Eternity (2LP Vinyl)

SKU: VILELP434
Label:
Peaceville Records
Category:
Doom Metal
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2LP reissue of the band's classic 1996 comes with 2 acoustic bonus tracks.  This is where the Pink Floyd influence really starts to creep in.

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  • Fourth studio album from Leprous reinforces the fact that they are one of the most innovative and cutting edge bands working in the prog metal idiom.  The music of Coal has already kicked up a bit of controversy from the early listeners.  The music isn't quite as angular and frenetic as Bilateral.  Atmospheric passages similar to Tall Poppy Syndrome are perhaps a bit more prevalant as well.  All in all it's clearly identifiable as Leprous.  Ihsahn guests on one of the tracks - don't forget Leprous is his backing band.  Nice guys - great band.  Highly recommended."Considering Leprous‘s previous album Bilateral is considered by many to be a masterpiece of progressive metal; Norway’s Leprous had a tall order in front of themselves. Coming up with a followup to such a critically acclaimed and beloved album is no doubt a daunting task. Despite that, after two long years of waiting, Leprous have conjured the successor to Bilateral, and it’s called Coal. Usually, when bands release an album after their magnum opus, the result is either a “version 2.0″ of the previous album, or it’s a return back to the normal style of the band. Leprous have taken a bold turn instead, and they have reinvented themselves. Coal is clearly a Leprous album, carrying all their trademark touches, but it’s also very fresh and unique.With Bilateral, the band were clearly rooted in a sound that has been defined by the big names of progressive metal. By applying their characteristic syncopation, moody riffs and singer Einar Solberg’s haunting and powerful vocals, they were able to perfect an already existing sound. With Coal, the band have taken a different direction. The album is very dense, emotional, and quite avant-garde at times. While there are some more traditional songs similar to Bilateral, there’s also an air of neo-80s on some songs, while others carry some characteristics of modern Scandinavian indie bands. Longtime fans of Leprous will definitely see the direction that has been present since the band’s inception, but listeners who know of them only via Bilateral might be slightly confused. In the end, Leprous have always been about mood, and Coal is oozing with it.In terms of structure, Coal is more similar to Tall Poppy Syndrome than Bilateral (but not too similar to either in the end). The songs are slow burners, setting up a mood, then deliberately building on it until overwhelming the listener with the climax. Everything is very subtle, the production making every hit of every instrument matter. Each song is an exercise in building an atmosphere by slowly adding layers to form a very powerful sound. Einar Solberg is at his best here, he has taken his voice to the next level. He was already an amazing vocalist, but Coal sees him becoming a master of expression. There are many progressive metal bands nowadays with clean singers who can hit insanely high notes and execute amazing melodies. But what is often lost is the soft touch, the control over timbre that makes one’s voice special. Einar is a master of timbre, and he uses his abilities to their full extent in Coal. While this is an album about the big picture and constructing an ambiance with the convergence of all instruments, his unparalleled vocal skills definitely deserve a special mention, because he is what hammers down the emotions and makes this album so special.As mentioned before, Coal is a deliberate album, where attention is paid to every instrument. And the production, by Ihsahn (who also has a stellar guest appearance on the closing track), is perfect for this. Especially of note are the drums, they sound very real and quaint. The intimate feeling of some of the songs can directly be attributed to the unconventional drum sound. The drumming has also taken a turn for the more subtle, with small flourishes and cymbal runs building tension in the more atmospheric sections of some songs. The bass is also clearly audible and adds to the sound. The guitar work isn’t as flashy as Bilateral for the most part, but it also has more character because of that. It should come as no surprise to longtime followers of the band, but Leprous are masters of doing more with less, and all of the instruments reflect this. Another production detail worth noting is the presence of keyboards. The keyboard work is more prominent now. In Bilateral it was used mostly to add some extra layers to parts driven by the guitars, but here the keyboards form the building blocks of the sound. This is perhaps what sets the album apart from Leprous’s previous work, the heavier focus on atmosphere and a dense aural landscape. This might be disappointing to some who preferred the more direct approach of Bilateral, as Coal is less “metal”, but the more developed sound suits the band.In terms of songs, Coal is a very diverse album. The first three songs and the closer can be interpreted as a direct evolution of the band’s sound from their previous work, then there is the extremely moody and emotional masterpiece “The Cloak”. This is where the album takes a turn for the introspective, as the rest of the songs are quite experimental and ethereal. Overall, the album has a very clear journey with a defined start and end, and it works quite well. Some of the later songs can feel like they last half a minute too long, but the deliberate pacing of the album makes more sense as is.In the end, it’s hard to deny that Coal is yet another masterpiece by Leprous. The songs ooze character and deliberation. Coal is expressive, emotional and brave. It might not be what everyone expected after Bilateral, but Leprous have defied expectations and raised the bar again." - Heavy Blog Is Heavy
    $14.00
  • "In 2012 Katatonia released Last Fair Day Gone Night on vinyl (and vinyl only), which is a live compilation of shows the band played in 2011 and includes a performance on the band's 2001 Last Fair Deal Gone Down album in its entirety. Now the band will be releasing the same set on September 30 via Peaceville Records, which will also include two DVDs! One of the DVDs will be footage of the shows from the audio CD above and a second DVD will be a 20-year retrospective for the band.While the music portion is pretty damn good, I'm interested in the retrospective and to hear the band chronicle their history! Especially how they went from being a band playing stuff like Dance of December Souls to what they are now. A lot of that history is readily available online, but hearing the stories from the group will really bring it to life!"
    $20.00
  • "Devin Townsend - fully 30 records into an astonishing career - has now just raised the stakes in the form of a new double album combining Ziltoid The Omniscient’s triumphant return and the follow-up to the critically acclaimed “Epicloud!” Feasting upon Z2 is akin to immersing oneself in the arcane creases of the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT catalog, bludgeoning heaviness and angelic melodies living under the cathedral of Devin’s more contemplative solo vision. The effect is lush, full- range, cinematic, and expressive. Addressing the creative tension between the two discs, Devin explains “...it’s DTP...the ‘humans’ against Ziltoid, and it’s a battle of sorts...The DTP and Ziltoid side of my writing has evolved to where this statement was necessary and undoubtedly inevitable. The battle between the two seems like a great way to priced to the next chapter of my work. It’s a backdrop for something that hopefully engaging for people. I hope that the point that I’m trying to make with Ziltoid and the metaphor behind it, isn’t lost in just a sea of absurdity.” Guest musicians include Anneke Van Giersbergen (solo artist, ex-THE GATHERING) and Chris Jericho (WWE star, FOZZY) as Captain Spectacular! Also featuring the "Universal Choir", 2000 voices strong, the biggest choir on a metal record ever!"Limited edition 3CD digipak with bonus disc and special artwork.
    $20.00
  • "This, Primordial's third full-length, was their first real masterpiece, and where the transformed from the noisy, woodsy Black Metal of Imrama into the epic pagan beast they have become. Leaving behind the generic sound of older works, these Irish forged their own sound and have never gone back. Opening with the odd intro, with Nemtheanga intoning the lyrics like a manifesto while the war-drums pound, the band launches right into the monumental "Gods To The Godless" like a declaration of war. "I have one desire/ let it be/ a Plague upon your lands/ a Plague upon all your houses/ it is my wish to enslave all your people/ the soil enriched with their Blood." Huge riffs, thundering rhythms, and Nemtheanga's powerful, emotional vocals. The mastery never slows, not with the power of "The Soul Must Sleep" or the massive "Children Of The Harvest", and the album's centerpiece, the blazing bonfire of "The Burning Season". This is a more melodic album than the dark and angry The Gathering Wilderness or the dense, epic To The Nameless Dead, but it is no weaker for any of that. There is a repressing that also contains the other three tracks from The Burning Season EP plus a re-recording of "To Enter Pagan". Normally I decry bonus cuts, but these fit right in with the rest of the album both compositionally and recording-wise, and so they are like adding another 30 minutes of awesome to this already grand album. This is a magnificent work by one of the great bands when they were just hitting their stride. Essential." - Metal Crypt
    $15.00
  • Special 2CD tour edition comes with a bonus Acoustic Sessions CD featuring 4 new interpretations, plus "Anathema" recorded at Liverpool Cathedral."It’s been quite a past few years for the incredible Anathema. Honors have been bestowed upon them, they’ve released an instant classic album in “Weather Systems”, and last year they released one of the best live concert films I’ve ever seen, “Universal”. Anathema is on top of the world, and they are only getting bigger. With all of this on their shoulders, they approach the world once again with their new album, “Distant Satellites”, a fitting name for a massive album. Again, with all of their recent success creating huge expectations, can this band meet such critical reception? Needless to say, Vincent Cavanagh on vocals, Danny Cavanagh on guitar, Jamie Cavanagh on bass, John Douglas on percussion, Daniel Cardoso on drums, and Lee Douglas with her wonderful vocals were all up to the challenge.“Distant Satellites” is a very different album from “Weather Systems”, or anything else they’ve done, for that matter. It is different, yet somehow instantly familiar. It includes everything that makes them Anathema, but adds new and exciting elements to their already excellent formula. If you’ve never heard Anathema, their formula (in their last few albums, anyways) includes soaring guitars, amazingly catchy melodies, spiritual lyrics, and emotional flow both vocally and structurally. They are the masters of melody, and they remain complex and progressive even while being simple and accessible. They are truly masters of their craft.This new album, then, is no different in those terms. The melodies return in force, such as the serene beauty of “The Lost Song” parts 1-3. And, yet, there is something different here. The melodic lines are somewhat more complex, less in-your-face, and more organic. This especially shows in the song lengths, most of them being over five minutes. This allows for more growth and more progression. Indeed, then, the melodies on “Distant Satellites”, while not being as instantly lovable or recognizable, are certainly more difficult and possibly will have a longer “shelf life” in my mind. Yes, the orchestrations seem to be lower key, as well, allowing the vocalists to express themselves more personally then ever.There are other improvements, too. I feel that the musicianship is more fervent and on a higher plateau of difficulty than Anathema has tried. Drummer John Douglas, especially, plays amazingly well from start to finish, accenting the music with awesome pounding and fills. The rest of the band are at their peak, too, with Vincent and Lee being especially great with emotional and meaningful vocal performances.“Distant Satellites” is different in more meaningful ways, too. Utilizing post-rock/metal structures is nothing new for Anathema, but they really do perfect them here, as on “Dusk”, a dark, climactic song. Yet, there is a sense of continuity between tracks, too. This is obviously the case between the three parts of “The Lost Song”, but it’s also apparent throughout the album, as if Anathema is telling us a story, convincing us of our true selves and our connection with the universe and with each other.This album is wonderful in the first half, but my excitement reached new heights in the second half. Anathema has taken it upon themselves to change things up a bit. They wanted to progress their sound, but make it all seem so natural. So, in the second half, the album climaxes with one of the best songs, simply called “Anathema”. But then, we are thrown for a loop somewhat, as “You’re Not Alone” features a hefty portion of electronic vibe. It’s great, but the best is still to come.Next, “Firelight”, a darkly ethereal instrumental track that is completely electronic, is thrust upon us, and is followed up by what may possibly be the best song Anathema has ever produced, “Distant Satellites”. This track combines everything that has ever made Anathema great: soaring melodies, climactic structure, gentle spirituality, amazing vocals, and now an electronic beat that is both complex and catchy. Vibrant, mesmerizing, and pure, this track elates me every time I hear it. It takes this album, and my heart, to new heights. The album finishes with a gentle ballad that just seems so fitting, yet it still has the strong electronic influence.So, is “Distant Satellites” a winner? In every way! Is it their best album? I don’t know; it has the potential, but it might take time, just like “Weather Systems” did. What I can tell you is that this new album is more mature, more progressive, more interesting and eclectic, and less formulaic then anything Anathema has crafted yet. It does sacrifice some accessibility and some instant likability for these things, but I respect their decision massively, and I fully expect to see “Distant Satellites” at the tops of many lists at the end of 2014." - Progulator
    $14.00
  • "The first DVD by Primordial is a fact and the band delivers something really good. When all bands would release a DVD this way, the medium DVD could be very interesting for the record industry.‘All Empires Fall’ consists of two discs of which the first one contains the complete show that the band did on January 24th 2009 at the Button factory in Dublin in front of 800 fans. Quite a good number for a gig in Ireland. The show was recorded with five cameras and has been edited in a great way that is easy on the eyes. Some minor criticism is that at some points it’s perhaps a bit too dark. They probably used a filter making it all a bit darker, which fits the band of course but is a bit tiring after a while. Concerning the choice of songs there’s no complaints, every album is represented.The second DVD is perhaps the most interesting for the fans as it contains the complete history of the band, they tell it themselves with al the ins and outs. Really good to watch. This disc also contains songs from the shows at Ragnarok Festival in Germany, Hove Festival in Norway and Graspop in Belgium. From the last two mentioned w only get a couple of tracks and I guess that has a bit to do with the sound recording of these gigs that aren’t too good. Other than that this is a great DVD of which there is even a special edition containing two CD’s with the complete live show of the Dublin show in audio." - Lords Of Metal
    $14.00
  • Watchtower guitarist Ron Jarzombek's insane math metal sideproject.
    $12.00
  • "Not many tunes delivered by bands from my southern neighbors, within the borders of Germany, are haunting my mind during these grim and frostbitten cold days of wintertime. Only melodies of Andy Kuntz & Co from prog metal act Vanden Plas, and one of last year’s best prog metal debuts “The Old Man and the Spirit” created by Beyond the Bridge are still able to cradle me to sleep. The question is then how the hell has prog rock/metal act Dante gone unnoticed by my eyes and ears so many years? That is still a mystery to me. I guess it’s time for some changes now. After watching the official trailer of the full album “November Red” describing it as “A New Masterpiece of Progressive Music” and getting my face slapped by words like Power, Passion, Epic, lyrical, Progressive and Breathtaking, I have packed my gear and ready for a great adventure into their musical universe. Will you follow me on my musical adventure? I’ll leave that up for you to decide, but if this has sparked your curiosity, then please keep on reading our fellow reader. You will not regret…Let us start from the beginning. Seven years ago guitarist & bassist Markus Berger, who sadly passed away early this year (R.I.P. metal brother), teamed up with his longtime friend Markus Maichler on keyboards & piano, and created prog rock & metal act Dante after playing around with some of their own musical ideas in Berger’s own studio. Two positions were still left open, so they recruited vocalist Alexander Góhs (former frontman of Berger’s previous act “Twelve”) and drum machine Christian Eichlinger to complete their crew of musicians in control of this new German prog machinery. With some fine tuning of this machine based in Berger’s recording studio, they unleashed after two years their self-produced & self-financed debut “The Inner Circle”, which was applauded and met with great respect by many metal reviewers all around our globe. Same year bassist Michael Neumeier was hooked up, and took over the bass duties of Berger, and then became a permanent member of the band. Two years later in 2010, and the sophomore album “Saturnine” saw the light of the day, released by their new label ProgRock Records, continuing the success of the band. The following year bassist Michael decided to leave Dante, and they welcomed guitarist Markus A. Bader on board their prog metal flagship instead, and Berger returned to his old role as the bass player of the troop.So finally here they are, welcoming 2013 with their long awaited third craftsmanship entitled “November Red”, ready to quench the thirst of many progheads out there…My great adventure through the challenging musical landscapes created by Dante has sudden come to an unexpected end after counting more than one hour of total playing time. It was a continuous bombardment of my ears with strange & complex rhythms, tempo changes, awkward time signatures, mellow passages, gorgeous 70’s styled keyboard sounds blended with heavy and crunchy guitar riffs and solos, all complemented with symphonic influences to make it an interesting and pleasant listening experience. Maybe they borrow some ideas from legendary prog titans Fates Warning and Dream Theater, but arresting them for being a copycat would not hold up in court. It’s a roller coast ride through the whole album, and each of the seven songs is molding our ear wax as different as night and day. The opener “Birds of Passage” is a soft and mellow introduction, whereas the following song “The Lone And Level Sands” is exploring the more heavier and aggressive sound of Dante. “Beautifully Broken” is walking on a total different path, and is the only ballad song included. It’s a melancholy song told with beautifully and mesmerizing piano melodies and by the voice of Alex singing with great control and emotion in his preferable low to mid range registers. Fourth song, and the star of the show is “The day That Bled” a tune delivering myriads of shades and musical colours for you prog enthusiasts to delve into. Next on the list is the song “Shores of Time” following in the footsteps of its predecessors, followed up by the softer and slower song “Allan”. The title song “November Red” is the final destination of our journey, and closing of with a big bang. It’s the epic of the album, delivering some of the most heavy and aggressive moments, broken up by mellow passages.Production-wise, this is wrapped into a high quality package, and the musicianship is first class, but it still suffers in the vocal department. Vocalist Alexander Góhs would not be my first choice in the front seat of a traditional prog band, because of his lacking range and dynamics in his vocal performance. He knows his weaknesses and strengths, and mostly stays in his comfort zone the low to mid range registers, and then actually becomes quite enjoyable. His voice definitely takes time to get used to, but is one of the band’s signature sounds for better and worse.So let’s cut to the chase. The latest creation “November Red” delivered by Dante is not a quantum leap forward for progressive music, but they still have a huge and very unique distinct sound of their own. It’s a moody and melodic progressive music experience, and if your ears find comfort in listening to the likes of Fates Warning and Dream Theater, then don’t let this release slip through your fingers. “November Red” takes time to grow on you, but stay open-minded, and it will bury itself deeper and deeper under your skin. It’s definitely one of those progressive bands I’ll keep my eyes and ears locked on too for many years to come." - Power Of Metal
    $15.00
  • "Primordial are a band who need no introduction. I’m sure you’ve read that in plenty of reviews, but I can’t think of a better candidate to which that statement applies (for those who know them, at least). Their consistency is admirable, their passion is unmatched, and their brand of inspiring epic folk metal is almost unfailingly awesome. Everyone well-versed in the outfit's discography already knows this, but if there is one Primordial album that always seems to get lost in the shuffle of the band’s most celebrated releases, its Imrama. In fact, from some of the talk I’ve heard there are people who almost dismiss this record as “formative,” and not up to par with the bands following efforts. I for one can’t comprehend this viewpoint; this debut lives up to the band’s high standards with authority, and possesses a gloomy atmospheric quality that stands out from anything else this brilliant collective has graced us with.In fact, fans that grew attached to the band during the Gathering Wilderness/To The Nameless Dead era may be surprised at how dark and genuinely dispirited Imrama sounds. Don't get me wrong, Primordial have always walked a downtrodden path, but never again would they sound so grim and cryptic. The atmosphere created here is very hard to put into words; at times, it’s triumphant (“Let The Sun Set On Life Forever”), at others it’s downright frightening (“To The Ends of the Earth”). Primordial has never been a black metal band, but this is definitely the closest they’ve come, and while this record doesn’t sound too far removed from the rest of the band’s discography style-wise, it’s the delivery that sets it apart.The opening trio of “Fuil Arsa,” “Infernal Summer,” and “Here I Am King” quickly dispel any notions that Primordial were still finding their footing at this stage. The incredible power that these musicians are able to summon through their fairly simplistic compositions is a rare gift, and while the production on Imrama is a tad murky, the quality of the songs speak for themselves. Instrumental dynamics are reigned in beautifully thanks to the superb drumming of Simon O'Laoghaire (easily one of metal’s most underrated drummers), and Nemtheanga’s trademark blend of fiery aggression and elegant singing is instantly recognizable and unquestionably formidable even at this stage. His increased use of blackened screams sounds right at home with this album’s depressive vibe, and his unrestrained passion never fails to be compelling even when his voice doesn't take center stage.Metal Blade really nailed this re-issue, too. The artwork and packaging is beautiful and the band’s debut demo, Dark Romanticism, is included along with some great old concert footage. The band’s first four albums will apparently all receive this treatment in the near future, and if they all look this nice, it could very well be worth it for die-hard fans to plunk down the cash. Bottom line: don’t let Imrama pass you by. It’s a great look at the roots of one of modern metal’s greatest bands, and an excellent record in its own right." - Metal Review
    $15.00
  • After a 10 year absence Enchant are back.  The band started in 1993 making them one of the earliest prog metal band.  Actually they are sort of an interesting band in that they seem to exist in both the prog rock and prog metal realms.  Some metal fans think of them as a bit lightweight and some prog rock fans think they are too heavy!  One thing is for sure they are wildly successful.  This is definitely prog but it never loses sight of the melody.  Fronted by the great Ted Leonard (who is now doing double duty with Spock's Beard) this one is a no-brainer - whether you are metal or prog head.  "irst impressions are the similarities to Spock’s Beard. Hardly surprising since Ted Leonard has been singing with them since 2011. He’s been with Enchant longer; their first CD came out in 1993. And familiarity doesn’t breed contempt here, fortunately.Bay area progressive rockers, they steer a straight course composing guitar-structured songs that they extemporise over. Guitarist Douglas A Ott is also the band’s main producer, with The Great Divide having been recorded at his own studio, but if in the past the band’s followed his direction they’re now more involved after a ten year gap working on other projects. Also, while integral, Ott doesn’t dominate Enchant’s sound but flows in and out adding a hard rock bias to their generic musical flavouring. Drummer/percussionist Sean Flanegan and bassist Ed Platt have the solidity of early Kansas and musically there are some pretty snazzy and often too brief keyboard solos from Bill Jenkins.A rolling cyclical bass line forms the basis of opening number ‘Circles’ with Leonard pondering life going round well, like a circle – while the lyrics aren’t profound they feel right and though this isn’t a concept album, despite the band stating otherwise, there are common themes concerning the human condition in a loosely existential manner. Mainly straight verse and choruses ‘Circles’ breaks out into more complicated time signatures before an acoustic comes to the fore, vocals return, an electric guitar take over and it concludes with a nicely warm keyboard solo. ‘Within An Inch’ follows with a steady rock backbeat over which Ott’s playing echoes Camel’s Andy Latimer interrupted briefly by some John Ellis punk-styled sirening. ‘The Great Divide’ follows suit in a more epic manner, the arrangement akin to Genesis in their golden period.Enchant don’t play with the fairies, despite what their name suggests. If anything they’re two steps removed from an AOR sound leaning in towards early Asia with some latter day Beatles thrown in, and a less grandiose take on Spock’s Beard. One might refer to them as technically proficient rather than emotionally overwrought, meaning there is a heartfelt flavour to their songs, and they tend to grow on you.The subdued opening to ‘Life In A Shadow’ throws a brief curveball echoing the Canterbury sound of Hatfield & The North before a heavy chorded chorus takes this into a rocking tune with soulful harmonies. ‘Deserve To Feel’ pours on the technical drumming and dribbling triplet bass figures with some flashy pyrotechnics predominantly on guitar but with keen keyboard flourishes, moving into a more intricate musical score as Jenkins and Ott trade inspired lines towards its conclusion. Likewise, ‘Here And Now’ builds reflectively moving towards emotional drama.Finely composed, played well, Enchant’s The Great Divide might not have you falling under its spell, but you may well be surprised how you find yourself being drawn to playing it." - The Midland Rocks
    $13.00
  • Its been decades since The Gathering would be associated with the metal genre so look elsewhere if you are expecting that.  Afterwords is a bit of a hodge podge release.  Its a follow up to last year's Disclosure.  It features re-recorded/deconstructed versions of material from that album as well as new tunes and tracks that were on the Afterlights EP from 2012.  The album also features a guest appearance by founding member Bart Smits, sounding quite different from how he did in the early days of the band.
    $15.00
  • Since the release of 2013’s In Crescendo, Kingcrow toured North America in support of Pain Of Salvation, and headlined a European tour.  Kingcrow kept busy in 2014, touring Europe with Fates Warning and at the same time crafting the material that would become Eidos.“Eidos” is a new conceptual album about choices, consequences, dealing with regret and disillusion. Their earlier album Phlegethon dealt with childhood and In Crescendo about the end of youth.  Eidos can be considered the third part of a trilogy about the path of life. Musically it sees the band exploring new territories and pushing the extremes of its complex soundscape with a darker atmosphere and a more progressive attitude.Describing the band today is quite a difficult task, but one could state that the influence of such artists as Porcupine Tree, Riverside, Opeth, Anathema, Radiohead , King Crimson and Massive Attack are all present in the music of Kingcrow.With each release Kingcrow has taken a step further away from their original roots as a classic metal band and is now one of the most personal and exciting bands that Italy has to offer.
    $13.00
  • "When multiple members of a sextet juggle recording and touring responsibilities for known entities such as Kreator, Turisas, and Moonsorrow, rest assured that new studio product isn’t going to hit the streets for a little while. Finnish progressive melodic doom/death metal act Barren Earth face their biggest challenge though to date beyond scheduling issues since their beginnings in 2007, as their third full-length album On Lonely Towers represents the vocal debut of Faroese native Jón Aldará – for Swallow The Sun requires Mikko Kotamäki’s full attention at this point in time.To those unfamiliar to this band’s approach, these musicians offer up a heavy slice of Scandinavian death/doom, while also injecting a love of 70’s progressive rock in a lot of their piano/organ passages, spirited instrumental sections, and outside the box epic arrangements or left-field saxophone use. Early on they may have been considered sons of Opeth meets Amorphis, but not anymore. When they choose to be straight ahead doom in the closing sections of “A Shapeless Derelict”, the mid-range operatic bellows and evil heavy riff combination are classic Candlemass trademarks. Sami Yli-Sirniö and Janne Perttilä excel at layering guitars plus emotive, meaningful lead sections as the supplementary keyboards, bass and drums move in an alluring cadence that you can’t help but be swept into its melancholic majestic splendor – even at a close to 12 minute timeframe as in the title track.Jón can gurgle from the swampiest lands (check out his Christian Älvestam register on the culturally adventurous “Set Alight”) but deliver these chill bump clean textures that recall the best work of Dan Swanö on “Howl”. And take a microscopic aural approach to the saxophone passages during “Sirens of Oblivion” – exotic, jazzy and occasionally syncopating to the churning guitars (2:36-2:51) but then free flowing in a lighter, progressive context during the subsequent instrumental section.Barren Earth stands head and shoulders above a lot of the progressive doom/death pack because of their solid songwriting chemistry and ability to never push technicality over the limit to lose the human feel that makes On Lonely Towers special. Given North America’s proclivity to applaud foreign metal over much of the domestic product these days, you would be wise to add these 9 cuts to your playlist immediately." - Dead Rhetoric
    $12.00
  • "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