Once

SKU: 168618217
Label:
Roadrunner
Category:
Power Metal
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Last album with Tarja!

"Once, the band's fifth album, is a stunning combination of brawn & beauty; a seamless blend of technical musicianship & soaring vocals, complimented by an orchestral backdrop (provided by The Academy of St. Martins in the Field who scored The Lord Of The Rings trilogy). The international #1 hit 'Nemo' is a dreamy soundscape that crescendos & crashes with operatic precision - equal parts choral decadence & muscular heft."

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  • Hardbound mediabook edition with one bonus track."I haven't had anything similar on my musical plate for a while, so Gazpacho's eighth album Demon was an interesting, beautifully surprising and absolutely brilliant variation. Again Gazpacho mixes progressive sounds with electronic elements and folk instrumentation with the addition of dynamic riffing and amazing vocals. The outcome is a unique sound that is quite inimitable and rare to find. How much you enjoy the new record will mainly depend on how you respond to this incredible mix and the singing style used by the vocalist. Anyway Gazpacho rules, especially at night.I'm a great fan of these guys and for those of you that still don't know who they are, Gazpacho is a band formed in Oslo, Norway in 1996 by childhood friends, Jon-Arne Vilbo and Thomas Andersen, along with Jan-Henrik Ohme - later joined by Mikael Krømer, Lars Erik Asp and Kristian Torp; they released their debut album Bravo in 2003.Demon, the upcoming record, is a concept album based on the true story of a manuscript found in an apartment in Prague where the writer, a previous resident, had detailed his chase of an evil, “The Demon”. Demon is for sure full of emotion and humanity and the way the Norwegian band reproduces in music the diabolical story and the psychosis of the protagonist is wonderful.The story is told in four parts and it starts with 'I've been walking – part 1' and it couldn't start in a better low-key fashion way. There’s something disarmingly powerful about loud vocals from Jahn Henrik Ohme that add incredible depth to a song. The intermittent piano notes are just perfect and the delicate violin sound is like a nice shade of color you don't notice on painting but that painting wouldn't be the same without it. A great bonus.The second part of 'I've been walking' – that is the third track of the album – starts exactly where the first movement of the piece ends but adding a dark shadow to the overall atmosphere. There are still vocals but now are slower and they mix perfectly with the other instruments. The bass is gorgeous and the way the song turns into a more ambient and atmospherical dimension is great. It's such a damn good track and together, 'I've been walking' parts I and II, might be the best tunes that Gazpacho has ever written.The mix of sounds of the opening track changes completely in 'The Wizard of Altai Mountain' becoming electronic in the first part of the track and turning into a sort of gipsy or Yiddish sound in the second half. We are all crossing lands pursuing the demon.The story ends with 'Death Room' and the motifs of the 'The Wizard of Altai Mountain' come back like creating a circle with that song. Oriental sound, progressive rock and folk are all mixed together and the resulting fusion sound is incredible. I rarely make direct comparison among artists but this time I cannot avoid to think of Radiohead's music mixed with folk elements to create an intricate yet beautifully original tone. Other times they make me think of the Scandinavian prog-rock band Airbag but again Gazpacho find their way to be definitely unique.The story ends here and Demon too, a captivating and intriguing album that is absolutely brilliant. I like the way it flows song by song and the variety of sounds blended in it. Such experimentalism is the proof that the Norwegian guys are really talented and they deserve to be considered one of the best progressive rock bands on the scene today.Demon is an album that requires time and patience to be understood and to gain the listener's estimation and it will reward open minded audience. Play it in the dark to fully experience its great music." - Echoes And Dust
    $13.00
  • After spending some time battling (and winning) a life threatening disease, Andy Latimer has reactivated Camel.  The reassembled lineup consists of Andy Latimer (guitar, flute, keys), Colin Bass (bass), Guy LeBlanc (keyboards), and Denis Clement (drums).  Latimer recently took the band on a short European tour (it will be ongoing in 2014).  I'm not sure of the motivation to re-record The Snow Goose.  Perhaps it was so he had new merch to sell on the tour.  I honestly don't know but here it is.For the most part this new version is quite faithful to the original.  There are some new bits and pieces that integrate well and won't give you pause.  Of course each of the musicians add their own signature to the production.Good to see him back up and running full blast.
    $16.00
  • Stunning second solo effort from Riverside frontman Mariusz Duda. Lunatic Soul explores the quieter, introspective side of the progressive spectrum. Duda plays most of the instruments himself, but he is also helped out by Indukti's Wawrzyniec Dramowic on percussion, and flautist Maciej Szelenbaum. The music has a definite Asian influence with a wonderful melodic flow. Think in terms of Riverside's quieter moments or Opeth's Damnation. It does rock out but not HARD since (once again) there are no electric guitars. This fact doesn't make the album any less intense. Album of the year candidate? Highest recommendation.
    $14.00
  • Incredible warehouse find.  Scored a small horde of these and I can pass them on to you at an amazing price."Gamma Ray! Undoubtedly one of the most important names in contemporary, classic Heavy Metal, and thee most respected and influential German band in the genre. Fronted by Kai Hansen, following his departure from Helloween, Gamma Ray has become one of the most prominent bands in European Heavy Metal. "To The Metal" is the 10th studio album in 21 years of worldwide success and a new diamond in their never-ending experimental creativity. The Special Edition contains a bonus DVD in HD with interview, rehearsals, live studio sessions and 3 videoclips."
    $3.00
  • The third album from Haken once again demonstrates why they are at the forefront of the progressive metal scene.  The first two albums Aquarius and Visions are quite different.  Aquarius is a much quirkier album - lots of twists and turns that kept you off balance through out.  It had more of a prog rock feel and some real oddball approaches that resulted in some reviewers referring to it as circus meteal.  Visions was quite different.  It was much more linear and clearly defined in terms of content.  It was a prog metal album and wonderful one at that.The Mountain is the first release for the band's new home at Inside Out.  The direction of the band takes a bit of a u-turn.  The music falls somewhere in between the first two.  There is a quirky, prog rock vibe but you get the heaviness and complexity of prog metal.  One particular track I keep going back to is "Cockroach King" which essentially pays homage to Gentle Giant's counterpoint vocals.  Regardless of which direction you preferred, The Mountain has enough diversity to go please everyone.If you want to keep track of where progressive metal is headed then climb the mountain - this is where its at.  Highly recommended.US jewel box edition with the same two bonus tracks included on the import digipak.
    $12.00
  • Special 2 CD collector's edition features an instrumental orchestral version of the album (DO I HEAR KARAOKE?) plus a bonus track.
    $19.00
  • "Finish symphonic metal titans, Nightwish, return with their new epic masterpiece Imaginaerum. The highly anticipated release is more than a new album but the inspiration and soundtrack to the upcoming full length fantasy movie, Imaginaerum. Special edition contains a 2CD set with the full length album as well as a Bonus CD with all instrumental tracks from the recording."
    $17.00
  • Limited edition digibook has a bonus DVD featuring a "making of" documentary.Riverside vocalist Mariusz Duda returns with his fourth Lunatic Soul project.  Duda plays all the instruments except drums which are handled by Indukti's Lawrence Dramowicz.  The last Lunatic Soul album, Impressions, was an all instrumental effort that explored ambient and post-rock territory.  Walking On A Flashlight Beam is a bit similar but Duda does provide vocals from time to time.  Like all of the Lunatic Soul albums that preceded it, WOAFB has a very dark and mysterious vibe to it.  Duda is moving away from exclusively using acoustic instruments.  Textural electronic keyboards predominate and I'm pretty certain he plugs his guitar in as well.  This is another one of his albums that will suck you in.  Highly recommended." I'll come right out and say that Lunatic Soul's new album "Walking on a Flashlight Beam" was my most anticipated album of 2014. Why? Well, Mariusz Duda (of Riverside fame) has created such a brilliantly natural sound in his side project that it has become one of my favorites, not to mention my family's, as well. We simply can't get enough of the acoustic, airy atmospheres combined with the dark, throbbing feelings that swing between transcendence and despair. Lunatic Soul's first three albums are masterpieces of emotion and epiphany, and so any follow-up would have to be something special. Duda, however, has delivered in the most unexpected, brilliant ways possible."Walking on a Flashlight Beam" (WOAFB) is an experience that is as much about lyrics and feelings as it is about music. You need the whole picture in order to understand it truly. Duda has been very forthcoming with theme for this album, as it seems to be rather personal. This album is about those people that prefer to shut themselves in their rooms/homes in order to immerse themselves in the creations of others: films, books, music, games, etc. I think it strays between this setting, however, and the same type of person that shuts themselves up, preferring to create art in private.Like I said, this theme is important to the music. WOAFB is full of bleak tension, cold sublimation, and beautiful simplicity. Duda was inclined to create this album with a wide variety of ethnic instruments, tones, and sounds; from cold trance beats contrasted against radiant acoustic guitar to world music influences combined with a new addition to the sound palette of Lunatic Soul: a subtle, heavily distorted electric guitar that crafts some charging, tumbling grooves. Duda has really expanded the sound of his pet project, and it impressed me to no end to hear the vast variety of sounds that were able to come together into a unified, cohesive mix. Sometimes it feels like Duda has gone post-rock, such as in the opener "Shutting out the Sun". Sometimes Duda simply sings a beautifully wrought melody, as in the spectacular "Treehouse" or one of my favorites, "Gutter" (the chorus will be in your head for weeks). Yet, sometimes Duda just wants to lay down an incredible bass-driven instrumental section, as in the winding, complex "Pygmalion's Ladder".Every track really feels just right. "Cold" feels, well, cold. It feels bare and desolate, with a simple melodic line added to enhance the stark feelings present. Duda is so good at expressing emotion in his music. Yet, this album has really impressed upon me how good he is at creating instrumental sections, as this album is full of them. The supremely subtle title track is an amazing example of this, as Duda builds and builds layers and layers of melody, harmony, tone, and effects. In the end, this album is so concentrated and makes so much sense from track to track that I can barely pick a favorite.This might be my album of the year. Don't be surprised if it is. I know I sound like a Duda fanboy (which I kinda am), but this album reaches the heights of the last three, and then expands on them. Incredibly catchy, wonderfully complex, and darkly eclectic, "Walking on a Flashlight Beam" is a journey into a confined consciousness of creativity, privacy, and enigmatic genius. Duda has once again proven his capabilities." - ProgArchives
    $9.00
  • Cheap copy of the good old typical Warner Bros. US pressing of this iconic live album.  Nothing fancy - just amazing music for 5 bucks.
    $5.00
  • "Fifteen years doesn’t seem like that long ago, but at the time I was a 17 year-old who would soon be writing for Al Kikuras at the legendary Unchain the Underground and getting deep into the back end of all the great metal that was coming out of Europe. On the top of my list was my discovery of cheesy power metal. At the time I was swimming in Blind Guardian, Rhapsody, and Symphony X (not Eurometal, I know) records for the first time and really finding my footing. One day while surfing the Internet I stumbled upon a streaming radio station and heard a song called “Letter to Dana.” I was stunned. Shocked. Cheesed out. And totally in love.Within days I actually received the band’s sophomore release Silence from Al to review, but not before I went over to my local CD store and ordered Ecliptica. Upon receiving it, I turned into a total Sonata Arctica monster, singing along (loudly), and giggling every time Kakko missed a preposition (and oh, did he miss prepositions!). I took no end of joy/amusement from what I saw as the perfect driving music: the high-energy, breakneck speed; the lyrical hits-and-misses; and particularly the pop sensibility in metal packaging and the extremely fun music in a scene that I already knew took itself way too seriously.Ecliptica - RevisitedAnd Ecliptica is a record that’s hard to take too seriously even though it’s a total classic1. Iconic tracks like “FullMoon” with the epic “run away, run away, run away” in the chorus, or the lyrical prowess of “Letter to Dana” (“My eyes might have betrayed me, but I have seen your picture on the cover of a filthy magazine”). The extremely poppy “UnOpened” and expansive epic of “Destruction Preventer” also add to a feeling of a band who was making music that was fun to play and fun to listen to and about as far away from the melodramatic black and gothic metal of the day.Despite being silly or maybe a little wonky, it’s surprising to me how well Ecliptica holds up after all these years. While it certainly is the most obviously Stratovarius-influenced of the band’s material, songs like “Blank File” feel relevant in 2014 because of the NSA scandal. “UnOpened” still rocks the punch it once had, and “FullMoon” makes me giggle like an Angry Metal Schoolgirl and headbang simultaneously. “Letter to Dana” is the finest metal ballad ever written (not kidding) and still holds up 15 years later in spite of itself. And that’s all just listening to original release.Ecliptica Revisited, in my opinion, shows what a different band Sonata Arctica is today than they were in 1999. First, with only 2/5 of the original lineup remaining—Tony Kakko and human metronome drummer Tommy Portimo, for those scoring at home—the players on this record are up a notch from the original band. This isn’t to insult them, but it’s a truism: professional bands always replace original members with guys who play better. This, in combination with 15 years of songwriting and arranging experience, means that Ecliptica Revisited drops new and interesting arrangements that in retrospect are straight and, frankly, kind of stale.Sonata ArcticaIn fact, unlike Manowar‘s recent re-interpretations of their records, Sonata Arctica‘s reinterpretations of their original material introduce quite a bit more variation into the game—and improvements. Vocal tracks have been layered, re-arranged and improved, while guitar solos hop out of the mix in ways that they never did on the original. The band uses dynamics and speed in a way that makes the record far less uniform. Particularly the plodding “My Land” and “Replica” both were given facelifts that make them more entertaining listens. Another interesting point is that in comparing them, I noticed they dropped the whole record a step to accommodate a more realistic range for Mr. Kakko, who certainly made the (common) amateur mistake of topping his lungs out in the studio on the first record. Like many before him, he discovered that vocal range in the studio and vocal range on the road are two very, very different things—and Revisited gives him the chance to update this mistake, while downtuning makes the record just a little darker.Still, one wonders how it came to be that Sonata Arctica decided to revisit a record that members largely have distanced themselves from in recent years. Even while they tried to plant an old school flag with Pariah’s Child, they have frequently made comments of being bored with this material since around Unia. But instead of watching the date come and go, they walked into a studio, re-learned the songs and gave them at least one take. While I’m certainly grateful for this—it sure has re-sparked my love of Ecliptica—it does strike me as out of character. Another curiosity is that after all this time, the band did not bother to correct any of the grammatical errors. Really guys? Missing prepositions aren’t any more holy than a song’s uniform time or key signature…Regardless of motive, though, I actually suggest that fans of Sonata Arctica give this a listen and give a thumbs up to the band for doing this. If you have loved this band as long as I have, there’s a definite comfort of slipping back into the old material—but it’s also nice to hear the band play it in ways that speak to great maturity as musicians. It doesn’t make the old one outdated—shit, it’s a DR6 vs. Ecliptica 1999’s DR7 rating—and it doesn’t reek of the lightning-in-a-bottle-excitement that debut records from up-and-coming bands often have, but unless Tony’s vocal performance annoys you, you’ll have trouble arguing with how good Ecliptica Revisited (still) sounds. And the changes actually make it a—surprise—great or even better (or at least different and very enjoyable) listen." - Angry Metal Guy blog
    $15.00
  • 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
  • 2LP vinyl edition.Stunning second solo effort from Riverside frontman Mariusz Duda. Lunatic Soul explores the quieter, introspective side of the progressive spectrum. Duda plays most of the instruments himself, but he is also helped out by Indukti's Wawrzyniec Dramowic on percussion, and flautist Maciej Szelenbaum. The music has a definite Asian influence with a wonderful melodic flow. Think in terms of Riverside's quieter moments or Opeth's Damnation. It does rock out but not HARD since (once again) there are no electric guitars. This fact doesn't make the album any less intense. Album of the year candidate? Highest recommendation.
    $29.00
  • In their brief existence, Haken are already highly respected within the British metal community, and their unique and imaginative genre-bending approach to music has garnered praise from all corners of the globe.Haken’s debut “Aquarius” was well-received by world wide media including Classic Rock Presents Prog, Outburn, Decibel, Progression as well as webzines. Their new release, “Visions” is yet another conceptual work encompassing sci-fi themes. Haken seamlessly meld metal with progressive rock, drawing influences from contemporary bands like Dream Theater and IQ as well as “old school” icons Genesis and Queen. Often bombastic and over the top, “Visions” features the addition of a string section and audiophile production from Spacelab Studios in Germany.During the past year, the band has toured extensively in Europe highlighted by an appearance in Germany at the prestigous Night Of The Prog festival in support of Dream Theater. The band made its US debut at ProgPower USA in September 2011.
    $13.00
  • This is one deep listen...Lunatic Soul is the new solo project from Riverside vocalist Mariusz Duda. It takes a different (but equally valid) path than Riverside. Lunatic Soul is expansive and meditative. Duda dials everything down a bit - there are no electric guitars on the album. The key is his ability to convey that emotional sledgehammer with his voice. His main collaborator is keyboardist Maciej Szelenbaum who also plays flute and trumpet. Duda plays a variety of instruments including acoustic guitar, keyboards, and bass. The rest of the band is quite interesting - a sort of who's who of the current Polish progressive rock scene. Indukti's Wawrzyniec Dramowicz performs on drums, Riverside's Michał Łapaj kicks in with Hammond organ, and Quidam's Maciej Meller offers some tasty e-bow guitar.If you are a Riverside fan or just a fan of Mariusz' voice this is essential. A grower with potential future classic written all over it...
    $8.00