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User Page: Mike

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Joined 17 years ago
Last Visit 23 minutes ago
Ratings Submitted 1809
Main Genres Set 2411
Artists Added 4072
Albums Added 23566
Trust level 8/10
Permalink http://progfreak.com/user/Mike
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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Comment by Mike 16 years ago
The Pierces - Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge 2007
7.8
Non-Prog Rock/Pop
The humor reminds me of The Beautiful South a little bit - it's not British at all though. Very nice voices and vocal harmonies throughout the album (twin female) with the music ranging from disco like grooves to alternative rock.
Comment by Mike 16 years ago
Twinspirits - The Music That Will Heal The World 2007
7.9
Prog Album Oriented Rock/Metal
Nice debut! The singer has a strong voice (reminds me of Graham Bonnet), the music is an interesting mix of AOR and Metal (which occasional ventures into Power Metal territory) with just the right amount of "quirks" which makes it prog, production is very good and songwriting could be a little more adventurous but never feels contrived.
Comment by Mike 16 years ago
Dead Air Radio - Signal to Noise Ratio 2007
7.3
Prog Metal
This sound very much like Dream Theater ... they borough specific riffs, chords/chord sequences, rhythmical trademarks, twin leads, guitar/keyboard breaks etc.. Apart from that it's a fine album, but I just can't stand the constant feeling of deja vú.
Comment by Mike 16 years ago
Estradasphere - Palace of Mirrors 2006
8.8
Oriental Instrumental Prog Rock
This is easily my favorite Estradasphere album. It's instrumental, but you don't really miss the vocals because the melodies are very strong and captivating. Add to that the near-perfect production and musicianship/choice of instruments ...
Comment by Mike 16 years ago
SikTh - The Trees are Dead & Dried Out Wait for Something Wild 2003
8.9
Avant-Garde Prog Extreme Metal
Quite a mix of styles ... but there's a concept behind it all, and I really enjoyed this musical roller coaster ride!
Comment by Mike 16 years ago
Luminous Flesh Giants - Duma i upadek 2006
8.0
Prog Metal
An interesting idea: melodic prog metal without vocals! Many of the riffs strongly remind me of Dream Theater, but on the other hand the album is available at no cost, and musicianship is rock solid and they add many interesting things to the equation.
Comment by Mike 16 years ago
Dälek - Absence 2004
7.7
Experimental Non-Prog Hip Hop
This is one of the very few Hip-Hop albums which I would call progressive ... very noisy, with a lot going on in the background layering, and even a few chord changes ;-)
Comment by Mike 16 years ago
Poor Genetic Material - Spring Tidings 2006
7.1
Symphonic Neo Prog Rock
This is tough to digest ... the musicians are trying hard, but essentially failing to create a convincing work of art. It has some nice moments, but also some dark patches.
Show Track Info
Comment by Mike 16 years ago
Estradasphere - Buck Fever 2001
7.6
Instrumental Prog Rock
In a nutshell this album continues where Mr. Bungle's California ended - it's much less weird and extreme though, apart from some rare heavy outbursts.
Comment by Mike 16 years ago
Black Symphony - Black Symphony 1999
8.0
Orchestral Prog-Related Metal
Not bad at all! At first I thought that Black Symphony were essentially a Therion clone, but this is actually a quite nice combination of different influences. I'm even hearing Savatage!
Review by Mike 16 years ago <Permalink>
Aetherius - All That I Need To Survive 2007
7.3
Prog Metal
This is a nice debut by a young band ... I enjoyed listening to the album but the timing is a bit "unstable" here and there, and the vocalist doesn't hit every note perfectly. He has a good voice though and reminds me a bit of Buddy Lackey (Psychotic Waltz). The music is a diverse mix of everything prog metal has to offer, ranging from a handful of death growls over melodic keyboard-driven prog metal to power metal. I'm very confident that these guys will eventually find their footing.
Show Track Info
Comment by Mike 16 years ago
Candlemass - King of the Grey Islands 2007
8.1
Retro Non-Prog Doom Metal
Nice! Doom Metal as it should be, with interesting songs, majestic riffs and awesome vocals.
Comment by Mike 16 years ago
Bryan Beller - View 2003
8.3
Instrumental Prog-Related Rock
A very enjoyable listen. Some people probably only know Bryan Beller as a member of Mike Keneally's band ... and this album reminds of Keneally's eclectic style on more than one occasion. But the music is generally less weird and complex ... a bit more accessible.
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Comment by Mike 16 years ago
Bob Harris - The Great Nostalgia 1986
8.9
Ambient Prog-Related Fusion
An absolutely wonderful album. I tagged it as Fusion ... but it's very calm and ambient, without drums. Very jazzy, with keyboards and brass instruments. But the main focus is on the vocals ... gorgeous layered harmonies. The lyrics are remarkably positive, and they blend perfectly with the music. This may even be the most uplifting music I've ever heard! BTW: The album used to be very rare, but has recently been re-released on CD and mp3 ... you can listen to extensive samples (or purchase it) at CDBaby.com.
Show Track Info
Review by Mike 16 years ago <Permalink>
What's He Building In There? - What's He Building In There? 2007
8.3
Experimental Prog Extreme Metal
I really enjoyed listening to this fine piece of music ... thanks to the band for providing me with some samples for evaluation just prior to the album release (May 6th)!

Now on to the review: The album is a weird/technical/math extreme metal type of thing, vaguely reminding me of bands like PsyOpus and Behold... the Arctopus. Vocal styles are extremely diverse, ranging from growling through screaming to clean vocals which alternate between "typical" metal and borderline emocore. The music itself is quite technical, and although there are occasional soft/peaceful parts it can be a bit daunting to digest the whole album in one setting. The lyrics have an interesting concept: Instead of the usual verse/chorus concept they're more like stories with virtually no repetition/rhyming.

I'm giving the album 4 stars - musicianship is top notch, it's all very consistent and even with all the density and "mayhem" there are always (brief) moments of relative silence or simple riffs before then next onslaught. Personally I would have preferred some longer calm passages or whole songs (like the last track Avian Taxi) to provide more contrast and dynamics.

P.S.: I almost forgot one of the most important aspects of the band: humour. Well, humour combined with somewhat excessive violence - you can check out the band's homepage to see what I mean ... start with their hilarious biography/history.
Show Track Info
Review by Mike 16 years ago <Permalink>
Marillion - Somewhere Else 2007
8.1
Neo Prog Rock/Pop
It was released in Germany today and I already listened to it ... I like it very much. I'm not a big fan of Marillion and I only know a few of their albums (Script, Seasons End + some other tracks), but I like what they did on Somewhere Else. It's not too progressive (6/10, when Prog-Related would be 4/10 and the recently released Blind Ego - Mirror somewhere slightly above 5/10 ), but the occasional elaborate bass playing, clever use of effects and texturing + cool mood-swings together with the good songwriting really convinced me.
Comment by Mike
John Zorn - Six Litanies For Heliogabalus 2007
8.9
Avant-Garde Prog Metal
This is the third album of the stars/astronomy related trilogy ... and it's my favorite one. It has just the right mix of melodic elements and what I'll call "chaos" in the track reviews - the parts that consist of relatively free improvising, only conducted/guided by Zorn. See the track comments for further details!
Show Track Info
Review by Mike 16 years ago <Permalink>
Threshold - Dead Reckoning 2007
8.0
Prog Metal
This is a very decent effort, but although it shows a return to their "old" established style (Hypothetical, Critical Mass) I much prefer their previous album Subsurface ... it's simply a masterpiece because of its timeless melodies, songwriting and lyrics. Dead Reckoning has more more quirky and technical parts but is also a bit generic or even bland in some songs.
Show Track Info
Comment by Mike
Ephel Duath - RePhormula 2002
8.3
Experimental Prog Extreme Metal
This is perhaps the most melodic Ephel Duath album up to date (2007) ... if you're new to experimental metal then this might be a good starting point. The aggressive vocals are present, but more in the background than on the other albums.
Show Track Info
Review by Mike 16 years ago <Permalink>
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - Please Heat This Eventually (with Damo Suzuki) 2006, EP
7.9
Psychedelic Prog Post Rock
Nice! Imagine an Elvis-like vocalist from Japan together with the psychedelic, odd-harmonic improvising of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez ... in a 20+ minutes long epic track that seems like an endless loop, but actually shifts through different moods and sonic landscapes ... sometimes with the kind of free-jazz saxophone outbursts we know from the Mars Volta albums, sometimes more focusing on the groove with sparse instrumentation.

Strongly recommended to all TMV fans ... it's only available on vinyl, but the EP looks truly awesome - both the cover art and the disc itself, which comes in transparent blue.
Statistics
Charts
Albums
Artists
2022
All
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Studio
Live
DVD
EP
All
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
...
131
1-20 of 2613  
Swans - Love of Life 1992
 2 hours ago
7.8
Prog-Related Independent
Ulver - Scary Muzak 2021
 22 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
Prog
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