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SKU: 314534633
Label:
Atlantic Records
Category:
Progressive Rock
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This is the album where I had a hard time telling these guys apart from The Police. A fall off in quality from Moving Pictures - the tunes are shorter and more radio friendly.  Remastered edition.

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  • "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
  • "Danish legends PRETTY MAIDS never achieved the success they rightfully deserve. They have been releasing amazing material since their inception in 1981. Their catalog is incredibly consistent and jaw dropping. Their records “Red Hot and Heavy”, “Future World” and 2010s “Pandemonium” ranks up there with some of the best material of the last 30 years in Rock and Metal. Their latest record “Motherland”, released through Italy’s Frontiers Records is another heavy melodic masterpiece.2010s release “Pandemonium” was such an amazing record that the thought of following it up was a concern not only for the band but fans and critics alike. Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief as they have done it again as “Motherland” captures PRETTY MAIDS at their best. Like all PRETTY MAIDS releases the songwriting is outstanding and every song is remarkably strong.Ronnie Atkins is an amazing soulful singer who seems to get better with age. His unique blend of melody and raspiness is unmatched and his voice is one of a kind. Founding guitarist Ken Hammer blends acrobatic guitar playing with a sense of melody that fits his songs brilliantly and is another unsung hero that can play with precision and emotion.Jacob Hansen’s production is crisp and jumps off the speakers. Returning to work with the band after the success of 2010s “Pandemonium” shows the partnership still is the perfect pairing. The mix is layered, separated and Hansen is quickly becoming the go to producer in Rock and Metal.First single “Mother of All Lies”, “Why So Serious?” and the title track show the band perfecting their heavier side. The title track is an up-tempo pounder that grooves, crushes and the chorus is pure perfection. The keyboards incorporate a subtle arpeggio sequence that backs Atkins as he sings a melody that is infectious. “Why So Serious?” is a haunting captivating chugger that blends melody with syncopated riffing, the biggest headbanger on the record.While “Sad to See You Suffer”, “Bullet For You” and the excellent “Wasted” is the perfect counterbalance and shows off their melodic essence. “Bullet For You” showcases a tender Atkins at his best. The harmonies are luscious and fill out the vocals beautifully. “Wasted” closes the record and does an excellent job of blending Morten Sandager’s keyboard playing into the songwriting. Again, the melodies dominate and paint the perfect landscape. All of these songs have amazing choruses that will stick in your head long after the record is over. Ever since their cover of John Sykes “Please Don’t Leave Me”; Pretty Maids are destined to play the rock ballad. They nail it.30 years into their career, “Motherland” finds PRETTY MAIDS unbelievably at their creative peak. Not too many bands are writing some of their strongest material thirteen albums into their career. Surprisingly on par with the fantastic “Pandemonium”, it is time for PRETTY MAIDS to be catapulted into the spotlight and be rewarded for their remarkable career. Let's hope that they have another thirteen albums left in them to compose because they have found their creative groove. “Motherland” contains all of the attributes that make PRETTY MAIDS outstanding. I can only hope that now is the time for them to launch a proper North American tour." - Metal Temple
    $16.00
  • Second album from DIM finds them leaving Metal Blade and finding a more appropriate home in Napalm Records. This Spanish band is very much cut from the cloth of Epica and After Forever. In fact the production team is Sascha Paeth and ex-Epica's Ad Sluijter. Mark Jansen of Epica also guitars. With Paeth at the controls expect nothing less than a huge symphonic sound and he delivers. While I heard more of a Within Temptation sound on their debut, this one really emphasizes the "beauty and the beast" element driving the connection to Epica home. Not original at all but well done for the genre.
    $12.00
  • The Queen of progressive AOR features a duet with Mark Boals.
    $6.00
  • Shockingly good reunion album from 1978 that gave us the athemic title track which now has classic status."Deep Purple's definitive Mark II lineup reunited for 1984's Perfect Strangers. It is one of the better examples of a reunion album, although the band's uneasy camaraderie only lasted a few more years. "Knocking at Your Back Door" opens the album with a roar. Ian Gillan's lyrics don't make much sense, but Ritchie Blackmore's guitar riffs and Ian Paice's thunderous drumming carry this song as well as the rest of the album. The robotic rhythm of the title cut relies on Jon Lord's organ work. The 1999 remastered reissue features the bonus track "Son of Alerik." This fascinating, mid-tempo, ten-minute instrumental was the B-side of the "Perfect Strangers" 12" single in the U.K." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • Stunning remastered edition of the classic Beck album from 1969 featuring Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, Nicky Hopkins and Tony Newman. This version features four unreleased bonus tracks as well as an extensive interview with Jeff Beck. This is an EMI release and has their dopey Copy Control protection which is more of a nuisance than an actual deterrent.
    $11.00
  • "Fair to say their name is still as dislikeable as it was when we covered their excellent album Eight Pieces, One World album two years ago but musically the Belgian metallers still rock the juices out of us as proven by new encounter Odd Memories. Max Pie fills their third album with all the essences which made its predecessor a surprising and compelling proposition but it is with bigger and bolder imagination and creative energy. We are no major heavy/power metal fans here to be honest but once again Max Pie has given us one thumping and rousing time.The band was formed in 2005 by vocalist Tony Carlino taking inspirations from bands such as Symphony X, Van Halen, Toto, Queensrÿche, and Dream Theater into their emerging ideas. A slightly unstable time in personnel graced their early years before Max Pie released debut album Initial Process in 2012. Fan and critically acclaimed it was surpassed by Eight Pieces – One World a year later in presence, sound, and praise. Its release was followed by the band playing numerous festivals and undertaking tours with the likes of Symphony X, Evergrey, Fates Warning, Avantasia, and Queensrÿche. Now they return with, as the last album, the Simone Mularoni mixed and mastered Odd Memories and simply their finest, most inventive proposal yet.The album opens with its title track; an instrumental ripe with a foreboding atmosphere and epic textures all cinematically imposing on the imagination. This type of beginning is becoming a common practice across varied metal offerings but when done right, as here, it makes a potent invitation into any release. As the track slips into the following Age of Slavery, a sizzling electronic coaxing colludes with rampant riffs and a melodic embrace of keys. The thick commanding rhythms of drummer Sylvain Godenne shape and invigorate the track further, framing the growling vocals of Carlino perfectly. The frontman’s diverse delivery is as magnetic as ever, some elements more powerful and potent than others but like the music, a constant lure that likes to stretch and push both song and musician. As the guitar and keyboard craft of Damien Di Fresco builds and expands its enterprise, the track blossoms into a sturdy and fiery encounter to really kick things off.It is also, in many ways, a relatively straight forward and maybe expected proposal from the band, the new exploration showing itself more from Odd Future on. Keys breed the first mesmeric caress on the third track before guitars and the wonderfully dark throated bass of Lucas Boudina bring their hues to the emerging and stirring landscape of the encounter. Once vocals join, the song settles into a melodic roar and sonic flame of melodic and heavy rock ‘n’ roll, their union a heated and tenacious arousing of ears and thoughts veined by sparkling, and at times understated temptation from the keys. It is when things go off kilter with a glorious stretch of discord kissed invention and melodic bedlam that the song really comes alive and if there is any moan it does not play in this great moment long enough.Promised Land opens on a vivacious escapade of keys quickly encased in storming riffs and rhythms, it all quickly blooming into a virulently contagious slice of rock pop with classic metal and progressive rock hues. It has single running through its potent craft and lusty veins, every second of the track a bold and rousing incitement for body, voice, and emotions. Such its power and lure, it gives next up Love Hurts a hard time trying to follow it, and as mesmeric in melodic beauty within tempestuously emotional and physical terrain that it is, it never quite finds the same full-blooded personal reactions as its predecessor. It is undeniably superbly crafted and woven though and does leave only fully satisfied thoughts before the darker, ravenous excellence of Don’t Call My Name takes over. The guitars alone are predatory with their creative rummaging of the senses whilst the keys float with celestial temptation above them and the uncompromising rhythms spearing it all. Reaping the ripest elements of technical and progressive metal, band and track pulsate as they gnaw on ears, adding melodic and harmonic balm to the increasingly irresistible voracity on offer. With Carlino also on fine form, the track is the pinnacle of the album, reason alone to eagerly approach Odd Memories.The acoustically brewed Hold On slips in next to transfix and from a slow start to its persuasion grows into a big favourite. Whether by chance or intention, it has a Bowie-esque essence to it, a floating whisper in quieter moments which does it no harm. It is a scent soon out flamed by vocals and the sonic blaze giving the song rich crescendos and a breath-taking finale before Unchain Me takes the listener on another tumultuous ride of rugged metal and tantalising electronic adventure.No prizes in guessing some of the scenery within Cyber Junkie, its electronic and industrial endeavour a potent spicing to another song offering a compelling fusion of bestial metal and melodic flirtation, the former steering the ship with invigorating success. As Don’t Call My Name before it, the track is a masterful web of varied and diverse styles in one predacious provocateur, thoughts of bands from Anthrax to Armored Saint, Dream Theater to Skyharbor coming to mind across its exciting and again show stealing soundscape.The album is finished by The Fountain Of Youth, a song which either a raging storm of a canter or a gentle caress enthrals and sparks only the keenest attention and support from ears and emotions. Like a couple of other songs it takes longer to get all of its hooks inescapably entrenched but with its additional symphonic elegance and emotively hued strings, the song has seduced long before realisation notices.Wrapped in the excellent artwork of Didier Scohier, Odd Memories and indeed Max Pie have caught us again with a tempest of sound and invention driven by craft and passion. This time it is bigger, more adventurous, and confirming the band as one of progressive power metal’s finest." - The RingMaster Review
    $15.00
  • Marco Iacobini is an Italian guitarist that frankly has been unknown to me until now.  Apparently his resume is quite extensive and he's played in Europe with some accomplished musicians.  This is his second album and a nice surprise at that.  This is purely fusion - no metal shredding going on.  Iacobini's songs have a melodic emphasis and his playing has some beautiful fluidity.  I'm reminded a bit of Joe Satriani and Steve Lukather.  He must either have a lot of disposable income or really have made a lot of friends - the other musicians on this album are pretty impressive.  Along for the ride are Tony Levin, Dave Weckl, Keith Carlock, Thomas Lang, Stuart Hamm, Billy Sheehan, Philippe Saisse, Carl Verheyen, Joel Taylor, Mike Terrana, Phil Maturano, Bill Bergman and others.  Definitely a lot of heavyweights in there.  Iacobini signed to Thomas Lang's label and I guess as an introduction they are making it available at a very reasonable price.
    $9.00
  • " 'The Naked Truth' by Ureas is a weird album. Most remarkable would be the combination of different vocals that are set to work with the lyrics, that are in itself are interesting to say the least. Ranging from a lovely, childish second voice through the well-known power metal shouts to a screaming level that is not often found in power metal.At times it sounds like this would be the result of Marilyn Manson making power metal. The rest of the musicians knows reasonably well what they're doing and the songs itself are full of variation. Because of the fact that the songs are not very complicated, there is a lot of focus on the vocals, but that seems to be exactly what Ureas is aiming for, considering the complexity and versatility of exactly that. Here and there 'The Naked Truth' is reserved and melodic. At other moments the composition is bombastic and it appears as if they want to make their lyrics carry over the entire face of the earth. Because of the diversity of the songs it's sometimes hard to keep your attention focused to the music. It's impossible to link the album to a specific mood and it's even hard to capture it with the term power metal. But I can definitely recommend it to those who wish to try out something new." - Lords Of Metal 'zine
    $14.00
  • "For pure Teutonic power metal you need not look any further than to Northern Germany's Stormwarrior. Highly influenced by Eighties speed and power metal, and peers like Helloween and Running Wild, the band is still 'keeping it true' with their own version of classic power metal on their fifth album Thunder and Steele.And galloping it is. Thunder and Steele leaps from the proverbial heavy metal gates at the start and doesn't slow down one bit. (The exception may be Child of Fyre, which has a more moderate pace.) Typical of the band and the genre, the songs are filled with references to heavy metal, battle, and mythology. One song, Servants of Metal, aptly describes Stormwarrior's metal music philosophy.Heavy metal caricatures aside, Stormwarrior does their chosen genre proud. Besides getting the simple galloping nature of power metal, Stormwarrior fills every tune with lots of guitars, big riffage and even bigger solos swarm over every song. Also, to their credit, and likely thanks to producer Piet Sielck (Iron Savior), the mix is quite strong and clear, bringing out the bass line in most every song, an integral element for every speedy power metal song. While there's an expected redundancy when every song is galloping, curiously enough it doesn't get old or tiring, at least not that quickly. With Thunder and Steele, Stormwarrior keeps the fire of 'true' power metal burning bright. Recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $8.00
  • Ten Great Tracks + Four Collectable SnapshotsA collection of ten great Dio hits. Feature classics from such albums as Holy Diver, Last In Line and Heaven and Hell. Includes 4 collectable Snapshot inserts.Track List:Holy Diver(Live)PushFever DreamsWe Rock(live)Long Live Rock 'n Roll(live)Stargazer(live)Heaven And Hell(live)Children Of The Sea(live)Eat Your Heart Out(live)Killing The Dragon
    $3.00
  • THEY'RE BAAACCCCKKKK! German band led by Kai Hansen that is virtually synonomous with the phrase "speed metal".
    $12.00
  • BACK IN PRINT Renowned guitarist Scott McGill returns with his second instrumental solo album. Influenced by legends Bill Connors and Allan Holdsworth, McGill reinvents the genre by creating an aggressive style of progressive fusion. His high-energy fretwork matched by the potent rhythm section of Chico Huff (Mistaken Identities) on bass, and Vic Stevens (Gongzilla, Mistaken Identities) on drums. Ripe charts a new direction for both fusion and progressive rock.
    $5.00