Impermanent Resonance

James LaBrie once again that there is life outside of Dream Theater.  His solo band features a stable lineup consisting of Matt Guillory (keyboards), Marco Sfogli (guitars), Ray Riendeau (bass), Peter Wildoer (drums, death vox).  Jens Bogren once again mixed. An interesting twist to the mix is the inclusion of Soilwork's Peter Wichers who contributes some guitarwork and also collaborated on songwriting with LaBrie.

While the music is square on prog metal and all in all not too dissimilar to Dream Theater its different enough to have its own vibe.  Wildoer's coarse vocal approach offers an interesting counterbalance to LaBrie's upper midrange clean voice.  The limited digipak edition comes with two bonus tracks.  Highly recommended.

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  • "During the last few years North Atlantic Oscillation have been steadily building both their fanbase and their reputation. Well known fans such as Zane Lowe and Guy Garvey have been joined by a growing number of devoted punters drawn to the band's unique combination of sonic complexity and melodic intrigue. The band's second album Fog Electric was released in 2012, following 2010's Grappling Hooks and numerous tours and festival appearances have accompanied both releases.Now Sam Healy, NAO's frontman and songwriter, returns with Sand, a new solo project which will be released on Kscope in October 2013. Written, performed and recorded throughout 2012 and 2013, Sand allowed Sam to work in a different way, as he describes:"I wanted to try something that I could work on entirely alone, with no deadlines or schedules intruding on the process. It was an experiment to see if I could conceive and execute a whole record without any outside influence. I only told few people about it until it was almost complete. I had a sense after the release of 'Fog Electric' that I should try something else before starting on a third NAO album, something with a different feel, a musical palate-cleanser."This change in process has resulted in an album which, while still sure to appeal to fans of Healy's previous work, has a more intimate and personal feel, both sonically and thematically.Melodic passages and conventional pop structures are framed by striking changes in dynamics, to create a dramatic sonic palette which ranges from the barely audible to wildly loud and back again, often within the same track. The album also has a slightly warmer, less alien feel than NAO recordings, with instruments less likely to be heavily treated and distorted beyond recognition."
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  • Daevid Allen is back with a reconstituted version of Gong.  Part of the new lineup features Kavus Korabi (Knifeworld, Cardiacs) and Dave Sturt (Jade Warrior).  There is a great vibe to the album and it doesn't stray from the classic sound."The enduring legend that is Gong multi National, multi dimensional Psychedelic combo enters yet another new phase on their four decades plus journey with I See You, a brand new album to be released on the Madfish label.The current incarnation of Gong comprises vocalist / lyricist Daevid Allen, who, even at the age of seventy five, still radiates an incandescent creativity, the original anarchic vibe that was born out of counter culture revolution in the Paris commune in 1968. His co conspirators on I See You comprise Orlando Allen on drums, new guitarist Kavus Torabi (formerly of The Cardiacs) and the latest guitar incumbent in a band whose ranks have included the likes of Steve Hillage and Mark Hewins, horn player Ian East Wind , sinuous bass propulsion provided by Dave Sturt (the sonic manipulator), and Brazilian Fabio Golfetti who weaves his own lysergic patterns on guitar. This collective create an impressive, multi layered and irrepressible sound that creates its own world and then populates it with a series of dazzling musical gems, melodically rich, lyrically engaging and musically refreshed.I See You is both timeless and timely, a welcome antidote to an increasingly homogenised musical mainstream. Tracks such as This Revolution, a spoken piece which name checks Gil Scott Heron and picks up on the vibe of his The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, articulates the kind of concerns and theories that have always inspired Daevid Allen and informed the Gong worldview, contrasts with the ferocious inter stellar Funk of You See Me, which is sure to be a live favourite. Thank You is a heavy slab of Psychedelicised Blues, whilst Shakti Yoni Dingo Virgin is a moody, melodic instrumental piece that serves to illustrate the immense musical firepower and musical diversity that lurks within the current line up of Gong."
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  • This is the release that kicked it off for the Finnish band.  A thirty-five minute release that seamlessly marries Scandinavian folk music with Ozric Tentacles influence space rock."This amazing space rock band from Finland has captured the attention of fans of the genre around the world, and even those who usually aren't that interested in it. Who would have thought the next band in the line of Gong and Ozric Tentacles would come from Finland? Well, why not?Purely instrumental excursions into psychedelic spaces, propelled by Tim Blake-like droning and burbling synths, Hillage-like guitar glisandos and arpeggios, pulsating bass lines, phasing sitars, and precise drumming with some occasional Ian Anderson-ish (vocalizing and blowing simultaneously) flute work to spice things up. They're like Gong without jazzy influences or vocals, and like the Ozrics without techno influences. Just pure, hypnotic, unadulterated space rock to float past the rings of Saturn with ... my favorite kind of prog." - New Gibraltar Encyclopedia Of Progressive Rock
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  • "“Some things never change”; that’s one of the unwritten rules in the music industry, proving that some bands may take a rest for a while, having the strength and the cojones though to fight back and face every challenge. MUSTASCH’s history goes back in 1999 and Ralf Gyllenhammar hasn’t stop doing a great job behind the mic, delivering way successfully the heavy-loaded lyrics of the Swedish Heavy Rock quartet. Ok, currently the band is a trio, since drummer Danne McKenzie decided to quit last December due to personal differences.From “Ratsafari” and “Powerhouse” till “Latest Version Of Truth” and their self-titled album released 3 years ago, MUSTASCH is the tangible guarantee in the Heavy/Stoner Metal scene and their next step was highly anticipated by the fans. Well, it might have taken a bit longer that it should, but “Sounds Like Hell, Looks Like Heaven” is here to confirm the boulder that listen to the name ‘MUSTASCH’. Without wasting time, the listening of the album’s opener “Speed Metal” was a really pleasure, spitting 100% the MUSTASCH dynamics and the ‘dirty’ sound we all have learned to love. “The Challenger” continues in the same exponential pattern, spreading some frenetic panic and Metal riffs through its pass, thanks to Ralf’s readings, giving the feeling that not a day has passed since the release of “Powerhouse”.“So far, so good”, you may think, but there are more inside the ‘Hell/Heaven’ pack. And what’s that? A new, shinny face of MUSTASCH that made its first appearance in their previous work, but nowadays seems to be more confident to deal with some THIN LIZZY-esque influences, some AC/DC-driven guitar riffs and some METALLICA-laden attitude (“Reload” period), holding though steady the band’s love for some real heavy and shaking stuff. The only con of this album is the feeling that things got a bit rushed, since I can’t justify the presence of songs like “Your Father Must Be Proud Of You”, “Northern Star”. I’m not saying that these are bad songs, but they don’t fit at all in the whole album’s atmosphere, making me push the ‘skip’ button twice. If these two were avoided, we’d be probably talking about the mind-blowing comeback of a band who knows how to really shake things up and make the fans fold. Plus, MUSTASCH would have escaped at least two of the three negative points of my rating...“Sounds Like Hell, Looks Like Heaven” contains great compositions that I’m sure you have missed for so long. So, feel brave, grab your finest booze and skip a couple of unfortunate moments; of course, you’ll be rewarded without doubt, ‘cause this album is freaking awesome! Ralf’s name in the drill, one of the most badass singers out there, talks by itself, don’t ya think? Horns up!" - Metal Kaoz
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  • German power metal masters. New remastered edition features 4 bonus tracks!
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  • "If Astral Doors had an intention to re-revolutionize the metal and rock industry – flipping it on its ear and leaving mouths agape - well, it might be time for you to awaken from the fantasy. Astral Doors has and always will play badass rock ‘n’ metal that is so steeped in the historical realms of Rainbow and Ronnie James Dio that the material is stained a deep reddish brown. With that said, if you set those expectations to moniker of reality, “Notes from the Shadows” really is one of the most enjoyable metal albums you'll hear all year.Although I do think vocalist Nils Patrik Johansson (Civil War) plays tribute to the great Ronnie James Dio, he is quite distinctive and is by no means the “replica” which many people have stamped him as. A much closer listen to his work (check Civil War, Wuthering Heights, and Lion’s Share for reference), reveals a much deeper variety in style than the stigma he has received from critics who lazily overgeneralize. I’m sure Johansson is likely flattered by the comparison (who wouldn’t be), but on top of drawing influences from a myriad of vocalist admired over the years, he has a style that is easily identifiable.With that said, “Notes from the Shadows” presents a basic rock ‘n’ metal approach – a heavier Rainbow, if you will, so if this is not your bag…move on. For those that enjoy well written songs with bad ass Hammond style keyboards (from Joakim Rodberg) and absurdly infectious hooks (from Joachim Nordlund) all shadowed by Johansson’s bold vox, then this release will be met with insane enjoyment. “Last Temptation of Christ” and “Confessions” have all those typical Astral Doors hallmarks, including Johansson’s trademark “intro shouting” of the song title just shortly after the start. The best offerings include “Disciples of the Dragon Lord” (perhaps the heaviest on the album), “Walker the Stalker” and “Desert Nights” – all with more hooks than a Bassmaster tournament.My personal favorite is “Shadowchaser,” which starts with a melody that is a near replica of “Man on the Silver Mountain” (which certainly won’t help with that Dio/Rainbow stigma). It quickly turns into one of the most accessible tracks on the album. “Die Alone” – which is a drum clinic of badassery from Johan Linstedt (and not for awe inspiring fills, just ability to inspire headbanging) – is another in a string of tracks that would make the Astral Doors best-of release.Don't expect “Notes from the Shadows” to teach you a new way to rock. If that happens, you probably are not listening to Astral Doors. Consider this a lesson in how to properly rock through echos of the greats like Rainbow, Sabbath and, of course, Dio. If you enjoy the extension of a great legacy carried on through newer acts, you will find much to enjoy on this album. "Notes from the Shadows" is just a continuation of the great song writing and unique ability to force the body rock out which you should come to expect from Astral Doors." - Metal Underground
    $15.00
  • ""RUSH: CLOCKWORK ANGELS TOUR" was filmed and recorded last November at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas, during Rush's highly successful Clockwork Angels Tour. The eleven month-marathon world tour crossed North America twice and ventured overseas to Europe in support of the band's acclaimed 2012 studio release "CLOCKWORK ANGELS."In capturing the tour's electrifying three hour set, "RUSH: CLOCKWORK ANGELS TOUR" pairs Rush classics ("Tom Sawyer," "The Spirit Of Radio," "2112"), with a nod to the 80's Rush era (The Analog Kid," "Territories," "Subdivisions") alongside newly reworked arrangements specifically for the tour featuring the Clockwork Angels String Ensemble ("Headlong Flight," "YYZ," "Red Sector A"). The string section marks the first time the trio has brought additional musicians on the road with them. To showcase their latest studio release, the epic set list also features nine tracks off "CLOCKWORK ANGELS." Other highlights include tracks rarely performed and never before recorded live ("The Body Electric," "Middletown Dreams"), in addition to three separate drum solos by the incomparable Neil Peart."
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  • "With ’March On’ Belgian metallers FireForce delivered a strong debut and – righteously – started making a good name and reputation for themselves within the (European) heavy metal underground. The album was full of old-school 80s heavy metal and simply had everything the genre stands for. I must say that I was really looking forward to the follow-up, ‘Deathringer’, but was also curious whether they could approach the same power and energy of the debut, or even top that. Fortunately my enthusiasm gets rewarded, and my doubts blown off as soon as the record takes off with the strong title track. To be honest, apart from song titles I could easily use the review for the debut on this album as well, there the band hasn’t strayed a bit from the sound and style they showed on ‘March On’. What we have here is again one chunk of pure combative old-school heavy metal. The influences from bands like Accept, U.D.O., Running Wild, Manowar, Judas Priest, Grave Digger, Omen and similar acts are again obviously present, and the record has everything you can and may expect from an album is this genre: sturdy mid-tempo headbang riffs, up-tempo speed metal riffs, thundering double-bass drums, beautiful solos, rough community singing and combative lyrics. So, put your mind to rest and start working the neck muscles. Apart from ‘To The Battle’ and ‘MN29’ – that don’t really work for me due to their (too) versatile character – the album contains only strong tracks, with the mid-tempo smashers ‘Aeons’ and ‘Anubis – Lord Of The Dead’, the speed demons ‘Combat Metal’, ‘Words Of Hatred’ and the title track as highlights. As bonus we also get a cool version of Tygers Of Pan Tang classic ‘Gangland’. Everything put together have made ‘Deathbringer another strong album that fans of the debut can purchase without a second thought. Also fans of traditional, macho 80s heavy metal will do themselves a favour by checking this out." - Lords Of Metal
    $15.00