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SKU: 314534633
Label:
Atlantic Records
Category:
Progressive Rock
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This is the album where I had a hard time telling these guys apart from The Police. A fall off in quality from Moving Pictures - the tunes are shorter and more radio friendly.  Remastered edition.

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  • Reign Of The Architect is a multi-national metal project with its core musicians based in Israel.  The main "architect" appears to be Yuval Kramer, guitarist for Amaseffer.  Not surprisingly there is a musical connection here as well.  While most of the members are Israeli, some prominent names crop up: Mike LePond (Symphony X), Jeff Scott Soto, Joost Van Den Broek (After Forever).  The album is put together like a metal opera with various vocalists - male and female filling the different roles.  The overall feel is purely epic in nature.  In terms of musical reference guideposts, Amaseffer and Saviour Machine come to mind but the male/female vocal parts bring to mind Beyond The Bridge.   Highly recommended."Reign of the Architect are a multi-national progressive metal band that came together in 2008. Originally started as a side-project collaboration by Mexican drummer Mauricio Bustamente and guitarist for Israeli progressive metal group Amaseffer Yuval Kramer, the group also numbers Israeli singer Yotam Avni of death metal band Prey For Nothing, who wrote the basic storyline for what would turn out to be their debut album Rise.The group emailed ideas back and forth until it was time to record in 2010. To fill out the lineup, the group recruited several well-known and respected metal musicians, including bassist Michael Lepond (Symphony X), as well as guest musicians in keyboard player Joost Van Der Broek (Ayreon), highly regarded Israeli jazz fusion guitarist Assaf Levy, and the legendary Jeff Scott Soto (Yngvie Malmsteen, Journey, Trans-Siberian Orchestra) to perform on certain tracks. Reign Of The Architect’s first album was delayed due to the inability to find a label to release it, but finally it has seen the light of day. What could have been a disappointment instead was revealed to be a truly gripping, cinematic work of symphonic progressive metal.Rise is a sci-fi concept album of some sort. According to Kramer, the story is an “allegory of the powers that rage inside the human soul”, dealing with the subjectivity of things such as good and evil, and right and wrong. In accordance with this duology, the music on this album falls into one of two categories; either slower dramatic and mournful, or heavier bombastic and angry. Both are done in a very cinematic fashion, and combining influences from Latin, Middle Eastern, European, and jazz fusion traditions into one melting pot of progressive metal riffing.After a symphonic intro, the album opens, interestingly enough, not with a high energy song as would be expected, but with a waltz-type song, and then a ballad which starts very minimal and then turns into something more dramatic for the finale. The song “False” has a heavy, desperate feeling, and is a very powerful metal song which descends into a very surprising but very fitting jazz fusion-esque solo. The song also ends with an almost-ragtime piano section, which nicely contrasts the rest of the song.There are three vocalists featured on the album: Davidavi Dolev, Tom Gefen, and Denise Scorofitz – and this is one of its greatest strengths, as each one is given parts that perfectly suit their range and sound within the music. It adds an amazing amount of dynamicism and variance to the album.There are also a few guest vocalists to add even more to what Rise has to offer. The singers are given specific characters that are important to the concept to sing. Most appear throughout, as the concept demands, but Jeff Scott Soto makes his mark on only one track: the brilliant “We Must Retaliate”, the second single release from the album. Members of the Israeli thrash metal band Dark Serpent appear on the final song, “Hopeless War” as soldiers, and also making guest appearances (and acquitting themselves wonderfully) are Joost Van Der Broek (playing a keyboard solo on the first single release, “Distant Similarities”) and Assaf Levy, who provides guitar solos on “False” and “As The Old Turns To Sorrow”.Musically, the rest of the band is excellent. The guitar, drums, bass, and keyboards all sound fantastic and work very well together. Guitar-wise, the riffs in the more metal moments are strong, flowing, and cohesive. The bass parts, half of which are played by Michael Lepond who replaced original bassist Kyle Honea when the latter was unable to continue, are their own entity not just following the guitar. Lepond is a fantastic bassist, one of the best in progressive metal, and it shows here.Rise is three acts and fifteen songs long, running at 65 minutes. It is not long for progressive metal record, but it does occasionally feel like it drags a bit. All the songs are within the four to six minute range, and contain enough variety to keep things interesting for the most part, but the back half of the album is less interesting than the first half. The first seven songs are brilliant, while the next nine have a few shining moments, namely “We Must Retaliate” “Crown of Shattered Dreams” and “Hopeless War” among others, but are generally a little less remarkable. It is also the first part in a planned two part saga. No word on when the second album will be released, but one can hope it will be just as good as this one. Reign of the Architect have created a fantastic work of progressive cinematic metal for their debut. The variety of sound showcased, and the strong composition and musicianship along with some great guest musicians make this an excellent addition to any progressive metal collection. It is very well-produced and has some very thoughtful lyrics. Rise is definitely one of the top progressive metal albums of the year so far." - The Monolith
    $14.00
  • 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.
    $14.00
  • Submarine Silence is a side project from Moongarden's Cristiano Roversi.  The bands first album was released 12 years ago on Mellow Records.  It was an instrumental album that paid a huge debt to early Genesis.  This low awaited follow up album is cut from a similar cloth but it does feature vocals.  Most of the band is fleshed out with other members of Moongarden and Mangala Vallis.  Vocals are sung by Mirko Ravenoldi, who frankly I'm not familiar with.  He sings in English and truth be told he's a much better guitarist than singer.  Luckily the album features long swathes of instrumental passages - all cut from the Genesis cloth.  Roversi's keyboard arsenal is chock full of all the old favorites - Mellotron, Hammond organ, Arp and Moog synths, etc.  Lots of similarities to Tony Bank's set up and I believe that is the whole point.  Not very Italian sounding at all.  If you long for the old school sounds of Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot check this one out.
    $15.00
  • "Fair to say their name is still as dislikeable as it was when we covered their excellent album Eight Pieces, One World album two years ago but musically the Belgian metallers still rock the juices out of us as proven by new encounter Odd Memories. Max Pie fills their third album with all the essences which made its predecessor a surprising and compelling proposition but it is with bigger and bolder imagination and creative energy. We are no major heavy/power metal fans here to be honest but once again Max Pie has given us one thumping and rousing time.The band was formed in 2005 by vocalist Tony Carlino taking inspirations from bands such as Symphony X, Van Halen, Toto, Queensrÿche, and Dream Theater into their emerging ideas. A slightly unstable time in personnel graced their early years before Max Pie released debut album Initial Process in 2012. Fan and critically acclaimed it was surpassed by Eight Pieces – One World a year later in presence, sound, and praise. Its release was followed by the band playing numerous festivals and undertaking tours with the likes of Symphony X, Evergrey, Fates Warning, Avantasia, and Queensrÿche. Now they return with, as the last album, the Simone Mularoni mixed and mastered Odd Memories and simply their finest, most inventive proposal yet.The album opens with its title track; an instrumental ripe with a foreboding atmosphere and epic textures all cinematically imposing on the imagination. This type of beginning is becoming a common practice across varied metal offerings but when done right, as here, it makes a potent invitation into any release. As the track slips into the following Age of Slavery, a sizzling electronic coaxing colludes with rampant riffs and a melodic embrace of keys. The thick commanding rhythms of drummer Sylvain Godenne shape and invigorate the track further, framing the growling vocals of Carlino perfectly. The frontman’s diverse delivery is as magnetic as ever, some elements more powerful and potent than others but like the music, a constant lure that likes to stretch and push both song and musician. As the guitar and keyboard craft of Damien Di Fresco builds and expands its enterprise, the track blossoms into a sturdy and fiery encounter to really kick things off.It is also, in many ways, a relatively straight forward and maybe expected proposal from the band, the new exploration showing itself more from Odd Future on. Keys breed the first mesmeric caress on the third track before guitars and the wonderfully dark throated bass of Lucas Boudina bring their hues to the emerging and stirring landscape of the encounter. Once vocals join, the song settles into a melodic roar and sonic flame of melodic and heavy rock ‘n’ roll, their union a heated and tenacious arousing of ears and thoughts veined by sparkling, and at times understated temptation from the keys. It is when things go off kilter with a glorious stretch of discord kissed invention and melodic bedlam that the song really comes alive and if there is any moan it does not play in this great moment long enough.Promised Land opens on a vivacious escapade of keys quickly encased in storming riffs and rhythms, it all quickly blooming into a virulently contagious slice of rock pop with classic metal and progressive rock hues. It has single running through its potent craft and lusty veins, every second of the track a bold and rousing incitement for body, voice, and emotions. Such its power and lure, it gives next up Love Hurts a hard time trying to follow it, and as mesmeric in melodic beauty within tempestuously emotional and physical terrain that it is, it never quite finds the same full-blooded personal reactions as its predecessor. It is undeniably superbly crafted and woven though and does leave only fully satisfied thoughts before the darker, ravenous excellence of Don’t Call My Name takes over. The guitars alone are predatory with their creative rummaging of the senses whilst the keys float with celestial temptation above them and the uncompromising rhythms spearing it all. Reaping the ripest elements of technical and progressive metal, band and track pulsate as they gnaw on ears, adding melodic and harmonic balm to the increasingly irresistible voracity on offer. With Carlino also on fine form, the track is the pinnacle of the album, reason alone to eagerly approach Odd Memories.The acoustically brewed Hold On slips in next to transfix and from a slow start to its persuasion grows into a big favourite. Whether by chance or intention, it has a Bowie-esque essence to it, a floating whisper in quieter moments which does it no harm. It is a scent soon out flamed by vocals and the sonic blaze giving the song rich crescendos and a breath-taking finale before Unchain Me takes the listener on another tumultuous ride of rugged metal and tantalising electronic adventure.No prizes in guessing some of the scenery within Cyber Junkie, its electronic and industrial endeavour a potent spicing to another song offering a compelling fusion of bestial metal and melodic flirtation, the former steering the ship with invigorating success. As Don’t Call My Name before it, the track is a masterful web of varied and diverse styles in one predacious provocateur, thoughts of bands from Anthrax to Armored Saint, Dream Theater to Skyharbor coming to mind across its exciting and again show stealing soundscape.The album is finished by The Fountain Of Youth, a song which either a raging storm of a canter or a gentle caress enthrals and sparks only the keenest attention and support from ears and emotions. Like a couple of other songs it takes longer to get all of its hooks inescapably entrenched but with its additional symphonic elegance and emotively hued strings, the song has seduced long before realisation notices.Wrapped in the excellent artwork of Didier Scohier, Odd Memories and indeed Max Pie have caught us again with a tempest of sound and invention driven by craft and passion. This time it is bigger, more adventurous, and confirming the band as one of progressive power metal’s finest." - The RingMaster Review
    $15.00
  • " 'The Naked Truth' by Ureas is a weird album. Most remarkable would be the combination of different vocals that are set to work with the lyrics, that are in itself are interesting to say the least. Ranging from a lovely, childish second voice through the well-known power metal shouts to a screaming level that is not often found in power metal.At times it sounds like this would be the result of Marilyn Manson making power metal. The rest of the musicians knows reasonably well what they're doing and the songs itself are full of variation. Because of the fact that the songs are not very complicated, there is a lot of focus on the vocals, but that seems to be exactly what Ureas is aiming for, considering the complexity and versatility of exactly that. Here and there 'The Naked Truth' is reserved and melodic. At other moments the composition is bombastic and it appears as if they want to make their lyrics carry over the entire face of the earth. Because of the diversity of the songs it's sometimes hard to keep your attention focused to the music. It's impossible to link the album to a specific mood and it's even hard to capture it with the term power metal. But I can definitely recommend it to those who wish to try out something new." - Lords Of Metal 'zine
    $14.00
  • Luxembourg is not exactly a hotbed for prog rock bands but they have at least one in TNNE.  The band was originally known as No Name but went through an upheaval in their lineup.  No named The No Name Experience, the band still features original keyboardiste Alex Rukavina and vocalist Patrick Kiefer.  These guys revel in the neo-prog sound.  If you are a Pendragon or IQ fan you will eat this stuff up!
    $15.00
  • "Kiko Loureiro is the guitar virtuoso from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At 19, Loureiro joined the metal band, Angra in 1991. In 2005, Loureiro released his first solo album, No Gravity. Loureiro started a project called Neural Code in 2009 with drummer Cuca Teixeira and bassist Thiago Espirito Santo. He has maintained a successful career both with his band and as a solo performer releasing seven studio albums with Angra and three solo albums. Loureiro has now released his forth solo studio album, Sounds Of Innocence.With his fourth studio album, Loureiro takes influences from jazz, blues, traditional Brazilian music, and mixes it with progressive metal to create an album full of fresh sounds while remaining true to his progressive metal roots. Felipe Andreoli and Virgil Donati provide bass and drums for Sounds Of Innocence.Within the first few seconds of “Gray Stone Gateway” you can see why Loureiro has been ranked as one of the top guitarists in the world. He provides some amazing guitar solos throughout this song. The solos are performed at incredible speeds, and should really be listened to fully appreciate. Felipe Andreoli and Virgil Donati do a good job at keeping up with this pace to make for a full energy song.“El Guajiro” has a heavier and metal feeling than some of the other songs. Donati does an excellent job on drums on this song, and Andreoli helps to give this song a truly metal sound with his deep bass playing. Louriero is, of course, excellent on this song, playing amazing techniques that almost boggles the mind to hear. Also of note, this song contains traditional Brazilian rhythm instruments being played that help to keep the song fresh.The more progressive rock sounding, “Mãe D'Água,” is a great instrumental track that showcases Loureiro’s guitar abilities as well as several other instruments. Loureiro plays slower solos on this track, but still articulates his message very well using jazz influences to create a great rock song. Donati and Andreoli provide great accompaniment to Loureiro’s guitar sounds.Kiko Loueiro is one of the best guitar players alive, and with Sounds Of Innocence he shows that he will only continue to get better as time goes by. His latest album is a great piece of progressive metal art. Anybody who loves amazing guitar skills should check out Kiko Loueiro. You won’t be disappointed with Sounds Of Innocence." - Prog Rock Music Talk
    $13.00
  • This is kind of a shocking release to turn up on Napalm Records. It looks as though they are joining the ranks of Nuclear Blast and Century Media in picking up progressive metal bands...and that can't really be a bad thing. Serenity hails from Austria. They've been kicking around for awhile but this is their debut release. The music is a mix of melodic and progressive metal with some power touches. Georg Neuhauser's vocals have a plaintive, emotional feel that suits the music quite well. They focus on melody but are smart enough to lure a prog head like me in with occassional instrumentals of the Dream Theater variety. Savatage, Vanden Plas, Threshold, DT - these guys have their bases covered. Solid debut. Highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • Full length debut from this excellent UK based djent metal band. Led by the clean/scream vocals of Dan Tompkins, Tesseract effortlessly balances melody with technicality. Similar in nature to Periphery but with MUCH better vocals. This special edition comes with a bonus DVD that features them performing Concealing Fate live in the studio as well as band interviews, road footage, and more. Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • "Where Permanent Vacation seemed a little overwhelmed by its pop concessions, Pump revels in them without ever losing sight of Aerosmith's dirty hard rock core. Which doesn't mean the record is a sellout -- "What It Takes" has more emotion and grit than any of their other power ballads; "Janie's Got a Gun" tackles more complex territory than most previous songs; and "The Other Side" and "Love in an Elevator" rock relentlessly, no matter how many horns and synths fight with the guitars. Such ambition and successful musical eclecticism make Pump rank with Rocks and Toys in the Attic." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • "Dream Evil's third album, Book of Heavy Metal, is a brazen tribute to this always controversial genre -- as likely to invoke blind devotion from its fans as it does outright dismissal from its antagonists. In fact, Dream Evil, much like loin-clothed metal warriors Manowar, care not for the latter category of sniveling vermin! No sir, their mission to metalify (is that a word?) the realm is fueled by far grander ambitions and deeper commitments than those non-believers could possibly fathom. Or so one would gather from the meaty staccato riffs, dazzling guitar solos and soaring vocals (everything classic metal is known and loved for) to be found in über-metallic offerings such as "Into the Moonlight," "Crusader's Anthem," and the over-the-top title track, which incidentally begins with vocalist Niklas Isfeldt's piercing scream of: "metaaallll!" Noted metal producer Fredrik Nordström is the main architect of Dream Evil's castle -- a castle also embattled by bassist Peter Stalfors and legendary drummer Snowy Shaw (King Diamond, Notre Dame, etc.), but it's Greek guitar-shredding sub-legend Gus G. (Mystic Prophecy, Firewind, etc.) who consistently shines through with his ever-explosive, but surprisingly restrained and well-timed leads here (and on album highlight "No Way" he pulls a few Zakk Wylde tricks, surprisingly enough). Also to their credit, Dream Evil doesn't pave their glorious road with the easy but by now rote clichés of power metal. There's virtually zero thrash-like speed to be found here, and many songs ("The Sledge," "Let's Make Rock" and "The Mirror," in particular) actually come closest to old-school hard rock than later-day metal for inspiration. Throw in the mandatory power ballad (the decidedly syrupy "Unbreakable Chain") and an absolute metal classic in the Accept mold named "M.O.M. (Man or a Mouse)," and you have the ingredients for a damn fine, pure metal album. In short, fans of Judas Priest, Dio, and especially Manowar will likely find themselves lapping up this seriously corny document, and the fact that the members of Dream Evil often have their tongues planted firmly in cheek should also forgive most of their excesses in the name of (deep breath now...) metaaaaallll! [Book of Heavy Metal also features a 60-minute bonus DVD packed with behind-the-scenes footage and the title track's brilliantly over-the-top promo clip.]" - Allmusic
    $14.00
  • One of the great Italian symphonic prog albums of the 70s. Recommended to fans of Banco and PFM. New mini-lp sleeve edition from Vinyl Magic.
    $18.00
  • Finally available is this remastered version of the band's fifth album. This is where the Pink Floyd influences really start to kick in heavy. Essential.
    $13.00