Zarathustra

SKU: 88875000442
Label:
Sony Music
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Simply one of the greatest Italian progressive rock albums of all time. Brilliant keyboard work in the grand tradition.  Really one of THE defining albums.  If you don't own this one you should feel embarassed and do something about it.  Seriously.

Product Review

Tue, 2010-06-08 09:53
Rate: 
0
Yet another Italian Symphonic Great! Except I wouldn't call it symphonic... Well, I believe that this album belongs more in the Art Rock genre rather than the Italian Symphonic Prog genre, but that doesn't matter much to this review. What DOES matter is that this is one of the freshest albums I've heard, and I actually find I prefer it Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso's Darwin, Le Orme's Felona E Sorona, PFM's Storia Di Un Minuto... in fact, I prefer it to every other Italian Album I own. Certainly, if we assume that Museo Rosenbach actually were Italian Symphonic Prog, then we'll find that they are probably the best, at least for me, and I think there are several reasons I can point out as to why this is. First off, they have, among the albums I know, the ONLY epic in the classic prog style. This comprises the first 5 tracks, forming Zarathustra. Not only is this an epic that is right up with Supper's Ready, Close to the Edge, and the like, but it is also completely original. They capture their own unique sound here, combining hard rock that bursts with unbridled energy with mellotron overdoses (this is a GOOD thing), a dash of King Crimson and ELP, but without sounding like either, and the result is perfect. Maani (another reviewer) suggested, and I agree, that if Zarathustra had been better known, it would have been just as influential as Supper's Ready. Maani also correctly said, "the Zarathustra suite is every bit as creative and brilliant" in terms of musicianship as Supper's Ready, Close to the Edge, Thick as a Brick, and Tarkus (well, others, too), and that it deserves comparison. Well, in my mind, it deserves more than comparison. It deserves to be place up with those songs as one of the defining moments in prog history, as one of the epics that defines what prog is all about. Secondly, they have more energy than all the others I mentioned (and some I didn't mention), with the possible exception of Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso. With Museo Rosenbach, they give their all to this album, and it shows. PFM and Le Orme had some amazing compositional skills that I greatly appreciate, but both (especially Le Orme) should've put more energy and enthusiasm into their songs. E' Festa and Impressioni Di Settembre aside for PFM and Equilibrio aside for Le Orme, they are fairly laid back, which doesn't hurt them except in the sense that it doesn't help them as it helps Banco and Museo Rosenbach. If I had to choose my favorite Italian Symphonic Prog BAND (not album), I'd be torn between Banco and Museo Rosenbach. BUT!, if I had to choose my favorite ALBUM in the Italian Symphonic Prog genre, it would definitely be Zarathustra. Musically, as I've said, this album blends hard rock with prog, with dashes of ELP and King Crimson here and there, and some wonderful mellotron. I honestly don't understand the lyrics, so I can't comment on their depth and meaningfulness, but I can say that they translate perfectly to music. Also, I find the choice of Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra fascinating, although I'm sure that if I read the actual book itself, I wouldn't like it, as Nietzsche was a proto-white supremacist philosopher, and, in other works, talked of the White Man's Burden to "take care of" blacks in Africa. The vocals here, despite what other people on this site say, really carry the lyrics perfectly, and I prefer Museo Rosenbach's vocalist to Le Orme's and probably also PFM's (though I cannot deny that Banco got the best of the lot). And now, it is finally time for me to talk about the individual tracks and their merits. If you own sound editing software, I suggest you put the first 5 tracks together into one track, to really get the full "epic" effect of the Zarathustra Suite, without the breaks between tracks that may otherwise interrupt your listening of this masterpiece suite. The album opens with silence that becomes a wonderful drum roll into some symphonic-ish music that is dark and brooding. This goes away into silence, followed closely by some vocals that you can't really understand, but both they and the music build over time, still dark and brooding, until a mini-climax that really grabs you around 2:55 in, and that really ushers in the epic. This is followed by a section with to die for mellotron work and excellent and engaging drumming. The song is still dark and brooding, as it remains throughout. About 4 minutes in it switches to the next part of the song, which begins with some great mellotron, creating an almost spacy sound with a great atmosphere (dark of course). One thing I will say is that Museo Rosenbach really knew how to create atmospheres that make you feel within their music. Around six minutes in, the song starts building beautifully, up until about 7 minutes in when the next part of the epic comes and the whole song simply explodes into great energy and harsh but effective vocals. The drumming here is top notch, as is the mellotron work. Around 8:30 into the song, we get an excellent hard rock but still prog section that features excellent guitar. This becomes another section with great vocals, and, of course, unrivaled energy. These energetic hard rock sections continues until about 11:15 minutes in, when the fourth and shortest part of the song comes in. This part begins with some soft vocals, and then the music really starts coming in behind it in a majestic. There are some particularly good vocals, and then there is a very energetic section that is very short and fades out around the 12:45 mark. At this point, the final part of the song comes in, though it really consists of several sub-parts within it. It begins with an almost march-type section that builds on top of itself in a perfect way, ushering a hard rock section, but still hard rock in the prog fashion we know and love. The textures that come in the somewhat softer section that follows are simply overwhelming (this is most definitely GOOD). The drumming is, as always, particularly excellent, and really carries the epic the whole way through. This whole section that makes up the last eight minutes of Zarathustra truly has a life of its own that shines through and makes it perhaps the best section of the song. With about 3:45 left in the song, the second "sub-section" comes in, opening deceivingly softly, and then bursting out into full blown hard prog, with great drums guitar, and keyboards. A softer part follows, building slowly, and then its back into some vintage prog, almost Crimson-like (In the Court of the Crimson King era) but still completely original. This brings us to the end of the track, the end of a nearly perfect epic, just as good as any other epic you care to name, and easily my favorite, at least for the moment, song in Italian prog. Zarathustra truly deserves to be recognized as an epic that defines progressive rock in the same way that Tarkus, Close to the Edge, Supper's Ready, Thick as a Brick, and Shine On You Crazy Diamond do. The rest of the album isn't quite so good as Zarathustra, but it is still excellent. Degli Uomini opens atmospherically, and then in comes some excellent guitar and drumming to forge a top notch hard rock song. In amidst the hard rock of the song are some beautiful melodies that show themselves with time. The drumming and guitar shine here, but the mellotron does, of course, get its fair share of the attention, giving this song a prog feel it would otherwise lack. This song bursts with energy, more even than the epic (but not quite as focused musically). When the vocals come in near the end of the song, they are excellent in the same way as the others on the album, harsh but not grating. Some soft vocals follow, and the song fades out. Della Natura opens with some excellent keyboards and drumming. Some excellent vocals come in as the music that opened the song leaves. The drumming returns, followed by the rest of the instruments, building the song in perfect fashion. When the vocals end, a dueling keyboard and guitar section comes in that is pure heaven. The singer starts harmonizing with himself to great effect for a short bit, and then its a wonderful mellotron dominated section that really grabs me, followed by more self-harmonizing (these self-harmonizing sections are the best vocal sections on the album, and that's saying something). The only less than inspiring part of the album follows, with silly "ba-ba-ba-bas" that don't cut it with me. We then get some wonderful floating keyboards as in interlude, but then it's back into the "ba-ba-ba-bas." Again, though, the music that follows is wonderful, full of mellotron and full of energy. Some soft vocals follow on top of some floating music, before the song builds back up to what I would call "floating hard rock" (which sort of characterizes the whole album) and some wonderful aggressive vocals. Mellotron heaven follows, closing out the song in perfection. The one section in the middle does make this my least favorite song on the album (in relative terms, I still love it), as none of the others have these sorts of weak sections to them. Dell'eterno Ritorno opens softly, before opening up to some great drumming and guitar work, as well as some great vocals, just perfect hard rock. When the vocals leave, the guitar and keyboards start dueling again, and this time, it seems they're fighting the drums, too. More excellent vocals follow, and then a softer section full of almost beautiful sections. Until, of course, the build up to excellent hard rock passage you know will follow. After this are some vocals that are closest to beautiful you'll get with this singer, and then some beautiful hard rock with a symphonic feel, and then a powerful finish where everything really comes together perfectly, ending this album in perfection. If pressed, I would say that this is my favorite song on the album other than the opening epic. Overall, this album may be more hard rock (art rock) than symphonic prog. But it IS the very best album I've heard out of Italy, and this site classifies it as Italian Symphonic, so I'll stick with that, which allows me to claim that this is the defining work of Italian Progressive Rock, and Zarathustra is an epic worthy of Supper's Ready status that simply suffered from lack of exposure to the prog public. Well, it's time that ended. Museo Rosenbach were essentially a one shot band in the 70s, but they gave that one shot their all, and the result was a masterpiece. On Zarathustra, they shine when they're singing, they shine when they're rocking, suffice it to say, these guys simply shine, no matter what they do. The drum work is some of the most refreshing I've heard in an age where drumming, at least intelligent drumming, is virtually non-existent. The guitar and keyboards (mellotron included in keyboards) are simply to die for. This album easily deserves the rating masterpiece, and stands as probably one of my top 10 albums. Italian Prog is vastly underrated on this site, and there is no good reason for it. While the Brits had prog's first home, it definitely found its seaside resort in Italy. The whole genre is underrated, and you cannot go wrong with this one, which is Italy's finest. 5 STARS: ESSENTIAL, A MASTERPIECE OF PROGRESSIVE MUSIC (AND OF HARD ROCK).
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Product Review

Tue, 2010-06-08 09:53
Rate: 
0
Yet another Italian Symphonic Great! Except I wouldn't call it symphonic... Well, I believe that this album belongs more in the Art Rock genre rather than the Italian Symphonic Prog genre, but that doesn't matter much to this review. What DOES matter is that this is one of the freshest albums I've heard, and I actually find I prefer it Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso's Darwin, Le Orme's Felona E Sorona, PFM's Storia Di Un Minuto... in fact, I prefer it to every other Italian Album I own. Certainly, if we assume that Museo Rosenbach actually were Italian Symphonic Prog, then we'll find that they are probably the best, at least for me, and I think there are several reasons I can point out as to why this is. First off, they have, among the albums I know, the ONLY epic in the classic prog style. This comprises the first 5 tracks, forming Zarathustra. Not only is this an epic that is right up with Supper's Ready, Close to the Edge, and the like, but it is also completely original. They capture their own unique sound here, combining hard rock that bursts with unbridled energy with mellotron overdoses (this is a GOOD thing), a dash of King Crimson and ELP, but without sounding like either, and the result is perfect. Maani (another reviewer) suggested, and I agree, that if Zarathustra had been better known, it would have been just as influential as Supper's Ready. Maani also correctly said, "the Zarathustra suite is every bit as creative and brilliant" in terms of musicianship as Supper's Ready, Close to the Edge, Thick as a Brick, and Tarkus (well, others, too), and that it deserves comparison. Well, in my mind, it deserves more than comparison. It deserves to be place up with those songs as one of the defining moments in prog history, as one of the epics that defines what prog is all about. Secondly, they have more energy than all the others I mentioned (and some I didn't mention), with the possible exception of Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso. With Museo Rosenbach, they give their all to this album, and it shows. PFM and Le Orme had some amazing compositional skills that I greatly appreciate, but both (especially Le Orme) should've put more energy and enthusiasm into their songs. E' Festa and Impressioni Di Settembre aside for PFM and Equilibrio aside for Le Orme, they are fairly laid back, which doesn't hurt them except in the sense that it doesn't help them as it helps Banco and Museo Rosenbach. If I had to choose my favorite Italian Symphonic Prog BAND (not album), I'd be torn between Banco and Museo Rosenbach. BUT!, if I had to choose my favorite ALBUM in the Italian Symphonic Prog genre, it would definitely be Zarathustra. Musically, as I've said, this album blends hard rock with prog, with dashes of ELP and King Crimson here and there, and some wonderful mellotron. I honestly don't understand the lyrics, so I can't comment on their depth and meaningfulness, but I can say that they translate perfectly to music. Also, I find the choice of Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra fascinating, although I'm sure that if I read the actual book itself, I wouldn't like it, as Nietzsche was a proto-white supremacist philosopher, and, in other works, talked of the White Man's Burden to "take care of" blacks in Africa. The vocals here, despite what other people on this site say, really carry the lyrics perfectly, and I prefer Museo Rosenbach's vocalist to Le Orme's and probably also PFM's (though I cannot deny that Banco got the best of the lot). And now, it is finally time for me to talk about the individual tracks and their merits. If you own sound editing software, I suggest you put the first 5 tracks together into one track, to really get the full "epic" effect of the Zarathustra Suite, without the breaks between tracks that may otherwise interrupt your listening of this masterpiece suite. The album opens with silence that becomes a wonderful drum roll into some symphonic-ish music that is dark and brooding. This goes away into silence, followed closely by some vocals that you can't really understand, but both they and the music build over time, still dark and brooding, until a mini-climax that really grabs you around 2:55 in, and that really ushers in the epic. This is followed by a section with to die for mellotron work and excellent and engaging drumming. The song is still dark and brooding, as it remains throughout. About 4 minutes in it switches to the next part of the song, which begins with some great mellotron, creating an almost spacy sound with a great atmosphere (dark of course). One thing I will say is that Museo Rosenbach really knew how to create atmospheres that make you feel within their music. Around six minutes in, the song starts building beautifully, up until about 7 minutes in when the next part of the epic comes and the whole song simply explodes into great energy and harsh but effective vocals. The drumming here is top notch, as is the mellotron work. Around 8:30 into the song, we get an excellent hard rock but still prog section that features excellent guitar. This becomes another section with great vocals, and, of course, unrivaled energy. These energetic hard rock sections continues until about 11:15 minutes in, when the fourth and shortest part of the song comes in. This part begins with some soft vocals, and then the music really starts coming in behind it in a majestic. There are some particularly good vocals, and then there is a very energetic section that is very short and fades out around the 12:45 mark. At this point, the final part of the song comes in, though it really consists of several sub-parts within it. It begins with an almost march-type section that builds on top of itself in a perfect way, ushering a hard rock section, but still hard rock in the prog fashion we know and love. The textures that come in the somewhat softer section that follows are simply overwhelming (this is most definitely GOOD). The drumming is, as always, particularly excellent, and really carries the epic the whole way through. This whole section that makes up the last eight minutes of Zarathustra truly has a life of its own that shines through and makes it perhaps the best section of the song. With about 3:45 left in the song, the second "sub-section" comes in, opening deceivingly softly, and then bursting out into full blown hard prog, with great drums guitar, and keyboards. A softer part follows, building slowly, and then its back into some vintage prog, almost Crimson-like (In the Court of the Crimson King era) but still completely original. This brings us to the end of the track, the end of a nearly perfect epic, just as good as any other epic you care to name, and easily my favorite, at least for the moment, song in Italian prog. Zarathustra truly deserves to be recognized as an epic that defines progressive rock in the same way that Tarkus, Close to the Edge, Supper's Ready, Thick as a Brick, and Shine On You Crazy Diamond do. The rest of the album isn't quite so good as Zarathustra, but it is still excellent. Degli Uomini opens atmospherically, and then in comes some excellent guitar and drumming to forge a top notch hard rock song. In amidst the hard rock of the song are some beautiful melodies that show themselves with time. The drumming and guitar shine here, but the mellotron does, of course, get its fair share of the attention, giving this song a prog feel it would otherwise lack. This song bursts with energy, more even than the epic (but not quite as focused musically). When the vocals come in near the end of the song, they are excellent in the same way as the others on the album, harsh but not grating. Some soft vocals follow, and the song fades out. Della Natura opens with some excellent keyboards and drumming. Some excellent vocals come in as the music that opened the song leaves. The drumming returns, followed by the rest of the instruments, building the song in perfect fashion. When the vocals end, a dueling keyboard and guitar section comes in that is pure heaven. The singer starts harmonizing with himself to great effect for a short bit, and then its a wonderful mellotron dominated section that really grabs me, followed by more self-harmonizing (these self-harmonizing sections are the best vocal sections on the album, and that's saying something). The only less than inspiring part of the album follows, with silly "ba-ba-ba-bas" that don't cut it with me. We then get some wonderful floating keyboards as in interlude, but then it's back into the "ba-ba-ba-bas." Again, though, the music that follows is wonderful, full of mellotron and full of energy. Some soft vocals follow on top of some floating music, before the song builds back up to what I would call "floating hard rock" (which sort of characterizes the whole album) and some wonderful aggressive vocals. Mellotron heaven follows, closing out the song in perfection. The one section in the middle does make this my least favorite song on the album (in relative terms, I still love it), as none of the others have these sorts of weak sections to them. Dell'eterno Ritorno opens softly, before opening up to some great drumming and guitar work, as well as some great vocals, just perfect hard rock. When the vocals leave, the guitar and keyboards start dueling again, and this time, it seems they're fighting the drums, too. More excellent vocals follow, and then a softer section full of almost beautiful sections. Until, of course, the build up to excellent hard rock passage you know will follow. After this are some vocals that are closest to beautiful you'll get with this singer, and then some beautiful hard rock with a symphonic feel, and then a powerful finish where everything really comes together perfectly, ending this album in perfection. If pressed, I would say that this is my favorite song on the album other than the opening epic. Overall, this album may be more hard rock (art rock) than symphonic prog. But it IS the very best album I've heard out of Italy, and this site classifies it as Italian Symphonic, so I'll stick with that, which allows me to claim that this is the defining work of Italian Progressive Rock, and Zarathustra is an epic worthy of Supper's Ready status that simply suffered from lack of exposure to the prog public. Well, it's time that ended. Museo Rosenbach were essentially a one shot band in the 70s, but they gave that one shot their all, and the result was a masterpiece. On Zarathustra, they shine when they're singing, they shine when they're rocking, suffice it to say, these guys simply shine, no matter what they do. The drum work is some of the most refreshing I've heard in an age where drumming, at least intelligent drumming, is virtually non-existent. The guitar and keyboards (mellotron included in keyboards) are simply to die for. This album easily deserves the rating masterpiece, and stands as probably one of my top 10 albums. Italian Prog is vastly underrated on this site, and there is no good reason for it. While the Brits had prog's first home, it definitely found its seaside resort in Italy. The whole genre is underrated, and you cannot go wrong with this one, which is Italy's finest. 5 STARS: ESSENTIAL, A MASTERPIECE OF PROGRESSIVE MUSIC (AND OF HARD ROCK).
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  • Obsidian Kingdom is a fascinating band from Barcelona that released Mantiis in 2012 in a limited run of 500 copies.  It's now picked up for worldwide distribution via Season of Mist.  This is definitely progressive metal - real boundary pushing stuff.  The band is categorized as post-metal and that is just one of the guideposts they touch on.  I hear more of a musical connection to Leprous and Arcturus.  If you are inclined towards the more avant garde side of metal you need to hear this band.  With the right push they could become massive.  Highly recommended."Cutting right to the chase, Obsidian Kingdom‘s latest release, ‘Mantiis‘ could very well be the most equivocal album I have reviewed to date. What this five piece post-metal band from Barcelona has put together with their latest genre-crossing, boundary pushing release is something few other bands can lay claim to accomplishing. I can’t even began to describe the number of different genres represented throughout this 47 minute monstrosity of an album.“Not Yet Five” is the album’s opener and starts things off with looming bass, light distortion, piano work and sporadic beeps and buzzes that all blend together to create an eerie ambiance that sets the mood for things to come. From here the album progresses forward with “Oncoming Dark” and “Through the Glass” which start off which crisp clean vocals and electric-accoustic guitar work before evolving into a wanderlust of heaviness that borders between post-metal and progressive death metal. Keyboards play on in an evil manner and when combined with chugging guitars and persistent drumming a doomsday like atmosphere forms. As the album moves forward through the short tracks, it gains in intensity through it’s evolving layers. By the time the album reaches its fourth track, “Cinnamon Balls” it has already spiraled into a dark, twisted place filled with harsh demonic vocals and djent style guitar work.A short piano interlude leads into “Answering Revealing” which brings the album full circle as clean vocals emerge as does a short but sweet return to Obsidian Kindgom‘s softer side. “Last of the Light” is where the album completely goes off of the tracks. While the beginning and end of the track are highlighted by violent vocals and double bass action, bookended between it is a several minute long section that features a classical guitar and with a very bluesy saxophone solo. You heard me right. This is without question one of if not the most unique song I have heard in years and definitely one of the most unusual combinations of instruments. From here ‘Mantiis‘ takes a stark transition to “Genteel to Mention”, a short track that opens with piano and clean vocals  that only last for a short while before the album returns right back to its doom and gloom heavier ways with the intro to “Awake Until Dawn”. The track does come to a crawl as it progresses when piano work mixed with synths present yet another unheard element to the album.‘Mantiis‘ moves forward with “Haunts of the Underworld” showcasing the best guitar work to be found on the album  and “Endless Wall”, which feels like the closest thing to a post-metal track found on the album despite the hints of more djent guitar work. Clean vocals amidst swirly ambiance make up “Fingers in Anguish” and demonic vocals and downtuned guitars return in “Ball-room”, both short tracks that barely cross over the five-minute mark combined. “Ball-Room” does a fantastic job setting the table for the closing track “And Then It Was”. Stark, aggressive drumming leads the way as everything the album has built itself up for comes to a head in this epic finale.One album I do think that compares particularly well to ‘Mantiis‘ is Crippled Black Phoenix‘s ‘Mankind, The Crafty Ape’. The two albums share many similarities in how they flow, how they use music as a journey to tell an album spanning story and also how they infuse many different genres into their sound while never delving down too far into a particular one. While CBF opted for a more psychedelic, bluesy infusion, Obsidian Kingdom chose a much darker, louder progressive death metal meets doom metal approach.While fantastic in its storytelling, the album isn’t without its shortcomings. I found myself wishing the album flowed a little bit better as some of the transitions seemed a bit awkward. There are also times where I wished the clean vocals would have had a stronger presence throughout the album as the band’s softer material is among their strongest work. Still, I can overlook these minor nuances as I continually find myself coming back to this album time and time again. ‘Mantiis‘ is one of the more captivating albums I’ve heard all year and is without question a breath of fresh air. " - PostRock Star 
    $12.00
  • "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
  • Not at all what I expected...vocal based project with Terry Bozzio and Billy Sheehan playing all the instruments. Obviously the predominant instrumentation revolves around bass and percussion so it's very rhythmically oriented music. Bozzio sings and contribues keys while Sheehan also plays some guitar. Music has a dark Crimsonish feel. Bozzio vocal approach is more talking than singing but it fits the moody noir-ish music. Clever disc!
    $9.00
  • The Journey Continues!"To Travel For Evermore," the second album from the Danish metal band Wuthering Heights, is the sequel to their celebrated debut "Within". This second part of a projected musical trilogy finds the band with a new and stronger lineup. Main composer/guitarist Erik Ravn is reunited with ex-Tad Morose vocalist Kristen Andren but the lineup now also includes Time Machine bassist Lorenzo Deho and guitarist Henrik Flymann of Zool. With twin lead guitars the band has expanded their musical vision to encompass neoclassical metal as well as symphonic speed metal. Wuthering Heights will appeal to fans of Blind Guardian, Rhapsody, Angra and Yngwie Malmsteen. The album was produced by Tommy Hansen who cut his teeth producing Helloween, Pretty Maids, and Iron Fire.
    $5.00
  • Boy...talk about an enigma wrapped around a conundrum!"Be" is the new existential epic from the brain of PoS mastermind Daniel Gildenlow. Incorporating the aid of the 9 piece "Orchestra Of Eternity" the band completely shift gears and explore a variety of musical genres - celtic, classical, soul, jazz, R&B, and of course progressive metal are all tossed about interchangeably. There are some delicate acoustic pieces that will rip your heart out as well as heavy riffing that fits right in with the typical PoS canon. Spoken parts and even sound effects figure prominently. How the whole thing fits together is the interesting part. Any fan expecting "The Perfect Element Part 2" will be disappointed - this is more along the lines of performance art. It's way too early in the game to decide if this is in fact a masterpiece or a folly - that will take at least the dozen listens this recording deserves. As I sit here typing, I have to sit back and scratch my head as I try to decipher what is going on here. I honestly can't remember when the last time I said that about an album...
    $15.00
  • Obscure German prog private release from 1976, reissued on vinyl from the master tapes including 2 non-lp bonus tracks.There were many unsigned German prog bands doing their thing in the mid-70s.  El Shalom borrowed a little bit from Genesis and a lot from Faithful Breath and Eloy.  Keyboards remind quite a bit of Eloy but done up in a bit of a low budget way that some will hate and some find endearing.  Vocals are a mix of English and German."I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that a band with a Hebrew name sings in both German and English. Darned if I could explain this 1976 album, as it’s one of the more unique albums to have come my way in a long time. Leave it to Garden of Delights to reissue this oddball. It would appear the German sung tracks are for their more aggressive work, while they use English for the lighter fantasy fare (ala Yes, Nektar, Eloy). So the Deutsch songs could be seen as the successor to Prof Wolfff or Eulenspygel – that is a heavier rock base, with some snotty attitude. The exception would be the German narrated ‘Alvin Zweistein’, which recalls Minotaurus, when coupled with the spacey nature of the music. One note about the keyboards: They almost seem homemade. The organ is of the mid-1960s variety, whereas there are some electronics that one might hear on some experimental albums from 1967 or 1968 (think Silver Apples). Flute, sax and dual guitars round out the lead chores. Overall, El Shalom have provided us a very intriguing album. There doesn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason to what they were doing, certainly not a play for anything commercial.  “Frost” came out at a time when private releases, such as this, were quite rare and there wasn’t any preset audience expectation. Other than the production quality, which is charmingly muffled, the album is well composed and professional. Don’t make the same mistake I did and pass this one up. A chance encounter allowed me the opportunity and now it will get continual study for a good number of years. CD contains 4 relevant, and good, bonus tracks. Interesting trivia note: “Frost” was recorded in the same obscure, tiny studio as Dom and Kalacakra!" - Cun Cun Revival Blog
    $26.00
  • Many years ago Sieges Even recorded a live album that was never released (the band had dissolved). Now the band has two studio albums under their belt with the latest lineup it was time to finally give us a live disc. Playgrounds features material from Paramount, The Art Of Navigating The Stars, and A Sense Of Change (!!).
    $12.00
  • This sadly marked the end of the band's progressive era. The songs are a bit shorter than before but Di Giacomo's vocals are as brilliant as ever. Like Garafano Rosso a second tier effort from the band. Not a bad one but not a great one. 
    $15.00
  • Remastered with 3 bonus tracks."Electric Light Orchestra continued on their winning Top 40 ways with the release of Discovery. Now pared down to the basic four-piece unit, Jeff Lynne continued to dominate the band and they still got their hits (this time around it was the smash "Don't Bring Me Down"). Elsewhere on the disc there was, of note, "Last Train to London" and "Confusion." Though Discovery charted well, it was becoming obvious that ELO were starting to run themselves out of useful Beatles hooks with which to fuel their hit-making machine." - Allmusic
    $5.00