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SKU: MCAD-1653
Label:
MCA Records
Category:
Progressive Rock
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This is the original US CD pressing on MCA Records.  

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  • When the vinyl came in I proclaimed this as one of the frontrunners for album of the year and nothing has changed since.  Stunning album.Agusa is an instrumental quartet from Sweden.  The band is derived from members of Sveriges Kommuner & Landsting, Kama Loka and Hoofoot.  This is a VERY retro sounding album that will appeal to fans of Kebnekajse, Pink Floyd, and perhaps even Anglagard.  No symphonic elements - just straight up organ, guitar, bass, and drums ripping it up over four long tracks.  Very dynamic sounds going on - shimmering echoey guitar leads that will remind you of Kenny Håkanson or Achim Reichel battling it out with undercurrents of organ that erupt into solos.  Overarching the music is a mystical psychedelic vibe - like this whole thing was cooked up in an Arab hashish den.  BUY OR DIE!!
    $15.00
  • "Esoteric Recordings are proud to announce the release of a deluxe 2CD edition of The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown. The Psychedelic Rock classic burst forth in 1968, topping the albums charts on both sides of the Atlantic and spawning the hit single Fire. The rock world discovered the delights of rocks supreme showman Arthur Brown and his influence would be felt the following decade when Alice Cooper acknowledged his debt to Arthur’s genius. Produced by WHO manager Kit Lambert and Who guitarist Pete Townshend, this classic album has been re-mastered and expanded to a two disc edition by the inclusion of rare single tracks, a BBC Radio One session from April 1968, alternate Mono mixes from the album sessions, and a version of Nightmare from the 1968 film, The Committee . Lavishly packaged in a slipcase with an extensively illustrated booklet with new essay, this is the ultimate edition of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown."
    $20.00
  • No idea where this band came from but its one hell of a breath of fresh air. This is the debut release from a new German progressive metal band. The Old Man And The Spirit is an existential concept album with a larger than life feel, perhaps a long the lines of the release release from Joseph Magazine. The band features two vocalists - Herbie Langhans and Dilenya Mar. Each one takes on the role of a character in the story. The male/female vocals work very well together. Beautiful juxtaposition of quiet acoustic passages and bombastic, symphonic metal. Its only January but I think you can already consider this one for a Top 10 prog metal list for 2012. Highly recommended."“The Old Man and the Spirit” is an ambitious concept album dealing with the polarity of human sensuousness and superhuman awareness. Two main characters interpret the music on this theatrical and challenging record: “The Spirit”, who is the personification of all wisdom and awareness that is unachievable to mankind but that lacks of the ability to feel, and her opponent “The Old Man”: a bon vivant who has lived through all highs and lows of human sensations. These two characters are interpreted by the two band singers: a female Dilenya Mar and a male Herbie Langhans.But the operatic and cinematic setting of the album was put together by the bands’ two masterminds: guitar player Peter Degenfeld and the classically trained ivory tinkler Christopher Tarnow. “From the beginning it was our intention to do an album presenting one big piece of music” tells Degenfeld. “One of the very first things that came about were the two characters together with the basic content of the story. Basically before the notes were written, we knew what each song had to sound and feel like and what the lyrics had to say. With these restrictions we started the songwriting process. In the end writing songs under these self-imposed limits turned out to be just great”.While “The Old Man and The Spirit” is undoubtedly a demanding musical statement, Beyond The Bridge are determined to make their steps to bring their music on tour. “We put a lot of effort into the goal of creating the studio sound on stage and we have already rearranged some parts to make them more suitable for live performances”, explains Degenfeld.Beyond The Bridge’sline-up is rounded out by bass player Dominik Stotzem, Fabian Maier on drums and Simon Oberender on keyboards and guitar. Simon also took care of the album production at the famed Gate Studios (owned by the famed producer Sascha Paeth, who mastered the album).While at first listen the album will easily appeal to the Progressive Rock / Metal audience, thanks to the virtuosity displayed in the playing and the compositional design, the album can be easily enjoyed by all who are looking for songs that can excite the listeners. “The music is touching. It will even touch you in a different way each time you listen to the album”, concludes Peter Degenfeld. “The lyrics are inspiring and ambiguous. This encourages to dig deeper into the spiritual journey of the "Old Man"."
    $14.00
  • "German band Argos have delivered four albums since forming out of a solo project begun by multi- instrumentalist Thomas Klarmann in 2008, and their latest `A Seasonal Affair' is a standout release in 2015. They present a mix of symphonic prog, 80's Neo Prog, New Wave elements, folk, jazz and even dark theatrical drama. Despite the Neo Prog tag, this is hardly some slavish recreation of the likes of Marillion, Genesis, I.Q, with many contemporary and modern elements worked in, and a strong emphasis is placed on Robert Gozon's distinctive voice, which occasionally calls to mind not only Peter Hammill and Fish, but the second Arena vocalist Paul Wrightson who featured on their `Pride' and `The Visitor' in a few moments as well.`Vanishing' makes for a mysterious opener, with Gozon's raspy croon, gothic piano trickles and a mix of twitchy programmed and Ulf jacob's skittering live drumming. A definite 80's poppier Neo Prog flavour permeates `Divergence' with its boisterous chorus chant that wouldn't have sounded out of place on those early Twelfth Night albums and no shortage of Moog soloing, and the `How did it come to this?' finale is lovely. `Silver and Gold' drifts into slinky grooving 80's New Wave pop with tasty scratchy Mellotron slices, the symphonic schizophrenia of `Lifeboats' channels both the vulnerability of Fish-era Marillion with an overwrought Hammill-esque wail, and the multi-part twelve minute suite `Not in This Picture' combines acoustic pastoral moods with Big Big Train-like soft harmonies and endless instrumental interplay.The title track `A Seasonal Affair' marries sombre piano and flute with romantic Camel-like guitar/synth bursts, a gothic crooned vocal and a dreamy `A Trick of the Tail'-era Genesis outro. `Forbidden City' is a tasteful lightly jazzy instrumental, glistening with electric piano, quirky synth trills and fluid drumming with murmuring bass weaving in and out, and just a few hints of the Canterbury sound bands in Thomas Klarmann's flute. Melancholic closer `Stormland' closes the album in gloomy fashion with spectral organ drones and a grand guitar solo from Rico Florczak filled with power and genuine emotion.But most special of all and deserving of mention all its own is the lovely ballad `Silent Corner'. A gorgeous mix of Thomas' drifting flute and restrained saxophone courtesy of United Progressive Fraternity musician Marek Arnold, delicate acoustic guitar and electric piano tiptoes, and the soothing chorus and harmonies throughout could have easily fit on Big Big Train's last few albums. It offers plenty of crossover appeal, and it easily one of the best melodic moments to appear on a prog album in 2015.The Tangent's Andy Tillison (who actually contributes some keyboards on this disk) rates this album very highly, and it's not hard to see why it would appeal to him. Like with The Tangent, Argos places a distinctive vocalist with great character in his voice front and centre in the music, with strong melodies, a wondrous mix of keyboard variety and brief jazzy diversions all coming together. `A Seasonal Affair' is a very subtle grower, and modern Neo albums don't come much finer than this, nor offer as much variety with the style as Argos do here. It's an album that has kind of flown a little under the radar and is in need of some more praise and attention, by a highly skilled band deserving of more acknowledgement.Four stars - If you're a Neo fan, this should be an essential purchase!" - ProgArchives
    $15.00
  • Limited edition embossed digipak with one bonus track."It was the friendly split heard round the world: two bands – same logo, same history….huh? Two Rhapsody’s? Would they sound the same? What does Rhapsody even sound like without Luca? All those questions are now about to be answered as Rhapsody of Fire (RoF) will finally present the response album to the overwhelmingly cinematic masterpiece spewed by Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody (LTR) in 2012. In the interim, there is a new record company (AFM), the first North American Tour and a Hess in….a Hess out. The split with the former HolyHell guitarist has left Roberto De Micheli as the lone guitarist, which turns out to be the best move of all. Meanwhile, Fabio Lione has been the busiest and a singer for hire – guest starring on a multitude of releases, including a long stint with Brazil giants Angra – and permanently joining Hollow Haze on top of Vision Divine. Fans wondered, when would that long awaited response album from Alex Staropoli be heard? The time is now and “Dark Wings of Eternity” is upon us. Right, right….you want the verdict! Well this album will definitely distinguish the band from LTR, but at the same time all of the key RoF qualities remain.Is it a win? Absolutely! Alex Staropoli takes RoF in a more organic and metallic direction, which on the first listen may come across sounding “under produced” when compared to the grandiose “overly produced” previous albums. Successive listens unveil the beauty of “Dark Wings of Steel,” an album that favors drama over theatric, proving there really is room for two Rhapsodys without picking sides.Luca’s vision of Rhapsody is the cinematic grandiose direction – a grand production of sight and sound, dazzling and spectacular. Alex Staropoli has side stepped and stripped down Rhapsody of Fire just a bit towards a purer “heavy metal” direction. Fans might take that statement as a step backward, but keep in mind, having two bands that are exactly the same would be silly and certainly wouldn’t help either. The guitar sound is more prominent, darker, and little less speedy as in the past (save for two of the album’s tracks). The choirs and choruses that fans have come to expect remain intact, as well as those building and sweeping melodies, written to perfectly balance the strengths of Fabio’s voice. Clearly, this is Staropoli’s band and he makes his presence known in a huge way (more on that later), and Roberto’s work is absolutely brilliant and cannot go unnoticed! His riffs are engaging and his solos are masterful, in many ways exceeding Luca’s own (which Turilli would freely admit). Many people do not realize that Roberto was actually in Thundercross in 1993, the band that would change its name to the famous Rhapsody in 1995 (though he did not play on the “Land of Immortals” demo of 1994).For any true fan of the band, approaching “Dark Wings” brings a certain level of both excitement and concern, especially considering Luca’s absence, the band’s back catalog and history, and LTR's post-split opening salvo that only raised the bar. It is nearly impossible for any fan of these bands to simply turn off the past and not instantly begin with comparisons. By giving “Dark Wings of Eternity” room to fly and breathe, I guarantee with each successive spin any concerns will quickly fade. In the end, you will find that RoF really isn’t all that far from where it already was! As soon as "Vis Divina" (intro) and opening track “Rising From Tragic Flames” begin you will notice the hallmarks – choirs, speedy riffs, Fabio – are all there, but the sound, especially the drums, is more natural. Staropoli’s keyboard play is much more modern and flamboyant juxtaposed to De Micheli’s neoclassical style. When that choir bridges you to Fabio’s first verse, you quickly realize this is classic RoF.For purposes of keeping this review from becoming more like a novel, lets group the tracks into “quicker” and “slower.” History has proven that Rhapsody of Fire is more often than not associated with quicker tunes, which are the ones that tend to be prominent among the fans. “Rising From Tragic Flames” is akin to classics like “Unholy Warcry” as the choir and speed is strikingly similar. “Silver Lake of Tears” presents a fierce and angry Fabio on the verses, which will be just what many fans have been hoping for (and no…we aren’t talking “Reign of Terror” angry). The title track is slightly more mid-paced with a De Micheli riff that is just as lethal as the speed. The song has one of the coolest guitar vs. keyboard solo battles, something that happens in multiple tracks on the album. “A Tale Of Magic” is an up-tempo half-speed with one of the most memorable choruses on the release. It’s a challenge to pick and outright favorite, but for now the pendulum swings in favor of “Tears of Pain,” with its simple, though highly fetching, riff that just draws more anger from Fabio’s voice.As for the “slower” side, which encompasses ballads and mid-paced tracks, the crop includes the building layers of “Fly to Crystal Skies” - galloping into the chorus along the bass pedals of Alex Holzwarth and the stunning ballad “Custode Di Pace”- a song like so many other greats from RoF and another pedestal for Fabio. “Angel of Light” showcases Fabio’s current strengths - the upper mid vibrato – matched in perfection only by Alessandro Conti. The song sports another one of the best choruses, as well as a slow Manowar type gallop as the song progresses. One of the real standouts in this category is “My Sacrifice,” which rises like a mountain, each level progressively heavier, ranging from near ballad from the onset, to mid-paced bass centric while pausing on the bridge with a uniquely Italian acoustic flair before cascading into the chorus.As mentioned earlier, a word about Alex Staropoli. For starters, I’ll admit that I had my concerns about his “flying solo” as a writer and those concerns were dispelled by “Dark Wings.” His play is much more flamboyant and modern than on previous releases, including a number of keyboard solos that battle back and forth with Roberto’s guitar. It’s an exciting element that really enhances the album. If I had one stylistic gripe, it would be that the keyboards are so prominent in the mix that they suffocate the guitar riffs at times (examples include the opening riff to the title track and “A Tale Of Magic.”). In those heavier tunes, the riffs could easily drive the melody alone.In summary, “Dark Wings of Steel” is a well written and fantastic effort. It demands attentive and successive listens before its true beauty is revealed. Changes are both bold and subtle, especially the more organic sound. The mix meter tilts with Staropoli, which throttles the riffs at times, but the quality of play is superb. The song writing is top notch, leaning more dramatic and less theatrical to distinguish the band from LTR, and Fabio shines not only with his voice, but also in his role as lyric writer. Enough cannot be said about Roberto, who has taken over and stepped up in the absence of Luca. For me, this album is a testament to his play. “Dark Wings of Steel” will not replace the classics, but it will find its place among them. The future is bright for one of heavy metal’s veteran acts." - Metal Underground
    $16.00
  • "Gäa was one of the more obscure German underground bands from the 70s.  They recorded one album for the Kerston label.  According to legend, after the album was released, many copies were destroyed due to poor sales.  Of course this has driven the price of an original copy into the stratosphere.The five piece had a sound a bit similar to early Eloy.  Lots of organ, some flute, but more importantly some of the most wicked Hendrix influenced leads you will hear.  Whip it all together with production that sounds like it was recorded in a massive echo chamber and you've got a winner.  A stone cold killer." - ProgArchives
    $18.00
  • "Esoteric Recordings are proud to announce the release of a newly re-mastered and expanded edition of the classic 1969 album A SALTY DOG by PROCOL HARUM. Released in June 1969, the record followed on from the huge international success of the band’s debut single "A Whiter Shade of Pale” and the follow up single "Homburg” and the superb albums PROCOL HARUM and SHINE ON BRIGHTLY.  One of the finest releases of the era "A Salty Dog” saw the exquisite song writing of Gary Brooker and Keith Reid honed to perfection on highlights such as the album’s title track, "The Devil Came From Kansas”, "Wreck of the Hesperus”, "The Milk of Human Kindness” and more.  Recorded at Abbey Road studios, the album captured the excellence of the musicians in the group, namely Gary Brooker (voice, piano), Robin Trower (lead guitar), David Knights (bass guitar), B.J. Wilson (drums) and Matthew Fisher (Hammond organ).Newly re-mastered from the original tapes, this Deluxe edition of "A Salty Dog” has been expanded to include 12 bonus tracks (5 previously unreleased) over two CDs, including the mono single mix of the title track and its non-album B-side; an early take of ‘The Milk Of Human Kindness’, plus five previously unreleased tracks from BBC Radio sessions from October 1968 & May 1969 along with four live tracks recorded in the USA in April 1969.This expanded deluxe edition of "A Salty Dog” also includes a lavishly illustrated booklet that fully restores the original album artwork and features a new essay by Procol Harum biographer Henry Scott-Irvine"
    $19.00
  • "Eden must be rumbling, its ground beginning to shatter as it is being constantly sliced by the profanity of an intense music heading closer and closer. Mankind was assumingly banished from the enchanted lands of upstairs without an option of returning, but the curse will be forever remembered, reminisced by those expatriated for generations, thus the creation of a sonic boom, a symphonic echo forged by the ancient sin, in order to redirect it back to where it came from. The creators have been quite proficient in their deeds, escalating their abilities for the shaping of the perfect “Symphony Of Sin”, this multinational formation is called EDEN’S CURSE. Actually, this isn’t the first time I was touched by the band’s enhanced multiformity as I had the chance to review their previous “Trinity” release. But with the upcoming “Symphony Of Sin”, again via AFM Records, EDEN’S CURSE underwent a slight change of figures. With vocalist Michael Eden out of the game, along with keyboardist Alessandro Del Vecchio, the remaining members sought out and found the Serbian soulful bliss of the young Nikola Mijic and the experience and abilities of Steve Williams (ex-POWER QUEST / ex-MERCURY RAIN / ex-DSG). Even with their reorganization, EDEN’S CURSE maintained their same sensitivity towards the melodic crust of both Rock and Metal, and I might even add that they enriched it this time around.The materialization of “Symphony Of Sin”, signified a slight change of proceedings within EDEN’S CURSE music. Nothing much a substantial impact of sorts, yet I felt as that this album tends towards the boundaries of AOR and Hard Rock rather towards the clutches of Heavy or Power Metal, thus making it less heavier or piercing, yet not without a lesser quality. Other than the classic influence of DIO, BLACK SABBATH and DOKKEN, particularly within Thorsten Koehne’s rocking riffery, it appears that the band took a closer step towards the catchy vibes of BALANCE OF POWER, PINK CREAM 69, SHAKRA, HOUSE OF LORDS, JADED HEART, COLDSPELL, EVIDENCE ONE and POWERWORLD. On the other hand, I found the energetic flex of STRATOVARIUS and Koehne’s guitar wizardry orientation of ex-STRATOVARIUS’s Timo Tolkki. Additionally, Mijic’s exquisite voice pattern, like a mixture of Jon Lynn Turner, Ian Gillian and Tony Martin seems to fit well with rockier songs and therefore the songwriting the musical direction was accordingly. “Symphony Of Sin”, in comparison to “Trinity”, consists of a fairly harmonic vibe, especially demonstrated on the choral vocals that were amazingly produced, which garnered the listening experience a fine edge of smoothness. There is nothing too cheesy or cheap, but a polished form of Hard N’ Heavy with a clear 80s ambiance, leaning on softer margins.“Unbreakable” and “Wings To Fly” are the opposite of modern day breakers, hook laden emotive rockers exercising the arts of old AOR, along with Pete Newdeck’s robust drumming efforts, taking on smoother turns, creating an anthem driven feel with such a fine elegance full of grace. “Devil in Disguise”, fulfilling the lust of those looking for a bite of intensity and exuberant guitar riffery, yet will find out that within this Heavy Metal chugger there is a sweet peak moment with an enticing chorus and sharp edged soloing. “Turn The Page” and “Where is the Love?” inflamed with its melodic sensation, riff revelations, corresponding between Hard Rock and Metal, and another enchanting display of Mijic’s soaring vocals. EDEN’S CURSE established a profound position for themselves, finding the right voice to lead them forward, and the exact musical vibe to follow through the next steps of their career. “Symphony Of Sin” is a quality product of an 80s admiration and fascination, yet also upgraded by the features and goods of a well attributed crew." - Metal Temple
    $15.00
  • "Drop was the first fruit of Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison's collaboration with singer and extended range bass player 05Ric, and featured contributions from Robert Fripp, Dave Stewart and Gary Sanctuary.Nine carefully crafted songs combined with ground-breaking multi-layered guitars, vocal harmonies and rhythms.This is the 2013 Kscope edition of the duo's astonishing debut."
    $15.00
  • "When Tosin Abasi released his debut solo album under the moniker ANIMALS AS LEADERS in 2009, few would have predicted the band’s meteoric rise to the apex of the progressive rock/metal world. Although Abasi earned acclaim as the lead guitarist in the Washington, D.C.-based metalcore act Reflux, it was still a long-shot that an instrumental album of progressive metal with jazz, electronic and ambient flourishes would develop anything more than a cult following.Fast-forward two-plus years to Weightless, the group’s sophomore effort, and ANIMALS AS LEADERS is revered worldwide as a trailblazing pioneer of modern heavy music. The group’s genre-defying compositions have earned extensive praise — Steve Vai called the band “the future of creative, heavy virtuoso guitar playing.” Guitar World Magazine also featured Abasi on the cover twice over the course of this album cycle, further cementing his legendary status within the current progressive scene.Now in 2014, ANIMALS AS LEADERS delivers what is quickly going to be hailed by fans and media alike as the group’s career defining release that will ultimately redefine the progressive world as we know it. This third full-length release is a bombastic, dynamic and innovative explosion incorporates elements spanning across the entire musical spectrum. It also marks the recording debut of drummer Matthew Garstka, whose technical proficiency and unique style allows Abasi and guitarist Javier Reyes the room to push their boundaries to previously unthinkable heights.Reyes states: “I think some of the new tracks are some of AAL’s strongest and musical material yet and extremely happy with how the album came out. Everyone who took part with this album (Misha Mansoor (Periphery), Adam Getgood (Periphery), Diego Farias (Volumes), and Navene Koperweis) is extremely talented and I think we’ve done a great job of capturing it onto what is now the third ANIMALS AS LEADERS album.”"
    $12.00
  • Budget price but nicely slipcased 2CD set from this superb acoustic progressive band from Netherlands.  Set includes "Variaties Op Een Dame" and "Gevecht Meet De Engel""The Year 1978 , one of the most productive years of Progressive music in Europe . Specially in Italy , Netherlands , France , Germany ,Greece & Belgium . During my trips to these countries , i've discovered bands like Sensation's Fix , Machiavel , Parzival , Can , New Trolls , PFM , Banco , le Orme , PLJ band , and so many others . Surely i had also the first album released by Flairck in 1978 by hazard , from amsterdam airport , i really liked the sleeve cover first , THEN , back to Lebanon the same day , had a special flavour in my life . This album was & still the best progressive work i've ever heard in 40 years . I have no words to describe such beauty , except it was the first & the last interresting & excellent work by Flairck . Still i'm not disappointed by some of their works during 30 years . This instrumental album full of harmonies & new musical inspirations is a must for all proggers , it contains maybe the first trips in fusion between Classical / jazz / rock / blues & folk . Varieties is a real complete journey between these genres of music in a perfect globe . Tracks are all amazing , they have the same value , and i can't skip anyone . Erik Vesser was really accurate in selecting these songs , specially Variations on a lady (21 minutes) & Voorspel in Sofia , these two tracks are amazing & adorable , it's a progressive rock music played by essential classical equipments . this album took more than two years in the making , but got a perfect recognition all over Europe , specially in France / Belgium / Italy / , and went Platinium in Netherlands . So , if you haven't discover this magnificient Dutch band yet dear proggers , this is the right place to start with Flairck ( Variations on a lady ) 5 Stars for musicianship , 5 stars for all songs included , 5 stars for the technic used in combining Classical - Folk - blues - jazz & rock , and 5 stars for the sleeve cover . One of my best 10 albums ever , and a Masterpiece of progressive music , suit yourselves and Enjoy this wonderful piece of art . Highly Recommended " - ProgArchives"I'm not too much of a folk fan but this band from Holland has always been at the top of my folk charts. Their ambitious compositions and instrumental craftsmanship have a drive and timeless quality that could charm folkies, lovers of classical music and progrock fans alike. Next to the brothers Visser on acoustic guitars and Peter Weekers on flutes, the band is completed with Sylvia Houtzager on violin. Her name translates to 'Sawyer' in English so playing the violin must have been her born destination. The band would continue to perform in that line-up throughout the 80's.Gevecht Met De Engel is Flairck's strongest studio offering and can successfully claim not to have one wrong or misplaced note for its entire 44 minutes of dazzling virtuosity. Each part radiates with playing pleasure, regardless whether it's melancholic and quiet or fast and cheerful. One of the secrets is the perfect interplay between all members. The leading instrument is the acoustic guitar, complemented by dazzling bass guitar and an array of flutes and violin. The arrangements have plenty of breathing space though and never get overcrowded nor bombastic.While it's difficult to point out any particular standout piece, the main focus of the album is on its 3-part title track, a 23 minute tornado raging through European folk music, ranging from Spanish, Celtic and Eastern European traditions. It's particularly essential as it doesn't feature on any of the official Flairck live albums. If you want to hear it then it will have to be here.Gevecht Met De Engel is probably one of the best acoustic folk albums ever made. Given its impressive compositions it's nothing short of essential in any prog rock collection. So it's particularly distressing having only one other reviewer on this page joining me in my praise for this masterpiece." - ProgArchives[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"12269","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"200","width":"200"}}]][[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"12270","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"202","width":"200"}}]]
    $14.00
  • Deluxe CD/DVD digipak.  The DVD features a "making of" documentary and lots of other stuff."Opening up the autumn season in grand fashion, a deluge of fantastic releases are upon us and spearheading that charge is veteran progressive black/Viking metal titans Enslaved and their newest and likely earthiest opus RIITIIR. Continuing along the long and illustrious progressive path the band first started drifting toward with 2000’s Mardraum: Beyond The Within. But if 2010’s Axioma Ethica Odini was a return of punishing metal authority, RIITIIR is an exercise in extremes and bombast – everything here is enormous in scale and execution. The songs themselves (most shooting well beyond the eight minute mark) each featuring a myriad of movements and cascading motifs, everything the Enslaved fan loves about the band here and in grand style!Glacial sheets of guitar are par the course for RIITIIR, the opening salvo of “Thoughts Like Hammers” steamrolling right out of the gate, near equal play of harsh and clean vocals coming into play with time, threatening and soothing in equal measure. These peaks and valleys return in epic fashion on “Veilburner,” trade-offs and synchrony of the two ends being used to tremendous effect, the cleans in particular used better here than on any release since Herbrand Larsen joined the group in 2004. This clean expression comes through in grand fashion on 11 minute closer “Forsaken,” a decidedly low key but super effective end to the journeys the album takes.It isn’t all clean wailing and atmospheric pomp however, the band lovingly riffing out with rediscovered metallic bravado with “Roots of the Mountain” and “Storm of Memories.” Though the harsh cliffs at the outset are soon met with clean voiced and mellotron-drenched ridgetops, eventually the listener is firmly kicked back into the abyss, this time accompanied by some fantastic and ongoing solos. It’s fascinating to see the rediscovered metallic vigor that came to life on the last release mixed so fervently with the band’s ever-growing melodic sense and expressive voice. These two aspects of the band, combined with their increasingly complex compositional sense, make for an exhausting and enthralling journey.All that being said, what’s featured on RIITIIR won’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s listened to the band for even the past couple years, let alone the last decade – the album is simply another notch along the belt of progression by degrees. The compositions are bigger, more ornate, bristling with finer features and bombast. It’s the band’s thickest release in a long line of releases guitar Ivar Bjørnson has joked are ‘all two weeks long’. With each of those releases however the joy lay in divining the details over repeat listens, unearthing the secrets between the out layers. That remains the case here, RIITIIR another fantastic from a band that burst past the 20-year mark and is showing zero signs of aging. " - Blistering.com
    $15.00
  • Third album from this superb Dutch band.  Laser's Edge has a long standing relationship with the band, having released their debut, Hallway Of Dreams, in North America.Take equal parts Loreena McKennitt, Kate Bush, and Within Temptation and you've got the basic sound of Kingfisher Sky.  The band was formed by ex-Within Temptation drummer Ivar de Graaf and is fronted by his wife Judith Rijnveld.  Judith is an incredible vocalist - her voice will transfix you.  The lineup features two guitarists, cello, keys, bass, and drums.  Everyone in the band is first class but you will always be drawn back to Judith.  The music takes on a mystical, ethereal quality in places.  It never really crosses over into the metal realm but the guitars can get crunchy in a nice way.  One notable guest on this album is Kristeffor Gildenlow who handles all the bass parts.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • Remastered edition of the second album is a must own for anyone that was a fan of the first UK album. Some of Mr. Holdsworth's best work. Comes with a bonus track.
    $18.00