The Mouths Of Madness

SKU: 2980-2
Label:
Nuclear Blast
Category:
Doom Metal
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San Francisco's Orchid has been kicking around a bit, jumping around a bunch of small labels.  A buzz has been developing around the band so it was only a matter of time before they stepped up to the big time - they got snatched up by Nuclear Blast.  I would say that NB scored a major coup here.  Orchid's reputation has been built upon a doom metal sound that draws heavily from the early Black Sabbath canon.  Plain and simple.  These guys have the retro sound down pat and the look as well.  If you are into doom its not going to come any better than this.  Highly recommended.

 

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  • "Progressive Power Metal was a genre popularized by titans such as ICED EARTH and NEVERMORE, combining the technicality, speed and fantastical lyrics of power, and the complexity and maturity of Prog. TRAGODIA, a Progressive Power Metal band from Italy, have proved once again why the genre is in such a strong position in the metal world, and why it is nigh-faultless. Writing music that exudes heavy influence from the aforementioned bands, TRAGODIA add their own brand of catchiness and groove to make it their own. After all, the whole point of a progressive band is to be progressive and push genre boundaries.Their new album, "Mythmaker", contains almost all of the great qualities of such an album: it's heavy, it's melodic, it's progressive, it's catchy, it's heavy, it's groovy, it's…  Heavy. It is by no means calm and jazzy, such as some of the work from the penultimate DREAM THEATER. In the mixing, the heavily over-driven guitars, and the drums, are at the forefront, adding vertebrae to the heavyweight backbone that drives this album. "A Cry Among the Stars", the opening, and one of my favorite song on the album, begins with an epic buildup reminiscent of SERENITY, cuts in with riffage worthy of neck snapping headbanging which paves the way for verses that contain an obvious DREAM THEATER note of trippy syncopation. Lucas Meloni, proves to have some vocal versatility, often switching between majestic, powerful notes, and Thrash-like yells. The twin guitarists have already proven, in the song's solo, that they are capable of an incredible dual-axe attack. "The Oracle" is one of the heaviest tracks on the album with crushing riffage all around, supplemented by guitar harmony that is on a Scandinavian level; best solo on the album, and there are many to choose from. "A Temple in Time" is a relatively chilled-out track in comparison, with an incredibly catchy guitar / keyboard harmony. I am hearing a lot of old FIREWIND in this track. The next track, "Wisdom in the Meadows of Sorrow" comes across as a highly versatile track, combining riffage reminiscent of AMON AMARTH, and the wails of JUDAS PRIEST; overall, this creates an incredibly driving track. "Tidal Waves of Greatness" is exactly that; smooth, yet anxious transitions between acoustic passages and grandiose and dramatic choruses. "Once In Arcadia" is another dominating heavyweight with riffage that is not only devastating, but also extremely catchy; very reminiscent of IN FLAMES; another standout track for me. "The Stone and the Idol" is the longest track on the record, though only capping out at 6:21. It starts with an allusion to yet even more epicenes with a tasteful symphonic intro, and leads into extremely groovy riffage, and ends with the best outro riff on the entire record."Born Under Niobe" may be constituted as the heaviest track, which is definitely saying something. The song begins with a downright battery and harsh, thrashy vocals, and riffage so heavy that leaves your brain pulsing with the force of the kicks. The chorus' vocal melody is extremely catchy, and Meloni proves his excellent vocal capabilities. It leaves you completely unprepared for a repeat of the previous bombard, and soon we hear a classic gallop passage that leaves one with the urge to windmill the beards off that the song has just made us grow. "Mythmaker" is an interesting track, opening with an unexpected tapping bass solo that paves the way for some pounding, driving groove riffage that constitutes the majority of the song, and leads seamlessly into the fantastic instrumental, "The Weeping Rock Of Seriphus". Arguably, this song doubles as both an outro and an extension of "Mythmaker", concluding the album in a dramatic, lengthy fashion. Finally, the bonus track, "Downfall Of The Ancients"; I struggle to see why this song was left out as a bonus track, for it most definitely deserves to be on the record. The atmospheric keyboard tracking is absolutely gorgeous, and complements the song very fittingly; with the rugged vocal work, combines to make a highly engaging track.To sum up this work of metal mastery, TRAGODIA are simply one of the reasons Progressive and Power Metal are my two favorite genres of Metal, and do their home country of Italy proud; absolutely deserving of more publicity, and I believe would make an unforgettable live performance." - Metal Temple
    $14.00
  • Remastered Edition.
    $12.00
  • ‘Minstrel in the Gallery,’ Jethro Tull‘s eighth LP, is being remastered and expanded for its 40th birthday.The band’s fifth consecutive U.S. Top 10 album — and the last to feature the longtime lineup of Ian Anderson, Martin Barre, John Evans, Barrie Barlow and Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond — ‘Minstrel’ was originally released in September 1975, and spun off one single with the title track, which peaked at No. 80. The new edition, which supplants a previously available 2002 remaster, is being released on May 5 as a limited-edition two-CD / two-DVD set.The deluxe version, titled the ‘La Grande’ edition, adds seven bonus tracks (six of them previously unreleased) to the original album, including two mixed to 5.1 surround, and all to stereo by Steven Wilson, plus a flat transfer of the original LP mix at 96/24 and a flat transfer of the original quad mix, both of which include the B-side ‘Summerday Sands.’This edition, which is available for pre-order now, also includes an eight-minute film from 1975, featuring the band performing ‘Minstrel in the Gallery’ in Paris during July 1975, and adds a case-bound DVD book with an 80-page booklet featuring essays and photos as well as a series of track-by-track annotations by Anderson. For those who don’t have a ‘La Grande’ budget to match the deluxe pricing, ‘Minstrel’ will also be reissued digitally and on a single CD, as well as a 180-gram vinyl limited-edition pressing.Jethro Tull, ‘Minstrel in the Gallery’ 40th Anniversary La Grande Edition Track Listing:Disc One – New Steven Wilson Stereo Mix‘Minstrel in the Gallery’‘Cold Wind to Valhalla’‘Black Satin Dancer’‘Requiem’‘One White Duck / 010 = Nothing At All’‘Baker St. Muse’: a. ‘Pig-Me And The Whore’ b. ‘Nice Little Tune’ c. ‘Crash-Barrier Waltzer” d. ‘Mother England Reverie’‘Grace’‘Summerday Sands’‘Requiem’ (Version 1, previously unreleased)‘One White Duck’ (Take 5, previously unreleased)‘Grace’ (Take 2, previously unreleased)‘Minstrel in the Gallery’ (BBC version, previously unreleased)‘Cold Wind to Valhalla’ (BBC version, previously unreleased)‘Aqualung’ (BBC version, previously unreleased)Disc Two – Live at the Palais Des Sports, Paris, July 5, 1975 (A Jakko Jakszyk Stereo Mix)‘Introduction (The Beach Part 11)’‘Wind Up’‘Critique Oblique’‘Wond’ring Aloud’‘My God’: a. Flute Solo Including: ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/Bouree/Quartet’ b. ‘Living in the Past’ c. ‘My God’ (Reprise)‘Cross-Eyed Mary’‘Minstrel in the Gallery’‘Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day’‘Bungle in the Jungle’‘Aqualung’Guitar Solo‘Back-Door Angels’‘Locomotive Breath’ with improvisation and including “Hard Headed English General” and “Back-Door Angels” (reprise)The DVDs  feature the DTS & DD 5.1 surround mixes as well as the 96/24 PCM stereo mix and and an eight and half minute film of the band recorded in Paris on 6th July 1975.
    $41.00
  • First time on LP!  Gulaab is a German guitarist with connections to Peter Frohmader.  He's a bit of an enigmatic figure spending a number of years in Nepal.  Ritt Durch Den Hades was originally released on cassette back in 1979 and has built up a cult following over the years.Gulaab plays a variety of acoustic string instruments and percussion(he makes an emphatic point that there are no synthesizers involved).  The music has an obvious dark, mystical krautrock/folk vibe.  If you are a fan of Deuter and Popol Vuh you are going to burst a vein over this.  Had this been released on vinyl in 1973 you'd be paying $1000 for it.  Late night hookah music.  Highly recommended."Ultra-rare lost psychedelic Kraut-Folk from 1979. Taken from the original mastertapes! Gulaab means “rose” in Nepalese language. Gulaab is a German virtuoso on the acoustic guitar who has served three years as an after dinner musician in a luxury restaurant in Nepal to play for an amazing number of well known personalities of the 20th century during the early 70s. A strongly influential experience that shaped his musical expression big time but also let him become an open minded spirit. “Ritt durch den Hades” is the result of his experimentation with sounds, atmospheres and a multitude of styles in traditional music from Latin to Eastern Asian elements. It was first released in 1979, vanishing into obscurity soon after, waiting to be rediscovered by a more open minded generation of music lovers now. Traditionalists be forewarned : This mystic grail of 70s “kraut folk” stands far out from the average folk and singer / songwriter stuff combining guitar harmonies of the highest order with a cosmic drone that backs up the hypnotizing picking and trippy swirls of sounds. This album is in fact more like a musical journey than just a piece of music taking you from secret sacrificial altars in the Andes to the ceremonial places of the ancient Himalayan population with a short stopover for a little “joint venture” in the musical space centers of highly flown out German originators like ASH RA TEMPEL / Manuel Göttsching, POPUL VUH / Florian Fricke, WITTHÜSSER & WESTRUPP, BRÖSELMASCHINE, DOM or DEUTER. Now take a ride through Hades with GULAAB!"
    $29.00
  • Upstart Finnish label Svart Records has undergone a licensing program with the legendary Love Records label for an ongoing series of vinyl releases.  Many prog reissues are on the horizon.Tabula Rasa cut two albums for Love and this is their second.  Strong Camel influence - guitarist Heikki Silvernnoinen sounds quite a bit like Andy Latimer in tone. The use of electric piano, string synthesizer reminds me of Mirage.  While it doesn't quite hit the heights of their debut its a very nice slice of mainstream prog.This is a limited edition of 300 copies on black vinyl.
    $28.00
  • My sentimental favorite. This blends elements of Banco, Quella Veccia Locanda, and Opus Avantra.  Two epic length compositions.Housed in a gorgeous "gimmix" mini-lp sleeve.
    $34.00
  • New reissue of this US prog rarity.  Even the CD reissue from a decade ago is long out of print!  Considered by many to be one of the best examples of US prog."An overlookied US band, formed in early-70's and led by guitarist/keyboardist/sax player Robert Williams aka Roberts Owen (R.I.P.).The original line-up featured also multi-instrumentalist James Larner, keyboardist Mark Knox, drummer Jim Miller, bassist Paul Klotzbier and Jeff McMullen on lead vocals/guitars.Maelstrom had a private press LP out in Canada, recorded in 1973 at Fort Walton Beach in Florida and very rare nowadays, originally released under the title ''On the gulf''.Why this band is so overlooked remains a huge mystery to me, as Maelstrom had one of the most eclectic and intricate sounds back in the days.Every track shows a different amount of influences and musical approaches, always played under a very complicated yet well-structured musicianship, offering a huge and dramatic sound like a cross between ETHOS, CATHEDRAL and YEZDA URFA.There are strong amounts of melodies and acoustic passages in the vein of GENESIS, huge sax-based more improvised sections in the vein of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR and SOFT MACHINE, smooth electric parts with delicate vocal harmonies as tribute to CARAVAN, complex interplays as GENTLE GIANT first ever presented and YES-like adventurous symphonic orchestrations with a superb atmosphere.Heavy loads of Mellotron and organ, jazzy-flavored sax atmospheres, dramatic orchestrations with good electric parts, instrumental battles and endless changing climates can be detected constantly, leaving the most demanding proghead satisfied.In 1997 Black Moon Records re-issued the album in CD format under the title ''Maelstrom'' and this work contains a couple of extra tracks recorded live by Maelstrom in 1980 at the ''Three Rivers Festival'' in Indiana with only Owen and Klotzbier from the original line-up along with keyboardist Kent Overholser and Rollin Wood on drums.''Opus one'' has a strong E.L.P. vibe with organs leading the way along with some dramatic synth work in a classic Symphonic Rock track, while the longer ''Genesis to geneva'' is a bit more of a loose instrumental composition again in a Symphonic Rock path but surrounded with some more Avant-Garde/Fusion atmospheres, where synths, organ and electric guitars are on the forefront.A fantastic discovery for all fans of adventurous Classic Prog.Interesting combination of Symphonic Rock, Cantebury Prog and Jazz-Rock, where so much is going on.Definitely among the finest releases of the time in the USA/Canada and highly recommended." - Prog Archives
    $16.00
  • "British hippies who started out emulating Jefferson Airplane, Fairport Convention escalated their homeland connections with each outing, culminating in this, their fourth album and a watershed for British folk-rock. Hindsight offers the ironic possibility that the Dylan covers of its predecessor, Unhalfbricking, opened a window onto the earlier Irish-English-Scots roots of the American music they loved, and Liege & Lief jumps through that window triumphantly. "Come All Ye" underscores their affinity for the Band yet is joyfully rooted in their own fertile folk traditions, echoed in a mix of classic songs from members Sandy Denny, Ashley Hutchings, and Richard Thompson, and given direct homage in the extended ballads "Matty Groves" and "Tam Lin," which evoke Neil Young & Crazy Horse in kilts. Fiddler Dave Swarbrick's arrival as a fulltime member adds new richness and a wonderful foil for Thompson's superb guitar leads. A medley of jigs and reels showcases their flair for hot-wiring traditional British Isles dances, a fixture ever since."
    $10.00
  • "As we’ve been chronicling all year long, 2013 has been a great year for Norwegian progressive metal with some excellent progressive power metal from Illusion Suite, Tellus Requiem and Pellek, the new album by the long-running prog metal band Divided Multitude, the fantastic new album by Leprous and the exciting debut by Withem (you can read our review here).  Now, into that great mix the young band Vicinity has just released their debut full -length album, Awakening and it easily stands with the best of what their countrymen have produced this year. The band works in a decidedly melodic and dramatic fashion anchored around the wonderful voice of Alexander Lykke, the multi-faceted guitars of Kim-Marius Olsen and the powerful drumming of Frode Lillevold.  Interestingly there are no keyboards on the album (except for a few background sounds for effects) which wasn’t readily apparent to me at first because the songs are so well written and the vocal melodies are so strong. Olsen multi-tracks soft and harder textures to really give the album a rich sound.  The album has a great full sound and was mastered by the prolific Jens Bogren.Awakening is an hour long album but only has six songs.  Three are in the 11-14 minute range and the other three are between 5-6 minutes. The longer songs are not really more complex, but just feel necessary to the structure of each song which is really a testament to the band’s composition style -- the band will do a long song if warranted but works well in both long and short song formats.  The album begins with Mass Delusion which starts as a high-energy rocker but has a great instrumental mid-section that propels the song to its energetic conclusion. Opportunities Lost is the longest song on the album at over 14 minutes and is a deceptively simple song that consistently builds tension throughout the piece, alternates between short instrumental interludes, both soft and hard, and has a great vocal melody that ends in a wonderfully dramatic finale. Again, it’s fairly simple in structure but is so well written that I couldn’t believe it was as long as it was.  I was reminded of what great neo-progressive bands like IQ often do so well -- take a great idea and vary and expand on it to great emotional conclusions.  Across The River is a shorter, five minute song and is mostly a ballad that builds in intensity throughout to a powerful finale.   Walk All The Way is an 11-minute song that’s easily my favorite on the album as its got some of the most beautiful vocals on Awakening, has the heaviest section on the album right in the middle (complete with some harsher vocals for contrast and intensity) before building to a wonderfully majestic finale.  Olsen also really shines here as well with some great emotional soloing.  The Time For Change is next and it’s yet another amazing power ballad that shows, yet again how well this band can create drama and excitement.  The album ends with the 11 minute album title song that has a fairly heavy opening section but ends with a stunningly beautiful epic finish.  Honestly there’s not a weak moment on this album and if dramatic and emotionally affective progressive metal is your cup of tea, this album will hit you hard.Awakening is a really, really solid album that has so much going for it. It’s got a great, joyously youthful spirit and is decidedly focused on the emotional content instead of trying to wow the listener with technicality.   Vicinity is primarily a band of great melodic songwriters and they have the perfect vocalist in Lykke to carry out their vision of exciting  progressive music and if they continue on this path could really make some waves in this great genre." - Prog Metal Zone
    $15.00
  • "It started with a simple idea: virtuoso musicians and a pop singer joining to make new-fashioned music the old fashioned way. A band followed, evolving into Flying Colors: Mike Portnoy (drums, vocals), Dave LaRue (bass), Neal Morse (keyboards, vocals), Casey McPherson (vocals, guitar), and Steve Morse (guitar). Together, they create a unique fusion of vintage craftsmanship, contemporary music and blistering live performances."
    $15.00
  • Second album from this Norwegian band finds them climbing the ladder of melancholy prog bands. Short on complexity but long on atmosphere and melody, Airbag's new one packs an emotional wallop. The album has just enough spacey keyboards to draw comparisons to Pink Floyd and older Porcupine Tree. The album builds up to the 17 minute "Homesick I - III" which has enough references to Wish You Were Here that you'll be plowing through your Floyd collection afterwards. Lethal atmospheric prog that will annihilate the minds of any Anathema or Riverside fan. Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • Deluxe remastered edition features a bonus of 3 live tracks from 1973 consisting of Future City (!!), Castle In The Air, and Flying High
    $13.00
  • "“Oblivion” is the early episode of a conceptual saga set to be released in a trilogy format by this Multinational band called EXXILES, the man behind all that is the former REIGN OF THE ARCHITECT’s drummer Mauricio Bustamante (EVANGELIUM) from Mexico, he started working on his new production right after his departure from R.O.T.A. with a new goal in mind : Created a new entity under a variable geometry size, working as a band with a core of fellow Mexicain players, like guitar player Sergio Aguilar (AGORA), on Bass the talented Simon Rojas , Noel Martinez on keyboards or axeman Antonio Rivera (from the Death Metal band SOLITUDE) and a bunch of illustrious guests coming from every corner of the Prog Metal Universe, in order to form a community around a musical project with a strong focus on the human relationship notion.Of course the renowned musicians around Mauricio are coming from different area of the world and some are quite popular, as their original bands are among the most respected in the whole genre : namely SYMPHONY X / SAVATAGE / T.S.O./ REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE or CIRCUS MAXIMUS but also more underground but quite highly regarded such as COMMUNIC /AGORA or STREAM OF PASSION and to complete the team, some less known musicians yet hyper talented from the fertile Scandinavian ground, with members from LOST IN THOUGHTS/SPIRAL ARCHITECTS…Indeed, Øyvind Hægeland is brilliantly taking the Lead Vocal role on the odd timing driven pace of “Hopelessness”…Generous in circonvolutions and complex to the max!Musically very rich, it’s not easy to understand it at the first encounter, but I immediately discerned some obvious qualities, notably in the vocal department… Indeed the performances by Zak Stevens (CIRCLE II CIRCLE/ ex SAVATAGE) in the opening cut “A Better Legacy ” is convincing in his traditional majestic mode, but most of all the sonic enlightement comes from the great vocals provided by the Brazilian citizen Gus Monsanto (SYMBOLICA/ex ADAGIO /ex REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE / HUMAN FORTRESS) which are uppar with the most exigeant taste or in total coherence with the excessive perfectionism of some HM bloggers!This album will expand its qualities later, in a precise and clever way little by little, a long process to fully enjoy it in its fullness, the tagged identity is based around a Dark classy sound with some Melodic method and some intricate harmonic arrangements, more dramatic in the ambiances than it seems, while the smartness and the complex shape of their creative ways are updated by an evolutive style in a thick schema of Heaviness, and this intrepid proof of their capacity to created some unexpected ideas in a fresh theory and a regenerated light!Another great surprise is the Wilmer Waarbroek (already known from AYREON) vocal input at the end of the album in the duet of song “Awakening Part I (Dark Renaissance)”& “The Messenger”, ultra rewarding numbers, those songs along with Marcela Bovio in the Spanish song “Llorona” is another persuasive addition and a good alternative to the superb cast of vocalist!However, the superb singer Gus Monsanto is quite omnipresent while singing on 50% of the songs, this man is holding a serious set of pipes, giving a demonstration of his great polyvalency and contrast (“Page of the Night”), each track is well arranged, the succession of different pace is salvatory sharing some subtle progressive moments with some more Heavy spark in a very dense manners (the fantastic pair “Dictator of Trust”/”Anthem Of Lies”), some epic bombastic instrumental parts like in the unvocalized track “Entropy”,  a few piece of Prog Symphonic Metal with weird structure and some experimental orchestral sounds to create an impressive outcome, very well written with some incredible talented writing and utmost playing skills in every area, notably in the soloing sector, thanks to the guest appearances of some terrific players such as Mats Haugen (CIRCUS MAXIMUS) or David Grey (LOST IN THOUGHT) is the icing on the cake, the ultimate uplifting details to complete the whole .After the overflowing of essential releases in this genre, the ambitious EXXILES “Oblivion” first chapter is another good advice for the Smart-Metal-music avid fanatics and a tip for those who already missed PANTOMMIND ,,Searching For Eternity” or SOUL SECRET ,,4”…This time I hope my reminder will not fall into oblivion." - Metal Temple
    $12.00
  • "This is the second work from BLOODBOUND, a band that surprised me a lot with its debut album “Nosferatu”. I had put their first work between the best three releases of the year, so I was waiting their second one like crazy. Well I didn’t got disappointed at all. “Book of The Dead” continues from where “Nosferatu” stopped and it is a great sequel for their discography. They still play Pure, strong melodic Heavy Metal music with a few influences from Power Metal, and they are doing it damn good! The great difference between the two works is the presence of Michael Bormann on the vocals this time something that always is a big issue for a band, because the vocals is what gets the attention of the listener at once in a new album. Well Michael Bormann is a great singer for many years in the scene and he easily managed to fit excellent in the band. The only maybe negative point, could be the fact that “Book Of The Dead” is not better than the first work of the band, so we would talk about a step forward for the band or something but don’t forget that “Nosferatu” was one of the best releases in the Heavy Metal scene in the latest years, so it would be really very hard to have something better than that right with the next work of a band. Anyway the result is very clear: if you like pure, strong melodic Heavy Metal this album is sure for you, BLOODBOUND prove us that are here to stay!" - Metal Invader
    $16.00