Ardor

SKU: TERMOCD015
Label:
Termo Records
Category:
Art Rock
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"Art pop collective The Opium Cartel return after their much-acclaimed debut with their sophomore effort "Ardor". Featuring a stellar cast including No-Man/Henry Fool's Tim Bowness and Stephen Bennett, White Willow/Änglagård drummer Mattias Olsson, as well as members of Wobbler, Jaga Jazzist and Pixel, not to mention two of Norway's foremost vocal talents; Venke Knutson and Alexander Stenerud. The project is helmed by White Willow guitarist/songwriter Jacob Holm-Lupo. While continuing the atmospheric, slo-mo proggy pop sound of the first album, this new album is a somewhat different beast, taking inspiration from 80's art pop icons like The Blue Nile, Japan, Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush, as well as drawing on the contemporary electronic pop of bands like M83. This will also appeal to fans of adventurous indie acts like Field Music, Everything Everything, Sunset Rubdown and The Week That Was." 

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    $5.00
  • The North American Freak Kitchen catalog reissue program continues.  Freak Kitchen is Mattias Eklundh (guitar.vocals), Christer Ortefors (bass) and Bjorn Fryklund (drums). The band describes their album as "A corny little heavy-pop-rock-Latin-world-jazz-avant-garde-metal-blues-record straight from hell!". "Organic" is the band’s sixth album.  It features a guest appearance by Guns N Roses guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal.  Pure guitar driven insanity with tongue firmly planted in cheek.  Essential for fans of Frank Zappa, Bumblefoot, and Steve Vai."If there was such a thing as indie metal, Freak Kitchen would define the genre perfectly. This metal band hails from Sweden and was formed back in 1992. Their outstanding musicianship and authentic musical style makes this power trio a real treat for those of us lucky enough to find their music. The bands’ distaste for big corporate labels has not prevented them from getting their music out, just not on a scale one would expect them to be considering the high level of quality music that they put out. So, as they state on one of their songs: “I’m so alternative, I am so independent, this is the way to live the independent way of life.” I guess one could say the guys walk the talk!Frontman Mathias IA Eklundh is considered a premier guitar player, having himself released several instrumental solo albums, Freak Guitar (1999) and Freak Guitar - The Road Less Traveled (2004). Also of some importance I guess is the fact that I’ve read in several live performance reviews that Eklundh will often play his guitar using foreign objects, some of which are described as vibrating dildos! Oh yeah, and he can really sing too! Eklundh is also the founder of Mattiasology, of which Steve Vai (peace prophet) and Paul Gilbert (space prophet) are listed as members of the Grand Church of Freakiness.Organic is Freak Kitchen sixth studio album, which was released in different parts of the world on April 27, 2005, just don’t expect to find it in North America yet. When you hear them for the first time, and believe me - you will eventually hear them - it’s really like nothing you’ve heard before. It’s like mixing a heavy metal guitar sound with alternative rock and adding mild progressive elements and a clearly indie rock vibe. It’s going to turn your head as it did mine. If you’re into metal you’re going to wonder “what the hell is this” and if you’re into indie rock, you’re going to wonder the exact same thing? It’s a blending of styles that requires time to soak up. But after you get over the initial impact of it all, it grows on you very quickly and I mean that in an exponentially freaky kind of way.The album opens with the single “Speak When Spoken Too,” which also features the eccentric Bumblefoot (Ron Thal - another Mattiasology prophet) on back up vocals and guitar. The Pantera style guitar riffs will have you questioning the bands musical style and the evident alternative rock vibe will probably remind you of System of a Down. There's a whole lot of humour spread out throughout the album as well.The band plays hook laden guitar driven songs full of interesting arrangements and cool little guitar antics and solos. The crystal clear production, the occasional blast beats, the crazy guitar sounds, the humorous lyrics about everyday life (infidelity, racism, the role of parenting) and the radio-friendliness of it all makes this a very memorable listening experience." - Sputnik Music
    $14.00
  • Long awaited new album from this Israeli metal band. The music of Orphaned Land has extremely deep roots in their Israeli/Middle Eastern heritage. Melodies and even instrumentation are faithful to their region. Hmmm...I even think I hear some Mellotron strings here (must be cuz Steven Wilson produced this album!). The music is incredibly dynamic with gorgeous acoustic parts slamming into crushing slabs of metal. Vocals are a mix of clean and coarse and it all blends seamlessly. With repeated listens this might attain masterpiece status. Easily a top 10 release for 2010. Highest recommendation.
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  • "Chapter 1, the debut album from Level 10 is the first collaboration between vocal powerhouse Russell Allen (Symphony X, Adrenaline Mob) and bassist/producer/writer Mat Sinner (Primal Fear, Voodoo Circle) Frontiers President, Serafino Perugino initiated the duo to team up for the creation of a new Metal project which could melt the more contemporary sound of Adrenaline Mob with the more traditional European Power Metal melody and aggression.Sinner enlisted his Primal Fear/Voodoo Circle bandmates Randy Black (on drums) and Alex Beyrodt (on guitar) and Roland Grapow (ex Helloween, MasterPlan, Serious Black) and Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline, Voodoo Circle) to complete the lineup on lead guitar and keyboards respectively. On the songwriting side – besides the band members – the album features the songwriting talents of Magnus Karlsson, Carsten Schulz, Ralf Scheepers, Johann Fiegl, Sander Gommans and Amanda Somerville.For those fans of Russell Allen who were expecting Symphony X, you will be slightly disappointed, aside from Allen’s trademark pipes, there is not much here resemble Symphony X’s brand of neo-classical prog metal. By the same token, those fans of Allen who fear the agro-vocals and Godsmack-esque brand of “modern heavy rock”, can breathe easy, as the music on Chapter One leans closer to Euro power metal than mainstream hard rock.The album opener, Cry No More kicks off with a vengeance, with a guitar riff that would sound at home on one of Voodoo Circle albums. Allen’s vocals are powerful during the verses and soar on the multi-harmony chorus. Del Vecchio adds a 70’s moog synth sound on the keys and Black pounds the drums mercilessly. There is a crunchy, heavy groove on the mid-tempo Soul of the Warrior, featuring stellar vocal work on the chorus and a catchy as hell chorus. The tempo picks up with an 80’s sounding rocker with a driving beat, heavy chugging guitar rhythms, and Allen sounding aggressive while still maintaining his trademark melodic voice. The chorus features another killer multi-harmony vocal and Beyrodt and Grapow get to flex their muscles during the harmony guitar solo.The album takes a more AOR tone on the heavy rock anthem One Way Street, which has a 70’s Bad Company meets Motley Crue’s Dr. Feelgood feel to it. Randy Black’s percussion skills are on center stage, showing why Black is one of the most versatile drummers in power metal today. The albums first single titled Blasphemy has the symphonic bombast of European power metal and Allen’s voice is at it’s most evil sounding during the vocals and shows off his upper register during the chorus.Last Man On Earth is another hard rock song with a great hook and sing-a-long chorus, which does get a little repetitive after a few listens but I guess that’s what why they call it a hook! Scream And Shout is another old school power mental anthem straight out of the 80’s with it’s, for lack of a better word, *shout* a-long chorus. The guitar harmonies and shredding solo section blend in perfectly and Black’s double bass drumming drives the song once again.Allen flexes his vocal muscles on the mid-tempo rock of Into The Wilderness, using his upper register as only he can. The song itself isn’t as memorable as some of the other material on the album save for the chorus, which has some fine harmony vocal work. The requisite piano power ballad All Is Gone is a fitting showcase for Russell Allen’s amazing vocal prowess, even though the song itself sounds like a combination of Symphony X’s When All Hope Is Lost and something off of one of the Allen/Lande albums, which is not surprising since Magnus Karlsson is one of the credited songwriters here.The crushing riff of Demonized brings the heavy power metal with Russell at his most sinister sounding. For those fans wanting to hear something heavy, this one is for you. Chugging guitar rhythms, aggressive vocals, pounding drums, and shredding solos, this one has it all, a headbangers delight! The groove-heavy Soul Is Enternal has a mid-tempo fist pumping rhythm with Allen using a more soulful vocal approach during the verses and letting loose during the chorus.The album closer Forevermore is a power metal classic filled with melody, a HUGE multi-vocal harmony chorus and superb vocals from Allen and guest Ralf Scheepers vocals are quite noticeable in the mix. This song is probably the closest to the sound of Primal Fear and tied with Cry No More for my favorite song on the album. In an age where so-called supergroups are becoming more prevalent, Level 10’s debut album finds itself in the upper echelon, even if its destiny is to be a one off studio project, only time will tell." - Lady Obscure
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  • Limited edition hardbound art book featuring the album on 2CDs, another 2 CDs with instrumental versions of the album, a DVD with "making of" and interview footage, plus a 48 page booklet.Arjen Lucassen's long awaited Ayreon project is a total blast.  Like some of the earlier Ayreon albums, it owes as much to prog rock as it does metal.  All the old school heroes like Emerson, Wakeman, Wetton get to strut their stuff showing a young stud like Rudess a thing or two.  As always Lucassen latches on to some of the best vocalists around and this one is no exception.  Highly recommended."You know what the metal world needs more of? Musicals. I'm not saying that ironically either. Sure, we have plenty of prog bands putting out concept albums, but cool as these records many be, the story themselves are not the focus of the album. Ayreon mastermind Arjen Anthony Lucassen has resurrected his grandest of all projects to continue showing these folks how to tell an epic story the right way.With 01011001 the Ayreon story came to an end, or so we thought. Arjen instead decided to focus on projects like Star One, Guilt Machine, and his solo album Lost in the New Real. When he revealed not too long ago that he was working on a new project, it wasn't a surprise to discover it was new Ayreon, but I was still plenty excited.Lucassen said of the newest record, "It's not science fiction, but a human story set in a science context." So no aliens or battling emotions or any of that. So, in an attempt to better understand the story, I contacting him for the lyrics and much to my surprise, he sent them to me saying, "Oh yes, you need the lyrics, definitely." Holy hell, was he right. The story is indeed more grounded than previous records, but there are still layers to this beast.Fans of Ayreon should know what to expect here. The Theory of Everything has seven guest singers and each singer plays a part in the story. They are JB (Grand Magus) as the Teacher, Christina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) as the Mother, Michael Mills (Toehider) as the Father, Tommy Karevik (Kamelot) as the Prodigy, Marco Hietala (Nightwish) as the Rival, John Wetton (Asia/ex-King Crimson) as the Psychiatrist, and Sara Squadrani (Ancient Bards) as the Girl.Of these singers, the most impressive is the relatively unknown Sara Squadrani. She performs on a large portion of the story and shines every time, especially on "Love and Envy". I was also surprised to be so enamored with the performance of Christina Scabbia. She's always had  a wonderful voice, but her performance in this record might be her finest. Her harmonies with Squadrani stand out particularly on "Mirror of Dreams". This isn't to say only the performances by the female singers are worth mentioning. Tommy Karevik's introduction in "The Prodigy's World" is one of the strongest moments on the album.Every Ayreon album comes an eclectic group of guest musicians. This round primarily consisted of guest keyboardists. Rick Wakeman (ex-Yes) handles a good portion of the record, while Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) and Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) both make excellent solo appearances on "Progressive Waves".Having listened to all of Lucassen's albums at least once, I can say The Theory of Everything is the most musically diverse offering he's had a hand in, perhaps with the exception of his solo record. This isn't as heavy as previous Ayreon titles, but it has its driving moments like "Collision" and the Dream Theather-esque "Frequency Modulation." The aforementioned "Love and Envy" is a slower introspective song, while "Diagnosis" is massive and a little cheesy, but so awesome. "Transformation" has a Middle Eastern feel to it, and  "The Eleventh Dimension" sounds like intergalactic renaissance faire music.Often times there are jumps in mood, genre, etc in the middle of a song. This is fairly typical for an Ayreon release; what isn't typical is that technically this record consists of only four songs. These four songs are each at least twenty-one minutes, but they are cut up into forty-two pieces (yes, that's a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference) .This is a fun record. It's a record that does require a time commitment. I'd say listeners should treat it as a proper musical or film in a theater. Try to experience it all in one sitting for the full effect. It's absolutely worth it." - Metal InjectionSTRICT LIMIT OF ONE PER CUSTOMER
    $40.00
  • Fifth studio album from this always interesting Polish prog band.  Lizard's music always has a dark quality to it.  At times there is a noir quality that reminds of King Crimson but there is a strong symphonic rock component that dominates their music.  Master & M is a conceptual album based around Mikhail Bulgakov's "The Master & Margarita" novel.  It consists of five long chapters with some intense instrumental passages.  Vocals are excellent but the problem with Lizard is that band leader Damian Bydlinski sings in Polish.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • Another finely crafted gem from this underrated German melodic metal band.
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  • Double live CD/DVD set from this long running Danish band. This was filmed in Switzerland on their Pandemonium tour.
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  • The Laser’s Edge is proud to announce the signing of the British progressive rock band Magenta for the exclusive North American release of their fourth studio album, titled Metamorphosis. Without abandoning the sense of melody and dynamics that remain the Magenta trademark, Metamorphosis sees the band taking a darker, more intense path with powerful, sometimes disturbing subject matter. "I think this album is going to surprise a lot of people," says keyboardist Rob Reed "It will challenge many people's preconceptions of what Magenta are, and what we are capable of musically. Most of it was written on guitar, so some of the material is heavier than before, whilst retaining most of the elements of the Magenta sound." The album also marks the band's return to long-form pieces of music, with two 20 minute-plus songs, and a new, richer sound with the addition of strings. "Watch out for some brilliant performances on the record." Reed says. "Christina Booth's vocals are just astonishing, Tim Robinson delivers a virtuoso performance on drums and Chris Fry has pushed the bar even higher than usual with some amazing lead guitar. I have no doubt that this is, by far, our finest album to date." Magenta was formed in 2001, quickly capturing the attention of progressive rock fans around the world with a sound influenced by the icons of the past. Over the years the band has performed at virtually every major progressive rock festival in the world including gigs at Rosfest, BajaProg, and Nearfest. Year after year, the band has received awards from various progressive rock publications. In 2007, the band won two awards from the esteemed British Classic Rock Society including Best Band and Best Female Singer. The album was mastered by Grammy winning engineer Bob Katz. To further enhance the package, Metamorphosis features startling artwork from the noted graphic design house Killustrations.
    $14.00
  • Second (or first - they are interchangeable) half of the simultaneous release from this Argentinian prog rock band.  "The Facts" might differentiate itself slightly from "The Tales" in that there seems to be a bit more of a crunch factor in the guitarwork but overall this is still symphonic rock.  Pretty damn good too!  Guesting on this album is the great Damian Wilson on vocals.
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  • Second album from this French zeuhl influenced ensemble.  It demonstrates a variety of influences from zeuhl, Canterbury, and RIO - all blended together with jazz rock.  The music can become hypnotic at times - quite intense actually.
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  • This album is wicked!  Cholo Visceral are an instrumental sextet from Peru.  Dual guitars, bass, drums, saxophone and sounds effects collide in a stoned out frenzy that sounds like David Jackson jamming with Black Sabbath.  Hell toss in some early Crimson madness also.  Not a super spaced out sound, just very intense angular guitar riffing and wild and wooly sax blowing.  Highly recommended."When we think of Peruvian rock naturally the first bands come to mind are Traffic Sound, Telegraph Avenue, Los Saicos and so on...When we progress forward to today there is quite the new revival scene going on in Peru and for most leading the way in the roots of the psychedelic underground scene is a band called Cholo Visceral hailing from Lima, Peru...Cholo Visceral is composed up of 6 members ages between 20-25 which create a high energy charged blast and an unmistakable sound frenzy delight for your ears complete with Horn, Drum and Guitar interplay of psychedelic Jazz not unlike early Miles Davis inprov with Pete Cosey,...This leaves one begging for more!!! Cholo Visceral's sound is tight with the classic Latin hints of past and new, wonderful time phrasings and this album is purely intense and all instrumental [for those who are worried about language barriers]Peru has always host to an astonishing variety of musical traditions that have managed to evolve concurrently... More astonishing, Peruvians as a whole seem to have embraced these traditions regardless of their class, regional or ethnic backgrounds and no doubt Cholo Visceral is now stepping up to take it's well deserved place in the great musical traditions and sounds we know and love from Peru...So kick back with you a nice cold Chicha de Jora and enjoy Cholo Visceral you will be amazed as i was and i cant wait to hear whats coming next from these fine lads...La Rataza is the title cut which grabs you fast and dosen't let go!!! Track 3 Silvia Escarmiento and 4 Kión are personal favorites and take full advantage of guitar solos, finely crafted sound treatments slightly off kilter drumming [i love] and spacial euphoria..."
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  • Metal Mind Productions combined jewel box editions of A Street Between Sunrise And Sunset and Into The Night together in a slipcase and a very attractive price.
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  • With the unfortunate passing of Dio, the torch has been passed to Mr. Lande as the best vocalist in metal. In a way the music is a bit cliched but his voice is incredible, it fits the music perfectly and you know that he really is passionate about this style. He REALLY believes it and you will too. Its like the old saying - I could listen to him sing the phone book. If you are into the classic hard rock sound this is a must own.
    $6.00