Tour De Force

SKU: CK38373
Label:
Columbia
Category:
Fusion/Jazz
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Smoking hot live album recorded on the Electric Rendezvous tour. Jan Hammer and Philippe Saisse on keyboards? It's ill...

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  • "As suggested by its title, 'II' is the second album by multi-national band Corvus Stone. They continue with their merry blend of various musical influences, for an explosive cocktail of colours and sounds. Drummer Robert Wolff is now an official member of the band, while vocal duties were shared between several recording artists of Nick Katona's label, Melodic Revolution Records (later shortened in MRR). Sonia Mota, the biggest David Bowie fan on earth, was involved again for the artwork, as enchanting as on the first album.As announced in preamble of this review, this album is a festival of musical sounds, as diverse as the origin of the musicians involved. While music in general is in the field of progressive rock, it's easy to notice that the band doesn't care about labels. Progressive rock is a means to sublimate their influences rather than an end in itself. Therefore, you will hear pop (the baroque echoes of the harpsicord in the opener with beatlesque vocal harmonies, the pastoral accents of "Eternal universe"). Other popular forms of music are also represented. Let's start with blues-rock. First with the cover of Murky Red's "Boots for hire", where the virile voice is provided by none other than Murky Red's frontman, Stef Flaming, yet in a context slightly different from the original version, through its spacey keys and arabesques. Then, the blues influence is also obvious in the languid "Mystery man", with its eerie keys and reminiscences of The Beatles' "I want you (she's so heavy)" in the closing section. Rock'n'roll is there as well with the hellish "Purple stone" and a short wink to Deep Purple's "Highway star". Folk music, highlighted by the use of finnish in the lyrics ("Campfire"), has also its place in this monumental album. On the other hand, "Uncle Schunkle" with its groovy rhythms and its vintage hammond, recalls the golden age of jazz-funk. And obviously, since Corvus Stone are regarded as a progressive rock act, the instrumental "A stoned crow meets the rusty Wolff" is a piece that goes in this direction, with many rhythm changes and colourful keys. The title of the song is a pun on the drummer's name but might also be a reference to Happy The Man's humorous piece "Stumpy Meets the Firecracker in Stencil Forest". Besides those influences, some dances are honoured throughout the record: salsa ("Scandinavians in Mexico"), cha cha cha ("Mr Cha Cha"), waltz ("Early morning call" with echoes of Stranglers' "Golden Brown"), bolero ("Camelus bactrianus"), flamenco (Colin's guitar opening to some tracks). Moreover, some neo-classical interludes intersperse the album, be it in a mozartian way ("Lisa has a cigar"), or romantic fashion ("Dark Tower"). More surprising is the pastoral symphony in four movements "Moaning Lisa" (two movements in the tradition of british songs of the elisabethan era, separated by a mouth organ-lead boiling instrumental movement, and a final waltz closing the symphony).Besides the lack of interest for any specific label, the band deals with a lot of humour, never grotesque, always delivered with profesionalism. This is made possible thanks to a wide range of keyboard sounds and versatile guitar soloing, among other factors. In fact, keyboard sounds are very diverse, ubiquitous and tasty. While guitar gently weeps with touching short spastic licks, it can also turn aerial, fiery or even delve in a classical spanish realm as seen before. The presence of drummer Robert Wolff on all tracks is an improvement over the previous album. In fact, his play blends the elegance of Barriemore Barlow and the punch of John Bonham, and is instrumental in the support of the music's humorous and eclectic flavours. Vocals are diverse this time, as singers from several MRR acts were invited for the project. Blake Carpenter's high-pitch and sense of derision is tempered by more seriously delivered vocals from his mates of MRR, the whole adding to the versatility of the work.Corvus Stone are a band that don't take themselves seriously, and this aspect should be taken into account when reviewing their works. Thanks to their experience in music, a great musicianship and a sense of humour, they deliver a music that is heartfelt, not dictated by any trend of the moment, and that will put a smile on your face and certainly make your day." - ProgArchives
    $12.00
  • "'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
  • Argia is the third album from this female fronted band from the Basque region of Spain.  The band has been reconstituted with only founding members Zuberoa Aznárez and Gorka Elso returning.  There aren't a lot of "beauty and the beast" metal bands around any more with most of them either breaking up or moving on to all clean vocals.  DiM still do it and do it well.  This album sounds absolutely massive, reminding of the glory days of After Forever.  Monolithic keyboards, layers of choir-like vocals, and crushing riffs are the order of the day.  Occasionally a wicked keyboard solo will pop in for good measure.  Complementing the great vocals of Zuberoa are two guest appearances - Thomas Vickstrom (Therion) and Ailyn Gimenez (Sirenia).  If you like the style this one is highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • Out of print limited edition mediabook comes with 2 bonus tracks."Doro has long been the reigning queen of metal, and with her 12th solo studio album, Raise Your Fist, she continues to reinforce that notion. Her new album has a thicker feel than her previous release, Fear No Evil (2009). Packed with her trademark anthems and velvet ballads, Raise Your Fist is Doro at the top of her game.Sure Doro has a weakness for the occasional Velveeta lyrical theme, but it is her passion for metal, her fans, and the music that keep her among heroes of the genre. On Raise Your Fist, Doro brings the traditional bang your head, throw up your horns metal, with memorable sing along choruses. The album’s opening track, “Raise Your Fist in the Air”, is a perfect example. A lyrical theme all metalheads can get behind, with air-guitar worthy riffage and an anthemic chorus.Motörhead mainman, Lemmy Kilmister drops by to show a surprisingly tender side on the ballad, “It Still Hurts”, and guitar icon Gus G (Ozzy Osbourne, Firewind) makes an appearance on the track “Grab the Bull (Last Man Standing)”, giving it some extra swagger.On the song, “Freiheit” she tackles the issue of human rights. She noted that this particular song is very close to her heart. Tracks like “Rock Till Death”, “Take No Prisoners”,  and “Revenge” are some of Doro’s meatier sonic assaults, and remind us that heavy metal need not be void of melody.Doro also pays homage to her dear friend, Ronnie James Dio on the album closer, “Hero”. The song was the first one written for the record, and hits home with serious emotional impact. Doro’s vocals are poignant and emotive, filled with admiration, loss, and angst.Raise Your Fist is a confident, well crafted, classic metal album, which offers a slab of horn-throwing anthems, with just the right amount of sentiment. Doro heads into a new decade with another load of rock and roll ammunition in her arsenal." - Metallic
    $6.00
  • "While "Airbourne" (released in 1976) represents the declining years in terms of Curved Air's success and popularity, it does have some historical significance as it was the band's last official studio album. "Airborne" is also notable as Stewart Copeland, who went on to find superstardom as drummer with the Police, plays "heavy artillery" (i.e. drums) here. He had already appeared on Curved Air's "Midnight wire" album, which was released just after the reunion of (most of) the original line up for "Curved Air live". From that re-union, violinist Daryl Way remained in the band, the line up for "Airbourne" being completed by guitarist Mick Jacques, and Tony Reeves on bass.Copeland, who had recently married lead singer Sonja Kristina, participated in the song writing for the first time when he co-wrote the music for the opening track, "Desiree" (which was released as a single) along with Jacques, and the co-wrote lyrics with his new wife.The three Daryl Way tracks are the eye catchers here, in particular "Moonshine". This track stands head an shoulders above the other songs on the album, especially in prog terms. While not quite as appealing as previous Curved Air masterpieces such as "Vivaldi" ("Air conditioning"), or "Metamorphosis" ("Air cut"), "Moonshine", which runs to about 10 minutes, is an impressive piece of work. The pace and mood of the track change regularly throughout, moving from soft delicate passages, to virtuoso violin by Way, and some fine symphonic keyboards. At times, there are echoes of Gentle Giant among others.The rest of the tracks effectively play a supporting role. Side one consists of five short numbers. "Desiree", is a pop-rock opener, which features multi-tracked vocals by Sonja Kristina, and some decent, if brief, lead guitar. Quite why the band felt the need to multi-track Kristina's voice is something of a mystery, but it is a sound which features on several of the tracks here. Copeland's composition "Kids to blame" is a fairly innocuous piece of pop rock, but he took it with him to The Police, where it featured in their live act.The closing track on side one, "Touch of Tequila", is the antithesis of "Moonshine", being a dreadful pop influenced song, which sees Kristina sounding a bit too like Irish Eurovision star Dana!There are a couple of decent ballads, "Broken lady", co-written by Sonja Kristina, and Daryl Way's lullaby "Dazed", which closes the album."Airbourne" is an album of peaks and troughs, ranging from the excellent prog of "Moonshine" to the disastrous pop of "Touch of Tequila". In all though, a worthwhile effort, which will, in the main, please fans of the band." - ProgArchives
    $19.00
  • With the unfortunate passing of Dio, the torch has been passed to Mr. Lande as the best vocalist in metal. In a way the music is a bit cliched but his voice is incredible, it fits the music perfectly and you know that he really is passionate about this style. He REALLY believes it and you will too. Its like the old saying - I could listen to him sing the phone book. If you are into the classic hard rock sound this is a must own.
    $6.00
  • New studio project put together by noted guitarist Henning Pauly of the band Chain. Most notable aspect of this project is the inclusion of Dream Theater vocalist James Labrie on all tracks. The music has a cinematic quality, melding progressive rock with a lighter style of progressive metal. At times the layering of Labrie's vocals are reminiscent of an old Queen album - it's almost larger than life. There are definite similarities to Dream Theater at points. Early listens remind me quite a bit of Pauly's band Chain but with a better singer and further refinement.
    $3.00
  • Fourth and final volume documenting Magma's now legendary residency at Le Triton celebrating their 35th anniversary. The core lineup is augmented by Aymeric Avice (trumpet), Hugues Mayot (sax), and Frédéric d'Oelsnitz (Fender Rhodes/keys). The focus of this set is on the late 70s/early 80s material. Granted that isn't prime period Magma but the band serves the material well and there is a blistering version of Kohntarkoz Anteria (K.A.).
    $36.00
  • "Ronnie James Dio assembled a new version of Dio for Lock Up the Wolves, to no apparent change in the band's sound. Nevertheless, the group's status in the metal community was beginning to slip, and the album was the lowest-charting Dio record apart from the live Intermission." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • Fates Warning guitarist goes new age with the help of Michael Mannring, Mark Zonder, and Charles Bisharat.
    $13.00
  • "Clive Nolan (Pendragon, Arena) returns with his new solo project - ‘Alchemy – a musical”, a Victorian adventure set in 1842. Next to Clive Nolan himself, the album feature the artists well known in the world of progressive rock including Tracy Hitchings (Landmarq, Strangers on a Train), Andy Sears (Twelfth Night), Paul Manzi (Arena), Damian Wilson (Threshold), Paul Menel (ex-IQ), David Clifford (Red Jasper) as well as the leading lady of Nolan's previous musical 'SHE', Agnieszka Świta and Noel Calcaterra - a Uruguayan singer/actress and the voice of Clive Nolan South American 'Otra Vida' project from 2010. The Caamora Company musicians - Clive Nolan (keyboards), Mark Westwood (guitars), Scott Higham (drums), Claudio Momberg (keyboards) and Kylan Amos (bass) will once more take charge of the instrumental part of the project. The core members of the company will be joined by special guests and a chorus. This release will be preceded by the world premiere of 'Alchemy' show at the famous Wyspianski Theatre in Katowice, Poland on February 22, 2013, where it will be recorded and released on a DVD by Metal Mind Productions in Autumn 2013."
    $17.00
  • BJH basically parallelled Genesis at this time - they lost a key member, streamlined their roster and sound and got even more popular. Recorded in 1979 it features the band sans Wooly Wolstenholme, the king of the Mellotron. The overall sound is a bit less prog and bit more commercial (just like Genesis). For me personally the band got a lot less interesting at this point but as I mentioned in the grand scheme of things they picked up a lot of fans - especially in Germany. This is a remastered edition courtesy of Eclectic Records and features their usual great job - 4 bonus tracks (singe edits no big deal really) plus more photos and new liner notes.
    $9.00
  • "Devin Townsend - fully 30 records into an astonishing career - has now just raised the stakes in the form of a new double album combining Ziltoid The Omniscient’s triumphant return and the follow-up to the critically acclaimed “Epicloud!” Feasting upon Z2 is akin to immersing oneself in the arcane creases of the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT catalog, bludgeoning heaviness and angelic melodies living under the cathedral of Devin’s more contemplative solo vision. The effect is lush, full- range, cinematic, and expressive. Addressing the creative tension between the two discs, Devin explains “...it’s DTP...the ‘humans’ against Ziltoid, and it’s a battle of sorts...The DTP and Ziltoid side of my writing has evolved to where this statement was necessary and undoubtedly inevitable. The battle between the two seems like a great way to priced to the next chapter of my work. It’s a backdrop for something that hopefully engaging for people. I hope that the point that I’m trying to make with Ziltoid and the metaphor behind it, isn’t lost in just a sea of absurdity.” Guest musicians include Anneke Van Giersbergen (solo artist, ex-THE GATHERING) and Chris Jericho (WWE star, FOZZY) as Captain Spectacular! Also featuring the "Universal Choir", 2000 voices strong, the biggest choir on a metal record ever!"Limited edition 3CD digipak with bonus disc and special artwork.
    $15.00