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Topic ClosedProg-metal for people who don't like prog-metal

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Bryan View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Prog-metal for people who don't like prog-metal
    Posted: November 23 2006 at 16:28
Anybody who follows developments among the community here at PA will have undoubtably noticed (whichever side of it you may place yourself on) some hostility of sorts towards the progressive metal category.  Bands like Dream Theater and Opeth have well established themselves in the prog-metal world, to the delight of many but to the disdain of others, many of whom have now sadly decided the prog-metal universe is "not for them" on the basis of a couple of the genre's more seminal artists.  Whether it will have any success whatsoever is something I'm unsure of at best, but I've decided that in an effort to spread some recognition of this misunderstood subgenre I'm going to recommend some albums that those who don't necessarily appreciate Dream Theater's mind-boggling technical w**kery or Opeth's roaring guitars and growled vocals may be able to sink their teeth into... or at least so I hope.  This list will continue to grow as I think of more/have more time to update it, so if you're at all interested please stay tuned. Smile

Anyway, without further adieu...

Band: Subterranean Masquerade
Album: Suspended Animation Dreams
PA Link
Samples: http://www.submasq.com/ (click the "downloads" button)
Truly one of prog's most interesting current bands, the "metal" tag is a little misleading when dealing with these guys.  They do include heavy sections in their music (even some occasional growls, though not enough that it should scare anybody off), yet they deliver such an eclectic sound as to encorperate horn instruments, jazzy sections, spacey jamming, even harmonica into their (generally fairly melodic) palette of sounds.  As crazy and unpredictable as they may sound, SM avoid falling into avant-garde  pretentions and actually manage to be very listenable and accessible while still maintaining an impressive sense of originality.  Though Suspended Animation Dreams isn't a hard album to like right away, you'll keep finding new joys buried within it for countless spins into the future.

Band: Hammers of Misfortune
Album: The Locust Years
PA Link
Samples: http://myspace.com/hammersofmisfortune
If you supported the inclusion of Iron Maiden on PA, you'll most likely appreciate that the end of the metal spectrum that these guys veer closest to is heavy metal.  These guys aren't Iron Maiden though, their diversity and somewhat darker tone brings back memories of King Crimson while their operatic conceptual bombast and fantastic organ sound (more emphasized on this album than either of their previous two) would make ELP proud.  Though the vocals are mostly a threatrical but powerful midrange male voice (don't worry, this isn't James LaBrie we're dealing with), we also hear some fantastic female fronted bits and several acoustic or piano driven interludes to the extremely catchy harder ones.  Quite accessible, original, avoiding the descent into cheese that most bands of their style fall prey to, and of course delivering some splendid and very immersing compositions, these guys are truly among the genre's underrated rising stars, mixing prog and metal in a way that anybody should be able to appreciate.

Band: Nightingale
Album: Alive Again
PA Link
Samples: See PA link
Fans of neo-prog, this one's for you.  Dan Swano is best known for fronting progressive death metal band Edge of Sanity (who I also highly recommend, albeit not for anyone who can't tolerate growled vocals), but he's involved himself in a multitude of projects, even including neo-prog band Unicorn (of whom I'm not a huge fan, but that's just me).  Nightingale began life as a one-man project inspired by gothic metal band Sisters of Mercy, but after recruiting his brother Dag and completing the full band, Nightingale have taken on an aesthetic not dissimilar to one you might see from a neo-prog outfit (not too surprising, considering Marillion is Dan's all time favorite band): Tons of 70s style keyboards and a sound clearly inspired by classic prog, condensed into an accessible, often more straightforward style of songwriting that bases itself more on emotion than technical abilities.  The songs on Alive Again (with the exception of the fantastic 11 minute epic "Eternal") are generally pretty straightforward, basing themselves around a distorted but not too heavy guitar tone, the heavily present use of keyboards and Dan Swano's OUTSTANDING clean vocals (which really are the highlight of the album, this man can really sing), not really breaking any new ground but accompanying themselves with such powerful delivery from the band that it's difficult not to be drawn in.  This isn't the type of thing I would normally be interested in, but Alive Again is one of those albums I've had a very hard time putting down since I found it used for $5, and if fantastic melodies, hooks and vocals without going overboard on the ambition scale are what make up your idea of a great prog album, you won't be let down.

More to come in time, feel free to comment on even add your own inupt.  If you're not generally a fan of prog-metal (or even if you are and aren't aware of these three albums) I would love to hear what you think... if I can open one person's eyes to the true beauty of this style then I will consider this endeavor to have been a success.
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TheProgtologist View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 24 2006 at 19:46


Absolutely wonderful Bryan!!!!!

Nice to see some of these great addtitions getting some exposure!!!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 24 2006 at 19:54

Instead of "don't like" the title could be "don't understand" or "don't pay attention" - that was my case when I started here. Nowadays, I appreciate Symphony X, Isis, Ayreon, Sieges Even, Tool, Voivod, Therion and some others, including Subterranean Masquerade.Smile

The most interesting is that I'm not totally into DT, Opeth and Angra (being the later Brazilians, I recognize they're great but I'd prefer to hear them singing in Portuguese).

 



Edited by Atkingani - November 24 2006 at 19:55
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 24 2006 at 20:10

It's very interesting thread, Bryan. I know this particular album of Subterranian Masquerade, and I like it. I don't think this is metal in a sense, but if you are going to continue with metal bands which are not exactly metal - this what I will be willing to explore.

And IMO the title of this thread is exactly right, which immediately attracted me to it, as I do not like prog-metal although I know it and (think that) understand quite well.

Thanks. Very good idea indeed.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 25 2006 at 08:29
Don't you, gents, think it's not very good place for this thread? Not many people visiting BLOG section of forums. IMO it should naturally be in recommendations section.
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 25 2006 at 11:50
Originally posted by eugene

Don't you, gents, think it's not very good place for this thread? Not many people visiting BLOG section of forums. IMO it should naturally be in recommendations section.
 
 
 
I agree... but it may sink amongst dozens of other threads. Let's see what the starter has to say.Smile
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 25 2006 at 11:55
The first band I thought of when I saw the title was Ayreon. I'll check out these bands Bryan! Thumbs Up
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 25 2006 at 12:03
Been hearing a bit about Dan Swano recently, someone I know nothing about but from all I have read is a very talented guy.  Some of his less heavy stuff seems very intriguing. Might look into Nightingale to get a taste of what he is all about.  
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Bryan View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2006 at 18:50
Regarding the thread location, I share Guigo's concern that it would just get swept under in the "recommended" section, not to mention I intend for it to be something where I post my thoughts on an album and people proceed to read and comment on them, which is pretty much what a "blog" is.  If you guys feel it would do better in the recommendations section, feel free to move it... I'll keep posting either way.

Stoney: I definitely agree about Ayreon, but I think most people here already know Arjen's work.  I'm trying to promote some slightly more overlooked bands in addition to promoting prog-metal as a genre.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2006 at 19:08
 ,  , ,, ,morgion,,blood parade,novembers doom, ,, , ,sirenia,  ,    ,opera ix ,obsession  , ,summoning,primordial,   ,,   , ,eidolon,,galloglass.theatre of tragedy,,domine,oratory,, ,gordian knot
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2006 at 21:42
Thanks Bryan, im definitely not a prog metal head, but i like a few bands and albums, i liked Vilosophe by Manes, what do you think about it?

Follow me on twitter @memowakeman
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2006 at 21:57
One word: RIVERSIDE! (And ofcourse Ayreon as well).
 
I'll check out Nightingale for shure, since I'm into neo...
To be the one who seeks so I may find .. (Metallica)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2006 at 21:59
Vilosophe is definitely going to get a mention at some point in this thread Guillermo, Manes being unknown on this site is a tragedy that I hope to soon remedy.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2006 at 22:08
Originally posted by johnobvious

Been hearing a bit about Dan Swano recently, someone I know nothing about but from all I have read is a very talented guy.  Some of his less heavy stuff seems very intriguing. Might look into Nightingale to get a taste of what he is all about.  


Nightingale is a fine way to check out the "other side" of Dan Swano.I also highly recommend his only true solo album Moontower.While it he growls on it(not as much as in Edge of Sanity though),the music is extremely progressive,while still retaining that metal edge.
    

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2006 at 22:10
Great list there Bryan.
I am a big fan of Sub Masq since their EP - Temporary Psychotic State. I warmly recommend them as well.

To add some more suggestions, I was thinking of Psychotic Waltz and the other Graves band, Deadsoul Tribe. I love all albums by PW, but Into the Everflow and Mosquito after that are two good starting points.
As for Deadsoul Tribe, I love A Murder Of Crows much more thatn their other releases, but all are good (besides the first one, which I can't seem to get into).

Another good idea would be Green Carnation and their epic album Light of Day, Day of Darkness. Just read the reviews on the band's page to see.

For those that like Riverside, Indukti is a sure bet.

And to finish this, I'll mention M
ekong Delta - http://www.progarchives.com/Progressive_rock_discography_BAND.asp?band_id=1846 (I'd say go with The Music Of Erich Zann)

And of course the beautiful and ethereal Winds which have a cool smooth sound, with violin.
http://www.progarchives.com/Progressive_rock_discography_BAND.asp?band_id=1463

I was also thinking of Sculptured, but we'll leave that for another time.


Good thread/Blog, Bryan



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2006 at 22:30
Finally, the topic for me!!!

I have a problem and I need a help form an expertSmile


I love prog rock.
ELP, Tull, King Crimson, GG...well, you get the picture.
 I like some metal.
I used to listen a lot of Metallica, Anthrax, occasional Megadeth and Maiden,  S.O.D., Nuclear Assault, and Halloween.
 But I can't digest prog-metal. I tried. Not too hard, though.

And than I realised: I can't stand combination of deep, brutal distorted guitar power chords and keyboards. No matter how good musicans are. No matter how good lyrics are or intimate is the story, it won't reach me.

Does anybody know any good prog-metal with power-majestic-heavy or preferably trashy overtones?
Guitar/guitar/bass/drums, no keyboards please! With vocals screaming or singing, but no death-growling. Or without vox. Preferably not overproduced (there's nothing worse than a "crystal" soundThumbs Down).

Thanks in advance, experts!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2006 at 22:45
Assaf, I'll surely be mentioning some of those bands.  I was going to put Indukti in the initial post but decided to leave it at three for now... Winds were another one who are definitely coming up soon, the only problem is that I don't know their work that well.  I'll have to give them another listen before making a post about them, but they surely fit the bill.

clarke: My first post has already given you the first band who would spring to mind given your description... check out Hammers of Misfortune, they're more on the heavy metal end of the spectrum but are pretty much exactly what you're looking for.  Tyr should also be of interest to you, though again they're more on the power metal side.  For something thrashier, Assaf mentioned Mekong Delta and I'll mention them again, argualby the seminal "prog-thrash" band.  Control Denied are another band I could see fitting what you're after.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2006 at 23:13
A couple more...

Band: Indukti
Album: S.U.S.A.R
PA Link
Samples: http://www.indukti.art.pl/audio-english.htm
Are you a fan of Red-era King Crimson and its many followers?  Indukti are the prog-metal band for you.  This mostly instrumental Polish outfit has channeled its evident primary influence through the scope of slow, dramatic and dark prog-metal which even borders on post-rock at times.  Their soaring compositions are some of the most powerful and yet subtle you can find in the genre, their encorperation of the violin certainly serves to add an extra unique dimension to their sound.  Riverside vocalist Mariusz Duda lends his voice to a few songs on S.U.S.A.R, providing certain tracks with his gorgeous melodic side and delivering a bit of extra punch to others with more agressive stylings.  Like Robert Fripp and company they manage to completely avoid stagnating stylistically, delivering seven entirely distinguishable and equally enthralling tracks.  Though there's no mistaking the King Crimson influence here, Indukti avoid being yet another derivative worship band, and with their debut album have established themselves as one of prog-metal's most promising upcoming acts.

Band: Spastic Ink
Album: Ink Compatible
PA Link
Samples: See PA Link
Were it not for the distinctly shred-esque guitar tone and Ron Jarzombek's background in seminal early prog-thrashers Watchtower, it would be easy to mistake Spastic Ink for an experimental jazz-fusion outfit.  Though breathtakingly technical, this instrumental trio never loses its sense of experimental boundary pushing nor its sense of fun, slicing through these eleven pieces with a degree of tightness and technical ability that people who believe John Petrucci to be the be-all-end-all of guitar playing may not be able to fathom at first.  In addition to being one of the most technical albums ever to exist in the metal genre, Spastic Ink utilize ideas like trying to portray a day in the life of a squirrel, trying to do as much with the key of E minor as possible within a 4 minute song, even writing a piece of music designed to synch up with a scene from the movie Bambi, right down to the guitars' key and pitch being identical to those of the voices from the movie.  This album is both utterly astonishing to behold and a lot of fun to listen to, setting itself well above the standard Liquid Tension Experiment type of instrumental prog-metal w**kery.


Edited by Bryan - April 08 2007 at 19:50
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#1floydfan View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 28 2006 at 17:34
hurray spastick ink if any likes spastic ink i would recomend behold... the arctopus well any way this is a good idea i have noticed this also and its a good idea!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 28 2006 at 19:38
As usual Bryan, good comments and good recommendations.

Let me add a band that is unjustifiably unkonwn and I have suggested it to the Prog-Metal team (they are on their list).

This is an Austrian band called Dreams of Sanity. They have released only 3 albums, all of high quality.
In the particluar album I want to tell you about called Komodia, they are fronted by two, yes 2 female vocalists - The maginificent Sandra Schleret (which was their regular vocalist) and Martina Hornbacher. The combination of the two is very nicely done and on several songs (the 5th track - The Ending) they complement each other perfectly. Truly a beautiful album, which is also progressive and not that heavy but still very much rooted in metal. The music, never boring, is quite emotional (in a good way), energetic, rich in sound and should be appreciated by people who like the more symphonic side of metal. (this is not power metal). It does have more pop bits in it, but rest assured it is scarcely noticeable and will not hamper your enjoyment.
This album is related to the Divine Comedy by Dante.

They disbanded in 2002 after only 3 albums,
http://www.the-gothicworld.de/dos/



This band should appeal to metal fans (of the style I mentioned above and others) and also to non-metal people who want to try to taste a bit... It's not too heavy and you won't get hurt, I promise.




DOS the Komodia Lineup


Martina and Sandra


Martina


Sandra



    
    
    
    
    

Edited by avestin - November 28 2006 at 20:13
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