Private Eyes ($5 Special)

SKU: CK34329
Label:
Columbia
Category:
Hard Rock
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"After the breakup of Deep Purple in 1976, guitarist Tommy Bolin wasted little time beginning work on his second solo album, Private Eyes. While it was more of a conventional rock album than its predecessor, Teaser (which served primarily as a showcase for his guitar skills and contained several jazz/rock instrumentals), it was not as potent. The performances aren't as inspired as those on Teaser or even those on Bolin's lone album with Deep Purple, Come Taste the Band, although there a few highlights could be found. The nine-minute rocker "Post Toastee" merges a long jam section with lyrics concerning the dangers of drug addiction, while "Shake the Devil" is similar stylistically. But Bolin wasn't simply a hard-rocker; he was extremely talented with other kinds of music: the quiet, acoustic-based compositions "Hello, Again" and "Gypsy Soul," and the heartbroken ballad "Sweet Burgundy." With his solo career starting to take shape (after the album's release, he opened for some of rock's biggest names: Peter Frampton, Jeff Beck, Rush, ZZ Top, etc.), Bolin's life was tragically cut short at the end of the year due to a drug overdose in Miami, FL." - All Music Guide

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  • 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
  • First new studio album since 1999's Darktown demonstrates a masterful musican firmly in control. Steve has continued to evolve as an progressive artist with only a modest look backwards. At times subdued there are plenty of guitar pyrotechnics and keyboard embellishments to remind you of his earlier solo works. Recorded with his recent touring band, notable guests include Ian McDonald and brother John Hackett.
    $13.00
  • "This is ROYAL HUNT’s tenth album already? It’s hard to believe, but when you think about it, the band released their first album all the way back in 1992. They should have chosen a better name than “X” though, especially since so many bands have done that before them.This is the second album to feature former Yngwie Malmsteen singer Mark Boals. He did a fine job on their previous album and is one of several great singers that ROYAL HUNT has employed over the years. Their final album with D.C. Cooper, “Paradox,” was one of my favorite albums of all time. Their final album with John West, “Paper Blood,” was excellent as well. However, I hope Boals stays on for at least another album because this one is disappointing.In the months before the album was released, main composer André Andersen stated in several interviews that the band was attempting a more 70s rock sound on this album, which excited me a bit because I love rock music from that era, despite this being different from ROYAL HUNT’s traditional melodic metal sound. However, the results were something more like an 80s rock sound.The guitars are buried, aside from showing up a few times in admittedly solid solos. I admire Andersen’s restraint with the keyboards, but all of the instruments are so simplified that there’s not much to stand out besides Boals’ vocals. Boals does a fine job with the material he’s given, particularly on “End of the Line” and “The Well,” but unfortunately he cannot make this a magnificent album on his own. There are still a good amount of pleasurable songs, but nothing approaching the heights that I know this band is capable of.“X” shows ROYAL HUNT breaking relatively new ground, but it sounds much different than advertised. There are still some fine moments, but overall this is somewhat disappointing. This is probably still worth hearing, it just won’t end up on my best of 2010 list any time soon." - Metal Temple
    $12.00
  • Second album from Greece's answer to Joe Stump. Mike Dimareli is a neoclassical shredder that can keep up with the best of 'em. No idea what the Artical thing means but apparently it's part of the group name. Luckily this isn't an instrumental album - Dimareli saw fit to enlist Phantom Lord vocalist Bill Aksiotis who acquits himself nicely. Firewind keyboardist Bob Katsionis is on board offering his fair share of pyrotechnics as well. I thought shred was dead but apparently not.
    $14.00
  • After their last performance at Nearfest Apocalypse, Anglagard's lineup went through a bit of an upheaval.  Luckily it didn't materially affect the band's sound.  Anglagard is still Anglagard.  Prog Pa Svenska is a 2CD set that documents the band's three day residence at Club Citta in Tokyo, Japan back in March 2013.  Material is drawn from all three studio albums.  The recording is beautiful and the performances are stellar.  What else do you need to know?  How about this review:"May 14th of this year will see the release of a new Änglagård live album: Prog på Svenska—Live in Japan. Some of you may have been lucky enough to have been following Änglagård from the very beginning, but if you’re anything like me, you came into the game when Änglagård’s small catalog of music was either out of print or near impossible to find without spending a fortune; that is, with the exception of one little disc which somehow was available when snagging a copy of albums like Epilogue seemed to be a Herculean feat. That album was Buried Alive, the live recording of Änglagård’s last show prior to their 1994 breakup. While the liner-notes of Buried Alive reveal a band that was not 100% satisfied, 20 years later with the release of Prog på Svenska—Live in Japan, Änglagård is back and going strong with a new live recording that is rich in dynamic and deep in maturity, a performance that I am confident that they are proud to immortalize for their fans.Prog på Svenska represents the first of three consecutive nights that the masters of dark Swedish prog delivered at Club Città in Japan alongside The Crimson ProjeKCt (featuring the legendary Adrian Belew and Tony Levin). For me personally this is a special album that transports me back to when I witnessed their unbelievable performance only three weeks later at Baja Prog. Among a plethora of canonized acts at the festival (such as Hackett, New Trolls, and Three Friends), Änglagård’s remarkable performance showed that they stand in no one’s shadow. While there’s nothing like being there in person, Prog på Svenska is about as good a live recording and performance as I’ve ever heard on disc. I certainly am jealous of the Japanese fans who got to see them three nights in a row last year.The live-set on this album shows a balanced representation of the old and the new, featuring two tracks from each studio release along with an unreleased intro track which I assume (and hope) will be on Änglagård’s next studio production. So that the anticipation doesn’t kill anyone, I’ll start right off with the new song: ”Introvertus Fugu Part 1.” Perhaps the first thing to know about this track is that it’s our first look into the composition of the new band featuring Linus Kåse and Erik Hammarström alongside Anna, Johan, and Tord. I can happily say that “Introvertus” shows a band that knows how to move forward without abandoning the distinctive identity that they are known for, a fact that strongly hints at a powerful album to come in the future. The opening moments of the song show the band increasingly incorporating elements of modern classical and atonal music through the delicately dark chord changes on the piano before constructing a wave of tension with ambient bass noise, a distinctive guitar motif,  and a descending melody on flute playing against tuned percussion. As the ambient textures continue to swell, a big percussive crash shockingly interjects, setting the stage for an ominous swelling of Mellotron chords, resulting in an eerily delightful sound. The intensity continues to build with a drum roll on snare and cymbals that transition the piece into an aggressive angular instrumental attack featuring howling Minimoog modulation; enter a fiercely dark melody which is doubled or harmonized on most instruments before the band takes the listener into their signature dose of woodsy folkiness. Johan and Linus continue pounding in the rhythm section before the eerie central motif returns to bring “Introvertus” towards its close with the full force of Anna and Linus’ dueling woodwinds, one hanging on the melody while the other produces chaotic squeals before withering off the melody in a very unsettling (but cool) way.After kicking it off with an exciting intro the band takes us back 20 years with “Hostsejd.” The rich dynamics, especially the meticulously controlled Mellotron swells, really shine on this one while some small differences in instrumentation (such as the sax on the first main melody instead of flute) really keep the piece fresh and exciting. Although I was craving the intro on the follow up track, “Längtans Klocka,” the supreme level of interplay between all instruments that starts off the piece is fantastic. Furthermore, the guitar/Mellotron duet at about 6:30 that leads into a memorable theme is quite the highlight. Finally, the circus-y melody towards the end of the song somehow becomes even more diabolic in this slightly stripped down version as Tord’s demented waltzy riff serves as a perfect backdrop for the drunken saxes. Speaking of Tord, it certainly is nice to see him back in the band, and I must add that his guitar playing and sense of emotion is perfect for the band and has improved over the years. This is perhaps most clearly demonstrated on “Jordrök,” a quintessential song in Änglagård’s catalog. The reality of the matter is that despite the fact that the band was quite mature at the time of Hybris‘ release, their capacity to bring out all the nuances in pieces like this shows that they are musicians who have truly refined their craft over the years. “Jordrök” sounds more alive than ever; the Mellotron flute section in the middle, one of the band’s absolute trademark melodies, is to die for, and Linus’ superb use of phrasing and pacing in the piano intro certainly takes this classic piece up several notches.Moving deeper into the performance we see “Sorgmantel,” one of my personal favorites from Viljans Öga. The first thing I noticed about this particular performance is that the intro sounds much more raw due to differences in instrumentation, this version starting out with a guitar and bass call and response. While I absolutely adore the studio version, this new arrangement and performance was also wonderful and brought its own set of advantages to the table. First, the bass/guitar duet at the beginning really exposes the melody and shows you that its not just about fancy instrumentation, it’s a gorgeous melody through and through. Second, the band is not concerned in the least bit with rushing through the performance of this piece; the pacing is delicate, precise, and emotional with plenty of space for ritard and sway as the intro melody gets passed around from guitar to bass and flute and is then countered by the piano, making the fugue-nature of this piece even more evident. The playing is incredibly tight but busting with dynamic throughout as “Sorgmantel” takes its many twists and turns before working its way to a quiet ending; graceful… even breathtaking.To wrap up the night, Änglagård once again goes back to the early 90′s, this time with “Kung Bore” and “Sista Somrar.” Although the former leans more on the folky side of the band, as does much of their first album, the highlight of the piece actually ended up being the mysterious and ambient middle section where the band shows that they have mastered perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of music: playing quietly with vibrant emotion. Between the light swells of guitar, weird effects on bass, a steady organ pattern in the upper register, and a lightly beating drum, this section goes beyond merely doing justice to the original. Finally, the depth and emotion of “Sista Somrar’s” slow, dark intro is, quite frankly, deadly, and goes miles deeper than the original studio recording (which was in and of itself very impressive) as an ominous sax melody flanked by stormy percussion and effects guides us to the unleashing of an uncanny tron female solo voice that will haunt your nightmares for weeks to come.In my opinion, Prog på Svenska—Live in Japan is an essential live album that you don’t want to miss out on. Quite honestly, I am a person who rarely enjoys live albums because oftentimes the performances and production are either significantly worse than the studio recording, or the live version ends up being stripped down to the point where there’s just something missing, or the band simply doesn’t offer an experience which is significant enough to enjoy the live version deeply; in most cases you sort of ‘had to have been there’ to get what’s so great about it. Such is not the case with Änglagård’s latest live documentation. From the performances to the production and the differences in detail from the originals, Prog på Svenska is a stellar capturing of live art through and through. And of course, I might add that if you ever get the chance to see Änglagård perform, take the opportunity; if your significant other isn’t a prog fan, take them anyways. Änglagård’s extreme level of delicacy in phrasing and dynamic is a tough match to beat in progressive music and should hold up even in the face of the snootiest of music connoisseurs." - Progulator
    $25.00
  • Numbered limited edition hybrid SACD of this late 80s Rush title.  The key here is in the mastering.  Kevin Gray is at the controls and he does a consistently great job.  I would expect this to be the definitive digital edition.
    $27.00
  • Brilliant classically influenced Italian prog album. Pierrot Lunaire was a trio led by keyboardist Arturo Stalteri.  Delicate music that easily fits into the "Rock Progressivo Italiano" movement.  One of the great ones.
    $15.00
  • "Edinburgh’s North Atlantic Oscillation have kicked up one hell of a metaphorical storm on ‘Fog Electric’, their second album ... There are hints of Mogwai and Hot Chip here, but in terms of pace and mood, it's Engineers that draw the closest comparisons, along with more recent Scottish bands of the same ilk such as Found and Errors. To simply label ‘Fog Electric’ as post-rock would be doing it something of a disservice though. All 10 tracks are more experimental than that, with the band building in layers throughout, thanks to samples, electronics, keyboards, hazy rhythm guitars, rocky riffs and Sam Healy’s effect-heavy vocals ... At its height, ‘Fog Electric’ makes you sit up and pay attention, a bit like storms themselves can." - Kevin Scott, Echoes & Dust
    $23.00
  • New 3 CD edition of the long out of print album from Glass Hammer.  Arguably their best effort, the band was never fully satisfied with the mix so they decided to remix and resequence the album.  Bob Katz handled the mastering to give the album the sound it ultimately deserved.PRODUCTION NOTES - FRED SCHENDELNotes On The Inconsolable Secret “Remixed” CollectionThe project that was ultimately known as The Inconsolable Secret was conceived as a grandiose undertaking from the outset. We knew we wanted to do a themed album and we had the idea to try and incorporate orchestral elements, but hopefully in a way that bands often didn't; that is, written and orchestrated by ourselves as just another palette in the band and not as something grafted onto the music by an outside arranger.But as the project wore on we soon realized that it was going to be even more daunting than we had envisioned.Finally, the double cd was released and went on to a warm reception from fans.As time went by and Steve and I realized a new perspective on The Inconsolable Secret, we were forced to admit that maybe the album didn't truly reflect what we had envisioned as we worked on it. One conscious decision we had made (largely at my insistence, if I recall) was to mix the album in a very raw, unprocessed way. I felt that approach would help give the album a classic vibe. Also, we carefully avoided a lot of overdubbing, especially of keyboards, in an attempt to give the album a live feel, and looked to the orchestration to add the extra fullness and color. That was fine as far as it went but again, in hindsight, we clearly realized that was not the only approach to the material and there might be considerable merit in pursuing a more typical approach - that is, to make the production as big as the concept.It was probably as early as 2008 I first began to tinker with remixing parts of the album. It started with the drums. Our approach to the mix originally was basically to push the faders up and, there you go! Natural. When I revisited the drum tracks, there was frankly only so much that could be done due to the way we had mic'd them in the first place. But I did what I could to punch them up in the manner we would for a more "modern" sounding recording.Phase two of the revisit was overdubs, whatever and however many we felt would sweeten the overall sound to our liking. I started with guitar. I had played guitar initially on A Maker Of Crowns and basically ran out of steam after that. I had my hands full at the time and felt the last thing I needed to do (on what we hoped to be our ultimate recorded statement) was to fumble around in the studio trying to be a guitar player. Walter Moore's time was limited and better utilized as a singer. So we didn't get any guitar from him on the project. We asked David Carter add his talents to the project. He did manage to record guitar on Long and Long Ago, then left abruptly to play golf! Fortunately, Steve and I decided we were liking the idea of a power trio; keys, bass and drums enhanced with orchestra. So, The Inconsolable Secret inevitably had very little guitar. I have since added acoustic guitar to almost every song. As the remake stretched out over the years we ultimately had several guitarists add electric here and there and they all did a stellar job.Next, I added all the little keyboard pads and subtle embellishments we had eschewed originally.We then turned our attention to the vocals. While most of the vocal tracks fit well with the music, we couldn't say that they all did. A couple pieces in particular had always been envisioned, in a perfect world, to feature more of an archetypal high clear tenor, shall we say. At this point we saw no reason to reign back our ambitions in any way, so we searched the Internet for someone who might fit the bill and subsequently contacted a very nice young man from California to see if he'd like to try. He did, and susequently sang three albums for us and joined Yes as well.The last few odds and ends involved unfinished business in the orchestral department. There were some solos intended for real instruments that we just never got a chance to do, most important among them being the solo flute in Having Caught A Glimpse. There were attempts originally to beef up the orchestral sound to what some call a "Hollywood" or "film score" style in terms of its size; using samples and keyboards that I thought I could address and improve. We also re-recorded some choral parts to reflect new arrangements that we had been performing live.In the meantime, The Inconsolable Secret had become the only album of ours ever to become unavailable, simply due to the huge cost of keeping it in print. This had the unintended consequence of raising its status to near-mythic in some quarters and we knew we had a great opportunity to reintroduce it with our new embellishments in an (ironically) even bigger and more expensive version.Any time an artist revisits a work there will be controversy, especially when that work was generally highly regarded in the first place. We are well aware that the new versions will be regarded as heresy in some circles and it was always our intention to make sure the album was included in its original form. We warrant that the two discs representing the original album here are identical to the old release in every regard, save for the deletion of the multimedia files that had been on Disc One. Nor is it our intent to present the new mixes as definitive, or necessarily the “correct” ones. They do however represent a move toward the album as we originally had conceived it in our minds from a sonic standpoint. Obviously, since not all the material is represented, to experience the album as a conceptual whole you must refer back to the original (although we welcome you to assemble your own version from the two provided if you are so inclined). We realize that with the changes come some losses - the openness and simplicity of the original sound has been traded for a denser, fuller feel and we respect those who consider that a bad tradeoff. As for us though, we feel the effort to revisit this material was well worth it, and invite you all to enjoy both what was, and what is. In the end we hope that the music itself wins out over all the technical considerations.
    $25.00
  • New studio project put together by noted guitarist Henning Pauly of the band Chain. Most notable aspect of this project is the inclusion of Dream Theater vocalist James Labrie on all tracks. The music has a cinematic quality, melding progressive rock with a lighter style of progressive metal. At times the layering of Labrie's vocals are reminiscent of an old Queen album - it's almost larger than life. There are definite similarities to Dream Theater at points. Early listens remind me quite a bit of Pauly's band Chain but with a better singer and further refinement.
    $3.00
  • "A Sunday Night Above the Rain is a two-disc live set recorded by modern pro giants Marillion last year in March at Center Parcs in Port Zelande, the Netherlands.Disc 1 opens with “Gaza” from the album of the same name. It’s typical Marillion high drama informed by a good chunky beat, spiky middle eastern-sounding synth lines and lilting choruses. Right from the beginning, the crowd comprised of thousands come from over 44 countries this night, is clapping along hot and heavy before Steve Rothery’s wailing guitar solo (one of the most underrated guitar players in rock and roll) and singing along as Steve Hogarth (lead vocalist) will welcome from them often here on the balled “Waiting To Happen,” where, sorry to say, not much really does happen.We get lots of Mark Kelly’s beautiful piano on “This Strange Engine,” though I’m not thrilled by Hogarth’s swallowing words in an over-affected vocal. The tune rocks in its last minutes though as the band and Hogarth rise to an anthem-like ending!The highlight of this first disc though is “Neverland” where Kelly, bassist Peter Trewavas and Hogarth are especially inspired, but again what Steve Rothery slips in are truly spine-chilling moments. What he seemingly just throws away in flips during the vocal are full feasts, his leads perfect from wailing moments to sweet and clean ones, not mere seconds from one another. Not since David Gilmour have I felt a guitarist say so much doing so little.Lots of Disc 2 are from the Gaza album. “Montreal,” with its mid-song Floydian moments, is more a Mark Kelly song really, with especially effective tom work from drummer Ian Mosley behind him and Peter Trewavas poppin’ on the “Power” (good lyric here especially). Mosely and Trewavas are kicking on the opening of what becomes a plinky “The King of Sunset Town,” a tune that showcases a solid Hogarth vocal. A truly beautiful once again piano-led tune, “The Sky Above the Rain” like “Neverland” on the first is the linchpin of this second disc. Hogarth is very good here as are the subtleties of the drum and bass duo once again.The band does give one quick nod to its past (when they were fronted by lead singer/enigmatic frontman Fish) ending with “Garden Party.” Hogarth doesn’t especially sell this tune, but he doesn’t have to as pretty much the audience sings the song for him.If you want to know what modern-day Marillion are all about, grab it." - Short And Sweet NYC
    $15.00
  • Digipak edition with one bonus track."Tasting The Tears in the ninth studio offering from Italian prog metal masters Eldritch. For those who are unfamiliar with the band, that is what we here at Lady Obscure are here to do! We shine the spotlight on bands that may have flown under the music fans radar. Eldritch perform a technical form of melodic progressive metal with elements of thrash metal thrown in to create a style that is instantly recognizable as Eldritch. Following up on the success of the bands previous album Gaia’s Legacy (which included an invitation to perform a powerful set at the famous ProgPower USA festival in 2011) is no easy task, but after several listens of Tasting The Tears, I can safely say that Eldritch are up for the challenge. After the global warming concept of Gaia’s Legacy, the band turns to more personal subject matter. The lyrics on Tasting The Tears share a common theme: love in all its different forms. Not exactly progressive metal forte but Eldritch pull it off thanks to vocalist Terence Holler’s emotive delivery and some excellent songwriting.Tasting the Tears was produced by Eugene Simone at ES Studios in Livorno, Italy. and mixing and mastering duties have been handled by Simone Mularoni (DGM) at Domination Studios in San Marino, Italy. The album combines melody, complexity, and dark compositions to create a cohesive album. The production is crisp and all the individual instruments are given a clear representation in the mix. The album kicks off with Inside You, a moody and catchy headbanger with a soaring melodic chorus, and lots of tasty riffs courtesy of the guitar duo of Eugene Simone and Rudj Ginanneschi. The title track features the keyboard wizardy of Gabriele Caselli overlapping the thrash metal machine gun drumming of Rafahell Dridge with melody. The mood takes on a melancholy and darker tone with Alone Again. The band combines the clean guitar tones with keyboards and Holler’s melodic voice combined with superb vocal harmonies. Based on the lyrical content, Waiting For Someone is a song about loneliness and the search for love. The music is heavy and progressive with plenty of melody and guitar crunch. Seeds of Love has a driving intense drums and chugging guitar rhythms. A piano intro starts of The Trade, a song of betrayal and the tone relects the seriously dark subject matter. The thrashing mad Something Strong is filled with brutal riffs, technical drumwork, and impassioned vocals. Don’t Listen the trash influence is apparent but Caselis keyboards and Hollers vocals add the perfect melodic touch. The band shows their diversity and takes a chance with the moody piano ballad Iris. The song is well done although personally I would rather hear the band rock hard. Luckily the next song Love From A Stone shows the band doing what they do best and that is playing intense and melodic prog metal.The energy is ramped up on Clouds, an intense heavy progressive song with some fantastic keyboard work and a fantastic memorable chorus. As with Gaia’s Legacy, the albums closing song is a cover song, this time of the Queensrÿche classic I Will Remember from Rage for Order. The song is given the Eldritch treatment with added piano and Holler’s voice which is drastically different from vintage Geoff Tate, but he adds his own unique spin to the song and make it his own. Is it better than the original? Of course not, but it is a faithful rendition and tribute to one of the bands influences and I commend the band for taking a chance on recording a song of this stature in the metal world.Although it is not a perfect album, s a fan of Eldritch, I can highly recommend Tasting the Tears. It’s not as heavy and lively as Gaia’s legacy or Blackenday, but being one of the lucky fans to catch their last U.S. performance, I can say that the band puts on a highly energetic show and one can only hope that they return to U.S. shores soon. Fans of melodic progressive metal with a touch of thrash will appreciate the latest Eldritch offering." - Lady Obscure
    $15.00
  • Special edition arrives with a bonus DVD of the band performing material from Concrete Gardens filmed at EMGTV."Sound: Tony MacAlpine was one of the Shrapnel label guitarists of the '80s, and also played keyboards for the debut releases of Vinnie Moore and other Shrapnel artists. Tony's debut solo album, "Edge of Insanity," came iout in 1986 - the same year as his first side project, M.A.R.S., with release of the album "Project: Driver." Since that time Tony MacAlpine has released numerous solo albums, participated in collaborations, made live guest appearances, and even acted as part of Steve Vai's backing band. "Concrete Gardens" is Tony's twelfth solo studio album, and is entirely instrumental like the vast majority of Tony's solo work. The album has been in the works since 2013, but took a while to release due to Tony's numerous collaborations and other projects. Jeff Loomis provides a guest guitar solo on the album on the track, "Square Circles." The album contains 12 tracks with a total runtime of just under sixty minutes. The album differs from Tony's previous work by having more of a progressive metal flavor to it, while I think of most of his previous releases as just being straight instrumental rock.The album opens up with the track "Exhibitionist Blvd," with some seriously flanged guitar and a major key melody that builds into something a little different as the track goes on. There is a specific passage that shows the influence that Vai has had on MacAlpine, though I would rank them close to equal in the virtuoso racket. "The King's Rhapsody" opens up with a keyboard intro, played by Tony, of course. Heavy guitars come in and takes the song to a few unexpected places, and actually gets my foot tapping, too - which is an accomplishment for instrumental rock! "Man in a Metal Cage" has some interesting note choices, with some mildly middle-eastern sounds for a few brief moments in the track mixed in with some obligatory sweep tapping. Otherwise, there are several passages working to create several moments of extreme tension. There are a few arpeggiated parts that are reminiscent of some other song that I can't quite place. "Poison Cookies" has a weird jazz-fusion funk feeling going on with it that I definitely appreciated - if for nothing else it changed gears long enough to shake off any monotony I thought the album might be working towards."Epic" was both a more laid back song, but also was very cerebral - the keyboard and guitar parts built on each other in a weird/cool way. "Napoleon's Puppet" very briefly reminded me of some material written by Brendan Small for his album, "Galaktikon," but it had that rhythm part to it that definitely separated it by giving it some incredibly strong groove. "Sierra Morena" is played on piano/keyboard in the intro but guitar, bass and drums come in pretty quickly. The song is named after a mountain range in Spain with the same name. I can't quite connect the music as being descriptive of a mountain range unless they're being written about the context of flying over them. "Square Circles" has some moments in the track that remind me a little bit of King Crimson, though the sense of melody is still a tad more traditional. Jeff Loomis guests on this track for a guitar solo, and it is a fairly outstanding solo in the context of the song, having a good balance of being emotive and twisted."Red Giant" is a pretty intense track, with some more middle-eastern vibes going on, and one of the most engaging and vocal-like melodies from the album, to my ears. "Confessions of a Medieval Monument" definitely grabs a certain type of vibe from the opening, with a cool (but fairly simple) bassline running behind it. This is definitely one of those songs that creates a fertile atmosphere for a little mind movie to play along to it. The way the dynamics are used on this song, as well as the recurring melodic theme, make this easily one of the strongest tracks on the album. The title track, "Concrete Gardens," is interesting with a heavy rhythm guitar and a (initially) much cleaner lead part. Something about this track reminds me of Frank Zappa, which is absolutely a good thing. The album closes out with a song called "Maiden's Wish," which is played on keyboard/piano as a solo piece. It is a fairly light-hearted song to end the album with, and I enjoyed it. If you just listen for the crazy guitar, then you can stop short of "Maiden's Wish." // 8Lyrics: There are none. // 8Overall Impression: I have always been extremely impressed with Tony MacAlpine, and this album just reinforces my opinion. While he may not be quite at the technical/speed level of some other virtuoso guitarists, especially the whole Shrapnel bunch, he makes up for it in a strong sense of feel and musicality. I especially enjoy the melodies he uses as recurring themes in many of his songs. I highly recommend this album to anyone who's a fan of instrumental rock or metal. // 8" - Ultimate-Guitar.com
    $15.00
  • Remastered edition with 4 bonus tracks."Sepultura had shocked the death metal world in 1989 with the release of their third album, Beneath the Remains, whose seamless combination of songwriting chops and utter brutality quickly transformed the Brazilians from scene outsiders to one of its brightest hopes. The band toured nonstop in support of the album for most of the following two years, and was therefore pressured by both time constraints and enormous expectations when the bandmembers finally entered Tampa's Morrisound Studios with producer Scott Burns to record 1991's Arise. And though it ultimately lacked the consistency of its predecessor and added little innovation to the band's sound, Arise has aged surprisingly well, proving itself a worthy progression and surprisingly well-rounded in its own right. First single "Dead Embryonic Cells" was unquestionably the strongest of the band's death metal era, and its accompanying video broke new ground thanks to ample MTV rotation. Ironically, the subsequent banning of the vicious title track's video (filled with apocalyptic religious imagery) by the cable network would generate even more publicity than Sepultura could have hoped for had it actually been aired. Other album highlights included such complex, multifaceted pieces as "Desperate Cry" (an all-around tour de force for lead guitarist Andreas Kisser) and "Altered State" (which combines a Tarzan-style intro with a grinding detuned main riff and even acoustic guitars), as well as more straightforward thrashers like "Infected Voice" and mid-paced chuggers like "Under Siege (Regnum Irae)." Simply devoid of filler material, this album remains a classic of the death metal genre." - Allmusic Guide
    $8.00