Unloved Toy

Unloved Toy

BY Pinkroom

(Customer Reviews)
$13.00
$ 7.80
SKU: CFCD003
Label:
Creative Farm
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Its been almost 4 years since the band's phenomenal debut.  Since that time the duo of Mariusz Boniecki and Marcin Kledzik have expanded into a live gigging quartet.  I'm pleased to say that in terms of their music the band has not lost any momentum.  The same influences are still present - you will hear the imprint of Porcupine Tree and King Crimson.  The title of the album is a bit of a giveaway - this is not uplifting music.  It is filled with noir-ish, melancholy atmosphere.  Emotion filled vocals ride on top of Crafty guitarwork.  The technicality is there but you have to listen for it.  Think of a head on collision between In Absentia and Discipline and then take it one step beyond.  Clearly Pinkroom does it again.  BUY OR DIE!

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  • "I suppose naming your band Standing Ovation could be considered more than a little pretentious. What if you played your music and nobody gave you one? I don't think this Finnish band will have that problem. Their first full length album, The Antikythera Mechanism is a fine collection of progressive metal.Yet, their progressive metal doesn't necessarily fit into the traditional mold. Sure they owe a debt to peers like Dream Theater or Symphony X, but there's a more reckless modern feel to their sound. Also, the music is both equally dense and technical. For example, on I Have Superhuman Powers, a clever tune, every player weaves their part with assertive intensity and skill, sounding nearly in bitter competition with each other, but only complimenting each other. And you get much more of this throughout The Antikythera Mechanism.Conversely, With a song like Break the News the intensity and complexity takes a back seat to what can only be described as simply heavier melodic rock. Then there's humorous Hey Ho! which sounds like a pop rock song tricked out with heavy power progressive metal. It's curious and compelling, speedy and intense, and crazy catchy. For more conventional progressive metal the three part The Antikythera Mechanism may be the best example, mostly in first and third parts. Part 2 can offer some of that aforementioned rushing dense intensity, notably in the second half of the song.Standing Ovation's style of progressive metal on The Antikythera Mechanism is compelling and challenging and, therefore, mostly entertaining. Exactly the things a prog metal fan wants. Recommended."
    $15.00
  • "here have been many waves of thrash metal in the course of the past three decades. The whole scene started in the early ‘80s with the Big Four—Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax—and the numerous American and German thrash bands that followed them. In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, as thrash started to fade, the second wave began, with less-prominent American thrash bands and German bands attempting to keep the scene alive while the Big Four stagnated or lost relevance. In the late ‘90s, a new wave of thrash bands from Europe, led by the Haunted and Darkane, took on the mantle of thrash revivalists, helping to bring the scene back.Now, in the last five years, a whole new group of young American thrash bands have attempted to bring back the old-school thrash style of the ‘80s with their fast, technical play and raw production. Bonded by Blood is one of the bands in this fourth wave of thrash, and its debut Feed the Beast showed a lot of promise. The band’s sophomore effort, Exiled to Earth, upholds the high standard Bonded by Blood set for itself and even sees the group surpass it in some ways.Exiled to Earth is unique in that it’s a concept album, which is incredibly rare to see in thrash. The album tells the story of an alien race known as the Crong, who come to Earth intent on conquest. A group of warriors must fight back against the Crong to regain control of the planet and save the human race. Almost none of the veteran thrash bands ever attempted to create a concept album, so seeing one of the young bands do that shows a lot of maturity and inventiveness. The concept only exists in the lyrics, so it doesn’t distract from the music in any way. However, it also makes the lyrics even more interesting to read and memorize, for those who enjoy doing such things.Musically, Exiled to Earth is a throwback to the glory days of thrash in the early ‘80s with just enough young energy added to make it sound fresh. This will make the album a big hit among both diehard thrash veterans and newcomers to the genre. Guitarists Alex Lee and Juan Juarez channel the best parts of Slayer from Reign in Blood and Seasons in the Abyss, from the lightning-fast solos to the impossibly tight riffing. Vocalist Jose Barrales is a dead ringer for Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth of Overkill, using the same high-pitched, urgent delivery of the veteran. Drummer Carlos Regalado and bassist Jerry Garcia keep the rhythm section together from start to finish, reminding listeners simultaneously of Ton Hunting from Exodus and David Ellefson of Megadeth.In short, Bonded by Blood has created a titanic record that raises the bar for all of its contemporaries. The other young thrash bands have held their own up until this point, but Bonded by Blood is now the first one to step out and make a statement. Exiled to Earth shows all doubters that this band is the real deal, capable of playing with the veterans as well as its peers. Expect to hear more great things from Bonded by Blood in the future." - Pop Matters
    $5.00
  • "If you think back to bands such as SixTh then this genre of ultra tech/ djent has been around for some time, however, with bands such as TesseracT, Periphery and Meshuggah perhaps bringing it more to the public eye and out of the groove Metal shadows, it can be no real surprise that more and more bands are coming forward with their own take on what, at the end of the day can be a very difficult style of music to get right.Nothing wrong with that I hear you say, and providing it’s done well, I quite agree.Monuments début album “Gnosis” nails it in a number of ways, yes, we have the jarring riffs that really set this genre apart from most others but we also have that increasingly rare commodity called melody. You can sometimes be technical for technicalities sake but Monuments deliver an album that strikes a near perfect balance between an overriding ambition to push the boundaries even further, and maintaining a level of accessibility for the listener.Tracks such as “Doxa” for example really encapsulate the bands sound in a nutshell, “Blue Sky Thinking”, with its beautiful mix of aggressive and clean vocal, and my personal album highlight “97% Static”, which lends a fantastic, dreamy, atmospheric feel to the ear.Lyrically, the album is quite political in it’s content, with the overall message of think for yourself and not to follow other peoples train of thought, which in a way could easily describe the band themselves.A début release this may be but it has been many years in the concept forming and song writing to get to this stage.Guitarist, John Browne has assembled a fine group of musicians together to realise his dream, non more so than Matt Rose on vocals who has an unnerving gift of moving from the hard edge sound and then to meander seamlessly across the spectrum to deliver some really uplifting melodies.Top of the tree they may not be just yet but on the showing of this highly impressive work, it must surely only be a matter of time." - Planet Mosh
    $12.00
  • "Freaks is the third release from Qoph, a Swedish psychedelic rock band on Transubstans Records. Basically, all I needed to say was Transubstans Records and most of you regular readers of SoT would have assumed this band was from Sweden and played in a retro style, and you of course would have been correct. Qoph are comprised of Filip Norman (guitars), Rustan Geschwind (vocals). Federico de Costa (drums), and Patrik Persson (bass), and together they lay down some interesting sounds here on Freaks.Imagine a cross between The Doors, Led Zeppelin, and early Soundgarden and you have an idea of what to expect with Freaks. Trippy, fuzz toned guitars permeate "Hearts & Sorrows" and "In Your Face", while the crunchy "Ride", with its heavy riffs and squealing saxophone, comes across like a midnight jam session between Soundgarden, Jimmy Page, and John Coltrane. Geschwind's vocals are a cross between Chris Cornell, Robert Plant, and Jim Morrison, very expressive and fitting every aspect of the bands music. Some of the mellower, more haunting songs such as "Seconds & Minutes" and "Feverland" work quite well too, and " The weirdness to come" even has some space rock elements mixed in with the heavy arrangements. The most adventurous track though might be the lengthy closer "Remedy", complete with jam-like guitar patterns and mysterious sax explorations, a must hear for any fan of psychedelic rock.Solid stuff here on Freaks, a very enjoyable album that will certainly appeal to psych lovers of all ages." - Sea Of Tranquilit
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  • Iron Mask is the power metal band led by Belgian guitarist Dushan Petrossi. You may know him from his other band Magic Kingdom, although I would hard pressed to understand the musical distinction. Petrossi worships at the feet of Malmsteen and Romeo - total neoclassical bliss for those interested in this sort of thing. Mark Boals is front and center solidifying the Malmsteen comparison. The dude can certainly blow that's for sure!
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  • CD/DVD in a digibook.  The DVD is the complete show and the CD maxxes out due to the time limitations."In May 2012 Anathema released Weather Systems, the most acclaimed and successful album of a career that has spanned over two decades. The album scored high in numerous critics end of year polls around the world and cemented their reputation as one of the most exciting and progressive bands around. Following the release of the album, the band embarked on a lengthy world tour. The European leg of the tour opened with a triumphant one-off show at the ancient Roman theatre of Philippopolis with the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra in September 2012. Directed by celebrated filmmaker Lasse Hoile, Universal captures the magic of the event ."
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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
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  • Musician/producer Billy Sherwood has been milking his association with Yes for years. Now he's collaborating with exploitation label Cleopatra Records on a new project. Cashing in all his prog rock street cred in one shot, Sherwood has created a "supergroup" of sorts, although I doubt any of these people were ever in the same room together during the recording of this album. I'll give him credit - its an impressive list of contributors..."The idea of assembling a collection of amazing artists from the progressive rock genre all on one record was an especially exciting concept to me. Inspired, I began writing and recording the 7 songs that would become this album. I then sent those recordings out to some of my friends and musical heroes from bands like King Crimson, XTC, Asia, Gentle Giant, and of course my former band Yes. Soon, I started receiving vocal tracks and guitar and keyboard overdubs from studios all over the world, which I then mixed at my recording studio in Los Angeles. Despite the distances in geography, however, the feeling of the entire production is one of musical and spiritual unity - The Prog Collective! - Billy SherwoodThe biggest super group of Progressive Rock players ever assembled!Features performances by John Wetton (Asia), Tony Levin (King Crimson), Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra), Richard Page (Mr. Mister), Geoff Downes (Yes/Asia), Alan Parsons (Alan Parsons Project), Chris Squire (Yes), Rick Wakeman (Yes), Gary Green (Gentle Giant), Annie Haslam (Renaissance), Steve Hillage (Gong), John Wesley (Porcupine Tree), Tony Kaye (Yes), Colin Moulding (XTC) and more!"
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  • First time on vinyl - now spread out over 6 sides of beautiful 180 gram vinyl.  Comes with the album on 2CDs as a bonus."A legendary band in their own right, The Flower Kings have been at the forefront of progressive rock since their formation in 1994 by guitarist, vocalist, composer, astronaut, chef and veteran nut head icon Roine Stolt. Dedicating themselves to producing a strain of prog they like to call symphonic rock‘, they incorporated classical music, movie soundtracks and both jazz, ethno, blues and seventies metal elements to much success - and building themselves a dedicated fanbase in the process over ten studio albums before taking a break.After a triumphant return to action in 2012 - following an almost 5 year hiatus, The Flower Kings released "Banks Of Eden" in the summer of that year to a brilliant reaction from fans and critics alike. In celebration they toured the world for the better part of a year, visiting locations including Europe, Japan, Russia, Israel & USA. The following year the band hit the road once again, this time with old friends Neal Morse & Mike Portnoy to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of label InsideOut Music, where they played a hugely successful prog extravaganza to packed venues across Europe and the US.Never ones to rest on their laurels however, The Flower Kings immediately entered Fenix Studio in Sweden to start work on the recording of a brand new album. Recorded "live" in this classic, but modern, studio and on reel to reel tape, the album features a glut of grand vintage keyboards such as Hammond B3, Mellotron M 400, Fender Rhodes, Minimoog and a whole host of Tube amps.The band even decided to try a new approach to writing and recording, assembling music on the spot and arranging it as a team.The result of this wonderfully collaborative effort is an epic 10 song cycle entitled ‚Desolation Rose‘; an album that revolves around some of the more disturbing observations of mankind's failure to create the paradise they once hoped for – and the greed, fear and ignorance that caused that failure. The scenario is an observation by an angel who resides in a mysterious tower, looking down on all this ongoing perpetual insanity, yet unable to reach out and help.The band is very much back to their cinematic and melodic symphonic rock best, but with a heavier edge no doubt honed while on tour for the past year. The 10 songs contained within are to be heard as a sequence and the lyric thread is wonderfully cinematic, but again it is more of an observation that works both as a whole or as separate parts. It might be considered one of their most focused efforts to date, such is the impact the tracks have on the listener from the very beginning. From the opening 14-minute tour-de-force that is ‚Tower‘, right through the moody swagger of ‚White Tuxedo‘ and beyond, this album sees the band crafting what might be their most varied album yet.The Flower Kings are truly back where they belong, at the beating heart of the modern day progressive rock scene, and ‚Desolation Rose‘ is testament to their continued vibrancy, sonic potency and determination to keep the music driving forward."
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  • How many of you remember Tritonus?  Back in 1995, there was a Norwegian sampler CD called simply "A Gathering of 8 Norwegian Progressive Metal Bands".  Besides Spiral Architect, Trivial Act, and Manitou there were other bands that managed to score record deals.  Most of them disappeared.  Tritonus was on the sampler.  Despite having some of the strongest material on the CD the band never signed with a label, and despite years of trying, never released any material.  Band leader/virtuoso guitarist Carl August Tidemann would time to time mention that Tritonus was working on its debut, but after almost 2 decades everyone pretty much took it with a grain of salt.  Well...better late than never!If you've been listening to prog metal for a long time you know that the sound has changed a bit over the years.  Tritonus' debut turns back the hands of time.  This is a stunning example of prog metal the way we used to know it.  Stunning musicianship with plenty of jolts of technicality.  At this point, the lineup has changed over the years.  In addition to Tidemann, Tritonus now consists of Rolf Kristensen (vocals), Ole Devold (drums) and Thor-Axel Eriksen (guitars).  Lots of guests contribute (my guess is many of these were past members).  Keyboards (courtesy of Circus Maximus' Lasse Finbraten) tend to be put to good use - you hear the occasional solo but mostly its there for texture - the twin guitars weave together with incredible proficiency and dominate.  I have to point out the vocals of Rolf Kristensen.  This guy is amazing!Its a shame that its taken so many years for Tritonus to release this.  Its quite a great album and in a way it makes me a bit sad.  Had it come out 15 years ago, they could have easily risen through the scene.  We are lucky we have it.  Is it closure for Tritonus or the opening of a new era?  Let's hope for the later.  They deserve a better fate and damn I'd want to hear more music from them.  BUY OR DIE!
    $15.00
  • CD version of the live show from Katowice, Poland in 2005. Basically the audio soundtrack of the DVD previously available. Digipak - supposedly a limited edition.
    $9.00