Stratosfear

SKU: 724384006525
Label:
Virgin
Category:
Electronic
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1976's Straosfear clearly defined the band's heavily sequenced sound.  It was highly melodic - all the experimentalism of the early 70s was gone.  Dark and a bit intimidating, its one of their best.

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  • Hot kosmigroov set from 1975 and my understanding is that its quite a rarity on vinyl.  Its a bit of an unusual lineup for this session: Roland Haynes (keyboard), Kirk Lightsey (keyboard), Henry Franklin (bass), and Carl Burnett (drums).  So you get dual keys - each one playing off another.  You like Fender Rhodes?  Its all over this album.  Lightsey uses a wah-wah pedal with his electric piano to get a distorted - almost guitar like sound.  Fingers are flying everywhere and the rhythm section is locked in and pounding.  This could almost (emphasis on almost) pass for a Alan Gowen - Dave Stewart jam session.  Reminds me a bit of National Health in spots.  
    $17.00
  • The DVD features the new video for lead track ‘Drive Home’ along with the video for ‘The Raven That Refused To Sing’, both directed by Jess Cope. It also includes four tracks recorded live in Frankfurt during the recent tour.  In addition, the DVD features audio recordings of two previously unreleased tracks, ‘The Birthday Party’ and an orchestral version of ‘The Raven That Refused To Sing’.‘The Birthday Party’ was recorded in the LA at the same sessions as the tracks that made up the album while the version of ‘The Raven That Refused To Sing’ is a new mix that strips the track back to just the orchestra and vocals. These tracks are also featured on the CD, along with the audio from the live tracks and an edit of ‘Drive Home’. The set is packaged in a ‘mini-LP’ sleeve pac.
    $16.00
  • "Anathema has long been a band that I know I can come back to for solid, amazing music. From their start as a doom metal band to their progression into progressive alt-rock, the band has always delivered atmospheric, beautiful, emotional songs that resonated deep within. So when I heard that a new album, Weather Systems, was coming out, I knew that it was something I had to hear, something that I had to dive into. I was lucky enough to get an advance copy and I have spent the past several days listening to the album. Join me below to hear my thoughts.Starting with Untouchable part 1, the album starts with a quick fingerpicked acoustic while singer Vincent Cavanagh sings gently, beautiful vocal harmonies coming in to back him up at perfect moments. The song builds dramatically, adding in symphonies, distorted guitars, percussion, perfect drums, all with the fingerpicked acoustic laying a foundation. The lyrics tell the story of learning to let go of love. The pained calls of Cavanagh, “I had to let you go/Into the setting sun/I had to let you go/To find a way back home!” are nothing short of heartbreaking, even in their triumph.The Gathering Of The Clouds and Lightning Song must be heard as a pair. The first flows effortlessly into the second and the emotional journey is astonishing. Female vocalist Lee Douglas proudly sings, with gorgeous vocal harmonies, “This world is beautiful/So wonderful/If only you could open up your mind and see/Your world is everything you ever dreamed of/If only you could open up your mind and see“. The climax of Lightning Song brought tears to my eyes and made me realize that I had forgotten to breath.The Beginning And The End is another track that shows how to perfectly build a song without needing to change the foundation chords. Each new section only serves to amplify and expand upon what was already there. The guitar solo in this song is also stunning. Perfectly structured without any overplaying or unnecessary flair, it suits the mood wonderfully.The production of the album is fantastic. Everything sounds warm, lush, and very organic. The mix is also fantastic, with instruments panned neatly and vocal harmonies precisely measured. And perhaps what is best about this album is the dynamics it offers. I kept my finger close to the volume control for much of the album, which is something I personally love.This album is not meant for casual listening. It is an album that needs full attention and a bit of participation. The music hits on some of the most intense, sensitive emotions we can feel: loss, despair, love, heartbreak. I personally put this album on my sound system, sat back, and didn’t move from the first note until the last. Then I did it again. And then once more for good measure.The Final Word: Anathema has not delivered an album: they have delivered an affirmation of the beauty of life, be it in sadness and despair or in joy and hope. Weather Systems is not just a contender for Album of the Year, it’s a contender for Album of my Life." - Bloody-Disgusting.com
    $14.00
  • Brilliant classically influenced Italian prog album. Pierrot Lunaire was a trio led by keyboardist Arturo Stalteri.  Delicate music that easily fits into the "Rock Progressivo Italiano" movement.  One of the great ones.
    $15.00
  • "This is my favorite album of 2014 so far! I've been a fan of the Swedish solo artist FreddeGredde's proggier compositions since his early YouTube releases, and while his debut album had some great material, there were also many uninteresting tracks that I wouldn't consider prog at all. This has certainly been adjusted with this second album, because what we get is only seven tracks, no fillers, and they are (almost) all very prog, very creative, and just a pleasure to listen to. I can hear similarities with Moon Safari, Frost*, A.C.T, IQ and early Dream Theater, but also classics like Gentle Giant and Genesis, and it all lands in something entirely unique.Songs by song:1. Welcome the Bright Skies A very welcoming opening track for sure! I notice many similarities between FreddeGredde's first album and this second one, and one is the structure and feel of the opening tracks. "Lonely Starlight" on the debut was full-on prog, but was still accessible and had a coherent flow throughout the track, and most of it was in a 13/8 time signature. All the different themes came back together at the end, making a very tight composition. This new opening track has a very similar structure, with a lot of different themes that flow together, mostly in 15/8 this time, and it's all tied together with the majestic "it all comes together" ending. Both albums have very strong openings, and I like them equally but in different ways. My rating: 5 stars2. The Autotelic Self This is the rocker of the album, the most "prog metal" one. But it's still warm and full of synths and layers, separating it from most other modern prog metal, which tends to feel generic and forgettable. But this one is far from that! Clocking in at a little more than 11 minutes, it goes through a wide range of moods and styles, from crazy instrumental sections reminiscent of Images & Words era Dream Theater, to beautiful piano and acoustic guitar breakdowns, to mandolin based "folk" sections. This track has it all, and it all flows extremely well! It might be the highlight track of the album. My rating: 5 stars3. Your Life After two mostly up-beat and intense tracks, this is a welcomed breather. Based on classical guitar and mandolin, it gives a folk/Irish vibe, with almost sing-along qualities, except that there is no repetitive chorus that sticks with you on a first listen. Despite its soft and accessible sound, there's some "prog" to be found here, with 5/4 and 7/4 time signatures and a longer solo section that's alternating between the guitar and the mandolin. The solos are accompanied by an increasingly powerful choir, which creates a pretty powerful climax considering the type of song it is. It's a little odd among the other tracks on the album, but on it's own, it's a pretty little track. My rating: 4 stars4. This Fragile Existence Is the title possibly a reference to "This Falling World" from his previous album? Musically, they have similarities as they both feature large contrasts and breakdowns, and swiftly go through several moods and ideas (maybe more so than usual, even by FreddeGredde's standards). The stand-out features of this track are the complex vocal harmonies, which at times remind me of Queen and other times of Gentle Giant. It's overall a very playful composition, and the adventurous nature of it always manages to make me smile. My rating: 5/5 stars5. The Tower This is the second calmer track of the album, and is more ambient and cinematic than anything he has done before. Starting with only piano and accompanying synth pads, it gives off a cold and wintery vibe, but as the song goes on, it slowly changes back and forth between positive and sad in a very tasteful way. It's prog and it's got the high amount of variation that FreddeGredde is known for, but it's more atmospheric and slower paced. The ending is just extremely beautiful, probably the highlight of the entire album. My rating: 5 stars6. Shining Another shorter song in-between the epics. It's probably the most pop on the album, with a very catchy chorus that you can sing along to even on the first listen. It's got some prog moments though, some interesting time signature changes, and a cute mandolin based bridge. A solid track, but one more for a casual audience rather than the hardcore prog fans. My rating: 3-4 stars7. Ocean Mind And finally, the 18 minute epic. This one is difficult to process, because there is so much going on, and though I love a majority of it, there are some sections that don't grab me entirely. The instrumental sections are the highlights for me, as they are VERY adventurous and crazy, going from jazzy sections to metal to I-can't-even-describe-it. Again, I think the closest resemblance is early Dream Theater. My rating: 4 starsAll in all, definitely warmly recommended to fans of prog!" - ProgArchives
    $14.00
  • Of all the Yes albums that needed a remix this is the one that needed it the most!"Relayer (1974) is the third in a series of remixed and expanded Yes albums.Presented as a double digi-pack format in a slipcase with booklet featuring new sleeve notes by Sid Smith, along with rare photos and archive material, the album has been remixed into stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound from the original studio masters by Steven Wilson and is fully approved by Yes.The DVDA also contains the original album mix in high-resolution, and a complete alternate album running order drawn from demos/studio run-throughsRestored artwork approved by Roger Dean, the release of which coincides with the 40th anniversary of the album’s original late 1974 appearance."
    $20.00
  • “Tempo”, long waited new Osanna release with a 40 pages book with lots of photos and 2 DVD. Prog lovers will be captured by this work full of great music with a recent concert at Trianon Theatre in Naples with orchestra and archives material with rare 70s video footage.The book shows many pictures which tell Osanna Story with some photos from the 1st Osanna line up (Elio D’Anna, Danilo Rustici, Massimo Guarino, Lello Brandi) and a biography of the band written in Italian and English. The 2 DVD tell the history of the band from the first RAI video clips ‘til the recent live plays in Naples in 2012.First DVD “Live in Naples” has realised at the Trianon Theatre in Naples on 24 October 2012 during the presentation of  “Rosso Rock” album; a concert with some guests as: David Jackson, Sophya Baccini, Maurizio Capone, Elio Eco, Giampiero Ingrassia, Gianni Leone, Antonella Morea, Tito Schipa Jr., la Banda “Concerto Musicale Speranza” di Pino Ciccarelli e l’Orchestra d’archi “Rosso Rock” Ensemble” diretta da Gianluca Falasca.First half is more “electric” and Osanna plays with David Jackson, Gianni Leone and Sophya Baccini songs as: “‘A Zingara”, “Introduzione da YS” del Balletto di Bronzo, “Everybody’s gonna see you die”, In un vecchio cieco”, “Vado verso una meta” and “Theme One” (VDGG) to close first half of the gig.The second half start with a tribute to “Milano Calibro 9” movie directed by Fernando Di Leo, with the suite from the album “Preludio Tema Variazioni e Canzona” realised in 1972 with Luis Bacalov; Osanna plays with the “Rosso Rock Ensemble” Orchestra directed by Gianluca Falasca.Following some guests play with Osanna: Giampiero Ingrassia in “There will be time”, Tito Schipa Jr. “Per la Strada” (“Orfeo 9”) and “Fiume” (Landscape of Life), Antonella More, Maurizio Capone and Elio Eco in the final part of gig in “O Cuore e Napule” and “Fuje a chistu paese”.Second DVD “Story” : 20 video clip represent the story of the Band, some are from RAI Archives and there are also videos from Capodistria and some come from private archives. From 1971 to 2009 20 videos show different Osanna line up from time of RAI and TeleCapodistria ‘til recent videos in Naples and Savona. Many different “L’Uomo” versions presented by Renzo Arbore, Enrico Simonetti, Nino Fuscagni, Vanna Brosio and clips taken from “Speciale Tre Milioni”, “Domenica In”, “Amico Flauto”, “Adesso Musica”, “Tutto è Pop” etc.A really exclusive video is the one showing a Pop Festival in Naples “Be-In” (1973) where you can see some “prog” stars on stage...11 videos are taken from the 70s and 9 videos regarding Osanna from 2000 to 2009 including live at Mediterraneo Theatre in Naples in 2001 and live at Chiabrera Theatre in Savona in 2009 with David Jackson, Gianni Leone and Sophya Baccini.
    $33.00
  • "Hailing from Torino, Italy, their debut released in 1999 and 6 full length albums to follow, this band stayed consistent. Highlord is a 5 member group and had some line up changes but not much. Having some releases overseas and touring in Europe, Highlord seems to be on top of their game.
I gave "The Warning After" a couple of listens and I have to say the singer is very good and the musicianship on this album is top notch. Magic tracks like Track 7 'Of Tears And Heaven'. Great song! Singer Andrea Marchisio has great range and knows his craft. Not forgetting Stefano Droetto (guitars), Lele Mr. Triton on keyboards (great work). This band can deliver some good metal. KILLER SOLOS!!Other tracks like track 3 'Brothers To The End' gives me the Megadeth/Queensryche feel which kicks ass and I think this band has a lot to offer on this release and for years to come. You might find yourself headbanging to track 5 'Standing In The Rain', a double bass explosion with some megaheavy riffs following. Drummer Luca Pellegrino forging consistency and ear pounding percussion on this release. Production is awesome and hats of to the engineers on this milestone. 

"The Warning After" has something special in it, finding it is the journey.

I recommend it for anyone into progressive heavy metal (Dream Theater/Queensryche). Some of the songs give me the total traditional metal way of writing songs and I think its killer considering a lot of bands don’t write like this anymore, I give these guys props. Solos are great and song writing is metal as [email protected] with a rollercoaster of compositions!" - Brutalism
    $13.00
  • "With Billion Dollar Babies, Alice Cooper refined the raw grit of their earlier work in favor of a slightly more polished sound (courtesy of super-producer Bob Ezrin), resulting in a mega-hit album that reached the top of the U.S. album charts. Song for song, Billion Dollar Babies is probably the original Alice Cooper group's finest and strongest. Such tracks as "Hello Hooray," the lethal stomp of the title track, the defiant "Elected" (a rewrite of an earlier song, "Reflected"), and the poison-laced pop candy of "No More Mr. Nice Guy" remain among Cooper's greatest achievements. Also included are a pair of perennial concert standards -- the disturbing necrophilia ditty "I Love the Dead" and the chilling macabre of "Sick Things" -- as well as such strong, lesser-known selections as "Raped and Freezin'," "Unfinished Sweet," and perhaps Cooper's most overlooked gem, "Generation Landslide." Nothing seemed like it could stop this great hard rock band from overtaking the universe, but tensions between the members behind the scenes would force the stellar original AC band to split up after just one more album. Not only is Billion Dollar Babies one of Cooper's very best; it remains one of rock's all-time, quintessential classics." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • Ryo Kawasaki is a legendary jazz/fusion guitarist still going strong. During the late 70s he developed an elaborate guitar synthesizer setup which was unique. It was during this period that he put together The Golden Dragon band which was an incendiary fusion ensemble. Kawasaki would create synthesized landscapes over which he would shred with the best of them. Lots of latin and far eastern influences are prominent. Fantastic stuff.
    $15.00
  • One of the great guitarists around who is adept at both folk or prog rock. Awesome lineup on this one features Simon Phillips and John G. Perry as well as Richard Harvey (Gryphon)."NEWLY REMASTERED & EXPANDED EDITION CD OF THIS CLASSIC 1978 ALBUM BY GORDON GILTRAPREMASTERED FROM THE ORIGINAL MASTER TAPESFEATURING EIGHT BONUS TRACKSBOOKLET WITH FULLY RESTORED ARTWORK & ESSAYESOTERIC RECORDINGS are pleased to announce the release of a newly remastered and expanded edition of the classic album "FEAR OF THE DARK” by GORDON GILTRAP. For over forty years Gordon has enjoyed the well-deserved reputation as one of Britain’s greatest guitar players. He made his first recordings in the 1960s as folk artist, but by 1976 he had crossed into the Progressive Rock genre and signed to the newly formed Electric Records imprint.His third album for Electric was released in 1978. "FEAR OF THE DARK” saw Gordon backed by a band of outstanding musicians such as JOHN G. PERRY (Bass), ROD EDWARDS (keyboards) and SIMON PHILLIPS (drums) and featured many outstanding tracks.This Esoteric Recordings edition is newly remastered from the original tapes and includes eight bonus tracks drawn from a series of singles released between 1978 and 1980, including the live track ‘Inner Dream’ and ‘Party Piece’, ‘Theme from The Waltons’ and ‘Birds of a Feather’ previously unreleased on CD. The reissue also features a lavishly illustrated booklet with new essay and interview with Gordon Giltrap."
    $17.00
  • One of the all time great psych monsters back in print.  The Dream was a one and one band from Norway.  They recorded this one album in 1967.  One of the primary reasons this album is so desireable is that the lead guitarist is none other than Terje Rypdal!  Its a period sounding piece - you can tell this is the late 60s but damn if it isn't as well done as anything else from this time.  Rypdal displays an obvious influence from Hendrix.  He completely blows it out on this album.  Plenty of Hammond organ grinding away in the background.  Lyrics are pretty stupid - the opening track is actually called 'Green Things (From Outer Space)" but it doesn't matter.  The music is a typical mixture of styles but mostly bluesy stuff with a real hard edge.  Rypdal's guitarwork is purely lethal.  After this album the band split and Rypdal headed off into jazz realms with the Min Bul album, this solo album Bleak House, and then his long running career with ECM.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • Third album from this superb Italian prog ensemble now reduced to a trio.  The band now consists of two keyboardists Beppe Colombo and Corrado Grappeggia, and multi-instrumentalist Claudio Colombo who plays drums, flute, guitar, and bass.  The trio is augmented by some special guests: David Jackson (ex-VDGG), Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon), and Dino Fiore (Il Castello Di Atlante).  The music takes on a little bit more of a modern feel but for the most part it stays true to the roots of "Rock Progressivo Italiano".  Plenty of wicked keyboard parts mixed with some heavy guitar leads.  Yeah vocals are in Italian as if you didn't already know. Over the past 3 or 4 years the Italian prog scene has exploded with excellent bands.  Pandora is clearly near the top.  The whole package comes in a nice tri fold mini-lp sleeve.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • With nearly forty-five minutes of brand new material, Turning Tides represents MALPRACTICE at their absolute best, combining intricate progressive metal with catchy melodies topped with excellent musicianship and brilliant vocal harmonies. Professionally recorded by the members of the band at various locations, Turning Tides was produced by the band’s Joonas Koto and Toni Paananen and engineered by Koto, then mixed and mastered by Anssi Kippo at Astra-Studio A and enshrouded by intriguing artwork and design work by Miikka Tikka.“The lyrical theme of the album is about a guy who is very well educated. In fact so educated and talented that he can't land a job for himself due to over education,” collectively issued the members of MALPRACTICE. “He kind of falls in-between things and ends up in the suburbs unemployed and frustrated. He is ‘the best kept secret’ since no one wants to hire him. His life and sanity starts to fall apart due to his frustration and depression. He tries to fight the system but always ends up deeper and deeper in apathy. The story can be somewhat related to MALPRACTICE's struggle to make it for two decades already. The question is: ‘Is the guy me? You? Or every one of us?’” 
    $13.00