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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  • Remastered edition."Dire Straits' minimalist interpretation of pub rock had already crystallized by the time they released their eponymous debut. Driven by Mark Knopfler's spare, tasteful guitar lines and his husky warbling, the album is a set of bluesy rockers. And while the bar band mentality of pub-rock is at the core of Dire Straits -- even the group's breakthrough single, "Sultans of Swing," offered a lament for a neglected pub rock band -- their music is already beyond the simple boogies and shuffles of their forefathers, occasionally dipping into jazz and country. Knopfler also shows an inclination toward Dylanesque imagery, which enhances the smoky, low-key atmosphere of the album. While a few of the songs fall flat, the album is remarkably accomplished for a debut, and Dire Straits had difficulty surpassing it throughout their career." - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • "When people think of Melodic Power Metal from Finland, obviously two of the biggest acts that come to mind are STRATOVARIUS and SONATA ARCTICA. ASTRALION are another quintet pumping out that addictive, uplifting Euro Power Metal sound on their debut, self-titled album. Forming in 2011 and containing two ex-OLYMPOS MONS members in vocalist Ian Highhill and bassist Dr. K. Lundell, they also have two musicians from the Thrash band THE ADDICATION in their ranks with drummer Arnold Hackman and guitarist Hank Newman. Keyboardist Thomas Henry rounds out the lineup, so the experience in terms of players and musicianship makes this 11 song record much easier to ingest than the average ‘newer’ act attempting to breakthrough on this very active scene.The foundation of ASTRALION’s style cements itself in the early to mid-90’s Power Metal movement: chord structures that have a touch of that mead hall/ cultural thematic feel, as well as those larger than life choruses that BLIND GUARDIAN, GAMMA RAY, and HELLOWEEN made a staple of their sound. The keyboards certainly have that Finnish meets FREEDOM CALL happy tone – the opening strains of “At the Edge of the World” reminding me at times of “Hunting High and Low” from STRATOVARIUS. Of course you’ll get the prototypical speed numbers featuring guitar/keyboard synchronized arpeggio-like runs as the double bass cruises and the vocals hit ultimate bird call highs – “When Death Comes Knocking” and “Five Fallen Angels” textbook Power Metal 101 arrangements that should go down a storm.Beyond the mid-tempo ‘ode to what we love about the genre at hand number “We All Made Metal;” I also enjoyed the theatrical/ semi-Symphonic nature of the dramatic “Computerized Love” as well as the 13 minute epic closer “Last Man on Deck” that opens in ballad form before picking up the Neo-Classical pace and giving Hank and Thomas ample solo break / ‘can you top this’ moments. Ian may not tickle all the right notes vocally at times, but his passion and personality makes up for any small deficiencies. I come away every time singing the chorus to “Mysterious & Victorious”, and isn’t that half the battle in winning over consumers in this style?ASTRALION are off to a high quality start, so those who miss the 1990’s style of Power Metal would be wise to scoop this up." - Metal Temple
    $15.00
  • Ever wonder what happens when you mix Motorhead and Ozric Tentacles in a blender? The fourth album from this Dutch underground space rock band may well be the answer. Quandrant melds the spacier aspects of Hawkwind and the Ozrics with the doominess of Black Sabbath and the brutal force of Lemmy & Co. Perhaps in some ways they are similar to 35007 but with vocals. These guys don't just propel you into deep space - they shove a Saturn V rocket up your butt and launch you there at the speed of light.
    $15.00
  • "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
  • "Remastered by award-winning engineer Andy Jackson, this version comes with new artwork by I Monster’s Jarrod Gosling and a booklet featuring sleeve notes by founder members Tim Bowness and Stephen Bennett.A distinctive combination of 60′s/70′s Progressive influences (Gabriel-era Genesis/Pink Floyd/Soft Machine), Ambient experiments and hard-hitting group improvisations (King Crimson/Mogwai/Miles Davis), the album was released 12 years prior to its critically acclaimed successor Men Singing.Alongside Bennett and Bowness, other contributions come from Brian Eno collaborator Peter Chilvers, No-Man live guitarist Michael Bearpark, Myke Clifford (sax/flute) and Pendragon/Steve Hackett drummer Fudge Smith.Two of the album’s tracks were mixed by Steven Wilson, Tim Bowness’s partner in No-Man.‘A nice blend that takes inspiration from the rich symphonic source of the late 60s-early 70s with references to Genesis, Pink Floyd and Soft Machine and group improvisations a la King Crimson.’IO Pages"Henry Fool came in life out of the coffee shop chats between No-Man's singer Tim Bowness and ex-Lahost/Airbridge's keyboardist Stephen Bennett to come up with a project indicating their music influences as youngsters.Henry Fool officially formed in spring 2000 with the two men gathering also bassist Peter Chilvers, Pendragon's drummer Fudge Smith, guitarist Michael Bearpark (known also for his work with No-Man) and woodwind player Myke Clifford.The project recorded its debut at Chaos Studios in Norwich and at the Music Farm in the hamlet of Lenwade between March 2000 and April 2001 and the album was eventually released on the Cyclops label.The album contains 16 short tracks connected to each other and making a long composition, which passes through extremely different soundscapes and each drawing influences from a mass of music styles.These unrelated textures will definitely surprise the listener in a positive way, though this is the same reason the album lacks in coherence.With Bowness as the leading figure ''Henry Fool'' contains lots of ambiental/psychedelic textures akin to NO-MAN with hypnotic guitars, dreamy flutes, distorted electronics/sound effects and sensitive vocals creating calm, chill-out images.The psychedelic vibes do not stop here, there are also a couple of more upbeat moments with solid grooves and jams, very much in a Kraut Rock enviroment, led by impressive guitars and a powerful rhythm section.The more Classic Prog-oriented tracks feature always the presence of Bennett.Loads of Mellotron, refined electric piano and light organ themes recall the 70's Prog Rock era, mainly influenced by KING CRIMSON, offering dark but well-crafted soundscapes with an orchestral mood.The next leading figure of the album seems to be Myke Clifford and his sax.Many moments in ''Henry Fool'' are led by his strong sax experiments with evident VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR and EMBRYO inspirations, somewhere between Psych/Prog and Kraut/Jazz Rock.Beautiful performances with an obvious jazzy approach, much in a loose mood.This album should be easily regarded as a nice trip into the world of NO-MAN's music and the Classic Prog ages.Alternating calm and nervous passages result a work of a documentary character as a whole.Not a masterful album, but definitely an original and pleasant listening.Recommended." - ProgArchives
    $16.00
  • New band put together by Renato Tribuzy, the former singer of the Brazilian power metal band Thoten. In addition to his regular band Tribuzy got some incredible guests to appear: Bruce Dickinson, Michael Kiske, Roland Grapow, Kiko Loureiro, Ralf Scheepers, Roy Z, Matt Sinner, Dennis Ward, and Chris Dale.
    $9.00
  • 180 gram double LP vinyl set of this debut release from this great Norwegian prog band.  This features a new analog mix for vinyl as well as some new modified artwork.Airbag is a new young prog band from Norway. Their music has a dreamy quality that will have you floating in the clouds. If you are fan of Riverside's lighter moments you will spooge over this. Definite references to Radiohead and Porcupine Tree will spring to mind as you listen. The music never explodes - it takes the slow fire approach creating constant tension. Lots of beautiful melodies wafting through your skull from the first listen. Highly recommended. These guys could potentially break big.
    $23.00
  • "The somber black and white cover could have been a knowing allusion to Meet the Beatles!, but it's really a signal that Van Halen is playing it for keeps on OU812, their second record with Sammy Hagar. Indeed, the striking thing about OU812 is that all its humor is distilled into a silly punny title, because even the party tunes here -- and there are many -- are performed with a dogged, determined vibe. When David Lee Roth fronted the band, almost everything that Van Halen did seemed easy -- as big, boisterous, and raucous as an actual party -- but Van Hagar makes good times seem like tough work here. Apart from a few cuts -- the countryish hook on "Finish What Ya Started," the slow, bluesy strut "Black and Blue" -- the riffs are complicated, not catchy, the rhythms plod, they don't rock, and Sammy strains to inject some good times by singing too hard. It gives OU812 a bit of a dour feel, not entirely dissimilar to Fair Warning, but unlike that early unheralded gem, this isn't a descent into darkness; it's merely a very inward rock record, as Eddie Van Halen pushes the band toward interesting musical territory. Often, this takes the form of jazzy chord changes or harmonies -- most evidently on the sleek opener, "Mine All Mine," but also on the otherwise metallic boogie "Source of Infection" -- but there's also "Cabo Wabo," the longest jam they've laid down on record to date, and a cover of Little Feat's "A Apolitical Blues" (which could have been a salute to producer Ted Templeman's early glories as much as a chance to do some down-n-dirty blues rock). Of course, there's also a pair of power ballads here, both poppier than the ones on 5150 -- "When It's Love" is pure balladry, "Feels So Good" rides along on a gurgling synth -- but really, they're red herrings on a record that's the hardest, darkest rock Van Halen has made since Fair Warning. And if it isn't as good as that record (even if it's nearly not as much fun), it's nevertheless the best showcase of the instrumental abilities of Van Hagar." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • Special edition arrives with a bonus DVD of the band performing material from Concrete Gardens filmed at EMGTV."Sound: Tony MacAlpine was one of the Shrapnel label guitarists of the '80s, and also played keyboards for the debut releases of Vinnie Moore and other Shrapnel artists. Tony's debut solo album, "Edge of Insanity," came iout in 1986 - the same year as his first side project, M.A.R.S., with release of the album "Project: Driver." Since that time Tony MacAlpine has released numerous solo albums, participated in collaborations, made live guest appearances, and even acted as part of Steve Vai's backing band. "Concrete Gardens" is Tony's twelfth solo studio album, and is entirely instrumental like the vast majority of Tony's solo work. The album has been in the works since 2013, but took a while to release due to Tony's numerous collaborations and other projects. Jeff Loomis provides a guest guitar solo on the album on the track, "Square Circles." The album contains 12 tracks with a total runtime of just under sixty minutes. The album differs from Tony's previous work by having more of a progressive metal flavor to it, while I think of most of his previous releases as just being straight instrumental rock.The album opens up with the track "Exhibitionist Blvd," with some seriously flanged guitar and a major key melody that builds into something a little different as the track goes on. There is a specific passage that shows the influence that Vai has had on MacAlpine, though I would rank them close to equal in the virtuoso racket. "The King's Rhapsody" opens up with a keyboard intro, played by Tony, of course. Heavy guitars come in and takes the song to a few unexpected places, and actually gets my foot tapping, too - which is an accomplishment for instrumental rock! "Man in a Metal Cage" has some interesting note choices, with some mildly middle-eastern sounds for a few brief moments in the track mixed in with some obligatory sweep tapping. Otherwise, there are several passages working to create several moments of extreme tension. There are a few arpeggiated parts that are reminiscent of some other song that I can't quite place. "Poison Cookies" has a weird jazz-fusion funk feeling going on with it that I definitely appreciated - if for nothing else it changed gears long enough to shake off any monotony I thought the album might be working towards."Epic" was both a more laid back song, but also was very cerebral - the keyboard and guitar parts built on each other in a weird/cool way. "Napoleon's Puppet" very briefly reminded me of some material written by Brendan Small for his album, "Galaktikon," but it had that rhythm part to it that definitely separated it by giving it some incredibly strong groove. "Sierra Morena" is played on piano/keyboard in the intro but guitar, bass and drums come in pretty quickly. The song is named after a mountain range in Spain with the same name. I can't quite connect the music as being descriptive of a mountain range unless they're being written about the context of flying over them. "Square Circles" has some moments in the track that remind me a little bit of King Crimson, though the sense of melody is still a tad more traditional. Jeff Loomis guests on this track for a guitar solo, and it is a fairly outstanding solo in the context of the song, having a good balance of being emotive and twisted."Red Giant" is a pretty intense track, with some more middle-eastern vibes going on, and one of the most engaging and vocal-like melodies from the album, to my ears. "Confessions of a Medieval Monument" definitely grabs a certain type of vibe from the opening, with a cool (but fairly simple) bassline running behind it. This is definitely one of those songs that creates a fertile atmosphere for a little mind movie to play along to it. The way the dynamics are used on this song, as well as the recurring melodic theme, make this easily one of the strongest tracks on the album. The title track, "Concrete Gardens," is interesting with a heavy rhythm guitar and a (initially) much cleaner lead part. Something about this track reminds me of Frank Zappa, which is absolutely a good thing. The album closes out with a song called "Maiden's Wish," which is played on keyboard/piano as a solo piece. It is a fairly light-hearted song to end the album with, and I enjoyed it. If you just listen for the crazy guitar, then you can stop short of "Maiden's Wish." // 8Lyrics: There are none. // 8Overall Impression: I have always been extremely impressed with Tony MacAlpine, and this album just reinforces my opinion. While he may not be quite at the technical/speed level of some other virtuoso guitarists, especially the whole Shrapnel bunch, he makes up for it in a strong sense of feel and musicality. I especially enjoy the melodies he uses as recurring themes in many of his songs. I highly recommend this album to anyone who's a fan of instrumental rock or metal. // 8" - Ultimate-Guitar.com
    $15.00
  • "Ray Shulman produced this CD of one of the earliest Gentle Giant live gigs at King Alfred's College Winchester. Notably, this album contains the lost track "Peel Off the Paint," which has the same lyrics as Peel The Paint but completely different music. This is the only live recording available to the best of my knowledge with Phil Shulman and Martin Smith. As Phil Shulman comments in the liner notes: ".....For us, this CD provides a real memory jolt - reminding us of songs that we haven't thought about for a long time and brings nostalgia for the early hopes and dreams of a new band, Gentle Giant."
    $10.00
  • ONE OF A KIND TITLE FROM THE LASER'S EDGE ARCHIVE"Focus here featured virtuoso guitarist Jan Akkerman for the last time, not to work with his long-term writing partner Thijs Van Leer for another ten years. Mother Focus also sees Focus' highly skilled bass player Bert Ruiter try his hand in songwriting. The outcome includes the one of the finest funk tracks on the album -- the hilarious "I Need a Bathroom." The album begins with quite possibly the finest track on the album -- and maybe the most typical Focus -- the titular "Mother Focus." The funky theme underlying the number sets the mood for the rest of the LP with aplomb. Indeed, Mother Focus is far from the usual instrumental material. For this reason, Mother Focus may not appeal to the usual fans of the Dutch proggers. The number of feel-good tunes making up the album's core makes up for the lack of a rocking single in the style of "Hocus Pocus." A mellower, happier aura permeates the recording as a whole, particularly noticeable in the soothing "Tropic Bird." Undoubtedly, though, Mother Focus is let down by the lack of Akkerman's and Thijs' presence. The whole album cries out for one of them to jump out and take center stage for a while. Instead each track is filled with numerous melodies and rhythms, with only the occasional jaunt from Akkerman. Mother Focus is a fine album in its own right, but maybe not what one would be expecting when taking into account the progressive rock features of their earlier albums. Funk predominates in the last respectable Focus LP. RIP Focus." - ALLMUSICNOTE: Dutch Red Bullet pressing - long out of print
    $17.00
  • "Rune Eriksen, aka Blasphemer of black metal baddies Mayhem, appears as the songwriter and guitarist on this surprising and very impressive debut. Ava Inferi’s “Burdens” brings together the Norwegian Eriksen with Portuguese musicians and the result is something quite unique.If you’re expecting the surgical precision of Blasphemer’s violent, throat-slicing guitar work so integral to the sound of Mayhem you’ll be disappointed but his signature’s there nonetheless. Eriksen’s sour-toned chords and arpeggios provide the same icy chill that characterizes his Mayhem work but the music here is altogether slower, taken at almost funereal pace. The guitar’s tone is less brittle, polished to a black sheen that complements the brooding melancholia of the music perfectly. At first listen it’s all deceptively simple but repeated plays lift subtle details, like fine needle work in a black tapestry.Restraint is the keyword throughout, nowhere more so than in the gorgeous vocals of singer Carmen Susana Simoes. Think “soaring female singer fronts metal band” and you might immediately envision Evanescence or Nightwish. Ava Inferi is nothing like that. Simoes doesn’t so much front the band as interweave with it. Her singing is like an instrument placed firmly into the backline, coming forward on occasion for a solo. I have to admit I’d like to hear more of her as she switches from Kate Bush warblings to angelic airiness reminiscent of Jacqui McShee or Emma Kirkby.If criticism can be leveled it’s not so much because the music is rather one-paced but that it doesn’t have a climax. The whole album is a kind of black metal tone poem. You feel like you’re on a journey … but to where? The closer, “Fate of Mountains”, is a slow-burning epic and the guitars overlay to produce the symphonic power of a state funeral … but it’s not quite a finale.In fact the track that stands out for me is the one that shimmers ever so slightly over the dark wasteland, “Vultos”, sung in Portuguese by Simoes. The brushwork and brighter guitar tones introduce a loping, almost Latin texture before Eriksen, sounding a little like Paul Kossoff, puts the pedal down to wrest control. An all-too-short delight that will have you reaching for the repeat button.Small criticisms aside, the whole album is sublimely listenable front to back and I reach for it now almost automatically, knowing I will savour it like a piece of bittersweet dark chocolate.Credit must go to Season of Mist for realizing the beautiful sound of the album, enhanced by 48-bit mastering. The highs are there but never overstated, hanging like a ghostly mist over the eerie black landscape shaped by an ingenious mix of electric and (gasp!) acoustic guitar tones. The cover art, also, deserves mention. It’s magnificent, mirroring the black lustre of the music while refracting the odd muted splash of colour.“Burdens” is an original. I can’t think of anything else quite like it. I can hear touches of King Crimson, Pentangle and, of course, the occasional Mayhem reference but these are just glints off the steely black carapace of this remarkable album. It deserves 90 (at least) and I look forward to the next album presaged on the band’s website." - The Metal Archives
    $12.00
  • Time Machine is without any doubt one of the most influential bands on the European progressive metal scene. Since their formation in late 1992 through today, their music has been described by the worldwide media as some of the most interesting and original prog metal ever to emerge from Italy.Reviviscence is the second part of the Eymerich Trilogy. This is an album that showcases Italys most experienced band in their right element; a world of beautiful melodies, huge soundscapes, breathtaking guitar solos, wonderfully crafted acoustic passages and an accented technicality that flows hand in hand with the songs.Lyrically Reviviscence is an exciting tale of the evil walking among us, making our everyday filled with greed, war and corruption, while the young hopefuls of the world are searching for something that can make this a better place to live in. Its the ancient tale of good versus evil.For the bands sixth album the core lineup is augmented by special guests Rafael Bittencourt and Kiko Loureiro, world renowned guitarists from ANGRA, as well as Fabio Ribiero, keyboardist for Shaman and Blezqi Zatsaz. The North American release by Sensory comes housed in a digipak and features "Signs", an exclusive bonus track.Time Machines legend continues to grow
    $4.00