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 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
  • Iron Mask is the power metal band led by Belgian guitarist Dushan Petrossi. You may know him from his other band Magic Kingdom, although I would hard pressed to understand the musical distinction. Petrossi worships at the feet of Malmsteen and Romeo - total neoclassical bliss for those interested in this sort of thing. Mark Boals is front and center solidifying the Malmsteen comparison. The dude can certainly blow that's for sure!
    $15.00
  • Limited edition digipak with three bonus tracks."What can we say about Liv Kristine, a beautiful Scandinavian enchantress, who has been one of the most prominent figures of gothic metal for the past 20 years and was a part of pioneering the beauty and the beast vocal style of singing? We first got to know her more than unique, angelic soprano when we met her as one of the front figures in a legendary gothic metal band Theatre Of Tragedy, but meanwhile she also set herself a solo career in 1998, with her romantic and beautifully gloomy debut Deus Ex Machina. She continued in a bit lighter manner, with following three releases Enter My Religion, Skintight and Libertine being slightly goth influenced pop-rock records, full of upbeat and catchy tunes, in which she still managed to radiate a crestfallen feel and evolve more and more vocally with each and every release. Now she presents us with her 5th full length album, which carries its title after a potent herb, which is known as one of the greatest weaknesses of vampires: Vervain.With Vervain, Liv Kristine decided to return to her roots and take us on a beautiful journey through dark rock with so many various influences; ranging from gothic metal, doom metal and even pop. Her first single, "Love Decay", which features Michelle Darkness from End Of Green on vocals, is a wonderful drive down the memory lane, as their duet and dreamy keyboards - especially at the very ending of the song - nostalgically take us more than a decade in the past - in the era of Theatre of Tragedy's marvelous creation Aégis. Their voices couldn't fit together more perfectly, as they create an amazing, emotional and heartbreaking atmosphere just by singing. It's not a coincidence Liv Kristine has collaborated with so many musicians, since she knows just how to entwine two different voices and voice colours to exist in perfect symbiosis.  Another duet, this time with the legendary vocalist Doro Pesch, is presented in a song "Stronghold Of Angels" and the very beginning of the song goes even further in the past, as its slow and doom-esque intro reminds of Theatre Of Tragedy's earliest works - the eponymous debut and Velvet Darkness They Fear. And you can imagine, with two strong vocalists such as Liv Kristine and Doro nothing can go wrong and Doro's powerful and slightly raspy voice again creates the ambivalent feel alongside Liv's crystalline soprano. "My Wilderness", "Vervain" and "Elucidation" are at the same time gracious and strong, slightly harsher songs, which will please the fans of Leaves Eyes. Their dense and rich song structure, alongside Liv's fierce vocals and guitars, which are flirting with alternative metal, certainly bring an unique ambiance to it, being at the same time romantically frail and glamorously dark. While "Lotus" is the fragile ballad and "Creeper" the power ballad of the album, "Two And A Heart" and "Oblivious" again present the colours of early Theatre Of Tragedy; "Oblivious" with doom oriented guitars and "Two And A Heart" with Liv's more than perfect vocal performance and additional piano tune, creating a doleful and sombre sound.It's more than enjoyable to once again hear Liv Kristine peering into the depths of gothic metal and including the typical romantic, yet saddened ambient into the songs, subsequently creating - well - a small theatre of tragedy inside each and every track.  All songs carry a very strong and dramatic structure; starting gently and building suspense to a peak of a story and then ending with a memorable crescendo, either by changing the tempo or adding more guitars; each and every track has a story of its own. While the rhythm section is gentler on Vervain, the guitars and keyboards alongside emotional, layered vocals create the core of the album. Ranging from upbeat and powerful melodies, through heartsore and gloomy tracks to fragile ballads, Vervain offers a wide array of highly captivating and intense sounds, evoking an extensive spectre of emotions and veils the whole album in a melancholic atmosphere, which will undoubtedly please the old and the new fans of Liv Kristine." - Terra Relicta
    $13.00
  • "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
  • Remastered edition finally taken from the original master tapes and transferred utilizing 24 bit / 96 khz technology.
    $10.00
  • Nightmare Records has been on a roll of late. Here's another strong 2011 release from them. This is the second full length release from Oklahoma's Vangough. The band follows the musical vision of guitarist/vocalist Clay Withrow. In the case of Kingdom Of Ruin its a bit of an odd vision. The album is a conceptual work about a man who becomes enmeshed in a mythical forest kingdom of rabbits (yes...rabbits). So he's torn between the human world vs becoming the ruler of the rabbit world. The musical style carries on from the debut release - there is an affinity for early Pain Of Salvation but with a crunchier, even groovier, vibe. The band is 2 for 2 - this album is highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • "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
  • "It took German Prog Rockers EVERON a grand total of six years to come up with the follow-up to their 2002 double-whammy “Bridge” and “Flesh” and despite all rumours prior to the release of “North” that there would be no orchestration etc., well, it is EVERON after all, so while there in fact are some orchestral parts to be found, it still sounds like EVERON, not least thanks to Oliver Philipps’ characteristic warm voice. But despite this, their seventh long-player still shows an evolution while continuously embracing their very own sound.The main difference is that indeed the orchestration has been reduced and the guitars play an a bit more important role while never taking over, the main things to characterize EVERON’s sound are feeling, mood and atmosphere and once more they excel in every single of these categories. “Brief Encounter” is a prime example for this, because it tells a story (as so often is the case with the Germans) and the instrumentation and story-telling are just in fantastic balance, with pure piano-driven passages as well as lush orchestration (yes, it still is there) or acoustic guitars, even some Flamenco snappers, and yet the song still manages to rock and despite the many different elements processed it never gets pretentious.This actually is one thing that has set EVERON apart from many of their contemporaries, there is no pretentiousness to be found, every element is utilized to its max in order to achieve the grand total of a song, a mood, an atmosphere, and that in itself is both responsible for the quality of their music and also for me grasping at words, as this mentioned mood and atmosphere is something that you hear, that you feel, but that you can’t really put to paper to adequately describe what is going on on “North”. And while each song has a lot of emotional depth that will let you find new nuances every time you listen to it, tracks like “Test Of Time” have this immediate urgency in the chorus, which manages to grasp you right away.And they also are not averse to trying out new and different things, as in the electronic-tinged “South Of London” proves, which took me by surprise, but which still works and does not sound like an artificially transplanted piece of music just for the sake of sounding different or progressive (in its original meaning), same might go for the chainsaw in the aptly titled instrumental “Woodworks”. The only track that ribbed me a little the wrong way at times was “Islanders”, a beautiful ballad with added female vocals (by Judith Stüber, who had been on stage with the band before), but it ventures towards straight out pop more than once, which does not really fit in that well with the rest of the sophisticated compositions to be found on “North”.But in the end I could not put it any better than Oliver Philipps himself: "If you don't like piano and orchestra, just don't buy an Everon album"..." - Metal Observer
    $16.00
  • Collection of previously unavailable live recordings of this seminal Danish prog band that was a precursor to Secret Oyster. Source material varies in quality but the performances are stellar.
    $15.00
  • "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
  • CD version of the live show from Katowice, Poland in 2005. Basically the audio soundtrack of the DVD previously available. Digipak - supposedly a limited edition.
    $9.00
  • Well Opeth went and did it.  They gave prog rock fans the album they've been waiting for - the one that Heritage alluded to and came close to delivering.  Pale Communion is a full on prog album.  All clean vocals, tons of gorgeous keyboard sounds that will conjure up images of the 70s.  In fact if this album arrived with a Vertigo swirl on it I wouldn't have been surprised.  Some heavy riffing but no real metal elements within earshot.  The album was mixed by Steven Wilson and if anyone knows "the sound" its him.  By the way the album was recorded at Rockfield Studios which is holy ground for prog fans.  Prog rock album of the year?  You bet!  BUY OR DIE!!This is the CD/Blu-ray edition.  It arrives in a digipak and has expanded packaging.  Audio comes to you via a standard CD plus a Blu-Ray.  What's on it you ask?  You get a 5.1 audio mix plus 2 live bonus tracks recorded in Stockholm. 
    $18.00
  • Airbag is a new young prog band from Norway. Their music has a dreamy quality that will have you floating in the clouds. If you are fan of Riverside's lighter moments you will spooge over this. Definite references to Radiohead and Porcupine Tree will spring to mind as you listen. The music never explodes - it takes the slow fire approach creating constant tension. Lots of beautiful melodies wafting through your skull from the first listen. The disc comes with a really cool die cut sleeve and booklet (check out the jpeg). Highly recommended. These guys could potentially break big.
    $15.00
  • "Early 2012 the Welsh progressive rock band Karnataka embarked on a fifteen- date tour across the UK. Under the name New Light Tour 2012, the band reached as many areas of the country as possible; in particular those towns and villages they missed on previous tours. The band performed at some of the most unique and beautiful venues in the country, from traditional theatres and art centres to a stunning fourteenth century converted barn. Yet they couldn't perform in all places and therefore many fans − especially those from abroad − couldn't see how the new line-up managed to perform the band's back catalogue. So New Light Live In Concert, Karnataka's latest double album and DVD has been recorded for those people who missed them live on stage. However, it's by all means a great souvenir for people who attended their live shows as well. On this almost two-hour live album, DVD and Blu-ray you can witness and listen to an entire live performance.The live performance has been recorded at the start of their New Light Tour at the Met Theatre in Bury, England on February 23, 2012. This tour marked the first live show for a line-up featuring the new lead singer Hayley Griffiths. For those who aren't familiar with the band's third female singer an introduction is in place. She's a classically trained soprano who has achieved global recognition and critical acclaim for her role in the international phenomenon Riverdance and Michael Flatley's  Lord Of The Dance. She has sung for the emperor of Japan in Tokyo, at the Kremlin Palace in Moscow and for an audience of 20,000 people in Taipei Arena. Moreover, in 2010 her debut album Silver Screen won the Best Classical Crossover Artist Award. Her second album Celtic Rose was released in 2011; it's her first complete Celtic album composed of traditional and contemporary Irish and Scottish songs.Other new members in the band are the Turkish keyboard player Cagri Tozluoglu from Istanbul and the talented multi-instrumentalist Colin Mold, who was the driving force behind the folk rock band Kara. During the tour Mold played additional lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars, violin and he did some backing vocals. The fourth new member is drummer Matt McDonough. Last but not least Karnataka's new line-up still consist of founding member Ian Jones on bass and bass pedals and Enrico Pinna on guitars and backing vocals. The latter made his debut on the band's latest studio album The Gathering Light (2010, see review).When you watch and listen to New Light Live In Concert you'll soon notice that the performed songs differ from the original album versions. This is mainly due to the fact that Hayley Griffith's vocals strongly differ from Karnataka's prior singers Rachel Jones (pre-1998-2004) and Lisa Fury (2008-2010). Her soprano voice provides the music a rather new sound that I like a lot. In my opinion a live album shouldn't be a copy of a studio album. I think it should sound differently and this is something in which Karnataka succeeded very well. However, not only the vocals differ from the original versions. Take for example The Calling, an instrumental piece from their latest studio album. It featured the Uillean pipes played by guest musician Troy Donockley. Since he wasn't available during the New Light Tour, the electric violin replaced the pipes. This worked perfectly and made the song still very enjoyable. The addition of several new violin parts on the older songs suited these songs quite well.Also the addition of twin guitar parts throughout the concert is a real treat to the ears. The combination of Enrico Pinna and Colin Mold playing both the same guitar parts makes the music sound very melodic. However, it's mostly Pinna who steals the show with his great electric guitar playing. His talent for playing excellent solos can be especially heard on the superb piece Forsaken. The band must have known that  Hayley's voice couldn't always shine during the songs from their back catalogue. Therefore she got a special solo spot. This way she got the chance to show all of her vocal talents on tracks that aren't original Karnataka songs. So they also included two Hayley Griffith's tracks on this album that demonstrate her vocal talents. Lagan Love from her Celtic Rose album was performed brilliantly. She sings it wholeheartedly and only accompanied by some beautiful string synthesizer parts. It's followed by Our Love from her Silver Screen album. This time her voice sounds rather operatically. It fits in perfectly to Karnataka's new arrangement which includes fine playing on the violin as well. Besides Griffith's skills as an amazing singer she also proves to be a real entertainer who can keep the audience focussed during a concert. To mention any highlights is rather difficult, because in my opinion the entire concert is just one highlight.Both the CD and the DVD versions benefit from a tremendous production and capture the details of the vocal performances as well as the arrangements without one musician over-powering the other. Also the camera work has been done well capturing the musicians at close range and from a distance showing the whole band in action. They perform material from The Storm (2000), Delicate Flame Of Desire (2003) and The Gathering Light in the best possible way and in 5.1 surround. In addition to the concert they included interviews with all musicians. They were asked about their background and musical influences and about the future and the past of the band. Finally a tour photo gallery can be enjoyed. New Light Live In Concert is a real must to listen to and to watch. Especially people who like bands as Iona, Mostly Autumn and Clannad are advised to check out this great new live release of Karnataka! " - Background Magazine
    $18.00