Selling The Aggression

Third album from this Dutch progressive band is a conceptual work.  This one has strong political leanings so it might bother some of you out there.  It basically deals with changes in the geopolitcal climate since the late 90s.  While the band's first album was squarely in the metal camp, the subsequent albums find them moving more and more into the prog rock arena but maintaining an underlying heaviness.  Plenty of keyboards featured throughout the mix in a way that complements the guitar driven heaviness.  For me the stand out is vocalist Dennis Binnekade.  He has a stunning voice and I noticed that this time around someone coached him on his pronuciation. Rock solid contemporary prog. Highly recommended.

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  • Import special edition comes with:Download code for studio version of “Into The Sun”40-pages picture booklet"Imagine this - you're thrust into the metal world and, as a classical singer, it's pretty alien. But you do your job, sing your songs and the money comes in. And your name gets bigger. And the band become enormous and before you know it - you're literally singing for your supper. Your ultimate passion becomes your job. But is the world of metal really a place for a classical singer? Many thought that, once ousted by Nightwish, Tarja Turunen would soon return to her classical roots. Not quite. She began producing symphonic tinged material that, dare we say it, took the same path as the band that brought her success.The cynics are always going to be around, and I admit, I had the tendency to be one of them - Tarja is clearly only sticking with the guitars because it pays the bills, right? If it was up to her, she'd be singing 'Ave Maria' until the cows came home, right? Some of you stubborn lot will never shift from that point of view, no matter how many metal albums she releases, but it has become clearer than ever whilst listening to 'Colours In The Dark', that Tarja has found the beauty of orchestral metal just as captivating as Nightwish fans and her conviction is growing ever more powerful - if you don't believe it, check out the Romanticide-styled outro of 'Never Enough'. There's plenty more headbangs left in those raven locks - know that!'Victim Of Ritual' highlights the way Tarja commands a song vocally and suits it's position as opening track. The rolling 'R' in the title refrain and the silence she will inevitably conjure during live renditions of the accapella bridge stand to prove why she is such a beloved vocalist. Musically, the track deals in 'Phantom Agony'-era Epica, orchestra-lite and guitar heavy. It also has the most addictive refrains on the album, so it's position as single is proven correct. Likewise 'Never Enough' is instantly enjoyable - the chorus still sounds as vibrant and exciting as when it premiered. The real standout, surprisingly, is the Peter Gabriel cover though. 'Darkness' is not half as pop-ready as her take on 'Poison' and much more Tarja-friendly than 'Still Of The Night' - it shows just how successfully she can transform a cover and make it into her own. The thick strings and swooping instrumental wrap around her versatile vocals as Tarja switches between sinister and emotional at the drop of a hat.It can be a little taboo to mention the language problems, but the purity in which Tarja approaches her English lyrics is both a positive and a negative. Whilst there are the odd cringe-worthy blips throughout ('A conquest of fear, lonesomeness and dislike'), there is a richness to the lyrics of songs like '500 Letters' that simply tell a story, without killing it with too many pretence-laden metaphors. Tarja's infamous pronunciation also serves in her favour on the record - as minor as it may seem, her slightly peculiar delivery brings an unfamiliar flavour to the songs and possesses the ability to coat any banal lyrics with seductive and intriguing overtones just with a twist of a syllable.The record does have plenty of moments to excite you, as I mentioned, but it's not an entirely smooth ride. Too often, the songs feel a little lengthier than they should. I noted in my review of 'Never Enough' that the closing guitar riff went on for too long and a lot of the songs have a similiar fate. None of the tracks are skippable and every single one has it's merits, but it feels as if their strengths may be washed aside by a niggling thought in the back of your head, pondering whether you can bother to venture into a seven minute song for three minutes of beauty. 'Lucid Dreamer' is one such track that would have benefited from a little chopping. 'Mystique Voyage', too, could have seen a shorter track length further highlight the triumphant classical influence on the chorus.Though I exaggerate her operatic past, Tarja has spent most of her vocalist talent and career amongst metal music and it has really shown. What is both frustrating and rewarding, though, is that she is learning as much as the fans are. The music she has produced so far has been on a huge upward curve. The saccharine tendencies of 'My Winter Storm' pale in comparison to 'What Lies Beneath' and it's fantastic manipulation of orchestra, ambiance and metal. 'Colours In The Dark' comes as the next step up - slightly better than it's predecessor but, and this is where the frustration might set in, not quite as brilliant as you predict the next release will be. Editing the tracks a little more and emphasizing the true moments of beauty that linger within the songs is the next mission for team Tarja to take on.Watching an artist grow into the music that gave her the career she has  is not something you see everyday and Tarja is truly and deeply passionate, something many musicians don't retain after many years of the same old record-and-touring routine. She has eager ears and versatile lungs that want to explore. They want to learn and they want to become better. Listen to that aforementioned discography and you'll see how much Tarja has grown and become a force to be reckoned with in metal. 'Colours In The Dark' is nowhere near perfect but it's another chapter in the increasingly refined career of a woman that is, quite rightly, sticking her middle finger up at those who have written her off much too soon." - The Sonic Reverie
    $21.00
  • Remastered edition with 3 bonus tracks."Time takes its cues more from such bands as the Alan Parsons Project and Wings than from Jeff Lynne's fascination with Pepper-era Beatles. Sure, all the electronic whirrs and bleeps are present and accounted for, and Time did spawn hit singles in "Hold on Tight" and "Twilight," but on the average, ELO had begun to get too stuck on the same structure and content of their releases. "The Way Life's Meant to Be" echoes very early ELO hits like "Can't Get It Out of My Head," and the "Prologue" and "Epilogue" segments try and bring about a unifying concept that doesn't quite hold up upon listening all the way through. Time proves to be competent ELO but not great ELO." - Allmusic
    $8.00
  • When seven Greek charlatans get together, the musical visions that springs from their minds, can only be described as a true freakshow.Back in late 2004 the idea of a band that could develop a theatrical attitude and combine different musical elements with the dynamics of metal and rock sound, brought DAKRYA to life ....Following the usual demos and local live shows, the band released its debut album "Monumento" in the spring of 2008. Receiving great reviews and good support from both the media and the fans in and around Greece, DAKRYA started touring on a broader scale, supporting such bands as MOONSPELL.In 2009 the band began to work on new material; the main goal was to put even more emphasis on the 'theatrical' style of DAKRYA, and in January 2010 the band entered the studio with engineer George Bokos (Rotting Christ) to record their sophomore album, "Crime Scene".Come March 2010 the band find themselves sitting in a studio in Sweden mixing the album together with Pelle Saether (Diablo Swing Orchestra, Draconian, Madder Morten), followed by a trip to other Swedish sound-guru Göran Finnberg (Opeth, Dark Tranquillity, In Flames, Arch Enemy) for the mastering of the disc.CRIME SCENE is actually a metaphor about the world we live in. So simple and so complicated at the same time. A person has to change so many faces in order to obtain a “socialized” and “normal” image, that if you think about it a little bit… we all look psychotic. In CRIME SCENE we improvise against reality! Snapshots taken from our everyday lives.From the opener "The Charlatans", over the obvious hit of "The Urban Tribe" to the final notes of the closing soundscape "A Dreadful Sidescene", the album is a one-of-a-kind musical experience. Ranging from the psychotic and cinematic melodrama heard in bands like Diablo Swing Orchestra and Unexpect to the orchestrated gothic metal comparable to Therion and Theatre Of Tragedy, DAKRYA paints their mark all over the canvas.
    $4.00
  • Remastered edition with 4 bonus tracks."Sepultura had shocked the death metal world in 1989 with the release of their third album, Beneath the Remains, whose seamless combination of songwriting chops and utter brutality quickly transformed the Brazilians from scene outsiders to one of its brightest hopes. The band toured nonstop in support of the album for most of the following two years, and was therefore pressured by both time constraints and enormous expectations when the bandmembers finally entered Tampa's Morrisound Studios with producer Scott Burns to record 1991's Arise. And though it ultimately lacked the consistency of its predecessor and added little innovation to the band's sound, Arise has aged surprisingly well, proving itself a worthy progression and surprisingly well-rounded in its own right. First single "Dead Embryonic Cells" was unquestionably the strongest of the band's death metal era, and its accompanying video broke new ground thanks to ample MTV rotation. Ironically, the subsequent banning of the vicious title track's video (filled with apocalyptic religious imagery) by the cable network would generate even more publicity than Sepultura could have hoped for had it actually been aired. Other album highlights included such complex, multifaceted pieces as "Desperate Cry" (an all-around tour de force for lead guitarist Andreas Kisser) and "Altered State" (which combines a Tarzan-style intro with a grinding detuned main riff and even acoustic guitars), as well as more straightforward thrashers like "Infected Voice" and mid-paced chuggers like "Under Siege (Regnum Irae)." Simply devoid of filler material, this album remains a classic of the death metal genre." - Allmusic Guide
    $8.00
  • Pink Floyd influenced doom.
    $13.00
  • "It's a bit surprising that Pantera waited until 1997 to release a live album, considering how brutal and powerful the band had been in concert. At an average Pantera show, it would not be unusual to see security evicting overzealous fans, and club bathrooms filled with bloody wads of paper towels from mosh pit injuries. Official Live 101 Proof captures the group in its natural, violent element, combining abrupt, barbed riffs with pulse-pounding beats and furious vocals. The record spans Pantera's career, from the classic guitar lick of "Cowboys from Hell" to the fuzzbomb fury of "Suicide Note Pt. 2" (from album The Great Southern Trendkill). As an encore, the band offers album buyers two new studio tracks, the bluesy bonecrusher "Where You Come From" and the grinding piledriver "I Can't Hide." As the fortress of alternative rock continues to crumble, Pantera stomp vindictively through the rubble, their metallic legacy intact."--Jon Wiederhorn
    $6.00
  • New vinyl edition cut from the original master tapes of the 1970 mix.  200 gram pressing  Comes with a drop card for mp3 download.
    $28.00
  • Debut release from this Norwegian progressive ensemble immersed in the 70s sound.  Tusmorke began life as Les Fleurs Du Mal and featured Wobbler vocalist Andreas Prestmo.  They have since gone through changes of lineup and nae.  The band is heavily influenced by Jethro Tull, White Willow and Incredible String Band.  Its flute driven prog with a quirky psychedelic folk element.  The album was produced by Wobbler keyboardist Lars Fredrik Frøislie who contributes his arsenal to the album enhancing the prog vibe.  Mellotron freaks - its all here!  In addition to the album you get 3 bonus tracks of previously unreleased material from Les Fleurs Du Mal.  Highly recommended.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"9132","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"283","width":"400"}}]] 
    $18.00
  • The much anticipated second album from Delain is here and it does not disappoint! Its interesting to see how the band has evolved. Originally conceived by Within Temptation keyboardist Martijn Westerholt as a studio project, Delain has evolved into a full blown active band. The success of the debut Lucidity tipped Westerholt's hand and Delain became a REAL band. With Charlotte Wessels on vocals, Ronald Landa on guitar and grunt vocals, Sun Caged bassist Rob Vander Loo, and Sander Zoer on drums, Delain took the Netherlands by storm. Delain toured extensively, opening for many bands including sister band Within Temptation, and appeared at many festivals. Ultimately they became a headlining band. With that behind them they headed into the studio to create their sophomore work.April Rain is cut from similar cloth from Lucidity but different enough to hear the evolution mentioned above. Instead of the multiple guests that were featured on Lucidity, April Rain does benefit from the return of Nightwish bassist Marco Hietala who sings male vocals on two tracks, as well as world renowned cellist Maria Ahn.Martijin Westholt is clearly at the helm - the big symphonic sound is still in place. Those elements that he brought to Within Temptation are clearly evident. There is a difference though...perhaps because of Jacob Hansen's mix the sound is more focused and even grittier, crunchier (thank you Mr. Landa). Songs tend to be on the shorter side but they slam harder. Having been familar with Rob Van Der Loo's intense basswork with Sun Caged its great to see him bring that progressive element to the rhythm section. Charlotte Wessels is young but has developed into the perfect voice and face for Delain.The comparisons to Within Temptation will continue but its obvious that Delain has come up with their own sound that stands on its on.This is THE symphonic gothic metal album of 2009. Nothing will touch it. This is the North American digipak edition of April Rain - with the exclusive bonus track "Come Closer". BUY OR DIE.
    $14.00
  • A new release from Causa Sui is like money in the bank.  The new Live At Freak Valley is no exception.  The live milieu is where the band really shines.  If you are unfamilar with the band you should know that the band's origins date back to the stoner scene but they evolved into something different - something more psychedelic - more organic.  The quartet features Jakob Skott (drums), Jonas Munk (guitar), Jess Kahr (bass), and Rasmus Rasmussen (keyboards).  The band goes off on looooong instrumental jams.  Munk's guitarwork has a beautiful fluidity that plays off of Rasmussen's keyboards which tend to surge to the forefront like waves on the ocean - or sit back and become a nice supporting backdrop for Munk's lead work.  I love when Munk burst out with a chunk of heavy riffage that recalls their stoner days.  Reminds me of vintage Zeppelin!  Highly recommended.
    $35.00
  • The fans hated the way it sounded...and the band as well.  Rush finally took matters into their own hands and gave the album over to David Bottrill who completely remixed the album and breathed new life into it.
    $11.00
  • Last May the band set up camp for a series of gigs at Le Triton in Paris. The four weeks of gigs was in essence a retrospective of the band's recorded work. This is the first of a projected series of 4 DVDs chronicling the event. The band is augmented by legendary vocalist Klaus Blasquiz as well as 3 sax players. The material on this particular disc focuses on the earlier period of the band: Malaria, Stoah, "Iss" Lansei Doai, Aurae, Kobaia, Theusz Hamtaahk 1st movement, Sowiloi, KMX B12. Over two hours long. Essential.
    $18.00
  • Here's a new band that will give avant prog fans a screaming orgasm.  Rhun are a French ensemble.  Their music quite effectively captures the essence of Magma, RIO, and Canterbury.  That's just the first song!!  "The musicians offer an interesting and vivid mosaic of predominantly Canterbury, Zeuhl, Jazz, RIO, and (Kraut)Rock. Beside two guitars, bass, drum, percussion and thrown in sounds, two horn players bring lively colors on sax, bassoon, clarinet and flute in this complex mix. The two singers act in a more avant-garde way as for example Magma. People interested in above mentioned styles should have fun." 
    $18.00
  • Xandria have been around for quite some time and for whatever reason they seem to churn through vocalists - perhaps each one better than the previous.  Their new vocalist is Dianne van Giersbergen, formerly with the Dutch band Ex Libris.  She's a great one for sure.  Luckily the overall band sound hasn't changed very much.  This is pure bombastic symphonic metal that follows the Tarja-era Nightwish template very closely.  You may have to play this one in secret or the originality police may come after you but if you do play it loud!This is the deluxe mediabook edition.  It comes with a bonus CD that features an exclusive studio track as well as an instrumental mix of the album so you can karaoke to your hearts content.  
    $16.00