8:30 ($5 Blowout Price!)

"These live recordings offer an honest, well-rounded perspective of the Weather Report experience, and Joe Zawinul's relative prominence as their coleader and composer, circa 1979. On an arrangement such as "Brown Street," it's clear that Zawinul's vision of electronics was based in great part on his Austrian folk roots and in the varied native musics of South America, Africa, and the greater global village. This edition of Weather Report, featuring former big band drummer Peter Erskine and fretless bass innovator Jaco Pastorius, offered Zawinul and saxophonist Wayne Shorter a stable environment in which to fashion a group sound, although by this time, as witnessed by his solo turn on "Slang" and his prominence on every chart, Pastorius had attained cult status based in equal parts on his impeccable musicianship and his sometimes over-the-top flamboyance. Yet for all their forays into funk and the Third World, Weather Report remained at its core the most jazz oriented of all fusion bands. 8:30 is notable for the dancing, syncopated lines of Shorter's composition "Sightseeing," in which the composer lets it all hang out in a virtuoso turn on tenor saxophone that proves that the rumors of his creative demise were grossly exaggerated." --Chip Stern

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  • Peculiar but interesting band from Belgium. Oceans Of Sadness mix progressive, death and doom metal influences freely and even incorporate some 70s flavors as well. The music is a bit off-kilter in the same way that Pain Of Salvation used to be. Vocals are a mix of clean and coarse. The odd use of Hammond organ in places is a weird stylistic choice that just helps to set these guys apart from the norm. If you like your prog metal to the left of center check these guys out.
    $8.00
  • Out of print for some time, Bruce Soord freshed up the band's second album.  Originally released back in 2001, this version of 137 features a new mix, new mastering, and even new artwork.
    $13.00
  • HOLY %&@#!!! This disc is a total monster. Biomechanical is a UK-based band led by vocalist John K. (late of Balance Of Power). Imagine a mix of Nevermore, Judas Priest and Queensryche with an added subtle touch of technicality - a highly listenable trash/power blend. This is massive sounding music designed to penetrate and clear out all the cobwebs in your skull.
    $6.00
  • NEW REMASTERED EDITION PACKED WITH BONUS TRACKS!!Highly Strung found former Darryl Way's Wolf drummer Ian Mosley on board and it was a big improvement. As was typical of Hackett's work at this point it was a bit uneven - the high points being extremely high with the pop bits not being nearly as successful. Regardless I can listen to him play guitar any time or any place. Remastered set includes three bonus tracks as well as interesting liner notes from Steve Hackett.
    $12.00
  • "Fifteen years doesn’t seem like that long ago, but at the time I was a 17 year-old who would soon be writing for Al Kikuras at the legendary Unchain the Underground and getting deep into the back end of all the great metal that was coming out of Europe. On the top of my list was my discovery of cheesy power metal. At the time I was swimming in Blind Guardian, Rhapsody, and Symphony X (not Eurometal, I know) records for the first time and really finding my footing. One day while surfing the Internet I stumbled upon a streaming radio station and heard a song called “Letter to Dana.” I was stunned. Shocked. Cheesed out. And totally in love.Within days I actually received the band’s sophomore release Silence from Al to review, but not before I went over to my local CD store and ordered Ecliptica. Upon receiving it, I turned into a total Sonata Arctica monster, singing along (loudly), and giggling every time Kakko missed a preposition (and oh, did he miss prepositions!). I took no end of joy/amusement from what I saw as the perfect driving music: the high-energy, breakneck speed; the lyrical hits-and-misses; and particularly the pop sensibility in metal packaging and the extremely fun music in a scene that I already knew took itself way too seriously.Ecliptica - RevisitedAnd Ecliptica is a record that’s hard to take too seriously even though it’s a total classic1. Iconic tracks like “FullMoon” with the epic “run away, run away, run away” in the chorus, or the lyrical prowess of “Letter to Dana” (“My eyes might have betrayed me, but I have seen your picture on the cover of a filthy magazine”). The extremely poppy “UnOpened” and expansive epic of “Destruction Preventer” also add to a feeling of a band who was making music that was fun to play and fun to listen to and about as far away from the melodramatic black and gothic metal of the day.Despite being silly or maybe a little wonky, it’s surprising to me how well Ecliptica holds up after all these years. While it certainly is the most obviously Stratovarius-influenced of the band’s material, songs like “Blank File” feel relevant in 2014 because of the NSA scandal. “UnOpened” still rocks the punch it once had, and “FullMoon” makes me giggle like an Angry Metal Schoolgirl and headbang simultaneously. “Letter to Dana” is the finest metal ballad ever written (not kidding) and still holds up 15 years later in spite of itself. And that’s all just listening to original release.Ecliptica Revisited, in my opinion, shows what a different band Sonata Arctica is today than they were in 1999. First, with only 2/5 of the original lineup remaining—Tony Kakko and human metronome drummer Tommy Portimo, for those scoring at home—the players on this record are up a notch from the original band. This isn’t to insult them, but it’s a truism: professional bands always replace original members with guys who play better. This, in combination with 15 years of songwriting and arranging experience, means that Ecliptica Revisited drops new and interesting arrangements that in retrospect are straight and, frankly, kind of stale.Sonata ArcticaIn fact, unlike Manowar‘s recent re-interpretations of their records, Sonata Arctica‘s reinterpretations of their original material introduce quite a bit more variation into the game—and improvements. Vocal tracks have been layered, re-arranged and improved, while guitar solos hop out of the mix in ways that they never did on the original. The band uses dynamics and speed in a way that makes the record far less uniform. Particularly the plodding “My Land” and “Replica” both were given facelifts that make them more entertaining listens. Another interesting point is that in comparing them, I noticed they dropped the whole record a step to accommodate a more realistic range for Mr. Kakko, who certainly made the (common) amateur mistake of topping his lungs out in the studio on the first record. Like many before him, he discovered that vocal range in the studio and vocal range on the road are two very, very different things—and Revisited gives him the chance to update this mistake, while downtuning makes the record just a little darker.Still, one wonders how it came to be that Sonata Arctica decided to revisit a record that members largely have distanced themselves from in recent years. Even while they tried to plant an old school flag with Pariah’s Child, they have frequently made comments of being bored with this material since around Unia. But instead of watching the date come and go, they walked into a studio, re-learned the songs and gave them at least one take. While I’m certainly grateful for this—it sure has re-sparked my love of Ecliptica—it does strike me as out of character. Another curiosity is that after all this time, the band did not bother to correct any of the grammatical errors. Really guys? Missing prepositions aren’t any more holy than a song’s uniform time or key signature…Regardless of motive, though, I actually suggest that fans of Sonata Arctica give this a listen and give a thumbs up to the band for doing this. If you have loved this band as long as I have, there’s a definite comfort of slipping back into the old material—but it’s also nice to hear the band play it in ways that speak to great maturity as musicians. It doesn’t make the old one outdated—shit, it’s a DR6 vs. Ecliptica 1999’s DR7 rating—and it doesn’t reek of the lightning-in-a-bottle-excitement that debut records from up-and-coming bands often have, but unless Tony’s vocal performance annoys you, you’ll have trouble arguing with how good Ecliptica Revisited (still) sounds. And the changes actually make it a—surprise—great or even better (or at least different and very enjoyable) listen." - Angry Metal Guy blog
    $15.00
  • First time on CD for this brilliant album from 1980. Cybotron recorded three studio albums as well as a live official bootleg. The band hailed from Australia and were led by Steve Braund. Their musical roots were actually based in krautrock. They were heavily influenced by Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel. The differences were pretty dramatic actually. Implosion features wild synth flourishes, as well as an active rhythm section as well as sax. It has much more of a rock feel than the Tangs. When they go electronic it's heavily sequenced along the lines of Phaedra and Stratosfear. Great stuff actually. The booklet comes with detailed liner notes and photos and more importantly 25 minutes of unreleased material for their proposed next album that never materialized. A prog classic!
    $24.00
  • "Mattias “IA” Eklundh is a Swedish guitarist, founder of the eclectic Metal band, Freak Kitchen, a band of which I am certainly a fan. The Smorgasbord is his third album under the moniker of Freak Guitar, essentially a solo album, and isn’t one I would quite classify as Metal. It is more of a guitar aficionado’s type of recording with a wide variety of types of music, ranging from nice acoustic pieces, songs that could fit in on a Rippington’s album, to heavier songs with lightning-fast playing and IA’s signature guitar sound and style. For the most part, it is an instrumental album as well. At 40 tracks, I simply cannot do a track by track review but will hit on some of the songs I thought to be highlights. Opener Amphibians Night Out has quite a bit of guitar wizardry over a dance-type beat. The second song on the album is Musth, an alternative-type Metal song with interesting playing and quite a bit going on. Apparently there is comb involved. IA’s take on the AC/DC song Hells Bells is well executed and gives me a new perspective on the song. Friedrichs Wahnbriefe is a cool, sort of chaotic, tune and very well executed. IA’s interpretation on Mambo Italiano of the mambo style is certainly interesting and displays some of his more traditional soloing. Mind Your Step has a nice riff throughout, a bit heavy, sort of something OSI might do. His take on the song That’s Amore is very cool and Metal. Keep it in the Dojo offers complexity in both the guitar lines and the drumming by Ranjit Barot. Mandur and Morgan’s Camel Safari is a song that easily could be mistaken for one on a Freak Kitchen album. Kali Ghat features a 23/16 time signature, making for a weird, different flow than most Westerns are used to hearing. Meralgia Paresthetica‘s drum tracks are played by Morgan Ågren and he is absolutely amazing: precise, powerful, intricate, and delicate are all words I would use to describe his playing here. IA is certainly a master at his craft and an amazing musician, not simply a guitarist. The Smorgasbord is a challenging album and has significant variety, a true smorgasbord of musical styles. It certainly is not a Metal album, but there are things on here that we may appreciate. For “heavier” stuff from IA, I definitely recommend Freak Kitchen, the album Organic to be specific. I hear the sound in a METAL way." - We Love Metal
    $15.00
  • "1984 was a successful record not only because it contained solid, catchy hard rock, but also because it incorporated synthesizers into the mix, the first metal album to do so to any serious extent. Although the advances in electronic music make this material sound dated now, it's still a highlight of Van Halen's career. Songs like "Jump" contain a pop element that gave 1984 mainstream appeal, and David Lee Roth turned the frontman role into an art form on songs such as "Panama," "Hot for Teacher," "Drop Dead Legs," and "I'll Wait." To a large extent, it was 1984 that set the standard for '80s pop metal, and David Lee Roth who set the standard (or takes the blame, depending on your point of view) for the aggressively good-time attitude most pop-metal bands took for their own." --Genevieve WilliamsRemastered edition.
    $6.00
  • "Alice Cooper's third album, Love It to Death, can be pinpointed as the release when everything began to come together for the band. Their first couple of albums (Pretties for You and Easy Action) were both largely psychedelic/acid rock affairs and bore little comparison to the band's eventual rip-roaring, teenage-anthem direction. The main reason for the quintet's change was that the eventually legendary producer Bob Ezrin was on board for the first time and helped the Coopers focus their songwriting and sound, while they also perfected their trashy, violent, and theatrical stage show and image. One of the band's most instantly identifiable anthems, "I'm Eighteen," was what made the album a hit, as well as another classic, "Is It My Body." But like Alice Cooper's other albums from the early '70s, it was an incredibly consistent listen from beginning to end. The garage rocker "Caught in a Dream" as well as the ass-kicking "Long Way to Go" and a pair of epics -- the Doors-esque "Black Juju" and the eerie "Ballad of Dwight Fry" -- showed that Alice was easily in league with other high-energy Detroit bands of the era (MC5, Stooges). Love It to Death was the first of a string of classic releases from the original Alice Cooper group." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • ""It has happened to me twice here in 2009. You stumble upon a band that you have never heard of which totally blows you away. The first time was with the band Anima Mundi out of Cuba. Now, it has happened a second time.From Germany comes the band AtmOsfear with their third release called Zenith. After hearing this one, I am now they have me on a mad search for their past two discs. I cannot believe that they have been ignored by the prog metal world if the past music is as good as this album. Any fan of groups such as Dream Theater, Symphony X or Evergrey whom they have shared a stage with, are in for a treat that is the equal of any of these bands.The disc kind of lulls you in with the short instrumental intro titled "Beginnings". Aptly titled as this is only the start of what is about to fill your senses. The five remaining songs fill the remaining 70 minutes of music and it culminates in the almost 30 minute epic "Spiral Of Pain". Along the way you are treated to a group of five musicians that can hold their own with anyone you would like to name. Stephan Kruse on keyboards, vocalist Oliver Wulff, bassist Burkhart Heberle along with drummer Tim Schnabel and guitarist Boris Stepanow form one of the most dynamic group of musicians ever assembled. They seem to draw off each other and interweave their individual talents into one of the best musical offerings of 2009 or any year for that matter.When music has the power to make you stop what you are doing and listen then you know you have something special. As the very metal opening to "Loss Of Hope" hit me I perked up the ears. When the vocals started, I knew this was no run of the mill offering. Then as the band swelled to their full magnitude, I was completely absorbed. Who are these guys? It is still amazing that music of this caliber can fly under the radar for this long. All you have to do is listen to the exchange between the keyboards and guitars during the extended instrumental section of this song and you will become a fan without a doubt. These guys are the real deal.I have been trying to think of what I can tell you are the highlights of this disc. Well it could be the terrific instrumental piece "Reawakening" with its powerful piano that sets a mood that the guitar plays off of so well, or it may be the enthralling "Generations" which is a roller coaster ride of sound. Then there is the edgy "Scum Of Society" which shows that they are as powerful lyrically as they are musically. Of course all this is setting you up for the epic "Spiral Of Pain" where they take you on a 30 minute quest for musical perfection. They leave nothing on the table as this vast work captures all that we prog metal lovers dream of. Intoxicating from beginning to end this is a classic piece of art. Where Michelangelo used many different mediums to project his art, AtmOsfear similarly uses many different musical approaches to convey their message, melancholy when called for, melodic where needed, brooding and harsh as the story calls for and totally mesmerizing throughout.This is a must have disc. For anyone who has a love of great music this is one that needs to be given a chance. You will not be disappointed." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $3.00
  • Now this stuff in weird and interesting...Vulture Industries is a Norwegian metal band that has been around for almost 20 years but this is only their third album.  Apparently they were originally a black metal band.  That may be true but there are only vestiges of that in their current sound.  Vulture Industires play the weird metal card - I'd classify them as "avant garde metal", very similar to bands like Arcturus, Diablo Swing Orchestra and Devin Townsend.  Hey what the hell - toss in some Faith No More as well.  This is heavy, guitar driven music with some of that carnival atmosphere that these oddball bands some to love to throw in to keep you off kilter.  The real standout is vocalist Bjørnar Nilsen, who has a real commanding presence on this disc.  Lots of emotion and angst.  A fascinating band.  Highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • "Pantera's back, and all is as wrong with the world as it ever was. They're going to make sure you know it, too. Despite the four-year absence from the studio between Great Southern Trendkill and Reinventing the Steel, Pantera's unflagging aggression is confirmed by the full-throttle rhythms, throat-ripping vocals, and crunchy guitars. Call it their Metallica legacy, except that Pantera are more Metallica than Metallica these days. Heavy metal of this breed may be past its heyday, but Pantera's not going away quietly. In fact, evidence suggests that they're not going away at all--no matter how low you keep the volume knob, Reinventing the Steel is loud, loud, loud!" --Genevieve Williams
    $9.00
  • Second album from this female fronted Italian band.  Exilia tread similar territory to In This Moment or perhaps a heavier Lacuna Coil.  There is a modern metal element present that conveys quite a bit of agression.  This is the special edition that comes with a bonus NTSC DVD featuring "making of" footage as well as video clips.
    $17.00
  • Limited edition hardbound art book featuring the album on 2CDs, another 2 CDs with instrumental versions of the album, a DVD with "making of" and interview footage, plus a 48 page booklet.Arjen Lucassen's long awaited Ayreon project is a total blast.  Like some of the earlier Ayreon albums, it owes as much to prog rock as it does metal.  All the old school heroes like Emerson, Wakeman, Wetton get to strut their stuff showing a young stud like Rudess a thing or two.  As always Lucassen latches on to some of the best vocalists around and this one is no exception.  Highly recommended."You know what the metal world needs more of? Musicals. I'm not saying that ironically either. Sure, we have plenty of prog bands putting out concept albums, but cool as these records many be, the story themselves are not the focus of the album. Ayreon mastermind Arjen Anthony Lucassen has resurrected his grandest of all projects to continue showing these folks how to tell an epic story the right way.With 01011001 the Ayreon story came to an end, or so we thought. Arjen instead decided to focus on projects like Star One, Guilt Machine, and his solo album Lost in the New Real. When he revealed not too long ago that he was working on a new project, it wasn't a surprise to discover it was new Ayreon, but I was still plenty excited.Lucassen said of the newest record, "It's not science fiction, but a human story set in a science context." So no aliens or battling emotions or any of that. So, in an attempt to better understand the story, I contacting him for the lyrics and much to my surprise, he sent them to me saying, "Oh yes, you need the lyrics, definitely." Holy hell, was he right. The story is indeed more grounded than previous records, but there are still layers to this beast.Fans of Ayreon should know what to expect here. The Theory of Everything has seven guest singers and each singer plays a part in the story. They are JB (Grand Magus) as the Teacher, Christina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) as the Mother, Michael Mills (Toehider) as the Father, Tommy Karevik (Kamelot) as the Prodigy, Marco Hietala (Nightwish) as the Rival, John Wetton (Asia/ex-King Crimson) as the Psychiatrist, and Sara Squadrani (Ancient Bards) as the Girl.Of these singers, the most impressive is the relatively unknown Sara Squadrani. She performs on a large portion of the story and shines every time, especially on "Love and Envy". I was also surprised to be so enamored with the performance of Christina Scabbia. She's always had  a wonderful voice, but her performance in this record might be her finest. Her harmonies with Squadrani stand out particularly on "Mirror of Dreams". This isn't to say only the performances by the female singers are worth mentioning. Tommy Karevik's introduction in "The Prodigy's World" is one of the strongest moments on the album.Every Ayreon album comes an eclectic group of guest musicians. This round primarily consisted of guest keyboardists. Rick Wakeman (ex-Yes) handles a good portion of the record, while Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) and Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) both make excellent solo appearances on "Progressive Waves".Having listened to all of Lucassen's albums at least once, I can say The Theory of Everything is the most musically diverse offering he's had a hand in, perhaps with the exception of his solo record. This isn't as heavy as previous Ayreon titles, but it has its driving moments like "Collision" and the Dream Theather-esque "Frequency Modulation." The aforementioned "Love and Envy" is a slower introspective song, while "Diagnosis" is massive and a little cheesy, but so awesome. "Transformation" has a Middle Eastern feel to it, and  "The Eleventh Dimension" sounds like intergalactic renaissance faire music.Often times there are jumps in mood, genre, etc in the middle of a song. This is fairly typical for an Ayreon release; what isn't typical is that technically this record consists of only four songs. These four songs are each at least twenty-one minutes, but they are cut up into forty-two pieces (yes, that's a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference) .This is a fun record. It's a record that does require a time commitment. I'd say listeners should treat it as a proper musical or film in a theater. Try to experience it all in one sitting for the full effect. It's absolutely worth it." - Metal InjectionSTRICT LIMIT OF ONE PER CUSTOMER
    $40.00