Specter, Fate & Fable

SKU: MP-02CD
Label:
Private Release
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Second album from this New York based prog trio.  The band is heavily influenced by early period Rush but elements of Yes and Kansas pop up as well.  The album highlight is the near 18 minute epic "The Eternal Spring".

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  • New progressive metal trio from Middletown, Ohio with a very odd name. Perspective X IV are heavily influenced by 70s progressive bands like Kansas, Yes, and most overtly Rush.
    $8.00
  • Chicago prog-metal stalwarts Ion Vein are back but with a new game plan.  The music is now very much in the power metal vein and even has a groove to it.  New vocalist Scott Featherstone is a definite step in the right direction."ION VEIN's self-titled new album shows the band re-tooled, re-focused and re-energized in a way that captures the essence of their song-oriented and technically-skilled metal intensity. Also, a top notch production drives these pounding, meaty canvases to cut into the very core of your soul, while breathing new life into today's world of music. For fans of Metallica, Dio, Iced Earth and more!""The long awaited follow up to 2003's "Reigning Memories" was once again produced, recorded, and mixed by Neil Kernon (Judas Priest, Nevermore, Redemption) and is the first full length album with vocalist, Scott Featherstone, whom the band first debuted on the IV v1.0 and IV v2.0 three song digital EPs released in September 2011 and December 2012 respectively. Additionally, the six songs from those EPs have been re-mixed/re-mastered for inclusion on the full album."
    $10.00
  • Latest studio album from this lethal German band.  SBE was formed by guitarist Christian Peters in 2007.  The quartet (twin guitar, bass, and drums) will deeply satisfy the musicial appetite of any fans of 70s psychedelia, space rock, and doom metal.  They may well be the ultimate stoner rock band.Revelation & Mystery finds the compositions a bit tighter than previous efforts but that's a relative term when the title track runs past the 12 minute mark. Vocals don't interfere too heavily with the acid laced space trippin' guitar work.  Peters sings a bit and then they get down to serious business jamming their way into the cosmos.  If you are fan of early Guru Guru, Hawkwind, and Black Sabbath, or even Deep Purple you need to hear this band.  I got high just looking at the cover art.  This album is a total lease breaker to boot.  BUY OR DIE!  "The second album from Samsara Blues Experiment in as many years, Revelation and Mystery (World in Sound) takes a surprising turn in approach from their Long-Distance Trip debut, distilling the jams of the first record into more structured, song-based material. The tracks of Revelation and Mystery almost exclusively follow verse-chorus-verse patterns, and while part of the joy of listening to a song like “Singata Mystic Queen” from the prior collection was meandering along with it, Samsara Blues Experiment don’t completely lose sight of the journey in favor of the straightforward. Right from its start, Revelation and Mystery sees the four-piece layering guitar effects and infusing their parts with swirls and a spaced-out feel. It’s not that they’ve completely changed their methodology so much as they’ve shifted the balance within their sound. These structural elements were certainly present on Long-Distance Trip, but a cut like the semi-acoustic “Thirsty Moon” shows that Samasara Blues Experiment are able to work within these parameters to grow their songwriting. One gets the sense in listening to opener “Flipside Apocalypse” (which follows a 17-second nameless intro track) that this process is just beginning and that the band are still finding out what they want their sound to be, but that only makes Revelation and Mystery a more immediate, direct experience; the linearity of the album unfolding gradually as the songs move from the straightforward into the more sublimely jammed.Fast-paced rumbling from the bass of Richard Behrens in the surprisingly punkish beginning of “Flipside Apocalypse” is an immediate clue to the changes the last year have brought about in Samsara Blues Experiment. The mood is more active, less calming and chilled out than last time around, and the guitars of Hans Eiselt and Christian Peters – who also handles vocals – seem to be more concerned with riffing out than stacking layers upon layers, though there’s some of that too, even as later in the song a riff straight out of the biker rock milieu shows up and carries the song through to its end. I don’t know if it’s the result in some change in the band’s songwriting process or just how things happened to come out this time, but the change continues through “Hangin’ on the Wire,” which is genuinely hooky and thoroughly in the realm of heavy rock. A crisp production during the solo section brings to mind some of Queens of the Stone Age’s finer moments, and drummer Thomas Vedder locks in with Behrens’ own excellent fills with a few of his own. Peters, though, emerges at the head of the song. His vocals confident and effected in equal measure, he works quickly to establish the verse and chorus patterns, both worthy of sing-alongs, so that by the end, “Hangin’ on the Wire” feels like its earned its handclaps, and though “Into the Black” starts out more ethereal, with extended solo sections and a long instrumental introduction, the shuffle soon takes hold and it proves to be more boogie than nod.But perhaps “Into the Black” is where the band begins their subtle shift into more esoteric sonics, because as the soft strums and plucks and interplay of electric and acoustic guitars take hold on “Thirsty Moon,” the song feels neither out of place nor especially unexpected, which it very well might have if placed earlier on Revelation and Mystery. Peters’ vocal line feels a little rushed during the verse – it’s almost as though there were too many syllables to fit in the line – but the interaction of his and Eiselt’s guitars in the instrumental break and the balance between the guitar and Vedder’s drumming in the mix makes up for any such hiccups. Another chorus feels delivered more appropriately, and the progression cycles through again; solo section into chorus, solo section into chorus. And it’s not until Behrens’ highlight bass line begins “Outside Insight Blues” that it’s apparent just how much Samsara Blues Experiment put into the album’s flow. Added keys allow the guitars to go farther out into sporadic notes without sacrificing fullness of sound, but after about two and a half minutes, there’s a turn into riffier material that carries the groove through the next six. There are a few part changes, but things don’t really feel jammed out until the classic ‘70s boogie meets psychedelia of the last 90 seconds or so, blues harp and all. It’s a shift worthy of Siena Root, and the two-minute interlude “Zwei Schatten im Schatten” (in English, “Two Shadows in the Shadow”) follows suit with an appropriate marriage of Eastern and Western musical traditions with sitar and acoustic six-string. There’s something sweet and solemn in the intertwining melody, and it’s a passing thing on the way to the 12-minute closer, but worth paying attention to in a way that many interludes aren’t.Then, at last, comes the ending title cut. Worthy of its name, “Revelation and Mystery” caps the album with a sense of psychedelic majesty through which Samsara Blues Experiment show their ability to keep hold of a song no matter how deep into space they might also want to push it. The song winds. Its progression is at once driving and subdued, and of all the songs on Revelation and Mystery, it’s probably the best blend of all sides of what’s shown itself to be the band’s current sound. Of course, at 12 minutes, one could easily argue it has time to do and be all these things – with room left over for a bit of that sitar to show up as well among the guitar leads – but still, it’s another display of the maturity Samsara Blues Experiment have been able to take on in a relatively short amount of time (their demo gave first notice in 2008). Some bands need three years to learn and foster growth between their albums, and some bands need to play. If the jump between their first and second records is anything to go by, Samsara Blues Experiment would seem to be the latter. Wherever this stylistic form takes them, I don’t imagine it’ll be too long before we find out, but until then, the 47 minutes of Revelation and Mystery provide a varied and exciting listen worthy of repeat visits. Samsara Blues Experiment continue to progress, continue to impress." - The Obelisk
    $12.00
  • CD/DVD digibook.  The DVD includes a 5.1 and DTS surround mix."Prog is, at times, a strangely divided world. On one side are the true progressives, fiercely determined to push music forward into the future. On the other side stand the stuck-in-the-mud individuals whose primary objective is to cling tenaciously to the ways of the past.Cheating the Polygraph is guaranteed to ruffle the latter camp’s feathers. A collection of Porcupine Tree songs reworked using big-band instrumentation and a modern-minded approach to arrangement, calling this album quirky would be something of an understatement.Some are likely to struggle to get past the superficial level of instrumentation, timbre, and tone – but beneath it can be felt the pounding pulse of pure creativity. On Cheating the Polygraph, timeless prog-rock tunes such as The Sound of Muzak, Heartattack in a Layby, Futile, and this long-player’s title track are all given superficially jazzy makeovers that actually owe as much to the influence of Frank Zappa as they do to less batshit-crazy genius bandleaders of decades past.For me, the band-falling-down-a-spiral-staircase groove of The Pills I’m Taking is a definite highlight – but that does nothing to take away from the masterful musicianship on display throughout every last microsecond of Cheating the Polygraph‘s running time. This eight-track album took five years to make, and the labours and love that have been poured into its creation are as tangible as they could possibly be when communicated through ones, zeroes, and soundwaves. Unsurprisingly flawless, but also unexpectedly addictive and moreish." - The Musical Melting Pot
    $20.00
  • Pymlico is the studio project led by Norwegian multi-instrumentalist Arild Broter.   Guiding Light is his third album under this moniker.  He plays drums, keys, and guitar but he receives assistance from a multitude of musicians including 14 string shredder Felix Martin.  Guiding Light is all instrumental.  The music touches on a variety of genres - Scandinavian jazz, sountrack and world music - all underpinned with an obvious symphonic rock influence.  Its nicely produced with a spacious sound.  In places I'm reminded a bit of Mike Oldfield and Gandalf.  This is the good stuff.
    $12.00
  • I can't remember a buzz on a band's debut since Circus Maximus.  Perhaps due to the album being released in Japan a year ago and its unavailability elsewhere, maybe because they are lined up to play ProgPowerUSA.  Whatever the reason the album finally gets a wide debut and it was worth the wait.  Damnation Angels is a British symphonic metal band fronted by a Norwegian singer.  He goes by the name PelleK and was a contestant on Norway's version of X Factor.  The band's stock in trade is epic sounding metal that pays a huge debt to Kamelot.  The instrumental passages take on the grandeur and scope of Nightwish.  PelleK does a sold job out front - he's obviously listened to a Khan quite a bit.  Highly recommended.
    $14.00
  • "Periphery have been an omnipresent force in the prog metalcore realm since their first album released in 2010 – band founder Misha Mansoor has served as producer on several of the genre’s albums, and the other members are all famous in their own right, whether it’s simply for their craft (Matt Halpern), their involvement in other projects (Spencer Sotelo, Mark Holcomb, Nolly Getgood), or just simply being the nephew of someone exceedingly famous (Jake Bowen). This makes whatever they decide to do extremely important, and the band’s decision to release a concept double album has created hype of hugelargic proportions. In my humble opinion, the band has delivered on all fronts, but not without some disappointments in the “could’ve been” area.Since their inception, Periphery have changed from a chugga-chug ambidjent project posting demos on the internet in the late 2000s to a full-fledged prog metal band with heavy elements of metalcore, post-hardcore, and pop music in general. If you weren’t onboard for “Periphery II”, “Juggernaut” likely won’t change your mind (unless your issues were relatively small), as it’s more of the same poppy atmosphere and less of the techy downtuned riffs, though god knows THOSE are still around. But there’s also a lot of style experimentation – jazz fusion, death metal, and various forms of electronica are all utilized on a semi-normal basis, and range from being seamlessly integrated into the music to being tacked on to the ends of songs like gluing a top-rate dildo onto an already particularly throbby penis. If this all sounds a bit schizophrenic, rest assured that the songcraft is, for the most part, tighter than it’s ever been. Singles from Alpha like “22 Faces” and “Alpha” itself show off Periphery’s pop prowess with choruses and hooks that refuse to leave your head, and complex riffs that are somehow just as ‘wormy as the vocals. And the songs on Omega are longer, more complex, and still manage to be as infectious as the most annoying of STDs – even the twelve minute sprawling title track that has more in common with the bombastic riffs of Periphery I has a shapely middle section that rivals even the hottest of…ugh, fuck it, done with the metaphors. It’s just insane. I cried when I heard it.And now onto what I don’t care for; first off, the decision to split the album into two parts was definitely well-informed from a marketing standpoint. Most people don’t go around listening to 80 minute records all day, myself included, and the supposedly delicate structure of a concept album also means that listening to Juggernaut by skipping to different songs would devalue the experience. So the band broke it into two records to make it seem more manageable to listen to in daily life. Another stated reason was so that newcomers to the band would be able to buy Alpha at a discounted price, decide if they liked it, and then purchase Omega if they were so inclined (music previewing doesn’t work like that anymore, but hey you can’t fault the band for trying to turn that into tangible record sales). The problem I have is that Omega isn’t really paced to be its own album, which makes releasing it on its own instead as simply as the second disc in a package a little pointless. It’s not like the excellent “The Afterman” double albums from Coheed and Cambria, which were each albums that worked in their own right. I realize that this is really just semantics, but I think calling Juggernaut both the third and fourth album from Periphery, while technically correct, is just disingenuous, and judging them fairly on their own as separate albums is impossible (which is why all reviews being published are including them together).Periphery has always had a unique way of pacing their albums, regularly including playful, sometimes relatively lengthy interludes between tracks. Juggernaut is no different, and these interludes are now occasionally used to seed songs that will appear later on the album, or provide callbacks to tracks already present. The transitions aren’t always elegant however, and can range from grin-inducing to head-scratching to just plain grating. Thankfully, the band isn’t going for the illusion that each song flows seamlessly into the next, at least no more than they were going for it on any of their previous albums, and it’s easy to get used to everything given multiple listens.Overall, Juggernaut is a dense album that’s going to take a myriad of listens to fully sink in, just like most of the band’s prior releases (I don’t think anyone is gonna argue that “Clear” has any depth that you would find after about the fifth listen or so, but hey hey that’s ok kay). But it’s also accessible on the surface with deceptively simple rhythms and poppy choruses, which draw you in to appreciate the deeper cuts. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes unique and thoughtful music in the post-hardcore, metalcore, and progressive metal genres, but I’d also recommend it to anyone ever, because this is my absolute favorite band and I think they’ve created a masterpiece. So take from that what you will, and then get the fuck out of here. The play button is calling my name." - iprobablyhateyourband.com
    $11.00
  • Limited edition comes with a bonus live DVD filmed in Melbourne, Australia."Karnivool, from day one, have made sure they are the kind of band who could do anything. From both a fan and industry perspective, the group has made it clear that anything should be expected and they will do whatever they want.While their second album, 'Sound Awake' didn't really spread its musical wings as much as the band claimed it would, their third record 'Asymmetry' certainly has. Those who may have jumped ship at the idea of more dragged out progressive rock will rejoice at the roller coaster ride the band offers on full-length number three.The bass heavy drum chaos that is opening track 'Nachash' is a tweak on the Karnivool sound, as if they were to remake 'Themata' today, with a refined, heavier sound that is simply bigger. This follows with a record stand-out, 'A.M. War', which is a little more math-rock musically, with the vocals opting to be less adventurous.That all changes on 'The Refusal', which is one of the heavier songs on the album, kicking off with gritty screamed vocals and thick guitar riffs. There is still a very atmospheric feel about the entire record much like on the previous release, songs like the seven minute 'Aeons' or the experimental title track, take their time and offer plenty of space within themselves for effected vocals or driving bass lines to shine through.The second half of the record changes things up again. It is mellower, more pop orientated and even at times reminiscent of front man Ian Kenny's other project Birds Of Tokyo. The latter half also lends itself to a little more experimentation, with the drum mess that is 'Amusia' and the creepy guitar number 'Float'.The band manage to channel bands like Tool and Porcupine Tree all in one for the huge closer 'Alpha', another highlight, thanks to its thematic changes, moving from a gentle piano laced opening to heavy riffs and chant style vocals.Karnivool sound like the band they want to be on 'Asymmetry,' a band that will keep you guessing for the entirety of a record and can move in any which way they like, while still making some form of sense." - Kill Your STereo
    $18.00
  • Shockingly good reunion album from 1978 that gave us the athemic title track which now has classic status."Deep Purple's definitive Mark II lineup reunited for 1984's Perfect Strangers. It is one of the better examples of a reunion album, although the band's uneasy camaraderie only lasted a few more years. "Knocking at Your Back Door" opens the album with a roar. Ian Gillan's lyrics don't make much sense, but Ritchie Blackmore's guitar riffs and Ian Paice's thunderous drumming carry this song as well as the rest of the album. The robotic rhythm of the title cut relies on Jon Lord's organ work. The 1999 remastered reissue features the bonus track "Son of Alerik." This fascinating, mid-tempo, ten-minute instrumental was the B-side of the "Perfect Strangers" 12" single in the U.K." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • "Freaks is the third release from Qoph, a Swedish psychedelic rock band on Transubstans Records. Basically, all I needed to say was Transubstans Records and most of you regular readers of SoT would have assumed this band was from Sweden and played in a retro style, and you of course would have been correct. Qoph are comprised of Filip Norman (guitars), Rustan Geschwind (vocals). Federico de Costa (drums), and Patrik Persson (bass), and together they lay down some interesting sounds here on Freaks.Imagine a cross between The Doors, Led Zeppelin, and early Soundgarden and you have an idea of what to expect with Freaks. Trippy, fuzz toned guitars permeate "Hearts & Sorrows" and "In Your Face", while the crunchy "Ride", with its heavy riffs and squealing saxophone, comes across like a midnight jam session between Soundgarden, Jimmy Page, and John Coltrane. Geschwind's vocals are a cross between Chris Cornell, Robert Plant, and Jim Morrison, very expressive and fitting every aspect of the bands music. Some of the mellower, more haunting songs such as "Seconds & Minutes" and "Feverland" work quite well too, and " The weirdness to come" even has some space rock elements mixed in with the heavy arrangements. The most adventurous track though might be the lengthy closer "Remedy", complete with jam-like guitar patterns and mysterious sax explorations, a must hear for any fan of psychedelic rock.Solid stuff here on Freaks, a very enjoyable album that will certainly appeal to psych lovers of all ages." - Sea Of Tranquilit
    $9.00
  • "An often misunderstood and underrated album, 1986's Seventh Star was never intended to be a Black Sabbath release, as the band had effectively broken up following its disastrous 1984 tour in support of career low point Born Again. Instead, Seventh Star was conceived as guitarist Tony Iommi's first solo project, and it was only record company pressure that forced him to resurrect his longtime band's moniker at the last minute. With this in mind, one can better appreciate both the record's more blues-based, often un-Sabbath-like songwriting and the contributions made by journeyman singer Glenn Hughes (ex-Trapeze, Deep Purple, etc.), whose incredibly emotive and soulful vocal style was completely at odds with the deadpan delivery of Sabbath's most recognizable singer, Ozzy Osbourne (a discrepancy that would spell his quick exit when the necessary classics were wheeled out for the ensuing world tour). Still, within the unique circumstances of Seventh Star's creation, Hughes' fiery tunefulness made aggressive hard rockers like "In for the Kill," "Turn to Stone," and "Danger Zone" uncommonly catchy, and gorgeous ballads such as "Angry Heart/In Memory..." and "No Stranger to Love" all the more heart-rending. Tellingly, his efforts fell resoundingly flat on the bluesy aimlessness of "Heart Like a Wheel" and the gothic menace of the title track, making it possible for keener observers to foresee the troubles ahead. Yet, in light of the even more traumatic difficulties that preceded it, Seventh Star -- for all its uncharacteristic sonic qualities -- actually represents the turning of a corner for Black Sabbath's lengthy career, which steadily regained momentum in the years that followed." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • The original version of Rïah Sahïltaahk that was recorded in 1971 is featured on the album 1001° Centigrade (vol. 2). But at the time, its composer, Christian Vander, was unhappy with the arrangement written by the group. This radically new version, adapted to suit the group’s current line-up, is more faithful to the spirit of Magma’s music and its uniquely weird and wonderful prog-rock style."
    $13.00
  • "Hailing from Hungary, Sorronia have been quietly honing and evolving their sound and style since their formation in late 2011. Now that everything is in place the band have released their debut offering ‘Words Of Silence’.Falling neatly into the Symphonic Metal bracket, Sorronia have come up with a rather tasty debut, the female vocal of Anna Király is particularly effective, displaying a real warmth and depth balanced with no shortage of emotion. Musically, the band have developed an excellent balance between the guitar riffs and the orchestral elements, leading to an almost fifty fifty split between the two, neither swamping or drowning out the other, all of which makes for an extremely accessible album.There are a good few tracks worthy of special mention, my personal favourite, ’Shattered’, is a glorious, piano and string led song with an incredibly catchy, pop tinged hook and chorus, a track I could see being a real gem when played live. ’Leave It Behind’, another really strong track, with a Gothic overtone that creates a darker atmosphere than some of the other compositions. Album closer ’This Is The End’ is a near perfect choice for the task, encompassing, as it does all that the band have set out to achieve with this record.The production sound contributes a lot to the finished article of course, and a really great job it is that’s been done as well. All aspects of the bands sound has been carefully balanced, ensuring that the album works as a complete unit rather than a sporadic and disjointed affair.The only problem I can see for Sorronia, is that they are competing in a currently rather saturated marketplace, where a host of bands are jostling and presenting themselves as the next big thing in the genre. Sorronia however, have undoubted talent and if the strength of writing and performance continues on this level then they should easily survive the cut. Well recommended." - Planet Mosh
    $13.00
  • Latest in the 40th anniversary series featuring remixes by Steven Wilson.  Here is what you get:CD contains a new stereo remix plus 3 alternate mixes.  The DVD contains 5.1 remix of the album, a 24/96 and 24/48 stereo remix, the original album mix and alternate takes and mixes in 24/48.  The video content is the complete Beat Club performance and is worth the price alone.  
    $20.00