Peakin' At The Beacon ($5 Special)

"When Gregg Allman was asked why Dickey Betts was kicked out of the Allman Brothers Band in the spring of 2000, he is reported to have suggested the answer lay in the tapes from the group's two-week stand at the Beacon Theatre in New York. That makes it surprising that the Allmans would turn to those tapes to assemble their first new album release in five and a half years, Peakin' at the Beacon. Happily, however, there is no evidence of Betts' alleged shortcomings on the disc, though it must be admitted that, since he is one of two lead guitarists (the other being Derek Trucks, making his recorded debut with the band), it isn't always easy to tell who is playing. There is plenty of guitar work, and it is up to the Allmans' usual standard. Following the instrumental opener, Gregg Allman sings lead on seven straight songs, all of which come from the band's first three studio albums. Betts finally appears as a vocalist on the ninth track, the 1990 folk-country tune "Seven Turns." Finally, there is a 27-and-a-half-minute version of the 1975 Betts instrumental "High Falls," a typical extended workout complete with jazzy interludes and a lengthy percussion section. the Allmans may not have been due for another live album (two of their last three releases being concert recordings), but the series of Beacon shows has become an annual event, and the disc serves as a souvenir from the March 2000 shows. Fans who attended those shows, or who just want to be reassured that the Allmans sound much the same as ever, may enjoy the album; less devoted listeners probably shouldn't bother." - Allmusic

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  • Standard edition comes (at the moment) with a slipcase "o" card wrapper."It’s been quite a past few years for the incredible Anathema. Honors have been bestowed upon them, they’ve released an instant classic album in “Weather Systems”, and last year they released one of the best live concert films I’ve ever seen, “Universal”. Anathema is on top of the world, and they are only getting bigger. With all of this on their shoulders, they approach the world once again with their new album, “Distant Satellites”, a fitting name for a massive album. Again, with all of their recent success creating huge expectations, can this band meet such critical reception? Needless to say, Vincent Cavanagh on vocals, Danny Cavanagh on guitar, Jamie Cavanagh on bass, John Douglas on percussion, Daniel Cardoso on drums, and Lee Douglas with her wonderful vocals were all up to the challenge.“Distant Satellites” is a very different album from “Weather Systems”, or anything else they’ve done, for that matter. It is different, yet somehow instantly familiar. It includes everything that makes them Anathema, but adds new and exciting elements to their already excellent formula. If you’ve never heard Anathema, their formula (in their last few albums, anyways) includes soaring guitars, amazingly catchy melodies, spiritual lyrics, and emotional flow both vocally and structurally. They are the masters of melody, and they remain complex and progressive even while being simple and accessible. They are truly masters of their craft.This new album, then, is no different in those terms. The melodies return in force, such as the serene beauty of “The Lost Song” parts 1-3. And, yet, there is something different here. The melodic lines are somewhat more complex, less in-your-face, and more organic. This especially shows in the song lengths, most of them being over five minutes. This allows for more growth and more progression. Indeed, then, the melodies on “Distant Satellites”, while not being as instantly lovable or recognizable, are certainly more difficult and possibly will have a longer “shelf life” in my mind. Yes, the orchestrations seem to be lower key, as well, allowing the vocalists to express themselves more personally then ever.There are other improvements, too. I feel that the musicianship is more fervent and on a higher plateau of difficulty than Anathema has tried. Drummer John Douglas, especially, plays amazingly well from start to finish, accenting the music with awesome pounding and fills. The rest of the band are at their peak, too, with Vincent and Lee being especially great with emotional and meaningful vocal performances.“Distant Satellites” is different in more meaningful ways, too. Utilizing post-rock/metal structures is nothing new for Anathema, but they really do perfect them here, as on “Dusk”, a dark, climactic song. Yet, there is a sense of continuity between tracks, too. This is obviously the case between the three parts of “The Lost Song”, but it’s also apparent throughout the album, as if Anathema is telling us a story, convincing us of our true selves and our connection with the universe and with each other.This album is wonderful in the first half, but my excitement reached new heights in the second half. Anathema has taken it upon themselves to change things up a bit. They wanted to progress their sound, but make it all seem so natural. So, in the second half, the album climaxes with one of the best songs, simply called “Anathema”. But then, we are thrown for a loop somewhat, as “You’re Not Alone” features a hefty portion of electronic vibe. It’s great, but the best is still to come.Next, “Firelight”, a darkly ethereal instrumental track that is completely electronic, is thrust upon us, and is followed up by what may possibly be the best song Anathema has ever produced, “Distant Satellites”. This track combines everything that has ever made Anathema great: soaring melodies, climactic structure, gentle spirituality, amazing vocals, and now an electronic beat that is both complex and catchy. Vibrant, mesmerizing, and pure, this track elates me every time I hear it. It takes this album, and my heart, to new heights. The album finishes with a gentle ballad that just seems so fitting, yet it still has the strong electronic influence.So, is “Distant Satellites” a winner? In every way! Is it their best album? I don’t know; it has the potential, but it might take time, just like “Weather Systems” did. What I can tell you is that this new album is more mature, more progressive, more interesting and eclectic, and less formulaic then anything Anathema has crafted yet. It does sacrifice some accessibility and some instant likability for these things, but I respect their decision massively, and I fully expect to see “Distant Satellites” at the tops of many lists at the end of 2014." - Progulator
    $9.00
  • New live recording previously only available as an expensive Japanese import.
    $6.00
  • "New live album from Swedish prog rock sensation Moon Safari. Recorded at the band's performance at the classic Baja Prog festival in Mexicali, Mexico. The album features some of their classic tunes as well as pieces from their latest studio release Himlabacken Vol. 1. Drumming on this release is Mikael Israelsson from Swedish prog rock band Black Bonzo. Recommended for all fans on melodic prog rock."
    $16.00
  • Released in 1973 on the obscure Canadian Periwinkle label, Jackal's "Awake" album has become a highly sought after album by collector's of heavy psychedelic/progressive rock. Original copies have sold for as much as $300! After an exhaustive five year search we have finally located the original master tapes.Drawing inspiration from Deep Purple, Jackal incorporates dazzling guitar/organ interplay evoking Blackmore and Lord at their heaviest. The complexity of their music took them far beyond the basic hard rock sounds of many of their peers. Perhaps with a few lucky breaks the band could have gone on to bigger and better things. All that's left of their legacy is this sole collector's item.
    $14.00
  • The band's second album for Arista. Personally I always preferred this one ahead of their debut but that's a personal choice (no hate e-mails please). Indispensible prog.
    $14.00
  • "Justin Hayward, lead guitarist and vocalist of the legendary rock band, The Moody Blues, is one of the most prolific singer-songwriters in music. Winner of four ASCAP Awards, Justin's Nights In White Satin, Tuesday Afternoon, Question, The Voice, Your Wildest Dreams and I Know You're Out There Somewhere, name just a few of his worldwide hits. Performing and recording for more than 40 years with the band, during which the group has sold more than a phenomenal 60 million albums, Justin Hayward has been a driving force in the band's success.Spirits of the Western Sky, Justin's first solo album since 1996's The View From The Hill, features his trademark vocals & guitar work on tracks such as One Day, Someday, On The Road To Love & the lead off track In Your Blue Eyes. "
    $11.00
  • "As of late, at least with their previous album, and the current Pariah's Child, Finland's Sonata Arctica has been throwing their faithful some musical curve balls. Putting them in the category of traditional Scandi power metal is no longer fitting, although they do play the same and often.No, their sound is much more diverse, enterprising, these days. A good example is the song Half A Marathon Man. It's opening strokes of guitar, keyboards, then drums could lead to most any sound. But it delivers this huge rock grooved melodic metal monster, with hooks galore, from vocals to lyrics to riffs. Then there's the power metal romp of X Marks the Spot, disguised as a rock tune, and wrapped in the motif a religious revival. It's familiar, but strange; clever and a whole lot of fun. Also of note is What Did You Do In the War, Daddy which merges the feel of classic heavy metal anthem with the bluster of power metal in places.Yet something more familiar comes with the longest number, Larger Than Life, which sounds like old school Sonata Arctica, where they draw upon their symphonic progressive power metal roots. Perhaps still more straight forward Sonata Arctica is the first half of the album. Notably The Wolves Die Young or Take One Breath are classic Scandi melodic power metal tunes, straying little from the foundation from which the band was built. Yet, fans should know that it is no less interesting than the aforementioned more crafty pieces. Once more I think Pariah's Child represents Sonata Arctica as a band being carefully faithful to their roots, yet always moving forward in their creativity. Easily recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $14.00
  • Mini gatefold lp sleeve recreating the orignal release from these brilliant prog one hit wonders.
    $19.00
  • "Ashent, an Italian Progressive Metal band, return in 2012 with their third release, Inheritance. This being a milestone for any band, it also sees Ashent returning after a period of change, with changes in the band's lineup. After the 2009 release of Deconstructive, Ashent announced three new members would be filling in: Titta Tani (Goblin,Daemonia, ex-Necrophagia, ex-DGM) on lead vocals, Gilles Boscolo on keyboards and Alessandro Cossu on second guitar. And so, with lineup changes like these, it comes as no surprise that Ashent are redefining themselves a bit. Inheritance finds Ashent taking a very unique stance on Progressive Metal, melding together various styles and sounds to create a somewhat unusual blend. Along with what might be considered the "typical" combination of Progressive Metal instruments with heavy guitars and synths, Ashent mixes in some Mellotron, Hammond, and Saxophone. This gives their sound an almost Neo Prog take on Progressive Metal. And dynamically, Ashent swings between more atmospheric and mellow sections to some louder, chaotic blends. Ashent has a way of using chord progressions where they fill every chord out to the point of almost bursting, adding dissonant tones to the more conventional structures. This is not only achieved with the instrumentation (often combining atmospheric keyboards that are reminiscent of Devin Townsend with some heavy, rhythmic guitars) but also with some very full harmonies in the vocals. Add to this a very dynamic rhythm section, and the music can at times be a little overwhelming. And Ashent deploys many different textures throughout the album, with modern synths, orchestral parts, sequencers, choirs, and even some fusion, making for a very dynamic experience. All this combined also gives them a sound that has a very new, crisp and modern feel to it. This is definitely an album that breaks the mold, and as such will leave some scratching their heads, while others will praise it highly." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $14.00
  • Ever wonder what Dream Theater would sound like today if Charlie Dominici had never left the band? This disc will give you an idea. Like the second part of the 03 trilogy, Dominici is backed by Italian progressive metal band Solid Vision. They began life as a Dream Theater cover band and it shows in their playing. Stylistically this is progressive metal heavily influenced by DT performed by a sickeningly tight band. I think if anything I think time has treated Dominici's voice pretty well. He stays within his range and doesn't try to go for upper register histrionics. This disc doesn't really come as much of a surprise because Part 2 was the shocker. This is the logical next step. Highly recommended to any fan of Dream Theater.
    $14.00
  • "Death’s widespread influence on death metal has never been in denial, but picking one favorite album from the Florida act is no easy feat. Some factions prefer the raw death metal days, while others look to the free-forming arraignments heard on The Sound of Perseverance and Symbolic. Though it’s hard to choose the defining Death album, Leprosy can be argued as the most important release in the development of Death’s future. Released just a year after Scream Bloody Gore, Leprosy was an admirable sophomore effort from the mind of a musician still finding himself creatively. Chuck Schuldiner was not working from some patented formula; he was penning the death metal manifesto as he was going along. Playing unpolished and straightforward music was not to Schuldiner’s liking, and Leprosy was where his focus became clearer. The songs became more composed, the production was much improved, and the instrumental playing started to get craftier in execution. Schuldiner handled the guitars and bass yet again (Fun Fact: though Terry Butler is credited as the bassist, he did not play on the record). This time, guitarist Rick Rozz help share some of the load, and he and Schuldiner had enough interplay to make it work. Drummer Bill Andrews, on the other hand, was average at best. He had to follow-up Chris Reifert’s amazing work, and Andrews wasn’t on the same skill level. Also, the production put an odd echoing effect on the snare, making it louder than the rest of the instruments. A smart move made by the band was to pare down the amount of songs to eight, which would later become a standard for much of ‘90s death metal. By doing this, it allowed Death to eliminate any chances for filler. While only one song would remain a prominent set-list favorite (the premier anthem “Pull The Plug”), a claim could be made to the slow-burning title track or the progressive finisher “Choke On It.” Just because Death tried to expand their creative palettes was not an indication that their first album was a one-off experiment. Most bands put their best songs up front, but Leprosy reached its peak near the end with the double attack of “Open Casket” and “Primitive Ways.” Any sense of the future was replaced by a blood-thirsty sonic bombing of death metal so fast that a few vertebra had to have been snapped by head-banging listeners. To Schuldiner, Death was more than just a guts-and-blood death metal group, and Leprosy was the beginning of that transformation. The band began to get more technical and progressive, with the help of an array of temporary bandmates. Leprosy was not just a bland sequel to Scream Bloody Gore, but a worthy second act to a band that had plenty more to come. For continuing to help set the guidelines for the death metal genre, Leprosy gets the nod for this week’s Retro Recommendation." - About.com
    $12.00
  • "Although Paradise Lost never really released anything that could even remotely be considered crap, In Requiem stands as one of their best works - and this is saying a lot. To be placed on the same pedestal as Icon, Draconian Times and One Second, the music on this record speaks for itself and it of interest to anyone considering themselves a fan of this band or of doom metal, gothic metal or any other melancholic type of metal." - Metal Storm
    $15.00
  • Second album from this Italian progressive metal band finds them with a new lineup. Now fronting the band is vocalist Fabio Manda and there is also a new bassist in Claudio Casaburi. No major changes in direction. This is Dream Theater inspired progressive metal chock full of solos and interaction between guitar and keys. Manda shares a similar fate to just about every metal vocalist from Italy - he has a bit of an accent. But the dude can sing and can really hit the high notes so it doesn't really get in the way. There are two notable guests on the album. Marco Sfogli contributes a solo and Sieges Even/Subsignal vocalist Arno Menses is featured on the near 17 minute "Aftermath". The production is much better than their debut. Mixed by Markus Teske, the drums no longer sound like pencils smacked on a desk. Where as there used to be a million of these Dream Theater influenced bands kicking around in Italy (remember Zen?) they have all gone off to work at the Fiat factory. Soul Secret are the torch carriers of the moment and acquit themselves quite nicely thank you. Highly recommended to fans of intricate prog metal.
    $9.00
  • Remastered edition finally taken from the original master tapes and transferred utilizing 24 bit / 96 khz technology.
    $10.00