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Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 1980 are four Frenchmen who brought one of the best meals to the progmetal table in 2007. Crushingly heavy and unimpeachably progressive, the quartet seem to have been keeping a close eye on the exploding genre, digested the best it had to offer and then made a record that somehow blew almost everyone else out of the water. A nod to Meshuggah, the obsessive tenacity of Dysrhythmia and NeBeLNeST, inventive spirit of Canvas Solaris, postrock colors of Tortoise and brown acid math-zone of Sleeping People make for a sizable universe to play in, and 1980 do it with as much conviction as anyone. The power riff is the backbone of most of the material, played with passion by the guitar, bass and drums. But it's the tingling chime of keys that provides a startling contrast to the swaths of metal, juxtaposing sounds of a little girl's toybox, a grimly serious jazz band, infatuated math geeks, one slightly deranged ice cream man and a world-class instrumental rock group. 'Sagaie' will rip your face off. 'O Me Oh' skates on a frozen Lake Fripp but finds more than enough time to bleed heat. The loopy polytechnics of 'Amicaliment' ends up spewing some serious chunkage, and the title is another delightful work in contrast, balance and equilibrium. Recommended.

Report this review (#179868)
Posted Sunday, August 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars A bit minimalistic technical jazz and math metal with electronic avant-garde. Very scary. A bit like Fredrik Thordendal's Special Defects, but more jazz oriented, and with slower atmospheric feeling here and there. Much clearer than Meshuggah, and this is instrumental. Very harmonic after all, almost concept album, and contrasts are good, suits for post-rock, jazz rock and math metal fans. This isn't just math post-metal (well it isn't post-metal maybe after all) like others, this has symphonic avant-prog soul (reminds me of eg NeBeLNeST, but this is maybe more harmonic and determinative). Meshuggreich is an interesting song title, but Meshuggahlike it isn't, it's more like bright sounded math fusion. There's nice textures in this album and pattern prog would be also suitable nickname.

Often I get tired listening instrumental music, but not this.

Report this review (#180629)
Posted Saturday, August 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars The French do it again! First they give us Gojira and you think, Wow this is amazing stuff I don't think anybody else could bring anything more exciting out it in the open and catch my ear like they do, but man was I wrong. Funny thing, how I found this band was just listening to the open streaming music feed on the tech/extreme page- (which of course is no doubt a great way to find bands you haven't heard before). Anyway the way this band just punches you in the face with heavy rifts and blazing double bass and then suddenly switches over to this atmospheric, jazz fusion thing and then weaves in between hard metal rifts and jazz is mind boggling, they really should be getting some more credit for this album. You need to check this out if you want to have an exciting new favorite band. They are also instrumental which is great and understandable, because how the heck would you make lyrics to that haha.
Report this review (#209073)
Posted Saturday, March 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars The frenchs Pablo, Armand, Mathieu and Ben is the 1980 band, who decided to baptize his rod (product 2007) likewise, Math Rock, Post Rock, Extreme Metal, Jazz Metal, Avantgarde and many more qualifiers to this album you can give ... what matters ultimately is the music and what her project ... Purely instrumental moments this project advocates for radical sound of Buckethead, Russian Circles and Meshugahh, dramatic tunes with heavy sounds ... achieved a very good mix of sounds and melodies, elements of metal, jazz, funk, etc.., merge to give life to a furious and energetic album, at times quiet and moving, a perfect blend of madness and passion.
Report this review (#250332)
Posted Friday, November 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Great Jazz/Metal Fusion, horrible Google search

Sub-genre: Tech/Extreme Prog Metal (would actually fit in Jazz/Rock fusion as well)
For Fans of: Exivious, Panzerballett, Fredrik Thordendal, Coprofago
Vocal Style: None
Guitar Style: Varied, Djent style chuggs to warm jazz tones. No acoustic.
Keyboard Style: Cool array of synthesis that includes screeching patches to match the metal parts and smooth electric piano/vibes for the jazz parts.
Percussion Style: Rock kit played in both extreme metal and jazz styles.
Bass Style: Picked electric with pristine walking bass lines
Other Instruments: None
You are not likely to enjoy this album if: you hate contrast.

Summary: The first time I heard clips of these guys I went on a frantic search around the internet only to find compilations of the music I hate the most: top 40 hits from the 1980's. Thankfully the band now has a for real website ( that helps eliminate the early ambiguity.

This French quartet was well worth the effort. The bands sound was not completely unlike the collaborations between Fredrik Thordendal and Mats/Morgan on both the former's Sol Niger Within and 3 songs on the latter's Trends and Other Diseases. Further polish was put on the style most like Chile's Coprofago, sans cookiemonster vocals. Rather than being a metal band that uses jazz structures, it is a quartet that plays jazz and metal. 1980 pushes from driving metal out of the realm of Allan Holdsworth style fusion that Coprofago was known for, right into nightclub adult contemporary smooth jazz. The beats are frequently groove oriented but never far from syncope. Such contrast would seem to be musical whiplash. But the transitions are unbelievably smooth and natural sounding. The musicians show exquisite proficiency at all the styles they blend, to add to the shocking continuity. Their material is even blended into a closing house/trance mix.

The only drawback to this album is the short playtime (35:31). And that includes a roughly 3 minute silence in the final track. It is good to leave the crowd wanting more, but I REALLY wanted more. The feeling was such that it made the album seem somewhat incomplete.

Final Score: The aforementioned incomplete feel is the only thing keeping 1980 from masterpiece levels with their debut. A fearless approach to stylistic blend and the lack of a screaming vocalist that would turn off many listeners makes this a fine addition to any progressive music collection. Not quite 5 stars, but its within reach.

Report this review (#451667)
Posted Tuesday, May 24, 2011 | Review Permalink

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