Perfect Strangers ($5 Special)

SKU: 314546045-2
Label:
Mercury
Category:
Hard Rock
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Shockingly good reunion album from 1978 that gave us the athemic title track which now has classic status.

"Deep Purple's definitive Mark II lineup reunited for 1984's Perfect Strangers. It is one of the better examples of a reunion album, although the band's uneasy camaraderie only lasted a few more years. "Knocking at Your Back Door" opens the album with a roar. Ian Gillan's lyrics don't make much sense, but Ritchie Blackmore's guitar riffs and Ian Paice's thunderous drumming carry this song as well as the rest of the album. The robotic rhythm of the title cut relies on Jon Lord's organ work. The 1999 remastered reissue features the bonus track "Son of Alerik." This fascinating, mid-tempo, ten-minute instrumental was the B-side of the "Perfect Strangers" 12" single in the U.K." - All Music Guide

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    $15.00
  • The release of 2012's critically acclaimed Trouble With Machines ushered in an exciting era for Chicago-based Progressive Rock band District 97. In 2013, the band toured both Europe and the US with legendary bassist and vocalist John Wetton (King Crimson/UK/Asia), which was documented on 2014's live release, One More Red Night: Live in Chicago. 2013 also saw the band nominated for a Limelight Award by Prog Magazine. Rather than rest on their laurels, District 97 took to the studio in 2014 to record the new material they'd been honing at home and on the road. The resulting album, In Vaults, continues and accelerates the upward trajectory of great songwriting and incredible musicianship that's been evident since the band's 2010 debut, Hybrid Child. One listen perfectly illustrates why John Wetton says, “I've said it before, and I maintain that D97 is the best young progressive band around right now. Gifted players, great material, and a brilliant, charismatic singer in Leslie Hunt."In addition to its evocative and powerful songwriting and performances, In Vaults features the immaculate mixing of Rich Mouser (Spock's Beard, Transatlantic), mastering by Grammy winning engineer Bob Katz and the stunning imagery of Björn Gooßes of Killustraitions. 
    $13.00
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    $9.00
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  • Limited edition digipak with 2 bonus tracks."The road to Altzi is paved with good intentions…. When Masterplan announced the new lineup in November of last year, Jorn apologists flooded the comment strings of various metal news outlets with comments like “another band is spoiled by a vocalist change” and “no Jorn…no Masterplan.” While I might agree that there was reason for outcry when a well-known/respected singer leaves a band, it’s not as if Masterplan has never had another vocalist and is not a band with more past members than present. The object is to listen and make judgments later. The announcement of Rick Altzi was particularly intriguing and any fan of At Vance and Thunderstone can attest – there was much reason for hope.The news that main man/guitarist Roland Grapow’s (Ex-Helloween) revealed that there was going to be a return to “faster” and “more metal” material made this more appealing. Add further still…the addition of Ex-Stratovarius bassist Jari Kainulainen and the naysayers should have stood back and waited to react. Why? As it turned out, Rick Altzi proves a more than compatible replacement for Jorn…and *GASP* dare I say – a wee bit better in spots? Blasphemy? Try it…prove me wrong.Musically, the album ranks as one of the band’s finest, recalling the best heard from the self-titled debut, 2005’s “Aeronautics,” and the appropriately titled 2010 “Time to Be King,” but with a heavier edge. Altzi is so compatible that only the most attentive Jorn fans can see the difference, most notably that low power that shifts with a slab of grit while on the way up to the high range. This is not besmirching Altzi at all, as his range is proven and perfect. His first appearance is at 0:47 on the album’s second track “The Game,” an admirable driving melodic metal song with noticeably well-crafted double bass from new drummer Marthus Skaroupka (Cradle of Filth) and copious amounts of heaviness intertwined with trademark melody. Grapow proves again what amazing solos he can play.The album’s first music video was for “Keep Your Dream Alive” – a mid-paced winner expertly chosen, as it’s the song where Altzi shines brightest, showing the breadth of his range – and for many moments I said “Jorn who?” The finest track on the album is “Betrayal,” which will prove to be one of the best of the year when all is said and done, if not for its Middle Eastern charm that falls into the heaviest riff on the album drawn out like slamming shudders by Axel Mackenrott’s keyboards. Other notables are the appealing riff in “Earth Going Down” (which is a tad swallowed by the keyboards as the song progresses), the Strato-feel of “Black Night of Magic,” the speedier “Return to Avalon” and the never dull 11 minute title track (especially 6:13 to 7:15) and vocal duet of Altzi and Grapow. Highly recommended is the digipak version with bonus tracks “1492” and “Fear the Silence.”My only complaint is not necessarily with the band’s play or its flawless execution, its more the melodic metal style in general. At the same time it represents a favorite style – in Masterplan’s case best defined as “what Whitesnake would sound like if they tipped a bit into power metal” – listening to entire album presents a challenge, if only for that mid-paced repetition. I find the album plays a bit better when I listen to a few songs at a time, mixing it in with other bands and styles.This may be “a new beginning” for Masterplan in member changes, however the creation of high quality melodic metal perseveres. Grapow assembled a new team of musicians that prove just as compatible, especially Altzi’s performance. With the proof in the product, fans of the band should have little to complain about with “Novum Initium,” though I suspect some Jorn lamenters will never take the road less traveled….the one where its “time for” Rick “to be king.”" - Metal Underground
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  • "UNARMED Best Of 25th Anniversary is Helloween's thank-you to millions of fans old and new and will prove their exceptional position on the international metal scene. Instead of putting together a regular greatest hits compilation featuring their most successful tracks to celebrate this anniversary, the five band members completely rearranged the greatest melodies they had written in the course of their career to date. The album features Supercharge s exceptional saxophonist Albie Donnelly, Hellsongs s vocalist Harriet Ohlsson, pianist Matthias Ulmer, plus the 70-piece Prague Symphonic Orchestra and the choirs of the Gregorian singers!As a special surprise, Helloween have come up with 'The Keeper´s Trilogy,' a stunning 17-minute medley of the songs 'Halloween,' 'Keeper Of The Seven Keys,' and 'The King For A 1000 Years,' recorded in cooperation with the Prague Symphonic Orchestra and likely to send shivers of delight down the spine of every Helloween fan."
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  • Ltd. Deluxe edition including 2 DVDs containing a full live footage (filmed in Cologne), “Behind The Scenes” of the Kaldeidoscope World Tour 2014, band interviews and 3 further live tracks (filmed in Tilburg), 3 CDs containing the recording of the full Tilburg show and a BluRay disc containing the full cologne show and also the “Behind The Scenes”, band interviews and 3 songs of the Tilburg show.Track listing BluRay and DVD: Live in CologneInto The Blue (26:12)My New World (17:29)Shine (07:22)The Whirlwind Medley (29:34)Beyond The Sun (04:24)Kaleidoscope (31:30)Neal & Roine Duet (03:41)We All Need Some Light (05:56)Black As The Sky (08:43)Encore:)Medley: All Of The Above / Stranger In Your Soul (26:06)Track listing DVD: Bonus DVD1. Into the Kaleidoscope (A behind the scenes look at: Kaleidoscope World Tour 2014) (01:21:52)2. Band Interviews (22:31)3. Bonus Live Performances:3.1. Nights In White Satin (Live in Tilburg) (07:46)3.2. Sylvia (with Thijs van Leer - Live in Tilburg) (03:46)3.3. Hocus Pocus (with Thijs van Leer - Live in Tilburg) (07:53)Additional extras: Mike Portnoy vs Neal Morse in "Name That Beatles Tune"Track listing CD 1: Live in TilburgInto The Blue (27:49)My New World (18:28)Shine (07:23)Track listing CD 2: Live in TilburgThe Whirlwind Medley (30:12)Beyond The Sun (04:50)Kaleidoscope (31:30)Track listing CD 3: Live in TilburgNeal & Roine Duet (04:34)We All Need Some Light (06:05)Black As The Sky (07:22)Nights In White Satin (08:09)Sylvia (04:46)Hocus Pocus (07:09)Medley: All Of The Above / Stranger In Your Soul (24:34)
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  • "Ever since rising from oblivion with new Greek goddess Maxi Nil, Visions of Atlantis is back on track to become one of the most important bands in symphonic metal. Within eight months of releasing its comeback album "Delta" this past February, the band already has a brand new EP entitled "Maria Magdalena." Over the years, EP releases have notoriously consisted of throw away tracks recorded during a full-length writing process or demo tracks from years past, but "Maria Magdelena" is worthy of attention.The band chooses to live dangerously by naming and commencing the EP with a cover track, especially one of an 80's pop song. However, the result is a bombastic symphonic metal rendition of the 1985 Sandra hit "Maria Magdalena" that could easily pass off as a Visions of Atlantis original. This interpretation outdoes the former in so many ways and on so many levels, most notably with far superior vocals by Nil and Mario Plank. After further review of the original, it sounded a distorted chord shy of being symphonic metal itself.The EP is also home to two tracks that can easily be considered the best material the band has composed to date, "Melancholia" and "Change of Tides." Both rain "tides" of mellifluous hooks swaddled in the Visions Of Atlantis brand of "supple heaviness." Both Nil and Plank really flash the pipes, Plank in the former and Nil in the latter. "Distant Shores" is equal in its melody and just as strong as either of the aforementioned tracks, just a little less theatrical. The maturation of sound and song writing really shows since the days of "Morning In Atlantis."I normally would have balked at the inclusion of "Last Shut Of Your Eyes," the slow starting tasty rocker that originally appeared on the band's 2004 release "Cast Away." However, upon listening to the re-recording, the sound is so much fuller with the addition Nil's little background inflections. Her vocals are much less classically operatic than that of former vocalist Nicole Bogner. In comparison, Bogner's version seems abrasive to Nil's sweet and soaring one. Rounding out the EP is the slumbersome ballad "Beyond Horizon, The Poem, Pt. II" (the sequel to "The Poem" on the 2007 release "Trinity"), which represents a typical ballad of the genre. Its placement at the conclusion of this release was perfect.Visions of Atlantis is right on the edge of stardom, ready to spread its wings and fly from the safety of the Nightwish nest to exert its own influence throughout world of symphonic metal." - MetalUnderground.com
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