Song For America

SKU: 517142A
Label:
Sony
Category:
Progressive Rock
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The band's second album now remastered and featuring two bonus tracks.

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  • First it was Circus Maximus and now Spheric Universe Experience.  The fourth album from this French metal band finds them moving away from their progressive roots.  The New Eve is more immediate and in your face.  Their trademark complexity is pretty much gone.  Instead you get a lot of down tuned guitar crunch.  Keyboards are present but for the most part soloing seems to be a thing of the past.  Fred's sound likes on an industrial edge as the keys are used to punctuate the guitars.  At times the old SUE of Anima and Unreal pops up but its not as often as I'd like.  I'm not sure what the rationale was for the band to go in this direction.  Only their fans will be able to decide if it was a success.
    $14.00
  • Well Steve is done resucitating the Genesis catalogue and back to concentrating on fresh solo material.  The new album Wolflight is a bit of a loose concept album and I find it to be one of his strongest releases in years.  The album is filled with lots of guests (including Chris Squire) contributing exotic instruments to the mix adding an old world sound.  Steve's trademark sound is locked into place so if you are looking for the wailing guitar, liquid runs and acoustic delicacy you won't be disappointed.  His vocals has never been my favorite part of a Steve Hackett album but either I've mellowed in age or his voice has - not sure which.  Regardless it fits the music just fine.  Classic Hackett and nothing less.  BUY OR DIE!
    $12.00
  • Current UK pressing of the classic second album. Features the monumental title track as well as "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun".
    $14.00
  • "Plastic Soup is the first album of the new Dutch Progressive rock band PBII, the successor to the well known Plackband of the 70's and 80's, often called the Dutch Genesis. Plastic Soup however, has a sound that is absolutely 2010: modern, fresh and rocky but still with some great symphonic influences of the past. Stylistically, you could place it somewhere between Spocks Beard, Porcupine Tree, Frost*, Marilion, Linkin Park and Genesis. Special guests include John Mitchell (Arena, It Bites, Frost*), John Jowitt (IQ, Frost*) and Heidi Jo Hines (daughter of Denny Laine of Wings. Though not a concept album, the central theme of the album is the environment. Plastic Soup is another name for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, floating in the ocean with a size twice that of the US. Discoverer of this plastic soup is captain Charles Moore, who also did some voice overs on the album. PBII wishes to get more attention to this environmental problem. "
    $3.00
  • Cheap copies of the iconic fourth album from Yes.  This is not the remastered edition - so this could be good or bad depending on your point of view.  Some people prefer the earlier editions.
    $5.00
  • Second album from this early Italian band with close ties to New Trolls.  This one is a bit more refined and progressive sounding than In The Beginning."NUOVA IDEA came from Genova and their roots lie in a 60's band called ''Plep'' (from its members names).By 1970 they were renamed to NUOVA IDEA and even participated at the Viareggio Pop festival the next year,having a grea success.The same year they release their debut ''In the beginning'',a decent proto-prog/psychedelic album,but not of particular interest for prog fans.After the album guitarist Marco Zoccheddu leaves to form ''Osage tribe'',replaced by Antonello Gabelli for the recordings of their second work ''Mr. E Jones'', released in 1972 on Ariston (as their debut), re-released on CD by the Italian Mellow Records.Far from the familiar symphonic sound of most of the Italian prog bands of the time,NUOVA IDEA developed their early melodic style in a more intricate form,mixing their music with elaborate vocal harmonies.The closest comparisons might be early NEW TROLLS with a more demanding musicianship, 70's DELIRIUM, even BLOCCO MENTALE on their lighter side.The songs in this album differ so much,twisting from beautiful ballads (containing nice percussions and symphonic keys) and rockin' attacks with dated guitars (fuzzy-sounding at moments) to demanding instrumental passages,featuring complicated organ,delicate piano,sudden breaks and even some jazzy lines.What is of great notice is the vocal work in here,as all members contribute,resulting tons of attacks by melodic harmonies, recalling NEW TROLLS.Despite the mixed sounds,the album grows in you with each listening and all compositions are nicely executed with good melodies and a fair amount of complexity.''Mr. E Jones'' won't ever be among my favourites listenings out of Italy,but certainly I will return to it from time to time,as it's definitely one of the most balanced Italian releases I have ever heard.Recommended for lovers of rock music with an artistic flavor." - ProgArchives
    $15.00
  • THIS NORTHERN VIRGINIA BASED BAND is a three-piece at heart, musically rooted in the raw energy and rhythmic interplay of RUSH and KING’S X. Fans of dark, guitar-driven rock bands from ALICE IN CHAINS, DEFTONES to the contemporary metal riffing of LAMB OF GOD and PANTERA, will connect to the heavy core of IRIS DIVINE’s sound. Add to that progressive complexity and moody synths inspired by DREAM THEATER and PORCUPINE TREE, and a liberal dose of memorable hooks and melodies, to understand some elements of IRIS DIVINE’s sound. And yet, the band has a distinct identity, not quite sounding like any of the aforementioned bands, and with an emotional urgency that pulls subtly from alternative and other influences.KARMA SOWN IS A TRIUMPH OF A DEBUT ALBUM, immediate and memorable but revealing layers and depth upon repeated listens."Progressive metal is in a rough period right now. The old guard are either releasing sub-standard albums that only make it more obvious how far they have fallen, or they are drastically uncool with anyone who didn't become a fan when progressive metal was first being created. Progressive today tends to mean djent, a style that has sapped all the life and humanity out of music, turning metal into a math equation of time signatures, and not songs that anyone can actually remember. There was a time when progressive metal remembered the ultimate goal of music; to have listeners enjoy the songs so much they would return to them again and again. Today, progressive metal is mostly the sort of music that could pass for muzak, if you don't turn the volume up too loud.Iris Divine wants to change that. They set out with the mission of writing progressive metal that is intricate and challenging, but still produces the kind of songs that listeners who don't have an advanced degree can love and sing along to. It's a challenge, and it goes against the tide, but it's a desperately needed revolution if progressive metal is going to flourish anytime in the near future.I knew from hearing the pre-release track “A Suicide Aware” that Iris Divide was special, and the full album reinforces the point. “The Everlasting Sea” comes out of the gates with plenty of tricky riffing and unusual rhythms, but they lead into big melodies with strong hooks and vocals. Their progressive playing isn't meant for show, it's a tool used to set a tone that juxtaposes with the more melodic moments. Finding the proper balance between these elements is not easy, and many a band have failed miserably trying to do so, but Iris Divine doesn't. On their debut record, they show a skill some bands have spent their entire careers failing to learn.What I love most about the record is that it can be seen in many different lights. If you like straight-ahead metal, there is plenty of heavy riffing and pounding drumming here to keep you satisfied. If you like progressive music, these songs have twists and turns, and Rush-like keyboards, in enough quantity to match the djent crowd. And if you're a fan of old-school radio rock, the choruses in these songs will be music to your ears. Keeping all three of these in mind at the same time can be tricky, but it's worth the effort.For being a trio, “Karma Sown” is a massive sounding record. The production is flawless, big and clear, without ever sounding too polished. The heavy parts are heavy, the vocals are up front, and you would never believe this was a self-produced record that was crowd-funded. I can put it up against many, many of the big label releases, and it would win the fight.In fact, I can think of a dozen so-called progressive metal bands that should immediately hand over their label contracts to Iris Divine, because it's a crime that a band that is advancing progressive metal in the right direction doesn't have the backing of one of the labels. Not to name names, but this album would be bigger than half of the progressive metal released this year if it had the media push behind it.In case you haven't noticed, what I'm saying is that “Karma Sown” is a fantastic debut, and the future of progressive metal. Iris Divine isn't a Dream Theater clone, and they're not djent. What they have done is integrate all the strains of progressive metal into a singular sound, one that could set the standard moving forward. If every band sounded this good, progressive metal wouldn't need to be underground. “Karma Sown” is the best progressive metal album of the year, bar none." - Bloody Good Horror
    $13.00
  • "Now We Have Light is the third Sanguine Hum album, following on from the acclaimed albums Diving Bell and the Weight of the World. Now We Have Light is a double CD concept album. Unusually with this record, it is also something that the band have been working on for over a decade, and its roots go right back to the days of Antique Seeking Nuns, which was the earliest project that guitarist Joff Winks and keyboard player Matt Baber collaborated on. During this time they hatched a truly bizarre conceptual story to hang even more music around - a work that perhaps was too ambitious for them at the time, and one which took the formation of Sanguine Hum to make it a feasible challenge to complete. Somewhat like a twisted mix of Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage and the Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Now We Have Light is a future parable set in an entirely possible scenario, in which entirely impossible events start occurring.Although a core group of songs were written for this album as far back as 2002, the band were inspired by the most recent Sanguine Hum material to revisit the old tunes and where needed develop and rewrite what already existed, whilst also creating a large amount of brand new music at the same time. Ultimately, it has come to represent a definitive cross section of all the work that they have made as Antique Seeking Nuns, Joff Winks Band, Nunbient and Sanguine Hum thus far. Recorded once again in Oxford, at Evolution Studios, the double album features alongside Joff Winks and Matt Baber, original bassist Brad Waissman and, making his second studio appearance with the band, Henry Fool and No-Man drummer, Andrew Booker. Also, the band invited renowned UK jazz vibraphone player, Jim Hart, to perform on several tracks, which marks the first time that a guest musician has appeared on a Sanguine Hum album. The package comes wrapped in a striking cover of illustrations from graphic artist Meriel Waissman.Now We Have Light is arguably the finest album to date from Sanguine Hum, one of the most innovative bands in modern Progressive music." 
    $19.00
  • "Although Paradise Lost never really released anything that could even remotely be considered crap, In Requiem stands as one of their best works - and this is saying a lot. To be placed on the same pedestal as Icon, Draconian Times and One Second, the music on this record speaks for itself and it of interest to anyone considering themselves a fan of this band or of doom metal, gothic metal or any other melancholic type of metal." - Metal Storm
    $15.00
  • The return of Fates Warning's original vocalist manifested in this 27 minute EP. Only two epic tracks of progressive metal features an incredible backing band: Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), Jim Matheos (Fates Warning), Joey Vera (Fates Warning).
    $8.00
  • "The average underground metal fan seeing Crucified Barbara in the daily news feed probably made the same mistake I did in expecting this Scandinavian all-female rock band to be too upbeat and soft to hold my attention. That turned out to not be the case at all, as “In The Red” has the best of both worlds: an energetic rockin' vibe with more than enough of a metal edge. If you dig metal/rock crossovers like Doro or want a more serious and less humorously misogynistic Steel Panther, “In The Red” is absolutely the album for you.The album opens with the catchy “I Sell My Kids For Rock 'N Roll,” an anthem of rebellion against slowing down the rock just because of age, and then shifts into the slower but harder hitting “To Kill A Man,” which would make a great soundtrack to an “I Spit On Your Grave”-style revenge flick. Third track, “Electric Sky” then splits the difference, being catchy but still heavy.The album as a whole is incredibly cohesive, keeping up a solid and recognizable vibe while slightly altering the formula to switch between punk rock partying and darker themes. There's not much in the way of experimentation or a single stand-out track, but that's actually more of a good thing than you might think, as there's really no filler tracks either.“In The Red” is likely to hold the attention of extreme metal fans better than a good deal of the other rock hybrid groups. Granted it's not brutal or extreme, but so long as you don't head into it expecting Arch Enemy you'll be good to go. These tracks are definitely heavier than say Lita Ford's material, but much more rock focused and less on the extreme end than other all-female groups such as Astarte. This leads to both high powered guitar riffing on tracks like “Lunatic” alongside an old school Blue Oyster Cult feel on “Finders Keepers.”Refusing to give up the fist pumping fun of rock while playing heavy metal, Crucified Barbara's “In The Red” is a must-hear for fans of either genre.Highs: A great meshing of energetic rock with hard hitting metal with essentially no filler material.Lows: If you only dig extreme metal this won't have as much appeal, and there's not much in the way of experimentation or a single stand out track.Bottom line: Rock and metal rarely sound this good together - even if the less heavy end of music doesn't usually appeal to you, give this one a listen anyway." - Metal Underground
    $13.00
  • Cineploit is a small Austrian label dedicated to releasing original music in the vein of 70s horror and Euro-trash exploitation films.  All of the releases are quite limited.First Stage Zoltan is the debut release from this British trio based around the brothers Andy and Matt Thompson and Andrew Prestridge.  The instrumentation is pure vintage analog synthesizer based keys, bass, acoustic guitar, and drums.  You dig Mellotron?  This band hammers you with it.  There are a number of bands influenced by Goblin - Zombi, Anime Morte, Morte Macabre.  Add Zoltan to the list.  Goblin is an obvious point of reference as is the soundtrack music of John Carpenter, Fabio Frizzi and even Manuel Gottsching's later Ashra phase.  The synth leads remind me quite a bit of vintage Eloy circa Ocean, cutting through the ether but with a touch of evil.Limited to 250 copies - don't blink because they will be gone.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • "Love's Forever Changes made only a minor dent on the charts when it was first released in 1967, but years later it became recognized as one of the finest and most haunting albums to come out of the Summer of Love, which doubtless has as much to do with the disc's themes and tone as the music, beautiful as it is. Sharp electric guitars dominated most of Love's first two albums, and they make occasional appearances here on tunes like "A House Is Not a Motel" and "Live and Let Live," but most of Forever Changes is built around interwoven acoustic guitar textures and subtle orchestrations, with strings and horns both reinforcing and punctuating the melodies. The punky edge of Love's early work gave way to a more gentle, contemplative, and organic sound on Forever Changes, but while Arthur Lee and Bryan MacLean wrote some of their most enduring songs for the album, the lovely melodies and inspired arrangements can't disguise an air of malaise that permeates the sessions. A certain amount of this reflects the angst of a group undergoing some severe internal strife, but Forever Changes is also an album that heralds the last days of a golden age and anticipates the growing ugliness that would dominate the counterculture in 1968 and 1969; images of violence and war haunt "A House Is Not a Motel," the street scenes of "Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hillsdale" reflects a jaded mindset that flower power could not ease, the twin specters of race and international strife rise to the surface of "The Red Telephone," romance becomes cynicism in "Bummer in the Summer," the promise of the psychedelic experience decays into hard drug abuse in "Live and Let Live," and even gentle numbers like "Andmoreagain" and "Old Man" sound elegiac, as if the ghosts of Chicago and Altamont were visible over the horizon as Love looked back to brief moments of warmth. Forever Changes is inarguably Love's masterpiece and an album of enduring beauty, but it's also one of the few major works of its era that saw the dark clouds looming on the cultural horizon, and the result was music that was as prescient as it was compelling." - Allmusic Guide
    $8.00
  • They don't come as often as we'd like but a new Vanden Plas album is almost a guaranteed success.  Chronicles Of The Immortals may well be their best effort yet.  It sounds like Vanden Plas that we know and love but scaled up.  The band collaborated with noted German author Wolfgang Holbein to create a rock opera.  After a series of live performances the band hit the studio and shaped it into the first half of a duology.  Highly recommended."Four years after the release of The Seraphic Clockwork, German progressive metallers Vanden Plas are back with their seventh full-length Chronicles of the Immortals – Netherworld. Known for creating highly detailed conceptual albums, in 2012 the band teamed up with Germany’s one of the biggest selling authors Wolfgang Hohlbein to create a rock opera for the stage based on his The Chronicle of the Immortals series of novels. The resulting rock musical named Bloodnight ended up having 25 sold-our performances during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.The next challenge for Andy Kuntz and Vanden Plas was to adapt the theatre musical to the Vanden Plas standards and produce an album comprised of the first act of Bloodnight. Chronicles of the Immortals – Netherworld – Path 1 is a full title of the record that includes ten songs. The release of Path 2, the final part of the story will be released early in 2015.Musically speaking, since the release of their debut Colour Temple Vanden Plas continued to mature and improve – eventually hitting the top with 2006′s Christ 0. However, Netherworld proves to be the band’s most demanding release. In most cases, the problem with conceptual albums is that the music suffers the lack of quality on behalf of the actual story or opposite, but Vanden Plas relying on experience forged a record that possibly may serve as a light of hope for progressive metal in 2014.One of the biggest differences between this one and the previous Vanden Plas efforts lies exactly in the theatrical atmosphere Netherworld brings. Although it can be said that the visual factor is on par with music on almost every Vanden Plas album, it’s Netherworld that stands out for the balance between the two. Heavily rooted in the progressive metal genre with plenty of melodic lines on top of it, the whole story is dependant to Kuntz‘s interpretation and singing.The album flows as a single song, although it’s divided into ten songs (visions) what ultimately brings to mind that these ten titles are there just to separate the distinctive parts or moods of the whole story. These parts are pretty well balanced, the story dynamic follows the music. And what is perhaps most important for a progressive metal album today – it incorporates a number of different elements.Three crucial segments for a Vanden Plas album are strong melodic side, progressive metal and conceptual story. And these three segments are present on Chronicles of the Immortals – Netherworld. In which measure, time will be the best judge." - Prog-sphere.com
    $13.00