Empire ($5 Special)

SKU: 724358107029
Label:
EMI
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24 bit remastered reissue in deluxe packaging at a budget price. A masterful blending of progressive metal and rock, "Empire" features two of their best known songs - "Silent Lucidity" and "Jet City Woman". Comes with 3 bonus studio tracks.

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  • Third album from this New Jersey symphonic rock band.  All of the band's albums are conceptual pieces based around literary works.  In fact the band's name is derived from a Ray Bradbury story.  On A Dark And Stormy Night is based on Madeleine L'Engle's fantasy novel of the same name.  The album is a wet dream for any fan of symphonic prog.  As I make my way through the album I'm frequently reminded of some similarities to Glass Hammer.  This is very keyboard driven music with a healthy amount of guitar leads.  There are even some nice Mellotron sounds popping up now and then.  These guys dream big and hit the mark.  Highly recommended.
    $11.00
  • This is the original US CD pressing on MCA Records.  
    $5.00
  • Remastered edition with 3 bonus tracks."Child Is Father to the Man is keyboard player/singer/arranger Al Kooper's finest work, an album on which he moves the folk-blues-rock amalgamation of the Blues Project into even wider pastures, taking in classical and jazz elements (including strings and horns), all without losing the pop essence that makes the hybrid work. This is one of the great albums of the eclectic post-Sgt. Pepper era of the late '60s, a time when you could borrow styles from Greenwich Village contemporary folk to San Francisco acid rock and mix them into what seemed to have the potential to become a new American musical form. It's Kooper's bluesy songs, such as "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know" and "I Can't Quit Her," and his singing that are the primary focus, but the album is an aural delight; listen to the way the bass guitar interacts with the horns on "My Days Are Numbered" or the charming arrangement and Steve Katz's vocal on Tim Buckley's "Morning Glory." Then Kooper sings Harry Nilsson's "Without Her" over a delicate, jazzy backing with fl├╝gelhorn/alto saxophone interplay by Randy Brecker and Fred Lipsius. This is the sound of a group of virtuosos enjoying itself in the newly open possibilities of pop music. Maybe it couldn't have lasted; anyway, it didn't." - Allmusic
    $5.00
  • "With this, their fourth album, SANDSTONE give the fans a perfectly prepared album which will make not only fans of progged metal structures happy, but also those who prefer fisty, hard compositions. The cleverly designed mixture of Power and Progressive elements, with a large dose of melody, attracts comparison with the greats of the scene, such as Fates Warning, Queensryche, Pagan's Mind, Symphony X or Vanden Plas - and also convinced ex-Judas Priest singer Tim 'Ripper' Owens to add some guest vocals!"
    $13.00
  • Virtuoso keyboardist Vivien Lalu has created a new progressive metal epic featuring an all star cast:Band [A-Z]---Martin LeMar (Mekong Delta) - VocalsMike LePond (SymphonyX) - BassSimone Mularoni (DGM) - GuitarsVirgil Donati (PlanetX)- DrumsVivien Lalu (Shadrane) - KeyboardsGuests [A-Z]---Jens Johansson (Stratovarius)Joop Wolters (Shadrane)Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater)Marco Sfogli (James LaBrie)Mike Andersson (Cloudscape, Fullforce)Peter Wildoer (Darkane, James LaBrie)Born of Noelle and Michel Lalu, musicians from the ‘70s French progressive act Polene, Vivien Lalu has released a surplus of recordings through an array of different bands and projects since 1997, as the keyboard player for underground black/doom band Time For A Change. At the turn of the millennium Lalu played keys for two underground progressive metal bands from Paris, Sad Warden and then Mind’s Orchard, and in 2002 was hired by Hubi Meisel (ex-Dreamscape vocalist) to compose and record the keys for his solo album EmOcean, the following year doing the same for Meisel’s sophomore album Kailash, both of which were released by Lion Music.It was at this time Vivien Lalu begins recruiting his own associates from major prog and metal bands — some of which he shares time composing music alongside in progressive metal act Shadrane — and forms his own solo project, LALU. The first full-length Oniric Metal was released on Lion Music in 2005 and began an entirely new chapter for this composer and his insatiable need to create mind-expanding, cinematic music.These accomplishments helped Lalu to begin securing score and soundtrack work for film and television; over the last few years he’s written many cues for the orchestral soundtrack for the Warner Bros movie Seuls Two, for the show Science X made in association with Lucasfilm Ltd. Additionally he joined the production team behind Laszlo Jones in order to assist the recordings and production of Banana Nation (Universal Music Group). He’s composed many soundtracks for French television, music and sound effects for Neko Entertainment, worked as a sound designer for Ubisoft Entertainment and much more.After collaborating with Shadow Gallery for a song on their Digital Ghosts album, and working with Canadian drummer Chris Nalbandian for his Paralysis of Analysis solo album — recording all keys and sharing solos with Derek Sherinian and Alex Argento — Vivien finally settled in and began work on the second LALU opus. Handling all composition and songwriting duties, as well as all keyboards on the massive production, Vivien weaved the cloth of the new album with vocalist Martin LeMar (Mekong Delta), bassist Mike LePond (SymphonyX), guitarist Simone Mularoni (DGM), drummer Virgil Donati (PlanetX), the album’s parts recorded in several countries including the United States (Los Angeles and New York), Germany and Italy, produced by Lalu in his own studio, and mixed at Boumbox Studio in Paris by Yan Memmi (Dio’s Lock Up The Wolves, Marcus Miller’s The Sun Don’t Lie, etc.). Additional contributions from Jens Johansson (Stratovarius), Joop Wolters (Shadrane), Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Marco Sfogli (James LaBrie), Mike Andersson (Cloudscape) and Peter Wildoer (James LaBrie) were also carefully built into the album, the final product boasting over fifty minutes of exceptional, massive  cinematic, atmospheric metal Lalu has dubbed, Atomic Ark. 
    $13.00
  • The late Michael Hedges was one of the great visionary guitarists of our lifetimes. He used tapping techniques on acoustic guitar to create a wall of sound. He was influenced by John Fahey and Leo Kottke and made us all rethink what can possibly be done with an acoustic guitar.  Introspective but addictive.  If you have any interest in guitar you need to hear this album.
    $8.00
  • Steven Wilson's solo career apart from Porcupine Tree, is for this listener, far more interesting.  Whereas PTree currently skirts the line between rock and metal, his solo work fits squarely in the progressive rock arena.  The Raven That Refused To Sing (and other stories) is easily his magnum opus.  The musicianship is stellar - he recorded with his touring band: Nick Beggs (Stick), Guthrie Govan (guitar), Adam Holzman (keys), Marco Minnemann (drums), and Theo Travis (flute, sax).  Mr. Wilson has also dug two things out of mothballs - King Crimson's Mellotron and Alan Parsons.  It was Steven Wilson's wish to one day work with Alan Parsons, who came on board as engineer.  I can't tell you who is responsibile for what but I can tell you that the production is impeccable.  The opening epic "Luminol" drips with the holy 'tron sounding like a cross-generation blend of King Crimson eras.  And so it goes through out the album.  Some utterly fierce playing on this album.  From beginning to end a stunning effort.  BUY OR DIE!
    $11.00
  • Deluxe digipak edition comes with a bonus DVD chronicling the recording and mixing of the album."It is refreshing to see Timo Tolkki making new music instead of in the middle of some controversy. Over the last few years Tolkki has been embedded in a war of words with his former Stratovarius band mates.He has released records with new bands Revolution Renaissance and Symfonia, but both have failed to live up to his past legacy. He is now attempting another new project, Timo Tolkki’s Avalon. His debut, The Land of New Hope is a symphonic power metal opera in the style of Avantasia.This feels exactly like what Tobias Sammet created with Avantasia. Stylistically we are in the same territory, and Tolkki has enlisted the help of some of the best musicians that the power metal genre has to offer. Contributing vocals are Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween), Elize Ryd (Amaranthe), Rob Rock, Russell Allen (Symphony X), Sharon Den Adel (Within Temptation) and Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica). That is a who’s who of singers and they do not disappoint.The album also features stellar musicians such as Jens Johansson (Stratovarius), Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater), Alex Holzwarth (Rhapsody Of Fire) and Mikko Harkin (ex-Sonata Arctica).At the end of the day the quality of the talent isn’t the only thing that matters, as the songwriting has to be up to par. Over the years this is where Tolkki has been incredibly inconsistent. For every “Visions” and “Infinite” he has written he has also written “New Era” and the self-titled Stratovarius record.I can assure you that this is the best record Tolkki has written in thirteen years or maybe even in his career. As this is a rock opera, all the songs follow the storyline about a small group of survivors in 2055 A.D. who search for a sacred place known as “The Land of the New Hope” as planet Earth has been destroyed.The bulk of the vocals are by Ryd, Allen and Rock, who all rise to the occasion and sing with much emotion and power. The tender “In the Name of the Rose” is a magical moment. Ryd and Allen are meant to sing together. Allen shows off his vocal range in the chorus that you will no doubt be chanting along with. He delivers a throaty verse before singing a Maidenesque melody line for the chorus. A heartfelt lead by Tolkki puts an exclamation point on an incredible song.The title track is the only song that features Kiske, and he doesn’t disappoint. The almost nine minute epic begins with some gorgeous orchestration and an arpeggiated guitar line very reminiscent of the Scorpions. Kiske's vocals are soaring and he shows why he is one of the most in demand vocalists still at 45.Kiske is that rare singer that is technically perfect, but also has the gift to bring out a special emotion in his voice. This is the highlight of the record and these two legends should collaborate more.It is an incredible comeback story for Tolkki who was all but down and out. I am happy to see him put his demons to rest and release a record that he might be known for when his career is completed.He is enormously talented and I think this is the perfect atmosphere for him, as he doesn’t have a permanent band but only musicians who guest on the album. We know he is a dynamic personality who struggles to get along with band members, so with this unique situation he is the only permanent member.My biggest concern is that Tolkki seems to get bored with projects and moves on to the next one. Someone needs to guide him to stick with the Avalon project and continue to release records under this moniker.The Land of New Hope is Tolkki’s crowning achievement and I am glad to see one of the best guitar players in power metal return to his rightful place at the top of the genre. Let’s just hope he can keep it together." - About.com
    $11.00
  • Quite a bit of buzz has been circulating about this young Swedish symphonic rock band. The band formed in 2003 and sent a demo off to Tomas Bodin, keyboardist extraordinare for The Flower Kings. Tomas basically took the band under his wing and produced this album (as well as providing some keys in spots). The music has a real positive vibe without getting spiritual. A prime influence on the band seems to be Yes. The opening track "Doorway" sounds like an out take from the Going For The One sessions. One of the best aspects of this band is their vocal harmonies which at times sound like The Beach Boys! The vocal layers blend in with the Mellotron to glorious effect. The 25 minute "We Spin The World" opens with some beautiful keyboard work and then the Rickenbacker bass kicks in and we are clearly spinning around some distant moon circling the planet Flower Kings. Nothing dark and evil here - this is pure "feel good" prog rock that shows a young band displaying maturity and intelligence. Excellent first effort - check these guys out.
    $14.00
  • Swedish melodic prog metal band Cullooden is the latest band to emerge from the Roastinghouse management stable.  Their debut, Silent Scream, sits nicely besides bands like Circus Maximus, Withem, and Seventh Wonder.  Strong anthem-like vocal harmonies permeate the album.  Plenty of nice soloing throughout the album.  Keys are featured but the real star of the show is the guitar work.  Highly recommended."If I have to put on a specific metal sticker on this debut album, it has to be something like this: Modern, melodic metal with big jagged shards of prog metal/rock. This Swedish trio in Cullooden is giving us a disc, which is very technical and at the same time it's a very melodic album. 'Silent Scream' is a metallic gold bar. It contains adult, progressive metal tracks played with ultra strong harmonies and Cullooden is fronted by one of the strongest and widest new rock voices I've heard in a long time.Fredrik Joakimsson owns the talented voice, and he handles the highest tones just as perfect as in the harsher and darker tunes. I hear musical influences that reminds me of Dream Theather or maybe even more from their compatriots in the magnificent progressive metal band Seventh Wonder and the Norwegians in Circus Maximus.Cullooden is not another beginner's project, which has released a 'quick shot' album, nope they knew what they were going to record on 'Silent Scream' and the songs are so overwhelmingly worked through both musically and lyrically. The album is also extremely well produced. I have to stick my neck out and say that it is perfectly produced, there is absolutely nothing to complaint about.What attracts my interest a little more than normally is the elegant flirts with the melodic hard rock, like in 'Our Only Desire' and in 'An Interesting Fact', which are some of my favorite tracks on this album. The heavy bass rhythms are pressing in the background, but it's easy listening and melodic nonetheless. The quality rhythmic metal that has been mixed with the progressive tones becomes an insanely congenial overall impression. Every track has it's own personality and I've used much of my time to sort this album in and out and my final conclusion is this: A new shining progressive metal star is appearing on the metal heaven and it's called Cullooden!'Silent Scream' will most likely be played over and over again for a long, long time to come when I want life-inspiration or just want to hear at succulent melodic metal or world-class quality prog metal. I love it!The album is recommended for most metal fans, although the melodic/progressive metal fans will most likely worship this masterful album release!" - Power Of Metal
    $16.00
  • Limited edition digipak with one bonus track and a multimedia video."Considering the caliber and consistency of their recent catalog, maybe Primal Fear should have named their ninth studio album Unstoppable. But Unbreakable certainly fits as well. Primal Fear's melodic and heavy, often speedy, power metal remains their tried and true formula. Add to this the strongest lineup ever, especially the devastating guitar duo of Alex Beyrodt and Magnus Karlsson, and Primal Fear simply goes from strength to strength. Hey, if ain't broken, don't flippin' try to fix it.So then, fundamentally, Primal Fear delivers quintessential and unmistakable Primal Fear on Unbreakable. You've got your speedy and intense tunes: Strike, Give Em Hell, Unbreakable, and Blaze of Glory, by example. Then there's metal anthems, always heavy, melodic, and catchy: Bad Guys Wear Black and Metal Nation. Never forget the power of Primal Fear's vocal harmonies, lead by the incomparable metal singer Ralf Scheepers and backed up by Matt Sinner, Erik Martensson, and Oliver Hartmann. The band can also be epic as on the the blistering Where Angels Die. Then, Primal Fear is both epic and simply soaring on the metal anthem Born Again. Along the way the songs are peppered generously with smashing guitar solos by that aforementioned dangerous duo.With Unbreakable, Primal Fear commits to what they do best which is melodic heavy power metal without compromise, and quite infectious. I would expect no less. Quite recommended." - Danger Dog
    $15.00
  • Arjen Lucassen's long awaited Ayreon project is a total blast.  Like some of the earlier Ayreon albums, it owes as much to prog rock as it does metal.  All the old school heroes like Emerson, Wakeman, Wetton get to strut their stuff showing a young stud like Rudess a thing or two.  As always Lucassen latches on to some of the best vocalists around and this one is no exception.  Highly recommended.PLEASE NOTE THERE WILL BE A VERY EXPENSIVE IMPORT "ART BOOK" EDITION FORTHCOMING."You know what the metal world needs more of? Musicals. I'm not saying that ironically either. Sure, we have plenty of prog bands putting out concept albums, but cool as these records many be, the story themselves are not the focus of the album. Ayreon mastermind Arjen Anthony Lucassen has resurrected his grandest of all projects to continue showing these folks how to tell an epic story the right way.With 01011001 the Ayreon story came to an end, or so we thought. Arjen instead decided to focus on projects like Star One, Guilt Machine, and his solo album Lost in the New Real. When he revealed not too long ago that he was working on a new project, it wasn't a surprise to discover it was new Ayreon, but I was still plenty excited.Lucassen said of the newest record, "It's not science fiction, but a human story set in a science context." So no aliens or battling emotions or any of that. So, in an attempt to better understand the story, I contacting him for the lyrics and much to my surprise, he sent them to me saying, "Oh yes, you need the lyrics, definitely." Holy hell, was he right. The story is indeed more grounded than previous records, but there are still layers to this beast.Fans of Ayreon should know what to expect here. The Theory of Everything has seven guest singers and each singer plays a part in the story. They are JB (Grand Magus) as the Teacher, Christina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) as the Mother, Michael Mills (Toehider) as the Father, Tommy Karevik (Kamelot) as the Prodigy, Marco Hietala (Nightwish) as the Rival, John Wetton (Asia/ex-King Crimson) as the Psychiatrist, and Sara Squadrani (Ancient Bards) as the Girl.Of these singers, the most impressive is the relatively unknown Sara Squadrani. She performs on a large portion of the story and shines every time, especially on "Love and Envy". I was also surprised to be so enamored with the performance of Christina Scabbia. She's always had  a wonderful voice, but her performance in this record might be her finest. Her harmonies with Squadrani stand out particularly on "Mirror of Dreams". This isn't to say only the performances by the female singers are worth mentioning. Tommy Karevik's introduction in "The Prodigy's World" is one of the strongest moments on the album.Press_Photo_01Every Ayreon album comes an eclectic group of guest musicians. This round primarily consisted of guest keyboardists. Rick Wakeman (ex-Yes) handles a good portion of the record, while Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) and Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) both make excellent solo appearances on "Progressive Waves".Having listened to all of Lucassen's albums at least once, I can say The Theory of Everything is the most musically diverse offering he's had a hand in, perhaps with the exception of his solo record. This isn't as heavy as previous Ayreon titles, but it has its driving moments like "Collision" and the Dream Theather-esque "Frequency Modulation." The aforementioned "Love and Envy" is a slower introspective song, while "Diagnosis" is massive and a little cheesy, but so awesome. "Transformation" has a Middle Eastern feel to it, and  "The Eleventh Dimension" sounds like intergalactic renaissance faire music.Often times there are jumps in mood, genre, etc in the middle of a song. This is fairly typical for an Ayreon release; what isn't typical is that technically this record consists of only four songs. These four songs are each at least twenty-one minutes, but they are cut up into forty-two pieces (yes, that's a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference) .This is a fun record. It's a record that does require a time commitment. I'd say listeners should treat it as a proper musical or film in a theater. Try to experience it all in one sitting for the full effect. It's absolutely worth it." - Metal Injection
    $17.00
  • German power metal sounds just like Angra.
    $11.00
  • New issue of Pendragon's neoprog classic from 1996. Now comes with a bonus live version of "The Last Man On Earth".
    $13.00