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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)
Louis (rdtprog)


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 | 2644 ratings
IMAGES AND WORDS
Dream Theater
4.29 | 2702 ratings
METROPOLIS PART 2 - SCENES FROM A MEMORY
Dream Theater
4.26 | 1552 ratings
SECOND LIFE SYNDROME
Riverside
4.23 | 1131 ratings
THE PERFECT ELEMENT - PART 1
Pain Of Salvation
4.22 | 1058 ratings
REMEDY LANE
Pain Of Salvation
4.21 | 1174 ratings
ANNO DOMINI HIGH DEFINITION
Riverside
4.21 | 960 ratings
OPERATION: MINDCRIME
Queensr che
4.20 | 1051 ratings
OUT OF MYSELF
Riverside
4.18 | 1077 ratings
THE HUMAN EQUATION
Ayreon
4.14 | 1813 ratings
SIX DEGREES OF INNER TURBULENCE
Dream Theater
4.19 | 349 ratings
A PLEASANT SHADE OF GRAY
Fates Warning
4.15 | 648 ratings
V - THE NEW MYTHOLOGY SUITE
Symphony X
4.18 | 351 ratings
THE ART OF NAVIGATING BY THE STARS
Sieges Even
4.16 | 371 ratings
PERFECT SYMMETRY
Fates Warning
4.18 | 281 ratings
THE FULLNESS OF TIME
Redemption
4.11 | 1922 ratings
AWAKE
Dream Theater
4.13 | 680 ratings
INTO THE ELECTRIC CASTLE
Ayreon
4.11 | 811 ratings
BE
Pain Of Salvation
4.12 | 524 ratings
THE DIVINE WINGS OF TRAGEDY
Symphony X
4.13 | 406 ratings
ROOM V
Shadow Gallery
4.13 | 348 ratings
PARALLELS
Fates Warning
4.16 | 238 ratings
A SOCIAL GRACE
Psychotic Waltz
4.16 | 222 ratings
TEMPLE OF SHADOWS
Angra
4.16 | 222 ratings
INTO THE EVERFLOW
Psychotic Waltz
4.09 | 617 ratings
LOVE, FEAR AND THE TIME MACHINE
Riverside
4.10 | 527 ratings
LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT 2
Liquid Tension Experiment
4.16 | 203 ratings
STREETS - A ROCK OPERA
Savatage
4.09 | 509 ratings
ENTROPIA
Pain Of Salvation
4.07 | 937 ratings
SHRINE OF NEW GENERATION SLAVES
Riverside
4.19 | 131 ratings
PARADOX
Royal Hunt
4.16 | 163 ratings
MERCY FALLS
Seventh Wonder
4.23 | 102 ratings
THE TOWERS OF AVARICE
Zero Hour
4.10 | 291 ratings
THE BLACK HALO
Kamelot
4.14 | 164 ratings
THELI
Therion
4.26 | 82 ratings
RITUAL
Shaman
4.08 | 321 ratings
DISCONNECTED
Fates Warning
4.04 | 557 ratings
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
Ayreon
4.07 | 273 ratings
SYMPATHETIC RESONANCE
Arch / Matheos
4.12 | 152 ratings
VOVIN
Therion
4.09 | 186 ratings
A GENTLEMAN'S HURRICANE
Mind's Eye
4.54 | 33 ratings
LAST FAIR DEAL GONE DOWN
Katatonia
4.06 | 283 ratings
TYRANNY
Shadow Gallery
4.06 | 261 ratings
CRITICAL MASS
Threshold
4.16 | 100 ratings
LEGENDS OF THE SHIRES
Threshold
4.08 | 189 ratings
THE ORIGINS OF RUIN
Redemption
4.07 | 191 ratings
HOLY LAND
Angra
4.05 | 247 ratings
NIGHTFALL IN MIDDLE-EARTH
Blind Guardian
4.22 | 68 ratings
GRITAR╔
Matraz
4.09 | 150 ratings
CELESTIAL ENTRANCE
Pagan's Mind
4.04 | 231 ratings
THE GREAT ESCAPE
Seventh Wonder
4.09 | 131 ratings
CALLING THE EARTH TO WITNESS
Darkwater
4.03 | 229 ratings
BURN THE SUN
Ark
4.07 | 139 ratings
JEREMIAS - FORESHADOW OF FORGOTTEN REALMS
Circle of Illusion
4.05 | 165 ratings
IN SEARCH OF TRUTH
Evergrey
4.20 | 62 ratings
BILO 3.0
Micic, David Maxim
4.11 | 98 ratings
DELUSIONS
To-Mera
4.00 | 319 ratings
RAGE FOR ORDER
Queensr che
4.56 | 25 ratings
SONGS FOR INSECTS
Thought Industry
4.02 | 213 ratings
CHRIST 0
Vanden Plas
4.19 | 64 ratings
MENTAL TORMENTS
Spheric Universe Experience
4.05 | 140 ratings
TRANSCENDENCE
Crimson Glory
4.04 | 156 ratings
HARVEST MOON
Votum
4.00 | 250 ratings
AWAKEN THE GUARDIAN
Fates Warning
3.98 | 395 ratings
MARCH OF PROGRESS
Threshold
4.10 | 95 ratings
SECTION X
Beyond Twilight
4.01 | 222 ratings
OCEANBORN
Nightwish
4.07 | 109 ratings
ABYDOS
Abydos
4.18 | 61 ratings
MI KUBBESI
Nekropsi
4.02 | 172 ratings
THE TIDE, THE THIEF & RIVER'S END
Caligula's Horse
4.03 | 144 ratings
A SENSE OF CHANGE
Sieges Even
4.27 | 44 ratings
JOURNEY OF A ROUGH DIAMOND
Mind Key
4.03 | 149 ratings
EDGE OF THORNS
Savatage
3.99 | 239 ratings
TALES OF THE SANDS
Myrath
4.19 | 56 ratings
JUST THE TWO OF US ME AND THEM
Mindflow
4.02 | 160 ratings
GUTTER BALLET
Savatage
4.02 | 153 ratings
BEYOND DAYLIGHT
Vanden Plas
3.94 | 515 ratings
THE ODYSSEY
Symphony X
4.06 | 96 ratings
SANCTUS IGNIS
Adagio
3.98 | 199 ratings
UTOPIA
Distorted Harmony
4.12 | 66 ratings
COSMOGENESIS
Gru
4.58 | 21 ratings
MODS CARVE THE PIG
Thought Industry
3.95 | 346 ratings
PROMISED LAND
Queensr che
4.02 | 119 ratings
UNDERWORLD
Adagio
3.96 | 254 ratings
HYPOTHETICAL
Threshold
3.98 | 176 ratings
A NIGHT AT THE OPERA
Blind Guardian
4.00 | 133 ratings
FIVE DEADLY VENOMS
Shaolin Death Squad
3.99 | 146 ratings
FOR THE LOVE OF ART AND THE MAKING
Beyond Twilight
4.26 | 36 ratings
TO DIMENSION LOGIC
Vauxdvihl
3.97 | 170 ratings
VOICE IN THE LIGHT
Amaran's Plight
4.09 | 66 ratings
INTELLIGENT DESIGN
Shaolin Death Squad
3.96 | 177 ratings
BLOOM
Caligula's Horse
3.92 | 476 ratings
ONE HOUR BY THE CONCRETE LAKE
Pain Of Salvation
4.24 | 36 ratings
VIVA EMPTINESS
Katatonia
3.94 | 217 ratings
QUIET WORLD
Native Construct
3.94 | 232 ratings
SUBSURFACE
Threshold
3.94 | 222 ratings
SYNTHETIC
Hemina
3.96 | 149 ratings
HARVEST AORTA
Ephemeral Sun
4.08 | 63 ratings
GUIDING LIGHTS
Skyharbor
3.96 | 150 ratings
THE FALL OF HEARTS
Katatonia
4.10 | 56 ratings
5TH SEASON
Dreamscape

Progressive Metal overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

STRONGER THAN HATE
Memories Lab
THE DIVINE CONSPIRACY
Epica
BEYOND THE STARS
Ivory Tower
WALKING ON H20
Mind's Eye

Latest Progressive Metal Music Reviews


 Anywhere Out Of The World by HELLHAVEN album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.95 | 2 ratings

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Anywhere Out Of The World
Hellhaven Progressive Metal

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars Exaggerated promotion? This may be your decision in the end. The record label comes with the statement 'Each track leads the listener towards a different part of music. It is not possible to unambiguously label this with any single music style'. We will see. Okay, soon I will have a try anyhow regarding the latter statement. This is another heavy progressive rock album which some time ago appeared on my radar screen with a bang. HELLHAVEN are enriching the progressive rock scene, at least when it comes to Poland. The band members know how to rock the house in a catchy melodic manner. And due to diversity, and some weirdness on top of it, I would say that it would be somewhat short-sighted, if you will reduce this one to a pure prog metal album.

A compact song structure is featured, missing any focus on overburdening solo activity. Based on that they are fusing diverse styles, instruments and other resources to an unpredictable brew which is really challenging. First of all Sebastian Najder's expressive vocal appearance should be noted. This surely is conspicious, showing a range from charming to growling. He partially acts in a way ... well, I'm wondering if he may need new vocal chords each time the studio recordings were finished or a tour has been completed. Maybe for one or two it will be overmuch, it's a special trademark anyhow. Otherwise, musicianship is top-notch in general, and so there's not anything which should discourage to have a try anyway.

If there is any story assigned to that affair - the title track probably sees them leaving Mother Earth, at least spiritually, where the song next to last returns the trip's essence when coming back: heaven is not differing! Well, a free style interpretation, I must admit. But both songs are my favourites too, this is much more meaningful maybe. And in between you will be invited to take the rollercoaster. Polka here, Raga there, female vocals, trumpet, samples, scratches aso, everything skillfully embedded with heart and mind. Terrific album, excellent find, as it was with Abstrakt's Limbosis album in a similar way!

 Inside Out by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.57 | 195 ratings

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Inside Out
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review N║ 141

When progressive rock appeared during the early of the 70's, it contained elements of hard rock, but few bands crossed the line into heavy metal. This all changed during the 80's, when bands such as Queensryche, Dream Theater, Crimson Glory, Watchtower and Fates Warning merged their love for Yes and Rush and with a great admiration for Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. These bands were responsible for creating, developing and popularizing the progressive metal genre.

This Fates Warning's 1994 release continues the style of their previous studio album 'Parallels', which made the group more known to audience all over, getting radio plays and appearing as their most commercially successful album to date. With 'Inside Out' they tried to continue this road, but the album never achieved the same attention as its predecessor had. It combines the heaviness of traditional heavy metal bands such as Iron Maiden with some lush, heavy rock melodies and a constant flow of progressive ideas. 'Inside Out' displays the band's mid-period style. It's often linked to their classic 'Parallels' album. Even Matheos sustained that idea in an interview. He said that all Fates Warning albums are somehow different and that 'Inside Out' is the only who followed the same steps of 'Parallels'.

'Inside Out' is the seventh studio album of Fates Warning and was released in 1994. The line up on the album is Ray Alder (vocals), Jim Matheos (guitar), Frank Aresti (guitar), Joe DiBiase (bass) and Mark Zonder (drums and percussion).

'Inside Out' has ten tracks. All tracks were composed by Matheos, except 'The Strand' composed by Aresti and Matheos and 'Down To The Wire' composed by Alder and Matheos. The first track 'Outside Looking It' involves sad, sailing melodies and a similar rhythmic mechanism to the verse of the previous album's opener. It's a solid track with enough variety in the drumming and riffs to please. The second track 'Pale Fire' is another of those single worthy tracks very similar to 'Through Different Eyes' from 'Perfect Symmetry'. Lyrically, 'Pale Fire' is quite a success, for the chorus evokes a pretty powerful image that haunts long beyond the closure of the music. The pretty mesmerizing words and maybe an unintentional soliloquy show maybe the band's direction in the future, in the 90's. The third track 'The Strand' creates an almost folkish platitude through in its sombre, bluesy rock verse. But I like the bouncing bass rhythm and it builds to another great chorus part, which simply rages into existence like many of the better moments of 'Perfect Symmetry'. The fourth track 'Shelter Me' feels very similar to 'Pale Fire', but it lacks to it the staying power of that track and the title and chorus feel perhaps a little too accessible. Anyway, the music is pleasing enough for my ears. The fifth track 'Island In The Stream' is a big rock ballad that has much in common with 'The Road Goes On Forever' from 'Parallels'. It's immersive and pretty for its acoustics, piano and atmosphere. It starts out perfectly calm and relaxing, and progresses beautifully into a chillingly heavy latter half of the song. It has a perfect performance of Alder, he sings with a lot of passion, the guitars are breathtaking and tug at your heart and the keyboards add a final perfect atmosphere. The sixth track 'Down To The Wire' develops through the verse, though the chorus reminds me of a more rocked out spin on 'We Only Say Goodbye' of 'Parallels'. The seventh track 'Face The Fear' is an awesome track with great passages throughout of the song and is especially emotional. It begins with a flow of shining melodies that transform into a pretty complex pattern, with acoustic cleans and a beautiful melody under Alder's vocals. The chorus is likewise interesting. The eighth track 'Inward Bound' is a brief, bluesy atmospheric instrumental. It's almost a linking track between the previous and the following track. The ninth track 'Monument' is the best track on the latter half of the album, cautiously escalating into an insanely catchy hook after 2:00, which rekindles the atmosphere of 'Perfect Symmetry'. It's a classic that seems to be a crowd favourite for their live shows. It's the heaviest and progressive song on the album. The tenth track 'Afterglow' is a nice closing for the album. It's a brooding acoustic piece laden in slim electric melodies and an eerie narrative, interspersed with happier bits and a quiet momentum.

Conclusion: Basically, this is another solid release by Fates Warning. Overall, it's not Fates Warning best album but there are a bunch of tracks which could easily hold their own in a 'Best Off...' collection from the band. But, the fact that it's one of the less celebrated Fates Warning albums only underscores the band's enduring legacy. It's maybe the less complex album of their progressive career but it still is a great work. There are too many songs here I just can't do without. Fates Warning here invested on a heavily and accessible sound. So, I'll end my review by saying that this is an album that falls between the progressive and the mainstream rock category. For some it's confusing but for others it can be interesting for the very same reason. But, if one thing we can't deny, is that 'Inside Out' is a professional and mature work from a very strong and important progressive rock/metal band. This album comes highly recommended.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 A Perfect Forever by ANUBIS GATE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.25 | 27 ratings

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A Perfect Forever
Anubis Gate Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

3 stars With their second opus, Denmark's eclectic prog metallers Anubis Gate haven't yet settled into their more familiar sound. A Perfect Forever features a different vocal style and has more prominent power metal (of its darker and slower type somewhat akin to early Queensryche) influences than its successors, but it was already clear that they were aiming at something proggy, with the Eastern motifs, six-minutes songs, frequent shifts in tempo and mood, alteration between crunchy and clean guitars and catchy vocal hooks that would become their staples. Best songs probably the shape- shifting Sanctified and Future Without Past and the more laid-back Curfew, with others catchy enough but being more of an epic power metal type.
 Distant is the Sun by VANISHING POINT album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.64 | 17 ratings

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Distant is the Sun
Vanishing Point Progressive Metal

Review by demolition man

3 stars A fast paced album from start to finish. It lasts a good distance, running in at 64minutes.

Very strong drumming, guitars and vocals dominate this album. The orchestration interplays are also very good. The result is that I can't help but to make a comparison to the heavier side of Dream Theater; which can't a bad thing!!

All the tracks are classic power progressive metal with only the exception of; "Handful of Hope" which drifts nicely to a more mellow affair, and the finale track entitled "April" which closes the album with a reflective acoustic theme.

Without having heard the previous albums at the time of writing I would say that this is a band with intensity and skill. Time to review and research their back catalogue . A solid 3+ stars for Vanishing Point.

 In The Passing Light Of Day by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.87 | 244 ratings

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In The Passing Light Of Day
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I didn't keep following PAIN OF SALVATION's career after "Be" other than hearing of the controversy of the albums that followed like "Scarsick' and the "Road Salt" recordings. I haven't heard the ones between "Be" and this latest offering called "The Passing Light Of Day" but I want to check them out down the road. So I can't say that this is a return to form but other reviewers have said this. Please check out jjlehto's review for some great information about this. This is a return to the heaviness of their classic period and an album that many feel sits proudly with those albums. I know this record impressed me in a big way and I wasn't expecting that.

This album seems to deal with one's mortality which isn't surprising given Gildenlow almost died to the flesh eating disease. That will have an impact on your thought process obviously. This is a fantastic album and it was the heaviness that surprised me initially, especially that opening number. We get some different instruments like accordion, mellotron, lute, zither and so on while electric piano is prominent along of course with the guitar, drums and bass. The vocals are quite varied and there's a lot of emotion on this album.

"On A Tuesday" opens with crushing riffs that get even heavier as the guitar starts to play over top. A calm with spoken words and atmosphere before 1 1/2 minutes then it kicks back in with vocals this time a minute later. We get a beautiful section after 4 1/2 minutes with strings, piano and high pitched vocals. It kicks back in a minute later and ground shaking riffs will follow. Another calm with piano only arrives 7 minutes in as fragile vocals join the piano then we get this majestic vibe before 8 minutes. It's building until it kicks in with emotion around 9 minutes.

"Tongue Of God" opens with piano only as bass and I believe lute join in before it kicks in hard a minute in. Heavy stuff as reserved vocals join in. Soon he's singing with passion. A calm arrives before 4 1/2 minutes with spoken words to end it. "Meaningless" is heavy to begin with and I'm digging this a lot. It settles back as almost spoken vocals arrive. It turns melodic with atmosphere then heavy again with passionate vocals this time. Contrasts continue. I think that's zither that comes and goes. Lots of emotion as he speaks the lyrics with passion after 4 minutes.

"Silent Gold" opens with piano only as reserved vocals join in. When it turns brighter after a minute I feel emotion. Drums before 2 minutes as it starts to pick up slightly. There's that emotional section repeated later. Nice. "Full Throttle Tribe" opens with a sample of someone walking and people talking as drums arrive and build. This sounds like classic POS right here. Vocals just before a minute and it kicks into gear a minute later with passionate vocals. Contrasts continue. Man it's heavy before 4 minutes as the vocals step aside. Just killing it then another calm arrives before it turns heavy again late with samples of distressed sounding people amongst the heaviness.

"Reasons" is different with that brief section of GENTLE GIANT-like vocal arrangements. This is a stuttering and heavy tune that is quite interesting to listen to. Lots of explicits as well plus he sings an answer back to the sung questions as it were. Like I said this is different and interesting. "Angels Of Broken Things" opens with picked guitar I think, atmosphere and more. Vocals just before a minute and a catchy beat. It kicks in at 4 minutes with some ripping guitar over top. It ends with a sample of people talking. Another interesting song.

"The Taming Of A Beast" is catchy with piano and a beat. Vocals before a minute then it kicks in hard with emotional vocals 2 minutes in as contrasts continue. "If This Is The End" is ballad-like to start with relaxed guitar and fragile vocals. Accordion after a minute. Drums kick in before 3 minutes with heaviness and passionate vocals. He starts to speak the lyrics before 4 minutes including lines from the opening track. The heaviness is back! So good! Might have been a great closer here but that honour is for the 15 1/2 minute title track.

"The Passing Light Of Day" is mellow to start. We get relaxed guitar, bass and reserved vocals at first. How good is this before 6 1/2 minutes as it starts to build with vocal melodies but then it settles right back. It's building again after 7 1/2 minutes. Heavy stuff is the result 9 1/2 minutes in until a calm arrives 12 1/2 minutes in and mellotron and reserved vocals will help out here. It becomes majestic sounding as vocals continue.

A very solid 4 stars in my opinion and a reminder why I used to like this band so much.

 Legends Of The Shires by THRESHOLD album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.16 | 100 ratings

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Legends Of The Shires
Threshold Progressive Metal

Review by borussia

5 stars I knew Threshold in 1995 thanks to a review of Livedelica on Metal Shock, an Italian magazine of Heavy Metal: the Ep had the highest rate. I bought it soon and shortly afterwards I also bought the first two albums: I preferred Wounded Land to Pschychedelicatessen, but for me the three songs of Woundend Land sung on Livedelica by Glynn Morgan are better than the studio version After Glynn leaved the group I continued to follow Threshold, but no album excited me like the first two. .I found interesting only March of Progress , but the next For the Journey was a real disappointment. I knew in 2017 they release a new concept album, but my interest grew very much whenI knew that Glynn Morgan returned to the microphone. I bought Legends of the Shire as relaesed and I have to say it's definitely the best in the group career. Even if the songs were written for Damian, Glynn's interpretation is great, both in heavy song as Small Dark Lines and Trust the Process, as well as in the more progressive like the two beautiful suites and Snowblind. Richard and Karl were really inspired when composing the album. in the next tour they will not play in Italy. So I hope that a double live cd will be released and old tracks like Sanity's End, Into the Light, Devoted and Innocent will be played again. then I expect a new cd written for Glynn Morgan's voice
 Parallels by FATES WARNING album cover Studio Album, 1991
4.13 | 348 ratings

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Parallels
Fates Warning Progressive Metal

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review N║ 140

"Parallels" is the sixth studio album of Fates Warning and was released in 1991. The line up on the album is Ray Alder (lead vocals), Jim Matheos (guitar), Frank Aresti (guitar), Joe DiBiase (bass) and Mark Zonder (drums and percussion). The album had also the participation of James Labrie (backing vocals) and John Bailey (computer sequencing).

Fates Warning is probably the earliest example of the merging of the Progressive musical approaches of bands such as Rush and the heavy metal genre as pioneered by some other bands. They have had sort of an unofficial rivalry with another pioneering band of the progressive metal genre, Queensryche. However and according to the critics, their music is actually about as comparable as night and day. While the Seattle based quintet was mixing keyboards in and delving into political concepts, this group of musicians from Connecticut dealt mostly with mystical themes. Anyway, this album is somehow a bit of a departure from that approach in favor of a more philosophical approach.

When in 1991 Fates Warning created "Parallels", we can say they created one of their best, most important and coherent albums. Their sound keeps evolving through time, providing the progressive metal field with unique and astonishing moments. "Parallels" is, in my humble opinion, a great place to start with Fates Warning, especially if you've never heard them before. I feel that "Parallels" marks their perfect transition from their old school roots to their more atmospheric experimental progressive phase. This album lies somewhere in between with guitarist Matheos focusing his attention and power on more concise songs, developed melodies and mapped out compositions.

"Parallels" has eight tracks. All tracks were written by Matheos. The first track "Leave The Past Behind" is a very Rush like piece, with sparkling acoustics that slowly build into a steady, captivating bass and the mechanical guitar chords of the prior album. The chorus is fairly obvious, but certainly a winner if you are a fan of "Perfect Symmetry". It's an effective opening track and very comfortable too. The second track "Life In Still Water" seems anything but still, as the volley of lush chords and Zonder's electronic drum fills splash about the surface. The latter half of the verse is great, for the ringing guitars that sear over the shaking bass, and it builds to an appropriate chorus climax. The third track "Eye To Eye" forges a resonant intro with more of the brazen acoustics and calm but hooky metal rhythm ensues, a precursor to the tranquil lament of the verse. Again, the chorus feels predictable and subdued, and there is simply nothing else here of note except a very safe lead. The fourth track "The Eleventh Hour" is the lengthiest track on the album and arguably one of the best. The curtains part for a lurid dreamscape of sombre, shining cleans and effects, while Alder embarks on a journey of escalating isolation. Just before the 3:00, the hard chords arrive and herald an epic stream of melody. But the best moment of the song is beyond 6:00, with an excellent guitar pattern that plays off the central rhythm. The fifth track "Point Of View" represents a familiar pattern with the melodic, urgent chords over the potent, but understated rock beat. It's a decent tune, and in particular I enjoy Alder's performance in the chorus, an edgy banshee keening its message through a still night. The sixth track "We Only Say Goodbye" is another excellent track and it's almost embarrassing to say it because it sounds a bit pop. It's a super calming and catchy song. It seems to be a song made to some sort of massive US radio presence. I can almost picture that all Fates Warning fans being sick to death of hearing it on every classic rock radio station in their region. However, it remains a great track. The seventh track "Don't Follow Me" puts us back on the path to the band's previous album, with a huge, forward melody recalling "Through Different Eyes" or "Static Acts", parting for another of the band's safe, moody verses before a decent chorus and great spry lead guitar. The eighth track "The Road Goes Forever" concludes the album with an opening that is filled with guitar fills produced from two guitars plus voice line. It's the wonderful combination of guitar sounds that helps enrich this song. This is almost a track in the feel of a power ballad. It's a great ending for the album.

Conclusion: "Parallels" is an album highly accessible to fans of metal outside of progressive circles. Some fans of progressive metal might be a bit disappointed with this one, but it has a lot of the same strengths that "Perfect Symmetry" has, just in a set of songs with simpler structures and less odd time references. This is where people no longer ignored the fact that an album could be both progressive and melodic at the same time. "Parallels" is a good album to get into Fates Warning. If you like this, you'll love their 1994 release "Inside Out" as well. If you, however, want something heavier, all you need is to go backwards and pick up "Perfect Symmetry". That should give you some idea of this amazing band's growth and metamorphosis. Then you can concentrate on their earlier 80's releases and late 90's greatest masterpiece, "A Pleasant Shade Of Gray". Anyway, there are no bad albums of Fates Warning, really.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Sheep by ANUBIS GATE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
3.76 | 9 ratings

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Sheep
Anubis Gate Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

3 stars Sheep was an EP that came out before the 2014 official release of the Horizons album, which found Anubis Gate perhaps most diverse and melodic to date. Centered around, of course, the mammoth cover of Pink Floydian classic Sheep, the disk actually begins with an edited version of the Horizons lead-off track, Destined to Remember. Which is perhaps a typical Anubis Gate track, distinctive and varied. As for Sheep, the ungulates get a modernized and heavier treatment while not straying too far from the original, but I feel that in the process it lost some of the latter's stark dynamics. The final item is a cover of a slick but now forgotten 1980s AOR hit, which also gets a heavier but not too radical update, but in this case the added oomph actually increases the track's dynamics so to speak.
 Manifest Tyranny by ANDROMEDA album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.49 | 47 ratings

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Manifest Tyranny
Andromeda Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

4 stars 'Manifest Tyranny', the fifth album by Swedish progressive metal band Andromeda, once again sees the group pushing themselves to try new things and evolve their sound. Taking a mixture of the all-out riffage displayed in 'The Immunity Zone' and the proggy atmosphere of 'Chimera', this is a band who sounds a lot more mature and "complete" than on previous releases, with the chemistry between them firmly showing in the intensity of the music.

This is also the album where Andromeda succumbed to the dreaded metal clichÚ that is the politcal album! Lyrically, this isn't much different than any other band who has politically-themed songs, lashing out at corrupt governments that favour the rich, keep secrets from the public and advocate wars. The usual. Musically however, the band are as tight and as coherent as ever.

As always, each member here really demonstrates abilities that puts them at the top of their chosen field. After the more stripped down approach of their previous album, 'The Immunity Zone', guitarist Johan Reinholdz is prepared to rip things up again, shredding to his hearts content with some mind-blowing guitar acrobatics, which are matched note-for-note by keyboardist Martin Hedin. The interplay between these two is phenominal, and puts them right up there with the other top musicians in the genre.

With such heavy hitters as 'Stay Unaware', 'Preemptive Strike', 'Antidote', 'Survival of the Richest' and 'Chosen by God', as well as the softer 'Go Back to Sleep', Andromeda have released an album that further solidifies them as one of progressive metal's finest bands, and a worthy successor to Dream Theater's throne.

 Memories In My Head by RIVERSIDE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
4.08 | 276 ratings

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Memories In My Head
Riverside Progressive Metal

Review by javajeff

5 stars It is hard to believe that Memories In My Head is an EP since the quality of music is so top-notch. It is over the 30 minute mark, and I have seen albums around the same length. Punk Rock can turn in a 15 track album in 30 minutes and call it a day. Regardless, it is three stellar atmospheric tracks of progressive rock with shades of progressive metal. While all three tracks are excellent, Forgotten Land is quite possibly their best track on any album they have...and that includes Volte - Face, the first song I heard from the band. A new Lunatic Soul album is the perfect time to go through my catalog of music with Mariusz Duda on vocals. When listening to any Riverside album, it is evident that there is a great emphasis on creating vibes with layers of piano and mellow passages to set up the heavier moments. This is a formula that works well for them and has created a loyal following over the years. Memories In My Head is no different, and I place it up there with their best albums Second Life Syndrome and Anno Domini High Definition. Riverside always has excellent lyrics, and the vocal performance is one of the main draws to the band. Stellar musicianship, superior vocals, and the excellent compositions make Memories In My Head a must have for Progressive Rock and Progressive Metal fans.
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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
ABSTRAKT Poland
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
AEOLUS Netherlands
AEON ZEN United Kingdom
AETHERIUS United States
AFFECTOR Multi-National
AFTER FOREVER Netherlands
AGE OF NEMESIS Hungary
AGHARTA Netherlands
AGNOSIA Greece
AGNOST DEI Russia
AGORA Mexico
AINA Netherlands
AKASHIC Brazil
AKRIBI Sweden
ALARION Netherlands
ALCHEMY ROOM Italy
ALCHEMY X United States
ALETHEIAN United States
ALHMA MATER Spain
ALITHEIA United States
ALKEMYST France
ALKIMYA France
ALL TOO HUMAN United States
ALOGIA Serbia
ALPHA GALATES Canada
ALPHA ZENTRADI United States
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
ANACRUSIS United States
ANASAZI France
ANAXES Brazil
ANCIENT CREATION United States
ANCIENT CURSE Germany
ANDRAGONIA Brazil
ANDROMEDA Sweden
ANGRA Brazil
ANGUISH Germany
ANIMA TEMPO Mexico
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
APPEARANCE OF NOTHING Switzerland
ARABESQUE Netherlands
ARASHK Iran
ARCH / MATHEOS United States
JOHN ARCH United States
ARCHETYPE United States
ALEX ARGENTO Italy
ARITY United States
ARK Norway
ARKHE' Italy
ART AGAINST AGONY Germany
ART OF ILLUSION Poland
ART OF SIMPLICITY Greece
ARTENSION Multi-National
ARTIFICIAL LANGUAGE United States
ARTILECT United States
ASCENSION THEORY United States
ASHENT Italy
ASHLER Ecuador
ASMODEUS Czech Republic
ASPERA / ABOVE SYMMETRY Norway
ASSIGNMENT Germany
ASTARTE SYRIACA Italy
ASTRA Italy
ASTRAL DIVE Italy
ATAR─XIA Spain
ATHEM United States
ATLAS CONCEPT United States
ATMA Canada
ATMOSFEAR Germany
ATOMIC CLOCK United States
ATOMIXYNERGY Italy
AUDIO INSIGHT United States
AUDITORY IMAGERY United States
AURA Italy
THE AURORA PROJECT Netherlands
AUSPEX France
AUTOMATA Chile
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AVALON Germany
AVELION Italy
AMADEUS AWAD'S EON Lebanon
AWAITING DAWN Germany
AWAX France
AXIAL LEAD Romania
AXIOM United States
SITHU AYE United Kingdom
AYREON Netherlands
AZAZELLO Russia
AZTEC JADE United States
AZURE AGONY Italy
BAD SALAD Brazil
AGAH BAHARI Iran
BALANCE OF POWER United Kingdom
THE BARSTOOL PHILOSOPHERS Netherlands
DANIEL BAUTISTA Spain
BEHIND THE CURTAIN Denmark
BELLA & PUTANA Chile
IVAN BERTOLLA Australia
BETWEEN 11 Canada
BEYOND THE BRIDGE Germany
BEYOND THE LABYRINTH Belgium
BEYOND TWILIGHT Denmark
BLACK JESTER Italy
THE BLACK MAGES Japan
BLACK SYMPHONY United States
BLACKKOUT United States
BLANK FOREST Italy
BLIND GUARDIAN Germany
BLIND ILLUSION United States
BLUE GILLESPIE United Kingdom
BOOK OF REFLECTIONS Sweden
BOZZIO & SHEEHAN United States
BRAIN HEART INFUSION Italy
THE BRAINWASH MACHINE Colombia
BRANCH ARTERIAL Australia
BRAVE United States
BRAVE THE VERTIGO United States
BROADMOOR Denmark
BROKEN MELODY Italy
CHRIS BROOKS Australia
JT BRUCE United States
BUMBLEFOOT United States
BURNING CIRCLE Serbia
BUSHWHACK United States
BYOSSO Japan
CALIGULA'S HORSE Australia
CAPRICIA Israel
CARAVELLUS Brazil
CARVING COLOURS Spain
CATHARSIS United States
CAVEAT Canada
CEA SERIN United States
CENTAURUS United States
CENTRICA Italy
CENTURY SCREAM France
CHAOS VENTURE Italy
CHARLY SAHONA France
CHIASMA United States
CHINESE BEARD Finland
A CHINESE FIREDRILL United States
CHROME SHIFT Denmark
CIRCLE OF ILLUSION Austria
CIRCLES Germany
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CLANDESTINE United States
CLOAKWHEEL United States
CLOCKWORK United States
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CMX Finland
MARCEL COENEN Netherlands
COLLIDING PARALLELS Canada
COLONIZE United States
COLOURBLIND Malta
COMMA Turkey
COMMUNIC Norway
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CONCEPTION Norway
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CONDITION RED Sweden
CONSCIENCE France
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CONTINUUM France
CORELIA United States
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COUNTDOWN France
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CRIMFALL Finland
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CRISES Germany
CRUZ D MALTA Mexico
CRYSTAL LAKE / LOGIC MESS Poland
CUEROCK Germany
HITTAR CUESTA Ecuador
CYDEMIND Canada
CYMORYL France
CYNTHESIS United States
DAEDALUS Italy
DALI'S DILEMMA United States
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THE DAMNATION PROJECT Greece
DANTE Germany
DARK AGES Italy
DARK NOVA Greece
DARKSTAR Germany
DARKWATER Sweden
ALEK DARSON Serbia
DAY SIX Netherlands
DAYS OF ASHES Sweden
THE DEADSTATION. United States
DEATH ORGAN Sweden
DECADENCE Russia
DEELY Poland
DEGREE ABSOLUTE United States
DEIMOS Russia
DELTA Chile
STEVEN DEMARTINI United States
DENDURA United States
DEPTH BEYOND ONE'S Finland
DESPITE BEHAVIOR France
DEVENTTER Brazil
DEVIL'S SLINGSHOT United States
DGM Italy
DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA Sweden
DIABOLOS IN MUSICA Norway
DIANETICS (GENETICS) Australia
DIANOYA Poland
DIGITAL RUIN United States
DIMENSION Mexico
DIMENSION ACT Norway
DIMENSION X United States
DIMENSION34 Sweden
DISMAL Italy
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DISTORTED HARMONY Israel
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DIVISION BY ZERO Poland
DOL AMMAD Greece
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DREAMLORE United States
DREAMLOST France
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GLEN DROVER Canada
THE DUST CONNECTION Netherlands
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EARLY CROSS Japan
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ECHOES Venezuela
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EDGEND Israel
EFFLORESCE Germany
EGO EIMI Russia
ELDRITCH Italy
THE ELEMENT United States
ELEVEN STRINGS Brazil
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ELVARON France
EMERALD EDGE Germany
EMISFERI PARALLELI Italy
EMPHASIS Estonia
EMPTY TREMOR Italy
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EMPYRIA Canada
EMPYRIOS Italy
END AMEN Germany
AN ENDLESS SPORADIC United States
ENIAC REQUIEM United States
ENIGMATIC INFINITY Hungary
ENNEADE France
ENOCHIAN THEORY United Kingdom
ENTER TWILIGHT Australia
ENTRANCE Chile
ENTROPIA Colombia
ENTROPIA UTOPIA Greece
ENVINITY United States
EPHEMERAL SUN United States
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EPICA Netherlands
EPICA Italy
EPYSODE Belgium
EQUAL VECTOR Greece
EQUINOX Serbia
ESTYGYA Spain
ETERNAL ESSENCE United States
ETERNAL JOURNEY Germany
ETERNITY X United States
ETHEREAL Portugal
ETHEREAL ARCHITECT United States
ETHEREAL STATUS Greece
ETHEREALITY United States
ETOX Germany
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THE EVENFALL Argentina
EVENSTATE Netherlands
EVENT HORIZON United Kingdom
EVERGREY Sweden
EVERWOOD Hungary
EXAWATT Italy
EXHIBITION United States
EXHOPE France
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FALSE CODA Greece
FAR FROM REALITY Canada
FARTHER PAINT Italy
FARWATCH United States
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FATHER GOLEM Spain
FEEDFORWARD Netherlands
GIANLUCA FERRO Italy
FIFTH DENSITY United States
THE FIFTH SEASON Italy
FIG LEAF Norway
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FOR ALL WE KNOW Multi-National
THE FORGOTTEN PRISONERS Italy
FORGOTTEN TALES Canada
FRACTAL CYPHER Canada
FRACTURE Australia
FRAGILE VASTNESS Greece
FRAGMENT Croatia
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FRAMEPICTURES Portugal
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FROM THE DUST RETURNED Italy
NATHAN FROST United States
FUGHU Argentina
FURY N GRACE Italy
FURYU Italy
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GARDEN United Kingdom
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GB ARTS Germany
GENIUS Italy
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GONE Germany
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CRISTI GRAM Romania
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GX Peru
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EMIR HOT Bosnia and Herzegovina
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ICE AGE United States
ICYCORE Italy
IDEAMEN United States
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IN SEARCH FOR Belarus
IN THE NAME Canada
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INNOSENSE Greece
INSIDE THE SOUND Ukraine
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INTENSITY Greece
INTENTIONAL TRAINWRECK United States
INTO MY HOUSES Finland
IT'S.TRUE.MENTALITY Poland
IV LUNA Italy
IVANHOE Germany
IVORY TOWER Germany
JEJE GUITARADDICT Indonesia
JETHZABEL Ecuador
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JON OLIVA'S PAIN United States
JOSEPH MAGAZINE Poland
JUPITER SOCIETY Sweden
KAISER AND THE MACHINES OF CREATION Australia
KAMELOT United States
KARMA Brazil
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BABIS KATSIONIS Greece
KHALI Italy
KHALLICE Brazil
KHARMA CODE Spain
KILLBOT ZERO United States
KINGCROW Italy
THE KOLIOS PROJECT Multi-National
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KOYAANISQATSY Germany
KSIZ France
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JAMES LABRIE Canada
LABYRINTH Italy
LAC PLACIDE France
LACRIMOSA Germany
LAKE OF TEARS Sweden
LALU France
LAMANA¤F Italy
LANFEAR Germany
PETE LARAMEE United States
LAST CRACK United States
LAST SCATTERING Canada
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THE LAST VOID Costa Rica
LAST WARNING Italy
LAVA ENGINE Sweden
LAZARO France
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LOCAL 7 France
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