Not Of This World (2LP Vinyl)

SKU: MDF-984LP
Label:
Madfish Records
Category:
Progressive Rock
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"Oh Wow!. That was my reaction and remains my reaction to this album every time I spool it up and listen to it. What surprises me here on PA is that the ratings for the Pendragon albums are as low as they are - 3.85 isn't low by any means however I would have expected to see average ratings in excess of 4 for many of the band's albums. For sheer musical beauty there is very little that equals these musicians in full flight. The lovers of two of the very favourite bands here being Genesis (up to Duke) and Marillion (Fish era) should be over the moon with Pendragon as this group of musicians encompass the feelings and musical emotions of those two iconic bands brilliantly. The melodies soar and the musicianship is top drawer. Nick Barrett's voice takes some getting used to at first but it by no means spoils the music and you do get used to it pretty quickly to the extent that you wouldn't want to hear anyone else on vocals with the band.
This album soars with melodic brilliance and with emotion and all of the instruments go towards making up the sound - the highlights being Barrett's lead guitar and Nolan's keyboards which are backed by the brilliant drumming of Fudge Smith and the more than adequate bass of Peter Gee. I can't single out a single track which is out of place or doesn't belong - they are all huge. To discuss this album on a track by track basis would be futile and it is enough to say that the album is a full on adventure in melody - and how it is!" - ProgArchives

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  • "This album was recorded soon after the band's legendary concert on the steps of the Reichstag in Berlin in 1980 and includes the emotive 'In Memory Of The Martyrs' and the hit 'Life Is For Living'.This reissue has been newly remastered from the original master tapes, includes two bonus tracks and features a booklet that fully restores all original album artwork with a new essay by BJH experts Keith and Monika Domone."
    $17.00
  • "It has been an eventful year or so in the world of Haken. In September 2013, the sextet released what can only be described as a masterpiece of progressive music in the form of their third album, the magnificent ‘The Mountain’. This album received almost universal critical acclaim upon its release and even led to interest from the likes of Mike Portnoy (Flying Colors, Transatlantic) and Dream Theater’s Jordan Rudess. In the case of the former, it led to an invitation to play the inaugural ‘Progressive Nation At Sea’, but thanks to both ringing endorsements, the door to the American market has opened more widely of late. And if that wasn’t enough, Haken recently received no less than three nominations in the Progressive Music Awards, quite an achievement for a band so relatively young.However, with the smooth, also comes the rough and almost immediately following the release of this ‘breakthrough’ album, bassist Tom MacLean announced his departure from Haken. An apparently amicable split, it was nevertheless a hurdle that had to be overcome at a point when the largest wave of the band’s career was about to be crested. An international audition invitation was extended and, following an extensive search, a young American by the name of Conner Green was assimilated into the Haken collective. Welcome sir!In many ways, ‘Restoration’ a three-track EP is as much a bedding-in of their new colleague as it is an opportunity to maintain the momentum created by ‘The Mountain’ whilst a new full-length album is brought to life. That said, to consider ‘Restoration’ a stop-gap is disingenuous in the extreme. It may only contain three tracks, but when the three tracks last well over half an hour and sound this good, who cares?The three compositions that make up this EP are very loosely based on tracks from the bands 2007/08 demo days, thoroughly re-envisioned, re-worked and re-produced in order to reflect the changing personnel and the experience gained since the demos were originally written. The result is, frankly, stunning.Whilst it took me a good many spins and many hours of effort to get fully submerged into the world of ‘The Mountain’, the music on ‘Restoration’ is much more immediate to these ears. No less complex and challenging of course, but for some reason, the music has ‘clicked’ much more quickly here.The EP opens up with ‘Darkest Light’, (Official video below) an energetic track that ably demonstrates the up-tempo and powerful side of Haken well. It’s an agile composition too that alters pace and timing signatures seemingly at will and pulls in influences from everyone from Dream Theater to Meshuggah. The latter is primarily due to the impressive combination of Ray Hearne’s powerful drumming, the chunky guitar tones courtesy of Charlie Griffiths and Richard Henshall and Green’s intricate bass work. Importantly however, the song is never derivative and contains everything you now expect from a band at the height of their powers. It’s a piece of music that oozes class but also offers that touch of playful cheekiness that has become synonymous with the Haken sound.‘Earthlings’ is a completely different proposition entirely. For my money, its closest reference point would be ‘Deathless’ from ‘Visions’ in so far as it is a much more introspective track with real atmosphere and a quiet, brooding intensity that is utterly beguiling. The melodies are much more immediate, much more pronounced and the whole thing builds beautifully and stubbornly towards a fulfilling climax that pushes all the right buttons.The undisputed star of the show however, is ‘Crystallised’. At over 19 minutes, it offers a return of the Haken ‘epic’, joining the likes of ‘Visions’ and ‘Celestial Elixir’ in an already formidable armoury. If anything, ‘Crystallised’ may be even better than the aforementioned, thereby easily taking its place among the very best that Haken has ever created.First and foremost, the sheer ambition is staggering. The composition begins unassumingly enough but quickly reveals a more grandiose underbelly thanks to some lush orchestral arrangements. From then on, the gloves well and truly come off and Haken take us on a wondrous journey full of twists and turns, light and shade, lengthy and dextrous instrumental segments and gorgeous melodies that stay with you long after the music has ended.There are echoes of those Gentle Giant influences and nods towards ‘Cockroach King’ et al in some of the a capella segments as well as hints of ‘Pareidolia’ at other times, thanks to that by now familiar delivery of vocalist Ross Jennings. Never once do the extended instrumental passages, led by the flamboyant keys of Diego Tejeida feel contrived or out of place; they are full of those classic progressive overindulgences, further reinforcing the importance of the likes of Yes, early Genesis and many others, but crucially, they fit in with the core of the composition and seamlessly segue from one to another perfectly.And then, everything comes together in what I can only describe as a stunningly epic finale, the kind where the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end and you find yourself grinning from ear to ear, enveloped in a musical utopia. The melodies are so uplifting and gorgeous that, coupled with the grandiose return of the orchestral embellishments, mere words find it hard to adequately express just how good it makes you feel.The bones of these songs may have been written many years ago in the band’s infancy. However, they have been brought back to life in the most brilliant way possible; taking everything that’s been good about the band in recent years and applying them to their early past to create something truly special. I only wish that ‘Restoration’ was six, seven or eight songs long. Mind you, if it were, I think I might have fainted from bliss before reaching the conclusion." - Man Of Much Metal blog
    $14.00
  • Third album from this superb Dutch band.  Laser's Edge has a long standing relationship with the band, having released their debut, Hallway Of Dreams, in North America.Take equal parts Loreena McKennitt, Kate Bush, and Within Temptation and you've got the basic sound of Kingfisher Sky.  The band was formed by ex-Within Temptation drummer Ivar de Graaf and is fronted by his wife Judith Rijnveld.  Judith is an incredible vocalist - her voice will transfix you.  The lineup features two guitarists, cello, keys, bass, and drums.  Everyone in the band is first class but you will always be drawn back to Judith.  The music takes on a mystical, ethereal quality in places.  It never really crosses over into the metal realm but the guitars can get crunchy in a nice way.  One notable guest on this album is Kristeffor Gildenlow who handles all the bass parts.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • New vinyl edition cut from the original master tapes of the 1970 mix.  200 gram pressing  Comes with a drop card for mp3 download.
    $28.00
  • Its been quite a long time since we've heard from Magic Pie.  They went through lots of trials and tribulations getting this album finished but now its finally arrived.  If you are not familiar with this band here's the deal: Magic Pie are a Norwegian band with a retro 70s sound.  The music is a bit of a high wire act balancing the neo-prog sounds of The Flower Kings with the heavier elements of classic Uriah Heep.  They also seem to be the darlings of Rosfest having played there multiple times."It's hard to believe it's been 10 years since these proggers from Norway released their promising debut "Motions of Desire". At that time, their music struck me as an enthusiastic combination of classic prog and classic hard rock. (Think Deep Purple for the hard rock side of that equation.) At their best, they offered memorable passages and pieces that sounded like they very well could have been long lost recordings from many years ago. At their worst, they sometimes fell short of filling the big shoes of the legendary bands whose music they strove to emulate. That's actually not bad for a debut album from a new prog band. I found much to like and looked forward to hearing from them again in the future.Checking back in on them a decade later, I must say that I am very impressed with how they have developed and matured. No longer do I get the feeling that certain sections of songs are direct homages to any particular band from any one particular decade of prog's illustrious history. Their influences, while still very present and valid, are now more varied, including a greater percentage of modern reference points. More importantly, their influences are just that--merely influences rather than templates or even primary reference points.The sound quality on "King for a Day" is superb thanks in large part to the enlistment of sonic genius Rich Mouser (whose resume includes similar work for prominent contemporaries like Spock's Beard, Transatlantic and Dream Theater).Keyboardist Erling Hananger is an excellent addition to Magic Pie's recipe. His keyboard parts are expressive, dynamic and integral to the music. When appropriate, his leads seamlessly blend, harmonize, and work synergistically with electric guitar.The lyrics have a melodramatic and somewhat tragic flair this time around, but this is prog so you should be accustomed to the musical ride including a few tragic tales from time to time by now, right?OK ' so it's time for the "magic" question... A decade after their debut album, how has my impression of Magic Pie changed?On "King for a Day", I now hear a band which has found "its own voice", one that resonates confidently in the space somewhere between classic arena rock of yesteryear (on prog-steroids of course) and modern melodic prog of the 21st Century (like Spock's Beard and The Flower Kings). Add a few dashes of modern prog-metal to taste and you, my friend, have baked up a very nice confection indeed... MAGIC PIE!If you love modern prog anthems with big harmonies and 'sing along' choruses, give "King for a Day" a listen! I'm glad I did!" - ProgArchives
    $15.00
  • Their first real prog effort. Killer keyboard excursions in an ELP vein.
    $12.00
  • This is the second edition (limited to 500 copies) with different artwork than the first."Norway's Tusmørke (Norwegian for twilight) go straight to the heart of the psychedelic matter on their full-length debut album "Underjordisk Tusmørke" (Subterranean Twilight). Culling influences from such prog-psych luminaries as Gong and Caravan, krautrock giants like Can and Amon Düul 2, pagan folksters like The Incredible String Band as well as a healthy dose of Nordic folk music, Tusmørke present a dark cauldron of magical, musical potions.The band's history can be traced back to the mid-nineties and the budding, Scandinavian scene of new progressive bands. Back then, the Momrak twins who are the beating heart of Tusmørke called their band Les Fleurs de Mal. The band featured future Wobbler vocalist Andreas Prestmo, and shared the stage with other up-and-coming bands like White Willow. Via intricate pathways, this evolved into Tusmørke, whose music is darker, more intense and dare we say primeval, than the more delicate Les Fleurs de Mal.This album will conjure up images of pagan rites, witches dancing in the firelight serenading the new moon, eldritch wizards conjuring dark spirits… And it's no gimmick: This band lives and breathes the same air that flows through the magical lands their music describes.The album has been expertly recorded and produced by that master of retro productions, Lars Fredrik Frøislie (Wobbler, White Willow, In Lingua Mortua), and sounds so authentically analogue that you can practically smell the antique equipment that has been used for its making. Lars contributes mellotron, chamberlin, spinet, Hammond organ and a host of esoteric instruments on the album."
    $19.00
  • In early 2014, Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) performed a series of concerts in Japan - doing complete run throughs of their classic albums.  This live recording captures their performance of L'Isola Di Niente (which some of you may know in its bastardized form as The World Became The World).  To the best of my knowledge some of these tunes have never been performed live before.  So who's left in PFM after all these years?  Franz Di Ciocco is still the drummer and he also handles vocals.  Patrick Djivas is a monster bassist.  Franco Mussida handles guitars.  The trio are augmented by Lucio Fabbri on violin (he has ducked in and out of the band over the years), Alessandro Scaglione on keyboards, and a second drummer in Roberto Gualdi.  Vinyl edition comes with the CD as a bonus. 
    $28.00
  • "The legendary Marillion guitarist and founding member Steve Rothery has long been known for his unique playing style, and in the live setting the experience cannot be matched. ‘Live In Rome’ sees the Steve Rothery band captured over 2CD’s and 1 DVD at a magical sold out show in Italy on stage at the Cross Roads Live Club earlier this year. ‘Live In Rome’ sees his intricate musicianship and atmospheric soundscapes given the space they deserve.This brilliant live set sees Rothery airing tracks from his forthcoming solo album ‘The Ghosts of Pripyat, due out on the 22nd September. Financed by an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign which reached its fifteen thousand pound target in the first 24 hours, it went on to raise almost sixty thousand pounds and cements the already rock solid relationship that he has built with his fans worldwide. At one point it was even the second most popular music project on Kickstarter in the world. The studio album not only sees him helped by his fans, but a raft of guest musicians too, including Steve Hackett, Don Airey and many more.‘Live In Rome’ also features some brilliant performances of classic material from the Marillion cannon, with Rothery’s chosen band proving a natural fit for the music despite it being just the second time this particular group of musicians had played together live. Joining him for the evening were Dave Foster (Mr. So & So) on guitar, Yatim Halimi (Panic Room) on bass & Leon Parr on drums, as well as guests Riccardo Romano (RanestRane) on keyboards and vocalists Manuela Milanese and Alessandro Carmassi. The former bringing her sweet tones to ‘Waiting To Happen’ and ‘Sugar Mice’, and the latter packing a punch on classics such as ‘Cinderella Search’ and ‘Easter’.With the interest in Steve Rothery’s solo career at an all-time high thanks to his successful crowd-funding campaign, ‘Live In Rome’ is a fantastic look into the progression of the forth-coming ‘The Ghost of Pripyat’ album and a brilliantly crafted document of what the man him-self called “an unforgettable experience.”"
    $16.00
  • FINALLY AVAILABLE IN NTSC REGION O! Limited edition set includes the End Of An Era DVD along with the audio on a 2 CD set. Also has a Nightwish media player. This is Tarja's final gig with the band. Incredible quality. A must own.
    $22.00
  • After spending some time battling (and winning) a life threatening disease, Andy Latimer has reactivated Camel.  The reassembled lineup consists of Andy Latimer (guitar, flute, keys), Colin Bass (bass), Guy LeBlanc (keyboards), and Denis Clement (drums).  Latimer recently took the band on a short European tour (it will be ongoing in 2014).  I'm not sure of the motivation to re-record The Snow Goose.  Perhaps it was so he had new merch to sell on the tour.  I honestly don't know but here it is.For the most part this new version is quite faithful to the original.  There are some new bits and pieces that integrate well and won't give you pause.  Of course each of the musicians add their own signature to the production.Good to see him back up and running full blast.
    $16.00
  • It becomes a convenient crutch to describe every band emerging from Poland as sounding like Riverside.  In the case of Retrospective its actually true.  Lost In Perception comes 4 years after their debut Stolen Thoughts.  Granted this sophomore effort shows much more individuality.  Vocalist Jakub Rozsak doesn't sound anything like Mariusz Duda but the one thing they share in common is a great ability to sing with emotion.  You believe it.  There is a spacey vibe that does in fact sound like the earlier Riverside albums.  The good news is that while Retrospective isn't unique sounding, what they do they do extremely well.  This one is sneaking in at the end of 2012 as one of the better prog efforts we've heard in awhile. Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • "The first album by Flying Colors got mixed reviews. Some people loved it (I was one of those) whilst others were disappointed that a band that included Mike Portnoy and Neal Morse had made an album that wasn't very "prog." Well, the second album from this band can't be criticised in that way because this is most definitely a prog album. Opening with a 12 minute song, and ending with a 12 minute, three part suite, these are the obvious progressive songs, but most of the shorter songs also mix pop/rock with progressive elements.So, starting at the beginning, Open Up Your Eyes is like a mini-Transatlantic epic, with the first four minutes consisting of an instrumental overture before the vocal come in. There are plenty of swirling keyboards and lead guitar, and Portnoy's characteristic drumming is there too (something that was largely absent from the first album.) The next two tracks are more in a heavy metal style, something not usually to my taste, but certainly Mask Machine has a catchy hook and is an obvious choice for a single. After Bombs Away comes a more straightforward ballad, then the rocker A Place In Your World with some nice guitar riffs and keyboard lines, plus a singalong chorus. Lost Without You is another Power Ballad and the shortest song on the album at under 5 minutes. Then we get to the point at which the album really hits the heights. I defy anyone to listen to the last 3 tracks, one after the other, and not be amazed at the genius of this band. Kicking off with One Love Forever, which has an infectious acoustic guitar riff and a celtic feel, we then move on to what is probably my favourite song on the album. Peaceful Harbour has a beautiful spiritual feel to it, and the beginning and end put me in mind of Mostly Autumn. Finally we have a real gem. Cosmic Symphony is a three part suite with sections approximately three, three and six minutes long. It starts with thunder and rain effects and a simple repeated piano line before vocals, drums and guitar come in. Finally these are joined by a melodic bass line. The second section is more jazz keyboard based and then we move on to the final part which reminded me of REM. The song ends with the same piano line and thunder effects which began it.A superb album, even better than their first and certainly proggier." - ProgArchives
    $6.00
  • Magenta's latest finds them returning to an overtly progressive rock sound and the music is all the better for it.  The Twenty Seven Club is a concept album based around famous rock stars that died at the age of 27 (Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hedrix, Kurt Cobain, ao).  The core lineup is Rob Reed, Christina Booth, and Chris Fry.  For this album the band is rounded out by guest drummer Andy Edwards of IQ.  Reed's keyboard work is back in the fore and Fry's Howe-isms on guitar always bring a polish to the music (and grin on the face).  Christina Booth's voice is a real gift and she shines as always.  Overall the music makes some overt references to Yes and Genesis so you get that old school flavor that the band hasn't offered in many years.  The album arrives in a special edition with a bonus DVD.  You get the complete album in a 5.1 mix, documentary footage and a promo video for one of the tunes.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00