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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  • 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.
    $13.00
  • "On their last album to date, these erstwhile proggy hard rockers metallized their sound even more. An attempt to appeal to a wider audience, maybe. It's not THAT heavy. The vocalist is too pleasant and music too rooted in classic rock for that. I could call it dark power metal maybe. Another example could be Evergrey.Songs here are more or less evenly divided between these dark power moments (eg, open your eyes, end in sight) and more proggy numbers (from a distance, in the wait loop, break the spell). Also a ballad and an instrumental are thrown in for good measure, but they are, in my opinion, inferior to their analogues on the previous album Chemical chaos (acoustic Access denied and Terminal Trip).Still, the genius of this excellent but underrated band is that every song contains a memorable hook from guitars, keyboards or vocals." - ProgArchives
    $8.00
  • Solo piano improvisations inspired by the tragedy of September 11, 2001. A portion of this is from a live benefit concert that Jordan performed for the benefit of the victims' families. Magna Carta and Jordan are donating a portion of the proceeds from the sales of this disc to charitable organizations.
    $8.00
  • Once upon a time there was a brilliant Canadian composer musician named Franck Dervieux. In 1971 he recorded a great album of classically influenced progressive rock called "Dimensione M". Dervieux passed away at an early age due to cancer. The members of his ensemble essentially formed Contraction upon his passing. The main drivers behind contraction was vocalist Christiane Robichaud and bassist Yves Laferriere. While the self-titled debut didn't hit the lofty heights that their second album reached it's not without it's charms. The focus is on Robichaud's ethereal vocals with all the firepower a bit in the background. Start with "La Bourse Ou La Vie" first.
    $18.00
  • Remastered edition of the long out of print one-off band. It's a short one but a classic. Festa Mobile was actually a precursor to Il Baricentro. While they never displayed that band's pyrotechic fusion leanings, they did have some subtle jazz overtones but a classical influence dominated. The music is dominated by virtuoso piano runs and fuzzed out guitar leads. Gorgeous disc.
    $16.00
  • Numbered limited edition hybrid SACD of this late 80s Rush title.  The key here is in the mastering.  Kevin Gray is at the controls and he does a consistently great job.  I would expect this to be the definitive digital edition.
    $27.00
  • "Progressive rock and boy-band pop seem like natural enemies at first. The former's fascination with ornate, elongated passages of finger-exhausting musicianship is in almost every way the opposite of the latter's emphasis on catchiness first; it's hard to imagine turn-of-the-millennium hits like "Bye Bye Bye" with extended guitar and keyboard solos. Yet ever since A Doorway to Summer, their 2005 debut, Moon Safari has put to rest the notion that progressive-minded songwriters can't make pop that's as hook-driven as it is ostentatious. Grandiloquent epics like "Other Half of the Sky," from the 2008 double album Blomljud, weave together widescreen arrangements with the band's signature five-part vocal harmony, a feature unmatched by few groups in any genre, anywhere. It's easy to isolate the audience with solipsistic soloing and obtuse orchestrations, but from day one Moon Safari has made prog that—assuming the layperson were more amenable to songs that run upwards of thirty minutes—could lead them to something like a pop crossover hit.But while the union of hook-heavy vocal interplay and '70's prog stylistics gives Moon Safari an unmistakable, unique sound, it also handicapped them in a significant way for their first two LPs. The group's accessibility on A Doorway to Summer and Blomljud, along with its technical prowess, is unassailable, but the high-fructose sweetness of its style leads to a diabetic rush when stretched out onto songs that span ten to thirty minutes. For example, "Other Half of the Sky," the titanic thirty minute showstopper off of Blomljud, has so many memorable hooks that by the time it's run its time out, it's hard to remember all of them. The classic problem of "too many voices leads to a noisy room" was the defining problem of Moon Safari's otherwise enjoyable sound for some time. All that changed, however, in 2010 with the release of Lover's End.It is no exaggeration—even as the decade remains young—to say that Lover's End is one of the finest progressive rock records of the '00's. Hell, it's not even crazy to say that it's one of the finest pop albums of the '00s; anyone, even those turned off by prog's eccentricities, can find something to love on this mellifluous collection of songs. From the a cappella charm of "Southern Belle" to the hook-loaded "New York City Summergirl," Lover's End is chock full of goodness from beginning to end. What explains its genius is that in contrast to A Doorway to Summer and Blomljud, the songs are given exactly the amount of space they need, and not a second more. Some songwriters may feel hamstrung by the verse/chorus structure, but it's a perfect fit for Moon Safari's joyous approach to music.With their newest studio outing, Himlabacken, Vol. 1, Moon Safari continue the refining of their sound, and while this isn't the breakthrough that Lover's End was, it nonetheless attests to the brilliance of this group. Whereas the latter was bound by a loose concept (love and heartbreak), Himlabacken Vol. 1 is less a lyrics album than its predecessor. The cost of this is that the music is less distinct in its cohesiveness, but there are no shortage of catchy passages and amped-up solos. "Mega Moon" comes off as a tribute to musical theatre, with "The Very Model of A Modern Major General" vocal delivery interweaving with Queen-esque bombast to an impressive effect. "Too Young to Say Goodbye" sees and matches the polyharmonic beauty of "Lover's End (Part One)." By sticking to concise song formats—the longest cut here runs nine and a half minutes—Moon Safari ensures that things never run out of steam, an essential quality to any good progressive rock band.If nothing else, Himlabacken, Vol. 1 proves that there's one thing Moon Safari can't be accused of: being unaware of themselves. Grand finale "Sugar Band" is as much a statement of identity as it is a slice of epic pop: "Sweet and saccharine are we," they declare, followed by "syrup's the blood in our veins." (Less successful is the clumsy Katy Perry innuendo of, "suck our big candy canes," which is thematically consistent but tonally off.) Both "Sugar Band" and "Little Man," one of the few Moon Safari songs to feature a solo vocal, are emblematic of the mushiness that might turn some prog fans away from their music. The latter, while obviously a touching document of a father's love for his son, does feel a bit out of place in how deeply personal it is; part of the strength of this group's sonic is the universality of its pop appeal, and the intimacy behind "My Little Man" makes listening to it an almost voyeuristic experience. "Mega Moon" and "Sugar Band" are better at capturing the convivial spirit of the band that's accessible to all.As with past outings, even those drawn to vocal harmonies might find it hard to stomach all of the sweetness of Himlabacken, Vol. 1. But what ultimately makes this LP successful is its unpretentious commitment to fun. Moon Safari are a rare collective that prove daunting musical chops aren't anathema to accessibility, and with Himlabacken, Vol. 1 they've made a recording that, while not the magnum opus that Lover's End was, is as true a capturing of their ethos as there could ever be. Sating a sweet tooth brings to mind the phrase "guilty pleasure," but there's no guilt involved with music as first-class as this. Who knew being in a boy band could sound so classy? " - Sea Of Tranquility
    $16.00
  • First time on CD! Early MPS session for this great keyboardist who is still going strong. Recorded in 1967, it reads like a who's who of krautrock and fusion. Members of the septet include Jean-Luc Ponty (violin), Gerd Dudek (tenor sax, clarinet), Eberhard Weber (cello), Jurgen Karg (bass), Mani Neumeier (drums), and Fred Braceful (drums). Frankly I was expected a wild free set and actually it's not too crazy at all. The music actually swings in spots. Gorgeous reissue arrives in a mini-LP sleeve with detailed liner notes and photos as well as 24 bit mastering.
    $21.00
  • "With a shockingly tight performance and a handful of evil anthems, Glen Benton and company managed to craft a death metal classic with their eponymous debut. Taking their Satanism to a new level of seriousness, Benton was burning crosses into his forehead and desecrating churches to promote this album, something that didn't exactly endear them to the mainstream metal media. While similar (and even weaker) groups were getting hyped up as the leaders of the death metal underworld, this album struck a chord that would, for good or bad, instantly inspire legions of like-minded groups. The riffs are actually memorable, with insane blastbeat drums and an uncanny sense of timing guiding the songs as they charge through one by one. "Lunatic of God's Creation" may be one of the best death metal songs written in this period, taking all of these elements to their natural extreme and crafting an ugly Satanic epic. "Carnage in the Temple of the Damned" is a speed-happy chunk of blasphemy that borders on grindcore, while "Dead by Dawn" is another gem that survives on the creative riffing and horrible vocals. Benton's vocals are actually one of the main features, as his guttural growl is touched up by production tricks to sound absolutely hideous and tortured as he spews his Satanic nonsense. At the time it seemed quite evil, and the press surrounding him suggested that he was willingly possessed by demons that sang through him. On top of that, he also claimed that since he was the antithesis of Jesus Christ, that he would kill himself at the age of 32 to mimic Christ's death. Heady stuff for a death metal band, but even though the gimmick may have banished them from the cover of Hit Parader, it didn't take away from the effectiveness of the album. They would later go on to make questionable musical progress and strip away much of the brash suggestiveness of their image (for the record, Benton failed to commit suicide when he claimed he would), but before all of that they still managed to craft one truly great album in the death metal genre that will survive long after the gimmicks are gone." - Allmusic Guide
    $8.00
  • Finnish supergroup play an excellent and interesting mix of progressive rock and death metal. If it wasn't for the death vocals a lot of this would pass for old school prog. Plenty of clean vocals as well but do expect a free pass. In many ways there are similarities to the older Opeth albums and I'll bet there is a large contingent of their fans that wished they sound like this. Conditionally recommended."Gaining a huge buzz in the underground for the sextet’s previous work in groups like Amorphis, Moonsorrow, Swallow The Sun, and Kreator among others, this Finnish progressive death metal act return for their second full-length album The Devil's Resolve. Fortunate enough to expose myself right from the critical start with their 2009 Our Twilight EP, one can easily be drawn to the multiple clean, atmospheric and growling vocal approaches and the equally expansive musical sounds, drawing from a multitude of doom, pagan, progressive rock, and death genres.Keyboardist Kasper Martenson throws down some 70’s Jon Lord organ parts against pagan rhythms and dual clean mystical vocals and death roars on my first highlight “The Rains Begin” and then ramps up the proceedings with some classic Dennis DeYoung inspiration during the chorus and solo section of “As it is Written." Fret not all guitar aficionados as Sami Yli-Sirnio and Janne Perttila showcase a number of distinct and colorful riff and harmonic moments, almost as if transporting the best in American and UK progressive rock to fuel Barren Earth’s heavier, underground orientation motives, especially on the exotic, fluid “Oriental Pyre."There’s something very Pink Floyd-meets-Nektar-like about Mikko Kotamaki’s softer, tranquil clean melodies, and it’s a wonder he doesn’t destroy his larynx with some of his acidic underwater bellows from opener “Passage of the Crimson Shadows” or the medieval marching macabre mood throughout “Vintage Warlords." Overall, the seasoning on the road both in Europe and on the Finnish Metal Tour 2 with Ensiferum and Finntroll improves the band’s attention to maintaining memorable hooks amidst the winding riffs, tempo changes, and nuances in roller coaster emotional atmosphere.With Opeth charting their own 70’s laden path on Heritage to mixed reception, I believe Barren Earth can scoop up a wide throng of their castoffs who desire a metal foundation amongst the progressive, creative think tank. Scandinavia rules again." - Blistering
    $8.00
  • 2007 Nick Davis remix/remaster edition. Some consider this their best album - it could be hard to argue against that notion...
    $12.00
  • 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
  • This is the classic album where the band began to define their progressive sound. Deluxe digipak reissue features 2 new bonus tracks recorded in 2010 by Jon Oliva.
    $13.00