No Sadness Or Farewell

Latest release from Crippled Black Phoenix is marketed as an EP but at 45 minutes in length its anything but.  Longtime vocalist Joe Volk is gone, replaced by John E. Vistic.  The core sound is intact, an expansive, cinematic blend of post rock and early 70s Pink Floyd.  The 12 minute tune "How We Rock" sounds like an instrumental soundtrack piece Floyd would have recorded for a Sergio Leone film.  As far as I'm concerned these guys can do no wrong.

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  • Recorded during the band's live performance residency in Tokyo, this is a complete rendition of the first album, Storia Di Un Minuto."To celebrate the 40 years anniversary of "L'isola di niente", PFM have recorded an incredible series of live albums, where they play the original first 5 LPs tracklist in its entirety for the first time ever. This energetic new version it is called "Un minuto" features the first historic LP "Storia di un minuto" with all its fantastic tracks including, for the first time, "Grazie davvero", never played live before.Released in CD papersleeve, "Un minuto" is part of a series which includes the first PFM's five albums reproduced live, to be collected in an elegant box called "Il suono del tempo"."
    $19.00
  • First album in ten years from this Scottish neo-prog band. At this point the band consists of the trio of Stewart Bell, Cyrus Scott, and Phil Allen. I haven't listened to this band in years to be honest but I always remembered them as being one of the better neo bands. Everyone always compares Cyrus to Peter Gabriel but honestly he sounds more like Fish or Simone Rossetti of The Watch. Actually he sounds a lot like Rossetti the more I listen to him. The music really bears no resemblance to Genesis. Skies Darken is highly symphonic long form pieces. The music has a dark vibe to it enhanced a bit by Cyrus' dramatic vocal stylings.
    $15.00
  • Deluxe digibook edition comes with a bonus CD featuring an instrumental mix of the album."After an absence of three years, and several personal trials and tribulations, Austria's Edenbridge arrives with their eighth studio album, The Bonding. Edenbridge has never done anything half way or half-heartedly, sideways or otherwise. So what could the band do to turn the knobs to 11 for their grand symphonic power metal?How about recording with a full orchestra to make those symphonic parts sound even more grand than simple synthesizer twiddling? Through the support of fans and sponsors, Edenbridge was able the Klangvereinigung Orchestra of Vienna to push the band's already impressive symphonic sonics to the stratosphere and beyond.Is this to say that this substantial addition makes The Bonding great, even more spectacular than previous Edenbridge outings? Well ... yeah. There are oodles of melodic symphonic metal bands, many with female lead vocalists, producing their large bombastic sound. Putting the orchestra into the symphonic seems like a no-brainer. Edenbridge gets it right. The orchestra, the symphonic parts of the arrangements, are exactly that, a part of each arrangement. They neither lead nor smother any song, but they certainly add authenticity to Edenbridge's chosen style. The opener Mystic River is a perfect example of this balance.And you still get nice keyboards, big riffs and even bigger solos, and Sabine Edelsbacher’s voice, which sounds better than ever. She's smooth, controlled, clear, and simply powerful. Listening to her on Alight A New Tomorrow, The Invisible Force, or Death Is Not The End, by example, are impressive as they are inspiring.Perhaps we've hit the highlights of The Bonding. All these elements find their culmination, apex as it were, in the title cut which closes the album. It's better than 15 minutes of symphonic melodic power metal bliss. It also features Ms. Edelsbacher in duet with Erik Martensson (WET, Eclipse). Holy shiite! What an awesome combination. The song also displays that aforementioned balanced, more than nuanced, of the orchestra for the symphonic parts with entire arrangement. Principal composer Lanvall desires major kudos for this musical score. The Bonding is grand, engaging, and entertaining, more than a little epic, melodic symphonic power metal from a terrific band. Is it their best album yet? Could be. Strongly recommended." - Danger Dog
    $17.00
  • "If you think back to bands such as SixTh then this genre of ultra tech/ djent has been around for some time, however, with bands such as TesseracT, Periphery and Meshuggah perhaps bringing it more to the public eye and out of the groove Metal shadows, it can be no real surprise that more and more bands are coming forward with their own take on what, at the end of the day can be a very difficult style of music to get right.Nothing wrong with that I hear you say, and providing it’s done well, I quite agree.Monuments début album “Gnosis” nails it in a number of ways, yes, we have the jarring riffs that really set this genre apart from most others but we also have that increasingly rare commodity called melody. You can sometimes be technical for technicalities sake but Monuments deliver an album that strikes a near perfect balance between an overriding ambition to push the boundaries even further, and maintaining a level of accessibility for the listener.Tracks such as “Doxa” for example really encapsulate the bands sound in a nutshell, “Blue Sky Thinking”, with its beautiful mix of aggressive and clean vocal, and my personal album highlight “97% Static”, which lends a fantastic, dreamy, atmospheric feel to the ear.Lyrically, the album is quite political in it’s content, with the overall message of think for yourself and not to follow other peoples train of thought, which in a way could easily describe the band themselves.A début release this may be but it has been many years in the concept forming and song writing to get to this stage.Guitarist, John Browne has assembled a fine group of musicians together to realise his dream, non more so than Matt Rose on vocals who has an unnerving gift of moving from the hard edge sound and then to meander seamlessly across the spectrum to deliver some really uplifting melodies.Top of the tree they may not be just yet but on the showing of this highly impressive work, it must surely only be a matter of time." - Planet Mosh
    $12.00
  • This is the Bill Inglot remaster from 2003 housed in a digipak. Comes with two bonus tracks - studio run throughs of "Dance Of The Dawn" and "Giants Under The Sun". For years I always felt this was my favorite Yes album. Revisiting it I find that my feelings about this album as well as Genesis' Lamb are that they would have made amazing 3 sided albums. The material wears thin in spots but the high points are perhaps the highest the band ever achieved. Deduct a point for over-reaching but add one back for trying.
    $17.00
  • Third album from this very fine Irish neo-progressive band.  Dead Heroes Club have that traditional sound down.  Frontman Liam Campbell's voice has an uncanny resemblance to Fish and Peter Gabriel (which one depends on the tune).  This one is ripped right out of the Clutching At Straws playbook but the band tends to stretch out a bit more.  I also noticed that the guitar is cranked up a bit more than in the past.  Good stuff.
    $15.00
  • After many years of unauthorized bootlegs and promises for a legit release its finally here.  A Night On Bald Mountain is considered by many to be one of the finest examples of progressive rock from a US band.  You can debate all you want as to what is the best - let's all agree that A Night On Bald Mountain is in the upper echelon of prog.  The New Jersey based band released this classically influenced album in 1975.  Produced by ex-King Crimson keyboardist Ian McDonald, the album had a very European feel.  Elements of all the English giants can be found here - ELP, King Crimson, and Genesis.  Lots of keyboard pyrotechnics and more than enough wicked guitar and flute to satisfy everyone's taste.This long awaited reissue features mastering by Larry "Synergy" Fast and incldues two previously unreleased bonus tracks - a cover of King Crimson's "Pictures Of A City" as well as "Robot Salesman".  Housed in a nicely embossed digipak cover.  BUY OR DIE!
    $14.00
  • "Ever since rising from oblivion with new Greek goddess Maxi Nil, Visions of Atlantis is back on track to become one of the most important bands in symphonic metal. Within eight months of releasing its comeback album "Delta" this past February, the band already has a brand new EP entitled "Maria Magdalena." Over the years, EP releases have notoriously consisted of throw away tracks recorded during a full-length writing process or demo tracks from years past, but "Maria Magdelena" is worthy of attention.The band chooses to live dangerously by naming and commencing the EP with a cover track, especially one of an 80's pop song. However, the result is a bombastic symphonic metal rendition of the 1985 Sandra hit "Maria Magdalena" that could easily pass off as a Visions of Atlantis original. This interpretation outdoes the former in so many ways and on so many levels, most notably with far superior vocals by Nil and Mario Plank. After further review of the original, it sounded a distorted chord shy of being symphonic metal itself.The EP is also home to two tracks that can easily be considered the best material the band has composed to date, "Melancholia" and "Change of Tides." Both rain "tides" of mellifluous hooks swaddled in the Visions Of Atlantis brand of "supple heaviness." Both Nil and Plank really flash the pipes, Plank in the former and Nil in the latter. "Distant Shores" is equal in its melody and just as strong as either of the aforementioned tracks, just a little less theatrical. The maturation of sound and song writing really shows since the days of "Morning In Atlantis."I normally would have balked at the inclusion of "Last Shut Of Your Eyes," the slow starting tasty rocker that originally appeared on the band's 2004 release "Cast Away." However, upon listening to the re-recording, the sound is so much fuller with the addition Nil's little background inflections. Her vocals are much less classically operatic than that of former vocalist Nicole Bogner. In comparison, Bogner's version seems abrasive to Nil's sweet and soaring one. Rounding out the EP is the slumbersome ballad "Beyond Horizon, The Poem, Pt. II" (the sequel to "The Poem" on the 2007 release "Trinity"), which represents a typical ballad of the genre. Its placement at the conclusion of this release was perfect.Visions of Atlantis is right on the edge of stardom, ready to spread its wings and fly from the safety of the Nightwish nest to exert its own influence throughout world of symphonic metal." - MetalUnderground.com
    $7.00
  • Arguably the best American prog band going present us with their first album in 8 years.  Its a 47 minute mindf**k of a journey - just one long continuous track.  It starts out in quiet, ambient territory and then transmogrifies into something else.  Guitar leads snake to the fore and then disappear, Mellotrons and Moogs carry you along into the deepest regions of your mind.  Flute and bouzouki and there...and then they are gone.  Intense stuff that walks a similar path to early 70s Pink Floyd.  The band recommends you listen with headphones.  I agree!  Highly recommended.
    $11.00
  • "Sometimes it seems that one of the great groups questioned by paying homage to the greats of the genre is The Flower Kings. The reality is that the progressive symphonic rock should not credited with anybody in full. Phenomena as far apart as Yes / Van Der Graaf Generator / King Crimson / Supertramp / Genesis / ELP / Mike Oldfield, to name a few, have forged an undeniable style. But while they have drunk from many sources before them to finish defining your method or character. And the legacy of the above is extraordinary, superlative.  Clearly, The Flower Kings took inspiration from some of those giants, as some of them did of The Beatles, for example.Retropolis is an album that attempts to reinvent something already done. The band manages to further polish their sound, although the composition of the songs do not reach the level of previous albums, including The Flower King (Stolt) and Back into the World of Adventures. True, it is a proposal less original than others, but more complex, better executed and more transcendent than most there.I just remove The Judas Kiss, the rest is an accomplished and varied musical offerings worthy of being appreciated by the audience progressive.Fantastic cover art." - ProgArchivesSwedish symphonic rock.
    $11.00
  • "Really superb debut album from this contemporary instrumental progressive rock band who sound completely contemporary but manage to do so while not using the metallic/crunchy overtones that so many contemporary progressive bands use. There's a certain dark, mysterious quality which is probably due to the strings, but it's not particularly avant-garde. It doesn't sound like anyone else and it doesn't sound old. Highly recommended." - Wayside Music Makajodama is the unusual name for this young instrumental quartet from Sweden. The band was formed by Mathias Danielsson, guitarist for the progressive rock band Gösta Berlings Saga. In the course of searching for another avenue to express his own musical ideas he met Mattias Ankarbrandt, the former drummer of The Carpet Knights. Their goal was to blend both written and improvised music. Through the walls of the cellar of Mathias' rehearsal studio, he could hear someone practice violin everyday, and since some of his new ideas included strings he decided to find out who the player was. After a month searching, they located their man Johan Klint who immediately joined Mattias and Mathias. As luck would have it Johan knew a cellist, Karin Larsdotter, who was also interested in improvisation as well and she came onboard, rounding out the quartet. The band invited Anekdoten’s guitarist, Nicklas Barker, to mix the album. Makajodama’s debut is a direct reflection of the quartet’s influences: Third Ear Band, Univers Zero, Swedish psych pioneers Älgarnas Trädgård, the kraut rock spirit of Can and Faust, and Swedish contemporary composers Karl-Birger Blomdahl and Allan Pettersson. The result is a unique collision of progressive and post rock that sounds like the musical offspring of early King Crimson and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The artwork and design of the digipak was created by noted Swedish artist Johan Björkegren. Get a taste of Makajodama here: Makajodama's MySpace Page
    $14.00
  • "As a historical document, this release takes some beating. Recorded during the short – and only – tour that Fripp & Eno undertook as a duo, it captures a pivotal moment, not only in the development of both players, but in the live music experience itself. Here was a "rock concert" (or "superstar show" as the poster for the less glamourous Tunbridge Wells gig had it) where two of the leading lights of the art prog scene sat in near darkness improvising a series of dronic, ectoplasmic mood pieces for an hour and a half. No hits, no big riffs, no exotic costumes. In 2014, that description could be analogous to any number of live electronica events, but in 1975, it led to booing, walkouts and open hostility.Yes, there had been precedents for this type of proto-ambient music before, specifically the kosmische of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, and most pertinently, the systems music of Terry Riley, which had inspired Eno to start experimenting with tape loops in the first place. And it wasn't as if the duo hadn't already signalled their musical intentions with the release of (No Pussyfooting) in 1973. But in a pre-online world, music travelled more slowly, and a lot of people went to these shows expecting Roxy Music and King Crimson numbers. What they got instead, was an intriguing, and for some discomfiting, glimpse into the future.1975 was a liminal year for rock music in the UK. It saw the end of glam, the fading of prog and the first stirrings of punk. It also saw the biggest band of the day release one of the bleakest, most alienated albums in the rock canon, Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. While operating much further along the spectrum than Floyd, there's a similarly immersive, almost enervating feel to the sounds that Fripp & Eno produce during this performance, suggesting that we're at the start of a new way of listening to and experiencing music, an opening up of new possibilities in aural pleasure. With its use of repetition and egoless explorations of sonic space, there's also a strong argument for Fripp & Eno creating the UK's only indigenous strain of krautrock.The performance begins before Fripp & Eno have even arrived on stage, with the cold, aqueous drone of 'Water On Water'. Quizzical voices can be heard in the audience, then cheers, but these soon subside as a tide of alien soundwaves continues to wash over them. As a listening experience, it goes beyond the point of nothing happening into a new realm of uncertainty, and the audience sound as much relieved as delighted when Fripp & Eno finally take their places and begin playing 'A Radical Representative Of Pinsnip' (a version of 'The Heavenly Music Corporation'). Fripp's guitar seems to intuitively tune into the wavelength that Eno is broadcasting on, a huge, ever-growing pulsating brain weaving tessellations of holy noise around the fabric of the drone. Over a pattern of discordant notes, like an evil fairground pipe organ, Fripp solos at his most atonal and nightmarish, before calmly sliding into 'Swastika Girls'. Eno's backing loop seems to mutate from the ringing of wind chimes to the squealing of pigs, while Fripp's unmistakeable shredding alternates from placid to fiercely angular. 'Wind On Wind' signals an intermission – there's no crowd noise (other than the sound of someone choking on a magic cigarette), so it's difficult to say whether the audience remains rapt with attention or have already departed en masse to the bar.The performance re-starts with 'Wind On Water', its gentle beginning leading gradually to an ecstatic ascension, Fripp's guitar like dazzlingly bright reflections of the sun on a rippled pool. We then get a series of anagrammatically-punning tracks unfeatured on any of the duo's studio albums. 'A Near Find In Rip Pop' is based on a simple loop of strummed guitar, which Fripp drops note clusters over, before peeling away to reveal (un)natural sounds of wind and distant animal cries. It's a point of mellowness midway through proceedings, soon disrupted by 'A Fearful Proper Din', its grinding chug like Sunn O))) heard at the end of a long tunnel. Fripp's soloing taps into the heaviness of Red-era King Crimson, faster, harder and more threatening than before as the track morphs into 'A Darn Psi Inferno'. Children's voices appear against the metallic breathing of Fripp's guitar at its scariest, the tension finally broken by the relative balm of 'Evening Star'.Fripp & Eno exit for a second time to 'An Iron Frappe' – another unaccompanied drone piece resembling the infinite echo of a struck bell – before returning to encore with 'Softy Gun Poison'. Here, the duo finally drift off into deep space in a trail of sinister voices and unhinged laughter, the whine and growl of their engines stretched and refracted, the ghost of a slow-motion explosion. The track culminates in perhaps the single most transcendent part of the show/recording, a warm plateau of dense drone that segues into the walk-off tape of 'An Index Of Metals', their ship caught on the lip of a black hole for all eternity, faintly transmitting back to earth.Over the entire length of this immaculately restored 3-CD set (which includes a disc of the unadorned tape loops that Eno prepared for these shows), I began to wonder if anybody needed this much Fripp & Eno in their lives – that such thoughts now feel positively iconoclastic compared with the righteous indignation that many people greeted this material with in 1975 shows just how far we've come, and how much Fripp & Eno (both as a duo and individually) helped to redefine our appreciation of what music could be." - The Quietus
    $23.00
  • Well Steve is done resucitating the Genesis catalogue and back to concentrating on fresh solo material.  The new album Wolflight is a bit of a loose concept album and I find it to be one of his strongest releases in years.  The album is filled with lots of guests (including Chris Squire) contributing exotic instruments to the mix adding an old world sound.  Steve's trademark sound is locked into place so if you are looking for the wailing guitar, liquid runs and acoustic delicacy you won't be disappointed.  His vocals has never been my favorite part of a Steve Hackett album but either I've mellowed in age or his voice has - not sure which.  Regardless it fits the music just fine.  Classic Hackett and nothing less.  BUY OR DIE!Please note this is the US edition that arrives in a digipak.  Its a 2 disc set.  Disc 1 is the standard CD.  Disc 2 is actually a Blu-ray.  Tontent includes hi-res stereo and 5.1 mix of the album, 2 bonus tracks not on the standard CD (in hi-res no less!), and extensive interview footage with Steve Hackett.
    $14.00
  • Third album from this German post-rock band. Long Distance Calling explore similar territory to bands like Explosions In The Sky and God Is An Astronaut. There is a bit of a spacier side to their music that is a bit like early Pink Floyd. The music has a very organic vibe that ebbs and flows but like most other bands of their ilk they rarely solo - they typically rely on heavy riffing that develops a groove. Although they are normally thought of as an instrumental band, on one track they have a guest vocal appearance from Armored Saint/Anthrax vocalist John Bush.
    $12.00