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User Page: Mike

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Joined 17 years ago
Last Visit 50 minutes ago
Ratings Submitted 1809
Main Genres Set 2411
Artists Added 4072
Albums Added 23566
Trust level 8/10
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About Me
I'm the founder of this crazy website ... I hope it's helpful to you in some way!
Contact me Please write me a mail at info@progfreak.com. Contributors can also join progfreak.slack.com for easier communication (ask me for an invite).
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Review by Mike 17 years ago <Permalink>
Moonspell - Memorial 2006
7.7
Non-Prog Metal
I don't know where to put this band - Doom Metal ... Death Metal ... or Power Metal? They're a little bit of all that metal has to offer. The vocals are mostly growled (Death), the riffs and general song structure reminds of Doom Metal, and the tempo and drumming is Modern Power Metal. And to top it off they add a layer of symphonic texturing (keyboards and orchestra) and the occasional odd twist and signature change.

Do I like it? Sure! But I'll have to listen a bit longer to find out if they can compete with the big names.
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Review by Mike 17 years ago <Permalink>
Devin Townsend - Terria 2001
9.3
Experimental Prog Metal
This is Devin's masterpiece. The following album has more hooks and catchy tunes, but this one is truly majestic, epic and utterly wonderful. This is a complex work of art.

This albums is also so unique - it defies categorisation. Although this is metal, there is no other Prog Metal band that comes close to what he does. Earth Metal, Epic Progressive Metal ... that begins to describe it.

The most unique thing about the Devin Townsend albums is that he uses a very large number of tracks during recording, which are layered on top of one another to create a wall of sound. He does this for individual instruments as well as the whole tracks. This results in a incredible level of detail - with a good hifi system, you can hear lots of different instruments "below the surface".

This album doesn't have a story as such, but a topic: Nature - Canada in particular - and spirituality. The song titles and lyrics excerpts give you a good idea of what you can expect.
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Comment by Mike 17 years ago
Faith No More - King For A Day - Fool For A Lifetime 1995
9.3
Eclectic Non-Prog Metal
Even after 10 years I still consider this to be one of my favorite albums of all times ... it's quite diverse, ranging from soft acoustic latin grooves to extremely aggressive metal, held together by Mike Patton's vocals and the outstanding guitar work of Trey Spruance.
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Comment by Mike
Paatos - Silence of Another Kind 2006
8.0
Symphonic Prog Post Rock
This is my first Paatos album, and I like it. The music is not too complex, but quite symphonic. Dark Prog Rock, inspired by (but never crossing the border to) Alternative/Black Metal which Sweden is so famous for. The vocals are amazing, and the atmosphere is very credible.
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Review by Mike 17 years ago <Permalink>
Tool - 10,000 Days 2006
8.7
Technical Experimental Prog Metal
I love it! To me it seems like a good successor of Lateralus - some tracks are as ambitioned and abstract, others are less tense and and even a bit mellow, reminding of Aenima. I really like the epic of the album - tracks #3 and #4. They're really gloomy and sort of depressing - Maynard never explains the lyrics, but I'm sure they are mostly about his mother, but might also include other topics.

I think that I'll prefer this to Lateralus in the long run - somehow 10,000 Days feels more balanced to me, but it's really too early for a final verdict.
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Comment by Mike
OSI - Free 2006
7.6
Experimental Prog Post Metal/Electronic
I really like to listen to this album. I categorized it as "Post Space Metal" - it's a combination of Kevin Moore's Post Space Rock music (Chroma Key) and the modern Prog Metal influence of Matheos. The album is very electronic, Mike Portnoy had much less influence here than on the last disc.
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Review by Mike 17 years ago <Permalink>
Textures - Drawing Circles 2006
8.4
Technical Prog Extreme Metal
A combination of Meshuggah and - a whole lot of other bands. There is a definitive presence of Aggro/Sludge/Hatecore, but it is counterbalanced with lengthy mellow sections, melodic parts, even some Avant-Garde. You're only going to like this if you can tolerate aggressive Metal, but if you do you're in for a treat. Musicianship is top notch, and it all seems very professional and precise - but never too mathematical, even in the complex parts which there are plenty of on this album.

A musical roller coaster ride - one of the highlights of this year so far!
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Review by Mike 17 years ago <Permalink>
Ostinato - Chasing the Form 2006
8.8
Minimalistic Experimental Prog Post Rock
I almost categorized this as Post Alternative Rock - but it's really not Alternative. There are traces of it, but all in all it's a very neutral album - pure music, abstract acoustic shapes and forms. The trio manages to create an amazing wall of sound - actually it's quite transparent too.

One of the best albums of the year so far!
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Review by Mike 17 years ago <Permalink>
Buckethead - Kaleidoscalp 2005
8.3
Instrumental Prog-Related Post Metal
This is a hilarious roller coaster ride ... there are some really calm Buckethead albums, and then there are extremely technical ones like this. It's a bit like Primus meets John Zorn meets - Buckethead. It was released on Tzadik, John Zorn's record label, and it fits nicely. Think of it like a much more experimental, crazy and totally over the edge version of Satriani's Engines of Creations, with a lot of zany mad-cap humor.
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Review by Mike 17 years ago <Permalink>
The Gathering - Home 2006
8.1
Minimalistic Non-Prog Post Rock
As you can tell by the ratings - I really enjoyed listening to this wonderful album. The Gathering certainly have come a long way. Their last album Souvenirs was already not a metal album anymore, but at least to me it seemed a little bit torn between different styles. This album seems totally focused to me, except for the track Solace, which escapes me at the moment - but it's the first listen.

If you like melodic, calm Post Rock a la Sigur Rós with a little less melodic complexity but much more beautiful vocals, then this is for you!
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Review by Mike 17 years ago <Permalink>
Vanden Plas - Christ.O 2006
8.5
Symphonic Prog Metal
I really like it! Somehow I expected this album to be a little more quirky, more different to the previous Vanden Plas albums. In a way it is different, there are much more authentic symphonic bits - not "just" keyboards. The band has been working with a big orchestra for the last year, and you certainly hear that influence. Having said that, these influences are more dominant on the second half of the album, and I hope they will continue in that direction on their next album.
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Review by Mike 17 years ago <Permalink>
Sieges Even - A Sense of Change 1992
8.0
Technical Neo Prog Rock
OMG do I *hate* these vocals.

Now with that out of the way: It's a really nice album musically, very diverse and not really metal in the original sense of the word. There are lengthy passages which are dominated by acoustic guitars and/or slightly distorted electric guitars, the overall sound during the non-acoustic parts reminds me much of early Enchant, although this album is much more quirky and technical.

About the vocals: The singer is simply trying too much to be creative and experimental ... in this case less would definitely have been more.
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Review by Mike 17 years ago <Permalink>
Evergrey - Monday Morning Apocalypse 2006
7.3
Non-Prog Metal
On this album Evergrey take a step back in terms of progressiveness and technicality ... but they didn't change the underlying style much. The music is dominated by the vocals and chugging rhythm guitars, and the nice piano interludes/intros/outros. The mood is not as gloomy as on The Inner Circle, but still biased towards the sad and depressive side.
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Review by Mike 17 years ago <Permalink>
Ghostigital - In Cod We Trust 2006
7.6
Free Form Experimental Non-Prog Post Electronic
I don't know what to make of this ... imagine a band as weird as (later) Arcturus, only with all the metal influences replaced by electronic music from Trip Hop to Rap. I really like it, it's extremely well produced and all the weird parts make sense musically. And the lyrics/song topics are quite humorous, really fun to listen to.
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Review by Mike 17 years ago <Permalink>
Secret Machines - Ten Silver Drops 2006
7.6
Non-Prog Rock
Not bad! I was expecting a little more though, after reading about this album in some magazines which praised it as THE big new Space Rock album of 2006. But I don't really think it's Space Rock ... rather Experimental Alternative Rock with a lot of spacey ambient elements which are more similar to Post Rock bands like Sigur Ros than Space Rock.
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Review by Mike 17 years ago <Permalink>
Greg Koch - The Grip 2001
8.7
Instrumental Prog-Related Blues/Country
Greg Koch really put it over the top with this album. He has a very unique style - a mix of country, rock, blues and (very little) metal. He loves the telecaster/stratocaster + Fender amp sound, and employs stunning tricks with the vibrato bar, volume know etc. frequently. A bit like Jeff Beck, with a really good feeling for melody and balance, but also great humor and the occasional really odd parts.
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Review by Mike 17 years ago <Permalink>
Therion - Theli 1996
4.0
Orchestral Prog Power Metal
My apologies to all Therion fans out there - I don't mean to be rude. But there are so many albums out there that are simple one or two magnitudes better than this. Still, you have to give them some credits for being the first band to combine classical music and metal ... theoretically Malmsteen was first by inventing neoclassical metal, but Therion go one step further and introduce operatic vocals, choirs and orchestral instrumentation (sparsely and simulated by keyboards/synthesizers, but it's there).
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Review by Mike 17 years ago <Permalink>
Leviathan - Riddles, Questions, Poetry & Outrage 1996
7.3
Neo Prog-Related Metal
This is a nice effort. A very solid album with some really good songs, and some which seem a little bit forced - too much technicality, too little songwriting substance. But it's not totally over the edge like for example Power of Omens. Vocals are above average, the singer has a pleasant voice with enough variability to really transport the different moods of the songs.
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Review by Mike 17 years ago <Permalink>
Morcheeba - The Antidote 2005
8.3
Non-Prog Rock
Morcheeba come from the electronic/pop domain, and with this album they show that they can also rock. All songs are firmly rooted in rock, with quite some folk influences and the occasional trippy electronic effects and loops/samples. And on top of all that there are the magnificent female vocals - an extraordinarily strong voice which reminds of the 60s flower power bands.
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Comment by Mike
Gnidrolog - In Spite of Harry's Toenail 1971
8.5
Technical Prog Rock
Very interesting! I got interested in this band because I liked the cover art of their other album (Lady Lake), so I bought this one. Pretty weird stuff, but very well done. If you like Van der Graaf Generator and RIO/Avant-Prog, you should definitely give these guys a listen.
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2022
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Favorite LPs of 2022
1
2
...
14
1-20 of 278  
Porcupine Tree - CLOSURE / CONTINUATION
 #1
9.2
Avant-Garde Prog Rock
Charile Griffiths - Tiktaalika
 #2
9.0
Prog Metal
Pure Reason Revolution - Above Cirrus
 #3
9.0
Prog Metal
Big Big Train - Welcome To The Planet
 #4
9.0
Symphonic Prog Rock
Black Midi - Hellfire
 #5
8.9
Prog Rock in Opposition/Independent
Ghost - Impera
 #6
8.9
Epic Non-Prog Metal/Rock
Ashenspire - Hostile Architecture
 #7
8.8
Prog Post Extreme Metal
The Dear Hunter - Antimai
 #8
8.8
Prog Rock
Pattern-Seeking Animals - Only Passing Through
 #11
8.8
Eclectic Prog Rock
Oceans Of Slumber - Starlight and Ash
 #13
8.6
Prog-Related Rock
Derek Sherinian - Vortex
 #14
8.6
Prog Jazz/Rock
The Michael Schenker Group - Universal
 #15
8.6
Neo Classical Non-Prog Metal
Playgrounded - The Death of Death
 #16
8.5
Prog Post Metal
Motorpsycho - Ancient Astronauts
 #17
8.5
Prog Post Rock/Metal
Cult of Luna - The Long Road North
 #18
8.5
Prog Metal
Kaprekar's Constant - The Murder Wall
 #19
8.5
Prog Rock
Star One - Revel In Time
 #20
8.4
Prog Metal
Playlist
1
2
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131
1-20 of 2613  
Swans - Love of Life 1992
 3 hours ago
7.8
Prog-Related Independent
Ulver - Scary Muzak 2021
 23 hours ago
Wave
Blind Guardian - Nightfall in Middle-Earth 1998
 23 hours ago
9.3
Orchestral Prog Power Metal
Between The Buried And Me - Coma Ecliptic 2015
 one day ago
9.0
Prog Metal
Ulver - Scary Muzak 2021
 2 days ago
Wave
Weezer - SZNZ: Autumn 2022
 3 days ago
7.5
Prog-Related Rock
Witherscape - The Northern Sanctuary 2016
 4 days ago
8.8
Heavy Prog Metal
Anathema - The Optimist 2017
 4 days ago
Anathema - We're Here Because We're Here 2010
 4 days ago
8.9
English/British Atmospheric Prog Rock
Charile Griffiths - Tiktaalika 2022
 4 days ago
9.0
Prog Metal
Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon 1973
 11 days ago
9.8
English/British Minimalistic Experimental Prog Rock
Blind Guardian - Nightfall in Middle-Earth 1998
 11 days ago
9.3
Orchestral Prog Power Metal
Blind Guardian - Nightfall in Middle-Earth 1998
 11 days ago
9.3
Orchestral Prog Power Metal
Pagan's Mind - Enigmatic: Calling 2005
 11 days ago
8.7
Prog Power Metal
Noekk - The Water Sprite 2005
 12 days ago
8.2
Eclectic Prog Post Rock
Tool - Lateralus 2001
 12 days ago
8.9
Experimental Prog Metal
Steven Wilson - Insurgentes 2009
 13 days ago
8.8
Prog
Symphony X - V: The New Mythology Suite 2001
 13 days ago
9.7
Technical Neo Classical Prog Power Metal
Steven Wilson - Insurgentes 2009
 13 days ago
8.8
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