Under A New Sign

SKU: LE1047
Label:
The Laser's Edge
Category:
Progressive Rock
Add to wishlist 

The Dutch masters of prog return with their long awaited second album “Under A New Sign”. Three years ago Knight Area stunned the progressive rock world with their debut “The Sun Also Rises”. Knight Area creates epic symphonic rock in the vein of Genesis, Marillion, IQ, and Pendragon. Originally conceived as a studio project by the brothers Gerben and Joop Klazinga, Knight Area evolved into a touring band drawing quite a bit of attention in Europe. The band was honored to receive an invitation to perform in the US at Nearfest 2005, where they picked up many new fans.



“Under A New Sign” marks the first recordings of Knight Area as a true band, with other members having creative input. The band’s installed fanbase need not worry – the music is essentially the same but with some harder edge guitars. The new album should also appeal to fans of heavier progressive bands like Arena and Dream Theater.



"Under A New Sign" is the perfect blend of old school prog married to modern production techniques. The band's signature sound - Mellotrons, Hammond organ, and flute - dizzying lead synth and guitar interplay - it's here in spades! Noted mastering engineer Bob Katz gave the music an expansive and epic feel.

Product Review

Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
Like so many of my fellow Dutchmen I often wondered why, let's say in the last 10 years, there hasn't been a Dutch progband that was able to really "compete" with the more bigger foreign names. Well, that all changed in 2005 with the release of Knight Area's debut album. Although it still wasn't on the same level as the bigger acts I immediately sensed that there was potential. And now it is March 2007 and I have just finished listening to their second album 'Under A New Sign', an album that is the end result of the evolutionary proces from Knight Area - The Project to Knight Area - The Band. First glimpses of that were shown at their performance at NEARfest 2005 but it most evidently shows in the compositions. Gone are the short songs giving way to more elaborate songs in which the musical ideas have room to breath and grow. The band has been seen reporting that the new material has become heavier but I think that is pretty much a false impression. Yes, the heavier parts are indeed heavier then on the debut, but these are balanced by more delicate passages (featuring flute or cello) and great flights of symphonic bliss. A Different Man opens the preceedings very cautiously with distant flute or recorder before a wave of Mellotron-strings and Taurus pedals comes rolling in. Jangly guitar akin to Steve Rothery's playing on Misplaced Childhood accompanies singer Mark Smit. The uptempo bit that follows is firmly rooted in 80s neoprog. Nice to hear both guitarplayers playing the melody in two-part harmony. The finale of this song is a long extended guitar solo that rivals the ones IQ's Mike Holmes regularly puts on their albums. Judging upon style and tone the first half is played by ex-Cliffhanger guitarist Rinie Huigen who then hands over on the second half of this finale to Mark Vermeule. The Moog Taurus pedals are put to great use on this section as well and it has been quite a while since I heard such a good recording that really does their sound justice. The second song, Exit L.U.M.C. is a bit more edgier, darker and maybe it is because of the similar title but it somehow reminds me of IQ's N.T.O.C. Resistance at first. Might have something to do also with the digital piano sound we hear at first. But after the first keyboard solo we definitely enter the soundworld of Pallas with the thundering basslines and prominent Mellotron-choir. The flashy synthsolo interruptions Wakeman-style make sure however that impression doesn't remain in your mind for long although right before the closing piano / vocal section they return to that glorious sound once more. Yes, it is clear by whom Knight Area are influenced but this is not an act of pure cloning, it is taking the musical elements they love and cooking this great progstew :-) With the third song, Mastermind, the level of intensity is even raised a bit more. Thunderous (and slightly distorted) Rickenbacker bass courtesy of Gijs Koopman rolls in, joined by crashing guitar powerchords and some impressive powerhouse drumming by Pieter van Hoorn. Mark Smit puts in one of his best vocal performances on this album (check out the cool harmony-parts on the choruses). Keyboardplayer Gerben Klazinga shows he is as quick on his synths as the guitarplayers in Knight Area. The instrumental title track is a much more elaborate successor to the title track of the debutalbum. Where as that one clearly evoked Genesis' Cinema Show keyboard solo-section, this one is much more Knight Area. This one is also firmly rooted in neoprog (read: IQ) territory but the mood changes quite radically with the introduction of a jazzy section with some tasty Hammond organ playing and a very tasty guitar-solo by Mark Vermeule (I guess). The torch is then again handed over to Gerben Klazinga for a very flashy organ solo. Courteous Love is the symphonic ballad of the album. Mark Smit has not only grown into his lead singing role on the more energetic material but shows on this song that he is as adapt in more gentle territory. Lot of work has evidently been put into the backing vocal arrangements on the album and it most clearly shows in this song (it hints a bit at Queen's style of backing vocals). Lovely flute playing by the other Klazinga on the album, Joop, and we also get some fine cello-playing by Ruben van Kruistum. The closing symphonic finale doesn't come surprising but has an epic grandeur that reminds me of mid-period Genesis or even Eloy. Dreamweaver at first seems to be again a more heavy (almost progmetal) song but the intro is deceiving because already in the first half we get treated to a very atmospheric keyboardsolo. The overall feeling is that the current direction isn't that much heavier then for instance Arena's Immortal or Contagion album and fans of that music should basically run not walk to get this Knight Area album. And then it is time for the final track, A Different Man Part 2 and we discover that the distant flute sounds at the beginning of the album was really a recorder. An atmosphere of early classical music is evoked but that feeling soon dissolves but a gentle flute melody steps to the fore. It is exactly this feeling of letting the music take its natural course what elevates this album to a much higher level then their debut. But soon the tempo of the song rises and I find myself bopping along with the syncopated rhythm and again some very tasty synthsolos. The long guitarsolo that follows seems a variation on the closing section of the opening track of the album. This then segues into a calm vocal section followed by an atmospheric keyboard part preparing us for the big finale. And when I say big I mean really, really big. Think Steve Hackett's massive build-up at the end of Shadow Of The Hierophant but with a much heavier sound. In 55 minutes Knight Area delivers a powerful punch with their music that really should draw in all those who are into Arena, Pallas, IQ but also mid period Genesis and Steve Hackett.
Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
Wow after reading the above review, Im embarrased to even give my opinion, great CD just buy it....B.R.
Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
Outstanding...
You must login or register to post reviews.

Product Review

Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
Like so many of my fellow Dutchmen I often wondered why, let's say in the last 10 years, there hasn't been a Dutch progband that was able to really "compete" with the more bigger foreign names. Well, that all changed in 2005 with the release of Knight Area's debut album. Although it still wasn't on the same level as the bigger acts I immediately sensed that there was potential. And now it is March 2007 and I have just finished listening to their second album 'Under A New Sign', an album that is the end result of the evolutionary proces from Knight Area - The Project to Knight Area - The Band. First glimpses of that were shown at their performance at NEARfest 2005 but it most evidently shows in the compositions. Gone are the short songs giving way to more elaborate songs in which the musical ideas have room to breath and grow. The band has been seen reporting that the new material has become heavier but I think that is pretty much a false impression. Yes, the heavier parts are indeed heavier then on the debut, but these are balanced by more delicate passages (featuring flute or cello) and great flights of symphonic bliss. A Different Man opens the preceedings very cautiously with distant flute or recorder before a wave of Mellotron-strings and Taurus pedals comes rolling in. Jangly guitar akin to Steve Rothery's playing on Misplaced Childhood accompanies singer Mark Smit. The uptempo bit that follows is firmly rooted in 80s neoprog. Nice to hear both guitarplayers playing the melody in two-part harmony. The finale of this song is a long extended guitar solo that rivals the ones IQ's Mike Holmes regularly puts on their albums. Judging upon style and tone the first half is played by ex-Cliffhanger guitarist Rinie Huigen who then hands over on the second half of this finale to Mark Vermeule. The Moog Taurus pedals are put to great use on this section as well and it has been quite a while since I heard such a good recording that really does their sound justice. The second song, Exit L.U.M.C. is a bit more edgier, darker and maybe it is because of the similar title but it somehow reminds me of IQ's N.T.O.C. Resistance at first. Might have something to do also with the digital piano sound we hear at first. But after the first keyboard solo we definitely enter the soundworld of Pallas with the thundering basslines and prominent Mellotron-choir. The flashy synthsolo interruptions Wakeman-style make sure however that impression doesn't remain in your mind for long although right before the closing piano / vocal section they return to that glorious sound once more. Yes, it is clear by whom Knight Area are influenced but this is not an act of pure cloning, it is taking the musical elements they love and cooking this great progstew :-) With the third song, Mastermind, the level of intensity is even raised a bit more. Thunderous (and slightly distorted) Rickenbacker bass courtesy of Gijs Koopman rolls in, joined by crashing guitar powerchords and some impressive powerhouse drumming by Pieter van Hoorn. Mark Smit puts in one of his best vocal performances on this album (check out the cool harmony-parts on the choruses). Keyboardplayer Gerben Klazinga shows he is as quick on his synths as the guitarplayers in Knight Area. The instrumental title track is a much more elaborate successor to the title track of the debutalbum. Where as that one clearly evoked Genesis' Cinema Show keyboard solo-section, this one is much more Knight Area. This one is also firmly rooted in neoprog (read: IQ) territory but the mood changes quite radically with the introduction of a jazzy section with some tasty Hammond organ playing and a very tasty guitar-solo by Mark Vermeule (I guess). The torch is then again handed over to Gerben Klazinga for a very flashy organ solo. Courteous Love is the symphonic ballad of the album. Mark Smit has not only grown into his lead singing role on the more energetic material but shows on this song that he is as adapt in more gentle territory. Lot of work has evidently been put into the backing vocal arrangements on the album and it most clearly shows in this song (it hints a bit at Queen's style of backing vocals). Lovely flute playing by the other Klazinga on the album, Joop, and we also get some fine cello-playing by Ruben van Kruistum. The closing symphonic finale doesn't come surprising but has an epic grandeur that reminds me of mid-period Genesis or even Eloy. Dreamweaver at first seems to be again a more heavy (almost progmetal) song but the intro is deceiving because already in the first half we get treated to a very atmospheric keyboardsolo. The overall feeling is that the current direction isn't that much heavier then for instance Arena's Immortal or Contagion album and fans of that music should basically run not walk to get this Knight Area album. And then it is time for the final track, A Different Man Part 2 and we discover that the distant flute sounds at the beginning of the album was really a recorder. An atmosphere of early classical music is evoked but that feeling soon dissolves but a gentle flute melody steps to the fore. It is exactly this feeling of letting the music take its natural course what elevates this album to a much higher level then their debut. But soon the tempo of the song rises and I find myself bopping along with the syncopated rhythm and again some very tasty synthsolos. The long guitarsolo that follows seems a variation on the closing section of the opening track of the album. This then segues into a calm vocal section followed by an atmospheric keyboard part preparing us for the big finale. And when I say big I mean really, really big. Think Steve Hackett's massive build-up at the end of Shadow Of The Hierophant but with a much heavier sound. In 55 minutes Knight Area delivers a powerful punch with their music that really should draw in all those who are into Arena, Pallas, IQ but also mid period Genesis and Steve Hackett.
Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
Wow after reading the above review, Im embarrased to even give my opinion, great CD just buy it....B.R.
Tue, 2010-06-08 09:57
Rate: 
0
Outstanding...
You must login or register to post reviews.
Laser Pic

customers also bought

SEE ALL
  • AdC is the third album from this incendiary Italian fusion quartet.  The previous two albums were a bit more off the wall, bearing some overtones of Deus Ex Machina.  They've toned that aspect of their sound way down.  Mahavishnu Orchestra is an obvious influence but it seems that this time around the band has crafted something that is more of an individual sound - not a copycat band.  The album seems to have just the slightest bit more agression than in the past ie. more energy - not metal.  Cool proggy vibe throughout as well as beatiful frenetic soloing and interplay.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • Fifth album from this German instrumental psych/stoner band is a real mind crusher.  You like My Brother The Wind?  You need to hear this.  If Samsara Blues Experiment recorded an instrumental album it might sound something like this.  The album is interspersed with quieter introspective interludes that just seem to made the heavier parts heavier and the spacier parts trippier.  If you like your psych served up hard you can't pass it up.  Devastating stuff.  BUY OR DIE!BTW - the angry metal guy tells it way better than I can:"It was difficult for me to turn down a promo so intertwined with one of the subjects of my recently-completed dissertation. Aldous Huxley‘s migration to Eastern philosophy, influenced by both Taoism and Buddhism, is well documented in his final novel, Island. The inhabitants of the idyllic island practice such spiritual, philosophical models, culminating in the consumption of so-called “Moksha-medicine,” a hallucinogen which permits heightened awareness and understanding. The band which explores similarly Zen and reflective topics is one to catch my eye and I excitedly embarked on this quest for internal liberation.Moksha is the fifth full-length by Germany’s My Sleeping Karma, succeeding their previous release Soma (also a reference to Eastern spirituality and prominently interpreted in Huxley’s Brave New World). It accordingly incorporates Eastern instrumentation in a groovy, psychedelic exploration of exactly how mellow one can be while the music can still be interpreted as metal. Though it could be described as relaxing mood music, the distorted guitars and surprising technical proficiency of the band grounds Moksha in the space between rock and metal (and also qualifies it for AMG, you goddamned haters).If Kraut or psychedelic rock is your jam then you will assuredly find plenty to enjoy here. The minimalist approach with sparingly-used instruments and catchy but repetitive leads will worm its way into your skull. There aren’t multiple riffs throughout each song; rather, a core motif which gradually progresses and develops throughout, lending a charming coherency to the album – see opener “Prithvi” for this. Occasional synths and piano keys afford an ethereal air too. However, it’s the points at which more overt Eastern instrumentation is used that the material really stands out. The five “Interlude”s which split each of the main songs strongly evoke My Brother The Wind, with groovy bass-lines and the interesting use of monk’s chants and hand-operated drums. The album’s concept is thus drawn into the music and it creates a quite captivating effect. The sudden and disturbing emanation of pop shite from one of my housemates’s bedrooms drew me from my trance and alerted me to how involving the material is.Despite the repetitive and seemingly improvised nature of the music, its technicality is another boon. As the songs progress and layer, the guitars and drums can become quite intense despite the over-arching serenity (I’m aware this sounds like a contradiction but it’s a testament to the subtle song-writing). The nifty transition at 2:30 of “Akasha” foregrounds a sound very similar to mid-era Anathema, and the transition at 4:00 demonstrates the talent of the bassist and drummer, leading into an appropriately-climatic harmony. This is just one song, but jazzy drum fills and strong bass work permeate the entirety of the release. The Floydian jam on “Interlude 5” is compelling too.I would argue that Moksha effectively achieves its goal and nails the style it strives for. However, I do feel that it may be too niche for some listeners – it’s easy for me to concertedly listen for the technical accomplishments as a reviewer, but the music can slip to the background into the realms of mood music. Though a pleasant listen it may be, one could argue it’s a little safe and it certainly doesn’t arouse my passions sufficiently to push my score to excellent. Furthermore, each of the main tracks can sound quite similar if not explicitly listening – that said, the interludes split up the record nicely so this effect is mitigated. I’m also part of the niche rock and metal market that appreciates the spiritual subject matter, if only on an academic level.Turning my gaze to the empirical and away from the spiritual, the solid dynamics certainly aid affairs. The principle tracks hit a DR score of 8, with the “Interlude”s varying between 10 and 14. There is good breathing room for each instrument and each is clean without being over-produced. A holistic sound is achieved which envelops the listener well.I imagine there is quite a specific demographic that this music hits so it may not be for everyone, but I’m enjoying my journey to the geographic heights of Nepal, the enigmatic Sadhus of India and through the tenets of Yin Yang. The ultimate dearth of diversity and Moksha‘s intrinsic tranquility limits my true passion for the record, but it’s a worthwhile investment nonetheless. Aldous would be proud." - The Angry Metal Guy
    $13.00
  • "IIII is the fourth Papir album in about as many years. The Copenhagen trio of guitarist Nicklas Sørensen, bassist Christian Becher Clausen and drummer Christoffer Brøchmann made a self-titled debut in 2010 and followed in 2011 with Stundum, their first release on El Paraiso Records, run by Jonas Munk and Jakob Skøtt of Causa Sui. Munk would produce their early 2013 full-length, III, and a collaboration with Electric Moon, dubbed The Papermoon Sessions, followed later in the year. With IIII, Papir step back into their own gorgeous krautrock ambience, proffering four tracks/48 minutes of semi-improvisational instrumental work that’s concerned neither with genre nor heft, but sonically uplifting and creatively open. The cuts — “I” (10:45), “II” (9:35), “III” (21:43) and “IIII” (5:15) — run deep and personal despite their I-only titles, the effect of which is to make one think not necessarily of Roman numerals, for which the last would be “IV,” but more like the bars on the album artwork, reminding of some sort of schematic or engineering grid, if not for the bars as representing actual people, paired off as some are. Sure enough, Papir seem to be working from a schematic of their own on this material, though they end up with a breadth that’s bound to test the limit of any blueprint from which it might be working.It’s immediately noteworthy that “IIII,” which is the de facto title-track of the album, doesn’t appear on the vinyl version. That makes the runtimes on the two sides of the LP just about even and keeps IIII over the 40-minute mark in total, but it makes side B comprised entirely of “III” which only furthers the notion that that song is practically a full-length unto itself. Prior to, on side A, Papir begin with the intricate runs of “I,” all the members of the band making simultaneous entry amid gracefully mounted, unforced atmospherics. The splash in Brøchmann‘s cymbals has as much of an effect on those atmospheres as does Sørensen‘s guitar or its interplay with Clausen‘s bass, which takes an early solo leading the way past the first minute of “I.” Early on, Papir leave little room for choice. If you’re going to go with “I,” you have to go with it. When they start, they’re already off and moving, and by the time they hit the dreamy midpoint from which they build the lush second half of the track, the hypnotic effect that remains in place for the remainder of the side, “II” moving in linear fashion from a subdued beginning to fervent-but-not-overdone payoff and then lingering with enough of progressive atmospheric naturalism that I was looking to see if I might’ve missed a Gary Arce guest appearance somewhere along the line.No dice on that, but it’s one more stylistic element that Papir work into their fluid sprawl. Nowhere on IIII is that expanse more centered than “III,” and maybe that’s unfair because in comprising all of the vinyl’s second half, it’s bound to be a focal point, but it’s true all the same. As a single piece, it enacts a full-album-style front-to-back flow, unfolding the wings over the course of its first couple minutes that will carry it through to its finish, Clausen keeping a tension in his bassline that lets the listener know even if they’re not looking at the tracklisting that something grand is underway amid Sørensen‘s peaceful noodling and the wash of Brøchmann‘s cymbals. There is a swirl at hand, and it doesn’t feel like an exaggeration to call the song psychedelic, but it’s important to point out that Papir never lose sight of the human side of the jam in favor of a lush construction. “III” is rich, open and progressive, coming on in two major wah-soaked waves with a quiet stretch between as the build restarts. Synth, effects and added percussion are all a factor in the heavy rock thrust that emerges, but Papir are never out of control of what they’re doing, and the result is a glorious high point to the rampantly exploratory work that is the album taken as a whole.Obviously, coming after “III” and having been left off the vinyl version of IIII doubtless for the fact that it wouldn’t fit, “IIII” is something of an afterthought upon its arrival, but though comparatively brief at 5:15, it’s also one of IIII‘s most engaging atmospheres, recalling some of the ethereal desert-ism at the end of “II” in the guitar while far-off toms hold steady behind. With one recording session for the album having taken place in Copenhagen proper and another in the Danish countryside — the latter once again helmed by Munk — it’s easy to imagine a progression like that of “IIII” arising from an attempt on the band’s part to translate a natural serenity into sound, though of course whether or not that’s how “IIII” came about, I don’t know. Nonetheless, the spirit of the closer is no less evocative for its relatively short duration than any of the other pieces on IIII and proves a serene, engaging finish to the trance in which Papir seem to prone to lead their listeners, easing back to reality with steady organ-ic hum and ringing tones. Clearly meant to be taken in its entirety, Papir‘s fourth delivers a rich listening experience that’s as satisfying to get lost in as it is easy to appreciate for its boldly progressive drive. It is both otherworldly and definitively of this earth, and presents a spin on heavy psychedelic rock that seems to belong solely to Papir." - The Obelisk 
    $29.00
  • Originally released privately in 1978 and long sought after by collectors, III was the one off album by this Dutch progressive rock band. The dual guitar driven quartet injected a touch of anarchy into their mix of improv and Crimso influenced prog. This release marks the first time it has ever appeared on CD. It comes with extensive unreleased bonus material, detailed liner notes and unpublished photos. The album was mastered by audiophile engineer Bob Katz from the original analogue master tapes. This is a strictly limited edition of 500 copies and arrives housed in an old style mini-LP tip-on sleeve.
    $27.00
  • After the break up of art rock pioneers Orchestra Luna, guitarist Randy Roos changed gears and assembled the Mistral band. The resulting album, from 1978, features fusion stars Mike Stern, Neil Stubenhaus, Louis DeAndrade, and Alyrio Lima (Weather Report). Masterfully playing a variety of fretted and fretless guitars, Roos demonstrates why its time for this overlooked gem to be revisited. Mistral is pure high energy fusion that will appeal to fans of Jeff Beck and Return To Forever. It comes with liner notes from noted jazz journalist Bill Milkowski. Mistral has been remastered from the original analogue master tapes by audiophile engineer Bob Katz. It arrives in an old style mini-LP tip-on sleeve. Strictly limited to 500 copies!
    $27.00
  • Brazilian melodic metallers ANGRA celebrated the 20th anniversary of the release of their 1993 debut album, "Angels Cry", with a special concert on August 25 at HSBC Brasil in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The show, which was recorded for a DVD, featured guest appearances by Tarja Turunen (NIGHTWISH) and Uli Jon Roth (SCORPIONS).ANGRA's setlist was as follows:01. Angels Cry02. Nothing to Say03. Waiting Silence04. Lisbon05. Time06. Millennium Sun (intro w/ Kiko Loureiro on keyboards)07. Winds of Destination (intersection w/ Kiko Loureiro on keyboards)08. Gentle Change09. The Voice Commanding You (Rafael Bittencourt on vocals)10. Late Redemption11. Silence and Distance (intro w/ Kiko Loureiro on keyboards)Acoustic set12. Reaching Horizons (Rafael Bittencourt on vocals)13. Unholy Wars / Caça e Caçador (Rafael Bittencourt and Kiko Loureiro on vocals)14. A Monster in Her Eyes (Rafael Bittencourt and Kiko Loureiro on vocals)15. Make Believe (Rafael Bittencourt and Kiko Loureiro on vocals)Encore:16. No Pain for the Dead (with Familia Lima on strings)17. Stand Away (Tarja Turunen on vocals and Familia Lima on strings)18. Wuthering Heights (Kate Bush cover) (Tarja Turunen on vocals and Uli Jon Roth on guitar)19. Evil Warning (Amílcar Christófaro on drums)Encore 2:20. Unfinished Allegro (Familia Lima on strings)21. Carry On22. Rebirth23. The Sails Of Charon (SCORPIONS cover) (Uli Jon Roth on guitar and Rafael Bittencourt on vocals)24. In Excelsis25. Nova Era 
    $26.00
  • Klone is a French band that has been kicking around for 20 years.  Their sixth album, Here Comes The Sun, finds them changing course adding a more progressive element to their sound.  The music is very melancholy but spacious...quite beautiful in fact.  Think in terms of the mellowest Riverside tracks, Katatonia's unplugged release, Anathema.  In fact quite a bit of this has a similar vibe to their French compatriots Cloverseeds.  Very immersive sounding music that is predominantly about mood but as you scratch your way past the veneer you'll hear all the progressive elements that are lurking underneath.  Quite superb and a 2015 top 10 candidate.  BUY OR DIE!"One spin of this disc and the irony of the album title will loom large; ‘Here Comes The Sun’ is not a record full of funeral doom, black metal or brutal death but the content is certainly dark, bleak and paints vistas in the mind of the listener upon which it would be difficult for the sun to penetrate and cast it’s warm glow.The Poitier-based quintet have been steadily building a following over the course of their 20 year career, with previous albums garnering a fair amount of praise and critical acclaim in the process. However, with ‘Here Comes The Sun’, their sixth album, French progressive rock/metal band Klone have arguably created their finest moment to date, an intense and melancholy affair that isn’t afraid to bare its teeth when the need arises.Klone are not a band that has been content to stand still and recreate the same album each and every time. But then neither has their evolution been full of stark contrasts; instead the talented Gallic bunch have appeared content with a slow and gradual evolution that has seen them shake off a large amount of their more extreme heavy metal influences in favour of a more challenging, almost minimalist mélange of styles centred around more rock-based climes.Sitting at the heart of the music on ‘Here Comes The Sun’ is vocalist Yann Ligner who has a very intriguing style. On the one hand, he has a fragile-sounding clean approach that’s full of emotion and fleetingly reminiscent of Jonas Renkse of Katatonia. On the flip-side, Ligner is able to belt it out with some real power. It’s here that the gravel in his voice becomes apparent and, coupled with his phrasing and intonation, he heavily calls to mind the late Kurt Cobain. Given the fact that I have a strong dislike for grunge, it surprises me quite how much I enjoy Ligner’s voice. Having thought upon it long and hard for a few days I think it comes down to a combination of factors: there’s variety in Ligner’s delivery that shifts to suit the changing moods of the music and perhaps more crucially, I connect with the strong compositions themselves unlike with the vast majority of grunge.And that brings me nicely onto the subject of the music itself which I have to admit is of the highest order. In fact, in the form of ‘Nebulous’, ‘Here Comes The Sun’ features one of the very best songs that I have heard in 2015 so far. It’s one hell of a piece of music which has got me thoroughly addicted. Beginning quietly with a magnificent bass line overlayered with some subtle guitar melodies, it soon delivers a chorus to die for. Ligner croons over a hook-filled and inspired section of music that is achingly beautiful, poignant and catchy as hell. The mid section of the song introduces some post-rock influences before the track reaches its conclusion via another burst of the chorus. It sends shivers down my spine every time and I cannot speak highly enough of this song.Importantly, the remaining nine songs on the album are no slouches either, although I have to say that the cover of ‘Summertime’ that closes the album is my least favourite moment. It’s an interesting version of the classic upon which Klone have stamped their personal mark, but I’m simply not a fan of that song if I’m being entirely honest.In terms of the original material on offer, ‘Here Comes The Sun’ opens up with ‘Immersion’, a real grower of a track that starts off with a quiet melody and modern sampled sounds over which Ligner puts in a mesmerising performance. Big, hypnotic and ominous metal riffs join the fray as the track inexorably builds towards its conclusion. Post-rock/metal influences loom large but it is the power of the driving central riff that carries the song wonderfully without ever fully succumbing to the explosion of sound that threatens to materialise. I’m not normally a fan of brass instruments in my rock music but Mattieu Metzger’s lead saxophone actually adds another positive dimension upon its entry towards the tail end of the track.A feature of Klone’s music is an impressively strong rhythm section, courtesy of drummer Florent Marcadet and bassist Jean Etienne Maillard. Both put in impressive performances but it’s Maillard that catches the ear most of all, thanks to some intricate and genuinely inventive bass work throughout the entire album. I could pretty much pick any song but just take ‘Fog’ as an example of what I’m referring to.‘Gone Up In Flames’ is the closest that Klone get to the mainstream thanks to a cheeky, almost up-beat melody. It is also here that the aforementioned grunge influences come most to the fore. ‘The Drifter’ has a demonstrable prog rock vibe that is vaguely reminiscent of the likes of Riverside and more recent output from Long Distance Calling. Once again the bass is prominent within a very atmospheric composition that benefits from a strong sense of melody and a clever use of shifting dynamics which allows the track to ebb and flow smoothly. ‘Gleaming’ is an instrumental piece that is heavily influenced by recent Katatonia, especially in the tone and delivery of the lead guitar lines courtesy of messrs Guillaume Bernard and Aldrick Guadagnino. However, despite its short length it covers a lot of ground including a brief dabble with ambient sounds.This ambient influence is largely understated within ‘Here Comes the Sun’ but is never far from the surface, meaning that many of the songs are interspersed with gentler, calmer moments to increase the sense of bleak drama that pervades throughout. ‘Come Undone’ is another personal favourite thanks to another gorgeous central melody whilst ‘Grim Dance’ is basically a monster that smoothly blends the best elements of the band and distils it into a single track. The original material is then concluded with ‘The Last Experience’. The longest track on the album, it is also one of the darkest and most claustrophobic, culminating in a post-rock crescendo which comes crashing down in a jarring and deliberately uncomfortable dystopian-esque blaze of static noise.Despite the bleak and grim visage, as the album concludes, I am also left with a vague sense of hope and maybe, going back to the title of the album, it’s here where the glimmer of the sun can be glanced. It may be fleeting and gone in the blink of an eye but it’s definitely there. And perhaps, therein lies the magic of this album. On ‘Here Comes The Sun’, Klone have combined brilliant songwriting, unfaltering execution and a willingness to experiment both musically and lyrically to create a collection of diverse, challenging and evocative soundscapes for the modern world. Highly recommended." - Man Of Much Metal
    $16.00
  • "For Flotsam and Jetsam, the heavy metal highway has been sprinkled with nails. First, the band's frontman Jason Newsted quit to seek his fame and fortune with Metallica. Then, after securing a major label deal, Flotsam and Jetsam were cajoled into toning down to appeal to the masses. Eleven years after releasing its classic album Doomsday for the Deceiver, the band returned to the label that signed it, writing more aggressive material than it had in years. High is a declaration of hate, brimming with full-fisted guitar riffs and head-bobbing beats--an unrestrained battle cry from a band that refuses to lay down and die." --Jon Wiederhorn
    $4.00
  • Domestic jewel box version includes the bonus track "I Wish I Could"."At the very least, THRESHOLD may well be the UK's answer to DREAM THEATRE; progging on since 1988, 2014 sees a follow-up to 2012's "March of Progress", titled "For the Journey". Their brand of Prog Metal (let's face it, every band does it differently) involves less of a focus on instrumental technical showy-offy-ness, and emphasizes the heaviness of individual riffs, and the soaring atmospherics and ambience."Watchtower on the Moon" is teetering on the edge between classic prog motifs, and spacey, futuristic, sci-fi permutations. Upbeat, with a (largely) followable jive, a strong, groovy riff carries the first half of the track, slightly downplayed to best put the vocals out there, and what stellar vocals they are. The blend of delivery of catchy hooks, power and diction, that programs the 'Prog' name with unadulterated listenability. Interestingly enough, as the song evolves, instrumentals are brought to the forefront, and the fabrics of time signatures are toyed with, allowing melodic interplay between guitar and keyboard to flourish. "Turned to Dust" is quite the heavy piece, if not the heaviest on the album; the riffs punch through with a percussive power belied by the flamboyant melody arrangements, and also happens to contain my favorite chorus on the album."Autumn Red" is a smooth, liquid display Prog excellence, the chisel struck by the juxtaposingly heavy riffs; the "keyboards from the 70s' used to great effect, perhaps raking up nostalgia in the PINK FLOYD fans among us. Lyric enthusiasts among us will be drawn to this track; as I perhaps didn't emphasize enough, Damian is the man for the job, delivering poetry into a new artform; pure, melodic diction that embosses the expansive tapestry set by the band. "Siren Sky" is easily my favorite piece; perhaps one of the more "metal" track on the album. The first instance of riffage surged forth tall waves of pure 'epic'. Never a dull moment on this track, the riffs prepared on the piece are emotive like no other on the album; I'm legitimately without words.Easily in my top 3 of this year's Progressive releases, it is no wonder that veterans of the genre are behind this mastery." - Metal Temple
    $11.00
  • "The Aristocrats by any measure the hottest new band in instrumental rock/fusion today rewrote their own rules for their third studio album, Tres Caballeros. After two fairly raw trio albums, guitarist Guthrie Govan (Steven Wilson, Asia/GPS), bassist Bryan Beller (Joe Satriani, Dethklok) and drummer Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani) set up camp at legendary Sunset Sound studios in Hollywood, CA, where Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Van Halen all recorded landmark albums. The result: Nine new compositions of greater sonic depth and breadth than ever before, with unique textures and lush layering augmenting the band s preternatural ability to improvise at the highest levels possible. But it s all still tempered with a steadfast refusal to take themselves too seriously, and The Aristocrats are still having more fun than a fusion band has any right to have. We ve learned a lot since we started this band four years, three studio albums, two live DVDs and about a billion notes ago! and I think our latest offering reflects this in all kinds of ways, says guitarist Guthrie Govan. The decision to road-test our new material in front of a live audience before commencing the recording process; the choice to record in a studio which had some thoroughly inspiring rock'n'roll "mojo"; our sudden urge to become more bold and experimental with overdubs rather than feeling any pressure to record exclusively in a strict trio format... all of this has had some kind of positive effect on the way the new record came out. Plus, I think the material on this album is some of the most interesting stuff we ve ever written for each other, so... here s hoping our noble listeners will like the finished product as much as we do! Deluxe Edition Bonus DVD Features 30min documentary w/exclusive individual interviews, studio & live footage Bonus audio (outtakes/demos) & group interview"
    $19.00
  • "'Hand. Cannot. Erase.' is the highly anticipated fourth studio album from Steven Wilson - four-time Grammy nominee and founder member of cult legends, Porcupine Tree.Hand. Cannot. Erase. follows the critical and commercial success of The Raven That Refused To Sing, released in February 2013, and a run of sold-out shows around the world including London's Royal Albert Hall. Steven will embark on an extensive 'An Evening With Steven Wilson' European tour in March & April 2015.Recorded at London's illustrious Air Studios, Hand. Cannot. Erase, reunited Steven with Guthrie Govan (guitar), Adam Holzman (keyboards), Nick Beggs (bass / stick), and Marco Minneman (drums), the spectacular band responsible for The Raven That Refused To Sing album and world tour.The album is presented in an elaborately designed 96 page case-bound book, with several additional inserts - including a diary, a sketchbook, newspaper cutting, a letter etc - featuring artwork by long-term SW collaborators Lasse Hoile (photography), Hajo Mueller (illustrations) and Carl Glover (design).Blu-Ray contents include hi resolution stereo & 5.1 audio (96/24 5.1 LPCM & DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), seven additional alternative versions, mixes & radio edits, half-hour studio documentary, studio sessions photo gallery.The album follows the critical and commercial success of 2013's 'The Raven That Refused To Sing' (Germany #3, UK# 28) and an international run of sold-out shows, including London's prestigious Royal Albert Hall.Joined by Guthrie Govan (guitar), Adam Holzman (keyboards), Nick Beggs (bass / stick), and Marco Minneman (drums) - all part of the world-class band that graced The Raven and the 2013/2014 world tours - Wilson recorded 'Hand. Cannot. Erase.' at the renowned Air Studios in London."
    $16.00
  • NOW AVAILABLE AT MID-LINE PRICE! 8th studio album finds the band stepping back a bit from the heavier tone of Train Of Thought. I might even go so far as to say that this is the band's lightest album although their prog roots are all over the place here ie. the 24 minute title track. So think of this as a better, more progressive version of Falling Into Infinity. NOW AVAILABLE AT A MID-LINE PRICE!
    $12.00
  • Phase - Midnight Madness is the third release in our limited edition Modulus series.  Pressed in an edition of 500 copies, it comes housed in a old school style tip-on mini-LP jacket.  A 12 page booklet features detailed liner notes from the members of the band.Phase was a New Jersey based quartet formed in 1978.  It featured Regan Ryzuk (piano, Moog, Celeste), Dave Anderson (electric and Anscor stereo guitar), Carl Scariati (Carl Thompson electric bass), and John Hvasta (drums/tympanis).  All members were young but highly accomplished musicians with a serious interest in jazz, classical composition, and progressive rock.  Their high energy instrumental music clearly demonstrated these influences.  The music of Phase can easily be classified as fusion but there are strong undercurrents of progressive rock that weaves its way through the album - not just in terms of the instrumentation or playing, but the compositions as well.The band signed a deal with QCA/Red Mark Records in Cincinnati.  The band left New Jersey and heading out to Ohio to record Midnight Madness.  The album was recorded and mixed very quickly.  It saw a release in 1979 and unfortunately sank without much of a trace.  Keyboardist Regan Ryzuk reissued the album two years label, rebranding and repackaging the release under the Fusion Quarter moniker.Hearing this music for the first time was quite a revelation.  I was blown away to say the least.  When I'm asked to describe the music I typically reply "Return To Forever meets Emerson Lake & Palmer".  Not only did this quartet have chops from hell but the compositions were challenging as well.  If you are a fan of RTF, Mahavishnu Orchestra or the prog giants ELP, Yes, Zappa, and PFM you will find much to enjoy here.Please keep in mind that when this edition sells out it will be gone forever.  
    $27.00
  • This was formerly known as the Full Power release.At the moment Big Big Train are one of the best prog bands going.  This English crew take some of the best elements of old school Genesis and their ilk and marry it with something very contemporary and relevant.  The band was started years ago by Greg Spawton and Andy Poole.  There were a variety of iterations of the band and as the years went on they got better and better.  If you don't know, their vocalist Dave Longdon was a finalist to replaced Phil Collins in Genesis.  Rutherford and Banks obviously made the wrong choice, going with Ray Wilson instead.  Longdon's vocals remind very much of Gabriela and Collins making the Genesis connection quite easy.  Further on the band added Nick D'Virgilio on drums.  These guys totally grok prog.The band's most recent work was epic in nature.  English Electric was released about six months apart as two separate releases.  Further to this, there were 4 additional tracks which were left off and just released as the Make Some Noise EP."Originally released as two separate albums in 2012 and 2013, the English Electric CD's were subsequently brought together as a limited edition (and now out of print) double album called English Electric Full Power, a release which included four additional songs and a revised track listing from the separate album versions.This new double album version of the English Electric CD's retains the extended track listing of the Full Power release and has been remastered by Rob Aubrey to ensure the songs benefit from even greater dynamic range. It is presented in a softpack with a 40 page booklet."
    $12.00