Pandora's Piñata

“Diablo Swing Orchestra could be Tim Burton’s dream band” – Outburn

“Diablo Swing Orchestra are a Swedish band straight out of a Tom Waits nightmare. They sound exactly like their name suggests, making dirty, raucous swing, updated with some punky power chords, but the operatic Swedish vocals and nearly death-metal growls separate the band from the swing revivalists of the late ’90s. Definitely not the kind of band one would expect coming out of a Scandinavian country. But hell, there’s no rule that says creepers and fuzzy dice don’t go well with Viking helmets.” – Lost At E Minor

The music of Sweden’s Diablo Swing Orchestra is unlike any other group on the planet. Their music is an eclectic mash up of metal, opera, swing jazz, tango, and spaghetti western soundtrack. DSO is fronted by the glass shattering voice of Annelouice Wolgers, a metal queen at night but an actual opera singer by day.

The band’s third album, Pandora’s Pinata, finds the band expanded into an 8 piece lineup with the permanent addition of two horn players. The new album is a smörgåsbord of different levels of musical insanity building on the foundation laid down on their previous album, Sing Along Songs For The Damned And Delerious.

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  • Domestic release. One of two new albums released by Edguy's Tobias Sammet under the Avantasia moniker. Similar to what Arjen Lucassen does with his Ayreon projecdts, Sammet brings together some of the best vocalists and musicians from the metal world to create an over the top symphonic power metal concept album. Featured vocalists include Russell Allen (Symphony X), Jorn Lande (Masterplan), Michael Kiske (Helloween), Tim Owens , Klaus Meine (Scorpions), Andre Matos, Bob Catley and others. Featured performers include Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer (Kiss), Oliver Hartmann, Alex Holzwarth. Curiously, the second volume is called Angel Of Babylon and is not yet scheduled for a US release. We hope to have the import in stock soon.
    $13.00
  • The band's fifth album was a brilliant amalgam of Beatles influenced pop and classically influenced progressive rock. I still get a rise out of hearing "Fire On High". This remastered edition comes with five bonus tracks which are a bit dispensible alternate mixes.
    $5.00
  • This was a pleasant surprise and frankly a return to form. "Room V" is actually a sequel to 1998's "Tyranny" and in many ways betters it. I find the album to be a bit laid back - by Shadow Gallery standards. I would say that this leans more towards the prog rock side rather than metal reminding me of a heavier version of Glass Hammer although lots of similarities to Dream Theater are evident. The album is filled with warmth, perhaps due to the emphasis at times on keyboards. So this one straddles the line between symphonic rock and progressive metal doing both with panache - this one is easily recommended.
    $12.00
  • Fifth album, remastered and remixed by Dave Mustaine. Comes with 4 bonus tracks. For those of you concerned...these are import versions that are copy-protected by EMI.
    $12.00
  • New 2 CD reissue of the classic first album to feature Anneke van Giersbergen (chronologically speaking it was the band's third album). The bonus disc contains rare b-side tracks, a load of unreleased demos and the video to "Leaves".
    $13.00
  • Termo Records reissue program of the White Willow catalog continues.  This remastered edition features new artwork and liner notes as well as 4 previously unreleased bonus tracks.Seven songs of melancholy and mysticism... White Willow's music embraces gothic, folk and classical elements within a progressive rock framework. The second release from Norway's White Willow carries on in the tradition of their debut Ignis Fatuus. Joining founders Jacob Holm-Lupo and Jan Tariq Rahman are new members Frode Lia, Sylvia Erichsen and Anglagard's Mattias Olsson. Also returning is engineer Jo Wang who's audiophile approach to recording has once again created a sonic masterpiece. Ex Tenebris features a dynamic mix - from moody quiet instrospection to heavy symphonic pyrotechnics. Perhaps more personal and focused than Ignis Fatuus, yet the album offers a more mature sound. Clearly one of the finest progressive rock bands currently recording.
    $16.00
  • Numbered limited edition hybrid SACD of this late 80s Rush title.  The key here is in the mastering.  Kevin Gray is at the controls and he does a consistently great job.  I would expect this to be the definitive digital edition.
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  • New end of days Christian themed project put together by Neal Morse's drummer Collin Leijenaar. He's put together an interesting lineup. Spock's Beard/Enchant's Ted Leonard handles the vocals (he's amazing as always), Mike LePond of Symphony X is on bass, as well as German guitarist Daniel Fries. There is no keyboardist so Leijenaar enlisted a bunch - Alex Argento, Jordan Rudess, Neal Morse, and Derek Sherinian. Transatalantic producer Rich Mouser mixed the whole thing. As you would expect the whole shebang is all about the apocalypse and its wrapped up in this epic sounding amalgam of progressive rock and metal. Lots of shredding solos on guitar and keys. These guys need to take it on the road before they run out of time!!
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  • "Can it be possible that we've got to 2014 without me ever having heard a studio album by Lazuli? Yes, ladies and gents, that is possible, I can assure you. Whilst I vividly remember Lazuli live in Tilburg some years ago in 2007 at the Symforce Festival and actually finding them making a huge impression with their live performance, I simply never got around to either buying nor listening to their studio albums. Shame on me for not doing so. More so as I now fully realise what I have been missing in music for quite some years. What a joy it was to hear the Lazuli sound again and now on a new album as well.For days Tant Que L'Herbe Est Grasse has been spinning its rounds in many CD players, be it in the car, at work or on my home system. Opener Déraille with its environmentally engaged lyrics gets on its way with a fine rhythm and very varied sounds and immediately draws you deep, deep into the world that is Lazuli's. I must add that Dominique Leonetti's passionate singing and the way his vocal lines, to these ears, are almost an instrument in their own right set them apart from many other bands. It may just be that you get drawn to listening to the lyrics even more and try to understand them that much better.Une Pente Qu'On Devale has the slightest bit of a Marillion vibe that reminds me a wee bit of the feel of their semi-acoustic tracks like Man Of A Thousand Faces, yet this is more modern and Lazuli rock out towards the end. There's also some fine, fine soloing in there too.Homo Sapiens just grabs you. It's more ballsy and reminds a bit of Riverside whereas the second half of the song tips its hat to latter day Fish, that is before the band start again and we get a fine Léode solo. The Fish vibe also appears to shine through on Tristes Moitiés and L'Essence Des Odyssées, yet it is not that these songs make Lazuli sound a 100% like everyone's favourite Scotsman; not at all, yet there is a comparison in sound that, to me, flows back to the Raingods with Zippos days. Fish himself features on J'Ai Trouvé Ta Faille where he gets to sing in the second part of the song. Another fine song on this very fine album, but there is plenty more to hear before we actually get to that one, the eighth song on the album.What Lazuli have delivered here is an album rich in sound and where all band members get to shine, be it individually yet moreover in how much this album is a band effort. On first listen you might find that the songs are just songs, but their build has more to them than appears on first listen. This is an album that grows each and every time you hear it. There are parts that are prog, world music, folk rock, storming out and out rocking moments and they are all brought together in this album. As I once more listen to Tristes Moitiés Lazuli again fully draw me into their realm. What is it that makes albums present themselves as ever growing in beauty? The textures, the soloing, the intricate drum and percussion parts that get to you more and more with each and every listening session. I dare say that this album has all that and, as already mentioned, there is the great singing!Multicolèlere, a play on the words "multicoloured anger", speeds things up once more and shows a heavier Lazuli. This whole song very much gets to me and perhaps there's another bit of Riverside, but let's just cut to the chase; this band sounds every inch like Lazuli should. And there is only one way to find that out for the not yet initiated and that is to just go and listen to this fine gem of an album. Don't think you can do like me and miss out on one of the finest prog bands around - why should you? You'd be missing out on real beauty. And yes, listen to this album all the way through, you won’t find that hard at all as J'Ai Trouvé Ta Faille is another beauty as is the closing song, Les Courants Ascendants, the only song to reach beyond the 6 minute mark. But count that as an asset that Lazuli have to their songwriting; they succeed in writing compact songs that are all very varied throughout the album." - DPRP.net
    $15.00
  • "Here's an unusual progressive-rock project. Spearheaded by drummer François Bernatchez, Qwaarn isn't just the name of a band with members rotating in and out as needed; it's also the main character in the sci-fi-meets-real-world story spanning Aberrations and its predecessor, 2004's The Word of Qwaarn. While some of the Canadian band's influences from that debut album remain on Aberrations (including Genesis and Yes), the new disc is being billed as a "pop-gressive" record by its label, Unicorn Digital, with echoes of The Beatles, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Tears for Fears and The Cure. Didier Berthuit often sings with a heavy accent, and his lengthy carnival-esque soliloquy on "The High Muckity-Mucks" grates after only a few seconds (even though it's meant to be satirical). Guitarists Antoine Bernatchez and Martin Bleau, however, evoke David Gilmour on tracks like "Privilege" and "Dream in Am," and their warm, acoustic material also helps set Aberrations apart from some of the other artists on Unicorn's roster. While the Middle-Eastern flavor of the murky alt-rocker "Mr. Lotto" unveils another side of Qwaarn, the epic "Did You Say Salmon?" proves this collective is first and foremost a progressive-rock band. A bit of an odd progressive-rock band, but a progressive-rock band nonetheless." - sea of tranquility.com
    $15.00
  • Fourth album from this Norwegian band is a near perfect blend of power and progressive metal. Each successive album has been better than the previous one - this one tops 'em all. Killer vox, crunch that is off the charts, blasts of synth and stellar production is the best way to sum of this monster. This is the 2 CD limited edition. It comes with 6 bonus tracks, mpeg video, wallpaper and other stuff. Grab it while it's available at a great price.
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  • "After some high profile releases and particularly impressive ubiquity, the ex-DREAM THEATER / A7X drums God Mike Portnoy is back again with his new musical partner the magnificent Bass Maestro Billy Sheehan (NIACIN / TALAS / DAVID LEE ROTH / MR BIG / STEVE VAI / PSMS), under a power trio format, completed by none other than one of the most gifted Guitarist of his generation once Sharpnel Records alumni Richie Kotzen but this time no instrumental trickery, no instrumental knitting, because Kotzen beside his absolute skilled six strings wizardry is also indeed an hell of a fantastic soulful singer and a very underrated vocalist of the best brand. This is a  supergroup, a Dream Team hell yeah…but mostly a great band.With such a busy time schedule for both workaholics Portnoy & Sheehan, we could have feared a fast almost sloppy affair, luckily with this first album is exactly the opposite. Sheehan & Kotzen were working many years together with MR BIG and in fact the sound of THE WINERY DOGS isn’t that far from what Sheehan, Paul Gilbert , Pat Torpey and Eric Martin have magnificently achieved.The album start with groovy 70s infused blast of “Elevate” and followed by the heavy Funk flavor of “Desire” each track feature an intense rhythmic groove with short but impressive unison synchronized lead bass / lead guitar whirlwind licks of exuberant virtuosity, some unexpected harmonies that coming out of the Jazz-Rock / Rhythm N' Blues recipe book owned by Kotzen, but every song carries most of all a strong focus both on the catchy melodies and on the sing-along hooks which are everywhere boosted by rich Backing vocals (“The Other Side” or “The Dying”) really magnetic & irresistible. Those who are familiar with the prolific superb Kotzen’s discography knows that he’s an hugely skilled songwriter with a lot of style in his arsenal, so THE WINERY DOGS debut album is out of the same tradition as THE MOTHER HEAD'S FAMILLY REUNION, “Not Hopeless” contains however some over the top sharing duo between Richie & Billy, in the real MR BIG's shredding frenzy fashion, like a modern day GRAND FUNK RAILROAD with full injection of high tech dexterity.Cuts like “One More Time” or “Six Feet Deeper” seems to be outtakes from the breath taking 1990s “Fever Dream”, with furious playing and great musicality concentrated for an even more efficiency. The Japan only bonus track, “Criminal” is strangely one of the most commercial song with an almost AOR chorus, a syncopated bridge and another outstanding lead guitar solo spot in two parts with a tasty sound. The closing number “Regret” is the sole composition handled exclusively by Mr. Kotzen: it’s a soul music track with slight Hammond layers and a real harmonious balanced to finish this album in a positive way. The pristine production is powerful and crystal clear, still organic with a strong vintage feel but not muddy, in fact it sounds like how Classic Rock in its purest form should sound in 2013. Just unadulterated genuine Rock played by an exemplary bunch of extremely talented musicians and it’s an understatement.After an imposing huge list of albums and projects under his belt, Mike Portnoy with the help of another all-star lineup show to the incredulous crowd of jealous fellows, how his playing field is broad and how he can multiply in an almost monthly omnipresence the recording with the same prestige and the same success as FLYING COLORS / NEAL MORSE / PSMS / ADRENALINE MOB and the forthcoming BIGELF." - Metal Temple
    $14.00
  • Remastered with 2 bonus tracks."Over the course of their first three late-'70s albums, Foreigner had firmly established themselves (along with Journey and Styx) as one of the top AOR bands of the era. But the band was still looking for that grand slam of a record that would push them to the very top of the heap. Released in 1981, 4 would be that album. In producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange -- fresh off his massive success with AC/DC's Back in Black -- guitarist and all-around mastermind Mick Jones found both the catalyst to achieve this and his perfect musical soulmate. Lange's legendary obsessive attention to detail and Jones' highly disciplined guitar heroics (which he never allowed to get in the way of a great song) resulted in a collaboration of unprecedented, sparkling efficiency where not a single note is wasted. "Nightlife" is only the first in a series ("Woman in Black," "Don't Let Go," the '50s-tinged "Luanne") of energetic, nearly flawless melodic rockers, and with "Juke Box Hero," the band somehow managed to create both a mainstream hit single and a highly unique-sounding track, alternating heavy metal guitar riffing, chorused vocals, and one of the ultimate "wanna be a rock star" lyrics. As for the mandatory power ballad, the band also reached unparalleled heights with "Waiting for a Girl Like You." One of the decade's most successful cross-genre tearjerkers, it has since become a staple of soft rock radio and completely eclipsed the album's other very lovely ballad, "Girl on the Moon," in the process. And last but not least, the surprisingly funky "Urgent" proved to be one of the band's most memorable and uncharacteristic smash hits, thanks to Junior Walker's signature saxophone solo. Through it all, vocalist Lou Gramm does his part, delivering a dazzling performance that confirmed his status as one of the finest voices of his generation. Three years later, Foreigner would achieve even greater success on a pop level with the uneven Agent Provocateur, but by then Jones and Gramm were locked in an escalating war of egos that would soon lead to the band's demise. All things considered, 4 remains Foreigner's career peak." - All Music Guide
    $5.00