Down To Earth ($5 SPECIAL)

SKU: 3145473642
Label:
Polydor
Category:
Hard Rock
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After Ronnie James Dio split, Blackmore replaced him with Graham Bonnet and brought in his old bandmates Roger Glover to handle bass as well as produce.  Dio's mystical element was gone but the album was rock solid.  Remastered edition.

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  • Steven Wilson's second solo album features a variety of interesting prog luminaries including Steve Hackett, Robert Fripp, Tony Levin, Trey Gunn, Theo Travis, and Jordan Rudess. Proggier than his first solo album and frankly recent Porcupine Tree. Lots of Mellotron bliss on this one. Exemplary production wraps up the total package. This Blu-Ray edition contains the album in hi-resolution 5.1 and stereo mixes. It has 2 bonus tracks, demos, videos, and a lot more stuff.
    $17.00
  • "This is my favorite album of 2014 so far! I've been a fan of the Swedish solo artist FreddeGredde's proggier compositions since his early YouTube releases, and while his debut album had some great material, there were also many uninteresting tracks that I wouldn't consider prog at all. This has certainly been adjusted with this second album, because what we get is only seven tracks, no fillers, and they are (almost) all very prog, very creative, and just a pleasure to listen to. I can hear similarities with Moon Safari, Frost*, A.C.T, IQ and early Dream Theater, but also classics like Gentle Giant and Genesis, and it all lands in something entirely unique.Songs by song:1. Welcome the Bright Skies A very welcoming opening track for sure! I notice many similarities between FreddeGredde's first album and this second one, and one is the structure and feel of the opening tracks. "Lonely Starlight" on the debut was full-on prog, but was still accessible and had a coherent flow throughout the track, and most of it was in a 13/8 time signature. All the different themes came back together at the end, making a very tight composition. This new opening track has a very similar structure, with a lot of different themes that flow together, mostly in 15/8 this time, and it's all tied together with the majestic "it all comes together" ending. Both albums have very strong openings, and I like them equally but in different ways. My rating: 5 stars2. The Autotelic Self This is the rocker of the album, the most "prog metal" one. But it's still warm and full of synths and layers, separating it from most other modern prog metal, which tends to feel generic and forgettable. But this one is far from that! Clocking in at a little more than 11 minutes, it goes through a wide range of moods and styles, from crazy instrumental sections reminiscent of Images & Words era Dream Theater, to beautiful piano and acoustic guitar breakdowns, to mandolin based "folk" sections. This track has it all, and it all flows extremely well! It might be the highlight track of the album. My rating: 5 stars3. Your Life After two mostly up-beat and intense tracks, this is a welcomed breather. Based on classical guitar and mandolin, it gives a folk/Irish vibe, with almost sing-along qualities, except that there is no repetitive chorus that sticks with you on a first listen. Despite its soft and accessible sound, there's some "prog" to be found here, with 5/4 and 7/4 time signatures and a longer solo section that's alternating between the guitar and the mandolin. The solos are accompanied by an increasingly powerful choir, which creates a pretty powerful climax considering the type of song it is. It's a little odd among the other tracks on the album, but on it's own, it's a pretty little track. My rating: 4 stars4. This Fragile Existence Is the title possibly a reference to "This Falling World" from his previous album? Musically, they have similarities as they both feature large contrasts and breakdowns, and swiftly go through several moods and ideas (maybe more so than usual, even by FreddeGredde's standards). The stand-out features of this track are the complex vocal harmonies, which at times remind me of Queen and other times of Gentle Giant. It's overall a very playful composition, and the adventurous nature of it always manages to make me smile. My rating: 5/5 stars5. The Tower This is the second calmer track of the album, and is more ambient and cinematic than anything he has done before. Starting with only piano and accompanying synth pads, it gives off a cold and wintery vibe, but as the song goes on, it slowly changes back and forth between positive and sad in a very tasteful way. It's prog and it's got the high amount of variation that FreddeGredde is known for, but it's more atmospheric and slower paced. The ending is just extremely beautiful, probably the highlight of the entire album. My rating: 5 stars6. Shining Another shorter song in-between the epics. It's probably the most pop on the album, with a very catchy chorus that you can sing along to even on the first listen. It's got some prog moments though, some interesting time signature changes, and a cute mandolin based bridge. A solid track, but one more for a casual audience rather than the hardcore prog fans. My rating: 3-4 stars7. Ocean Mind And finally, the 18 minute epic. This one is difficult to process, because there is so much going on, and though I love a majority of it, there are some sections that don't grab me entirely. The instrumental sections are the highlights for me, as they are VERY adventurous and crazy, going from jazzy sections to metal to I-can't-even-describe-it. Again, I think the closest resemblance is early Dream Theater. My rating: 4 starsAll in all, definitely warmly recommended to fans of prog!" - ProgArchives
    $14.00
  • Latest studio album from this lethal German band.  SBE was formed by guitarist Christian Peters in 2007.  The quartet (twin guitar, bass, and drums) will deeply satisfy the musicial appetite of any fans of 70s psychedelia, space rock, and doom metal.  They may well be the ultimate stoner rock band.Revelation & Mystery finds the compositions a bit tighter than previous efforts but that's a relative term when the title track runs past the 12 minute mark. Vocals don't interfere too heavily with the acid laced space trippin' guitar work.  Peters sings a bit and then they get down to serious business jamming their way into the cosmos.  If you are fan of early Guru Guru, Hawkwind, and Black Sabbath, or even Deep Purple you need to hear this band.  I got high just looking at the cover art.  This album is a total lease breaker to boot.  BUY OR DIE!  "The second album from Samsara Blues Experiment in as many years, Revelation and Mystery (World in Sound) takes a surprising turn in approach from their Long-Distance Trip debut, distilling the jams of the first record into more structured, song-based material. The tracks of Revelation and Mystery almost exclusively follow verse-chorus-verse patterns, and while part of the joy of listening to a song like “Singata Mystic Queen” from the prior collection was meandering along with it, Samsara Blues Experiment don’t completely lose sight of the journey in favor of the straightforward. Right from its start, Revelation and Mystery sees the four-piece layering guitar effects and infusing their parts with swirls and a spaced-out feel. It’s not that they’ve completely changed their methodology so much as they’ve shifted the balance within their sound. These structural elements were certainly present on Long-Distance Trip, but a cut like the semi-acoustic “Thirsty Moon” shows that Samasara Blues Experiment are able to work within these parameters to grow their songwriting. One gets the sense in listening to opener “Flipside Apocalypse” (which follows a 17-second nameless intro track) that this process is just beginning and that the band are still finding out what they want their sound to be, but that only makes Revelation and Mystery a more immediate, direct experience; the linearity of the album unfolding gradually as the songs move from the straightforward into the more sublimely jammed.Fast-paced rumbling from the bass of Richard Behrens in the surprisingly punkish beginning of “Flipside Apocalypse” is an immediate clue to the changes the last year have brought about in Samsara Blues Experiment. The mood is more active, less calming and chilled out than last time around, and the guitars of Hans Eiselt and Christian Peters – who also handles vocals – seem to be more concerned with riffing out than stacking layers upon layers, though there’s some of that too, even as later in the song a riff straight out of the biker rock milieu shows up and carries the song through to its end. I don’t know if it’s the result in some change in the band’s songwriting process or just how things happened to come out this time, but the change continues through “Hangin’ on the Wire,” which is genuinely hooky and thoroughly in the realm of heavy rock. A crisp production during the solo section brings to mind some of Queens of the Stone Age’s finer moments, and drummer Thomas Vedder locks in with Behrens’ own excellent fills with a few of his own. Peters, though, emerges at the head of the song. His vocals confident and effected in equal measure, he works quickly to establish the verse and chorus patterns, both worthy of sing-alongs, so that by the end, “Hangin’ on the Wire” feels like its earned its handclaps, and though “Into the Black” starts out more ethereal, with extended solo sections and a long instrumental introduction, the shuffle soon takes hold and it proves to be more boogie than nod.But perhaps “Into the Black” is where the band begins their subtle shift into more esoteric sonics, because as the soft strums and plucks and interplay of electric and acoustic guitars take hold on “Thirsty Moon,” the song feels neither out of place nor especially unexpected, which it very well might have if placed earlier on Revelation and Mystery. Peters’ vocal line feels a little rushed during the verse – it’s almost as though there were too many syllables to fit in the line – but the interaction of his and Eiselt’s guitars in the instrumental break and the balance between the guitar and Vedder’s drumming in the mix makes up for any such hiccups. Another chorus feels delivered more appropriately, and the progression cycles through again; solo section into chorus, solo section into chorus. And it’s not until Behrens’ highlight bass line begins “Outside Insight Blues” that it’s apparent just how much Samsara Blues Experiment put into the album’s flow. Added keys allow the guitars to go farther out into sporadic notes without sacrificing fullness of sound, but after about two and a half minutes, there’s a turn into riffier material that carries the groove through the next six. There are a few part changes, but things don’t really feel jammed out until the classic ‘70s boogie meets psychedelia of the last 90 seconds or so, blues harp and all. It’s a shift worthy of Siena Root, and the two-minute interlude “Zwei Schatten im Schatten” (in English, “Two Shadows in the Shadow”) follows suit with an appropriate marriage of Eastern and Western musical traditions with sitar and acoustic six-string. There’s something sweet and solemn in the intertwining melody, and it’s a passing thing on the way to the 12-minute closer, but worth paying attention to in a way that many interludes aren’t.Then, at last, comes the ending title cut. Worthy of its name, “Revelation and Mystery” caps the album with a sense of psychedelic majesty through which Samsara Blues Experiment show their ability to keep hold of a song no matter how deep into space they might also want to push it. The song winds. Its progression is at once driving and subdued, and of all the songs on Revelation and Mystery, it’s probably the best blend of all sides of what’s shown itself to be the band’s current sound. Of course, at 12 minutes, one could easily argue it has time to do and be all these things – with room left over for a bit of that sitar to show up as well among the guitar leads – but still, it’s another display of the maturity Samsara Blues Experiment have been able to take on in a relatively short amount of time (their demo gave first notice in 2008). Some bands need three years to learn and foster growth between their albums, and some bands need to play. If the jump between their first and second records is anything to go by, Samsara Blues Experiment would seem to be the latter. Wherever this stylistic form takes them, I don’t imagine it’ll be too long before we find out, but until then, the 47 minutes of Revelation and Mystery provide a varied and exciting listen worthy of repeat visits. Samsara Blues Experiment continue to progress, continue to impress." - The Obelisk
    $12.00
  • Second album from this Italian progressive metal band finds them with a new lineup. Now fronting the band is vocalist Fabio Manda and there is also a new bassist in Claudio Casaburi. No major changes in direction. This is Dream Theater inspired progressive metal chock full of solos and interaction between guitar and keys. Manda shares a similar fate to just about every metal vocalist from Italy - he has a bit of an accent. But the dude can sing and can really hit the high notes so it doesn't really get in the way. There are two notable guests on the album. Marco Sfogli contributes a solo and Sieges Even/Subsignal vocalist Arno Menses is featured on the near 17 minute "Aftermath". The production is much better than their debut. Mixed by Markus Teske, the drums no longer sound like pencils smacked on a desk. Where as there used to be a million of these Dream Theater influenced bands kicking around in Italy (remember Zen?) they have all gone off to work at the Fiat factory. Soul Secret are the torch carriers of the moment and acquit themselves quite nicely thank you. Highly recommended to fans of intricate prog metal.
    $9.00
  • After the break up of art rock pioneers Orchestra Luna, guitarist Randy Roos changed gears and assembled the Mistral band. The resulting album, from 1978, features fusion stars Mike Stern, Neil Stubenhaus, Louis DeAndrade, and Alyrio Lima (Weather Report). Masterfully playing a variety of fretted and fretless guitars, Roos demonstrates why its time for this overlooked gem to be revisited. Mistral is pure high energy fusion that will appeal to fans of Jeff Beck and Return To Forever. It comes with liner notes from noted jazz journalist Bill Milkowski. Mistral has been remastered from the original analogue master tapes by audiophile engineer Bob Katz. It arrives in an old style mini-LP tip-on sleeve. Strictly limited to 500 copies!
    $27.00
  • The third and final album of the Blackmore/Dio marriage was a fine one. "Gates Of Babylon" and "Kill The King" and the title track are now timeless classics of hard rock.
    $5.00
  • Salvaged from the vaults of RCA Italy is this legendary prog album from Morgan Fisher and Co. Anyone who is a fan of British progressive rock must own this keyboard intensive masterpiece. New remastered edition gets the Mark Powell/Esoteric love. Essential.
    $17.00
  • The much anticipated second album from Delain is here and it does not disappoint! Its interesting to see how the band has evolved. Originally conceived by Within Temptation keyboardist Martijn Westerholt as a studio project, Delain has evolved into a full blown active band. The success of the debut Lucidity tipped Westerholt's hand and Delain became a REAL band. With Charlotte Wessels on vocals, Ronald Landa on guitar and grunt vocals, Sun Caged bassist Rob Vander Loo, and Sander Zoer on drums, Delain took the Netherlands by storm. Delain toured extensively, opening for many bands including sister band Within Temptation, and appeared at many festivals. Ultimately they became a headlining band. With that behind them they headed into the studio to create their sophomore work.April Rain is cut from similar cloth from Lucidity but different enough to hear the evolution mentioned above. Instead of the multiple guests that were featured on Lucidity, April Rain does benefit from the return of Nightwish bassist Marco Hietala who sings male vocals on two tracks, as well as world renowned cellist Maria Ahn.Martijin Westholt is clearly at the helm - the big symphonic sound is still in place. Those elements that he brought to Within Temptation are clearly evident. There is a difference though...perhaps because of Jacob Hansen's mix the sound is more focused and even grittier, crunchier (thank you Mr. Landa). Songs tend to be on the shorter side but they slam harder. Having been familar with Rob Van Der Loo's intense basswork with Sun Caged its great to see him bring that progressive element to the rhythm section. Charlotte Wessels is young but has developed into the perfect voice and face for Delain.The comparisons to Within Temptation will continue but its obvious that Delain has come up with their own sound that stands on its on.This is THE symphonic gothic metal album of 2009. Nothing will touch it. This is the North American digipak edition of April Rain - with the exclusive bonus track "Come Closer". BUY OR DIE.
    $14.00
  • Despite a fracture between Andy Powell and Martin Turner, Wishbone Ash carries on - now in two different iterations. I guess Andy Powell retained the rights to the pure Wishbone Ash name and he's helming the ship on this release. Its just what any Ash fan would want - blues driven prog from a twin axe attack. That's the Wishbone Ash signature sound and if you are a fan you won't be disappointed.
    $15.00
  • "Charismatic duo Se Delan is the newest act to be signed to Kscope, a revered label known for its “post-progressive sounds” and incredible line-up, which includes genre stars like Anathema, Gazpacho, Amplifier, Steven Wilson, and The Pineapple Thief. Considering its peers, then, it's surprising to note how laidback and relatively simple the music on the group’s debut LP, The Fall, is. Rather than aim for lengthy songs, virtuosic arrangements, and grandiose ideas, the pair constructs warm yet solemn atmospheres and subtle yet alluring melodies.It’s an enticing and moody introduction to a band that definitely earns its place amongst so many dazzling siblings.Comprised of multi-instrumentalist Justin Greaves (Crippled Black Phoenix) and Swedish vocalist Belinda Kordic (whose wispy voice is both seductive and haunting), the record is an interesting blend of folk, shoegaze, rock, and pop, like a wonderful blend of Alcest, Of Monsters and Men, and Lady & Bird. As you might’ve guessed, Greaves crafted the music while Kordic wrote the melodies. Although it’s arguably a bit too cyclical in arrangement and melody, The Fall is a chilling and beautiful examination of life." - Rebel Noise 
    $16.00
  • Fourth album from this Norwegian band is a near perfect blend of power and progressive metal. Each successive album has been better than the previous one - this one tops 'em all. Killer vox, crunch that is off the charts, blasts of synth and stellar production is the best way to sum of this monster. Standard edition - uncensored cover.
    $9.00
  • New reworked edition of the band's first album - from back when they were originally known as Witsend.  This new version features remastered, resequenced tracks, bonus tracks, new artwork and liner notes.  It might have been their first album but it was certainly one of their best!  Highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • Long promised second album from this stellar Norwegian symphonic band is now with us. Before the release of Hinterland, the band had made available (through their website) two lengthy demo tracks that garnered a lot of buzz. These tracks "Imperial Winter White Dwarf" and "Leprechan Behind The Door" appear here is re-recorded versions. The rest of the disc consists of material drawn from the band's past as well as one of the tracks from the Hinterland sessions that never got finished. Its not a long disc but its definitely a matter of quality over quantity. If you like Mellotrons, Hammond organds, flutes, retro sounding guitars....look no further. Essential listening for any symphonic rock fan.
    $18.00