A Farewell To Kings ($5 Special)

SKU: 314534628
Label:
Mercury
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Everyone has their favorite Rush album...this one is mine. "A Farewell To Kings" is a pure masterpiece of progressive hard rock. Their use of dynamic shadings on this record are outstanding, most notably on "Xanadu". Essential prog.  Remastered edition.

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  • Newly remixed by Steven Wilson. Lots of stuff here. The CD features the original stereo mix plus three bonus tracks - trio versions of "Red" and "Fallen Angel" plus the full version of "Providence". The real action takes place on the 5.1 DVD remix. In addition to the album completely remixed into 5.1 you get bonus video taken from that legendary French television performance from 1974. That in itself is worth the price of the set. As far as the DVD goes there are lots of options in terms of audio playback. If you are one of the 3 people on the planet with a DVD-Audio player you can play this back in 24/48 5.1 or 24/96 stereo. Any DVD player can play back the 24/48 DTS 5.1 surround mix but there is also a 24/48 LPCM stereo mix as well.
    $19.00
  • "Whereas certain metal splinter genres like sludge and doom have found their requisite bands experimenting in ways that are still decidedly metal – or at least "extreme" by any measure – other areas such as black and post-metal see their own representatives in a practical race to see who can shed their extreme proclivities altogether. Alcest is one such band.Flirting with 90's indie rock trappings is nothing new for this French duo – essentially the one-man project of multi-instrumentalist Neige backed since 2009 by the drumming skills of Winterhalter – but Shelter is their first complete abandonment of metal altogether… there is nary a blastbeat, growl, nor brutal riff to be found anywhere on the album's concise 45-minute running time.That's not to say that Neige is reinventing the wheel, though; Shelter is a straightforward mix of 4AD dream pop and the type of ethereal post-rock that Explosions in the Sky are best known for… not to mention the gauzy shoegaze overlay that such an alchemy implicitly guarantees, of course.It sounds derivative on paper, but somehow Neige transcends his cookie cutter influences and produces a work of heart-stopping elegance and profundity. "Voix Sereines", in particular, is hands down the most plaintive and delicate work of the man's already illustrious career, a despondent lullaby of music box melodies and wistful singing that is fittingly placed in the middle of the track listing… it's the soul of the album, and belongs as its nucleus.The twang at the end of the guitar lines on the title track could – if taken out of context – herald the introduction of a new Mazzy Star single, but Alcest aren't quite that predictable. Twang aside there is no further evidence of roots rock assimilation, no blues aside from the heartache rendered potently clear in Neige's understated vocals. Nonetheless, this would make a fine crossover single aimed at whatever constitutes indie rock radio in 2014.Then again, so would "Away", which many reading this will insist even more a graceful composition than my pick of "Voix Sereines" above (those who aren't chastising the band for "going soft" in the first place, that is). I can't really argue that point, but all it does is prove what a deep bench Neige is culling for inspiration this go round.Perhaps the best evidence that Neige is not beholden to the orthodoxy of his influences is the way he builds toward a crescendo on album finale, "Délivrance". Rather than the ringing chimes that have become the hallmark of tension-building in post-rock (Explosions in the goddamn Sky), Neige shows restraint by settling for a very gradually rising chorus with subtle percussive acceleration. The final 2:30 minutes of the song consists of an unnecessary reprise, but in spite of contributing minor bloat it's still a fitting tribute to Neige's classical ambitions here.The word "masterpiece" gets thrown around a bit too frequently – often in service of albums that will be forgotten altogether a few years down the road – but if you can wrap your head around the fact that Alcest are no longer a metal band in any way, shape or form, Shelter is deserving of whatever hyperbole you care to throw at it." - Metal Injection
    $15.00
  • Second album from Italian progressive metal band led by Daniele Liverani.
    $14.00
  • First time on CD (does any one know why?). This was the last album the band recorded for A&M. On the heels of Ghosts it came across as a bit of disappointment at the time although I think time treated it well. John Hawken had left the band and he was replaced by a series of keyboard session players including Rick Wakeman and Tommy Eyre. One of the players, John Mealing, became a member of the band. Tracks like "Golden Salamander" and "The Promised Land" are as good as anything the ever recorded and "Hanging In The Gallery" can still bring a grown man to tears. This long awaited release comes with 2 unreleased bonus tracks and the typical nice liner notes and attention from Mark Powell and crew. Highly recommended.
    $9.00
  • John Sund is an overlooked but superb fusion guitarist from Denmark.  This is an astounding album he recorded in 1993 with the Danish Radio Big Band as well as his band.  Its a full integration of musicians with Sund displaying some blazing chops.  Quite mature work that strikes me as a cross between a Terje Rypdal album and Banco's Di Terra.  A beautiful marriage of rock and jazz.  We scored cheap copies.  Grab them while we have them.  Highly recommended.
    $8.00
  • 2nd concept album is subtlely more straight ahead than their debut but is still light years beyond most bands in terms of originality and complexity. Compared by some to Faith No More.
    $15.00
  • "Periphery have been an omnipresent force in the prog metalcore realm since their first album released in 2010 – band founder Misha Mansoor has served as producer on several of the genre’s albums, and the other members are all famous in their own right, whether it’s simply for their craft (Matt Halpern), their involvement in other projects (Spencer Sotelo, Mark Holcomb, Nolly Getgood), or just simply being the nephew of someone exceedingly famous (Jake Bowen). This makes whatever they decide to do extremely important, and the band’s decision to release a concept double album has created hype of hugelargic proportions. In my humble opinion, the band has delivered on all fronts, but not without some disappointments in the “could’ve been” area.Since their inception, Periphery have changed from a chugga-chug ambidjent project posting demos on the internet in the late 2000s to a full-fledged prog metal band with heavy elements of metalcore, post-hardcore, and pop music in general. If you weren’t onboard for “Periphery II”, “Juggernaut” likely won’t change your mind (unless your issues were relatively small), as it’s more of the same poppy atmosphere and less of the techy downtuned riffs, though god knows THOSE are still around. But there’s also a lot of style experimentation – jazz fusion, death metal, and various forms of electronica are all utilized on a semi-normal basis, and range from being seamlessly integrated into the music to being tacked on to the ends of songs like gluing a top-rate dildo onto an already particularly throbby penis. If this all sounds a bit schizophrenic, rest assured that the songcraft is, for the most part, tighter than it’s ever been. Singles from Alpha like “22 Faces” and “Alpha” itself show off Periphery’s pop prowess with choruses and hooks that refuse to leave your head, and complex riffs that are somehow just as ‘wormy as the vocals. And the songs on Omega are longer, more complex, and still manage to be as infectious as the most annoying of STDs – even the twelve minute sprawling title track that has more in common with the bombastic riffs of Periphery I has a shapely middle section that rivals even the hottest of…ugh, fuck it, done with the metaphors. It’s just insane. I cried when I heard it.And now onto what I don’t care for; first off, the decision to split the album into two parts was definitely well-informed from a marketing standpoint. Most people don’t go around listening to 80 minute records all day, myself included, and the supposedly delicate structure of a concept album also means that listening to Juggernaut by skipping to different songs would devalue the experience. So the band broke it into two records to make it seem more manageable to listen to in daily life. Another stated reason was so that newcomers to the band would be able to buy Alpha at a discounted price, decide if they liked it, and then purchase Omega if they were so inclined (music previewing doesn’t work like that anymore, but hey you can’t fault the band for trying to turn that into tangible record sales). The problem I have is that Omega isn’t really paced to be its own album, which makes releasing it on its own instead as simply as the second disc in a package a little pointless. It’s not like the excellent “The Afterman” double albums from Coheed and Cambria, which were each albums that worked in their own right. I realize that this is really just semantics, but I think calling Juggernaut both the third and fourth album from Periphery, while technically correct, is just disingenuous, and judging them fairly on their own as separate albums is impossible (which is why all reviews being published are including them together).Periphery has always had a unique way of pacing their albums, regularly including playful, sometimes relatively lengthy interludes between tracks. Juggernaut is no different, and these interludes are now occasionally used to seed songs that will appear later on the album, or provide callbacks to tracks already present. The transitions aren’t always elegant however, and can range from grin-inducing to head-scratching to just plain grating. Thankfully, the band isn’t going for the illusion that each song flows seamlessly into the next, at least no more than they were going for it on any of their previous albums, and it’s easy to get used to everything given multiple listens.Overall, Juggernaut is a dense album that’s going to take a myriad of listens to fully sink in, just like most of the band’s prior releases (I don’t think anyone is gonna argue that “Clear” has any depth that you would find after about the fifth listen or so, but hey hey that’s ok kay). But it’s also accessible on the surface with deceptively simple rhythms and poppy choruses, which draw you in to appreciate the deeper cuts. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes unique and thoughtful music in the post-hardcore, metalcore, and progressive metal genres, but I’d also recommend it to anyone ever, because this is my absolute favorite band and I think they’ve created a masterpiece. So take from that what you will, and then get the fuck out of here. The play button is calling my name." - iprobablyhateyourband.com
    $11.00
  • "HELSTAR was formed in Texas, way back in 1982, and were one of the first power metal bands hailing from the US. Stylistically, their new (and ninth) album 'This Wicked Nest' is in the same vein as the band's classic albums from the 80's, with the same high quality as albums from their 'classic' era."
    $15.00
  • Glass Hammer get all existential on us...Perilous is the new band's new concept album about a man dealing with grand scale issues like mortality.  A bit of a downer but like all Glass Hammer projects there is a ray of sunshine at the end.  Glass Hammer is fronted by Jon Davison who was plucked away by the remaining members of Yes for current tours and cruises.  He remains a member of GH as well.  Naturally with the voice of a Jon Anderson sound alike, the music bears remarkable similarity to Yes.  Some of Fred Schendel's piano work reminds a bit of Going For The One.  When Fred is hammering away on the organ the music takes on a Kansas quality.  So essentially not much has changed.  Glass Hammer's sound has pretty much evolved into a Yes/Kansas hybrid over the past decade and there it remains.
    $13.00
  • New remastered edition of the expanded version of Art & Illusion. Previously available on Cyclops but out of print for some time. There is also a bonus disc with 12 live tracks taken from various gigs in 1984.
    $18.00
  • Long EP designed by the label to introduce this post rock band to the US market. The material is culled from their difficult to obtain first two Australian releases.
    $11.00
  • Back in print after several years of unavailability. Phil Miller made his name as guitarist with the legendary Canterbury bands Delivery, Matching Mole, Hatfield & the North and National Health. After the demise of National Health, he began preparing for a solo career that began with Cutting Both Ways and continues to this day. This was the first album released under his own name, and the first album to feature his band In Cahoots, who are pretty much of a supergroup themselves: Hugh Hopper-bass (Soft Machine), Elton Dean-saxes (Soft Machine), Peter Lemer-keyboards (Gilgamesh, Mike Oldfield, Pierre Moerlen's Gong) & Pip Pyle-drums (Gong, Hatfield, National Health). Additionally, two tracks are multi-overdubbed meetings between Phil and keyboardist Dave Stewart (Egg, Hatfield, National Health) and Barbara Gaskin (Hatfield). Canterbury jazz/rock of the highest order. "This album comprises two aspects of my compositional output. The first is represented by the four pieces recorded by my band, In Cahoots, and the second by the two pieces recorded in collaboration with Dave Stewart. In Cahoots has toured Europe extensively in the past two years. The music recorded here is largely a result of the live-in-the-studio approach. This contrasts with the two pieces recorded in collaboration with Dave. Here the orientation is towards multi-tracking, utilizing the latests developments in music technology."– Phil Miller
    $15.00
  • AdC is the third album from this incendiary Italian fusion quartet.  The previous two albums were a bit more off the wall, bearing some overtones of Deus Ex Machina.  They've toned that aspect of their sound way down.  Mahavishnu Orchestra is an obvious influence but it seems that this time around the band has crafted something that is more of an individual sound - not a copycat band.  The album seems to have just the slightest bit more agression than in the past ie. more energy - not metal.  Cool proggy vibe throughout as well as beatiful frenetic soloing and interplay.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00