The Seventh Degree Of Separation

SKU: VGCD033
Label:
Verglas
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Arena return after a 6 year hiatus. New lineup includes new vocalist Paul Manzi, John Jowitt is back replacing Ian Salmon, Clive Nolan, John Mitchell, and Mick Pointer. Its a conceptual work focusing on the last hour of life and the following hour in the afterlife. High concept indeed! 

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  • New reissue of a beautiful album that was originally released in 2000 and has been out of print for many years.Friendship marks the long awaited reunion of Manuel Gottsching and Klaus Schulze.  While there have been off and on collaborations over the years this is the first full length album they have done under the Ash Ra Tempel moniker since Join Inn.  The album consists of three epic length tracks that showcases what they do best - Schulze's lush synthesizer beds and rhythms juxtaposed by Gottschings liquid guitar lines.  Highly recommended.
    $10.00
  • Remastered edition of the long out of print one-off band. It's a short one but a classic. Festa Mobile was actually a precursor to Il Baricentro. While they never displayed that band's pyrotechic fusion leanings, they did have some subtle jazz overtones but a classical influence dominated. The music is dominated by virtuoso piano runs and fuzzed out guitar leads. Gorgeous disc.
    $16.00
  • New reissue of one of the great prog metal albums of the 90s. Eldritch are now more of a thrash band but their first three discs were as good as any prog metal band ever recorded. Seeds Of Rage is their first and essential for any fan of Dream Theater. Great vocals from Terrance Holler and keyboard work from Oleg Smirnov. This new edition is remastered, housed in a slipcase and features five bonus tracks indlcuing a rehearsal session from 2006, and previously unreleased songs from their 1990 and 1991 demos. This edition is limited to 3,000 copies worldwide. One thing I know about LMP - when they say it's limited they mean it.
    $12.00
  • Superb return to form from these German masters of melodic progressive metal. Beyond Daylight exhibits many similarities to The God Thing and may well prove out to be their best effort yet.
    $15.00
  • No idea where this band came from but its one hell of a breath of fresh air. This is the debut release from a new German progressive metal band. The Old Man And The Spirit is an existential concept album with a larger than life feel, perhaps a long the lines of the release release from Joseph Magazine. The band features two vocalists - Herbie Langhans and Dilenya Mar. Each one takes on the role of a character in the story. The male/female vocals work very well together. Beautiful juxtaposition of quiet acoustic passages and bombastic, symphonic metal. Its only January but I think you can already consider this one for a Top 10 prog metal list for 2012. Highly recommended."“The Old Man and the Spirit” is an ambitious concept album dealing with the polarity of human sensuousness and superhuman awareness. Two main characters interpret the music on this theatrical and challenging record: “The Spirit”, who is the personification of all wisdom and awareness that is unachievable to mankind but that lacks of the ability to feel, and her opponent “The Old Man”: a bon vivant who has lived through all highs and lows of human sensations. These two characters are interpreted by the two band singers: a female Dilenya Mar and a male Herbie Langhans.But the operatic and cinematic setting of the album was put together by the bands’ two masterminds: guitar player Peter Degenfeld and the classically trained ivory tinkler Christopher Tarnow. “From the beginning it was our intention to do an album presenting one big piece of music” tells Degenfeld. “One of the very first things that came about were the two characters together with the basic content of the story. Basically before the notes were written, we knew what each song had to sound and feel like and what the lyrics had to say. With these restrictions we started the songwriting process. In the end writing songs under these self-imposed limits turned out to be just great”.While “The Old Man and The Spirit” is undoubtedly a demanding musical statement, Beyond The Bridge are determined to make their steps to bring their music on tour. “We put a lot of effort into the goal of creating the studio sound on stage and we have already rearranged some parts to make them more suitable for live performances”, explains Degenfeld.Beyond The Bridge’sline-up is rounded out by bass player Dominik Stotzem, Fabian Maier on drums and Simon Oberender on keyboards and guitar. Simon also took care of the album production at the famed Gate Studios (owned by the famed producer Sascha Paeth, who mastered the album).While at first listen the album will easily appeal to the Progressive Rock / Metal audience, thanks to the virtuosity displayed in the playing and the compositional design, the album can be easily enjoyed by all who are looking for songs that can excite the listeners. “The music is touching. It will even touch you in a different way each time you listen to the album”, concludes Peter Degenfeld. “The lyrics are inspiring and ambiguous. This encourages to dig deeper into the spiritual journey of the "Old Man"."
    $14.00
  • "As a historical document, this release takes some beating. Recorded during the short – and only – tour that Fripp & Eno undertook as a duo, it captures a pivotal moment, not only in the development of both players, but in the live music experience itself. Here was a "rock concert" (or "superstar show" as the poster for the less glamourous Tunbridge Wells gig had it) where two of the leading lights of the art prog scene sat in near darkness improvising a series of dronic, ectoplasmic mood pieces for an hour and a half. No hits, no big riffs, no exotic costumes. In 2014, that description could be analogous to any number of live electronica events, but in 1975, it led to booing, walkouts and open hostility.Yes, there had been precedents for this type of proto-ambient music before, specifically the kosmische of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, and most pertinently, the systems music of Terry Riley, which had inspired Eno to start experimenting with tape loops in the first place. And it wasn't as if the duo hadn't already signalled their musical intentions with the release of (No Pussyfooting) in 1973. But in a pre-online world, music travelled more slowly, and a lot of people went to these shows expecting Roxy Music and King Crimson numbers. What they got instead, was an intriguing, and for some discomfiting, glimpse into the future.1975 was a liminal year for rock music in the UK. It saw the end of glam, the fading of prog and the first stirrings of punk. It also saw the biggest band of the day release one of the bleakest, most alienated albums in the rock canon, Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. While operating much further along the spectrum than Floyd, there's a similarly immersive, almost enervating feel to the sounds that Fripp & Eno produce during this performance, suggesting that we're at the start of a new way of listening to and experiencing music, an opening up of new possibilities in aural pleasure. With its use of repetition and egoless explorations of sonic space, there's also a strong argument for Fripp & Eno creating the UK's only indigenous strain of krautrock.The performance begins before Fripp & Eno have even arrived on stage, with the cold, aqueous drone of 'Water On Water'. Quizzical voices can be heard in the audience, then cheers, but these soon subside as a tide of alien soundwaves continues to wash over them. As a listening experience, it goes beyond the point of nothing happening into a new realm of uncertainty, and the audience sound as much relieved as delighted when Fripp & Eno finally take their places and begin playing 'A Radical Representative Of Pinsnip' (a version of 'The Heavenly Music Corporation'). Fripp's guitar seems to intuitively tune into the wavelength that Eno is broadcasting on, a huge, ever-growing pulsating brain weaving tessellations of holy noise around the fabric of the drone. Over a pattern of discordant notes, like an evil fairground pipe organ, Fripp solos at his most atonal and nightmarish, before calmly sliding into 'Swastika Girls'. Eno's backing loop seems to mutate from the ringing of wind chimes to the squealing of pigs, while Fripp's unmistakeable shredding alternates from placid to fiercely angular. 'Wind On Wind' signals an intermission – there's no crowd noise (other than the sound of someone choking on a magic cigarette), so it's difficult to say whether the audience remains rapt with attention or have already departed en masse to the bar.The performance re-starts with 'Wind On Water', its gentle beginning leading gradually to an ecstatic ascension, Fripp's guitar like dazzlingly bright reflections of the sun on a rippled pool. We then get a series of anagrammatically-punning tracks unfeatured on any of the duo's studio albums. 'A Near Find In Rip Pop' is based on a simple loop of strummed guitar, which Fripp drops note clusters over, before peeling away to reveal (un)natural sounds of wind and distant animal cries. It's a point of mellowness midway through proceedings, soon disrupted by 'A Fearful Proper Din', its grinding chug like Sunn O))) heard at the end of a long tunnel. Fripp's soloing taps into the heaviness of Red-era King Crimson, faster, harder and more threatening than before as the track morphs into 'A Darn Psi Inferno'. Children's voices appear against the metallic breathing of Fripp's guitar at its scariest, the tension finally broken by the relative balm of 'Evening Star'.Fripp & Eno exit for a second time to 'An Iron Frappe' – another unaccompanied drone piece resembling the infinite echo of a struck bell – before returning to encore with 'Softy Gun Poison'. Here, the duo finally drift off into deep space in a trail of sinister voices and unhinged laughter, the whine and growl of their engines stretched and refracted, the ghost of a slow-motion explosion. The track culminates in perhaps the single most transcendent part of the show/recording, a warm plateau of dense drone that segues into the walk-off tape of 'An Index Of Metals', their ship caught on the lip of a black hole for all eternity, faintly transmitting back to earth.Over the entire length of this immaculately restored 3-CD set (which includes a disc of the unadorned tape loops that Eno prepared for these shows), I began to wonder if anybody needed this much Fripp & Eno in their lives – that such thoughts now feel positively iconoclastic compared with the righteous indignation that many people greeted this material with in 1975 shows just how far we've come, and how much Fripp & Eno (both as a duo and individually) helped to redefine our appreciation of what music could be." - The Quietus
    $23.00
  • Third album from this Spanish power metal band. Solid if you cling to that overblown Rhapsody meets Symphony X style.
    $9.00
  • The latest album finds Steven Wilson returning to the epic length tracks just like in the old days! Guest contributes from Robert Fripp as well. All is good in the world. Special pricing while supplies last.
    $14.00
  • "With its endless, droning minor-key riff and mumbled vocals, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" is arguably the most notorious song of the acid rock era. According to legend, the group was so stoned when they recorded the track that they could neither pronounce the title "In the Garden of Eden" or end the track, so it rambles on for a full 17 minutes, which to some listeners sounds like eternity. But that's the essence of its appeal -- it's the epitome of heavy psychedelic excess, encapsulating the most indulgent tendencies of the era. Iron Butterfly never matched the warped excesses of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," either on their debut album of the same name or the rest of their catalog, yet they occasionally made some enjoyable fuzz guitar-driven psychedelia that works as a period piece. The five tracks that share space with their magnum opus on In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida qualify as good artifacts, and the entire record still stands as the group's definitive album, especially since this is the only place the full-length title track is available." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • "A new interpretation of a classic RPI title! This is quite an undertaking, but it comes off in an outstanding way, giving new life to old friends. In contrast to so many reworkings of old pieces that I've heard in recent years, this one does not leave me only wishing to listen to the original. Rather, the new work stands well on its own, not only helping me listen to the original with new ears, but also bringing new insights and experience.In 1972, Latte e Miele released their debut, an incredibly ambitious work based on the Passion of St. Matthew, "Passio Secundum Mattheum." This is one of the seminal titles of 1970s RPI and has rightfully stood the test of time. The band would never equal this album, although the subsequent title, "Papillon", came close. After that the band broke up for a time, until drummer Alfio Vitanza reformed the band, with new members including bassist Massimo Gori. Their only album, "Aquile e Scoiattoli", has its moments but is inferior to the first two, and the band disbanded a few years later after moving toward more commercial music.In 2008 the band reformed, including all three original members (Vitanza and songwriter/keyboardist Oliviero Lacagnina, as well as guitarist Marcello Giancarlo Dellacasa) and Massimo Gori, bassist from the second generation of the band. The quartet released "Live Tasting", an excellent live album that portended of the good to come. Their time together also produced a wonderful new album, "Marco Polo: Sogni e Viaggi" in 2009.Over the years, Lacagnina never stopped composing his masterpiece, his "Passio". Now the quartet has recorded anew their masterpiece, adding those "new" compositions into the narrative. For example, "Il Pane e il Sangue dell'Alleanza" has been inserted right after "Ultima Cena", and "Il Rinnegamento di Pietro" and "Il Prezzo del Sangue" between "Il Pianto" and "Giuda". Also, the ending has been fleshed out significantly, with four new songs, and the final song, "Come un Ruscello che..." includes the final themes previously entitled "Il Dono della Vita". Also of note, a solo organ piece entitled "Toccata per organo" is placed just before "Calvario"--this is special, as it is an original take from 1972!The instrumentation is true to the spirit of the 1972 piece, although with an updated sound. Ditto the choir, which sometimes on the 1972 version is muted and thin--here the choir parts are strong, lush, and vibrant. The majority of the pieces that were rerecorded for this edition also maintain their compositional structure, although there are a few changes inserted (notably in "I Falsi Testimoni", the new version of "I Testimoni" parts 1 and 2). There is nothing that violates that spirit of the original work, though it is impossible to duplicate its wonderful innocence.Another unique feature of this album is the presence of several prominent figures from RPI providing the spoken Evangelist parts. These include Alvaro Fella (Jumbo), Lino Vairetti (Osanna), Silvana Aliotta (Circus 2000), Paolo Carelli (Pholas Dactylus), Aldo de Scalzi (Picchio dal Pozzo), Sophya Baccini, Elisa Montaldo (Il Tempio delle Clessidre), Giorgio D'Adamo (New Trolls), Max Manfredi, Simonluca, and Paolo Griguolo (Picchio dal Pazzo). It's a nice touch that really rounds out the album.The CD comes in a jewel case with a lyric booklet. I'm told that the pending Japanese version will contain a newly recorded composition as a bonus track. But don't wait for that one--go out and grab this one. You won't be disappointed. Four plus stars (Gnosis 13/15).Edit: I can't stop listening to this! Though it's not quite as good as the original, it's very close. I'm bumping it up to Gnosis 14/15, which is five stars on PA." - ProgArchives
    $16.00
  • Released in 1973 on the obscure Canadian Periwinkle label, Jackal's "Awake" album has become a highly sought after album by collector's of heavy psychedelic/progressive rock. Original copies have sold for as much as $300! After an exhaustive five year search we have finally located the original master tapes.Drawing inspiration from Deep Purple, Jackal incorporates dazzling guitar/organ interplay evoking Blackmore and Lord at their heaviest. The complexity of their music took them far beyond the basic hard rock sounds of many of their peers. Perhaps with a few lucky breaks the band could have gone on to bigger and better things. All that's left of their legacy is this sole collector's item.
    $14.00
  • Sixth studio album from this Finnish symphonic power metal band now fronted by Annette Olzon. In 2005, the band had an acrimonious split with Tarja Turunen, their incredible operatic vocalist. The band didn't try to find a singer with a similar range. Olzon is a solid singer with no operatic aspirations. With the changeover, band leader Tuomas Holopainen has tailored the music to fit her range. This is reportedly the most expensive Finnish album ever recorded due to the use of the London Philharmonic. Pure epic symphonic metal is Nightwish's calling card and it's here in spades - bigger than ever.
    $8.00
  • Svart Records can be thought of as the Rise Above Records of Finland.  Both labels covers similar territory.  Somehow Svart signed the British band Messenger right from under the nose of Rise Above.  Messenger are a superb retro-band that push all the right buttons for a fans of 70s prog and folk.  This isn't a bombastic throw back album like Astra or Diagonal.  Instead Messenger's music is cut more from the cloth that Midlake are exploring.  In other words what you get is a kind of mystical, pastoral folk with strong prog overtones.  Flutes and 'tron fuse with echoey acoustic guitars in a way that transport you to some ancient forest.  At various points through out the album I'm reminded of Pink Floyd, Trespass-era Genesis, early King Crimson and Traffic.  The band started out as a trio with guests and has now expanded into a full fledge touring ensemble.  I expect we will hear quite a bit from this band in the immediate future.  Highly recommended. 
    $27.00
  • "There are no surprises in sound and style on Morph the Cat, Donald Fagen's long-awaited third solo album, nor should any be expected -- ever since Steely Dan's 1980 masterwork, Gaucho, his work, either on his own or with longtime collaborator Walter Becker, has been of a piece. Each record has been sleek, sophisticated, and immaculately produced, meticulously recorded and arranged, heavy on groove and mood, which tends to mask the sly wit of the songs. When it works well -- as it did on Fagen's peerless 1982 solo debut, The Nightfly, or on Steely Dan's 2001 comeback, Two Against Nature -- the results go down smoothly upon first listen and reveal their complexity with each spin; when it doesn't quite succeed -- both 1993's Kamakiriad and the Dan's 2003 effort Everything Must Go didn't quite gel -- the albums sound good but samey on the surface and don't quite resonate. Morph the Cat belongs in the first group: at first it sounds cozily familiar, almost too familiar, but it digs deep, both as music and song.Sonically, at least superficially, it is very much a continuation of the two Steely Dan records of the new millennium -- not only does it share Fagen's aesthetic, but it was recorded with many of the same musicians who have shown up on the Dan projects. There are slight differences -- without Becker around, there's a greater emphasis on keyboards and the songs stretch on a bit longer than anything on Everything Must Go -- but this, at least on pure sonics, could have functioned as a sequel to Two Against Nature. But Morph the Cat is very much a solo affair, fitting comfortably next to his first two solo albums as a conclusion to what he calls a trilogy. If The Nightfly concerned the past and Kamakiriad was set in a hazy future, Morph the Cat is rooted in the present, teeming with the fears and insecurities of post-9/11 America. Fagen doesn't camouflage his intent with the gleefully enigmatic rhymes that have been his trademark: his words, while still knowingly sardonic, are direct, and in case you don't want to bother reading the lyrics or listening closely, he helpfully offers brief explanations of the songs (for instance, on "Mary Shut the Garden Door," he writes "Paranoia blooms when a thuggish cult gains control of the government," a statement that's not exactly veiled). On top of this unease, Fagen faces mortality throughout the album -- he talks with the ghost of Ray Charles, borrows W.C. Fields' phrase for death for "Brite Nitegown," writes about attempted suicides -- and every song seems to be about things drawing to a close.It's a little disarming to hear Fagen talk so bluntly -- although he came close to doing so on the deliberately nostalgic The Nightfly, the fact that he was writing about the past kept him at a bit of a distance -- but despite the abundance of morbid themes, Morph the Cat never sounds dour or depressing. In large part this is due to Fagen's viewpoint -- he never succumbs to mawkishness, always preferring to keep things witty and sardonic, which helps keep things from getting too heavy -- but it's also due to his smooth jazz-rock, which always sounds nimble and light. This, of course, is how Fagen's music always sounds, but here, it not only functions as a counterpoint to the darkness creeping on the edges of the album, but it's executed expertly: as spotless as this production is, it never sounds sterile, and when the songs start stretching past the five-minute mark -- two cuts are over seven minutes -- it never gets boring, because there's a genuine warmth to the clean, easy groove. More so than on Kamakiriad, or on the tight Everything Must Go, there is a sense of genuine band interplay on this record, which helps give it both consistency and heart -- something appropriate for an album that is Fagen's most personal song cycle since The Nightfly, and quite possibly his best album since then." - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00