Stained Class ($5 Blowout Price!)

Remastered edition with 2 bonus tracks.

"Easily one of the most important heavy metal albums ever released, Stained Class marks the peak of Judas Priest's influence, setting the sonic template for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal more than any other single recording. This is the point where Priest put it all together, embracing their identity as the heaviest band on the planet and taking the genre to new heights of power, speed, musicality, and malevolence. Not until Painkiller would the band again be this single-minded in its focus on pure heavy metal. Their blues-rock roots have been virtually obliterated; largely gone, too, are the softer textures and gothic ballads of albums past. The lone exception is the morbid masterpiece "Beyond the Realms of Death," on which the band finally finds a way to integrate the depressive balladry of songs like "Epitaph" and "Last Rose of Summer" into their metal side. Starting out with quiet, mournful verses, the song's chorus is ripped open by a blazing guitar riff as Rob Halford shrieks about leaving the world behind, a dramatic climax that sounds like a definite blueprint for Metallica's "Fade to Black." Yet it wasn't this song that inspired the ridiculous 1989-1990 court case involving the suicide pact of two Nevada teenagers; that honor goes to the Spooky Tooth cover "Better by You, Better Than Me" (penned by none other than the "Dream Weaver" himself, Gary Wright), on which the band allegedly embedded the subliminal backwards-recorded message "Do it." Astounding implausibility aside (as the band pointed out, why encourage the suicides of fans who spend money?), it isn't hard to see why Stained Class might invite such hysterical projections. On balance, it's the darkest lyrical work of the band's career, thematically obsessed with death, violence, and conquest. That's not to say it's always approving. Sure, there are battle cries like "White Heat, Red Hot," horrific nightmares like "Saints in Hell," and elements of the fantastic in the alien monsters of "Invader" and stone classic opener "Exciter." But the band stays philosophical just as often as not. The twisting, turning title track adopts the biblical view of man as a hopeless, fallen creature preyed upon by his baser instincts; "Savage" foreshadows Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills" in depicting violent colonizers as the real savages; and closer "Heroes End" laments the many legends born from untimely deaths. So in the end, what really cements the celebrated morbidity of Stained Class is the sinister atmosphere created by the music itself. Never before had heavy metal sounded so viciously aggressive, and never before had that been combined with such impeccable chops. Seemingly at will, Tipton and Downing spit out brilliant riffs that cut with knife-like precision, usually several per song. This means that there's a lot to take in on Stained Class, but if there's nothing here as immediate as the band's later hits, there's also a tremendous amount that reveals itself only with repeated listens. While the album's overall complexity is unrivalled in the band's catalog, the songs still pack an enormous visceral impact; the tempos have often been jacked up to punk-level speed, and unlike albums past, there's no respite from the all-out adrenaline rush. Heavy metal had always dealt in extremes -- both sonically and emotionally -- but here was a fresh, vital new way to go about it. It's impossible to overstate the impact that Stained Class had on virtually all of the heavy metal that followed it, from the NWOBHM through thrash and speed metal onward, and it remains Judas Priest's greatest achievement." - All Music Guide

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  • 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
  • "By 1977 Journey had reached a creative crossroads, with three underwhelming studio albums under their belt and little to show in the way of commercial success. At the prodding of manager Herbie Herbert, who felt a major shakeup was needed in order to reignite their spark, the band was convinced to audition and eventually recruit the services of former Alien Project vocalist Steve Perry. Sure enough, adding him to the band just prior to the sessions for Infinity proved to be a stroke of genius, and a move that undeniably altered the course of history for the fledging Bay Area act. Released in January of 1978, Infinity easily proved to be the band's most cohesive work to date. Dead and buried were the jazz fusion overtones of previous offerings, and with the new songwriting combo of Perry/Neal Schon leading the march, the band set out to completely redefine their sound. Traditional pop arrangements were now adopted, cutting out the unnecessary musical fat, and allowing each bandmember to play to his strength: Perry's soaring, whale of a voice, Schon's scorching fret work, and Gregg Rolie's subtle keyboard arrangements. Enlisting eccentric producer Roy Thomas Baker (already famous for guiding the likes of Queen and Nazareth to giant commercial triumphs of their own) also proved to be a rewarding move for the boys. With newfound confidence, Journey crafted a record that could finally land them on the radio. Loaded with future FM staples like "Wheel in the Sky" (which hit the Top 50 in April of 1978), "Lights" (which quietly peaked at number 68 that August), and "Anytime" (pretty much a flop, crawling to number 83 in July), Infinity introduced Journey to an entirely new audience. Even non-singles like "Patiently (the first tune Perry ever wrote with Schon) and "Somethin' to Hide" were leaps and bounds beyond the band's previous accomplishments. And, ultimately, though Infinity merely introduced the band to mainstream radio (it was the never-ending tour on which the band embarked on to support it that drove the disc past the platinum plateau), it effectively cemented their rep as one of America's most beloved (and sometimes hated) commercial rock/pop bands. With over 170 shows under their belts, Journey had just begin to hit their stride." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • Second album from this British project conceived by multi-instrumentalist Kevin Lawry.  He handles vocals, guitar, bass, and keys while Darin McCloskey in the drummer.  Lawry brought in Brian Anthony to handle all Mellotron parts.  The best way to describe this band would be "doom prog".  It has a clear 70s vibe - perhaps a bit like Atomic Rooster - but a band like Cathedral (the British one) come to mind.  There is a dark element present here.  The quieter, Mellotron-laden, parts could have easily been lifted off of Camel's Mirage album.  The songs tend to settle into a groove with loooong spacey parts ever present with outbursts of Iommi riffing cropping up at just the right time.  Great stuff.
    $24.00
  • "In a society which continues to develop at breathtaking speed, racing through world history in seven-league boots, mercilessly trampling down anything unable to keep pace with this ruthless goose step, Riverside have composed an album which is a perfect reflection of our times. An offering full of symbolism – starting with the fact that the title of their fourth release consists of four words and that the album is precisely 44:44 minutes long – and an intelligent stocktaking of reality. Anno Domini High Definition is no concept album in the classic sense, although it features a central theme and a haunting message. “It’s a story about people who angrily state that such-and-such a device is no longer fashionable, before they`ve even learnt how to use it properly themselves. Even worse – it’s no longer usable, because there’s something better on the market now”, Mariusz Duda, vocalist, bassist, guitarist and lyricist of the four-piece explains. “For me, those are the thoughts of people who wake up every morning worrying that perhaps today their ‘sell-by date’ may expire.”Riverside was founded by guitarist Piotr Grudzinski, drummer Piotr Kozieradzki and Mariusz Duda in 2001. Immediately after the recording of their debut album, Out Of Myself, keyboardist Michal Lapaj joined the band, completing the current line-up which has impressed fans and media alike with the musicians’ great technical skills. Musically and in terms of its subject matter, Anno Domini High Definition marks a temporary climax in the quartet’s artistic work: “It’s an album about people who know they need to speed up or they’ll get left behind“, Duda summarises the tracks, adding: “About people who sometimes, despite themselves, will stop at nothing to achieve their aims. It’s an album about chaos, constant race, uncertainty, stress, and the struggle to survive.”This permanent inner restlessness, a constant search for the latest thing, is reflected in the band’s complex music. The five songs consciously keep up a high energy level, be it through a pounding groove, a turbulent bass line, cutting keyboard passages or haunting vocals. Anno Domini High Definition is a pulsating hybrid of a range of different stylistic means. Duda: “There’s more rock stuff on the record now. The new album has more balls, you could say, than anything we’ve done so far. But I think we kept all the nice melodies and traits that are characteristic to our music. It’s very energetic. There are longer, more complex compositions, but with more energy, power and ease. It’s been a long time since we had so much fun composing and recording, and I hope the listeners will also be infected by this atmosphere.”Anno Domini High Definition sees Riverside take another step in the evolution of their extremely significant sound, documenting a total focus on the here and now. “We don’t want to be one of these living-in-the-past prog bands,” Duda points out. “We feel that we have something new to say, and lots of moments on this album feature a fresh approach to some things. First of all, our main influence – our lives, or to be more precise, the speed of our lives. That’s why we had to cut an extremely dynamic and pretty short record, which suits the times we live in.”Experts have called Riverside a stylistic mix of Tool, Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater, but Duda reckons that other influences are more dominant on Anno Domini High Definition: “We wanted to reflect the energy of the early 70s and combine it with modern sounds. Now I think there is more of a Rush , Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple sound. But at the end of the day, this record ultimately sounds like Riverside.” 
    $14.00
  • "Forever tied with fellow gothic symphonic metal band Tristania, Sirenia were formed when Morten Veland left Tristania over musical and personal differences in 1999, despite the band just releasing their breakthrough record Beyond the Veil. Now twelve years later, Sirenia have taken two and half years to perfect the songwriting for their latest opus Perils of the Deep Blue.Early on Sirenia followed the approach of the “Beauty and the Beast” style vocals where they blended operatic female singing with guttural death metal vocals. That all changed with 2009’s release The 13th Floor where they brought in female vocalist Ailyn as their permanent vocalist. She had just participated in the Spanish version of X Factor and her wide vocal range brought a sense of melody and more of a rock style vocal to the band.Perils of the Deep Blue is a marked improvement over their last release The Enigma of Life. This time around the songs sound inspired and not so formulaic. Their utilization of combining clean male and female singing with harsh vocals is second to none. Despite utilizing more of his raspy vocals, Veland is on fire with his clean singing on “Ditt Endelikt.”Ailyn is the star here though, as her vocals play a major role in the songwriting. “Decadence” captures her accessible side as she embodies Within Temptation’s Sharon den Adel. She also utilizes an amazing range and uses opera inspired vocals on “Darkling” and the first single “Seven Widows Weep.” Her ability to capture the mixture of technicality and memorable vocal lines is impressive.The use of orchestration is not over the top and executed with a lot of finesse. “Seven Widows Weep” also incorporates a choir and the interplay between the heavy riffs, double bass drumming and strings is outstanding. “Profound Scars” has a driving tempo and incorporates some electronic elements to go with the energetic guitar riffs. A little reminiscent of later day Theatre of Tragedy, Sirenia should incorporate faster tempos more often.The 12-minute plus “Stille Kom Døden” is epic in scope. By far the longest song of their career, the melody lines on the guitar are gorgeous and work well with the orchestration. The pace is very slow and is a great throwback to Veland’s doom past. A moving riff comes in half way through the track as Veland’s vocals annihilate the listener.At an hour and seven minutes, Perils of the Deep Blue is a lot to digest. Even though the songwriting is more focused this time around, it is simply too long. It could have been shortened considerably as the tempos aren’t varied enough and we do run into some monotony.A more inspired release that we have seen from Sirenia in a long time and their best with vocalist Ailyn. Their continued use of three distinct vocal styles is impressive and Veland is an exceptional musician. Not only does he sing and play guitar but plays a plethora of musical instruments throughout.I was concerned with the future and direction of Sirenia after the release of The Enigma of Life, but am pleasantly surprised with their renewed focus as the songwriting is not lethargic this time around. Not many do the symphonic gothic metal style better, and that tradition continues with Perils of the Deep Blue." - About.com
    $13.00
  • THIS ONE IS HOT HOT HOT!!!!Long awaited second album from this astounding San Diego based prog/space band. Astra expertly mix progressive rock with deep space sounds - interchangeably within a song. Like their debut, there is a strong kosmische musik feel. Think in terms of Far East Family Band and Pink Floyd but when they turn on the prog rock burners you get a healthy dose of old school Genesis VDGG and Yes. Epic length tracks with sparse amounts of vocals. Tons of Mellotron and vintage analogue keyboards give us that sound we all cherish. Occasional use of flute spices everything up in the right way. If everything sounded this good in 1975 I would have never left my bedroom. I would have just had my parents slide some pizza under the door. Album of the year candidate - BUY OR DIE!FOREIGN CUSTOMERS PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO THE HEAVIER WEIGHT OF VINYL YOU WILL BE SUBJECT TO ADDITIONAL SHIPPING CHARGES.
    $26.00
  • 2 CD edition comes with a bonus disc featuring acoustic versions of material from the core album."Recently Dutch symphonic metal outfit Epica celebrated their first decade as a band with a massive show and a release of a DVD and now they’re back with a brand new studio album, which may very well be their finest moment to date…On “The Quantum Enigma” Epica has grown far beyond their humble musical beginnings. The symphonic elements and the massive choirs are still very much in place, but the band has found a new sense of renewed vigour and focus. High paced scorchers like ‘The Second Stone’, ‘The Essence Of Silence’ and ‘Reverence – Living In The Heart’ are poignant examples of the aforementioned refound sense of urgency. The band isn’t afraid to incorporate elements from thrash, death and progressive metal in their musical fabric, which makes this album a tempting listening adventure for people who aren’t necessarily into female fronted/symphonic metal.Vocalist Simone Simons shines on tracks like ‘Omen – The Ghoulish Malady’ and ‘Canvas Of Life’, while Arien van Weesenbeek shows his drumming prowess in the aforementioned ‘The Second Stone’ and ‘Essence Of Silence’. A special mention should go to guitarist Isaac Delahaye. His tasteful leads and solos are the proverbial icing on the cake. Particularly the main guitar solo in ‘The Quantum Enigma – Kingdom Of Heaven part 2’ is simply mindboggling.Production-wise “The Quantum Enigma” is a true gem, thanks to the considerable talents of Joost van den Broek (ReVamp, MaYan) and Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Pestilence). The direct and in-your-face production sound gives the album a definitive edge which is somewhat lacking on some of Epica’s earlier works.“The Quantum Enigma” is the sort of record where everything comes together. Great songs, great atmosphere and the band has finally managed to capture the energy of their live shows on a studio album. It’s still early in the year, but “The Quantum Enigma” is destined to become one of the musical highlights of 2014." - This Is Not A Scene
    $14.00
  • It s nice to hear a band like Siena Root playing it for real in this overly-processed world that we live in. Power to them, and I wish them all the success in the world! - Mick Box (Uriah Heep)"Siena Root is an experienced live act and an experimental project with its roots in analogue old school rock music. The group was founded in Stockholm in the late 90s. The sound is classic but yet original, based on heavy organ, howling guitars, bass riffing and big drums. It is also often enriched with bluesy soulful vocals, various guest musicians and psychedelic vibes.Siena Root is well known for its unique spectra of appearances, its many great guest artists, its broad musical range and its different interpretations of rock music. Yet, with a foundation in a traditional quintet, and a sound rooted in late 60s analogue gear. Don't expect to experience the same Siena Root show twice.In the sense that blues is blue, hard rock is black, and reggae is pan African coloured, this music has the colour of siena. It is a warm colour, originally from the muddy roots of the earth. Because this sound has roots that go deep, it was also natural to let root be a part of the bands name.Four full length studio albums, one live album, one DVD and two 7 singles have been released so far, each one marking the development and refinement of the bands diverse style. Through touring the music has developed in such a way, that jamming and improvising has become an essential element, always keeping you on the edge of your seat. A Siena Root concert is dramatic and exciting, visually, as well as emotionally. It's a dynamic root rock experience.""The musical world is rich and powerful and that is also a correct description of Siena Root's music. This is a Swedish hard rock band which aren't very progressive but still play in a progressive spirit or a psychedelic mood, without being psychedelic thankfully. "Pioneers" which is totally new is their fifth record and all their records has got very high (but few) ratings on this site. Especially their first "A new day dawning" from 2003 and their third "Far from the sun" from 2008. 2014 year's record follows a five year spectrum of now records. Their record has a lovely cover with a yellow landscape and the sillouettes of the five band-members heads in the background sky. Left from former line up is Love Forsberg, the band's drummer and Sam Riffer, the band's bassist. Otherwise the lead guitarist and organist KG West is gone as well as the lead vocalist Sartez Faraj. They are replaced by the keyboardist Erik Errka Petersson(who has played with my choir actually), the new vocalist Jonas Åhlén and the guitarist Matte Gustafsson."Pioneers" is a record of very high standard music which will please folk who like the hard rock of the late sixties and early seventies. The music is straight and melodic, filled with heavy organ sound and a caressing hard rock vocal. The musicians themselves has beautiful beards and it's obvious they love what they are doing. The only shame is that they have chosen to sing in English, that makes their music less interesting. I compare with the Norwegian band Höst which did a better choice. But still this music is lovely and very pleasurable. I think almost every track is similarily good but "In my kitchen" is absolutely the best(9/10), calmer and more atmospheric than the others. "Between the lines" and "Root rock pioneers" are two other songs I recommend(8/10). The record is extremely even so you won't find any bad or uninteresting tracks. This is specially a band and a record for fans of classical hard rock such as the late sixties' Deep Purple. This record is definitely at least a four star record. Recommended!" - ProgArchives
    $13.00
  • Virtuoso keyboardist Vivien Lalu has created a new progressive metal epic featuring an all star cast:Band [A-Z]---Martin LeMar (Mekong Delta) - VocalsMike LePond (SymphonyX) - BassSimone Mularoni (DGM) - GuitarsVirgil Donati (PlanetX)- DrumsVivien Lalu (Shadrane) - KeyboardsGuests [A-Z]---Jens Johansson (Stratovarius)Joop Wolters (Shadrane)Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater)Marco Sfogli (James LaBrie)Mike Andersson (Cloudscape, Fullforce)Peter Wildoer (Darkane, James LaBrie)Born of Noelle and Michel Lalu, musicians from the ‘70s French progressive act Polene, Vivien Lalu has released a surplus of recordings through an array of different bands and projects since 1997, as the keyboard player for underground black/doom band Time For A Change. At the turn of the millennium Lalu played keys for two underground progressive metal bands from Paris, Sad Warden and then Mind’s Orchard, and in 2002 was hired by Hubi Meisel (ex-Dreamscape vocalist) to compose and record the keys for his solo album EmOcean, the following year doing the same for Meisel’s sophomore album Kailash, both of which were released by Lion Music.It was at this time Vivien Lalu begins recruiting his own associates from major prog and metal bands — some of which he shares time composing music alongside in progressive metal act Shadrane — and forms his own solo project, LALU. The first full-length Oniric Metal was released on Lion Music in 2005 and began an entirely new chapter for this composer and his insatiable need to create mind-expanding, cinematic music.These accomplishments helped Lalu to begin securing score and soundtrack work for film and television; over the last few years he’s written many cues for the orchestral soundtrack for the Warner Bros movie Seuls Two, for the show Science X made in association with Lucasfilm Ltd. Additionally he joined the production team behind Laszlo Jones in order to assist the recordings and production of Banana Nation (Universal Music Group). He’s composed many soundtracks for French television, music and sound effects for Neko Entertainment, worked as a sound designer for Ubisoft Entertainment and much more.After collaborating with Shadow Gallery for a song on their Digital Ghosts album, and working with Canadian drummer Chris Nalbandian for his Paralysis of Analysis solo album — recording all keys and sharing solos with Derek Sherinian and Alex Argento — Vivien finally settled in and began work on the second LALU opus. Handling all composition and songwriting duties, as well as all keyboards on the massive production, Vivien weaved the cloth of the new album with vocalist Martin LeMar (Mekong Delta), bassist Mike LePond (SymphonyX), guitarist Simone Mularoni (DGM), drummer Virgil Donati (PlanetX), the album’s parts recorded in several countries including the United States (Los Angeles and New York), Germany and Italy, produced by Lalu in his own studio, and mixed at Boumbox Studio in Paris by Yan Memmi (Dio’s Lock Up The Wolves, Marcus Miller’s The Sun Don’t Lie, etc.). Additional contributions from Jens Johansson (Stratovarius), Joop Wolters (Shadrane), Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Marco Sfogli (James LaBrie), Mike Andersson (Cloudscape) and Peter Wildoer (James LaBrie) were also carefully built into the album, the final product boasting over fifty minutes of exceptional, massive  cinematic, atmospheric metal Lalu has dubbed, Atomic Ark. 
    $13.00
  • This new double CD concept album carries on guitarist Dussan Petrossi's Malmsteen worship. Dionysus vocalist Olaf Hayer fronts this neoclassical assault. Make no mistake and know what you are buying here. This is symphonic power metal that fits exactly into the mold of early Yngvie Malmsteen. Petrossi is a more than capable guitarist and he seems to revel in hero worship. Luckily he pulls it off with flying colors. This limited edition comes with a slipcase, 2 bonus tracks, a videoclip, interview, poster, sticker and wallpaper. Heartily recommended to neoclassically inclined.
    $17.00
  • At War With Self - sounds more like a psychological diagnosis than a band! This new group is an instrumental power prog trio leaping onto the progressive scene. The project is the brainchild of guitarist / multi-instrumentalist Glenn Snelwar. Torn Between Dimensions, the band's debut recording, features Snelwar on guitar, mandolin, and keyboards; Michael Manring on fretless bass and e-bow; and Fates Warning's Mark Zonder on drums and percussion. Zonders solidly tasty drumming firmly anchors the trio along with the melodically propulsive bass work of Manring, all wonderfully adorned by Snelwars fierce playing. The band serves up intense, emotional pieces in a wide variety of musical styles. Snelwars intention is to open doors to listeners who may be unfamiliar with progressive rock, classical guitar or metal. At War With Self have an equal passion for such diverse types of music as progressive and metal bands like King Crimson, Voivod and Pink Floyd; classical composers such as Bartok and Villa Lobos; as well as bluegrass and jazz. Torn Between Dimensions takes these influences and combines them into something undeniably progressive and strikingly original. The end result is a dense wall of sound, with different textures and feels within each number, one song flowing seamlessly into the next.Guitarist Glenn Snelwar is perhaps best known for his contributions to Gordian Knots eponymous debut, a project led by Chapman Stick player Sean Malone that featured guest performances by Trey Gunn (King Crimson), Sean Reinert (Cynic) & John Myung (Dream Theater). Snelwar helped co-write three of the songs for Gordian Knot, as well as contributing guitar work. Since his involvement with Gordian Knot, Snelwar has been incorporating mandolin, keyboard and string section programming into a foundation of classical, steel string and electric guitar arrangements to great effect. Michael Manring is a world-renowned, Grammy-nominated bassist who has appeared on over 100 studio projects, including recording and performing with Michael Hedges and Attention Deficit Disorder (with former Primus drummer Tim "Herb" Alexander). Michaels fretless bass parts play a vital role on Torn Between Dimensions, melodic but never overwhelming. For over 15 years, Mark Zonder occupied the drum stool for progressive metal legends Fates Warning. As Zonders fans would expect, he continues to push new boundaries on Torn Between Dimensions. Marks playing on the disc covers a lot of territory - from double bass drumming and odd time signatures, to jazz and Middle Eastern flavors. Snelwar describes Torn Between Dimensions as a concept album, but not in the strict sense of the word. I wanted to create a collection of songs where each would stand on its own, but exist as part of a greater whole. I strived to create something that would impact the listener, and incorporate many stylistic influences. Torn Between Dimensions is a tour de force of powerful, fluid prog rock that should appeal to progheads and rock fanatics alike! Torn Between Dimensions is housed in a digipak and features stunning artwork from noted surrealist Travis Smith.
    $5.00
  • New studio project put together by noted guitarist Henning Pauly of the band Chain. Most notable aspect of this project is the inclusion of Dream Theater vocalist James Labrie on all tracks. The music has a cinematic quality, melding progressive rock with a lighter style of progressive metal. At times the layering of Labrie's vocals are reminiscent of an old Queen album - it's almost larger than life. There are definite similarities to Dream Theater at points. Early listens remind me quite a bit of Pauly's band Chain but with a better singer and further refinement.
    $3.00
  • "Dog & Butterfly became Heart's fourth million-selling album and placed two songs of opposing styles in the Top 40. Like their Magazine album, Dog & Butterfly peaked at number 17 on the charts, but the material from it is much stronger from every standpoint, with Anne and Nancy Wilson involving themselves to a greater extent. The light, afternoon feel of the title track peaked at number 34, while the more resounding punch of "Straight On" went all the way to number 15 as the album's first single. With keyboard player Howard Leese making his presence felt, and the vocals and guitar work sounding fuller and more focused, the band seems to be rather comfortable once again. Average bridge-and-chorus efforts like "Cook with Fire" and "High Time" aren't spectacular, but they do emit some appeal as far as filler is concerned, while "Lighter Touch" may be the best of the uncharted material. After this album, guitarist Roger Fisher left the band, but Heart didn't let up. 1980's Bebe le Strange showed an even greater improvement, peaking at number five in April of that year." - All Music GuideRemasetered version with 3 bonus tracks.
    $8.00
  • "Stanley and I had been working together for some time before we made this record. We often talked about the possibility of recording an album together and Epic agreed to let us do it. The interesting thing about this record is that it is a power trio record. Stanley and I decided right away that this record would live or die by us; that we had to be the focus of this record; not the orchestration, not the background vocals, etc. The music had to emanate from us and by us, and that would make it unique. Stanley and I decided to make a totally different record from what the record company expected. We felt we had to stretch the boundaries. I'm sure Epic thought they were getting a fusion jazz record; But Stanley had played all the Return To Forever music he cared to by this time.The largest surprise for Epic was the song we chose as our first single from the record, "Sweet Baby." In fact they fought us on this track. The R&B department said it was too white and there was nothing they could do with it. The pop department said we were black artists with a white record and that they didn't have the time to promote this record at pop radio. So Stanley and I went to an independent promotion firm (Cliff Gorov) to push this record, and in essence bypass CBS. Well, needless to say, when the record began to make some noise, CBS jumped in as if they were there all along and brought the record home.I wrote "Sweet Baby" while looking over the water one afternoon in Berkeley, California while we were already in session for the project. It was written very quickly, and I called Stanley, who was in the room next to mine, and told him to come over and listen to this little pop song. I thought he would hate it, but just the opposite happened. We went in the next day and recorded it and the rest is history. To date, it is my largest across the board hit record. I finally made the top ten pop charts, WOW!We chose John Robinson as our drummer because of his strong steady approach to rhythm. He was with Rufus and layin' it down real hard. He was perfect!!Stanley and I were constantly on the road, doing television shows, or whatever. I broke up my band during this period and everyone went their separate ways. One thing I should mention that meant so much to me during this period, was a congratulatory phone call from Quincy Jones. After we hit the top ten, Q called me just to say "a job well done" I'll never forget that gesture on his part. "Q, I'll always love ya!!"Don't ask me why we did so much singing, but we did!! We wanted to make an instrumental record with vocals as a vehicle to communicate. Besides, instrumentals were not and still are not played on top radio formats. We went after this one and were fortunate to realize our dreams. We became R&B/Jazz/Pop stars for a moment. This LP also became the vehicle for my first video. Actually, it spawned three videos. I can remember that Stanley and I were extremely upset that MTV would not play any of our videos because we were black artists. I guess they can't be accused of that now! Oh yeah, we got a Grammy Nomination, but lost. It was 1981." - George Duke
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