Viva Emptiness (Remaster)

SKU: CDVILD624
Label:
Peaceville
Category:
Doom Metal
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New remixed, remastered edition with a bonus track and additional vocal and keyboard passages.

"My fellow BW&BK scribe (and boss) Chris Bruni described this album as "a masterpiece for the ages." Whether or not this description sounds hyperbolic even by metal scribe standards, well, that's a decision to be reached by the ages, I suppose. The specifity of this masterpiece (and it is) deserves clear focus. The Swedish doom metal outfit has passed beyond the promise of their debut to crystalize into one of two great bands striving for a seat on metal's highest throne-- the other one, naturally, being Opeth. But more about them soon!

"Ghost of the Sun" sets the quality standard that the rest of the album more than exceeds. The Beatlesque harmonies are just the beginning. And not to profane any purist ears, but if you can stand the thought of emopunks The Ataris, whose videos blanket MTV and annoying popups dominate MP3 sites -- anyway, if you can stand the thought of The Ataris being cited in the same breath as Swedish doom, well, let's just say these guys are on the same page, a page called nostalgia.

Let's be blunt: if you have a heart, Katatonia will break it. Whether it's the mournfully accepting Beatles reference in "Ghost of the Sun" -- "You said hello/I said goodbye," or it's charging chief riff, like a crystal shard through hope's molecular structure, or the way Jonas Renske's voice breaks like fragile glass and coheres around a cool determination; whether it's "the way the light hits the room" in "Criminals," in which love and its denial are coded in the discourse of penalism [check out Foucault's Discipline and Punishfor more on this]; or the coda, "Inside the City of Glass," which as the 13th song at the same time completes the cycle begun on "Ghost" -- there's so many layers, and rich at that, on this album that all I can say further is, buy it and cherish it. Chris is right." - Sea Of Tranquility

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  • With their departure from the label, AFM Records has seen fit to release this lavish compilation. The 2 cd set is 130 minutes worth of 24 bit remastered album material, videos, unreleased live and studio material.
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  • "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
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  • This is the limited special edition that is not being released in North America.  It features two bonus tracks and is housed in a gatefold CD wallet.AMARANTHE, the fast-rising modern metal sextet, will release their sophomore album, 'The Nexus', on March 26th via Spinefarm Records.Produced by Jacob Hansen (whose credits include Volbeat, Dreamshade & Ginger Wildheart, and who worked on Amaranthe's 2011 self-titled debut), 'The Nexus' sees the Swedish/Danish outfit further honing a musical style that blends cutting-edge melodic metal with soaring pop melodies, the whole thing topped off by a unique three-vocal attack.Says guitarist and band co-founder Olof Morck: "The moment has come to let loose 'The Nexus' on an unsuspecting world! This time we went all the way with our futuristic dream-nightmare - a no-compromise vision steeped in deep contrast between the mechanically ultra-heavy and shimmering serene melody. 'The Nexus' is everything we dreamed about doing with our debut album; we laboured to make this offering as diverse as it is direct and catchy. and remember, no-one can be told what 'The Nexus' is - you have to hear it for yourself!"
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  • Sezione Frenante are not young guys.  Apparently they've been kicking around since the first half of the 70s but with no recorded output.  They opened for some of the Italian prog bands of the day and then went on hiatus...until now.  This is a concept album based on the life of poet Dante Alighieri and the material was conceived back in the early days of the band.  Sonically it doesn't have the 70s imprint that a lot of the retro bands go for but compositionally it fits squarely in the "Rock Italiano Progressivo" mold.  So we are talking about music composed in the 70s and recorded today.  To my ears the production is quite excellent - it almost has a live in the studio feel.  The closest comparison would be to Le Orme which is not surprising given the band's long friendship with Aldo Tagliapietra.  All of the musicians in the band are quite good and have plenty of room to solo.  The star for me is vocalist Francesco Nardo.  He has good range and fits neatly in with the music.  Nothing operatic - just right.  Highly recommended.
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  • "Recorded live over 3 nights in October 2003 (17th-19th).In the summer of 2003 Cardiacs were charged with the unenviable task of casting a wincey eye back.Way back to before Sarah hung up her little saxophone, before Tim Quy broke the nausea rule, before THE CONSULTANT and Miss Swift held the reins. Way, way back.For that coming October’s ‘Special Garage Concerts’, Cardiacs were expected to wipe the grime of the dusty archive from thirty-two tunes everyone had long since forgotten about. Cardiacs dutifully frittered away the waning days behind locked doors, exhuming songs from clanking, obsolete machinery and reams of faded manuscript. Music from the band’s conception in 1976 to their ‘coming of age’ in 1983 was given the dressing down THE ALPHABET BUSINESS CONCERN had always wisely insisted it deserved.With the arrival of autumn the songs had somehow taken on a raw, definitive bent. Haphazard approximations you may have previously heard performed by wide-eyed, puny youths were given deftness, muscle and swagger by the four grizzled and worldly-wise men proudly standing their ground under the Cardiacs banner today.This nostalgic arsenal was duly recorded over three consecutive nights at London’s sizeically challenged ‘The Garage’ concert venue. Privileged witnesses described the spectacle as "one-fifth loving recreation, two-fifths exercise in futility and four-fifths sheer brute force."Cunningly encrypted on to two Compact Discs, as never they were meant to be, Volumes One and Two are a unique testament to pure bloody mindedness and musical irrelevance.Both volumes contain music that has never previously been recorded and re-workings of other tunes that many of the faithful claim to have ‘insider knowledge’ of.They don’t have a clue."
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  • In 2013 Renaissance ran a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds and self-release the album Grandine Il Vento.  The response was an overwhelming success.  Sadly shortly after the recording of the album, Michael Dunford suddenly passed away so there is a bittersweet aura around the album.  The album never went into distribution - you could only buy it from the band's website.  Renaissance has now licensed the album and repackaged and renamed it.  Symphony Of LIght contains all of the tracks from Grandine Il Vento but with an additional three tracks.""Though the release of Renaissance's brand new album Grandine il Vento has been tempered somewhat by the recent passing of guitarist Michael Dunford shortly before its release, let's not fail to state what is pretty obvious...this is a wonderful little album. Coming 12 years after their last studio album Tuscany, Grandine il Vento manages to successfully recreate the classic Renaissance sound just like its predecessor. The line-up for the album is Annie Haslam (vocals), Michael Dunford (acoustic guitar, backing vocals), David J. Keyes (bass, vocals), Rave Tesar (keyboards), Frank Pagano (drums), and Jason Hart (keyboards).If anyone has caught the band live over the past few years, you've no doubt witnessed Haslam's voice sounding quite good, and she's in great form here as well. Just listen to her gentle touch and soaring lines on the epic & majestic opening song "Symphony of Light", a remarkable tune that has all the classic Renaissance elements; stunning piano & keyboards, nimble bass lines, deft acoustic guitar work, and powerful vocals. This track wouldn't have been out of place on Turn of the Cards or Ashes Are Burning. "Waterfall" is a lovely little ditty, complete with Haslam's charming vocal and warm guitar chords from Dunford, while the alluring title track offers up some fascinating lyrics to match the majestic musical arrangements. Tesar and Hart have really laid down some exquisite keyboard tapestries on this one, and the soaring chorus from Annie is a thing of beauty.The band goes for a more groove laden pop feel on "Porcelain", but again, Annie steals the show with her soothing delivery on the chorus. "Cry to the World" is for all the folk lovers in the house, complete with lush acoustic guitar and guest flute from Jethro Tull legend Ian Anderson, while "Air of Drama" is a quirky, mysterious little song that has a majestic feel thanks to some glorious keyboards, lush guitars, and a great vocal duet between Haslam and Keyes. Tesar's gorgeous piano leads in the dramatic "Blood Silver Like Moonlight", another song with that classic era feel, and none other than John Wetton (Asia/King Crimson/UK) makes a guest appearance to join Annie on vocals. The album closes with the dark, ominous "The Mystic and the Muse", a powerful song that features plenty of bombast and drama, thanks to some huge symphonic swells, complex passages, and soaring vocals from Annie. It's easily another one of the main highlights of the album.Though it took over a decade, Renaissance have truly delivered a stunning album here with Grandine il Vento. Sadly, it's also the last appearance of the late Michael Dunford, but he most certainly has gone out on a high note. The band have regrouped after Dunford's unexpected passing, with new guitarist Ryche Chlanda, and are taking the new album out on the road. Expect to be wowed, as much of this latest CD should slot right in alongside all those great Renaissance classics." - Sea Of Tranquility
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  • Although together for only a brief time, Dutch progressive metal newcomers NovAct have begun to make a name for themselves in the metal world. On the basis of a strong four song demo the band was invited to perform at both the Headway Festival and ProgPower Europe in 2004. With their debut set for release on Sensory, NovAct is poised to continue their rise to prominence.NovAct have found the perfect blend of melody and complexity echoing bands such as Dream Theater, Rush, Pain Of Salvation and Vanden Plas. Vocals are an important part of their sound and in that respect the band has one of metal's great new voices Eddy Borremans. Quite siimply Eddy doesn't sound like any one else! He has an uncanny ability to convey his emotions in every song in a way that brings warmth to a genre often categorizes as cold and emotionless. "Tales from the Soul" is thinking man's metal that aims for the heart as well as the head.
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  • "EXPEDITION DELTA is a project from Srdjan Brankovic, one of the founders of ALOGIA, the biggest selling progmetal band in Serbia. After the huge success of their 2 albums and tours opening for Whitesnake, Apocalyptica, Savatage and Paul Di Anno, Srdjan decided to do a no holds barred progrock/metal album in English, assembling some of the worlds finest players and EXPEDITION DELTA is the result.Together with Srdjan Brankovic, many famous and great musicians are involved with the \"Expedition Delta\" album. Some of them are Gary Wehrkamp (Shadow Gallery), Andrea De Paoli (Labyrinth), Richard Andersson (Time Requiem), Erik Norlander (Rocket Scientists), Joost van den Broek (Sfter Forever), Sabine Edelsbacher (Edenbridge), Torsten Roehre (Silent Force), Santiago Dobles (Aghora) and many others...The whole album is sung by Nikola Mijic with the exception of 3 songs that include the appearance of Sabine Edelsbacher, Irina Kapetanovic and Aleksandra Jankovic in a duet with Nikola.The album was recorded and produced by Srdjan in his Paradox Music studio where he works with many other Serbian bands. The cast of the album includes:Srdjan Brankovic (Alogia)Nikola Mijic (Alogia)Gary Wehrkamp (Shadow Gallery, Amaran's Plight)Sabine Edelsbacher (Edenbridge)Erik Norlander (Rocket Scientists, Lana Lane)Vladimir Djedovic (Alogia)Richard Andersson (Time Requiem, Space Odyssey)Andrea De Paoli (Labyrinth)Joost van den Broek (After Forever)Santiago Dobles (Aghora)Alex ArgentoTorsten Roehre (Silent Force)Rene Merkelbach (Ayreon)Borislav MiticVivien Lalu (Lalu)Miroslav Brankovic (Alogia) Ivan Vasic (Alogia) Irina Kapetanovic (Irina & Storm) Mikkel Henderson (Evil Masquerade, Circusmind) Alexandra Jankovic
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