In Crescendo

SKU: SR3064
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Sensory Records
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In Crescendo is the fourth studio album from this Italian progressive band.  While originally working in a purely metal direction, the band has expanded the scope of their sound to encompass elements of progressive rock as well.  There is a very strong atmospheric component similar to Riverside, Porcupine Tree, and Pink Floyd but the heavier, metallic side of Opeth and Dream Theater is clearly present as well.

Over the past two years Kingcrow has expanded their fan base with a European tour in support of Redemption and Jon Oliva as well as appearances at ProgPower Europe and ProgPower USA.  An announcement about 2013 US tour dates is imminent.
 

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  • Fifth album from this German instrumental psych/stoner band is a real mind crusher.  You like My Brother The Wind?  You need to hear this.  If Samsara Blues Experiment recorded an instrumental album it might sound something like this.  The album is interspersed with quieter introspective interludes that just seem to made the heavier parts heavier and the spacier parts trippier.  If you like your psych served up hard you can't pass it up.  Devastating stuff.  BUY OR DIE!BTW - the angry metal guy tells it way better than I can:"It was difficult for me to turn down a promo so intertwined with one of the subjects of my recently-completed dissertation. Aldous Huxley‘s migration to Eastern philosophy, influenced by both Taoism and Buddhism, is well documented in his final novel, Island. The inhabitants of the idyllic island practice such spiritual, philosophical models, culminating in the consumption of so-called “Moksha-medicine,” a hallucinogen which permits heightened awareness and understanding. The band which explores similarly Zen and reflective topics is one to catch my eye and I excitedly embarked on this quest for internal liberation.Moksha is the fifth full-length by Germany’s My Sleeping Karma, succeeding their previous release Soma (also a reference to Eastern spirituality and prominently interpreted in Huxley’s Brave New World). It accordingly incorporates Eastern instrumentation in a groovy, psychedelic exploration of exactly how mellow one can be while the music can still be interpreted as metal. Though it could be described as relaxing mood music, the distorted guitars and surprising technical proficiency of the band grounds Moksha in the space between rock and metal (and also qualifies it for AMG, you goddamned haters).If Kraut or psychedelic rock is your jam then you will assuredly find plenty to enjoy here. The minimalist approach with sparingly-used instruments and catchy but repetitive leads will worm its way into your skull. There aren’t multiple riffs throughout each song; rather, a core motif which gradually progresses and develops throughout, lending a charming coherency to the album – see opener “Prithvi” for this. Occasional synths and piano keys afford an ethereal air too. However, it’s the points at which more overt Eastern instrumentation is used that the material really stands out. The five “Interlude”s which split each of the main songs strongly evoke My Brother The Wind, with groovy bass-lines and the interesting use of monk’s chants and hand-operated drums. The album’s concept is thus drawn into the music and it creates a quite captivating effect. The sudden and disturbing emanation of pop shite from one of my housemates’s bedrooms drew me from my trance and alerted me to how involving the material is.Despite the repetitive and seemingly improvised nature of the music, its technicality is another boon. As the songs progress and layer, the guitars and drums can become quite intense despite the over-arching serenity (I’m aware this sounds like a contradiction but it’s a testament to the subtle song-writing). The nifty transition at 2:30 of “Akasha” foregrounds a sound very similar to mid-era Anathema, and the transition at 4:00 demonstrates the talent of the bassist and drummer, leading into an appropriately-climatic harmony. This is just one song, but jazzy drum fills and strong bass work permeate the entirety of the release. The Floydian jam on “Interlude 5” is compelling too.I would argue that Moksha effectively achieves its goal and nails the style it strives for. However, I do feel that it may be too niche for some listeners – it’s easy for me to concertedly listen for the technical accomplishments as a reviewer, but the music can slip to the background into the realms of mood music. Though a pleasant listen it may be, one could argue it’s a little safe and it certainly doesn’t arouse my passions sufficiently to push my score to excellent. Furthermore, each of the main tracks can sound quite similar if not explicitly listening – that said, the interludes split up the record nicely so this effect is mitigated. I’m also part of the niche rock and metal market that appreciates the spiritual subject matter, if only on an academic level.Turning my gaze to the empirical and away from the spiritual, the solid dynamics certainly aid affairs. The principle tracks hit a DR score of 8, with the “Interlude”s varying between 10 and 14. There is good breathing room for each instrument and each is clean without being over-produced. A holistic sound is achieved which envelops the listener well.I imagine there is quite a specific demographic that this music hits so it may not be for everyone, but I’m enjoying my journey to the geographic heights of Nepal, the enigmatic Sadhus of India and through the tenets of Yin Yang. The ultimate dearth of diversity and Moksha‘s intrinsic tranquility limits my true passion for the record, but it’s a worthwhile investment nonetheless. Aldous would be proud." - The Angry Metal Guy
    $13.00
  • Fourth album from this outstanding jazz metal band from Hungary getting outside exposure with their signing to IQ's Giant Electric Pea label.  Special Providence started out their career as a pure fusion band - not unlike Tribal Tech and Return To Forever.  With their third album, Soul Alert, the band injected a heavier metal presence primarily in the guitarwork.  Essence Of Change carries on from Soul Alert in terms of heaviness and the use of distortion but at the same time there is clearly more of a jazz/fusion emphasis in the writing.  This gives us a nicely balanced sound that has a lot of cross over appeal.  Liquid Tension Experiment and Morglbl fans will love this and I expect open minded fans of RTF and Mahavishnu will enjoy hearing the young kats update the sound they developed in the 70s.  Expect a non-stop assault of laser beam synth solos and blistering distortion laced guitar solos.  Yeah this one hits the sweet spot and after many future spins I suspect this will sit at the top of their already impressive discography.  BUY OR DIE!!
    $15.00
  • "Most bands will reach a creative peak at a certain point in their career after which they simply continue in a less interesting fashion before eventually calling it a day. Not so with Motorpsycho. After more than 20 years they continue to develop and to to challenge themselves artistically. On this epic, double concept album, easily their most ambitious yet, Motorpsycho has assembled the cream of classical and jazz musicians from world class ensembles established in Trondheim, their hometown. ”The Death Defying Unicorn” was first commisioned by Molde International Jazzfestival for their 50th anniversary in 2010 where it was performed on the main outdoor stage. This, however, has been partly re-arranged, refined and recorded from scratch at Propeller Studios in Oslo with Kåre Chr. Vestrheim once again co-producing as he did with ”Heavy Metal Fruit”. Ståle Storløkken (Supersilent, Elephant9, Humcrush, Terje Rypdal) is considered one of Norway´s top keyboardists but here he also comes into his full as a writer and not at least arranger of the two ensembles. His contributions to this album can not be stressed enough. Among the players in Trondheim Jazz Orchestra are wellknown names such as Kjetil Møster (Ultralyd), André Roligheten (Albatrosh) and Mathias Eick, not to forget star violinist Ola Kvernberg." Heavyweight cardboard gatefold sleeve and 180 gram pressing. Looks real sharp!FOREIGN CUSTOMERS PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO THE HEAVIER WEIGHT OF VINYL YOU WILL BE SUBJECT TO ADDITIONAL SHIPPING CHARGES.
    $30.00
  • Ambient/prog reworking of Dead End Kings arrives in a limited edition 2 disc digibook.  You get the CD version as well as a DVD featuring a 5.1 and 24 bit hi-resolution stereo mix."After last year’s successful release of their 9th full-length Dead End Kings, Katatonia have returned with a special release entitled Dethroned and Uncrowned. This album is special for two reasons. Firstly, it was brought to life with the help of the so-called ‘Katatoniacs’; that is, the fans were the ones who financed this project through a pledge campaign the band had set up where fans could pledge for various album formats and other items such as drumsticks, lyric sheets, posters, backdrops and even one of Anders’s old guitars. Needless to say, the pledge campaign was highly successful and reached its goal in four days. Secondly, the album is special music-wise, as it contains the same tracks that were found on Dead End Kings, but all of them have undergone a major makeover. As Katatonia wrote on their website: ‘the drums will be dethroned and the distorted rhythm guitars will be uncrowned’. What they have basically done is that they have kept the vocal lines intact but have experimented with the rest of the music, creating stripped-down, semi-acoustic versions of the songs with the focus on ambience and atmosphere, showcasing the band’s progressive song-writing talent. Katatonia have masterfully and rather elegantly transformed the songs into totally different entities and have given themselves as well as the listeners the opportunity to discover different aspects of each track, by adding little interesting details or emphasizing some parts that were not as noticeable as in the previous version, like the Jan Johansson-esque piano touches in ‘Leech’, or the 70s prog vibe in ‘Dead Letters’. All in all, Katatonia have managed yet again to create a beautiful, melancholic and touching piece of work that will certainly fulfill the expectations of the majority of their fans. Those who were not very keen on Dead End Kings (if such people exist), might enjoy some of the songs in their new versions, and, who knows, they might even appreciate that album a bit more after listening to this." - Metal Recusants
    $9.00
  • Mind's Eye is a Swedish quartet who combine metal, rock, jazz/fusion, and even latin styles into one. Their guitar driven sound fuses melody with power and technical complexity. They experiment with different odd-meters, keys and arrangements to create open minded music. Perhaps similar to two other Swedish bands - Treasure Land and Lion's Share, their complex arrangements share traits of technical bands like Sieges Even and Psychotic Waltz. Guitarist Fredrik Grnberger's guitar sound is quite original blending elements of shredders like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani with fusion pioneer Allan Holdsworth. Although his solos are the focal point of the band they never lose sight of the song - this is not an exercise in guitar solo excess.
    $13.00
  • Third album from this Swedish stoner rock band takes equal parts Mastodon, Pink Floyd, and Baroness and jumbles it together.  Toss in a touch of retro-folk in places (I guess that would make it unequal).  It can get a bit sludgy at times and then turns around and blasts off into space.  All I know is I want what they're smoking!"New Keepers Of The Water Towers are a Stoner Metal Band who have been going since 2006 and have a loyal following within the Stoner Metal scene. They have released two well-received albums – 2009’s Chronicles and 2011’s The Calydonian Hunt.Their blend of high voltage Stoner Metal riffs mixed with Fuzz and a slight hint of Sludge Rock made these hugely talented Swedes a band to look out for. Well things are about to change big time for the band thanks to their stunning new album – Cosmic Child.For the 3rd album – the band have went under a spacey transformation of sorts. Cosmic Child sees the band incorporating huge elements of Progressive Rock and Space Rock into their already set great sound.So if you’re a fan of Pink Floyd and Mastodon then your surely going to dig this like I did. Cosmic Child is the band’s creative and most daring work to date. They are a band reborn. This is New Keepers Of The Water Towers like you have never heard before. The band has reflected this in the 47 minute running time. An almost epic length by their standards.First track – The Great Leveller – is the perfect 6-minute introduction to show you the bands new sound and outlook on all things Stoner Metal. Blending Progressive Rock riffs with Space Rock shows you this band have taken a more direct Sci-Fi vibe to their music. What else would you expect with the excellent album cover and cool title?Imagine if NASA wanted the world’s finest Stoner Metal bands to record an album about Space Exploration then The Cosmic Child would be that awesome result. New Keepers have created an astonishing album that will take you to different galaxies and dimensions without ever leaving the comforts of your own home.2nd track – Visions Of Death – might start as a cheerful Space Rock opera but listen to the lyrics and you find something dark and mysterious lurking in the background. Before the album takes you off for an epic journey into the cosmos. 9 mins on show here feel like light-years instead of mins. However, you will not know the difference as you will be enjoying the ride too much. Just more action-packed riffs to show you that New Keepers Of The Water Towers have evolved as musicians and writers since their last release. Wait until the 5:30 minute mark before an amazing Space infused Stoner Rock riff comes out of nowhere.3rd Track – Pyre For The Red Sage – is another magical epic journey through Time and Space. Well 12 minute to be precise but you get another outstanding track, which takes time building the listeners emotions before letting rip with more top-notch Space Rock riffs. Throw in great vocals and lyrics and this album is now firmly in the realm of brilliance. This is a love letter to Pink Floyd as it contains some highly recognisable rock passages that legendary band were known for.I had the feeling when listening to the album that the band had been reading or watching 2001 – A Space Odyssey or other philosophical sci-fi classics as some of their ideas on the album might actually need a degree of some sort to fully understand. However, the riffs contained on the album will keep fans happy for many years to come.The last 3 songs follow the same path as the first 3 songs. More epic progressive space rock riffs blended with sublime Stoner Metal riffs. 18 more mins to keep you transfixed from start to finish.Best track of the remaining 3 is the 12:32 minute instrumental epic – Lapse – which showcases some of the bands finest instrumental work to date. Ambient noises have been beautifully added to create a world that is unnerving as it is exciting. Damn – this track is a work of art at times. Moods and atmospheres collide with intent and purpose. Just close your eyes and let the riffs take you on another great journey into the vastness of space.All in all – The Cosmic Child – is a wonderful album for everyone to experience. It has soul and heart like you would never imagine. It’s expertly produced and played by all involved.The Cosmic Child is going to launch New Keepers Of The Water Tower onto another level within the Stoner Metal scene.Excellent and Highly Recommended." - The Sludgelord Blogspot
    $14.00
  • James LaBrie once again that there is life outside of Dream Theater.  His solo band features a stable lineup consisting of Matt Guillory (keyboards), Marco Sfogli (guitars), Ray Riendeau (bass), Peter Wildoer (drums, death vox).  Jens Bogren once again mixed. An interesting twist to the mix is the inclusion of Soilwork's Peter Wichers who contributes some guitarwork and also collaborated on songwriting with LaBrie.While the music is square on prog metal and all in all not too dissimilar to Dream Theater its different enough to have its own vibe.  Wildoer's coarse vocal approach offers an interesting counterbalance to LaBrie's upper midrange clean voice.  The limited digipak edition comes with two bonus tracks.  Highly recommended.
    $13.00
  • "The last few years have been a turbulent time for British tech bands and their vocalists. Along with TesseracT and Aliases in particular, Monuments have had more than their fair share of strife in securing the right frontman. However, the recruitment of the multi-talented Chris Barretto last year seemed to reinvigorate the band’s live performance, and second album The Amanunensis gives us the opportunity to see whether the chemistry apparent onstage translates into the writing process.The short answer to that question, hinted at by the singles that have broken cover in the lead-up to the album’s release, is a resounding yes. Right from the first listen, The Amanunensis grabs the listener by the hair and demands their attention. With a number of the songs that comprised debut album Gnosis having existed in one form or another for more than two years before its 2012 release, The Amanunensis shows clearly how far the band have progressed, on pretty much every front.It is only natural, though, that the attention falls first on Chris, as the new guy. As well as his prodigious vocal talents (which we will return to in a moment), he has built the lyrical concept to The Amanunensis around a complex story that ties the whole album together, effectively turning the individual tracks into chapters. Rather than reprise that entire concept here, Chris helpfully outlined it in a recent interview with Noisefull, and we can probably expect to see it fleshed out further in the future.Drawing from various strands of spiritualism and science fiction, it seems that The Amanunensis - both in concept and execution – is best described by another eastern construct; the Yin and Yang. The twin pairing of “I, The Creator” and “I, The Destroyer” that effectively bookend the album seem to be a nod in the direction of the Hindu god Vishnu, which together with the Buddhist concept of “Samsara” provide the spiritual yin to the yang of an album title inspired by David Mitchell’s novel Cloud Atlas and other sci-fi influences.But, deeper than that, Chris’ angelic, Michael Jackson-inspired falsettos provide a light to contrast the shade of some pretty fearsome screaming. Equally comfortable in both extremes and at numerous points in between, Chris unabashedly stamps his identity on the band’s sound. The net result proves that whilst the path to finding the right vocalist for Monuments was at times difficult, it was definitely worth the effort.Comparisons to the yin-yang can also be found in the real driving force of the Monuments sound: the riffs of guitarist John Browne. More so now than ever before, Browne’s riffs balance intense neocortex technicality with a more primal reptilian rhythmicality. There are tricksy time signatures and extended metre riffs aplenty, but they are always subordinate to the great God of Grooves, providing The Amanunensis with both immediate accessibility and the depth to warrant repeated listens and close attention. This is most immediately apparent on “Quasimodo“, which combines Tool-esque shifting rhythms with Sevendust‘s soaring melodies and guitar crunch.If this wasn’t enough, the tracks are then underpinned by the vibrant and imaginitive rhythm section of drummer Mike Malyan and bassist Adam Swan. Mike has spent much of the Monuments downtime as a key part of The Algorithm‘s headbending live performances, which have pushed out the boundaries of his already considerable skills even further, but once again the temptation to simply show off has largely been resisted, and his innovative beats and fills augment the songs rather than dominate them. Adam, too, seems to understand that the notes left unplayed are as important as those which are struck, and his understated basslines are deftly deployed, particularly on the verses of “Origin of Escape“.“Origin of Escape“, incidentally, is possibly the finest Monuments track to date, neatly encapsulating everything they have to offer in one four minute package that is both danceable and mosh-friendly. “Atlas” and “Horcrux” give free reign to strutting pop sensibilities, whilst “The Alchemist” and “Jinn” are blasts of lip-curling heaviness. Throughout the album, the choruses are huge and the hooks are numerous.With this combination of almost feral aggression and unashamed embrace of pop melody, The Amanunensis could almost lay claim to being ‘Angel Dust for the tech generation’. If anything were to stand in the way of that claim, it would be that it doesn’t quite have the same degree of diversity as Faith No More‘s magnum opus. Even with the yin and yang counterpoints discussed above, all of the songs rely on the key device of syncopated stabs interspersed with technical flourishes, so it will be interesting to see if the band can feel their way beyond that from time to time in the future.Nevertheless, The Amanunensis is bold, brash and thoroughly infectious. It delivers in full on the promises made by Gnosis and points to an even richer future ahead of the band, hopefully drawing a line under their somewhat tumultuous past.What we have here is the sound of Monuments coming of age. With this second album, their place in the pantheon of great British tech-metal bands is assured. Whilst there are hints that suggest there are still greater things to come from them in the future, there’s no reason not to see The Amanunensis as the must-have, feel-good metal hit of the summer." - The Monolith
    $12.00
  • "A while back I reviewed a “live” album that sounded like it was recorded in a pub in the middle of nowhere on a wet Tuesday, attended by one man and his dog.  It was awful.  If you’re going to produce a live album there are rules.  First, the sound has to be good, there’s no point if it isn’t studio quality.  Second, and this is vital, if you are recording an album in front of a live audience, the sound of that audience must make it onto the album.  If you can’t hear them cheering, clapping, singing along you’d have been as well staying in the studio.  After the disappointment of the aforementioned review, I was keeping everything crossed that Live With the Curse would reflect the electric atmosphere at Glasgow’s Classic Grand on that night back in November.  You see, I know the crowd was rocking that night, and I know the band sounded great, because I was there.So, I sat down today to listen to the album, hoping against hope that Eden’s Curse had got it right.  Man have they ever got it right.  I defy anyone to listen to this without feeling like they were actually there.  Mixed and mastered by Dennis Ward, who has worked with the band throughout their career, every bit of the live experience is included, from their onstage introduction by Tom Russell to the little chats with the crowd and the unholy racket the crowd made at every opportunity.Tom Russell, Godfather of Rock is a legend in these parts, he’s been presenting rock radio for longer than I’ve been alive (sorry Tom!) and having him announce you is quite an honour.  From that point on this album is relentless.  Nikola’s vocal never misses a note, Thorsten plays guitar like a man possessed and Paul, John and Steve bring it all together into something pretty close to perfection.  Nikola does a brilliant job of bringing the crowd into the show as well, introducing songs, explaining what they’re about and getting some crowd participation going.  It all adds to the atmosphere, which as I’ve already said is crucial to a live album.Highlights for me include opening track Symphony of Sin, which sets out the bands intentions from the very beginning.  This gig, this album is going to break you.  The pace and energy is non stop, as Nikola roars at the crowd and they roar back.  Covering tracks from all four Eden’s Curse albums the band powers through a set list which translates to a two disc album of over 100 minutes.  It’s long, but it never drags, as the energy refuses to drop.  Towards the end of disc one look out for an extended guitar solo from Thorsten.  Now, I don’t play guitar, but I know enough to know that this man is one of the best guitar players you will see.  He rarely lifts his head, lost in the music but he plays as if he has two pairs of hands.  One of my favourite things about Eden’s Curse is the storytelling in each song, from Masquerade Ball to Rock Bottom.  It means that the songs improve with each listen, as you move from listening to the tune to actually taking in the lyrics.  I have to also mention my personal favourite Eden’s Curse track Evil and Divine.  I don’t know why I love it, I just do.  And that’s what it’s all about.As final track Angels and Demons ends the crowd begin to chant, “Eden’s Curse, Eden’s Curse, Eden’s Curse,” and I sit here straining my ears because if I just listen hard enough I might hear myself.  I cheered them that night, and I’ll be cheering this album from the rooftops.  It’s out on Friday, March 13th and I will personally Curse any of you who don’t buy it!" - Planet Mosh
    $15.00
  • Ultra-technical, futuristic instrumental jazz/metal is the order of the day, served with a side of kick-ass. Fans of Gordion Knot and Spiral Architect will rejoice, but fans of Don Caballero, Dysrhythmia, Cynic, and even Coprofago will all probably find something to sink their teeth into. -Deadtide.com “Cortical Tectonics” is the third full length release from this Georgia based instrumental tech-metal trio. The band has shown tremendous growth since their beginnings in 1999, evolving out of the death metal/mathcore scene. Dropping their vocalist along the way the band decided to emphasize intricate arrangements, creating compositions that only the most adept musicians could play. Canvas Solaris’ music resonated equally with fans of technical metal co-horts Spiral Architect and Cynic as well as bands like Don Caballero and Dillinger Escape Plan. “Cortical Tectonics” demonstrates continued growth from three musicians who are not content to retread old ideas. Now drawing inspiration from progressive Gods like King Crimson, Voivod and Mr. Bungle, they have added more textural elements, with keyboards and acoustic instruments playing a more prominent role in the music. The music now has a more expansive sound but still retaining their trademark technical elements. Tracks like the 17 minute epic “Reticular Consciousness” is an example of how the Canvas Solaris sound has evolved. It’s a composition that draws on space and quiet interludes making the transitions to hyper-technical passages all the more effective. This is the REAL progressive music!
    $13.00
  • New album featuring Mike Mangini replacing the thought-to-be-irreplaceable Mike Portnoy on drums. No changes in direction - still the prog metal leaders that other bands follow. This is the special edition that comes with a bonus DVD featuring the 60 minute documentary encapsulating the band's hunt for a new drummer - with videos of the try-out sessions.
    $18.00
  • Lethal German underground hard rock band led by guitarist Frank Diez. Originally released on Kuck Kuck back in 1970, its always been a high priced rarity and with good reason.
    $29.00
  • Limited edition digipak of the new Evergrey album includes 2 booklets and one bonus track."Reformed and rejuvenated may best describe Evergrey 2.0 and their eighth studio album Glorious Collision After dissolving the band in the Spring of 2010, founder, guitarist, and vocalist Tom Englund immediately began recreating Evergrey, writing several songs with remaining keyboard player Rikard Zander. Englund then filled out the band with the incoming talent of Marcus Jidell (guitar), Hannes Van Dahl (drums) and Johan Niemann (bass).A cursory listen to Glorious Collision finds Evergrey revitalized and seeming to draw from a well of new sources. In the past, both lyrically and musically, Englund/Evergrey was almost uniformly heavy, bleak, and often discomforting. I don't think Englund has lost any of his somber, near depressive, edge, but musically Glorious Collision certainly has a more lively feel to it. Leave It Behind, You, and It Comes From Within find Evergrey drawing on a more classic melodic rock feel wrapped in pure heavy metal. Wrong brings back some of Evergrey/Englund's melancholy while sounding like a Swedish version of current, and commercial, modern hard rock. Others, like Frozen, thunder along with a well-paced and invigorating melodic power metal style. Generally, with the depth and variety of the arrangements, Evergrey hasn't lost it's progressive edge either. But I'm not ready to call this work pure progressive metal. Ultimately, when listening to Wrong, I'm Drowning Alone, or the wonderful To Fit the Mold, Glorious Collision has a sweeping near epic quality to it thanks to the aforementioned melodic rock character wrapped in some serious heavy metal.If Glorious Collision is the future of a re-emergent and revitalized Evergrey, then we are in for some grand days ahead. Glorious Collision is impressive: heavy, melodic, thick with groove, and quite entertaining. Maybe more bands should reboot." - dangerdog.com
    $15.00