A Spark In The Aether (Special Edition)

"Twelve years, eight studio albums, two live DVDs and tours that have taken them from Moscow to Quebec. Now one of the most enduring third wave progressive rock bands on the scene returns - a band that has never made an album using the same personnel as the previous album. In fact, the same lineup has (to date) never been used twice.

But there are regulars. And some of the favorite regulars are back for the 8th album: Flower Kings bass legend Jonas Reingold; the ever-faithful and gifted Theo Travis, familiar to many from his work with the Steven Wilson band, Gong and Robert Fripp, with his arsenal of wind textures from saxophones to flutes; and the return to the fold of the amazingly talented Luke Machin, a guitar hero for a new generation who can even wow the old generations (and who also fronts his own band, Maschine). And of course there's band leader Andy Tillison (keyboards and vocals), the only member of the band to have played on all the records.

This team is joined by Morgan Ågren, Swedish drumming phenomenon who can even count Frank Zappa among his previous jobs (others include, but not limited to, Kaipa, Devin Townsend, and his own acclaimed Mats/Morgan Band). Morgan introduces to The Tangent a real live energy full of inspiration and eccentricity.

The band, who were only supposed to make one single album in 2003, are now back with their eighth! A Spark In the Aether is a joyous and uplifting romp that sees the band concentrating on their forté: delivering driving, melodic, thoughtful and inspired songs with a large grin on their faces as they do it.

"Using protest, sadness and negative images in music is a part of an artist's job" says Andy Tillison, "and it's something we have often done. But every so often I think we need to turn to the music itself and remember why it is we get so much from it. On this album I just wanted us to play - have fun, make music and mischief that can be enjoyed just for the sake of it"

So, twelve years further down the line, after albums about dystopian societies, midlife crises, alienation, homelessness and communications - the Tangent return to the very beginning and once again celebrate The Music. You are invited to join in."

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    $13.00
  • Well Opeth went and did it.  They gave prog rock fans the album they've been waiting for - the one that Heritage alluded to and came close to delivering.  Pale Communion is a full on prog album.  All clean vocals, tons of gorgeous keyboard sounds that will conjure up images of the 70s.  In fact if this album arrived with a Vertigo swirl on it I wouldn't have been surprised.  Some heavy riffing but no real metal elements within earshot.  The album was mixed by Steven Wilson and if anyone knows "the sound" its him.  By the way the album was recorded at Rockfield Studios which is holy ground for prog fans.  Prog rock album of the year?  You bet!  BUY OR DIE!! 
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  • Adrenaline Mob is a new hard rock/metal band assembled by Russell Allen (Symphony X), Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater), Mike Orlando, and John Moyer (ex-Disturbed).This style of music is a bit of departure for Allen and Portnoy. Adrenaline Mob seems to take its direction from their bassist who was a member of Disturbed. The music fits in the Disturbed/Godsmack vein. Allen's vocals are much more aggressive sounding than in Symphony X reminding a bit of Rob Zombie. Guitarist Mike Orlando plays with hyper-kinetic abandon. Mr. Portnoy...is Mr. Portnoy. What would you expect? This band is definitely going to be controversial with the Symphony X and Dream Theater crowd because it sounds so extremely different from those bands. Your move.
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  • New edition of this brilliant disc arrives in a hardbound digibook. For starters the album has been remastered. There is also an accompanying DVD (NTSC - Region 0) which has a 5.1 surround mix of the album as well as a live video of "Face Of Melinda" shot in 2006.
    $15.00
  • "2012 Blu-Ray live release. The Tea Party is a Canadian rock band with blues, progressive rock, Indian and Middle Eastern influences, dubbed "Moroccan roll" by the media. Active throughout the 1990s up until 2005 when the band broke up, The Tea Party released eight albums on EMI Music Canada, selling 2 million records worldwide, and achieving a #1 Canadian single "Heaven Coming Down" in 1999. The Tea Party toured Canada on twenty-one occasions and Australia on twelve. In November 2002, The Tea Party toured Canada with symphony orchestras reinterpreting a decade's worth of shared songwriting. The band broke up in 2005 due to creative differences, but re-united in 2011 to play several Canadian tour dates during the summer. During the tour it was decided to continue and the band has now reformed. Live From Australia: The Reformation Tour was recorded in 2012 during The Tea Party's Australian tour and showcases the band bursting with renewed energy."
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  • The latest from Roine Stolt and Co. is a 2 CD affair featuring plenty of trademark epic tracks. The Flower Kings have been able to perfect the balance between neo and old school prog.
    $12.00
  • "Aranis, year 2014: a Belgian band that brings something definitely off the beaten tracks! The second installment in their "Made in Belgium" series (aka MIB 2) is now on the road...and it's more captivating than a thriller! In it, a subtle blend of rejuvenated classical influences mix with (aming other things and with no specific order) a touch of drumless/ clarinetless Balkanic Klezmer- punk, a glimpse of 100% Brussels- deserts tango and a few improvised moments that manage to never really sound like "jazz"...No easy label comes to mind when it comes to describe Aranis' sound...and so its should be! A pretty unpredictable sextet...Classical? Jazz? Folk? Rock?...Well, a little bit of all this...That's what you'll taste in the Aranis pizza! So, why wouldn't you treat your ears and get a slice of it? With real chunks of Peter Vermeersch (FES), Koen Van Roy (Cro Magnon), Walter Hus (Maximalist!), Ananta Roosens (La sieste du dromadaire), Aurélie Dorzée (Aurélia) and many others..."Second release in the series from this exciting Belgian chamber rock sextet.  This is more chamber than rock but it has a great kinetic energy that melds different styles - classicial, rock, klezmer, zeuhl - always keeping the listener on his toes.  Never abrasive - always mesmerizing.  Highly recommended.  ARANIS - SKIP 21 from Robbe Maes on Vimeo.
    $15.00
  • "To be in a band remotely related to the realms of Progressive and Power, is to be an immensely accomplished instrumentalist in your own right. However, it is all too easy for entire bands to be lost in the sea of generic driven mass, regardless of the title of 'progressive', swamped in unusual and atonal melodic progressions and multi-rhythmic drumming. Sometimes even the lyrics can become a drawl; who wants to hear about the same knight fighting the same dragon across 10 different bands? This is where Floridians SKYLINER come into play, ablaze with fresh ideologies, tried-and-true Power Metal establishments with Progressive embellishments, and very real lyrical philosophies.The intro track blew me away with its eerie soundscape and powerful vocal delivery, not unlike a cross between VOLBEAT's Michael Poulsen and ex-ICED EARTH vocalist Matthew Barlow. Pulling no punches is "Symphony in Black" delivering a speedy and uplifting cascade of riffs steeped in creative melodies. Jake delivers a unique vocal effort, sticking to an aggressive Heavy Metal approach with unusual, yet catchy inflections in his melodies. "Forever Young" is a powerful track that hits home with passages evolving in both speed and technicality, with abrupt crescendos marked by drastic blast-offs in tempo; an incredibly solid track with creative drumming and even more diverse vocal performances.I would devote a significant portion of my writing towards the epic "Worlds of Conflict", wherein the lads "pulled a DREAM THEATER" and wrote an enormous, 21-minute track. Rarely does one hear something of such epic proportions. Never stale, it seamlessly weaves in and out of passages of their own individuality that coalesce into powerful crescendos, or on the other hand may diverge into various sentient soundscapes. The bass work in this track is thoroughly impressive, going past a meat-and-potatoes approach to offer an astounding array of dynamics to add to a track that would ordinarily require a great amount of fleshing-out. I stress, this is not something you would chuck on to fit the mood. Absorb it, and embrace it.Individually, the tracks are excellent. The 21 minute monster is at a masterpiece level, I cannot get enough of it. If I had a single qualm it would be that each of the tracks are 'too' different from the next, that the album feels more like a collection of works as opposed to, well, an 'album'. But then, I could be wrong; I could be too used to listening to 2-hour, drawlish concept albums. It is my belief that the end product was their 100% intention. They have done this right." - Metal Temple
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  • "Formed nearly 20 years ago in Madrid by guitarist Enrik Garcia, Dark Moor is not slowing down. The band returns with their ninth long player, Ars Musica. Their trademark symphonic and melodic metal remains at the forefront on this album.Actually, even though there are elements of traditional melodic heavy and power metal, Ars Musica reminds more of symphonic and melodic hard rock record, simply because of the catchy groove and accessible hooks in most every song. Certainly, the opening intro and following First Lance of Spain sounds like sweeping and epic symphonic power metal.But the tide turns with It Is My Way and The Road Again. Both songs charm your ears with the great melody, groove and friendly accessibility. This continues through Together As Ever, The City of Peace, and the beautiful ballad Gara and Jonay. Then the tide turns once more. Living in a Nightmare is clearly symphonic power metal, a swift and rushing composition, as is Saint James Way, though not quite as fast. Dark Moor taps their heritage with El Ultimo Rey and the closing Spanish Suite, the latter an epic instrumental. Once more, besides the excellent melodic rock and metal, the vocals of the talented Alfred Romero leads the way; he's easily one of the best melodic metal vocalist of our day. Dark Moor's Ars Musica is an excellent accomplishment and strongly recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $15.00
  • "If Max Pie had not landed in our inbox I doubt I would have ever explored the contents of their latest release Eight Pieces – One World.  Let’s face it, that’s a pretty unique (interesting) name does not match any of the musician’s names.  I figured that was the case.  After exhausting limited Max Pie research avenues, I have no idea why they chose that moniker, so let’s press on.  The important thing is that I gave it a shot and “impressed” is one word I can use to sum up my first impression.  After one spin, I am no less than hooked on their epic Dream Theater-style melodies and crunch of reminiscent of Symphony X – definitely two styles that work well together.  The Belgian quartet’s sophomore effort boasts 54 minutes of music across eight songs.A Cage of Sins gets thing moving quickly with tight riffs, double bass, and proggy vibe that comes a bit later in the song.   Earth’s Rules is just under eight minutes and resembles an early version of Dream Theater from Images and Words – a well crafted song.  Songs like The Side of a Dime has a long into that builds into an explosion of double bass and crunchy riffs followed up with a harmonious chorus.  Without getting into a play-by-play, the whole album is an experience with depth and precision.  The transitions are smooth as the tempos change from the more melodic, to prog, to straightforward metal.  In the end, Eight Pieces – One World is about a solid hour of stellar music." - A Metal State Of Mind
    $16.00
  • " Devin Townsend, the former prolific and extremely intense front man of the energetic Strapping Young Lad, and the creative mastermind behind such albums such as Ocean Machine: Biomech, Infinity, Terria, and Ziltoid The Omniscient, now gives us the introduction to the much anticipated Devin Townsend Project in the form of Ki.Named after a Kitarō album with the same name, Ki has a vastly different sound when compared to the work Townsend is generally known for. We find ourselves listening to a side of Townsend's mind that is sombre and smooth, all set with a relaxing groove that is only broken by Townsend's usual aggressive intensity. Indeed, Ki is a very real testament to Townsend's then newly achieved sobriety.Ki begins with "A Monday…", an acoustic instrumental rife with reverb to accentuate the simple rhythms of a clean guitar that does ever so well in encompassing what Monday feels like to a great number of us. This gentle and somewhat hollowing introduction then leads into "Coast", where we hear Townsend's vocal work as followers know full and well, backed by a nearly atmospheric blend of the other instruments, bluesy and suave, albeit grand in its execution.To say that Ki continues along the same vein as above is an affront to the album as a whole. Tracks such as "Disruptr", "Gato", and "Heaven Send" reintroduce Townsend's signature growls with the hammering rhythms that he is known for, but with a low gain twist.Though different, and simply softer than most of Townsend's work, there are very few things anyone can say against Ki. The production is masterful, with musicians that were hand picked to bring out a very distinct sound. Ki, as mentioned before, is the introductory album to the Devin Townsend Project, meant to set the stage for what the world can expect from Townsend. Now that each of the albums have been released, we know full well that the sound in each differs widely, but what does not, is the creative ingenuity Devin Townsend graces us with each of his works. Ki is the first glimpse at what Townsend is capable of after swearing away drugs and alcohol, and the product does not disappoint." - Metal Storm
    $15.00
  • Digibook edition that is identical in content to the US jewel box edition. Some people like to collect these things... New double album is a continuation of Out Of The Tunnel's Mouth (much of the material was composed during those sessions). The first album also contains a couple of tracks that indicate Steve Howe and Jonathan Mover among the co-writers so I assume this is refurbished and unreleased GTR material. Chris Squire and Simon Phillips also play on the album so its probably taken from the still to be released Squackett album. The bonus disc contains 9 tracks that were recorded at previous sessions. So what's the story with the music? Well...it's pretty great. Mr. Hackett is still writing progressive rock. His playing is always inspired - whether acoustic or electric. Some of the tracks have a slow burn quality and others just blaze away. Whenever I hear his acoustic work I wish he would record a duet with Gordon Giltrap - that would be something to hear. I don't know if its studio wizardry or he's just gotten better but his vocals (which were previously a bit of a distraction) are totally fine. This one really hits the spot in the right way. Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • “Wow, what an impressive debut from these Norwegian progsters! I feel the same way about prog metal as I do about power metal: some of it I like a great deal and some of it does absolutely nothing for me. CIRCUS MAXIMUS' "The 1st Chapter" does damn near everything for me.” – Blabbermouth.net Circus Maximus’ first album, “The First Chapter”, took the metal world by storm in 2005. In advance of the release, the band was invited to make their North American debut at ProgPower USA. The response to their performance and the subsequent CD release produced an encore appearance in 2006. Since then the band has spent the past year gigging and further refining their sound. With the release of “Isolate”, they are poised to take their place alongside the upper echelon of progressive metal bands. The band’s musical formula is not easy to accomplish – take jaw dropping musicianship, add a singer like Michael Eriksen with a voice from heaven and toss it together with hooks, anthemic melodies and enough heavy riffing to stick with you for days. Just for good measure, toss in state of the art production courtesy of noted producer Tommy Hansen (Helloween, Jorn, Pretty Maids and TNT). It’s the band’s ability to do this all so well in such a short period of time that has drawn them so much attention. Isolate represents the best of both worlds – it’s progressive enough for any fan of technical minded metal but at the same time it’s purely infectious music. From ballads like “Zero” to the epic length “Mouth Of Madness”, this album will instantly appeal to fans of bands such as Symphony X, Dream Theater, and Kamelot. Music as amazing as this deserves artwork to match. Once again, Mattias Noren has been enlisted to design the packaging.
    $13.00