The Raven That Refused To Sing

Steven Wilson's solo career apart from Porcupine Tree, is for this listener, far more interesting.  Whereas PTree currently skirts the line between rock and metal, his solo work fits squarely in the progressive rock arena.  The Raven That Refused To Sing (and other stories) is easily his magnum opus.  The musicianship is stellar - he recorded with his touring band: Nick Beggs (Stick), Guthrie Govan (guitar), Adam Holzman (keys), Marco Minnemann (drums), and Theo Travis (flute, sax).  Mr. Wilson has also dug two things out of mothballs - King Crimson's Mellotron and Alan Parsons.  It was Steven Wilson's wish to one day work with Alan Parsons, who came on board as engineer.  I can't tell you who is responsibile for what but I can tell you that the production is impeccable.  The opening epic "Luminol" drips with the holy 'tron sounding like a cross-generation blend of King Crimson eras.  And so it goes through out the album.  Some utterly fierce playing on this album.  From beginning to end a stunning effort.  BUY OR DIE!

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Wed, 2013-02-27 10:26
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One of the finest recordings in the last ten yeares. If your jaw doesnt drop after the first listen, its wired shut. mw
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Product Review

[email protected]
Wed, 2013-02-27 10:26
Rate: 
0
One of the finest recordings in the last ten yeares. If your jaw doesnt drop after the first listen, its wired shut. mw
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  • Third album from this fine Italian band.  Empyrios is led by DGM guitarist Simone Mularoni. In the past the band would seamlessly blend prog and industrial metal.  This time the music veers much more towards the heavier end of the spectrum.  There are some remnants of prog left but really they are going more for a sound akin to Nevermore and Mnemic.  Vocalist Silvio Mancini jumps back and forth between clean and harsh vocals enough to keep things interesting.  Crushing stuff.
    $14.00
  • Osada Vida are another one of those Polish bands that wander the territory already trod by Porcupine Tree and Riverside. Emotion laden prog with some nice spacey passages. Filmed in Katowice Poliand in November of 2011.
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  • "Despite the rumors, pre-fusion acid jazz-rock is alive and well, living it up in Southern California. Psicomagia is the joint forces of leading members of noted prog and stoner-rock outfits Astra and Radio Moscow. The band serves up a mixture of the same essence that Soft Machine, Tony Williams Lifetime, and Magma pioneered during that magical period just seconds before progressive electric jazz was grabbed by the institutional jazz scene. A formula thought lost until this day, when seemingly out of the blue, the relentless force of Psicomagia appeared. Spearheaded by multi-instrumentalist and producer Brian Ellis' roaring saxophone, constantly interplaying Tyler Daughn's franticly screaming organs and synthesizers, the soul of Psicomagia is in the endlessly permutated bursts of energy of the two. The relentless heart, however, is kept going by drummer Paul Marrow (Radio Moscow), who carves out a constantly brooding and shifting rhythmic base along with the heavy, travelling bass of Trevor Mast. Together they balance a line between an insanely tight and rhythmic notion of progress, as well as transgressing each instrument's carved path on this cataclysmic journey of musical events. Imagine, on top of that, two poets, repeating obscured mantras, rumbling bells and gongs, and you're getting closer to playing your own Jodorowsky-does-jazz movie playing in your head via Psicomagia. If Psicomagia sounds like a thing of the past, it's simply because they have inherited a unique quality lost in music today: grabbing onto a wide array of genres, and permuting them into their own distinct musical landscape. "
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  • "Symphonic rock icon Lana Lane proudly announces her new studio album, Red Planet Boulevard. The new album follows Lana's 2005 art rock masterpiece, Lady Macbeth, and her highly acclaimed 2006 classic rock covers album, Gemini. Red Planet Boulevard is a melodic rock album that showcases Lana's legendary vocals with timeless songwriting all produced in a modern symphonic rock environment. The atmosphere of the album is both spacious and grand, soaring melodies and intimate phrases play against lush arrangements of guitar and keyboards, all intertwining in a compelling tango of orchestration that is pure Lana Lane.Recorded in The Netherlands and in San Francisco, California, Red Planet Boulevard combines the feeling of European precision and old world mystery with the Bay Area's legendary style and mood that is pure Northern California magic. The melange of locations shows in the album's production that is both bombastic and moody, clear and heavy, intimate and extroverted. Producer / keyboardist Erik Norlander took on bass guitar duties as well for this release continuing in the role he played on the 2007 Lady Macbeth tour. Long time collaborators, Dutchmen Peer Verschuren (guitar) and Ernst Van Ee (drums), complete the instrumental trio in what Norlander calls "a sort of 'Led Zeppelin' instrumentation where we have guitar, drums and a bass playing keyboardist."The Red Planet Boulevard musician lineup is indeed the most compact to appear on a Lana Lane album, but the trio does not falter in creating the massive symphonic rock sound for which Lana Lane is so well known. Walls of guitars, landscapes of keyboards and tectonic plates of bass and drums drive the arrangements with the energy and exuberance of a band that indeed went straight from the road into the studio. That touring seasoning shows in the subtle complexities of Red Planet Boulevard. This is a band that is experienced and skilled in their craft all supporting a legendary vocalist who is at the top of her game.Twelve all original songs compose Red Planet Boulevard. The heavy rockers "Into the Fire", "Capture the Sun" and "Angels and Magicians" along with the power ballad "Jessica" harken back to Lana's 1995 debut release, Love is an Illusion, while in contrast, the anthemic "Shine", "The Frozen Sea" and "No Tears Left" have a distinctly 21st century sound that fits perfectly with today's iPod generation. The uptempo "Stepford, USA" re-tells the story of the quiet rural town with a dark secret, while "The Sheltering Sorrow" is a heart wrenching ballad that is epic in scale with links back to the late 60s majesty of early symphonic rock. The album concludes with the finale and title track, "Red Planet Boulevard", where themes from each of the album's songs is reprised in a grand orchestral rock style.Artwork is once again provided by Polish surrealist Jacek Yerka who has painted the covers for Lana's many past masterworks. Photos for the album were shot by noted San Francisco photographer Mark Leialoha who brings his own style and vision to the Lana Lane production team. Fans of melodic rock, symphonic style and the amazing female rock voice, your light is green: Make the turn onto Red Planet Boulevard!"
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  • "The sophomore effort from the extraordinary drummer Sebastiaan Cornelissen featuring an all-star lineup - guitarists Alex Machacek, Mike Otram, Susan Weinert, Richard Hallebeek; keyboardists Gary Husband, Scott Kinsey, and Steve Hunt; and bassists Hadrien Feraud, Jimmy Earl, Gary Willis, and Tom Kennedy among others. Since first coming on the scene in the early 2000s, composer and drummer Sebastiaan Cornelissen has emerged as one of the most distinctive new voices on the European fusion scene. Whether acting as a leader, sideman, or group member, Cornelissen's playing combines a sharp sense of empathy and staggering technique with impressive improvisational grace and intensity."
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  • "Brazilian power metal superstars Hibria proudly present their very first live concert album on both DVD & CD - a multimedia headbanging experience of the first order!Professionally filmed with multiple cameras at the Shinagawa Prince Stellar Ball in Tokyo, Japan - May 15th, 2011 - and covering all of the fan favorites including Steel Lord On Wheels, Bind Ride, Shoot Me Down and more!This is the final release with Hibria founding member, guitarist and producer Diego Kasper!"CD/DVD1. Blind Ride2. Nonconforming Minds3. Shoot Me Down4. Welcome To The Horror Show5. Living Under Ice6. Defying The Rules7. Millennium Quest*6. Blinded By Faith9. The Shelter s On Fire10. The Anger Inside11. The Skull Collectors12. Sea Of Revenge*13. I Feel No Bliss*14. Sight Of BlindnessENCORE15. Intro (Wings Of Wax)16. Tiger Punch17. Steel Lord On Wheels18. Rotten Souls*DVD only
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  • "Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of a newly re-mastered and expanded edition of the classic 1975 self-titled album by KESTREL. Hailing from Newcastle, the band featured Tom Knowles (lead vocals), Dave Black (guitar, vocals), John Cook (keyboards, mellotron), Fenwick Moir (bass) and Dave Whitaker (drums), who had previously been with Newcastle trio GINHOUSE.Signing to Cube Records in 1974, Kestrel recorded their sole eponymously titled album in 1975, with the majority of the compositions written by Dave Black. A fine example of melodic Progressive Rock, the album featured some outstanding tracks, including the gorgeous "The Acrobat” and the stunning epic "August Carol”. Inexplicably the album failed to sell in significant quantities and within a short time Kestrel dis-banded, leaving just one album and a single as their recorded legacy.Four decades later, "Kestrel” is now rightly regarded as a true over-looked classic of the Progressive Rock era, with original vinyl copies being impossibly rare and changing hands for huge sums, particularly in Japan.Newly re-mastered from the original tapes, this reissue of "Kestrel” has been expanded to include six bonus tracks, with four of them previously unreleased in the UK, and also includes a booklet that fully restores the original album artwork and features a new essay.""Obviously, prog does come in all shapes and sizes. There are the pompous ones, the low-key, the larger-than-life ones and the small, the complex and those easily likeable. Everything in between and all things put together makes up the world of prog. Sometimes prog can be sort of poppy aswell. Nothing wrong with that. It can be very enjoyable. I would like to put forth a likeness and draw inspiration from the pub. After several sturdy Guinesses (think of Magma or some other complex band as Guiness) the pallet craves something refreshing, like a cool lemonade or just a sip of water. In this case the lemonade is Kestrel. Light, refreshing yet with a bite to it.Kestrel is one of those obscure bands that did not make it. Not because they were bad, as often the case with some obscurities, but maybe because they simply fell through the net and escaped the record buyer's hands. Who knows? The fact, however, is that the sole album by Kestrel is a very enjobale mixture of pop and prog, sort of a Supertramp meets Chicago and has a child by Genesis and nursed by Nektar added. If that is not all I'd say that Chris Squire babysat at times, considering the sound of the rumbling bass. Or something like that. It holds enough keyboards to make me happy and that says something.The tracks varies in length, the longest being 7.31 minutes, the shortest 4.09. I like all of the songs but "Wind cloud" with it's beautiful and dreamy web is fantastic. So are "Last requests", the epic "In the war" or (the more accessible) Gentle Giant-ish "August carol". All of the tracks are very well produced, performed and thought through. Nothing is left to chance.I think prog is the greatest genre due to it's variety and width. The severely complex at the one end and the very accessible and poppy at the other. All that gives me as a listener the chance to really ease my muscial hunger. If you are looking for something british, something complex yet accessible I would recommend this little overlooked gem. I would not call it a masterpiece but it is a fantastic album, full of ideas and enthusiasm which I really enjoy listening to. Well worth checking out." - ProgArchives
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  • Limited edition digipak."It is impossible to talk about experimental or avant-garde metal without mentioning this truly groundbreaking act: Meshuggah mix ultra-complicated rhythmic patterns with massive riffs and aggressive growls, combining Death Metal, Grindcore, Mathcore, Thrash and Progressive Metal to create their unique style. 'One of the ten most important hard and heavy bands', that's how the prestigious Rolling Stone Magazine describes Swedish sonic extremists Meshuggah."
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  • Tenth studio album from the reconstituted verison of Focus led by Thijs van Leer.  Returning is original drummer Pierre van der Linden.  Bobby Jacobs handles bass and Menno Gootjes lead guitar.  X doesn't break any new ground.  This sounds just like classic Focus - van Leer concentrates on flute and Hammond organ and vocals.  Pure prog with strong jazzy overtones in places.  Neat cover art and logo courtesy of Roger Dean.  Highly recommended.
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  • After recording the great Seven Moons album, Jack Bruce, Robin Trower, and Gary Husband did a handful of shows in support of the release. This was filmed in Nijmegen, Netherlands on 2/28/09. The material is primarily drawn from the Seven Moons album as well as a bunch Cream tunes. They even toss in a song from the BLT days. These guys are getting old but they can still play their asses off!!
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  • Many years ago Sieges Even recorded a live album that was never released (the band had dissolved). Now the band has two studio albums under their belt with the latest lineup it was time to finally give us a live disc. Playgrounds features material from Paramount, The Art Of Navigating The Stars, and A Sense Of Change (!!).
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  • "Periphery have been an omnipresent force in the prog metalcore realm since their first album released in 2010 – band founder Misha Mansoor has served as producer on several of the genre’s albums, and the other members are all famous in their own right, whether it’s simply for their craft (Matt Halpern), their involvement in other projects (Spencer Sotelo, Mark Holcomb, Nolly Getgood), or just simply being the nephew of someone exceedingly famous (Jake Bowen). This makes whatever they decide to do extremely important, and the band’s decision to release a concept double album has created hype of hugelargic proportions. In my humble opinion, the band has delivered on all fronts, but not without some disappointments in the “could’ve been” area.Since their inception, Periphery have changed from a chugga-chug ambidjent project posting demos on the internet in the late 2000s to a full-fledged prog metal band with heavy elements of metalcore, post-hardcore, and pop music in general. If you weren’t onboard for “Periphery II”, “Juggernaut” likely won’t change your mind (unless your issues were relatively small), as it’s more of the same poppy atmosphere and less of the techy downtuned riffs, though god knows THOSE are still around. But there’s also a lot of style experimentation – jazz fusion, death metal, and various forms of electronica are all utilized on a semi-normal basis, and range from being seamlessly integrated into the music to being tacked on to the ends of songs like gluing a top-rate dildo onto an already particularly throbby penis. If this all sounds a bit schizophrenic, rest assured that the songcraft is, for the most part, tighter than it’s ever been. Singles from Alpha like “22 Faces” and “Alpha” itself show off Periphery’s pop prowess with choruses and hooks that refuse to leave your head, and complex riffs that are somehow just as ‘wormy as the vocals. And the songs on Omega are longer, more complex, and still manage to be as infectious as the most annoying of STDs – even the twelve minute sprawling title track that has more in common with the bombastic riffs of Periphery I has a shapely middle section that rivals even the hottest of…ugh, fuck it, done with the metaphors. It’s just insane. I cried when I heard it.And now onto what I don’t care for; first off, the decision to split the album into two parts was definitely well-informed from a marketing standpoint. Most people don’t go around listening to 80 minute records all day, myself included, and the supposedly delicate structure of a concept album also means that listening to Juggernaut by skipping to different songs would devalue the experience. So the band broke it into two records to make it seem more manageable to listen to in daily life. Another stated reason was so that newcomers to the band would be able to buy Alpha at a discounted price, decide if they liked it, and then purchase Omega if they were so inclined (music previewing doesn’t work like that anymore, but hey you can’t fault the band for trying to turn that into tangible record sales). The problem I have is that Omega isn’t really paced to be its own album, which makes releasing it on its own instead as simply as the second disc in a package a little pointless. It’s not like the excellent “The Afterman” double albums from Coheed and Cambria, which were each albums that worked in their own right. I realize that this is really just semantics, but I think calling Juggernaut both the third and fourth album from Periphery, while technically correct, is just disingenuous, and judging them fairly on their own as separate albums is impossible (which is why all reviews being published are including them together).Periphery has always had a unique way of pacing their albums, regularly including playful, sometimes relatively lengthy interludes between tracks. Juggernaut is no different, and these interludes are now occasionally used to seed songs that will appear later on the album, or provide callbacks to tracks already present. The transitions aren’t always elegant however, and can range from grin-inducing to head-scratching to just plain grating. Thankfully, the band isn’t going for the illusion that each song flows seamlessly into the next, at least no more than they were going for it on any of their previous albums, and it’s easy to get used to everything given multiple listens.Overall, Juggernaut is a dense album that’s going to take a myriad of listens to fully sink in, just like most of the band’s prior releases (I don’t think anyone is gonna argue that “Clear” has any depth that you would find after about the fifth listen or so, but hey hey that’s ok kay). But it’s also accessible on the surface with deceptively simple rhythms and poppy choruses, which draw you in to appreciate the deeper cuts. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes unique and thoughtful music in the post-hardcore, metalcore, and progressive metal genres, but I’d also recommend it to anyone ever, because this is my absolute favorite band and I think they’ve created a masterpiece. So take from that what you will, and then get the fuck out of here. The play button is calling my name." - iprobablyhateyourband.com
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  • Special Edition 3CD+DVD Digipak containing a full recording of the Tilburg show and the full live footage of the Cologne show.Track listing DVD: Live in CologneInto The Blue (26:12)My New World (17:29)Shine (07:22)The Whirlwind Medley (29:34)Beyond The Sun (04:24)Kaleidoscope (31:30)Neal & Roine Duet (03:41)We All Need Some Light (05:56)Black As The Sky (08:43)Encore:Medley: All Of The Above / Stranger In Your Soul (26:06)Track listing CD 1: Live in TilburgInto The Blue (27:49)My New World (18:28)Shine (07:23)Track listing CD 2: Live in TilburgThe Whirlwind Medley (30:12)Beyond The Sun (04:50)Kaleidoscope (31:30)Track listing CD 3: Live in TilburgNeal & Roine Duet (04:34)We All Need Some Light (06:05)Black As The Sky (07:22)Nights In White Satin (08:09)Sylvia (04:46)Hocus Pocus (07:09)Medley: All Of The Above / Stranger In Your Soul (24:34)
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  • Fantastic second album from this Italian band. Their debut came out of left field and was a total knock out. Now with an even better second album, Pandora has climbed right up to the top of current Italian bands alongsice La Maschera Di Cera. Keyboardist Beppe Colombo pulls off every keyboard trick in the book to good effect. One moment he's going on Premoli on us and the next he's channeling Tony Banks' Mellotron and synth work. The only thing that would tip you off that you are listening to a modern band and not one from the 70s, is guitarist Christian Dimasi's tone. He is a fine player but uses a more modern approach stylistically and tonally. The album is a nice mix of instrumental and vocal pieces and climaxes with the 23 minute title track. All killer - no filler. BUY OR DIE!
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