Wolflight (CD/Blu-ray Digipak)

Well Steve is done resucitating the Genesis catalogue and back to concentrating on fresh solo material.  The new album Wolflight is a bit of a loose concept album and I find it to be one of his strongest releases in years.  The album is filled with lots of guests (including Chris Squire) contributing exotic instruments to the mix adding an old world sound.  Steve's trademark sound is locked into place so if you are looking for the wailing guitar, liquid runs and acoustic delicacy you won't be disappointed.  His vocals has never been my favorite part of a Steve Hackett album but either I've mellowed in age or his voice has - not sure which.  Regardless it fits the music just fine.  Classic Hackett and nothing less.  BUY OR DIE!

Please note this is the US edition that arrives in a digipak.  Its a 2 disc set.  Disc 1 is the standard CD.  Disc 2 is actually a Blu-ray.  Tontent includes hi-res stereo and 5.1 mix of the album, 2 bonus tracks not on the standard CD (in hi-res no less!), and extensive interview footage with Steve Hackett.

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  • "Pantera's back, and all is as wrong with the world as it ever was. They're going to make sure you know it, too. Despite the four-year absence from the studio between Great Southern Trendkill and Reinventing the Steel, Pantera's unflagging aggression is confirmed by the full-throttle rhythms, throat-ripping vocals, and crunchy guitars. Call it their Metallica legacy, except that Pantera are more Metallica than Metallica these days. Heavy metal of this breed may be past its heyday, but Pantera's not going away quietly. In fact, evidence suggests that they're not going away at all--no matter how low you keep the volume knob, Reinventing the Steel is loud, loud, loud!" --Genevieve Williams
    $9.00
  • Limited edition digibook comes with two bonus tracks and enhanced artwork.I think its pretty much agreed that Echo Street was a bit of a mistep for the band.  It seems like they've gotten the message.  Mystoria finds the band returning to their space rock Pink Floyd meets Black Sabbath meets XTC sound.  The band is a quirky bunch - you will find the songs are filled with hooks and heavy riffs that will stick with you but also there is always a bit of a cosmic vibe."Following the release of Amplifier's sprawling grand opus, The Octopus, in 2011, the band have most definitely had their ups and downs. After the departure of long-time bassist Neil Mahony, the band were forced to regroup and rethink their approach: the lengthy process of writing and recording The Octopus had been a trying experience for all the praise the record subsequently received. Looking backwards to look forwards, Sel Balamir and his band re-visited previously demoed material and used it as the basis for the subsequent Echo Street, a more streamlined and concise record that reassured everyone, not least the band themselves, that their quest for sonic adventure remained undimmed in the face of all that life had chosen to throw at them.It's immediately apparent that Mystoria is a very different album to Echo Street in terms of sound, although in terms of ethos the two albums are probably closer related than any of the other records Amplifier have made. Mystoria eschews the gentler, more stripped-back feel of Echo Street and glories in its chunky twin-guitar riffing and thunderous rhythm section, much as the band did when they put together Insider and The Octopus. At the same time, the tendency of the band to indulge themselves in sprawling psychedelic space rock jams has been reined in. Mystoria is subject to the same intense focus on trimming the fat that Echo Street was subject to - indeed, the band have emphasised that they spent some time honing the songs and finalising their arrangements before they started recording, something they haven't tried before. On the basis of Mystoria, this approach certainly seems to suit them.This new sense of focus, allied to their delight in generating planet-sized riffs, is immediately apparent in the one-two punch of the opening tracks, 'Magic Carpet' and 'Black Rainbow'. The opener is a delightfully psychedelic instrumental built around a sturdy riff that might have lasted eight or nine minutes on previous albums. Here it arrives, says what it needs to say and is done in under four minutes, without sacrificing its loose, jammed-out feel. 'Black Rainbow' makes for a striking contrast, a gargantuan doomy riff powering along a muscular rocker that possesses energy to spare. "And I’m going to sing my song", bellows Balamir, "Been stuck in a throat far too long / And I’m going to get me gone / Going to get me some!" As the song crunches to a halt, Balamir opines "Well, we did it again", as if anyone was in any doubt by this point. And so the scene is set for a really crowd-pleasing album, one that will delight existing fans and appeal to those new to Amplifier's swirling psych-influenced rock.The album has been described as a "party record", with Balamir stating that "It’s a summer time rock record to hopefully make people feel good when they listen to it. That’s the only intent.” In many respects that is absolutely the case. Jammed full of catchy hooks, sing-along choruses and Balamir's trademark guitar, this is an album that impresses immediately, sticks in your mind like velcro, yet has the variety and substance to withstand repeated plays without losing its appeal. Some of the songs here are so quintessentially Amplfier that they might as well have the word 'Amplifier' written through them like a stick of rock: the two openers, the playfully off-kilter 'Bride' and 'Named After Rocky' (which contains a really crowd-pleasing moment as a clearly gimlet-eyed Balamir breaks the fourth wall to tell the listener "Dance toe to toe with the devil /And I’m gonna do you proud / I’m gonna make you proud!") are all good examples of this.However, it wouldn't be an Amplifier album if Sel and company didn't have something new and unexpected to present: here, the unexpected is provided by a surprising voyage into ska with 'Cat's Cradle' and the baleful, shoegazey 'Open Up'. The former comes across like Kula Shaker re-imagining something from the Madness back catalogue, the unmistakeable skanking ska rhythm underpinned by a wonderful turn by the rhythm section of Alex Redhead (bass) and Matt Brobin (drums), paired with a playful lyric that indulges in some social commentary ("Well, the world is like a cat's cradle / Too much tension in a cat's cradle") and a wry vocal turn from Balamir. 'Open Up', on the other hand, is the song most removed from the sunny, somewhat carefree feel of a lot of the other songs, coming across like 90s indie darlings Lush at their most metallic, a fuzzy wall of sound framed by reverb-laden icy sheets of guitar and a pleading lyric as Balamir asks a lover "Well, are you looking for a man / To try to solve / Well to open up / Won’t you open up?"he somewhat nightmarish 'OMG' continues this darker thread, a juddering riff and bleak lyric ("Did you look 'em in the eye / As life was choking you / Choking you...") meaning that these two tracks dunk the previously sun-kissed listener in freezing water, enabling them to return refreshed yet unsettled to the remainder of the album, which picks up the more carefree feel established by the earlier tracks. 'The Meaning Of If' may have a somewhat fatalistic lyric ("Well, any simple man can see / That there ain't no cure to the meaning of if / 'Least no meaning I can see") but the swirling guitar that runs through the track is pinned to the wall - as is the listener - by a titanic Sabbath-style riff that intimates that if Balamir believes that the world is going to hell in a hand-basket, he'll be going out with a smile on his face, dancing like no-one's watching.The album closes with a pair of tracks that are clearly closely interrelated, as the mellow 'Crystal Mountain', with its strong 60s psychedelic pastoral feel and suitably surreal love ballad lyric gives way to a building tension that resolves itself into the wonderfully typical fuzzed guitars and lumbering riff of 'Crystal Anthem', that manages to pack in a truly jaw-dropping storm of squalling guitar before collapsing, exhausted, into a heap. The chorus of 'Crystal Anthem' seems to define both Balamir's world view and the band's approach to Mystoria as a whole, as Balamir sings "And I just want to say / That life is a kind of game / We’ve all been born to play." As with all the best games, life may be sometimes difficult: the path to victory designed by sadists and the pieces easy to lose, but ultimately games are designed to be fun. And the new-look Amplifier, not least Balamir himself, would appear to be playing this game to win.Mystoria is a resounding triumph for Amplifier. Whilst Echo Street was full of great songs and superb performances, its comparatively sedate feel did sometimes leave one wondering if the freewheeling sense of adventure that so typified the band had been tempered permanently by the problems and setbacks that they'd had to deal with. Mystoria is both a sure-footed restatement of Amplifier's intent and evidence that, like all the most positive survivors, the band have learnt a lot from the bumps in the road. The band that recorded The Octopus are back, older, bolder, wiser, and with a fire in their eyes and in their bellies. Long may it be so." - Echoes And Dust 
    $9.00
  • When the vinyl came in I proclaimed this as one of the frontrunners for album of the year and nothing has changed since.  Stunning album.Agusa is an instrumental quartet from Sweden.  The band is derived from members of Sveriges Kommuner & Landsting, Kama Loka and Hoofoot.  This is a VERY retro sounding album that will appeal to fans of Kebnekajse, Pink Floyd, and perhaps even Anglagard.  No symphonic elements - just straight up organ, guitar, bass, and drums ripping it up over four long tracks.  Very dynamic sounds going on - shimmering echoey guitar leads that will remind you of Kenny Håkanson or Achim Reichel battling it out with undercurrents of organ that erupt into solos.  Overarching the music is a mystical psychedelic vibe - like this whole thing was cooked up in an Arab hashish den.  BUY OR DIE!!
    $15.00
  • This is the limited special edition that is not being released in North America.  It features two bonus tracks and is housed in a gatefold CD wallet.AMARANTHE, the fast-rising modern metal sextet, will release their sophomore album, 'The Nexus', on March 26th via Spinefarm Records.Produced by Jacob Hansen (whose credits include Volbeat, Dreamshade & Ginger Wildheart, and who worked on Amaranthe's 2011 self-titled debut), 'The Nexus' sees the Swedish/Danish outfit further honing a musical style that blends cutting-edge melodic metal with soaring pop melodies, the whole thing topped off by a unique three-vocal attack.Says guitarist and band co-founder Olof Morck: "The moment has come to let loose 'The Nexus' on an unsuspecting world! This time we went all the way with our futuristic dream-nightmare - a no-compromise vision steeped in deep contrast between the mechanically ultra-heavy and shimmering serene melody. 'The Nexus' is everything we dreamed about doing with our debut album; we laboured to make this offering as diverse as it is direct and catchy. and remember, no-one can be told what 'The Nexus' is - you have to hear it for yourself!"
    $13.00
  • Fantastic second album from this Italian band. Their debut came out of left field and was a total knock out. Now with an even better second album, Pandora has climbed right up to the top of current Italian bands alongsice La Maschera Di Cera. Keyboardist Beppe Colombo pulls off every keyboard trick in the book to good effect. One moment he's going on Premoli on us and the next he's channeling Tony Banks' Mellotron and synth work. The only thing that would tip you off that you are listening to a modern band and not one from the 70s, is guitarist Christian Dimasi's tone. He is a fine player but uses a more modern approach stylistically and tonally. The album is a nice mix of instrumental and vocal pieces and climaxes with the 23 minute title track. All killer - no filler. BUY OR DIE!
    $20.00
  • Wholly appealing because of their oriental workaround on the female-fronted metal sound, France’s Arkan don’t quite have the panache of the buxom-beauty bands, but their songs are better. Definitely better. A tad on the difficult side to pin down when making sonic comparisons, the band has their feet somewhere near the present exotic-slanted territory of Tristania, and on the extreme metal side of the spectrum, the forceful moods of late-90s Septicflesh…back when they were called Septic Flesh. Regardless of where they’re getting their influences from, Sofia (the band’s third album) is very much a winner in the stacked deck that is chick metal.Per the subgenre norm, the focus falls upon singer Sarah Layssac, who is in possession of a luscious, well-toned voice. Her humming chorus choices on opener “Hayati” set the tone for the rest of the album, where upon she keeps the songs largely in check with either a daunting chorus, or lush harmony idea. Just go down the line – “March of Sorrow,” “Deafening Silence,” and “Wireless Angels,” each punctuate Layssac’s emotive, soul-bearing vocals, which are made all the more interesting thanks to the oriental flavor.Primarily because Sofia never goes overboard on the oriental instrumentation side, there’s a lot to gobble up here, particularly when the band peddles choice instrumental breaks (see: “My Reverence”) or blends gentle acoustic guitar touches with streamlined melodies (“Endless Way”). So point being, Sofia offers a lot of everything in the female-fronted, exotic metal field, none of which feels dumbed-down or forced. In fact, so advanced and interesting these compositions are, that Arkan makes more image-friendly bands seem quite useless at the moment. Highly recommended." - Dead Rhetoric
    $12.00
  • "I am somewhat torn doing this review as it is one of my favorite Metal cd's, which in itself is a very brash statement and also it is Rob Halford "without" one of the greatest Metal bands in the world..... Judas Priest.During those few very sad years back in the early 90's when Halford left Priest,he formed a band called "Fight" which I think surprised everyone(including your's truly) with it's raw power and brutal almost Thrash-like Metal riffs.This was definatley not some some lame Priest cover band but it was a new way for Rob to showcase that incredible voice of his.The cd opens up with what was a staple of Mtv's Headbanger's Ball back then with the song "Into the Pit" which was a fast and furious tribute to the "Mosh Pit".The music continues to grab you by the throat and choke the life out of you and never let's you come up for air.Some of my other favorites are "Nailed to the Gun", "Life in Black" the title track "War of Words" and two absolute Thrash classics, "Contortion" and "Kill it".There is also the (Dare I say hit single..."Little Crazy").Sadly, Fight put out only one other cd but it did not even come close to the power of it's predecessor and shortly after that the band called it quits. Over the next few years Halford tried a few other projects but none of them had the "Balls" of "War of words".A few years laterHalford and Priest resolved their differences and Priest was reborn,Badder than ever.I strongly recommend this cd to any "real" Metal fan,especially the younger one's which may not have known that Rob Halford was ever in another band besides Judas Priest.Without a doubt this cd "War of Words" scores a very HEAVY....10." - The Metal Pit
    $5.00
  • CD/DVD digipak version.  The DVD contains a "making of" documentary."It feels like it’s been longer than two years since Lacuna Coil’s last release, Dark Adrenaline, but where that album fell a little short, Broken Crown Halo feels like a true return to form for the band and this is perhaps one of the band’s strongest releases to date.Broken Crown Halo begins with Nothing Stands In Our Way, which slowly builds up into an absolute earworm of a tune and it’s no wonder that this was the track chosen to represent the album because it just has everything – fantastic vocal performances from both singers with a small hint of heaviness amongst the melody, and this wonderful heavy tone to the guitars atop of crushing drums.It’s not just the opener that will get stuck in your head however; with this album it really does feel that Lacuna Coil have crafted a whole collection of wholly memorable tracks. There’s Zombie, which features one of the best vocal performances from Andrea to date, with him seamlessly blending harsh and clean vocals together, and then there’s Die And Rise which begins with an introduction so catchy it’ll be stuck in your head for days. In all honesty, there isn’t a single track on the album that stands out as being bad.In essence, Broken Crown Halo is an exceedingly strong release from the band. It’s adventurous and fresh, whilst still retaining the classic Lacuna Coil ‘sound’ – and it’s excellent." - Soundscape
    $6.00
  • "The vast riches lying within the reach of Google have included a lot of bands I’ve discovered by typing long strings of words bookended by “metal” in an effort to root out underground music of varying sub-genres that I might enjoy. Forum posts often proved most fruitful, those splendid user-generated gifts of musical knowledge. One particular band I heard mentioned glowingly a few years back via a forum post was Serdce.They are a Minsk-based group and one whose 2004 album, Cyberly, was being billed as an unknown classic. I take comments like that with a pound of fucking salt. Yet it turned out to be true. So it gave me much pleasure that Blood Music worked with Islander here at NCS to premiere music from Serdce’s soon-to-be-released record, Timelessness. It was doubly nice that Heavy Blog Is Heavy began to post about them as well with yet another song premierel, because Serdce are a quirky progressive death metal band worth checking out — and worthy of that tag.I admit to feeling jarred when I first heard this album. It’s a big shift from their last record, 2009’s The Alchemy Of Harmony, a record I worship and regard as a masterpiece, although the changes make sense because they’ve been expanding toward a more prog-metal-focused sound with each release. As this was always a big part of their style, the shift away from calculating, mid-paced death metal into lighter Cynic-focused realms works phenomenally well. And it’s not as confined or as prog-by-numbers as you might think.he fusion side of this record isn’t a minor flirtation, like most of your average jazz-inflected metal dubbed progressive. In reality, it makes up the majority of the album’s sound and journey — and it’s a dense and dream-decorated journey at that. While the style on display in Timelessness is brilliant and multi-faceted to these ears, it may not be aggressive enough for the tastes of some people. For those in that camp, I urge you to examine their prior albums.That observation is not intended as an indictment or an implication that this new album is not as good as their past work — to the contrary, I would venture to say this is Serdce’s most eclectic and strongest album yet. I merely mean to say that it’s of a more airy and progressive nature and that not all metalheads may be open-minded enough to appreciate it.Serdce have been creating Meshuggah groove-gliding influenced death metal long before most of the pack who followed that lead, and they continue to do it better than most. But for those who are groove-averse, that’s far from the totality of what they have to offer. Throughout Timelessness you will hear a lot of piano playing and orchestral/carnival-esque synths, and in addition, the vocals are primarily sung this time around. Overall, the strong Cynic-vibe of the record comes not only from the riffing and fusion elements; the effusive, prominent, and exploratory bass playing brings that comparison to mind as well.Huge artistic shifts in a band’s sound remain a double-edged sword, usually causing long-time fans to quarrel for and against such transformations in equal measure. Serdce have skillfully navigated these tricky waters and come out the other side a totally different, yet no less intriguing group. Timelessness doesn’t last forever, yet it contains innumerable timelessly memorable moments within its titanic, fluid, multi-part songs. Jump on the bandwagon or crawl in the dust – Timelessness will find an interested and eager audience either way — though I urge you to give it a chance and get on board." - No Clean Singing
    $16.00
  • One of the truly great albums of the 70s. The band developed long form compositions incorporating elements of jazz, folk, and r'n'b in a unique but lyrical way. This is music that just ebbs and flows as it jams on. Perhaps only topped by their next studio album. This remastered edition is a real killer - it features three tracks from a proposed/documents/catalog #'d live album that was never released called "Live - November 70". The tracks were recorded at the Fillmore East in November 1970. A stone cold classic.
    $11.00
  • "After  the success of the DVDs EPOK 1-2-3-4, published in 2006 and 2007, the Triton again welcomed Magma in June 2011. This was for a  nine concerts cycle to complete the DVD series "Myths & Legends ".EPOK 5 not only includes pieces from 1971, 1977 and 1978   but also Félicité Thösz , the latest MAGMA release, heard here in a version prior to the recording of the album. There are, in addition, 20 minutes of unpublished music.A dynamic and extremely musical edit enables the listener to enjoy the band at the height of its powers, showcasing the intensity of each composition and the technical prowess of the musicians. The exceptional sound quality was captured as usual by Francis Linon who knows, better than anyone, how to record the power and musicality of MAGMA."ATTAHK(Rétrovision)-RÏAH SAHÏLTAAHK-DONDAÏ-FELICITE THOSZ-SLAG TANZ-MAAHNT
    $30.00
  • "Axel Rudi Pell played a 25 years anniversary show lat year as part of the Bang Your Head festival in Balingen, Germany. The guitar wizard invited many friends for this special night. The result was an impressive setlist, containing hits from ARP and classic hardrock tunes from bands like Deep Purple and Rainbow.My highlight was that also some Steeler songs have been played. Steeler released two great records in the 80's that contain real metal pearls. Great to hear those anthems again.The gig was recorded and it will be released end of April this year as Digipak 3 CD, Digipak 3 DVD (NTSC, code free), Blu-ray and download. Great metal stuff is coming...." - Markus' Heavy Music BlogCall der princess - SteelerNight after night - SteelerRockin' the city - SteelerUndercover animal - SteelerNasty reputation - Rob Rock, Joerg MichaelWarrior - Jeff Scott Soto, Joerg MichaelFool fool - Jeff Scott Soto, Joerg Michael(Current ARP Band):Burning chainsStrong as a rockLong way to goHey hey my myMysticaInto the stormToo late / Eternal prisoner / Too lateThe masquerade ball / CasbahRock the nation​Drum battle - Vinnie Appice, Bobby RondinelliBlack night - Ronnie AtkinsSympathy - John LawtonTush - John LawtonMistreated - Doogie White, Tony Carey, Johnny GioeliSince you've been gone - Graham Bonnet, Michael Voss, Doogie WhiteLong live rock'n'roll – Doogie White, Graham Bonnet, Tony CareySmoke on the water – all guests
    $19.00
  • "It's a bit surprising that Pantera waited until 1997 to release a live album, considering how brutal and powerful the band had been in concert. At an average Pantera show, it would not be unusual to see security evicting overzealous fans, and club bathrooms filled with bloody wads of paper towels from mosh pit injuries. Official Live 101 Proof captures the group in its natural, violent element, combining abrupt, barbed riffs with pulse-pounding beats and furious vocals. The record spans Pantera's career, from the classic guitar lick of "Cowboys from Hell" to the fuzzbomb fury of "Suicide Note Pt. 2" (from album The Great Southern Trendkill). As an encore, the band offers album buyers two new studio tracks, the bluesy bonecrusher "Where You Come From" and the grinding piledriver "I Can't Hide." As the fortress of alternative rock continues to crumble, Pantera stomp vindictively through the rubble, their metallic legacy intact."--Jon Wiederhorn
    $6.00
  • The release of 2012's critically acclaimed Trouble With Machines ushered in an exciting era for Chicago-based Progressive Rock band District 97. In 2013, the band toured both Europe and the US with legendary bassist and vocalist John Wetton (King Crimson/UK/Asia), which was documented on 2014's live release, One More Red Night: Live in Chicago. 2013 also saw the band nominated for a Limelight Award by Prog Magazine. Rather than rest on their laurels, District 97 took to the studio in 2014 to record the new material they'd been honing at home and on the road. The resulting album, In Vaults, continues and accelerates the upward trajectory of great songwriting and incredible musicianship that's been evident since the band's 2010 debut, Hybrid Child. One listen perfectly illustrates why John Wetton says, “I've said it before, and I maintain that D97 is the best young progressive band around right now. Gifted players, great material, and a brilliant, charismatic singer in Leslie Hunt."In addition to its evocative and powerful songwriting and performances, In Vaults features the immaculate mixing of Rich Mouser (Spock's Beard, Transatlantic), mastering by Grammy winning engineer Bob Katz and the stunning imagery of Björn Gooßes of Killustraitions. 
    $13.00