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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  • This is the first North American release for Move, the fifth album in the Freak Kitchen discography.  Freak Kitchen is led by renowned guitarist/vocalist Mattias Eklundh. The band describes Move as "More metal, more experimental, more fascinating… will please the fans and will without any possible doubt convert the newcomers." It is also the first album to feature drummer Bjorn Fryklund.  Intense guitar driven music that blurs the fine line between progressive rock and metal.  Essential for fans of Frank Zappa, Bumblefoot, and Steve Vai."Freak Kitchen return with their fifth album, a new drummer and bass player. The first noticeable difference is the inclusion of double kick drums at the beginning of the opening track "Propaganda Pie." They definitely add an extra metal "oooomph" to Freak Kitchen's sound.Of course Eklundh fills the album with crazy, off-the-wall, impossible to play solos and licks. His playing alone is worth the price of the album. But that is not even the best part, as basically every song on the album is extremely catchy and memorable. These are the type of songs that get stuck in your head for hours.The lyrics generally deal with real world issues, such as sweatshops ("Logo"), divorce ("Seven Days In June"), and drug addiction ("Herion Breakfast"). The topics are serious, but generally the music is upbeat; they are addressed in a somewhat sarcastic way, although a few songs could be considered 'depressing.' Probably "Seven Days In June" and "Razor Flowers." The latter track is sung by the bassist, and he does a great job.Move is definitely not 100% TR00 METUHL, but it rocks, and it has the high quality of musicianship that metal fans enjoy, so it should appeal to many a listener." - Metal Archives
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  • It is extremely difficult to put one specific label on the Degree Absolute material. While having firm roots in progressive metal, DA strays from the path quite frequently, exploring the worlds of jazz and ambient music, as well as doom, thrash, and technical metal. If it was possible to compare the music of DA to the music of other well-known bands, one could say that it is based somewhere between Fates Warning's semi-progressive melodies and WatchTower's technical playing skills.The Degree Absolute project began when multi-instrumentalist Aaron Bell came to the conclusion that his song ideas and concepts could not be realized in a typical band situation. After attempting to bring his original material into different local bands with disappointing results, he decided that a new project, void of any of the compromises associated with a true band, was necessary.To fill the bassist position, Aaron immediately contacted Dave Lindeman. They had worked together in a local band, Chaos Game, and Aaron thought Dave would be perfect for the role. Dave is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, where he majored in music synthesis. He has performed in various capacities as a bassist in the Boston area, both as a studio musician and in live settings.The addition of Doug Beary on drums completed the Degree Absolute line-up. Doug has been drumming with the melodic metal band, Defyance, since its inception 15 years ago. Since joining Degree Absolute, he has proven himself to be a perfect match as well as the final piece of the puzzle.Mixing of the debut recording was performed by noted producer Neil Kernon (Nevermore, Spiral Architect, Cannibal Corpse, etc.) at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas.
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  • New remastered edition with a bonus second disc with 16 unreleased tracks."Death writes about life, but not as we know it. They profile the dregs of society: the malformed, the defective, the insane. Spiritual Healing opens with “Living Monstrosity”, a song about a baby “born without eyes, hands, and a half a brain” — the product of a coke-addled pregnancy. The band follows with the aptly-named abortion-themed “Altering the Future”. Frontman and chief songwriter Chuck Schuldiner debates both sides of the argument (“Creating a life only to destroy” v. “Abortion when it is needed”) before concluding pro-choice (“The one who is with child, it’s their choice to make”).This is thinking-man’s metal, and 1989’s Spiritual Healing, which is being reissued by Relapse Records, is Death’s most lyrically dominated album — a conceptual piece about the physically and mentally crippled. It’s as though Schuldiner based his words off medical journals, police reports, and Oliver Sacks novels: “Defensive Personalities” observes bi-polar schizophrenia; “Spiritual Healing” is about a pseudo-religious murderer; and “Low Life” rails against amoral bottom-dwellers who cheat to get by.Feeding off anger and neuroses, Death plays minimalist heavy metal at high speeds and with brutal strength. The thin production (accentuated by the reissue’s improved mastering) is purposefully bleak; it’s a platform for skull-pounding power chords, growled vocals, and tales of the intrinsically hopeless. It’s hard to enjoy this music; it’s so abrasive that it can only be felt and experienced. But in this way, it’s affecting. You will react to it.The three-disc deluxe edition includes outtakes and an audience-recorded live show. Neither is practical, but they do serve academic purposes, depicting how these songs came to be and what they sounded like live. Although the band’s earlier albums are lauded as the origins of death metal, Spiritual Healing saw Schuldiner’s intellectualism blossom into unadulterated aggression. Relapse gives it the comprehensive reissue that it deserves." - Consequence Of Sound
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  • Leprous are an exciting young band from Norway. They made a great album for our label in Tall Poppy Syndrome and have now found a new home at Inside Out. Bilateral is the band's third album. It continues their tradition of mixing progressive rock and metal in equal doses. They serve it up in a way that continually leaves the listener off kilter. This time Einar Solberg sings almost (but not totally) with clean vocals. There is still quite a bit of heaviness. The music constantly challenges you and at times isn't all that pleasant to listen to...but you can't stop. If Van Der Graaf Generator recorded a metal album it might sound something like this. Album of the year candidate...you must own this!
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  • Kingfisher Sky is a new Dutch ensemble put together by former Within Temptation drummer Ivar De Graaf along with classically trained vocalist Judith Rijnveld. Ivar left Within Temptation to pursue other musical interests. His collaboration with Judith produced a brilliant debut that encompasses progressive rock, gothic metal and mystical Celtic themes. At times the music bears some similarities to the more mainstream direction that Within Temptation went with their latest release, but the music has more of a prog rock feel. There is a heaviness that permeates the album due to the background of the rhythm section (bassist Eric Hoogendoorn was in Orphanage) but despite the crunch of the guitars it never quite crosses over into metal. Judith's vocals are simply amazing - she sings with incredible control and range - somewhere between Sharon Den Adel and Christina Booth. This is not hyper-complex prog. It relies on moods created by the vocals and writing. The moodiness of the ballads evokes Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Peter Gabriel which the more agressive tunes suggest Porcupine Tree, Within Temptation and even Pink Floyd. For my particular taste this is a different kind of album that pushes the right buttons. If it was a bit heavier we'd probably be referring to it as a metal album but it's not (I do love that crunch though). The band's label is trying hard to not ride the Within Temptation connection too heavily, hoping that the band's music will stand on its own - it does and then some. Having said that it's impossible to deny the musical connection. Highest recommendation! Kingfisher Sky on Myspace
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  • Darker is the long awaited second album from Swiss progressive rock band Dawn. It has been 6 years since the quartet rocked the prog world with their expert take on old school symphonic rock.Dawn formed in Montreux, Switzerland in 1996.  Since then the band has performed at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival, as well as at Swiss prog rock festivals Progsol, and Montreux Prog Nights.  The band has also opened for Kansas and Fish.  After a series of line up changes the band began to focus on their sophomore release in 2010 and perform them in concert.Dawn’s music is riddled with vintage keyboard sounds and flowing guitar solos.  Plaintive vocals ascribe a kinship to the British Canterbury prog family tree.  The album is conceived as a series of compositions dealing with Man in the 21st century: his fears, his conception of life, his reaction to technology, nuclear power, and the planet’s suffocation.  Darker was recorded in 2013 by Olivier Charmillot and mastered by noted audiophile engineer Bob Katz.
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  • "While "Airbourne" (released in 1976) represents the declining years in terms of Curved Air's success and popularity, it does have some historical significance as it was the band's last official studio album. "Airborne" is also notable as Stewart Copeland, who went on to find superstardom as drummer with the Police, plays "heavy artillery" (i.e. drums) here. He had already appeared on Curved Air's "Midnight wire" album, which was released just after the reunion of (most of) the original line up for "Curved Air live". From that re-union, violinist Daryl Way remained in the band, the line up for "Airbourne" being completed by guitarist Mick Jacques, and Tony Reeves on bass.Copeland, who had recently married lead singer Sonja Kristina, participated in the song writing for the first time when he co-wrote the music for the opening track, "Desiree" (which was released as a single) along with Jacques, and the co-wrote lyrics with his new wife.The three Daryl Way tracks are the eye catchers here, in particular "Moonshine". This track stands head an shoulders above the other songs on the album, especially in prog terms. While not quite as appealing as previous Curved Air masterpieces such as "Vivaldi" ("Air conditioning"), or "Metamorphosis" ("Air cut"), "Moonshine", which runs to about 10 minutes, is an impressive piece of work. The pace and mood of the track change regularly throughout, moving from soft delicate passages, to virtuoso violin by Way, and some fine symphonic keyboards. At times, there are echoes of Gentle Giant among others.The rest of the tracks effectively play a supporting role. Side one consists of five short numbers. "Desiree", is a pop-rock opener, which features multi-tracked vocals by Sonja Kristina, and some decent, if brief, lead guitar. Quite why the band felt the need to multi-track Kristina's voice is something of a mystery, but it is a sound which features on several of the tracks here. Copeland's composition "Kids to blame" is a fairly innocuous piece of pop rock, but he took it with him to The Police, where it featured in their live act.The closing track on side one, "Touch of Tequila", is the antithesis of "Moonshine", being a dreadful pop influenced song, which sees Kristina sounding a bit too like Irish Eurovision star Dana!There are a couple of decent ballads, "Broken lady", co-written by Sonja Kristina, and Daryl Way's lullaby "Dazed", which closes the album."Airbourne" is an album of peaks and troughs, ranging from the excellent prog of "Moonshine" to the disastrous pop of "Touch of Tequila". In all though, a worthwhile effort, which will, in the main, please fans of the band." - ProgArchives
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