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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  • For some this was the start of an era for others the end.  This took my hopes and dreams for a true progressive supergroup for the 80s and stomped them into dust.  Your mileage may vary.
    $5.00
  • Fifth album from this incendiary Estonian ensemble.  Phlox play a hybrid of Canterbury influenced prog and fusion.  While this is a live album, 5 of the 7 tracks are new and the other 2 are revamped.  Pearu Helenurm keyboards have an overdriven sound that evokes Dave Stewart at his raunchiest.  Guitarist Kristo Roots is a bit more laid back this time but when he unleashes the fury - watch out!
    $16.00
  • "The empire of the eminent Floor Jansen strikes back with an absolute startling release, a great surprise for all lovers of modern female fronted sound and an inescapable altercation towards anyone protesting against trying new and versatile notions. Set for release on August 23rd via Nuclear Blast, “Wild Card” really blew me away, in a level that my mind started whirling with the bands mesmerism in creating a very fresh and present album.After three years of agonizing waiting time, the down to earth yet class plethoric Symphonic/Melodic Metal act’s sophomore release settles down in the average CD player; revealing the hermetic catalyst of music to an extent that time-dimension seems unable to debilitate the magic of cardinal passion. And there’s a lot of passion and energy in “Wild Card“.Guided by Joost van den Broek, the band manage to conserve the known REVAMP vibe present in each and every single note performed, resulting to a set of eleven shining tracks full of charisma, sentiment and individuality. However “Wild Card” is by far heavier and much more aggressive than the 2010s self-titled debut album. Definitely guitar oriented and featuring one of the best vocal performances ever recorded in the history of heavy metal music. The compositions are quite variegated providing an intense kaleidoscopic view of interpretation by the listener.You can tell Floor Jansen had the need to redeem herself after her illness and thus resulted lyrically into some heavy stories and very personal experiences in which the Symphonic Metal Queen let out of her system with some quite openhearted screams and massive growls. Floor’s vocals are indeed very diverse and there’s not a single blemish throughout the record. From operatic, melodic lines to straight forward metal vocals, to grunting and growling everything is extremely powerful and it matches the albums violent music.Talking about music, “Wild Card” has a monstrous industrial atmosphere all around and it’s breaking new grounds to the sound of female fronted bands. The production is exquisite and it meets the bands polished songwriting, which makes me a very happy customer! Keyboard solos and compound synth sounds are everywhere to be found and together with the abundant heavy guitar riffs, make for a solid foundation in which bass and drums encircle beautifully.“Wild Card” features a plethora of guest musicians; to begin with, Devin Townsend sings on the track “Neurasthenia” which is part three of “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown” theme-song and he sounds amazing, then there’s Mark Jansen (EPICA) who delivers some terrifying growls on the song “Misery’s No Crime“. In addition to that, Marcela Bovio (STREAM OF PASSION) and Daniel de Jongh (TEXTURES) recorded the choir parts and harmonies together with Floor and that really adds to the whole Metal feel of the record. Finally Johan van Stratum (STREAM OF PASSION) was recruited last minute to record the bass for “Wild Card” and he did a splendid job if I may say.Thanks to the extreme variety in REVAMP’s “Wild Card“, there’s not a single dull moment overall and with every listening session I find myself discovering more and more in each song; and that’s a wonderful feeling and really what makes “Wild Card” a first-class album. Highlights include “Wild Card“, “Distorted Lullabies“, “Amendatory“, “Misery’s No Crime“, “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: Neurasthenia” and my personal favorites “Precibus” and “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown’: On The Sideline“. Honestly though, you should listen to the entire album back to back.The CD cover is quite remarkable as well. Definitely recognizable by REVAMP fans due to its connection with the debut album, the dual nature of the Queen of Hearts is a strong image which relates to the music in such drastic and fascinating ways. A perfect visual to accompany the fierce character of the music and props go to Richard Stark who created the artwork. A very well thought concept, indeed.A “Wild Card” is an unpredictable and unforeseeable factor and I feel like REVAMP won the bet and have successfully release a unique and brilliant album that will inspire many generations of heavy metal fans and for that they deserve immense credit. Many tunes off this album have the potential to become REVAMP classics and this itself makes the purchase essential for everyone that does not so far have REVAMP in his/her collection. A piece of thriving Symphonic, Melodic Metal history is now available, make no mistakes. You can’t let it go." - Metal Divas
    $14.00
  • This is where the progressive elements really start to coalesce ie. the 20 minute "The Fountain Of Lamneth".  Remastered edition.
    $5.00
  • Inside Out makes a now rare foray back into the realm of progressive metal with a signing from an unlikely place. Amaseffer is a project created by three Israeli musicians - drummer Erez Yohanan and guitarists Yuval Kramer and Hanan Avramovich. The trio have enlisted Edguy/Therion vocalist Mats Leven and Arch Enemy's Angela Gossow to front this first part of a trilogy based around the Old Testament story of Moses and the Israelites' exodus from Egypt. The music has an epic, cinematic feel - strikingly similar to Saviour Machine. Orchestral elements meld with Middle Eastern sounds and progressive metal. Think of Orphaned Land but with powerful, dramatic (and clean) vocals. Hold on...I think this one is gonna be big! 
    $15.00
  • "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." 
    $16.00
  • "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
  • "These days, it is one thing just to be able to release an album given the current state of the music business. However, to release said band’s best material while trying to pin down a job, scrap together some funds, have a family, maintain a “normal life” and deal with record companies with a 2014 “business model” is a whole other thing all together.Most bands know that the gold at the end of this rainbow, through all the hard work and creativity, is merely deeming albums a “labor of love” and hope and pray they get enough gigs to make it “worth it” even with vast monetary loss. So is the life of A Sound of Thunder – a snapshot of a hard working band that is both the current and future of this business. Blessed with immense talent upswing that garners a “legion of thunder” to quickly reach crowdsourcing campaign goals, it is actually hard to take any record company offers seriously. Whether or not the band made a pact with the seven princes of hell, “The Lesser Key of Solomon” is A Sound Of Thunder's best work to date and a sleeper album of the year that should not go unnoticed.In stark contrast to “Time’s Arrow” (which listening back now almost sounds Cro-Magnon by comparison), “The Lesser Key of Solomon,” pushes the band in a much more progressive and mature direction over a bed of gleefully evil lyrical content. The style is a unique combination of progressive rock, 90’s W.A.S.P. and an overly obvious dose of eerie King Diamond. Oddly enough, when the Kickstarter edition of opening track “Udoroth” was issued to backers, it was a real stripped down pure metal song in the “Queen of Hell” vein and seemed way more basic metal than what the band has been releasing in recent years. However, when the completed album version hit my stereo it was as if it had been transformed. Choirs, sound clips, and added vocal parts have expanded it into way more than the simple barbaric nature of the pre-release.With longer songs and higher levels of progression all around, “The Lesser Key of Solomon” presents the band's most complex material to date – with a foursome of tracks in “The Boy Who Could Fly,” “Elijah,” “Blood From the Mummy’s Tomb,” and “House of Bones” that stand up to any album released this year and back. “Elijah” is near 10 minutes with so many flowing parts it could really be divided into three separate and distinct tracks, but it is just so damn perfect linked together.Guitarist Josh Schwartz has perfected his craft over the years and each album presents an ever growing talent. On “Lesser” there is more exploration with bluesy styles alongside the usual butchering riffs and soaring, engaging solos that have propelled him into one of the best out there. Sadly though, he is still under the radar of most of the world. Check out the guitar emoting on “Black Secrets” and “House of Bones.” Backed up by the monster rhythm section of drummer Chris Haren and bassist Jesse Keen, the musicianship is absurdly fantastic.Vocalist Nina Osegueda has blossomed into one of the leading front women in the business today (and if you haven’t heard….shame on you). You won’t hear an operatic droning or any glitzy bubble gum pop metal infused vocals that are all the rage in Scandinavia these days. What you get is ass kicking, bold, face-punching power. On “Lesser,” Osegueda really expands her “softer side” (shown last on “Time’s Arrow” favorite “I’ll Walk With You”). Check out the performances on “One Empty Grave” and “Lesser” favorite “The Boy Who Can Fly,” with just the perfect amount of emotion to draw listeners into the same feeling. On top of all that, Nina has clearly re-stumbled upon the King Diamond back catalog, for she adds a huge dose of creepy “sing song-telling” in tracks like “Elijah” (check out 7:34-7:50 for example).Armed with the knowledge that the next album is already nearly completed… I can’t even imagine where this talented U.S. act will take its musical direction. “The Lessor Key of Solomon” already represents the best material the band has released to date, which is exactly how I felt with “Time’s Arrow.” The constant drive to be better coupled with perfect execution makes "The Lesser Key Of Solomon" easily rank among the elite albums released in 2014. Skipping over this album would be a real disservice to truly inspiring and independent music." - Metal Underground
    $15.00
  • New mini-lp sleeve reissue of the classic second album from this great Italian trio. Although keyboards play a vital part of their sound, the instrumentation is pretty well balanced. These guys were able to compete with the big guns - Banco and PFM - they were that good. Highly recommended.
    $20.00
  • 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
  • "Paul Kantner's debut solo album actually was credited to "Paul Kantner/Jefferson Starship," the first use of the "Starship" billing, predating the formation of the group with that name by four years. Kantner used it, extrapolating on the name of his current band, Jefferson Airplane, to refer to Blows's science fiction concept: A bunch of left-wing hippies closely resembling his San Francisco Bay Area compatriots hijack a government-built starship and head off to re-start the human race on another planet. Kantner had presaged this post-apocalyptic colonization idea on "Wooden Ships" on the last Airplane album, Volunteers, and here he expanded it out to album length with the help of members of The Airplane, the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Crosby, Stills and Nash, plus assorted others, a shifting supergroup informally known as PERRO, The Planet Earth Rock And Roll Orchestra. (Kantner later would borrow that name for a subsequent solo album.) Blows actually was a little loose as concept albums go, seeming as concerned with the arrival of Kantner and Grace Slick's baby as with the departure of the starship. Kantner employed often dense instrumentation and complex arrangements, but there were enough hooks and harmonies to keep things interesting. Blows eventually went gold, and it was even nominated for a science fiction award usually reserved for novels." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • "Album number four for New York metal thrashing extraordinaire's Anthrax. Persistence of Time used to be my favorite Anthrax album, and even though I give the edge to Spreading the Disease I still rate this one highly, and I prefer it to the likes of Among the Living.Persistence of Time has the distinction of being Anthrax's most accomplished release, well, as far as musicianship and performances go. The band decided to take themselves seriously here and this album feels right at home amongst the Victims of Deception, Years of Decay, Twisted Into Form crowd. A lot of the bands slight crossover element is largely missing, with the exception of the "Got The Time" cover, which serves as highly beneficial to the release.The tracks are quite a bit longer than usual here, with the opening four numbers swimming a see of six - seven minute tracks. Anthrax really deliver over the longer time periods and the songs are given a lot more room to grow. When concerning production I feel that by todays standards Persistence of Time happens to stand up the best amongst the bands work with Joey Belladonna. The mix is fantastic, and the bass has a great prominent sound which as a result leaves this album sounding the heaviest of the Anthrax backlog."Time", "Blood" and "Keep it in the Family" are all massive in scope as far as Anthrax goes, and these songs are among some of the best the band have done. From the darker edged riffs, to the build up and dynamics this is all good. "Keep it in the Family" is a particularly awesome example of Anthrax ala Persistence of Time. Not to blow their wad in the first half of the album we have the awesome "Gridlock" which houses some of Anthrax's most menacing work, and the bad-ass "Belly of the Beast". Proabably the catchiest track on the album (not including the cover), this was actually the first Anthrax song I ever heard, and has some fond memories attached to it.Persistence of Time is a really cool release, and is reflective of its given genre at the time. Thrash was pushing forward in quite an exciting way, yet somehow it all went wrong. Even now when we have a fuck load of caricature thrash bands, none of them try to progress like Anthrax did here. Despite the niggling "Got The Time" the rest of the album is awesome and is of interest of any thrash fan, especially those with interest in the later releases around the late 80's early 90's." - Metal Archives
    $5.00
  • "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
  • Steven Wilson's second solo album features a variety of interesting prog luminaries including Steve Hackett, Robert Fripp, Tony Levin, Trey Gunn, Theo Travis, and Jordan Rudess. Proggier than his first solo album and frankly recent Porcupine Tree. Lots of Mellotron bliss on this one. Exemplary production wraps up the total package.
    $16.00