20th Anniversary (3CD/DVD)

20th Anniversary (3CD/DVD)

BY Royal Hunt

(Customer Reviews)
$21.00
$ 12.60
SKU: FRCDVD582
Label:
Frontiers Records
Category:
Melodic Metal
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To celebrate the band's 20th anniversary, Royal Hunt has put together this 3CD/DVD set.  Quite a bit of the early Royal Hunt catalog is out of print.  This set functions as a best of, culling tracks from 11 albums, a new song, and newly recorded acoustic versions of 3 songs.  The DVD compiles the band's promotional video clips.

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  • The split between Geoff Tate and the rest of Queensryche took an ugly turn awhile back and now we are seeing the first fruits of the fallout.  He finds himself on Cleopatra Records - the perfect marriage of exploitation partners.  I'm not sure why anyone would want to actually own this album but I guess if you are an uber-Tate fan you have to have it.  Tate's version of the band features Kelly Gray, Rudy and Robert Sarzo, Simon Wright, and Randy Gane.  The music sounds a lot like all the crap Queensryche was putting out over the past 10-15 years but maybe even less inspired.  Tate took it upon himself to cover 4 classic Queensryche songs as a bonus (oh joy).  Special guests on the album include KK Downing, Chris Poland, Ty Tabor, Paul Bostaph, Lita Ford, Brad Gillis, Dave Meniketti, and Craig Locicero.  If Jimi Hendrix was on this album it couldn't ressurect this swill.  There is one good thing about the album - the cover.  Its a pretty clever jab at his old bandmates.  I'll give him that and not much else.  Fanatics only please.
    $6.00
  • "Twelve years, eight studio albums, two live DVDs and tours that have taken them from Moscow to Quebec. Now one of the most enduring third wave progressive rock bands on the scene returns - a band that has never made an album using the same personnel as the previous album. In fact, the same lineup has (to date) never been used twice.But there are regulars. And some of the favorite regulars are back for the 8th album: Flower Kings bass legend Jonas Reingold; the ever-faithful and gifted Theo Travis, familiar to many from his work with the Steven Wilson band, Gong and Robert Fripp, with his arsenal of wind textures from saxophones to flutes; and the return to the fold of the amazingly talented Luke Machin, a guitar hero for a new generation who can even wow the old generations (and who also fronts his own band, Maschine). And of course there's band leader Andy Tillison (keyboards and vocals), the only member of the band to have played on all the records.This team is joined by Morgan Ågren, Swedish drumming phenomenon who can even count Frank Zappa among his previous jobs (others include, but not limited to, Kaipa, Devin Townsend, and his own acclaimed Mats/Morgan Band). Morgan introduces to The Tangent a real live energy full of inspiration and eccentricity.The band, who were only supposed to make one single album in 2003, are now back with their eighth! A Spark In the Aether is a joyous and uplifting romp that sees the band concentrating on their forté: delivering driving, melodic, thoughtful and inspired songs with a large grin on their faces as they do it."Using protest, sadness and negative images in music is a part of an artist's job" says Andy Tillison, "and it's something we have often done. But every so often I think we need to turn to the music itself and remember why it is we get so much from it. On this album I just wanted us to play - have fun, make music and mischief that can be enjoyed just for the sake of it"So, twelve years further down the line, after albums about dystopian societies, midlife crises, alienation, homelessness and communications - the Tangent return to the very beginning and once again celebrate The Music. You are invited to join in."
    $16.00
  • Domestic jewel box version includes the bonus track "I Wish I Could"."At the very least, THRESHOLD may well be the UK's answer to DREAM THEATRE; progging on since 1988, 2014 sees a follow-up to 2012's "March of Progress", titled "For the Journey". Their brand of Prog Metal (let's face it, every band does it differently) involves less of a focus on instrumental technical showy-offy-ness, and emphasizes the heaviness of individual riffs, and the soaring atmospherics and ambience."Watchtower on the Moon" is teetering on the edge between classic prog motifs, and spacey, futuristic, sci-fi permutations. Upbeat, with a (largely) followable jive, a strong, groovy riff carries the first half of the track, slightly downplayed to best put the vocals out there, and what stellar vocals they are. The blend of delivery of catchy hooks, power and diction, that programs the 'Prog' name with unadulterated listenability. Interestingly enough, as the song evolves, instrumentals are brought to the forefront, and the fabrics of time signatures are toyed with, allowing melodic interplay between guitar and keyboard to flourish. "Turned to Dust" is quite the heavy piece, if not the heaviest on the album; the riffs punch through with a percussive power belied by the flamboyant melody arrangements, and also happens to contain my favorite chorus on the album."Autumn Red" is a smooth, liquid display Prog excellence, the chisel struck by the juxtaposingly heavy riffs; the "keyboards from the 70s' used to great effect, perhaps raking up nostalgia in the PINK FLOYD fans among us. Lyric enthusiasts among us will be drawn to this track; as I perhaps didn't emphasize enough, Damian is the man for the job, delivering poetry into a new artform; pure, melodic diction that embosses the expansive tapestry set by the band. "Siren Sky" is easily my favorite piece; perhaps one of the more "metal" track on the album. The first instance of riffage surged forth tall waves of pure 'epic'. Never a dull moment on this track, the riffs prepared on the piece are emotive like no other on the album; I'm legitimately without words.Easily in my top 3 of this year's Progressive releases, it is no wonder that veterans of the genre are behind this mastery." - Metal Temple
    $11.00
  • "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
  • ""The name SEVEN KINGDOMS has been floating around me for a while now and while receiving mostly good to great reviews, I never got around to checking out any of their two previous albums, so when the chance arose to snatch the promo for their third effort “The Fire Is Mine”, I took it - and I was not disappointed.Technically you could lump the band into the Power Metal genre with female vocals, but by just doing so, you would do the quintet injustice for they are not your run-of-the-mill girl-fronted Power Metal group. And instead of trying to do the smoke and mirrors trick of blinding you with a huge hype but in the end a weak album to follow it (*cough* HUNTRESS), SEVEN KINGDOMS offer us sharp riffing, great melodies and powerful vocals united in excellent songwriting, confirming the positivity I had come across all over for their previous releases.After the obligatory intro, opener “After The Fall” blew my socks off (I am still missing one to this date), double-bass driven, edgy guitars, great, expressive vocals and very nice melodies setting the pace. Good parts of the album are upbeat, mid- to fast-paced, but the Americans mix things up with great melodies, a bit of choir, some slower passages, creating a great and dynamic flow, above which reign the vocals of Sabrina, which are powerful and strong, blowing any thoughts of a Tarja clone out of the water. The riffing sometimes reminds me of a mix of BLIND GUARDIAN ("Flame Of Olympus") and ICED EARTH ("The King In The North"), but without coming off as copy cats, though.Another thing I really enjoy about SEVEN KINGDOMS is that while having a hand for catchy and epic melodies, they put enough of a twist on them not to make them too in-your-face, but a little lower, given them a different mood and more longevity. Best example for this are the already mentioned "Flame Of Olympus" and "The King In The North" as well as "Symphony Of Stars" (love the choir) and "Fragile Minds Collapse". The only track that is distinctly different, is the ballad "Kardia", which alternates between very calm and acoustic and the electric side of the six string, with THEOCRACY's Matt Smith on backing vocals."The Fire Is Mine" is one of Power Metal's strongest outings of the year, with sharp guitars, tight rhythm, great melodies and powerful vocals, I will definitely dig into SEVEN KINGDOMS' back catalogue!"" - Metal Observer
    $13.00
  • Knight Area has undergone a serious lineup change over the past year.  Lead guitar is now handled by Mark Bogert who you may remember from the late, great one-shot Penny's Twisted Flavor.  Bass and Moong Taurus pedals are the domain of the legendary Peter Vink.  Peter is of course well known as a key member of Q65, Finch, and more recently Arjen Lucassen's Ayreon and Star One projects.  These are two virtuoso musicians and they have been given full reign to flex their muscles in the band.The band decided to self-release this CD-EP as a teaser.  With this infusion of extremely gifted musicians you will now hear a turbo-charged version of Knight Area.  The sound is intact - no worries.  This is pure "sympho" that Knight Area does best.  The five tracks consist of three new ones as well as reinterpretations of two classic Knight Area tunes.New album released by Laser's Edge in 2014!
    $12.00
  • 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
    $13.00
  • Chicago prog-metal stalwarts Ion Vein are back but with a new game plan.  The music is now very much in the power metal vein and even has a groove to it.  New vocalist Scott Featherstone is a definite step in the right direction."ION VEIN's self-titled new album shows the band re-tooled, re-focused and re-energized in a way that captures the essence of their song-oriented and technically-skilled metal intensity. Also, a top notch production drives these pounding, meaty canvases to cut into the very core of your soul, while breathing new life into today's world of music. For fans of Metallica, Dio, Iced Earth and more!""The long awaited follow up to 2003's "Reigning Memories" was once again produced, recorded, and mixed by Neil Kernon (Judas Priest, Nevermore, Redemption) and is the first full length album with vocalist, Scott Featherstone, whom the band first debuted on the IV v1.0 and IV v2.0 three song digital EPs released in September 2011 and December 2012 respectively. Additionally, the six songs from those EPs have been re-mixed/re-mastered for inclusion on the full album."
    $10.00
  • "Just under two years ago, at ProgPower USA 2012, the first single and video for the new track “Web of Lies” was premiered. Now all the blood, sweat ,and tears that Halcyon Way put into what would become the next album “Conquer” has finally come to fruition. Shortly after the release of the EP “IndoctriNation,” the seeds of “Conquer” were sown. Since that release and the last full-length album “Building the Towers,” the band went through a couple of lineup changes. However, the core remained the same and the end result is a testament to the will of guitarist Jon Bodan, vocalist Steve Braun, and drummer Ernie Topran’s unyielding desire to succeed. “Conquer” is by far the best offering from the band, incorporating a depth of influences that cross genres to the point where you can only call it “progressive.”There is much more to the concept of “Conquer” than the underlying message. Where there has always been great maturity and strength in the songwriting, the band has incorporated some of the most muscular riffs in its history, making this release by far its heaviest material recorded to date. Melody mongers need not fret, as the soulful whims of a hard rock band lurk deep inside the madness. The best way to describe the performance on “Conquer” is “armor-plated Saigon Kick with industrial tentacles.” Knowing much of the influences that each member brings into the fold, I can easily envision a death match where the old hard rock roots being pummeled and distorted by the modern meat mallets of Monster Magnet and Samael.The title track paves the way with Braun’s impassioned chanting equipped with sharpened blades. It’s a nasty little combination that leaves him open to take it in any direction. For tracks like “Conceived in Torment” and “Hatred is My Cause,” Braun ratchets up the edges aided by Bodan’s death grunts for lethal brutality. Lessor “evisceration” comes in the form of “Home” and two of the album’s most expressive tunes “Save Your Tears” and “The Poisoned Apple.” At no time does the album succumb to that programmed standard album formula: heavy, heavy, mid-paced, power ballad, heavy. It has too many moving parts that keep the sound fresh and modern.Some of the strongest offerings come in the relentless attack riffs in “World Comes Undone,” the equally destructive but faster paced “King of Ruin,” and the on par closer “Eviscerate the Morning Sun.” Personal favorites include the long released “Web of Lies” and its “you can’t hold me back” chant, and the brilliant modern metal classic “Militant,” which is the aggregate of what you will hear on the entire release. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the production and sound aspects of “Conquer” can be summed up with the same two words that have graced many a review from yours truly in 2014: Lasse Lammert. I shall not further expound upon this man’s knob turning talent any more than has been stated in the past.“Conquer” may have been the logical choice for an album title. You can point to the many themes throughout the lyrics and extract all sorts of meaningful impressions. However, the true meaning of “Conquer” is that Halcyon Way has struck a chord of near perfection with an in fallible modern metal sound, which keeps the listener off guard with the unexpected…yet ironically with the same comfort level expected from a band with the maturation, talent, and songwriting ability of 13 year veterans." - Metal Underground
    $12.00
  • "Failing to make any waves with their first album, this Norwegian group got themselves together and started to make this monster of an album. Unfortunately, due to reasons beyond my knowing, the band was dropped by their label and soon disbanded. This album was never finished, but was released as a free download on the internet for all to enjoy. Confusing to this fact is the production value of the album. It doesn't sound raw at all... really, it sounds like the band put tons of polish on the album... quite confusing for an album that would never hit shelves. More evidence to support the fact that this album is unfinished is the fact that the album doesn't even sport any cover art. Not that that takes away from the album at all. In fact, the only time that it shows that the album is unfinished is that the final song when... well, I'll let that be a surprise.It's a real shame that this band never really got the feet under it to go anywhere, because the music here is fantastic!As previous reviewers have stated, it's likely better to ignore the tech/extreme label on the band here. The music here really sounds like X-over or even heavy prog. Any fans of those genres will likely be blown away by this album. Strong bass lines (always a selling point for me) and some wonderful organ parts (reminiscent of classic Deep Purple) are what highlight this album so much along with some excellent melodies and hooks that demand repeated listening.Opening with the quirky STARCHASER this album never lets down. The keys and guitars kick in right away as do the killer bass lines. Rapidly changing pace the song makes its way with some truly excellent moments. The floating keys in the background give the song an airy feel among all that pounding rhythm section until the song finally comes to an end. To quote the song Enjoy the ride!. DESERT MACHINE continues with the strong bass lines and drives across this heavy song with a bang. ACCORDION WOMAN is the song that brings forth the most notable Deep Purple influences, its notable riff and organ making for a nice combination as the catchy chorus blends in for a very notable track. Getting heavier and more into the guitar work is TERMINAL, similar to its predecessor in terms of organ/guitar work, this song is actually probably the simplest song out the of the mix so far. Still good none the less, and a good song to rock out to. A slow bridge/chorus also make for an interesting mixture.Then we get to the really good stuff.BLOOD IS BLOOD is the biggest standout on the album. Being the longest track this song also manages to capture everything already mentioned about the album that's great. Half of the song being an instrumental overture, the band really gets to strut their stuff here. The killer bass lines are back with a vengeance and so are the keys. The guitar drifts a bit more towards the background here but still provides a nice section. Really picking up around the 2 minute mark everything just keeps getting faster and better until everything simply dies off and the vocals bring out the song with some much more subdued work from the other members. Fantastico!Coming into the second half of the album the band still manages to keep interest.Starting off the mix is the quick instrumental WE WILL CRIMSON YOU. A clearly Fripp inspired song that's quite good (if not quite Crimson caliber), and the guitar actually coming to the foreground to take the helm from the keys and bass for a bit, even if they still are there. Almost bordering on Black Sabbath (mixed with the KC) sounding, this song is a nice change in pace. U is a quirky track that's yet another change in pace. Heavy and clunky, this track shows off the more metal side of the band. UNDEAD is a fairly lo-key track that feels necessary to start to tail off the album with. Good but not great, this song actually feels like a bit of filler. However, all is forgiven with the next (and final) track. NOTHING NEW is an unfortunately accurate and slightly foreboding title (it's their last song, so nothing new after this!). The song, however, is marvelous! slower than it's brothers yet still wonderful ear candy, this song is another one of those songs that epitomizes what the band does best. More great bass lines and keys coupled with some more to the front guitar work and blissful melodies makes one want this song to last forever. Coming to the end with some Wakeman like boards and a guitar that really picks up the song...the song... the song..!!! ... cuts off. It just ends. Likely meant to be the album's epic and never finished the song really just leaves you wanting more, which is both good and bad. Good because that's how an album should always end (with you wanting more) but bad because they're never going to follow up on this album and their debut will likely be tough to find. Oh well.Wonderful music from a terribly misfated band that is recommended to all. (As mentioned before) Fans of heavy prog and X-over should give this album a shot, because it's a wonderfully hidden gem. Anyone who wants to check them out can search them up on the internet and download the album for free (and legally, too). 4 stars, it's not a masterpiece... but it sure is a great listen." - ProgArchives
    $15.00
  • "What I thought, upon first listen, was going to be yet another Gothic Metal release in the vein of Epica, Midnattsol, Imperia, et al, turns out to be a bit more than that. Portugal's Enchantya touch most of the genre's clichés, from the band's name to the all-black look, the female lead singer and the haunting album art. But where the rubber hits the road, i.e. the songwriting, they brought a little extra to the table. Singer Rute Fevereiro has the requisite operatic voice and while not the match of a Tarja Turunen, she does a fine job with the material on Dark Rising, the band's first full-length album. Rather than settling for being just another Gothic Metal band, Enchantya's keyboardist brings a few Progressive Metal riffs to songs like the opening instrumental, "Unwavering Faith," and the solo of "Your Tattoo." The band wisely limits this trick using it just enough to give Dark Rising a distinct personality. "No Stars in the Sky" is a solid, up-tempo number, showing off some Nightwish worship, but also that Enchantya knows what goes into writing a good song. There are harsh vocals throughout the album, providing a nice balance to the sweetness of Fevereiro's singing. "Winter Dreams" is a beautifully melodic ballad while "Ocean Drops" successfully combines both the heavier and softer sides of the band. There are missteps, like the awful chorus on "She-Devil," but they are minimal and all is forgiven when the fantastic title track comes on. "Dark Rising" has wonderful melodies and a bright chorus and is sure to be a staple of the band's live set for years to come.Dark Rising isn't going to make people forget about Nightwish's Wishmaster or Autumn's Altitude but it is a strong debut with just enough individuality to stand out from the crowd. Gothic and Symphonic Metal fans will want to put Enchantya on the radar screen for the foreseeable future." - The Metal Crypt
    $5.00
  • With nearly forty-five minutes of brand new material, Turning Tides represents MALPRACTICE at their absolute best, combining intricate progressive metal with catchy melodies topped with excellent musicianship and brilliant vocal harmonies. Professionally recorded by the members of the band at various locations, Turning Tides was produced by the band’s Joonas Koto and Toni Paananen and engineered by Koto, then mixed and mastered by Anssi Kippo at Astra-Studio A and enshrouded by intriguing artwork and design work by Miikka Tikka.“The lyrical theme of the album is about a guy who is very well educated. In fact so educated and talented that he can't land a job for himself due to over education,” collectively issued the members of MALPRACTICE. “He kind of falls in-between things and ends up in the suburbs unemployed and frustrated. He is ‘the best kept secret’ since no one wants to hire him. His life and sanity starts to fall apart due to his frustration and depression. He tries to fight the system but always ends up deeper and deeper in apathy. The story can be somewhat related to MALPRACTICE's struggle to make it for two decades already. The question is: ‘Is the guy me? You? Or every one of us?’” 
    $13.00
  • "2014 surely seems to be a year of fruitful reunions; CARCASS is one we could see coming from a mile away, but alas, one name stood somewhat overshadowed by the band’s guitarist-mastermind’s main band, ARCH ENEMY; Chris Amott has brought ARMAGEDDON back to life, “Captivity And Devourment”: the first new material from the band since the last album, “Three”, in 2002. A band known for each album being a completely separate entity, genre-wise, “Captivity And Devourment” retains the blistering Melodic Death Metal from the first album, but combines modern nuances, and Chris’s own clean vocal performances, first heard on the last ARMAGEDDON album, and later, on his solo album work. This release is what ARMAGEDDON and the more aware of ARCH ENEMY fans have been waiting for the past 12 years.Fully unified and re-energized, the frontman position now takes the form of thunderous coarse vocalist Matt Hallquist provides the majority of the vocal delivery; a supermassive, unrelenting delivery of harsh growls, yet Chris’s clean singing deliveries are thoughtfully emblazon a number of tracks; the man is a master guitar player, and that is what this album shows. That being said, he a skilled vocalist in his own right.The title track opens the album, and what a monster of a song it is; hinting that this will be the band’s heaviest album to date, it explodes forth with a blast-beaten intro, before subsiding into a pummelling series of groove-ridden riffs. A powerful reminder that the ex-shredder of one of the world’s biggest Melodic Death Metal bands has once again made a foray into the Extreme Metal world, as such, the guitar work on this track drew a smile to my face.  “Locked in” is a bit more mellowed in the heaviness department, but is thickly substantiated with meaty riffs, and soaring, double-kicked sections, though the top dollar are the deliciously-catchy chord progressions .“Thanatron” was one of the first tastes we were given earlier this year, of the band’s new material. Beginning with a crisp, acoustic passage, some of the riffs on this track are as heavy and robust as you’ll hear on the album; a strong Groove Metal sound drives the main riffs. The necksnapping headbangery of this track shovels the coal into the massive engine that powers this album, from the beautiful and up-beat acoustic interlude of “Background Radiation”, through to one of my two favourite piece on the album, “The Watcher”. Seemingly more epic in stature, as the massive, thrumming intro riffs would give away, it certainly pulls no punches. This track happens to be strongly-embellished with clean vocals, not necessarily provided in the lead vocal sense but noticeable nonetheless. Chris commands the lyrics with an unusual style of delivery, sitting somewhere in the mid-range and capable of powerful belts, but with a mysterious, almost Gothic nuance about his singing. Quite frankly, he sounds like no one else I’ve ever heard; the grandiose, soaring section partway through the track will surely convince of this.A power metal enthusiast at heart, I was secretly hoping for more vocal belts; I was met with this and more on “Equalizer”, my other favourite. A virtuosic guitarist at heart, fans of his guitar playing will be at the very least satisfied and sated with the stellar lead work on this track. Chris certainly made no mistake in taking on the  best musicians for the job, either; I couldn’t be more pleased with the line-up after listening to this album, particularly the thundering bass tone provided by Sara. In fact, the overall production of this album is to be highly commended; seemingly, deliberately raw, it is far from overproduced, and everything comes across as far more organic, definitely playing a part in the heaviness factor.Am I approaching this with rose-tinted glasses/headphones? Hardly; ARMAGEDDON is a different band now. Something bigger, something stronger, and hopefully that little bit more infinite. Either way, this is the calibre of comeback I had been hoping for." - Metal Temple
    $15.00
  • Flaming Row is a studio based project coordinated by multi-instrumentalist Martin Schnella of the band Steel Protector. In addition to Steel Protector bandmate Kiri Geile, Schnella has enlisted a number of high profile guests. Shadow Gallery's Gary Wehrkamp and Brendt Allman are prominent as well as Circa's Billy Sherwood and Spock's Beard's Jimmy Keegan. All together there are over 30 musicians on the album.Elinoire is a conceptual rock opera with various vocalists playing out the parts of the characters. The music runs the gamut from old school symphonic rock (love the Mellotron, flute and organ) to progressive metal. Not too dissimilar to Arjen Lucassen's projects as the different styles hit you from all angles. Highly recommended. 
    $15.00