The Metal Opera

SKU: CM8038-2
Label:
Century Media
Category:
Power Metal
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Super session put together by Tobias Stammet, vocalist of Edguy. Lineup reads like a who's who of power/speed metal: Kai Hansen, David DeFeis, Andre Matos, Oliver Hartmann, Sharon Den Adel, Rob Rock, Timo Tolkki on vocals. Musiciasn include Henjo Richter, Markus Grosskopf, and Alex Holzwarth. Basically an over the top power metal opera!

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  • "The proper follow-up to Among the Living was somewhat disappointing in its inconsistency. While there are some good moments -- "Be All, End All" is one of the band's most melodic moments, and several other tracks catch fire -- the best thing here is a cover of Trust's "Antisocial," and it doesn't bode well when covers outshine original material. The lyrics continue the self-consciously intellectual, PC approach begun on Among the Living, but about half of the album is surprisingly dull." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • New studio album from Roye Albrighton and Ron Howden carrying on with the Nektar name.  Since the band reformed last decade, their studio output hasn't lived up to the reputation of the classic 70s era.  This album appears to stop the skid.  Keyboardist Klaus Henatsch has been with the band for some time now.  His keyboard arsenal has that old school sound utilizing Hammond organ at every turn.  Fill-in bassist to the stars Billy Sherwood rounds out the quartet and he also handled production.  While no two Nektar albums sounded exactly alike there was an overriding sound - once you heard a song you immediately were able to identify it as Nektar.  A lot of that had to do with Albrighton's vocals and guitar work.  Time Machine is just that - a trip back in time to the sound of Nektar in the early 70s.  I'm not going to tell you that is will supplant Remember The Future as their magnum opus, but I have to say that this isn't half bad at all and pretty closely approximates the Nektar sound that we all know and loved.  Surprising and satisfying.
    $16.00
  • At War With Self - sounds more like a psychological diagnosis than a band! This new group is an instrumental power prog trio leaping onto the progressive scene. The project is the brainchild of guitarist / multi-instrumentalist Glenn Snelwar. Torn Between Dimensions, the band's debut recording, features Snelwar on guitar, mandolin, and keyboards; Michael Manring on fretless bass and e-bow; and Fates Warning's Mark Zonder on drums and percussion. Zonders solidly tasty drumming firmly anchors the trio along with the melodically propulsive bass work of Manring, all wonderfully adorned by Snelwars fierce playing. The band serves up intense, emotional pieces in a wide variety of musical styles. Snelwars intention is to open doors to listeners who may be unfamiliar with progressive rock, classical guitar or metal. At War With Self have an equal passion for such diverse types of music as progressive and metal bands like King Crimson, Voivod and Pink Floyd; classical composers such as Bartok and Villa Lobos; as well as bluegrass and jazz. Torn Between Dimensions takes these influences and combines them into something undeniably progressive and strikingly original. The end result is a dense wall of sound, with different textures and feels within each number, one song flowing seamlessly into the next.Guitarist Glenn Snelwar is perhaps best known for his contributions to Gordian Knots eponymous debut, a project led by Chapman Stick player Sean Malone that featured guest performances by Trey Gunn (King Crimson), Sean Reinert (Cynic) & John Myung (Dream Theater). Snelwar helped co-write three of the songs for Gordian Knot, as well as contributing guitar work. Since his involvement with Gordian Knot, Snelwar has been incorporating mandolin, keyboard and string section programming into a foundation of classical, steel string and electric guitar arrangements to great effect. Michael Manring is a world-renowned, Grammy-nominated bassist who has appeared on over 100 studio projects, including recording and performing with Michael Hedges and Attention Deficit Disorder (with former Primus drummer Tim "Herb" Alexander). Michaels fretless bass parts play a vital role on Torn Between Dimensions, melodic but never overwhelming. For over 15 years, Mark Zonder occupied the drum stool for progressive metal legends Fates Warning. As Zonders fans would expect, he continues to push new boundaries on Torn Between Dimensions. Marks playing on the disc covers a lot of territory - from double bass drumming and odd time signatures, to jazz and Middle Eastern flavors. Snelwar describes Torn Between Dimensions as a concept album, but not in the strict sense of the word. I wanted to create a collection of songs where each would stand on its own, but exist as part of a greater whole. I strived to create something that would impact the listener, and incorporate many stylistic influences. Torn Between Dimensions is a tour de force of powerful, fluid prog rock that should appeal to progheads and rock fanatics alike! Torn Between Dimensions is housed in a digipak and features stunning artwork from noted surrealist Travis Smith.
    $5.00
  • 2CD live recording from the Paradise Theater in Boston.  Recorded on April 15, 1988.  If you don't know 3 was the one shot band that featured Keith Emerson, Carl Palmer, and Robert Berry.  Besides sporting mullets the band ran through a set list that relied heavily on their album as well as a little ELP, a little Emerson solo material, and even The Nice.  It seemed like a good idea at the time...
    $17.00
  • To commemorate their 10th anniversary, Riverside has recorded a new 3 song “mini-album”. This 33 minute work consists of three long tracks that segue into one cohesive whole. Stylistically it’s a return to the spacier melancholy sound of their debut “Out Of Myself”. Memories In My Head is a musical rollercoaster ride of deep emotional power. This new release also marks the band's return to the Laser’s Edge, the label that they began their incredible journey with. Recommended to fans of Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, and Anathema.
    $10.00
  • Limited edition import 2CD set with 7 bonus tracks!"When you made the impact that Bigelf did in 2010 with their fourth album ‘Cheat The Gallows’ and the subsequent tour, it’s inevitable that people expected the highly rated band from Los Angeles to hit hard in 2011. But instead we got an astonishing silence. However, all that is about to change with the arrival of ‘Into The Maelstrom’, a new album of melodic prog-doom that eccentric frontman Damon Fox believes will take Bigelf to new heights. “I have been reflecting on the band and pondering what it would take to get us to the next level, I believe we have accomplished this task on the new record.The last three years for Fox have been confusing and difficult, to say the least, as he found the band he’d worked so hard to establish suddenly dissipated. “I’d call our break a spontaneous hiatus. I did genuinely feel that we’d go into 2011 with an album out early in the year, and then we’d build on what we had achieved up until that point. Instead, we came to a standstill. The momentum had vanished, and it halted the band. So, I was forced into an introspective state of hypersleep and had to contemplate my future. I love the other guys in the band as brothers, and I am extremely grateful for they contributed to help get Bigelf this far. I was heartbroken when that line-up came to an end but change nonetheless was upon the band.“Forging ahead, I didn’t feel that I could get it done on my own”, Fox admits. Thankfully, he found a kindred spirit in famed drum god Mike Portnoy, with whom he’d bonded with in 2010 when Bigelf toured with Dream Theater. “We hung out a lot back then, and got very close. Mike and I discussed how similar our situations were with our respective bands going through our ‘Let It Be’ phases. This was around the time when Mike had his dramatic press-laden departure from Dream Theater. I knew Mike loved Bigelf, and he told me not to give up on it and to keep the band going. His encouragement really helped me to carry on through dark times.”"Getting the songs fully realized was something of a laborious experience", Fox explains. “In the past while I had written most of the material, I always had a incredibly gifted band to bounce ideas off of and we would often jam out to fully realize the song . But this time, I had to write, arrange and envision everything on my own. Once I got the selection of songs together, I sent the demos to Portnoy (who had agreed to play on the album). Mike is the busiest man in Prog, so the next time he was in LA, we laid down the drums at Linda Perry's studio, Kung-Fu Gardens where we did ‘Gallows’. I also wrote a song with her for the new album. The rest of the sessions and instrumentation were recorded at my home studio ITM.“I feel this album is going to prove to a lot of MP haters that Portnoy can really lay down a groove and has a serious vibe as a drummer. It’s not just about his chops and his pyrotechnic style, for which he’s known for, especially with Dream Theater. The feel and emotion in his playing on this record is really unique and it’s unlike anything else he’s done before in my opinion” Lovable lefty bassist Duffy Snowhill, who’s been with the band since 2000, is bringing his thundering Viking bass tones to the recording of ‘Into The Maelstrom’. Luis Maldonado is also climbing aboard the Elf vessel for his first trek. “Luis is a close friend who I’ve known for many years. He has his own band, Into The Presence, and works with a lot of established artists as well. Luis is a phenomenal guitarist, he delivered some really blistering leads on the new album. I'm supplied all of the rhythm guitar tracks and managed to squeeze in a few leads as well too. People usually associate me with keyboards – and there are copious amount on the album, to be certain – but originally Bigelf was founded around my guitar riffs, and it was really rewarding to be able to play guitar again from a nucleus standpoint.”‘Into The Maelstrom’ was produced by Fox (who also handles all the vocals), and believes this album proves that Bigelf are now exploring alien musical landscapes. “There’s a fresh aura and energy on there that’s completely different to our previous releases, but it also sounds like Bigelf. I view this album as being very psychedelic cinematic. It has a ‘Mad Max’ post-apocalyptic feel – a futuristic world that’s rather dirty and desolate filled with chaos and despair. The bludgeoning Sabbath guitars and “Karn-Evil” keys are still there, but the modern setting is what makes the record have a creative edge.While ‘Into The Maelstrom’ isn’t a concept album as such, Fox does reveal that there is a theme that links much of his lyricism. “It’s about traveling through time into one’s past and into the future, to experience and examine your pain and fears, in order to move forward in life. A lot of my baggage from the my travels provides the cathartic inspiration. Deep, personal feelings like the tragic death of my best friend and former Bigelf guitarist A.H.M. Butler-Jones. And my fears of mankind eventually destroying itself a la, ‘Planet Of The Apes’. I suppose the opening song, ‘Incredible Time Machine’, sums it all up.”Fox is clearly inspired and reinvigorated by the new focus Bigelf have made here. For him it’s not just about how the album sounds, but also the process involved in getting there. “Making the record has been a certain kind of journey. A few years ago I had to completely let go of Bigelf, which was painful but it came back with force and vision. As such, the music began to shape from a different perspective and I have been able to see an alternative way of accomplishing my goals. To me, ‘Into The Maelstrom’ is a genesis, a bridge between the band and a larger audience. Strap yourselves in ladies and gentlemen, you're in for a wild ride.”"
    $15.00
  • Excellent US neoprog that will appeal to fans of Marillion and Iluvatar.
    $3.00
  • Remastered with 2 bonus tracks."The last quality album from Judas Priest's commercial period, Defenders of the Faith doesn't quite reach the heights of British Steel or Screaming for Vengeance, in part because it lacks a standout single on the level of those two records' best material. That said, even if there's a low percentage of signature songs here, there's a remarkably high percentage of hidden gems waiting to be unearthed, making Defenders possibly the most underrated record in Priest's catalog. Musically, it follows the basic blueprint of Screaming for Vengeance, alternating intricate speed rockers with fist-pumping midtempo grooves and balancing moderate musical sophistication with commercial accessibility. It's a craftsmanlike record from a band that had been in the game for a full decade already, but was still vital and exciting, and decidedly not on autopilot (yet). The record opens high-energy with the terrific "Freewheel Burning" and "Jawbreaker" before moving into lost anthem "Rock Hard Ride Free," the more complex "The Sentinel," the cold, oddly mechanized single "Love Bites," and the slightly darker "Some Heads Are Gonna Roll." Coincidentally (both were released the same year), there's a bit of Spinal Tap creeping into the band's approach on side two -- not just in calling a song "Heavy Duty," but also in the ridiculous rough-sex ode "Eat Me Alive," which comes off like an S&M-themed "Sex Farm" (albeit without the tasteful subtlety). It wound up getting the band in trouble with Tipper Gore's PMRC, though one wonders if it would have helped or hindered their cause that the song's sexual aggression was, in hindsight, not directed at women. At any rate, Defenders of the Faith charted only one spot lower than its predecessor, and was certified platinum. Hereafter, Priest would have significant difficulties adapting to the fast-changing landscape of heavy metal in the latter half of the '80s." - Allmusic Guide
    $9.00
  • "Recorded live over 3 nights in October 2003 (17th-19th).In the summer of 2003 Cardiacs were charged with the unenviable task of casting a wincey eye back.Way back to before Sarah hung up her little saxophone, before Tim Quy broke the nausea rule, before THE CONSULTANT and Miss Swift held the reins. Way, way back.For that coming October’s ‘Special Garage Concerts’, Cardiacs were expected to wipe the grime of the dusty archive from thirty-two tunes everyone had long since forgotten about. Cardiacs dutifully frittered away the waning days behind locked doors, exhuming songs from clanking, obsolete machinery and reams of faded manuscript. Music from the band’s conception in 1976 to their ‘coming of age’ in 1983 was given the dressing down THE ALPHABET BUSINESS CONCERN had always wisely insisted it deserved.With the arrival of autumn the songs had somehow taken on a raw, definitive bent. Haphazard approximations you may have previously heard performed by wide-eyed, puny youths were given deftness, muscle and swagger by the four grizzled and worldly-wise men proudly standing their ground under the Cardiacs banner today.This nostalgic arsenal was duly recorded over three consecutive nights at London’s sizeically challenged ‘The Garage’ concert venue. Privileged witnesses described the spectacle as "one-fifth loving recreation, two-fifths exercise in futility and four-fifths sheer brute force."Cunningly encrypted on to two Compact Discs, as never they were meant to be, Volumes One and Two are a unique testament to pure bloody mindedness and musical irrelevance.Both volumes contain music that has never previously been recorded and re-workings of other tunes that many of the faithful claim to have ‘insider knowledge’ of.They don’t have a clue."
    $34.00
  • Second album from DIM finds them leaving Metal Blade and finding a more appropriate home in Napalm Records. This Spanish band is very much cut from the cloth of Epica and After Forever. In fact the production team is Sascha Paeth and ex-Epica's Ad Sluijter. Mark Jansen of Epica also guitars. With Paeth at the controls expect nothing less than a huge symphonic sound and he delivers. While I heard more of a Within Temptation sound on their debut, this one really emphasizes the "beauty and the beast" element driving the connection to Epica home. Not original at all but well done for the genre.
    $12.00
  • Limited numbered edition of 3000, double LP set.This was an extremely well produced album that simply was a bit flat - not commercial enough for the general public and not prog enough for their fans. Parts of it are actually very Floyd-like and yeah there are moments that are pretty damn awesome but overall this is my least favorite of their catalogue.  Your mileage may vary.
    $20.00
  • New digipak edition from SPV of the original double album, originally released in 1971. ADII was hit or miss but this one was mostly hit.
    $17.00
  • Exit one guitarist - enter one female singer resulting in a new avant garde direction. While the first album had a quiet classical side this is far more experimental. One can hear an influence from minimalist composers creeping in."Three years passed before Pierrot Lunaire recorded and released the follow-up to their debut album. They returned as a totally refurbished act, with guitarist Caporaletti out and mezzo-soprano extraordinaire Jacqueline Darby in. "Gudrun" is an album that drifts apart from the realms of bucolic melodic prog with a slight dissonant twist; now, the repertoire is design to defy structure and convention, in order to create a sonic journey led by the volatile ruling hands of surprise, radical experimentation, and free form. The link between all tracks is marked by the clicking of a photographic camera, as if each number of the repertoire was some kind of scenario immortalized by the machine and turned into a permanent reminder. If Pierrot Lunaire's previous album was some a catalogue of reflections about the inner world, now Stalteri, Chiocchio and Darby turn their eyes and look at the world in its splendorous chaos and multicolored facets. The 11-minute long title track kicks off the album with a great deal of synth layers and sequenced ornaments, over which Darby's singing, piano lines, stormy guitar leads, and some other occasional stuff lays its print in a daring amalgam. If you can mentally picture a mixture of Klaus Schulze, drumless RIO and Brecht's operettas, then you may have an idea about what I'm trying to describe here (perhaps not too successfully). In sharp contrast, now comes a subtle piano nocturne titled 'Dietro il Silenzio', which sounds quite Satie-inspired to me: a really beautiful piece where the silent voids are as important as the actual piano sounds. The following number is a two part chanting displayed upon disturbing guitar and synth soundscapes: in the middle, a piano and conga drums revisit Darby's line with an air of simplicity that seems to portray some sort of high-spirited joy. 'Gallia' is a Darby-penned number, mostly a showcase for her well crafted dissonant operatic stuff, while her fellow men once again indulge themselves in a background of random dissonances on electric guitar and synthesizer. 'Giovane Madre' is the most symphonic (or should I say the least anti-symphonic) number. It basically consists of a recurring attractive motif on organ and synth, solidly founded on a 6/8 pattern laid by Chiocchio's bass and guest drummer Massimo Buzzi; somewhere in the middle, a gentle, joyful Renaissance-like motif enters abruptly, creating a weird tension that directly defies its own delicate beauty. Simultaneously, you can hear Darby whispering or laughing in some places. Many times I've found myself listening to this particular track three or four times in a row only to take pleasure in the challenging effect that the structure of this track causes in me as a listener. The weirdness never ends. 'Sonde in Profonditá' starts with the sound of an old radio speech, accompanied by a tenuous, evocative organ theme, with sitar, synth and acoustic guitar providing some additional colours until it all disappears under crashing waves. 'Morellia' begins with a Baroque-inspired piano solo, alternating with a Renaissance-like zither melodic line: then comes Darby, together with the piano, string synth, bass and drums (once again, guest Buzzi makes an appearance), delivering the most moving passage in the album. This same structure is reiterated, until a Cabaret-piano motif accompanies Darby's dramatic laughter. This piece is inscrutable, yet it manages to move the listener's heart in a way that they can't fully understand. Finally, 'Mein Armer Italiener' closes down the album with a successive combination of parody military march, psychedelic rock, pastoral stuff, slogan chanting - all comprised in an ambience of radical dadaist humour that may somehow remind us of Zappa's most theatrical pieces. An excellent but not recommendable prog recording due to its massively cryptic nature: anyway, "Gudrun" deserves to be regarded as a classic of the most experimental side of 70s progressive rock." - ProgArchives
    $15.00
  • "Hailing from Poole in Dorset, the band featured GARY MARGETTS on guitar and vocals, TRISTAN MARGETTS on bass guitar, vocals and synthesiser and TONY BROCK on drums.Formed in 1971, the band was originally known as Transient Sand and was managed by local promoter John House, a friend of GREG LAKE of EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER. Through this association Lake offered to produce the band, now known as Spontaneous Combustion. With Lake’s interest confirmed a recording contract was arranged with Harvest in the closing months of 1971."TRIAD” was the band’s second album, released in October 1972 and over the coming years has become a sought after Prog Rock classic.This Esoteric Recordings reissue includes three bonus tracks from the band’s singles of the period, two of which are previously unreleased on CD. It has been newly re-mastered from the original master tapes and features a booklet that fully restores all original album artwork with a new essay."
    $7.00