Tage Mahal

SKU: SPV99122
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SPV
Category:
Metal/Hard Rock
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Surprisingly great project from one of the founders of Savatage and forefathers of the entire progressive metal movement. To cut to the chase - this sounds more like Savatage than Savatage does these days. A must own for any Savatage fan - you will not be disappointed.

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  • Second album from this excellent melodic metal band. Starbreaker consists of Tony Harnell (TNT) on vocals, former bandmate John Macaluso on drums, and Magnus Karlsson - the mastermind behind the Allen/Lande albums - on guitar. Tommy Hansen waved his magic production wand over it all. I'm much more of a prog guy but I know quality when I hear it and this one hits the mark.
    $7.00
  • "What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you think of Italy? It will probably be the scenery, the beauty and the great food. For me it’s the same but I also think of great music as Italy has produced some great musicians and artists. So is the band featured in this review one of them? Only one way to find out so here we go it’s time for a review.The band in question is called BURNING BLACK, who is a quintet of Italian rockers from the Treviso part of Italy that formed in 2004. In 2008, their debut album, “Prisoners of Steel”, was unleashed upon the world showing what this new fresh European band could do and a year later they came back with their second album, “MechanicHell”, and now here in 2014, their third album, “Remission of Sin” is upon us.The album clocks in at roughly 49 minutes playtime with a total of 11 tracks that consist of nothing but pure bred Heavy Metal but the question is, does it play and sound like an album that belongs in that genre? Well when you first listen to it, it certainly has all the right ingredients needed for a great European Heavy Metal album and the more you listen, the more you start to realize that the ingredients are a part of a great recipe which results in good music.So to answer my earlier question, yes this does play and sound like an album that belongs in the Heavy Metal genre? Let’s start with the music which is crisp, clear, heavy, fast and loud just like a normal Heavy Metal album but sometimes that can be a good thing as there have been cases where the recipe has otherwise failed or not been as successful.Here that is far from being the case as you are treated to some pretty insane guitar riffs and some rather impressive vocals which yes at times may sound a bit hit and miss but overall it’s not really something to worry about it as it’s the performance which can often impress and come out on top over any little niggles you may find.The album has a total of nine vocal songs including “Flag of Rock”, “Mercenary of War”, “Soulless Stone” and “Far Away” to name a few along with two instrumentals which include the opening introduction track “Do Lung Bridge” and “Spaceman’s Theory” with the latter being a sweet little acoustic and electric guitar jam.So what do I think of the new album from BURNING BLACK? It comes as no surprise that this would sound good as it is from a European band after all but that said some European bands have released slightly mediocre material that is far from perfect and not as enjoyable as others. With the good European bands however, you get quality music and although some of them may have their little faults here and there, you enjoy them for what they are especially if it’s from a band you like or a band you’ve been a strong follower of. I am glad to say it’s the same here as despite any issues I may have addressed in this review, I was impressed overall with this album and I will definitely come back to it and listen to it again." - Metal Temple
    $15.00
  • Grotesk is the third album from this French trio. Their two previous albums brought them world wide acclaim for their intriguing amalgam of jazz and metal fused together with a strong dose of Zappa-esque humor. Mörglbl was born in 1996 after noted guitarist Christophe Godin decided to form an instrumental fusion rock band. After meeting Jean Pierre Frelezeau (drums) and Ivan Rougny (bass), they decided to work together on the project. In 1997, Morglbl’s first cd named “Ze Mörglbl Trio!!” (IHL) was released and received good reactions from the French press. The band toured intensively in France, placing Christophe as one of France’s top guitar players. In 1999, the band’s second album “Bienvenue a Mörglbl Land” (IHL) was released. The band toured Europe, and Christophe started working as ambassador for Laney Amps, Vigier Guitars, Zoom Effects and Alvarez acoustic guitars. In 2000, Mörglbl disbanded, and Christophe released one cd with metal band GNO (“Trash Deluxe” Janvier Rec.), and became a worldwide in demand clinician. Ivan toured with fusion guitarist Cyril Achard and Y. Malmsteen’s drummer Mike Terrana, as well as rai star Cheb Bilal. In 2004, Christophe started his first solo project, named Metal Kartoon, and asked Jean Pierre and Ivan to be part of the band. The cd was released in 2005 (“Christophe Godin’s Metal Kartoon” Nocturne) and did pretty well in France. Christophe toured intensively (Germany, Italy, China, South Korea, USA, UK). He also released one cd and toured Europe with jazz guitar legend Pierrejean Gaucher (“2G” Nocturne) After hitting the road regularly with Metal Kartoon, Mörglbl regrouped and started working on new material. They recorded their newest cd “Grotesk” and toured Russia, Italy, Germany, Holland, USA as well as France of course, where their popularity rapidly grew after the news of their reunion spread. Christophe is going to be co-headliner of Tokyo Shred Fest in November, part of his next Asian Tour (China, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore) as Laney ambassador. With the release of Grotesk, Mörglbl has created an album with cross genre appeal. Fans of shred and fusion Gods like Allan Holdsworth, Steve Vai or Freak Kitchen’s Mattias IA Eklundh will find much to sink their teeth into. Morglbl on Myspace
    $13.00
  • "Deluxe two CD + DVD Edition. 2013 live release from the Tampa, Florida-based Heavy Metal outfit. Since Dystopia was released in October of 2011, Iced Earth has been on the attack in a big way, playing more shows in the past year than in the previous 10 years...combined! Early on in the World Tour the band decided that they wanted to capture this newfound energy and passion on film and tape. When the offer came in to film at the ancient Kourion Theater in Limassol, Cyprus, they were immediately attracted to that idea. The history and culture there, as well as the Cypriot audience, which the band experienced in December 2011, solidified the decision to record in Cyprus. Filming and recording a 2 1/2 hour show in an amphitheater that is 6000 years old and is not set-up for a Rock concert, paired with 40-degree Celsius heat, were just some of the obstacles to overcome. But the finished product makes up for any of the challenges that the band and crew faced on that special night."
    $16.00
  • "Winter In Eden’s latest offering comes on the heels of their highly acclaimed debut ‘Awakening’ and follow up ‘Echoes Of Betrayal’. Latching onto the production team behind fellow symphonic hard rockers Within Temptation and with critical support from the rock and metal media , ‘Court Of Conscience’ sees them looking to rub shoulders with the big players in the field.Has anyone else noticed a marked increase in the numbers of females becoming part of the rock scene? You only need check out some of the rock publications on the shelves of your local newsagents to find the latest in a new breed or the new release featuring a talented rock goddess on its cover (and let’s face it, more often than not, the ladies tend to look a bit better than the guys.)Nowhere has it been more apparent than in the melodic/symphonic rock/metal scene, where the likes of Within Temptation, Evanescence, Amaranthe and  Nightwish have opened the doors and made female fronted rock almost a genre by itself. In fact, one of the best gigs I’ve attended this year was the Within Temptation/Delain double bill and as someone (probably Disney related) once said, it opened up a whole new world.To the point though. Winter In Eden are another five piece symphonic rock band from the north of England who can be added to the list. With an EP and two albums behind them and a string of recognition  (best new band, female vocalist, live act) from the likes of the Classic Rock Society, Metal Storm and Classic Rock magazine, anticipation is high for their third album, ‘Court Of Conscience’. It comes courtesy of producer Ruud Jolie (of Within Temptation) and mixed by Stefan Helleblad (of…..Within Temptation) and featuring a number of guest appearances most notably including  Landmarq/Threshold singer Damian Wilson. Sounding good so far.Opening track ‘Knife Edge’ has all the classic elements – the false sense of security of the  gentle piano opening giving way to the immediate vocal of Vicky Johnson amid a smack in the teeth blast from the band, a minor respite mid song giving way to a suitably symphonic ending and a flavour of what’s to come.  The typically dynamic expectations and atmospheres come courtesy of the ominous opening of ‘Critical Mass Pt 1- Burdened’ which smoulders along and builds into becoming the big production piece on the album.  With ‘Toxicate’ and ‘Order Of Your Faith’ they display a slightly harder edge while ‘The Script’ offers up something more akin to a string driven power ballad.Although the overall sound is naturally quite heavily orchestrated (expertly done by keyboard ist Steve Johnson) the band are driven along by Steve Hauxwell’s drums and it’s hard not to be impressed by Vicky Johnson’s symphonic metal goddess vocals which pour a velvety smooth coating over  the soundtrack which essentially provide the focus for the band. The album is accessible with some commercial hooks, dare I say radio friendly (maybe rock radio friendly might be more appropriate)  in songs like ‘Before It Began’ and full of sweeping strings and explosive guitars yet able to move into simple acoustic guitar driven pieces.Having come off the road and straight into recording saw the material coming together quickly and making the most of the benefits of playing together  as a live unit. The ‘been there and got the T shirt’ Within Temptation polished production influence has rubbed off  and given Winter In Eden the motivation and momentum to deliver a record which establishes and strengthens their reputation  in the genre." - Louder Than War
    $16.00
  • Current UK pressing of this rather obscure one...
    $14.00
  • "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
  • Devin Townsend continues to be a true cutting edge progressive artist. Synchestra straddles the prog rock world as well as that of his agressive metal band Strapping Young Lad. The music stops and turns on a dime going from quiet acoustic interludes to a firestorm of shred, acidic vocals and blast beat rhythms. Long time buddy Steve Vai appears, contributing a solo on one track. This one is a challenging listen which is what progressive music is supposed to be about.
    $13.00
  • Led by Anubis guitarist Douglas Skene, Hemina delivers their first full length epic, Synthetic. Here's nearly 80 minutes of traditional melodic progressive metal from the land down under.Wading through this lengthy album may be a challenge for some, especially those who are easily put off by prog's excess or extravagance. Those who venture on will be rewarded with, yes, extravagant, but also impressive and entertaining music. A point in case is the lush anthem For All Wrong Reasons. It has that certain texture and melody encourages repeated spins.Of course, with prog, big is always better, usually. Synthetic offer three massive songs: To Conceive a Plan, And Now to Find a Friend, and the closer Divine. These things offer the typical Dream Theater-style grandeur and glory. Well that's rather expected on a trad prog project, some of the best pieces are the shorter ones such as Even in Heaven, Haunting Me, and The Boy is Dead, although later still clocks in a nine minutes.Notable is the musicianship, especially the stunning guitar work by Skene and Mitch Coull. Even better is the breadth and depth of the vocal arrangements, with every band member contributing. Bassist Jessica Martin's voice adds delightful timbre to many songs, especially the aforementioned For All Wrong Reasons. Finally, and perhaps the best characteristic, there's no attempts at modern nuances like adding death vocals.Hemina's Synthetic may be massive and extravagant, but that simple makes it a tour-de-force of melodic progressive metal. Quite recommended." - DangerDog.com
    $13.00
  • After a 10 year absence Enchant are back.  The band started in 1993 making them one of the earliest prog metal band.  Actually they are sort of an interesting band in that they seem to exist in both the prog rock and prog metal realms.  Some metal fans think of them as a bit lightweight and some prog rock fans think they are too heavy!  One thing is for sure they are wildly successful.  This is definitely prog but it never loses sight of the melody.  Fronted by the great Ted Leonard (who is now doing double duty with Spock's Beard) this one is a no-brainer - whether you are metal or prog head.  "irst impressions are the similarities to Spock’s Beard. Hardly surprising since Ted Leonard has been singing with them since 2011. He’s been with Enchant longer; their first CD came out in 1993. And familiarity doesn’t breed contempt here, fortunately.Bay area progressive rockers, they steer a straight course composing guitar-structured songs that they extemporise over. Guitarist Douglas A Ott is also the band’s main producer, with The Great Divide having been recorded at his own studio, but if in the past the band’s followed his direction they’re now more involved after a ten year gap working on other projects. Also, while integral, Ott doesn’t dominate Enchant’s sound but flows in and out adding a hard rock bias to their generic musical flavouring. Drummer/percussionist Sean Flanegan and bassist Ed Platt have the solidity of early Kansas and musically there are some pretty snazzy and often too brief keyboard solos from Bill Jenkins.A rolling cyclical bass line forms the basis of opening number ‘Circles’ with Leonard pondering life going round well, like a circle – while the lyrics aren’t profound they feel right and though this isn’t a concept album, despite the band stating otherwise, there are common themes concerning the human condition in a loosely existential manner. Mainly straight verse and choruses ‘Circles’ breaks out into more complicated time signatures before an acoustic comes to the fore, vocals return, an electric guitar take over and it concludes with a nicely warm keyboard solo. ‘Within An Inch’ follows with a steady rock backbeat over which Ott’s playing echoes Camel’s Andy Latimer interrupted briefly by some John Ellis punk-styled sirening. ‘The Great Divide’ follows suit in a more epic manner, the arrangement akin to Genesis in their golden period.Enchant don’t play with the fairies, despite what their name suggests. If anything they’re two steps removed from an AOR sound leaning in towards early Asia with some latter day Beatles thrown in, and a less grandiose take on Spock’s Beard. One might refer to them as technically proficient rather than emotionally overwrought, meaning there is a heartfelt flavour to their songs, and they tend to grow on you.The subdued opening to ‘Life In A Shadow’ throws a brief curveball echoing the Canterbury sound of Hatfield & The North before a heavy chorded chorus takes this into a rocking tune with soulful harmonies. ‘Deserve To Feel’ pours on the technical drumming and dribbling triplet bass figures with some flashy pyrotechnics predominantly on guitar but with keen keyboard flourishes, moving into a more intricate musical score as Jenkins and Ott trade inspired lines towards its conclusion. Likewise, ‘Here And Now’ builds reflectively moving towards emotional drama.Finely composed, played well, Enchant’s The Great Divide might not have you falling under its spell, but you may well be surprised how you find yourself being drawn to playing it." - The Midland Rocks
    $13.00
  • "Insurgentes is the new documentary film about Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) directed by Lasse Hoile. Porcupine Tree are currently enjoying massive success across the world with their latest album, The Incident. Insurgentes is a musical road movie that follows the making of his solo record of the same name, and is a portrait of an increasingly rare artist who works with music and media out of love and not for fame and fortune, persisting in making art on his own terms in a world where 'throw away' mentality is increasingly becoming the norm. The film features footage of Wilson with other artists and friends including Mikael Akerfeldt from Opeth, Jonas Renkse from Katatonia, the Israeli superstar Aviv Geffen, and the legendary producer Trevor Horn."
    $9.00
  • 2014 verson comes with a bonus CD with alternate versions, demos, and b-sides."Tim Bowness & Steven Wilson return with No-Man’s eagerly awaited sixth official album, and the band’s first since 2003’s atmospheric Together We’re Stranger.Featuring the sweetly hypnotic Wherever There Is Light, the warped dynamics of Pigeon Drummer, the outsider lament of All Sweet Things, and the subtly evolving explorations of the uplifting semi-orchestral epic Truenorth, Schoolyard Ghosts reveals the band taking its accessible and ambitious blend of Post-Rock and Singer-songwriter influences to an even more focused and personalised place than before.A distinctive combination of beautifully detailed songwriting, haunting melodies and inventively cinematic production.Representing the band’s most consistent and mature work to date, the album looks set to build and improve upon the success of predecessors Returning Jesus and Together We’re Stranger.Guest musicians include Porcupine Tree’s Colin Edwin and Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree/King Crimson), Bruce Kaphan (ex-American Music Club/Red House Painters), Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson), Dave Stewart (arranging The London Session Orchestra) & Theo Travis (David Sylvian/Nine Horses)"
    $16.00
  • Red type on black shirt. Front text is simply DSO and the back reads:DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA No 2 SING ALONG SONGS FOR THE DAMNED & DELIRIOUS(same as the album cover)At the moment only Men's shirts are availabe. Women's shirts coming in shortly.
    $20.00
  • "It's not every day I get my hands on such an amazing slab of Power Metal goodness. So when that happens, the albums tends to make a special impact, and what an impact the band's second album makes, and almost instantly (more on that later). This is my first exposure from this band, and I will revisit their debut soon. From what I understand, this album features new female singer Noora Louhimo, in replacement of the Nitte Vänskä.The album starts with the best song on the album, and after 10-15 seconds you know from the guitar melody, that you will love this album, even before Noora starts singing. While the bombastic guitar powered intro to this song is ultra catchy its also recognizable, I couldn't say exactly if it reminds me of Sonata Arctica or Thunderstone, but I get the feeling I know these notes from another band, nevertheless after the intro the song starts rather calmly to arrive to the mind-blowing chorus, and the song name Let It Roar, makes perfect sense as Noora truly ROARS that chorus like a lion, in a voice that reminds me of AC/DC, U.D.O. (or Accept when Udo was still the front man) and W.A.S.P. all at once ! The screams/roars are executed to perfection (to tell you the truth on this song they are the best I've ever heard, period !) and still send shivers down my spine even if I must have listened to this song at least 100 times by now. Upon my first listen I wondered how the band could do ANYTHING after that song that would make any sort of impact. Sure Let it Roar is the best song of the album, heck it's the best song of 2013 so far, and an instant entry into my (virtual) list of all-times best song. But the thing is the album is full of surprises and even if no other song tops it, they are all of such high quality, masterfully crafted Power Metal with powerful riffing, great soloing, and absolutely amazing vocals that my initial fear quickly vanished in the course of my first listen.The production is crystal clear, powerful and definitely on par with the best of them. Vocals need to be underlined, the range of voices and abilities Noora brings to the table makes it that no other song feels the same, and there is little repetition throughout. One could say Battle Beast suffers the same formulaic similarities with bands like Powerwolf or Sabaton, but I find they are actually more able to tackle a wider variety of songs, even one that seems simple at first, then grows over time (and repeats), with a variety and mastery at every level (vocals, guitars, keys & rhythm section) that the album feels near perfect.My favorite songs, if I must choose (as it's not that easy), would be Let it Roar, Out of Control, Neuromancer (reminds me of Nightwish), Raven, Machine Revolution, Kingdom, Black Ninja & Rain Man. But it's important to note that the entire album is extremely solid, and never do I feel the need to hit the next button. Even the little instrumental track Golden Age is a great little interlude to calm things down in the middle of the album, only to take back things where they were left off... The bonus track Shutdown is also a great song, maybe not as good as those mentioned as my favorites, but better than some others on the album.I cannot underline how strong this power metal album (and band) is, there's no question in my mind that this will be on my surprise of the year list, and baring another bigger surprise, I see it on the top spot. The passion with which the bands plays and mixes all styles of heavy and power metal alike makes it a great all-rounded, highly addictive and catchy as well as perfectly finished (up to the excellent artwork) product ! If you like bands like Sonata Arctica, Nightwish, Sabaton or Powerwolf but also the Heavy metal classics like AC/DC & Accept, then you have to listen to Battle Beast (immediately I must add) : power metal at its best ! My favorite album this year (with Pretty Maids & Stratovarius) and a band which career I will definitely keep a close eye on. If Power Metal is your game, then Battle Beast is the name, period!" - Metal Reviews
    $8.00