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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    $30.00
  • "Sinbreed is the project around 27 year old Guitarist Flo Laurin who joined forces with dedicated artists of the European metal scene. The blistering combination of speed, melodic and aggressive arrangements combined with high and soaring vocals characterizes Sinbreed's distinctive Power metal, and they now present their debut album "When worlds collide".The project has been in the making since the late nineties by founder Flo Laurin, and piece by piece everything has fallen in place; from the style of the music, the influences and the band members. Three demo’s were recorded, and the last one was voted “Best newcomer of the month” in Germany’s Heavy Magazine. During spring 2009 a deal was made with Sweden’s Ulterium Records, and the band started to work hard on their debut album.The members of Sinbreed are Frederik Ehmke [Blind Guardian] on drums, Hebie Langhans [Seventh Avenue] on vocals, Alexander Schulz on bass and Flo Laurin who handles guitars and keys. For the mixing and mastering of the album the band decided to work together with the highly acclaimed producer Markus Teske, famous for his work with Symphony X, Vanden Plas, Neal Morse among others.Guests on the album includes Thomas Rettke [Redkey, Ex. Heaven's Gate], Joost van den Broek [Ayreon, Star One] and Morten Sandager [Pretty Maids]. The artwork was created by Felipe Machado Franco [Iced Earth, Ayreon, Pyramaze] and the booklet by Markus Sigfridsson [Darkwater, Harmony]."
    $15.00
  • A new band for the LMP stable. Symphonity hail from Czech Republic. They used to be known a Nemesis (no - not the Hungarian band) and released one forgettable album on Underground Symphony. After a couple of key guys dropped out the remaining members decided to regroup. They invited Dionysus vocalist Olaf Hayer to front the band. The results is symphonic touched power metal that reaches for the big sound (courtesy of Sascha Paeth). I'm not a good judge for bands of this sort but I would comfortably file them alongside Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica and their ilk.
    $7.00
  • Fourth album from this excellent Italian progressive rock band. Madame Zelle is a concept album based on the life of double agent Mata Hari. Plenty of solos from keyboards and flute without sounding dated. In fact this doesn't sound like 70s Italian prog at all - they achieve a contemporary sound that bears a striking similarity to White Willow's Storm Season period. I wish vocalist Simona Rigano sang in English. It would bring this band acceptance from a much broader audience. She has a nice voice that serves the music quite well. Overall an album with a nice flow to it. Highly recommended.
    $19.00
  • "Suddenly, Polish progressive-rock bands are infiltrating the international scene. While many of them are reaching new audiences thanks to the rise of the homeland's Metal Mind Productions, ProgRock Records in the United States managed to nab one of the best. Sandstone initially was formed in 2001 without a keyboard player. But as the band's sound evolved into a hybrid of neo-progressive and progressive-metal music – think, maybe, Arena meets Dream Theater – the quartet quickly realized it needed keys to add texture and depth to its songs.Sandstone's debut, Looking For Myself, is an expansive, six-song journey chronicling one man's struggle for nothing more than to love and to be loved. It sounds more upbeat than Riverside (arguably one of the biggest acts to come out of Poland in recent years) and less technical than Dream Theater. But the sheer ambition of these songs – only one of which clocks in at shorter than seven and a half minutes – propels Looking For Myself into the ranks of those debut discs that leave listeners not only wanting more but also wondering where else the band could take the music. The best indication of Sandstone's capabilities can be heard on "Birth of My Soul," which opens with clear and concise soloing from guitarist Jarek Niecikowski and eventually reaches David Gilmour aspirations near the song's conclusion. Vocalist Marcin Zmorzynski's thick accent is a minor distraction early on, but getting used to it is easy.As is listening to this album." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $3.00
  • The 70s Italian band Delirium followed a similar route to New Trolls although they had a much shorter lifespan. They recorded three excellent prog album interspersed with some singles like "Jesehel" that gave them commercial success in Italy. The band reformed a few years ago with many of the original members. This DVD set features a pro-shot live performance filmed in Genoa in 2008. As a bonus you get a series of TV clips officially licensed from RAI. Plus there is some backstage footage, etc. The included bonus CD contains the audio of the reunion gig.
    $23.00
  • The new wave of Norwegian progressive metal has found a worthy representative in Circus Maximus. The band has a wide variety of musical influences, from pop/rock to 70's Prog-Rock to Heavy and Death metal, all of which is blended together and gives them their unique sound. This melting pot creates a mixture of great melodies, groove, heavy riffs and weird odd time signatures."The First Chapter" was recorded in various studios in Norway, and mixed in October 2004 in Denmark at Jailhouse Studios with well-known producer Tommy Hansen (Helloween, Pretty Maids, Wuthering Heights) at the helm.The sound is impeccable, the musicianship is out-of-this-world, Michael Eriksen's voice is amazing (reminding of Tony Harnell, Joey Tempest and Ronnie Atkins), and the songs are simply outstanding. A superb mixture of classic hard rock anthems and progressive technical bits and pieces. Just listen to tracks as the upbeat opener "Sin", the beautiful ballad "Silence From Angels Above", the grandiose "Glory Of The Empire" or the 19-minute magnum-opus "The 1st Chapter".This album will appeal to all fans of bands such as Symphony X, TNT, Dream Theater, Pretty Maids and Queensryche.Circus Maximus will be making their North American debut at ProgPower USA in Atlanta, GA on September 16, 2005.
    $13.00
  • "You know how it is. You’re the Daughter of Satan, you fall in love, your lover dies, you kill some nuns, and then you destroy the world.All in a day’s work for Demon Lung, whose new album ‘A Dracula’ is the gleeful retelling of a gruesome story inspired by the 1977 horror film Alucarda.‘A Dracula’ is bigger, faster and more spectacular than its predecessor, the band’s excellent debut ‘The Hundredth Name’, and while it may not be a huge creative gamble for the Las Vegas quintet, it’s a step up in every department.Clad in white gown and sorrowful expression, singer Shanda Frederick in undoubtedly the band’s focal point. She particularly enjoyed writing the lyrics for this album, and that relish oozes through in her performance.Frederick’s voice sways and lilts with a delicately-controlled strength. It is at once tragic and snarling, dreamy and yet decisive. For all her gloomy power and vampiric passion, it would be great to hear even more variety from Frederick’s distinctive voice. She persists with a trademark slide at the end of almost every line, which becomes distracting.On the song ‘Raped By The Serpent’, she demonstrates that when her vocals are more positive and invigorated, then the song can really come to life. Other standout tracks include ‘I Am Haunted’, which is a slow and patient triumph, and the gloriously understated epic ‘Gypsy Curse’.Big, metallic riffs pummel and crash as the narrative proceeds to its striking conclusion, the guitars working in perfect partnership with Frederick’s Medusa-like charms.Demon Lung draw upon a sludgy heaviness and apocalyptic drumming to create a thunderous, stirring sound. And yet some songs stubbornly refuse to burst into life, as was the case on the band’s previous album. These Nevada wizards prefer to downplay their own epicness in order to maintain a relentless state of tension.‘A Dracula’ is consistently engaging and mesmerising work of creative misery from these stylish Las Vegas doomsayers." - Doom Metal Heaven
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  • "Getting your head and ears around an Andromeda album can be a challenge. It's not that their music is perplexing, but it is often varied and eclectic. Consider the first two songs on their fifth album, Manifest Tyranny. Preemptive Strike is a short introductory piece of mostly heavy and thrash metal. The following Lies R Us slows the pace offering a melodic, yet heavy in parts, prog piece with a great melodic vocal arrangement. It's quite accessible. Okay then ...Expect more than a little intrigue throughout Manifest Tyranny. Stay Unaware offers an abundance of riffage, but also noticeable synth layers and solo. False Flag, the longest cut here, seems a moderation, like heavier prog rock (also noticeable on Survival of the Richest), but shifts and moves with the clever ease you expect from progressive music. Then there's simply some strange stuff. Chosen by God has a muted ethereal vocal arrangement, lots of riffage and synths, which evokes a lighter atmospheric motif. Then there's the integration of words (speeches) from political leaders. (This occurs throughout the album, often to the point of distraction.)The nuance of progressive rock returns later in Go Back to Sleep. It offers a lighter blend of electric and acoustic guitar, with a later synth solo, and some disturbing lyrics. Of note, this song displays David Fremberg's supreme vocal talents. Allowing some more convention and accessibility, Asylum offers complexity but provides a hard rock edge in the guitar solo. Play Dead and Antidote find Andromeda simply offering an arrangement of, sometimes heavy, but certainly complex and delectable progressive metal.With Manifest Tyranny, Andromeda continues to challenge and entertain. This is what a fan of progressive metal should expect: intrigue and enjoyment, and the need for more than one listen. Fans and critics will wonder if it's equal to, or better, than their critically acclaimed first outing Extension of the Wish (2001). Perhaps this is a question left to the fans or, perhaps, those who are braver than me. Strongly recommended." - Dangerdog.com
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  • Sixth album from Italy's best export since the invention of neapolitan style pizza. The band gets a bit of heat since they achieved break out success. Far from a sell out, Lacuna Coil is as heavy as ever. The band's focus remains on the co-vocalists Christina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro. Filled with chunky riffing and some slick production, not a hell of a lot has changed. Lacuna Coil's music has always been laced with hooks. You want to call it poppy? Go ahead but its what they have always done. Want to hear where Evanescence got their sound? Check out Lacuna Coil. They may not have been the first in the genre but they are certainly one of the standard bearers. Highly recommended.
    $4.00
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    $15.00
  • To commemorate their 10th anniversary, Riverside has recorded a new 3 song “mini-album”. This 33 minute work consists of three long tracks that segue into one cohesive whole. Stylistically it’s a return to the spacier melancholy sound of their debut “Out Of Myself”. Memories In My Head is a musical rollercoaster ride of deep emotional power. This new release also marks the band's return to the Laser’s Edge, the label that they began their incredible journey with. Recommended to fans of Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, and Anathema.
    $10.00
  • "Marillion seems to be appealing to a commercially-oriented buying demographic with this album. There are parts of this record you'll love, and there are parts ... you might not. The band's work in the Hogarth era is marked by its variability - or some might say inconsistency. Although there have been some dud CDs, arguably including Radiation, Anoraknophobia and marillion.com, each of those records had some excellent songs. Similarly, the great albums had songs that were less than stellar. So it's generally safer to think of Marillion's work in terms of the songs rather than the CDs. Having said that, though - Somewhere Else probably fits somewhere between Marbles and marillion.com stylistically, and it's closer to .com in terms of quality.Somewhere Else doesn't share all of Marbles's progressive elements, its subtleties, or its general appeal. This music is a bit more linear, and it's very vocals-oriented. Steve Hogarth's singing is as emotion-laden as ever, switching effortlessly in and out of falsetto, and very expressive - in the style of "The Invisible Man" or "Angelina" from Marbles, or Radiohead's classic "Creep". But you might wish that he would stop singing for just a few minutes and let some instrumentals shine through. Steve Rothery's legendary guitar work is heard in only a few places, and Mark Kelly provides some very appealing piano lines, but there aren't any instrumentals to into which you can really sink your teeth."Most Toys" is a hard-hitting rocker with very simplistic lyrics that won't have much appeal to Marillion's traditional fanbase, although it might win them some commercial radio time. "Last Century for Man" also has simplistic lyrics with little subtlety, and a catchy melody that stays with you for days. There are no epics here, with 10 songs in just 52 minutes, and the title track (the longest at 8 minutes) is the standout piece with a meandering structure, gently appealing delivery and an almost minimalist approach to the instrumentals. Some might call it sleepy - but it definitely goes into the list of Marillion's better songs. Other highlights are the opening track "The Other Half", and "Thank You, Whoever You Are" - a fairly straightforward piece that features some nice but all-too-brief moments from Rothery's guitar.If Marillion is chasing after radio time, or if they're wooing the Coldplay / Radiohead / Pineapple Thief audience, this song-oriented record will probably get them there. But it will do so at the cost of a significant portion of their progressive rock fanbase." - Sea of Tranqulity
    $13.00
  • Shockingly good reunion album from 1978 that gave us the athemic title track which now has classic status."Deep Purple's definitive Mark II lineup reunited for 1984's Perfect Strangers. It is one of the better examples of a reunion album, although the band's uneasy camaraderie only lasted a few more years. "Knocking at Your Back Door" opens the album with a roar. Ian Gillan's lyrics don't make much sense, but Ritchie Blackmore's guitar riffs and Ian Paice's thunderous drumming carry this song as well as the rest of the album. The robotic rhythm of the title cut relies on Jon Lord's organ work. The 1999 remastered reissue features the bonus track "Son of Alerik." This fascinating, mid-tempo, ten-minute instrumental was the B-side of the "Perfect Strangers" 12" single in the U.K." - All Music Guide
    $5.00