Progressive Music Ratings & Reviews

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Review by ivansfr0st 13 years ago <Permalink> - Pale Folklore 1999
Agalloch's first full-length album Pale Folklore , often underlooked even by the band's most hardcore followers, is more than just an outstanding debut. Utilizing influences from various sources, from 80's Gothic Rock to Ethnic Folk music, from Italian 70's Symphonic Prog to Norwegian 90's Black Metal's scene, and much much more, Agalloch managed to create a unique, extraordinary style of their own, achieving something nobody had achieved before. Opeth are famous(well, in our circles anyway)for combining two parts - mellow and heavy - to create a very special sound. Agalloch , whose influences were as diverse as Opeth's , from the fusion of all elements gained one sound that is very easy to recognise if you have experienced this amazing band.

The album starts with the atmospheric She Painted Fire Across The Skyline , consisting of three parts. The first part starts out slow and maybe a little repetitive, but sets the vibe of the album very well. Although Pale Folklore is more often dynamic, the mood of the album is melancholic from the beginning until the end. The melodic riff that starts at about 3:00 gives me chills everytime I hear it, it is also done again in the end of the third part of the epic track. I'm not sure which part is my favourite: I would tell this about the third part, but, unfotunately, it is ruined by the spoken vocals just before the 1:00 mark, which sounds out of place and, fortunately, is the only thing you can blame this masterpiece for, which doesn't make it any worse than it is, really. The forth track is an instrumental, in fact the only one on this record, and doesn't follow the pace of the whole work - it is gentle and nice, with piano's and flutes, a very sad instrumental indeed. I'm not ... -> show full review
Comment by Mike
Little Atlas - Wanderlust 2005
Symphonic Prog Rock
I like the straight approach of Little Atlas ... they don't
attempt to be particularly quirky, strange or technical. Their
music is very balanced and mature, and not too derivative of
the 70s - apart from the occasional mellotron.
Comment by Mike
Edge of Sanity - Crimson 1996
Heavy Neo Prog Extreme Metal
I like it - but I fail to see the superior quality that others
see in this album. Maybe I need to listen to it some more, but
I think that it's quite boring in some passages, and even in
its good moments it's outshined by other key albums of the
Comment by Mike - Into the Electric Castle 1998
Symphonic Neo Prog Metal/Rock
One of my favorite prog rock/metal albums. I think that it's a
little bit better than The Human Equation - it's more original
and creative, while THE is more mature and balanced.
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Review by Bj-1 13 years ago <Permalink> - Hour of Restoration 1991
Technical Neo Prog Metal
A highly promising debut from Magellan, already here we see that this band is something unique. This album mixes modern prog together with progressive metal with a heavy symphonic edge. Very epic, and extremely complex at times, but also surprisingly acessible in a way. Still, this might be an acquired taste though fans of bands like Marillion and Dream Theater should enjoy this stuff with complete ease. Me personally think it's excellent!
Comment by Mike
Devin - Synchestra 2006
Experimental Prog-Related Metal
The track ratings pretty much say it all - I think that the
album is a little bit better than Terria, although my opinion
might change over time. But there's no doubt that this is a
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Review by ivansfr0st 13 years ago <Permalink>
My Dying Bride - Turn Loose The Swans 1994
Doom Metal

Turn Loose The Swans , the sophomore effort by My Dying Bride is an extremely unique album when considering its historical importance and the mind-boggling progression between this record and the debut As The Flower Withers . A dramatic change can is easily noticeable in that the group no longer plays the powerful Death/Doom exclusively, and has implemented such features that make their sound truly uncategorisable and impossible to put in whatever box you have got prepared for them. Martin Powell, now a full group colleague of the musicians, plays a greater role on this record, two of the seven total tracks lacking any heavy metal expression and consisting of gentle and melancholic violin and piano composition. In addition, he has become more brave in taking part in heavier sections, with the screeching, weeping violin sound that has been copied numerous times by now.

The album is surrounded by a tragic, fatal aura, and the lyrics are extremely bleak and depressing, much like the music itself, dealing with loss, hatred and despair. Conversely, it is drastically different from the debut in that way that there is so much variety in the songwriting in virtually every single track that the listening experience becomes absolutely breathtaking, as there are all the moments that make the music worthwhile. The track lengths and compositional structure are very progressive, with the average song being roughly nine minutes long. A large number of tempo changes and ... -> show full review
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Review by ivansfr0st 13 years ago <Permalink>
Edge of Sanity - Purgatory Afterglow 1994
Death Metal
Although I do not understand why many Swanoheads consider this to be the best album by Edge Of Sanity , I have to admit this is a great experience. Compared to its successor, Crimson , released two years after, this is a weaker effort lyrically, technically and conceptually.

I really enjoy this album, but its progressiveness, honestly speaking, is rather questionable. Besides the synth in the first track, which, in my point of view, is the only progressive song here, the album is just a great Death Metal record in the style of Dark Tranquility . The riffs and melodies are written incredibly well, the choruses are very catchy, and Dan's growling vocals are much better than on any of the previous releases. I know this isn't an aspect to attract Progressive Rock fans towards this album, but the extreme vocals are quite possibly the greatest done in the genre. Dan also sings on three tracks - Twilight , Blood-Coloured and Black Tears . For the people unfamiliar with the Swedish mastermind: Dan Swano's clean singing sounds a lot like David Coverdale, who seems to be a common influence even among the manliest metal musicians of Sweden.

Joking aside, the tracks here vary from 'excellent' to 'average'. The highest point of the album is the very first track, Twlight , with its beautiful and, later, hauntingly mysterious synth parts and clean vocals, amazing melodies and the mighty chorus. Of Darksome Origin is a riff-based song, with a dark atmosphere and Black Metal vocals. ... -> show full review
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Rating by Mike
Pain of - Be 2004
Experimental Prog Metal/Rock
I wouldn't recommend this for Pain of Salvation newbies. It is a good album musicwise, but the concept is a little bit pretentious and - dare I say it - cheesy. Also, the focus is not as much on the music as it was on the first four studio albums. Some tracks are among Pain of Salvation's finest efforts though.
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Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Mike - Dancing 2000
Eclectic Prog Rock/Independent
This is one of the more accessible releases by Mike Keneally.
The album is a fascinating mix of genres and influences. Mike
is backed here by a number of musicians. On stage MK & Beer
for Dolphins usually are a 3 piece band, but here they're more
like 8 piece - and then some. Some of the songs are really
weird and Zappa-esque, but some are more in the Fusion style,
and some are quite plain. But they're all really good, and an
excellent starting point to get into the weird and amazing
world of Mike Keneally.
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Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Dream - Awake 1994
Technical Experimental Prog Metal
This is my favorite DT album. Images & Words and Scenes are equally perfect from an objective standpoint (if I had to recommend one I wouldn't know which to choose) but this one is best balanced IMO. Scenes has that Rudess influence which moved DT a tiny bit closer to ELP, Images & Words is a tiny bit less "metal" than Awake. On Awake you have it all ... and I really like Kevin Moore's contribution, which adds an - if even only on the subconscious level - experimental and slightly avant-garde feeling, not only on Space-Dye Vest.

In a nutshell this album has all which makes Prog Metal the wonderful genre which it is - if you're into this sort of thing. Of course there are many reasons to dislike it ... outstanding musicianship, crystal clear production, amazing bandwidth of musical styles from soft/acoustic to heavy/thrash, you name it.

The only problems I have with the album are a few passages where LaBrie sings in registers which are on the fringes of what he's capable of - it's a bit better than on I&W though - and the track Lifting Shadows Off a Dream, which is perhaps the earliest example of DT honoring U2 and is simply not a particularly noteworthy song IMO.

But that still leaves us with over an hour of pure masterpiece.
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Review by ivansfr0st 13 years ago <Permalink>
Kayo - Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue 2006
Free Form Experimental Prog Post Rock
After such an unexpected, earth-shattering debut as Choirs of the Eye it is not surprising that Kayo Dot 's fans had high expectations for this album. Well, what did they expect? An album done in the traditions and under the borders of the first release? A return to the roots of maudlin of the Well ? Or a an album that sounds like nothing you've ever heard before, let alone the group's previous efforts? I am proud to say that, in this case, it is the latter. When Choirs of the Eye was released, many loyal fans of the group couldn't accept the metamorphosis, which was the transition between Bath/Leaving Your Body Map and CotE . The "songs" were hardly songs anymore and would be better described as "free compositions , which opened new inspiration sources to the artists, however, with it also became more challenging for the average listener. Is the change between Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue and its predecessor even more apparant? Definitely, although now that the listeners are prepared to expect anything from Kayo Dot , it is not as surprising as it used to be. The new release seems more carefree and laid-down, surely jazzier and not as post-rocking as the debut. Those who enjoyed Choirs of the Eye (like myself)should prepare for a brand new experience once again.

The album is opened with Gemini Becoming The Tripod , a dramatic, atmospheric song with both quiet, dreaming parts, as well as apocalyptic, distorted and drone-doomy ones. The vocals(and lyrics too!) used here suit the music perfectly, and the instrumentation matches the mood of the composition - even the woodwinds help to get the message across. I especially like the outro of this track - the one that starts after the vocals end. ... -> show full review
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Review by Bj-1 13 years ago <Permalink>
Shadow - Shadow Gallery 1992
A good debut album from Shadow Gallery. While it struggles with production issues, it clearly shows that this band have their talents compositionally and technically. This is a dark, mysterious and pleasant album, although it have it's lacks here and there. Fans must check this one out for sure, but causual listeners are recommended to wait a bit until they have acquired some of Shadow Gallery's other albums first. Good album, with the final "The Queen of The City of Ice" being a glorious standout.
Comment by Mike 13 years ago
Karrin - Ballads: Remembering John Coltrane 2001
Retro Non-Prog Jazz
This is my favorite Jazz album ... the way Karrin Allyson interprets those Coltrane compositions is absolutely amazing. Her vocals sound almost like a saxophone at times, and every little detail fits perfectly. An absolutely essential release!
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Rating by Mike
Spock's - The Light 1994
Symphonic Retro Prog Rock
What can I say - I love this album. Technically later Spock's Beard albums like V or Snow may be better, but in this case you can't really beat the charm and magic of a debut like this. Even long after Neal had left Spock's Beard the guys still played classics like The Light and Go The Way You Go on stage.

This album is essential to any modern prog rock collection. Having said that, it is a little bit derivative of the classic prog bands of the 70s. Although I personally think that Neal did a really good job and found a very unique way to blend all the influences into his very own, easily recognizable style ... some people disagree.
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Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
The - Souvenirs 2003
Eclectic Prog Post Rock
This album was even more a turning point for The Gathering than How to Measure a Planet. With this album they turn away completely from the kind of music which got them confused with Gothic Metal at the beginning of their career. Instead we get a really modern sound - lots of effects, different instrumentation throughout with the distorted guitar as an important, but not dominant element. The drums are really laid back, often not using the snare drum in favor of brush or rim/stick.
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Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
The Mistakes - The Mistakes 1995
Avant-Garde Prog Rock
If you enjoy early Mike Keneally albums like hat., Sluggo! or Boil That Dust Speck, you'll probably love this album. It is not a pure MK album though, Henry Kaiser adds tons of interesting ideas. Some of the stuff is pretty inaccessible for people not used to Jazz improvisation or atonal Avant-Prog though.

About half of the album tracks are short bits of less than one minute ... I'll just comment on the longer tracks. But these bits are not just interludes ... sometimes they contain motifs which are explored in the longer tracks, sometimes they are funny outtake-like clips.
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Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Pagan's - Enigmatic: Calling 2005
Prog Power Metal
This album is a feast for fans of technical excellence. The music is a mix of Pain of Salvation, Dream Theater and many Neo Prog Metal bands ... but Pagan's Mind manage to create their own recognizable style. The guitar work is stunningly accurate and perfectly in sync with the rhythm group, and the vocals are much better than the genre average ... a bit whiny at times and too much in the high registers for my taste though.

The keyboards are in the background and provide for spherical textures more often than duelling with the guitars or taking the helm themselves, so that's a major difference to Dream Theater. They're very present though, and that emphasizes the Neo Prog influences in their sound, while the guitar dominance makes them sound a bit heavier than their peers ... but I wouldn't go so far as to call them Power Metal.
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Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Green - A Blessing In Disguise 2003
Experimental Prog Metal
I love this album. I like all of the Green Carnation albums, but this one is special to me ... I think it is also better than their alleged masterpiece "Light of Day, Day of Darkness". I recommend it to anyone who appreciates the lighter side of Scandinavian Death/Black influenced metal. There is no growling on this album though, and it deals with personal issues like loss, birth and the universe rather than burning churches.
What I like most is that each of the tracks has its own unique qualities, with no filler material. The tracks get to the point, dwell on it as long as necessary and then then next track kicks in another "gear". Some tracks are driving, fast-paced metal songs, others are sad, moody songs with clever string arrangements and keyboards.
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Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink> - The Inner Circle 2004
Prog Metal
This is an album which takes a little more time to settle than your usual prog metal album. It's about cults and how people get seduced by spiritual leaders and get drawn into something which they can't control anymore. In the liner notes the band even cautions the listener about the seriousness of the music ... and it really is quite intense and emotional.

Much of the intensity has to be credited to their singer, who does a tremendous job. The vocals are not for everyone though, they remind some people of 80s hair metal bands, which is a connection that I can't reproduce at all. Composition and musicianship is excellent throughout, as is the production and sound. I rate this album 4.5 stars, and it is heavily recommended to fans of Pain of Salvation or Riverside. Evergrey have a heavier sound than those bands though.
2041-2060 of 2095  
1-20 of 206  
Glass - Untold Tales 2017, Compilation
 8 hours ago
Symphonic Prog Rock
Panic Room - Skin 2012
 6 days ago
Prog Rock
Down - II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow 2002
 18 days ago
Stoner Non-Prog Sludge Metal
Foo - Concrete and Gold 2017
 2 months ago
Non-Prog Rock - The Source 2017
 3 months ago
Prog Metal
Mouth of the Architect - Path Of Eight 2016
 2 years ago
Experimental Prog Metal - F E A R (F*** Everyone And Run) 2016
 2 years ago
Neo Prog Rock
The Novelists - DEMO 2014, EP
 2 years ago
Experimental Prog Extreme Metal
Barock - VIVO 2016, Live
 2 years ago
Prog Rock
Regna - Meridian 2015, EP
 3 years ago
Heavy Prog Rock
Esmectatons - Rock In Opposition 2015
 3 years ago
Avant-Garde Prog Rock - Until All the Ghost Are Gone 2015
 3 years ago
Nordic Prog Rock
Dry River - El CIrco de la Tierra 2012
 4 years ago
Symphonic Prog Metal
Top Prog LPs of 2017
1-20 of 130 - The Source

8.7 x5
Prog Rock/Metal - Power And Outcome

9.0 x4
Symphonic Technical Prog Rock
Big Big - Grimspound

8.9 x4
Symphonic Prog Rock
Mike Oldfield - Return To Ommadawn

8.6 x5
English/British Instrumental Prog Rock
Gentle Knife - Clock Unwound

8.8 x4
Prog Rock
Steven - To the Bone

8.5 x5
Prog Rock/Pop
Magenta - We Are Legend

9.2 x3
Neo Prog Rock
The Tangent - The Slow Rust of Forgotten Machinery

9.0 x3
Eclectic Prog Rock
Mostly Autumn - Sight Of Day

8.5 x4
Prog Rock/Metal
Schooltree - Heterotopia

8.7 x3
Prog Rock
Barock - Detachment

8.3 x4
Neo Prog Rock - Theater of Dimensions

9.4 x2
Non-Prog Power Metal
Discipline - Captives of the Wine Dark Sea

8.6 x3
Neo Prog Rock
Big Big - The Second Brightest Star

8.4 x3
Symphonic Prog Rock
Kaipa - Children of the Sounds

8.7 x3
Symphonic Prog Rock
Steve Hackett - The Night Siren

8.4 x4
Prog Rock
Drifting Sun - Twilight

8.6 x3
Neo Prog Rock