Look Into The Future ($5 Blowout Price!)

Second album from this post-Santana lineup is a bit more commercial than the debut but there are still progressive overtones. Neil Schon shines again.

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  • Ian Parry's first new solo album in 10 years arrives with a bevy of solid players behind him. The lineup reads a bit more like a Consortium Project album. Kamelot's Casey Grillo and Vanden Plas' Andreas Lill handle the drums while Vanden Plas guitarist Stephan Lill is all over this as well.
    $3.00
  • Well Steve is done resucitating the Genesis catalogue and back to concentrating on fresh solo material.  The new album Wolflight is a bit of a loose concept album and I find it to be one of his strongest releases in years.  The album is filled with lots of guests (including Chris Squire) contributing exotic instruments to the mix adding an old world sound.  Steve's trademark sound is locked into place so if you are looking for the wailing guitar, liquid runs and acoustic delicacy you won't be disappointed.  His vocals has never been my favorite part of a Steve Hackett album but either I've mellowed in age or his voice has - not sure which.  Regardless it fits the music just fine.  Classic Hackett and nothing less.  BUY OR DIE!
    $12.00
  • Deluxe mediabook edition.  CD plus a DVD with 5.1 surround mix, 24 bit stereo, and a "making of" video."Always fond of conceptual storytelling, Ian Anderson goes himself one better with his latest prog-folk-metal concept album. The 15 songs of Homo Erraticus inhabit not one but two metafictional layers. The Gerald Bostock character, hero/anti-hero of the seminal Jethro Tull album Thick as a Brick and its recent sequel Thick as a Brick 2, is back again, having now discovered a manuscript left behind in the 1920s by a malaria-ridden old British soldier delightfully named Ernest T. Parritt.Parritt's supposed writings range over northern European history from the Mesolithic era to his own - and on into his future, through the whole 20th century and into our own time and beyond. Winnowed into lyrics written by "Bostock" and set to music by the real protagonist of the story, Ian Anderson, these materials give Anderson - whose creative scope and energy remain robust even as his singing voice has thinned with age - a walk-in-closetful of pegs on which to hang a sequence of songs evoking nothing less than the history of mankind in his part of the world.The first track, "Doggerland," commemorates the area of the southern North Sea that used to be dry land connecting today's British Isles with the rest of Europe. Doggerland vanished under the waves as the last Ice Age ended but, as fisherman discovered not long ago, the sea floor retains much archeological evidence of human occupation. The succeeding songs address migrations, metalworking, invasions (from the Romans to Burger King), the arrival of Christianity, the Industrial Revolution, and so on. To appreciate the songs, you'll want to (at least once) follow along with the notes and lyrics in the accompanying 32-page booklet.The Foreword, in which Anderson discusses the history of Jethro Tull and why he hasn't used the band name for his last few recordings, will especially interest longtime Tull fans. The real question is, will the songs themselves? Some yes, some no. The gruff metal of "Doggerland" gives way to the sweet, plinking folk of "Heavy Metals." (I imagine Anderson chuckling to himself at the irony - no pun intended - of creating such a gentle-sounding song with that title, and on that literal topic.) Both satisfy my Tull craving. "Meliora Sequamur" (Let Us Follow Better Things), which paints a picture of 12th century schoolboys amid religious chant (and cant), does too, and "The Turnpike Inn" is a solid rocker, and the hard-Celtic style of "The Engineer" moves briskly.I like the instrumental track "Tripudium ad Bellum" (Dancing to War). It starts off with an echo of a theme from the original Thick as a Brick (there are others elsewhere on the album), then resolves into a 5/4 march, like a more insistent "Living in the Past." War's aftermath appears in the next track, the sad, deliberate "After These Wars," in which I really feel the lack of Anderson's full-strength vocals. While he was never among rock's greatest singers, that didn't matter - when he sang his songs, you always felt he was all there, and that's what mattered. But now, and not only in the harder songs that shade into old-school heavy metal, his voice just isn't always a match for his music's energy any more.On the other hand, his gift for crafting pleasing, original melodies, writing smart, clever lyrics in complete sentences and true rhyme, and setting much of it in non-traditional time signatures remains strong. The first verse of "After These Wars" reads:After battle, with wounds to lick andbeaus and belles all reuniting.Rationing, austerity: it did us good after the fighting.Now, time to bid some fond farewells andwalk away from empires crumbling.Post-war baby-boom to fuel with post-Victorian half-dressed fumbling.No one in pop music writes like that anymore.Listening to the album as a complete conceptual work, my overall feeling is that there isn't very much new here. Since the 1960s Anderson and Tull have explored countless different musical paths and styles. Some of these produced some of my all-time favorite songs and recordings. Others I hated. But he never seemed to be resting on his laurels. Here I feel like I'm reading a chapter that's not much different from the last chapter.But listening to the songs individually, I like a lot of them. As I write this I'm trying to count the beats of the off-time closer, "Cold Dead Reckoning," with its grim imagery of a future of lost souls navigating their way over a metaphysical Doggerland "amongst the ranks and files of walking dead." I hear crunching minor-key guitar-bass-piano unison figures, a sprightly flute solo. A hopeful verse about "angels watching over" at the end doesn't convince me, as the music continues to growl on as before. Yet there follow a sweet, gentle instrumental coda, reminded us that while things may not turn out well for humanity as we teem over and ruin our only planet, our capacity to create and to appreciate beauty will be with us as long as we live. So let's raise the cup of crimson wonder to Ian Anderson as he charges not-so-gently through his seventh decade." - Seattle Pi
    $17.00
  • Ambient/prog reworking of Dead End Kings arrives in a limited edition 2 disc digibook.  You get the CD version as well as a DVD featuring a 5.1 and 24 bit hi-resolution stereo mix."After last year’s successful release of their 9th full-length Dead End Kings, Katatonia have returned with a special release entitled Dethroned and Uncrowned. This album is special for two reasons. Firstly, it was brought to life with the help of the so-called ‘Katatoniacs’; that is, the fans were the ones who financed this project through a pledge campaign the band had set up where fans could pledge for various album formats and other items such as drumsticks, lyric sheets, posters, backdrops and even one of Anders’s old guitars. Needless to say, the pledge campaign was highly successful and reached its goal in four days. Secondly, the album is special music-wise, as it contains the same tracks that were found on Dead End Kings, but all of them have undergone a major makeover. As Katatonia wrote on their website: ‘the drums will be dethroned and the distorted rhythm guitars will be uncrowned’. What they have basically done is that they have kept the vocal lines intact but have experimented with the rest of the music, creating stripped-down, semi-acoustic versions of the songs with the focus on ambience and atmosphere, showcasing the band’s progressive song-writing talent. Katatonia have masterfully and rather elegantly transformed the songs into totally different entities and have given themselves as well as the listeners the opportunity to discover different aspects of each track, by adding little interesting details or emphasizing some parts that were not as noticeable as in the previous version, like the Jan Johansson-esque piano touches in ‘Leech’, or the 70s prog vibe in ‘Dead Letters’. All in all, Katatonia have managed yet again to create a beautiful, melancholic and touching piece of work that will certainly fulfill the expectations of the majority of their fans. Those who were not very keen on Dead End Kings (if such people exist), might enjoy some of the songs in their new versions, and, who knows, they might even appreciate that album a bit more after listening to this." - Metal Recusants
    $9.00
  • "2014 surely seems to be a year of fruitful reunions; CARCASS is one we could see coming from a mile away, but alas, one name stood somewhat overshadowed by the band’s guitarist-mastermind’s main band, ARCH ENEMY; Chris Amott has brought ARMAGEDDON back to life, “Captivity And Devourment”: the first new material from the band since the last album, “Three”, in 2002. A band known for each album being a completely separate entity, genre-wise, “Captivity And Devourment” retains the blistering Melodic Death Metal from the first album, but combines modern nuances, and Chris’s own clean vocal performances, first heard on the last ARMAGEDDON album, and later, on his solo album work. This release is what ARMAGEDDON and the more aware of ARCH ENEMY fans have been waiting for the past 12 years.Fully unified and re-energized, the frontman position now takes the form of thunderous coarse vocalist Matt Hallquist provides the majority of the vocal delivery; a supermassive, unrelenting delivery of harsh growls, yet Chris’s clean singing deliveries are thoughtfully emblazon a number of tracks; the man is a master guitar player, and that is what this album shows. That being said, he a skilled vocalist in his own right.The title track opens the album, and what a monster of a song it is; hinting that this will be the band’s heaviest album to date, it explodes forth with a blast-beaten intro, before subsiding into a pummelling series of groove-ridden riffs. A powerful reminder that the ex-shredder of one of the world’s biggest Melodic Death Metal bands has once again made a foray into the Extreme Metal world, as such, the guitar work on this track drew a smile to my face.  “Locked in” is a bit more mellowed in the heaviness department, but is thickly substantiated with meaty riffs, and soaring, double-kicked sections, though the top dollar are the deliciously-catchy chord progressions .“Thanatron” was one of the first tastes we were given earlier this year, of the band’s new material. Beginning with a crisp, acoustic passage, some of the riffs on this track are as heavy and robust as you’ll hear on the album; a strong Groove Metal sound drives the main riffs. The necksnapping headbangery of this track shovels the coal into the massive engine that powers this album, from the beautiful and up-beat acoustic interlude of “Background Radiation”, through to one of my two favourite piece on the album, “The Watcher”. Seemingly more epic in stature, as the massive, thrumming intro riffs would give away, it certainly pulls no punches. This track happens to be strongly-embellished with clean vocals, not necessarily provided in the lead vocal sense but noticeable nonetheless. Chris commands the lyrics with an unusual style of delivery, sitting somewhere in the mid-range and capable of powerful belts, but with a mysterious, almost Gothic nuance about his singing. Quite frankly, he sounds like no one else I’ve ever heard; the grandiose, soaring section partway through the track will surely convince of this.A power metal enthusiast at heart, I was secretly hoping for more vocal belts; I was met with this and more on “Equalizer”, my other favourite. A virtuosic guitarist at heart, fans of his guitar playing will be at the very least satisfied and sated with the stellar lead work on this track. Chris certainly made no mistake in taking on the  best musicians for the job, either; I couldn’t be more pleased with the line-up after listening to this album, particularly the thundering bass tone provided by Sara. In fact, the overall production of this album is to be highly commended; seemingly, deliberately raw, it is far from overproduced, and everything comes across as far more organic, definitely playing a part in the heaviness factor.Am I approaching this with rose-tinted glasses/headphones? Hardly; ARMAGEDDON is a different band now. Something bigger, something stronger, and hopefully that little bit more infinite. Either way, this is the calibre of comeback I had been hoping for." - Metal Temple
    $15.00
  • Virtuoso keyboardist Vivien Lalu has created a new progressive metal epic featuring an all star cast:Band [A-Z]---Martin LeMar (Mekong Delta) - VocalsMike LePond (SymphonyX) - BassSimone Mularoni (DGM) - GuitarsVirgil Donati (PlanetX)- DrumsVivien Lalu (Shadrane) - KeyboardsGuests [A-Z]---Jens Johansson (Stratovarius)Joop Wolters (Shadrane)Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater)Marco Sfogli (James LaBrie)Mike Andersson (Cloudscape, Fullforce)Peter Wildoer (Darkane, James LaBrie)Born of Noelle and Michel Lalu, musicians from the ‘70s French progressive act Polene, Vivien Lalu has released a surplus of recordings through an array of different bands and projects since 1997, as the keyboard player for underground black/doom band Time For A Change. At the turn of the millennium Lalu played keys for two underground progressive metal bands from Paris, Sad Warden and then Mind’s Orchard, and in 2002 was hired by Hubi Meisel (ex-Dreamscape vocalist) to compose and record the keys for his solo album EmOcean, the following year doing the same for Meisel’s sophomore album Kailash, both of which were released by Lion Music.It was at this time Vivien Lalu begins recruiting his own associates from major prog and metal bands — some of which he shares time composing music alongside in progressive metal act Shadrane — and forms his own solo project, LALU. The first full-length Oniric Metal was released on Lion Music in 2005 and began an entirely new chapter for this composer and his insatiable need to create mind-expanding, cinematic music.These accomplishments helped Lalu to begin securing score and soundtrack work for film and television; over the last few years he’s written many cues for the orchestral soundtrack for the Warner Bros movie Seuls Two, for the show Science X made in association with Lucasfilm Ltd. Additionally he joined the production team behind Laszlo Jones in order to assist the recordings and production of Banana Nation (Universal Music Group). He’s composed many soundtracks for French television, music and sound effects for Neko Entertainment, worked as a sound designer for Ubisoft Entertainment and much more.After collaborating with Shadow Gallery for a song on their Digital Ghosts album, and working with Canadian drummer Chris Nalbandian for his Paralysis of Analysis solo album — recording all keys and sharing solos with Derek Sherinian and Alex Argento — Vivien finally settled in and began work on the second LALU opus. Handling all composition and songwriting duties, as well as all keyboards on the massive production, Vivien weaved the cloth of the new album with vocalist Martin LeMar (Mekong Delta), bassist Mike LePond (SymphonyX), guitarist Simone Mularoni (DGM), drummer Virgil Donati (PlanetX), the album’s parts recorded in several countries including the United States (Los Angeles and New York), Germany and Italy, produced by Lalu in his own studio, and mixed at Boumbox Studio in Paris by Yan Memmi (Dio’s Lock Up The Wolves, Marcus Miller’s The Sun Don’t Lie, etc.). Additional contributions from Jens Johansson (Stratovarius), Joop Wolters (Shadrane), Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Marco Sfogli (James LaBrie), Mike Andersson (Cloudscape) and Peter Wildoer (James LaBrie) were also carefully built into the album, the final product boasting over fifty minutes of exceptional, massive  cinematic, atmospheric metal Lalu has dubbed, Atomic Ark. 
    $13.00
  • Believe it or not this is where it all began for me. After coming home from school one day I saw Rick Wakeman on the Mike Douglas show. He was this odd looking guy with long blonde hair and a flowing cape to match. He had an arsenal of keyboards making strange sounds...it was "The Battle". That appearance led me down to Sam Goody's to buy my first prog album - Journey To The Centre Of The Earth. Sure it's pompous, overblown, whatever. I still have fond memories of it and love Wakeman's elaborate keyboard work and the band's integration with the orchestra. A personal classic.
    $5.00
  • Great instrumental symphonic band led by Finisterre leader Fabio Zuffanti. This is the 3rd of 4 parts celebrating the seasons. Pure analog keyboards (Mellotron, Moog, Hammond), flute, sax, guitar, etc. The music has a bit of a melancholy and sombre feel but at the same time it can be quite exhilarating. In some ways it reminds me of SFF... Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • Former Dreamscape vocalist Hubi Meisel once again collaborates with Vivien Lalu on his new solo album. EmOcean covered "water" so I'm assuming that Kailash covers "earth" - Kailash is a conceptual work based on the Himalayan mountain range. Sun Caged guitarist Marcel Coenen lays down some sick solos as does Mago De Oz guitarist Jorge Salan. The rhythm section is borrowed from Mind's Eye - Daniel Flores on drums and Johan NIemann on bass. Beautiful symphonic metal. Digipak edition comes with two bonus tracks.
    $14.00
  • Remastered edition with two bonus tracks."Searching for a way to retool their sound, Judas Priest attempted to accentuate their melodic side on Turbo by incorporating synthesizers and '80s pop-metal stylings ("Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days" sounds more like Poison, albeit with synths). The restrained songcraft sometimes pays dividends, especially on the synth-driven leadoff track, "Turbo Lover," easily the best song on the record and a successful reimagining of the Priest formula. But often, the band simply sounds directionless, unsure of exactly which path to accessibility it should follow; moreover, the synth-guitar backing and overly polished production give the album an oddly mechanized, processed feel. It certainly doesn't help most of the material, which is often at least competent but rarely inspired enough to make much of an impression. That's unfortunate because Turbo's best moments indicate that with a clearer focus, the album could have been a creative success; however, it's overall Judas Priest's weakest release since Rocka Rolla." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • Tenth album from this prolific German band fronted by English vocalist Philip Griffiths who also is a member of Alias Eye.  PGM's brand of prog is squarely in the melodic vein with elements of neo and symphonic rock.  Flute is a nice addition to the mix and often evokes the feel of early Genesis.  The band is joined by Phil's father - the great Martin Griffiths who you should all know from Beggar's Opera (Time Machine!!!!).  He actually sings on 5 tunes and still has a great voice.
    $14.00
  • Remastered edition."After two exemplary releases, Traffic released Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory, which begins with the title track, based on a guitar riff reminiscent of the recent Deep Purple hit "Smoke on the Water," and continues through the lengthy "Roll Right Stones," the folkish ballad "Evening Blue," reed player Chris Wood's instrumental "Tragic Magic," and the uncertain self-help song "(Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired." Lyricist Jim Capaldi was co-credited with Steve Winwood as the album's producer, and he may have contributed to the cleaner mix that made his words easier to understand. Meanwhile, the rhythm section had been replaced by Muscle Shoals studio aces David Hood and Roger Hawkins. Capaldi sings no songs here, and Wood's flute and saxophone, so often the flavoring of Traffic songs, are largely absent." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • Redemption is one of the leading progressive metal bands in the world today.  Formed in Los Angeles, California in 2000 by guitarist / keyboardist / songwriter Nicolas van Dyk, the band features legendary progressive metal vocalist Ray Alder of Fates Warning, as well as guitarist Bernie Versailles (Agent Steel), and the phenomenal rhythm section of Chris Quirarte (drums) and Sean Andrews (bass).Redemption’s combination of heaviness not usually found in progressive metal, irresistible melodies and emotional urgency has created a unique and resonant voice for this band that sets them apart from the many clones in the genre, and which has gained them the attention of fans, critics and musicians.Through the band’s first three studios CDs (2002s self-titled first release, 2005’s The Fullness of Time, and 2007’s The Origins of Ruin), Redemption gained a loyal fanbase and garnered rave reviews worldwide from critics, who describe Redemption’s music as“one of the best progressive metal acts to emerge in the past decade” – DPRP“magical aura and incredible songwriting” – BLABBERMOUTH“it's powerful, catchy, enslaving, technical; it's the whole bunch” – LORDS OF METAL“the new star on the US prog-metal sky” – SQUEALER ROCKSAfter touring in support of Dream Theater and documenting at headlining show at tour’s end entitled Frozen in the Moment, the band returned to the studio to release 2009’s Snowfall on Judgment Day and 2011’s This Mortal Coil.Performing in support of that record, in 2012 Redemption co-headlined the world-famous ProgPower Festival in Atlanta, where the band recorded a unique show featuring nearly 80 minutes of material and staged with complementary visuals that drive home the compelling emotional impact of this band.   That performance is now being released as a CD/DVD set with additional bonus material through Sensory Records, the band’s original label.  From fan favorites such as the never-before-performed Parker’s Eyes to the crushing emotional weight of Stronger than Death, Redemption’s performance captured the special ability of its music to deeply connect with fans.  In the words of one concert-goer, Redemption’s show “was definitely the most exhausting, personal and emotional musical experience I’ve ever had.” 
    $17.00