Rising Force ($5 Special)

SKU: 825324-2
Label:
Polydor
Category:
Power Metal
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While the Rising Force album was not Malmsteen's first entre into the metal world it certainly turned it upside down.  The Swedish guitarist was heavily influenced by Uli Roth and Ritchie Blackmore as well as classical composer/violinist Niccolo Paganini.  Essentially his extreme virtuosity defined the "neoclassical metal" sound and has remained a signature of his ever since.

The Rising Force debut featured a killer lineup - Barriemore Barlow (Jethro Tull) on drums, Jens Johansson (keys), and Jeff Scott Soto (vocals),  Malmsteen handled all guitar and bass parts as well as the Moog Taurus pedals.  Very much a classic.  Highly recommended.

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  • Seventh album from one of the leading lights of the modern progressive rock movement.  The album demonstrates the band expanding the scope of their sound a bit as some of the material has a metallic quality.  Overall though the band stays true to their roots - plenty of 'tron, organ and analog keyboard sounds to be heard.  These guys didn't forget where they came from.  They just crossed over to the dark side...a little bit.  Embrace the crunch and enjoy.  Highly recommended.
    $9.00
  • "If you’re a fan of Melodic/Gothic/Prog Metal, you will certainly enjoy Envinya. Envinya’s album, “Inner Silence” starts off with the song, Faceless. It offers a nice array of synths/keys and samples, but things soon pick as the drums come in and thus signalling the band. This track is melodic yet carries a heavy side, as the guitar tends to be heavier in parts, the keys dance in the background at a very nice pace.Forlorn begins with a nice muted guitar riff and a growling vocals that just keeps the groove going until it breaks and gives way to angelic chorus. The title track, Inner Silence offers a nice single line riff in the beginning that’s greeted by her passionate vocals which adds so well to this song, she’s a real talent. This track is easily a standout track, and you will definitely be going back to listen to it again and again. In My Hands is another great track, in which she belts out the words with such passion and grace, it’s hard not to like and the added growling backing vocal are added so nicely to its overall effect on the listener, it’s a very nice heavy melodic track.Swallow has a really nice driving guitar riff that intertwines very well with the keys.It also offers the technical side that will have even the most classic of metal fans listening.What is possibly my favourite riff starter on the album comes from the song, Satin and Silk.The gritty growl that seems to be presence in the chorus adds to this song very well, it’s a nice array of technicality and melody the drums just crush on this song, such a great track. The piano and vocal opening to Mirror Soul is absolutely beautiful, and just gets more riveting as the drums and guitar cut in, she does such a great vocal track on this one, it’s hard not to get goose bumps.My personal favourite from this album, I can’t help but want to hear the chorus again, the beginning is another section that I love to listen to over and over. I’ve always been a fan of pedal tone guitar licks, and, Too Late is no exception of that. This track opens up with a nice high key pedal lick, which lends nice to the chorus riff in which is basicallythe same thing but on lower strings. The screaming is great on this song too, a real nice addition again. Beyond the Dark, does a nice trade of vocal styles that can’t help but serve well to the overall feel of this song. The drummer’s feet are flying on this song, as he really gives it to the bass drums.Demoralized ends off things for this CD in great fashion. It’s nice to see the bass and drums stand alone on some sections of this song, before the guitars and keys kick back in, the dynamics it creates is something to envy.Overall this album offers up some of the best Melodic/Goth Metal I’ve heard in quite some time.I really enjoy the angelic singing along with the crushing and technical aspect of this band.It really pulls at your emotions well, getting you caught up in her passionate singing and the other grittysinging, it works in perfect harmony. If this CD were lost I would definitely buy again, in a heartbeat." - Wolfhound Metal 
    $14.00
  • Budget priced but nice slipcased set includes both the "Solution" and "Divergence" albums complete. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"12256","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"200","width":"200"}}]][[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"12255","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"200","width":"200"}}]]   
    $14.00
  • Peculiar but interesting band from Belgium. Oceans Of Sadness mix progressive, death and doom metal influences freely and even incorporate some 70s flavors as well. The music is a bit off-kilter in the same way that Pain Of Salvation used to be. Vocals are a mix of clean and coarse. The odd use of Hammond organ in places is a weird stylistic choice that just helps to set these guys apart from the norm. If you like your prog metal to the left of center check these guys out.
    $8.00
  • "There are few bands, with a better than 25 years career, that have been as consistent in their sound and output as Denmark's Royal Hunt. Sure, they've had their share of personnel changes, significantly in the vocalist position, yet they carry on with increasing success. Recently, some of that success comes from one simple yet significant change. They brought Pennsylvania native D.C. Cooper back on the microphone. For my money, he'll always be the voice of Royal. He remains so, and the band records their thirteen album with Cooper, XIII - Devil's Dozen, his fifth on vocals for Royal Hunt.For those unfamiliar with Royal Hunt, which I doubt if you're reading this, the band performs melodic and symphonic heavy metal, with large emphasis on the first two descriptors. The symphonic element comes from founder and principal songwriter Andre Anderson's influence and keyboard presence. I'm presuming it's his synths that account for the large than life orchestration and not an actual orchestra. PR material was wanting on that information. Suffice to say, the symphonic layer provides two things. It provides a lush and lavish canvas and reinforces the melody of the arrangement, in every song. After this, Anderson offers keyboard solos throughout, sharing the limelight with the guitar leads. And those leads are as present and immense as everything else. Actually, I think the guitar presence is even larger on this album than most. Jonas Larsen is at the top of his game.Following these things, Cooper is also in top form, with a strong vocal presence. His skill comes from his natural ability to follow the melody and harmony of an arrangement, and then stay in range. Then there's the character of the songs, which has been alluded to by speaking of the particular musical elements.What's notable in those song arrangements is the importance of harmony and melody, but also the basic rock groove. This is where, from the band's inception, classic melodic hard rock has been as much a pillar of the musical foundation as the symphonic element. When these things dovetail together as with So Right So Wrong, How Do You Know, Way Too Late, and the quite catchy Hear On A Platte, Royal Hunt is a formidable melodic metal powerhouse. And that was only to mention four songs. They're all outstanding, all terrific and no filler. Once more, with XIII - Devil's Dozen, Royal Hunt's melodic and symphonic heavy metal is consistent, creative, and entertaining. Sweet stuff and strongly recommended." - Dangerdog.com 
    $16.00
  • This is another one of those classic Renaissance radio broadcasts that tape traders have circulated for years.  It gets an "official" release courtesy of Purple Pyramid.  It was recorded on the Turn Of The Cards tour at the Academy Of Music in NYC on May 17, 1974.  If you are fan and you don't have a cassette squirrelled away somewhere you need to own it.
    $17.00
  • Latest from this Italian band create an intelligent mix of folk and power metal.  Love that violin!  Era is spiced up with some special guests: Jon Oliva, Teemu Matysaari (Wintersun), and Maurizio Cardullo (Folkstone).
    $15.00
  • "Steve Thorne returns with his fourth album, playing the majority of the instruments bar Nick D’Virgilio (Cirque Du Soleil/ex-Spock’s Beard) and Bob White on drums with Tony Levin and Gary Chandler (Jadis) also guesting. Also former IQ member Martin Orford pops out of musical retirement to play flute on two songs.What I like about Steve Thorne is his strong and topical lyrics, coupled with melodies that transcend the prog rock genre he is often lumped in. A bit like It Bites, Steve Thorne’s music can take in many musical influences to create an entertaining and enjoyable listen.‘Already Dead’ looks at modern culture and how modern technology can turn us into a nation of zombies. Good way to start the album with the heaviest and most aggressive song on the album. ‘Everything Under The Sun’ is a lovely piece of music, albeit rather sad as an older person looks back on their life and realises how alone they are now. The melodic vocal and subdued music add greatly to the song. ‘Distant Thunder’ is the nearest to classic Brit prog rock on the album, whilst Martin Orford’s flute expands the sound of ‘Moth To A Flame’ nicely. ‘Bullets & Babies’ again sees the heavier side of Steve Thorne’s work come to the fore tackling the subject of boy soldiers and how war affects people from an early age.An artist where you can start with any of his albums to date and not be disappointed. As mentioned previously Steve Thorne can appeal to the prog rock fans but also a wider audience who appreciate melodic rock with thought provoking lyrics." - Get Ready To Rock
    $6.00
  • High quality Japanese SHM-CD in a mini-LP sleeve.  One bonus track."This was the first U.S.-released CD-5 from Kate Bush, assembled from parts of three prior U.K. CD single releases (the additional tracks can also be found on This Woman's Work). It includes the album mix of "The Sensual World," as well as an instrumental version (she's avoided the extended remixes and rethinks this time), which, the video and other work considered, comes off as a wonderful pagan ditty, despite the rather flat and slightly muddy mixing job. In addition, there's also "Be Kind to My Mistakes" from the Nicholas Roeg-directed Castaway (an otherwise dull and disappointing film, despite Oliver Reed and the lead actress spending most of her onscreen time in a state of undress), "Ken" (from the mini-movie G.L.C., released only in the U.K.; she also contributed the incidental score), and "I'm Still Waiting," which, with "Be Kind to My Mistakes," graced the CD-5 release of the U.K. remix of "This Woman's Work." "Be Kind to My Mistakes" and "I'm Still Waiting" are good examples of a Kate Bush song -- full tilt percussion, almost jazzy vocal arrangements that sometimes seem unconnected to the rhythm, and other times seem part of it; "I'm Still Waiting," unfortunately, also has a little of Bush's tendency to shriek histrionically for emphasis. "Ken" is an outright crowd-pleasing stomp of a piece, not so much arranged as bashed together -- basically a theme for one of the major characters of G.L.C., and performed with unabashed enjoyment with drums, bass, voice, and Fairlight strings. The only real negative here is that Columbia chose to leave out two other tracks released in the U.K.: "The Confrontation" and "One Last Look Around the House Before We Go...," both on the U.K. 12" version of "Love & Anger."" - All Music Guide
    $11.00
  • "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
  • "Though Megadeth and their founder Dave Mustaine have spent their entire existence just a few steps behind Mustaine's former group Metallica, it's important to remember that they've also spent a lot of time as one of the most popular metal bands in the world. The summit of their commercial success came in 1992 with fifth album Countdown to Extinction, a creative high point from Mustaine and crew possibly spurred on in ways by the footrace with Metallica and the leaps in production made on their self-titled 1991 breakthrough album. Twenty years later, Countdown still stood as Megadeth's best-selling album, and in many circles, their most loved material. Countdown to Extinction: Live is a concert document of the 20th anniversary tour that found the band playing the album front to back, bookended by a few odds and ends from other albums. While the premise seems pretty rote, the execution of the live album is surprisingly interesting. Most live re-creations of full albums fall flat in comparison to the original artifacts, and this is no exception, but it's great to hear the devoted legions sneer along with every word of Mustaine's schizophrenic monologue on "Sweating Bullets" and cheer insanely at the now-dated George Bush samples that pop up throughout the set list. The performances are pinpoint, but the live sound lacks the production and feel of the studio album and eventually the tracks blur, losing the excitement a live experience offers. While the inclusion of extra crowd favorites like "Hangar 18" and "Peace Sells" flesh things out somewhat, the thrill of the live setting doesn't completely transfer, and all but the Megadeth superfans will probably prefer revisiting the original 1992 album before diving into the strong but much duller offerings of the live album." - Allmusic
    $5.00
  • ""Urban games" is not as progressive as the bands two predecessor's but it's still quite enjoyable. This is progressive rock with influences from seventies pop which makes it accessible if you're familiar to the typical music that was produced in that decade, but maybe this could also be called 'outdated' if you wish. Unlike other artist who change their style to a more commercial direction, this album still sounds as Machiavel. Still the great Italian singer with high voice and strange accent, still the songs based on piano lines, still the complexity of (some of) the compositions. "City flowers" comes close to a traditional prog epic with its different excerpts and majestic sound, some fragments in the vocals is reminiscent to Steve Walsh from Kansas. This album may be a bit uneven as the gap between pop tracks and proggy tracks is getting bigger. This doesn't mean some of the melodies aren't inspired. Even the commercial single "over the hill" is a great track which I do consider as one of the best songs in the history of the band despite its ska influences. For me the weakest moment of the album is "Dancing heroes", a pastiche to the disco sound that dominated the charts of 1979. Nice idea for a track but I rarely give it a spin.. Other, more progressive, highlights include "The humans" which includes another appealing melody. The bridge consists of the typical mellotron sound and a slice of lead guitar that gives this song an extra dimension. "Still alive" and "Let me live my life" are perfect examples of the fact that Machiavels compositions have been simplified, the progressive trademarks are still present but more apparent in the arrangements. Being both ballad like tracks, "Let me live my life" contains a memorable melody that enters your head and never leaves. A song like "the dictators" is an illustration of the influence of a band like Supertramp. If you like that band, you'll love this song.Conclusion : The last good Machiavel album but better listen to "Mechanical moonbeams" & "the jester" first." - ProgArchives
    $11.00
  • "All albums are important and significant in the life of a band, no matter what the circumstances, but it’s fair to say that some can be regarded as genuine milestones, even game-changers, in that they’ll influence the whole future of the band. In view of what The Reasoning have gone through over the last two years, I think it’s fair to say that ‘Adventures In Neverland’ is going to be one of the most important in the band’s career. For a start, the personnel upheavals since the band’s last album, Adverse Camber, have seen the band slimmed down to a five-piece, and with a new guitarist, Keith Hawkins, to replace Owain Roberts. It’s also the band’s first full length release since signing a deal with the Esoteric Antenna label, so even without the personal issues, there is an awful lot riding on this album for the band.So, back-story aside, what about the music? Opener ‘Hyperdrive’ is something of a statement of intent, as if the band are ready for a full-powered launch into the future. They sound like a band with something to prove, but this really couldn’t be any other band than The Reasoning with Rachel Cohen’s soaring, passionate vocals over backing that has so much going on, it’s really hard to take everything in on one listen. ‘Urgent’ and ‘fast and furious’ haven’t often been phrases used to describe the band, but this really sets out to almost forcibly grab the listener’s attention.Some of the songs on the album have been played live for a while now, such as ‘The Omega Point’. Inspired by the novels of Scarlet Thomas, it references the band’s past work a little more than the opener, but even so it still sounds as if there’s a lot of pent-up energy in the band and there’s some fine soloing by Keith Hawkins and Tony Turrell on keys. Other highlights on the first few listens include ‘Stop The Clock’, with its extended intro almost making you assume the song is an instrumental, until Rachel comes in with the vocal, and there are some previously unheard folky influences that make ‘End of Days’ a particular treat. I should also mention ‘No Friend Of Mine’, a song about the perils of Facebook and Social Networking as a whole. It’s another song that has already been road tested live for several months and as soon as I heard it I thought it to be one of the best things the band has ever done, and I see no reason now to change that particular opinion.Inevitably, there are some who will pore over the album and the lyrics in particular for any references to Owain Roberts, and I suspect ‘Threnody’ (Dictionary definition: ‘a poem, speech or song of lamentation, especially for the dead’) will get particular attention in this respect. I don’t intend to discuss that any further here, suffice to say it’s another very fine song, and it has to be said that throughout this album new boy Keith Hawkins sounds a real find, with some excellent work, including some very nice neo-classical links on ‘Stop The Clock’. Having said that, all the playing and indeed singing, on this record is absolutely out of the top draw. There are some albums you can make your mind up about fairly quickly, but each time I listen to Adventures In Neverland I hear something new to enjoy.The recent Classic Rock Presents Prog Awards, where the band were nominated in the New Blood category, not only brought the legends of the genre into the mainstream spotlight, but also highlighted the absolute wealth of new talent that the scene in the UK can boast. By anybody’s standards, this is a very strong release from a band who more than one commentator has said are ready to break through to the next level, and this could well be the album to take them there." - The Midland Rocks
    $17.00
  • "Don’t let the Appearance Of Nothing distract you from hearing A New Beginning, because, despite such deception, there’s a lot to be enjoyed from one of Switzerland’s few progressive metal bands. I’ve decided to adopt a policy of responding to stupid band names with stupid puns, and I won’t stop until they do. Appearance Of Nothing plays straightforward melodic progressive metal that’s heavy on the melodic. The band has been around for about ten years, and this is their third album. For fans of their first two albums, as well as fans of the more accessible forms of progressive metal, this is a very strong release.Expect synth and guitar heavy music. Every song is carried by crunchy rhythm guitars, and I’m happy to report that the recording and production is spot on to allow them to really shine. As far as distinct strengths of the album: look no further the choruses. Every single one, particularly on the daunting 14 minute title track, is remarkably catchy. This memorability, along with the consistently driving pace of the album, makes it a very easy and enjoyable listen. The lead vocal performance is also pretty great, and the songwriting even manages to accommodate interspersed harsh vocals. Usually throwing harsh vocals into melodic prog is a quick turn-off for me, but I applaud Appearance Of Nothing for pulling it off.Where drawbacks are concerned, I can’t point to any specific “problems”, but there are a few minor disappointments. For a pretty heavy synth presence, strong vocals, and ample songwriting diversity, I was disappointed with the overall atmosphere of the album. While the songs were certainly strong, they lacked a unique identity. This isn’t so much a drawback as it is lost potential for a band that’s got everything else they need to be really, really good.Certainly check out the single “Chains Of History”, as well as the title track. As common to great progressive music, it’s often that the longest song ought to be the best, and that’s certainly true here with the title track. I again applaud solid work from the studio to draw out a powerful performance so that it actually sounds powerful. Where technically proficient progressive metal meets great melodies and an excellent performance, you can’t go wrong." - Black Wind Metal
    $15.00