3 Original Album Classics (3CD)

SKU: 886976182724
Label:
Sony Music
Category:
AOR
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3 album slipcase set includes: Departure, Escape, and Frontiers.

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  • Yet another brilliant work from this Norwegian prog band.  The Greatest Show On Earth is the band's third effort.  While the first album Identity delved into alternative/prog realms bearing similarity to Radiohead, their second album All Rights Removed was full on Pink Floyd worship.  This latest effort carries on in similar fashion.  There are parts of the album that were written with tracing paper.  It evokes the mood and feel of Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, and maybe even a bit of The Wall.  This isn't to say the band doesn't inject any personality of their own - they do.  There are contemporary elements, its just that when they go into full on Pink Floyd mode its so apparent and so well executed that it blinds you to everything else that is going on.  What Bi Kyon Ran is to King Crimson or The Watch is to Genesis, Airbag is to Pink Floyd.  Original?  Truth be told not really.  It doesn't matter, its so well executed that you will just immerse yourself in the listening experience.  Highly recommended.
    $17.00
  • "“Some things never change”; that’s one of the unwritten rules in the music industry, proving that some bands may take a rest for a while, having the strength and the cojones though to fight back and face every challenge. MUSTASCH’s history goes back in 1999 and Ralf Gyllenhammar hasn’t stop doing a great job behind the mic, delivering way successfully the heavy-loaded lyrics of the Swedish Heavy Rock quartet. Ok, currently the band is a trio, since drummer Danne McKenzie decided to quit last December due to personal differences.From “Ratsafari” and “Powerhouse” till “Latest Version Of Truth” and their self-titled album released 3 years ago, MUSTASCH is the tangible guarantee in the Heavy/Stoner Metal scene and their next step was highly anticipated by the fans. Well, it might have taken a bit longer that it should, but “Sounds Like Hell, Looks Like Heaven” is here to confirm the boulder that listen to the name ‘MUSTASCH’. Without wasting time, the listening of the album’s opener “Speed Metal” was a really pleasure, spitting 100% the MUSTASCH dynamics and the ‘dirty’ sound we all have learned to love. “The Challenger” continues in the same exponential pattern, spreading some frenetic panic and Metal riffs through its pass, thanks to Ralf’s readings, giving the feeling that not a day has passed since the release of “Powerhouse”.“So far, so good”, you may think, but there are more inside the ‘Hell/Heaven’ pack. And what’s that? A new, shinny face of MUSTASCH that made its first appearance in their previous work, but nowadays seems to be more confident to deal with some THIN LIZZY-esque influences, some AC/DC-driven guitar riffs and some METALLICA-laden attitude (“Reload” period), holding though steady the band’s love for some real heavy and shaking stuff. The only con of this album is the feeling that things got a bit rushed, since I can’t justify the presence of songs like “Your Father Must Be Proud Of You”, “Northern Star”. I’m not saying that these are bad songs, but they don’t fit at all in the whole album’s atmosphere, making me push the ‘skip’ button twice. If these two were avoided, we’d be probably talking about the mind-blowing comeback of a band who knows how to really shake things up and make the fans fold. Plus, MUSTASCH would have escaped at least two of the three negative points of my rating...“Sounds Like Hell, Looks Like Heaven” contains great compositions that I’m sure you have missed for so long. So, feel brave, grab your finest booze and skip a couple of unfortunate moments; of course, you’ll be rewarded without doubt, ‘cause this album is freaking awesome! Ralf’s name in the drill, one of the most badass singers out there, talks by itself, don’t ya think? Horns up!" - Metal Kaoz
    $15.00
  • The band's seventh album is considered their "proggiest". This is the enhanced remastered version released by EMI a few years ago. it features four videos as a bonus.
    $13.00
  • Remastered edition now featuring three live bonus tracks taken from the 1983 tour!! "Performance" is a bit maligned for some reason. The tunes are a bit more concise but it still captures the essence of the band. Recommended for sure.Please note this disc incorporates EMI copy control technology which seems to allow you to do whatever it is you would normally do with a CD but you can't rip it. Bummer.
    $13.00
  • 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
  • Long awaited second album from this Finnish progressive death metal bands.  Pressure Points music bears some resemblance to Soilwork and Opeth.  Lots of prog rock influences are present as well."Coming at us from Heinola, Finland is Pressure Points. Weighing in at just under 57 minutes is their brand new, sophomore effort, False Lights, released through 7hard Records.The result is something rather unique, but -as with many prog releases of this nature- may require an investment of your time and an open mind.False Lights is an atmospheric offering that showcases a number of progressive influences, often falling far more on the “rock” side of prog, rather than within the ranks of accepted “progressive metal”. Within is a package of six meaty tracks guaranteed to please fans of the progressive rock genre, while listeners looking for something a bit more extreme may be left feeling rather unsatisfied. Make no mistake, Pressure Points draws the line much closer to Leprous or Spock’s Beard than to Into Eternity, and frankly tend to only use “death metal” as a tool in their arsenal, rather than the hallmark of their sound.And this isn’t a bad thing.In spirit, False Lights feels quite spacey, and at worst can seem a bit ambiguous for the uninitiated listener. It proudly wears its respect for seventies prog on its sleeve (check out “Sleepwalk”), which may prove challenging for some, and charming to others. Each track, however, when properly dissected, offers the full gamut of musical indulgence we come to expect from a truly progressive band. Beautiful piano pieces, soaring vocals, and baby-maker guitar solos are brought to bare in this fine collection of six tracks that all clock in at 8 minutes or more. Invoking a compositional style at times similar to Opeth, the harshest bits come unpredictably, and hit hard, as you can hear in the release’s single, “Electric Shadows”.Never overly indulgent, Pressure Points offer something incredibly solid with False Lights. With each listen, one will notice elements and passages that they may have overlooked before. It’s about getting to know this album. And it’s that kind of relationship building with their music that I believe should be rallying prog fans the world over to this promising Finnish five piece." - It Dents
    $15.00
  • "When one thinks of countries that are a hotbed of prog metal bands, places such as Norway, Sweden, and Finland come to mind. However the Land Down Undah’ otherwise known as Australia has been churning out amazing prog metal bands for the past decade. Bands such as Hemina, Voyager, Lord, Carnivool, Caligula’s Horse, Teramaze and Melbourne’s Vanishing Point have been wowing the prog metal scene for the past decade. It’s been seven long years since the release of Vanishing Point’s The Fourth Season, but the melodic metal quintet consisting of Silvio Massaro (Vocals), Chris Porcianko and James Maier (Guitars), Simon Best (Bass), and Christian Nativo (Drums) have finally returned with their fifth studio album Distant Is The Sun on AFM Records. The band has stayed true to their unique blend of progressive, power, AOR metal and have secured the talents of Sebastian “Seeb” Levermann of Ordan Ogen for mixing duites on Distant Is The Sun. Picking up right where The Fourth Season left off, the musicianship and songwriting on Distant Is The Sun is exceptional.The album kicks off with the short instrumental track Beyond Redemption and powers right into the first song King of Empty Promises. The double bass drum attack from Nativo and melodic keyboards lead the way and the harmonious soaring vocals during the chorus are a perfect way to officially start the album.The title track is next and begins with a heavy groove and transforms into a light piano tinged verses with Massaro’s impressive vocals leading to a catchy and melodic chorus. The twin guitar harmony lead attack from Porcianko and Maier is a thing of beauty during the solo section.Symphonic keys signify the start of When Truth Lies, an epic slab of energetic melodic progressive metal with a driving headbanging beat. Sonata Arctica frontman Tony Kaako lends his melodic pipes to the fast and furious power metal of Circle of Fire. Kaako and Massaro’s vocals compliment each other extremely well and create an amazing metal duet.The keyboard prominence on Denied Deliverance is pronounced in the mix but never overshadows the heaviness of the track, it just adds to the overall melody of the song. A blazing guitar solo section highlights the middle portion of another stellar song. Let the River Run has an impeccable acappella vocal harmony section that begins this mid tempo metal gem. The beautiful vocals during the chorus will be stuck in your head for days after listening.The album slows down for the piano based Story of Misery but don’t be fooled into thinking this is a traditional power ballad. The emphasis is on POWER with a emotive vocal performance from Massaro. Era Zero speeds things right back up with a frenzied double kick attack with plenty of soaring melodic vocals throughout and a shredding guitar solo from the tandem of Porcianko/Maier and culminates in a symphonic ending and bursts right into Pillars of Sand which keeps the hard and fast metal flowing.The eerie keyboard intro of As December Fades melds into a Maiden-esque guitar harmony and a glorious AOR sounding chorus with a symphonic element that is reminiscent of Within Temptation. A bright piano melody signals the beginning of Handful of Hope. Once again Massaro gets his chance to shine with an impressive vocal performance filled with passion and emotion. The bands penchant for writing catchy power metal is on display on Walls of Silence. The brilliant symphonic melodies and heavy guitar compliment each other perfectly. The album closes with the acoustic guitar tinged instrument titled April, an understated yet effective piece of music with a keyboard accompaniment underneath in the mix. It is a curious choice to end the album, but well done nonetheless.After a seven-year absence, the world of melodic prog welcomes back Vanishing Point with open arms and hopefully Distant Is The Sun will shoot the band to the next level of popularity outside their native Australia. This goes to show that like a fine wine, Vanishing Point only improves with age!" - Lady Obscure
    $15.00
  • "Too many people mislabel “technical” or “math” for “progressive”. The vast majority of the bands in the djent movement are, at best, technical. The only prog-like changes in the music are from a riff to a breakdown. Elsewhere, some noodly math band is labeled “progressive” because the guitars make pretty twinkle noises. That is hardly the stuff of prog legends. Enter The Omega Experiment, whose debut helps re-define a genre that really needs clarification.I don’t mean to get ahead of myself, as The Omega Experiment is no classic. These Michigan natives have the story of a djent group, but the sound of a bygone era. The group consists of multi-instrumentalist Dan Wieten and keyboardist Ryan Aldridge. The group is, in essence, a bedroom project, one of the many disciples of the prophet Misha Mansoor. Yet, The Omega Experiment treks down a different sonic road than Periphery.While the latter worshiped at the altar of Meshuggah, these gentlemen prefer to take heed from the success of Rush, Dream Theater, and most evidently, Devin Townsend. The band’s particular brand of progressive metal is light on the metal, favoring towering vocals to screamed sentiments. Also, half of the group is the keyboardist, so you bet your sweet ass that the keyboard plays a heavy role on the proceedings here. The blazing solos aren’t too shabby either.The album tells the story of Dan Wieten’s struggles over the past ten years and his search for a way out of his own mess. The music helps tell the story of transcendence; each melody seems to come from a place of light as Dan fights off his inner demons. Like any concept album, The Omega Experiment is best enjoyed in one sitting. Because of this, the album lacks absolute highlights and lowlights. If you are a fan of the throwback prog style, surely each new track will uncover something pleasing to your ears. The entire album is laden to the brim with vocal melodies, guitar pyrotechnics, and enough keyboards to please any Styx fan. The record is such a treat that the band even named its first track “Gift”.With an album like this, it’s not easy to point out complaints, but two become evident upon multiple listens. While the drum programming is certainly adequate, there is no substitute for live drums. For the most part, the kicks and snare sound good enough, but the programmed nature of the percussion occasionally irked me. The other complaint is really a matter of preference. The album’s standout track, “Furor”,  is also the only track where the band seems to really unleash the metal they're clearly holding in. I wish the band let loose a few more times throughout The Omega Experiment; however, too much gusto might detract from the sound the band has cultivated.Overall, The Omega Experiment has reminded this reviewer how progressive music can be when it’s actually progressive. If the mention of Devin Townsend or Rush makes you want to run to the hills, then The Omega Experiment will not change your viewpoint. However, if you’re looking for a sampling of a new crop of progressive metal acts, then take a careful listen to The Omega Experiment." - Decoy Music
    $15.00
  • Magnificent spacerock journey is a conceptual work that was one half of a duology completed by "Time To Turn". Stunning Floyd-like soundscapes with Frank Bornemann's ever present guitar runs. Comes with a live version of "On The Verge Of Darkening Lights". Highest recommendation.Please note this disc incorporates EMI copy control technology which seems to allow you to do whatever it is you would normally do with a CD but you can't rip it. Bummer.
    $13.00
  • "The beauty of Progressive music is the myriad of ways by which it may be approached by listeners and musicians alike. The Danish quartet ANUBIS GATE are soon to release their 6th album, “Horizons”, the first album without long-time members Morten Sørensen and Jesper M. Jensen, and doing well to stay with long-time producer Jacob Hansen. New members Morten Gade and Michael Bodin offer their exceptional instrumental skills in the mix. With “Horizons”, we see a continuation, albeit tangential, from the major turning point that was the self-titled album. With this release, one can expect the darkly melodic-melancholic and song-oriented Progressive music they have since become known for. As much as I loved the self-titled album, “Horizons” tops it in almost every way.“Never Like This” is exemplary of the band's ambitious, but inevitably excellent and evocative songwriting, that fuses liquid but hard-hitting riffs and airy, creative melodic work. Henrik expands his vocals here quite significantly, his immense range travelling from spectrum to spectrum and delivering catchy hooks in a deliciously Jazzy fashion. Coming from Pop roots, he offers something unique and tangible to the Metal table.  “Hear My Call” is my favorite track here; I was instantly hooked, even months ago, hearing just snippets on teasers. A deceptively heavy, yet groovy intro riff, drives the majority of the song, with yet again a creative display of melodic progressions. The chorus is delightful, with Henrik showing a soaring facet to his vocal repertoire. Both guitarists possess a unique ability to seamlessly transcend between the heavy and melodic in an instant, which is sudden and followable at the same time.Of course, “A Dream Within A Dream” requires a mention; their longest track, at 14 minutes it even surpasses “The End of Millennium Road”, but similarly combines an array of amorphous soundscapes. It also continues a neat little trick I have noticed the band perform, where certain lyrical passages would link back to previous tracks; such occurred with “Ammonia Snow” on “The Detached”. The highlight is the delicious passage demonstrated on the recent teaser, displaying a symbiotic melody between Henrik's bass and his vocals. “Erasure” is a surprising and very enjoyable acoustic piece that garnishes the end of the album. As opposed to the ballad “Ammonia Snow”, this track features predominantly acoustic guitars and a dramatic crash of distorted electric that breaks up any potential monotony. Did I mention the hauntingly beautiful lyrics?It is repressively hard not to ramble on about Progressive music with such surreal, engaging properties. In the end, any expectations I had of this release were not met, but blown away. The year is young, but it is already in my proverbial, annual top 10." - Metal Temple
    $12.00
  • Remastered edition of the third album from the creators of doom metal.
    $13.00
  • "The Seasons of Mist promo team must have collectively flipped their titties when the Sydney Conservatorium of Music announced they were to use Ne Obliviscaris‘s “And Plague Flowers The Kaleido” on their teaching syllabus. In a world of increasingly simple and commercial music, nothing screams musical credibility more than appreciation from a prestigious classical school. Mutual respect and musical coalition of the ‘complex’ and ‘respectable’ genres of classical, jazz and metal are commonly used by bands and fans for self-validation and in intellectual dick-waving contests. The one complaint I had about Ne Obliviscaris‘s début LP, Portal Of I, was that it was one of these exercises. It’s a fantastic, accomplished work of art and it was one of my favorites from 2012, but it lacked that feeling. It was a work of aesthetics without a tangible soul.The same cannot be said of Citadel. Start to finish, there is a sense of cohesiveness and an underlying purpose to the record, beyond mere skill and pretentiousness (have you seen those song titles?). More, the Melbourne-based six-piece retains their unique brand of extreme metal combined with classical and jazz, improving on the already-stellar musical credibility which they crave so. Citadel is the complete package for the discerning prog fan and metalhead, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.Ne Obliviscaris Citadel 03It’s not easy to pigeon-hole No Obliviscaris into a single extreme genre. While Portal Of I could be broadly categorized as symphonic black metal, Citadel bears stronger death influences. Compare the intros of “Tapestry Of The Starless Abstract” with “Pyrrhic”: the latter from Citadel bears further down-tuned guitars, a thicker bass drum, and tasty chromatic chord progressions, whereas the former has a more typical tremolo-picked black metal melody. The extreme metal sections here are absolutely punishing, such as on the opening five minutes of “Pyrrhic” and “Devour Me, Colossus I: Blackholes.” The battering blast beats, and the thick, technical riffs, contribute to this effect.But along with its heaviness, there are the undeniable classical sections. The introduction, “Painters Of The Tempest I: Wyrmholes,” and the conclusion, “Devour Me, Colossus II: Contortions,” enclose the record, slowly breaking you into the complex soundscapes and lifting you away again at the end. Tim Charles’s violin is exemplary, and more varied than on Portal Of I. He uses a greater range in pitch, as well as more minor and atonal notes on these two songs, with the result of a beautifully unsettling experience. The recurring piano keys on these two tracks are haunting and bring the record full circle, while establishing the theme of the record. Charles narrates the quiet, desolate wandering through the eponymous citadel, just as the heavy tracks narrate its eventual destruction.The greatest asset of Citadel is undoubtedly its ability to surprise the listener. Just when you think the band is settling into a regular rhythm, they introduce a new sound, nail a unique transition or progress to a new phase of a song. “Pyrrhic” will undoubtedly go down as one of my favorite tracks from this year, featuring a jaw-dropper of a breakdown and transition. After blasting the listener with some of the most aggressive material on the record, the tempo slows to a near stop, with ambient noise and a simple drum-line. After building, the background unexpectedly cuts – the use of silence as a contrast floored me. Additionally, the interlude, “Painter Of The Tempest III: Reveries From The Stained Glass Wound” (Pretentiousness: unparalleled), bears a flamenco flavor, with dual melodies from the violin and an acoustic guitar. They even use some djent-y riffs towards the end of “Painters Of The Tempest II: Triptych Lux.” There’s a sophisticated and utterly compelling integration of many components and styles here.If I have one gripe (and I do only have one) it’s the production. Rather than allowing the enamored listener – of which there are many where this hype train is concerned – to gradually unfurl the intricacies of the music on their own, everything is unsubtly shoveled to the fore. There are many layers and instruments going on at various points here, which requires clarity in mixing, but everything sounds far too pristine. Each instrument seems to have been produced to have equal weighting and the same effect – the violin should be more delicate to better contrast the guitars, for example. The kick drum is similarly over-produced, weakening the rhythm component.Quirky production aside however, Citadel is nigh-on masterful. Credibility permeates everything, from the complex song-writing and varied vocals to the superior riffing, violin-work and interesting drumming. A melancholic note overhangs the record, reflecting the theme of a destroyed society, which gives this record better direction than Portal Of I. I only hope Ne Obliviscaris continue along this path – self-indulgent dick-waving and all." - Angry Metal Guy blog
    $12.00
  • Recorded on the 2009-2010 tour, with Rob Moratti on vocals.  A complete live run through of the Heads Or Tales album.
    $11.00
  • "It is such a rare feat these days that a band can boast a back catalogue of such highly acclaimed albums. Nightwish’s career has not stagnated once in their nearly 20 years of existence, and despite highly publicised vocalist changes that has quartered the fanbases, their popularity has gone nothing but up. Why? Their music is simply immense. So here we are with album number 8, but after throwing so much into their previous effort ‘Imaginaerum‘, have the band finally run out of steam?If the opening track of ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful‘ has anything to say about it, absolutely not. The album opens with Richard Dawkins, the figurehead in the album’s theme of evolution, speaking to provide a brief introduction to the loose concept. Without hesitation the album bursts into life with ‘Shudder Before The Beautiful‘, orchestras blaring, keyboards frantic, and suddenly a wall of guitars thickening into one of Nightwish’s heaviest tracks in their career. The band have gone all out in this one, from a massive chorus transitioning to a prolonged solo battle between guitars and keyboards. It purely represents the things to come on the album, a raw Nightwish that has tapped all the highlights of their career into a transcendent epic.Moving straight on to ‘Weak Fantasy‘, the band does not immediately lift up the power and aggresion, yet makes an immediate impact of the spectrum of elements the instrumentalists now have to offer on the album. From a massive heavy chorus of ominous choirs transitioning into folk guitar melodies and tribal drumming, overlaid by the diverse vocals of Floor Jansen marking her Nightwish recording debut. The further addition of Troy Donockley as a full time member proves to be one of the wisest of investments as they make use of his talents with the vast array of unique instruments evident with tracks such as ‘Elan‘ and ‘My Walden‘.There are moments of this album that represent pure passion and take us on a journey of reminiscence of styles throughout Nightwish’s career, whilst building on top of them with the vast resources of choirs and full orchestra the band now have at their disposal. The softer ‘Elan‘ takes us to the softer metal with hook that Nightwish singles in recent years, while the heavier ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful‘ and playful ‘Alpenglow‘ revisit the ‘Century Child‘ days with a diverse range of Emppu Vuorinen’s erratic guitar work with memorable guitar melodies, and dramatic choruses that completely define Nightwish as a musical force.As the album draws to a close, we come to expect a poetic closure of such an exquisite palette of music, however the higlights of the album are only to come. The beautiful instrumental ‘The Eyes of Sharbat Gula‘ serve as dramatic solace before the storm in the centerpiece of the album – the 24-minute monster of ‘The Greatest Show on Earth‘. This progressive epic highlights the songwriting brilliance of Tuomas Holopainen, taking on the theme of ‘life and evolution by natural selection’, the track takes on the aggressive, the beautiful, the mysterious and everything that the band have to offer in one neat package, making full use of the massive vocal range of Floor Jansen and the masculine prowess of Marco Hietala. One of the finest tracks in Nightwish’s career if I may say so!‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful‘ simply put is sheer brilliance. Where the previous opus’ of ‘Dark Passion Play‘ and ‘Imaginaerum‘ continued a theatrical progression off of the success of ‘Once‘, this album has taken a renewed and raw approach to songwriting, revisitng the process of old and writing songs to highlight talents of band. The broad and experience-laced musicianship has put to full use just englightening us again as to why this band has made, and will continue to make history, and should be very proud of their 8th album. Forget about the past controversies, put aside your vocalist disputes, Nightwish has produced a fantastic album that can be adored by all." - The Metalist
    $6.00