Metal Related

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Metal Related is a term used on Metal Music Archives (MMA) to describe artists and releases that, although not metal enough to be placed under any of the MMA metal sub-genres, still contain a reasonable amount of metal elements.

While this tag will often be applied to releases by artists who do indeed have more fully-fledged metal releases such as Opeth's Heritage or most releases by A.C.T. after their debut, the site will often take in artists that have no releases in metal sub-genres, as Metal Related artists due to the metal elements on some or all of their releases. Examples of such artists are Neal Morse for his 2007 album Sola Scriptura, Galahad for their later releases and Beardfish for their 2012 album The Void.

As such the actual music on releases with the Metal Related sub-genre can vary greatly, both in terms of the main style and the metal elements that flavour the music.

- Written by adg211288 (August 2015)

Sub-genre collaborators:

The Metal Related team is always the same as the standing admin team. Currently:

  • adg211288
  • Bosh66
  • 666sharon666
  • Vim Fuego
  • Nightfly


Click for Full Sub-Genre Chart

metal related top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

SPOCK'S BEARD V Album Cover V
SPOCK'S BEARD
4.89 | 9 ratings
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NEAL MORSE Sola Scriptura Album Cover Sola Scriptura
NEAL MORSE
4.48 | 36 ratings
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TRANSATLANTIC Bridge Across Forever Album Cover Bridge Across Forever
TRANSATLANTIC
4.55 | 23 ratings
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NEAL MORSE One Album Cover One
NEAL MORSE
4.62 | 14 ratings
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PORCUPINE TREE Deadwing Album Cover Deadwing
PORCUPINE TREE
4.36 | 75 ratings
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PORCUPINE TREE In Absentia Album Cover In Absentia
PORCUPINE TREE
4.34 | 91 ratings
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KATATONIA Last Fair Deal Gone Down Album Cover Last Fair Deal Gone Down
KATATONIA
4.40 | 32 ratings
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RIVERSIDE Second Life Syndrome Album Cover Second Life Syndrome
RIVERSIDE
4.31 | 94 ratings
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THE NEAL MORSE BAND The Great Adventure Album Cover The Great Adventure
THE NEAL MORSE BAND
4.76 | 8 ratings
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COHEED AND CAMBRIA The Afterman: Ascension Album Cover The Afterman: Ascension
COHEED AND CAMBRIA
4.54 | 12 ratings
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PENDRAGON Pure Album Cover Pure
PENDRAGON
4.64 | 9 ratings
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ARENA Contagion Album Cover Contagion
ARENA
4.48 | 14 ratings
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This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy MMA!

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metal related Music Reviews

DEVIN TOWNSEND Lightwork

Album · 2022 · Metal Related
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The Crow
After three years of waiting and a couple of experimental albums in between, Devin Townsend returns with a new album called "Lightwork".

In short, what we have here is a comeback to the most commercial passages of albums like "Addicted!" and "Epicloud", with new age touches in the style of "Ghost", resulting in a somewhat monotonous and uninspired album, whose baroque production is not able to hide.

That monotony is broken by the more progressive Heartbreaker, which reminds me of the more elaborate passages of the much superior "Transcendence", and a kind of homage to his most industrial phase in the interesting Dimensions, which includes a good solo by the always willing to collaborate Steve Vai.

Therefore, the fact that "Empath" didn't quite live up to expectations and that this "Lightwork" is a downright mediocre album, makes me think that the golden boy of prog metal is slowly losing his magic touch.

But hey... We'll always have his great albums from the past!

Best Tracks: Moonpeople (good chorus and great guitar riffs), Heartbreaker (wonderful guitar work and a central part that brings back some of the chaos and genius that made Devin great in the past) and the aforementioned Dimensions (these growls!!!)

My Rating: **

PORCUPINE TREE Closure/Continuation

Album · 2022 · Metal Related
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Warthur
To all the world, it looked like Steven Wilson had closed the door on Porcupine Tree after The Incident proved to be a somewhat patchy release, and after his solo career kicked into high gear with Grace For Drowning. Far from it - it turns out that Wilson, Richard Barbieri, and Gavin Harrison had kept in touch all this time and had in fact been gently tinkering with new Porcupine Tree material as far back as 2011.

Does it sound like the Porcupine Tree of old? Well, not quite - but that was a band which went through many incarnations, from psychedelia and space rock to Radiohead-esque art rock to borderline prog metal. In addition, it's perhaps inevitable that all three musicians have moved on musically in the intervening decade-and-a-bit - and certainly there's traces of the pensive jazz fusion and synth aspects of Wilson's solo work creeping in here and there.

Is it on the level of the best of the original run of Porcupine Tree albums? I don't think so, but it's far from bad. It feels almost relaxed - the band enjoying working together after all this time, and offering a new, somewhat jazzier side of their sonic universe.

THE NEAL MORSE BAND Innocence & Danger

Album · 2021 · Metal Related
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Warthur
The Neal Morse Band ride again on this fourth studio album. Having spent a while in concept album land with their two releases (The Similitude of a Dream and The Great Adventure), this finds them enjoying the freedom to just cook up a brace of great songs and not worry too much about conceptual structure.

The two concept albums saw the songwriting pendulum creep somewhat more towards Neal Morse, and indeed between The Great Adventure and this the band put out Sola Gratia, a concept album under Neal's own name rather than under the Neal Morse Band flag, because that was entirely written by Neal and the band were just there to enact his vision. By contrast, there seems to have been an attempt here to correct that balance - Neal deliberately didn't turn up without any demos of his own, so as to give more space for the other band members' ideas after they'd indulged him with that piece and the two John Bunyan concept albums (the latter of which had been largely demoed by Neal before the band got involved). Indeed, a chunk in the middle of Not Afraid (Part 2) is improvised on the spot!

Between these two factors, then, one might expect the album to be a bit broader in stylistic range and something of a sonic depature, and you get exactly that here. The group have always shared vocal duties, but it feels like they go out of their way here to bring that diversity of voices to the fore, making this a real breath of fresh air. It's clearly a departure from the conceptually structured John Bunyan duology, where Neal ended up exerting a lot of influence over the "big picture" structure of the compositions even though the band all contributed ideas, but because other band members brought their demos to the table their material has the chance to get a bit more polish than the ideas on The Grand Experiment (where *nobody* brought demos and the whole point was to see if they could create an album working together right there in the studio).

There's only two real exceptions to this very democratic working approach. Emergence is a short piece composed by Neal alone, knocked out at a time when the band were contemplating taking the Fragile approach and including solo numbers from each member, whilst there's also a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water, which is a nice fit for Neal and the group's obvious appreciation of the sunny 1960s sounds which fed into the early prog scene.

It's also, perhaps, the clue to where the band are coming from this time - for their approach to covering the material owes a fair amount to Yes's cover of America, and between that and toying with the idea of basing the album's structure on Fragile, this album feels a little like a Neal Morse Band take on Yes - not in terms of blandly imitating Yes's classic style (though there's obviously influence which can be detected here and there), but recapturing that sunny, optimistic, ethereal atmosphere which permeates the best Yes material. (Even the album title might hint to this - "Innocence" and "Danger" being two qualities which might go with the idea of being "Fragile"...)

I don't think it quite holds together as well as prior Neil Morse Band albums - in particular, I think the conclusion to Beyond the Years drags on too long - but it's still a very enjoyable prog album, and one which leaves me interested to see what they do next.

TRANSATLANTIC The Absolute Universe - Forevermore

Album · 2021 · Metal Related
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Warthur
Transatlantic's fifth album, The Absolute Universe, comes in two distinct version - an extended and abridged edition. In fact, it's not true to say the latter is a mere abridgement - it includes some different pieces of music, and even the bits which overlap have some differences.

That said, if you're into Transatlantic's retro-prog leanings at all, your instincts will likely lean towards the longer version of the album, which isn't actually that much long - 90 minutes vs. 64 minutes. It's more of the band's usual sound, mashing up elements of Spock's Beard and The Flower Kings as they have since SMPTe, and of the same high quality as they've sustained since Bridge Across Forever.

NEAL MORSE Sola Gratia

Album · 2020 · Metal Related
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Warthur
Whilst in his early solo career Neal Morse put out a fair few prog albums under his own name, for the last ten years or so he's actually been more sparing on that front. He's kept up the pace of his singer-songwriter releases and his "worship music" series of mainstream Christian faith music, but ever since his surprise return to Transatlantic for The Whirlwind it seems like he actively prefers to make prog in a band context - thus putting out less prog albums as "Neal Morse" and more as part of "The Neal Morse Band". (There was the Jesus Christ the Exorcist album, but that was a full cast prog-gospel rock opera, and so whilst it differed from the Neal Morse Band's approach, it also wasn't very much like Neal's earlier solo prog albums.)

And, in a way, Sola Gratia kind of is a Neal Morse Band album, because the gang is all here (or at least are present virtually - due to this being recorded in the early phases of the first COVID lockdown, all the participants recorded their parts separately and Neal assembled it all together).

At the same time, it's not presented as one, and for good reason. All the Neal Morse Band releases include extensive sharing of the songwriting duties. Sometimes the extent to which is the case has varied - their first album was very much a collaborative effort, since they deliberately went in the studio with nothing prepared, whereas on The Great Adventure, Neal already had demos of the entire thing worked out and the band's contribution largely came down to putting flesh on those bones.

For Sola Gratia, however, Neal composed everything and the band are really here simply to put his vision into effect - so it's credited to him, not the group as a whole. (They would go right back to a very band-oriented, collective approach on Innocence and Danger, which they'd release under the band name.)

It's a sort of thematic sequel to his earlier solo album, Sola Scriptura - in that both albums are based on major theological concepts in Protestant Christianity, and both of them are concept albums based around the stories of major figures in Christian history, Martin Luther in the case of Sola Scriptura and Saint Paul on this album.

What you get here, then, might not be all that surprising; designating this a "Neal Morse" album was apt. If you've taken in his solo prog work from Testimony to Momentum, you'll recognise a lot of the schticks and techniques he works in here - but he's also picked up a few new tricks up his sleeve. This might be the benefit of working more in a band context - not only does this help Neal pick up new ideas better than him doing all the songwriting work himself, but it also means that when it comes time to put together a solo album the "old way" he could come back to it with fresh eyes, making this one of the stronger releases in his discography under his own name.

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NEAL MORSE Morsefest! 5015

Movie · 2017 · Metal Related
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adg211288
Morsefest! 2015 is a live release by US musician Neal Morse. Morsefest! shows are without a doubt the most special Neal Morse shows that a fan could attend – a two day event with a different Neal Morse set each night. Morsefest! 2015 was released on either a 2x blu-ray or 4 x CD/2x DVD package in 2017. Strictly speaking it is The Neal Morse Band playing on the release – Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Randy George, Eric Gillette & Bill Hubauer – but Morsefest! 2015 was released under just Neal Morse's name likely due to the event's focus on his albums ? (2005) and Sola Scriptura (2007).

While the focus is indeed on those albums, with ? played in full on night one and Sola Scriptura in full on night two, the set is varied with various extra tracks. The Neal Morse Band had released their debut album The Grand Experiment earlier in 2015 and that album also gets a fair airing across the two nights, particularly in the first half of night one with The Call, the title track and the limited edition bonus track New Jerusalem gets played, while Waterfall was featured on night two complete with some instrument changes for various band members. Three Spock's Beard songs are also brought out, Go the Way You Go on night one and At the End of the Day and Wind at My Back on night two, the latter two featuring Nick D'Virgilio first on drums then co-lead vocals. An edited version of Transatlantic's near eighty minute whole album epic The Whirlwind closes the second night, with further guest vocals by D'Virgilio and guitar by Phil Keaggy, who also makes an appearance on night one and was the support act for the event. Finally the band brings to the live stage for the first time a lesser known Neal Morse epic called A Whole Nother Trip, which appeared on his first solo album while still a member of Spock's Beard amongst what was otherwise a bunch of pop songs. There is also a cover of the song MacArthur Park, originally released by Richard Harris, which has been given the prog treatment by Bill Hubauer on challenge from Mike Portnoy. Neal Morse hates the song apparently and always swore he'd never cover it, but there you go. Hubauer sings lead on it.

The main draw to the Morsefest! 2015 live release is of course the full performance of two of Neal Morse's best known albums. ? is basically one long song in and of itself and is treated like the crowning piece of what Morse describes as a night of epics – a fair description when the shortest song is about seven and a half minutes long. For me personally the performance of Sola Scriptura is the key focal point of the two night show though. That's my personal favourite Neal Morse album, not to mention the one that really got me into his music. It's also one of his heaviest and most metal works which along with various parts of The Neal Morse Band's music gives a metallic edge to those otherwise symphonic progressive rock fuelled double concert.

Morsefest! 2015 is one heck of a show if you're into progressive rock. The scope is tremendous not just through the double show but each night's set is over two hours a pop as well. The amount of musicians on stage at one time goes far beyond the core band – far too many to recite in a review. Suffice to say there's a lot of people involved to pull this off. The sound and picture quality of the blu-ray release is excellent and you certainly get a lot of music for your money. The only fault with the set is that one listed bonus feature called Prog Jeopardy is completely missing from the release. Not sure what the story is there, perhaps it was planned and had to be cut for some reason and they forget to change the inserts before going to the press, who knows? But you weren't buying this for the bonus features anyway right?

There are several of the Morsefest shows released by the time of writing this review in September 2020 so which one holds the most appeal to each fan will of course be different. 2015 was a no brainer for me due to my particular love of Sola Scriptura. Someone else may think 2014's focus on Testimony (2003) and One (2004) or 2017's Testimony 2 (2011) and The Similitude of a Dream (2016) to be better options for them. Regardless any Neal Morse fan owns it to themselves to pick up at least one of these releases for his most special and exclusive concerts.

PORCUPINE TREE Arriving Somewhere...

Movie · 2006 · Metal Related
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Warthur
Focusing on the more metal-oriented material from Deadwing and In Absentia - though notably steering it back in a more rock-oriented direction in order to allow this material to sit a little more comfortably beside the "indie prog rock" stylings of Stupid Dream, Lightbulb Sun and Recordings (picks from all of which surface here). Fans of their earlier psychedelic and space rock styles might be disappointed that those aren't represented, but on the plus side there's a liberal sprinkling of rarities here such as the glorious Buying New Soul as well as Revenant, So-Called Friend and Mother and Child Divided, those three songs having only appeared on various special editions of Deadwing. Not the definitive Porcupine Tree live experience, but a pretty decent one nonetheless.

RIVERSIDE Reality Dream

Movie · 2009 · Metal Related
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progshine
My polish girlfriend gave me this DVD on my anniversary in May, I really didn't know what to expect of the band live cause I only knew their studio recordings. Like I always do, I watched the bonus DVD first, I like to see backstage footage, interviews and extras much more than the proper live presentations on most of the time (maybe the only exception is Live At Wembley by QUEEN).

The first DVD is the show itself, and it's a very good recording, both audio and video, and seeing them live male me wonder how good is Mariusz Duda, cause as a bass player myself, I know how hard is to play some lines while you sing, Mariusz dows a fantastic work live, as the whole band.

I think it's a great buy for any prog rock fan, this polish band deserves more light on our '70's' world.

NEAL MORSE Live Momentum

Movie · 2013 · Metal Related
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Kev Rowland
One of the disadvantages of living at the end of the world is that these days I get most of my promos as downloads, which generally isn’t too much of a pain but here I find myself reviewing a DVD set where I haven’t actually seen the DVDs! Okay, so this has been released as a double DVD (more than 4 hours), along with a triple CD set and it is the latter that I am reviewing. This recording took place on October 11th, 2012 at The High Line Ballroom, New York, and captures the band in incredible form. I have no idea how many live recordings of Neal there are in my collection, from duetting with NDV through Spock’s Beard and Transatlantic and of course his solo work, but there are one or two. I have seen him in concert with SB as well as on the ‘Testimony’ tour and have had the privilege of interviewing him a few times as well, so I guess you can say that I am a fan.

I greatly respect the way that he decided to stand up for what he believed in (even though I don’t share those beliefs), although I still regret that SB never had the chance to tour ‘Snow’ which is easily their finest work. I have never given anything that he has been involved with a bad review, and there is no reason at all to start now as this triple CD set (2 hours 45 minutes) is as close to perfection as one could hope to hear. When it came to choosing the musicians to form the band he brought in close friends Mike Portnoy and Randy George and then used YouTube for the audition process! He ought to do that more often, as during “Sing It High” he gets it right when he says that the guys are “Sick”. Adson Sodré (guitar, vocals), Eric Gillette (guitar, keyboards, percussion, vocals) and Bill Hubauer (keyboards, violin, sax, vocals) do a stunning job. Mind you, it’s handy when you have three multi-instrumentalists in a band as it does mean that you can spread the wings. Vocally they are all in fine voice as well, just listen to “Author Of Confusion” to see what I mean.

Both Adson and Eric really riff and shred as the need requires, and this is probably the heaviest that Neal has ever sounded as he works his way through material from throughout his career: this is much more than just a live rendition of the latest album. The suites from ‘Testimony’ and ‘?’ work incredibly well and it is the longer sections that really allow Neal and the guys to shine. There are four songs more than twenty minutes long and one more than thirty!

But, for me one of the major highlights sees Neal taking a back seat, literally. One of my favourite live albums that feature Neal is ‘One Night in New York City’ by Yellow Matter Custard. This was a band put together by Mike Portnoy to play Beatles’ numbers, and the line-up was completed by Neal, Paul Gilbert and Matt Bissonette. The whole purpose of that band was to provide a new take on classic numbers and have fun at the same time. Well, on “Crazy Horses” Neal takes over on drums while Mike becomes the frontman, and everyone has an absolute blast. Mike says that when he first heard the song when he was five years old that it was the heaviest song that he had ever heard, and the band certainly do it justice. I defy you to listen to this and not smile throughout. There are some people who don’t enjoy what Neal does, and feel that he hasn’t dramatically changed since he left SB, but I sincerely hope he keeps going in this vein for the rest of his very long career as I love it.

So there you have it, a five star review for a DVD set that I haven’t even seen. But to me they are just an added bonus as this triple CD set is just mindblowing. www.insideout.de

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