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 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
  • Remastered edition with bonus tracks."This is the first of Irish guitar virtuoso Gary Moore's true heavy metal albums. Boasting a crisp, aggressive sound, Corridors of Power kicks off with the foot-stomping "Don't Take Me for a Loser," delivers the token power ballad in "Always Gonna Love You," and floors the gas pedal on "Rockin' Every Night." However, the album's climax has to be the epic "End of the World," with it's two-minute long guitar solo intro and vocals courtesy of Cream's Jack Bruce." - Allmusic Guide
    $9.00
  • This is the US deluxe slipcase edition featuring 5 bonus tracks and a music video.
    $8.00
  • 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
  • Remastered edition with bonus tracks."Run For Cover took the heavy metal ingredients of Gary Moore's previous two albums and added a little pop refinement to the mix. Thankfully, this did not compromise the overall heaviness of the record, and Moore even achieves a successful remake of his classic ballad "Empty Rooms." Calling on his many friends to help in the studio, Moore obtains fantastic vocal performances from former Deep Purple bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes on "Reach for the Sky" and "All Messed Up"; and former Thin Lizzy leader and childhood friend Philip Lynott on the dramatic "Military Man." The latter also trades vocals with Moore on the album's biggest single "Out in the Fields." Written about the religious turmoil in their native Ireland, it was actually Lynott's final recorded performance before his tragic death. It also presaged the musical and lyrical Irish themes which would dominate Moore's future work." - Allmusic Guide
    $9.00
  • "ALLEN/LANDE (or ALLEN-LANDE) is a Melodic Hard Rock/Heavy Metal super group / band project formed in 2005 by guitarist Magnus Karlsson (PRIMAL FEAR, STARBREAKER) with two highly acclaimed metal vocalists - vocalist Russell Allen (SYMPHONY X) and former MASTERPLAN vocalist Jørn Lande. The band released such albums: "The Battle" (2005), "The Revenge" (2007), "The Showdown" (2010) and "The Great Divide" on 17th October 2014.Opening track “Come Dream With Me” takes listeners on the journey through the Melodic Rock & Metal world where you can find stronger melodic guitars with wonderful vocals, clear rhythmic section, catchy chorus with an impressive guitar solo which makes goose-flesh, and little PRIMAL FEAR echoes. Powerful drums and mega energetic guitar riffs in “Down from the Mountain” are truly kick-ass with amazing vocals in climate of BLACK SABBATH, AXEL RUDI PELL and memorable refrain in high style. All tracks have similar sounds to GAMMA RAY and TIMO TOLKKI songs. The energetic atmosphere of “Dream About Tomorrow” is caused by heavier riffs, SCORPIONS echoes, great solo, and keys in Power Metal style.My favourite song on the album is “Lady of Winter”, which has everything that is the best in Hard Rock and Metal music – so gentle piano opening, then heavy riffs, clear drums, fabulous memorable high chorus, and perfect worked guitars full of melody. Stunning track with rockin sounds, mid-tempo, perfect bass, slower climate, and totally in the style of JORN. Stronger riffs with gentle keys and massive JORN vocals in pathetic melodic refrain in track “Solid Ground” is perfect, also with a massive and brilliant guitar solo!The band proves that they are on high-class level in powerful “In the Hands of Time” where keys and melodic guitars have STRATOVARIUS echoes. The energetic “Reaching for the Stars” with gentle keys in the background with memorable refrain and massive sounding “Hymn to the Fallen” with mixing Heavy Metal sounds together with rockin style.Also I like very much the ballad titled track “The Great Divide” with beautiful strong voices of singers, calmer guitars, keyboards, and passionate guitar work and chorus in high style with choir in amazing slower tempo – what a wonderful sound! Another ballad “Bittersweet” has a slower rate, clear drums, piano, and brilliant singing together with climatic stronger high riffs. Sounds total perfect!ALLEN/LANDE, again, proved that they are Kings of Rock and Metal. They connect different kinds of sounds – Hard Rock, Heavy Metal with doses of melody. The band creates music with passion. Every track is a masterpiece and in each sound the experience of musicians is hear able. ALLEN/LANDE is simply a fantastic band, and their fresh CD “The Great Divide” is more than highly recommended to every lover of Melodic strong sound!" - Metal Temple
    $16.00
  • New album featuring Mike Mangini replacing the thought-to-be-irreplaceable Mike Portnoy on drums. No changes in direction - still the prog metal leaders that other bands follow. This is the special edition that comes with a bonus DVD featuring the 60 minute documentary encapsulating the band's hunt for a new drummer - with videos of the try-out sessions.
    $18.00
  • The band's second album now remastered and featuring two bonus tracks.
    $8.00
  • Remastered edition of one of Eloy's great space rock creations. This was the first disc to feature Hannes Arkona on keyboards. Comes with two bonus tracks "Wings Of Vision" and a single edit of "Silhouette". Great disc!! Please note this disc incorporates EMI copy control technology which seems to allow you to do whatever it is you would normally do with a CD but you can't rip it. Bummer.
    $13.00
  • Brilliant third album. While the long epic tracks are of course creative genius sometimes it's the shorter tracks like "Non Mi Rompete" that solidify the work.
    $14.00
  • Second album from this outstanding German psychedelic/doom trio.  Nuclear Blast is cornering the market on killer retro 70s inspired hard rock bands.  First was Witchcraft, then Graveyard, and now Orchid and Kadavar.  This German band bears the musical imprint of Black Sabbath on their DNA but not quite to the extent of Orchid.  There is much more of a psychedelic bent to their sound - you can hear the impact that bands like Hawkwind and Guru Guru had on them.  Highly recommended. 
    $13.00
  • Remastered with bonus tracks."Gary Moore's 1989 release, After the War features a return to the metal guitar riffing of his 80's records ("Speak for Yourself" and "Running From The Storm"), while continuing to explore more conventional pop dynamics with mixed results - it works great on "Ready to Love." Also, after dedicating his last album to fallen childhood friend and musical partner in crime, Philip Lynott, Moore finally honored him in song with the moving "Blood of Emeralds." As it turned out, this would be Gary Moore's last hard rock album before becoming a "born-again" bluesman." - Allmusic Guide
    $9.00
  • "Andy Tillison, the mastermind behind The Tangent, isn’t a wet-behind-the-ears newbie when it comes to the world of prog rock. He knows he’s taken a risk with the band’s new album, Le Sacre Du Travail, but ten years of leading the band on its journey and seven albums to show for it have given him the strength and courage to present something decidedly different in today’s world of prog.Spurred on by the growing resurgence of progressive rock to do something unexpected that stands outside the box, he zeroed in on the idea of creating an orchestra suite in the spirit of artists like Camel and Deep Purple’s dearly departed Jon Lord. The naysayers might consider the new album to be too far afield from what’s considered prog rock these days, but The Tangent enjoys a broad international fanbase that respects the fact their heroes are bent on being as big and bold and as adventurous as the people who originally started the progressive rock movement off in the late ‘60s.“Big and bold” i this case doesn’t mean loud and in-your-face. On the contrary, Le Sacre Du Travail serves up everything from ‘70s rock to smoky blues to jazz to classical music. Given the conceptual nature of the record, Tillison sees it as a soundtrack without a film.“Hopefully that's what I'm getting across with this music,” says Tillison. “I want to give the music the excitement I felt when I first started hearing classical music. That’s why I got into progressive rock music; hearing classical music as a child, I used to be off and away imagining pictures and scenes and telling myself stories to go along with it. What I wanted to do was tell those stories to somebody else with my own music.”Le Sacre Du Travail is, in brief, a story about 7 billion people that all have the same name; “You”. The Tangent wanted to put the listener into the picture, having decided that if they were going to present this story, it had to be something that absorbed everyone on a familiar level.Tillison: “We avoided the concept album idea for a really long time, and finally we’ve done one. Most of the lyrics came pretty easily; I never wrote them down, I just sang what I felt, lots and lots of different things. I had many takes and many ideas, so I had to go back and pick out the best ones, and eventually I got the idea of what I wanted to sing about. It came out very naturally.”Looking back on The Tangent’s catalogue, Tillison – who started his musical career writing punk songs and pays tribute to that era on a the bonus track ‘Hat (Live At Mexborough School 1979’ – admits that The Tangent’s evolution is something of a surprise. At the same time, given that he’s had a decade to refine his craft as a prog artist, “I knew this was coming.” Looking back on his roots, Tillison knows exactly what influenced the outcome of Le Sacre Du Travail“The obvious influence is one of the very first progressive rock albums ever made: The Days Of Future Past by The Moody Blues. They had the idea of breaking a day into pieces and running through it on the album. It must have been there in the back of my mind, although I must say I probably haven't listened to that album in 30 years. I never really thought about it while I was recording, but at some point I realized I was doing the history of a day with an orchestra and a rock band. Deep Purple’s Concerto For Group and Orchestra was a big influence, and at the same time Roger Waters' Amused To Death album is definitely in there.”“We know we’re taking a risk,” Tillison adds. “Some people will go ‘What the hell is this?’ because it’s a big piece of music to get into and you have to find your way around it. But that’s where I want to be; on the leading edge of progressive rock music.”"US jewel box edition with 3 bonus tracks. 
    $10.00
  • San Francisco's Orchid has been kicking around a bit, jumping around a bunch of small labels.  A buzz has been developing around the band so it was only a matter of time before they stepped up to the big time - they got snatched up by Nuclear Blast.  I would say that NB scored a major coup here.  Orchid's reputation has been built upon a doom metal sound that draws heavily from the early Black Sabbath canon.  Plain and simple.  These guys have the retro sound down pat and the look as well.  If you are into doom its not going to come any better than this.  Highly recommended. 
    $13.00