Trial By Fire ($5 Blowout Price!)

SKU: 82876858932
Label:
Columbia Legacy
Category:
Hard Rock
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Remastered edition with one bonus track.

"With Jonathan Cain, Steve Perry, and Neal Schon leading Journey once again, and bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith behind them, it would seem that Trial by Fire would contain the same elements that gave them their stardom in the '80s. Disappointingly, though, there is nothing captivating or even the least bit attractive about this unimaginative release. Perry's singing hasn't lost too much of its power, but the faster tunes come off as contrived and messy. Sounding hard and scattered, the smoothness of their trademarked music is nowhere to be found, replaced with brash, beat-up, hollow rock riffs. The ballads fare no better, as the passion that once flourished within the band when it came to slowing things down has long since faded. Just the fact that Journey reunited may lure fans to this album, but it won't be long before the discontentment begins set in." - All Music Guide

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  • "Esoteric Recordings are proud to announce the release of a newly re-mastered and expanded edition of the classic 1970 album HOME by PROCOL HARUM. Released in June 1970, the record followed on from the huge international success of the band’s debut single "A Whiter Shade of Pale” and the superb albums PROCOL HARUM, SHINE ON BRIGHTLY and A SALTY DOG.  Hailed by many fans as one of the finest albums released by the band, HOME saw the exquisite song writing of Gary Brooker and Keith Reid reach new heights on pieces such as "The Dead Man’s Dream”, the epic "Whaling Stories”, "About to Die” and more.Produced by Chris Thomas, the album captured a new line-up of the band featuring Gary Brooker (voice, piano), Chris Copping (bass guitar, organ), Robin Trower (lead guitar), and B.J. Wilson (drums).Newly re-mastered from the original tapes, this Deluxe edition of "Home” has been expanded to include 11 bonus tracks (3 previously unreleased) over two CDs, including rare tracks, alternate session takes and 2 previously unreleased BBC Radio session tracks from May 1970. This expanded deluxe edition of "Home” also includes a lavishly illustrated booklet that fully restores the original album artwork and features a new essay by Procol Harum biographer Henry Scott-Irvine."
    $19.00
  • Reissue of the 2006 album from this Italian progressive power metal band.  At the time the band was led by US vocalist Steve Braun.  Good singer but a bit of a high pitched wailer.  Comes with the band's original 2003 demo and is spiffed up with new artwork."Italian group Ashent released their debut back in 2006 now that same album Flaws Of Elation is being re-issued with new artwork and extra tracks taken off Ashent's four track demo from 2003. The rare demo tracks were included to highlight how the Italian progressive metal band have changed in style, increasing that technical musical input and with further inclusions giving Ashent's songs a wider scope. So here is your opportunity to get hold of these recordings especially as the original version of Flaws Of Elation has now been out of print for some time. Ashent's debut shows this group possess the capabilities to successfully implement their complex music.The demo tracks aren't as polished but still good enough to give examples of this metal band in its early stages, these same songs would also find their way onto Ashent's debut in their updated versions. Naturally the first obvious difference between the demos and how they would later sound on their debut album is the vast improvement in production. "Awakend's Transitions" now bursts out of your speakers with a cleaner more potent sound creating much more impact. The songs flows better and with more additions like that from their drummer they haven't greatly altered the running time just made some appropriate adjustments. "Fallen Angels" is the next and it's a similar case with the updated production aiding to bring the song to life more though I do quite enjoy both versions. I prefer the later version of "Anaemic Ardency" between the two releases the band did have some line-up changes on drums and guitar plus a new vocalist, and I do find his vocal delivery to be more appealing as is the case with the song "Eden".The remaining six tracks offer further strong and impressively structured progressive metal songs that are quite heavy and melodic with some power metal influences, and also included is an instrumental "A Puzzled Sentiment". Ashent have released another album since Deconstructive which I am not familiar with but after hearing how good this one is I would be very keen to also give it a go." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $11.00
  • Take 4 members of Shaman, add in Angra's incredible drummer Aquiles Priester.  Have Russell Allen produce their album and what do you get?  Well not exactly what you would expect but ultimately maybe something even better.  Noturnall's debut touches on power, trash, and progressive metal and all blended together with a melodic modern edge.  Russell Allen even provides guest vocals on one tune.  Turn this one up to 11!"What do you all expect from bands with some praised members in their lineups?Of course, all of us have great expectations, and in Brazilian NOTURNALL, with members from KARMA, SHAMAN, HANGAR, ANGRA, ALMAH, TEMPESTT and others really is above all our expectations, and their first album, “Noturnall” is a heavy piece, an excellent amount of heavy music.They play a modern and heavy form of Prog Metal, with great vocals (Thiago Bianchi is in a great shape, singing both in high tunes as in low ones), abrasive and heavy guitars (both in aggressive riffs and melodic solos, and Léo Mancini shows a very good technique), bass in a technical and heavy shape (Fernando Quesada is a excellent bass player), fantastic drums (please, it’s a work from Aquiles Priester, one of Brazil greatest drummers), and the keyboards are simple great (creating great atmospheres and passages, a fine work from Juninho Carelli). And prepare your ears, for the album is a heavy weight champion, one of best works from Brazil.The sound production is wonderful, done by SYMPHONY X’s vocalist Russell Allen along with NOTURNALL members. You can hear all instruments loud and clear, but the modern and aggressive aspect is present all time. It’s a blow in your face!The Best moments: “No Turn at All”, the heavy and with some groove aspects “Nocturnal Human Side” (great vocals, in a duet of Thiago along with Russell), the wonderful “Sugar Pill”, and the abrasive “Fake Healer”.Perfection, nothing more to say, so remember what your dear Ol’ Big Daddy here always says: buy your physical copies, for MP3 is for sissies." - Metal Temple 
    $15.00
  • Second album from this post-Santana lineup is a bit more commercial than the debut but there are still progressive overtones. Neil Schon shines again.
    $5.00
  • "There are no surprises in sound and style on Morph the Cat, Donald Fagen's long-awaited third solo album, nor should any be expected -- ever since Steely Dan's 1980 masterwork, Gaucho, his work, either on his own or with longtime collaborator Walter Becker, has been of a piece. Each record has been sleek, sophisticated, and immaculately produced, meticulously recorded and arranged, heavy on groove and mood, which tends to mask the sly wit of the songs. When it works well -- as it did on Fagen's peerless 1982 solo debut, The Nightfly, or on Steely Dan's 2001 comeback, Two Against Nature -- the results go down smoothly upon first listen and reveal their complexity with each spin; when it doesn't quite succeed -- both 1993's Kamakiriad and the Dan's 2003 effort Everything Must Go didn't quite gel -- the albums sound good but samey on the surface and don't quite resonate. Morph the Cat belongs in the first group: at first it sounds cozily familiar, almost too familiar, but it digs deep, both as music and song.Sonically, at least superficially, it is very much a continuation of the two Steely Dan records of the new millennium -- not only does it share Fagen's aesthetic, but it was recorded with many of the same musicians who have shown up on the Dan projects. There are slight differences -- without Becker around, there's a greater emphasis on keyboards and the songs stretch on a bit longer than anything on Everything Must Go -- but this, at least on pure sonics, could have functioned as a sequel to Two Against Nature. But Morph the Cat is very much a solo affair, fitting comfortably next to his first two solo albums as a conclusion to what he calls a trilogy. If The Nightfly concerned the past and Kamakiriad was set in a hazy future, Morph the Cat is rooted in the present, teeming with the fears and insecurities of post-9/11 America. Fagen doesn't camouflage his intent with the gleefully enigmatic rhymes that have been his trademark: his words, while still knowingly sardonic, are direct, and in case you don't want to bother reading the lyrics or listening closely, he helpfully offers brief explanations of the songs (for instance, on "Mary Shut the Garden Door," he writes "Paranoia blooms when a thuggish cult gains control of the government," a statement that's not exactly veiled). On top of this unease, Fagen faces mortality throughout the album -- he talks with the ghost of Ray Charles, borrows W.C. Fields' phrase for death for "Brite Nitegown," writes about attempted suicides -- and every song seems to be about things drawing to a close.It's a little disarming to hear Fagen talk so bluntly -- although he came close to doing so on the deliberately nostalgic The Nightfly, the fact that he was writing about the past kept him at a bit of a distance -- but despite the abundance of morbid themes, Morph the Cat never sounds dour or depressing. In large part this is due to Fagen's viewpoint -- he never succumbs to mawkishness, always preferring to keep things witty and sardonic, which helps keep things from getting too heavy -- but it's also due to his smooth jazz-rock, which always sounds nimble and light. This, of course, is how Fagen's music always sounds, but here, it not only functions as a counterpoint to the darkness creeping on the edges of the album, but it's executed expertly: as spotless as this production is, it never sounds sterile, and when the songs start stretching past the five-minute mark -- two cuts are over seven minutes -- it never gets boring, because there's a genuine warmth to the clean, easy groove. More so than on Kamakiriad, or on the tight Everything Must Go, there is a sense of genuine band interplay on this record, which helps give it both consistency and heart -- something appropriate for an album that is Fagen's most personal song cycle since The Nightfly, and quite possibly his best album since then." - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • "NoSound is an Italian band headed by Giancarlo Erra on vocals, guitars, and keyboards; including: Marco Berni, on keyboards and vocals; Alessandro Luci, on bass, upright bass, and keyboards; Paolo Vigliarolo, on acoustic and electric guitars; and joining them for their fourth album is accomplished drummer and former Porcupine Tree member, Chris Maitland.As a fan of the band it was great to receive this promo copy of the album.Here are my thoughts on 'Afterthoughts'.'In My Fears', opens with the solo electric guitar strumming familiar on many a NoSound album. Only this time it sounds like something far away…approaching through the mist, like a boat on the still ocean, or someone walking on the beach and slowly coming into sight,. The screeching guitar/keyboard effect that whirls around the original lead guitar only adds a soft breeze to the mystery. Giancarlo's first vocals enter the realm of consciousness, "I still feel the glow of this morning light". "I wish I could stay". "Days are so bright". Perfect. Soft, intricate piano, surrounded by waves of guitars and bass, with drums rising like wave crests. Wishin' you were there…huh?'I Miss the Ground' starts with a deeper pitched electric guitar echoing in that familiar way that Giancarlo creates mystery. Then, "I started all over again". And yes, the sound of the band has changed. There are the familiar waves of emotion which follow the guitars and keyboards, only this time more direct and somehow with more power. Erra's vocals are clearer than on past albums. Maitland's touch is different. The clashes and crashes shimmer more brilliantly than before.'Two Monkeys' opens with some beautiful trademark piano, surrounded by soft bass and soaring guitar, drifting off into the distance. Then Erra's vocals unfold the emotional and deep story of the two monkeys. "When I was young I believed there were two monkeys here". "Living in the trees between my arms and the sea". "Someone told me once that was their home". "But their life was sad because they were alone". The piano and keyboards are full of emotion. The writing and singing is…as always full of intense emotion. An even more powerful sounding version than the EP.'The Anger Song' opens with very interesting and unique guitar sounds. Then Maitland takes the stage to add his signature drum sound as the keys and guitars weave mystery around the soundscape. This track has an ever engulfing sound of waves of ocean and emotion which has always been a trademark of the band. It takes me back to "About Butterflies and Children", only this is the other side of happiness and bliss. If it is anger, it is soft anger, until Maitland picks it up a notch and drives louder as the waves of sound crash harder . The waves of guitar and keyboards crest and fall like waves, with Maitland adding the whitecaps to everything brilliantly.'Encounter', opens with wandering piano and drifting guitar chords mixed well with soft tapped drums. Giancarlo's voice enters, "I waited for you at the airport today. To hear what you wanted to say". The sad cello accompanying him brings out the full range of emotions filling the air. The keys surrounding, add mystery to this encounter.'She' is full of brilliant piano and soft tapping drums at the start. The excellent grinding electric guitar which enters with Maitland's drums and keys is sizzling white hot. Erra's vocals bring the emotion, reaching out to touch the subject of the story.'Wherever You Are' is full of more soft emotion and excellent acoustic guitar. Keys surround the mix, but not the waves from before, only soft cello – mixed symphonic keys providing a rich contrast to what has already been heard. Maitland's drums help pick up the pace and pour forth another helping of shimmering and solid sound.'Paralyzed', opens with more soft piano and soft electric guitar. That electric guitar later launches into full blast to pierce the sky and rain down cymbals full of glow. The guitar work on this track is some of the best on the album.'Afterthought', is full of some of the best piano on the album. It opens like the sunrise with soft piano crawling its way to your ears. Erra's vocals are at their peak and the bass, keyboards and drums deliver their best for this closer.This is a dreamy, surf riding wave album full of emotional undercurrents. Maitland's addition to the band has brought more highs and a more powerful drum delivery. The clarity which rains supreme on the mix of this new album points the compass in a new direction. The waves of guitar and keys fill the air and Erra's vocals are clearer and more emotional than on past albums. As always, this band performs as consummate professionals. No afterthoughts or worries on this album. It is another stellar performance. Don't miss this latest chapter in the story.The 2 disc edition of 'Afterthoughts', will include a DVD-A/DVD-V (NTSC 16:9, Region Free) version, with stereo and 5.1 surround high resolution 24bit / 96kHz mixes, plus DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround versions. " - Sea of TranquilityNosound - Wherever You Are (from Afterthoughts) from Kscope on Vimeo.
    $15.00
  • New deluxe 2CD digipak features a bonus disc with "17 rare tracks, live versions and b-sides" as well as new liner notes."Warner Bros. figured that lightning could strike twice at a time when oodles of (most horribly bad) funk-metal acts were following in Faith No More's and Red Hot Chili Peppers' footsteps. In response, the former recorded and released the bizarro masterpiece Angel Dust. Mike Patton's work in Mr. Bungle proved just how strange and inspired he could get given the opportunity; now, in his more famous act, nothing was ignored. "Land of Sunshine" starts things off in a vein similar to The Real Thing, but Patton's vocal role-playing is smarter and more accomplished, with the lyrics trashing a smug bastard with pure inspired mockery. From there, Angel Dust mixes the meta-metal of earlier days with the expected puree of other influences, including a cinematic sense of atmosphere. The album ends with a cover of John Barry's "Midnight Cowboy," which suits the mood perfectly, but the stretched-out, tense moments on "Caffeine" and the soaring charge of "Everything's Ruined" make for other good examples. Even a Kronos Quartet sample crops up on the frazzled sprawl of "Malpractice." Other sampling and studio treatments come to the fore throughout, adding quirks like the distorted voices on "Smaller and Smaller." The band's sense of humor crops up frequently -- there's the hilarious portrayal of prepubescent angst on "Kindergarten," made all the more entertaining by the music's straightforward approach, or the beyond-stereotypical white trash cornpone narration of "RV," all while the music breezily swings along. Patton's voice is stronger and downright smooth at many points throughout, the musicians collectively still know their stuff, and the result is twisted entertainment at its finest." - Allmusic
    $18.00
  • NEW REMASTERED EDITION PACKED WITH BONUS TRACKS!!Highly Strung found former Darryl Way's Wolf drummer Ian Mosley on board and it was a big improvement. As was typical of Hackett's work at this point it was a bit uneven - the high points being extremely high with the pop bits not being nearly as successful. Regardless I can listen to him play guitar any time or any place. Remastered set includes three bonus tracks as well as interesting liner notes from Steve Hackett.
    $12.00
  • "For a band that quickly evolved into a radio-friendly prog-leaning outfit, it's a wonder that Wishbone Ash started out as the boogie and blues-based group that this debut reveals. If the term "jam band" existed in 1970, Wishbone Ash surely would have been a major player in that genre. As it was, this album stacked up nicely when compared with other British hard rock releases that year. Not as complex or calculated as Led Zeppelin's Led Zeppelin III but definitely more focused than Mott the Hoople's Mad Shadows, Wishbone Ash more closely resembled Benefit by Jethro Tull, a group that hadn't yet adopted its own progressive elements. The dual lead guitar attack of Andy Powell and Ted Turner was a component that none of the above bands possessed, but unfortunately their (shared) lead vocals lacked the punch and authority necessary for hard rock bands to be taken seriously. So while they could rock as loudly and convincingly as virtually anyone, their lead singers, perhaps, held them back from being the force they should have been. The follow-up, Pilgrimage, took steps to rectify Wishbone Ash's odd position, but this album nevertheless opened eyes and ears and revealed to the rock & roll community a band with incredible potential and talent." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • Superb double album debut from this female fronted symphonic rock band. Magenta was put together by former Cyan leader Rob Reed and also features Fyreworks drummer Tim Robinson. Lead vocalist Christina sounds remarkably like Annie Haslam (for real!). The disc is filled with epic tracks that run the gamut of influences from Renaissance to Genesis and Yes.
    $24.00
  • "Italian power metal band Holy Knights have managed to let ten years elapse between releases. This is not often the best business model- just ask Axl. The band currently consists of Simone Campione (Nexus/Thy Majestie/Ex-Irencors): Guitars, Bass with Claudio Florio (Crimson Wind/Trinakrius/Ex-Synthesys): Drums and Dario Di Matteo: Keyboards/Vocals and they have produced an easy-to-review-for-the-lazy album. Why is it easy? That would be because it would be simple to say something along the lines of, "If you like (insert Euro power metal band such as Rhapsody)...then you'll like Between Daylight and Pain.In the main this is a generally accurate comparison as Holy Knights bombard the listener with a massive wall of sound including fairground/carnival type music on "Frozen Paradise". They are not quite as over the top as some of their contemporaries and when they rein it in they are like Royal Hunt which is a good thing. Yes it is somewhat of a cheesefest but it reveals a joie de vivre lacking in so much modern music and that makes this reviewer happy." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $14.00
  • Outside of the UK, Gordon Giltrap isn't all that well known but the Brits are smart.  They recognized a national treasure.  Mr. Giltrap is one of the finest acoustic guitarists on the planet.  In the 70s and early 80s he made some extraordinary progressive rock albums that demonstrated his talents on acoustic and electric guitar.  The results were somewhat similar to Steve Hackett's solo albums.  Since then he has focused solely on acoustic guitar and became somewhat entrenched in the folk scene.Ravens & Lullabies finds Gordon Giltrap returning to the progressive rock scene.  This album is a collaboration with keyboardist Oliver Wakeman.  Fronting the band is Arena vocalist Paul Manzi (former Yes vocalist Benoit David sings lead on one track).  The rhythm section consists of Steve Amadeo and Threshold's drummer Johanne James.  Its a beautiful album demonstrating Giltrap's amazing technical ability on acoustic guitar, while Oliver Wakeman contributes the symphonic element.  Highly recommended.
    $9.00
  • "The live recording was taken from their critically acclaimed performance at RoSfest USA at the beautiful Majestic Theatre in Gettysburg. Following the success of their award winning second studio album 'Moments', IOEarth present their first live album to the world, showcasing 11 tracks from their ground breaking albums including the sublime 'Cinta Indah' , the explosive 'Home' and the dynamic 'Harmonix'. "
    $7.00
  • Remastered edition with bonus tracks."Relieved from the pressures of having to record a hit single, Gary Moore cuts loose on some blues standards as well as some newer material. Moore plays better than ever, spitting out an endless stream of fiery licks that are both technically impressive and soulful. It's no wonder Still Got the Blues was his biggest hit." - Allmusic Guide
    $9.00