Impermanent Resonance

James LaBrie once again that there is life outside of Dream Theater.  His solo band features a stable lineup consisting of Matt Guillory (keyboards), Marco Sfogli (guitars), Ray Riendeau (bass), Peter Wildoer (drums, death vox).  Jens Bogren once again mixed. An interesting twist to the mix is the inclusion of Soilwork's Peter Wichers who contributes some guitarwork and also collaborated on songwriting with LaBrie.

While the music is square on prog metal and all in all not too dissimilar to Dream Theater its different enough to have its own vibe.  Wildoer's coarse vocal approach offers an interesting counterbalance to LaBrie's upper midrange clean voice.  The limited digipak edition comes with two bonus tracks.  Highly recommended.

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  • Remastered edition of this star-studded first solo album comes with a bonus track.
    $17.00
  • Its quite rare that a metal album gets proper care and attention when it comes to sound quality.  This Audio Fidelity hybrid SACD release of the classic Dio title was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Stephen Marsh.  This is about the best its every going to sound.
    $24.00
  • For the completists out there we have decided to stock the new 2 CD version out in Europe on Inside Out. It features still more tracks not found on the US version (even with our bonus EP that we toss in).
    $12.00
  • Digipak edition with one bonus track"Fans of gothic metal, rejoice! Tristania, one of the genre’s true pioneering bands, has just released their seventh studio album entitled Darkest White. The Norwegian powerhouse act has a storied fourteen year history stretching back to their 1998 debut – and they haven’t lost a step thanks to some much needed lineup stability. Darkest White contains all the near-theatrical arrangements, darker moods, and diverse tones that fans of the band would expect – delivered with a solid three-singer attack and technically tight musicianship. After numerous line-up shuffles, the now stable group has really hit their stride again, producing an album that clearly outshines their previous effort (2010’s middling Rubicon).Tristania has always focused on delivering solid vocal performances, and continue on with the duet of the angelic Mariangela Demurtas and the theatrical Kjetil Nordhus. Demurtas has a silky, clear voice and she remains her own singer rather than pushing towards the operatic stylings of other Gothic bands. Nordhus delivers with great emotion and depth, whether singing softly and clearly or doing some Broadway-style emoting. Guitarist Anders Høyvik Hidle now contributes a good amount of growled / death metal vocals, giving the band a bit of “beauty and the beast” sound at times. Overall, Tristania continues to deliver the clear and precise metal that has won them a worldwide following. Excellent musicianship backs up the great vocal harmonies, delivered by guitarists Hidle and Gyri Losnegaard, keyboard player Einar Moen, and bottom end Ole Vistnes (bass / backing vocals) and Tarald Lie (drums).“Number” opens the release with growled vocals and a kicky drum line, intense bass and great guitar hooks. Demurtas and Nordhus also contribute well done duet vocals making this track the quintessential example of the rebuilt Tristania. The heavy and intense “Darkest White” showcases the male vocalists. This track has a more conventional heavy metal feel to it, with strong contributions from guitars, bass and drums. “Himmelfall” is a slower, darker rock tune with hooky guitars and a great rolling rhythm line, and theatrical vocals by all. “Requiem” is a sweeping, epic soft track – very different from the previous songs. Demurtas’ voice is at its best here, and the softer keys and guitars combined with multi-layered vocal harmonies make it arguably the best track on the album. The languorous vocal lines of “Diagnosis” contrast nicely with the high speed rhythm lines, and both carry emotional intensity.“Scarling” starts off as almost an old school rocker, but becomes a moody progressive / Gothic track driven by vocals and drums. The vocal chorus, and interplay amongst the three leads is quite impressive. “Night on Earth” features great growl vocals over a simple but effective guitar riff and a real head banging rhythm line. The haunting “Lavender” is a major contrast, filled with soft guitars and mellow, soft vocals – the epitome of dramatic rock. “Cypher” is a somewhat gloomy sounding rocker with very well done male vocals and a brooding rhythm line. “Arteries” wraps up the CD, and features great back and forth between growl and clean voices along with top notch drum and bass.Darkest White is a very good release from a veteran band. The returning lineup now has a good deal more experience working as a team and has gelled into something special. Although the band’s technical abilities were never in doubt, they have addressed the weaknesses apparent in their last album – the song structure is better, the lyrics and themes more consistent, and the members of Tristania now seem more comfortable working together. They are tight and confident, once again pushing musical boundaries. Diversity in song style, tempo, and tone highlight the band’s superb use of multiple singers, and keeps the album interesting throughout. The excellent production values and strong engineering allow the many subtleties and great depths of the music to flow without seeming forced or unnatural.Highly recommended for fans of the genre." - Hard Rock Haven
    $13.00
  • Import hardbound "mediabook" edition with the Iron Man bonus track.So here's my personal confession...after Neal left I felt that Spock's Beard lost their way.  Nick is a fine vocalist but there was something quirky about Neal's writing that had a reverential old school quality that I found lacking.  The albums didn't grab me.  Nick left and Ted Leonard took over on vocals.  Whether it was Enchant or Thought Chamber, he's always stood out and he fits Spock's Beard quite well.  The new drummer Jimmy Keegan slipped into the blend with no dificulty.  The result is (to my mind) a resurgence from this band.  Ryo Okumoto always puts on a show - in particular his heavy reliance on Hammond organ reminds me quite a bit of Steve Walsh.  In fact the sound of the whole album has a Kansas vibe. Coincidentally David Ragsdale guests on one track.  I'm not sure I can remember the last time I said this about a Spock's Beard album - Highly recommended."Very few bands are so recognizable that you know who you are listening to within 2 seconds.  That is all it takes at the beginning of the first track on The Oblivion Particle to know you are listening to Spock’s Beard.  There is no slow buildup or keyboard swells, just straight BAMM!, here we go.  And if the opening notes don’t get you, the organ 5 seconds in will.  The band’s 12th studio album, this one the second with singer Ted Leonard and drummer Jimmy Keegan, is a culmination of years of perfecting a sound and identity, one that not even 2 major lineup changes could fracture. With this new album, Spock’s Beard up their game again and show that this lineup is here to stay.If there was a track that defined what Spock’s Beard are, it might be the opening track, “Tides of Time.”  There are certain checklist items that mark their sound and they are all in this track.  The organ, the harmonies, the acoustic breakdown, the rocking middle and the epic ending.  Each member finds their moments to shine on this one and it provides a jaw-dropping sound overload that could leave one satisfied at that moment; only there is another 60 minutes to go.The album zigs and zags through a few more experimental moments, mixing in some surprises with more traditional Prog elements.  The album’s second track and first single is “Minion”, is a perfect example.  The opening a cappella harmonies provide the sort of memorable chorus and harmonies we’ve come to expect from the group.  While, the following distorted keyboard section is also standard Spock’s Beard.  But the verse and middle of the song is much darker and takes us on a surprising journey.The most unique song the album is the brilliantly titled “Bennett Built a Time Machine”, which the album’s cover is based on.  Drummer Jimmy Keegan takes lead on the vocals here and sounds incredible.  His voice actually fits the track better than Leonard’s probably would have.  The song is one of the album highlights and helps keep the record from sounding redundant.  It is almost a pop song most of the way through until turning on the jets and shifting into Prog mode.There are some heavier moments such as “Hell’s Not Enough” and “Get Out While You Can”. “The Center Line”, however, might be the most similar to something you might have found on their group’s previous album “Brief Nocturnes…”  The track opens with an expansive piano recital piece, before turning into a combo Prog-Western bounce with acoustic guitars carrying the groove. Ted’s voice lifts the choruses flawlessly and creates an almost cinematic soundscape.Even with all of these great moments, it is the album’s closing track that is the best song on the album.  “Disappear” might be one of the best songs the band has recorded since Neal left the group.  “We could disappear, you and me, we could be, anyplace else not here” sings Ted in the chorus as he wonders what might be if we left with no one knowing what happened.  The song is really the closest thing to a ballad on the album, but it doesn’t stay that way for long.  2 minutes in, the song stirs into a frenzy just before a brief cameo by Kansas’ David Ragsdale, appearing with his violin.  Of course, the big epic orchestral ending takes us home as Alan Morse provides the finishing touches with his unique finger picking soloing excellence.Spock’s Beard are Prog rock’s most reliable unit.  They have yet to disappoint and always provide comfort to their faithful fans with music that is both inspiring and breathtaking.  And while The Oblivion Particle shows a harder edged Spock’s Beard, it also displays a group that shows no signs of slowing down and is ready to take on all comers." - The Prog Report 
    $18.00
  • Its been a bit quiet on the prog metal front as of late but hopefully this new band from Norway will shake things up a bit. Dimension Act pretty much adheres to the Dream Theater formula although there is a healthy injection of prog rock as well. Plenty of keyboard solos to go around and killer guitar work. If you rachet down the complexity one notch you will be reminded a little bit of Spheric Universe Experience.
    $3.00
  • "When push came to shove, few metal fans ever had any doubts that Max Cavalera would do just fine on his own after his acrimonious split from Brazilian death metal heroes Sepultura. In fact, the guitarist/singer/songwriter quickly proved himself the better of the two parties with the release of his new band Soulfly's eponymous debut in 1998. But, whereas that record maintained a rather linear progression from Sepultura's often underappreciated, at times groundbreaking work, clearly the singer's more adventurous work was now behind him. Primitive, Soulfly's sophomore "solo" project, introduces the listener to yet another slew of "new" musical styles, experiments, and collaborations. Frustratingly, where albums like Arise and especially Roots broke through standard metal clichés by reinventing its aesthetic with often startling results, a record like Primitive just seems like a haphazardly thrown-together melange of styles, with few cuts really managing to inspire or even gel. In fact, most of Cavalera's ideas sound half-baked here -- teetering on the cusp of something great, but never fulfilling that promise. With its mishmash of moods and irreverent sense of experimentation, Primitive teases but mostly plays it safe with its facile over-the-top posturing. Maybe it's the fact that Cavalera's lyrics have become something of an embarrassing mess these days, with the singer (and we use the term loosely) abusing every overwrought rap-metal cliché imaginable. Ignore the words (and let's not kid ourselves, a lot of folks will) and one is left with a solid, somewhat predictable metal release, which almost redeems itself thanks in part to a punchy production courtesy of Korn and Alice in Chains producer/engineer Toby Wright. As for the individual tracks themselves, opener "Back to the Primitive" is perfectly interchangeable with any other of the opening cuts on all the previous Soulfly and Sepultura albums (something Metallica once mastered to perfection back in its heyday). However, at the end of the day, Cavalera is no Hetfield and "Back to the Primitive" is no "Fight Fire With Fire" or "Battery" for that matter. Primitive then succumbs to a cluster-f**k of guest appearances including Slayer's Tom Araya, the Deftones' Chino Moreno, and the entire Mulambo Tribe (huh?) from Brazil -- yielding as many "ooh, that was neat" reactions as it does "what the hell was that for?" confusion. Of the aforementioned lyrical calamities, the otherwise satisfying "Bring It" and "Jump the F**k Up" are especially laughable for their sheer stupidity. "Mulambo," as one has come to expect, is the album's meaningless, supposed tribal chant (and no, it doesn't mean anything in Portuguese either), while "In Memory of..." is simply a blatantly shortsighted attempt at hip-hop. Two offerings, however, are pretty much beyond reproach: there's "Son Song," a surprising lucid collaboration with Sean Lennon that succeeds because it is so downright catchy and off the wall, and the closing "Flyhigh," truly surprising with its female lead co-vocal and bludgeoning detuned guitar groove. Ultimately, Primitive finds Cavalera in a reluctant holding pattern, and begs the question: "Where do we go from here?"" - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • Two CD live set chronicling the Ozric's concert at Shepards Bush Empire in March 2002. Nice cross selection of material with a bit stronger emphasis on more recent stuff.
    $19.00
  • "Here go the twins and their Metal, aimed to please, distribute their appreciation and admiration for the melodic end of this exquisite music. Founders of the majestic brethren of TWINS CREW, David Janglöv and Dennis Janglöv, originating from Sweden, were able to assemble an astonishing group of folks embraced with great talents upon providing the world with downright classic Heavy / Power Metal fame and fortune, crossing paths with IRON MAIDEN, RAINBOW, HELLOWEEN, GAMMA RAY, STRATOVARIUS, LABYRINTH along with the line of melodic fanatics. Signing with the Italian Scarlet Records seemed rather natural for these guys, also since Italy is one of the foremost places for melodic Metal, and it is quite an honor for the release of their sophomore release, “The Northern Crusade”. After listening to this album for a few sessions, I came to a known notion of mine, time and time again, regarding me being convinced even more, and it has been a while since I took to review this profound unison of brothering subgenres, that this form is a safe bet, a golden chip to rely upon while writing Metal music.What I mostly liked about “The Northern Crusade” that the larger sum of the time flew by as if a racing car passed right through my face without making me flinch about it. Though there were a few epic songs, those were so refined that I didn’t even notice their length. Eventually it starts and ends with the material in question, TWINS CREW wrote songs with an appeared intent on delivering it straight up, yet with being smooth, harmonic and fluent. Nothing within the music is awfully complex or ambiguous, every song has that same obviousness forged back in the 80s, yet it didn’t enervate or bored. Each track has its own quality and virtues without recycling the others in the process. When it comes to personal skills, I believe that the founders, both on guitars, are twin wizards, focusing their shred, partially Neo-Classical playing through the Malmsteenish style is conveyed with awesome precision, yet their playing also contributed a great deal to the clarity and power of the rhythm section that is intense as well. Furthermore, there is active keyboard man, and also the band’s newest addition, Nicko DiMarino, which maintained the certain Neo-Classical emblem on the band’s creations. Also I was overwhelmed by the frontman, Andreas Larsson, as it seems that these types of vocalists grow on trees in Sweden. I haven’ never heard of the guy nor noticed any other bands he participated in, definitely a keeper in this group. A part of the problem regarding Larsson’s role is that I don’t believe that he was set well into the overall mix, a little behind the rest of the band as he should be in the front center.Unraveling the classiness of 80s Metal with a little ventures towards a few modern enactments, “The Northern Crusade” grazed my skin with tasty hits. Although, as I stated earlier, there is a pattern between the songs, but each and every one showed its worth and effect. “Take This Life”, however heading towards the end of the album, heavily caught my attention with its HELLOWEENish nature, not fully Teutonic, yet with ounces of power, catchy melodic lead guitar licks and crisps of harmonies. Larsson nearly killed me with his performance. “Under the Morning Star” is one of those songs that I wish to long for just a minute or so, as it would terrible for them to end prematurely. Mainly a buildup ballad, eventually turning the chick to heaviness, cradles such an emotional chorus, slightly tacky but with the orchestration involved, it is simply magical. “Loud and Proud” is nothing more, nothing less of an 80s Metal hit, straightforward and pounding, a bit RAINBOWish, not in the range of “Long Live Rock N’ Roll”, yet more of the ACCEPT kind with sharper and stronger vocals. “Blade” and “Dr. Dream”, both Power Metal speeding bullets, cumbersome on those wonderful keyboards support, an incredible addition no doubt. Finally there you have it guys, a foundation of an unforgettable Heavy / Power Metal happening, an astute melodic title that you have to check out unlike most of the Swedish NWOBHM entries." - Metal Temple
    $15.00
  • The band's second album now remastered and featuring two bonus tracks.
    $8.00
  • "There have been those times in man’s life where he tells himself that he had enough with everything that had been going on surrounding his ordinary environment. Aside from the warmth of family life or even by choosing, the soothing loneliness, there are the proceedings of the society such as the corrupt politics and fragmentary feast for power that seemed to be endless without a care for future consequences. So how one can escape such a world where everything seemed to be blackened, not like a starless night, but by mankind itself that commences various of actions without thinking first? The answer might be running away but to where? The only answer is to the far reaches of space by cunningly stealing a spaceship. Though it sounds like a story from the far future when space travel is available, but it has a sense it in and can also be inferred to the spiritual form of the works of the mind and how it can escape reality while submerging into an altered universe of hopes and dreams about better life. Well, I will stop here with the philosophical debate with myself, though it is rather intriguing. The purpose of my gibbering your thinking patterns is because it highly relates to the new concept album by the Italian Power Metal band, VISION DIVINE. “Destination Set To Nowhere”, released via earMUSIC / Armoury Records, is the Metal journey and your new Star Trek across the vast space in finding new fortunes and ideologies without forgetting where the warmth of home lies.I have to tell you that it has been really difficult to not keep on discussing VISION DIVINE’s ideas regarding this fascinating story that though sounds pretty simple it harbours so many standpoints that a whole article can be written on top of their basis. However, there is also the Metal behind the philosophical mind that created this story. Nearly like every Power Metal band coming from Europe, VISION DIVINE has been storming in high speeds without letting of the so important melodic touch, an element that has been chief for the large majority of European Metal bands of the kind. Olaf Thorsen(nickname of Carlo Andrea Magnani), guitarist of the veteran Power Metal band LABYRINTH, created this beast as a side project but it got into something more. While along the years massing some of the greatest talents of the Italian scene, including the special recruitment of RHAPSODY OF FIRE’s top notch frontman, Fabio Lione, VISION DIVINE, the way I see it, has been able to assert itself as the Italian STRATOVARIOUS, but in a much higher level, while when it came down to musical quality and tenacity topping their own local mother bands as RHAPSODY OF FIRE and LABYRINTH. Right from its foundation, while perfecting their style year after year, including this here release, that for me is the band’s greatest achievement, VISION DIVINE spread their high regard for melodic Power Metal but with such musical sophistication that took them into towering altitudes and even into the world of Progressive Metal with slight similarities to DREAM THEATER and ANUBIS GATE.As far as the diverse course of “Destination Set To Nowhere”, I believe that VISION DIVINE were able to entice with such profound technical abilities and incredible skills to create wonderful tracks that seem to be endless. Throughout the entire release I was trying to relive the lives of that men and women on that spaceship running away from the frustrations of Earth. The intense and clever riffing, rhythms, great keyboards layers and miscellaneous drumming, like fast paced heart beats of hundreds of people, aided on understanding what went on through the stages of the story, where is the next destination in the land of nowhere. On top of those all there is the magnificent vocal line by a voice that is so smooth and clear but also has its own deadly Hyde creeping from its cage from time to time. I can’t really break this tracklist into lone tracks because I believe that this entire release is something that you ought to experience in full. Of course that I have my personal choices regarding preferred tracks, and I am used to provide clear cuts, yet for the sake of the story and the effort that was spent on the material, I will leave you to decide which part of this journey suits you more. Generally, VISION DIVINE is offering you an accessible showcase of musical prowess and utter creativity to step into what could be in the not so far future, and maybe help you to think to who or what idea do you mark your ballot for. “Destination Set To Nowhere” certainly became one of my candidates for the album of year for 2012." - METAL TEMPLE
    $13.00
  • Its been seven years since the first release from The Fractured Dimension.  The core of the band is led by two ex-members of the avant metal band Scholomance: Jimmy Pitts (keyboards) and Jerry Twyford (bass).Given the extensive lineup of guest musicians Pitts and Twyford have corraled one would expect a supreme tech metal blow out.  In parts you get that but there are very strong symphonic rock, classical and fusion elements woven into the music.    Essentially they let the musicians be themselves and it makes it more challenging and interesting to hear them work their styles in to the compositions.OK so here is who is on th album:Jimmy Pitts (keys), Jerry Twyford (bass), Hannes Grossmann (drums), Vishal J Singh, Tom "Fountainhead" Geldschlager, and Tom Kopyto on guitars, Joe Deninzon (violin), Kasturi Nath Singh (Indian Classical Fusion Vocals), and guest guitar solos by Christian Muenzner, Marcel Coenen, Alex Machacek, Mike Abdow, Pete Pachio, Aaron Roten, Bill Bruce, and Jeremy Barnes.So you have guys from Obscura and lots of insane guitar soloists letting it all hang out with overlays of keyboards, violin all thrown at you with lots of intensity.  The whole thing will keep you off balance and I promise you won't be bored.  Highly recommended."“How can less be more? That’s impossible. More is more”, is a famous quote by Yngwie Malmsteen, and US/Germany-based super-group The Fractured Dimension have turned that statement into their modus operandi through their new album ‘Galaxy Mechanics’. By just looking at the star-studded 16-man line-up, not many would expect anything less than all-out super-technical music: a sound the band itself has labelled ‘Cosmic Instrumental Metal’.Despite the large number of members, from over 7 countries, Keyboardist Jimmy Pitts and bassist Jerry Twyford are the ones spearheading The Fractured Dimension, while the others have special and guest appearances on the record. Where you’d see drummer Hannes Grossmann (ex-Necrophagist, ex-Obscura, Blotted Science, Alkaloid), you’d see his Alkaloid band-mate and guitarist Christian Muenzner, and where you’d see Christian, you’d see current Obscura guitarist Tom Fountainhead Geldschlager, and the list goes on. It includes guitarists Tom Kopyto, Mike Abdow, Jeremy Barnes, Bill Bruce, Marcel Coenen, Alex Machacek, Pete Pachio and Aaron Roten. Indian guitarist Vishal J Singh is also among the ranks, as is Indian classical fusion vocalist Kasturi Singh and violinist Joe Deninzon.The album is extremely complex, and features an incredible range of musical styles not just through different instruments and tones, but through stylistic variations within an instrument itself. For example, the guitarists exercise their own style of playing, and since different guitarists worked on different tracks on the album, each song is given a unique vibe. The songs are progressive and only subtly repetitive, while each one is quite different from the other not only in terms of the guitars, like mentioned, but also in the way they’re structured and layered instrumentally.Dealing with each track individually is impossible because of their highly complex nature, but some of the high points from the album include songs like “Displacement” and “Elysian” which, like the other tracks, make use of interesting keyboard patches and time changes. The bass and keyboards are prominent everywhere and along with some brilliant drumming, form the backbone of the sound around which the guitars weave their magic.However, the main issue that needs to be addressed is this: does all of this complexity and variation give rise to music that is, put simply, enjoyable? Not everyone may appreciate the highly intricate music, but it makes no sense to say that The Fractured Dimension tried to impress everybody anyway. What can be seen, or rather, what flares up and makes itself obvious in the music, is the honesty behind it. The songs do not feel like they are forced, and the creative freedom of the musicians is in full display here. If one can see this honesty for himself/herself, that person will end up enjoying Galaxy Mechanics. There aren’t many other albums for which the same thing can be said, so the album is a definite hit and not a miss, and while dealing with super-technical and intricate music it is very easy to go wrong.A quarrel one could pick with Jimmy Pitts and Co. involves intriguing song titles, like “Bolshevikian Mythological Creature” and “Seventh Hymn to Nibiru” for example, and no vocals and lyrics to explain them. This doesn’t mean the music would be better off with vocals, but it means that there is no vocal expression of these concepts in a manner everybody can understand. Other than this, Galaxy Mechanics is a sublime effort from The Fractured Dimension, and one can only wonder what this exceptional pool of talent will conjure up next." - Metalwani
    $9.00
  • Third album from this excellent Norwegian band.  Arabs In Aspic is yet another prog band influenced by the sounds of the 70s.  Lots of similarities to Black Bonzo.  Vintage keyboard sounds and nice heavy-ish guitar leads.  Vocalist Rune Sundby of the 70s Norwegian band Ruphus guests.  That band would be a pretty good comparison but you can definitely hear undercurrents of Uriah Heep and Deep Purple but there is more going on here. On the longer, jammier tracks the music takes on the psychedelic feel of Echoes period Pink Floyd.  Beautifully done.  Highly recommended.
    $24.00
  • 6CD remastered box set containing the band's first six cassette releases.  This also comes with new liner notes, photos, and memorabilia in a 40 page book.
    $55.00