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SUPERIOR

Progressive Metal • Germany


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Superior biography
SUPERIOR is another German progressive metal band, with a strong similarity to mid-period DREAM THEATER. For one thing, the band isn't just another DREAM TEATHER clone. They have their own unique sound and style. Their sound includes some really well-played keyboards, but is clearly guitar-driven mixed with a liberal use of flowing pianos. Their music is dark but the lyrics ring true. As is the case with most German bands, their musicianship is flawless. Notable influences are DREAM THEATER, FATE'S WARNING, SAVATAGE, METALLICA, older QUEENSRYCHE (or newer), RUSH and STING among others.

Their first CD release "Behind" showed a heavy DREAM THEATER influence. Delicate keyboard work intermeshes cleanly with heavy and crunchy guitar. Comparing to their first album, "Younique" reflects one of SUPERIOR's greatest strengths: diversity. Their second CD mixes modern essence and melodic prog metal sounds with nice vocal melodies, including a fine ballad ("This Promise"). The use of quiet piano combined with very heavy and crunchy guitar work is fascinating and captivating. This "Younique" bears its name well... it is UNIQUE. Their latest release, "ULTIMA RATIO" a magnificient concept story album a la "Operation Mindcrime", is a confirmation of their huge talent. I strongly encourage that all progressive fans buy their albums.

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SUPERIOR discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SUPERIOR top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.98 | 23 ratings
Behind
1996
3.88 | 22 ratings
Younique
1998
4.17 | 22 ratings
Ultima Ratio
2002

SUPERIOR Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.57 | 7 ratings
Ultra - Live
2004

SUPERIOR Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

SUPERIOR Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SUPERIOR Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

SUPERIOR Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ultima Ratio by SUPERIOR album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.17 | 22 ratings

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Ultima Ratio
Superior Progressive Metal

Review by Ovidiu

5 stars From the beginning I must say thet this album is the German answer to a historical album called OPERATION MINDCRIME of an unknown band called QUEENSRYCHE!!!!Yes,and this is a compliment,because SUPERIOR made an album that can be considered a true masterpiece from all the points of view!Unfortunatelly this so very talented and inspired band doesn't exist anymore,that's so sad,because they were sooo good!This album had the bad luck to be promoted and produced by a weak French abel-the infamous NTS-WAGRAM,which were too poor and uncompetent and weak to offer this talented band the right to be more popular and better distributed!ULTIMA RATIO is a concept album with a very intelligent story- the mind manipulation and the fascination of power which creates monsters,somke kind of dictators which have the power and ability to maniipulate caracters,minds,spirits,masses!Very fine compositions and sensational playing!Especially te voice of MICHAEL TANGERMANN ,excepting a little German accent,is simply outstanding!Very powerful,clear and rich in emotions!I really adore the way how the guitars sound on this album,so powerful and clear,and here we must congratulate the band for a brilliant production!We can compare SUPERIOR with VANDEN PLAS,POWERTY'S NO CRIME and other German prog metal bands.,but with a more conceptual touch and a beter musical identity on this album especially.The presence of 2 guitars and some very intense keys parts make the whole sound of SUPERIOR really full and compact!Great and,unfortunatelly,underrated album,even all the people which are making a first audition are shocked in a positive way that such a brilliant album is relativelly unknown!Definitelly,there isn't any justice sometimes and I undersand the dissapointment of the band members ,fact that have pushed the guys to end the adventure after a LIVE album,some sort of musical legacy of a very,very good band! The first 2 SUPERIOR albums are marvelous too! 5 STARS with sinceres compliments and a sincere regret that SUPERIOR simply were unlucky!
 Ultima Ratio by SUPERIOR album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.17 | 22 ratings

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Ultima Ratio
Superior Progressive Metal

Review by greenback
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Superior is very influenced by Dream Theater, and this still applies here. Like on the Behind album, the rhythmic guitar riffs are still powerful, thundering, razor and aggressive, but the guitar sound is slightly less clean. Also, the overall sound is less bombastic than on Behind. There are still excellent lush acoustic guitar parts. The piano is found on many tracks, and it seems more elaborated and adventurous than on Behind. The comparison with the Queensryche's "Operation: Mindcrime" album is correct; however, Ultima Ratio is much more powerful and more atmospheric. It seems there are more electric guitar solos than on Behind, but they are not the main attraction, although the ones on "Fallen" are very good. The lead vocals are OUTSTANDING, probably even better than James Labrie. There is often an alternance of mellow and heavy parts. Nothing is spectacular regarding the global technical performance: Dream theater did much better regarding that. Globally, I prefer Behind to Ultima Ratio, because the guitar sound is superior and the atmosphere is more bewitching and bombastic. On the other hand, Ultima Ration is better than "Operation: Mindcrime". Is the very end of the album a wink to Roger Waters' "Amused to death"?
 Ultima Ratio by SUPERIOR album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.17 | 22 ratings

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Ultima Ratio
Superior Progressive Metal

Review by W.Chuck

4 stars A really good concept piece of the german prog-metal band superior. I think a good addition to any collection but not a masterpiece. I thought it first but my mind changed.

As I already mentioned this is a concept piece, so what is the story behind. The story is well structured but it's not really original. You have this guy who is unhappy with his life and then he has an idea and with a friend he assumed power and called for Revolution. So he founded something like an enormous sect but that's quite irreal because his aim ist to erase feelings etc. (sounds like Euilibrium xD - but the movie came later...). So why should so many people join him? Would you give up your feelings, I doubt. Then there is his love but he has to split because the power is more importnat and listen yourself what happens at the end!

The music is really much influenced by Dream Theater but not as long and complex. It's more like Queensryche's "Operation : Mindcrime" but this time more complex but you can easily hear the parallels. So there's a lack in originality in the story as well in the music but the music is not bad, there are nice melodies, special parts to impel the story and a lot of changes in mood. You have heavy passages with nice 2 guitar riffing, piano passages, melancholic and sorrowfull arpeggio passages and this really amazing duet "FALLEN" with the usual singer who represents the guy who founded this group (Ultima Ratio) and his love, where they decide to split up. So it's a sad and quite atmospheric song first just with piano then in the chorus combined with strings and later a guitar solo and a soft guitar. But another thing I have to criticise is the fact of the length. Some songs like "ULTRA" are just too long and could be shorter cause they repeat the themes too often.

Highlights are "Reflections", "Reach for Reign", "The Unwanted", "Fallen" and "Terror Fantasy".

So a nice varied album with lots of changes in mood an interesting (although it's unlogic) story and a nice connection between lyrics, music and vocals but as I said not really self- contained.

 Behind by SUPERIOR album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.98 | 23 ratings

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Behind
Superior Progressive Metal

Review by dimensi_id

4 stars SUPERIOR were often mentioned as Germany's answer to DREAM THEATER. But in my opinion - like VANDEN PLAS or IVANHOE who at the time were also considered German Prog-Metal bands who sound very similar to DREAM THEATER - SUPERIOR actually posses a sound of their own... a very distinctive sound at that. They're not just another DREAM THEATER clone! On "Behind", their debut album, the German band already sounds very mature. Their style of Progressive Metal does sound a bit like DREAM THEATER, but the songs themselves in my opinion are nothing like DREAM THEATER's style of songwriting. SUPERIOR are definitely more melodic vocal-wise, pop rock vocal melodies (even stuff that sound mainstream pop) crop up here and there and sometimes even dominate their songwriting. Some of the tracks unmistakably are very pop oriented, at least vocal-wise. Occasionally they remind me of QUEEN's immortal rock style. Just listen to tracks like "Escape from Reality" or "Tomorrow's Eve"; see if you can also hear the QUEEN influence. But don't get me wrong, even though he is singing with a slightly poppish approach, Michael Tangermann's voice is actually very powerful and quite heavy. The lead vocalist also sound very relaxed, unlike most Progressive Metal singers who seem to be straining from constantly trying to reach the stratosphere. SUPERIOR employ the double guitar formation and both guitarists play with a very heavy and jarring resonance. The twin guitar team (Michael Muller & Bernd Basmer) also excels at trading licks with the superb keyboard player. Both guitarists also regularly interact with the bass player, melding bone-crunching riffs with nimble bass- lines. The rhythm section plug along in the background solidly, at a glance the beats are quite docile, but if you listen closely both drummer and bassist introduce a plethora of odd-time signatures and sprouts of irregular measures. Sometimes it's hard to hear the odd-time sections, but believe me SUPERIOR's music is chock-full of freaky rhythms and stop-go sections. The main guitar riffs themselves are generally played in odd- time, making headbanging to SUPERIOR's "Behind" album a very tricky task indeed. You don't believe me? Try it yourself... Overall though, due to their peculiar songwriting style and the singer's ultra-melodic approach (which I find to be too sweet and lacking aggression), I find myself a bit distracted. I do love to death DREAM THEATER's style of Progressive Metal and the scores of bands that emulate the style, maybe this is why it's a bit hard for me to swallow SUPERIOR's more unique approach. Or maybe the pop oriented vocals when mixed with such heavy metallic sound just doesn't seem appropriate? Anyway, it's clear that SUPERIOR - even on their debut album - are one solid act and that the talented group have certainly found their own niche in sound and musical style. But I have to emphasize again that if you want to hear Prog-Metal in the vein of DREAM THEATER, SUPERIOR is not the right choice for you. Sure, the chugga-chugga guitar riffs are there, the industrious keyboard layering, the odd-time rhythms and the operatic vocals are all there... but if you listen closely it's a very different brand of Progressive Metal. * DD - Paradigma Records/Star 105.5 FM (Surabaya, Indonesia) *
 Behind by SUPERIOR album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.98 | 23 ratings

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Behind
Superior Progressive Metal

Review by greenback
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Behind" is the first album of Superior. The style involved is progressive metal. I would however say "Behind" is more metal than progressive. The omnipresent metal rhythmic riffs are absolutely monolithic, and their sound is EXCELLENT, being very razor, powerful and aggressive. The SAD thing is the lack of electric guitar solos, like the excellent melodic one the "Why" track . The comparison with early Dream Theater circa "Images & Words" is quite appropriate: the NECESSARY lead singer has a VERY similar OUTSTANDING voice, and the structured electric rhythmic guitar borrowed their style; the elaborated drums sound quite the same. However, Dream Theater are quite more progressive, more refined, faster and less visceral. I would also add the lead singer has also a bit the voice of the French Canadian singer Bruno Pelletier! As keyboards, piano and floating synthesizers are the most played ones: the musician does not elaborate too much on the piano, although he demonstrates a good manual dexterity in some bits, like on the "Why" track. Unlike Dream Theater, the other keyboards here less consist in solos, rather more often in modern background atmospheres & arrangements. "Behind" has obviously some Metallica influences, as reveals the "Tomorrow's Eve" track, being very similar to Metallica's "Nothing else matters". There are some absolutely LUSH and crystal clear acoustic guitar parts like on the "Dreamtime" and "Total void" tracks: very impressive! All the tracks are excellent. If you like Dream Theater around 1992 and a slower version of Metallica, then get this record.

Rating: 4.5 stars

 Younique by SUPERIOR album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.88 | 22 ratings

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Younique
Superior Progressive Metal

Review by Greger
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Superior is one of Germans best Prog Metal bands.

"Younique" are a CD that takes a lot of listening before you get into it. The tracks are very complex and you have to sit down and listen to it to give it your full attention. The music ranges from Progressive Power Metal to quiet instrumental piano pieces.

Notable influences are Dream Theater, Faith No More, Metallica, Queensryche, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rush and Sting among others. The musicians are very tight and good as the original singer that sometimes sings in a German accent, but that isn't disturbing. You can't really compare the singer to any other singer, and that is only positive.

The best tracks are "God's Funeral" (with Queensryche influences), "Amok", "Free Minded", "Detect: Myself" (an experimental track containing saxophone, trombone and trumpet, and with Andre Matos from Angra on guest vocals) and the acoustic ballad "This Promise".

The sound quality is really good and crystal clear. Everything on this album isn't perfect, but nevertheless it's a "Younique" CD that I like really much, and I think that many will like as well. Recommended!

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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