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Review by Mike 18 years ago <Permalink>
Ayreon - Universal Migrator 2: Flight of the Migrator 2000
8.8
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.
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Review by Mike 18 years ago <Permalink>
Dream Theater - 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.
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Review by Mike 18 years ago <Permalink>
Vanden Plas - 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.
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Review by Mike 18 years ago <Permalink>
Fantômas - 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.
Review by Mike 18 years ago <Permalink>
Fantômas - Fantômas 1998
9.4
Avant-Garde Experimental Prog Metal
This is so unique and beyond any reference or tradition, and at the same time performed with such precision and stellar musicianship, that I cannot give this gem any less rating than masterpiece. I still cannot understand how such an album can exist at all, it's unreal. It's such a daunting task to create this weird concept and then to pull it through.

It's not really prog as in Symphonic Progressive Rock epics, rather the very opposite. There are hardly any tracks longer than 2:30, and no mellotron whatsoever, or any keyboards apart from strangely modified hammond samples. But I think that the whole album is an epic of sorts - it surely has recurring phrases, just not in a musical sense.

It surely is the first album I've ever heard to feature vocals throughout, but no lyrics - just vocal acrobatics of the kind that only Mike Patton dares to base albums upon. Add to that the Slayer drums mayhem by Dave Lombardo, and King Buzzo (Melvins), who manages to mogrify his puristic Les Paul & Amp to a similar extent that Patton does voicewise.

If you want to hear something COMPLETELY different, try this!
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Comment by Mike
Shadow Gallery - Legacy 2001
8.2
Prog Metal
This is not the best Shadow Gallery album ... but it get's a high score from me because of the brilliant epic and the first track. Colors might be the weakest track, but given some time it begins to grow on you as well.
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Review by Mike 18 years ago <Permalink>
Pink Floyd - The Wall 1979
9.0
English/British Symphonic Neo Prog-Related Rock
IMO this is a masterpiece ... even though there are other Pink Floyd albums that are even better - like Wish You Were Here and Dark Side of the Moon. Those albums are more progressive in many ways and an amazing team effort, whereas this is essentially a Roger Waters solo album. It is also regressive, it might even be considered easy listening by the standards established by their previous albums. But then again progressiveness and musical complexity cannot be the only criteria.
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Review by Mike 18 years ago <Permalink>
Dream Theater - Images and Words 1992
9.3
Symphonic Technical Prog Metal
This IS prog ... but not traditional Progressive Rock. It is a form of Progressive Metal, but in the years to follow this release, bands like Pain Of Salvation stretched the boundaries of that genre much further. Yet this is an excellent release, featuring a wide bandwidth from soft pop ballads (Another Day) to ultra prog (Metropolis). I don't think that this type of music qualifies as Speed or Power Metal, as others suggested, because it's just so much different than other releases from those genres. Your typical Speed Metal fan would not listen to Dream Theater. Instead, he might consider it too progressive ...

But I have to admit that progressiveness in itself was probably not what the band had in mind when they created Images And Words. I think they really just wanted to create music that is interesting for the listener, and fun to play for the band. It may lack the seriousness of King Crimson, and the vocal arrangements of Gentle Giant, there's not even a mellotron ... but each track except the ballad has truly progressive elements.

The one outstanding track on this record is Learning To Live. It's really a good summary of all the other tracks, and it's a track the band almost always includes in the setlist. And of course Metropolis Pt.1, the first part to their masterpiece Scenes From a Memory, which was initially "just" a follow up song to Metropolis Pt.1 and then became a full concept album.
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Playlists
Summary
All
1
2
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11
1-20 of 214  
The Michael Schenker Group - Universal 2022
 2 days ago
Mike
8.6
Neo Classical Non-Prog True Metal
Iron Maiden - Senjutsu 2021
 2 months ago
PowerWyrm
9.5
Non-Prog NWoBHM
Petyr - Smolyk 2018
 3 months ago
DamoXt7942
8.5
Psychedelic Stoner Prog-Related Hard Rock
Triton Devs - Stay Alive 2021
 2 years ago
Time_Signature
8.0
Prog Hard Rock/Metal
Electric Mud - Quiet Days On Earth 2020
 3 years ago
Samurai
9.0
Prog Rock
Aquacadia - Into Atalantia 2019
 3 years ago
Hydrazine
8.8
Eclectic Prog Hard Rock
Entombed - Left Hand Path 1990
 3 years ago
Jozef47
9.6
Nordic Heavy Non-Prog Death Metal
King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King 1969
 3 years ago
lazland
9.7
Eclectic Prog Rock
Metronhomme - 4 2019
 3 years ago
metronhomme
9.5
Italian Instrumental Experimental Prog Rock/Independent
OH.Listen - Metallia 2018, EP
 5 years ago
Basil
9.5
Symphonic Experimental Prog Post Metal
Marillion - F E A R (F*** Everyone And Run) 2016
 6 years ago
O666
9.0
Neo Prog Rock
The Novelists - DEMO 2014, EP
 6 years ago
Bigmo
8.0
Experimental Prog Extreme Metal
Charts
Albums
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2022
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All
Top Prog LPs of 2022
1
2
1-20 of 26  
Kaipa - Urskog
 #1

9.3 x1
Symphonic Prog Rock
Big Big Train - Welcome To The Planet
 #3

9.3 x1
Prog Rock
Fromuz - The Asymmetric Rules
 #4

9.2 x1
Eclectic Prog Rock
The Tangent - Songs From The Hard Shoulder
 #5

9.2 x1
Eclectic Prog Rock
Star One - Revel In Time
 #6

8.8 x1
Prog Metal
D'Virgilio, Morse & Jennings - Troika
 #7

8.8 x1
Prog Rock
Kaprekar's Constant - The Murder Wall
 #8

8.8 x1
Prog Rock
James LaBrie - Beautiful Shade of Grey
 #9

8.7 x1
Prog Metal
Tiger Moth Tales - A Song of Spring
 #10

8.7 x1
Prog Rock
The Flower Kings - By Royal Decree
 #11

8.6 x1
Symphonic Prog Rock
Marillion - An Hour Before It's Dark
 #12

8.6 x1
Neo Prog Rock
Toundra - Hex
 #13

8.6 x1
Instrumental Prog Post Metal
Steve Vai - Inviolate
 #14

8.4 x1
Instrumental Prog Metal
Bjorn Riis - Everything to Everyone
 #16

8.4 x1
Neo Prog Rock
Jethro Tull - The Zealot Gene
 #17

8.4 x1
Prog Rock
Animals As Leaders - Parrhesia
 #18

8.3 x1
Technical Instrumental Prog Extreme Metal
Voivod - Synchro Anarchy
 #19

8.3 x1
Technical Prog Extreme Metal
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Omnium Gatherum
 #20

8.3 x1
Psychedelic Prog Rock