Time Is The Enemy

SKU: BARDO137
Label:
Bardo Records
Category:
Fusion
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Simply blistering electric fusion jams.

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  • "The last few years have been a turbulent time for British tech bands and their vocalists. Along with TesseracT and Aliases in particular, Monuments have had more than their fair share of strife in securing the right frontman. However, the recruitment of the multi-talented Chris Barretto last year seemed to reinvigorate the band’s live performance, and second album The Amanunensis gives us the opportunity to see whether the chemistry apparent onstage translates into the writing process.The short answer to that question, hinted at by the singles that have broken cover in the lead-up to the album’s release, is a resounding yes. Right from the first listen, The Amanunensis grabs the listener by the hair and demands their attention. With a number of the songs that comprised debut album Gnosis having existed in one form or another for more than two years before its 2012 release, The Amanunensis shows clearly how far the band have progressed, on pretty much every front.It is only natural, though, that the attention falls first on Chris, as the new guy. As well as his prodigious vocal talents (which we will return to in a moment), he has built the lyrical concept to The Amanunensis around a complex story that ties the whole album together, effectively turning the individual tracks into chapters. Rather than reprise that entire concept here, Chris helpfully outlined it in a recent interview with Noisefull, and we can probably expect to see it fleshed out further in the future.Drawing from various strands of spiritualism and science fiction, it seems that The Amanunensis - both in concept and execution – is best described by another eastern construct; the Yin and Yang. The twin pairing of “I, The Creator” and “I, The Destroyer” that effectively bookend the album seem to be a nod in the direction of the Hindu god Vishnu, which together with the Buddhist concept of “Samsara” provide the spiritual yin to the yang of an album title inspired by David Mitchell’s novel Cloud Atlas and other sci-fi influences.But, deeper than that, Chris’ angelic, Michael Jackson-inspired falsettos provide a light to contrast the shade of some pretty fearsome screaming. Equally comfortable in both extremes and at numerous points in between, Chris unabashedly stamps his identity on the band’s sound. The net result proves that whilst the path to finding the right vocalist for Monuments was at times difficult, it was definitely worth the effort.Comparisons to the yin-yang can also be found in the real driving force of the Monuments sound: the riffs of guitarist John Browne. More so now than ever before, Browne’s riffs balance intense neocortex technicality with a more primal reptilian rhythmicality. There are tricksy time signatures and extended metre riffs aplenty, but they are always subordinate to the great God of Grooves, providing The Amanunensis with both immediate accessibility and the depth to warrant repeated listens and close attention. This is most immediately apparent on “Quasimodo“, which combines Tool-esque shifting rhythms with Sevendust‘s soaring melodies and guitar crunch.If this wasn’t enough, the tracks are then underpinned by the vibrant and imaginitive rhythm section of drummer Mike Malyan and bassist Adam Swan. Mike has spent much of the Monuments downtime as a key part of The Algorithm‘s headbending live performances, which have pushed out the boundaries of his already considerable skills even further, but once again the temptation to simply show off has largely been resisted, and his innovative beats and fills augment the songs rather than dominate them. Adam, too, seems to understand that the notes left unplayed are as important as those which are struck, and his understated basslines are deftly deployed, particularly on the verses of “Origin of Escape“.“Origin of Escape“, incidentally, is possibly the finest Monuments track to date, neatly encapsulating everything they have to offer in one four minute package that is both danceable and mosh-friendly. “Atlas” and “Horcrux” give free reign to strutting pop sensibilities, whilst “The Alchemist” and “Jinn” are blasts of lip-curling heaviness. Throughout the album, the choruses are huge and the hooks are numerous.With this combination of almost feral aggression and unashamed embrace of pop melody, The Amanunensis could almost lay claim to being ‘Angel Dust for the tech generation’. If anything were to stand in the way of that claim, it would be that it doesn’t quite have the same degree of diversity as Faith No More‘s magnum opus. Even with the yin and yang counterpoints discussed above, all of the songs rely on the key device of syncopated stabs interspersed with technical flourishes, so it will be interesting to see if the band can feel their way beyond that from time to time in the future.Nevertheless, The Amanunensis is bold, brash and thoroughly infectious. It delivers in full on the promises made by Gnosis and points to an even richer future ahead of the band, hopefully drawing a line under their somewhat tumultuous past.What we have here is the sound of Monuments coming of age. With this second album, their place in the pantheon of great British tech-metal bands is assured. Whilst there are hints that suggest there are still greater things to come from them in the future, there’s no reason not to see The Amanunensis as the must-have, feel-good metal hit of the summer." - The Monolith
    $12.00
  • "Right from the start, a vastly different Weather Report emerges here, one that reflects co-leader Joe Zawinul's developing obsession with the groove. It is the groove that rules this mesmerizing album, leading off with the irresistible 3/4 marathon deceptively tagged as the "Boogie Woogie Waltz" and proceeding through a variety of Latin-grounded hip-shakers. It is a record of discovery for Zawinul, who augments his Rhodes electric piano with a funky wah-wah pedal, unveils the ARP synthesizer as a melodic instrument and sound-effects device, and often coasts along on one chord. The once fiery Wayne Shorter has been tamed, for he now contributes mostly sustained ethereal tunes on soprano sax, his tone sometimes doubled for a pleasing octave effect. The wane of freewheeling ensemble interplay is more than offset by the big increase in rhythmic push; bassist Miroslav Vitous, drummer Eric Gravatt, and percussionist Dom Um Romao are now cogs in one of jazz's great swinging machines." - All Music Guide
    $7.00
  • "Following the success of his first solo album, Welcome to My Nightmare, Alice Cooper followed it up with another concept album, Goes to Hell, similar in style to its predecessor. Again, longtime Alice producer Bob Ezrin was on board, and while there are a few highlights, Goes to Hell signaled an Alice era where he pretty much forsook the raw garage rock of his early days (Killer, School's Out) in favor of polished studio glitz. That said, the title track is worthy of any headbanger's time (and remains one of Cooper's most overlooked rock tunes), while "I Never Cry" was another Alice ballad that found a place near the top of the charts. Other highlights include such tracks as the disco-rock-boogie of "You Gotta Dance" and the laid-back yet sinister funk groove of "I'm the Coolest." Elsewhere, the musical experiments aren't as successful -- the old-time sounds of "Give the Kid a Break," "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows," and the album-closing "Going Home" are about as far removed from the expected hard-rocking AC direction as you can get. And while the rocker "Wish You Were Here" would become a late-'70s concert standard for the Coop, the original studio version lacks the firepower the song achieved on the stage. Alice was supposed to follow up the album's release with another highly theatrical stage show (following the cue of his first solo tour in 1975), but an illness squashed the tour altogether. Despite its missteps, the gold-certified Goes to Hell would prove to be Alice's most commercially successful solo album for quite some time." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • The fans hated the way it sounded...and the band as well.  Rush finally took matters into their own hands and gave the album over to David Bottrill who completely remixed the album and breathed new life into it.
    $11.00
  • Previously unreleased live recording from Gigi Venegoni's excellent fusion ensemble.
    $17.00
  • With each successive release the question always is asked – How will the Tipton Brothers top their last album? The band’s fifth album, Dark Deceiver, is another jaw-dropping achievement of technical metal. The quartet of Jasun Tipton, Troy Tipton, Mike Guy, and Chris Salinas take their “chops from hell” attitude to a new level. In creating Zero Hour, the brothers envisioned a dark, heavy, emotional vibe, expressed through intricate arrangements, forceful vocals, and meaningful lyrics.2006 found the band in a curious situation. Although they were attracting attention and accolades around the world they were in need of a new vocalist. The problem was solved by the arrival of noted vocalist Chris Salinas, formerly of Power Of Omens. The resulting album “Specs Of Pictures Burnt Beyond” met with stellar reviews, a US tour and a headlining slot at the Headway Festival in Netherland. The year culminated in the band’s third appearance at ProgPower USA in Atlanta – the largest progressive metal festival in the world.For the recording of their new album the band once again collaborated with producer Dino Alden. Dark Deceiver finds the band experimenting with their already defined sound. The compositions are more technical than before. Alden took advantage of Salinas’ incredible vocal talents to apply some interesting and dramatic treatments, creating something very different from their previous recordings. This is without question the band’s crowning moment.
    $13.00
  • Third album from this fantastic Swedish modern progressive rock band. The music of Beardfish owes a stricking similarity to the recently defunct Anti-Depressive Delivery. It's a quirky mix of modern rock heavily infused with classic progressive sounds. Prog rock fans complain about the genre's inability to break out of a niche cult market - well it's bands like Beardfish that can do it - so don't kvetch - just support these guys. Intelligent contemporary progressive music that should appeal to both old and new school prog fans. Highest recommendation.
    $12.00
  • The third album from Haken once again demonstrates why they are at the forefront of the progressive metal scene.  The first two albums Aquarius and Visions are quite different.  Aquarius is a much quirkier album - lots of twists and turns that kept you off balance through out.  It had more of a prog rock feel and some real oddball approaches that resulted in some reviewers referring to it as circus meteal.  Visions was quite different.  It was much more linear and clearly defined in terms of content.  It was a prog metal album and wonderful one at that.The Mountain is the first release for the band's new home at Inside Out.  The direction of the band takes a bit of a u-turn.  The music falls somewhere in between the first two.  There is a quirky, prog rock vibe but you get the heaviness and complexity of prog metal.  One particular track I keep going back to is "Cockroach King" which essentially pays homage to Gentle Giant's counterpoint vocals.  Regardless of which direction you preferred, The Mountain has enough diversity to go please everyone.If you want to keep track of where progressive metal is headed then climb the mountain - this is where its at.  Highly recommended.
    $14.00
  • The North American Freak Kitchen catalog reissue program continues.  Freak Kitchen is Mattias Eklundh (guitar.vocals), Christer Ortefors (bass) and Bjorn Fryklund (drums). The band describes their album as "A corny little heavy-pop-rock-Latin-world-jazz-avant-garde-metal-blues-record straight from hell!". "Organic" is the band’s sixth album.  It features a guest appearance by Guns N Roses guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal.  Pure guitar driven insanity with tongue firmly planted in cheek.  Essential for fans of Frank Zappa, Bumblefoot, and Steve Vai."If there was such a thing as indie metal, Freak Kitchen would define the genre perfectly. This metal band hails from Sweden and was formed back in 1992. Their outstanding musicianship and authentic musical style makes this power trio a real treat for those of us lucky enough to find their music. The bands’ distaste for big corporate labels has not prevented them from getting their music out, just not on a scale one would expect them to be considering the high level of quality music that they put out. So, as they state on one of their songs: “I’m so alternative, I am so independent, this is the way to live the independent way of life.” I guess one could say the guys walk the talk!Frontman Mathias IA Eklundh is considered a premier guitar player, having himself released several instrumental solo albums, Freak Guitar (1999) and Freak Guitar - The Road Less Traveled (2004). Also of some importance I guess is the fact that I’ve read in several live performance reviews that Eklundh will often play his guitar using foreign objects, some of which are described as vibrating dildos! Oh yeah, and he can really sing too! Eklundh is also the founder of Mattiasology, of which Steve Vai (peace prophet) and Paul Gilbert (space prophet) are listed as members of the Grand Church of Freakiness.Organic is Freak Kitchen sixth studio album, which was released in different parts of the world on April 27, 2005, just don’t expect to find it in North America yet. When you hear them for the first time, and believe me - you will eventually hear them - it’s really like nothing you’ve heard before. It’s like mixing a heavy metal guitar sound with alternative rock and adding mild progressive elements and a clearly indie rock vibe. It’s going to turn your head as it did mine. If you’re into metal you’re going to wonder “what the hell is this” and if you’re into indie rock, you’re going to wonder the exact same thing? It’s a blending of styles that requires time to soak up. But after you get over the initial impact of it all, it grows on you very quickly and I mean that in an exponentially freaky kind of way.The album opens with the single “Speak When Spoken Too,” which also features the eccentric Bumblefoot (Ron Thal - another Mattiasology prophet) on back up vocals and guitar. The Pantera style guitar riffs will have you questioning the bands musical style and the evident alternative rock vibe will probably remind you of System of a Down. There's a whole lot of humour spread out throughout the album as well.The band plays hook laden guitar driven songs full of interesting arrangements and cool little guitar antics and solos. The crystal clear production, the occasional blast beats, the crazy guitar sounds, the humorous lyrics about everyday life (infidelity, racism, the role of parenting) and the radio-friendliness of it all makes this a very memorable listening experience." - Sputnik Music
    $14.00
  • OK I don't know who thought this was a good idea but someone let Billy Sherwood run wild again.  Your move."From the producer of The Prog Collective comes a new supergroup of unparalleled musical virtuosos who cut loose on this jazz-rock fusion album!Features performances by members of the biggest names in fusion including Mahavishnu Orchestra, Yellowjackets, Brand X, Soft Machine, and Spyro Gyra PLUS Yes, Dream Theater, King Crimson, Tool, Porcupine Tree, Hawkwind and more!"Track Listing:1. Random Acts Of Science - Rick Wakeman (Yes) Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra) Nik Turner (Hawkwind) Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets / Alan Holdsworth)2. Stone Cold Infusion - Steve Stevens Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater / Liquid Tension Experiment) Mel Collins (King Crimson) Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) Billy Cobham (Mahavishnu Orchestra)3. Molecular Breakdown - Jay Beckenstein (Spyro Gyra) Billy Sheehan (Steve Vai) Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) David Sancious (The E Street Band)4. Particle Accelerations - Larry Coryell Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater / Black Country Communion) Eric Marienthal (Chick Corea Elektric Band) Chester Thompson (Genesis / Brand X)5. At The Edge Of The Middle - Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs) Jim Beard (Mahavishnu Orchestra) Randy Brecker (Blood, Sweat & Tears) Percy Jones (Soft Machine / Brand X)6. Atom Smashing - John Etheridge (Soft Machine) Tony Kaye (Yes) Chad Wackerman (Frank Zappa)7. In The Spirit Of... - Steve Hillage (Gong) Scott Kinsey (Tribal Tech) Theo Travis (Steven Wilson Band) Justin Chancellor (Tool) Asaf Sirkis (The Orient House Ensemble)
    $14.00
  • Fates Warning guitarist goes new age with the help of Michael Mannring, Mark Zonder, and Charles Bisharat.
    $13.00
  • ""Two years after Iridule, finally the italian band Yugen comes back with its first live album. The cd captures the show at RIO Fest 2011, in Carmaux, France, and presents the group in an extraordinary seven-member line-up.As Sid Smith writes in the liner notes, Mirrors is "a dizzying cavalcade of turn-on-a-dime rhythms, intriguing harmonies and striking, anthemic melodies that have a habit of drilling down deep into the consciousness of the listener"."Yugen represents an exciting forward-looking trend in European music", Smith underlines, "marrying both intellect and emotion in one seamless and coherent partnership. How successful they are in this endeavour you can judge for yourself by playing this remarkable and frequently thrilling live souvenir.""
    $18.00