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PROGRESSIVE METAL

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Progressive Metal definition

This category represents the core movement of what is called "Progressive Metal" in the literal sense. It is a subgenre of progressive rock as much as it is a subgenre of heavy metal, and this is how its sound is defined: a blend of heavy, guitar-oriented metal music enriched with compositional innovation and complex arrangements, usually expressed through diverse instrumentation and often (but not always) with odd-time signatures. Common, but not essential to define the movement, are the frequent use of keyboards, high-pitched vocals, concept lyrical themes and tracks of longer duration. Similar to progressive rock, progressive metal draws influences from other genres, such as jazz/fusion, ethnic, classical and symphonic music.

The Origins:
The heavy sound of some of the progressive rock bands of the 70's has been one of the building blocks on which progressive metal was raised. Progressive rock pioneers such as KING CRIMSON and RUSH have often been acclaimed as the main influences of progressive metal bands. The other major influence has been the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) movement, and especially the twin-guitar arrangements of IRON MAIDEN, which have left their stamp on the early stages of the genre's development.

The Pioneers:
Often (and not unjustifiably) referred to as the "Big Three" of progressive metal, QUEENSRYCHE, FATES WARNING and DREAM THEATER have set the scene of what was to follow in the movement. The defining era for the genre was the second half of the 80's, among QUEENSRYCHE's "The Warning" (1984) and (most explicitly) "Rage for Order" (1986) along with FATES WARNING's "Awaken the Guardian" (1986) and "No Exit" (1988) releases. The former evolved on their pure American power metal beginnings, while the latter refined their technical/NWOBHM-influenced metal into more progressive forms. Although producing demos since the mid-80's as MAJESTY, DREAM THEATER's first release came in 1989 with "A Dream and Day Unite". The innovative use of keyboards along with influences from American heavy/power metal and progressive rock produced an original blend which was to be further refined in 1992's "Images and Words", which until this day remains next to "Progressive Metal" definition in any musical dictionary.

Among the pioneers of the genre, but enjoying less success and popularity, were PSYCHOTIC WALTZ and SIEGES EVEN. The former were essentially playing progressive metal as ASLAN in the mid-80's and developed a highly eclectic sound in the 90's. The latter's debut classifies them among the European prog-thrash pioneers but their music evolved to more melodic patterns and heavily influenced by RUSH in the early 90's.


Progressive metal is difficult to further divide in sub-genres but a number of tendencies or movements have been critical to the evolvement of its sound.

Traditional Progressive Metal
The style developed by the pioneers was fully established in the 1990s and includes a range of bands from the two sides of the Atlantic. Good examples in this movement are SAVATAGE, who expanded their heavy metal beginnings with operatic and progressive elements in late 80's/early 90's, while SHADOW GALLERY and SYMPHONY X emerged with a unique sound, each embodying a strong theatrical, symphonic and melodic approach. In Europe, SOUL CAGES continued the legacy of SIEGES EVEN in a more artistic path.

Power-Progressive Metal (American style)
The legacy of RIOT (the counterpart of NWOBHM sound in USA) and the early releases of QUEENSRYCHE and FATES WARNING heavily influenced a number of bands that were to develop a common sound towards the late 80's. Among the well-known representatives of what is called American Power Metal (e.g. VICIOUS RUMORS, HELSTAR), a small number of bands enriched their sound with progressive and epic elements. Probably, the most obvious examples of this movement are CRIMSON GLORY and HEIR APPARENT.

Power-Progressive Metal (European style)
This category includes a broad range of bands that could sound fairly dissimilar to each other but their music is significantly influenced by the European Power Metal (primarily German) bands of the 80's (e.g. HELLOWEEN, RAGE, RUNNING WILD). The earliest examples are probably BLIND GUARDIAN, ANGRA (although Brazilian, their sound is mainly European) and CONCEPTION. Slightly later, VANDEN PLAS, ROYAL HUNT, ELDRITCH and LABYRINTH gave rise to the popularity of the genre in Germany, Denmark and Italy respectively. The symphonic and neo-classical elements (made popular by YNGWIE MALMSTEEN) also found their way through power metal with bands like RHAPSODY OF FIRE and NIGHTWISH, whose style does not qualify as being progressive for many people. Nevertheless their music is quite demanding to play and contains many elements of serious classical composition and form.

Modern Progressive Metal
The second half of the 90's and the early 00's also saw newly formed bands expanding the boundaries of Traditional Progressive Metal via a number of ways: introducing electronic/spacey elements, investing heavily in lyricality and/or syncopation and further rhythmical experimentation. Also the idea of thematically conceptual albums has returned in accord with the practices of the Progressive Metal pioneers. Well-known examples in this category are AYREON, PAIN OF SALVATION and RIVERSIDE.


--- Definition by Thanos and the Progressive Metal Team, January 2012 ---

The Progressive Metal Team
Karl (bonnek)
Kevin (Necroncommander)
Alex (Rune2000)
Thanos (aapatsos)
Dave (Prog Sothoth)


Progressive Metal Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Progressive Metal | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.29 | 2191 ratings
IMAGES AND WORDS
Dream Theater
4.28 | 2260 ratings
METROPOLIS PART 2: SCENES FROM A MEMORY
Dream Theater
4.26 | 1268 ratings
SECOND LIFE SYNDROME
Riverside
4.24 | 965 ratings
THE PERFECT ELEMENT PART 1
Pain Of Salvation
4.22 | 831 ratings
OPERATION: MINDCRIME
Queensr che
4.21 | 984 ratings
ANNO DOMINI HIGH DEFINITION
Riverside
4.21 | 876 ratings
REMEDY LANE
Pain Of Salvation
4.20 | 937 ratings
THE HUMAN EQUATION
Ayreon
4.19 | 864 ratings
OUT OF MYSELF
Riverside
4.16 | 545 ratings
V: THE NEW MYTHOLOGY SUITE
Symphony X
4.13 | 1516 ratings
SIX DEGREES OF INNER TURBULENCE
Dream Theater
4.19 | 300 ratings
THE ART OF NAVIGATING BY THE STARS
Sieges Even
4.20 | 237 ratings
THE FULLNESS OF TIME
Redemption
4.11 | 1599 ratings
AWAKE
Dream Theater
4.13 | 706 ratings
BE
Pain Of Salvation
4.12 | 565 ratings
INTO THE ELECTRIC CASTLE
Ayreon
4.14 | 305 ratings
PERFECT SYMMETRY
Fates Warning
4.13 | 357 ratings
ROOM V
Shadow Gallery
4.23 | 130 ratings
MERCY FALLS
Seventh Wonder
4.17 | 202 ratings
A SOCIAL GRACE
Psychotic Waltz

Progressive Metal overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Progressive Metal experts team

THE EDGE
Eternity X
WAVES OF VISUAL DECAY
Communic
ABYDOS
Abydos
THE GREAT DIVIDE
Ice Age

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Latest Progressive Metal Music Reviews


 DeEvolution by CYNTHESIS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.77 | 39 ratings

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DeEvolution
Cynthesis Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "DeEvolution" is the debut full-length studio album by US, California based Cynthesis. The album was released through Sensory Records in April 2011. The lineup comprises three former Zero Hour members (Troy Tipton, Jasun Tipton and Erik Rosvold) and Enchant drummer Sean Flanegan. So minus drummer Mike Guy, this is the lineup who recorded the classic "The Towers of Avarice (2001)" album by Zero Hour. I note with great joy that "DeEvolution" also marks the return of Erik Rosvold to the metal scene after a lengthy break in music oriented activities (Zero Hour recorded three albums with other singers in his absence).

It's of course deliberately that I mention "The Towers of Avarice (2001)" above. The dark and brooding sci-fi themed technical/progressive metal album stands as the finest achivement in the career of the now defunct Zero Hour, and therefore many questions arise before listening to "DeEvolution". Is this a continuation of the musical style initiated on "The Towers of Avarice (2001)"? Is Erik Rosvold still the vocal capacity he once was?

...the answers are both yes and no and somewhere in between. The sci-fi themed lyrics and concept form of "The Towers of Avarice (2001)" are also features on "DeEvolution" although it's a different story (the first part of a planned triology), and Erik Rosvold is definitely still the vocal capacity he was 10 years back, but when that is said "DeEvolution" is a very different sounding album compared to "The Towers of Avarice (2001)". While the concept is still pretty dark, the music on "DeEvolution" is not as bleak sounding as the case was on "The Towers of Avarice (2001)". It's of course no surprise, that the music on "DeEvolution" is more melodic and dynamic in nature, if you've followed the development of the Tipton brothers over the years. The acrobatic chromatic fretboard shredding is still a part of their sound, but I struggle to recall them composing music as melodically focused as the music on "DeEvolution". It's like they've really matured as songwriters over the last couple of years and the material on "DeEvolution" is both varied and generally very well written. Personally I miss more harder edged and aggressive parts in the music, but the increased focus on melody and atmosphere is also quite effectful.

The musicianship is not surprisingly on a very high level. Sean Flanegan gets to show a bit more of his technical playing skills than what we usually hear when he is playing with Enchant and as mentioned above Erik Rosvold is a fantastic vocalist with a personal and intense singing style and a strong and powerful voice. The Tipton brothers are as usual distinct sounding and focused on playing adventurous themes, but also more sensitive than ever to melody. Especially bassist Troy Tipton is on fire on "DeEvolution".

Overall "DeEvolution" is an original sounding progressive metal album, with both melodic moments, an intriguing atmosphere/concept story, and packed with skillfull adventurous playing. Combine that with a powerful and detailed sound production, and the above mentioned high level musicianship, and "DeEvolution" is quite a successful album to my ears. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

 Mercy by ALTURA album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.13 | 16 ratings

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Mercy
Altura Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars really

One of the lesser known prog metal acts from the '90s is for sure americans Altura. Formed around 1993 and releasing only one album in 1996 named Mercy and then gone into oblivion. They were part of Magna Carta label who had under their wings bands like Shadow Gallery, Magellan and Enchant, among others, each one bringing something new in prog field around mid '90s, Altura was no diffrent even they had lot in common with DT same period.. To me this is pretty decent towards great prog metal with nice guitars and some great keyboards runnings. LIke I saw on the description of the band they are like DT or a lighter version of Fates Warning but little heavier then Enchant for example. All musicans had technical abilities to creat something good and the instrumental parts are more then ok. There are lots of breaks, tempo changes, duels between guitars and keyboards and an intresting voice aswell. Some intricate pieces here and the best this album has are The calling, One by one and the instrumental one, the rest are good for sure. Also there are some more melodic passages and in combination with more edgy ones the result is Altura - a band that for some reason never made it in prog metal circles, but they remain in history of prog metal with Mercy who I think at least prog metal fans give a try, worth it even is far from masterpiece. 3.5 stars, I really like this one for more then 15 years.

 Chronicles Of The Immortals, Pt. I: Netherworld by VANDEN PLAS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.66 | 80 ratings

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Chronicles Of The Immortals, Pt. I: Netherworld
Vanden Plas Progressive Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German band VANDEN PLAS has a history that goes back more than 30 years, and even if they didn't release their debut album until 1994 they merits to be reckoned among the veteran bands in the European metal scene, and coming rather close to merit a description as elder statesmen fairly soon too I'd imagine. If you count in their 1996 release "AcCult" they have 8 studio productions to their name as of March 2015. "Chronicles of the Immortals - Netherworld (Path 1) " is the most recent of these, and was released through Italian label Frontiers Records in early 2014.

Vanden Plas has earned themselves a name as a quality progressive metal band, and especially early in their careers they were often compared to the likes of Dream Theater. While I'm not overly familiar with their earlier material, comparisons of that nature doesn't come easy with this latest production of theirs, and I presume that the fairly soon to be released continuation of this disc will be rather similar in nature to this one as far as that detail goes, as this conceptual CD is the first of a series that will include at least one additional chapter. The music is still quite clearly one that resides within the progressive metal realm, but one that orients itself much closer to a different territory altogether.

Rock opera is a description that have grown fairly popular in the last couple of decades, and a growing number of metal bands have approached productions of that kind in fairly different manners. The conceptual story is a key element shared between them, but apart from that you have everything from metal bands doing what they have always done, but with a storyline and often multiple vocals roles, to the ones that take it all out and develop multiple person stories with an extensive use of vocalists to have lead vocal roles and unfolding more or less grandiose stories, of which the greater part have a foundation in fantasy and science fiction.

Vanden Plas approach to the rock opera is a different one. There's a narratoir in place for the opening part, there's a female guest vocalist given a few leads, but more often used as a backing vocalist and as a supplement to the powerful, melodic lead vocals of Andy Kuntz. There is a story told here, but mainly from a lead person point of view from what I can grasp, and the opera part of the rock opera is in this case one that revolves around arrangements and instrumentation more than anything else.

Orchestral details and arrangements is a just about constant presence throughout here, and executed in a manner that indicates that this is a band with a true affection for classical symphonic music. Not that we're given all that many instances where the orchestral arrangements dominates through and through, but they are a constant presence, and as with traditional operas we're given a fair share of sequences that highlights the lead vocals on top of a more sparse and frail instrument backing. As this is a metal band we're also treated to a liberal amount of guitar riff driven excursions of course, if you're fond of powerful and grinding guitar riffs as standalone features and as part of majestic arrangements with keyboards and orchestral textures in multiple layered, expressive runs you'll get your fill of both of these. Occasional exotic timbres and unexpected frail piano details is also a part of the big picture here, and you get a distinct impression that this is a production written and planned for a stage performance with full symphony orchestra and old fashioned opera vocalists as this creation unfolds.

I suspect this aspect of this production is the main drawback here. On an album with material impeccably performed that has been mixed and produced to just about perfection, the lacking magical extra ingredient is the power this material would have if performed with a full symphonic orchestra in a theater. That power is difficult to capture on a studio production. Still, if a band that blends progressive metal inside a framework built with heavy inspiration from classical music in general and classical opera in particular sounds intriguing, and you fancy such material performed by quality metal vocalists rather than traditional opera singers, then Vanden Plas have made an album you should enjoy through and through.

 Little Brother Is Watching by BUMBLEFOOT album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Little Brother Is Watching
Bumblefoot Progressive Metal

Review by floflo79

3 stars Bumblefoot is one of the most skilled guitarists of all time. Some of his songs like Guitars Suck, Guitars Still Suck, I Can't Play The Blues or Real are amazing. 4 years after the good Abnormal, Bumblefoot come back with Little Brother Is Watching which is a concept album, I think. On this album, Bumblefoot stopped a little bit the weird and very fast guitar solos, and made more melodics songs, which is a good idea. The songs are epic, with great backing vocals, big drums and good riffs. The voice of Bumblefoot is better than before, he is a great singer now. From Clots to Higher, the songs are great. After, it's a little bit repetitive, but stills pleasant. The finale (Never Again) is pretty epic and some of the solos are really cool, like the one on Don't Know Who To Pray To Anymore. A good album but not essential so 3 stars. It's still one of the best efforts of Bumblefoot, just behind 9/11 and Hermit.
 Eternity by KAMELOT album cover Studio Album, 1996
2.95 | 36 ratings

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Eternity
Kamelot Progressive Metal

Review by Pastmaster

4 stars Kamelot-Eternity

'Eterntiy' is the debut studio album by symphonic/power metal band Kamelot. With a new Kamelot album on the way, I thought it would be a good time to start reviewing through their discography. Before Kamelot gained critical acclaim with some of their following albums with Roy Khan on vocals, Mark Vanderbilt was vocalist.

Musically, this album set the groundwork for Kamelot's signature sound. The opening title track starts the album off with orchestral instrumentation before some great drum work by Richard Warner signals in the powerful driving riffing. The song has pretty much everything I want in my power metal, a powerful vocalist, fast melodic hooks, symphonic elements, and as a bonus Warner gives a stellar drum performance. I can hear a lot of early Queensryche influence, especially the next song 'Black Tower' which sounds like Queensryche with some symphonic elements. The third song however, 'Call of the Sea', is much stronger and has that 'power' that's needed. The crunching riffs fit perfectly with Vanderbilt's vocals melodies. The chorus is great, with a very memorable wail of 'The sea is calling me!'. 'Red Sands' stands out too, being a very fast-paced track. Another memorable chorus is found here, not detracting from the speed of the track. The bridge transitions the song into a much more atmospheric place, before re-gaining speed.

My favorite on the album has to be 'Fire Within', which has great use of the Phrygian scale. While the song begins using it slow and menacingly, it gets fit into the heavier crunch of the powerful guitar. Vanderbilt's vocals also fit perfectly with the melody of the song. The album does end on a strong note with a grand finale of 'The Gleeman'. It's melodic hooks get stuck in your head, and Vanderbilt's vocals again really fit in with the melody with his melodic wails. The bridge has excellent guitar work, and a solo that really sings. Overall, a great finisher.

Remember when I compared the song 'Black Tower' to Queensryche? Well, that's really the only real big flaw about this album. Sometimes it sounds TOO Queensryche, Vanderbilt's voice is powerful and great, but again a little TOO Geoff Tate. Thankfully, there is enough power and symphonic elements to make some songs stand out on there own. While a great vocalist, knowing Roy Khan would come join later on, Vanderbilt pales in comparison. While Khan has a similar vocal style, it has a lot more polish and power to stand on it's own then Vanderbilt's.

Overall, it's certainly great for a debut. While not immediately up to standards, it has some great underrated songs, and it's interesting to hear how Kamelot began before they became the powerhouse they are now. Recommended to fans of early Queensryche.

3.5 rounded up to 4

 Frequency Unknown by QUEENSRYCHE album cover Studio Album, 2013
1.94 | 65 ratings

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Frequency Unknown
Queensr che Progressive Metal

Review by HunterD

1 stars This is not a Queensryche record, but a Geoff Tate solo album that hijacks the Queensryche name in a desperate (and failed) gambit to hold on to the Queensryche name, all while giving his old bandmates the bird. The result is a dire album that never should have been made. When I heard that Tate was leaving the 'Ryche, I believed that there was no Queensryche without Geoff Tate, however this classless, rush job torpedoed his good will. Follow that up with his former bandmates' self-titled effort, with Todd LaTorre taking Tate's place, and it's clear that not only do they deserve the Queensryche name, but they've made their best record since "Empire" without Tate's involvement. Frequency Best Forgotten. Good luck with the solo career, Geoff.
 Between The Madness by VANGOUGH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.98 | 45 ratings

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Between The Madness
Vangough Progressive Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars US band VANGOUGH is a trio established by composer and musician Clay Withrow a few years ago, following an initial solo album he released back in 2007. Vangough released their debut album "Manikin Parade" in 2009, and "Between the Madness" from 2013 is their fourth studio production, and also their most recent at the time of writing.

Progressive metal is the name of the game as far as general style is concerned here, and a rather well conceived one at that. This is a band that has a go at that style in a rather sophisticated manner, rarely if never relying on merely the time tested arrangements and theme constructions in an effort to create safe material with a predictable reach. They don't really stretch any stylistic borders either, there's nothing here that really breaks any new ground, but if you'd like to explore a production that shies away from the most commonly explored sounds and effects of classic progressive metal then this is a band you should take note of.

Just about all the compositions revolves around the use of contrasting sections, sporting frail, tranquil and often light toned sections paired off against one or more sequences of dark, guitar riff dominated excursions. Traditional organ and guitar riff constellations do appear from time to time, but also beefier sections with more of a grunge or doom metal sound to them, relying more on groove, as well as compact quirky riff excursions and the occasional use of bombastic riff cascades and compact, chugging riff constructions.

The compositions are solid affairs, made to create and maintain tension through the use of contrasting themes, gentle interludes adding a tinge of sophistication and unpredictability, allowing plenty of room for violin and cello, especially in the calmer sequences, and even adding a full fledged symphonic creation, Depths of Blighttown, to the mix. With success I might add, this sole stylistic exception is a solid, dark and well made affair that does have some distinct soundtrack qualities to it, and then in the most positive manner of that description. There's also an additional instrumental of note, Thy Flesh Consumed, that I really thought would be my favorite track with it's alteration between menacing, tranquil sections of cinematic laden sounds and the dark, twisted guitar riff attacks that alternate with them. That impression lasted until the final track of the album came. Corporatocracy concludes this disc in a brilliant manner. There are folk music inspired details here and a sound that may be just a tad too close to comfort for fans of Pain of Salvation, but the composition itself is a glorious affair anyhow. Not a compositions that will find favor among Republicans in the US I guess, at least that is the impression I get from the lyrics, but a monster of a song anyhow.

What elevates this album into the realm of a high quality production with a lasting appeal rather than merely being a pleasant one are the lead vocals. A few exceptions aside I don't find Vangough to be a band that have managed to conjure those magnificent pieces of musical magic that sends shivers up your spine on a constant basis, but the vocals of Clay Withrow certainly elevates the total experience quite a bit. He's got a good range, manage to use his voice in fairly wide variety of ways, and always in total control too. Those fond of high quality vocals should find this album to be a real treat due to this aspect.

All in all I have a favorable impression of this production. The compositions are of a general high quality throughout, and if not quite meriting a description as innovative then at least they explore parts of the progressive metal realm not thoroughly explored by every other band out there. With a versatile, high quality lead vocalist as a bonus feature. A production easy to recommend, to those that favor classic era progressive metal in general and in particular to those with a certain affection for music of this kind that hovers in on moods and atmospheres that tend to be placed on the dark side of the border.

 Images And Words by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 1992
4.29 | 2191 ratings

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Images And Words
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by Pastmaster

4 stars Dream Theater-Images and Words

'Images and Words' is the second studio album by progressive metal band Dream Theater. Often called one of the greatest progressive metal albums of all time, if not the greatest, 'Images and Words' holds the spot as Dream Theater's highest rated album here on PA. This album is also claimed to have popularized the progressive metal sub-genre, even though bands like Queensryche, Voivod, and Watchtower came years before Dream Theater released their debut. While I do have to agree it did popularize progressive metal quite a bit, I don't think it's one of the greatest prog metal albums.

The album opens up with one of Dream Theater's most popular songs, 'Pull Me Under', which rightfully so is called a masterpiece. It begins with very memorable acoustic guitar chords before picking up with heavy guitar. Soon the crunching thrash riffs come in with complementary keyboard work. LaBrie's voice, as many have expressed before, is very much a love-hate vocal style. I personally love his voice, it's especially strong on this song, but some may find it annoying. You know you've made a perfect chorus when it constantly flows through your head, I find myself singing to the lyrics 'Pull Me Under, Pull Me Under, I'm Not Afraid!' quite often. Easily the best song on the album, and one Dream Theater's best songs in general.

The song that standouts the most along with 'Pull Me Under' is the nine-minute 'Metropolis Part 1', which is another one of my favorites. This song continues the melodic thrash found on the aforementioned song, except on a grander scale. Mike Portnoy's drums I find to be especially strong on this track, creating some pretty complex rhythms. It has an awesome bridge with complex keyboard and drum patterns. 'Learning to Live' is another favorite, the finale epic. LaBrie's vocals are very strong during the second part of the song, complementing the flowing guitar very well.

The only real problem I have with the album are the sappy ballads like 'Another Day' and 'Surrounded'. I'm not a fan of ballads, but I do like them if they're done right especially power ballads. I do love power ballads, but unfortunately these ballads act more as filler then songs to benefit the listening experience. The song 'Take the Time' also feels like filler, except I don't think it's bad. It's an okay song with a funky feel, but really does not fit well on the album.

Overall, 'Images and Words' is certainly a great album even though it has its flaws. While not my favorite Dream Theater album, it's still an excellent album to have in any metal collection. If you ever thought melodic thrash metal with some keyboards sounds good, I'd say go pick it up.

(Orginally written for www.MetalMusicArchives.com.)

 Jeremias - Foreshadow of Forgotten Realms by CIRCLE OF ILLUSION album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.04 | 118 ratings

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Jeremias - Foreshadow of Forgotten Realms
Circle of Illusion Progressive Metal

Review by Approgximation

4 stars This Austrian arrangement, Circle Of Illusion's only production, 'Jeremias- Foreshadow Of Forgotten Realms' is a fantastical relief of musical wizardry. Something different, bold, embellishing more layers of technical genre than you can wave a stick at. Presented was an enthralling collaboration designed to illustrate the "ambivalence of human emotion". It's conceptually busy collaboration is made clear by a talented young composer Gerald Peter to create this "unique opus". Musically it genuinely does work well, it just had to, it was an album years in the making constructed on Peter's "love for small detail". The listener is almost immediately immersed into a 79.57 minute long, 11 track, theatre like atmosphere attuned to 'Phantom Of The Opera' alit with a complex of sound imaging. The album also felt 'exiting' to listen to, comparatively listening to ěresund Space Collective or the honoured existence of J°rn Lande-Ayreon-Avantasia Soundscaping is massively wide, peppered with colourful detail, so the album listens like a score of an action-adventure movie. At times, signature images of contemporary funk throb thru accompanied with wa-wa-whammy-bar. Brown's hand picked vocals dominate the scenery emphasising this is an epic story serious with intent when the character is presented, yet flaunting images of secondary character vocals make it a temperate and flexible album feeling like a warm personal theatre connection. Contemporary backing vocals by Cole and Shafran have an innocent approach, for one, an Anneke Van Giersbergen (ex-Gathering) vocality, secondly complimenting the frequent funk appearances in between the musical 'scenes'. Frolicking in the background are combinations of 'YES' keyboard signatures right up to a dose of Progressive Jazz piano that keys out a conservative appearance. Even the appearance of a stylised Disney- Prince+Princess like album cover strongly hints to its very contents' nature. There seems little convincing that Peter's production was intentionally written on the premise of it being predominantly a 'progressive' composition. It feels rather more like a composition encompassing many formats and sound signatures. This is an honest album bravely rounding many popular yet well composed sounds into one engrossing experience. The experience could only be enhanced further by ones' privilege of seeing the production live. Really epic emotion served with a large helping of satisfaction come of this listen. Truly unique. It has to be a fantastic feeling when an ensemble can get emerge together and create this kind of high calibre, 'quality' music. This crew of 8 can look back with accomplishment at the creation of a pinnacle land marker.
 L'uomo Infinito by LAMANA¤F album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.67 | 3 ratings

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L'uomo Infinito
Lamana´f Progressive Metal

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Lamanaif is a chilling slab of exotic prog-metal that started out as a theatre project recording by university students, based on that perennial source of artistic inspiration, the human condition! Firstly, it is apparent that, as a soundtrack, this is music for both the eyes and the ears! It's even packaged like a bigger jewel case DVD . The metal music obviously serves as the propellant for the story, as the lead vocals take a large part of the arrangement which otherwise is a guitar centric approach with solid rhythmic foundation. Lead vocalist Esteban Vidoz sings fast and hard when needed, with abilities to be light when dictated to by the crew. On occasion, he throws in a few growlier moments (on "In Stabile"), all in Italian. Guitarist Simone Bianco is the main melodic focus, with classic riffing as the main weapon, only occasionally venturing into soloing. Bassist Matteo Florian provides some harder edged low end tremors, aided by some effect pedals while drummer Simone Sossai pounds fiercely.The pieces can thus vary from spooky to brash, moody to punky, but all in all the tracks flow with a certain similitude, invariably as a part of a greater whole. Admittedly, this kind of prog- metal or 'Nu metal' as some like to call it, is not entirely my thing, as it lacks those structured atmospherics and solo platforms that I happen to enjoy.

I am pretty sure that as an audio-visual presentation, this wold have a much greater impact. But as a purely musical offering, there is still some highly interesting details that creep into earshot on a regular basis, erasing some of the steam-roller like monolithics. Unsurprisingly, the two longer pieces the 7 minute "Girotondo" and the 6 minute "L'Amami" are the core sound beacons, covering various levels of discovery. The title track also goes through a series of emotions that literally drip with passion. The super cool bass line introduces the heavy pulse of "Girotondo", a terrific workout with tons of squealing effects, hushed manic vocals and angrier voices later on. Vedoz sure can spit out a torrent of carefully expressed lyrics, his backing vocals veering towards genius, except when he screams. Bianco applies a few sustained lead guitar licks, which comes across as both refreshing and moody, amid all the pandemonium. This is a fabulous track!

"Insonne" is cloudy dreamy, as if some soporific Italian take on Pink Floyd had taken hold, though in a heavier mode, with some modulated lead vocals, effect-laden at times. This is probably closer to being a somewhat standard ballad, with a nice axe solo to boot, drenched in a boat-load of atmospherics and a mostly passive beat. The power does kick into bloom, quite a successful ditty.

The afore-mentioned "L'Amami" is another oddball highlight, a more traditional heavy rock piece that chooses to exude almost unbearable angst, courtesy of the outright insane vocals, dripping in measured folly, a theatrical reading and as such, another tour de force. When Vedoz starts screeching, I sort of feel creeped-out, as I find such premises kind of puerile and totally unnecessary. But it's part of the dynamics, so I get it!

Interesting addition, certainly quite original in terms of sound and context but a more symphonic style would have elevated this to a higher level of acceptance, in my humble opinion. In all fairness, this needs multiple visits to really sink in, as the first impression is bullying.

3.5 eternal men

Data cached

Progressive Metal bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
5R6 Ukraine
7 MONTHS United States
7DAYS Sweden
AAXSKFG Italy
ABANDONED STARS United Kingdom
ABERRANT VASCULAR Finland
ABODEAN SKYE United Kingdom
ABSOLACE United Arab Emirates
ABYDOS Germany
ACCOMPLICE United States
ACHING BEAUTY France
ACID RAIN Argentina
ACID RAIN Serbia
ACID RAIN Spain
ACUTE MIND Poland
AD ASTRA United States
ADAGIO France
ADRAMELCH Italy
AEBSENCE Hungary
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AEON ZEN United Kingdom
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AGE OF NEMESIS Hungary
AGHARTA Netherlands
AGNOSIA Greece
AGNOST DEI Russia
AGORA Mexico
AINA Netherlands
AKASHIC Brazil
AKRIBI Sweden
ALCHEMY ROOM Italy
ALCHEMY X United States
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ALHMA MATER Spain
ALITHEIA United States
ALKEMYST France
ALKIMYA France
ALL TOO HUMAN United States
ALOGIA Serbia
ALPHA GALATES Canada
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ALTERED SYMMETRY Colombia
ALTONA Turkey
ALTURA United States
ALY Mexico
AMARAN'S PLIGHT United States
AMARYLLIS Poland
AMASEFFER Israel
AMAZE KNIGHT Italy
AMERICAN HOLLOW United States
ANACHRONOS Chile
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ANASAZI France
ANAXES Brazil
ANCIENT CREATION United States
ANCIENT CURSE Germany
ANDRAGONIA Brazil
ANDROMEDA Sweden
ANGRA Brazil
ANGUISH Germany
ANIMATIONS Poland
ANNON VIN Germany
ANOMALY Netherlands
ANOTHER LIFE Sweden
ANSATA Brazil
ANTALGIA Spain
ANTHRIEL Finland
ANTHROPIA France
ANUBIS GATE Denmark
ANURYZM United Arab Emirates
ANVISION Poland
FARAZ ANWAR Pakistan
APHELION Italy
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ARABESQUE Netherlands
ARASHK Iran
ARCH / MATHEOS United States
JOHN ARCH United States
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ALEX ARGENTO Italy
ARITY United States
ARK Norway
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ASCENSION THEORY United States
ASHENT Italy
ASHLER Ecuador
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ATHEM United States
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AYREON Netherlands
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THE BARSTOOL PHILOSOPHERS Netherlands
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IVAN BERTOLLA Australia
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A CHINESE FIREDRILL United States
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