Cricklewood Green ($5 SPECIAL)

SKU: 724352643325
Label:
Chrysalis
Category:
Blues Rock
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"Cricklewood Green provides the best example of Ten Years After's recorded sound. On this album, the band and engineer Andy Johns mix studio tricks and sound effects, blues-based song structures, a driving rhythm section, and Alvin Lee's signature lightning-fast guitar licks into a unified album that flows nicely from start to finish. Cricklewood Green opens with a pair of bluesy rockers, with "Working on the Road" propelled by a guitar and organ riff that holds the listener's attention through the use of tape manipulation as the song develops. "50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain" and "Love Like a Man" are classics of TYA's jam genre, with lyrically meaningless verses setting up extended guitar workouts that build in intensity, rhythmically and sonically. The latter was an FM-radio staple in the early '70s. "Year 3000 Blues" is a country romp sprinkled with Lee's silly sci-fi lyrics, while "Me and My Baby" concisely showcases the band's jazz licks better than any other TYA studio track, and features a tasty piano solo by Chick Churchill. It has a feel similar to the extended pieces on side one of the live album Undead. "Circles" is a hippie-ish acoustic guitar piece, while "As the Sun Still Burns Away" closes the album by building on another classic guitar-organ riff and more sci-fi sound effects." - All Music Guide

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  • No subtleties here. This is pure bible thumpin' prog done up as only Mr. Morse can. The core trio remains Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy and Randy George although there are some guest appearances such as Carl Groves on backing vocals.
    $8.00
  • New progressive rock/metal trio from the UK that has the chance to blow up big. The band goes for an epic sound with the core trio augmented by the "The Lost Orchestra". Melancholy seems to be the overall theme here reminding of Riverside, Opeth, Tool and even some Pink Floyd. It can get quite heavy at times but overall it would be safe to categorize this as progressive rock. There is the odd growly part that made me think of Opeth - not a bad thing. The symphonic parts are quite beautiful and sad at the same time - Riverside's "Loose Heart" would be an apt comparison. An emotional roller coaster ride with plenty of space and...yes...intricacy. If you like your prog drenched in thick atmosphere this one is going to crush your skull. Highly recommended.
    $19.00
  • Its been seven years since the first release from The Fractured Dimension.  The core of the band is led by two ex-members of the avant metal band Scholomance: Jimmy Pitts (keyboards) and Jerry Twyford (bass).Given the extensive lineup of guest musicians Pitts and Twyford have corraled one would expect a supreme tech metal blow out.  In parts you get that but there are very strong symphonic rock, classical and fusion elements woven into the music.    Essentially they let the musicians be themselves and it makes it more challenging and interesting to hear them work their styles in to the compositions.OK so here is who is on th album:Jimmy Pitts (keys), Jerry Twyford (bass), Hannes Grossmann (drums), Vishal J Singh, Tom "Fountainhead" Geldschlager, and Tom Kopyto on guitars, Joe Deninzon (violin), Kasturi Nath Singh (Indian Classical Fusion Vocals), and guest guitar solos by Christian Muenzner, Marcel Coenen, Alex Machacek, Mike Abdow, Pete Pachio, Aaron Roten, Bill Bruce, and Jeremy Barnes.So you have guys from Obscura and lots of insane guitar soloists letting it all hang out with overlays of keyboards, violin all thrown at you with lots of intensity.  The whole thing will keep you off balance and I promise you won't be bored.  Highly recommended."“How can less be more? That’s impossible. More is more”, is a famous quote by Yngwie Malmsteen, and US/Germany-based super-group The Fractured Dimension have turned that statement into their modus operandi through their new album ‘Galaxy Mechanics’. By just looking at the star-studded 16-man line-up, not many would expect anything less than all-out super-technical music: a sound the band itself has labelled ‘Cosmic Instrumental Metal’.Despite the large number of members, from over 7 countries, Keyboardist Jimmy Pitts and bassist Jerry Twyford are the ones spearheading The Fractured Dimension, while the others have special and guest appearances on the record. Where you’d see drummer Hannes Grossmann (ex-Necrophagist, ex-Obscura, Blotted Science, Alkaloid), you’d see his Alkaloid band-mate and guitarist Christian Muenzner, and where you’d see Christian, you’d see current Obscura guitarist Tom Fountainhead Geldschlager, and the list goes on. It includes guitarists Tom Kopyto, Mike Abdow, Jeremy Barnes, Bill Bruce, Marcel Coenen, Alex Machacek, Pete Pachio and Aaron Roten. Indian guitarist Vishal J Singh is also among the ranks, as is Indian classical fusion vocalist Kasturi Singh and violinist Joe Deninzon.The album is extremely complex, and features an incredible range of musical styles not just through different instruments and tones, but through stylistic variations within an instrument itself. For example, the guitarists exercise their own style of playing, and since different guitarists worked on different tracks on the album, each song is given a unique vibe. The songs are progressive and only subtly repetitive, while each one is quite different from the other not only in terms of the guitars, like mentioned, but also in the way they’re structured and layered instrumentally.Dealing with each track individually is impossible because of their highly complex nature, but some of the high points from the album include songs like “Displacement” and “Elysian” which, like the other tracks, make use of interesting keyboard patches and time changes. The bass and keyboards are prominent everywhere and along with some brilliant drumming, form the backbone of the sound around which the guitars weave their magic.However, the main issue that needs to be addressed is this: does all of this complexity and variation give rise to music that is, put simply, enjoyable? Not everyone may appreciate the highly intricate music, but it makes no sense to say that The Fractured Dimension tried to impress everybody anyway. What can be seen, or rather, what flares up and makes itself obvious in the music, is the honesty behind it. The songs do not feel like they are forced, and the creative freedom of the musicians is in full display here. If one can see this honesty for himself/herself, that person will end up enjoying Galaxy Mechanics. There aren’t many other albums for which the same thing can be said, so the album is a definite hit and not a miss, and while dealing with super-technical and intricate music it is very easy to go wrong.A quarrel one could pick with Jimmy Pitts and Co. involves intriguing song titles, like “Bolshevikian Mythological Creature” and “Seventh Hymn to Nibiru” for example, and no vocals and lyrics to explain them. This doesn’t mean the music would be better off with vocals, but it means that there is no vocal expression of these concepts in a manner everybody can understand. Other than this, Galaxy Mechanics is a sublime effort from The Fractured Dimension, and one can only wonder what this exceptional pool of talent will conjure up next." - Metalwani
    $9.00
  • "Santana's fourth album, Caravanserai, finally being reissued and remastered by Columbia Legacy/Sony, is a landmark recording for the band. Originally released in 1973, this album marked a change for the band, as they were moving away from the Latin tinged psychedelic pop rock of their earlier recordings to a more ethereal, jazz fusion based sound. Change also brought about line-up shuffles, as after this album second guitarist Neal Schon and keyboard player/singer Gregg Rolie left the band to form Journey. Famed keyboard virtuoso Tom Coster made his first appearance on this release, and he later spent many years alongside Carlos Santana in various incarnations of the band. The influence of groups such as Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Lifetime, Miles Davis, Larry Coryell's Eleventh House, and John Coltrane are heard all throughout this CD. Latin percussion mixes with swirling organ while Santana and Schon's guitar licks run rampant on each track. While the bands signature melody on "Song of the Wind" still remains a classic, it's the extended breakouts on tunes like "La Fuente Del Ritmo" , complete with an amazing electric piano solo from Coster, and the energetic "Just in Time to See the Sun" that really shine. Drummer Mike Shrieve comes into his own on this albums more jazzy context, and the percussive tandem of Jose "Chepito" Areas, Mingo Lewis, and the legendary Armando Peraza provide the perfect Latin rhythms. "Every Step of the Way" features some wicked guitar work from Schon and Santana, supported by manic percussion and raging organ from Rolie, and stands out as a classic example of Latin jazz fusion.My advice to you all, don't walk, but run to your local CD shop and indulge yourself in this timeless classic. The remaster job is superb, with every instrument crisp and clear, and you get a nice booklet that goes into the history behind the album. A must have!" - Sea Of Tranquility
    $5.00
  • 2013 debut from this outstanding space rock/stoner offshoot from 35007.  Lots of burbling keyboard sounds but the guitar riffs are heavy and relentless.  New album due momentarily!This reviewer got it right:"Although at its most expansive, Monomyth‘s Monomyth ranges well into a cosmos of Krautrock-infused progadelia, there isn’t one moment of the album that feels like happenstance. Rather, the den Haag instrumental five-piece put an immediate sense of purpose into their Burning World Records self-titled debut — which is bound as well to grab extra attention owing to the involvement of drummer Sander Evers, formerly of Dutch heavy psych groundbreakers 35007 — and each of the five extended cuts on the 57-minute outing offers a complete individual journey while also flowing directly one to the next, so that the whole of the album is built up around these at times breathtakingly cohesive parts. The exception to that rule of flow is the 17-minute closer, “Huygens,” which comes on following silence at the end of the penultimate “Loch Ness,” but even that seems to have been a conscious decision on the part of the band — Evers on drums, Selwyn Slop on bass, Thomas van den Reydt on guitar, Peter van der Meer on keys and Tjerk Stoop credited with “synthesis and processing” in the album’s liner, which I assume means laptop — and certainly “Huygens” doesn’t detract from the overall liquidity of Monomyth for its slow fade in from the aforementioned silence, only adding to it a grand payoff patiently built toward that justifies the song’s position as the finale without losing sight of the progressive vibe. One could spend a lifetime immersed in the heavy prog spectrum of the early and mid ’70s, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that one or more of the members of Monomyth has, but in truly progressive form, the production here is modern-sounding to its very core. Modern-sounding, but not over-produced, it’s worth pointing out, and Monomyth walk just as careful a line in their presentation of their self-titled as they do in the intricate sense of composition and technicality that rests at the core of “Vanderwaalskrachten” (11:26), “Vile Vortices” (8:28), “The Groom Lake Engine” (10:06), “Loch Ness” (10:24) and “Huygens” (17:04) — all the titles coming together to blend into a theme of something unknown, scientific and otherworldly.Whichever came first, those titles or the songs themselves, the pieces are clearly meant to be taken in a complete listen with how each feeds into the one following. Still, there doesn’t seem to be a narrative at work across them, or at least not in the sense of “Jack runs here, Jack goes there.” “Vanderwaalskrachten” begins with sparse guitar and synth hum, setting up a swirl and lushness of sound that will prove almost constant but for a few purposeful moments of minimalism. Setting a patient tone, the drums kick in around two minutes in with the bass and the dynamic at the core of Monomyth‘s Monomyth is established; the rhythm section holds pieces together so that the guitar, keys and other elements are free to explore, which they do, again, not without a pervasive sense of purpose. The initial impression is similar in its smoothness and moody underpinnings to Germany’s My Sleeping Karma, but as “Vanderwaalskrachten” — named for the attractions between molecules and intermolecular forces — hits a pre-midpoint peak of heavy guitar riffing later to reemerge as a kind of instrumental chorus, it’s that much clearer that the band haven’t yet played their entire hand. A solo follows topping space rock pulsations and carries into a quiet bridge marked out by some funky organ work, only to find that chorus return again late in the track, giving all the more an impression of structure. Actually, “Vanderwaalskrachten” winds up rather traditional at its heart, just presented in a much different form than a phrase like “verse/chorus structure” might conjure in the mind of the listener. Likewise careful not to get underway too quickly, “Vile Vortices” — aka the Devil’s Graveyards; the Bermuda Triangle, Indus Valley, Algerian Megaliths, et. al. — unfolds to Floydian leads punctuated by xylophone-sounding percussion given flourish by jazzy keys before bass and organ introduce the crux of the build, Evers holding steady on drums behind. Those leads return, but structurally, “Vile Vortices” is different from its predecessor, more linear, and after five minutes in, it breaks to introduce a heavier riff that acts as the foundation for the build over the remainder of the track, which rounds out with a drone leading right into “The Groom Lake Engine,” the  centerpiece of Monomyth.To expect an immediate rush from “The Groom Lake Engine” would be ignoring the overarching flow from the first two tracks. The song unfolds from the drone that becomes its intro to airy guitars, periodic stretches of heavier progressions and synth filling out the spaces between. Groom Lake, Nevada, being the location of Area 51, the track remains consistent with the mysterious, potentially alien elements at work from earlier cuts, and true to “Vile Vortices” before it, with about three minutes left, the guitar introduces a heavier riff — following a few measures of surprisingly bluesy wah — that will march the song out, though in a blend, a chugging refrain from the first few minutes returns at the end. No matter how far out they may have gone, Monomyth haven’t forgotten their basic methodology. A telling moment hits prior to the halfway mark of “The Groom Lake Engine” and gives a glimpse at the dynamic that seems to be at the root of the band’s approach; Slop and Evers sticking to repetitions of a central figure while van den Reydt adds flourish around it, soon joined by the keys and other elements. For a moment, it’s easy to see where the songs actually come from. Feedback after the ending crescendo fades to a quiet opening for “Loch Ness,” which is Monomyth‘s most mainstream reference and their most effective linear build, starting serene and psychedelic at first and moving slowly towards the six-minute mark, at which a turn brings about darkly progressive riffs — sustained organ notes add a sense of classic horror cinema — and further, heavier build. They are still well in control, however far they delve into that movement, and the transition to “Huygens” afterwards is no less easy to make for the small break between the tracks. Curious synth winds around exploratory guitar lines as bass and drums — as ever — keep steady, and soon start-stop bass and guitar emerge to set the tone for the song’s first half, contrasted a bit by a heavier “chorus” but never too far away from whence it comes.Named for the probe that was the first to land in the outer region of the solar system — it went to Saturn’s moon Titan, presumably to look for sirens — “Huygens,” also the name of the Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens who first studied Saturn’s rings, splits at about halfway in. This is all the more fitting conceptually, since the Huygens probe was launched with Cassini, which went on to take the farthest-from-Earth photograph that’s ever been taken, shot from Saturn’s orbit. Whether or not that split had anything to do with the music of “Huygens,” I don’t know, but it would be easy to conceive of the descending guitar lines at the song’s midpoint as entry to an atmosphere. That descending figure remains layered in beneath the ensuing build and payoff, which, gorgeously melodic and pushed seemingly ever forward, leaves nothing to be desired in terms of providing an apex for Monomyth as a whole. The band finished surprisingly noisy over the course of their last minute-plus — could that be the signal from Huygens breaking up? — but when they bring “Huygens” down to radio silence, the effect is striking and shows one last time that whatever Monomyth might be pushing toward aesthetically with any given part, they remain aware of their surroundings at all times. If I thought this was as far as they could or wanted to go creatively, I’d call it mastery, but it seems that with their debut, Monomyth are beginning a journey rather than ending one. They’ve made it from a molecular level to the rings of Saturn and offered no lack of mystery between, all the while managing to offset prog’s usual staid technicality with a stridently human consciousness, resulting in a first outing as engaging as it is accomplished." - The Obelisk
    $9.00
  • "Jon Lord, the long-time Deep Purple keyboardist, always wanted a studio recording of his famed Concerto For Group and Orchestra. Only recently did he publicly make this wish a reality. In what turned out to be his swan song, he recorded Concerto For Group and Orchestra .Lord assembled guest musicians such as Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson, Joe Bonamassa and Steve Morse in the Abbey Road Studios, to work with his trusted partner, director Paul Mann, on the 2012 version of the legendary concert."Over these last years since leaving Deep Purple, I've played it over 30 times with different orchestras and conductors all over the world, and, of course, in 2000 I did it well over 30 times with Purple on the Concerto tour, so I've been honing the piece live on stage, and I ve had the opportunity to change things in the score that weren t sounding quite right. It is therefore a marvelous and exciting prospect to have the definitive recording of the definitive version of the score." (Jon Lord May 2011)On July 16, 2012, Jon Lord passed away in London at 71 years old. This album is a joyful testament of a great musician and fantastic man."His dignity and graciousness touched us all. His music was an inspiration and took us to places beyond our imagination... A truly great man. We humbly express our eternal love and great respect." Tribute from Deep Purple upon the passing of Jon Lord."
    $11.00
  • ""In Debt" is a major collectable item with the folk-rock and psychedelic rock listeners and collectors. Today, original copies of this record fetch quite interesting sums when changing hands in record fairs or internet auctions.All tracks are original compositions, and the style is very personal. It's folk-rock, but many tracks are quite psychedelic too. But don't look close for influences, they will not come to mind that easily. Bill and Alan had their own psychedelic folk-rock style.Never reissued before in any format, now here we come with a splendid reissue. Remastered sound taken from the original mastertapes. A must!! "
    $9.00
  • Wonderful new Christian Vander/Magma tribute set coordinated and released by Soleil Zeuhl. There are 25 different bands participating - some of the "higher profile" names include Minimum Vital, Klaus Blasquiz, Pochakaite Malko, Patrick Gautheri, Setna, Simon Steensland, Forgas Band Phenomena, Guapo, Jannick Top, Gerard Prevost Trio, Neom, and as they say...many more!
    $11.00
  • "Too many people mislabel “technical” or “math” for “progressive”. The vast majority of the bands in the djent movement are, at best, technical. The only prog-like changes in the music are from a riff to a breakdown. Elsewhere, some noodly math band is labeled “progressive” because the guitars make pretty twinkle noises. That is hardly the stuff of prog legends. Enter The Omega Experiment, whose debut helps re-define a genre that really needs clarification.I don’t mean to get ahead of myself, as The Omega Experiment is no classic. These Michigan natives have the story of a djent group, but the sound of a bygone era. The group consists of multi-instrumentalist Dan Wieten and keyboardist Ryan Aldridge. The group is, in essence, a bedroom project, one of the many disciples of the prophet Misha Mansoor. Yet, The Omega Experiment treks down a different sonic road than Periphery.While the latter worshiped at the altar of Meshuggah, these gentlemen prefer to take heed from the success of Rush, Dream Theater, and most evidently, Devin Townsend. The band’s particular brand of progressive metal is light on the metal, favoring towering vocals to screamed sentiments. Also, half of the group is the keyboardist, so you bet your sweet ass that the keyboard plays a heavy role on the proceedings here. The blazing solos aren’t too shabby either.The album tells the story of Dan Wieten’s struggles over the past ten years and his search for a way out of his own mess. The music helps tell the story of transcendence; each melody seems to come from a place of light as Dan fights off his inner demons. Like any concept album, The Omega Experiment is best enjoyed in one sitting. Because of this, the album lacks absolute highlights and lowlights. If you are a fan of the throwback prog style, surely each new track will uncover something pleasing to your ears. The entire album is laden to the brim with vocal melodies, guitar pyrotechnics, and enough keyboards to please any Styx fan. The record is such a treat that the band even named its first track “Gift”.With an album like this, it’s not easy to point out complaints, but two become evident upon multiple listens. While the drum programming is certainly adequate, there is no substitute for live drums. For the most part, the kicks and snare sound good enough, but the programmed nature of the percussion occasionally irked me. The other complaint is really a matter of preference. The album’s standout track, “Furor”,  is also the only track where the band seems to really unleash the metal they're clearly holding in. I wish the band let loose a few more times throughout The Omega Experiment; however, too much gusto might detract from the sound the band has cultivated.Overall, The Omega Experiment has reminded this reviewer how progressive music can be when it’s actually progressive. If the mention of Devin Townsend or Rush makes you want to run to the hills, then The Omega Experiment will not change your viewpoint. However, if you’re looking for a sampling of a new crop of progressive metal acts, then take a careful listen to The Omega Experiment." - Decoy Music
    $15.00
  • Woodpecker is the debut release from singularly named Swedish vocalist AnnaMy (her spelling not mine).  Its a gorgeous album.  This is beautifully recorded gentle, melodic psychedelic folk.  Plenty of electricity here - most notably on electric guitar courtesy of Reine Fiske.  Undercurrents of flute and organ spice up the mix but the focus is on AnnaMy's stunning voice.  The overall sound pays homage to the greats of the 70s.  Think in terms of Trees, Mellow Candle, Caedmon, and Vashti Bunyan.  This one is a real grower.  Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • "At first glance I was not entirely convinced there was a genuine reason for this release, after all the guitar legend scooped Prog Magazine’s 2013 Progressive Music Award for “Event Of The Year” following another Genesis Revisited sell out performance at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. So why the release of a second CD/DVD box set inside of 12 months capturing his Genesis Revisited tour only this time filmed at the Royal Albert Hall?Any artist/group would choose the Royal Albert Hall over the Hammersmith Odeon just on prestige alone, and maybe Steve choose to record this event for posterity, after all the reaction to the tour – worldwide – has been unprecedented, with more UK dates added in October / November 2014 to satisfy demand.But there must be more to it than that, and there is, a change in the setlist.But this does present something of a quandary for fans. Is it worth buying ‘Live At The Royal Albert Hall’ in addition to ‘Hammersmith’? And if you have neither, which one then is the better buy?The set list was altered for the second leg of the tour, with the ‘Albert Hall’ gig gaining ‘Carpet Crawlers’, ‘The Return Of The Giant Hogweed’, ‘Horizons’, ‘Ripples’ and ‘The Fountain Of Salmacis’ at the expense of Hammersmith’s ‘The Chamber Of 32 Doors’, ‘The Lamia’, ‘Shadow Of The Hierophant’, ‘Blood On The Rooftops’, ‘Entangled’ and ‘Eleventh Earl Of Mar’.In order to re-live such a seminal chapter of prog rock history live on stage for Genesis Revisited, Hackett surrounded himself with a team of exceptional musicians including keyboardist Roger King (Gary Moore, Snoop Dog, Jamelia), Gary O’Toole (Chrissie Hynde, Kylie Minogue) on drums, percussion and vocals, Rob Townsend (Eddie Henderson, Bill Bruford, Django Bates) on sax, flute and percussion, Lee Pomeroy (Rick Wakeman, Take That) on bass, and Nad Sylvan (Abbas’s Michael B Tretow) on vocals.Special guests are Roine Stolt and Amanda Lehmann reprising their respective album contributions on ‘The Return Of The Giant Hogweed’ and ‘Ripples’, Ray Wilson does exceptionally well with lead vocal on ‘Carpet Crawlers’ plus ‘I Know What I Like’, and not to be outdone, a certain John Wetton sings on ‘Firth Of Fifth’.Deconstruct this, analyze it, and then put it all back together again, and then you really have a choice to make, Visually and audibly, there’s little to pick between these stunningly masterful performances, the only choice you have to make, is which songs you want to hear, and being Genesis fans we want to hear them all, so if you have one, buy the other, and if you have none, buy them both, as you will regret it if you don’t." - Planet MoshFull track listing:1. Dance On A Volcano2. Dancing With The Moonlit Knight3. Fly On A Windshield4. Broadway Melody of 19745. Carpet Crawlers (w/ Ray Wilson)6. The Return Of The Giant Hogweed (w/ Roine Stolt)7. The Musical Box8. Horizons9. UnquietSlumbersForTheSleeprs10. In That Quiet Earth11. Afterglow12. I Know What I Like (w/ Ray Wilson)13. Firth of Fifth (w/ John Wetton)14. Ripples (w/ Amanda Lehmann)15. The Fountain of Salmacis16. Supper’s Ready17. Watcher of the Skies18. Los Endos
    $15.00
  • Ltd. Deluxe edition including 2 DVDs containing a full live footage (filmed in Cologne), “Behind The Scenes” of the Kaldeidoscope World Tour 2014, band interviews and 3 further live tracks (filmed in Tilburg), 3 CDs containing the recording of the full Tilburg show and a BluRay disc containing the full cologne show and also the “Behind The Scenes”, band interviews and 3 songs of the Tilburg show.Track listing BluRay and DVD: Live in CologneInto The Blue (26:12)My New World (17:29)Shine (07:22)The Whirlwind Medley (29:34)Beyond The Sun (04:24)Kaleidoscope (31:30)Neal & Roine Duet (03:41)We All Need Some Light (05:56)Black As The Sky (08:43)Encore:)Medley: All Of The Above / Stranger In Your Soul (26:06)Track listing DVD: Bonus DVD1. Into the Kaleidoscope (A behind the scenes look at: Kaleidoscope World Tour 2014) (01:21:52)2. Band Interviews (22:31)3. Bonus Live Performances:3.1. Nights In White Satin (Live in Tilburg) (07:46)3.2. Sylvia (with Thijs van Leer - Live in Tilburg) (03:46)3.3. Hocus Pocus (with Thijs van Leer - Live in Tilburg) (07:53)Additional extras: Mike Portnoy vs Neal Morse in "Name That Beatles Tune"Track listing CD 1: Live in TilburgInto The Blue (27:49)My New World (18:28)Shine (07:23)Track listing CD 2: Live in TilburgThe Whirlwind Medley (30:12)Beyond The Sun (04:50)Kaleidoscope (31:30)Track listing CD 3: Live in TilburgNeal & Roine Duet (04:34)We All Need Some Light (06:05)Black As The Sky (07:22)Nights In White Satin (08:09)Sylvia (04:46)Hocus Pocus (07:09)Medley: All Of The Above / Stranger In Your Soul (24:34)
    $45.00
  • This is so much better than the band's first album it's ridiculous. First off they axed Elisa Martin, who's accent-laden vocals never cut it for me. She was replaced by Max Leclerqe who also sings for Magic Kingdom. The production is way better as well. Basically this is epic fantasy symphonic metal bearing strong similarities to Rhapsody. Wuthering Heights comes to mind at times but this has more of a larger than life feel and none of their folk influences. I'm not always partial to this style since it's been done so often but I found this to be a solid album beginning to end. Highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • "When I did my first listen to the opening and title track of Secret Sphere’s upcoming release, Portrait of a Dying Heart, I knew instantly that I was going to run out of adjectives for “awesome” before the review was done. It opens with a soft chime, then another, a quick announcement of something amazing to come, and it does. With a quick buildup, the textbook thunderous opening chord is hit, and the song goes from zero to hell yeah in a heartbeat. There is a personal term I like to use, an ”epic moment”, that describes those moments in a song, especially in prog songs, when all the jumping around and teasing and tension that is inherent in prog music is released and all the instruments come together, creating that personal release, that little moment of music that I thrive for. The opening track, Portrait of a Dying Heart has about five of these, and it’s an instrumental overture. The album kicks it up another five notches when the vocals enter the mix.Founded in 1997 by guitarist Aldo Lonobile in, Secret Sphere has been showcasing their own brand of symphonic power metal over a span of fifteen years and six albums, and even the departure of long time lead singer Ramon Messina didn’t stop them, as they found the amazing pipes of Michelle Luppi to take over on their new album.  Fellow founding member Andy Buratto on bass, Federico Pennazzato on drums, Marco Pastorino on rhythm guitar, and Gabriele Ciaccia on keyboards fill out the rest of the band. While they credit heavyweights such as Dream Theater, Helloween, and Savatage among their influences, Secret Sphere has definitely evolved a sound all their own.Portrait of a Dying Heart is a concept album, based on the short novel She Complies with the Night by author Costanza Columbo, and commissioned by Lonobile. The full text of the story is included in the release disc, but was unavailable at the time of this review; so many secrets will be awaiting the listener and this very anxious author. As to the album, holy crap is it good. Secret Sphere is classified as symphonic metal, but that term really doesn’t do justice to the sound of this latest release, it is a step beyond. Though symphonic elements are definitely present, they don’t by any means carry the musical timbre of the album, the sound presented here is one step up the evolutionary ladder from most symphonic metal fare.After the six minute overture is X, the track that introduces the story, and it does it in fantastic bard-like fashion. The opening guitar squeals are accompanied by expertly done flourishes from the rhythm and the drums immediately set a breakneck, frantic pace, setting up a suspenseful atmosphere for the coming events. Luppi’s vocals hit right away as emotional, powerful, and stellar across the board, whether he is in scream mode or in the more subdued narrator moments. This track uses its variant musical elements to set the stage, leading perfectly into Wish and Steadiness, which for me is the best track of the album. It opens with classic symphonic keys, and uses them perfectly to transition from the more subtle tension of X to this track, building up before literally exploding in a fiery wall of metal. Notes come fast here, very fast, drawing out the tension and angst of the listener quickly. The hints of the frantic drums in X are joined by all the other instruments, and the panicked despondency of Luppi’s voice can almost be tasted it is so palpable. Highlighting it is a soul wrenching solo by Lonobile, bringing the despair of the song to full front. I don’t say this often, but this song for me is near perfection, everything fits together so well.With the tone set, the album digs into telling the story in full, with a spectrum of styles and paces. It truly is a musical narrative, events and emotions ebb and flow throughout the album.  The next song, Union, takes on a softer tone, adding an organized edge to the metal. It is catchy as hell, and sets a silent fervor in motion for The Fall, which has epic all over it. All hands are in play in this one, another searing track that leaves the listener breathless.The album carries on in this fashion throughout its entirety. The multitude of musical styles and themes are performed wonderfully by every member of the band. Lonobile is a monster at lead, and Pastarino carries a heavy load on rhythm superbly. The drumming is frantic yet precise, the fills and rolls just fantastic. Bass is a subtle undertone of organized thunder, and the keys carry the heavy weight of the symphonic elements so well. Add to it Luppi’s vocals, which are emotional and powerful throughout, and Secret Sphere delivers all the requisite parts, firing on all the right cylinders. Collectively though, they combine to create a truly special piece of music.From beginning to end, Portrait of a Dying Heart is a musical narrative in every sense of the term, it carries the listener through a slew of emotional states. The album is not only a summation of its talented parts, but also has a touch of ethereal wonder, something uncommon in the genre. There is a hurried sense of desperation, almost akin to that feeling of trying to hang on to the world with a single string that is slipping fast, that is carried throughout the work. Artist strive to transmit emotion to the audience through their chosen medium, Secret Sphere uses this concept to take us on a thrilling ride of spiritual turmoil, and does it very, very well." - Lady Obscure
    $14.00