Shadowmaker (CD/DVD)

"Deluxe two disc (CD + PAL/Region 0 DVD) edition includes bonus DVD that contains a "making of documentary plus track by track commentary by Rock N 'Rolf. 2012 album from the reunited German Pirate Metal band. Captain Rock'n'Rolf has written 10 new tracks for Shadowmaker, among them are the midtempo opener 'Piece Of The Action', the uptempo number 'Shadowmaker' ("roughly the same pace as 'Angel Of Mercy'") and the monumental eight minute track 'Dracula', based on Bram Stoker's novel and the Christopher Lee movies. "To me, Shadowmaker is a very special album because there was no pressure, time wise or otherwise. I feel it's clearly audible that this relaxed attitude helped me to write one of the strongest Running Wild recordings of all time.""

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  • Remastered edition."At least half of the songs on Van Halen's eponymous 1978 debut are still considered classics, and the Eddie Van Halen instrumental "Eruption" revolutionized the guitar community by introducing a technique called finger-tapping into the heavy metal lexicon. A magnificent debut for sure, but maybe the band should have held onto a few of their blockbuster tunes to bolster the lean years that started after 1984, and continue to the present day. Regardless, Van Halen amply demonstrate their drive, showmanship, and musicianship throughout, blowing the needle off the scale on such tracks as "You Really Got Me," "Jamie's Cryin'," "Runnin' with the Devil," and "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love."" --Jon Wiederhorn
    $6.00
  • New album from this Austrian symphonic metal band.  The band has been a bit of a revolving door with vocalists but Maxi Nil has settled in nicely.  The music is based in the traditional female fronted gothic style with clean male vocals trading leads back and forth.  This time around I hear more of a poppier, catchy sound - somewhat like the direction Delain is moving towards.  Highly recommended to fans of the genre (I wave my hand proudly).  Digipak edition with one bonus track.
    $12.00
  • 2 CD edition comes with a bonus disc featuring acoustic versions of material from the core album."Recently Dutch symphonic metal outfit Epica celebrated their first decade as a band with a massive show and a release of a DVD and now they’re back with a brand new studio album, which may very well be their finest moment to date…On “The Quantum Enigma” Epica has grown far beyond their humble musical beginnings. The symphonic elements and the massive choirs are still very much in place, but the band has found a new sense of renewed vigour and focus. High paced scorchers like ‘The Second Stone’, ‘The Essence Of Silence’ and ‘Reverence – Living In The Heart’ are poignant examples of the aforementioned refound sense of urgency. The band isn’t afraid to incorporate elements from thrash, death and progressive metal in their musical fabric, which makes this album a tempting listening adventure for people who aren’t necessarily into female fronted/symphonic metal.Vocalist Simone Simons shines on tracks like ‘Omen – The Ghoulish Malady’ and ‘Canvas Of Life’, while Arien van Weesenbeek shows his drumming prowess in the aforementioned ‘The Second Stone’ and ‘Essence Of Silence’. A special mention should go to guitarist Isaac Delahaye. His tasteful leads and solos are the proverbial icing on the cake. Particularly the main guitar solo in ‘The Quantum Enigma – Kingdom Of Heaven part 2’ is simply mindboggling.Production-wise “The Quantum Enigma” is a true gem, thanks to the considerable talents of Joost van den Broek (ReVamp, MaYan) and Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Pestilence). The direct and in-your-face production sound gives the album a definitive edge which is somewhat lacking on some of Epica’s earlier works.“The Quantum Enigma” is the sort of record where everything comes together. Great songs, great atmosphere and the band has finally managed to capture the energy of their live shows on a studio album. It’s still early in the year, but “The Quantum Enigma” is destined to become one of the musical highlights of 2014." - This Is Not A Scene
    $14.00
  • "I’ve been waiting for the release of “Endgame” for some time now, this is honestly the first time I have been excited about a Megadeth album in years and this is due partially to the hiring of the incredible Chris Broderick, but mainly due to Dave Mustaine’s change of attitude toward the writing process with the album. Dave has been quite open during the recording process regularly updating his fans on the Megadeth forums and his latest venture TheLiveLine where he has been posting audio messages. I’m not sure if this was a conscious effort to restore some respect but it seems to have worked, there has been a lot of praise for Mustaine and the new Megadeth lineup over the last few months and has helped elevate not only Megadeth’s public profile but apparently Dave Mustaine’s songwriting abilities back to a level we haven’t experienced for some time. Before I go any further I want to point out that I have managed to avoid reading any reviews of this album as I wanted to approach Endgame without any kind of outside influence before writing about it.Dave Mustaine has always made good choices when it comes to hiring new talent and although he is probably sick of hearing it the appointment of Chris Broderick was the most exciting news since Marty Friedman joined the band. Don’t get me wrong though, Chris certainly won’t be taking all the glory, Dave’s brutal rhythm playing is as crisp and perfectly timed as ever. There is a lot of texture on this album such as the excellent “44 Minutes” with its machine gun verse riffs and layered guitar melodies over the chorus and trademark Megadeth solo trading. The outro on this track has some jaw droppingly terrifying playing from Chris Broderick.The first track on Endgame is an instrumental which I was surprised about but it is almost like Dave is saying, check out how awesome my band are! It is a great double-bass pedal thumping track with solos galore, a nice way to introduce Chris as the new Mega-Shredder™.“1,320” is another classic sounding Megadeth song, the lyrics are a bit cheesy (is it about drag racing?) but the riffs are brutal, the solos are harmonised, Dave sounds angry and the ending is double-time, always a winner!Other highlights including the chugging rhythms of “Bodies“, the fierce audio assualt that is “Head Crusher” which was released as a teaser track a while back. This was a great marketing idea to get people interested because it is probably the most “Thrash” sounding track on the album with “Holy Wars…” kind of punch you in the face riff except with much bigger and better sounding production.The production on this album is up there with United Abominations (which takes some beating) for quality. Everything has a lot more space compared to United Abominations, although I did like the in-your-face dry guitar sounds on that album, the reverb on Endgame does push the solos into the background a little more.The only part of this album that I don’t like is the ballad “The hardest part of letting go – sealed with a kiss“… ballads on a Megadeth album? Dave singing a love song really sounds wrong to me, especially the whispered “goodbye” toward the end of the track. The only thing that saves this song is that after 1:40 the acoustic love song turns into a galloping metal riff for 1 1/2 minutes where the song is much more Megadeth and less Def Leppard, then it returns back to the power ballad. A small blemish on an otherwise brilliant album.If you are an old school Megadeth fan you are going to love this album, I actually finished listening to it the first time wanting more tracks. If you are new to Megadeth you couldn’t have discovered them at a better time, Dave Mustaine has firmly taken hold of the reigns in order to re-establish Megadeth as one of the greatest Metal bands in history with an album that will be talked about for years to come." - Guitar Noize
    $10.00
  • "Now here’s a band that during the 1980s consistently produced high quality metal albums. Vicious Rumors were the sort of band who bridged the gap between power and thrash metal, a cold steel assault boasting melody and crunching precision.Electric Punishment is the Californian band’s 11th album and like all those mini-classics previous, this one sticks to its guns, rarely straying from its chosen path of scorching hot metal. So many bands over the years, especially when the mid-90s grunge invasion took hold, strayed from their path and buckled under the weight of trend, but Vicious Rumors are one of those rare quantities. A band who’ve stuck to rocking hard and given the fans what they’ve always wanted.This opus is a ten-track affair which closes with an intriguing cover of the Kiss song ‘Strange Ways’, but more on that later. Electric Punishment comes hot on the heels of 2012’s live album Live You To Death, and features a dazzling array of numbers which revolve around Geoff Thorpe’s molten guitar work.Thorpe is the bands founding member and has come a long way since handing out flyers for his new band back in 1979. Despite varying personnel over the years, Vicious Rumors have always remained a solid metal act, criminally underrated, and never once being affected by its changing staff. This time round Thorpe is accompanied by vocalist Brian Allen, guitarist Thaen Rasmussen, bassist Stephen Goodwin and drummer Harry Lowe, with guest appearances from guitarists Brad Gillis (Night Ranger / ex-Ozzy Osbourne), Mark McGee and Bob Capka.The album opener is an out-and-out thrasher in the form of ‘I Am The Gun’, which rushes headlong with its epic vocal wail and twin guitar attack. Again, the band bridge the gap between robust power metal and chuggernaut metal. Lowe is an accomplished drummer whose formidable beats sew together this beast of a track. Vicious Rumors have never deviated from their path over the years and yet somehow remain current with their brand of heavy metal. ‘I Am The Gun’ matches anything that the likes of Anthrax, Overkill, et al have written over the last few years.‘Black X List’ is equally astounding, storming in with that rattling drum and swirling guitar; Thorpe’s handiwork a marvelous sound to behold. It’s the kind of track that sums up that classic Vicious Rumors sound, but if you’re still not convinced then the doom-laden chug of the title track should have you salivating. It’s another epic power metal pile-driver that builds slowly with that ferocious sneer and intimidating chug. This is an anthem for all those metalheads who today are searching for those seemingly lost times of the 80s. Vicious Rumors exude pride and menace all at once; their cauldron of metal is constantly stirred and spiced with the sort of ingredients that make the genre so potent.‘D-Block’, ‘Escape (From Hell)’ and ‘Dime Store Prophet’ hold up the mid-section. ‘D-Block’ is another go-for-throat thrasher, the co-vocal attack (with Thorpe providing the melody) is spine-tingling to say the least. The seven-minute ‘Escape (From Hell)’ slows the pace, combining melodic majesty and more pensive chords, while ‘Dime Store Prophet’ is another rasping, rollicking rocker that injects the veins with pace leading us to the almost semi-ballad-esque and, dare I say it, “hair metal” sway of ‘Together We Unite’. This is a classic simmering slow-burner that seems to reflect on the past, raising a glass to all those fans and people who’ve been part of this incredible bands legacy. It really is an infectious track that will have the lighters (or in the modern sense, mobile phones) waving.The real talent of Vicious Rumors however is their ability to shift between styles whilst all the while making sure their sound is still heavy. ‘Eternally’ is a jarring, almost remote number that relies on that staggering guitar work. But with ‘Thirst For A Kill’ we’re back to that savagery, leading us to the finale which is the aforementioned Kiss song ‘Strange Ways’ (originally from 1974’s Hotter Than Hell), and what a cracking little rocker this is, the drums a shuddering plod behind the vocal snarl. I have to admit to being wary of this track when I saw it listed, but it’s a fitting finale for this album, and once again Vicious Rumors have delivered another face-melter of a record. You knew what was coming, and yet every time they hit you right between the eyes like a cold steel arrow." - Metal Forces
    $8.00
  • "Cacophony's second (and last) effort improves on the formula established on their Speed Metal Symphony album. The brainchild of guitarists Marty Friedman and Jason Becker, Cacophony is basically an arena in which the two shredders can indulge their most decadent instrumental ideas. Their songs are as influenced by speed metal as they are by neo-classical prog rock, which makes them even more intense than many of their Shrapnel brethren. On Go Off!, the duo clean up the sound a bit and pare back the guitar excesses just a tad, allowing for a slightly more song-oriented approach (similar to what Racer X does). "Stranger" even has a decent pop hook in its chorus. Lead singer Peter Marrino adds some rather overwrought heavy metal braying and some truly ridiculous lyrics (sample: "Don't mess with a black cat/if you believe in superstition/never mess with a black cat!") which may turn off some listeners. But Friedman's and Becker's guitars are still the stars of the show here. Their preference for dissonance, odd time signatures, and unpredictably complex arrangements make Go Off! a very interesting listen at times. There are even some beautiful moments, like the outro of the title track, where the noise gives way to breathy keyboards and a lyrical solo. For a better sampling of these guitarists' talents, without the annoying vocals, check out their individual solo albums: Marty Friedman's Dragon's Kiss and Jason Becker's Perpetual Burn." - Allmusic Guide
    $16.00
  • "What do you get when you take a rough and ready Germanic power metal band and add two members of Blind Guardian? You get a better rough and ready Germanic power metal band. Sinbreed is that band and features the talents of Blind Guardian guitarist Marcus Siepen and drummer Frederik Ehmke, which gives them some instant musical credibility and clout. Their 2009 debut When World’s Collide was a rock solid slab of slick, but angry metal in the vein of modern Accept, Herman Frank and Paragon and Shadows improves on that template with even more raspy, Udo-like vocals and thrashy guitar lines. These cats don’t go in for the frilly aspects of Euro-power and prefer to pummel and attack with aggression while maintaining enough melody to hook you in. That makes Shadows a feisty, ill-tempered collection of speedy riffs, catchy choruses, and pissed off attitude, and when power metal is done this well, it’s pretty hard to resist. Not revolutionary, but it sure satisfies that need for edgy power sans pirate shirt.If you loved the last two Accept albums, songs like “Bleed” and “Call to Arms” will go down gangbusters. Lots of fast, in-your-face riffs and the excellently raspy roar of Herbie Langhans combine for some headbanging good times with all the Germanic flair you expect from acts like Grave Digger, but this is much better and more jacked up. It’s one speedster after another, each with a more than adequate chorus and ample nutsack. Sometimes they remind a bit of Steel Attack (title track), others times there’s a distinct Steel Prophet feel to the songs (“Leaving the Road”). Regardless of what influences they borrow from, they keep things straight-ahead, simple and rocking.Tunes like “Reborn,” ”Black Death” and “London Moon” have simple, memorable refrains and manage to be catchy without dialing back on the aggression. Most songs ride along on simple, but heavy riff patterns and rely on Herbie’s vocals to do the heavy lifting, pausing only for some satisfying, if typical power metal solos. It’s a simple approach, but it works for them, though there isn’t much difference from song to song and things do start to bleed together a little on the album’s back-end.Speaking of Herbie’s vocals, he’s a helluva good front man for this type of music. He has the raspy, gravely style down pat and reminds me a lot of new Accept singer Mark Tornillo. He has quite the powerful range and can hit all sorts of interesting notes when he so desires. He also has a bit of Bruce Dickinson’s flair and swagger hiding between his harsher approach (especially on “Standing Tall”) and it helps put the music over and make an impression. Marcus Siepen and Flo Laurin deliver the badass riffage required for this style and their solo work is pretty nifty (especially on “Broken Wings”). Nothing they do will make you fall out of a chair, but they manage to keep things moving for all ten songs and the album feels like it goes by quickly, which is a good thing.A typical dose of Teutonic terror, but a very good one, Shadows blasts away with all barrels, stays very consistent and checks all the required boxes on Yea Olde Power Metal Checklist. These guys are one of my favorite bands of this ilk and between them, Accept and Herman Frank, I get all the Germanic rage I can handle at my advanced age. If you need more muscle in your power metal, these guys have the iron injection ready to go. Go heavy or go home." - Angry Metal Guy
    $16.00
  • "This is the second work from BLOODBOUND, a band that surprised me a lot with its debut album “Nosferatu”. I had put their first work between the best three releases of the year, so I was waiting their second one like crazy. Well I didn’t got disappointed at all. “Book of The Dead” continues from where “Nosferatu” stopped and it is a great sequel for their discography. They still play Pure, strong melodic Heavy Metal music with a few influences from Power Metal, and they are doing it damn good! The great difference between the two works is the presence of Michael Bormann on the vocals this time something that always is a big issue for a band, because the vocals is what gets the attention of the listener at once in a new album. Well Michael Bormann is a great singer for many years in the scene and he easily managed to fit excellent in the band. The only maybe negative point, could be the fact that “Book Of The Dead” is not better than the first work of the band, so we would talk about a step forward for the band or something but don’t forget that “Nosferatu” was one of the best releases in the Heavy Metal scene in the latest years, so it would be really very hard to have something better than that right with the next work of a band. Anyway the result is very clear: if you like pure, strong melodic Heavy Metal this album is sure for you, BLOODBOUND prove us that are here to stay!" - Metal Invader
    $16.00
  • Remastered edition with 2 bonus tracks."The third and final album of what could be called Journey's cocoon phase (Escape would give birth to a fully formed butterfly and put the band through the stratosphere), 1980's Departure would also be the quintet's last with keyboardist/vocalist Gregg Rolie. Produced by Geoff Workman and Kevin Elson (essentially both engineers turned producers), the album continued to build on the band's previous two recordings, but offered an added edge, arrangement-wise. This was likely due to the fact that the band had walked into Automatt Studios with 19 new tunes and proceeded to record most of them live, eventually trimming down to 11 songs. Catapulted all the way up to number eight on the Billboard Top 200, Departure was the band's highest charting album to date and got off to an explosive start with the driving riffs and chorused vocals of "Anyway You Want It" (another radio smash that would chart Top 25). Never sounding tighter, the quintet then launched into "Walks Like a Lady" (another future FM staple, climbing to number 32) and a string of outstanding rockers, including future concert opener "Where Were You" and the stop-go-stop-go energy of "Line of Fire." On the other hand, elegant power ballads like "Good Morning" and "Stay Awhile" would foreshadow the band's future commercial triumphs on Escape. And even though it packs the occasional filler like "Someday Soon" and "Homemade Love" (a weak attempt to boogie that falls absolutely flat), Departure is a solid record all around. Soon, Rolie would be replaced by the greater pop-savvy songwriting muscle of former Babys keyboard man Jonathan Caine, and Journey would go from huge cult act to monster superstars." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • Iced Earth's tenth album features a new vocalist - Stu Block, formerly of Into Eternity."Iced Earth's revolving door of vocalists continues on their newest release Dystopia. Matt Barlow's second go-around with the band ended earlier this year, and his replacement is Canadian singer Stu Block (Into Eternity).Over the years Iced Earth has cultivated a thrashy power metal sound, which is intact on Dystopia. The songs are dramatic and grandiose, packed with melody and potent riffs. The title track gets the proceedings underway in fine fashion, a very catchy and bold track. After a mellow start, “Anthem” kicks in and becomes appropriately enough, anthemic.Iced Earth has had a legacy of outstanding vocalists, including Barlow and Tim “Ripper” Owens. Block continues that tradition. He has a wide range, and really hits the high notes on songs like “Boiling Point.” He brings a varied performance, and delivers the lyrics convincingly no matter if it's an aggressive lower pitched section, traditional singing or belting it out. He is able to dial it back a notch when needed as well, such as on “Anguish Of Youth.”Like Block's vocal performance, Dystopia as a whole is a varied and diverse release. From ballads to bombastic power metal to harder edged material, Iced Earth covers a lot of bases. It's also much more streamlined than their last couple of albums, with 10 songs clocking it at about 45 minutes.Lineup changes can have a negative effect on a band, but Iced Earth has shown over the years it doesn't phase them at all. That's also the case with this CD. Block fits in extremely well, and Dystopia finds Iced Earth losing no momentum. It may have even given them a little boost." - About.com
    $5.00
  • "In the interim between Van Canto albums, it was such a pleasant surprise to see Stefan Schmidt start up another project, this time shedding the a cappella metal he invented to incorporate more guitar and return metal to its roots….which doesn’t mean Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, or even The Beatles. No, Schmidt went back to the real roots of metal: Ludwig Beethoven and Johan Sebastian Bach. Joining him is recently retired and again activated drummer Jorg Michael (Ex-Every Metal Band In Europe), Sebastian Scharf (Schmidt’s former mate in Jester’s Funeral) and David Vogt on bass. The result was precisely as expected, a stunning album of metallic perfection that comes close enough to Statovarius’ “Nemesis” to make 2013 very challenging at year end.With nothing dramatic added or employment of new types of metal, Heavatar takes the power of metal and mashes it with classical (Beethoven and Bach are credited writers) without any string instrument orchestration. Sounds like a recipe for basic chicken soup, huh? Well….that may be true, but Schmidt’s secret weapon is really no secret at all: Van Canto. Try to envision the greatest band you can create and then relegate the world’s only a Capella band as your “backup singers.” What you just did was automatically make your choruses unattainable by any average band.Countless times throughout “All My Kingdoms” there are moments that evoke such feeling for a fan of power and “true metal.” There’s the incorporation of the Beethoven’s “5th” right at the onset of “Replica,” the galloping twin guitar attack of Schmidt and Sebastian Scharf during “Abracadabra” as Schmidt belts out “You accuse me, I don’t give a f**k” like the bastard child of James Hetfield and Eric Adams, and the rapid fire riff attack of “Elysium At Dawn.” Schmidt has such a commanding voice, and it is so nice to hear him come out from behind his vocal Stratocaster to shine again as a soloist.Another thing that stands out from other recent power metal releases (barring Mystic Prophecy) is the ability to sound solidly within other “euro” metal without sacrificing a deadly guitar crunch. This album is far from being happy power metal - it’s devastatingly heavy. Check out “Luna! Luna!,” a track with a punishing and pounding rhythm while the chorus soars above the crumbling earth. It’s like “Hail to England” era Manowar with Blind Guardian choruses. Speaking of Manowar, the album’s final track “To the Metal” is so over the top in metal pomp it rivals anything in Manowar’s cheese arsenal (the big difference – honesty and no bass buzz).“Opus I: All My Kingdoms” is a pure masterpiece of power metal in the truest sense of the word “power.” Though I uphold and admire Van Canto and it’s never-boring-always-brilliant material, when you add some punch the listener gets a glimpse of what truly could be like with that vocal talent over a six string. For those power metal fans that prefer more power with choruses that reach the stratosphere, this is just the gem you were looking for." - Metal Underground
    $12.00
  • Remastered edition with bonus tracks."This is the first of Irish guitar virtuoso Gary Moore's true heavy metal albums. Boasting a crisp, aggressive sound, Corridors of Power kicks off with the foot-stomping "Don't Take Me for a Loser," delivers the token power ballad in "Always Gonna Love You," and floors the gas pedal on "Rockin' Every Night." However, the album's climax has to be the epic "End of the World," with it's two-minute long guitar solo intro and vocals courtesy of Cream's Jack Bruce." - Allmusic Guide
    $9.00
  • "The rise of Greek power metaller, Firewind, has give the world two new metal heroes. They are Bob Katsionis (keyboards) and Gus G. Both are skillful musicians, now world class respected. Bob released his solo album in 2012, but only in March 2014 that Gus G finally catch up with a release his long waited solo album. Gus G's solo album titled as I Am the Fire, he is well backed by world class musicians and singers. As Gus G was previously active in Ozzy Osbourne team, the styles of heavy metal and hard rock in this solo album is not surprising, a bit step further away from his main band of Firewind, which is a power metal band.Let's see the two most interesting tracks by observing the guess list. Vengeance is back by Megadeth's David Ellefson. This is instrumental track for sure, the riffs are heavy, fast double pedal drum and of course Gus' shred + David's bass attack was more than cool enough. The second instrumental is fall to "Billy Sheehan's track". Terrified is yet another ultra fast shreds with a title that reminds us to Scarified by Racer X. Both instrumental tracks is enough to made guitars fans demand an exclusive instrumental guitar album from Gus!On the vocalized songs, they are all excellence. Mat Levén is acting as host singer, he tackled four tracks. From the opener My Will Be Done, a straight forward modern rock tunes, then Blame It On Me, a happier glam metal one. On the later are Eyes Wide Open, this is kind of late '80s hair metal scenes feel. The last from Mat is End Of The Line, acoustic ballad in the style of wild wild west. Mat Levén was once Firewind singer also.I Am The Fire is a collaboration with Devour The Day / Blake Allison. The riffs quickly brings us to modern nu-metal feels, this concurred with the style of singing, the song's structures, and utilizing of choruses, which is in the spirit of alternative metal. Long Way Down on the other hand is the only female guess track with Alexia Rodiguez. Alexia is from the band Eyes Set To Kill. The song can be categorizing as a heavier version Evanescenes style. Jacob Bunton from Lynam / Adler fame contributed in Just Can't Let Go. This is yet again in alternative / US modern metal feel. Michael Starr from Steel Panther trusted with Redemption, a track that focused on wild glam metal form, fit the image of Steel Panther. Veteran singer Jeff Scott Soto is in the spiritful AOR track of Summer Days. Finally there at least an European feel in Dreamkeeper, where Evergrey singer Tom S. Englund delivered it epic-ly!What a great packed of quality materials in one album. Of all tracks not only Gus G able to fit the styles of his song to the respected guess, he also seem like outdone the guess' each band. For example in Tom Englund's track, we can feel Evergrey's music in it. There are enough punches on each song, added more  replay value to the album. Interestingly, Gus G decided to not gives any clue about his music from Firewind. A good choices, meaning his creativity in the area of power metal will still dedicated to the main band. I Am the Fire is a great album with fresh ideas stretching  from modern metal to oldies glam metal. A must have." - Metal Harem
    $12.00