Ink Complete

SKU: MK1301
Label:
Mr. Kitty
Category:
Technical Metal
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Watchtower guitarist Ron Jarzombek's insane math metal sideproject.

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  • "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
  • "Code of Silence is the creation of Paul Logue, founder and bass player of Eden’s Curse, and friend James Murray. These two Scotsman had the idea to create a new melodic heavy metal band composed mostly of their country men. It almost worked out for them, three out of five ain't bad.Logue wrote the music and Murray contributed the lyrical themes (based upon history and legend of the Knights Templar), but also plays bass. They got Scots John Clelland and Scott McLean to play drums and keyboards, respectively. The two also pitched in on some songwriting. Logue and Murray turned to England for guitar, recruiting young prodigy Ben Randall, and to Brazil for the experience of vocalist Gus Monsanto (Revolution Renaissance, Takara, Adagio).The result is a rather stellar Dark Skies Over Babylon, 11 songs of classic melodic heavy/power metal. If you like the sound and direction of Eden's Curse, then Code of Silence will be right in your comfort zone. In other words, there's a perfect combination of heaviness, melody, hooks, and rock groove. Along side these things is very strong song composition, artfully merging the arrangement with every instrument. You'll hear these strengths the notable songs Dark Skies Over Babylon, Black Abyss, and Here to Heaven. For the some of that aforementioned hearty hooks and groove look to Sky Is Falling Down and Witches of November. Alternatively, Tame the Tempest may also have some slight prog metal nuances and Knights of the Crimson Cross delivers straight power metal. Fundamentally then, Dark Skies Over Babylon is a well-crafted and entertaining record of traditional melodic metal. Quite recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $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
  • "In case you’re actually a dog and I don’t know about it, I’m going to begin this endeavor with an explanation of why Leprous is so important. Leprous are a progressive metal band; they are extremely good and their last two albums (Bilateral and Coal) are among this decade’s best prog/avant garde releases. While Bilateral lead us into strange, trumpet-infested Mars Volta territory, Coal took a completely different approach, pairing exceptionally strong melodies with endless drones and subtle drumming that provided counterpoint for Einar Solberg’s unparalleled voice. Coal also bequeathed to the world the best song ever written, “The Cloak.” So The Congregation has some pretty grand expectations around these parts. Thus, contrary to his finite but arbitrarily large wisdom, and as a direct result of his finite but arbitrarily small amounts of spare time, Angry Metal Guy has deigned that I inform you of what you don’t already know, unless you have lived within a few blocks of me in the past few months, which is that The Congregation is pretty damn good.“The Price” introduces a post-Coal Leprous with an even stronger sense of melody but retaining a minimalist core. While Einar’s choruses are impossible not to fruitlessly pantomime, the song retains the measured drama and reductionist sensibilities that made “The Valley” the nine-minute epic that it is. “The Third Law” and “Rewind” retain these traits but are the album’s weakest tracks by far. They’re not boring, but come off as a bit superfluous, especially in an album that’s over an hour long. Luckily, “The Flood” turns things around, preluding a phenomenal mid- and late-album stretch. The song’s extreme repetition of a two-note anti-swing rhythm builds a prog metal lullaby over which measured crooning and burst of exuberant motion play out a complex game of tic-tac-toe.Of course, just like Coal, the centerpiece of The Congregation is its shortest and strongest song. “Within My Fence” gets better and better as it goes along riffing on its syncopated opening bars. Einar’s vocal performance is wincredible here as well, and even more enjoyable because of how perfectly it slides into the synth-heavy, mechanical march of the song. Also of note is Baard Kolstad’s contribution to the album; his drumming, though not quite as distinctive as Tobias ├śrnes Andersen’s on Coal, continues in the less-is-more vein that the last album established and is incredibly tight.After “Within My Fence,” the album cools off, but doesn’t perceptibly decrease in quality. It’s still infectious and emotional and cements Einar Solberg’s place as prog’s best vocalist – a well-deserved but easy win, given that Darroh Sudderth doesn’t seem to be active at the moment. My main issue with The Congregation is, unsurprisingly, its length. “Third Law,” “Rewind,” and “Triumphant” could have easily been cut from the album and it would be much better. The songs aren’t bad, but Leprous has a lot more to show off than these lukewarm affairs.While part of me is disappointed with Leprous‘s lack of editing here, the part of me that has listened to the album dozens of times has more sway over my decisions. The Congregation will give you just the scratch behind the ears you need after disappointing half-year of metal, and while it’s certainly not the equal of its predecessors, it wont tarnish the band’s growing legacy. Go fetch it." - Angry Metal Guy
    $13.00
  • Digipak edition - limited to 5000 for the world."Prophets Cynic are not, yet they did see the writing on the death metal wall around the mid-90’s, so that counts for something. At that particular point in time, the death metal scene was swelling to uncontrollable proportions, with creativity at an all-time low and labels signing anyone who could mimic Cookie Monster and palm-mute some diminished chords. Pair that with the then-burgeoning black metal scene, and death metal circa 1994 to 1997 essentially had no chance. As it stands, Cynic officially broke up in 1994 and formed the short-lived Portal, which is the point of discussion for this review.Comprised of the core members of Cynic’s Focus lineup (drummer Sean Reinert, guitarist/vocalist Paul Masvidal, guitarist) Jason Gobel, bassist Chris Kringel), Portal added vocalist/keyboardist Aruna Abrams, who was the benefactor of the band’s new-found “trippy” sound. And that’s really the defining term when it comes to Portal – they’re very light, not so metal or technical…just trippy and highly atmospheric.One could see where Cynic wanted to go with Portal for their eventual reformation album, 2008’s Traced In Air. The lush dynamics of “Endless Endeavors,” “Costumed in Grace,” and “Road to You” demonstrate the band’s ability to take prog rock and make it flow like a river, a cerebral river at that. Abrams’ vocals are suitably poised and reserved, blending in seamlessly with supple keyboard strokes and ambient uh, ambience. There’s a dearth of the progressive metal flair the band showed on Focus, as the songwriting mode of “Karma’s Plight” and “Crawl Above” showcase a jazzier, more free-form side to Cynic that was practically itching to come out a few years prior.Cynic’s new-age crowd might find something of value with The Portal Tapes, as it’s a direct reflection of Traced In Air and last year’s Carbon-Based Anatomy EP. The old death metal crowd that helped break the band won’t have anything to do with this, and methinks had they heard something like this in 1995, then they’d be running back to their Broken Hope and Monstrosity albums almost instantly." - Blistering.com
    $15.00
  • 2nd album of true metal from this band put together by noted metal producer Frederik Nordstrom. Band mates include Snowy Shaw (Mercyful Fate, King Diamond), Niklas Isfeldt (Throne Of Chaos, Hammerfall), and guitarist Gus G. (Firewind).
    $9.00
  • Intense music from this Sacramento based quartet that first began in 2007 as the brainchild of Sacramento guitarist Josh Burke, with the goal of writing music that would be atmospheric, melodic and progressive, with heavy, dark guitars and drums and an overall epic, emotional arc.A Fair Dream Gone Mad is melancholic metal cut from a similar cloth to Katatonia and Opeth.  Josh Burke sings in a clean and expressive style in contrast to the crushing guitar riffs that take ITS’s music much further into the metal realms than bands they are compared to like Porcupine Tree and Riverside but at the same time guitar takes center stage adding a nice proggy vibe.  A mesmerizing and emotional debut filled with tension.This is a new freshened up edition on Sensory Records.  It arrives in a digipak and has a booklet with lyrics. 
    $13.00
  • 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
    $12.00
  • The madcap French jazz metal trio return with their sixth album.  Morglbl consists of guitarist Christope Godin, bassist Ivan Rougny, and drummer  Aurelian Ouzoulias.  The band has toured extensively around the world – USA, Europe, Russia and even China!  They have shared the stage with Liquid Tension Experiment, Bumblefoot, and Umphrey’s McGee among others.These three virtuosos are also well endorsed clinicians and have developed a following individually but when they come together the fireworks really start.  Tea Time For Punks doesn’t deviate from the tried and true Morglbl formula.  Take equal parts fusion and crushing metal power chords, then inject a healthy dose of tongue in cheek humor and you’ve got the perfect Morglbl album. The band is often described as Primus meets Steve Vai and Allan Holdsworth, with flavors of Frank Zappa! 
    $13.00
  • 2CD edition comes with a bonus live disc recorded at the Loud Park 2010 festival."Taking a cue from where post-psychedelic and hard rock left off in the seventies before our hard rock heroes either went disco or into questionable directions, Spiritual Beggars’ picks up the pieces, just like Grunge did in its heyday; but adding a little more balls to the mix as an authentic force to be reckoned with. A supergroup featuring members of Arch Enemy, Opeth, Firewind, Carcass, and other extensions, the amped up sound of this Swedish powerhouse throws the pretentious mannerisms of out of the mix, gaining them a status that has created a solid dichotomy between them and many other stoner rock bands.Even as these guys are native to extreme and symphonic metal bands, the tunage gets to the point, reflecting Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult and early-Priest, as the heavy blues & R&B flavored upbeat moods have always raised the roof. Inflamed by grinding riffage and screaming Hammond organ, Earth Blues again sees Spiritual Beggars taking no retreat from their enigmatic rock and roll feast. The opening track “Wise as a Serpent” immediately spurs the dark groove into power pop territories, yet more intricate sides are heard on the multi-faceted “Sweet Magic Pain” & the dark 1-2 punch of “Kingmaker,” both offering up a salvo of to a Sabotage-meets-Agents of Fortune attitude. Without reckless abandon, these guys also explore a psych/funk mindset on “Turn the Tide,” plus you have “One Man’s Curse” which could have been a long last tune from Come Taste the Band.Even on the ballad “Dreamer” and the low key rocker “Dead End Town,” the band flexes their ideology the same way Zeppelin did at times; and that ideology is further expressed by way of  a set of live tracks on a bonus disc, proving they can hit the road with the attitude to kick ass. Still, whatever way you hear Spiritual Beggars, there will be no denying that their solid foundation of hard rock possesses intrigue, forgoing all the poser musicianship and letting the songs, the true grit of emotion, and the conviction to simply rock out speak loud for Earth Blues. Heavy, commanding, & sophisticated, Spiritual Beggars continue to map out their presence with bold, sharp, & gripping, metallic grandeur, affording no shame whatsoever." - Ytsejam.com
    $14.00
  • I can't remember a buzz on a band's debut since Circus Maximus.  Perhaps due to the album being released in Japan a year ago and its unavailability elsewhere, maybe because they are lined up to play ProgPowerUSA.  Whatever the reason the album finally gets a wide debut and it was worth the wait.  Damnation Angels is a British symphonic metal band fronted by a Norwegian singer.  He goes by the name PelleK and was a contestant on Norway's version of X Factor.  The band's stock in trade is epic sounding metal that pays a huge debt to Kamelot.  The instrumental passages take on the grandeur and scope of Nightwish.  PelleK does a sold job out front - he's obviously listened to a Khan quite a bit.  Highly recommended.
    $14.00
  • Prospekt are a British Progressive Metal band influenced by bands such as Dream Theater, Symphony X, Opeth and Circus Maximus, as well as film scores and fusion. Prospekt combine the fierce technicality of progressive metal with the symphonic elements of contemporary prog.From brutal riffs coupled with odd time-signatures, to majestic melodies, the principle of Prospekt’s music is to create an intelligent and atmospheric mix of melodic, modern progressive metal. Incorporating passionate higher ranged vocals, frenetic guitar work, haunting orchestration and solid grooves, every composition remains both interesting and original.The Colourless Sunrise was mixed by  Adam "Nolly" Getgood of Periphery and mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street.
    $13.00
  • New progressive metal band from Rochester, NY incorporating a variety of influences. The lineup is a bit in flux but seems to focus on guitarist Tony Vinci who displays some remarkable chops. The music shows diversity and not just Dream Theater worship, although it's clear they are one of the bands influences. There is a modern alternative vibe as well. This is a good start - they need to solidify their lineup and gig their butts off. Promising....
    $10.00
  • "With a concept about the Greek goddess Persephone, the Andorran band Persefone deliver probably the musical equivalent of a Greek epic in form of a melodic and progressive death metal album named Core. It should be noted that this album is seventy minutes long and have only three songs. Listening to this album in one sitting the first time hearing it, is not recommended, despite that the music is interesting. But regardless of that, how can Core be described? Broad, one way or another, it should at least have something that appeal to most. That does not mean it is recommended for most. But enough of that. What is going on here?The first thing you will hear is a piano, or keyboard more correctly. To be honest, there is not much to say about it. It adds some flavor to a lot of sections throughout the album, but could perhaps be left out without damaging the music overall too much. The piano parts however, are the only thing the keyboard should be doing, the rest feel a little tacky. The guitars pick the pace up, and creativity. These can go from chugging to spastic and alternating riffs, be fast or slow, and help color the music a lot, setting a specific landscape for everything else. The bass guitar is another thing that cannot be said so much about, once in a while, it can be heard, but for most of the time, it seems nonexistent. But when heard, it seem to follow the lead of the guitars. Nothing very impressive, but nothing too bad either. The drumming however is great. There is a lot of force behind them, and the general playing is nothing less than laced with rhythms, sometimes complex and sometimes just simple. But overall, they add a dynamic feel to the music that is vital. Finally are the vocals, that come in a variety of styles, from screaming, growling, roaring and just clean singing. In addition to these styles, are also the female vocals that drop by sometimes, and these are the most enjoyable as they break the monotony of the rawer male vocals.With the mixing, things are overall very good. But the the biggest problem is the drowned bass guitar that can barely be heard in the middle of everything else. The production is fairly good, but can perhaps be a little too gritty for this type of music. As for the musical delivery, it comes in an array of emotions to set the mood, going from aggressive assaults to mournful funerals, along with more hopeful feels. The songwriting is quite good, with each song loaded with sections that demand your attention, whether being aggressive or slow, catchy or perhaps a little jazzy. And yes, that happens a couple of times, with some jazzy delivery, but these are spaced out far too uneven than say the more aggressive sections. There are however some places in between here that really lack anything noteworthy. And those, while they do not occur too often, are quite dragging.But speaking of the length of the album again and the number of tracks, it is hard to imagine Core being a nine track album, but with so few tracks divided on such a length, it can become a little tedious and bothersome. So as mentioned, you should not listen to the whole album in one sitting. Give it time and be patient, and it will pay off.Persefone have done a tremendous job with Core. It is through and through entertainment, though it does lack a little from time to time. But in the end, it does deliver a rather impressive narrative." - Metal Archives
    $17.00