Londinium

SKU: ARKCD1001
Label:
Island
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Found a small horde of overstocks of the first album from this excellent modern progressive band. At this point in time there was a definite triphop influence mixed in with Floyd-like spaciness.

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  • Maschine is a new British band led by guitarist Luke Machin.  You may know him from his work with The Tangent.  Maschine sounds nothing like that.  The music is contemporary prog rock with some heavy influences.  I would be hard pressed to call this metal.  The star of the band, front and center, is Machin himself.  He displays prodigious abilities as a guitarist...as a vocalist not so much.  That's pretty much the chink in the armour for this album.  Machin's vocals are not his strong suit.  He would be better off handing the job off to someone else and concentrate on what he does best - bringing the shred.  This isn't to say that this album is a wankfest.  Nothing of the sort.  Its actually quite tasteful and there is a good balance of keyboards and flute in support but I keep waiting for Machin to let loose with a solo and when he does he brings the goods.  His background as a graduate of Brighton Institute is apparent - the compositions reflect his knowledge of jazz, classical, and yeah metal.  Its all good stuff but the man needs to stay away from the mic.This is the US jewel box edition that has the same two bonus tracks as the German import digipak.  Other than the packaging the music is identical.
    $12.00
  • Collection of unreleased material from this German neoprog band that started out life as a Pink Floyd cover band. The tunes are taken right out of the Floyd play book. If you like later Floyd this is the deal. The set also comes with a bonus DVD that includes full 5.1 surround remixes of the entire CD as well as video footage. The problem is that it is PAL format so unless you have a multi-region DVD player or a DVD drive in your computer the DVD disc won't be of much use to you.
    $12.00
  • Exile is the long awaited third album from this British progmetal band.  To-Mera is fronted by Julie Kiss with the principal songwriting coming from guitarist (and her husband) Tom MacLean.  Some of you may recognize Tom's name from his membership in Haken as their bassist.  It gets slightly more confusing as Haken's main composer/guitarist/keyboardist is To-Mera's keyboardist Richard "Hen" Henshall.  Yes life can get complicated sometimes.The new album is a conceptual work about human existence.  Ms. Kiss' vocals flow like a constant river over some real bad ass and complex prog metal.  At times MacLean breaks out some incredible fusion leads taking the band in a whole different direction.  Hen's keys have a very specific sound.  At times you will be reminded for a moment of the Haken sound but in general this doesn't sound like a Haken album.  The album does feature some special guests...Marcela Bovio (Stream Of Passion), Stefan Forte (Adagio), and Ray Hearne (Haken) all make appearances.  An intricate and involving listen, this is easily going to be one of 2012's best metal releases.  Highly recommended.
    $14.00
  • The madcap French jazz metal trio return with their sixth album.  Morglbl consists of guitarist Christope Godin, bassist Ivan Rougny, and drummer  Aurelian Ouzoulias.  The band has toured extensively around the world – USA, Europe, Russia and even China!  They have shared the stage with Liquid Tension Experiment, Bumblefoot, and Umphrey’s McGee among others.These three virtuosos are also well endorsed clinicians and have developed a following individually but when they come together the fireworks really start.  Tea Time For Punks doesn’t deviate from the tried and true Morglbl formula.  Take equal parts fusion and crushing metal power chords, then inject a healthy dose of tongue in cheek humor and you’ve got the perfect Morglbl album. The band is often described as Primus meets Steve Vai and Allan Holdsworth, with flavors of Frank Zappa! 
    $13.00
  • Once you start dig you never know what you will find.  Searching through the time capsule known as the Internet I stumbled across an album by Fred Taylor that was categorized as privately released fusion.  Fred Taylor is a drummer/percussionist based out of Seattle.  He self-released Court Of Circe in 1981.  While parts of the album definitely fit into the fusion realm quite a bit of it would be closer to modal jazz/kosmigroov.  The 14 minute two part title track shows off Taylor's skills as a drummer.  Other soloists on the album include keyboards, guitar and soprano sax.  Vinyl copies of this album are starting to skyrocket in price as more and more people find out about it.  Turns out that Taylor released this on CD back in 2004 and was more than happy to hook us up at a great price.  If your tastes run towards the jazzier side of fusion you should check this out."... Spokane drummer Fred Taylor... has produced a more interesting jazz record... Featuring a dozen local musicians, its production is crisp and full. Taylor. obviously an organizer, has managed to get these dozen locals to play his sensible, stretched-out arrangements very well. "Flutterby's Waltz" skips in and out of tempo and features Taylor's sensitive cymbal technique, an appropriately meandering soprano sax solo by Craig Lawrence, and a Hammond organ solo, an unusual touch." - Seattle Weekly 
    $9.00
  • In Crescendo is the fourth studio album from this Italian progressive band.  While originally working in a purely metal direction, the band has expanded the scope of their sound to encompass elements of progressive rock as well.  There is a very strong atmospheric component similar to Riverside, Porcupine Tree, and Pink Floyd but the heavier, metallic side of Opeth and Dream Theater is clearly present as well.Over the past two years Kingcrow has expanded their fan base with a European tour in support of Redemption and Jon Oliva as well as appearances at ProgPower Europe and ProgPower USA.  An announcement about 2013 US tour dates is imminent. 
    $13.00
  • 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
    $9.00
  • Al DiMeola's solo debut from 1976, was released right around the time of RTF's Romantic Warrior. Stellar lineup includes the other three members of Return To Forever, Mingo Lewis, Steve Gadd, Anthony Jackson, Barry Miles, Jaco Pastorius, and Alphonse Mouzon.
    $5.00
  • The original version of Rïah Sahïltaahk that was recorded in 1971 is featured on the album 1001° Centigrade (vol. 2). But at the time, its composer, Christian Vander, was unhappy with the arrangement written by the group. This radically new version, adapted to suit the group’s current line-up, is more faithful to the spirit of Magma’s music and its uniquely weird and wonderful prog-rock style."
    $13.00
  • 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
  • Harald Grosskopf is one of the founding fathers of the German underground Kosmiche Musik scene.  He was one of the Cosmic Jokers and also a member of Wallenstein and Ash Ra Tempel.  Perhaps his more notable contributions occured with his collaborations with Klaus Schulze.  Synthesist was his first solo album, originally released on the Sky label back in 1980.  Its a classic example of an electronic album in the Berlin School style.  Sequencing gives the music an incredible rhythmic pulse but there are also gorgeous meditative drifting tracks that will take you to another dimension.  Highly recommended.
    $17.00
  • ONE OF A KIND TITLE FROM THE LASER'S EDGE ARCHIVENew digipak reissue from Repertoire features a non album b-side as a bonus track. These guys were busy back in 1970. The Going's Easy was the second album they released that year. Again produced by John Peel and released on Harvest, the band solidified they horn-driven progressive sound. Like Horizons, The Going's Easy features lots of flute, organ and guitar solos with the brass section adding lots of coloration. Vocalist Colin Horton-Jennings has a real soulful voice betraying the band's roots.
    $16.00
  • Its been four years since this British ensemble's debut album.  Been a long time coming but there have been a number of personnel changes in the band.  Founding members Alex Crispin (vox/keys) and bassist Dan Pomlett left the band, while guitarist Nicholas Richards switched over to bass.  While the band went through a state of flux their core sound didn't really change a hell of a lot.  Yeah maybe its pared down a bit but it is still steeped in the sounds of the early 70s.  Mellotron, organ and reeds abound.  Guitar is a bit more dominant but still with that retro Vertigo vibe.  Vocals only appear on one track and they are OK.  Think in terms of an instrumental VDGG in a massive jam session with members of Soft Machine and Eloy.  As if!  I will be hard pressed to come across a better progressive rock album released in 2012.  BUY OR DIE!
    $13.00
  • Its been almost 4 years since the band's phenomenal debut.  Since that time the duo of Mariusz Boniecki and Marcin Kledzik have expanded into a live gigging quartet.  I'm pleased to say that in terms of their music the band has not lost any momentum.  The same influences are still present - you will hear the imprint of Porcupine Tree and King Crimson.  The title of the album is a bit of a giveaway - this is not uplifting music.  It is filled with noir-ish, melancholy atmosphere.  Emotion filled vocals ride on top of Crafty guitarwork.  The technicality is there but you have to listen for it.  Think of a head on collision between In Absentia and Discipline and then take it one step beyond.  Clearly Pinkroom does it again.  BUY OR DIE!
    $13.00