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BY Battiato

(Customer Reviews)
$11.00
$ 6.60
SKU: 74321585512
Label:
BMG Ricordi
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Dedicated to Karlheinz Stockhausen so I guess you can figure out which direction this one is headed...

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  • The White Ladies was the third album from Trace (now billed as Rick van der Linden and Trace).  Its a conceptual work that is often criticized for the use of narration and vocals, which truth be told can be a bit annoying after awhile.  Overall the playing is top notch with plenty of van der Linden's trademark keyboard pyrotechnics.  This new edition comes with 13 previously unreleased demo tracks.
    $16.00
  • Latest album from this UK band that used to embrace doom metal but ultimately morphed into a Pink Floyd inspired band with metal influences. This time around the band continues to ramp up the atmosphere quotient and seems to downplay the metal aspects. So what we have here is a heavy version of Radiohead or Porcupine Tree. An easy recommendation but if you are looking for metal stay away. Great album now available at a midline price.
    $13.00
  • "NoSound is an Italian band headed by Giancarlo Erra on vocals, guitars, and keyboards; including: Marco Berni, on keyboards and vocals; Alessandro Luci, on bass, upright bass, and keyboards; Paolo Vigliarolo, on acoustic and electric guitars; and joining them for their fourth album is accomplished drummer and former Porcupine Tree member, Chris Maitland.As a fan of the band it was great to receive this promo copy of the album.Here are my thoughts on 'Afterthoughts'.'In My Fears', opens with the solo electric guitar strumming familiar on many a NoSound album. Only this time it sounds like something far away…approaching through the mist, like a boat on the still ocean, or someone walking on the beach and slowly coming into sight,. The screeching guitar/keyboard effect that whirls around the original lead guitar only adds a soft breeze to the mystery. Giancarlo's first vocals enter the realm of consciousness, "I still feel the glow of this morning light". "I wish I could stay". "Days are so bright". Perfect. Soft, intricate piano, surrounded by waves of guitars and bass, with drums rising like wave crests. Wishin' you were there…huh?'I Miss the Ground' starts with a deeper pitched electric guitar echoing in that familiar way that Giancarlo creates mystery. Then, "I started all over again". And yes, the sound of the band has changed. There are the familiar waves of emotion which follow the guitars and keyboards, only this time more direct and somehow with more power. Erra's vocals are clearer than on past albums. Maitland's touch is different. The clashes and crashes shimmer more brilliantly than before.'Two Monkeys' opens with some beautiful trademark piano, surrounded by soft bass and soaring guitar, drifting off into the distance. Then Erra's vocals unfold the emotional and deep story of the two monkeys. "When I was young I believed there were two monkeys here". "Living in the trees between my arms and the sea". "Someone told me once that was their home". "But their life was sad because they were alone". The piano and keyboards are full of emotion. The writing and singing is…as always full of intense emotion. An even more powerful sounding version than the EP.'The Anger Song' opens with very interesting and unique guitar sounds. Then Maitland takes the stage to add his signature drum sound as the keys and guitars weave mystery around the soundscape. This track has an ever engulfing sound of waves of ocean and emotion which has always been a trademark of the band. It takes me back to "About Butterflies and Children", only this is the other side of happiness and bliss. If it is anger, it is soft anger, until Maitland picks it up a notch and drives louder as the waves of sound crash harder . The waves of guitar and keyboards crest and fall like waves, with Maitland adding the whitecaps to everything brilliantly.'Encounter', opens with wandering piano and drifting guitar chords mixed well with soft tapped drums. Giancarlo's voice enters, "I waited for you at the airport today. To hear what you wanted to say". The sad cello accompanying him brings out the full range of emotions filling the air. The keys surrounding, add mystery to this encounter.'She' is full of brilliant piano and soft tapping drums at the start. The excellent grinding electric guitar which enters with Maitland's drums and keys is sizzling white hot. Erra's vocals bring the emotion, reaching out to touch the subject of the story.'Wherever You Are' is full of more soft emotion and excellent acoustic guitar. Keys surround the mix, but not the waves from before, only soft cello – mixed symphonic keys providing a rich contrast to what has already been heard. Maitland's drums help pick up the pace and pour forth another helping of shimmering and solid sound.'Paralyzed', opens with more soft piano and soft electric guitar. That electric guitar later launches into full blast to pierce the sky and rain down cymbals full of glow. The guitar work on this track is some of the best on the album.'Afterthought', is full of some of the best piano on the album. It opens like the sunrise with soft piano crawling its way to your ears. Erra's vocals are at their peak and the bass, keyboards and drums deliver their best for this closer.This is a dreamy, surf riding wave album full of emotional undercurrents. Maitland's addition to the band has brought more highs and a more powerful drum delivery. The clarity which rains supreme on the mix of this new album points the compass in a new direction. The waves of guitar and keys fill the air and Erra's vocals are clearer and more emotional than on past albums. As always, this band performs as consummate professionals. No afterthoughts or worries on this album. It is another stellar performance. Don't miss this latest chapter in the story.The 2 disc edition of 'Afterthoughts', will include a DVD-A/DVD-V (NTSC 16:9, Region Free) version, with stereo and 5.1 surround high resolution 24bit / 96kHz mixes, plus DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround versions. " - Sea of TranquilityNosound - Wherever You Are (from Afterthoughts) from Kscope on Vimeo.
    $15.00
  • Remastered edition of the second ELO album.  Roy Wood split to form Wizzard and Jeff Lynne pretty much took control and ran with the concept.  While there were better things to come, it was all in all still a pretty damn amalgam of prog, classical and pop.  Comes with 4 bonus tracks.
    $8.00
  • "Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of a newly remastered anthology featuring the best of the recorded output by the legendary Danish band BURNIN RED IVANHOE, drawn from the recordings made for Sonet Records between 1969 and 1974.Burnin Red Ivanhoe are legends of the Danish Progressive Rock scene of the late 60s / early 70s. Formed in Copenhagen in 1967, the band initially featured the talents of KARSTEN VOGEL (Saxophones), STEEN CLAESSON (Guitar, Vocals), STEEN LANGE (Bass) and BO THRIGE ANDERSEN (Drums). Signing to Sonet Records in Denmark in December 1969, the band issued their first album "M 144” in 1969. Over the next few years the band’s line-up varied, but the string of albums such as "Burnin Red Ivanhoe”, "WWW”, "Miley Smile / Stage Recall” and "Right On” released between 1969 and 1974 gained many admirers throughout the world, including John Peel (who signed the band to his Dandelion label). Burnin Red Ivanhoe’s unique fusion of Jazz, Rock and the Avant Garde was as imaginative as anything emerging from the embryonic German rock scene of the time and remains impressive forty years later.This anthology has been newly remastered from the original master tapes and features an illustrated booklet with new essay."
    $19.00
  • Remastered edition of the iconic first album from Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. At the time frontman Ronnie James Dio was an unknown singer from an upstate New York band called Elf. This released turned the hard rock world upside down. "Man On The Silver Mountain", "Catch The Rainbow", "Still I'm Sad"....it didn't get better than this...ever!
    $5.00
  • This reissues a very rare 1970 album, out of print for at least 25 years, which was the first professional band by musicians who would find fame in a number of other bands: Steve Miller-piano (Caravan), Phil Miller-guitar (Matching Mole, Hatfield & The North, National Health), Roy Babbington-bass (Nucleus, Soft Machine), Pip Pyle-drums (Gong, Hatfield & The North, National Health), Carol Grimes-vocals + Lol Coxhill-sax. Contains the original album, a non-lp single, a great alternate take & a couple of live tracks, all sounding unbelievably better than the rather poor sounding original lp on the wall of your favorite collector shop with a $250.00 price tag. Also includes a full history of the band, written by Mike King [author of the Robert Wyatt chronology "Wrong Movements"] & rare photos from Steve Miller's personal archives. An usual & appealing blend of blues rock, psychedelia, & strong traces of Canterbury style greatness to come.
    $15.00
  • "By the time this long-player hit the street, Roy Buchanan (guitar/vocals) had already departed from his oft-acrimonious relationship with Polydor Records. To their credit, the label issued Live Stock (1975), which captured the artist in performance at Town Hall in New York City on November 27, 1974. This disc features the recently corralled combo of Bill Price (vocals), John Harrison (bass), Malcolm Lukens (keyboards), and Byrd Foster (drums/vocals). Interestingly, the instrumentalists would reconvene behind Buchanan for his next two studio albums, A Street Called Straight (1976) and Loading Zone (1977), as well as the thoroughly superior, import-only Live in Japan (2003). With the exception of the seminal Snakestretchers, this aggregate would stay with the guitarist for longer than any of his numerous other support bands. Practically by default, having returned Buchanan to the stage, the music instantly becomes more conducive to inspiration. The set list highlights both a sampling from earlier efforts, as well as a few covers that are personalized by Buchanan's inimitable stringed artistry. Whether by design or serendipity, each track focuses on his animated solos. Ranging from the driving boogie of Roy Milton's "Reelin' and Rockin" [note: not to be confused with Chuck Berry's rock & roll anthem of virtually the same name] to the stinging fretwork that commences the Memphis soul of Al Green's slithery "I'm a Ram," Buchanan is undeniably at the peak of his abilities. The spirited reading of "Further on up the Road" is particularly worthwhile, as his leads alternately from a rapid-fire slide action to emphatic wails that punctuate the melody with equal measures of deadly accuracy and limber precision. Live Stock is a primary recommendation for all dimensions of blues guitar lovers and those interested in experiencing the craftsmanship of the man once hailed as "The Greatest Unknown Guitarist In The World."" - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • "My first experience with Edge Of Paradise dates to 2011. I've listened to a lot of music since then, so my recollection is a little cloudy. That may be a good thing as I approach the band's first full-length album, Immortal Waltz, now signed to Germany's Pure Rock Records.Largely what I do recall is that the focus of Edge Of Paradise revolves around guitarist Dave Bates and vocalist Margarita Monet. He works with layers of dense sharp riffs coupled with leads that vary from neo-classical to pure rock. Monet has a nearly Olympic vocal approach. She's not one of those operatic singers. Yet she can voice the same, along with rock to something more atmospheric and ethereal. For the music EoP works from the base melodic heavy metal infused with a rock groove, and then adds the former elements for this large bombastic presentation. To be fair, four of the songs are from the Perfect Shade of Black EP released in October 2014: the title track, In A Dream, Ghost, and Break Away. But unless you have that EP, this tidbit matters little. The band also covers the Sabbath song, Children of the Sea, with some success.There's a lot to like about this album, simply because of the Bates/Monet approach to songwriting. I can honestly say I enjoyed every song here, thanks to the ease which heaviness and groove are blended together. Yet several songs stood out more than others. First, there's the pair of It's My Show and Immortal Waltz where EoP brings this feeling of theater, possibly some side show, and a little burlesque to their sound. The latter song may even suggest a waltz theme or motif to your ears. Another fine tune is In A Dream, which has this combination of riff density and soaring atmosphere thanks to the vocals.Also, a favorite was Ghost; it's not unlike In A Dream, but more ethereal at the start, only to become massive in riffage in crescendo. Finally, Rise For The Fallen, an anthem of sorts, seemed the song with most groove with Bates' riffs blasting throughout. But this song, like so many others here, displays the chink in the EoP's armor. For all her vocal calisthenics, Monet is difficult to understand. Her voice and style certainly compliment the EoP sound, but you'll want to have the lyrics handy if you want do understand anything she sings. Nevertheless, and overall, Edge Of Paradise's Immortal Waltz is interesting and entertaining melodic heavy metal that will keep you listening. Recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $15.00
  • "Originally recorded in 1983, Present's Le Poison Qui Rend Fou (The Poison That Makes You Insane), the band's second and final album until their rebirth in the mid 90s, is a classic of complex, Rock In Opposition-style electric chamber rock.This reissue of Le Poison Qui Rend Fou includes the original album, newly transferred and remastered by the group's long-time engineer, Udi Koomran, and a 16 page booklet telling the story of the band and this album, with many never-before seen photos. Additionally, there is 25' of QuickTime movies of the group's final concert featuring bassist Christian Genet, from Livry-Gargan, France, 1/23/82, as well as a second disc that features the entire 80' concert from 1/23/82!"
    $21.00
  • "Two years ago, a virtually unknown Russian band released a debut with chamber classical orchestration, gorgeous multi-layered vocals, and the occasional modern rock touch. Very few initially noticed it, but eventually by word of mouth, it became an unexpected favorite 2012 album in progressive rock, despite the scarcity of progressive rock elements. Listeners there mainly rated on songwriting and enjoyment.Now, we have a second iamthemorning album, expanding on the elements from the first album. A confident, mature album that will likely bring rave reviews all over the place given the band is not as obscure as in 2012.The music is once again heavily influenced by classical music. Vocals and piano continue creating the foundation of the music, with orchestral instrument, drums, and modern rock sounds adding layers whenever needed. Even the modern rock sounds are used in a very classical, 'iamthemorning' way.The added complexity of the music was a risk. After all, the debut's instantly rewarding melodies and its safe, if brilliant, songwriting approach made it very difficult for many listener to honestly hate such an album. Now, we're dealing with complexity levels more to the tune of classical music and progressive rock. This is now easily categorized as progressive rock, with less direct melodies, knotty musical ideas, occasionally long songs, more in-depth instrumentation and lyricism. The risk is that I enjoyed the first listen less than the first listen of the debut. However, I cannot decide which album I prefer now. I feel like this one has a few minor flaws based on the risk-taking approach, compared to the near-perfection pop of the debut. However, there are even more 'WOW!' moments here in my opinion, some of the very best musical passages I perceive to come across.Flaws? I seem to only gripe about the slow development of their last full song, the samples in 'Howler' and the beginning of 'K.O.S' with a repetitive, awkward drum beat and one-chord guitar riff. Luckily, the latter two songs are overall highly interesting and dynamic songs otherwise, which is why I said the flaws are not severe as they involve a small fraction of two songs.Strengths? It's hard to name them all. The intermissions remain impressive. The first one has such a captivating atmosphere, I can't imagine anyone being hard-pressed to say 'nah' and stop playing the album. The fourth intermission (titled XII) almost reaches song-like status in length, starting with classical violin and continuing with mesmerizing piano. The last intermission is almost transcendental in a spiritual sense.And then you have the songs and they are so, so good. All those subtle melodies and exciting instrumentation in 'Howler', the beautiful 'To Human Misery' with a very captivating main melody yet also with a lot of subtle instrumentation. I should try not to overuse the phrase 'subtle complexity', but I think that word really describes this album. Subtle complexity is what makes this album work so well: you latch on into some obvious melodies on first listen, but then all those little details won't make you lose interest. Every instrument plays melodies, sometimes simultaneously.'Romance' and '5/4' sound a bit like more intricate version of Tori Amos music. They are whimsical, enchanting yet quite complex in instrumentation. Those little details like the muted violin melodies and brief 'shredding' electric guitar that somehow sounds mellow. The '5/4' song is mostly in 6/4 actually, but when it shifts to a 5/4 meter playing a carnival-like atmosphere, it's pure genius, even if it sounds like a horrible idea at first listen. It's an odd choice for a single. I thought it would be 'The Simple Story' which is more instantly recognizable with its melodies and the great piano line near the end. 'Crowded Corridors' is possibly their most accomplished composition to date and also their longest by far at nearly 9 minutes. It begins relatively subdued with their typical instrumentation and vocalizations, if more haunting than usual. Something else going for it is the more 'epic', dramatic moments that work incredibly well. It'd be interesting if they revisit this approach to songwriting in later albums. A particular highlight, besides the obvious piano solo in the latter half, is a slow melody at minute 3 being revisited at the very end at a faster pace.By the way, most of these songs deviate from a typical song structure to help make it more impactful and dynamic. The song 'Gerda' starts very soft and delicate but later sounds very empowering and grand: it's yet another great song. 'Os Lunatum' starts as an outstanding piano + vocal duet, both at their very best, especially during the song's main hook. Guitars later become dominant on the song's instrumental section. The song concludes with a full band sound, the progression from the very beginning being very natural.'K O S' may be marginally a less enjoyable song here because of that first minute which sounds repetitive and lacks what I like about the band. The rest is an interesting experiment as they veer towards a progressive rock / alternative rock sound without fully losing their trademark vocals, pianos, and subtle way to adding melodic layers. I love the way it ends, reprising the intro in such a way that almost redeems it. The 'Reprise of Light no Light' is another lesser favorite, developing in a slow fashion that sometimes tests my patience. I do love that it, along with the last intermission, ends with peaceful, abstract noise.In the end, they have accomplished a very difficult feat, given the high standard the set themselves with their debut. This second album is very intelligent music as well as very deep, emotional music. It touches me. In the end, despite the occasional flaw, it's a masterpiece and I anticipate it being consistently among my favorite pieces of music regardless of genre alongside their debut." - ProgArchives
    $15.00
  • Sound Of Contact is a new band put together by Simon Collins and session keyboardist Dave Kerzner.  Yeah - Simon is Phil's son.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree - Simon plays drums and he also sings.  His voice is eerily like his dad.  At times virtually indistinguishable.  The music follows a similar path to Phil's work with Genesis and solo.  Parts of the album are pure prog - in fact the album closes with a killer 19 minute epic called "Mobius Slip".  Other parts of the album exhibit a poppier more commercial side.  I don't think of the album as a pop album - its a prog rock album.  Kerzner provides some very interesting keyboard work - lots of intricacies through out the album.  There is that commercial element that reminds me of Genesis in the 80s.  With his voice sounding so much like his father, Simon will always be cursed with being compared to Phil.  That's a fact.  Overall I think he's come up with an interesting album that fans of more contemporary progressive rock will enjoy.
    $12.00
  • The late Michael Hedges was one of the great visionary guitarists of our lifetimes. He used tapping techniques on acoustic guitar to create a wall of sound. He was influenced by John Fahey and Leo Kottke and made us all rethink what can possibly be done with an acoustic guitar.  Introspective but addictive.  If you have any interest in guitar you need to hear this album.
    $8.00
  • "Female fronted Symphonic Power Metal band AMBERIAN DAWN return with their new album “Magic Forest” on Napalm Records. Female fronted bands have always been a target for hate in the Metal community, but it’s nice to hear this powerful and lovely voice!The only way I can think to describe this band is imagine Children of Bodom, put a girl in front and make it Power Metal instead of Death Metal. Capri’s vocals are both beautiful and chilling throughout the entire album. These are over some strong instrumentals with a bunch of incredible guitar and keyboard solos, AMBERIAN DAWN bring Power Metal to a whole new galaxy!As much as I’d like to talk about and praise each and every song on this album for you, there is one main song that sticks out the most. “I’m Still Here” is the perfect song to show what AMBERIAN DAWN bring, catchy vocals, insane but not over the top instrumentals and a wicked keyboard to guitar solo. If there is any song to look up to decide if you are going to like this band or album this is it right here.“Magic Forest” is absolutely killer, if you’re not one of those people who hates female fronted bands without rhyme or reason. Symphonic Power Metal is a rare treat and it gets even better when you find an astounding band that does it right!" - Metal Temple 
    $13.00