Discovering Kaipa (3CD Box Set)

"As part of its ongoing series of Original Album Collections, InsideOutMusic invite you to discover three albums by classic prog rock band KAIPA at a superb price. Active since the 70's, the Swedes' albums "Notes From The Past" (2002), "Keyholder" (2003) and "In The Wake Of Evolution" (2010) are stellar representatives of their vast catalogue."

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  • Next to last album finds the band with a new lineup and a more commercial direction. Still some good stuff here.
    $18.00
  • "There are few bands, with a better than 25 years career, that have been as consistent in their sound and output as Denmark's Royal Hunt. Sure, they've had their share of personnel changes, significantly in the vocalist position, yet they carry on with increasing success. Recently, some of that success comes from one simple yet significant change. They brought Pennsylvania native D.C. Cooper back on the microphone. For my money, he'll always be the voice of Royal. He remains so, and the band records their thirteen album with Cooper, XIII - Devil's Dozen, his fifth on vocals for Royal Hunt.For those unfamiliar with Royal Hunt, which I doubt if you're reading this, the band performs melodic and symphonic heavy metal, with large emphasis on the first two descriptors. The symphonic element comes from founder and principal songwriter Andre Anderson's influence and keyboard presence. I'm presuming it's his synths that account for the large than life orchestration and not an actual orchestra. PR material was wanting on that information. Suffice to say, the symphonic layer provides two things. It provides a lush and lavish canvas and reinforces the melody of the arrangement, in every song. After this, Anderson offers keyboard solos throughout, sharing the limelight with the guitar leads. And those leads are as present and immense as everything else. Actually, I think the guitar presence is even larger on this album than most. Jonas Larsen is at the top of his game.Following these things, Cooper is also in top form, with a strong vocal presence. His skill comes from his natural ability to follow the melody and harmony of an arrangement, and then stay in range. Then there's the character of the songs, which has been alluded to by speaking of the particular musical elements.What's notable in those song arrangements is the importance of harmony and melody, but also the basic rock groove. This is where, from the band's inception, classic melodic hard rock has been as much a pillar of the musical foundation as the symphonic element. When these things dovetail together as with So Right So Wrong, How Do You Know, Way Too Late, and the quite catchy Hear On A Platte, Royal Hunt is a formidable melodic metal powerhouse. And that was only to mention four songs. They're all outstanding, all terrific and no filler. Once more, with XIII - Devil's Dozen, Royal Hunt's melodic and symphonic heavy metal is consistent, creative, and entertaining. Sweet stuff and strongly recommended." - Dangerdog.com 
    $16.00
  • "Suddenly, Polish progressive-rock bands are infiltrating the international scene. While many of them are reaching new audiences thanks to the rise of the homeland's Metal Mind Productions, ProgRock Records in the United States managed to nab one of the best. Sandstone initially was formed in 2001 without a keyboard player. But as the band's sound evolved into a hybrid of neo-progressive and progressive-metal music – think, maybe, Arena meets Dream Theater – the quartet quickly realized it needed keys to add texture and depth to its songs.Sandstone's debut, Looking For Myself, is an expansive, six-song journey chronicling one man's struggle for nothing more than to love and to be loved. It sounds more upbeat than Riverside (arguably one of the biggest acts to come out of Poland in recent years) and less technical than Dream Theater. But the sheer ambition of these songs – only one of which clocks in at shorter than seven and a half minutes – propels Looking For Myself into the ranks of those debut discs that leave listeners not only wanting more but also wondering where else the band could take the music. The best indication of Sandstone's capabilities can be heard on "Birth of My Soul," which opens with clear and concise soloing from guitarist Jarek Niecikowski and eventually reaches David Gilmour aspirations near the song's conclusion. Vocalist Marcin Zmorzynski's thick accent is a minor distraction early on, but getting used to it is easy.As is listening to this album." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $3.00
  • Latest solo album from Dream Theater's vocalist finds him pushing the boundaries a bit. This is square on prog metal with keyboardist Matt Guillory and guitarist Marco Sfogli returning. LaBrie plays with a monster rhythm section with his main band but he's put together a formidible complement here in Peter Wildoer (Darkane) and Ray Riendeau (Halford) on drums and bass. There seems to be a bit more of a harder edge than his previous solo albums, probably due to the mix of Jens Bogren (Opeth, Paradise Lost). Wildoer also contributes coarse vocals in contrast to LaBrie's smoother style. Essential for any Dream Theater fan.
    $5.00
  • "I was totally unaware that Pain Of Salvation was coming out with a new EP until I was offered the chance to review it. While I would not consider myself a Pain Of Salvation die-hard like some of my friends, I really enjoyed "The Perfect Element Pt. I" quite a bit. That being said, their past couple of albums have kind of sucked, especially the rap-metalesque "Scarsick". I know I was definitely wondering what direction Pain Of Salvatioin would be heading next.Pain Of Salvation was formed all the way back in 1984, but their first album was not released until 1997. They have since been releasing albums regularly and built up quite a solid (and at times fanatical) fanbase in the process. The first four tracks on this EP are set to appear on a new two-disc studio album some time in the future.The good news to start off is that this is nothing like "Scarsick"; there’s no rapping, no disco, none of stuff that garnered that album so much criticism. In fact, if one was to compare this to another Pain Of Salvation album, I would say that it is most similar to something that could be found on "Entropia". There is less of a focus on complex arrangements and layered instruments; instead opting for a more straightforward approach. There seems to be a strong influence of 70’s Rock, and not necessarily 70’s prog-rock either.This is not a bad thing, however. In fact, I’m rather glad that this is the direction that the band is taking. In my opinion, Pain Of Salvation was in danger of collapsing under their own ambition and pretentiousness. They needed to step back and focus on what it was that made them such a great band in the first place, especially after several big lineup changes.Each of the four songs that are set to appear on the forthcoming album is excellent. If the rest of the album is on the same level as these four songs, we will have an album that will be right up there with "The Perfect Element Pt. 1" and "Remedy Lane". The interview is mostly just the band screwing around, so that is hardly worthwhile. The Scorpions cover that closes the album is nice, but hardly essential.If you really need a Pain Of Salvation fix, then by all means pick up this EP. However, I would advise against it simply because I believe that these songs that will appear on the forthcoming album will be even stronger when in the context of the album as a whole. This review will hopefully serve as a beacon of hope that disgruntled fans should not give up on this band, at least not yet." - Metal Temple
    $7.00
  • Double live CD recorded on the Scarsick tour in Amsterdam. Essentially the soundtrack to the just released DVD, it features a great cross-selection of material from this bands rich history.
    $12.00
  • "Death’s widespread influence on death metal has never been in denial, but picking one favorite album from the Florida act is no easy feat. Some factions prefer the raw death metal days, while others look to the free-forming arraignments heard on The Sound of Perseverance and Symbolic. Though it’s hard to choose the defining Death album, Leprosy can be argued as the most important release in the development of Death’s future. Released just a year after Scream Bloody Gore, Leprosy was an admirable sophomore effort from the mind of a musician still finding himself creatively. Chuck Schuldiner was not working from some patented formula; he was penning the death metal manifesto as he was going along. Playing unpolished and straightforward music was not to Schuldiner’s liking, and Leprosy was where his focus became clearer. The songs became more composed, the production was much improved, and the instrumental playing started to get craftier in execution. Schuldiner handled the guitars and bass yet again (Fun Fact: though Terry Butler is credited as the bassist, he did not play on the record). This time, guitarist Rick Rozz help share some of the load, and he and Schuldiner had enough interplay to make it work. Drummer Bill Andrews, on the other hand, was average at best. He had to follow-up Chris Reifert’s amazing work, and Andrews wasn’t on the same skill level. Also, the production put an odd echoing effect on the snare, making it louder than the rest of the instruments. A smart move made by the band was to pare down the amount of songs to eight, which would later become a standard for much of ‘90s death metal. By doing this, it allowed Death to eliminate any chances for filler. While only one song would remain a prominent set-list favorite (the premier anthem “Pull The Plug”), a claim could be made to the slow-burning title track or the progressive finisher “Choke On It.” Just because Death tried to expand their creative palettes was not an indication that their first album was a one-off experiment. Most bands put their best songs up front, but Leprosy reached its peak near the end with the double attack of “Open Casket” and “Primitive Ways.” Any sense of the future was replaced by a blood-thirsty sonic bombing of death metal so fast that a few vertebra had to have been snapped by head-banging listeners. To Schuldiner, Death was more than just a guts-and-blood death metal group, and Leprosy was the beginning of that transformation. The band began to get more technical and progressive, with the help of an array of temporary bandmates. Leprosy was not just a bland sequel to Scream Bloody Gore, but a worthy second act to a band that had plenty more to come. For continuing to help set the guidelines for the death metal genre, Leprosy gets the nod for this week’s Retro Recommendation." - About.com
    $8.00
  • Perhaps a bit of a rehash (or a further extension) of Leftoverture, it sold like mad back in 1977. Has the played-to-death-even-hear-it-in-elevators hit "Dust In The Wind". This remastered set also has two unreleased bonus tracks.
    $5.00
  • Weidorje not withstanding, Eskaton are quite possibly the best of all the Magma clones. The band existed from the late 70s into the early 80s. This eight piece ensemble completely grokked the zeuhl ethos with the exception that they use French vocals instead of Kobian. 4 Visions was the band's first album but was only released in the cassette format. In fact it didn't even become available until after the success of Ardeur - their first "official" album. It was released on CD in 1995 by APM and has been out of print for years."This is the very first vinyl edition EVER of this great album. It was at first published in cassette format in the US in 1979, then reissued on CD but until now it never made its way to vinyl. 2010 remastering by Udi Koomran, supervised by the band. The front cover is the one of the original cassette release, restored and now featuring all details of the original painting for the first time. Thick cover, 180 gram vinyl – Numbered, limited edition of 500 copies."
    $28.00
  • The Laser’s Edge is proud to announce the signing of the British progressive rock band Magenta for the exclusive North American release of their fourth studio album, titled Metamorphosis. Without abandoning the sense of melody and dynamics that remain the Magenta trademark, Metamorphosis sees the band taking a darker, more intense path with powerful, sometimes disturbing subject matter. "I think this album is going to surprise a lot of people," says keyboardist Rob Reed "It will challenge many people's preconceptions of what Magenta are, and what we are capable of musically. Most of it was written on guitar, so some of the material is heavier than before, whilst retaining most of the elements of the Magenta sound." The album also marks the band's return to long-form pieces of music, with two 20 minute-plus songs, and a new, richer sound with the addition of strings. "Watch out for some brilliant performances on the record." Reed says. "Christina Booth's vocals are just astonishing, Tim Robinson delivers a virtuoso performance on drums and Chris Fry has pushed the bar even higher than usual with some amazing lead guitar. I have no doubt that this is, by far, our finest album to date." Magenta was formed in 2001, quickly capturing the attention of progressive rock fans around the world with a sound influenced by the icons of the past. Over the years the band has performed at virtually every major progressive rock festival in the world including gigs at Rosfest, BajaProg, and Nearfest. Year after year, the band has received awards from various progressive rock publications. In 2007, the band won two awards from the esteemed British Classic Rock Society including Best Band and Best Female Singer. The album was mastered by Grammy winning engineer Bob Katz. To further enhance the package, Metamorphosis features startling artwork from the noted graphic design house Killustrations.
    $14.00
  • "In a society which continues to develop at breathtaking speed, racing through world history in seven-league boots, mercilessly trampling down anything unable to keep pace with this ruthless goose step, Riverside have composed an album which is a perfect reflection of our times. An offering full of symbolism – starting with the fact that the title of their fourth release consists of four words and that the album is precisely 44:44 minutes long – and an intelligent stocktaking of reality. Anno Domini High Definition is no concept album in the classic sense, although it features a central theme and a haunting message. “It’s a story about people who angrily state that such-and-such a device is no longer fashionable, before they`ve even learnt how to use it properly themselves. Even worse – it’s no longer usable, because there’s something better on the market now”, Mariusz Duda, vocalist, bassist, guitarist and lyricist of the four-piece explains. “For me, those are the thoughts of people who wake up every morning worrying that perhaps today their ‘sell-by date’ may expire.”Riverside was founded by guitarist Piotr Grudzinski, drummer Piotr Kozieradzki and Mariusz Duda in 2001. Immediately after the recording of their debut album, Out Of Myself, keyboardist Michal Lapaj joined the band, completing the current line-up which has impressed fans and media alike with the musicians’ great technical skills. Musically and in terms of its subject matter, Anno Domini High Definition marks a temporary climax in the quartet’s artistic work: “It’s an album about people who know they need to speed up or they’ll get left behind“, Duda summarises the tracks, adding: “About people who sometimes, despite themselves, will stop at nothing to achieve their aims. It’s an album about chaos, constant race, uncertainty, stress, and the struggle to survive.”This permanent inner restlessness, a constant search for the latest thing, is reflected in the band’s complex music. The five songs consciously keep up a high energy level, be it through a pounding groove, a turbulent bass line, cutting keyboard passages or haunting vocals. Anno Domini High Definition is a pulsating hybrid of a range of different stylistic means. Duda: “There’s more rock stuff on the record now. The new album has more balls, you could say, than anything we’ve done so far. But I think we kept all the nice melodies and traits that are characteristic to our music. It’s very energetic. There are longer, more complex compositions, but with more energy, power and ease. It’s been a long time since we had so much fun composing and recording, and I hope the listeners will also be infected by this atmosphere.”Anno Domini High Definition sees Riverside take another step in the evolution of their extremely significant sound, documenting a total focus on the here and now. “We don’t want to be one of these living-in-the-past prog bands,” Duda points out. “We feel that we have something new to say, and lots of moments on this album feature a fresh approach to some things. First of all, our main influence – our lives, or to be more precise, the speed of our lives. That’s why we had to cut an extremely dynamic and pretty short record, which suits the times we live in.”Experts have called Riverside a stylistic mix of Tool, Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater, but Duda reckons that other influences are more dominant on Anno Domini High Definition: “We wanted to reflect the energy of the early 70s and combine it with modern sounds. Now I think there is more of a Rush , Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple sound. But at the end of the day, this record ultimately sounds like Riverside.” 
    $14.00
  • The Japanese East Wind label was active in the 70s and into the early 80s.  This was a jazz label that focused on Japanese artists but also covered many popular US players.  While not as overtly audiophile as Three Blind Mice, the East Wind label was always noted for immaculate reference quality production.Universal Japan has released 72 titles from the East Wind catalog in extremely limited editions.  We've cherry picked those titles that we think are of interest to our customer base.Masahiko Togashi is a wheelchair bound percussionist who has had quite a prolific career.  Much of his output would fall into the free jazz/improv category.  Spiritual Nature is a bit different.  While its probably the most "out" recording on East Wind it holds together and is quite a beautiful work.  The album features a large size ensemble of musicians, the most notable being Sadao Watanabe (reeds) and Masahiko Satoh (piano).  You need to think of the album as one continuous organic work.  The music has a definite Japanese feel in sound and lives up to its title - its quite spiritual sounding.  Taken as a whole it has a cosmic, spaced out vibe.  OK some skronking here and there but overall quite powerful.  Definitely a late night listen with the lights out.  Superior recording to boot!  
    $16.00
  • "Symphonic Power/Progressive metal group Wind Rose are sure to impress with this epic new album Wardens Of The West Wind. If you appreciate groups like the rousing metal bands Fairyland and Blind Guardian then I do suggest that you give Wind Rose a go.This is their second full-length album, and although I haven't heard Wind Roses's first Shadows Over Lothadruin from what I have read as impressive as that album was the Italian band has stepped up their game with Wardens Of The West Wind. That very cool cover art is by Felipe Machado Franco his other work can be seen on metal albums by the likes of Blind Guardian, Brainstorm, Rage and Rhapsody Of Fire. Bass player/producer Cristiano Bertocchi a former member of the prominent Italian metal groups Labyrinth and Vision Divine had also spent time working with Wind Rose and he joined the band in 2014.Folk ingredients are present and with the inviting sounds of traditional instruments and male chants on "Where Dawn And Shadows Begin" this is the precursor to some rather spirited metal on "Age Of Conquest". "Heavenly Minds" is very memorable with a touch of Symphony X in the chorus. Though the band is inspired by Symphony X and also Blind Guardian and Dream Theater. Wind Rose's songs really captivate, Francesco Cavalieri's excellent lead and those male group vocals are very likeable and they are integrated to great effect. The musical side of Wind Rose is also riveting with a fair degree of complexity, power and that symphonic charm plus while yes it's present Wind Rose's songs aren't constantly locked in rapid metal mode.The longest track a potent epic called "Skull and Crossbones" is just over seven minutes, but there is no need for those over extended songs on Wardens Of The West Wind when the ten on offer should more satisfy your epic musical needs. Wardens Of The Wind should go a long way to ensure a steady increase in the number of Wind Rose fans." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $15.00