The Final Experiment (Special Edition 2CD)

New 2 CD version of Arjen Luccassen's first solo album under the Ayreon name. For my taste this is still his best work. Conceptual rock opera with members of Finch,Golden Earring,Kayak,and more. It's a combination of old school progressive rock and current progressive metal whipped together in a grandiose way. Now remastered the set comes with a bonus cd - "Semi-Acoustic". Highest recommendation. Great great album.

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  • Remixed and remastered edition comes with a bonus CD with instrumental tracks and demos."Death was unquestionably one of the, and arguably the primary innovators of the death metal genre, but it was with this album that Death truly built their legacy as one of the greatest metal bands ever. This marked a new phase for Death, turning them from a band into essentially a Chuck Schulinder solo project, with every song on this album, and all future Death albums, being written by Chuck alone. This also marked the beginning of a series of releases of rare, extraordinary quality culminating in the release of the phenemenol Sound of Perseverance, which I consider to be the best Death album, and one of the few greatest albums ever recorded by anyone. If you haven't heard any Death, that is perhaps a better place to start, but this fantastic release still belongs in any metal fans collection, and is probably my second favorite Death album.Though Death was initially a pure Death metal band, this release and all future Death releases are better described as progressive death-thrash, perhaps leaning a bit more towards the thrash side. It's difficult to say why this is, other than to say that it feels more like thrash than death, to me anyway. Though it maintains much of the increased brutality of death metal, the riffs are very thrashy structurally, and they are always clean and crisp, not blurry and noisy as they tend to be in fast death metal. As a whole the riffs come a cross as a stylistic melding of those found in Reign in Blood and Beneath the Remains. Similarly, the drumming tends to be more thrashy, avoiding the blast-beat style drumming also common to death metal. Speaking of the drumming, Sean Reinert of Cynic is a fantastic drummer, though I prefer the later work of Gene Hoglan and Richard Christy. Sean doesn't seem to have as much personality stylistically as do those 2. To his advantage, he is probably the most accomplished double bass drummer I've ever heard, with even more extensive use of them than the latter 2. He can do them incredibly fast, but still mixes up the tempos more than any drummer I've heard. The rhythm guitar work is excellent as well, some of the fastest and most technically accomplished work around. Chuck seems unable to write an uninteresting riff. The solos/leads are good, but not great, and not nearly as good as they'd become just one album later. They still have their moments, particularly on the instrumental Cosmic Sea and and Lack of Comprehension. The bass is, sadly, pretty much MIA except on the aforementoined Cosmic Sea, where he does a nice, if short solo. Chuck's inimitable vocals fit the music very well, and he writes some thoughtful lyrics.The only real conceivable complaint against this album is that other than the relatively mellow instrumental it has little variety. The intensity rarely relents, and it tends to focus on the extremely fast tempos, though every track drops down to more mid-paced tempos at leat occasionally. However, though it lacks variety, it is very consistent, with the track quality ranging from very good to brilliant. The opener, Flattening of Emotions is probably my favorite track, and is the fastest and most unrelentingly intense track on the album, though it still has a very memorable chorus. The next track, Suicide Machine, is another standout. A bit slower, though it still knows when to kick it up to speed and its got another strong chorus. Lack of Comprehension is another speedy number, with some nice stuttering, jumpy riffs and short leads thrown in as well.(It also has the best solo on the album.) Anyway, enough about the individual tracks. They all rule.Thats really about all I got to say. Truly, a great metal album. Get it."
    $15.00
  • Our good friends in Delain have signed a worldwide deal with Napalm Records.  The band is planning a new studio release for early 2014.  In the interim we have Interlude.  Its a CD/DVD collection of unreleased and non-album material.  Some of this dates back to the April Rain line up while other tracks are from the We Are The Others sessions.  The band also kindly included some live tracks from their Female Metal Voices X festival appearance.  Further, there is a (PAL Region 0 format) DVD that includes video footage from the festival, promo videos, and backstage footage.  My extremely biased opinion is that this is a must own.
    $16.00
  • Raise The Curtain is the latest effort from the former Savatage mastermind.  Its quite different from the Jon Oliva's Pain project and in a surprising way.  The music has a strong 70s vibe blending elements of progressive rock, AOR, and metal.  Oliva plays all the instruments but he collaborated on the songwriting with Dan Fasciano.  From the opening roaring organ sounds you know you are in for something a bit different.  You can tell this is Jon Oliva - there are parts that will remind you a bit of Savatage but you will also think in terms of Kansas, ELP, Alice Cooper.  A mash up of styles for sure but quite well done.  A friend who heard an advance copy summed it up perfectly: "A fun album".  This is the first pressing that has one bonus track.  Grab it while we got 'em.
    $15.00
  • One of the best US prog metal. Firmly rooted in the Dream Theater sound.
    $5.00
  • Second album from this California based prog metal band with ties to Redemption. The Tragedy Of Innocence is a far more mature and developed release than their debut. It's a conceptual work dealing with a very heavy subject - Valerie Quirarte (wife of drummer Chris) and her experience with child abuse. The music is a reflection of the story - its darker and more intense. All in all Prymary are a progmetal band. You can expect some serious complex arrangements and stand out playing. Kudos to the band for tackling a difficult subject and also jumping up to the next level musically. Recommended.
    $2.00
  • "When I say that they are near the gate of perfection and give it a 98% score would be considered this is a work of art. Well, putting it in simple words I’d have to be really picky to find what is wrong with this album. There are only little details that I could take into consideration for this album not being perfect, but it certainly is a truly grandiose masterpiece. Finally my friends, Skylark is on the way to the heaven church where the warriors are honored and upgraded to masters of the genre. It does not matter if they are not known worldwide or if they don’t have video clips to promote the songs. That is what makes them so great, because with pure musical skills they have truly achieved greatness.Currently, this is by far one of my favorite metal albums. For those purists who think metal is not supposed to be what this album offers they are pretty misguided. This is power metal, symphonic whatsoever, with a light atmosphere although heavier in my opinion than ‘Gate to Heaven’, no matter what elements they have thrown in they did it magnificent. All the ingredients for a good album are here: awesome vocals by Kiara, outstanding guitar solos, epic songs, speedy songs, mid tempo songs, good instrumentals, good background vocals, good riffs, good drumming, etc. I mean, what else do you need?Let’s begin with the obvious. I think this album is by far better in some aspects than the 2 Divine Gates albums. 1. Now the production and the now decent sound help a lot because the bass lines now are hearable. 2. The fact that there are more mid tempo songs helps because this way they avoid overwhelming speed that in long term will get you bored of. Actually, fast songs there are only: ‘The Scream’ and ‘Soul of the Warrior’ and the instrumental ‘Hurricane’ 3. Fabio Dozzo is no longer in the band and unfortunately for me since I like his singing style with the constant high pitched screams. I must recognize that very often he used to screw up because of the getting-out-of-range vocally but the good thing about the new backup singer is that they added some eco (like Edenbridge do with Sabine’s vocals) so it sounds amazing. 4. The bass lines have taken predominance and you can now hear them very well and man, this time they got it right. They are not only following rhythms but taking ownership of some of the songs. 5. There are no epic songs in here, at least not in the way they used to so the song writing has been simplified. This is neither good nor bad but just different. In my case, I like the old epic-lengthy style of songs but here this just rocks out. 6. Last but not least, the angelic vocal of Kiara, man, is she lovely! I will detail on her abilities later but the fact that she uses middle ranges makes her fit perfectly with the music without overbearing with high pitched screams.Alright, now that the improvements have been appointed, let me tell you why I think this is fucking great and just a step away of pure perfection. Kiara is by far the best choice they could’ve chosen. Her high notes are amazingly sweet and yet powerful. They are very similar to those of Saeko, but Kiara is sweeter and more pitched. Throughout the entire album she sings mostly in her middle range but when she screams man I get chills and orgasms just listening to her. Next is the choice of a backup vocalist who actually controls his vocal range. The fact that he is only accompanying Kiara makes the dynamics even more interesting and he sings in a more or less high range but avoiding veing Ralf Scheepers or Kiske. The juxtaposition of both singers creates a cool atmosphere and sung dialogs.On to the songs you get a little bit of everything but not ultra fast songs like Belzebu or the Triump. Actually, I’d say the instrumental ‘Hurricane’ is the fastest track. The rest are basically mid speed ‘The scream’ and ‘Soul of the warrior’. They are a little faster than the average mid tempo but are not that fast as the ones mentioned below. There are some progressive tempo changes here and there like ‘Soul of the Warrior’ where the changes of pace take you completely off your feet and I love them. This is the kind of things that make the songs interesting instead of just relentless speed. There is only one ballad in ‘Believe in Love’ and now we are talking. Previous ballads were good, not cheesy, which is one of the problems of power metal but this with Kiara singing really soft and subtle giving textures to her voice plus the guitars in the upfront and the keyboards back grounded leave me hyperventilated. The guitar solo, by the way, is very 80’s very Poison, Cinderella, Bon Jovi alike. In here the bass lines are thick and the vocals are just flawlessly performed. The bass lines are more diverse this time such as ‘Time’ where the entire song is bass driven and I must say they just added a very nice melody to it. It is my favorite song here because of the exquisite bass lines and low male vocals making the perfect contrast with Kiara’s falsetto and then her high pitched screams give me goose bumps.The keyboards are very good balanced with the guitars and they are not overshadowed as such can be heard on ‘The Scream’ where they are perfectly mixed to listen to them clearly. What I find interesting the most is the awesome melodies since nowadays is very hard to come up with memorable melodies (let’s say ala Stratovarius) so I find this very good done.The guitar solos are very similar to those from D.G.II. The follow the same pattern and melodic sense but since the songs are better they sound better here. The riffing style has now been improved. The progression of the power chords are far more interesting and a little more ‘complex’ than those from the first D.G albums although they are yet rather simplistic, as normally in power metal.The re-arrangement made on ‘Heaven Church’ is obviously vocal driven to show off Kiara’s skills. Although the rhythm parts last for around two minutes and this one cannot be compared to the masterpiece the original is, it is still a good track and very enjoyable. But again, I only take 1 point for re-arranging a song that is perfect in its original form because it lost its crunch (ok, light atmosphere from the original but still heavier than this new version).Finally, Skylark is basically known for two things which they have succeeded at: 1. Atmosphere. 2. Epic sense. In this case they have sacrificed the traditional epic sense but the atmosphere is taking predominance which is ok for me since they are doing it perfectly, enhancing a good and positive vibe throughout the listening experience.Now I face a problem. I am well aware that Divine Gates I and II are NOT perfect, but since they are for sure two of my favorite all time albums and this one beat them, what score should I give to those on my reviews since I always thought they were almost perfect? What a predicament huh? Anyhow, I’ll have to listen to them over and over to try to come up with the most objective review I could to give them a fair opinion. Kiara, this is your fault because of this masterpiece of an album but I love you because you have become my princess!" - Metal Archives
    $10.00
  • Three Fates Project is a collaborative effort from the Keith Emerson Band and the Munchner Rundfunkorchester conducted by Terje Mikkelsen.  The material is drawn from the ELP catalog but also covered are pieces by Marc Bonilla, Alberto Ginastera as well as Emerson's solo work.  Its an all instrumental orchestral interpretation of the compositions augmented by the Keith Emerson Band.  Surprisingly its rather refined.  Emerson does play a variety of synthesizers but they don't really jump out strongly in the mix, instead piano seems to dominate his playing.  The centerpiece of the album is Tarkus.  Its the track where the band lets their hair down - Bonilla gets a bit heavy handed with his guitar distortion, Emerson gets a bit nuts with the Moog, and the rhythm section goes all Carl Palmer on us.  All in all its a true integration of band and orchestra and not just the band being backed by the orchestra.  I'm not one for mucking around with the classics but this is really tasteful and is a fun listen.  Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • "New album  from Daniel Cavanagh of Anathema, introducing the brilliant Sean Jude.Leafblade was born out of a calling. A calling to bring the writing of Sean Jude towards a wider audience; or so thinks Mr. Cavanagh of Anathema, who originally formed Leafbladewith Jude several years ago.In May 2013 Leafblade release their new album, The Kiss of Spirit and Flesh, on the Kscope label.Daniel and Sean are joined on the new album by Anathema's portuguese multi instrumentalist Daniel Cardoso who plays drums, supported by Kevin Murphy and recorded by Mark Ellis who worked on anathema's 2010 masterpiece, We're Here Because We're Here.Produced by Cavanagh, The Kiss of Spirit and Flesh steps up the dynamics from debut albumBeyond, Beyond.Showcasing Cavanagh's unmistakable production work, his signature electric guitar playing and heartfelt 'musical weaving', all of which is built around Jude's unique and brilliant progressive songwriting, his lute-like nylon strings, his articulate lyrics and passionate vocal delivery.Cavanagh feels that the album has found a natural home at Kscope, the label that he has worked with extensively over the past few years, "the writing is absolutely top class and the progressive and organic nature of the music makes it very much part of Kscope's orbit."He continues; "we feel the album is a special one thanks to the beautiful lyrics, top class arrangements and excellent musicianship, and it should appeal to Anathema fans and progressive fans alike."""
    $15.00
  • "With 'Home', for the first time since their critically acclaimed 'Posthumous Silence' of 2006, Sylvan have taken the chance to create another full-on concept album. Even though the Hamburg natives attach great importance to creating contextually comprehensive pieces of art with any of their albums, this time around Sylvan have upped their ambition another notch and taken on the mammoth task of building an overall concept around the never ending quest of the human condition for 'home' - that very special place that can provide a feeling of complete safety."
    $14.00
  • New authorized edition of one of the great UK organ rippers. Fuzzy Duck had roots in Five Day Week Straw People, Andromeda, and Atomic Rooster. This one falls into that "proto-prog" category. Its from 1971 and pre-synthesizer. The music has a great balance of organ/guitar interactions with Roy Sharland's organ really dominating. Sort of a cross between The Nice and Human Beast. This Esoteric edition features the 4 non-lp singles tracks as well as Mark Powell's usual excellent essay chronicling the band's brief history.
    $17.00
  • They still dress like Masters Of The Universe but these Swedes offer up a fine slice of melodic traditional power metal. Set cigarette lighters on stun!
    $14.00
  • "Heavy metal dudes and fools! Prepare to kneel down in obedience. Benedictum returns with the fourth album, expecting you to Obey. Yet the new album comes with some changes and also revisits earlier albums. The band introduces to new members with drummer Rikard Stjernquist (Jag Panzer) and bassist Aric Avina (ex-Tynator). Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Dio, Foreigner), who produced the first two Benedictum, returns to the nobs for this one.What has not changed one iota is Benedictum's commitment to classic American heavy and power metal. The character of their metal has always had a heavy and dark feeling due mostly to the lyrical content, deep rhythm section, and Peter Well's thick, working class, riffage. Yet these things are balanced by Benedictum's natural bent to weave melody and harmony into each song.Then, of course, there's vocalist Veronica Freeman's vocals which can range from somberness as on Cry (featuring Tony Martin (Black Sabbath ,et al)) to raging metal as on the title cut or Scream. That last song is a good example of where Freeman's vocals are on point becoming the pivot on which everything turns. Another is Evil That We Do, where the vocal arrangement has a choral quality. It's also a song where Benedictum brings more rock groove and general catchy accessibiliity.Otherwise, Obey is pretty much straight American heavy metal from the start to finish. Most time the pace is swift as with Apex Nation or Fracture; sometimes more moderate as with Die to Love You, likely my least favorite song here, and the finishing longer epic feel of Retrograde. Fundamentally, it you liked everything about their previous releases, especially the first two, you'll dig Obey and should add it to your collection. If you expected something more novel or progressive, rather than constant, then you'll be disappointed. Recommended to 'true metal' dudes everywhere." - Dangerdog.com
    $18.00
  • Germany’s most famous progressive rock band is back. In celebration of Eloy’s 40th anniversary, band founder/guitarist/visionary Frank Bornemann has returned to the studio to grace us with the band’s first studio album in 10 years. Bornemann’s goal was to recreate the vintage sound of their most popular period. To that end he assembled a lineup featuring members of the band’s past. Time was spent recording at world renowned Horus Sound Studios in Hannover, Germany. Actually owned by Frank Bornemann, it is the place where the classic Eloy sound was created. The result is “Visionary” – an album that can be simply described as pure Eloy. Frank Bornemann formed Eloy in 1969. By 1973 the band was signed to EMI’s prestigious Harvest label. Through constant touring they became a tremendous success in Germany and later on in the UK. Their 1977 album “Ocean” has now sold over 250,000 copies in Germany alone and was certified gold. The music of Eloy transcends genres. One of the originators of the European “space rock” sound, they added symphonic elements to their music that appeals to fans of both progressive and hard rock. The themes of Bornemann’s lyrics are derived from science fiction and ancient mythology with a liberal sprinkling of cosmic consciousness. The Laser’s Edge is proud to be part of this new chapter in Eloy’s history and present this historic new album to their North American fan base. “Visionary” arrives in a deluxe package, featuring a 16-page booklet and a “making of” video.
    $15.00
  • This is the gatefold sleeve vinyl edition released on the Kommun2 label...which happens to be run by Agusa's own Tobias Petterson.With almost forty minutes of new material, AGUSA delivers a wide array of seamlessly-executed, organic rock on the aptly titled Agusa 2. The band’s tranquil output blends tripped-out psychedelic and progressive rock structures are inspired by more folk than occult influences, instilling visions of nature, the cosmos, and dreamlike passages, meandering into realms of a possibly supernatural or parallel existence. While not a fully instrumental recording, backing vocal mantras only seep in through purposeful cracks in the construction of these immense movements, adding an even more spacious feeling to the overall flow of the album.AGUSA was formed in the springtime of 2013, when Tobias Petterson and Mikael Ödesjö, former members of Kama Loka, recruited Dag Strömqvist and Jonas Berge for their early ‘70s progressive rock project. In the Summer, the outfit ventured out to the countryside where Dag lived, to a place called Agusa — virtually only a loose gathering of homes deep in the forest. Within these secluded surroundings, and the most amazingly sunny, warm Summer day, the new collective had an extensive, extremely inspired jam session which somewhat solidified the direction of their sound, so of course, the name AGUSA was simply perfect for the outfit.In the Autumn of 2014, the band went into the studio to record their first album, Högtid, which was released on vinyl and digital media in early 2014. After a handful of gigs during the Winter, Dag decided to leave AGUSA to travel around India, and following a number of auditions, Tim Wallander, also a member of blues trio Magic Jove, joined the band. In the beginning of 2015, the refreshed lineup went into Studio Möllan once again to record their sophomore full-length, this time having asked a close friend of theirs, Jenny Puertas, to play flute on the recording. The match was so perfect that the band instantly invited her into the band on a full-time basis, expanding their lineup once again. They began performing with this new arrangement weeks later, and have not looked back.
    $27.00