Specs Of Pictures Burnt Beyond (BLOW OUT PRICE!)

In our changeover in distributors we received back a quantity of copies of Specs. We need to bring our inventory level back to normal so we are going to temporarily blow out this title. Grab copies at below wholesale price while you can.
In 1993, almost everyone thought that metal was history. Guitarist Jasun Tipton and bassist Troy Tipton, twin brothers from the San Francisco Bay Area, did not succumb to these prevailing doubts. They believed that even through the darkest hour, metal would live on, and they set about forming a band that would not only keep progressive metal in a place of honor, but would shatter the mold in the process. In creating Zero Hour, the brothers envisioned a dark, heavy, emotional vibe, expressed through intricate arrangements, forceful vocals, and meaningful lyrics.

Zero Hour self-financed their first release which established the group as a prog-metal tour de force upon its issuance in 1998; an initial pressing of 2,000 units sold out quickly, leaving fans worldwide anxiously awaiting more Zero Hour material. The praises of the press flowed from around the globe, and the self-titled debut garnered raves from Flash (Italy), Snake Pit (Germany), Hard Roxx (UK), and many more. Michael Rensen of the premier German magazine Rock Hard proclaimed, "Zero Hour is one of the five Best Progressive Newcomers in the late '90s!"

The band's second album "The Towers of Avarice" (Released by The Laser's Edge/Sensory label) won sparkling reviews from nearly every magazine around the World it appeared. Such magazines included Hit Parader, Metal Maniacs, Bass Player and Sci Fi (US), Aardschok (Netherlands), Metal Hammer (Hungary), Rock Hard (Germany, France), Heavy Oder Was? (Germany), Scream (Norway), BW&BK (Canada), Hard Rock (France) and in countless webzines and fanzines. The band quickly established a solid fan base around the World. They successfully toured Europe and performed twice at Prog Power USA in Atlanta, the largest prog-metal music festival in the World. Zero Hour is now fronted by vocalist Chris Salinas (formerly of Power of Omens. Salinas’ dynamic vocal range breathes new life into the band, once again taking them back to the heights they hit on ”The Towers Of Avarice”. ). The new line up recorded 7 songs under the guidance of the eminently talented Producer/Engineer Dino Alden. The album is titled "Specs of Pictures Burnt Beyond" and is already being hailed as one the years most anticipated releases. In early November, the band will be hitting the road to promote the new album with their first ever shows in the Northeastern United States. The momentum of Zero Hour is stronger than ever as they continue to carve their name into prog-metal history.

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    $14.00
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  • "Reading the full name of this release – Jakszyk, Fripp And Collins With Levin And Harrison – A Scarcity Of Miracles – A King Crimson ProjeKct – leads to one central and almost unbelievable thought: this must be a new King Crimson album after all these years (the last album was released in 2003). But it is just like Robert Fripp, King Crimson’s mastermind and guitarist, wrote in the album’s liner notes: listening to A Scarcity Of Miracles is “like meeting a close member of the [King Crimson] family for the first time”.The opening title track already hints at the past with a long soundscape intro featuring the well-known Fripp guitar synthesizer sound. But there is more: Mel Collins’ well-placed saxophone notes (his first work with Fripp since King Crimson’s 1974 masterpiece Red) and Jakko Jakszyk’s guitar lines enhance the sound to a new level. Adding the most interesting parts are Tony Levin with his superb trademark bass work and finally Gavin Harrison with his brilliant drumming, known from Porcupine Tree. They are the driving force of the song, together with the initial Fripp soundscape. The song itself is a somehow sad mid-tempo ballad offering a sonic beauty that has been rarely heard before in the history of King Crimson. But this seems to be the overall theme of the album as all songs are rather melancholic and only have the aggressive touch of the previous albums in very few moments.The second track “The Price We Pay” starts with another famous Crimson element: the incorporation of Eastern music. Jakszyk plays a Gu Zheng, a Chinese zither, during the song but also the song’s structure has the feeling of the 80’s King Crimson line-up and reminds me of their Gamelan-inspired pop ballads. “Secrets” and “This House” are similar but the first halves of both songs are based on soundscapes. Yet the final, slightly faster part of “This House” is one of the album’s greatest moments. All five musicians take the song to a higher level and give their best.“The Other Man” again features the Gu Zheng in a very prominent role during the song’s intro. This time the song is harder and more aggressive than the rest of the album, coming close to the previous sound of King Crimson.The last song “The Light Of Day” is played without drums but with so many beautiful textures and great panning and delay effects that especially this song becomes a real treat for headphone listening.Very interesting is the fact that most of the songs are based on soundscapes which carry on through the whole tracks most of the time. The interplay between Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins reminds me of the similar guitar/saxophone soundscapes of Travis & Fripp. Furthermore Jakszyk’s vocals are often harmonized, nevertheless they really fit to the music and are very good. As a last note I have to emphasize the album’s brilliant mastering and its powerful but crystal-clear and natural sound. I’ve rarely heard such a great sound before.After all, this album simply is fantastic. It is unbelievable how the musicians play through the songs in such a seemingly simple manner but actually the songs are very complex. It might not be King Crimson as usual but so many elements are present. This music really is something special and another huge development in the Crimson history but it is even more: here, we have a new aspect of progressive rock, something which hasn’t been heard before at all." -Alternative Matter
    $22.00
  • Last May the band set up camp for a series of gigs at Le Triton in Paris. The four weeks of gigs was in essence a retrospective of the band's recorded work. This is the first of a projected series of 4 DVDs chronicling the event. The band is augmented by legendary vocalist Klaus Blasquiz as well as 3 sax players. The material on this particular disc focuses on the earlier period of the band: Malaria, Stoah, "Iss" Lansei Doai, Aurae, Kobaia, Theusz Hamtaahk 1st movement, Sowiloi, KMX B12. Over two hours long. Essential.
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  • Live set recorded at Rosfest and Calprog in 2009. Touchstone are getting a lot of hype in the British press at the moment but that shouldn't deter you. The band's music is from the more melodic side of the prog spectrum. Fronted by Kim Seviour, she complements the band well. If you like your prog a bit light you should enjoy this band - they went over a ton at both festivals.
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  • New vinyl reissue of this US prog rarity.  Even the CD reissue from a decade ago is long out of print!  Considered by many to be one of the best examples of US prog."An overlookied US band, formed in early-70's and led by guitarist/keyboardist/sax player Robert Williams aka Roberts Owen (R.I.P.).The original line-up featured also multi-instrumentalist James Larner, keyboardist Mark Knox, drummer Jim Miller, bassist Paul Klotzbier and Jeff McMullen on lead vocals/guitars.Maelstrom had a private press LP out in Canada, recorded in 1973 at Fort Walton Beach in Florida and very rare nowadays, originally released under the title ''On the gulf''.Why this band is so overlooked remains a huge mystery to me, as Maelstrom had one of the most eclectic and intricate sounds back in the days.Every track shows a different amount of influences and musical approaches, always played under a very complicated yet well-structured musicianship, offering a huge and dramatic sound like a cross between ETHOS, CATHEDRAL and YEZDA URFA.There are strong amounts of melodies and acoustic passages in the vein of GENESIS, huge sax-based more improvised sections in the vein of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR and SOFT MACHINE, smooth electric parts with delicate vocal harmonies as tribute to CARAVAN, complex interplays as GENTLE GIANT first ever presented and YES-like adventurous symphonic orchestrations with a superb atmosphere.Heavy loads of Mellotron and organ, jazzy-flavored sax atmospheres, dramatic orchestrations with good electric parts, instrumental battles and endless changing climates can be detected constantly, leaving the most demanding proghead satisfied.In 1997 Black Moon Records re-issued the album in CD format under the title ''Maelstrom'' and this work contains a couple of extra tracks recorded live by Maelstrom in 1980 at the ''Three Rivers Festival'' in Indiana with only Owen and Klotzbier from the original line-up along with keyboardist Kent Overholser and Rollin Wood on drums.''Opus one'' has a strong E.L.P. vibe with organs leading the way along with some dramatic synth work in a classic Symphonic Rock track, while the longer ''Genesis to geneva'' is a bit more of a loose instrumental composition again in a Symphonic Rock path but surrounded with some more Avant-Garde/Fusion atmospheres, where synths, organ and electric guitars are on the forefront.A fantastic discovery for all fans of adventurous Classic Prog.Interesting combination of Symphonic Rock, Cantebury Prog and Jazz-Rock, where so much is going on.Definitely among the finest releases of the time in the USA/Canada and highly recommended." - Prog Archives
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  • "The debut recording from the Dixie Dregs (The Great Spectacular is considered a demo) stands as one fusion's high-water marks. This music is wholly original and played with a freshness and vigor that had begun to wane in a genre that was becoming a model in self-parody. The influences here are plentiful, but it is the country roots that provide the music with its vitality. Founder/guitarist Steve Morse proved to be an important new guitarist, offering an inimitable style with the technique the music demands. The music is complex and challenging, but that's easy to overlook due to the band's sunny approach. While they would go on to create more fully realized recordings, this one proved that fusion had a soul." - Allmusic Guide
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  • "Machine Head's The Blackening is an over-the-top rage and pummelfest with all the qualities that earned the group its enormous fan base by touring and recording. The record starts out unlikely enough, and gladly enough, with a left-of-center call to arms to the youth of this nation to not accept blindly the words (and threats) of "patriotic brutes." It calls for rage with triple-timed slamming beats and blistering lead guitar breaks, as the piece alternates between death metal, industrial metal, thrash and prog. It blends seamlessly. At ten-and-half minutes for an opening cut, one can tell this is no original heavy metal record. "Beautiful Mourning" is anything but gothic heavy metal; it begins with a taut, explosive riff matched by the drum kit, and then Robb Flynn is off and running, celebrating being "taken under" by her, and the seductive power of both women and death. The thrash element here rivals Slayer at their very best, and breaks new ground within the realm of composition for aggressive music. The intense dual arpeggios between both guitarists -- Flynn and Phil Demmel on "Aesthetics of Hate" (as just one example) are among the tightest ever. The drama produced by Dave McClain's blastbeats and the steady guidance of Adam Duce's basslines comprise a deeply intuitive rhythm section for the six-stringers to fly from. They don't so much fly as fight, though. Other standouts include "Halo," and "Now I Lay Thee Down." Recommended." - Allmusic Guide
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  • "There have been those times in man’s life where he tells himself that he had enough with everything that had been going on surrounding his ordinary environment. Aside from the warmth of family life or even by choosing, the soothing loneliness, there are the proceedings of the society such as the corrupt politics and fragmentary feast for power that seemed to be endless without a care for future consequences. So how one can escape such a world where everything seemed to be blackened, not like a starless night, but by mankind itself that commences various of actions without thinking first? The answer might be running away but to where? The only answer is to the far reaches of space by cunningly stealing a spaceship. Though it sounds like a story from the far future when space travel is available, but it has a sense it in and can also be inferred to the spiritual form of the works of the mind and how it can escape reality while submerging into an altered universe of hopes and dreams about better life. Well, I will stop here with the philosophical debate with myself, though it is rather intriguing. The purpose of my gibbering your thinking patterns is because it highly relates to the new concept album by the Italian Power Metal band, VISION DIVINE. “Destination Set To Nowhere”, released via earMUSIC / Armoury Records, is the Metal journey and your new Star Trek across the vast space in finding new fortunes and ideologies without forgetting where the warmth of home lies.I have to tell you that it has been really difficult to not keep on discussing VISION DIVINE’s ideas regarding this fascinating story that though sounds pretty simple it harbours so many standpoints that a whole article can be written on top of their basis. However, there is also the Metal behind the philosophical mind that created this story. Nearly like every Power Metal band coming from Europe, VISION DIVINE has been storming in high speeds without letting of the so important melodic touch, an element that has been chief for the large majority of European Metal bands of the kind. Olaf Thorsen(nickname of Carlo Andrea Magnani), guitarist of the veteran Power Metal band LABYRINTH, created this beast as a side project but it got into something more. While along the years massing some of the greatest talents of the Italian scene, including the special recruitment of RHAPSODY OF FIRE’s top notch frontman, Fabio Lione, VISION DIVINE, the way I see it, has been able to assert itself as the Italian STRATOVARIOUS, but in a much higher level, while when it came down to musical quality and tenacity topping their own local mother bands as RHAPSODY OF FIRE and LABYRINTH. Right from its foundation, while perfecting their style year after year, including this here release, that for me is the band’s greatest achievement, VISION DIVINE spread their high regard for melodic Power Metal but with such musical sophistication that took them into towering altitudes and even into the world of Progressive Metal with slight similarities to DREAM THEATER and ANUBIS GATE.As far as the diverse course of “Destination Set To Nowhere”, I believe that VISION DIVINE were able to entice with such profound technical abilities and incredible skills to create wonderful tracks that seem to be endless. Throughout the entire release I was trying to relive the lives of that men and women on that spaceship running away from the frustrations of Earth. The intense and clever riffing, rhythms, great keyboards layers and miscellaneous drumming, like fast paced heart beats of hundreds of people, aided on understanding what went on through the stages of the story, where is the next destination in the land of nowhere. On top of those all there is the magnificent vocal line by a voice that is so smooth and clear but also has its own deadly Hyde creeping from its cage from time to time. I can’t really break this tracklist into lone tracks because I believe that this entire release is something that you ought to experience in full. Of course that I have my personal choices regarding preferred tracks, and I am used to provide clear cuts, yet for the sake of the story and the effort that was spent on the material, I will leave you to decide which part of this journey suits you more. Generally, VISION DIVINE is offering you an accessible showcase of musical prowess and utter creativity to step into what could be in the not so far future, and maybe help you to think to who or what idea do you mark your ballot for. “Destination Set To Nowhere” certainly became one of my candidates for the album of year for 2012." - METAL TEMPLE
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  • "Formed in 2008 under the (thankfully dropped) name Rightdoor, Within silence are a melodic power metal band in the vein of Blind Guardian. As such you can expect huge swathes of guitar, souring vocals and banks of keyboards all vying for space amidst the pounding rhythms and heroic soloing. Growing steadily, the band have taken their time to draft their debut offering, the gleaming ‘gallery of life’, and it appears that it has been time well spent because the rehearsals, the time spent writing and then honing material on the road with the likes of Blaze Bayley has paid off with this confident and powerful album.Opening with a short, choral ‘intro’, ‘gallery of life’ immediately sets out its stall as an ambitious body of work designed to be heard as one contiguous piece. The intro builds nicely to the powerful guitars of ‘silent desire’. A perfect opening song, ‘silent desire’ immediately highlights the fact this is a production that oozes quality. The guitars are razor sharp, the choruses soar memorably and the playing is ultra-precise. It shows that Within Silence will settle for nothing less than perfection and there’s a sparkling ambition here that is impossible to ignore. ‘Emptiness of night’ is a fast-paced rocker with blazing guitars and a full-on vocal performance that is both powerful and brimming with confidence. There’s a strong Iron Maiden influence underpinning the cracking pace and guitar work, and it’s clear that the band have nothing less than world domination in their sights. Keeping the energy levels high, ‘Elegy of doom’ is another taut rocker with a rampaging riff and just the right amount of keyboard to add atmosphere without overpowering the song. It’s an early highlight of the record and make no mistake, within silence are a band who like to rock! It’s a trend that continues on the equally stunning, ‘The last drop of blood’, a full-on belter of a track that sounds like the band channelling Metallica, Maiden and Judas Priest all at once. It’s one of those adrenalin packed tracks that will get the blood pumping no matter what, and it must surely be a live favourite with its brutal riffs and memorable chorus. The track reaches its peak, however, with the excellent extended solo that runs wild over the second half of the song. Showing a lighter touch, ‘Love is blind’ keeps the energy levels maxed out but offers up a more pop-infused side of the band than found elsewhere, and whilst it still remains on the metallic side of the musical spectrum, it shows that Within silence have both the talent and confidence to fully explore their genre.The band briefly slow their pace for the more subtle opening strains of ‘anger and sorrow’, although the song does not take long to explode into a typically multi-stranded beast complete with extended solos and deft changes. Representing Within Silence at their most commercial sounding, ‘Judgement day’ is the sort of rollicking heavy metal ride that would have been all over the radio back in the eighties. Powerful and driven by a chorus that is only slightly less addictive than crack, ‘judgement day’ is a beast of a track. Next up, pounding drums lead us into ‘the world of slavery’, a song with a strong folk influence. Another track that benefits from some stunning guitar work, ‘the world of slavery’ is a metal epic that only gets better with repeated listens. The album concludes with ‘road to paradise’ which dips into ‘seventh son…’ era Maiden for inspiration. Another epic length track, it is a last chance for the musicians to spread their wings and soar, something which they duly do in impressive fashion. A short ‘outro’ sees the disc spin to a halt with choral voices echoing in the dark. It is a suitably dramatic ending for a CD that takes the listener on a wonderful journey from start to finish.Power metal can be, all too often, a genre where the keyboard elements overshadow the metallic elements. Thankfully, Within Silence, perhaps because of their lengthy time spent out on the road, keep their sound hard-edged throughout and the result is an album that packs a similar punch to the classic Maiden albums of the early eighties. There are crunchy riffs galore, endless solos and the sort of huge, soaring choruses that have made Blind Guardian such a powerful force. Talented, oozing confidence and with a wonderfully powerful set of songs, Within Silence have arrived and metal fans had best sit up and take notice, because these guys have the skill and the burning ambition to go far." - Sonic Abuse
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  • "A brand new DVD release by one of the most interesting German art/prog rock bands - Features a special show recorded earlier this year at Wyspianski Theater in Katowice, Poland, which was also the last complete performance of their most recent album Beyond Man and Time" in Europe - Thoughtful, abstract, and with a tint of the grotesque, the show testifies to RPWL's immense artistic prowess - Feat. A guest appearance by ex-Genesis singer Ray Wilson - Also includes: interview, the band’s commentary track and more!"
    $17.00
  • A new Glass Hammer is like a universal constant.  I can always expect exemplary old school prog rock.  For an old timer like myself Glass Hammer is right in my wheelhouse.  This is their 17th studio album (amazing!) .  If you are unfamiliar with the band you should know it revolves around the core of bassist Steve Babb and keyboardist Fred Schendel.  There have been a lot of musicians through the doors of their studio over the years but somehow they always seem to find an endless supply of them.  The line up seems to be fairly stable at the moment.  Salem Hill mainman Carl Groves handles lead vocals along with Susie Bogdanowicz returning as well.  Guitars are handled by Kamran Alan Shikoh and drums by Aaron Raulston.Glass Hammer music is a reverential amalgam of Yes, ELP, Kansas and what the hell throw in a little bit of Genesis.  Steve and Fred proudly wear their influences on their sleeves.  Want wicked keyboard pyrotechnics?  Fred brings the thunder.  In fact they all do.  The Breaking Of The World arrives with epic length tracks and audiophile quality sound.  I wouldn't want it any other way.  BUY OR DIE!
    $12.00
  • "Released to massive European acclaim, Machine Head's full-length debut, Burn My Eyes, successfully bridges the gap between second-generation Bay Area thrash (Testament, Death Angel, etc.) and the modern-day Pantera school of hard knocks. Produced by underground stalwart Colin Richardson, Burn My Eyes is a bone-shattering exercise in brutality that gives Pantera's classic, Vulgar Display of Power, a good run for its money. A veteran of the Bay Area thrash scene, guitarist/vocalist Robb Flynn emerges as Machine Head's anchor. As guitar player of the riff-heavy yet vocally challenged band Vio-Lence, Flynn had already distinguished himself as a riff-making machine on tracks like "Serial Killer" and "Kill on Command." Interestingly, with the release of Burn My Eyes, every effort was made to cover up Flynn's involvement with his ex-bandmates. Looking back at it, it's easy to understand why. Because of the quick word of mouth in the underground metal community, comparisons to his ex-bandmates would have limited the impact of the record, possibly thwarting its merits. If Vio-Lence held promise, Machine Head was a different proposition all together. Anthems like "Davidian" are monstrous slabs of metal that, by far, eclipse anything Flynn had previously done. Nevertheless, Burn My Eyes is a classic debut and one that helped launch a huge European groundswell for the band that would result in a tour as Slayer's support act. A few months later, the Head would return and headline the very same venues in which they'd opened for Slayer." - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00