5150 ($5 SPECIAL)

SKU: 925394-2
Label:
Warner Bros
Category:
Hard Rock
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"he power struggle within Van Halen was often painted as David Lee Roth's ego running out of control -- a theory that was easy enough to believe given his outsized charisma -- but in retrospect, it seems evident that Eddie Van Halen wanted respect to go along with his gargantuan fame, and Roth wasn't willing to play. Bizarrely enough, Sammy Hagar -- the former Montrose lead singer who had carved out a successful solo career -- was ready to play, possibly because the Red Rocker was never afraid of being earnest, nor was he afraid of synthesizers, for that matter. There was always the lingering suspicion that, yes, Sammy truly couldn't drive 55, and that's why he wrote the song, and that kind of forthright rocking is evident on the strident anthems of 5150. From the moment the album opens with the crashing "Good Enough," it's clearly the work of the same band -- it's hard to mistake Eddie's guitars, just as it's hard to mistake Alex and Michael Anthony's pulse, or Michael's harmonies -- but the music feels decidedly different. Where Diamond Dave would have strutted through the song with his tongue firmly in cheek, Hagar plays it right down the middle, never winking, never joking. Even when he takes a stab at humor on the closing "Inside" -- joshing around about why the guys chose him as a replacement -- it never feels funny, probably because, unlike Dave, he's not a born comedian. Then again, 5150 wasn't really intended to be funny; it was intended to be a serious album, spiked by a few relentless metallic rockers like "Get Up," but functioning more as a vehicle to showcase Van Halen's -- particularly the guitarist's -- increasing growth and maturity. There are plenty of power ballads, in "Why Can't This Be Love" and "Love Walks In," there's a soaring anthem of inspiration in "Dreams," and even the straight-up rocker "Best of Both Worlds" is tighter and leaner than the gonzo excursions of "Panama" and "Hot for Teacher." And that's where Hagar comes in: Diamond Dave didn't have much patience for plainspoken lyrics or crafting songs, but Sammy does and he brings a previously unheard sense of discipline to the writing on 5150. Not that Hagar is a craftsman like Randy Newman, but he's helped push Van Halen into a dedication on writing full-fledged songs, something that often seemed an afterthought in the original lineup. And so Van Hagar was a bit of an odd mix -- a party band and a party guy, slowly veering into a bourgeois concept of respectability, something that eventually sunk the band -- but on 5150 it worked because they had the songs and the desire to party, so those good intentions and slow tunes don't slow the album down; they give it variety and help make the album a pretty impressive opening act for Van Halen Mach II." - Allmusic Guide

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    $15.00
  • Far From Forgot is the first part of a proposed trilogy from former Enid guitarist Francis Lickerish.  He left The Enid in 1981 and wasn't heard from again until the Secret Green project from a few years ago.  This is more or less an extension of that album.  The music is very similar to The Enid - epic scope symphonic music with a rock infusion.  Lickerish plays guitar along with Jon Beedle, Hilary Palmer sings and plays flute.  There are a whole range of musicians filling out the soundscape.  What Lickerish has created is something very much akin to Mike Oldfield's Celtic influenced period.  Quite a beautiful album.  Highly recommended.
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  • Special edition comes with two bonus tracks."German Power Metal titans' "Straight Out Of Hell" was indeed one of my most anticipated albums of 2013, and expectedly from a band like HELLOWEEN, it did not disappoint me. This album, contrarily to what its title suggests, is actually more optimistic than the previous ones. The opening track "Nabatea", a relatively long one, is an amazing Speed Metal masterpiece with a quite different lyrical theme than the rest of the tracks. "World of War" is another fast-paced song with a more serious undertone that reminded me of the classic “Eagles Fly Free" for some reason. It is one of the best tracks, in my opinion."Live Now" a relatively weak track and my least favorite, is followed by the bombastic "Far From The Stars", one of the most powerful and thrilling tracks. "Burning Sun" is actually my personal favorite. Michael Weikath got the idea of this one in the shower, and it turned out to be such a masterpiece, embellished by breathtakingly symphonic interludes, and of course, amazing vocal performance by Mr. Andi Deris. When I first heard "Waiting For The Thunder", nothing except "If I Could Fly" crossed my mind. "Hold Me In Your Arms" is a soft romantic ballad, totally expected at this point, right in the middle of the album."Wanna Be God" comes right after and it's in a way, HELLOWEEN's "We Will Rock You". I definitely loved it, and you'll find yourself singing along, right away, at the first time you listen to it. The title track is a very catchy one, but there’s nothing special about it. Still, you'll have the "Straight Out of Hell" line sung in chorus stuck in your head for a while. The biggest surprise was "Asshole" though. The track is surprisingly not as heavy as its title implies, not even aggressive. It is, however, another cheerful sing-along track. It's another powerful and highly ranked track for me. The symphonic elements in "Years" are just enchantingly well done. "Make Fire Catch The Flame" has a sort of cinematic intro and a perfect chorus with an awesome bombastic sound and a great velocity as in "Nabatea". "Churches Break Down" is no weaker than the previous tracks, with additional elements such as a brief use of organ and female vocals.The limited edition of album contains two additional bonus tracks: one is "Another Shot of Life" and it's not bad at all for a bonus track. The second is the Hammond version of "Burning Sun", a tribute to the late Jon Lord. The bottom line: "Straight Out of Hell" is a decent follow-up to the thirteen preceding great albums that made HELLOWEEN the pioneers of their genre. It put a smile on my face for days." - Metal Temple
    $14.00
  • First solo album from Nevermore's vocalist finds him dialing it down a bit but still staying within the power metal realm. Frankly I think this gives Dane an opportunity to really show off what his voice is still capable of. The production is quite modern and with backing by members of Soilwork and Himsa you can be sure that it slams when necessary. Is it embarassing if I say that I enjoyed this more than recent Nevermore? Dand still has a real gift and this disc demonstrates it with full force.
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  • If you love that classic hard rock sound of the 70s and 80s you will go crazy over this album plain and simple.  Alex Beyrodt reined in the neoclassical overtones just a bit, David Readman shines as always (LOVE this guy's voice).  The result is an album that evokes the spirit of Rainbow, Whitesnake, and Deep Purple.  I thought the last VC album was excellent - this one is even better!  Highly recommended.Limited edition digipak with two bonus tracks and one video clip.
    $17.00
  • "There's no doubt that every genre has its leaders. Bands who through a confidence and display of ability, rise above the others who simply seem to follow in their wake. Primal Fear are one such band, leading the Euro Power Metal genre as if it is their own to do with as they please. In essence what they choose to do is, in truth, similar to countless other bands and still reliant on a blueprint created by the likes of Accept and Judas Priest many, many years ago. However with the class of Alex Beyrodt and Magnus Karlsson on guitars, PF already have a head start on the opposition, so when you add to that the bass bombast of Mat Sinner, drumming displays from Randy Black and the ultra powerful vocal viciousness of Ralf Scheepers, then immediately it becomes apparent why Primal Fear reign supreme.That line-up has been stable for some four years now and it shows on Delivering The Black, amazingly this band's tenth studio offering. What does it sound like? Well truth be told you know that already because Primal Fear do what they do so well, that tinkering with the sound would be merely to stray from a tried, tested and well loved formula. However the sheer energy and conviction behind the likes of "King For A Day", "Alive & On Fire" and "Inseminoid" ensures that what this Beyrodt produced monster of an album delivers, never falls short of fist punchingly good.However while each and every one of the ten tracks on show here (twelve and a "single" mix of "Death Comes Knocking" if you buy the deluxe version – and you know you really want to...) pulsates, gyrates and convulsates, the two which really stand out as the central pieces of Delivering The Black are the aforementioned, but full version of "Death Comes Knocking" and "One Night In December", both of which reach towards and beyond the seven minute mark. Orchestral embellishments are unobtrusively added and both tracks evolve through a variety of moods and atmospheres, while still sounding 100% like prime-time Primal. Add to that an acoustic based, but bombastically delivered slower number in the shape of "Born With A Broken Heart", where Leaves Eyes' Liv Kristine adds backing vocals and Delivering The Black stands out as an individual and ambitious album, while still being completely and utterly what this band have always been about. Something many acts have tried to do and failed.While a few new elements are successfully introduced here, the old adage of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" still springs to mind and rest assured that Primal Fear are in full, glorious, working order." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $19.00
  • "Brazilian power metal superstars Hibria proudly present their very first live concert album on both DVD & CD - a multimedia headbanging experience of the first order!Professionally filmed with multiple cameras at the Shinagawa Prince Stellar Ball in Tokyo, Japan - May 15th, 2011 - and covering all of the fan favorites including Steel Lord On Wheels, Bind Ride, Shoot Me Down and more!This is the final release with Hibria founding member, guitarist and producer Diego Kasper!"CD/DVD1. Blind Ride2. Nonconforming Minds3. Shoot Me Down4. Welcome To The Horror Show5. Living Under Ice6. Defying The Rules7. Millennium Quest*6. Blinded By Faith9. The Shelter s On Fire10. The Anger Inside11. The Skull Collectors12. Sea Of Revenge*13. I Feel No Bliss*14. Sight Of BlindnessENCORE15. Intro (Wings Of Wax)16. Tiger Punch17. Steel Lord On Wheels18. Rotten Souls*DVD only
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  • "Esteemed international metal label Season of Mist began pursuing the two-guitar, three-singer Vancouver quartet Anciients after hearing a series of early mixes for what would become the band’s debut album. It’s easy to imagine what initially lured the diverse label to the band: The tracks on Anciients' nine-song entrance, Heart of Oak, are hyperkinetic but heavily anchored. They surround the hooks you might expect from a Baroness anthem with tangential and technical playing that trends toward prog rock but stops short of Opeth or Enslaved’s maze of redirections. Anciients excel at muscular and agile guitar solos, while the guitarists, Kenny Cook and Chris Dyck, also volley the vocal duties, jumping from death metal bellow to pop-metal lift. It’s exciting stuff, really-- often complicated without seeming excessive, skillful but soulful, approachable but not pedestrian. At its best, Heart of Oak is immediate and electrifying, an album that suggests Anciients’ half-prog, half-pop metal is bound for big stages.By this point, though, you’ve probably wondered what’s up with the band’s name: Why, after all, add an extraneous vowel to a perfectly good handle? That excess is emblematic of Anciients' chief musical foible-- time and again, they add unnecessary sidecars to songs that would have been more effective left alone. Of these nine tracks, only one doesn’t break the six-minute mark. The exception is a tender but predictable instrumental, a mid-album interlude meant as a tribute to some late friends and family members. But the rest of these things are hyperbolic monsters that speak to a rookie act attempting to get through all of their influences at once, even though three of the members have been playing together in other groups for a decade. They are trying to make a very big point all the time, and the weight collapses in on itself. “The Longest River”, a nine-minute cut with a woefully apropos handle, swivels from acoustic foreboding to contract-and-expand thrash, from distended solos to dense stomp, from sweet-singing verses to growled impasses. None of it’s bad, but none of it is astounding enough to pardon the way it obviates an excellent refrain.That’s a consistent problem for Heart of Oak, a record that adulterates many incredibly exciting moments with consistent excess. “Flood and Fire”, a late-album highlight, seems more like a string of song pieces than a proper song, with a righteous solo swiping momentum from a great chorus that, in turn, stymies several great and grim hardcore shout-alongs. As Cook told Metal Underground, album opener “Raise the Sun” initially keys on Fleet Foxes before leaping into a verse so sticky and warm that ASG or Torche might like to have it back. Elsewhere, the song convincingly invokes metalcore and psychedelic rock, hangman riffs and fleeting blast beats. The parts are exhilarating, but strung together with more enthusiasm than wisdom so they’re mostly exhausting. Taken a track or two at a time, Heart of Oak is manageable; make it from end to end, though, and it’s difficult not to feel frustrated by the fatigue.These complaints aren’t meant as some preclusive warning against Heart of Oak; rather, they’re only an honest assessment of a band that, in years to come, is probably going to be great. If Anciients choose to venture further deeper into labyrinthine prog, they’ve got the riffs and rhythms to make it compelling over the long haul. They seem as steeped in the suffocation of black metal from Scandinavia as they do in the sweetness of Allman licks from Georgia, as capable of thrash sprints as they are stoner lulls. And as the pealing organ and rumbling field recordings of the gorgeous (but, again, incredibly excessive) closer “For Lisa” suggest, they bring a wide-eyed approach to their music. Heart of Oak doesn’t have a compelling, cohesive narrative thrust, but there’s always time to buy a book of folklore, right?Alternately, Anciients could choose the route of bands such as Baroness or even Mastodon, embedding that sharp technicality within songs that make their points with concision that doesn’t forsake intricacy. The kernels of these songs are strong enough to suggest that they’re not very far off-- that is, their biggest problem as a band isn’t a dearth of ideas but, rather, discretion with those ideas. Anciients are exciting new prospects, with or without that cumbersome vowel chaiin." - Pitchfork
    $13.00
  • A great archival score from this relatively new label out of Poland that is concentrating on Eastern European jazz and rock.  Previously unreleased live recording from 1975."SBB haven proven that there could be a world-class band in Poland. Sent on tour to Sweden in May 1975 to open for the second-rate British act Jack the Lad, SBB quickly stole the show and brought the house down. Contracted for the Roskilde Festival in 1978 as the first group from Poland ever. In their native country they were capable of playing as many as four concerts a day at one venue, and still all the tickets were sold out. They were big. Thanks to the previously unreleased live recording from 1975 we can prove it once again.The memorable performance at the „Jazz nad Odrą” festival in March 1975 was one of the very first to feature the band’s completely new setlist used (with a few alterations) during the next twelve months. The musicians performed the tracks from their second (not yet released) and third (not yet recorded) album, including the biggest hit up to date, „Z których krwi krew moja”. All the songs were merged in one long suite, incrusted with fierce and powerful improvisations. In 1976 the band began to expand the variety of instruments used and, as a result, never returned to the progressive (and aggressive!) formula so typical of 1975. Thanks to the Wrocław recording, however, we are lucky to experience once again the energy that radiated from the three extraordinary musicians.The material has been remastered from the original tapes in pristine quality."
    $15.00
  • Swedish Hammerfall offshoot features pure epic fantasy power metal in the tradition of Dio, Iron Maiden, et al.
    $7.00
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  • "Most bands will reach a creative peak at a certain point in their career after which they simply continue in a less interesting fashion before eventually calling it a day. Not so with Motorpsycho. After more than 20 years they continue to develop and to to challenge themselves artistically. On this epic, double concept album, easily their most ambitious yet, Motorpsycho has assembled the cream of classical and jazz musicians from world class ensembles established in Trondheim, their hometown. ”The Death Defying Unicorn” was first commisioned by Molde International Jazzfestival for their 50th anniversary in 2010 where it was performed on the main outdoor stage. This, however, has been partly re-arranged, refined and recorded from scratch at Propeller Studios in Oslo with Kåre Chr. Vestrheim once again co-producing as he did with ”Heavy Metal Fruit”. Ståle Storløkken (Supersilent, Elephant9, Humcrush, Terje Rypdal) is considered one of Norway´s top keyboardists but here he also comes into his full as a writer and not at least arranger of the two ensembles. His contributions to this album can not be stressed enough. Among the players in Trondheim Jazz Orchestra are wellknown names such as Kjetil Møster (Ultralyd), André Roligheten (Albatrosh) and Mathias Eick, not to forget star violinist Ola Kvernberg." Heavyweight cardboard gatefold sleeve and 180 gram pressing. Looks real sharp!FOREIGN CUSTOMERS PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO THE HEAVIER WEIGHT OF VINYL YOU WILL BE SUBJECT TO ADDITIONAL SHIPPING CHARGES.
    $30.00