Regeneration

SKU: NMR85142
Label:
Nightmare Records
Category:
Metal/Hard Rock
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Excellent futuristic conceptual work framing this band's progressive metal sound. Ascension Theorty consists of keyboardist Tim Becker and vocalist/guitarist Leon Ozug, Both were members of the now defunct Aztec Jade. This is a further refinement on that band's sound - with much improved. Ozug has always been a top shelf singer in need of greater exposure. Becker's keyboards and programming lend an epic quality to the production. My only reservation is about the lack of an actual drummer. With that fully disclosed I easily recommend this album.

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  • The release of 2012's critically acclaimed Trouble With Machines ushered in an exciting era for Chicago-based Progressive Rock band District 97. In 2013, the band toured both Europe and the US with legendary bassist and vocalist John Wetton (King Crimson/UK/Asia), which was documented on 2014's live release, One More Red Night: Live in Chicago. 2013 also saw the band nominated for a Limelight Award by Prog Magazine. Rather than rest on their laurels, District 97 took to the studio in 2014 to record the new material they'd been honing at home and on the road. The resulting album, In Vaults, continues and accelerates the upward trajectory of great songwriting and incredible musicianship that's been evident since the band's 2010 debut, Hybrid Child. One listen perfectly illustrates why John Wetton says, “I've said it before, and I maintain that D97 is the best young progressive band around right now. Gifted players, great material, and a brilliant, charismatic singer in Leslie Hunt."In addition to its evocative and powerful songwriting and performances, In Vaults features the immaculate mixing of Rich Mouser (Spock's Beard, Transatlantic), mastering by Grammy winning engineer Bob Katz and the stunning imagery of Björn Gooßes of Killustraitions. 
    $13.00
  • Arjen Lucassen's long awaited Ayreon project is a total blast.  Like some of the earlier Ayreon albums, it owes as much to prog rock as it does metal.  All the old school heroes like Emerson, Wakeman, Wetton get to strut their stuff showing a young stud like Rudess a thing or two.  As always Lucassen latches on to some of the best vocalists around and this one is no exception.  Highly recommended.PLEASE NOTE THERE WILL BE A VERY EXPENSIVE IMPORT "ART BOOK" EDITION FORTHCOMING."You know what the metal world needs more of? Musicals. I'm not saying that ironically either. Sure, we have plenty of prog bands putting out concept albums, but cool as these records many be, the story themselves are not the focus of the album. Ayreon mastermind Arjen Anthony Lucassen has resurrected his grandest of all projects to continue showing these folks how to tell an epic story the right way.With 01011001 the Ayreon story came to an end, or so we thought. Arjen instead decided to focus on projects like Star One, Guilt Machine, and his solo album Lost in the New Real. When he revealed not too long ago that he was working on a new project, it wasn't a surprise to discover it was new Ayreon, but I was still plenty excited.Lucassen said of the newest record, "It's not science fiction, but a human story set in a science context." So no aliens or battling emotions or any of that. So, in an attempt to better understand the story, I contacting him for the lyrics and much to my surprise, he sent them to me saying, "Oh yes, you need the lyrics, definitely." Holy hell, was he right. The story is indeed more grounded than previous records, but there are still layers to this beast.Fans of Ayreon should know what to expect here. The Theory of Everything has seven guest singers and each singer plays a part in the story. They are JB (Grand Magus) as the Teacher, Christina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) as the Mother, Michael Mills (Toehider) as the Father, Tommy Karevik (Kamelot) as the Prodigy, Marco Hietala (Nightwish) as the Rival, John Wetton (Asia/ex-King Crimson) as the Psychiatrist, and Sara Squadrani (Ancient Bards) as the Girl.Of these singers, the most impressive is the relatively unknown Sara Squadrani. She performs on a large portion of the story and shines every time, especially on "Love and Envy". I was also surprised to be so enamored with the performance of Christina Scabbia. She's always had  a wonderful voice, but her performance in this record might be her finest. Her harmonies with Squadrani stand out particularly on "Mirror of Dreams". This isn't to say only the performances by the female singers are worth mentioning. Tommy Karevik's introduction in "The Prodigy's World" is one of the strongest moments on the album.Press_Photo_01Every Ayreon album comes an eclectic group of guest musicians. This round primarily consisted of guest keyboardists. Rick Wakeman (ex-Yes) handles a good portion of the record, while Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) and Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) both make excellent solo appearances on "Progressive Waves".Having listened to all of Lucassen's albums at least once, I can say The Theory of Everything is the most musically diverse offering he's had a hand in, perhaps with the exception of his solo record. This isn't as heavy as previous Ayreon titles, but it has its driving moments like "Collision" and the Dream Theather-esque "Frequency Modulation." The aforementioned "Love and Envy" is a slower introspective song, while "Diagnosis" is massive and a little cheesy, but so awesome. "Transformation" has a Middle Eastern feel to it, and  "The Eleventh Dimension" sounds like intergalactic renaissance faire music.Often times there are jumps in mood, genre, etc in the middle of a song. This is fairly typical for an Ayreon release; what isn't typical is that technically this record consists of only four songs. These four songs are each at least twenty-one minutes, but they are cut up into forty-two pieces (yes, that's a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference) .This is a fun record. It's a record that does require a time commitment. I'd say listeners should treat it as a proper musical or film in a theater. Try to experience it all in one sitting for the full effect. It's absolutely worth it." - Metal Injection
    $17.00
  • A bit of a departure for the prog metal founders. Disconnected incorporates some of the in your face aggressiveness that Ray Alder explored on Engine with the proggier sounds of APSOG. Kind of a hit or miss affair. The high points really soar.
    $10.00
  • AlieNatura is the second album from this superb band playing in the classic "rock progressivo italiano" style.  The band is led by keyboardist Elisa Montaldo, who is as impressive on the ears as she is on the eyes (pardon the sexist comment).  One of the strong points of the band's debut was the inclusion in the lineup of former Museo Rosenbach vocalist Lupi Galifi.  With MR reforming he's left Il Tempio Delle Clessidre.  The obvious concern is who could fill his shoes?  Apparently the unknown Francesco Ciapica.  Truth is he does a fine job.  The guy can sing.  He has that expressive style that fits this music so perfectly.  Beautiful symphonic keyboards, liquid guitar runs, phat Moog solos - this band has the sound down pat.  The Italian scene seems to be burgeoning with new RPI bands and I would classify Il Tempio Delle Clessidre right up there with La Maschera Di Cera.  That's saying something.  BUY OR DIE!
    $16.00
  • New 2CD reissue of the band's first album, originally released in 1994.  The second disc contains 18 rare and previously unreleased tracks.  Cool new artwork as well.
    $10.00
  • The official title of this amazing Spanish quartet is actually One Of These Days & Thee Heavy Random Tone Colour Lab.  This is the band's debut release and is only available on vinyl.  It arrives on 180 gram vinyl in a numbered limited edition of 500 copies.  Gorgeous artwork form Iria Rodriguez.  You also get a download code for mp3s of the album.This is pure retro/prog/psych plain and simple.  Beyond the tip of the cap with their name, the band draws some musical influence from Atom Heart Mother era Pink Floyd.  The album consists of 4 long tracks.  When the band stretches out I'm also reminded very much of early Nektar - say Tab In The Ocean.  Organ, 'tron, analogue synths - all the good stuff is here.  Guitars have the right sound.  Its not like metal guitars grafted onto an old school sound (some of the new Italian retro bands seem to get this wrong).  This album reeks of the early 70s.Quite a stunning release.  If you can play vinyl you have no choice...BUY OR DIE!
    $30.00
  • Official 180 gram vinyl reprint. First album from this German band originally released in 1972. While the band's output showed a progressive decline as they went on, their first three albums were pretty good - with this one being the heads and shoulders best. The music revolves around the organ of Frieder Schmidt and phased guitar of Willie Wagner. While not the most complex music, the band settles into a nice groove with wicked soloing through out. There is even some 'tron lurking. Think Birth Control meets Deep Purple. I eat this stuff up - love it!FOREIGN CUSTOMERS PLEASE NOTE THAT WE WILL HAVE TO ADJUST YOUR SHIPPING CHARGES TO MORE ACCURATELY REFLECT OUR COSTS.
    $30.00
  • Well Opeth went and did it.  They gave prog rock fans the album they've been waiting for - the one that Heritage alluded to and came close to delivering.  Pale Communion is a full on prog album.  All clean vocals, tons of gorgeous keyboard sounds that will conjure up images of the 70s.  In fact if this album arrived with a Vertigo swirl on it I wouldn't have been surprised.  Some heavy riffing but no real metal elements within earshot.  The album was mixed by Steven Wilson and if anyone knows "the sound" its him.  By the way the album was recorded at Rockfield Studios which is holy ground for prog fans.  Prog rock album of the year?  You bet!  BUY OR DIE!!This is the CD/Blu-ray edition.  It arrives in a digipak and has expanded packaging.  Audio comes to you via a standard CD plus a Blu-Ray.  What's on it you ask?  You get a 5.1 audio mix plus 2 live bonus tracks recorded in Stockholm. 
    $18.00
  • "Two years ago, a virtually unknown Russian band released a debut with chamber classical orchestration, gorgeous multi-layered vocals, and the occasional modern rock touch. Very few initially noticed it, but eventually by word of mouth, it became an unexpected favorite 2012 album in progressive rock, despite the scarcity of progressive rock elements. Listeners there mainly rated on songwriting and enjoyment.Now, we have a second iamthemorning album, expanding on the elements from the first album. A confident, mature album that will likely bring rave reviews all over the place given the band is not as obscure as in 2012.The music is once again heavily influenced by classical music. Vocals and piano continue creating the foundation of the music, with orchestral instrument, drums, and modern rock sounds adding layers whenever needed. Even the modern rock sounds are used in a very classical, 'iamthemorning' way.The added complexity of the music was a risk. After all, the debut's instantly rewarding melodies and its safe, if brilliant, songwriting approach made it very difficult for many listener to honestly hate such an album. Now, we're dealing with complexity levels more to the tune of classical music and progressive rock. This is now easily categorized as progressive rock, with less direct melodies, knotty musical ideas, occasionally long songs, more in-depth instrumentation and lyricism. The risk is that I enjoyed the first listen less than the first listen of the debut. However, I cannot decide which album I prefer now. I feel like this one has a few minor flaws based on the risk-taking approach, compared to the near-perfection pop of the debut. However, there are even more 'WOW!' moments here in my opinion, some of the very best musical passages I perceive to come across.Flaws? I seem to only gripe about the slow development of their last full song, the samples in 'Howler' and the beginning of 'K.O.S' with a repetitive, awkward drum beat and one-chord guitar riff. Luckily, the latter two songs are overall highly interesting and dynamic songs otherwise, which is why I said the flaws are not severe as they involve a small fraction of two songs.Strengths? It's hard to name them all. The intermissions remain impressive. The first one has such a captivating atmosphere, I can't imagine anyone being hard-pressed to say 'nah' and stop playing the album. The fourth intermission (titled XII) almost reaches song-like status in length, starting with classical violin and continuing with mesmerizing piano. The last intermission is almost transcendental in a spiritual sense.And then you have the songs and they are so, so good. All those subtle melodies and exciting instrumentation in 'Howler', the beautiful 'To Human Misery' with a very captivating main melody yet also with a lot of subtle instrumentation. I should try not to overuse the phrase 'subtle complexity', but I think that word really describes this album. Subtle complexity is what makes this album work so well: you latch on into some obvious melodies on first listen, but then all those little details won't make you lose interest. Every instrument plays melodies, sometimes simultaneously.'Romance' and '5/4' sound a bit like more intricate version of Tori Amos music. They are whimsical, enchanting yet quite complex in instrumentation. Those little details like the muted violin melodies and brief 'shredding' electric guitar that somehow sounds mellow. The '5/4' song is mostly in 6/4 actually, but when it shifts to a 5/4 meter playing a carnival-like atmosphere, it's pure genius, even if it sounds like a horrible idea at first listen. It's an odd choice for a single. I thought it would be 'The Simple Story' which is more instantly recognizable with its melodies and the great piano line near the end. 'Crowded Corridors' is possibly their most accomplished composition to date and also their longest by far at nearly 9 minutes. It begins relatively subdued with their typical instrumentation and vocalizations, if more haunting than usual. Something else going for it is the more 'epic', dramatic moments that work incredibly well. It'd be interesting if they revisit this approach to songwriting in later albums. A particular highlight, besides the obvious piano solo in the latter half, is a slow melody at minute 3 being revisited at the very end at a faster pace.By the way, most of these songs deviate from a typical song structure to help make it more impactful and dynamic. The song 'Gerda' starts very soft and delicate but later sounds very empowering and grand: it's yet another great song. 'Os Lunatum' starts as an outstanding piano + vocal duet, both at their very best, especially during the song's main hook. Guitars later become dominant on the song's instrumental section. The song concludes with a full band sound, the progression from the very beginning being very natural.'K O S' may be marginally a less enjoyable song here because of that first minute which sounds repetitive and lacks what I like about the band. The rest is an interesting experiment as they veer towards a progressive rock / alternative rock sound without fully losing their trademark vocals, pianos, and subtle way to adding melodic layers. I love the way it ends, reprising the intro in such a way that almost redeems it. The 'Reprise of Light no Light' is another lesser favorite, developing in a slow fashion that sometimes tests my patience. I do love that it, along with the last intermission, ends with peaceful, abstract noise.In the end, they have accomplished a very difficult feat, given the high standard the set themselves with their debut. This second album is very intelligent music as well as very deep, emotional music. It touches me. In the end, despite the occasional flaw, it's a masterpiece and I anticipate it being consistently among my favorite pieces of music regardless of genre alongside their debut." - ProgArchives
    $15.00
  • Yet another brilliant work from this Norwegian prog band.  The Greatest Show On Earth is the band's third effort.  While the first album Identity delved into alternative/prog realms bearing similarity to Radiohead, their second album All Rights Removed was full on Pink Floyd worship.  This latest effort carries on in similar fashion.  There are parts of the album that were written with tracing paper.  It evokes the mood and feel of Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, and maybe even a bit of The Wall.  This isn't to say the band doesn't inject any personality of their own - they do.  There are contemporary elements, its just that when they go into full on Pink Floyd mode its so apparent and so well executed that it blinds you to everything else that is going on.  What Bi Kyon Ran is to King Crimson or The Watch is to Genesis, Airbag is to Pink Floyd.  Original?  Truth be told not really.  It doesn't matter, its so well executed that you will just immerse yourself in the listening experience.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • Reissue of the band's first album.  Fantastic progressive power metal with a strong spiritual message. Normally I'm not a big fan of the one-man-band concept but composer/singer/multi-instrumentalist Matt Smith really blew me away with this first time effort. Elements of Savatage, Queensryche, Symphony X and even Kansas pop up. Long epic sweeping tracks with lots of power and melody. Matt's proves he's got the voice and the chops to go far. Highly recommended.
    $13.00
  • "With 'Home', for the first time since their critically acclaimed 'Posthumous Silence' of 2006, Sylvan have taken the chance to create another full-on concept album. Even though the Hamburg natives attach great importance to creating contextually comprehensive pieces of art with any of their albums, this time around Sylvan have upped their ambition another notch and taken on the mammoth task of building an overall concept around the never ending quest of the human condition for 'home' - that very special place that can provide a feeling of complete safety."This is the deluxe mediabook edition.  Same track listing as the jewel box but in much nicer packaging.
    $17.00
  • This is the second edition (limited to 500 copies) with different artwork than the first."Norway's Tusmørke (Norwegian for twilight) go straight to the heart of the psychedelic matter on their full-length debut album "Underjordisk Tusmørke" (Subterranean Twilight). Culling influences from such prog-psych luminaries as Gong and Caravan, krautrock giants like Can and Amon Düul 2, pagan folksters like The Incredible String Band as well as a healthy dose of Nordic folk music, Tusmørke present a dark cauldron of magical, musical potions.The band's history can be traced back to the mid-nineties and the budding, Scandinavian scene of new progressive bands. Back then, the Momrak twins who are the beating heart of Tusmørke called their band Les Fleurs de Mal. The band featured future Wobbler vocalist Andreas Prestmo, and shared the stage with other up-and-coming bands like White Willow. Via intricate pathways, this evolved into Tusmørke, whose music is darker, more intense and dare we say primeval, than the more delicate Les Fleurs de Mal.This album will conjure up images of pagan rites, witches dancing in the firelight serenading the new moon, eldritch wizards conjuring dark spirits… And it's no gimmick: This band lives and breathes the same air that flows through the magical lands their music describes.The album has been expertly recorded and produced by that master of retro productions, Lars Fredrik Frøislie (Wobbler, White Willow, In Lingua Mortua), and sounds so authentically analogue that you can practically smell the antique equipment that has been used for its making. Lars contributes mellotron, chamberlin, spinet, Hammond organ and a host of esoteric instruments on the album."
    $19.00
  • THE BAR HAS JUST BEEN RAISED!Symphony X's fifth effort is an over the top epic conceptual work that finds the band exploring the more progressive territories of The Divine Wings Of Tragedy and then some. Guitar virtuoso Michael Romeo once again reaffirms why he is one of the best guitarists in metal today. Russel Allen's vocals have never sounded better or bigger. The input of keyboardist Mike Pinella is not to be overlooked. In fact I think it is his symphonic interludes that make this Symphony X's supreme musical statement.Easily in my top 2 or 3 albums of the year.
    $15.00