Nature/Existence ($3 Special)

Excellent debut from this Venezuelan band. Echoes skirts the edge between progressive rock and metal. Clearly Dream Theater (and Rush to some degree) are an influence but the music isn't as heavy as most progressive metal bands. There are some great atmospheric parts that have more of a prog rock vibe. There are a number of guest vocalists that contribute to the album and they are all quite good. I'm surprised there isn't more of a latin influence going on - these guys could pass for a US band. I can see this easily appealing to fans of both prog rock and prog metal. Highly recommended.

Product Review

Tue, 2010-06-08 10:00
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Here's a candidate for album of the year..... from Venezuela, no less. Truly stunning and complex compositions that are just swimming in great melodic ideas. And, boy, can these guys play. The vocals are top notch courtesy of a number of guest singers who all speak English very well. Very, very highly recommended. Leyth
Tue, 2010-06-08 10:00
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0
Agree with fellow reviewer, Leyth...Good album..Sits more comfortably at the heavier end of Prog rock than Prog metal..but should keep most fans of each genre happy. Good musicianship, good vocals and good compositions...Highly recommended.
Tue, 2010-06-08 10:00
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0
So far my favorite cd of 2010. The vocals on 'Leaf Motif' really blow me away. 'Lullaby' and 'Bonfires' are some really great, powerful, emotional instrumentals. Reminds me of a mix of Riverside/Dreamscape/Dali's Dillema. A+
Tue, 2010-06-08 10:00
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0
A very refreshing release here. Very powerfull stuff going on here. All the elements are top notch, Vocals, And all intruments,, Good touch on the Sax on ""Winds of Dread""B.Ricci
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Product Review

Tue, 2010-06-08 10:00
Rate: 
0
Here's a candidate for album of the year..... from Venezuela, no less. Truly stunning and complex compositions that are just swimming in great melodic ideas. And, boy, can these guys play. The vocals are top notch courtesy of a number of guest singers who all speak English very well. Very, very highly recommended. Leyth
Tue, 2010-06-08 10:00
Rate: 
0
Agree with fellow reviewer, Leyth...Good album..Sits more comfortably at the heavier end of Prog rock than Prog metal..but should keep most fans of each genre happy. Good musicianship, good vocals and good compositions...Highly recommended.
Tue, 2010-06-08 10:00
Rate: 
0
So far my favorite cd of 2010. The vocals on 'Leaf Motif' really blow me away. 'Lullaby' and 'Bonfires' are some really great, powerful, emotional instrumentals. Reminds me of a mix of Riverside/Dreamscape/Dali's Dillema. A+
Tue, 2010-06-08 10:00
Rate: 
0
A very refreshing release here. Very powerfull stuff going on here. All the elements are top notch, Vocals, And all intruments,, Good touch on the Sax on ""Winds of Dread""B.Ricci
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  • "Iced Earth are going through a bit of a renaissance period at the moment. While they do have many hardcore fans who would defend their back catalogue to the end, honestly the heavy metal titans haven’t made a truly exciting album in about twenty years; that is, they hadn’t, until the release of 2011’s Dystopia. After two decades of putting out stale and generally uninteresting meat and potatoes heavy metal, finally they had an album that managed to match up to their first few records, one with the power and energy to justify their continued status as metal heroes. Plagues of Babylon is its follow-up, and thankfully they have managed to take this momentum forward and release another great album.Opening with the title track’s marching drum beat (strangely similar to Dystopia in that regard) and ominous harmonized leads, as soon as the heavy, chugging main riff kicks in it’s clear that this album is going to be a worthy successor. Noticeably, the production is very good, giving the guitars a sharp razor edge that albums like the totally flat The Glorious Burden lacked. Mainman Jon Schaffer churns out some of the best riffs in his career on this album, especially on the raging and thrashy Democide. Some new blood is brought in with an all new rhythm section, bassist Luke Appleton helping give the album its low-end crunch while drummer Raphael Saini (who was sadly since left) punctuates the songs with intricate tom patterns and ride cymbal work while maintaining a constant driving power. Stu Block meanwhile, who debuted as vocalist on Dystopia, continues to make sure that fan favourite Matt Barlow is not missed too much, his gruff voice helping give the songs a darker edge while his highs are utilised when appropriate, never being over-used.This is hardly perfect though. Plagues is a bit front-loaded, the second half never quite managing to match up to the first, especially considering it contains two somewhat unnecessary covers. The first is Spirit of the Times by Sons of Liberty, a Jon Schaffer side project, and you can’t help but question the logic in covering your own material, especially as aside from the darker and heavier overtones it’s not massively different from the original. The second, Highwayman by Jimmy Webb, is hardly electrifying either.That said, many of the problems that plagued previous Iced Earth efforts no longer show up. The obligatory cheesy metal ballad only appears once in If I Could See You, which is one of the better ones they’ve done, and only a couple of songs have a clean guitar intro, unlike on The Dark Saga where they appear on nearly every song. Iced Earth are a band who are at their best when they’re firing on all cylinders, and that is largely what they stick to here. With it’s almost death metal cover art, Plagues is for the most part a balls-out thrill ride, and honestly might be Iced Earth’s most complete work to date." - Sound And Motion Magazine
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  • This has been sitting in the can for quite some time and now Esoteric Antenna is bringing it to market.  This CD/DVD documents the live performance at NEARfest from the reformed Canadian prog/AOR trio.  Cameron Hawkins and Martin Deller and now joined by viola/mandolinist Claudio Vena.  Pretty nice selection of material dipping into the band's back catalog.
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  • New remastered deluxe edition of what is arguably Fates Warning's best album. The standard album is accompanied by a second CD featuring the demos for the album. As yet another bonus you get a DVD with live performances from 1989 and 1990. You also get the promo video for "Through Different Eyes". This digipak set is packed! Highly recommended.
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  • Norway's Pagan's Mind have risen to the pinnacle of the melodic/power metal scene. Great vocals from Nils K. Rue backed by a band powered by chops from hell. Plenty of prog moves to keep fans of Dream Theater and Circus Maximus interested. Highest recommendation. 
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  • Finnish supergroup play an excellent and interesting mix of progressive rock and death metal. If it wasn't for the death vocals a lot of this would pass for old school prog. Plenty of clean vocals as well but do expect a free pass. In many ways there are similarities to the older Opeth albums and I'll bet there is a large contingent of their fans that wished they sound like this. Conditionally recommended."Gaining a huge buzz in the underground for the sextet’s previous work in groups like Amorphis, Moonsorrow, Swallow The Sun, and Kreator among others, this Finnish progressive death metal act return for their second full-length album The Devil's Resolve. Fortunate enough to expose myself right from the critical start with their 2009 Our Twilight EP, one can easily be drawn to the multiple clean, atmospheric and growling vocal approaches and the equally expansive musical sounds, drawing from a multitude of doom, pagan, progressive rock, and death genres.Keyboardist Kasper Martenson throws down some 70’s Jon Lord organ parts against pagan rhythms and dual clean mystical vocals and death roars on my first highlight “The Rains Begin” and then ramps up the proceedings with some classic Dennis DeYoung inspiration during the chorus and solo section of “As it is Written." Fret not all guitar aficionados as Sami Yli-Sirnio and Janne Perttila showcase a number of distinct and colorful riff and harmonic moments, almost as if transporting the best in American and UK progressive rock to fuel Barren Earth’s heavier, underground orientation motives, especially on the exotic, fluid “Oriental Pyre."There’s something very Pink Floyd-meets-Nektar-like about Mikko Kotamaki’s softer, tranquil clean melodies, and it’s a wonder he doesn’t destroy his larynx with some of his acidic underwater bellows from opener “Passage of the Crimson Shadows” or the medieval marching macabre mood throughout “Vintage Warlords." Overall, the seasoning on the road both in Europe and on the Finnish Metal Tour 2 with Ensiferum and Finntroll improves the band’s attention to maintaining memorable hooks amidst the winding riffs, tempo changes, and nuances in roller coaster emotional atmosphere.With Opeth charting their own 70’s laden path on Heritage to mixed reception, I believe Barren Earth can scoop up a wide throng of their castoffs who desire a metal foundation amongst the progressive, creative think tank. Scandinavia rules again." - Blistering
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  • Second full length album - this one produced by Steve Albini has a more angular feel. The music is a little more towards the dissonant side and veers a bit away from the Crimson vibe that was on No Interference.
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