Mantric Muse

SKU: TRANS102
Label:
Transubstans Records
Category:
Psychedelic
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Debut release from this Danish offshoot of Oresund Space Collective.  Pure cosmic psychedelic bliss.  If you are a fan of Quantum Fantay or Ozric Tentacles you need to hear this one. Guitarist Magnus Hannibal offers of killer soloing over Ola Hansson's Crystal Machine sounding synths.  Remember when Ozric Tentacles was a great band?  You know - back before Ed fired everyone.  Think Erpland.  That's what this is like.  A non-stop lethal injection of space rock.  Highly recommended.

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    $5.00
  • After a four year wait, Colour Haze return with their most lethal effort yet.  Led by guitarist Stefan Koglek, Colour Haze play an (almost) instrumental form of old school guitar driven psychedelia along the lines of early Ash Ra Tempel.  The trio of Koglek, Philipp Rosthofer (bass), and Manfred Merwald (drums) are augmented with keys (some' tron!) and percussion.  The addition of percussion on parts of the album add a Santana-esque feel and there is even some horns tucked away in spots.  The album is split between two CDs (although it would fit on one but Koglek felt it sounds best this way).   Overall the primary focus is on Koglek.  He unleashes the f**king fury on loooooong jamz that will rip apart your skull.  Ocassionally Koglek inserts some vocals at the heads of the tunes but then his voice gets out of the way and his heavily distorted leads take you to another galaxy.  This one should make my top 10 for 2012.  BUY OR DIE!
    $29.00
  • "Voivod is timeless. That doesn’t mean that the Quebec progressive thrash metal band is frozen in stasis. Rather, it’s a testament to their uncompromising insistence on ever-changing, experimental futurism, with every album existing outside of contemporary style in some alternate universe where guitar pickups are wormholes and drumbeats ripple gravity wells." - Montreal Gazette 
    $10.00
  • Here's a new band that will give avant prog fans a screaming orgasm.  Rhun are a French ensemble.  Their music quite effectively captures the essence of Magma, RIO, and Canterbury.  That's just the first song!!  "The musicians offer an interesting and vivid mosaic of predominantly Canterbury, Zeuhl, Jazz, RIO, and (Kraut)Rock. Beside two guitars, bass, drum, percussion and thrown in sounds, two horn players bring lively colors on sax, bassoon, clarinet and flute in this complex mix. The two singers act in a more avant-garde way as for example Magma. People interested in above mentioned styles should have fun." 
    $18.00
  • "I haven't had anything similar on my musical plate for a while, so Gazpacho's eighth album Demon was an interesting, beautifully surprising and absolutely brilliant variation. Again Gazpacho mixes progressive sounds with electronic elements and folk instrumentation with the addition of dynamic riffing and amazing vocals. The outcome is a unique sound that is quite inimitable and rare to find. How much you enjoy the new record will mainly depend on how you respond to this incredible mix and the singing style used by the vocalist. Anyway Gazpacho rules, especially at night.I'm a great fan of these guys and for those of you that still don't know who they are, Gazpacho is a band formed in Oslo, Norway in 1996 by childhood friends, Jon-Arne Vilbo and Thomas Andersen, along with Jan-Henrik Ohme - later joined by Mikael Krømer, Lars Erik Asp and Kristian Torp; they released their debut album Bravo in 2003.Demon, the upcoming record, is a concept album based on the true story of a manuscript found in an apartment in Prague where the writer, a previous resident, had detailed his chase of an evil, “The Demon”. Demon is for sure full of emotion and humanity and the way the Norwegian band reproduces in music the diabolical story and the psychosis of the protagonist is wonderful.The story is told in four parts and it starts with 'I've been walking – part 1' and it couldn't start in a better low-key fashion way. There’s something disarmingly powerful about loud vocals from Jahn Henrik Ohme that add incredible depth to a song. The intermittent piano notes are just perfect and the delicate violin sound is like a nice shade of color you don't notice on painting but that painting wouldn't be the same without it. A great bonus.The second part of 'I've been walking' – that is the third track of the album – starts exactly where the first movement of the piece ends but adding a dark shadow to the overall atmosphere. There are still vocals but now are slower and they mix perfectly with the other instruments. The bass is gorgeous and the way the song turns into a more ambient and atmospherical dimension is great. It's such a damn good track and together, 'I've been walking' parts I and II, might be the best tunes that Gazpacho has ever written.The mix of sounds of the opening track changes completely in 'The Wizard of Altai Mountain' becoming electronic in the first part of the track and turning into a sort of gipsy or Yiddish sound in the second half. We are all crossing lands pursuing the demon.The story ends with 'Death Room' and the motifs of the 'The Wizard of Altai Mountain' come back like creating a circle with that song. Oriental sound, progressive rock and folk are all mixed together and the resulting fusion sound is incredible. I rarely make direct comparison among artists but this time I cannot avoid to think of Radiohead's music mixed with folk elements to create an intricate yet beautifully original tone. Other times they make me think of the Scandinavian prog-rock band Airbag but again Gazpacho find their way to be definitely unique.The story ends here and Demon too, a captivating and intriguing album that is absolutely brilliant. I like the way it flows song by song and the variety of sounds blended in it. Such experimentalism is the proof that the Norwegian guys are really talented and they deserve to be considered one of the best progressive rock bands on the scene today.Demon is an album that requires time and patience to be understood and to gain the listener's estimation and it will reward open minded audience. Play it in the dark to fully experience its great music." - Echoes And Dust
    $18.00
  • ""It has happened to me twice here in 2009. You stumble upon a band that you have never heard of which totally blows you away. The first time was with the band Anima Mundi out of Cuba. Now, it has happened a second time.From Germany comes the band AtmOsfear with their third release called Zenith. After hearing this one, I am now they have me on a mad search for their past two discs. I cannot believe that they have been ignored by the prog metal world if the past music is as good as this album. Any fan of groups such as Dream Theater, Symphony X or Evergrey whom they have shared a stage with, are in for a treat that is the equal of any of these bands.The disc kind of lulls you in with the short instrumental intro titled "Beginnings". Aptly titled as this is only the start of what is about to fill your senses. The five remaining songs fill the remaining 70 minutes of music and it culminates in the almost 30 minute epic "Spiral Of Pain". Along the way you are treated to a group of five musicians that can hold their own with anyone you would like to name. Stephan Kruse on keyboards, vocalist Oliver Wulff, bassist Burkhart Heberle along with drummer Tim Schnabel and guitarist Boris Stepanow form one of the most dynamic group of musicians ever assembled. They seem to draw off each other and interweave their individual talents into one of the best musical offerings of 2009 or any year for that matter.When music has the power to make you stop what you are doing and listen then you know you have something special. As the very metal opening to "Loss Of Hope" hit me I perked up the ears. When the vocals started, I knew this was no run of the mill offering. Then as the band swelled to their full magnitude, I was completely absorbed. Who are these guys? It is still amazing that music of this caliber can fly under the radar for this long. All you have to do is listen to the exchange between the keyboards and guitars during the extended instrumental section of this song and you will become a fan without a doubt. These guys are the real deal.I have been trying to think of what I can tell you are the highlights of this disc. Well it could be the terrific instrumental piece "Reawakening" with its powerful piano that sets a mood that the guitar plays off of so well, or it may be the enthralling "Generations" which is a roller coaster ride of sound. Then there is the edgy "Scum Of Society" which shows that they are as powerful lyrically as they are musically. Of course all this is setting you up for the epic "Spiral Of Pain" where they take you on a 30 minute quest for musical perfection. They leave nothing on the table as this vast work captures all that we prog metal lovers dream of. Intoxicating from beginning to end this is a classic piece of art. Where Michelangelo used many different mediums to project his art, AtmOsfear similarly uses many different musical approaches to convey their message, melancholy when called for, melodic where needed, brooding and harsh as the story calls for and totally mesmerizing throughout.This is a must have disc. For anyone who has a love of great music this is one that needs to be given a chance. You will not be disappointed." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $3.00
  • Nicely done third album from this Spanish band. The main man behind Kotebel is keyboardist Carlos Plaza but he frequently defers to guitarist Cesar Garcia Forero. The female vocals of Carlonia Prieto has a light ethereal quality which joins with the flute of Omar Acosta to create a balance or counterpoint to the fiery keyboard/guitar interplay. A nice mixture of classical, traditional prog and Spanish influences. This 71 minute effort is a real class affair.
    $15.00
  • Woodpecker is the debut release from singularly named Swedish vocalist AnnaMy (her spelling not mine).  Its a gorgeous album.  This is beautifully recorded gentle, melodic psychedelic folk.  Plenty of electricity here - most notably on electric guitar courtesy of Reine Fiske.  Undercurrents of flute and organ spice up the mix but the focus is on AnnaMy's stunning voice.  The overall sound pays homage to the greats of the 70s.  Think in terms of Trees, Mellow Candle, Caedmon, and Vashti Bunyan.  This one is a real grower.  Highly recommended.
    $32.00
  • Limited edition 2CD set includes a live set recorded at Buxton Opera House."The bleak setting of BJH’s first album in 14 years – and their first since Woolly Wolstenholme cut his life short – evokes rumination on the times when the harvesting is done and one is to gather stones. That’s how the things are set in motion with a tiredly flowing “If You Were Here” until its pining ennui takes a vertiginous turn at the song’s end, when John Lees’ voice starts spinning from channel to channel for the listener to land on familiar ground which hasn’t been trodden for so long. Nor for nothing the record’s cover features a scenic view from the Northern parish of Saddleworth where the group come from.Once on terra firma, the band’s patented sense of humor kicks in, too, and the riff of “The Real Deal” casts rocks far enough, with “it’a a long way back” argument, to convince yer olde fan the album is exactly what this track’s title suggests, yet even those who’ve been following BJH for four decades won’t be prepared for the brass-brandishing “On Top Of The World” that makes the homecoming glorious. Anxious love pours out of the record’s title piece depicting local landscapes and the twangy memory-lane emotions, but the album is as ancient as it is modern.Thus, the slow boogie “In Wonderland” satirizes today’s ways of communication, with web acronyms thrown in for a chorus, and alloys the slang use of “schmetterling” with the ensemble’s symbol: a butterfly. Such an integrity lurks also in the alliteration between “North” and its predecessor, “Nexus,” as well as in the literary appropriation of Saddleworth’s Ammon Wrigley’s poem for the parting that is “The End Of the Day” wherein the gods of Ale and Mirth give birth to a child which can be a child of the universe, an important part of BJH’s lore. It’s elegiac rather than jolly, though, but Jez Smith’s piano in “Ancient Waves” and Lees’ guitar render this melancholy warm and delicate, while, for all its twilight shimmer, the 9-minute “On Leave” – surely a Woolly tribute – joins the pantheon of the band’s best ballads, whereas the quiet communal merriment fills the folk lustre of “Unreservedly Yours” that oozes the ultimate, if autumnal, dedication.With the parallel existence of another BJH, featuring Les Holroyd, “North” could have been a simple attempt of reclaiming the legacy; instead, it turns out to be a shining addition to the classic canon." - Let It Rock
    $17.00
  • This is one of the great rarities from the early 70s Japanese scene.  Toshiaki Yokota is a well regarded flautist who's career has spanned jazz, world music, even anime soundtracks.  Flute Adventure was released in 1970.  While some of the album would be easily compartmentalized as flute led modal jazz, quite a bit of this has a strong psychedelic identity do to the use electric guitar and rock rhythm section.  So you get this weird hybrid where Yokota leashes out with these wicked flute leads over a groovin' rhythm section.  The alternative to this CD is to spend over $1,000 for original vinyl.  Obscure for certain but worthy of your attention.
    $21.00
  • Third album from this superb Dutch band.  Laser's Edge has a long standing relationship with the band, having released their debut, Hallway Of Dreams, in North America.Take equal parts Loreena McKennitt, Kate Bush, and Within Temptation and you've got the basic sound of Kingfisher Sky.  The band was formed by ex-Within Temptation drummer Ivar de Graaf and is fronted by his wife Judith Rijnveld.  Judith is an incredible vocalist - her voice will transfix you.  The lineup features two guitarists, cello, keys, bass, and drums.  Everyone in the band is first class but you will always be drawn back to Judith.  The music takes on a mystical, ethereal quality in places.  It never really crosses over into the metal realm but the guitars can get crunchy in a nice way.  One notable guest on this album is Kristeffor Gildenlow who handles all the bass parts.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • About six years ago guitarist Tony Vinci put together an excellent prog metal project under the Speaking To Stones moniker.  There was one main drawback - the drums were canned.  After a long silence, he's put together a new edition of the band and he's gotten a great drummer in the person of one Mark Zonder.  Andy Engberg handles the vocals and he does his usual superb job.  Keyboardist Anthony Brown adds a symphonic element (no pun intended).  The album consists of five long tracks - all very much guitar driven.  Vinci plays his ass off - this guy has the chops.  There are some neoclassical leanings to his playing at times but this is purely a prog album, very much in the Dream Theater mold.    2012 wasn't the greatest year for progressive metal but here at the tail end we get a stellar release.  Highly recommended.
    $14.00
  • The official title of this amazing Spanish quartet is actually One Of These Days & Thee Heavy Random Tone Colour Lab.  This is the band's debut release and is only available on vinyl.  It arrives on 180 gram vinyl in a numbered limited edition of 500 copies.  Gorgeous artwork form Iria Rodriguez.  You also get a download code for mp3s of the album.This is pure retro/prog/psych plain and simple.  Beyond the tip of the cap with their name, the band draws some musical influence from Atom Heart Mother era Pink Floyd.  The album consists of 4 long tracks.  When the band stretches out I'm also reminded very much of early Nektar - say Tab In The Ocean.  Organ, 'tron, analogue synths - all the good stuff is here.  Guitars have the right sound.  Its not like metal guitars grafted onto an old school sound (some of the new Italian retro bands seem to get this wrong).  This album reeks of the early 70s.Quite a stunning release.  If you can play vinyl you have no choice...BUY OR DIE!
    $30.00
  • The North American Freak Kitchen catalog reissue program continues.  Freak Kitchen is Mattias Eklundh (guitar.vocals), Christer Ortefors (bass) and Bjorn Fryklund (drums). The band describes their album as "A corny little heavy-pop-rock-Latin-world-jazz-avant-garde-metal-blues-record straight from hell!". "Organic" is the band’s sixth album.  It features a guest appearance by Guns N Roses guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal.  Pure guitar driven insanity with tongue firmly planted in cheek.  Essential for fans of Frank Zappa, Bumblefoot, and Steve Vai."If there was such a thing as indie metal, Freak Kitchen would define the genre perfectly. This metal band hails from Sweden and was formed back in 1992. Their outstanding musicianship and authentic musical style makes this power trio a real treat for those of us lucky enough to find their music. The bands’ distaste for big corporate labels has not prevented them from getting their music out, just not on a scale one would expect them to be considering the high level of quality music that they put out. So, as they state on one of their songs: “I’m so alternative, I am so independent, this is the way to live the independent way of life.” I guess one could say the guys walk the talk!Frontman Mathias IA Eklundh is considered a premier guitar player, having himself released several instrumental solo albums, Freak Guitar (1999) and Freak Guitar - The Road Less Traveled (2004). Also of some importance I guess is the fact that I’ve read in several live performance reviews that Eklundh will often play his guitar using foreign objects, some of which are described as vibrating dildos! Oh yeah, and he can really sing too! Eklundh is also the founder of Mattiasology, of which Steve Vai (peace prophet) and Paul Gilbert (space prophet) are listed as members of the Grand Church of Freakiness.Organic is Freak Kitchen sixth studio album, which was released in different parts of the world on April 27, 2005, just don’t expect to find it in North America yet. When you hear them for the first time, and believe me - you will eventually hear them - it’s really like nothing you’ve heard before. It’s like mixing a heavy metal guitar sound with alternative rock and adding mild progressive elements and a clearly indie rock vibe. It’s going to turn your head as it did mine. If you’re into metal you’re going to wonder “what the hell is this” and if you’re into indie rock, you’re going to wonder the exact same thing? It’s a blending of styles that requires time to soak up. But after you get over the initial impact of it all, it grows on you very quickly and I mean that in an exponentially freaky kind of way.The album opens with the single “Speak When Spoken Too,” which also features the eccentric Bumblefoot (Ron Thal - another Mattiasology prophet) on back up vocals and guitar. The Pantera style guitar riffs will have you questioning the bands musical style and the evident alternative rock vibe will probably remind you of System of a Down. There's a whole lot of humour spread out throughout the album as well.The band plays hook laden guitar driven songs full of interesting arrangements and cool little guitar antics and solos. The crystal clear production, the occasional blast beats, the crazy guitar sounds, the humorous lyrics about everyday life (infidelity, racism, the role of parenting) and the radio-friendliness of it all makes this a very memorable listening experience." - Sputnik Music
    $14.00