were also carefully built into the album, the final product boasting over fifty minutes of exceptional, massive  cinematic, atmospheric metal Lalu has dubbed, Atomic Ark. 
    $13.00
  • "Retribution” is the new album from Sweden’s Nightingale, the intended one-off project that refuses to die. Established by musical multi-talent Dan Swanö almost 20 years ago, the band is proof that good music can take on a life of its own, often when the artist least expects it.Known for his work both as a producer/engineer and with metal acts Edge Of Sanity, Bloodbath, Pan-Thy-Monium and most recently Witherscape, Swanö began his unplanned Nightingale journey in 1995 with “The Breathing Shadow”. It was a one-off goth-flavoured solo album heavily reminiscent of The Sisters Of Mercy, meant to satisfy his interest in the genre and then be put quietly to bed as Swanö moved on to other projects. The album was successful enough to warrant a follow-up according to his label at the time (Black Mark), but Swanö was, as he puts it "so over the goth thing.""I thought that if I was going to make a second record it had to reflect what I was listening to at the moment. I was going through a big revival of Gamma, Foreigner, Journey and all that super melodic AOR pomp rock stuff. It was a weird turn from the first record, so I decided to make Nightingale a home for music that I write in the moment, no matter what it is."Nightingale released five more albums between '96 and '07, slowly establishing a band line-up that began with Swanö's guitarist/keyboardist brother Dag in 1996 acting as a co-producer and session player on “The Closing Chronicles”. He officially came aboard in 1998 under his Tom Nouga moniker. The band was fleshed out by bassist Erik Oskarsson and drummer Tom Björn, who had their first rehearsal with the Swanö brothers on Christmas Day 2000. “White Darkness” from 2007 could well have been the last Nightingale album, as it featured very little songwriting input from Swanö due to severe writer's block. He decided to focus on his career as an engineer and chose to make music as a hobby. His creative side won eventually, however, as the urge to write and play again became irresistible."I bought a few instruments that would inspire me, and eventually the riffs started piling up," Swanö recalls. "I was collecting them for some kind of death metal release, and the other stuff that came out ended up being what could be used for a future Nightingale record."Originally titled “Bravado” in the working stages, “Retribution” offers up 10 songs steeped in uncomplicated '70s and early '80s-flavoured rock. Tracks such as 'Chasing The Storm Away', 'Forevermore' and 'The Maze' could have easily found a home on commercial rock radio 30 years ago, yet the album is completely relevant in 2014. Fans of Swanö's heavier works that are unfamiliar with Nightingale may be surprised the simplicity of the music and the band's non-aggressive approach."It's not easy to write simple stuff that's good," Swanö points out, suggesting people take a good long listen to “Retribution” rather than dismissing it.In Swanö's estimation “Retribution” succeeds because the songs "just kind of happened." He never set out to write any specific parts; the music is in fact a result of spontaneous moments, whether it was an accidental combination of notes on a keyboard that became an opening riff ('On Stolen Wings') or an odd guitar tuning ('Warriors Of The Dawn'). On top of that, the songs were hashed out in the rehearsal room before the band went into the studio, resulting in major changes to some of the music as it developed."When I listen to the record I don't want to have any regrets," explains Swanö. "There's no point in releasing a new Nightingale record if I don't think it's the best we ever did. That a pretty high standard to have, but if I don't feel that way when I listen to it the moment it's ready, it's got nothing to do with our back catalogue. That's the way I've felt with every record."Asked to sum up what “Retribution” means to him with regards to Nightingale's legacy, Swanö offers the following: "Classic rock with that pomp attitude really inspired me. I just wanted a good production that could hold up well against a band like Alter Bridge but still have a bit of the sonic charisma of the records from '79, which was a great year for music. The target was to make a timeless record with good, classy songs that the four of us can agree are really cool."Nightingale’s “Retribution” comes packaged in beautiful artwork courtesy of Travis Smith (Opeth, Nevermore, Katatonia, etc.) and should equally appeal to open-minded atmospheric metal and also to melodic prog rock supporters into bands like Rush, Marillion, Styx, Kansas, The Mission, Queensryche, Enchant, Threshold, Arena oreven Opeth and Katatonia."
    $13.00
  • "Credited with being amongst the saviours of true heavy metal in the late 90s, power metal behemoths HammerFall are back to infect your sound system with high-pitched vocals, galloping riffs and a thundering double-bass kick synonymous with Sweden’s finest.The marketing approach taken on Infected has a somewhat more modern edge to it with the logo being somewhat skewed, as if a product of the toxic wasteland that vocalist Joacim Cans sings about in Patient Zero.Another notable omission is beloved mascot Hector failing to make an appearance on the album cover, replaced by a seemingly infected human mutant’s hand (the original concept was for a biohazard logo, disputed by Biohazard’s Evan Seinfeld – I didn’t realise the international symbol was the nu-metal band’s property). This has caused uproar amongst the HammerFall faithful and Hector has since graced the cover of the single for Send Me A Sign, along with the original band logo.However, despite some unusual deviations in guitarist and chief songwriter Oscar Dronjak’s direction for the band, the sound is essentially a continuation of what we have always loved about the band. Fun lyrics complemented by fist-pumping music and guitar solos that would make the likes of Bill & Ted’s Rufus envious.Although the band seem like they will never come remotely close to topping the unforgettable Glory To The Brave and Legacy Of Kings albums, HammerFall continue to deliver solid power metal and although HammerFall have added a few different types of spirits to the mix this time, the end result is still the same and will have you raising the metal horns up high.In a world of the politically correct, fashionista, hipster, self-important many, HammerFall continue to wave the flag for the disinterested in conforming to a particular mould few, who instead know what they like and don’t need to be told to like it. Bang Your Head…Stand United….amen."- Faster Louder.com.au
    $13.00
  • "It started with a simple idea: virtuoso musicians and a pop singer joining to make new-fashioned music the old fashioned way. A band followed, evolving into Flying Colors: Mike Portnoy (drums, vocals), Dave LaRue (bass), Neal Morse (keyboards, vocals), Casey McPherson (vocals, guitar), and Steve Morse (guitar). Together, they create a unique fusion of vintage craftsmanship, contemporary music and blistering live performances."
    $15.00
  • Fourth album from this French melodic power metal band. Nothing particularly unique going on here but if you are a fan of that galloping fast paced sound a la Helloween or Stratovarius you'll have fun.
    $15.00
  • Neal Morse sez:" Another 5 Disc Live extravaganza fro Progressive Supergroup Transatlantic? Unbelievable! Sometimes when you are on tour you have the best gigs when the cameras aren't rolling. Such was the case with the Transatlantic Whird Tour one fateful night in Manchester, England. It was the last concert of a long tour and as live sound engineer (and acclaimed producer) Rich Mouser said, as we came off stage, 'Man, you guys really nailed it tonight!' So, this is the complete audio from Manchester, spread over 3 CD's, as well as a beautifully shot 2 DVD compilation from the famed, sold out concert in Tilburg, The Netherlands. Also included are great and hilarous excerpts from other gigs, featuring Mike Portnoy stage diving in Cologne, packaged in a gorgeous 5 Disc Digi-Pak. This is one othe fans are going to love!!!"
    $33.00
  • "STRUCTURES is a five piece progressive/hardcore band hailing from Toronto, Ontario. Having formed in early 2009, the band constantly evolved over the past few years through relentless touring, always thriving to push their songwriting to that next level. They are a group of five talented musicians who constantly strive to create ground breaking, earth shattering technical, melodic hardcore-metal. Right from their start they quickly turned a lot of heads in the Canadian scene and this buzz soon started spreading throughout the U.S.STRUCTURES will surely be one of the next breakout metal bands.The music they deliver demonstrates their diversity as a band as they shatter the listener’s psyche with pure aggression, but don’t be fooled, as they may also appear to slow time through their surprisingly strong melodies. STRUCTURES maintains a strong work ethic combined with a positive outlook on the music industry, including a strong focus on maintaining a highly energetic live performance leaving memorable impressions. STRUCTURES will conquer all!"
    $12.00