Progressive Metal • Serbia

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David Maxim Micic biography
David Maxim MICIC is a guitar/keyboard player, composer and producer from Belgrade, Serbia. At the time of writing, David is a student at Berklee College of Music, but has also studied classical piano and jazz/rock guitar. His early achievements include the composition, recording and production of over of 8 hours of original music, composition of music for commercials, movies and TV series, but also production and arrangements for many musicians, mostly from Eastern Europe; and all this up to the age of 20. His first (mainly instrumental) EP, called "Bilo", was released in May 2011 and clocks just below 30 min. David is responsible for all music and instruments on the EP, apart from the lead vocals and drums.

MICIC tends to mix prog rock in many ways, assisted by two female vocalists; from traditional prog metal in the vein of DREAM THEATER and AYREON, to more ambient/experimental rock (e.g. MIKE OLDFIELD), also incorporating ethnic and jazz/fusion elements.

Biography by aapatsos

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4.17 | 10 ratings
Bilo 3.0

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4.67 | 3 ratings
4.50 | 2 ratings
Bilo 2.0


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Bilo 3.0 by MICIC, DAVID MAXIM album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.17 | 10 ratings

Bilo 3.0
David Maxim Micic Progressive Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Bilo 3.0' - David Maxim Micic (8/10)

There may have been a period when progressive metal was silent. Although there lurked enough Dream Theater clones out there at one point to have me thinking the genre may have died out, the last few years have been host to an inspiring renaissance of prog metal. With his band Destiny Potato and a strong solo career of his own, Serbian multi-instrumentalist David Maxim Micic has been contributing in his own way to the progressive metal revival. Hearing about his recent opus Bilo 3.0 through the recommendations of a few kindred proggers, I can't help but to forward the recommendation along; to anyone with a vested interest in the current state of progressive metal, David Maxim Micic deserves to be heard. Well composed, arranged and wonderfully performed, Bilo 3.0 is an ambitious piece of largely instrumental prog metal, with more than enough epic ideas to keep a listener engaged and attentive.

I was reminded of Devin Townsend's solo material many times throughout Bilo 3.0, an artist to whom Micic owes a great deal of his sound and style. "Where is Now?" has an epic central theme that sounds like it could have been inspired by Devin's Accelerated Evolution or the more recent Epicloud album. Some of Micic's most cinematic movements on the album have that same 'wall-of-sound' ambiance that Townsend is so famous for. Much more than mere emulation however, Micic does here what Jari Mäenpää of Wintersun achieved with Time I, that being the taking of ingredients first trademarked by Devy himself, and orchestrating them in new and inventive ways. For one, Bilo 3.0 capitalizes on jazz fusion much more than anything you'll hear from Townsend, and there are many points on the record that draw upon instrumental rock tradition a la Satriani. Many of Micic influences are readily apparent in the music: a prog metal lick on "Smile" instantly recalls Cynic, melodic jazz guitar on "Nostalgia" might be inspired by Pat Metheny, and the much-familiar presence of 'djenty' rhythmic explorations demonstrate an ample knowledge of contemporary progressive metal.

Suffice to say, there is more than enough of a variety to keep the music from sounding stale or rehashed. Although Micic's true calling lies in melody-driven progressive metal guitar, the stylistic curveballs here are fully-realized and sound great. "Everything's Fine"- the album's gentle opener- is an excellent example of Micic's skill as a multi-faceted composer. Jazz- tinged piano and a haunting string section weave together to sound like something plucked from a film score. With that being said, there is a very cinematic feel to Bilo 3.0, not surprising given Micic's background as a composer for TV and film. Although each track feels well-realized, Micic definitely feels more like a composer of strong ideas, rather than a songwriter. With the exception of the near-perfectly written introductory track, each composition on Bilo 3.0 is memorable for their stand-out moments, rather than the track as a whole. Song structures seem arranged to cater to a string of individually satisfying moments, as opposed to the ideas all contributing to the overall whole of a composition. Even in the most ambitious progressive metal epics, I tend to look for some of the same qualities found in conventionally good songwriting; effective repetition, moderation, and the impression that a composition has been designed with the wholesome end result in mind. This is not to say that Micic's work is rhapsodic or even structurally unsuccessful, but it does feel like the compositions bite off more than they can effectively chew. "Smile" is the worst offender of this, trying to include everything from Townsend-friendly playfulness, virtuosic guitar soloing, djenty rhythms, growls, operatic wailing, fusion licks and everything in between. I know it's a pretty common tactic in progressive music to draw upon such a wide variety, but I'm left with the impression that some of the ideas on Bilo 3.0- the operatic break on "Smile" and a child's off-key crooning on "Daydreamers" particularly- could have been left out, or at least rearranged so that they better compliment the flow of the compositions they're part of.

Especially on an album as instrumentally-driven as this, no review of Bilo 3.0 could go without mention of the musicianship and technical skill. Obviously, much of the spotlight is placed on Micic's prodigious grasp of the electric guitar. Although the album's djenty side doesn't stand any bit above what we've already heard from that corner of prog metal, Micic makes himself out to be an absolutely brilliant jazz fusion guitarist, possibly one of the best I've heard. "Nostalgia" might be my favourite trackon the album for this very reason; Micic's marriage of keen instrumental wandering and tight melodic passages is gorgeous, easily rivaling similar-sounding tunes by Satch or Metheny. While I'm sure many listeners will have found out about David Maxim Micic via Jeff Loomis' presence on the album as a guest soloist on "Smile", I honestly can't say that Loomis plays anything here that couldn't have been easily conquered by David himself. However, this is more of a compliment to Micic's own skill as a guitarist than Loomis' solo, which is just as expressive and technical as I've come to expect from him. Micic excels as a shredder, jazz player and writer of melodies; there doesn't appear to be any aspect of the electric guitar that eludes him. Having Loomis guest star on an album is good reason to get excited about it however, and if his appearance earns Micic more listeners, then all the better.

Bilo 3.0 is an album packed with instrumental inventiveness and technical proficiency. David Maxim Micic excels here both as a composer and musician, and he's surrounded himself with a talented cast of musicians to help him bring his dream to life. For all of its musical high points, Bilo 3.0 still feels a little rough and patchy with the way songs are structured. Like so many talented solo artists, Micic is burdened by overambition, wanting to tackle too many different ideas without the time to give them all their due. I have no doubt that we'll only hear Micic improve with time however, and if Bilo 3.0 is to be a sign of even greater things in the future, then there's no doubt I'll stay tuned in to hear what he does next.


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