Nearfest 2006 (CD/DVD)

SKU: EATCD21038
Label:
Esoteric Antenna
Category:
Progressive Rock
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This has been sitting in the can for quite some time and now Esoteric Antenna is bringing it to market.  This CD/DVD documents the live performance at NEARfest from the reformed Canadian prog/AOR trio.  Cameron Hawkins and Martin Deller and now joined by viola/mandolinist Claudio Vena.  Pretty nice selection of material dipping into the band's back catalog.

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  • To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Machine Head, Eagle has put together an all-star tribute to one of the greatest hard rock/metal albums of all time.   Check out this lineup: 1. Smoke On The Water - Carlos Santana & Jacoby Shaddix2. Highway Star - Chickenfoot3. Maybe I'm A Leo - Glenn Hughes & Chad Smith4. Pictures Of Home - Black Label Society5. Never Before - Kings Of Chaos: Joe Elliott, Steve Stevens, Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum6. Smoke On The Water - Flaming Lips7. Lazy - Jimmy Barnes with Joe Bonamassa8. Space Truckin - Iron Maiden9. When A Blind Man Cries - Metallica
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  • One of the great Italian prog albums from the 70s.
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  • Klone is a French band that has been kicking around for 20 years.  Their sixth album, Here Comes The Sun, finds them changing course adding a more progressive element to their sound.  The music is very melancholy but spacious...quite beautiful in fact.  Think in terms of the mellowest Riverside tracks, Katatonia's unplugged release, Anathema.  In fact quite a bit of this has a similar vibe to their French compatriots Cloverseeds.  Very immersive sounding music that is predominantly about mood but as you scratch your way past the veneer you'll hear all the progressive elements that are lurking underneath.  Quite superb and a 2015 top 10 candidate.  BUY OR DIE!"One spin of this disc and the irony of the album title will loom large; ‘Here Comes The Sun’ is not a record full of funeral doom, black metal or brutal death but the content is certainly dark, bleak and paints vistas in the mind of the listener upon which it would be difficult for the sun to penetrate and cast it’s warm glow.The Poitier-based quintet have been steadily building a following over the course of their 20 year career, with previous albums garnering a fair amount of praise and critical acclaim in the process. However, with ‘Here Comes The Sun’, their sixth album, French progressive rock/metal band Klone have arguably created their finest moment to date, an intense and melancholy affair that isn’t afraid to bare its teeth when the need arises.Klone are not a band that has been content to stand still and recreate the same album each and every time. But then neither has their evolution been full of stark contrasts; instead the talented Gallic bunch have appeared content with a slow and gradual evolution that has seen them shake off a large amount of their more extreme heavy metal influences in favour of a more challenging, almost minimalist mélange of styles centred around more rock-based climes.Sitting at the heart of the music on ‘Here Comes The Sun’ is vocalist Yann Ligner who has a very intriguing style. On the one hand, he has a fragile-sounding clean approach that’s full of emotion and fleetingly reminiscent of Jonas Renkse of Katatonia. On the flip-side, Ligner is able to belt it out with some real power. It’s here that the gravel in his voice becomes apparent and, coupled with his phrasing and intonation, he heavily calls to mind the late Kurt Cobain. Given the fact that I have a strong dislike for grunge, it surprises me quite how much I enjoy Ligner’s voice. Having thought upon it long and hard for a few days I think it comes down to a combination of factors: there’s variety in Ligner’s delivery that shifts to suit the changing moods of the music and perhaps more crucially, I connect with the strong compositions themselves unlike with the vast majority of grunge.And that brings me nicely onto the subject of the music itself which I have to admit is of the highest order. In fact, in the form of ‘Nebulous’, ‘Here Comes The Sun’ features one of the very best songs that I have heard in 2015 so far. It’s one hell of a piece of music which has got me thoroughly addicted. Beginning quietly with a magnificent bass line overlayered with some subtle guitar melodies, it soon delivers a chorus to die for. Ligner croons over a hook-filled and inspired section of music that is achingly beautiful, poignant and catchy as hell. The mid section of the song introduces some post-rock influences before the track reaches its conclusion via another burst of the chorus. It sends shivers down my spine every time and I cannot speak highly enough of this song.Importantly, the remaining nine songs on the album are no slouches either, although I have to say that the cover of ‘Summertime’ that closes the album is my least favourite moment. It’s an interesting version of the classic upon which Klone have stamped their personal mark, but I’m simply not a fan of that song if I’m being entirely honest.In terms of the original material on offer, ‘Here Comes The Sun’ opens up with ‘Immersion’, a real grower of a track that starts off with a quiet melody and modern sampled sounds over which Ligner puts in a mesmerising performance. Big, hypnotic and ominous metal riffs join the fray as the track inexorably builds towards its conclusion. Post-rock/metal influences loom large but it is the power of the driving central riff that carries the song wonderfully without ever fully succumbing to the explosion of sound that threatens to materialise. I’m not normally a fan of brass instruments in my rock music but Mattieu Metzger’s lead saxophone actually adds another positive dimension upon its entry towards the tail end of the track.A feature of Klone’s music is an impressively strong rhythm section, courtesy of drummer Florent Marcadet and bassist Jean Etienne Maillard. Both put in impressive performances but it’s Maillard that catches the ear most of all, thanks to some intricate and genuinely inventive bass work throughout the entire album. I could pretty much pick any song but just take ‘Fog’ as an example of what I’m referring to.‘Gone Up In Flames’ is the closest that Klone get to the mainstream thanks to a cheeky, almost up-beat melody. It is also here that the aforementioned grunge influences come most to the fore. ‘The Drifter’ has a demonstrable prog rock vibe that is vaguely reminiscent of the likes of Riverside and more recent output from Long Distance Calling. Once again the bass is prominent within a very atmospheric composition that benefits from a strong sense of melody and a clever use of shifting dynamics which allows the track to ebb and flow smoothly. ‘Gleaming’ is an instrumental piece that is heavily influenced by recent Katatonia, especially in the tone and delivery of the lead guitar lines courtesy of messrs Guillaume Bernard and Aldrick Guadagnino. However, despite its short length it covers a lot of ground including a brief dabble with ambient sounds.This ambient influence is largely understated within ‘Here Comes the Sun’ but is never far from the surface, meaning that many of the songs are interspersed with gentler, calmer moments to increase the sense of bleak drama that pervades throughout. ‘Come Undone’ is another personal favourite thanks to another gorgeous central melody whilst ‘Grim Dance’ is basically a monster that smoothly blends the best elements of the band and distils it into a single track. The original material is then concluded with ‘The Last Experience’. The longest track on the album, it is also one of the darkest and most claustrophobic, culminating in a post-rock crescendo which comes crashing down in a jarring and deliberately uncomfortable dystopian-esque blaze of static noise.Despite the bleak and grim visage, as the album concludes, I am also left with a vague sense of hope and maybe, going back to the title of the album, it’s here where the glimmer of the sun can be glanced. It may be fleeting and gone in the blink of an eye but it’s definitely there. And perhaps, therein lies the magic of this album. On ‘Here Comes The Sun’, Klone have combined brilliant songwriting, unfaltering execution and a willingness to experiment both musically and lyrically to create a collection of diverse, challenging and evocative soundscapes for the modern world. Highly recommended." - Man Of Much Metal
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  • One of the great UK mellotron bands reissued in a mini lp sleeve with two bonus tracks.
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  • "Some four years ago Borealis released their Fall From Grace, and my conclusion was simple. They presented adequate, yet typical, melodic European power metal just misplaced in Canada. To the present, it seems things may have changed, even improved, for the band for their third album, Purgatory.Yet, I'm not sure I want to get ahead of myself here. One spin and you hear echoes of previous material: riff heavy and intense, speedy power metal. As Mets manager Yogi Berra once said, "It's deja vu all over again." Actually, for my money, you could boil this album down to two things: blistering power metal and lots of epic guitar solos. Now, you say: "Dude, I love that shit!" Okay. Stop reading and go buy the album.But there's more. The keyboards seem more present, even adding a large portion symphonic orchestration to add to Borealis' naturally bombastic sound. Take note of My Peace, for example. Also, and not knowing who the principal guitarist is, Matt Marinelli or Mike Briguglio, the guitar lines are phenomenal. Forget the twin bombastic riffs, the leads are killer: soaring to the wow factor. Additionally, the arrangements are more dynamic; the progressive metal has gotten a bump here over the last album. Yet, this is not a hyper-technical leap. It's more changes in tempo and breakdowns. You'll catch some of this within Place Of Darkness or Welcome To Eternity. The latter also a good example, in the second half, of Borealis adding some thrash metal to overwhelm you.The wild card in this mixture is vocalist Matt Marinelli. I would like to say he can sing, and I think he can. But he's so often totally overwhelmed by the music to be nearly underwater. He's seems always striving and straining to stay ahead or, to continue the metaphor, stay above the music. Then you find out he has a generally pleasing voice and presence when you listen to Darkest Sin or Rest My Child, the two quietest songs here. I would imagine when you hear Borealis live, you'll have a Pink Floyd moment, from The Wall, when observing Marinelli: "Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying." Nevertheless, Purgatory is definitely an advancement for Borealis, a fine album of more ambitious progressive power metal than past efforts. Recommended." - Dangerdog.com
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  • This Japanese edition comes with two bonus tracks: "Lonely" and "Sweet Enclosure".
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  • Second album with the new singer, Paul Menel...for my taste the magic is gone and the music is more commercial...apparently for others he was actually their best singer.
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  • 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.
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  • European only 2CD greatest hits set. The 2 CDs features remastered versions of classic tracks plus you get 3 unreleased acoustic tracks recorded in 2000 by Jon Oliva.
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  • "Most progressive music fans will recognize guitarist John Wesley from his work as touring member with Porcupine Tree over the last several albums. Yet, Wesley also has an extensive solo collection as well, and he expands it with his sixth album, Disconnect.The album is defined by one singular element, Wesley's guitar playing. Disconnect is definitely a guitar driven prog record. His playing evokes the styles of David Gilmour, Alex Lifeson, Steve Wilson, and maybe even some Jeff Beck. (Lifeson guests on Once A Warrior.) Wesley's sound on many songs is generally sharp and high-pitched as with Once A Warrior, sometimes sounding psychedelic as within Disconnect, and then kinetic, yet muted, within Take What You Need.There's a lot of weight to many songs as well, definitely tipping the album towards progressive metal. When a song does appear to be somewhat lighter at the start, like Gets You Everytime or Mary Will, Wesley jumps in with those slashing guitar licks to slice your ears into tiny little pieces, like stir fry vegetables. If there is a drawback to the album at all, it's that the slashing sharpness of the guitar is pervasive and can get more than a little shrill at times. But there are some lighter pieces here, namely Window and more so Satellite, where Wesley dials up some acoustic guitar in the mix.Briefly, the other significant element here is Wesley's vocals. He has a great melodic voice, emotive and passionate at times, and definitely pleasing. With guitar in hand, a strong voice, and creative compositions, John Wesley has delivered another fine album with Disconnect. Easily recommended." - Dangerdog.com
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  • THIS NORTHERN VIRGINIA BASED BAND is a three-piece at heart, musically rooted in the raw energy and rhythmic interplay of RUSH and KING’S X. Fans of dark, guitar-driven rock bands from ALICE IN CHAINS, DEFTONES to the contemporary metal riffing of LAMB OF GOD and PANTERA, will connect to the heavy core of IRIS DIVINE’s sound. Add to that progressive complexity and moody synths inspired by DREAM THEATER and PORCUPINE TREE, and a liberal dose of memorable hooks and melodies, to understand some elements of IRIS DIVINE’s sound. And yet, the band has a distinct identity, not quite sounding like any of the aforementioned bands, and with an emotional urgency that pulls subtly from alternative and other influences.KARMA SOWN IS A TRIUMPH OF A DEBUT ALBUM, immediate and memorable but revealing layers and depth upon repeated listens."Progressive metal is in a rough period right now. The old guard are either releasing sub-standard albums that only make it more obvious how far they have fallen, or they are drastically uncool with anyone who didn't become a fan when progressive metal was first being created. Progressive today tends to mean djent, a style that has sapped all the life and humanity out of music, turning metal into a math equation of time signatures, and not songs that anyone can actually remember. There was a time when progressive metal remembered the ultimate goal of music; to have listeners enjoy the songs so much they would return to them again and again. Today, progressive metal is mostly the sort of music that could pass for muzak, if you don't turn the volume up too loud.Iris Divine wants to change that. They set out with the mission of writing progressive metal that is intricate and challenging, but still produces the kind of songs that listeners who don't have an advanced degree can love and sing along to. It's a challenge, and it goes against the tide, but it's a desperately needed revolution if progressive metal is going to flourish anytime in the near future.I knew from hearing the pre-release track “A Suicide Aware” that Iris Divide was special, and the full album reinforces the point. “The Everlasting Sea” comes out of the gates with plenty of tricky riffing and unusual rhythms, but they lead into big melodies with strong hooks and vocals. Their progressive playing isn't meant for show, it's a tool used to set a tone that juxtaposes with the more melodic moments. Finding the proper balance between these elements is not easy, and many a band have failed miserably trying to do so, but Iris Divine doesn't. On their debut record, they show a skill some bands have spent their entire careers failing to learn.What I love most about the record is that it can be seen in many different lights. If you like straight-ahead metal, there is plenty of heavy riffing and pounding drumming here to keep you satisfied. If you like progressive music, these songs have twists and turns, and Rush-like keyboards, in enough quantity to match the djent crowd. And if you're a fan of old-school radio rock, the choruses in these songs will be music to your ears. Keeping all three of these in mind at the same time can be tricky, but it's worth the effort.For being a trio, “Karma Sown” is a massive sounding record. The production is flawless, big and clear, without ever sounding too polished. The heavy parts are heavy, the vocals are up front, and you would never believe this was a self-produced record that was crowd-funded. I can put it up against many, many of the big label releases, and it would win the fight.In fact, I can think of a dozen so-called progressive metal bands that should immediately hand over their label contracts to Iris Divine, because it's a crime that a band that is advancing progressive metal in the right direction doesn't have the backing of one of the labels. Not to name names, but this album would be bigger than half of the progressive metal released this year if it had the media push behind it.In case you haven't noticed, what I'm saying is that “Karma Sown” is a fantastic debut, and the future of progressive metal. Iris Divine isn't a Dream Theater clone, and they're not djent. What they have done is integrate all the strains of progressive metal into a singular sound, one that could set the standard moving forward. If every band sounded this good, progressive metal wouldn't need to be underground. “Karma Sown” is the best progressive metal album of the year, bar none." - Bloody Good Horror
    $13.00