Unloved Toy

Unloved Toy

BY Pinkroom

(Customer Reviews)
$13.00
$ 7.80
SKU: CFCD003
Label:
Creative Farm
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Its been almost 4 years since the band's phenomenal debut.  Since that time the duo of Mariusz Boniecki and Marcin Kledzik have expanded into a live gigging quartet.  I'm pleased to say that in terms of their music the band has not lost any momentum.  The same influences are still present - you will hear the imprint of Porcupine Tree and King Crimson.  The title of the album is a bit of a giveaway - this is not uplifting music.  It is filled with noir-ish, melancholy atmosphere.  Emotion filled vocals ride on top of Crafty guitarwork.  The technicality is there but you have to listen for it.  Think of a head on collision between In Absentia and Discipline and then take it one step beyond.  Clearly Pinkroom does it again.  BUY OR DIE!

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  • First time on vinyl - now spread out over 6 sides of beautiful 180 gram vinyl.  Comes with the album on 2CDs as a bonus."A legendary band in their own right, The Flower Kings have been at the forefront of progressive rock since their formation in 1994 by guitarist, vocalist, composer, astronaut, chef and veteran nut head icon Roine Stolt. Dedicating themselves to producing a strain of prog they like to call symphonic rock‘, they incorporated classical music, movie soundtracks and both jazz, ethno, blues and seventies metal elements to much success - and building themselves a dedicated fanbase in the process over ten studio albums before taking a break.After a triumphant return to action in 2012 - following an almost 5 year hiatus, The Flower Kings released "Banks Of Eden" in the summer of that year to a brilliant reaction from fans and critics alike. In celebration they toured the world for the better part of a year, visiting locations including Europe, Japan, Russia, Israel & USA. The following year the band hit the road once again, this time with old friends Neal Morse & Mike Portnoy to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of label InsideOut Music, where they played a hugely successful prog extravaganza to packed venues across Europe and the US.Never ones to rest on their laurels however, The Flower Kings immediately entered Fenix Studio in Sweden to start work on the recording of a brand new album. Recorded "live" in this classic, but modern, studio and on reel to reel tape, the album features a glut of grand vintage keyboards such as Hammond B3, Mellotron M 400, Fender Rhodes, Minimoog and a whole host of Tube amps.The band even decided to try a new approach to writing and recording, assembling music on the spot and arranging it as a team.The result of this wonderfully collaborative effort is an epic 10 song cycle entitled ‚Desolation Rose‘; an album that revolves around some of the more disturbing observations of mankind's failure to create the paradise they once hoped for – and the greed, fear and ignorance that caused that failure. The scenario is an observation by an angel who resides in a mysterious tower, looking down on all this ongoing perpetual insanity, yet unable to reach out and help.The band is very much back to their cinematic and melodic symphonic rock best, but with a heavier edge no doubt honed while on tour for the past year. The 10 songs contained within are to be heard as a sequence and the lyric thread is wonderfully cinematic, but again it is more of an observation that works both as a whole or as separate parts. It might be considered one of their most focused efforts to date, such is the impact the tracks have on the listener from the very beginning. From the opening 14-minute tour-de-force that is ‚Tower‘, right through the moody swagger of ‚White Tuxedo‘ and beyond, this album sees the band crafting what might be their most varied album yet.The Flower Kings are truly back where they belong, at the beating heart of the modern day progressive rock scene, and ‚Desolation Rose‘ is testament to their continued vibrancy, sonic potency and determination to keep the music driving forward."
    $32.00
  • Univers is the long awaited follow up to Element V from this very talented band from Oz. Once again they blend elements of power, progressive and death metal but in a way that is melodic and engaging. The death vocals pop up on occasion and offer a nice counterpoint to the clean male vox. This time around the music has a bit of a modern, poppier, component but it doesn't make this commercial in any way. Another first class release from this band that was clearly not resting on their laurels - this is what progressive is supposed to mean. Highly recommended.
    $9.00
  • With almost forty minutes of new material, AGUSA delivers a wide array of seamlessly-executed, organic rock on the aptly titled Agusa 2. The band’s tranquil output blends tripped-out psychedelic and progressive rock structures are inspired by more folk than occult influences, instilling visions of nature, the cosmos, and dreamlike passages, meandering into realms of a possibly supernatural or parallel existence. While not a fully instrumental recording, backing vocal mantras only seep in through purposeful cracks in the construction of these immense movements, adding an even more spacious feeling to the overall flow of the album.AGUSA was formed in the springtime of 2013, when Tobias Petterson and Mikael Ödesjö, former members of Kama Loka, recruited Dag Strömqvist and Jonas Berge for their early ‘70s progressive rock project. In the Summer, the outfit ventured out to the countryside where Dag lived, to a place called Agusa — virtually only a loose gathering of homes deep in the forest. Within these secluded surroundings, and the most amazingly sunny, warm Summer day, the new collective had an extensive, extremely inspired jam session which somewhat solidified the direction of their sound, so of course, the name AGUSA was simply perfect for the outfit.In the Autumn of 2014, the band went into the studio to record their first album, Högtid, which was released on vinyl and digital media in early 2014. After a handful of gigs during the Winter, Dag decided to leave AGUSA to travel around India, and following a number of auditions, Tim Wallander, also a member of blues trio Magic Jove, joined the band. In the beginning of 2015, the refreshed lineup went into Studio Möllan once again to record their sophomore full-length, this time having asked a close friend of theirs, Jenny Puertas, to play flute on the recording. The match was so perfect that the band instantly invited her into the band on a full-time basis, expanding their lineup once again. They began performing with this new arrangement weeks later, and have not looked back.CD mastering is courtesy of Bob Katz, done to his usual audiophile standards.
    $13.00
  • "With contemporary music often looking to dissolve artificial boundaries and cross-pollinate with abandon, it shouldn't comes as a surprise to hear progressive rock groups using the same tack. On one hand, expectations often drive them to stay close to home— Yes may release new music periodically, but its live shows draw more from the classic 1970-1977 repertoire than any other. Then there's King Crimson who, while looking back to some extent, are more interested in pushing forward and creating live sets reflective of that aesthetic. New groups aren't anchored down with the dilemma of evolving while, at the same time, pleasing longtime fans interested in hearing their favorite songs. Mahogany Frog suggests, perhaps, one possible future of progressive rock, bringing together elements of electronica, ambient, industrial and jazz into the more familiar terrain of detailed, long-form writing, odd meters and neoclassicism. DO5 demonstrates what might happen if Radiohead and Sigur Rós were put into a blender with Pink Floyd, Yes and Genesis, then dropping the vocals. The end result sounds like none of them, though markers run throughout DO5—Mahogany Frog's fifth album, but its first for a label with widespread distribution. "G.M.F.T.P.O." opens the nine-song, 45-minute disc with a high energy, guitar-driven anthemic melody, propelled by drummer J.P. Perron's visceral beat and Scott Ellenberger's thundering bass. But a mere thirty seconds into its brief ninety-second duration, it enters space-rock territory, with electronics entering the picture as a series of punctuating shots segue into the eleven-minute "T-Tigers & Toasters." Ambient sounds from a variety of analog and digital keyboards, played by Graham Epp and Jesse Warkentin, build into a deceptively unsophisticated three-chord change that morphs into alt-rock as they pick up guitars for a high volume, heavily distorted power-chord theme. The simplicity turns complex, however, during the second half as odd meters and unexpected twists and turns are introduced, along with sudden dynamic shifts from ear-splitting to a near-whisper. One thing is certain, however: Mahogany Frog is a band best experienced with the volume control turned up to eleven. It only helps to make the quieter passages even more dramatic and the symphonic tinges of "Last Stand at Fisher Farm," with Epps and Ellenberger picking up trumpets for its potent theme, all the stronger. Mahogany Frog isn't a group that relies on solos to impress, but Perron nevertheless stands out, his playing on the knotty "You're Meshugah!" especially frenetic and captivating. The brief, riff-driven "I Am Not Your Sugar" may be a head-banger's delight, but it's one that expects the metal-head to pump his fist while searching desperately for the "one." Accusations of bombast tend to follow progressive rockers around, and there's no shortage of turgidity to be found on DO5. Still, it's a guilty pleasure that fans of the alt-rock scene, looking for something more challenging, may well gravitate towards. For longstanding progressive rockers who believe in emphasis on progressive, Mahogany Frog hits all the right reference points, yet is as contemporary as it gets, breathing new life into what is mistakenly considered by some to be an outdated genre. They couldn't be more wrong." - All About Jazz
    $8.00
  • "2012 Blu-Ray live release. The Tea Party is a Canadian rock band with blues, progressive rock, Indian and Middle Eastern influences, dubbed "Moroccan roll" by the media. Active throughout the 1990s up until 2005 when the band broke up, The Tea Party released eight albums on EMI Music Canada, selling 2 million records worldwide, and achieving a #1 Canadian single "Heaven Coming Down" in 1999. The Tea Party toured Canada on twenty-one occasions and Australia on twelve. In November 2002, The Tea Party toured Canada with symphony orchestras reinterpreting a decade's worth of shared songwriting. The band broke up in 2005 due to creative differences, but re-united in 2011 to play several Canadian tour dates during the summer. During the tour it was decided to continue and the band has now reformed. Live From Australia: The Reformation Tour was recorded in 2012 during The Tea Party's Australian tour and showcases the band bursting with renewed energy."
    $17.00
  • "Periphery have been an omnipresent force in the prog metalcore realm since their first album released in 2010 – band founder Misha Mansoor has served as producer on several of the genre’s albums, and the other members are all famous in their own right, whether it’s simply for their craft (Matt Halpern), their involvement in other projects (Spencer Sotelo, Mark Holcomb, Nolly Getgood), or just simply being the nephew of someone exceedingly famous (Jake Bowen). This makes whatever they decide to do extremely important, and the band’s decision to release a concept double album has created hype of hugelargic proportions. In my humble opinion, the band has delivered on all fronts, but not without some disappointments in the “could’ve been” area.Since their inception, Periphery have changed from a chugga-chug ambidjent project posting demos on the internet in the late 2000s to a full-fledged prog metal band with heavy elements of metalcore, post-hardcore, and pop music in general. If you weren’t onboard for “Periphery II”, “Juggernaut” likely won’t change your mind (unless your issues were relatively small), as it’s more of the same poppy atmosphere and less of the techy downtuned riffs, though god knows THOSE are still around. But there’s also a lot of style experimentation – jazz fusion, death metal, and various forms of electronica are all utilized on a semi-normal basis, and range from being seamlessly integrated into the music to being tacked on to the ends of songs like gluing a top-rate dildo onto an already particularly throbby penis. If this all sounds a bit schizophrenic, rest assured that the songcraft is, for the most part, tighter than it’s ever been. Singles from Alpha like “22 Faces” and “Alpha” itself show off Periphery’s pop prowess with choruses and hooks that refuse to leave your head, and complex riffs that are somehow just as ‘wormy as the vocals. And the songs on Omega are longer, more complex, and still manage to be as infectious as the most annoying of STDs – even the twelve minute sprawling title track that has more in common with the bombastic riffs of Periphery I has a shapely middle section that rivals even the hottest of…ugh, fuck it, done with the metaphors. It’s just insane. I cried when I heard it.And now onto what I don’t care for; first off, the decision to split the album into two parts was definitely well-informed from a marketing standpoint. Most people don’t go around listening to 80 minute records all day, myself included, and the supposedly delicate structure of a concept album also means that listening to Juggernaut by skipping to different songs would devalue the experience. So the band broke it into two records to make it seem more manageable to listen to in daily life. Another stated reason was so that newcomers to the band would be able to buy Alpha at a discounted price, decide if they liked it, and then purchase Omega if they were so inclined (music previewing doesn’t work like that anymore, but hey you can’t fault the band for trying to turn that into tangible record sales). The problem I have is that Omega isn’t really paced to be its own album, which makes releasing it on its own instead as simply as the second disc in a package a little pointless. It’s not like the excellent “The Afterman” double albums from Coheed and Cambria, which were each albums that worked in their own right. I realize that this is really just semantics, but I think calling Juggernaut both the third and fourth album from Periphery, while technically correct, is just disingenuous, and judging them fairly on their own as separate albums is impossible (which is why all reviews being published are including them together).Periphery has always had a unique way of pacing their albums, regularly including playful, sometimes relatively lengthy interludes between tracks. Juggernaut is no different, and these interludes are now occasionally used to seed songs that will appear later on the album, or provide callbacks to tracks already present. The transitions aren’t always elegant however, and can range from grin-inducing to head-scratching to just plain grating. Thankfully, the band isn’t going for the illusion that each song flows seamlessly into the next, at least no more than they were going for it on any of their previous albums, and it’s easy to get used to everything given multiple listens.Overall, Juggernaut is a dense album that’s going to take a myriad of listens to fully sink in, just like most of the band’s prior releases (I don’t think anyone is gonna argue that “Clear” has any depth that you would find after about the fifth listen or so, but hey hey that’s ok kay). But it’s also accessible on the surface with deceptively simple rhythms and poppy choruses, which draw you in to appreciate the deeper cuts. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes unique and thoughtful music in the post-hardcore, metalcore, and progressive metal genres, but I’d also recommend it to anyone ever, because this is my absolute favorite band and I think they’ve created a masterpiece. So take from that what you will, and then get the fuck out of here. The play button is calling my name." - iprobablyhateyourband.com
    $11.00
  • Riverside's latest takes a bit of a swerve from their traditional sound.  Parts of the album bears the imprint of Mariusz Duda's solo work - its more laid back, more refined.  Other aspects of the album carry on with the sound that Riverside has developed over recent albums - chunky organ, trippy keyboard soloing and interstellar guitarwork.  This one is a grower.  At first listen it might not hit you but the more you scrape away at it the more you realize its dug deeper under your skin."For the past decade or so, Polish progressive rock/metal quartet Riverside set itself apart from their stylstiic brethren by offering distinguishing tones, mesmerizing atmospheres, and most importantly, remarkable songwriting. Sure, the band also infuses much of its music with the intricacy genre enthusiasts expect, but their melancholic, yet beautiful and earnest melodies and lyrics (credited mostly to singer/songwriter/bassist Mariusz Duda) have always come first. Perhaps nowhere in its discography is this more apparent than on their newest opus, Love, Fear and the Time Machine.Although it features a few complex arrangements, the record is by far Riverside’s most straightforward and accessible collection to date, showcasing a proclivity for upfront compositions like never before. While this may disappoint fans who adore the group’s more tangential, frantic instrumentation, rest assured that the album’s stunning emotionality and breathtaking arrangements more than make up for it. Without a doubt, Love, Fear and the Time Machine features some of the most gorgeous, tragic, and ultimately inspiring pieces Riverside have ever recorded, making it another exceptional entry in an invaluable catalog.According to Duda, the effort is a return to the softer, more ambient nature of Riverside’s debut, 2004’s Out of Myself. In fact, the foursome intentionally composed it “to combine the ‘70s and the ‘80s…[the songs] have never been so concise and to the point before.” Because of this new approach, the disc actually evokes Duda’s other project, Lunatic Soul, in subtle but substantial ways at times. Like almost all of Riverside’s previous works, Love, Fear and the Time Machine is also a conceptual record; specifically, it “talk[s] about transformation. About making an important, perhaps life-changing decision everyone has to make at some point in their lives…on the one hand, we’re excited by the change…[but] on the other, we fear the unknown.” Ultimately, the lesson to be learned from it is that “if we sometimes get lost in life, it is to go through something and be found again on the other side, to be reborn as someone better and more valuable.”Fittingly, then, the sequence starts with “Lost (Why Should I Be Frightened by a Hat?)”, which is arguably its best track. Duda begins by reciting a philosophical recollection over a delicate ether of keyboards and bass and guitar notes. Afterward, he launches into a catchy and charming chorus: “Come follow me / We’ll go down / Where the river flows / One day / Just you and I will find a bridge / To another land”. Duda layers his voices too, making it even more gripping, and in-between his passages, guitarist Piotr Grudziński issues his signature soaring accompaniment as the composition evolves. Drummer Piotr Kozieradzki keeps things steady throughout, while keyboardist Michał Łapaj gets the spotlight during the final seconds. Ultimately, “Lost” exemplifies the magnificent succinctness that makes Love, Fear and the Time Machine distinctive in the Riverside canon.Later on, “#Addicted” truly feels like a progressive rock take on the Cure in several ways, such as its dominant bass lines, starry guitar lines, and wistful singing which finds Duda channeling a silky falsetto he’s never really attempted before. There’s also a brief acoustic guitar arpeggio at the end that’s very enjoyable. Lyrically, it serves as a commentary on how social media can transform people into egocentric users who base their self-worth on their digital populiarty. In this way, both its lyrics and music find Riverside stretching slightly beyond its comfort zone, but the result is undeniably, well, addictive.“Caterpillar and the Barbed Wire” feels more traditional, with Duda’s sorrowful confessions and counterpoints perfectly complemented by sharp guitar riffs, aching solos, enveloping percussion, and a moving layer of synthesized splendor. Honestly, it’s like a heartbreaking and somewhat more colorful missing track from Shine of New Generation Slaves, whereas “Saturate Me” contains the sleek yet eccentric tones and virtuosic yet blunt balance that made up the best moments on Rapid Eye Movement. Of course, its sad ponderings, such as “Am I Invisible? / Or alive? / I don’t want to feel like I’m no one anymore”, are archetypal Riverside sentiments, and the interlocking musical patterns (especially near the end) are equally touching.The most commercial segment on Love, Fear and the Time Machine is surely “Discard Your Fear”; however, despite that typically negative connotation, the song’s approachability doesn’t get in the way of its worth. Rather, it’s uplifting message and relatively simple and familiar construction could earn Riverside an entirely new camp of fans. It’s actually quite cathartic, as is the dreamy and tasteful “Toward the Blue Horizon”, which begins and ends as a luscious ode (with lovely piano chords) while transforming into a progressive metal workout in the middle.Both of the record’s final two pieces—“Time Travellers” and “Found (The Unexpected Flaw of Searching)”—are wonderful. The former is an exquisite acoustic ballad about past possibilities and the unforeseen future. Its winding melodies and spaciousness are the standout features, as the rest of the band lets Duda’s voice lead the way, resulting in a simple but commanding experience. In contrast, the latter is more elaborate, impactful, and conclusive, with a strong sense of closure and acceptance, as the speaker realizes the importance of his or her experiences, uncertainties, and decisions. The music builds with great pacing, adding more beautiful layers as the chorus (“It’s a lovely life / You have gone so far / Don’t give it up / Oh, it’s a lovely life / Gotta go with what you think is right”) repeats with sleek harmonies. By the end, listeners are left in awe, reevaluating their own sense of purpose and optimism.Love, Fear and the Time Machine is likely the most polarizing record Riverside has made, as it could be considered both the band’s strongest and weakest full-length effort. Fans hoping for virtuosic jams and unexpected sounds won’t really find them here, while fans looking for more of Riverside’s token elegant instrumentation, affective melodies, and poetic, rich singing will be satisfied beyond measure. Either way, Love, Fear and the Time Machine definitely finds its creators reaching for new, if marginally different, heights, which is commendable in and of itself. Roughly ten years on, Riverside remains as special as ever, and Love, Fear and the Time Machine is, in several ways, its truest work of art." - Pop Matters
    $12.00
  • "…And now for something completely different. This is a record I've been waiting two entire years for- as (Hellride-spawned) lore would have it, this record was devoured by the gluttonous maw of Black Widow Records swiftly following its recording, and has been withheld for flabbergasting reasons till now. Now, I'm not entirely clued in to the politics of Black Widow, but the furor the label has engendered among the underground doom community of late (what with the spurning of Minotauri for refusing to play ball with their “add some flutes and Hammonds to your doom or else!” doctrine) has cast them in a rather dubious light of late. Thank Azathoth and his blind pipers, then, as they have finally deemed it fit to disinter this gloriously graven masterpiece.As many sworn doom droogs will know, this is a band that developed parallel to, and contemporaneous with, the eminent Reverend Bizarre, and features all three members of said luminaries as well as a supporting trio of prodigious musical ability. Aesthetically, however, the two bands share scant similarities- true, there are some passing parallels to RB's more contemplative passages, but whereas Reverend Bizarre quaff deeply from the sarcophagus of Saint Vitus, Cathedral and Witchfinder General, Orne present a uniquely somber, arrestingly emotive take on late ‘60s/early ‘70s British progressive rock. Painting with broad strokes of Meddle and Wish You Were Here Pink Floyd, and tasteful brushes of In The Court Of The Crimson King King Crimson, Spring and Nursery Cryme Genesis, Orne's expansive sonic canvas also exhibits a healthy affinity for vintage Finnish prog, particularly the likes of Tasavellan Presidentti (though they are never as sprightly or upbeat as most TP material), Wigwam and Kalevala. Rest assured, then, that this is not even remotely close to the neo-prog tripe that countrymen Amorphis have been plumbing to nauseatingly poor effect for the last decade.Patrick Walker ushers us into the catacombs of Orne with a suitably ominous sermon, offering a portent to the contents of the record. Fittingly, the entire record has a weightless, dreamlike, yet assertively disciplined feel that lends a ritualistic, yet not austere feel to the proceedings. Instead, the record juxtaposes Bacchanalian Black Widow/Comus whimsy and flightiness with a dolorous melancholy, creating a very interesting dichotomy between orgiastic mischief and grave introspection. This contrast becomes corporeal in the band's exquisitely dynamic compositions- the bewitching “A Beginning” opens with lush clean guitar, mournful, grieving saxophone, sparse percussion and markedly subdued cooing from Albert, who further cements his extraordinary versatility and emotive range. At the 01:40 mark, the song escalates into a swinging, upbeat groove that surely would not be awkward on Reverend Bizarre's more uptempo material. All the hallmarks of said band are here and accounted for- swerving, elegantly expressed and nuanced drumming by Void, propulsive Peter riffing, and cocksure, swaggering Albert vocals. The song continues this dramatic ebb-and-flow to great effect, the transitions proving as fluid and natural as the tasteful musicianship. For all its unabashed idolatry and reverence (the influences would be blatant for anybody who has some background in progressive rock), the instrumentation never feels studied or contrived, and the organic feel of the album truly distinguishes this troupe from other similar minded artists (many of which share the same label).Another merit that becomes apparent once one begins to peruse the accompanying booklet is the expansive breadth of Orne's vision- one must digest the contents of this record with its visual supplement, as the soporific, halcyon images conjured in the lyrics, as well as the images contained within the booklet (one of which is a brilliant still from Mario Bava's greatest movie, The Whip & The Body), collectively form the whole of the Orne experience. One cannot help but feel as though Lord Dunsany has as much of an overarching influence on this recording as the aforementioned prog giants- “Island Of Joy” has the same meandering, sprawling, bittersweet feeling of drifting on Dunsany's River Yann, or embarking upon a nautical expedition on Lovecraft's phantasmal White Ship, though the surging, stormy denouement (an unresolved climactic torrent of frantic flutes and tumbling percussion) suggests that the journey is perhaps not fated to be pleasant, and the affectionate warmth of the song is savagely undercut- shipwrecked on Ashton Smith's Isle of the Torturers, maybe? Truly spellbinding stuff, this.“Frontline Dreams”, again, has a distinctly Dunsanian/Lovecraft ‘Dream-cycle' feel, juxtaposing the romance of imagination with the harsh ennui of crude reality, the band dispelling doe-eyed, wistful Pink Floyd atmospherics at the 5:08 mark with a deeply reverent bow to Black Sabbath's “Black Sabbath”, as Albert projects an affectionately Ozzy melody atop fierce gushes of Iommi-esque riffing and white-knuckled drumming. “Opening By Watchtower” pricks a vein bled by vintage Foxtrot Genesis and Peter Hammill, while GORGEOUS album-closer (though maybe a bit incongruous with the vision of the rest of the record) “Lighthouse” reveals a proclivity for English prog's more bucolic propositions- Affinity is the most obvious parallel here (particularly on the hook, TOTAL Affinity, and it is a bit weird to hear Albert's voice on this instead of Linda Hoyle's!), though one could also point out Curved Air, Saturnalia, Mellow Candle and the like.Now, I know this review doesn't exactly relate to the bulk of the material reviewed on here, but cognizant of the fact that progressive rock and heavy metal have nurtured amicable ties over the years, and the probability that many of you have enlisted yourself to the Reverend Bizarre cause over the years, I thought this record might interest some of you. Rest assured that if you nurture a penchant for brooding fantasy/early weird fiction and an appreciation for the vintage, characteristically mercurial English prog sound, championed by everyone from Procol Harum and the Moody Blues to Arcadium and T2, you will find much to adore here. A most satisfying, indulgent feast for all dark prog gourmands…will we have another hearty platter anytime soon, Peter?"- diabolicalconquest.com
    $16.00
  • "The first Mahavishnu Orchestra's original very slim catalog was padded out somewhat by this live album (recorded in New York's Central Park) on which the five jazz/rock virtuosos can be heard stretching out at greater length than in the studio. There are only three selections on the disc, all of which were to have been on the group's then-unissued third album -- two of them, guitarist John McLaughlin's "Trilogy: Sunlit Path/La Merede la Mer" and keyboardist Jan Hammer's "Sister Andrea," are proportioned roughly as they were in their studio renditions, while the third, McLaughlin's "Dream," is stretched to nearly double its 11-minute studio length. Each develops organically through a number of sections, and there are fewer lockstep unison passages than on the earlier recordings. McLaughlin is as flashy and noisy as ever on double-necked electric guitar, and Hammer and violinist Jerry Goodman are a match for him in the speed department, with drummer Billy Cobham displaying a compelling, raw power and dexterity to his work as well, especially on the CD edition, which also gives bassist Rich Laird a showcase for his slightly subtler work. Yet for all of the superb playing, one really doesn't hear much music on this album; electricity and competitive empathy are clearly not enough, particularly on the 21-minute "Dream," which left a lot of fans feeling let down at the end of its side-two-filling run on the LP. In the decades since this album was released, the studio versions of these three pieces, along with other tracks being worked up for their third album, have appeared as The Lost Trident Sessions -- dating from May and June of 1973 -- thus giving fans a means of comparing this repertory to what the band had worked out (or not worked out) in the studio; and Between Nothingness and Eternity has come up a bit in estimation as a result, benefiting as it does from the spontaneity and energy of a live performance, though even that can only carry this work so far -- beyond the personality conflicts that broke up the band, they seem to have been approaching, though not quite reaching, a musical dead end as well." - Allmusic
    $5.00
  • In our changeover in distributors we received back a quantity of copies of Specs. We need to bring our inventory level back to normal so we are going to temporarily blow out this title. Grab copies at below wholesale price while you can.
    $13.00
  • "here have been many waves of thrash metal in the course of the past three decades. The whole scene started in the early ‘80s with the Big Four—Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax—and the numerous American and German thrash bands that followed them. In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, as thrash started to fade, the second wave began, with less-prominent American thrash bands and German bands attempting to keep the scene alive while the Big Four stagnated or lost relevance. In the late ‘90s, a new wave of thrash bands from Europe, led by the Haunted and Darkane, took on the mantle of thrash revivalists, helping to bring the scene back.Now, in the last five years, a whole new group of young American thrash bands have attempted to bring back the old-school thrash style of the ‘80s with their fast, technical play and raw production. Bonded by Blood is one of the bands in this fourth wave of thrash, and its debut Feed the Beast showed a lot of promise. The band’s sophomore effort, Exiled to Earth, upholds the high standard Bonded by Blood set for itself and even sees the group surpass it in some ways.Exiled to Earth is unique in that it’s a concept album, which is incredibly rare to see in thrash. The album tells the story of an alien race known as the Crong, who come to Earth intent on conquest. A group of warriors must fight back against the Crong to regain control of the planet and save the human race. Almost none of the veteran thrash bands ever attempted to create a concept album, so seeing one of the young bands do that shows a lot of maturity and inventiveness. The concept only exists in the lyrics, so it doesn’t distract from the music in any way. However, it also makes the lyrics even more interesting to read and memorize, for those who enjoy doing such things.Musically, Exiled to Earth is a throwback to the glory days of thrash in the early ‘80s with just enough young energy added to make it sound fresh. This will make the album a big hit among both diehard thrash veterans and newcomers to the genre. Guitarists Alex Lee and Juan Juarez channel the best parts of Slayer from Reign in Blood and Seasons in the Abyss, from the lightning-fast solos to the impossibly tight riffing. Vocalist Jose Barrales is a dead ringer for Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth of Overkill, using the same high-pitched, urgent delivery of the veteran. Drummer Carlos Regalado and bassist Jerry Garcia keep the rhythm section together from start to finish, reminding listeners simultaneously of Ton Hunting from Exodus and David Ellefson of Megadeth.In short, Bonded by Blood has created a titanic record that raises the bar for all of its contemporaries. The other young thrash bands have held their own up until this point, but Bonded by Blood is now the first one to step out and make a statement. Exiled to Earth shows all doubters that this band is the real deal, capable of playing with the veterans as well as its peers. Expect to hear more great things from Bonded by Blood in the future." - Pop Matters
    $5.00
  • "Machine II Machine is the fifth studio album by the German female hard rock singer Doro Pesch. The album was released in March 1995 and mixed by Kevin Shirley and Greg Smith. It is the more mainstream oriented album of the German singer to date, thanks to the production of Jack Ponti (Bon Jovi, Alice Cooper, Baton Rouge) and the collaboration of musicians and authors coming from pop, country and even Latin music. The lyrics break new ground for Doro, as many of the songs deal with erotic themes. The last track is a remix done by members of the German industrial metal band Die Krupps, who worked with Doro in her next albums."
    $6.00
  • First time on CD. This is a live album recorded by the Dave Pike Set for MPS back in 1969 at the Berlin Philharmonie. Dave Pike was a popular vibes player. At the time he was working with Volker Kriegel in his quartet. Kriegel offered angular, psychedelic electric leads which throw a stark contrast to the fairly square accompaniment. The liner notes talks about the different influences on the band including Frank Zappa and you can hear a bit of that. Interestingly this is one of the earliest references to the term "progressive rock" I've read. This arrives in a gorgeous mini-LP sleeve, detailed liner notes and 24 bit mastering.
    $16.00
  • This one is a real mindblower.  One of Italy's best bands, La Maschera Di Cera, has created a musical sequel to Le Orme's Felona E Serona.  I can't recall any band ever doing something like this.  Like all of the band's work it remains faithful to the "Rock Progressivo Italiano" sound.  Apart from cleaner sounding sonics it could have easily pass for somethining recorded in 1974.  The music does in fact pick up on some of the core themes and melodices from FeS.  You want 'tron?  You got it!  You want flute?  You got it.  To wrap the whole package together the band licensed the cover art from Lanfranco, the artist responsible for the art for FeS.  So it really does feel like a sequel.  Please note there are actually two versions of the album.  This is the Italian language edition that will satisfy any RPI purist.  Highly recommended.
    $16.00