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User Page: Mike

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Joined 17 years ago
Last Visit 15 hours 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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Review by Mike 16 years ago <Permalink>
Fairyland - Fall of an Empire 2007
7.8
Orchestral Prog-Related Power Metal
Ok, essentially this is a Rhapsody rip-off. But they're doing a really nice job, and the music is not as cheesy ... unless the topic of "Dungeons & Dragons" type fantasy is inherently cheesy for you. But with a band name like "Fairyland" you can't say that you haven't been warned ...
Review by Mike 16 years ago <Permalink>
Borknagar - Origin 2006
7.5
Non-Prog Rock
I don't know what to make of this ... to me it seems like the band tried to follow a current trend: Extreme metal bands makes acoustic album. It's arranged and performed nicely, but I'm not really digging the songwriting - and I don't like the vocal style and lyrics at all. I much prefer Acoustic Verses (Green Carnation) which was also released in 2006.
Comment by Mike
Diabolical Masquerade - Nightwork 1998
7.2
Experimental Prog-Related Black Metal
This sounds very much like early Opeth but is generally more riff-oriented, and there's a clear influence of Black Metal in the vocals. Everything is performed flawlessly but it seems a bit directionless to me - the acoustic passages are nice, but the heavy parts are strangely generic and dispassionate.
Comment by Mike
Blackfield - Blackfield II 2007
8.2
Symphonic Prog-Related Pop/Rock
This is a nice "easy listening" pop/rock album with symphonic qualities. For some reason I can't get past Geffen's peculiar accent ... but musically it's quite good. There aren't any true highlights though, compared to the "real" Porcupine Tree albums - Steven Wilson is really just a guest star here.
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Comment by Mike
The Ed Palermo Big Band - Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance 2006
8.1
Instrumental Prog Rock
Awesome! I love the big band sound, and I love Zappa - and on this album the Ed Palermo Big Band manages to play some Zappa songs nearly as well and authentic as the master himself did on his 1988 tour. A must for any fan of Zappa's jazzy side!
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Review by Mike 16 years ago <Permalink>
Ulver - Nattens Madrigal 1996
6.5
Non-Prog Black Metal
OMG does the production suck. This is really old school Black Metal, with highpitched, t(h)in guitars, almost no bass and blast beats. The songs feature short atmospheric intros and outros which show the potential of the band ... but in total this album is not really recommendable to anyone but die-hard fans of the band, or of old-school Black Metal.
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Review by Mike 16 years ago <Permalink>
Ensemble Ambrosius - The Zappa Album 2000
7.6
Instrumental Prog-Related Classical/Jazz
A nice idea, very good musicians. They essentially perform some Zappa pieces in a classical/chamber ensemble setting, and it works quite well ... some tracks don't lend themselves to this kind of arrangement, Black Page for example suffers from the absence of drums or percussion .... some other tracks on the other hand work really well.

Strongly recommended to any serious Zappa fan who also happens to like classical music!
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Review by Mike 16 years ago <Permalink>
Moonsorrow - V: Hävitetty 2006
8.3
Epic Prog Extreme Metal
Nice! Just two epic tracks clocking in at approx. 30 minutes each, and it makes sense musically. It's a bit repetitive here and there, but it goes with the style (Doom Metal). What's progressive about it is how the folk elements are combined seamlessly with the rest, and how they manage to do some pretty impressive layering - there's so much going on simultaneously, it reminds me much of Devin Townsend's Terria. It's not at all weird though, it's rather traditional and "old school", just with more epic proportion and very disciplined composition and execution.
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Review by Mike 16 years ago <Permalink>
Frank Zappa - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore 2 1988, Live
9.0
Avant-Garde Prog Rock/Jazz
Unlike the other YCDTOSA double albums (which are loose collections of unreleased live tracks) this is one entire concert: Helsinki, 1972. It shows Zappa and the band in perfect form, and apart from Dupree's Paradise and the Finnish song everything is very nice. A real highlight is the Village/Echidna/Don't You Ever... package, performed at much faster pace than on Roxy & Elsewhere. Especially Village of the Sun is hilarious. The whole albums is very humorous, with many funny conversations and jokes, and of course the legendary "Whipping Floss" version of Montana.
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Review by Mike 16 years ago <Permalink>
Mindflow - Mind Over Body 2006
8.0
Symphonic Prog Metal
This is a really good effort - the problem is that it's really sounding too much like Dream Theater (first track) and Pain of Salvation (all tracks). They have many interesting ideas and implement them without major flaws, it all sounds very professional and really organic, but at the same time you get this strange deja-vu that you've heard it before (take a walk on Remedy Lane ).

But if you can get past that and enjoy technical/symphonic music, by all means go ahead and download the album from their website for free, and decide for yourself!
Review by Mike 16 years ago <Permalink>
Moonlight Comedy - The Life Inside 2004
6.5
Prog Metal
Sorry, but although the musicians were obviously trying very hard to make this a fantastic album, they ultimately fail. The whole thing sounds very much like Dream Theater, but this kind of music only works with awesome production, flawless musicianship and inspired songwriting. Well, they have great potential and are quite talented, but here they're trying too hard, making most of the tracks as complex as possible and just a tiny bit beyond their capabilities. Playing is not very tight (especially bass/drums), and the singer has a very strong accent which (in concert with occasionally extremely poor English) ruins much of what's left of the atmosphere.
Review by Mike 16 years ago <Permalink>
Aghora - Formless 2006
7.9
Technical Prog Metal
What do you call this kind of music? Sure, it's metal. But it has a strange "New Age" quality to it - mainly caused by the elaborate bass melodies together with atmospheric clean electric guitar voicings. If you like Jazz-Fusion and New Age, but not the typical metal sound, you should give this album a try - and all fans of 90s experimental Death metal should do so too, to see what some of the members of these bands are up to in the new millenium.

Now I described how it sounds like, but is it good? I think so - the vocals are bothering me a little bit, she often sings in a strangely dispassionate way. But I guess it was intended to sound like that, and maybe I'll eventually aquire the taste.
Review by Mike 16 years ago <Permalink>
Pain of Salvation - Scarsick 2007
8.0
Prog Metal
I suppose there comes a time for every band to release a bad album - this is it for Pain of Salvation. Although I have to admit that it sucks on a high level - it has great production, flawless musicianship, decent songs - it lacks inspiration, is full of bland social bashing, and is ultimately going nowhere. Due to Mr. Gildenlöw it is the second part of The Perfect Element, but I fail to see how. Granted, there are a few highlights that remind of TPE pt.1 - Kingdom of Loss and Enter Rain for example. Relaxed, kind of gloomy Post Rock/Metal with tasteful guitars and atmospheric effects. But as an album it seems very patchy, the atmosphere is ruined by the extremely bland tracks America and Disco Queen, by the out of place rapping on the first two tracks (it was cool on the first track of TPE pt.1, it does not work here at all) and by the indecisiveness and meandering pointlessness which is most apparent in the track Idiocracy. What happened to the seemless connection of songs, the recurring motifs, the grand concept and brilliant, thoughtful lyrics?
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Comment by Mike 16 years ago
Oceansize - Everyone Into Position 2005
8.6
Heavy Prog Post Rock
This is not your typical prog rock ... it's not a blueprint for post rock either. It's really best described as a combination of post, alt and prog, with heavy guitars here and there and emotional vocals/lyrics. Good stuff!
Comment by Mike 16 years ago
Therion - Gothic Kabbalah 2007
8.8
Orchestral Prog Metal
Great production, strong vocals and most importantly: Good songs! It reminds me of Ayreon, but it's a bit more heavy and there are less keyboard parts. Definitely recommended!
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Comment by Mike 16 years ago
Battle of Mice - A Day of Nights 2006
8.7
Minimalistic Prog-Related Post Sludge Metal/Rock
A really unusual album. Imagine Sludge Metal instrumentation (members of Isis perform on the album) combined with otherworldly female vocals which resemble Joanna Newsom as well as Mike Patton. Together with the eerie/surrealistic atmosphere this is a really strange experience ... but I love it!
Comment by Mike
Circulus - Clocks are like People 2006
6.5
Retro Non-Prog Rock
Decent Folk Rock, but nothing to write home about. When it comes to modern Folk Rock I prefer bands like Tunng who are more adventurous and unusual. But if you like pure Folk Rock with a truly retro sound, you might enjoy this album. Sounds like a cross between Camel and Jethro Tull, but with less complex songs.
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Review by Mike 17 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 17 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 17 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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Statistics
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Albums
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2022
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Studio
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DVD
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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
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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
 22 hours ago
9.3
Orchestral Prog Power Metal
Between The Buried And Me - Coma Ecliptic 2015
 23 hours 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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