A Sunday Night Above The Rain (2CD)

"A Sunday Night Above the Rain is a two-disc live set recorded by modern pro giants Marillion last year in March at Center Parcs in Port Zelande, the Netherlands.

Disc 1 opens with “Gaza” from the album of the same name. It’s typical Marillion high drama informed by a good chunky beat, spiky middle eastern-sounding synth lines and lilting choruses. Right from the beginning, the crowd comprised of thousands come from over 44 countries this night, is clapping along hot and heavy before Steve Rothery’s wailing guitar solo (one of the most underrated guitar players in rock and roll) and singing along as Steve Hogarth (lead vocalist) will welcome from them often here on the balled “Waiting To Happen,” where, sorry to say, not much really does happen.

We get lots of Mark Kelly’s beautiful piano on “This Strange Engine,” though I’m not thrilled by Hogarth’s swallowing words in an over-affected vocal. The tune rocks in its last minutes though as the band and Hogarth rise to an anthem-like ending!

The highlight of this first disc though is “Neverland” where Kelly, bassist Peter Trewavas and Hogarth are especially inspired, but again what Steve Rothery slips in are truly spine-chilling moments. What he seemingly just throws away in flips during the vocal are full feasts, his leads perfect from wailing moments to sweet and clean ones, not mere seconds from one another. Not since David Gilmour have I felt a guitarist say so much doing so little.

Lots of Disc 2 are from the Gaza album. “Montreal,” with its mid-song Floydian moments, is more a Mark Kelly song really, with especially effective tom work from drummer Ian Mosley behind him and Peter Trewavas poppin’ on the “Power” (good lyric here especially). Mosely and Trewavas are kicking on the opening of what becomes a plinky “The King of Sunset Town,” a tune that showcases a solid Hogarth vocal. A truly beautiful once again piano-led tune, “The Sky Above the Rain” like “Neverland” on the first is the linchpin of this second disc. Hogarth is very good here as are the subtleties of the drum and bass duo once again.

The band does give one quick nod to its past (when they were fronted by lead singer/enigmatic frontman Fish) ending with “Garden Party.” Hogarth doesn’t especially sell this tune, but he doesn’t have to as pretty much the audience sings the song for him.

If you want to know what modern-day Marillion are all about, grab it." - Short And Sweet NYC

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  • "It only seems like a couple of weeks since Caravan announced in August 2013 that they were to record a new album that would be financed by money pledged by fans, and yet here it is already!What should have been a joyous time for the band and fans alike was sadly marred by the death of long-time drummer Richard Coughlan on December , however it is fitting that the digital download of the album was released to fans who had pledged on December 20, the day of Richard’s funeral!Musically this has classic Caravan stamped all over it. It is not, however, a hark back to the halcyon days of the 70′s and In the Land of Grey and Pink or For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night, there are not anywhere near as many long instrumental sections in there for a start and the longest song I’ll Be There For You clocks in at a mere 6:14. What we do have here is a stripped down, and updated 2013 version of everything that Caravan fans look for. The classic songwriting is there, as is the excellent musicianship and whimsical lyrics, and let’s face it, with that instantly recognisable, trademark voice, Pye Hastings could re-record Never Mind The Bollocks and it would probably still sound like Caravan.All This Could Be Yours is a belter of an opener, and despite what I said above, this is one track that would not have been out of place on Grey and Pink or Girls Who Grow Plump! With an excellent, albeit short, viola solo from Geoffrey Richardson, and a great hook in the chorus, it skips along merrily in classic Caravan style.One of the ways of financing the album was to get people to pledge extra to go to the studio and get involved in the recording, I don’t want to pour cold water on anything but sadly I think this is where the band have shot themselves ever so slightly in the foot. Despite being a great song, I’m On My Way, has some awful, flat backing vocals in the chorus which almost ruin the song. The same applies to This Is What We Are where a slightly naff chorus comes close to ruining what is otherwise a very strong song, being slightly heavier than we are used to from Caravan including an infectious piano motif and an excellent, soaring guitar solo towards the end.The slower Dead Man Walking is the perfect pacer, leading into the very emotive Farewell My Old Friend. As an ode to the passing of a close friend, this song is made all the more poignant following the death of Richard Coughlan and brings a lump to the throat!In typical Caravan style, no-one is allowed to get too maudlin, as the next two songs Pain in the Arse with the vitriolic closing line ‘I don’t care if you sue me now, you are insane’, and Trust Me I Am A Doctor put the collective tongues firmly back in the cheek. Doctor takes an irreverent stab at a GP, who I’m quite sure, given the amount of names dropped in the song is a real person and should have no difficulty in identifying himself! But it is all done in good fun and I’m sure no umbrage will be taken!The album finishes on a mellow note with the wistful I’ll Be There For You and the title song Paradise Filter which kicks off  really slow and  melancholy with a late night jazz feel, before breaking out into a middle section that is very reminiscent of the instrumental break in The Dog, The Dog, He’s At It Again!Overall this is an excellent return for a band that has been absent from the recording studio for too long (it is ten years since the release of The Unauthorised Breakfast Item in 2003). Not that they have been resting on their laurels as they have still been playing live gigs, but it is nice to know that they can still cut it and write well crafted, catchy and extremely listenable songs.It also proves that the pledging route is a very viable way of financing studio time and album releases, sadly, however, I doubt very much that would work for new bands as you would have to have a name for yourself in order to create the initial interest. Maybe extensive gigging and as the old saying goes ‘paying your dues’ would help. Now there’s an idea (take note potential XFactor and The Voice contestants)!" - jonb52
    $20.00
  • "In their quest to melancholize everybody’s lives and institutionalize sorrow as a beauteous condition, these Finnish metal legends have produced yet another record that is the perfect companion to a night of stargazing. As their eleventh studio album, Circle is an apt sonic reflection of the pensiveness that accompanies old age.Angst and gloom take turns to induce emotional roller-coaster rides (“Shades Of Gray”, “Hopeless Days” and “Enchanted By The Moon”) while the keyboard plays the role of a calm voice amidst electric guitar maelstroms (“Mission”, “The Wanderer” and “Into The Abyss”). Once again, Tomi Joutsen’s signature mix of powerful, guttural growling and deep, emotive clean singing does a splendid job of nailing catchy choruses. Folkish woodwind tunes (“Narrowpath”, “Nightbird’s Song” and “A New Day”) and a brief saxophone motif (towards the end of “A New Day”) give the music a soothing touch too.Alas, as beautiful as Circle is, it is one of those listenable records that you would spin to sleep to rather than energetically nod to. No new ground is trodden upon, but the starry sky above is reached once again" - New NoiseThis is the CD/DVD edition.  The CD comes with the bonus track "Dead Man's Dream" and the DVD features a "making of" documentary as well as a video clip.
    $8.00
  • This is the most enjoyable Devin Townsend album I've heard in years.  Townsend definitely walks to the beat of a different drummer and is constantly confounding his listeners.  Epicloud is no different.  The album is actually catchy in a poppy way but still plenty of metal elements.  The production is purely epic in nature - reverb gone wild!  Townsend mainly sings with a clean voice but even when he dirties it up its swimming in 'verb so his voice takes on an otherworldly quality.  He's complemented by the great Anneke van Giersbergen who appears through out - mainly as a backing vocalist but at times singing lead lines.  So what we have here is something I really didn't expect - a hook filled metal album that neatly collides with dream pop.
    $12.00
  • "For those of you who don't know who this band is, let's make a brief recapitulation: the genre or better strain of Metal which is one of the most unique and interesting to understate it a little bit, is the hybrid between Doom and Death Metal. You have a handful of bands that emerged in the late 80s and early 90s that pioneered this sort of experiment to various degrees of mixing the two genres. You have i.e. ASPHYX, that are more on the Death side than Doom, or bands such as MY DYING BRIDE and PARADISE LOST who clearly take more influence from classic Doom acts such as BLACK SABBATH or PENTAGRAM. ANATHEMA is also one of those Doom/Death hybrids, which took this approach and developed it quite nicely and brought some new fresh sound into the Heavy Metal subculture before evolving into a Prog Rock/Avantgarde/whatever band. If you like the new stuff from ANATHEMA, the old stuff will not necessarily be something for you. Let's take a look at 1993's “Serenades”, which is one of the leading albums in the genre and sadly, there has never been another album that takes the cake when it comes to this sort of music.Up to now many albums of this genre, such as the first two MY DYING BRIDE albums are not ageing quite well with most of the fans, why? Maybe because a lot of this stuff is so inaccessible that most people will give them up to listen to SWALLOW THE SUN's newest shite; at least that's the case with a lot of people I know who have an interest to this sort of thing.I have to admit, that it took me a little while and a lot of listens to really get into this album, ANATHEMA's "Serenades", and it pains me because I didn't know how to appreciate their music here. The album starts out pretty rough with "Lovelorn Rhapsody", which is one of those not-so-good openers. It mainly has no climax and pretty such slugs itself throughout the 6:24 of its length. This is maybe one of the reasons why people would immediately put this album down once hearing the song. While being one of the weaker songs here, it still has a very heavy and pounding guitar tune to it, with synths or keyboards that are rather in the background, simply overshadowing the rest of the song's composition. The song itself progresses in a very slow manner (what a surprise) and simply induces a very romantic or dreamy-like state, a state of longing, a theme often used by ANATHEMA, if you will. Its slow tempo stays through the whole thing and in my humble opinion, not the best opener, as stated before. The vocals on this track are simply a rugged and slow grunt, which only gets a little faster at the end, where we get a fluent transition from very slow to mid tempo and some riffs that resemble a faint Death Metal offering.“Sweet Tears”, the immediate follow-up, is a wholly different approach to music than its predecessor; the early-BLACK SABBATH influence on song structure and riffs is clearly audible, with very dark and melodic parts and epic and exalted sounding bridges, only you get a fuller guitar sound and gloomier atmosphere in general, that is mostly induced by the horrifying grunts that Darren J. White. At the end of the song you get a similar approach like heard on KATATONIA's "Dance Of December Souls", which was recorded the same year; atmospheric keyboards and haunting clean vocals make it sound very dark and gloomy. So by now everybody's thinking: "Yeah, well this is the basic approach of this band and this is this album's artistic offering".By the time "J'ai Fait Une Promesse" kicks in, everybody's stunned at to what extremes this album stretches out. This track is a very melancholic acoustic offering, with female vocals and French lyrics, no drums, no extreme sonic assault, nothing, just pure and great. Following this absolute stand-out, is the epic "They Will Always Die" that returns to the style of the first track, only with a proper climax and overall more direction and more focused. This is where the Death Metal magic happens, but much slower and with a lot of well placed pauses, that are filled with really dark and melodic overlayed guitar tracks that drag you through the rest of the song. The most accessible song here is with no doubt "Sleepless" that is also one of the band's big "hits". This song could have easily been on some alternative band's debut or wherever, since it features (again) a change of sound, yet still manages to sound intensely rough, yet you can clearly hear some of the later ANATHEMA stuff overshadowing the debut in this one. Later they will go and water the song down with a fresh new recording, that is inferior in each and every way. The rest of the album offers no further "surprises" let's say, since the rest "Sleep In Sanity" or "Under A Veil (Of Black Lace)" (the other two just being some interlude instrumental tracks) follow the doomy down-paced tradition of the other songs or demo songs.If you're into war-themed lyrics with a lot of grief and melancholy thrown in, this is the music for you. If you like slow, down-tuned heavy riffs, with interesting and beautifully executed melodies and authentic harsh vocals then this is exactly what you need in your collection. It may get some getting used to, since this album is one of the few albums in Metal history that has never been copied (at least not so well). I recommend getting it with the "Crestfallen" EP as a bonus, since that adds up to a very lengthy and magical experience. That sound too cheesy? I don't care, this album is amazing and often not recognized for the masterpiece that it truly is. Have a listen. Absorb this album. Do it." - The Metal Observer
    $12.00
  • Japanese SHM-CD in a mini-lp sleeve."Kill 'Em All may have revitalized heavy metal's underground, but Ride the Lightning was even more stunning, exhibiting staggering musical growth and boldly charting new directions that would affect heavy metal for years to come. Incredibly ambitious for a one-year-later sophomore effort, Ride the Lightning finds Metallica aggressively expanding their compositional technique and range of expression. Every track tries something new, and every musical experiment succeeds mightily. The lyrics push into new territory as well -- more personal, more socially conscious, less metal posturing. But the true heart of Ride the Lightning lies in its rich musical imagination. There are extended, progressive epics; tight, concise groove-rockers; thrashers that blow anything on Kill 'Em All out of the water, both in their urgency and the barest hints of melody that have been added to the choruses. Some innovations are flourishes that add important bits of color, like the lilting, pseudo-classical intro to the furious "Fight Fire with Fire," or the harmonized leads that pop up on several tracks. Others are major reinventions of Metallica's sound, like the nine-minute, album-closing instrumental "The Call of Ktulu," or the haunting suicide lament "Fade to Black." The latter is an all-time metal classic; it begins as an acoustic-driven, minor-key ballad, then gets slashed open by electric guitars playing a wordless chorus, and ends in a wrenching guitar solo over a thrashy yet lyrical rhythm figure. Basically, in a nutshell, Metallica sounded like they could do anything. Heavy metal hadn't seen this kind of ambition since Judas Priest's late-'70s classics, and Ride the Lightning effectively rewrote the rule book for a generation of thrashers. If Kill 'Em All was the manifesto, Ride the Lightning was the revolution itself." - Allmusic
    $16.00
  • This album is wicked!  Cholo Visceral are an instrumental sextet from Peru.  Dual guitars, bass, drums, saxophone and sounds effects collide in a stoned out frenzy that sounds like David Jackson jamming with Black Sabbath.  Hell toss in some early Crimson madness also.  Not a super spaced out sound, just very intense angular guitar riffing and wild and wooly sax blowing.  Highly recommended."When we think of Peruvian rock naturally the first bands come to mind are Traffic Sound, Telegraph Avenue, Los Saicos and so on...When we progress forward to today there is quite the new revival scene going on in Peru and for most leading the way in the roots of the psychedelic underground scene is a band called Cholo Visceral hailing from Lima, Peru...Cholo Visceral is composed up of 6 members ages between 20-25 which create a high energy charged blast and an unmistakable sound frenzy delight for your ears complete with Horn, Drum and Guitar interplay of psychedelic Jazz not unlike early Miles Davis inprov with Pete Cosey,...This leaves one begging for more!!! Cholo Visceral's sound is tight with the classic Latin hints of past and new, wonderful time phrasings and this album is purely intense and all instrumental [for those who are worried about language barriers]Peru has always host to an astonishing variety of musical traditions that have managed to evolve concurrently... More astonishing, Peruvians as a whole seem to have embraced these traditions regardless of their class, regional or ethnic backgrounds and no doubt Cholo Visceral is now stepping up to take it's well deserved place in the great musical traditions and sounds we know and love from Peru...So kick back with you a nice cold Chicha de Jora and enjoy Cholo Visceral you will be amazed as i was and i cant wait to hear whats coming next from these fine lads...La Rataza is the title cut which grabs you fast and dosen't let go!!! Track 3 Silvia Escarmiento and 4 Kión are personal favorites and take full advantage of guitar solos, finely crafted sound treatments slightly off kilter drumming [i love] and spacial euphoria..."
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  • Second album from this French gothic metal band masterminded by Vynce Leff.  Odd situation...for a couple of years the band was fronted by Clementine Delauney, elevating the band's status as they went on tour with Delain.  Clementine left before this album was recorded, touring with Serenity so there is no studio documentation of her as a member of the band.  She has now been replaced Elvyne Lorient. Whyzdom's music is definitely molded in a similar fashion to Delain and Within Temptation.  Its very heavily symphonic and Leff has incorporated a choir into the mix lending an even bigger, more bombastic sound.  Fans of Delain's April Rain should check this one.
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  • "The '70s gave us a slew of classic hard rock albums -- the likes of which may never be equaled -- and though it hasn't had the lasting influence of, say, Boston's or Ted Nugent's first albums, Montrose's eponymous debut proved equally influential and important in its day. Released in 1973, the record also introduced a young Sammy Hagar to the world, but the explosive aggression of Ronnie Montrose's biting guitar left no doubt as to why it was his name gracing the cover. A rock-solid rhythm section featuring drummer Denny Carmassi and bassist Bill Church certainly didn't hurt, either, and unstoppable anthems such as "Rock the Nation" and "Good Rockin' Tonight" would lay the ground rules for an entire generation of late-'70s California bands, most notably Van Halen. Admittedly, tracks like "Make It Last" and "I Don't Want It" sound rather dated by today's sonic standards (no thanks to their ultra-silly lyrics), but no amount of time can dim the sheer euphoria of "Bad Motor Scooter," the adolescent nastiness of "Rock Candy," and the simply gargantuan main riff of the phenomenal "Space Station #5." A welcome addition to any respectable '70s hard rock collection." - Allmusic
    $9.00
  • Limited edition comes with a bonus live DVD filmed in Melbourne, Australia."Karnivool, from day one, have made sure they are the kind of band who could do anything. From both a fan and industry perspective, the group has made it clear that anything should be expected and they will do whatever they want.While their second album, 'Sound Awake' didn't really spread its musical wings as much as the band claimed it would, their third record 'Asymmetry' certainly has. Those who may have jumped ship at the idea of more dragged out progressive rock will rejoice at the roller coaster ride the band offers on full-length number three.The bass heavy drum chaos that is opening track 'Nachash' is a tweak on the Karnivool sound, as if they were to remake 'Themata' today, with a refined, heavier sound that is simply bigger. This follows with a record stand-out, 'A.M. War', which is a little more math-rock musically, with the vocals opting to be less adventurous.That all changes on 'The Refusal', which is one of the heavier songs on the album, kicking off with gritty screamed vocals and thick guitar riffs. There is still a very atmospheric feel about the entire record much like on the previous release, songs like the seven minute 'Aeons' or the experimental title track, take their time and offer plenty of space within themselves for effected vocals or driving bass lines to shine through.The second half of the record changes things up again. It is mellower, more pop orientated and even at times reminiscent of front man Ian Kenny's other project Birds Of Tokyo. The latter half also lends itself to a little more experimentation, with the drum mess that is 'Amusia' and the creepy guitar number 'Float'.The band manage to channel bands like Tool and Porcupine Tree all in one for the huge closer 'Alpha', another highlight, thanks to its thematic changes, moving from a gentle piano laced opening to heavy riffs and chant style vocals.Karnivool sound like the band they want to be on 'Asymmetry,' a band that will keep you guessing for the entirety of a record and can move in any which way they like, while still making some form of sense." - Kill Your STereo
    $18.00
  • Two CD pressing. 2013 live release from the Canadian Prog Rock band. Spin It Again - Live in Munich captures the final night of the Saga's wildly successful 2012 tour in Germany. Saga's historical singer Michael Sadler surprised everybody by rejoining the band back just a few days before the recording of their most recent album 20/20. That studio effort charted in the German top 10 and the band sold out nearly 20 concerts in Germany and brought its music in cities and countries where they had never been before. Spin it Again, recorded and filmed in Munich, historically a second home for the Canadian prog rockers, features recent songs and all the Saga classics. Two hours of prog and melodic hard rock at its best.Disc 11.Anywhere You Wanna Go2.Mouse In A Maze3.Careful Where You Step4.The Perfectionist5.You're Not Alone6.Spin It Again7.Corkentellis8.The Flyer9.Fish Beat10. Six Feet UnderDisc 211.The Cross12.Time's Up13.Scratching The Surface14.Tired World (Chapter 6)15.Humble Stance16.On the Loose17.Wind Him Up18.Framed19.Don't Be Late (Chapter 2)
    $14.00
  • Limited edition 2CD set includes a live set recorded at Buxton Opera House."The bleak setting of BJH’s first album in 14 years – and their first since Woolly Wolstenholme cut his life short – evokes rumination on the times when the harvesting is done and one is to gather stones. That’s how the things are set in motion with a tiredly flowing “If You Were Here” until its pining ennui takes a vertiginous turn at the song’s end, when John Lees’ voice starts spinning from channel to channel for the listener to land on familiar ground which hasn’t been trodden for so long. Nor for nothing the record’s cover features a scenic view from the Northern parish of Saddleworth where the group come from.Once on terra firma, the band’s patented sense of humor kicks in, too, and the riff of “The Real Deal” casts rocks far enough, with “it’a a long way back” argument, to convince yer olde fan the album is exactly what this track’s title suggests, yet even those who’ve been following BJH for four decades won’t be prepared for the brass-brandishing “On Top Of The World” that makes the homecoming glorious. Anxious love pours out of the record’s title piece depicting local landscapes and the twangy memory-lane emotions, but the album is as ancient as it is modern.Thus, the slow boogie “In Wonderland” satirizes today’s ways of communication, with web acronyms thrown in for a chorus, and alloys the slang use of “schmetterling” with the ensemble’s symbol: a butterfly. Such an integrity lurks also in the alliteration between “North” and its predecessor, “Nexus,” as well as in the literary appropriation of Saddleworth’s Ammon Wrigley’s poem for the parting that is “The End Of the Day” wherein the gods of Ale and Mirth give birth to a child which can be a child of the universe, an important part of BJH’s lore. It’s elegiac rather than jolly, though, but Jez Smith’s piano in “Ancient Waves” and Lees’ guitar render this melancholy warm and delicate, while, for all its twilight shimmer, the 9-minute “On Leave” – surely a Woolly tribute – joins the pantheon of the band’s best ballads, whereas the quiet communal merriment fills the folk lustre of “Unreservedly Yours” that oozes the ultimate, if autumnal, dedication.With the parallel existence of another BJH, featuring Les Holroyd, “North” could have been a simple attempt of reclaiming the legacy; instead, it turns out to be a shining addition to the classic canon." - Let It Rock
    $17.00
  • New band rising from the ashes of Rain Fell Within. The band is fronted by their former backup singer Laurie Ann Haus who has a simply stunning voice. Clearly she's had a lot of training as she exhibits amazing range and control. The music fuses progressive rock with gothic metal. So think White Willow meets Within Temptation meets Genesis. Former RFW keyboardist John Battema adds lots of tasty ambient interludes as well as lead synth lines reminding me of Tony Banks. WOW! Killer debut.
    $10.00
  • Japanese SHM-CD in a mini-lp sleeve."Even though Master of Puppets didn't take as gigantic a leap forward as Ride the Lightning, it was the band's greatest achievement, hailed as a masterpiece by critics far outside heavy metal's core audience. It was also a substantial hit, reaching the Top 30 and selling three million copies despite absolutely nonexistent airplay. Instead of a radical reinvention, Master of Puppets is a refinement of past innovations. In fact, it's possible to compare Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets song for song and note striking similarities between corresponding track positions on each record (although Lightning's closing instrumental has been bumped up to next-to-last in Master's running order). That hint of conservatism is really the only conceivable flaw here. Though it isn't as startling as Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets feels more unified, both thematically and musically. Everything about it feels blown up to epic proportions (indeed, the songs are much longer on average), and the band feels more in control of its direction. You'd never know it by the lyrics, though -- in one way or another, nearly every song on Master of Puppets deals with the fear of powerlessness. Sometimes they're about hypocritical authority (military and religious leaders), sometimes primal, uncontrollable human urges (drugs, insanity, rage), and, in true H.P. Lovecraft fashion, sometimes monsters. Yet by bookending the album with two slices of thrash mayhem ("Battery" and "Damage, Inc."), the band reigns triumphant through sheer force -- of sound, of will, of malice. The arrangements are thick and muscular, and the material varies enough in texture and tempo to hold interest through all its twists and turns. Some critics have called Master of Puppets the best heavy metal album ever recorded; if it isn't, it certainly comes close." - Allmusic
    $16.00