Terra Incognita

SKU: MA-90882
Label:
Magna Carta
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English vocal version of the third album from this fine Hungarian progressive metal band. Age Of Nemesis (formerly just known as Nemesis) are heavily influenced by Dream Theater, Rush and 70s old school progressive rock. Zoltan Fabian's guitarwork has a wonderful fluid quality that really soars but he adds a good bit of crunch that recals John Petrucci. Vocalist Zoltan Kiss has a great voice that complements the band well. Curiously he displays a more prominent accent than on past efforts but it's not really a distraction. Anyone familiar with their past releases will be extremely satisfied with Terra Incognita as it fits comfortably within the canon. So don't expect any surprises - just some great melodic progressive metal with an emphasis on the progressive side. Highly recommended.

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  • "Ashent, an Italian Progressive Metal band, return in 2012 with their third release, Inheritance. This being a milestone for any band, it also sees Ashent returning after a period of change, with changes in the band's lineup. After the 2009 release of Deconstructive, Ashent announced three new members would be filling in: Titta Tani (Goblin,Daemonia, ex-Necrophagia, ex-DGM) on lead vocals, Gilles Boscolo on keyboards and Alessandro Cossu on second guitar. And so, with lineup changes like these, it comes as no surprise that Ashent are redefining themselves a bit. Inheritance finds Ashent taking a very unique stance on Progressive Metal, melding together various styles and sounds to create a somewhat unusual blend. Along with what might be considered the "typical" combination of Progressive Metal instruments with heavy guitars and synths, Ashent mixes in some Mellotron, Hammond, and Saxophone. This gives their sound an almost Neo Prog take on Progressive Metal. And dynamically, Ashent swings between more atmospheric and mellow sections to some louder, chaotic blends. Ashent has a way of using chord progressions where they fill every chord out to the point of almost bursting, adding dissonant tones to the more conventional structures. This is not only achieved with the instrumentation (often combining atmospheric keyboards that are reminiscent of Devin Townsend with some heavy, rhythmic guitars) but also with some very full harmonies in the vocals. Add to this a very dynamic rhythm section, and the music can at times be a little overwhelming. And Ashent deploys many different textures throughout the album, with modern synths, orchestral parts, sequencers, choirs, and even some fusion, making for a very dynamic experience. All this combined also gives them a sound that has a very new, crisp and modern feel to it. This is definitely an album that breaks the mold, and as such will leave some scratching their heads, while others will praise it highly." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $14.00
  • "Kiuas is a name I have been increasingly aware of over the last few years and whilst the reports of their mixture of power, prog, symphonic, death and folk certainly piqued my interest, the band’s fourth album ‘Lustdriven’ is actually the first time I’ve heard their music. My first impressions were that ‘Lustdriven’ is a confident blend of the breakneck speed/death metal that the likes of Children of Bodom fire out keyboards and all, and the more bombastic symphonic approach of Nightwish. After a few more spins, those initial thoughts have remained, however there is enough diversity here to allow Kiuas (pronounced Key-wass) to break out of their home market in Finland, where the band’s previous album ‘The New Dark Age’ made the top ten.The album kicks off with the pretty standard romp of ‘Kuiassault’ where the whirling, squealing guitars are hurried along by an ever present double kick attack and a snarling, biting vocal from Ilja Jalkanen. It is certainly an energetic start, but not one that really grabs you in any way. There’s no doubt the band can play, however it really isn’t anything you haven’t heard countless times before. Things do pick up with track two ‘Cry Little Angel’, which marries this style with some smart heavy riffing in the style of Zakk Wylde and when this is played off against the high octane assault, the two combine to make a surprisingly cohesive onslaught. Vocally Jalkanen throws out the odd growl, however for the most part his sparsely produced and therefore pleasantly natural sounding voice is deep and resonating, bringing to mind Burton C Bell if he was using the phrasing of Ronnie James Dio. More intriguing still, is the sudden left turn made by the semi-acoustic ballad ‘Lights Are Many’, which following on from the reasonably uncompromising barrage of metal is a welcome breather. The guitar work of Mikko Salovaara bounces off some smart piano playing from Atte Tanskanen, however both leave enough room for the vocals to shine and Ilja doesn’t disappoint. The best of the full throttle tracks comes in the shape of ‘Heart and Will’, where the staccato drum and guitar interplay gives way to a chorus where the keys and guitar jostle for supremacy. Behind the kit Markku Nareneva drags the music along with some smart little breaks and fills, which the rock solid bass playing of Teemu Tuominen allows him the space to do.Once again the feel of the album changes going into the final three tracks. First off the excellent ‘The Quickening’ begins with a beautiful piano intro that makes way for a stinging guitar line; however the track remains at a more sedate pace which leaves room for the piano to ease in and out of proceedings. Combine that to the best chorus on the disc and you have one of the best two tracks on the album. The other contender for that title is the acoustic folk rock of ‘Summer’s End’, which comes on like a mix of Days Of The New, Alter Bridge and Led Zeppelin. The vocal arrangements are tastefully kept in check, while still managing to shine above the excellent acoustic instrumentation. The sound of ‘the minstrel’ laying down his guitar, leaving a crowded room and shutting the door before closing track ‘Winter’s Sting’ kicks in, is also a nice touch. That closer also uses the acoustic guitar, but only as a counterpoint to another blistering blend of electric guitar and keyboards and is a great way to end the album. There are a few occasions on the disc where the music does slide into formulaic power metal, however on the whole ‘Lustdriven’ is a focused and well produced set of songs that deserves to break Kiuas onto the world stage. " - Rocktopia
    $11.00
  • "You like In Flames, Soilwork, Killswitch Engage, but also the mighty Machine Head or Metallica? Then check out DARK AGE. Based in THE Metal capital of the world, Hamburg / Germany, since 1995, DARK AGE have gained a lot of respect and played single shows and festivals with a lot of bands like Slayer, In Flames, Sodom, Soilwork, Hypocrisy, Mnemic, Primal Fear, Dismember, Heaven Shall Burn...just to name a few. DARK AGE played the famous Wacken Open Air, the biggest Metal festival in the world, twice: In 2000 and 2003, played the German Summer Breeze in 2008 and did 2 European Tours, one time with Primal Fear." 
    $15.00
  • This one is a bit of a head scratcher.  Its the most un-Inside Out release ever released on Inside Out.  Stealing Axion are a djent metal/metalcore band based out of Seattle, WA.  The sound will draw comparisons to Periphery and Tesseract.  In fact the album was mixed by Tesseract's guitarist Acle Kahney.  I admit I don't get it.  I think Century Media shoved this release onto Inside Out because they sounded too much like the bands already signed to CM.
    $12.00
  • Third album from Section A, the melodic metal band piloted by guitarist Torben Envoldsen. Vocal God Andy Engberg is still out front but Envoldsen has enlisted a new drummer, Thomas Heintzelmann, from Decoy. No major surprises here - just well crafted crunchy metal anthems with the occassional jaw dropping guitar or keyboard solo and fantastic singing. I did find one curious thing - the album kicks off with the title tune and some of the vocal lines vaguely remind me of Alice In Chains. Anyway...first class stuff.
    $14.00
  • "(Mostly) UK-based symphonic/power metal band Damnation Angels is back with a new album, their second overall, titled The Valiant Fire. It’s the highly-anticipated follow-up to their breakthrough 2013 debut full-length Bringer of Light, and on it the Graney brothers and vocalist Per Fredrik “Pellek”Asly have taken just about everything to the next level.As you might expect after the grandeur of Bringer of Light, The Valiant Fire is, in a word, epic. The orchestrations in particular are massive, swirling around the guitars and drums to create a majestic atmosphere throughout the album. It’s a consistent atmosphere too, almost giving The Valiant Fire a concept album feel, even though the songs are independent of each other. The atmosphere connects them all, and makes this album that much more rewarding when taken as a whole listening experience. The melodies are a little more subtle this time around, but still play a large part in the album’s overall sound. And of course there’s the vocal performance. Pellek is one of the brightest young stars in the genre, and being in Damnation Angels seems to bring out his best performances. The power, range and emotion he conveys is what makes these songs resonate so much.Unlike Bringer of Light, which immediately drew you in with huge melodies, The Valiant Fire is going to take a few spins to really sink in. When it does though, it simply won’t let you go. That’s not to say there aren’t incredible melodies and hooks. They just seem dialed back in comparison to the debut. You’re still going to be headbanging and singing along with the catchy “This Is Who We Are” and “Everlasting.” Oddly enough, the most bombastic song on the album is the instrumental title track. It makes a statement, but you can’t help but wish Pellek was there doubling the impact of such strong melodies. The album boasts a pair of nine-minute epics – “The Frontiersman” and “Under An Ancient Sun” – that are very different from each other but equally memorable. Honestly, all nine of the songs on The Valiant Fire are sensational, and there isn’t a weak moment anywhere on the album.New releases from Nightwish and Kamelot will – deservedly – garner the lion’s share of attention from the Symphonic Metal community, but The Valiant Fire has to be considered one of the best – if not the best – entry in that genre in 2015. Even stepping away from genre tags, this is just one of the best albums you’ll hear all year if you like your metal grand, powerful and epic. If you haven’t yet experienced Damnation Angels, now is the perfect time to discover one of the most exciting bands in recent years." - Hard Rock Haven
    $15.00
  • New discovery from LMP...and they are pretty good!! Juvaliant are an Austrian band that draw musical elements from both power and progressive metal. The band is fronted by vocalist Thomas Strubler who reminds a bit of Michael Eriksen of Circus Maximus as they sing in a similar range. A bit of a strange amalgam as the music is very symphonic in parts, really playing up keyboards in a way that evoke Rhapsody (minus the cheese factor). There is also a melodic/progressive thing going on right out of the Symphony X/Circus Maximus playbook. This could be a sleeper band.
    $13.00
  • "Dream Evil's third album, Book of Heavy Metal, is a brazen tribute to this always controversial genre -- as likely to invoke blind devotion from its fans as it does outright dismissal from its antagonists. In fact, Dream Evil, much like loin-clothed metal warriors Manowar, care not for the latter category of sniveling vermin! No sir, their mission to metalify (is that a word?) the realm is fueled by far grander ambitions and deeper commitments than those non-believers could possibly fathom. Or so one would gather from the meaty staccato riffs, dazzling guitar solos and soaring vocals (everything classic metal is known and loved for) to be found in über-metallic offerings such as "Into the Moonlight," "Crusader's Anthem," and the over-the-top title track, which incidentally begins with vocalist Niklas Isfeldt's piercing scream of: "metaaallll!" Noted metal producer Fredrik Nordström is the main architect of Dream Evil's castle -- a castle also embattled by bassist Peter Stalfors and legendary drummer Snowy Shaw (King Diamond, Notre Dame, etc.), but it's Greek guitar-shredding sub-legend Gus G. (Mystic Prophecy, Firewind, etc.) who consistently shines through with his ever-explosive, but surprisingly restrained and well-timed leads here (and on album highlight "No Way" he pulls a few Zakk Wylde tricks, surprisingly enough). Also to their credit, Dream Evil doesn't pave their glorious road with the easy but by now rote clichés of power metal. There's virtually zero thrash-like speed to be found here, and many songs ("The Sledge," "Let's Make Rock" and "The Mirror," in particular) actually come closest to old-school hard rock than later-day metal for inspiration. Throw in the mandatory power ballad (the decidedly syrupy "Unbreakable Chain") and an absolute metal classic in the Accept mold named "M.O.M. (Man or a Mouse)," and you have the ingredients for a damn fine, pure metal album. In short, fans of Judas Priest, Dio, and especially Manowar will likely find themselves lapping up this seriously corny document, and the fact that the members of Dream Evil often have their tongues planted firmly in cheek should also forgive most of their excesses in the name of (deep breath now...) metaaaaallll! [Book of Heavy Metal also features a 60-minute bonus DVD packed with behind-the-scenes footage and the title track's brilliantly over-the-top promo clip.]" - Allmusic
    $14.00
  • "Back in the late eighties and early nineties I was a huge fan of that eras best thrash metal. Bands like Slayer, Testament, Death Angel, and Forbidden drew me in with machine gun double bass drums, lighting fast rhythms, and aggressive vocals. One Machine is the brainchild of guitarist Steve Smyth, best known for his stints in some of metals finest bands including Nevermore, Forbidden, Dragonlord, Vicious Rumours, and Testament, a stellar resume to be certain! For One Machine’s debut album, Smyth has formed a band that is compromised of a who’s who in the world of extreme/underground metal who were carefully selected by Smyth: Mikkel Sandager (Mercenary) on vocals, Jamie Hunt (Biomechanical) sharing guitar duties, rounded out by a powerhouse rhythm section with Tomas “O’Beast” Koefoed (Mnemic) on bass guitar and Michele Sanna on drums (although former drummer Raphael Saini of Italian progressive metallers Chaoswave played on the album). The Distortion Of Lies And The Overdriven Truth was recorded and produced by Steve Smyth. Mixing was handled by guitarist extraordinaire Roy Z (Judas Priest, Bruce Dickinson, Halford), mastered by Alan Douches (Three Inches Of Blood, Firewind, Sepultura) from West West Side Music with artwork created by Niklas Sundin from Cabin Fever Media (Dark Tranquillity, Arch Enemy), complimented with photography from Anthony Dubois (Meshuggah, Mnemic).The songs harken back to the 80′s Bay Area thrash movement of bands like Early Metallica, Testament, Death Angel, Exodus, and Forbidden and melds it with the classic metal style of Painkiller era Judas Priest and the melody of Vicious Rumours. Lead vocalist Sandager sings clean for the majority of the album but can growl out some extreme growl vocals as well as ear piercing screams that would make Rob Halford proud. He also has a vocal similarity to Russ from Forbidden in places (Crossed Over). Unlike a lot of their thrash metal forefathers, the band has a penchant for writing choruses with melodic and catchy hooks (Armchair Warriors). The music is chaotic at times (Killing The Hope Inside) almost to the point of no return, only to transition into a melodic passage that brings things back from the abyss. The guitar solos are as frenzied and speedy as the songs, at times reminding me of classic Slayer. What you have here are ten no nonsense slamming brutally heavy tracks that will make you want to jump in the pit. The title track sets the tone for the album with neck snapping, whiplash inducing headbanging thrash metal. There are some lighter moments such as in Kill The Light Inside and most notably the dark and moody mid-tempo of Last Star Alights, but for the most part, each song on the album takes a turn pummeling the listener with heavy riffs and brutal rhythms (see Evict the Enemy).One Machine is a band with a tremendous upside and possible crossover potential in the mainstream metal market with the right promotional push. Fans of Smyth’s revious work in Testament, Forbidden, and Nevermore will find a lot to love about this band, while fans of more melodic fare might be surprised to find lots of catchy melodies and hook laden choruses to sink their teeth into!" - Lady Obscure
    $15.00
  • Raise The Curtain is the latest effort from the former Savatage mastermind.  Its quite different from the Jon Oliva's Pain project and in a surprising way.  The music has a strong 70s vibe blending elements of progressive rock, AOR, and metal.  Oliva plays all the instruments but he collaborated on the songwriting with Dan Fasciano.  From the opening roaring organ sounds you know you are in for something a bit different.  You can tell this is Jon Oliva - there are parts that will remind you a bit of Savatage but you will also think in terms of Kansas, ELP, Alice Cooper.  A mash up of styles for sure but quite well done.  A friend who heard an advance copy summed it up perfectly: "A fun album".  This is the first pressing that has one bonus track.  Grab it while we got 'em.
    $15.00
  • As a promotion leading up to the band's 15th anniversary concert, Within Temptation partnered with Q Music Belgium and Netherlands.  They released a series of cover tunes - 15 in all.  This CD includes 11 of them all done up Within Temptation style:‘Grenade’ (BRUNO MARS)‘Titanium’ (DAVID GUETTA ft. SIA)‘Let Her Go’ (PASSENGER)‘Summertime Sadness’ (LANA DEL RAY)‘Radioactive’ (IMAGINE DRAGONS)‘Crazy’ (GNARLS BARKLEY)‘Dirty Dancer’ (ENRIQUE IGLESIAS)‘Don’t You Worry Child’ (SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA)‘Behind Blue Eyes’ (THE WHO)‘The Power Of Love’ (FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD)‘Apologize’ (ONE REPUBLIC)There is no US release scheduled at this time.   
    $17.00
  • "When one thinks of countries that are a hotbed of prog metal bands, places such as Norway, Sweden, and Finland come to mind. However the Land Down Undah’ otherwise known as Australia has been churning out amazing prog metal bands for the past decade. Bands such as Hemina, Voyager, Lord, Carnivool, Caligula’s Horse, Teramaze and Melbourne’s Vanishing Point have been wowing the prog metal scene for the past decade. It’s been seven long years since the release of Vanishing Point’s The Fourth Season, but the melodic metal quintet consisting of Silvio Massaro (Vocals), Chris Porcianko and James Maier (Guitars), Simon Best (Bass), and Christian Nativo (Drums) have finally returned with their fifth studio album Distant Is The Sun on AFM Records. The band has stayed true to their unique blend of progressive, power, AOR metal and have secured the talents of Sebastian “Seeb” Levermann of Ordan Ogen for mixing duites on Distant Is The Sun. Picking up right where The Fourth Season left off, the musicianship and songwriting on Distant Is The Sun is exceptional.The album kicks off with the short instrumental track Beyond Redemption and powers right into the first song King of Empty Promises. The double bass drum attack from Nativo and melodic keyboards lead the way and the harmonious soaring vocals during the chorus are a perfect way to officially start the album.The title track is next and begins with a heavy groove and transforms into a light piano tinged verses with Massaro’s impressive vocals leading to a catchy and melodic chorus. The twin guitar harmony lead attack from Porcianko and Maier is a thing of beauty during the solo section.Symphonic keys signify the start of When Truth Lies, an epic slab of energetic melodic progressive metal with a driving headbanging beat. Sonata Arctica frontman Tony Kaako lends his melodic pipes to the fast and furious power metal of Circle of Fire. Kaako and Massaro’s vocals compliment each other extremely well and create an amazing metal duet.The keyboard prominence on Denied Deliverance is pronounced in the mix but never overshadows the heaviness of the track, it just adds to the overall melody of the song. A blazing guitar solo section highlights the middle portion of another stellar song. Let the River Run has an impeccable acappella vocal harmony section that begins this mid tempo metal gem. The beautiful vocals during the chorus will be stuck in your head for days after listening.The album slows down for the piano based Story of Misery but don’t be fooled into thinking this is a traditional power ballad. The emphasis is on POWER with a emotive vocal performance from Massaro. Era Zero speeds things right back up with a frenzied double kick attack with plenty of soaring melodic vocals throughout and a shredding guitar solo from the tandem of Porcianko/Maier and culminates in a symphonic ending and bursts right into Pillars of Sand which keeps the hard and fast metal flowing.The eerie keyboard intro of As December Fades melds into a Maiden-esque guitar harmony and a glorious AOR sounding chorus with a symphonic element that is reminiscent of Within Temptation. A bright piano melody signals the beginning of Handful of Hope. Once again Massaro gets his chance to shine with an impressive vocal performance filled with passion and emotion. The bands penchant for writing catchy power metal is on display on Walls of Silence. The brilliant symphonic melodies and heavy guitar compliment each other perfectly. The album closes with the acoustic guitar tinged instrument titled April, an understated yet effective piece of music with a keyboard accompaniment underneath in the mix. It is a curious choice to end the album, but well done nonetheless.After a seven-year absence, the world of melodic prog welcomes back Vanishing Point with open arms and hopefully Distant Is The Sun will shoot the band to the next level of popularity outside their native Australia. This goes to show that like a fine wine, Vanishing Point only improves with age!" - Lady Obscure
    $15.00
  • Crushing Swedish power metal. Band is now defunct.
    $20.00