User Page: Bj-1

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Joined 13 years ago
Last Visit 6 years ago
Ratings Submitted 150
Main Genres Set 166
Artists Added 48
Albums Added 174
Trust level 8/10
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Review by Bj-1 7 years ago <Permalink>
Nuclear RabbitListen - Intestinal Fortitude 1999
7.0
Experimental Metal
 Nuclear Rabbit definitely owes a lot to Mr
Bungle, the main diffenrence being that the
instrumentation only consists of guitar, bass, drums and vocals
heavily in the Mike Patton tradition. Therefore the
music is is far less eclectic but still mad as underpants,
constantly jumping song structures and heavy and bizarre guitar
riffing. Like the title and cover suggest, the music isn't to
be taken too seriously and the lyrics equal anything of
Bungle's debut in terms of grossness, but the musicianship is
incredibly good and the bass play especially stand out here,
frequently providing some really funky outbursts while still
having great chemistry with the drummer. Not an essential album
but definitely something to check out for fans of early Mr
Bungle (Goddamn, I Love America, debut) and Idiot Flesh.
Review by Bj-1 9 years ago <Permalink>
Mongol - Doppler 444 1997
7.5
Prog Fusion
Sadly overlooked group, really. Doppler 444 is a strong but perhaps a bit unfocused album, although "Driller" is one of the genre's better songs. I'd like to call this 'Kenso with a Dream Theater attitude' since cool fusion licks with heavy intensity really defines this album's overall sound. Really nice!
Review by Bj-1 11 years ago <Permalink>
Present - Le Poison Qui Rend Fou 1985
10.0
Rock in Opposition
Similar to their debut, perhaps a tad more likeable. Still
very dark and complex music that requires attention to fully
digest. The guitar is more in the front here instead of only
texturing, something that can recall King Crimson's 73-75 era,
although this is more difficult listening than that. You can't
really go wrong with either of Present's two first, so grab
Cuneiform's compilation featuring these two brilliant albums as
soon as possible if dark, sinister and complex music interests
you!
Review by Bj-1 11 years ago <Permalink>
Present - Triskaidekaphobie 1981
10.0
Prog Rock in Opposition
A strong debut album, and a highlight from the RIO genre. This Univers Zero side project, while being less classical influences, turned out to be equally as good as UZ (or even better at times), at least on this album. This is dark, sinister and challenging music, messing with your fragile mind on each second of playing. The music toys with repetetive and minimalistic elements but never get's tidious, one of the few albums who manage to keep your (well, at least my) attention constantly from start to finish. It's not too long, neither to short but sometimes I beg for more while listening to this album. The opening track is the best on the album and one of Avant-Prog's best compositions, in my opinion, with controlled but technically amazing musicianship. Complex, dissonant and scary music that should not be listened to unless you're familiar with music like this. Give it a try, it deserves it!
Review by Bj-1 11 years ago <Permalink>
Discus - ... tot licht 2003
9.9
Eclectic and genre shifting stuff, not unlike Mr Bungle only far smoother and melodic. Technically challenging but otherwise fairly digestable for the more unexperienced avant-prog listener, but the album is compositionally excellent all the way through. The opening track have become a favorite of mine recently, really addictive stuff. Genres include jazz, ethnic, metal, folk and traditional RIO/Avant mixed together - and the result is perfect!
Review by Bj-1 11 years ago <Permalink>
Univers ZéroListen - Ceux Du Dehors 1981
10.0
Avant-Garde Prog Rock in Opposition
To me, this stands as a cornerstone in the RIO genre. Univers
Zero's unique avant-rock complexitetes fused with classical
(notably Stravinsky) influences are beyond thrilling to listen
to. Adventurous and complex with intericate and challenging
melodies and of course excellent musicianship. Highlights
include "Dense" and "Combat", 4.5/5
Review by Bj-1 11 years ago <Permalink>
Wha-Ha-Ha - Shinutokiwa Betsu 1981
9.1
Prog Rock in Opposition
Wha-Ha-Ha’s debut album is really a standout, even within the avant-garde genre.

Wha-ha-ha was a fairly unknown and highly experimental band heading from Japan in the early 80’s and released a few albums which sadly haven’t got the attention they really deserve at all. Even avant-garde enthusiasts like myself didn’t even heard of this band until they were added here in the archives, and Im really glad I discovered them considering their awesomely strange, wacky and plain weird music that really can make people wonder what really was the point with this? Well, I can answer with that albums like this weren't created to be understood, but to be confused of, but in a structured and well-made way. This is their debut album and I can safely say that this is some of the most absurd and less serious stuff I’ve heard in a while. It displays the dadaism of The Residents together with the wacky humor of Samla Mammas Manna in a surprisingly fresh-sounding and modern style, and the result is wonderfully meanlingless but very original and creative at the same time. It’s not music that is easy to appreaciate during the first spins and is most easily digestable if you already like some of the more weird avant-prog stuff out there, but it will definitely grow on you.

The music itself is incredibly diverse with several different influence sources and elements of Jazz, cartoon music and even New-Age are present but the music mostly remains as avant-garde though not really in the ... -> show full review
Review by Bj-1 12 years ago <Permalink>
WatchtowerListen - Control and Resistance 1989
9.0
Technical Prog Thrash Metal
Technical thrash madness! You'll get strangled listening to this album. No room for breathing between these completely mad time-signatures. Watchtower really know how to play their instruments indeed. I was browsing through the site and found this great band, then got this album. Man, I did not regret. The complex and thrashy songs really grabbed me and I fell in love with it at once. Alan Teccio's vocals may be an acquired taste, but he does a very good job on the album nevertheless, following the riffs very well too. Ron Jarzombek, who formed Spastic Ink after the Watchtower split, really shows what he's good for, backed up with Dough Keyser's complex bass playing. Rick Colaluca's drumming is excellent, though a bit sloppy sometimes, but his switching between electronic and acoustic drums is really cool to listen too.

This album isn't very original, but it's an important and influential point in the Progressive Metal genre. This album is incredible progressive and never really boring, and the hyperactive songs are all great. Especially "The Fall of Reason", which features a beautiful and relaxing, yet complex middle section, and the title cut with it's very memorable main riff. Complex, tricky, progressive and influential, that's how I would describe this one. It's not perfect, but it's not very far from it either.
Review by Bj-1 12 years ago <Permalink>
Anthrax - Among The Living 1987
9.5
Thrash Metal
Among The Living is to me one of the finest thrash-metal achievements of the 80's, Anthrax really defined their sound on this one and it shows them at their creative peak, in my opinion. It avoids the risk of being boring and all songs have powerful and thrashy riffs (some of the genres best) with tight playing from the band. The title track remains one of my favorite metal songs of all time! Of what I know from them, Anthrax have yet to top this one.
Review by Bj-1 12 years ago <Permalink>
Kultivator - Barndomens Stigar 1981
9.0
Rock in Opposition
I am not too sure about the Zeuhl tag on this band though there definitely are major influences from that genre here, notably from Magma with very unusual vocal stylising etc. But in addition this band also have a good dose of folk-rock, avant-garde and fusion elements making it very hard to classify properly though the overall style is a lot like some of the original Zeuhl bands so I think I’ll be fine with the current classification. Musically, this band sounds like a cross between Magma, Gentle Giant, Samla Mammas Manna, Myrbein and Kebnekaise but they still manage to create their own sound and rarely go into any overused prog clichés. The album has some really strong -> show full review
Review by Bj-1 12 years ago <Permalink>
Allan Holdsworth - Metal Fatigue 2005
9.6
Fusion
quot;Metal Fatigue" was released back in 1985 and still sounds great after all these years. Great guitar techniques and solo's backed up by excellent instrumentation works from drummer Chad Wackerman and bassist Gary Willis, to name a few. A very moody album, with an overall light and cheerful feeling to it, though the music is also serious and complex at the same time. The compositions are solid and creative with great playing throughout. Holdsworth's guitar is not too dominant, but his solo's are especially notable throughout and the keyboards featured on this album adds a colorful and dreamy atmosphere that suits the elegant, yet appealing music extremely well. The production is clear and gives you all those details in a perfectly fine way. The only bad thing about this album is the painfully short playing-time at 37 minutes. It should have been at least 10 minutes longer, hehe! Sadly, it's not, but that doesn't stop me from giving this album 5 stars!

Overall, a colorful and interesting Jazz-Fusion release with clear 80's influences, but that does not drag this album down. Not in the slightest! Jazz-Rock and/or Holdsworth fans should definetly not miss this one at all costs.
Review by Bj-1 12 years ago <Permalink>
Faust - Faust 1971
8.6
It’s impossible to describe in detail what this album really is about, except for that most of it is obscure and experimental Psych/RIO/Kraut at it’s most bizarre. At the barely 35-minute playing time, Faust manages to create a unique yet horrific soundscape that you’ll definitely remember; It’s very likely that marijuana is an involved reason for this. It features weird vocals, psychedelic and experimental jam’s and lot’s of unpredictable twists in the music. The album has a gross and uncomfortable style to it, and it’s heavily dominated by (mostly electronic) sound effects, and is at times a very frustrating listen. “Why Don’t You Eat Carrots” in particular is downright disturbing at times, yet probably the most structured track on the album. The rest of the album is less structured, and much of it seems improvised at times except for a few vocal parts with some really nonsense lyrics.

As many others have mentioned, this album has a very "cut'n'pace" style to, but it generally works well though it surely is an acquired taste, and definitely NOT for the faint of heart. It’s a very rewarding album if you are into Krautrock’s more experimental groups, it definitely an album to remember. No matter if you like it or not; it will definitely scar itself into your mind.
Review by Bj-1 12 years ago <Permalink>
Sieges EvenListen - Steps 1990
9.1
Technical Prog Metal
Sieges Even's second album is a somewhat bold step forwards
from their Watchtower-ish debut, "Steps" is much more unique,
melodic and sophisticated, sounding very much like Rush in the
gutar tone but with the incredible technical skills of
Watchtower mixed together. Another difference is that this
album rarely has any "metallic" moments except a few harder
notes on the guitar and the bass, but otherwise it's fairly
calm. The arrangements are jarringly complex; I do not lie if I
say that "Steps" is one of the most complex and intricate
albums in the prog-metal genre. The epic opener, "Tangerine
Windows of Solace" alone is stuffed with odd (and I mean ODD)
time signatures and weird musical breaks, yet shows structure,
focus and variation, a very challenging listen overall though
and definitely not very accissible for many. The other songs
are similar, only shorter but still filled with incredible
complexity and very progressive and varied melodies. Sometimes
they're not as focused and creative as the opening epic though,
but that's only one of the two things that is weak about
"Steps". The other thing is vocalist Frans Herdes' vocals which
is an acquired taste for almost all who have ... -> show full review
Review by Bj-1 12 years ago <Permalink>
Fates WarningListen - Parallels 1991
9.2
Technical Prog Metal
One of the best prog-metal releases from the 90's, "Parallels" continues the style of "Perfect Symmetry", with superb instrumentation and complex yet highly melodic songs. In my opinion, this album represent Fates Warning at their peak and it rarely shows weak signs since even the more commercially oriented parts on this album are strong. The album opener "Leave the Past Behind" is one of the bands finest songs, and the album's melodic yet technical approach makes "Parallels" stand out as Fates Warning's best release to me.
Review by Bj-1 12 years ago <Permalink>
Happy Family - Toscco 1997
10.0
Often considered as a Zeuhl band, but I rather think this is more in the Avant-Prog terretory. Anyway, this is one of my finest discoveries in a long time, Happy Family's second album offers you a ride you'll never forget. This is hyper-active and very quirky and complex Avant-Prog that even manages to not sound boring at all, kinda' comparable to stuff like Mr. Bungle's "Disco Volante" etc. The musicianship is brilliant; every player here seems to know exactly what they're doing and when it comes to technical competence it's clearly that these guys are especially talented. The overall album mood rarely changes, still the music and song writing is wonderfully diverse and original and never get's repetitive at all, a sadly rare case for many albums. The guitar often has a metal sounding style to it and some sections featured here could be described as Avant-Metal.

This one surely deserves a masterpiece rating. For fans of modern Avant-Prog and Zeuhl especially. I highly recommend you to pick this one up if you like these types of bands!
Review by Bj-1 12 years ago <Permalink>
Six Cylindres en V - Dernier Cri 1984
9.0
An obscure RIO gem, one of the best albums I've listened to so far this autumn, which is saying a bit. Here we get 9 tracks with odd chords, time signatures and interesting use of horn arrangements within 40 minutes. An interesting album full of interesting melodies (all in the same style, though never boring) and notably competent playing. Fans of this genre should not miss this one!
Review by Bj-1 12 years ago <Permalink>
Mr. BungleListen - California 1999
8.0
I expected a lot from this album after hearing Mr. Bungle's debut and the brilliant "Disco Volante". Sadly, my impression of this album was not up to pair with those two albums at all. This one is more mainstream and accessible, with a light and summer-ish feeling to it. It's like listening to a "Fath No More meets Secret Chiefs 3" album, only more experimental, of course. The band plays good through-out the album, and most of the songs are great. The opener for example, is a really catchy and great tune, IMO. But this isn't really a Bungle record in my opinion, even though it's the same musicians as on their two first, this haven't got that Bungle-ish feeling to it that is needed to makes this a true Bungle record!

But of course, if you are a fan of this band you should give it a try. You might like it... or not. Depends on your musical taste. Fans of Faith No More and Secret Chiefs should also check this one out. I'll rate it 7/10 - could have been better, but recommended to fans.
Review by Bj-1 12 years ago <Permalink>
Mr. BungleListen - Disco Volante 1995
10.0
nbsp;Now THIS is something you don’t hear everyday, very different from their debut too, Mike Patton takes Mr. Bungle to new heights with this one, this is simply one of the most unorthodox and downright bizarre RIO/Avant-Prog records ever made and definitely one of the highlight of modern progressive music. This is very inaccessible and needs a good dose of patience and open-mind ness, like most of Patton’s works, and you’ll see that this album really have some fantastic qualities. The most notable one being that this album transcends almost every musical genre ever recorded, including ambient, death metal, jazz and techno, without sounding unbalanced or unstructured. This is an extremely well made album actually, and I think this is one of the most original and weirdest Avant-Prog I’ve listened to so far.

The musicianship is incredible, better instrumentation on an album is hard to find. It’s really amazing to listen to; the musicians play this über-complex music with complete ease it seems. There are also loads with sound effects here and the album is extremely unpredictable too.

In overall, I have to say that this album impressed me to the maximal on the first couple of listens. While not perfect though, “The Bends” is a 10-minute avant-ambient track splitted up in several parts, it’s an interesting track and it’s not bad, but I don’t think it matches up with the rest of the album, same goes for “After School Special”, but otherwise, this album is more or less perfection to the most bizarre and unusual levels. It’s a really though nut for some, but if you like Avant-Prog in a “bit” more extreme way, this album is not to be missed!! Masterpiece!
Review by Bj-1 12 years ago <Permalink>
Mr. BungleListen - Mr. Bungle 1991
9.5
Mr. Bungle's debut was quite different from their next album "Disco Volante". While "Disco Volante" was a insane mix of almost every possible music genres out there, including ambient and death metal, this one was more humorous and acessible. Still not for regular prog fans, but if you love stuff like Faith No More, Frank Zappa and Primus, this one should do it for you.

As for the music in general, it's a cross between funk-metal, avant-garde and experimental prog/hard rock. Mike Patton's vocals fits the album well and the musicianship is more or less flawless. The rather funny lyrics, however, is not always healthy for you. There is a reason that the "Parental Advisory" label is on the cover, if you know what I mean... Songs like "Girls of Porn" features very explicit material in the lyrics and may not suite the average prog listener well, hehe!

This album clocks in at 73-minutes. Most of the album is excellent, though some weaker moments also are present. I recommend this album to people who knows Patton's other projects too, because if you are a close-minded 70's Symphonic Prog fan, this album may scare you away from your CD player! Be open-minded when you are on your first liten at this one. If you not like it, listen to it more, then it will most likely grow on you. If you still don't like it, Bungle simply isn't for you. Personal rating: 9/10
Review by Bj-1 12 years ago <Permalink>
Mike Patton - Adult Themes for Voice 1996
4.0
Being a Mike Patton fan I decided to check out his two solo albums released under his own name. I first got “Pranzo Oltranzista” which was an excellent avant-garde release in the vein of some of John Zorn’s works. Ignoring all warnings I picked up this one too eventually and well, this certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. This album was recorded in various hotel rooms in 1995/96 during a Faith No More tour, and the only instruments used are Patton’s vocals and a track mixer. Patton basically makes some random noise with his mouth and then often mixes it into something even more bizarre than it already is. Sometimes the result actually works well and there are several tracks here that actually are very interesting to listen to but unfortunately, 45 minutes with all tracks only be in this style quickly get too much and rather swamps the project rather than making it into something extraordinary. I’m not saying that there isn’t variety here cause this album is very varied all the time, kinda like Fantômas’ first album without instruments, yet it gets too much after a while even though it is very original. This album is really inaccessible too and is one of the best examples of a “like it or hate it” album. I think most people will hate it rather than liking it.

A very interesting release; bizarre, noisy and pure weirdness is the best descriptions I can give to this one. Unfortunately I can’t recommend this one to anyone but the most hardcore Patton fans, or people who wants a highly experimental vocal album. I would have given it more than 4/10 for its interesting and original concept, but it’s inaccessibility and noisy approach only merits it to 4/10 on my scale. Patton collectors and fans only!
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1-20 of 147  
Present - Le Poison Qui Rend Fou 1985
 #1
10.0
Rock in Opposition
Univers ZéroListen - Heresie 1979
 #2
10.0
Avant-Garde Prog Rock in Opposition
Present - Triskaidekaphobie 1981
 #3
10.0
Prog Rock in Opposition
Univers ZéroListen - Ceux Du Dehors 1981
 #4
10.0
Avant-Garde Prog Rock in Opposition
Sieges EvenListen - A Sense of Change 1992
 #10
10.0
Technical Prog Metal
Billy Cobham - Spectrum 1973
 #13
9.9
Fusion
Gentle Giant - The Power & The Glory 1974
 #17
9.9
Technical Experimental Prog
Pink FloydListen - Animals 1977
 #18
9.9
Technical Experimental Prog
Gentle Giant - Octopus 1972
 #19
9.9
Technical Experimental Prog
YesListen - Close to the Edge 1972
 #20
9.9
Technical Prog
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