Critical Mass (2LP Vinyl)

SKU: NBCLP2985-1
Label:
Nuclear Blast
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2LP orange vinyl edition in a gatefold sleeve and one bonus live track.

You know this band is like money in the bank. They don't get a lot of hype but they've never made a bad album. They change singers from time to time but they always come up with a great one. They tinker with the formula from time to time just to keep it fresh but you can always expect great harmonies, blistering leads of guitar and keys and melodies that stick in your head for days on end. Wounded Land was one of the first progressive metal albums I ever heard and really drew me into the genre. Critical Mass doesn't disappoint at all.

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  • "This is not a new Lost Horizon record.There, we got that sorted out. The good news is that Daniel Heiman is finally back where he belongs: in metal. For its third outing, Harmony tapped this fan-favorite singer, but unlike recent, however successful, hijack jobs (think Michele Luppi with Secret Sphere, or further back, Urban Breed with Bloodbound), this is still one hundred percent a Swedish, religious power metal experience.After a promising start with Dreaming Awake, and a superior sophomore effort in Chapter II: The Aftermath, Chapter III at last gives us the Harmony record that I always knew the Swedes had in them. Retaining the band’s signature solemn style and subtle sense of melody, Theatre Of Redemption is bigger, better, and an overall top contender for 2014’s album of the year.Just how much has this to do with Heiman himself? Of course, hiring a man of his not inconsiderable talent is certain to lend your work that extra flavor. This isn’t to say that Henrik Båth held the band back (about as much as Mikael Dahl did/does in Crystal Eyes), but that Heiman touch is fan-favorite for a reason. The superhuman wails, the natural emotion, the unrivaled raw power, all of that bigger and better than before as well. In whatever dark corner of the music industry this man has been lurking in for all these years, he’s picked up a thing or two. A tender and soulful performance like the one on “What If” could simply not have come from him in his Lost Horizon-days. Goosebumps, ladies and gentlemen, entire flocks of geese.Logically, even Daniel freakin’ Heiman can only thrive when the songwriting is there to support him. Harmony stepped up its game considerably in this department, opting for shorter, tighter material here. Theatre Of Redemption is trademarked by sharp and poignant riffs, simple but gripping melodies, and an overdose of class. “Son Of The Morning” and the title track sound like the basic but effective kind of songs that Kamelot used to churn out in its heyday, boasting oriental effects, a mystic atmosphere, and an ominous chorus. “I gave it aaall – for – NOTHING!” More geese and whatnot.Not all of it is down and plodding, though. Introspective opener “Window Of My Soul”, the celebratory “Crown Me King”, and self-referencing closer “In Search Of” root Harmony firmly in the national style. Anyone attempting to chronicle the rich history of Swedish power metal should do well to include them. For filler tracks, to conclude, look further, because Harmony wastes no time making every single song one worthy of remembrance and appreciation.This is not a Lost Horizon record. Instead it’s the best album Harmony has ever released, and one of the best this year has seen so far. Daniel Heiman returns gloriously to be crowned as king (only to disappear, as he’s only a guest on this album), and aids Harmony in releasing its full potential. Fans of Heiman, Harmony, and (Swedish) power metal in general should purchase this blindly." - Black Wind Metal
    $15.00
  • 2LP 180g vinyl in a gatefold sleeve."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
    $30.00
  • New remastered by Eroc 2LP vinyl reissue in the original gatefold sleeve. I have long considered this to be the best live album ever recorded and have been quite vocal about it. Apart from the occassional vocal this is a predominantly instrumental album that allows each member of Grobschnitt to show off his chops. One flowing piece of music that explodes with gorgeous symphonic keyboards, liquid guitar runs, and monsterous drumming. It's a cosmic collision between symphonic rock and space rock. By the end of the album you will be banging your head in ecstasy.Solar Music was a piece of music that evolved over the years.  The band was constantly making changes to it, developing it.  This new version includes a bonus LP featuring a live performance of Solar Music recorded at Winterhuder Fährhaus, Hamburg in 1977 - a year earlier than the version we all know and love that was recorded at Otto Pankok Forum, Mülheim the following year.A cornerstone album in you collection - BUY OR DIE!! 
    $42.00
  • "2013 five disc (three CDs + two DVDs) digipak. It takes a legend to bring a myth back to life. A unique treat for music fans worldwide, Steve Hackett's critically acclaimed live production 'Genesis Revisited' has so far triumphed in Europe, Japan and North America alike and is still going strong; on May 10th it celebrated its success at a sold out London's Hammersmith Apollo with an ecstatic audience. Genesis Revisited - Live at Hammersmith - a unique performance with guests including Nik Kershaw, John Wetton, Jakko Jakszyk, Steve Rothery and Amanda Lehmann. The pioneering guitarist comments: "The 5.1 DVD with stereo CD is a feast for all the senses. I was blown away by the fantastic response to those May UK gigs!""
    $25.00
  • What needs to be said about this album? It's a complete masterpiece. This is the typical US Warner Bros pressing that's been kicking around for years.  CHEAP!
    $5.00
  • Second album from this Belgian neoprog band.  Apparently the bandleader Hans Six grabbed some of his buddies from Quantum Fantay to round out the line up.  Music is classic Benelux "sympho" with perhaps a touch more heaviness from the guitars.  Trust me you won't mistake this for metal."Neo-Prophet is gone, long live Neo Prophet. If you read carefully you will see a real difference in the band's name. Precisely, the dash. It was probably intended to be funny of this prog rock band that is build with blocks of Rush, Asia and some Queensrÿche. After several line-up changes in this Belgian band, led by singer / founder Hans Six, they continued their existence and T.I.M.E. is the first fact of it. It sounds fresh and carries a clear sound, and the slight accent is Six forgiven. The charm of this issue was granted to the Italian colleagues of Kezia but Neo Prophet is a close second. Very well cared for release, both in sound and design. The addition of two Quantum Fantasy members on keyboards and guitar has paid off. Good to hear a song like 'The Pendulum Swing’ and the concluding triptych 'Orchestral Death' is impressive. On to the next one mannekes!" - Lords Of Metal
    $14.00
  • First time on CD! Guru Guru made two excellent albums during their brief stay on Atlantic Records of which this is the first (Dance Of The Flames is the second). It is also the last album to feature original guitarist Ax Genrich. Although you can expect craziness and the usual sick playing, there is actually a bit of refinement to their sound - as though they are playing with a bit more control and restraint. Easily one of their best efforts and highly recommended. This gorgeous digipak edition features a bonus CD - a concert recorded on 9/15/73 at the German Rock Festival. Although sourced from an audience cassette, it's a previously unavailable taste of the band in a live setting - which is where the band really excelled.
    $12.00
  • First album to feature Rob Halford upon his return. Its actually not bad! Found cheap import overstocks. Grab it!
    $8.00
  • "Formed in 2008 under the (thankfully dropped) name Rightdoor, Within silence are a melodic power metal band in the vein of Blind Guardian. As such you can expect huge swathes of guitar, souring vocals and banks of keyboards all vying for space amidst the pounding rhythms and heroic soloing. Growing steadily, the band have taken their time to draft their debut offering, the gleaming ‘gallery of life’, and it appears that it has been time well spent because the rehearsals, the time spent writing and then honing material on the road with the likes of Blaze Bayley has paid off with this confident and powerful album.Opening with a short, choral ‘intro’, ‘gallery of life’ immediately sets out its stall as an ambitious body of work designed to be heard as one contiguous piece. The intro builds nicely to the powerful guitars of ‘silent desire’. A perfect opening song, ‘silent desire’ immediately highlights the fact this is a production that oozes quality. The guitars are razor sharp, the choruses soar memorably and the playing is ultra-precise. It shows that Within Silence will settle for nothing less than perfection and there’s a sparkling ambition here that is impossible to ignore. ‘Emptiness of night’ is a fast-paced rocker with blazing guitars and a full-on vocal performance that is both powerful and brimming with confidence. There’s a strong Iron Maiden influence underpinning the cracking pace and guitar work, and it’s clear that the band have nothing less than world domination in their sights. Keeping the energy levels high, ‘Elegy of doom’ is another taut rocker with a rampaging riff and just the right amount of keyboard to add atmosphere without overpowering the song. It’s an early highlight of the record and make no mistake, within silence are a band who like to rock! It’s a trend that continues on the equally stunning, ‘The last drop of blood’, a full-on belter of a track that sounds like the band channelling Metallica, Maiden and Judas Priest all at once. It’s one of those adrenalin packed tracks that will get the blood pumping no matter what, and it must surely be a live favourite with its brutal riffs and memorable chorus. The track reaches its peak, however, with the excellent extended solo that runs wild over the second half of the song. Showing a lighter touch, ‘Love is blind’ keeps the energy levels maxed out but offers up a more pop-infused side of the band than found elsewhere, and whilst it still remains on the metallic side of the musical spectrum, it shows that Within silence have both the talent and confidence to fully explore their genre.The band briefly slow their pace for the more subtle opening strains of ‘anger and sorrow’, although the song does not take long to explode into a typically multi-stranded beast complete with extended solos and deft changes. Representing Within Silence at their most commercial sounding, ‘Judgement day’ is the sort of rollicking heavy metal ride that would have been all over the radio back in the eighties. Powerful and driven by a chorus that is only slightly less addictive than crack, ‘judgement day’ is a beast of a track. Next up, pounding drums lead us into ‘the world of slavery’, a song with a strong folk influence. Another track that benefits from some stunning guitar work, ‘the world of slavery’ is a metal epic that only gets better with repeated listens. The album concludes with ‘road to paradise’ which dips into ‘seventh son…’ era Maiden for inspiration. Another epic length track, it is a last chance for the musicians to spread their wings and soar, something which they duly do in impressive fashion. A short ‘outro’ sees the disc spin to a halt with choral voices echoing in the dark. It is a suitably dramatic ending for a CD that takes the listener on a wonderful journey from start to finish.Power metal can be, all too often, a genre where the keyboard elements overshadow the metallic elements. Thankfully, Within Silence, perhaps because of their lengthy time spent out on the road, keep their sound hard-edged throughout and the result is an album that packs a similar punch to the classic Maiden albums of the early eighties. There are crunchy riffs galore, endless solos and the sort of huge, soaring choruses that have made Blind Guardian such a powerful force. Talented, oozing confidence and with a wonderfully powerful set of songs, Within Silence have arrived and metal fans had best sit up and take notice, because these guys have the skill and the burning ambition to go far." - Sonic Abuse
    $14.00
  • "A very special semi-acoustic live set from this seminal gothic metal band. The album captures their favourite songs specially rearranged for this event, while also including reworked cover versions of songs by Slayer and Nick Cave, the latter featuring guest vocals from Tiamat's Johan Edlund."
    $2.00
  • 40th anniversary reissue comes in a 2 CD version. The first disc includes a completely new mix taken from the multi-tracks. The mix was prepared by Steven Wilson. There are 5 bonus tracks. The second disc features the 2004 remastered version of the original mix but there are 5 other bonus tracks. Basically this is the set to get if you don't care about the 5.1 mix.
    $17.00
  • "Features guest appearance by Gentle Giant guitarist Gary Green on “Words and Miracles” (Electric Guitar, Guitar solos and backing vocals) and “Crush of Night” (Guitar solo) IZZ’s new studio album, Crush of Night serves as Part 2 of a 3-part series of thematic albums that began with The Darkened Room (TDR) in 2009.Crush of Night is a worthy successor to the well-received TDR and continues the exploration of one’s journey of self-knowledge, doubt and ultimately the search for meaning. IZZ brings their characteristic sense of melody to the fore on this album while at the same time fusing high reaching emotion with the driving impact that IZZ fans have come to identify with the band. From the opening vocal melody of You’ve Got a Time to the guitar-driven Words and Miracles featuring the distinctive guitar sound of Gary Green, to the stirring emotion of Half the Way culminating with the impressive 26 minute suite that shares ist name with the album title, Crush of Night delivers on all fronts by creating a sound and passion that belong to IZZ alone."
    $12.00
  • "Founded in 2011 by music composer an lyricist Luca Gagnoni with the intent of creating epic, powerful music with a peaceful message, Astral Domine have signed a deal with Bakerteam Records for the release of their debut album ‘Arcanum Gloriae’. Produced by the band itself, with mixing and mastering duties held by Andrea De Paoli (Labyrinth, Vision Divine) at Multimedia Sound Studio, ‘Arcanum Gloriae’ features special guest appearances by renowned singers Fabio Lione (Rhapsody Of Fire, Vision Divine, Hollow Haze) in the song ‘Where Heroes Die’ and Giuseppe “Ciape” Cialone (Rosae Crucis) on the song ‘Falsi Dei’. Inspired by fantasy themes and landscapes, Astral Domine’s music is perfectly depicted by the ‘evocative album artwork, which recalls the epic scenery of the Game Of Thrones series.After the epic-intro, comes the first big moment of the album; "Holy Knights" is an impressive epic and powerful metal song that combines the melody with the heaviness in such a unique way. The acoustic mellower parts give to the song the extra flavor and make this song an ecstatic moment. With "Moonlight" the band delivers a really heart-full tune filled with some amazing guitar lines. Brilliant stuff! "Where Heroes Die" is yet another highlight from this debut release. The appearance of Fabio Leone in this one takes the whole track into a higher dimension! "I'm The King" recalls some Malmsteen's earlier works while in "My Lord" the theatrical-movie elements along with melancholic vibe are making this tune a true highlight!All in all, this is an extremely interesting release all the way. This is not the ordinary epic power metal band; ASTRAL DOMINE delivers a solid record with a 'clever' way that finally achieve to fascinate the listener from start to finish! " - Heavy Paradise
    $12.00
  • "The album is the third release by the band who formed in 2009 when Belgian Producer and musician Frank van Bogaert and keyboard player William Beckers established FISH ON FRIDAY as a studio-based Progressive Rock project. The band’s debut album was released in 2010 and saw the band augmented by Californian guitarist Marty Townsend and drummer Marcus Weymaere. The album’s melodic Progressive approach soon drew very favourable critical stylistic comparisons with the progressive side of Alan Parsons Project. The reaction to the group was encouraging enough for them to embark on performing several live shows in Belgium, before embarking on their second album, "Airborne”, which gained a wider audience and sales by receiving airplay on mainstream Belgian radio alongside specialist Progressive Rock stations globally. "Airborne” also featured the virtuoso bass player Nick Beggs (Steven Wilson band, Steve Hackett band, Lifesigns) guesting on one track, an experience that led to Nick officially becoming a member of Fish on Friday for the band’s new (and arguably most Progressive) album "Godspeed”.This stunning album features a grasp of melody on songs such as ‘Callin’ Planet Home’, ‘Just a Nightmare’, ‘Ghost Song’, ‘Sanctuary’ and the album’s epic ten minute title track. "Godspeed” also features a special guest, Theo Travis, the virtuoso saxophonist and flautist noted for his work with Steven Wilson, Soft Machine Legacy, Robert Fripp, Gong, Bill Nelson et al. All in all "Godspeed” is a Progressive rock album of fine songs, excellent musicianship and is the eagerly anticipated next step in the story of Fish on Friday."
    $15.00