Rising ($5 SPECIAL)

SKU: 3145473612
Label:
Polydor
Category:
Hard Rock
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Monumental album from Ritchie Blackmore/Ronnie James Dio. Worth it just for "Stargazer" alone. Remastered edition. Essential.

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  • Stunning reissue of the second album from Jacqueline Thibault aka Laurence Vanay.  To confuse issues more this was actually released under the band name Gate Way.  Perhaps a bit heavier than Galaxies, this treads similar ground.  Spacey prog with a Pink Floyd feel married to gorgeous, soft and wispy dreamlike folk.  Ms. Thibault is a hell of a keyboardist and she displays her wares through out the album.  This deluxe reissue arrives in a mini-lp sleeve, is loaded with bonus tracks, and has a great booklet with an interview with Ms. Thibault.  She's had an interesting life.  It would seem that the time period that Evening Colours was recorded was a bit of a train wreck for her - definitely a good read.  These Laurence Vanay release are clearly two of the best reissues of 2013.  Save yourself hundreds of dollars and hours trying to find an original vinyl copy.  This was transferred from the original master tapes and sounds wonderful.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • Riverside's latest takes a bit of a swerve from their traditional sound.  Parts of the album bears the imprint of Mariusz Duda's solo work - its more laid back, more refined.  Other aspects of the album carry on with the sound that Riverside has developed over recent albums - chunky organ, trippy keyboard soloing and interstellar guitarwork.  This one is a grower.  At first listen it might not hit you but the more you scrape away at it the more you realize its dug deeper under your skin."For the past decade or so, Polish progressive rock/metal quartet Riverside set itself apart from their stylstiic brethren by offering distinguishing tones, mesmerizing atmospheres, and most importantly, remarkable songwriting. Sure, the band also infuses much of its music with the intricacy genre enthusiasts expect, but their melancholic, yet beautiful and earnest melodies and lyrics (credited mostly to singer/songwriter/bassist Mariusz Duda) have always come first. Perhaps nowhere in its discography is this more apparent than on their newest opus, Love, Fear and the Time Machine.Although it features a few complex arrangements, the record is by far Riverside’s most straightforward and accessible collection to date, showcasing a proclivity for upfront compositions like never before. While this may disappoint fans who adore the group’s more tangential, frantic instrumentation, rest assured that the album’s stunning emotionality and breathtaking arrangements more than make up for it. Without a doubt, Love, Fear and the Time Machine features some of the most gorgeous, tragic, and ultimately inspiring pieces Riverside have ever recorded, making it another exceptional entry in an invaluable catalog.According to Duda, the effort is a return to the softer, more ambient nature of Riverside’s debut, 2004’s Out of Myself. In fact, the foursome intentionally composed it “to combine the ‘70s and the ‘80s…[the songs] have never been so concise and to the point before.” Because of this new approach, the disc actually evokes Duda’s other project, Lunatic Soul, in subtle but substantial ways at times. Like almost all of Riverside’s previous works, Love, Fear and the Time Machine is also a conceptual record; specifically, it “talk[s] about transformation. About making an important, perhaps life-changing decision everyone has to make at some point in their lives…on the one hand, we’re excited by the change…[but] on the other, we fear the unknown.” Ultimately, the lesson to be learned from it is that “if we sometimes get lost in life, it is to go through something and be found again on the other side, to be reborn as someone better and more valuable.”Fittingly, then, the sequence starts with “Lost (Why Should I Be Frightened by a Hat?)”, which is arguably its best track. Duda begins by reciting a philosophical recollection over a delicate ether of keyboards and bass and guitar notes. Afterward, he launches into a catchy and charming chorus: “Come follow me / We’ll go down / Where the river flows / One day / Just you and I will find a bridge / To another land”. Duda layers his voices too, making it even more gripping, and in-between his passages, guitarist Piotr Grudziński issues his signature soaring accompaniment as the composition evolves. Drummer Piotr Kozieradzki keeps things steady throughout, while keyboardist Michał Łapaj gets the spotlight during the final seconds. Ultimately, “Lost” exemplifies the magnificent succinctness that makes Love, Fear and the Time Machine distinctive in the Riverside canon.Later on, “#Addicted” truly feels like a progressive rock take on the Cure in several ways, such as its dominant bass lines, starry guitar lines, and wistful singing which finds Duda channeling a silky falsetto he’s never really attempted before. There’s also a brief acoustic guitar arpeggio at the end that’s very enjoyable. Lyrically, it serves as a commentary on how social media can transform people into egocentric users who base their self-worth on their digital populiarty. In this way, both its lyrics and music find Riverside stretching slightly beyond its comfort zone, but the result is undeniably, well, addictive.“Caterpillar and the Barbed Wire” feels more traditional, with Duda’s sorrowful confessions and counterpoints perfectly complemented by sharp guitar riffs, aching solos, enveloping percussion, and a moving layer of synthesized splendor. Honestly, it’s like a heartbreaking and somewhat more colorful missing track from Shine of New Generation Slaves, whereas “Saturate Me” contains the sleek yet eccentric tones and virtuosic yet blunt balance that made up the best moments on Rapid Eye Movement. Of course, its sad ponderings, such as “Am I Invisible? / Or alive? / I don’t want to feel like I’m no one anymore”, are archetypal Riverside sentiments, and the interlocking musical patterns (especially near the end) are equally touching.The most commercial segment on Love, Fear and the Time Machine is surely “Discard Your Fear”; however, despite that typically negative connotation, the song’s approachability doesn’t get in the way of its worth. Rather, it’s uplifting message and relatively simple and familiar construction could earn Riverside an entirely new camp of fans. It’s actually quite cathartic, as is the dreamy and tasteful “Toward the Blue Horizon”, which begins and ends as a luscious ode (with lovely piano chords) while transforming into a progressive metal workout in the middle.Both of the record’s final two pieces—“Time Travellers” and “Found (The Unexpected Flaw of Searching)”—are wonderful. The former is an exquisite acoustic ballad about past possibilities and the unforeseen future. Its winding melodies and spaciousness are the standout features, as the rest of the band lets Duda’s voice lead the way, resulting in a simple but commanding experience. In contrast, the latter is more elaborate, impactful, and conclusive, with a strong sense of closure and acceptance, as the speaker realizes the importance of his or her experiences, uncertainties, and decisions. The music builds with great pacing, adding more beautiful layers as the chorus (“It’s a lovely life / You have gone so far / Don’t give it up / Oh, it’s a lovely life / Gotta go with what you think is right”) repeats with sleek harmonies. By the end, listeners are left in awe, reevaluating their own sense of purpose and optimism.Love, Fear and the Time Machine is likely the most polarizing record Riverside has made, as it could be considered both the band’s strongest and weakest full-length effort. Fans hoping for virtuosic jams and unexpected sounds won’t really find them here, while fans looking for more of Riverside’s token elegant instrumentation, affective melodies, and poetic, rich singing will be satisfied beyond measure. Either way, Love, Fear and the Time Machine definitely finds its creators reaching for new, if marginally different, heights, which is commendable in and of itself. Roughly ten years on, Riverside remains as special as ever, and Love, Fear and the Time Machine is, in several ways, its truest work of art." - Pop Matters
    $12.00
  • "After a 5 year hiatus, Cryptic Vision releases ""Of Infinite Possibilities"" This album is part 3 of their trilogy ""Moments Of Clarity In A World Of Infinite Possibilities"" and is their most ambitious CD yet. From the opening 5/4 riff of Singularity to the bombastic ending of the title track, Cryptic Vision takes you through a progressive journey of the world we live in. From the scientific to the spiritual, from our soul to the outer Universe, the CD explores the meaning of our existence. Each song represents a different perspective of how we try to make sense of our world and what lies beyond."
    $9.00
  • Steve's first studio album in some time arrives as a limited edition import with a bonus CD with his running through live versions of old Genesis tunes and solo material. The new album features Chris Squire and Anthony Phillips (believe it or not). The thing I love about Hackett's recent work is that it still clearly has his imprint on it but its not retro - its prog and contemporary.
    $15.00
  • Finally available on CD is this near mythic album that Zeuhl/Magma fans have been lusting after for so many years. Part of the cult like following is because the main guy in the band - drummer/composer Michel Le Bars - is supposedly bats**t crazy and has disowned the album for myriad of reasons. Some of it might even be true. The album came out in 1981 and was only released in an edition of 300 lps. Its rare and now you can hear how great it really is. Oh yeah - its an (believe it or not) authorized edition and comes with a 10 minute bonus track. Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • "‘Idiosynchratically beautiful’. These are two words that have stuck with me for nearly 20 years and which I recall almost every time I hear or read the name Arcturus. These words were quoted on an advert for the Norwegian band’s 1997 release, ‘La Masquerade Infernale’ within an issue of either Terrorizer or Metal Hammer magazine; I can’t remember which. What I do remember was that I was deeply into a stage of black metal discovery at the time and this quote resonated with me for some reason. I took the punt and received the album as a Christmas present. It wasn’t love at first listen; instead it was a slow and steady slog that has ended in a lasting and deep love affair. It was the track ‘Ad Astra’ that was the catalyst for repeat listens. Full of drama, avant-garde vaudevillian oddness and a compelling crescendo, it impressed me and forced me to listen to the remainder of the album more than perhaps I might otherwise have done.It is arguable that in the intervening years, Arcturus have never managed to hit the heights of ‘La Masquerade Infernale’. Neither 2002’s ‘The Sham Mirrors’ nor ‘Sideshow Symphonies’ spoke to me in the same way and despite containing some outstanding moments, I came away both times with feelings of slight disappointment. And that, as they say was that. In terms of original studio albums, nothing has been released since; indeed after the release of ‘Shipwrecked in Oslo’ in 2006, the band called it quits with the individual members going on to do different things. And so it has remained until now.Rumours were rife from around 2011 when various members made comments that alluded to a resurrection of the band and later that year the rumours were confirmed. However, for one reason or another it has taken until 2015 for a new original recording to see the light of day, a development that has been greeted with great euphoria amongst the loyal Arcturus following.Arcturus version 2015 is comprised of Steinar Sverd Johnsen (keys), Hellhammer (drums), Knut Magne Valle (guitar), Hugh ‘Skoll’ Mingay (bass) and ICS Vortex (vocals). Together, they have created an album very much worthy of their lofty status and one that I would argue just about manages to match the quality of ‘La Masquerade Infernale’. The only reason I hedge my bets and say ‘just about’ is because I’ve only had about three days with ‘Arcturian’ as opposed to the 18 years I’ve had to enjoy ‘La Masquerade Infernale’. That said, I’ve listened to ‘Arcturian’ more times than I care to mention in recent days and it gives me chills on each and every listen. It is complex, quirky, brilliantly composed and professionally executed. I have no doubt that with even more time and attention, it’ll delight and captivate me even more than it does already.The one thing that perhaps I wasn’t expecting was the sheer amount of melody and accessibility that ‘Arcturian’ displays. It’s no exaggeration to say that for all of the complexity and raw heaviness, almost every track on the album contains a melody, lead vocal or some kind of hook that makes me sit up and take real notice. When I listen to new music, I have a tendency to make an ‘oooh’ noise and smile broadly if something excites me. I suspect that there will be some of you out there who do something similar. On ‘Arcturian’, I admit to ‘ooh’-ing all over the place.One of main reasons why this album feels so melodic and accessible is, I believe down to vocalist ICS Vortex. Yes he is an acquired taste but so unique is his delivery and so impressive is his range that seemingly very little is off-limits. He complements the music beautifully, managing sound both majestic but also a little unstable, as if he could spiral out of control at any moment. I mean, at times, he sounds like he’s yodelling for heaven’s sake; it’s superb.Onto the compositions themselves, they are all dense, multi-layered affairs that contain an abundance of richness. There are no songs that tend to extend over six minute mark and yet, such is the ambition of Arcturus that it feels like a million different ideas are injected into each composition, testing the listener and toying with them at every turn. I strongly suspect that this has been done with a certain playful, yet mischievous intent. Those strong Vaudervillian overtones of the band’s past make a welcome return, as do a number of various influences that pull Arcturus away from being simply discarded as a black metal band. As they demonstrate on ‘Arcturian’, there are elements of black metal to their underlying sound but they deliver so much more that to pigeonhole them in such a way would be inaccurate and disingenuous.Opening track, ‘The Arcturian Sign’, starts off somewhat disconcertingly with weird electronic noises and sounds. It’s a typically eccentric beginning which soon gives way to those unmistakable vocals of ICS Vortex and, at its core, a black metal meets prog composition. Dominated by powerful synths and relentless double pedal drumming, those odd sounds like laser guns nevertheless re-surface throughout. But within the tumult and idiosyncrasies is a really catchy, hook-laden chorus.‘Crashland’ has a light and breezy feel to it, taking in influences from space rock, folk music and more extreme climes. The sweeping synths are immediately reminiscent of the ‘La Masquerade Infernale’ era, as they are during my personal standout track, ‘Game Over’ with its addictive melodies and the way it builds and morphs so elegantly from one guise to another almost imperceptibly, ending in a crescendo of sorts that elicits another ‘ooh’ from my lips.‘Angst’ is a powerful and more extreme slab of metal, dominated by a blistering tempo, tortured screams atop another strong synth melody and the threat of a descent into chaos on more than one occasion. ‘Warp’ on the other hand introduces more electronic influences but has such an imposing and catchy melody that it’s impossible to ignore. ‘Demon’ has demonstrable Gothic synth pop overtones whereas ‘Pale’ delights with a marvellous driving central riff, a great chorus of sorts and some of the most varied and brilliant vocals on the entire record. The album ends with ‘Bane’, a track that further backs up the gorgeous ‘The Journey’ by providing amongst other things, some truly beautiful and subtle acoustic guitar playing which is a real joy.For all that, I have to say that ‘Arcturian’ is an album that’s best enjoyed in its entirety rather than picking and choosing individual songs. The album has a distinct flow and overall feel that helps to make it as special as it is, something that could be lost if listened to in a piecemeal manner.For the sake of balance, my only small gripe relates to the production which I think is a little on the weak side and robs some of the aforementioned richness from the music. Occasionally, the layers of music come together is a slightly messy muddle of impenetrable white noise which is a bit disappointing. But then again, there’s a certain ‘old-school’ charm to the mix too, reminding me of their heyday more than once. Maybe therefore, the production is entirely deliberate, those naughty scamps.It’s almost impossible sum up ‘Arcturian’ in a concise manner and do it the justice it deserves, except to say that if you’re a fan of Arcturus at their most original, challenging, audacious and quirky, prepare to take ‘Arcturian’ straight to your heart." - Man Of Much Metal
    $16.00
  • We manufactured Delain t-shirts for the band's gig at ProgPower USA. We sold out of men's shirts and came back with some women's shirts. They are fitted women's shirts - not like in the image shown which are boxy. High quality Gildan 100% cotton shirt.
    $16.00
  • Smoking hot live set from Kawasaki and his Golden Dragon band. I saw a version of this band perform in NYC many years ago and it was something I'll never forget. Ryo Kawasaki is simply one of the best guitarists I've ever had the pleasure of see perform. This burns beginning to end - an essential purchase for the fusion collector.
    $15.00
  • Beautiful sounding symphonic prog from Italy. The music has a very laid back refined quality that touches on folk elements at times. Female vocals (in Italian), flute, keys, electric guitar, bass and drums fill the soundspace in a way that lets the compositions develop and breath. The 31 minute epic "Morgana" features long languid instrumental passages in which the flute weaves around the keyboards and guitar to mesmerizing effect. The music never gets too heavy but there is an ever present ebb and flow that is appealing. Very impressive - these guys need to find a real label.
    $19.00
  • Remastered with 2 bonus tracks."In the early '80s, a new musical movement, dubbed "The New Wave of British Metal," swept across England. The conspirators include such heavy bands as Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Saxon, and Def Leppard, but Judas Priest is often credited as the originator and leader of the pack. Rob Halford's vocal histrionics and the dual guitar attack of K.K. Downing and Glen Tipton mesmerized metal-heads everywhere. While Priest had been together since the early-'70s, the band's big U.S. breakthrough came with 1982's SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE.Like most other metal bands that broke through in the early '80s (Motley Crue, Twisted Sister, etc.), Judas Priest took advantage of the then-developing video medium. MTV put the clip for "You Got Another Thing Coming" in heavy rotation, and the song became one of heavy metal's all-time classic anthems. Other album tracks, such as "The Hellion," "Electric Eye," "(Take These) Chains," "Devil's Child," and the title composition, were all prime metal cuts. With its perfect balance of heavy riffing and melodicism, SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE is considered by many to be among the finest heavy metal albums ever made." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • The series continues focusing on the period 1985 to 1992. Most of the material was taken from the Jubilee and Historic Editions but there is an unreleased track as well as interview.
    $20.00
  • "When I did my first listen to the opening and title track of Secret Sphere’s upcoming release, Portrait of a Dying Heart, I knew instantly that I was going to run out of adjectives for “awesome” before the review was done. It opens with a soft chime, then another, a quick announcement of something amazing to come, and it does. With a quick buildup, the textbook thunderous opening chord is hit, and the song goes from zero to hell yeah in a heartbeat. There is a personal term I like to use, an ”epic moment”, that describes those moments in a song, especially in prog songs, when all the jumping around and teasing and tension that is inherent in prog music is released and all the instruments come together, creating that personal release, that little moment of music that I thrive for. The opening track, Portrait of a Dying Heart has about five of these, and it’s an instrumental overture. The album kicks it up another five notches when the vocals enter the mix.Founded in 1997 by guitarist Aldo Lonobile in, Secret Sphere has been showcasing their own brand of symphonic power metal over a span of fifteen years and six albums, and even the departure of long time lead singer Ramon Messina didn’t stop them, as they found the amazing pipes of Michelle Luppi to take over on their new album.  Fellow founding member Andy Buratto on bass, Federico Pennazzato on drums, Marco Pastorino on rhythm guitar, and Gabriele Ciaccia on keyboards fill out the rest of the band. While they credit heavyweights such as Dream Theater, Helloween, and Savatage among their influences, Secret Sphere has definitely evolved a sound all their own.Portrait of a Dying Heart is a concept album, based on the short novel She Complies with the Night by author Costanza Columbo, and commissioned by Lonobile. The full text of the story is included in the release disc, but was unavailable at the time of this review; so many secrets will be awaiting the listener and this very anxious author. As to the album, holy crap is it good. Secret Sphere is classified as symphonic metal, but that term really doesn’t do justice to the sound of this latest release, it is a step beyond. Though symphonic elements are definitely present, they don’t by any means carry the musical timbre of the album, the sound presented here is one step up the evolutionary ladder from most symphonic metal fare.After the six minute overture is X, the track that introduces the story, and it does it in fantastic bard-like fashion. The opening guitar squeals are accompanied by expertly done flourishes from the rhythm and the drums immediately set a breakneck, frantic pace, setting up a suspenseful atmosphere for the coming events. Luppi’s vocals hit right away as emotional, powerful, and stellar across the board, whether he is in scream mode or in the more subdued narrator moments. This track uses its variant musical elements to set the stage, leading perfectly into Wish and Steadiness, which for me is the best track of the album. It opens with classic symphonic keys, and uses them perfectly to transition from the more subtle tension of X to this track, building up before literally exploding in a fiery wall of metal. Notes come fast here, very fast, drawing out the tension and angst of the listener quickly. The hints of the frantic drums in X are joined by all the other instruments, and the panicked despondency of Luppi’s voice can almost be tasted it is so palpable. Highlighting it is a soul wrenching solo by Lonobile, bringing the despair of the song to full front. I don’t say this often, but this song for me is near perfection, everything fits together so well.With the tone set, the album digs into telling the story in full, with a spectrum of styles and paces. It truly is a musical narrative, events and emotions ebb and flow throughout the album.  The next song, Union, takes on a softer tone, adding an organized edge to the metal. It is catchy as hell, and sets a silent fervor in motion for The Fall, which has epic all over it. All hands are in play in this one, another searing track that leaves the listener breathless.The album carries on in this fashion throughout its entirety. The multitude of musical styles and themes are performed wonderfully by every member of the band. Lonobile is a monster at lead, and Pastarino carries a heavy load on rhythm superbly. The drumming is frantic yet precise, the fills and rolls just fantastic. Bass is a subtle undertone of organized thunder, and the keys carry the heavy weight of the symphonic elements so well. Add to it Luppi’s vocals, which are emotional and powerful throughout, and Secret Sphere delivers all the requisite parts, firing on all the right cylinders. Collectively though, they combine to create a truly special piece of music.From beginning to end, Portrait of a Dying Heart is a musical narrative in every sense of the term, it carries the listener through a slew of emotional states. The album is not only a summation of its talented parts, but also has a touch of ethereal wonder, something uncommon in the genre. There is a hurried sense of desperation, almost akin to that feeling of trying to hang on to the world with a single string that is slipping fast, that is carried throughout the work. Artist strive to transmit emotion to the audience through their chosen medium, Secret Sphere uses this concept to take us on a thrilling ride of spiritual turmoil, and does it very, very well." - Lady Obscure
    $14.00
  • Dutch symphonic metal band EPICA celebrated their 10th anniversary with a one-night-only event, dubbed Retrospect. The band was accompanied by the seventy piece Extended Reményi Ede Chamber Orchestra and the Choir of Miskolc National Theatre, playing an unforgettable 3-hours best-of set.According to respected Dutch newspaper the Volkskrant "The band wrote a chapter of Dutch metal History" this evening. Rock Tribune (Belgium) thought it was "an unforgettable show".Ten high definition cameras captured this very special sold-out show while Epica played in front of nearly five thousand ecstatic fans in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. In addition to a collection of the band’s biggest hits from across the spectrum of their entire catalog, this once-in-a-lifetime spectacular also features the live debut of “Twin Flames” and the previously unreleased “Retrospect”, covers of classics by Vivaldi, Pergolesi, and Oscar-winning film composer John Williams, two guest collaborations with the venerable Floor Jansen (Nightwish, ReVamp), and a very special performance of their breakthrough single, “Quietus”, with founding members Jeroen Simons, Ad Sluijter, and Yves Huts.Nuclear Blast will release Retrospect as a deluxe hardcover book with 32 pages. Both as a 2DVD/3CD and 2Blu-ray/3CD version. Retrospect will contain the following fan favorites:01 - Introspect02 - Monopoly on Truth03 - Sensorium04 - Unleashed05 - Martyr of the Free Word06 - Chasing the Dragon07 - Presto08 - Never Enough09 - Stabat Mater Dolorosa10 - Twin Flames11 - Serenade of Self-Destruction12 - Orchestral Medley13 - The Divine Conspiracy - Anniversary Edition14 - Delirium15 - Blank Infinity16 - The Obsessive Devotion17 - Retrospect18 - Battle of the Heroes & Imperial March19 - Quietus20 - The Phantom Agony21 - Cry for the Moon22 - Sancta Terra23 - Design Your Universe24 - Storm the Sorrow25 - Consign to Oblivion26 - Outrospect                                                                                                                                                                                 Retrospect features this massive performance in its entirety, as well as exclusive interviews with all band members and behind-the-scenes footage from the show. 
    $45.00
  • Kindly Bent To Free Us is the long awaited third album from Cynic.  It finds the core trio of Paul Masvidal, Sean Reinert, and Sean Malone intact.  Just as Traced In Air was an evolution from Focus, so is Kindly Bent To Free Us a natural sounding progression from Traced In Air.  There is a common underlying sound which is clearly Cynic.  The music still maintains metallic and jazz roots but it serves as a foundation for a sound that owes more to prog rock.  If you are expecting Focus you will be disappointed.  This probably owes more to Porcupine Tree and Riverside as its not quite as technical as in the past, relying more on atmosphere.  But don't get me wrong, there is some unbelievable playing going on.  Once again Sean Malone demonstrates that he is the most underrated bassist in the world.  Highly recommended.
    $11.00