Song For America

SKU: 517142A
Label:
Sony
Category:
Progressive Rock
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The band's second album now remastered and featuring two bonus tracks.

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  • Magenta's latest finds them returning to an overtly progressive rock sound and the music is all the better for it.  The Twenty Seven Club is a concept album based around famous rock stars that died at the age of 27 (Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hedrix, Kurt Cobain, ao).  The core lineup is Rob Reed, Christina Booth, and Chris Fry.  For this album the band is rounded out by guest drummer Andy Edwards of IQ.  Reed's keyboard work is back in the fore and Fry's Howe-isms on guitar always bring a polish to the music (and grin on the face).  Christina Booth's voice is a real gift and she shines as always.  Overall the music makes some overt references to Yes and Genesis so you get that old school flavor that the band hasn't offered in many years.  The album arrives in a special edition with a bonus DVD.  You get the complete album in a 5.1 mix, documentary footage and a promo video for one of the tunes.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • New edition of the third album from this great Italian band - their last in their purely progmetal phase. Oleg Smirnoff comes up with killer keyboard lines through out but it's the vocals of Terrence Holler that sets this band apart. Perhaps their best effort, now augmented in this new remastered edition with 6 bonus tracks and a poster. Highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • Brief Nocturnes is the band's 11th album.  It marks their return to Inside Out and quite frankly its the best album they have released in a very long time.  Chalk it up to Ted Leonard handling vocals or Neal Morse contributing writing to a couple of tunes?  Not sure.  I am definitely hearing more vitality and overt progginess in the compositions.  Ryo is going off his nut here - keys are whizzing all around - organ/'tron/the whole schmear - and Alan's guitar runs are matching him step for step.  Maybe I haven't been paying attention as closely as I should have for the past few years.  I do know that I'm enjoying the hell out of this.  Highly recommended.180 gram 2LP vinyl edition comes with the complete album on CD as a bonus.
    $18.00
  • "Although Paradise Lost never really released anything that could even remotely be considered crap, In Requiem stands as one of their best works - and this is saying a lot. To be placed on the same pedestal as Icon, Draconian Times and One Second, the music on this record speaks for itself and it of interest to anyone considering themselves a fan of this band or of doom metal, gothic metal or any other melancholic type of metal." - Metal Storm
    $15.00
  • Slipcase 5CD set containing all five Be Bop Deluxe studio albums:Axe VictimFuturamaSunburst FinishModern MusicDrastic Plastic
    $21.00
  • "When I did my first listen to the opening and title track of Secret Sphere’s upcoming release, Portrait of a Dying Heart, I knew instantly that I was going to run out of adjectives for “awesome” before the review was done. It opens with a soft chime, then another, a quick announcement of something amazing to come, and it does. With a quick buildup, the textbook thunderous opening chord is hit, and the song goes from zero to hell yeah in a heartbeat. There is a personal term I like to use, an ”epic moment”, that describes those moments in a song, especially in prog songs, when all the jumping around and teasing and tension that is inherent in prog music is released and all the instruments come together, creating that personal release, that little moment of music that I thrive for. The opening track, Portrait of a Dying Heart has about five of these, and it’s an instrumental overture. The album kicks it up another five notches when the vocals enter the mix.Founded in 1997 by guitarist Aldo Lonobile in, Secret Sphere has been showcasing their own brand of symphonic power metal over a span of fifteen years and six albums, and even the departure of long time lead singer Ramon Messina didn’t stop them, as they found the amazing pipes of Michelle Luppi to take over on their new album.  Fellow founding member Andy Buratto on bass, Federico Pennazzato on drums, Marco Pastorino on rhythm guitar, and Gabriele Ciaccia on keyboards fill out the rest of the band. While they credit heavyweights such as Dream Theater, Helloween, and Savatage among their influences, Secret Sphere has definitely evolved a sound all their own.Portrait of a Dying Heart is a concept album, based on the short novel She Complies with the Night by author Costanza Columbo, and commissioned by Lonobile. The full text of the story is included in the release disc, but was unavailable at the time of this review; so many secrets will be awaiting the listener and this very anxious author. As to the album, holy crap is it good. Secret Sphere is classified as symphonic metal, but that term really doesn’t do justice to the sound of this latest release, it is a step beyond. Though symphonic elements are definitely present, they don’t by any means carry the musical timbre of the album, the sound presented here is one step up the evolutionary ladder from most symphonic metal fare.After the six minute overture is X, the track that introduces the story, and it does it in fantastic bard-like fashion. The opening guitar squeals are accompanied by expertly done flourishes from the rhythm and the drums immediately set a breakneck, frantic pace, setting up a suspenseful atmosphere for the coming events. Luppi’s vocals hit right away as emotional, powerful, and stellar across the board, whether he is in scream mode or in the more subdued narrator moments. This track uses its variant musical elements to set the stage, leading perfectly into Wish and Steadiness, which for me is the best track of the album. It opens with classic symphonic keys, and uses them perfectly to transition from the more subtle tension of X to this track, building up before literally exploding in a fiery wall of metal. Notes come fast here, very fast, drawing out the tension and angst of the listener quickly. The hints of the frantic drums in X are joined by all the other instruments, and the panicked despondency of Luppi’s voice can almost be tasted it is so palpable. Highlighting it is a soul wrenching solo by Lonobile, bringing the despair of the song to full front. I don’t say this often, but this song for me is near perfection, everything fits together so well.With the tone set, the album digs into telling the story in full, with a spectrum of styles and paces. It truly is a musical narrative, events and emotions ebb and flow throughout the album.  The next song, Union, takes on a softer tone, adding an organized edge to the metal. It is catchy as hell, and sets a silent fervor in motion for The Fall, which has epic all over it. All hands are in play in this one, another searing track that leaves the listener breathless.The album carries on in this fashion throughout its entirety. The multitude of musical styles and themes are performed wonderfully by every member of the band. Lonobile is a monster at lead, and Pastarino carries a heavy load on rhythm superbly. The drumming is frantic yet precise, the fills and rolls just fantastic. Bass is a subtle undertone of organized thunder, and the keys carry the heavy weight of the symphonic elements so well. Add to it Luppi’s vocals, which are emotional and powerful throughout, and Secret Sphere delivers all the requisite parts, firing on all the right cylinders. Collectively though, they combine to create a truly special piece of music.From beginning to end, Portrait of a Dying Heart is a musical narrative in every sense of the term, it carries the listener through a slew of emotional states. The album is not only a summation of its talented parts, but also has a touch of ethereal wonder, something uncommon in the genre. There is a hurried sense of desperation, almost akin to that feeling of trying to hang on to the world with a single string that is slipping fast, that is carried throughout the work. Artist strive to transmit emotion to the audience through their chosen medium, Secret Sphere uses this concept to take us on a thrilling ride of spiritual turmoil, and does it very, very well." - Lady Obscure
    $14.00
  • "Plastic Soup is the first album of the new Dutch Progressive rock band PBII, the successor to the well known Plackband of the 70's and 80's, often called the Dutch Genesis. Plastic Soup however, has a sound that is absolutely 2010: modern, fresh and rocky but still with some great symphonic influences of the past. Stylistically, you could place it somewhere between Spocks Beard, Porcupine Tree, Frost*, Marilion, Linkin Park and Genesis. Special guests include John Mitchell (Arena, It Bites, Frost*), John Jowitt (IQ, Frost*) and Heidi Jo Hines (daughter of Denny Laine of Wings. Though not a concept album, the central theme of the album is the environment. Plastic Soup is another name for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, floating in the ocean with a size twice that of the US. Discoverer of this plastic soup is captain Charles Moore, who also did some voice overs on the album. PBII wishes to get more attention to this environmental problem. "
    $3.00
  • No major change of directions here. Roine Stolt and Co. serve up Yes influenced neoprog loaded with plenty of drama and instrumental prowess. If anything the tracks are a tad shorter than the past go round - and I think that's a good thing. For some The Flower Kings represent the future of progressive rock - you decide!
    $15.00
  • "Bidding for a popular breakthrough with their second major-label album, Soundgarden suddenly developed a sense of craft, with the result that Badmotorfinger became far and away their most fully realized album to that point. Pretty much everything about Badmotorfinger is a step up from its predecessors -- the production is sharper and the music more ambitious, while the songwriting takes a quantum leap in focus and consistency. In so doing, the band abolishes the murky meandering that had often plagued them in the past, turning in a lean, muscular set that signaled their arrival in rock's big leagues. Conventional wisdom has it that despite platinum sales, Badmotorfinger got lost amid the blockbuster success of Nevermind and Ten (all were released around the same time). But the fact is that, though they're all great records, Badmotorfinger is much less accessible by comparison. Not that it isn't melodic, but it also sounds twisted and gnarled, full of dissonant riffing, impossible time signatures, howling textural solos, and weird, droning tonalities. It's surprisingly cerebral and arty music for a band courting mainstream metal audiences, but it attacks with scientific precision. Part of that is due to the presence of new bassist Ben Shepherd, who gives the band its thickest rhythmic foundation yet -- and, moreover, immediately shoulders the departed Hiro Yamamoto's share of songwriting duties. But it's apparent that the whole band has greatly expanded the scope of its ambitions. And Badmotorfinger fulfills them, pulling all the different threads of the band's sound together into a mature, confident, well-written record. This is heavy, challenging hard rock full of intellectual sensibility and complex band interplay. And with their next album, Soundgarden would learn how to make it fully accessible to mainstream audiences as well." - Allmusic
    $5.00
  • Strictly limited edition authorized 2CD live set from Asia's set at the High Voltage Festival in Victoria Park, London on July 24, 2010. No overdubs, taken straight from the soundboard, and modest professional packaging.
    $9.00
  • New 180 gram 2 LP vinyl edition of this classic space rock album featuring loads of bonus material. Everyone has their fav Ozrics disc - many cite Jurassic Shift as their best (personally I still like Erpland better).
    $24.00
  • Legit reissue with 5 bonus tracks from this 1970 monster UK rarity.  Red Dirt were a raw blues based quartet  but their music had progressive and psychedelic overtones.  Rippin' guitarwork through out.  Recommended to fans of Incredible Hog, Human Beast, and Groundhogs."Red Dirt were a blues band formed in East Yorkshire around 1968 comprised of Dave Richardson (vocals), Steve Howden (guitar), Kenny Giles (bass) and Steve Jackson (drums) who built up an impressive live reputation in clubs and venues in the North of England. They were subsequently signed to Morgan Bluetown, When released in 1970, on the Fontana label, their self-titled debut album sunk without trace and legend - or rumour - has it sold something like 100 copies. In the last forty years Red Dirt has become a rare and expensive album with more people having heard about it than actually seen an original copy. Although valued in the 2010 edition of the Record Collector Rare Record Price Guide at E650 copies have sold for over £800 on eBay.But what was the story behind Red Dirt? Amazingly, when Record Collector announced the first vinyl reissue of the album in late 2009 the article was read by an aspiring American journalist Betsy Green who was in touch with original guitarist Steve Howden, now working as a delivery driver in Hollywood. Green interviewed Howden and four decades later we finally found out that the band came together after drummer Steve Jackson approached Howden in a pub in Bridlington in their native East Yorkshire. Howden was keen and Jackson's friends Kenny Giles and Dave Richardson were drafted in on bass guitar and lead vocals. Richardson had worked with future Hull legend Mick Ronson as well as Michael Chapman.The band attracted the interest of Morgan Bluetown who signed them. Red Dirt were put into the studio with producer Geoff Gill. "We recorded the album in Morgan studios London," recalls Howden, "McCartney finished his album in there which was a big buzz for us. They booked us in from midnight onwards, to six in the morning and the album didn't take that long, around twelve hours I think. They managed overdubs for the vocals to get them right but I don't think they ever put them on. It was all very rushed and was only ever released in England" In fact the album was licensed by Morgan to the Fontana label who released Red Dirt in 1970 and it literally vanished without trace.There has been much speculation in recent years as to whether legendary record sleeve designer Barney Bubbles was responsible for the eye-catching sleeve image of a red Indian with 4 bullet holes in his forehead dripping blood. The rear sleeve credits the design to Teenburger, Bubbles Notting Hill based company. As a number of people worked for Teenburger it is impossible to confirm if Bubbles had a hand in the, sleeve design.As for the music, Red Dirt is a lost classic. There is an element of the Doors Morrison Hotel period and a whiff of Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band in the rocking driving blues of tracks like Death Letter and Problems. Song For Pauline on the other hand harks back to the Delta of Robert Johnston comprising of only slide guitar and vocals. Memories and In The Morning were probably considered as songs fit for release as singles as both have a compelling commercial edge and benefit from more extensive arrangements which the band augmented by what sounds like a mellotron and an organ that gives their powerful music more texture and depth.That Red Dirt's natural musical chemistry was honed on the live circuit is demonstrated on the riff and harmonica prowl of Ten Seconds To Go and the driving locomotive engine of Maybe I'm Right. There is also the acid smoke-folk of Summer Madness Laced With Newbald Gold which opens with Richardson groaning and laughing against a dirty guitar riff and the song is then propelled forward by drum pattern straight out of Safe As Milk. "It seems as if the red dirt is blowing into my eyes," sings Richardson on this outstanding track which sadly reflected the critical and commercial indifference that greeted the release of the album. It appears that the band later returned to the studio to record additional material earmarked for a second album that was, according to one press report when the band were supporting Mott The Hoople on a tour in January 1971 "nearing completion and should be available shortly".Sadly, the young Red Dirt dudes never did issue that second LP but this CD features five bonus tracks featuring Ron Hales on guitar who had replaced Steve Howden. So, as well as enjoying their debut you can also get down in the dirt and wrap your ears around From End To End, Yesterday And Today, The Circle Song, I'd Rather Go Back 15 Years and Tolly Cobbold. Thanks to Secret Records you don't have to pay an arm and a leg to do so!by Ian Shirley, Record Collector magazine" - Rockasteria
    $6.00
  • Current UK pressing of the classic second album. Features the monumental title track as well as "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun".
    $14.00
  • First it was Circus Maximus and now Spheric Universe Experience.  The fourth album from this French metal band finds them moving away from their progressive roots.  The New Eve is more immediate and in your face.  Their trademark complexity is pretty much gone.  Instead you get a lot of down tuned guitar crunch.  Keyboards are present but for the most part soloing seems to be a thing of the past.  Fred's sound likes on an industrial edge as the keys are used to punctuate the guitars.  At times the old SUE of Anima and Unreal pops up but its not as often as I'd like.  I'm not sure what the rationale was for the band to go in this direction.  Only their fans will be able to decide if it was a success.
    $14.00