Cornerstone

SKU: SOM293
Label:
Season Of Mist
Category:
Doom Metal
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Second album from this Swiss band draws very heavily from the Katatonia musical gene pool.  Melancholy metal that actually has a groove.  Some of the proggier bits remind of Tool.  

 

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  • Second album from this female fronted Italian band.  Exilia tread similar territory to In This Moment or perhaps a heavier Lacuna Coil.  There is a modern metal element present that conveys quite a bit of agression.  This is the special edition that comes with a bonus NTSC DVD featuring "making of" footage as well as video clips.
    $17.00
  • "Always fond of conceptual storytelling, Ian Anderson goes himself one better with his latest prog-folk-metal concept album. The 15 songs of Homo Erraticus inhabit not one but two metafictional layers. The Gerald Bostock character, hero/anti-hero of the seminal Jethro Tull album Thick as a Brick and its recent sequel Thick as a Brick 2, is back again, having now discovered a manuscript left behind in the 1920s by a malaria-ridden old British soldier delightfully named Ernest T. Parritt.Parritt's supposed writings range over northern European history from the Mesolithic era to his own - and on into his future, through the whole 20th century and into our own time and beyond. Winnowed into lyrics written by "Bostock" and set to music by the real protagonist of the story, Ian Anderson, these materials give Anderson - whose creative scope and energy remain robust even as his singing voice has thinned with age - a walk-in-closetful of pegs on which to hang a sequence of songs evoking nothing less than the history of mankind in his part of the world.The first track, "Doggerland," commemorates the area of the southern North Sea that used to be dry land connecting today's British Isles with the rest of Europe. Doggerland vanished under the waves as the last Ice Age ended but, as fisherman discovered not long ago, the sea floor retains much archeological evidence of human occupation. The succeeding songs address migrations, metalworking, invasions (from the Romans to Burger King), the arrival of Christianity, the Industrial Revolution, and so on. To appreciate the songs, you'll want to (at least once) follow along with the notes and lyrics in the accompanying 32-page booklet.The Foreword, in which Anderson discusses the history of Jethro Tull and why he hasn't used the band name for his last few recordings, will especially interest longtime Tull fans. The real question is, will the songs themselves? Some yes, some no. The gruff metal of "Doggerland" gives way to the sweet, plinking folk of "Heavy Metals." (I imagine Anderson chuckling to himself at the irony - no pun intended - of creating such a gentle-sounding song with that title, and on that literal topic.) Both satisfy my Tull craving. "Meliora Sequamur" (Let Us Follow Better Things), which paints a picture of 12th century schoolboys amid religious chant (and cant), does too, and "The Turnpike Inn" is a solid rocker, and the hard-Celtic style of "The Engineer" moves briskly.I like the instrumental track "Tripudium ad Bellum" (Dancing to War). It starts off with an echo of a theme from the original Thick as a Brick (there are others elsewhere on the album), then resolves into a 5/4 march, like a more insistent "Living in the Past." War's aftermath appears in the next track, the sad, deliberate "After These Wars," in which I really feel the lack of Anderson's full-strength vocals. While he was never among rock's greatest singers, that didn't matter - when he sang his songs, you always felt he was all there, and that's what mattered. But now, and not only in the harder songs that shade into old-school heavy metal, his voice just isn't always a match for his music's energy any more.On the other hand, his gift for crafting pleasing, original melodies, writing smart, clever lyrics in complete sentences and true rhyme, and setting much of it in non-traditional time signatures remains strong. The first verse of "After These Wars" reads:After battle, with wounds to lick andbeaus and belles all reuniting.Rationing, austerity: it did us good after the fighting.Now, time to bid some fond farewells andwalk away from empires crumbling.Post-war baby-boom to fuel with post-Victorian half-dressed fumbling.No one in pop music writes like that anymore.Listening to the album as a complete conceptual work, my overall feeling is that there isn't very much new here. Since the 1960s Anderson and Tull have explored countless different musical paths and styles. Some of these produced some of my all-time favorite songs and recordings. Others I hated. But he never seemed to be resting on his laurels. Here I feel like I'm reading a chapter that's not much different from the last chapter.But listening to the songs individually, I like a lot of them. As I write this I'm trying to count the beats of the off-time closer, "Cold Dead Reckoning," with its grim imagery of a future of lost souls navigating their way over a metaphysical Doggerland "amongst the ranks and files of walking dead." I hear crunching minor-key guitar-bass-piano unison figures, a sprightly flute solo. A hopeful verse about "angels watching over" at the end doesn't convince me, as the music continues to growl on as before. Yet there follow a sweet, gentle instrumental coda, reminded us that while things may not turn out well for humanity as we teem over and ruin our only planet, our capacity to create and to appreciate beauty will be with us as long as we live. So let's raise the cup of crimson wonder to Ian Anderson as he charges not-so-gently through his seventh decade." - Seattle Pi
    $9.00
  • "Periphery have been an omnipresent force in the prog metalcore realm since their first album released in 2010 – band founder Misha Mansoor has served as producer on several of the genre’s albums, and the other members are all famous in their own right, whether it’s simply for their craft (Matt Halpern), their involvement in other projects (Spencer Sotelo, Mark Holcomb, Nolly Getgood), or just simply being the nephew of someone exceedingly famous (Jake Bowen). This makes whatever they decide to do extremely important, and the band’s decision to release a concept double album has created hype of hugelargic proportions. In my humble opinion, the band has delivered on all fronts, but not without some disappointments in the “could’ve been” area.Since their inception, Periphery have changed from a chugga-chug ambidjent project posting demos on the internet in the late 2000s to a full-fledged prog metal band with heavy elements of metalcore, post-hardcore, and pop music in general. If you weren’t onboard for “Periphery II”, “Juggernaut” likely won’t change your mind (unless your issues were relatively small), as it’s more of the same poppy atmosphere and less of the techy downtuned riffs, though god knows THOSE are still around. But there’s also a lot of style experimentation – jazz fusion, death metal, and various forms of electronica are all utilized on a semi-normal basis, and range from being seamlessly integrated into the music to being tacked on to the ends of songs like gluing a top-rate dildo onto an already particularly throbby penis. If this all sounds a bit schizophrenic, rest assured that the songcraft is, for the most part, tighter than it’s ever been. Singles from Alpha like “22 Faces” and “Alpha” itself show off Periphery’s pop prowess with choruses and hooks that refuse to leave your head, and complex riffs that are somehow just as ‘wormy as the vocals. And the songs on Omega are longer, more complex, and still manage to be as infectious as the most annoying of STDs – even the twelve minute sprawling title track that has more in common with the bombastic riffs of Periphery I has a shapely middle section that rivals even the hottest of…ugh, fuck it, done with the metaphors. It’s just insane. I cried when I heard it.And now onto what I don’t care for; first off, the decision to split the album into two parts was definitely well-informed from a marketing standpoint. Most people don’t go around listening to 80 minute records all day, myself included, and the supposedly delicate structure of a concept album also means that listening to Juggernaut by skipping to different songs would devalue the experience. So the band broke it into two records to make it seem more manageable to listen to in daily life. Another stated reason was so that newcomers to the band would be able to buy Alpha at a discounted price, decide if they liked it, and then purchase Omega if they were so inclined (music previewing doesn’t work like that anymore, but hey you can’t fault the band for trying to turn that into tangible record sales). The problem I have is that Omega isn’t really paced to be its own album, which makes releasing it on its own instead as simply as the second disc in a package a little pointless. It’s not like the excellent “The Afterman” double albums from Coheed and Cambria, which were each albums that worked in their own right. I realize that this is really just semantics, but I think calling Juggernaut both the third and fourth album from Periphery, while technically correct, is just disingenuous, and judging them fairly on their own as separate albums is impossible (which is why all reviews being published are including them together).Periphery has always had a unique way of pacing their albums, regularly including playful, sometimes relatively lengthy interludes between tracks. Juggernaut is no different, and these interludes are now occasionally used to seed songs that will appear later on the album, or provide callbacks to tracks already present. The transitions aren’t always elegant however, and can range from grin-inducing to head-scratching to just plain grating. Thankfully, the band isn’t going for the illusion that each song flows seamlessly into the next, at least no more than they were going for it on any of their previous albums, and it’s easy to get used to everything given multiple listens.Overall, Juggernaut is a dense album that’s going to take a myriad of listens to fully sink in, just like most of the band’s prior releases (I don’t think anyone is gonna argue that “Clear” has any depth that you would find after about the fifth listen or so, but hey hey that’s ok kay). But it’s also accessible on the surface with deceptively simple rhythms and poppy choruses, which draw you in to appreciate the deeper cuts. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes unique and thoughtful music in the post-hardcore, metalcore, and progressive metal genres, but I’d also recommend it to anyone ever, because this is my absolute favorite band and I think they’ve created a masterpiece. So take from that what you will, and then get the fuck out of here. The play button is calling my name." - iprobablyhateyourband.com
    $11.00
  • Following two highly successful tours with established Progressive metalists PAIN OF SALVATION and two years of exacting work, DARK SUNS have finished their third album "Grave Human Genuine.""Grave Human Genuine" – this unconventional title was chosen with care and purpose, as it represents the three characteristic elements of this work: "Grave" signifies darkness, the sinister force, and the inevitable fate. "Human" is synonymous with the music’s inherent soul-depth, while "Genuine" means "real" or "authentic" and hence refers to DARK SUNS’ uncompromising approach to music.But what about the music? DARK SUNS don’t merely pick up where the successful predecessor "Existence" (2005) left off, they present themselves as many-facetted as never before. A clear nod to Doom, complex polyrhythms, unusual and diverse instruments and, last but not least, drummer NIKO KNAPPE’s characteristic yearning vocals comprise the album’s cornerstones. The variety of sounds stretches from angular Metal riff attacks via atmospheric ambient soundscapes and Techno reminiscences to Avant-garde influences – despite this complexity, an accomplished musical mosaic of enormous expressiveness.Exciting nuances are created by the incomparable bass of Pain Of Salvation’s long-time member KRISTOFFER GILDENLÖW, a friendly turn that resulted from the tours mentioned above, and DISILLUSION’s SCHMIDT’s guest vocals in "Flies In Amber."With "Grave Human Genuine," DARK SUNS have created a haunting album full of autonomy and instrumental class, self-consciously charting new musical territory. In this, the band from Leipzig embodies the essence of every true progressive band: compositional genius coupled with advancement. The dark suns radiate: gloomy, human and egregiously genuine.
    $6.00
  • The third album from Haken once again demonstrates why they are at the forefront of the progressive metal scene.  The first two albums Aquarius and Visions are quite different.  Aquarius is a much quirkier album - lots of twists and turns that kept you off balance through out.  It had more of a prog rock feel and some real oddball approaches that resulted in some reviewers referring to it as circus meteal.  Visions was quite different.  It was much more linear and clearly defined in terms of content.  It was a prog metal album and wonderful one at that.The Mountain is the first release for the band's new home at Inside Out.  The direction of the band takes a bit of a u-turn.  The music falls somewhere in between the first two.  There is a quirky, prog rock vibe but you get the heaviness and complexity of prog metal.  One particular track I keep going back to is "Cockroach King" which essentially pays homage to Gentle Giant's counterpoint vocals.  Regardless of which direction you preferred, The Mountain has enough diversity to go please everyone.If you want to keep track of where progressive metal is headed then climb the mountain - this is where its at.  Highly recommended.
    $14.00
  • Twenty years of Mob Rules, twenty years of melodic metal from Northern Germany. The group surrounding vocalist Klaus Dirks are celebrating their big anniversary and have announced a number of notable festivities: Mob Rules are scheduled to release their boxed anniversary set Timekeeper on 10 October 2014 (Europe: 13 October 2014, US/Canada: 28 October 2014), embarking on their tour of Germany at the same time. Among the highlights of the anniversary shows will be the Break The Barriers Festival in their hometown of Wilhelmshaven together with Gamma Ray and Love.Might.Kill, and the Metal Hammer Paradise Festival on the Baltic Coast in mid-November 2014.The sextet have released seven studio recordings worldwide and a live DVD and have completed a number of successful tours in Germany and abroad with concerts in America, the UK, France, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, and renowned acts such as the Scorpions, Helloween, Savatage, Dio, Rage, Doro, Rhapsody On Fire and many others.Founded by Klaus Dirks (vocals) and Matthias Mineur (guitar) in 1994, Mob Rules, whose current line-up also includes guitarist Sven Lüdke, bassist Markus Brinkmann, drummer Nikolas Fritz and keyboardist Jan Christian Halfbrodt, unleashed their debut album Savage Land in March 1999 before embarking on a successful tour of Germany. Albums such as Temple Of Two Suns (2000), Hollowed Be Thy Name (2002), Among The Gods (2004), the live DVD Signs Of The Time (2005) and the globally acclaimed releasess Ethnolution A.D. (2006), Radical Peace (2009) andCannibal Nation (2012) followed.According to the international press, Mob Rules with their infectious stage shows count among Europe’s strongest live acts.Line-Up:Klaus Dirks – vocalsMatthias Mineur – guitarSven Lüdke – guitarMarkus Brinkmann – bassNikolas Fritz – drumsJan Christian Halfbrodt – keyboardsDiscography at SPV:HOLLOWED BE THY NAME (2002)AMONG THE GODS (2004)SIGNS OF THE TIME (DVD+Live CD, 2005)ETHNOLUTION A.D. (2006)CD1MOB RULES TIMEKEEPER – THE BEST1.Temple Fanfare 2:242.Pilot of Earth 2:493.Black Rain 5:424.Cannibal Nation 4:175.Astral Hand 5:506.Close My Eyes 6:187.Dead Man`s Face 5:408.Among The Gods 7:339.In The Land Of Wind Rain 6:0510.Hollowed Be Thy Name 5:4911.Last Farewell 5:3112.Ice And Fire 4:2613.Lord Of Madness (Live) 5:3214.With Sparrows 5:3815.Rain Song (Live) 5:37CD2MOB RULES TIMEKEEPER – FRIENDS1.Insurgeria 3:27 (new recorded, w/ Udo Dirkschneider & Marco Wriedt)2.Celebration Day 6:18 (new recorded, w/ Bernhard Weiß)3.Lights Out 5:16 (new recorded, w/ Peter Knorn)4.End Of All Days 8:36 (new recorded, w/ Amanda Somerville & Corvin Bahn)5.Broken 3:45 (new Track)6.All Above The Atmosphere 4:02 (new recorded, w/ Herbie Langhans & Herman Frank)7.Coast To Coast 4:26 (new recorded, w/ Michael Ehré, Stephan Lill & Chity Somapala)8.How The Gypsy Was Born 5:53 (remastered, w/ Peavy Wagner)9.Run With The Wolf 4:00 (new recorded, w/ Sascha Paeth)10.My Kingdom Come (new Track, Orchestral Version, w/ Corvin Bahn) 5:28SINGLE1.My Kingdom Come 5:282.Meet You In Heaven (Live at Pumpwerk, Wilhelmshaven, 2005, prev. unreleased) 6:08DVDMOB RULES OVER AMERICA1.Children Of The Flames2.Trial By Fire3.Astral Hand4.Unholy War5.Ashes To Ashes6.Fuel To The Fire7.Veil Of Death8.Last Farewell9.In The Land Of Wind And Rain10.Black Rain11.Hollowed Be Thy NameThe Official Videos:LostIce and FireAstral HandLast FarewellBlack RainBonus:- The Roadmob Bootlegs:1.)   Telebox Fool – Live @ Rockfabrik Nuremberg (2013)2.)   Ethnolution Tour „The Scandinavian Chapter“ (2007)3.)   The Magic Circle Files (2007)4.)   The Glance Of Fame (unofficial Clip)5.)   Drumrecording
    $20.00
  • "Over 5 hours of great performances including the entire Testimony and One albums plus special encores of the Spock's Beard classic, "The Light" featuring Alan Morse, and the Transatlantic epic "Stranger In Your Soul." Also included is a behind-the-scenes documentary with footage of Neal's exclusive acoustic concert, rehearsal footage, "Name That Prog Tune" game with Mike and more!Complete with 4 piece horn section, 6 member female background vocal section, violin and cello, full orchestra percussion with timpani and chimes, dancers, special guests and special staging, this is the most elaborate live release of Neal Morse's career!Neal even flew out Rich Mouser who mixed the original studio albums to do the front of house mix! Neal says "We really went all out this time. I wanted it to be the quintessential presentation and performance of this music." And so it was...and is!Says Mike Portnoy - "I've got to say... as a fan of this wonderful music, how incredible this is! I am so happy to see this come to fruition. This music really deserves this… everything from the incredible presentation, and all these amazing musicians...it's great to hear this music come to life on stage like this. To be doing it in his hometown with all his friends and family present and to be doing it here in this building that has such incredible importance to him and his story, it's elevated the music to a whole new level. This is just been an amazing experience!""
    $20.00
  • One of my favorite albums from Threshold. Damian Wilson is a real standout and the music's subtle celtic underpinning give the album a distinct flavor. New edition comes with 3 bonus tracks.
    $18.00
  • Latest from respected Italian folk metal band finds them plugging back in (their last album was all acoustic). Dennis Ward produced the album and the results find the band changing direction a bit. The folk aspects have been toned down a bit and the band is now emphasizing a "poppier" sound. Its still metal but some of the material has a more produced commercial hard rock veneer.  Limited edition digipak comes with a bonus Cd featuring the first Elvenking deom "To Oak Woods Destroyed".
    $13.00
  • Mind blowing set from this early 70s German jazz rock band culled from the vaults of SWF radio.  Dzyan was formed by bassist Reinhard Karwatky but the emerging star was guitarist Eddy Marron.  The lineup for these sessions is a quintet consisting of guitar, sax, bass, drums, and percussion.  High energy jazz rock with a psychedelic undercurrent is the order of the day.  Think Mahavishnu Orchestra crossed with Guru Guru.  Percussionist Jochen Leuschner also handles the occassional vocal.  He's got a great soulful voice that fits in comfortably.  High level of musicianship throughout but I have to mention Marron again - his playing really blows my mind.  Typical superb job from Long Hair Music - previously unavaialbe photos and detailed liner notes.  BUY OR DIE!
    $18.00
  • "By titling their third album Fear of Music and opening it with the African rhythmic experiment "I Zimbra," complete with nonsense lyrics by poet Hugo Ball, Talking Heads make the record seem more of a departure than it is. Though Fear of Music is musically distinct from its predecessors, it's mostly because of the use of minor keys that give the music a more ominous sound. Previously, David Byrne's offbeat observations had been set off by an overtly humorous tone; on Fear of Music, he is still odd, but no longer so funny. At the same time, however, the music has become even more compelling. Worked up from jams (though Byrne received sole songwriter's credit), the music is becoming denser and more driving, notably on the album's standout track, "Life During Wartime," with lyrics that match the music's power. "This ain't no party," declares Byrne, "this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around." The other key song, "Heaven," extends the dismissal Byrne had expressed for the U.S. in "The Big Country" to paradise itself: "Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens." It's also the album's most melodic song. Those are the highlights. What keeps Fear of Music from being as impressive an album as Talking Heads' first two is that much of it seems to repeat those earlier efforts, while the few newer elements seem so risky and exciting. It's an uneven, transitional album, though its better songs are as good as any Talking Heads ever did." - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • "Unbelievably, it’s almost 50 years since Fairport Convention and their followers – Steeleye Span, Trees, Dando Shaft, Mellow Candle and others – fashioned British folk-rock. Kent-based sextet Galley Beggar – who take their name from a mischievous spirit in English folklore – describe their mission as ‘to imagine the next phase of English folk-rock’ on their third album, Silence & Tears. “We’ve always loved English folk, but when we formed in 2009 it felt like nothing much was happening to carry the style forward,” says guitarist Mat Fowler, “so we thought, we love listening to folk-rock and we love playing it – why not try to write something in that vein?”The results can be heard on their earlier albums, Reformation House and Galley Beggar, and now onSilence & Tears. “Our first record was very folky,” reflects Mat, “but since then we’ve moved towards a more electric rock feel.” Indeed, the eight tracks on the new album span traditional song, Gothic balladry and peculiarly British acid rock, the mood alternately fragile and robust, with sweet vocal harmonies (led by Maria O’Donnell), lyrical guitar playing from Mat and his cohort David Ellis, and added texture from the violin of Celine Marshall (calling to mind Mr. Fox’s Carolanne Pegg), all anchored by Bill Lynn’s steady bass and Paul Dadswell’s deft drumming. The material spans reworkings of the ancient classics Geordie and Jack Orion, brooding ballads like Adam & Eve and the otherworldy Empty Sky, and the intense 9-minute epic Pay My Body Home, which triumphantly recalls folk-rock’s early 70s glory days.Silence & Tears may echo centuries of folk tradition, but its crisp, punchy sound is resolutely modern, despite calling on retro flourishes such as phasing, wah-wah and backwards guitar. Much of that is down to the fact that it was recorded at the profoundly analogue Toe Rag studios, where White Stripes, Tame Impala, the Zutons and many others have also worked with renowned producer-engineer Liam Watson. “We made our first two albums ourselves,” says Mat, “so this was the first time someone else has produced us. Recording at Toe Rag was just wonderful – to see all that incredible gear at work, and to have a tangible recording experience rather than staring at a screen, was amazing. And watching Liam at work is mesmerising – the sounds he gets onto tape are better than they are in real life!”In an era when bands such as Trembling Bells, Circulus and Wolf People have brought folk-rock to the fore again, the hypnotic interplay and inspired jamming on Silence & Tears is sure to find an enthusiastic audience. “We’ve already got a few festivals lined up this summer, including Leigh Folk Festival and Wessex Festival, and several other shows are still being arranged,” says Mat. “It’s an honour to be compared to other folk-rock bands – but we like to think we’ve got something of our own to offer too.”" 
    $15.00
  • "Ray Shulman produced this CD of one of the earliest Gentle Giant live gigs at King Alfred's College Winchester. Notably, this album contains the lost track "Peel Off the Paint," which has the same lyrics as Peel The Paint but completely different music. This is the only live recording available to the best of my knowledge with Phil Shulman and Martin Smith. As Phil Shulman comments in the liner notes: ".....For us, this CD provides a real memory jolt - reminding us of songs that we haven't thought about for a long time and brings nostalgia for the early hopes and dreams of a new band, Gentle Giant."
    $10.00
  • "Live In Tokyo is a live performance from November 14, 2012 at Zepp Tokyo for supergroup PSMS, which features drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, The Winery Dogs, Transatlantic), bassist Billy Sheehan (Talas, Mr. Big, David Lee Roth), guitarist Tony MacAlpine & keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Black Country Communion, Dream Theater, Billy Idol). This 95 minute concert showcases a wide range of instrumental performances from each of the members careers & collaborations. Included in the set are Shy Boy from Sheehan's band Talas, MacAlpine's The Stranger, Sherinian's Apocalypse 1470 B.C. and Dream Theater's A Change Of Seasons: The Crimson Sunrise."
    $8.00