Systematic Chaos (2LP Vinyl)

SKU: 1686-179921
Label:
Roadrunner Records
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180 gram 2LP vinyl edition comes with a full size 8 page color booklet.

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  • Pinhas is back and Cuneiform has him (once again). Incredible array of musicians evokes the good old days. Here is what Cuneiform says:"Metatron is over 2 hours of spacey and flowing music that isn't afraid to rock out completely as well, by French electronic rock pioneer Richard Pinhas (on guitar and electronics), with Jerome Schmidt on laptop, drummer Antoine Paganotti (Magma) and ex-Heldon members Didier Batard (bass), Patrick Gauthier (minimoog) and Alain Renaud (guitar), as well as Chuck Oken, Jr. (Djam Karet) on synths and Philipe Simon on violin on one track each. While a lot of this is definitely comparable to Tranzition, his great last album, there really is a lot more rock involved this time around, as there are drums on the great majority of tracks. In addition to all the great music, there is a QuickTime video with footage from Richard and Jerome's 2004 North American tour."
    $21.00
  • "With contemporary music often looking to dissolve artificial boundaries and cross-pollinate with abandon, it shouldn't comes as a surprise to hear progressive rock groups using the same tack. On one hand, expectations often drive them to stay close to home— Yes may release new music periodically, but its live shows draw more from the classic 1970-1977 repertoire than any other. Then there's King Crimson who, while looking back to some extent, are more interested in pushing forward and creating live sets reflective of that aesthetic. New groups aren't anchored down with the dilemma of evolving while, at the same time, pleasing longtime fans interested in hearing their favorite songs. Mahogany Frog suggests, perhaps, one possible future of progressive rock, bringing together elements of electronica, ambient, industrial and jazz into the more familiar terrain of detailed, long-form writing, odd meters and neoclassicism. DO5 demonstrates what might happen if Radiohead and Sigur Rós were put into a blender with Pink Floyd, Yes and Genesis, then dropping the vocals. The end result sounds like none of them, though markers run throughout DO5—Mahogany Frog's fifth album, but its first for a label with widespread distribution. "G.M.F.T.P.O." opens the nine-song, 45-minute disc with a high energy, guitar-driven anthemic melody, propelled by drummer J.P. Perron's visceral beat and Scott Ellenberger's thundering bass. But a mere thirty seconds into its brief ninety-second duration, it enters space-rock territory, with electronics entering the picture as a series of punctuating shots segue into the eleven-minute "T-Tigers & Toasters." Ambient sounds from a variety of analog and digital keyboards, played by Graham Epp and Jesse Warkentin, build into a deceptively unsophisticated three-chord change that morphs into alt-rock as they pick up guitars for a high volume, heavily distorted power-chord theme. The simplicity turns complex, however, during the second half as odd meters and unexpected twists and turns are introduced, along with sudden dynamic shifts from ear-splitting to a near-whisper. One thing is certain, however: Mahogany Frog is a band best experienced with the volume control turned up to eleven. It only helps to make the quieter passages even more dramatic and the symphonic tinges of "Last Stand at Fisher Farm," with Epps and Ellenberger picking up trumpets for its potent theme, all the stronger. Mahogany Frog isn't a group that relies on solos to impress, but Perron nevertheless stands out, his playing on the knotty "You're Meshugah!" especially frenetic and captivating. The brief, riff-driven "I Am Not Your Sugar" may be a head-banger's delight, but it's one that expects the metal-head to pump his fist while searching desperately for the "one." Accusations of bombast tend to follow progressive rockers around, and there's no shortage of turgidity to be found on DO5. Still, it's a guilty pleasure that fans of the alt-rock scene, looking for something more challenging, may well gravitate towards. For longstanding progressive rockers who believe in emphasis on progressive, Mahogany Frog hits all the right reference points, yet is as contemporary as it gets, breathing new life into what is mistakenly considered by some to be an outdated genre. They couldn't be more wrong." - All About Jazz
    $8.00
  • I thought Felix Martin's debut was insane but he's taken it to the next level with this one...If you are unfamiliar with Felix Martin that will probalby change soon.  He plays a custom made 14(!!) string guitar.  His musical background has strong roots in jazz but its clear he's able to feel comfortable with different styles.  His approach to this unusual guitar includes tapping as well as legato runs.  If you have seen any videos of him playing live its really something to see.  The Scenic Album is a trio affair - Martin is supported by Nathan Navarro on bass and Chapman Stick, and the mighty Marco Minnemann is behind the drum kit (ex-Behold The Arctopus' Charlie Zeleny is on the last track).  I don't think anyone other than Marco could tackle this material.  Martin's music touches on so many different genres - metal, prog rock, latin and fusion - all within a single composition.  Prepare to have your jaw drop! 
    $12.00
  • THIS NORTHERN VIRGINIA BASED BAND is a three-piece at heart, musically rooted in the raw energy and rhythmic interplay of RUSH and KING’S X. Fans of dark, guitar-driven rock bands from ALICE IN CHAINS, DEFTONES to the contemporary metal riffing of LAMB OF GOD and PANTERA, will connect to the heavy core of IRIS DIVINE’s sound. Add to that progressive complexity and moody synths inspired by DREAM THEATER and PORCUPINE TREE, and a liberal dose of memorable hooks and melodies, to understand some elements of IRIS DIVINE’s sound. And yet, the band has a distinct identity, not quite sounding like any of the aforementioned bands, and with an emotional urgency that pulls subtly from alternative and other influences.KARMA SOWN IS A TRIUMPH OF A DEBUT ALBUM, immediate and memorable but revealing layers and depth upon repeated listens."Progressive metal is in a rough period right now. The old guard are either releasing sub-standard albums that only make it more obvious how far they have fallen, or they are drastically uncool with anyone who didn't become a fan when progressive metal was first being created. Progressive today tends to mean djent, a style that has sapped all the life and humanity out of music, turning metal into a math equation of time signatures, and not songs that anyone can actually remember. There was a time when progressive metal remembered the ultimate goal of music; to have listeners enjoy the songs so much they would return to them again and again. Today, progressive metal is mostly the sort of music that could pass for muzak, if you don't turn the volume up too loud.Iris Divine wants to change that. They set out with the mission of writing progressive metal that is intricate and challenging, but still produces the kind of songs that listeners who don't have an advanced degree can love and sing along to. It's a challenge, and it goes against the tide, but it's a desperately needed revolution if progressive metal is going to flourish anytime in the near future.I knew from hearing the pre-release track “A Suicide Aware” that Iris Divide was special, and the full album reinforces the point. “The Everlasting Sea” comes out of the gates with plenty of tricky riffing and unusual rhythms, but they lead into big melodies with strong hooks and vocals. Their progressive playing isn't meant for show, it's a tool used to set a tone that juxtaposes with the more melodic moments. Finding the proper balance between these elements is not easy, and many a band have failed miserably trying to do so, but Iris Divine doesn't. On their debut record, they show a skill some bands have spent their entire careers failing to learn.What I love most about the record is that it can be seen in many different lights. If you like straight-ahead metal, there is plenty of heavy riffing and pounding drumming here to keep you satisfied. If you like progressive music, these songs have twists and turns, and Rush-like keyboards, in enough quantity to match the djent crowd. And if you're a fan of old-school radio rock, the choruses in these songs will be music to your ears. Keeping all three of these in mind at the same time can be tricky, but it's worth the effort.For being a trio, “Karma Sown” is a massive sounding record. The production is flawless, big and clear, without ever sounding too polished. The heavy parts are heavy, the vocals are up front, and you would never believe this was a self-produced record that was crowd-funded. I can put it up against many, many of the big label releases, and it would win the fight.In fact, I can think of a dozen so-called progressive metal bands that should immediately hand over their label contracts to Iris Divine, because it's a crime that a band that is advancing progressive metal in the right direction doesn't have the backing of one of the labels. Not to name names, but this album would be bigger than half of the progressive metal released this year if it had the media push behind it.In case you haven't noticed, what I'm saying is that “Karma Sown” is a fantastic debut, and the future of progressive metal. Iris Divine isn't a Dream Theater clone, and they're not djent. What they have done is integrate all the strains of progressive metal into a singular sound, one that could set the standard moving forward. If every band sounded this good, progressive metal wouldn't need to be underground. “Karma Sown” is the best progressive metal album of the year, bar none." - Bloody Good Horror
    $13.00
  • Brilliant double live set clearly demonstrates that Mr. Hackett can still bring the thunder to the stage. The set was drawn from shows in Paris, London, and New York during the 2009/2010 tour. With a great line up and a set list that digss into his solo career as well as Genesis gems, this is impossible to pass up. Simply awesome!
    $12.00
  • Special edition arrives with a bonus DVD of the band performing material from Concrete Gardens filmed at EMGTV."Sound: Tony MacAlpine was one of the Shrapnel label guitarists of the '80s, and also played keyboards for the debut releases of Vinnie Moore and other Shrapnel artists. Tony's debut solo album, "Edge of Insanity," came iout in 1986 - the same year as his first side project, M.A.R.S., with release of the album "Project: Driver." Since that time Tony MacAlpine has released numerous solo albums, participated in collaborations, made live guest appearances, and even acted as part of Steve Vai's backing band. "Concrete Gardens" is Tony's twelfth solo studio album, and is entirely instrumental like the vast majority of Tony's solo work. The album has been in the works since 2013, but took a while to release due to Tony's numerous collaborations and other projects. Jeff Loomis provides a guest guitar solo on the album on the track, "Square Circles." The album contains 12 tracks with a total runtime of just under sixty minutes. The album differs from Tony's previous work by having more of a progressive metal flavor to it, while I think of most of his previous releases as just being straight instrumental rock.The album opens up with the track "Exhibitionist Blvd," with some seriously flanged guitar and a major key melody that builds into something a little different as the track goes on. There is a specific passage that shows the influence that Vai has had on MacAlpine, though I would rank them close to equal in the virtuoso racket. "The King's Rhapsody" opens up with a keyboard intro, played by Tony, of course. Heavy guitars come in and takes the song to a few unexpected places, and actually gets my foot tapping, too - which is an accomplishment for instrumental rock! "Man in a Metal Cage" has some interesting note choices, with some mildly middle-eastern sounds for a few brief moments in the track mixed in with some obligatory sweep tapping. Otherwise, there are several passages working to create several moments of extreme tension. There are a few arpeggiated parts that are reminiscent of some other song that I can't quite place. "Poison Cookies" has a weird jazz-fusion funk feeling going on with it that I definitely appreciated - if for nothing else it changed gears long enough to shake off any monotony I thought the album might be working towards."Epic" was both a more laid back song, but also was very cerebral - the keyboard and guitar parts built on each other in a weird/cool way. "Napoleon's Puppet" very briefly reminded me of some material written by Brendan Small for his album, "Galaktikon," but it had that rhythm part to it that definitely separated it by giving it some incredibly strong groove. "Sierra Morena" is played on piano/keyboard in the intro but guitar, bass and drums come in pretty quickly. The song is named after a mountain range in Spain with the same name. I can't quite connect the music as being descriptive of a mountain range unless they're being written about the context of flying over them. "Square Circles" has some moments in the track that remind me a little bit of King Crimson, though the sense of melody is still a tad more traditional. Jeff Loomis guests on this track for a guitar solo, and it is a fairly outstanding solo in the context of the song, having a good balance of being emotive and twisted."Red Giant" is a pretty intense track, with some more middle-eastern vibes going on, and one of the most engaging and vocal-like melodies from the album, to my ears. "Confessions of a Medieval Monument" definitely grabs a certain type of vibe from the opening, with a cool (but fairly simple) bassline running behind it. This is definitely one of those songs that creates a fertile atmosphere for a little mind movie to play along to it. The way the dynamics are used on this song, as well as the recurring melodic theme, make this easily one of the strongest tracks on the album. The title track, "Concrete Gardens," is interesting with a heavy rhythm guitar and a (initially) much cleaner lead part. Something about this track reminds me of Frank Zappa, which is absolutely a good thing. The album closes out with a song called "Maiden's Wish," which is played on keyboard/piano as a solo piece. It is a fairly light-hearted song to end the album with, and I enjoyed it. If you just listen for the crazy guitar, then you can stop short of "Maiden's Wish." // 8Lyrics: There are none. // 8Overall Impression: I have always been extremely impressed with Tony MacAlpine, and this album just reinforces my opinion. While he may not be quite at the technical/speed level of some other virtuoso guitarists, especially the whole Shrapnel bunch, he makes up for it in a strong sense of feel and musicality. I especially enjoy the melodies he uses as recurring themes in many of his songs. I highly recommend this album to anyone who's a fan of instrumental rock or metal. // 8" - Ultimate-Guitar.com
    $15.00
  • This one is a real mindblower.  One of Italy's best bands, La Maschera Di Cera, has created a musical sequel to Le Orme's Felona E Serona.  I can't recall any band ever doing something like this.  Like all of the band's work it remains faithful to the "Rock Progressivo Italiano" sound.  Apart from cleaner sounding sonics it could have easily pass for somethining recorded in 1974.  The music does in fact pick up on some of the core themes and melodices from FeS.  You want 'tron?  You got it!  You want flute?  You got it.  To wrap the whole package together the band licensed the cover art from Lanfranco, the artist responsible for the art for FeS.  So it really does feel like a sequel.  Please note there are actually two versions of the album.  This is the Italian language edition that will satisfy any RPI purist.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • Remastered edition finally taken from the original master tapes and transferred utilizing 24 bit / 96 khz technology.
    $10.00
  • "While Ki was a rambling, spacious and highly melodic trip through a futuristic world of transcendental art rock and Addicted was a sparkling, sugar-drenched turbo-riff glitter bomb, the final two parts of Townsend’s latest masterwork take both him and his legion of listeners on a far less expected and disorientating journey. Part three, Deconstruction, is arguably the most deranged, complex and extreme record that Devin has ever made. Fans of Strapping Young Lad will almost certainly feel at home with its bug-eyed maze of riffs and breathtaking dynamics. Fans of Devin’s more mellow work will have to grit their teeth and hold on for dear life."
    $13.00
  • A tightly woven matrix of extreme progressive metal underscores a desolate vision of a future gone awry...Zero Hour are the cutting edge of intricate progressive metal. Their influences range from the dark brooding power of Fates Warning to the technicality of Spiral Architect. The band features twin brothers Jasun and Troy Tipton on guitars and bass, drummer Mike Guy, and vocalist Erik Rosvold. A self-financed first release by the band was produced by Dino Alden (Marty Friedman, Mordred, Imagika). With limited distribution the band was able to sell over 2,000 copies on their own all based on word of mouth via the Internet as well as fantastic reviews in major metal magazines around the world.Returning to the studio with Alden the band has now produced "The Towers Of Avarice", a conceptual work that conjures a bleak vision of the future. The story tells the tale of two societies one above ground obsessed with consumption and the restless slaves living underground that are under their control. The band has intensified their already intricate sound by eschewing longwinded solos in exchange for complexity and power. Guitar and bass interlock seamlessly only to be interrupted by a staccato assault of crushing guitar riffs and soaring vocals. Rosvold is a truly gifted singer, often compared to Ronnie James Dio and John Arch. He grabs the spotlight with his angst ridden vocals, conveying all the drama that unfolds in the tale. This truly is a future classic of complex progressive metal.The album features surrealist artwork and graphic design by Travis Smith.
    $13.00
  • Metal Mind has packaged Basnie and Safe jewel boxes together in a slipcase and a very attractive price.
    $16.00
  • "CRYSTAL VIPER are Poland s most promising Heavy Metal act. The band from Katowice has earned a fabulous reputation in the Metal underground with their previous releases and have recently played the Keep It True, Swordbrothers and many others major festivals. Singer Marta Gabriel is the centre point of the band, and implies a nice and charismatic appearance with a powerful Metal voice. Heavily influenced by the 80´s Metal of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, early Manowar and the like, Crystal Viper draw immediate comparisons to the legendary WARLOCK (with Doro Pesch on vocals) but hold their own with their unique stylings. Crimen Excepta is their highly anticipated fourth album and features guest appearances by David Bower of Hell and Piotr Wiwczarek of Vader." Comes with 2 bonus tracks.
    $15.00
  • "In what seemed like an eternity since the details on the second Darkology album surfaced in December 2013, the running joke was that the second album should be renamed “Fated to Never Be Released.” “Official leaks” of demo tracks surfaced ahead of a European tour “in support of the album” (and without Carptenter who had other commitments). The demos only served to deepen fan desire for the release, as they revealed vocalist Kelly Sundown Carpenter (ex-Firewind live, Adagio) absolutely KILLING IT with a sharpened buzz saw edge that makes Ripper Owens look like an absolute chump. Flash forward to 2015 and finally a release date through Prime Eon and/or Nightmare (depending on where you live) would happen in late Spring. Was it all worth the wait, agony and hype? You betcha it was.The album is a steamroller from start to finish – with some parts here and there that tend to drift slightly (the title track for one) – but it never disappoints. As evidenced in the demos, Carpenter proves why he should be a vocalist in demand as he drives home the heaviness with his ultra-sharp brilliant delivery. Unlike most singers who like to live in the rafters, Kelly pulls it off with zero annoyance. His shredding high end is absolutely essential given the musical assault of riffs (from the great Michael Harris of Thought Chamber) and pounding rhythms (from bassist Michael Neal and drummer Brian Harris) that back it up. Though not similar in style per se as total impact, “Fated to Burn” gives me the same feel as the first time I heard Winter’s Bane’s “Heart of a Killer” and Sanctuary’s “Refuge Denied,” where the first blush with both the young Ripper Owens and Warrell Dane were absolutely life changing. If you add a little dose of “Breaker” era Accept and a tiny drop of Symphony X you have just the tip of just how brilliant “Fated to Burn” truly is.The Harris brothers have struck upon an exciting formula of U.S. power and traditional with just a touch of progressive. In terms of comparison with 2009’s “Altered Reflections,” this album packs five times the punch and power, sure to please fans that prefer metal heavy, guitar driven, and with shredding vocals. The album is a flurry of amazing grinding riffs with Kelly’s lethal vox that make tracks like “Shadows of Oth,” “Quantum Genocide,” “Kill Me If You Can,” “21st Century Frankenstein (Nobot 2)” and personal favorite “Festival of Fear” sound, and in many ways exceed, “Painkiller.” In fact, Darkology is a Metal Church for a new generation – and “Fated to Burn” leaves such an indelible vibe of “The Dark” that I swear the spirit of circa-1986 David Wayne seems to have implanted itself inside of Kelly.In one of the most exciting and pure metal releases in well over a decade, “Fated to Burn” is well worth the wait. Darkology stakes its claim in a busy circuit and with one flap of burning wings created an album that can easily be labeled an instant classic, thus raising its stock as one of the best U.S. bands out there today. This isn’t a mere claim only to be dashed away by a short time – this is the real deal! If you call yourself a fan of metal than heed these words….”Fated to Burn” lives up to and exceeds any hype you may have for it. If you haven’t familiarized yourself with the band, then you picked the right time, because the album isn’t “fated to burnout” anytime soon. Darkology has arrived.Highs: One of the best pure metal albums in a decade, Kelly Sundown Carpenter shines.Lows: Some songs drift a little, but not by much.Bottom line: Darkology strikes back with an album that is "Fated to Burn" into the memory for a long long time." - Metal Underground
    $16.00