The Final Experiment (Special Edition 2CD)

New 2 CD version of Arjen Luccassen's first solo album under the Ayreon name. For my taste this is still his best work. Conceptual rock opera with members of Finch,Golden Earring,Kayak,and more. It's a combination of old school progressive rock and current progressive metal whipped together in a grandiose way. Now remastered the set comes with a bonus cd - "Semi-Acoustic". Highest recommendation. Great great album.

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  • "Sweden’s Bloodbound has returned with the fifth album “In the Name of Metal.” If you think this album is all about dripping anthems raging about the glory of metal and all related topics...you would be right. If you think you have heard it all before, well, perhaps you have. BUT....if you love "Franken-traditional" comprised of parts of Manowar, Accept, ancient Queensryche, Helloween, Skid Row, and oddly, old Bon Jovi, well you have a new master. What Bloodbound did was take the sum of those parts, add the slick 2012 production and put out one of the greatest true metal albums in memory. For every single solitary thing that Manowar did wrong with “The Lord of Steel,” Bloodbound did ten things right. If you will indulge me, let me impart a few words that apply: “Glory, majesty, unity Hail! Hail! Hail!”I often speak of songs of yore back in the great times of the beginning to mid-80's and how it evoked a spirit, a feeling...a metal brotherhood, if you will. I’ve pointed out many recent albums that evoked that spirit, and I am back to tell you that this is another of those, but the best of all - complete with the hair standing on the back of my neck. Only my favorite bands have the ability to do this, and Bloodbound was not in that realm up to this point. As far as an album that lives up to its name, “In the Name of Metal” is glaringly perfect. As an album that breaks new ground, it “falls flat.” As an insult, that last statement is completely the opposite.Having heard the song “In the Name of Metal,” it wet my appetite providing more Manowar than the aged egos of its members have since “Gods of War” (for some, much earlier). This is nothing compared to what follows: the Accept-ish “When Demons Collide” (a personal favorite), the “bonecrushing” sound of first album HammerFall on “Bonebreaker,” back to Manowar with “Metalheads Unite,” Bloodbound took every working formula and made it better. “Son of Babylon” had me head scratching wondering where I had heard that chorus and it dawned on me, if Bon Jovi made “In and Out of Love” a heavy song, it would be this. “Mr. Darkness” doesn’t just scream Helloween for nothing: it has “Mrs. God” all over it (or was that “Dr. Stein,” no...no “Mr. Torture,” wait, no “Mr. Ego”). “I’m Evil” has a chorus that echoes (linear wise) Queensryche’s “Breaking the Silence.” The comparisons here are merely meant to show the affluence of talent drawing influences from all over the metal spectrum.The most interesting combination is found within “Monstermind.” The verses present a riff right from Motley Crue’s “Dr. Feelgood.” Then right before the bridge it grinds down with that brash riff from Ozzy’s “No More Tears” (complete with the Zack Wylde style). So many great styles meld to make “In the Name of Metal,” which works in terms of catchy head banging greatness. It helps that a band has a phenom on vocals in the form of Patrik Johansson (from Dawn of Silence, not to be confused with Nils Patrik Johansson), a brotherhood of guitarists (Tomas & Henrik Olsson), the absolutely non-buzzing bass of Anders Broman, and the perfect (not mechanical) drumming of Pelle Åkerlind (Morgana Lefay). Fredrik Bergh is one of those keyboardists that is unassuming, but who’s presence is notable when absent. Even he would agree, in Bloodbound it’s all about the guitar.So, when you are all done mocking power metal for its lack of originality, Bloodbound will still be there: totally unapologetic, balls to the wall, hail and kill, steel meets steel, bells of seven hells metal that makes you want to be a metalhead. Music doesn’t always require over the top orchestration or melodramatic progressive Malthusianism. Most days, it’s what makes you instantly feel great, even though the world laughs at you for being in a “pre-pubescent phase.” For the metal faithful, every achievement in life is all “in the name of metal.”" - Metal Underground
    $15.00
  • Since the release of 2013’s In Crescendo, Kingcrow toured North America in support of Pain Of Salvation, and headlined a European tour.  Kingcrow kept busy in 2014, touring Europe with Fates Warning and at the same time crafting the material that would become Eidos.“Eidos” is a new conceptual album about choices, consequences, dealing with regret and disillusion. Their earlier album Phlegethon dealt with childhood and In Crescendo about the end of youth.  Eidos can be considered the third part of a trilogy about the path of life. Musically it sees the band exploring new territories and pushing the extremes of its complex soundscape with a darker atmosphere and a more progressive attitude.Describing the band today is quite a difficult task, but one could state that the influence of such artists as Porcupine Tree, Riverside, Opeth, Anathema, Radiohead , King Crimson and Massive Attack are all present in the music of Kingcrow.With each release Kingcrow has taken a step further away from their original roots as a classic metal band and is now one of the most personal and exciting bands that Italy has to offer.
    $13.00
  • Three Fates Project is a collaborative effort from the Keith Emerson Band and the Munchner Rundfunkorchester conducted by Terje Mikkelsen.  The material is drawn from the ELP catalog but also covered are pieces by Marc Bonilla, Alberto Ginastera as well as Emerson's solo work.  Its an all instrumental orchestral interpretation of the compositions augmented by the Keith Emerson Band.  Surprisingly its rather refined.  Emerson does play a variety of synthesizers but they don't really jump out strongly in the mix, instead piano seems to dominate his playing.  The centerpiece of the album is Tarkus.  Its the track where the band lets their hair down - Bonilla gets a bit heavy handed with his guitar distortion, Emerson gets a bit nuts with the Moog, and the rhythm section goes all Carl Palmer on us.  All in all its a true integration of band and orchestra and not just the band being backed by the orchestra.  I'm not one for mucking around with the classics but this is really tasteful and is a fun listen.  Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • Limited edition digipak features 2 bonus tracks on the CD as well as a bonus live DVD."There has always been something about Orden Ogan that has made the band step out from the prototypical “Euro-power” boundary…a darkness, if you will. Perhaps it’s the post-apocalyptic “Road Warrior” look of the stage outfits, which ironically fit perfectly with serrated riffs that emote with an industrial edge. Better yet, it is the overall sound combining the beauty of fantasy with a jagged gritty blue collar delivery, as if to laugh in the faces of power purists who demand everything be so “squeaky clean.” Perfection comes in many shades….especially black. I’ve been guilty of calling Orden Ogan the second coming of old Blind Guardian, but that really isn’t fair. Orden Ogan has evolved into so much more, having immersed a trademark sound with elements of the ever influential Blind Guardian and Running Wild, but one that has become so unique it appeals to more than just the average fan of European power metal. With “Ravenhead,” the band has reached its defining moment.When “To the End” was released, there was a distinct separation from the holy trinity of “Easton Hope,” “Vale,” and “Testimonium A.D.,” both in terms of sound and production qualities. It elevated the band to a different level. As classic as the first three albums were, the full effect took some time to grow with multiple listens. I can almost see some of you shaking your heads thinking “Are you kidding? ‘Nobody Leaves,’ ‘We Are Pirates,’ ‘Farewell,’ ‘To New Shores of Sadness,’ ‘The Lords of the Flies’ were ‘instant classics.’” Sure…hindsight and multiple listens would make any of those "correct." In fact, it took “Vale” and much of “Easton Hope” a lot more time to resonate at the time they were released. “To the End” was truly an instant classic and nothing the band wrote before that had such staying power. Now with “Ravenhead,” fans can expect even more of the same – starting immediately with the “masculine humming” of the eponymous intro track.“Orden Ogan” starts off like that opening scene out of “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” with that gang chorus of “Hoist the Colours” (minus the kid). It has a real pirate feel, even more so than Running Wild has ever conjured…only it has nothing to do at all with the age of piracy. “Ravenhead” – the song – kicks in and the band never looks back….saw-toothed riffs from Sebastian Levermann and Tobias Kersting overlay Levermann’s distinctively clean, yet gleefully abrasive, vocals. The chorus jumps out immediately, with no surprise. Orden Ogan has become one of the best at impact choruses and they come no better than what you will hear on “F.E.V.E.R.” This one sticks in the mind so well I’ve found myself subconsciously humming it as I awake each morning. Encircling the chorus is a riff (not too far removed from “Land of the Dead”) and a subtle, but impressive bagpipe. The sheer number of times you'll hear “False believer…true deceiver…she’s the F.E.V.E.R….stealing the life from you” may seem repetitive within in the 4:24 minute track, but it sure is effective!At this point, we get into the real meat of the album, “The Lake” and “Evil Lies in Every Man,” the two best tracks not named “A Reason to Give” (more on this in a bit). “The Lake” starts with a riff like a handsaw to steel…complete with broken teeth and sparks flying everywhere backed by Dirk Meyer-Behorn’s tommy-gun drum strength. “Evil Lies in Every Man” takes the now uneven barbed saw and buzzes through panel board….against the grain! Both songs are deliciously rough in stature, though the album is phenomenally produced (by Levermann himself, who has quickly become one of the best producers in Europe). “Evil Lies in Every Man” has a creepy vibe right from the start as an old woman sings the chorus in an equally craggy voice, a chorus that is the best on the release. The best part, though, is the sudden eruption into a “Prelude to Madness” style with dramatic orchestration at 3:31.“Here at the End of the World” (featuring a guest appearance by Grave Digger’s Chris Boltendahl) ends the torrid and brilliant first half of the release, with a chorus not far removed from Turisas' "The Great Escape." The second half of "Ravenhead" never quite reaches the same stratosphere of energy as the first five songs. “A Reason to Give,” a personal favorite, is another emotional tear-jerking power ballad a la “Take this Light” or “Ice Kings.” Like Blind Guardian, Orden Ogan's ballads are as much a staple as the album's heaviest tracks. That being said, it doesn’t detract an iota from the perfection of this album…it just goes at a more deliberate and “cleaner” pace. “Deaf Among the Blind” is the speediest on the second half and it even has a little tinge of Evergrey (you’ll know it when you hear it). “Sorrow is Your Tale” features a guest vocal appearance from HammerFall’s Joacim Cans and features yet another outstanding chorus in an album chock full of them. Rounding out the album is the instrumental “In Grief and Chains” and the ballad “Too Soon.”“Ravenhead” has it all, with odes to the band’s past and major influences, but a straight line up from the direction of “To the End.” It has even more insanely catchy choruses anchored by saw-toothed riffs and Seeb’s patented clean, yet gnarly vocal style. For Orden Ogan, it gets no better than this. For music, its another victory for songwriting and the right amount of hooks. Germany prevails yet again…and Orden Ogan has the formula to erect a tower that stands eye to “eye of Sauron” with Blind Guardian." - Metal Underground
    $16.00
  • Our good friends in Delain have signed a worldwide deal with Napalm Records.  The band is planning a new studio release for early 2014.  In the interim we have Interlude.  Its a CD/DVD collection of unreleased and non-album material.  Some of this dates back to the April Rain line up while other tracks are from the We Are The Others sessions.  The band also kindly included some live tracks from their Female Metal Voices X festival appearance.  Further, there is a (PAL Region 0 format) DVD that includes video footage from the festival, promo videos, and backstage footage.  My extremely biased opinion is that this is a must own.
    $16.00
  • "Germany's Mob Rules hit an absolute home run in 2010 with their album Radical Peace, and the band is back with the equally stellar Cannibal Nation. Don't let the title fool you into thinking that the veteran power/prog metal act has gone all horror on us, as Cannibal Nation is another sizzling collection of melodic, heavy, power & progressive metal songs. With a singer as good as Klaus Dirks, Mob Rules already has a step up on the competition, and he once again delivers a stunning performance here. "Tele Box Fool", "Lost", and the brilliant opener "Close My Eyes" all feature his confident, powerful vocals amidst plenty of catchy melodies and challenging metal arrangements. "Ice and Fire" has been picked as the first single from the CD, and it's a hook laden slice of melodic power metal with Dirks' soaring vocals over tasty guitar riffs & solos from Matthias Mineur & Sven Lüdke with just the right amount of keyboards courtesy of Jan Christian Halfbrodt. The CD has its share of heavy thumpers too, like the headbanging "Soldiers of Fortune" and the crunchy, harmony guitar laden title track. For those that like the more proggy side of Mob Rules, there's the atmospheric "Scream for the Sun (May 29th 1953)" and the textured "Sunrise", both heavily melodic and dripping with emotion.Cannibal Nation is another fine, classy release from Mob Rules, a band that consistently delivers one winner after another without relying on traditional European power metal or progressive metal characteristics." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $15.00
  • The Journey Continues!"To Travel For Evermore," the second album from the Danish metal band Wuthering Heights, is the sequel to their celebrated debut "Within". This second part of a projected musical trilogy finds the band with a new and stronger lineup. Main composer/guitarist Erik Ravn is reunited with ex-Tad Morose vocalist Kristen Andren but the lineup now also includes Time Machine bassist Lorenzo Deho and guitarist Henrik Flymann of Zool. With twin lead guitars the band has expanded their musical vision to encompass neoclassical metal as well as symphonic speed metal. Wuthering Heights will appeal to fans of Blind Guardian, Rhapsody, Angra and Yngwie Malmsteen. The album was produced by Tommy Hansen who cut his teeth producing Helloween, Pretty Maids, and Iron Fire.
    $5.00
  • "This is an interesting crossover in that this album is reflective of a storyline that runs in the lyricist's recently published allegorical fantasy novel, The Edge of the World. Based on two opposing religions that consider the same city as a holy element, they agree to sign a peace treaty. But, as strife will have it, this ends in the literal burnt ashes of the city as an all consuming fire destroys the city setting both religious sides against each other yet again. The author was drawn into a music rendition of his story and supplied all lyrics while a coterie of prominent Prog Rock and Symphonic Rock form to create a band to present this story. Most prominent is the music-writing for the Anderson/Moesta lyrics supplied by Erik Norlander of Rocket Scientists. Vocally, the chores are shared between heavyweights like James LaBrie (Dream Theater), Lana Lane (a remarkable Ann Wilson sound-alike with a powerful voice, who has sang for many bands, and who is married to Norlander), Michael Sadler (Saga), and John Payne (later period Asia). The vocalists take on characters and throughout the album sing the appropriate parts. Musically, this band known as Roswell Six, have created a fine Prog/Symphonic effort named Terra Incognita: Beyond the Horizon. The clear influences are here. You'll hear Yes in the mix as well as the sounds of ELP, Kansas, Freedom Calls, and other usual suspects. The lean is toward symphonic rock with plenty of violin performed by David Ragsdale (Kansas), cello by Mike Alvarez, and flute by Martin Orford. The results are often grand. The works heard on Terra Incognita do the genre justice and are recommended for fans of such music. But when you bring such talents together, you're going to get great music. There are thirteen high-grade songs, two of them instumentals. The booklet is filled with enticing art, all lyrics, and a connecting storyline that brings the book and album together for those that want the full experience." - Matt Rowe/MusicTap.net
    $3.00
  • Inside Out makes a now rare foray back into the realm of progressive metal with a signing from an unlikely place. Amaseffer is a project created by three Israeli musicians - drummer Erez Yohanan and guitarists Yuval Kramer and Hanan Avramovich. The trio have enlisted Edguy/Therion vocalist Mats Leven and Arch Enemy's Angela Gossow to front this first part of a trilogy based around the Old Testament story of Moses and the Israelites' exodus from Egypt. The music has an epic, cinematic feel - strikingly similar to Saviour Machine. Orchestral elements meld with Middle Eastern sounds and progressive metal. Think of Orphaned Land but with powerful, dramatic (and clean) vocals. Hold on...I think this one is gonna be big! 
    $15.00
  • "It’s Canadian to do things in an unorthodox fashion. Not like there’s anything wrong with it (there isn’t), and when it comes to metal, all one needs to do is look at the long list of prominent Canadian bands and it makes sense: Voivod, Kataklysm, Neuraxis, Cryptopsy, etc., etc. None of them bothered to do anything by the book, resulting in some of metal’s most expansive and off-kilter sounds. In the mix is Montreal’s Heaven’s Cry, who are returning after a seven-year hiatus with their third album, Wheels of Impermanence.A band of the progressive/power variety, Heaven’s Cry function largely in their own sphere, with perhaps the only real comparison being Perfect Symmetry/Parallels-era Fates Warning. This means that wacky time signatures, weird chord movements, and initially hard-to-digest songs come to the fore, making Wheels of Impermanence sound…very Canadian (FW is not Canadian, though). Nevertheless, there’s an assortment of quirky riff action going down here, rolling up into songs that for the most part, have some guile to them, such as opener “Empire’s Doll” and “The Mad Machine.”Singer Pierre St. Jean has a solid AOR caw to him, one that is occasionally ill-fitting for the band’s malleable music. That doesn’t prevent him from unfurling some adventurous vocal takes, as heard on the title track and “Consequence,” where he benefits greatly from back-up gang vocals and spurts of melodic guitars. Ultimately, St. Jean is able to cross the ever-difficult divide between power metal majesty and progressive metal over-thinking. He’s absolutely stellar.Evidently, Heaven’s Cry reformed at the right time, able to catch the attention of Prosthetic Records for the release of Wheels. Not to be forgotten is the inclusion of guitarist Eric Jarrin, who used to do time in deathcore merchants Despised Icon, which again, breeds additional peculiarity with this one. Canadians…they are a tricky bunch. " - Blistering.com
    $12.00
  • This album from 1978 finds the band with a little more polish on the production but it's still the same wonderful amalgam of progressive rock and fusion. Maneige's music has a wonderful ebb and flow that sweeps you along. This new edition comes with 3 live bonus tracks. Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • Incredible warehouse find.  Scored a small horde of these and I can pass them on to you at an amazing price."Gamma Ray! Undoubtedly one of the most important names in contemporary, classic Heavy Metal, and thee most respected and influential German band in the genre. Fronted by Kai Hansen, following his departure from Helloween, Gamma Ray has become one of the most prominent bands in European Heavy Metal. "To The Metal" is the 10th studio album in 21 years of worldwide success and a new diamond in their never-ending experimental creativity. The Special Edition contains a bonus DVD in HD with interview, rehearsals, live studio sessions and 3 videoclips."
    $3.00
  • "Plastic Soup is the first album of the new Dutch Progressive rock band PBII, the successor to the well known Plackband of the 70's and 80's, often called the Dutch Genesis. Plastic Soup however, has a sound that is absolutely 2010: modern, fresh and rocky but still with some great symphonic influences of the past. Stylistically, you could place it somewhere between Spocks Beard, Porcupine Tree, Frost*, Marilion, Linkin Park and Genesis. Special guests include John Mitchell (Arena, It Bites, Frost*), John Jowitt (IQ, Frost*) and Heidi Jo Hines (daughter of Denny Laine of Wings. Though not a concept album, the central theme of the album is the environment. Plastic Soup is another name for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, floating in the ocean with a size twice that of the US. Discoverer of this plastic soup is captain Charles Moore, who also did some voice overs on the album. PBII wishes to get more attention to this environmental problem. "
    $3.00