Awaken The Guardian (Remastered 2CD+DVD)

2005 deluxe remastered edition of the bands 1986 magnum opus, the last one to feature John Arch on vocals. This elaborate set features two cds and one live DVD. Disc One is the remastered version of the album. Disc Two features unreleased live and demo tracks. Disc Three is an NTSC Region 0 live DVD of a live gig from 1986. Mike Portnoy wrote the liner notes.

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  • Amplifier are a trio from Manchester. They are also one of the bands at the forefront of the contemporary progressive rock scene. The Octopus is their third album - an expansive 2 hour epic spread out over two discs. The band's first two albums (and EP) were on SPV. They are now working on their own. While their last album, Insider, was a bit more commercial, The Octopus finds the band in their full blown progressive/space rock mode. Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree come to mind - not in an overt way - more so in general terms of mood and feel. Some nice heavy guitar crunch mixes with dreamy tripped out passages for a solid dynamic listening experience. One of the best things I've heard in a long time. Highly recommended.
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  • "Veterans in the Power/Progressive Metal scene, Brazil’s ANGRA set the world on fire right out of the gate on their debut album “Angel’s Cry” – at the time in 1992 a throwback to the classic Kiske-led HELLOWEEN era with its “Keepers of the Seven Keys” uplifting melodies and speed/ guitar harmony attack. Since that time they’ve blazed their own trail, surviving key member changes in the vocal and drummer departments as well as expanding their musical template into more of an original, Progressive Metal sound. Their eighth studio album “Secret Garden” will be another barometer test for their fans, as RHAPSODY OF FIRE vocalist Fabio Lione steps in the singer slot – and drummer Bruno Valverde slides into the percussion position. What does this mean overall for ANGRA? Will it be a step into the past- or a move into the future?After a solid 20 playbacks, this will probably be one of the favorite ANGRA records in their discography due to the quality and dynamic diversity for these 10 tracks. Those who expect Fabio to soar to high heavens solely on this record, well expand your minds because he truly delivers one of the best performances of his career – stretching out his lower and middle registers more so on this record than ever before. Check out opener “Newborn Me” and the serene ballad “Silent Call” for new facets to his range – emotionally connecting like never before. Musically you can hear a lot of the South American nuances plunging head first into more New Age/ jazz-like Progressive textures on highlight “Upper Levels”, something I would appreciate more from DREAM THEATER and helps ANGRA achieve that surprise element necessary beyond their obvious instrumental talent level.Those who desire the fast paced, double bass, scream to the sky Power anthem material, well “Black Hearted Soul” or “Perfect Symmetry” should give you the fist-pumping adrenaline workout you crave. Special guests include EPICA’s Simone Simons on the dramatic, Symphonic-laden title cut ballad and early Metal icon Doro Pesch who does a vocal duet with Guitarist Rafael Bettencourt on the heavier, bouncier “Crushing Room”. Add in a conceptual storyline that features a fictional account of a scientist seeking happiness after dealing with the tragic loss of his wife in an accident and stunning production values where all parts shine (including the bass heroics of Felipe Andreoli) and I’m sure this 49 minute record will receive consistent airplay for not just 2015, but an eternity as the best albums should.“Secret Garden” could be ANGRA’s best album to date: rich in Progressive Metal highlights but also remembering the right balance in terms of individual songwriting and melodic/hook aspects, this should be a benchmark for other bands to study and up their creative game. A great start to 2015 for sure." - Metal Temple
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  • This is the album that really broke the band in North America.  Hit after hit..."After years of writing hook-laden choruses and triumphantly buzzing riffs, this German band finally perfected the formula. A fine mix of poise and passion, Love at First Sting appeals to both angry metalheads and Top-40 aficionados." -- Jon Wiederhorn
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