The Tale Of Woe ($3 Special)

Excellent US neoprog that will appeal to fans of Marillion and Iluvatar.

Product Review

Red Circle 1
Mon, 2015-10-26 16:28
Rate: 
0
This sadly bears the occasional curse of many Prog bands. It's lead vocalist is really really bad.
Red Circle 1
Mon, 2015-11-16 12:54
Rate: 
0
Sadly marred by less than perfect vocals (far less) this is a band that still could go places with the right singer.
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Product Review

Red Circle 1
Mon, 2015-10-26 16:28
Rate: 
0
This sadly bears the occasional curse of many Prog bands. It's lead vocalist is really really bad.
Red Circle 1
Mon, 2015-11-16 12:54
Rate: 
0
Sadly marred by less than perfect vocals (far less) this is a band that still could go places with the right singer.
You must login or register to post reviews.
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  • "There's no doubt that every genre has its leaders. Bands who through a confidence and display of ability, rise above the others who simply seem to follow in their wake. Primal Fear are one such band, leading the Euro Power Metal genre as if it is their own to do with as they please. In essence what they choose to do is, in truth, similar to countless other bands and still reliant on a blueprint created by the likes of Accept and Judas Priest many, many years ago. However with the class of Alex Beyrodt and Magnus Karlsson on guitars, PF already have a head start on the opposition, so when you add to that the bass bombast of Mat Sinner, drumming displays from Randy Black and the ultra powerful vocal viciousness of Ralf Scheepers, then immediately it becomes apparent why Primal Fear reign supreme.That line-up has been stable for some four years now and it shows on Delivering The Black, amazingly this band's tenth studio offering. What does it sound like? Well truth be told you know that already because Primal Fear do what they do so well, that tinkering with the sound would be merely to stray from a tried, tested and well loved formula. However the sheer energy and conviction behind the likes of "King For A Day", "Alive & On Fire" and "Inseminoid" ensures that what this Beyrodt produced monster of an album delivers, never falls short of fist punchingly good.However while each and every one of the ten tracks on show here (twelve and a "single" mix of "Death Comes Knocking" if you buy the deluxe version – and you know you really want to...) pulsates, gyrates and convulsates, the two which really stand out as the central pieces of Delivering The Black are the aforementioned, but full version of "Death Comes Knocking" and "One Night In December", both of which reach towards and beyond the seven minute mark. Orchestral embellishments are unobtrusively added and both tracks evolve through a variety of moods and atmospheres, while still sounding 100% like prime-time Primal. Add to that an acoustic based, but bombastically delivered slower number in the shape of "Born With A Broken Heart", where Leaves Eyes' Liv Kristine adds backing vocals and Delivering The Black stands out as an individual and ambitious album, while still being completely and utterly what this band have always been about. Something many acts have tried to do and failed.While a few new elements are successfully introduced here, the old adage of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" still springs to mind and rest assured that Primal Fear are in full, glorious, working order." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $19.00
  • New Finnish supergroup of sorts featuring past and current members of Amorphis, Swallow The Sun, Moonsorrow, and Kreator. The music is a mix of death and doom with very strong underpinnings of progressive metal (some tasty keyboard solos - for real!). Vocals are a blend of clean and coarse and there is an overriding mournful feel to the music. The band enlisted the perfect guy to mix this album - Dan Swano! Opeth and Leprous fans need to check this band out.LINE-UPMikko Kotamäki – Vocals (Swallow The Sun)Olli-Pekka Laine – Bass (Ex-Amorphis, Mannhai)Kasper Mårtenson –Keyboards (Ex-Amorphis, Ben Granfelt Band)Janne Perttilä – Guitar (Rytmihäiriö)Marko Tarvonen – Drums (Moonsorrow)Sami Ylisirniö – Guitar (Kreator, Waltari)
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  • Riverside's latest takes a bit of a swerve from their traditional sound.  Parts of the album bears the imprint of Mariusz Duda's solo work - its more laid back, more refined.  Other aspects of the album carry on with the sound that Riverside has developed over recent albums - chunky organ, trippy keyboard soloing and interstellar guitarwork.  This one is a grower.  At first listen it might not hit you but the more you scrape away at it the more you realize its dug deeper under your skin."For the past decade or so, Polish progressive rock/metal quartet Riverside set itself apart from their stylstiic brethren by offering distinguishing tones, mesmerizing atmospheres, and most importantly, remarkable songwriting. Sure, the band also infuses much of its music with the intricacy genre enthusiasts expect, but their melancholic, yet beautiful and earnest melodies and lyrics (credited mostly to singer/songwriter/bassist Mariusz Duda) have always come first. Perhaps nowhere in its discography is this more apparent than on their newest opus, Love, Fear and the Time Machine.Although it features a few complex arrangements, the record is by far Riverside’s most straightforward and accessible collection to date, showcasing a proclivity for upfront compositions like never before. While this may disappoint fans who adore the group’s more tangential, frantic instrumentation, rest assured that the album’s stunning emotionality and breathtaking arrangements more than make up for it. Without a doubt, Love, Fear and the Time Machine features some of the most gorgeous, tragic, and ultimately inspiring pieces Riverside have ever recorded, making it another exceptional entry in an invaluable catalog.According to Duda, the effort is a return to the softer, more ambient nature of Riverside’s debut, 2004’s Out of Myself. In fact, the foursome intentionally composed it “to combine the ‘70s and the ‘80s…[the songs] have never been so concise and to the point before.” Because of this new approach, the disc actually evokes Duda’s other project, Lunatic Soul, in subtle but substantial ways at times. Like almost all of Riverside’s previous works, Love, Fear and the Time Machine is also a conceptual record; specifically, it “talk[s] about transformation. About making an important, perhaps life-changing decision everyone has to make at some point in their lives…on the one hand, we’re excited by the change…[but] on the other, we fear the unknown.” Ultimately, the lesson to be learned from it is that “if we sometimes get lost in life, it is to go through something and be found again on the other side, to be reborn as someone better and more valuable.”Fittingly, then, the sequence starts with “Lost (Why Should I Be Frightened by a Hat?)”, which is arguably its best track. Duda begins by reciting a philosophical recollection over a delicate ether of keyboards and bass and guitar notes. Afterward, he launches into a catchy and charming chorus: “Come follow me / We’ll go down / Where the river flows / One day / Just you and I will find a bridge / To another land”. Duda layers his voices too, making it even more gripping, and in-between his passages, guitarist Piotr Grudziński issues his signature soaring accompaniment as the composition evolves. Drummer Piotr Kozieradzki keeps things steady throughout, while keyboardist Michał Łapaj gets the spotlight during the final seconds. Ultimately, “Lost” exemplifies the magnificent succinctness that makes Love, Fear and the Time Machine distinctive in the Riverside canon.Later on, “#Addicted” truly feels like a progressive rock take on the Cure in several ways, such as its dominant bass lines, starry guitar lines, and wistful singing which finds Duda channeling a silky falsetto he’s never really attempted before. There’s also a brief acoustic guitar arpeggio at the end that’s very enjoyable. Lyrically, it serves as a commentary on how social media can transform people into egocentric users who base their self-worth on their digital populiarty. In this way, both its lyrics and music find Riverside stretching slightly beyond its comfort zone, but the result is undeniably, well, addictive.“Caterpillar and the Barbed Wire” feels more traditional, with Duda’s sorrowful confessions and counterpoints perfectly complemented by sharp guitar riffs, aching solos, enveloping percussion, and a moving layer of synthesized splendor. Honestly, it’s like a heartbreaking and somewhat more colorful missing track from Shine of New Generation Slaves, whereas “Saturate Me” contains the sleek yet eccentric tones and virtuosic yet blunt balance that made up the best moments on Rapid Eye Movement. Of course, its sad ponderings, such as “Am I Invisible? / Or alive? / I don’t want to feel like I’m no one anymore”, are archetypal Riverside sentiments, and the interlocking musical patterns (especially near the end) are equally touching.The most commercial segment on Love, Fear and the Time Machine is surely “Discard Your Fear”; however, despite that typically negative connotation, the song’s approachability doesn’t get in the way of its worth. Rather, it’s uplifting message and relatively simple and familiar construction could earn Riverside an entirely new camp of fans. It’s actually quite cathartic, as is the dreamy and tasteful “Toward the Blue Horizon”, which begins and ends as a luscious ode (with lovely piano chords) while transforming into a progressive metal workout in the middle.Both of the record’s final two pieces—“Time Travellers” and “Found (The Unexpected Flaw of Searching)”—are wonderful. The former is an exquisite acoustic ballad about past possibilities and the unforeseen future. Its winding melodies and spaciousness are the standout features, as the rest of the band lets Duda’s voice lead the way, resulting in a simple but commanding experience. In contrast, the latter is more elaborate, impactful, and conclusive, with a strong sense of closure and acceptance, as the speaker realizes the importance of his or her experiences, uncertainties, and decisions. The music builds with great pacing, adding more beautiful layers as the chorus (“It’s a lovely life / You have gone so far / Don’t give it up / Oh, it’s a lovely life / Gotta go with what you think is right”) repeats with sleek harmonies. By the end, listeners are left in awe, reevaluating their own sense of purpose and optimism.Love, Fear and the Time Machine is likely the most polarizing record Riverside has made, as it could be considered both the band’s strongest and weakest full-length effort. Fans hoping for virtuosic jams and unexpected sounds won’t really find them here, while fans looking for more of Riverside’s token elegant instrumentation, affective melodies, and poetic, rich singing will be satisfied beyond measure. Either way, Love, Fear and the Time Machine definitely finds its creators reaching for new, if marginally different, heights, which is commendable in and of itself. Roughly ten years on, Riverside remains as special as ever, and Love, Fear and the Time Machine is, in several ways, its truest work of art." - Pop Matters
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  • OK I have to say this right up front...Toyz is a terrible name for a band.  It conjures up images of some long forgotten hair metal band - and these guys just ain't that at all.Toyz is actually a very talented instrumental symphonic rock band from the Netherlands.  There is one familiar name in the band.  Guitarist Peter van Heijningen may be known to you as the lead guitarist on the first Knight Area album "The Sun Also Rises".  On this album he lays down some beautiful melodic solos filled with tons of energy - but he's not the whole show.  Keyboardist Arjan van Gog plays his b***s off here as well.  Plenty of lead synth and piano work well as a foil for the axe work with plenty of back and forth soloing. So an unfortunate name but a great debut.  Highly recommended.
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  • This album from 1978 finds the band with a little more polish on the production but it's still the same wonderful amalgam of progressive rock and fusion. Maneige's music has a wonderful ebb and flow that sweeps you along. This new edition comes with 3 live bonus tracks. Highly recommended.
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  • "After witnessing Swedish Heavy Metal quartet WOLF pull of a spectacular set whilst supporting EVILE at a local show in 2012 I have not looked back since. They are back and they mean business with their latest album “Devil Seed”, to say it’s loud is an understatement.WOLF proudly describe their music as “Real Metal For True Bastards” and in the couple of years I have been listening to these Swedish Metal heads I can wholeheartedly agree with this statement.“Overture In C Shark” and “Shark Attack” provides the listener with a very explosive opening to show us that the boys in WOLF are back and here to stay. The gloriously recognisable vocals provided by Niklas Stålvind only gives the listener more reassurance that it’s a triumphant return for WOLF.It’s very refreshing that WOLF deliver us that same Old School Heavy Metal sound; as I listen to “Devil Seed” I would say you are taken back to the days of IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST and SAXON. A real treat for Heavy Metal fans whatever walk of life you come from.This record encompassed many great attributes including boundless guitar riffs and solos, mighty vocal work, miraculous melodies and crashing drums; exactly what you would expect from a Heavy Metal band. The tracks that I think demonstrate this exquisitely are “Surgeons Of Lobotomy”, “I Am Pain” and “River Everlost”. The melodies on these particular tracks stood out the most in my opinion. I also really enjoyed the iconic guitar riffs and solos on the track “River Everlost” so thank you Simon Johansson and Niklas Stålvind for those.The anthemic “Killing Floor” allows you one last chance for some killer Heavy Metal before drawing the album to a close.So overall a truly marvelous epidemic of Heavy Metal from WOLF in the form of “Devil Seed”, it’s a real treat for fans of the genre and the band." - Metal Temple
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  • Another release in the "Deep Jazz Reality" series and its a monster rarity.  You can tell that Exciting Flute must have come before Elevation and Flute Adventure since each album gets a bit freaker than the next one in line.  Elevation features arrangements by Masahiko Satoh and is another plugged in set.  While there are some covers of commercial pop tunes even those are a bit more adventurous - check out the 9 minute run through of "What'd I Say" - lots of wiggy psychedelic guitar and organ runs trading licks with Yokota's flute work.  He sounds like he's channeling his inner Ian Anderson.    Grab this one while its still in print!
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  • Latest release from Crippled Black Phoenix is marketed as an EP but at 45 minutes in length its anything but.  Longtime vocalist Joe Volk is gone, replaced by John E. Vistic.  The core sound is intact, an expansive, cinematic blend of post rock and early 70s Pink Floyd.  The 12 minute tune "How We Rock" sounds like an instrumental soundtrack piece Floyd would have recorded for a Sergio Leone film.  As far as I'm concerned these guys can do no wrong.
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  • "Standard DVD Edition. 2013 live release from the Tampa, Florida-based Heavy Metal outfit. Since Dystopia was released in October of 2011, Iced Earth has been on the attack in a big way, playing more shows in the past year than in the previous 10 years...combined! Early on in the World Tour the band decided that they wanted to capture this newfound energy and passion on film and tape. When the offer came in to film at the ancient Kourion Theater in Limassol, Cyprus, they were immediately attracted to that idea. The history and culture there, as well as the Cypriot audience, which the band experienced in December 2011, solidified the decision to record in Cyprus. Filming and recording a 2 1/2 hour show in an amphitheater that is 6000 years old and is not set-up for a Rock concert, paired with 40-degree Celsius heat, were just some of the obstacles to overcome. But the finished product makes up for any of the challenges that the band and crew faced on that special night."
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  • CD/DVD digipak version.  The DVD contains a "making of" documentary."It feels like it’s been longer than two years since Lacuna Coil’s last release, Dark Adrenaline, but where that album fell a little short, Broken Crown Halo feels like a true return to form for the band and this is perhaps one of the band’s strongest releases to date.Broken Crown Halo begins with Nothing Stands In Our Way, which slowly builds up into an absolute earworm of a tune and it’s no wonder that this was the track chosen to represent the album because it just has everything – fantastic vocal performances from both singers with a small hint of heaviness amongst the melody, and this wonderful heavy tone to the guitars atop of crushing drums.It’s not just the opener that will get stuck in your head however; with this album it really does feel that Lacuna Coil have crafted a whole collection of wholly memorable tracks. There’s Zombie, which features one of the best vocal performances from Andrea to date, with him seamlessly blending harsh and clean vocals together, and then there’s Die And Rise which begins with an introduction so catchy it’ll be stuck in your head for days. In all honesty, there isn’t a single track on the album that stands out as being bad.In essence, Broken Crown Halo is an exceedingly strong release from the band. It’s adventurous and fresh, whilst still retaining the classic Lacuna Coil ‘sound’ – and it’s excellent." - Soundscape
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  • "Early pioneers of Norwegian black metal, the band have continually evolved throughout their career and now inhabit a place entirely their own, blending rock, pop, electronica, symphonic and classical traditions along with progressive and/or avant-garde forms to create ground-breaking material.Ulver returned earlier this year with their new album Wars of the Roses. Early pioneers of Norwegian black metal, the band have continually evolved throughout their career and now stand as living legends of the dark music industry, blending rock, electronica, symphonic and chamber traditions along with noise and experimental music to create ground- breaking material.Until recently however the band had remained exclusively within the studio. This changed in May 2009 when the band accepted an invitation to appear at the Norwegian Festival of Literature. The success of this gig lead to them embarking on a string of other gigs in 2009 and 2010, selling out prestigious venues such as the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Volksbühne in Berlin and La Cigale in Paris before they returned to their homeland for this landmark gig at The Norwegian Opera House.The 2 hour concert marries tracks from throughout the band’s catalogue to stunning visuals to create a spectacle fitting for such a grand venue. The evening was captured on 6 HD cameras and the audio has been mixed for this release in the band’s own Crystal Canyon Studios."
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  • Ol' Leatherlungs Lars is back with his band in tow. Yet another concept album it is - filled with a hi-intensity mix of power, trash and speed. Fasten your seatbelts - this one is stuck in overdrive.
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  • I have to plead ignorance.  Until recently I never heard of Innes Sibun.  Turns out the guy is a world famous British electric blues guitarist.  Back in 1993 he was a member of Robert Plant's touring band and has a signficant solo career.  Can't Slow Down was recorded with his quartet live at the Estro in Harderwijk, Netherlands on March 12, 2011.  This disc burns beginning to end.  If you are a fan of Rory Gallagher or Roy Buchanan and even guitarists along the lines of Hendrix and Trower you need to hear this guy.  Serious wah wah laced guitar driven excursions with backing of keys and a solid rhythm section.  A scorcher!!  Highly recommended.
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