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SKU: ALTROCK009
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Altrock
Category:
Avant Garde/RIO
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What the bearded one sez:

"This is going to be one of the CDs of 2009 for me personally. This is the first full length by a great California sextet consisting of dual guitars, dual woodwinds, bass and drums with a small amount of vocals and some guests. It mixes comtemporary stylings (i.e. the guitars are often crunchy) with stop on a dime avant-progressive influences such as Picchio dal Pozzo, Miriodor, Blast, Henry Cow, Frank Zappa, etc. There's really not much more to say other than if Picchio and Miriodor really float your boat and you want to hear complex, modern rock music that touches on the influences I have mentioned but that already have their own sound. In addition to this, the booklet is really nicely designed and fairly bizarre and involved. Highly, highly recommended." - Steve Feigenbaum

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  • Double live CD set with a bonus DVD. Recorded in Lyon, France on 12/1/09. This is the reconstituted lineup featuring Benoit David on vocals and Oliver Wakeman on keys. The DVD is a mix of documentary and live footage.
    $21.00
  • THIS NORTHERN VIRGINIA BASED BAND is a three-piece at heart, musically rooted in the raw energy and rhythmic interplay of RUSH and KING’S X. Fans of dark, guitar-driven rock bands from ALICE IN CHAINS, DEFTONES to the contemporary metal riffing of LAMB OF GOD and PANTERA, will connect to the heavy core of IRIS DIVINE’s sound. Add to that progressive complexity and moody synths inspired by DREAM THEATER and PORCUPINE TREE, and a liberal dose of memorable hooks and melodies, to understand some elements of IRIS DIVINE’s sound. And yet, the band has a distinct identity, not quite sounding like any of the aforementioned bands, and with an emotional urgency that pulls subtly from alternative and other influences.KARMA SOWN IS A TRIUMPH OF A DEBUT ALBUM, immediate and memorable but revealing layers and depth upon repeated listens."Progressive metal is in a rough period right now. The old guard are either releasing sub-standard albums that only make it more obvious how far they have fallen, or they are drastically uncool with anyone who didn't become a fan when progressive metal was first being created. Progressive today tends to mean djent, a style that has sapped all the life and humanity out of music, turning metal into a math equation of time signatures, and not songs that anyone can actually remember. There was a time when progressive metal remembered the ultimate goal of music; to have listeners enjoy the songs so much they would return to them again and again. Today, progressive metal is mostly the sort of music that could pass for muzak, if you don't turn the volume up too loud.Iris Divine wants to change that. They set out with the mission of writing progressive metal that is intricate and challenging, but still produces the kind of songs that listeners who don't have an advanced degree can love and sing along to. It's a challenge, and it goes against the tide, but it's a desperately needed revolution if progressive metal is going to flourish anytime in the near future.I knew from hearing the pre-release track “A Suicide Aware” that Iris Divide was special, and the full album reinforces the point. “The Everlasting Sea” comes out of the gates with plenty of tricky riffing and unusual rhythms, but they lead into big melodies with strong hooks and vocals. Their progressive playing isn't meant for show, it's a tool used to set a tone that juxtaposes with the more melodic moments. Finding the proper balance between these elements is not easy, and many a band have failed miserably trying to do so, but Iris Divine doesn't. On their debut record, they show a skill some bands have spent their entire careers failing to learn.What I love most about the record is that it can be seen in many different lights. If you like straight-ahead metal, there is plenty of heavy riffing and pounding drumming here to keep you satisfied. If you like progressive music, these songs have twists and turns, and Rush-like keyboards, in enough quantity to match the djent crowd. And if you're a fan of old-school radio rock, the choruses in these songs will be music to your ears. Keeping all three of these in mind at the same time can be tricky, but it's worth the effort.For being a trio, “Karma Sown” is a massive sounding record. The production is flawless, big and clear, without ever sounding too polished. The heavy parts are heavy, the vocals are up front, and you would never believe this was a self-produced record that was crowd-funded. I can put it up against many, many of the big label releases, and it would win the fight.In fact, I can think of a dozen so-called progressive metal bands that should immediately hand over their label contracts to Iris Divine, because it's a crime that a band that is advancing progressive metal in the right direction doesn't have the backing of one of the labels. Not to name names, but this album would be bigger than half of the progressive metal released this year if it had the media push behind it.In case you haven't noticed, what I'm saying is that “Karma Sown” is a fantastic debut, and the future of progressive metal. Iris Divine isn't a Dream Theater clone, and they're not djent. What they have done is integrate all the strains of progressive metal into a singular sound, one that could set the standard moving forward. If every band sounded this good, progressive metal wouldn't need to be underground. “Karma Sown” is the best progressive metal album of the year, bar none." - Bloody Good Horror
    $13.00
  • Blazing second solo album, from 1977. This has some of the fastest guitarwork you will ever hear in your lifetime. DiMeola shows many facets to his playing touching upon pure electric fusion as well as gorgeous acoustic work. The acoustic duet with Paco De Lucia on "Mediterranean Sundance" is breathtaking. Jan Hammer and all the other stars play their nuts off here. Great.
    $5.00
  • To be honest this isn't one of my favorite KS releases. I felt he waffled around a bit during the 80s and his releases were inconsistent. This is remastered, comes in a digipak and has a 24 minute unreleased bonus track "Constellation Andromeda".
    $15.00
  • Stunning second solo effort from Riverside frontman Mariusz Duda. Lunatic Soul explores the quieter, introspective side of the progressive spectrum. Duda plays most of the instruments himself, but he is also helped out by Indukti's Wawrzyniec Dramowic on percussion, and flautist Maciej Szelenbaum. The music has a definite Asian influence with a wonderful melodic flow. Think in terms of Riverside's quieter moments or Opeth's Damnation. It does rock out but not HARD since (once again) there are no electric guitars. This fact doesn't make the album any less intense. Album of the year candidate? Highest recommendation.
    $14.00
  • Italian sideproject of Runaway Totem is even closer to the Magma sound.
    $16.00
  • 1978's Casino is considered by many to be the pinnacle of DiMeola's solo career but frankly I'm not sure how you can pick and chose. By now he had established his sound and stuck to his guns. A masterful display of musicianship.
    $7.00
  • One night of the band's two-week "Controlled By Radar" tour found Scott McGill, Michael Manring, and Vic Stevens booked into a jazz club in Boston. The fusion trio quickly adapted, adding some choice jazz standards to their set list…but with a twist. They performed these classsics their way – a mixture of straight up jazz, fusion and skronk. The crowd was blown away by the originality and the band's audacity. As the band continued their tour the list of standards in their set grew and the response was always overwhelming. It was decided that the band's third album would be a collection of contemporary jazz standards done the MMS way. These are three virtuoso musicians that had individually and collectively already made their mark in the world of fusion. Why not go back to their roots? If the band was going to cause a fissure in the fabric of the jazz community why not go all the way? Noted guitarist and texturalist producer David Torn (Jeff Beck, Kaki King) was asked to mix the album. The man behind the Splattercell project was given free reign to take the unmixed session tapes and "do his thing" and that is exactly what he did. The results defy all the standards of what a jazz album should sound like. It's a mutated soundscape that will make the trio villains to some and hopefully heroes to many. John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, and Sonny Rollins, among others, composed timeless classics that have been ingrained into the souls of jazz listeners for a generation. "What We Do" takes these compositions, breaks them down and reconstructs them both musically and sonically. It offers a unique and controversial interpretation of these tunes that is pure MMS. What We Do is a punk jazz manifesto for a new generation of jazz fans around the world.
    $7.00
  • Digital remaster of one of the greatest live progressive rock albums of all time. Stunning renditions of material culled from Inside through Ocean. The 21 minute version of "Atlantis' Agony at June 5- 8498, 13 P.M. Gregorian Earthtime" is worth the price of the disc alone. They all play their stones off particularly drummer Jurgen Rosenthal who in imbued with manical fury. I bow down in reverence...
    $15.00
  • New studio album finds them sans David Jackson...
    $14.00
  • Essential third album from the Mwandishi band. A pure kosmigroov classic in which the ensemble touches on African based rhythms and electric fusion. Hancock and Patrick Gleeson somehow integrate a battery of electric keyboards into the jazz realm but in a way that was organic and seems just about right. A must own.
    $5.00
  • The Laser’s Edge is pleased to announce a release campaign of the entire Freak Kitchen back catalog, beginning with 2009’s Land Of The Freaks. Although extremely popular around the world, access to Freak Kitchen’s music in North America has previously been limited to expensive imports through specialist dealers. Europe’s best kept musical secret is a secret no more! Freak Kitchen is a progressive power trio consisting of three renowned virtuoso musicians: Mattias “IA” Eklundh (guitar/vocals), Christer Ortefors (bass), and Bjorn Fryklund (drums). The band was formed by IA in 1992 and since then they have conquered audiences around the world with their high energy performances. The members of the band are road dogs, performing constantly as Freak Kitchen and individually as clinicians. Freak Kitchen’s music is an amalgam of styles – equal parts hard rock, heavy metal, and progressive rock blended together with a healthy dose of Zappa-esque humor. Land Of The Freaks finds the Indian influence of the Art Metal project crop up in a couple of tunes due to the participation of V. Selvaganesh and Neyveli S Radhakrishna. Strings also come into play at times just adding another dimension to the band's usual craziness. It goes without saying that you can expect stellar playing through out. Land Of The Freaks is cerebral guitar driven progressive music that is essential for fans of Frank Zappa, Bumblefoot, and Steve Vai.
    $14.00
  • Originally released in 1969. One of the great Mellotron albums of all time. "Have You Heard" will leave you breathless. A stone cold classic.
    $10.00
  • This was the first album with the revamped lineup of John McLaughlin, Jean Luc Ponty, Narada Michael Walden, Ralph Armstrong, and Gayle Moran. They didn't quite hit the heights the original lineup did but there are brilliant moments throughout.
    $7.00