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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  • 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
  • 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
  • The Japanese East Wind label was active in the 70s and into the early 80s.  This was a jazz label that focused on Japanese artists but also covered many popular US players.  While not as overtly audiophile as Three Blind Mice, the East Wind label was always noted for immaculate reference quality production.Universal Japan has released 72 titles from the East Wind catalog in extremely limited editions.  We've cherry picked those titles that we think are of interest to our customer base.The creator certainly had a master plan when it came to this modal masterpiece.  Pianist Mikio Masuda's trio is augmented by a number of reed players including the great Terumasa Hino.  The entire album has a spiritual vibe.  When you hear the track "Prayer" you would swear you were listening to outtakes from a Pharaoh Sanders session.  A stunning album.  Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • "The old cliché “you can’t go forward by moving back” might be true in the sense that without new music we wither and die, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that we need every single album to be a stylistic revolution onto itself, lest we find ourselves with no genre or categories within it left to speak of. The truth is that when it comes to rehashing a format that works, the devil is always in the details, and an approach to crafting newer material that is attentive to nuance is an excellent way to bridge the gap between consistency and novelty. Insofar as Firewind goes, the name of the game is consistency, and the particulars go to the charismatic and virtuosic persona of Gus G and his uncanny ability to turn a few signature riffs into a celebration of neck wrecking goodness that can also be sung along to.“Allegiance” is a new beginning for Gus, as he has parted company with his entire musical past with 3 other highly respected projects, and has completely revamped the lineup of this, his now solitary project (at least until he began hanging with the Ozzman). However, this new start is really a reassertion of what his music had been about since he began putting out label supported material under the Firewind name, a sleek yet simplistic approach to heavy, powerful metal that doesn’t skip up on the former while putting a lot of the latter into every single memorable melody. It is a format where guitars and drums rule the arrangement, where the vocals are raucous and husky (exuding a bit more depth and masculinity than a lot of other bands in this genre), and the keyboards are present yet mostly playing support. In other words, this is the same overall sound that typified the first 2 albums under this moniker.In many respects, this album could be seen as a reminiscence of the catchy mid to late 80s heavy metal that grew out of the NWOBHM, combined with a slight helping of the German love of speed and mayhem here and there. A single listen to mid paced grooving monsters like “Deliverance” and “Where Do We Go From Here?” will reveal a band that definitely knows how to kick forth the spirit of Saxon and Judas Priest through the medium of a thunderous modern production. Simultaneously, the riff happy cruiser “Ready To Strike” takes a few tricks out of the Dio playbook (think the first two albums with Vivian Campbell with all the rapid power chords and guitar screams), while the flashing “Dream Chaser” seeks to escape the speed of sound while ushering a beautiful combination of George Lynch style guitar shredding and Grave Digger oriented riffing.There are, naturally, a couple of areas where the band flirts a little too closely with genre straddling, likely for the purposes of scoring a few radio hits. The particular point where this really becomes blatant is the obvious single cut “Breaking The Silence”, which is an earlier attempt at what was successfully done by Primal Fear when they brought in Simone Simons for a guest slot alongside Ralf Scheepers. Unfortunately, the singer brought in here sounds too much like a goofy R&B singer, albeit with a different accent, and the whole thing gets stylistically muddled. It doesn’t quite hit the low of inviting Christina Aguilera to do a guest slot on a metal album, but it definitely goes in that direction. “The Essence” is also a weak link, though not nearly as much of one, and comes off as extremely forced during those obligatory acoustic sections typical of Gus’ various half ballads.While this is just a little behind the impressive brilliance of Firewind’s previous work, this is definitely a fun and entertaining album that will have its audience singing along the second time through. It is easy music to like, and has very little that can be described as either adventurous or otherwise ambiguous. This is metal at its most predictable, but done in such a way that it isn’t grating nor stale. Vocalist Apollo Papathanasio isn’t quite the gravely bellower that Stephen Fredrick is, but he is probably the closest thing that Gus’ could find, and definitely gets close to recapturing that same massive vocal sound that is needed to match the massive production going on behind it. But as always, the real treats are found in the guitar playing, and everything else is along for the ride, and in this rudimentary approach to metal, that is way it should be." - Metal Archives
    $5.00
  • Reissue of the first solo album from jazz drummer Horacee Arnold, originally released by CBS in 1973.  Its a very different sort of an album from the legendary follow up, Tales Of The Exonerated Flea.  In and of itself it quite a fine album.  Its an acoustic based album, firmly fitting in the modal jazz direction.  Plenty of firepower here - Joe Farrell (flute, saxes), Ralph Towner (12 string guitar), David Friedman (vibes, turned percussion), Ralph MacDonald (latin percussion), George Mraz (bass), and Bill Harper (tenor sax).  Some serious blowing and virtuosity - just don't expect the plugged in fusion of Flea.
    $14.00
  • "As suggested by its title, 'II' is the second album by multi-national band Corvus Stone. They continue with their merry blend of various musical influences, for an explosive cocktail of colours and sounds. Drummer Robert Wolff is now an official member of the band, while vocal duties were shared between several recording artists of Nick Katona's label, Melodic Revolution Records (later shortened in MRR). Sonia Mota, the biggest David Bowie fan on earth, was involved again for the artwork, as enchanting as on the first album.As announced in preamble of this review, this album is a festival of musical sounds, as diverse as the origin of the musicians involved. While music in general is in the field of progressive rock, it's easy to notice that the band doesn't care about labels. Progressive rock is a means to sublimate their influences rather than an end in itself. Therefore, you will hear pop (the baroque echoes of the harpsicord in the opener with beatlesque vocal harmonies, the pastoral accents of "Eternal universe"). Other popular forms of music are also represented. Let's start with blues-rock. First with the cover of Murky Red's "Boots for hire", where the virile voice is provided by none other than Murky Red's frontman, Stef Flaming, yet in a context slightly different from the original version, through its spacey keys and arabesques. Then, the blues influence is also obvious in the languid "Mystery man", with its eerie keys and reminiscences of The Beatles' "I want you (she's so heavy)" in the closing section. Rock'n'roll is there as well with the hellish "Purple stone" and a short wink to Deep Purple's "Highway star". Folk music, highlighted by the use of finnish in the lyrics ("Campfire"), has also its place in this monumental album. On the other hand, "Uncle Schunkle" with its groovy rhythms and its vintage hammond, recalls the golden age of jazz-funk. And obviously, since Corvus Stone are regarded as a progressive rock act, the instrumental "A stoned crow meets the rusty Wolff" is a piece that goes in this direction, with many rhythm changes and colourful keys. The title of the song is a pun on the drummer's name but might also be a reference to Happy The Man's humorous piece "Stumpy Meets the Firecracker in Stencil Forest". Besides those influences, some dances are honoured throughout the record: salsa ("Scandinavians in Mexico"), cha cha cha ("Mr Cha Cha"), waltz ("Early morning call" with echoes of Stranglers' "Golden Brown"), bolero ("Camelus bactrianus"), flamenco (Colin's guitar opening to some tracks). Moreover, some neo-classical interludes intersperse the album, be it in a mozartian way ("Lisa has a cigar"), or romantic fashion ("Dark Tower"). More surprising is the pastoral symphony in four movements "Moaning Lisa" (two movements in the tradition of british songs of the elisabethan era, separated by a mouth organ-lead boiling instrumental movement, and a final waltz closing the symphony).Besides the lack of interest for any specific label, the band deals with a lot of humour, never grotesque, always delivered with profesionalism. This is made possible thanks to a wide range of keyboard sounds and versatile guitar soloing, among other factors. In fact, keyboard sounds are very diverse, ubiquitous and tasty. While guitar gently weeps with touching short spastic licks, it can also turn aerial, fiery or even delve in a classical spanish realm as seen before. The presence of drummer Robert Wolff on all tracks is an improvement over the previous album. In fact, his play blends the elegance of Barriemore Barlow and the punch of John Bonham, and is instrumental in the support of the music's humorous and eclectic flavours. Vocals are diverse this time, as singers from several MRR acts were invited for the project. Blake Carpenter's high-pitch and sense of derision is tempered by more seriously delivered vocals from his mates of MRR, the whole adding to the versatility of the work.Corvus Stone are a band that don't take themselves seriously, and this aspect should be taken into account when reviewing their works. Thanks to their experience in music, a great musicianship and a sense of humour, they deliver a music that is heartfelt, not dictated by any trend of the moment, and that will put a smile on your face and certainly make your day." - ProgArchives
    $12.00
  • "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
  • "Oceans of Mountain fans discovered them by witnessing one of their roaring rock shows, and this one's a doozy, captured in Osaka in '73. Pappalardi/West/Mann/Schwartzberg set fire to staples like Mississsippi Queen; Theme from an Imaginary Western , and Never in My Life plus an epic (nearly 32-minute) Nantucket Sleighride . Raging guitar solos all around!"
    $5.00
  • New 2 CD set features the audio tracks of the already out of print DVD as well as bonus tracks recorded in the US and Germany. An excellent cross selection of material drawn from their three studio albums as well as some cool covers like "21st Century Schizoid Man" and "America".
    $15.00
  • "Get All You Deserve is a high-definition 4 disc audio-visual set from Steven Wilson.Directed by long-time visual collaborator Lasse Hoile, Get All You Deserve was filmed in Mexico City during the recent Grace For Drowning Tour. The set captures the spectacular live experience that Wilson and Hoile created for the tour on Blu-ray, DVD and 2CD.Following the release of Grace For Drowning, Steven embarked on his first ever solo tour, assembling a virtuoso band, featuring Marco Minnemann (drums), Nick Beggs (bass), Theo Travis (flute and sax), Adam Holzman (keys) and Niko Tsonev (guitars), to accompany him. For the shows he worked extensively with Lasse to create a show unlike anything else he had attempted with his other bands, Porcupine Tree, Blackfield, No-Man or Bass Communion.The shows immersed fans in a rich sensory experience: rear speakers provide surround-sound effects, giant screens show off Lasse's films made specifically to accompany these songs, and cutting-edge lighting designs giving texture to each song.Get All You Deserve captures one of the key shows from the tour. Recorded at a sold-out Teatro Metropolitan in Mexico City, the gig features tracks from both Wilson's solo albums along with the new, as yet unreleased, track Luminol. " 
    $31.00
  • Remastered edition."After two exemplary releases, Traffic released Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory, which begins with the title track, based on a guitar riff reminiscent of the recent Deep Purple hit "Smoke on the Water," and continues through the lengthy "Roll Right Stones," the folkish ballad "Evening Blue," reed player Chris Wood's instrumental "Tragic Magic," and the uncertain self-help song "(Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired." Lyricist Jim Capaldi was co-credited with Steve Winwood as the album's producer, and he may have contributed to the cleaner mix that made his words easier to understand. Meanwhile, the rhythm section had been replaced by Muscle Shoals studio aces David Hood and Roger Hawkins. Capaldi sings no songs here, and Wood's flute and saxophone, so often the flavoring of Traffic songs, are largely absent." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • Al closed out this 70s with this great effort of Latino laced fusion. Lots of different players on this one so it has more of a "let's see Al trade licks with this other soloist" feel but who can complain when you have Jan Hammer or even Les Paul taking a solo.
    $5.00
  • "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
  • Technical death metal for fans of Necrophagist and Obscura."The 3rd full length from The Faceless is easily one of the most anticipated albums of the decade for the extreme Metal Genre. This is the bands 1st release in over 4 years. Autotheism is a semi conceptual record following a mans journey of self discovery and transformation into the all powerful God of his reality. Musically, Autotheism is expansive in all directions. It is a thought provoking roller coaster with the occasional sledge hammer to the skull and contains more dynamics and diversity than any offering presented by The Faceless to date. This is forward thinking music that is beyond the scope of anything currently out there."
    $11.00