Terra Incognita: Beyond The Horizon ($3 Special)

"This is an interesting crossover in that this album is reflective of a storyline that runs in the lyricist's recently published allegorical fantasy novel, The Edge of the World. Based on two opposing religions that consider the same city as a holy element, they agree to sign a peace treaty. But, as strife will have it, this ends in the literal burnt ashes of the city as an all consuming fire destroys the city setting both religious sides against each other yet again. The author was drawn into a music rendition of his story and supplied all lyrics while a coterie of prominent Prog Rock and Symphonic Rock form to create a band to present this story. Most prominent is the music-writing for the Anderson/Moesta lyrics supplied by Erik Norlander of Rocket Scientists. Vocally, the chores are shared between heavyweights like James LaBrie (Dream Theater), Lana Lane (a remarkable Ann Wilson sound-alike with a powerful voice, who has sang for many bands, and who is married to Norlander), Michael Sadler (Saga), and John Payne (later period Asia). The vocalists take on characters and throughout the album sing the appropriate parts. Musically, this band known as Roswell Six, have created a fine Prog/Symphonic effort named Terra Incognita: Beyond the Horizon. The clear influences are here. You'll hear Yes in the mix as well as the sounds of ELP, Kansas, Freedom Calls, and other usual suspects. The lean is toward symphonic rock with plenty of violin performed by David Ragsdale (Kansas), cello by Mike Alvarez, and flute by Martin Orford. The results are often grand. The works heard on Terra Incognita do the genre justice and are recommended for fans of such music. But when you bring such talents together, you're going to get great music. There are thirteen high-grade songs, two of them instumentals. The booklet is filled with enticing art, all lyrics, and a connecting storyline that brings the book and album together for those that want the full experience." - Matt Rowe/MusicTap.net

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  • Apparently its been 9 years since the last Ring Of Fire album.  Time flies...Ring Of Fire consists of keyboardist Vitalij Kuprij, guitarist Tony MacAlpine, and vocalist Mark Boals.  For Battle Of Leningrad the band is filled out with Timmo Tolkki on bass, and Jani Huovinen on drums.  Tolkki also produces.No surprises here - the band follows the muse of Kuprij, which is neoclassical metal with a strong sense of melody.  Compositionally you can hear the influences of the great Russian composers - Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff,  and Tchaikovsky but also Beethoven and Bach.  Kuprij's keys are very prominent.  Lots of symphonic elements but as we all know he is an extraordinary pianist and he shows his skills off to great extent.  You can't keep a good man down - MacAlpine offers lots of blitzkrieg soloing.  At this point Boals is so engrained into this style of music that you almost take him for granted.  Dating back to Malmsteen, Artension and their ilk, I've always been a sucker for this genre when its well done.  Ring Of Fire do it about as well as it can be done.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • Incredible warehouse find.  Scored a small horde of these and I can pass them on to you at an amazing price."Gamma Ray! Undoubtedly one of the most important names in contemporary, classic Heavy Metal, and thee most respected and influential German band in the genre. Fronted by Kai Hansen, following his departure from Helloween, Gamma Ray has become one of the most prominent bands in European Heavy Metal. "To The Metal" is the 10th studio album in 21 years of worldwide success and a new diamond in their never-ending experimental creativity. The Special Edition contains a bonus DVD in HD with interview, rehearsals, live studio sessions and 3 videoclips."
    $3.00
  • Its been some time since Michael Harris' Thought Chamber project made its debut.  The band consists of Michael Harris (guitars), Ted Leonard (vocals), Bill Jenkins (keys), Jeff Plant (bass), and Mike Haid (drums).  Ted Leonard and Bill Jenkins will be familiar to you from their membership in Enchant (Ted is also fronting Spock's Beard now).Psykerion is a sci-fi cybermetal concept album.  Harris plays with a lot of restraint compared to some of his solo albums.  In fact I would classify it as tasteful.  Leonard is one of the best vocalists in prog and he doesn't disappoint.  Lots of solos flying around on guitar and keys but it maintains a melodic integrity through out.  Hopefully we don't have to wait another 7 years for the follow up.  Highly recommended.This is the limited edition import version that comes with 2 bonus tracks.
    $14.00
  • Import hardbound "mediabook" edition with the Iron Man bonus track.So here's my personal confession...after Neal left I felt that Spock's Beard lost their way.  Nick is a fine vocalist but there was something quirky about Neal's writing that had a reverential old school quality that I found lacking.  The albums didn't grab me.  Nick left and Ted Leonard took over on vocals.  Whether it was Enchant or Thought Chamber, he's always stood out and he fits Spock's Beard quite well.  The new drummer Jimmy Keegan slipped into the blend with no dificulty.  The result is (to my mind) a resurgence from this band.  Ryo Okumoto always puts on a show - in particular his heavy reliance on Hammond organ reminds me quite a bit of Steve Walsh.  In fact the sound of the whole album has a Kansas vibe. Coincidentally David Ragsdale guests on one track.  I'm not sure I can remember the last time I said this about a Spock's Beard album - Highly recommended."Very few bands are so recognizable that you know who you are listening to within 2 seconds.  That is all it takes at the beginning of the first track on The Oblivion Particle to know you are listening to Spock’s Beard.  There is no slow buildup or keyboard swells, just straight BAMM!, here we go.  And if the opening notes don’t get you, the organ 5 seconds in will.  The band’s 12th studio album, this one the second with singer Ted Leonard and drummer Jimmy Keegan, is a culmination of years of perfecting a sound and identity, one that not even 2 major lineup changes could fracture. With this new album, Spock’s Beard up their game again and show that this lineup is here to stay.If there was a track that defined what Spock’s Beard are, it might be the opening track, “Tides of Time.”  There are certain checklist items that mark their sound and they are all in this track.  The organ, the harmonies, the acoustic breakdown, the rocking middle and the epic ending.  Each member finds their moments to shine on this one and it provides a jaw-dropping sound overload that could leave one satisfied at that moment; only there is another 60 minutes to go.The album zigs and zags through a few more experimental moments, mixing in some surprises with more traditional Prog elements.  The album’s second track and first single is “Minion”, is a perfect example.  The opening a cappella harmonies provide the sort of memorable chorus and harmonies we’ve come to expect from the group.  While, the following distorted keyboard section is also standard Spock’s Beard.  But the verse and middle of the song is much darker and takes us on a surprising journey.The most unique song the album is the brilliantly titled “Bennett Built a Time Machine”, which the album’s cover is based on.  Drummer Jimmy Keegan takes lead on the vocals here and sounds incredible.  His voice actually fits the track better than Leonard’s probably would have.  The song is one of the album highlights and helps keep the record from sounding redundant.  It is almost a pop song most of the way through until turning on the jets and shifting into Prog mode.There are some heavier moments such as “Hell’s Not Enough” and “Get Out While You Can”. “The Center Line”, however, might be the most similar to something you might have found on their group’s previous album “Brief Nocturnes…”  The track opens with an expansive piano recital piece, before turning into a combo Prog-Western bounce with acoustic guitars carrying the groove. Ted’s voice lifts the choruses flawlessly and creates an almost cinematic soundscape.Even with all of these great moments, it is the album’s closing track that is the best song on the album.  “Disappear” might be one of the best songs the band has recorded since Neal left the group.  “We could disappear, you and me, we could be, anyplace else not here” sings Ted in the chorus as he wonders what might be if we left with no one knowing what happened.  The song is really the closest thing to a ballad on the album, but it doesn’t stay that way for long.  2 minutes in, the song stirs into a frenzy just before a brief cameo by Kansas’ David Ragsdale, appearing with his violin.  Of course, the big epic orchestral ending takes us home as Alan Morse provides the finishing touches with his unique finger picking soloing excellence.Spock’s Beard are Prog rock’s most reliable unit.  They have yet to disappoint and always provide comfort to their faithful fans with music that is both inspiring and breathtaking.  And while The Oblivion Particle shows a harder edged Spock’s Beard, it also displays a group that shows no signs of slowing down and is ready to take on all comers." - The Prog Report 
    $18.00
  • "Founded in 2011 by music composer an lyricist Luca Gagnoni with the intent of creating epic, powerful music with a peaceful message, Astral Domine have signed a deal with Bakerteam Records for the release of their debut album ‘Arcanum Gloriae’. Produced by the band itself, with mixing and mastering duties held by Andrea De Paoli (Labyrinth, Vision Divine) at Multimedia Sound Studio, ‘Arcanum Gloriae’ features special guest appearances by renowned singers Fabio Lione (Rhapsody Of Fire, Vision Divine, Hollow Haze) in the song ‘Where Heroes Die’ and Giuseppe “Ciape” Cialone (Rosae Crucis) on the song ‘Falsi Dei’. Inspired by fantasy themes and landscapes, Astral Domine’s music is perfectly depicted by the ‘evocative album artwork, which recalls the epic scenery of the Game Of Thrones series.After the epic-intro, comes the first big moment of the album; "Holy Knights" is an impressive epic and powerful metal song that combines the melody with the heaviness in such a unique way. The acoustic mellower parts give to the song the extra flavor and make this song an ecstatic moment. With "Moonlight" the band delivers a really heart-full tune filled with some amazing guitar lines. Brilliant stuff! "Where Heroes Die" is yet another highlight from this debut release. The appearance of Fabio Leone in this one takes the whole track into a higher dimension! "I'm The King" recalls some Malmsteen's earlier works while in "My Lord" the theatrical-movie elements along with melancholic vibe are making this tune a true highlight!All in all, this is an extremely interesting release all the way. This is not the ordinary epic power metal band; ASTRAL DOMINE delivers a solid record with a 'clever' way that finally achieve to fascinate the listener from start to finish! " - Heavy Paradise
    $12.00
  • Some of this sounds so much like Black Sabbath that I thought I was listening to a Count Raven album.  Latest album from this French doom metal band continues to mix in 70s prog moves as well as psychedelic folk.  A bit underproduced but that does lend a bit of charm.  Cool stuff!"It’s no secret that the French progressive doom band Northwinds is a favorite here at Vertical Chamber Apparatus as the band continually pushes themselves both creatively and compositionally. Despite their two-and-a-half decades of existence and a bulletproof discography the band still dwells in relative obscurity to the world at large. While the group is often and not necessarily unfairly labelled as a “doom metal band” that label is really only a fraction of the story. Northwinds definitely invokes the ancient rites of doom metal—mostly in an organic, proto-doom spirit—but they also voyage extensively into the realms of progressive rock, folk, psychedelia, and 70’s inspired hard rock thus taking the listener on phantasmagorical journeys into uncharted lands. With four outstanding releases already under their collective belts the band is poised to release their fifth full-length, the long-awaited and highly anticipated ‘Eternal Winter.’The band’s excellent 2012 album, ‘Winter,’ was initially conceived as a double album appropriately titled ‘Winter…Eternal Winter,’ but the idea was shelved by Black Widow Records as a risky venture. ‘Winter’ was a career defining moment for the band as the release seemed to capture them not only at their doomiest, but also at their most mystical. Based on the strength of ‘Winter’ it is exciting to know that most, if not all, of the material of ‘Eternal Winter’ was conceived and composed during the same writing cycles that have produced some of Northwinds’ strongest and darkest material to date.‘Eternal Winter’ is unquestionably an extension of ‘Winter,’ though the latest doesn’t quite descend into the same dark depths as its predecessor, nor does it establish the consistent magical atmosphere that was threaded throughout the previous album. These points should not be mistaken as criticism, but should be taken as mere observation as Northwinds has yet to disappoint and ‘Eternal Winter’ is no exception from that rule. While the magical atmospherics that were in abundance on ‘Winter’ are in slight decline on the band’s latest they definitely are not absent. The dreamy intro of “Chimeres” gives way to one of the most powerful tracks of the album. “Chimeres,” with its effective use of synths and ghostly sound effects, shares a stylistic and tonal kinship to other standout tracks from the band’s discography like “Black Tower” or “Winds of Sorrow.” Adding to the atmosphere of “Chimeres” is a sinister, phantom-like vocal effect that echoes the vocals of Sylvain Auvé—a subtle, yet effective detail that enriches the track as a whole.Where ‘Winter,’ for the most part, was steeped in darkness ‘Eternal Winter’ chooses to travel paths more related to progressive influenced hard rock. The flute heavy “Crossroads” has an epic, classic rock vibe that is fueled by majestic guitar solos, organ, and Auvé’s soulful vocals. The uncharacteristic “From the Cradle to the Grave,” one of the shortest non-instrumental songs written by the band, is dominated by a 70’s style strut that seemingly burns out almost as soon as it starts. “A Light for the Blind” may just be the best representation of Northwinds’ sound. It is a sprawling track that is embedded with moments of catchiness—particularly due to the lead guitar—juxtaposed with sonic explorations to other dimensions. It’s a great track that captures Northwinds doing what they do best—crafting intricate, often emotional tunes that never fail to keep the listener engaged.Northwinds have, impressively, continued their upward trajectory by releasing another stunner in a succession of stellar albums. The band is poised to have an incredible year with the upcoming release of ‘Eternal Winter’ hot on the heels of their killer split 7” with fellow countrymen Marble Chariot. In addition, the vinyl release of their 1995 demo courtesy of metalloscope-music has just been released. ‘Eternal Winter,’ like the rest of Northwinds’ discography, is an enchanting album that is comprised of a multitude of layers. Fans of doom metal and progressive rock will undoubtedly discover and hear a lot to admire in the music of Northwinds and ‘Eternal Winter’ is no exception. An engaging listen from start-to-finish. Highly recommended." - Vertical Chamber Apparatus
    $16.00
  • "Garden Wall would get heavier in subsequent albums, but on their debut the band seems to be paying tribute to a whole host of neo-prog bands like Marillion, Pendragon and Cathedral. In fact they remind me quite a bit of Cathedral with their heavy rhythm section grounding the guitar arpeggios and keyboard flourishes. The vocals here are measurably better though.I don’t know much about these guys, but this album shows they have a strong knowledge of eighties progressive rock. Musically they remind me a little bit of fellow countrymen Sad Minstrel with their highly expressive and heavier rock sound, but these guys rely a lot more on synth orchestral layers than that group. The songs all exude plenty of energy, although I’m left with a general feeling that this is closer to slightly moody eighties music than some of their neo contemporaries.While I said the vocals are better than bands like Cathedral, vocalist Alessandro Seravalle does have a strong attribute of the throaty singing of many eighties crooners like Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Holly Johnson or the Romantics Wally Palmar. The music isn’t anything like those bands, but Seravalle seems to be another in a long line of Bryan Ferry soundalikes who have graced album tracks over the past thirty years or so. Not necessarily a bad thing, and considering the band’s penchant for moody synthetic sounds on tracks like “Silent Waves in a Raging Ocean” and “Ekpyrosis”, his voice is for the most part a reasonable fit.Speaking of “Ekpyrosis”, this is the most lengthy song on the album at more than thirteen minutes, and while it features some grand climaxes and really cool chamber vocals, for the most part I think the thing drags on for a bit longer than is necessary, especially in the middle section.The band shows a glimpse of what’s to come with the closing “Onde Radio” though, a prototypical neo- prog number with driving drums, soaring electric guitar and a torrid pace. This is much close to the sound the band would show on their next couple of albums, but on this debut the brooding synth arrangements seem to be much more prevalent.This isn’t a great album by any means, but it is decent. So three stars are not unreasonable. I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on a copy, but at a fair price this would make an okay addition to most neo-progger’s collections. Recommended to fans of late eighties neo bands and those who like Italian music that isn’t awash with symphonic pompousness." - Progarchives
    $9.00
  • "Sometimes you have to wonder… why do Ulver albums still get reviewed on metal blogs? After all, the band themselves haven’t had a shred of “metal” in them for a long time.Still, there’s a connection – and it’s more than just nostalgia or a sense of obligation due to the band’s “seminal” early years.I know quite a lot of metal fans who love the strange, otherworldy music that Ulver make, but don’t really have anything else even vaguely similar in their music collections.I think, ultimately, what draws people in, and what makes them stay with the band through all their digressions and deviations, is the boundless (stubborn, even) sense of artistic integrity they display. From poppy exuberance to dark psychedelia, they are a band who embrace, and revel in, contradiction. Each of their albums is simultaneously daring and difficult, challenging yet compelling, filled with a warmth of emotion yet governed by a calculating intellect.And Messe I.X-VI.X is no different, in that regard.Characteristically for the band, it’s an album of contradictions, eclectic elements woven together in perfect (dis)harmony, part avant-garde electronic expressionism, part organic classical composition.As they themselves say, “Much of this was recorded live, yet it is not a live album. We’ve spent long hours in the studio translating what happened that night”.Again – contradiction. The music here is the result of a pre-planned composition, performed live, then re-translated in the studio. Both dynamic and controlled. Calculated, but with the potential for chaos.Despite its seemingly contradictory nature, the struggling symbiosis between the organic and the electronic, each song on the album – each a movement in the grand ballet of sound and symbolism – has its place and purpose.Unusually (and perhaps once again re-affirming the contradictory nature of the band), it’s almost 25 minutes before we hear the first sound of Kristoffer Rygg’s magnificent singing voice, on the solemn “Son of Man”. Yet that’s not to say the album is an instrumental one. To call it that would be a mistake. It’s threaded through with a multiplicity of voices. It’s just that few of them issue from a human throat.Case in point, the lengthy and sombre orchestration of “As Syrians Pour In, Lebanon Battles With The Ghosts of a Bloody Past” uses its many instruments as voices, melodies rising and falling like phantom choirs of unseen angels. Above a moaning undertow of gloomy synths and soundscapes, the hiss and sigh and soft flutter of strings speaks with a universal tongue, cold foreboding building towards haunting rapture.In contrast “Shri Schneider” is the conscious antithesis of this, a sci-fi soundtrack of psychedelic electronica which pushes the subtle wailing of strings into the background, natural nuance giving way to artificial artistry.“Glamour Box (Ostinati)” brings the two together, first quietly – as the electronic elements twist the strings just so, and the orchestra respond in kind by moulding pulsing electronic rhythms into fluid forms – then louder, ebbing and flowing with a digital heartbeat so that the divide between the organic and the inorganic sounds becomes almost imperceptible.The aforementioned “Son of Man” makes full use of Kristoffer Rygg’s plaintive vocals – albeit only for the barest of minutes –  using them sparingly to set the scene for a Hans Zimmer-esque orchestral offering, cut through with an undercurrent of simmering electronic tension, building into a glorious fountain of emotion, loss and longing, and quiet desperation.“Noche Oscura Del Alma” is an oddity, waves of alien distortion cascading across a tapestry of low, rumbling, augmented strings. Its strange, cybernetic orchestration soon opens up into a piece of oddly disturbing ambience and unsettling atmospherics. Digital thunder crashes and symphonic shadows loom, as strange samples and broken shards of avant-jazz flit in and out of perception. It’s almost nightmarish, yet fits within the dreamscape atmosphere of the album.After this, “Mother of Mercy” is like a balm to the soul, as Kristoffer Rygg’s soulful voice returns once more, wrapped in a soft shroud of weeping strings. Subtle synths slowly make their presence known, introducing unexpected trip-hop beats that flicker and fade almost as quickly as they appear. As the song progresses, this soothing harmony of sound is distorted and disturbed, the translation of live organic sounds into digital expression slowly stripping away its warmth until, finally, entropy conquers…Messe I.X-VI.X truly is an album of contradictions – both modern and medieval, peaceful, yet agitated. It’s an album about love, and about the fear that engenders. Or it’s an album about fear, and the toll it takes on love. I’m not quite sure yet.The band state that “Shadows reverberates – It feels like a companion piece.” And I agree with them. It’s a similarly powerful experience, and one that demands a certain level of patience and openness from the listener to fully appreciate.If the stark minimalism of Wars of the Roses was in many ways a reaction to the languid, organic warmth and life of Shadows, then Messe must surely be its ghost, a haunting shade that follows after, as the night which comes with the setting of the sun. Where our dreams dwell and our fears linger." - No Clean Singing 
    $14.00
  • "With contemporary music often looking to dissolve artificial boundaries and cross-pollinate with abandon, it shouldn't comes as a surprise to hear progressive rock groups using the same tack. On one hand, expectations often drive them to stay close to home— Yes may release new music periodically, but its live shows draw more from the classic 1970-1977 repertoire than any other. Then there's King Crimson who, while looking back to some extent, are more interested in pushing forward and creating live sets reflective of that aesthetic. New groups aren't anchored down with the dilemma of evolving while, at the same time, pleasing longtime fans interested in hearing their favorite songs. Mahogany Frog suggests, perhaps, one possible future of progressive rock, bringing together elements of electronica, ambient, industrial and jazz into the more familiar terrain of detailed, long-form writing, odd meters and neoclassicism. DO5 demonstrates what might happen if Radiohead and Sigur Rós were put into a blender with Pink Floyd, Yes and Genesis, then dropping the vocals. The end result sounds like none of them, though markers run throughout DO5—Mahogany Frog's fifth album, but its first for a label with widespread distribution. "G.M.F.T.P.O." opens the nine-song, 45-minute disc with a high energy, guitar-driven anthemic melody, propelled by drummer J.P. Perron's visceral beat and Scott Ellenberger's thundering bass. But a mere thirty seconds into its brief ninety-second duration, it enters space-rock territory, with electronics entering the picture as a series of punctuating shots segue into the eleven-minute "T-Tigers & Toasters." Ambient sounds from a variety of analog and digital keyboards, played by Graham Epp and Jesse Warkentin, build into a deceptively unsophisticated three-chord change that morphs into alt-rock as they pick up guitars for a high volume, heavily distorted power-chord theme. The simplicity turns complex, however, during the second half as odd meters and unexpected twists and turns are introduced, along with sudden dynamic shifts from ear-splitting to a near-whisper. One thing is certain, however: Mahogany Frog is a band best experienced with the volume control turned up to eleven. It only helps to make the quieter passages even more dramatic and the symphonic tinges of "Last Stand at Fisher Farm," with Epps and Ellenberger picking up trumpets for its potent theme, all the stronger. Mahogany Frog isn't a group that relies on solos to impress, but Perron nevertheless stands out, his playing on the knotty "You're Meshugah!" especially frenetic and captivating. The brief, riff-driven "I Am Not Your Sugar" may be a head-banger's delight, but it's one that expects the metal-head to pump his fist while searching desperately for the "one." Accusations of bombast tend to follow progressive rockers around, and there's no shortage of turgidity to be found on DO5. Still, it's a guilty pleasure that fans of the alt-rock scene, looking for something more challenging, may well gravitate towards. For longstanding progressive rockers who believe in emphasis on progressive, Mahogany Frog hits all the right reference points, yet is as contemporary as it gets, breathing new life into what is mistakenly considered by some to be an outdated genre. They couldn't be more wrong." - All About Jazz
    $8.00
  • Tesseract are an incredibly talented djent metal band out of the UK. Smart guys too. There was a tremendous buzz building around the band but they bided their time, waiting to sign with a label. In the meantime they fine tuned the formula, hooking up with vocalist Dan Tompkins and took their material to the next level. The band signed with Century Media, who will release their full length debut ("One") in 2011. As a stop gap release the band put out this 27 minute suite and its a monster. The music is melodic but has a strong technical element. Tompkins sings mostly in a clean style but throws in some barking as well. Think in terms of Sikth or Periphery (but with better vocals). There is even a bit of Zero Hour tossed in there as well. This release will only add fuel to the fire of anticipation. Highly recommended.
    $6.00
  • Limited edition digibook edition.  The CD portion comes with two bonus tracks.  The DVD is a live performance from Rock Hard 2010 and 70,000 Tons Of Metal in 2013.  "Good morning, good afternoon, good evening or good night (depending on where you are in the world), how’ve you been? I’m good, thanks. Anyways, first thing’s first, before we get to the review, let’s take a minute to explain what is “Lingua Mortis”? “Lingua Mortis” was a 1996 album by German Heavy Metal legend RAGE, an album which took some of their classic songs and presented them in new symphonic arrangements.Fast forward 17 years, RAGE is still going strong, and after playing live shows with what’s known as “Lingua Mortis Orchestra” over the last few years, RAGE finally decided to create a new “Lingua Mortis” album, this time however the band chose to create an album of all new material. Based on the true story of the “1599 Gelnhausen” witch hunting’s and featuring around 100 musicians, “LMO” is a monster of an album. Make no mistake about it, this is a Metal album through and through, Composed by Victor Smolski with Lyrics by Peavey Wagner, this album is as much RAGE as any album they have released in their illustrious career, but this is RAGE with a completely different edge to them.It opens with “Cleansed by Fire” a ten minute opus opening with a witch chanting with a choir coming in, this is the song that tells you all you need to know, the song is melodic, deep, heavy, catchy, this is Rage at their finest, Peavey Wagner’s usually harsh vocals are softer here and are perfectly complemented by the female accompaniment, this song incorporates three parts into it, “Convert the Pagans Pt1”, “The Inquisition” and “Convert the Pagans Pt2”, the guitar work by Victor Smolski is absolutely exquisite throughout.I wanted to do the usual track by track review, but I honestly can’t, it would take too damn long, this album moves and twists more times than I could possibly put into a single review, it’s heavy as hell, the masterful blast beats are here, the guitars are incredible and at times reminiscent of the masters like Pell and Malmsteen. The choice to mix Peavey’s heavy vocals along with softer and operatic female vocals and at times choirs is a brilliant move as they blend perfectly. The album at times even has an 80s sound (like the opening of “Devils Bride”).The bottom line here is that this album is nothing short of a masterpiece, if you love RAGE (like me), you’ll love this album, if you love Symphonic Metal, you’ll love this album, hell, it’s very hard not to love this record as it features elements from a lot of metal genres and mixes it in with an amazing array of orchestral work. I’m not really the type to call an album perfect, but I find it hard not to in this case, the hooks are there, and so is the heaviness, it’s probably the best symphonic album I’ve heard without a NIGHTWISH label on it.The album comes out August 2nd, and I certainly suggest you go on YouTube right now, have a listen to a sample and go out and get this album as soon as it’s out, you won’t regret it. " - Metal Temple
    $26.00
  • Its been five years but The Flower Kings are back from their hiatus. Without missing a beat they offer up their signature epic length tracks of symphonic rock. Funny thing...I've gotten used to hearing Lalle Larsson play with Roine and Jonas over the past five years. I forgot how good Tomas Bodin! Disc two is set up as the bonus set. It includes 4 extra tracks as well as an interview.
    $12.00
  • "Volume 2 of the Bavarian broadcast series present further recordings of Area, for once from the period 1977-1979.Five live tracks from 2 concerts and four tracks recorded in Bavarian Broadcast Corporation owned studio "Franken" "at Nuremberg". Aera played a lively jazz-rock dominated by soloist and sax and flute player Klaus Kreuzeder, based on powerful and clever keyboard playing all held together by amazing bass player Matz Steinke and drummer Lutz Oldemeier (of Missus Beastly-fame) and lots of percussions. Aera were in a very good shape and gave their best. Highlights are the 17 minutes long version of "Draculas Fruhstuck' and nearly 10 minutes version of "You need some speed". All titles were digitally remastered from the original tapes. Booklets contains the history of the recordings and rare photos."
    $16.00