Z2 (3CD Digipak)

"Devin Townsend - fully 30 records into an astonishing career - has now just raised the stakes in the form of a new double album combining Ziltoid The Omniscient’s triumphant return and the follow-up to the critically acclaimed “Epicloud!” Feasting upon Z2 is akin to immersing oneself in the arcane creases of the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT catalog, bludgeoning heaviness and angelic melodies living under the cathedral of Devin’s more contemplative solo vision. The effect is lush, full- range, cinematic, and expressive. Addressing the creative tension between the two discs, Devin explains “...it’s DTP...the ‘humans’ against Ziltoid, and it’s a battle of sorts...The DTP and Ziltoid side of my writing has evolved to where this statement was necessary and undoubtedly inevitable. The battle between the two seems like a great way to priced to the next chapter of my work. It’s a backdrop for something that hopefully engaging for people. I hope that the point that I’m trying to make with Ziltoid and the metaphor behind it, isn’t lost in just a sea of absurdity.” Guest musicians include Anneke Van Giersbergen (solo artist, ex-THE GATHERING) and Chris Jericho (WWE star, FOZZY) as Captain Spectacular! Also featuring the "Universal Choir", 2000 voices strong, the biggest choir on a metal record ever!"

Limited edition 3CD digipak with bonus disc and special artwork.

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  • Third album from this very fine Irish neo-progressive band.  Dead Heroes Club have that traditional sound down.  Frontman Liam Campbell's voice has an uncanny resemblance to Fish and Peter Gabriel (which one depends on the tune).  This one is ripped right out of the Clutching At Straws playbook but the band tends to stretch out a bit more.  I also noticed that the guitar is cranked up a bit more than in the past.  Good stuff.
    $15.00
  • "I can't wait. I should have reviewed other albums before this but it's the first thing that I listen from this artist and I wasn't expecting anything like this. Symphonic orchestral arrangements on melodic bases and a concept behind. I'm not expert in William Blake's poetry but this album has made me curious.The introduction "William" is a symphonic piece of beauty with a guitar of the "not a misplaced note" kind, like Andy Latimer is used to do, some "mute" vocals and a very nice melody. A stunning surprise."Angel Of The Revelation" starts with electronics and piano, then vocals and a proper song starts. The high pitched voice of Sophya joined in a choir by whom? Maybe Sonja Kristina who features in the guests? The guests list is another thing to check. This is a progressive track as I think people usually intends "progressive": sung parts alternated with instrumentals, structured as a suite with different movements and recurring themes. And all in 4 minutes and half."Satan" has an obsessive rhythm and has the theathrical flavor of a rock opera. The electronics behind have a vintage sound but is remarkable the dialogue between guitar and piano before the last sung part and the coda. Another great song."Love Of Hecate" Is a slow waltz. It's folky and theathrical in the same time, with excellent vocals again. The signature changes in the chorus. It's still a 3/4 (almost) but the tempo is accelerated. Vocals like in Mozart's magic flute are replaced by a cymbal, then piano and vocals. Another very complex and "circular" song.Percussive piano and bass with water sounds to start "La Porta Dell'Inferno". This is a little mistake: it's taken from Dante's Comedy, but the door should lead to the "anti-inferno". The first lyrics are taken from Dante, then the man talking leaves the Dante's book to give a different view of the hell's entrance. "Here nothing grows because nothing dies". Another great song with the music perfectly fitting with the concept. The violins support the whole track, choirs, a stupendous coda... Great.After a track like the previous one staying on the same level is very difficult, so the style changes totally. "The Number" is a rock song. Of course the number is 666. It starts hard rock, but with no relations with Iron Maiden, and the rock screamed part is alternated to more quiet and symphonic interludes. The organ is excellent, neither Emerson nor Wakeman, the sound reminds me more to Vitalij Kuprij (Artension)."Just" is opened by percussion, piano and cello. The theme recalls "La Porta Dell'Inferno" but the vocals take a different direction. The song's intro, before the male singing, makes me think to the Russian Iamthemorning, mainly because of the instruments used. However, after 2 minutes the song changes drastically. The impression is still of a rock opera. Remove the metal element from Ayreon and add more symphonics to have an idea. The vocals here are more operatic. Not enough to think to Zeuhl, but enough to enhance the track. Great guitar solo in a Van Halen style which slows down and closes Floydian before the last sung reprise."Cerberus" is the three-headed infernal dog. Keyboard and strings introduce the song which reprises the chords of the main theme. It's on this song that I'm almost sure Sonja Kristina is singing. I don't know it for sure because I have received a download link from Blackwidow records and I haven't seen the notes on the CD. This is a very dark song on which the rock-opera factor is very relevant. I want to add the the most I listen to this album the most I'm surprised. It's surely one of the best albums I've listened to during all the 2013."While He's Sleeping" starts in a weird way respect to the symphonic mood of the previous tracks. It's still classically influenced but has a touch of Canterbury, especially in the melody. Not an easy track, but very enjoyable.Back to full orchestra and theatrical suggestions. "Au Matin Du Premier Jour" (At the morning of the first day) is sung in French by a man who sounds like the chansonniers of the end 50s / early 60s. French and operatic don't mean Magma, but this song has a Zeuhl flavor in the instrumental parts."Beatrice" brings us back to Dante's Comedy. To Paradise now. Her character would deserve some words but this would lead us off topic. Of course there's less darkness now. Piano and ethereal voice for a very melodic song. A Sophya's solo performance and let me add that the sequence of chords deserves a mention. There's plenty of good passages. excellent also from the composition point of view.We are now at the title track. Full orchestra and voice plus some electronics behind. It starts like a symphony and turns into rock. I don't know who's the male singer but his voice is incredible. The mood is still of a rock opera I'm finishing the words...The album is closed by a cover. "Jerusalem" has been played and recorded by the likes of Vangelis, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Par Lindh Project for what I remember. Well, I must say that it's probably the best version that I've heard up to now. It's a new interpretation when the one from Par Lindh was an ELP clone.A masterpiece, amazing because unexpected. How can an artist that I've never heard before have done a thing like this? Symphonic proggers and RPI fans will surely agree with me, but there's so many stuff in this album. It will stay in my portable reader for a very long time, I think." - ProgArchives
    $16.00
  • Lethal German underground hard rock band led by guitarist Frank Diez. Originally released on Kuck Kuck back in 1970, its always been a high priced rarity and with good reason.
    $29.00
  • "Almost 40 years after its critical and commercial ascent, the progressive rock sub-genre known as “Krautrock” continues to intrigue and excite listeners. At its height in the mid-1970s, the German-based phenomena counted bands like Can, Kraftwerk, Amon Düül, and Cluster at the forefront of the experimental, largely electronic-based musical revolution. Formed in 1970, Guru Guru was one of many memorable bands from the era, and for almost a decade and with several albums, they exploded the expectations of what music could be.Mani Neumeier – Guru Guru singer, keyboardist, and drummer – it still kicking around and making mad music, and he has teamed up with multi-instrumentalist Jürgen Engler of German industrial noisemakers Die Krupps and bassist Scott Telles of the band ST 37 for a new project called Guru Freakout. On September 2nd, 2014 Cleopatra Records will release Mothership, the debut album from Guru Freakout.     In a press release for the new album, Engler tells how the band was formed. “Mani is an old friend of mine,” he says. “Near the end of 2012, he came to visit me in Austin where I had organized a show for him to play. We also planned to do some recording for a follow up project to Cosmic Couriers' Other Places, which was released on Cleopatra in the ‘90s.”“At the same time,” says Engler, “I was working with bass player Scott Telles of ST 37, and when Scott heard that Mani was in town, he wanted to meet him since he had always been a big fan of Guru Guru. So the three of us got together at his rehearsal studio and started jamming right away. We had a great chemistry, so we decided to record a few tracks with a little digital recorder, and also at Ohm Recording Studio. When we listened to the tracks later, we realized that we had some really good material that should see the light of day, and so those recordings became the Guru Freakout album.”The album features two lengthy free-form jams, including the 30+ minute “Notre Dame (Mothership)” and the extended-length “The Snows of Mt. Bonnell,” which takes up the other side of the album’s vinyl release. Both songs feature Engel’s hypnotic, psychedelic blues guitar; Neumeier’s thundering percussion; and Telles’ throbbing bass lines that, when woven together, create some tasty “stoner rock grooves” (sez the press release). The CD release of Mothership includes three bonus tracks, including studio rehearsals of “A Little Bit Spacier” and “Elektrolurch-Mutation,” as well as a live version of “Elektrolurch-Mutation.” If you’re up for taking a ride through the cosmos, Guru Freakout might be what you’re looking for!" - That Devil Music
    $14.00
  • A new release from Causa Sui is like money in the bank.  The new Live At Freak Valley is no exception.  The live milieu is where the band really shines.  If you are unfamilar with the band you should know that the band's origins date back to the stoner scene but they evolved into something different - something more psychedelic - more organic.  The quartet features Jakob Skott (drums), Jonas Munk (guitar), Jess Kahr (bass), and Rasmus Rasmussen (keyboards).  The band goes off on looooong instrumental jams.  Munk's guitarwork has a beautiful fluidity that plays off of Rasmussen's keyboards which tend to surge to the forefront like waves on the ocean - or sit back and become a nice supporting backdrop for Munk's lead work.  I love when Munk burst out with a chunk of heavy riffage that recalls their stoner days.  Reminds me of vintage Zeppelin!  Highly recommended.
    $35.00
  • New solo album from the former Uriah Heep keyboardist features a who's who of AOR and hard rock. Guest vocalists include Jorn Lande, Glenn Hughes, John Lawton, and Eve Gallagher. It's a autobiographical story based on Hensley's exploits on the road in the 70s. Comes in an elaborate digipak.
    $10.00
  • Originally released in 2012 on vinyl (and apparently cassette), the second album from this Scottish based space quartet finally gets a CD release...but its a limited edition of 500 copies so you might want to be snappy.The Cosmic Dead wear their influences on their sleeves.  The music is heavily invested in the sounds of Ash Ra Tempel, Can, and even a touch of early Hawkwind.  Loooooong jams that take you further and further into deep space.  A non-stop assault of burbling synths, echoplexed guitar leads, and a rhythm section that is playing off in another galaxy.  Pure unadulterated psychedelic space rock.  These guys played the Roadburn Festival and I'm sure they must have gone down a storm.  If the numbers 7 - 1 - 4 mean anything to you then I think this should be filed away in your collection.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • 2LP vinyl edition arrives comes with a CD of the album as well. FOREIGN CUSTOMERS PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU WILL BE SUBJECT TO ADDITIONAL SHIPPING CHARGES DUE TO THE HEAVIER WEIGHT OF THE VINYL EDITION."‘Map of the Past‘, the fifth studio album from Cumbrian prog rockers It Bites, will most likely inhabit a strange, disturbing place in your heart. It’s a release that is obscurely beautiful and tender, but also one that can occasionally sound incongruous and lost in time. Very often, when it comes to progressive music, people will often justify anything odd by defending it with its genre. In the case of It Bites, there is a temptation to lean on a sound from their 80s heyday, which occasionally makes ‘Map of the Past’ seem staid and not just a little cheesy.In places this album is a wonderful, soaring retrospect vision of a forgotten generation, built around the ‘discovery of an old family photograph’. Although not a concept album per se, ‘Map of the Past’ explores the idea of lives captured within photographs, and reflects these contemplative visions with equally thoughtful music; album opener, ‘Man In the Photograph’ opens with the fuzz of radio static and soon leads into sound of organs and John Mitchell’s recollections borne from this one picture. The song blends into the more progressive sounding fare of ‘Wallflower‘ and its indulgent synth solo. The title track is more engaging, with soaring chorus vocals and disorientating time signatures, showcasing the tight musicianship and richly mature songwriting ability that has grown from their 30 years of existence.The strength of this album falters with ‘Flag’ and its irrepressibly outdated smattering of 80s memorabilia and Sting powered vocal lines, although the lyrics are undoubtedly more engaging than any Police offshoot. The album does have a tendency to wander into these unpalatable territories, but more than often than not redeems itself; as the grandiose, irresistible flounce of ‘Send No Flowers‘ resurrects its orchestral bombast and moves into ‘Meadow and the Stream’s artistically detailed backdrop, it’s clear that this album is more rollercoaster than record. The album finishes, as it started, relying on simply constructed songs and that radio static to bookmark the end; ‘The Last Escape’ is honestly beautiful, and seems even more so in contrast to the tumult of the remainder of the record.‘Map of the Past’ shifts between temporal paradigms rather than changing between tracks; it’s a scintillating album that is honest to itself, and stays true to It Bites’ form, even if it does rely on sounds from their back backcatalogue occasionally. Despite this, the depth of the album is phenomenal and is genuinely rich in its storyline, with music that peaks and troughs fittingly. Well worth a listen if you find yourself pointed at the progosphere." - Bring The Noise
    $20.00
  • "Spirit was formed with the intention to combine jazz, rock, classical, and folk with a mystical orientation. Led by the family duo of Hendrix-inspired guitarist Randy California and his uncle, jazz drummer Ed Cassidy (whose shaved head--some 20 years ahead of its time--was the band's visual focus), Spirit had a few idiosyncratic hits such as "I Got A Line On You." The band didn't reach its prime until Twelve Dreams, after which they promptly broke up. A loosely constructed sci-fi concept album, it contains the band's biggest hit, the ecological "Nature's Way" (complete with booming kettle drums), the surreal rock of "Animal Zoo," and the orchestral psychedelia of "Life Has Just Begun." Bristling with ideas, energy, and California's meaty guitar, Twelve Dreams exemplifies the best of the late '60s experimentalism."
    $12.00
  • "There are no surprises in sound and style on Morph the Cat, Donald Fagen's long-awaited third solo album, nor should any be expected -- ever since Steely Dan's 1980 masterwork, Gaucho, his work, either on his own or with longtime collaborator Walter Becker, has been of a piece. Each record has been sleek, sophisticated, and immaculately produced, meticulously recorded and arranged, heavy on groove and mood, which tends to mask the sly wit of the songs. When it works well -- as it did on Fagen's peerless 1982 solo debut, The Nightfly, or on Steely Dan's 2001 comeback, Two Against Nature -- the results go down smoothly upon first listen and reveal their complexity with each spin; when it doesn't quite succeed -- both 1993's Kamakiriad and the Dan's 2003 effort Everything Must Go didn't quite gel -- the albums sound good but samey on the surface and don't quite resonate. Morph the Cat belongs in the first group: at first it sounds cozily familiar, almost too familiar, but it digs deep, both as music and song.Sonically, at least superficially, it is very much a continuation of the two Steely Dan records of the new millennium -- not only does it share Fagen's aesthetic, but it was recorded with many of the same musicians who have shown up on the Dan projects. There are slight differences -- without Becker around, there's a greater emphasis on keyboards and the songs stretch on a bit longer than anything on Everything Must Go -- but this, at least on pure sonics, could have functioned as a sequel to Two Against Nature. But Morph the Cat is very much a solo affair, fitting comfortably next to his first two solo albums as a conclusion to what he calls a trilogy. If The Nightfly concerned the past and Kamakiriad was set in a hazy future, Morph the Cat is rooted in the present, teeming with the fears and insecurities of post-9/11 America. Fagen doesn't camouflage his intent with the gleefully enigmatic rhymes that have been his trademark: his words, while still knowingly sardonic, are direct, and in case you don't want to bother reading the lyrics or listening closely, he helpfully offers brief explanations of the songs (for instance, on "Mary Shut the Garden Door," he writes "Paranoia blooms when a thuggish cult gains control of the government," a statement that's not exactly veiled). On top of this unease, Fagen faces mortality throughout the album -- he talks with the ghost of Ray Charles, borrows W.C. Fields' phrase for death for "Brite Nitegown," writes about attempted suicides -- and every song seems to be about things drawing to a close.It's a little disarming to hear Fagen talk so bluntly -- although he came close to doing so on the deliberately nostalgic The Nightfly, the fact that he was writing about the past kept him at a bit of a distance -- but despite the abundance of morbid themes, Morph the Cat never sounds dour or depressing. In large part this is due to Fagen's viewpoint -- he never succumbs to mawkishness, always preferring to keep things witty and sardonic, which helps keep things from getting too heavy -- but it's also due to his smooth jazz-rock, which always sounds nimble and light. This, of course, is how Fagen's music always sounds, but here, it not only functions as a counterpoint to the darkness creeping on the edges of the album, but it's executed expertly: as spotless as this production is, it never sounds sterile, and when the songs start stretching past the five-minute mark -- two cuts are over seven minutes -- it never gets boring, because there's a genuine warmth to the clean, easy groove. More so than on Kamakiriad, or on the tight Everything Must Go, there is a sense of genuine band interplay on this record, which helps give it both consistency and heart -- something appropriate for an album that is Fagen's most personal song cycle since The Nightfly, and quite possibly his best album since then." - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • Stunning acoustic live recording in which the band reworks material from Entropia and Remedy Lane as well as new tracks. Stripped down you can hear the pure essence of the music with melodies laid bare and the band's virtuosity hammering the point home. A future classic... 
    $9.00
  • If you love that classic hard rock sound of the 70s and 80s you will go crazy over this album plain and simple.  Alex Beyrodt reined in the neoclassical overtones just a bit, David Readman shines as always (LOVE this guy's voice).  The result is an album that evokes the spirit of Rainbow, Whitesnake, and Deep Purple.  I thought the last VC album was excellent - this one is even better!  Highly recommended.Limited edition digipak with two bonus tracks and one video clip.
    $17.00
  • "Good ole Vintersorg, always at one with the natural elements.  Naturbal is the third of these “elemental” records, and if it wasn’t obvious from the cover, this one deals with the element of fire.  Combining these folky elements with the later day penchant for the progressive has done the band well, with Naturbal continuing to wave the Vintersorg banner high for all to see.Vintersorg has always had their own singular vision on the black/folk genre and Naturbal comes across as more of the same.  The highlight to each Vintersorg release is that of Mr. V’s charismatic vocals (particularly of the clean variety) and he brings his A-game to this one as well (like always).  Tracks like “Rymdens Brinnande Oar,” “Ur Aska Och Sot,” and “Sjal I Flamma” are sure to please long time fans of the epic sing-a-long clean vocal choruses.  The merger of the catchy, melodic clean sung choruses with the more aggressive, black metal verses is the bread and butter of Vintersorg’s musical output and does not disappoint.  Rougher cuts like “En Blixt Fran Klar Himmel” and “Elddraken” (The Fire Dragon) bring a nice balance of speedy melodic black metal with enough bombast to keep listeners on their toes.  Those looking more towards the progressive spectrum will surely dig tracks like “Lagornas Rov” and “Urdarmane.”  Clearly, Vintersorg has a bit of something for everyone this time around.Even though it doesn’t bring much new to the table, it doesn’t make Naturbal any less compelling.  With the solid and mostly consistent discography that Vintersorg has already established, it’s hard to blame the band for giving us all what we really want.  The essence of Vintersorg has been boiled down to a science at this point.  Through the established sound and unique vocals, it’s easy to spot a Vintersorg release.  This is simply continued quality from the Swedish masters." - Dead Rhetoric
    $12.00
  • "Crystal Palace are a progressive rock band from Germany. In the band are Yenz (vocals, bass), Frank Köhler (keys), Frank Brennekam (drums) and Nils Conrad (guitars). Also included are some well-known guests; Colin Edward (Porcupine Tree) and Yogi Lang and Kalle Wallner of RPWL fame.The band has been around since the mid '90s and System Of Events is their sixth studio album. With a name like Crystal Palace one would expect progressive music and that is exactly what you get although this batch of tunes is as melodic as it gets. That is what makes this music so utterly enjoyable; these guys know how to write a good tune. A case in point is the album's fourth track "Green Way". The guitar rhythms are some of the catchiest on the disc, a major earworm in every way. The album also ventures into art rock/prog territory. Just listen to the twelve minute "Beautiful Nightmare" to hear the band's proggier side. Chiming guitar chords and understated vocals lead to a dynamic instrumental break of squelching guitar/effects and tasty keys. This is not about playing as fast as you can but more about texture and ambience reminding me of bands like Porcupine Tree. The lead vocals have a slight accent but you need not worry as Yenz has a good voice, well suited to the band's slightly melancholic sound. The title track at over thirteen minutes is the longest song and also my favourite. Its moody and forlorn beginning of stark piano notes and vocals to match leads to a mid tempo groove and some ear candy guitar soli. The instrumental break of voice samples, delicate acoustic guitar and winding keyboard lines hearkens of '70s Pink Floyd. The vocals are outstanding as well.The System Of Events has turned into a another great find. Judging by the quality of this release their back catalogue should be well worth exploring as well. Highly recommended." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $15.00