Selling The Aggression

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.

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    $10.00
  • Steve Moore is probably best known as one half of the Pittsburgh based band Zombi.  He also has quite a prolific solo career.  Light Echoes marks his first release for the Cuneiform label.  The album is recorded purely with vintage analog synthesizers and is very heavily in debt to the Berlin school sound of deep space electronics.  These are long form compositions that on par with anything done in the 70s.  Time to bliss out!  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • Here's a new band that will give avant prog fans a screaming orgasm.  Rhun are a French ensemble.  Their music quite effectively captures the essence of Magma, RIO, and Canterbury.  That's just the first song!!  "The musicians offer an interesting and vivid mosaic of predominantly Canterbury, Zeuhl, Jazz, RIO, and (Kraut)Rock. Beside two guitars, bass, drum, percussion and thrown in sounds, two horn players bring lively colors on sax, bassoon, clarinet and flute in this complex mix. The two singers act in a more avant-garde way as for example Magma. People interested in above mentioned styles should have fun." 
    $18.00
  • "Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the next release in the continuing series of reissues of the entire catalogue by the legendary classical rock band SKY. Formed in 1979, Sky brought together the worlds of rock and classical music in a highly successful and inspiring way. Featuring the gifted talents of guitarist JOHN WILLIAMS, percussionist TRISTAN FRY, legendary bass player HERBIE FLOWERS, former Curved Air keyboard player FRANCIS MONKMAN and guitarist KEVIN PEEK, Sky recorded their debut album at Abbey Road studios in the early months of 1979. The band’s self-titled debut reached the UK top ten in May 1979 and went on to achieve Platinum status in the UK and was also a major hit in Europe and Australia. Also a huge live attraction, SKY released their second album in April 1980. "SKY 2” was a fine achievement, featuring the hit single "Toccata”, and topped the UK album charts upon its release. For the band’s third album, STEVE GRAY replaced Francis Monkman on keyboards, but the band continued their run of success as SKY 3 reached the UK top ten upon its release in March 1981. The album’s success followed a highly memorable concert by the band at Westminster Abbey in London on February 24th 1981, which was recorded and broadcast by BBC Television.SKY’s line-up remained the same for this, the band’s fourth album "SKY 4: Forthcoming” released in April 1982. Another successful chart album, "SKY 4: Forthcoming” has now been remastered and includes a companion DVD (NTSC / Region Free) of SKY’s live set for the BBC TV programme "Night Music”, broadcast in July 1982 (the first ever release of this classic television appearance). The original album artwork is fully restored and the booklet features a new essay."
    $19.00
  • Fantastic neoclassical power metal sounds a bit like Stratovarius and Symphony X.
    $11.00
  • "Brazilian death metal upstarts Sepultura took an incredible creative leap forward with their second full-length album, 1987's Schizophrenia. Although it was recorded not too long after their primitive, black metal-dominated debut efforts -- 1985's Bestial Devastation EP and 1986's Morbid Visions LP -- Schizophrenia introduced an entirely new sound fusing thrash and death metal, and all of it supported by much improved songwriting, musicianship, and the first truly professional-sounding production job of the band's short career. Constant touring, rehearsal, and the addition of lead guitarist Andreas Kisser (his classical guitar training and memorable solos made an immediate impact) were all key to this stunning transformation, but the heightened level of proficiency at hand is such that it almost seems miraculous at times. With their precise, lightning-quick staccato riffing and multiple, distinct, but interlocking sections, the album's opening triplet of "From the Past Comes the Storm" (preceded by a Psycho-inspired intro theme), "To the Wall," and "Escape from the Void" proved simply devastating to the ears. And yet the seven-minute instrumental "Inquisition Symphony" (later covered by Finnish cello virtuosos Apocalyptica) was arguably even more breathtaking in its diversity, brilliantly showcasing the band's incredible, new-found combination of melody and aggression while adding some tasteful synth touches, to boot. Additional head-banging standouts like "Screams Behind the Shadows" and a re-recorded version of early fan favorite "Troops of Doom" bookend a few less distinctive offerings on side two -- those being token thrashers "Septic Schizo" and "R.I.P. (Rest in Pain)," plus the acoustic interlude "The Abyss," but only a trifling of momentum is lost, nevertheless. All of which helped make Schizophrenia the first Sepultura release to make serious waves with international critics and fans, while setting the stage for the group's imminent breakthrough release, Beneath the Remains." - Allmusic Guide
    $8.00
  • New vinyl edition cut from the original master tapes of the 1970 mix.  200 gram pressing  Comes with a drop card for mp3 download.
    $28.00
  • "Six albums in, and we've got some changes happening with long running melodic power metal act Ilium. For starters, ex-Riot/Masterplan vocalist Mike DiMeo is now an ex-Ilium member as well, and he's been replaced by the equally well travelled Lance King, who now lends his vocal talents to the band. With that move, Ilium also find themselves on King's Nightmare Records, a perfect fit all around actually if you ask me. My Misanthropia is their brand new effort.Those not familiar with this Australian act can expect a wealth of classic & power metal flavors, as the band take their influences that range from Helloween, Iron Maiden, Iced Earth, Judas Priest, and Blind Guardian and combine them to form a hard hitting, melodic, and instantly accessible style. For his part, King sounds a bit more aggressive here, but he seems right at home on blistering speed metal fare like "Penny Black" and the title track, his tone filled with slightly more venom than we normally hear from him, but it works within these blazing heavy metal songs. His soaring passages on "Queltzalcoatl", "Lingua Franca", "Godless Theocracies", and "Orbiting a Sun of Sadness", some of the albums more progressive numbers, are vintage King, and show his highly melodic side. Musically, savage riffing, blazing lead guitar solos, rock solid rhythms, and beds of orchestral keyboards adorn many of these songs, with the closer "The Cryptozoologist" being one of the more adventurous of the lot, an action packed tune with plenty of guitar & keyboard exchanges, sounding like a head-on collision between Dream Theater and Blind Guardian. All of the tracks contain memorable melodies to go along with their musical might, so it's a great combination from start to finish that ultimately results in a very enjoyable album.The pairing of Ilium and Lance King seems like a match made in heaven, and their first album together, My Misanthropia, is highly recommended to lovers of melodic, progressive power metal fans of all ages." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $14.00
  • The much anticipated second album from Delain is here and it does not disappoint! Its interesting to see how the band has evolved. Originally conceived by Within Temptation keyboardist Martijn Westerholt as a studio project, Delain has evolved into a full blown active band. The success of the debut Lucidity tipped Westerholt's hand and Delain became a REAL band. With Charlotte Wessels on vocals, Ronald Landa on guitar and grunt vocals, Sun Caged bassist Rob Vander Loo, and Sander Zoer on drums, Delain took the Netherlands by storm. Delain toured extensively, opening for many bands including sister band Within Temptation, and appeared at many festivals. Ultimately they became a headlining band. With that behind them they headed into the studio to create their sophomore work.April Rain is cut from similar cloth from Lucidity but different enough to hear the evolution mentioned above. Instead of the multiple guests that were featured on Lucidity, April Rain does benefit from the return of Nightwish bassist Marco Hietala who sings male vocals on two tracks, as well as world renowned cellist Maria Ahn.Martijin Westholt is clearly at the helm - the big symphonic sound is still in place. Those elements that he brought to Within Temptation are clearly evident. There is a difference though...perhaps because of Jacob Hansen's mix the sound is more focused and even grittier, crunchier (thank you Mr. Landa). Songs tend to be on the shorter side but they slam harder. Having been familar with Rob Van Der Loo's intense basswork with Sun Caged its great to see him bring that progressive element to the rhythm section. Charlotte Wessels is young but has developed into the perfect voice and face for Delain.The comparisons to Within Temptation will continue but its obvious that Delain has come up with their own sound that stands on its on.This is THE symphonic gothic metal album of 2009. Nothing will touch it. This is the North American digipak edition of April Rain - with the exclusive bonus track "Come Closer". BUY OR DIE.
    $14.00
  • The fans hated the way it sounded...and the band as well.  Rush finally took matters into their own hands and gave the album over to David Bottrill who completely remixed the album and breathed new life into it.
    $11.00
  • Second album, from 1970, by this great British psych/proto-prog band led by guitarist Tony Hill. Kind of a shame that Hill never became anything other than a cult figure because he was a lethal player - as good as any other popular guitar God of the day. Comes with 4 unreleased bonus tracks.
    $17.00
  • What would you call a power trio that veers seamlessly between shredding peaks, jazzy moods, and fat funky grooves? Mörglbl of course! Often compared to Primus meeting Steve Vai, Mörglbl hits like a heavyweight jab and makes you laugh while you bleed! Mörglbl is the punch you don't see coming! Packaged in a limited edition digipak, "Jazz For The Deaf" is the fourth album from the world-renowned French jazz metal trio. This band with the unusual name is led by virtuoso guitarist Christophe Godin. Virtuoso bassist Ivan Rougny is complemented by the double bass of new drummer Aurelien Ouzoulias. With the release of "Jazz For The Deaf", Mörglbl has created an album with cross genre appeal. Fans of shred and fusion Gods like Allan Holdsworth, Steve Vai or Freak Kitchen's Mattias Eklundh will find much to sink their teeth into. After entertaining crowds around the world, Mörglbl performed at Nearfest in 2008. It was the first time in the 10 year history of the festival that an opening act received two encores. This amazing performance sparked a flurry of interest from other festivals, culminating with Mörglbl receiving an invitation to appear at Progday 2009 in Chapel HIll, NC on 9/5/09.
    $13.00
  • Import special edition comes with:Download code for studio version of “Into The Sun”40-pages picture booklet"Imagine this - you're thrust into the metal world and, as a classical singer, it's pretty alien. But you do your job, sing your songs and the money comes in. And your name gets bigger. And the band become enormous and before you know it - you're literally singing for your supper. Your ultimate passion becomes your job. But is the world of metal really a place for a classical singer? Many thought that, once ousted by Nightwish, Tarja Turunen would soon return to her classical roots. Not quite. She began producing symphonic tinged material that, dare we say it, took the same path as the band that brought her success.The cynics are always going to be around, and I admit, I had the tendency to be one of them - Tarja is clearly only sticking with the guitars because it pays the bills, right? If it was up to her, she'd be singing 'Ave Maria' until the cows came home, right? Some of you stubborn lot will never shift from that point of view, no matter how many metal albums she releases, but it has become clearer than ever whilst listening to 'Colours In The Dark', that Tarja has found the beauty of orchestral metal just as captivating as Nightwish fans and her conviction is growing ever more powerful - if you don't believe it, check out the Romanticide-styled outro of 'Never Enough'. There's plenty more headbangs left in those raven locks - know that!'Victim Of Ritual' highlights the way Tarja commands a song vocally and suits it's position as opening track. The rolling 'R' in the title refrain and the silence she will inevitably conjure during live renditions of the accapella bridge stand to prove why she is such a beloved vocalist. Musically, the track deals in 'Phantom Agony'-era Epica, orchestra-lite and guitar heavy. It also has the most addictive refrains on the album, so it's position as single is proven correct. Likewise 'Never Enough' is instantly enjoyable - the chorus still sounds as vibrant and exciting as when it premiered. The real standout, surprisingly, is the Peter Gabriel cover though. 'Darkness' is not half as pop-ready as her take on 'Poison' and much more Tarja-friendly than 'Still Of The Night' - it shows just how successfully she can transform a cover and make it into her own. The thick strings and swooping instrumental wrap around her versatile vocals as Tarja switches between sinister and emotional at the drop of a hat.It can be a little taboo to mention the language problems, but the purity in which Tarja approaches her English lyrics is both a positive and a negative. Whilst there are the odd cringe-worthy blips throughout ('A conquest of fear, lonesomeness and dislike'), there is a richness to the lyrics of songs like '500 Letters' that simply tell a story, without killing it with too many pretence-laden metaphors. Tarja's infamous pronunciation also serves in her favour on the record - as minor as it may seem, her slightly peculiar delivery brings an unfamiliar flavour to the songs and possesses the ability to coat any banal lyrics with seductive and intriguing overtones just with a twist of a syllable.The record does have plenty of moments to excite you, as I mentioned, but it's not an entirely smooth ride. Too often, the songs feel a little lengthier than they should. I noted in my review of 'Never Enough' that the closing guitar riff went on for too long and a lot of the songs have a similiar fate. None of the tracks are skippable and every single one has it's merits, but it feels as if their strengths may be washed aside by a niggling thought in the back of your head, pondering whether you can bother to venture into a seven minute song for three minutes of beauty. 'Lucid Dreamer' is one such track that would have benefited from a little chopping. 'Mystique Voyage', too, could have seen a shorter track length further highlight the triumphant classical influence on the chorus.Though I exaggerate her operatic past, Tarja has spent most of her vocalist talent and career amongst metal music and it has really shown. What is both frustrating and rewarding, though, is that she is learning as much as the fans are. The music she has produced so far has been on a huge upward curve. The saccharine tendencies of 'My Winter Storm' pale in comparison to 'What Lies Beneath' and it's fantastic manipulation of orchestra, ambiance and metal. 'Colours In The Dark' comes as the next step up - slightly better than it's predecessor but, and this is where the frustration might set in, not quite as brilliant as you predict the next release will be. Editing the tracks a little more and emphasizing the true moments of beauty that linger within the songs is the next mission for team Tarja to take on.Watching an artist grow into the music that gave her the career she has  is not something you see everyday and Tarja is truly and deeply passionate, something many musicians don't retain after many years of the same old record-and-touring routine. She has eager ears and versatile lungs that want to explore. They want to learn and they want to become better. Listen to that aforementioned discography and you'll see how much Tarja has grown and become a force to be reckoned with in metal. 'Colours In The Dark' is nowhere near perfect but it's another chapter in the increasingly refined career of a woman that is, quite rightly, sticking her middle finger up at those who have written her off much too soon." - The Sonic Reverie
    $21.00