User Page: Mike

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Joined 13 years ago
Last Visit 2 days ago
Ratings Submitted 1736
Main Genres Set 2324
Artists Added 4070
Albums Added 23509
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!
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Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Joanna Newsom - Ys 2006
8.5
Minimalistic Prog Post Rock/Independent
This is not for everyone. Vocals dominate everything here ... there are no drums, no bass - just orchestral instrumentation like strings, harp and the like. Joanna Newsom has a peculiar approach to singing - imagine a combination of Tom Waits and Tori Amos. The epic tracks tell crazy stories, in a way that's neither melancholic nor happy ... sometimes it gets a bit gloomy, but generally things stay on the positive side.
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Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Negură Bunget - Om 2006
8.8
Atmospheric Experimental Prog Post Extreme Metal
I usually don't really like Black Metal - the negativity is not exactly my thing. But in this case I'm more than willing to make an exception, these guys are so open about their music that you really can't call it "Black Metal" anymore. The whole album is very ambient, and the better part of it has "Post Metal" written all over it, with the occasional Folk influence - be prepared to hear trumpets, plucked pizzicato-like guitar parts and the like.
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Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Unexpect - In a Flesh Aquarium 2006
8.4
Technical Experimental Prog Extreme Metal
I must confess that I had a hard time getting into this album. It's very quirky and technical, and there aren't many calm or quiet moments, there's always something going on. Guitars, violin, male growling vocals, normal female vocals, effects, drum fills ... it's relentless. It's clearly influenced by Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Mr. Bungle and Fantomas ... and Black Metal, at least I think that's where the band originated from, but almost nothing of that style is left.
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Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Manticora - THE BLACK CIRCUS PART 1 - LETTERS 2006
7.6
Orchestral Prog Power Metal
A very nice effort - technical power metal, with lush
orchestrations and namy interesting ideas. Unfortunately I
can't get past the vocals - they're always so melodramatic, I
miss the variability of great singers like Russell Allen or
James LaBrie. The whole concept of the album is also a little
bit cheesy - but the music and musicianship is top notch.
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Comment by Mike 13 years ago
Evergrey - Recreation Day 2003
8.3
Prog Power Metal
I really enjoy listening to this album every once in a while ... great songwriting and very emotional vocals/lyrics. It's not typical power metal all the time, there are many extensive quiet passages, with great contributions by every band member - and they're never flashy.
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Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Steve Vai - Various Artists - Archives Vol. 4 2003, Compilation
8.9
Non-Prog Rock
This album is part of the "secret jewel box", it contains selected tracks which Vai recorded with other artists. I think it's an important album, essential for anybody who'd like to understand Vai and his musical background. Most of the songs are really different from what he did on his solo albums ... but his style is easily recognizable and at the same time blends perfectly with the mood/style of the song.
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Comment by Mike 13 years ago
Threshold - Subsurface 2004
8.8
Symphonic Prog Metal
This is my favorite Threshold album. Hypothetical is almost as good and a bit more quirky and technical, but this one tops it in terms of songwriting (killer melodies), plus I love its lush/symphonic sound.
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Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Therion - Sirius B 2005
7.4
Orchestral Prog-Related Metal
This is a quite decent album, but somehow the songwriting leaves me cold. It's also quite ordinarily structured, with songs mainly consisting of verse/chorus sections with alternating moods (usually power metal/male metal shouting vocals vs. symphonic power metal/female and male operatic vocals both in choir arrangements and solo). Harmonically it's quite tame, using chord progressions well known from other symphonic metal bands like Rhapsody and Nightwish, and of course also Therion's previous albums. Instrumentation is quite reduced compared to other symphonic metal albums - they're essentially just using drums, bass, guitars and vocal arrangements, keyboards and orchestra instruments are rarely used except for intros, outros and short interludes.

I'd definitely recommend their 2007 album Gothic Kabbalah instead of this one, but if you're a fan especially of Therion's early albums you'll also enjoy this one as well.
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Comment by Mike 13 years ago
Carl Orff - Carmina Burana 1937
9.3
Prog-Related Classical
"Prog-Related Classical" ... what I'm trying to say here is that while the Carmina Burana is often referred to as simplistic/repetitive by the standards of classical music, it exhibits many trademarks which would much later also be used in progressive music. A masterpiece for sure, by any standard!
Comment by Mike 13 years ago
Mike Keneally - Wooden Smoke 2001
8.0
Instrumental Minimalistic Prog Rock
A very calm and gentle album compared to Mike's other albums which are much more experimental and quirky. Acoustic Guitar and Piano are the dominating instruments, some tracks with drums/bass, some without, and of course there's Mike's vocals and his "unusual as usual" songwriting.
Comment by Mike 13 years ago
Iron Maiden - Killers 1981
8.3
Non-Prog NWoBHM
One of the first CDs I bought back in the 1980s ... it was on heavy rotation, and I still consider it to be one of my most famous NWOBHM albums.
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Comment by Mike 13 years ago
Deep Purple - Perfect Strangers 1984
8.0
Retro Prog-Related Hard Rock
This was one of the first CDs I bought back in the 1980s. I remember listening to it over and over again - the sound quality was amazing compared to the vinyl discs, which wear out with each listen. I still like it a lot, but the songwriting is a bit bland compared to Deep Purple's masterpieces of the early 70s.
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Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
The Gathering - How To Measure A Planet? 1998
8.9
Atmospheric Prog Post Metal/Rock
This is a very remarkable album. I'd call it Progressive Epic Atmospheric Metal/Rock. The Gathering started as a Gothic Metal band with progressive elements, and although there still are some edgy metal guitar sounds, their newer albums like this really evolved into some sort of modern Space Rock. It sounds quite electronic at times, but is largely based on traditional instruments.

The wonderful voice of Anneke is the constant element in this 1 hour 43 minutes journey. All the instruments just support the vocals, there are very few solo spots for guitar or keyboards. The whole album just flows from melody to melody, from song to song. And these melodies are really great.

If you like mellow albums like Opeth's Damnation, or Porcupine Tree's Sky Moves Sideways, you might want to give this a try, if you enjoy female vocals, too.
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Comment by Mike
Rhapsody (of Fire) - Triumph or Agony 2006
7.3
Neo Classical Prog Power Metal
This album suffers mainly from a lack of inspiration and sounds to me like a "routine job". Musicianship and production are stellar, that's not the problem.
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Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Haggard - And Thou Shalt Trust... The Seer 1997
7.4
Orchestral Prog-Related Doom Metal/Classical
I don't know ... it's a decent album, technically. But somehow their approach of combining classical (medieval) music and Doom Metal puts me off. Maybe it's the chord progressions - they're just too tame und unadventurous for my taste. Or the clean male vocals - they're muffy and uninspired.

If you're new to classical/metal "fusion" then by all means check this album out ... but don't stop there and also try Rhapsody, Kamelot, Symphony X, Adagio and many other bands who not only combine two genres, but are also trying (and succeeding) to add their own unique style.
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Comment by Mike
Shadow Gallery - Carved In Stone 1995
8.4
Celtic Epic Neo Prog Metal/Rock
I really like this album ... from all the Shadow Gallery albums it's the one with the most folk/celtic influences, and while there are some quite heavy bits it maintains a very acoustic sound. The epic (Ghostship) is outstanding ... it's like a more progressive version of Iron Maiden's Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
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Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
GPS - Window to the Soul 2006
8.0
Prog-Related Rock
Interesting! The vocals are quite unusual ... kind of like Jorn Lande meets Tom Waits. There are quite a few Neo Prog bands which released strong albums in 2006 ... this album easily belongs to them as far as sound and instrumentation is concerned, but the songwriting is not really progressive, except for a few tracks. Ryo Okumoto on keyboards is a huge asset - his mellotron and subtle strings are always present, and together with the strong songwriting and excellent musicianship the result is a really worth-while listen ... if you're into Melodic Neo Prog or AOR.
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Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Carmine Appice - Ultimate Guitar Zeus 2006
8.1
Retro Non-Prog Hard Rock
One of the highlights of the year 2006 for me. The sheer number
of guest stars here is amazing, and what's even better: the
collaboration really works. It's not at all an album for
guitarists (as the title suggests) or drummers (as it's by the
amazing Carmine Appice). There are vocals in every track, and
the overal style can be described as a combination of Deep
Purple, Led Zeppelin, King's X The Black Crowes ... and then
all the influences of the guest stars which include Steve
Morse, Brian May, Slash, Yngwie Malmsteen (!), Ty Tabor and
many more.
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Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Steve Hackett - Wild Orchids 2006
8.1
Eclectic Prog Independent
This is quite a genre-defying monster of an album. It touches so many styles, moods and sounds - at one time it reminds of Tom Waits, then swings over to completely symphonic non-rock classical music, only to suddenly return to a Adrian Belew-esque New Art-Rock Post-Pop groove. It's not chaotic though - each of the 13 relatively short track seems like a coherent episode of an incoherent dream ...

I like it, and this being the first Steve Hackett album to get my hands upon I'm eager to explore his discography!
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Review by Mike 13 years ago <Permalink>
Mastodon - Blood Mountain 2006
9.0
Experimental Prog Extreme Metal
This is the first Mastodon album that I get to listen to in full length - and I really like it. Usually I find (Post) Sludge Metal interesting musically, but the vocals put me off. Fortunately it is just one of many influences here, and I'd say it's more like a Post Doom/Independent/EMO album, with a heavy dose of Thrash thrown in. There is much experimentation going on, and they're never calculable.

Mainstream listeners might have a hard time digesting this very dense and inaccessible opus, metal-friendly prog fans will find it a very worthwhile listen.
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Statistics
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Albums
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2018
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All
Favorite LPs of 2018
Ghost - Prequelle
 #1
9.1
Prog-Related Metal
Alice in Chains - Rainier Fog
 #4
8.8
Non-Prog Metal/Rock
Between The Buried & Me - Automata I
 #5
8.8
Prog Metal
Boss Keloid - Melted On The Inch
 #6
8.7
Avant-Garde Prog Rock
Mogwai - Kin
 #7
8.5
Prog Rock
Amorphis - Queen of Time
 #8
8.5
Prog-Related Metal
Playlist
1
2
...
118
1-20 of 2355  
Death - Symbolic 1995
 5 days ago
8.9
Technical Prog Death Metal
Mogwai - Kin 2018
 6 days ago
8.5
Prog Rock
Alice in Chains - Rainier Fog 2018
 2 months ago
8.8
Non-Prog Metal/Rock
Amorphis - Queen of Time 2018
 2 months ago
8.5
Prog-Related Metal
Ghost - Prequelle 2018
 2 months ago
9.1
Prog-Related Metal
Boss Keloid - Melted On The Inch 2018
 2 months ago
8.7
Avant-Garde Prog Rock
Ghost - Prequelle 2018
 2 months ago
9.1
Prog-Related Metal
The Night Flight Orchestra - Sometimes the World Ain't Enough 2018
 3 months ago
9.0
Retro Non-Prog Rock/Metal
Ghost - Prequelle 2018
 3 months ago
9.1
Prog-Related Metal
Spock's Beard - Day for Night 1999
 5 months ago
8.1
Symphonic Prog Rock
Ark - Burn the Sun 2001
 5 months ago
8.9
Eclectic Prog Metal/Hard Rock
Heart of CygnusListen - Tales From Outer Space! 2009
 9 months ago
8.9
Spacey Prog Metal
Foo Fighters - Concrete and Gold 2017
 12 months ago
8.8
Non-Prog Rock
The Night Flight Orchestra - Amber Galactic 2017
 2 years ago
8.8
Retro Non-Prog Rock
Steven Wilson - To the Bone 2017
 2 years ago
9.0
Prog Pop
Public Service Broadcasting - Every Valley 2017
 2 years ago
8.5
Prog-Related Rock
Avatarium - Hurricanes and Halos 2017
 2 years ago
8.8
Prog-Related Rock
Avatarium - Hurricanes and Halos 2017
 2 years ago
8.8
Prog-Related Rock
Ayreon - The Source 2017
 2 years ago
9.2
Prog Rock
Ayreon - The Source 2017
 2 years ago
9.2
Prog Rock
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