Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
PROG ARCHIVES intends to be the most complete and powerful progressive rock resource. You can find the progressive rock music discographies from 10,600 bands & artists, 57,763 albums (LP, CD and DVD), 1,609,344 ratings and reviews from 61,465 members who also participate in our active forum. You can also read the new visitors guide (forum page).

Latest Progressive Rock Music Reviews


Last 50 reviews
 Electric Silence by DZYAN album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.02 | 192 ratings

BUY
Electric Silence
Dzyan Krautrock

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars This was my introduction album into krautrock, and it was no small part thanks to the extremely strange, colourful album cover that immediately grabbed my attention. I admit that this probably wasn't the best start in terms of how indicative of the genre it was, as while I do love this album, it falls under the more difficult, free flowing soundscape side of krautrock, the likes of early Tangerine Dream and Guru Guru, rather than the repetitive groove of bands such as Can and Neu!. Furthermore, I believe that this record in itself is also quite unique in the strong ethnic influence of each song, especially in terms of the exotic percussion and string instruments such as sitar. All of this comes together to make such an awesome, trippy album that I find myself frequently putting on, as there is an otherworldly quality it has that I really enjoy.

The album starts off with one of my favourite tracks, largely for that incredible intro, moments of screeching guitars mixed with a soothing line on a marimba. I love the way that the instruments fade out, leaving a conflicting drum beat and underlying melody from the marimba, starting off sounding muddled and discordqant before slowly developing into a really great rhythm that's then further added onto with the bass. The instruments all increase in pace and eergy immensely other than that bassline, providing a really interesting effect where the song still feels incredibly slow and laid back despite the absolute insanity unfolding. If there's one issue I have with this album, it's the fact that the majority of the tracks after this sound almost the same, which I'd dislike more if not for the fact that they still do all sound quite good. A Day in My Life is even more chaotic from an instrumenta standpoint while maintaining the extremely trippy nature of the album, as does The Road Not Taken. although with less Indo influence and more focus on a sparse soundscape of noise that builds towards the end. The approach Khali takes is once again fairly similar, but more minimalistic. For Earthly Thinking is definitely the other highlight of the album however, staring off with a sinister, foreboding sensation with soft flutes as the percussion is lightly tapped at, this gives way to a build up of noise, a constant ebb and flow throughout, with good use of steel drums. The song definitely has more of a set structure to it than others, essentially being one massive crescendo into cacophonous, atonal jamming. The title track ends up providing more of the same and continues to explore more of this soundscape, providing a decent end to the album.

Overall, while I do believe that this album could have become even greater by further extending certain pieces and providing slightly more identity for each track, this is nonetheless a really great, psychedelic album. I love the ethnic, jazzy sound brought forth, and definitely find it to be an incredibly compelling listen. While I stand by there being many better entry points into krautrock, this is definitely not an album to be missed if you like spacey minimalism and explorative soundscapes.

Best songs: Back To Where We Come From, For Earthly Thinking

Weakest songs: none

Verdict: While the songs under 5 minutes may all sound somewhat too similar, the sound here is far too compelling for me to say to give it a miss. I'd recommend this album to those who really like music that focuses on soundscapes and ambience, as this album has that in spades, while balancing it out perfectly with some more frenetic sections of music.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Contradictions Collapse & None by MESHUGGAH album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1998
3.34 | 10 ratings

BUY
Contradictions Collapse & None
Meshuggah Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars Combo packs are always cool because more often than not you get a good deal that includes some rare or hard to track down tracks that have been out of print for a while but often such compilations throw you a curve ball by advertising one thing and only delivering an incompletion of the entire package. Such is the case with the 1998 MESHUGGAH compilation that combined the 1991 debut album "Contradictions Collapse" with the following 1994 EP "None." The original release by Nuclear Blast was only available in digipak but has since been released as a regular CD as well as vinyl 12".

This compilation contains all eight tracks from the original "Contradictions Collapse" plus the extra track "Cadaverous Mastication" which appeared originally on the debut self-titled EP (also known as "Psykisk Testbild") but has been tacked on to later versions of MESHUGGAH's debut full-length album. While this is fine and dandy, what irks me is that the EP "None" only appears with the first four tracks while the fifth "Aztec Two-Step" has been eliminated due to time limits since it skirted close to the eleven minute mark. While some have stated they find the track annoying, i personally love it and find the "None" experience incomplete without it. Other than that the album flows along with both releases appearing in order of original release.

One thing i do appreciate about this combo pack is that it represents in full contrast the great leap of technical prowess that MESHUGGAH undertook during the three year period between. The debut found the band still stuck in their early Metallica worship years with many riffs lifted directly from albums like "Master Of Puppets" and "?And Justice For All" although the band was starting to unleash the latent experimental freakery which at the time was still kept on a leash. The difference between the last track of "Contradictions Collapse" and the leading "Humiliative" from "None" is stark as it clearly displays how progressive, technical and experimental the band had become as it shed its thrash dependencies and sallied forth into the brave new world of djent-ology.

Since "None" is incomplete, this is really just an edition of "Contradictions Collapse" with four bonus tracks but four really good bonus tracks that hopefully will lead to acquisition of the actual EP in its entirety. While many may not really care if a mere one track is missing, especially from an EP which is often regarded as supplemental, then this is not a bad way to go but for me, "None" is the far superior release and deserves to be experienced in its entirety. I understand why these sorts of comps are released considering many wouldn't bother to track down the EPs that lurk between the cracks but it totally irritates me when such comps represent themselves as being the complete editions at hand but take liberties in editing out relevant material. Oh well.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Bruits Et Temps Analogues by VIAN, PATRICK album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.21 | 16 ratings

BUY
Bruits Et Temps Analogues
Patrick Vian Progressive Electronic

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I bought a used LP of this in 1997 just from being allowed to listen to it at a Seattle record store (which sadly went defunct at the end of 1997) and I brought it home and was just blown away by it. One of the finest albums I ever bought without knowing a single thing about the artist. Of course now I know he's the son of Boris Vian, and he was in Red Noise in the early '70s which more emphasized the bathroom humor-side of Zappa than anything he did on Bruits et Temps Analogues. Bruits et Temps Analogues is apparently the very first release on the rebooted EGG label (the label previous existed in 1969-70 that released albums like Cruciferious and Original Popcorn, and featured a completely different label from its much more famous late '70s incarnation). This is some truly amazing electronic music that frequently draws comparisons to Heldon, but with a jazz influence from time to time (helps that his dad, Boris, was from a jazz background). The Heldon comparison helping that the cover bears a resemblance to Heldon's 1978 album Interface, although that album was still two years away. Here he gets help from percussionist Mino Cinelu (Miles Davis, Weather Report), Bernard Lavialle of Ame Son, and George Granier on electric piano. "Sphère" starts off with a bit of guitar but then the synths kick in with lots of synth pass and synth soloing, with nice vibes to go with it. "Gross Nacht Musik" is a wonderful piece emphasizing sequencers while "Oreknock" has a World Music feel to it, a bit African with marimbas but with lots of synth bass and the use of the Moog IIc modular. "R&B Degenerit" contains lots of funks electric piano and synths that really go off the deep-end. "Tunnel 4, Red Noise" may reference Patrick Vian's old Zappa- esque band, but at least you won't get references to the "wee stained floor" and instead the most out-there thing on this album with loud synth noises and a very unsettling vibe. "Bad Blue" is a jazz-piece but instead of a stand-up bass, an ARP 2600 was used for the bass lines while real piano is used, in that jazzy manner. "Tricentennial Drag" was an obvious reference to the US Bicentennial (as it was celebrated a month after the album was recorded), with sounds of drag races, a military band playing "Marines' Hymn" and lots of weird electronic sound effects in between it.

A lot of albums I've own for a long time seem to date me quite a bit, but not this one. This album had really stood the test of time and demonstrates how much I still enjoy it as I did on a blind buy in 1997. Of course even in 1997 I was wanting that kind of electronic music and it hardly disappointed. Really worth your time to check this out!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 None by MESHUGGAH album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1994
3.72 | 23 ratings

BUY
None
Meshuggah Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars MESHUGGAH has never been the most prolific of bands and that was quite apparent even in the beginning. While the debut EP emerged in 1989, it took two years to release the first album "Contradictions Collapse" and it would take three more for the next chapter in the MESHUGGAH universe to unfold and with the release of yet another EP in the form of 1994's NONE, the band took another significant leap into the djent fueled progressive angularity of the future. While clearly rooted in the Metallica leaning origins, by this time the influences are more distant as the band had started to extend past the thrash leanings of Slayer, Metallica and Sepultura.

One of the major differences came in the form of a fifth member as Mårten Hagström joined the team as rhythm guitarist so that Jens Kidman could focus exclusively as vocalist. This minor tweaking of the lineup allowed for a radical change in the band's direction as not only was Kidman let off the leash to break free from his James Hetfield limitations and expand into new territories but the addition of Hagström's rhythmic staccato styled riffing was exactly what MESHUGGAH needed to break their infatuation with late 80s Metallica worship. The result is that NONE is really the beginning of the classic MESHUGGAH sound that would only continue to evolve into the surreal avant-metal beast that would be fully unleashed on "Destroy Erase Improve."

The EP that slightly surpasses the half hour mark starkly contrasts with its predecessor as the opening "Humiliative" begins with surreal spacey effects accompanied by the robotic hypnosis of the classic MESHUGGAH chugs that essentially launched a new guitar style called djent, an onomatopoeia for the distinctive high-grain, distorted, palm-muted, low-pitch guitar sound that debuts right here on NONE's first track. Despite the thrash leanings still present, they are seriously teased into more inventive creatures with progressive time signatures, innovative guitar soloing and some of the jazz-fusion elements slowly oozing into the band's overall sound. Add to that there are some seriously adventurous percussive outbursts and bass grooves that deviate from the simpler status quo of "Contradictions Collapse."

The track "Ritual" debuts the jazz-fusion guitar intros and sounds like the band also went for lower string tunings which results in a darker, more sinister feel. While on this track Kidman does evoke a hint of James Hetfield inspiration, as does the general melodic riff, the band are also displaying how they are separating from the earlier albums by creating a more cacophonous storm of dissonance as the melody is slowly drifting away into a parallel universe and would emerge more disfigured once it arrives on the following "Destroy Erase Improve" album.

While that track and the more Pantera laced groove metal elements of "Gods Of Rapture" connect MESHUGGAH to its trash metal origins, the true leap in innovation comes to fruition on the frighteningly bombastic hypnosis of the near eleven minute closer "Aztec Two-Step" which demonstrates how MESHUGGAH was walking the tightrope between the thrash oriented early releases and the much more experimental and challenging albums to come. The track runs the gamut of tech thrash, progressive djent and delves into weird changes that would be a MESHUGGAH trademark of the future however the lengthy periods of silence at the end are annoying.

NONE was released on both CD and cassette in 1994 but also appeared on the compilation simply titled "Contradictions Collapse & None" however buyer beware! This comp only contains the first four tracks and doesn't include the most experimental wild ride "Aztec Two-Step" but yet contains the track "Cadeverous Mastication" which wasn't on the original "Contradictions Collapse" album and only tacked on later. It actually appeared on the debut EP in 1989, so my advice is to seek this one out in its original five track format. NONE is the moment when MESHUGGAH came of age and although not as perfected as what was to come, still signified a band that had shed its love affair with its influences and stepped up to the plate with some of the most bizarre metal to emerge in the early 90s.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Three Of A Perfect Pair by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.27 | 1078 ratings

BUY
Three Of A Perfect Pair
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is the third of the 3 King Crimson albums from the 80s that everyone likes to lump together into a series. "Three of a Perfect Pair" however is almost as different from any of KC's albums as any of them. With "Discipline" you got the new KC sound, and even though it experimented around with the new sounds which was actually a conjoining of the different styles and sounds the artists had been exploring on their own. You get a more metallic sound with that album and Fripp and Belew are working out their new almost industrial style with their twin guitars. With "Beat", you got a more accessible sound, thought it was still new and unique, the band was getting comfortable with their sound. But with ToaPP, everyone was comfortable and ready to expand and experiment.

ToaPP starts with the side of the album called "Left Side", which is the more accessible part of the album that was a bit more like the previous album, but with the band feeling more secure in their sound. The beginning track, which is the title track, is the best of the tracks on this side with a sound close to "Neal and Jack and Me" from the previous album, and a perfect song to open the album with. There are 4 songs in a row here that are of the more accessible style, but you can hear the band itching to really show off what they had been experimenting with even though there are tastes of this sound in these four tracks. Finally, when it comes to "Nuyages", the experimentation really starts. You can hear the Frippertronics meshing well with Belew's monster sounding guitar and it works well. This track is the first instrumental on the album and is more of an ambient sound with minimal percussion and more atmospherics.

The next side of the album is called "Right Side" and starts right where the "Left Side" left off. Atmospheric noise and more Frippertronics, but this time it all comes together as Levin's bass starts calling everything together and it finally touches off a rhythm this time around as the whole band joins in full force. The track is also an instrumental and once the rhythm settles in, it takes off quite nicely. "Dig Me" is the only track on this side with vocals, and it is rather noisy and disjointed (on purpose) as it beings with Belew doing spoken vocals with the lyrics until he gets to the chorus and starts to sing and that is when everything suddenly fits together, that is until it falls apart again. "No Warning" is another instrumental, but is quite noisy with Fripp's monstrosity guitar playing against Belew's screeching guitar and we get to hear them be tortured of a bit over 3 minutes, but its all good noise. Levin and Bruford improvise also and it is nothing like an automatic rhythm section as they both go crazy on their own. Last but definitely not least on this side is "Lark's Tongue in Aspic, Part 3" which takes the idea from the previous two episodes and melds it all together with the new style, and it works well. Almost halfway through, the beat gets heavy and drives everyone into a frenzy of amazingness and ingenuity. This is great stuff and I love it as much as any of the KC albums. The organized noise and experimental sound is actually what drove me towards exploring KC in the first place.

Those that got the 2001 reissue were pleasantly surprised by some bonus tracks, enough music here to make up what would be know as "The Other Side". To start this one off, you get the "King Crimson Barber Shop" which sounds like Fripp, Bruford, Belew and Levin singing accapella barber shop music which is funny in and of itself, but it is actually just Levin doing all the voices with the help of a harmonizer. After this brief silliness, there are two very experimental noise tracks that are a foreshadowing of where the band was going to go with the upcoming Projekcts. I still love these tracks because it is amazing the sounds they can get out of the twin guitars. These are not melodic tracks at all, but are in reality avant-garde and experimental. The last three tracks are 3 different remixes of "Sleepless" which are all okay, but quite similar sounding, and were added against the wishes of the band.

I know there are many opinions of this album, some great and some not, but that is understandable. This sound was quite a bit different from anything the entire band had been involved with before, but it served as an introduction to the Projekcts, mostly improvised and experimental music and sound collages, which I still find quite interesting because I love the sound that can come out of their sessions. Anyway, I give this a 4 star rating. I like it better than the other 2 80s albums, but the 3 remixes tend to bring down the entire album, even if they are bonus tracks.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Contradictions Collapse by MESHUGGAH album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.11 | 63 ratings

BUY
Contradictions Collapse
Meshuggah Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars While many metal bands have spent a career recycling the riffs and musical styles of other artists, some who start out that way actually latch on to their own sound and take the world by storm with innovative and out of the box approaches. Metallica took the world by storm in the 80s as they unleashed a unique mix of thrash metal, classical harmonizing and extreme metal assault and while bands like Testament have been churning out one alternative Metallica album after another for decades, MESHUGGAH on the other hand who started out worshipping the altar of albums like "Master Of Puppets" and "..And Justice For All" moved on into more progressive pastures.

The band was founded all the way back in 1987 by guitarist Frederik Thordendal and vocalist Jens Kidman and were no doubt influenced by the American thrash scene given its world dominating presence. The debut self-titled EP which is also known as "Psykisk Testbild" was the grand declaration that MESHUGGAH had the chops and stamina to be the best Metallica clone in the universe and pulled it off with ease yet it never occurred to the Thordendal and team to include even a lick of originality and despite its best efforts, the band just simply created an alternative universe release that seemed to have been slipped in between the "Masters Of Puppets" and "?And Justice For All" timeline.

Following the short little EP of three track by two years MESHUGGAH finally released their debut album CONTRADICTIONS COLLAPSE in 1991 and at long last started to show a little individuality as the band ratcheted a few significant steps up the creativity totem pole which would ultimately lead them to finding their niche as one of the world's leading progressive extreme metal band that hybridized death, thrash and progressive metal with healthy doses of jazz-fusion and the avant-garde but this debut album despite a major leap forward still suffers from many too close to the source moments as the band hadn't quite distanced themselves from the 80s American thrash scene. b The album also debuts Tomas Haake on drumming duties after the departure of Niclas Lundgren.

CONTRADICITONS COLLAPSE is quite unique in the MESHUGGAH canon as it bridges the gap between the Metallica clone origins and the extreme technical wizardry that would soon follow. This technical thrash metal workout begins to branch out from the world of Metallica and starts to employ not only the progressive metal angularity of future releases but also includes the percussive drum pattern influences of other genres such as hip hop and industrial dance. There is also a lot of alternative metal riffing and for the most part the drumming styles are less bombastic than on future albums. The album originally contained only eight tracks with the ninth "Cadaverous Mastication" taken from the debut EP and tacked on future releases.

Right from the start with the first surreal introductory guitar fueled cacophony of "Paralyzing Ignorance," it's clear that MESHUGGAH was moving into a stranger new arena of metal but the track reverts back to a standard thrash metal paradigm with choppy guitar riffage, blasting bass and drumming as well as a clearly James Hetfield style of vocal shouting. Despite the more loosely constructed tracks many of the heavy riffs are very similar to Metallica riffs such as "Battery" or "The Shortest Straw," however MESHUGGAH begins to surprise even at this early stage and meanders into more progressive arenas. Little tidbits such as the sitar on "We'll Never See The Day" show the band flirting with the bizarre but only for fleeting moments.

While the thrash riffing and vocals are highly derivative, it often sounds like MESHUGGAH is on the verge of breaking into their bizarre surreal metal style that characterizes albums such as "Chaosphere" but yet for the most part the band gets cold feet and never strays too far as if they were afraid that it would lead them into the world of uncommercial ventures. Ironic that when they finally let the freak flag fly is when they really captured the world's attention. I dunno. I want to like this one more but it basically falls into three categories: Sounds like really good Metallica. Sounds like stoned Metallica. Sounds like Metallica on a mix of mushrooms, peyote and LSD. In the end this isn't a bad album at all but the many riffs lifted and Hetfield vocals just rub me the wrong way and impede my enjoyment of the album as a whole.

The album was re-released with the following EP "None" and while CONTRADICTIONS COLLAPSE doesn't constitute a horrible album per se, it doesn't help that when played with the much more advanced "None" following, it only makes it more clear how immature this album is in comparison to the highly technical and innovative albums like "Chaosphere," "Nothing" and "Catch Thirtythree." For true fans, you will inevitably come to this debut eventually and it does offer some excellent tracks like the awesome "Choirs Of Destruction" that is the closest thing to their more modern style as it cranks out the unique chugging format after a downer acoustic guitar intro and a surreal vocal intro but even this one reverts back to the alt meets thrash that focuses on Metallica's dual classical guitar harmonizing melodies. Better things to come but a decent competent debut even if it's not outstanding.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Psykisk Testbild by MESHUGGAH album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1989
2.77 | 8 ratings

BUY
Psykisk Testbild
Meshuggah Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

2 stars While Europe pioneered the extreme metal scene with bands like Venom and Hellhammer with the help of the hardcore punk scene from artists such as Discharge and Amebix, the USA actually fostered in the most successful bands that developed a new form of metal called thrash. Slayer, Anthrax, Medgadeth and Metallica, the big four, launched an entire new metal paradigm and it was time for new bands to follow in the footsteps of a new American strain of extremity.

Scandinavia would become the hotbed for even stranger forms of metal and in the coastal city of Ume', Sweden, one of the future bands that would deliver one of the strangest forms of technical metal of all. MESHUGGAH formed all the way back in 1987 by guitarist Frederik Thordenal and vocalist Jens Kidman and were no doubt influenced by the American thrash scene given its world dominating presence.

Before the band would become world famous themselves for the unique hybridization of death, thrash and progressive metal with jazz elements, MESHUGGAH was clearly in full Metallica worship mode on their early albums and after the two founders recruited bassist Peter Nordin and drummer Niclas Lundgren, the band would release the first eponymously titled EP in 1989 but has gained the nickname PSYKISK TESTBILD for its hypnotic black and white psychedelic album cover.

While only an EP of three tracks that slightly exceeds the nineteen minute mark, MESHUGGAH proved they had the chops to be the best Metallica clone in the biz. Copping the staccato riffing bravado of the ''And Justice For All' album with the heavy thrash of 'Masters Of Puppets,' this EP was certainly a grand declaration that this Swedish band was well on its way to be reckoned with. The only problem at this stage was the overt lack of originality despite the decent production job and outstanding musical talent.

While the introduction to MESHUGGAH was only issued as a 12' vinyl record limited to a1000 copies it's very unlikely anyone will come across this unless they are a true collector willing to shell out some dough however the tracks were later reissued and included on the compilation 'Rare Trax.' This short debut is also the only release to feature drummer Niclas Lundgren before long time member Tomas Haake would take over as drummer. While showing great promise, this is really one for the collector's only. Despite the great musicianship displayed, this is a Metallica clone all the way.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Stranger Heads Prevail by THANK YOU SCIENTIST album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.05 | 190 ratings

BUY
Stranger Heads Prevail
Thank You Scientist Crossover Prog

Review by kohntarkosz1001

5 stars Ok, here it goes, my official first review on the site after almost 10 years of milking from this community's knowledge. And the chosen album is Stranger Heads Prevail, the latest effort of the weird ensemble of Thank You Scientist, an album that shows advocates of classic prog that the current scene is well nurtured and thriving.

I will begin with a personal anecdote: I was studying abroad by the time of this release (Sep-Oct 2016) and that was the first time I travelled outside my home country and this album reflects somewhat my experience abroad: I was eager to meet new people, speak other languages, be part of another culture; and while I was living that life, I came across this band, who, as I back then, took risks, had a good time and turned this album into something not seen very often.

To put it simply, this album's feel is refreshing, at times quirky, then jazzy, then melancholic and sometimes even aggressive; this is because of the band's unique blend of a funky bass, a cool brass section, a dramatic violin, some harsh and metallic guitars, prolific drums and of course, the awesome and energetic voice of Salvatore. If someone asked what genre this belongs to, one would probably argue that it is jazz rock with a spoonful of pop and a hint of metalcore. You have such variety, from the A Capella/Vaudeville pieces of Prologue and Epilogue, to the metallic Sonambulist to a groovy Rube Goldberg Variations. The best trait of this record is the flawless interaction between brass, guitars and vocals, often yielding powerful but melodic and intricate lines backed up by a rock solid rhythmic section.

This is not perfect by any means though, it can sometimes feel a bit repetitive and drag a little too long, and I would have liked more brass and a little less guitar but these aren't deal-breakers and I can live with them.

So, to conclude, this a refreshing and modern album with enough variety to appeal to any prog or jazz fan, so listen to this, specially if you like stuff such as Snarky Puppy, Coheed and Cambria, Anathema, or any prog in general really.

Best tracks: The Sonambulist, Rube Goldberg Variations, Mister Invisible, Automatic Blue

Final Veredict: Obviusly, 5 stars for an awesome record

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 A Change Of Seasons by DREAM THEATER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1995
3.68 | 661 ratings

BUY
A Change Of Seasons
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Dream Theater's EP 'A Change of Season's' definitely is an EP even though the entire run time is over 57 minutes. The reason for this is there is only the one original track on this EP which runs over 23 minutes, a suite that was originally written for inclusion on the album 'Images and Words', but for some reason, it was left off that album and released this way. The rest of the album, after this suite, is a 'bonus' and contains several covers that were recorded live at Ronnie Scott's Jazz club in London, England on January 31, 1995. The decision to release this album this way was a strategic one since the real reason for the release was the original suite, but DT didn't want to disappoint fans by releasing a short album or EP (because you know someone was bound to complain, even with the cheaper price point), so the live cover fan club show was added to this album.

Let's start out with concentrating on the suite 'A Change of Seasons'. The basic story line here deals with an individual's experiences leading from birth to death. The suite is made up of 7 subsections, so each one is actually quite short, none of them reaching the 4 minute mark. Starting with the instrumental section 'The Crimson Sunrise' you get a nice electric, but soft introduction involving guitars, piano, keyboards which suddenly erupts into the full band and heaviness halfway through, and the band lives up to it's Progressive Metal style as the section continues. 'Innocence' continues with the heavier sound, but with a noticeable meter and style change as the guitars take hold of a melody and vocals start soon after. The music is a definite progressive sound with a 4 / 4 meter, that gets manipulated and played around with so that it isn't just standard. Soon other meters come in making this more complex and the vocal melody refrains from dropping into any singular theme. 'Carpe Diem' slows things down quite a bit as the rhythm section drops out and we have acoustic guitar and dramatic vocals. The last part of this section works as a vocal build up which intensifies to the next section which is the instrumental 'The Darkest of Winters'. This section is full of ever changing meters and instrumental solos which flawlessly move through tricky rhythm changes and styles, going from heavy to jazz fusion and rapid guitar riffs that approach tech metal riffs with hardly misstep and ending back to a stately theme that moves into the next subsection 'Another World'. When the vocals come in, the rhythm drops out again with only organ accompanying before minimal bass comes in, later accompanied by piano and soft guitar. Things intensify again as in the 'Carpe Diem' section so we end up with a lovely mid- tempo guitar solo and later, emotional vocals. The next subsection is instrumental and called 'The Inevitable Summer' which starts more atmospheric, but continues the moderate tempo from the previous section along with a nice guitar solo that borrows from an almost UK style, that suddenly moves to a fast rhythm and a cool keyboard solo then heavy guitars driven by changing rhythms and broken up meters. We return to the beginning theme from the first section 'The Change of Seasons', this time with vocals following the thematic elements from the beginning of the suite. It all ends as it begins, with soft guitar. This track is one of DT's epic works that many consider one of their best.

The rest of the album is a lot of covers done live as mentioned before. You could end the EP right there, but the band thought it would be nice to add this live fan show. So, this all starts with Elton John's 'Funeral for a Friend / Love Lies Bleeding', which is Elton's only real progressive track, and it is a 5-star classic. But how does DT fare with it? Well, it is quite faithful to the original, but with more guitar filling in some of the extra keyboards and instruments that Elton has on the original. It's a decent rendition especially for being live, but doesn't add or take away from the original. The next cover is Deep Purple's 'Perfect Strangers'. I like the DP version well enough, but there really isn't anything added here except for a longer guitar solo. Next is a Led Zeppelin medley featuring 'The Rover', 'Achilles Last Stand' and 'The Song Remains the Same' all crushed down to 7 minutes. This is bad. So, so bad. You only get the introductory riff from The Rover and it slips into a shortened introduction to Achilles with some shaky vocals, and you can tell that DT is in too deep with this complex song and besides, you are entering sacred territory here. After a few verses and an attempt at part of the Achilles instrumental, they slip into 'The Song Remains the Same' but the vocals are just out of is range, so they end on that quickly before he tears a larynx or something. The last set of covers is a medley of various classical hits; 'In the Flesh?' by Pink Floyd, 'Carry On Wayward Son' by Kansas, 'Bohemian Rhapsody', 'Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin' ' by Journey, 'Cruise Control' by Dixie Dregs, and 'Turn it on Again' by Genesis. It's like a Reader's Digest version of condensed 70's rock hits. It's as bad as it sounds.

So now we run into the problem of whether the covers were bonus tracks and don't count towards the final score of the EP, or, since in reality they are part of the whole album and actually take up more time than the suite does. I think you have to listen to it all when you are reviewing and decide if the bonus material adds or takes away from the main feature here, and since this is an original recording, and not one where the bonus covers were added later, then it definitely counts to the overall EP. The suite is great, but by the time you get to the end of all of the covers, you have forgotten about how good the suite was, so it takes away from the EP. Yes, I am saying they would have been better off leaving the covers off of this EP. I'm not a huge fan of DT anyway, but this is one of their better suites, but the covers are not great and sometimes laughable. So with the covers added on, they managed to turn this into a 3 star affair.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
 Are You Sitting Comfortably? by IQ album cover Studio Album, 1989
2.74 | 298 ratings

BUY
Are You Sitting Comfortably?
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by Zoltanxvamos

5 stars Second best IQ Album, Keep in mind iQ is a Neo-Prog Rock Band. Nostalgia and Falling Apart At The Seams are extremely oldschool prog, especially Nostalgia being a very Steve Hackett piece, being compared to Please Don't Touch. Falling Apart At The Seams is a complex piece of music with odd time, lyrical beauty, oldschool prog sound and mix, writing and other wise. Sold on you is a brilliant piece as well, as well as Wurensh, War Heroes, Through My Fingers and Nothing At All. The only song I can live without is Drive On, it's a fairly good song but it doesn't fit the album in terms of consistency to the theme of the album, but overall a good song. This album is a masterpiece in iQ's continuing history.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password
Reviews list is cached

Latest Prog News, Shows and Tours


Prog News & Press Releases (10) | More ...
Prog Gigs, Tours and Festivals (10) | More ...

Latest 3 Progressive Rock Videos


All videos
MOST POPULAR ALBUM (last 24h)
Buy this album from PA partners
FORUM NEW TOPICS

Prog Lounge

Prog Polls

Prog Interviews

BUY PA T-SHIRTS & MORE
Arjen Lucassen (AYREON's mastermind) wearing the classic long sleeves PA t-shirt
Arjen Lucassen (AYREON's mastermind) wearing the classic long sleeves PA t-shirt.
To buy Progarchives.com custom items: t-shirts, beer steins, coffee mugs, mouse pads, bumper stickers, go to http://www.zazzle.com/progarchives, select the ones you like and checkout (PayPal support). All orders are handled by Zazzle from invoicing, printing to shipping.

Thanks in advance for supporting us and for spreading the purple prog !
100 MOST PROLIFIC REVIEWERS

Collaborators Only

ratings only excluded in count
  1. Mellotron Storm (4224)
  2. Sean Trane (3160)
  3. ZowieZiggy (2931)
  4. Warthur (2738)
  5. apps79 (2629)
  6. UMUR (2007)
  7. b_olariu (1981)
  8. Easy Livin (1930)
  9. Gatot (1811)
  10. Conor Fynes (1613)
  11. Windhawk (1582)
  12. SouthSideoftheSky (1577)
  13. siLLy puPPy (1488)
  14. Evolver (1416)
  15. Tarcisio Moura (1408)
  16. Bonnek (1332)
  17. AtomicCrimsonRush (1318)
  18. kev rowland (1301)
  19. snobb (1221)
  20. erik neuteboom (1201)
  21. kenethlevine (1192)
  22. Finnforest (1146)
  23. BrufordFreak (1111)
  24. Matti (1080)
  25. ClemofNazareth (1011)
  26. tszirmay (986)
  27. Cesar Inca (928)
  28. memowakeman (910)
  29. loserboy (896)
  30. octopus-4 (880)
  31. Rune2000 (877)
  32. Marty McFly (837)
  33. Rivertree (813)
  34. Guillermo (793)
  35. TCat (773)
  36. Chris S (753)
  37. Neu!mann (743)
  38. Eetu Pellonpaa (722)
  39. Aussie-Byrd-Brother (691)
  40. greenback (685)
  41. progrules (666)
  42. Seyo (657)
  43. Prog-jester (627)
  44. Epignosis (624)
  45. lor68 (601)
  46. Prog Leviathan (582)
  47. DamoXt7942 (576)
  48. Ivan_Melgar_M (560)
  49. admireArt (554)
  50. philippe (540)
  51. friso (509)
  52. hdfisch (492)
  53. Chicapah (485)
  54. stefro (485)
  55. Dobermensch (463)
  56. zravkapt (460)
  57. colorofmoney91 (459)
  58. J-Man (449)
  59. ProgShine (441)
  60. russellk (439)
  61. andrea (432)
  62. Menswear (431)
  63. Atavachron (430)
  64. Sinusoid (403)
  65. Queen By-Tor (397)
  66. The Crow (383)
  67. tarkus1980 (369)
  68. Nightfly (365)
  69. Greger (365)
  70. Zitro (364)
  71. Modrigue (360)
  72. fuxi (355)
  73. Cygnus X-2 (353)
  74. Andrea Cortese (348)
  75. lazland (331)
  76. EatThatPhonebook (326)
  77. Guldbamsen (322)
  78. Negoba (318)
  79. Progfan97402 (316)
  80. richardh (316)
  81. Tom Ozric (306)
  82. Kazuhiro (299)
  83. Flucktrot (295)
  84. GruvanDahlman (289)
  85. Proghead (288)
  86. rdtprog (288)
  87. OpethGuitarist (287)
  88. progaardvark (286)
  89. FragileKings (281)
  90. Second Life Syndrome (268)
  91. daveconn (266)
  92. Trotsky (264)
  93. Muzikman (263)
  94. Slartibartfast (257)
  95. clarke2001 (254)
  96. aapatsos (250)
  97. The T (246)
  98. VianaProghead (244)
  99. Andy Webb (237)
  100. Bj-1 (235)

List of all PA collaborators

NEW RELEASES

Last Year's News by Campbell Collective, Neil album rcover
Last Year's News

Neil Campbell Collective

Stealth Chicken (with KRPL) by Kanoi album rcover
Stealth Chicken (with KRPL)

Kanoi

Automatic Minds by Skys, The album rcover
Automatic Minds

The Skys

Yesterday Sun Of Tomorrow by Trip Hill album rcover
Yesterday Sun Of Tomorrow

Trip Hill

Sponge Jam by Trip Hill album rcover
Sponge Jam

Trip Hill

INTERACTIVE

Twitter, RSS feeds

+ more syndication options
Twitter RSS

Share this site

| More

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives