Archive for the current progressive metal albums Category

BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME – “THE GREAT MISDIRECT” IS A PROGRESSIVE & HEAVY MIND ADVENTURE

Posted in Album Review, alternative metal music, current heavy metal albums, current progressive metal albums, current progressive metal music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, Metal, metal music, metal music albums, metal odyssey, Music, prog metal albums, prog metal music, progressive metal, progressive metal 2009, progressive metal albums, progressive metal bands, progressive metal music, progressive metal songs, progressive rock music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME – The Great Misdirect is a Progressive Metal album that was released on October 26, 2009, on Victory Records. I received this CD as a Christmas gift from my wife and daughters, therefore, my first listen to The Great Misdirect was in the final days of last year. Metal truth be told, this is my very first Between The Buried And Me album that I have ever owned… or listened to. Stagnant, same-old, status quo and ho-hum are words that DO NOT describe The Great Misdirect. Heavy, progressive, semi-psychedelic, retrospective, layered and mind adventure are words THAT DO describe this dynamic album. As I listened intently to The Great Misdirect, I swear that this is a band that has taken a time machine from the mid 1970’s to present day… and they have been kidnapped and forced to create heavier music than they are used to, while still being able to incorporate their own style of Classic Rock into the structure of the songs. Call this thought nutty, call it science fiction, still, this is the type of mind wandering that Between The Buried And Me are all about with their lyrics anyways! It’s not just a fascination with this band being different that gets me… it’s the sheer fascination that this band is damned good at writing Heavy Progressive Music and playing it too.

Just by reading the lyrics to Fossil Genera – A Feed From Cloud Mountain, I realize that BTBAM’s vocalist Tommy Rogers is open minded and embraces the science fiction side of thought and conspiracy theories, (where his actual views stand on such topics, I do not know). Needless to say, just reading the lyrics found within the liner notes is an adventure. As goes Progressive Metal, the moment I sit back and chill to a lengthy interlude of mellow musical interplay, the quicker I have to sit up/get up to the heavy guitar riffs and leads, the bombastic rhythm section and/or the Extreme Metal vocals. (Pssst… I don’t mind it one Metal bit).

Yes, Grand Funk Railroad and any other Classic Rock band of legend should be proud of the astute usage of keyboards found within The Great Misdirect. Once again, Tommy Rogers is at the helm on the keys, raising such a familiar 1970’s sound that actually seems to resonate above the heaviness. Tommy Rogers also seems to go back and forth from extreme to traditional vocals rather effortlessly. As a unit, BTBAM are smart as they are talented with their playing, improvisation with this band in a live setting should never pose a problem.

Mirrors opens The Great Misdirect in a solemn, ultra mellow and quaint way. Lyrically, Mirrors exhibits a person who is without question, disassociated with the world around him/her… both people and things included. Ah, don’t let the opener of Mirrors fool you however, Obfuscation burrows right into my Metal soul… almost without warning, then subsides into a legitimate progressive pattern that BTBAM have indeed succeeded at. Metal Odyssey Note: Obfuscation means to be unclear, evasive or confusing. I actually had to look this word up, yeah, I did. Using a dictionary is cool.

Disease, Injury, Madness is over eleven minutes long, basically a Progressive Metal epic. Too bad this song wasn’t an hour long… it’s that good for me. As being an admirer of Mastodon, DaathDream Theater, Yes and The Electric Light Orchestra, my progressive Rock fan roots are as diverse as the Universe itself. Then again, when I think about it, isn’t the word diverse a major characteristic of Progressive Metal to begin with? Between The Buried And Me have recruited a NEW fan, I will gleefully dig into their back catalog without blinking a Metal eye.

Track Listing for The Great Misdirect:

Mirrors and Obfuscation – Metal Odyssey Note: (Mirrors plays out as an introduction to Obfuscation)

Disease, Injury, Madness

Swim To The Moon

Desert Of Song

Fossil Genera – A Feed from Cloud Mountain

Between The Buried And Me, as they appear on The Great Misdirect:

Tommy Rogers – vocals, keys and lyrics

Dan Briggs – bass, fretless bass

Dustie Waring – electric guitar, slide guitar, acoustic guitar and guitar effects

Paul Waggoner – electric guitar, steel string acoustic guitar, classical guitar and lap steel guitar

Blake Richardson – drums and percussion

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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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Enslaved “Vertebrae” – Progressive, Black Metal raises the bar

Posted in Album Review, Black Metal, black metal 2008, black metal 2009, black metal from norway, cool album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, current progressive metal albums, essential heavy metal albums, Extreme Metal, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, new heavy metal album, norwegian black metal, progressive metal, progressive metal albums, progressive metal music, recent heavy metal albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Enslaved, from Norway, has created quite the exquisite Black Metal album with “Vertebrae”. Why do I use the adjective exquisite to describe this album? Well, I revere the Progressive Metal of Mastodon and Dream Theater, the legendary Progressive Rock of Pink Floyd and the groove infested Black Metal of Satyricon. Enslaved encompasses the most Metal and progressively delicious elements from these favorite bands of mine, while incorporating them into their very own startlingly, mind popping sound. What Enslaved has done here, is taken Rock and Metal influences to a new level, creating an album that embraces everything that is brilliant about Heavy and Progressive music. (I am not saying Enslaved actually looked to these bands for inspiration, this is just my musical and Metal interpretation and/or opinion). Enslaved has their roots in Black Metal, a musical track record that overflows with Metal bragging rights… “Vertebrae” by no means exemplifies this band as not being original. This album is as original as it gets… I cannot truly count how many Metal bands there are, that dare to experiment with music so valiantly.

Black Metal has gone through a bit of a metamorphosis over the years… so have the other Metal genres. There will always be the blue collar – true to the roots style of Black Metal, it deserves it’s rightful place in the Metal universe. Enslaved, like their counterparts Satyricon, have taken the Black Metal stylings and tweaked them, in this case, Enslaved progressively tweaked. As with anything in life, change is a natural necessity that either is accepted or rejected. Change in the musical circles of Metal can often times be equated to selling out or mellowing down, every fan of Metal has their own right to personally object or accept what they want from their music. My point I am trying to make here is, Enslaved has not deceived me or let me down with their brand of Progressive, Black Metal on “Vertebrae”. Vintage Venom and Mercyful Fate will forever and always be at my Metal reach, Enslaved “Vertebrae” is an extension of what happens when musical and Metal barriers are broken down. 

In an all encompassing summary of the seven songs on “Vertebrae”, I hear the nod to the forefathers of Black Metal, with especially the lead vocals and the dark, macabre and searingly moody ambiance, coming from the musical background elements. The keyboards and organ can create Black Metal which pays homage to the original sound of this band and genre, it can also create the progressive path in which “Vertebrae” aims for as well. Herbrand Larsen is simply unreal on the keys, organ and vocals. The same can be said for each member of Enslaved… as a cohesive unit they have connected not only with each other with their Metal skills and prowess, they have also raised the bar musically, in a Metal world that is rapidly interconnecting with each others genres. I cannot resist myself by recommending highly “Vertebrae”, Enslaved has created an album that will be at the top of my Metal list for decades to come.

The members of Enslaved are: Ivar Bjornson on guitars, Grutle Kjellson on vocals & bass, Herbrand Larsen on keyboards, organ & vocals, Cato Bekkevold on drums and Ice Dale on guitars. Enslaved has given the Metal world seven brilliant new songs with “Vertebrae”, thus inspiring me to delve and journey even further into the vast genres and sub-genres of Metal music.

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CKY “Carver City” is diverse, macabre Metal at it’s finest

Posted in Album Review, cool album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, current progressive metal albums, hard rock album review, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, progressive metal, progressive metal albums, progressive metal music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

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I am hopelessly addicted to Metal music. CKY is just another reason why my Metal addiction will never cease. I grabbed, uh, bought my copy of “Carver City” – smack dab on the actual release date of May 19, 2009. You betcha. I was innocently wandering the CD aisles of Wal-Mart, minding my own business, then CKY “Carver City” came into view. I could not resist, nor did I want to try hunting down this new CKY for a cheaper price. For it was there, so shall I buy. I am a steadfast and loyal enthusiast of all Metal, that is why I am very intrigued by CKY and “Carver City”. CKY brings to the Heavy Music table a whole bunch of Metal genres woven into one. These guys are giving Metal fans something different, a change of pace, a stray from the Metal norm, in my Metal opinion.

“The Era Of An End” is heavily saturated with what I will call spooky synthesizer sounds. This is the closing track on this album, a fitting end to an overall macabre Metal work of genius. “Old Carver’s Bones” is heavy, again with sci-fi atmospherics meets creepy synthesizer music and sound effects. The vocals on this tune are enough to not make me want to walk alone at night on a deserted road. Good stuff. “A#1 Roller Rager” is more commercially acceptable, melodic and harmonious. I find this tune to be quite catchy, again different from what is currently flooding the Metal market today. The vocals on “A#1 Roller Rager” sound familiar to the style of 1980’s Arena Rock, yet I am not complaining. (I said earlier CKY is different). “Hellions On Parade”, the opening track that every Metal fan should have heard by now, (due to it being on the internet everywhere prior to the release), works it’s melodic, Metal thumping magic for me. The synthetic textures of music found here on “Carver City” are such an integral style of CKY, that without them, this Metal would not sound so good. “Carver City” is loaded with plenty of cool riffs, impressive backing vocals and heavy ambiance. Everything CKY did here musically seems to seamlessly blend together, forming an imaginative and macabre sound scape of Metal, that I cannot get enough of. The stylistic and progressive theme that CKY ventures into on “Carver City” makes me appreciate this total package here. As a side note, the artwork on the front/back cover and inside the liner notes are perfect, this art fits right into the “Carver City” theme and musical environment. This is a cool, new, Metal album to own for the Summer of 2009 and beyond.

Now I want to call out the names of these guys – they get a gigantic Metal thank you from me for creating “Carver City”: Deron Miller on lead vocals, guitar, bass, moogs, orchestration * Chad I Ginsburg (CIG) on lead guitar, bass, moogs, orchestration and backing vocals * Jess Margera on drums * Matt Deis on bass. RoadRunner Records has yet another amazing Metal band on their roster, this label knows great music when they hear it.

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