Tour De Force

SKU: CK38373
Label:
Columbia
Category:
Fusion/Jazz
Add to wishlist 

Smoking hot live album recorded on the Electric Rendezvous tour. Jan Hammer and Philippe Saisse on keyboards? It's ill...

There are no review yet. Be the first!

Product Review

You must login or register to post reviews.
Laser Pic

customers also bought

SEE ALL
  • Special edition of the 18th studio album from these British melodic hard rock stalwarts.  Comes with a bonus disc with unreleased acoustic and live tracks from the band's vault. "There are some bands who just seem incapable of making bad albums, the odd inconsistent one maybe, the odd ill advised departure, but never bad. Well step up with pride those Brummie boys Magnum, who over the last 34 years (admittedly with a 5 or 6 year break) have regaled us with some of the best British pomp you could ever care to hear. Which judging by studio album number 17, is something that isn't liable to stop anytime soon!To be fair, On The Thirteenth Day isn't the sort of album that is going to change any minds, I doubt very much that was intention. Instead it builds and ever so slightly expands upon the impressive catalogue Magnum have amassed over the decades and stands tall and proud alongside their most revered releases. Only nostalgia will stop long term fans of the band proclaiming that this release is as good as On A Storyteller's Night, or Wings Of Heaven (or whichever is their fave reminisce), but it is. Yes the formula runs pretty close to the last three Magnum offerings, Princess Alice And The Broken Arrow, Into The Valley Of The Moonking and The Visitation, but considering how pleasing on the ear they all were, the fact that On The Thirteenth Day betters them is recommendation enough.Ease into the uplifting "Shadow Town", the ever building and instantly memorable "So Let It Rain" (the stick in your head song of the album), the wonderfully titled and welcomingly familiar "Blood Red Laughter", or stomping, melancholy intent of "From Within" for confirmation that this is a vintage motor still running at full tilt. Pleasingly there are a couple of curve-balls, with "Dance Of The Black Tattoo" having a chunkier riff than this band are known for, while "Broken Promises" follows a similar path, but with a bluesier edge.The voice of the band, Bob Catley, maybe sounds a little lived in these days, but few frontmen can offer up the warmth and emotion of his delivery, while long standing (someone get him a seat please!) keyboard player Mark Stanway adds the layers of atmosphere that mark out the Magnum signature sound. The new (a decade of service still denotes newbies in this band!) lads also stack up well, with Harry James on drums and bassist Al Barrow proving once again that having the most solid of rhythm sections is priceless in any band of any genre. However without guitar player and songwriter Tony Clarkin, this band simply wouldn't be, so let's all doff our caps to "The Hat" and pay reverence to yet another cracking set of songs and another stunning six string performance.On The Thirteenth Day is a fantastic blend of all of the elements with which Magnum have impressed, seduced and won our affection for almost as long as we can remember now and is an impressive statement from a band that would have every right to be sitting with their feet up and living off past glories at this stage of their careers. The fact that they are not is a reason to rejoice and so is On The Thirteenth Day!" - Sea Of Tranquility
    $16.00
  • Deluxe digipak contains a bonus DVD featuring a "making of" documentary and the vaguely worded "bonus materials"."Karnataka are survivors. Since their inception at the tail end of the 1990s, they have most definitely had their ups and downs: they found some success fairly rapidly, helped in no small part by a scorched earth gigging mentality and some fairly prestigious support slots with the likes of progressive rock favourites Porcupine Tree and the much-loved, oft-lamented All About Eve. By 2004, it seemed nothing could prevent the band’s ascent to progressive rock favourites, and larger venues started to beckon.Sadly, their upward trajectory ran abruptly aground when internal relationships fractured and the band went their separate ways. One of the chief songwriters, founder member Ian Jones, decided to keep the Karnataka flame burning, however, and assembled a new-look band. Critics and fans were divided about the reborn band, but Karnataka forged ahead, delivering several well-received tours and their most successful album to date, 2010’s The Gathering Light – but just as the album finally appeared, the band found itself short-staffed once more as various members elected to pursue other interests.The Gathering Light possessed more of a progressive rock influence than any of the band’s previous albums: opening with two instrumentals, and possessed of three further tracks that all clocked in at over ten minutes in length, its sprawling atmospherics housed a haunting, soulful but introspective record which felt like a side-step from the Karnataka of old. Life had thrown many obstacles at chief writer Jones, and the album reflected them all, as Jones and the band overcame adversity to deliver a bruised but unbowed album of survivor anthems. The band’s new album, Secrets Of Angels, however, overflows with confidence: it’s not so much bruised as bruising. Here the band sound truly re-energised, thrumming with barely suppressed vitality. The progressive rock influence has for the most part been dialled back substantially, only really surfacing significantly on the epic, closing title track; the result is a much more immediate and focused album with more immediately hooky and memorable songs.Secrets Of Angels is the band’s first studio album with a new line-up, and it’s a testament to Jones’ deep understanding of the music he’s making that the new look Karnataka are so evidently a force to be reckoned with. The renewed emergy and sense of purposes within the band is exemplified by opener ‘Road To Cairo’, which fuses Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’ with Jones’ fine ear for an anthemic chorus. Powered along by a relentless, powerful rhythm, it fair leaps out of the speakers, a sharp contrast with previous albums that tended to open far more gently. Incredibly, this energy level is maintained throughout the next four tracks with barely any let-up: ‘Because Of You’ opens as if it will be a gothic ballad, but soon delivers huge power chords, a dynamite vocal from vocalist Hayley Griffiths, making her first appearance – hopefully the first of many – on one of the band’s studio albums, and one of guitarist Enrico Pinna’s most outré solos to date, a cascading wail of rage and frustration that will pin you to the nearest wall. ‘Poison Ivy’ goes straight for the jugular, its chanted verses and soaring chorus underpinned by a crunching riff and elaborate orchestrations, a pattern followed by the instantly addictive ‘Forbidden Dreams’, a sprightly rocker with a hugely memorable chorus that is certain to become a sing-along favourite for fans.The album continues with ‘Borderline’, a track with two faces: after opening with another suitably gothic flourish, all wind and a tolling church bell, it reveals itself as a chugging riff-based rocker, with a grimly accusatory lyric; however, the mood is utterly transformed by the distinctly pop chorus. Catharsis and hope in the face of adversity is perhaps Karnataka’s bread and butter, and ‘Borderline’ is an almost perfect distillation of that duality. It’s followed by the highly dramatic ‘Fairytale Lies’, which is reminiscent of Within Temptation at their most balefully reflective, a glorious concoction of tumbling keys and a striking string arrangement, topped off by a lyric that is superb in its cynical acceptance of reality and Griffiths’ astonishing vocal, a masterclass in mood and atmosphere. Yet the mood lifts once again with the penultimate track, ‘Feels Like Home’, a pretty, touching ballad about discovering “the one” that happily avoids the trap many ballads fall into – the cardinal sin of over-sentimentality. The way it develops is compellingly cinematic: as the song goes on, more and more layers are added to the music and the vocal, as if the virtual camera is pulling slowly back to reveal more and more of the stage. It ends in a cascade of harmony vocals, like embers from a firework display drifting back down to earth, and is possibly one of the best ballads the band have ever delivered.After all this drama, it would take something very special indeed not to be anticlimactic, but the title track itself – all twenty minutes of it – is certainly not that. Karnataka have shown themselves to be masters of longer pieces before, never falling into the self-conscious prog trap of simply pasting together a bunch of disparate pieces of music and hoping for the best. Although this magnum opus is comprised of seven separately numbered and titled parts – count ‘em! – it somehow manages to feel organically grown rather than stitched together in a lab. In many ways, it’s the ultimate distillation of what the new-look Karnataka are all about: we have folky, Celtic sections featuring guest appearances from Nightwish’s Troy Donockley; delicate balladry; a pounding symphonic metal interlude, and some outright prog courtesy of penultimate section ‘In The Name Of God’, which opens like Marillion in their pomp and steadily dials up the intensity. The effect is almost total sensory overload, and it will likely take many listens to unlock all the detail, musically and lyrically. Any piece of this length has to end strongly, and happily Karnataka have saved their ace in the hole for the dying moments of the album, as everyone pulls out all the stops for the grand finale. Pinna delivers one of his most devastating solos; Donockley serves up a Uillean pipe solo to die for, and the rhythm section get stuck in as Cagri and the assembled string section provide a backdrop of dizzying beauty for Griffiths to deliver possibly her finest vocal to date. It’s unspeakably moving, a beautiful lament for the losers on the battlefields of life and love that will quite likely require more than one handkerchief.It feels wrong to call current vocalist Hayley Griffiths the “new vocalist”, since she’s been touring with the band since very early in 2012. With a background in large musical productions (Irish dance spectaculars Riverdance and Lord Of The Dance both feature in her quite extensive CV), fronting a rock band was something completely new for Griffiths, and it isn’t perhaps surprising that the first batch of dates she undertook with the band – where the live release New Light was recorded – saw her nailing the demanding vocal parts without breaking a sweat, but looking slightly self-conscious on stage. As anyone who has seen the band recently will attest, any inhibitions that Griffiths may once have had on stage are long since gone, and that confidence has found its way onto the album, where she delivers a flawless, powerful performance. From fiery rock vocals to the lofty, operatic extreme of her range, Griffiths is perfectly on point throughout, as at home with riff-based rockers like ‘Road to Cairo’ and ‘Poison Ivy’ as she is with the gothic balladry of ‘Fairytale Lies’. It’s a bravura showcase for a highly gifted performer, and it’s practically impossible to come away from hearing her in action here not having reached the conclusion that she is the perfect foil for the band. Powerfully charismatic, hugely versatile and technically magnificent, her vocals on the closing title track in particular shame many better known female rock vocalists.Çağrı Tozluoğlu, on keys, is a similarly impressive recruit. Eschewing the more traditional progressive rock influences of previous keysman Gonzalo Carrera, Tozluoğlu brings a welcome modernity to the band. His soloing is sparsely used, but when it does appear (as on ‘Poison Ivy’), it’s wonderfully fluid. Where Tozluoğlu excels is in his shaping of mood and his orchestrations: his epic approach to arrangement means that this is the biggest-sounding Karnataka album to date. The danger of dialling up the drama is that sonically the music is weighed down until it sounds overwrought, but Tozluoğlu knows exactly when a bit more is too much. Nowhere is this more evident than in the expansive title track, where the gradual crescendoes and sudden juddering launches into explosive instrumental sections are handled with a very fine hand. Even as the song builds more and more layers upon Tozluoğlu’s musical architecture, it never feels like drama for the sake of drama; it all feels natural, logical.Last of the new arrivals is the most recent one, French drummer Jimmy Pallagrosi, whose performance here is frankly the stuff of future legend. With all the energy of progressive legends like Mike Portnoy, Pallagrosi’s explosive playing lends the material added potency and urgency whilst anchoring it to earth, playing a key role in giving it real weight and momentum. His Bonham-esque voyages around his kit during ‘Road to Cairo’ are a joy to hear; at the same time, his restraint on some of the quieter pieces – such as ‘Fairytale Lies’ – demonstrates a keen musicality and a knowledge of where to leave space for the music to breathe. In a world seemingly filled with drummers who appear to treat every song as a drum solo, Pallagrosi’s keen sense of dynamics is both refreshing and exactly what the material needs. He is, in short, the right drummer at the right time.Secrets Of Angels is a triumph. Wonderfully melodic, hugely dramatic without being in any way corny, varied in feel yet somehow effortlessly cohesive, beautifully recorded and mixed, and very sympathetically mastered, it is fairly easily the best-sounding album the band have made. The material is fabulously strong, and managed to both tread new ground and sound like ‘classic’ Karnataka at the same time – no mean feat, especially with all the new blood involved in its writing. As the epic title track draws to a breathless close, the listener may find themselves exhausted – drained by an album that runs the full gamut of emotions and leaves no stone unturned in its quest to powerfully move anyone who takes the time to sit down with it and listen. Hands down, the band’s finest hour, and a validation of the belief and skills of the new-look band. The only difficulty Karnataka now face is how to top it." = Echoes And Dust
    $21.00
  • Third album from this progressive metal band based out of Sweden.  The band is fronted by former Seventh Wonder/current Aeon Zen vocalist Andy Kravlijaca who frankly is very underrated.  Silent Call touches on a variety of genres while firmly rooted in the metal realm.  You'll hear some fluffy AOR bits and some prog rock at times.  Very much a band that is strong on melody.  Highly recommended."I’m torn. Torn between championing the cause of a massively underrated and under-exposed Metal band, and the pride I feel when chatting about Progressive Metal to like minded people and playing them Silent Call – who invariably they have never heard of, and can’t believe they have passed them by! The secret will be out of the bag y’see. No more gloating for yours truly, no more “Surely. You’ve heard of Silent Call”, complete with knowing smile. Nope, people can just read this review and know all about them – which is the least the band deserve! Decision made then. Ladies and Gentlemen, fans of Melodic Progressive Metal, I give you Silent Call…unless, of course, you’ve already heard them and it’s just here in the windswept hills of deepest Yorkshire where they are unknown…a bit like super fast reliable broadband…This is Silent Call’s 3rd album – I got their debut way back in 2008 because it was on Escape Records (home of all things light and fluffy) and someone sold it to me after being horrified that Silent Call weren’t in the least bit light OR fluffy! He even wrinkled his nose (the nerve!) when he described the heaviness of the guitars and drums. This was the same day I informed him that one of his favourite Melodic bands of the 80’s – Fate – were in fact previously called Mercyful Fate (omitting the fact it was only Hank Shermann in Fate), so he rushed off to buy their back catalogue, Harrgh Harrgh, Harrgh…I don’t think he’s ever forgiven me… But I digress – Silent Call are way too heavy for a Melodic Rock label, and hopefully now they have found a worthy home on DOTT.For existing fans (because I’m sure there are many fans outside the UK), “Truth’s Redemption” is just as good as their previous two – The production is a little bit heavier and fuller which just enhances things more and allows the songs to have even more impact. You will not be disappointed! For the uninitiated, Silent Call have their sound rooted in the best of the Progressive Metal bands around the turn of the Millennium. Blending aspects of Angra, Lion’s Share, Eldritch, Stratovarius, Labyrinth – even early Kamelot and Sonata Arctica to name but a few. Their technicality is more subtle, crafted, and less showy than Dream Theater and their ilk, leaning more towards a sound centred around melody and memorability than individual musicians egos. And this is what really works for Silent Call and widens their appeal. The vocals are an expertly delivered mid-to-high range, somewhere around an amalgam of Carsten Schulz, Apollo Papathanasio, David Readman and maybe Tobias Sammet…but then, it isn’t really, as his tone – his ‘timbre’ if you pretentiously prefer – is quite unique to Andi Kravljaca. The Drums, Bass, Keys and Guitar are all executed with precision and flare, always complementing each other yet shining when it is their moment or when specifically listened out for. Musically, I’ve covered some of their bases, but their attention to detail, delivery and arrangements open the band up to fans from Pink Cream 69 through to Evergrey.The predictable thing to do here is to try and sum up the album with one or two songs – well I’m not going to make it that easy for you. Mainly because I can’t pick out a favourite OR a track that if you randomly chose it, then it wouldn’t convince you to hear the rest of the album. Every band member’s performance on every well-crafted track is first rate, there are no fillers – just top quality Melodic Progressive Metal from start to finish. If you’ve got this far through the review then surely you have thought this album is worth checking out? So one of my best kept band secrets is now out there – the cat is out of the bag as it were, so run Kitty run, run and be free…LOOK OUT FOR THAT TRUCK…!!!" - Ave Noctem
    $5.00
  • New album clocks in near 80 minutes. No insanely long epics and the album is probably all the better for it. About as proggy as these guys have ever gotten.
    $9.00
  • Oh so you say you want to get fancy?  How about the CD/DVD digipak edition?  The bonus DVD comes with live footage from the recording of the album as well as interviews.Second studio album from what may be the ultimate chops band.  Guthrie Govan (guitars), Bryan Beller (bass), and Marco Minnemann (drums) turn it up an notch further.  Everything is set to 11 on this one. Lots of notes flying around and different styles as well - on "Louisville Stomp: I'm hearing some cool country style pickin' from Guthrie Govan that is welcome and unexpected.  He sounds like the second coming of Danny Gatton.  Other tracks are a non-stop shredfest - that's what the Aristocrats are all about.  Highly recommended.
    $23.00
  • Ever wonder what Dream Theater would sound like today if Charlie Dominici had never left the band? This disc will give you an idea. Like the second part of the 03 trilogy, Dominici is backed by Italian progressive metal band Solid Vision. They began life as a Dream Theater cover band and it shows in their playing. Stylistically this is progressive metal heavily influenced by DT performed by a sickeningly tight band. I think if anything I think time has treated Dominici's voice pretty well. He stays within his range and doesn't try to go for upper register histrionics. This disc doesn't really come as much of a surprise because Part 2 was the shocker. This is the logical next step. Highly recommended to any fan of Dream Theater.
    $14.00
  • "'You've got some new Momentum...you better keep on going,' Neal Morse declares in the exciting title track of his new album. After an amazing 2011 that included the release and subsequent world tour of 'Testimony 2', and the release of the five disc set of 'Testimony 2 Live in L.A.', what could Neal possibly do to follow that? 'That's about where I was in January of 2012; waiting and wondering what was next. Then, Mike (Portnoy) had an open window at the end of January, so I booked him and Randy (George) to come to Nashville to record. But I had no album! Fortunately, an explosion of creativity happened that far exceeded our expectations...'Featuring guitar work of six string legend Paul Gilbert, and of course, the stellar drumming of long time partner Mike Portnoy, 'Momentum' is a musical thrill ride that will leave you breathless! Everything you'd ever want in a Neal Morse album is here; going prog elements, hooky pop choruses, intricate vocal weaving, blistering musicianship and beautiful melodies are all present and accounted for. Highlights: 'Thoughts Pt 5', the perfect sequel to the earlier Spock's Beard classics, 'Weathering Sky', rock/pop brilliance and 'World Without End', clocking in at 33:51, this is the ultimate prog epic from the man who practically invented the term.Also featured on the album is Neal's newest find, Brazilian guitarist Adson Sodre and other members of Neal's new live band. With its surprising directness, depth and pure prog exhilaration, 'Momentum' is quite possibly the ultimate Neal Morse album."
    $16.00
  • "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."
    $14.00
  • "In what seemed like an eternity since the details on the second Darkology album surfaced in December 2013, the running joke was that the second album should be renamed “Fated to Never Be Released.” “Official leaks” of demo tracks surfaced ahead of a European tour “in support of the album” (and without Carptenter who had other commitments). The demos only served to deepen fan desire for the release, as they revealed vocalist Kelly Sundown Carpenter (ex-Firewind live, Adagio) absolutely KILLING IT with a sharpened buzz saw edge that makes Ripper Owens look like an absolute chump. Flash forward to 2015 and finally a release date through Prime Eon and/or Nightmare (depending on where you live) would happen in late Spring. Was it all worth the wait, agony and hype? You betcha it was.The album is a steamroller from start to finish – with some parts here and there that tend to drift slightly (the title track for one) – but it never disappoints. As evidenced in the demos, Carpenter proves why he should be a vocalist in demand as he drives home the heaviness with his ultra-sharp brilliant delivery. Unlike most singers who like to live in the rafters, Kelly pulls it off with zero annoyance. His shredding high end is absolutely essential given the musical assault of riffs (from the great Michael Harris of Thought Chamber) and pounding rhythms (from bassist Michael Neal and drummer Brian Harris) that back it up. Though not similar in style per se as total impact, “Fated to Burn” gives me the same feel as the first time I heard Winter’s Bane’s “Heart of a Killer” and Sanctuary’s “Refuge Denied,” where the first blush with both the young Ripper Owens and Warrell Dane were absolutely life changing. If you add a little dose of “Breaker” era Accept and a tiny drop of Symphony X you have just the tip of just how brilliant “Fated to Burn” truly is.The Harris brothers have struck upon an exciting formula of U.S. power and traditional with just a touch of progressive. In terms of comparison with 2009’s “Altered Reflections,” this album packs five times the punch and power, sure to please fans that prefer metal heavy, guitar driven, and with shredding vocals. The album is a flurry of amazing grinding riffs with Kelly’s lethal vox that make tracks like “Shadows of Oth,” “Quantum Genocide,” “Kill Me If You Can,” “21st Century Frankenstein (Nobot 2)” and personal favorite “Festival of Fear” sound, and in many ways exceed, “Painkiller.” In fact, Darkology is a Metal Church for a new generation – and “Fated to Burn” leaves such an indelible vibe of “The Dark” that I swear the spirit of circa-1986 David Wayne seems to have implanted itself inside of Kelly.In one of the most exciting and pure metal releases in well over a decade, “Fated to Burn” is well worth the wait. Darkology stakes its claim in a busy circuit and with one flap of burning wings created an album that can easily be labeled an instant classic, thus raising its stock as one of the best U.S. bands out there today. This isn’t a mere claim only to be dashed away by a short time – this is the real deal! If you call yourself a fan of metal than heed these words….”Fated to Burn” lives up to and exceeds any hype you may have for it. If you haven’t familiarized yourself with the band, then you picked the right time, because the album isn’t “fated to burnout” anytime soon. Darkology has arrived.Highs: One of the best pure metal albums in a decade, Kelly Sundown Carpenter shines.Lows: Some songs drift a little, but not by much.Bottom line: Darkology strikes back with an album that is "Fated to Burn" into the memory for a long long time." - Metal Underground
    $16.00
  • 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
  • Released in 1973 on the obscure Canadian Periwinkle label, Jackal's "Awake" album has become a highly sought after album by collector's of heavy psychedelic/progressive rock. Original copies have sold for as much as $300! After an exhaustive five year search we have finally located the original master tapes.Drawing inspiration from Deep Purple, Jackal incorporates dazzling guitar/organ interplay evoking Blackmore and Lord at their heaviest. The complexity of their music took them far beyond the basic hard rock sounds of many of their peers. Perhaps with a few lucky breaks the band could have gone on to bigger and better things. All that's left of their legacy is this sole collector's item.
    $14.00
  • "Whereas certain metal splinter genres like sludge and doom have found their requisite bands experimenting in ways that are still decidedly metal – or at least "extreme" by any measure – other areas such as black and post-metal see their own representatives in a practical race to see who can shed their extreme proclivities altogether. Alcest is one such band.Flirting with 90's indie rock trappings is nothing new for this French duo – essentially the one-man project of multi-instrumentalist Neige backed since 2009 by the drumming skills of Winterhalter – but Shelter is their first complete abandonment of metal altogether… there is nary a blastbeat, growl, nor brutal riff to be found anywhere on the album's concise 45-minute running time.That's not to say that Neige is reinventing the wheel, though; Shelter is a straightforward mix of 4AD dream pop and the type of ethereal post-rock that Explosions in the Sky are best known for… not to mention the gauzy shoegaze overlay that such an alchemy implicitly guarantees, of course.It sounds derivative on paper, but somehow Neige transcends his cookie cutter influences and produces a work of heart-stopping elegance and profundity. "Voix Sereines", in particular, is hands down the most plaintive and delicate work of the man's already illustrious career, a despondent lullaby of music box melodies and wistful singing that is fittingly placed in the middle of the track listing… it's the soul of the album, and belongs as its nucleus.The twang at the end of the guitar lines on the title track could – if taken out of context – herald the introduction of a new Mazzy Star single, but Alcest aren't quite that predictable. Twang aside there is no further evidence of roots rock assimilation, no blues aside from the heartache rendered potently clear in Neige's understated vocals. Nonetheless, this would make a fine crossover single aimed at whatever constitutes indie rock radio in 2014.Then again, so would "Away", which many reading this will insist even more a graceful composition than my pick of "Voix Sereines" above (those who aren't chastising the band for "going soft" in the first place, that is). I can't really argue that point, but all it does is prove what a deep bench Neige is culling for inspiration this go round.Perhaps the best evidence that Neige is not beholden to the orthodoxy of his influences is the way he builds toward a crescendo on album finale, "Délivrance". Rather than the ringing chimes that have become the hallmark of tension-building in post-rock (Explosions in the goddamn Sky), Neige shows restraint by settling for a very gradually rising chorus with subtle percussive acceleration. The final 2:30 minutes of the song consists of an unnecessary reprise, but in spite of contributing minor bloat it's still a fitting tribute to Neige's classical ambitions here.The word "masterpiece" gets thrown around a bit too frequently – often in service of albums that will be forgotten altogether a few years down the road – but if you can wrap your head around the fact that Alcest are no longer a metal band in any way, shape or form, Shelter is deserving of whatever hyperbole you care to throw at it." - Metal Injection
    $15.00
  • Simply one of the greatest Italian progressive rock albums of all time. Brilliant keyboard work in the grand tradition.  Really one of THE defining albums.  If you don't own this one you should feel embarassed and do something about it.  Seriously.
    $15.00