Invanity: Live In Berlin ($2 SPECIAL)

"A very special semi-acoustic live set from this seminal gothic metal band. The album captures their favourite songs specially rearranged for this event, while also including reworked cover versions of songs by Slayer and Nick Cave, the latter featuring guest vocals from Tiamat's Johan Edlund."

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  • "What do you get when you take a rough and ready Germanic power metal band and add two members of Blind Guardian? You get a better rough and ready Germanic power metal band. Sinbreed is that band and features the talents of Blind Guardian guitarist Marcus Siepen and drummer Frederik Ehmke, which gives them some instant musical credibility and clout. Their 2009 debut When World’s Collide was a rock solid slab of slick, but angry metal in the vein of modern Accept, Herman Frank and Paragon and Shadows improves on that template with even more raspy, Udo-like vocals and thrashy guitar lines. These cats don’t go in for the frilly aspects of Euro-power and prefer to pummel and attack with aggression while maintaining enough melody to hook you in. That makes Shadows a feisty, ill-tempered collection of speedy riffs, catchy choruses, and pissed off attitude, and when power metal is done this well, it’s pretty hard to resist. Not revolutionary, but it sure satisfies that need for edgy power sans pirate shirt.If you loved the last two Accept albums, songs like “Bleed” and “Call to Arms” will go down gangbusters. Lots of fast, in-your-face riffs and the excellently raspy roar of Herbie Langhans combine for some headbanging good times with all the Germanic flair you expect from acts like Grave Digger, but this is much better and more jacked up. It’s one speedster after another, each with a more than adequate chorus and ample nutsack. Sometimes they remind a bit of Steel Attack (title track), others times there’s a distinct Steel Prophet feel to the songs (“Leaving the Road”). Regardless of what influences they borrow from, they keep things straight-ahead, simple and rocking.Tunes like “Reborn,” ”Black Death” and “London Moon” have simple, memorable refrains and manage to be catchy without dialing back on the aggression. Most songs ride along on simple, but heavy riff patterns and rely on Herbie’s vocals to do the heavy lifting, pausing only for some satisfying, if typical power metal solos. It’s a simple approach, but it works for them, though there isn’t much difference from song to song and things do start to bleed together a little on the album’s back-end.Speaking of Herbie’s vocals, he’s a helluva good front man for this type of music. He has the raspy, gravely style down pat and reminds me a lot of new Accept singer Mark Tornillo. He has quite the powerful range and can hit all sorts of interesting notes when he so desires. He also has a bit of Bruce Dickinson’s flair and swagger hiding between his harsher approach (especially on “Standing Tall”) and it helps put the music over and make an impression. Marcus Siepen and Flo Laurin deliver the badass riffage required for this style and their solo work is pretty nifty (especially on “Broken Wings”). Nothing they do will make you fall out of a chair, but they manage to keep things moving for all ten songs and the album feels like it goes by quickly, which is a good thing.A typical dose of Teutonic terror, but a very good one, Shadows blasts away with all barrels, stays very consistent and checks all the required boxes on Yea Olde Power Metal Checklist. These guys are one of my favorite bands of this ilk and between them, Accept and Herman Frank, I get all the Germanic rage I can handle at my advanced age. If you need more muscle in your power metal, these guys have the iron injection ready to go. Go heavy or go home." - Angry Metal Guy
    $16.00
  • Archangel is the side project of Ubi Maior (and former The Watch) keyboardist Gabriele Manzini.  Like the first album, this one is a concept piece.  I guess vampires are in vogue these days so we get stories of Countess Bathory, Nosferatu, et al.  The musicians on the album are drawn from Ubi Maior, Red Zen, and some other Italian bands.  The key to the album is the return of Damian Wilson who once again stands out as one of the featured vocalists.  The music is squarely in the prog rock vein with a keyboard orientation but with an overall harder edge.  The overall tone of the album is gothic dark.  Manzini includes two cover tunes - he takes his own spin on BOC's "Nosferatu" and Roxy Music's "My Only Love".
    $15.00
  • As you all know by now, the tracks on Made In Japan were culled from three nights of performances of the Japanese 1972 tour.  This is a new 2CD version of the album.  Disc one features a 2014 remaster of the original mix.  Disc two features the encores from all three nights - remastered from the original analogue stereo masters.
    $20.00
  • Klone is a French band that has been kicking around for 20 years.  Their sixth album, Here Comes The Sun, finds them changing course adding a more progressive element to their sound.  The music is very melancholy but spacious...quite beautiful in fact.  Think in terms of the mellowest Riverside tracks, Katatonia's unplugged release, Anathema.  In fact quite a bit of this has a similar vibe to their French compatriots Cloverseeds.  Very immersive sounding music that is predominantly about mood but as you scratch your way past the veneer you'll hear all the progressive elements that are lurking underneath.  Quite superb and a 2015 top 10 candidate.  BUY OR DIE!"One spin of this disc and the irony of the album title will loom large; ‘Here Comes The Sun’ is not a record full of funeral doom, black metal or brutal death but the content is certainly dark, bleak and paints vistas in the mind of the listener upon which it would be difficult for the sun to penetrate and cast it’s warm glow.The Poitier-based quintet have been steadily building a following over the course of their 20 year career, with previous albums garnering a fair amount of praise and critical acclaim in the process. However, with ‘Here Comes The Sun’, their sixth album, French progressive rock/metal band Klone have arguably created their finest moment to date, an intense and melancholy affair that isn’t afraid to bare its teeth when the need arises.Klone are not a band that has been content to stand still and recreate the same album each and every time. But then neither has their evolution been full of stark contrasts; instead the talented Gallic bunch have appeared content with a slow and gradual evolution that has seen them shake off a large amount of their more extreme heavy metal influences in favour of a more challenging, almost minimalist mélange of styles centred around more rock-based climes.Sitting at the heart of the music on ‘Here Comes The Sun’ is vocalist Yann Ligner who has a very intriguing style. On the one hand, he has a fragile-sounding clean approach that’s full of emotion and fleetingly reminiscent of Jonas Renkse of Katatonia. On the flip-side, Ligner is able to belt it out with some real power. It’s here that the gravel in his voice becomes apparent and, coupled with his phrasing and intonation, he heavily calls to mind the late Kurt Cobain. Given the fact that I have a strong dislike for grunge, it surprises me quite how much I enjoy Ligner’s voice. Having thought upon it long and hard for a few days I think it comes down to a combination of factors: there’s variety in Ligner’s delivery that shifts to suit the changing moods of the music and perhaps more crucially, I connect with the strong compositions themselves unlike with the vast majority of grunge.And that brings me nicely onto the subject of the music itself which I have to admit is of the highest order. In fact, in the form of ‘Nebulous’, ‘Here Comes The Sun’ features one of the very best songs that I have heard in 2015 so far. It’s one hell of a piece of music which has got me thoroughly addicted. Beginning quietly with a magnificent bass line overlayered with some subtle guitar melodies, it soon delivers a chorus to die for. Ligner croons over a hook-filled and inspired section of music that is achingly beautiful, poignant and catchy as hell. The mid section of the song introduces some post-rock influences before the track reaches its conclusion via another burst of the chorus. It sends shivers down my spine every time and I cannot speak highly enough of this song.Importantly, the remaining nine songs on the album are no slouches either, although I have to say that the cover of ‘Summertime’ that closes the album is my least favourite moment. It’s an interesting version of the classic upon which Klone have stamped their personal mark, but I’m simply not a fan of that song if I’m being entirely honest.In terms of the original material on offer, ‘Here Comes The Sun’ opens up with ‘Immersion’, a real grower of a track that starts off with a quiet melody and modern sampled sounds over which Ligner puts in a mesmerising performance. Big, hypnotic and ominous metal riffs join the fray as the track inexorably builds towards its conclusion. Post-rock/metal influences loom large but it is the power of the driving central riff that carries the song wonderfully without ever fully succumbing to the explosion of sound that threatens to materialise. I’m not normally a fan of brass instruments in my rock music but Mattieu Metzger’s lead saxophone actually adds another positive dimension upon its entry towards the tail end of the track.A feature of Klone’s music is an impressively strong rhythm section, courtesy of drummer Florent Marcadet and bassist Jean Etienne Maillard. Both put in impressive performances but it’s Maillard that catches the ear most of all, thanks to some intricate and genuinely inventive bass work throughout the entire album. I could pretty much pick any song but just take ‘Fog’ as an example of what I’m referring to.‘Gone Up In Flames’ is the closest that Klone get to the mainstream thanks to a cheeky, almost up-beat melody. It is also here that the aforementioned grunge influences come most to the fore. ‘The Drifter’ has a demonstrable prog rock vibe that is vaguely reminiscent of the likes of Riverside and more recent output from Long Distance Calling. Once again the bass is prominent within a very atmospheric composition that benefits from a strong sense of melody and a clever use of shifting dynamics which allows the track to ebb and flow smoothly. ‘Gleaming’ is an instrumental piece that is heavily influenced by recent Katatonia, especially in the tone and delivery of the lead guitar lines courtesy of messrs Guillaume Bernard and Aldrick Guadagnino. However, despite its short length it covers a lot of ground including a brief dabble with ambient sounds.This ambient influence is largely understated within ‘Here Comes the Sun’ but is never far from the surface, meaning that many of the songs are interspersed with gentler, calmer moments to increase the sense of bleak drama that pervades throughout. ‘Come Undone’ is another personal favourite thanks to another gorgeous central melody whilst ‘Grim Dance’ is basically a monster that smoothly blends the best elements of the band and distils it into a single track. The original material is then concluded with ‘The Last Experience’. The longest track on the album, it is also one of the darkest and most claustrophobic, culminating in a post-rock crescendo which comes crashing down in a jarring and deliberately uncomfortable dystopian-esque blaze of static noise.Despite the bleak and grim visage, as the album concludes, I am also left with a vague sense of hope and maybe, going back to the title of the album, it’s here where the glimmer of the sun can be glanced. It may be fleeting and gone in the blink of an eye but it’s definitely there. And perhaps, therein lies the magic of this album. On ‘Here Comes The Sun’, Klone have combined brilliant songwriting, unfaltering execution and a willingness to experiment both musically and lyrically to create a collection of diverse, challenging and evocative soundscapes for the modern world. Highly recommended." - Man Of Much Metal
    $16.00
  • "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
  • "Think of the new Megadeth album like this: take Endgame and add a large dose of Youthanasia and Countdown to Extinction, then mix it all in a blender and you’ll get a good idea of how it sounds. For die-hard Megadeth fans (like me), the album is a catchy, solid slice of good metal. Much like Endgame and United Abominations, Th1rt3en has a few weak spots, but is generally a decent album. Far from just generic recycling however, it has some fantastic highlights.The three opening tracks easily fit with some of Megadeth’s classic material, as Dave Mustaine has lost none of his talent for catchy melodies and thrash-metal attitude. Well produced and composed, the album flows much better than Endgame and more consistently than United. Dave’s voice retains much of its character but is not what it once was. He has wisely chosen to stay in his lower range, perhaps in order to avoid having to use his falsetto (…case in point). A curious thing about this album is its inclusion of earlier Megadeth material from past sessions. One of my favorites has to be Black Swan, from the United Abominations-era. As it happens, Dave’s voice was still in good condition in 2007, and it shows. Lyrically, Dave sticks to standard Megadeth-themes: the apocalypse, personal demons, ect. Some of the lyrics here are very compelling and well-written, but his pedantic musings on the “New World Order” have become a little obnoxious. Dave’s lyrics on political paranoia and deception worked very well with cold-war topics like those on Rust in Peace, but nowadays I can only cringe when he mouths off about The Illuminati and a “one world currency”.  That and, for obvious reasons, I would advise some caution when writing lyrics that denounce “A book written by man, use to control and demand” (from New World Order), when you espouse a similar book in your private life. I won’t even start with the lyrics on Fast Lane (you’d think Dave would have learned from Moto Psycho, ugh). Anyway, I should say that the guitar playing from Dave Mustaine and Chris Broderick is absolutely mind-blowing and it’s great to have Dave Ellefson back in the rhythm section as well. Aside from some of the things I've moaned about here, I found Th1rt3en to be a very satisfying Megadeth album." - Metal Injection
    $10.00
  • One of the great Italian symphonic prog albums of the 70s. Recommended to fans of Banco and PFM. New mini-lp sleeve edition from Vinyl Magic.
    $18.00
  • Second album from this eclectic US prog band featuring the helium laced vocals of David Surkamp.
    $10.00
  • Limited edition included a bonus DVD (PAL - region 0) with live footage from their Loreley gig."At last, XXV, the long awaited album from heavy proggers Pallas is to be released on the 24th of January 2011 on Music Theories Recordings, a sub of the Mascot Label Group. It will be the first album to feature new vocalist Paul Mackie and as previously announced it is the sequel to the bands hugely successful ‘Sentinel’ album 25 years on. Recorded at the band’s Mill Studio in Aberdeen, XXV has been over a year in the writing and recording and marks a welcome return to Pallas’ heavier rocking prog and as anyone who has recently seen the band on their handful of XXV preview shows there is a new dynamism to the band, brought about in the main by Paul Mackie’s far more upfront vocal style."
    $23.00
  • First album from this Swedish quartet riding the retro-hard rock trend made popular by bands like Graveyard and Witchcraft.  Like those other bands there is a strong Black Sabbath influence but the music has much more of a rawer (garage-like) edge.  I should note that vocals are sung in Swedish so that might be an issue for some of you.  If you like your hard rock with a psychedelic vibe you should check these guys out - its quite lethal.
    $16.00
  • ""It has happened to me twice here in 2009. You stumble upon a band that you have never heard of which totally blows you away. The first time was with the band Anima Mundi out of Cuba. Now, it has happened a second time.From Germany comes the band AtmOsfear with their third release called Zenith. After hearing this one, I am now they have me on a mad search for their past two discs. I cannot believe that they have been ignored by the prog metal world if the past music is as good as this album. Any fan of groups such as Dream Theater, Symphony X or Evergrey whom they have shared a stage with, are in for a treat that is the equal of any of these bands.The disc kind of lulls you in with the short instrumental intro titled "Beginnings". Aptly titled as this is only the start of what is about to fill your senses. The five remaining songs fill the remaining 70 minutes of music and it culminates in the almost 30 minute epic "Spiral Of Pain". Along the way you are treated to a group of five musicians that can hold their own with anyone you would like to name. Stephan Kruse on keyboards, vocalist Oliver Wulff, bassist Burkhart Heberle along with drummer Tim Schnabel and guitarist Boris Stepanow form one of the most dynamic group of musicians ever assembled. They seem to draw off each other and interweave their individual talents into one of the best musical offerings of 2009 or any year for that matter.When music has the power to make you stop what you are doing and listen then you know you have something special. As the very metal opening to "Loss Of Hope" hit me I perked up the ears. When the vocals started, I knew this was no run of the mill offering. Then as the band swelled to their full magnitude, I was completely absorbed. Who are these guys? It is still amazing that music of this caliber can fly under the radar for this long. All you have to do is listen to the exchange between the keyboards and guitars during the extended instrumental section of this song and you will become a fan without a doubt. These guys are the real deal.I have been trying to think of what I can tell you are the highlights of this disc. Well it could be the terrific instrumental piece "Reawakening" with its powerful piano that sets a mood that the guitar plays off of so well, or it may be the enthralling "Generations" which is a roller coaster ride of sound. Then there is the edgy "Scum Of Society" which shows that they are as powerful lyrically as they are musically. Of course all this is setting you up for the epic "Spiral Of Pain" where they take you on a 30 minute quest for musical perfection. They leave nothing on the table as this vast work captures all that we prog metal lovers dream of. Intoxicating from beginning to end this is a classic piece of art. Where Michelangelo used many different mediums to project his art, AtmOsfear similarly uses many different musical approaches to convey their message, melancholy when called for, melodic where needed, brooding and harsh as the story calls for and totally mesmerizing throughout.This is a must have disc. For anyone who has a love of great music this is one that needs to be given a chance. You will not be disappointed." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $3.00
  • Beautiful new 2011 digipak edition featuring a fresh remaster courtesy of the band. Essential seminal prog.
    $17.00
  • "With contemporary music often looking to dissolve artificial boundaries and cross-pollinate with abandon, it shouldn't comes as a surprise to hear progressive rock groups using the same tack. On one hand, expectations often drive them to stay close to home— Yes may release new music periodically, but its live shows draw more from the classic 1970-1977 repertoire than any other. Then there's King Crimson who, while looking back to some extent, are more interested in pushing forward and creating live sets reflective of that aesthetic. New groups aren't anchored down with the dilemma of evolving while, at the same time, pleasing longtime fans interested in hearing their favorite songs. Mahogany Frog suggests, perhaps, one possible future of progressive rock, bringing together elements of electronica, ambient, industrial and jazz into the more familiar terrain of detailed, long-form writing, odd meters and neoclassicism. DO5 demonstrates what might happen if Radiohead and Sigur Rós were put into a blender with Pink Floyd, Yes and Genesis, then dropping the vocals. The end result sounds like none of them, though markers run throughout DO5—Mahogany Frog's fifth album, but its first for a label with widespread distribution. "G.M.F.T.P.O." opens the nine-song, 45-minute disc with a high energy, guitar-driven anthemic melody, propelled by drummer J.P. Perron's visceral beat and Scott Ellenberger's thundering bass. But a mere thirty seconds into its brief ninety-second duration, it enters space-rock territory, with electronics entering the picture as a series of punctuating shots segue into the eleven-minute "T-Tigers & Toasters." Ambient sounds from a variety of analog and digital keyboards, played by Graham Epp and Jesse Warkentin, build into a deceptively unsophisticated three-chord change that morphs into alt-rock as they pick up guitars for a high volume, heavily distorted power-chord theme. The simplicity turns complex, however, during the second half as odd meters and unexpected twists and turns are introduced, along with sudden dynamic shifts from ear-splitting to a near-whisper. One thing is certain, however: Mahogany Frog is a band best experienced with the volume control turned up to eleven. It only helps to make the quieter passages even more dramatic and the symphonic tinges of "Last Stand at Fisher Farm," with Epps and Ellenberger picking up trumpets for its potent theme, all the stronger. Mahogany Frog isn't a group that relies on solos to impress, but Perron nevertheless stands out, his playing on the knotty "You're Meshugah!" especially frenetic and captivating. The brief, riff-driven "I Am Not Your Sugar" may be a head-banger's delight, but it's one that expects the metal-head to pump his fist while searching desperately for the "one." Accusations of bombast tend to follow progressive rockers around, and there's no shortage of turgidity to be found on DO5. Still, it's a guilty pleasure that fans of the alt-rock scene, looking for something more challenging, may well gravitate towards. For longstanding progressive rockers who believe in emphasis on progressive, Mahogany Frog hits all the right reference points, yet is as contemporary as it gets, breathing new life into what is mistakenly considered by some to be an outdated genre. They couldn't be more wrong." - All About Jazz
    $8.00
  • Long running German thrash band led by female vocalist Sabine Classen. Agony Of Death features lots of special guests including Ferdy Dornberg (keyboardist from Rough Silk and Axel Rudi Pell) as well as guitarist Ralph Santolla. This is the limited edition that comes with bonus tracks and special features.
    $15.00