Lights Out

SKU: 2963-2
Label:
Nuclear Blast
Category:
Hard Rock
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Stunning third album from these Swedish 70s hard rock revivalists.  Graveyard delve into the same gene pool as Witchcraft but the music is more Yin than Yang.  More Led Zeppelin than Black Sabbath.  Some blues driven psychedelia laced with a bit of phat analog keys drives the point home.  If these guys were around 40 years ago they would have been at the top of the heap. Yeah...they're that good.  Highly recommended.

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  • Official reissue of this UK rarity originally released on the Parlophone label in 1971. There was a legit CD reissue some years ago but even that is rare! Norman Haines was the keyboardist from Locomotive. After their sole release (Everything You See) he broke up the band and went solo. The music is organ driven proto-prog/hard rock with some great guitar breaks. Not sure what Haines fed his organ through but he gets a distorted Mike Ratledge cum Dave Stewart sound. If you are fond of that English early prog sound you should check this out. Comes with 6 bonus tracks and extensive liner notes.
    $17.00
  • "In case you’re actually a dog and I don’t know about it, I’m going to begin this endeavor with an explanation of why Leprous is so important. Leprous are a progressive metal band; they are extremely good and their last two albums (Bilateral and Coal) are among this decade’s best prog/avant garde releases. While Bilateral lead us into strange, trumpet-infested Mars Volta territory, Coal took a completely different approach, pairing exceptionally strong melodies with endless drones and subtle drumming that provided counterpoint for Einar Solberg’s unparalleled voice. Coal also bequeathed to the world the best song ever written, “The Cloak.” So The Congregation has some pretty grand expectations around these parts. Thus, contrary to his finite but arbitrarily large wisdom, and as a direct result of his finite but arbitrarily small amounts of spare time, Angry Metal Guy has deigned that I inform you of what you don’t already know, unless you have lived within a few blocks of me in the past few months, which is that The Congregation is pretty damn good.“The Price” introduces a post-Coal Leprous with an even stronger sense of melody but retaining a minimalist core. While Einar’s choruses are impossible not to fruitlessly pantomime, the song retains the measured drama and reductionist sensibilities that made “The Valley” the nine-minute epic that it is. “The Third Law” and “Rewind” retain these traits but are the album’s weakest tracks by far. They’re not boring, but come off as a bit superfluous, especially in an album that’s over an hour long. Luckily, “The Flood” turns things around, preluding a phenomenal mid- and late-album stretch. The song’s extreme repetition of a two-note anti-swing rhythm builds a prog metal lullaby over which measured crooning and burst of exuberant motion play out a complex game of tic-tac-toe.Of course, just like Coal, the centerpiece of The Congregation is its shortest and strongest song. “Within My Fence” gets better and better as it goes along riffing on its syncopated opening bars. Einar’s vocal performance is wincredible here as well, and even more enjoyable because of how perfectly it slides into the synth-heavy, mechanical march of the song. Also of note is Baard Kolstad’s contribution to the album; his drumming, though not quite as distinctive as Tobias Ørnes Andersen’s on Coal, continues in the less-is-more vein that the last album established and is incredibly tight.After “Within My Fence,” the album cools off, but doesn’t perceptibly decrease in quality. It’s still infectious and emotional and cements Einar Solberg’s place as prog’s best vocalist – a well-deserved but easy win, given that Darroh Sudderth doesn’t seem to be active at the moment. My main issue with The Congregation is, unsurprisingly, its length. “Third Law,” “Rewind,” and “Triumphant” could have easily been cut from the album and it would be much better. The songs aren’t bad, but Leprous has a lot more to show off than these lukewarm affairs.While part of me is disappointed with Leprous‘s lack of editing here, the part of me that has listened to the album dozens of times has more sway over my decisions. The Congregation will give you just the scratch behind the ears you need after disappointing half-year of metal, and while it’s certainly not the equal of its predecessors, it wont tarnish the band’s growing legacy. Go fetch it." - Angry Metal Guy
    $13.00
  • "The UK progressive synth group known as Zoltan have been turning heads since arising in 2010 as one of the most interesting projects signed to a then-fledgling Austrian label by the name of Cineploit Records.Fast forwarding four years later, both Zoltan and Cineploit are hitting a creative stride in their partnership, as the Sixty Minute Zoom LP will strongly attest. This sophomore effort from Zoltan follows up an EP for famed British doom label Rise Above-an audio take on director Amando De Ossorio's classic Blind Dead series of horror films-as well as a Cineploit-released tribute to John Cameron's score to the equally iconic Seventies film Psychomania, while at the same time leaving nearly every prior release from the band in the proverbial dust, so epically addictive and immensely blissful is this sound.Sixty Minute Zoom takes the building blocks of influence carved from the likes of film composer Fabio Frizzi, Italian prog giants Goblin and Pittsburgh duo Zombi and erects here a monument to their own creativity and unique compositional eye. Indeed, every aspect of Sixty Minute Zoom sounds more focused, confident and actualized as keyboardist Andy Thompson, bassist/keyboardist/guitarist Matt Thompson and drummer Andrew Prestidge lock into each others' musical strengths and unleash what is most certainly the defining Zoltan release up until this point in the band's career.Highlight tracks such as "The Ossuary" pulse with a malevolent bass drone and swirling, atmospheric synth, while the album's epic, twenty minute closer "The Integral" moves effortlessly between horrifically mood-setting soundscapes and low key electronic experimentation, anchored by an absolutely amazing drum performance from Prestidge. The drummer's lock-tight groove at the thirteen minute mark through the track's sizzling finish is bested perhaps only by the subtly powerful groove Prestidge hits upon as the Thompson's growling synth stabs lift the opening movements of "The Integral" as the best soundtrack theme never featured for an Italian horror or giallo film.No hyperbole or exaggeration here: Sixty Minute Zoom demands immediate attention from electronic music fiends and Eurocult soundtrack buffs the world over, as it bucks the late year trend as one of the finest albums of 2014." - The Examiner
    $18.00
  • New digipak edition combines the first two parts of a trilogy that was rounded out with Invictus.  Its equal parts rock opera and power metal.  Each album is enhanced with two bonus tracks.
    $13.00
  • The technical metal genre has pretty much been dormant for many years. It has somewhat morphed into djent metal these days which bears a lot of similarities but it isn't quite the same thing now is it? After an 8 year pause the UK tech metal band Linear Sphere has returned with their second album. Back in 2004 the band released Reality Dysfunction, an album somewhat molded in the Spiral Architect vein. Their new album, Manvantara, carries on in that direction. Its a conceptual work of an existential and metaphysical nature. What you can expect is mind bending metal cut with extreme precision melded with jazz/fusion breaks. With the departure of Charlie Griffiths who went on to join Haken, the band carried on with founding member Martin Goulding handling all the guitar parts. Vocalist Jos Geron still takes a bit of getting used to - he has a bit of raspiness - but his singing has improved substantially from the debut. Plenty of shred to be heard but all done tastefully. This is one of my favorite styles of metal so it was real nice to hear something along these lines after so many years. Highly recommended.
    $13.00
  • First album in ten years from this Scottish neo-prog band. At this point the band consists of the trio of Stewart Bell, Cyrus Scott, and Phil Allen. I haven't listened to this band in years to be honest but I always remembered them as being one of the better neo bands. Everyone always compares Cyrus to Peter Gabriel but honestly he sounds more like Fish or Simone Rossetti of The Watch. Actually he sounds a lot like Rossetti the more I listen to him. The music really bears no resemblance to Genesis. Skies Darken is highly symphonic long form pieces. The music has a dark vibe to it enhanced a bit by Cyrus' dramatic vocal stylings.
    $15.00
  • Its been some time since Michael Harris' Thought Chamber project made its debut.  The band consists of Michael Harris (guitars), Ted Leonard (vocals), Bill Jenkins (keys), Jeff Plant (bass), and Mike Haid (drums).  Ted Leonard and Bill Jenkins will be familiar to you from their membership in Enchant (Ted is also fronting Spock's Beard now).Psykerion is a sci-fi cybermetal concept album.  Harris plays with a lot of restraint compared to some of his solo albums.  In fact I would classify it as tasteful.  Leonard is one of the best vocalists in prog and he doesn't disappoint.  Lots of solos flying around on guitar and keys but it maintains a melodic integrity through out.  Hopefully we don't have to wait another 7 years for the follow up.  Highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • "David Rhodes has released his second solo album. Not a solo album, actually. Things are a bit different than with Bittersweet. The core musicians who were with David in 2009 and went on tour with him later have formed the trio that recorded the new album. They are David Rhodes himself on guitars, Ged Lynch on drums and Charlie Jones on bass. When they found all other names either lacking in or overflowing with meaning they settled on "Rhodes" and also gave the album that name.The sessions at which they recorded the songs in early 2013 were paid for through crowdfunding via the PledgeMusic website.  Though that took a slow start it soon took off and the required sum was made up quickly. Many Genesis fans contributed, as did the genesis-news.com themselves. No wonder that the GNC folk paid special attention as to how the project came along – after all, they were personally involved, as it were...With this support the band recorded a dozen songs, ten of which made it to the album. In Rhodes it is David Rhodes alone who wrote the songs and the lyrics. The music is much tighter than on Bittersweet, though. There is only bass, guitar and drums – no keyboards, no strings, no frills.What has been carried over from Bittersweet are the depth and the quality. Strength and magic are probably good terms to describe the poles between which the music moves on Rhodes. There are straight rock numbers as well as a melancholy waltz and groovy guitar pop.  David Rhodes' instrument plays a central role, of course. It is put to use in lots of different ways (frequently very loudly so) and receives the typical Rhodes tinkering. The rhythm group is at times energetic, at others sensitive, and Tchad Blake's accomplished mix adds that subtle special bit to the individual moods.The lyrics have something of the thoughtful way of remorse and of picking oneself up again that we know from Bittersweet, but here they are a bit less striking. David Rhodes' phrasing seems quite unusual at times; the phrase „slipping by squeeze between the glass“ is pronounced contrary to all usual stress patterns. That actually makes it all the more interesting.The album cover is another interesting thing – it shows a cow wearing a strap-on elephant trunk. David Rhodes explains it as a playful and surreal motive that brings up the question of identity: Can  identity be changed? Are all attempts to do so merely a camouflage? Perhaps cows do dream of the savannah and the elephant's trunk is how they live out their dreams. In any case he wanted something colourful that would catch the eye.If I Could Empty My HeadThe opener is a quick rock number with a light and driving rhythm and guitar lick, strong overdubs and a howling solo in the middle. The lyrics are vaguely self-contemplatory. The song showcases much of what the listener will encounter elsewhere on the album.Grinding WheelThe second song is a grooving complaint, though the lyrics read more like a set of instructions. The rhythm track fits well to this; it is a bit aseptic, subdued and cool, while the guitar solo on the other hand saws loudly.Ship Of FoolsAn eerie sequence of harmonies – it lulls you in comfortably yet it is subtly disconcerting at the same time. This is countered by an almost unrestrained chorus. The lyrics tell the familiar story of the ship of life that will sail into destruction without a helmsman. Rich atmospheres make the song very engaging.You Are The North WindThe strong trio can do sensible, too. Demure instrumentation, a clever rhythm line and word associations paint a broad picture of easy, passionate longing. Acoustic, percussive, warm.Monkey On My BackThe straightest rock number on the album. Big grooving guitar and staccatos from both the bass and the drums drive this piece forward. It is almost hypnotic in its simplicity. As far as the content is concerned, Monkey On My Back continues Monster, Monster from Bittersweet to a certain degree.Waggle DanceDavid Rhodes played this song on the Bittersweet tour. A swinging foundation gets your feet a-tapping and takes you into a sexy chat-up number. The lyrics knit amusing double entendres that fit the bees' waggle dance as well as human mating rituals.TimeA gentle waltz. Acoustic guitars. Despite rather remorseful lyrics about a "time" that was "not on our side" the music exudes much imperturbability. With a regretful undertone. A confusing song that wins over its listeners perhaps even because of its inner calm.Three Is EverythingThis may well be the song on Rhodes where David contemplates his own life. He sings about a family growing, about years passing – and the enduring dream of a place full of peace and comfort. Add playful choir embellishments and gently advancing, simple guitar sounds. Three Is Everything is the song on Rhodes that has the most grace, placidity and acceptance of life.My Blue BalloonA less flamboyant song. The blue ballon is to fly around the world and tell of the things it sees. It does so with static melodies and a chorus that does not stand out much from the verses. In the middle the song almost explodes.Be MineA thoughtful piece at the end that still exudes shy optimism. Tentative and choppy verses are followed by a longing, gently rocking chorus that moves into a brute guitar solo with which the album ends. The last thing you hear is the guitar being unplugged from the amp.All in all...The album is more recalcitrant than its predecessor, but Rhodes offers a big range of moods and thoughts. Reducing the music to a trio has directed it in the direction of Wave. Those who found Bittersweet Gabriel-ese in a way will now fall silent." - Genesis News
    $15.00
  • "A never before released full length concert album from one of the greatest undiscovered gems of 70s rock, Captain Beyond!Formed in 1971 by members of Deep Purple, Iron Butterfly & Johnny Winter s band, Captain Beyond is heavy, spacey and most definitely FAR OUT!This show was recorded just after the release of the band s second album, Sufficiently Breathless, during the their tour with King Crimson!Liner notes by noted rock historian Dave Thompson!"
    $15.00
  • John Sund is an overlooked but superb fusion guitarist from Denmark.  This is an astounding album he recorded in 1993 with the Danish Radio Big Band as well as his band.  Its a full integration of musicians with Sund displaying some blazing chops.  Quite mature work that strikes me as a cross between a Terje Rypdal album and Banco's Di Terra.  A beautiful marriage of rock and jazz.  We scored cheap copies.  Grab them while we have them.  Highly recommended.
    $8.00
  • The Japanese jazz scene is finally getting the attention it deserves.  Long written off as just a scene filled with copycats of American and European artists, jazz fans around the world are now discovering that there was some amazing music being created there.  Some of the musicians like Terumasa Hino and Masabumi Kikuchi crossed over into the world jazz scene but for the most part many of the musicians there only gained popularity in Japan.  One of the most important Japanese jazz labels from the 70s was Three Blind Mice.  It was started in 1970 by producer Takeshi "Tee" Fuji.  The label adhered to strict audiophile standards and all of the releases on the label featured exemplary sonics.  The music of Three Blind Mice tended to fall into three facets of jazz (they would crossover from time to time).  Some of the artists play very traditional straight ahead jazz.  Frankly while this stuff appeals to audiophiles its not that appealing beyond the sonics.  There was also an experimental side to the label featuring a lot of free jazz blowing.  The third aspect, which to my ears is the most interesting, is the area where the label explored modal jazz, often with an electric element.  Very little of it would be hard card fusion, but a rock element would sometimes be present.  This falls into the realm that has been broadly tagged as "kosmigroov".The label only existed in the 70s and the rights to the catalog has now passed over to Sony Music.  Think Records in Japan has started a limited ediiton reissue campaign of the Three Blind Mice label.  They arrive in mini-LP sleeves and are manufactured using Sony's proprietary Blu-Spec process.  We are cherry picking titles we think should have your attention.All Right! is an unusual set from noted Japanese bassist Isao Suzuki.  First off he doesn't play bass on the album!  He concentrates on electric keyboards and cello.  His quartet consists of himself, Kazumi Watanabe (guitar), Osamu Kawakami (bass), Shinji Mori (drums).  This time they are augmented with electric bassist Akira Okazawa.  Its a hot plugged in set, with Suzuki playing Hammond organ, electric piano and cello.  Kazumi is given lots of room to solo.  There is one sort of lame track with Suzuki singing but its thankfully short and somewhat redeemed with Watanabe's sublime fretwork.  Yet another hot one from Three Blind Mice!
    $29.00
  • Remastered edition with bonus tracks."Jefferson Airplane's first live album demonstrated the group's development as concert performers, taking a number of songs that had been performed in concise, pop-oriented versions on their early albums -- "3/5's of a Mile in 10 Seconds," "Somebody to Love," "It's No Secret," "Plastic Fantastic Lover" -- and rendering them in arrangements that were longer, harder rocking, and more densely textured, especially in terms of the guitar and basslines constructed by Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady. The group's three-part vocal harmonizing and dueling was on display during such songs as a nearly seven-minute version of Fred Neil's folk-blues standard "The Other Side of This Life," here transformed into a swirling rocker. The album emphasized the talents of Kaukonen and singer Marty Balin over the team of Paul Kantner and Grace Slick, who had tended to dominate recent records: the blues song "Rock Me Baby" was a dry run for Hot Tuna, the band Kaukonen and Casady would form in two years, and Balin turned in powerful vocal performances on several of his own compositions, notably "It's No Secret." Jefferson Airplane was still at its best in concise, driving numbers, rather than in the jams on Donovan's "Fat Angel" (running 7:35) or the group improv "Bear Melt" (11:21); they were just too intense to stretch out comfortably. But Bless Its Pointed Little Head served an important function in the group's discography, demonstrating that their live work had a distinctly different focus and flavor from their studio recordings." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • "The great dream of Fabio Zuffanti since he began writing the music on Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem "The rime of the mariner ancoent" was to transpose the whole opera in a theatrical version, giving people a version that could visualize its magic words and music. Thanks to the meeting with genoese director Susanna Tagliapietra, author of the great achievements in the field of the musical with his versions of "Aida" and "Jesus Christ Superstar", the dream has become reality.Susanna has helped to bring alive the musical world of Zuffanti creating a multimedia work and reproducing on stage the supernatural universe of Coleridge with multimedia elements, dance and stage actions. The first of the show was held last December 16, 2012 in the prestigious Teatro Verdi in Genoa getting a great success.From that evening comes this double album, containing a DVD with the shooting of the show (and a funny backstage) and a CD with the audio recording of the evening. Compared to the studio version, published on CD last year, the theatrical version contains many new arrangements and a brand new piece ("Interlude")."
    $25.00
  • "You like In Flames, Soilwork, Killswitch Engage, but also the mighty Machine Head or Metallica? Then check out DARK AGE. Based in THE Metal capital of the world, Hamburg / Germany, since 1995, DARK AGE have gained a lot of respect and played single shows and festivals with a lot of bands like Slayer, In Flames, Sodom, Soilwork, Hypocrisy, Mnemic, Primal Fear, Dismember, Heaven Shall Burn...just to name a few. DARK AGE played the famous Wacken Open Air, the biggest Metal festival in the world, twice: In 2000 and 2003, played the German Summer Breeze in 2008 and did 2 European Tours, one time with Primal Fear." 
    $15.00