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  • " Once audiences got a chance to hear Primus' instantly recognizable sound, driven by Les Claypool's bizarrely virtuosic bass riffs, their audience grew by leaps and bounds. It was enough to make their second major-label album, Pork Soda, one of the strangest records ever to debut in the Top Ten. Stylistically, it isn't much different from Sailing the Seas of Cheese, though the band does stretch out and jam more often. This can result in some overly repetitive sections, since Claypool's riffs are the basis for most of the compositions, but it also showcases the band's ever-increasing level of musicianship. Their ensemble interplay continues to grow in complexity and musicality, and that's really what fans want from a Primus record anyway. The material isn't quite as consistent as Seas of Cheese, though there are numerous high points; among them are "My Name Is Mud," on which Claypool plays his instrument like percussion, and "Mr. Krinkle," where he switches to a bowed upright bass. There are hints of lyrical darkness stripped of the band's usual goofiness (especially in the suicide lament "Bob"), but for the most part, the humor is again split between eccentric character sketches, cheery paranoia, and annoying novelties (with a slightly higher percentage of the latter than before). Still, despite occasional flaws, what makes Pork Soda a success is that the band keeps finding novel variations on their signature sound, even if they never step out of it." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • "It is such a rare feat these days that a band can boast a back catalogue of such highly acclaimed albums. Nightwish’s career has not stagnated once in their nearly 20 years of existence, and despite highly publicised vocalist changes that has quartered the fanbases, their popularity has gone nothing but up. Why? Their music is simply immense. So here we are with album number 8, but after throwing so much into their previous effort ‘Imaginaerum‘, have the band finally run out of steam?If the opening track of ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful‘ has anything to say about it, absolutely not. The album opens with Richard Dawkins, the figurehead in the album’s theme of evolution, speaking to provide a brief introduction to the loose concept. Without hesitation the album bursts into life with ‘Shudder Before The Beautiful‘, orchestras blaring, keyboards frantic, and suddenly a wall of guitars thickening into one of Nightwish’s heaviest tracks in their career. The band have gone all out in this one, from a massive chorus transitioning to a prolonged solo battle between guitars and keyboards. It purely represents the things to come on the album, a raw Nightwish that has tapped all the highlights of their career into a transcendent epic.Moving straight on to ‘Weak Fantasy‘, the band does not immediately lift up the power and aggresion, yet makes an immediate impact of the spectrum of elements the instrumentalists now have to offer on the album. From a massive heavy chorus of ominous choirs transitioning into folk guitar melodies and tribal drumming, overlaid by the diverse vocals of Floor Jansen marking her Nightwish recording debut. The further addition of Troy Donockley as a full time member proves to be one of the wisest of investments as they make use of his talents with the vast array of unique instruments evident with tracks such as ‘Elan‘ and ‘My Walden‘.There are moments of this album that represent pure passion and take us on a journey of reminiscence of styles throughout Nightwish’s career, whilst building on top of them with the vast resources of choirs and full orchestra the band now have at their disposal. The softer ‘Elan‘ takes us to the softer metal with hook that Nightwish singles in recent years, while the heavier ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful‘ and playful ‘Alpenglow‘ revisit the ‘Century Child‘ days with a diverse range of Emppu Vuorinen’s erratic guitar work with memorable guitar melodies, and dramatic choruses that completely define Nightwish as a musical force.As the album draws to a close, we come to expect a poetic closure of such an exquisite palette of music, however the higlights of the album are only to come. The beautiful instrumental ‘The Eyes of Sharbat Gula‘ serve as dramatic solace before the storm in the centerpiece of the album – the 24-minute monster of ‘The Greatest Show on Earth‘. This progressive epic highlights the songwriting brilliance of Tuomas Holopainen, taking on the theme of ‘life and evolution by natural selection’, the track takes on the aggressive, the beautiful, the mysterious and everything that the band have to offer in one neat package, making full use of the massive vocal range of Floor Jansen and the masculine prowess of Marco Hietala. One of the finest tracks in Nightwish’s career if I may say so!‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful‘ simply put is sheer brilliance. Where the previous opus’ of ‘Dark Passion Play‘ and ‘Imaginaerum‘ continued a theatrical progression off of the success of ‘Once‘, this album has taken a renewed and raw approach to songwriting, revisitng the process of old and writing songs to highlight talents of band. The broad and experience-laced musicianship has put to full use just englightening us again as to why this band has made, and will continue to make history, and should be very proud of their 8th album. Forget about the past controversies, put aside your vocalist disputes, Nightwish has produced a fantastic album that can be adored by all." - The Metalist
    $6.00
  • Excellent new sci-fi prog metal project put together by Carptree mainman and keyboardist Carl Westholm. While Westholm is probably better known for his involvement with Carptree he has also been working in the metal field for many years in bands like Abstract Algebra, Krux, and Candlemass.Westholm has assembled an interesting cast of musicians for this larger than life Ayreon-style project. First off, Mats Leven in handling vocals. Right there that is enough for me. Leif Edling, the driving force behind Candlemass plays bass and helps with lyrics. What else do you need? Various members of Carptree and others fill out the heavily symphonic sound lending an epic scope and feel. Highly recommended.
    $3.00
  • "The sophomore effort from the extraordinary drummer Sebastiaan Cornelissen featuring an all-star lineup - guitarists Alex Machacek, Mike Otram, Susan Weinert, Richard Hallebeek; keyboardists Gary Husband, Scott Kinsey, and Steve Hunt; and bassists Hadrien Feraud, Jimmy Earl, Gary Willis, and Tom Kennedy among others. Since first coming on the scene in the early 2000s, composer and drummer Sebastiaan Cornelissen has emerged as one of the most distinctive new voices on the European fusion scene. Whether acting as a leader, sideman, or group member, Cornelissen's playing combines a sharp sense of empathy and staggering technique with impressive improvisational grace and intensity."
    $8.00
  • "By the start of 1970, young Peruvian musician Gerardo Manuel Rojas already had an impressive body of work with various rock bands: The Doltons (in Ica), Los Doltons (in Lima), Los Shain's and The (St. Thomas) Pepper Smelter; he had recorded to that point five LP's and many 45 rpm records. He was 24 years old. And Gerardo's work would continue with the implementation of a recording studio at the El Virrey label office. The label had hired German engineer Gerhard Nieckau for the installation of a new Neumann 4-channel recording console; they also asked Gerardo to act as Nieckau's partner, and asked him to get musicians to perform the first test runs of the recording set up. The musicians came to the studio to record and rehearse during the hours that the studio was not in use, from ten at night until sunrise. What resulted was a kind of "ghost" band that recorded throughout the night. For this project, Gerardo joined with guitarist "Pico" Ego Aguirre, bassist Jorge "Coco" Pomar (both from Los Shain's) and drummer Freddy "Pure" Sources of the group La Nueva Cosecha (The New Crop). After a month of testing the new studio, (they had already recorded more than 200 hours there), El Virrey suggested that they release an album with some tracks from those sessions. That album, "Apocallypsis," was the first hard rock album recorded in Peru; it was released on vinyl in August 1970. The album includes five original songs, plus versions of tracks by Grand Funk, Liquid Smoke, Jimi Hendrix, and Question Mark and the Mysterians. Before the LP came out, El Virrey released two 45rpm singles that are included on the CD as bonus tracks. This special edition of a South American classic also includes a booklet with some terrific photos and memorabilia + liner notes and lyrics."
    $15.00
  • OK WE GOT A HOT ONE HERE!  Latest album from keyboard maestro Lalle Larsson is full-on balls to the wall fusion.  He's hooked up again with Richard Hallebeek, who is one of the great Holdsworth clones out there.  The rest of the band is Stefan Rosqvist (rhythm guitar), Jonas Reingold (bass), and Walle Wahlgren (drums).  Larsson lays down lethal synth leads and swaps back and forth with Hallebeek who matches him with dexterous legato runs.    Time will tell but I think this may be Lalle Larsson's best solo album yet!  Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • Great double live album available at a budget price.
    $11.00
  • Next to last album finds the band with a new lineup and a more commercial direction. Still some good stuff here.
    $18.00
  • "In 2009, by default, France’s Lonewolf was the “surviving Running Wild” when Rolf packed up his pirate ship following Wacken 2009 and went home. For those unaware of Lonewolf, the band was created in 1991 and was named after the Running Wild song from “Blazon Stone.” Ironically, the last time Lonewolf surfaced with a new LP, it was “The Dark Crusade” in that same fateful year of 2009. Flashforward to 2012 with Running Wild on the precipice of releasing “Shadowmaker” in April, and now Lonewolf resurfaces with “Army of The Damned,” due out in the end of March.So, if it’s just a name and a date coincidence, then who cares right? After all, Running Wild took its name from Judas Priest. Well, Lonewolf, while maintaining its own identity, also took on some of Running Wild’s major characteristics, namely the near pinpoint accuracy of the guitar sound as well as a tendency to share similar lyrical content. From its beginning Lonewolf has been, more or less, a testament to the career of Running Wild. Though despite the comparisons, I thoroughly enjoyed all of Lonewolf’s albums, including “Army of the Damned.”The band continues this trend with more tasty power metal. However, it is virtually impossible to review this album without bringing up the obvious comparisons to Running Wild. For example, the song “Lonewolf” is more than highly reminiscent of “Adventure Galley,” “Cold” has virtually the same riff as “Black Hand Inn” and “Tally Ho” blisters off the same sound as “Riding the Storm.”Comparisons aside, Lonewolf actually does have an identity all its own and it is it shown nowhere better than through Jens Börner’s vocals, which sound much more like Grave Digger’s Chris Boltendahl than Rock ‘N’ Rolf’s. Then there are distinctive tracks like the epic “Army of the Damned,” “The Last Defenders” and “The One You Never See” (featuring the king of album cameos, Blaze Bayley). Lonewolf also continues its tradition of amazingly catchy choruses with “Crawling to Hell,” “Celtic Heart” and album favorite “Hell Bent for Metal.”So why does the world need two bands that sound like Running Wild? Well, after Running Wild released “The Rivalry” in 1998, the band was on the decline. The holes that popped in the aged/stagnant sinking pirate ship were cemented with “true to form Running Wild” style of Lonewolf, which diehard fans craved. In many ways, Lonewolf exceeded the latter Running Wild albums…and it did so as a more of a cohesive band. But irony strikes again, as Lonewolf's mainman Jens Börner is also his band’s only original member. Coincidence?" - Metal Underground.com
    $10.00
  • "Markus Grosskopf has been a busy man for more than twenty years and he is an even busier man now. The bass player of Germany's melodic metal legend HELLOWEEN has just released the 12th studio album called "Gambling With The Devil" with his band and is preparing for yet another extensive world tour with one of the most successful metal acts of the present. And Grosskopf has one more ace up his sleeve: it is called Markus Grosskopf's Bassinvaders and it shows a completely new side of his musical talent. Bassinvaders has been a creation of Markus while sitting in a bar and enjoying a few drinks. There it was that he got inspired to an impressive idea: a heavy rock record without any guitars at all. Could such a concept work out? Indeed it can! As you will experience on this first Bassinvaders-record called "Hellbassbeaters" lying in front of you. It contains all basic elements a heavy rock song really needs and so much more. You got the strong vocals, rhythmic bass, intoxicating drums and even bass & twin bass solo parts. What you hear is what you get: 100 % genuine heavy / rock record with absolutely no discordant guitar note on it at all. To guarantee a great variety of different influences Markus invited some well-known singing bass players from the German metal scene to join the band. And they didn't need an extra invitation. In DESTRUCTION's enfant terrible Schmier, SODOM's frontman Tom Angelripper and RAGE boss Peavy, Markus found some real Bassinvaders-friends. To push it even further Markus invited a few of his bass heroes to play solos on some of the tracks. When he started searching for support making this album excellent he expected to get a cautious response of 2 or 3 musicians. He ended up organizing more than 13 people for a solo appearance on the album. They named themselves - like the album title - the Hellbassbeaters: Billy Sheehan (Steve Vai, ex-Mr. Big, ex-David Lee Roth), Rudy Sarzo (DIO, ex-Ozzy Osbourne, ex-Whitesnake, ex-Quiet Riot), Lee Rocker (Stray Cats), Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy, ex-Whitesnake, ex-Ted Nugent), DD Verni (Overkill), Wyzard (Mother's Finest), Dirk Schlächter (Gamma Ray), Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Fates Warning, ex-Anthrax), Stig Pedersen (D.A.D), Nibbs (Saxon), Tobias Exxel (Edguy), Jens Becker (Grave Digger, ex-Running Wild), Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69), Peter Baltes (Accept), Jan S. Eckert (Masterplan) and Michael Müller (Jaded Heart). Markus has also invited some guest singers for the songs he wrote: Apollo Papathanasio (Firewind, Time Requiem, Evil Masquerade, Majestic) and the frontman of the legendary Danish stadium rock band D.A.D - Jesper Binzer. While the guest drummers are André Hilgers (Rage, Axxis, Silent Force) and Stefan Arnold (Grave Digger). This guest list and the killer line-up make the first Bassinvaders-album something very special but it's not only about the name dropping. Songs like Boiling Blood, We Live, Voices, Razorblade Romance, Armageddon or the storming Bassinvaders version of the classic Helloween anthem Eagle Fly Free are proving that Markus' late night idea won't be just a one-off slap, but the foundation for another "battlefield" for the always smiling bassist."
    $5.00
  • "Voivod is timeless. That doesn’t mean that the Quebec progressive thrash metal band is frozen in stasis. Rather, it’s a testament to their uncompromising insistence on ever-changing, experimental futurism, with every album existing outside of contemporary style in some alternate universe where guitar pickups are wormholes and drumbeats ripple gravity wells." - Montreal Gazette 
    $10.00
  • Its been quite some time since we've heard from Guy LeBlance and Nathan Mahl.  He's been busy touring with Camel and now having to deal with some serious health related issues.Justify finds Nathan Mahl with a reconstituted lineup.  Guy displays his prodigious keyboard abilities once again but this time he's also playing drums.  The new lineup features a twin guitar attack and bass.  For a keyboard player he sure as hell gives a lot of room for the two guitarists to stretch out and shred.  The album is split about 50/50 between instrumental and vocal oriented tracks.  You can tell his time in Camel has rubbed off on him - just check out the albums finale "Infinite Light".  It features a guest appearance on guitar and keys from none other than Andy Latimer!  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • One of the really great progressive bands from the 90s is back with their first album in 7 years.  The band is fronted by Fredrick Ohlsson, one of the great voices in metal.  He sounds very much like prime era Geoff Tate so the band has often been compared to Queensryche.  Truth is there is more of a melancholy/doom power vibe going on but there are progressive overtones and it never becomes plodding in a Sabbath/St. Vitus/Candlemass way.  Its all kind of weird since this is a professed Christian band and those themes do crop up.  Even still Veni Domine should be enshrined in the Metal Hall Of Fame."After nearly seven years of silence, we hear again from Swedish metal band Veni Domine (latin: Come Lord) with their new album Light, now with Massacre Records. Early in their nearly 30 year career the band got 'labeled' as a doom metal band. It's a rather interesting thing as the band pursues Christian themes in their lyrics. Christian is not a religion of doom and despair, but of life and hope.Nevertheless, with a spin of Light, you may hear some of those 'doom' elements: deep sound and a brooding pace. Even Fredrik Sjöholm's voice has low, sober, feel. Yet, Veni Domine work in other elements as well like both symphonic and acoustic elements, and some simply fundamental heavy metal. Where They Story Ends is good example of the merger of the elements. It's at once atmospheric, heavy, and somber, yet gets speedy later on. This is perhaps the reason why some listener tack on 'progressive' when speaking of the band. Alternatively, listening to In Memoriam or Last Silence Before Eternity, the mood and music of Veni Domine might remind of Candlemass-like epic doom metal. More curious company to keep. Sometimes the mood, pace, and soberness of the music matches the title of the song as with Waiting, moved along mostly by voice, acoustic guitar, and steady drums. Finally, the band revisits some of their past by re-recording Oh Great City from their first album 1991's Fall Babylon Fall. I've never heard the original, so I can't speak to difference. It is, however, more brooding heavy metal. If progressive, sometimes epic, doom metal is your flavor of the month, you'll likely enjoy Veni Domine's Light." - Dangerdog.com
    $15.00
  • First full length from this Norwegian progmetal band. Dark and moody with strong classical overtones, Winds relies more on atmosphere than pyrotechnics. The standout for me is guitarist Carl August Tidemann of the late lamented Tritonus. Tidemann may be familiar to you also from his work with Arcturus. His intricate, shredding style is in deep contrast to the drama created by the mournful violin and strings. An unusual album that is continuing to reveal it's secrets to me with each listen. I can easily recommend this to the prog metal fan looking for something a little different. As a bonus the CD contains all the material from their debut EP.
    $12.00