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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  • Lifesigns is a new band put together by keyboardist journeyman John Young, along with Nick Beggs (Steve Hackett), and Martin Beedle (Cutting Crew).  Featured guests include Steve Hackett, Jakko Jakszyk, Thijs Van Leer, and Robin Boult.  5 long tracks that have a contemporary prog sound but with nice extended instrumental parts.  Not a technical tour de force - emphasis here is on melody.  I'm reminded a bit of Steve Hackett's recent works.  While John Young has written all the material, bassist/Stickist Nick Beggs quietly steals the show.
    $15.00
  • "Flaming Lips fandom in the 21st-century requires agreeing to the terms of this transaction: in exchange for receiving a non-stop stream of new, consistently adventurous music from your favorite band, you have to put up with Wayne Coyne’s Instagram skeeziness, and all the #freaks hashtags, exclamation-point abuse, and Miley Cyrus tongue-wagging selfies that go with it. Seems like a fair enough trade-off, but even those fans who are most tolerant of Wayne’s social-media madcappery had to be thinking “really, dude?” last spring when some especially ill-advised photos led to accusations of racism, and the extremely acrimonious ousting of long-time Lips drummer Kliph Scurlock (the fallout from which continues to spread).In light of this, the debut of the Lips’ prog-inspired alter-ego act the Electric Würms couldn’t have come at a better time. By promoting redoubtable multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd to bandleader and reducing Coyne to background noisemaker (with Nashville psych-rock outfit Linear Downfall playing the role of an absent Michael Ivins), the new project effectively doubles as a form of damage control, redirecting our attention back to the ongoing evolution of what has been a remarkably productive and intriguingly unpredictable phase for the band. Even that Teutonic album title—which apparently translates as “music that’s hard to twerk to”—offers the guarantee of a Miley-free zone.Given that Drozd has long been the de facto musical director of the Flaming Lips, the Würms unsurprisingly stick to the post-Embryonic playbook, to the point where the new band name is practically immaterial, and Musik, die Schwer zu Twerk could just as easily be the (slightly) sunnier follow-up to the blood-red-skied electro-psych of 2013’s The Terror. And when you consider how much Coyne’s voice was fused into the textural mist on that album, Drozd’s soft, childlike coo doesn’t have much opportunity to distinguish itself amid the shock-treatment synths, radio-static guitar fuzz, and stellar-drift drums. Oddly, for an album that cheekily presents itself as a long-lost ’70s prog cut-out bin artifact, Musik, die Schwer zu Twerk’s most notable characteristic may be its 29-minute brevity, offering a tasting-menu sampler of the various modes the Lips have been exploring for the past five years. It’s almost as if the Lips have formed a cover-band-medley version of themselves.So in lieu of prog’s multi-sectional intricacy, each of the six tracks here lock into discrete themes, from the mirage-like space-age bachelor-pad smear of “Futuristic Hallucination” to the Live-Evil-era Miles (by way of Yoko Ono’s Fly) psych-funk shriek of “Transform!!!” However, these four-minute spurts are too free-ranging to establish a melodic logic, yet too steady in execution to achieve maximal freak-out potential; with its creeping rhythm, quavering vocal, and steampiped-synth exhaust, “The Bat” is very much sonically of a piece with The Terror, but feels insubstantial outside a similarly elaborate context.Ironically, focus arrives in the form of a cover of Yes’ hyrda-headed dinosaur-rock colossus “Heart of the Sunrise,” which simply lops off Vincent Gallo’s favorite build-up and the arpeggiated closing act and condenses it into a pure and simple four-minute star-gazing ballad, with Drozd doing an eerily spot-on Jon Anderson. (That said, the attempt at writing a modern-day Yes song—“I Could Only See Clouds”—is less satisfying, with a placid central melody that never fully adheres to the intrusive Howe/Squire-worthy contorto-riff.) But it’s not surprising that the Würms find their greatest success the further they venture from the Lips mothership and the longer they stay the course. With the Neu! hypno-rock pulse of “Living,” the band turn in both their headiest jam and most dramatic song, with Drozd’s ghostly voice sounding like a final transmission to mission control before he and Coyne thrust themselves into the coldest, darkest reaches of outer space—or, at the very least, somewhere with no smartphone reception." - Pitchfork
    $9.00
  • This is a bit of an improbable project that really comes together.  Balance Of Power leader Lionel Hicks is also a movie producer.  He produced a sci-fi film called The Hybrid.  Saxon contributed tunes for the soundtrack.  As a result of the relationship a new "supergroup" of sorts was put together called The Scintilla Project.  Fronting the band is Biff Byford (Saxon).  Guitars are handled by noted metal producer and Hell guitarist Andy Sneap.  They rhythm section is held down by Balance Of Power's Lionel Hicks and Anthony Ritchie.  The result is an excellent cyber/prog metal album with a strong melodic element.  Plenty of keyboards push the music a bit towards the Dream Theater side of the spectrum but its never gets overly technical.  Highly recommended. 
    $15.00
  • This is the original US CD pressing on MCA Records.  
    $5.00
  • "The rise of Greek power metaller, Firewind, has give the world two new metal heroes. They are Bob Katsionis (keyboards) and Gus G. Both are skillful musicians, now world class respected. Bob released his solo album in 2012, but only in March 2014 that Gus G finally catch up with a release his long waited solo album. Gus G's solo album titled as I Am the Fire, he is well backed by world class musicians and singers. As Gus G was previously active in Ozzy Osbourne team, the styles of heavy metal and hard rock in this solo album is not surprising, a bit step further away from his main band of Firewind, which is a power metal band.Let's see the two most interesting tracks by observing the guess list. Vengeance is back by Megadeth's David Ellefson. This is instrumental track for sure, the riffs are heavy, fast double pedal drum and of course Gus' shred + David's bass attack was more than cool enough. The second instrumental is fall to "Billy Sheehan's track". Terrified is yet another ultra fast shreds with a title that reminds us to Scarified by Racer X. Both instrumental tracks is enough to made guitars fans demand an exclusive instrumental guitar album from Gus!On the vocalized songs, they are all excellence. Mat Levén is acting as host singer, he tackled four tracks. From the opener My Will Be Done, a straight forward modern rock tunes, then Blame It On Me, a happier glam metal one. On the later are Eyes Wide Open, this is kind of late '80s hair metal scenes feel. The last from Mat is End Of The Line, acoustic ballad in the style of wild wild west. Mat Levén was once Firewind singer also.I Am The Fire is a collaboration with Devour The Day / Blake Allison. The riffs quickly brings us to modern nu-metal feels, this concurred with the style of singing, the song's structures, and utilizing of choruses, which is in the spirit of alternative metal. Long Way Down on the other hand is the only female guess track with Alexia Rodiguez. Alexia is from the band Eyes Set To Kill. The song can be categorizing as a heavier version Evanescenes style. Jacob Bunton from Lynam / Adler fame contributed in Just Can't Let Go. This is yet again in alternative / US modern metal feel. Michael Starr from Steel Panther trusted with Redemption, a track that focused on wild glam metal form, fit the image of Steel Panther. Veteran singer Jeff Scott Soto is in the spiritful AOR track of Summer Days. Finally there at least an European feel in Dreamkeeper, where Evergrey singer Tom S. Englund delivered it epic-ly!What a great packed of quality materials in one album. Of all tracks not only Gus G able to fit the styles of his song to the respected guess, he also seem like outdone the guess' each band. For example in Tom Englund's track, we can feel Evergrey's music in it. There are enough punches on each song, added more  replay value to the album. Interestingly, Gus G decided to not gives any clue about his music from Firewind. A good choices, meaning his creativity in the area of power metal will still dedicated to the main band. I Am the Fire is a great album with fresh ideas stretching  from modern metal to oldies glam metal. A must have." - Metal Harem
    $12.00
  • 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..."
    $26.00
  • "Another album---another vocalist. I feel badly for bands that just cannot seem to retain a lead vocalist. Italy's Soul Secret started out with a guest singer, progressed to Fabio Manda's amazing voice on their sophomore album, and now have turned to Lino Di Pietrantonio to lead them. This choice, much like the album, is a solid one, though flawed in some ways.Soul Secret's third album is called "4", and, yes, that is confusing as hell. It represents a slight change in sound for Soul Secret, due not only to the change of singer, but also to the maturity of these guys as musicians. Indeed, I hear stylistic changes across the board. Soul Secret, if you are not familiar, are definitely a progressive metal band in the vein of Dream Theater, though I'm sure that's a shadow they don't want. Either way, though, it is the truth, as they rely on strong guitars from Antonio Vittozzi, sizzling keys from Luca Di Gennaro, foundational bass from Claudio Casaburi, and the ever present structure of Antonio Mocerino's drums.Their styles have changed somewhat, though. I am a huge fan of their previous album "Closer to Daylight", and the band as a whole has moved on from shorter, more structured tracks to longer and more varied concepts. This is both good and bad, as you won't really find much to sing along to here, but you will certainly find incredible instrumentals to admire (something Soul Secret has always done well). In fact, it seems like each and every track has a noteworthy instrumental, and some, like "Traces on the Seaside", "On the Ledge", and "Our Horizon", have multiple sections that are incredibly sublime. This is partially due to the new sounds for this band, especially Luca's wonderful keys. He has moved on from the standard atmospherics so often found in prog metal to new heights of solos, even leading the music many times. Needless to say, I'm very impressed with the large range of key tones used, too. Besides this, I sense a change for Mocerino's drums, too, as he has opted for a more delicate touch than his blast beating past. In addition, Vittozzi's guitars seem much more deliberate and inspired in composition.Thus far, we have a great third album called "4" that features some notable changes in sound. This is where my slight issues with the album appear. First of all, I do feel that it is a bit long. At 72+ minutes long, I feel like some of the incredible effectiveness of the first half of the album wears off by the end. Indeed, I feel like they realize it, too, as most of the really amazing rhythms are found in the first half. This is not to say that the latter half is bad. It's actually great, especially songs like the instrumental "Silence" or the addictive ending to "My Lighthouse". Heck, "Downfall" might be my favorite song on the album! The first few tracks, however, just gel so well that you barely notice the time pass.My other issue with this album is the Dream Theater sound. This is primarily because of Lino's vocal performance. Indeed, I think the band actively tries to avoid the DT sound by including plenty of small oddities, like harsh vox, crazy synth, and a notable lack of overpowering guitar. Lino's voice, however, sounds SO much like Labrie's vox on "Images & Words". This isn't a bad thing, as I don't think Labrie has ever sounded better. Lino does avoid the pretentious wailing (thank God), but there are definitely a few times where I could have imagined that I was listening to DT.Overall, though, this is another solid album from Soul Secret, and they really show their instrumental chops. Indeed, the ending epic "The White Stairs" opens with a fantastic groove that always makes me stop everything else I'm doing. For progressive metal fans, then, I don't think there has been a better offering so far this year. Be sure to get your hands on this album!" - ProgArchives
    $14.00
  • 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.
    $18.00
  • Divine Ascension is an Australian female fronted metal band. After a bit of shuffling they settled on Jennifer Borg as vocalist and she's quite something to hear. In terms of the music there are a lot of comparisons to be made to Within Temptation but Ms. Borg doesn't sound like Sharon Den Adel. She is more of a power singer without being overbearing. There are some male vocals but its really Ms. Borg's show here and she really shines. I'm not going to tell you that this album is going to change your world but if you have an affinity for female fronted metal this album is going to sit quite comfortably in you CD player. Fans of the genre should definitely take note of this band.
    $14.00
  • "Veterans in the Power/Progressive Metal scene, Brazil’s ANGRA set the world on fire right out of the gate on their debut album “Angel’s Cry” – at the time in 1992 a throwback to the classic Kiske-led HELLOWEEN era with its “Keepers of the Seven Keys” uplifting melodies and speed/ guitar harmony attack. Since that time they’ve blazed their own trail, surviving key member changes in the vocal and drummer departments as well as expanding their musical template into more of an original, Progressive Metal sound. Their eighth studio album “Secret Garden” will be another barometer test for their fans, as RHAPSODY OF FIRE vocalist Fabio Lione steps in the singer slot – and drummer Bruno Valverde slides into the percussion position. What does this mean overall for ANGRA? Will it be a step into the past- or a move into the future?After a solid 20 playbacks, this will probably be one of the favorite ANGRA records in their discography due to the quality and dynamic diversity for these 10 tracks. Those who expect Fabio to soar to high heavens solely on this record, well expand your minds because he truly delivers one of the best performances of his career – stretching out his lower and middle registers more so on this record than ever before. Check out opener “Newborn Me” and the serene ballad “Silent Call” for new facets to his range – emotionally connecting like never before. Musically you can hear a lot of the South American nuances plunging head first into more New Age/ jazz-like Progressive textures on highlight “Upper Levels”, something I would appreciate more from DREAM THEATER and helps ANGRA achieve that surprise element necessary beyond their obvious instrumental talent level.Those who desire the fast paced, double bass, scream to the sky Power anthem material, well “Black Hearted Soul” or “Perfect Symmetry” should give you the fist-pumping adrenaline workout you crave. Special guests include EPICA’s Simone Simons on the dramatic, Symphonic-laden title cut ballad and early Metal icon Doro Pesch who does a vocal duet with Guitarist Rafael Bettencourt on the heavier, bouncier “Crushing Room”. Add in a conceptual storyline that features a fictional account of a scientist seeking happiness after dealing with the tragic loss of his wife in an accident and stunning production values where all parts shine (including the bass heroics of Felipe Andreoli) and I’m sure this 49 minute record will receive consistent airplay for not just 2015, but an eternity as the best albums should.“Secret Garden” could be ANGRA’s best album to date: rich in Progressive Metal highlights but also remembering the right balance in terms of individual songwriting and melodic/hook aspects, this should be a benchmark for other bands to study and up their creative game. A great start to 2015 for sure." - Metal Temple
    $11.00
  • 12 years after their last release, Braindance are back.  One look at Sebastian Elliot and Vora Vor's photos you will think they were frozen in a time capsule.  Unless the Masters of Disguise are also the Masters of Photoshop they haven't aged at all.  Wow!What also hasn't changed is the sound.  Its classic Braindance and they are giving the fans exactly what they expect.  Sebastian's vocals have always drawn comparison to Peter Steele.  The music is a blend of prog metal - doom - electro-darkwave.  Typically the tunes are set against an epic scale symphonic landscape with an intense rhythmic pulse that allows room for Vora Vor and Crafty guitarist Tony Geballe to shred across.  Tracks are stitched together with samples lifted from film.  Masters Of Disguise is a conceptual work and the presentation is stellar.  The band has always had a relationship with the artists from the world of comic books/graphic novels.  One of the two booklets included is a 16 page comic drawn by Joe Simko.  The entire package is really over the top and quite gorgeous.  I'm emphasizing this because I know its an extremely expensive item and I'm sure cost the band a lot to manufacturer  Keep in mind - we didn't set the pricing on this.  Hopefully you are a fan of the band and can look beyond the price.
    $25.00
  • "Here go the twins and their Metal, aimed to please, distribute their appreciation and admiration for the melodic end of this exquisite music. Founders of the majestic brethren of TWINS CREW, David Janglöv and Dennis Janglöv, originating from Sweden, were able to assemble an astonishing group of folks embraced with great talents upon providing the world with downright classic Heavy / Power Metal fame and fortune, crossing paths with IRON MAIDEN, RAINBOW, HELLOWEEN, GAMMA RAY, STRATOVARIUS, LABYRINTH along with the line of melodic fanatics. Signing with the Italian Scarlet Records seemed rather natural for these guys, also since Italy is one of the foremost places for melodic Metal, and it is quite an honor for the release of their sophomore release, “The Northern Crusade”. After listening to this album for a few sessions, I came to a known notion of mine, time and time again, regarding me being convinced even more, and it has been a while since I took to review this profound unison of brothering subgenres, that this form is a safe bet, a golden chip to rely upon while writing Metal music.What I mostly liked about “The Northern Crusade” that the larger sum of the time flew by as if a racing car passed right through my face without making me flinch about it. Though there were a few epic songs, those were so refined that I didn’t even notice their length. Eventually it starts and ends with the material in question, TWINS CREW wrote songs with an appeared intent on delivering it straight up, yet with being smooth, harmonic and fluent. Nothing within the music is awfully complex or ambiguous, every song has that same obviousness forged back in the 80s, yet it didn’t enervate or bored. Each track has its own quality and virtues without recycling the others in the process. When it comes to personal skills, I believe that the founders, both on guitars, are twin wizards, focusing their shred, partially Neo-Classical playing through the Malmsteenish style is conveyed with awesome precision, yet their playing also contributed a great deal to the clarity and power of the rhythm section that is intense as well. Furthermore, there is active keyboard man, and also the band’s newest addition, Nicko DiMarino, which maintained the certain Neo-Classical emblem on the band’s creations. Also I was overwhelmed by the frontman, Andreas Larsson, as it seems that these types of vocalists grow on trees in Sweden. I haven’ never heard of the guy nor noticed any other bands he participated in, definitely a keeper in this group. A part of the problem regarding Larsson’s role is that I don’t believe that he was set well into the overall mix, a little behind the rest of the band as he should be in the front center.Unraveling the classiness of 80s Metal with a little ventures towards a few modern enactments, “The Northern Crusade” grazed my skin with tasty hits. Although, as I stated earlier, there is a pattern between the songs, but each and every one showed its worth and effect. “Take This Life”, however heading towards the end of the album, heavily caught my attention with its HELLOWEENish nature, not fully Teutonic, yet with ounces of power, catchy melodic lead guitar licks and crisps of harmonies. Larsson nearly killed me with his performance. “Under the Morning Star” is one of those songs that I wish to long for just a minute or so, as it would terrible for them to end prematurely. Mainly a buildup ballad, eventually turning the chick to heaviness, cradles such an emotional chorus, slightly tacky but with the orchestration involved, it is simply magical. “Loud and Proud” is nothing more, nothing less of an 80s Metal hit, straightforward and pounding, a bit RAINBOWish, not in the range of “Long Live Rock N’ Roll”, yet more of the ACCEPT kind with sharper and stronger vocals. “Blade” and “Dr. Dream”, both Power Metal speeding bullets, cumbersome on those wonderful keyboards support, an incredible addition no doubt. Finally there you have it guys, a foundation of an unforgettable Heavy / Power Metal happening, an astute melodic title that you have to check out unlike most of the Swedish NWOBHM entries." - Metal Temple
    $15.00
  • 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