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 Impermanent Resonance by LABRIE, JAMES album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.52 | 53 ratings

Impermanent Resonance
James Labrie Progressive Metal

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

3 stars James LaBrie, the voice of the top rated prog-metal band here on Prog Archives, delivers his third solo offering with Impermanent Resonance. It continues LaBrie's tradition of creating music that is more melodic and straight-forward than the intricate and ambitious songwriting of Dream Theater. Moreover, he's worked with the same group of musicians in this solo effort long enough that he's developed a recognizable style. The result is an enjoyable hard-rock experience that features his trademark vocals, very well-sung.

Let's get the Dream Theater comparison out of the way right away: Impermanent Resonance is not a Dream Theater album... not by a long shot. If you read my reviews of DT's recent offerings, you'll see that for me this is a very, very good thing. LaBrie has essentially phoned in his Dream Theater performances over the past half- decade (or longer). His vocals here are powerful, soulful, genuine, and all around superior to anything we've heard him on in Dream Theater, at least since Octavarium. The thing that will strike you most is the melodies and hooks, which LaBrie nails here. If you're DT fanboy and enjoy his singing, you'll love Impermanent Resonance, guaranteed.

Lyrically this is familiar ground for LaBrie. He's singing about F'd up human experiences, often with a glimmer of optimism or defiance hidden amid the gloom.

But what about the rest of the music? Well, it's pretty damn good, actually. Going into the experience knowing that it isn't strictly "prog" music will help your enjoyment though. This is very modern hard-rock/metal, with somewhat more artistic sensibilities than you'll hear when compared to more well-known groups. Don't expect lengthy instrumental passages, dueling keyboard/guitar solos, or crazy time signature changes mid-song. This is a hard-rock album without delusions of grandeur, and it's very good at accomplishing what it's going for.

In general the tone is heavy and aggressive. Songs are short and punchy, not necessarily following the conventional verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus pattern, but still fitting into their 3.5 - 5 minute running times nicely. This gives you a quick dose of a memorable combination of hooks and melodies, then moves you right in to the next one. There are tempo and dynamic changes mixed into the track list, but most of this nuance comes from LaBrie himself. One surprise is the aggressive screams and growls of backing vocalist Guillory, which is a punchy addition. Sfogli's guitars bear special mentioning as well. This is his third collaboration with LaBrie, and at this point his riffing and soloing brings as much to the experience as LaBrie's singing itself. Sfogli is exceptionally competent, creating the tapestry of riffing that accompanies the melodic singing; unfortunately we aren't given enough time to enjoy his soloing more than a few short highlights.

In my mind Impermanent Resonance is a weak "prog" release, but I don't think it's going for an epic metal experience. This is LaBrie's chance to make the music he's interested in making, giving him the opportunity to break with the songwriting mediocrity of recent Dream Theater. That's not to say that the songwriting in this solo album is going to knock your socks off... but it stands on its own strongly, and LaBrie simply sounds like he's having fun singing, which is a welcome feeling.

Recommended for LaBrie fans, of course, for those like me who love classic DT and feel the pangs of heartache at their recent offerings, and for anyone who just needs a good kick in the teeth with some good, clean, heavy rock.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 4 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4


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 Imaginations from the Other Side by BLIND GUARDIAN album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.92 | 170 ratings

Imaginations from the Other Side
Blind Guardian Progressive Metal

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This finely produced and performed album by Blind Guardian sees the prog-metal group blazing ahead at full speed, shredding out a savage assault of power metal showcasing shrieking vocals, blistering drumming, and lightning fast riffing. The effect is intense and dramatic. It definitely makes a forceful impression, but it isn't necessarily a great one.

When it comes down to it, Imaginations From the Other Side is artistic speed metal (with the occasional bit of Renaissance fair style), that fits very well alongside Blind Guardian's other offerings. It's fast, intense, absurd, and raw. There's nothing to criticize in this album's songwriting, which is dramatic and densely composed, or the band's playing, which is razor sharp - it's simply a sound that is hard to really enjoy.

I'm a casual fan of the band, and gave their highest rated album (Nightfall in Middle Earth) a pass because the lyrics were shrieking about Morgoth and Noldor elves... without that nostalgia connection I find Blind Guardian's sound bland, despite its intensity. It isn't bad, it's just not approachable for those of us preferring nuance, dynamics, emotion, or style in our prog metal.

If you need some monster speed metal mixed with your madrigal, then check out Imaginations from the Otherside. In fact, check it out even if you don't, because you may find yourself liking the screams and fireworks, but in my opinion it doesn't reach the heights produced by others in the genre. Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 2


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 Bloom by CALIGULA'S HORSE album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.85 | 4 ratings

Caligula's Horse Progressive Metal

Review by crashandridemusic

5 stars If it weren't for progressive/alternative rock/metal band Caligula's Horse, I might've simply passed over some of my current favorite records, including their 2013 hit 'The Tide, The Thief & River's End.' A modern staple in the alt-prog scene, it only took two albums from Caligula's Horse to grab the attention of major music label Inside Out Music, who signed them earlier this year. Now with their first release with the label, Caligula's Horse has released a contender for album of the year in 'Bloom.'

If fronting two different (and successful) bands with conflicting writing styles wasn't hard enough, just ask vocalist Jim Grey about the timetable for their newest album 'Bloom.' In a prior interview, Jim Grey recalled the different direction the band took in writing this album:

'Our approach was to not edit anywhere near as much as standard in modern progressive music' Everything else is minimal editing and very live sounding. A lot of the vocal takes we were attempting to get long, one-take blocks of performance to try and capture something. It wasn't perfect, but it was special. I feel like it's a very natural sounding album in that way.'

Consisting of eight songs at around 45 minutes long, 'Bloom' feels longer than it lets on. With the opening title track and closer 'Undergrowth,' the attention is focused on an acoustic guitar, something I cannot easily recall ever occurring on any previous album of theirs. Spotlighting Grey's incredible vocals, the melody is simple but passionate, effectively pulling the listener to take their seat and catch their breath for the ride that awaits them. It isn't until the halfway point of the song where the rest of Caligula's Horse comes charging in, picking up where 'The Tide'' left off. I remember flinching my first listen because of the sudden sonic rise, my heartbeat quickened and a smile graced my face. Caligula's Horse is back.

The song smoothly transitions to their single 'Marigold,' one of two heavy tracks on the album. Using the same volume changing techniques as 'The Tide'', the listener is treated with another record filled with epic highs and eloquent lows. In fact, I would say the band improved on this skill, since one of my only complaints with their last album was the too-drastic ups-and-downs in tempo. Caligula's Horse finds their groove by balancing these highs and lows in a more effective manner. This is perfectly shown in the lead-in to the song's chorus, with Grey singing 'taking what's mine, with soil below and nothing above me (me me me me).' The echoing of that last word is timed perfectly with the deep booming sound of the drums and guitar, giving me goosebumps every time. It's a headbanger, especially with the quick-paced solo by Sam Vallen and bass-pedal drum beat of Jeff Irish. At this point, we're only two songs in and the listener will want to storm around the house in vigor. A little later in 'Bloom' we're introduced to 'Rust' and its angsty, passionate lyrics. Grey's grumbling vocals is accentuated by the heavy drumming of Irish, purposefully building in intensity as the song progresses. Kudos to Irish for providing enthusiastic yet appropriate percussions not only on this track, but on the entire album.

If you're expecting an album jam-packed with heavy, gloomy, and dark themes as its predecessor, you'll be pleasantly surprised. As Grey mentioned in our interview, 'Bloom' is the response of a band seeking something lighter, brighter, and more luminous. Evidenced in upbeat tracks 'Firelight' and 'Turntail,' most of the album finds the band exploring a more emotional side, utilizing clear guitar arrangements and lighter drum sections. The lead guitar in 'Turntail' alone dances along lines of pop, interspersed between crunchy guitar chords and the ridiculously quick picking of Sam Vallen in the song's bridge. The album's longest song 'Dragonfly' also provides plenty of moments of livelier songwriting, including the Jeff Buckley-inspired, improvisation vocals in the first half of the song. The fluttering vocals carelessly float over the clean guitar sections like, well, a dragonfly. The album continues in this manner up until their closer 'Undergrowth,' containing a lone acoustic guitar and Grey's delicate, falsetto vocals. Being more approachable and less experimental than prior albums, the lighthearted 'Bloom' is the perfect album to introduce to new listeners. The sound of this album will please longtime fans while simultaneously collecting new listeners. And it doesn't hurt to be signed to a major record label, too.

The eight minute 'Daughter Of The Mountain' competes with 'Marigold' as my favorite track on 'Bloom,' simply because of the thoughtful lyrics and soft-natured orchestration. With all the effect-laced guitars, piano arrangements, and simpler guitar rhythms, the bass guitar is able to stand out from the rest. Although simple, the statement is made, especially as it accompanies the passionate cry of Grey in the lyric ''This is my choice father,' she said.' It's the song with the most drastic shifts between high and low, but is marvelously composed.

As much as Grey attempted to describe the thought process behind this album, it couldn't have been better represented than in the music itself. He said the music is upbeat; the music more than delivered on his words. He said it was raw, using single takes on many vocal tracks; the vocal quality seethes through my earbuds with every word. There currently isn't a better representation of Australian progressive and alternative rock. This is the pinnacle, and it's only Caligula's Horse's third album. Congratulations guys on the impressive release.

Taken from crashandridemusic.com


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 Remedy Lane by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.23 | 920 ratings

Remedy Lane
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by VianaProghead

5 stars Review N║ 24

Pain Of Salvation is a Swedish progressive metal group founded in 1991. The lyrics show deep concerns told through elaborate concept albums and the music is just all over the place. In a five minutes song, it's quite common for Pain Of Salvation go to different tempos, time signatures and musical atmospheres, changing from powerful aggressive parts to sweet and gentle melodies.

'Remedy Lane' is their fourth studio album and was released in 2002. It was almost entirely written during a two month period, from August to September 2001 by Daniel Gildenlow, and was recorded in autumn 2001 and released in spring 2002. The album was produced and mastered by Daniel, Anders 'Theo' Theander and Pain Of Salvation, and the Graphic Art and Multimedia was made by Daniel and Entropia Productions.

The line up on the album is Daniel Gildenlow (lead vocals and guitar), Johan Hallgreen (backing vocals and guitar), Fredrik Hermansson (keyboards and synthesizers), Kristoffer Gildenlow (backing vocals, bass guitar and cello), and Johan Langell (backing vocals, drums and percussion).

'Remedy Lane' has thirteen tracks. The concept and the lyrics are all written by Daniel. All the music was also written by him, except 'Rope Ends' which was written by Daniel and Fredrik. The thirteen tracks are divided into an introduction and three chapters. The first track 'Of Two Beginnings' is the opening track and is a kind of an introduction to the album. The second track 'Ending Theme', the third track 'Fandango', the fourth track 'A Trace Of Blood' and the fifth track 'This Heart Of Mine (I Pledge)', makes part of Chapter 1. The sixth track 'Undertow', the seventh track 'Rope Ends', the eighth track 'Chain Sling' and the ninth track 'Dryad Of The Woods', makes part of Chapter 2. The tenth track 'Remedy Lane', the eleventh track 'Waking Every God', the twelfth track 'Second Love' and the thirteenth track 'Beyond The Pale', makes part of Chapter 3.

As Daniel explains, the meaning of the album title 'Remedy Lane', is about an English expression 'Take A Walk Down Memory Lane', which means, to visit your past or going to a nostalgic trip. For him, that is what happened with this concept album, which is the need to reconcile ourselves with the past, to find remedy for our personal crisis.

'Remedy Lane' is a concept album, focusing on the search of a man to discover himself. It's also about love, sex, a crisis in a relationship and the interactions with other people. The story of the concept takes place in Hungary, in different places, where the songs take us. This album is a part autobiographical and a part fictional of a period of Daniel's personal life, and as he said, it's his most Pain Of Salvation personal album.

'Remedy Lane' is a superiorly recorded and released album, what is usual with all Pain Of Salvation albums. It has an excellent conceptual cohesion, which brings originality and diversity to the metal progressive sub-genre and in my humble opinion it represents the band's finest musical creation, until now. Musically, this album really goes all over the place and lives up to its progressive reputation. The song structures are wild and complex in their dissonance and the instruments are performed with technical ease, and the vocals of the singer and guitarist Daniel Gildenlow range from passionate to absolutely insane. The songs themselves are also packed with a good deal of variety and range and portray the stories of the lyrics well and offer something for just about any kind of listener.

Just one more thing! I'll leave you with the Daniel's main reason to like or dislike of Pain Of Salvation, particularly of this album. And I'm going to cite him: 'If you are looking for a band that sounds just like your favourite band, just forget about us. If you are looking for a band that will make you forget about your favourite band, we are there, just walk down Remedy Lane and you will never be the same'.

Conclusion: I met Pain Of Salvation by Progarchives, and 'Remedy Lane' was my first encounter with their music. I read that the group had an excellent reputation, but the real truth is that I wasn't really prepared for listen something like this, an incredible and beautiful album. Although, being not a specialist on progressive metal, one of my favourite bands is Dream Theater, I oddly missed the Pain Of Salvation phenomenon until now and I do regret it, sincerely. As you can see, 'Remedy Lane' is a very special album for me, because is so unique, so pure and so authentic. So, for those who don't met yet Pain Of Salvation, and after reading the Daniel's citation and be still interested on the band, I suggest begin with this masterpiece, despite their live album '12:05', be certainly more accessible. Surely this is an album that appeals to fans of Dream Theater and Opeth, or to everyone with a taste for something new and different.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)


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 Brave New World by IRON MAIDEN album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.02 | 450 ratings

Brave New World
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by Progrussia

4 stars On occasion of the release of Iron Maiden's new album, I wish to share some thoughts on the reincarnation phase of their career, starting with the return of vocalist Bruce Dickinson on Brave New World. Rarely has a metal band aged so well (and we're talking about a band that scared countless parents in the 80s with their gore-ish mascot, which they kept, and what stood in ever-growing contrast with their musical pretensions). Maiden has always been melody-centered and "epic", but now that epicness has grown in ridiculous proportions. The general pace has slightly slowed, the details are richer and vocals more stately. Albums still have their share of shorter rockers and extended pieces, but now the epics are the center, comprising well over half the tracks (and fittingly, out of the first 4 tracks, three are great epic songs).


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 Phersu by PROFUSION album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.13 | 7 ratings

Profusion Eclectic Prog

Review by Thandrus

4 stars After 2012's 'RewoToweR', that took 6 years of line-up changes, writing down and polishing, Profusion return with 'Phersu', named after a man-like creature painted upon some ancient Etruscan tombs. Although all five guys from the previous album are at work here, their art has perceptibly evolved, especially composition-wise.

The album doesn't feel as catchy as instantly lovable 'RewoToweR', but it is quite a grower. Though it is still very colourful, it drops the search of instant appeal in favour of a deeper musical exploration that ultimately rewards. Interestingly, the opening two songs of the album are full with rhythmically interesting, broken-down guitar riffs, which, together with Luca Latini's characteristic vocal delivery, sounds like a progressive correlate of mid 70's heavy-funk Deep Purple, especially when Glenn Hudges used to take the singing spot.

Georgian motives are yet again very prominent (Vladimer Sichinava is a Georgian living in Italy), especially on superb 'Nomen' (with Mamuka Ghaghanidze from a Georgian jazz/rock band 'The Shin' on vocals and Jakub Mietła on accordion as special guests) and 'Free Fall' which samples the poetry of Galaktion Tabidze, one of the greatest ever Georgian poets.

There are couple of very sentimental moments on the album too - brought to the fore with minimally but very freshly arranged closer 'Forbidden' and especially gorgeous 'Wrinkled Maiden', featuring excellent Anita Rachvelishvili and dedicated to people suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Other songs mostly feature different combinations of piano-led softness and riff-based grandiosity, with 'Forgetful Hero' being the highlight. To sum it up, this is an album that doesn't follow the successful formula established by the previous album ' instead progressing to new sound and compositional expression, while retaining Profusion's trademark lightly essence.

After quite a number of listens, I still prefer 'RewoTower', but 'Phersu' is an excellent follow-up, impressing more and more with every successive listen. Very solid 4 stars for now and warmly recommended!


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 Visionary by GILTRAP, GORDON album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.54 | 20 ratings

Gordon Giltrap Prog Related

Review by Replayer

4 stars I got interested in Gordon Giltrap's work after reading an interview with Seven Reizh (a French band I found using the terrific PA Top Prog Albums search feature) guitarist Claude Mignon here on PA. And thanks to Giltrap, I have Bert Jansch on my future music acquisitions list. I decided to start with Giltrap's classic prog trilogy: Visionary, Perilous Journey, and Afraid of the Dark.

As others have mentioned, the songs are inspired by paintings, drawings and poems of English painter, poet and mystic William Blake (1757-1827). The tracks are short (11 tracks in 31 minutes), but each has a memorable theme and they don't overstay their welcome. The first five tracks are all based on Blake's illustration The Day of Judgment and the poem The Last Judgment. Most compositions feature the technique of gradually adding more instruments, which probably brought comparisons to Mike Oldfield (in addition to the fact that both Gordon and Mike are primarily guitarists known for their multi-instrumental compositions). Interestingly, Giltrap considers himself more influenced by Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Pete Townshend, Vangelis and Isao Tomita.

Giltrap himself plays six and twelve string guitars, both acoustic and electric. Rod Edwards, one of the album's producers, plays keyboards and helped with the arrangements. John G. Perry, who recorded one album with both of Caravan and Curved Air, handles the bass. The core lineup is completed by prolific session drummer Simon Phillips, then only seventeen years old. These four musicians comprise be the core band that recorded the next two albums in Giltrap's prog trilogy, as well. The orchestral accompaniment is provided by several brass and string players.

The album's genre is somewhat difficult to classify. Giltrap started out as a folk guitarist, and he is backed by a standard rock band, but almost all songs feature orchestration. Yet this is not in the vein of other rock compositions of the 70s that feature orchestra, such Deep Purple's Concerto for Group and Orchestra, Electric Light Orchestra, Uriah Heep's Salisbury, Yes' Time and a Word or Rainbow's Stargazer. The songs started out as acoustic guitar compositions and were subsequently arranged for rock band and orchestra. Some pieces have a Renaissance feel.

The album starts with what sounds like a click track (or metronomic drum beat)... that plays unaccompanied for fifteen seconds! As I had read some reviews here, you can imagine my anticipation, thinking of all the instruments to be added on this blank slate. As soon as the intricate guitar fades in, I knew I was listening to something special. Instruments are soon layered on: synths, strings, bass, swirling Minimoog and drums.

Awakening segues into Robes and Crowns. A vibraphone (or maybe glockenspiel) plays the main melody, later taken over by lead electric guitar.

From the Four Winds is mostly played on unaccompanied acoustic guitar, with short sections of strings. Its mood reminds me of the acoustic introduction to Stairway to Heaven.

Lucifer's Cage became one of Giltrap's most well-known compositions and was often featured in his live concerts. Although it's the album's longest track, it's still barely four minutes long. Nevertheless, it's the album's centerpiece and the track that probably best showcases Giltrap's guitar technique. There is a song with the same name on his second album, Portrait, which I don't yet own.

Revelation starts off with an accompanied flute, which gives it an ethereal feel, before Gordon takes over. Rod Edwards adds some effective piano chords. The strings join in the second half. Brass and wordless vocals by Shirlie Roden join during the last minute, giving it an epic finish.

The Price of Experience is one of the more orchestral pieces, with the lead melody played on brass, strings, and Minimoog.

Featuring only acoustic guitar and a flute synth, the Dance of Albion sounds like something off a Blackmore's Night album. Interesting fact: Gordon Giltrap is one of Ritchie Blackmore's favorite acoustic guitarists and Gordon actually helped him out with his acoustic guitar playing. The track also reminds me of Steve Howe's Mood for a Day.

The Tyger, named after Blake's most famous poem, is a dynamic composition, with a driving acoustic riff, alternating with gentler acoustic passages. The track features accompaniment by brass chords and excellent drumming.

The Echoing Green is a dreamy acoustic guitar piece, with a lullaby feel. The strings in the second half are a tad saccharine.

London is a melancholy acoustic guitar piece, which is briefly accompanied by trumpet and synth effects. It almost sounds like the poem's lyrics were set to music.

The final track, Night, is one of my favorites and a fantastic album closer. It starts with unaccompanied acoustic guitar, then a second guitar, flute, string, brass and Minimoog join in. This composition also seems to follow the words of the eponymous Blake poem.

I bought the remastered version of the album, which includes five bonus tracks. Overall, the bonus tracks are pleasant to listen to, but they also show how much the orchestration adds to the material.

The first three are devoted to a Guitar Concerto in three Movements that Giltrap composed before deciding on the William Blake concept. Many parts ended being used on Visionary, so it was never released. In particular, the second movement features most of From the Four Winds. A recurring theme seems to have been altered and used for Night.

On Wings of Hope starts with guitar strumming that reminds me of Yes' And You and I. It morphs into an upbeat a symphonic piece with lots of brass, similar to The Price of Experience. I'm not sure why it was left off the original album pressing, since it fits very well and the album was relatively short anyway.

The last track is called Visionary and is a fifteen minute demo track featuring many themes from the final track list: Dance of Albion, The Tyger, The Echoing Green, London, Awakening, Robes and Crowns, and Lucifer's Cage. It has a more medieval sound than the rest of the album. There are no strings or synths, just acoustic guitar with some flute, organ, and drums. It's interesting to listen and see how the themes were developed.

The record company chose the album cover. Giltrap would have preferred a Blake illustration as the cover, which would have been more appropriate to the album's concept.

I recommend Visionary to fans of acoustic guitar and of melodic instrumental music, such as Genesis ex-guitarist Anthony Phillip's The Geese and The Ghost.


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 Death is Just a Feeling by AMADEUS AWAD album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.86 | 3 ratings

Death is Just a Feeling
Amadeus Awad Crossover Prog

Review by Angelo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

5 stars On dark days, I may have gloomy thoughts - which I later mostly regret. Never were they as dark and gloomy though as the experiences that led Amadeus Awad to compose, record and release Death is Just a Feeling. Inspired, if that is the right word here, by the loss of loved ones, and a failed suicide attempt, this album is a new addition to the list of cinematic concept albums. Albums that require one to sit down and listen, and to feel. Think of well known titles like Pink Floyd's The Wall, or The Human Equation by Ayreon, where that applies as well.

Each track on this album fills a piece of a puzzle, that, once complete leads to the realisation, waking up after a failed suicide attempt, that

"...what I killed last night wasn't my flesh, but my connection to the surreal skies I roamed in since the creation of the universe. I was already dead when you touched my face, death is just a feeling."

The album consists of 6 tracks only, and it lasts just over 45 minutes, but it appears longer when listening. The story is carried by voices as well as music. Narratives by Dan Harper, with a low, hypnotic voice, are interleaved with angelic, and sometimes anxious vocals by Anneke van Gierbergen,the dramatic voice of Elia Monsef and the careful, almost shy sounds of Arjan Lucassen on the closing track. These voices are surrounded by music that is an eclectic mix of metal and heavy symphonic rock that is carrying the different moods of despair, grief and wonder. The acoustic opening track, with Anneke singing as an angel is one end of the musical spectrum, while the central piece of the album, Lonesome Clown takes us through metal, heavy rock and wailing keyboard music. This track is a 12 minute musical masterpiece, that would easily have fit on any Ayreon album. Actually, the presence of both Arjan 'Ayreon' Lucassen and Anneke van Giersbergen makes one wonder sometimes if this is an Ayreon album, but the music still different from what Arjan Lucassen has done. Highlights of the album for me, besides Lonesome Clown, are the emotion filled guitar solos on Tomorrow Lies (which also include a great use of cello) and Temporary, and the way Monday Morning musically expresses the feeling of remembering a final goodbye. A final goodbye from a love one, who gets killed in an explosion shortly after.

The sound and production of the album are very full, because of the continuous presence of synths and keyboards in the back. That makes it somewhat loud, but never in a disturbing way - and even the clarinet on Temporary is able to come out front and center.

Despite it's dark nature, this is amongst the best albums released this year (I skipped over a few planned reviews to write this one today). Highly recommended, certainly for those who like musical adventures akin to what the people involved in making this album normally deliver. It's a work of art, and I could easily see someone making a short, very dark movie to this album, to complete the package.

Originally published on my blog, www.angelosrockorphanage.com


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 Corvus Stone Unscrewed by CORVUS STONE album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.26 | 119 ratings

Corvus Stone Unscrewed
Corvus Stone Crossover Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars With a cover like that, and with no less than three tracks bearing movie┬┤s motifs, it is no wonder that Corvus Stone┬┤s third effort gives the impression of being a soundtrack, or maybe a homage to movies soundtracks. I don┬┤t know if that was the original idea, but certainly it works very well that way to me! The album has some new material plus some extended or remix of older stuff. At first it sounded to me like a bad idea, after all the band is too new to be redoing their "old" tracks. However, upon listening to the album I found out that they fit in perfectly. Unscrewed does seem to be a terrific soundtrack of a film: even if you don┬┤t see with your eyes, the music alone will take you into a wild ride! It┬┤s a roller coaster of emotions and sound landscapes.

Unscrewed changed my perception of Corvus Stone. Where the first two albums are very good but lacked a cohesive feel, this one finally sounds like all the tracks were played by the same band. Not that the group decided to be less eclectic, no. On the contrary, there are as many variations and styles as ever, sometimes during the same tune, but somehow they now seemed to have developed their own personality and you can feel that on this record, even if the songs are quite different from each other on several occasions. And the good thing about Corvus Stone is the fact that their tunes always, no matter how freakish they may sound at times, have a discernible melody line. In other words, even when courting the avant guard, RIO or jazz, their stuff always have a point. Unlike many other prog acts it┬┤s never complexity for its own sake neither an exercise on self indulgence or some internal joke. There are always good melodies. That┬┤s what set them apart and make their music both innovative and familiar, experimental and accessible.

In the end I found Unscrewed their most satisfying and coherent album to date. They added to their already many qualities (strong compositions, emotional guitar lines, excellent bass runs, vocals when needed and so on) what was missing from their previous two albums. This is the first Corvus Stone record that I listen from start to finish without feeling that I┬┤m listening to a different band on some tracks. I really hope they┬┤ll follow this trend for future releases. They seem to have found their own style and sound. The chemistry has been good from the start but now the band sounds much more than just the sum of its parts, and that┬┤s a big difference! Kudos to them!

Rating: something between 4 and 4.5 stars. Highly recommended to anyone who likes progressive music in general.


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 Imaginaerum by NIGHTWISH album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.76 | 120 ratings

Nightwish Progressive Metal

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Nightwish does a great job blending hard-hitting guitar riffs, entertaining compositions, choral arrangements, and symphonic instrumentation into a solid and approachable metal package. Imaginaerum is many things, and maybe tries to achieve too much during its running time, but pulls it off stylishly and memorably. It's all good, occasionally great, and sometimes excellent. Most appealing of all is the fact this group is doing something unique within a genre dominated by guitar-led soloists and men who sound like women.

The album opens with the winding of a music box which grows to an ever more lush and dynamic overture. It evokes sort of a sweeping orchestral feel that captures the imagination. And then the chugging begins. We're brought into the first real song "Storytime," an upbeat, energetic and riff-fueled rocker that has trombones blasting out hits alongside the drumming, and violins accompanying the female vocals, and epic walls of choir sound. There's a bit of cheese in there, but the overall effect is very enjoyable, and Nightwish does an outstanding job of giving the orchestra and choir something to do besides just support the band. In fact, I don't recall a single guitar or keyboard solo throughout the entire album. Heresy!

As things continue we're given moments of hard and heavy metal, folksy balladry, epic percussive moments, and emotive vocals. There is a lot of variety to be found here, a nice welcome compared to the typical prog metal fare. Here's a few examples:

"Slow, Love, Slow" is a mellow and lush ballad that has has a jazz-club feel, with brushed drum work and trumpets blowing away in the background. What a surprise, considering that the track before had harsh, throaty guitar riffing.

"Scaretale" is one of the better metal songs. It has a bouncy and stylish tone that makes it feel like something from an early Tim Burton film. It's heavy, quirky, and filled with hooks. Yeah it's a little silly, but the combination of vocalists and styles works well.

"Arabesque" is probably one of the standout tracks. It's an instrumental with an eastern flair that builds and builds and builds to a massive percussion finale that completely grabs hold of you.

"Turn Loose the Mermaids" begins with thoughtful balladry with acoustic flutes and piano that accompany the vocals... and then all the sudden we shift into the drums, violins, and trumpet fanfare of a spaghetti western. No I'm not kidding, and yes it is as fun as it sounds.

In being objective its safe to say that Imaginaerum will appeal to some more than others, but if you're interest in heavy music fronted by a first-rate female vocalist, or are a prog metal fan interested in something that stands out uniquely in a sea of Dream Theater soundalikes, this album comes highly recommended.

Songwriting: 4 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4


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  11. SouthSideoftheSky (1509)
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  14. AtomicCrimsonRush (1272)
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  18. erik neuteboom (1201)
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  20. kenethlevine (1036)
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  31. Chris S (753)
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Remaining cache time: 395 min.

List of all PA collaborators

  1. Close To The Edge
  2. Thick As A Brick
    Jethro Tull
  3. Selling England By The Pound
  4. Wish You Were Here
    Pink Floyd
  5. In The Court Of The Crimson King
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  6. Foxtrot
  7. Dark Side Of The Moon
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  8. Red
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  9. Animals
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  10. Godbluff
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  11. Fragile
  12. Pawn Hearts
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  13. Nursery Cryme
  14. Per Un Amico
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  15. Larks' Tongues In Aspic
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  16. Moving Pictures
  17. Hybris
  18. Mirage
  19. Moonmadness
  20. Hemispheres
  21. Relayer
  22. Storia Di Un Minuto
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  23. Io Sono Nato Libero
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  24. Si On Avait Besoin D'Une CinquiŔme Saison
  25. Darwin!
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  26. Kind Of Blue
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  27. In A Glass House
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  28. A Farewell To Kings
  29. Hand. Cannot. Erase.
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  30. Aqualung
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  31. Birds Of Fire
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  32. Crime Of The Century
  33. Still Life
  34. Meddle
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  35. Ommadawn
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  36. Hot Rats
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  37. Depois Do Fim
  38. The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage
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  39. H To He, Who Am The Only One
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  40. In a Silent Way
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  41. Images And Words
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  42. Permanent Waves
  43. The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)
    Steven Wilson
  44. The Yes Album
  45. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
  46. The Road Of Bones
  47. Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory
    Dream Theater
  48. Scheherazade And Other Stories
  49. The Grand Wazoo
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  50. One Size Fits All
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  51. MŰkan´k DŰstrukt´ẁ K÷mmand÷h
  52. The Snow Goose
  53. Still Life
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  54. A Trick of the Tail
  55. In The Land Of Grey And Pink
  56. Rock Bottom
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  57. Free Hand
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  58. Octopus
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  59. K.A
  60. Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
    Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
  61. Second Life Syndrome
  62. The Power And The Glory
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  63. Zarathustra
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  64. Arbeit Macht Frei
  65. Spectrum
    Billy Cobham
  66. Blackwater Park
  67. Viljans Íga
  68. Misplaced Childhood
  69. In Absentia
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  70. Time Control
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  71. Emerson Lake & Palmer
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  72. L'isola di niente
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  73. Hatfield And The North
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  74. Ghost Reveries
  75. The Inner Mounting Flame
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  76. Fear Of A Blank Planet
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  77. Hamburger Concerto
  78. Acquiring the Taste
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  79. The Perfect Element Part 1
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  80. Space Shanty
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  82. Bitches Brew
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  83. Until All The Ghosts Are Gone
  84. Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You
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  86. Script For A Jester's Tear
  87. Doomsday Afternoon
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