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Dream Theater “Black Clouds & Silver Linings” – Many silver linings found on this album

Posted in Album Review, cool album covers, current prog metal albums, current prog metal music, current progressive metal albums, current progressive metal music, essential progressive metal albums, Hard Rock, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, Metal, metal music, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, prog metal albums, prog metal music, progressive metal, progressive metal 2009, progressive metal albums, progressive metal music, progressive metal today, progressive rock, progressive rock music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150I have come to the conclusion, that Progressive Metal and Progressive Hard Rock are the genres that keep me grounded. Dream Theater offers me the best of two worlds, like a one-two Metal punch… this band makes me want to Rock out, then again, I have many moments with their music when I want to chill, in a Metal sort of way. I am not at all stating that Dream Theater can be easy listening Progressive Music… no way. They offer the segues, interludes, intro’s and instrumentals that serve as that musical cushion to fall back on, while awaiting the heavy parts. This is what draws me into their music, to always expect the unexpected with the Progressive nature of Dream Theater. Dream Theater has for me, come so far, paid their Metal dues, to be now recognized as a Progressive Metal super power. It is difficult to dispute the vast landscape of progressive musical ingenuity that Dream Theater bestows. listening to their new music is a reminder to me, that you can erase any other thoughts in your mind and escape into an album of songs.

Dream Theater group photo“A Rite Of Passage” is an amazing song, it reminds me of what maybe Rainbow would sound like, in 2009. The keyboards in this song is what has me thinking of vintage Rainbow, the melody also has a deep, rich, Classic Rock flavor. “A Nightmare To Remember”, the opening song, has all the dynamics I come to expect from Dream Theater, musically and lyrically. I am very glad the story line to this song has a happy ending, despite the child mentally reliving such a personal experience that is the referred nightmare. “Black Clouds & Silver Linings”, (released on June 23, 2009), has most certainly eclipsed my expectations of what to expect, both musically and lyrically. This new Dream Theater release deservedly reached #6 on the Billboard album charts on the initial week of it’s release. It is clear that new fans have embraced Dream Theater and all of their epic Progressive Metal.

After listening to “Black Clouds & Silver Linings”, one can reach the conclusion that Dream Theater has created an album that is a throwback. With guitar leads and lengthy songs that reminisce of 1970’s albums from Yes, Rainbow and Rush; it is my Metal opinion that Dream Theater has maintained, tweaked and fine tuned a remarkable balance of Old School intertwining with originality and relevance. If Metal music was ever supposed to move me, Dream Theater has done it on this release. This is an amazingly enjoyable album to listen to. This Progressive Metal Music with all of it’s musical eloquence, will no doubt have me exploring the deep layers of “Black Clouds & Silver Linings” for years to come.

Dream Theater, as they appear on “Black Clouds & Silver Linings”: John Petrucci on guitar & vocals, Jordan Rudess on keyboards & continuum, James LaBrie on vocals, John Myung on bass and Mike Portnoy on drums, percussion & vocals.

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IRON MAIDEN “FLIGHT 666” is now boarding Metalheads!

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, Album Review, classic metal, concerts, cool album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, current live heavy metal albums, current metal albums, current prog metal albums, current prog metal music, current progressive metal albums, essential heavy metal albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal this decade, heavy metal vocalists, Iron Maiden, Metal, metal music, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, prog metal albums, prog metal music, progressive metal, progressive metal albums, progressive metal music, progressive metal today, recent heavy metal albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

fullsizeYou bet your Metal memory I picked up the new and live double CD “Flight 666” from Iron Maiden, (released June 9, 2009). How could I possibly pass it up? This is Iron Maiden we are talking about… Metal icons… Metal elite. I first saw this new Iron Maiden CD, yesterday, at f.y.e., they were asking $16.99… I knew I could do better than that. So, I went to good ol’ Super Walmart to pick up necessities, like… food, then my body was on automatic pilot and went straight to the CD aisles. Iron Maiden is a necessity in my Metal life, therefore, I purchased “Flight 666” along with various food items from Walmart. I embarked for my car, with my daughters by my side and I am one happy dude. The Walmart price? I paid $13.88 for “Flight 666”, if I continued to search for a cheaper price than that, I would be wasting gas in my tank. Plus, I was able to save $3.23… sounds like chump change, yet it adds up throughout the years when you shop around a tad. I am going to put the DVD version of “Flight 666” on my want list for now… I listen to Metal light years more often than I watch Metal.

Now, for the Metal music on “Flight 666″… again, this is Iron Maiden! What in the Metal world could I possibly find fault with here? This live double CD is juiced up with many prime Metal tunes from the expansive Iron Maiden catalog of albums. Quality, quality and more quality. That is what you hear from the production, sound and of course, the Metal from this Iron Maiden live CD. No Iron Maiden and/or Metal fan could possibly expect any less from this band. When I listen to “Flight 666”, I truly realize how I have never grown weary of any Iron Maiden tunes. If anything, listening to this CD makes me appreciate this band all the more, Iron Maiden is still cranking out Metal across the world… and doing so with their trademark, brilliant musicianship. These guys have not missed a step going on three decades. “Flight 666” is proof of this. The Progressive Metal exuberance of Iron Maiden, with their multi-layered triple guitar attack are in a Metal class all their own. Being a live CD, the nuances and ambiance of the musicianship and the thousands of screaming Iron Maiden fans make for an exciting listen. Not everyone is into live albums… I never fell in love with every live Metal album I have listened to either – “Flight 666” is a live Metal album that I will boast about forever.

There are six tracks on “Flight 666” that are post “Powerslave” era Iron Maiden. “Wasted Years” and “Heaven Can Wait” are from the “Somewhere In Time” album. “Heaven Can Wait” is my favorite post “Powerslave” Iron Maiden tune, it is played live in incredible Metal fashion here. “Fear Of The Dark” is from, of course, the “Fear Of The Dark” album. “The Clairvoyant”, “Moonchild” and “Can I Play With Madness” are off of the “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” album. The remaining eleven tracks are just killer, vintage and monumental Iron Maiden from the debut “Iron Maiden” album up to and including, the “Powerslave” album. The opening live trademark of “Churchill’s Speech” gets the Metal juices flowing for what is about to come… “Aces High”… pure Iron Maiden, pure Metal intensified! “2 Minutes To Midnight” and “The Number Of The Beast” roar with Iron Maiden – Metal history. I am glad to see that “Rime Of The Ancient Mariner”, from the “Powerslave” album, is added to this amazing set of Iron Maiden classics… at almost 14 minutes long, Iron Maiden makes an epic story turn to epic Metal greatness. My favorite Iron Maiden tune ever is found on “Flight 666” as well and I am ecstatic… “Revelations” from the “Piece Of Mind” album.

I guess you may have figured out by now, that I am a life long fan of Iron Maiden. I am obviously not alone with my Metal allegiance towards this band. I could go on forever about how much I dig this band and “Flight 666”, however, all great Metal posts must come to an end. If you are already an Iron Maiden fan, you know you will own this album, (if you not already have it). For new fans of Metal or Iron Maiden, it is time to get on board for “Flight 666”!!

Iron Maiden are: Bruce Dickinson on lead vocals, Dave Murray on lead & rhythm guitars, Adrian Smith on lead & rhythm guitars, Janick Gers on lead & rhythm guitars, Steve Harris on bass and Nicko Mcbrain on drums. If these guys are not legitimate Rock & Roll Hall of Famers, then nobody is. Iron Maiden is in my Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and they epitomize what the word Metal means.

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ISIS – “Holy Tears” EP is Prog Metal worth checking out

Posted in Album Review, avant-garde metal albums, avant-garde metal music, cool album covers, current metal albums, current prog metal albums, current prog metal music, current progressive metal albums, current progressive metal eps, current progressive metal music, Metal, metal music, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, prog metal albums, prog metal music, progressive metal, progressive metal albums, progressive metal music, progressive metal today, progressive rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

I have read many an article and interview recently in regards to Isis. In my Metal opinion, Isis is a Progressive Metal band. Now, I have read professionally paid critics label Isis as an… Art Metal Band??? I have absolutely, positively, no clue as to what an Art Metal Band is supposed to look like or sound like. Maybe there is an Art Metal Band out there somewhere… and this band draws and paints on stage while they play Metal music. I dunno. The only thing I find artsy about Isis is the CD cover artwork. Despite the mislabeling that goes on every day in Metal music… rest assured… Isis is Progressive Metal. This is a darn right decent band too – they have all the Metal tools to create some elaborate and layered Metal tunes. (In other words, Progressive Metal tunes). I like the Death Metal growls, the vocal placement that Isis gives for them on their songs works out rather well for me. The combination of normal vocals with Death Metal vocals is not new, yet set within the Metal – musical framework of Isis, it sounds rather cutting edge. 

Isis is different, they stand out, that is cool. They show their musical influences, yet they are rather original when it comes to Progressive Metal, that is my Metal take anyway. Yeah, the Pink Floyd influence is evident with the Metal of Isis, yet that is what you can expect from Progressive Metal. Now, maybe the members of Isis would say they do not hear any Pink Floyd influence in their Metal… that is fine, it is just my Metal ears telling my Metal brain what they hear. Many Progressive Metal bands have proved to me, that you can space-out to this genre of Metal, Isis is no exception. That is why I like Progressive Metal in the first place, this type of Metal affects me a whole bunch differently than say, Manowar. (It would be next to impossible to space-out to the legendary and explosive Heavy Metal of Manowar).

If you are thinking of diving into some Isis Progressive Metal, my recommendation would be to get a copy of the “Holy Tears” EP, (released February 5, 2008), it is not as costly as a regular CD and it is a cool barometer of just what Isis has to offer with their music. The three tracks on this EP are: “Holy Tears”, “Not Rivers, But In Drops” and a live version of “Holy Tears”. A video (CD-rom) for “Holy Tears” also comes on this EP as well. I have no Metal reservations about recommending Isis to fans of Progressive Metal at all. Metal fans of other genres may want to diversify a bit and give Isis a listen too. I know I did, I have no Metal regrets.

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