Magnus Karlsson's Freefall

Magnus Karlsson's name might not be that familiar to you but if you are a fan of melodic metal you probably own an album or two he was involved in.  The Swedish guitarist's original band was Last Tribe.  After a number of albums for Frontiers he was the man behind the curtain for the two Allen/Lande albums as well as a bunch of other projects for the label.  Ultimately he became a member of Primal Fear and toured with this.

Freefall is his first solo album under his own name.  He plays all the instruments except drums which are handled by Danny Flores of Mind's Eye.  Calling in favors, Karlsson has enlisted a who's who of vocalists from the melodic metal realm: Russell Allen (Symphony X), Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), Tony Harnell (TNT), Rick Altzi (Masterplan), David Readman (PC69), Mark Boals (Malmsteen), Michael Andersson (Cloudscape), Rikard Bengsston (Last Tribe), and Herman Saming (A.C.T).  That's a lot of good pipes!

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    $12.00
  • "Right from the start, a vastly different Weather Report emerges here, one that reflects co-leader Joe Zawinul's developing obsession with the groove. It is the groove that rules this mesmerizing album, leading off with the irresistible 3/4 marathon deceptively tagged as the "Boogie Woogie Waltz" and proceeding through a variety of Latin-grounded hip-shakers. It is a record of discovery for Zawinul, who augments his Rhodes electric piano with a funky wah-wah pedal, unveils the ARP synthesizer as a melodic instrument and sound-effects device, and often coasts along on one chord. The once fiery Wayne Shorter has been tamed, for he now contributes mostly sustained ethereal tunes on soprano sax, his tone sometimes doubled for a pleasing octave effect. The wane of freewheeling ensemble interplay is more than offset by the big increase in rhythmic push; bassist Miroslav Vitous, drummer Eric Gravatt, and percussionist Dom Um Romao are now cogs in one of jazz's great swinging machines." - All Music Guide
    $7.00
  • I Califfi made a killer prog rock album in 1972 called "Fiore Di Metallo".  Unfortunately this isn't it.  This is a 2CD collection of their earlier beat/psych sound from the last 60s.  If you like that sound there is a lot of material to dive into here.  Put your nehru jacket on and be happy.
    $4.00
  • Hidden Masters is the latest retro discovery from Rise Above Records.  Typical of most of their signings, Hidden Masters are British - specifically Glasgow, Scotland.  These guys set their sights a bit earlier than Diagonal and their ilk.  This music is psychedelic tinged rock that has an affinity for Freakbeat London circa 1968.  I'm reminded of bands like The Kinks, Pretty Things, The Yardbirds.  I'm even hearing strains of US west coast psychedelia like Quicksilver Messenger Service.  Vocal harmonies are quite prominent but never reach Beach Boys levels.  If you are looking for prog moves here you will be wasting your time.  This one is a trip in the Wayback Machine but the controls are set for an earlier time.  Highly recommended if you like this sort of thing and I do."With the toybox psychedelia of Tame Impala hitting the mainstream and all things “out there” becoming the sound of summer 2013, Hidden Masters have landed at just the right time with an album which is absolutely smothered with heavy psyche. It is so psychedelic in fact, that you could be forgiven for thinking you had woken up in the late '60s and the acid had never worn off. Prepare for the trip of your life!Blasting off with ‘She Broke The Clock Of The Long Now’, sub-Sabbath riffs are interspersed with frenetic piano and melodic vocals. On top of this harmonies swoop and swoon and guitars make thrilling runs. Forget all music that has happened in the last fifty years as you are placed right in the heart of Carnaby Street once again.‘Into The Night Sky’ is held up by the piano as everything else clatters around it, Almost telekinetic, there is understanding of how this music should work and the trap off falling into too much going on is tempered by the space between. Music should be able to breathe and Hidden Masters know how to do this perfectly.‘Perfume’ could have come straight off Nuggets with its urgent vocals and swirling Hammond. It's the closest you get to a possible single but you doubt this is even considered. No, Hidden Masters are more interested in that old fashioned statement...the album. Every song is a trip in itself which as a whole satisfying whole show a relentless talent at work.Nothing sounds quite the same and by the time you get to ‘Like Candy’, which is possibly one of the greatest songs ever written with its insane sing along section followed by the funky work out on organ, you have lost all grip on reality. ‘Last Days of The Sun’ does this too only this time it transports you with its Arabian flavour. If only The Kinks were this good!There is nothing like Hidden Masters at the moment, the closest comparison in contemporary circles is Howl Griff who take a much more elegiac road. Hidden Masters are the sound of the best acid trip ever and then some. Lysergic and blistering, the sun will never be the same again." - Echoes And Dust
    $11.00
  • "Unwritten Pages’ Noah is an album born out of a passion for progressive, driving music, concept albums and 80’s science-fiction film. It combines the broad musical taste of its creator Frederic Epe and the stylistic and unique musical backgrounds of each project member, reaching from rock and metal to Latin influences and more classical/score-oriented arrangements.The album features soaring guitars, fat organs and bone-breaking drums, as well as a healthy dose of retro. But most of all, it never loses its focus on unique and melody-driven song-writing. And it comes in the form of an ambitious story, told through the eyes of the vocalists and musicians.Noah tells the story of a boy born in the ruins of the futuristic Utopia City, and Maria, the daughter of a ruthless politician who has – literally – split Utopia City in half and driven the poor to a district known as LS01X. As the political climate escalates, a few hundred people from both sides of the city are forced to leave their home world and start a new life on Mars. Here, both Maria and the boy grow up in the middle of a rising conflict between two factions that are unwilling to ignore their grudge-ridden past. Noah features the talents of Damian Wilson (Threshold, Ayreon, Les Misérables), Karl Groom (Threshold, Shadowland), Davy Mickers (Stream of Passion, Ayreon), Alejandro Millán (Hello Madness, Stream of Passion) and many others."
    $3.00
  • Blowout price on the 2CD 24 bit remastered version. Track list:1. Splintering heart (6:54)2. Cover my eyes (Pain and Heaven) (3:54)3. The party (5:36)4. No one can (4:41)5. Holidays in Eden (5:38)6. Dry land (4:43)7. Waiting to happen (5:01) v 8. This town (3:18)9. The rakes progress (1:54)10. 100 nights (6:41)Total Time: 48:17Bonus disc (1997 release)1. Sympathy (single) (3:30)2. How can it hurt (single) (4:41)3. A collection (single) (3:00)4. Cover my eyes (acoustic single) (2:34)5. Sympathy (acoustic single) (2:30)6. I will walk on water (Alternate '98 mix) (5:14)7. Splintering heart (live) (6:42)8. You don't need anyone (Moles Club demo) (4:04)9. No one can (demo) (4:51)10. The party (demo) (5:45)11. This town (demo) (4:16)12. Waiting to happen (demo) (5:31)13.Eric (Video o.s.t.) (2:32)14. The epic (Fairyground) (demo) (8:31)Total Time: 63:06
    $13.00
  • Bent Knee features members that are part of a collective of Berklee graduates.  The ensemble is led by guitarist Ben Levin and vocalist/keyboardist Courtney Swain.  The band also features violin, bass, and drums.  Refreshingly they don't shy away from the prog rock moniker although "art rock" seems to be the genre they are pigeonholed in.  Swain's vocals remind a bit of Edie Brickell but the music definitely has a prog vibe.  Not a lot of shredding but a nice mix of passionate and interesting vocal lines underscored by lead guitar and violin.  This is the band's 2011 album.  If you are a fan of District 97 curiousity might cause you to investigate this band.
    $11.00
  • "Norwegian goth metal legends The Sins Of Thy Beloved have been dormant since 2000 - following the release of their second album “Perpetual Desolation” - and after years of a rumored reunion, Stig Johansen and Anders Thue have instead risen from the ashes with a new band, SAVN, and a new vision.The seeds for SAVN (translated: Deprivation) officially took root when multi-instrumentalist Stig contacted Midnattsol vocalist and long-time friend Carmen Elise Espenæs about singing one song for the planned SAVN album. Carmen agreed, and Stig and Anders (keyboards) were so pleased with the final result they invited her to sing on the entire record. With Midnattsol rendered inactive for the time being due to personal commitments within the band, and her new role as a singer, as well as a mother of an adorable daughter, the Norwegian powerhouse found herself with enough time and refueled with energy to take part in this new musical journey.And, how did all this come together as a band?“In the beginning they just wanted me here and there in parts of the songs”, Carmen reveals, “but I became more and more involved as we worked. There were some parts that I asked if we could change them because I had a chorus or melody line that needed to be in there. They decided that it would be best to say that I'm part of the band. I loved the music when I first heard it, and working with them in the studio was a great experience.”SAVN is uncharted territory for the trio in that the music is unlike anything created by The Sins Of Thy Beloved or Midnattsol.There are obvious metal and goth influences within the music - very reminiscent of early Theatre Of Tragedy in places (‘The Demons In Me’, ‘Now Or Never’) - and prominent folk elements (‘Musical Silence’, ‘All I Want’, ‘I Am Free’), but it’s also surprisingly rock-oriented and heavy that it can’t be pigeonholed as a “typical” female fronted goth/metal. The music is warm and upbeat while the lyrical concepts are inviting you on a journey and touching your soul.SAVN is unique, not simply following trends. SAVN have composed the music and Carmen wrote all the lyrics. Carmen was given complete creative freedom, including re-writing existing lyrics to suit her own ideas of what the songs should sound like. The trio also wrote some songs as a group.”It's fantastic”, Carmen says of exploring new musical territory with SAVN, “I feel it brings me back to who I am. If I go for a really long time not making music I lose something of myself. Getting into doing SAVN really makes me feel alive. And I have absolutely no clue why, but all the ideas for the song melodies came so fast. I have to say I've never been so satisfied when making a new album, and I think the vocal melodies on this one are the best I've ever done. They're catchier, I think, probably because the song structures are simpler so that people will want to sing along and listen to the songs over and over.”SAVN’s self titled debut album, recorded, mixed and produced by Alex Krull (Atrocity, Leaves' Eyes) at Mastersound Studios in Germany, features several guest performers. Carmen’s sister Liv Kristine (Leaves' Eyes) appears on ’I Am Free’, while Michelle Darkness (End Of Green) turns up on ’The Demons In Me’. On the musical side, fiddle players Dag Bjørkedal and Lillian Hodne play a large part in rounding out the SAVN sound. And, additional strings were provided by the famed Lingua Mortis Orchestra on ‘Sorrowful’ and ‘Lengselens Hånd’, directed and recorded by composer and Rage guitarist Victor Smolski.All the guest appearances on the album are important; all of them special, but Carmen is particularly fond of ‘I Am Free’ that is featuring her sister, Liv Kristine. It marks the first time the siblings have recorded one of Carmen’s songs together.“I don't remember if it was Liv that asked me about doing a song or if I asked her, but we talked about it and thought it would be a great idea. And we didn't just take any song. There was a part in ’I Am Free’ that I felt was perfect for Liv”, says Carmen.And in fact, perhaps Liv Kristine describes SAVN best from the point of view of an observer and participant of the album recordings: “If you like the early Theatre Of Tragedy, you'll enjoy SAVN”, says Liv, “it's very down to earth. Stig was in The Sins Of Thy Beloved and there are things he really loves about that period of bands like Sirenia and Tristania. He’s always been influenced by these bands and what he put together with SAVN is like a dream come true”. And she comments: “I love the album. It's an excellent piece of art”."
    $16.00
  • Some of this sounds so much like Black Sabbath that I thought I was listening to a Count Raven album.  Latest album from this French doom metal band continues to mix in 70s prog moves as well as psychedelic folk.  A bit underproduced but that does lend a bit of charm.  Cool stuff!"It’s no secret that the French progressive doom band Northwinds is a favorite here at Vertical Chamber Apparatus as the band continually pushes themselves both creatively and compositionally. Despite their two-and-a-half decades of existence and a bulletproof discography the band still dwells in relative obscurity to the world at large. While the group is often and not necessarily unfairly labelled as a “doom metal band” that label is really only a fraction of the story. Northwinds definitely invokes the ancient rites of doom metal—mostly in an organic, proto-doom spirit—but they also voyage extensively into the realms of progressive rock, folk, psychedelia, and 70’s inspired hard rock thus taking the listener on phantasmagorical journeys into uncharted lands. With four outstanding releases already under their collective belts the band is poised to release their fifth full-length, the long-awaited and highly anticipated ‘Eternal Winter.’The band’s excellent 2012 album, ‘Winter,’ was initially conceived as a double album appropriately titled ‘Winter…Eternal Winter,’ but the idea was shelved by Black Widow Records as a risky venture. ‘Winter’ was a career defining moment for the band as the release seemed to capture them not only at their doomiest, but also at their most mystical. Based on the strength of ‘Winter’ it is exciting to know that most, if not all, of the material of ‘Eternal Winter’ was conceived and composed during the same writing cycles that have produced some of Northwinds’ strongest and darkest material to date.‘Eternal Winter’ is unquestionably an extension of ‘Winter,’ though the latest doesn’t quite descend into the same dark depths as its predecessor, nor does it establish the consistent magical atmosphere that was threaded throughout the previous album. These points should not be mistaken as criticism, but should be taken as mere observation as Northwinds has yet to disappoint and ‘Eternal Winter’ is no exception from that rule. While the magical atmospherics that were in abundance on ‘Winter’ are in slight decline on the band’s latest they definitely are not absent. The dreamy intro of “Chimeres” gives way to one of the most powerful tracks of the album. “Chimeres,” with its effective use of synths and ghostly sound effects, shares a stylistic and tonal kinship to other standout tracks from the band’s discography like “Black Tower” or “Winds of Sorrow.” Adding to the atmosphere of “Chimeres” is a sinister, phantom-like vocal effect that echoes the vocals of Sylvain Auvé—a subtle, yet effective detail that enriches the track as a whole.Where ‘Winter,’ for the most part, was steeped in darkness ‘Eternal Winter’ chooses to travel paths more related to progressive influenced hard rock. The flute heavy “Crossroads” has an epic, classic rock vibe that is fueled by majestic guitar solos, organ, and Auvé’s soulful vocals. The uncharacteristic “From the Cradle to the Grave,” one of the shortest non-instrumental songs written by the band, is dominated by a 70’s style strut that seemingly burns out almost as soon as it starts. “A Light for the Blind” may just be the best representation of Northwinds’ sound. It is a sprawling track that is embedded with moments of catchiness—particularly due to the lead guitar—juxtaposed with sonic explorations to other dimensions. It’s a great track that captures Northwinds doing what they do best—crafting intricate, often emotional tunes that never fail to keep the listener engaged.Northwinds have, impressively, continued their upward trajectory by releasing another stunner in a succession of stellar albums. The band is poised to have an incredible year with the upcoming release of ‘Eternal Winter’ hot on the heels of their killer split 7” with fellow countrymen Marble Chariot. In addition, the vinyl release of their 1995 demo courtesy of metalloscope-music has just been released. ‘Eternal Winter,’ like the rest of Northwinds’ discography, is an enchanting album that is comprised of a multitude of layers. Fans of doom metal and progressive rock will undoubtedly discover and hear a lot to admire in the music of Northwinds and ‘Eternal Winter’ is no exception. An engaging listen from start-to-finish. Highly recommended." - Vertical Chamber Apparatus
    $16.00
  • "Italy's Odd Dimension burst on the progressive metal in 2011 with their surprising and entertaining debut album Symmetrical. Most of the intrigue came from both from their creativity and accessible complexity of their prog, generated from prior experimentation with various metal and rock genres.Their sophomore release, The Last Embrace to Humanity continues to reflect some of that experimentation. The album might even be a tale of two discs. The previous release, generally, was more heavier prog metal and so is this one, notably at the start. The Unknown King, Under My Creed, and Dissolving into the World are a rush of ambitious and blistering prog. You find this at the end as well in Far from Desires.But what's in between is a bit different. Not everything here is always heavy; it's more subtle and nuanced when it comes. It's So Late, which features Michele Luppi (Vision Divine, Secret Sphere), nears more melodic, though heavier, progressive rock. Another Time and Fortune and Pain, which follow, seems to want to invoke heavy metal but in the end turns on a stirring metal-rock fusion. The latter third of Fortune and Pain, notable in the guitar, sounds like metal-jazz fusion. The New Line of Times takes all these things, abandons the aggressive metal, and develops an epic song of pure melodic prog metal.Not dismissing the other songs, but these four songs are strength and surprise of The Last Embrace to Humanity. They also show once more the impressive talent and creativity of Odd Dimension. But we knew that already, didn't we. Easily recommended." - Danger Dog
    $14.00
  • Hackett's last stand... Phenomenal double live set culled from the A Trick Of The Tail and Wind And Wuthering tours. Essential.
    $21.00
  • Newly remastered from the recently found original master tapes. HDCD as well.
    $15.00
  • Who would have believed that Greece has one of the strongest and most fervent markets for heavy metal in the World. Not only is it a required destination for any band touring Europe but many home grown bands achieve attention from fans and the local metal media. It is from this hot bed that Wastefall emerged to create two superb progressive metal albums for the Greek label Sleaszy Rider Records. Sensory Records has now signed Wastefall world wide for the release of their third album Self Exile.While Wastefall has often been compared to Swedens Pain Of Salvation their music is much more aggressive and dynamic. The bands desire to take their music to the next level led them to Denmark to work with noted producer Tommy Hansen (Helloween, Pretty Maids, Wuthering Heights). The results are quite evident Self Exile retains all of the bands trademarks but the music is heavier and more immediate. When you hear Self Exile Pain Of Salvation will instantly spring to mind but also Pantera, vintage Metallica, and Nevermore as well. This is an album that has more than enough complexity and passion for the prog fan but is also heavy enough for any metal fan.Wastefall will be making their North American debut appearance at the world renowned ProgPower USA festival on September 16, 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia. 
    $5.00
  • "The new Echolyn The End is beautiful is a far cry from the absolutely fantastic As The World which still is one of my favorite Echolyn albums! That said, they´re most certainly progressive in the truest sense of the word. As this album steers towards new areas. And YES it is brilliant! This my friend is a top notch album of the highest order!The music is excellent as always. They still have the complexity in their arrangements and individually they deliver the goods! But...and there is a but....you have to wait till track #6 "So Ready" to get some of their trademark Gentle Giant-like vocal arrangements. And therein my dear prog friends the problem lies. We have come to expect some fine complicated vocals arrangements. Now they're almost gone. Brett Kull & Ray Weston used to deliver the excellent lead vocals with the rest of these wonderful musicians following on superb second vocal harmonies.And they still do, that is, deliver the vocals...but somehow its not the Echolyn of yesterday! On the other hand, this is about progressive music and as such they still are, this great US band with superb arrangements and a brilliant mind for new thinking in this musical world we adore and love! "Misery, Not Memory" is the track that comes closest to that of the former Echolyn –ideology...with traces of Gentle Giant contra-point music style.Overall I must say that I love this album (my favorite still is As The World) for the sheer power and exuberance in fabulous ideas and musical brilliance. And oh....they dare....they dare go a step further...which is what this is all about: progression!So if you are new to these guys, get the first one (just out in a fine new package...with bonus) then work your way up till this one! Echolyn, a fine US prog band that always deliver! If you are a true prog fan then this album should be on your want list! Yeah, I am calling your prog loyality into question! This is a killer album! Make no mistake! This one goes to prog history!" - Prog Planet
    $11.00