Momentum

SKU: SC233-0
Label:
Scarlet Records
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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.

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  • After all these years, Marillion guitarist Steve Rothery has finally released a solo album and frankly it isn't at all what I expected.  First off the album is all instrumental (not a bad thing frankly).  Don't expect insane shredding here.  Rothery presents a very refined symphonic rock album that, to these ears, owes a big debt to Pink Floyd.  Steve Hackett and Steven Wilson appear as guests and that is a nice plus but to be honest even without their contributions the album would satisfy anyway.  Rothery has put together a nice band, drawing musicians from British neoproggers Mr. So & So and Italian symphonic band Ranestrane.  Expect  mellow parts that meld with sections that have an electrified smoldering intensity.  As long as you don't expect an instrumental Clutching At Straws I think you'll find a lot to dig your teeth into here.  Highly recommended."Steve Rothery is best known as guitarist for those whipping boys of the mainstream press, the progressive rock band Marillion. For over 30 years, Marillion have surprised and delighted fans old and new with some truly outstanding music. Musical fashions have come and gone, governments have formed and fractured… and Marillion are still here, not just unbowed but positively revelling in their role as eternal underdogs, having now delivered more than 15 studio albums of tremendously well-wrought and highly emotive music. The cornerstone of Marillion’s music, perhaps, is Steve Rothery’s elegaic guitar. Influenced by players such as Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour and Camel’s Andrew Latimer but with a style all his own, Rothery – as the longest-serving member of the band – is in many ways the core of the band and one of its chief writers.Yet in all those 30-plus years, Rothery has never released a solo record. He has enjoyed a largely-acoustic based side project in the shape of The Wishing Tree, who have now released two albums (1996’s Carnival Of Souls and 2009’s Ostara), but has never released an album under his own name. Until now. A strikingly successful Kickstarter campaign – for a brief time, the Ghosts Of Pripyat pre-order was the most successful Kickstarter project in the world – has allowed Rothery the time and supporting talent to produce something very different to his day job; yet familiar enough to fans of Marillion to forge a strong link to Rothery’s work in that band.Whilst The Ghosts Of Pripyat is a solo album in name, Rothery has assembled a strong band to record it. A reflection of the strength of the band is that two previous live albums that Rothery has released in the run up to the release of this, his first studio album, were billed as being by ‘The Steve Rothery Band’. The band form a next-generation progressive rock supergroup of sorts: Dave Foster (Mr. So & So, Panic Room) on guitars, Leon Parr (ex-Mr. So & So) on drums, Yatim Halimi (Panic Room) on bass and Riccardo Romano (Ranestrane) on keys & acoustic guitar. Throughout the album they add further colour and crunch to Rothery’s instrumental flights of fancy, giving it an appealing earthbound energy.The album opens in almost cinematic style with ‘Morpheus’. Marillion fans will delight in the way this track builds with an almost sensual slowness from barely audible ambient wash to a circling riff comprised of Rothery’s signature guitar sound, a crystalline chorused sustain that is powerfully evocative in its simplicity. ‘Morpheus’ is half over before the band puts its full weight behind Rothery’s playing, but this is one of this album’s strengths. It is not a ornate shred-fest, nor is it a somnolent none-more-authentic bore; the music – like Rothery’s playing – is effortlessly melodic and atmospheric, almost a film soundtrack without a film. It is here that Rothery’s fondness for the playing of Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett is most evident, and it’s entirely fitting that Hackett himself makes a guest appearance on this track. The two veteran guitarists trade off against each other beautifully, as if they’ve been playing together for years.Like any good soundtrack, each part of the album is very different in tone. Where ‘Morpheus’ was dreamy and reflective, ‘Kendris’ toys with a rolling, almost African-style drum pattern. Romano’s keys are especially important to this track, colouring in the backdrop to a musical safari whose shimmering heat haze makes for a warm, feelgood part of the album. This contrasts wonderfully with ‘The Old Man Of The Sea’, which is in many ways the centrepiece of the album. A near 12-minute track, it covers a range of moods very effectively. Opening with wave sounds, whale song and a mournful, lonely guitar fed through a Leslie effects pedal, it sounds beautifully Floydian – an effect only magnified when Rothery’s more familiar signature sound emerges to pick up the story. From these tentative but wonderfully evocative beginnings, the track gradually builds in intensity, musically and emotionally until it becomes as powerfully elemental as the sea that is its muse. The closing section in particular is one of the feistiest things that Rothery has committed to tape recently, featuring some forthright riffing built on top of a powerful performance by the assembled musicians, notably the muscular rhythm section of Halimi and Parr. In mood and subject matter, ‘The Old Man Of The Sea’ sits comfortably alongside Marillion’s epic ‘Ocean Cloud’. Steve Hackett makes another guest appearance at the end, as does progressive rock wunderkind Steven Wilson – with Rothery’s presence, there are essentially three generations of progressive rock’s finest all delivering some great playing; a rare treat.‘White Pass’ was inspired by a treacherous icy path used by prospectors during the American gold rush, and its steadily rising tension is perfectly matched to its subject matter. A chugging, almost metallic riff crunches in midway through the track, the ideal accompaniment to this immersive tale of survival in a hostile environment. You can almost taste the icy chill of the howling winter winds. ‘Yesterday’s Hero’ also builds slowly, although the mood is almost antithetical to ‘White Pass': the track – a remembrance of Rothery’s late stepfather, a World War II veteran – forms a delicate and deeply emotive elegy that displays some of the most restrained playing on the album. Here, more than anywhere else, Rothery evokes the feel of mid-period Dire Straits, the gentle washes of keys and E-bowed guitar building to an affectionate but achingly sad solo that Mark Knopfler would have been extremely pleased with. This is the essence of Rothery’s playing, bottled in concentrated form: less is most definitely more. The closing two minutes display another marked influence, as the band dial up the blissful introspection into a dynamic gallop, accompanied by some very Latimer-esque playing, as Rothery tips his hat to another formative influence. Perhaps understandably the most intensely moving track, this is very special indeed.The penultimate track, ‘Summer’s End’, is another slow-burner, building from a sleepy, bucolic opening into an organ-driven hard rock riff that powers along, with a number of solos built over it, as Rothery trades some intense workouts with Foster, both of them clearly egging the other on to greater and greater heights. The magnificent atmospherics of ‘The Old Man Of The Sea’ and the emotional intensity of ‘Yesterday’s Hero’ are hard to top, but if the restraint shown on the rest of the album leave you longing for heads-down rock and roll, here it is.The closing title track was inspired by photographs of the now deserted town of Pripyat in Chernobyl. After the nuclear accident there in 1986, the town was abandoned after radioactivity rendered the region uninhabitable. Reclaimed by nature, Pripyat makes for an eerie monument to those who died, and the displaced workers whose lives have never been the same. That same uncanny sense of loss and aftermath informs the track, which almost serves as an epilogue to the album. Rothery and Foster, joined by Romano on 12-string acoustic, build a slowly expanding web of limpid acoustic lines, almost like a musical round that becomes more ornate as it develops. The rest of the band arrive a few minutes later, developing the pattern of the round into a cyclical, almost Zeppelinesque riff. In five minutes the track goes from reverent near-silence into a muscular rocker, and you barely notice it happening; it feels effortless, utterly uncontrived.It’s striking, on an entirely instrumental album written and produced by a guitarist, how few solos there are on this album given its running time. Rothery’s economy is admirable in that it is never forced; this is just how he takes care of business. That in itself is one of the reasons he is so beloved as a guitarist: yes, he can be truly devastating when delivering a solo; yes, he can crank out a chunky riff with the best of them; but his playing is always in the service of the piece. His reliably deft hands deliver not riffs or solos so much as they paint with six strings. Here, freed from the constraints of delivering songs – as in Marillion and The Wishing Tree – those sound paintings are given centre stage 100% of the time, and it’s testament to Rothery’s abilities as a player and a writer that the results never fail to hold your attention.Those familiar with Rothery’s work in and out of Marillion have waited a long time for his first solo album, but it has most definitely been worth the wait. Richly atmospheric, dynamic, emotive and beautifully recorded and mixed, The Ghosts Of Pripyat is everything that those who waited for it with baited breath were hoping for. For everyone else, the album is a stunning showcase for one of the UK’s least-acknowledged guitar maestros; the perfect introduction to a talent whose indefatigable muse continues to serve up some truly extraordinary music." - Echoes & Dust
    $12.00
  • Legit CD reissue of this somewhat obscure but simply unbelievably great fusion masterpiece. Horacee Arnold is a noted percussionist who worked (and still works) in the jazz arena beginning in the 50s. In 1974 he cut this fusion epic with a stellar cast of performers. Check out this lineup:Horacee Arnold - drums, tymps and percussionJan Hammer - Moog synthesizer, electric and acoustic pianoRick Laird - bassDavid Friedman - vibes and bass marimbaRalph Towner - 12 string guitarDom Um Romao - percussionArt Webb - flute and alto fluteSonny Fortune - soprano sax and fluteJohn Abercrombie - electric guitarGeorge Mraz - bassClint Huston - bassDave Johnson - percussion and congasSo in essence think Mahavishnu Orchestra with John Abercrombie subbing for John McLaughlin with members of Weather Report and the fusion community guesting. Jan Hammer blows the joint apart with some of his most incendiary Moog work ever. Long tracks filed with dynamic interplay between guitar, keys and flute and percussion. Masterful music masterfully played.  Comes with one bonus track!  BUY OR DIE!
    $14.00
  • "Machine Men is a group of young Finnish men (all in their early 20’s) playing traditional melodic heavy metal. The band formed in 1998, and after some demo activity, finally recorded their debut album, Scars & Wounds in 2002 on Dynamic Arts Records in Finland. Earlier this year, Machine Men signed a worldwide deal with Century Media Records. That brings us to the present, which sees Machine Men released their sophomore album, Elegies.Although they are from Finland, Machine Men have not followed the easy path of becoming another Stratovarius / Sonata Arctica clone. Instead, the band has chosen a more traditional metal flavor for its sound. A very obvious Iron Maiden influence flows through the entire album, yet the production gives the album a feeling more similar to Bruce Dickinson’s recent solo albums. Anthony, Machine Men’s lead vocalist sounds like Dickinson’s twin brother more than just a few times on this album. He doesn’t possess quite the range or power as the “Air-Raid Siren” himself, but Anthony is certainly an excellent vocalist that is perfect for this band. Just to make the Iron Maiden / Bruce Dickinson comparison more complete, I’ll point out that Machine Men (the band’s name) is also a song title from Dickinson’s Chemical Wedding album. That’s not all, check out the last track of Elegies. Yes, that version of Freak is a cover of the opening track of Accident of Birth!Well, after what you’ve read up to this point, you can surely guess that this album is not exactly original or groundbreaking. True. However, Elegies is an excellent album, proving that the band is great at what they do, and able to create songs that have a definite lasting value. Aside from the outstanding Dickinson vocal performance, strong guitar work is a key ingredient to the band’s music. Of course, the band loves to employ lots of dual leads and classy guitar solos. The rhythms forge ahead with a force and heaviness very similar to the heavier side of Accident of Birth. However, songs such as October and From Sunrise to Sunset see the band delve into slow and mid tempo territory, and they pull it off quite well. The guitar work is still crunchy and authoritative in both instances, which gives the songs a sense of urgency despite their slower approach. All around, the guitar sound is heavy, not sounding at all like a retro tribute to Iron Maiden. As I said earlier, the guitar sound is has a tone similar to Bruce Dickinson’s solo about, but technically executed in a way very similar to classic Iron Maiden. Having said that, Machine Men make no secret to hide their chief influences, yet they are able to add their own touch, and thus create an inspired and personal sounding album. Before I know it, 45 minutes is up, and the album comes to a close. That can only be considered a good thing, I suppose. Each of the songs is a keeper, no filler on this album at all. The guys add a nice, but not overpowering melodic quality to their music. A very nice balance is struck between heaviness, vocal prowess, and catchy, melodic parts. This all adds up to produce an album with lasting power that is sure to please. Although the Iron Maiden / Bruce Dickinson influence is inescapable, Machine Men are able to add just enough of their own touch to the music. Furthermore, the guys are just great songwriters.I hadn’t heard of this band before, but Elegies is enough for me to become a fan of Machine Men. This is the type of album that can easily stay in your listening rotation for weeks at a time and not get old. Obviously, fans of Iron Maiden and Bruce Dickinson’s solo work should check this album out. These guys certainly provide another dimension to the Finnish metal scene. As long as the guys keep coming up with quality songs and consistent albums such as Elegies, there’s no reason not to expect them to have a successful career." - Metal Reviews
    $4.00
  • "Charismatic duo Se Delan is the newest act to be signed to Kscope, a revered label known for its “post-progressive sounds” and incredible line-up, which includes genre stars like Anathema, Gazpacho, Amplifier, Steven Wilson, and The Pineapple Thief. Considering its peers, then, it's surprising to note how laidback and relatively simple the music on the group’s debut LP, The Fall, is. Rather than aim for lengthy songs, virtuosic arrangements, and grandiose ideas, the pair constructs warm yet solemn atmospheres and subtle yet alluring melodies.It’s an enticing and moody introduction to a band that definitely earns its place amongst so many dazzling siblings.Comprised of multi-instrumentalist Justin Greaves (Crippled Black Phoenix) and Swedish vocalist Belinda Kordic (whose wispy voice is both seductive and haunting), the record is an interesting blend of folk, shoegaze, rock, and pop, like a wonderful blend of Alcest, Of Monsters and Men, and Lady & Bird. As you might’ve guessed, Greaves crafted the music while Kordic wrote the melodies. Although it’s arguably a bit too cyclical in arrangement and melody, The Fall is a chilling and beautiful examination of life." - Rebel Noise 
    $16.00
  • “I love the CD...the sheer skill and gusto with which they tackle it makes you laugh out loud. Great drumming. Jonathan plays and writes like a demon. Congratulations to them.” - Bill BrufordDistrict 97’s 2010 debut “Hybrid Child” took the progressive rock world by storm. Since then the band toured across the US, performed at a number of high profile festivals, and even opened up for prog icons Kansas. The band now returns with their second opus “Trouble With Machines”. Former American Idol finalist Leslie Hunt fronts District 97. With a fantastic voice and looks to match, she has captured the hearts and imagination of the progressive rock world. Complexity is one of the hallmarks of District 97s compositions but the album is laced with catchy vocal melodies. The track “The Perfect Young Man” features a guest vocal appearance by King Crimson/Asia bassist John Wetton. Rich Mouser who has produced albums for Spock’s Beard and Neal Morse mixed the album. Audiophile mastering comes courtesy of Bob Katz.
    $14.00
  • "Germany's Mystic Prophecy certainly doesn't make fans wait an excessive amount of time for new material. 2011's Ravenlord is the band's seventh album in the just over 11 years since their formation. This is my first time hearing Mystic Prophecy's brand of Germanic Power/Heavy Metal and judging by this album, I've been missing out. Ravenlord is brimming with powerful riffs and heavier-than-Hell rhythm work, courtesy of bassist Connie "Connor" Andreszka and drummer Claudio Sisto. While there are some speedy tracks on Ravenlord ("Die Now," "Damned Tonight"), Mystic Prophecy show that Power Metal can indeed kick ass without copious amounts of double kicks. Slow, brooding songs like "Ravenlord," "Wings of Destiny" and the killer "Eyes of the Devil" leave you feeling like you've been introduced to the business end of a steamroller. Singer Robert Liapakis has an excellent, gravelly voice and does very little screaming on Ravenlord, opting instead for some harsher vocals that add variety to his performance. The album itself contains quite a bit of variety as well, while remaining consistent throughout. Epic-sounding songs, in the vein of Pharaoh, are side by side with Brainstorm-like Power Metal anthems. There are even spots that sound like Dio-era Rainbow in their composition. Ravenlord stacks up as one of the better albums of 2011. All fans of Heavy/Power Metal, especially those that prefer it keyboard-free, should be all over this one." - Metal Crypt
    $14.00
  • "Riot has always been ahead of the curve, be it their powerful riff machine, or their unapologetic status as pioneers in the speed metal genre. I would like to take an opportunity to differ once again with the common viewpoint here, this is not “almost” Painkiller 2 years before; it is its doppelganger, at least in terms of kick ass aggressiveness and image. It is a more musical and complex answer to the thrash genre that it fathered; its spirit is that of a triumphant warrior cutting down its foes. While the heroic Painkiller soared through the sky putting fear into the hearts of his enemies, Thundersteel’s half-cyborg/half-tank body stood tall to face them on the ground.In 1988 metal was mostly known by its image, and if you judge these guys by that alone, they look like the bastard sons of Motley Crue and Judas Priest. But when Tony Moore blasts his high banshee voice into the microphone, he sounds like a crazed Viking Berserker ready to behead an army of frightened Romans. Mark Reale, the only remaining originator of this outfit, wields his guitar like a battle axe and challenges the likes of K.K. Downing, Dave Murray and Ross the Boss. Bobby Jarzombek, who is well known for his work with Rob Halford’s solo project, as well as several other bands, gives the performance of his life on here. Don Van Stavern keeps the bottom end solid and has a wicked bass intro in “Johnny’s Back”.There is never a dull moment on this album, from start to finish it grabs you by the throat and commands you to praise the Gods of Metal. Be it the fast as hell title track, which rivals anything Judas Priest has ever put out, or the more moderated Deep Purple riff monster “Sign of the Crimson Storm”, it screams metal. You’ve got an anthem of rebellion and non-conformity at warp speed like “Johnny’s Back” in the running, or the Manowar inspired heavy ballad “Bloodstreets”, which gives Heart of Steel a run for its money. “Fight or Fall” and “Flight of the Warrior” have memorable choruses and plenty of amazing lead work, all done by the original speed metal riff man Mark Reale, while “On Wings of Eagles” is a better produced version of something you might find on Kill Em’ All.We’ve got two highlights on this album, both of which are a good bit different than the lion’s share of speed driven songs on here. “Run for your life” is an upper mid-tempo crusher with tons of great lead guitar work, but it’s true charm is the chorus, which reminds me a bit of the high/low vocal interchanges that you hear on Dio’s early material. “Buried Alive (The Tell Tale Heart)” is actually a bit reminiscent of Crimson Glory’s work on Transcendence, which came out the same year that this did. You’ve got a rather odd spoken intro with a clean and somber guitar line, followed by some brilliant twin guitar soloing (all done by one guy, just the same way Tony Iommi did it). After 3 minutes of mind-blowing, we get a slow and evil sounding groove that grows into a brilliant homage to the NWOBHM, names like Iron Maiden and Angel Witch come to mind.In conclusion, this is a piece of metal history that demands to be listened to. If you are a power metal fan who lives for speed and melody, get your tight jeans wearing ass to the store right now. If you’re a holdover from the glory days of traditional metal and you don’t have it, get it now or risk having your credentials as a metal head questioned. If you love thrash with attitude, this gives the bands that carry that label a run for their money. Fans of Judas Priest, Manowar, Helloween, Running Wild, and Iron Maiden in particular will love this. There is a new power alive in the distance, carrying a fully charged plasma cannon, followed by an army of true metal warriors, and his name is “Thundersteel”." - Metal Archives
    $7.00
  • NTSC Region 1 2 DVD set of Dream Theater's performance in Tokyo in 2004. Disc one features the entire set (18 tracks in all) and disc two has a slew of documentary footage and interviews, videos, etc. I just finished watching the concert and it's a blowtorch set with state of the art video production. A must own.
    $22.00
  • Remastered edition finally taken from the original master tapes and transferred utilizing 24 bit / 96 khz technology.
    $10.00
  • For some this was the start of an era for others the end.  This took my hopes and dreams for a true progressive supergroup for the 80s and stomped them into dust.  Your mileage may vary.
    $5.00
  • "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
  • "Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the next release in the continuing series of reissues of the entire catalogue by the legendary classical rock band SKY. Formed in 1979, Sky brought together the worlds of rock and classical music in a highly successful and inspiring way. Featuring the gifted talents of guitarist JOHN WILLIAMS, percussionist TRISTAN FRY, legendary bass player HERBIE FLOWERS, former Curved Air keyboard player FRANCIS MONKMAN and guitarist KEVIN PEEK, Sky recorded their debut album at Abbey Road studios in the early months of 1979. The band’s self-titled debut reached the UK top ten in May 1979 and went on to achieve Platinum status in the UK and was also a major hit in Europe and Australia. Also a huge live attraction, SKY released their second album in April 1980. "SKY 2” was a fine achievement, featuring the hit single "Toccata”, and topped the UK album charts upon its release. For the band’s third album, STEVE GRAY replaced Francis Monkman on keyboards, but the band continued their run of success as SKY 3 reached the UK top ten upon its release in March 1981. The album’s success followed a highly memorable concert by the band at Westminster Abbey in London on February 24th 1981, which was recorded and broadcast by BBC Television.SKY’s line-up remained the same for this, the band’s fourth album "SKY 4: Forthcoming” released in April 1982. Another successful chart album, "SKY 4: Forthcoming” has now been remastered and includes a companion DVD (NTSC / Region Free) of SKY’s live set for the BBC TV programme "Night Music”, broadcast in July 1982 (the first ever release of this classic television appearance). The original album artwork is fully restored and the booklet features a new essay."
    $19.00
  • Second album, from 1970, by this great British psych/proto-prog band led by guitarist Tony Hill. Kind of a shame that Hill never became anything other than a cult figure because he was a lethal player - as good as any other popular guitar God of the day. Comes with 4 unreleased bonus tracks.
    $17.00
  • Remastered edition with 2 bonus tracks."The third and final album of what could be called Journey's cocoon phase (Escape would give birth to a fully formed butterfly and put the band through the stratosphere), 1980's Departure would also be the quintet's last with keyboardist/vocalist Gregg Rolie. Produced by Geoff Workman and Kevin Elson (essentially both engineers turned producers), the album continued to build on the band's previous two recordings, but offered an added edge, arrangement-wise. This was likely due to the fact that the band had walked into Automatt Studios with 19 new tunes and proceeded to record most of them live, eventually trimming down to 11 songs. Catapulted all the way up to number eight on the Billboard Top 200, Departure was the band's highest charting album to date and got off to an explosive start with the driving riffs and chorused vocals of "Anyway You Want It" (another radio smash that would chart Top 25). Never sounding tighter, the quintet then launched into "Walks Like a Lady" (another future FM staple, climbing to number 32) and a string of outstanding rockers, including future concert opener "Where Were You" and the stop-go-stop-go energy of "Line of Fire." On the other hand, elegant power ballads like "Good Morning" and "Stay Awhile" would foreshadow the band's future commercial triumphs on Escape. And even though it packs the occasional filler like "Someday Soon" and "Homemade Love" (a weak attempt to boogie that falls absolutely flat), Departure is a solid record all around. Soon, Rolie would be replaced by the greater pop-savvy songwriting muscle of former Babys keyboard man Jonathan Caine, and Journey would go from huge cult act to monster superstars." - All Music Guide
    $5.00