The Masquerade Overture

SKU: SDPCD185
Label:
Snapper Music
Category:
Progressive Rock
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New issue of Pendragon's neoprog classic from 1996. Now comes with a bonus live version of "The Last Man On Earth".

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  • Stunning Hendrix influenced progressive hardrock from guitarist Bambi Fossati. New edition reissued by Vinyl Magic in a mini-lp sleeve is supposedly remastered although I wouldn't expect much difference in the way of sonics. Looks nicer though!
    $18.00
  • 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
  • Mystery is the long running Canadian band led by guitarist/keyboardist Michel St.-Pere.  In its earlier incarnation the band had a heavily AOR sound but the band has been moving more and more into a straight on prog direction of the years.  Of course most people know the band because Yes plucked vocalist Benoit David from their ranks.  David has left Yes and rejoined Mystery.  St-Pere has added on Nick D'Virgillio on drums and Spaced Out basisst Antoine Fafard.  Now its hard not to hear the Yes influence but a touch of melodic AOR still filters through.  All in all probably the best thing I've heard from this band.
    $12.00
  • In their brief existence, Haken are already highly respected within the British metal community, and their unique and imaginative genre-bending approach to music has garnered praise from all corners of the globe.Haken’s debut “Aquarius” was well-received by world wide media including Classic Rock Presents Prog, Outburn, Decibel, Progression as well as webzines. Their new release, “Visions” is yet another conceptual work encompassing sci-fi themes. Haken seamlessly meld metal with progressive rock, drawing influences from contemporary bands like Dream Theater and IQ as well as “old school” icons Genesis and Queen. Often bombastic and over the top, “Visions” features the addition of a string section and audiophile production from Spacelab Studios in Germany.During the past year, the band has toured extensively in Europe highlighted by an appearance in Germany at the prestigous Night Of The Prog festival in support of Dream Theater. The band made its US debut at ProgPower USA in September 2011.
    $13.00
  • Slipcase 5CD set containing all five Be Bop Deluxe studio albums:Axe VictimFuturamaSunburst FinishModern MusicDrastic Plastic
    $21.00
  • "The Moody Blues returned after a five year hiatus with a very different sounding album. The punk and disco era were now in full flower and such groups as Styx, Journey, and REO Speedwagon were dominating the rock charts. Octave would abandon the cosmic and symphonic sound of the group’s past, and move toward one more in tune with the era. As such it would not stand out as a unique creation as did their core of classic albums.Octave would also be the last album for founding member Mike Pinder. He had always provided a spiritual and in many ways the classical center of their music through his mellotron and chamberlin. Now playing a synthesizer the sound was different and not as grand. Years later it would come to light that he was not pleased with the musical direction of the group. Patrick Moraz would replace him as the group’s keyboardist and tour in support of the album.Octave would have no unifying theme and be the most diffuse album that The Moody Blues had released up until that time. Each song would match the individual personality of its composer.The John Lodge composition, “Steppin’ In A Slide Zone,” was typical of the new sound. It is a typical energetic Lodge rocker but the musical center was the keyboard-guitar interplay which was in vogue at the time. Still it was catchy and was a commercially successful single.Justin Hayward is in ballad mode for this release and while he would not create anything as wonderful or unique as “Nights In White Satin,” his music is still very listenable because of the innate beauty of the songs. “Had To Fall In Love” and “Top Rank Suite” are both very mellow. “Driftwood” is the best of the three as it is a gentle love ballad which was a Hayward trademark by this time.Ray Thomas created two songs for this release. “I’m Your Man” just disappears but “Under Moonshine” contains a strong lead vocal by him plus some classic harmonies by the other members of the group.“One Step Into The Light” would be a final spiritual statement by Mike Pinder and his only composition on the album. The music would be more progressive rock than the grandiose sound of his past as he would bring his Moody Blues career to a conclusion.A fourth Justin Hayward song would close the album. “The Day We Meet Again” would unintentionally or intentionally point toward the future as a new keyboardist was on the way and the grand classical sounds were being left behind.Make no mistake, Octave remains a very good late seventies album but does fall short of the group’s best work. It was different, more modern, and ultimately a transitional work. Despite all that it still remains a good, if not essential, Moody Blues listen today." - Blogcritics.org
    $9.00
  • This release is part of the "Deep Jazz Reality" series that explores obscure jazz titles.  Often the music touches on modal, spiritual, and even psychedelic jazz.  While Japanese artists are often featured, the series is a bit wide open, touching on musicians from all over the globe.  These CD reissues are limited releases in mini-lp sleeves and often go out of print, at which point they sell for ridiculous prices.Toshiaki Yokota is a legendary jazz flautist in Japan that is apparently still going strong.  He was involved in four 1970 albums, three of which he was the leader.  All of his early albums sell in the "if you have to ask you can't afford it" range.  While Exciting Flute is the most conventional of them all it still has quite a bit of charm.  Its a fully plugged in set, in which his Beat Generation ensemble run through their interpretations of the current pop hits of the day - with Yokota's flute work at the fore.  Its all a bit campy now, listening to beat psych/big band interpretations of "Venus", and "Born To Be Wild" but still fun.
    $30.00
  • "Sinbreed is the project around 27 year old Guitarist Flo Laurin who joined forces with dedicated artists of the European metal scene. The blistering combination of speed, melodic and aggressive arrangements combined with high and soaring vocals characterizes Sinbreed's distinctive Power metal, and they now present their debut album "When worlds collide".The project has been in the making since the late nineties by founder Flo Laurin, and piece by piece everything has fallen in place; from the style of the music, the influences and the band members. Three demo’s were recorded, and the last one was voted “Best newcomer of the month” in Germany’s Heavy Magazine. During spring 2009 a deal was made with Sweden’s Ulterium Records, and the band started to work hard on their debut album.The members of Sinbreed are Frederik Ehmke [Blind Guardian] on drums, Hebie Langhans [Seventh Avenue] on vocals, Alexander Schulz on bass and Flo Laurin who handles guitars and keys. For the mixing and mastering of the album the band decided to work together with the highly acclaimed producer Markus Teske, famous for his work with Symphony X, Vanden Plas, Neal Morse among others.Guests on the album includes Thomas Rettke [Redkey, Ex. Heaven's Gate], Joost van den Broek [Ayreon, Star One] and Morten Sandager [Pretty Maids]. The artwork was created by Felipe Machado Franco [Iced Earth, Ayreon, Pyramaze] and the booklet by Markus Sigfridsson [Darkwater, Harmony]."
    $15.00
  • "Christianity and Heavy Metal have never really been the most obvious of bedfellows. Ever since the formation of the genre at the end of the 1960's, the relationship between Heavy Metal, in particular the more extreme variations of it, and the established Church, have been, for the most part, frosty. This doesn't mean that the two cannot come together though; There are countless great bands that have been playing great music that pays homage, rather than expressing outright hatred, to Christianity; TROUBLE, MORTIFICATION, HORDE, CRIMSON MOONLIGHT and DIVINEFIRE are the first bands that spring to mind for me every time I hear some closed minded moron quote that old, cringe-worthy and wholly incorrect adage about the Devil having the best tunes. Slovakian Power Metallers, SIGNUM REGIS, are one such band that are not only proving this phrase wrong, but are also using their knowledge of their faith to create great themes and concepts for their albums. Their last full length, for example, was based around Moses' liberation of the Israelites and their trials in the desert. This latest EP is full of the sort of classic Power Metal that many have grown to love, and it sounds amazing.This EP opens with a very solid, powerful opener, "Living Well". This is a great piece of Power Metal, with all the hallmarks of the genre; with a few harder aspects peppering the classic sound, which gives it it's own unique flavour. All this track’s elements work well together; it's really well mixed, and doesn't wander into the realms of cheesiness as some Power Metal has a tendency to, and above all, it's a great way to kick the record off. "Through the Desert, Through the Storm" treads down a much more straightforward Heavy Metal path, with razor sharp guitar lines, angelic vocals and some fairly interesting keyboard parts thrown in for good measure. The chorus is great, with some genuinely hair-raising parts that were just made for singing along to. "My Guide In The Night" is another really good piece of Power Metal with brilliant vocals and guitar work, punishing drums and some really cool keyboard sections. The fourth track, "Come and Take It", is perhaps the most straight forward Power Metal song on here, with plenty of great hooks to keep the listener interested. The penultimate track, a re-recorded version of "All Over the World", sounds even better for having been redone, and sits very well among the bands newer material.  "Vengeance Liar", which closes this EP, is perhaps the strongest song on this record apart from "Through the Desert, Through the Storm", and has a really cool, classic Power Metal sound with some genuinely inspired guitar playing and really spectacular vocals to match. It sounds awesome, and is a very good high note to end this record on.This EP is very good. Anyone who loves Power Metal will most likely enjoy this. This sounds like a band that have honed their style and perfected their image, now ready to take their music to the world at large. I'd highly recommend this EP, and indeed the rest of this bands awesome back catalogue, to anyone who loves, powerful, uplifting Metal music." - Metal Temple
    $10.00
  • 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
  • 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
  • Yet another triumph from one of the most innovative forces in progressive music today. Another conceptual work that offers up elements of past works like "Entropia" and "Perfect Element". Crushingly heavy at times but always melodic. Enough time changes to knock any prog fan on their ass.
    $12.00
  • DGM has been cranking out albums for years and with all the lineup changes they go through, somehow the music gets better and better.  Forget that Russell Allen and Jorn Viggo Lofstad guest on the album - sure that's cool.  More important are the facts that vocalist Mark Basile is rock solid and the band has come up with a perfect blend of melodicism, heaviness and proginess. (not sure that is a word).  This one makes all the right moves. File under: AWESOME!   Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • Latest album from this UK band that used to embrace doom metal but ultimately morphed into a Pink Floyd inspired band with metal influences. This time around the band continues to ramp up the atmosphere quotient and seems to downplay the metal aspects. So what we have here is a heavy version of Radiohead or Porcupine Tree. An easy recommendation but if you are looking for metal stay away. Great album now available at a midline price.
    $13.00