A Pleasant Shade of Gray (CD/DVD)

New German edition of APSOG arrives at a budget price plus a bonus live DVD (PAL Region 0) of APSOG performed live.

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  • High quality Japanese SHM-CD in a mini-LP sleeve."Sucessfully experimental album ahead of it's time.Influenced by the cutting edge musical experiments that abounded in late '70s New York Daevid radically changed direction from his previous acoustic troubadour style. Utilising the then embryonic sampling and video technology he radically cut-up, re-mixed and over dubbed the New York Gong LP 'About Time' to produce 'Playbax 80'. It resulted in this stunning and at times assaulting set, and it's still way out there."
    $14.00
  • Sensory is proud to announce the signing and forthcoming release of a new rising star on the Greek progressive metal scene – Persona Non Grata.Greece has always had some of the most fervent metal fans in the world. Although the main interest has been so called “true metal” bands in the style of Manowar and Iron Maiden, progressive metal started to take hold of the country in the 90s. Bands such as Dream Theater and Fates Warning routinely perform in Athens and both have released live CDs and DVDs from their Greek performances. Greek bands such as Fragile Vastness and Sensory’s own Wastefall have generated a buzz world wide and the scene continues to expand. Persona Non Grata will surely continue this tradition of great progressive metal.Persona Non Grata’s formation began in 2003 when John Ioannidis (keyboards) invited Chris Gatsos (guitars) to join his group Fatal Error. It didn’t’ take long for John and Chris to realize that they had to move on to progressive metal music which was a mix of rock that John loved to play and heavy metal that Chris grew up with. In order to achieve this they had to change the band’s line up. During this period they focused on writing the music which would be the material for their first CD “Shade In The Light”.It was 2 years later when vocalist, Bill Axiotis, joined the PnG group and they started recording this album. They asked session musicians Akis Gavalas (drums) and Chris Vogiatzis (Bass) to help record the album. When the sessions were over they felt a synergy with the three members of the band and came on board permanently, completing the lineup of Persona Non Grata."Shade In The Light" captures a band creating complex music but coming from the melodic end of the metal musical spectrum. Similar bands would include Circus Maximus, Vanden Plas, and Poverty's No Crime.Persona Non Grata's MySpace Page
    $6.00
  • Remastered edition with bonus tracks."Relieved from the pressures of having to record a hit single, Gary Moore cuts loose on some blues standards as well as some newer material. Moore plays better than ever, spitting out an endless stream of fiery licks that are both technically impressive and soulful. It's no wonder Still Got the Blues was his biggest hit." - Allmusic Guide
    $9.00
  • Remastered edition with bonus tracks."In 1988, few heavy metal bands were comprised of all black members, and fewer had the talent or know-how to inject different musical forms into their hard rock sound (funk, punk, alternative, jazz, soul, rap) -- but N.Y.C.'s Living Colour proved to be an exception. Unlike nearly all of the era's metal bands, the group's music has held up over time, thanks to its originality and execution. Living Colour leader/guitarist Vernon Reid spent years honing his six-string chops, and was one of the most respected guitarists in New York's underground scene. He couldn't have done a better job selecting members for his new rock band -- singer Corey Glover, bassist Muzz Skillings, and drummer Will Calhoun -- as their now-classic debut, Vivid, proves. Though the album was released in mid-1988, it picked up steam slowly, exploding at the year's end with the hit single/MTV anthem "Cult of Personality," which merged an instantly recognizable Reid guitar riff and lyrics that explored the dark side of world leaders past and present (and remains LC's best-known song). The album was also incredibly consistent, as proven by the rocker "Middle Man" (which contains lyrics from a note penned by Glover, in which he pondered suicide), the funky, anti-racist "Funny Vibe," the touching "Open Letter (To a Landlord)," plus the Caribbean rock of "Glamour Boys." Add to it an inspired reading of Talking Heads' "Memories Can't Wait," the Zeppelin-esque "Desperate People," and two complex love songs ("I Want to Know" and "Broken Hearts"), and you have one of the finest hard rock albums of the '80s -- and for that matter, all time." - Allmusic Guide
    $7.00
  • "With the release of its sixth LP, The Parallax II: Future Sequence (the sequel to the Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues EP), in 2012, American progressive metal quintet Between the Buried and Me set a new benchmark for its genre. Sure, both 2007’s Colors and 2009’s The Great Misdirect are incredible records (the former was a breakthrough in terms of both approach and commercial appeal, while the latter was more polished, accessible, and vibrant), but Parallax II took the epic-suite-broken-into-sections format Colors introduced and perfected it. With its dramatic chronicle, seamless flow, hypnotic singing, inventive instrumentation, and self-referential continuity, it easily ranked not only as BTBAM’s best effort to date, but as one of the greatest progressive metal albums of all time.Naturally, expectations skyrocketed when the band announced its follow-up, Coma Ecliptic; fortunately, it surely satisfies them. Another seventy minute odyssey into imaginative soundscapes, mind-blowing arrangements, affective storytelling, and remarkable tonal shifts (both musically and vocally), the full-length retains everything that made their past few opuses so unique, breathtaking, and rewarding. However, as astounding as it is, Coma Ecliptic doesn’t quite surpass its predecessor, as it’s slightly less varied and daring; nevertheless, it comes very close to matching Parallax II, making it another absolutely extraordinary entry in their discography.Billed as another “modern rock opera,” the concept of Coma Ecliptic actually shares similarities with that of The Mars Volta’s debut, De-Loused in the Comatorium. As bassist Dan Briggs explains, the plot “follows the wanderings of an unidentified man, stuck in a coma, as he journeys through his past lives. Each song is its own episode in a modern day, sort of The Twilight Zone-esque fashion [sic]. The unidentified man enters each world and is offered a choice: stay, or move on to the next in search of something better, something more ‘perfect.’”  To reveal any more of the tale would ruin its surprises and most affective elements. Suffice it to say, though, that the quintet’s moral intention is to help listeners “make the best of [their lives]. People are constantly searching for something better without taking the time to appreciate the things they have. What we need may already be here . . .” Because of its coherent storyline and meaningful themes, Coma Ecliptic actually contains BTBAM’s strongest narrative yet.Along the same lines, it also features one of their best opening tracks to date: “Node”. Vocalist/keyboardist Tommy Giles Rogers plays an ethereal piano pattern as he sings beautiful yet mournful judgments. Eventually, harmonies, strings, biting guitar riffs, and thunderous percussion explode around him, culminating in a regal and dense declaration of the trauma to come. In typical Between the Buried and Me fashion, Giles’ voice even interlocks with itself a couple times; likewise, the composition alternates between calmness and catastrophe with exceptional build-ups. It’s a fine way to begin, and it demonstrates how the band continues to evolve with each new release. Like most of the “episodes” on Coma Ecliptic, “Node” segues into the next section, “The Coma Machine.”With its fluctuating structures, absorbing melodies, and exceptional musicianship, “The Coma Machine” follows a familiar template; nonetheless, it’s still a fascinating and creative venture. From the way Giles’ infectious chorus (“You teach us what was, out there”) complements the mechanical riffs, to the way the song’s essence moves from hellish to heavenly several times, this track is a stunning beast that never lets up. Of course, their trademark frantic rhythmic changes are in full force here, with gripping stop/start breaks on occasion. Similarly, the sharp intertwining patterns of guitarists Paul Waggoner and Dustie Waring are as overwhelming as ever. Without a doubt, though, the single best moment of “The Coma Machine” comes at around the 3:15 mark, when an electrifying new riff crashes in, joined by bells and pounding drums. It’s wholly invigorating and awesome; in fact, it’s one of the best moments on any BTBAM creation. Finally, Giles’ closing bridge is subtle yet very moving.Like a lost gem by Dutch prog metal band Ayreon, “Dim Ignition” sneaks in with an ominous synthesized loop. Essentially, it’s a brief psychedelic interlude in which Giles proclaims foreboding notions over spacey effects and beats. It serves its purpose well and definitely adds to the thematic quality of Coma Ecliptic, but what’s really cool is how the loop bleeds into the introductory, sinister riff of “Famine Wolf” at its conclusion. As for “Famine Wolf” itself, its opening is also among the highlights on the disc. In general, its dynamic juxtapositions aren’t as striking as on some other tracks, but it still balances Giles’ screaming and singing well. The most interesting aspect appears about two-thirds of the way in, when the aforementioned loop returns as Giles evokes the peculiar accent that he used on past LPs. In this way, Coma Ecliptic feels connected to its precursors.Another transition takes place next, as “King Redeem/Queen Serene” starts with a lovely acoustic guitar arpeggio supporting arguably the most touching melody and lyrics Giles has ever sung (“I can’t hear a thing / These waves crash faster”). Every measure comes with more luscious layers until the arrangement breaks into one of the most “prog” moments BTBAM has ever had. After some more heaviness, an essential rhythmic breakdown from “The Coma Machine” comes back, which is very cool, followed by more frantic transformations. Ultimately, the piece ends as it began, so it feels like a self-contained observation.Although all of “Turn on the Darkness” is astonishing in how moves around its various formations, the best part is the chorus, during which Giles brings the concept to the forefront. Following some warm and atmospheric passages, he seizes command by saying, “Welcome to our journey / Please walk with me / I’ll put your mind at ease.” Aside from this, the ways in which the guitar and keyboards echo each other from time to time also help the track stand out. Really, this selection feels like something from The Great Misdirect, which isn’t bad at all.“The Ectopic Stroll” possibly includes the most experimentation aspects on Coma Ecliptic, as Giles’s odd piano chords, coupled with his menacing crooning, make the main parts feel like a malevolent 1940s jazz excerpt. He screeches, “Whoa, can’t get it right!” while sing-a-long harmonies concur, and at first, it’s a bit toounconventional to feel appropriate; but, after a few listens it feels more fitting. Equally, the percussive spasticity and quality feel akin to some of the wilder tones used by Dream Theatre or Devin Townsend. Truly, these risks also show how fearless BTBAM still is in trying new techniques, so they deserve praise for that alone.As its name suggests, “Rapid Calm” is transcendent and lively, with keyboard and guitar outlines dancing around each other as more soothing melodies signal the beginning of the end. In particular, this song is a strong example of how Coma Ecliptic features the strongest emphasis on clean vocals of any Between the Buried and Me record; there’s still plenty of growling throughout, but Giles has never allowed his natural style to shine so densely or prevalently. During the chorus, for instance, he conveys dread and sorrow powerfully, realizing, “They don’t want you there / They don’t want me here / Remember my name / The machine is crumbling.” It’s an exceptional moment, as is the moody intermission near the end, whose somber timbres recall parts of the most recent Opeth collections.Beyond being the standout track on Coma Ecliptic by a mile, “Memory Palace” may be the single best Between the Buried and Me song ever. Each element is just about perfect; from its towering opening riffs and soaring lines to its meticulous and clever shifts, every second is spectacular. The group has never before moved between such drastic deviations with such silky expertise; above all, the leap into what’s likely the band’s most surreal segment yet (“Focus on melody / The sounds under my eyes / Dreaming inside of this / World inside my mind”) is amazing. Furthermore, the way they bring back past moments near the end is sublime. If ever there was a track that single-handedly proved why BTBAM is so special, it’s this one.Luckily, the reprisals continue during the final two tracks, “Option Oblivion” and “Life in Velvet.” The former bursts in from its predecessor with more spellbinding arrays. Brilliantly, Giles brings back a phrase that was first mentioned on “Rapid Calm”:  “A choice of gold or velvet / Do I go on, or follow the crown in the smoke?” A bit further on, he also references “The Coma Machine” by lamenting, “Looking back through the painful tunnel / They taught us what once was.” As for “Life in Velvet,” it continues the symbolic theme of velvet (as a catalyst for spiritual transformation) that runs throughout the album; it’s also lead by a modified version of the chord progression from “The Coma Machine.” Like “Node,” it features Giles singing softly while playing piano, and in doing so, it brings Coma Ecliptic full circle. As a final burst of brilliance, the aforementioned electrifying guitar riff and closing bridge from “The Coma Machine” also makes an appearance. Because of these numerous references, Coma Ecliptic has the most alluring, suitable, and clever conclusion of any Between the Buried and Me record.Coma Ecliptic is an exquisite masterpiece. As with most opaque works, it takes many listens to fully appreciate everything here (including multilayered production, parallel structures, and callbacks to prior parts); however, once listeners understand all that’s going on, they’ll be utterly blown away. Between the Buried and Me have proven time and time again how distinctive, ambitious, capable, and important they are within its genre; no other band can do what they do as well as they do, and this effort just proves that once again." - Pop Matters
    $16.00
  • "Dancer and the Moon is Blackmore s Night 8th studio album. Despite Ritchie Blackmore s past as a guitar player in Deep Purple and Rainbow, he is now in another stage of his musical life, concentrating on modern Folk, Renaissance and Progressive Rock music. Besides Ritche s incredible talent as aguitar player, the other selling point for Blackmore s Night is vocalist Candice Night, the beautiful wife of Ritchie Blackmore who could be described as a younger, and folkier, version of Stevie Nicks."Deluxe digipak CD/DVD edition.  The DVD features a documentary as well as acoustic versions of 3 tunes that are on the album and one that is not.
    $19.00
  • Long overdue reissue of the two albums from the French-Canadian duo of Vincent Dionne and Michel-Georges Bregent. When you look at the instrumentation of keyboards and percussion you expect some bombastic ELP-type extravaganza. The reality is that the duo had more experimental leanings, moving into the direction of electronic music like early Tangerine Dream. The first album "Et Le Troisieme Jour" finds the duo accompanied by choirs and solo soprano vocalist. The music is like a wall of sound with a variety of tuned percussion and drum kit integrated with Moogs, orchestron (like a Mellotron), Fender Rhodes, and organ. The sidelong "L'Eveil Du Lieu" has a dark quality that could almost pass for a horror soundtrack. The band's second album was called (appropriately) "Deux". It was recorded in 1977. Bregent again uses a variety of keys, this time incorporating Mellotron into his arsenal. Dionne's drumming has more of a propulsive rock feel. Accompanied by strings and horns it has a more balanced, fuller soundscape. I ultimately find it to be the more successful of the two albums. This gorgeous set features two unreleased tracks as well as a detailed booklet with photos and a band bio (in French). One of the best reissues that we will see in 2006. Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • First full length from this Norwegian progmetal band. Dark and moody with strong classical overtones, Winds relies more on atmosphere than pyrotechnics. The standout for me is guitarist Carl August Tidemann of the late lamented Tritonus. Tidemann may be familiar to you also from his work with Arcturus. His intricate, shredding style is in deep contrast to the drama created by the mournful violin and strings. An unusual album that is continuing to reveal it's secrets to me with each listen. I can easily recommend this to the prog metal fan looking for something a little different. As a bonus the CD contains all the material from their debut EP.
    $12.00
  • Fifth album from this young Dutch trio.  The band seems to be rising in popularity in Europe and Australia.  The band recorded this album in Georgia with producer Mark Neill (Black Keys).  The overall sound is intact - Hammond organ still is the focus - but there is a bluesy Southern vibe injected that reminds a bit to The Black Crowes.
    $24.00
  • Limited edition digipak of the new Evergrey album includes 2 booklets and one bonus track."Reformed and rejuvenated may best describe Evergrey 2.0 and their eighth studio album Glorious Collision After dissolving the band in the Spring of 2010, founder, guitarist, and vocalist Tom Englund immediately began recreating Evergrey, writing several songs with remaining keyboard player Rikard Zander. Englund then filled out the band with the incoming talent of Marcus Jidell (guitar), Hannes Van Dahl (drums) and Johan Niemann (bass).A cursory listen to Glorious Collision finds Evergrey revitalized and seeming to draw from a well of new sources. In the past, both lyrically and musically, Englund/Evergrey was almost uniformly heavy, bleak, and often discomforting. I don't think Englund has lost any of his somber, near depressive, edge, but musically Glorious Collision certainly has a more lively feel to it. Leave It Behind, You, and It Comes From Within find Evergrey drawing on a more classic melodic rock feel wrapped in pure heavy metal. Wrong brings back some of Evergrey/Englund's melancholy while sounding like a Swedish version of current, and commercial, modern hard rock. Others, like Frozen, thunder along with a well-paced and invigorating melodic power metal style. Generally, with the depth and variety of the arrangements, Evergrey hasn't lost it's progressive edge either. But I'm not ready to call this work pure progressive metal. Ultimately, when listening to Wrong, I'm Drowning Alone, or the wonderful To Fit the Mold, Glorious Collision has a sweeping near epic quality to it thanks to the aforementioned melodic rock character wrapped in some serious heavy metal.If Glorious Collision is the future of a re-emergent and revitalized Evergrey, then we are in for some grand days ahead. Glorious Collision is impressive: heavy, melodic, thick with groove, and quite entertaining. Maybe more bands should reboot." - dangerdog.com
    $15.00
  • Peculiar but interesting band from Belgium. Oceans Of Sadness mix progressive, death and doom metal influences freely and even incorporate some 70s flavors as well. The music is a bit off-kilter in the same way that Pain Of Salvation used to be. Vocals are a mix of clean and coarse. The odd use of Hammond organ in places is a weird stylistic choice that just helps to set these guys apart from the norm. If you like your prog metal to the left of center check these guys out.
    $8.00
  • Limited numbered edition of 3000, double LP set.This was an extremely well produced album that simply was a bit flat - not commercial enough for the general public and not prog enough for their fans. Parts of it are actually very Floyd-like and yeah there are moments that are pretty damn awesome but overall this is my least favorite of their catalogue.  Your mileage may vary.
    $20.00
  • "By opening their self-titled album with a group of children reciting a sing-songy version of the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. flag, keyboardist Frank Lucas, drummer Chuck White and bassist Steve Edsey prove early on that their self-titled LWE debut will be unlike so many other instrumental progressive-music CDs flooding the marketplace these days. First of all, there are no guitars. Lucas' piano — rarely does he use synths — propels this music into a feel-good stratosphere, while the rhythm section of White and Edsey provides a mighty backbone. (The subtle potency of this trio is no surprise, really, considering that all three men have gigged with the likes of guitarists Michael Angelo and Neil Zaza, as well as the prog-metal band Ion Vein.) Edgar Gabriel, a principal violinist for Cirque de Soleil, also appears on three of LWE's eight tracks.Pre-release comparisons to Emerson, Lake & Palmer and the Chick Corea Electrik Band might have been overstated. This music is less pretentious (although no less dramatic) than ELP's work, and it lacks the blatant fusion references of Corea's late-1980s/early-1990s outfit. Instead, listeners get a steady 54-minute stream of clever, quippy and wholly engrossing music that includes the marvelous, bouncy opener "Liberty," the beachcomber anthem "Hasta MaƱana" and "The Nightcap," an uncharacteristically dark, mysterious and sexy piece. LWE milks its cleverness with songs whose titles reference the Chicagoland trio's influences: "A Note to Jordan" (as in Dream Theater keyboard maestro Jordan Rudess) and "Waiting for Bela" (as in premier banjo player Bela Fleck).Count LWE among the most promising acts on ProgRock Records' burgeoning roster of talent." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $3.00