Archive for progressive hard rock

The Mars Volta “Octahedron” – A Progressive Hard Rock mind pill

Posted in Album Review, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current hard rock music, current hard rock songs, essential hard rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock music this decade, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, new hard rock album, progressive hard rock album reviews, progressive hard rock albums, progressive hard rock albums 2009, progressive hard rock music, progressive hard rock music 2009, progressive rock, progressive rock music, Rock, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150I have been riding on a rather enjoyable, Progressive Metal & Progressive Hard Rock wave of music as of late. Am I complaining? Not when bands like The Mars Volta release the Progressive elasticity of songs that they have titled – “Octahedron”. It is Hard Rock music like this, that challenges the outer reaches of my very own musical senses. I suppose that is what Progressive Music is meant to do?  I am not going to fib here, it took me well into my third listen of “Octahedron” to have “it” finally hit me. The “it” is the focused energy and streamlined patience and musical precision, that are consistent, musical nuances I hear in these songs from The Mars Volta. Let’s be real, these artistic lined, Hard Rock songs, with all of their progressiveness, were not written over night. Is it considered to be uncool these days, to have a thought process and spacial intellect towards music? Not in my realm of listening to Hard Rock – or Metal for that matter. The Mars Volta has thrown “Octahedron” to the progressive wind, it has blown my way and this is what I have to say.

IMG_1512 copy“Since We’ve Been Wrong” has my inner psyche floating somewhere out there in 1979, the retrospective, ambient rays of melody I hear in this song, has me laying on a freshly mowed lawn, staring up at a clear blue sky. “Teflon” does not stray too far away from this dreamy type of feeling either, it only Rocks a little harder. “Halo Of Nembutals” has me agreeing with the assertion that lead vocalist Cedric Bixler Zavala really does sound like the living legend – Geddy Lee of Rush. (This comparison has been thrown around quite a bit, it should be construed as a compliment, much better than being compared to the vocals of Jim Nabors, aka Gomer Pyle). With this song, carrying it’s way into “With Twilight As My Guide”, I tend to realize that I have fallen victim to a cascade of Progressive Hard Rock sanctity. I refuse to just stand pat and not let my feelings be known, about a band that is able to grasp the flexibility and open mindedness of song writing, both lyrically and musically. The Mars Volta apparently were either born as collaborative musicians or they visited some type of mystical being, in a tropical rain forest, who granted them the ability to eradicate themselves of any staleness and ego – thus anointing them with Progressive Musical powers.

IMG_1495“Cotopaxi”, “Desperate Graves” and “Copernicus” are three songs in a row, that I swear are a path that lead me to believing that the words status quo are not in The Mars Volta vocabulary.  Omar Rodriguez Lopez has given new meaning to the phrase – lead, not follow – for if this musician were to follow, I would probably be listening to a band that wants to fit in and play it safe, like so many bands who don’t follow their hearts and instincts do. The same goes for Cedric Bixler Zavala, as both a vocalist and lyricist. If anything, I am completely guilty of being passionate about the music that moves me. The Mars Volta are just as guilty for being passionate in creating the music that stands up and above, so much so, the “Octahedron” CD cover does not even bear their name. It is the music that really matters, the music that stands alone, it is not a name of a band, the physicality or gender of it’s members, nor the image. “It” is really all about the finished product, the music and what it says. “Octahedron” speaks more if you give “it” the space and respect is so justifiably deserves.

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Mastodon “Crack The Skye” is a cool Metal journey to take

Posted in Album Review, current heavy metal music, Hard Rock, 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 Reviews, progressive metal, progressive metal albums, progressive metal music, progressive rock, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

9231716I have been reading “professionally paid” music critic reviews about the newest release from Mastodon – “Crack The Skye” – the majority of them  are not even worth discussing or repeating. I dig the new Mastodon album, simply put it rocks. For Metal sakes, anyone who knows Metal, should know and/or understand that Mastodon is and always has been a Progressive Metal band. With the Progressive Metal bands, you never know exactly what you are going to get with the next album. (To solidify my point, just look at Rush, Dream Theater and Queensryche, these bands have always experimented musically). So what, big deal, so the new Mastodon album is not as heavy as their last release “Blood Mountain” – give me a Metal break.

bm-bandThe Metal musical “escape” I feel and hear while listening to “Crack The Skye” is cool for me. The vocals are still heavy, the guitar leads are still heavy, and the rhythm section is the farthest thing musically from 1970’s Hard Rock as you can possibly get. This album was not created in 1977, this Metal is happening now. Sure, there are plenty of synthetic sounds applied to “Crack The Skye,” that is what makes this album progressive. The synthetic interludes and backdrops along with the lyrics are why I call “Crack The Skye” a Metal journey. Mastodon did not provide here, a “rip and tear – let it all loose, heavy frenzy” – if I or any other true Metal fan wants that, heck, I will listen to a Metal band that is supposed to play that way. Suffice to say, in my Metal opinion, Mastodon has created a Progressive Metal gem. Paid and uninformed music critics can call this new album from Mastodon anything they want. The sole reason why I live for Metal music in the first place, is due to it’s diversity with all of the Metal genres. At the end of the day, when you break it all down, musically, Metal will always be… Metal

icons_3I really give praise to the vocals, musicianship, song writing and lyrics on “Crack The Skye” – do I find any flaws? Nope. I could never write or play Metal music this darn good. I recommend to all Mastodon and Metal fans across the globe to chase this album down, play it, enjoy it. Rock out to it. Jump onto “Crack The Skye” and experience the Progressive Metal journey that Mastodon created. Now, just because I want to, here is a roll call of the fine Metal musicians that are Mastodon: Brann Dailor (drums, vocals & percussion), Brent Hinds (lead guitar, vocals & banjo), Bill Kelliher (guitar) and Troy Sanders (bass, vocals & bass synth).

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