Z2 (2CD)

SKU: 0686-2
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Inside Out Music
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"Devin Townsend - fully 30 records into an astonishing career - has now just raised the stakes in the form of a new double album combining Ziltoid The Omniscient’s triumphant return and the follow-up to the critically acclaimed “Epicloud!” Feasting upon Z2 is akin to immersing oneself in the arcane creases of the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT catalog, bludgeoning heaviness and angelic melodies living under the cathedral of Devin’s more contemplative solo vision. The effect is lush, full- range, cinematic, and expressive. Addressing the creative tension between the two discs, Devin explains “...it’s DTP...the ‘humans’ against Ziltoid, and it’s a battle of sorts...The DTP and Ziltoid side of my writing has evolved to where this statement was necessary and undoubtedly inevitable. The battle between the two seems like a great way to priced to the next chapter of my work. It’s a backdrop for something that hopefully engaging for people. I hope that the point that I’m trying to make with Ziltoid and the metaphor behind it, isn’t lost in just a sea of absurdity.” Guest musicians include Anneke Van Giersbergen (solo artist, ex-THE GATHERING) and Chris Jericho (WWE star, FOZZY) as Captain Spectacular! Also featuring the "Universal Choir", 2000 voices strong, the biggest choir on a metal record ever! "

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  • Long overdue album from one of the best bands in the prog metal genre and they deliver the goods.  With Damian Wilson out front it can't be bad - can it?  Threshold has shuffled vocalists over the years but there are constants - melodic based songs with stellar musicianship and more than enough complexity.  Always loved the keys in this band.  Highly recommended.
    $13.00
  • Brilliant classically influenced Italian prog album. Pierrot Lunaire was a trio led by keyboardist Arturo Stalteri.  Delicate music that easily fits into the "Rock Progressivo Italiano" movement.  One of the great ones.
    $15.00
  • Gatefold black vinyl edition features one bonus track as well as a CD of the album.Riverside's latest takes a bit of a swerve from their traditional sound.  Parts of the album bears the imprint of Mariusz Duda's solo work - its more laid back, more refined.  Other aspects of the album carry on with the sound that Riverside has developed over recent albums - chunky organ, trippy keyboard soloing and interstellar guitarwork.  This one is a grower.  At first listen it might not hit you but the more you scrape away at it the more you realize its dug deeper under your skin."For the past decade or so, Polish progressive rock/metal quartet Riverside set itself apart from their stylstiic brethren by offering distinguishing tones, mesmerizing atmospheres, and most importantly, remarkable songwriting. Sure, the band also infuses much of its music with the intricacy genre enthusiasts expect, but their melancholic, yet beautiful and earnest melodies and lyrics (credited mostly to singer/songwriter/bassist Mariusz Duda) have always come first. Perhaps nowhere in its discography is this more apparent than on their newest opus, Love, Fear and the Time Machine.Although it features a few complex arrangements, the record is by far Riverside’s most straightforward and accessible collection to date, showcasing a proclivity for upfront compositions like never before. While this may disappoint fans who adore the group’s more tangential, frantic instrumentation, rest assured that the album’s stunning emotionality and breathtaking arrangements more than make up for it. Without a doubt, Love, Fear and the Time Machine features some of the most gorgeous, tragic, and ultimately inspiring pieces Riverside have ever recorded, making it another exceptional entry in an invaluable catalog.According to Duda, the effort is a return to the softer, more ambient nature of Riverside’s debut, 2004’s Out of Myself. In fact, the foursome intentionally composed it “to combine the ‘70s and the ‘80s…[the songs] have never been so concise and to the point before.” Because of this new approach, the disc actually evokes Duda’s other project, Lunatic Soul, in subtle but substantial ways at times. Like almost all of Riverside’s previous works, Love, Fear and the Time Machine is also a conceptual record; specifically, it “talk[s] about transformation. About making an important, perhaps life-changing decision everyone has to make at some point in their lives…on the one hand, we’re excited by the change…[but] on the other, we fear the unknown.” Ultimately, the lesson to be learned from it is that “if we sometimes get lost in life, it is to go through something and be found again on the other side, to be reborn as someone better and more valuable.”Fittingly, then, the sequence starts with “Lost (Why Should I Be Frightened by a Hat?)”, which is arguably its best track. Duda begins by reciting a philosophical recollection over a delicate ether of keyboards and bass and guitar notes. Afterward, he launches into a catchy and charming chorus: “Come follow me / We’ll go down / Where the river flows / One day / Just you and I will find a bridge / To another land”. Duda layers his voices too, making it even more gripping, and in-between his passages, guitarist Piotr Grudziński issues his signature soaring accompaniment as the composition evolves. Drummer Piotr Kozieradzki keeps things steady throughout, while keyboardist Michał Łapaj gets the spotlight during the final seconds. Ultimately, “Lost” exemplifies the magnificent succinctness that makes Love, Fear and the Time Machine distinctive in the Riverside canon.Later on, “#Addicted” truly feels like a progressive rock take on the Cure in several ways, such as its dominant bass lines, starry guitar lines, and wistful singing which finds Duda channeling a silky falsetto he’s never really attempted before. There’s also a brief acoustic guitar arpeggio at the end that’s very enjoyable. Lyrically, it serves as a commentary on how social media can transform people into egocentric users who base their self-worth on their digital populiarty. In this way, both its lyrics and music find Riverside stretching slightly beyond its comfort zone, but the result is undeniably, well, addictive.“Caterpillar and the Barbed Wire” feels more traditional, with Duda’s sorrowful confessions and counterpoints perfectly complemented by sharp guitar riffs, aching solos, enveloping percussion, and a moving layer of synthesized splendor. Honestly, it’s like a heartbreaking and somewhat more colorful missing track from Shine of New Generation Slaves, whereas “Saturate Me” contains the sleek yet eccentric tones and virtuosic yet blunt balance that made up the best moments on Rapid Eye Movement. Of course, its sad ponderings, such as “Am I Invisible? / Or alive? / I don’t want to feel like I’m no one anymore”, are archetypal Riverside sentiments, and the interlocking musical patterns (especially near the end) are equally touching.The most commercial segment on Love, Fear and the Time Machine is surely “Discard Your Fear”; however, despite that typically negative connotation, the song’s approachability doesn’t get in the way of its worth. Rather, it’s uplifting message and relatively simple and familiar construction could earn Riverside an entirely new camp of fans. It’s actually quite cathartic, as is the dreamy and tasteful “Toward the Blue Horizon”, which begins and ends as a luscious ode (with lovely piano chords) while transforming into a progressive metal workout in the middle.Both of the record’s final two pieces—“Time Travellers” and “Found (The Unexpected Flaw of Searching)”—are wonderful. The former is an exquisite acoustic ballad about past possibilities and the unforeseen future. Its winding melodies and spaciousness are the standout features, as the rest of the band lets Duda’s voice lead the way, resulting in a simple but commanding experience. In contrast, the latter is more elaborate, impactful, and conclusive, with a strong sense of closure and acceptance, as the speaker realizes the importance of his or her experiences, uncertainties, and decisions. The music builds with great pacing, adding more beautiful layers as the chorus (“It’s a lovely life / You have gone so far / Don’t give it up / Oh, it’s a lovely life / Gotta go with what you think is right”) repeats with sleek harmonies. By the end, listeners are left in awe, reevaluating their own sense of purpose and optimism.Love, Fear and the Time Machine is likely the most polarizing record Riverside has made, as it could be considered both the band’s strongest and weakest full-length effort. Fans hoping for virtuosic jams and unexpected sounds won’t really find them here, while fans looking for more of Riverside’s token elegant instrumentation, affective melodies, and poetic, rich singing will be satisfied beyond measure. Either way, Love, Fear and the Time Machine definitely finds its creators reaching for new, if marginally different, heights, which is commendable in and of itself. Roughly ten years on, Riverside remains as special as ever, and Love, Fear and the Time Machine is, in several ways, its truest work of art." - Pop Matters
    $23.00
  • Long defunct but quite good German melodic metal band with progressive touches.
    $13.00
  • "(Mostly) UK-based symphonic/power metal band Damnation Angels is back with a new album, their second overall, titled The Valiant Fire. It’s the highly-anticipated follow-up to their breakthrough 2013 debut full-length Bringer of Light, and on it the Graney brothers and vocalist Per Fredrik “Pellek”Asly have taken just about everything to the next level.As you might expect after the grandeur of Bringer of Light, The Valiant Fire is, in a word, epic. The orchestrations in particular are massive, swirling around the guitars and drums to create a majestic atmosphere throughout the album. It’s a consistent atmosphere too, almost giving The Valiant Fire a concept album feel, even though the songs are independent of each other. The atmosphere connects them all, and makes this album that much more rewarding when taken as a whole listening experience. The melodies are a little more subtle this time around, but still play a large part in the album’s overall sound. And of course there’s the vocal performance. Pellek is one of the brightest young stars in the genre, and being in Damnation Angels seems to bring out his best performances. The power, range and emotion he conveys is what makes these songs resonate so much.Unlike Bringer of Light, which immediately drew you in with huge melodies, The Valiant Fire is going to take a few spins to really sink in. When it does though, it simply won’t let you go. That’s not to say there aren’t incredible melodies and hooks. They just seem dialed back in comparison to the debut. You’re still going to be headbanging and singing along with the catchy “This Is Who We Are” and “Everlasting.” Oddly enough, the most bombastic song on the album is the instrumental title track. It makes a statement, but you can’t help but wish Pellek was there doubling the impact of such strong melodies. The album boasts a pair of nine-minute epics – “The Frontiersman” and “Under An Ancient Sun” – that are very different from each other but equally memorable. Honestly, all nine of the songs on The Valiant Fire are sensational, and there isn’t a weak moment anywhere on the album.New releases from Nightwish and Kamelot will – deservedly – garner the lion’s share of attention from the Symphonic Metal community, but The Valiant Fire has to be considered one of the best – if not the best – entry in that genre in 2015. Even stepping away from genre tags, this is just one of the best albums you’ll hear all year if you like your metal grand, powerful and epic. If you haven’t yet experienced Damnation Angels, now is the perfect time to discover one of the most exciting bands in recent years." - Hard Rock Haven
    $15.00
  • Limited edition included a bonus DVD (PAL - region 0) with live footage from their Loreley gig."At last, XXV, the long awaited album from heavy proggers Pallas is to be released on the 24th of January 2011 on Music Theories Recordings, a sub of the Mascot Label Group. It will be the first album to feature new vocalist Paul Mackie and as previously announced it is the sequel to the bands hugely successful ‘Sentinel’ album 25 years on. Recorded at the band’s Mill Studio in Aberdeen, XXV has been over a year in the writing and recording and marks a welcome return to Pallas’ heavier rocking prog and as anyone who has recently seen the band on their handful of XXV preview shows there is a new dynamism to the band, brought about in the main by Paul Mackie’s far more upfront vocal style."
    $23.00
  • "Kenny “Rhino” Earl is involved in two projects this year (so far). One is the new metal super group Death Dealer with Sean Peck, Stu Marshall, and Ross the Boss, offering their debut War Master. The other is this album Thundergod, the second appearance of his band Angels of Babylon.The two project are interesting juxtaposition in heavy metal. The former is bombastic, punch you in the face, kick you in the balls, even coarse, heavy metal. Thundergod is more towards melodic heavy and power metal. The emphasis in the metal here is more melody and harmony, while still remaining powerful and driven.Frankly, this is the more favorable, and accessible, of the two projects. For one thing, against the Death Dealer project and for AoB, you won't feel a need to take a break from this album because it's sledghammering your head into mush. Rhino takes a different approach in his songwriting, persuading you not only with metal, but a hard rock groove and an abundance of overt uncompromising melody. You get this throughout, but welcome, notable and enjoyable in Sondrio, Queen Warrior, True Brothers, or the racing metal rocker, Bullet. Sure AoB can get rougher, heavier, with The Enemy or King of All Kings, but it's never at the expense of good melody. This formula allows for some songs to develop into anthems with an epic feel with Redemption and Turning the Stone. Additionally, Rhino handles all the vocals on this album, and also adds to the timbre of the music with his melodic metal vocal style. Frankly, Thundergod is top notch melodic heavy metal. Very recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $15.00
  • "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
  • "Steve Thorne returns with his fourth album, playing the majority of the instruments bar Nick D’Virgilio (Cirque Du Soleil/ex-Spock’s Beard) and Bob White on drums with Tony Levin and Gary Chandler (Jadis) also guesting. Also former IQ member Martin Orford pops out of musical retirement to play flute on two songs.What I like about Steve Thorne is his strong and topical lyrics, coupled with melodies that transcend the prog rock genre he is often lumped in. A bit like It Bites, Steve Thorne’s music can take in many musical influences to create an entertaining and enjoyable listen.‘Already Dead’ looks at modern culture and how modern technology can turn us into a nation of zombies. Good way to start the album with the heaviest and most aggressive song on the album. ‘Everything Under The Sun’ is a lovely piece of music, albeit rather sad as an older person looks back on their life and realises how alone they are now. The melodic vocal and subdued music add greatly to the song. ‘Distant Thunder’ is the nearest to classic Brit prog rock on the album, whilst Martin Orford’s flute expands the sound of ‘Moth To A Flame’ nicely. ‘Bullets & Babies’ again sees the heavier side of Steve Thorne’s work come to the fore tackling the subject of boy soldiers and how war affects people from an early age.An artist where you can start with any of his albums to date and not be disappointed. As mentioned previously Steve Thorne can appeal to the prog rock fans but also a wider audience who appreciate melodic rock with thought provoking lyrics." - Get Ready To Rock
    $6.00
  • Latest release from this great Argentinian prog band. Nexus began as a female fronted symphonic rock band. Mariela Gonzalez proved that she was more than eye candy but she split after the second album. Since then the band has gone through some changes on vocals. Keyboardist Lalo Huber now sings as well. He's pretty nondescript. He doesn't detract from the music and doesn't add. The important thing is the music carries on in the same tradition as the previous efforts. Huber's keyboard work relies quite heavily on organ. Clearly he's listened to Keith Emerson more than a few times. Guitarist Carlos Lucena plays with a real emotional bite that complements Huber's energetic playing. Nothing unusual here - just really well done old school prog rock. Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • "This 1971 release also went gold, here with an unreleased live version of Travellin' in the Dark (to E.M.P.) ."
    $5.00
  • Snapper edition of the classic album from 1973.
    $12.00
  • Second full length album from this quirky San Francisco based band led by the supremely talented vocalist Moorea Dickason and bassist Tarik Ragab.  This is an extremely tough band to pin down.  My understanding is they blew away the audience at their Rosfest performance.To paint a description with a very, very broad stroke I would compare them to District 97.  Moetar's music draws more from the pop side (think The Beatles) while District 97 moves in heavier circles.  Both bands feature very angular music.The tunes on the album tend to be a bit on the shorter side of the spectrum but if you listen carefully there is a lot of intricate playing going on.  I'm hearing a bit less of the Zappa influence this time around but there are undercurrents that burble up to the surface ie "Raze The Maze".  All in all excellent, oddball progressive minded music.  Highly recommended."Describing MoeTar is no easy feat. In fact, the task is as challenging as the band’s music itself. A simplistic and accurate statementcould be “MoeTar sounds like the Beatles + Frank Zappa + XTC on Acid”. You could also try to peg MoeTar to a list of genres, but who the hell knows what a prog-pop-fusion-avant fusion band sounds like anyway?MoeTar’s two main protagonists, lead singer Moorea Dickason and bassist/songwriter/lyricist Tarik Ragab, along with a versatile crew of musicians, including guitarist Matthew Charles Heulitt, drummer David Flores and keyboardist Matt Lebofsky, and keyboardist Jonathan Herrera create catchy, yet complex, music that attempts to make sense of our confusing world. The fact is, MoeTar’s music defies categorization and, therein, lies the band’s special appeal. Tricky rhythms and technical pyrotechnics are not in themselves anything special. On Entropy of the Century, MoeTar expands ist palette even further. The band understands the power of pop to deliver a message that sticks, but unlike most pop, uses the full breadth of the musical language to convey that message. Entropy of the Century captures an important new band coming into ist own, harnessing the disparate powers of ist extraordinary musicians for a common purpose. Don’t bother trying to define the band. Just listen."
    $14.00
  • Digipak edition with bonus track."The legendary RIOT are back in the form of RIOT V. With the passing of guitarist Mark Reale the band Nick Lee is the new addition with bassist Don Van Stavern playing a big part in the writing of this album dedicated to Reale. This is an album that promises not to disappoint and lives up to that.“Ride Hard Live Free” hits us with an awesome guitar melody right away, before slamming into some classic power metal riffs. Powerful vocals accentuate the melodies really nicely, with some stellar harmonies too. “Metal Warrior” follows this up with some great drumming and some super-fast guitar riffs backed by solid bass playing. The vocals here are really cool, with lots of interesting layering and an awesome guitar solo.“Fall From The Sky” is an awesome old school metal track, with a great main riff and some cool basslines, traditional lyrical themes and a great chorus too. “Bring The Hammer Down” is also a slice of superb musicianship, with a great chorus, a massive vocal range on display and powerful riffs.RIOT V really shows what they are capable of with this album, with chunkier heavy tracks like “Kill To Survive” which has a great sense of attitude with yet another mighty chorus. There’s also the more melodic material which is just as valid, like “Immortal” which has some great dynamics between verses and choruses, with some well put together sections, and a really emotive chorus.“Take Me Back” is one of my highlights here, with some really great and interesting dynamics, and a really emotive feeling chorus that is quite catchy too. Another highlight was “Land Of The Rising Sun” which had a really epic feel about the track, with lots of cool“Until We Meet Again” is the final track here, and this is a nice sounding ballad style track to start with, with some nice bluesy guitars and some tasteful harmonies too. The vocal performance is really great here, with a lot of feeling in this song that feels very much like it was made in memory of Mark RealeThe production here is spot on, with awesome guitar tones, supported by deep bass guitar. The vocal sound is pretty stellar, with lots of layering going on too. The drums are exactly what you’d need for this sort of release.Unleash The Fire is a blistering cut of real metal, the way this sort of stuff should be done! The talent of each band member is put to very good use here, with fantastic musicianship and songwriting making for a very special album indeed." - Metal Temple
    $16.00