Last Fair Day Gone Night (2CD/2DVD)

"In 2012 Katatonia released Last Fair Day Gone Night on vinyl (and vinyl only), which is a live compilation of shows the band played in 2011 and includes a performance on the band's 2001 Last Fair Deal Gone Down album in its entirety. Now the band will be releasing the same set on September 30 via Peaceville Records, which will also include two DVDs! One of the DVDs will be footage of the shows from the audio CD above and a second DVD will be a 20-year retrospective for the band.

While the music portion is pretty damn good, I'm interested in the retrospective and to hear the band chronicle their history! Especially how they went from being a band playing stuff like Dance of December Souls to what they are now. A lot of that history is readily available online, but hearing the stories from the group will really bring it to life!"

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  • "Despite what the name might lead you to think, progressive metal is among the most static and boring of all heavy music genres. Half the bands that fall under the moniker exist merely as a vehicle to show off the skills of the players involved, which is fine in small doses, but rarely sustains a creative career. The other half of the bands stick rigidly to the blueprint of one of the fore-bearers of the genre, giving us music that sounds exactly like something we've already heard. Very little of progressive metal is actually interesting, because it is a genre that lacks people dedicated to the art of songwriting. Songs are what makes any band successful, no matter how much sheer musical skill they possess. Dream Theater didn't get to where they are just because they are amazing musicians, they also wrote a slew of great songs and albums. The number of progressive metal bands who have impressed me with their songwriting in recent years is miniscule, but I mention all of this because Ascendia is one of them.As “At The End Of It All” swells into focus with a tribal drum beat and chanted vocals, it's already obvious that this is not going to be prog-by-numbers. The song kicks into gear with a syncopated guitar riff, before the vocals soar over the top of everything, slapping a thick coat of melody atop the sound. There's a quiet section in the middle of the song that feels like a cousin of Killswitch Engage, which is a fresh sound to hear in this kind of music. When it opens back up into the chorus, the song is massive, and it's hard to believe all of that music was contained in five and a half minutes.The songs on the album are more bite-sized than typical progressive metal, but that plays into the band's strengths as songwriters. By keeping the songs lean and tight, they hit harder than if the instrumental sections had been extended by a minute here and there. There is interesting playing going on, but it's all done within the framework of the songs, and never put out front to dominate the spotlight. It's an approach that is smart not just because of how easy it is to get bogged down in instrumental pyrotechnics, but because an album of that sort would never be able to survive the Herculean vocal presence of singer Nick Sakal.With more than a little bit of similarity to the former singer of the aforementioned Killswitch Engage, Howard Jones, Sakal's vocals dominate the album, making you wonder where a voice like that could have come from. His baritone is warm, rich, and not at all what you would expect to hear in a band that isn't playing down-tuned hardcore.But what is most important are the songs, and that's where Ascendia proves themselves as standouts. Whether tackling more modern fare like “Remember Me”, or more traditionally melodic songs like “Moonchild”, there's a phenomenal blend of heavy riffing and soaring melody. I can't tell you how rare it is to hear a progressive metal band that is so in tune with melody, and can write songs that could stand up if they were stripped down to the chord structure and the vocals. We get an example of that with the duet ballad, “The Song That You Deserved”, a largely piano and voice song that is as beautiful as it is heart-breaking. Ascendia's ear for songs is excellent, and that is what makes “The Lion And The Jester” such an engaging listen. Song after song, there's a warm and inviting chorus waiting to wrap its arms around you after you've heard the heavy and intricate moments.This year has been off to a ridiculously great start, with at least half a dozen legitimately great records having already come my way. Add “The Lion And The Jester” to that list, because Ascendia is making progressive metal the way it was always supposed to be. Both challenging and gratifying, intense and cathartic, “The Lion And The Jester” is a phenomenal piece of work that reminds me of the very best progressive metal I've ever heard. This is an album you need to hear.Oh, and how awesome is that cover art? That is one album that will look as good as it sounds in a collection." - Bloody Good Horror
    $10.00
  • This is the second album from the Greek gothic metal band fronted led by vocalist Christianna.  I'm not going to tell you that Elysion reinvents the wheel.  What they do, they do extremely well.  The band's music bears the imprint of Lacuna Coil and Evanescence.  Some of the pop metal influences of Within Temptation and Delain are there to be heard as well.  Christianna is a solid vocalist, reminding of a cross between Cristina Scabbia and Madonna.  Add in some infectious riffs and they've come up with a good formula.  The female fronted metal scene is a bit overcrowded at the moment.  Elysion are clearly one of the better bands in the genre.  If Massacre gives them just the right push they could move up quite a few rungs on the ladder.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • "There's nothing subtle about Infinita Symphonia and their approach to power metal; after all they are from Italy. Their sophomore effort, simply self-titled, finds the band stirring up more bombastic arrangements with big riffage to grand orchestral layers to large vocal arrangements.Yet within all this lavish wall of sound, Infinita Symphonia is still able to offer some good rock groove, as on If I Could Go Back, and elements of progressive power metal, as with The Last Breath, Limbo, the two longest pieces, but also Fly, by example. That latter song also features a guest vocal appearance by the talent Michael Kiske (Helloween, Unisonic, et al).Yet, it's not always flash and spectacle. Following Fly is the instrumental piece, Interlude, which tones things down with more delicate play. This follows into the greater part of Waiting For a Day of Happiness, which puts Luca Micioni vocals at the fore. Of course, it eventually comes to a crescendo at the end. Alternatively, the anthem In Your Eyes, featuring a duet with Daniela Gualano, remains mostly smooth and steady. All this amounts to nearly 74 minutes of music, nothing subtle about that either. Infinita Symphonia returns with another fine album. Easily recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $6.00
  • "Primordial are a band who need no introduction. I’m sure you’ve read that in plenty of reviews, but I can’t think of a better candidate to which that statement applies (for those who know them, at least). Their consistency is admirable, their passion is unmatched, and their brand of inspiring epic folk metal is almost unfailingly awesome. Everyone well-versed in the outfit's discography already knows this, but if there is one Primordial album that always seems to get lost in the shuffle of the band’s most celebrated releases, its Imrama. In fact, from some of the talk I’ve heard there are people who almost dismiss this record as “formative,” and not up to par with the bands following efforts. I for one can’t comprehend this viewpoint; this debut lives up to the band’s high standards with authority, and possesses a gloomy atmospheric quality that stands out from anything else this brilliant collective has graced us with.In fact, fans that grew attached to the band during the Gathering Wilderness/To The Nameless Dead era may be surprised at how dark and genuinely dispirited Imrama sounds. Don't get me wrong, Primordial have always walked a downtrodden path, but never again would they sound so grim and cryptic. The atmosphere created here is very hard to put into words; at times, it’s triumphant (“Let The Sun Set On Life Forever”), at others it’s downright frightening (“To The Ends of the Earth”). Primordial has never been a black metal band, but this is definitely the closest they’ve come, and while this record doesn’t sound too far removed from the rest of the band’s discography style-wise, it’s the delivery that sets it apart.The opening trio of “Fuil Arsa,” “Infernal Summer,” and “Here I Am King” quickly dispel any notions that Primordial were still finding their footing at this stage. The incredible power that these musicians are able to summon through their fairly simplistic compositions is a rare gift, and while the production on Imrama is a tad murky, the quality of the songs speak for themselves. Instrumental dynamics are reigned in beautifully thanks to the superb drumming of Simon O'Laoghaire (easily one of metal’s most underrated drummers), and Nemtheanga’s trademark blend of fiery aggression and elegant singing is instantly recognizable and unquestionably formidable even at this stage. His increased use of blackened screams sounds right at home with this album’s depressive vibe, and his unrestrained passion never fails to be compelling even when his voice doesn't take center stage.Metal Blade really nailed this re-issue, too. The artwork and packaging is beautiful and the band’s debut demo, Dark Romanticism, is included along with some great old concert footage. The band’s first four albums will apparently all receive this treatment in the near future, and if they all look this nice, it could very well be worth it for die-hard fans to plunk down the cash. Bottom line: don’t let Imrama pass you by. It’s a great look at the roots of one of modern metal’s greatest bands, and an excellent record in its own right." - Metal Review
    $15.00
  • New remastered edition with bonus tracks.Second Consortium sideproject put together by Ian Parry, lead singer for Elegy. Also appearing in this supergroup is Elegy bandmates Patrick Rondat and Dirk Bruinenberg, Vanden Plas guitarist Stephan Lill, and Thom Youngblood of Kamelot. This concept album is melodic metal all the way. What were you expecting???
    $14.00
  • Arjen Lucassen's long awaited Ayreon project is a total blast.  Like some of the earlier Ayreon albums, it owes as much to prog rock as it does metal.  All the old school heroes like Emerson, Wakeman, Wetton get to strut their stuff showing a young stud like Rudess a thing or two.  As always Lucassen latches on to some of the best vocalists around and this one is no exception.  Highly recommended.PLEASE NOTE THERE WILL BE A VERY EXPENSIVE IMPORT "ART BOOK" EDITION FORTHCOMING."You know what the metal world needs more of? Musicals. I'm not saying that ironically either. Sure, we have plenty of prog bands putting out concept albums, but cool as these records many be, the story themselves are not the focus of the album. Ayreon mastermind Arjen Anthony Lucassen has resurrected his grandest of all projects to continue showing these folks how to tell an epic story the right way.With 01011001 the Ayreon story came to an end, or so we thought. Arjen instead decided to focus on projects like Star One, Guilt Machine, and his solo album Lost in the New Real. When he revealed not too long ago that he was working on a new project, it wasn't a surprise to discover it was new Ayreon, but I was still plenty excited.Lucassen said of the newest record, "It's not science fiction, but a human story set in a science context." So no aliens or battling emotions or any of that. So, in an attempt to better understand the story, I contacting him for the lyrics and much to my surprise, he sent them to me saying, "Oh yes, you need the lyrics, definitely." Holy hell, was he right. The story is indeed more grounded than previous records, but there are still layers to this beast.Fans of Ayreon should know what to expect here. The Theory of Everything has seven guest singers and each singer plays a part in the story. They are JB (Grand Magus) as the Teacher, Christina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) as the Mother, Michael Mills (Toehider) as the Father, Tommy Karevik (Kamelot) as the Prodigy, Marco Hietala (Nightwish) as the Rival, John Wetton (Asia/ex-King Crimson) as the Psychiatrist, and Sara Squadrani (Ancient Bards) as the Girl.Of these singers, the most impressive is the relatively unknown Sara Squadrani. She performs on a large portion of the story and shines every time, especially on "Love and Envy". I was also surprised to be so enamored with the performance of Christina Scabbia. She's always had  a wonderful voice, but her performance in this record might be her finest. Her harmonies with Squadrani stand out particularly on "Mirror of Dreams". This isn't to say only the performances by the female singers are worth mentioning. Tommy Karevik's introduction in "The Prodigy's World" is one of the strongest moments on the album.Press_Photo_01Every Ayreon album comes an eclectic group of guest musicians. This round primarily consisted of guest keyboardists. Rick Wakeman (ex-Yes) handles a good portion of the record, while Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) and Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) both make excellent solo appearances on "Progressive Waves".Having listened to all of Lucassen's albums at least once, I can say The Theory of Everything is the most musically diverse offering he's had a hand in, perhaps with the exception of his solo record. This isn't as heavy as previous Ayreon titles, but it has its driving moments like "Collision" and the Dream Theather-esque "Frequency Modulation." The aforementioned "Love and Envy" is a slower introspective song, while "Diagnosis" is massive and a little cheesy, but so awesome. "Transformation" has a Middle Eastern feel to it, and  "The Eleventh Dimension" sounds like intergalactic renaissance faire music.Often times there are jumps in mood, genre, etc in the middle of a song. This is fairly typical for an Ayreon release; what isn't typical is that technically this record consists of only four songs. These four songs are each at least twenty-one minutes, but they are cut up into forty-two pieces (yes, that's a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference) .This is a fun record. It's a record that does require a time commitment. I'd say listeners should treat it as a proper musical or film in a theater. Try to experience it all in one sitting for the full effect. It's absolutely worth it." - Metal Injection
    $17.00
  • Glass Hammer get all existential on us...Perilous is the new band's new concept album about a man dealing with grand scale issues like mortality.  A bit of a downer but like all Glass Hammer projects there is a ray of sunshine at the end.  Glass Hammer is fronted by Jon Davison who was plucked away by the remaining members of Yes for current tours and cruises.  He remains a member of GH as well.  Naturally with the voice of a Jon Anderson sound alike, the music bears remarkable similarity to Yes.  Some of Fred Schendel's piano work reminds a bit of Going For The One.  When Fred is hammering away on the organ the music takes on a Kansas quality.  So essentially not much has changed.  Glass Hammer's sound has pretty much evolved into a Yes/Kansas hybrid over the past decade and there it remains.
    $13.00
  • ""Return to Desolation" is the third album from Canadian band Moonlyght. The album features 9 tracks of progressive dark metal with folk elements, melody, symphonics & lots of atmosphere. Clocking in at 71 minutes this is Moonlyght's grandiose masterpiece! There is literally something for every metal fan on this album. For fans of Barren Earth, Ensiferum, Ne Obliviscaris, Amorphis & Wintersun!"
    $14.00
  • Well Steve is done resucitating the Genesis catalogue and back to concentrating on fresh solo material.  The new album Wolflight is a bit of a loose concept album and I find it to be one of his strongest releases in years.  The album is filled with lots of guests (including Chris Squire) contributing exotic instruments to the mix adding an old world sound.  Steve's trademark sound is locked into place so if you are looking for the wailing guitar, liquid runs and acoustic delicacy you won't be disappointed.  His vocals has never been my favorite part of a Steve Hackett album but either I've mellowed in age or his voice has - not sure which.  Regardless it fits the music just fine.  Classic Hackett and nothing less.  BUY OR DIE!
    $12.00
  • "The second live DVD release by the outstanding art-rock band from Poland. Believe's music appeals to the lovers of Collage, Satellite, Porcupine Tree or Pink Floyd. This concert was recorded in November 2011 in Wyspianski Theater in Poland. The DVD also includes over 100 minutes of additional video material: 2 bootleg videos, an interview with Mirek Gil and Karol Wr+├Łblewski, and "Music for One Leg" documentary!"
    $18.00
  • Budget priced slip case set featuring Judgement, A Fine Day To Exit, and A Natural Disaster.
    $19.00
  • "With a shockingly tight performance and a handful of evil anthems, Glen Benton and company managed to craft a death metal classic with their eponymous debut. Taking their Satanism to a new level of seriousness, Benton was burning crosses into his forehead and desecrating churches to promote this album, something that didn't exactly endear them to the mainstream metal media. While similar (and even weaker) groups were getting hyped up as the leaders of the death metal underworld, this album struck a chord that would, for good or bad, instantly inspire legions of like-minded groups. The riffs are actually memorable, with insane blastbeat drums and an uncanny sense of timing guiding the songs as they charge through one by one. "Lunatic of God's Creation" may be one of the best death metal songs written in this period, taking all of these elements to their natural extreme and crafting an ugly Satanic epic. "Carnage in the Temple of the Damned" is a speed-happy chunk of blasphemy that borders on grindcore, while "Dead by Dawn" is another gem that survives on the creative riffing and horrible vocals. Benton's vocals are actually one of the main features, as his guttural growl is touched up by production tricks to sound absolutely hideous and tortured as he spews his Satanic nonsense. At the time it seemed quite evil, and the press surrounding him suggested that he was willingly possessed by demons that sang through him. On top of that, he also claimed that since he was the antithesis of Jesus Christ, that he would kill himself at the age of 32 to mimic Christ's death. Heady stuff for a death metal band, but even though the gimmick may have banished them from the cover of Hit Parader, it didn't take away from the effectiveness of the album. They would later go on to make questionable musical progress and strip away much of the brash suggestiveness of their image (for the record, Benton failed to commit suicide when he claimed he would), but before all of that they still managed to craft one truly great album in the death metal genre that will survive long after the gimmicks are gone." - Allmusic Guide
    $8.00
  • "Killing Touch is a new band founded by Italian ace vocalist Michele Luppi, whom you might remember from acts like Vision Divine, Michele Luppi’s Heaven and/or Los Angeles.“One Of A Kind”, the band’s debut, is a concept album based on Stephen King’s novel “The Dead Zone”. It contains 12 tracks, produced by Luppi himself, that can be described as a mix of power and progressive metal, but with enough attention for the melodies to satisfy the fans of (classic) melodic hard rock. I can’t help it, but I have a soft spot for Michele Luppi. He hasn’t disappointed me so far and this album from Killing Touch is surely worthy of purchasing. Genuine songs, great vocals, heavy guitars and a powerful production all add to the overall quality. With guest appearances by Oleg Smirnoff (Eldritch, Vision Divine), Andrea Torricini (Vision Divine) and Federico Puleri (Vision Divine), this is surely a fine start for Killing Touch. If you like Vision Divine, you will surely like Killing Touch as well. " - Rock Report
    $15.00
  • Remastered edition.
    $12.00