Second Nature

"The first album by Flying Colors got mixed reviews. Some people loved it (I was one of those) whilst others were disappointed that a band that included Mike Portnoy and Neal Morse had made an album that wasn't very "prog." Well, the second album from this band can't be criticised in that way because this is most definitely a prog album. Opening with a 12 minute song, and ending with a 12 minute, three part suite, these are the obvious progressive songs, but most of the shorter songs also mix pop/rock with progressive elements.

So, starting at the beginning, Open Up Your Eyes is like a mini-Transatlantic epic, with the first four minutes consisting of an instrumental overture before the vocal come in. There are plenty of swirling keyboards and lead guitar, and Portnoy's characteristic drumming is there too (something that was largely absent from the first album.) The next two tracks are more in a heavy metal style, something not usually to my taste, but certainly Mask Machine has a catchy hook and is an obvious choice for a single. After Bombs Away comes a more straightforward ballad, then the rocker A Place In Your World with some nice guitar riffs and keyboard lines, plus a singalong chorus. Lost Without You is another Power Ballad and the shortest song on the album at under 5 minutes. Then we get to the point at which the album really hits the heights. I defy anyone to listen to the last 3 tracks, one after the other, and not be amazed at the genius of this band. Kicking off with One Love Forever, which has an infectious acoustic guitar riff and a celtic feel, we then move on to what is probably my favourite song on the album. Peaceful Harbour has a beautiful spiritual feel to it, and the beginning and end put me in mind of Mostly Autumn. Finally we have a real gem. Cosmic Symphony is a three part suite with sections approximately three, three and six minutes long. It starts with thunder and rain effects and a simple repeated piano line before vocals, drums and guitar come in. Finally these are joined by a melodic bass line. The second section is more jazz keyboard based and then we move on to the final part which reminded me of REM. The song ends with the same piano line and thunder effects which began it.

A superb album, even better than their first and certainly proggier." - ProgArchives

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  • "Quite the misleading band name, ya know? Project Arcadia isn’t much of a “project” as it is a Bulgarian outfit fronted by the ever-awesome Urban Breed, he of Tad Morose, Bloodbound, and currently, Trail of Murder fame. Prior to Breed joining, the band released From the Desert of Desire in 2012 to rather muted results, as in, no one on this side of the pond gave a flying toss. Sure enough, add Breed to the fold, record a new album in the form of A Time of Changes, and viola, Nightmare Records takes care of the rest. Not a bad deal.Hovering around traditional power metal and 80s metal protocol (the accompanying bio cites MSG and the Scorpions, which there is scant correlation), Project Arcadia wisely focus on the considerable vocal talents of Mr. Breed. He’s given ample breathing room to allow for his superbly melodic and hefty pipes to get their kicks, like on the soaring chorus for “I Am Alive,” and the acoustic-led “The Ungrateful Child,” which sees the Swede go full-on tender. But for the most part, the band plays it muscular, hitting some brute riffs in stride on “Formidable Foe” or finding some double-bass happenings on opener “Here to Learn.”The addition of Breed is sure to bolster Project Arcadia’s profile immediately. However, being that Breed is also known for being a bit of metallic nomadic, one had to wonder how long he’ll stick it out with the band. But the songs are certainly here on A Time of Changes, suited perfectly for Breed, who ten years after his shining moment on Tad Morose’s Modus Vivendi, can still hang with the best of ‘em. If the Swede was smart (and he is), he’ll stick with this, and Trail of Murder and keep on being productive…" - Dead Rhetoric
    $12.00
  • Expanded edition with bonus tracks."Widely considered the pinnacle of speed metal, Reign in Blood is Slayer's undisputed masterpiece, a brief (under half an hour) but relentless onslaught that instantly obliterates anything in its path and clears out just as quickly. Producer Rick Rubin gives the band a clear, punchy sound for the first time in its career, and they largely discard the extended pieces of Hell Awaits in favor of lean assaults somewhat reminiscent of hardcore punk (though distinctly metallic and much more technically demanding). Reign in Blood opens and closes with slightly longer tracks (the classics "Angel of Death" and "Raining Blood") whose slower riffs offer most of the album's few hints of melody. Sandwiched in between are eight short (all under three minutes), lightning-fast bursts of aggression that change tempo or feel without warning, producing a disjointed, barely controlled effect. The album is actually more precise than it sounds, and not without a sense of groove, but even in the brief slowdowns, the intensity never lets up. There may not be much variation, but it's a unified vision, and a horrific one at that. The riffs are built on atonal chromaticism that sounds as sickening as the graphic violence depicted in many of the lyrics, and Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman's demented soloing often mimics the screams of the songs' victims. It's monstrously, terrifyingly evocative, in a way that transcends Reign in Blood's metal origins. The album almost single-handedly inspired the entire death metal genre (at least on the American side of the Atlantic), and unlike many of its imitators, it never crosses the line into self-parodic overkill. Reign in Blood was a stone-cold classic upon its release, and it hasn't lost an ounce of its power today." - Allmusic Guide
    $9.00
  • Nino Ferrer was a popular French pop singer from the 60s and 70s.  Metronomie is an album he recorded in 1972 and was apparently his first attempt at a real album as opposed to the pop singles he released in the past.  It has quite a bit of prog moves but would probably best be classified as psych.  Found sounds, organ, and even an orchestra are utilized to interesting effect.  There is a neat organ driven little number called "Cannibis".  This seminal album is combined with Veritables Varietes Verdatres, an album he released in 1977.  This one is hit or miss.  It kicks off with the spacey 7 minute "Ouessant" that features a pretty cool guitar solo from the ubiquitous French session guitarist Slim Pezin.  The album is bookended with another long-ish track "Valentin" that has a bit of a Pink Floyd feel to it.  In between its a mixed bag of pop tunes and odditites.  I can't say I have any in depth knowledge of Nino Ferrer but he was obviously an adventurous soul, willing to test the patience of a pop oriented audience.  Definitely of its time.
    $15.00
  • Gorgeous doomy Floydian metal. Super jewelbox reissue.
    $12.00
  • Remastered edition now featuring three live bonus tracks taken from the 1983 tour!! "Performance" is a bit maligned for some reason. The tunes are a bit more concise but it still captures the essence of the band. Recommended for sure.Please note this disc incorporates EMI copy control technology which seems to allow you to do whatever it is you would normally do with a CD but you can't rip it. Bummer.
    $13.00
  • "Considered to be the some of their finest work since Agents of Fortune , this flight of dark fantasy, which includes the Top 40 hit, Burnin' for You , will satisfy the souls of Cult fans everywhere!"
    $5.00
  • Remastered edition."Nestled between the accomplished Crime of the Century album and 1977's Even in the Quietest Moments, Crisis? What Crisis? may not have given the band any chart success, but it did help them capture a fan base that had no concern for Supertramp's commercial sound. With Rick Davies showing off his talent on the keyboards, and Roger Hodgson's vocals soaring on almost every track, they managed to win back their earlier progressive audience while gaining new fans at the same time. Crisis received extensive air play on FM stations, especially in Britain, and the album made it into the Top 20 there and fell just outside the Top 40 in the U.S. "Ain't Nobody But Me," "Easy Does It," and the beautiful "Sister Moonshine" highlight Supertramp's buoyant and brisk instrumental and vocal alliance, while John Helliwell's saxophone gives the album even greater width. The songwriting is sharp, attentive, and passionate, and the lyrics showcase Supertramp's ease at invoking emotion into their music, which would be taken to even greater heights in albums to come. Even simple tracks like "Lady" and "Just a Normal Day" blend in nicely with the album's warm personality and charmingly subtle mood. Although the tracks aren't overly contagious or hook laden, there's still a work-in-process type of appeal spread through the cuts, which do grow on you over time." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • Remastered edition of the fifth album. Classic.
    $13.00
  • Redemption is one of the leading progressive metal bands in the world today.  Formed in Los Angeles, California in 2000 by guitarist / keyboardist / songwriter Nicolas van Dyk, the band features legendary progressive metal vocalist Ray Alder of Fates Warning, as well as guitarist Bernie Versailles (Agent Steel), and the phenomenal rhythm section of Chris Quirarte (drums) and Sean Andrews (bass).Redemption’s combination of heaviness not usually found in progressive metal, irresistible melodies and emotional urgency has created a unique and resonant voice for this band that sets them apart from the many clones in the genre, and which has gained them the attention of fans, critics and musicians.Through the band’s first three studios CDs (2002s self-titled first release, 2005’s The Fullness of Time, and 2007’s The Origins of Ruin), Redemption gained a loyal fanbase and garnered rave reviews worldwide from critics, who describe Redemption’s music as“one of the best progressive metal acts to emerge in the past decade” – DPRP“magical aura and incredible songwriting” – BLABBERMOUTH“it's powerful, catchy, enslaving, technical; it's the whole bunch” – LORDS OF METAL“the new star on the US prog-metal sky” – SQUEALER ROCKSAfter touring in support of Dream Theater and documenting at headlining show at tour’s end entitled Frozen in the Moment, the band returned to the studio to release 2009’s Snowfall on Judgment Day and 2011’s This Mortal Coil.Performing in support of that record, in 2012 Redemption co-headlined the world-famous ProgPower Festival in Atlanta, where the band recorded a unique show featuring nearly 80 minutes of material and staged with complementary visuals that drive home the compelling emotional impact of this band.   That performance is now being released as a CD/DVD set with additional bonus material through Sensory Records, the band’s original label.  From fan favorites such as the never-before-performed Parker’s Eyes to the crushing emotional weight of Stronger than Death, Redemption’s performance captured the special ability of its music to deeply connect with fans.  In the words of one concert-goer, Redemption’s show “was definitely the most exhausting, personal and emotional musical experience I’ve ever had.” 
    $17.00
  • Its been seven years since the first release from The Fractured Dimension.  The core of the band is led by two ex-members of the avant metal band Scholomance: Jimmy Pitts (keyboards) and Jerry Twyford (bass).Given the extensive lineup of guest musicians Pitts and Twyford have corraled one would expect a supreme tech metal blow out.  In parts you get that but there are very strong symphonic rock, classical and fusion elements woven into the music.    Essentially they let the musicians be themselves and it makes it more challenging and interesting to hear them work their styles in to the compositions.OK so here is who is on th album:Jimmy Pitts (keys), Jerry Twyford (bass), Hannes Grossmann (drums), Vishal J Singh, Tom "Fountainhead" Geldschlager, and Tom Kopyto on guitars, Joe Deninzon (violin), Kasturi Nath Singh (Indian Classical Fusion Vocals), and guest guitar solos by Christian Muenzner, Marcel Coenen, Alex Machacek, Mike Abdow, Pete Pachio, Aaron Roten, Bill Bruce, and Jeremy Barnes.So you have guys from Obscura and lots of insane guitar soloists letting it all hang out with overlays of keyboards, violin all thrown at you with lots of intensity.  The whole thing will keep you off balance and I promise you won't be bored.  Highly recommended."“How can less be more? That’s impossible. More is more”, is a famous quote by Yngwie Malmsteen, and US/Germany-based super-group The Fractured Dimension have turned that statement into their modus operandi through their new album ‘Galaxy Mechanics’. By just looking at the star-studded 16-man line-up, not many would expect anything less than all-out super-technical music: a sound the band itself has labelled ‘Cosmic Instrumental Metal’.Despite the large number of members, from over 7 countries, Keyboardist Jimmy Pitts and bassist Jerry Twyford are the ones spearheading The Fractured Dimension, while the others have special and guest appearances on the record. Where you’d see drummer Hannes Grossmann (ex-Necrophagist, ex-Obscura, Blotted Science, Alkaloid), you’d see his Alkaloid band-mate and guitarist Christian Muenzner, and where you’d see Christian, you’d see current Obscura guitarist Tom Fountainhead Geldschlager, and the list goes on. It includes guitarists Tom Kopyto, Mike Abdow, Jeremy Barnes, Bill Bruce, Marcel Coenen, Alex Machacek, Pete Pachio and Aaron Roten. Indian guitarist Vishal J Singh is also among the ranks, as is Indian classical fusion vocalist Kasturi Singh and violinist Joe Deninzon.The album is extremely complex, and features an incredible range of musical styles not just through different instruments and tones, but through stylistic variations within an instrument itself. For example, the guitarists exercise their own style of playing, and since different guitarists worked on different tracks on the album, each song is given a unique vibe. The songs are progressive and only subtly repetitive, while each one is quite different from the other not only in terms of the guitars, like mentioned, but also in the way they’re structured and layered instrumentally.Dealing with each track individually is impossible because of their highly complex nature, but some of the high points from the album include songs like “Displacement” and “Elysian” which, like the other tracks, make use of interesting keyboard patches and time changes. The bass and keyboards are prominent everywhere and along with some brilliant drumming, form the backbone of the sound around which the guitars weave their magic.However, the main issue that needs to be addressed is this: does all of this complexity and variation give rise to music that is, put simply, enjoyable? Not everyone may appreciate the highly intricate music, but it makes no sense to say that The Fractured Dimension tried to impress everybody anyway. What can be seen, or rather, what flares up and makes itself obvious in the music, is the honesty behind it. The songs do not feel like they are forced, and the creative freedom of the musicians is in full display here. If one can see this honesty for himself/herself, that person will end up enjoying Galaxy Mechanics. There aren’t many other albums for which the same thing can be said, so the album is a definite hit and not a miss, and while dealing with super-technical and intricate music it is very easy to go wrong.A quarrel one could pick with Jimmy Pitts and Co. involves intriguing song titles, like “Bolshevikian Mythological Creature” and “Seventh Hymn to Nibiru” for example, and no vocals and lyrics to explain them. This doesn’t mean the music would be better off with vocals, but it means that there is no vocal expression of these concepts in a manner everybody can understand. Other than this, Galaxy Mechanics is a sublime effort from The Fractured Dimension, and one can only wonder what this exceptional pool of talent will conjure up next." - Metalwani
    $9.00
  • DVD: 1. Atrocity - Cold Black Days 2. Battlelore - Storm Of The Blades 3. Battlelore - Journey To Undying Lands 4. Beseech - Innerlane 5. Darkwell - Fate Prisoner 6. Elis - Der Letzte Tag 7. Hurtlocker - Absoulution 8. Korpiklaani - Beer Beer 9. Korpiklaani - Kadetsiipina 10. Korpiklaani - Hunting Song 11. Lacrimas Profundere - Amber Girl 12. Lacrimas Profundere - Ave End 13. Lacrimas Profundere - Again It's Over 14. Leaves´ Eyes - Elegy 15. Leaves´ Eyes - Into Your Light 16. Sinamor - Darkness Of Day 17. Tyr - Regin Smidur 18. Tyr - Hail To The Hammer 19. Visions of Atlantis - Lost 20. Enthroned - Hellgium Messiah (live) 21. Saltatio Mortis - Heuchler (live) 22. Saltatio Mortis - Salz der Erde (live) 23. Saltatio Mortis - Mea Culpa (live) 24. Saltatio Mortis - Junges Blut (live) 25. Midnattsol - Infinite Fairytale (live) 26. Midnattsol - Desolation (live) 27. Midnattsol - Haunted (live) 28. The making of a saga (Leaves' Eyes) 29. A winter walk (Leaves' Eyes) 30. Bochum Total - Special (Leaves' Eyes) 31. From Mexico To Russia (Leaves' Eyes) 32. In My Dreams (New Version - Wig Wam special) 33. Hard to be a Rock´N Roller (Wig Wam special) 34. Bless The Night (Wig Wam special)CD: 1. Atrocity - Enigma 2. Battlelore - Storm Of The blades 3. Beseech - Last Obsession 4. Draconian - She Dies 5. Elis - Anger 6. Hurtlocker - I Am Everything... Nothing! 7. Iron Fire - Ironhead 8. Korpiklaani - Väkirauta 9. Lacrimas Profundere - My Velvet Little Darkness 10. Leaves´ Eyes - Farewell Proud Men 11. Sinamore - Darkness Of Day 12. Summoning - Land Of The Dead (Edit) 13. Tyr - Regin Smidur 14. Visions of Atlantis - Pharaoh's Repentance 15. Weltenbrand - Bewitched Herds Boys 16. Wig Wam - Kill My Rock'N' Roll
    $5.00
  • Not to be confused with the Greek metal band Persona Non Grata, Persona Grata are a progressive rock band from Slovakia.  There has been a bit of a buzz about this band, even catching the ear of Mike Portnoy who invited them onboard for the upcoming Progressive Nation cruise.  So what's the deal with these guys (and girl)?Persona Grata work in a contemporary style - this isn't really old school prog rock.  Lots and lots of keyboards with more than enough solos over these long and developed tracks.  Guitars veer toward the heavier side crossing over into metal at times.  I can see the reviewers' comparisons to Yes and Dream Theater but really if anything they owe a lot more to the former rather than the later but this isn't Close To The Edge.  Vocals are handled by Martin Stavrovskỳ and he's got a killer set of pipes.  Hiding out in the background, augmenting the sound are female vocals and flute of Jana Vargova.  As a bit of a respite, about halfway through the album the band throws in some Middle Eastern motifs on the long three part instrumental "Orient Express" that will bring a huge grin to your face.  All in all it has a modern feel but with the long instrumental solos and interplay it should also appeal to fans of old school prog.  Looks like Persona Grata is the real deal and we will be hearing a lot more of them.  BUY OR DIE!!
    $12.00
  • Swedish melodic prog metal band Cullooden is the latest band to emerge from the Roastinghouse management stable.  Their debut, Silent Scream, sits nicely besides bands like Circus Maximus, Withem, and Seventh Wonder.  Strong anthem-like vocal harmonies permeate the album.  Plenty of nice soloing throughout the album.  Keys are featured but the real star of the show is the guitar work.  Highly recommended."If I have to put on a specific metal sticker on this debut album, it has to be something like this: Modern, melodic metal with big jagged shards of prog metal/rock. This Swedish trio in Cullooden is giving us a disc, which is very technical and at the same time it's a very melodic album. 'Silent Scream' is a metallic gold bar. It contains adult, progressive metal tracks played with ultra strong harmonies and Cullooden is fronted by one of the strongest and widest new rock voices I've heard in a long time.Fredrik Joakimsson owns the talented voice, and he handles the highest tones just as perfect as in the harsher and darker tunes. I hear musical influences that reminds me of Dream Theather or maybe even more from their compatriots in the magnificent progressive metal band Seventh Wonder and the Norwegians in Circus Maximus.Cullooden is not another beginner's project, which has released a 'quick shot' album, nope they knew what they were going to record on 'Silent Scream' and the songs are so overwhelmingly worked through both musically and lyrically. The album is also extremely well produced. I have to stick my neck out and say that it is perfectly produced, there is absolutely nothing to complaint about.What attracts my interest a little more than normally is the elegant flirts with the melodic hard rock, like in 'Our Only Desire' and in 'An Interesting Fact', which are some of my favorite tracks on this album. The heavy bass rhythms are pressing in the background, but it's easy listening and melodic nonetheless. The quality rhythmic metal that has been mixed with the progressive tones becomes an insanely congenial overall impression. Every track has it's own personality and I've used much of my time to sort this album in and out and my final conclusion is this: A new shining progressive metal star is appearing on the metal heaven and it's called Cullooden!'Silent Scream' will most likely be played over and over again for a long, long time to come when I want life-inspiration or just want to hear at succulent melodic metal or world-class quality prog metal. I love it!The album is recommended for most metal fans, although the melodic/progressive metal fans will most likely worship this masterful album release!" - Power Of Metal
    $16.00
  • Never underestimate the difference a good singer can make. Seventh Wonder floundered on their first album, primarily because their singer Andi Kravljaca couldn't carry the load. Out he went - replaced by Tommy Karevick. What a change! Musically the band is a bit like Circus Maximus offering a mix of prog, AOR, and neoclassical metal all pulled together in an interesting way. Solid prog metal - an easy recommendation.
    $14.00