Hyperdrive

SKU: LE1071
Label:
Laser's Edge
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Hyperdrive marks a new era for Knight Area.  The long running Dutch progressive rock band had previously released four studio albums and toured Europe and USA extensively, performing at all major prog rock festivals.  1n 2012 the band welcomed guitarist Mark Bogert as well as legendary bassist Peter Vink (Q65, Finch, Ayreon) into the fold. 

With these newcomers onboard, Knight Area introduced a heavier element and fuller sound to their repertoire.  All the classic symphonic rock traits of their previous albums are still clearly evident but the songs on Hyperdrive are more immediate and concise.

The band invited noted prog guitarist Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Star One) to participate as a special guest on one track.  Joost van den Broek, who is known for his production work with Epica, Mayan, and After Forever, mixed the album.   Rounding out the package is startling artwork by Gustavo Sazes.

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  • Originally released privately in 1978 and long sought after by collectors, III was the one off album by this Dutch progressive rock band. The dual guitar driven quartet injected a touch of anarchy into their mix of improv and Crimso influenced prog. This release marks the first time it has ever appeared on CD. It comes with extensive unreleased bonus material, detailed liner notes and unpublished photos. The album was mastered by audiophile engineer Bob Katz from the original analogue master tapes. This is a strictly limited edition of 500 copies and arrives housed in an old style mini-LP tip-on sleeve.
    $27.00
  • "Archer are a hard rock/metal trio from Santa Cruz, California, consisting of Dylan Rose (guitar, vocals), David De Silva (bass), and Keyhan Moini (drums), with their third album Culling the Weak set to be released by Metalville Records. Though these guys are still pretty young, they've toured with the likes of Doro, HellYeah, Black Label Society, and are soon going out on the road with Annihilator, so the experience they are getting is surely helping them out in every way. Culling the Weak is an enjoyable platter of metal, compact with 8 catchy tunes filled with crunchy guitar riffs, blazing leads, pinch harmonics galore, powerful bass, and nimble drumming. Can't ask for more than that!Rose is pretty much the focal point, his inventive riffing seeming to draw inspiration from Iommi, Wylde, Dimebag, Mustaine, and Rhoades, and while his vocals aren't necessarily the strongpoint of Archer's sound, his gruff style more than fits the bill. Memorable riffs and a sizzling solo drive the anthemic title track, while "Belief" and "A World of One" feature can't miss melodies and arrangements that are almost like a meeting of Thin Lizzy & Black Sabbath. Other hot tracks include the raucous "Dawn of Dilution" and closer "My Atrocity", the latter featuring some lovely acoustic guitar during the intro and then loads of heavy riffs, gymnastic rhythms, blistering lead guitar, and passionate vocals.Overall, Culling the Weak shows a trio that is firing on all cylinders and ready to be taken seriously on the hard rock & metal circuit. With just 8 songs, this one doesn't wear out its welcome or contain filler, just rock solid from start to finish. Make sure you check this one out and also be sure to look for Archer at a live venue near you in the very near future." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $14.00
  • The band's second album. At this point the progressive elements were just starting to be displayed.  Remastered edition.
    $5.00
  • "As of late, at least with their previous album, and the current Pariah's Child, Finland's Sonata Arctica has been throwing their faithful some musical curve balls. Putting them in the category of traditional Scandi power metal is no longer fitting, although they do play the same and often.No, their sound is much more diverse, enterprising, these days. A good example is the song Half A Marathon Man. It's opening strokes of guitar, keyboards, then drums could lead to most any sound. But it delivers this huge rock grooved melodic metal monster, with hooks galore, from vocals to lyrics to riffs. Then there's the power metal romp of X Marks the Spot, disguised as a rock tune, and wrapped in the motif a religious revival. It's familiar, but strange; clever and a whole lot of fun. Also of note is What Did You Do In the War, Daddy which merges the feel of classic heavy metal anthem with the bluster of power metal in places.Yet something more familiar comes with the longest number, Larger Than Life, which sounds like old school Sonata Arctica, where they draw upon their symphonic progressive power metal roots. Perhaps still more straight forward Sonata Arctica is the first half of the album. Notably The Wolves Die Young or Take One Breath are classic Scandi melodic power metal tunes, straying little from the foundation from which the band was built. Yet, fans should know that it is no less interesting than the aforementioned more crafty pieces. Once more I think Pariah's Child represents Sonata Arctica as a band being carefully faithful to their roots, yet always moving forward in their creativity. Easily recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $14.00
  • "Remastered by award-winning engineer Andy Jackson, this version comes with new artwork by I Monster’s Jarrod Gosling and a booklet featuring sleeve notes by founder members Tim Bowness and Stephen Bennett.A distinctive combination of 60′s/70′s Progressive influences (Gabriel-era Genesis/Pink Floyd/Soft Machine), Ambient experiments and hard-hitting group improvisations (King Crimson/Mogwai/Miles Davis), the album was released 12 years prior to its critically acclaimed successor Men Singing.Alongside Bennett and Bowness, other contributions come from Brian Eno collaborator Peter Chilvers, No-Man live guitarist Michael Bearpark, Myke Clifford (sax/flute) and Pendragon/Steve Hackett drummer Fudge Smith.Two of the album’s tracks were mixed by Steven Wilson, Tim Bowness’s partner in No-Man.‘A nice blend that takes inspiration from the rich symphonic source of the late 60s-early 70s with references to Genesis, Pink Floyd and Soft Machine and group improvisations a la King Crimson.’IO Pages"Henry Fool came in life out of the coffee shop chats between No-Man's singer Tim Bowness and ex-Lahost/Airbridge's keyboardist Stephen Bennett to come up with a project indicating their music influences as youngsters.Henry Fool officially formed in spring 2000 with the two men gathering also bassist Peter Chilvers, Pendragon's drummer Fudge Smith, guitarist Michael Bearpark (known also for his work with No-Man) and woodwind player Myke Clifford.The project recorded its debut at Chaos Studios in Norwich and at the Music Farm in the hamlet of Lenwade between March 2000 and April 2001 and the album was eventually released on the Cyclops label.The album contains 16 short tracks connected to each other and making a long composition, which passes through extremely different soundscapes and each drawing influences from a mass of music styles.These unrelated textures will definitely surprise the listener in a positive way, though this is the same reason the album lacks in coherence.With Bowness as the leading figure ''Henry Fool'' contains lots of ambiental/psychedelic textures akin to NO-MAN with hypnotic guitars, dreamy flutes, distorted electronics/sound effects and sensitive vocals creating calm, chill-out images.The psychedelic vibes do not stop here, there are also a couple of more upbeat moments with solid grooves and jams, very much in a Kraut Rock enviroment, led by impressive guitars and a powerful rhythm section.The more Classic Prog-oriented tracks feature always the presence of Bennett.Loads of Mellotron, refined electric piano and light organ themes recall the 70's Prog Rock era, mainly influenced by KING CRIMSON, offering dark but well-crafted soundscapes with an orchestral mood.The next leading figure of the album seems to be Myke Clifford and his sax.Many moments in ''Henry Fool'' are led by his strong sax experiments with evident VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR and EMBRYO inspirations, somewhere between Psych/Prog and Kraut/Jazz Rock.Beautiful performances with an obvious jazzy approach, much in a loose mood.This album should be easily regarded as a nice trip into the world of NO-MAN's music and the Classic Prog ages.Alternating calm and nervous passages result a work of a documentary character as a whole.Not a masterful album, but definitely an original and pleasant listening.Recommended." - ProgArchives
    $16.00
  • "…And now for something completely different. This is a record I've been waiting two entire years for- as (Hellride-spawned) lore would have it, this record was devoured by the gluttonous maw of Black Widow Records swiftly following its recording, and has been withheld for flabbergasting reasons till now. Now, I'm not entirely clued in to the politics of Black Widow, but the furor the label has engendered among the underground doom community of late (what with the spurning of Minotauri for refusing to play ball with their “add some flutes and Hammonds to your doom or else!” doctrine) has cast them in a rather dubious light of late. Thank Azathoth and his blind pipers, then, as they have finally deemed it fit to disinter this gloriously graven masterpiece.As many sworn doom droogs will know, this is a band that developed parallel to, and contemporaneous with, the eminent Reverend Bizarre, and features all three members of said luminaries as well as a supporting trio of prodigious musical ability. Aesthetically, however, the two bands share scant similarities- true, there are some passing parallels to RB's more contemplative passages, but whereas Reverend Bizarre quaff deeply from the sarcophagus of Saint Vitus, Cathedral and Witchfinder General, Orne present a uniquely somber, arrestingly emotive take on late ‘60s/early ‘70s British progressive rock. Painting with broad strokes of Meddle and Wish You Were Here Pink Floyd, and tasteful brushes of In The Court Of The Crimson King King Crimson, Spring and Nursery Cryme Genesis, Orne's expansive sonic canvas also exhibits a healthy affinity for vintage Finnish prog, particularly the likes of Tasavellan Presidentti (though they are never as sprightly or upbeat as most TP material), Wigwam and Kalevala. Rest assured, then, that this is not even remotely close to the neo-prog tripe that countrymen Amorphis have been plumbing to nauseatingly poor effect for the last decade.Patrick Walker ushers us into the catacombs of Orne with a suitably ominous sermon, offering a portent to the contents of the record. Fittingly, the entire record has a weightless, dreamlike, yet assertively disciplined feel that lends a ritualistic, yet not austere feel to the proceedings. Instead, the record juxtaposes Bacchanalian Black Widow/Comus whimsy and flightiness with a dolorous melancholy, creating a very interesting dichotomy between orgiastic mischief and grave introspection. This contrast becomes corporeal in the band's exquisitely dynamic compositions- the bewitching “A Beginning” opens with lush clean guitar, mournful, grieving saxophone, sparse percussion and markedly subdued cooing from Albert, who further cements his extraordinary versatility and emotive range. At the 01:40 mark, the song escalates into a swinging, upbeat groove that surely would not be awkward on Reverend Bizarre's more uptempo material. All the hallmarks of said band are here and accounted for- swerving, elegantly expressed and nuanced drumming by Void, propulsive Peter riffing, and cocksure, swaggering Albert vocals. The song continues this dramatic ebb-and-flow to great effect, the transitions proving as fluid and natural as the tasteful musicianship. For all its unabashed idolatry and reverence (the influences would be blatant for anybody who has some background in progressive rock), the instrumentation never feels studied or contrived, and the organic feel of the album truly distinguishes this troupe from other similar minded artists (many of which share the same label).Another merit that becomes apparent once one begins to peruse the accompanying booklet is the expansive breadth of Orne's vision- one must digest the contents of this record with its visual supplement, as the soporific, halcyon images conjured in the lyrics, as well as the images contained within the booklet (one of which is a brilliant still from Mario Bava's greatest movie, The Whip & The Body), collectively form the whole of the Orne experience. One cannot help but feel as though Lord Dunsany has as much of an overarching influence on this recording as the aforementioned prog giants- “Island Of Joy” has the same meandering, sprawling, bittersweet feeling of drifting on Dunsany's River Yann, or embarking upon a nautical expedition on Lovecraft's phantasmal White Ship, though the surging, stormy denouement (an unresolved climactic torrent of frantic flutes and tumbling percussion) suggests that the journey is perhaps not fated to be pleasant, and the affectionate warmth of the song is savagely undercut- shipwrecked on Ashton Smith's Isle of the Torturers, maybe? Truly spellbinding stuff, this.“Frontline Dreams”, again, has a distinctly Dunsanian/Lovecraft ‘Dream-cycle' feel, juxtaposing the romance of imagination with the harsh ennui of crude reality, the band dispelling doe-eyed, wistful Pink Floyd atmospherics at the 5:08 mark with a deeply reverent bow to Black Sabbath's “Black Sabbath”, as Albert projects an affectionately Ozzy melody atop fierce gushes of Iommi-esque riffing and white-knuckled drumming. “Opening By Watchtower” pricks a vein bled by vintage Foxtrot Genesis and Peter Hammill, while GORGEOUS album-closer (though maybe a bit incongruous with the vision of the rest of the record) “Lighthouse” reveals a proclivity for English prog's more bucolic propositions- Affinity is the most obvious parallel here (particularly on the hook, TOTAL Affinity, and it is a bit weird to hear Albert's voice on this instead of Linda Hoyle's!), though one could also point out Curved Air, Saturnalia, Mellow Candle and the like.Now, I know this review doesn't exactly relate to the bulk of the material reviewed on here, but cognizant of the fact that progressive rock and heavy metal have nurtured amicable ties over the years, and the probability that many of you have enlisted yourself to the Reverend Bizarre cause over the years, I thought this record might interest some of you. Rest assured that if you nurture a penchant for brooding fantasy/early weird fiction and an appreciation for the vintage, characteristically mercurial English prog sound, championed by everyone from Procol Harum and the Moody Blues to Arcadium and T2, you will find much to adore here. A most satisfying, indulgent feast for all dark prog gourmands…will we have another hearty platter anytime soon, Peter?"- diabolicalconquest.com
    $16.00
  • Limited first edition digipak of live recordings culled from Firewind's 2012 European tour as well as their 10th anniversary gigs in Greece from December 2012.
    $7.00
  • German reissue packages the two albums from this now defunct band at a budget price.  Superb progressive metal from Eastern Europe....
    $5.00
  • New 2CD/DVD edition of the live set filmed at the 013 in Tilburg, Netherlands in October 2008. The 130 set includes a complete performance of "Fear Of A Blank Planet". As to be expected the camera work and overall production is impeccable.
    $17.00
  • One of the great overlooked prog metal albums of the 90s made available again. This album with the odd name was only released in Japan by Toshiba-EMI in 1998. It was the debut album from this Swiss trio and featured the great Thomas Vikstrom on vocals. The music was keyboard driven, a bit off kilter and totally amazing. The band didn't release anything again until this year's Retrospective but the similarities are superficial. Retrospective is a great album but a bit more conventional. Cosmic Handball has a lot more personality. Its been remixed and remastered which can only help as the original production was a bit murky sounding. Highest recommendation.
    $5.00
  • From the Austrian label that brought us the beautiful Klockwerk Orange reissue comes yet another rarity from that country's prog rock past.  Isaiah were yet another one and done band that released a sole album on CBS.  Originals are hideously rare and must be appraoching 4 figures at this point.  Its very much a flute/guitar driven album that touches on horn rock at times.  Plenty of tasteful keyboard work to boot as well.  This lavish gatefold set comes with a second album which contains incredible unreleased demos from 1973-1977.  This unreleased material is even better than the actual album!  As a bonus the label has graciously included both albums on CD.  Its all housed in a beautiful gatefold sleeve that has liner notes in German and English.  Klockwerk Orange went out of print very quickly and I expect a repeat here as well.  Highly recommended.
    $27.00
  • Great great album if you dig Mellotron. Not overly complex prog with more of an emphasis on drama and melodies. Nicknamed the "Poor-man's Moody Blues" by the press and that about sums them up. Nice one.
    $9.00
  • Third album from this Texas based thrash band. Comes with 4 bonus live tracks.
    $15.00