PROG ARCHIVES intends to be the most complete and powerful progressive rock resource. You can find the progressive rock music discographies from 9,315 bands & artists, 48,680 albums (LP, CD and DVD), 1,186,648 ratings and reviews from 54,458 members who also participate in our active forum. You can also read the new visitors guide (forum page).
Listen to progarchives.com radio ad presentation (30 sec.)

Latest 50 Free Mp3 Download (stream)

Random Playlist (50) | Open up player | How to submit new MP3s ? | RSS New Mp3s

Latest Progressive Rock Music Reviews

Last 50 reviews
 Oneirology by SHERWOOD, BILLY album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.00 | 2 ratings

Billy Sherwood Crossover Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars The Recurring Dream

Oneirology is the name of the scientific study of dreams. It is also the name of Billy Sherwood's fourth solo album which appeared in 2010. Oneirology was the follow-up to 2008's At The Speed Of Life, and between those two solo discs Billy had also been busy with Circa, who had released their second studio album HQ in 2009 as well as a live album and video, and in addition to that also a compilation of extra material in the same year appropriately called Overflow.

As the title of the album implies, Oneirology is a concept album about dreams. The album opens with the heavy but at the same time also uplifting title track which is in the style of New State Of Mind from Yes' Open Your Eyes album, or perhaps rather how that song would have sounded if Billy had sung it rather than Jon Anderson. This is my favourite track off Oneirology, sporting some superb Chris Squire-like bass lines and guitar work from the incredible one-man-band that is Billy Sherwood. Generally the better tracks are in the first half of the album, but the rest of the album is good as well and thoroughly enjoyable all the way.

Overall, Oneirology is as good as, if not better - and more progressive - than both At The Speed Of Life and Circa's HQ, but it is not as strong as Billy's first two solo albums.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 At Wild End by BASS, COLIN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.08 | 7 ratings

At Wild End
Colin Bass Crossover Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

3 stars To love this album you must be in the right mood. Not too dark, it could be depressing, but not too happy because the sensations that it gives to the listener are mainly sadnhess and melancholy. It's a good thing. If music can give sensations the artist has hit the target. The sadness starts with the first track which is dedicated to Guy LeBlanc, former Nathan Mahl and partner of Colin Bass in Camel, who recently passed away. This song sets the mood, then what follows is a stripe of good songs, well composed, played and arranged. The only problem is that all of them are almost slow and sad. The rare rhythmic parts are lead by the bass more than by the drums. If you are in the right mood this is not a problem, but surely you can't play this album in a party, and this is sure not in Colin's intentions. Not being too catchy even if usually very melodic, the songs require attention to be fully appreciated. The listener will be rewarded by the closing track which is also the title track. There was no other place for this song than the album's closure. It's perfect and is the bigger hihglight of the album. It's also where there's a bit more rhythm and it's the song that leaves you with the wish of listening to it once more when it ends. Globally it doesn't reach the level of "An Outcast Of The Islands". It's a good album which deserves the three stars that I'm giving it and I could decide to increase this rating in the future (I've done the same with the mentioned "Outcast"). Of course, the presence of some Andy Latimer makes it a must for Camel fans. It's half of the current band.Colin is in these times the only fixed element of the band other than Andy. and this is perceivable even if all the compositions are by Colin. Three stars by now, but I could change idea.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Rattle That Lock by GILMOUR, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.09 | 73 ratings

Rattle That Lock
David Gilmour Prog Related

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

2 stars One word reviews are not allowed, otherwise I would have written "disappointing". I'm sorry, but Sir David has not satisfied my tastes for the first time in his long career. Listening to the sample of Rattle That Lock released on his site few months ago I was expecting at least an album as good as About Face, but what we have is mainly discontinuity. I hate fading out finals of songs, and almost all the tracks fade out. The few spare guitar riffs seem to have no feeling, and that "feeling" was one of the best Gilmour's characteristics. Ok, there's some good. The Girl In Yellow Dress is as good as unexpected. A jazz song but it could have been Sting....well, not so bad (I don't like Sting). Good but outplaced. A full jazz album would have had its reasons, but this song is totally isolated from the context. If you decide to go for the version with the extra contents, please avoid the disco mix of "Rattle that Lock". It's absolutely the worst thing I have ever listened from Sir David....well, not really listened because I didn't resist for the whole length. If few years ago he did some interesting approaches to electronic and disco mixes in the very good album with The Orb, this mix is a total rubbish, also because the title track is poppy but not bad. The rest of the album has good moments here and there, so that it won't be a total waste of money, but this is not what I would expect from an artist like him. If this will be (I hope not) the last output of his career, there could have been dozens of better ways to close it. Just few words about the sax. We can appreciate that this is not David Gilmour's best instrument, but he plays it quite well and the work done on the mentioned "Yellow Girl" is one of the few highlights of the album. There's some good guitar "as we expect" in the opening and in the closing tracks, so it's not an album to throw directly in the bin. It's just that from David Gilmour I would have expected very much more


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Beast, Machine & Man by KHATSATURJAN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.84 | 12 ratings

Beast, Machine & Man
Khatsaturjan Symphonic Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

4 stars In the spring of 2014 I came across the 'demo' release by this Finnish band and wondered why such a skillful group has remained so unnoticed. Also I was almost certain that they had called it a day. Happily I was wrong! It just took a longer time to record their latest album. I was kindly given all the missing albums, and I'm indeed glad to have the opportunity to spread the word. While KHATSATURJAN's earliest recordings may have more elements from the world of classical music, now it seems that with this 61½-minute album they have searched for sonic perfection. And probably conceptual perfection as well, but the textual level hasn't fully reached my mind yet.

The ambitious prog of this band is, in my honest opinion, very close to the highest international level when speaking of the more or less symphonic prog drawing influence from the 70's classics. The fact that all the three core members sing and play several instruments is actually very revealing. First, the vocal harmonies are an important part of the sound, and second, the music is very flexible in arrangement and in compositions. You can try and imagine a modern prog group in the vein of TRANSATLANTIC, BEARDFISH or UNITOPIA, with a pop-flirting, whimsical mentality of bands such as KLAATU and 10CC and the fast-turning eclectism of GENTLE GIANT.

Piano, organ and synths are all well present in the sound, which is coloured by cello and violin. The constant change between the acoustic and the electric concerns also the guitars. The individual vocals are good and clean, perhaps one reason for me to think of 10CC. They blend together marvelously, it's not the case of deep contrasts like with Gentle Giant's Derek Shulman vs. Kerry Minnear (of which the latter is happily closer to what you hear in Khatsaturjan).

The tracks are mostly around 6-8 minutes in length. The weakest song is without a doubt the shortest one, 'Wrong Kinda Socks', a rather banal rocker that could have been left out of the otherwise thoughful album. Nearly 12-minute 'In Pursuit of a Haunting Singalong' is a fine epic, but I feel that in the end it just fades out all of a sudden, making a slightly nuisant pause to the music's flow. Perhaps without these two negative remarks I'd be tempted to give this album a full rating.

Anyway, a truly recommendable album deserving international recognition. Check it in youTube or elsewhere, and be impressed!


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Duke by GENESIS album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.48 | 1114 ratings

Genesis Symphonic Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Duke" is the 10th full-length studio album by UK pop/rock/progressive rock act Genesis. The album was released through Charisma Records (UK)/Atlantic Records (US) in March 1980. It's the second album working as the trio of Tony Banks (keyboards, 12-string guitar, background vocals), Phil Collins (drums, percussion, lead & backing vocals, drum machine), and Mike Rutherford (guitars, bass guitar, bass pedals, background vocal). Genesis had been inactive as a band since finishing the tour supporting "...And Then There Were Three... (1978)", as Collins had asked for time off to try and save his marriage with Andrea Bertorelli, and Banks and Rutherford both worked on solo albums ("A Curious Feeling (1979)" and "Smallcreep's Day (1980)"). When Collins attempt to save his marriage failed, he did some work with Peter Gabriel and Robert Fripp, and an album with Brand X, before teaming up with Banks and Rutherford to write material for "Duke".

"Duke" is sort of a concept album and then again not really. The tracks "Behind The Lines", "Duchess", "Guide Vocal", "Turn It On Again", "Duke's Travels", and "Duke's End" were in their original form part of one 30 minutes long track that told a story of a fictional character called "Albert", and on the first part of the tour supporting the album, they were actually played like that. The band decided against recording them as one long track on "Duke" though and mixed them with tracks written individually by each band member (each member brought two tracks with them). Knowing the story about the tracklist, it's actually quite obvious when listening to the album, that half of the album was written as a concept (although the tracks are spread out), and half were written as individual tracks. It's hard to know if the album had worked better with the concept piece puzzled together into one long track, and the individual tracks placed after (or before), but as it is "Duke" works fine and flows nicely.

Stylistically the music on "Duke" is quite different to the music on the predecessor. Although "...And Then There Were Three... (1978)" was in many respects a transition album, which began to show signs of more accessible songwriting, it's still overall a progressive rock album. The scale tips a bit more towards commercial pop/rock on "Duke" although it certainly also has it's progressive moments. Tracks like "Misunderstanding", "Alone Tonight", and "Please Don't Ask", are very accessible in nature, but one should not be tricked into thinking this is simple radio pop/rock by the catchy nature of the tracks, because listening a bit more closely the songwriting is actually quite clever and rather sophisticated for that type of music. In the more progressive end of the scale you have tracks like "Behind the Lines", "Turn It On Again" (featuring quite interesting rhythmic patterns), "Duke's Travels", and "Duke's End". But tracks like "Duchess", "Man of Our Times", and "Heathaze", are also quite interesting in that regard.

I mentioned rhythm above, and as usual Phil Collins has produced a diverse rhythmic output, which is a great treat throughout the album. The use of drum machine (Roland CR-78) on "Duchess" is very tasteful and atmosphere enhancing too. Vocally it's like he comes into his own on "Duke". Collins vocal performances on the three preceeding albums were great too, but he is really burning through on this album. Both Banks and Rutherford deserve mentions too for their great instrumental work (and backing vocals), and especially the tasteful and very intricate keyboard work of the former is high class.

"Duke" is the last David Hentschel produced Genesis album (he had produced all Genesis albums since "A Trick of the Tail (1976)"), and he does a great job here. "Duke" is a very well sounding album, who successfully sounds contemporary for 1980, but still retains a relatively organic 70s touch. Upon conclusion "Duke" may not have been what the most conservative fans of the band's 70s material wanted, but it is a natural successor to "...And Then There Were Three... (1978)", and it was the band's most commercially successful album up until then. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 The Challenger by INTRONAUT album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2007
3.02 | 5 ratings

The Challenger
Intronaut Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars THE CHALLENGER is the third overall release and second EP by the progressive post sludge metal band INTRONAUT that is sandwiched between their first full debut "Void" and their second full album "Prehistorians." Although this is an EP it clocks in at a full 50 minutes. It is essentially a mix of three new tracks, five live cuts from "Null" and "Void," a truncated remix of "Burning These Days" from "Null" and an untitled bonus in the form of a stupid and irritating sound check but thankfully is at the end of the album so i can just simply *ignore* it :)

The three new tracks: "The Challenger","Whittler Of Fortune" and "Deep Architecture" pretty much see INTRONAUT continuing the sound set forth on their debut album "Void," however they seemed to have upped the aggression and downed the progressiveness. These tracks are more geared towards aggressive sludge metal with a post-metal type of atmosphere. While the progressive aspects have been toned down they certainly didn't go away and there are plenty of angular rhythms, technical drumming displays and deathened, anguished vocals to be heard.

The live tracks are fairly well done showing the band churning out some seriously muddy and hostile sounding post-sludgery. Since these tracks are taken from their first two releases they are more straight forward sludge meets post-metal sounding like a mix of maybe The Ocean meets Isis or Pelican. The production is actually nice for a live recording and the highlight of these tracks is the eerie mix of guitar sounds. While one guitarist churns out the rhythmic backbone of the songs, the other is creating strange atmospheric embellishments and when it comes to the solos they sound more like something off a freaky psychedelic Krautock album from the 70s then anything to be heard in metal. This EP is also the last for guitarist Leon del Muerte.

The remix for "Burning These Days" is a nice no-nonsense burst of spastic drumming, highly distorted jangly guitars and occasional sampling effects that add interesting mood dynamics. It has an interesting high speed volume fade in / out ending. The only track that is a waste of time is number 10 which is a sound check of the mic and drums with some profanities thrown in. Boring! This is not a stellar release by INTRONAUT but it was never intended to be. It's just a nice package of extra goodies for fans. While this may not be in the top leagues of their discography is certainly a worthy addition if you already dig their unique progressive sludgy post metal. The new tracks are certainly as good as anything on their debut and the live set is a nice sampling of their live capabilities. 3.5 rounded down


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Tuscany by RENAISSANCE album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.02 | 82 ratings

Renaissance Symphonic Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars While Annie Haslam's solo career proved that her voice alone cannot carry the day, the version of RENAISSANCE including original guitarist and composer Michael Dunford and vocalist Stephanie Adlington established that he didn't hold the trump cards either. What about bringing Haslam, the voice, and Dunford, the sound, together? And while we're at it, let's inject two other members from the classic period of RENAISSANCE MK 2, drummer Terence Sullivan and keyboardist John Tout, albeit the latter for only two tracks. In fact, only poetess Betty Thatcher and bassist Jon Camp are missing and, rightly or wrongly, they are sorely missed. Not that they would have necessarily helped, for among reunions of these classical prog pioneers, "Tuscany" is a bore to rival the most barren stretches of 1979's "Azure D'Or", and that takes some doing

I was much more welcoming of the energetic "Camera Camera" and "Time Line" in the early 1980s, wherein the band at least sounded engaged and the grooves exploded with hummable, sometimes even danceable melodies. Alas, "Tuscany" includes only 3 tracks worthy of the band's majestic legacy - "Pearls of Wisdom", which could have been one of the better cuts on the aforementioned "Azure D'Or"; "Dear Landseer" which evokes the sweep of a "Can You Understand" or "Ukraine Ways" at least thematically; and the poppy but satisfying "In the Sunshine". Interestingly, Tout only graces 2 tracks, both of which are in this short list. For the rest, we're abandoned to (naturally) well sung art songs that, as lyrics, compositions and performances, profoundly, even shockingly, cry for inspiration. Even Annie's voice is rarely challenged and seem both timid and emotionless in the main.

Perhaps my opinion might have been different if I had heard this at the time of release, the joy of the reunion and promise of future progress shading the overexposed inadequacies, much like a long lost friend with whom one once had an intimate connection. But from where I stand now, Tuscany bequeaths as much satisfaction as a Walmart print of Tuscany from a paint by numbers artist who has never been.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Master of Puppets by METALLICA album cover Studio Album, 1986
4.08 | 564 ratings

Master of Puppets
Metallica Prog Related

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars You might be surprised, but I never knew anything about progressive rock or progressive music until 2010. Yes, after 28 years of listening to various kinds of artists I had only ever heard the term "progressive rock" mentioned by Dr. Evil's son, Scott, in an Austin Powers movie. But once I understood what it meant to play progressive rock or progressive music, I soon thought that Metallica should be included on this site and the album that made me think so was "Master of Puppets".

I was introduced to Metallica sometime during '84/'85 and thought that "Ride the Lightning" was the coolest album I had ever heard since Judas Priest's "Screaming for Vengeance". So, when a friend of a friend told me and said friend that the new Metallica album was out and let us listen to the beginning of "Leper Messiah", I was thrilled and dying to get a hold of the album. In fact, for two weeks until I could purchase my own copy, the main riff to "Leper Messiah" refused to fade from my memory.

"Master of Puppets" was and is such a wonderful step in the evolution and progression of Metallica's early music. "Kill 'em All" was delightfully speedy and thrashy with a rawness that was meant to deliver this new development in metal with full intensity. "Ride the Lightning" featured acoustic guitar and a step forward in music complexity. "Master" proved to be not only heavier but more mature and more sophisticated than its predecessors. For me, this is the ultimate Metallica album.

"Battery" told you right from the start that this was "Ride the Lightning" Metallica with the heaviness turned up and all the fury and intensity still faithfully loaded. But it was the stunning title track that exhibited the band's song-writing skills at their height. The song is masterfully constructed with an intro to blow you out of the water and a riff that should be one of the coolest in 80's metal. The song cruises rapidly as you'd expect from thrash but with the balls to keep the pace less break neck enough for you to follow the lyrics, which I have always somewhat proudly interpreted as a song warning of the hazards of cocaine use. Hey, when parents in the eighties were constantly on about how heavy metal was turning their kids to drugs, my friend and I (neither of us ever touched anything stronger than cough syrup and only in the recommended doses) were right proud to point out the meaning of the lyrics.

Then there's this totally unexpected slow down with clean guitar and Kirk Hammett plays this melodic solo that is truly beautiful. A guitarist once told me that the key to great solos was not shredding or blazing through some tricky technique, but rather playing something along with the melody of the song. Hammett establishes a melody on the lead and then solos over where the melody is established to be. In the "Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage" movie, Hammett talks about Alex Lifeson's phrasing on "The Villa Strangiato" and how it impressed him. He certainly learned from it as Hammett pulls off some great melodic solos on this album, the first of the better ones to be heard here on the title track. The song goes on to build in tension and intensity and after a fiery thrash-shred solo, the song returns to the main riff with bludgeoning brutality. It's an awesome thing. Hammett said of Rush's "2112" that it took him on a journey. Well, I feel that Metallica accomplished creating a journey here on the song "Master of Puppets".

"Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" is another song that has its own structure and story in the music. By the end of side one, I feel that Metallica worked hard to create individual songs that could each stand up on their own, and they did so on "Master" better than on "Ride the Lightning".

"Disposable Heroes". I was surprised to find out this song is over eight minutes long. Back in the cassette days, we didn't care about song length so much. You had your three-digit counter that had nothing to do with keeping time. Heck, I didn't know that "Child in Time" was over eleven minutes or that Pink Floyd's "Dogs" was over 17 minutes. They were just songs that had in them what they required to be what they were. They were complete as they were and the time length wasn't a concern for us. So side two opened with another thrasher but in parts that were not just verse/ chorus but actually introduced two contrasting choruses. One sang from the field commander's perspective as he shouts to the young soldier to get out and die: "Back to the front / You will do what I say when I say / Back to the front / You will die when I say you must die". The other sang from the remorseless, matter of fact send off of the deceased soldier: "Soldier boy made of clay now an empty shell / 21 only son but he served us well / bred to kill not to care / do just as we say / finished here, greetings Death / he's yours to take away". Writing about the waste of life in war is nothing new but metal bands had and have a way of being very cynical, honest, and at times ironic in how they deliver their message about the wastefulness of human life in war.

The song with the unforgettable riff, "Leper Messiah" was next. A funny thing, I was listening to this song on my Walkman for the first time in the dark of one early morning as I delivered newspapers and suddenly I heard the voice counting in the song and it startled me. I froze in my tracks and scanned the darkness, searching for the person who was possibly calling out to me. But it was just the cassette. Man, I still love this song, even though the theme is another fairly common metal target: evangelism that encourages cash for God's favour. It brings to mind Rainbow's "Man on the Silver Mountain" at least in lyrical subject.

Then comes the fantastic instrumental, "Orion". Introduced by a growling organ sound with a drum beat driving along, the music turns heavy with a thunderous riff and then goes thrash. In the middle, it all breaks down to a slow and mysterious segment with an almost sexy guitar solo that could work for a strip tease if it were longer. The music remains melodious with more of that moving lead guitar work. Then a bass solo by that incredible musician who was Cliff Burton. The music returns to its thundering thrash riff again in the last minute.

At last, after such a memorable journey through what surely must be called progressive thrash metal to be understood clearly, we close the album with a bass solo performed by volume dial adjusting and then enter the intense thrash tune that is "Damage Inc." What a fine way to end the album, bookended by two very heavy and blistering tunes.

I actually had a ticket to see Metallica on the "Master of Puppets" tour but James Hetfield broke his wrist skateboarding and the show was cancelled. Then later they had their tragic bus accident that killed Cliff Burton. When they finally came to Vancouver, Burton was no longer among them, and I couldn't attend the concert anyway. The next best thing was going to collect the newspaper delivery monthly fee from a customer on my route, who played the drums, and meeting his friend who played guitar. The two of them performed "Master of Puppets" for me, a flawless and jaw-dropping performance, right in the drummer's living room. As far as I could tell, they totally nailed it. All I knew was the main riff and I couldn't play it fluidly.

Speaking of drumming, one thing that I have noticed in recent listens is Lars Ulrich's drumming. The 1980's had a lot of stale drumming, just a steady 4/4 beat with a drum fill coming in just ahead of the chorus or at the end of a solo. After all the creativity and skill that developed in drumming throughout the sixties and seventies, the eighties seemed to drive it all into flatline. But what I hear on "Master of Puppets" at least is how Ulrich's drumming is used almost instead of a lead guitar. For example, in the title track or in the rhythmically un- complex "The Thing That Should Not Be", when the guitars are chugging along steadily and without variation, the drums will add some colour with some well-placed hits on the toms and a cymbal crash. It would be easy to imagine throwing in some lead guitar notes or other effects, but Metallica use the drums to spruce up these parts. This had me playing closer attention to these two songs as I listened to them today and I realized how Ulrich was skipping beats in places only to add a double beat after or some slightly more complicated drum bit. It just struck me as using the drums to more creative effect, in a more progressive approach than a standard song would have. This to me is more interesting than a five-minute drum solo.

After 30 years now almost, this album still stands out for me as one of the best examples of a metal album of all time. And one of the things I admire most about it is the high level of musicianship coupled with the advanced thinking toward song structure and melody, something that most thrash bands of the day would not have dared to attempt. This is surely a vital step toward the development of progressive metal.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 The Book of Souls by IRON MAIDEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.90 | 83 ratings

The Book of Souls
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I'll confess two things right off the top here: one is that I loved Iron Maiden in the early 1980's and the other is that I didn't buy any of their albums after "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son". I really enjoyed and still enjoy the debut, "Number of the Beast", and "Piece of Mind". I don't have "Powerslave" anymore but I want to get it. It was my second concert to go see and I still have the T-shirt. But "Somewhere in Time" didn't impress me and "Seventh Son" didn't do much for me either (though I have it on CD now and I think it's pretty darn brilliant). Some of my favourite songs are "Revelations" from "Piece", "The Prisoner" and the title track from "Beast", and "Phantom of the Opera" and "Remember Tomorrow" from the debut. I think it was the synthesizers that began showing up on every metal album after Van Halen's "1984" that bothered me. Well, okay, not the thrash and speed metal bands, but those I had loved in '83/'84 were suddenly playing around with pop music synthesizers, and it had been the guitars all along that had drawn me to metal.

Iron Maiden's history has been a trip of twists and turns since 1987. Adrian Smith left and then Bruce Dickenson left. Then they both came back. I have only heard one song from the intervening years between "Seventh Son" and this latest release, "Book of Souls" and it was a live version of "Fear of the Dark". I had a ticket to see Iron Maiden perform in Saitama, Japan on March 13th, 2011, but as the band was flying in from South Korea on that fateful Friday the 11th, the Great East Japan Earthquake struck. Ed Force One redirected to Nagoya where the band watched the news footage of the earthquake and ensuing tsunami disaster and decided that this was no time to hold a concert because this was no time to celebrate or party. They cancelled the show and have not been back to Japan since.

So the new album comes out, and I am not particularly thrilled. Just, "Oh, Maiden have a new album. Hm." But then I see the packaging: a hard cover book inside a slip case. The artwork looks intriguing and I think that I have to have this. Hey, Iron Maiden should still be good, right?

Well, Iron Maiden sounds exactly as I expect them to. One reviewer said that this is the album that should have followed "Seventh Son" and for my ears I have to agree. As I said, I don't know what Maiden did between 1987 and 2015 but for all I can tell they simply hoped aboard a time machine and came over to 2015 after wrapping up the Seventh Son tour. Well, of course Janick Gers is on board, too, now and has been for rather a long time.

Yes, this sounds just like classic Iron Maiden, so much in fact that I couldn't help but notice the guitar sound hasn't hanged since the 80's. The riffs, the song structures, Dickenson's voice, just about everything sounds like this is the next album after "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son". In fact, as I listened to "The Great Unknown" I found myself thinking to the middle part of the "Seventh Son" title track. The beginning of "Shadows of the Valley" reminded me of "Wasted Years", and some of the long instrumental sections of some songs like "The Red and the Black" are very much like things you'd here on "Piece of Mind".

Hearing so much similarity to past glories makes me wonder if the band has evolved at all over the last 30 years or are they still following the same formula? Then again, maybe they just went back to their classic formula because it was time. Didn't Deep Purple, Voivod, and Black Sabbath do the same on their recent releases?

Well, there may be synthesizers on this album, too, but by now I have come to not only accept them in metal but actually enjoy hearing them in the right context. I'm glad for their use on this album. But seriously, the biggest thrill here so far has to be the epic historical number, "Empire of the Clouds". I had to read the Wiki article about the R101 and I also read about how Dickeson had purchased at a charity auction a piano used by Jamie Cullum and later used the instrument to compose "Empire". The song is quite beautifully structured and the story well told, sticking to history while still sounding poetic as Dickenson said he wanted. The orchestra is a great touch as I always thought that Maiden's metal would work well with an orchestra or performed by an orchestra. "Empire of the Clouds" is in my opinion a fantastic piece, but I do love most of the songs on the double album as I listen to them. Some instrumental sections go on for a while without introducing anything that hasn't already been done ("The Red and the Black" for example) while other songs like "Tears of a Clown" tamper with unusual time signatures. Iron Maiden is not prog metal in the way that Dream Theater or Opeth are, but I have always appreciated the extended instrumental sections that aren't just guitar solo showcases. Also, Maiden didn't often drop many kick ass riffs as I always felt they went more for a classical type of riffing that rarely hits with a wallop and usually lays out a musical landscape with a warm and steady path to follow. But they find space to deliver a few good 'uns here and there as on "Speed of Light" and "When the River Runs Deep".

I think the album sounds great. It's what I'd expect to hear from this band. I like the longer compositions and that there is careful attention to each of the songs. For that I give this baby an easy four stars. But after 30 years I'd have expected to hear something new, more than just piano and an orchestra. But on the other hand, it's great to hear Maiden sounding like Maiden. I'll get "Powerslave" on CD soon and I've got "Brave New World" on standby to order, too.

Now when are they coming back to Japan?


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 The Fires Of Ork 2 (with Pete Namlook) by BIOSPHERE album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.50 | 2 ratings

The Fires Of Ork 2 (with Pete Namlook)
Biosphere Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars Way beyond!

I would not make a big issue about both "The Fires of Ork" Vol.1 and 2, 1993 and 2000 respectively, being misplaced in BIOSPHERE's (a.k.a. Geir Jenssen) discography, rather than in long gone Pete Namlook's one. But not even the first one's cover art, which were like a trademark for most of Namlook's works, helped a bit.

Anyway, this second encounter of both electronic musicians, is by far more structured and accomplished, than their first, highly raw and experimental, one. Both musical languages are tightly blended into a single one, and by the way, with its best possible results, maybe in a very low keyed manner, that may fool some in comparing it to each one's own language and works, but at close distance, as in all of Pete Namlook's collaborations, music composition wise, this effort explores teamwork as a way of expression and not just as mere addition.

Its relaxed mood, its non-cheesy embellishments, its detached and subtle but effective dark environments, its refined experimental nature and the cosmic overtone of the human spirit, is quiet intoxicating by its unpretentious but extremely deep songwriting.

To the followers of each or both musicians, the connection of both musical languages in this second effort will be more than apparent and for those who do not follow any of them, this is the kind of release that clearly shows that Progressive Electronic, is not just a bunch of polite Tangerine Dream's clones pulling off the same old tricks again and again, but the possible and endless future this sub-genre still has to offer.

As far as this unrepeatable Namlook & Jenssen association went, this is top game.

****4.5 (low keyed almost masterpiece) PA stars.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
Reviews list is cached

Latest Prog News, Shows and Tours

Prog News & Press Releases (10) | More ...
Prog Gigs, Tours and Festivals (10) | More ...

Latest 3 Progressive Rock Videos

All videos
Arjen Lucassen (AYREON's mastermind) wearing the classic long sleeves PA t-shirt
Arjen Lucassen (AYREON's mastermind) wearing the classic long sleeves PA t-shirt.
To buy Progarchives.com custom items: t-shirts, beer steins, coffee mugs, mouse pads, bumper stickers, go to http://www.zazzle.com/progarchives, select the ones you like and checkout (PayPal support). All orders are handled by Zazzle from invoicing, printing to shipping.

Thanks in advance for supporting us and for spreading the purple prog !

Prog Lounge

Prog Polls

Prog Interviews


Twitter, RSS feeds

+ more syndication options
Twitter RSS

Share this site

| More

26 Days Til Halloween: Bogwitch by Buckethead album rcover
26 Days Til Halloween: Bogwitch


27 Days Til Halloween: Cavern Guide by Buckethead album rcover
27 Days Til Halloween: Cavern Guide


28 Days Til Halloween: The Insides of the Outsides by Buckethead album rcover
28 Days Til Halloween: The Insides of the Outsides


29 Days Til Halloween: Blurmwood by Buckethead album rcover
29 Days Til Halloween: Blurmwood


30 Days Til Halloween: Swollen Glasses by Buckethead album rcover
30 Days Til Halloween: Swollen Glasses



Collaborators Only

ratings only excluded in count
  1. Mellotron Storm (3750)
  2. Sean Trane (3159)
  3. ZowieZiggy (2929)
  4. apps79 (2629)
  5. Warthur (2195)
  6. Easy Livin (1925)
  7. UMUR (1879)
  8. b_olariu (1877)
  9. Gatot (1811)
  10. Conor Fynes (1577)
  11. SouthSideoftheSky (1508)
  12. Evolver (1389)
  13. Bonnek (1332)
  14. AtomicCrimsonRush (1272)
  15. Tarcisio Moura (1266)
  16. Windhawk (1258)
  17. snobb (1213)
  18. erik neuteboom (1201)
  19. Finnforest (1105)
  20. kenethlevine (1036)
  21. ClemofNazareth (1009)
  22. Cesar Inca (927)
  23. loserboy (895)
  24. Rune2000 (864)
  25. tszirmay (849)
  26. kev rowland (844)
  27. Marty McFly (834)
  28. Matti (829)
  29. octopus-4 (822)
  30. memowakeman (801)
  31. Chris S (753)
  32. Eetu Pellonpaa (720)
  33. Guillermo (710)
  34. BrufordFreak (686)
  35. greenback (685)
  36. progrules (666)
  37. Rivertree (659)
  38. Seyo (638)
  39. Epignosis (624)
  40. Prog-jester (623)
  41. Neu!mann (619)
  42. lor68 (601)
  43. Ivan_Melgar_M (552)
  44. philippe (538)
  45. siLLy puPPy (492)
  46. hdfisch (492)
  47. friso (481)
  48. Chicapah (480)
  49. stefro (478)
  50. Prog Leviathan (470)
  51. colorofmoney91 (459)
  52. Dobermensch (456)
  53. J-Man (449)
  54. zravkapt (441)
  55. russellk (435)
  56. Menswear (413)
  57. ProgShine (410)
  58. Sinusoid (402)
  59. Aussie-Byrd-Brother (398)
  60. Atavachron (397)
  61. Queen By-Tor (396)
  62. DamoXt7942 (390)
  63. andrea (386)
  64. TCat (377)
  65. Greger (365)
  66. tarkus1980 (363)
  67. Nightfly (361)
  68. Zitro (359)
  69. admireArt (359)
  70. Cygnus X-2 (353)
  71. fuxi (352)
  72. Andrea Cortese (348)
  73. EatThatPhonebook (326)
  74. lazland (321)
  75. Guldbamsen (318)
  76. Negoba (316)
  77. richardh (314)
  78. Tom Ozric (304)
  79. Kazuhiro (299)
  80. Flucktrot (293)
  81. Proghead (289)
  82. OpethGuitarist (287)
  83. progaardvark (286)
  84. daveconn (266)
  85. Second Life Syndrome (265)
  86. Trotsky (264)
  87. Muzikman (263)
  88. clarke2001 (254)
  89. Slartibartfast (254)
  90. The T (253)
  91. Andy Webb (236)
  92. Bj-1 (233)
  93. 1800iareyay (225)
  94. js (Easy Money) (222)
  95. poslednijat_colobar (220)
  96. GruvanDahlman (219)
  97. Syzygy (216)
  98. The Crow (216)
  99. aapatsos (216)
  100. avestin (214)
Remaining cache time: 477 min.

List of all PA collaborators

  1. Close To The Edge
  2. Selling England By The Pound
  3. Thick As A Brick
    Jethro Tull
  4. Wish You Were Here
    Pink Floyd
  5. In The Court Of The Crimson King
    King Crimson
  6. Foxtrot
  7. Dark Side Of The Moon
    Pink Floyd
  8. Red
    King Crimson
  9. Animals
    Pink Floyd
  10. Godbluff
    Van Der Graaf Generator
  11. Fragile
  12. Pawn Hearts
    Van Der Graaf Generator
  13. Nursery Cryme
  14. Per Un Amico
    Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
  15. Larks' Tongues In Aspic
    King Crimson
  16. Moving Pictures
  17. Hybris
  18. Mirage
  19. Moonmadness
  20. Hemispheres
  21. Relayer
  22. Storia Di Un Minuto
    Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
  23. Io Sono Nato Libero
    Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
  24. Si On Avait Besoin D'Une Cinquième Saison
  25. Darwin!
    Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
  26. Kind Of Blue
    Miles Davis
  27. In A Glass House
    Gentle Giant
  28. A Farewell To Kings
  29. Hand. Cannot. Erase.
    Steven Wilson
  30. Birds Of Fire
    Mahavishnu Orchestra
  31. Aqualung
    Jethro Tull
  32. Crime Of The Century
  33. Still Life
  34. Meddle
    Pink Floyd
  35. Ommadawn
    Mike Oldfield
  36. Hot Rats
    Frank Zappa
  37. Depois Do Fim
  38. The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage
    Peter Hammill
  39. H To He, Who Am The Only One
    Van Der Graaf Generator
  40. In a Silent Way
    Miles Davis
  41. Images And Words
    Dream Theater
  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. Scheherazade And Other Stories
  48. Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory
    Dream Theater
  49. The Grand Wazoo
    Frank Zappa
  50. One Size Fits All
    Frank Zappa
  51. Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh
  52. The Snow Goose
  53. Still Life
    Van Der Graaf Generator
  54. A Trick of the Tail
  55. In The Land Of Grey And Pink
  56. Rock Bottom
    Robert Wyatt
  57. Free Hand
    Gentle Giant
  58. Octopus
    Gentle Giant
  59. Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
    Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
  60. K.A
  61. Second Life Syndrome
  62. The Power And The Glory
    Gentle Giant
  63. Zarathustra
    Museo Rosenbach
  64. Arbeit Macht Frei
  65. Spectrum
    Billy Cobham
  66. Blackwater Park
  67. Viljans Öga
  68. Misplaced Childhood
  69. In Absentia
    Porcupine Tree
  70. Time Control
    Hiromi Uehara
  71. Emerson Lake & Palmer
    Emerson Lake & Palmer
  72. L'isola di niente
    Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
  73. Hatfield And The North
    Hatfield And The North
  74. Ghost Reveries
  75. The Inner Mounting Flame
    Mahavishnu Orchestra
  76. Fear Of A Blank Planet
    Porcupine Tree
  77. Hamburger Concerto
  78. Acquiring the Taste
    Gentle Giant
  79. The Perfect Element Part 1
    Pain Of Salvation
  80. Space Shanty
  81. Rubycon
    Tangerine Dream
  82. Until All The Ghosts Are Gone
  83. Bitches Brew
    Miles Davis
  84. Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You
  85. Script For A Jester's Tear
  86. Doomsday Afternoon
  87. Felona E Sorona
    Le Orme
  88. Remedy Lane
    Pain Of Salvation
  89. Elegant Gypsy
    Al Di Meola
  90. Lateralus
  91. Part the Second
    Maudlin Of The Well
  92. Pale Communion
  93. Choirs Of The Eye
    Kayo Dot
  94. Memento Z Banalnym Tryptykiem
  95. Anabelas
  96. If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You
  97. Voyage Of The Acolyte
    Steve Hackett
  98. Caravanserai
  99. Symbolic
  100. Operation: Mindcrime

* Weighted Ratings (aka WR), used for ordering, is cached and re-calculated every 15 minutes.


Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community

Server processing time: 0.78 seconds