Vitamin Enhanced (6CD)

SKU: SNPCD1009BX
Label:
Madfish Records
Category:
Psychedelic
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6CD remastered box set containing the band's first six cassette releases.  This also comes with new liner notes, photos, and memorabilia in a 40 page book.

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  • "When they first emerged in 1994, San Francisco metalheads Machine Head appeared poised (along with the then-unstoppable Pantera) to lead the cause of American metal, proudly and purposefully, through the second half of that grim, grim, alternative rock-dominated decade. But, much to their fans' dismay, the band's masterful debut would soon give way to undercooked repetition on their sophomore effort and then, horror of horrors, a grueling descent into nu-metal sellout with their third, before finally crash landing to an uninspired nadir with their fourth. Within the span of seven short years, Machine Head's proverbial cup had gone from brimming to empty, their few remaining believers understandably holding out little hope for any sort of redemption. But against all odds, just when the jig seemed to be most certainly up, all of these missteps were summarily erased by the group's stunning fifth album, Through the Ashes of Empires, which saw them rediscovering their roots while reuniting bandleader Robb Flynn with his original Vio-Lence six-string partner in crime, Phil Demmel. Coincidentally or not, the results marked a return to form in no uncertain terms, with colossal first track "Imperium" single-handedly eclipsing the previous two and a half albums, while simultaneously recapturing the dark majesty and crushing authority of early Machine Head triumphs like "Davidian" and "Ten Ton Hammer." The same was true, to a slightly lesser extent, about ensuing headbangers "Bite the Bullet," "Left Unfinished," and the epic "In the Presence of My Enemies," which collectively showed what could happen when a great band actually follows its instincts instead of half-heartedly following trends. Not that Machine Head came back from their "lost weekend" completely empty-handed, as incrementally melodic and emotive material such as "Elegy" and "Days Turn Blue to Gray" successfully reenvisioned (and authenticated) a few elements of those failed experiments through the prism of the band's own sensibilities -- not Korn's or Limp Bizkit's. (In fact, only the rhythmically chugging "All Falls Down" was guilty of a complete and sorry relapse into nu-metal's intolerable whining.) And with the rousing final number, "Descend the Shades of Night," Machine Head delivered yet another monolithic highlight, as steeped in their glorious past as it was promising of the future." - Allmusic Guide
    $9.00
  • Third album from this Hungarian band finds them with a reconstituted lineup including a new vocalist in Matyas Harszti. Everwood are an interesting band. They aren't as technical as Perfect Symmetry or as crunch driven as Nemesis (or Age of Nemesis if you will). They mix elements of progressive metal with symphonic rock. One constant on their three albums is that there is a strong emphasis on melody with Eastern European themes sneaking in now and then. By the way , Haraszti acquits himself quite well in case you were concerned. He solidly conveys emotions in a way that reminds of Daniel Gildenlow.
    $3.00
  • New reworked edition of the band's first album - from back when they were originally known as Witsend.  This new version features remastered, resequenced tracks, bonus tracks, new artwork and liner notes.  It might have been their first album but it was certainly one of their best!  Highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • "Formed in 1979, Sky brought together the worlds of rock and classical music in a highly successful and inspiring way. Featuring the gifted talents of guitarist JOHN WILLIAMS, percussionist TRISTAN FRY, legendary bass player HERBIE FLOWERS, former Curved Air keyboard player FRANCIS MONKMAN and guitarist KEVIN PEEK, Sky recorded their debut album at Abbey Road studios in the early months of 1979. The band’s self-titled debut reached the UK top ten in May 1979 and went on to achieve Platinum status in the UK and was also a major hit in Europe and Australia. Also a huge live attraction, SKY released this, their second album (a double LP), in April 1980. "SKY 2” was a fine achievement featuring the classic tracks "Hotta”, "Sahara”, "Vivaldi” (a re-working of the Curved Air piece), the epic side-long "Fifo” and the hit single "Toccata” and topped the UK album charts upon its release, becoming Sky’s most commercially successful album.This Esoteric Recordings edition has been newly re-mastered and includes a DVD (NTSC / Region Free) featuring all of Sky’s surviving BBC TV appearances in 1980, all previously unreleased on video or DVD – namely the highlight’s of Sky’s concert at Hammersmith Odeon in 1980 as broadcast by the BBC on "Rhythm on Two” and Sky’s performance of "Toccata” on "Top of the Pops” in April 1980.The original album artwork is fully restored and the booklet features a new essay."
    $19.00
  • "Let’s welcome a new and extremely promising progressive rock act from Israel whose songs stand for a successful balancing act between traditional elements and the future of the genre. The band is called Ephrat, has found renowned supporters in Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), who mixed their debut album No One´s Words, and guest vocalists Daniel Gildenlöw (Pain Of Salvation) and Petronella Nettermalm (Paatos), and delivers a colourful mix of European influences and the atmospheric tone sequences of the Middle East - the benchmark data of a new group could hardly be more promising.Mastermind, guitarist, flutist, keyboardist and sole composer of the quartet is Omer Ephrat, who describes his creative visions as follows: “It’s sophisticated progressive music that’s driven by a rock’n’roll feel. But I really think that my music sometimes slips from those definitions and creates a new entity. The main influences range from the progressive rock groups of the Seventies, such as Yes, Rush, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple and King Crimson to newer metal bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Porcupine Tree, Dream Theater and many more.” In addition, there are cross-references to the band’s native country. “The Mediterranean and ethnic characters that this country holds are alive and well in my music, whether I like it or not,” says Omer Ephrat. “I think the contrast of a European country mixed with an ethnic one – that’s the way I see Israel – is exactly what’s happening on this album. It’s not a bad thing, it’s one of the things that make the music original and special.” Alongside Omer Ephrat, the band consists of Gili Rosenberg, vocalist Lior Seker and drummer Tomer Z, whom experts of the genre know from his collaboration with Blackfield. Then there are two high-carat guests who add additional specks of colour to this diverse album. The most renowned of them is Daniel Gildenlöw, boss and chief visionary of Swedish elite prog rock act, Pain Of Salvation, who recorded the lead vocals of the almost 10-minute ‘The Sum Of Damage Done’. “Before the first note was composed for this album, I knew I wanted Daniel to be on it,” Omer Ephrat confesses. “Apart from being a very talented musician and gifted vocalist, I think that he’s something very unique in the progressive genre and to me symbolizes the endless possibilities of the progressive genre to evolve. It was great working with him, and I think he adds a new aspect to the album. He did a great job writing the lyrics for his song, and of course recording the vocals.”By no means less impressive is Petronella Nettermalm’s melancholy voice on ‘Haze’, which lends an interesting Björk/Portisheadesque flair to the track: “This match was initially suggested by Steven Wilson, who suggested that I should listen to her band Paatos and consider adding her to the project. So I did, and it was love at first listen. She has a unique voice and feel that I just had to have on this album. After hearing her voice, I wrote ‘Haze’ in less than five minutes, inspired by the collaboration that could be. Our collaboration was so successful that Petronella added her voice to a second song, ‘Real’, along with the main vocalist, Lior Seker.”The cherry on this cake consisting of haunting tracks is the warm, transparent mix courtesy of Steven Wilson, whom Omer Ephrat contacted for the first time by e-mail two years ago. “Not long after, he got back to me and was very excited about what he had heard, wanting to meet me in Tel-Aviv. Steven offered to mix and master the album. His mix makes the album what it is. He understands music and knows how to handle it to get it where it belongs.”"
    $8.00
  • Newly remastered from the recently found original master tapes. HDCD as well.
    $15.00
  • Special edition arrives with a bonus DVD of the band performing material from Concrete Gardens filmed at EMGTV."Sound: Tony MacAlpine was one of the Shrapnel label guitarists of the '80s, and also played keyboards for the debut releases of Vinnie Moore and other Shrapnel artists. Tony's debut solo album, "Edge of Insanity," came iout in 1986 - the same year as his first side project, M.A.R.S., with release of the album "Project: Driver." Since that time Tony MacAlpine has released numerous solo albums, participated in collaborations, made live guest appearances, and even acted as part of Steve Vai's backing band. "Concrete Gardens" is Tony's twelfth solo studio album, and is entirely instrumental like the vast majority of Tony's solo work. The album has been in the works since 2013, but took a while to release due to Tony's numerous collaborations and other projects. Jeff Loomis provides a guest guitar solo on the album on the track, "Square Circles." The album contains 12 tracks with a total runtime of just under sixty minutes. The album differs from Tony's previous work by having more of a progressive metal flavor to it, while I think of most of his previous releases as just being straight instrumental rock.The album opens up with the track "Exhibitionist Blvd," with some seriously flanged guitar and a major key melody that builds into something a little different as the track goes on. There is a specific passage that shows the influence that Vai has had on MacAlpine, though I would rank them close to equal in the virtuoso racket. "The King's Rhapsody" opens up with a keyboard intro, played by Tony, of course. Heavy guitars come in and takes the song to a few unexpected places, and actually gets my foot tapping, too - which is an accomplishment for instrumental rock! "Man in a Metal Cage" has some interesting note choices, with some mildly middle-eastern sounds for a few brief moments in the track mixed in with some obligatory sweep tapping. Otherwise, there are several passages working to create several moments of extreme tension. There are a few arpeggiated parts that are reminiscent of some other song that I can't quite place. "Poison Cookies" has a weird jazz-fusion funk feeling going on with it that I definitely appreciated - if for nothing else it changed gears long enough to shake off any monotony I thought the album might be working towards."Epic" was both a more laid back song, but also was very cerebral - the keyboard and guitar parts built on each other in a weird/cool way. "Napoleon's Puppet" very briefly reminded me of some material written by Brendan Small for his album, "Galaktikon," but it had that rhythm part to it that definitely separated it by giving it some incredibly strong groove. "Sierra Morena" is played on piano/keyboard in the intro but guitar, bass and drums come in pretty quickly. The song is named after a mountain range in Spain with the same name. I can't quite connect the music as being descriptive of a mountain range unless they're being written about the context of flying over them. "Square Circles" has some moments in the track that remind me a little bit of King Crimson, though the sense of melody is still a tad more traditional. Jeff Loomis guests on this track for a guitar solo, and it is a fairly outstanding solo in the context of the song, having a good balance of being emotive and twisted."Red Giant" is a pretty intense track, with some more middle-eastern vibes going on, and one of the most engaging and vocal-like melodies from the album, to my ears. "Confessions of a Medieval Monument" definitely grabs a certain type of vibe from the opening, with a cool (but fairly simple) bassline running behind it. This is definitely one of those songs that creates a fertile atmosphere for a little mind movie to play along to it. The way the dynamics are used on this song, as well as the recurring melodic theme, make this easily one of the strongest tracks on the album. The title track, "Concrete Gardens," is interesting with a heavy rhythm guitar and a (initially) much cleaner lead part. Something about this track reminds me of Frank Zappa, which is absolutely a good thing. The album closes out with a song called "Maiden's Wish," which is played on keyboard/piano as a solo piece. It is a fairly light-hearted song to end the album with, and I enjoyed it. If you just listen for the crazy guitar, then you can stop short of "Maiden's Wish." // 8Lyrics: There are none. // 8Overall Impression: I have always been extremely impressed with Tony MacAlpine, and this album just reinforces my opinion. While he may not be quite at the technical/speed level of some other virtuoso guitarists, especially the whole Shrapnel bunch, he makes up for it in a strong sense of feel and musicality. I especially enjoy the melodies he uses as recurring themes in many of his songs. I highly recommend this album to anyone who's a fan of instrumental rock or metal. // 8" - Ultimate-Guitar.com
    $15.00
  • Sensory is proud to announce the signing and forthcoming release of a new rising star on the Greek progressive metal scene – Persona Non Grata.Greece has always had some of the most fervent metal fans in the world. Although the main interest has been so called “true metal” bands in the style of Manowar and Iron Maiden, progressive metal started to take hold of the country in the 90s. Bands such as Dream Theater and Fates Warning routinely perform in Athens and both have released live CDs and DVDs from their Greek performances. Greek bands such as Fragile Vastness and Sensory’s own Wastefall have generated a buzz world wide and the scene continues to expand. Persona Non Grata will surely continue this tradition of great progressive metal.Persona Non Grata’s formation began in 2003 when John Ioannidis (keyboards) invited Chris Gatsos (guitars) to join his group Fatal Error. It didn’t’ take long for John and Chris to realize that they had to move on to progressive metal music which was a mix of rock that John loved to play and heavy metal that Chris grew up with. In order to achieve this they had to change the band’s line up. During this period they focused on writing the music which would be the material for their first CD “Shade In The Light”.It was 2 years later when vocalist, Bill Axiotis, joined the PnG group and they started recording this album. They asked session musicians Akis Gavalas (drums) and Chris Vogiatzis (Bass) to help record the album. When the sessions were over they felt a synergy with the three members of the band and came on board permanently, completing the lineup of Persona Non Grata."Shade In The Light" captures a band creating complex music but coming from the melodic end of the metal musical spectrum. Similar bands would include Circus Maximus, Vanden Plas, and Poverty's No Crime.Persona Non Grata's MySpace Page
    $6.00
  • "The beauty of Progressive music is the myriad of ways by which it may be approached by listeners and musicians alike. The Danish quartet ANUBIS GATE are soon to release their 6th album, “Horizons”, the first album without long-time members Morten Sørensen and Jesper M. Jensen, and doing well to stay with long-time producer Jacob Hansen. New members Morten Gade and Michael Bodin offer their exceptional instrumental skills in the mix. With “Horizons”, we see a continuation, albeit tangential, from the major turning point that was the self-titled album. With this release, one can expect the darkly melodic-melancholic and song-oriented Progressive music they have since become known for. As much as I loved the self-titled album, “Horizons” tops it in almost every way.“Never Like This” is exemplary of the band's ambitious, but inevitably excellent and evocative songwriting, that fuses liquid but hard-hitting riffs and airy, creative melodic work. Henrik expands his vocals here quite significantly, his immense range travelling from spectrum to spectrum and delivering catchy hooks in a deliciously Jazzy fashion. Coming from Pop roots, he offers something unique and tangible to the Metal table.  “Hear My Call” is my favorite track here; I was instantly hooked, even months ago, hearing just snippets on teasers. A deceptively heavy, yet groovy intro riff, drives the majority of the song, with yet again a creative display of melodic progressions. The chorus is delightful, with Henrik showing a soaring facet to his vocal repertoire. Both guitarists possess a unique ability to seamlessly transcend between the heavy and melodic in an instant, which is sudden and followable at the same time.Of course, “A Dream Within A Dream” requires a mention; their longest track, at 14 minutes it even surpasses “The End of Millennium Road”, but similarly combines an array of amorphous soundscapes. It also continues a neat little trick I have noticed the band perform, where certain lyrical passages would link back to previous tracks; such occurred with “Ammonia Snow” on “The Detached”. The highlight is the delicious passage demonstrated on the recent teaser, displaying a symbiotic melody between Henrik's bass and his vocals. “Erasure” is a surprising and very enjoyable acoustic piece that garnishes the end of the album. As opposed to the ballad “Ammonia Snow”, this track features predominantly acoustic guitars and a dramatic crash of distorted electric that breaks up any potential monotony. Did I mention the hauntingly beautiful lyrics?It is repressively hard not to ramble on about Progressive music with such surreal, engaging properties. In the end, any expectations I had of this release were not met, but blown away. The year is young, but it is already in my proverbial, annual top 10." - Metal Temple
    $12.00
  • "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
  • "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