The Masquerade Overture (2LP Vinyl)

SKU: MDF997LP
Label:
Madfish Records
Category:
Progressive Rock
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17 years after it’s initial release on CD, The Masquerade Overture album is now available as a double album in 180gm heavy weight vinyl.

Track listing -

Side 1:
1. The Masquerade Overture
2. As Good As Gold
3. Paintbox
Side 2:
1. The Pursuit Of Excellence
2. Guardian Of My Soul
Side 3:
1. The Shadow
2. Masters Of Illusion
Side 4  [Bonus Tracks]
1. Bird Of Paradise
2. Midnight Running
3. A Million Miles Away

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    $30.00
  • This is the second edition (limited to 500 copies) with different artwork than the first."Norway's Tusmørke (Norwegian for twilight) go straight to the heart of the psychedelic matter on their full-length debut album "Underjordisk Tusmørke" (Subterranean Twilight). Culling influences from such prog-psych luminaries as Gong and Caravan, krautrock giants like Can and Amon Düul 2, pagan folksters like The Incredible String Band as well as a healthy dose of Nordic folk music, Tusmørke present a dark cauldron of magical, musical potions.The band's history can be traced back to the mid-nineties and the budding, Scandinavian scene of new progressive bands. Back then, the Momrak twins who are the beating heart of Tusmørke called their band Les Fleurs de Mal. The band featured future Wobbler vocalist Andreas Prestmo, and shared the stage with other up-and-coming bands like White Willow. Via intricate pathways, this evolved into Tusmørke, whose music is darker, more intense and dare we say primeval, than the more delicate Les Fleurs de Mal.This album will conjure up images of pagan rites, witches dancing in the firelight serenading the new moon, eldritch wizards conjuring dark spirits… And it's no gimmick: This band lives and breathes the same air that flows through the magical lands their music describes.The album has been expertly recorded and produced by that master of retro productions, Lars Fredrik Frøislie (Wobbler, White Willow, In Lingua Mortua), and sounds so authentically analogue that you can practically smell the antique equipment that has been used for its making. Lars contributes mellotron, chamberlin, spinet, Hammond organ and a host of esoteric instruments on the album."
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  • Fight if you want over which is the best Grobschnitt album. This one is an obvious contender. It's probably the band's most overtly symphonic sounding album as keyboardist Mist goes apes**t all over it. Synths, Mellotrons, organ fill up every nook and cranny. This is a conceptual work that has a bit of a children's story angle - a kid named Ernie rides a flying dragon to a mythical land. Kind of goofy but it plays well over the epic length tracks. A great sounding album to boot. A devastating album that is essential listening. Highest recommendation.
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  • Official 180 gram vinyl reprint. First album from this German band originally released in 1972. While the band's output showed a progressive decline as they went on, their first three albums were pretty good - with this one being the heads and shoulders best. The music revolves around the organ of Frieder Schmidt and phased guitar of Willie Wagner. While not the most complex music, the band settles into a nice groove with wicked soloing through out. There is even some 'tron lurking. Think Birth Control meets Deep Purple. I eat this stuff up - love it!FOREIGN CUSTOMERS PLEASE NOTE THAT WE WILL HAVE TO ADJUST YOUR SHIPPING CHARGES TO MORE ACCURATELY REFLECT OUR COSTS.
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  • Brazilian melodic metallers ANGRA celebrated the 20th anniversary of the release of their 1993 debut album, "Angels Cry", with a special concert on August 25 at HSBC Brasil in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The show, which was recorded for a DVD, featured guest appearances by Tarja Turunen (NIGHTWISH) and Uli Jon Roth (SCORPIONS).ANGRA's setlist was as follows:01. Angels Cry02. Nothing to Say03. Waiting Silence04. Lisbon05. Time06. Millennium Sun (intro w/ Kiko Loureiro on keyboards)07. Winds of Destination (intersection w/ Kiko Loureiro on keyboards)08. Gentle Change09. The Voice Commanding You (Rafael Bittencourt on vocals)10. Late Redemption11. Silence and Distance (intro w/ Kiko Loureiro on keyboards)Acoustic set12. Reaching Horizons (Rafael Bittencourt on vocals)13. Unholy Wars / Caça e Caçador (Rafael Bittencourt and Kiko Loureiro on vocals)14. A Monster in Her Eyes (Rafael Bittencourt and Kiko Loureiro on vocals)15. Make Believe (Rafael Bittencourt and Kiko Loureiro on vocals)Encore:16. No Pain for the Dead (with Familia Lima on strings)17. Stand Away (Tarja Turunen on vocals and Familia Lima on strings)18. Wuthering Heights (Kate Bush cover) (Tarja Turunen on vocals and Uli Jon Roth on guitar)19. Evil Warning (Amílcar Christófaro on drums)Encore 2:20. Unfinished Allegro (Familia Lima on strings)21. Carry On22. Rebirth23. The Sails Of Charon (SCORPIONS cover) (Uli Jon Roth on guitar and Rafael Bittencourt on vocals)24. In Excelsis25. Nova Era 
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  • Remastered edition."Straight Between the Eyes undoubtedly has one of the worst album covers in rock history, but the record is an unexpected return to form from the journeyman hard rockers. Just a record before, Rainbow sounded as if they were verging on Billy Squier territory, but here, they reverse course and deliver a solid, no-frills hard rock record. It isn't just that the material is stronger, though it certainly is, it's that Roger Glover abandoned his smoothed-out, radio-ready production that marred Difficult to Cure. That's not to say that Straight Between the Eyes doesn't sound dated -- Rainbow was a band that was forever tied to its era -- but the album does have a harder-hitting, muscular sound that is more appropriate for the band. Similarly, vocalist Joe Lynn Turner sounds more comfortable with the group, and the entire band just seems to gel, turning even the generic numbers on the album into enjoyable, straight-ahead hard rock. There may not be any specific showcases for Ritchie Blackmore, but his playing is better heard in this setting, where he's not only soloing, he's propelling the band with his powerful riffs. As always, he's the driving force behind the band, but this is truly a band effort, which is one of the reasons why Straight Between the Eyes is one of the strongest albums the group ever cut." - All Music Guide
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  • After Ronnie James Dio split, Blackmore replaced him with Graham Bonnet and brought in his old bandmates Roger Glover to handle bass as well as produce.  Dio's mystical element was gone but the album was rock solid.  Remastered edition.
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  • "Even in this age of Tunng, Espers and countless assorted other groovy out-there New Folk outfits who are busy fusing ancient melodies and instrumentation with samples, beats and all the trappings of hip urban coolness as fast as their little hands can programme, for most people the word ‘Folk’ still brings to mind images of worthy acoustic sing-a-longs, beards and real ale as relentlessly as driving rain on a Bank Holiday dowsing trip to Wessex. Let’s face facts, ‘Folk’ still too often struggles to shed the ‘hey nonny nonny’ and ‘all around my hat’ fuckery of its rather tiresome mid 20th Century incarnation. Don’t get me wrong, I love ‘Folk’ music, and its quiet but considerable influence in ‘Rock’ is often cruelly overlooked in favour of the more gritty and credible – and sexier – ‘Blues’ (…go out and play Traffic’s awesome “John Barleycorn (Must Die)”…), but it’s just so damned…nice. Isn’t it?Roger Wootton, however, always had other ideas. Forming a band with several compadres in 1968, he took their name from a lesser-known 1634 work by John ‘Paradise Lost’ Milton – commonly known as Comus – in which the titular character is a malign, debauched necromancer intent on having his wicked way with the female protagonist, ‘the Lady’, and slaking his considerable libidinous appetite. For those paying attention at the time, the clue was really all in the name; that and the fact that their early rehearsals centred around acoustic jamming to Velvet Underground numbers.Wootton and his fellow malfeasants, finding too much that was soft, cosy, cloying and false in the contemporary Hippy movement instead took the left-hand path, constructing a sound that was aggressive and confrontational, with lyrics that dwelt deep, deep in the woods, all brutal imagery of mental rage, abduction, violence, violation and murder. Wootton sublimated his difficult relationship with his mother into the band’s twisted approach, and though it doubtless made Sunday lunch a rather uncomfortable affair, it enabled him to enter fully into his jet black stage persona, their singular take on ‘Folk’ music making the band much more akin to the Punk movement of later years than to any of their Hippy peers. One key early champion was David Bowie, then beginning the early phase of his post-Space Odyssey ascent to the Rock firmament, who gave the band both an early residency his Beckenham Arts Lab and a support slot at his prestigious South Bank gig in November 1969. Legend has it that he was more than slightly aggrieved when Comus proceeded to blow him offstage. Ungrateful sprites.Comus - First UtteranceThe band’s first album, First Utterance, duly appeared in 1971. The sleeve featured a stark, black biro drawing by Wootton, a hairy, twisted Comus, all jutting ribs and priapic leer; it looks more Rudimentary Peni than Pentangle. The music contained within the grooves was, for the simple Hippy folkie, no nicer than the cover, seven original compositions of woodland Paganism and violent physical communion. This was no ‘getting it together in the country,’ no peaceful rural backdrop for a sunshine dream of self sufficiency and dilettante agriculture. This was the dark, evil spirit of the forest coming to defile you, slit your throat and dump the body deep amongst the trees where it would never be found. Perhaps unsurprisingly, hostile critical reviews and general public revulsion soon terminated the band’s existence, with their last live performance taking place in 1972. Two years later the rump Comus did reunite, with assistance from members of Henry Cow and Gong, but the resulting album To Keep From Crying fared no better than its predecessor. And that, as they say, was the end of that. Except, of course, that it was not.All through the shock and awe of the Punk years, the Eighties alternative and the Nineties million fractured sub-genres, Comus’ reputation grew steadily attracting audiences drawn by their unforgiving musical danse macabre. When Current 93 covered “Diana” on their 1990 Nurse With Wound/Sol Invictus split LP set, Comus’ status as neglected British experimental progenitors was complete.In Sweden too, the legend of Comus had done nothing but prosper like a strangling vine over the intervening decades, spearheaded by the unflagging patronage of Mikael Akerfeldt, leader of progressive Death Metal outfit Opeth. Then in 2007, Akerfeldt’s friend and promoter Stefan Dimle decided to take proceedings one step further, and, with huge amounts of cajoling and pleading, persuaded the slumbering homunculus of Comus to awaken from its long sleep in order to perform at his Melloboat Festival. Finally, in March 2008, over thirty five years after their last performance, Comus once more appeared live, leading their deathly chant across the Melloboat, which took place over 40 hours onboard the Silja Symphony, a 204m luxury cruiser, and the largest ferry on the Baltic Sea. East of Sweden captures the band’s set, as uncompromising in 2008 as it had been almost forty years beforehand.Kicking off with “Song to Comus” in which our eponymous anti-hero enjoys some unabashed maidenhead puncture in the forest (“Naked flesh, flowing hair, her terror screams they cut the air”), the band follow with “Diana,” another threatening tale of chastity meeting with lust under the woodland canopy and coming off a distinct second best. Featuring some wonderfully evocative violin from Colin Pearson, “Diana” is pure Wicker Man, a cheery sing-a-long for a pleasant evening spent the lounge bar of the Green Man as a virgin policeman blazes away merrily outside. At the track’s end however, instead of a stentorian “You’ll simply never understand the true nature of sacrifice…” the band instead greet and acknowledge the audience, “You are amazing. Thank you. What a welcome.” It is a brief moment, but genuine and truly heartfelt. Comus may have been curled up asleep in his verdant woody bower these last thirty six years, but now he’s back, and his followers have at last gathered to worship and give praise.“The Herald” follows, a beautiful and gentle respite from the business of depravity, sung with ageless grace by Bobbie Wilson, her voice belying the years with its clarity and purity. Still, after that brief moment of quiet contemplation it’s time to return to the business of the day once more; primeval explosions of lust amongst the trees. “Drip Drip” is truly Comus’ most demented piece of work, nine minutes of pure musical psychosis in which Wootton gives vent to every last piece of primitive evil dwelling within him, “Your lovely body soon caked with mud, as I carry you to the grave, my arms your hearse.” When he repeats “I’ll be gentle” over and over in a voice that sounds like it has cloven hooves, it is, quite frankly, difficult to believe him. Drip, drip from your sagging lip indeed.Leaving the forest temporarily, “The Prisoner” is a tale of electro-shock therapy conducted on a mental patient confined to an institution and praying for release from the living Hell being endured. Clearly, even when Comus leaves his woodland lair for the city, nothing endured is any sweeter. Returning to the band’s very early days, “Venus In Furs” takes the Velvets’ magnum opus and runs it through the dark folk filter, turning Lou Reed’s tales of urban NYC sado-masochism into a natural descendant of traditional British murder ballads such as “Pretty Polly.” Finishing off with an encore reprise of “Song To Comus,” the CD ends with the band basking in the adulation that had been denied to them decades before, “Bloody Hell have we enjoyed it.” And why not? There can be fewer sweeter victories to savour than having been far ahead of the curve, and the opportunity to come back much later and be vindicated for it.Coming only a week after a Justice Secretary has faced raging volleys of approbation for his comments on the nature of rape and the sexual exercise of power, doesn’t the music presented on this CD tread a much more ethically dubious line? Indeed it does, and no band recording their first album today could expect to produce such material and find any level of mainstream musical acceptance. Yet it has always been the business of traditional folk music to delve into the darkest recesses of the human psyche and explore the horrors that lurk there. Like myth in its wider sense, such folk songs were the framework in which the darkest human perception and behaviour were explored, codified and handed down as both example and warning. The music of Comus forms a seamless part of that continuum, as if it had been written in 1671 rather than 1971, and sounds as troubling, evil and thrilling as at any time since.Just stay out of the woods, OK?" - Freq
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  • 2LP 180 gram vinyl.  Hand numbered, limited edition of only 250 copies.Long awaited album from this British progressive band.  The band has seen some lineup changes since their last release.  The core band consists of Amy Darby (vocals), Phil Mercy (guitars), and Thomas Johnson (keyboards).  They are augmented by Sanguine Hum rhythm section of Paul Mallyon and Brad Waissman.  Anglagard's Anna Holmgren guests as well on flute.Music is beautiful symphonic prog with storng touches of Canterbury.  Thomas Johnson shows his Anglagard roots offering gobs and gobs of the holy 'tron.  Highly recommended.
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  • Stunning 140 gram double LP vinyl reissue of the 2006 debut from this Swedish progressive/doom hybrid band.  Very dark and ominous its filled with tons of old school keyboard work.  Black vinyl edition - only 300 copies worldwide."Orne's debut album The Conjuration by the Fire, originally released in 2006, is already a revered cult classic. It's original vinyl version, alas, was a botched affair. Pressed directly from a CD master, it left much to be desired.The Svart reissue is a modest attempt to try and fix the situation. With a new vinyl master prepared by Joona Lukala / Noise For Fiction, the album is cut on three LP sides to give it more dynamics. As an added bonus on side D there's the original A Beginning three track demo, which led to the band being signed back in the day. The package also features a 8 page booklet with liner notes by band leader Kimi Kärki (also of Reverend Bizarre / Lord Vicar fame). The LP set comes packaged in a copper foil stamped heavy gatefold jacket. Limited to 300 copies on black and 200 on transparent green wax.Orne is a strong and experienced collective of musicians, led by guitar & mellotron player and responsible songwriter Kimi Kärki (also known from Reverend Bizarre, Lord Vicar, and E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr). The vocal duties were handled by Sami Albert Hynninen, also known as Magister Albert and Albert Witchfinder (Reverend Bizarre, The Puritan, Opium Warlords, Armanenschaft, KLV, etc.). Drum stool was occupied by Jari Pohjonen, also known as Void and Jay Lovely (Reverend Bizarre, Specie’s Traitor, Confirmed Kill, Vyöhyke, KLV, etc.). He also played keyboards on the demo. Bass guitar was punished in the demo by Kalle Alho, a really young but talented fellow at the time, on the first album by a fretless bass wizard Antti Fredriksson, and on the second album by solid an more minimalist Jaakko Penttinen (E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr, Forca Macabra, etc.). Hammond and Rhodes were commanded by Pirkka Leino (Dirty Harry Sextet). 2nd guitar always played by Pekka Pitkälä (who, besides Kimi is the other remaining original member of the band), saxes and flutes were played on the demo and flutes on the 2nd album by Timo Oksanen, on the first album by Jussi Lisko, sax on the 2nd album by Lea Tommola, and the intro and outro verses were spoken by Patrick Walker (hailing from UK, known also from Warning and 40 Watt Sun)."
    $31.00
  • "Alice Cooper's third album, Love It to Death, can be pinpointed as the release when everything began to come together for the band. Their first couple of albums (Pretties for You and Easy Action) were both largely psychedelic/acid rock affairs and bore little comparison to the band's eventual rip-roaring, teenage-anthem direction. The main reason for the quintet's change was that the eventually legendary producer Bob Ezrin was on board for the first time and helped the Coopers focus their songwriting and sound, while they also perfected their trashy, violent, and theatrical stage show and image. One of the band's most instantly identifiable anthems, "I'm Eighteen," was what made the album a hit, as well as another classic, "Is It My Body." But like Alice Cooper's other albums from the early '70s, it was an incredibly consistent listen from beginning to end. The garage rocker "Caught in a Dream" as well as the ass-kicking "Long Way to Go" and a pair of epics -- the Doors-esque "Black Juju" and the eerie "Ballad of Dwight Fry" -- showed that Alice was easily in league with other high-energy Detroit bands of the era (MC5, Stooges). Love It to Death was the first of a string of classic releases from the original Alice Cooper group." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • "Famous poet Jacques Werup formed this progressive band in Malmo in 1973. His Swedish-language lyrics on Stormvarning have a socialist message with a poetic, yet violent, touch. The band strove to make the music radical, with most of the music written by Rolf Sersam. The standout cut, "Snart Bryter Stormen Ut", was written by Werup and guitarist Mulle Holmqvist, who really shines here. Ek and Karlberg were ten replaced by Lasse Berggrensson and Percy Malmqvist? who both had played with Holmqvist in 60's band The Troublemakers. Storm At The Top saw the entire band mooning on the back cover. It featiured English-language lyrics and less experimental, but still progressive, music. EMI in London wanted Storm to have a big tour in Great Britain but bad wages made the band decline the offer. The third and final album was released in 1977 and featured a new rhythm section? consisting of former Lotus members Stefan Berggrensson and Hakan Nyberg. Casanova i Mjölby is an excellent Swedish-language concept album. It tells an anachronistic story about Italian legend Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798) coming to a small town in Sweden in 1977 to witness society in decay. Like its predecessors? the album was co-produced by the band and Gunnar Lindqvist (G.L. Unit). The vinyl is hopused ina great sleeve by painter Bo Hulten. Despite the album being the peak of Storm's career, the band quit soon after. Werup went on to release several solo albums, often collaborating with his former Storm colleagues." - The Encyclopedia of Swedish Progressive Music 1967-1979
    $5.00
  • Michael Romeo doesn't work quickly.  The man takes his time and a new Symphony X album is ready when its been honed to perfection.  Underworld is the first new album in four years.  To get to the point its ridiculously great.  Up through V, the band were the modern agents of neoclassical/symphonic metal.  With The Odyssey the band took a left turn with Russell Allen's vocals being more agressive and a pervasive overall crunchiness, heaviness to the sound.  Perhaps a bit less symphonic sounding.  With Underworld fans of the "old style" will smile once again.  The band has found a way to balance both sides of their sound.  Its heavy but extremely melodic.  Russell's vocals are spot on and Mr. Romeo's solos have an organic flow that will sweep you through the tune.  Its a beautiful marriage of styles - not too much of either direction that the band has exhibited in the past.  Toss in a theme built around Dante's Inferno and you've totally sucked me back in to the fold.  BUY OR DIE!"A lot has happened with New Jersey-based progressive metal band SYMPHONY X since the Iconoclast album was released four years ago. Singer ‘Sir’ Russell Allen recorded and toured behind several releases with ADRENALINE MOB, toured with TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA and recorded the album The Great Divide with ALLEN-LANDE. Bassist Mike Lepond toured with HELSTAR and released his excellent solo album under the name SILENT ASSASSINS. Keyboardist Michael Pinnella released a solo album and guitarist Michael Romeo made guest appearances on some albums. Drummer Jason Rullo battled and successfully recovered from heart failure in 2013.Four years later, SYMPHONY X delivers another fantastic album, the band sounding just as powerful as Iconoclast, and amazingly never missing a beat. Titled Underworld, it is sort of a concept album, loosely based on Dante’s epic poem Inferno. Dante’s Inferno is not a totally original topic in the metal world; ICED EARTH featured an epic song based on it on their 1995 album Burnt Offerings and SEPULTURA wrote a concept album based on it with 2006’s Dante XXI, while SYMPHONY X themselves included references to it on their 1997 album The Divine Wings Of Tragedy. Several other metal bands have also been influenced by the poem.SYMPHONY X do not follow the tale word for word, but use it more as an inspiration. Michael Romeo is quoted as saying that the album has a theme of “going to hell and back for something or someone you care about.” He also said that this album is more about “the song” instead of the album as a whole, allowing it to flow better from song to song. This doesn’t mean every song is an attempt at a single. Romeo’s intent when writing songs for Underworld was for people to be able to take in the whole album in one listening. (The total album length is just over an hour, compared to Iconoclast’s two discs that were around 83 minutes).To be honest, the last two SYMPHONY X albums, 2007’s Paradise Lost and 2011’s Iconoclast were my favorite albums released by the band so far. I refer to them as the “angry” SYMPHONY X, mainly due to Russell Allen’s vocal delivery and the aggressive music on those particular albums. So, I waited to see if we would get a third album in this same vein from SYMPHONY X. The songs on Underworld seem to alternate between prog and aggression, but for the most part, the album is not as “angry” as Iconoclast. The album strikes a perfect balance between prog and power. Some songs are aggressive without being “angry”. There are definitely more classic SYMPHONY X elements here than on recent releases.The album is much more accessible than previous albums. The songs overall are shorter (most clocking in at around the 5-6 minute mark), and more to the point than on previous albums. For example, “Kiss Of Fire” is one of the best tracks I’ve ever heard by SYMPHONY X. It immediately became a favorite of mine on this album, with the verse, “Bring down the hammer, with serious anger – It’s me against the world!” section and the chorus becoming some of my favorite moments. This song probably represents the album to me more than any other, but the album is filled with classics, such as opener “Nevermore”, a ferocious track that is aggressive in the verses, while the chorus is more melody-driven. The title track follows, with many twists, turns and speed sections. “Without You” is a standout track. With its guarded delivery by Allen and acoustic guitar flowing in the background, it is probably the mellowest moment on Underworld, but that’s not a bad thing. The chorus is the focus of the track, with Allen performing some of his best work. The song probably has the most potential as a single. Another solid track, “Charon”, named for the ferry boatman of the underworld, follows. This track has a middle-eastern flavor to it.The longest track on the album (9:24 in length) follows, the excellent “To Hell And Back”. This song has so many great parts, it’s hard to pick a particular favorite, possibly Allen’s soaring vocal on the chorus or the “on and on and on / no quarter asked, no quarter given” section. “In My Darkest Hour” follows and is another favorite of mine, featuring speed riffing parts, mixed with a melodic chorus. Allen really shines on this song. “Run With The Devil” is even more up-tempo and another one of the more accessible songs due to the chorus. “Swan Song” finds keyboardist Pinnella taking the bulk of the spotlight with his piano flourishes. The album closes with the excellent “Legend”. Allen’s aggressive pre-chorus vocals and melodic chorus vocals make this an instant classic.I believe the playing on Underworld is at another level for the band. Lepond’s bass work is spectacular throughout and Jason Rullo makes a real statement with his drum performance. Fantastic work from keyboardist Michael Pinnella and of course guitarist Michael Romeo’s amazing riffs and solos are worth the price alone. But you get more, don’t you? You get one of the best singers in metal, Sir Russell Allen, making yet another classic album even better with his voice.The album’s exquisite cover artwork (once again by illustrator Warren Flanagan) features the return of the SYMPHONY X masks, around which are eight symbols that represent the circles of hell: limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, and fraud. The symbol for treachery, the ninth circle, is underneath the masks, and hopefully will be revealed in full inside the album packaging.Underworld is a great album, which grew on me the more I listened to it. SYMPHONY X are masters of American prog metal, and have been for quite some time. Underworld further cements that reputation, and will undoubtedly please fans of all eras of the band." - KNAC.com 
    $23.00
  •  "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." - Sea of TranquilityNosound - Wherever You Are (from Afterthoughts) from Kscope on Vimeo.
    $29.00