Speaking To Stones (BLOW OUT PRICE!!!)

New progressive metal band from Rochester, NY incorporating a variety of influences. The lineup is a bit in flux but seems to focus on guitarist Tony Vinci who displays some remarkable chops. The music shows diversity and not just Dream Theater worship, although it's clear they are one of the bands influences. There is a modern alternative vibe as well. This is a good start - they need to solidify their lineup and gig their butts off. Promising....

Product Review

Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
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from upstate n.y. s.t.s. provide a refreshing melange' of different musical styles.deeply rooted in the prog metal genre the band also incorporates an almost alternative sound on certain songs bringing to mind stone temple pilots or even pearl jam absolutely incredible guitar work and great vocals s.t.s. breathes some fresh air into a somewhat stagnant prog metal scene.for fans of shadow gallery,enchant,dream theater and prog 'light'bands
Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
This is a great cd. Don't let the "modern alt" description scare you away.(though it is definitely there. Good playing,good vocals,good writing.
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Product Review

Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
from upstate n.y. s.t.s. provide a refreshing melange' of different musical styles.deeply rooted in the prog metal genre the band also incorporates an almost alternative sound on certain songs bringing to mind stone temple pilots or even pearl jam absolutely incredible guitar work and great vocals s.t.s. breathes some fresh air into a somewhat stagnant prog metal scene.for fans of shadow gallery,enchant,dream theater and prog 'light'bands
Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
This is a great cd. Don't let the "modern alt" description scare you away.(though it is definitely there. Good playing,good vocals,good writing.
You must login or register to post reviews.
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  • "I actually found Carving an Icon quite the retroactively blind purchase, suspiciously ironic since I had been tracking this project for quite a while and assumed I knew what to expect from Morfeus in regards to his avant-garde songwriting and abstruse, distinctive approach to the axes. From this isolated point of view, his sonic handprint is indeed all over Viper Solfa, making the unreasonably long wait for Dimension F3H’s This Mechanical World somewhat easier to mitigate since the dude has at least kept the old creative mind juiced as ever. What I wasn’t quite able to ready myself for was the remaining contributions, hardly something to just gloss over, as Viper Solfa is presented as something of a “supergroup” after all as opposed to a mere side-project.Ronny Thorsen supposedly leads Viper Solfa for all formal intents and purposes, the proclivity for many a conflagration granted by his burly speaking timbre and rousing death roars is a concerted force to be reckoned with. It can be argued that he is just another head in the pack, hardly boasting the standalone merit to turn one’s knees to jelly, but Viper Solfa isn’t done yet. The centrepiece of the band isn’t actually Thorsen, but Miriam Renvåg, whose swaying, affecting timbre opens doors unexpected for the band both conceptually and stylistically. So while I can’t feign shock now, I do recall bemused skepticism at the introduction of such audaciously disparate factors. Renvåg’s voice is very sleek and refined, with an almost pop-caliber cadre of appeals that land Viper Solfa closer to bands such as earlier Sirenia once the vocal trade-off between Thorsen is taken into account. It isn’t what I expected, having come into this project for Morfeus alone, but I certainly applaud Viper Solfa for attempting to merge sodden, opaque, death growls with avant-garde female vocal idiosyncrasy.With nearly all preconceptions espoused by this point, and with Renvåg’s quivering and psychedelic banshee wails taking their mental toll, I realized that there are plenty of parallels that can be drawn between Dimension F3H and Viper Solfa. Symphonics are used sparingly and as punctuation as opposed to the primary arsenal. Morfeus is basically the main songwriter here, and he is still shipping out crunchers of high order in the modern black/death format he began employing in earnest on Legacy of Evil during his waning years with Limbonic Art. In fact, the hard-lined, basal distortion sounds very similar to that record, and as the rollicking, flighty webbing of tremolos grow thicker and denser, Carving an Icon hammers out a welcoming mat to the most unexpected clientele.This ends up being the album’s tripping point, however, as far too much time is spent grooming vocal melodies that sound almost shoehorned in just for the sake of keeping the singers occupied. Thorsen’s petulant rasp gets one-upped by Renvåg’s (sometimes sorely overacted) caterwauling, and the end result borders on the monotonous more often than it should. The band still makes a good show of their missteps, what with a dense, abysmal grandeur pervading the nether reaches of what is honestly a relatively compact and easy listen on the whole, but these shortcomings remain. Carving an Icon may not be a masterpiece, or even the best outlet for all of the talents involved, but I can promise that it sounds like absolutely nothing you have heard lately, or likely will in the near future. At the end of the day, a neat project that delivered at least a few truly lethal numbers like “Whispers and Storms,” “Deranged” and most notably the floods of choppy, aggrandized viscera that embody the aptly-titled “Vulture Kingdom.” My expectations are not in line with the norm due to my familiarity with Morfeus’ back-catalogue, so take of this what you will, but Carving an Icon got more than a few spins out of me."
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  • Its been some time since Michael Harris' Thought Chamber project made its debut.  The band consists of Michael Harris (guitars), Ted Leonard (vocals), Bill Jenkins (keys), Jeff Plant (bass), and Mike Haid (drums).  Ted Leonard and Bill Jenkins will be familiar to you from their membership in Enchant (Ted is also fronting Spock's Beard now).Psykerion is a sci-fi cybermetal concept album.  Harris plays with a lot of restraint compared to some of his solo albums.  In fact I would classify it as tasteful.  Leonard is one of the best vocalists in prog and he doesn't disappoint.  Lots of solos flying around on guitar and keys but it maintains a melodic integrity through out.  Hopefully we don't have to wait another 7 years for the follow up.  Highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • "As of late, at least with their previous album, and the current Pariah's Child, Finland's Sonata Arctica has been throwing their faithful some musical curve balls. Putting them in the category of traditional Scandi power metal is no longer fitting, although they do play the same and often.No, their sound is much more diverse, enterprising, these days. A good example is the song Half A Marathon Man. It's opening strokes of guitar, keyboards, then drums could lead to most any sound. But it delivers this huge rock grooved melodic metal monster, with hooks galore, from vocals to lyrics to riffs. Then there's the power metal romp of X Marks the Spot, disguised as a rock tune, and wrapped in the motif a religious revival. It's familiar, but strange; clever and a whole lot of fun. Also of note is What Did You Do In the War, Daddy which merges the feel of classic heavy metal anthem with the bluster of power metal in places.Yet something more familiar comes with the longest number, Larger Than Life, which sounds like old school Sonata Arctica, where they draw upon their symphonic progressive power metal roots. Perhaps still more straight forward Sonata Arctica is the first half of the album. Notably The Wolves Die Young or Take One Breath are classic Scandi melodic power metal tunes, straying little from the foundation from which the band was built. Yet, fans should know that it is no less interesting than the aforementioned more crafty pieces. Once more I think Pariah's Child represents Sonata Arctica as a band being carefully faithful to their roots, yet always moving forward in their creativity. Easily recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $14.00
  • Of all the Yes albums that needed a remix this is the one that needed it the most!"Relayer (1974) is the third in a series of remixed and expanded Yes albums.Presented as a double digi-pack format in a slipcase with booklet featuring new sleeve notes by Sid Smith, along with rare photos and archive material, the album has been remixed into stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound from the original studio masters by Steven Wilson and is fully approved by Yes.The DVDA also contains the original album mix in high-resolution, and a complete alternate album running order drawn from demos/studio run-throughsRestored artwork approved by Roger Dean, the release of which coincides with the 40th anniversary of the album’s original late 1974 appearance."
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  • "A Hauntingly Beautiful and Dark Sophomore Effort. Get it before the darkness comes...Anais Nin said "we don't see things as they are, we see them as we are".That is the absolute truth - in life and in great art, literature, and music. It speaks to you in a deeply personal way. The artist's specific intent, the story behind the story, matters not. What does matter is that when you interact with what the artist has wrought, you feel something. You feel as if it was created especially for you, about you, your life, your life experience. It speaks to you. It makes you stop in your tracks and forces you pay attention. It touches something deep in your soul."The Final Breath Before November" is that album. Edison's Children is that artist. Artists is more accurate. This masterwork showcases vocalists and multi-instrumentalists and Eric Blackwood and Pete Trewavas, drummer Henry Rogers, and backing vocalist Wendy Farrell-Pastore, who also designed the release's haunting artwork. The album was mixed by a virtual Who's Who of Progressive Rock including King Crimson's Jakko Jakszyk, Marillion's Mike Hunter, It Bites' John Mitchell, Robin Boult, and Pete Trewavas.Yes. It is a ghost story. But, that is the most simplistic view of what it is.It is a love story. It illustrates the power of love. It drives us to do crazy things. It endures after death. It endures across time and space. It reminds us that people never really leave you. They linger in the ether, in your heart, in your mind. Their essence stays behind to watch over you.It is also a cautionary tale. It is a warning not to act harshly or rashly. Don't do things that you can not come back from. Don't make mistakes you can not fix. Once things have been done (or said), you can never take them back. You can never get back to the place where you once were. You can never go home again. No matter how much you want to. No matter how hard you try. You just can't.It is a reminder that we have to let go of the pain, hurt, anger, regret and whatever else we have pent up inside ourselves. If we don't let go of all those things, we become stuck and can't move on. We remain in the same place all of our lives. The same physical place. The same emotional place. The same spiritual place. Stuck. Never growing. Never changing. Never becoming who or what we were supposed to be. We remain a shadow of ourselves, forever trapped in a darkness of our own making.It is a reminder that we have to face our demons. They will come at us over and over again until we do. If we don't, they will be back and they will try to pull us down to even darker places. Over and over again. We will be stuck in the mire for our lifetime, for eternity if we don't.What this album says to me is that love is a powerful thing. The most powerful thing in the Universe. But, in the end, you have to let go of those you love. People change. People die. Relationships change. Relationships end. If you keep holding onto someone who is no longer with you, then you can't move on. Not until you let go. You can't be truly happy. You can't feel the sunshine. You can't walk into the light. You destined to live in a hell (or a purgatory) of your own creation. Unless you let go." - ProgArchives.com
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  • Debut release from this German beauty and the beast band. The band has a very symphonic sound in the style of Edenbridge, and vocalist Maike Holzmann sounds a bit like Sabine. The addition of the "beast" vocals adds a different dimension. Its a style that has gone out of favor in recent years as bands in the gothic metal genre have taken a more commercial approach. Hmmm...definite Epica thing going on here as well. A rising star?
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  • Limited edition digipak with 2 bonus tracks."The road to Altzi is paved with good intentions…. When Masterplan announced the new lineup in November of last year, Jorn apologists flooded the comment strings of various metal news outlets with comments like “another band is spoiled by a vocalist change” and “no Jorn…no Masterplan.” While I might agree that there was reason for outcry when a well-known/respected singer leaves a band, it’s not as if Masterplan has never had another vocalist and is not a band with more past members than present. The object is to listen and make judgments later. The announcement of Rick Altzi was particularly intriguing and any fan of At Vance and Thunderstone can attest – there was much reason for hope.The news that main man/guitarist Roland Grapow’s (Ex-Helloween) revealed that there was going to be a return to “faster” and “more metal” material made this more appealing. Add further still…the addition of Ex-Stratovarius bassist Jari Kainulainen and the naysayers should have stood back and waited to react. Why? As it turned out, Rick Altzi proves a more than compatible replacement for Jorn…and *GASP* dare I say – a wee bit better in spots? Blasphemy? Try it…prove me wrong.Musically, the album ranks as one of the band’s finest, recalling the best heard from the self-titled debut, 2005’s “Aeronautics,” and the appropriately titled 2010 “Time to Be King,” but with a heavier edge. Altzi is so compatible that only the most attentive Jorn fans can see the difference, most notably that low power that shifts with a slab of grit while on the way up to the high range. This is not besmirching Altzi at all, as his range is proven and perfect. His first appearance is at 0:47 on the album’s second track “The Game,” an admirable driving melodic metal song with noticeably well-crafted double bass from new drummer Marthus Skaroupka (Cradle of Filth) and copious amounts of heaviness intertwined with trademark melody. Grapow proves again what amazing solos he can play.The album’s first music video was for “Keep Your Dream Alive” – a mid-paced winner expertly chosen, as it’s the song where Altzi shines brightest, showing the breadth of his range – and for many moments I said “Jorn who?” The finest track on the album is “Betrayal,” which will prove to be one of the best of the year when all is said and done, if not for its Middle Eastern charm that falls into the heaviest riff on the album drawn out like slamming shudders by Axel Mackenrott’s keyboards. Other notables are the appealing riff in “Earth Going Down” (which is a tad swallowed by the keyboards as the song progresses), the Strato-feel of “Black Night of Magic,” the speedier “Return to Avalon” and the never dull 11 minute title track (especially 6:13 to 7:15) and vocal duet of Altzi and Grapow. Highly recommended is the digipak version with bonus tracks “1492” and “Fear the Silence.”My only complaint is not necessarily with the band’s play or its flawless execution, its more the melodic metal style in general. At the same time it represents a favorite style – in Masterplan’s case best defined as “what Whitesnake would sound like if they tipped a bit into power metal” – listening to entire album presents a challenge, if only for that mid-paced repetition. I find the album plays a bit better when I listen to a few songs at a time, mixing it in with other bands and styles.This may be “a new beginning” for Masterplan in member changes, however the creation of high quality melodic metal perseveres. Grapow assembled a new team of musicians that prove just as compatible, especially Altzi’s performance. With the proof in the product, fans of the band should have little to complain about with “Novum Initium,” though I suspect some Jorn lamenters will never take the road less traveled….the one where its “time for” Rick “to be king.”" - Metal Underground
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  • "Factory of Dreams is a symphonic metal gothic project consisting of Hugo Flores and Jessica Lehto. Hugo produces and creates all the music while Jessica provides her beautiful vocals. Following their album POLES in 2008, Factory of Dreams are back with a new production bringing a whole new epic and progressive feel to the sound crafted on their debut. More complex, heavier, faster and at the same time catchy, this is a huge album, featuring the hallmark of Factory of Dreams, with great melodic sense and shivering moments and a great cast of guest singers and performers. As a highlight, the near 10 minute Epic E-motions, and the beautiful track Sonic Sensations depicting a World created by Sound and Music."
    $3.00
  • Long overdue album from one of the best bands in the prog metal genre and they deliver the goods.  With Damian Wilson out front it can't be bad - can it?  Threshold has shuffled vocalists over the years but there are constants - melodic based songs with stellar musicianship and more than enough complexity.  Always loved the keys in this band.  Highly recommended.
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  • Their last album for a major label, Azure D'Or finds the band still creating their unique brand of classically influenced progressive rock. Unfortunately, perhaps because of changing tastes, record company pressure, or even their own success...the music is a bit more produced and the songs are more concise. Still a track like The Flood At Lyon captures all their magic. A conditional recommendation.
    $15.00
  • Remastered edition of the band's 1987 album comes with a few bonus tracks (some incosequential single edits truth be told) as well as fresh liner notes and photos. Not a lot of "prog" happening here.
    $8.00
  • Al closed out this 70s with this great effort of Latino laced fusion. Lots of different players on this one so it has more of a "let's see Al trade licks with this other soloist" feel but who can complain when you have Jan Hammer or even Les Paul taking a solo.
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  • Once again Andy Franck unleashes his heavy side. Funny how different this sounds from Symphorce.
    $11.00
  • "Two years ago, a virtually unknown Russian band released a debut with chamber classical orchestration, gorgeous multi-layered vocals, and the occasional modern rock touch. Very few initially noticed it, but eventually by word of mouth, it became an unexpected favorite 2012 album in progressive rock, despite the scarcity of progressive rock elements. Listeners there mainly rated on songwriting and enjoyment.Now, we have a second iamthemorning album, expanding on the elements from the first album. A confident, mature album that will likely bring rave reviews all over the place given the band is not as obscure as in 2012.The music is once again heavily influenced by classical music. Vocals and piano continue creating the foundation of the music, with orchestral instrument, drums, and modern rock sounds adding layers whenever needed. Even the modern rock sounds are used in a very classical, 'iamthemorning' way.The added complexity of the music was a risk. After all, the debut's instantly rewarding melodies and its safe, if brilliant, songwriting approach made it very difficult for many listener to honestly hate such an album. Now, we're dealing with complexity levels more to the tune of classical music and progressive rock. This is now easily categorized as progressive rock, with less direct melodies, knotty musical ideas, occasionally long songs, more in-depth instrumentation and lyricism. The risk is that I enjoyed the first listen less than the first listen of the debut. However, I cannot decide which album I prefer now. I feel like this one has a few minor flaws based on the risk-taking approach, compared to the near-perfection pop of the debut. However, there are even more 'WOW!' moments here in my opinion, some of the very best musical passages I perceive to come across.Flaws? I seem to only gripe about the slow development of their last full song, the samples in 'Howler' and the beginning of 'K.O.S' with a repetitive, awkward drum beat and one-chord guitar riff. Luckily, the latter two songs are overall highly interesting and dynamic songs otherwise, which is why I said the flaws are not severe as they involve a small fraction of two songs.Strengths? It's hard to name them all. The intermissions remain impressive. The first one has such a captivating atmosphere, I can't imagine anyone being hard-pressed to say 'nah' and stop playing the album. The fourth intermission (titled XII) almost reaches song-like status in length, starting with classical violin and continuing with mesmerizing piano. The last intermission is almost transcendental in a spiritual sense.And then you have the songs and they are so, so good. All those subtle melodies and exciting instrumentation in 'Howler', the beautiful 'To Human Misery' with a very captivating main melody yet also with a lot of subtle instrumentation. I should try not to overuse the phrase 'subtle complexity', but I think that word really describes this album. Subtle complexity is what makes this album work so well: you latch on into some obvious melodies on first listen, but then all those little details won't make you lose interest. Every instrument plays melodies, sometimes simultaneously.'Romance' and '5/4' sound a bit like more intricate version of Tori Amos music. They are whimsical, enchanting yet quite complex in instrumentation. Those little details like the muted violin melodies and brief 'shredding' electric guitar that somehow sounds mellow. The '5/4' song is mostly in 6/4 actually, but when it shifts to a 5/4 meter playing a carnival-like atmosphere, it's pure genius, even if it sounds like a horrible idea at first listen. It's an odd choice for a single. I thought it would be 'The Simple Story' which is more instantly recognizable with its melodies and the great piano line near the end. 'Crowded Corridors' is possibly their most accomplished composition to date and also their longest by far at nearly 9 minutes. It begins relatively subdued with their typical instrumentation and vocalizations, if more haunting than usual. Something else going for it is the more 'epic', dramatic moments that work incredibly well. It'd be interesting if they revisit this approach to songwriting in later albums. A particular highlight, besides the obvious piano solo in the latter half, is a slow melody at minute 3 being revisited at the very end at a faster pace.By the way, most of these songs deviate from a typical song structure to help make it more impactful and dynamic. The song 'Gerda' starts very soft and delicate but later sounds very empowering and grand: it's yet another great song. 'Os Lunatum' starts as an outstanding piano + vocal duet, both at their very best, especially during the song's main hook. Guitars later become dominant on the song's instrumental section. The song concludes with a full band sound, the progression from the very beginning being very natural.'K O S' may be marginally a less enjoyable song here because of that first minute which sounds repetitive and lacks what I like about the band. The rest is an interesting experiment as they veer towards a progressive rock / alternative rock sound without fully losing their trademark vocals, pianos, and subtle way to adding melodic layers. I love the way it ends, reprising the intro in such a way that almost redeems it. The 'Reprise of Light no Light' is another lesser favorite, developing in a slow fashion that sometimes tests my patience. I do love that it, along with the last intermission, ends with peaceful, abstract noise.In the end, they have accomplished a very difficult feat, given the high standard the set themselves with their debut. This second album is very intelligent music as well as very deep, emotional music. It touches me. In the end, despite the occasional flaw, it's a masterpiece and I anticipate it being consistently among my favorite pieces of music regardless of genre alongside their debut." - ProgArchives
    $15.00