Octave Of The Holy Innocents

New digipak reissue of this recording uniting three eclectic and visionary musicians - Jonas Hellborg, Buckethead, and Michael Shrieve. Buckethead is playing acoustic guitar while Hellborg plays acoustic bass and keyboards. Shrieve plays a variety of percussion and kit. Surprisingly it's pretty agressive for what is essentially an acoustic trio.

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  • Second album from this Norwegian band finds them climbing the ladder of melancholy prog bands. Short on complexity but long on atmosphere and melody, Airbag's new one packs an emotional wallop. The album has just enough spacey keyboards to draw comparisons to Pink Floyd and older Porcupine Tree. The album builds up to the 17 minute "Homesick I - III" which has enough references to Wish You Were Here that you'll be plowing through your Floyd collection afterwards. Lethal atmospheric prog that will annihilate the minds of any Anathema or Riverside fan. Highly recommended.
  • For whatever reason this was always the rarest of all the Ash Ra Tempel albums. Took me years to find it and I had to pay near ransom money for it. Schwingungen is the band's second album. Klaus Schulze left to start his solo career. He was replaced by Wolfgang Muller on drums and the band also found new member John L. on vocals. The overall tone is similar to early Pink Floyd. Gottsching continues to dazzle with tripped out guitar work. New edition remastered by Manuel Gottsching. Highly recommended.
  • Yet another brilliant work from this Norwegian prog band.  The Greatest Show On Earth is the band's third effort.  While the first album Identity delved into alternative/prog realms bearing similarity to Radiohead, their second album All Rights Removed was full on Pink Floyd worship.  This latest effort carries on in similar fashion.  There are parts of the album that were written with tracing paper.  It evokes the mood and feel of Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, and maybe even a bit of The Wall.  This isn't to say the band doesn't inject any personality of their own - they do.  There are contemporary elements, its just that when they go into full on Pink Floyd mode its so apparent and so well executed that it blinds you to everything else that is going on.  What Bi Kyon Ran is to King Crimson or The Watch is to Genesis, Airbag is to Pink Floyd.  Original?  Truth be told not really.  It doesn't matter, its so well executed that you will just immerse yourself in the listening experience.  Highly recommended.
  • "Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats are one of those rock stories. The ones where a demo gets a cult following spurred on by mysterious stories surrounding the artist. It’s nothing new; Jandek had it before he stepped into the light, as did Brujeria before their secret was discovered. Uncle Acid was spoken of in hushed tones as everything from the work of a savant, to a batch of tapes dug up in an old barn. Soon enough it became known that Uncle Acid was one man, who then got a band and began playing to sold out houses. Ah, rock and roll.Next up for this enigma wrapped in a Blue Cheer album is the new full length Mind Control, an album about drug-fueled sacrifices and other such unhinged material. Those familiar with Uncle Acid will easily slide into Mind Control. The album opens with “Mt. Abraxas”, a slow churning doom number that harkens back to the tune “Death’s Door” from 2012’s Bloodlust. Difference is, “Death’s Door” was a seven-minute opus that came second; “Mt. Abraxas” is the first song, which might have been an error in judgment. Seven minutes of slow doom is not the best way to kick off a record even if there is a Sabbath inspired toe-tapping jam out in the middle.Bloodlust worked because it spliced together pop song structures with 60s psychedelic fuzzed-out rock. In other words, it was undeniable catchy while still strife with head bangingness (a word of my own creation). Uncle Acid retains that combination on Mind Control. “Mind Crawler” is all about the fat ass guitar groove and druggie vocals. Remember those sixties drug films that opened with hot girls dancing in a dark basement caught by dimly lit and over saturated film stock, “Mind Crawler” is right in line with a song playing during those montages.“Poison Apple”, the first single from Mind Control, is a list of scary ideas sung over a riff that could easily have come from Tony Iommi circa 1974. That interplay between the notes, the swing to the groove, the Iommi sound. It’s all in “Poison Apple”, which fits perfectly with lyrics like “Don’t you worry baby, you’re safe with me/I’m the poison apple in the tree” or “I’m the water dripping from your drain/I’m the spider crawling through your brain”. If Iommi had heard this riff the Sabbath classic “The Wizard” might have been very different.Uncle Acid ramps up the High Rocktane with “Evil Love”, though I must take issue with the song. As rocking as it is, “Evil Love” is so close to “Children Of The Grave” I would understand if Sabbath checked themselves into a rape crisis center.  Still, originality is not what Uncle Acid is about. They are here to bring the better-living-through-chemistry/serial killer point of view back to rock. Case in point, “Death Valley Blues”, which could easily be the ramblings of Charles Manson put to music. What makes the tune so awkward and bizarre is that it owes more to the Beatles than it does Cathedral. Using that innocent “Yellow Submarine” singsong vibe and then coating it with dark, bluesy psych-rock is a stroke of genius.The Beatles-via-Sabbath continues with “Follow The Leader” only the pop-blues rock bastard son is anointed with the oils of Ravi Shankar or John McLaughlin during his India music phase. “Follow The Leader” is all power chords and sitar. It absolutely screams for you to get baked during it. Mind War ends strong with “Devil’s Work”, a military marching song filtered through Doctor Strange’s Eye Of Agamotto. This is where you come down from the high and realize your worldview is altered and now you’re scared.You can’t really understand how good Mind Control is until you’ve listened to it several times. On first pass you might say “Yeah, thanks, but I have all the Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath albums I need”. Fair enough, but you’re missing the point. Uncle Acid unabashedly embraces and exploits their influences but still manage to concoct an elixir that is interesting even though it’s so familiar. That dichotomy is why people loved them in the first place and why they clamor to see them live. I’ll bet these tunes absolutely crush live.This album isn’t perfect, there are lots of little things to get persnickety about. Vocals that often come dangerously close to Weird Al Yankovic, opening Mind Control with a seven minute doom jam that isn’t particularly interesting, the over saturated production does get irritating at times. These are all petty squabbles. Mind Control is a kick ass slice of druggy rock goodness. Would you question the eighteen-foot tall stuffed platypus with ginger-ale eyes and chocolate hands that comes to you, two tabs in, offering the secret to eternal life?Of course not. So why question dear old Uncle Acid?" - Crave Online
  • Gorgeous remastered edition featuring a killer bonus track - a 19 minute live version of "Homage To The God Of Light", recorded at the Marquee Club in 1974.
  • First time on CD! Guru Guru made two excellent albums during their brief stay on Atlantic Records of which this is the first (Dance Of The Flames is the second). It is also the last album to feature original guitarist Ax Genrich. Although you can expect craziness and the usual sick playing, there is actually a bit of refinement to their sound - as though they are playing with a bit more control and restraint. Easily one of their best efforts and highly recommended. This gorgeous digipak edition features a bonus CD - a concert recorded on 9/15/73 at the German Rock Festival. Although sourced from an audience cassette, it's a previously unavailable taste of the band in a live setting - which is where the band really excelled.
  • Produced by Billy Cobham, Forest Of Feelings is the first solo album from David Sancious, originally released in 1975.  It was recorded after his exit from the E Street Band.  Its an incredible blend of prog rock and fusion.  Its a trio format with the rhythm section held down by his former bandmate Ernest "Mad Dog" Carter on drums and Gerald Carboy on bass.  As proficient as he is as a keyboardist, most people overlook his attributes as a guitarist.  The man can play!This was briefly available on CD in 1992, and if I recall the story correctly, was withdrawn for sale due to legal threats by Mr. Sancious.  Its always been a tough disc to find.  Highly recommended.
  • A new release from Causa Sui is like money in the bank.  The new Live At Freak Valley is no exception.  The live milieu is where the band really shines.  If you are unfamilar with the band you should know that the band's origins date back to the stoner scene but they evolved into something different - something more psychedelic - more organic.  The quartet features Jakob Skott (drums), Jonas Munk (guitar), Jess Kahr (bass), and Rasmus Rasmussen (keyboards).  The band goes off on looooong instrumental jams.  Munk's guitarwork has a beautiful fluidity that plays off of Rasmussen's keyboards which tend to surge to the forefront like waves on the ocean - or sit back and become a nice supporting backdrop for Munk's lead work.  I love when Munk burst out with a chunk of heavy riffage that recalls their stoner days.  Reminds me of vintage Zeppelin!  Highly recommended.
  • "This album is the living proof that in my opinion progressive music will always survive. Even if the big fire seems to be reduced to a little flame, there is always something that will fan the fire now and then. Take for instance Big Big Train. In April 2002 I received a promo copy of“Bard” that was announced as the definitive studio album of Big Big Train. And I wrote the following conclusion in my review of “Bard”:I don't hope this is their last album. But if it is indeed the case than this “Bard” is a worthy last effort. It is just a good album with melodic, mellow prog. And I fell in love with the combination of tasteful mellotron sounds with acoustic guitar. This is not a spectacular album but it is relaxed, sounds great and has beautiful melodic moments and nice vocals.And now, two years later, this “Gathering speed” fell in my mail-box. I will not beat about the bush; this is the best CD I have heard of Big Big Train. A concept-album full of fresh and melodic symphonic/progressive rock. The album is mixed by Rob Aubrey and Andy Poole. The mastering is also by Rob Aubrey. IQ fans will recognize this name because he is also the sound engineer of IQ." - ProgVisions
  • RPWL are a popular German prog band. They began life as a Pink Floyd cover band. The vestiges of that sound are still apparent. It would probably be safer to say that the material bears some similarity to David Gilmour's recent solo work but there are other influences at play here as well - particularly Porcupine Tree's harder edge."12 years after the formation of one of Germany's most successful modern Prog/art rock bands, RPWL takes its first shot at a concept album. Beyond Man and Time is a musical journey through the world outside of Platon s cave. The basic idea is a so-called revaluation of value in terms of a new way of thinking. In this world beyond man and time there exists creatures of higher knowledge that the protagonist meets allegorically along his journey: the keeper of the cave, the willingly blind, the scientist, the ugliest human, the creator, the shadow, the wise man in the desert and the fisherman. These create the musical themes for the characters in Beyond Man And Time , and along with oriental percussion, expanded Moog-soli and Indian sitar, create a well placed, atmospheric and colorful adaptation of the theme. RPWL have always been about originality and experimentation and Beyond Man And Time is a vast sociological journey through the depths of man s psyche and a welcome addition to their catalogue of exceptional and creative releases."
  • "The Prog Rock supergroup whose debut became the surprise hit of 2012 returns with a brand new album featuring an even more impressive lineup of stellar musicians and artists lending their talents to this incredible project!Features performances by mindblowing musicians Steve Stevens, Rick Wakeman, Steve Morse, Peter Banks (in his final appearance) as well as Captain Kirk himself William Shatner, PLUS members of Yes, Dream Theater, Nektar Asia, Gong and more!Deluxe digipak packaging!Performed by:Rick Wakeman Steve Stevens Chris Squire Peter Banks Steve Morse Larry Fast Alan Parsons Sonja Kristina Jordan Rudess Steve Hillage John Wesley Nik Turner Geoff Downes Roye Albrighton Gary Green Tony Kaye William Shatner Colin Moulding Mel Collins John Wetton Derek Sherinian Billy Sherwood Fee Waybill Patrick Moraz Jim Cuomo "
  • Hmmm...heavy instrumental progressive music from the UK...hmmmm...I know what you mean but DON'T RUN AWAY - THIS IS REALLY GOOD!!This is the second album from the British band led by guitarist Matt Stevens.  This is contemporary progressive music I can get behind.  The Fierce And The Dead are an amalgam of different genres - you get some prog rock circa Thrak period King Crimson, some metallic math rock a la Dysrhythmia, even a nice helping of post-rock bands like Long Distance Calling and Explosions In The Sky.  It has a raw, in your face exhuberance that kept me on edge for the duration.  This one hits like a sledge hammer.  Nail it! 
  • Long sought after fusion album from drummer/keyboardist Patrick Forgas is now finally available on CD. Originally released in 1977 on the Gratte Ciel label, Cocktail will score with any fan of Pierre Moerlen's Gong, Jean-Luc Ponty and Soft Machine. The music is a continuous whirlwind of percussion, violin, keyboards, sax, flute and wordless vocals. Zao bassist Gerard Provost lends a Magma-like heaviness to the bottom end of the sound spectrum. The 18 minute "My Trip" lives up to its name - a long musical journey that will keep you off balance through out. Packed with lots of bonus material, Cocktail is a killer package.
  • Third album from Wobbler finds them with a new vocalist Andreas Prestmo (who is a bit of an improvement). The music is still retro-British 70s prog but its clear that the spectre of Yes presides over the album. The King Crimson and ELP tidbits that cropped up on Hinterland are for the most part gone. Instead think in terms of The Yes Album and Close To The Edge with perhaps a bit of Octopus and This Is Gracious! tossed in for fun. Beginning to end its a total blast. Highest recommendation!"Norway's kings of symphonic prog, Wobbler, arrogantly sidestep the whole debate of "prog" versus progressive. Since it's dubious whether rock has anywhere left to progress anyway, they have instead chosen simply to celebrate the rainbow-colored fireworks, the airy-fairy themes, the danger and the drama and the joy of pure music that made prog what it really was, and still can be: An exhilarating musical spectacle, a gladiator match of major chord crescendos and mini-moog glissandos.Wobbler's third album, Rites at Dawn, is a case in point. It's a no-holds-barred declaration of love to the progressive giants. It's all here - Lars Fredrik Frøislie's overblown arsenal of every analog synth known to man, played with Wakemanesque flair and Emersonian hubris. Andreas Prestmo's soaring vocals, delivering at times delicate, fragile melodies and at times joyous, triumphant multi-part harmonies that would make CSN proud. The vibrant, stinging guitar of Morten Eriksen, the - you guessed it - thundering Rickenbacker bass of Kristian Hultgren, and finally Martin Kneppen's drumming, which manages that neat and esoteric 70's trick of making even impossible time signatures swing and swagger.Rites at Dawn is a major step forward for Wobbler. As songwriters they have matured. Even though the music is as complex as ever, it flows and breathes in a whole new way, and the addition of Andreas' vocals adds a very human, and dare we say emotional, element to the songs. The album somehow pulls off being both challenging and adventurous, but at the same time accessible and downright infectious. Even though this is the kind of prog connoisseurs will stroke their beards appreciatively to, it is also prog their girlfriends will like. And you really can't ask for more than that."