A Spark In The Aether (Special Edition)

"Twelve years, eight studio albums, two live DVDs and tours that have taken them from Moscow to Quebec. Now one of the most enduring third wave progressive rock bands on the scene returns - a band that has never made an album using the same personnel as the previous album. In fact, the same lineup has (to date) never been used twice.

But there are regulars. And some of the favorite regulars are back for the 8th album: Flower Kings bass legend Jonas Reingold; the ever-faithful and gifted Theo Travis, familiar to many from his work with the Steven Wilson band, Gong and Robert Fripp, with his arsenal of wind textures from saxophones to flutes; and the return to the fold of the amazingly talented Luke Machin, a guitar hero for a new generation who can even wow the old generations (and who also fronts his own band, Maschine). And of course there's band leader Andy Tillison (keyboards and vocals), the only member of the band to have played on all the records.

This team is joined by Morgan Ågren, Swedish drumming phenomenon who can even count Frank Zappa among his previous jobs (others include, but not limited to, Kaipa, Devin Townsend, and his own acclaimed Mats/Morgan Band). Morgan introduces to The Tangent a real live energy full of inspiration and eccentricity.

The band, who were only supposed to make one single album in 2003, are now back with their eighth! A Spark In the Aether is a joyous and uplifting romp that sees the band concentrating on their forté: delivering driving, melodic, thoughtful and inspired songs with a large grin on their faces as they do it.

"Using protest, sadness and negative images in music is a part of an artist's job" says Andy Tillison, "and it's something we have often done. But every so often I think we need to turn to the music itself and remember why it is we get so much from it. On this album I just wanted us to play - have fun, make music and mischief that can be enjoyed just for the sake of it"

So, twelve years further down the line, after albums about dystopian societies, midlife crises, alienation, homelessness and communications - the Tangent return to the very beginning and once again celebrate The Music. You are invited to join in."

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    $15.00
  • "Formed nearly 20 years ago in Madrid by guitarist Enrik Garcia, Dark Moor is not slowing down. The band returns with their ninth long player, Ars Musica. Their trademark symphonic and melodic metal remains at the forefront on this album.Actually, even though there are elements of traditional melodic heavy and power metal, Ars Musica reminds more of symphonic and melodic hard rock record, simply because of the catchy groove and accessible hooks in most every song. Certainly, the opening intro and following First Lance of Spain sounds like sweeping and epic symphonic power metal.But the tide turns with It Is My Way and The Road Again. Both songs charm your ears with the great melody, groove and friendly accessibility. This continues through Together As Ever, The City of Peace, and the beautiful ballad Gara and Jonay. Then the tide turns once more. Living in a Nightmare is clearly symphonic power metal, a swift and rushing composition, as is Saint James Way, though not quite as fast. Dark Moor taps their heritage with El Ultimo Rey and the closing Spanish Suite, the latter an epic instrumental. Once more, besides the excellent melodic rock and metal, the vocals of the talented Alfred Romero leads the way; he's easily one of the best melodic metal vocalist of our day. Dark Moor's Ars Musica is an excellent accomplishment and strongly recommended." - Dangerdog.com
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  • "Houston, Texas is the place that the group who go by the name of Six Minute Century call home. Six Minute Century have a new album Wasting Time and it's one that comes with some serious hooks courtesy of guitarist Don LaFon. This melodic power/progressive group's well received debut Time Capsule introduced us to Six Minute Century in 2008 so it has been quite a long period between albums for fans of that release, but now the wait for their sophomore release is over.The first thing that I noticed about this group was the soaring vocals of Chuck Williams that is in a John Arch kind of way and fans of the heavier side of Fates Warning should give Six Minute Century a go. His approach totally suits the intriguing metal of Wasting Time, Six Minute Century is also group with very competent musicians the bass and drums really give Six Minute Century a hard driving sound not to mention some dynamic performances of their own along the way.Six Minute Century aren't afraid to put their bass player Michael "Dr. Froth" Millsap in the spotlight like on the instrumental "Czardas" and you can soon tell why as this guy is impressive, he also puts in a very nice introduction to "Last Days in Paradise". Two mid tempo songs that easily won me over thanks in a large part to guitarist Don LaFon are "Just Remains" and "The Killing Fields" these aren't the only memorable songs Six Minute Century have on Wasting Time but they certainly do reel you in promptly. Six Minute Century have a real knack at writing songs that entice you back again and again.Six Minute Century are onto something very agreeable here, and yes while their debut Time Capsule was quite good this new album Wasting Time shows a band that have lifted their game and the results are much more impressive." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $14.00
  • Remastered with 2 bonus tracks."Over the course of their first three late-'70s albums, Foreigner had firmly established themselves (along with Journey and Styx) as one of the top AOR bands of the era. But the band was still looking for that grand slam of a record that would push them to the very top of the heap. Released in 1981, 4 would be that album. In producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange -- fresh off his massive success with AC/DC's Back in Black -- guitarist and all-around mastermind Mick Jones found both the catalyst to achieve this and his perfect musical soulmate. Lange's legendary obsessive attention to detail and Jones' highly disciplined guitar heroics (which he never allowed to get in the way of a great song) resulted in a collaboration of unprecedented, sparkling efficiency where not a single note is wasted. "Nightlife" is only the first in a series ("Woman in Black," "Don't Let Go," the '50s-tinged "Luanne") of energetic, nearly flawless melodic rockers, and with "Juke Box Hero," the band somehow managed to create both a mainstream hit single and a highly unique-sounding track, alternating heavy metal guitar riffing, chorused vocals, and one of the ultimate "wanna be a rock star" lyrics. As for the mandatory power ballad, the band also reached unparalleled heights with "Waiting for a Girl Like You." One of the decade's most successful cross-genre tearjerkers, it has since become a staple of soft rock radio and completely eclipsed the album's other very lovely ballad, "Girl on the Moon," in the process. And last but not least, the surprisingly funky "Urgent" proved to be one of the band's most memorable and uncharacteristic smash hits, thanks to Junior Walker's signature saxophone solo. Through it all, vocalist Lou Gramm does his part, delivering a dazzling performance that confirmed his status as one of the finest voices of his generation. Three years later, Foreigner would achieve even greater success on a pop level with the uneven Agent Provocateur, but by then Jones and Gramm were locked in an escalating war of egos that would soon lead to the band's demise. All things considered, 4 remains Foreigner's career peak." - All Music Guide
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  • Second album from this Baltimore-centric band formed by keyboardist Dan Britton and drummer Patrick Gaffney. The band's modus operandi is to compose long form instrumental compositions steeped in the tradition of old school prog. Much of this could have been ripped out of the playbook of some 70s European prog band. The band is augmented by strings and reeds lending a classical feel - and making the whole thing more expansive sounding at the same time. There are some musical similarities to the work of A Triggering Myth, in that there is an overarching "big idea" that resonates through the entire album. Where ATM tend to go more in the jazz/fusion direction, Deluge Grander stick to their guns and serve up the Hammond organ and Mellotron sounds hot and heavy. Of particular note is guitarist Dave Breggren who gets it - he could have slipped into Yes or Gentle Giant's lineup and no one would be the wiser. This will be one of the best old school prog albums you will hear this year. Highly recommended.
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  • This one is a bit of a twist for Inside Out and clearly demonstrates the influence that parent Century Media is having over the label these days. The Safety Fire are a British djent metal band. They've been around since 2006 and have developed a following touring around with similar bands like Periphery and Tesseract. For my mind Sikth did this the best but they are gone. Tesseract's releases were pretty great mainly because vocalist Dan Williams eschewed screaming for the most part. The Safety Fire is pretty much cut from the same cloth as these other bands. Lots of intricate tech metal bits through out. Your tolerance of screamo vocals will gauge how much you enjoy this band.
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  • "Kenny “Rhino” Earl is involved in two projects this year (so far). One is the new metal super group Death Dealer with Sean Peck, Stu Marshall, and Ross the Boss, offering their debut War Master. The other is this album Thundergod, the second appearance of his band Angels of Babylon.The two project are interesting juxtaposition in heavy metal. The former is bombastic, punch you in the face, kick you in the balls, even coarse, heavy metal. Thundergod is more towards melodic heavy and power metal. The emphasis in the metal here is more melody and harmony, while still remaining powerful and driven.Frankly, this is the more favorable, and accessible, of the two projects. For one thing, against the Death Dealer project and for AoB, you won't feel a need to take a break from this album because it's sledghammering your head into mush. Rhino takes a different approach in his songwriting, persuading you not only with metal, but a hard rock groove and an abundance of overt uncompromising melody. You get this throughout, but welcome, notable and enjoyable in Sondrio, Queen Warrior, True Brothers, or the racing metal rocker, Bullet. Sure AoB can get rougher, heavier, with The Enemy or King of All Kings, but it's never at the expense of good melody. This formula allows for some songs to develop into anthems with an epic feel with Redemption and Turning the Stone. Additionally, Rhino handles all the vocals on this album, and also adds to the timbre of the music with his melodic metal vocal style. Frankly, Thundergod is top notch melodic heavy metal. Very recommended." - Dangerdog.com
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  • Pinhas is back and Cuneiform has him (once again). Incredible array of musicians evokes the good old days. Here is what Cuneiform says:"Metatron is over 2 hours of spacey and flowing music that isn't afraid to rock out completely as well, by French electronic rock pioneer Richard Pinhas (on guitar and electronics), with Jerome Schmidt on laptop, drummer Antoine Paganotti (Magma) and ex-Heldon members Didier Batard (bass), Patrick Gauthier (minimoog) and Alain Renaud (guitar), as well as Chuck Oken, Jr. (Djam Karet) on synths and Philipe Simon on violin on one track each. While a lot of this is definitely comparable to Tranzition, his great last album, there really is a lot more rock involved this time around, as there are drums on the great majority of tracks. In addition to all the great music, there is a QuickTime video with footage from Richard and Jerome's 2004 North American tour."
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  • Digibook edition that is identical in content to the US jewel box edition. Some people like to collect these things... New double album is a continuation of Out Of The Tunnel's Mouth (much of the material was composed during those sessions). The first album also contains a couple of tracks that indicate Steve Howe and Jonathan Mover among the co-writers so I assume this is refurbished and unreleased GTR material. Chris Squire and Simon Phillips also play on the album so its probably taken from the still to be released Squackett album. The bonus disc contains 9 tracks that were recorded at previous sessions. So what's the story with the music? Well...it's pretty great. Mr. Hackett is still writing progressive rock. His playing is always inspired - whether acoustic or electric. Some of the tracks have a slow burn quality and others just blaze away. Whenever I hear his acoustic work I wish he would record a duet with Gordon Giltrap - that would be something to hear. I don't know if its studio wizardry or he's just gotten better but his vocals (which were previously a bit of a distraction) are totally fine. This one really hits the spot in the right way. Highly recommended.
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  • The latest from Roine Stolt and Co. is a 2 CD affair featuring plenty of trademark epic tracks. The Flower Kings have been able to perfect the balance between neo and old school prog.
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  • ""Scattered Horizons" is the closest thing to a female-fronted Symphony X that the world will ever see—I don't think a sex change is on Russell Allen's to-do list. The album was penned by an Austrian group calling itself Siren's Cry, and they show a magical amount of coherent songwriting and surprising instrumental performances throughout what is their first full-length effort. Stylistically, Siren's Cry takes copious amounts of influence from early Symphony X (think "The Divine Wings of Tragedy" through "V") and some fellow Austrian exports such as Edenbridge, obviously including dazzling guitar work, elegant keyboards, and other authentic qualities of the progressive power metal regime. Fronted by one Katarina Bilak, "Scattered Horizons" makes the grass a little greener, the wings of tragedy a bit more divine.Bilak fronts the group excellently, though her tone and performance require some conditioning on the listener's end; this genre has much more Russell Allen-esque types and the like, so having Bilak rule the vocal realm might throw off some folks at first. However, she fits Siren's Cry's host of traits and techniques wonderfully, especially during the schizophrenic "A Controversial Mind," in which she flies all over the place and kicks a whole lot of rumps in the process. Many of the anthems are quite memorable and hooking, with several boasting stellar choruses, complicated guitar/keyboard leads that are done with care and precision, and noteworthy performances from the rhythm section as well. "Cold Amber & Scalding Tears," the ballad, is surprisingly decent, like most of the release; no track manages to misfire.And yes, they occasionally come off as a little too dependent on the structures of Symphony X, because they, you know, sound like Symphony X. The main riff from "Oratory & Sins," for example, is almost the same central guitar sequence of "Of Sins and Shadows," and Siren's Cry generally moves around like its primary influence. Well, I guess it's nice that I've been arrested at least four times for stalking Symphony X, otherwise I'd find it a little annoying. However, minor irritations like the unoriginal guitar work are few and far between; Siren's Cry proves itself to be a very unique and imaginary bunch. Tracks like "Elegy of R'lyeh" and its smooth jazz section are superb cuts of progressive metal at its finest, while explosive numbers such as "Serpents of War" and "Draconian Spectrum" display rapid themes and intensity kicked up a notch or two, clearly more in line with the power metal side of the coin.Other than the minor idiosyncrasies that the folks of Siren's Cry can call their own, a grand portion of the work within "Scattered Horizons" is somewhat of a special, unexpected treat for folks intrigued by the progressive power metal style that has been mastered by Symphony X and reproduced by many others. "Scattered Horizons" captures the grandiose themes and perplexing musical aspects of the identity without sacrificing admirable songwriting in the process, and Siren's Cry shows an ample amount of persistence and maturity at album one. I'm not calling this a masterpiece to acquire immediately, but it's worth a shot if you enjoy Symphony X. Nicely done." - antiMusic.com
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  • Pink Floyd influenced doom.
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  • Kaipa's second album didn't present anything radically different from the first album and that's a good thing.  Its simply beautiful symphonic rock in the tradition of Yes and Genesis.  The only negative is that keyboardist Hans Lundin sings in Swedish but his voice is strong so its not unpleasant.  I'm not quite sure why Decca didn't force them to sing in English. This 2015 remastered edition arrives with four bonus tracks.""Inget Nytt Under Solen" was KAIPA's 2nd release and is another wonderful release which must be heard. "Inget Nytt Under Solen" has all the elements you would want in a progressive rock band... beautiful captivating songs with superb musicianship. Ronie Stolt's (FLOWER KINGS) impregnates this album with his accurate and lively guitar work, Tomas Eriksson handles most of the vocals and adds some real solid punchy bass lines, Hans Lundin brings his analog keyboard wizardry while Ingemar Bergman delivers some solid percussion throughout. All the songs as very well constructed and are given lots of space the breathe and create some lovely atmospheres. This album opens with an epic 21 minute suite "Skenet Bedrar" which is simply brilliant (must be heard!!!). Vocals are in Swedish except for the bonus numbers which introduce the world to English lyrics in an attempt to attract the world to KAIPA's talents. Overall I love KAIPA's music and "Inget Nytt Under Solen" is a solid offering which fans of FLOWER KINGS, ANYONE'S DAUGHTER etc. will love and treasure..." - ProgArchives
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  • "Aranis, year 2014: a Belgian band that brings something definitely off the beaten tracks! The second installment in their "Made in Belgium" series (aka MIB 2) is now on the road...and it's more captivating than a thriller! In it, a subtle blend of rejuvenated classical influences mix with (aming other things and with no specific order) a touch of drumless/ clarinetless Balkanic Klezmer- punk, a glimpse of 100% Brussels- deserts tango and a few improvised moments that manage to never really sound like "jazz"...No easy label comes to mind when it comes to describe Aranis' sound...and so its should be! A pretty unpredictable sextet...Classical? Jazz? Folk? Rock?...Well, a little bit of all this...That's what you'll taste in the Aranis pizza! So, why wouldn't you treat your ears and get a slice of it? With real chunks of Peter Vermeersch (FES), Koen Van Roy (Cro Magnon), Walter Hus (Maximalist!), Ananta Roosens (La sieste du dromadaire), Aurélie Dorzée (Aurélia) and many others..."Second release in the series from this exciting Belgian chamber rock sextet.  This is more chamber than rock but it has a great kinetic energy that melds different styles - classicial, rock, klezmer, zeuhl - always keeping the listener on his toes.  Never abrasive - always mesmerizing.  Highly recommended.  ARANIS - SKIP 21 from Robbe Maes on Vimeo.
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