Ripe

SKU: LE1031
Label:
The Laser's Edge
Category:
Fusion/Jazz
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Renowned guitarist Scott McGill returns with his second instrumental solo album. Influenced by legends Bill Connors and Allan Holdsworth, McGill reinvents the genre by creating an aggressive style of progressive fusion. His high-energy fretwork matched by the potent rhythm section of Chico Huff (Mistaken Identities) on bass, and Vic Stevens (Gongzilla, Mistaken Identities) on drums. Ripe charts a new direction for both fusion and progressive rock.

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  • New budget priced remixed and remastered edition of the 2nd album from the French Canadian band. Their debut album Food For Thought Substitute is a wonderful eclectic blend of lite progmetal and progressive rock. On the new album all of the metal influences are gone. This is guitar driven melodic progressive rock with a nice degree of complexity. The singer still sounds like Jon Bon Jovi!! If you really liked the first album I think you'll find plenty to appreciate here but if you like a harder edged sound you may want to stay clear.
    $10.00
  • Sensory is proud to announce the signing and forthcoming release of a new rising star on the Greek progressive metal scene – Persona Non Grata.Greece has always had some of the most fervent metal fans in the world. Although the main interest has been so called “true metal” bands in the style of Manowar and Iron Maiden, progressive metal started to take hold of the country in the 90s. Bands such as Dream Theater and Fates Warning routinely perform in Athens and both have released live CDs and DVDs from their Greek performances. Greek bands such as Fragile Vastness and Sensory’s own Wastefall have generated a buzz world wide and the scene continues to expand. Persona Non Grata will surely continue this tradition of great progressive metal.Persona Non Grata’s formation began in 2003 when John Ioannidis (keyboards) invited Chris Gatsos (guitars) to join his group Fatal Error. It didn’t’ take long for John and Chris to realize that they had to move on to progressive metal music which was a mix of rock that John loved to play and heavy metal that Chris grew up with. In order to achieve this they had to change the band’s line up. During this period they focused on writing the music which would be the material for their first CD “Shade In The Light”.It was 2 years later when vocalist, Bill Axiotis, joined the PnG group and they started recording this album. They asked session musicians Akis Gavalas (drums) and Chris Vogiatzis (Bass) to help record the album. When the sessions were over they felt a synergy with the three members of the band and came on board permanently, completing the lineup of Persona Non Grata."Shade In The Light" captures a band creating complex music but coming from the melodic end of the metal musical spectrum. Similar bands would include Circus Maximus, Vanden Plas, and Poverty's No Crime.Persona Non Grata's MySpace Page
    $6.00
  • Brilliant third album. While the long epic tracks are of course creative genius sometimes it's the shorter tracks like "Non Mi Rompete" that solidify the work.
    $14.00
  • "The vast riches lying within the reach of Google have included a lot of bands I’ve discovered by typing long strings of words bookended by “metal” in an effort to root out underground music of varying sub-genres that I might enjoy. Forum posts often proved most fruitful, those splendid user-generated gifts of musical knowledge. One particular band I heard mentioned glowingly a few years back via a forum post was Serdce.They are a Minsk-based group and one whose 2004 album, Cyberly, was being billed as an unknown classic. I take comments like that with a pound of fucking salt. Yet it turned out to be true. So it gave me much pleasure that Blood Music worked with Islander here at NCS to premiere music from Serdce’s soon-to-be-released record, Timelessness. It was doubly nice that Heavy Blog Is Heavy began to post about them as well with yet another song premierel, because Serdce are a quirky progressive death metal band worth checking out — and worthy of that tag.I admit to feeling jarred when I first heard this album. It’s a big shift from their last record, 2009’s The Alchemy Of Harmony, a record I worship and regard as a masterpiece, although the changes make sense because they’ve been expanding toward a more prog-metal-focused sound with each release. As this was always a big part of their style, the shift away from calculating, mid-paced death metal into lighter Cynic-focused realms works phenomenally well. And it’s not as confined or as prog-by-numbers as you might think.he fusion side of this record isn’t a minor flirtation, like most of your average jazz-inflected metal dubbed progressive. In reality, it makes up the majority of the album’s sound and journey — and it’s a dense and dream-decorated journey at that. While the style on display in Timelessness is brilliant and multi-faceted to these ears, it may not be aggressive enough for the tastes of some people. For those in that camp, I urge you to examine their prior albums.That observation is not intended as an indictment or an implication that this new album is not as good as their past work — to the contrary, I would venture to say this is Serdce’s most eclectic and strongest album yet. I merely mean to say that it’s of a more airy and progressive nature and that not all metalheads may be open-minded enough to appreciate it.Serdce have been creating Meshuggah groove-gliding influenced death metal long before most of the pack who followed that lead, and they continue to do it better than most. But for those who are groove-averse, that’s far from the totality of what they have to offer. Throughout Timelessness you will hear a lot of piano playing and orchestral/carnival-esque synths, and in addition, the vocals are primarily sung this time around. Overall, the strong Cynic-vibe of the record comes not only from the riffing and fusion elements; the effusive, prominent, and exploratory bass playing brings that comparison to mind as well.Huge artistic shifts in a band’s sound remain a double-edged sword, usually causing long-time fans to quarrel for and against such transformations in equal measure. Serdce have skillfully navigated these tricky waters and come out the other side a totally different, yet no less intriguing group. Timelessness doesn’t last forever, yet it contains innumerable timelessly memorable moments within its titanic, fluid, multi-part songs. Jump on the bandwagon or crawl in the dust – Timelessness will find an interested and eager audience either way — though I urge you to give it a chance and get on board." - No Clean Singing
    $16.00
  • My sentimental favorite. This blends elements of Banco, Quella Veccia Locanda, and Opus Avantra.  Two epic length compositions.Housed in a gorgeous "gimmix" mini-lp sleeve.
    $34.00
  • New digipak edition of the band's long out of print first album plus a bonus live CD recorded in 1995. A brilliant mash up of Gentle Giant influenced prog rock and American flavors."Echolyn's shot at the big time, this is the only album they recorded with Sony before breaking up, only to reform in late 1999. The music shows a progression of the band's style away from the naive neo-prog of the first album towards a fusion of 90s rock and progressive rock that works very well for me. While there is certainly some accomplished musicianship on this album (particularly from keyboardist Chris Buzby) they tend to stick to writing songs rather than sprawling compositional "epics". There is plenty of vocal harmonization on this one, and occasionally a light jazzy touch to this one that sticks out in contrast to the rockier parts.There is a fair amount of string work on this one, particularly at the start of songs. Although a string section is credited, I'm not sure which parts are them and which parts are synthesized. Apart from that, the instrumentation is fairly standard for rock let alone prog, save the addition of Buzby's keyboards (and yes, I am among the people who wishes he'd buy a moog or something, just for kicks).Although some might be put off by the increased commercialism of this release, and there are those who would criticize the ever-optimistic nature of the lyrics, I think this album does an excellent job of marrying progressive rock to what was going on in the 90s, in a way that was much more relevant than similar attempts by Spock's Beard and other such bands. There are songs here, such as "One for the Show", or "Settled Land" which strike me as strong on every level, evaluated from either the genre of rock or the genre of prog. Maybe I've just been suckered by this one, but I greatly enjoy it, and I recommend it without hesitation to a fan of any type of music." - Ground And Sky
    $11.00
  • NTSC Region 0 DVD of Sonata Arctica live in concert. Filmed at the Shibuya AX, Tokyo, Japan on February 5th, 2005. The DVD also features footage from the European 2004 tour and US tour of 2005. Comes with a bonus CD of the audio as well.
    $14.00
  • "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
  • "IRON MASK stand out from many other artists of the neo-classical metal genre because they manage to combine high musical ambitions with a certain kind of accessibility and lots of variety. With 'Fifth Son of Winterdoom', Dushan Petrossi and his band manage the musical claim to be very catchy, so fans of Firewind, Dio, Iron Maiden, Yngwie Malmsteen and Rainbow will all have their joy in this extraordinary album."
    $15.00
  • "School's Out catapulted Alice Cooper into the hard rock stratosphere, largely due to its timeless, all-time classic title track. But while the song became Alice's highest-charting single ever (reaching number seven on the U.S. charts) and recalled the brash, three-and-a-half-minute garage rock of yore, the majority of the album signaled a more complex compositional directional for the band. Unlike Cooper's previous releases (Love It to Death, Killer), which contained several instantly identifiable hard rock classics, School's Out appears to be a concept album, and aside from the aforementioned title track anthem, few of the other tracks have ever popped up in concert. That's not to say they weren't still strong and memorable; while such cuts as "Gutter Cat vs. the Jets," "Street Fight," "My Stars," and "Grande Finale" came off like mini-epics with a slightly progressive edge, Alice Cooper still managed to maintain their raw, unrefined punk edges, regardless. Other highlights included the rowdy "Public Animal #9," the mid-paced "Luney Tune," and the sinister, cabaret-esque "Blue Turk."" - Allmusic
    $5.00
  • "One of the most elegantly complex and fully realized of the "difficult" Italian classics, Melos is for fans of the Osanna, Balletto di Bronzi, RRR, and Semiramis styles. I have a hunch that fans of Crimson, VDGG, and Gentle Giant will also approve. It will probably be less appreciated by fans of the gentler and more accessible bands like Celeste and Locanda delle Fate. The musical approach and the sound are very sophisticated and unique. A combination of primarily guitars, flutes and saxes are tightly woven into a very dense, often dark, unsettling, and just plain eerie feel. Some sources say there are no (or very little) keyboards used to create this sound palette which is certainly unusual. Sometimes I think I hear some but I can't be sure the way the other instruments are employed. It took me many plays to really get past the rather exhausting outer shell and discover the melodies hiding inside and now I just cannot get enough of this excellent material. This band from Naples was related to the Osanna band via the Rustici brothers, the younger one in Cervello was another example of how the very young were leaders in the Italian scene back then. Corrado Rustici was but a teenager when the band recorded Melos in Milan back in 1973. While Osanna's big album "Palepoli" generally gets the most attention my personal view is that "Melos" is a better album. While not as trippy as the wildly freaky "Palepoli" I feel that Melos is more overtly musical and more genuinely satisfying in the long run.Juan at ItalianProg describes the Cervello sound like this: "There is great deal of excellent acoustic guitar work and mellotron-like sounds created by the saxophones. The vocals coupled with the acoustic guitar and flutes hypnotize the listener into a technical yet fluid atmosphere so the music then breaks into a frenzy full of sax and adventurous guitar playing. The tempo and mood change from calm and melodic to violent and bizarre (interweaving between scales). No keyboards present, but they are not needed due to the "cerebral" arrangements these musicians have created for us on this album."[Juan Carlos Lopez] In another great review Warren Nelson sums up the sound perfectly: ".with soaring and complex melodies, compelling and angular instrumental passages culminating in some aggressive individual performances, all weaved together in a tapestry of beautiful and emotional musical syncopation. One of the few Italian prog releases without a prominent keyboard arsenal, the rich sound of this band is achieved with powerful drumming, multiple woodwinds, and intelligent scaler runs on guitar. But not least of all are the typically emotionally powerful vocals. Dynamic change-ups and exquisite group interaction complete another example of one of the finest Italian progressive albums you will ever hear."[Warren Nelson]My own take on the specific tracks: "Canto Del Capro" begins with layers of flutes over what sounds like a foghorn and cymbal splashes moving left to right in the stereo spectrum. Soon an acoustic guitar precedes delightfully freaky operatic style vocals like only the Italians can do. A thrilling opening. Suddenly the drums kick in and you think it might be "normal" for a bit but soon these ungodly compressed vocals rattle your eardrums. Strange acoustic and electric guitar flares round out the rest of this unsettling start. "Trittico" is an enchanting initially with sentimental flute melody, acoustic and vocal. Eventually a crazy sax and percussion crash the party for a bit before the soft opening style returns with additional guitar noodlings. After a brief fade the end section is a bizarre cacophony of choral voices. My one complaint is wishing the bass were a bit more clear and upfront, sometimes it is distant and muddy but it's a minor nitpick. "Euterpe" begins with acoustic and flutes again in a warm and inviting mood. This eventually leads into the full band jamming with a real e-guitar and saxophone workout. "Scinsicne" begins with guitar that sounds like it came from an outtake of "Astronomy Domine!" In comes great flute and bass interplay and then vocals which are another strong point on this album. As the band comes on full the saxes jump into the fray and the sound gets brutal. At 3:48 is one of my favorite parts of the album, these mutant bizarre sounds and drums that mimic some sinister funeral dirge. This is followed by a maniacal e-guitar solo. "Melos" features great flute and sax workouts again with another Rustici axe thrashing at the end. "Galassia" is a feast of inventive vocal interludes over beautifully played acoustic guitars. Dabbles of flute precede a full blown e-guitar freakout challenged by pursuing sax and percussion attacks. You'll need a shower after this track. "Affresco" is a rather traditional sounding closer piece, very short and there just to bring you gently back to Earth after your cerebral pummeling.I guess the reason I light up the magic star 5 would be this: Even when listening to most good albums it is evident that I am doing just that. I'm listening to a collection of songs that are just too structured and I know what is coming. They might light up my pleasure center and my brain says "oh that's a good song, let me listen to more of the same!" Melos does not allow me to stagnate. It's more like eavesdropping on someone's thoughts (presented musically) than listening to the next "killer song, dude." Their thoughts or perhaps their nightmares in this case with everything being so strange, the album starts and it's like this bizarre trip occurs. Even some of my favorite albums are relatively predictable but not Melos. With each play I still wonder what the hell is going on. It still pushes my buttons and challenges me, my definition of a genuinely progressive album. That's not the only way an album can get 5 stars from me but it is one way.This is one of the Italian albums you hear people describe as "harsh" and you might hate it the first several times you listen. Don't get discouraged. Put it away and spin it every other month..like many of the best prog albums you may end up loving it a year from now. That's how it was for me-a real grower. But while many of us are thrilled by this album it is not universally loved in the way that PFM is. It's rather confrontational sonic style does have its detractors so read plenty of reviews before you take the plunge. In my book this is essential for Italian fans and recommended for fans of stuff like "Red" era Crimson. Try to find the Japanese mini-lp sleeve edition which features decent sound and a high quality reproduction of the cool artwork. I love the cover of this album..fantastic stuff!" - ProgArchives
    $11.00
  • Gowy is an undiscovered French band but that won't be for long... This is a new quartet assembled by guitarist Gregory Francois. We were contacted by Greg due to his friendship with Christophe Godin of Morglbl. He thought it might be up our alley and he is spot on. The music on Gowy's debut is primarily instrumental although there are some tunes with French vocals. Musically speaking Freak Kitchen frequently comes to mind with more than a bit of Vai, Zappa and Morglbl tossed in as well. The keyboards, bass and drums all play a supporting role for Greg's extraordinary guitar excursions into outer space. This is much more clever than the typical chops-from-hell disc. Is Essential Tracks really essential? Well I know its essentially clear that a buzz will develop soon. Highly recommended. Check 'em out: Gowy's MySpace Page
    $14.00
  • Long defunct but quite good German melodic metal band with progressive touches.
    $13.00