User Page: Mike

Info
Joined 13 years ago
Last Visit 16 hours ago
Ratings Submitted 1728
Main Genres Set 2316
Artists Added 4069
Albums Added 23503
Trust level 8/10
Permalink http://progfreak.com/user/Mike
Last.fm Username MikeEnRegalia
About Me
I'm the founder of this crazy website ... I hope it's helpful to you in some way!
Recent Activities
Reviews
Tags
Additions
Purchases
Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Psychotic Waltz - Bleeding 1996
8.0
Experimental Stoner Prog Metal
This is an amazing album, unfortunately the last that this awesome band made before they split up. It's somewhat different from their other albums, a little more relaxed and not as complex as A Social Grace or Into The Everflow. But I like it very much, and I gave it 3 stars because the other Psychotic Waltz albums are a bit better, and some tracks on Bleeding are not very progressive, but just plain metal. Still, they're very good. All in all, the album will not disappoint Psychotic Waltz fans, but is not essential for the general prog fan. Fans of Sabbath-inspired Metal can add one star to my rating.

From all the Psychotic Waltz albums, this is the one that's most similar to the music of Dead Soul Tribe, the band that the Psychotic Waltz singer founded after they split up (Devon Graves/Buddy Lackey). Having said that, it's clear that it's also not as complex as masterpieces like A Social Grace and Into The Everflow.
Show Track Info
Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
EnchantMyspace.com - A Blueprint of the World 1991
8.1
Neo Prog Rock
This is simply a beautiful, timeless album. Most people have
one problem with Enchant: On all their albums they managed to
maintain a certain characteristic sound and never strayed far
from it. As a result some people miss development and
"progression". But I have no problem with that - their sound is
fine. It's instantly recognizable, and instead of changing
their sound, they focus on writing good songs.
Show Track Info
Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Dead Soul TribeMyspace.com - Dead Soul Tribe 2002
7.7
Experimental Prog Metal
"We were somewhere around Barstol, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold ..."

This quote from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas kicks of a roller coaster ride of what I would call Psychedelic Metal. The whole album sounds a bit like it's predecessor - Bleeding by Psychotic Waltz (Dead Soul Tribe is the solo project of Devon Graves, who was the singer of Psychotic Waltz under the pseudonym of Buddy Lackey).

In many aspects, this is much evolved compared to Bleeding. It seems more refined, there's more happening simultaneously. Each instruments simply receives more attention and the whole album has a lot more atmosphere. All of that makes it just more progressive than Bleeding.

All in all, I'd recommend this album to all fans of Sabbath-inspired metal, and it's fairly progressive - not in terms of complexity, but in terms of feel, and sophistication.

Powertrip : This song reminds me of Led Zeppelin's Achilles Last Stand, but the Rob Zombie - like vocals and the heavy chorus make it quite unique.

Coming Down : I love that ultra-low guitar riff in the intro. This track is a perfect example of the sublime, hypnotic Dead Soul Tribe formula. Devon's vocals are much evolved compared to his PS aera, he screams less often. He concentrates on melody and phrasing instead, which is a very good thing.

The Haunted : after some sphaerical keyboard textures, a hefty guitar riff kicks in. The verse again heavily relies on Devon's voice. It really has a "haunting" quality to it, and Devon's guitar work complements it perfectly.

The Drowning ... -> show full review
Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Devin TownsendMyspace.com - Infinity 1998
9.0
Prog Metal
As Devin notes in the liner notes: This album was a tremendous effort, extremely difficult to make. In order to fully appreciate it, you have to listen to it on a good hifi system. Many tracks were used, and on this album Devin really begins with his massive layering of sounds - dozens of instruments playing the same, creating a wall of sound.

The tracks are all great, and the ONLY reason for not giving this 5 stars is that Terria is even better ... so consider this a 4 1/2 star review. The tracks are all very different, every track sets a different mood.
Show Track Info
Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Dixie Dregs - California Screamin' 2000
8.2
Instrumental Prog Fusion
The Dixie Dregs are the ultimate Fusion between - well, Fusion and Country. Steve Morse and Rod Morgenstein are the constant elements in their lineup. Violins also play a major part in their music, keyboards are more supporting elements in the background. I'll just list the standaout tracks and tell you what I think about them:
As their regular studio albums are quite hard to find in record stores, I recommend this album as a perfect way of getting to know the world of the Dregs!
Show Track Info
Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Porcupine TreeMyspace.com - Staircase Infinities 1994, EP
7.8
Eclectic Prog Rock
This is a very cool and laid back album (EP). It is out of print, but it is included in the recently published re-release of Up The Downstair. I think that it's very good, but not a masterpiece, because - apart from Cloud Zero and Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape - it is just too mellow and monotonous. A few occasional outbursts of more structured and focussed playing would have done wonders. The only uptempo track (Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape) is also the most repetitive one.
Show Track Info
Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Neal MorseMyspace.com - One 2004
9.5
Epic Retro Prog Rock
This is the second album from Mr. Morse since he left Spock's Beard. In my opinion it is better than the first one (Testimony) in several ways. It's less emotional than Testimony, because it is not autobiographical.
One is a very tight album, and very cleverly constructed. Highlights are Author Of Confusion, which is a very complicated track with lots of breaks, frenzy druming and guitar riffing and Gentle Giant like vocal fugues that have become a trademark of Neal's songs, and The Separated Man, which contains some amazing oriental sounding parts and - as a contrast - is based on acoustic guitars.

All the other songs are brilliant as well. Cradle to the Grave might seem a little cheesy to some (It's a duet sung by God and man), but it is so well done that one can hardly complain about that.

Musicianship is stellar on this album, as is the production. Neal's guitars sound very modern on this album, compared to the fuzzy sound on Testimony. Mike Portnoy does an even better job than on Testimony, giving the songs plenty of room to breathe. As a whole, the album also seems more compact than Testimony - clocking in at nearly 80 minutes, it fits on one CD.
Show Track Info
Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Royal HuntMyspace.com - Paper Blood 2005
7.0
Prog-Related Metal
This is a tremendously well done album. I'm not sure if it satisfies the requirements that some people define for prog music, but it does for me.

The foremost quality of this album is the level of sophistication in every aspect of the music - the production, the songwriting, the arrangements, the vocals etc.. I think that this album is a perfect combination of their previous albums The Mission and Eyewitness. It is much more diverse than The Mission, and much more complex than Eyewitness.

There are many unusual sounds they rarely used before. The only problem for me is that most of the songs are based on standard rock song structures, reminiscent of Deep Purple and Whitesnake. But they add so much complexity, neo-classical interludes, solos etc. that it never get's boring - if you're into that kind of music.
Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Royal HuntMyspace.com - Eye Witness 2003
7.5
Prog-Related Metal
This is a very pleasant metal album. It would be an excellent addition to any metal collection, but it's not really a progressive album like their 90s albums, so they get one star less than they would deserve from a metal standpoint.

The tracks are all quite ok, no fillers. The production is very good, with the guitars and vocals dominating the mix.

There are a few standout tracks: Wicked Lounge has extremely cool lyrics and saxophone, a very laid back track compared to their usual neo-classical prog metal. The Prayer features church organ and majestic vocal arrangements ... their singer is phenomenal. Most of the other tracks are power metal songs with occasional glimpses of neo-classical interludes and solos on synth and guitar.
Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Porcupine TreeMyspace.com - Deadwing 2005
8.8
Eclectic Prog Rock
This is a nice "progish" album. It is not a prog masterpiece, because you have to put it in relation to In Absentia and Lightbulb Sun. But it's definitely quite sophisticated, yet easy to listen to, never get's boring, and the melodies really grow on you pretty fast.

I can understand why some people call this alternative, as it has an alternative touch. But Porcupine Tree has always been difficult to describe, a quality that's not uncommon for prog artists. I'd say that this is a good starting point to get to know Porcupine Tree, if you don't mind a rough edge towards prog metal or alternative.

People looking for the Floyd centric mellow records which Porcupine Tree are famous for should go for Sky Moves Sideways or Voyage 34, Deadwing is considerably more heavy.
Show Track Info
Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Symphony XMyspace.com - The Odyssey 2002
9.2
Technical Prog Thrash Metal
This is a really excellent metal album. The discussion about it being inferior to V or Divine Wings reminds me of the Dream Theater: Train Of Thought discussions. The albums are quite similar in their effects on fans and critics.

I think that while it is not as good as V or Divine Wings, The Odyssey is slightly better than Twilight in Olympus. There are no weak tracks, but apparently some are more prog and some more metal. The
epic, Awakenings and Accolade II are standout prog tracks, ALL of the other tracks are wonderful (power) metal songs.

The band is playing very tight, and - again very much like Train Of Thought - the keyboards not very prominent ... but they're there, it all blends nicely into a power metal onslaught, culminating in a symphonic epic (sadly, the classical instruments are samples).

The limited edition also features the older track Masquerade as a bonus, re-recorded with Russell Allen vocals and a nice symphonic intro.
Show Track Info
Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Shadow GalleryMyspace.com - Tyranny 1998
9.2
Technical Neo Prog Metal
This is as well a masterpiece as their latest effort, Room V. Tyranny is often compared to Queensryche's Operation: Mindcrime, but I don't think that this is appropriate. Shadow Gallery is more prog, whereas Queensryche is more mainstream rock/metal. Let me clarify that I love Mindcrime as well and consider it to be a masterpiece, too. But it is more accessible than Tyranny, which takes some more time to grow on you.

Many friends of mine listened to it and then complained about it being boring, and all songs sound the same. It is true that Shadow Gallery (like Symphony X, for that matter) have their own sound, that
they vary a little bit from song to song, but not as much as for example Dream Theater did on Images And Words or Awake.

But Tyranny is about killer melodies (the ballads, Spoken Words), stunning guitar/keyboard acrobatics (Stiletto in the Sand), and interesting and credible lyrics (New World Order). The musicians easily match the qualities of Romeo, Petrucci, Rudess and the likes. The singer is also very nice, although when you first hear the vocals you find the voice a little too unspectacular ... but it grows on you just like the
whole package!
Show Track Info
Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
KamelotMyspace.com - The Black Halo 2005
8.8
Symphonic Prog Power Metal
Simply wonderful. This is their best record to date, and for me is THE masterpiece record that I always hoped Rhapsody would make ... but they didn't, Kamelot did. I give it 4 stars, because although this album has much more progressive moments than the previous Kamelot albums, it is still more Symphonic Power Metal than Progressive Metal. But if you're a Power Metal fan, you can add one star to my rating.

Actually, on this record they managed to incorporate many different approaches to songwriting and
sound. I hear Nightwish influences, very subtle Dream Theater and Symphony X hints in the guitar riffs, and Shadow Gallery is also shining through in the keyboard layering and epic chord progressions. And, of course, Rhapsody. While I love their stuff as well, I was always bothered by the accent of the singer and the cheesy lyrics. None of these problems exist on the Black Halo, except maybe for some latin/italian passages, but they are performed flawlessly.

With all that said, if you're not into symphonic (as in classical) orchestration and operatic singing, you might be a little bit careful ... but if you're looking for an album to begin with in this genre, this album is IT. It's very much better than many of it's direct peers (Therion, Nightwish, Rhapsody) because it has more facets and diversity.

The limited edition is a bit of a let down, because the bonus tracks are merely shorter versions (radio edits) of album songs, but the digipack is quite beautiful.
Show Track Info
Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
The Flower KingsMyspace.com - The Rainmaker 2001
7.3
Symphonic Retro Prog Rock
This record introduced me to the Flower Kings. I downloaded the track City of Angels and was struck with awe: Very clever chord progressions, together with totally emotional and inspired vocals, and a very natural use of 11/4 in the verse, captain future style keyboard interludes ... very nice.

It's not the best FK album to start with, although it worked for me. I'd go for Stardust first. It's more diverse than The Rainmaker, which is a bit mellow as a whole (although one of the key aspects of FK/Stolt is dynamics and contrasts).
Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Dream TheaterMyspace.com - Train of Thought 2003
9.0
Technical Prog Thrash Metal
This is a good example of a band that made a decision (in this case to make a heavier, more straightforward album, which nonethless is still on a high musical level) which split their fan base in two. Of course it didn't decrease the number of their followers, because even the ones who were pissed of eventually found some ice aspects in the music, and now that Octavarium is about to be released, the wounds are healing nicely.

Now what do I have to say about the music of TOT? It has a very unique charm, but takes more time to settle. I'd say that after 20 times listening to the album from beginning to end, the patient listener will be rewarded, and the killer melodies that strike you instantly on albums like SfaM will become apparent on TOT as well. If you get bored along the way ... you don't have to like this.

This is more metal than prog, but with many twists and the usual stellar musicianship!
Show Track Info
Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Shadow GalleryMyspace.com - Room V 2005
9.1
Symphonic Prog Metal/Rock
This is the Shadow Gallery masterpiece that the fans have been waiting for: A worthy successor of Tyranny, with elements from all their other albums - most prominently Carved In Stone - thrown in ... let me rephrase that: carefully interwoven. The songs are divided in the two acts III and IV, which shows that this is really meant to be the successor to Tyranny.

Listening to the first song the heritage becomes obvious anyway, as it's basically an Overture to the new songs as well as a summary of Tyranny, constructed in a manner similar to the Overture 1928 on Dream
Theater's concept album or the Neal Morse opuses. I don't want to go into too much detail on the music, because it really boils down to being "just" what they did on Tyranny and Carved In Stone, but with lots of fresh ideas and beautiful melodies.

The story picks up pieces of Tyranny, but although I didn't give it much thought (didn't listen and simultaneously read the booklet), it obviously isn't about a new world order, but more about the personal life of the protagonists.

Mr. Arjen Lucassen makes a guest appearance, and tracks 2 and 3 feature beautiful female vocals in the same unusual manner as on Tyranny (quite low registers, I wonder if it's the same singer).

One word about the BONUS DISC: Among some acoustic versions and demos of the Room V songs, there's an absolute highlight: The 25 minute medley Floydian Memories. While it's basically a medley, where typically passages from different songs are put together, this track goes one step further and merges different Pink Floyd tracks in a psychedelic way. Marvelous. Wonderful. Masterpiece.

What a pity that apparently they don't tour ... maybe that changes with them signing on to InsideOut, let's hope so!
Show Track Info
Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
AyreonMyspace.com - Universal Migrator 2: Flight of the Migrator 2000
8.9
Heavy Prog Metal
There are no weak songs on this album. The solos are lengthy, but never directionless. However, the whole package does take some time to grow on you. I give it 3 stars, but you might want to add a star if you're a "metalhead".

If you're not a musician, you might indeed find some passages boring and repetitive. It might have
something to do with the fact that many songs contain solos by different artists. If you don't know these artists, you might not recognize the "change of artist". All of the solos are beautiful and relevant - melody in favor of technique and "noodling".

For those that prefer more progressive stuff and a little less metal, I recommend Into the Electric Castle. This is the essence of Ayreon, even more so than The Human Equation. Both are masterpieces, but Into the Electric Castle is more over the top, which really is one of the key aspects of Ayreon. Consider this album as a short "journey" into the heavier realms, only to be topped a few years later by Lucassen's Star One.
Show Track Info
Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Dream TheaterMyspace.com - Scenes from a Memory 1999
9.3
Technical Experimental Prog Metal
This really is a masterpiece, a quintessential modern prog rock concept album. There are many people out there who don't consider Dream Theater to be prog at all. IMHO there are many more who do, and I'm one of those open minded people who have understood that there are many different kinds of prog music.

Dream Theater - generally and on this album in particular - focus on structure and virtuosity. The music is always very controlled, refined and thoughtfully laid out. But with all this technical perfection, this album features beautiful melodies as well.

Production also is nearly perfect, I cannot understand people who say otherwise. However, there might still be a chance that you will not like the album (or Dream Theater) at all: The vocals are not everybody's cup of tea, as are the classical and avantgardistic (ZAPPA) influences and lengthy solos.
Show Track Info
Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Vanden PlasMyspace.com - Beyond Daylight 2002
8.8
Symphonic Prog Metal
This is good stuff. The bands reminds me of Dream Theater, the similarities are obvious. The vocals are different though, at times similar to newer Threshold albums. There are really stellar moments in some of the songs, but the album as a whole is just not inventive enough for me.

But they're trying really hard, musicianship and production are top notch, so they get 4 stars from me, which really are just 3 1/2 stars. Sorry, but DT did it first! Also, the keyboards are - well - underwhelming. They are buried in the mix, and appear too thin and unimportant compared to the Guitars.
Show Track Info
Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
FantômasMyspace.com - Suspended Animation 2005
7.8
Experimental Technical Prog Metal
Very nicely done. I give their debut album five stars, because it is really unique and wasn't done before, they really "added to the substance of the universe". This record is a combination of all their previous records, and also quite unique.

You get lots of samples, incoherent riffs, vocal acrobatics and occasional blastbeats ... it's not really prog in a Yes sense, but in a King Crimson meets Slayer meets Mr. Bungle sense. If you're new to Fantomas, I recommend you begin with Director's Cut and then continue with this record or their debut.
Statistics
Charts
Albums
Artists
2017
All
|
Studio
Live
DVD
EP
All
Favorite LPs of 2017
AyreonMyspace.com - The Source
 #1
9.2
Prog Rock
Steven WilsonMyspace.com - To the Bone
 #2
9.0
Prog Pop
Foo FightersMyspace.com - Concrete and Gold
 #3
8.8
Non-Prog Rock
The Night Flight Orchestra - Amber Galactic
 #4
8.8
Retro Non-Prog Rock
Avatarium - Hurricanes and Halos
 #5
8.8
Prog-Related Rock
Public Service Broadcasting - Every Valley
 #8
8.5
Prog-Related Rock
Playlist
1
2
...
118
1-20 of 2343  
Foo FightersMyspace.com - Concrete and Gold 2017
 one month ago
8.8
Non-Prog Rock
The Night Flight Orchestra - Amber Galactic 2017
 2 months ago
8.8
Retro Non-Prog Rock
Steven WilsonMyspace.com - To the Bone 2017
 3 months ago
9.0
Prog Pop
Public Service Broadcasting - Every Valley 2017
 3 months ago
8.5
Prog-Related Rock
Avatarium - Hurricanes and Halos 2017
 3 months ago
8.8
Prog-Related Rock
Avatarium - Hurricanes and Halos 2017
 6 months ago
8.8
Prog-Related Rock
AyreonMyspace.com - The Source 2017
 6 months ago
9.2
Prog Rock
AyreonMyspace.com - The Source 2017
 7 months ago
9.2
Prog Rock
Dream TheaterMyspace.com - When Dream And Day Unite 1989
 8 months ago
8.1
Technical Experimental Prog Metal
Neal MorseMyspace.com - The Similitude of a Dream 2016
 10 months ago
9.0
Prog Rock
GhostMyspace.com - Meliora 2015
 12 months ago
8.8
Prog-Related Metal
Neal MorseMyspace.com - The Similitude of a Dream 2016
 12 months ago
9.0
Prog Rock
Blind GuardianMyspace.com - Imaginations from the Other Side 1995
 2 years ago
9.0
Heavy Prog-Related Power Metal
King CrimsonMyspace.com - Red 1974
 2 years ago
9.1
English/British Experimental Prog Rock
Witherscape - The Northern Sanctuary 2016
 2 years ago
8.8
Heavy Prog Metal
Fates WarningMyspace.com - Theories Of Flight 2016
 2 years ago
8.7
Prog Metal
Cult of LunaMyspace.com - Mariner (with Julie Christmas) 2016
 2 years ago
9.0
Atmospheric Prog Post Metal
HakenMyspace.com - Affinity 2016
 2 years ago
9.0
Eclectic Prog Metal
Related Users
cyberhippy 80% 2
hamilred 69% 3
sgator 66% 8
snapshoot 63% 2
Coryo123 61% 4
Ystrom 61% 2
Slartibartfast 60% 4
memowakeman 60% 4
seyfoyun 59% 2
piccione 56% 23
boom07 54% 7
Dariaa76 53% 3
chopper 51% 15
celtic 50% 4
claugroi 49% 16
NeilPalfreyman 48% 3
tomas 48% 2
Plankowner 47% 5
juandhaltrich 46% 21
Logan812 46% 2
ryd6 45% 87
Max05 43% 35
mistertorture 43% 38
Incubus 42% 10
herropreese 39% 117
GhostRider 39% 3
birdwithteeth11 38% 12
zillah 37% 2
ssh_rdp 37% 25
cory 37% 20
Semprini 36% 10
crackedactor 36% 11
filkarada 35% 64
yesfan72 35% 4
Luxury 35% 2
Dirk 35% 27
ebag7125 34% 8
Mithrandir 34% 45
pulsy 34% 6
Obi 33% 6
usefulidiot 33% 39
Zsootty 32% 9
mpomy 31% 6
Lucikun 31% 53
OpethMinded 30% 3