Snack(s)

SKU: ALT038
Label:
Altrock Records
Category:
Avant Garde/RIO
Add to wishlist 

"Four years after their first, the mighty band of Oakland, led by guitarist / vocalist Wally Scharold, presents its new production, with a renewed line-up that keeps faith with its distinctive style reaching a full maturity in avant-garde rock. The complexity of the melodic lines, broken and involving the whole ensemble (with a substantial role for the wind section), the incessant rhythm characterized by continuous changes of measure, the “dirty” vocals by Scharold alternating to that of saxophonist Jamison Smeltz, make this release a new milestone for lovers of RIO and the avantgarde."

There are no review yet. Be the first!

Product Review

You must login or register to post reviews.
Laser Pic

customers also bought

SEE ALL
  • "I can't wait. I should have reviewed other albums before this but it's the first thing that I listen from this artist and I wasn't expecting anything like this. Symphonic orchestral arrangements on melodic bases and a concept behind. I'm not expert in William Blake's poetry but this album has made me curious.The introduction "William" is a symphonic piece of beauty with a guitar of the "not a misplaced note" kind, like Andy Latimer is used to do, some "mute" vocals and a very nice melody. A stunning surprise."Angel Of The Revelation" starts with electronics and piano, then vocals and a proper song starts. The high pitched voice of Sophya joined in a choir by whom? Maybe Sonja Kristina who features in the guests? The guests list is another thing to check. This is a progressive track as I think people usually intends "progressive": sung parts alternated with instrumentals, structured as a suite with different movements and recurring themes. And all in 4 minutes and half."Satan" has an obsessive rhythm and has the theathrical flavor of a rock opera. The electronics behind have a vintage sound but is remarkable the dialogue between guitar and piano before the last sung part and the coda. Another great song."Love Of Hecate" Is a slow waltz. It's folky and theathrical in the same time, with excellent vocals again. The signature changes in the chorus. It's still a 3/4 (almost) but the tempo is accelerated. Vocals like in Mozart's magic flute are replaced by a cymbal, then piano and vocals. Another very complex and "circular" song.Percussive piano and bass with water sounds to start "La Porta Dell'Inferno". This is a little mistake: it's taken from Dante's Comedy, but the door should lead to the "anti-inferno". The first lyrics are taken from Dante, then the man talking leaves the Dante's book to give a different view of the hell's entrance. "Here nothing grows because nothing dies". Another great song with the music perfectly fitting with the concept. The violins support the whole track, choirs, a stupendous coda... Great.After a track like the previous one staying on the same level is very difficult, so the style changes totally. "The Number" is a rock song. Of course the number is 666. It starts hard rock, but with no relations with Iron Maiden, and the rock screamed part is alternated to more quiet and symphonic interludes. The organ is excellent, neither Emerson nor Wakeman, the sound reminds me more to Vitalij Kuprij (Artension)."Just" is opened by percussion, piano and cello. The theme recalls "La Porta Dell'Inferno" but the vocals take a different direction. The song's intro, before the male singing, makes me think to the Russian Iamthemorning, mainly because of the instruments used. However, after 2 minutes the song changes drastically. The impression is still of a rock opera. Remove the metal element from Ayreon and add more symphonics to have an idea. The vocals here are more operatic. Not enough to think to Zeuhl, but enough to enhance the track. Great guitar solo in a Van Halen style which slows down and closes Floydian before the last sung reprise."Cerberus" is the three-headed infernal dog. Keyboard and strings introduce the song which reprises the chords of the main theme. It's on this song that I'm almost sure Sonja Kristina is singing. I don't know it for sure because I have received a download link from Blackwidow records and I haven't seen the notes on the CD. This is a very dark song on which the rock-opera factor is very relevant. I want to add the the most I listen to this album the most I'm surprised. It's surely one of the best albums I've listened to during all the 2013."While He's Sleeping" starts in a weird way respect to the symphonic mood of the previous tracks. It's still classically influenced but has a touch of Canterbury, especially in the melody. Not an easy track, but very enjoyable.Back to full orchestra and theatrical suggestions. "Au Matin Du Premier Jour" (At the morning of the first day) is sung in French by a man who sounds like the chansonniers of the end 50s / early 60s. French and operatic don't mean Magma, but this song has a Zeuhl flavor in the instrumental parts."Beatrice" brings us back to Dante's Comedy. To Paradise now. Her character would deserve some words but this would lead us off topic. Of course there's less darkness now. Piano and ethereal voice for a very melodic song. A Sophya's solo performance and let me add that the sequence of chords deserves a mention. There's plenty of good passages. excellent also from the composition point of view.We are now at the title track. Full orchestra and voice plus some electronics behind. It starts like a symphony and turns into rock. I don't know who's the male singer but his voice is incredible. The mood is still of a rock opera I'm finishing the words...The album is closed by a cover. "Jerusalem" has been played and recorded by the likes of Vangelis, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Par Lindh Project for what I remember. Well, I must say that it's probably the best version that I've heard up to now. It's a new interpretation when the one from Par Lindh was an ELP clone.A masterpiece, amazing because unexpected. How can an artist that I've never heard before have done a thing like this? Symphonic proggers and RPI fans will surely agree with me, but there's so many stuff in this album. It will stay in my portable reader for a very long time, I think." - ProgArchives
    $16.00
  • 70s style instrumental prog homage courtesy of Edo Spanninga (Flamborough Head), Menno Boomsma (Odyssice), and Eddie Mulder (Flamborough Head). Keyboardist Spanninga began this project as a studio experiment when he was mucking around with some new Mellotron samples. This evolved into a full blown trio recording. Spanninga only uses Mellotron samples - flute, oboe, strings, organ, cello, choir and vibes. The organ samples are pretty wild - they were run through a leslie and it sounds pretty damn fine. Mulder's playing all guitars and basses and takes the 70s high road with his sounds as well. Boomsma is a bit laid back and probably the weakest link here so I'll give him a B-. The music will freak out anyone who loves Genesis, Camel, Spring, and Fantasy. The package is capped off with a full blown artwork package courtesy of Jasper Joppe Geers - this is the ultimate tribute to Roger Dean. This looks more like Roger Dean than Roger Dean!  New digipak edition with 2 bonus tracks.If you love the Mellotron you need to own this! 
    $15.00
  • Vocalist Silje Wergeland has been fronting The Gathering since 2009.  She has developed into a more than able replacement for Anneke Van Giersbergen.  The Gathering's music is far removed from the early death and gothic metal days.  They have firmly moved into the post-progressive rock genre.  Their music deals more with mood and tension - textures and atmosphere.  Think of a more rock oriented version of Portishead. 
    $15.00
  • Debut album from this Italian crossover band.  Secret Tales is not traditional rock progressivo italiano style of music.  This blends together symphonic rock, medieval and Celtic folk, and maybe even some subtle touches of metal around the edges (but barely).  This is a Black Widow Records release so expect an overlay of dark subtext.  Female vocals are in Italian and fit the ominous music perfectly.  There is an otherworldly ominous quality to the whole affair.  Its a concept piece and it would definitely help if you spoke Italian but the music by itself has a dark beauty."Secret tales of an enchanting journey that takes place over time in a kingdom disappeared from who knows how long ...Kings, queens, princes and princesses, fairies, witches and magical and grotesque creatures rotate with their stories in a fabulous location, where the figure of the demiurge-Unicorn overhangs and protects everything and everyone, from the monstrous Faust to the sweet Elf. Emotions without boundaries, to other infinite universes ... The charm and enchantment of soft and dreamy music, full of fabulous side dishes and lyrically supported by parts sung in Italian, English and French by Princess Tiziana Radis: the debut album of the Secret Tales is an imaginary sound that turns his gaze to the ancient traditions of Celtic folk-medieval, alternating dark atmosphere and refined symphonic progressive melodies… A work of great emotional impact !"
    $16.00
  • Fourth album from this outstanding jazz metal band from Hungary getting outside exposure with their signing to IQ's Giant Electric Pea label.  Special Providence started out their career as a pure fusion band - not unlike Tribal Tech and Return To Forever.  With their third album, Soul Alert, the band injected a heavier metal presence primarily in the guitarwork.  Essence Of Change carries on from Soul Alert in terms of heaviness and the use of distortion but at the same time there is clearly more of a jazz/fusion emphasis in the writing.  This gives us a nicely balanced sound that has a lot of cross over appeal.  Liquid Tension Experiment and Morglbl fans will love this and I expect open minded fans of RTF and Mahavishnu will enjoy hearing the young kats update the sound they developed in the 70s.  Expect a non-stop assault of laser beam synth solos and blistering distortion laced guitar solos.  Yeah this one hits the sweet spot and after many future spins I suspect this will sit at the top of their already impressive discography.  BUY OR DIE!!
    $15.00
  • Mind blowing set from this early 70s German jazz rock band culled from the vaults of SWF radio.  Dzyan was formed by bassist Reinhard Karwatky but the emerging star was guitarist Eddy Marron.  The lineup for these sessions is a quintet consisting of guitar, sax, bass, drums, and percussion.  High energy jazz rock with a psychedelic undercurrent is the order of the day.  Think Mahavishnu Orchestra crossed with Guru Guru.  Percussionist Jochen Leuschner also handles the occassional vocal.  He's got a great soulful voice that fits in comfortably.  High level of musicianship throughout but I have to mention Marron again - his playing really blows my mind.  Typical superb job from Long Hair Music - previously unavaialbe photos and detailed liner notes.  BUY OR DIE!
    $18.00
  • 1978's Casino is considered by many to be the pinnacle of DiMeola's solo career but frankly I'm not sure how you can pick and chose. By now he had established his sound and stuck to his guns. A masterful display of musicianship.
    $7.00
  • "1981's Mob Rules was the second Black Sabbath album to feature vertically challenged singer Ronnie James Dio, whose powerful pipes and Dungeons and Dragons lyrics initially seemed like the perfect replacement for the recently departed and wildly popular Ozzy Osbourne. In fact, all the ingredients which had made their first outing, Heaven and Hell, so successful are re-utilized on this album, including legendary metal producer Martin Birch (Deep Purple, Whitesnake, etc.) and supporting keyboard player Geoff Nichols. And while it lacks some of its predecessor's inspired songwriting, Mob Rules was given a much punchier, in-your-face mix by Birch, who seemed re-energized after his work on New Wave of British Heavy Metal upstarts Iron Maiden's Killers album. Essentially, Mob Rules is a magnificent record, with the only serious problem being the sequencing of the material, which mirrors Heaven and Hell's almost to a tee. In that light, one can't help but compare otherwise compelling tracks like "Turn Up the Night" and "Voodoo" to their more impressive Heaven and Hell counterparts, "Neon Knights" and "Children of the Sea." That streak is soon snapped, first by the unbelievably heavy seven-minute epic "The Sign of the Southern Cross," which delivers one of the album's best moments, then its segue into an unconventional synthesizer-driven instrumental ("E5150") and the appearance of the roaring title track. Side two is less consistent, hiding the awesome "Falling off the Edge of the World" (perhaps the most overlooked secret gem to come from the Dio lineup) amongst rather average tracks like "Slipping Away" and "Over and Over." Over the next year, the wheels fell off for Black Sabbath, and Dio's exit marked Mob Rules as the last widely respected studio release of the band's storied career." - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • It becomes a convenient crutch to describe every band emerging from Poland as sounding like Riverside.  In the case of Retrospective its actually true.  Lost In Perception comes 4 years after their debut Stolen Thoughts.  Granted this sophomore effort shows much more individuality.  Vocalist Jakub Rozsak doesn't sound anything like Mariusz Duda but the one thing they share in common is a great ability to sing with emotion.  You believe it.  There is a spacey vibe that does in fact sound like the earlier Riverside albums.  The good news is that while Retrospective isn't unique sounding, what they do they do extremely well.  This one is sneaking in at the end of 2012 as one of the better prog efforts we've heard in awhile. Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • We are a little late with this one (ok...a couple of years late). Leverage have bounced around labels but hopefully have found a long term home with Spinefarm. High quality melodic metal with proggy touches. Seems like these guys should be jumping up a level in popularity.The idea behind Circus Colossus was sounding big and serious. Not that the band wasn't serious before, but there was always that "underground, little band"-charm to them that they're very eager to get rid of. They want to get into the big game with the top dogs, but not by becoming radio friendly, and they're pretty much playing their cards right at this point.There are several changes to the band's sound. The production is a lot better (not that it was shaggy before though) and it amplifies the arena quality that some of their tracks have. There are symphonic elements added with great taste, and instead of a fast rocker we've got an instrumental intro to open the album. The quantity and content of the ballads, one of their trademarks, has changed. There's the short "Don't Keep Me Waiting" stripped down to piano and voice (it's written by their drummer, who also does their album covers), and as a bonus song, one of the best power ballads ever written, "Walk On Home" (how many power ballads with deep, storytelling lyrics can you name anyway?). Also, the band takes a break from grim overtones and hard-hitting harmonies by adding two very light and upbeat songs, "Rider Of Storm" and "Revelation."Though the changes may be numerous, the essential Leverage elements remain - heavy riffs (as demonstrated on "Worldbeater"), songs that ooze with catchy elements and yet don't lack quality ("Wolf And The Moon"), great guitar work courtesy of gentlemen Heikkinen and Spoof, fast tracks that hit you right in the heart ("Prisoners", "Broken Wings"), and wonderful vocals by Pekka Heino. They continue on the path of playing good quality, melody and harmony-based music heavy rock stripped of cheese. And they're doing pretty great." - Metal Storm
    $16.00
  • Deluxe mediabook edition.  CD plus a DVD with 5.1 surround mix, 24 bit stereo, and a "making of" video."Always fond of conceptual storytelling, Ian Anderson goes himself one better with his latest prog-folk-metal concept album. The 15 songs of Homo Erraticus inhabit not one but two metafictional layers. The Gerald Bostock character, hero/anti-hero of the seminal Jethro Tull album Thick as a Brick and its recent sequel Thick as a Brick 2, is back again, having now discovered a manuscript left behind in the 1920s by a malaria-ridden old British soldier delightfully named Ernest T. Parritt.Parritt's supposed writings range over northern European history from the Mesolithic era to his own - and on into his future, through the whole 20th century and into our own time and beyond. Winnowed into lyrics written by "Bostock" and set to music by the real protagonist of the story, Ian Anderson, these materials give Anderson - whose creative scope and energy remain robust even as his singing voice has thinned with age - a walk-in-closetful of pegs on which to hang a sequence of songs evoking nothing less than the history of mankind in his part of the world.The first track, "Doggerland," commemorates the area of the southern North Sea that used to be dry land connecting today's British Isles with the rest of Europe. Doggerland vanished under the waves as the last Ice Age ended but, as fisherman discovered not long ago, the sea floor retains much archeological evidence of human occupation. The succeeding songs address migrations, metalworking, invasions (from the Romans to Burger King), the arrival of Christianity, the Industrial Revolution, and so on. To appreciate the songs, you'll want to (at least once) follow along with the notes and lyrics in the accompanying 32-page booklet.The Foreword, in which Anderson discusses the history of Jethro Tull and why he hasn't used the band name for his last few recordings, will especially interest longtime Tull fans. The real question is, will the songs themselves? Some yes, some no. The gruff metal of "Doggerland" gives way to the sweet, plinking folk of "Heavy Metals." (I imagine Anderson chuckling to himself at the irony - no pun intended - of creating such a gentle-sounding song with that title, and on that literal topic.) Both satisfy my Tull craving. "Meliora Sequamur" (Let Us Follow Better Things), which paints a picture of 12th century schoolboys amid religious chant (and cant), does too, and "The Turnpike Inn" is a solid rocker, and the hard-Celtic style of "The Engineer" moves briskly.I like the instrumental track "Tripudium ad Bellum" (Dancing to War). It starts off with an echo of a theme from the original Thick as a Brick (there are others elsewhere on the album), then resolves into a 5/4 march, like a more insistent "Living in the Past." War's aftermath appears in the next track, the sad, deliberate "After These Wars," in which I really feel the lack of Anderson's full-strength vocals. While he was never among rock's greatest singers, that didn't matter - when he sang his songs, you always felt he was all there, and that's what mattered. But now, and not only in the harder songs that shade into old-school heavy metal, his voice just isn't always a match for his music's energy any more.On the other hand, his gift for crafting pleasing, original melodies, writing smart, clever lyrics in complete sentences and true rhyme, and setting much of it in non-traditional time signatures remains strong. The first verse of "After These Wars" reads:After battle, with wounds to lick andbeaus and belles all reuniting.Rationing, austerity: it did us good after the fighting.Now, time to bid some fond farewells andwalk away from empires crumbling.Post-war baby-boom to fuel with post-Victorian half-dressed fumbling.No one in pop music writes like that anymore.Listening to the album as a complete conceptual work, my overall feeling is that there isn't very much new here. Since the 1960s Anderson and Tull have explored countless different musical paths and styles. Some of these produced some of my all-time favorite songs and recordings. Others I hated. But he never seemed to be resting on his laurels. Here I feel like I'm reading a chapter that's not much different from the last chapter.But listening to the songs individually, I like a lot of them. As I write this I'm trying to count the beats of the off-time closer, "Cold Dead Reckoning," with its grim imagery of a future of lost souls navigating their way over a metaphysical Doggerland "amongst the ranks and files of walking dead." I hear crunching minor-key guitar-bass-piano unison figures, a sprightly flute solo. A hopeful verse about "angels watching over" at the end doesn't convince me, as the music continues to growl on as before. Yet there follow a sweet, gentle instrumental coda, reminded us that while things may not turn out well for humanity as we teem over and ruin our only planet, our capacity to create and to appreciate beauty will be with us as long as we live. So let's raise the cup of crimson wonder to Ian Anderson as he charges not-so-gently through his seventh decade." - Seattle Pi
    $17.00
  • "The replacement of drummer Tim "Herb" Alexander with Brian "Brain" Mantia doesn't affect Primus' sound in any notable way on The Brown Album. That isn't surprising -- Les Claypool's side project Sausage sounds identical to Primus. What's notable about The Brown Album is how Claypool moves Primus even further into progressive and jazz-rock territory, concentrating entirely on the instrumental interplay of the group and caring very little for writing full-fledged songs. "Shake Hands With Beef," the first single from the album, has a reasonably amusing adolescent lyric, but the real attraction of the song is how its thunderous bass riff weaves in and out with the syncopated drums and avant guitar. In that sense, it does let the listener know what the album is about, and very few Primus fans should be disappointed by what The Brown Album delivers. It's standard Primus -- all instrumental interplay and adolescent humor -- but it's delivered with more finesse and skill than ever." - Allmusic
    $5.00
  • Hot kosmigroov set from 1975 and my understanding is that its quite a rarity on vinyl.  Its a bit of an unusual lineup for this session: Roland Haynes (keyboard), Kirk Lightsey (keyboard), Henry Franklin (bass), and Carl Burnett (drums).  So you get dual keys - each one playing off another.  You like Fender Rhodes?  Its all over this album.  Lightsey uses a wah-wah pedal with his electric piano to get a distorted - almost guitar like sound.  Fingers are flying everywhere and the rhythm section is locked in and pounding.  This could almost (emphasis on almost) pass for a Alan Gowen - Dave Stewart jam session.  Reminds me a bit of National Health in spots.  
    $17.00
  • Wonderful new Christian Vander/Magma tribute set coordinated and released by Soleil Zeuhl. There are 25 different bands participating - some of the "higher profile" names include Minimum Vital, Klaus Blasquiz, Pochakaite Malko, Patrick Gautheri, Setna, Simon Steensland, Forgas Band Phenomena, Guapo, Jannick Top, Gerard Prevost Trio, Neom, and as they say...many more!
    $11.00