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SKU: 534632
Label:
Mercury
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Great double live album available at a budget price.

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  • Darker is the long awaited second album from Swiss progressive rock band Dawn. It has been 6 years since the quartet rocked the prog world with their expert take on old school symphonic rock.Dawn formed in Montreux, Switzerland in 1996.  Since then the band has performed at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival, as well as at Swiss prog rock festivals Progsol, and Montreux Prog Nights.  The band has also opened for Kansas and Fish.  After a series of line up changes the band began to focus on their sophomore release in 2010 and perform them in concert.Dawn’s music is riddled with vintage keyboard sounds and flowing guitar solos.  Plaintive vocals ascribe a kinship to the British Canterbury prog family tree.  The album is conceived as a series of compositions dealing with Man in the 21st century: his fears, his conception of life, his reaction to technology, nuclear power, and the planet’s suffocation.  Darker was recorded in 2013 by Olivier Charmillot and mastered by noted audiophile engineer Bob Katz.
    $14.00
  • "Dangerdog has been inundated with female led metal bands since the beginning of the year. Here's another one: A Sound of Thunder, from Washington DC, with Nina Osegueda at the microphone. Out of the Darkness is their second release.Thankfully, Ms. Osegueda and the band don't fall into the operatic symphonic metal category, nor the weepy melancholy of gothic metal, although I'm sure she could easily do both. And, believe it or not, there's no moron offering death growl accents. This is pure, no bullshit, classic American heavy metal, equally vital in the Eighties as much as it's need today.For Nina's part, think a mix of Dickinson, Halford, and Dio in metal diva form. Or for something more outlandish, imagine if country singer Faith Hill went metal. (Listen to the opener, The Day I Die, and you may hear what I mean.) Osegueda will probably laugh at that comparison.Otherwise, from start to finish, Out of the Darkness kicks serious metal ass. It's an unexpected pleasure of traditional metal genius. ASoT can be fervent and blistering as on Murderous Horde, epic and inspiring as on Calat Alhambra, or unexpected and glorious on Discovery. Then they bring the groove (and psychotic girlfriend) on the catchy and fun, Kill That Bitch. Throughout Osegueda shows her effortless vocal strength, control, and range; take note of how easily she dials it down on the ballad, This Too Shall Pass. Look out boys, the next great metal singer is here.A Sound of Thunder's Out of the Darkness is premium, kick ass, classic heavy metal. " - DangerDog.com
    $13.00
  • "It’s only been a year since Norwegian super-vocalist Jorn Lande’s last studio album (2012’s Bring Heavy Rock to the Land), but we’ve already seen a symphonic re-recordings album (Symphonic) and now a brand new studio offering. The album, Jorn’s tenth solo album (assuming the Dio covers album counts), is called Traveller, and it’s the first to feature Wig Wam’s Trond Holter on lead guitar.Bring Heavy Rock to the Land was, to be frank, uninspired, so it’s something of a surprise to find Jorn back for another round this soon. Perhaps his new collaboration with Holter has recharged his creative batteries. Traveller does sound a bit more exciting than Bring Heavy Rock to the Land. To be sure, it’s still your basic Jorn album, sounding much like something the late Ronnie James Dio might have written for David Coverdale to sing. Still, Jorn’s incredible vocals make the whole thing completely enjoyable, even if it’s not remotely original.Traveller has a very satisfying crunch to it. It’s not so heavy the melodies are overwhelmed, but it has some metal power the way your average Pretty Maids or Masterplan album does. You hear it especially on the one-two punch of “Legend Man” and “Carry the Black,” but songs like “Overload” and the title track also get the blood pumping. The only real dud here is the closing song “The Man Who Was King,” which is a heartfelt, but completely cheesy ode to Jorn’s hero Ronnie James Dio. His heart’s in the right place, but he already had “A Song For Ronnie James” on the Dio album.There are no real surprises here. If you’re a Jorn fan, you pretty much know what to expect from Traveller. If you were less than thrilled with Bring Heavy Rock to the Land, Traveller will probably restore your faith in Jorn at least a little bit. It’s not the powerhouse album Spirit Black or Lonely Are the Brave were, but it’s still a rock solid melodic metal album from one of the best voices in the genre." - Hard Rock Haven
    $14.00
  • Domestic pressing of the second album from this superb Polish prog band. While their first album tended to veer more towards the metal side, Metafiction is a bit lighter - but only in overall sound, not thematically. There are plenty of heavy moments but lets call it heavy progressive rock as opposed to metal. Whereas Riverside initially drew heavily from bands like Porcupine Tree, Opeth, and Anathema they ultimately found their own voice. Votum find themselves at the same crossroads. These bands are all similar influences emphasizing atmosphere and mood. Melancholy prevails - this is not an upbeat sounding album. The heavy parts may seem heavier because the quiet parts...are well...they are quieter! This adds to the dynamics of the album and overall it draws you right in to an inxoticating dreamscape. Easily one of 2009's best albums. Lets hope with a US release they are able to find an audience here. Highest recommendation.
    $13.00
  • "History will undoubtedly enshrine this disc as a watershed the likes of which may never truly be appreciated. Giant Steps bore the double-edged sword of furthering the cause of the music as well as delivering it to an increasingly mainstream audience. Although this was John Coltrane's debut for Atlantic, he was concurrently performing and recording with Miles Davis. Within the space of less than three weeks, Coltrane would complete his work with Davis and company on another genre-defining disc, Kind of Blue, before commencing his efforts on this one. Coltrane (tenor sax) is flanked by essentially two different trios. Recording commenced in early May of 1959 with a pair of sessions that featured Tommy Flanagan (piano) and Art Taylor (drums), as well as Paul Chambers -- who was the only band member other than Coltrane to have performed on every date. When recording resumed in December of that year, Wynton Kelly (piano) and Jimmy Cobb (drums) were instated -- replicating the lineup featured on Kind of Blue, sans Miles Davis of course. At the heart of these recordings, however, is the laser-beam focus of Coltrane's tenor solos. All seven pieces issued on the original Giant Steps are likewise Coltrane compositions. He was, in essence, beginning to rewrite the jazz canon with material that would be centered on solos -- the 180-degree antithesis of the art form up to that point. These arrangements would create a place for the solo to become infinitely more compelling. This would culminate in a frenetic performance style that noted jazz journalist Ira Gitler accurately dubbed "sheets of sound." Coltrane's polytonal torrents extricate the amicable and otherwise cordial solos that had begun decaying the very exigency of the genre -- turning it into the equivalent of easy listening. He wastes no time as the disc's title track immediately indicates a progression from which there would be no looking back. Line upon line of highly cerebral improvisation snake between the melody and solos, practically fusing the two. The resolute intensity of "Countdown" does more to modernize jazz in 141 seconds than many artists do in their entire careers. Tellingly, the contrasting and ultimately pastoral "Naima" was the last tune to be recorded, and is the only track on the original long-player to feature the Kind of Blue quartet. What is lost in tempo is more than recouped in intrinsic melodic beauty." - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • "A while back I reviewed a “live” album that sounded like it was recorded in a pub in the middle of nowhere on a wet Tuesday, attended by one man and his dog.  It was awful.  If you’re going to produce a live album there are rules.  First, the sound has to be good, there’s no point if it isn’t studio quality.  Second, and this is vital, if you are recording an album in front of a live audience, the sound of that audience must make it onto the album.  If you can’t hear them cheering, clapping, singing along you’d have been as well staying in the studio.  After the disappointment of the aforementioned review, I was keeping everything crossed that Live With the Curse would reflect the electric atmosphere at Glasgow’s Classic Grand on that night back in November.  You see, I know the crowd was rocking that night, and I know the band sounded great, because I was there.So, I sat down today to listen to the album, hoping against hope that Eden’s Curse had got it right.  Man have they ever got it right.  I defy anyone to listen to this without feeling like they were actually there.  Mixed and mastered by Dennis Ward, who has worked with the band throughout their career, every bit of the live experience is included, from their onstage introduction by Tom Russell to the little chats with the crowd and the unholy racket the crowd made at every opportunity.Tom Russell, Godfather of Rock is a legend in these parts, he’s been presenting rock radio for longer than I’ve been alive (sorry Tom!) and having him announce you is quite an honour.  From that point on this album is relentless.  Nikola’s vocal never misses a note, Thorsten plays guitar like a man possessed and Paul, John and Steve bring it all together into something pretty close to perfection.  Nikola does a brilliant job of bringing the crowd into the show as well, introducing songs, explaining what they’re about and getting some crowd participation going.  It all adds to the atmosphere, which as I’ve already said is crucial to a live album.Highlights for me include opening track Symphony of Sin, which sets out the bands intentions from the very beginning.  This gig, this album is going to break you.  The pace and energy is non stop, as Nikola roars at the crowd and they roar back.  Covering tracks from all four Eden’s Curse albums the band powers through a set list which translates to a two disc album of over 100 minutes.  It’s long, but it never drags, as the energy refuses to drop.  Towards the end of disc one look out for an extended guitar solo from Thorsten.  Now, I don’t play guitar, but I know enough to know that this man is one of the best guitar players you will see.  He rarely lifts his head, lost in the music but he plays as if he has two pairs of hands.  One of my favourite things about Eden’s Curse is the storytelling in each song, from Masquerade Ball to Rock Bottom.  It means that the songs improve with each listen, as you move from listening to the tune to actually taking in the lyrics.  I have to also mention my personal favourite Eden’s Curse track Evil and Divine.  I don’t know why I love it, I just do.  And that’s what it’s all about.As final track Angels and Demons ends the crowd begin to chant, “Eden’s Curse, Eden’s Curse, Eden’s Curse,” and I sit here straining my ears because if I just listen hard enough I might hear myself.  I cheered them that night, and I’ll be cheering this album from the rooftops.  It’s out on Friday, March 13th and I will personally Curse any of you who don’t buy it!" - Planet Mosh
    $15.00
  • "Zao, French prog-jazz legends from Seventies, reformed in 2004 with original core members Yochk'o Seffer (sax) and Francois "Faton" Cahen (keyboards) along with Gerard Prevost (bass) who was a member of Zao from 1975-77, drummer Francois Causse, who had played with Faton and Seffer before and last, but not least, the new female vocalist Cynthia Saint-Ville. Her addition to the fold will doubtless attract Zeuhl enthusiasts, as her voice is pretty similar to Mauricia Platon, but softer and more sensual, while equally powerful. In Tokyo is a live album recorded during the Japan tour in 2004 and it adds a violinist Akihisa Tsuboy to round out the classic Zao sound which, while more acoustic sounding thanks to Faton largely playing grand piano and only occasionally comping on Fender Rhodes, nonetheless stays true to the classic tone colors of Zao. Versions of pieces like "Isis", "Shardaz", "Zohar" as well as material from Kawana benefit a lot from the addition of female vocals. The only disappointing piece is "Ronach" which doesn't have the same verve and fluid edginess that the original version had (not to mention, Causse sounds a bit stiff here compared to the militantly exuberant hammering of Jean-My Truong on the original version). It was probably a bit too complex piece for the band to pull off. Elsewhere, they deliver. Guest violinist Tsuboy dishes out fiery electric violin solos, at times reminiscent of Lockwood, even though he tends to be obscured during the written sections by sax and voice. Nonetheless, Zao in its current configuration sounds like a tight live act, a bit jazzier than the seventies editions, but nonetheless very enjoyable. Recommended live album for fans of jazzier end of Zeuhl." - Stereomouse
    $15.00
  • "Iced Earth are going through a bit of a renaissance period at the moment. While they do have many hardcore fans who would defend their back catalogue to the end, honestly the heavy metal titans haven’t made a truly exciting album in about twenty years; that is, they hadn’t, until the release of 2011’s Dystopia. After two decades of putting out stale and generally uninteresting meat and potatoes heavy metal, finally they had an album that managed to match up to their first few records, one with the power and energy to justify their continued status as metal heroes. Plagues of Babylon is its follow-up, and thankfully they have managed to take this momentum forward and release another great album.Opening with the title track’s marching drum beat (strangely similar to Dystopia in that regard) and ominous harmonized leads, as soon as the heavy, chugging main riff kicks in it’s clear that this album is going to be a worthy successor. Noticeably, the production is very good, giving the guitars a sharp razor edge that albums like the totally flat The Glorious Burden lacked. Mainman Jon Schaffer churns out some of the best riffs in his career on this album, especially on the raging and thrashy Democide. Some new blood is brought in with an all new rhythm section, bassist Luke Appleton helping give the album its low-end crunch while drummer Raphael Saini (who was sadly since left) punctuates the songs with intricate tom patterns and ride cymbal work while maintaining a constant driving power. Stu Block meanwhile, who debuted as vocalist on Dystopia, continues to make sure that fan favourite Matt Barlow is not missed too much, his gruff voice helping give the songs a darker edge while his highs are utilised when appropriate, never being over-used.This is hardly perfect though. Plagues is a bit front-loaded, the second half never quite managing to match up to the first, especially considering it contains two somewhat unnecessary covers. The first is Spirit of the Times by Sons of Liberty, a Jon Schaffer side project, and you can’t help but question the logic in covering your own material, especially as aside from the darker and heavier overtones it’s not massively different from the original. The second, Highwayman by Jimmy Webb, is hardly electrifying either.That said, many of the problems that plagued previous Iced Earth efforts no longer show up. The obligatory cheesy metal ballad only appears once in If I Could See You, which is one of the better ones they’ve done, and only a couple of songs have a clean guitar intro, unlike on The Dark Saga where they appear on nearly every song. Iced Earth are a band who are at their best when they’re firing on all cylinders, and that is largely what they stick to here. With it’s almost death metal cover art, Plagues is for the most part a balls-out thrill ride, and honestly might be Iced Earth’s most complete work to date." - Sound And Motion Magazine
    $12.00
  • 100 minute concert DVD recorded at The Subterania Club in 2000 (duh!). Great lineup featuring "the usual suspects": Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth, Didier Malherbe, Mike Howlett, Steffi Sharpstrings ao.
    $14.00
  • "The Royal Scam is the first Steely Dan record that doesn't exhibit significant musical progress from its predecessor, but that doesn't mean the album is any less interesting. The cynicism that was suppressed on Katy Lied comes roaring to the surface on The Royal Scam -- not only are the lyrics bitter and snide, but the music is terse, broken, and weary. Not so coincidentally, the album is comprised of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen's weakest set of songs since Can't Buy a Thrill. Alternating between mean-spirited bluesy vamps like "Green Earrings" and "The Fez" and jazzy soft rock numbers like "The Caves of Altamira," there's nothing particularly bad on the album, yet there are fewer standouts than before. Nevertheless, the best songs on The Royal Scam, like the sneering "Kid Charlemagne" and "Sign in Stranger," rank as genuine Steely Dan classics." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • "This is the second expanded edition of this 1968 paean to psychedelia to have appeared in just 28 months -- it was preceded by a "Deluxe Edition" two-disc hybrid SACD/CD edition from Polydor's European division in the late winter of 2006; apparently, those in charge of the label either didn't think the U.S. could support that high-priced package, or that the Super-Audio CD market is purely a European and Japanese phenomenon. Whatever the reason, this edition has shown up here with no multi-channel SACD layer, but with the remastered CD sound from that hybrid release. In Search of the Lost Chord was originally the most poorly-served of all the Moodies' original albums on CD, with a late-'80s edition from Polydor that literally had a crack in the sound on one song. Since then successive remasterings have made it one of the group's more satisfying CDs, as the nuances and layers are brought out -- the original album was done in a spirit of experimentation that was unusual for a pop album, with the members very consciously seeking out the richest, most outre sounds that they could generate in the studio, piling on one exotic instrument after another, along with many layers of voices; they would get better and bolder at this process over the next two albums (until they realized, in 1969, that they'd painted themselves into a corner as far as actually performing their new material on-stage); but beneath the psychedelic sensibilities on numbers like "Voices in the Sky," "The Best Way to Travel," "Legend of a Mind" etc., as one listens to the cleanest, crispest mix the record has yet had on CD (and one should state here that the multi-channel SACD mix on the European Deluxe Edition does outdo it), in the layers of finely nuanced playing, one does get a real sense of five musicians reveling in their own skills (and perhaps a recently ingested controlled substance or two) and the freedom to take them as far as the moment will carry them. That experimental nature has always resided just below the surface of what was otherwise a very pretty and smooth exercise in pop music mysticism ("Visions of Paradise" is still one of the most profoundly beautiful records this reviewer has ever heard from the psychedelic era) -- but here it's a little more up front, amid the enhanced clarity, and one would like to think it could help this album hold and renew its audience for another 40 years. The sound is so good that it's almost a shame that anything was put on here after "Om," the original album closer, but it was obligatory in these times that there be bonus tracks -- and as there was less room here than on the Disc Two of the Deluxe Edition, some decisions had to be made about removing some extras. The released Mike Pinder-sung version and the alternate Justin Hayward-sung take of "A Simple Game" are present, bookending the bonus tracks, whilst the rest includes the Mellotron track for "The Word," the lost Hayward song "What Am I Doing Here," two BBC performances ("Dr. Livingston, I Presume," "Thinking Is the Best Way to Travel"), and extended, unfaded versions of "Om" etc. They would be certain to delight serious fans, except that it's hard to imagine too many of the latter not having already bought them on the Deluxe Edition of this album over the preceding two years. Still, they may open the door to the group's sound a little further for the casually curious." - Allmusic
    $20.00
  • Killer retro-prog from Norway laced with strong elements of doom metal.  This band is an offshoot from the outrageous Procosmian Fannyfiddlers, a rather bizarre band that created a rather unique, expletive drenched form of burlesque prog.  This is something totally different and a hell of a lot better.  Highly recommended."Abandoned By The Sun’ is a non-linear narrative, its focal point being the dubious disappearance of a 15-year old girl, her disappearance securing a downward spiral and a grave ripple effect that threatens to ruin the lives of everyone close to her. The idea projected is that nothing can be worse than to lose someone dear without getting any answers.Opening track, ‘Sudden Dereliction’, establishes a link to the previous record and the album’s finale, ‘Finite’, offers a glimpse of what really happened that fatal day, though leaving the listeners sufficient interpretive space to make up their own minds. In-between these bookends, the music moves in multiple, unexpected directions, showcasing great melody lines, and a high degree of diversity, underlining the sadness and despair of the libretto’s protagonists.On ‘Abandoned By The Sun’, Mater Thallium explore the inter-human mechanisms at work when a person vanishes without a trace.This is old-school heavy progressive rock, with a twist of doom, topped with flourishes of Scandinavian folk music." 
    $17.00
  • Here is what Century Media has to say about it:"Once again Nevermore invite you into their world of desolate metal. On their sixth release, Nevermore blend elements of speed, power, progressive and even death metal to make for a unique listen. With the addition of Steve Smyth to the ranks, this band is prepared to deliver an impending wave of doom over the land. Comes with enhanced features for your computer.
    $11.00
  • Danish guitarist Erik Ravn unites with vocalist Kristian Andrn (Tad Morose, Memento Mori) to creat a conceptual tour-de-force of symphonic speed metal infused with folk and classical elements. Fans of Rhapsody, Angra, and Blind Guardian will not want to miss out on this epic musical adventure!
    $13.00