A New Beginning

SKU: 4260115032242
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Power Prog
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"Don’t let the Appearance Of Nothing distract you from hearing A New Beginning, because, despite such deception, there’s a lot to be enjoyed from one of Switzerland’s few progressive metal bands. I’ve decided to adopt a policy of responding to stupid band names with stupid puns, and I won’t stop until they do. Appearance Of Nothing plays straightforward melodic progressive metal that’s heavy on the melodic. The band has been around for about ten years, and this is their third album. For fans of their first two albums, as well as fans of the more accessible forms of progressive metal, this is a very strong release.

Expect synth and guitar heavy music. Every song is carried by crunchy rhythm guitars, and I’m happy to report that the recording and production is spot on to allow them to really shine. As far as distinct strengths of the album: look no further the choruses. Every single one, particularly on the daunting 14 minute title track, is remarkably catchy. This memorability, along with the consistently driving pace of the album, makes it a very easy and enjoyable listen. The lead vocal performance is also pretty great, and the songwriting even manages to accommodate interspersed harsh vocals. Usually throwing harsh vocals into melodic prog is a quick turn-off for me, but I applaud Appearance Of Nothing for pulling it off.

Where drawbacks are concerned, I can’t point to any specific “problems”, but there are a few minor disappointments. For a pretty heavy synth presence, strong vocals, and ample songwriting diversity, I was disappointed with the overall atmosphere of the album. While the songs were certainly strong, they lacked a unique identity. This isn’t so much a drawback as it is lost potential for a band that’s got everything else they need to be really, really good.

Certainly check out the single “Chains Of History”, as well as the title track. As common to great progressive music, it’s often that the longest song ought to be the best, and that’s certainly true here with the title track. I again applaud solid work from the studio to draw out a powerful performance so that it actually sounds powerful. Where technically proficient progressive metal meets great melodies and an excellent performance, you can’t go wrong." - Black Wind Metal

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    $15.00
  • "There is a sad reality about many lesser know thrash metal acts, which could be labeled as the two album rule. With rare exception (and usually the exception is only one album being released), these bands either crashed and burned after putting out 2 superior LP releases, or otherwise broke up after hitting musical pay dirt for the 2nd time. Evildead, formed in the aftermath of Juan Garcia's 2 album stint with Agent Steel, takes after the latter category, though their impact on the thrash metal scene was minimal when compared with the actual quality of their output. It's not an entirely unexpected eventuality when one's competition consists of similarly technical outfits like Forbidden and the lesser know Defiance, newly formed pinnacles of aggression in Demolition Hammer and Exhorder, not to mention the continual onslaught of the Bay Area via Exodus and Testament. In many respects, Evildead embodied most of the positive aspects of all these projects during their brief time in the spotlight, but things were definitely changing by 1991.For all the similar imagery of greed and corporate abuse that adorns "The Underworld" when compared to the content of its predecessor, this is a fairly different album than "Annihilation Of Civilization". It starts off in a similar fashion with another sample from the "Evil Dead" films, though this time mixed in with a lot of guitar and synthesizer noise, and it does travel to almost the exact same places lyrically, but it comes off as much more conventional, at least insofar as the genre's direction was concerned in the early 90s. There's nothing on this album that comes close to rivaling the unfettered speed and fury of "The Awakening" or "Unauthorized Exploitation", nor are the technical and progressive quirks that occasionally popped up in the debut nearly as prevalent. This isn't to say that the album is a bland affair in over-repetition or an outright nod to "...And Justice For All", but it definitely listens closer to the upper mid-tempo character of the latter days of the style, having a bit more in common with "Impact Is Imminent" and "Victims Of Deception".There is a greater concentration on punch and heaviness on here, not all that dissimilar to the super-Metallica crunch character of Demolition Hammer's debut. It's not quite as fast as said album, but when hearing the pounding chug of the riff work on "Welcome To Kuwait" and "The Hood", it's pretty easy to heard that the rhythm guitars have been given a good bit more stomp to them, probably in part due to input from vocalist Phil Flores' brother Dan coming in to take over for Albert Gonzales. The familiar harmonized leads and wild soloing are still present, but tempered and a bit more methodical, almost as if Juan Garcia is limiting himself to 2 or 3 wenches rather than trying to nail the whole harem. The name of the game here is definitely mid-tempo grooving mixed with fast but not quite frenetic thrashing, and the aggressive ode to douche bag music journalists "Critic/Cynic" and the more elaborate riff machine with extremely awkward politically preachy lyrics of an opener "Global Warming" exhibit a multifaceted yet soldier-like mode of precision that is engaging, but falls just shy of extravagance.But for this album's initial consistency as it shifts gears between anti-war and environmental politics to odes of gangland violence with a precursor to Beavis and Butthead named Roscoe ("The Hood"), it actually tapers off a bit towards the end. They do manage to nail the "He's A Woman, She's A Man" cover, with Phil showcasing his ability to hit screech territory with about the same level of competence as Chuck Billy back during the mid 80s, but after that things aren't quite as memorable. "Process Elimination" listens like a thrash/speed hybrid that pays homage to early 80s Judas Priest while retaining the super-heavy guitar tone, but it doesn't quite hit as hard as the 7 songs before it and tends to come and go too quickly. "Labyrinth Of The Mind" finds itself stumbling into Pantera styled grooving and, while far from terrible, sticks out like a sore thumb whenever it drops the tempo, and likewise is a bit jarring when it picks things up. Things then proceed to close out on a somewhat convoluted note on "Reap What You Sow", seemingly taking some cues from the Metallica/Megadeth approach to semi-ballad based thrashing, but takes its time getting going and then sort of wanders around a series of impressive riffs before closing off.It's a sad thing that when the bottom fell out of the thrash scene in 1993, Evildead was one of the many casualties of the stranglehold that the RIAA still had over the entire musical world. It's a bit of a consolation that they managed to sneak in 2 LPs and a solid live album before eventually losing label support, thus opting to change their name to Terror and reverting back to Sci-Fi/Conspiratorial lyrical subjects in line with Garcia's Agent Steel days while still trying to maintain this band's style. Apparently when the thrash revival really started to heat up in the latter half of the first decade of the 2000s, this band gave it another go but apparently couldn't quite capitalized on the renewed interest in both classic Bay Area thrash and the crossover sound that Evildead dabbled in. But despite their not being a comeback LP to mark the occasion, this album and the one that came before it are highly recommended to any present partakes of the genre, particularly those liking it technical and heavy." - Metal Archives
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  • First album from Dan Swano actually works in a progressive rock style not that different from Landberk.
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  • "If we ever needed any further evidence of how thrash lifers Testament completely rule, look no further than this two-disc live album (how often can you say that?), which draws heavily upon their recent releases. And it does rule — hard. With a fun, energetic, raw production sound, the band's enthusiasm shines through loud and clear, and while it's always excellent to hear a few old classics, and here they sound as good as ever, what comes out of this declaration is that the new material is just as memorable, just as thrashing and heavier than ever. Check out songs like the amazing "Native Blood," delivered in an off-the-rails fashion, the blast beats that sounded a bit awkward on the album sitting just right in this context. Dark Roots of Thrash is a shining example of a band that are, surprisingly, at the top of their game late in their career, playing the songs they want to and delivering them with pure thrash metal glory. It's rare to love a live album this much, but such is the power of Testament." - Exclaim
    $16.00
  • Musical sequel to their earlier masterpiece. Similar in sound to "Tides Return". Klaus Peter Matziol is back!
    $13.00
  • I have to admit I was a bit dubious when I picked up a buzz about this new Italian prog band featuring Stefano Galifi, the former lead singer of Museo Rosenbach. Luckily this one lives up to the hype. The five piece band was formed (and now led) by keyboardist Elisa Montaldo. While guitar is quite prominent, the focus always seems to return to her vintage keyboard sounds. Plenty of Hammond, Mellotron, and synth sounds to satisfy any fan of Rock Progressivo Italiano. Galifi still has a great set of pipes and fits this style of music perfectly, offering drama and passion to the often frenetic playing. Yes was never much of an influence on the 70s Italian bands. Although playing in the classic style, Il Tempio Delle Clessidre seems to draw some influences from the British legends. Easily one of the best prog albums of 2010. Highly recommended.
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  • Special edition with bonus tracks."At first, I was somewhat unsure what I was going to get when I was sent this promo. The name seemed to be an attempt at a funny pun on the name of a “Harry Potter” character from my childhood. Then I read the press release, and just who was involved and realised it was going to be something awesome. Featuring ex-HELLOWEEN member Roland Grapow on guitars, as well as Thomen Stauch, who used to be in BLIND GUARDIAN, amongst other particularly good musicians, I just knew it was going to be a power metal treat.The album opens up with “I Seek No Other Life” and we’re straight into awesome riff territory, and some fantastically delivered vocals from Urban Breed, combined with awesome riffs and a powerful rhythm section, further developed by some nice bombastic keyboard melodies from Jan Vacik (ex-DREAMSCAPE). This is followed by “High And Low” and this has an awesome main melody that meets perfectly with the powerful chorus as well. A nice sense of groove really moves this song along.Some nice piano melodies open up “Sealing My Fate” in a delicate fashion, with some equally soft vocals here, before the song slams into a nice heavy yet melodic riff. This song has a really nice powerful chorus, and some great playing throughout. “Temple Of The Sun” is an instrumental with a fitting melody considering the title, with a highly symphonic sound to it, which then slams into “Akhenaton”, which is of course thematically similar to its instrumental introduction. This one has a real STRATOVARIUS feel to it, with really good use of dynamics in amongst some fantastic musical moments.“My Mystic Mind” is a real hard hitting track with some great guitar melodies and some nice use of dynamics, clashing stabbing guitars with piano melodies in a really interesting way. “Trail Of Murder” is straight off the bat a fantastic song, with some great guitar riffs meeting some tasty melodies. Again, the strong sense of dynamics is at play here, with lots going on in the song.Title-track “As Daylight Breaks” is a softer track, mainly relying on symphony and vocals to carry the track, with some really well performed parts all around making this a nice emotional sounding track with plenty of build and atmosphere. “Setting Fire To The Earth” follows this up and this one feels like PRAYING MANTIS on steroids, with heavy riffs and some great lyrical themes and vocal harmonies colliding to form a great track.Penultimate track, “Listen To The Storm”, builds an aptly moody atmosphere to start off with, with thunderous sounds meeting some nice guitar parts. The song develops nicely as it goes, with a really nice catchy chorus!The album ends on “Older And Wiser” and this is a nice high energy power metal track to finish things off, with some nice virtuosic playing and a nice fast pace throughout. This closes the album on a real nice note, leaving you feel pumped up and ready for more.The production is spot on, everything has a nice sense of power to it when needed, and softer moments are also equally well done. All the different things that are going on are mixed nicely, from heavy guitars to the softest piano moments. The vocals are also really nicely done, and a heavy rhythm section sound really powers this album along.“As Daylight Breaks” is a must-have for fans of Power Metal the way it should be done, there’s heavy and melodic riffs, soaring vocals, and great songwriting throughout this mammoth of an album. Keep your eyes peeled for this in 2015." - Metal Temple
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  • "The new Echolyn The End is beautiful is a far cry from the absolutely fantastic As The World which still is one of my favorite Echolyn albums! That said, they´re most certainly progressive in the truest sense of the word. As this album steers towards new areas. And YES it is brilliant! This my friend is a top notch album of the highest order!The music is excellent as always. They still have the complexity in their arrangements and individually they deliver the goods! But...and there is a but....you have to wait till track #6 "So Ready" to get some of their trademark Gentle Giant-like vocal arrangements. And therein my dear prog friends the problem lies. We have come to expect some fine complicated vocals arrangements. Now they're almost gone. Brett Kull & Ray Weston used to deliver the excellent lead vocals with the rest of these wonderful musicians following on superb second vocal harmonies.And they still do, that is, deliver the vocals...but somehow its not the Echolyn of yesterday! On the other hand, this is about progressive music and as such they still are, this great US band with superb arrangements and a brilliant mind for new thinking in this musical world we adore and love! "Misery, Not Memory" is the track that comes closest to that of the former Echolyn –ideology...with traces of Gentle Giant contra-point music style.Overall I must say that I love this album (my favorite still is As The World) for the sheer power and exuberance in fabulous ideas and musical brilliance. And oh....they dare....they dare go a step further...which is what this is all about: progression!So if you are new to these guys, get the first one (just out in a fine new package...with bonus) then work your way up till this one! Echolyn, a fine US prog band that always deliver! If you are a true prog fan then this album should be on your want list! Yeah, I am calling your prog loyality into question! This is a killer album! Make no mistake! This one goes to prog history!" - Prog Planet
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  • "The Electric Goddess is a powerful all-instrumental CD drenched in Borislav s soulful guitar work, played against a thundering hard rock soundtrack."
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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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  • "Back in the late eighties and early nineties I was a huge fan of that eras best thrash metal. Bands like Slayer, Testament, Death Angel, and Forbidden drew me in with machine gun double bass drums, lighting fast rhythms, and aggressive vocals. One Machine is the brainchild of guitarist Steve Smyth, best known for his stints in some of metals finest bands including Nevermore, Forbidden, Dragonlord, Vicious Rumours, and Testament, a stellar resume to be certain! For One Machine’s debut album, Smyth has formed a band that is compromised of a who’s who in the world of extreme/underground metal who were carefully selected by Smyth: Mikkel Sandager (Mercenary) on vocals, Jamie Hunt (Biomechanical) sharing guitar duties, rounded out by a powerhouse rhythm section with Tomas “O’Beast” Koefoed (Mnemic) on bass guitar and Michele Sanna on drums (although former drummer Raphael Saini of Italian progressive metallers Chaoswave played on the album). The Distortion Of Lies And The Overdriven Truth was recorded and produced by Steve Smyth. Mixing was handled by guitarist extraordinaire Roy Z (Judas Priest, Bruce Dickinson, Halford), mastered by Alan Douches (Three Inches Of Blood, Firewind, Sepultura) from West West Side Music with artwork created by Niklas Sundin from Cabin Fever Media (Dark Tranquillity, Arch Enemy), complimented with photography from Anthony Dubois (Meshuggah, Mnemic).The songs harken back to the 80′s Bay Area thrash movement of bands like Early Metallica, Testament, Death Angel, Exodus, and Forbidden and melds it with the classic metal style of Painkiller era Judas Priest and the melody of Vicious Rumours. Lead vocalist Sandager sings clean for the majority of the album but can growl out some extreme growl vocals as well as ear piercing screams that would make Rob Halford proud. He also has a vocal similarity to Russ from Forbidden in places (Crossed Over). Unlike a lot of their thrash metal forefathers, the band has a penchant for writing choruses with melodic and catchy hooks (Armchair Warriors). The music is chaotic at times (Killing The Hope Inside) almost to the point of no return, only to transition into a melodic passage that brings things back from the abyss. The guitar solos are as frenzied and speedy as the songs, at times reminding me of classic Slayer. What you have here are ten no nonsense slamming brutally heavy tracks that will make you want to jump in the pit. The title track sets the tone for the album with neck snapping, whiplash inducing headbanging thrash metal. There are some lighter moments such as in Kill The Light Inside and most notably the dark and moody mid-tempo of Last Star Alights, but for the most part, each song on the album takes a turn pummeling the listener with heavy riffs and brutal rhythms (see Evict the Enemy).One Machine is a band with a tremendous upside and possible crossover potential in the mainstream metal market with the right promotional push. Fans of Smyth’s revious work in Testament, Forbidden, and Nevermore will find a lot to love about this band, while fans of more melodic fare might be surprised to find lots of catchy melodies and hook laden choruses to sink their teeth into!" - Lady Obscure
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  • "On first listen, you could be forgiven for thinking that Helker are German: in fact, they hail from that renowned hotbed of heavy metal Argentina, with ‘Somewhere In The Circle’ being their fourth album but the first to be both recorded in English and gain an international release, thanks to a deal inked last year with AFM Records.However, the assumption that the five piece’s geographic origins lie in Germany, or even Italy, is a fair one to make, due to a number of factors – not least their collaboration with one Mat Sinner, who not only produced the album but also co-wrote all of the 11 tracks. Then, there’s the material itself, which evokes classic Helloween, especially, as well as the likes of Hammerfall, Primal Fear (vocalist Ralf Scheepers makes a guest appearance, along heavy metal mercenary Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, on ‘Begging For Forgiveness’) and just about every other classic European power metal outfit.All the right elements are included – soaring guitar solos and harmonies, huge, catchy choruses and majestic vocals. Actually, let’s concentrate on the latter for a moment: Diego Valdez does have a powerful, impressive voice, with a delivery and style that is very reminiscent of the late Ronnie James Dio (perhaps a bit too closely imitative on the likes of ‘Modern Roman Circus’, ‘No Chance To Be Reborn’ and ‘Dreams’), Michael Kiske (check ‘Wake Up’ or ‘Ghosts From The Past’) and even Klaus Meine (as on ‘Flying’).Elsewhere, the musical performances are all powerful and impressive, delivering a collection of songs that don’t stray too far from the traditional power metal formulae but nevertheless do so in an efficient and tidy manner." - Planet Mosh
    $15.00
  • New 2CD "Definitive Edition".  The second disc features the live "A Live Time In Eden" release.Third studio album picks up from where Arcana leaves off. Gorgeous soaring progressive symphonic metal with a bombastic touch. Vocalist Sabine Edelsbacher continues to develop as one of the great voices in metal. Composer/guitarist Lanvall is great at coming up with anthem-like melodies. Sabine finally meets her male counterpart match in D.C. Cooper who guests on the 9 minute epic "Red Ball In Blue Sky".
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  • 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