Spiritual Beggars (2CD)

New 2CD reissue of the band's first album, originally released in 1994.  The second disc contains 18 rare and previously unreleased tracks.  Cool new artwork as well.

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  • Legendary first album comes with 4 unreleased bonus tracks. Now available at a great price.
    $5.00
  • "Nik Turner, the founding member of pioneering space-rock band HAWKWIND, returns to his intergalactic roots with his mind-blowing new CD titled "Space Gypsy". Featuring all-new material, "Space Gypsy" boasts guest appearances by fellow HAWKWIND alumnus drummer Simon House, and GONG guitar legend Steve Hillage, along with Nicky Garratt of the UK SUBS, Jurgen Engler of German industrial band DIE KRUPPS, and Jeff Piccinini of '70s punk icons CHELSEA. Making the CD release even more exciting, Nik Turner has filmed a dark, hypnotic new video called "Time Crypt featuring Simon House". This is the second video Nik has released in support of "Space Gypsy", the first being "Fallen Angel STS-51-L"; from the album's first single about the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster." 
    $15.00
  • "IRON MASK stand out from many other artists of the neo-classical metal genre because they manage to combine high musical ambitions with a certain kind of accessibility and lots of variety. With 'Fifth Son of Winterdoom', Dushan Petrossi and his band manage the musical claim to be very catchy, so fans of Firewind, Dio, Iron Maiden, Yngwie Malmsteen and Rainbow will all have their joy in this extraordinary album."
    $15.00
  • Remastered edition with two bonus tracks."Searching for a way to retool their sound, Judas Priest attempted to accentuate their melodic side on Turbo by incorporating synthesizers and '80s pop-metal stylings ("Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days" sounds more like Poison, albeit with synths). The restrained songcraft sometimes pays dividends, especially on the synth-driven leadoff track, "Turbo Lover," easily the best song on the record and a successful reimagining of the Priest formula. But often, the band simply sounds directionless, unsure of exactly which path to accessibility it should follow; moreover, the synth-guitar backing and overly polished production give the album an oddly mechanized, processed feel. It certainly doesn't help most of the material, which is often at least competent but rarely inspired enough to make much of an impression. That's unfortunate because Turbo's best moments indicate that with a clearer focus, the album could have been a creative success; however, it's overall Judas Priest's weakest release since Rocka Rolla." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • "Oh Italy, will you ever stop delivering kick ass metal? Now don’t get me wrong folks, I love the San Francisco Bay Area I’ve called home for the majority of my life, and am very pleased with the area’s contributions to heavy metal, namely the thrash era of the 1980’s, but at the present moment, no country has been consistently delivering like Italy has, especially when it comes to just buckling down and busting out some no holds barred, guitar crunching, drum smashing, vocal chord tearing heavy metal. And when it comes to metal that is blunt and to the point, Astra pretty much nails it on their album Broken Balance.Astra began their journey in Rome in 2001 as a four piece instrumental band, three of which are still in the band today, Andrea Casali (vocals and bass), Silvio D’Onorio De Meo (lead guitar), and Emanuele Casali (keyboard and rhythm guitar), and after a few changes, settled on drummer Filippo Berlini. According to their bio, they cut their chops on Dream Theater covers, and managed to win the first Italian Dream Theater Tribute Contest, leading them to a show with the Wizard Rudess himself for the Italian fan club’s 10 year party. From that point, they followed the tried and true path of releasing albums and touring. In 2005 they released About Me: Through Life and Beyond, and followed that with the 2007 release of From Within. Now, it’s time for that ever crucial third album, so let’s take a look at Broken Balance….Now, unlike a lot of the music I’ve been reviewing in recent days, there is no genre bending, no quirks or hidden aural agendas. From note one of the opening track, Losing Your Ego, Astra makes it crystal clear that they just want to rock the fuck out. The song, and the whole album for that matter, is a catchy riff fest with a strong hard rock/metal vibe. It’s the type of music that would have taken a very high place in the annals of late eighties metal, with the searing high vocals of Casali, the constant double bass of Berlini, and the relentless guitar riffs and solos. They do mix it up a bit, throwing in a few time changes here and there, some subdued moments, and a growl or two, just to add some flare and color to the overall product. Hole in the Silence picks up right where the opener drops off, without skipping a step. The third track, Sunrise to Sunset, has a slightly balladesque touch to it, with a soaring and catchy chorus that really showcases the vocals of Casali. Buried in the midst of the soaring vocal work is a brilliant instrumental section and a jaw dropping solo. It’s surely my favorite on the album, a song that will be listened to many times, me singing at the top of my severely under qualified lungs.From there they go right back to the metal. Song after song they are relentless, one of those albums that screams “LIVE SHOW PLEASE!!!!!!”.  Too Late has yet another catchy chorus, something of a standard throughout the album actually. The title track, Broken Balance, opens with a sultry tone, something else they are rather adept at, and delivers a fairly complex song afterwards, teasing at exploding out multiple times before restraining themselves, working the listener into a furious sense of expectation as to what’s going to come about. Then comes the instrumental, where they let loose in a fury of notes scattered around before the guitars take control. Six more tracks follow, delivering a good variety on their version of solid metal. Another ballad comes in the form of Mirror of Your Soul. Risk and Dare is a crushing and rather dark number on an album that is overall fairly uplifting. Three more rockers lead into the closing track, You Make Me Better. This one opens on the heavy notes, and then settles into ballad zone. It’s a love song of course, with all the requisite cheesiness lyrically and the solid climactic moments.Astra gives at the core of this album a polished sound for sure. Though there are very few mistakes on it, they also don’t break down any barriers. It is altogether a good, fun rocking album, the kind that is meant for cranking up and punishing your neck and your neighbors. Their tightness as a band is clear on every song, and the catchiness of the album should ensure a good deal of longevity for yet another addition to the growing pantheon of Italian metal." - Lady Obscure
    $15.00
  • "Following the success of their debut ‘Vitriol’, Symphonic metallers Evenoire have announced the release of their sophomore album ‘Herons’. The band combines Gothic and Symphonic Metal with a very distinctive Medieval/Folk approach, with a special mention to extraordinary lead vocalist Lisy Stefanoni, whose ethereal and powerful voice and evocative flute add an extra dimension to the melodies and make her one of the most promising female singers around. And if ‘Vitriol’ was centered on “water” themes, this new album focuses on “fire” and all those mythological creatures that represent it. The music is heavier than ever before although the lyrical side of the band is still prominent. ‘Herons’ was recorded at Dreamsound Studios in Munich, Germany, with Mario Lochert, Dejan Djukovic and Daniel Rehbein (Emergency Gate, Graveworm, Visions of Atlantis) behind the consolle. Mastering and Mixing duties were handled by Jan Vacik (Dreamscape). The band has also announced the collaboration with keyboardist/producer Riccardo Studer (Stormlord, Hour Of Penance). A very special guest appearance by singer Linnéa Vikström (Therion) is also confirmed."
    $15.00
  • 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
  • Budget priced 2 disc set includes both albums in a slip case.  Merlin is one of the best albums.
    $15.00
  • In recent times there has been very little new music coming from the Magma camp.  "Slag Tanz" is a new composition that the band has been performing and its finally been recorded in the studio.  Its got the classic Magma sound and if you are a zeuhl fan this is indispensable.Funny that their new label is referring to this as jazz metal.  Perhaps they should try a different marketing ploy."Powerful, hypnotic, unclassifiable, incomparables. MAGMA are in a class of their own. Finally, music to set the cat among the pigeons... Magma are the dynamite that will explode the conventions of a music scene that is becoming rather too self-satisfied with its own beauty... Magma are unlike anything that has gone before...So people were saying in 1970.In 2015, nearly half a century later, this is truer than ever and the new mini-album Slag Tanz (pronounced schlag tanz), this veritable symphony of jazz metal that has erupted from nowhere, radiates with all Magma s singular intensity!"Slünd AImëhntösz - Alerte ! (2:19)Slag (3:03)Dümb (2:57)Vers la nuit (3:30)Slünd BDümblaë - Le silence des mondes (2:58)Zü Zaïn ! (2:16)Slag Tanz (2:29)Wohldünt (1:23)Lyrics & Music : Christian VanderStella VANDER : voiceIsabelle FEUILLEBOIS : voiceHervé AKNIN : voiceBenoît ALZIARY : vibraphoneJames MAC GAW : guitarJérémie TERNOY : pianoPhilippe BUSSONNET : bassChristian VANDER : drums, piano, voice on "Wohldünt"Recorded and mixed between september 2013 and september 2014 at UZ Studio by Francis LINON
    $13.00
  • Digipak edition with one bonus track"Fans of gothic metal, rejoice! Tristania, one of the genre’s true pioneering bands, has just released their seventh studio album entitled Darkest White. The Norwegian powerhouse act has a storied fourteen year history stretching back to their 1998 debut – and they haven’t lost a step thanks to some much needed lineup stability. Darkest White contains all the near-theatrical arrangements, darker moods, and diverse tones that fans of the band would expect – delivered with a solid three-singer attack and technically tight musicianship. After numerous line-up shuffles, the now stable group has really hit their stride again, producing an album that clearly outshines their previous effort (2010’s middling Rubicon).Tristania has always focused on delivering solid vocal performances, and continue on with the duet of the angelic Mariangela Demurtas and the theatrical Kjetil Nordhus. Demurtas has a silky, clear voice and she remains her own singer rather than pushing towards the operatic stylings of other Gothic bands. Nordhus delivers with great emotion and depth, whether singing softly and clearly or doing some Broadway-style emoting. Guitarist Anders Høyvik Hidle now contributes a good amount of growled / death metal vocals, giving the band a bit of “beauty and the beast” sound at times. Overall, Tristania continues to deliver the clear and precise metal that has won them a worldwide following. Excellent musicianship backs up the great vocal harmonies, delivered by guitarists Hidle and Gyri Losnegaard, keyboard player Einar Moen, and bottom end Ole Vistnes (bass / backing vocals) and Tarald Lie (drums).“Number” opens the release with growled vocals and a kicky drum line, intense bass and great guitar hooks. Demurtas and Nordhus also contribute well done duet vocals making this track the quintessential example of the rebuilt Tristania. The heavy and intense “Darkest White” showcases the male vocalists. This track has a more conventional heavy metal feel to it, with strong contributions from guitars, bass and drums. “Himmelfall” is a slower, darker rock tune with hooky guitars and a great rolling rhythm line, and theatrical vocals by all. “Requiem” is a sweeping, epic soft track – very different from the previous songs. Demurtas’ voice is at its best here, and the softer keys and guitars combined with multi-layered vocal harmonies make it arguably the best track on the album. The languorous vocal lines of “Diagnosis” contrast nicely with the high speed rhythm lines, and both carry emotional intensity.“Scarling” starts off as almost an old school rocker, but becomes a moody progressive / Gothic track driven by vocals and drums. The vocal chorus, and interplay amongst the three leads is quite impressive. “Night on Earth” features great growl vocals over a simple but effective guitar riff and a real head banging rhythm line. The haunting “Lavender” is a major contrast, filled with soft guitars and mellow, soft vocals – the epitome of dramatic rock. “Cypher” is a somewhat gloomy sounding rocker with very well done male vocals and a brooding rhythm line. “Arteries” wraps up the CD, and features great back and forth between growl and clean voices along with top notch drum and bass.Darkest White is a very good release from a veteran band. The returning lineup now has a good deal more experience working as a team and has gelled into something special. Although the band’s technical abilities were never in doubt, they have addressed the weaknesses apparent in their last album – the song structure is better, the lyrics and themes more consistent, and the members of Tristania now seem more comfortable working together. They are tight and confident, once again pushing musical boundaries. Diversity in song style, tempo, and tone highlight the band’s superb use of multiple singers, and keeps the album interesting throughout. The excellent production values and strong engineering allow the many subtleties and great depths of the music to flow without seeming forced or unnatural.Highly recommended for fans of the genre." - Hard Rock Haven
    $13.00
  • German import arrives in a mediabook with a patch."Our anticipation levels had maxed, as four years passed by since Sanctuary announced that they were releasing a new record. It is easy to imagine that the only going through their fans' minds was whether their new material will resemble the work they did 25 years ago. I was rather reluctant and ultimately, I was right.First things first, let's get some things straight. Is "The Year The Sun Died" close to the feel of their two emblematic records? Nope. Does it sound like Nevermore? Yeah, as Dane's vocals are closer to that type of delivery, without that being a bad thing. He wouldn't risk going back to his old type of delivery, even if he could achieve such levels with pro tools magic. Modern production trends have also played a significant role to the final cut of this album. On the other hand, the composition approach is quite different to that witnessed on Nevermore albums, as musical themes are much more approachable. On the other hand, even though we don't have the outbursts we were used to, there are a number of theme and tempo changes in many of the tracks which make them very interesting indeed.In general, if we were to analyse its style, we would conclude that we are dealing with a rather heavy record that incorporates bulky guitars in mid-tempo layouts, without that meaning that there are no tracks with a faster pace. Lyrically, it is quite dark and a constant claustrophobic atmosphere is always present, as there is no abundance of melodic guitar themes. It's multifaceted compositions do provide a rather "proggy" feeling, but nothing more than that. Sheppard and Budbill's rhythm section is poignant and to the point, but lacks the ingenuity we were used to them providing.Opening tack "Arise And Purify" is clear evidence of the two contradicting elements that comprise this record. The intro riff is heavy and modern, whereas the chorus uses backing vocals that reminds us of their past. Solos by Rutledge and Hull are unleashed from the get go, and are as precise and technical as required. "Let The Serpent Follow Me" is on the up-tempo side of things but winds down during the chorus, followed by a wonderful, nostalgic bridge. The first slow track is "Exitium (Anthem Of The Living)", which starts off with a calm intro and follows with an awesome riff. Dane also performs really well in this track. "Question Existence Fading" follows a similar path of interchanging musical themes. It sets off with a fast, edgy and fierce riff, includes great solos, awesome vocals and thrilling drumming."I Am Low" is one of the calmer moments of the record, which slowly builds up to a rather heartfelt climax. Another highlight would be "Frozen" which again starts off strong and dials things down during the chorus whilst guitar solos are flying around left, right and centre. The weakest moment of the album would be "One Final Day (Sworn To Believe)", whilst "The World Is Wired", which at first won me over with its groovy attitude, ultimately let me down after multiple listens. The strongest moment is definitely the self-titled track (introduced by the wonderfully acoustic "Ad Vitam Aeternam") which concludes the record. Words don't really give it justice. It is slow, heavy and very memorable. Everything from the Latin chants in the beginning of the track to the despair in Warrel's vocals during the chorus and inspiring guitar work makes this song great. A truly great composition.With this release, Sanctuary did what they had to do. They evolved. Now, because it took them 25 years to do so might not go down well with many people who were expecting a second "Into The Mirror Black", which is totally understandable. Having Nevermore in the meantime might have substantially reduced the shock factor anyway. Let us not forget though that one of the reasons why we loved this band is because of their progressiveness (for lack of a better word). It would be silly to assume that they would not have changed tones even if they hadn't disbanded in 1992." - Noisefull
    $10.00
  • "There are some bands that have been around for years that seemingly just go through the motions of putting out material not worthy of their own back catalog. Then there are bands like Rage that take the sum of its 29 years (26 as Rage, 3 as Avenger) and continually put out the highest quality pure metal. Rage has seen many stylistic changes in those years from the power metal origins of “Reign of Fear” to the ultra thrashy “Perfect Man” back to the power metal on “Trapped” and “The Missing Link” to the total classical/metal collaboration of “Lingua Mortis” (which came three years before Metallica even thought of “S & M”), then to the metal opera of “Ghosts” and now to power/thrash/groove of “21” (and all the albums in between). The one constant through it all is that Rage has been one of the mainstays of metal and the one band any metal fan can always count on to release albums that get better with age.It takes just one pass to hook the listener into the Rage web (or “strings on a….”) of thrash, power, groove and melody on this album, which is one of the best the band has ever released. “21” represents not only the “blackjack” theme that the intro and title track suggest, but it is the exact number of full length releases the band unleashed since the 1984 Avenger release “Prayers of Steel.”One thing is certain, Rage is at its most deadly as a three piece, which saw the band’s finest releases from 1988-1993 and again from 2001-present. In 2001, with the release of “Welcome to the Other Side,” Rage unleashed one of its biggest assets, guitar god Victor Smolski. Smolski’s combination of crushing riffs, blistering solos, and unleavened groove are some of the best in metal and simply made the band that much better. However, there would be no Rage if not for bassist/vocalist/founding member Pete “Peavy” Wagner. His vocals are as unmistakable as his proficient bass playing (check out “Eternally”) added to his already larger than life presence.On “21” the band has never sounded heavier and tighter. The listener is treated to an entree of soaring melody with thick gravy like groove over a bed of punishing riffs. From top to bottom, there is no discernible flaw. “Twenty One” sets the crushing tone along with “Forever Dead” and “Feel My Pain” until you get to the album’s biggest surprise “Serial Killer.” Here is one thing I haven’t heard on a Rage album...Peavy doing near death growls on the verses following a woman’s loud shriek at the onset, which is silhouetted with riff upon riff and melody upon melody. It’s the wildest track the band has ever written. “Psycho Terror” follows it up showing the younger bands exactly how to properly choke a riff, lay on the groove, and make it an album favorite.“Death Romantic” takes on the sore topic of love in a way only Rage can. “Destiny” comes very close to the sound of “Perfect Man.” “Black And White” and “Concrete Wall” fill the gaps with the signature Rage style. “Eternally” takes what would be an “average” power ballad for any other band and “Rage-ifies” it with chunky riffs and unprecedented melody.Rage has been a model of consistency and power in a German scene that the group helped define. “21” is another in a stellar catalog of albums that span three decades and should be celebrated as one of the band’s finest." - Metal Underground
    $16.00
  • "No need for introduction here I think, however I will write something about this Juggernaut band GRAND MAGUS. GRAND MAGUS are with us from around 2001, they started has more of a Doom \\ Stoner Metal band that moved into a more traditional Heavy metal with lyrics regarding, War, middle ages fights and the good against the evil conflict just with swords and less guns. I will tell you a little secret, I used to be a big fan of GRAND MAGUS from start till the “Hammer of the North”, their fifth album, it came after their masterpiece “Iron Will” but couldn’t stand high as the latter. However, after the release of the following, “The Hunt”, I kind of lost faith, with hoping that the “Triumph And Power” will bring back the blood in my eyes and the passion in my fists for GRAND MAGUS’s awesome Metal edition.“On Hooves Of Gold” and “Steel Versus Steel” are very similar musically, both of them starting with a more classic intro. “Steel Versus Steel” with an acoustic guitar and “On Hooves Of Gold” with cathedral music and a chant, both harboring classic GRAND MAGUS riffing. I started to become a believer again the moment I started to listen to the third track “Fight”, twitched with a low tempo riffing and high sound bass, however it changes into a speedy riffing that reminded me of the early “Fear Is the Key" of “Iron Will”. The title track, “Triumph And Power” shows Janne "JB" Christoffersson’s vocal versatility, really admire the guy’s voice, kind of a low thumping voice that strikes you directly in the chin, “Triumph And Power” is great track that has the quality to become a hit with the very classic chorus. “Dominator” ushers the diversity of the album with a faster pace, reminding more of classic hits of JUDAS PRIEST.“Arv” is an instrumental so I will jump directly to the best track on the album and I’m talking about the mighty “Holmgång” with amazing riffs by JB prompting past albums with miscellaneous riffing. The solo has that Glamish style that provides an elusive quality to the track. “The Naked and the Dead” continues the “Dominator” and “Fight” high paced riffing and drumming that made GRAND MAGUS to be a great band, I mean the combination and diversity; don’t miss “The Hammer Will Bite” that starts like a classic Power ballad however changes to a classic Metal riffing beast.I can’t say that it’s a masterpiece. it’s very hard for bands like GRAND MAGUS  that are veteran and known, the audience are expecting a masterpiece in every release and after a little set back by GRAND MAGUS with “The Hunt”, at least for me, I think that “Triumph And Power” made me a believer again, so GRAND MAGUS, I Believe." - Metal Temple
    $6.00
  • Well Steve is done resucitating the Genesis catalogue and back to concentrating on fresh solo material.  The new album Wolflight is a bit of a loose concept album and I find it to be one of his strongest releases in years.  The album is filled with lots of guests (including Chris Squire) contributing exotic instruments to the mix adding an old world sound.  Steve's trademark sound is locked into place so if you are looking for the wailing guitar, liquid runs and acoustic delicacy you won't be disappointed.  His vocals has never been my favorite part of a Steve Hackett album but either I've mellowed in age or his voice has - not sure which.  Regardless it fits the music just fine.  Classic Hackett and nothing less.  BUY OR DIE!Please note this is the US edition that arrives in a digipak.  Its a 2 disc set.  Disc 1 is the standard CD.  Disc 2 is actually a Blu-ray.  Tontent includes hi-res stereo and 5.1 mix of the album, 2 bonus tracks not on the standard CD (in hi-res no less!), and extensive interview footage with Steve Hackett.
    $14.00