Dancing In Limbo

There are some changes to the lineup for Belgium's answer to Ozric Tentacles.  Longtime guitarist Dario Frodo only appears as a guest on one track.  He was replaced by Tom Tas.  Also appearing in guest roles are Ozric Tentacles guitarist Ed Wynne as well as a flautist anemd Charels Sla and Karel Baetens on hand percussion.  Overally don't expect any radical change in sound.  Consisting of 4 long tracks, Dancing In Limbo blasts off into space and will trip you out with celestial synths and crystalline, laser-like guitar runs.  Highly recommended.

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  • So what does a heralded jazz organist do in his spare time?  Create an epic prog rock album of course.  Some of you may be familiar with Jim Alfredson and his organ jazz trio Organissmo.  Theo is a side project that must scratch Jim's itch to let loose with a whole arsenal of keyboards (don't worry - that Hammond figures quite prominently).  Its very clear that Jim is heavily influenced by the classic prog bands of the 70s. You can hear some elements of Yes, ELP, Pink Floyd and a host of classic rock bands in the DNA of the material but overall its a very contemporary sounding album.  In that way its similar to Beardfish in the sense that Jim takes the old school sounds and adds it to something modern so you here the echoes of the grand old days but it doesn't sound dated at all.  I can listen to stuff like this 24/7.  Highly recommended. "Formed by world reknown keyboardist Jim Alfredson (organissimo, Dirty Fingers, Janiva Magness, Greg Nagy Band, Root Doctor) THEO harkens back to the keyboard-centric superbands of the 1970s like Yes, Genesis, and Emerson Lake and Palmer, but with a distinctly modern and bold approach.THEO also represents a return to the concept of the keyboardist as a vital and irreplaceable part of the group, rather than a mere sideman.The intrepid and dynamic music is paired with auspicious lyrical themes of corporatization, consumerism, loss of innocence, exile, and the obsession with celebrity. Lead vocals are handled by Alfredson himself. Usually relegated to background duties, Alfredson's surprisingly flexible baritone voice shifts from soaring muscularity to intimate falsetto and everything between.The eponymous debut album features six tracks including an epic three song opening suite comprising 24 minutes."
    $12.00
  • Shame US fans never got to see Eloy perform.  I'm still bummed about their Nearfest cancellation.  On the other hand we have this new 2CD live set to ease the pain.  It was recorded on the last German tour and features an expanded lineup.  This is the first live Eloy album since 1978's masterpiece "Eloy Live".  Material tends to concentrate on Silent Cries & Mighty Echoes to more recent times.  All in all its almost 2 1/2 hours long and complements the first live album to give you a good overview of the band's canon.  Highly recommended."When, after 11 years of complete abstinence, they brought out an album again in 2009 with "Visionary", it was greeted with astonishment. Most assumed that the band had taken their departure from the music business in 1998 with Ocean 2 "The Answer", especially as bandleader, Frank Bornemann, had always stressed that ELOY was a part of the musical culture of the 20th century and no longer fitted into the new millennium.However, he had probably not anticipated how much his band's music would continue to reverberate in the new millennium. The back catalogue reached six-digit sales figures with the remasters versions, and on the internet portals, the tribute to the German prog-rock legend accumulated in unexpected ways. Touched by this appreciation, and impressed by the many years of unremitting worldwide fan-power, the band re-formed, made up entirely from the musicians who had previously influenced the group's music as permanent members. The firm intent of properly saying 'thank you' for so much loyalty finally also brought the ultimate line-up back to the stage. With, for the first time, two guitarists, two keyboardists, bass, drums, two backing singers from the studio sessions and a solo vocalist for the highlights from "The Apocalypse" and "The Tides Return Forever" repertoire, they delivered an impressive retrospective of the band's history on stage. In the storm of enthusiasm every evening in almost consistently sold-out venues, some of the titles often exceeded the studio originals. Cheered on by a euphoric fanbase, the band often outdid themselves making recordings of phenomenal expressive power, which now find their way to the fans as the first and only live audio documentary since 1978. The unique atmosphere which accompanies the experience on stage resurrects the former Spirit of ELOY with emotion and passion, and this has finally led to the band giving this live documentary – offered as a double-CD in a high value 8-page digi-pack with a running time of over 140 minutes - a very special title: REINCARANTION ON STAGEDisc 11. Namaste2. Child Migration3. Paralized Civilization4. Mysterious Monolith5. Age of Insanity6. The Apocalypse7. Silhouette8. Poseidon's Creation9. Time to Turn10. The Sun Song11. Horizons12. IlluminationsDisc 21. Follow the Light2. Awakening of Consciousness3. The Tides Return Forever4. Ro Setau5. Mystery6. Decay of Logos7. Atlantis Agony8. The Bells of Notre Dame9. Thoughts
    $22.00
  • Sylvian's solo work is all about texture, mood and atmosphere. This is angst ridden art rock that hovers between Peter Hammill's solo work and Brian Eno's soundscapes. He's always backed by an incredible array of musicians - this disc included. Featured are David Torn, Danny Thompson, Ryiuchi Sakamoto, Mark Isham, and Steve Jansen.
    $7.00
  • 2CD edition comes with a bonus live disc recorded at the Loud Park 2010 festival."Taking a cue from where post-psychedelic and hard rock left off in the seventies before our hard rock heroes either went disco or into questionable directions, Spiritual Beggars’ picks up the pieces, just like Grunge did in its heyday; but adding a little more balls to the mix as an authentic force to be reckoned with. A supergroup featuring members of Arch Enemy, Opeth, Firewind, Carcass, and other extensions, the amped up sound of this Swedish powerhouse throws the pretentious mannerisms of out of the mix, gaining them a status that has created a solid dichotomy between them and many other stoner rock bands.Even as these guys are native to extreme and symphonic metal bands, the tunage gets to the point, reflecting Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult and early-Priest, as the heavy blues & R&B flavored upbeat moods have always raised the roof. Inflamed by grinding riffage and screaming Hammond organ, Earth Blues again sees Spiritual Beggars taking no retreat from their enigmatic rock and roll feast. The opening track “Wise as a Serpent” immediately spurs the dark groove into power pop territories, yet more intricate sides are heard on the multi-faceted “Sweet Magic Pain” & the dark 1-2 punch of “Kingmaker,” both offering up a salvo of to a Sabotage-meets-Agents of Fortune attitude. Without reckless abandon, these guys also explore a psych/funk mindset on “Turn the Tide,” plus you have “One Man’s Curse” which could have been a long last tune from Come Taste the Band.Even on the ballad “Dreamer” and the low key rocker “Dead End Town,” the band flexes their ideology the same way Zeppelin did at times; and that ideology is further expressed by way of  a set of live tracks on a bonus disc, proving they can hit the road with the attitude to kick ass. Still, whatever way you hear Spiritual Beggars, there will be no denying that their solid foundation of hard rock possesses intrigue, forgoing all the poser musicianship and letting the songs, the true grit of emotion, and the conviction to simply rock out speak loud for Earth Blues. Heavy, commanding, & sophisticated, Spiritual Beggars continue to map out their presence with bold, sharp, & gripping, metallic grandeur, affording no shame whatsoever." - Ytsejam.com
    $14.00
  • First album from this Swedish quartet riding the retro-hard rock trend made popular by bands like Graveyard and Witchcraft.  Like those other bands there is a strong Black Sabbath influence but the music has much more of a rawer (garage-like) edge.  I should note that vocals are sung in Swedish so that might be an issue for some of you.  If you like your hard rock with a psychedelic vibe you should check these guys out - its quite lethal.
    $16.00
  • Smoking hot live set from Kawasaki and his Golden Dragon band. I saw a version of this band perform in NYC many years ago and it was something I'll never forget. Ryo Kawasaki is simply one of the best guitarists I've ever had the pleasure of see perform. This burns beginning to end - an essential purchase for the fusion collector.
    $15.00
  • "When Tosin Abasi released his debut solo album under the moniker ANIMALS AS LEADERS in 2009, few would have predicted the band’s meteoric rise to the apex of the progressive rock/metal world. Although Abasi earned acclaim as the lead guitarist in the Washington, D.C.-based metalcore act Reflux, it was still a long-shot that an instrumental album of progressive metal with jazz, electronic and ambient flourishes would develop anything more than a cult following.Fast-forward two-plus years to Weightless, the group’s sophomore effort, and ANIMALS AS LEADERS is revered worldwide as a trailblazing pioneer of modern heavy music. The group’s genre-defying compositions have earned extensive praise — Steve Vai called the band “the future of creative, heavy virtuoso guitar playing.” Guitar World Magazine also featured Abasi on the cover twice over the course of this album cycle, further cementing his legendary status within the current progressive scene.Now in 2014, ANIMALS AS LEADERS delivers what is quickly going to be hailed by fans and media alike as the group’s career defining release that will ultimately redefine the progressive world as we know it. This third full-length release is a bombastic, dynamic and innovative explosion incorporates elements spanning across the entire musical spectrum. It also marks the recording debut of drummer Matthew Garstka, whose technical proficiency and unique style allows Abasi and guitarist Javier Reyes the room to push their boundaries to previously unthinkable heights.Reyes states: “I think some of the new tracks are some of AAL’s strongest and musical material yet and extremely happy with how the album came out. Everyone who took part with this album (Misha Mansoor (Periphery), Adam Getgood (Periphery), Diego Farias (Volumes), and Navene Koperweis) is extremely talented and I think we’ve done a great job of capturing it onto what is now the third ANIMALS AS LEADERS album.”"
    $12.00
  • Black Jazz was a small jazz label from the 70s who's catalog has been somewhat overlooked. While most of their catalog is outside the purveryance of our interests there are a handful of albums which neatly (and superbly) fit into the "kosmigroov" or spiritual jazz category.  The Awakening were a Chicago based ensemble that recorded two excellent albums in the early 70s.  1972's Hear, Sense, and Feel was the first.Electric piano underpins the proceedings with plenty of soloing on sax, flute, trumpet and trombone.  The music has a real organic flow - you can hear the sound of a tight ensemble listening and playing off of one another.  Not wild and free - this is highly melodic electric jazz with an Afro-centric vibe that is worthy of your attention.  If you are interested in exploring the kosmigroov sound here's one that not too many people know about and should.  Highly recommended.
    $17.00
  • Second album from this Italian band that actually goes back to the 70s although they didn't record until recently.The roots of the band's sound is quite obvious.  Il Cerchio D'Oro are proponents of "Rock Progressive Italiano".  With the necessary Italian vocals in place, the music has a nice balance of keys and guitar but there are plenty of guests introducing flute, sax, mandolin.  It should be noted that these guests are sourced from classic bands The Trip, PFM, and Delirium.  Dig the 'tron?  Its here!  The synth work in particular is going to remind you of Flavio Premoli.  
    $16.00
  • Deluxe mediabook edition.  CD plus a DVD with 5.1 surround mix, 24 bit stereo, and a "making of" video."Always fond of conceptual storytelling, Ian Anderson goes himself one better with his latest prog-folk-metal concept album. The 15 songs of Homo Erraticus inhabit not one but two metafictional layers. The Gerald Bostock character, hero/anti-hero of the seminal Jethro Tull album Thick as a Brick and its recent sequel Thick as a Brick 2, is back again, having now discovered a manuscript left behind in the 1920s by a malaria-ridden old British soldier delightfully named Ernest T. Parritt.Parritt's supposed writings range over northern European history from the Mesolithic era to his own - and on into his future, through the whole 20th century and into our own time and beyond. Winnowed into lyrics written by "Bostock" and set to music by the real protagonist of the story, Ian Anderson, these materials give Anderson - whose creative scope and energy remain robust even as his singing voice has thinned with age - a walk-in-closetful of pegs on which to hang a sequence of songs evoking nothing less than the history of mankind in his part of the world.The first track, "Doggerland," commemorates the area of the southern North Sea that used to be dry land connecting today's British Isles with the rest of Europe. Doggerland vanished under the waves as the last Ice Age ended but, as fisherman discovered not long ago, the sea floor retains much archeological evidence of human occupation. The succeeding songs address migrations, metalworking, invasions (from the Romans to Burger King), the arrival of Christianity, the Industrial Revolution, and so on. To appreciate the songs, you'll want to (at least once) follow along with the notes and lyrics in the accompanying 32-page booklet.The Foreword, in which Anderson discusses the history of Jethro Tull and why he hasn't used the band name for his last few recordings, will especially interest longtime Tull fans. The real question is, will the songs themselves? Some yes, some no. The gruff metal of "Doggerland" gives way to the sweet, plinking folk of "Heavy Metals." (I imagine Anderson chuckling to himself at the irony - no pun intended - of creating such a gentle-sounding song with that title, and on that literal topic.) Both satisfy my Tull craving. "Meliora Sequamur" (Let Us Follow Better Things), which paints a picture of 12th century schoolboys amid religious chant (and cant), does too, and "The Turnpike Inn" is a solid rocker, and the hard-Celtic style of "The Engineer" moves briskly.I like the instrumental track "Tripudium ad Bellum" (Dancing to War). It starts off with an echo of a theme from the original Thick as a Brick (there are others elsewhere on the album), then resolves into a 5/4 march, like a more insistent "Living in the Past." War's aftermath appears in the next track, the sad, deliberate "After These Wars," in which I really feel the lack of Anderson's full-strength vocals. While he was never among rock's greatest singers, that didn't matter - when he sang his songs, you always felt he was all there, and that's what mattered. But now, and not only in the harder songs that shade into old-school heavy metal, his voice just isn't always a match for his music's energy any more.On the other hand, his gift for crafting pleasing, original melodies, writing smart, clever lyrics in complete sentences and true rhyme, and setting much of it in non-traditional time signatures remains strong. The first verse of "After These Wars" reads:After battle, with wounds to lick andbeaus and belles all reuniting.Rationing, austerity: it did us good after the fighting.Now, time to bid some fond farewells andwalk away from empires crumbling.Post-war baby-boom to fuel with post-Victorian half-dressed fumbling.No one in pop music writes like that anymore.Listening to the album as a complete conceptual work, my overall feeling is that there isn't very much new here. Since the 1960s Anderson and Tull have explored countless different musical paths and styles. Some of these produced some of my all-time favorite songs and recordings. Others I hated. But he never seemed to be resting on his laurels. Here I feel like I'm reading a chapter that's not much different from the last chapter.But listening to the songs individually, I like a lot of them. As I write this I'm trying to count the beats of the off-time closer, "Cold Dead Reckoning," with its grim imagery of a future of lost souls navigating their way over a metaphysical Doggerland "amongst the ranks and files of walking dead." I hear crunching minor-key guitar-bass-piano unison figures, a sprightly flute solo. A hopeful verse about "angels watching over" at the end doesn't convince me, as the music continues to growl on as before. Yet there follow a sweet, gentle instrumental coda, reminded us that while things may not turn out well for humanity as we teem over and ruin our only planet, our capacity to create and to appreciate beauty will be with us as long as we live. So let's raise the cup of crimson wonder to Ian Anderson as he charges not-so-gently through his seventh decade." - Seattle Pi
    $17.00
  • Simply one of the greatest Italian progressive rock albums of all time. Brilliant keyboard work in the grand tradition.  Really one of THE defining albums.  If you don't own this one you should feel embarassed and do something about it.  Seriously.
    $15.00
  • Once you start dig you never know what you will find.  Searching through the time capsule known as the Internet I stumbled across an album by Fred Taylor that was categorized as privately released fusion.  Fred Taylor is a drummer/percussionist based out of Seattle.  He self-released Court Of Circe in 1981.  While parts of the album definitely fit into the fusion realm quite a bit of it would be closer to modal jazz/kosmigroov.  The 14 minute two part title track shows off Taylor's skills as a drummer.  Other soloists on the album include keyboards, guitar and soprano sax.  Vinyl copies of this album are starting to skyrocket in price as more and more people find out about it.  Turns out that Taylor released this on CD back in 2004 and was more than happy to hook us up at a great price.  If your tastes run towards the jazzier side of fusion you should check this out."... Spokane drummer Fred Taylor... has produced a more interesting jazz record... Featuring a dozen local musicians, its production is crisp and full. Taylor. obviously an organizer, has managed to get these dozen locals to play his sensible, stretched-out arrangements very well. "Flutterby's Waltz" skips in and out of tempo and features Taylor's sensitive cymbal technique, an appropriately meandering soprano sax solo by Craig Lawrence, and a Hammond organ solo, an unusual touch." - Seattle Weekly 
    $9.00
  • Garden Of Delights did a great job reissuing this early 70s one-off German band. Missing Link had later connections to Embryo and their sound is evocative of them as well as other jazzy infused prog bands like Out Of Focus and Dzyan. The music has great rhythmic drive which underpins wah-wah laced guitar solos, mad sax breaks, vocals and keyboards. The music shifts between pure prog and jazzrock - often within the same song. Really cool disc...GoD supplied a bonus track as well as their usual copious liner notes.
    $21.00
  • Sezione Frenante are not young guys.  Apparently they've been kicking around since the first half of the 70s but with no recorded output.  They opened for some of the Italian prog bands of the day and then went on hiatus...until now.  This is a concept album based on the life of poet Dante Alighieri and the material was conceived back in the early days of the band.  Sonically it doesn't have the 70s imprint that a lot of the retro bands go for but compositionally it fits squarely in the "Rock Italiano Progressivo" mold.  So we are talking about music composed in the 70s and recorded today.  To my ears the production is quite excellent - it almost has a live in the studio feel.  The closest comparison would be to Le Orme which is not surprising given the band's long friendship with Aldo Tagliapietra.  All of the musicians in the band are quite good and have plenty of room to solo.  The star for me is vocalist Francesco Nardo.  He has good range and fits neatly in with the music.  Nothing operatic - just right.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00