Trash ($5 Special)

SKU: EK45137
Label:
Epic
Category:
Hard Rock
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"Alice Cooper hadn't had a hugely successful album in over a decade when, in 1989, he teamed up with Bon Jovi producer Desmond Child for Trash -- a highly slick and commercial yet edgy pop-metal effort that temporarily restored him to the charts in a big way. Fueled by the irresistible hit single "Poison," the album temporarily gave back to Cooper the type of visibility he deserved. There's nothing shocking here, and Cooper's ability to generate controversy had long since faded. But while the escapist Trash -- which was clearly aimed at the Mötley Crüe/Guns N' Roses crowd -- may not be the most challenging album of Cooper's career, and isn't in a class with School's Out or Billion Dollar Babies, it's fun and quite enjoyable. And it was great to see the long-neglected Cooper on MTV next to so many of the '80s rockers he had influenced." - Allmusic

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  • Limited mini-LP sleeve edition."Whited Sepulchres, Italian doom metal alchemist Paul Chain's 1991 album is also one of his most seldom heard. Released on Minotauro Records and barely distributed outside Italy, Whited Sepulchres is a cult item that demands rediscovery. Musically it mixes influences from Paul Chain's doom metal roots and esoteric themes with the kind of heavy psychedelic experimentation he later became known for."
    $17.00
  • "New Era is an apropos name for Cloudscape's fourth album as the band has gone through some significant changes. In the last several years, the band lost three of its founding members including bass player Hans Perrson, drummer Roger Landin, and guitarist Bjorn Eliasson. Cloudscape had to scramble to fill the gaps.New Era could also refer to the course of Cloudscape's musical direction. Although uneven maybe a better word for the album. While melodic metal, that of power and nuances of prog, still bolsters the arrangements, there seems a slant to a more raw modern sound. You can hear this in Your Desire and Share Your Energy, which includes some dirty vocals from Peter Wildoer (Darkane, James LaBrie). Conversely, there's some familiar Cloudscape material here as well. Pull the Brake finds them accessing more melodic hard rock. Voyager 9, the longest cut, offers the power prog side of the band. Heroes integrates a little of both. Ultimately, New Era is mixed bag of songs, and I can honestly say I can't point to one as being jaw-dropping compelling. Nevertheless, this is not a bad album either. It's merely different. Possibly with a few more spins it would grow on me. But considering two spins brought to a mostly ambivalent assessment, it's not likely to happen. Fans, and the curious, should be the first to check out New Era." - Dangerdog.com
    $12.00
  • "Esteemed international metal label Season of Mist began pursuing the two-guitar, three-singer Vancouver quartet Anciients after hearing a series of early mixes for what would become the band’s debut album. It’s easy to imagine what initially lured the diverse label to the band: The tracks on Anciients' nine-song entrance, Heart of Oak, are hyperkinetic but heavily anchored. They surround the hooks you might expect from a Baroness anthem with tangential and technical playing that trends toward prog rock but stops short of Opeth or Enslaved’s maze of redirections. Anciients excel at muscular and agile guitar solos, while the guitarists, Kenny Cook and Chris Dyck, also volley the vocal duties, jumping from death metal bellow to pop-metal lift. It’s exciting stuff, really-- often complicated without seeming excessive, skillful but soulful, approachable but not pedestrian. At its best, Heart of Oak is immediate and electrifying, an album that suggests Anciients’ half-prog, half-pop metal is bound for big stages.By this point, though, you’ve probably wondered what’s up with the band’s name: Why, after all, add an extraneous vowel to a perfectly good handle? That excess is emblematic of Anciients' chief musical foible-- time and again, they add unnecessary sidecars to songs that would have been more effective left alone. Of these nine tracks, only one doesn’t break the six-minute mark. The exception is a tender but predictable instrumental, a mid-album interlude meant as a tribute to some late friends and family members. But the rest of these things are hyperbolic monsters that speak to a rookie act attempting to get through all of their influences at once, even though three of the members have been playing together in other groups for a decade. They are trying to make a very big point all the time, and the weight collapses in on itself. “The Longest River”, a nine-minute cut with a woefully apropos handle, swivels from acoustic foreboding to contract-and-expand thrash, from distended solos to dense stomp, from sweet-singing verses to growled impasses. None of it’s bad, but none of it is astounding enough to pardon the way it obviates an excellent refrain.That’s a consistent problem for Heart of Oak, a record that adulterates many incredibly exciting moments with consistent excess. “Flood and Fire”, a late-album highlight, seems more like a string of song pieces than a proper song, with a righteous solo swiping momentum from a great chorus that, in turn, stymies several great and grim hardcore shout-alongs. As Cook told Metal Underground, album opener “Raise the Sun” initially keys on Fleet Foxes before leaping into a verse so sticky and warm that ASG or Torche might like to have it back. Elsewhere, the song convincingly invokes metalcore and psychedelic rock, hangman riffs and fleeting blast beats. The parts are exhilarating, but strung together with more enthusiasm than wisdom so they’re mostly exhausting. Taken a track or two at a time, Heart of Oak is manageable; make it from end to end, though, and it’s difficult not to feel frustrated by the fatigue.These complaints aren’t meant as some preclusive warning against Heart of Oak; rather, they’re only an honest assessment of a band that, in years to come, is probably going to be great. If Anciients choose to venture further deeper into labyrinthine prog, they’ve got the riffs and rhythms to make it compelling over the long haul. They seem as steeped in the suffocation of black metal from Scandinavia as they do in the sweetness of Allman licks from Georgia, as capable of thrash sprints as they are stoner lulls. And as the pealing organ and rumbling field recordings of the gorgeous (but, again, incredibly excessive) closer “For Lisa” suggest, they bring a wide-eyed approach to their music. Heart of Oak doesn’t have a compelling, cohesive narrative thrust, but there’s always time to buy a book of folklore, right?Alternately, Anciients could choose the route of bands such as Baroness or even Mastodon, embedding that sharp technicality within songs that make their points with concision that doesn’t forsake intricacy. The kernels of these songs are strong enough to suggest that they’re not very far off-- that is, their biggest problem as a band isn’t a dearth of ideas but, rather, discretion with those ideas. Anciients are exciting new prospects, with or without that cumbersome vowel chaiin." - Pitchfork
    $13.00
  • "Storia o Leggenda is often referred to as a "lesser" Le Orme album, but the truth is, Le Orme never put out a bad or less than committed record before the 1990s, with the one exception of Smogmagica (1975), a failed experiment. Of course, a faction of the progressive rock intelligentsia disses Verità Nascoste, Storia o Leggenda, Florian, and Piccola Rapsodia dell'Ape in order to better highlight magnum opuses like Uomo di Pezza and Felona e Sorona. Still, where other major Italian progressive rock bands like Premieta Forneria Marconi and Banco del Mutuo Soccorso were starting to show signs of exhaustion (or compromise), all of these albums are worthwhile listening, and Storia o Leggenda more so than the others. Something magical happened on this 1977 LP, as several factors came together to produce a splendid opus. First of all, the band turns back to acoustic guitars, to an extent not heard since 1973's Uomo di Pezza. And, here, the band that made a name for itself as a keyboard-led trio finally manages to show why adding a guitarist was so important. They had failed to do so with Tolo Marton on Smogmagica. This time around, Germano Serafin, introduced on Verità Nascoste only a few months earlier, perfectly fits into Le Orme's new sound. For Storia o Leggenda does represent a new sound, one that is now totally removed from the group's beginnings as Nice wannabes, and much more in line with the Italian progressive rock ethos (Banco, PFM, Il Volo's eponymous debut). In fact, Storia o Leggenda represents the best of both worlds between the more pronounced rock leanings of the previous record (Verità Nascoste) and the next, all-acoustic, almost instrumental LP Florian. It has the complex metrics and driving rhythm section of the first ("Al Mercato delle Pulci" and "Il Musicista" are very strong prog rock mini-epics) and the lush arrangements and pastoral feel of the latter ("Tenerci per Mano," "Un Angelo," the title track). One final point: Aldo Tagliapietra never sang better than on this album, his voice pure Italian honey. This album has been worthy of high esteem for a long time and will continue to deserve such esteem in the future." - Allmusic Guide
    $10.00
  • "Despite what the name might lead you to think, progressive metal is among the most static and boring of all heavy music genres. Half the bands that fall under the moniker exist merely as a vehicle to show off the skills of the players involved, which is fine in small doses, but rarely sustains a creative career. The other half of the bands stick rigidly to the blueprint of one of the fore-bearers of the genre, giving us music that sounds exactly like something we've already heard. Very little of progressive metal is actually interesting, because it is a genre that lacks people dedicated to the art of songwriting. Songs are what makes any band successful, no matter how much sheer musical skill they possess. Dream Theater didn't get to where they are just because they are amazing musicians, they also wrote a slew of great songs and albums. The number of progressive metal bands who have impressed me with their songwriting in recent years is miniscule, but I mention all of this because Ascendia is one of them.As “At The End Of It All” swells into focus with a tribal drum beat and chanted vocals, it's already obvious that this is not going to be prog-by-numbers. The song kicks into gear with a syncopated guitar riff, before the vocals soar over the top of everything, slapping a thick coat of melody atop the sound. There's a quiet section in the middle of the song that feels like a cousin of Killswitch Engage, which is a fresh sound to hear in this kind of music. When it opens back up into the chorus, the song is massive, and it's hard to believe all of that music was contained in five and a half minutes.The songs on the album are more bite-sized than typical progressive metal, but that plays into the band's strengths as songwriters. By keeping the songs lean and tight, they hit harder than if the instrumental sections had been extended by a minute here and there. There is interesting playing going on, but it's all done within the framework of the songs, and never put out front to dominate the spotlight. It's an approach that is smart not just because of how easy it is to get bogged down in instrumental pyrotechnics, but because an album of that sort would never be able to survive the Herculean vocal presence of singer Nick Sakal.With more than a little bit of similarity to the former singer of the aforementioned Killswitch Engage, Howard Jones, Sakal's vocals dominate the album, making you wonder where a voice like that could have come from. His baritone is warm, rich, and not at all what you would expect to hear in a band that isn't playing down-tuned hardcore.But what is most important are the songs, and that's where Ascendia proves themselves as standouts. Whether tackling more modern fare like “Remember Me”, or more traditionally melodic songs like “Moonchild”, there's a phenomenal blend of heavy riffing and soaring melody. I can't tell you how rare it is to hear a progressive metal band that is so in tune with melody, and can write songs that could stand up if they were stripped down to the chord structure and the vocals. We get an example of that with the duet ballad, “The Song That You Deserved”, a largely piano and voice song that is as beautiful as it is heart-breaking. Ascendia's ear for songs is excellent, and that is what makes “The Lion And The Jester” such an engaging listen. Song after song, there's a warm and inviting chorus waiting to wrap its arms around you after you've heard the heavy and intricate moments.This year has been off to a ridiculously great start, with at least half a dozen legitimately great records having already come my way. Add “The Lion And The Jester” to that list, because Ascendia is making progressive metal the way it was always supposed to be. Both challenging and gratifying, intense and cathartic, “The Lion And The Jester” is a phenomenal piece of work that reminds me of the very best progressive metal I've ever heard. This is an album you need to hear.Oh, and how awesome is that cover art? That is one album that will look as good as it sounds in a collection." - Bloody Good Horror
    $10.00
  • "After witnessing Swedish Heavy Metal quartet WOLF pull of a spectacular set whilst supporting EVILE at a local show in 2012 I have not looked back since. They are back and they mean business with their latest album “Devil Seed”, to say it’s loud is an understatement.WOLF proudly describe their music as “Real Metal For True Bastards” and in the couple of years I have been listening to these Swedish Metal heads I can wholeheartedly agree with this statement.“Overture In C Shark” and “Shark Attack” provides the listener with a very explosive opening to show us that the boys in WOLF are back and here to stay. The gloriously recognisable vocals provided by Niklas Stålvind only gives the listener more reassurance that it’s a triumphant return for WOLF.It’s very refreshing that WOLF deliver us that same Old School Heavy Metal sound; as I listen to “Devil Seed” I would say you are taken back to the days of IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST and SAXON. A real treat for Heavy Metal fans whatever walk of life you come from.This record encompassed many great attributes including boundless guitar riffs and solos, mighty vocal work, miraculous melodies and crashing drums; exactly what you would expect from a Heavy Metal band. The tracks that I think demonstrate this exquisitely are “Surgeons Of Lobotomy”, “I Am Pain” and “River Everlost”. The melodies on these particular tracks stood out the most in my opinion. I also really enjoyed the iconic guitar riffs and solos on the track “River Everlost” so thank you Simon Johansson and Niklas Stålvind for those.The anthemic “Killing Floor” allows you one last chance for some killer Heavy Metal before drawing the album to a close.So overall a truly marvelous epidemic of Heavy Metal from WOLF in the form of “Devil Seed”, it’s a real treat for fans of the genre and the band." - Metal Temple
    $11.00
  • "Secret Voyage is another kaleidoscopic musical journey through time and space, incorporating and rearranging traditional melodies from all over Europe, blending the "old" and contemporary. The brilliant guitar stylings of Ritchie Blackmore, the enchanting vocals and lyrics of singer/songwriter Candice Night and the saturation of authentic Renaissance instruments woven throughout the melodies, create a unique style of music they call Renaissance/Folk/Rock. Secret Voyage consists of twelve new tracks, recorded by Candice Night, Ritchie Blackmore and their Band Of Minstrels. This musical journey is inspired by nature and incorporates acoustic and electric guitars, strings, renaissance instruments and Candice Night s ethereal voice and mystical lyrics."
    $15.00
  • Its been a bit quiet on the prog metal front as of late but hopefully this new band from Norway will shake things up a bit. Dimension Act pretty much adheres to the Dream Theater formula although there is a healthy injection of prog rock as well. Plenty of keyboard solos to go around and killer guitar work. If you rachet down the complexity one notch you will be reminded a little bit of Spheric Universe Experience.
    $3.00
  • "Sometimes I like a little power in my heavy. Swiss band CRYSTAL BALL is a powerhouse that performs metal with a force to be reckoned with. Following a 6 year hiatus, a new album "Dawnbreaker" was finally released this year, and they bring with them a new energy. What makes this band especially interesting is their blend of classic Heavy Metal, euro-Rock and melodic Power Metal; some of the tracks sound like something off a EUROPE album; other times I am recalled back to IRON MAIDEN; and other times I hear RHAPSODY OF FIRE. Naturally, the musicianship is excellent, but keeping things from growing bland are the vocals; gruff and aggressive, not normally found on a melodic Power Metal album, and almost add a Lemmy-like atmosphere.The opener "Break of Dawn" is a through-and-through Heavy Metal track, with heavy and aggressive guitar-driven passages; even the vocals are percussive, putting particular emphasis on adding an extra axe blade to those of the chugging guitars. Immediately following is a strongly Euro-flavored track, "Anyone can be a Hero", with wailing guitar and vocal melodies and very, very 80's melodic progressions. A nice touch, I think; albums like this simply do not feel complete without the odd blast from the past. A song that stuck out like a sore thumb, for me, is "Skin to Skin"; at first, I thought it was an EDGUY piece, because it sounds like it could have come directly out of "Mandrake" or "Rocket Ride". A copy? Nay; a nice remembrance piece; mid-tempo but catchy, groovy, heavy and melodic.I hope this band is "Back for Good", or at least for a while. Another EDGUY-like track, complete with atmospheric synths, this is another rocking mid-tempo track that even, in terms of arrangement, reminds me a lot of STRATOVARIUS' "Kiss of Judas". Allow me to go on and on about the guitar solo; it is a damned fine work of art, and the twin harmonized solo is at a Scandinavian level. Next up, the band returns in a blaze of glory to the roots of melodic Heavy Metal in "Power Pack", which combines the aggressive grooves of METALLICA's peak era, and some additional Euro-style melodies. Lyrics are cliché as hell, but I do not care; essentially my favorite song on the album. The end track, "Bond of Love" proves that a Metal album does not need an over-abundance of guitar-shredding, blast beats and double kicks (of which this album has none) to be brimming with molten steel. Hell, I'm even noticing a few slight progressive touches here.I admire CRYSTAL BALL for not trying too hard to be Metal, for not being too cliché, and for effectively bring back to full force the essence of Heavy Metal into modern times." - Metal Temple
    $9.00
  • Second full length studio album from this British band finds them with new vocalist Ashe O'Hara replacing the great Dan Tompkins.  This shouldn't be inferred that O'Hara is any less a vocalist than Tompkins - he's excellent as well.While the core djent sound is there the band has moved a bit more into a prog rock direction.  In general its less metal and more rock.  O'Hara's vocals don't go in the screamo direction that a lot of djent bands prefer.  The instrumental parts are still stupifyingly crazy but crazy in a King Crimson meets Tool way.  I'm not sure what the djent metal community will think of this shift in course but I like this new direction.  The old was good - to my ears this is better.  Highly recommended.
    $9.00
  • Latest from Germany's melodic metal Gods.
    $13.00
  • "When people think of Melodic Power Metal from Finland, obviously two of the biggest acts that come to mind are STRATOVARIUS and SONATA ARCTICA. ASTRALION are another quintet pumping out that addictive, uplifting Euro Power Metal sound on their debut, self-titled album. Forming in 2011 and containing two ex-OLYMPOS MONS members in vocalist Ian Highhill and bassist Dr. K. Lundell, they also have two musicians from the Thrash band THE ADDICATION in their ranks with drummer Arnold Hackman and guitarist Hank Newman. Keyboardist Thomas Henry rounds out the lineup, so the experience in terms of players and musicianship makes this 11 song record much easier to ingest than the average ‘newer’ act attempting to breakthrough on this very active scene.The foundation of ASTRALION’s style cements itself in the early to mid-90’s Power Metal movement: chord structures that have a touch of that mead hall/ cultural thematic feel, as well as those larger than life choruses that BLIND GUARDIAN, GAMMA RAY, and HELLOWEEN made a staple of their sound. The keyboards certainly have that Finnish meets FREEDOM CALL happy tone – the opening strains of “At the Edge of the World” reminding me at times of “Hunting High and Low” from STRATOVARIUS. Of course you’ll get the prototypical speed numbers featuring guitar/keyboard synchronized arpeggio-like runs as the double bass cruises and the vocals hit ultimate bird call highs – “When Death Comes Knocking” and “Five Fallen Angels” textbook Power Metal 101 arrangements that should go down a storm.Beyond the mid-tempo ‘ode to what we love about the genre at hand number “We All Made Metal;” I also enjoyed the theatrical/ semi-Symphonic nature of the dramatic “Computerized Love” as well as the 13 minute epic closer “Last Man on Deck” that opens in ballad form before picking up the Neo-Classical pace and giving Hank and Thomas ample solo break / ‘can you top this’ moments. Ian may not tickle all the right notes vocally at times, but his passion and personality makes up for any small deficiencies. I come away every time singing the chorus to “Mysterious & Victorious”, and isn’t that half the battle in winning over consumers in this style?ASTRALION are off to a high quality start, so those who miss the 1990’s style of Power Metal would be wise to scoop this up." - Metal Temple
    $15.00
  • "Recorded early 1974 at the SWF-Studio in Baden-Baden, Germany by the same line-up, which recorded at the same time the 2nd Missus Beastly album. Improved versions of older titles and some new titles prove the bands great talent for improvisations. Brilliant sound of brilliant tunes played by refined musicians. This kind of instrumental krautjazzrock is timeless. The musical orientation of the new Missus Beastly rather followed afro-american than European music traditions, but influenced by that certain Krautrock feel. Great music by a great band. Digitally remastered from original master tape. Comes with informative booklet and rare photos."
    $24.00
  • Third collaboration from Steven Wilson and Aviv Geffen. Mr. Geffen wrote all of the material except for one track. Musically speaking its a very different animal than Porcupine Tree. Its much more laid back with a heavy emphasis on orchestration. I'm reminded a bit of later Pink Floyd and also Roger Water's solo works. Not a lot of pyrotechnics and really not much in the way of heaviness. Its almost as if Mr. Wilson has taken a supporting role as opposed to equal stature to Mr. Geffen. If you are looking for Porcupine Tree's quasi psychedelic metal look elsewhere. Blackfield presents you with (well recorded) art rock that targets your emotions rather than your thought process.
    $20.00