Bringer Of Light

SKU: MASCD0803
Label:
Massacre Records
Category:
Power Metal
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I can't remember a buzz on a band's debut since Circus Maximus.  Perhaps due to the album being released in Japan a year ago and its unavailability elsewhere, maybe because they are lined up to play ProgPowerUSA.  Whatever the reason the album finally gets a wide debut and it was worth the wait.  Damnation Angels is a British symphonic metal band fronted by a Norwegian singer.  He goes by the name PelleK and was a contestant on Norway's version of X Factor.  The band's stock in trade is epic sounding metal that pays a huge debt to Kamelot.  The instrumental passages take on the grandeur and scope of Nightwish.  PelleK does a sold job out front - he's obviously listened to a Khan quite a bit.  Highly recommended.

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    $19.00
  • Its been quite a long time since we've heard from Magic Pie.  They went through lots of trials and tribulations getting this album finished but now its finally arrived.  If you are not familiar with this band here's the deal: Magic Pie are a Norwegian band with a retro 70s sound.  The music is a bit of a high wire act balancing the neo-prog sounds of The Flower Kings with the heavier elements of classic Uriah Heep.  They also seem to be the darlings of Rosfest having played there multiple times."It's hard to believe it's been 10 years since these proggers from Norway released their promising debut "Motions of Desire". At that time, their music struck me as an enthusiastic combination of classic prog and classic hard rock. (Think Deep Purple for the hard rock side of that equation.) At their best, they offered memorable passages and pieces that sounded like they very well could have been long lost recordings from many years ago. At their worst, they sometimes fell short of filling the big shoes of the legendary bands whose music they strove to emulate. That's actually not bad for a debut album from a new prog band. I found much to like and looked forward to hearing from them again in the future.Checking back in on them a decade later, I must say that I am very impressed with how they have developed and matured. No longer do I get the feeling that certain sections of songs are direct homages to any particular band from any one particular decade of prog's illustrious history. Their influences, while still very present and valid, are now more varied, including a greater percentage of modern reference points. More importantly, their influences are just that--merely influences rather than templates or even primary reference points.The sound quality on "King for a Day" is superb thanks in large part to the enlistment of sonic genius Rich Mouser (whose resume includes similar work for prominent contemporaries like Spock's Beard, Transatlantic and Dream Theater).Keyboardist Erling Hananger is an excellent addition to Magic Pie's recipe. His keyboard parts are expressive, dynamic and integral to the music. When appropriate, his leads seamlessly blend, harmonize, and work synergistically with electric guitar.The lyrics have a melodramatic and somewhat tragic flair this time around, but this is prog so you should be accustomed to the musical ride including a few tragic tales from time to time by now, right?OK ' so it's time for the "magic" question... A decade after their debut album, how has my impression of Magic Pie changed?On "King for a Day", I now hear a band which has found "its own voice", one that resonates confidently in the space somewhere between classic arena rock of yesteryear (on prog-steroids of course) and modern melodic prog of the 21st Century (like Spock's Beard and The Flower Kings). Add a few dashes of modern prog-metal to taste and you, my friend, have baked up a very nice confection indeed... MAGIC PIE!If you love modern prog anthems with big harmonies and 'sing along' choruses, give "King for a Day" a listen! I'm glad I did!" - ProgArchives
    $15.00
  • "It has been an eventful year or so in the world of Haken. In September 2013, the sextet released what can only be described as a masterpiece of progressive music in the form of their third album, the magnificent ‘The Mountain’. This album received almost universal critical acclaim upon its release and even led to interest from the likes of Mike Portnoy (Flying Colors, Transatlantic) and Dream Theater’s Jordan Rudess. In the case of the former, it led to an invitation to play the inaugural ‘Progressive Nation At Sea’, but thanks to both ringing endorsements, the door to the American market has opened more widely of late. And if that wasn’t enough, Haken recently received no less than three nominations in the Progressive Music Awards, quite an achievement for a band so relatively young.However, with the smooth, also comes the rough and almost immediately following the release of this ‘breakthrough’ album, bassist Tom MacLean announced his departure from Haken. An apparently amicable split, it was nevertheless a hurdle that had to be overcome at a point when the largest wave of the band’s career was about to be crested. An international audition invitation was extended and, following an extensive search, a young American by the name of Conner Green was assimilated into the Haken collective. Welcome sir!In many ways, ‘Restoration’ a three-track EP is as much a bedding-in of their new colleague as it is an opportunity to maintain the momentum created by ‘The Mountain’ whilst a new full-length album is brought to life. That said, to consider ‘Restoration’ a stop-gap is disingenuous in the extreme. It may only contain three tracks, but when the three tracks last well over half an hour and sound this good, who cares?The three compositions that make up this EP are very loosely based on tracks from the bands 2007/08 demo days, thoroughly re-envisioned, re-worked and re-produced in order to reflect the changing personnel and the experience gained since the demos were originally written. The result is, frankly, stunning.Whilst it took me a good many spins and many hours of effort to get fully submerged into the world of ‘The Mountain’, the music on ‘Restoration’ is much more immediate to these ears. No less complex and challenging of course, but for some reason, the music has ‘clicked’ much more quickly here.The EP opens up with ‘Darkest Light’, (Official video below) an energetic track that ably demonstrates the up-tempo and powerful side of Haken well. It’s an agile composition too that alters pace and timing signatures seemingly at will and pulls in influences from everyone from Dream Theater to Meshuggah. The latter is primarily due to the impressive combination of Ray Hearne’s powerful drumming, the chunky guitar tones courtesy of Charlie Griffiths and Richard Henshall and Green’s intricate bass work. Importantly however, the song is never derivative and contains everything you now expect from a band at the height of their powers. It’s a piece of music that oozes class but also offers that touch of playful cheekiness that has become synonymous with the Haken sound.‘Earthlings’ is a completely different proposition entirely. For my money, its closest reference point would be ‘Deathless’ from ‘Visions’ in so far as it is a much more introspective track with real atmosphere and a quiet, brooding intensity that is utterly beguiling. The melodies are much more immediate, much more pronounced and the whole thing builds beautifully and stubbornly towards a fulfilling climax that pushes all the right buttons.The undisputed star of the show however, is ‘Crystallised’. At over 19 minutes, it offers a return of the Haken ‘epic’, joining the likes of ‘Visions’ and ‘Celestial Elixir’ in an already formidable armoury. If anything, ‘Crystallised’ may be even better than the aforementioned, thereby easily taking its place among the very best that Haken has ever created.First and foremost, the sheer ambition is staggering. The composition begins unassumingly enough but quickly reveals a more grandiose underbelly thanks to some lush orchestral arrangements. From then on, the gloves well and truly come off and Haken take us on a wondrous journey full of twists and turns, light and shade, lengthy and dextrous instrumental segments and gorgeous melodies that stay with you long after the music has ended.There are echoes of those Gentle Giant influences and nods towards ‘Cockroach King’ et al in some of the a capella segments as well as hints of ‘Pareidolia’ at other times, thanks to that by now familiar delivery of vocalist Ross Jennings. Never once do the extended instrumental passages, led by the flamboyant keys of Diego Tejeida feel contrived or out of place; they are full of those classic progressive overindulgences, further reinforcing the importance of the likes of Yes, early Genesis and many others, but crucially, they fit in with the core of the composition and seamlessly segue from one to another perfectly.And then, everything comes together in what I can only describe as a stunningly epic finale, the kind where the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end and you find yourself grinning from ear to ear, enveloped in a musical utopia. The melodies are so uplifting and gorgeous that, coupled with the grandiose return of the orchestral embellishments, mere words find it hard to adequately express just how good it makes you feel.The bones of these songs may have been written many years ago in the band’s infancy. However, they have been brought back to life in the most brilliant way possible; taking everything that’s been good about the band in recent years and applying them to their early past to create something truly special. I only wish that ‘Restoration’ was six, seven or eight songs long. Mind you, if it were, I think I might have fainted from bliss before reaching the conclusion." - Man Of Much Metal blog
    $14.00
  • New digipak edition of the rarest Italian prog album its certainly also one of the strangest... "This is one weird album indeed. Even more weird when you consider some of the musicians involved. For example you got keyboardist Charles Tiring. He was not your typical twenty-something like you usually expect in prog rock bands. At the time this album came out, he was said to be 68 years old (not likely alive these days) and married to an 18 year old, which meant that didn't exactly endear himself to the rest of the band (he left after this album and they became Antonius REX). The rest of the musicians included Anthony Bartoccetti on guitar, bass and vocals, Doris Norton (known as Fiamma Dello Spirito on this album) on vocals, violin, and flute, and someone named Franz Parthenzy conducting the medium. What's also weirder was they were exploring the occult, performing under séances. While other prog rock bands simply used keyboards like the Hammond organ, Charles Tiring went totally hog wild on the pipe organ, although he used the occasional Moog for sound effects, and harpsichord and piano on occasions. There are times that it's really difficult to call this prog rock, because it's not rock, and pipe organ is sometimes the only instrument used. The album opens up with "U.F.D.E.M." which is often regarded as the album's high point. Here you get pipe organ and harpsichord, with Doris Norton singing in Italian, sounding a bit like an Italian Anna Meek (of CATAPILLA fame). "Praesentia Domini" is largely pipe organ, but near the end comes some chanting in Latin, obviously a séance. "Jacula Valzer" is a nice, pleasant jazzy piece with that atmosphere of a bad early '70s horror film. This one features some nice flute and piano. "Long Black Magic Night" is another worth mentioning. Violin and flute dominates, and Doris Norton chants in English, and comes to demonstrate just how lousy her English is. This song even more just screams "bad horror film". Listening to this, you can just imagine the cobwebs, vampires, and a pipe organ. The last piece, "In Old Castle" is the most pointless piece, as it's all pipe organ and nothing else. "Tardo Pede In Magiam Versus" is a truly like or hate it album. Some just call this a bunch of Satanic nonsense, others call it spooky and Gothic. I can be certain GOBLIN had heard their share of JACULA and Antonius REX in their lifetime, especially since GOBLIN was best known for scoring gory Dario Argento horror flicks (luckily GOBLIN went for a more conventional prog/fusion direction, with normal instrumentations, even though they sometimes used pipe organ). The original LP of "Tardo..." isn't easy to come buy, but Mellow Records reissued it on CD, if you can find a copy for cheap, get it, for a curiosity, but I bet you that you'll probably be waiting for Halloween to play this. Weird album indeed that might scare a few people away." - Progarchives.com
    $16.00
  • The latest from this superb US melodic metal band. This fits as a logical progression from Ten More Tales. Lots of prog moves balanced by some AOR moments - which is basically the Balance of Power formula. So you get intricacy and melody all wrapped together in one cool package.
    $14.00
  • Remastered edition with 2 live bonus tracks."Foreigner promptly followed up its blockbuster debut with the equally successful Double Vision LP in 1978, which featured the FM mega-hits "Hot Blooded" and the driving title track. Opting not to mess with a good formula, the band wisely sticks to the polished hard rock sound that made its first record such a hit. Aside from the big singles, other highlights include the swaggering "Love Has Taken Its Toll" and the more restrained "Blue Morning, Blue Day." As always, Lou Gramm's impeccable rock vocals lead the way, supported by Mick Jones' tasteful, arena-sized guitar riffs." - All Music Guide 
    $5.00
  • Second studio album from what may be the ultimate chops band.  Guthrie Govan (guitars), Bryan Beller (bass), and Marco Minnemann (drums) turn it up an notch further.  Everything is set to 11 on this one. Lots of notes flying around and different styles as well - on "Louisville Stomp: I'm hearing some cool country style pickin' from Guthrie Govan that is welcome and unexpected.  He sounds like the second coming of Danny Gatton.  Other tracks are a non-stop shredfest - that's what the Aristocrats are all about.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • Brilliant double live set clearly demonstrates that Mr. Hackett can still bring the thunder to the stage. The set was drawn from shows in Paris, London, and New York during the 2009/2010 tour. With a great line up and a set list that digss into his solo career as well as Genesis gems, this is impossible to pass up. Simply awesome!
    $12.00
  • Second album from this Danish band that blends European and US power metal influences all whipped together at a breakneck pace.
    $10.00
  • Ritchie Blackmore's renaissance inspired folk project featuring his wife Candice Knight on vocals.
    $14.00
  • New live recording previously only available as an expensive Japanese import.
    $6.00
  • The band's fifth album was a brilliant amalgam of Beatles influenced pop and classically influenced progressive rock. I still get a rise out of hearing "Fire On High". This remastered edition comes with five bonus tracks which are a bit dispensible alternate mixes.
    $5.00
  • 2007 Nick Davis remix/remaster edition. Some consider this their best album - it could be hard to argue against that notion...
    $12.00
  • Current UK pressing of this rather obscure one...
    $14.00