User Page: zitro

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Joined 11 years ago
Last Visit 9 years ago
Ratings Submitted 160
Main Genres Set 174
Artists Added 3
Albums Added 20
Trust level 8/10
Permalink http://progfreak.com/user/zitro
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Review by zitro 9 years ago <Permalink>
YesMyspace.com - Magnification 2001
8.9
Symphonic Prog Classical
Best Yes album since Relayer?

Sure, "Don't Go" is an out of place pop song where its deep texture can't save it. Other than that, I've never heard the band so inspired since the Machine Messiah composition in Drama. The composition is the best point of the album: the way all instruments and orchestra harmonize is sublime. The only other rock+orchestra effort that is as successful as this one is Rick Wakeman's "Journey". Those two epics might be the best songs they wrote since Machine Messiah (you can tell I love that song).
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Comment by zitro
Steven WilsonMyspace.com - Insurgentes 2009
8.8
Eclectic Prog Rock
Steven Wilson keeps growing as a musician. This is a very eclectic album that is quite consistent in quality. In this album, Wilson explores dissonance (luckily not overused).  If this were a Porcupine Tree album, I'd rank it among its best works.
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Review by zitro 9 years ago <Permalink>
Coldplay - Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends 2008
7.7
Prog-Related Pop
One of the biggest surprises of 2008, because I never liked Coldplay. The band showed songwriting talents I did not think they would have. The sound production is wonderful thanks to eno and the music is generally deep in texture. The end result is a good balance of pop and art rock with mild influences from various other genres. The first two songs are especially solid (the intro sounds like Sigur Ros), the single is of course a classic pop song, and "Death to All His Friends" has a 7/8 climax that is nothing but pure symphonic rock.

Not an excellent album by any means, but I'm surprised that I like a Coldplay Album and that I love both title tracks in it.
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Review by zitro 10 years ago <Permalink>
MetallicaMyspace.com - Death Magnetic 2008
7.6
Prog-Related Thrash Metal
Back to the Roots, Metallica play fast and heavy like in the old days. Most songs are long and songwriting based around riffs. James (singer/rhythm guitar) is at his top form, bass and lead guitars are quite good too, and the drummer sounds like crap. Luckily, all songs are at least decent with the instrumental being probably the weakest one.
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Review by zitro 10 years ago <Permalink>
AyreonMyspace.com - 01011001 2008
7.0
A subpar concept album about an immortal and technological advanced alien race hooked on machines deciding to plant their DNA in a comet creating humans. To their disappointment, the humans got hooked on machines and myspace.

The music is carefully crafted, but for some reason, I find the music dull, unoriginal, monotonous, and overlong. There are tons of talented musicians and vocalist trying to save this album, to no avail.
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Comment by zitro
Linkin Park - Meteora 2003
6.5
The follow up to the debut is a bit disappointing. Rather than
progress, they release a very similar album. The music doesn't
sound as fresh anymore and the ideas are not as great as
before. There are a few tracks that sound different from Hybrid
Theory material but overall, this is not the definition of
creativity.
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Review by zitro 11 years ago <Permalink>
Linkin Park - Reanimation 2002, Best Of
6.3
Not your typical remix album.

An ambitious album for sure, but with mixed results. Most of the songs are vastly edited. When it works, the songs make the original versions sound pedestrian and inferior (e.g. crawling). The main problem with this album is too much fooling around in the DJ department at times and some unnecessary hip-hop.
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Review by zitro 11 years ago <Permalink>
Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory 2000
7.1
A massive commercial success and a decent debut for a band that appeared to have potential, but it really didn't show much of it yet (despite the excellent closer of "Two Minutes to Midnight"). The music is structurally predictable with verse/choruses. Verses usually have melodic singing or catchy rapping while the chorus is more like sing-along hard rock. Both singers are very competent at what they do, the electronics are usually spot-on, but the rest of the band do not go beyond basic performances nor steal the show (where are the solos?). The lyrics are simple, but they work and sometimes contain good messages.

Bonus tracks include the electronic-pop ballad "My December" (6.5 average), and the rap-oriented "High Voltage" (8.0, good) that is better than most songs here and has the strings sound of "Cure for the Itch"
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Review by zitro 11 years ago <Permalink>
The Flower KingsMyspace.com - The Sum of No Evil 2007
9.3
Another stroke of genius. Vastly different from their darker and highly melodic Paradox Hotel and a nod to the jazz of Space Revolver, the happiness of Stardust we are, and the positive melody-writing of Adam and Eve. This album completely kicks out their tendencies to make an album-flow with short songs, intermissions and interludes. Instead, this is just a a set of long songs that stand on their own. Also, most of the acoustic delicacy and mainstream qualities and completely gone, which is both a positive and negative thing: it depends on your musical tastes. If you tend to enjoy more the easier-digested neo-prog and classic rock (not necessarily prog), this might be bad news. This album is very bombastic and has a big big sound and really does give you any breaks to catch your breath. It's constantly bombarding you with intense music, whether happy or dark. Oh yea, this album is most of the time extremely positive, so if you're into the depressing tone of Pink Floyd, and Porcupine tree, the sugary flower-power, peace-love for all tone in most of the disc might turn you off. Also, another warning is the inaccessible notion of "The Sum of No Evil"; it is very complex and sometimes choppy, which actually made me conclude that this was by far their worst effort in the first three listens. This album contains some of the best moments of the Flower Kings which unfortunately may not always gel together or are consistently on the same lever to create a masterpiece like Space Revolver, and suffer from some bad lyrics.
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Review by zitro 11 years ago <Permalink>
Tori AmosMyspace.com - Under the Pink 1994
7.7
Pop
The follow up to her excellent debut is really more of the same. This isn't a bad thing as Tori knows how to make good simple songs due to her excellent piano playing and melodious vocals which rarely repeat themselves.

There is one problem. The album is not as musically strong and fresh as the original, and it also does not have a clear highlight like "Precious Things" or the title track. Lastly, its mellower nature makes it less exciting to the ears.
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Comment by zitro
Tori AmosMyspace.com - Little Earthquakes 1992
8.7
Pop
Very good personal album with a very stripped-down approach: mostly vocals and the grand piano.

Very dark lyrics contrasts with the happier musical arrangements. Overall, this album is very strong compositionally without the need of prog or complexity. "Precious Things" is an example of what I mean.
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Review by zitro 11 years ago <Permalink>
Rick Wakeman - Retro 2006
7.4
Retro Rock
Recommended album for Wakeman fans, but not interesting enough for anyone else. Retro is an album where Rick Wakeman decided to focus solely on 70s vintage instruments like the hammond, the analog synthesizers, and the mellotron. It is a refreshing album, but some of the keyboard sounds are the hideous ones from his clunker "Rhapsodies". Other problems include some mediocre songwriting in places and the feeling that he overused these instruments sometimes.
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Comment by zitro
Nobuo Uematsu - Final Fantasy VIII: Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec 2000, Soundtrack
8.6
Orchestral Classical
A Symphonic soundtrack to a video game. Hearing the rich arrangements and the quality of the melodies in this album (and Black Mages debut) makes me conclude that Nobuo Uematsu as videogame composer is ahead of the game. He is an excellent composer who should have written solo albums.
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Comment by zitro
Tomas Bodin - Pinup Guru 2002
7.5
Retro Prog Rock
A trio of Flower Kings members (bass, keyboard, drums) which sounds like a hybrid of ELP and The Flower Kings.

Strong in the beginning and ending but weak in the middle.
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Comment by zitro
The Black MagesMyspace.com - The Black Mages 2004
8.8
A mixture of heavy metal, power metal, prog, and Japanese video game music. All songs are remakes of Role-Playing Game franchise: Final Fantasy.

The songs were very well done and nice to listen before, but most of them sound better here
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Comment by zitro
Air - Moon Safari 1998
8.8
Prog-Related Electronic/Pop
An album that prog fans could enjoy. This is beautifully arranged electronica-pop with very smart arrangements and choice of sounds, which could make it prog-related. This sounds a bit like what Alan Parson would sound in the 21st century.

Simply irresistible pop that has enough depth to sustain interest
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Review by zitro 11 years ago <Permalink>
Linkin Park - Minutes to Midnight 2007
6.3
A disappointment. Even if it was stated that the nu-metal would be mostly gone and that they were going to be influenced by prog rock and classic rock bands, Most of the stuff here is emo pop, boring ballads with no musical depth, and rap/alt. rock.

Two songs stand out though and save this album from mediocrity.
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