Eternity (2LP Vinyl)

SKU: VILELP434
Label:
Peaceville Records
Category:
Doom Metal
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2LP reissue of the band's classic 1996 comes with 2 acoustic bonus tracks.  This is where the Pink Floyd influence really starts to creep in.

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  • 2CD edition comes with a bonus live disc recorded at the Loud Park 2010 festival."Taking a cue from where post-psychedelic and hard rock left off in the seventies before our hard rock heroes either went disco or into questionable directions, Spiritual Beggars’ picks up the pieces, just like Grunge did in its heyday; but adding a little more balls to the mix as an authentic force to be reckoned with. A supergroup featuring members of Arch Enemy, Opeth, Firewind, Carcass, and other extensions, the amped up sound of this Swedish powerhouse throws the pretentious mannerisms of out of the mix, gaining them a status that has created a solid dichotomy between them and many other stoner rock bands.Even as these guys are native to extreme and symphonic metal bands, the tunage gets to the point, reflecting Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult and early-Priest, as the heavy blues & R&B flavored upbeat moods have always raised the roof. Inflamed by grinding riffage and screaming Hammond organ, Earth Blues again sees Spiritual Beggars taking no retreat from their enigmatic rock and roll feast. The opening track “Wise as a Serpent” immediately spurs the dark groove into power pop territories, yet more intricate sides are heard on the multi-faceted “Sweet Magic Pain” & the dark 1-2 punch of “Kingmaker,” both offering up a salvo of to a Sabotage-meets-Agents of Fortune attitude. Without reckless abandon, these guys also explore a psych/funk mindset on “Turn the Tide,” plus you have “One Man’s Curse” which could have been a long last tune from Come Taste the Band.Even on the ballad “Dreamer” and the low key rocker “Dead End Town,” the band flexes their ideology the same way Zeppelin did at times; and that ideology is further expressed by way of  a set of live tracks on a bonus disc, proving they can hit the road with the attitude to kick ass. Still, whatever way you hear Spiritual Beggars, there will be no denying that their solid foundation of hard rock possesses intrigue, forgoing all the poser musicianship and letting the songs, the true grit of emotion, and the conviction to simply rock out speak loud for Earth Blues. Heavy, commanding, & sophisticated, Spiritual Beggars continue to map out their presence with bold, sharp, & gripping, metallic grandeur, affording no shame whatsoever." - Ytsejam.com
    $14.00
  • After a 10 year absence Enchant are back.  The band started in 1993 making them one of the earliest prog metal band.  Actually they are sort of an interesting band in that they seem to exist in both the prog rock and prog metal realms.  Some metal fans think of them as a bit lightweight and some prog rock fans think they are too heavy!  One thing is for sure they are wildly successful.  This is definitely prog but it never loses sight of the melody.  Fronted by the great Ted Leonard (who is now doing double duty with Spock's Beard) this one is a no-brainer - whether you are metal or prog head.  "irst impressions are the similarities to Spock’s Beard. Hardly surprising since Ted Leonard has been singing with them since 2011. He’s been with Enchant longer; their first CD came out in 1993. And familiarity doesn’t breed contempt here, fortunately.Bay area progressive rockers, they steer a straight course composing guitar-structured songs that they extemporise over. Guitarist Douglas A Ott is also the band’s main producer, with The Great Divide having been recorded at his own studio, but if in the past the band’s followed his direction they’re now more involved after a ten year gap working on other projects. Also, while integral, Ott doesn’t dominate Enchant’s sound but flows in and out adding a hard rock bias to their generic musical flavouring. Drummer/percussionist Sean Flanegan and bassist Ed Platt have the solidity of early Kansas and musically there are some pretty snazzy and often too brief keyboard solos from Bill Jenkins.A rolling cyclical bass line forms the basis of opening number ‘Circles’ with Leonard pondering life going round well, like a circle – while the lyrics aren’t profound they feel right and though this isn’t a concept album, despite the band stating otherwise, there are common themes concerning the human condition in a loosely existential manner. Mainly straight verse and choruses ‘Circles’ breaks out into more complicated time signatures before an acoustic comes to the fore, vocals return, an electric guitar take over and it concludes with a nicely warm keyboard solo. ‘Within An Inch’ follows with a steady rock backbeat over which Ott’s playing echoes Camel’s Andy Latimer interrupted briefly by some John Ellis punk-styled sirening. ‘The Great Divide’ follows suit in a more epic manner, the arrangement akin to Genesis in their golden period.Enchant don’t play with the fairies, despite what their name suggests. If anything they’re two steps removed from an AOR sound leaning in towards early Asia with some latter day Beatles thrown in, and a less grandiose take on Spock’s Beard. One might refer to them as technically proficient rather than emotionally overwrought, meaning there is a heartfelt flavour to their songs, and they tend to grow on you.The subdued opening to ‘Life In A Shadow’ throws a brief curveball echoing the Canterbury sound of Hatfield & The North before a heavy chorded chorus takes this into a rocking tune with soulful harmonies. ‘Deserve To Feel’ pours on the technical drumming and dribbling triplet bass figures with some flashy pyrotechnics predominantly on guitar but with keen keyboard flourishes, moving into a more intricate musical score as Jenkins and Ott trade inspired lines towards its conclusion. Likewise, ‘Here And Now’ builds reflectively moving towards emotional drama.Finely composed, played well, Enchant’s The Great Divide might not have you falling under its spell, but you may well be surprised how you find yourself being drawn to playing it." - The Midland Rocks
    $12.00
  • "This, Primordial's third full-length, was their first real masterpiece, and where the transformed from the noisy, woodsy Black Metal of Imrama into the epic pagan beast they have become. Leaving behind the generic sound of older works, these Irish forged their own sound and have never gone back. Opening with the odd intro, with Nemtheanga intoning the lyrics like a manifesto while the war-drums pound, the band launches right into the monumental "Gods To The Godless" like a declaration of war. "I have one desire/ let it be/ a Plague upon your lands/ a Plague upon all your houses/ it is my wish to enslave all your people/ the soil enriched with their Blood." Huge riffs, thundering rhythms, and Nemtheanga's powerful, emotional vocals. The mastery never slows, not with the power of "The Soul Must Sleep" or the massive "Children Of The Harvest", and the album's centerpiece, the blazing bonfire of "The Burning Season". This is a more melodic album than the dark and angry The Gathering Wilderness or the dense, epic To The Nameless Dead, but it is no weaker for any of that. There is a repressing that also contains the other three tracks from The Burning Season EP plus a re-recording of "To Enter Pagan". Normally I decry bonus cuts, but these fit right in with the rest of the album both compositionally and recording-wise, and so they are like adding another 30 minutes of awesome to this already grand album. This is a magnificent work by one of the great bands when they were just hitting their stride. Essential." - Metal Crypt
    $15.00
  • Digipak edition - limited to 5000 for the world."Prophets Cynic are not, yet they did see the writing on the death metal wall around the mid-90’s, so that counts for something. At that particular point in time, the death metal scene was swelling to uncontrollable proportions, with creativity at an all-time low and labels signing anyone who could mimic Cookie Monster and palm-mute some diminished chords. Pair that with the then-burgeoning black metal scene, and death metal circa 1994 to 1997 essentially had no chance. As it stands, Cynic officially broke up in 1994 and formed the short-lived Portal, which is the point of discussion for this review.Comprised of the core members of Cynic’s Focus lineup (drummer Sean Reinert, guitarist/vocalist Paul Masvidal, guitarist) Jason Gobel, bassist Chris Kringel), Portal added vocalist/keyboardist Aruna Abrams, who was the benefactor of the band’s new-found “trippy” sound. And that’s really the defining term when it comes to Portal – they’re very light, not so metal or technical…just trippy and highly atmospheric.One could see where Cynic wanted to go with Portal for their eventual reformation album, 2008’s Traced In Air. The lush dynamics of “Endless Endeavors,” “Costumed in Grace,” and “Road to You” demonstrate the band’s ability to take prog rock and make it flow like a river, a cerebral river at that. Abrams’ vocals are suitably poised and reserved, blending in seamlessly with supple keyboard strokes and ambient uh, ambience. There’s a dearth of the progressive metal flair the band showed on Focus, as the songwriting mode of “Karma’s Plight” and “Crawl Above” showcase a jazzier, more free-form side to Cynic that was practically itching to come out a few years prior.Cynic’s new-age crowd might find something of value with The Portal Tapes, as it’s a direct reflection of Traced In Air and last year’s Carbon-Based Anatomy EP. The old death metal crowd that helped break the band won’t have anything to do with this, and methinks had they heard something like this in 1995, then they’d be running back to their Broken Hope and Monstrosity albums almost instantly." - Blistering.com
    $15.00
  • James LaBrie once again that there is life outside of Dream Theater.  His solo band features a stable lineup consisting of Matt Guillory (keyboards), Marco Sfogli (guitars), Ray Riendeau (bass), Peter Wildoer (drums, death vox).  Jens Bogren once again mixed. An interesting twist to the mix is the inclusion of Soilwork's Peter Wichers who contributes some guitarwork and also collaborated on songwriting with LaBrie.While the music is square on prog metal and all in all not too dissimilar to Dream Theater its different enough to have its own vibe.  Wildoer's coarse vocal approach offers an interesting counterbalance to LaBrie's upper midrange clean voice.  The limited digipak edition comes with two bonus tracks.  Highly recommended.
    $13.00
  • Fourth studio album from Leprous reinforces the fact that they are one of the most innovative and cutting edge bands working in the prog metal idiom.  The music of Coal has already kicked up a bit of controversy from the early listeners.  The music isn't quite as angular and frenetic as Bilateral.  Atmospheric passages similar to Tall Poppy Syndrome are perhaps a bit more prevalant as well.  All in all it's clearly identifiable as Leprous.  Ihsahn guests on one of the tracks - don't forget Leprous is his backing band.  Nice guys - great band.  Highly recommended."Considering Leprous‘s previous album Bilateral is considered by many to be a masterpiece of progressive metal; Norway’s Leprous had a tall order in front of themselves. Coming up with a followup to such a critically acclaimed and beloved album is no doubt a daunting task. Despite that, after two long years of waiting, Leprous have conjured the successor to Bilateral, and it’s called Coal. Usually, when bands release an album after their magnum opus, the result is either a “version 2.0″ of the previous album, or it’s a return back to the normal style of the band. Leprous have taken a bold turn instead, and they have reinvented themselves. Coal is clearly a Leprous album, carrying all their trademark touches, but it’s also very fresh and unique.With Bilateral, the band were clearly rooted in a sound that has been defined by the big names of progressive metal. By applying their characteristic syncopation, moody riffs and singer Einar Solberg’s haunting and powerful vocals, they were able to perfect an already existing sound. With Coal, the band have taken a different direction. The album is very dense, emotional, and quite avant-garde at times. While there are some more traditional songs similar to Bilateral, there’s also an air of neo-80s on some songs, while others carry some characteristics of modern Scandinavian indie bands. Longtime fans of Leprous will definitely see the direction that has been present since the band’s inception, but listeners who know of them only via Bilateral might be slightly confused. In the end, Leprous have always been about mood, and Coal is oozing with it.In terms of structure, Coal is more similar to Tall Poppy Syndrome than Bilateral (but not too similar to either in the end). The songs are slow burners, setting up a mood, then deliberately building on it until overwhelming the listener with the climax. Everything is very subtle, the production making every hit of every instrument matter. Each song is an exercise in building an atmosphere by slowly adding layers to form a very powerful sound. Einar Solberg is at his best here, he has taken his voice to the next level. He was already an amazing vocalist, but Coal sees him becoming a master of expression. There are many progressive metal bands nowadays with clean singers who can hit insanely high notes and execute amazing melodies. But what is often lost is the soft touch, the control over timbre that makes one’s voice special. Einar is a master of timbre, and he uses his abilities to their full extent in Coal. While this is an album about the big picture and constructing an ambiance with the convergence of all instruments, his unparalleled vocal skills definitely deserve a special mention, because he is what hammers down the emotions and makes this album so special.As mentioned before, Coal is a deliberate album, where attention is paid to every instrument. And the production, by Ihsahn (who also has a stellar guest appearance on the closing track), is perfect for this. Especially of note are the drums, they sound very real and quaint. The intimate feeling of some of the songs can directly be attributed to the unconventional drum sound. The drumming has also taken a turn for the more subtle, with small flourishes and cymbal runs building tension in the more atmospheric sections of some songs. The bass is also clearly audible and adds to the sound. The guitar work isn’t as flashy as Bilateral for the most part, but it also has more character because of that. It should come as no surprise to longtime followers of the band, but Leprous are masters of doing more with less, and all of the instruments reflect this. Another production detail worth noting is the presence of keyboards. The keyboard work is more prominent now. In Bilateral it was used mostly to add some extra layers to parts driven by the guitars, but here the keyboards form the building blocks of the sound. This is perhaps what sets the album apart from Leprous’s previous work, the heavier focus on atmosphere and a dense aural landscape. This might be disappointing to some who preferred the more direct approach of Bilateral, as Coal is less “metal”, but the more developed sound suits the band.In terms of songs, Coal is a very diverse album. The first three songs and the closer can be interpreted as a direct evolution of the band’s sound from their previous work, then there is the extremely moody and emotional masterpiece “The Cloak”. This is where the album takes a turn for the introspective, as the rest of the songs are quite experimental and ethereal. Overall, the album has a very clear journey with a defined start and end, and it works quite well. Some of the later songs can feel like they last half a minute too long, but the deliberate pacing of the album makes more sense as is.In the end, it’s hard to deny that Coal is yet another masterpiece by Leprous. The songs ooze character and deliberation. Coal is expressive, emotional and brave. It might not be what everyone expected after Bilateral, but Leprous have defied expectations and raised the bar again." - Heavy Blog Is Heavy
    $9.00
  • "The first DVD by Primordial is a fact and the band delivers something really good. When all bands would release a DVD this way, the medium DVD could be very interesting for the record industry.‘All Empires Fall’ consists of two discs of which the first one contains the complete show that the band did on January 24th 2009 at the Button factory in Dublin in front of 800 fans. Quite a good number for a gig in Ireland. The show was recorded with five cameras and has been edited in a great way that is easy on the eyes. Some minor criticism is that at some points it’s perhaps a bit too dark. They probably used a filter making it all a bit darker, which fits the band of course but is a bit tiring after a while. Concerning the choice of songs there’s no complaints, every album is represented.The second DVD is perhaps the most interesting for the fans as it contains the complete history of the band, they tell it themselves with al the ins and outs. Really good to watch. This disc also contains songs from the shows at Ragnarok Festival in Germany, Hove Festival in Norway and Graspop in Belgium. From the last two mentioned w only get a couple of tracks and I guess that has a bit to do with the sound recording of these gigs that aren’t too good. Other than that this is a great DVD of which there is even a special edition containing two CD’s with the complete live show of the Dublin show in audio." - Lords Of Metal
    $14.00
  • Intense music from this Sacramento based quartet that first began in 2007 as the brainchild of Sacramento guitarist Josh Burke, with the goal of writing music that would be atmospheric, melodic and progressive, with heavy, dark guitars and drums and an overall epic, emotional arc.A Fair Dream Gone Mad is melancholic metal cut from a similar cloth to Katatonia and Opeth.  Josh Burke sings in a clean and expressive style in contrast to the crushing guitar riffs that take ITS’s music much further into the metal realms than bands they are compared to like Porcupine Tree and Riverside but at the same time guitar takes center stage adding a nice proggy vibe.  A mesmerizing and emotional debut filled with tension.This is a new freshened up edition on Sensory Records.  It arrives in a digipak and has a booklet with lyrics. 
    $13.00
  • Limited edition digibook has a bonus DVD featuring a "making of" documentary.Riverside vocalist Mariusz Duda returns with his fourth Lunatic Soul project.  Duda plays all the instruments except drums which are handled by Indukti's Lawrence Dramowicz.  The last Lunatic Soul album, Impressions, was an all instrumental effort that explored ambient and post-rock territory.  Walking On A Flashlight Beam is a bit similar but Duda does provide vocals from time to time.  Like all of the Lunatic Soul albums that preceded it, WOAFB has a very dark and mysterious vibe to it.  Duda is moving away from exclusively using acoustic instruments.  Textural electronic keyboards predominate and I'm pretty certain he plugs his guitar in as well.  This is another one of his albums that will suck you in.  Highly recommended." I'll come right out and say that Lunatic Soul's new album "Walking on a Flashlight Beam" was my most anticipated album of 2014. Why? Well, Mariusz Duda (of Riverside fame) has created such a brilliantly natural sound in his side project that it has become one of my favorites, not to mention my family's, as well. We simply can't get enough of the acoustic, airy atmospheres combined with the dark, throbbing feelings that swing between transcendence and despair. Lunatic Soul's first three albums are masterpieces of emotion and epiphany, and so any follow-up would have to be something special. Duda, however, has delivered in the most unexpected, brilliant ways possible."Walking on a Flashlight Beam" (WOAFB) is an experience that is as much about lyrics and feelings as it is about music. You need the whole picture in order to understand it truly. Duda has been very forthcoming with theme for this album, as it seems to be rather personal. This album is about those people that prefer to shut themselves in their rooms/homes in order to immerse themselves in the creations of others: films, books, music, games, etc. I think it strays between this setting, however, and the same type of person that shuts themselves up, preferring to create art in private.Like I said, this theme is important to the music. WOAFB is full of bleak tension, cold sublimation, and beautiful simplicity. Duda was inclined to create this album with a wide variety of ethnic instruments, tones, and sounds; from cold trance beats contrasted against radiant acoustic guitar to world music influences combined with a new addition to the sound palette of Lunatic Soul: a subtle, heavily distorted electric guitar that crafts some charging, tumbling grooves. Duda has really expanded the sound of his pet project, and it impressed me to no end to hear the vast variety of sounds that were able to come together into a unified, cohesive mix. Sometimes it feels like Duda has gone post-rock, such as in the opener "Shutting out the Sun". Sometimes Duda simply sings a beautifully wrought melody, as in the spectacular "Treehouse" or one of my favorites, "Gutter" (the chorus will be in your head for weeks). Yet, sometimes Duda just wants to lay down an incredible bass-driven instrumental section, as in the winding, complex "Pygmalion's Ladder".Every track really feels just right. "Cold" feels, well, cold. It feels bare and desolate, with a simple melodic line added to enhance the stark feelings present. Duda is so good at expressing emotion in his music. Yet, this album has really impressed upon me how good he is at creating instrumental sections, as this album is full of them. The supremely subtle title track is an amazing example of this, as Duda builds and builds layers and layers of melody, harmony, tone, and effects. In the end, this album is so concentrated and makes so much sense from track to track that I can barely pick a favorite.This might be my album of the year. Don't be surprised if it is. I know I sound like a Duda fanboy (which I kinda am), but this album reaches the heights of the last three, and then expands on them. Incredibly catchy, wonderfully complex, and darkly eclectic, "Walking on a Flashlight Beam" is a journey into a confined consciousness of creativity, privacy, and enigmatic genius. Duda has once again proven his capabilities." - ProgArchives
    $9.00
  • "Not many tunes delivered by bands from my southern neighbors, within the borders of Germany, are haunting my mind during these grim and frostbitten cold days of wintertime. Only melodies of Andy Kuntz & Co from prog metal act Vanden Plas, and one of last year’s best prog metal debuts “The Old Man and the Spirit” created by Beyond the Bridge are still able to cradle me to sleep. The question is then how the hell has prog rock/metal act Dante gone unnoticed by my eyes and ears so many years? That is still a mystery to me. I guess it’s time for some changes now. After watching the official trailer of the full album “November Red” describing it as “A New Masterpiece of Progressive Music” and getting my face slapped by words like Power, Passion, Epic, lyrical, Progressive and Breathtaking, I have packed my gear and ready for a great adventure into their musical universe. Will you follow me on my musical adventure? I’ll leave that up for you to decide, but if this has sparked your curiosity, then please keep on reading our fellow reader. You will not regret…Let us start from the beginning. Seven years ago guitarist & bassist Markus Berger, who sadly passed away early this year (R.I.P. metal brother), teamed up with his longtime friend Markus Maichler on keyboards & piano, and created prog rock & metal act Dante after playing around with some of their own musical ideas in Berger’s own studio. Two positions were still left open, so they recruited vocalist Alexander Góhs (former frontman of Berger’s previous act “Twelve”) and drum machine Christian Eichlinger to complete their crew of musicians in control of this new German prog machinery. With some fine tuning of this machine based in Berger’s recording studio, they unleashed after two years their self-produced & self-financed debut “The Inner Circle”, which was applauded and met with great respect by many metal reviewers all around our globe. Same year bassist Michael Neumeier was hooked up, and took over the bass duties of Berger, and then became a permanent member of the band. Two years later in 2010, and the sophomore album “Saturnine” saw the light of the day, released by their new label ProgRock Records, continuing the success of the band. The following year bassist Michael decided to leave Dante, and they welcomed guitarist Markus A. Bader on board their prog metal flagship instead, and Berger returned to his old role as the bass player of the troop.So finally here they are, welcoming 2013 with their long awaited third craftsmanship entitled “November Red”, ready to quench the thirst of many progheads out there…My great adventure through the challenging musical landscapes created by Dante has sudden come to an unexpected end after counting more than one hour of total playing time. It was a continuous bombardment of my ears with strange & complex rhythms, tempo changes, awkward time signatures, mellow passages, gorgeous 70’s styled keyboard sounds blended with heavy and crunchy guitar riffs and solos, all complemented with symphonic influences to make it an interesting and pleasant listening experience. Maybe they borrow some ideas from legendary prog titans Fates Warning and Dream Theater, but arresting them for being a copycat would not hold up in court. It’s a roller coast ride through the whole album, and each of the seven songs is molding our ear wax as different as night and day. The opener “Birds of Passage” is a soft and mellow introduction, whereas the following song “The Lone And Level Sands” is exploring the more heavier and aggressive sound of Dante. “Beautifully Broken” is walking on a total different path, and is the only ballad song included. It’s a melancholy song told with beautifully and mesmerizing piano melodies and by the voice of Alex singing with great control and emotion in his preferable low to mid range registers. Fourth song, and the star of the show is “The day That Bled” a tune delivering myriads of shades and musical colours for you prog enthusiasts to delve into. Next on the list is the song “Shores of Time” following in the footsteps of its predecessors, followed up by the softer and slower song “Allan”. The title song “November Red” is the final destination of our journey, and closing of with a big bang. It’s the epic of the album, delivering some of the most heavy and aggressive moments, broken up by mellow passages.Production-wise, this is wrapped into a high quality package, and the musicianship is first class, but it still suffers in the vocal department. Vocalist Alexander Góhs would not be my first choice in the front seat of a traditional prog band, because of his lacking range and dynamics in his vocal performance. He knows his weaknesses and strengths, and mostly stays in his comfort zone the low to mid range registers, and then actually becomes quite enjoyable. His voice definitely takes time to get used to, but is one of the band’s signature sounds for better and worse.So let’s cut to the chase. The latest creation “November Red” delivered by Dante is not a quantum leap forward for progressive music, but they still have a huge and very unique distinct sound of their own. It’s a moody and melodic progressive music experience, and if your ears find comfort in listening to the likes of Fates Warning and Dream Theater, then don’t let this release slip through your fingers. “November Red” takes time to grow on you, but stay open-minded, and it will bury itself deeper and deeper under your skin. It’s definitely one of those progressive bands I’ll keep my eyes and ears locked on too for many years to come." - Power Of Metal
    $15.00
  • In Crescendo is the fourth studio album from this Italian progressive band.  While originally working in a purely metal direction, the band has expanded the scope of their sound to encompass elements of progressive rock as well.  There is a very strong atmospheric component similar to Riverside, Porcupine Tree, and Pink Floyd but the heavier, metallic side of Opeth and Dream Theater is clearly present as well.Over the past two years Kingcrow has expanded their fan base with a European tour in support of Redemption and Jon Oliva as well as appearances at ProgPower Europe and ProgPower USA.  An announcement about 2013 US tour dates is imminent. 
    $13.00
  • New edition of this groundbreaking album.  After recording two occult laced death metal albums, band leader Christofer Johnsson reshuffled the deck.  Theli is an awesome blend of mystical powermetal and classical themes.  Clean vocals through out and deep symphonic soundscapes prevail.  This new version comes with 3 bonus tracks and a bonus live DVD filmed in Budapest 2007.
    $9.00
  • "Primordial are a band who need no introduction. I’m sure you’ve read that in plenty of reviews, but I can’t think of a better candidate to which that statement applies (for those who know them, at least). Their consistency is admirable, their passion is unmatched, and their brand of inspiring epic folk metal is almost unfailingly awesome. Everyone well-versed in the outfit's discography already knows this, but if there is one Primordial album that always seems to get lost in the shuffle of the band’s most celebrated releases, its Imrama. In fact, from some of the talk I’ve heard there are people who almost dismiss this record as “formative,” and not up to par with the bands following efforts. I for one can’t comprehend this viewpoint; this debut lives up to the band’s high standards with authority, and possesses a gloomy atmospheric quality that stands out from anything else this brilliant collective has graced us with.In fact, fans that grew attached to the band during the Gathering Wilderness/To The Nameless Dead era may be surprised at how dark and genuinely dispirited Imrama sounds. Don't get me wrong, Primordial have always walked a downtrodden path, but never again would they sound so grim and cryptic. The atmosphere created here is very hard to put into words; at times, it’s triumphant (“Let The Sun Set On Life Forever”), at others it’s downright frightening (“To The Ends of the Earth”). Primordial has never been a black metal band, but this is definitely the closest they’ve come, and while this record doesn’t sound too far removed from the rest of the band’s discography style-wise, it’s the delivery that sets it apart.The opening trio of “Fuil Arsa,” “Infernal Summer,” and “Here I Am King” quickly dispel any notions that Primordial were still finding their footing at this stage. The incredible power that these musicians are able to summon through their fairly simplistic compositions is a rare gift, and while the production on Imrama is a tad murky, the quality of the songs speak for themselves. Instrumental dynamics are reigned in beautifully thanks to the superb drumming of Simon O'Laoghaire (easily one of metal’s most underrated drummers), and Nemtheanga’s trademark blend of fiery aggression and elegant singing is instantly recognizable and unquestionably formidable even at this stage. His increased use of blackened screams sounds right at home with this album’s depressive vibe, and his unrestrained passion never fails to be compelling even when his voice doesn't take center stage.Metal Blade really nailed this re-issue, too. The artwork and packaging is beautiful and the band’s debut demo, Dark Romanticism, is included along with some great old concert footage. The band’s first four albums will apparently all receive this treatment in the near future, and if they all look this nice, it could very well be worth it for die-hard fans to plunk down the cash. Bottom line: don’t let Imrama pass you by. It’s a great look at the roots of one of modern metal’s greatest bands, and an excellent record in its own right." - Metal Review
    $15.00
  • Special 2CD tour edition comes with a bonus Acoustic Sessions CD featuring 4 new interpretations, plus "Anathema" recorded at Liverpool Cathedral."It’s been quite a past few years for the incredible Anathema. Honors have been bestowed upon them, they’ve released an instant classic album in “Weather Systems”, and last year they released one of the best live concert films I’ve ever seen, “Universal”. Anathema is on top of the world, and they are only getting bigger. With all of this on their shoulders, they approach the world once again with their new album, “Distant Satellites”, a fitting name for a massive album. Again, with all of their recent success creating huge expectations, can this band meet such critical reception? Needless to say, Vincent Cavanagh on vocals, Danny Cavanagh on guitar, Jamie Cavanagh on bass, John Douglas on percussion, Daniel Cardoso on drums, and Lee Douglas with her wonderful vocals were all up to the challenge.“Distant Satellites” is a very different album from “Weather Systems”, or anything else they’ve done, for that matter. It is different, yet somehow instantly familiar. It includes everything that makes them Anathema, but adds new and exciting elements to their already excellent formula. If you’ve never heard Anathema, their formula (in their last few albums, anyways) includes soaring guitars, amazingly catchy melodies, spiritual lyrics, and emotional flow both vocally and structurally. They are the masters of melody, and they remain complex and progressive even while being simple and accessible. They are truly masters of their craft.This new album, then, is no different in those terms. The melodies return in force, such as the serene beauty of “The Lost Song” parts 1-3. And, yet, there is something different here. The melodic lines are somewhat more complex, less in-your-face, and more organic. This especially shows in the song lengths, most of them being over five minutes. This allows for more growth and more progression. Indeed, then, the melodies on “Distant Satellites”, while not being as instantly lovable or recognizable, are certainly more difficult and possibly will have a longer “shelf life” in my mind. Yes, the orchestrations seem to be lower key, as well, allowing the vocalists to express themselves more personally then ever.There are other improvements, too. I feel that the musicianship is more fervent and on a higher plateau of difficulty than Anathema has tried. Drummer John Douglas, especially, plays amazingly well from start to finish, accenting the music with awesome pounding and fills. The rest of the band are at their peak, too, with Vincent and Lee being especially great with emotional and meaningful vocal performances.“Distant Satellites” is different in more meaningful ways, too. Utilizing post-rock/metal structures is nothing new for Anathema, but they really do perfect them here, as on “Dusk”, a dark, climactic song. Yet, there is a sense of continuity between tracks, too. This is obviously the case between the three parts of “The Lost Song”, but it’s also apparent throughout the album, as if Anathema is telling us a story, convincing us of our true selves and our connection with the universe and with each other.This album is wonderful in the first half, but my excitement reached new heights in the second half. Anathema has taken it upon themselves to change things up a bit. They wanted to progress their sound, but make it all seem so natural. So, in the second half, the album climaxes with one of the best songs, simply called “Anathema”. But then, we are thrown for a loop somewhat, as “You’re Not Alone” features a hefty portion of electronic vibe. It’s great, but the best is still to come.Next, “Firelight”, a darkly ethereal instrumental track that is completely electronic, is thrust upon us, and is followed up by what may possibly be the best song Anathema has ever produced, “Distant Satellites”. This track combines everything that has ever made Anathema great: soaring melodies, climactic structure, gentle spirituality, amazing vocals, and now an electronic beat that is both complex and catchy. Vibrant, mesmerizing, and pure, this track elates me every time I hear it. It takes this album, and my heart, to new heights. The album finishes with a gentle ballad that just seems so fitting, yet it still has the strong electronic influence.So, is “Distant Satellites” a winner? In every way! Is it their best album? I don’t know; it has the potential, but it might take time, just like “Weather Systems” did. What I can tell you is that this new album is more mature, more progressive, more interesting and eclectic, and less formulaic then anything Anathema has crafted yet. It does sacrifice some accessibility and some instant likability for these things, but I respect their decision massively, and I fully expect to see “Distant Satellites” at the tops of many lists at the end of 2014." - Progulator
    $14.00