Ripe

SKU: LE1031
Label:
The Laser's Edge
Category:
Fusion/Jazz
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Renowned guitarist Scott McGill returns with his second instrumental solo album. Influenced by legends Bill Connors and Allan Holdsworth, McGill reinvents the genre by creating an aggressive style of progressive fusion. His high-energy fretwork matched by the potent rhythm section of Chico Huff (Mistaken Identities) on bass, and Vic Stevens (Gongzilla, Mistaken Identities) on drums. Ripe charts a new direction for both fusion and progressive rock.

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  • "Right from the start, a vastly different Weather Report emerges here, one that reflects co-leader Joe Zawinul's developing obsession with the groove. It is the groove that rules this mesmerizing album, leading off with the irresistible 3/4 marathon deceptively tagged as the "Boogie Woogie Waltz" and proceeding through a variety of Latin-grounded hip-shakers. It is a record of discovery for Zawinul, who augments his Rhodes electric piano with a funky wah-wah pedal, unveils the ARP synthesizer as a melodic instrument and sound-effects device, and often coasts along on one chord. The once fiery Wayne Shorter has been tamed, for he now contributes mostly sustained ethereal tunes on soprano sax, his tone sometimes doubled for a pleasing octave effect. The wane of freewheeling ensemble interplay is more than offset by the big increase in rhythmic push; bassist Miroslav Vitous, drummer Eric Gravatt, and percussionist Dom Um Romao are now cogs in one of jazz's great swinging machines." - All Music Guide
    $7.00
  • "IRON MASK stand out from many other artists of the neo-classical metal genre because they manage to combine high musical ambitions with a certain kind of accessibility and lots of variety. With 'Fifth Son of Winterdoom', Dushan Petrossi and his band manage the musical claim to be very catchy, so fans of Firewind, Dio, Iron Maiden, Yngwie Malmsteen and Rainbow will all have their joy in this extraordinary album."
    $15.00
  • Formed at the beginning of the nineties, Wuthering Heights emerged from the Danish metal scene and began to draw attention of the rest of the world. Their brilliant epics of symphonic speed/power metal with progressive and folk roots became the trademark of their entire discography. Their previous albums were very well-received by fans and media worldwide and solidified Wuthering Heights' status as one of the most interesting bands to emerge on the international heavy metal scene. At last, after 3 years of silence, the time has come for the 5th album, ‘Salt’, to be released. Featuring the same line-up as seen on their last album ‘The Shadow Cabinet’, guitarist/songwriter Erik Ravn and the boys have created another epic album which is undoubtedly their strongest to date. While writing its lyrics, Erik discovered that the imagery of the sea was a perfect setting for his dark tales of personal and global Armageddon. Consequently the music has traded some of its Celtic delicacy for the rawness of the sailor’s tunes. Never before has the end of the world sounded so uplifting!
    $8.00
  • "Steve Thorne returns with his fourth album, playing the majority of the instruments bar Nick D’Virgilio (Cirque Du Soleil/ex-Spock’s Beard) and Bob White on drums with Tony Levin and Gary Chandler (Jadis) also guesting. Also former IQ member Martin Orford pops out of musical retirement to play flute on two songs.What I like about Steve Thorne is his strong and topical lyrics, coupled with melodies that transcend the prog rock genre he is often lumped in. A bit like It Bites, Steve Thorne’s music can take in many musical influences to create an entertaining and enjoyable listen.‘Already Dead’ looks at modern culture and how modern technology can turn us into a nation of zombies. Good way to start the album with the heaviest and most aggressive song on the album. ‘Everything Under The Sun’ is a lovely piece of music, albeit rather sad as an older person looks back on their life and realises how alone they are now. The melodic vocal and subdued music add greatly to the song. ‘Distant Thunder’ is the nearest to classic Brit prog rock on the album, whilst Martin Orford’s flute expands the sound of ‘Moth To A Flame’ nicely. ‘Bullets & Babies’ again sees the heavier side of Steve Thorne’s work come to the fore tackling the subject of boy soldiers and how war affects people from an early age.An artist where you can start with any of his albums to date and not be disappointed. As mentioned previously Steve Thorne can appeal to the prog rock fans but also a wider audience who appreciate melodic rock with thought provoking lyrics." - Get Ready To Rock
    $6.00
  • "The live recording was taken from their critically acclaimed performance at RoSfest USA at the beautiful Majestic Theatre in Gettysburg. Following the success of their award winning second studio album 'Moments', IOEarth present their first live album to the world, showcasing 11 tracks from their ground breaking albums including the sublime 'Cinta Indah' , the explosive 'Home' and the dynamic 'Harmonix'. "
    $7.00
  • Some of this sounds so much like Black Sabbath that I thought I was listening to a Count Raven album.  Latest album from this French doom metal band continues to mix in 70s prog moves as well as psychedelic folk.  A bit underproduced but that does lend a bit of charm.  Cool stuff!"It’s no secret that the French progressive doom band Northwinds is a favorite here at Vertical Chamber Apparatus as the band continually pushes themselves both creatively and compositionally. Despite their two-and-a-half decades of existence and a bulletproof discography the band still dwells in relative obscurity to the world at large. While the group is often and not necessarily unfairly labelled as a “doom metal band” that label is really only a fraction of the story. Northwinds definitely invokes the ancient rites of doom metal—mostly in an organic, proto-doom spirit—but they also voyage extensively into the realms of progressive rock, folk, psychedelia, and 70’s inspired hard rock thus taking the listener on phantasmagorical journeys into uncharted lands. With four outstanding releases already under their collective belts the band is poised to release their fifth full-length, the long-awaited and highly anticipated ‘Eternal Winter.’The band’s excellent 2012 album, ‘Winter,’ was initially conceived as a double album appropriately titled ‘Winter…Eternal Winter,’ but the idea was shelved by Black Widow Records as a risky venture. ‘Winter’ was a career defining moment for the band as the release seemed to capture them not only at their doomiest, but also at their most mystical. Based on the strength of ‘Winter’ it is exciting to know that most, if not all, of the material of ‘Eternal Winter’ was conceived and composed during the same writing cycles that have produced some of Northwinds’ strongest and darkest material to date.‘Eternal Winter’ is unquestionably an extension of ‘Winter,’ though the latest doesn’t quite descend into the same dark depths as its predecessor, nor does it establish the consistent magical atmosphere that was threaded throughout the previous album. These points should not be mistaken as criticism, but should be taken as mere observation as Northwinds has yet to disappoint and ‘Eternal Winter’ is no exception from that rule. While the magical atmospherics that were in abundance on ‘Winter’ are in slight decline on the band’s latest they definitely are not absent. The dreamy intro of “Chimeres” gives way to one of the most powerful tracks of the album. “Chimeres,” with its effective use of synths and ghostly sound effects, shares a stylistic and tonal kinship to other standout tracks from the band’s discography like “Black Tower” or “Winds of Sorrow.” Adding to the atmosphere of “Chimeres” is a sinister, phantom-like vocal effect that echoes the vocals of Sylvain Auvé—a subtle, yet effective detail that enriches the track as a whole.Where ‘Winter,’ for the most part, was steeped in darkness ‘Eternal Winter’ chooses to travel paths more related to progressive influenced hard rock. The flute heavy “Crossroads” has an epic, classic rock vibe that is fueled by majestic guitar solos, organ, and Auvé’s soulful vocals. The uncharacteristic “From the Cradle to the Grave,” one of the shortest non-instrumental songs written by the band, is dominated by a 70’s style strut that seemingly burns out almost as soon as it starts. “A Light for the Blind” may just be the best representation of Northwinds’ sound. It is a sprawling track that is embedded with moments of catchiness—particularly due to the lead guitar—juxtaposed with sonic explorations to other dimensions. It’s a great track that captures Northwinds doing what they do best—crafting intricate, often emotional tunes that never fail to keep the listener engaged.Northwinds have, impressively, continued their upward trajectory by releasing another stunner in a succession of stellar albums. The band is poised to have an incredible year with the upcoming release of ‘Eternal Winter’ hot on the heels of their killer split 7” with fellow countrymen Marble Chariot. In addition, the vinyl release of their 1995 demo courtesy of metalloscope-music has just been released. ‘Eternal Winter,’ like the rest of Northwinds’ discography, is an enchanting album that is comprised of a multitude of layers. Fans of doom metal and progressive rock will undoubtedly discover and hear a lot to admire in the music of Northwinds and ‘Eternal Winter’ is no exception. An engaging listen from start-to-finish. Highly recommended." - Vertical Chamber Apparatus
    $16.00
  • Dutch symphonic metal band EPICA celebrated their 10th anniversary with a one-night-only event, dubbed Retrospect. The band was accompanied by the seventy piece Extended Reményi Ede Chamber Orchestra and the Choir of Miskolc National Theatre, playing an unforgettable 3-hours best-of set.According to respected Dutch newspaper the Volkskrant "The band wrote a chapter of Dutch metal History" this evening. Rock Tribune (Belgium) thought it was "an unforgettable show".Ten high definition cameras captured this very special sold-out show while Epica played in front of nearly five thousand ecstatic fans in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. In addition to a collection of the band’s biggest hits from across the spectrum of their entire catalog, this once-in-a-lifetime spectacular also features the live debut of “Twin Flames” and the previously unreleased “Retrospect”, covers of classics by Vivaldi, Pergolesi, and Oscar-winning film composer John Williams, two guest collaborations with the venerable Floor Jansen (Nightwish, ReVamp), and a very special performance of their breakthrough single, “Quietus”, with founding members Jeroen Simons, Ad Sluijter, and Yves Huts.Nuclear Blast will release Retrospect as a deluxe hardcover book with 32 pages. Both as a 2DVD/3CD and 2Blu-ray/3CD version. Retrospect will contain the following fan favorites:01 - Introspect02 - Monopoly on Truth03 - Sensorium04 - Unleashed05 - Martyr of the Free Word06 - Chasing the Dragon07 - Presto08 - Never Enough09 - Stabat Mater Dolorosa10 - Twin Flames11 - Serenade of Self-Destruction12 - Orchestral Medley13 - The Divine Conspiracy - Anniversary Edition14 - Delirium15 - Blank Infinity16 - The Obsessive Devotion17 - Retrospect18 - Battle of the Heroes & Imperial March19 - Quietus20 - The Phantom Agony21 - Cry for the Moon22 - Sancta Terra23 - Design Your Universe24 - Storm the Sorrow25 - Consign to Oblivion26 - Outrospect                                                                                                                                                                                 Retrospect features this massive performance in its entirety, as well as exclusive interviews with all band members and behind-the-scenes footage from the show. 
    $45.00
  • Gowy is an undiscovered French band but that won't be for long... This is a new quartet assembled by guitarist Gregory Francois. We were contacted by Greg due to his friendship with Christophe Godin of Morglbl. He thought it might be up our alley and he is spot on. The music on Gowy's debut is primarily instrumental although there are some tunes with French vocals. Musically speaking Freak Kitchen frequently comes to mind with more than a bit of Vai, Zappa and Morglbl tossed in as well. The keyboards, bass and drums all play a supporting role for Greg's extraordinary guitar excursions into outer space. This is much more clever than the typical chops-from-hell disc. Is Essential Tracks really essential? Well I know its essentially clear that a buzz will develop soon. Highly recommended. Check 'em out: Gowy's MySpace Page
    $14.00
  • New album from Swedish true metal gods comes in a nice digipak design and a bonus track - a cover of Malmsteen's "Rising Force". I never noticed that Anders Johansson plays drums for these cats...
    $14.00
  • Remastered edition with 3 bonus tracks."Time takes its cues more from such bands as the Alan Parsons Project and Wings than from Jeff Lynne's fascination with Pepper-era Beatles. Sure, all the electronic whirrs and bleeps are present and accounted for, and Time did spawn hit singles in "Hold on Tight" and "Twilight," but on the average, ELO had begun to get too stuck on the same structure and content of their releases. "The Way Life's Meant to Be" echoes very early ELO hits like "Can't Get It Out of My Head," and the "Prologue" and "Epilogue" segments try and bring about a unifying concept that doesn't quite hold up upon listening all the way through. Time proves to be competent ELO but not great ELO." - Allmusic
    $8.00
  • Ever wonder what Jasun Tipton does when he's not recording with Cynthesis and Zero Hour? Well apparently he forms a new project! Abnormal Thought Patterns is an instrumental project featuring Jasun on guitars, Troy Tipton on bass, and Mike Guy on drums. Essentially the core musicians of Zero Hour. Further they are augmented with Richard Sharman as the second guitarist. This is tech metal to the max - somewhere along the lines of Blotted Science and Spastic Ink but with that unmistakable Tipton Brothers sound. Its an EP and frankly I don't think you could digest any more in one sitting - lots of notes here. Guaranteed to have many moments where you will stop and ask yourself "how the hell did they do that?". Complex thinking man's metal at its best! Highest recommendation.
    $8.00
  • "When I say that they are near the gate of perfection and give it a 98% score would be considered this is a work of art. Well, putting it in simple words I’d have to be really picky to find what is wrong with this album. There are only little details that I could take into consideration for this album not being perfect, but it certainly is a truly grandiose masterpiece. Finally my friends, Skylark is on the way to the heaven church where the warriors are honored and upgraded to masters of the genre. It does not matter if they are not known worldwide or if they don’t have video clips to promote the songs. That is what makes them so great, because with pure musical skills they have truly achieved greatness.Currently, this is by far one of my favorite metal albums. For those purists who think metal is not supposed to be what this album offers they are pretty misguided. This is power metal, symphonic whatsoever, with a light atmosphere although heavier in my opinion than ‘Gate to Heaven’, no matter what elements they have thrown in they did it magnificent. All the ingredients for a good album are here: awesome vocals by Kiara, outstanding guitar solos, epic songs, speedy songs, mid tempo songs, good instrumentals, good background vocals, good riffs, good drumming, etc. I mean, what else do you need?Let’s begin with the obvious. I think this album is by far better in some aspects than the 2 Divine Gates albums. 1. Now the production and the now decent sound help a lot because the bass lines now are hearable. 2. The fact that there are more mid tempo songs helps because this way they avoid overwhelming speed that in long term will get you bored of. Actually, fast songs there are only: ‘The Scream’ and ‘Soul of the Warrior’ and the instrumental ‘Hurricane’ 3. Fabio Dozzo is no longer in the band and unfortunately for me since I like his singing style with the constant high pitched screams. I must recognize that very often he used to screw up because of the getting-out-of-range vocally but the good thing about the new backup singer is that they added some eco (like Edenbridge do with Sabine’s vocals) so it sounds amazing. 4. The bass lines have taken predominance and you can now hear them very well and man, this time they got it right. They are not only following rhythms but taking ownership of some of the songs. 5. There are no epic songs in here, at least not in the way they used to so the song writing has been simplified. This is neither good nor bad but just different. In my case, I like the old epic-lengthy style of songs but here this just rocks out. 6. Last but not least, the angelic vocal of Kiara, man, is she lovely! I will detail on her abilities later but the fact that she uses middle ranges makes her fit perfectly with the music without overbearing with high pitched screams.Alright, now that the improvements have been appointed, let me tell you why I think this is fucking great and just a step away of pure perfection. Kiara is by far the best choice they could’ve chosen. Her high notes are amazingly sweet and yet powerful. They are very similar to those of Saeko, but Kiara is sweeter and more pitched. Throughout the entire album she sings mostly in her middle range but when she screams man I get chills and orgasms just listening to her. Next is the choice of a backup vocalist who actually controls his vocal range. The fact that he is only accompanying Kiara makes the dynamics even more interesting and he sings in a more or less high range but avoiding veing Ralf Scheepers or Kiske. The juxtaposition of both singers creates a cool atmosphere and sung dialogs.On to the songs you get a little bit of everything but not ultra fast songs like Belzebu or the Triump. Actually, I’d say the instrumental ‘Hurricane’ is the fastest track. The rest are basically mid speed ‘The scream’ and ‘Soul of the warrior’. They are a little faster than the average mid tempo but are not that fast as the ones mentioned below. There are some progressive tempo changes here and there like ‘Soul of the Warrior’ where the changes of pace take you completely off your feet and I love them. This is the kind of things that make the songs interesting instead of just relentless speed. There is only one ballad in ‘Believe in Love’ and now we are talking. Previous ballads were good, not cheesy, which is one of the problems of power metal but this with Kiara singing really soft and subtle giving textures to her voice plus the guitars in the upfront and the keyboards back grounded leave me hyperventilated. The guitar solo, by the way, is very 80’s very Poison, Cinderella, Bon Jovi alike. In here the bass lines are thick and the vocals are just flawlessly performed. The bass lines are more diverse this time such as ‘Time’ where the entire song is bass driven and I must say they just added a very nice melody to it. It is my favorite song here because of the exquisite bass lines and low male vocals making the perfect contrast with Kiara’s falsetto and then her high pitched screams give me goose bumps.The keyboards are very good balanced with the guitars and they are not overshadowed as such can be heard on ‘The Scream’ where they are perfectly mixed to listen to them clearly. What I find interesting the most is the awesome melodies since nowadays is very hard to come up with memorable melodies (let’s say ala Stratovarius) so I find this very good done.The guitar solos are very similar to those from D.G.II. The follow the same pattern and melodic sense but since the songs are better they sound better here. The riffing style has now been improved. The progression of the power chords are far more interesting and a little more ‘complex’ than those from the first D.G albums although they are yet rather simplistic, as normally in power metal.The re-arrangement made on ‘Heaven Church’ is obviously vocal driven to show off Kiara’s skills. Although the rhythm parts last for around two minutes and this one cannot be compared to the masterpiece the original is, it is still a good track and very enjoyable. But again, I only take 1 point for re-arranging a song that is perfect in its original form because it lost its crunch (ok, light atmosphere from the original but still heavier than this new version).Finally, Skylark is basically known for two things which they have succeeded at: 1. Atmosphere. 2. Epic sense. In this case they have sacrificed the traditional epic sense but the atmosphere is taking predominance which is ok for me since they are doing it perfectly, enhancing a good and positive vibe throughout the listening experience.Now I face a problem. I am well aware that Divine Gates I and II are NOT perfect, but since they are for sure two of my favorite all time albums and this one beat them, what score should I give to those on my reviews since I always thought they were almost perfect? What a predicament huh? Anyhow, I’ll have to listen to them over and over to try to come up with the most objective review I could to give them a fair opinion. Kiara, this is your fault because of this masterpiece of an album but I love you because you have become my princess!" - Metal Archives
    $10.00
  • "Chaos A.D. was the record where everything came together for Sepultura, when they graduated from being an excellent, if derivative, band into one of metal's most unique voices. Their strident political dissidence is more focused than ever, referring explicitly to injustices in their native Brazil. The band's thick, chunky guitars, busy percussion, and hoarsely shouted vocals may be rooted in death metal, but it was often hard to call Sepultura a true death metal band, even if they flirted heavily with the style by way of Slayer; Chaos A.D. is rooted just as much in hardcore punk in its lean, stripped-down assault, featuring a cover of New Model Army's "The Hunt" and a collaboration with Jello Biafra on "Biotech Is Godzilla." At a time when '80s thrash giants like Metallica and Megadeth were streamlining their music for greater accessibility, Sepultura's aggression actually increased along with their tightened focus, borrowing from hardcore arguably more effectively than any other true metal band. Additionally, Sepultura began to draw upon the influences of their native Brazil, audible in the acoustic instrumental "Kaiowas" and in the way the band's complex rhythms move and breathe, to offer a much wider range than any of their contemporaries seemed willing to pursue. The band's songwriting became almost airtight, giving up the breakneck speed and long progressive passages borrowed from mid-'80s Metallica, and concentrating instead on creating texture and dissonance. But really, it's the unbelievably powerful rhythmic base provided by Igor Cavalera that gives Chaos A.D. its knockout punch. Endlessly playable (there isn't a wasted or unnecessary note on the album), passionately performed, and a sign that a new metal underground was finally bearing artistic fruit, Chaos A.D. ranks as one of the greatest heavy metal albums of all time. It's a remarkable achievement not only in its concentrated power and originality, but also in the degree to which Sepultura eclipsed their idols in offering a vision of heavy metal's future -- a vision that would only grow more compelling with their next release." - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • Kit Watkins runs wild!! Comes with 2 live bonus tracks.
    $17.00