Trial By Fire ($5 Blowout Price!)

SKU: 82876858932
Label:
Columbia Legacy
Category:
Hard Rock
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Remastered edition with one bonus track.

"With Jonathan Cain, Steve Perry, and Neal Schon leading Journey once again, and bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith behind them, it would seem that Trial by Fire would contain the same elements that gave them their stardom in the '80s. Disappointingly, though, there is nothing captivating or even the least bit attractive about this unimaginative release. Perry's singing hasn't lost too much of its power, but the faster tunes come off as contrived and messy. Sounding hard and scattered, the smoothness of their trademarked music is nowhere to be found, replaced with brash, beat-up, hollow rock riffs. The ballads fare no better, as the passion that once flourished within the band when it came to slowing things down has long since faded. Just the fact that Journey reunited may lure fans to this album, but it won't be long before the discontentment begins set in." - All Music Guide

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  • "It is summer and it's hot in California. For the recording musician it means that air conditioners are causing problems and are generally too loud. So, the musician can either sit on their ass and do nothing or simply switch gears and record an album with sounds that are louder than the air conditioners. This is what Henning Pauly decided to do when he realized that moving on to his rock-opera "Babysteps" was not possible right now. He called up the singer of the new band of his bandmates from Chain, Transmission, in Germany and asked if he was available. Juan Roos immediately said yes to the project, but he only had a two week window and it was two weeks from that phone call. Henning loves deadlines and so he started writing to have the album written and recorded, minus vocals, within two weeks.Henning describes Juan's voice as a perfect blend between Geoff Tate and David Coverdale: "Juan can give you the high stuff, but he can also be really raspy and rocky...his voice just kicks you square in the nuts!"Because of the very limited time frame for the conception and production of "Credit where credit is due" Henning asked his proven writing team to join in when it comes to lyrics and melodies, so Matt Cash is on board again, as are Edward Heppenstall and Jason McSheehy. Several songs on the album loosely deal with the world of rockstars, scandals and getting credit for what one has done. No need, really, to point out here that everyone involved will get credit where credit is due.The music is loud, heavy and realism has been shoved behind production value on the list of priorities. Heavy Industrial Drum sounds are interspersed with acoustic sets. The banjo finds its way into metal again and sometimes you can draw clear parallels to the work of Trent Reznor and Marylin Manson. There's more to it than just that, but the production is clearly more modern than anything Henning is done so far.This CD was about having fun with music and production and it gives Henning a chance to be back in the studio and have fun doing what he loves the most...making music, not talking about it."
    $3.00
  • Remastered edition with 2 bonus tracks."The third and final album of what could be called Journey's cocoon phase (Escape would give birth to a fully formed butterfly and put the band through the stratosphere), 1980's Departure would also be the quintet's last with keyboardist/vocalist Gregg Rolie. Produced by Geoff Workman and Kevin Elson (essentially both engineers turned producers), the album continued to build on the band's previous two recordings, but offered an added edge, arrangement-wise. This was likely due to the fact that the band had walked into Automatt Studios with 19 new tunes and proceeded to record most of them live, eventually trimming down to 11 songs. Catapulted all the way up to number eight on the Billboard Top 200, Departure was the band's highest charting album to date and got off to an explosive start with the driving riffs and chorused vocals of "Anyway You Want It" (another radio smash that would chart Top 25). Never sounding tighter, the quintet then launched into "Walks Like a Lady" (another future FM staple, climbing to number 32) and a string of outstanding rockers, including future concert opener "Where Were You" and the stop-go-stop-go energy of "Line of Fire." On the other hand, elegant power ballads like "Good Morning" and "Stay Awhile" would foreshadow the band's future commercial triumphs on Escape. And even though it packs the occasional filler like "Someday Soon" and "Homemade Love" (a weak attempt to boogie that falls absolutely flat), Departure is a solid record all around. Soon, Rolie would be replaced by the greater pop-savvy songwriting muscle of former Babys keyboard man Jonathan Caine, and Journey would go from huge cult act to monster superstars." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • "NEWLY REMASTERED EDITION OF THE 1977 DEBUT ALBUM BY CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE ROCK BAND FM BOOKLET WITH FULLY RESTORED ARTWORK & ESSAY. Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of a remastered edition of the 1977 debut album by the Canadian Progressive Rock group FM. The band began life in 1976 with CAMERON HAWKINS (Synthesisers, Bass, Vocals) and NASH THE SLASH (Jeff Plewman) (Electric Violin, Mandolin, Vocals) coming together as a duo, making an appearance on national TV in Canada in the Summer of 1976. By March 1977 FM became a trio with the addition of MARTIN DELLAR on Drums. The Canadian Broadcasting Company offered to release the band s debut album, Black Noise on their own label later that year, but the record was only made available via mail order. The following year Black Noise was given a wider release on the VISA label in the USA. This Esoteric Recordings release is the first time Black Noise has been issued in Europe and has been newly remastered and includes an illustrated booklet and a new essay."
    $17.00
  • Special edition that comes with the bonus NTSC DVD filmed on the band's 2005/2006 tours as well as video clips. Swedish power metal band that is to my surprise still kicking. The band is fronted by Johnny Lindqvist who has a hell of a set of pipes. The music has moved away from the Iron Maiden cookie cutter variety and incorporated more melodic and AOR elements.
    $12.00
  • "Ashent, an Italian Progressive Metal band, return in 2012 with their third release, Inheritance. This being a milestone for any band, it also sees Ashent returning after a period of change, with changes in the band's lineup. After the 2009 release of Deconstructive, Ashent announced three new members would be filling in: Titta Tani (Goblin,Daemonia, ex-Necrophagia, ex-DGM) on lead vocals, Gilles Boscolo on keyboards and Alessandro Cossu on second guitar. And so, with lineup changes like these, it comes as no surprise that Ashent are redefining themselves a bit. Inheritance finds Ashent taking a very unique stance on Progressive Metal, melding together various styles and sounds to create a somewhat unusual blend. Along with what might be considered the "typical" combination of Progressive Metal instruments with heavy guitars and synths, Ashent mixes in some Mellotron, Hammond, and Saxophone. This gives their sound an almost Neo Prog take on Progressive Metal. And dynamically, Ashent swings between more atmospheric and mellow sections to some louder, chaotic blends. Ashent has a way of using chord progressions where they fill every chord out to the point of almost bursting, adding dissonant tones to the more conventional structures. This is not only achieved with the instrumentation (often combining atmospheric keyboards that are reminiscent of Devin Townsend with some heavy, rhythmic guitars) but also with some very full harmonies in the vocals. Add to this a very dynamic rhythm section, and the music can at times be a little overwhelming. And Ashent deploys many different textures throughout the album, with modern synths, orchestral parts, sequencers, choirs, and even some fusion, making for a very dynamic experience. All this combined also gives them a sound that has a very new, crisp and modern feel to it. This is definitely an album that breaks the mold, and as such will leave some scratching their heads, while others will praise it highly." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $14.00
  • "Despite what the name might lead you to think, progressive metal is among the most static and boring of all heavy music genres. Half the bands that fall under the moniker exist merely as a vehicle to show off the skills of the players involved, which is fine in small doses, but rarely sustains a creative career. The other half of the bands stick rigidly to the blueprint of one of the fore-bearers of the genre, giving us music that sounds exactly like something we've already heard. Very little of progressive metal is actually interesting, because it is a genre that lacks people dedicated to the art of songwriting. Songs are what makes any band successful, no matter how much sheer musical skill they possess. Dream Theater didn't get to where they are just because they are amazing musicians, they also wrote a slew of great songs and albums. The number of progressive metal bands who have impressed me with their songwriting in recent years is miniscule, but I mention all of this because Ascendia is one of them.As “At The End Of It All” swells into focus with a tribal drum beat and chanted vocals, it's already obvious that this is not going to be prog-by-numbers. The song kicks into gear with a syncopated guitar riff, before the vocals soar over the top of everything, slapping a thick coat of melody atop the sound. There's a quiet section in the middle of the song that feels like a cousin of Killswitch Engage, which is a fresh sound to hear in this kind of music. When it opens back up into the chorus, the song is massive, and it's hard to believe all of that music was contained in five and a half minutes.The songs on the album are more bite-sized than typical progressive metal, but that plays into the band's strengths as songwriters. By keeping the songs lean and tight, they hit harder than if the instrumental sections had been extended by a minute here and there. There is interesting playing going on, but it's all done within the framework of the songs, and never put out front to dominate the spotlight. It's an approach that is smart not just because of how easy it is to get bogged down in instrumental pyrotechnics, but because an album of that sort would never be able to survive the Herculean vocal presence of singer Nick Sakal.With more than a little bit of similarity to the former singer of the aforementioned Killswitch Engage, Howard Jones, Sakal's vocals dominate the album, making you wonder where a voice like that could have come from. His baritone is warm, rich, and not at all what you would expect to hear in a band that isn't playing down-tuned hardcore.But what is most important are the songs, and that's where Ascendia proves themselves as standouts. Whether tackling more modern fare like “Remember Me”, or more traditionally melodic songs like “Moonchild”, there's a phenomenal blend of heavy riffing and soaring melody. I can't tell you how rare it is to hear a progressive metal band that is so in tune with melody, and can write songs that could stand up if they were stripped down to the chord structure and the vocals. We get an example of that with the duet ballad, “The Song That You Deserved”, a largely piano and voice song that is as beautiful as it is heart-breaking. Ascendia's ear for songs is excellent, and that is what makes “The Lion And The Jester” such an engaging listen. Song after song, there's a warm and inviting chorus waiting to wrap its arms around you after you've heard the heavy and intricate moments.This year has been off to a ridiculously great start, with at least half a dozen legitimately great records having already come my way. Add “The Lion And The Jester” to that list, because Ascendia is making progressive metal the way it was always supposed to be. Both challenging and gratifying, intense and cathartic, “The Lion And The Jester” is a phenomenal piece of work that reminds me of the very best progressive metal I've ever heard. This is an album you need to hear.Oh, and how awesome is that cover art? That is one album that will look as good as it sounds in a collection." - Bloody Good Horror
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  • "Although Vulgar Display of Power remains Pantera's best and definitive album, Cowboys from Hell was the creative breakthrough that set the stage for its conception. Not only were its demos responsible for getting Pantera signed to a major label in the first place, but its fresh musical perspective also gave them a much-needed blank slate with which to conquer the 1990s and, first and foremost, erase their 1980s failures. These failures were cataloged on no less than four independently released LPs packed with largely derivative and thoroughly unimpressive hair metal, and only the fourth of them even counted with recently installed lead vocalist Phil Anselmo, whose broader influences and irrepressible energy cannot be underestimated in altering Pantera's fate. As the "new guy" entering the Texans' insular world, Anselmo made only tentative contributions to that fourth Pantera album, 1988's Power Metal, but its incremental heaviness and titular statement of intent nevertheless presaged the wholesale reinvention that would be effectively crystallized by Cowboys from Hell. Here, at last, virtuoso guitarist Diamond (soon to be rechristened Dimebag) Darrell Abbott was finally inspired to snap out of the rampant Van Halen-isms that had creatively shackled his formidable talents thus far, and established his own unmistakable imprint for the instrument, and, by extension, Pantera's signature sound. This was characterized by a subtlety-free sledgehammer approach informed by, but not beholden to, recent developments in extreme metal, as well as a groove-laden, muscular riffing style punctuated by squealing pinch harmonics -- as illustrated to perfection by the downtuned post-thrash beatdown of the title track, "Primal Concrete Sledge," and "The Art of Shredding," among others.For his part, Anselmo was only too eager to decorate Darrell's blunt rhythmic onslaught with cavernous roars declaiming impetuous and empowering lyrics that challenged all comers. In the process, he virtually abandoned his impressive melodic singing range (on par with the great Rob Halford) altogether, only reaching for those higher registers on "Shattered" (a rather misplaced throwback to the power metal era) and the stately lament "Cemetery Gates," which, years later, would sadly serve as requiem for Darrell's untimely passing. Not to be left out, drummer Vinnie Paul almost matched his baby brother's coming-out party with a heretofore unknown percussive dexterity, and bassist Rex Brown not only managed to keep up with Darrell's six-string tour de force, but bolstered the band's bottom end with added gut-punching power. So it was that, in what can truly be described as a collective ritual of musical catharsis, the members of Pantera were reborn as Cowboys from Hell, simultaneously defining an entirely new subgenre in the process: groove metal. [Indeed, such was the album's lasting impact that in time it was accorded a 20th anniversary reissue comprised of three separate discs: the first contained a complete remastering of the original set; the second packed 12 live recordings, of which seven (recorded at the 1990 Foundations Forum music industry event) were previously unreleased; and the third collected the all-important album demos (most of them very faithful to the album versions, although "Shattered" boasts an intro that was later dropped -- "Cemetery Gates" still lacks the intro it got) plus a never-heard album outtake called "The Will to Survive," which, with its more traditional heavy metal riff and predominating melodic vocals from Anselmo, wouldn't have sounded out of place on Judas Priest's Painkiller.]" - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • "Originally dismissed as a Led Zeppelin knockoff, Whitesnake, fronted by ex-Deep Purple singer David Coverdale, clattered around their hometown of Yorkshire, England for about six years before being discovered in the U.S. Their U.S. debut (fourth album) Slide It In (1984) captured the libidinous, restless spirit of frustrated youth, and climbed to No. 40 on the Billboard album chart. Eventually, it went double platinum on the back of the stealthy, pulsing "Slow An' Easy" and the propulsive title track. Shortly before recording the album, Coverdale recruited former Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes, who provided the band with the flair and technical wizardry it needed to become a contender in the big-hair, pop metal sweepstakes"
    $5.00
  • "This time around shows Prymary transcending their past achievements and creating a collage of stories that are independent and yet united in the themes of self-destruction and dreams unfulfilled. Musically the band shows a further refinement of songwriting and musicianship with songs that are more concise in musical statement, while still having the grand arrangements that Prymary is known for. As is becoming a Prymary trademark, the band has once again given special attention to combining music and lyrics together to convey the mood or feel of the song."
    $3.00
  • Latest from Detroit's answer to Rush. Lots of guests on this one including Alex Lifeson (!), Alannah Myles, Kim Mitchell, Matthew Parmenter ao. No swerves here - you know exactly what you are getting.
    $7.00
  • NEW REMASTERED EDITION PACKED WITH BONUS TRACKS!!Highly Strung found former Darryl Way's Wolf drummer Ian Mosley on board and it was a big improvement. As was typical of Hackett's work at this point it was a bit uneven - the high points being extremely high with the pop bits not being nearly as successful. Regardless I can listen to him play guitar any time or any place. Remastered set includes three bonus tracks as well as interesting liner notes from Steve Hackett.
    $12.00
  • “Known/Learned’ is the third album from this thought provoking progressive band from Brisbane, Australia.  It’s a sprawling 2CD collection of themes and moments, captured between recurring characters. While never explicitly told in the traditional vein of the ‘concept album’, the imagery of Known/Learned depicts fragmented moments in the lives of a father and his daughter, their loss, their love, their journey. A bittersweet love song for life.Occupying a unique place in the Australian progressive music scene, Arcane’s transcendental live performances and 2009’s critically acclaimed, dark and enigmatic concept album 'Chronicles Of The Waking Dream' have earned them a inimitable reputation as one of Australia’s premier progressive rock bands.Sharing stages with artists as diverse as Anathema (UK), Soilwork (Swe), Queensryche (USA), Dead Letter Circus, Ne Obliviscaris and hundreds more, Arcane's live show, often accompanied by a backdrop of staggering visualizations, is a vast sensory experience.Arcane's immersive sound, and the vocals of Jim Grey quickly found favor throughout Australia, headlining the annual Progfest tour, providing touring support for Ne Obliviscaris, and performing to capacity crowds at Sonic Forge Festival in Melbourne. A crowd funding campaign in July, 2013 heralded the 2015 release of 'Known/Learned' a 16 track conceptual double album. Arcane blends the technicality of progressive metal with the atmospheric intensity of bands like Tool, Riverside and Anathema.  The world is about to discover what their Australian fan base already knows – that Arcane is a rising star in the world of progressive music.
    $14.00
  • "Having existed in some shape or form since 1990, Greece's Black Fate is another band that has been seeking consistency and stability in their career for better than twenty years. Returning to life after a five year absence, the band offers their fourth album, Between Vision & Lies. And they've made a small coup d'etat by adding fellow Greek, guitar wunderkind Gus Drax (ex Biomechanical, Paradox, et al), another musician in search of a stable band.While not necessarily novel or to say that their sound is unique, Black Fate's sound is definitely something of interest and for explanation. It's a hybrid of various metal genres. The foundation is a division between traditional power metal and classic melodic heavy metal, probably larger on the latter. There's also some slight symphonic nuances. Perhaps, the most intriguing element is the inclusion of a solid rock groove in many songs, stealing something from both traditional melodic hard rock and metal.By arrangement, then, these elements are blended in such a way that may suggest progressive metal. You certainly will find this current in many songs including The Game of Illusion, Weight of the World, or State of Conformity. But that last song, along with the following Without Saying a Word, share some of that aforementioned melodic rock accessibility, while still being metal. I would say that Without Saying a Word, an anthem, is the most soaring song here, even stirring the emotions. It's definitely a fine platform for Vasilis Georgiou's strong vocals.Alternatively, songs like Perfect Crime, Weight of the World, and Into The Night can be a thorough thrust of heaviness, borne mostly from the riffage and rhythm section. But these, also, are not without the strength of melody and groove. And no song here is without Drax's terrific guitar wizardry, a strong fusion of traditional rock, neo-classical, and metal fret work. Between the skilled musicianship and versatile arrangements, Black Fate's Between Vision & Lies offers some intriguing music, hybrid heavy metal that suggests more than one listen to enjoy both the creativity and nuances. Here's hoping the band stays stable and returns with more in the future. Recommended." - Dangerdog
    $15.00
  • Many years ago Sieges Even recorded a live album that was never released (the band had dissolved). Now the band has two studio albums under their belt with the latest lineup it was time to finally give us a live disc. Playgrounds features material from Paramount, The Art Of Navigating The Stars, and A Sense Of Change (!!).
    $12.00