Z = 7L

Z = 7L

BY Zao

(Customer Reviews)
$15.00
SKU: FGBG4081
Label:
Musea Records
Category:
Jazz Rock
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"Zao was the very first offshoot band of Magma. Founded by former members Francois Cahen (keyboards) and Yochk'o Seffer (woodwinds) who both played on 1001 Degrees Centigrade, their debut was recorded in August 1973. Z=7L obviously has much in common with Magma's sound(though a bit lighter and jazzier) especially with the addition of an equally deranged vocalist, Mauricia Platon. Mauricia sounded like an opera singer from another planet, and on this one she certainly gave Zao that unique punch. Sadly, she didn't end up sticking around after this, and the band's subsequent output wasn't quite as distinctive as it is here. The songs themselves are expertly played fusion. "Marochsek," the moody opener, gives you a pretty good summary of what you can expect. My favorite track is the Cahen-composed "Atart," a whirling tornado of jazz-rock in 9/8 with a ferocious, seductive Fender Rhodes riff. Z=7L is a great purchase for lovers of the Zeuhl movement who wish to explore outside of Magma, and also for fusion fans. " - Mesmirization

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  • Excellent 2 CD live set from one of the best bands to emerge from the British neo-prog scene of the 80s. Features a great selection of material from all of their albums (plenty of material from "The Sentinel" represented here), including a couple of tunes from "Arrive Alive" with a guest appearance by original vocalist Euan Lowson. Recorded in 2002 in The Netherlands.
    $11.00
  • Gorgeous solo album from Samsara Blues Experiment guitarist/leader Christian Peters.  He plays all the instruments on the album.  With the exception of one vocal track the album is all instrumental.  Its a hypnotic journey to another place and time that will remind you of early Popol Vuh and "Ummagumma" era Pink Floyd.  Sitar, acoustic guitars, and keys have a dreamy laid back quality that is simply mesmerizing.  Highly recommended. "In the liner notes for So Came Restless Night, Berlin-based multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Christian Peters mentions that he’d never intended to release anything under the moniker of this Soulitude project, but that it was the encouragement of the few for whom he played this material that finally brought him around to the idea of doing so. Peters, who serves also in the guitarist/vocalist role for Samsara Blues Experiment and doubles as the head of Electric Magic Records, which is releasing So Came Restless Night, conveys that kind of inward sensibility throughout the album’s nine songs. Instrumental but for the closer “All that’s Left Behind,” the 39-minute span of what has wound up as the debut release from Soulitude (for which Peters also handled the artwork/layout as part of his Sun Art visual side) keeps to a layered, exploratory feel that results in an intimate take on psychedelic/acid folk, Peters‘ penchant for sitar flourish, keys and mandolin adding depth to the arrangements while keeping a balance with the solo-project vibe. There are a variety of moods throughout, but most of them joyful, and for anyone who might know Peters‘ work from Samsara Blues Experiment or his time previously in Terraplane, the softer sound of Soulitude could come as a surprise, but I doubt it will. Much of the atmospherics he brings to So Came Restless Night, Peters has worked into the sensibilities of his other projects, so it’s less that Soulitude is coming out of nowhere than it is focusing on a different side of similar elements to what Peters has done all along. The lush acoustic and electric guitar interplay on the penultimate “Voices of the Forest” will be recognizable, and certainly his affinity for Eastern textures is carried over as well. Soulitude doesn’t come without context, but even for someone who perhaps isn’t familiar with Peters‘ work, there’s plenty here to latch onto for fans of acid folk and the solo psychedelia proffered by the likes of Lamp of the Universe.Peters originally self-released So Came Restless Night on CD-R in 2009, so technically the Electric Magic version is a reissue, but I’ve been thinking of it more as an official release for the solo-project, which was also remastered by Peters‘ Samsara Blues Experiment bandmate, Richard Behrens. Either way, the greater likelihood is that these songs will be new to those who hear them, and given the inherently classic nature of the material, it’s not like it comes across any more dated four years later than it’s meant to be. I don’t know what span of time these recordings were made — there’s a palpable jump in volume as the more synth-driven “Ballad of the Black Swan” gives way to “Last Farewell to Elisabeth” — but nothing really interrupts the molten flow that emerges song to song, and with Peters as the uniting and driving force behind the album’s 39 minutes, there’s little to account for in terms of hiccups. Interestingly, centerpiece “The Albatross” is credited to French poet Charles Baudelaire, but I’m not sure if it’s an interpretation of his poem of the same name or if there’s speech buried somewhere in the mix, because although the recordings throughout So Came Restless Night are relatively bare-bones — it’s not underproduced, but it’s self-made — there’s still a sense of dimension and of depth to each track, beginning with the airy guitars of “Intro,” which set up a subtle post-desert rock influence soon to emerge and find resolution on “Morninghope,” the winding notes of which spiral out in full color and provide an early highlight following the melodic effects wash of opener “Natural Mystic,” where effects mania (think: guitar as theremin) is buried under sweet electric guitar leads. Much of Peters‘ output is based on variations — he’ll work with electric guitar principally on “Morninghope,” acoustics and sitar on the subsequent “Awakening” — but if the album is assembled of these experiments, it’s not without some clear effort put into the construction. It moves easily and brings you with it.“The Albatross” is about as close as Peters comes to minimalism, keeping for a time an undercurrent of synth to sweet acoustic lines, but the back half of So Came Restless Night is more lush and packed also with longer titles — the last four tracks comprising four or more words each while the first five were one or two words — “Ballad of the Black Swan” generating something of a swirl before “Last Farewell to Elisabeth” complements the synth wash that track presents with layers of electric guitar, engaged in a deceptively bluesy solo. At this point, Soulitude is at its most immersive, and if you’re ever going to get lost in the record, it probably will have happened by the time the song’s 5:38 are over. That leaves “Voices of the Forest” and “All that’s Left Behind” to close out, the two songs accounting for about a quarter of the album’s total runtime and the vast majority of that going to “Voices of the Forest,” which is the longest cut on So Came Restless Night at 7:50. Unsurprisingly, the track takes its time unfolding its full breadth, but when it does, “Voices of the Forest” steps in line behind the acoustic guitar and presents the collection’s most definitively folkish moment. It makes for a gorgeous, fitting culmination, and while there are multiple ideas presented here I’d hope Peters could see fit to develop for future Soulitude material, I’d be most interested to hear how he might combine the ethics behind the instrumental build of “Voices of the Forest” and “All that’s Left Behind,” which is an automatic standout as the closer for being the only piece here with vocals. Peters‘ voice is no less suited to the quiet acoustic-led psych here than it is to some of Samsara Blues Experiment‘s more out-there jams — which is to say it’s quite well suited — and while it’s curious he’d end So Came Restless Night with vocals where the record preceding has none, neither is this out of place, feeling more like an arrival after “Voices of the Forest” than a departure to somewhere else musically. Such is the fluid nature of this material, and while I don’t know if Peters has any plans to continue on with new recordings as Soulitude — he does not seem to be lacking in ways to keep busy — there’s plenty of potential here for growth should he get a free minute to pick up the project somewhere down the line. And if that doesn’t happen, and So Came Restless Night is all there is, that’s okay too. These songs have held up pretty well already and I hear nothing in them to indicate they won’t continue to do so." - The Obelisk
    $15.00
  • Back in the early 70s, Wind was one of countless bands in Germany exploring progressive rock. The band was signed to the Plus label (now quite collectible), which was a subsidiary of Miller International. They recorded two albums of which this is the first. Its a killer through out - overdriven organ splashes and grinding guitar leads are the order of the day with accents on flute. If you are into the first few Eloy albums or early Jane you should check this one out - you won't be disappointed. Oh yeah - these guys had some of the best haircuts of all time!
    $18.00
  • "NoSound is an Italian band headed by Giancarlo Erra on vocals, guitars, and keyboards; including: Marco Berni, on keyboards and vocals; Alessandro Luci, on bass, upright bass, and keyboards; Paolo Vigliarolo, on acoustic and electric guitars; and joining them for their fourth album is accomplished drummer and former Porcupine Tree member, Chris Maitland.As a fan of the band it was great to receive this promo copy of the album.Here are my thoughts on 'Afterthoughts'.'In My Fears', opens with the solo electric guitar strumming familiar on many a NoSound album. Only this time it sounds like something far away…approaching through the mist, like a boat on the still ocean, or someone walking on the beach and slowly coming into sight,. The screeching guitar/keyboard effect that whirls around the original lead guitar only adds a soft breeze to the mystery. Giancarlo's first vocals enter the realm of consciousness, "I still feel the glow of this morning light". "I wish I could stay". "Days are so bright". Perfect. Soft, intricate piano, surrounded by waves of guitars and bass, with drums rising like wave crests. Wishin' you were there…huh?'I Miss the Ground' starts with a deeper pitched electric guitar echoing in that familiar way that Giancarlo creates mystery. Then, "I started all over again". And yes, the sound of the band has changed. There are the familiar waves of emotion which follow the guitars and keyboards, only this time more direct and somehow with more power. Erra's vocals are clearer than on past albums. Maitland's touch is different. The clashes and crashes shimmer more brilliantly than before.'Two Monkeys' opens with some beautiful trademark piano, surrounded by soft bass and soaring guitar, drifting off into the distance. Then Erra's vocals unfold the emotional and deep story of the two monkeys. "When I was young I believed there were two monkeys here". "Living in the trees between my arms and the sea". "Someone told me once that was their home". "But their life was sad because they were alone". The piano and keyboards are full of emotion. The writing and singing is…as always full of intense emotion. An even more powerful sounding version than the EP.'The Anger Song' opens with very interesting and unique guitar sounds. Then Maitland takes the stage to add his signature drum sound as the keys and guitars weave mystery around the soundscape. This track has an ever engulfing sound of waves of ocean and emotion which has always been a trademark of the band. It takes me back to "About Butterflies and Children", only this is the other side of happiness and bliss. If it is anger, it is soft anger, until Maitland picks it up a notch and drives louder as the waves of sound crash harder . The waves of guitar and keyboards crest and fall like waves, with Maitland adding the whitecaps to everything brilliantly.'Encounter', opens with wandering piano and drifting guitar chords mixed well with soft tapped drums. Giancarlo's voice enters, "I waited for you at the airport today. To hear what you wanted to say". The sad cello accompanying him brings out the full range of emotions filling the air. The keys surrounding, add mystery to this encounter.'She' is full of brilliant piano and soft tapping drums at the start. The excellent grinding electric guitar which enters with Maitland's drums and keys is sizzling white hot. Erra's vocals bring the emotion, reaching out to touch the subject of the story.'Wherever You Are' is full of more soft emotion and excellent acoustic guitar. Keys surround the mix, but not the waves from before, only soft cello – mixed symphonic keys providing a rich contrast to what has already been heard. Maitland's drums help pick up the pace and pour forth another helping of shimmering and solid sound.'Paralyzed', opens with more soft piano and soft electric guitar. That electric guitar later launches into full blast to pierce the sky and rain down cymbals full of glow. The guitar work on this track is some of the best on the album.'Afterthought', is full of some of the best piano on the album. It opens like the sunrise with soft piano crawling its way to your ears. Erra's vocals are at their peak and the bass, keyboards and drums deliver their best for this closer.This is a dreamy, surf riding wave album full of emotional undercurrents. Maitland's addition to the band has brought more highs and a more powerful drum delivery. The clarity which rains supreme on the mix of this new album points the compass in a new direction. The waves of guitar and keys fill the air and Erra's vocals are clearer and more emotional than on past albums. As always, this band performs as consummate professionals. No afterthoughts or worries on this album. It is another stellar performance. Don't miss this latest chapter in the story.The 2 disc edition of 'Afterthoughts', will include a DVD-A/DVD-V (NTSC 16:9, Region Free) version, with stereo and 5.1 surround high resolution 24bit / 96kHz mixes, plus DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround versions. " - Sea of TranquilityNosound - Wherever You Are (from Afterthoughts) from Kscope on Vimeo.
    $15.00
  • Arjen Lucassen's long awaited Ayreon project is a total blast.  Like some of the earlier Ayreon albums, it owes as much to prog rock as it does metal.  All the old school heroes like Emerson, Wakeman, Wetton get to strut their stuff showing a young stud like Rudess a thing or two.  As always Lucassen latches on to some of the best vocalists around and this one is no exception.  Highly recommended.PLEASE NOTE THERE WILL BE A VERY EXPENSIVE IMPORT "ART BOOK" EDITION FORTHCOMING."You know what the metal world needs more of? Musicals. I'm not saying that ironically either. Sure, we have plenty of prog bands putting out concept albums, but cool as these records many be, the story themselves are not the focus of the album. Ayreon mastermind Arjen Anthony Lucassen has resurrected his grandest of all projects to continue showing these folks how to tell an epic story the right way.With 01011001 the Ayreon story came to an end, or so we thought. Arjen instead decided to focus on projects like Star One, Guilt Machine, and his solo album Lost in the New Real. When he revealed not too long ago that he was working on a new project, it wasn't a surprise to discover it was new Ayreon, but I was still plenty excited.Lucassen said of the newest record, "It's not science fiction, but a human story set in a science context." So no aliens or battling emotions or any of that. So, in an attempt to better understand the story, I contacting him for the lyrics and much to my surprise, he sent them to me saying, "Oh yes, you need the lyrics, definitely." Holy hell, was he right. The story is indeed more grounded than previous records, but there are still layers to this beast.Fans of Ayreon should know what to expect here. The Theory of Everything has seven guest singers and each singer plays a part in the story. They are JB (Grand Magus) as the Teacher, Christina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) as the Mother, Michael Mills (Toehider) as the Father, Tommy Karevik (Kamelot) as the Prodigy, Marco Hietala (Nightwish) as the Rival, John Wetton (Asia/ex-King Crimson) as the Psychiatrist, and Sara Squadrani (Ancient Bards) as the Girl.Of these singers, the most impressive is the relatively unknown Sara Squadrani. She performs on a large portion of the story and shines every time, especially on "Love and Envy". I was also surprised to be so enamored with the performance of Christina Scabbia. She's always had  a wonderful voice, but her performance in this record might be her finest. Her harmonies with Squadrani stand out particularly on "Mirror of Dreams". This isn't to say only the performances by the female singers are worth mentioning. Tommy Karevik's introduction in "The Prodigy's World" is one of the strongest moments on the album.Press_Photo_01Every Ayreon album comes an eclectic group of guest musicians. This round primarily consisted of guest keyboardists. Rick Wakeman (ex-Yes) handles a good portion of the record, while Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) and Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) both make excellent solo appearances on "Progressive Waves".Having listened to all of Lucassen's albums at least once, I can say The Theory of Everything is the most musically diverse offering he's had a hand in, perhaps with the exception of his solo record. This isn't as heavy as previous Ayreon titles, but it has its driving moments like "Collision" and the Dream Theather-esque "Frequency Modulation." The aforementioned "Love and Envy" is a slower introspective song, while "Diagnosis" is massive and a little cheesy, but so awesome. "Transformation" has a Middle Eastern feel to it, and  "The Eleventh Dimension" sounds like intergalactic renaissance faire music.Often times there are jumps in mood, genre, etc in the middle of a song. This is fairly typical for an Ayreon release; what isn't typical is that technically this record consists of only four songs. These four songs are each at least twenty-one minutes, but they are cut up into forty-two pieces (yes, that's a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference) .This is a fun record. It's a record that does require a time commitment. I'd say listeners should treat it as a proper musical or film in a theater. Try to experience it all in one sitting for the full effect. It's absolutely worth it." - Metal Injection
    $17.00
  • We don't typically stock CDs by individual artists unless they are extremely well known.  Brian Ellis is of interest to us because he happens to be the guitarist for Astra, a band very important around these parts.  It also happens that this is one slammin' disc.  Ellis is obviously a talented multi-instrumentalist.  Compositionally its a bit of a jumble but in this case in a very good way.  He wears his influences on his sleeve and replicates the sounds of the 70s: kosmigroov Miles Davis, blistering Mahavishnu fusion, and topped off with a visit to Kobia.  Quite a clever achievement and highly recommended."Brian Ellis is an multi-instrumentalist from San Diego, California. He has released several albums in the last few years under multiple monikers and is perhaps better known as lead guitarist for the progressive rock group, ASTRA.By playing guitar, bass, drums, various synthesizers and keyboards, saxophone, trumpet, sitar, xylophone, kalimba, etc., Brian creates the illusion of a large live band jamming all together. After releasing 2 albums in 2007 for the now defunct Scottish electronic label, Benbecula Records, Brian found himself straying away from the programmed/sequenced elements and wanted to make an album where all the instruments were played live. The album was completed in early 2008 and was set to be the follow up to "The Silver Creature". Unfortunately, Benbecula decided to close it's doors at this time and the album was shelved."Quipu" takes Brian Ellis' jazz/fusion/funk sound from his previous solo works to the next level. The opening track "Birth" sets a deep atmosphere of delayed trumpets and saxophones with a slow beat and funky bass before exploding into an odd-timing heavy fusion workout harkening back to the days of Mahavishnu Orchestra. Whereas later tracks like "Psaw" (featuring David Hurley of Astra on drums) take on much more of a free jazz sound similar to Miles Davis "Bitches Brew" era, full of dissonance and surprising elements. The final track "Walomendem" is a 14 minute progressive rock epic hailing as a tribute to the great french band Magma."
    $17.00
  • Wow!  This Canadian band sure has a thing for Pink Floyd.  Led by vocalist/songwriter Phil Burton, Innerspace definitely channel Gilmour and Co.  Notice how I phrased it.  Burton's vocals sound very much like David Gilmour and lead guitarist Simon Arsenault has more than a little of that characteristic sound to his playing as well.  Compositionally this is VERY much derived from Floyd.  There are bits that crop up that will remind you of Meddle, DSOTM, Animals, and even as late as The Division Bell.  Where they really stray from the Floyd sound is with keyboardist Paul Aubrey who is much more active a keyboardist than Rick Wright - lots of cool noodly synth soloing.  While its all original compositions this one was like a fun trip down memory lane through the Pink Floyd catalog.  There aren't a lot of bands out there that are so overtly influenced by the British legends.  I can honestly say that Innerspace do it about as well as it can be done.  Highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • For the completists out there we have decided to stock the new 2 CD version out in Europe on Inside Out. It features still more tracks not found on the US version (even with our bonus EP that we toss in).
    $12.00
  • "The sophomore effort from the extraordinary drummer Sebastiaan Cornelissen featuring an all-star lineup - guitarists Alex Machacek, Mike Otram, Susan Weinert, Richard Hallebeek; keyboardists Gary Husband, Scott Kinsey, and Steve Hunt; and bassists Hadrien Feraud, Jimmy Earl, Gary Willis, and Tom Kennedy among others. Since first coming on the scene in the early 2000s, composer and drummer Sebastiaan Cornelissen has emerged as one of the most distinctive new voices on the European fusion scene. Whether acting as a leader, sideman, or group member, Cornelissen's playing combines a sharp sense of empathy and staggering technique with impressive improvisational grace and intensity."
    $8.00
  • First time on CD for the complete two part debut from this German acid psych trio.  The band is lead by guitarist Sula Bassana who you may know for his incredible solo albums.  The rhythm section is held down by Komet Lulu on bass and Pablo Carneval on drums.  Long psychedelic guitar driven space explorations that goes down the same road as the first Ash Ra Tempel and early Pink Floyd masterpieces.  The CD seet was mastered by Eroc of Grobschnitt fame so you know he gets it.  I'm getting high just typing this description!  Highly recommended.
    $21.00
  • The Yes Album is the second in a series of remixed and expanded Yes albums.Presented as a double digi-pack format in a slipcase with a booklet featuring new sleeve notes by Sid Smith, along with rare photos and archive material, the album has been mixed for 5.1 Surround Sound from the original studio masters by Steven Wilson and is fully approved by Yes.The CD features a new stereo album mix by Steven Wilson, the studio version of Clap and an extended version of A Venture.The DVD-A features:- a 5.1 DTS Mix and High Resolution Stereo mixes.- DVD-A players can, additionally, access a 5.1 Lossless audio mix (24bit 96khz).- the new album mix in high resolution stereo- the original album mix in a hi-res flat transfer from the original stereo master tape source.- alternate version of The Yes Album drawn from live tracks, singles edits & an extended mixCD - New Stereo Mixes:1. Yours Is No Disgrace2. Clap3. Starship Trooper: Life Seeker / Disillusion / Wurm4. I've Seen All Good People: Your Move / All Good People5. A Venture6. Perpetual ChangeAdditional Tracks:7. Clap (Studio Version)8. A Venture (Extended)DVD-A (Region 0, NTSC):- Album mixed in 5.1 Surround from original multi-track sources.- New Album mix in High Resolution Stereo- Original Album mix (flat transfer) in High Resolution Stereo- Alternate version of The Yes Album drawn from live tracks, singles edits & an extended mixNTSC Region 0 hybrid DVD-A, compatible with all DVD players & DVD-rom drives.DVD-A - Full Track Listing :New Stereo Mixes 24/96 MLP Lossless:1. Yours Is No Disgrace2. Clap3. Starship Trooper: Life Seeker / Disillusion / Wurm4. I've Seen All Good People: Your Move / All Good People5. A Venture6. Perpetual ChangeSurround Mixes (24/96 MLP Lossless):1. Yours Is No Disgrace2. Clap3. Starship Trooper: Life Seeker / Disillusion / Wurm4. I've Seen All Good People: Your Move / All Good People5. A Venture6. Perpetual ChangeOriginal Stereo Mixes (Flat Transfer from original master 24/96 MLP Lossless):1. Yours Is No Disgrace2. Clap3. Starship Trooper: Life Seeker / Disillusion / Wurm4. I've Seen All Good People: Your Move / All Good People5. A Venture6. Perpetual ChangeAdditional Material:The Alternate Album :1. Yours Is No Disgrace (Live, London 1971)2. Clap (Studio Version)3. Starship Trooper (single edit)Life seeker4. I've Seen All Good People (Live, London 1971)5. A Venture (extended mix)6. Perpetual Change (Live, New Haven 1971) 
    $21.00
  • Deluxe mediabook edition.  CD plus a DVD with 5.1 surround mix, 24 bit stereo, and a "making of" video."Always fond of conceptual storytelling, Ian Anderson goes himself one better with his latest prog-folk-metal concept album. The 15 songs of Homo Erraticus inhabit not one but two metafictional layers. The Gerald Bostock character, hero/anti-hero of the seminal Jethro Tull album Thick as a Brick and its recent sequel Thick as a Brick 2, is back again, having now discovered a manuscript left behind in the 1920s by a malaria-ridden old British soldier delightfully named Ernest T. Parritt.Parritt's supposed writings range over northern European history from the Mesolithic era to his own - and on into his future, through the whole 20th century and into our own time and beyond. Winnowed into lyrics written by "Bostock" and set to music by the real protagonist of the story, Ian Anderson, these materials give Anderson - whose creative scope and energy remain robust even as his singing voice has thinned with age - a walk-in-closetful of pegs on which to hang a sequence of songs evoking nothing less than the history of mankind in his part of the world.The first track, "Doggerland," commemorates the area of the southern North Sea that used to be dry land connecting today's British Isles with the rest of Europe. Doggerland vanished under the waves as the last Ice Age ended but, as fisherman discovered not long ago, the sea floor retains much archeological evidence of human occupation. The succeeding songs address migrations, metalworking, invasions (from the Romans to Burger King), the arrival of Christianity, the Industrial Revolution, and so on. To appreciate the songs, you'll want to (at least once) follow along with the notes and lyrics in the accompanying 32-page booklet.The Foreword, in which Anderson discusses the history of Jethro Tull and why he hasn't used the band name for his last few recordings, will especially interest longtime Tull fans. The real question is, will the songs themselves? Some yes, some no. The gruff metal of "Doggerland" gives way to the sweet, plinking folk of "Heavy Metals." (I imagine Anderson chuckling to himself at the irony - no pun intended - of creating such a gentle-sounding song with that title, and on that literal topic.) Both satisfy my Tull craving. "Meliora Sequamur" (Let Us Follow Better Things), which paints a picture of 12th century schoolboys amid religious chant (and cant), does too, and "The Turnpike Inn" is a solid rocker, and the hard-Celtic style of "The Engineer" moves briskly.I like the instrumental track "Tripudium ad Bellum" (Dancing to War). It starts off with an echo of a theme from the original Thick as a Brick (there are others elsewhere on the album), then resolves into a 5/4 march, like a more insistent "Living in the Past." War's aftermath appears in the next track, the sad, deliberate "After These Wars," in which I really feel the lack of Anderson's full-strength vocals. While he was never among rock's greatest singers, that didn't matter - when he sang his songs, you always felt he was all there, and that's what mattered. But now, and not only in the harder songs that shade into old-school heavy metal, his voice just isn't always a match for his music's energy any more.On the other hand, his gift for crafting pleasing, original melodies, writing smart, clever lyrics in complete sentences and true rhyme, and setting much of it in non-traditional time signatures remains strong. The first verse of "After These Wars" reads:After battle, with wounds to lick andbeaus and belles all reuniting.Rationing, austerity: it did us good after the fighting.Now, time to bid some fond farewells andwalk away from empires crumbling.Post-war baby-boom to fuel with post-Victorian half-dressed fumbling.No one in pop music writes like that anymore.Listening to the album as a complete conceptual work, my overall feeling is that there isn't very much new here. Since the 1960s Anderson and Tull have explored countless different musical paths and styles. Some of these produced some of my all-time favorite songs and recordings. Others I hated. But he never seemed to be resting on his laurels. Here I feel like I'm reading a chapter that's not much different from the last chapter.But listening to the songs individually, I like a lot of them. As I write this I'm trying to count the beats of the off-time closer, "Cold Dead Reckoning," with its grim imagery of a future of lost souls navigating their way over a metaphysical Doggerland "amongst the ranks and files of walking dead." I hear crunching minor-key guitar-bass-piano unison figures, a sprightly flute solo. A hopeful verse about "angels watching over" at the end doesn't convince me, as the music continues to growl on as before. Yet there follow a sweet, gentle instrumental coda, reminded us that while things may not turn out well for humanity as we teem over and ruin our only planet, our capacity to create and to appreciate beauty will be with us as long as we live. So let's raise the cup of crimson wonder to Ian Anderson as he charges not-so-gently through his seventh decade." - Seattle Pi
    $17.00
  • "With Saturnal October Equus from Madrid establish themselves as the point of reference for the iberic avant-prog scene. Edgy, hypnotic, fascinating, often with a leaden atmosphere, sometimes even gloomy, the album explores intricate harmonic solutions, in an endless counterpoint between AngĂ©l Ontalva's guitar (author of the remarkable CD artwork too), saxophone and keyboards. The result is greatly solid, with unexpected melodic passages which can be considered in the middle between Starless and Bible Black by King Crimson and Henry Cow structural density. The thirteen tracks of Saturnal show a dizzy chasing of ideas, carried out with conviction and care of details."
    $18.00