The Masquerade Ball

SKU: 085-21692CD
Label:
Steamhammer
Category:
Metal/Hard Rock
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Latest release from the man who would be Yngwie features Mike Terrana on drums and Rough Silk's Ferdy Koernberg on drums.

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  • "It’s only been a year since Norwegian super-vocalist Jorn Lande’s last studio album (2012’s Bring Heavy Rock to the Land), but we’ve already seen a symphonic re-recordings album (Symphonic) and now a brand new studio offering. The album, Jorn’s tenth solo album (assuming the Dio covers album counts), is called Traveller, and it’s the first to feature Wig Wam’s Trond Holter on lead guitar.Bring Heavy Rock to the Land was, to be frank, uninspired, so it’s something of a surprise to find Jorn back for another round this soon. Perhaps his new collaboration with Holter has recharged his creative batteries. Traveller does sound a bit more exciting than Bring Heavy Rock to the Land. To be sure, it’s still your basic Jorn album, sounding much like something the late Ronnie James Dio might have written for David Coverdale to sing. Still, Jorn’s incredible vocals make the whole thing completely enjoyable, even if it’s not remotely original.Traveller has a very satisfying crunch to it. It’s not so heavy the melodies are overwhelmed, but it has some metal power the way your average Pretty Maids or Masterplan album does. You hear it especially on the one-two punch of “Legend Man” and “Carry the Black,” but songs like “Overload” and the title track also get the blood pumping. The only real dud here is the closing song “The Man Who Was King,” which is a heartfelt, but completely cheesy ode to Jorn’s hero Ronnie James Dio. His heart’s in the right place, but he already had “A Song For Ronnie James” on the Dio album.There are no real surprises here. If you’re a Jorn fan, you pretty much know what to expect from Traveller. If you were less than thrilled with Bring Heavy Rock to the Land, Traveller will probably restore your faith in Jorn at least a little bit. It’s not the powerhouse album Spirit Black or Lonely Are the Brave were, but it’s still a rock solid melodic metal album from one of the best voices in the genre." - Hard Rock Haven
    $14.00
  • Not at all what I expected...vocal based project with Terry Bozzio and Billy Sheehan playing all the instruments. Obviously the predominant instrumentation revolves around bass and percussion so it's very rhythmically oriented music. Bozzio sings and contribues keys while Sheehan also plays some guitar. Music has a dark Crimsonish feel. Bozzio vocal approach is more talking than singing but it fits the moody noir-ish music. Clever disc!
    $9.00
  • “The Atomized Dream” is the fourth full length release from this Georgia based instrumental metal band. With a new expanded lineup, the Canvas Solaris “sound” continues to evolve.The band has shown tremendous growth since their beginnings in 1999, evolving out of the death metal/mathcore scene. Dropping their vocalist along the way the band decided to emphasize intricate arrangements, creating compositions that only the most adept musicians could play. Canvas Solaris’ music resonated equally with fans of technical metal co-horts Behold The Arctopus and Spastic Ink as well as bands like Don Caballero and Dillinger Escape Plan.Following the recording of their third album, Cortical Tectonics, the lineup saw a radical change. Band founders Nathan Sapp (guitars) and Hunter Ginn (drums) replaced departing guitarist/bassist Ben Simpkins with 3 new members. Joining are Chris Rushing (guitars), Donnie Smith (analog synth), and Gael Pirlot (bass). While the core sound has remained these new members have clearly made their mark. Keyboards now play a more prominent role, while the twin guitar interplay is mesmerizing. The band continues to contrast hyper-technical metal passages with spacey and quiet acoustic based interludes.A recent tour with Behold The Arctopus and Dyshrythmia brought attention to the band and they plan on continuing the momentum with additional shows in 2008.The band is always interested in presenting their work with interesting graphics. They are honored to have noted low brow artist Mars-1 provide the cover art. Once again the album was produced by Jamie King (Between The Buried and Me) and mastered by Grammy winning engineer Bob Katz.
    $4.00
  • "Dancer and the Moon is Blackmore s Night 8th studio album. Despite Ritchie Blackmore s past as a guitar player in Deep Purple and Rainbow, he is now in another stage of his musical life, concentrating on modern Folk, Renaissance and Progressive Rock music. Besides Ritche s incredible talent as aguitar player, the other selling point for Blackmore s Night is vocalist Candice Night, the beautiful wife of Ritchie Blackmore who could be described as a younger, and folkier, version of Stevie Nicks."Deluxe digipak CD/DVD edition.  The DVD features a documentary as well as acoustic versions of 3 tunes that are on the album and one that is not.
    $19.00
  • Penumbra Diffuse is the second full length release from this Georgia based instrumental tech-metal trio. It also marks their debut effort for Sensory after the successful release of "Sublimation" for Tribunal Records.The band has shown tremendous growth since their beginnings in 1999, evolving out of the death metal/mathcore scene. Dropping their vocalist along the way the band decided to emphasize intricate arrangements, creating compositions that only the most adept musicians could play. Canvas Solaris' music resonated equally with fans of technical metal co-horts Spiral Architect and Cynic as well as bands like Don Caballero and Dillinger Escape Plan."Penumbra Diffuse" demonstrates musical artists that continue to mature. Now drawing inspiration from progressive Gods like King Crimson, Voivod and Mr. Bungle, they have added more textural elements, with keyboards and acoustic instruments playing a more prominent role in the music. The music now has a more expansive sound but still retaining their trademark technical elements.
    $13.00
  • "It's a strange thing, but hardly uncommon in the Internet age. I had to find out about Pennsylvania's Mindaze through a German promotion outfit distributing promotional packages for Swedish label Inner Wound Recordings. Mind you, Mindmaze's roots are in Allentown, a mere hour drive from Dangerdog HQ. Here we have their sophomore effort Back From The Edge, soon to get more and better interest thanks to this international promotion.Mindmaze works from the roots of traditional melodic heavy metal, and then throws in female lead vocals with a good mixture of progressive power metal. The band is essentially a trio, led by siblings Jeff and Sarah Teets, with guests filling the bass guitar chair. For the album session recording that duty fell to Symphony X's Mike LePond. They get additional support from Stratovarius keyboardist Jens Johansson (Moment of Flight), Pharaoh guitarist Matt Johnsen (The Machine Stops), and Lord guitarist Lord Tim (Onward Destiny Calls II).Keeping good company with talented musicians is one thing, but delivering the heavy metal goods is another. And Mindmaze does. I was particularly impressed at the depth of the songwriting and arrangements. All the songs are thick with groove, harmony, and melody, yet sufficiently intriguing thanks to shifts and twists from tempo to instrumentation. Significant to the latter is Jeff Teets' impressive guitar lines. His riffs and leads are rather rather large, rousing and entertaining. So much so, one might call this a guitar-oriented metal album. If you like sharp guitar work, you will definitely enjoy this album. As for sister Sarah's voice, her vocals are essentially straight foward, easily in the range of hard rock and heavy metal. What she's not is some crazy operatic singer trying to impress you with her range and pierce your eardrums. She reminds me of A Sound of Thunder's Nina Osegueda, but not as screamo. With that reference, I would suggest that, if you like ASoT, you're going to love Mindmaze.As for individual songs, I won't bore you with minutae. You can listen to a few tracks below. I was immediately pleased with Dreamwalker, Moment of Flight, and The Machine Stops. The latter two having perhaps the most 'proggish' moments of the album. Not so much for Consequences of Choice. It's not a bad song, but just seems more riff driven and even-handed, with little intrigue. But it in no way diminishes the strength of the whole as Back From The Edge a fine listen from start to finish. Easily recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $15.00
  • Sophomore release from this Sabaton offshoot.  This time the Swede's fixation is on the American Civil War.  Whatever floats your boat (or sinks it as the case may be).  Digipak edition with two bonus tracks."Civil War: a Swedish metal band styled after the American Civil War of 19th century. I'm not sure I get foreigner's fascination with one of the worst times in my country's history. But here they are. This is my first experience with Civil War, so for those who know the band, bear with me for a few words about their origins.Civil Was started by four original members of Sabaton, Daniel Mullback, Rikard Sundén, Daniel Myhr and Oskar Montelius, when they bailed from the band in 2012. They hooked up with Nils Patrik Johansson, of Astral Doors fame, for a lead vocalist. They returned to their melodic power metal roots for their chosen musical style. Next, lyrically, the tell tales of war and warriors. Did I say four guys were original members of Sabaton? Yup. It appears there's a recurring theme here, and it is possible to reinvent the wheel.As for the music, it's rather typical power metal and really requires no explanation. However, in combination with the lyrical themes, you may have difficulty shaking off the Sabaton vibe. Yet, if you like military history, Civil War becomes somewhat of a thinking man's heavy metal band. Though their name suggests the songs would be about that American war, Civil War speaks to a variety of persons and conflicts.Some of these are self-explanatory like Braveheart (William Wallace), Schindler's Ark, Back to Iwo Jima or the Bay Pigs, the failed invasion of Cuba by rebels financed by the American government. Some need a little explanation like Admiral Over The Ocean which concerns Nelson and the sea battle of Trafalgar or Tears of the North, about Vikings in Russia. Two songs speak specifically to the American civil war: USS Monitor, about the first ironclad steamship created by the Union Navy and Gods and Generals. The intent of the latter is more sketchy; it could have something to do with the Jeffery Shaara novel of the same name. My digital promo came with a lyric sheet which was helpful. I'm sure the lyrics will be in the CD booklet.Again, all these things are wrapped up in melodic heavy and power metal: good melody and harmony, quick pacing, flourishes of synths, and lots of guitar solos. The wild card here is probably Johansson's voice. He has the gruff sandpaper style which, for me, has always taken some to time to appreciate. Overall, Gods And Generals is solid, if not typical, European power metal, with the thoughtful militry history lyrics the strong feature, though this is not novel either. Recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $13.00
  • 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
  • Fourth studio album from the prog "supergroup" of Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater), Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings), Neal Morse (ex-Spock's Beard), and Pete Trewavas (Marillion).  Like the previous albums expect marathon length pure prog rock that reflects back onto the golden age.  The title track is 32 minutes long!This is the 2CD/DVD Deluxe edition.Track List:Main Disc:1    Into the Blue                                          25:112    Shine                                                       7:263    Black as the Sky                                       6:434    Beyond the Sun                                        4:29 5    Kaleidoscope                                          31:53TOTAL TIME: 75:43      Bonus Disc:1    And You and I                                         10:432    I Can't Get It Out of My Head                   4:433    Conquistador                                            4:104    Goodbye Yellow Brick Road                      3:165    Tin Soldier                                               3:216    Sylvia                                                      3:497    Indiscipline                                              4:438    Nights In White Satin                                6:12TOTAL TIME: 40:59Making of Kaleidoscope DVD – Full length DVD behind the scenes of the writing and recording of this amazing album. Running time 1 hour and 26 minutes. Edited by Randy George. NTSC Region Free
    $28.00
  • 2CD limited edition mediabook features a bonus CD with 1 extra track as well as 5 acoustic versions."Beer soaked and battered from the epic battle with the Terrorsquid, Captain Bowes and his merry band of Scottish pirates were able to proceed further northbound. The quest for gold and desire for plundering alcohol was too strong, especially in these days when the golden age of piracy was nearing its end. However, with enough energy as men in their mid-20's could muster, the buccaneers "scraped the barrel" yet again for new innovative ideas to add to the folkified brand of metallic pirate songwriting. With nothing to lose....the band fuels the most fun of the adventures to date.Following in the footsteps of men like Francois l'Olonnais, who ate a fucking heart, or Jean Lafitte, who told King George to suck it, or even Blackbeard's mentor, Benjamin Hornigold, who just didn't give a shit, Bowes, Evans, Murdock, Alcorn and Vernon relish in the spoils of others....stealing their rum, turning ships into cannon fodder, and calling out the Spanish and Japanese bastards that turned them into peg legs. Sailing the high seas like the days of yore isn't an easy task in the 21st century, so they get their fair share of weird looks, critical analysis citing stupid silliness and comparisons to Jack Sparrow. Pirates care not, they take and steal.This volume of adventures includes a new round of war, silliness, and mishaps. There's pompous and overbearing keyboards (that's not a bad thing when it comes to these lads), ridiculously engaging choruses, the occasional black metal screech (from Elliot Vernon) and bizarre speed changes that really harken back to the "golden age" of hardcore punk a la Attitude Adjustment, Ludichrist/Scatterbrain, Agnostic Front, and The Meatmen with that hallmark metallic edge. Songs like "Wooden Leg" and "Surf Squid Warfare" are nearly straight up punk, again another hallmark of Alestorm releases. As for production, it's Lasse Lammert, so expect perfection and he delivers.The single biggest "change" with this release is that the fun side is ratcheted up quite a bit more. I've never heard a collection of songs that are so perfect for the band's already stellar live shows. Oddly, the most fun comes in the form of the Taio Cruz cover "Hangover," the controversial hip hop song that sounds way more like a normal Alestorm song than a Top 40 megahit. It so suits the band's live image that it easily is my favorite song on the album, though I wouldn't be shocked if it was met with utter hatred. It compliments the first single "Drink" even more than the "ironic" before and after title effect. "Magnetic North" is the first song since Running Wild's "Jennings Revenge" that truly makes you feel like you are on the high seas.Alestorm clearly isn't for everyone. You either love them or hate them, mostly having to do with whether you decide to accept the "old pirate bullshit." I stand by my plea that metal needs bands like Alestorm, if only to immerse oneself in the cheesy silliness of life. If you've seen the band live, or Bowes' other equally silly fun power metal act Gloryhammer, you cannot help fist pumping or waving a drink. This album is even more fun than Tobias Sammet's new Edguy release. Drink up mateys...the Golden Age won't last forever!Highs: The most fun pirate album EVER.....Lows: ....if you like that sort of thing. Alestorm has it's haters, and they will be out in droves with this one.Bottom line: Alestorm scrapes the barrel yet again....and a new "sunrise on the Golden Age" is seen on the horizon." - Metal Underground 
    $16.00
  • The band's second album now remastered and featuring two bonus tracks.
    $8.00
  • The band's second album is filled with classic material, most notably "Il Banchetto". Progressive rock doesn't get much better than this.
    $11.00
  • "The average underground metal fan seeing Crucified Barbara in the daily news feed probably made the same mistake I did in expecting this Scandinavian all-female rock band to be too upbeat and soft to hold my attention. That turned out to not be the case at all, as “In The Red” has the best of both worlds: an energetic rockin' vibe with more than enough of a metal edge. If you dig metal/rock crossovers like Doro or want a more serious and less humorously misogynistic Steel Panther, “In The Red” is absolutely the album for you.The album opens with the catchy “I Sell My Kids For Rock 'N Roll,” an anthem of rebellion against slowing down the rock just because of age, and then shifts into the slower but harder hitting “To Kill A Man,” which would make a great soundtrack to an “I Spit On Your Grave”-style revenge flick. Third track, “Electric Sky” then splits the difference, being catchy but still heavy.The album as a whole is incredibly cohesive, keeping up a solid and recognizable vibe while slightly altering the formula to switch between punk rock partying and darker themes. There's not much in the way of experimentation or a single stand-out track, but that's actually more of a good thing than you might think, as there's really no filler tracks either.“In The Red” is likely to hold the attention of extreme metal fans better than a good deal of the other rock hybrid groups. Granted it's not brutal or extreme, but so long as you don't head into it expecting Arch Enemy you'll be good to go. These tracks are definitely heavier than say Lita Ford's material, but much more rock focused and less on the extreme end than other all-female groups such as Astarte. This leads to both high powered guitar riffing on tracks like “Lunatic” alongside an old school Blue Oyster Cult feel on “Finders Keepers.”Refusing to give up the fist pumping fun of rock while playing heavy metal, Crucified Barbara's “In The Red” is a must-hear for fans of either genre.Highs: A great meshing of energetic rock with hard hitting metal with essentially no filler material.Lows: If you only dig extreme metal this won't have as much appeal, and there's not much in the way of experimentation or a single stand out track.Bottom line: Rock and metal rarely sound this good together - even if the less heavy end of music doesn't usually appeal to you, give this one a listen anyway." - Metal Underground
    $13.00
  • Remastered edition with bonus tracks."This album attempted to repeat the pop-metal formula of Gary Moore's 1985 album, Run for Cover, but falls short for various reasons. First, the songwriting wasn't quite up to par and except for "Over the Hills and Far Away, the title track, and "The Loner" - a beautifully moody guitar instrumental, Moore seemed to be going through the motions. Second, and most fatal was the decision to use a drum machine throughout the album; a failed experiment which just plain sounds wrong. Still, this is hardly a bad record, just slightly disappointing." - Allmusic Guide
    $9.00