To The Metal! (CD/DVD Digipak BLOW OUT DEAL!)

Incredible warehouse find.  Scored a small horde of these and I can pass them on to you at an amazing price.

"Gamma Ray! Undoubtedly one of the most important names in contemporary, classic Heavy Metal, and thee most respected and influential German band in the genre. Fronted by Kai Hansen, following his departure from Helloween, Gamma Ray has become one of the most prominent bands in European Heavy Metal. "To The Metal" is the 10th studio album in 21 years of worldwide success and a new diamond in their never-ending experimental creativity. The Special Edition contains a bonus DVD in HD with interview, rehearsals, live studio sessions and 3 videoclips."

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  • It is extremely difficult to put one specific label on the Degree Absolute material. While having firm roots in progressive metal, DA strays from the path quite frequently, exploring the worlds of jazz and ambient music, as well as doom, thrash, and technical metal. If it was possible to compare the music of DA to the music of other well-known bands, one could say that it is based somewhere between Fates Warning's semi-progressive melodies and WatchTower's technical playing skills.The Degree Absolute project began when multi-instrumentalist Aaron Bell came to the conclusion that his song ideas and concepts could not be realized in a typical band situation. After attempting to bring his original material into different local bands with disappointing results, he decided that a new project, void of any of the compromises associated with a true band, was necessary.To fill the bassist position, Aaron immediately contacted Dave Lindeman. They had worked together in a local band, Chaos Game, and Aaron thought Dave would be perfect for the role. Dave is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, where he majored in music synthesis. He has performed in various capacities as a bassist in the Boston area, both as a studio musician and in live settings.The addition of Doug Beary on drums completed the Degree Absolute line-up. Doug has been drumming with the melodic metal band, Defyance, since its inception 15 years ago. Since joining Degree Absolute, he has proven himself to be a perfect match as well as the final piece of the puzzle.Mixing of the debut recording was performed by noted producer Neil Kernon (Nevermore, Spiral Architect, Cannibal Corpse, etc.) at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas.
    $4.00
  • "Shall we let bygones be bygones PelleK? (Get it?, because the first song is… you know what, this joke would be a lot better if we had tracklists in our reviews). I’ve been a Qantice fan for a few years after hearing the band’s unbalanced, but very unique, debut album The Cosmocinesy, which was released in 2009. Qantice appealed to me on the grounds of its great symphonic elements, a couple of really addicting choruses, and just for sounding… different from any of their peers in progressive power metal. Something about the band struck me as sounding like a one-off project, probably assuming that, as unique and interesting as the band was, it would lack the appeal to get traction for a second album. Guitarist and bandleader Tony Beaufils surprised me however, and recruited the thoroughly despised, pop-star wannabe, terrible Youtube cover-making PelleK to record a followup.Qantice’s second effort, The Phantonauts, is a highly eclectic, progressive power metal album with a mountain of peripheral, sometimes symphonic attempts, including the admirable efforts of violin player Yosh Otias, the only musician other than Beaufils to carry over from the debut. Qantice casts itself in the non-existent genre of “movie soundtrack metal,” which, despite not being a thing, is still a lot of fun to listen to. There’s a rich sound palette at work, with some standout flute parts, and a ton of synths which appear to be uncredited. In addition to Otias, Qantice also has a female bass player, Christine Lanusse, and if PelleK was castrated at a young age like I suspect, that makes the first half-female band in progressive metal history.If I keep making fun of PelleK though, I’m never going to get around to actually telling you about this album, on which he’s not even that much of a factor. This is certainly his best vocal performance, and while he’s singing with more power than ever, it’s still incredibly sugary. I wasn’t terribly offended by his last solo album either, and I’ve always felt his biggest weakness was bad songwriting. If I could hear these songs from the vocalist on the debut, I’d prefer it, but PelleK does a fine job. Much more important to the band’s sound are the incredibly deep soundscapes and much-improved rhythm sections, courtesy of the influence of new drummer Aurelien Joucla. If I had to point to the most significant addition in this new lineup, it would certainly be him.Joucla’s contributions are best felt on the first two songs, “Epic Fail,” and “Hoverland.” They are plenty fast and catchy enough to pull in any respectable power metal fan, but far more intricate and musically involved than typical symphonic power metal fair. From there, the music shifts to a few slower and mid-tempo songs, while jumping into the faster stuff when necessary, but it feels like a bit of a letdown after such a forceful opening. What makes up for that drop off is the symphonic attitude. Luca Turilli has been trumpeting himself as a king of ‘movie soundtrack metal’ for years, but I won’t hesitate to say that Tony Beaufils is thoroughly better at the task. Every song is just so engaging, both in melody and in the choice of varied instrumentation to create incredibly cool soundscapes. There’s your typical high strings and choirs, but then there’s what I’m pretty sure is a theremin in the intro of the title track, and a violin/guitar unison shred solo in “Slayers Jig.”Even though “The Last Circus” is one of the more interesting tracks on the record, it’s also the slowest, and winds on for far too long. I know I start to approach broken record with this stuff, but I do not want to hear power metal singers doing overlong, slow songs. Outside of that, The Phantonauts is really engaging, well produced, and with solid performances all around. Following about the only French trend, it will give you quite a unique listening experience. If ‘better symphonic metal than Luca Turilli’ doesn’t hook you, I don’t know what will." - Blackwind Metal
    $15.00
  • "Crystal Palace are a progressive rock band from Germany. In the band are Yenz (vocals, bass), Frank Köhler (keys), Frank Brennekam (drums) and Nils Conrad (guitars). Also included are some well-known guests; Colin Edward (Porcupine Tree) and Yogi Lang and Kalle Wallner of RPWL fame.The band has been around since the mid '90s and System Of Events is their sixth studio album. With a name like Crystal Palace one would expect progressive music and that is exactly what you get although this batch of tunes is as melodic as it gets. That is what makes this music so utterly enjoyable; these guys know how to write a good tune. A case in point is the album's fourth track "Green Way". The guitar rhythms are some of the catchiest on the disc, a major earworm in every way. The album also ventures into art rock/prog territory. Just listen to the twelve minute "Beautiful Nightmare" to hear the band's proggier side. Chiming guitar chords and understated vocals lead to a dynamic instrumental break of squelching guitar/effects and tasty keys. This is not about playing as fast as you can but more about texture and ambience reminding me of bands like Porcupine Tree. The lead vocals have a slight accent but you need not worry as Yenz has a good voice, well suited to the band's slightly melancholic sound. The title track at over thirteen minutes is the longest song and also my favourite. Its moody and forlorn beginning of stark piano notes and vocals to match leads to a mid tempo groove and some ear candy guitar soli. The instrumental break of voice samples, delicate acoustic guitar and winding keyboard lines hearkens of '70s Pink Floyd. The vocals are outstanding as well.The System Of Events has turned into a another great find. Judging by the quality of this release their back catalogue should be well worth exploring as well. Highly recommended." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $15.00
  • Raccomdata Ricevuto Ritorno refomed and cut a shockingly good album called Il Pittore Volante.  A lot of these Italian bands from the 70s are reforming and offering up mediocre fare.  This wasn't the case with RRR.  They are now billed as La Nuova Raccomandata Ricevuto Ritorno.  This is a live recording from Elba in which they run through material from Per Un Mondo Di Cristallo, Il Pittore Volante, as well as a handful of covers.  I guess sometimes you can catch lightning in a bottle.
    $16.00
  • Cheap copy of the good old typical Warner Bros. US pressing of this iconic live album.  Nothing fancy - just amazing music for 5 bucks.
    $5.00
  • New Brazilian speed metal sensation guaranteed to give any Angra or Helloween spastic fits of excitement. There are even some (gasp!) prog moves - maybe not enough to get a Dream Theater fan freaked out but certainly enough to add an interesting element to their music. I'm not sure I could handle a steady diet of this stuff but it is well crafted and if power metal is your bag I think you'll find this debut a winner.
    $7.00
  • Interesting new concept from this visionary prog band from NY. 3 revisits and reinterprets some of their oldest material - some of which only appeared on bootlegs.
    $12.00
  • The DVD features the new video for lead track ‘Drive Home’ along with the video for ‘The Raven That Refused To Sing’, both directed by Jess Cope. It also includes four tracks recorded live in Frankfurt during the recent tour.  In addition, the DVD features audio recordings of two previously unreleased tracks, ‘The Birthday Party’ and an orchestral version of ‘The Raven That Refused To Sing’.‘The Birthday Party’ was recorded in the LA at the same sessions as the tracks that made up the album while the version of ‘The Raven That Refused To Sing’ is a new mix that strips the track back to just the orchestra and vocals. These tracks are also featured on the CD, along with the audio from the live tracks and an edit of ‘Drive Home’. The set is packaged in a ‘mini-LP’ sleeve pac.
    $16.00
  • Under the Red Cloud marks the 12th studio album from Finland’s grandfathers of extreme metal, the band’s sixth LP with Tomi Joutsen as vocalist and his 10th year in the band. The string of Tomi’s six records started with 2006’s Eclipse and had an absolutely epic beginning. Eclipse, Silent Waters and Skyforger  showed the band’s new found drive and energy, reclaiming some of their death metal heritage, while veering further into what Nuclear Blast has fittingly labeled ‘melancholy rock.’ Unfortunately, Angry Metal Guy’s Law of Diminishing Recordings™ is a fickle mistress, and The Beginning of Times and Circle were both records that were good, but lacked the urgency of that initial trilogy. These records saw the band pushing into newer territory—heavy Jethro Tull influences bled through on the former, while Circle developed some of the band’s folky elements in cool ways. Neither album gripped me. But when Amorphis releases an album, it’s hard for me not to get excited, and upon seeing the cover art for Under the Red Cloud, all that warm anticipation came back. And fortunately, they didn’t disappoint.Under the Red Cloud is a return to form for Amorphis, and the most cohesive album the band has released since 2009’s Skyforger. Clocking in at 50 minutes, it’s made of ten thematically cohesive tracks. The album isn’t a story though. Instead, the lyrics (written, as always, by Pekka Kainulainen) are conceptually foreboding; about living under a red cloud in troubled times. The music matches this feel, and while I wouldn’t say the album is necessarily so much heavier than previous records, it may have been influenced by the 20th Anniversary of Tales from the Thousand Lakes, because the band has certainly produced the most growl-heavy material of the Joutsen-era.You wouldn’t notice that on the opening title track, however. “Under the Red Cloud” starts with an atmospheric piano bolstered by throbbing bass and a clean guitar in harmonic minor before merging into prime Amorphis territory: a chunky, groovy riff with Tomi’s cleans augmenting the sound perfectly. This format—the classic hard rock song-writing—is the stamp with which the band’s newer material has largely been pressed. “Sacrifice” is similar, breaking in with a “House of Sleep” intro, and a heavy, syncopated verse before giving way to a hooky chorus and a slick guitar melody. “Bad Blood” features Tomi’s growl in the verse, but it’s heavy on the groove and light on the melody before giving way to an epic chorus and beautiful bridge.Amorphis isn’t afraid of their death metal side here. Between “The Four Wise Ones” and “Death of a King,” every single track starts with growls, and the former doesn’t feature any clean vocals from Joutsen at all—instead there’s a short bridge with a haunting, effected vocal line that evokes Elegy. “The Four Wise Ones” and “The Dark Path” both feature crescendos with a ’90s black metal feel—wet with keys and a trem-picked melodies—only undermined by Rechberger’s refusal to use blast beats and Tomi’s growls. The death-laden material works well, though moments like the verse in “Bad Blood” or “Death of a King,” which is one of the singles from Under the Red Cloud, are places where I would have chosen clean vocals rather than growls.There is a danger, however, in Amorphis‘s modern sound, in that it’s pretty easy to fall into a rut. A fairly close listen to Under the Red Cloud reveals that the songs pretty much all follow the same structure, which when the band isn’t producing their sharpest writing can become repetitive. When the album hits its stride, though, it’s an extremely well-crafted record. From “Sacrifice” to “White Night” is a stretch of pure enjoyment—each song flowing into the next, while peaking on the final two tracks. “Tree of Ages” features a folky Celtic theme that has been stuck in my head since the first time I heard it, and “White Night” is a moody track that closes the album out with a surge.Under the Red Cloud is a very good album and a return to form. The record simply sounds like Amorphis; the band has developed a sound that bridges the gap between their old material and the new—with plenty of moments on here that remind me of Elegy and Tuonela with sitar (“Death of a King”) or bong water keyboard solos (“Enemy at the Gates”). And it’s incredible how the band’s riffing can still be so idiosyncratic. “The Skull” and “Enemy at the Gate” have riffs you only hear in Amorphis and Barren Earth; and after 12 records they still pull them off without feeling like they’re ripping themselves off. Consistency is a virtue for big bands if they’re any good, but I think there are hints on UtRC that Amorphis could get more adventurous going forward, and I hope they do. Until that time, though, I’ll be sitting here enjoying these tunes under the red clouds." - Angry Metal Guy
    $15.00
  • 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
  • Liquorish Allsorts is the first solo album from Robert Webb, keyboardist for the legendary Britsh band England.  The set collects a variety of material from different era, dating all the way back to the early 70s and runs up to the present day.  Much of the material fits firmly in the prog category and some of it...not so much.  There are an endless number of musicians that contribute to the set including his former England bandmates.  Even Nicko McBrain is here!  Current musicians participating are drawn from Kenso and Resistor.
    $8.00
  • 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.Limited edition contains two bonus tracks and an expanded booklet with extra text and pictures
    $8.00
  • Fourth album from this Swedish power metal band finds them with a new lineup and new label. The music emphasizes melody and crunch with a good amount of galloping rhythms as well.
    $9.00
  • "German heavy metal marauders Scorpions recorded seven studio records before breaking in to the U.S. market in 1982 with Blackout. The album became the group's first platinum disc in the U.S., and the dynamic single "No One Like You" became a staple of album rock radio. While the Scorpions had created powerful anthems and epic rockers in the past, Blackout mixed the ingredients just right. The title track was an endorphin rush of fast-riffing guitars and electrified, high-pitched vocals that culminated with the sound of shattering glass. "Can't Live Without You" was a powerful melange of flash, firepower, and pure melody, and the slow, surging "China White" sounded like a psychedelic interpretation of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir." After years of ignored visas, Scorpions had finally arrived in America."  -- Jon Wiederhorn
    $5.00