The Crest

SKU: 308222
Label:
Steamhammer
Category:
Metal/Hard Rock
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One part Malmsteen - one part Blackmore, Axel Rudi Pell is an institution in Germany. Although he's not all that well known in the States, the guy sells a gazillion CDs with each release in Europe.

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  • "'Hand. Cannot. Erase.' is the highly anticipated fourth studio album from Steven Wilson - four-time Grammy nominee and founder member of cult legends, Porcupine Tree.Hand. Cannot. Erase. follows the critical and commercial success of The Raven That Refused To Sing, released in February 2013, and a run of sold-out shows around the world including London's Royal Albert Hall. Steven will embark on an extensive 'An Evening With Steven Wilson' European tour in March & April 2015.Recorded at London's illustrious Air Studios, Hand. Cannot. Erase, reunited Steven with Guthrie Govan (guitar), Adam Holzman (keyboards), Nick Beggs (bass / stick), and Marco Minneman (drums), the spectacular band responsible for The Raven That Refused To Sing album and world tour.The album follows the critical and commercial success of 2013's 'The Raven That Refused To Sing' (Germany #3, UK# 28) and an international run of sold-out shows, including London's prestigious Royal Albert Hall.Joined by Guthrie Govan (guitar), Adam Holzman (keyboards), Nick Beggs (bass / stick), and Marco Minneman (drums) - all part of the world-class band that graced The Raven and the 2013/2014 world tours - Wilson recorded 'Hand. Cannot. Erase.' at the renowned Air Studios in London."
    $14.00
  • "There has always been something about Orden Ogan that has made the band step out from the prototypical “Euro-power” boundary…a darkness, if you will. Perhaps it’s the post-apocalyptic “Road Warrior” look of the stage outfits, which ironically fit perfectly with serrated riffs that emote with an industrial edge. Better yet, it is the overall sound combining the beauty of fantasy with a jagged gritty blue collar delivery, as if to laugh in the faces of power purists who demand everything be so “squeaky clean.” Perfection comes in many shades….especially black. I’ve been guilty of calling Orden Ogan the second coming of old Blind Guardian, but that really isn’t fair. Orden Ogan has evolved into so much more, having immersed a trademark sound with elements of the ever influential Blind Guardian and Running Wild, but one that has become so unique it appeals to more than just the average fan of European power metal. With “Ravenhead,” the band has reached its defining moment.When “To the End” was released, there was a distinct separation from the holy trinity of “Easton Hope,” “Vale,” and “Testimonium A.D.,” both in terms of sound and production qualities. It elevated the band to a different level. As classic as the first three albums were, the full effect took some time to grow with multiple listens. I can almost see some of you shaking your heads thinking “Are you kidding? ‘Nobody Leaves,’ ‘We Are Pirates,’ ‘Farewell,’ ‘To New Shores of Sadness,’ ‘The Lords of the Flies’ were ‘instant classics.’” Sure…hindsight and multiple listens would make any of those "correct." In fact, it took “Vale” and much of “Easton Hope” a lot more time to resonate at the time they were released. “To the End” was truly an instant classic and nothing the band wrote before that had such staying power. Now with “Ravenhead,” fans can expect even more of the same – starting immediately with the “masculine humming” of the eponymous intro track.“Orden Ogan” starts off like that opening scene out of “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” with that gang chorus of “Hoist the Colours” (minus the kid). It has a real pirate feel, even more so than Running Wild has ever conjured…only it has nothing to do at all with the age of piracy. “Ravenhead” – the song – kicks in and the band never looks back….saw-toothed riffs from Sebastian Levermann and Tobias Kersting overlay Levermann’s distinctively clean, yet gleefully abrasive, vocals. The chorus jumps out immediately, with no surprise. Orden Ogan has become one of the best at impact choruses and they come no better than what you will hear on “F.E.V.E.R.” This one sticks in the mind so well I’ve found myself subconsciously humming it as I awake each morning. Encircling the chorus is a riff (not too far removed from “Land of the Dead”) and a subtle, but impressive bagpipe. The sheer number of times you'll hear “False believer…true deceiver…she’s the F.E.V.E.R….stealing the life from you” may seem repetitive within in the 4:24 minute track, but it sure is effective!At this point, we get into the real meat of the album, “The Lake” and “Evil Lies in Every Man,” the two best tracks not named “A Reason to Give” (more on this in a bit). “The Lake” starts with a riff like a handsaw to steel…complete with broken teeth and sparks flying everywhere backed by Dirk Meyer-Behorn’s tommy-gun drum strength. “Evil Lies in Every Man” takes the now uneven barbed saw and buzzes through panel board….against the grain! Both songs are deliciously rough in stature, though the album is phenomenally produced (by Levermann himself, who has quickly become one of the best producers in Europe). “Evil Lies in Every Man” has a creepy vibe right from the start as an old woman sings the chorus in an equally craggy voice, a chorus that is the best on the release. The best part, though, is the sudden eruption into a “Prelude to Madness” style with dramatic orchestration at 3:31.“Here at the End of the World” (featuring a guest appearance by Grave Digger’s Chris Boltendahl) ends the torrid and brilliant first half of the release, with a chorus not far removed from Turisas' "The Great Escape." The second half of "Ravenhead" never quite reaches the same stratosphere of energy as the first five songs. “A Reason to Give,” a personal favorite, is another emotional tear-jerking power ballad a la “Take this Light” or “Ice Kings.” Like Blind Guardian, Orden Ogan's ballads are as much a staple as the album's heaviest tracks. That being said, it doesn’t detract an iota from the perfection of this album…it just goes at a more deliberate and “cleaner” pace. “Deaf Among the Blind” is the speediest on the second half and it even has a little tinge of Evergrey (you’ll know it when you hear it). “Sorrow is Your Tale” features a guest vocal appearance from HammerFall’s Joacim Cans and features yet another outstanding chorus in an album chock full of them. Rounding out the album is the instrumental “In Grief and Chains” and the ballad “Too Soon.”“Ravenhead” has it all, with odes to the band’s past and major influences, but a straight line up from the direction of “To the End.” It has even more insanely catchy choruses anchored by saw-toothed riffs and Seeb’s patented clean, yet gnarly vocal style. For Orden Ogan, it gets no better than this. For music, its another victory for songwriting and the right amount of hooks. Germany prevails yet again…and Orden Ogan has the formula to erect a tower that stands eye to “eye of Sauron” with Blind Guardian." - Metal Underground
    $15.00
  • Reissue of the first album from this eclectic British neoprog band. Red Jasper always stood out from the crowd. They drew equally from the genres of progressive rock and folk rock. You get this weird hybrid of Fairport Convention meets Marillion. Instrumentation included electric mandolin and tin whistle so you get this sound that was somewhat like late 70s Jethro Tull but with much more elaborate song forms. Lead vocalist Davey Dodds is like a cross between Geoff Mann and David Bowie. Long out of print, this new edition comes with three bonus tracks.
    $18.00
  • New progressive metal band from Rochester, NY incorporating a variety of influences. The lineup is a bit in flux but seems to focus on guitarist Tony Vinci who displays some remarkable chops. The music shows diversity and not just Dream Theater worship, although it's clear they are one of the bands influences. There is a modern alternative vibe as well. This is a good start - they need to solidify their lineup and gig their butts off. Promising....
    $10.00
  • "Quite the misleading band name, ya know? Project Arcadia isn’t much of a “project” as it is a Bulgarian outfit fronted by the ever-awesome Urban Breed, he of Tad Morose, Bloodbound, and currently, Trail of Murder fame. Prior to Breed joining, the band released From the Desert of Desire in 2012 to rather muted results, as in, no one on this side of the pond gave a flying toss. Sure enough, add Breed to the fold, record a new album in the form of A Time of Changes, and viola, Nightmare Records takes care of the rest. Not a bad deal.Hovering around traditional power metal and 80s metal protocol (the accompanying bio cites MSG and the Scorpions, which there is scant correlation), Project Arcadia wisely focus on the considerable vocal talents of Mr. Breed. He’s given ample breathing room to allow for his superbly melodic and hefty pipes to get their kicks, like on the soaring chorus for “I Am Alive,” and the acoustic-led “The Ungrateful Child,” which sees the Swede go full-on tender. But for the most part, the band plays it muscular, hitting some brute riffs in stride on “Formidable Foe” or finding some double-bass happenings on opener “Here to Learn.”The addition of Breed is sure to bolster Project Arcadia’s profile immediately. However, being that Breed is also known for being a bit of metallic nomadic, one had to wonder how long he’ll stick it out with the band. But the songs are certainly here on A Time of Changes, suited perfectly for Breed, who ten years after his shining moment on Tad Morose’s Modus Vivendi, can still hang with the best of ‘em. If the Swede was smart (and he is), he’ll stick with this, and Trail of Murder and keep on being productive…" - Dead Rhetoric
    $12.00
  • 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 is not a new Lost Horizon record.There, we got that sorted out. The good news is that Daniel Heiman is finally back where he belongs: in metal. For its third outing, Harmony tapped this fan-favorite singer, but unlike recent, however successful, hijack jobs (think Michele Luppi with Secret Sphere, or further back, Urban Breed with Bloodbound), this is still one hundred percent a Swedish, religious power metal experience.After a promising start with Dreaming Awake, and a superior sophomore effort in Chapter II: The Aftermath, Chapter III at last gives us the Harmony record that I always knew the Swedes had in them. Retaining the band’s signature solemn style and subtle sense of melody, Theatre Of Redemption is bigger, better, and an overall top contender for 2014’s album of the year.Just how much has this to do with Heiman himself? Of course, hiring a man of his not inconsiderable talent is certain to lend your work that extra flavor. This isn’t to say that Henrik B├ąth held the band back (about as much as Mikael Dahl did/does in Crystal Eyes), but that Heiman touch is fan-favorite for a reason. The superhuman wails, the natural emotion, the unrivaled raw power, all of that bigger and better than before as well. In whatever dark corner of the music industry this man has been lurking in for all these years, he’s picked up a thing or two. A tender and soulful performance like the one on “What If” could simply not have come from him in his Lost Horizon-days. Goosebumps, ladies and gentlemen, entire flocks of geese.Logically, even Daniel freakin’ Heiman can only thrive when the songwriting is there to support him. Harmony stepped up its game considerably in this department, opting for shorter, tighter material here. Theatre Of Redemption is trademarked by sharp and poignant riffs, simple but gripping melodies, and an overdose of class. “Son Of The Morning” and the title track sound like the basic but effective kind of songs that Kamelot used to churn out in its heyday, boasting oriental effects, a mystic atmosphere, and an ominous chorus. “I gave it aaall – for – NOTHING!” More geese and whatnot.Not all of it is down and plodding, though. Introspective opener “Window Of My Soul”, the celebratory “Crown Me King”, and self-referencing closer “In Search Of” root Harmony firmly in the national style. Anyone attempting to chronicle the rich history of Swedish power metal should do well to include them. For filler tracks, to conclude, look further, because Harmony wastes no time making every single song one worthy of remembrance and appreciation.This is not a Lost Horizon record. Instead it’s the best album Harmony has ever released, and one of the best this year has seen so far. Daniel Heiman returns gloriously to be crowned as king (only to disappear, as he’s only a guest on this album), and aids Harmony in releasing its full potential. Fans of Heiman, Harmony, and (Swedish) power metal in general should purchase this blindly." - Black Wind Metal
    $15.00
  • Although Jeff Lynne found fame and fortune in the later years of ELO, it was the early albums that featured some great and innovative progressive rock. Originally conceived as an offshoot project of The Move, ELO featured Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne (of The Idle Race). The two had a falling out over the direction of the band and Wood split to form Wizzard. After the mixed bag that was ELO II, Lynne found firm footing with On The Third Day. It's a fantastic fusion of classical, pop, and prog. The Beatles are an obvious influence but it was ELO's use of cellos and violin within the context of rock music that made them stand out (OK - they were not the first to do this but they were the best). This is a remastered edition that features a number of bonus tracks including unreleased material. Perhaps I'm nostalgic about this album as it was part of my formative years of listening to progressive rock. File under highly recommended.
    $5.00
  • Blazing second solo album, from 1977. This has some of the fastest guitarwork you will ever hear in your lifetime. DiMeola shows many facets to his playing touching upon pure electric fusion as well as gorgeous acoustic work. The acoustic duet with Paco De Lucia on "Mediterranean Sundance" is breathtaking. Jan Hammer and all the other stars play their nuts off here. Great.
    $5.00
  • Fourth album from this outstanding jazz metal band from Hungary getting outside exposure with their signing to IQ's Giant Electric Pea label.  Special Providence started out their career as a pure fusion band - not unlike Tribal Tech and Return To Forever.  With their third album, Soul Alert, the band injected a heavier metal presence primarily in the guitarwork.  Essence Of Change carries on from Soul Alert in terms of heaviness and the use of distortion but at the same time there is clearly more of a jazz/fusion emphasis in the writing.  This gives us a nicely balanced sound that has a lot of cross over appeal.  Liquid Tension Experiment and Morglbl fans will love this and I expect open minded fans of RTF and Mahavishnu will enjoy hearing the young kats update the sound they developed in the 70s.  Expect a non-stop assault of laser beam synth solos and blistering distortion laced guitar solos.  Yeah this one hits the sweet spot and after many future spins I suspect this will sit at the top of their already impressive discography.  BUY OR DIE!!
    $15.00
  • Austrian progressive power metal band Serenity has been a bit overlooked in the past but it appears as though their star is in ascendancy.  Ex-Whyzdom vocalist Clementine Delauney complements lead vocalist Georg Neuhauser quite well.  Perhaps she nudges him out of the spotlight a bit but all for the greater good.  The music has a large scale symphonic element that will draw comparisons to Kamelot.  Since they have toured with Youngblood & Co its not that surprising.  So the formula seems to be in place - two great vocalists married to melodic, bombastic metal.  Their best album.  Who's in? 
    $12.00
  • "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
  • Incredible warehouse find.  Scored a small horde of these and I can pass them on to you at an amazing price."Gamma Ray! Undoubtedly one of the most important names in contemporary, classic Heavy Metal, and thee most respected and influential German band in the genre. Fronted by Kai Hansen, following his departure from Helloween, Gamma Ray has become one of the most prominent bands in European Heavy Metal. "To The Metal" is the 10th studio album in 21 years of worldwide success and a new diamond in their never-ending experimental creativity. The Special Edition contains a bonus DVD in HD with interview, rehearsals, live studio sessions and 3 videoclips."
    $3.00
  • James LaBrie once again that there is life outside of Dream Theater.  His solo band features a stable lineup consisting of Matt Guillory (keyboards), Marco Sfogli (guitars), Ray Riendeau (bass), Peter Wildoer (drums, death vox).  Jens Bogren once again mixed. An interesting twist to the mix is the inclusion of Soilwork's Peter Wichers who contributes some guitarwork and also collaborated on songwriting with LaBrie.While the music is square on prog metal and all in all not too dissimilar to Dream Theater its different enough to have its own vibe.  Wildoer's coarse vocal approach offers an interesting counterbalance to LaBrie's upper midrange clean voice.  The limited digipak edition comes with two bonus tracks.  Highly recommended.
    $13.00