Incitare

SKU: FAN34631.2
Label:
Fantasy Records
Category:
Fusion
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Volto is a new (but long gestating) project from Tool drummer Danny Carey and Pigmy Love Circus guitarist John Ziegler.  The quartet is rounded out by noted keyboardist Jeff Babko and session bassist Lance Morrison.  The quartet have been together for some time playing cover tunes.  They finally decided to cut some original music.  To that end they recorded all analogue and had the album mastered by Bob Ludwig.  Expect great sound.

This is a blazing all instrumental effort that fits squarely in the fusion genre but with strong overtones of progressive rock...and maybe just a touch of metal.  Chops from hell are the order of the day but this is highly melodic and never seems to suffer from "toomanynotes" syndrome.  At times Ziegler turns up the crunch factor to good effect and Babko lays down some wonderful solos.  Carey is Carey...awesome!!  Highly recommended.

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  • "I know that an album is timeless when, after many years, I return to it and it still sounds fresh. This is what happen to me with ...and so we destroyed everything by Sleepmakeswaves. The instrumental post-rock four-piece band from Sydney is now back with another amazing album, Love Of Cartography, that, starting from the name itself and its fantastic album cover, proves the tendency the band has to map new creative directions within the instrumental rock framework.The new album was recorded in Byron Bay with producer Nick DiDia (Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Rage Against The Machine) after fans – and me of course among them - helped to raise over $30,000 through a Pozible campaign. I listened to Love Of Cartography many times before writing about it and, even now, 'Emergent' is playing fulfilling my room with its melody and creating a somber climax.The first thing you'll notice listening to Love Of Cartography is how the Aussie band has moved towards a electro-rock sound that is gonna blow your mind. As masters of meticulous instrumental rock, apocalyptic guitar landscapes, they spoiled us delivering great music, and Love Of Cartography is gloriously no different.Kid, Otto, Alex and Tim, again wonderfully demonstrate their ability to swap pursuing rhythmic sections with soothing ambient segments without losing a step. Love Of Cartography is full of emotional passages that captivate the listener more than the most beautiful mermaids.The journey through the ten tracks of Love Of Cartography starts with 'Perfect Detonator' that launches the listener into the Sleepmakeswaves's space. 'Perfect Detonator' is a complete listening experience, peppered with sonic leitmotifs that fold back onto themselves once the final chords are drowned out by silence. The exploration of this instrumental rock world by the Aussie band continues: ‘Traced in Constellation' flits between glitchy synths and shimmering guitars, whilst the short 'Singularity' unfolds as an interlude and creates a beautiful tension that explodes in the brilliant 'Emergent' that incorporates both post-rocky and electronic elements and suggests that there’s room for the old and the new Sleepmakeswaves's styles to coexist.'Emergent' has a slow-burning introduction but the band doesn't hesitate to proves that they have lost none of their appetite for noise and pursuing rhythm. This track is a journey within a journey; simply awesome.There’s space, too, for the band to expand upon loud-quiet dynamics; 'Great Northern' has a great mix of those segments and listening to it is pure joy. 'The Stars Are Stigmata' is of a bit heavier ride instead that brings us back to the Sleepmakeswaves's style we already adore. This track is as engaging as it is dramatic and the balance between acoustic and electronic elements is a killer.Passing through the soft 'A Little Spark' that invites quiet contemplation, we land onto 'Something Like Avalanches' that is a perfect track with its amazing guitar riffs. The journey through Love Of Cartography ends with the beautiful 'Your Time Will come Again' that blends in it several music genres and the outcome is a beautiful, notable electro-rock ballad. 'Your Time Will come Again' is a credible substitute for nirvana, demanding you to set yourself free from all corporeal existence. Your mind will thank you later.Love Of Cartography ends here but its music won't leave you. The journey is one way." - Echoes And Dust
    $15.00
  • "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
  • "As we’ve been chronicling all year long, 2013 has been a great year for Norwegian progressive metal with some excellent progressive power metal from Illusion Suite, Tellus Requiem and Pellek, the new album by the long-running prog metal band Divided Multitude, the fantastic new album by Leprous and the exciting debut by Withem (you can read our review here).  Now, into that great mix the young band Vicinity has just released their debut full -length album, Awakening and it easily stands with the best of what their countrymen have produced this year. The band works in a decidedly melodic and dramatic fashion anchored around the wonderful voice of Alexander Lykke, the multi-faceted guitars of Kim-Marius Olsen and the powerful drumming of Frode Lillevold.  Interestingly there are no keyboards on the album (except for a few background sounds for effects) which wasn’t readily apparent to me at first because the songs are so well written and the vocal melodies are so strong. Olsen multi-tracks soft and harder textures to really give the album a rich sound.  The album has a great full sound and was mastered by the prolific Jens Bogren.Awakening is an hour long album but only has six songs.  Three are in the 11-14 minute range and the other three are between 5-6 minutes. The longer songs are not really more complex, but just feel necessary to the structure of each song which is really a testament to the band’s composition style -- the band will do a long song if warranted but works well in both long and short song formats.  The album begins with Mass Delusion which starts as a high-energy rocker but has a great instrumental mid-section that propels the song to its energetic conclusion. Opportunities Lost is the longest song on the album at over 14 minutes and is a deceptively simple song that consistently builds tension throughout the piece, alternates between short instrumental interludes, both soft and hard, and has a great vocal melody that ends in a wonderfully dramatic finale. Again, it’s fairly simple in structure but is so well written that I couldn’t believe it was as long as it was.  I was reminded of what great neo-progressive bands like IQ often do so well -- take a great idea and vary and expand on it to great emotional conclusions.  Across The River is a shorter, five minute song and is mostly a ballad that builds in intensity throughout to a powerful finale.   Walk All The Way is an 11-minute song that’s easily my favorite on the album as its got some of the most beautiful vocals on Awakening, has the heaviest section on the album right in the middle (complete with some harsher vocals for contrast and intensity) before building to a wonderfully majestic finale.  Olsen also really shines here as well with some great emotional soloing.  The Time For Change is next and it’s yet another amazing power ballad that shows, yet again how well this band can create drama and excitement.  The album ends with the 11 minute album title song that has a fairly heavy opening section but ends with a stunningly beautiful epic finish.  Honestly there’s not a weak moment on this album and if dramatic and emotionally affective progressive metal is your cup of tea, this album will hit you hard.Awakening is a really, really solid album that has so much going for it. It’s got a great, joyously youthful spirit and is decidedly focused on the emotional content instead of trying to wow the listener with technicality.   Vicinity is primarily a band of great melodic songwriters and they have the perfect vocalist in Lykke to carry out their vision of exciting  progressive music and if they continue on this path could really make some waves in this great genre." - Prog Metal Zone
    $15.00
  • Many years ago Sieges Even recorded a live album that was never released (the band had dissolved). Now the band has two studio albums under their belt with the latest lineup it was time to finally give us a live disc. Playgrounds features material from Paramount, The Art Of Navigating The Stars, and A Sense Of Change (!!).
    $12.00
  • Third album from this superb Dutch band.  Laser's Edge has a long standing relationship with the band, having released their debut, Hallway Of Dreams, in North America.Take equal parts Loreena McKennitt, Kate Bush, and Within Temptation and you've got the basic sound of Kingfisher Sky.  The band was formed by ex-Within Temptation drummer Ivar de Graaf and is fronted by his wife Judith Rijnveld.  Judith is an incredible vocalist - her voice will transfix you.  The lineup features two guitarists, cello, keys, bass, and drums.  Everyone in the band is first class but you will always be drawn back to Judith.  The music takes on a mystical, ethereal quality in places.  It never really crosses over into the metal realm but the guitars can get crunchy in a nice way.  One notable guest on this album is Kristeffor Gildenlow who handles all the bass parts.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  •  "After over two years from the event, we can still hear today the echoes of that memorable Italian progressive rock night.That Saturday 6th November 2010 the same Locanda delle Fate went first on stage, playing their masterpiece “Forse le lucciole non si amano più” almost in its entirety, adding the then-unreleased songs “Sequenza circolare” and “La giostra”, later included in the recent “The missing fireflies” (2012). Locanda delle Fate's today line-up includes four original members - Leonardo Sasso (vocals), Oscar Mazzoglio (keyboards), Luciano Boero (bass guitar) and Giorgio Gardino (drums).Once available only as vinyl, “Live in Bloom” is here reissued on CD/DVD; the first 1000 copies come in a special lavish format, comprising a hard-cover mini-booklet inside a horizontal slipcase (15 x 25cm).Compared to its previous release, this edition finally contains, both on the CD and the DVD, the entire Locanda delle Fate’s concert, which could not be included as a whole in the space of a single LP. The sound quality is excellent, and the visual part has been professionally recorded with a 4-cam system.To sum it all, this is a release not to be missed by Italian prog fanatics, especially who was present during that Progvention 2010 night, and also an important document that testimonies how the genre is still today very much alive!"
    $24.00
  • Third album from this New Jersey symphonic rock band.  All of the band's albums are conceptual pieces based around literary works.  In fact the band's name is derived from a Ray Bradbury story.  On A Dark And Stormy Night is based on Madeleine L'Engle's fantasy novel of the same name.  The album is a wet dream for any fan of symphonic prog.  As I make my way through the album I'm frequently reminded of some similarities to Glass Hammer.  This is very keyboard driven music with a healthy amount of guitar leads.  There are even some nice Mellotron sounds popping up now and then.  These guys dream big and hit the mark.  Highly recommended.
    $11.00
  • Ok let's cut to the chase...this is the same band but with a different sound. Being realistic you can't expect "Feel Euphoria" to sound like "V" or "Snow" when the primary songwriter is no longer involved. First off Nick's vocals are exemplary - he's a great singer and I don't feel the band is diminished in any way by have him out in front. The key here is the songwriting and it''s just...different. Overall the music seems a bit heavier and more immediate. A few of the tunes are bit less proggy but they all seem to have the right progified embellishments - Ryo's mellotron and organ bits seem to cover the bases well. My favorite tune is the long epic track "A Guy Named Sid" which captures some of the past's magic. Overall I think of this as a transitional release as the band redefines their sound.
    $12.00
  • Second album under the Gan Eden moniker by multi-instrumentalist Angelo Santo Lombardi. Clearly done in the classic Italian style ("Rock Progressivo Italiano"), this conceptual work in heavily in debt to early ELP, Goblin and Le Orme. Epic length tracks with long, sweeping instrumental passages. There are no credits here so I imagine Lombardi is playing all the instruments. He's clearly a virtuoso on keyboards, demonstrating a beautiful touch on the piano and a fierce attack on the organ. This is the good stuff!
    $20.00
  • "This is all I have to write and it would be a good review but I have to play the unbiased party. Christian Muenzner, he’s one of the guitarists for OBSCURA and previously worked in NECROPHAGIST having the album, “Epitaph“, under his belt and also has his solo project going for him and several other projects. Not only did he deliver the masterpiece, “Omnivium” in 2011 but also within a month’s time after this magnum opus his solo project’s debut “Timewarp” was released. In 2012 we see the release of SPAWN OF POSSESSION’s “Incurso” and now we have PARADOX’s “Tales Of The Weird”. I really hope he keeps up this stride and as far as the material here goes there’s nothing to worry about him slowing down anytime soon.The title track, “Tales Of The Weird” begins with a stormy night, rain pouring and etching the earth with acoustics pushing the music forward. A wolf howls into the eternal night, calmly but rushingly surging that energy through your spine. The acoustics control your movements, confined into the black night turning towards the eminent dawn. Once the rest of the instruments start to engage you are hypnotized, senselessly trying to bring you back from that beautiful shock you didn’t know you were in. When it comes to the multitude of solos the first one sounds like time shifted into the Egyptian realm trying to resurrect a pharaoh from his decrepit sarcophagus. Well done Muenzner and not only him but the rest of the crew. This is easily one of the best songs on the album.I don’t know what equipment Muenzner used on the album but he sure has a different unique tone. It’s apparent on “Brutalized”. On the first solo you get this new tone and it’s just warming and comfortable to hear. A melodic solo and when it reaches a higher pitch it’s what I’d like to compare as a bee humming a song during the brightest summer. I didn’t hear it upon my first voyage through this album. In fact it took me three times to really notice it. On the second solo it’s like “Screw it! I’m Christian Muenzner and I want to play a full on progressive/technical death metal solo.” It’s called “Brutalized” for a reason and no I don’t think he’s conceited as I make him to be so just follow along and don’t pay too much mind to it. The outro is folk influenced as was “Tales Of The Weird” after the howling of the wolf. Spellbinding and it leads you into the mood of the next song. It’s like reading an ancient book and following along with the unorthodox adventures.I could be wrong but “Fragile Alliance” seemed to be slightly influenced by CHILDREN OF BODOM. Listen to “Cry of the Nihilist”, the riff starting at (1:40). Let that song sink in and come back to this one. It’s about less than a second but it has the same vibe, at least to me. It repeats itself three times on different points of the song. On certain passages Charly Steinhauer sounded like James Hetfield back when his voice had a more melodic and innocent quality to it. Also there’s clapping towards the end or maybe it’s something else but I agree that this album deserves an applause. “Escalation” starts off real thrashy also the riffs prior to the solo have a classical-esque composition quality to them and as a classical music fan I really enjoy combos of the sort. Muhammed Suicmez is quite guilty of this as well, check out the song, “Intestinal Incubation” full of that great majesty of the 18th century. “Slashdead” gets the award for strangest song off the album but hey this is “Tales Of The Weird” so it fits nicely. It’s a straightforward thrash song but it articulates a bit on tangents. Towards the ending it brings back good memories of Pokemon when it says “Slash!”, Sandslash anyone?“Zeitgeist”is personally my favorite song off the album. I actually know the word since it was discussed in my psychology class. If the translation is correct it means “spirit of the times.” It’s the perfect track in describing the obscurity and gentleness of the album. First “Tales Of The Weird” with its trip back to the times of pharaohs and during a period where the sun was deemed as a god and among several other deities. Then “Escalation” with its classical fluidity and now “Zeitgeist”. This song’s where my inception of the idea of the humming bees came from, “Brutalized” further supports the point. The concept of spirit of the times fits great with my perception of the bees which leads to that birds and the bees speech to explain reproduction. It is the beginning of life and exploration. It creates people and with people it creates these atmospheres during a certain period in time, thus spirit of the times or “Zeitgeist”. On “The Downward Spiral” it seemed to be influenced by DEATH’s “The Flesh and the Power It Holds” (around 3:03) on two different points during “The Downward Spiral“. The bass created the illusion that I was going in a spiral. A chaotic stream of an evolving abstract staircase that disappeared within a few moments if one isn’t quick enough to get on the ride.Overall, this is a very impressive album and trust me when I say the more you listen to it the better it gets. There’s a chance you won’t think much of it the first time around as you might be hypnotized by Muenzner’s guitar work that initially the rest seems inferior to it. Alas don’t fear, digest the album well, its replay value is really high. V. Santura did an amazing job on mixing and mastering, definitely giving PARADOX an evolutionary album. Bass had a tendency to be technical in sneaky places but Olly Keller had his own style. The synergy between the bass and guitars reminded me so much of OBSCURA. Only problem I seemed to have is the drums were at times oblivious in the mix. I actually heard the bass more than the drums. I’m sure though with a few more runs with this album I’ll be able to hear it more and better comprehend Daniel Buld’s contributions." - Metal Temple
    $15.00
  • One and done hard rock band from Newcastle released their sole album on B&C Records back in 1971.  Guitar, bass, and drums with some guest keys lurking in spots.  This will appeal to fans of Clear Blue Sky, May Blitz and their ilk.  Their are some prog moves here and there but really hard rock is their raison detre.  Perhaps a bit dated in sound but these guys were actually pretty good.  Esoteric gives them the deluxe treatment.
    $17.00
  • New stoner rock trio put together by Spice, the former vocalist with Spiritual Beggars and Kayser. The music is non-stop retro riffing in a style that grooves and bears similarity to the work of Spirit Caravan, The Quill and Spiritual Beggars.
    $12.00
  • "If you think back to bands such as SixTh then this genre of ultra tech/ djent has been around for some time, however, with bands such as TesseracT, Periphery and Meshuggah perhaps bringing it more to the public eye and out of the groove Metal shadows, it can be no real surprise that more and more bands are coming forward with their own take on what, at the end of the day can be a very difficult style of music to get right.Nothing wrong with that I hear you say, and providing it’s done well, I quite agree.Monuments début album “Gnosis” nails it in a number of ways, yes, we have the jarring riffs that really set this genre apart from most others but we also have that increasingly rare commodity called melody. You can sometimes be technical for technicalities sake but Monuments deliver an album that strikes a near perfect balance between an overriding ambition to push the boundaries even further, and maintaining a level of accessibility for the listener.Tracks such as “Doxa” for example really encapsulate the bands sound in a nutshell, “Blue Sky Thinking”, with its beautiful mix of aggressive and clean vocal, and my personal album highlight “97% Static”, which lends a fantastic, dreamy, atmospheric feel to the ear.Lyrically, the album is quite political in it’s content, with the overall message of think for yourself and not to follow other peoples train of thought, which in a way could easily describe the band themselves.A début release this may be but it has been many years in the concept forming and song writing to get to this stage.Guitarist, John Browne has assembled a fine group of musicians together to realise his dream, non more so than Matt Rose on vocals who has an unnerving gift of moving from the hard edge sound and then to meander seamlessly across the spectrum to deliver some really uplifting melodies.Top of the tree they may not be just yet but on the showing of this highly impressive work, it must surely only be a matter of time." - Planet Mosh
    $12.00
  • "Definitely a much harder to find album than its predecessor, but it proves worth the search. Lancaster had left prior to the recording of this album, leaving Aviator a guitar/bass/drums trio. Musically, it's anything but your typical power-trio album. In fact, it's in the same basic jazz-tinged prog-rock style as the first Aviator album. Only minus the sax. There's even some synth here and there, some of it patently Perry's pedals, but the spacey effects at the beginning of "Strange Worlds" suggest something more. Perhaps a guitar synth? It's possible, what with all that woodwind synth all over their previous album.The short songs aren't as strong this time round (I admit I balked a bit when I first heard "Way Of The World"), but the album improves quickly, with some excellent exploratory tracks taking you to bold new places that most guitar/based/drums configurations never dared to go. "Fallen Star" and "Strange Worlds" are both superb, but it's the title song, with it's dynamite 7/4 rhythm, that most appeals to me from this one. A worthy follow-up on their great debut disc." - ProgArchives
    $18.00