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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 | 2589 ratings
IMAGES AND WORDS
Dream Theater
4.29 | 2649 ratings
METROPOLIS PART 2 - SCENES FROM A MEMORY
Dream Theater
4.26 | 1500 ratings
SECOND LIFE SYNDROME
Riverside
4.23 | 1104 ratings
THE PERFECT ELEMENT - PART 1
Pain Of Salvation
4.22 | 1024 ratings
REMEDY LANE
Pain Of Salvation
4.21 | 949 ratings
OPERATION: MINDCRIME
Queensr che
4.20 | 1143 ratings
ANNO DOMINI HIGH DEFINITION
Riverside
4.19 | 1022 ratings
OUT OF MYSELF
Riverside
4.18 | 1054 ratings
THE HUMAN EQUATION
Ayreon
4.14 | 1775 ratings
SIX DEGREES OF INNER TURBULENCE
Dream Theater
4.15 | 635 ratings
V - THE NEW MYTHOLOGY SUITE
Symphony X
4.18 | 345 ratings
THE ART OF NAVIGATING BY THE STARS
Sieges Even
4.18 | 276 ratings
THE FULLNESS OF TIME
Redemption
4.11 | 1888 ratings
AWAKE
Dream Theater
4.12 | 793 ratings
BE
Pain Of Salvation
4.13 | 656 ratings
INTO THE ELECTRIC CASTLE
Ayreon
4.14 | 362 ratings
PERFECT SYMMETRY
Fates Warning
4.14 | 340 ratings
A PLEASANT SHADE OF GRAY
Fates Warning
4.12 | 513 ratings
THE DIVINE WINGS OF TRAGEDY
Symphony X
4.13 | 399 ratings
ROOM V
Shadow Gallery
4.16 | 215 ratings
TEMPLE OF SHADOWS
Angra
4.15 | 234 ratings
A SOCIAL GRACE
Psychotic Waltz
4.16 | 219 ratings
INTO THE EVERFLOW
Psychotic Waltz
4.10 | 516 ratings
LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT 2
Liquid Tension Experiment
4.15 | 200 ratings
STREETS - A ROCK OPERA
Savatage
4.09 | 491 ratings
ENTROPIA
Pain Of Salvation
4.11 | 333 ratings
PARALLELS
Fates Warning
4.07 | 909 ratings
SHRINE OF NEW GENERATION SLAVES
Riverside
4.17 | 158 ratings
MERCY FALLS
Seventh Wonder
4.20 | 127 ratings
PARADOX
Royal Hunt
4.24 | 101 ratings
THE TOWERS OF AVARICE
Zero Hour
4.28 | 81 ratings
RITUAL
Shaman / Shaaman
4.10 | 283 ratings
THE BLACK HALO
Kamelot
4.15 | 158 ratings
THELI
Therion
4.08 | 317 ratings
DISCONNECTED
Fates Warning
4.05 | 537 ratings
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
Ayreon
4.07 | 271 ratings
SYMPATHETIC RESONANCE
Arch / Matheos
4.03 | 579 ratings
LOVE, FEAR AND THE TIME MACHINE
Riverside
4.12 | 148 ratings
VOVIN
Therion
4.09 | 185 ratings
A GENTLEMAN'S HURRICANE
Mind's Eye
4.07 | 249 ratings
CRITICAL MASS
Threshold
4.06 | 277 ratings
TYRANNY
Shadow Gallery
4.55 | 30 ratings
LAST FAIR DEAL GONE DOWN
Katatonia
4.08 | 185 ratings
THE ORIGINS OF RUIN
Redemption
4.07 | 185 ratings
HOLY LAND
Angra
4.22 | 68 ratings
GRITAR╔
Matraz
4.05 | 227 ratings
THE GREAT ESCAPE
Seventh Wonder
4.09 | 150 ratings
CELESTIAL ENTRANCE
Pagan's Mind
4.05 | 244 ratings
NIGHTFALL IN MIDDLE-EARTH
Blind Guardian
4.09 | 137 ratings
JEREMIAS - FORESHADOW OF FORGOTTEN REALMS
Circle of Illusion
4.10 | 129 ratings
CALLING THE EARTH TO WITNESS
Darkwater
4.27 | 54 ratings
BILO 3.0
Micic, David Maxim
4.04 | 220 ratings
OCEANBORN
Nightwish
4.03 | 227 ratings
BURN THE SUN
Ark
4.04 | 197 ratings
THEORIES OF FLIGHT
Fates Warning
4.20 | 64 ratings
INTELLIGENT DESIGN
Shaolin Death Squad
4.56 | 25 ratings
SONGS FOR INSECTS
Thought Industry
4.11 | 97 ratings
DELUSIONS
To-Mera
4.05 | 164 ratings
IN SEARCH OF TRUTH
Evergrey
4.19 | 64 ratings
MENTAL TORMENTS
Spheric Universe Experience
3.99 | 385 ratings
MARCH OF PROGRESS
Threshold
4.02 | 209 ratings
CHRIST 0
Vanden Plas
4.06 | 136 ratings
TRANSCENDENCE
Crimson Glory
3.99 | 313 ratings
RAGE FOR ORDER
Queensr che
4.08 | 106 ratings
ABYDOS
Abydos
4.18 | 60 ratings
MI KUBBESI
Nekropsi
4.04 | 140 ratings
A SENSE OF CHANGE
Sieges Even
4.27 | 44 ratings
JOURNEY OF A ROUGH DIAMOND
Mind Key
4.03 | 150 ratings
HARVEST MOON
Votum
4.09 | 92 ratings
SECTION X
Beyond Twilight
4.19 | 55 ratings
JUST THE TWO OF US ME AND THEM
Mindflow
4.03 | 143 ratings
EDGE OF THORNS
Savatage
3.99 | 236 ratings
TALES OF THE SANDS
Myrath
4.02 | 165 ratings
THE TIDE, THE THIEF & RIVER'S END
Caligula's Horse
4.02 | 158 ratings
GUTTER BALLET
Savatage
3.99 | 243 ratings
AWAKEN THE GUARDIAN
Fates Warning
4.01 | 151 ratings
BEYOND DAYLIGHT
Vanden Plas
4.58 | 21 ratings
MODS CARVE THE PIG
Thought Industry
4.08 | 89 ratings
SANCTUS IGNIS
Adagio
4.30 | 36 ratings
HUMAN (THE FACTS)
Fughu
4.02 | 134 ratings
IN THE PASSING LIGHT OF DAY
Pain Of Salvation
3.98 | 199 ratings
UTOPIA
Distorted Harmony
3.94 | 506 ratings
THE ODYSSEY
Symphony X
3.95 | 339 ratings
PROMISED LAND
Queensr che
3.97 | 245 ratings
HYPOTHETICAL
Threshold
4.12 | 64 ratings
COSMOGENESIS
Gru
4.28 | 35 ratings
TO DIMENSION LOGIC
Vauxdvihl
4.03 | 112 ratings
UNDERWORLD
Adagio
3.98 | 173 ratings
A NIGHT AT THE OPERA
Blind Guardian
4.13 | 55 ratings
GUIDING LIGHTS
Skyharbor
3.98 | 169 ratings
VOICE IN THE LIGHT
Amaran's Plight
4.00 | 131 ratings
FIVE DEADLY VENOMS
Shaolin Death Squad
3.99 | 145 ratings
THE BUTCHER'S BALLROOM
Diablo Swing Orchestra
4.00 | 125 ratings
THE FALL OF HEARTS
Katatonia
3.93 | 460 ratings
ONE HOUR BY THE CONCRETE LAKE
Pain Of Salvation
3.99 | 143 ratings
FOR THE LOVE OF ART AND THE MAKING
Beyond Twilight
3.95 | 225 ratings
SUBSURFACE
Threshold
3.95 | 208 ratings
QUIET WORLD
Native Construct
3.97 | 145 ratings
HARVEST AORTA
Ephemeral Sun
4.10 | 55 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

DELUSIONS
To-Mera
CIRCLES
Chinese Firedrill, A
INTELLIGENT DESIGN
Shaolin Death Squad
THE EDGE
Eternity X

Latest Progressive Metal Music Reviews


 Ego by DIMENSION album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.79 | 6 ratings

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Ego
Dimension Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars One of the leading prog metal acts from Mexico in last 15 years is for sure Dimension. Formed around 1999 with 3 albums in their pockets so far. For me their second release from 2007 named Ego is the most intresting one from the three. Even they had touring in Europe they remaining quite unknown to these parts of the world, but they are pretty much well known to USA and Mexico of course where they toured quite a lot. Musicaly speaking they are quite close to DT in sound. The musicians are quite capable that's for sure, a pefect example is the opening track Tree of Conscience, excellent track , the rhythmic section is brilliant. The guitars in combination with the keyboards are most of the time more then ok. All in all a pretty decent release for prog metal fans, nothing spectacular but good. Fans of DT, even Symphony X might give a try. 3 stars for sure, unknown release.

 11:59:59 by ALCHEMY X album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.09 | 7 ratings

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11:59:59
Alchemy X Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars One of the unknown prog metal acts from late '90s - early '00s from USA is for sure Alchemy X. Formed around 1995 having two albums in their pockets so far, one released in 1999 and the second and their best is from 2003 with an intresting title name 11:59:59. This is quite good prog metal, that I like to hear often, nice arrangements, pleasent voice, guitar meeting keyboards are well played most of the time. Similarity with Fates Warning are obvious, this is nice clean prog metal without any powermetal elements added. Virtuosity is present on every piece , I like a lot the guitar chops, theare some intresting arrangements, as example A Kiss Before Dying. The vocal parts provided by the new focalist here - Bob Mitchell done a good job. All in all , while is far from masterpiece status, I think desearve some spins from time to time from prog metal listners. I like it, totaly gone under the radar of prog metal collectors. 3.5 stars for sure. For fans of Fates Warning, Power of Omens, Silent Lucidity, etc even Symphony X might be a reference.

 Mi Kubbesi by NEKROPSI album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.18 | 60 ratings

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Mi Kubbesi
Nekropsi Progressive Metal

Review by ctasan

5 stars Mi Kubbesi (Turkish: The Dome of Mi), released in late 1996 after 3 years of works, is one of the best albums ever made in Turkey, and able to compete easily with mainstream albums. This album appeared in cassette format (which was popular in Turkey from 1980s to 2006), and later on CD. Sadly, no vinyl copies. Group members define their style as "transsexual jazz, an invention which has no reference". It blends various styles such as thrash metal, industrial, ambient, progressive with the melodies of Middle East, experimentally. Turkish percussion instruments (bendir, darbuka, classic drum) and string instruments (kemenše, bağlama) are heavily used in this album.

Opening song "Crying Game" is one of the striking openings I've ever heard. Sadly, this song is short (there are more gems in this albums like this!). Basses and electro-bağlama dominate this with backing vocals yelling, murmuring and so on. No lyrics here.

Fok (Turkish: The Seal) starts with 2-3 seconds sound of a seal, and then basses. Speed and power is variable in this song along with good melody.

Efsane (Turkish: The Legend) is an upstanding song. At some point, folk dance ambiance is present with vocals of "Hey, hey!", then everything stops and ambience switches to dark.

ăarşı (Turkish: The Market, or downtown, especially in older cities) is another short song with guitar, bendir, and darbuka. Fully folk-inspired excellent melody.

94 Kor (Turkish: 94 Cores) has metal influences and speed. Drums enter and exit like there's a gunfire combat with otomatic ones. Too angry. Remember, in their first years, Nekropsi was a thrash band! (This could be used as a film music)

Derinlik (Turkish: The Depth) starts harshly, then gets soft as you don't imagine and relaxes you after a chaos.

Dımlı Mi (Turkish: Wet Mi) is quite psychedelic and tribal. Kemenše have been used here differently, creating dark atmosphere. (Ironically, it makes you play in anywhere if you're from Black Sea) Also, some ascents and descents are present, taking you from one place to another.

Lim (I couldn't understand what it stands for) is another short song, show of electro and bass. Hindu (Turkish: The Indian) is the same, with drums joining.

ăarklar (Turkish: The Wheels) is one of the songs I love in this album. It emulates spinning wheels perfectly, just with bass and bağlama, with speeding and slowing!

Ateis (It should reference atheist, one letter absent) starts with accords, then dominated with basses, has some metal influence.

G÷š (Turkish: Migration) instead starts slowly and ambiently, then finishes suddenly with heavy guitars.

Kubbealtı (Turkish: Under The Dome) is just 30-seconds long improvisation record from 1993. A feeling like you're under a dome and echoes present.

Yollar (Turkish: Roads) starts with some ambient sound, then suddenly accerelates, takes some breaks, and finishes softly. Folk melodies exist highly, with usage of darbuka. Good guitar work.

Son (Turkish: The End) is chaotic, with guitar playing like a siren, and drums attacking sometimes. Good closing.

41 (A number has some mystic meaning) should be a track that added later issues. It resembles some industrial to me, with chaos. Like a game music.

Conclusion: An album that you can't find easily in it's genre. Masterpiece. Rating: 8.5/10

 Credit Where Credit is Due by PAULY, HENNING album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Credit Where Credit is Due
Henning Pauly Progressive Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
4 stars Henning Pauly is a German multi-instrumentalist and producer living in USA, and after he by chance got a record contract in 2003, he's been involved in numerous different projects. This release is the second album released under his own name.

Describing the music on offer here is a tad difficult. Although the album in the press blurb is described as a metal album, the tag metal doesn't even begin to describe the music being served here. True enough, most songs feature hard rock and metal guitar riffing, creating a dark and aggressive backdrop in most of the songs on the album. But there's other aspects of this release that's more noticeable.

The most noticeable element, used mostly to a large extent on this album, are the beeps, blips and beats you'll usually find in industrial rock and metal, as well as in the musical output of groups like Prodigy.

These sounds and rhythms tie this album together, creating moods, atmospheres and a drive that is recognizable on all the songs on the album, and although these sounds are subdued on some of the tracks they are still present.

Apart from the industrial rhythms and a crunchy metal guitar, Henning seems to have fun putting in more or less strange elements in the songs in some cases; the main sonic experiment on this album is the inclusion of the banjo on a couple of tracks. Which works perfectly, in case you may wonder. Henning plays with the nu-metal genre on a couple of tracks as well, which also works out quite nicely.

All in all, I find this to be a very good release. No fillers, a lot of good tracks, and three outstanding tracks: "Six" - where the crunchy metal guitar and the banjo creates a truly original soundscape, "Seven" - a ballad filled out with a plethora of industrial sounds and ending with a big dramatic finale followed by some mellow ambient sounds while fading out, and lastly "Radio Sucks" were Henning have fun playing in several styles similar to radio friendly rock and metal while spicing them up sonically and saying his 10 cents worth of the state of radio today in the lyrics.

But although I rave quite a lot about this release, I also have to say that quite a few people probably won't like this album. Because this is an adventurous album, were ideas are tested out, genre barriers are ignored - and to some extent made fun of. But the adventurous prog metal or metal fan should check this one out; especially if you're the kind that likes to sit down and really -listen- to music.

 Positive as Sound by SILENT LUCIDITY album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Positive as Sound
Silent Lucidity Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars Silent Lucidity, what a nice name for a band, you might figure it out from where is the name taken (Queensryche most loved ballad), were a quite good prog metal band from Germany with one album released in 1996. Positive as sound is the name of the release issued at great defunct label Music Is Intelligence. Quite solid release from start to finish , a real prog metal release, without power metal influences or other genres, like bands from today. This sounding like Sieges Even around A sense of change with of course Queensryche, the result is great. Lenghty pieces, technical most of the time but with melodic lines added, nice guitar chops and a fantastic voice of Joachim Reichl who remind me a lot of Michael Sadler from canadians Saga. All pieces are more then ok, and Silent Lucidity done a good job here, the instrumental sections are good and satisfying most of the prog metal fans. The opening . A Different View , the excellent instrumental Atmosfears and the ending track Restrains showed that they had talent and solid vision about how to create a prog metal piece. A nice forgotten intresting album from this unknown prog metal band from Germany, they disbanded around 2000. From me 3..5 stars for sure.

 Remedy Lane Re:Visited (Re:Mixed & Re:Lived) by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2016
4.86 | 26 ratings

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Remedy Lane Re:Visited (Re:Mixed & Re:Lived)
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by javajeff

5 stars I already had Remedy Lane on CD, and it has always been a masterpiece to me. This new double album version is a real treat. The live version is a stellar performance with the extra ambiance of the live environment. The performance has passion, and Daniel Gildenl÷w's vocals are top notch as always. I enjoy a good live performance on occasion, but I much prefer studio albums. The remastered version of Remedy Lane is like a new album. The sonic quality is up there with the new album In the Passing Light of Day, so they sound great together in a Pain of Salvation playlist. I think it is really worth the upgrade for the sound quality.
 In The Passing Light Of Day by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.03 | 133 ratings

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In The Passing Light Of Day
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by javajeff

5 stars I always expect incredible vocal performances from Daniel Gildenl÷w, but the songwriting for "In The Passing Light Of Day" is just stellar. This album is an instant classic that is up there with the other masterpieces from Pain of Salvation. It is not hard to place this gem up near the top with their other albums, and I will enjoy it for years to come. I have been loving the remixed and live versions of Remedy Lane, so I can have an amazing playlist of similar sonic quality. "In The Passing Light Of Day" from start to finish is perfect with amazing musicianship. I do not really like picking apart prog masterpieces by choosing favorite tracks, but if I absolutely had to choose standout tracks, I would go with Reasons, Angels of Broken Things, Full Throttle Tribe, and The Taming of a Beast. But this beauty is best enjoyed from start to finish, just like every other album from Pain of Salvation.
 In The Passing Light Of Day by PAIN OF SALVATION album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.03 | 133 ratings

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In The Passing Light Of Day
Pain Of Salvation Progressive Metal

Review by The Jester

3 stars Before anything else, I should mention that Progressive Metal was never my cup of tea. In my opinion, Heavy Metal music, Progressive or not, should be more direct and straightforward, and kick the listener's stomach with its power and killer guitar riffs. Now that I made myself clear, I can go on. I have a few Pain of Salvation albums in my music collection, but they never gained a special place in my heart. Their releases are usually decent, I listen to their albums from time to time, but that's it. (In case you are wondering, the albums I got are: The Perfect Element (Pt.1), Remedy Lane, Road Salt One, and In the Passing Light of Day). As far as I learned, the band's leader Daniel Gildenl÷w had some very serious health problems, and he was struggling with them for enough time, and that is something that is reflected in the lyrics and the whole atmosphere of the album. The album begins with the 10+ minute-long On a Tuesday, which is a powerful epic. A very good song, despite the uninspired start. As the song evolves, it becomes really impressive. Tongue of God that comes next is also a very good and powerful song, and one of my favourites, followed by Meaningless, which I didn't like so much. Silent Gold is a very melancholic song, simple and beautiful. There is no point writing about all the songs one by one, because each person will have a different opinion. The point is that, the album includes some very good and some not so good moments. There are some songs I really like, some that are just ok, and some that I don't like at all. It is not a bad album, not at all, and I'm sure that the fans of Progressive Metal will appreciate it. As for me, think I will give 3 out of 5 stars, which I believe is a fair rating.
 Noah by UNWRITTEN PAGES album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.38 | 11 ratings

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Noah
Unwritten Pages Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

3 stars Apparently, this original started life as a story-based project back in 2005 by Frederic Epe (vocals, keyboards), but over time it became a musical collaboration between Frederic and Michel Epe (guitars) with Glenn (production, guitars). To create the science fiction concept album they wanted, they brought in others such as Damian Wilson (Threshold, Ayreon), Karl Groom (Threshold), Davy Mickers (Stream of Passion, Ayreon) and Alejandro Millßn (Hello Madness, Stream of Passion) soon joined the project to bring the story to life. Swedish designer Mattias NorÚn, created the artwork that appears in the booklet with the lyrics. But, while this 2010 has been hailed as a major success by some, I'm not one of them.

It is doubtful that I will ever criticise an album that involves Karl and Damian as I am such a fan of both their works, but what lets this down is not the performance but the quality of the songs. This is prog metal, but it is disjointed in just so many ways. A good project album will feel either like a band, or a rock theatre production, yet this one falls between the two camps and comes across as disjointed and just way too over the top. It is too layered, too over produced, just too much altogether! There are bits that grab the attention, but for the most part it is about wondering how much longer this has to go, and whether now might be a time to switch to something else.

It's not awful, it's not bad, but I can't bring myself to say that it is anything more than good at best, and when looking at some of the people involved it just goes to show that the basis of any album must be the quality of the songs. If the foundation is shaky, then the structure is never going to be sound and stable. The only real positive about this is that now I've written about it I really don't have to play it again, and it is doubtful that I will.

 Flowing Portraits by SOUL SECRET album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.06 | 21 ratings

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Flowing Portraits
Soul Secret Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars This 2008 release was the debut album from this Italian prog metal band, who originally started out playing Dream Theater covers back in 2004. They have certainly come a long way since then, as this is far more commercial and direct than anything to come from the Americans, but still displaying incredible virtuosity. While the harmony voccals may not always be absolutely spot on, the result is something that feels more 'real', and far less contrived. The interplay between guitarist Antonio Vittozzi and keyboard player Luca Di Gennaro is an absolute delight, while bassist Lucio Grilli and drummer Antonio Mocerino lock it all together. What is somewhat surprising is that singer Mark Basile, who is key to the overall sound and success of the album is here only as a session singer (formly with Mind Key, he is now active in DGM) ? the band's singer Michele Serpico was unable to record due to ill health, and he was replaced after they had been in the studios so Mark was only brought in for this album.

One of the things that is readily apparent is the quality not only of the songs, the vocals and overall performance, but also that of the production. So, it wasn't much of a surprise to see that although it was originally recorded in Naples, it had then been mastered by none other than Threshold's Karl Groom, and certainly some of the crunching riffs could have been laid down by the Thin Ice guitarmeister himself. It contains plenty of space, and the songs flow and move as if they are a living breathing being, effortlessly going from one melody to another, but always with real feeling of passion and depth.

This is an incredibly powerful album, very nearly flawless, and if one is into prog metal of any type then this should be played immediately, if not sooner.

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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
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