Among The Living ($5 Special)

SKU: 422842447-2
Label:
Island
Category:
Thrash Metal
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"If Metallica and Slayer invented speed metal, Anthrax brought it to the East Coast and imbued it with the attitude and excitement of New York hardcore. Among the Living is, without a doubt, their finest hour--a roaring, adrenaline-pumped collection of flailing beats, precise, razor-edged riffs and shout-along refrains. Unlike most full-throttle metal vocalists of the era, Joey Belladonna chose to sing as well as shout, giving songs like "Among the Living," "Indians" and "Efilnikcufecin" ("nice fuckin' life" spelled backwards) a decided melodic edge. Yet Scott Ian and Dan Spitz's buzzsaw guitar flurries, and Charlie Benante's insistent drumming, prevented the songs from ever degenerating into the run-of-the-mill heavy metal they so despised. "

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  • Guitarist/vocalist Clay Withrow is the heart and soul behind Vangough.  He's made some fine albums in the past but this is clearly his best as you can tell that he's exerting more of his own vision.  The previous albums were fine slices of progressive metal, bu they were clearly influenced heavily by Pain Of Salvation.  While there is some of that early PoS feel, Between The Madness has more of Clay than Daniel.  Its very angst driven music - from the vocals to the grinding guitar solos.  This is one pissed off band.  Its a non-stop prog metal roller coaster ride.  BUY OR DIE!"Over the last two full-length albums leading up to this, the band’s most important release, one thing is strikingly clear: Vangough has been eating their Wheaties. Whereas the last album couldn't find its center of gravity despite merits and high replay value, "Between The Madness" bridges the gap between Vangough's left brain and right brain. Moreover, the band feels much more balanced with the addition of drummer Kyle Haws. Further, it sounds like mastermind Clay Withrow had pushed himself beyond his limits to expand the Vangough tone palate.On the “Acoustic Scars” EP, Withrow developed a vocal technique that finds full maturation on "Between The Madness:” the rage-sing. Almost a yell, but neither a scream nor a simple vocal fry and free of any pitch interference, Withrow's rage-sing makes the lyrical intent as clear as it can be. The album offers bile to many parties, lyrically, and puts the listener behind a sometimes uncomfortable but necessary first-person perspective: any other perspective simply would not do justice to the intent. Vangough has always been more effective at conveying feelings than telling stories, but never before had the songs had such a natural novel-like flow to them. All the while, Withrow peppers his versatile clean singing with elaborate layers of harmony and polyphony, making for subtly different listening experiences each time.The overall sound hasn't drastically changed, and even shows some musical nods to prior songs. In "Vaudeville Nation," a scathing condemnation of a track, a clever link is established with "Mannikin Parade" around 4:28. The main melody of the latter is re-introduced on guitars in a straight-played manner. Later in the song, a similar "Mannikin Parade" vocal melody emerges in the line "...and burn the circus to the ground," and up through the yell following it. Further, continuing the storyline started with "Road To Blighttown" on the “Acoustic Scars” EP, "Depths of Blighttown" adds a fitting dark and ominous chapter to the story.The added input from Haws and bassist Jeren Martin have made the songs seem more logical, acting as balancing forces. The drumming style of Haws is noticeably organized, nuanced, and thought-out and could be accurately categorized as a blend of the styles of Lamb of God's Chris Adler, Opeth-era Martin Lopez, and Pain of Salvation-era Johan Langell. The mixing job by Sterling Winfield is a stunning step forward for the band as well, and the drum sound is particularly remarkable for its bright, punchy, but balanced character. Lead guitarist Jay Gleason makes several shred-tastic appearances to accentuate the technicality of Vangough's instrumentation, while Justus Johnston and Jose Palacios make appearances on strings to further amplify the feeling of the songs and add a superb creep factor touching on Resident Evil levels at times.No song feels out of place or unessential, with "Infestation," "Schizophrenia," "Vaudeville Nation," "Useless," and "Corporatocracy" as highlights. The dynamic growth between “Kingdom of Ruin” and “Between The Madness” makes this album out to be Vangough's “Blackwater Park,” what many will no doubt cite as the band’s seminal record. Put simply, there has never been a better time to jump off of whatever progressive metal train you've been on and ride with Vangough. "Into the dark I take you," Withrow jabs at us. Make sure your seatbelts are securely fastened." - Metal Underground
    $11.00
  • "The Aristocrats by any measure the hottest new band in instrumental rock/fusion today rewrote their own rules for their third studio album, Tres Caballeros. After two fairly raw trio albums, guitarist Guthrie Govan (Steven Wilson, Asia/GPS), bassist Bryan Beller (Joe Satriani, Dethklok) and drummer Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani) set up camp at legendary Sunset Sound studios in Hollywood, CA, where Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Van Halen all recorded landmark albums. The result: Nine new compositions of greater sonic depth and breadth than ever before, with unique textures and lush layering augmenting the band s preternatural ability to improvise at the highest levels possible. But it s all still tempered with a steadfast refusal to take themselves too seriously, and The Aristocrats are still having more fun than a fusion band has any right to have. We ve learned a lot since we started this band four years, three studio albums, two live DVDs and about a billion notes ago! and I think our latest offering reflects this in all kinds of ways, says guitarist Guthrie Govan. The decision to road-test our new material in front of a live audience before commencing the recording process; the choice to record in a studio which had some thoroughly inspiring rock'n'roll "mojo"; our sudden urge to become more bold and experimental with overdubs rather than feeling any pressure to record exclusively in a strict trio format... all of this has had some kind of positive effect on the way the new record came out. Plus, I think the material on this album is some of the most interesting stuff we ve ever written for each other, so... here s hoping our noble listeners will like the finished product as much as we do! Deluxe Edition Bonus DVD Features 30min documentary w/exclusive individual interviews, studio & live footage Bonus audio (outtakes/demos) & group interview"
    $19.00
  • Remastered edition with bonus tracks."This is the first of Irish guitar virtuoso Gary Moore's true heavy metal albums. Boasting a crisp, aggressive sound, Corridors of Power kicks off with the foot-stomping "Don't Take Me for a Loser," delivers the token power ballad in "Always Gonna Love You," and floors the gas pedal on "Rockin' Every Night." However, the album's climax has to be the epic "End of the World," with it's two-minute long guitar solo intro and vocals courtesy of Cream's Jack Bruce." - Allmusic Guide
    $9.00
  • I Califfi made a killer prog rock album in 1972 called "Fiore Di Metallo".  Unfortunately this isn't it.  This is a 2CD collection of their earlier beat/psych sound from the last 60s.  If you like that sound there is a lot of material to dive into here.  Put your nehru jacket on and be happy.
    $4.00
  • So here is a weird but engaging album.  Jane Weaver is a British freak folk singer that is also one of the principals behind the eclectic Finders Keepers label.  The Silver Globe is her sixth solo album and finds her venturing off into a wildly different direction.  Its a concept piece and draws very heavily from the space rock genre.  Although pop oriented it has the undeniable influence of Hawkwind.  I'm even hearing influences like Julian's Treatment (well maybe that's just me).  She has a host of guests on the album including influential synthesist Suzanne Ciani.  Ms. Weaver even had the temerity to resurrect the dudes from Cybotron.  When wasa the last time anyone heard from Steven Maxwell von Braund?  If you enjoy late 60s freakbeat and early 70s space rock you should check this out - its not heavy handed but it has a vibe that I found engaging."The latest album from Widnes singer-songwriter Jane Weaver sees her continuing to fly in the face of convention. A loose concept album of the most cosmic order that appears to concern itself with allegorical tales of an unreachable planet, The Silver Globe matches its lyrical ambition with a bold mix of krautrock by way of the North West: synth-heavy woozy prog ballads and DayGlo pop.Central to this are Weaver’s vocals, veering from the icy and dread-filled Argent to the gleeful falsetto of Don’t Take My Soul. These two tracks illustrate her strengths perfectly: the former conjures an irresistible mechanical groove that lures the listener into thinking that they’re in store for a heavy, apocalyptic record, while the latter, all goofy keyboard licks and bouncy bass, wouldn’t be out of place soundtracking a long-forgotten and beloved children’s television programme.Elsewhere, Mission Desire is a flawless slice of acid-folk with a tangible darkness, reminiscent of prime Jefferson Airplane, and Stealing Gold is a rough around-the-edges waltz. An album full of ideas and which rewards with repeated listens, it’s wholly recommended." - Record Collector
    $18.00
  • Limited edition digipak with one bonus track and a multimedia video."Considering the caliber and consistency of their recent catalog, maybe Primal Fear should have named their ninth studio album Unstoppable. But Unbreakable certainly fits as well. Primal Fear's melodic and heavy, often speedy, power metal remains their tried and true formula. Add to this the strongest lineup ever, especially the devastating guitar duo of Alex Beyrodt and Magnus Karlsson, and Primal Fear simply goes from strength to strength. Hey, if ain't broken, don't flippin' try to fix it.So then, fundamentally, Primal Fear delivers quintessential and unmistakable Primal Fear on Unbreakable. You've got your speedy and intense tunes: Strike, Give Em Hell, Unbreakable, and Blaze of Glory, by example. Then there's metal anthems, always heavy, melodic, and catchy: Bad Guys Wear Black and Metal Nation. Never forget the power of Primal Fear's vocal harmonies, lead by the incomparable metal singer Ralf Scheepers and backed up by Matt Sinner, Erik Martensson, and Oliver Hartmann. The band can also be epic as on the the blistering Where Angels Die. Then, Primal Fear is both epic and simply soaring on the metal anthem Born Again. Along the way the songs are peppered generously with smashing guitar solos by that aforementioned dangerous duo.With Unbreakable, Primal Fear commits to what they do best which is melodic heavy power metal without compromise, and quite infectious. I would expect no less. Quite recommended." - Danger Dog
    $15.00
  • "Dutch symphonic rock band WITHIN TEMPTATION are thrilled to unveil a new live DVD/Blu-ray/2CD. ‘Let Us Burn – Elements & Hydra Live In Concert’ is set for release on November 14 and features two of WITHIN TEMPTATION’s most talked about arena shows ever. The two dates are 2012’s resplendent 15th birthday ‘Elements’ concert and the final night of the ‘Hydra’ European arena tour at Amsterdam’s Heineken Music Hall in May 2014. When it comes to the live experience, Within Temptation’s status is of a league extraordinaire. These two performances showcase every nuance of their fierce reputation plus stunning imagery and special FX, including even giant fire-breathing dragons!In November 2012, WITHIN TEMPTATION challenged themselves to create one of their most impressive arena shows ever, to celebrate the band’s 15th birthday. The result was the one-off symphonic ‘Elements’ show, held at the Sportpaleis in Antwerp. A dazzling event with 15,000 fans, the band’s dream came to life. Newly inspired, the group went forth to write their critically acclaimed sixth studio album ‘Hydra’.n early 2014, WITHIN TEMPTATION unleashed ‘Hydra’. This monster record claimed more than 10 European Top-10 chart positions, a #2 position in the iTunes World Charts, and the band’s highest US Billboard Top-20 chart position to date. The album success was followed by a 33-date European arena tour, selling out noted venues like Wembley Arena in London, Le Zenith in Paris, and the legendary Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam (twice).Over 15,000 fans joined the ‘Elements’ show celebrations and more than 120,000 fans witnessed the ‘Hydra’ beast on stage in Europe, but WITHIN TEMPTATION is far from done. The ‘Hydra’ world tour is currently in full swing in North America. With South America and Japan still to come, more than half a million fans will have seen WITHIN TEMPTATION by the end of this year.WITHIN TEMPTATION is renowned for releasing impressive live DVDs. Previous release, the best-selling ‘Black Symphony’ DVD, helped make them one of the most popular bands in their genre. At their recent Awards show in Berlin, Metal Hammer Germany presented WITHIN TEMPTATION with the prestigious Best Live Band Award. The new DVD underlines this title.‘Let Us Burn – Elements & Hydra Live In Concert’ will be released in four formats – DVD + 2CD, Blu-ray + 2CD, 2CD, and digital album. The DVD and Blu-ray contain 34 live audio visual tracks in HD, mixed in 5.1 Dolby Surround. The 2CD and digital album comprise 32 live audio tracks. The two shows have a running time total of approximately 170 minutes. ‘Let Us Burn – Elements & Hydra Live In Concert’ is a treat for rock fans all over the world."
    $9.00
  • "Poverty, disease, environmental destruction, deep-rooted corruption – there’s a lot going on in the world to freak out about. 65daysofstatic are out to prove that that even what seems hopeless can be uplifting it catches the light the right way. Paul Wolinski, Joe Shrewsbury, Rob Jones and Simon Wright have been a band just long enough to see the tragic complexity of the new millennium unfold in real time. And what better way to keep tabs on the misfortunes and malaises of our world than to provide soundtracks for them?As you might have surmised without listening, 65daysofstatic’s debut, The Fall of Math, was an album of guitar-driven post-rock. Each successive release has gradually nudged the Sheffield quartet closer to electronica, up to and including 2010’s We Were Exploding Anyway and 2011’s alternate soundtrack to the 1972 sci-fi film, Silent Running. Wild Light is their sixth studio release, and it’s most certainly their most computerized. Taking their body of work as one extensive artistic statement, it is also quite inarguably the zenith of their career.Released in mid-September in the UK and due stateside at the end of the month, Wild Light a towering achievement of vision, ambition and imagination. These lumbering sonic skyscrapers readily substitute the ethereal for the palpable, the fear-inducing for the exalting, seamlessly collating the drivers behind 65daysofstatic’s development as a band. It has a tendency to remind you of other post-rock acts without actually sounding all that much like them. There’s the Promethean grandeur of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the physicality of Battles, and the earthbound patience of Explosions in the Sky or Lanterna.The imagery of Wild Light is nightmarish and audacious, but the thickly mantled compositions are often beautiful, surging towards some unobtainably lofty plane. Only a handful of tracks start out on modest terms. Listening to “Taipei” is like rewinding the tape on glowing embers and watching as they renew themselves into a massive bonfire; piano-focused “The Undertow” unfolds as an interlude, sequenced between two of Wild Light’s more intense offerings, “Prisms” and “Black Spots”.The particulars of what 65daysofstatic try to achieve with their sound are so abundantly realized as to be self-evident. They address their hefty subject matter without uttering a single word, electing instead to express themselves through physical movement. Wild Light is a fully intact listening experience, peppered with sonic leitmotifs that fold back onto themselves once the final chords are drowned out by silence.Along with cyclicality and recursion, 65daysofstatic seem fascinated with the (rather complimentary) concept of time. One of the more plausible theories for how our universe will die is that all of the energy that can be expended will be expended; we will reach maximum entropy and simply fade, which is a bit of a bummer. With its title in mind, the tireless grind of intro “Heat Death Infinity Splitter” illuminates the inevitability of our collective fate. The mechanistic synth lurches and doomed guitar bends that recall Swans track “Lunacy”, and it’s equally as dread-inducing.But if this all sounds a little too morbid, its tempered by the obvious joy and care with which 65daysofstatic approach their art. There are nods to the their past, with tracks like “Blackspots” recalling some of the aggression of their earliest releases. Elsewhere, they’re as mild as they’ve ever been. Sendoff “Safe Passage” features nearly no percussion, instead opting for iridescent washes of noise. “Prisms” begins as an experiment in atonality, smash cutting from black hole drone to ecstatic synth bombast before a pair of plush tremolo guitars take control; one last rave tune before end times.Everything reaches a breathless climax on “Unmake the Wild Light”. Its somber segments topple into one another, each a fluent extension of what came before it to create a magnificent collage of roving bass lines, Rorschach drum patterns and blurry power chords. Although to call it a climax is to downplay the impact found elsewhere. Every moment here is inspired. For anyone who can appreciate emotional breadth that music is capable of conveying, make Wild Light a part of your life. It may be the best instrumental album you hear this year." - Pretty Much Amazing
    $15.00
  • “Wow, what an impressive debut from these Norwegian progsters! I feel the same way about prog metal as I do about power metal: some of it I like a great deal and some of it does absolutely nothing for me. CIRCUS MAXIMUS' "The 1st Chapter" does damn near everything for me.” – Blabbermouth.net Circus Maximus’ first album, “The First Chapter”, took the metal world by storm in 2005. In advance of the release, the band was invited to make their North American debut at ProgPower USA. The response to their performance and the subsequent CD release produced an encore appearance in 2006. Since then the band has spent the past year gigging and further refining their sound. With the release of “Isolate”, they are poised to take their place alongside the upper echelon of progressive metal bands. The band’s musical formula is not easy to accomplish – take jaw dropping musicianship, add a singer like Michael Eriksen with a voice from heaven and toss it together with hooks, anthemic melodies and enough heavy riffing to stick with you for days. Just for good measure, toss in state of the art production courtesy of noted producer Tommy Hansen (Helloween, Jorn, Pretty Maids and TNT). It’s the band’s ability to do this all so well in such a short period of time that has drawn them so much attention. Isolate represents the best of both worlds – it’s progressive enough for any fan of technical minded metal but at the same time it’s purely infectious music. From ballads like “Zero” to the epic length “Mouth Of Madness”, this album will instantly appeal to fans of bands such as Symphony X, Dream Theater, and Kamelot. Music as amazing as this deserves artwork to match. Once again, Mattias Noren has been enlisted to design the packaging.
    $13.00
  • Xystus is a Dutch progressive metal band formed in 1999 by drummer Ivo Van Dijk and guitarist/vocalist Bas Dolmans. They enlisted bassist Mark Brekelmans and second guitarist Bob Witsma. Through the course of releasing two albums – 2004’s “Receiving Tomorrow” and 2006’s “Surreal” – the band built up a buzz and fanbase in The Netherlands. The band supported Kamelot and made numerous festival appearances. In December 2005, Xystus went on a European tour in support of Epica. The band had even greater ambitions and in 2006 they contacted the Utrechtsch Studenten Concert – the oldest symphony orchestra in The Netherlands. The resulting two year collaboration resulted in the rock opera Equilibrio. Conceived as both an actual stage production and studio recording, Equilibrio was performed to four sold out audiences in July 2008 – over 4,000 people witnessed the opera. Sensory is proud to release the studio recording of Equilibrio, which features key scenes from the opera. In addition to the 60 piece USConcert orchestra and 30 member choir, Xystus enlisted vocal performances from Simone Simons (Epica), George Osthoek (Orphanage, Delain) and Dutch theater veterans Michelle Splietelhof and John Vooijs. The story of Equilibrio revolves around a wanderer named Diegu (Bas Dolmans) who finds himself caught between the forces of good and evil - the power mad ruler Primos (John Vooijs) and the altruistic rebel Avelin (Michelle Splietelhof). Primos makes a pact with Death (George Osthoek) to take over the world. After unsuccessful efforts by Diegu to mediate between Avelin and Primos, the latter ends up with complete power and the world is thrown out of balance. Diegu is summoned by the godess Lady Sophia (Simone Simons). She watches over Earth and entrusts Diegu with the job of reuniting Primos and Avelin in order to restore the balance between good and evil again.
    $6.00
  • "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
    $5.00
  • Lethal new female fronted power metal band from Portugual. Witchbreed was formed by Ares, the former bassist from Moonspell and Deepskin along with former Deepskin guitarist Dikk (I love these names). Nothing gothic going on here - pure aggressive metal with Ruby offering great vocal chops. The guitar riffing is almost like black metal in nature and there is also the occassional male gurgler. Some nice fat keyboard pads form a solid backdrop for the heavy damage the guitars inflict. The album was produced by Waldemar Sorychta who has worked with Lacuna Coil, The Gathering, Moonspell so this is familiar territory for him and it shows. First class stuff!
    $7.00
  • "MEGADETH is back and blazing at full force and everything about “The System Has Failed” screams “Classic MEGADETH!” Just to get it out of the way, the year is 2004, not 1986, not 1992, so don’t go there. MEGADETH is 20 years old. Mustaine is still the man and MEGADETH is still the band! Well ok, MEGADETH is still MegaDave, since the whole MEGADETH line-up has been revamped. Marty is doin’ his million mile an hour, Japanese pop-star thing, and Ellefson I guess is working for Peavey and is currently mid-lawsuit with Mustaine for whopping $18.5 million big ones over some merch and publishing royalty issues that came about when Dave decided not to pull the plug on MEGADETH after all, leaving Mustaine as the only returning member, or is he? Technically, he’s not, but we’ll get to that.You know, when Dave got kicked out of METALLICA so many years back, he made a vow, a vow to kick METALLICA’s ass. Needless to say, even though two decades have passed since then, this is the album that should have Lars and the gang shitting teeth! Not that the past albums weren’t enough, it’s just that compared to 2003’s “St. Anger”, this album puts METALLICA out of the race, it’s just that simple. Once you find you’re formula, keep it, master it, make it you’re own. METALLICA screwed with theirs one too many times unfortunately and as a result it crumbled through their fingers.One thing that’s definitely a plus about this album is the “oh so familiar” feeling you get from the artwork. Just you’re regular run-o-the-mill MEGADETH cover that may as well be from the 80’s as opposed to now...oop, I went there. Not to mention the listing of who does which solos in the liner notes, always a nice bonus. And just who exactly would be swapping solos with The Man? None other than Chris Poland, that’s right, this album marks the triumphant return of Chris Poland, the original lead guitarist who hasn’t been seen with MEGADETH since “Peace Sells...” However, that’s not to say he hasn’t been busy. Since then, he has appeared on several albums including three solo albums of his own, as well as a few from his current jazz/fusion group OHM, not to mention a guest appearance on the 2003 Metal opus “As The Palaces Burn” from LAMB OF GOD which shows that he has definitely kept up on his metal chops, which as you will hear on this new album are still second to none.As for Mustaine, well what can be said that hasn’t? The man is, well...The Man. However, Dave suffered a severe arm injury in 2002 that had him convinced he would never play again, so Dave disbanded the group altogether and it seemed as though MEGADETH was through. Supposedly, Dave got drunk and fell asleep on his arm causing severe nerve damage (???). However, with a miraculous recovery and a reworked set of band members, MEGADETH are here to stay.At just under 50 minutes, Mustaine and Poland give you an ample supply of riffery that never drags for even a nanosecond, and with soon to be classics like “Of Mice And Men“, “Blackmail The Universe“ and “Truth Be Told“, this newest offering from one of the greatest Metal bands of all time clearly shows that the days of MEGADETH have yet to be numbered, even by Mustaine himself." - Metal Observer
    $12.00
  • Iced Earth's tenth album features a new vocalist - Stu Block, formerly of Into Eternity. This digipak comes with 3 bonus tracks a sticker and fold-out poster."Iced Earth's revolving door of vocalists continues on their newest release Dystopia. Matt Barlow's second go-around with the band ended earlier this year, and his replacement is Canadian singer Stu Block (Into Eternity).Over the years Iced Earth has cultivated a thrashy power metal sound, which is intact on Dystopia. The songs are dramatic and grandiose, packed with melody and potent riffs. The title track gets the proceedings underway in fine fashion, a very catchy and bold track. After a mellow start, “Anthem” kicks in and becomes appropriately enough, anthemic.Iced Earth has had a legacy of outstanding vocalists, including Barlow and Tim “Ripper” Owens. Block continues that tradition. He has a wide range, and really hits the high notes on songs like “Boiling Point.” He brings a varied performance, and delivers the lyrics convincingly no matter if it's an aggressive lower pitched section, traditional singing or belting it out. He is able to dial it back a notch when needed as well, such as on “Anguish Of Youth.”Like Block's vocal performance, Dystopia as a whole is a varied and diverse release. From ballads to bombastic power metal to harder edged material, Iced Earth covers a lot of bases. It's also much more streamlined than their last couple of albums, with 10 songs clocking it at about 45 minutes.Lineup changes can have a negative effect on a band, but Iced Earth has shown over the years it doesn't phase them at all. That's also the case with this CD. Block fits in extremely well, and Dystopia finds Iced Earth losing no momentum. It may have even given them a little boost." - About.com
    $6.00