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Comment by PowerWyrm 17 days ago
Manowar - Kings of Metal MMXIV 2014
6.5
Non-Prog True Metal
A re-recording of the 1988 classic. Unfortunately, light years away from the original...
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Comment by PowerWyrm 3 months ago
AgallochMyspace.com - Pale Folklore 1999
9.2
Prog Post Extreme Metal
I've completely overlooked this album when I discovered the band, probably because I started with Dead Winter Days and hated the harsh vocals. But the rest of this album is marvelous, and I'm glad I fixed the mistake...
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Review by PowerWyrm 5 months ago <Permalink>
Peste NoireMyspace.com - L'Ordure à l'état Pur 2011
8.5
Medieval Prog-Related Punk/Metal
Medieval black metal band Peste Noire delivers here a very
controversial album. The dark lyrics based on medieval poems
have been replaced here by political pamphlets around very
modern subjects: ecology, social fracture, civil war... The
music, quite far from their black metal roots, is an eclectic
mix of punk/rock, ska, french folk, eurodance and avant-garde
metal. Vocals alternate between male and female, clean, spoken,
growls, carnivalesque... It's a mess, but a good mess. Most
funny album I've listened in ages.
Review by PowerWyrm 9 months ago <Permalink>
AnnihilatorMyspace.com - Feast 2013
7.0
Non-Prog Thrash Metal
Nice gory cover art... so did Annihilator move to death metal? Not really... In fact, it's probably their most balanced album since All For You.

Okay there are still a lot of fast paced thrash metal songs, but that's the trademark of Annihilator since the first day. However, this time, the band added more melodic songs ("No Surrender", "One Falls, Two Rise"), a ballad ("Perfect Angel Eyes"), even the guitar interludes are back. In the end, an enjoyable album.
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Review by Time_Signature 9 months ago <Permalink>
Lars Eric MattssonMyspace.com - Epicentre 2013
8.0
Prog Metal
Gutiar virtuoso and owner of Lion Music, Lars Eric Mattsson, has a shitload of albums under his belt – both as a solo artist and as a member of acts like Book of Reflections, Vision, and Condition Red. While there is no doubt that he is incredibly gifted and that, though Lion Music, he has made a tremendous effort in keeping progressive metal, neoclassical metal, hard rock, and melodic metal alive, I think that the quality of his output is varied. In 2011, he released the instrumental album ”Aurora Borealis” which I found underwhelming, while his 1998-album ”Obsession” (reissued last year) is absolutely brilliant.

This year, he released ”Epicentre”. While following the neoclassiclly oriented ”Aurora Borealis”, ”Epicentre” does not follow up on ”Aurora Borealis”. While the preceding album was quite onesided, this one is multifacetted, as Mattsson explores a range of expressions and vistas. Thus, we are treated to tracks, like 'Cinnamon' or the swinging 'Too Late', while others, like 'No Way, No Surrender' and 'Wait for the Sunrise' as well as the heavy 'Freedom Fighters' and 'No More War' are all out prog metal attacks in the form of complexly structured flurries of passages and sections. ... -> show full review
Review by Time_Signature 9 months ago <Permalink>
Divided Multitude - Feed On Your Misery 2013
8.5
Prog Metal
The fifth album by Norwegian progsters Divided Multitude, ”Feed On Your Misery” was released earlier this year on Lance King's label Nightmare Records. Like many of their labelmates, Divided Multitudes explore the vistas of progressive metal and power metal.

Compared to many of the other artists on Nightmare's roster, Divided Multitude represent the heavier end of the progressive metal gamut, without ever entering into extreme metal territory. The music on this album is also more accessible than a lot of other progressive metal is, as Divided Multitude draw extensively on heavy riffage and larger-than-life melodies as hear in power metal. Moreover, vocalist Sindre Antonsen has adopted a slightly gruff singing style akin to what you might hear on a Pertness or a Symphony X album. His singing style thus adds a further edge to the overall sound of the album.

That being said, we are dealing with progressive metal, and the Norwegians do make use of complex song structures, and there are several twists and turns as well as changes in time and tempo. In the closing track 'Reborn' – perhaps the best track on the album – the listener is even treated to dissonant chords. The band's combination of twin guitars and keyboards makes for a nicely layered and kind of epic sound, which is in nice contrast with the heavy grooves and crushing riffs also heard on the album.

I think this is a pretty solid progressive metal album, an fans of both vanilla progressive metal and prog power metal should find ”Feed on your Misery” very enjoyable.

(review originally posted at metalmusicarchives.com)
Review by Time_Signature 9 months ago <Permalink>
A Cosmic TrailMyspace.com - II: Mistrel 2013
8.5
Instrumental Prog Metal/Rock
The second album by German instrumental progsters A Cosmic Trail, "II: Mistral" is marketed by its label Pure Prog as a progressive metal album.

This is not completely wrong, but there is more to the album's seven tracks than pure progressive metal. Granted, there are plenty of metal elements in the form of chucking riffs and distorted guitars accompanied by pounding drums. However, there are just as many atmospheric and mellow passages on the album as there are heavy ones, as A Cosmic Trail draws on other genres, such s jazz fusion and psychedelic rock as well as, of course, progressive rock. Much like the music on Yes' "Tales from "Tales from the Topographic Oceans", the tracks on "II: Mistral" have the form of massive auditive vistas with multiple layers and moods, ranging from the dark and bleak to the more uplifting.

This album is more than progressive metal, and it has just as much in common with the likes of Yes, Genesis, and King Crimson as it does with, way, Opeth or recent Enslaved. Still, there are enough metal elements on this album that, if you like progressive rock and also happen to be a metalhead, there should be plenty of good stuff for you on "II: Mistral".

(review originally posted at metalmusicarchives.com)
Review by Time_Signature 9 months ago <Permalink>
MayfairMyspace.com - Schlage Mein Herz, Schlage 2013
8.5
Prog Rock
In 1993, Mayfair released one of the most original progressive metal albums to ever see the light of day. A couple of albums down the line, the Austrian pioneers decided to call it a day, and their work remained obcure till they recently decided to get back together and, firstly reissued ”Behind...” on Pure Prog Records, and this year saw the release of their comeback album ”Schlage mein Herz, Schlage”.

The title track 'Schlage men Herz, Schlage' is a quite psychedelic affair with esoteric mildly distorted guitars and …, while 'Firestorm' is atmospheric and features some elements akin to alternative rock. The alternative mode and the atmospheric mood also characterizes the heavy and brooding 'Wwwrong', which also offers a sense of dark psychedelia as well as some more solid merallic riffage towards the end. 'Drei Jahre Zurück' combines minimalistic gutiar figures with driving, but melancholic, metallic pumping riffs. 'Abendp_rno' (I think it's Abendporno', which mean 'porno in the evening) combines metallic drumming with punky riffs and, 'Island' is a nother heavy and darkly psychedelic track with simpel clean guitars overlaid on top of atmospheric and noisy guitars in the background – not unlike what you might hear in drone metal or atmospheric and depressive black metal (without this song sounding at all like those two genres). 'Du Allein' is similarly dark, at time reminding me of a blend of U2 at their darkest and Paradise Lost at their lightest (check out the chorus). 'Tric Trac' is in the ... -> show full review
Comment by PowerWyrm 9 months ago
UlverMyspace.com - Messe I.X-VI.X 2013
9.5
Minimalistic Prog Post Rock
The sadest music I've listened in ages...

Mimimalistic electronica backed up with a classical orchestra. Almost a requiem.
Review by Time_Signature 9 months ago <Permalink>
Anton Johansson's Galahad Suite - Galahad Suite 2013
7.5
Prog Metal
Thirty years in the making, Anton Johansson's ”Galahad Suite” finally sees the light of day. Having worked on the concept behind this album since 1982, Anton Johansson, who does not actually perform on this album, has allied himself with a number of strong songwriters and musicians from the Swedish rock scene to form the project named Anton Johansson's Galahad Suite. As the title indicates, the album deals with the quasi-mythical Arthurian character Galahad, and his story is told over a song cycle of ten songs.

Being a concept album that draws on the aesthetics of heavy metal and hard rock, we are essentially dealing with a progressive metal release here. Themes are repeated through out the album, and each track is essentially a movement, with the first track serving as an overture, or prelude, of sorts, and its theme being repeated in the last track. Now you might think that you are in for some complex and epic music akin to Dream Theater's ”A Change of Season” or ”Scenes from a Memory”, but, while the structure of the album in its entirety might be complex, the music itself is by and large pretty straightforward. We are dealing with musc the evolves around rocking riffs combined with softer passages (which in itself makes for interesting album dynamics). We are more in the territory of Queensrÿche and Persona Non Grata (or Rainbow at their most progressive) – that is, very accessible progressive metal which has both commercial appeal and sophistication.

A good example of this is 'Somewhere – The Quest', which combines an uplifting drive (and, frankly, some pretty awesome guitar riffs) with an AOR sensibility and at the same time keyboard figures akin to more Dream Theater-oriented progressive metal. 'Happy – The Incident' features the same type of keyboard, but combines a more funky drive with power ... -> show full review
Review by Time_Signature 9 months ago <Permalink>
Fates WarningMyspace.com - Darkness in a Different Light 2013
8.0
Heavy Prog Metal
The first proper Fates Warning album in nearly ten years, “Darkness in a Different Light” has obviously been greatly anticipated. Of course, we Fates Warning fans godt a massive treat when Arch/Matheos’ masterpiece debut album “Sympathetic Resonance” was released in 2011 featuring Fates Warning’s current line-up in its entirety and former Fates Warning vocalist Jon Arch in front. While many people consider “Sympathetic Resonance” the lost Fates Warning album or the Fates Warning album that never was, “Darkness in a Different Light” is the real comeback from these pioneers of progressive metal.

Stylistically, this album falls somewhere between “Disconnected” and “FWX”, which are probably my least favorite Fates Warning albums, but in combining these albums, “Darkness in a Different Light” rises above these two albums, taking the best of both and moving it in a direction of its own. The songs on the album are, for progressive metal standards, pretty short and relatively straightforward at first listen. But after a couple of listens, the listener will discover little details that are more reminiscent of the bands legendary early 90s output. This is largely due to the return to the two-guitarists set-up, which Fates Warning exploit in a number of interesting ways on this album.

The opening track opens with a frantic wasp-like guitar figure on top of a groovy guitar riff and takes the listener – in true Rush-style – through a couple of different passages before the verse kicks in. The verse is a heavy and groovy affair with an acoustic guitar overlaid on top. Already here, the listener is reminded of some of the aesthetics of “Parallels” and “Inside Out” which made efficient use of the combination of distorted and clean guitars. But, still, what we hear here is not quite identical to those two albums, as Fates Warning pursue ... -> show full review
Review by Time_Signature 9 months ago <Permalink>
CarcassMyspace.com - Surgical Steel 2013
9.0
Non-Prog Death Metal
For my money one of the most interesting contributors to the extreme metal scene. The invention of goregrind and melodeath is rightfully attributed to Carcass with their release of “Reek of Putrefaction” and “Heartwork” respectively. But “Symphonies of Sickness” was, I would say, an important contribution to the development of the deathgrind hybrid genre, while “Necroticism...” - one of my all-time favorite albums – was an original technical death metal piece drawing on complex and progressive song structures and juxtaposition of midtempo solid riffage and ferocious blastbeats. Much underrated, “Swansong” is as important a contribution to the development of death 'n' roll as Entombed's “Wolverine Blues” and Gorefest's “Soul Survivor”. Sadly, the band broke up after the release of “Swansong” and was struck by tragedy when founding member and drummer Ken Owen was suffered from a brain hemorrhage and ended up in a coma, causing the post-Carcass project Blackstar (which explored further the traditional heavy metal direction that Carcass had taken on “Swansong”) to dissolve.

Having reunited a couple of times for gigs and festivals, Carcass eventually was reestablished as a band proper and released the much expected “Surgical Steel” in 2013. And, boy, this must be among the most kick-ass comebacks of any rock band in the history of music.

After a hyper-melodic intro in the form of '1985' and its rich Iron Maiden-esque twin guitar harmonies, the album explodes into the aptly titled 'Thrasher's Abbatoir' which combines thrashy riffage (some of which has the same compact quality as Exodus' trademark riffs had back in the day), brief and explosive blastbeats, and old school death metal riffage as well as some more hardcorish elements. The uptempo ... -> show full review
Comment by PowerWyrm 10 months ago
Orphaned LandMyspace.com - All Is One 2013
9.8
Middle-Eastern Prog Metal
This is their most melodic album to date. Shorter songs, less metallic, with the middle-eastern parts put in front. One of the best albums of the year...
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Review by Mike 10 months ago <Permalink>
Dream TheaterMyspace.com - Dream Theater 2013
7.9
Eclectic Prog Metal
Not bad - bad also not really great. Granted, I've only listened to the album one time - but I very much doubt that it will grow considerably on me over time, because the songwriting leaves me unimpressed.

I can't help thinking that Portnoy's absence has moved Dream Theater closer to "normalty" - they still have an "out there" composer (Rudess), but I really miss Portnoy's over the top crazyness and his desire to incorporate an eclectic range of influences (ranging from 70s Prog Rock to modern Art Rock like Muse and Extreme Metal like Opeth) into the music.

On this album the most obvious influence is Rush - indeed, at one time the lyrics mention "restless angels" and I couldn't help thinking of Rush's recent album (Clockwork Angels), since the music was also a good match.

Having said all that, the album is very well made and nice to listen to, all the other DT ingredients are there ... even LaBrie's vocals are much better than usual. Alas, the inspiration for great tunes is sorely missed. I really prefer Haken's 2013 album "The Mountain" - no THAT's inspired songwriting, and musically easily on par with Dream Theater.
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Comment by PowerWyrm 11 months ago
Black Sabbath - 13 2013
9.7
Non-Prog Doom Metal/Rock
Monstruously produced and doomy as ever! However, this clearly sounds like a swansong...
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Comment by Mike 12 months ago
Frank Flight BandMyspace.com - Remains 2013
7.5
Non-Prog Rock
The vocals are not my cup of tea, and the songwriting could be a little bit more inspired ... with that said, this is a more than decent album, and quite an improvement over the previous one. The production is really good, and the tracks are a joy to listen to, all with tasteful bluesy guitar leads, non-intrusive symphonic keyboards and quite some variation in style, bordering on, but never quite crossing into Prog.
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Comment by PowerWyrm 12 months ago
AmorphisMyspace.com - Circle 2013
9.6
Prog-Related Extreme Metal
A step back from the previous albums. Less folkish, more metal-oriented. But still very enjoyable...
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Review by Time_Signature 2 years ago <Permalink>
QueensrÿcheMyspace.com - Frequency Unknown 2013
2.0
Non-Prog Metal
Queensrÿche were once one of the world's premier progressive metal bands, releasing sophisticated yet accessible classics like "Operation: Mindcrime", "Empire" and "The Promised Land" among others, but after "Hear in the Now Frontier", which took a more grunge-oriented turn things went downhill with only a couple of interesting releases amidst a mass of, compared to the classics, boring albums. As we all know, the post-"Frontiers" era has been turbulent and ended with Queensrÿche being slit into two: one consisting of the founding members plus Todd LaTorre and Parker Lundgren, and one with Geoff Tate and essentially a bunch of hired hands.

With both versions of Queensrÿche aiming to release an album in 2013, there was a bit of a race going on to release first, I think - a race which Tate won with the release of "Frequency Unknown" way before the other Queensrÿche released their album. But is the release of "Frequency Unknown" really a victory? Is it enough to just release an album before the other Queensrÿche?

Well, no. The album will of course also have to be musically interesting? And, to be frank, "Frequency Unknown" does not strike me as interesting. It features music which is more in the vein of post-"Frontier" Queensrÿche - that is, more alternative metal with grunge and groove elements, and very few, if any, progressive elements. There are some heavy moments to be sure as in 'Slave', 'Running Backwards' and 'Dare'. While there are some good moments on the album, such as many of the guitar solos provided by guest musicians like Lita Ford, K.K. Downing and Chris Poland, ... -> show full review
Review by Time_Signature 2 years ago <Permalink>
QueensrÿcheMyspace.com - Queensrÿche 2013
8.5
Prog Metal
I guess you all know the story now. There are two Queensrÿches out there now: one featuring Geoff Tate and a bunch of hired hands and one featuring original members Michael Wilton, Eddied Jackson and Scott Rockenfield plus Parker Lundgren and Todd La Torre. Tate's Queensrÿche recently released "Frequency Unknown", which - to put it mildly - was a quite underwhelming affair which seemed a mere extension of Queensrÿche's mostly uninteresting output since the release of "Hear in the Now Frontier".

So, what about the La Torre-fronted version of Queensrÿche and their album, which is merely entitled "Queensrÿche"? Is that another load of post-"Hear in the Now Frontier" grunge-tinged alternative commercial rock?

No!

"Queensrÿche" sounds like Queensrÿche. You know, the first time I listened to this album, I felt happy. I felt like I'd met an old friend. Really, the Queensrÿche that I know and love is what you hear on albums like "Rage for Order", "The Warning", "Empire", and, of course, "Operation: Mindcrime", and "Queensrÿche" is a continuation of that classic Queensrÿche-style. It is almost as if the last sixteen years have been released and "Queensrÿche" were the album released after "Promised Land". What I'm trying to say is that Queensrÿche are back 'en force' and they sound better than they have more than fifteen years.

The twin guitars of the early years are back, as are the heavy riffs and edgy guitars - just check out 'Spore', 'Redemption', 'Vindication' and 'Fallout'. Picking up where they left off on "Empire", the band successfully combine melodic hard rock with traditional heavy metal, wrapping it in a multi-layered texture of sophostication and mild progressivity. Wilton and Lundgren's twin guitar attack is back up by Jackson's rock solid bass, and Scott ... -> show full review
Review by Soul Dreamer 2 years ago <Permalink>
Comedy of Errors - Fanfare And Fantasy 2013
9.8
Symphonic Neo Prog Rock
This album combines great symphonic rock, neo influences
with classical music. A Gailliard is a medieval (renaissance)
dance. The whole album is a great symponic adventure
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1-20 of 194  
Saga - Saga City 2014
 15 hours ago
rushfan4
8.7
Prog Rock
Steve Hackett - Beyond The Shrouded Horizon 2011
 8 days ago
lazland
9.0
Symphonic Prog Rock
Manowar - Kings of Metal MMXIV 2014
 17 days ago
PowerWyrm
6.5
Non-Prog True Metal
Kristeen YoungMyspace.com - V the Volcano 2011
 one month ago
Mike
8.4
Non-Prog Rock
Generous MenMyspace.com - More Than Meets The Eye 2013
 one month ago
Rune2000
Heavy Prog Hard Rock
Blind GuardianMyspace.com - At the Edge of Time 2010
 3 months ago
Bigmo
9.0
Symphonic Prog Metal
Pervy Perkin - Ink 2014
 5 months ago
manzanhop
9.5
Prog Metal/Rock
Asia - XXX 2012
 2 years ago
Lofcaudio
7.4
Comedy of Errors - Fanfare And Fantasy 2013
 2 years ago
Soul Dreamer
9.8
Symphonic Neo Prog Rock
OH.Myspace.com - Sleeping World 2013, EP
 2 years ago
Basil
8.9
Prog Rock
Kikagaku Moyo - Kikagaku Moyo 2013, EP
 2 years ago
DamoXt7942
7.5
Psychedelic Prog Krautrock
Stone Temple Pilots - No. 4 1999
 2 years ago
Logan812
9.3
Non-Prog Grunge
Charts
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2014
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Top Prog LPs of 2014
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1-20 of 40  
TransatlanticMyspace.com - Kaleidoscope
 #1

8.4 x5
Symphonic Prog Rock
AlcestMyspace.com - Shelter
 #2

9.3 x2
French Atmospheric Non-Prog Post Rock
Major ParkinsonMyspace.com - Twilight Cinema
 #3

8.7 x3
Eclectic Prog Rock
IQMyspace.com - The Road of Bones
 #4

8.6 x3
Neo Prog Rock
Mostly Autumn - Dressed In Voices
 #5

9.0 x2
Neo Prog Rock
Perfect Beings - Perfect Beings
 #6

8.3 x3
Prog Rock
Panic Room - Incarnate
 #7

8.7 x2
Prog Rock
Umphrey's McGeeMyspace.com - Similar Skin
 #8

8.6 x2
Prog-Related Rock
Nick Magnus - n'monix
 #9

8.5 x2
Symphonic Prog Rock
Frequency Drift - Over
 #10

8.6 x2
Prog Rock
GazpachoMyspace.com - Demon
 #11

8.4 x2
Neo Prog Rock
Pervy Perkin - Ink
 #12

9.5 x1
Prog Metal/Rock
Ian Anderson - Homo Erraticus
 #13

8.2 x2
Prog Rock
Iluvatar - From The Silence
 #14

9.2 x1
Neo Prog Rock
RPWLMyspace.com - Wanted
 #15

8.1 x2
Neo Prog Rock
Elephants Of Scotland - Execute And Breathe
 #16

8.1 x2
Neo Prog Rock
BigelfMyspace.com - Into The Maelstrom
 #18

8.8 x1
Heavy Non-Prog Rock
Saga - Saga City
 #19

8.7 x1
Prog Rock
Glass HammerMyspace.com - Ode To Echo
 #20

8.7 x1
Symphonic Prog Rock