Sofia

Sofia

BY Arkan

(Customer Reviews)
$12.00
SKU: SOM330D
Label:
Season Of Mist
Category:
Gothic Metal
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Wholly appealing because of their oriental workaround on the female-fronted metal sound, France’s Arkan don’t quite have the panache of the buxom-beauty bands, but their songs are better. Definitely better. A tad on the difficult side to pin down when making sonic comparisons, the band has their feet somewhere near the present exotic-slanted territory of Tristania, and on the extreme metal side of the spectrum, the forceful moods of late-90s Septicflesh…back when they were called Septic Flesh. Regardless of where they’re getting their influences from, Sofia (the band’s third album) is very much a winner in the stacked deck that is chick metal.

Per the subgenre norm, the focus falls upon singer Sarah Layssac, who is in possession of a luscious, well-toned voice. Her humming chorus choices on opener “Hayati” set the tone for the rest of the album, where upon she keeps the songs largely in check with either a daunting chorus, or lush harmony idea. Just go down the line – “March of Sorrow,” “Deafening Silence,” and “Wireless Angels,” each punctuate Layssac’s emotive, soul-bearing vocals, which are made all the more interesting thanks to the oriental flavor.

Primarily because Sofia never goes overboard on the oriental instrumentation side, there’s a lot to gobble up here, particularly when the band peddles choice instrumental breaks (see: “My Reverence”) or blends gentle acoustic guitar touches with streamlined melodies (“Endless Way”). So point being, Sofia offers a lot of everything in the female-fronted, exotic metal field, none of which feels dumbed-down or forced. In fact, so advanced and interesting these compositions are, that Arkan makes more image-friendly bands seem quite useless at the moment. Highly recommended." - Dead Rhetoric

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  • "Four years after the truly excellent, and one I still play with some regularity, Children Of Another God, former Enid and Steve Hackett Band alumni Nick Magnus makes a welcome return to our aural senses with this thoroughly enjoyable, and intelligent, album.The inner sleeve has a definition of mnemonic as a system or device for aiding memory. Much of what you hear and read is truly memorable, as well.Magnus and his keyboards are at the heart of everything in this album, and parts of opener, Time, are almost industrial in parts, certainly not particularly typical of what one might have expected, but the surprise is welcome. Contrast this with album closer, Entropy, in which his keys bring a mysterious sense of warmth as they lead a track which is Celtic in its heart, and brings all of the thoughtful lyrics of the work (aiding memory) full circle.In the predecessor album, there was a gorgeous track called The Others featuring the beautiful, almost operatic, vocals of Linda John-Pierre. Well, on N'Monix, he has gone one further, with Memory, the sister of time, by including the most gorgeous aria sung by Kate Faber, a soprano with the most incredible voice. This is the utter highlight of the album to me, a track which celebrates and fuses all that is best about traditional symphonic prog with its classical inspiration. Truly beautiful, and worth the price of admission alone.What remains is a fascinating mix of the modern, traditional, pastoral, and clever all in one new package. Kombat Kid is a knowing nod for those of us with boys who love console games, but framed marvellously cleverly as a historical paradox of Richard III, whose remains were recently exhumed. Tony Patterson's vocals are sumptuous and extremely knowing.Headcase ends the first side of the album (as would have been in days of yore), before, in Eminent Victorians, we hear the first appearance of three by Steve Hackett, once again lending his old friend a hand. This is, on this track more than any other, extremely appropriate, because this is the first of a side of music I think could quite easily have fitted alongside classic Genesis of circa 1971 Nursery Cryme vintage. You know, that marvellously quirky and eccentric pastoral English to its core rock. The vocals provided by another old Hackett collaborator, Pete Hicks, simply add to the atmosphere created, this in addition to those trademark Hackett licks working in tandem with Nick's keys so reminiscent of that period.Talking of Hackett licks, just listen to his incredible solo work on the short instrumental, Shadowland, which combines this with the feel of Memory to provide us with an almost Gothic hymn of remembrance. Quite stunning, really.This joy, though, itself pales into comparison with Broken, the longest track on the album, clocking in at just over eight minutes long. Steven Wilson collaborator Tim Bowness contributes a delicate and thoughtful vocal to a track, with flute, soprano sax, arpeggio guitar, and a wall of keyboards simply taking one on a magical life journey, told through said instruments and children's nursery rhymes, and this is key, because, through all the joy, this is, essentially, a dark track designed to make one reflect upon events of one's past. A huge clap, then, to a wonderful lyricist, Dick Foster.This is a memorable album, and comes thoroughly recommended to anyone who enjoys that feeling of listening to an album which brings the feel of a classic period right into the modern era with aplomb, thought, production, and warmth. An album which demands attention, and brings the rewards that such attention should provide.Four stars, but would have the extra half star if we had such a rating on the site. Yet another album which will stay with me and on my playlist for years to come, and proof positive that 2014 continues to develop into a vintage year for exceptional intelligent progressive rock." - PROGARCHIVES
    $15.00
  • Willowglass is the vehicle for British multi-instrumentalist Andrew Marshall.  He plays guitar, keys, and bass.  Accompaniment is courtesy of Hans Jorg Schmitz on drums and Steve Unruh on violin, flute, and guitars.The music is all instrumental and harkens back to the classic British progressive sounds of the 70s.  The album kicks off with the 20 minute "A House Of Cards Pt 1", which is a pure love letter to the Mellotron.  Reminds me a bit of King Crimson's Lizard.  The music never gets overly heavy.  Marshall tends to rely on acoustic guitar quite a bit and Unruh's violin figures quite prominently.  We always say they don't make 'em like they used to but apparently they still do.  If you miss the glory days of Genesis and Camel you need to fill that spot in your collection.  Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • Let me preface my observations of the CTTE remix by saying that I don’t put these classic albums on a pedestal.  If they can be sonically improved while remaining faithful to the original mix and maintaining musicality and the emotional content then I’m all for it.  In general I liked what Steven Wilson did with the King Crimson catalog.  I was particularly impressed by his reconstruction and resurrection of Lizard.  When I heard he was tackling the Yes catalog I was hopeful because if there was ever a band that could use some sonic wizardry its Yes.  Eddy Offord was never able to bring the magic to their mixes that he was able to give to ELP.So how did Steven Wilson do with CTTE?  I can only use one word to describe the new mix: “transformative”.  CTTE was an album cobbled together from various bits and pieces.  Its widely acknowledged to be the band’s best album (its certainly my opinion) but in terms of sonics it fell victim to the “too many cooks” syndrome.  The original mix was a bit of a mess.  Its all changed now.The one thing that is immediately apparent is the foundation provided by Chris Squire’s bass.  It reaches the pits of hell and if Mr. Wilson is going to take this approach with TFTO and Relayer he’s got my vote.  In general there is a veil of schmutz that has been wiped away.  All the instruments have more clarity and focus in the soundstage.  “I Get Up I Get Down” was chilling.  I found the soundstage consistently extended beyond the boundaries of my speakers.  The mix is warm, involving and there is a balance among the instruments that I found lacking in the original mix - primarily because of Squire’s bass being given a shot of adrenaline.  Jaw dropping stuff.  The bonus track of “America” had exceptional, dare I say audiophile sound.So the obvious question is - what sounds better - this mix or the SACD?  I dunno.  I can’t find my bloody SACD to compare…but here is my memory of the SACD.  When I got it I played it through.  It didn’t overwhelm me or disappoint me.  My thought was “its fine...it is what it is - this is the best it will ever sound in the digital domain”.  I was wrong.  BUY OR DIE!  FORMAT: 1 x CD/1 x Blu-RayCD:1  Close to the Edge2  And You And I3  Siberian KhatruBonus Tracks:4  America5  Close to the EdgeBlu-Ray:Presented in DTS-HD Master Audio– Album mixed in 5.1 Surround– New Album mix– Original Album  mix (flat transfer)– New Album mix (instrumental version)– America original, new & instrumental stereo mixes & 5.1 Surround + further audio extras some exclusive to Blu-Ray edition• Close to the Edge is the first in a series of remixed & expanded Yes Classics• The classic album has been mixed for 5.1 Surround Sound from the original studio masters by Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) & is fully approved by Yes.• CD features a completely new stereo album mix by Steven Wilson• CD also features a new mix of America• CD also features an early mix/assembly of Close to the Edge• Blu-Ray features 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio Surround (24bit/96khz) mixed from the original multi-channel recordings.• Blu-Ray features the new stereo album mix in DTS-HD Master Audio (24bit/96khz).• Blu-Ray also features the original album mix & America in a DTS-HD Master Audio flat transfers from the original master tape source. (24bit/192khz)• Blu-Ray exclusively features instrumental versions of all new mixes in DTS-HD Master Audio stereo (24bit/96khz).• Blu-Ray also exclusively features a needle-drop of an original UK vinyl A1/B1 pressing transferred in 24bit/96khz audio.• Numerous audio extras appear in high-resolution stereo including single edits & studio run throughs of album tracks• Original artwork by Roger Dean who has also overseen the artwork for this new edition• Presented as a mini vinyl replica gatefold card sleeve with booklet containing new sleeve notes, rare photos & archive material.“Close to the Edge” is the first in a series of expanded Yes editions including 5.1 Surround mixes, new stereo mixes & High-Resolution stereo mixes of the original music along with a wealth of extra material. Acclaimed musician/producer Steven Wilson has produced the new mixes with the approval of the band, while Roger Dean reprises his role as art director/designer of the newly issued edition, making this the definitive edition of the album.When Yes entered the studio with Eddie Offord to record the band’s fifth studio album in mid-1972, their second with this line-up, the band was on something of a roll. “Fragile”, the band’s previous album, had taken Yes to a new level of international popularity with Top Ten chart placement on both sides of the Atlantic & yielding a hit single in the USA with ‘Roundabout’. The band was now established in the major music markets to an extent that was, perhaps, unexpected given the complexity of the music Yes performed. But with that popularity came a confidence that the expansive material of the two previous albums could be taken a stage further with the new recording. Rather than consolidating, Yes chose to innovate.Recorded during lengthy sessions at London’s Advision Studios, “Close to the Edge” is that rarity in recorded music, the sound of a band & its individual members writing, playing and recording at the peak of their collective abilities. The album was issued in Autumn 1972 reaching chart highs & platinum sales status of  4 in the UK, 3 in the USA & 1 in Holland, though such statistics only hint at the worldwide popularity of the album over a period of more than four decades. The three pieces of music, the title track which spanned the entire first side of the vinyl album with ‘And You And I’ & ‘Siberian Khatru’ on side two, have remained concert favourites since release, with the 2013 Yes line-up currently in the middle of a world tour stretching into the middle of next year that sees the album performed in its entirety.The album remains the favourite among many of the band’s legion of fans, a defining recording both for the band & for the progressive rock movement. It is also one of the most successful British rock albums ever released.Since this release of “Close to the Edge” was confirmed, the various websites dedicated to Yes, Progressive rock & high-resolution audio have been very active with discussions among fans keen to hear the new mixes & the existing material in its purest audio presentation. 
    $21.00
  • "The Chicago Transit Authority recorded this double-barreled follow-up to their eponymously titled 1969 debut effort. The contents of Chicago II (1970) underscore the solid foundation of complex jazz changes with heavy electric rock & roll that the band so brazenly forged on the first set. The septet also continued its ability to blend the seemingly divergent musical styles into some of the best and most effective pop music of the era. One thing that had changed was the band's name, which was shortened to simply Chicago to avoid any potential litigious situations from the city of Chicago's transportation department -- which claimed the name as proprietary property. Musically, James Pankow (trombone) was about to further cross-pollinate the band's sound with the multifaceted six-song "Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon." The classically inspired suite also garnered the band two of its most beloved hits -- the upbeat pop opener "Make Me Smile" as well as the achingly poignant "Color My World" -- both of which remained at the center of the group's live sets. Chicago had certainly not abandoned its active pursuit of blending high-octane electric rockers such as "25 or 6 to 4" to the progressive jazz inflections heard in the breezy syncopation of "The Road." Adding further depth of field is the darker "Poem for the People" as well as the politically charged five-song set titled "It Better End Soon." These selections feature the band driving home its formidable musicality and uncanny ability to coalesce styles telepathically and at a moment's notice. The contributions of Terry Kath (guitar/vocals) stand out as he unleashes some of his most pungent and sinuous leads, which contrast with the tight brass and woodwind trio of Lee Loughnane (trumpet/vocals), Walter Parazaider (woodwinds/vocals), and the aforementioned Pankow. Peter Cetera (bass/vocals) also marks his songwriting debut -- on the final cut of both the suite and the album -- with "Where Do We Go from Here." It bookends both with at the very least the anticipation and projection of a positive and optimistic future. Potential consumers should note the unsurpassed sound quality and deluxe packaging of the 2002 CD remaster." - Allmusic Guide
    $9.00
  • "There’s a certain irony to a band naming its debut album A Long Time Listening and then waiting five years to release its follow-up – but whether by accident or design, this is exactly what Agent Fresco have done. In the interim, however, with only occasional ventures outside of their native Iceland, the quartet have managed to build something of a cult following with music that is both electrifying and emotional in equal measure. Amongst their fanbase, anticipation levels for second album Destrier are several orders of magnitude beyond stratospheric. So how can they possibly be met?So let’s put everyone who may have clicked on this review with a sense of trepidation at ease as soon as possible, because not only have Agent Fresco met those expectations, they have surpassed them with almost astonishing ease. Destrier is, bluntly, a fucking masterpiece. Whether you read what follows this paragraph or not, you need to hear Destrier as soon as you can. You have been told.For those of you that are still with us, let’s delve a bit deeper into exactly what makes Destrier (pronounced DE-streer, linguistics fans) so very special. Like its predecessor, the contextual nucleus of the album is an extensive exploration of the complex web of emotions surrounding a pivotal event in the life of singer Arnor Dan Arnarson. Whereas the theme of A Long Time Listening was the grief following the death of his father, Destrier deals with the aftermath of a particularly violent attack that left some significant physical and mental injuries. As one might expect, Destrier is a considerably more burly – at times even angry – affair.A significant proportion of what makes Agent Fresco’s music so special is how cohesively the band operate together. Throughout Destrier, they pulse, flex, twitch and turn together like the sinews of a single, well-honed muscle. There is layer upon layer of complexity in the sound they create, yet it coalesces into something so immediately accessible that it reaches out to hug the listener like a long-lost friend even during that first, glorious, play through the record.What’s more, whilst each individual track stands firmly on its own two feet, they are given an extra lease of life in the context of the album as a whole. This is particularly apparent with lead single “Dark Water“, whose eruption out of the ominous, brooding, Massive Attack-esque tones of opening track “Let Them See Us” pushes it into a practically euphoric release. The album ebbs and flows as a single, continuous work of art that makes pushing the stop button tremendously difficult, so it’s best to make sure you have a free hour for that first listen. What’s more, as my colleague and our resident Icelander Jon Þor pointed out to me, final track “Mono No Aware” fades down to the same delicate note that opens the album after reprising the title track. This effectively means that the album loops almost seamlessly, which is a magical thing.The titular Destrier itself is a type of medieval war horse, whose use was reserved for battle alone. It is metaphorically deployed here by Arnor as a kind of spirit animal, giving him the fortitude to confront the anger and vulnerability he felt in the aftermath of the attack. This shows neatly the cryptic yet vivid imagery that Arnor is capable of conjuring through his lyrics, placing him in the same league as Maynard James Keenan, perhaps coupled with Muse‘s Matt Bellamy in both his sense of theatre and his achingly beautiful falsetto. However, without access to a full lyric sheet as I write, I’ll refrain from any hamfisted analysis of half-heard lines; I think it deserves more than that.Destrier also shows that whilst their music is almost immediately identifiable as Agent Fresco, they are not bound by any restrictions of genre, making the album as much of a musical voyage of adventure and exploration as a lyrical one. Perhaps the most surprising moment lies in the title track itself, which suddenly drops into dense, practically atonal shards of syncopated noise. Elsewhere, elements of greasy garage rock, slinky lounge music and soft, bubbling electronica can be found alongside more familiar choruses (which are often big enough to be visible from space), delicate piano-led sections and ebullient math-rock riffing.With more dynamic surprises like the vulnerability of “Bemoan” dropping into the brash savagery of “Angst” to be discovered, Destrier is a near-perfect artistic expression that stimulates mind, body and spirit in equal measure. Listeners may well find themselves immediately besotted, then even more deeply gratified through repeated listens.As you can probably tell, Destrier is a most uncommon delight. It will almost certainly prove to be one of the most essential listens of 2015, and maybe an even longer timescale than that. We can only hope that it won’t take another five years for Agent Fresco to release their next album, but even if that does happen, we will probably not have tired of this one by then. Destrier is a masterpiece; a glorious, life-affirming masterpiece that, once heard, will make you wonder how you managed without it. Go seek." - The Monolith
    $15.00
  • "With 'Home', for the first time since their critically acclaimed 'Posthumous Silence' of 2006, Sylvan have taken the chance to create another full-on concept album. Even though the Hamburg natives attach great importance to creating contextually comprehensive pieces of art with any of their albums, this time around Sylvan have upped their ambition another notch and taken on the mammoth task of building an overall concept around the never ending quest of the human condition for 'home' - that very special place that can provide a feeling of complete safety."This is the deluxe mediabook edition.  Same track listing as the jewel box but in much nicer packaging.
    $17.00
  • Take 4 members of Shaman, add in Angra's incredible drummer Aquiles Priester.  Have Russell Allen produce their album and what do you get?  Well not exactly what you would expect but ultimately maybe something even better.  Noturnall's debut touches on power, trash, and progressive metal and all blended together with a melodic modern edge.  Russell Allen even provides guest vocals on one tune.  Turn this one up to 11!"What do you all expect from bands with some praised members in their lineups?Of course, all of us have great expectations, and in Brazilian NOTURNALL, with members from KARMA, SHAMAN, HANGAR, ANGRA, ALMAH, TEMPESTT and others really is above all our expectations, and their first album, “Noturnall” is a heavy piece, an excellent amount of heavy music.They play a modern and heavy form of Prog Metal, with great vocals (Thiago Bianchi is in a great shape, singing both in high tunes as in low ones), abrasive and heavy guitars (both in aggressive riffs and melodic solos, and Léo Mancini shows a very good technique), bass in a technical and heavy shape (Fernando Quesada is a excellent bass player), fantastic drums (please, it’s a work from Aquiles Priester, one of Brazil greatest drummers), and the keyboards are simple great (creating great atmospheres and passages, a fine work from Juninho Carelli). And prepare your ears, for the album is a heavy weight champion, one of best works from Brazil.The sound production is wonderful, done by SYMPHONY X’s vocalist Russell Allen along with NOTURNALL members. You can hear all instruments loud and clear, but the modern and aggressive aspect is present all time. It’s a blow in your face!The Best moments: “No Turn at All”, the heavy and with some groove aspects “Nocturnal Human Side” (great vocals, in a duet of Thiago along with Russell), the wonderful “Sugar Pill”, and the abrasive “Fake Healer”.Perfection, nothing more to say, so remember what your dear Ol’ Big Daddy here always says: buy your physical copies, for MP3 is for sissies." - Metal Temple 
    $15.00
  • Cheap price for this reissue of the first album from the band that ultimately evolved into the AOR radio friendly band. This stuff isn't like that at all. Essentially the initial incarnation of Journey featured Neal Schon and Greg Rolie from Santana, along with Aynsley Dunbar (post-Zappa), and bassist Ross Valory. The music is high-energy with strong progressive rock and fusion elements. The three instrumentals veer towards the fusion side but Rolie's organ work lend the music the prog rock touches. Schon simply annihilates on this entire disc - he sounds like a cross between Jeff Beck and Carlos Santana. Forget your preconceived notions - this is like a different band with the same name as the one you are thinking of. Not a wheel in the sky to be found...
    $5.00
  • "Winter In Eden’s latest offering comes on the heels of their highly acclaimed debut ‘Awakening’ and follow up ‘Echoes Of Betrayal’. Latching onto the production team behind fellow symphonic hard rockers Within Temptation and with critical support from the rock and metal media , ‘Court Of Conscience’ sees them looking to rub shoulders with the big players in the field.Has anyone else noticed a marked increase in the numbers of females becoming part of the rock scene? You only need check out some of the rock publications on the shelves of your local newsagents to find the latest in a new breed or the new release featuring a talented rock goddess on its cover (and let’s face it, more often than not, the ladies tend to look a bit better than the guys.)Nowhere has it been more apparent than in the melodic/symphonic rock/metal scene, where the likes of Within Temptation, Evanescence, Amaranthe and  Nightwish have opened the doors and made female fronted rock almost a genre by itself. In fact, one of the best gigs I’ve attended this year was the Within Temptation/Delain double bill and as someone (probably Disney related) once said, it opened up a whole new world.To the point though. Winter In Eden are another five piece symphonic rock band from the north of England who can be added to the list. With an EP and two albums behind them and a string of recognition  (best new band, female vocalist, live act) from the likes of the Classic Rock Society, Metal Storm and Classic Rock magazine, anticipation is high for their third album, ‘Court Of Conscience’. It comes courtesy of producer Ruud Jolie (of Within Temptation) and mixed by Stefan Helleblad (of…..Within Temptation) and featuring a number of guest appearances most notably including  Landmarq/Threshold singer Damian Wilson. Sounding good so far.Opening track ‘Knife Edge’ has all the classic elements – the false sense of security of the  gentle piano opening giving way to the immediate vocal of Vicky Johnson amid a smack in the teeth blast from the band, a minor respite mid song giving way to a suitably symphonic ending and a flavour of what’s to come.  The typically dynamic expectations and atmospheres come courtesy of the ominous opening of ‘Critical Mass Pt 1- Burdened’ which smoulders along and builds into becoming the big production piece on the album.  With ‘Toxicate’ and ‘Order Of Your Faith’ they display a slightly harder edge while ‘The Script’ offers up something more akin to a string driven power ballad.Although the overall sound is naturally quite heavily orchestrated (expertly done by keyboard ist Steve Johnson) the band are driven along by Steve Hauxwell’s drums and it’s hard not to be impressed by Vicky Johnson’s symphonic metal goddess vocals which pour a velvety smooth coating over  the soundtrack which essentially provide the focus for the band. The album is accessible with some commercial hooks, dare I say radio friendly (maybe rock radio friendly might be more appropriate)  in songs like ‘Before It Began’ and full of sweeping strings and explosive guitars yet able to move into simple acoustic guitar driven pieces.Having come off the road and straight into recording saw the material coming together quickly and making the most of the benefits of playing together  as a live unit. The ‘been there and got the T shirt’ Within Temptation polished production influence has rubbed off  and given Winter In Eden the motivation and momentum to deliver a record which establishes and strengthens their reputation  in the genre." - Louder Than War
    $16.00
  • As a promotion leading up to the band's 15th anniversary concert, Within Temptation partnered with Q Music Belgium and Netherlands.  They released a series of cover tunes - 15 in all.  This CD includes 11 of them all done up Within Temptation style:‘Grenade’ (BRUNO MARS)‘Titanium’ (DAVID GUETTA ft. SIA)‘Let Her Go’ (PASSENGER)‘Summertime Sadness’ (LANA DEL RAY)‘Radioactive’ (IMAGINE DRAGONS)‘Crazy’ (GNARLS BARKLEY)‘Dirty Dancer’ (ENRIQUE IGLESIAS)‘Don’t You Worry Child’ (SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA)‘Behind Blue Eyes’ (THE WHO)‘The Power Of Love’ (FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD)‘Apologize’ (ONE REPUBLIC)There is no US release scheduled at this time.   
    $17.00
  • Mutum is a phenomenal gothic metal band from Monterrey, Mexico.  Fronted by Myrthala Bray, the band creates an epic, symphonic metal sound very much from the same mold as Epica, After Forever, and Delain. Ms. Bray has a great voice (and looks to match) for this style of music.  The music has a bit of speed to it and there are some nice orchestrations that gives the music a larger than life feel.  Apparently 60 musicians were involved in the recording and it sounds it!  In an oversaturated female fronted metal scene, Mutum has immediately rises above the pack with their debut.  Highly recommended.
    $13.00
  • New reissue of this US prog rarity.  Even the CD reissue from a decade ago is long out of print!  Considered by many to be one of the best examples of US prog."An overlookied US band, formed in early-70's and led by guitarist/keyboardist/sax player Robert Williams aka Roberts Owen (R.I.P.).The original line-up featured also multi-instrumentalist James Larner, keyboardist Mark Knox, drummer Jim Miller, bassist Paul Klotzbier and Jeff McMullen on lead vocals/guitars.Maelstrom had a private press LP out in Canada, recorded in 1973 at Fort Walton Beach in Florida and very rare nowadays, originally released under the title ''On the gulf''.Why this band is so overlooked remains a huge mystery to me, as Maelstrom had one of the most eclectic and intricate sounds back in the days.Every track shows a different amount of influences and musical approaches, always played under a very complicated yet well-structured musicianship, offering a huge and dramatic sound like a cross between ETHOS, CATHEDRAL and YEZDA URFA.There are strong amounts of melodies and acoustic passages in the vein of GENESIS, huge sax-based more improvised sections in the vein of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR and SOFT MACHINE, smooth electric parts with delicate vocal harmonies as tribute to CARAVAN, complex interplays as GENTLE GIANT first ever presented and YES-like adventurous symphonic orchestrations with a superb atmosphere.Heavy loads of Mellotron and organ, jazzy-flavored sax atmospheres, dramatic orchestrations with good electric parts, instrumental battles and endless changing climates can be detected constantly, leaving the most demanding proghead satisfied.In 1997 Black Moon Records re-issued the album in CD format under the title ''Maelstrom'' and this work contains a couple of extra tracks recorded live by Maelstrom in 1980 at the ''Three Rivers Festival'' in Indiana with only Owen and Klotzbier from the original line-up along with keyboardist Kent Overholser and Rollin Wood on drums.''Opus one'' has a strong E.L.P. vibe with organs leading the way along with some dramatic synth work in a classic Symphonic Rock track, while the longer ''Genesis to geneva'' is a bit more of a loose instrumental composition again in a Symphonic Rock path but surrounded with some more Avant-Garde/Fusion atmospheres, where synths, organ and electric guitars are on the forefront.A fantastic discovery for all fans of adventurous Classic Prog.Interesting combination of Symphonic Rock, Cantebury Prog and Jazz-Rock, where so much is going on.Definitely among the finest releases of the time in the USA/Canada and highly recommended." - Prog Archives
    $16.00
  • The madcap French jazz metal trio return with their sixth album.  Morglbl consists of guitarist Christope Godin, bassist Ivan Rougny, and drummer  Aurelian Ouzoulias.  The band has toured extensively around the world – USA, Europe, Russia and even China!  They have shared the stage with Liquid Tension Experiment, Bumblefoot, and Umphrey’s McGee among others.These three virtuosos are also well endorsed clinicians and have developed a following individually but when they come together the fireworks really start.  Tea Time For Punks doesn’t deviate from the tried and true Morglbl formula.  Take equal parts fusion and crushing metal power chords, then inject a healthy dose of tongue in cheek humor and you’ve got the perfect Morglbl album. The band is often described as Primus meets Steve Vai and Allan Holdsworth, with flavors of Frank Zappa! 
    $13.00
  • "Six albums in, and we've got some changes happening with long running melodic power metal act Ilium. For starters, ex-Riot/Masterplan vocalist Mike DiMeo is now an ex-Ilium member as well, and he's been replaced by the equally well travelled Lance King, who now lends his vocal talents to the band. With that move, Ilium also find themselves on King's Nightmare Records, a perfect fit all around actually if you ask me. My Misanthropia is their brand new effort.Those not familiar with this Australian act can expect a wealth of classic & power metal flavors, as the band take their influences that range from Helloween, Iron Maiden, Iced Earth, Judas Priest, and Blind Guardian and combine them to form a hard hitting, melodic, and instantly accessible style. For his part, King sounds a bit more aggressive here, but he seems right at home on blistering speed metal fare like "Penny Black" and the title track, his tone filled with slightly more venom than we normally hear from him, but it works within these blazing heavy metal songs. His soaring passages on "Queltzalcoatl", "Lingua Franca", "Godless Theocracies", and "Orbiting a Sun of Sadness", some of the albums more progressive numbers, are vintage King, and show his highly melodic side. Musically, savage riffing, blazing lead guitar solos, rock solid rhythms, and beds of orchestral keyboards adorn many of these songs, with the closer "The Cryptozoologist" being one of the more adventurous of the lot, an action packed tune with plenty of guitar & keyboard exchanges, sounding like a head-on collision between Dream Theater and Blind Guardian. All of the tracks contain memorable melodies to go along with their musical might, so it's a great combination from start to finish that ultimately results in a very enjoyable album.The pairing of Ilium and Lance King seems like a match made in heaven, and their first album together, My Misanthropia, is highly recommended to lovers of melodic, progressive power metal fans of all ages." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $14.00