The Exalted King

SKU: PARADIGMS70
Label:
Paradigms Recordings
Category:
Psychedelic
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Originally released in 2012 on vinyl (and apparently cassette), the second album from this Scottish based space quartet finally gets a CD release...but its a limited edition of 500 copies so you might want to be snappy.

The Cosmic Dead wear their influences on their sleeves.  The music is heavily invested in the sounds of Ash Ra Tempel, Can, and even a touch of early Hawkwind.  Loooooong jams that take you further and further into deep space.  A non-stop assault of burbling synths, echoplexed guitar leads, and a rhythm section that is playing off in another galaxy.  Pure unadulterated psychedelic space rock.  These guys played the Roadburn Festival and I'm sure they must have gone down a storm.  If the numbers 7 - 1 - 4 mean anything to you then I think this should be filed away in your collection.  Highly recommended.

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  • "My first introduction to Brazil's Hibria came with last year's DVD/CD live package Blinded By Tokyo. It seems, besides their popularity in South America, they've been a hit in Japan from earlier on in their career. The live set was good showcase for their power metal skills. Now seeking more international recognition, Hibria releases Silent Revenge through AFM Records.I'll admit I was almost put off by Silent Revenge from the start, thanks to the first, and title, cut. Silent Revenge features Andre Meyer of death metal act Distraught offering competing death vocals. I get the addition, but it's still annoying. Later, with Walking to Death, Hibria vocalist Iuri Sanson nears hardcore screamo vocals. All this makes me wonder if, in attempt to be edgier or more commercial, Hibria wants to move more towards modern metal.Alternatively, listening to Silence Will Make You Suffer, Lonely Fight, or the powerful anthem Shall I Keep on Burning (unplugged version is even better), you find both Sanson and Hibria straying little from their traditional heavy power metal roots, with emphasis on heavy. However, sometimes they get a little over ambitious as with The Way It Is. It's decent power metal, just too long. One thing Hibria has always been known for is powerful guitar leads, and there's a truck load of ripping leads all over this album. This simple, but necessary element, puts Silent Revenge beyond a better than average album. Their traditional South American and Japanese fans should enjoy this album, and the band will probably collect more fans in Europe as well. Recommended." - Danger Dog
    $15.00
  • "Despite what the name might lead you to think, progressive metal is among the most static and boring of all heavy music genres. Half the bands that fall under the moniker exist merely as a vehicle to show off the skills of the players involved, which is fine in small doses, but rarely sustains a creative career. The other half of the bands stick rigidly to the blueprint of one of the fore-bearers of the genre, giving us music that sounds exactly like something we've already heard. Very little of progressive metal is actually interesting, because it is a genre that lacks people dedicated to the art of songwriting. Songs are what makes any band successful, no matter how much sheer musical skill they possess. Dream Theater didn't get to where they are just because they are amazing musicians, they also wrote a slew of great songs and albums. The number of progressive metal bands who have impressed me with their songwriting in recent years is miniscule, but I mention all of this because Ascendia is one of them.As “At The End Of It All” swells into focus with a tribal drum beat and chanted vocals, it's already obvious that this is not going to be prog-by-numbers. The song kicks into gear with a syncopated guitar riff, before the vocals soar over the top of everything, slapping a thick coat of melody atop the sound. There's a quiet section in the middle of the song that feels like a cousin of Killswitch Engage, which is a fresh sound to hear in this kind of music. When it opens back up into the chorus, the song is massive, and it's hard to believe all of that music was contained in five and a half minutes.The songs on the album are more bite-sized than typical progressive metal, but that plays into the band's strengths as songwriters. By keeping the songs lean and tight, they hit harder than if the instrumental sections had been extended by a minute here and there. There is interesting playing going on, but it's all done within the framework of the songs, and never put out front to dominate the spotlight. It's an approach that is smart not just because of how easy it is to get bogged down in instrumental pyrotechnics, but because an album of that sort would never be able to survive the Herculean vocal presence of singer Nick Sakal.With more than a little bit of similarity to the former singer of the aforementioned Killswitch Engage, Howard Jones, Sakal's vocals dominate the album, making you wonder where a voice like that could have come from. His baritone is warm, rich, and not at all what you would expect to hear in a band that isn't playing down-tuned hardcore.But what is most important are the songs, and that's where Ascendia proves themselves as standouts. Whether tackling more modern fare like “Remember Me”, or more traditionally melodic songs like “Moonchild”, there's a phenomenal blend of heavy riffing and soaring melody. I can't tell you how rare it is to hear a progressive metal band that is so in tune with melody, and can write songs that could stand up if they were stripped down to the chord structure and the vocals. We get an example of that with the duet ballad, “The Song That You Deserved”, a largely piano and voice song that is as beautiful as it is heart-breaking. Ascendia's ear for songs is excellent, and that is what makes “The Lion And The Jester” such an engaging listen. Song after song, there's a warm and inviting chorus waiting to wrap its arms around you after you've heard the heavy and intricate moments.This year has been off to a ridiculously great start, with at least half a dozen legitimately great records having already come my way. Add “The Lion And The Jester” to that list, because Ascendia is making progressive metal the way it was always supposed to be. Both challenging and gratifying, intense and cathartic, “The Lion And The Jester” is a phenomenal piece of work that reminds me of the very best progressive metal I've ever heard. This is an album you need to hear.Oh, and how awesome is that cover art? That is one album that will look as good as it sounds in a collection." - Bloody Good Horror
    $10.00
  • Follow up to 2011's Disobey once again finds this Scottish band clinging to the British neoprog sound that helped define the genre.  To their credit there is a bit more playing than most of their brethren.  I particularly like the ornate keyboard work.  Nothing wrong with some old school prog sounds to remind us how it should be done.
    $13.00
  • Here's a nice archival discovery courtesy of Esoteric Recordings.  Fields was the post-Rare Bird trio consisting of keyboardist Graham Field, ex-King Crimson drummer Andy McCullough, and bassist Alan Barry.  Their 1971 eponymous release on CBS is a prog rock gem in which Field shows off his abilities as an organ player.Contrasts is a previously unknown to exist second album that sat on a shelf gathering dust since 1972.  It finds Alan Barry replaced by ex-Supertramp Frank Farrell on bass and vocals.  Field concentrates on organ but he does play some synthesizer.  The music has a melodic feel that reminds a little bit of Spring.  Comes with plenty of liner notes by Sid Smith.
    $16.00
  • "In the year 222 B.C., deep within the dangerous jungles of east Asia in the country of Zhongguo, the young and terrified king of Qi, with his back against the wall of water on his eastern border, frantically sent 300,000 men to his shrinking western border to fight the cruel and powerful Qin leader Zhào Zhèng. You see, Qi was the last, and farthest east, of the warring states in ancient China. Zhèng fooled his inexperienced and terrified enemy and invaded from the north instead, thus easily capturing the young king. With the last territory conquered, Zhèng declared himself “ShiHuangdi,” the very first emperor. With his rule of the newly unified country, Zhèng standardized Chinese writing, bureaucracy, law, currency, and a system of weights and measures. His reign developed a road system, massive fortifications and palaces. Under this “Qin Dynasty,” the emperor formed the Great Wall of China to stop invading barbarians from the North. Thy Majestie’s latest album is a conceptual tribute to his legacy, one that would unify China for 2,000 years.The album’s most amazing success is the weaving in of classic oriental music with its own symphonic “majestie.” By definition, this is symphonic metal. From a listener’s perspective, this is an audio historical text book that covers a period of history rich in culture and war over a soundtrack of beautifully crafted melodies and a truly phenomenal vocal performance.Much like “Hastings 1066" and “Jeanne d’Arc,” the band perfectly blends music of the historical period with its own. With “ShiHuangdi,” sounds of the ancient guzheng can be heard in songs like “Farewell” and the closer “Requiem.” Most bands merely use history as subject matter for lyrics, but “ShiHuangdi” is more than just a history lesson. The album has a real sense of the orient embedded within the soundscapes Thy Majestie presents. Where Cthonic and Myrath expertly blend the culture of respective native homelands with metal music, Thy Majesite morphs its symphonic metal style around the cultural sounds the album's subject matter, with the band members as movie score composers.The album's breathtaking orchestrations are highlighted by gigantic and fetching choruses. Among the best include “Siblings of Tian,” “Seven Reigns,” “Ephemeral,” and “Farewell.” The euro-blasted riffs of Simone Campione have never sounded better than when drenched in the soy sauce of the must-hear keyboard brilliance of Giuseppe Carrubba. The album is an Asiatic journey with a side of duck sauce, and from the opening jungle scene set by "Zhongguo" (the original name of China), the listener is whisked away to a time long ago to watch modern day China take form.In yet another vocal change (the band’s sixth and fourth over the last four releases), Thy Majestie has finally found “the one.” The wonderfully impressive vocals come via Alessio Taormina (Crimson Wind), who has a range that leans towards Fabio Lione, in terms of ability. Incidentally, the comparison can easily be tested with Lione manning the helm on “End of the Days.” Taormina’s high range is perfect, especially in songs like “Seven Reigns,” “Harbinger of a New Dawn” and “Under the Same Sky.”After a darker departure from its true sound on the 2008 release “Dawn,” Thy Majestie has come full circle to the glorious Italian euro-metal that many U.S. fans will hate because of its “stereotypical” and “overdone” sound. I am not one of those. There are enough metal bands in this world to satisfy the tastes of pretty much every fan. If you are one of those metal fans that expects every single band to create new styles or redefine old ones with every single release, then Thy Majestie is not the music you are looking for. For those fans that never tire of the spellbinding melodies, soaring vocals, and movie score majesty, “ShiHuangdi” should be on the ever growing "short list" of great albums released this year.Highs: All the brilliance of Italian euro power metal over a bed of white rice.Lows: Will not impress anyone that hates the stereotypical Italian symphonic metal.Bottom line: Confucius say: 'When stuck in musical mud....press play on 'ShiHuangDi.'" - Metal Underground
    $8.00
  • Domestic release. One of two new albums released by Edguy's Tobias Sammet under the Avantasia moniker. Similar to what Arjen Lucassen does with his Ayreon projecdts, Sammet brings together some of the best vocalists and musicians from the metal world to create an over the top symphonic power metal concept album. Featured vocalists include Russell Allen (Symphony X), Jorn Lande (Masterplan), Michael Kiske (Helloween), Tim Owens , Klaus Meine (Scorpions), Andre Matos, Bob Catley and others. Featured performers include Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer (Kiss), Oliver Hartmann, Alex Holzwarth. Curiously, the second volume is called Angel Of Babylon and is not yet scheduled for a US release. We hope to have the import in stock soon.
    $13.00
  • Second album from this fine Italian prog band. This was originally released in 1974. It features some great fuzzed heavy guitar work which is juxtaposed by some jazz laced sax and flute work. Vocalist Gianfranco Gaza sings in the upper register that strangely reminds me of Cedric Bixler-Zavala or Geddy Lee. Nicely remastered and housed in a mini-lp sleeve. This is prime Italian prog.
    $20.00
  • "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."
    $18.00
  • German edition (with Taiwanese OBI) of the band's latest album. Supreme symphonic gothic metal.
    $13.00
  • "This four-disc collection comprises three CDs and a DVD (NTSC / Region Free) featuring all of the surviving radio and television broadcasts in the BBC archive transmitted on radio and television in the UK between 1972 and 1982. The set features on CD Todd’s solo 1972 BBC Radio One "In Concert” performance, recorded soon after the release of his seminal album "Something Anything”, the classic 1975 performance by Todd Rundgren and Utopia at Hammersmith Odeon, London, (including a previously unreleased track ‘Something’s Coming’) – on the first ever UK concert tour of Todd Rundgren and Utopia, a 1977 performance at the Oxford Polytechnic by Todd Rundgren and Utopia (promoting the "Ra”) album, and a DVD featuring three different performances for the classic "Old Grey Whistle Test” series; the 1975 Todd Rundgren and Utopia session, a film of Todd Rundgren & Utopia at the Bearsville Picnic in 1977 (performing ‘Singring and the Glass Guitar’) and the entire recordings made for a 1982 solo Todd Rundgren Whistle Test special (including two songs not featured on the original TV broadcast).This set is sure to delight the legions of Todd Rundgren fans and is a superb document of Todd’s continuing development as both a solo artist and with his band Utopia between 1972 and 1982."Todd Rundgren at the BBC” has been remastered and authored from the original BBC masters and is presented in a clamshell box with a booklet featuring a new essay."
    $44.00
  • Fourth studio album from the prog "supergroup" of Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater), Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings), Neal Morse (ex-Spock's Beard), and Pete Trewavas (Marillion).  Like the previous albums expect marathon length pure prog rock that reflects back onto the golden age.  The title track is 32 minutes long!This is the 2CD/DVD Deluxe edition.Track List:Main Disc:1    Into the Blue                                          25:112    Shine                                                       7:263    Black as the Sky                                       6:434    Beyond the Sun                                        4:29 5    Kaleidoscope                                          31:53TOTAL TIME: 75:43      Bonus Disc:1    And You and I                                         10:432    I Can't Get It Out of My Head                   4:433    Conquistador                                            4:104    Goodbye Yellow Brick Road                      3:165    Tin Soldier                                               3:216    Sylvia                                                      3:497    Indiscipline                                              4:438    Nights In White Satin                                6:12TOTAL TIME: 40:59Making of Kaleidoscope DVD – Full length DVD behind the scenes of the writing and recording of this amazing album. Running time 1 hour and 26 minutes. Edited by Randy George. NTSC Region Free
    $28.00
  • "You know how it is. You’re the Daughter of Satan, you fall in love, your lover dies, you kill some nuns, and then you destroy the world.All in a day’s work for Demon Lung, whose new album ‘A Dracula’ is the gleeful retelling of a gruesome story inspired by the 1977 horror film Alucarda.‘A Dracula’ is bigger, faster and more spectacular than its predecessor, the band’s excellent debut ‘The Hundredth Name’, and while it may not be a huge creative gamble for the Las Vegas quintet, it’s a step up in every department.Clad in white gown and sorrowful expression, singer Shanda Frederick in undoubtedly the band’s focal point. She particularly enjoyed writing the lyrics for this album, and that relish oozes through in her performance.Frederick’s voice sways and lilts with a delicately-controlled strength. It is at once tragic and snarling, dreamy and yet decisive. For all her gloomy power and vampiric passion, it would be great to hear even more variety from Frederick’s distinctive voice. She persists with a trademark slide at the end of almost every line, which becomes distracting.On the song ‘Raped By The Serpent’, she demonstrates that when her vocals are more positive and invigorated, then the song can really come to life. Other standout tracks include ‘I Am Haunted’, which is a slow and patient triumph, and the gloriously understated epic ‘Gypsy Curse’.Big, metallic riffs pummel and crash as the narrative proceeds to its striking conclusion, the guitars working in perfect partnership with Frederick’s Medusa-like charms.Demon Lung draw upon a sludgy heaviness and apocalyptic drumming to create a thunderous, stirring sound. And yet some songs stubbornly refuse to burst into life, as was the case on the band’s previous album. These Nevada wizards prefer to downplay their own epicness in order to maintain a relentless state of tension.‘A Dracula’ is consistently engaging and mesmerising work of creative misery from these stylish Las Vegas doomsayers." - Doom Metal Heaven
    $14.00
  • While I can't say I'm much of a Journey fan I've always been appreciative of the guitarwork of Neal Schon.  Dating back to his work with Santana, he's proved to be one othe premier guitarists walking the planet.  The Calling is an all instrumental album that allows Schon to let his hair down (and damn he used to have a lot of it) and really let her rip.  Joining him is Steve Smith on drums, Igor Len on keyboards and even Jan Hammer gets into the act contributing a copule of Moog solos.  If you are a fan of Jeff Beck's albums you should definitely check this one out.  IT'S HOT!
    $15.00
  • Limited first edition digipak of live recordings culled from Firewind's 2012 European tour as well as their 10th anniversary gigs in Greece from December 2012.
    $7.00