Jeff ($5 SPECIAL)

SKU: EK86941
Label:
Epic
Category:
Fusion
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""If the voice don't say it, the guitar will play it," raps Saffron on "Pork-U-Pine," the third track on Jeff Beck's minimally titled Jeff. And he does. Beck teams with producer Andy Wright, the man responsible for his more complete immersion into electronic backdrops on his last outing, You Had It Coming. This time the transition is complete. Beck used electronica first on Who Else!, moved a little more into the fire on You Had It Coming, and here merges his full-on Beck-Ola guitar heaviness with the sounds of contemporary spazz-out big beats and noise. Beck and Wright employ Apollo 440 on "Grease Monkey" and "Hot Rod Honeymoon," and use a number of vocalists, including the wondrously gifted Nancy Sorrell, on a host of tracks, as well as the London Session Orchestra on others (such as "Seasons," where hip-hop, breakbeats, and old-school Tangerine Dream sequencing meet the guitarist's deep blues and funk-drenched guitar stylings). As for atmospherics, David Torn (aka producer Splattercell) offers a shape-shifting mix of glitch tracks on "Plan B" for Beck to wax on both acoustically and electrically, and make them weigh a ton. But it's on cuts like "Trouble Man," a purely instrumental big drum and guitar skronk workout, where Beck truly shines here. With a rhythm section of Dean Garcia and Steve Barney -- and Tony Hymas appears as well -- Beck goes completely overboard: the volume screams and the sheer crunch of his riffs and solos split the rhythm tracks in two, then four, and finally eight, as he turns single-string runs into commentaries on everything from heavy metal to East Indian classical music.

The industrial crank and burn of "Grease Monkey" is an outing fraught with danger for the guitarist, who has to whirl away inside a maelstrom of deeply funky noise -- and Beck rides the top of the wave into dirty drum hell and comes out wailing. For those who feel they need a dose of Beck's rootsier and bluesier playing, there is one, but the context is mentally unglued. "Hot Rod Honeymoon" is a drum and bass sprint with Beck playing both slide and Texas-style blues à la Albert Collins, letting the strings bite into the beats. The vocals are a bit cheesy, but the entire track is so huge it's easy to overlook them. "Line Dancing With Monkeys" has a splintered Delta riff at its core, but it mutates, shifts, changes shape, and becomes the kind of spooky blues that cannot be made with conventional instruments. His turnarounds into the myopic rhythms provide a kind of menacing foil to their increasing insistence in the mix. Before gabber-style drum and bass threaten to break out of the box, Beck's elongated bent-note solos tame them. "JB's Blues" is the oddest thing here because it's so ordinary; it feels like it belongs on an updated Blow By Blow. In all this is some of the most emotionally charged and ferocious playing of Beck's career. Within the context of contemporary beatronica, Beck flourishes. He find a worthy opponent to tame in the machines, and his ever-present funkiness is allowed to express far more excess than restraint. This is as fine a modern guitar record as you are ever going to hear." - All Music Guide

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  • Fourth studio album from Leprous reinforces the fact that they are one of the most innovative and cutting edge bands working in the prog metal idiom.  The music of Coal has already kicked up a bit of controversy from the early listeners.  The music isn't quite as angular and frenetic as Bilateral.  Atmospheric passages similar to Tall Poppy Syndrome are perhaps a bit more prevalant as well.  All in all it's clearly identifiable as Leprous.  Ihsahn guests on one of the tracks - don't forget Leprous is his backing band.  Nice guys - great band.  Highly recommended."Considering Leprous‘s previous album Bilateral is considered by many to be a masterpiece of progressive metal; Norway’s Leprous had a tall order in front of themselves. Coming up with a followup to such a critically acclaimed and beloved album is no doubt a daunting task. Despite that, after two long years of waiting, Leprous have conjured the successor to Bilateral, and it’s called Coal. Usually, when bands release an album after their magnum opus, the result is either a “version 2.0″ of the previous album, or it’s a return back to the normal style of the band. Leprous have taken a bold turn instead, and they have reinvented themselves. Coal is clearly a Leprous album, carrying all their trademark touches, but it’s also very fresh and unique.With Bilateral, the band were clearly rooted in a sound that has been defined by the big names of progressive metal. By applying their characteristic syncopation, moody riffs and singer Einar Solberg’s haunting and powerful vocals, they were able to perfect an already existing sound. With Coal, the band have taken a different direction. The album is very dense, emotional, and quite avant-garde at times. While there are some more traditional songs similar to Bilateral, there’s also an air of neo-80s on some songs, while others carry some characteristics of modern Scandinavian indie bands. Longtime fans of Leprous will definitely see the direction that has been present since the band’s inception, but listeners who know of them only via Bilateral might be slightly confused. In the end, Leprous have always been about mood, and Coal is oozing with it.In terms of structure, Coal is more similar to Tall Poppy Syndrome than Bilateral (but not too similar to either in the end). The songs are slow burners, setting up a mood, then deliberately building on it until overwhelming the listener with the climax. Everything is very subtle, the production making every hit of every instrument matter. Each song is an exercise in building an atmosphere by slowly adding layers to form a very powerful sound. Einar Solberg is at his best here, he has taken his voice to the next level. He was already an amazing vocalist, but Coal sees him becoming a master of expression. There are many progressive metal bands nowadays with clean singers who can hit insanely high notes and execute amazing melodies. But what is often lost is the soft touch, the control over timbre that makes one’s voice special. Einar is a master of timbre, and he uses his abilities to their full extent in Coal. While this is an album about the big picture and constructing an ambiance with the convergence of all instruments, his unparalleled vocal skills definitely deserve a special mention, because he is what hammers down the emotions and makes this album so special.As mentioned before, Coal is a deliberate album, where attention is paid to every instrument. And the production, by Ihsahn (who also has a stellar guest appearance on the closing track), is perfect for this. Especially of note are the drums, they sound very real and quaint. The intimate feeling of some of the songs can directly be attributed to the unconventional drum sound. The drumming has also taken a turn for the more subtle, with small flourishes and cymbal runs building tension in the more atmospheric sections of some songs. The bass is also clearly audible and adds to the sound. The guitar work isn’t as flashy as Bilateral for the most part, but it also has more character because of that. It should come as no surprise to longtime followers of the band, but Leprous are masters of doing more with less, and all of the instruments reflect this. Another production detail worth noting is the presence of keyboards. The keyboard work is more prominent now. In Bilateral it was used mostly to add some extra layers to parts driven by the guitars, but here the keyboards form the building blocks of the sound. This is perhaps what sets the album apart from Leprous’s previous work, the heavier focus on atmosphere and a dense aural landscape. This might be disappointing to some who preferred the more direct approach of Bilateral, as Coal is less “metal”, but the more developed sound suits the band.In terms of songs, Coal is a very diverse album. The first three songs and the closer can be interpreted as a direct evolution of the band’s sound from their previous work, then there is the extremely moody and emotional masterpiece “The Cloak”. This is where the album takes a turn for the introspective, as the rest of the songs are quite experimental and ethereal. Overall, the album has a very clear journey with a defined start and end, and it works quite well. Some of the later songs can feel like they last half a minute too long, but the deliberate pacing of the album makes more sense as is.In the end, it’s hard to deny that Coal is yet another masterpiece by Leprous. The songs ooze character and deliberation. Coal is expressive, emotional and brave. It might not be what everyone expected after Bilateral, but Leprous have defied expectations and raised the bar again." - Heavy Blog Is Heavy
    $14.00
  • New album from this Austrian symphonic metal band.  The band has been a bit of a revolving door with vocalists but Maxi Nil has settled in nicely.  The music is based in the traditional female fronted gothic style with clean male vocals trading leads back and forth.  This time around I hear more of a poppier, catchy sound - somewhat like the direction Delain is moving towards.  Highly recommended to fans of the genre (I wave my hand proudly).  Digipak edition with one bonus track.
    $12.00
  • Willowglass is the vehicle for British multi-instrumentalist Andrew Marshall.  He plays guitar, keys, and bass.  Accompaniment is courtesy of Hans Jorg Schmitz on drums and Steve Unruh on violin, flute, and guitars.The music is all instrumental and harkens back to the classic British progressive sounds of the 70s.  The album kicks off with the 20 minute "A House Of Cards Pt 1", which is a pure love letter to the Mellotron.  Reminds me a bit of King Crimson's Lizard.  The music never gets overly heavy.  Marshall tends to rely on acoustic guitar quite a bit and Unruh's violin figures quite prominently.  We always say they don't make 'em like they used to but apparently they still do.  If you miss the glory days of Genesis and Camel you need to fill that spot in your collection.  Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • "Riot has always been ahead of the curve, be it their powerful riff machine, or their unapologetic status as pioneers in the speed metal genre. I would like to take an opportunity to differ once again with the common viewpoint here, this is not “almost” Painkiller 2 years before; it is its doppelganger, at least in terms of kick ass aggressiveness and image. It is a more musical and complex answer to the thrash genre that it fathered; its spirit is that of a triumphant warrior cutting down its foes. While the heroic Painkiller soared through the sky putting fear into the hearts of his enemies, Thundersteel’s half-cyborg/half-tank body stood tall to face them on the ground.In 1988 metal was mostly known by its image, and if you judge these guys by that alone, they look like the bastard sons of Motley Crue and Judas Priest. But when Tony Moore blasts his high banshee voice into the microphone, he sounds like a crazed Viking Berserker ready to behead an army of frightened Romans. Mark Reale, the only remaining originator of this outfit, wields his guitar like a battle axe and challenges the likes of K.K. Downing, Dave Murray and Ross the Boss. Bobby Jarzombek, who is well known for his work with Rob Halford’s solo project, as well as several other bands, gives the performance of his life on here. Don Van Stavern keeps the bottom end solid and has a wicked bass intro in “Johnny’s Back”.There is never a dull moment on this album, from start to finish it grabs you by the throat and commands you to praise the Gods of Metal. Be it the fast as hell title track, which rivals anything Judas Priest has ever put out, or the more moderated Deep Purple riff monster “Sign of the Crimson Storm”, it screams metal. You’ve got an anthem of rebellion and non-conformity at warp speed like “Johnny’s Back” in the running, or the Manowar inspired heavy ballad “Bloodstreets”, which gives Heart of Steel a run for its money. “Fight or Fall” and “Flight of the Warrior” have memorable choruses and plenty of amazing lead work, all done by the original speed metal riff man Mark Reale, while “On Wings of Eagles” is a better produced version of something you might find on Kill Em’ All.We’ve got two highlights on this album, both of which are a good bit different than the lion’s share of speed driven songs on here. “Run for your life” is an upper mid-tempo crusher with tons of great lead guitar work, but it’s true charm is the chorus, which reminds me a bit of the high/low vocal interchanges that you hear on Dio’s early material. “Buried Alive (The Tell Tale Heart)” is actually a bit reminiscent of Crimson Glory’s work on Transcendence, which came out the same year that this did. You’ve got a rather odd spoken intro with a clean and somber guitar line, followed by some brilliant twin guitar soloing (all done by one guy, just the same way Tony Iommi did it). After 3 minutes of mind-blowing, we get a slow and evil sounding groove that grows into a brilliant homage to the NWOBHM, names like Iron Maiden and Angel Witch come to mind.In conclusion, this is a piece of metal history that demands to be listened to. If you are a power metal fan who lives for speed and melody, get your tight jeans wearing ass to the store right now. If you’re a holdover from the glory days of traditional metal and you don’t have it, get it now or risk having your credentials as a metal head questioned. If you love thrash with attitude, this gives the bands that carry that label a run for their money. Fans of Judas Priest, Manowar, Helloween, Running Wild, and Iron Maiden in particular will love this. There is a new power alive in the distance, carrying a fully charged plasma cannon, followed by an army of true metal warriors, and his name is “Thundersteel”." - Metal Archives
    $7.00
  • "Donald Fagen's second solo album is a song cycle of sorts, following the adventures of an imaginary protagonist as he travels the world in his car, a brand-new Kamakiri. It is an odd concept, and one that is not obvious to the listener, but reflection upon Fagen's liner notes while listening to the album does tend to evoke a vision of a non-apocalyptic near future, where swingers sip cocktails and fresh vegetable juices as they groove to synthesized jazz-rock. Evocative or not, this is not Fagen's best effort. The songs on Kamakiriad are mainly static one-chord vamps, with little of the interesting off-beat hits or chord changes that characterized most of Steely Dan's corpus (although, it must be said, Two Against Nature isn't too far conceptually from what Fagen is doing here). There is a slightly antiseptic feeling to Kamakiriad. Although the drum tracks are not synthesized, they sure sound that way, and even the horns sound electronic at times, a far cry from the lush arrangements of Aja. Another shortcoming of this record is the fact that the verse melodies don't sound very developed. The choruses are as catchy and cryptic as you would expect from Donald Fagen, but the verses are less than memorable. Walter Becker, who produced the record, as well as contributing bass and guitar, also co-wrote "Snowbound." Perhaps not surprisingly, it does the best job at evoking classic Steely Dan. Kamakiriad is pleasant as background music, but in the end it doesn't provide enough interesting moments to rank as a must-have. The static grooves, coupled with the long song lengths, and general lack of dynamic movement makes this record one of the least essential of Fagen's recorded output. However, Steely Dan completists will certainly find enough here to keep them happy." - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • Kick ass new band from Sweden who owe a strong debt to Captain Beyond.  The music is hard driving blues based hard rock with a definite retro feel.  Expensive but worth it!"No doubt Sweden's Captain Crimson were influenced by legendary '70s band Captain Beyond, deciding to name their debut album after the classic track "Dancing Madly Backwards" from that bands self titled debut in 1972. Otherwise though, Dancing Madly Backwards is another great Swedish retro ride, as so many bands from that country are doing a fine job of keeping those '70s sounds alive.Despite the band name and CD title obviously tipping their hat to Captain Beyond, the lads from Captain Crimson also tap into the vibe of such acts as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Atomic Rooster, Mountain, Cactus, UFO, Pentagram, Leaf Hound, Grand Funk Railroad, The Doors, and Humble Pie, as well as fellow Swedish acts Graveyard and Witchcraft. Loads of vintage fuzz-toned guitar riffs and solos abound, especially on the thick & muscular "River", the doomy "Lonely Devils Club", and the heavy blues-rock of "Mountain of Sleep". The band delivers some melancholy hard rock/blues on the poignant "Don't Take Me For a Fool", while "Autumn" brings to mind the early, aggressive garage rock of the MC5 and Grand Funk Railroad, complete with raucous, distorted guitar & bass riffs that scream 1969. "Wizard's Bonnet" is vintage sounding heavy rock complete with blistering lead guitar and meaty riffs, while "Silver Moon" and "True Color" could have easily been leftovers from Deep Purple's In Rock album, minus the Hammond organ. The closing title track has some wonderful Black Sabbath styled power chords over intricate rhythms, and the lead vocals have plenty of attitude, which in fact can be said about the entire album.Dancing Madly Backwards is a fun filled ride down memory lane, as Captain Crimson bring back images and sounds of so many great hard rock acts of the past, and do so in a convincing manner. You'll be headbanging and playing air guitar to this entire album, I promise you. Another winner from the folks at Transubstand/Record Heaven" - Sea Of Tranquility
    $15.00
  • ""Scattered Horizons" is the closest thing to a female-fronted Symphony X that the world will ever see—I don't think a sex change is on Russell Allen's to-do list. The album was penned by an Austrian group calling itself Siren's Cry, and they show a magical amount of coherent songwriting and surprising instrumental performances throughout what is their first full-length effort. Stylistically, Siren's Cry takes copious amounts of influence from early Symphony X (think "The Divine Wings of Tragedy" through "V") and some fellow Austrian exports such as Edenbridge, obviously including dazzling guitar work, elegant keyboards, and other authentic qualities of the progressive power metal regime. Fronted by one Katarina Bilak, "Scattered Horizons" makes the grass a little greener, the wings of tragedy a bit more divine.Bilak fronts the group excellently, though her tone and performance require some conditioning on the listener's end; this genre has much more Russell Allen-esque types and the like, so having Bilak rule the vocal realm might throw off some folks at first. However, she fits Siren's Cry's host of traits and techniques wonderfully, especially during the schizophrenic "A Controversial Mind," in which she flies all over the place and kicks a whole lot of rumps in the process. Many of the anthems are quite memorable and hooking, with several boasting stellar choruses, complicated guitar/keyboard leads that are done with care and precision, and noteworthy performances from the rhythm section as well. "Cold Amber & Scalding Tears," the ballad, is surprisingly decent, like most of the release; no track manages to misfire.And yes, they occasionally come off as a little too dependent on the structures of Symphony X, because they, you know, sound like Symphony X. The main riff from "Oratory & Sins," for example, is almost the same central guitar sequence of "Of Sins and Shadows," and Siren's Cry generally moves around like its primary influence. Well, I guess it's nice that I've been arrested at least four times for stalking Symphony X, otherwise I'd find it a little annoying. However, minor irritations like the unoriginal guitar work are few and far between; Siren's Cry proves itself to be a very unique and imaginary bunch. Tracks like "Elegy of R'lyeh" and its smooth jazz section are superb cuts of progressive metal at its finest, while explosive numbers such as "Serpents of War" and "Draconian Spectrum" display rapid themes and intensity kicked up a notch or two, clearly more in line with the power metal side of the coin.Other than the minor idiosyncrasies that the folks of Siren's Cry can call their own, a grand portion of the work within "Scattered Horizons" is somewhat of a special, unexpected treat for folks intrigued by the progressive power metal style that has been mastered by Symphony X and reproduced by many others. "Scattered Horizons" captures the grandiose themes and perplexing musical aspects of the identity without sacrificing admirable songwriting in the process, and Siren's Cry shows an ample amount of persistence and maturity at album one. I'm not calling this a masterpiece to acquire immediately, but it's worth a shot if you enjoy Symphony X. Nicely done." - antiMusic.com
    $12.00
  • When seven Greek charlatans get together, the musical visions that springs from their minds, can only be described as a true freakshow.Back in late 2004 the idea of a band that could develop a theatrical attitude and combine different musical elements with the dynamics of metal and rock sound, brought DAKRYA to life ....Following the usual demos and local live shows, the band released its debut album "Monumento" in the spring of 2008. Receiving great reviews and good support from both the media and the fans in and around Greece, DAKRYA started touring on a broader scale, supporting such bands as MOONSPELL.In 2009 the band began to work on new material; the main goal was to put even more emphasis on the 'theatrical' style of DAKRYA, and in January 2010 the band entered the studio with engineer George Bokos (Rotting Christ) to record their sophomore album, "Crime Scene".Come March 2010 the band find themselves sitting in a studio in Sweden mixing the album together with Pelle Saether (Diablo Swing Orchestra, Draconian, Madder Morten), followed by a trip to other Swedish sound-guru Göran Finnberg (Opeth, Dark Tranquillity, In Flames, Arch Enemy) for the mastering of the disc.CRIME SCENE is actually a metaphor about the world we live in. So simple and so complicated at the same time. A person has to change so many faces in order to obtain a “socialized” and “normal” image, that if you think about it a little bit… we all look psychotic. In CRIME SCENE we improvise against reality! Snapshots taken from our everyday lives.From the opener "The Charlatans", over the obvious hit of "The Urban Tribe" to the final notes of the closing soundscape "A Dreadful Sidescene", the album is a one-of-a-kind musical experience. Ranging from the psychotic and cinematic melodrama heard in bands like Diablo Swing Orchestra and Unexpect to the orchestrated gothic metal comparable to Therion and Theatre Of Tragedy, DAKRYA paints their mark all over the canvas.
    $4.00
  • I'm going to cut to the chase: if you are a fan of Fish-era Marillion...if Peter Gabriel's voice makes you spooge...then you need to own this disc.A Time Of Shadows is the second album from this Irish neo-prog band heavily influenced by vintage Marillion. Vocalist Liam Campbell is excellent and clearly from the Fish/Gabriel school. Good long tracks filled with melodies but still plenty of intricacies. Beautiful artwork from Ted Naismith rounds out a superb package. If the words "clutching-at-straws" gives you goosebumps you are a click away from musical nirvana. Highly recommended.
    $3.00
  • 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
  • Import digipak edition!"2014 live album the King Crimson spin-off. Featuring the talents of Adrian Belew, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, Markus Reuter, Julie Slick and Tobias Ralph; The Crimson ProjeKCT primarily focus on repertoire from the early 1980s through to the mid-90s. The band has a ''double trio'' line-up, as made popular by Crimson between 1994-1997. LIVE IN TOKYO finds the band performing a solid 12-song set." 
    $15.00
  • Long awaited second album from this progressive power metal band from Spain. Considering everything this band went through its a wonder they are still together. Originally the band was signed to Transmission Records, the former home of After Forever and Epica. The label went bankrupt just before they were able to release a reworked version of Decoder - their debut that only saw the light of day in Japan. They have now found a home on Ascendance Records out of the UK. OK - enough back history - what's the music about? Ebony Ark is led by vocalist Beatriz Albert. She has a strong forceful voice that fits their crunchy power metal style perfectly. This is not gothic metal. These guys (and girl) take a more progressive slant. The music has an immediate in-your-face mix that really showcases her voice. Its a non-stop riff-fest with more than enough crunch and melody to satisfy. Highest recommendation.
    $5.00
  • Magenta's latest is the follow up to Metamorphosis. According to band leader Rob Reed the writing/recording sessions developed material that caused a stylistic schism - of it was more "edgy" and contemporary while other tunes developed along a more traditional old school prog rock path. Chameleon represents the former. The music is more immediate and is missing a lot of the prog rock trappings. Perhaps closest would be Metamorphosis but frankly not quite as complex. It would be hard to classify an album with 7 and 9 minutes tracks as commercial but this is as close to that description as I think Magenta will ever come. Of course this is written from the perspective of someone that sits and listens to prog rock and metal 24/7. I'm sure the media will dub this as full on prog rock and I suppose at the end of the day it really is...its just that the ratio of prog to rock is a bit weighted more heavily on one side of the equation.
    $15.00
  • Blazing second solo album, from 1977. This has some of the fastest guitarwork you will ever hear in your lifetime. DiMeola shows many facets to his playing touching upon pure electric fusion as well as gorgeous acoustic work. The acoustic duet with Paco De Lucia on "Mediterranean Sundance" is breathtaking. Jan Hammer and all the other stars play their nuts off here. Great.
    $5.00