Pt 1: Noah (2CD $3 Special)

"Unwritten Pages’ Noah is an album born out of a passion for progressive, driving music, concept albums and 80’s science-fiction film. It combines the broad musical taste of its creator Frederic Epe and the stylistic and unique musical backgrounds of each project member, reaching from rock and metal to Latin influences and more classical/score-oriented arrangements.

The album features soaring guitars, fat organs and bone-breaking drums, as well as a healthy dose of retro. But most of all, it never loses its focus on unique and melody-driven song-writing. And it comes in the form of an ambitious story, told through the eyes of the vocalists and musicians.

Noah tells the story of a boy born in the ruins of the futuristic Utopia City, and Maria, the daughter of a ruthless politician who has – literally – split Utopia City in half and driven the poor to a district known as LS01X. As the political climate escalates, a few hundred people from both sides of the city are forced to leave their home world and start a new life on Mars. Here, both Maria and the boy grow up in the middle of a rising conflict between two factions that are unwilling to ignore their grudge-ridden past. Noah features the talents of Damian Wilson (Threshold, Ayreon, Les Misérables), Karl Groom (Threshold, Shadowland), Davy Mickers (Stream of Passion, Ayreon), Alejandro Millán (Hello Madness, Stream of Passion) and many others."

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  • "An intriguing Symphonic Metal mix here, Germany’s NEOPERA began under the foundation of DARK AGE guitarist Jörn Schubert in 2010, slowly assembling all the right components to see his ideas come to life. Many of you will know Dirk Schlächter from his work in GAMMA RAY, as well as drummer André Schumann as he also is a member of DARK AGE. The inclusion of three distinct voices- one male who handles the heavier/ shouting elements, while the opera parts get divided between a male baritone and a female soprano – makes these 12 tracks more than a mere NIGHTWISH knockoff, and more in line with what you would expect on a KAMELOT or THERION release.The opener “The Marvel of Chimera” has an interesting country fiddle lick that transforms into this heavier electric burst, very much in line with latter day KAMELOT – as all three vocalists get a chance to trade off in voice and verses, quite a potent starter to easily gain the listeners attention. Keyboards do take center stage at times in terms of the musical hook department – check out “Remote” as the guitars circle and swarm against the multi-level melodies and shouting vocals, another stunner in the sense that musically the back and forth Power parts swirl against the building and falling Symphonic elements. It wouldn’t be a Symphonic album of course without some tender Ballad action – so expect “Falling Water” and “Last Pantomime” to give you the slower, emotional moments, the latter working better to my ears as a true ‘power ballad’, and some great melody action from Thorsten in his comfortable lower register.What makes NEOPERA very appealing is their bursts of heaviness, straddling the lines of Power and Melodic Death on a shorter song like “Song of Revenge” – and then being musically exhilarating on a straightforward arrangement such as the title cut, where you will hear a lead break that is brilliant and shred worthy all the same. At 12 tracks and 52 minutes, “Destined Ways” has just enough versatility to gain credibility through multiple genres of metal – yet never wear out its welcome.Let’s hope this is not a one-off project and could transform into a multiple album/ live act, as these Germans have the goods to go places." - Metal Temple
    $11.00
  • They still dress like Masters Of The Universe but these Swedes offer up a fine slice of melodic traditional power metal. Set cigarette lighters on stun!
    $14.00
  • "The second installment of our 20th Anniversary celebration, "Off the Floor 02" continues with more live-in-the-studio performances of staples from our live sets. Taken from the same sessions as "Off the Floor (01)," the track list draws from each of our five studio albums and includes a healthy dose of improvisation, a bit of re-imagining and even a little new music in the form of a bass & drums interlude.We won't repeat the "Brief History of Tiles" from the OtF (01) liner notes, but will take a moment to revisit the basic 'off the floor' concept. After much discussion about our "platinum" milestone (unfortunely not for sales!), we decided to do a live album using the somewhat non-traditional approach of recording live in the studio. This is actually what the phrase 'off the floor' means in recording lingo: to record a song as a complete performance without adding more parts (overdubs) later. We recruited a few friends to be our audience – for inspiration and to keep us on our toes.Having the controlled environment of a private 'soundstage' allowed us to focus on the music. We didn't have to haul a bunch of equipment into a club and deal with recording technicalities, show promotion and other business distractions. Although we were in a studio, "OtF 02" is still "live" – complete with the occasional less-than-perfect note and other minor imperfection. We did, however, take advantage of the relaxed setting and usually played each song twice, picking the best version for the CD. Occasionally we didn't need a second take, but a couple of times we needed a third take ("Patterns" oddly enough!).To offer a little something different, "OtF (01)" had a couple special guests plus an expanded arrangement of 'The Wading Pool.' For "Off the Floor 02" we dug into our archives and dusted off a few tunes from our appearance at the 2005 Rites of Spring Festival (ROSfest). We had recorded our entire 2-hour set, but filed the hard drive away with little thought it would see the light of day. Technical problems had dogged us the moment we hit the stage and left us feeling unsatisfied with our performance. Sampler and keyboard sounds would mysteriously reset and the bass amp would cut in and out. Figuring out why these intermittant problems were happening was made even more challenging by Jeff's state of exhaustion; even though it was a good kind of exhaustion caused by the birth of his daughter just four days before the show. Since the problems were on his side of the stage he had to play detective and keep up with the songs! Eventually, the issue was discovered and duct tape strategically applied to a loose electrical wall outlet – which worked just fine unless someone happened to use the side-stage walkway.Although tempted by the 12-minute "venting" version of "Capture the Flag," we didn't want to repeat any songs already included on either Off the Floor disc. Fortunately, "Facing Failure," "Ballad of the Sacred Cows," "Paintings" and "Window Dressing" were in all-around good shape. We only needed to drop in a couple missing samples and a keyboard part. By including selections from ROSfest as part of the Off the Floor project we get to acknowledge Pat Deleon, our drummer from 1997 to 2005, and present a complete live history of Tiles." - Chris Herin/TilesDisc One: Off the Floor 021. Patterns (4.38)2. Hide & Seek (8.09)3. Taking Control (5.14)4. Remember To Forget (5.00)5. Analysis Paralysis (5.18)6. Cactus Valley (7.01)7. Sacred & Mundane (6.30)8. Dancing Dogs (5.45)9. Safe Procedures (7.31)10. Another's Hand (6.26)Mark Evans: Drums & PercussionChris Herin: Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Backing VocalsPaul Rarick: Lead VocalsJeff Whittle: Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing VocalsDisc Two: Live at the 2005 Rites of Spring Festival1. Intro/Facing Failure (6.48)2. Ballad Of The Sacred Cows (7.24)3. Paintings (5.04)4. Window Dressing (17.03)Paul Rarick: Lead VocalsChris Herin: Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Backing VocalsJeff Whittle: Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing VocalsPat DeLeon: Drums, PercussionBonus Videos (from the Off the Floor sessions):1. Landscrape (4.27)2. Remember To Forget (5.00)
    $15.00
  • Sixth studio album from this Finnish symphonic power metal band now fronted by Annette Olzon. In 2005, the band had an acrimonious split with Tarja Turunen, their incredible operatic vocalist. The band didn't try to find a singer with a similar range. Olzon is a solid singer with no operatic aspirations. With the changeover, band leader Tuomas Holopainen has tailored the music to fit her range. This is reportedly the most expensive Finnish album ever recorded due to the use of the London Philharmonic. Pure epic symphonic metal is Nightwish's calling card and it's here in spades - bigger than ever.
    $8.00
  • Budget priced 5CD set in a slimline case featuring the following:The Michael Schenker GroupMSGOne Night At BudokanAssault AttackBuilt To Destroy
    $28.00
  • Limited edition digipak comes with a bonus track - a cover of The Tea Party's "Temptation".First studio album in five years from this revered band. Like a fine wine, Nevermore keeps getting better with age, improving their game along the way. For my personal taste they are the best of the US power metal bands going and probably the heaviest. This album was produced by Peter Wichers and Andy Sneap mixed.
    $5.00
  • "Quite the misleading band name, ya know? Project Arcadia isn’t much of a “project” as it is a Bulgarian outfit fronted by the ever-awesome Urban Breed, he of Tad Morose, Bloodbound, and currently, Trail of Murder fame. Prior to Breed joining, the band released From the Desert of Desire in 2012 to rather muted results, as in, no one on this side of the pond gave a flying toss. Sure enough, add Breed to the fold, record a new album in the form of A Time of Changes, and viola, Nightmare Records takes care of the rest. Not a bad deal.Hovering around traditional power metal and 80s metal protocol (the accompanying bio cites MSG and the Scorpions, which there is scant correlation), Project Arcadia wisely focus on the considerable vocal talents of Mr. Breed. He’s given ample breathing room to allow for his superbly melodic and hefty pipes to get their kicks, like on the soaring chorus for “I Am Alive,” and the acoustic-led “The Ungrateful Child,” which sees the Swede go full-on tender. But for the most part, the band plays it muscular, hitting some brute riffs in stride on “Formidable Foe” or finding some double-bass happenings on opener “Here to Learn.”The addition of Breed is sure to bolster Project Arcadia’s profile immediately. However, being that Breed is also known for being a bit of metallic nomadic, one had to wonder how long he’ll stick it out with the band. But the songs are certainly here on A Time of Changes, suited perfectly for Breed, who ten years after his shining moment on Tad Morose’s Modus Vivendi, can still hang with the best of ‘em. If the Swede was smart (and he is), he’ll stick with this, and Trail of Murder and keep on being productive…" - Dead Rhetoric
    $12.00
  • New remastered edition gets the full Mark Powell/Esoteric treatment and arrives with one bonus track. Great disc with Richard Sinclair and Mel Collins in the lineup. "Echoes" is an all time classic. Essential.
    $18.00
  • New DVD features the complete 130 minute performance of Magma's classic THEUSZ HAMTAAHK. Includes a 30 minute documentary called 'The Zeuhl Wortz K.Hit Squad' footage. NTSC version.
    $44.00
  • 2005 deluxe remastered edition of the bands 1986 magnum opus, the last one to feature John Arch on vocals. This elaborate set features two cds and one live DVD. Disc One is the remastered version of the album. Disc Two features unreleased live and demo tracks. Disc Three is an NTSC Region 0 live DVD of a live gig from 1986. Mike Portnoy wrote the liner notes.
    $15.00
  • Let me preface my observations of the CTTE remix by saying that I don’t put these classic albums on a pedestal.  If they can be sonically improved while remaining faithful to the original mix and maintaining musicality and the emotional content then I’m all for it.  In general I liked what Steven Wilson did with the King Crimson catalog.  I was particularly impressed by his reconstruction and resurrection of Lizard.  When I heard he was tackling the Yes catalog I was hopeful because if there was ever a band that could use some sonic wizardry its Yes.  Eddy Offord was never able to bring the magic to their mixes that he was able to give to ELP.So how did Steven Wilson do with CTTE?  I can only use one word to describe the new mix: “transformative”.  CTTE was an album cobbled together from various bits and pieces.  Its widely acknowledged to be the band’s best album (its certainly my opinion) but in terms of sonics it fell victim to the “too many cooks” syndrome.  The original mix was a bit of a mess.  Its all changed now. The one thing that is immediately apparent is the foundation provided by Chris Squire’s bass.  It reaches the pits of hell and if Mr. Wilson is going to take this approach with TFTO and Relayer he’s got my vote.  In general there is a veil of schmutz that has been wiped away.  All the instruments have more clarity and focus in the soundstage.  “I Get Up I Get Down” was chilling.  I found the soundstage consistently extended beyond the boundaries of my speakers.  The mix is warm, involving and there is a balance among the instruments that I found lacking in the original mix - primarily because of Squire’s bass being given a shot of adrenaline.  Jaw dropping stuff.  The bonus track of “America” had exceptional, dare I say audiophile sound.So the obvious question is - what sounds better - this mix or the SACD?  I dunno.  I can’t find my bloody SACD to compare…but here is my memory of the SACD.  When I got it I played it through.  It didn’t overwhelm me or disappoint me.  My thought was “its fine...it is what it is - this is the best it will ever sound in the digital domain”.  I was wrong.  BUY OR DIE! FORMAT: 1 x CD/1 x DVD-ACD:1  Close to the Edge2  And You And I3  Siberian KhatruBonus Tracks:4  America5  Close to the EdgeDVD-A:– Album mixed in 5.1 Surround from original multi-track sources.– New Album mix – Original Album mix (flat transfer)Both in High Resolution Stereo– America original & new stereo mixes & 5.1 & in High-Resolution+ further audio extras• Close to the Edge is the first in a series of remixed & expanded Yes Classics• The classic album has been mixed for 5.1 Surround Sound from the original studio masters by Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) & is fully approved by Yes.• CD features a completely new stereo album mix by Steven Wilson• CD also features a new mix of America• CD also features an early mix/assembly of Close to the Edge• DVD-A (compatible with all DVD players & DVD Rom players) features a 5.1 DTS Mix and High Resolution Stereo mixes.• DVD-A players can, additionally, access a 5.1 Lossless audio mix (24bit 96khz).• DVD-A features the new album mix in High Resolution stereo• DVD-A also features the original album mix in a hi-res flat transfer from the original stereo master tape source.• DVD-A also features numerous audio extras in high-resolution stereo including single edits & studio run- throughs.• Original artwork by Roger Dean who has also overseen the artwork for this new edition• Presented as a 2 x digi-pack format in a slipcase with new sleeve notes by writer Sid Smith along with rare photos & archive material.“Close to the Edge” is the first in a series of expanded Yes editions including 5.1 Surround mixes, new stereo mixes & High-Resolution stereo mixes of the original music along with a wealth of extra material. Acclaimed musician/producer Steven Wilson has produced the new mixes with the approval of the band, while Roger Dean reprises his role as art director/designer of the newly issued edition, making this the definitive edition of the album.When Yes entered the studio with Eddie Offord to record the band’s fifth studio album in mid-1972, their second with this line-up, the band was on something of a roll. “Fragile”, the band’s previous album, had taken Yes to a new level of international popularity with Top Ten chart placement on both sides of the Atlantic & yielding a hit single in the USA with ‘Roundabout’. The band was now established in the major music markets to an extent that was, perhaps, unexpected given the complexity of the music Yes performed. But with that popularity came a confidence that the expansive material of the two previous albums could be taken a stage further with the new recording. Rather than consolidating, Yes chose to innovate.Recorded during lengthy sessions at London’s Advision Studios, “Close to the Edge” is that rarity in recorded music, the sound of a band & its individual members writing, playing and recording at the peak of their collective abilities. The album was issued in Autumn 1972 reaching chart highs & platinum sales status of  4 in the UK, 3 in the USA & 1 in Holland, though such statistics only hint at the worldwide popularity of the album over a period of more than four decades. The three pieces of music, the title track which spanned the entire first side of the vinyl album with ‘And You And I’ & ‘Siberian Khatru’ on side two, have remained concert favourites since release, with the 2013 Yes line-up currently in the middle of a world tour stretching into the middle of next year that sees the album performed in its entirety.The album remains the favourite among many of the band’s legion of fans, a defining recording both for the band & for the progressive rock movement. It is also one of the most successful British rock albums ever released.Since this release of “Close to the Edge” was confirmed, the various websites dedicated to Yes, Progressive rock & high-resolution audio have been very active with discussions among fans keen to hear the new mixes & the existing material in its purest audio presentation. 
    $20.00
  • The second album to feature Al DiMeola and the forerunner to their ultimate masterpiece, Romantic Warrior. With DiMeola on board the music seemed to move slightly more into the rock world but it's core is pure fusion. Highest recommendation.
    $12.00
  • New 2CD edition includes both Home and NY Suite resequenced into their originally intended order. Comes with a slipcase.
    $18.00
  • Sometimes there are great albums that just float underneath everyone's radar.  Poor distribution, small label - or simply a band is just too far ahead of the curve for collector's to catch up.   Sooner or later they do.  That's just the nature of collecting music.  Such is the case of Sway.  Many years ago I stumbled across a copy of this obscure Italian album from 1973 and could not find any mention of it beyond one advanced collector mentioning "Oh yeah that's rare".  At the time there was little interest from the rock community in modal jazz, souljazz, space jazz, kosmigroov - whatever you want to call it.  Jazz collectors may well have been aware of the album but perhaps because the lineup consisted of relatively unknown (outside of Italy) musicians, no one really paid much attention to the album.  I did my fair share of turning friends and collectors on to the album.  Maybe it made a difference.  All I know is that finding a copy of the album now is next to impossible.So what the hell am I exactly talking about?  Sway is a quintet led by noted jazz pianist Sante Palumbo (he's still going today!).  The rest of the lineup consists of journeymen session players: Hugo Heredia (alto/tenor sax, flute), Sergio Farina (guitar), Marco Ratti (acoustic/electric bass), and Lino Liguori (drums/percussion).  If you are a fan of electric Miles Davis or Weather Report you must hear this album.Palumbo is the focal point of the band - his runs on acoustic and electric piano are breathtaking.  This guy can tear of the keys.  The music has that definite kosmigroov sound.  Electric piano plays off of wah-wah laced guitar, some nice skronking sax (and at times gorgeous, liquid flute) and a rock solid rhythmic foundation.  There are some parts to the album which have a slightly freer vibe but for the most part is quite accessible.  If you listen carefully you might hear strains of a sound that bears a kinship to Canterbury. New authorized reissue from Schema Records.  BUY OR DIE!
    $29.00