Seven Steps To Heaven ($5 SPECIAL)

""In 1963, Miles Davis was at a transitional point in his career, without a regular group and wondering what his future musical direction would be. At the time he recorded the music heard on this CD, he was in the process of forming a new band, as can be seen from the personnel: tenor saxophonist George Coleman, Victor Feldman (who turned down the job) and Herbie Hancock on pianos, bassist Ron Carter, and Frank Butler and Tony Williams on drums. Recorded at two separate sessions, this set is highlighted by the classic "Seven Steps to Heaven," "Joshua," and slow passionate versions of "Basin Street Blues" and "Baby Won't You Please Come Home." The 20-bit remastered version issued by Sony's Legacy imprint in 2005 includes two rather startling bonus tracks from the original sessions that were not included on the LP or previous CD releases; they are the beautiful "So Near, So Far," and "Summer Night."" - All Music Guide" - All Music Guide

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  • "The Prog Rock supergroup whose debut became the surprise hit of 2012 returns with a brand new album featuring an even more impressive lineup of stellar musicians and artists lending their talents to this incredible project!Features performances by mindblowing musicians Steve Stevens, Rick Wakeman, Steve Morse, Peter Banks (in his final appearance) as well as Captain Kirk himself William Shatner, PLUS members of Yes, Dream Theater, Nektar Asia, Gong and more!Deluxe digipak packaging!Performed by:Rick Wakeman Steve Stevens Chris Squire Peter Banks Steve Morse Larry Fast Alan Parsons Sonja Kristina Jordan Rudess Steve Hillage John Wesley Nik Turner Geoff Downes Roye Albrighton Gary Green Tony Kaye William Shatner Colin Moulding Mel Collins John Wetton Derek Sherinian Billy Sherwood Fee Waybill Patrick Moraz Jim Cuomo "
    $15.00
  • Phase - Midnight Madness is the third release in our limited edition Modulus series.  Pressed in an edition of 500 copies, it comes housed in a old school style tip-on mini-LP jacket.  A 12 page booklet features detailed liner notes from the members of the band.Phase was a New Jersey based quartet formed in 1978.  It featured Regan Ryzuk (piano, Moog, Celeste), Dave Anderson (electric and Anscor stereo guitar), Carl Scariati (Carl Thompson electric bass), and John Hvasta (drums/tympanis).  All members were young but highly accomplished musicians with a serious interest in jazz, classical composition, and progressive rock.  Their high energy instrumental music clearly demonstrated these influences.  The music of Phase can easily be classified as fusion but there are strong undercurrents of progressive rock that weaves its way through the album - not just in terms of the instrumentation or playing, but the compositions as well.The band signed a deal with QCA/Red Mark Records in Cincinnati.  The band left New Jersey and heading out to Ohio to record Midnight Madness.  The album was recorded and mixed very quickly.  It saw a release in 1979 and unfortunately sank without much of a trace.  Keyboardist Regan Ryzuk reissued the album two years label, rebranding and repackaging the release under the Fusion Quarter moniker.Hearing this music for the first time was quite a revelation.  I was blown away to say the least.  When I'm asked to describe the music I typically reply "Return To Forever meets Emerson Lake & Palmer".  Not only did this quartet have chops from hell but the compositions were challenging as well.  If you are a fan of RTF, Mahavishnu Orchestra or the prog giants ELP, Yes, Zappa, and PFM you will find much to enjoy here.Please keep in mind that when this edition sells out it will be gone forever.  
    $27.00
  • Obsidian Kingdom is a fascinating band from Barcelona that released Mantiis in 2012 in a limited run of 500 copies.  It's now picked up for worldwide distribution via Season of Mist.  This is definitely progressive metal - real boundary pushing stuff.  The band is categorized as post-metal and that is just one of the guideposts they touch on.  I hear more of a musical connection to Leprous and Arcturus.  If you are inclined towards the more avant garde side of metal you need to hear this band.  With the right push they could become massive.  Highly recommended."Cutting right to the chase, Obsidian Kingdom‘s latest release, ‘Mantiis‘ could very well be the most equivocal album I have reviewed to date. What this five piece post-metal band from Barcelona has put together with their latest genre-crossing, boundary pushing release is something few other bands can lay claim to accomplishing. I can’t even began to describe the number of different genres represented throughout this 47 minute monstrosity of an album.“Not Yet Five” is the album’s opener and starts things off with looming bass, light distortion, piano work and sporadic beeps and buzzes that all blend together to create an eerie ambiance that sets the mood for things to come. From here the album progresses forward with “Oncoming Dark” and “Through the Glass” which start off which crisp clean vocals and electric-accoustic guitar work before evolving into a wanderlust of heaviness that borders between post-metal and progressive death metal. Keyboards play on in an evil manner and when combined with chugging guitars and persistent drumming a doomsday like atmosphere forms. As the album moves forward through the short tracks, it gains in intensity through it’s evolving layers. By the time the album reaches its fourth track, “Cinnamon Balls” it has already spiraled into a dark, twisted place filled with harsh demonic vocals and djent style guitar work.A short piano interlude leads into “Answering Revealing” which brings the album full circle as clean vocals emerge as does a short but sweet return to Obsidian Kindgom‘s softer side. “Last of the Light” is where the album completely goes off of the tracks. While the beginning and end of the track are highlighted by violent vocals and double bass action, bookended between it is a several minute long section that features a classical guitar and with a very bluesy saxophone solo. You heard me right. This is without question one of if not the most unique song I have heard in years and definitely one of the most unusual combinations of instruments. From here ‘Mantiis‘ takes a stark transition to “Genteel to Mention”, a short track that opens with piano and clean vocals  that only last for a short while before the album returns right back to its doom and gloom heavier ways with the intro to “Awake Until Dawn”. The track does come to a crawl as it progresses when piano work mixed with synths present yet another unheard element to the album.‘Mantiis‘ moves forward with “Haunts of the Underworld” showcasing the best guitar work to be found on the album  and “Endless Wall”, which feels like the closest thing to a post-metal track found on the album despite the hints of more djent guitar work. Clean vocals amidst swirly ambiance make up “Fingers in Anguish” and demonic vocals and downtuned guitars return in “Ball-room”, both short tracks that barely cross over the five-minute mark combined. “Ball-Room” does a fantastic job setting the table for the closing track “And Then It Was”. Stark, aggressive drumming leads the way as everything the album has built itself up for comes to a head in this epic finale.One album I do think that compares particularly well to ‘Mantiis‘ is Crippled Black Phoenix‘s ‘Mankind, The Crafty Ape’. The two albums share many similarities in how they flow, how they use music as a journey to tell an album spanning story and also how they infuse many different genres into their sound while never delving down too far into a particular one. While CBF opted for a more psychedelic, bluesy infusion, Obsidian Kingdom chose a much darker, louder progressive death metal meets doom metal approach.While fantastic in its storytelling, the album isn’t without its shortcomings. I found myself wishing the album flowed a little bit better as some of the transitions seemed a bit awkward. There are also times where I wished the clean vocals would have had a stronger presence throughout the album as the band’s softer material is among their strongest work. Still, I can overlook these minor nuances as I continually find myself coming back to this album time and time again. ‘Mantiis‘ is one of the more captivating albums I’ve heard all year and is without question a breath of fresh air. " - PostRock Star 
    $12.00
  • Legit CD reissue of this somewhat obscure but simply unbelievably great fusion masterpiece. Horacee Arnold is a noted percussionist who worked (and still works) in the jazz arena beginning in the 50s. In 1974 he cut this fusion epic with a stellar cast of performers. Check out this lineup:Horacee Arnold - drums, tymps and percussionJan Hammer - Moog synthesizer, electric and acoustic pianoRick Laird - bassDavid Friedman - vibes and bass marimbaRalph Towner - 12 string guitarDom Um Romao - percussionArt Webb - flute and alto fluteSonny Fortune - soprano sax and fluteJohn Abercrombie - electric guitarGeorge Mraz - bassClint Huston - bassDave Johnson - percussion and congasSo in essence think Mahavishnu Orchestra with John Abercrombie subbing for John McLaughlin with members of Weather Report and the fusion community guesting. Jan Hammer blows the joint apart with some of his most incendiary Moog work ever. Long tracks filed with dynamic interplay between guitar, keys and flute and percussion. Masterful music masterfully played.  Comes with one bonus track!  BUY OR DIE!
    $14.00
  • Woodenhead are one of the great US fusion/prog bands you may not be familiar with.  For the past forty years the band has been ensconced in New Orleans rarely straying outside of the Louisiana area.  The quartet is led by virtuoso guitarist Jimmy Robinson (who you may have seen in that recent AARP commercial!).To encapsulate Woodenhead's sound is actually pretty easy - take 3/4 parts Dixie Dregs and add 1/4 part Happy The Man.  Shake and stir.  Top it off with some local spicy cajun flavor.So while you may not have heard of Woodenhead in your part of the world, they are quite well known in New Orleans.  They have performed there continuously playing at all the local haunts and festivals.  To commemorate the band's 40th anniversary the band has dipped into the archives.  They have released highlights from a gig recorded at the legendary Tipitina's in December 1993, mixed from live tapes previously forgotten and recently unearthed.  Expect a white hot set of cajun fusion.  Highly recommended. 
    $12.00
  • "‘Map of the Past‘, the fifth studio album from Cumbrian prog rockers It Bites, will most likely inhabit a strange, disturbing place in your heart. It’s a release that is obscurely beautiful and tender, but also one that can occasionally sound incongruous and lost in time. Very often, when it comes to progressive music, people will often justify anything odd by defending it with its genre. In the case of It Bites, there is a temptation to lean on a sound from their 80s heyday, which occasionally makes ‘Map of the Past’ seem staid and not just a little cheesy.In places this album is a wonderful, soaring retrospect vision of a forgotten generation, built around the ‘discovery of an old family photograph’. Although not a concept album per se, ‘Map of the Past’ explores the idea of lives captured within photographs, and reflects these contemplative visions with equally thoughtful music; album opener, ‘Man In the Photograph’ opens with the fuzz of radio static and soon leads into sound of organs and John Mitchell’s recollections borne from this one picture. The song blends into the more progressive sounding fare of ‘Wallflower‘ and its indulgent synth solo. The title track is more engaging, with soaring chorus vocals and disorientating time signatures, showcasing the tight musicianship and richly mature songwriting ability that has grown from their 30 years of existence.The strength of this album falters with ‘Flag’ and its irrepressibly outdated smattering of 80s memorabilia and Sting powered vocal lines, although the lyrics are undoubtedly more engaging than any Police offshoot. The album does have a tendency to wander into these unpalatable territories, but more than often than not redeems itself; as the grandiose, irresistible flounce of ‘Send No Flowers‘ resurrects its orchestral bombast and moves into ‘Meadow and the Stream’s artistically detailed backdrop, it’s clear that this album is more rollercoaster than record. The album finishes, as it started, relying on simply constructed songs and that radio static to bookmark the end; ‘The Last Escape’ is honestly beautiful, and seems even more so in contrast to the tumult of the remainder of the record.‘Map of the Past’ shifts between temporal paradigms rather than changing between tracks; it’s a scintillating album that is honest to itself, and stays true to It Bites’ form, even if it does rely on sounds from their back backcatalogue occasionally. Despite this, the depth of the album is phenomenal and is genuinely rich in its storyline, with music that peaks and troughs fittingly. Well worth a listen if you find yourself pointed at the progosphere." - Bring The Noise
    $5.00
  • I'm going to get straight to the point.  If you are a fan of female fronted metal you must own this album.  The Human Contradiction is a complete triumph.  It finds the band returning a bit to their roots.  There are still poppy elements - that's part of their core sound - but there is a heaviness that will remind you of Lucidity.  Nightwish's Marco Hietala returns contributing on clean vocals. Also back is Orphanage vocalist George Oosthoek who is one of the best growlers in the metal scene.  Arch Enemy vocalist Alissa White-Gluz makes a guest appearance.Timo Somers' guitar riffs are chunkier, Charlotte's voice is impeccable as always, and Martijn's keyboards are simply epic.  The album was recorded at Studio Fredman and sounds massive.  Weaving the whole album together is a sci-fi theme borrowed from the writings of Octavia Butler.This is an album filled with a enough earworm hooks to drive you crazy but at the same time its heavy!  For my taste its a top 10 album for 2014.  BUY OR DIE!
    $12.00
  • When Worlds Collide is the latest release from Portuguese prog metal band Forgotten Suns.  When the band first burst onto the scene they were very much in the neoprog camp.  Their sound evolved over time with guitarist/founder Ricardo Falcao taking the band into more metallic territory.  With his chops from hell its no wonder.  This is squarely prog metal in the Dream Theater style.  Vocalist Nio Nunes doesn't go for the stratosphere.  He sticks to the midrange and there even some growls in spots.  Apparently keyboardist Ernesto Rodrigues collaborated on the writing.  The results seems to be the band's heaviest work.  While the keyboard work is more than fine the defining sound of the band is guitarist Falcao.  He's the focal point and really delivers the goods.  Forgotten Suns amps up the tried and true prog metal formula and comes up with something quite memorable.  The album runs 79 minutes and is packed with epic length tracks through out.  By the time the album is over you will be exhausted!  Highly recommended.
    $13.00
  • Darker is the long awaited second album from Swiss progressive rock band Dawn. It has been 6 years since the quartet rocked the prog world with their expert take on old school symphonic rock.Dawn formed in Montreux, Switzerland in 1996.  Since then the band has performed at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival, as well as at Swiss prog rock festivals Progsol, and Montreux Prog Nights.  The band has also opened for Kansas and Fish.  After a series of line up changes the band began to focus on their sophomore release in 2010 and perform them in concert.Dawn’s music is riddled with vintage keyboard sounds and flowing guitar solos.  Plaintive vocals ascribe a kinship to the British Canterbury prog family tree.  The album is conceived as a series of compositions dealing with Man in the 21st century: his fears, his conception of life, his reaction to technology, nuclear power, and the planet’s suffocation.  Darker was recorded in 2013 by Olivier Charmillot and mastered by noted audiophile engineer Bob Katz.
    $14.00
  • Third album from a band that is essentially a mash up of members from Sieges Even, Sun Caged and Dreamscape.  Their music carries on very much in the style of the later Sieges Even albums.  In other words progressive rock that leans towards the heavier side of the spectrum.  Rush, Rabin-era Yes, Saga, and Dream Theater come to mind as influences.  Quite melodic and if you are so inclined you'll hear some incredible chops from guitarist Markus Steffen.  The band corraled Stream Of Passion's Marcela Bovio for a guest vocal appearance, dueting with Arno Menses.This is the deluxe 2CD edition.  It sports a really cool looking 3D cover.  The bonus CD is a live concert recorded in Mannheim in 2012.
    $19.00
  • Out of print for some time, Bruce Soord freshed up the band's second album.  Originally released back in 2001, this version of 137 features a new mix, new mastering, and even new artwork.
    $13.00
  • "Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the next release in the continuing series of reissues of the entire catalogue by the legendary classical rock band SKY. Formed in 1979, Sky brought together the worlds of rock and classical music in a highly successful and inspiring way. Featuring the gifted talents of guitarist JOHN WILLIAMS, percussionist TRISTAN FRY, legendary bass player HERBIE FLOWERS, former Curved Air keyboard player FRANCIS MONKMAN and guitarist KEVIN PEEK, Sky recorded their debut album at Abbey Road studios in the early months of 1979. The band’s self-titled debut reached the UK top ten in May 1979 and went on to achieve Platinum status in the UK and was also a major hit in Europe and Australia. Also a huge live attraction, SKY released their second album in April 1980. "SKY 2” was a fine achievement, featuring the hit single "Toccata”, and topped the UK album charts upon its release. For this, the band’s third album, STEVE GRAY replaced Francis Monkman on keyboards, but the band continued their run of success as SKY 3 reached the UK top ten upon its release in March 1981.The album’s success followed a highly memorable concert by the band at Westminster Abbey in London on February 24th 1981, which was recorded and broadcast by BBC Television and later released on home video cassette.This Esoteric Recordings edition has been newly re-mastered and includes a companion DVD (NTSC / Region Free) of SKY AT WESTMINSTER ABBEY,  (the first ever DVD release of this classic concert). The original album artwork is fully restored and the booklet features a new essay."
    $19.00
  • "Hailing from Poole in Dorset, the band featured GARY MARGETTS on guitar and vocals, TRISTAN MARGETTS on bass guitar, vocals and synthesiser and TONY BROCK on drums.Formed in 1971, the band was originally known as Transient Sand and was managed by local promoter John House, a friend of GREG LAKE of EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER. Through this association Lake offered to produce the band, now known as Spontaneous Combustion. With Lake’s interest confirmed a recording contract was arranged with Harvest in the closing months of 1971."TRIAD” was the band’s second album, released in October 1972 and over the coming years has become a sought after Prog Rock classic.This Esoteric Recordings reissue includes three bonus tracks from the band’s singles of the period, two of which are previously unreleased on CD. It has been newly re-mastered from the original master tapes and features a booklet that fully restores all original album artwork with a new essay."
    $15.00
  • Arjen Lucassen's long awaited Ayreon project is a total blast.  Like some of the earlier Ayreon albums, it owes as much to prog rock as it does metal.  All the old school heroes like Emerson, Wakeman, Wetton get to strut their stuff showing a young stud like Rudess a thing or two.  As always Lucassen latches on to some of the best vocalists around and this one is no exception.  Highly recommended.PLEASE NOTE THERE WILL BE A VERY EXPENSIVE IMPORT "ART BOOK" EDITION FORTHCOMING."You know what the metal world needs more of? Musicals. I'm not saying that ironically either. Sure, we have plenty of prog bands putting out concept albums, but cool as these records many be, the story themselves are not the focus of the album. Ayreon mastermind Arjen Anthony Lucassen has resurrected his grandest of all projects to continue showing these folks how to tell an epic story the right way.With 01011001 the Ayreon story came to an end, or so we thought. Arjen instead decided to focus on projects like Star One, Guilt Machine, and his solo album Lost in the New Real. When he revealed not too long ago that he was working on a new project, it wasn't a surprise to discover it was new Ayreon, but I was still plenty excited.Lucassen said of the newest record, "It's not science fiction, but a human story set in a science context." So no aliens or battling emotions or any of that. So, in an attempt to better understand the story, I contacting him for the lyrics and much to my surprise, he sent them to me saying, "Oh yes, you need the lyrics, definitely." Holy hell, was he right. The story is indeed more grounded than previous records, but there are still layers to this beast.Fans of Ayreon should know what to expect here. The Theory of Everything has seven guest singers and each singer plays a part in the story. They are JB (Grand Magus) as the Teacher, Christina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) as the Mother, Michael Mills (Toehider) as the Father, Tommy Karevik (Kamelot) as the Prodigy, Marco Hietala (Nightwish) as the Rival, John Wetton (Asia/ex-King Crimson) as the Psychiatrist, and Sara Squadrani (Ancient Bards) as the Girl.Of these singers, the most impressive is the relatively unknown Sara Squadrani. She performs on a large portion of the story and shines every time, especially on "Love and Envy". I was also surprised to be so enamored with the performance of Christina Scabbia. She's always had  a wonderful voice, but her performance in this record might be her finest. Her harmonies with Squadrani stand out particularly on "Mirror of Dreams". This isn't to say only the performances by the female singers are worth mentioning. Tommy Karevik's introduction in "The Prodigy's World" is one of the strongest moments on the album.Press_Photo_01Every Ayreon album comes an eclectic group of guest musicians. This round primarily consisted of guest keyboardists. Rick Wakeman (ex-Yes) handles a good portion of the record, while Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) and Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) both make excellent solo appearances on "Progressive Waves".Having listened to all of Lucassen's albums at least once, I can say The Theory of Everything is the most musically diverse offering he's had a hand in, perhaps with the exception of his solo record. This isn't as heavy as previous Ayreon titles, but it has its driving moments like "Collision" and the Dream Theather-esque "Frequency Modulation." The aforementioned "Love and Envy" is a slower introspective song, while "Diagnosis" is massive and a little cheesy, but so awesome. "Transformation" has a Middle Eastern feel to it, and  "The Eleventh Dimension" sounds like intergalactic renaissance faire music.Often times there are jumps in mood, genre, etc in the middle of a song. This is fairly typical for an Ayreon release; what isn't typical is that technically this record consists of only four songs. These four songs are each at least twenty-one minutes, but they are cut up into forty-two pieces (yes, that's a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference) .This is a fun record. It's a record that does require a time commitment. I'd say listeners should treat it as a proper musical or film in a theater. Try to experience it all in one sitting for the full effect. It's absolutely worth it." - Metal Injection
    $17.00