Turning Tides

SKU: SR3070
Label:
Sensory Records
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With nearly forty-five minutes of brand new material, Turning Tides represents MALPRACTICE at their absolute best, combining intricate progressive metal with catchy melodies topped with excellent musicianship and brilliant vocal harmonies. Professionally recorded by the members of the band at various locations, Turning Tides was produced by the band’s Joonas Koto and Toni Paananen and engineered by Koto, then mixed and mastered by Anssi Kippo at Astra-Studio A and enshrouded by intriguing artwork and design work by Miikka Tikka.

“The lyrical theme of the album is about a guy who is very well educated. In fact so educated and talented that he can't land a job for himself due to over education,” collectively issued the members of MALPRACTICE. “He kind of falls in-between things and ends up in the suburbs unemployed and frustrated. He is ‘the best kept secret’ since no one wants to hire him. His life and sanity starts to fall apart due to his frustration and depression. He tries to fight the system but always ends up deeper and deeper in apathy. The story can be somewhat related to MALPRACTICE's struggle to make it for two decades already. The question is: ‘Is the guy me? You? Or every one of us?’”

 

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  • "Periphery have been an omnipresent force in the prog metalcore realm since their first album released in 2010 – band founder Misha Mansoor has served as producer on several of the genre’s albums, and the other members are all famous in their own right, whether it’s simply for their craft (Matt Halpern), their involvement in other projects (Spencer Sotelo, Mark Holcomb, Nolly Getgood), or just simply being the nephew of someone exceedingly famous (Jake Bowen). This makes whatever they decide to do extremely important, and the band’s decision to release a concept double album has created hype of hugelargic proportions. In my humble opinion, the band has delivered on all fronts, but not without some disappointments in the “could’ve been” area.Since their inception, Periphery have changed from a chugga-chug ambidjent project posting demos on the internet in the late 2000s to a full-fledged prog metal band with heavy elements of metalcore, post-hardcore, and pop music in general. If you weren’t onboard for “Periphery II”, “Juggernaut” likely won’t change your mind (unless your issues were relatively small), as it’s more of the same poppy atmosphere and less of the techy downtuned riffs, though god knows THOSE are still around. But there’s also a lot of style experimentation – jazz fusion, death metal, and various forms of electronica are all utilized on a semi-normal basis, and range from being seamlessly integrated into the music to being tacked on to the ends of songs like gluing a top-rate dildo onto an already particularly throbby penis. If this all sounds a bit schizophrenic, rest assured that the songcraft is, for the most part, tighter than it’s ever been. Singles from Alpha like “22 Faces” and “Alpha” itself show off Periphery’s pop prowess with choruses and hooks that refuse to leave your head, and complex riffs that are somehow just as ‘wormy as the vocals. And the songs on Omega are longer, more complex, and still manage to be as infectious as the most annoying of STDs – even the twelve minute sprawling title track that has more in common with the bombastic riffs of Periphery I has a shapely middle section that rivals even the hottest of…ugh, fuck it, done with the metaphors. It’s just insane. I cried when I heard it.And now onto what I don’t care for; first off, the decision to split the album into two parts was definitely well-informed from a marketing standpoint. Most people don’t go around listening to 80 minute records all day, myself included, and the supposedly delicate structure of a concept album also means that listening to Juggernaut by skipping to different songs would devalue the experience. So the band broke it into two records to make it seem more manageable to listen to in daily life. Another stated reason was so that newcomers to the band would be able to buy Alpha at a discounted price, decide if they liked it, and then purchase Omega if they were so inclined (music previewing doesn’t work like that anymore, but hey you can’t fault the band for trying to turn that into tangible record sales). The problem I have is that Omega isn’t really paced to be its own album, which makes releasing it on its own instead as simply as the second disc in a package a little pointless. It’s not like the excellent “The Afterman” double albums from Coheed and Cambria, which were each albums that worked in their own right. I realize that this is really just semantics, but I think calling Juggernaut both the third and fourth album from Periphery, while technically correct, is just disingenuous, and judging them fairly on their own as separate albums is impossible (which is why all reviews being published are including them together).Periphery has always had a unique way of pacing their albums, regularly including playful, sometimes relatively lengthy interludes between tracks. Juggernaut is no different, and these interludes are now occasionally used to seed songs that will appear later on the album, or provide callbacks to tracks already present. The transitions aren’t always elegant however, and can range from grin-inducing to head-scratching to just plain grating. Thankfully, the band isn’t going for the illusion that each song flows seamlessly into the next, at least no more than they were going for it on any of their previous albums, and it’s easy to get used to everything given multiple listens.Overall, Juggernaut is a dense album that’s going to take a myriad of listens to fully sink in, just like most of the band’s prior releases (I don’t think anyone is gonna argue that “Clear” has any depth that you would find after about the fifth listen or so, but hey hey that’s ok kay). But it’s also accessible on the surface with deceptively simple rhythms and poppy choruses, which draw you in to appreciate the deeper cuts. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes unique and thoughtful music in the post-hardcore, metalcore, and progressive metal genres, but I’d also recommend it to anyone ever, because this is my absolute favorite band and I think they’ve created a masterpiece. So take from that what you will, and then get the fuck out of here. The play button is calling my name." - iprobablyhateyourband.com
    $11.00
  • "Inevitably, I find myself coming across bands that I "wish I had found all those years ago". WHILE HEAVEN WEPT is one such band. Born in 1989 in Virginia, US, the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Tom Phillips, the current line-up is a strong and long-standing one; 2014 sees the release of "Suspended At Aphelion", which is essentially a single, 40-minute track split up into 11 parts. This is one of those bands that seemingly woke up one day, and decided to do a complete 180 on their tried-and-true style, and recent albums see Progressive, Epic… I'm not even going to try and name just how many genres the band's style fits into. Sufficed to say, the new album is big; very, very big. One needs only to glimpse the cover art to know that one is set on course for a cosmic journey.I must put this out there immediately; it is imperative that you listen to this album from start to finish, because the flow from piece-to-piece is what sets this album on its axis. From the haunting, classical guitar introduction provided by guest Christopher Ladd, the sweeping ambiance experiences a momentary decrescendo, and "Icarus And I" makes its grand entrance. For the most part, it is kept at a light-hearted and airy marching pace, with intricate melodic arrangements courtesy of the band's 3 keyboard players and stringsmen, taking the place of metallic riffs, beginning to sound like a graceful amalgamation of BORKNAGAR, ARCTURUS and ANGRA. In dramatic moment of panic and surprise, the track picks up in speed and heaviness, impacted by a delivery of coarse vocals. Now, the band's primary vocalist, Rain; I'm a little shocked that he has not yet become a world-renowned vocalist, because the man's talent is phenomenal, seemingly borrowed the genes and vocal powers of SERENITY's Georg, SEVENTH WONDER's Tommy Karevik, with even a few ROY KHAN moments thrown in. You can see where I'm going with this: a voice that varies markedly in intensity, with a massive range capable of emotive singing at either end of the pitch spectrum.There is no doubt that individual tracks in this 'song' are part of a grand thematic design, but they manage to stand out on their own. For one, "Indifference Turned Paralysis" tantalises us with exquisite Progressive Power musings with Neoclassical flourishes, and many a KAMELOT moment here and there; entirely instrumental, the instruments sing us their song. "Souls In Permafrost" is one of my favorite moments on the record, with melodic harmony the focus of the arrangement, but this time Rain's vocals are even more powerful and less restrained, delivering both memorable and unpredictable vocal progressions; at times, the band's Doom roots began to show; those will never fully disappear. "Lifelines Lost" is the part to wait for, to best experience the excellent guitar work of helmsman Tom, but additional beauty is found when closely examining the ambiance and atmospherics in the background.Time and time again this record washes us over with inescapable pleasantries and harmonies that resonate infinitely in the mind. I'm genuinely having difficulty getting my head around the scope of this creation, and it's doing my head in because I cannot coherently describe its grandeur in entirety. I might never be able to, no matter how many times I loop it; what a deliciously excellent excuse to have it on repeat.Remember: start to finish, and no skipping. You won't regret it." - Metal Temple
    $15.00
  • Their first real prog effort. Killer keyboard excursions in an ELP vein.
    $10.00
  • Originally released in 2012 on vinyl (and apparently cassette), the second album from this Scottish based space quartet finally gets a CD release...but its a limited edition of 500 copies so you might want to be snappy.The Cosmic Dead wear their influences on their sleeves.  The music is heavily invested in the sounds of Ash Ra Tempel, Can, and even a touch of early Hawkwind.  Loooooong jams that take you further and further into deep space.  A non-stop assault of burbling synths, echoplexed guitar leads, and a rhythm section that is playing off in another galaxy.  Pure unadulterated psychedelic space rock.  These guys played the Roadburn Festival and I'm sure they must have gone down a storm.  If the numbers 7 - 1 - 4 mean anything to you then I think this should be filed away in your collection.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • "The Contortionist are really speaking my Language (PUN!) on their first full-length with Last Chance to Reason's Michael Lessard on vocals.Last year I went to see Between The Buried and Me and one of the openers was The Contortionist. I knew of them vaguely from my college radio days, but couldn't recall much. I was mainly interested in seeing them because Michael Lessard of Last Chance To Reason had just been announced as their permanent vocalist, and I fucking LOVE(D?) Last Chance To Reason. The set was mostly (if not entirely) from their album Intrinsic and was pretty solid, but I felt like Lessard was a little out of place. He wasn't quite at his full potential. This brings us to Language, and this is Lessard and existing Contortionist members at their best.Language opens with a melodic piece comprised almost entirely of vocal layers that I could really only compare to something on the level of Imogen Heap. The album keeps the melody going on the following track "Language I: Intuition" and it is fucking gorgeous. With the exception of a few parts the song suppresses the metal, instead opting for a rhythmic post rock feel. The heaviness does pick up as the album progresses, but there is definitely and ebb and flow (an idiom that appears a lot in the album) happening that favors the prettier side of the band, and I don't have a problem with it. There is still quite a bit to headbang to with the very next tracks, "Language II: Conspire," "Integration" and more.  So don't fret, they haven't gone soft by any means.It's unclear to me how much of the album is the added influence of Lessard, and how much is natural growth here. The band was able to progress their sound enough while staying grounded in who they are. I find this is rare for a band in general, but especially rare for a band often lumped into the "djent" category. This record is a lot more of everything that worked. It is heavier when it needs to be, it is bigger when it needs to be, it is prettier when it needs to be, etc. For example, "Thrive" could have easily fit anywhere into Intrinsic for about the first minute or two, but then Lessard soars and the song crescendos into pure atmospheric metal glory to a level they hadn't achieved before.I realize much of this review is praising Michael Lessard's vocal abilities, and if Level 3 didn't already cement him as one of the best voices in modern metal/rock/whatever, this album should (I mean, just listen to him on "Ebb & Flow"!). However, this band is really tight and unique regardless of who is the voice. Often bands in the rhythmic, atmospheric, progressive blah blah blah, genre will give in to tropes of the genre, The Contortionist either avoids them or spins them enough to make them seem outside of the box. So many bands will have one guitarist chugging along in wacky rhythms with the bassist and drummer while the other guitarist noodles over the top, and it's just so overdone. These guys will either have everyone noodling in a cool way interweaving with one another, or they just go different directions completely. This could be said about previous records as well I'm sure, it's just especially notable here.This album is not everyone. If you're quick to lazily label any rhythmic progressive band out there as "djent" and dismiss them accordingly, you should probably just not bother here. This album is for fans of progressive music, atmospheric metal, theory nerds, and especially the previous work of either LCTR or The Contortionist.I was a much bigger Last Chance fan going into Language, but this has really turned me on to The Contortionist more. This is a fantastic release that is best digested as one long piece." - Metal Injection
    $13.00
  • First ever NEMO DVD! Recorded Live on April 17th and 18th, 2010. The movie is sold together with 2 CDs gathering the more outstanding songs of the band in re-recorded, re-mixed or re-mastered versions, and 2 new tracks!Digipak, strictly limited to 1000 copies! Warning: this is a PAL DVD.Tracks:01. Dvd - Intro / Philéas I (départ / Europe) (8.05)02. Dvd - Miroirs (6.42)03. Dvd - Même Peau, Même Destin (9.28)04. Dvd - Apprentis Sorciers (20.40)05. Dvd - Philéas Partie Ii (les Fleuves Sacrés) (3.53)06. Dvd - La Mort Du Scorpion Partie Iii (8.20)07. Dvd - Tous Les Chemins (10.40)08. Dvd - Barbares (26.28)09. Dvd - Les Enfants Rois10. Dvd - Philéas Partie Iv (nouveau Monde)11. Cd1 - La Machine À Remonter Le Temps (2010)12. Cd1 - 19:59 (2009)13. Cd1 - Barbares (2009 - Version Restaurée)14. Cd1 - Les Enfants Rois (2007 - Version Single)15. Cd1 - Reflets (2007)16. Cd1 - Une Question De Prix (2007)17. Cd1 - Une Question De Temps (2007)18. Cd1 - Ici, Maintenant (2006 - Remix)19. Cd2 - Miroirs (2006 - Rmix)20. Cd2 - Si (2006 - Remix)21. Cd2 - 1914 (2004 (remix)22. Cd2 - O.g.r.e. (2004 - Remix)23. Cd2 - Les Temps Modernes (2004 - Remix)24. Cd2 - La Dernière Vague (2003 - Réenregistrement)25. Cd2 - Générateur (2003 - Réenregistrement)26. Cd2 - Au Dessus Des Pyramides (2002 - Réenregist.)27. Cd2 - Dans La Lune Encore (2002 - Réenregist.)28. Cd2 - Et La Vie Continue (intrumental - 2010)
    $20.00
  • Re-Evolution takes an interesting approach from this popular Finnish power metal band.  Long time lead vocalist Heidi Parviainen left in 2012.  The band is using this as a vehicle to introduce her replacement, the singularly named Capri.  Essentially this is a greatest hits re-recording of older material with new vocals from Capri.  Its a stop gap until the band records their new studio album.
    $15.00
  • Hand Made was a transitional album in the sense that it marked the change in personnel leading up to the "classic" lineup. This is high wattage progressive fusion from Klaus Doldinger, Curt Cress, Wolfgang Schmid, and Frank Roberts. Roberts was subsequently replaced by Kristian Schulze. Highly recommended.
    $14.00
  • Third album from this Italian progressive metal band fronted by Swedish singer Goran Nystrom. Daniele Liverani is the propulsive force behind the band although all the musicians are on the same high level. While the first two albums were PROG in the Dream Theater direction, a good chunk of this album takes more of a move towards the center of the metal spectrum. Its still progressive but emphasizes melody more than technicality. The album's second half is a 30 minute conceptual epic. This piece tightens the screws up a bit and adds some heaviness. Good stuff.
    $14.00
  • The Custodian is a new British post-progressive rock band formed by Richard Thomson, vocalist for cinematic death metal band Xerath.  Unlike Xerath, The Custodian is an outlet for the more melodic, rock oriented writing from Thomson.While there are moments in the album that harken back to old school bands like Genesis and Yes, the music of The Custodian is contemporary in sound.  Necessary Wasted Time is an album full of dynamics - light and dark shadings balancing acoustic vs electric, heavy vs pastoral.  While atmospherics and tension are a strong component of the album, the band demonstrates their adept musicianship offering up long instrumental passages to complement the emotion filled vocals.  When needed the band unleashes some complex electric runs.The Custodian's debut should deeply resonate with fans of Steven Wilson, Riverside, Pineapple Thief, and Anathema.Necessary Wasted Time was mixed by noted engineer Jacob Hansen and give the full audiophile mastering treatment from Bob Katz. 
    $14.00
  • Garden Of Delights did a great job reissuing this early 70s one-off German band. Missing Link had later connections to Embryo and their sound is evocative of them as well as other jazzy infused prog bands like Out Of Focus and Dzyan. The music has great rhythmic drive which underpins wah-wah laced guitar solos, mad sax breaks, vocals and keyboards. The music shifts between pure prog and jazzrock - often within the same song. Really cool disc...GoD supplied a bonus track as well as their usual copious liner notes.
    $21.00
  • "Danish rockers Volbeat have always been extremely popular in their home country, and with each album they’ve gained more momentum and fans. However, 2010‘s ‘Beyond Hell/Above Heaven’ was their true breakthrough in North America, spawning hit singles such as ‘Heaven nor Hell’ and ‘A Warrior’s Call,’ which both topped the Billboard Active Rock chart.For Volbeat’s follow-up disc, Rob Caggiano was brought aboard to produce ‘Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies.’ The collaboration went so well that Caggiano ended up joining Volbeat as their permanent lead guitarist shortly after exiting Anthrax.Anticipation has been high for ‘Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies,’ and Volbeat deliver. Their sound has always drawn on many different influences, from classic rock to punk to metal to rockabilly. Those influences and more are evident on this album, perhaps their most diverse to-date.After the acoustic western-tinged intro “Let’s Shake Some Dust,” the album kicks off with the ultra-catchy ‘Pearl Hart.’ The rock charts are packed with sound-alike bands that are good, but lack a unique identity. That’s not a problem with Volbeat. In addition to their diverse influences, singer Michael Poulsen’s voice is very distinctive.Volbeat have the ability to morph from accessible rock to heavy but melodic metal like ‘Dead But Rising’ without missing a beat. They may not be ‘metal enough’ for some fans that like their music more extreme, but they bring aboard a guest singer who is undeniably metal. The legendary King Diamond lends his world-class pipes to ‘Room 24.’The song has heavy riffs, creepy female backing vocals and plenty of vocal acrobatics from King Diamond. Poulsen’s melodic singing contrasts nicely with Diamond’s falsetto. King isn’t the only guest on the album. Sarah Blackwood from the Canadian band Walk off the Earth duets with Poulsen on ‘Lonesome Rider,’ which has some steel guitar and a rockabilly vibe.There’s a cover song on the album as well. Volbeat does ‘My Body,’ originally recorded by Young the Giant on their 2010 self-titled album. The track did well on both the Alternative and Rock charts, and many will recognize it.‘Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies’ has something for fans of numerous genres. It includes a Western theme with a little twang, lots of radio-friendly cuts, harder edged tracks, the aforementioned guest vocalists and a lot of variety. It’s an impressive effort that’s both credible and commercial." - Loudwire
    $12.00
  • Prospekt are a British Progressive Metal band influenced by bands such as Dream Theater, Symphony X, Opeth and Circus Maximus, as well as film scores and fusion. Prospekt combine the fierce technicality of progressive metal with the symphonic elements of contemporary prog.From brutal riffs coupled with odd time-signatures, to majestic melodies, the principle of Prospekt’s music is to create an intelligent and atmospheric mix of melodic, modern progressive metal. Incorporating passionate higher ranged vocals, frenetic guitar work, haunting orchestration and solid grooves, every composition remains both interesting and original.The Colourless Sunrise was mixed by  Adam "Nolly" Getgood of Periphery and mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street.
    $13.00
  • I remember how I felt the first time I heard Riverside. Its purely a coincidence that Pinkroom also hails from Poland but this debut disc hits me in a similar way. The band is (at the moment) a duo of Mariusz Boniecki (guitars, vocals, keys) and Marcin Kledzik (drums). In terms of the music there is definitely somewhat of a similarity to Riverside and Porcupine Tree in the way they incorporate atmospheric blissed out passages and then drop the heavy bomb on you. The more intricate parts have a retro-Crimson vibe particularly from the Mellotron samples. There is lots of intricacies to the music but I'm always drawn to the drama and emotion from this disc. Boniecki is a solid vocalist - the production envelops his voice is a gauze-like dreamy texture adding a hallucenogenic effect is places. Truth be told had Pinkroom not pressed up this disc already it would probably be sporting a Laser's Edge imprint. I'm really impressed by this band and if you are a fan of the band's I've mentioned you really need to hear this.. They are in the process of expanding the lineup so they can gig - can't wait to hear them live. You may very well not hear a better album this year. BUY OR DIE!Don't believe me?? Check 'em out for yourself: http://pinkroom.bandcamp.com
    $13.00