Straight Between The Eyes ($5 SPECIAL)

SKU: 3145473662
Label:
Polydor
Category:
Hard Rock
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Remastered edition.

"Straight Between the Eyes undoubtedly has one of the worst album covers in rock history, but the record is an unexpected return to form from the journeyman hard rockers. Just a record before, Rainbow sounded as if they were verging on Billy Squier territory, but here, they reverse course and deliver a solid, no-frills hard rock record. It isn't just that the material is stronger, though it certainly is, it's that Roger Glover abandoned his smoothed-out, radio-ready production that marred Difficult to Cure. That's not to say that Straight Between the Eyes doesn't sound dated -- Rainbow was a band that was forever tied to its era -- but the album does have a harder-hitting, muscular sound that is more appropriate for the band. Similarly, vocalist Joe Lynn Turner sounds more comfortable with the group, and the entire band just seems to gel, turning even the generic numbers on the album into enjoyable, straight-ahead hard rock. There may not be any specific showcases for Ritchie Blackmore, but his playing is better heard in this setting, where he's not only soloing, he's propelling the band with his powerful riffs. As always, he's the driving force behind the band, but this is truly a band effort, which is one of the reasons why Straight Between the Eyes is one of the strongest albums the group ever cut." - All Music Guide

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  • Out of print for some time, Bruce Soord freshed up the band's second album.  Originally released back in 2001, this version of 137 features a new mix, new mastering, and even new artwork.
    $13.00
  • "Like any respected underground band staging a comeback, Gorguts have a lot to live up to. In order to understand why expectations are unusually high for Colored Sands-- the first new LP since 2001 from this Quebec death-metal institution-- you have to look back to 1998'sObscura, one of the most pungently progressive albums ever made, in or out of metal.Obscura didn't just register as technical; it sounded downright excruciating, as if its shuddering blastbeats, doleful bellows, and deliriously inventive guitarwork were being torn straight from the chests of its makers.But as brilliant as Obscura was, and as wide as its influence has spread-- it holds a hallowed place not just among discerning death-metalheads, but in open-eared jazz circles as well-- it wasn't exactly a definitive Gorguts release. The band made their name playing in a very different style. Their first two LPs, 1991's Considered Dead and 1993's The Erosion of Sanity, demonstrated impressive tightness and a flair for involved composition, but they were very much of their time-- unrelentingly intense dispatches descended from the bulging-vein aggression of 80s thrash. Conceived as early as 93, but not issued until 98, Obscura shocked longtime listeners, who couldn't believe the madness the band's lengthy gestation had birthed.That chapter of Gorguts was short-lived, though, as guitarist/vocalist Steeve Hurdle-- a key co-architect of Obscura, who died tragically last year at age 41-- left the band in 1999. On the next Gorguts LP, 2001's sorely underrated From Wisdom to Hate, founder and sole constant member Luc Lemay streamlined Obscura's demented sprawl, yielding a less outlandish yet equally distinguished statement. This was a wise move; there would've been no way to out-weird Obscura.Fans have known for a while that the next Gorguts record was shaping up to be another fresh start. When Lemay revived the group in 2009, after a suggestion from Hurdle that he commemorate Gorguts' 20th anniversary, he took a new approach to bandbuilding. Gorguts had always been a locally sourced project, staffed by musicians from Lemay's Quebec home base-- including Hurdle, bassist Steve Cloutier and current Voivod guitarist Daniel Mongrain-- but this time, he set about assembling a North American progressive-metal all-star team. This band, which appears on Colored Sands, includes two NYC luminaries: bassist Colin Marston, of Krallice and Behold… the Arctopus, and guitarist Kevin Hufnagel, Marston's bandmate in Dysrhythmia. The drummer is John Longstreth, best known for his work in Kansas's hypertechnical Origin. It would be reductive to peg any of these players as members of a post-Gorguts generation, but their work during the past decade embodies the same spirit that drove Obscura: a conception of metal as art music, not in the Sunn O))) sense-- where the genre commingles with drone, noise and other abstracted forms-- but in the sense of a creatively restless pursuit, a union of unfettered imagination and rigorous virtuosity. Like Luc Lemay, Marston, Hufnagel, and Longstreth have each established themselves as master players driven to expand their idiom without assailing its core tenets.The highest compliment you could pay Colored Sands would be a simple description of what it is: a fully formed outing from an outstandingly pedigreed new incarnation of an already legendary band. Thanks to Lemay's trademark anguished roar and dark-prog riff savvy,Colored Sands feels unmistakably like a Gorguts record, but the compositions-- most by Lemay, with Marston and Hufnagel each contributing a single song-- don't mimic any particular chapter of the band's past. The record's greatest strength is its vast dynamic range. On one hand, it contains some of the thorniest, most aggressive death metal ever issued under the Gorguts name; on the other, it includes moments of stunning textural beauty. That duality is a perfect fit for the album's surprisingly specific lyrical theme: the way Tibetan culture encompasses both ancient majesty and modern despair.It seems odd to praise a Gorguts record for its prettiness, but some of the most memorable passages on Colored Sands are also the subtlest-- transitional sections that punctuate the band's signature gritted-teeth shred. Opening track "Le Toit du Monde" orbits a hypnotic, clean-toned motif-- a waltz-time riff marked by chiming harmonics-- and Hufnagel seasons his extraordinary "Absconders" with a dreamy interlude, an oasis of eerie calm in the middle of a churning epic. Other pieces thrive on adrenaline. Marston's "Forgotten Arrows" features a thrillingly complex central theme, which seems descended both from Dysrhythmia's intricate chiaroscuro riffs and the blastbeat-driven turbo-prog of Behold… the Arctopus. On the other hand, Lemay's title track-- a doomy plod that trades math-metal daredevilry for hard-grooving 4/4-- is one of the most straightforwardly headbangable tracks in the Gorguts discography.Diverse approaches aside, all the songs here share a rare coherence: they're as info-packed as the pieces on Obscura or From Wisdom to Hate, but their construction feels especially logical. While not the most extreme compositions Gorguts have issued, they might be the richest and most memorable; the patiently unfolding arrangements-- complemented by a spacious, full-bodied production job that contrasts sharply with the harsh, brittle sound of Obscura andFrom Wisdom-- give each idea room to really sink in.There's also a strong band unity at work here, honed onstage over the past several years. No Gorguts album has grooved harder than Colored Sands, a fact that has a lot to with John Longstreth, who excels at making dauntingly proggy riffs feel sprightly and pliable. His rapid-fire snare/hi-hat stutter on the verse sections of "Ember's Voice" and the chopsy yet remarkably relaxed post-fusion fills he busts out during the "Absconders" outro exemplify how technical flourishes can enhance a song's momentum rather than hinder it. During moments when the full quartet digs into a meaty pattern-- the sci-fi thrash episode in the middle of "Forgotten Arrows," the lurching slam breakdown in "Enemies of Compassion"-- you're hearing four expert players uniting with Voltron-like purpose: not just a provisional assemblage but a real band at work.At the same time, Colored Sands is, like each of the four Gorguts albums that precedes it, a personal statement from Luc Lemay. For those inclined to read liner notes and follow a lyric sheet, there's a hefty amount of thematic data in the margins of this record that gives it a very different feel than any of the band's prior efforts. The first two Gorguts albums dealt with standard-issue death-metal topics (disease, corruption, madness); Obscura turned inward, tackling depression and spiritual crisis; From Wisdom to Hate was a topical grab-bag, covering religious delusion, political megalomania, and the fascination of antiquity. Here, simply put, Lemay has Tibet on the brain. An admitted outsider to the culture, he nevertheless taps into some profound emotions, touching on the deep spirituality of Tibetan Buddhist tradition, as well as the region's purgatorial struggle with Chinese rule.The idea of a death-metal vocalist howling about sand mandalas and snow lions might look iffy on paper, but the concept sticks, thanks to the dynamism of the music and the conviction Lemay brings to every line. The frontman isn't holding Tibetan culture at arm's length; his seething bellows on tracks such as "Reduced to Silence" come off as a kind of rigorous method acting, as though he were revisiting personal trauma in an effort to comprehend the Sisyphean ordeal of the culture he's depicting. It's admirable that just as Lemay has regularly renovated the Gorguts sound, moving ever further from death-metal orthodoxy, he's also worked to find fresh thematic approaches like the one that unifies Colored Sands.Lemay also shows off his creative breadth on "The Battle of Chamdo", an instrumental piece for string ensemble. Previous Gorguts albums have featured classical-style intros and interludes, cluing fans in to Lemay's training as a violinist and composer, but "Chamdo" is the first full-length stand-alone track of this type issued under the band's name. The composition's strident, martial rhythms and mournful melodies give it a distinct soundtracky quality, as though Lemay were narrating rather than simply evoking China's 1950 invasion of Tibet. "Chamdo" appears at the album's midpoint, and while the piece isn't as arresting as the metal-oriented material that surrounds it, it serves as a smart palate cleanser.Obscura found Gorguts reemerging in bizarrely mutated form; Colored Sands represents a subtler yet similarly striking evolution. Just as he did on Obscura and From Wisdom to Hate, Luc Lemay has chosen expert collaborators here and given them the freedom to leave their mark on the band's legacy. With Colored Sands-- an album of breathtaking detail and scope-- he, Marston, Hufnagel and Longstreth pay fitting tribute to Gorguts' remarkable history. Instead of reclaiming the past, they've pooled their resources to create a new present." - Pitchfork
    $12.00
  • Technical death metal for fans of Necrophagist and Obscura."The 3rd full length from The Faceless is easily one of the most anticipated albums of the decade for the extreme Metal Genre. This is the bands 1st release in over 4 years. Autotheism is a semi conceptual record following a mans journey of self discovery and transformation into the all powerful God of his reality. Musically, Autotheism is expansive in all directions. It is a thought provoking roller coaster with the occasional sledge hammer to the skull and contains more dynamics and diversity than any offering presented by The Faceless to date. This is forward thinking music that is beyond the scope of anything currently out there."
    $11.00
  • ""Speed Metal Symphony" signified a dramatic change in neo-classic heavy metal, by blending together the "over the top" guitar fury of Marty Friedman and 17 year old guitar phenomenon Jason Becker. "Speed Metal Symphony" features intense classical, contrapuntal lines, played in odd-meter against a speed metal wall of rhythm--enough to have left guitar fanatics pointing at their speakers in disbelief. Instrumental tracks include "Concerto" and the mind-numbing title track. " - Guitar 9
    $16.00
  • "Dutch symphonic rock band WITHIN TEMPTATION are thrilled to unveil a new live DVD/Blu-ray/2CD. ‘Let Us Burn – Elements & Hydra Live In Concert’ is set for release on November 14 and features two of WITHIN TEMPTATION’s most talked about arena shows ever. The two dates are 2012’s resplendent 15th birthday ‘Elements’ concert and the final night of the ‘Hydra’ European arena tour at Amsterdam’s Heineken Music Hall in May 2014. When it comes to the live experience, Within Temptation’s status is of a league extraordinaire. These two performances showcase every nuance of their fierce reputation plus stunning imagery and special FX, including even giant fire-breathing dragons!In November 2012, WITHIN TEMPTATION challenged themselves to create one of their most impressive arena shows ever, to celebrate the band’s 15th birthday. The result was the one-off symphonic ‘Elements’ show, held at the Sportpaleis in Antwerp. A dazzling event with 15,000 fans, the band’s dream came to life. Newly inspired, the group went forth to write their critically acclaimed sixth studio album ‘Hydra’.n early 2014, WITHIN TEMPTATION unleashed ‘Hydra’. This monster record claimed more than 10 European Top-10 chart positions, a #2 position in the iTunes World Charts, and the band’s highest US Billboard Top-20 chart position to date. The album success was followed by a 33-date European arena tour, selling out noted venues like Wembley Arena in London, Le Zenith in Paris, and the legendary Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam (twice).Over 15,000 fans joined the ‘Elements’ show celebrations and more than 120,000 fans witnessed the ‘Hydra’ beast on stage in Europe, but WITHIN TEMPTATION is far from done. The ‘Hydra’ world tour is currently in full swing in North America. With South America and Japan still to come, more than half a million fans will have seen WITHIN TEMPTATION by the end of this year.WITHIN TEMPTATION is renowned for releasing impressive live DVDs. Previous release, the best-selling ‘Black Symphony’ DVD, helped make them one of the most popular bands in their genre. At their recent Awards show in Berlin, Metal Hammer Germany presented WITHIN TEMPTATION with the prestigious Best Live Band Award. The new DVD underlines this title.‘Let Us Burn – Elements & Hydra Live In Concert’ will be released in four formats – DVD + 2CD, Blu-ray + 2CD, 2CD, and digital album. The DVD and Blu-ray contain 34 live audio visual tracks in HD, mixed in 5.1 Dolby Surround. The 2CD and digital album comprise 32 live audio tracks. The two shows have a running time total of approximately 170 minutes. ‘Let Us Burn – Elements & Hydra Live In Concert’ is a treat for rock fans all over the world."
    $9.00
  • "If you’re a fan of Melodic/Gothic/Prog Metal, you will certainly enjoy Envinya. Envinya’s album, “Inner Silence” starts off with the song, Faceless. It offers a nice array of synths/keys and samples, but things soon pick as the drums come in and thus signalling the band. This track is melodic yet carries a heavy side, as the guitar tends to be heavier in parts, the keys dance in the background at a very nice pace.Forlorn begins with a nice muted guitar riff and a growling vocals that just keeps the groove going until it breaks and gives way to angelic chorus. The title track, Inner Silence offers a nice single line riff in the beginning that’s greeted by her passionate vocals which adds so well to this song, she’s a real talent. This track is easily a standout track, and you will definitely be going back to listen to it again and again. In My Hands is another great track, in which she belts out the words with such passion and grace, it’s hard not to like and the added growling backing vocal are added so nicely to its overall effect on the listener, it’s a very nice heavy melodic track.Swallow has a really nice driving guitar riff that intertwines very well with the keys.It also offers the technical side that will have even the most classic of metal fans listening.What is possibly my favourite riff starter on the album comes from the song, Satin and Silk.The gritty growl that seems to be presence in the chorus adds to this song very well, it’s a nice array of technicality and melody the drums just crush on this song, such a great track. The piano and vocal opening to Mirror Soul is absolutely beautiful, and just gets more riveting as the drums and guitar cut in, she does such a great vocal track on this one, it’s hard not to get goose bumps.My personal favourite from this album, I can’t help but want to hear the chorus again, the beginning is another section that I love to listen to over and over. I’ve always been a fan of pedal tone guitar licks, and, Too Late is no exception of that. This track opens up with a nice high key pedal lick, which lends nice to the chorus riff in which is basicallythe same thing but on lower strings. The screaming is great on this song too, a real nice addition again. Beyond the Dark, does a nice trade of vocal styles that can’t help but serve well to the overall feel of this song. The drummer’s feet are flying on this song, as he really gives it to the bass drums.Demoralized ends off things for this CD in great fashion. It’s nice to see the bass and drums stand alone on some sections of this song, before the guitars and keys kick back in, the dynamics it creates is something to envy.Overall this album offers up some of the best Melodic/Goth Metal I’ve heard in quite some time.I really enjoy the angelic singing along with the crushing and technical aspect of this band.It really pulls at your emotions well, getting you caught up in her passionate singing and the other grittysinging, it works in perfect harmony. If this CD were lost I would definitely buy again, in a heartbeat." - Wolfhound Metal 
    $14.00
  • This version of the classic Grobschnitt album has been long out of print.  We were able to score a small quantity from a warehouse find.  This is the remastered version and features both the English and German vocal versions of the album.  Expensive?  Yeah they were!  Cost us a fortune to bring them in but they are pretty much impossible to find these days.  " "Jumbo" was GROBSCHNITT's reply to "Solar Music" and really was a set up to "Rockpommel's Land" and for may has been incredibly overlooked, but stands out equal to both as a great album. All 5 songs again came from the studio of Conny Plank and for GROBSCHNITT brought a slightly more approachable and concerto-like concept based approach. Of course GROBSCHNITT continue to retain their slapstick humour sustained by Eroc's inane lyrics and uniquely used quirky voices and sound effects.Musically "Jumbo" is dominated by key song writers with Lupo's talented lead-guitar work and Mist's keyboards. The Repertoire Remastered CD contains both English and German releases of "Jumbo" and offeres fantastic sound reproduction. Musically most of this album is actually reminiscent of themes to be explored in more theatric detail in "Rockpommel's Land" and none finer than the track 'Jupp/The Excursion Of Father Smith' which is perhaps my favourite GROBSCHNITT track from all their albums. The line up on "Jumbo" was Joachim Ehrig (Eroc) - drums, electronics, silly voices, Stefan Danielak (Wildschwein) - rhythm guitar, vocals, Wolfgang Jager (Pepe) - bass, Gerd-Otto Kuhn (Lupo) - lead guitar and Volker Kahrs (Mist) - organ, Mellotron, piano, synthesizer. "Jumbo" is a significant part of GROBSCHNITT's discography and an album I treasure." - ProgArchives
    $26.00
  • Special edition import box set includes the Blu-ray, 2DVDs, and 2 audio CDs."Artistry is never about conformity and straight lines. It’s about taking risks, and then pushing boundaries to a point where the impossible suddenly seems a little more flexible. Such has been the career of Devin Townsend, one of the most uniquely insightful musicians of the 21st Century. And it’s certainly the case with the Retinal Circus.Staged at The Roundhouse in London on October 27, 2012, this was the chance for Townsend to present a performance that summarised his career so far. And he did it with aplomb, style, humour, a sense of blackness and a touch of the bizarre.“My manager and I were looking for a way to sum up 20 years of my music, without making it seem that I was some kind of multi-headed hydra. And over a period of time we came up with the idea of the Retinal Circus.”The concept was to piece together a presentation that was musical, visual and startling. One that reflected Townsend’s own remarkable ability to take up almost any idea, twist it within his own show, thereby adding to the overall impact.“To me it’s like somebody putting a cauldron in the middle of a room, with only a nail in it. Eventually someone comes along and says, ‘That cauldron could do with some potatoes’. And then someone else says, ‘Let’s add some tomatoes’, and before you know it you have a cauldron filled to the brim with all sorts of interesting items. That’s how we approached this concept.”Over a period of eight to 10 months, during which time he was also working on other projects, Townsend assembled all the factors and talents that would eventually help to spit this Circus into something so fascinating that it took The Roundhouse by storm, and is still being spoken about as one of the great triumphs of the live environment over the past decade. While the centrepiece was clearly the music that has helped to propel Townsend to such eminence, it’s very diversity allowed for the introduction of characters who were wild and wacky enough to be the music made flesh and blood – not to mention fire breathing skills, in some cases!“We always knew that it was going to be a one-off performance. It’s not as if we planned to repeat the process. So what you see and hear is captured from the one night when the Retinal Circus will ever be brought to life.”Given the complexity and wide-ranging nature of this production, it’s astonishing to think that there were just one-and-a-half days of rehearsal time prior to the show itself. But it would all prove to be quite extraordinary, as the night in question brought out a kind of collective feral belief from everyone.“To me, it’s like going on a long bicycle ride. You can always give up at any point, but what do get out of that? It’s far more satisfying to keep going, whatever the problems you face, and to know that you’ve made it on your own merit and in your own time.”Since the show itself happened, Townsend has been busy getting together the live release, and ensuring that every aspect reflects the night itself in the best possible sense.“I wanted the sound and musical quality to be of the highest order. I wanted the commentary, the visuals...everything about it to be appealing and comprehensive. And I feel that’s what I’ve now got. This will never happen again, so what I release to the fans has to be of a quality that reflects the original ideals. It was so much fun to do, and had so much passion. I believe you can feel that when you watch and listen.”The Retinal Circus was so extreme, full of depth and intelligence that it should have taken much longer to produce with considerably more financial and manpower back-up. But then the beauty of Townsend is that he made it work on his own terms and in his own times.“It was an absurd project to start. But it was an even more absurd project to finish. But I am proud of what I did. I will always have a special place for the Retinal Circus.”"
    $50.00
  • The madcap French jazz metal trio return with their sixth album.  Morglbl consists of guitarist Christope Godin, bassist Ivan Rougny, and drummer  Aurelian Ouzoulias.  The band has toured extensively around the world – USA, Europe, Russia and even China!  They have shared the stage with Liquid Tension Experiment, Bumblefoot, and Umphrey’s McGee among others.These three virtuosos are also well endorsed clinicians and have developed a following individually but when they come together the fireworks really start.  Tea Time For Punks doesn’t deviate from the tried and true Morglbl formula.  Take equal parts fusion and crushing metal power chords, then inject a healthy dose of tongue in cheek humor and you’ve got the perfect Morglbl album. The band is often described as Primus meets Steve Vai and Allan Holdsworth, with flavors of Frank Zappa! 
    $13.00
  • Debut release from this Norwegian progressive ensemble immersed in the 70s sound.  Tusmorke began life as Les Fleurs Du Mal and featured Wobbler vocalist Andreas Prestmo.  They have since gone through changes of lineup and nae.  The band is heavily influenced by Jethro Tull, White Willow and Incredible String Band.  Its flute driven prog with a quirky psychedelic folk element.  The album was produced by Wobbler keyboardist Lars Fredrik Frøislie who contributes his arsenal to the album enhancing the prog vibe.  Mellotron freaks - its all here!  In addition to the album you get 3 bonus tracks of previously unreleased material from Les Fleurs Du Mal.  Highly recommended.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"9132","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"283","width":"400"}}]] 
    $18.00
  • CD version of the live show from Katowice, Poland in 2005. Basically the audio soundtrack of the DVD previously available. Digipak - supposedly a limited edition.
    $16.00
  • "With the release of its sixth LP, The Parallax II: Future Sequence (the sequel to the Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues EP), in 2012, American progressive metal quintet Between the Buried and Me set a new benchmark for its genre. Sure, both 2007’s Colors and 2009’s The Great Misdirect are incredible records (the former was a breakthrough in terms of both approach and commercial appeal, while the latter was more polished, accessible, and vibrant), but Parallax II took the epic-suite-broken-into-sections format Colors introduced and perfected it. With its dramatic chronicle, seamless flow, hypnotic singing, inventive instrumentation, and self-referential continuity, it easily ranked not only as BTBAM’s best effort to date, but as one of the greatest progressive metal albums of all time.Naturally, expectations skyrocketed when the band announced its follow-up, Coma Ecliptic; fortunately, it surely satisfies them. Another seventy minute odyssey into imaginative soundscapes, mind-blowing arrangements, affective storytelling, and remarkable tonal shifts (both musically and vocally), the full-length retains everything that made their past few opuses so unique, breathtaking, and rewarding. However, as astounding as it is, Coma Ecliptic doesn’t quite surpass its predecessor, as it’s slightly less varied and daring; nevertheless, it comes very close to matching Parallax II, making it another absolutely extraordinary entry in their discography.Billed as another “modern rock opera,” the concept of Coma Ecliptic actually shares similarities with that of The Mars Volta’s debut, De-Loused in the Comatorium. As bassist Dan Briggs explains, the plot “follows the wanderings of an unidentified man, stuck in a coma, as he journeys through his past lives. Each song is its own episode in a modern day, sort of The Twilight Zone-esque fashion [sic]. The unidentified man enters each world and is offered a choice: stay, or move on to the next in search of something better, something more ‘perfect.’”  To reveal any more of the tale would ruin its surprises and most affective elements. Suffice it to say, though, that the quintet’s moral intention is to help listeners “make the best of [their lives]. People are constantly searching for something better without taking the time to appreciate the things they have. What we need may already be here . . .” Because of its coherent storyline and meaningful themes, Coma Ecliptic actually contains BTBAM’s strongest narrative yet.Along the same lines, it also features one of their best opening tracks to date: “Node”. Vocalist/keyboardist Tommy Giles Rogers plays an ethereal piano pattern as he sings beautiful yet mournful judgments. Eventually, harmonies, strings, biting guitar riffs, and thunderous percussion explode around him, culminating in a regal and dense declaration of the trauma to come. In typical Between the Buried and Me fashion, Giles’ voice even interlocks with itself a couple times; likewise, the composition alternates between calmness and catastrophe with exceptional build-ups. It’s a fine way to begin, and it demonstrates how the band continues to evolve with each new release. Like most of the “episodes” on Coma Ecliptic, “Node” segues into the next section, “The Coma Machine.”With its fluctuating structures, absorbing melodies, and exceptional musicianship, “The Coma Machine” follows a familiar template; nonetheless, it’s still a fascinating and creative venture. From the way Giles’ infectious chorus (“You teach us what was, out there”) complements the mechanical riffs, to the way the song’s essence moves from hellish to heavenly several times, this track is a stunning beast that never lets up. Of course, their trademark frantic rhythmic changes are in full force here, with gripping stop/start breaks on occasion. Similarly, the sharp intertwining patterns of guitarists Paul Waggoner and Dustie Waring are as overwhelming as ever. Without a doubt, though, the single best moment of “The Coma Machine” comes at around the 3:15 mark, when an electrifying new riff crashes in, joined by bells and pounding drums. It’s wholly invigorating and awesome; in fact, it’s one of the best moments on any BTBAM creation. Finally, Giles’ closing bridge is subtle yet very moving.Like a lost gem by Dutch prog metal band Ayreon, “Dim Ignition” sneaks in with an ominous synthesized loop. Essentially, it’s a brief psychedelic interlude in which Giles proclaims foreboding notions over spacey effects and beats. It serves its purpose well and definitely adds to the thematic quality of Coma Ecliptic, but what’s really cool is how the loop bleeds into the introductory, sinister riff of “Famine Wolf” at its conclusion. As for “Famine Wolf” itself, its opening is also among the highlights on the disc. In general, its dynamic juxtapositions aren’t as striking as on some other tracks, but it still balances Giles’ screaming and singing well. The most interesting aspect appears about two-thirds of the way in, when the aforementioned loop returns as Giles evokes the peculiar accent that he used on past LPs. In this way, Coma Ecliptic feels connected to its precursors.Another transition takes place next, as “King Redeem/Queen Serene” starts with a lovely acoustic guitar arpeggio supporting arguably the most touching melody and lyrics Giles has ever sung (“I can’t hear a thing / These waves crash faster”). Every measure comes with more luscious layers until the arrangement breaks into one of the most “prog” moments BTBAM has ever had. After some more heaviness, an essential rhythmic breakdown from “The Coma Machine” comes back, which is very cool, followed by more frantic transformations. Ultimately, the piece ends as it began, so it feels like a self-contained observation.Although all of “Turn on the Darkness” is astonishing in how moves around its various formations, the best part is the chorus, during which Giles brings the concept to the forefront. Following some warm and atmospheric passages, he seizes command by saying, “Welcome to our journey / Please walk with me / I’ll put your mind at ease.” Aside from this, the ways in which the guitar and keyboards echo each other from time to time also help the track stand out. Really, this selection feels like something from The Great Misdirect, which isn’t bad at all.“The Ectopic Stroll” possibly includes the most experimentation aspects on Coma Ecliptic, as Giles’s odd piano chords, coupled with his menacing crooning, make the main parts feel like a malevolent 1940s jazz excerpt. He screeches, “Whoa, can’t get it right!” while sing-a-long harmonies concur, and at first, it’s a bit toounconventional to feel appropriate; but, after a few listens it feels more fitting. Equally, the percussive spasticity and quality feel akin to some of the wilder tones used by Dream Theatre or Devin Townsend. Truly, these risks also show how fearless BTBAM still is in trying new techniques, so they deserve praise for that alone.As its name suggests, “Rapid Calm” is transcendent and lively, with keyboard and guitar outlines dancing around each other as more soothing melodies signal the beginning of the end. In particular, this song is a strong example of how Coma Ecliptic features the strongest emphasis on clean vocals of any Between the Buried and Me record; there’s still plenty of growling throughout, but Giles has never allowed his natural style to shine so densely or prevalently. During the chorus, for instance, he conveys dread and sorrow powerfully, realizing, “They don’t want you there / They don’t want me here / Remember my name / The machine is crumbling.” It’s an exceptional moment, as is the moody intermission near the end, whose somber timbres recall parts of the most recent Opeth collections.Beyond being the standout track on Coma Ecliptic by a mile, “Memory Palace” may be the single best Between the Buried and Me song ever. Each element is just about perfect; from its towering opening riffs and soaring lines to its meticulous and clever shifts, every second is spectacular. The group has never before moved between such drastic deviations with such silky expertise; above all, the leap into what’s likely the band’s most surreal segment yet (“Focus on melody / The sounds under my eyes / Dreaming inside of this / World inside my mind”) is amazing. Furthermore, the way they bring back past moments near the end is sublime. If ever there was a track that single-handedly proved why BTBAM is so special, it’s this one.Luckily, the reprisals continue during the final two tracks, “Option Oblivion” and “Life in Velvet.” The former bursts in from its predecessor with more spellbinding arrays. Brilliantly, Giles brings back a phrase that was first mentioned on “Rapid Calm”:  “A choice of gold or velvet / Do I go on, or follow the crown in the smoke?” A bit further on, he also references “The Coma Machine” by lamenting, “Looking back through the painful tunnel / They taught us what once was.” As for “Life in Velvet,” it continues the symbolic theme of velvet (as a catalyst for spiritual transformation) that runs throughout the album; it’s also lead by a modified version of the chord progression from “The Coma Machine.” Like “Node,” it features Giles singing softly while playing piano, and in doing so, it brings Coma Ecliptic full circle. As a final burst of brilliance, the aforementioned electrifying guitar riff and closing bridge from “The Coma Machine” also makes an appearance. Because of these numerous references, Coma Ecliptic has the most alluring, suitable, and clever conclusion of any Between the Buried and Me record.Coma Ecliptic is an exquisite masterpiece. As with most opaque works, it takes many listens to fully appreciate everything here (including multilayered production, parallel structures, and callbacks to prior parts); however, once listeners understand all that’s going on, they’ll be utterly blown away. Between the Buried and Me have proven time and time again how distinctive, ambitious, capable, and important they are within its genre; no other band can do what they do as well as they do, and this effort just proves that once again." - Pop Matters
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  • "Daniel O'Sullivan's acclaimed Ulver has a tendency to traverse a truly abstract path between the realms of shoegaze, metal and black ambient, while his collaboration with Steve Moore, Miracle, remains firmly rooted in the universe of synth-pop. His solo Mothlite moniker makes eerily effective work of hybridising the disparate styles of these two projects, landing somewhere not far from the majestic highs and lows of Talk Talk's The Colour of Spring.With his second album under the guise, O'Sullivan makes a sustained effort to sing from the stomach out, minimally affecting his pitch, which is perfect for the overdubbed goth-pop harmonies that suit this type of music (nowhere are his warm choruses more prominent than on the title track). To imagine Tears for Fears' Roland Orzabal singing with The Big Pink could have been a suitable comparison, but would do a disservice to the lush layers of ambient beats, tribal drums and keyboard arpeggios that O'Sullivan uniquely fuses." - The Skinny
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  • "Charismatic duo Se Delan is the newest act to be signed to Kscope, a revered label known for its “post-progressive sounds” and incredible line-up, which includes genre stars like Anathema, Gazpacho, Amplifier, Steven Wilson, and The Pineapple Thief. Considering its peers, then, it's surprising to note how laidback and relatively simple the music on the group’s debut LP, The Fall, is. Rather than aim for lengthy songs, virtuosic arrangements, and grandiose ideas, the pair constructs warm yet solemn atmospheres and subtle yet alluring melodies.It’s an enticing and moody introduction to a band that definitely earns its place amongst so many dazzling siblings.Comprised of multi-instrumentalist Justin Greaves (Crippled Black Phoenix) and Swedish vocalist Belinda Kordic (whose wispy voice is both seductive and haunting), the record is an interesting blend of folk, shoegaze, rock, and pop, like a wonderful blend of Alcest, Of Monsters and Men, and Lady & Bird. As you might’ve guessed, Greaves crafted the music while Kordic wrote the melodies. Although it’s arguably a bit too cyclical in arrangement and melody, The Fall is a chilling and beautiful examination of life." - Rebel Noise 
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