Cultosaurus Erectus ($5 Special)

"Signing on with Deep Purple/Black Sabbath producer Martin Birch, Blue Öyster Cult made more of a guitar-heavy hard rock album in Cultosaurus Erectus after flirting with pop ever since the success of Agents of Fortune. (They also promoted this album by going out on a co-headlining tour with Sabbath.) Gone are the female backup singers, the pop hooks, the songs based on keyboard structures, and they are replaced by lots of guitar solos and a beefed-up rhythm section. But the band still were not generating strong enough material to compete with their concert repertoire, so they found themselves in the bind of being a strong touring act unable to translate that success into record sales." - All Music Guide

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  • "This sophomore release by German outfit Seven Steps to the Green Door is an odd one, very well made, well performed, but still an odd one.In the 10 tracks on the CD, 12 if you have the US version with bonus tracks, the band steers it's listener through an erratic - or perhaps rather eclectic - menu of all sorts from the world of music.The compositions themselves have a high degree of variation, the first bonus track the most stellar example with segments exploring funk, laidback jazz and prog metal in one and the same song, but most other tracks have style variations with a minimum of two different styles explored.Lighter neo-progressive touches and heavy progressive rock leaning towards prog metal at times are the most dominant features, closely followed by jazz and fusion. Spirited and energetic in general, and even the hip hop or nu-metal inspired vocal segments come across rather well.The mix and production are high class, but seems to be directed at a mainstream audience though. The guitars are tuned down, contrasts are dampened rather than highlighted; and for such an adventurous creation the overall sound is very slick. Perhaps too slick to cater for a progressive audience; while the music may be too weird for a more mainstream oriented public. Personally I found this to be a great record; but can understand those who doesn't manage to get enthralled by this one.Still - a highly worth investigating tag for this production from me." - ProgArchives
    $3.00
  • "Well, Italy is known for being a country with extremes: on one hand, you have very good bands of extreme Metal; on the other, bands of more melodic and technical Metal. And the both ways granted the world with excellent works. Going into a more Power/Progressive Metal way, coming from Trieste (Milan), we have the trio STARBYNARY, which released their first work, the album “Dark Passenger”.We can say that they follow a technical and heavy path of the style, making an elegant work on the same vein from old SYMPHONY X, but not eclectic as DREAM THEATER (so you won’t hear elements from Pop and Jazz on this album). Excellent vocals (a legacy from Italy in terms of Metal), very good riffs and solos (being melodic, heavy and technical in the due proportions), good rhythmic kitchen and powerful and grandiose keyboards parts is what they offer in a musical work full of elegance and weight. And we must accept it with opened heart and soul, for their efforts in create good music had success!The sound production is fine, granting their music a clear and heavy sound quality, so we really can hear all the musical arrangements and little details that make the difference. Yes, they are near perfection on sound quality. To speak about this album is a pleasure, for the trio’s music is wonderful, flows spontaneously into our ears and souls, and really conquest, but to name songs on this album as the best ones is an act of injustice. From “…Dawn of Evil” to “The End Begins” (a very long song, divided in three excellent parts), they show that they made their songs with hearts and wisdom. So hear it, and you’ll understand what your Ol’ Big Daddy here is trying to say." - Metal Temple
    $13.00
  • "Decline and Fall is the long awaited sixth album from a group who personifies the term 'beloved underground favorites'. From the group's beginnings as a duo doing basement recording experiments nearly 30 years ago until now, Thinking Plague has always had a strong vision of their unique take on progressive rock music. Despite the very long lifespan of the band and the many years between records, the basic sound of the group and instrumentation was set early and the years since have seen interesting variations on their sound, from the stripped down approach of the earliest work to the deep layering of electronic sounds and samples of their last album. Decline and Fall strips back a lot of the 'studio-isms' and more than ever, sounds like the work of a really powerful band. The album adds a few other new surprises, most notably the addition of wonderful vocalist Elaine Di Falco who fits right into what may be the band's most demanding job. She sings with great poise and control the band's hallmark melodic lines - passages that would trip up a lesser vocalist. Also new is keyboardist/drummer Kimara Sajn who plays with tremendous authority on both instruments (although just before finishing up the album, the group added drummer Robin Chestnut who appears on one track). Returning are long-term members Mark Harris on saxes and clarinets, Dave Willey on bass and Mike Johnson, the band's guitarist, leader and composer. A new album by Thinking Plague is always an event; working slowly and unwaveringly, the group has released a handful of brilliant, art-rock classics. Decline and Fall is the latest of them."
    $15.00
  • "Problems with the Mushroom label delayed the release of Magazine, which eventually went platinum and peaked at number 17 on the album charts. Only the hard-rocking "Heartless" made it into the Top 40, and the album didn't really live up to Heart's last few efforts. 1976's Dreamboat Annie showed stronger songwriting, while Little Queen had a lot more bite to it. Magazine lacks in energy and, to a much greater extent, fluency. The songs sound careless and scrambled together, and while some of the blame can be placed on the label controversy, it's apparent that the Wilsons seem unconcerned, for the most part. "Here Song," "Just the Wine," and the predictable "Without You" all have weak seams in both the writing and the articulateness of the tracks as a whole. 1978's Dog & Butterfly shows more interest and rock & roll vitality than its predecessor, making Magazine an album even the band likes to forget about." - All Music Guide
    $6.00
  • The Laser’s Edge is proud to announce the signing of the British progressive rock band Magenta for the exclusive North American release of their fourth studio album, titled Metamorphosis. Without abandoning the sense of melody and dynamics that remain the Magenta trademark, Metamorphosis sees the band taking a darker, more intense path with powerful, sometimes disturbing subject matter. "I think this album is going to surprise a lot of people," says keyboardist Rob Reed "It will challenge many people's preconceptions of what Magenta are, and what we are capable of musically. Most of it was written on guitar, so some of the material is heavier than before, whilst retaining most of the elements of the Magenta sound." The album also marks the band's return to long-form pieces of music, with two 20 minute-plus songs, and a new, richer sound with the addition of strings. "Watch out for some brilliant performances on the record." Reed says. "Christina Booth's vocals are just astonishing, Tim Robinson delivers a virtuoso performance on drums and Chris Fry has pushed the bar even higher than usual with some amazing lead guitar. I have no doubt that this is, by far, our finest album to date." Magenta was formed in 2001, quickly capturing the attention of progressive rock fans around the world with a sound influenced by the icons of the past. Over the years the band has performed at virtually every major progressive rock festival in the world including gigs at Rosfest, BajaProg, and Nearfest. Year after year, the band has received awards from various progressive rock publications. In 2007, the band won two awards from the esteemed British Classic Rock Society including Best Band and Best Female Singer. The album was mastered by Grammy winning engineer Bob Katz. To further enhance the package, Metamorphosis features startling artwork from the noted graphic design house Killustrations.
    $14.00
  • "In the interim between Van Canto albums, it was such a pleasant surprise to see Stefan Schmidt start up another project, this time shedding the a cappella metal he invented to incorporate more guitar and return metal to its roots….which doesn’t mean Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, or even The Beatles. No, Schmidt went back to the real roots of metal: Ludwig Beethoven and Johan Sebastian Bach. Joining him is recently retired and again activated drummer Jorg Michael (Ex-Every Metal Band In Europe), Sebastian Scharf (Schmidt’s former mate in Jester’s Funeral) and David Vogt on bass. The result was precisely as expected, a stunning album of metallic perfection that comes close enough to Statovarius’ “Nemesis” to make 2013 very challenging at year end.With nothing dramatic added or employment of new types of metal, Heavatar takes the power of metal and mashes it with classical (Beethoven and Bach are credited writers) without any string instrument orchestration. Sounds like a recipe for basic chicken soup, huh? Well….that may be true, but Schmidt’s secret weapon is really no secret at all: Van Canto. Try to envision the greatest band you can create and then relegate the world’s only a Capella band as your “backup singers.” What you just did was automatically make your choruses unattainable by any average band.Countless times throughout “All My Kingdoms” there are moments that evoke such feeling for a fan of power and “true metal.” There’s the incorporation of the Beethoven’s “5th” right at the onset of “Replica,” the galloping twin guitar attack of Schmidt and Sebastian Scharf during “Abracadabra” as Schmidt belts out “You accuse me, I don’t give a f**k” like the bastard child of James Hetfield and Eric Adams, and the rapid fire riff attack of “Elysium At Dawn.” Schmidt has such a commanding voice, and it is so nice to hear him come out from behind his vocal Stratocaster to shine again as a soloist.Another thing that stands out from other recent power metal releases (barring Mystic Prophecy) is the ability to sound solidly within other “euro” metal without sacrificing a deadly guitar crunch. This album is far from being happy power metal - it’s devastatingly heavy. Check out “Luna! Luna!,” a track with a punishing and pounding rhythm while the chorus soars above the crumbling earth. It’s like “Hail to England” era Manowar with Blind Guardian choruses. Speaking of Manowar, the album’s final track “To the Metal” is so over the top in metal pomp it rivals anything in Manowar’s cheese arsenal (the big difference – honesty and no bass buzz).“Opus I: All My Kingdoms” is a pure masterpiece of power metal in the truest sense of the word “power.” Though I uphold and admire Van Canto and it’s never-boring-always-brilliant material, when you add some punch the listener gets a glimpse of what truly could be like with that vocal talent over a six string. For those power metal fans that prefer more power with choruses that reach the stratosphere, this is just the gem you were looking for." - Metal Underground
    $12.00
  • Limited edition digipak."It is impossible to talk about experimental or avant-garde metal without mentioning this truly groundbreaking act: Meshuggah mix ultra-complicated rhythmic patterns with massive riffs and aggressive growls, combining Death Metal, Grindcore, Mathcore, Thrash and Progressive Metal to create their unique style. 'One of the ten most important hard and heavy bands', that's how the prestigious Rolling Stone Magazine describes Swedish sonic extremists Meshuggah."
    $14.00
  • "By titling their third album Fear of Music and opening it with the African rhythmic experiment "I Zimbra," complete with nonsense lyrics by poet Hugo Ball, Talking Heads make the record seem more of a departure than it is. Though Fear of Music is musically distinct from its predecessors, it's mostly because of the use of minor keys that give the music a more ominous sound. Previously, David Byrne's offbeat observations had been set off by an overtly humorous tone; on Fear of Music, he is still odd, but no longer so funny. At the same time, however, the music has become even more compelling. Worked up from jams (though Byrne received sole songwriter's credit), the music is becoming denser and more driving, notably on the album's standout track, "Life During Wartime," with lyrics that match the music's power. "This ain't no party," declares Byrne, "this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around." The other key song, "Heaven," extends the dismissal Byrne had expressed for the U.S. in "The Big Country" to paradise itself: "Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens." It's also the album's most melodic song. Those are the highlights. What keeps Fear of Music from being as impressive an album as Talking Heads' first two is that much of it seems to repeat those earlier efforts, while the few newer elements seem so risky and exciting. It's an uneven, transitional album, though its better songs are as good as any Talking Heads ever did." - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • “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
  • "After CYNTHESIS and its amazing second recording, the pertinently titled album, “ReEvolution”, the ultra talented Californian geminis Brothers, Troy & Jasun Tipton (ex ZERO HOUR), are back with another chapter in their instrumental project discography…ABNORMAL THOUGHT PATTERNS and once again the expansion of their genuine style and the maturated development is terrific, the release date is set for late June…The band broad universe is so extended that the term "limitless" seems underrated and non-representative of their extraordinary and unstoppable musical dominion!The young Guitar God Jasun Tipton, owner of a great fat tone, perform in his finest way as you would have expected, fluid, majestic and without effort (“Blindsight”), quite easy to understand why this man is worshiped by Guitar enthusiasts everywhere, but more than ever, it seems that his brother the Bass maestro Troy Tipton takes a even bigger role, while playing his typical two hand tapping licks, also some more ambitious melodic lines and sharing some hallucinating unison amazing arpeggios between Bass & Guitar (“Distortions Of Perception”)!This instrumental trio is apparently becoming a quartet with the recruit guitarist Richard Shardman, still featuring the former ex ZERO HOUR's drums expert Mike Guy (ex DEATH MACHINE), is providing everything, from stripped down ambiance to a flurry Shredding parts (“Delusions”), in a complementary unreal association, a syncronization similar to something that is identical to the special and unique twin brothers spirit/relationship (“Subliminal Perception”).The Bass guitar realm of low frequencies is honored with the superb track “Synesthesia” (An awareness of synesthetic perceptions that varies from person to another with confusion of colors/numbers and shapes, born from a neurological phenomenon that leads involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway to a disinhibited feedback triggered by specific sounds) where Troy is duelling with two other Bass monsters, namely the legendary Fretless player Michael Manring and the criminally undervalued John Onder (remember the great Shrapnel’s releases like “Infra Blue” by Joey Tafffola (???)/”Extreme Measures” by Vitalij Kuprij or 2000’s “Machine” by ARTENSION and even MSG’s “Adventures Of The Imagination”) another patented mix of elusive etheral soft moments that develops before entering again in a frenzy of note under a Neo-Classical style, built in total opposition with the hypnotic middle break in a new age approach!To prove their absolute artistic freedom ABNORMAL THOUGHT PATTERNS dare to break the all instrumental rules by adding some harsh lead vocals performed by the BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME singer Mike Rodgers, in the detuned “Nocturnal Haven”…But at the slot N°6 they offer us another superb rendition of the same theme, but this time in a fully instrumental version with some additional solo spots by Canadian citizen Tim Roth from INTO ETERNITY, however both tracks contains some lava sweeping avalanche by seven strings rising star Jeff Loomis (ARCH ENEMY/ex SANCTURAY/ex NEVERMORE)!While their latest CD “Manipulation Under Anesthesia” was more extreme and ferocious than hell, pushing the intricacy at the maximum with some almost bio-mechanism rhythmic method and improving in the ultra-hi-tech reaches onto stellar and virgin territories: “Altered States Of Consciousness” is a concept album centered around neurobiologic sensations, in coherence it's a more enriched atmospheric disc, more spacey, groovy, layered with organic textures and full of emotional sequence, with still plenty of sudden bursting of agressive triplets-staccatto-trick, but clearly more accessible and not restricted to please a bunch of Guitar-Fretboard geeks, obviously the talent and the technical ability of the virtuoso musicians involved here, is still head and shoulders up above the level of the average new generation of Prog Metallers…The abnormal musical thoughts are welcome!" - Metal Temple
    $15.00
  • "2013 five CD set containing a quintet of albums from the shock rock legend, each housed in a miniature LP sleeve. Includes the albums Pretties For You (1969), Easy Action (1970), Love It To Death (1971), Killer (1971) and School's Out (1972)."
    $22.00
  • "Gäa was one of the more obscure German underground bands from the 70s.  They recorded one album for the Kerston label.  According to legend, after the album was released, many copies were destroyed due to poor sales.  Of course this has driven the price of an original copy into the stratosphere.The five piece had a sound a bit similar to early Eloy.  Lots of organ, some flute, but more importantly some of the most wicked Hendrix influenced leads you will hear.  Whip it all together with production that sounds like it was recorded in a massive echo chamber and you've got a winner.  A stone cold killer." - ProgArchives
    $18.00
  • Septum is a new metal band from Cuba (of all places).  The music of this large female fronted ensemble bears a striking resemblance to To-Mera with perhaps a touch of Mago De Oz.  Vocalist Jessica Sori has a beautiful voice that soars over the intricate compositions and chunky riffing.  Along with twin guitars and keyboards, bagpipes, flute, and violin are incorporated to lend a touch of an ethnic folk element.  In case you were wondering - yes - Ms. Sori sings in english.  The release comes housed in a mini-LP size sleeve.  Highly recommended.
    $8.00
  • New album from this Austrian symphonic metal band.  The band has been a bit of a revolving door with vocalists but Maxi Nil has settled in nicely.  The music is based in the traditional female fronted gothic style with clean male vocals trading leads back and forth.  This time around I hear more of a poppier, catchy sound - somewhat like the direction Delain is moving towards.  Highly recommended to fans of the genre (I wave my hand proudly).  Digipak edition with one bonus track.
    $12.00