Reinventing The Steel

SKU: 62451-2
Label:
East West
Category:
Thrash Metal
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"Pantera's back, and all is as wrong with the world as it ever was. They're going to make sure you know it, too. Despite the four-year absence from the studio between Great Southern Trendkill and Reinventing the Steel, Pantera's unflagging aggression is confirmed by the full-throttle rhythms, throat-ripping vocals, and crunchy guitars. Call it their Metallica legacy, except that Pantera are more Metallica than Metallica these days. Heavy metal of this breed may be past its heyday, but Pantera's not going away quietly. In fact, evidence suggests that they're not going away at all--no matter how low you keep the volume knob, Reinventing the Steel is loud, loud, loud!" --Genevieve Williams

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  • "After what has been a rather public and unseemly split from Nightwish (déjà vu anyone...?), onetime Alyson Avenue front-lady Anette Olzon returns with her first solo album, Shine. For anyone expecting something akin to the Nightwish bombast and bluster, it is an album set to surprise, possibly shock and ultimately disappoint. However, for those willing to simply take this album at face value, the surprise will be of an altogether different variety; a classy mix of Pop hooks, grandiose arrangements, intimacy and a sprinkling of the eccentricity which marked Kate Bush out, creating a quite beautiful, confident record that really does indeed shine very brightly indeed. What Shine also allows Olzon to do, is to illustrate a voice that soars, whispers, commands and seduces, revealing far greater facets and variety than her previous musical situation could ever have allowed. Put simply, like the music here, or not, there's absolutely no denying that Anette Olzon is mightily impressive.Thankfully, it is also extremely easy to give in to the music's charms, Olzon surrounding herself with a crack team (Stefan Orn, Johan Glossner, Johan Kronlund) of songwriters, producers and mixer-masterers, to craft a set of songs that are reasonably simple, memorable and thoroughly captivating. The likes of "Lies" hits like a shimmering Evanescence, "Invincible" is a string and voice (and plaintive guitar as the song builds) masterclass of stark melancholia, "Moving Away" a Scandi-folk tinged piece of adult Pop which works tremendously well. Add to that opener, "Like A Show", which fuses strings to slow electro-beats and a fragile vocal; "Falling", which I could imagine a stripped back Scorpions attempting, and the wonderful, soaring, is it Pop, is it Rock of the album's title track and not only do each and every one of the songs hit their mark, but they do so with enough eclecticism to stand up to repeat listens. And I haven't even mentioned the Kate Bush "Army Dreamers" clone "Floating", which while landing possibly too close to this particular Bush, is still a highlight. Factor in the commercial nous of Abba in places, and Shine really becomes a rare beast. An intelligent, yet utterly accessible and singalongable Pop come Rock album.Some may have thought that Anette Olzon's departure from Nightwish signalled the beginning of the end of her career in the limelight. On the strength of Shine, it is only just the beginning." - Sea of Tranquility
    $12.00
  • 2009's debut from this Italian gothic band made quite a mark at the time.  Unfortunately they lost their momentum and waited 4 years to put out a second effort - last years excellent Untouchable Failure.  The debut was their calling card.  This is angst driven metal very much along the lines of Katatonia and early Anathema with a tip of the cap to contemporary prog bands like Riverside and Porcupine Tree.  Excellent stuff.
    $15.00
  • "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."
    $3.00
  • "Wow! The new album from Italian metallers SilentLie is pretty damn cool. The band formed in 2005 and after two EPs, SilentLie have signed to Bakerteam Records and the result is their excellent full-length debut “Layers of Nothing”.SilentLie combines melodic metal with a modern metal approach with some guitar riffs that would make Black Sabbath proud. In lead vocalist Giorgia Sacco Taz, SilentLie has a charismatic front woman with a huge voice which conveys plenty of power and emotion. “Unbreakable” kicks things off in ferocious fashion. The band keeps the riffs coming on songs like “Invisible Fall”, “Layers of Nothing” and “Slave”. There is something very old school and classic about their sound, but SilentLie still manages to inject the songs with a modern metal influence. It definitely is the best of all worlds.With “Layers of Nothing”, SilentLie pretty much goes from strength-to-strength. There is no arguing with the results, like I said, pretty damn cool and then some." - Femme Metal
    $13.00
  • "Live In Tokyo is a live performance from November 14, 2012 at Zepp Tokyo for supergroup PSMS, which features drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, The Winery Dogs, Transatlantic), bassist Billy Sheehan (Talas, Mr. Big, David Lee Roth), guitarist Tony MacAlpine & keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Black Country Communion, Dream Theater, Billy Idol). This 95 minute concert showcases a wide range of instrumental performances from each of the members careers & collaborations. Included in the set are Shy Boy from Sheehan's band Talas, MacAlpine's The Stranger, Sherinian's Apocalypse 1470 B.C. and Dream Theater's A Change Of Seasons: The Crimson Sunrise."
    $14.00
  • "Annysia is a Symphonic Power Metal band from Spain, led by lead vocalist, Rose Mack. The obligatory instrumental, The Essence Of A New Born Star is a well written one, that builds up tension in the beginning of the disc much like a movie soundtrack to an epic battle movie. The operatic stylings of Mack can be heard immediately over a harpischord-laden keyboard effect before the rest of the band kicks in. She definitely has a style of her own, and the music behind her is well played. The highest range of her vocals on this song, show her range, though I think an octave lower is more in her power range. The guitar solo on the other hand sounds out of place, but it may be the production of the song,. Nephilim starts out much in the same vein, though the vocals during the verses are a little more subdued and similar to Liv Kristine in Leave's Eyes. The growly/black metal vocals on this particular song don't do much for me here. The brief but arppegio-laden guitar solo is again well played, and a better fit here. Battle of Mystics is the first track I heard from the band, and honestly the vocal gymnastics in the beginning and during parts of the song, show Mack's talent, but they are done a little too much for my taste, though the song itself is very good. Actually musically this is probably my favorite track on the disc Demontia is a track I could not get into, but musically is not a bad song. Fairysins though, features Mack and a soft piano. Her vocals on this song shows her unique tone, and her wheelhouse when it comes to her range. This song is actually quite beautiful. The epic-ness of Valkyrie is not just in its almost nine minute length, but the music as well. Mack commands her range throughout the entire song, and the twin guitar lead melody is well played. I am not sure if I like the lead tone of the guitar that much, its a little fuzzy for my taste, but the musicianship is definitely there. The previously mentioned death/black metal vocals make an appearance here, and again does nothing for me except take away from Mack's solid performance.Again the fuzzy guitar tone comes back on the beginning of Redemption though when it meshes with the symphonic parts it does not sound as bad. Straying from her operatic range for most the song, Mack shows that she can again, subdue her range, even on a much faster song. The ability for her to sing like this, without her sounding like she is singing in a monotone is a compliment to her abilities. Lost Soul is another piano song, showing the sweeping vocals of Mack. The expression “Less is more,” best explains her vocals on this song, and it was definitely the right call. The instrumental of Captain's Song shows her bandmates definitely have talent themselves, and it is a pretty damn good instrumental. Another standout song is the mid paced, Pirates Of The Sea. The male operatic vocals are too low in the mix to be heard clear enough, though they are much better than the “Blackened” ones of earlier. Nivek is next, and is another epic song in its song structure. For the seven minutes it runs, it pretty much hits all the right marks. With headphones on though, Mack's vocals could have been produced a little better,and be heard a little louder. Much like the disc begins, it ends with an instrumental track, an outro.While the imperfections do come to head when you hear the disc as a whole, Annysia's debut is actually a well written, if only inconsistently produced disc. The disc does have its highs, with strong songwriting and Mack's powerhouse vocals. I do believe in some songs, the band is trying to be as epic as possibly when possibly a little more restrain could have been used. Again most of this criticism is personal opinion, and every listener will have their own opinion. As a whole, this is a great start for a new band, who is obviously full of talented musicians. Let us hope for a label to find the band, and for stronger production values next time." - Metal Review
    $13.00
  • New album from Norwegian avant garde metal masters.
    $13.00
  • "Whereas certain metal splinter genres like sludge and doom have found their requisite bands experimenting in ways that are still decidedly metal – or at least "extreme" by any measure – other areas such as black and post-metal see their own representatives in a practical race to see who can shed their extreme proclivities altogether. Alcest is one such band.Flirting with 90's indie rock trappings is nothing new for this French duo – essentially the one-man project of multi-instrumentalist Neige backed since 2009 by the drumming skills of Winterhalter – but Shelter is their first complete abandonment of metal altogether… there is nary a blastbeat, growl, nor brutal riff to be found anywhere on the album's concise 45-minute running time.That's not to say that Neige is reinventing the wheel, though; Shelter is a straightforward mix of 4AD dream pop and the type of ethereal post-rock that Explosions in the Sky are best known for… not to mention the gauzy shoegaze overlay that such an alchemy implicitly guarantees, of course.It sounds derivative on paper, but somehow Neige transcends his cookie cutter influences and produces a work of heart-stopping elegance and profundity. "Voix Sereines", in particular, is hands down the most plaintive and delicate work of the man's already illustrious career, a despondent lullaby of music box melodies and wistful singing that is fittingly placed in the middle of the track listing… it's the soul of the album, and belongs as its nucleus.The twang at the end of the guitar lines on the title track could – if taken out of context – herald the introduction of a new Mazzy Star single, but Alcest aren't quite that predictable. Twang aside there is no further evidence of roots rock assimilation, no blues aside from the heartache rendered potently clear in Neige's understated vocals. Nonetheless, this would make a fine crossover single aimed at whatever constitutes indie rock radio in 2014.Then again, so would "Away", which many reading this will insist even more a graceful composition than my pick of "Voix Sereines" above (those who aren't chastising the band for "going soft" in the first place, that is). I can't really argue that point, but all it does is prove what a deep bench Neige is culling for inspiration this go round.Perhaps the best evidence that Neige is not beholden to the orthodoxy of his influences is the way he builds toward a crescendo on album finale, "Délivrance". Rather than the ringing chimes that have become the hallmark of tension-building in post-rock (Explosions in the goddamn Sky), Neige shows restraint by settling for a very gradually rising chorus with subtle percussive acceleration. The final 2:30 minutes of the song consists of an unnecessary reprise, but in spite of contributing minor bloat it's still a fitting tribute to Neige's classical ambitions here.The word "masterpiece" gets thrown around a bit too frequently – often in service of albums that will be forgotten altogether a few years down the road – but if you can wrap your head around the fact that Alcest are no longer a metal band in any way, shape or form, Shelter is deserving of whatever hyperbole you care to throw at it." - Metal Injection
    $15.00
  • OK now this is over the top indulgent and incredibly limited.  I doubt we will be able to restock it as a limited amount has been made available for North America.  This is an oversized hardbound slipcased book with a 44 page booklet.  It also comes with a CD plus a DVD with the album in 5.1 surround and 24 bit hi-res stereo mixes.  Finally there is a second DVD with a "making of" documentary.  Certain to be a collector's item in years to come."It’s been quite a past few years for the incredible Anathema. Honors have been bestowed upon them, they’ve released an instant classic album in “Weather Systems”, and last year they released one of the best live concert films I’ve ever seen, “Universal”. Anathema is on top of the world, and they are only getting bigger. With all of this on their shoulders, they approach the world once again with their new album, “Distant Satellites”, a fitting name for a massive album. Again, with all of their recent success creating huge expectations, can this band meet such critical reception? Needless to say, Vincent Cavanagh on vocals, Danny Cavanagh on guitar, Jamie Cavanagh on bass, John Douglas on percussion, Daniel Cardoso on drums, and Lee Douglas with her wonderful vocals were all up to the challenge.“Distant Satellites” is a very different album from “Weather Systems”, or anything else they’ve done, for that matter. It is different, yet somehow instantly familiar. It includes everything that makes them Anathema, but adds new and exciting elements to their already excellent formula. If you’ve never heard Anathema, their formula (in their last few albums, anyways) includes soaring guitars, amazingly catchy melodies, spiritual lyrics, and emotional flow both vocally and structurally. They are the masters of melody, and they remain complex and progressive even while being simple and accessible. They are truly masters of their craft.This new album, then, is no different in those terms. The melodies return in force, such as the serene beauty of “The Lost Song” parts 1-3. And, yet, there is something different here. The melodic lines are somewhat more complex, less in-your-face, and more organic. This especially shows in the song lengths, most of them being over five minutes. This allows for more growth and more progression. Indeed, then, the melodies on “Distant Satellites”, while not being as instantly lovable or recognizable, are certainly more difficult and possibly will have a longer “shelf life” in my mind. Yes, the orchestrations seem to be lower key, as well, allowing the vocalists to express themselves more personally then ever.There are other improvements, too. I feel that the musicianship is more fervent and on a higher plateau of difficulty than Anathema has tried. Drummer John Douglas, especially, plays amazingly well from start to finish, accenting the music with awesome pounding and fills. The rest of the band are at their peak, too, with Vincent and Lee being especially great with emotional and meaningful vocal performances.“Distant Satellites” is different in more meaningful ways, too. Utilizing post-rock/metal structures is nothing new for Anathema, but they really do perfect them here, as on “Dusk”, a dark, climactic song. Yet, there is a sense of continuity between tracks, too. This is obviously the case between the three parts of “The Lost Song”, but it’s also apparent throughout the album, as if Anathema is telling us a story, convincing us of our true selves and our connection with the universe and with each other.This album is wonderful in the first half, but my excitement reached new heights in the second half. Anathema has taken it upon themselves to change things up a bit. They wanted to progress their sound, but make it all seem so natural. So, in the second half, the album climaxes with one of the best songs, simply called “Anathema”. But then, we are thrown for a loop somewhat, as “You’re Not Alone” features a hefty portion of electronic vibe. It’s great, but the best is still to come.Next, “Firelight”, a darkly ethereal instrumental track that is completely electronic, is thrust upon us, and is followed up by what may possibly be the best song Anathema has ever produced, “Distant Satellites”. This track combines everything that has ever made Anathema great: soaring melodies, climactic structure, gentle spirituality, amazing vocals, and now an electronic beat that is both complex and catchy. Vibrant, mesmerizing, and pure, this track elates me every time I hear it. It takes this album, and my heart, to new heights. The album finishes with a gentle ballad that just seems so fitting, yet it still has the strong electronic influence.So, is “Distant Satellites” a winner? In every way! Is it their best album? I don’t know; it has the potential, but it might take time, just like “Weather Systems” did. What I can tell you is that this new album is more mature, more progressive, more interesting and eclectic, and less formulaic then anything Anathema has crafted yet. It does sacrifice some accessibility and some instant likability for these things, but I respect their decision massively, and I fully expect to see “Distant Satellites” at the tops of many lists at the end of 2014." - Progulator
    $70.00
  • Remaster of the band's third album comes with 5 bonus tracks. This one has some of their best toons...
    $5.00
  • Remastered edition with bonus tracks."Jefferson Airplane's first live album demonstrated the group's development as concert performers, taking a number of songs that had been performed in concise, pop-oriented versions on their early albums -- "3/5's of a Mile in 10 Seconds," "Somebody to Love," "It's No Secret," "Plastic Fantastic Lover" -- and rendering them in arrangements that were longer, harder rocking, and more densely textured, especially in terms of the guitar and basslines constructed by Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady. The group's three-part vocal harmonizing and dueling was on display during such songs as a nearly seven-minute version of Fred Neil's folk-blues standard "The Other Side of This Life," here transformed into a swirling rocker. The album emphasized the talents of Kaukonen and singer Marty Balin over the team of Paul Kantner and Grace Slick, who had tended to dominate recent records: the blues song "Rock Me Baby" was a dry run for Hot Tuna, the band Kaukonen and Casady would form in two years, and Balin turned in powerful vocal performances on several of his own compositions, notably "It's No Secret." Jefferson Airplane was still at its best in concise, driving numbers, rather than in the jams on Donovan's "Fat Angel" (running 7:35) or the group improv "Bear Melt" (11:21); they were just too intense to stretch out comfortably. But Bless Its Pointed Little Head served an important function in the group's discography, demonstrating that their live work had a distinctly different focus and flavor from their studio recordings." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • "“Cast me into desolation, I’ll find my path again” bellows Sylosis frontman Josh Middleton on “Mercy”, the first single from the UK metal quartet’s fourth full-length release, Dormant Heart.  There is a great deal of sincerity found in these lyrics, in this voice, and in this band.  Sylosis has been making a name for themselves within the metal community for some time, but the band was recently able to attain increased prominence following their 2012 release, Monolith.  This, in part, was also due to extensive touring with bands such as Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, Trivium, DevilDriver, Devin Townsend, and others, as well as appearances at various festivals around the world.  After yet another change in lineup, Sylosis is back with what could very well be their best, as well as their darkest, grittiest, and most pissed off record to date.No word exists in The Oxford English Dictionary that can adequately describe the level of my excitement upon finding out that I would be given an opportunity to review Dormant Heart.  A few weeks ago, I rushed to indulge in the debut of “Mercy” just minutes after its release.  Now, after experiencing the album in full, I can say with conviction that Dormant Heart certainly lives up to the standard that Sylosis has set for themselves, as if there was ever any doubt that they would to begin with.The album’s first and shortest track, “Where the Wolves Come to Die”, serves as a fantastic opener that brings both heaviness and atmosphere.  An excellent cut in its own right, the track prepares listeners for the sheer brutality that soon follows.  “Victims and Pawns”, as well as title track “Dormant Heart”, feature Sylosis’ massive Bay Area Thrash influence at the forefront.  Both of these tracks contain sections that parallel the unique sounds heard on Monolith, but with a new, fresh approach.  These full-on thrashers, as well as others on Dormant Heart such as “Indoctrinated” and “Callous Souls”, are more than enough to supercharge your being within a matter of seconds.  On release day, be sure to leave the morning coffee at home; you won’t need it.While select cuts from Dormant Heart spend a significant amount of time at higher BPMs, the massive groove that Sylosis is also known for is certainly heard throughout the record.  Tracks such as “To Build a Tomb”, “Overthrown”, and “Servitude” often leave me wondering how such an aggressive, ass-kicking, heavy-as-fuck sound is created in standard tuning.  Then again, most of what this band does leaves me in a similar state of astonishment. Guitar work provided by Josh Middleton and Alex Bailey weaves its way through your being, leaving listeners to pick their collective jaw up off of the goddamn ground.  “To Build a Tomb” and “Servitude” are personal favorites of mine on Dormant Heart.  The first time I heard them, my head was metaphorically sent spiraling into oblivion.Since initially taking on the role of lead vocalist after Jamie Graham’s departure from Sylosis, Josh Middleton’s vocal abilities have steadily improved with each release.  The frontman’s voice hits unexpected highs during both the verses and chorus of “Leech”, in which he soon after unleashes a breathtaking solo.  “Harm” and “Mercy” also showcase Middleton’s competence vocally, as well as the overall expected musicality from the entire band.  Before leaving Sylosis due to other obligations, former drummer Rob Callard laid down drum tracks that complement the material in every which way, along with longtime bassist Carl Parnell providing powerful blends of low-end.  “Mercy” is another personal favorite of mine, containing a chorus that is beneficially infectious and a doomy outro so enormous it practically destroys everything in its path.Closing Dormant Heart is “Quiescent”, a track that stands apart from the preceding eleven.  Middleton sings cleanly over acoustic guitar, which gives way to an eruption of aggressiveness.  Without giving too much away, think of “Quiescent” to Dormant Heart as “Enshrined” is to Monolith, in a way.  The song and album fade, signifying a new beginning of sorts for a band that has seen an eventful two years since its previous effort.  Their dedication and contribution to the world of heavy music is unwavering.  Make no mistake; the future of metal lies in the hands of the mighty Sylosis." - Rock Revolt
    $12.00
  • "Every month that passes seems to bring more evidence that the NWOBHM revival continues to gather pace, with a plethora of bands using the up and at 'em riffage and soaring twin guitars to create albums that firmly nod towards the movement made most famous by the likes of Iron Maiden and Saxon. Newest New Wavers on the block this month are Sweden's Katana, who not only sound like they were raised on a diet of Maiden, Priest and Accept, but who also rather worryingly would appear to have raided the wardrobe of these bands, as well as the slightly less leather obsessed acts of the era with red trousers and stripey jackets (along with a nice perm) giving the band's promo shots a genuinely retro feel. As with nearly all metal and progressive acts coming out of Scandinavia these days, Katana are a tight unit that manage to show a great deal of musical skill and talent across what is a rip roaring, if predictable set of songs. Dip into this debut album at any point and twin lead howls of mid period Maiden, or the crunching blasts of Judas Priest abound from the speakers with an audible enthusiasm. That more than anything else makes it hard not to smile as these well tread themes are given a rigorous polish by Katana and while it may be impossible not to suggest that there is absolutely zero in the way of imagination or originality on show on Heads Will Roll, the songs are actually irresistibly enjoyable. Yes singer Johan Bernspang does fire out too many Dickinson like "Ooohhh Ohhhh Ohhhhhh's" and the sprawling bass in the intro of "Quest For Hades" screams Steve Harris, but that doesn't stop the likes of humungously riffed "Rebel Ride", or the galloping romp of "Livin' Without Fear" being great slabs of rollickingly heavy metal. Nothing new, but an impressive start none the less." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $14.00
  • Danish industrial/thrash metal highly influenced by Meshuggah, Lamb Of God, Fear Factory and their ilk. The band now features a new vocalist - Guillaume Bideau from the French band Scarve. When he isn't barking he's got a pretty decent voice actually. US edition with two bonus tracks.
    $2.00