Archive for the ‘Progressive Metal’ Category

A vague mix of progressive metal, experimental and some nice jazz passages.

Grindstone is a sparse collection of what the norwergian guys like, but their power needs some direction.


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Meshuggah - obZen

A few years ago I tried some songs by Meshuggah but it didn’t call my attention. But obZen is for sure a hard punch on ears.
It’s complex, fast and heavy. There aren’t let downs, obZen is a cohesive explosion yet the songs have its own personalities.

It was such an instant shot that I couldn’t help but listening to it four times without a pause.
Bleed is a fantastic hit, my fav track so far.
It has a good choice as the best metal album this year.

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Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos

I am (or was) a huge fan of Dream Theater. I love the albums Images & Words, Awake, A Change of Seasons, Scenes from a Memory and Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence.
Train of Thought is OK despite the fact I think it gets boring fast. Octavarium is strange, they have good moments but the bad ones are longer. Plus the “strange” tracks like The Answer Lies Within and I Walk Beside You, which I totally dislike.

I don’t know if the problem is in myself.
The last years I’ve got myself digging more and more experimental stuff. But I think Dream Theater is a band with creativity problems. As most bands are.

People change, bands change, music changes. It’s natural, it’s good. The problem is, you can not feel in love with it anymore.

That’s what happened with Dream Theater and me. Their ToT and Octavarium created some distance between “us”. Still I was in love with them.
But Systematic Chaos called it a day.

Don’t be fooled by the first 2:10 of In the Presence of Enemies Pt.1, the album is not that concise and inspired.

LaBrie‘s voice is great. He’s sounding clear as crystal. But all his talent is thrown off the window with the horrific I-have-to-rhyme lyrics. Not even the best singer could make good vocal lines with such geometric lyrics. You can notice this problem specially in Forsaken, maybe the worst track.
It’s hard to think they’re the same band who composed vocal elaborated songs like Voices and A Change of Seasons.

They tried making another Glass Prison with Constant Motion, but it sounds just not inspired to me.  At this point we can clearly see that Portnoy is taking more and more place in vocals. It’s not bad, when it’s full of effects.

The Dark Eternal Light is the best track in my opinion. They’re more authentic here, and they got it fairly right most of times.

It’s just before Repentance. A track I just dislike. I cannot listen to it entirely. First time I checked Repentence I was waiting for an instrumental explosion, but it doesn’t happen.

Sincerely, I tried Systematic Chaos more than once, and postponed this review as long as I could. But my opinion haven’t changed: Systematic Chaos is the worst DT album in my opinion.

I was wondering whether Hot Hot Heat‘s Happiness Ltd. or DT‘s Systematic Chaos is my worst 2007 disappointment. But I already hated HHH‘s Elevator, so I wasn’t surprised with Happiness Ltd.
That means I think Systematic Chaos is my worst 2007 disappointment so far.

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Ephel Duath - Painter’s Palette

Ephel Duath is probably the most interesting progressive / experimental act coming from Italy.
They mix brutal guitars and vocals with jazz interludes and psychedelic behaviour.

There are so many and so different things happening that at the first auditions everything will sound like a big mess.
So I’d say Painter’s Pallete requires attention some attention from the listener.

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Dream Theater - Scenes from a Memory

My favourite album by Dream Theater.

I think DT has a serious problem. They’re naturally old fashioned guys. They’re not experimental, avant-garde or modern. When they try these strange fields they fail. (Yes, I’m talking mainly about their newest albums)

In Scenes from a Memory it seems evrybody relaxed and just looked back to their inspirations, influences and their stuff which achieved success.

Through Scenes from a Memory DT is not trying to change the world or revolutionize the music. They’re just being themselves. And they made of the sweetest albums to progressive music.

Portnoy‘s egos is in its place. You can hear Myung setting the ground all over the album, with absurd and ingenious riffs shared with Petrucci‘s guitar. Petrucci is a guitar legend, he’s a master from slow and emotional solos to burning shredding. And yet he keeps the rythm guitar parts as rythm, making the whole music greater.
Rudess was the newbie at that time. But his guitar-esque solos is evident since so.
LaBrie‘s vocals aren’t pyrotechnic. He’s quite attentive about what he can do.

A true pleasure for prog fans or rock musicians. Challenging music like this made the name of Dream Theater.

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Dream Theater - Awake

Awake is one of my fav albums by Dream Theater.
These guys really created something new here mixing heavy metal with high technical progressive rock. All members are in their best, the creativity flows plentifully. The mood is dark, sad, full of rage and questioning.

Personally I don’t like most of Dream Theater‘s lyrics, but this album has the best ones in my opinion, like in Voices, Scarred and Space Dye-Vest.

The instrumental is just outstanding. There’s no much to talk about it. A masterpiece.

Surely one of the most influential and revolucionary albums released on the 90’s.

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