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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  • 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
  • Recorded on the 2009-2010 tour, with Rob Moratti on vocals.  A complete live run through of the Heads Or Tales album.
    $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
  • I could easily make this write up short and simple: Bad ass old school progressive rock served up by a bunch of Canadian virtuosos. Instead I'll elaborate a bit more. Druckfarben is a quintet based out of Toronto. They are fronted by Phil Naro who some of you may remember from his days with Billy Sheehan in Talas. With this prog rock venture he does his Jon Anderson best to fit in and he does perfectly (no hints of metal on this disc). Naro is the best known of the band but everyone playing on it obviously have a love for 70s prog rock and they have the chops to nail it down. This debut is an amalgam of all the good stuff - ELP, Yes, Kansas, Rush, and Gentle Giant all rolled into one. If you like your prog the way it used to be you have to hear this disc. Highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • Japanese SHM-CD in a mini-lp sleeve."Even though Master of Puppets didn't take as gigantic a leap forward as Ride the Lightning, it was the band's greatest achievement, hailed as a masterpiece by critics far outside heavy metal's core audience. It was also a substantial hit, reaching the Top 30 and selling three million copies despite absolutely nonexistent airplay. Instead of a radical reinvention, Master of Puppets is a refinement of past innovations. In fact, it's possible to compare Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets song for song and note striking similarities between corresponding track positions on each record (although Lightning's closing instrumental has been bumped up to next-to-last in Master's running order). That hint of conservatism is really the only conceivable flaw here. Though it isn't as startling as Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets feels more unified, both thematically and musically. Everything about it feels blown up to epic proportions (indeed, the songs are much longer on average), and the band feels more in control of its direction. You'd never know it by the lyrics, though -- in one way or another, nearly every song on Master of Puppets deals with the fear of powerlessness. Sometimes they're about hypocritical authority (military and religious leaders), sometimes primal, uncontrollable human urges (drugs, insanity, rage), and, in true H.P. Lovecraft fashion, sometimes monsters. Yet by bookending the album with two slices of thrash mayhem ("Battery" and "Damage, Inc."), the band reigns triumphant through sheer force -- of sound, of will, of malice. The arrangements are thick and muscular, and the material varies enough in texture and tempo to hold interest through all its twists and turns. Some critics have called Master of Puppets the best heavy metal album ever recorded; if it isn't, it certainly comes close." - Allmusic
    $16.00
  • 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
  • We don't typically stock CDs by individual artists unless they are extremely well known.  Brian Ellis is of interest to us because he happens to be the guitarist for Astra, a band very important around these parts.  It also happens that this is one slammin' disc.  Ellis is obviously a talented multi-instrumentalist.  Compositionally its a bit of a jumble but in this case in a very good way.  He wears his influences on his sleeve and replicates the sounds of the 70s: kosmigroov Miles Davis, blistering Mahavishnu fusion, and topped off with a visit to Kobia.  Quite a clever achievement and highly recommended."Brian Ellis is an multi-instrumentalist from San Diego, California. He has released several albums in the last few years under multiple monikers and is perhaps better known as lead guitarist for the progressive rock group, ASTRA.By playing guitar, bass, drums, various synthesizers and keyboards, saxophone, trumpet, sitar, xylophone, kalimba, etc., Brian creates the illusion of a large live band jamming all together. After releasing 2 albums in 2007 for the now defunct Scottish electronic label, Benbecula Records, Brian found himself straying away from the programmed/sequenced elements and wanted to make an album where all the instruments were played live. The album was completed in early 2008 and was set to be the follow up to "The Silver Creature". Unfortunately, Benbecula decided to close it's doors at this time and the album was shelved."Quipu" takes Brian Ellis' jazz/fusion/funk sound from his previous solo works to the next level. The opening track "Birth" sets a deep atmosphere of delayed trumpets and saxophones with a slow beat and funky bass before exploding into an odd-timing heavy fusion workout harkening back to the days of Mahavishnu Orchestra. Whereas later tracks like "Psaw" (featuring David Hurley of Astra on drums) take on much more of a free jazz sound similar to Miles Davis "Bitches Brew" era, full of dissonance and surprising elements. The final track "Walomendem" is a 14 minute progressive rock epic hailing as a tribute to the great french band Magma."
    $17.00
  • Limited edition comes with a bonus live DVD filmed in Melbourne, Australia."Karnivool, from day one, have made sure they are the kind of band who could do anything. From both a fan and industry perspective, the group has made it clear that anything should be expected and they will do whatever they want.While their second album, 'Sound Awake' didn't really spread its musical wings as much as the band claimed it would, their third record 'Asymmetry' certainly has. Those who may have jumped ship at the idea of more dragged out progressive rock will rejoice at the roller coaster ride the band offers on full-length number three.The bass heavy drum chaos that is opening track 'Nachash' is a tweak on the Karnivool sound, as if they were to remake 'Themata' today, with a refined, heavier sound that is simply bigger. This follows with a record stand-out, 'A.M. War', which is a little more math-rock musically, with the vocals opting to be less adventurous.That all changes on 'The Refusal', which is one of the heavier songs on the album, kicking off with gritty screamed vocals and thick guitar riffs. There is still a very atmospheric feel about the entire record much like on the previous release, songs like the seven minute 'Aeons' or the experimental title track, take their time and offer plenty of space within themselves for effected vocals or driving bass lines to shine through.The second half of the record changes things up again. It is mellower, more pop orientated and even at times reminiscent of front man Ian Kenny's other project Birds Of Tokyo. The latter half also lends itself to a little more experimentation, with the drum mess that is 'Amusia' and the creepy guitar number 'Float'.The band manage to channel bands like Tool and Porcupine Tree all in one for the huge closer 'Alpha', another highlight, thanks to its thematic changes, moving from a gentle piano laced opening to heavy riffs and chant style vocals.Karnivool sound like the band they want to be on 'Asymmetry,' a band that will keep you guessing for the entirety of a record and can move in any which way they like, while still making some form of sense." - Kill Your STereo
    $18.00
  • 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
  • "The second album from melodic power metal quintet Civilization One finds a few member shifts as well as a label change- so fear sets in when three-fifths of the lineup receives a re-boot. In the case of these musicians, it was necessary due to proximity and related productivity. Enter drummer Michael Stein- who also plays with vocalist Chity Somapala in Red Circuit, along with new guitarists Oliver Marmann and Nicklaus Bergen. What does the mean in terms of sound relative to their 2007 debut "Revolution Rising"?For one, the emphasis on these 12 songs (plus brief "Aazis" 54 second intro) appears to be on a more lively, easier to replicate sound than the multi-tracked vocal harmonies and waves of keyboards lurking in the shadows. Chity is an affable front man- professional and more than capable of keeping the melodies versatile and memorable: be it in a lower / mid-range capacity for the commercial leaning "The Land In Flames", the more heart-tugging ballad "Reunite" or his potent lung capacity for the conventional double bass driven number "True Believer". Oliver and Nicklaus perform to high caliber standards: challenging the listener with many dazzling lead breaks and a mixture of riffing techniques that combine crunchy, almost thrash-like parts in "The Supernatural Virtue" as well as standard Firewind meets Brainstorm guitar hero work on the title cut and "Hell Awaiting". Many will even smile at the Phil Collins/ "Take Me Home" laid back percussive aspect of closer "Dreams of Fire"- once again illustrating the band's desire for individuality.Another aspect I enjoy is the shorter time frames for the twelve songs: proof that you can cut to the chase, provide the level of energy and excitement, and move onto your next arrangement in a tidy 3-4 minute measure. "Calling The Gods" is a proper follow up to its predecessor, which is always a great move in today's crowded power metal sweepstakes. Those on the fence after their five year layoff will be adequately appeased." - Eternal Terror
    $13.00
  • Long awaited new album from the kings of epic prog metal. With the bulk of the writing falling on the shoulders of Gary Wehrkamp the sound has changed a bit. The grandiose feel is still there but it nows sounds a bit like a hybrid of Savatage meets Dream Theater. Veteran producer Neil Kernon mixed the album giving it an immediacy not present before but he thankfully didn't throw the baby out with the bathwater as he still preserved the symphonic epic quality. The final 34 minute track "First Light" is an album all by itself!
    $14.00
  • "It has been an eventful year or so in the world of Haken. In September 2013, the sextet released what can only be described as a masterpiece of progressive music in the form of their third album, the magnificent ‘The Mountain’. This album received almost universal critical acclaim upon its release and even led to interest from the likes of Mike Portnoy (Flying Colors, Transatlantic) and Dream Theater’s Jordan Rudess. In the case of the former, it led to an invitation to play the inaugural ‘Progressive Nation At Sea’, but thanks to both ringing endorsements, the door to the American market has opened more widely of late. And if that wasn’t enough, Haken recently received no less than three nominations in the Progressive Music Awards, quite an achievement for a band so relatively young.However, with the smooth, also comes the rough and almost immediately following the release of this ‘breakthrough’ album, bassist Tom MacLean announced his departure from Haken. An apparently amicable split, it was nevertheless a hurdle that had to be overcome at a point when the largest wave of the band’s career was about to be crested. An international audition invitation was extended and, following an extensive search, a young American by the name of Conner Green was assimilated into the Haken collective. Welcome sir!In many ways, ‘Restoration’ a three-track EP is as much a bedding-in of their new colleague as it is an opportunity to maintain the momentum created by ‘The Mountain’ whilst a new full-length album is brought to life. That said, to consider ‘Restoration’ a stop-gap is disingenuous in the extreme. It may only contain three tracks, but when the three tracks last well over half an hour and sound this good, who cares?The three compositions that make up this EP are very loosely based on tracks from the bands 2007/08 demo days, thoroughly re-envisioned, re-worked and re-produced in order to reflect the changing personnel and the experience gained since the demos were originally written. The result is, frankly, stunning.Whilst it took me a good many spins and many hours of effort to get fully submerged into the world of ‘The Mountain’, the music on ‘Restoration’ is much more immediate to these ears. No less complex and challenging of course, but for some reason, the music has ‘clicked’ much more quickly here.The EP opens up with ‘Darkest Light’, (Official video below) an energetic track that ably demonstrates the up-tempo and powerful side of Haken well. It’s an agile composition too that alters pace and timing signatures seemingly at will and pulls in influences from everyone from Dream Theater to Meshuggah. The latter is primarily due to the impressive combination of Ray Hearne’s powerful drumming, the chunky guitar tones courtesy of Charlie Griffiths and Richard Henshall and Green’s intricate bass work. Importantly however, the song is never derivative and contains everything you now expect from a band at the height of their powers. It’s a piece of music that oozes class but also offers that touch of playful cheekiness that has become synonymous with the Haken sound.‘Earthlings’ is a completely different proposition entirely. For my money, its closest reference point would be ‘Deathless’ from ‘Visions’ in so far as it is a much more introspective track with real atmosphere and a quiet, brooding intensity that is utterly beguiling. The melodies are much more immediate, much more pronounced and the whole thing builds beautifully and stubbornly towards a fulfilling climax that pushes all the right buttons.The undisputed star of the show however, is ‘Crystallised’. At over 19 minutes, it offers a return of the Haken ‘epic’, joining the likes of ‘Visions’ and ‘Celestial Elixir’ in an already formidable armoury. If anything, ‘Crystallised’ may be even better than the aforementioned, thereby easily taking its place among the very best that Haken has ever created.First and foremost, the sheer ambition is staggering. The composition begins unassumingly enough but quickly reveals a more grandiose underbelly thanks to some lush orchestral arrangements. From then on, the gloves well and truly come off and Haken take us on a wondrous journey full of twists and turns, light and shade, lengthy and dextrous instrumental segments and gorgeous melodies that stay with you long after the music has ended.There are echoes of those Gentle Giant influences and nods towards ‘Cockroach King’ et al in some of the a capella segments as well as hints of ‘Pareidolia’ at other times, thanks to that by now familiar delivery of vocalist Ross Jennings. Never once do the extended instrumental passages, led by the flamboyant keys of Diego Tejeida feel contrived or out of place; they are full of those classic progressive overindulgences, further reinforcing the importance of the likes of Yes, early Genesis and many others, but crucially, they fit in with the core of the composition and seamlessly segue from one to another perfectly.And then, everything comes together in what I can only describe as a stunningly epic finale, the kind where the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end and you find yourself grinning from ear to ear, enveloped in a musical utopia. The melodies are so uplifting and gorgeous that, coupled with the grandiose return of the orchestral embellishments, mere words find it hard to adequately express just how good it makes you feel.The bones of these songs may have been written many years ago in the band’s infancy. However, they have been brought back to life in the most brilliant way possible; taking everything that’s been good about the band in recent years and applying them to their early past to create something truly special. I only wish that ‘Restoration’ was six, seven or eight songs long. Mind you, if it were, I think I might have fainted from bliss before reaching the conclusion." - Man Of Much Metal blog
    $14.00
  • "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
  • Third album from this German retro-prog outfit.  A few seconds into the lead off 21 minute title track and you know you are taking a trip down memory lane.  The album is filled with enough old school keyboard sounds to embarass Tony Banks.  The main cog in the Argos wheel is keyboardist Thomas Klarmann, who also handles fute, bass, lead vocals.  He plays a mean Hammond organ and knows how to squeeze the right sounds out of a Mellotron as well.Genesis is one of the touchstone influences but you will also hear nods to Canterbury, Gentle Giant, VDGG, and hosts more (if you can think of 'em they are here).  These guys aren't going to win any originality contests but it sure is great ear candy.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00