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Michael H

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Member since: 10/12/2011 • Forum posts: 7483 • Last visit: 9/8/2022 4:31:16 PM EST
Location: Melb, Australia

Progressive Biography

Mariah Carey!!

Hmmmmm, there's a name I bet you didn't expect to read about on the Prog Archives! But I only mention this because her debut album was the very first album I ever owned and bought with my own money. No indication of the direction I'd head in, with the genre of music that changed my life.

My name is Michael from Melbourne, Australia, born in 1976. My first exposure to music, other than top 40 dross (well, back then it sounded great and, in retrospect looking back, bad disposable pop from the late 80's is like a work of genius compared to the rubbish kids get treated to these days!) were artists like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against The Machine, Metallica, and so on. Not too bad, really, at least they were bands that frequently merged different genres together.....oooh, a sigh of things to come?

But it was upon hearing a friend play `Queen I' and `Queen II' from the early 70's that really changed my way of thinking about music. I had never heard such varied, fascinating and involved `pop' music, it sounded so daring and unique, with their little multi-sections and different directions! This lead to discovering Pink Floyd and devouring their entire back catalogue very quickly. Their pre-Dark Side albums offered a variety of psychedelic, avant-garde and experimental rock music that expanded my mind to what was capable with rock music, and fuelled my interest even more.

But my first proper introduction to the world of obscure and less commercially known prog would have come from my chance meeting with fellow Archives member Tom Ozric! I was doing a traineeship course for my current job, which had to eventually merge with another group in Melbourne. There I met Tom who was wearing a Marillion t-shirt, which I misread as Marilyn (as in Manson lol!), but it got to us talking about music. After working out we both loved Pink Floyd, (the whole discography/all areas, not just the usual albums), Tom gave me a cassette that had Genesis `Nursery Cryme' on one side and Eloy's `Power and the Passion' on the other. Nothing prepared me for what I heard. I had never encountered such odd, fascinating, strange and original music! A few other tapes later (Tom - you gave me one that had Genesis `A Trick of the Tail' on one side, what was on the other?!), and my obsession had truly kicked in. That same excitement and momentum has kept up to this very day, and it completely changed my life.

Soon Tom and I were organizing to catch up and raid the various second-hand record shops for anything and everything prog - expensive it was too! Within a few months I'd amassed a solid collection of LP's and CD's that included Renaissance, Focus, ELP, King Crimson, Budgie, etc. I started attending all the record fairs every couple of months and was able to start coming across rarer and more obscure artists/titles that make up some of my favourite additions.

Since them, I've come to especially hold a great deal of love and appreciation for the RPI (Rock Progressivo Italiano) genre, and many of the most grand, classical and sophisticated albums in my collection are from this style. They mean so much to me and are among my very favourite acquisitions. I've also got a great deal of love for the Berlin/Electronic and Canterbury genres.

I've been reviewing albums for a little over a year now, and it's been a very humbling and satisfying experience. I unfortunately don't have the talent to play in a progressive rock band, so the best I can do is write about the genre I love so much. I especially like reviewing and drawing attention to forgotten or little-known albums/artists that could do with a bit of exposure. I used to knock out several reviews a week, but personal situations have brought my momentum down a bit in the last four months. I'm just slowly working my way back up and noticing that drive and passion for writing about what I love building back up with each day!

I now work alongside Jim, Todd, Chris, Andrea and Paul on the RPI team, evaluating and reviewing new artist additions that fit into the RPI genre, and I couldn't hope to work with a better bunch of guys, passionate and knowledgeable with a great sense of humour! You'll also constantly find me floating around the Italian Progressive Appreciation Den on the forums, come and say hello! Pierre is sure to throw some strange and fascinating Italian prog recommendations your way on there!

It's been wonderful constantly discovering new and fascinating artists every few days through the Archives, and I've made some great friends and acquaintances through the site. It amazes me just how many superb progressive artists there are, both from the vintage era and the newer modern ones. All offer something special and important, and the progressive rock field has never been more varied, exciting and vibrant. I can't wait to see what each new year brings, and the fire and passion I have for progressive rock will never die! I look forward to sharing these experiences with you all!

So that's me for now, but I'm going to update this with a list of my favourite progressive albums soon, so check back later on!

Michael H - 30th January 2013.

Reviews distribution by sub-genre

 Sub-genreNb of reviewsAvg rating
1 Rock Progressivo Italiano1504.01
2 Progressive Electronic1204.01
3 Symphonic Prog813.64
4 Crossover Prog513.80
5 Psychedelic/Space Rock473.91
6 Neo-Prog443.89
7 Eclectic Prog393.95
8 Heavy Prog373.73
9 Jazz Rock/Fusion334.15
10 Krautrock313.84
11 Prog Folk283.93
12 Prog Related193.53
13 Canterbury Scene114.00
14 Progressive Metal94.00
15 Zeuhl84.25
16 RIO/Avant-Prog44.00
17 Post Rock/Math rock24.00
18 Indo-Prog/Raga Rock14.00
19 Proto-Prog13.00
20 Tech/Extreme Prog Metal13.00
21 Experimental/Post Metal13.00

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