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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  • Third album from Angra vocalist Edu Falaschi's side project. While the first two Almah albums bore quite a bit of similarity to Angra, Motion is a different beast all together. Still very melodic, the music is heavier than Angra. In fact the opening track, "Hypnotic", has an almost industrial feel to it. That doesn't carry through the entire album though. Overall more frenetic than Angra, you won't feel like you were just listening to more of the same.
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  • Following two highly successful tours with established Progressive metalists PAIN OF SALVATION and two years of exacting work, DARK SUNS have finished their third album "Grave Human Genuine.""Grave Human Genuine" – this unconventional title was chosen with care and purpose, as it represents the three characteristic elements of this work: "Grave" signifies darkness, the sinister force, and the inevitable fate. "Human" is synonymous with the music’s inherent soul-depth, while "Genuine" means "real" or "authentic" and hence refers to DARK SUNS’ uncompromising approach to music.But what about the music? DARK SUNS don’t merely pick up where the successful predecessor "Existence" (2005) left off, they present themselves as many-facetted as never before. A clear nod to Doom, complex polyrhythms, unusual and diverse instruments and, last but not least, drummer NIKO KNAPPE’s characteristic yearning vocals comprise the album’s cornerstones. The variety of sounds stretches from angular Metal riff attacks via atmospheric ambient soundscapes and Techno reminiscences to Avant-garde influences – despite this complexity, an accomplished musical mosaic of enormous expressiveness.Exciting nuances are created by the incomparable bass of Pain Of Salvation’s long-time member KRISTOFFER GILDENLÖW, a friendly turn that resulted from the tours mentioned above, and DISILLUSION’s SCHMIDT’s guest vocals in "Flies In Amber."With "Grave Human Genuine," DARK SUNS have created a haunting album full of autonomy and instrumental class, self-consciously charting new musical territory. In this, the band from Leipzig embodies the essence of every true progressive band: compositional genius coupled with advancement. The dark suns radiate: gloomy, human and egregiously genuine.
    $6.00
  • "Let’s welcome a new and extremely promising progressive rock act from Israel whose songs stand for a successful balancing act between traditional elements and the future of the genre. The band is called Ephrat, has found renowned supporters in Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), who mixed their debut album No One´s Words, and guest vocalists Daniel Gildenlöw (Pain Of Salvation) and Petronella Nettermalm (Paatos), and delivers a colourful mix of European influences and the atmospheric tone sequences of the Middle East - the benchmark data of a new group could hardly be more promising.Mastermind, guitarist, flutist, keyboardist and sole composer of the quartet is Omer Ephrat, who describes his creative visions as follows: “It’s sophisticated progressive music that’s driven by a rock’n’roll feel. But I really think that my music sometimes slips from those definitions and creates a new entity. The main influences range from the progressive rock groups of the Seventies, such as Yes, Rush, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple and King Crimson to newer metal bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Porcupine Tree, Dream Theater and many more.” In addition, there are cross-references to the band’s native country. “The Mediterranean and ethnic characters that this country holds are alive and well in my music, whether I like it or not,” says Omer Ephrat. “I think the contrast of a European country mixed with an ethnic one – that’s the way I see Israel – is exactly what’s happening on this album. It’s not a bad thing, it’s one of the things that make the music original and special.” Alongside Omer Ephrat, the band consists of Gili Rosenberg, vocalist Lior Seker and drummer Tomer Z, whom experts of the genre know from his collaboration with Blackfield. Then there are two high-carat guests who add additional specks of colour to this diverse album. The most renowned of them is Daniel Gildenlöw, boss and chief visionary of Swedish elite prog rock act, Pain Of Salvation, who recorded the lead vocals of the almost 10-minute ‘The Sum Of Damage Done’. “Before the first note was composed for this album, I knew I wanted Daniel to be on it,” Omer Ephrat confesses. “Apart from being a very talented musician and gifted vocalist, I think that he’s something very unique in the progressive genre and to me symbolizes the endless possibilities of the progressive genre to evolve. It was great working with him, and I think he adds a new aspect to the album. He did a great job writing the lyrics for his song, and of course recording the vocals.”By no means less impressive is Petronella Nettermalm’s melancholy voice on ‘Haze’, which lends an interesting Björk/Portisheadesque flair to the track: “This match was initially suggested by Steven Wilson, who suggested that I should listen to her band Paatos and consider adding her to the project. So I did, and it was love at first listen. She has a unique voice and feel that I just had to have on this album. After hearing her voice, I wrote ‘Haze’ in less than five minutes, inspired by the collaboration that could be. Our collaboration was so successful that Petronella added her voice to a second song, ‘Real’, along with the main vocalist, Lior Seker.”The cherry on this cake consisting of haunting tracks is the warm, transparent mix courtesy of Steven Wilson, whom Omer Ephrat contacted for the first time by e-mail two years ago. “Not long after, he got back to me and was very excited about what he had heard, wanting to meet me in Tel-Aviv. Steven offered to mix and master the album. His mix makes the album what it is. He understands music and knows how to handle it to get it where it belongs.”"
    $14.00
  • Dream Theater began their mammoth A Dramatic Tour Of Events world trek in July 2011 with the final leg in South America taking place in August 2012. It was here at the Luna Park arena in Buenos Aires, Argentina that they decided to film the two nights that go to make up this DVD release. It was Dream Theater's first tour with new drummer Mike Mangini and all the tracks from their first album together A Dramatic Turn Of Events are included in either the main show or the bonus performances. Dream Theater are rock s supreme virtuosos with many awards to their name and here in concert they bring all the power and drama of their music to life with breathtaking performances of classic tracks from across their career.Features many of their classic tracks including: Metropolis Pt. 1 , The Silent Man , Pull Me Under , The Root Of All Evil , The Test That Stumped Them All , The Spirit Carries On and the recent On The Backs Of Angels .Bonus FeaturesDocumentary / Trailer / Behind The Scenes / Cartoon IntroBlu-Ray1) Bridges In The Sky 2) 6:00 3) The Dark Eternal Night 4) This Is The Life 5) The Root Of All Evil 6) Lost Not Forgotten 7) Drum Solo 8) A Fortune In Lies 9) The Silent Man 10) Beneath The Surface 11) Outcry 12) Piano Solo 13) Surrounded 14) On The Backs Of Angels 15) War Inside My Head 16) The Test That Stumped Them All 17) Guitar Solo 18) The Spirit Carries On 19) Breaking All Illusions 20) Metropolis Pt. 1Bonus Tracks1) These Walls 2) Build Me Up, Break Me Down 3) Caught In A Web 4) Wait For Sleep 5) Far From Heaven 6) Pull Me Under
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  • Evergrey are back and better than ever!  I think the general consensus is that as the band became more and more popular the music became a bit more commercial and the production slicker.  Tom Englund has gone back to the basics and its clearly the right move.  Jonas Ekdahl (drums) and Henrik Danhage (guitars) have returned to the fold and production has been handed over to Jacob Hansen.  This is a return to the "classic" Evergrey sound - that perfect balance of melody and heaviness with the right amount of "prog" injected when necessary.  COMEBACK ALBUM OF THE YEAR!  BUY OR DIE!"One of the leading names in the power/progressive metal world is the Swedish five-piece, Evergrey. Forming in 1995, the band has released eight full length albums, with number nine releasing this fall. The band has been known for relatively dark lyrics and concept albums since their debut, and because of this fact, it was very difficult for me to get into their music. I can easily count the amount of times I thought “I should listen to Evergrey” on one hand. Though I wasn’t well versed in their discography, what I had heard was moving quite slowly, was downright melancholic, and just couldn’t catch my attention. That was until the Hymns for the Broken album landed in my inbox.First off, the notable changes in the lineup, with the return of Jonas Ekdahl (drums) and Henrik Danhage (guitar) grabbed my attention immediately. Though the band briefly spoke about the addition of the two previous members on their Facebook, “What can we say? We missed each other.” I truly believe that this decision, and the amazing mixing by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Amaranthe, Primal Fear) and production quality are what set this album up for its coming success.The album kicks off with a very eerie intro track, then jumps into the first single and video, “King of Errors”. Even without being an Evergrey fan in particular, I have always known who Tom Englund was, as his voice is so unique and legendary in the industry that I couldn’t ever really escape it. This song is a great display of the power and ability he has as a vocalist to truly bring a wonderfully written song to an entirely new level. The blend of the guitar riffs and keyboard work is perfection to say the least, but when the awe-inspiring guitar solo hit, I knew this album had me by its teeth.Immediately following is another one of the strongest tracks on the album, “A New Dawn” with a strong and hard-hitting guitar and bass riff that doesn’t ever really let go throughout the song. This song features one of the more beautiful keyboard solos on the album, but yet again that guitar solo just comes out of nowhere and destroys any solo I have ever heard this band release. “Black Undertow” is another perfect example of why Englund is so well-respected in the music world. It begins with his chillingly lower vocal range, but builds back up to where he truly shines. This song not only features another soaring and strong chorus, but the rhythm work between all instruments keeps it dark and eerie, though the keyboard lightly dances above it all.The title track to the record explodes into this phenomenal musical intro, but fades just as quickly as it hits. Boasting some of the strongest, most emotional lyrics on the album, the song hits a chord in many personal ways. “Scream loud, these hymns are for the broken,” are just some of this crowd enticing chorus that Englund sings flawlessly throughout. Bringing the album to a close is the over seven minute song “The Aftermath” which begins in a ballad-like fashion, but builds to a very strong finale. The tempo remains slow, but the flawless movement in the instruments keeps it absolutely enthralling. The last half of the song is entirely instrumental, and the conversations between keyboard, bass, and drums is something that I could listen to on repeat for hours, especially when the haunting lead melody soars above it all.If you can’t tell, I can’t think of a single moment on this album I don’t absolutely love. As someone who could never get hooked by an Evergrey album, I can assure you this is not just ‘fandom’ talking. Hymns for the Broken is a perfect album that even after weeks of constant play, I can not get enough of. Perhaps it is indeed perfection, or perhaps it just hit me at the right time in my life, either way I am in love. Easily a current contender for album of the year, it’s so full of beautiful melodies and amazing arrangements that any fan of power or progressive metal will absolutely love. I don’t doubt that all previous fans of the band will appreciate this album as much as I do, but I sincerely hope that new listeners give this record a fair and objective chance as well.This is definitely their most ambitious release yet, and they absolutely nailed it!" - Metalholic 
    $15.00
  • Ian Parry's first new solo album in 10 years arrives with a bevy of solid players behind him. The lineup reads a bit more like a Consortium Project album. Kamelot's Casey Grillo and Vanden Plas' Andreas Lill handle the drums while Vanden Plas guitarist Stephan Lill is all over this as well.
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  • Current version of ELP's 1992 reunion album. Not exactly their best work but the worst was yet to come.  In retrospect there are some pretty decent tunes here but don't expect Brain Salad Surgery. This Sony edition comes with 4 bonus tracks.
    $11.00
  • Digipak edition with bonus track."These Power Metal merchants are held in high regard thanks to their personnel who have the experience, plus the previous four albums by Silent Force have held the attention mixing the hooks with rampant guitar riffs and their flair for clinical execution.Their last album, 'Walk The Earth', was unleashed back in 2007 so there has been plenty of water under the proverbial bridge leading up to this release.One notable difference for fans of Silent Force is the absence of D.C. Cooper on lead vocals. He has returned to the mighty Danish Melodic Progressive Rock band Royal Hunt and on this album is replaced by Michael Bormann known for his work with Bloodbound and Powerworld.Known as the main brain behind these Metal marauders, Alex Beyrodt starts the proceedings with some Yngwie Malmsteen style fretwork before 'Caught In Their Wicked Game' runs loose. Fast paced and ready to eliminate the competition the band sound hungry and eager to please.The new vocalist here really complements the sound, but may have some struggles winning over purists who yearn for their favourite original singer. 'There Ain't No Justice' and 'Circle Of Trust' both thrust the sword through the torso as the energy remains relentless.I really enjoyed the opening salvo of these three songs the first time I heard this album, through to the fifth spin and so on. The latter of these three tracks retains a pop sensibility, but loses none of the Metal credentials that you'd expect from this band.Not much to find fault about regarding 'Living To Die' which doesn't have the same prominent and obvious hooks as the previous songs, but still retains the quality. Listen out for some tasty keys from Alessandro Del Vecchio in the song 'Before You Run' and there's some mean riffing throughout 'You Gotta Kick It'. The balancing trick between the keys and guitar is the love affair that makes this album so appealing to the ears. They are the real stars from start to finish.Sarah has a lot to answer for as 'Turn Me Loose' tackles a relationship lyrically and maintains the groove in the backdrop. Solid drumming from André Hilgers keeps the good ship Silent Force on course providing a solid backbone, but is still unable to save this song from being below par in comparison to the rest. Perhaps slipping a little through the gears and reaching auto-pilot, 'Born To Be A Fighter' goes through the numbers competently enough, but the sparks aren't flying.Meanwhile, 'Anytime Anywhere' picks up the level of quality and mixes things up with a fine arrangement oozing melodies at each turn. This brings us to the final track 'Kiss Of Death' which chugs along like your favourite Metal anthem. The chorus stands up well and is a great way to round off what overall has been an enjoyable journey.Eight out of ten of the songs here are monuments to their reputation and abilities. Top quality musicianship, crisp production and power found in the crevices are all that I was hoping for initially, plus a feisty and strong delivery from the new vocalist. Thankfully, they tick the boxes consistently apart from a couple of weaker tracks that don't quite reach up to the benchmark they set with the rest of the album. Let power and melody unite in a blissful collision once more, as album number five aligns itself with their back catalogue." - Metal Talk  
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  • "Esteemed international metal label Season of Mist began pursuing the two-guitar, three-singer Vancouver quartet Anciients after hearing a series of early mixes for what would become the band’s debut album. It’s easy to imagine what initially lured the diverse label to the band: The tracks on Anciients' nine-song entrance, Heart of Oak, are hyperkinetic but heavily anchored. They surround the hooks you might expect from a Baroness anthem with tangential and technical playing that trends toward prog rock but stops short of Opeth or Enslaved’s maze of redirections. Anciients excel at muscular and agile guitar solos, while the guitarists, Kenny Cook and Chris Dyck, also volley the vocal duties, jumping from death metal bellow to pop-metal lift. It’s exciting stuff, really-- often complicated without seeming excessive, skillful but soulful, approachable but not pedestrian. At its best, Heart of Oak is immediate and electrifying, an album that suggests Anciients’ half-prog, half-pop metal is bound for big stages.By this point, though, you’ve probably wondered what’s up with the band’s name: Why, after all, add an extraneous vowel to a perfectly good handle? That excess is emblematic of Anciients' chief musical foible-- time and again, they add unnecessary sidecars to songs that would have been more effective left alone. Of these nine tracks, only one doesn’t break the six-minute mark. The exception is a tender but predictable instrumental, a mid-album interlude meant as a tribute to some late friends and family members. But the rest of these things are hyperbolic monsters that speak to a rookie act attempting to get through all of their influences at once, even though three of the members have been playing together in other groups for a decade. They are trying to make a very big point all the time, and the weight collapses in on itself. “The Longest River”, a nine-minute cut with a woefully apropos handle, swivels from acoustic foreboding to contract-and-expand thrash, from distended solos to dense stomp, from sweet-singing verses to growled impasses. None of it’s bad, but none of it is astounding enough to pardon the way it obviates an excellent refrain.That’s a consistent problem for Heart of Oak, a record that adulterates many incredibly exciting moments with consistent excess. “Flood and Fire”, a late-album highlight, seems more like a string of song pieces than a proper song, with a righteous solo swiping momentum from a great chorus that, in turn, stymies several great and grim hardcore shout-alongs. As Cook told Metal Underground, album opener “Raise the Sun” initially keys on Fleet Foxes before leaping into a verse so sticky and warm that ASG or Torche might like to have it back. Elsewhere, the song convincingly invokes metalcore and psychedelic rock, hangman riffs and fleeting blast beats. The parts are exhilarating, but strung together with more enthusiasm than wisdom so they’re mostly exhausting. Taken a track or two at a time, Heart of Oak is manageable; make it from end to end, though, and it’s difficult not to feel frustrated by the fatigue.These complaints aren’t meant as some preclusive warning against Heart of Oak; rather, they’re only an honest assessment of a band that, in years to come, is probably going to be great. If Anciients choose to venture further deeper into labyrinthine prog, they’ve got the riffs and rhythms to make it compelling over the long haul. They seem as steeped in the suffocation of black metal from Scandinavia as they do in the sweetness of Allman licks from Georgia, as capable of thrash sprints as they are stoner lulls. And as the pealing organ and rumbling field recordings of the gorgeous (but, again, incredibly excessive) closer “For Lisa” suggest, they bring a wide-eyed approach to their music. Heart of Oak doesn’t have a compelling, cohesive narrative thrust, but there’s always time to buy a book of folklore, right?Alternately, Anciients could choose the route of bands such as Baroness or even Mastodon, embedding that sharp technicality within songs that make their points with concision that doesn’t forsake intricacy. The kernels of these songs are strong enough to suggest that they’re not very far off-- that is, their biggest problem as a band isn’t a dearth of ideas but, rather, discretion with those ideas. Anciients are exciting new prospects, with or without that cumbersome vowel chaiin." - Pitchfork
    $13.00
  • Willowglass is the vehicle for British multi-instrumentalist Andrew Marshall.  He plays guitar, keys, and bass.  Accompaniment is courtesy of Hans Jorg Schmitz on drums and Steve Unruh on violin, flute, and guitars.The music is all instrumental and harkens back to the classic British progressive sounds of the 70s.  The album kicks off with the 20 minute "A House Of Cards Pt 1", which is a pure love letter to the Mellotron.  Reminds me a bit of King Crimson's Lizard.  The music never gets overly heavy.  Marshall tends to rely on acoustic guitar quite a bit and Unruh's violin figures quite prominently.  We always say they don't make 'em like they used to but apparently they still do.  If you miss the glory days of Genesis and Camel you need to fill that spot in your collection.  Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • Last album of the 70s finds the tracks a bit shorter. This one tends to get overlooked as it was the follow up to the successful Point Of Know Return.
    $5.00