The Tokyo Tapes (2CD/DVD)

  • A new remastered 2CD & DVD edition of Steve Hackett's legendary "Tokyo Tapes" featuring John Wetton, Chester Thompson, Ian McDonald & Julian Colbeck
  • Includes a brand new studio track - "All Along the Watchtower" by Steve Hackett & John Wetton & two studio tracks from the 1997 release "Firewall" and "The Dealer"
  • All tracks newly remastered by Ben Fenner
  • Discs Three - NTSC region free DVD of the December 1996 Tokyo concerts, bonus rehearsal footage and band biographies
  • Also features booklet with photos, memorabilia and essay

"What would happen if occasional members of Genesis, King Crimson, Asia, Yes, Frank Zappa & Weather Report all got together to form a unique team for just one night" - Such an event took place in December 1996 in Tokyo, when Steve Hackett gathered together a group featuring JOHN WETTON (Bass / Vocals), IAN McDONALD (Flute / Sax / Guitar / Keyboards / Vocals), CHESTER THOMPSON (Drums) and JULIAN COLBECK (Keyboards / Vocals) to perform a wonderful set that featured classic tracks such as "Watcher of the Skies", "Firth of Fifth", "The Court of the Crimson King", "Shadow of the Hierophant", "Los Endos" and many more. Esoteric Antenna are pleased to announce a new special release of "THE TOKYO TAPES" which has been newly remastered and includes a brand new studio track especially recorded for this reissue, "All Along the Watchtower" by STEVE HACKETT & JOHN WETTTON, along with two studio tracks featured on the 1997 CD release. This set also features an NTSC / Region Free DVD of the Tokyo Tapes concert, (long deleted), and bonus rehearsal footage. This version of "Tokyo Tapes" is the ultimate edition of this classic live album.

DISC ONE - CD
Watcher of the Skies
Riding the Colossus
Firth of Fifth
Battlelines
Camino Royale
The Court of the Crimson King
Horizons
Walking Away from Rainbows
Heat of the Moment

DISC TWO - CD
In That Quiet Earth
Vampyre with a Healthy Appetite
I Talk to the Wind
Shadow of the Hierophant
Los Endos
Black Light
The Steppes
I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)

Bonus tracks:

Firewall (studio track)
The Dealer (studio track)
All Along the Watchtower - Steve Hackett & John Wetton (studio track)

DISC THREE - REGION FREE NTSC DVD
Watcher of the Skies
Riding the Colossus
Firth of Fifth
Battlelines
Camino Royale
The Court of the Crimson King
Horizons
Walking Away from Rainbows
Heat of the Moment
In That Quiet Earth
Vampyre with a Healthy Appetite
I Talk to the Wind
Shadow of the Hierophant
Los Endos
Black Light
The Steppes
I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)
Bonus features:

Eighteen minutes of rehearsal footage
Band Biographies

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  • "After some high profile releases and particularly impressive ubiquity, the ex-DREAM THEATER / A7X drums God Mike Portnoy is back again with his new musical partner the magnificent Bass Maestro Billy Sheehan (NIACIN / TALAS / DAVID LEE ROTH / MR BIG / STEVE VAI / PSMS), under a power trio format, completed by none other than one of the most gifted Guitarist of his generation once Sharpnel Records alumni Richie Kotzen but this time no instrumental trickery, no instrumental knitting, because Kotzen beside his absolute skilled six strings wizardry is also indeed an hell of a fantastic soulful singer and a very underrated vocalist of the best brand. This is a  supergroup, a Dream Team hell yeah…but mostly a great band.With such a busy time schedule for both workaholics Portnoy & Sheehan, we could have feared a fast almost sloppy affair, luckily with this first album is exactly the opposite. Sheehan & Kotzen were working many years together with MR BIG and in fact the sound of THE WINERY DOGS isn’t that far from what Sheehan, Paul Gilbert , Pat Torpey and Eric Martin have magnificently achieved.The album start with groovy 70s infused blast of “Elevate” and followed by the heavy Funk flavor of “Desire” each track feature an intense rhythmic groove with short but impressive unison synchronized lead bass / lead guitar whirlwind licks of exuberant virtuosity, some unexpected harmonies that coming out of the Jazz-Rock / Rhythm N' Blues recipe book owned by Kotzen, but every song carries most of all a strong focus both on the catchy melodies and on the sing-along hooks which are everywhere boosted by rich Backing vocals (“The Other Side” or “The Dying”) really magnetic & irresistible. Those who are familiar with the prolific superb Kotzen’s discography knows that he’s an hugely skilled songwriter with a lot of style in his arsenal, so THE WINERY DOGS debut album is out of the same tradition as THE MOTHER HEAD'S FAMILLY REUNION, “Not Hopeless” contains however some over the top sharing duo between Richie & Billy, in the real MR BIG's shredding frenzy fashion, like a modern day GRAND FUNK RAILROAD with full injection of high tech dexterity.Cuts like “One More Time” or “Six Feet Deeper” seems to be outtakes from the breath taking 1990s “Fever Dream”, with furious playing and great musicality concentrated for an even more efficiency. The Japan only bonus track, “Criminal” is strangely one of the most commercial song with an almost AOR chorus, a syncopated bridge and another outstanding lead guitar solo spot in two parts with a tasty sound. The closing number “Regret” is the sole composition handled exclusively by Mr. Kotzen: it’s a soul music track with slight Hammond layers and a real harmonious balanced to finish this album in a positive way. The pristine production is powerful and crystal clear, still organic with a strong vintage feel but not muddy, in fact it sounds like how Classic Rock in its purest form should sound in 2013. Just unadulterated genuine Rock played by an exemplary bunch of extremely talented musicians and it’s an understatement.After an imposing huge list of albums and projects under his belt, Mike Portnoy with the help of another all-star lineup show to the incredulous crowd of jealous fellows, how his playing field is broad and how he can multiply in an almost monthly omnipresence the recording with the same prestige and the same success as FLYING COLORS / NEAL MORSE / PSMS / ADRENALINE MOB and the forthcoming BIGELF." - Metal Temple
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  • Digipak edition with one bonus track."Tasting The Tears in the ninth studio offering from Italian prog metal masters Eldritch. For those who are unfamiliar with the band, that is what we here at Lady Obscure are here to do! We shine the spotlight on bands that may have flown under the music fans radar. Eldritch perform a technical form of melodic progressive metal with elements of thrash metal thrown in to create a style that is instantly recognizable as Eldritch. Following up on the success of the bands previous album Gaia’s Legacy (which included an invitation to perform a powerful set at the famous ProgPower USA festival in 2011) is no easy task, but after several listens of Tasting The Tears, I can safely say that Eldritch are up for the challenge. After the global warming concept of Gaia’s Legacy, the band turns to more personal subject matter. The lyrics on Tasting The Tears share a common theme: love in all its different forms. Not exactly progressive metal forte but Eldritch pull it off thanks to vocalist Terence Holler’s emotive delivery and some excellent songwriting.Tasting the Tears was produced by Eugene Simone at ES Studios in Livorno, Italy. and mixing and mastering duties have been handled by Simone Mularoni (DGM) at Domination Studios in San Marino, Italy. The album combines melody, complexity, and dark compositions to create a cohesive album. The production is crisp and all the individual instruments are given a clear representation in the mix. The album kicks off with Inside You, a moody and catchy headbanger with a soaring melodic chorus, and lots of tasty riffs courtesy of the guitar duo of Eugene Simone and Rudj Ginanneschi. The title track features the keyboard wizardy of Gabriele Caselli overlapping the thrash metal machine gun drumming of Rafahell Dridge with melody. The mood takes on a melancholy and darker tone with Alone Again. The band combines the clean guitar tones with keyboards and Holler’s melodic voice combined with superb vocal harmonies. Based on the lyrical content, Waiting For Someone is a song about loneliness and the search for love. The music is heavy and progressive with plenty of melody and guitar crunch. Seeds of Love has a driving intense drums and chugging guitar rhythms. A piano intro starts of The Trade, a song of betrayal and the tone relects the seriously dark subject matter. The thrashing mad Something Strong is filled with brutal riffs, technical drumwork, and impassioned vocals. Don’t Listen the trash influence is apparent but Caselis keyboards and Hollers vocals add the perfect melodic touch. The band shows their diversity and takes a chance with the moody piano ballad Iris. The song is well done although personally I would rather hear the band rock hard. Luckily the next song Love From A Stone shows the band doing what they do best and that is playing intense and melodic prog metal.The energy is ramped up on Clouds, an intense heavy progressive song with some fantastic keyboard work and a fantastic memorable chorus. As with Gaia’s Legacy, the albums closing song is a cover song, this time of the Queensrÿche classic I Will Remember from Rage for Order. The song is given the Eldritch treatment with added piano and Holler’s voice which is drastically different from vintage Geoff Tate, but he adds his own unique spin to the song and make it his own. Is it better than the original? Of course not, but it is a faithful rendition and tribute to one of the bands influences and I commend the band for taking a chance on recording a song of this stature in the metal world.Although it is not a perfect album, s a fan of Eldritch, I can highly recommend Tasting the Tears. It’s not as heavy and lively as Gaia’s legacy or Blackenday, but being one of the lucky fans to catch their last U.S. performance, I can say that the band puts on a highly energetic show and one can only hope that they return to U.S. shores soon. Fans of melodic progressive metal with a touch of thrash will appreciate the latest Eldritch offering." - Lady Obscure
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  • "Next To None is the band of four young guys that are from Lehigh Vallay in Pennsylvania. Their names? Max Portnoy (d), Thomas Cuce (key/v), Ryland Holland (g) and Kris Rank (b). Portnoy, Portnoy, Portnoy? Yes, Max is the son of Mike Portnoy who some of you know from his time at Dream Theater or many other projects.The boys began already at the age of 12 and 13 to write own music. Additionally they also could gain already some live experience by being on tour with Adrenaline Mob and The Winery Dogs.The music of Next To None has many influences. There is the harder stuff that Max brings in and on the other hand the classic rock component that comes via Holland. The result is an interesting metal cocktail that is very entertaining.The diversity of sound comes back in songs like the melodic "Runaway" which is a straight-forward one. It includes a heavy riff, but also a keyboard-based middle part that give the tune a slightly new expression.The opener "The edge of sanity" instead is an nine minutes long epos that start with pouring rain, thunder and a chiming bell. It builds up to an dark prog metal track that reminds to Dream Theater not a big surprise. Their are two more of those extraordinary long tracks on "A light in the dark". "Control" is another nine minute long tune while the closer "Blood on my hands" is with eight minutes a bit shorter. Also those two numbers are more complex prog metal that shows the musical quality of the guys.Next to these extralong tracks it's the different influences that enables Next To None to numbers like "You are not me" too. Here we are talking about a raging metal track with a brutal verse. The chorus is more melodic, however, it is one of the heaviest tunes on the album. And it still fits into the context.But it also shows the wide vocal range of singer Thomas Cuce. He can handle the angry screams like on the before mentioned track as well as some soulful vocals that are need for e.g. "A lonely walk". The classic rock influences are very present in this song and I had to think about the good old Rainbow times. Cool stuff.There are maybe a few smaller parts that sound a bit unfinished but it's amazing how far the four guys got already. Still being in their teenage days the boys write already excellent songs and their musical talent is amazing. If these guys continue we can expect something very special for the coming years.These boys did a great album that has for sure a 'Wow'-factor." - Markus' Heavy Music Blog
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  • Brief Nocturnes is the band's 11th album.  It marks their return to Inside Out and quite frankly its the best album they have released in a very long time.  Chalk it up to Ted Leonard handling vocals or Neal Morse contributing writing to a couple of tunes?  Not sure.  I am definitely hearing more vitality and overt progginess in the compositions.  Ryo is going off his nut here - keys are whizzing all around - organ/'tron/the whole schmear - and Alan's guitar runs are matching him step for step.  Maybe I haven't been paying attention as closely as I should have for the past few years.  I do know that I'm enjoying the hell out of this.  Highly recommended.
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  • "The second installment of our 20th Anniversary celebration, "Off the Floor 02" continues with more live-in-the-studio performances of staples from our live sets. Taken from the same sessions as "Off the Floor (01)," the track list draws from each of our five studio albums and includes a healthy dose of improvisation, a bit of re-imagining and even a little new music in the form of a bass & drums interlude.We won't repeat the "Brief History of Tiles" from the OtF (01) liner notes, but will take a moment to revisit the basic 'off the floor' concept. After much discussion about our "platinum" milestone (unfortunely not for sales!), we decided to do a live album using the somewhat non-traditional approach of recording live in the studio. This is actually what the phrase 'off the floor' means in recording lingo: to record a song as a complete performance without adding more parts (overdubs) later. We recruited a few friends to be our audience – for inspiration and to keep us on our toes.Having the controlled environment of a private 'soundstage' allowed us to focus on the music. We didn't have to haul a bunch of equipment into a club and deal with recording technicalities, show promotion and other business distractions. Although we were in a studio, "OtF 02" is still "live" – complete with the occasional less-than-perfect note and other minor imperfection. We did, however, take advantage of the relaxed setting and usually played each song twice, picking the best version for the CD. Occasionally we didn't need a second take, but a couple of times we needed a third take ("Patterns" oddly enough!).To offer a little something different, "OtF (01)" had a couple special guests plus an expanded arrangement of 'The Wading Pool.' For "Off the Floor 02" we dug into our archives and dusted off a few tunes from our appearance at the 2005 Rites of Spring Festival (ROSfest). We had recorded our entire 2-hour set, but filed the hard drive away with little thought it would see the light of day. Technical problems had dogged us the moment we hit the stage and left us feeling unsatisfied with our performance. Sampler and keyboard sounds would mysteriously reset and the bass amp would cut in and out. Figuring out why these intermittant problems were happening was made even more challenging by Jeff's state of exhaustion; even though it was a good kind of exhaustion caused by the birth of his daughter just four days before the show. Since the problems were on his side of the stage he had to play detective and keep up with the songs! Eventually, the issue was discovered and duct tape strategically applied to a loose electrical wall outlet – which worked just fine unless someone happened to use the side-stage walkway.Although tempted by the 12-minute "venting" version of "Capture the Flag," we didn't want to repeat any songs already included on either Off the Floor disc. Fortunately, "Facing Failure," "Ballad of the Sacred Cows," "Paintings" and "Window Dressing" were in all-around good shape. We only needed to drop in a couple missing samples and a keyboard part. By including selections from ROSfest as part of the Off the Floor project we get to acknowledge Pat Deleon, our drummer from 1997 to 2005, and present a complete live history of Tiles." - Chris Herin/TilesDisc One: Off the Floor 021. Patterns (4.38)2. Hide & Seek (8.09)3. Taking Control (5.14)4. Remember To Forget (5.00)5. Analysis Paralysis (5.18)6. Cactus Valley (7.01)7. Sacred & Mundane (6.30)8. Dancing Dogs (5.45)9. Safe Procedures (7.31)10. Another's Hand (6.26)Mark Evans: Drums & PercussionChris Herin: Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Backing VocalsPaul Rarick: Lead VocalsJeff Whittle: Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing VocalsDisc Two: Live at the 2005 Rites of Spring Festival1. Intro/Facing Failure (6.48)2. Ballad Of The Sacred Cows (7.24)3. Paintings (5.04)4. Window Dressing (17.03)Paul Rarick: Lead VocalsChris Herin: Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Backing VocalsJeff Whittle: Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing VocalsPat DeLeon: Drums, PercussionBonus Videos (from the Off the Floor sessions):1. Landscrape (4.27)2. Remember To Forget (5.00)
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  • My favorite from this band is definitely their rarest (originals on Vertigo sell for a ton). Killer flute based prog. New limited edition version (2500 copies) in a mini-lp sleeve.
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  • Deluxe digipak edition comes with a bonus DVD chronicling the recording and mixing of the album."It is refreshing to see Timo Tolkki making new music instead of in the middle of some controversy. Over the last few years Tolkki has been embedded in a war of words with his former Stratovarius band mates.He has released records with new bands Revolution Renaissance and Symfonia, but both have failed to live up to his past legacy. He is now attempting another new project, Timo Tolkki’s Avalon. His debut, The Land of New Hope is a symphonic power metal opera in the style of Avantasia.This feels exactly like what Tobias Sammet created with Avantasia. Stylistically we are in the same territory, and Tolkki has enlisted the help of some of the best musicians that the power metal genre has to offer. Contributing vocals are Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween), Elize Ryd (Amaranthe), Rob Rock, Russell Allen (Symphony X), Sharon Den Adel (Within Temptation) and Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica). That is a who’s who of singers and they do not disappoint.The album also features stellar musicians such as Jens Johansson (Stratovarius), Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater), Alex Holzwarth (Rhapsody Of Fire) and Mikko Harkin (ex-Sonata Arctica).At the end of the day the quality of the talent isn’t the only thing that matters, as the songwriting has to be up to par. Over the years this is where Tolkki has been incredibly inconsistent. For every “Visions” and “Infinite” he has written he has also written “New Era” and the self-titled Stratovarius record.I can assure you that this is the best record Tolkki has written in thirteen years or maybe even in his career. As this is a rock opera, all the songs follow the storyline about a small group of survivors in 2055 A.D. who search for a sacred place known as “The Land of the New Hope” as planet Earth has been destroyed.The bulk of the vocals are by Ryd, Allen and Rock, who all rise to the occasion and sing with much emotion and power. The tender “In the Name of the Rose” is a magical moment. Ryd and Allen are meant to sing together. Allen shows off his vocal range in the chorus that you will no doubt be chanting along with. He delivers a throaty verse before singing a Maidenesque melody line for the chorus. A heartfelt lead by Tolkki puts an exclamation point on an incredible song.The title track is the only song that features Kiske, and he doesn’t disappoint. The almost nine minute epic begins with some gorgeous orchestration and an arpeggiated guitar line very reminiscent of the Scorpions. Kiske's vocals are soaring and he shows why he is one of the most in demand vocalists still at 45.Kiske is that rare singer that is technically perfect, but also has the gift to bring out a special emotion in his voice. This is the highlight of the record and these two legends should collaborate more.It is an incredible comeback story for Tolkki who was all but down and out. I am happy to see him put his demons to rest and release a record that he might be known for when his career is completed.He is enormously talented and I think this is the perfect atmosphere for him, as he doesn’t have a permanent band but only musicians who guest on the album. We know he is a dynamic personality who struggles to get along with band members, so with this unique situation he is the only permanent member.My biggest concern is that Tolkki seems to get bored with projects and moves on to the next one. Someone needs to guide him to stick with the Avalon project and continue to release records under this moniker.The Land of New Hope is Tolkki’s crowning achievement and I am glad to see one of the best guitar players in power metal return to his rightful place at the top of the genre. Let’s just hope he can keep it together." - About.com
    $11.00
  • Arjen Lucassen's long awaited Ayreon project is a total blast.  Like some of the earlier Ayreon albums, it owes as much to prog rock as it does metal.  All the old school heroes like Emerson, Wakeman, Wetton get to strut their stuff showing a young stud like Rudess a thing or two.  As always Lucassen latches on to some of the best vocalists around and this one is no exception.  Highly recommended.PLEASE NOTE THERE WILL BE A VERY EXPENSIVE IMPORT "ART BOOK" EDITION FORTHCOMING."You know what the metal world needs more of? Musicals. I'm not saying that ironically either. Sure, we have plenty of prog bands putting out concept albums, but cool as these records many be, the story themselves are not the focus of the album. Ayreon mastermind Arjen Anthony Lucassen has resurrected his grandest of all projects to continue showing these folks how to tell an epic story the right way.With 01011001 the Ayreon story came to an end, or so we thought. Arjen instead decided to focus on projects like Star One, Guilt Machine, and his solo album Lost in the New Real. When he revealed not too long ago that he was working on a new project, it wasn't a surprise to discover it was new Ayreon, but I was still plenty excited.Lucassen said of the newest record, "It's not science fiction, but a human story set in a science context." So no aliens or battling emotions or any of that. So, in an attempt to better understand the story, I contacting him for the lyrics and much to my surprise, he sent them to me saying, "Oh yes, you need the lyrics, definitely." Holy hell, was he right. The story is indeed more grounded than previous records, but there are still layers to this beast.Fans of Ayreon should know what to expect here. The Theory of Everything has seven guest singers and each singer plays a part in the story. They are JB (Grand Magus) as the Teacher, Christina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) as the Mother, Michael Mills (Toehider) as the Father, Tommy Karevik (Kamelot) as the Prodigy, Marco Hietala (Nightwish) as the Rival, John Wetton (Asia/ex-King Crimson) as the Psychiatrist, and Sara Squadrani (Ancient Bards) as the Girl.Of these singers, the most impressive is the relatively unknown Sara Squadrani. She performs on a large portion of the story and shines every time, especially on "Love and Envy". I was also surprised to be so enamored with the performance of Christina Scabbia. She's always had  a wonderful voice, but her performance in this record might be her finest. Her harmonies with Squadrani stand out particularly on "Mirror of Dreams". This isn't to say only the performances by the female singers are worth mentioning. Tommy Karevik's introduction in "The Prodigy's World" is one of the strongest moments on the album.Press_Photo_01Every Ayreon album comes an eclectic group of guest musicians. This round primarily consisted of guest keyboardists. Rick Wakeman (ex-Yes) handles a good portion of the record, while Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) and Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) both make excellent solo appearances on "Progressive Waves".Having listened to all of Lucassen's albums at least once, I can say The Theory of Everything is the most musically diverse offering he's had a hand in, perhaps with the exception of his solo record. This isn't as heavy as previous Ayreon titles, but it has its driving moments like "Collision" and the Dream Theather-esque "Frequency Modulation." The aforementioned "Love and Envy" is a slower introspective song, while "Diagnosis" is massive and a little cheesy, but so awesome. "Transformation" has a Middle Eastern feel to it, and  "The Eleventh Dimension" sounds like intergalactic renaissance faire music.Often times there are jumps in mood, genre, etc in the middle of a song. This is fairly typical for an Ayreon release; what isn't typical is that technically this record consists of only four songs. These four songs are each at least twenty-one minutes, but they are cut up into forty-two pieces (yes, that's a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference) .This is a fun record. It's a record that does require a time commitment. I'd say listeners should treat it as a proper musical or film in a theater. Try to experience it all in one sitting for the full effect. It's absolutely worth it." - Metal Injection
    $17.00
  • "ALLEN/LANDE (or ALLEN-LANDE) is a Melodic Hard Rock/Heavy Metal super group / band project formed in 2005 by guitarist Magnus Karlsson (PRIMAL FEAR, STARBREAKER) with two highly acclaimed metal vocalists - vocalist Russell Allen (SYMPHONY X) and former MASTERPLAN vocalist Jørn Lande. The band released such albums: "The Battle" (2005), "The Revenge" (2007), "The Showdown" (2010) and "The Great Divide" on 17th October 2014.Opening track “Come Dream With Me” takes listeners on the journey through the Melodic Rock & Metal world where you can find stronger melodic guitars with wonderful vocals, clear rhythmic section, catchy chorus with an impressive guitar solo which makes goose-flesh, and little PRIMAL FEAR echoes. Powerful drums and mega energetic guitar riffs in “Down from the Mountain” are truly kick-ass with amazing vocals in climate of BLACK SABBATH, AXEL RUDI PELL and memorable refrain in high style. All tracks have similar sounds to GAMMA RAY and TIMO TOLKKI songs. The energetic atmosphere of “Dream About Tomorrow” is caused by heavier riffs, SCORPIONS echoes, great solo, and keys in Power Metal style.My favourite song on the album is “Lady of Winter”, which has everything that is the best in Hard Rock and Metal music – so gentle piano opening, then heavy riffs, clear drums, fabulous memorable high chorus, and perfect worked guitars full of melody. Stunning track with rockin sounds, mid-tempo, perfect bass, slower climate, and totally in the style of JORN. Stronger riffs with gentle keys and massive JORN vocals in pathetic melodic refrain in track “Solid Ground” is perfect, also with a massive and brilliant guitar solo!The band proves that they are on high-class level in powerful “In the Hands of Time” where keys and melodic guitars have STRATOVARIUS echoes. The energetic “Reaching for the Stars” with gentle keys in the background with memorable refrain and massive sounding “Hymn to the Fallen” with mixing Heavy Metal sounds together with rockin style.Also I like very much the ballad titled track “The Great Divide” with beautiful strong voices of singers, calmer guitars, keyboards, and passionate guitar work and chorus in high style with choir in amazing slower tempo – what a wonderful sound! Another ballad “Bittersweet” has a slower rate, clear drums, piano, and brilliant singing together with climatic stronger high riffs. Sounds total perfect!ALLEN/LANDE, again, proved that they are Kings of Rock and Metal. They connect different kinds of sounds – Hard Rock, Heavy Metal with doses of melody. The band creates music with passion. Every track is a masterpiece and in each sound the experience of musicians is hear able. ALLEN/LANDE is simply a fantastic band, and their fresh CD “The Great Divide” is more than highly recommended to every lover of Melodic strong sound!" - Metal Temple
    $16.00
  • James LaBrie once again that there is life outside of Dream Theater.  His solo band features a stable lineup consisting of Matt Guillory (keyboards), Marco Sfogli (guitars), Ray Riendeau (bass), Peter Wildoer (drums, death vox).  Jens Bogren once again mixed. An interesting twist to the mix is the inclusion of Soilwork's Peter Wichers who contributes some guitarwork and also collaborated on songwriting with LaBrie.While the music is square on prog metal and all in all not too dissimilar to Dream Theater its different enough to have its own vibe.  Wildoer's coarse vocal approach offers an interesting counterbalance to LaBrie's upper midrange clean voice.  The limited digipak edition comes with two bonus tracks.  Highly recommended.
    $13.00
  • "NoSound is an Italian band headed by Giancarlo Erra on vocals, guitars, and keyboards; including: Marco Berni, on keyboards and vocals; Alessandro Luci, on bass, upright bass, and keyboards; Paolo Vigliarolo, on acoustic and electric guitars; and joining them for their fourth album is accomplished drummer and former Porcupine Tree member, Chris Maitland.As a fan of the band it was great to receive this promo copy of the album.Here are my thoughts on 'Afterthoughts'.'In My Fears', opens with the solo electric guitar strumming familiar on many a NoSound album. Only this time it sounds like something far away…approaching through the mist, like a boat on the still ocean, or someone walking on the beach and slowly coming into sight,. The screeching guitar/keyboard effect that whirls around the original lead guitar only adds a soft breeze to the mystery. Giancarlo's first vocals enter the realm of consciousness, "I still feel the glow of this morning light". "I wish I could stay". "Days are so bright". Perfect. Soft, intricate piano, surrounded by waves of guitars and bass, with drums rising like wave crests. Wishin' you were there…huh?'I Miss the Ground' starts with a deeper pitched electric guitar echoing in that familiar way that Giancarlo creates mystery. Then, "I started all over again". And yes, the sound of the band has changed. There are the familiar waves of emotion which follow the guitars and keyboards, only this time more direct and somehow with more power. Erra's vocals are clearer than on past albums. Maitland's touch is different. The clashes and crashes shimmer more brilliantly than before.'Two Monkeys' opens with some beautiful trademark piano, surrounded by soft bass and soaring guitar, drifting off into the distance. Then Erra's vocals unfold the emotional and deep story of the two monkeys. "When I was young I believed there were two monkeys here". "Living in the trees between my arms and the sea". "Someone told me once that was their home". "But their life was sad because they were alone". The piano and keyboards are full of emotion. The writing and singing is…as always full of intense emotion. An even more powerful sounding version than the EP.'The Anger Song' opens with very interesting and unique guitar sounds. Then Maitland takes the stage to add his signature drum sound as the keys and guitars weave mystery around the soundscape. This track has an ever engulfing sound of waves of ocean and emotion which has always been a trademark of the band. It takes me back to "About Butterflies and Children", only this is the other side of happiness and bliss. If it is anger, it is soft anger, until Maitland picks it up a notch and drives louder as the waves of sound crash harder . The waves of guitar and keyboards crest and fall like waves, with Maitland adding the whitecaps to everything brilliantly.'Encounter', opens with wandering piano and drifting guitar chords mixed well with soft tapped drums. Giancarlo's voice enters, "I waited for you at the airport today. To hear what you wanted to say". The sad cello accompanying him brings out the full range of emotions filling the air. The keys surrounding, add mystery to this encounter.'She' is full of brilliant piano and soft tapping drums at the start. The excellent grinding electric guitar which enters with Maitland's drums and keys is sizzling white hot. Erra's vocals bring the emotion, reaching out to touch the subject of the story.'Wherever You Are' is full of more soft emotion and excellent acoustic guitar. Keys surround the mix, but not the waves from before, only soft cello – mixed symphonic keys providing a rich contrast to what has already been heard. Maitland's drums help pick up the pace and pour forth another helping of shimmering and solid sound.'Paralyzed', opens with more soft piano and soft electric guitar. That electric guitar later launches into full blast to pierce the sky and rain down cymbals full of glow. The guitar work on this track is some of the best on the album.'Afterthought', is full of some of the best piano on the album. It opens like the sunrise with soft piano crawling its way to your ears. Erra's vocals are at their peak and the bass, keyboards and drums deliver their best for this closer.This is a dreamy, surf riding wave album full of emotional undercurrents. Maitland's addition to the band has brought more highs and a more powerful drum delivery. The clarity which rains supreme on the mix of this new album points the compass in a new direction. The waves of guitar and keys fill the air and Erra's vocals are clearer and more emotional than on past albums. As always, this band performs as consummate professionals. No afterthoughts or worries on this album. It is another stellar performance. Don't miss this latest chapter in the story.The 2 disc edition of 'Afterthoughts', will include a DVD-A/DVD-V (NTSC 16:9, Region Free) version, with stereo and 5.1 surround high resolution 24bit / 96kHz mixes, plus DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround versions. " - Sea of TranquilityNosound - Wherever You Are (from Afterthoughts) from Kscope on Vimeo.
    $15.00
  • Sophomore release from this Sabaton offshoot.  This time the Swede's fixation is on the American Civil War.  Whatever floats your boat (or sinks it as the case may be).  Digipak edition with two bonus tracks."Civil War: a Swedish metal band styled after the American Civil War of 19th century. I'm not sure I get foreigner's fascination with one of the worst times in my country's history. But here they are. This is my first experience with Civil War, so for those who know the band, bear with me for a few words about their origins.Civil Was started by four original members of Sabaton, Daniel Mullback, Rikard Sundén, Daniel Myhr and Oskar Montelius, when they bailed from the band in 2012. They hooked up with Nils Patrik Johansson, of Astral Doors fame, for a lead vocalist. They returned to their melodic power metal roots for their chosen musical style. Next, lyrically, the tell tales of war and warriors. Did I say four guys were original members of Sabaton? Yup. It appears there's a recurring theme here, and it is possible to reinvent the wheel.As for the music, it's rather typical power metal and really requires no explanation. However, in combination with the lyrical themes, you may have difficulty shaking off the Sabaton vibe. Yet, if you like military history, Civil War becomes somewhat of a thinking man's heavy metal band. Though their name suggests the songs would be about that American war, Civil War speaks to a variety of persons and conflicts.Some of these are self-explanatory like Braveheart (William Wallace), Schindler's Ark, Back to Iwo Jima or the Bay Pigs, the failed invasion of Cuba by rebels financed by the American government. Some need a little explanation like Admiral Over The Ocean which concerns Nelson and the sea battle of Trafalgar or Tears of the North, about Vikings in Russia. Two songs speak specifically to the American civil war: USS Monitor, about the first ironclad steamship created by the Union Navy and Gods and Generals. The intent of the latter is more sketchy; it could have something to do with the Jeffery Shaara novel of the same name. My digital promo came with a lyric sheet which was helpful. I'm sure the lyrics will be in the CD booklet.Again, all these things are wrapped up in melodic heavy and power metal: good melody and harmony, quick pacing, flourishes of synths, and lots of guitar solos. The wild card here is probably Johansson's voice. He has the gruff sandpaper style which, for me, has always taken some to time to appreciate. Overall, Gods And Generals is solid, if not typical, European power metal, with the thoughtful militry history lyrics the strong feature, though this is not novel either. Recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $13.00
  • Double live CD recorded on the 2010 US tour in support of The Incident.  The set includes a complete live performance of "The Incident" recorded in Chicago as well as additional material recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
    $9.00