Epicloud

SKU: 0603-2
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Inside Out Music
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This is the most enjoyable Devin Townsend album I've heard in years.  Townsend definitely walks to the beat of a different drummer and is constantly confounding his listeners.  Epicloud is no different.  The album is actually catchy in a poppy way but still plenty of metal elements.  The production is purely epic in nature - reverb gone wild!  Townsend mainly sings with a clean voice but even when he dirties it up its swimming in 'verb so his voice takes on an otherworldly quality.  He's complemented by the great Anneke van Giersbergen who appears through out - mainly as a backing vocalist but at times singing lead lines.  So what we have here is something I really didn't expect - a hook filled metal album that neatly collides with dream pop.

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  • After many years of unauthorized bootlegs and promises for a legit release its finally here.  A Night On Bald Mountain is considered by many to be one of the finest examples of progressive rock from a US band.  You can debate all you want as to what is the best - let's all agree that A Night On Bald Mountain is in the upper echelon of prog.  The New Jersey based band released this classically influenced album in 1975.  Produced by ex-King Crimson keyboardist Ian McDonald, the album had a very European feel.  Elements of all the English giants can be found here - ELP, King Crimson, and Genesis.  Lots of keyboard pyrotechnics and more than enough wicked guitar and flute to satisfy everyone's taste.This long awaited reissue features mastering by Larry "Synergy" Fast and incldues two previously unreleased bonus tracks - a cover of King Crimson's "Pictures Of A City" as well as "Robot Salesman".  Housed in a nicely embossed digipak cover.  BUY OR DIE!
    $14.00
  • Produced by Billy Cobham, Forest Of Feelings is the first solo album from David Sancious, originally released in 1975.  It was recorded after his exit from the E Street Band.  Its an incredible blend of prog rock and fusion.  Its a trio format with the rhythm section held down by his former bandmate Ernest "Mad Dog" Carter on drums and Gerald Carboy on bass.  As proficient as he is as a keyboardist, most people overlook his attributes as a guitarist.  The man can play!This was briefly available on CD in 1992, and if I recall the story correctly, was withdrawn for sale due to legal threats by Mr. Sancious.  Its always been a tough disc to find.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • "Progressive Power Metal was a genre popularized by titans such as ICED EARTH and NEVERMORE, combining the technicality, speed and fantastical lyrics of power, and the complexity and maturity of Prog. TRAGODIA, a Progressive Power Metal band from Italy, have proved once again why the genre is in such a strong position in the metal world, and why it is nigh-faultless. Writing music that exudes heavy influence from the aforementioned bands, TRAGODIA add their own brand of catchiness and groove to make it their own. After all, the whole point of a progressive band is to be progressive and push genre boundaries.Their new album, "Mythmaker", contains almost all of the great qualities of such an album: it's heavy, it's melodic, it's progressive, it's catchy, it's heavy, it's groovy, it's…  Heavy. It is by no means calm and jazzy, such as some of the work from the penultimate DREAM THEATER. In the mixing, the heavily over-driven guitars, and the drums, are at the forefront, adding vertebrae to the heavyweight backbone that drives this album. "A Cry Among the Stars", the opening, and one of my favorite song on the album, begins with an epic buildup reminiscent of SERENITY, cuts in with riffage worthy of neck snapping headbanging which paves the way for verses that contain an obvious DREAM THEATER note of trippy syncopation. Lucas Meloni, proves to have some vocal versatility, often switching between majestic, powerful notes, and Thrash-like yells. The twin guitarists have already proven, in the song's solo, that they are capable of an incredible dual-axe attack. "The Oracle" is one of the heaviest tracks on the album with crushing riffage all around, supplemented by guitar harmony that is on a Scandinavian level; best solo on the album, and there are many to choose from. "A Temple in Time" is a relatively chilled-out track in comparison, with an incredibly catchy guitar / keyboard harmony. I am hearing a lot of old FIREWIND in this track. The next track, "Wisdom in the Meadows of Sorrow" comes across as a highly versatile track, combining riffage reminiscent of AMON AMARTH, and the wails of JUDAS PRIEST; overall, this creates an incredibly driving track. "Tidal Waves of Greatness" is exactly that; smooth, yet anxious transitions between acoustic passages and grandiose and dramatic choruses. "Once In Arcadia" is another dominating heavyweight with riffage that is not only devastating, but also extremely catchy; very reminiscent of IN FLAMES; another standout track for me. "The Stone and the Idol" is the longest track on the record, though only capping out at 6:21. It starts with an allusion to yet even more epicenes with a tasteful symphonic intro, and leads into extremely groovy riffage, and ends with the best outro riff on the entire record."Born Under Niobe" may be constituted as the heaviest track, which is definitely saying something. The song begins with a downright battery and harsh, thrashy vocals, and riffage so heavy that leaves your brain pulsing with the force of the kicks. The chorus' vocal melody is extremely catchy, and Meloni proves his excellent vocal capabilities. It leaves you completely unprepared for a repeat of the previous bombard, and soon we hear a classic gallop passage that leaves one with the urge to windmill the beards off that the song has just made us grow. "Mythmaker" is an interesting track, opening with an unexpected tapping bass solo that paves the way for some pounding, driving groove riffage that constitutes the majority of the song, and leads seamlessly into the fantastic instrumental, "The Weeping Rock Of Seriphus". Arguably, this song doubles as both an outro and an extension of "Mythmaker", concluding the album in a dramatic, lengthy fashion. Finally, the bonus track, "Downfall Of The Ancients"; I struggle to see why this song was left out as a bonus track, for it most definitely deserves to be on the record. The atmospheric keyboard tracking is absolutely gorgeous, and complements the song very fittingly; with the rugged vocal work, combines to make a highly engaging track.To sum up this work of metal mastery, TRAGODIA are simply one of the reasons Progressive and Power Metal are my two favorite genres of Metal, and do their home country of Italy proud; absolutely deserving of more publicity, and I believe would make an unforgettable live performance." - Metal Temple
    $14.00
  • After spending some time battling (and winning) a life threatening disease, Andy Latimer has reactivated Camel.  The reassembled lineup consists of Andy Latimer (guitar, flute, keys), Colin Bass (bass), Guy LeBlanc (keyboards), and Denis Clement (drums).  Latimer recently took the band on a short European tour (it will be ongoing in 2014).  I'm not sure of the motivation to re-record The Snow Goose.  Perhaps it was so he had new merch to sell on the tour.  I honestly don't know but here it is.For the most part this new version is quite faithful to the original.  There are some new bits and pieces that integrate well and won't give you pause.  Of course each of the musicians add their own signature to the production.Good to see him back up and running full blast.
    $16.00
  • Third album from this superb Italian prog ensemble now reduced to a trio.  The band now consists of two keyboardists Beppe Colombo and Corrado Grappeggia, and multi-instrumentalist Claudio Colombo who plays drums, flute, guitar, and bass.  The trio is augmented by some special guests: David Jackson (ex-VDGG), Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon), and Dino Fiore (Il Castello Di Atlante).  The music takes on a little bit more of a modern feel but for the most part it stays true to the roots of "Rock Progressivo Italiano".  Plenty of wicked keyboard parts mixed with some heavy guitar leads.  Yeah vocals are in Italian as if you didn't already know. Over the past 3 or 4 years the Italian prog scene has exploded with excellent bands.  Pandora is clearly near the top.  The whole package comes in a nice tri fold mini-lp sleeve.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • Lifesigns is a new band put together by keyboardist journeyman John Young, along with Nick Beggs (Steve Hackett), and Martin Beedle (Cutting Crew).  Featured guests include Steve Hackett, Jakko Jakszyk, Thijs Van Leer, and Robin Boult.  5 long tracks that have a contemporary prog sound but with nice extended instrumental parts.  Not a technical tour de force - emphasis here is on melody.  I'm reminded a bit of Steve Hackett's recent works.  While John Young has written all the material, bassist/Stickist Nick Beggs quietly steals the show.
    $15.00
  • Submarine Silence is a side project from Moongarden's Cristiano Roversi.  The bands first album was released 12 years ago on Mellow Records.  It was an instrumental album that paid a huge debt to early Genesis.  This low awaited follow up album is cut from a similar cloth but it does feature vocals.  Most of the band is fleshed out with other members of Moongarden and Mangala Vallis.  Vocals are sung by Mirko Ravenoldi, who frankly I'm not familiar with.  He sings in English and truth be told he's a much better guitarist than singer.  Luckily the album features long swathes of instrumental passages - all cut from the Genesis cloth.  Roversi's keyboard arsenal is chock full of all the old favorites - Mellotron, Hammond organ, Arp and Moog synths, etc.  Lots of similarities to Tony Bank's set up and I believe that is the whole point.  Not very Italian sounding at all.  If you long for the old school sounds of Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot check this one out.
    $15.00
  • There are not a lot of unreissued Italian prog albums from the Golden Era but little by little BTF Records is chipping away at them. This is a little known album from a one-off band, originally recorded in 1972 and not released until 1974 on the Pan Records label out of Munich, Germany (Pan was a weird label - they licensed New Trolls "Atomic System" as well). Collectors have known about this album for some time but it's eluded legit reissue until now. Hero was a trio consisting of Massimo Pravato (guitars), Robert Deller (vocals, keyboards), and Umberto Maschio (drums). The music has equal roots in hard rock and well as prog (as so many bands of the day did). Deller sings in English relatively accent free so my guess is he is an ex-patriate Brit or American. While Parvato's killer leads tend to dominate there is plenty of color on organ to lend comparisons to bands like New Trolls, Le Orme, Garybaldi and on a lesser level Black Widow and Uriah Heep. There is a pervasive dark vibe to the music and lyrics that evokes VDGG, Genesis and early Faithful Breath. BTF has done a spectacular job reissuing this disc with a bonus track, liner notes, and unreleased band photos. To top it off they stuck it one of those fancy mini-lp sleeves so we can all get nostalgic. Highest recommendation and one of the best reissues I've heard in years. And no...I'm not parting with my vinyl copy!
    $19.00
  • Withem is an up and coming Norwegian progressive metal band, inspired by the likes of Symphony X, Pagan’s Mind, Dream Theater and Circus Maximus.The band started to take shape in 2011 when Øyvind Voldmo Larsen (guitars) and Ketil Ronold (keyboards) met the gifted drummer Frank Nordeng Røe. Soon they were joined by the vocal talents of Ole Aleksander Wagenius and bass duties were taken care of by the special guest Andreas Blomqvist from Seventh Wonder.Withem’s debut offers varied sonic landscapes for the listener to explore, ranging from guilty-pleasure choruses permeated with memorable vocal hooks, to symphonic epic themes.  The unique vocal range of Ole Aleksander Wagenius gives the band a distinctive touch to tackle the overcrowded progressive metal scene.The passion and dedication put into the album is emphasized by the countless hours spent in studio perfecting each individual performance and making sure that the end result is a world class blend of progressive, symphonic and power metal.The Point Of You was mastered by Markus Teske (Vanden Plas, Saga, Spock's Beard)
    $13.00
  • Remastered from the original tapes. Gentle flowing music with lysergic underpinnings. A cult classic. New edition from the original master tapes with eight bonus tracks.
    $17.00
  • "A Hauntingly Beautiful and Dark Sophomore Effort. Get it before the darkness comes...Anais Nin said "we don't see things as they are, we see them as we are".That is the absolute truth - in life and in great art, literature, and music. It speaks to you in a deeply personal way. The artist's specific intent, the story behind the story, matters not. What does matter is that when you interact with what the artist has wrought, you feel something. You feel as if it was created especially for you, about you, your life, your life experience. It speaks to you. It makes you stop in your tracks and forces you pay attention. It touches something deep in your soul."The Final Breath Before November" is that album. Edison's Children is that artist. Artists is more accurate. This masterwork showcases vocalists and multi-instrumentalists and Eric Blackwood and Pete Trewavas, drummer Henry Rogers, and backing vocalist Wendy Farrell-Pastore, who also designed the release's haunting artwork. The album was mixed by a virtual Who's Who of Progressive Rock including King Crimson's Jakko Jakszyk, Marillion's Mike Hunter, It Bites' John Mitchell, Robin Boult, and Pete Trewavas.Yes. It is a ghost story. But, that is the most simplistic view of what it is.It is a love story. It illustrates the power of love. It drives us to do crazy things. It endures after death. It endures across time and space. It reminds us that people never really leave you. They linger in the ether, in your heart, in your mind. Their essence stays behind to watch over you.It is also a cautionary tale. It is a warning not to act harshly or rashly. Don't do things that you can not come back from. Don't make mistakes you can not fix. Once things have been done (or said), you can never take them back. You can never get back to the place where you once were. You can never go home again. No matter how much you want to. No matter how hard you try. You just can't.It is a reminder that we have to let go of the pain, hurt, anger, regret and whatever else we have pent up inside ourselves. If we don't let go of all those things, we become stuck and can't move on. We remain in the same place all of our lives. The same physical place. The same emotional place. The same spiritual place. Stuck. Never growing. Never changing. Never becoming who or what we were supposed to be. We remain a shadow of ourselves, forever trapped in a darkness of our own making.It is a reminder that we have to face our demons. They will come at us over and over again until we do. If we don't, they will be back and they will try to pull us down to even darker places. Over and over again. We will be stuck in the mire for our lifetime, for eternity if we don't.What this album says to me is that love is a powerful thing. The most powerful thing in the Universe. But, in the end, you have to let go of those you love. People change. People die. Relationships change. Relationships end. If you keep holding onto someone who is no longer with you, then you can't move on. Not until you let go. You can't be truly happy. You can't feel the sunshine. You can't walk into the light. You destined to live in a hell (or a purgatory) of your own creation. Unless you let go." - ProgArchives.com
    $12.00
  • When Worlds Collide is the latest release from Portuguese prog metal band Forgotten Suns.  When the band first burst onto the scene they were very much in the neoprog camp.  Their sound evolved over time with guitarist/founder Ricardo Falcao taking the band into more metallic territory.  With his chops from hell its no wonder.  This is squarely prog metal in the Dream Theater style.  Vocalist Nio Nunes doesn't go for the stratosphere.  He sticks to the midrange and there even some growls in spots.  Apparently keyboardist Ernesto Rodrigues collaborated on the writing.  The results seems to be the band's heaviest work.  While the keyboard work is more than fine the defining sound of the band is guitarist Falcao.  He's the focal point and really delivers the goods.  Forgotten Suns amps up the tried and true prog metal formula and comes up with something quite memorable.  The album runs 79 minutes and is packed with epic length tracks through out.  By the time the album is over you will be exhausted!  Highly recommended.
    $13.00
  • "Formed in 1979, Sky brought together the worlds of rock and classical music in a highly successful and inspiring way. Featuring the gifted talents of guitarist JOHN WILLIAMS, percussionist TRISTAN FRY, legendary bass player HERBIE FLOWERS, former Curved Air keyboard player FRANCIS MONKMAN and guitarist KEVIN PEEK, Sky recorded their debut album at Abbey Road studios in the early months of 1979. Featuring the lengthy suite "Where Opposite’s Meet”, "Westway” and "Cannonball” (also released as a single), the band’s self-titled debut reached the UK top ten in May 1979 and went on to achieve Platinum status in the UK and was also a major hit in Europe and Australia.This Esoteric Recordings edition has been newly re-mastered and includes the bonus tracks ‘Dies Irae’, the single version of ‘March to the Scaffold’ (Previously unreleased on CD), and a live version of ‘Where Opposites Meet’ recorded by BBC Radio One at a charity concert at Wembley Arena in November 1979. This deluxe edition also includes a DVD (NTSC / Region Free) featuring all of Sky’s surviving BBC TV appearances in 1979, all previously unreleased on video or DVD.  The original album artwork is fully restored and the booklet features a new essay."
    $19.00
  • Fourth album from this interesting German band.  Frequency Drift has really grown by leaps and bounds over the course of their four albums.  The band original characterized themselves as cinematic progressive rock.  I think you can pretty much throw that out the window.  Still plenty of similarities to White Willow but the band has for the most part developed their own sound.  Vocalist Antje Auer sings with plaintive urgency - she has a very pleasant voice.  The real star is violinist Frank Schmitz.  He creates some real fire.  The typical symphonic rock instrumentation is augmented by a battery of medieval instruments as well as clarinet and flute.  On the 15 minute "Cold" the band blisses out in the middle into an Eloy inspired space jam.  A definite grower.  Highly recommended.
    $16.00