Specter, Fate & Fable

SKU: MP-02CD
Label:
Private Release
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Second album from this New York based prog trio.  The band is heavily influenced by early period Rush but elements of Yes and Kansas pop up as well.  The album highlight is the near 18 minute epic "The Eternal Spring".

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  • 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.
    $27.00
  • Fourth album from this outstanding jazz metal band from Hungary getting outside exposure with their signing to IQ's Giant Electric Pea label.  Special Providence started out their career as a pure fusion band - not unlike Tribal Tech and Return To Forever.  With their third album, Soul Alert, the band injected a heavier metal presence primarily in the guitarwork.  Essence Of Change carries on from Soul Alert in terms of heaviness and the use of distortion but at the same time there is clearly more of a jazz/fusion emphasis in the writing.  This gives us a nicely balanced sound that has a lot of cross over appeal.  Liquid Tension Experiment and Morglbl fans will love this and I expect open minded fans of RTF and Mahavishnu will enjoy hearing the young kats update the sound they developed in the 70s.  Expect a non-stop assault of laser beam synth solos and blistering distortion laced guitar solos.  Yeah this one hits the sweet spot and after many future spins I suspect this will sit at the top of their already impressive discography.  BUY OR DIE!!
    $15.00
  • For reasons beyond my comprehension this German six piece band is being lumped in with Graveyard and Witchcraft.  Yes this is a retro sounding band and hard rock is one of their primary influences and yes there is an occult theme running through the album.  I hear much more of a 70s hard rock sound.  Think in terms of Uriah Heep, Lucifer's Friend and Deep Purple but also some undercurrents of bands like The Devil's Blood.  There is Iommi-type riffing that turns up so I guess that's the Sabs influence and the connection to those Swedish bands.  I'm digging the swirling organ sounds. "Orcus Chylde are a band with a sound that is very hard to categorize. Parts Doom, Pysch, Prog Rock, Proto-Metal mixed in with a delicious 70's Occult Rock feel.They are part of the new breed of Doom Rock/Metal that is starting to make waves through the rock world. They have just released their astonishing debut S/T Debut album. An 8 song and 48 minute blast of out of this world psychedelic riffs.The album is expertly produced and played by everyone involved.If your a fan of 70's Hard Rock Bands such as Led Zep, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple then your going to love this. It takes the music from that era but adds some cool modern Doom Rock riffs to truly stand out from the crowd.This album feels like a greatest hits collection of this great band rather than their debut album. All of the songs  are great especially - The Day The Seventh Angel Came, Valley Of Thorns, Over The Frozen Rivers.All showing what this great band does so well. Paying homage to great bands past and present but putting their own spin on things. Such as the sublime vocals of vocalist Tobias and the Organs. The organs add a dream like quality to their music. Some times unsettling but altogether original and fucking superb.This album is receiving a whole lot of praise all over the place. And rightly it should. As it's Orcus Chylde's callling card to the world of Hard Rock/Doom Metal that a truly important band has arrived on the scene. And that they are here to stay for a long, long time.Long May It Continue. An outstanding album by a great band from our German Brothers.If you want a truly operatic theatrical doom rock/metal album full of original ideas and riffs then I recommend you check this excellent band now. You would be mad to miss out this excellent album." - The Sludgelord Blog
    $15.00
  • Of all the Yes albums that needed a remix this is the one that needed it the most!"Relayer (1974) is the third in a series of remixed and expanded Yes albums.Presented as a double digi-pack format in a slipcase with booklet featuring new sleeve notes by Sid Smith, along with rare photos and archive material, the album has been remixed into stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound from the original studio masters by Steven Wilson and is fully approved by Yes.The DVDA also contains the original album mix in high-resolution, and a complete alternate album running order drawn from demos/studio run-throughsRestored artwork approved by Roger Dean, the release of which coincides with the 40th anniversary of the album’s original late 1974 appearance."
    $20.00
  • Maschine is a new British band led by guitarist Luke Machin.  You may know him from his work with The Tangent.  Maschine sounds nothing like that.  The music is contemporary prog rock with some heavy influences.  I would be hard pressed to call this metal.  The star of the band, front and center, is Machin himself.  He displays prodigious abilities as a guitarist...as a vocalist not so much.  That's pretty much the chink in the armour for this album.  Machin's vocals are not his strong suit.  He would be better off handing the job off to someone else and concentrate on what he does best - bringing the shred.  This isn't to say that this album is a wankfest.  Nothing of the sort.  Its actually quite tasteful and there is a good balance of keyboards and flute in support but I keep waiting for Machin to let loose with a solo and when he does he brings the goods.  His background as a graduate of Brighton Institute is apparent - the compositions reflect his knowledge of jazz, classical, and yeah metal.  Its all good stuff but the man needs to stay away from the mic.This is the US jewel box edition that has the same two bonus tracks as the German import digipak.  Other than the packaging the music is identical.
    $12.00
  • Sound Of Contact is a new band put together by Simon Collins and session keyboardist Dave Kerzner.  Yeah - Simon is Phil's son.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree - Simon plays drums and he also sings.  His voice is eerily like his dad.  At times virtually indistinguishable.  The music follows a similar path to Phil's work with Genesis and solo.  Parts of the album are pure prog - in fact the album closes with a killer 19 minute epic called "Mobius Slip".  Other parts of the album exhibit a poppier more commercial side.  I don't think of the album as a pop album - its a prog rock album.  Kerzner provides some very interesting keyboard work - lots of intricacies through out the album.  There is that commercial element that reminds me of Genesis in the 80s.  With his voice sounding so much like his father, Simon will always be cursed with being compared to Phil.  That's a fact.  Overall I think he's come up with an interesting album that fans of more contemporary progressive rock will enjoy.
    $12.00
  • "Andy Tillison, the mastermind behind The Tangent, isn’t a wet-behind-the-ears newbie when it comes to the world of prog rock. He knows he’s taken a risk with the band’s new album, Le Sacre Du Travail, but ten years of leading the band on its journey and seven albums to show for it have given him the strength and courage to present something decidedly different in today’s world of prog.Spurred on by the growing resurgence of progressive rock to do something unexpected that stands outside the box, he zeroed in on the idea of creating an orchestra suite in the spirit of artists like Camel and Deep Purple’s dearly departed Jon Lord. The naysayers might consider the new album to be too far afield from what’s considered prog rock these days, but The Tangent enjoys a broad international fanbase that respects the fact their heroes are bent on being as big and bold and as adventurous as the people who originally started the progressive rock movement off in the late ‘60s.“Big and bold” i this case doesn’t mean loud and in-your-face. On the contrary, Le Sacre Du Travail serves up everything from ‘70s rock to smoky blues to jazz to classical music. Given the conceptual nature of the record, Tillison sees it as a soundtrack without a film.“Hopefully that's what I'm getting across with this music,” says Tillison. “I want to give the music the excitement I felt when I first started hearing classical music. That’s why I got into progressive rock music; hearing classical music as a child, I used to be off and away imagining pictures and scenes and telling myself stories to go along with it. What I wanted to do was tell those stories to somebody else with my own music.”Le Sacre Du Travail is, in brief, a story about 7 billion people that all have the same name; “You”. The Tangent wanted to put the listener into the picture, having decided that if they were going to present this story, it had to be something that absorbed everyone on a familiar level.Tillison: “We avoided the concept album idea for a really long time, and finally we’ve done one. Most of the lyrics came pretty easily; I never wrote them down, I just sang what I felt, lots and lots of different things. I had many takes and many ideas, so I had to go back and pick out the best ones, and eventually I got the idea of what I wanted to sing about. It came out very naturally.”Looking back on The Tangent’s catalogue, Tillison – who started his musical career writing punk songs and pays tribute to that era on a the bonus track ‘Hat (Live At Mexborough School 1979’ – admits that The Tangent’s evolution is something of a surprise. At the same time, given that he’s had a decade to refine his craft as a prog artist, “I knew this was coming.” Looking back on his roots, Tillison knows exactly what influenced the outcome of Le Sacre Du Travail“The obvious influence is one of the very first progressive rock albums ever made: The Days Of Future Past by The Moody Blues. They had the idea of breaking a day into pieces and running through it on the album. It must have been there in the back of my mind, although I must say I probably haven't listened to that album in 30 years. I never really thought about it while I was recording, but at some point I realized I was doing the history of a day with an orchestra and a rock band. Deep Purple’s Concerto For Group and Orchestra was a big influence, and at the same time Roger Waters' Amused To Death album is definitely in there.”“We know we’re taking a risk,” Tillison adds. “Some people will go ‘What the hell is this?’ because it’s a big piece of music to get into and you have to find your way around it. But that’s where I want to be; on the leading edge of progressive rock music.”"US jewel box edition with 3 bonus tracks. 
    $10.00
  • So here's my personal confession...after Neal left I felt that Spock's Beard lost their way.  Nick is a fine vocalist but there was something quirky about Neal's writing that had a reverential old school quality that I found lacking.  The albums didn't grab me.  Nick left and Ted Leonard took over on vocals.  Whether it was Enchant or Thought Chamber, he's always stood out and he fits Spock's Beard quite well.  The new drummer Jimmy Keegan slipped into the blend with no dificulty.  The result is (to my mind) a resurgence from this band.  Ryo Okumoto always puts on a show - in particular his heavy reliance on Hammond organ reminds me quite a bit of Steve Walsh.  In fact the sound of the whole album has a Kansas vibe. Coincidentally David Ragsdale guests on one track.  I'm not sure I can remember the last time I said this about a Spock's Beard album - Highly recommended."Very few bands are so recognizable that you know who you are listening to within 2 seconds.  That is all it takes at the beginning of the first track on The Oblivion Particle to know you are listening to Spock’s Beard.  There is no slow buildup or keyboard swells, just straight BAMM!, here we go.  And if the opening notes don’t get you, the organ 5 seconds in will.  The band’s 12th studio album, this one the second with singer Ted Leonard and drummer Jimmy Keegan, is a culmination of years of perfecting a sound and identity, one that not even 2 major lineup changes could fracture. With this new album, Spock’s Beard up their game again and show that this lineup is here to stay.If there was a track that defined what Spock’s Beard are, it might be the opening track, “Tides of Time.”  There are certain checklist items that mark their sound and they are all in this track.  The organ, the harmonies, the acoustic breakdown, the rocking middle and the epic ending.  Each member finds their moments to shine on this one and it provides a jaw-dropping sound overload that could leave one satisfied at that moment; only there is another 60 minutes to go.The album zigs and zags through a few more experimental moments, mixing in some surprises with more traditional Prog elements.  The album’s second track and first single is “Minion”, is a perfect example.  The opening a cappella harmonies provide the sort of memorable chorus and harmonies we’ve come to expect from the group.  While, the following distorted keyboard section is also standard Spock’s Beard.  But the verse and middle of the song is much darker and takes us on a surprising journey.The most unique song the album is the brilliantly titled “Bennett Built a Time Machine”, which the album’s cover is based on.  Drummer Jimmy Keegan takes lead on the vocals here and sounds incredible.  His voice actually fits the track better than Leonard’s probably would have.  The song is one of the album highlights and helps keep the record from sounding redundant.  It is almost a pop song most of the way through until turning on the jets and shifting into Prog mode.There are some heavier moments such as “Hell’s Not Enough” and “Get Out While You Can”. “The Center Line”, however, might be the most similar to something you might have found on their group’s previous album “Brief Nocturnes…”  The track opens with an expansive piano recital piece, before turning into a combo Prog-Western bounce with acoustic guitars carrying the groove. Ted’s voice lifts the choruses flawlessly and creates an almost cinematic soundscape.Even with all of these great moments, it is the album’s closing track that is the best song on the album.  “Disappear” might be one of the best songs the band has recorded since Neal left the group.  “We could disappear, you and me, we could be, anyplace else not here” sings Ted in the chorus as he wonders what might be if we left with no one knowing what happened.  The song is really the closest thing to a ballad on the album, but it doesn’t stay that way for long.  2 minutes in, the song stirs into a frenzy just before a brief cameo by Kansas’ David Ragsdale, appearing with his violin.  Of course, the big epic orchestral ending takes us home as Alan Morse provides the finishing touches with his unique finger picking soloing excellence.Spock’s Beard are Prog rock’s most reliable unit.  They have yet to disappoint and always provide comfort to their faithful fans with music that is both inspiring and breathtaking.  And while The Oblivion Particle shows a harder edged Spock’s Beard, it also displays a group that shows no signs of slowing down and is ready to take on all comers." - The Prog Report 
    $12.00
  • "After 4 studio albums, Papir unleash their first live album. It’s surprising it took so long, since the band’s shows have long been revered amongst fans.The music-biz has also noticed Papir’s stellar live performances: like when Mojo Magazine singled them out from the hoards of bands at danish music-showcase Spot 2012 as THE show of the entire festival - as well as the holy rite of passage for any cosmic Stoner Rock band: The Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, The Netherlands, where Papir was asked not to perform no less than 3 times during the festival in 2014! It’s the first and finest of these shows in full that Papir havde chosen for this release, and it’s all here: Christoffer Brøchmann’s jaw-dropping drum chops, easing from delicate jazzy drumrolls one second into deranged math-psych explosions the next - creating a diving board for Nicklas Sørensen’s vast array of guitar-styles, blending post-rock drones with majestic wah-drenched soloing. With Christian Becher keeping it all together with his bouncing and booming bass lines, as well as utilizing his groovemaker to make blistering ethereal soundscapes.While Papirs albums have always been based on live performances during intense studio sessions, there’s still a different element present at Live at Roadburn - maybe due to the drunken barks from the ecstatic crowd, or the fact that the band is not just playing for the tape machines. There’s an extra layer of adrenaline present - the added aggressive tone of fluttering fuzz and sizzling cymbals, an extra punch and and grit of their build ups. From the first note, Papir show just how far they’ve travelled over the span of a few years, catapulting a motoric track off their self produced DIY debut release into new soaring heights. The show also reworks “Monday” and “Sunday #2” from Stundum - their first El Paraiso-release, as well as drop a highlight from last year’s “IIII” into the equation. As if this wasn’t enough, they premiere two brand new tracks with the same stamina, making sure that Live at Roadburn is not just a roadmap of where they’ve been, but very much an up to date snapshot of one of Europe’s hardest working instrumental outfits.The album was mixed and mastered by Causa Sui’s Jonas Munk from a 24bit multitrack recording."
    $18.00
  • Import digipak edition!"2014 live album the King Crimson spin-off. Featuring the talents of Adrian Belew, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, Markus Reuter, Julie Slick and Tobias Ralph; The Crimson ProjeKCT primarily focus on repertoire from the early 1980s through to the mid-90s. The band has a ''double trio'' line-up, as made popular by Crimson between 1994-1997. LIVE IN TOKYO finds the band performing a solid 12-song set." 
    $15.00
  • Brilliant first album featuring Phil Collins, Robin Lumley, Morris Pert, John Goodsall, and Percy Jones. One of the greatest statements in the history of fusion!
    $10.00
  • Darker is the long awaited second album from Swiss progressive rock band Dawn. It has been 6 years since the quartet rocked the prog world with their expert take on old school symphonic rock.Dawn formed in Montreux, Switzerland in 1996.  Since then the band has performed at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival, as well as at Swiss prog rock festivals Progsol, and Montreux Prog Nights.  The band has also opened for Kansas and Fish.  After a series of line up changes the band began to focus on their sophomore release in 2010 and perform them in concert.Dawn’s music is riddled with vintage keyboard sounds and flowing guitar solos.  Plaintive vocals ascribe a kinship to the British Canterbury prog family tree.  The album is conceived as a series of compositions dealing with Man in the 21st century: his fears, his conception of life, his reaction to technology, nuclear power, and the planet’s suffocation.  Darker was recorded in 2013 by Olivier Charmillot and mastered by noted audiophile engineer Bob Katz.
    $14.00
  • Kindly Bent To Free Us is the long awaited third album from Cynic.  It finds the core trio of Paul Masvidal, Sean Reinert, and Sean Malone intact.  Just as Traced In Air was an evolution from Focus, so is Kindly Bent To Free Us a natural sounding progression from Traced In Air.  There is a common underlying sound which is clearly Cynic.  The music still maintains metallic and jazz roots but it serves as a foundation for a sound that owes more to prog rock.  If you are expecting Focus you will be disappointed.  This probably owes more to Porcupine Tree and Riverside as its not quite as technical as in the past, relying more on atmosphere.  But don't get me wrong, there is some unbelievable playing going on.  Once again Sean Malone demonstrates that he is the most underrated bassist in the world.  Highly recommended.
    $11.00
  • "Tellus Requiem was formed back in 2007 by guitarist Stig Nergård. In 2010 Tellus Requiem released a self-titled debut album digitally. This album opened up some doors for the band, and resulted in some live concert supporting acts like Keep of Kalessin, Edenbridge, and Pagan's Mind. “Invictus” was mixed and mastered by Tommy Hansen (Jailhouse Studios, Jorn, TNT, Helloween) with the cover art done by Thomas Ewerhard (Symphony X, Theater).According to the band’s biography, the main theme of the band’s writing is about worlds shattering to pieces. This can either be global or personal experience, fictional or literary. Tellus Requiem means; the earths death mass. Tellus being Latin for The Earth, Requiem being the last composition a composer writes before they die. Listening to the ten tracks featured on “Invictus”, it’s obvious that the band is comprised of five very talented musicians with a love for melodic progressive metal in the style of Symphony X and Dream Theater with flourishes of Eastern Folk and the big sound of a motion picture film score (as is evident on the opening instrumental song “Ab Aeterno”). “Red Horizon” kicks in with a vengeance and is highlighted by very Symphony x-like keyboard work by Anders Sundbø (whose frenzied playing style steals the show on this song) and heavy guitar crunch by Nergård.  Vocalist Ben Rodgers has a unique and impressive style and range without resorting to sounding like peers such as James Labrie or Russell Allen.Drummer Vidar Lehmann shows off his considerable chops and fast feet on the middle-eastern tinged “Eden Burns”. A beautiful acoustic guitar passage introduces “Reflection Remains” which leads into a melodic and majestic vocal performance by Rodgers accented by soaring harmonies and a soulful yet blistering guitar solo by Nergård.  The heavy melodic prog metal of “Twilight Hour” has plenty of melody, groove, instrumental chops, and odd time signatures to satisfy the most jaded prog metal fan.  “Sands of Gold” is a complex and chaotic attack of progressive drum patterns, middle-eastern melodies, heavy guitar and keyboard wizardry with Rodgers voice providing the melodic anchor holding it all together. The appropriately titled “Tranquility” is a slower, peaceful and introspective song with Rodgers showing his emotional side as well as his considerable range to great effect. “Redemption” starts off with an impressive Spanish style guitar playing and kicks into a heavy guitar rhythm and aggressive lead vocals and beautiful harmony vocals courtesy of a vocal choir. The heavy prog of “Invictus” is a fast paced and the vocals and musicianship are razor sharp here.  The final song is “Dies Irae” which is the “day of wrath” and was an old Medieval poem sung during the Mass of the Dead ceremony, is a short and sweet outro track and a fine way to end this musical journey. For such a young band, Tellus Requiem has created a stunning and impressive progressive metal feast that fans of Symphony X and Dream Theater will find quite enjoyable. " - The Metal Pit
    $12.00