Notes From The Past

SKU: IOMCD097
Label:
Inside Out Music
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Wonderful new reunion album from Hans Lundin and Roine Stolt that recaptures the flavor of their first 3 albums from the mid-70s. If you first instinct is to ask yourself what the difference is between this release and a Flower Kings disc you should know that all the material was written by Hans Lundin. Roine is the guitarist but it's pretty much Lundin's show here. Drums are handled by Morgan Agren (ex-Zappa) and Jonas Reingold of Flower Kings plays all basses. This is pure Kaipa in execution - loads of Mellotron, organ and analog synth sounds. 79 minutes of prime epic prog.

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  • Third album from this fine Polish prog band finds them stepping up their game even further. Believe is led by former Collage/Satellite guitarist Mirek Gil. Those bands had a decidedly symphonic sound, but with Believe a more modern sound is achieved, moving the band more in the direction of bands like Riverside. One of the key elements of the band is the use of violin and flute, adding a classical dimension and a nice counterpoint to Gil's Gilmour-esque guitar lines. Oh yeah - there is a new vocalist in place. His name is Karol Wróblewski and he's great. His expressiveness reminds me a bit of Mariusz Duda. This is the limited edition digipak that comes with one bonus track. How limited? I don't know but experience with Metal Mind tells me that eventually it will be gone....
    $15.00
  • 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
  • Second album from this California based prog metal band with ties to Redemption. The Tragedy Of Innocence is a far more mature and developed release than their debut. It's a conceptual work dealing with a very heavy subject - Valerie Quirarte (wife of drummer Chris) and her experience with child abuse. The music is a reflection of the story - its darker and more intense. All in all Prymary are a progmetal band. You can expect some serious complex arrangements and stand out playing. Kudos to the band for tackling a difficult subject and also jumping up to the next level musically. Recommended.
    $2.00
  • Although Jeff Lynne found fame and fortune in the later years of ELO, it was the early albums that featured some great and innovative progressive rock. Originally conceived as an offshoot project of The Move, ELO featured Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne (of The Idle Race). The two had a falling out over the direction of the band and Wood split to form Wizzard. After the mixed bag that was ELO II, Lynne found firm footing with On The Third Day. It's a fantastic fusion of classical, pop, and prog. The Beatles are an obvious influence but it was ELO's use of cellos and violin within the context of rock music that made them stand out (OK - they were not the first to do this but they were the best). This is a remastered edition that features a number of bonus tracks including unreleased material. Perhaps I'm nostalgic about this album as it was part of my formative years of listening to progressive rock. File under highly recommended.
    $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
  • This is without question the most "prog" album The End has released on their label. Unexpect are a unique 7 piece ensemble from Quebec. It's somewhat hard to dissect this avant metal band but the closet comparison I can come up with is Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. Musicianship is insane - be it guitar, violin, keys, drums, or 9-string bass. The vocals are a predominantly clean mix of dual male/female harmonizing. It can be a cacophonous mix of shifting meters and then gorgeous melodies - all with the space of 30 seconds. A real grower of an album that really grabs your attention. Highly recommended.
    $11.00
  • Its been seven years since the first release from The Fractured Dimension.  The core of the band is led by two ex-members of the avant metal band Scholomance: Jimmy Pitts (keyboards) and Jerry Twyford (bass).Given the extensive lineup of guest musicians Pitts and Twyford have corraled one would expect a supreme tech metal blow out.  In parts you get that but there are very strong symphonic rock, classical and fusion elements woven into the music.    Essentially they let the musicians be themselves and it makes it more challenging and interesting to hear them work their styles in to the compositions.OK so here is who is on th album:Jimmy Pitts (keys), Jerry Twyford (bass), Hannes Grossmann (drums), Vishal J Singh, Tom "Fountainhead" Geldschlager, and Tom Kopyto on guitars, Joe Deninzon (violin), Kasturi Nath Singh (Indian Classical Fusion Vocals), and guest guitar solos by Christian Muenzner, Marcel Coenen, Alex Machacek, Mike Abdow, Pete Pachio, Aaron Roten, Bill Bruce, and Jeremy Barnes.So you have guys from Obscura and lots of insane guitar soloists letting it all hang out with overlays of keyboards, violin all thrown at you with lots of intensity.  The whole thing will keep you off balance and I promise you won't be bored.  Highly recommended."“How can less be more? That’s impossible. More is more”, is a famous quote by Yngwie Malmsteen, and US/Germany-based super-group The Fractured Dimension have turned that statement into their modus operandi through their new album ‘Galaxy Mechanics’. By just looking at the star-studded 16-man line-up, not many would expect anything less than all-out super-technical music: a sound the band itself has labelled ‘Cosmic Instrumental Metal’.Despite the large number of members, from over 7 countries, Keyboardist Jimmy Pitts and bassist Jerry Twyford are the ones spearheading The Fractured Dimension, while the others have special and guest appearances on the record. Where you’d see drummer Hannes Grossmann (ex-Necrophagist, ex-Obscura, Blotted Science, Alkaloid), you’d see his Alkaloid band-mate and guitarist Christian Muenzner, and where you’d see Christian, you’d see current Obscura guitarist Tom Fountainhead Geldschlager, and the list goes on. It includes guitarists Tom Kopyto, Mike Abdow, Jeremy Barnes, Bill Bruce, Marcel Coenen, Alex Machacek, Pete Pachio and Aaron Roten. Indian guitarist Vishal J Singh is also among the ranks, as is Indian classical fusion vocalist Kasturi Singh and violinist Joe Deninzon.The album is extremely complex, and features an incredible range of musical styles not just through different instruments and tones, but through stylistic variations within an instrument itself. For example, the guitarists exercise their own style of playing, and since different guitarists worked on different tracks on the album, each song is given a unique vibe. The songs are progressive and only subtly repetitive, while each one is quite different from the other not only in terms of the guitars, like mentioned, but also in the way they’re structured and layered instrumentally.Dealing with each track individually is impossible because of their highly complex nature, but some of the high points from the album include songs like “Displacement” and “Elysian” which, like the other tracks, make use of interesting keyboard patches and time changes. The bass and keyboards are prominent everywhere and along with some brilliant drumming, form the backbone of the sound around which the guitars weave their magic.However, the main issue that needs to be addressed is this: does all of this complexity and variation give rise to music that is, put simply, enjoyable? Not everyone may appreciate the highly intricate music, but it makes no sense to say that The Fractured Dimension tried to impress everybody anyway. What can be seen, or rather, what flares up and makes itself obvious in the music, is the honesty behind it. The songs do not feel like they are forced, and the creative freedom of the musicians is in full display here. If one can see this honesty for himself/herself, that person will end up enjoying Galaxy Mechanics. There aren’t many other albums for which the same thing can be said, so the album is a definite hit and not a miss, and while dealing with super-technical and intricate music it is very easy to go wrong.A quarrel one could pick with Jimmy Pitts and Co. involves intriguing song titles, like “Bolshevikian Mythological Creature” and “Seventh Hymn to Nibiru” for example, and no vocals and lyrics to explain them. This doesn’t mean the music would be better off with vocals, but it means that there is no vocal expression of these concepts in a manner everybody can understand. Other than this, Galaxy Mechanics is a sublime effort from The Fractured Dimension, and one can only wonder what this exceptional pool of talent will conjure up next." - Metalwani
    $9.00
  • New remastered and remixed edition of the band's sixth album.  Now with 2 previously unreleased tracks.  This was the band's last album for Cyclops, before they jumped over to KScope and has been out of print for years.
    $9.00
  • Limited edition double LP set recorded at the 2013 edition of the Roadburn Festival in Netherlands.  Five long extended jams that will take you to the outermost regions of the solar system (maybe beyond!).  The improvised session revolves around twin guitars, bass and drums with occasional keyboard (Mellotron!).  The set comes with a bonus CD of the recording so even if you are analogue challenged you have a chance to hear this lethal set.  
    $34.00
  • "Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of a newly re-mastered and expanded edition of the classic 1975 self-titled album by KESTREL. Hailing from Newcastle, the band featured Tom Knowles (lead vocals), Dave Black (guitar, vocals), John Cook (keyboards, mellotron), Fenwick Moir (bass) and Dave Whitaker (drums), who had previously been with Newcastle trio GINHOUSE.Signing to Cube Records in 1974, Kestrel recorded their sole eponymously titled album in 1975, with the majority of the compositions written by Dave Black. A fine example of melodic Progressive Rock, the album featured some outstanding tracks, including the gorgeous "The Acrobat” and the stunning epic "August Carol”. Inexplicably the album failed to sell in significant quantities and within a short time Kestrel dis-banded, leaving just one album and a single as their recorded legacy.Four decades later, "Kestrel” is now rightly regarded as a true over-looked classic of the Progressive Rock era, with original vinyl copies being impossibly rare and changing hands for huge sums, particularly in Japan.Newly re-mastered from the original tapes, this reissue of "Kestrel” has been expanded to include six bonus tracks, with four of them previously unreleased in the UK, and also includes a booklet that fully restores the original album artwork and features a new essay.""Obviously, prog does come in all shapes and sizes. There are the pompous ones, the low-key, the larger-than-life ones and the small, the complex and those easily likeable. Everything in between and all things put together makes up the world of prog. Sometimes prog can be sort of poppy aswell. Nothing wrong with that. It can be very enjoyable. I would like to put forth a likeness and draw inspiration from the pub. After several sturdy Guinesses (think of Magma or some other complex band as Guiness) the pallet craves something refreshing, like a cool lemonade or just a sip of water. In this case the lemonade is Kestrel. Light, refreshing yet with a bite to it.Kestrel is one of those obscure bands that did not make it. Not because they were bad, as often the case with some obscurities, but maybe because they simply fell through the net and escaped the record buyer's hands. Who knows? The fact, however, is that the sole album by Kestrel is a very enjobale mixture of pop and prog, sort of a Supertramp meets Chicago and has a child by Genesis and nursed by Nektar added. If that is not all I'd say that Chris Squire babysat at times, considering the sound of the rumbling bass. Or something like that. It holds enough keyboards to make me happy and that says something.The tracks varies in length, the longest being 7.31 minutes, the shortest 4.09. I like all of the songs but "Wind cloud" with it's beautiful and dreamy web is fantastic. So are "Last requests", the epic "In the war" or (the more accessible) Gentle Giant-ish "August carol". All of the tracks are very well produced, performed and thought through. Nothing is left to chance.I think prog is the greatest genre due to it's variety and width. The severely complex at the one end and the very accessible and poppy at the other. All that gives me as a listener the chance to really ease my muscial hunger. If you are looking for something british, something complex yet accessible I would recommend this little overlooked gem. I would not call it a masterpiece but it is a fantastic album, full of ideas and enthusiasm which I really enjoy listening to. Well worth checking out." - ProgArchives
    $15.00
  • This is a new project put together by ex-Xystus drummer Ivo van Dijk.  Its cut from a similar cloth to that band's Equilibrio album in that its a full blown epic all-star project.  While Equilibrio was based on an opera, Karmaflow is actually based on a video game that Ivo was involved in developing.  The album features the Metropole Orchestra and the following participants:Vocalists:Simone Simons - EpicaMark Jansen - Epica, MaYanDani Filth - Cradle Of FilthLindsay Schoolcraft - Cradle Of FilthMarc Hudson - DragonforceAlica White-Gluz - Arch EnemyElyse Ryd - AmarantheCharlotte Wessels - DelainHennning Basse - Rage, MaYanMariangela Demurtas - TristaniaTony Kakko - Sonata ArcticaDaniël de Jongh - TexturesLisette van den Berg - Scarlet StoriesBas Dolmans - XystusMusicians:Ariën van Weesenbeek - EpicaCoen Janssen - EpicaRuud Jolie - Within TemptationIvo Severijns - PowerplaySander Gommans - HDKMerel Bechtold - Delain, MaYan, Purest Of PainBob Wijtsma - Blaze Of DarknessLuuk van Gerven - After ForeverUri Dijk - Textures, EtherealWill SchutAnd did I mention the Metropole Orchestra?  Yes I did.  Again.This one is crazy good.  Highest recommendation.
    $14.00
  • "Not just a lazy remix of Traces, so different it sounds like a completely different album. Some truly astounding reworkings on here, each one a very distinct, yet worthy, departure from the original. In particular, check out the Red Earth version of Threads, shivers all down my spine!!! This will definitely be on my personal playlist for a long time. The original version was one of my favourite releases of this year, now the Falling to Pieces EP has meant a superb end to what has been a sterling year for great Prog releases. So, don't hesitate about waiting for a new Nine Stones Close album, it's already here and just waiting for you to fall in love with it!!!" - ProgArchives
    $3.00
  • Long promised second album from this stellar Norwegian symphonic band is now with us. Before the release of Hinterland, the band had made available (through their website) two lengthy demo tracks that garnered a lot of buzz. These tracks "Imperial Winter White Dwarf" and "Leprechan Behind The Door" appear here is re-recorded versions. The rest of the disc consists of material drawn from the band's past as well as one of the tracks from the Hinterland sessions that never got finished. Its not a long disc but its definitely a matter of quality over quantity. If you like Mellotrons, Hammond organds, flutes, retro sounding guitars....look no further. Essential listening for any symphonic rock fan.
    $18.00
  • "Some four years ago Borealis released their Fall From Grace, and my conclusion was simple. They presented adequate, yet typical, melodic European power metal just misplaced in Canada. To the present, it seems things may have changed, even improved, for the band for their third album, Purgatory.Yet, I'm not sure I want to get ahead of myself here. One spin and you hear echoes of previous material: riff heavy and intense, speedy power metal. As Mets manager Yogi Berra once said, "It's deja vu all over again." Actually, for my money, you could boil this album down to two things: blistering power metal and lots of epic guitar solos. Now, you say: "Dude, I love that shit!" Okay. Stop reading and go buy the album.But there's more. The keyboards seem more present, even adding a large portion symphonic orchestration to add to Borealis' naturally bombastic sound. Take note of My Peace, for example. Also, and not knowing who the principal guitarist is, Matt Marinelli or Mike Briguglio, the guitar lines are phenomenal. Forget the twin bombastic riffs, the leads are killer: soaring to the wow factor. Additionally, the arrangements are more dynamic; the progressive metal has gotten a bump here over the last album. Yet, this is not a hyper-technical leap. It's more changes in tempo and breakdowns. You'll catch some of this within Place Of Darkness or Welcome To Eternity. The latter also a good example, in the second half, of Borealis adding some thrash metal to overwhelm you.The wild card in this mixture is vocalist Matt Marinelli. I would like to say he can sing, and I think he can. But he's so often totally overwhelmed by the music to be nearly underwater. He's seems always striving and straining to stay ahead or, to continue the metaphor, stay above the music. Then you find out he has a generally pleasing voice and presence when you listen to Darkest Sin or Rest My Child, the two quietest songs here. I would imagine when you hear Borealis live, you'll have a Pink Floyd moment, from The Wall, when observing Marinelli: "Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying." Nevertheless, Purgatory is definitely an advancement for Borealis, a fine album of more ambitious progressive power metal than past efforts. Recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $15.00