Soul Temptation

SKU: 144372
Label:
Metal Blade
Category:
Power Metal
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Fine new release from this German power metal band featuring Andy Franck on vocals. The music is heavy but extremely melodic. This is real power metal but not in a slick Euro-way....it has an US power metal feel. So I guess the way to differentiate between Andy's two bands are this - Brainstorm heavy as hell, Symphorce melodic as hell.

Metal Blade is trying something new, pricing this full length release at a mid-price point.

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  • New remastered edition comes with unreleased bonus tracks.Ian Parry's third C.P. project is a futuristic conceptual work steeped in the sci-fi tradition. Once again he has drawn together a nice assortment of musicians to pull off the musical adventure. Stefan Lill, guitarist from Vanden Plas returns as well as Casey Grillo (Kamelot), Jan Bijlsma (Vengeance), Elegy bandmate Joshua Dutrieux and others. Mike Chlasciak and Sascha Paeth make gueset appearances. Parry is perhaps one of the most under-rated of vocalists in the metal world. Now with the announced folding of Elegy, I imagine that he will concentrate on Consortium Project. Fine melodic symphonic metal of the first order...
    $14.00
  • "Power metal has always been as fun as it is ridiculous. I may be overstepping my bounds, but if any bands care to disagree, let their dragons smite me where I stand. Dark Moor has been around since, what feels like, the beginning of time. Actually, it was closer to the late '90s when _Shadowland_ was released. Since their glorious debut into the golden halls of classical influenced power metal, the band has gone through serious line-up changes, including the 2003 departure of vocalist Elisa Martin. I would say that Dark Moor has changed drastically since 1999, but then again I would be overstepping my bounds. Fans have been divided over Martin led Dark Moor versus the new line-up with rich tenor Alfred Romero taking vocal duties. _Ancestral Romance_ is the band's eighth album, continuing the tradition of making music which sounds like battle themes for "Final Fantasy" games. _Ancestral Romance_ travels down well worn paths dug and paved by Blind Guardian, Helloween and Stratovarius. In fact, Dark Moor does nothing which breaks tradition with European power metal as well as previous releases. Despite its conceptual shortcomings, _Ancestral Romance_ does everything it should, at the right time and with the level of energy which soars straight through a vaulted roof.Stark realism hasn't always been a popular subject for power metal, as most albums are dedicated to high fantasy and various forms of speculative fiction. _Ancestral Romance_ deviates slightly with its pastoral paintings dedicated to Spanish folklore. If I could describe a song as framed and gilded in ornate gold, I would. While there is some historic truth to many songs, the level of fiction present is enough to make Rhapsody of Fire blush. Everything is inspired by actual events, and those events have been dramatized, exaggerated and heavy diffused. There are some obvious Spanish songs, such as the Don Quixote ballad " Tilt at Windmills", while others are more specific, like the Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar centered "Mio Cid". The Spanish Golden Age is usually not a popular period of inspiration, however, "Ah, Wretched Me" and its tribute to Pedro Calderón de la Barca says otherwise. _Ancestral Romance_ reads like the syllabus to a grad level Spanish literature class. It's exclusivity and somewhat obscure subject matter makes this portion of the record a highlight and selling point.There are, however, downfalls such as the middle selection entitled "Just Rock". I would try to brush this song off as a poor translation, but anything named "Just Rock" has one unfortunate conclusion. The congratulatory nature of "Just Rock" and masculine celebration of music in general feels silly as a midpoint pep rally which no one asked for. I am not pointing any fingers, but "Just Rock" may or may not have the lyrics "You feel the beat, you get a shock / when your soul harmonized with rock". This song completely disrupts a perfect afternoon with a coerced battle hymn. Dark Moor interrupts your picnic by dragging their muddy feet on the blanket. Luckily, after this shipwreck, the album moves along swimmingly until the end._Ancestral Romance_ could also be praised for its position on tempo. Speed, for Dark Moor, isn't necessarily the end goal as with most power metal. While the ferocity of DragonForce and Sonata Artica is fun, it is sometimes treated as a technical checkmate. Dark Moor coasts at midspeed while still showing off technical prowess and unnecessary bass solos. The cruising speed of Manowar's _In Glory Ride_ and Iced Earth's _Night of the Stormrider_ worked fine in the past and works again for _Ancestral Romance_.It is hard to fault a band for doing everything with textbook style and predictable grace. Dark Moor has made it apparent they intend on skipping forward with little to no change. There is some admiration granted to an artist working through a style over the course of eight albums. Each album is another step in becoming folk heroes or possibility having their faces engraved on coins. _Ancestral Romance_ , for better or worse, is everything you expect it to be and nothing more." - chroniclesofchaos.com
    $6.00
  • "The debut recording from the Dixie Dregs (The Great Spectacular is considered a demo) stands as one fusion's high-water marks. This music is wholly original and played with a freshness and vigor that had begun to wane in a genre that was becoming a model in self-parody. The influences here are plentiful, but it is the country roots that provide the music with its vitality. Founder/guitarist Steve Morse proved to be an important new guitarist, offering an inimitable style with the technique the music demands. The music is complex and challenging, but that's easy to overlook due to the band's sunny approach. While they would go on to create more fully realized recordings, this one proved that fusion had a soul." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • "After the lack of success garnered by 1970's The Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, Randy California (guitar/vocals) -- who had recently suffered a nearly fatal horse-riding accident -- split from the combo, leaving only Ed Cassidy (drums) and John Locke (keyboards) to carry on from the original lineup. They were joined by brothers Al Staehely (bass/lead vocals) and Christian Staehely (guitar/vocals), with the former supplying a majority of the album's solid material. His consistently strong songs were perfect for this seemingly hastily collected aggregate. Unlike Jay Ferguson (vocals) and Mark Andes' (guitar/vocals) boogie outfit Jo Jo Gunne, Spirit remained steeped in equal measures of pop, rock, and jazz. That said, "Cadillac Cowboys" could have just as easily passed off for Gunne, with the propulsive backbeat centered down the spine of the slightly syncopated rhythm, perfect for Cassidy's percussive inflections and innate sense of timing. Locke's instrumentals "Trancas Fog-Out" and "Puesta del Scam" also put the drummer in the driver's seat, as his compact interjections propel Christian Staehely's guitar and Locke's aggressive piano leads. Producer David Briggs captures these in an almost v rit manner, as each musician spontaneously reflects his counterparts la the band's 1968 debut -- and perhaps more pointedly Locke's ten-minute epic "Elijah." "Darkness" is another Locke side that is worth mentioning with regard to the interaction among the quartet members, as the noir waltz perfectly captures the strengths of this lineup. "
    $5.00
  • "There is definitely something in the water over in Gothenburg, Sweden that encourages the creation of superb music. Stratosphere is one of the latest in a long line of powerful Scandinavian bands, and will be releasing their debut CD entitled Fire Flight on Escape Music. Masterminded by well-respected keyboardist Jeppe Lund, Stratosphere blends elements of orchestral and progressive metal together with a huge dose of melodic rock to come up with a tight and polished sound that is sure to impress anyone who likes melodic metal. Fronted by the familiar and distinctive voice of Goran Edman (Malmsteen, Street Talk, John Norum), Stratosphere makes classically influenced metal that is not overly pretentious or highbrow and is easily accessible to the casual listener. The music from start to finish is dominated by vocals, guitar and keyboards, and each song is well crafted and well performed. The engineering is crisp and clear giving the entire album a polished and unified sound no matter the intensity or musical arrangement.The members of Stratosphere are all immensely talented and work together as a team. Goran Edman’s voice is as solid as ever whether singing softly or pushing the limits of his range. He gets to sing with varying levels of intensity across a broad range of rock styles and handles everything well. Guitarist Jonas Larsen is a fine classical player, but he is not a one trick pony. Larsen can lay down wonderful Malmsteen-esque classical fills, and just as easily blast out some super heavy but simple lines. He is a fine soloist and is not hung up on playing “fast” and adjusts his style to suit the music. Jeppe Lund’s keyboard work is awesome without doubt. His work is a solid counterpoint to Larsen’s guitars and is as important to the overall feel and structure of the music as any other member of the band. Jim McCarty (drums) and Anders Borre Mathiesen (bass) are both capable players as well, but are so overshadowed by the other members of the band that they only really get to shine during the band’s two instrumentals.“Russian Summer” opens the disc and sets the tone for the balance of the album. The keys dominate the intro while the guitars lay down a simple but hooky rhythm line. Once Edman’s vocals kick in there is no doubt that this is razor sharp Scandinavian metal. “The Battle Within” is a high-energy track with a very classical feel that provides an introspective look at a soldier’s post-duty life and the problems he may face. The intro to “Enemy Of My Soul” is a quiet and haunting symphonic passage that breaks out into a huge vocal chorus, but the band switches to a more conventional hard rock style when they visit the “Streets Of Moscow.” Edman’s vocals are particularly strong and expressive on both tracks. The instrumental “Rendezvous” gives Edman a breather and lets the other guys really show their chops. It is very classical and very intense, allowing everyone to blend together in layer upon layer of music.“Shining Star” opens the second half of the disc. It is a very arena friendly AOR love song – a bit syrupy and overly sentimental, but Edman’s vocals are at their best throughout, and Larsen lays down some great guitar fills. “China Girl” has a “pop metal” feel to it, not fitting in fully with the rest of the album, perhaps added as a time filler, but it does feature some nice guitar work. “Princess of the Night” is a very soft ballad built around the vocal but featuring amazing guitar and keyboard teamwork underneath it all. “VIP” starts off light and melodic, but quickly becomes a very gritty song that paints a less that flattering look at the “celebrity” lifestyle and gives Goran a chance to growl a little. The sweeping instrumental “Fire Flight” wraps the album in fine style – big keyboards, soaring guitar riffs, great bass and drum rhythm lines, and is musically the strongest track on the release.On the whole, Fire Flight should be on the “must have” list of every orchestral / classical / symphonic metal fan. The big hooks and catchy rhythms will easily appeal to any hard rock fan, and be instantly familiar to anyone who has ever listened to Yngwie. The quality of performance, solid teamwork and overall enthusiasm make Stratosphere’s debut a winner all around. Even though some of the elements of Fire Flight are a bit predictable, the plusses easily outnumber the minuses. A good listen from start to finish, and very highly recommended!" - hardrockhaven.com
    $8.00
  • Here's a nice archival discovery courtesy of Esoteric Recordings.  Fields was the post-Rare Bird trio consisting of keyboardist Graham Field, ex-King Crimson drummer Andy McCullough, and bassist Alan Barry.  Their 1971 eponymous release on CBS is a prog rock gem in which Field shows off his abilities as an organ player.Contrasts is a previously unknown to exist second album that sat on a shelf gathering dust since 1972.  It finds Alan Barry replaced by ex-Supertramp Frank Farrell on bass and vocals.  Field concentrates on organ but he does play some synthesizer.  The music has a melodic feel that reminds a little bit of Spring.  Comes with plenty of liner notes by Sid Smith.
    $16.00
  • Now here is a killer prog metal release from Australia.  Mechanical Organic is a new band led by former Vauxdivhl keyboardist Eddie Katz and ex-Neue Regel/Fracture vocalist David Bellion.Its the second part of a conceptual work.  If you are familiar with Bellion's voice you know he bears an uncanny resemblance to vintage Geoff Tate.  Katz has had other projects since Vauxdivhl, mostly in the experimental metal realm.  This Global Hive is an incredible marriage of different aspects of prog.  The result is a band that has created a sound that sounds like a mash up of Zero Hour and Queensryche.  Within the context of Mechanical Organic, Bellion has toned down the Tate-isms but the similarities are there.  He's a bit of a vocal chameleon - add in some Erik Rosvold and Chris Salinas and you'll get the overall picture.  Think Towers Of Avarice meets Operation: Mindcrime.  The music is melodic and atmospheric and full on prog metal.  Highly recommended.
    $11.00
  • 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! 
    $11.00
  • "If you’re a fan of Melodic/Gothic/Prog Metal, you will certainly enjoy Envinya. Envinya’s album, “Inner Silence” starts off with the song, Faceless. It offers a nice array of synths/keys and samples, but things soon pick as the drums come in and thus signalling the band. This track is melodic yet carries a heavy side, as the guitar tends to be heavier in parts, the keys dance in the background at a very nice pace.Forlorn begins with a nice muted guitar riff and a growling vocals that just keeps the groove going until it breaks and gives way to angelic chorus. The title track, Inner Silence offers a nice single line riff in the beginning that’s greeted by her passionate vocals which adds so well to this song, she’s a real talent. This track is easily a standout track, and you will definitely be going back to listen to it again and again. In My Hands is another great track, in which she belts out the words with such passion and grace, it’s hard not to like and the added growling backing vocal are added so nicely to its overall effect on the listener, it’s a very nice heavy melodic track.Swallow has a really nice driving guitar riff that intertwines very well with the keys.It also offers the technical side that will have even the most classic of metal fans listening.What is possibly my favourite riff starter on the album comes from the song, Satin and Silk.The gritty growl that seems to be presence in the chorus adds to this song very well, it’s a nice array of technicality and melody the drums just crush on this song, such a great track. The piano and vocal opening to Mirror Soul is absolutely beautiful, and just gets more riveting as the drums and guitar cut in, she does such a great vocal track on this one, it’s hard not to get goose bumps.My personal favourite from this album, I can’t help but want to hear the chorus again, the beginning is another section that I love to listen to over and over. I’ve always been a fan of pedal tone guitar licks, and, Too Late is no exception of that. This track opens up with a nice high key pedal lick, which lends nice to the chorus riff in which is basicallythe same thing but on lower strings. The screaming is great on this song too, a real nice addition again. Beyond the Dark, does a nice trade of vocal styles that can’t help but serve well to the overall feel of this song. The drummer’s feet are flying on this song, as he really gives it to the bass drums.Demoralized ends off things for this CD in great fashion. It’s nice to see the bass and drums stand alone on some sections of this song, before the guitars and keys kick back in, the dynamics it creates is something to envy.Overall this album offers up some of the best Melodic/Goth Metal I’ve heard in quite some time.I really enjoy the angelic singing along with the crushing and technical aspect of this band.It really pulls at your emotions well, getting you caught up in her passionate singing and the other grittysinging, it works in perfect harmony. If this CD were lost I would definitely buy again, in a heartbeat." - Wolfhound Metal 
    $14.00
  • Remastered with 2 bonus tracks."Over the course of their first three late-'70s albums, Foreigner had firmly established themselves (along with Journey and Styx) as one of the top AOR bands of the era. But the band was still looking for that grand slam of a record that would push them to the very top of the heap. Released in 1981, 4 would be that album. In producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange -- fresh off his massive success with AC/DC's Back in Black -- guitarist and all-around mastermind Mick Jones found both the catalyst to achieve this and his perfect musical soulmate. Lange's legendary obsessive attention to detail and Jones' highly disciplined guitar heroics (which he never allowed to get in the way of a great song) resulted in a collaboration of unprecedented, sparkling efficiency where not a single note is wasted. "Nightlife" is only the first in a series ("Woman in Black," "Don't Let Go," the '50s-tinged "Luanne") of energetic, nearly flawless melodic rockers, and with "Juke Box Hero," the band somehow managed to create both a mainstream hit single and a highly unique-sounding track, alternating heavy metal guitar riffing, chorused vocals, and one of the ultimate "wanna be a rock star" lyrics. As for the mandatory power ballad, the band also reached unparalleled heights with "Waiting for a Girl Like You." One of the decade's most successful cross-genre tearjerkers, it has since become a staple of soft rock radio and completely eclipsed the album's other very lovely ballad, "Girl on the Moon," in the process. And last but not least, the surprisingly funky "Urgent" proved to be one of the band's most memorable and uncharacteristic smash hits, thanks to Junior Walker's signature saxophone solo. Through it all, vocalist Lou Gramm does his part, delivering a dazzling performance that confirmed his status as one of the finest voices of his generation. Three years later, Foreigner would achieve even greater success on a pop level with the uneven Agent Provocateur, but by then Jones and Gramm were locked in an escalating war of egos that would soon lead to the band's demise. All things considered, 4 remains Foreigner's career peak." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • California based heavy prog band on the Magna Carta label. Musically influenced by Rush, modern Yes, and Kansas.
    $9.00
  • "Finnish power metallers BURNING POINT are an active part of the European Metal scene since the late 90's. Led by mastermind Pete Ahonen, the band has released five studio albums since then, all to critical acclaim. In 2014, Ahonen (who was responsible for vocals and guitars) asked former Battle Beast singer Nitte Valo to join the band as new vocalist. Now the first album with Nitte has been recorded: simply titled 'Burning Point', the CD includes five brand new songs and six BURNING POINT classics in re-recorded versions. It's inevitable to realize that Nitte's presence and unmistakable voice adds the special something to the already established band. BURNING POINT are now bursting of power and motivation. Also, sonically 'Burning Point' is the best sounding album the band has released so far. And seeing this promising new constellation, it is just the beginning with much more to come…"
    $15.00
  • Remastered edition."Straight Between the Eyes undoubtedly has one of the worst album covers in rock history, but the record is an unexpected return to form from the journeyman hard rockers. Just a record before, Rainbow sounded as if they were verging on Billy Squier territory, but here, they reverse course and deliver a solid, no-frills hard rock record. It isn't just that the material is stronger, though it certainly is, it's that Roger Glover abandoned his smoothed-out, radio-ready production that marred Difficult to Cure. That's not to say that Straight Between the Eyes doesn't sound dated -- Rainbow was a band that was forever tied to its era -- but the album does have a harder-hitting, muscular sound that is more appropriate for the band. Similarly, vocalist Joe Lynn Turner sounds more comfortable with the group, and the entire band just seems to gel, turning even the generic numbers on the album into enjoyable, straight-ahead hard rock. There may not be any specific showcases for Ritchie Blackmore, but his playing is better heard in this setting, where he's not only soloing, he's propelling the band with his powerful riffs. As always, he's the driving force behind the band, but this is truly a band effort, which is one of the reasons why Straight Between the Eyes is one of the strongest albums the group ever cut." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • DeEvolution tells the story of an elite group of leaders from a heavily industrialized city who find, brainwash and then exploit an indigenous tribe’s shaman, believing he would be the perfect supreme leader. By propping him up as possessing all the answers to societies ills the elites use him in order to gain and keep more control over the masses. They plan to influence the masses on several fronts: Religion, Media, Consumerism, and Government.Twin brothers, Jasun and Troy Tipton along with Erik Rosvold released two albums with the Progressive-Metal act Zero Hour. The band's second album "The Towers of Avarice" won sparkling reviews from nearly every metal magazine around the World and has achieved classic status among prog metal fans. Zero Hour successfully toured Europe and performed twice at Prog Power USA, the largest prog-metal music festival in the World. In 2003, fans were disappointed when Zero Hour parted ways with Erik Rosvold.In late 2007, Jasun began writing material for Cynthesis. As the music developed Jasun could only imagine one vocalist to really connect to the material. After one phone call both Jasun and Erik were very excited to work together again.The final piece of the puzzle was to find an amazing drummer. Jasun asked Troy what drummer he would like to work with. Without any hesitation Troy said, "Sean Flanegan is the guy". Sean is best known for his work with the Progressive Rock band, Enchant (Blink of an eye & Tug of War).Produced by Dino Alden, DeEvolution is the first of a projected series of albums from this reunited force of progressive metal.
    $8.00