Restless & Wild ($5 SPECIAL)

SKU: EK39213
Label:
Epic
Category:
Power Metal
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"Accept's creative breakthrough, 1983's Restless and Wild, begins with one of the most unexpected, surprising, and hilarious mock intros ever recorded. Untold thousands no doubt furrowed their brows in confusion at the perky German folk song emanating from their speakers, only to be rudely interrupted by a scratching needle and Udo Dirkschneider's incomparable shriek, as the band launch themselves into the stunning violence of "Fast as a Shark." Not just a thrilling, light-speed juggernaut, the song was probably the last thrash metal prototype waxed in the pre-thrash era (officially inaugurated by Metallica's Kill 'Em All a few months later). Though nowhere near as frenetic, the title track and "Ahead of the Pack" are just as fierce, and despite a sudden stumble with the mediocre "Shake Your Heads" (an overtly cheesy, Judas Priest-style metal anthem, and the album's only stinker), the dramatic "Neon Nights" ends side one on the upswing once again. As for the album's second half, it's pretty much beyond reproach. Introduced by the solid "Get Ready" (another nod to Priest with its "Living After Midnight"-inspired drum intro), it builds from strength to strength with increasingly mature and melodic (though lyrically obscure) tracks such as "Flash Rockin' Man," "Don't Go Stealing My Soul Away," and the colossal "Princess of the Dawn." The latter closes the album as it began, in unexpected fashion, when its extended outro is abruptly interrupted mid-verse. The bottom line here is that this, like its successor Balls to the Wall, is an essential heavy metal album, and any fan worth his salt should own them both. But for the sake of first-time visitors, Restless and Wild is the slightly grittier, less melodic of the two. Whichever you chose, you can only win." - All Music Guide

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  • Third album from this Dutch progressive band is a conceptual work.  This one has strong political leanings so it might bother some of you out there.  It basically deals with changes in the geopolitcal climate since the late 90s.  While the band's first album was squarely in the metal camp, the subsequent albums find them moving more and more into the prog rock arena but maintaining an underlying heaviness.  Plenty of keyboards featured throughout the mix in a way that complements the guitar driven heaviness.  For me the stand out is vocalist Dennis Binnekade.  He has a stunning voice and I noticed that this time around someone coached him on his pronuciation. Rock solid contemporary prog. Highly recommended.
    $14.00
  • "The great dream of Fabio Zuffanti since he began writing the music on Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem "The rime of the mariner ancoent" was to transpose the whole opera in a theatrical version, giving people a version that could visualize its magic words and music. Thanks to the meeting with genoese director Susanna Tagliapietra, author of the great achievements in the field of the musical with his versions of "Aida" and "Jesus Christ Superstar", the dream has become reality.Susanna has helped to bring alive the musical world of Zuffanti creating a multimedia work and reproducing on stage the supernatural universe of Coleridge with multimedia elements, dance and stage actions. The first of the show was held last December 16, 2012 in the prestigious Teatro Verdi in Genoa getting a great success.From that evening comes this double album, containing a DVD with the shooting of the show (and a funny backstage) and a CD with the audio recording of the evening. Compared to the studio version, published on CD last year, the theatrical version contains many new arrangements and a brand new piece ("Interlude")."
    $25.00
  • 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.
    $14.00
  • "Prior to the release of 'Visions Fugitives', Mekong Delta had been no stranger to classical music. Their style of thrashy progressive metal exuded the influence of many a composer, particularly those with a darker sound to their orchestral observations. When it came to actually performing classical music however, the band up to this point had more or less limited themselves to using neoclassical tricks within their metal context, even doing a cover or two. With that in mind, 'Visions Fugitives' and its centerpiece 'Suite For Group And Orchestra' was quite a long time in the making. Although some may go to criticize the band for never going as far as to use a real-life orchestra in its recording, few albums within the 'thrash metal' umbrella have engaged me so much. Throw in a few pieces of cerebral prog metal to flesh things out, and you have a piece of work that would make the old giants of progressive rock proud.Although 'Suite For Group And Orchestra' is planted right in the middle of the album, there is still a clear division here between the ornate classical 'epic', and the more traditional songs. Like Rush's '2112', or Fates Warning's 'No Exit', Mekong Delta follow prog metal canon by giving listeners a clear cut of both gears, although every track on 'Visions Fugitives' falls firmly within progressive metal territory. As they have in the past, Mekong Delta shares the neighborhood with Voivod and Watchtower, in that their brand of thrash favours the cerebral over the speedy riffage of many of their contemporaries. Besides band founder Ralph Hubert, Mekong Delta has been a revolving door of musicians since their inception, and 'Visions Fugitives' is no exception. Mark Kaye brings a guitar performance to the band that fits their mission statement like a glove, fusing technicality with the sort of frantic atmosphere Mekong Delta had been capitalizing on with prior records. As far as Mekong Delta's metal edge is concerned, Douglas Lee's vocals may be the most controversial aspect of the sound. Although the complex vocalizations at the end of 'Them' declare that he is definitely has the ear for singing, his vocals have a tone to them that would fit much more comfortably in prog rock rather than thrash. Fortunately, Mekong Delta's metal side is never far ahead of the 'prog', and his performance here works just as well for the context as Wolfgang Borgmann's did on their debut.The classical aspect of 'Visions Fugitives' is without a doubt the most important part of the album. Though the four progressive metal songs are too worthy of being deemed masterful in their composition, 'Suite For Group And Orchestra' takes up a damned half of the record, and a listener's appreciation of the record will brink largely on their openness to heavy metal being crossbred with classical music so openly. Although classical music has been going steady with metal since the days of Yngwie Malmsteen and even long before, it rarely gets to the point where the two sounds are mixed to the extent where neither is the dominant force. This is the case with 'Suite For Group And Orchestra', an elaborately composed twenty minute piece worthy of the highest commendation. Here, Mekong Delta mimic the atmosphere of Romantic-era classical music rather than the erudite complexity of composers before, the result being a piece with plenty of epic melody and variety, not to mention a fair deal of room for the band to incorporate their rock instruments into the fray. The soothing acoustic 'Introduction' leads into an eerie 'Preludium', complete with low horns and eerie bells to make it sound like something out of the haunted mansion in Super Mario Brothers. 'Dance' and 'Fugue' bring the piece into less frightening and more proggy, technical realms, often letting the band play powerfully without getting in the way of the orchestration. As far as the composition itself goes, it's remarkable to hear how many places both emotionally and sonically Mekong Delta can take a listener within a twenty minute period.In terms of flaws, the use of a computerized, or 'fake' orchestra may not hurt the compositions or music, but there is always the feeling throughout listening to 'Visions Fugitives' that things could be even more impressive, had the band had the resources to make a full orchestral rendition of their music a reality. A less-than-excellent production quality carries over to the prog metal songs as well, with the vocals sounding somewhat muffled and less mixed than they rightfully should have been. None of these studio issues are ever enough to take away from the excellence of the band's 'vision' however; it might even be said that the muffled sound and artificial instruments even add to the atmosphere. Mekong Delta have long been one of the most engaging acts to come out of German thrash metal, and 'Visions Fugitives' sees them finally realize their dream of bringing classical music to the thrash realm. Even still, it feels as if this project left open room for improvement, but if Mekong Delta never tops the majesty they have created here, I won't be one to complain." - Metal Archives
    $12.00
  • "Swedish band, Brighteye Brison's roots date back to 2000. The band includes founding member, keyboardist, saxophonist, percussion and vocalist Linus Kåse and bassist, vocalist and fellow Stockholm Royal College of Music alum Kristofer Eng. Erik Hammarstrom provides drums. Guitarist Johan Öijen helped to complete the original band line-up. Following the release of their debut album, sound engineer, keyboardist and vocalist Per Hallman joined the band to add Hammond B3 and mellotron to the soundscape. Fioge Norling provides narration, and Daniel Kase adds marimba and tubular bells. In addition, the band's sound also includes the use of trumpet, mandolin, theremin, and xylophone to provide a rich and captivating soundscape which showcases their virtuoso talent.Brighteye Brison actually has a sound which originates more from a Flower Kings background, than any direct interpretation of Yes. Many fans of the TFK's have been yearning for a reunion and this album may provide some relief until that event culminates…if ever.I've added this band to my 'watch list'. Excellent music played by talented musicians with a sound that is full of orchestration and diverse instrumentation.1. The Rise of Brighteye Brison opens this spectacular symphonic, space, epic with full on keyboards that take me right back to a melody similar to the opening of Jethro Tull's "Black Sunday" on the "A" album. Then some cool mellotron accents coupled with drums adding to the advertised similarities to Yes' and other prog classics. A great foundation for a splendid twenty three minute epic. Harmony vocals are added to provide even more reminders of the Yes sound without sounding anything like a cover band. The vocals and keyboards are definitely the "bread and butter" for this band's sound and if you like both, this band will not disappoint. The guitar and bass work which enters later provides nuance and adds to the melody, but it's the keys that truly dazzle throughout. The drums are solid and the story and melody move along on a well-planned arc of consciousness. This twenty three minute journey of the mind is full of good lyrics and wonderful harmonies and music.The drum solo section provides a great showcase for Hammarstrom's talents. The sax solos teamed with mellotron add to the ambiance within this lush epic. The Conclusion section of the song brings back memories of the early "Phil Collins Era" of the band Genesis.Off to a fantastic start.2. The Magician's Cave opens with jazzy piano and drums accented with keyboard highlights, followed well with guitar, before lead vocals from the "Brave Knight", "Have you heard the tale of wonder? There's magic in the hills, that's why I'm going". The track then proceeds off on a "Middle Earth" – like journey, with narration, surrounded by piano that sounds inspired by some of the work on Genesis' famous "Lamb" album. The narration and musical theater which ensues is a great tip of the hat to the legendary writers of the past.The guitar solo which follows with bass support is one of the best guitar sections on the album. The addition of the percussion and sax provides mystery as this second, over twelve minute epic story weaves its tale.The choral singing and chanting surrounded by keys, mellotron, guitar and drums adds to the haunting sound that fills this track.3. Mind Fire Menace opens with keyboards, drums, bass and lead guitar before the singing begins. This is the shortest of the tracks but it is full of excellent keyboards, guitar, surrounding orchestration and drums." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $16.00
  • 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.
    $13.00
  • 2nd concept album is subtlely more straight ahead than their debut but is still light years beyond most bands in terms of originality and complexity. Compared by some to Faith No More.
    $15.00
  • "On 'Possession', CRYSTAL VIPER decided to cross the borders of Traditional Heavy Metal, and while the fast and melodic songs bring references to such classic bands as Judas Priest, Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio or Jag Panzer, the epic and dark parts bring comparisons to acts such as Candlemass, Mercyful Fate or even Bathory. The album's artwork, made in a very classic and old school Heavy Metal style, has been painted by Michal Oracz, the famous Polish author of RPG and board games (incl. the world bestseller Neuroshima), and includes many impressive details which will be noticed by fans after listening to the album. Produced by Bart Gabriel (Sacred Steel, Sabaton, Burning Starr)."
    $15.00
  • "Power metal has always been as fun as it is ridiculous. I may be overstepping my bounds, but if any bands care to disagree, let their dragons smite me where I stand. Dark Moor has been around since, what feels like, the beginning of time. Actually, it was closer to the late '90s when _Shadowland_ was released. Since their glorious debut into the golden halls of classical influenced power metal, the band has gone through serious line-up changes, including the 2003 departure of vocalist Elisa Martin. I would say that Dark Moor has changed drastically since 1999, but then again I would be overstepping my bounds. Fans have been divided over Martin led Dark Moor versus the new line-up with rich tenor Alfred Romero taking vocal duties. _Ancestral Romance_ is the band's eighth album, continuing the tradition of making music which sounds like battle themes for "Final Fantasy" games. _Ancestral Romance_ travels down well worn paths dug and paved by Blind Guardian, Helloween and Stratovarius. In fact, Dark Moor does nothing which breaks tradition with European power metal as well as previous releases. Despite its conceptual shortcomings, _Ancestral Romance_ does everything it should, at the right time and with the level of energy which soars straight through a vaulted roof.Stark realism hasn't always been a popular subject for power metal, as most albums are dedicated to high fantasy and various forms of speculative fiction. _Ancestral Romance_ deviates slightly with its pastoral paintings dedicated to Spanish folklore. If I could describe a song as framed and gilded in ornate gold, I would. While there is some historic truth to many songs, the level of fiction present is enough to make Rhapsody of Fire blush. Everything is inspired by actual events, and those events have been dramatized, exaggerated and heavy diffused. There are some obvious Spanish songs, such as the Don Quixote ballad " Tilt at Windmills", while others are more specific, like the Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar centered "Mio Cid". The Spanish Golden Age is usually not a popular period of inspiration, however, "Ah, Wretched Me" and its tribute to Pedro Calderón de la Barca says otherwise. _Ancestral Romance_ reads like the syllabus to a grad level Spanish literature class. It's exclusivity and somewhat obscure subject matter makes this portion of the record a highlight and selling point.There are, however, downfalls such as the middle selection entitled "Just Rock". I would try to brush this song off as a poor translation, but anything named "Just Rock" has one unfortunate conclusion. The congratulatory nature of "Just Rock" and masculine celebration of music in general feels silly as a midpoint pep rally which no one asked for. I am not pointing any fingers, but "Just Rock" may or may not have the lyrics "You feel the beat, you get a shock / when your soul harmonized with rock". This song completely disrupts a perfect afternoon with a coerced battle hymn. Dark Moor interrupts your picnic by dragging their muddy feet on the blanket. Luckily, after this shipwreck, the album moves along swimmingly until the end._Ancestral Romance_ could also be praised for its position on tempo. Speed, for Dark Moor, isn't necessarily the end goal as with most power metal. While the ferocity of DragonForce and Sonata Artica is fun, it is sometimes treated as a technical checkmate. Dark Moor coasts at midspeed while still showing off technical prowess and unnecessary bass solos. The cruising speed of Manowar's _In Glory Ride_ and Iced Earth's _Night of the Stormrider_ worked fine in the past and works again for _Ancestral Romance_.It is hard to fault a band for doing everything with textbook style and predictable grace. Dark Moor has made it apparent they intend on skipping forward with little to no change. There is some admiration granted to an artist working through a style over the course of eight albums. Each album is another step in becoming folk heroes or possibility having their faces engraved on coins. _Ancestral Romance_ , for better or worse, is everything you expect it to be and nothing more." - chroniclesofchaos.com
    $6.00
  • 6CD remastered box set containing the band's first six cassette releases.  This also comes with new liner notes, photos, and memorabilia in a 40 page book.
    $55.00
  • Epica finally releases a live set and in typical fashion its nothing short of over the top and immaculate. The performance was recorded as part of the Bartok + Miskolc International Opera Festival in Miskolc, Hungary on 6/14/08. The set starts out a bit weird...the orchestra starts off with some classical pieces and then they are joined by the band who kick in and energize these warhorse tracks. They even do some oddball covers of movie soundtrack music. Finally Simone Simons takes the stage and the band soars through a selection of material from their catalog - all with the backing of the orchestra. I don't think there is a DVD planned although I wish there was - this must have been a sight to see. Once again Epica are EPIC! Highest recommendation.
    $16.00
  • "You've got to give Signum Regis founder and bass player Ronnie Konig some credit. He keeps trying to up his game with each new Signum Regis album. With his third album, Exodus, he tackles another concept album: the slavery in and exodus of the Israelites from Egypt from the Biblical book of the same name. Additionally, rather than a single lead vocalist, namely Goran Edman, Konig brings in no less than nine notable vocalists. (See the list below.) Whether this amounts to a good thing will be in the ear of listener.Something that has not changed is Signum Regis' sound, remaining traditional European melodic heavy and power metal. Considering the nature and significance of the Biblical story, some properly composed power metal could give the listener a lively interpretation of that story. Often it does.For instance, in pace, lyrics, and vocal arrangement there's a feeling of urgency within Let Us Go!, as the Hebrews seek release from their Egyptian masters. If you recall your Biblical history, you'll remember that Pharaoh was not to happy with Moses, becoming royally pissed and stubborn. Wrath of the Pharoah gets some of that with it's heavy and raging sound and piercing vocals. Of course, Pharaoh and all Egypt was warned of what would happen if they did not comply with Yahweh's wishes. The Ten Plagues offers some bracing straight power metal, with some ripping guitar work, to emphasize the drama of the event.Curiously, I would have thought the song Last Days in Egypt, which would have included the first passover ceremony (and foreshadowing Christ's atonement later), to be a more somber and introspective piece, perhaps acoustic guitar driven. Rather, it's basically electric guitar driven instrumental. There's some drama to the centerpiece song, Exodus, as it has a marching feel, thinking of the Israelites marching to their freedom.Finally, but not the final song, Song of Deliverance, based on Moses' song after crossing the Red Sea from Exodus 15, is likely the best and clearest reference to this profound and true story. It's also one of the better songs on the album because it's not all charging power metal. No, there's rather light breakdown just before the middle and also at the end that adds a reflective character to the story and song.The album comes with a bonus track, Mountain of God. Though the lyrics are hard to define, this song may have something to do with Israel arriving at Mount Sinai and the giving of the ten commandments.While this is probably the best Signum Regis album to date, some might find it too familiar, and there for redundant, thanks to the predictable, or typical, as the case may be, European power metal throughout. Nevertheless, it's also still very good melodic heavy power metal from some talented fellows who know how to get it right. Recommended." - Dangerdog.comExodus Guest VocalistsLance King [ex. Pyramaze, Balance of Power], Michael Vescera [Obsession, Animetal USA], Matt Smith [Theocracy], Daísa Munhoz [Vandroya, Soulspell], Eli Prinsen [Sacred Warrior, The Sacrificed], Samuel Nyman [Manimal], Thomas L. Winkler [Gloryhammer, Emerald], Göran Edman [ex. Yngwie Malmsteen, John Norum] and Mayo Petranin [Castaway].
    $14.00
  • "When Rush issued Vapor Trails in 2002, they revealed that -- even after Neil Peart's personal tragedies in the 1990s had cast the group's future in doubt -- they were back with a vengeance. The sound was hard-hitting, direct, and extremely focused. Lyrically, Peart went right after the subject matter he was dealing with -- and it was in the aftermath of 9/11 as well, which couldn't help but influence his lyric writing. In 2004 the band issued a covers EP that was in one way a toss-off, but in another a riotous act of freewheeling joy that offered a side of the band no one had heard for 30 years. There were a couple of live offerings and a 30th anniversary project as well that kept fans happy perhaps, but broke -- though Rush in Rio was the kind of live album every band hopes to record. Snakes & Arrows represents the band's 18th studio album. Produced by Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Velvet Revolver, Superdrag), the record is another heavy guitar, bass, and drums...drums...and more drums record. The title came -- unconsciously according to Peart -- from a centuries-old Buddhist game of the same name about karma, and also from a play on the words of the children's game Chutes and Ladders. Its subject matter is heavy duty: faith and war. From the opening track (and first single), acoustic and electric guitars, bass hum, and Peart's crash-and-thrum urgency in the almighty riff are all present. When Geddy Lee opens his mouth, you know you are in for a ride: "Pariah dogs and wandering madmen/Barking at strangers and speaking in tongues/The ebb and flow of tidal fortune/Electrical charges are charging up the young/It's a far cry from the world we thought we'd inherit/It's a far cry from the way we thought we'd share it...." At the same time, inside the frame of the refrain, Lee refuses to be conquered in the face of chaos: "One day I feel like I'm ahead of the wheel/And the next it's rolling over me/I can get back on/I can get back on." Alex Lifeson's guitars swell and Peart's crash cymbals ride the riff and push Lee to sing above the wailing fray. Great beginning."Armor and Sword" contains an instrumental surprise. After an initial ride-cymbal clash, the guitar and bassline sound exactly like King Crimson playing something from Red or Larks' Tongues in Aspic. The theme is repeated on an acoustic guitar before Lee begins singing about the shadowy side of human nature brought on by the many times children are scarred in development. The boom and crackle of electric guitars and bass are all there, but so is that sense of melody that Rush have trademarked as Lee states, "...No one gets to their heaven without a fight/We hold beliefs as a consolation/A way to take us out of ourselves...." There is no screed for or against religion per se, but a stake in the claim of hope and faith as absolutely necessary to accomplish anything, hence the refrain. Peart beautifully articulates the dark side of life's undersurface; he has been writing the best lyrics of his entire career on the band's last two studio records -- only two in the last ten years. The dynamic works against the melody and Lifeson's brief but screaming solo is a fine cap on it. "Workin' Them Angels" blends the acoustic against the electrics gorgeously, and Lee sings counterpoint to the guitars. "The Larger Bowl" is one of those Rush tunes that builds and builds both lyrically and musically, beginning with only Lee's voice and Lifeson's acoustic guitar. Its shift-and-knot rhythms and spatial dynamics offer the impression -- as does the rest of the album -- that the bandmembers are playing in the same room at the same time (it happened to a lesser degree on Vapor Trails, but here the impression is constant). The sounds -- both hard and soft -- blend together wonderfully. The live feel of the record with its sonic washes and overdubbed guitars and vocals creates near chaos without loss of control. It's like teetering on the edge of an abyss with one eye on both sides of it. Song by song, the notions of tension build, taking the listener to a place where hope and faith are challenged continually, not only in the face of the entire world, but in one's personal relationships -- check "Spindrift." Echoes of T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, Robert Frost, Matthew Arnold, and The Odyssey are glanced upon, as is The Dhammapada in the Buddhist scriptures -- with more of a thematic than referential purpose.Amid all this seriousness, there is a bit of humor. The instrumental track "Malignant Narcissism" references a line in the comedic film Team America: World Police from Matt Stone and Trey Parker of South Park fame. It comes from a line in the film that reveals how terrorists think. It's one of three absolutely stunning instrumentals; another is "The Main Monkey Business," which sounds like the closest Rush have gotten to jamming in the studio in over 20 years. Think of the intensity of 2112 with the musicianship of Vapor Trails, and you begin to get a picture: screaming guitars, deep bass thrum, soaring keyboards, and all those pop-and-boom drums from Peart's massive kit. "The Way the Wind Blows" is Rush taking on the blues in massive metallic style, and it feels more like Cream in the intro. Lee's vocal drives deep inside the lyric -- it's tense, paranoid, yet revelatory. It's about the perverse magnetism of religion and war, and how both are seemingly designed to be cause and effect: fanatical religiosity leads to war. There are different theories on this, but Peart distills them well, as if he's read (but not necessarily completely understood) René Girard's seminal work Violence and the Sacred. The album changes pace a bit with the instrumental "Hope," a largely 12-string acoustic guitar piece played off a medieval theme by Lifeson. "Faithless" is anything but. It's one of those Rush tracks where counterpoint vocals against the guitars and basslines create that unique welling of sound that occurs when the band is at its peak on-stage. The set ends with "We Hold On," a track that expresses the sum total of all the struggles life offers and holds. Here Eliot the poet is quoted directly at the end of the third verse. It's anthemic, with backmasked guitars, Peart playing actual breaks, and Lee's bass holding the chaos together with a constant pulsing throb, guiding the various knotty musical changes back to the center of the verse and refrain, which is the place where the cut just explodes in sonic fury. Snakes & Arrows is one of the tightest conceptual records the band has ever released. Musically, it is as strong as their very best material, without a lapse in texture, composition, production, musicianship, or sheer rock intensity. There are real heart and fire in this album. It was well worth waiting for." - Allmusic Guide
    $8.00
  • Not sure what needs to be said about this album - I get weepy eyed just thinking about the first time I heard it. One of the greatest progressive rock albums of all time - residing in my all time top 10. The best album Pink Floyd never made. Extraordinary, expansive space rock journeys that will transport you to another place and time. This long awaited remaster comes with two non-lp bonus cuts: "Child Migration" and "Let The Sun Rise In My Brain". Essential listening!!!Please note this disc incorporates EMI copy control technology which seems to allow you to do whatever it is you would normally do with a CD but you can't rip it. Bummer.
    $13.00