Metal Related Genres

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Metal Related is a term used on Metal Music Archives (MMA) in regard to artists that, although they do not play metal themselves, still have a place within the metal scene.

On MMA the aim is to build up a complete picture of the metal music genre and its associated scene, and the Metal Related Genres umbrella sub allows the inclusion of related bands and side projects of metal musicians to be included in the site database, along with artists that exist on the fringes of the metal scene by including elements of metal in their music, but haven't ever made a fully fledged metal album. There are also sections for some of the more closely related genres to metal.

There are five sections to the metal related section on MMA: Hard Rock (encompasses heavy psych and heavier progressive rock and more), Hardcore & Crust (punk genres that can sometimes be metallic), Metal Related (releases with metal elements), Non-Metal (mostly a catch all for releases that don't otherwise fit, but also sometimes used for related bands and side-projects to be included on MMA) and Proto-Metal (artists involved in the early development of the metal genre). Each sub-genre is governed by its own rules and policies, some with dedicated teams and some handled by the site admins. More can be learned about each by listing their individual sub-genre pages.

Nothing is ever added directly to the parent Metal Related Genres page. It is merely an umbrella sub used to group the five child sub-genres in one place.

metal related genres top albums

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

JIMI HENDRIX Are You Experienced? Album Cover Are You Experienced?
JIMI HENDRIX
4.62 | 31 ratings
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WISHBONE ASH Argus Album Cover Argus
WISHBONE ASH
4.56 | 23 ratings
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QUEEN Queen II Album Cover Queen II
QUEEN
4.44 | 57 ratings
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TRANSATLANTIC Bridge Across Forever Album Cover Bridge Across Forever
TRANSATLANTIC
4.60 | 16 ratings
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JIMI HENDRIX Axis: Bold As Love Album Cover Axis: Bold As Love
JIMI HENDRIX
4.51 | 23 ratings
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KING CRIMSON Larks' Tongues In Aspic Album Cover Larks' Tongues In Aspic
KING CRIMSON
4.35 | 78 ratings
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NEAL MORSE Sola Scriptura Album Cover Sola Scriptura
NEAL MORSE
4.43 | 29 ratings
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THE WHO Who's Next Album Cover Who's Next
THE WHO
4.45 | 24 ratings
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KING CRIMSON Red Album Cover Red
KING CRIMSON
4.33 | 85 ratings
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KING CRIMSON In The Court Of The Crimson King Album Cover In The Court Of The Crimson King
KING CRIMSON
4.33 | 81 ratings
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PORCUPINE TREE Deadwing Album Cover Deadwing
PORCUPINE TREE
4.33 | 65 ratings
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NEAL MORSE One Album Cover One
NEAL MORSE
4.86 | 6 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 genres Music Reviews

KATATONIA Last Fair Deal Gone Down

Album · 2001 · Metal Related
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UMUR
"Last Fair Deal Gone Down" is the 5th full-length studio album by Swedish alternative/doom/progressive rock/metal act Katatonia. The album was released through Peaceville Records in May 2001. It´s the successor to "Tonight´s Decision" from 1999 and features a couple of lineup changes as bassist Mattias Norrman and drummer Daniel Liljekvist have been added to the lineup. It was the first stable lineup in the band´s career, and it would last on four consequtive albums.

Stylistically "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" continues the alternative rock/metal style of "Tonight´s Decision (1999)", but with a stronger focus on variation between tracks and experimentation with song structures and compositional details. Listening to "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" it becomes clear that the two direct predecessors were transitional albums, and that this album is a more complete release. Not that Katatonia stopped progressing at this point, because that´s far from true (and in that respect this album can also be called a transitional album), but to my ears this is the first Katatonia album which sounds completely satisfying, and where I don´t have any complaints about sub par sound productions, underdeveloped drumming, or untrained/uncertain clean vocal performances. They hit magic here and maybe the last couple of albums should be viewed as training exercises to hone their songwriting and playing skills, to make them ready to write and record "Last Fair Deal Gone Down".

Katatonia already stripped most of their early death/doom elements on "Discouraged Ones (1998)", and although both that album and "Tonight´s Decision (1999)" are still fairly heavy albums, they are not the most metal oriented albums. Instead it´s artists like Tool and The Cure, or maybe more correctly a combination of heavy alternative rock/metal and dark new wave/alternative rock, which is a more valid description of the band´s music. That description is true for the material on "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" too. There is a lot of use of light/dark atmospheres and heavy and mellow sections, and Jonas Renkse´s melancholic lyrics and vocal performance aren´t far removed from the most dark and depressive Robert Smith (The Cure) moments (take a listen to "Tonight´s Music" and see if you disagree). Katatonia have audible influences but they still manage to create a personal and unique sound, and they are one of those rare artists who are instantly recognisable.

The conscious decision to write a varied album with strong individual tracks while still maintaining a strong tracklist flow and album coherence works here and each track stand out clearly. While all tracks are high quality material, I´d mention the four opening tracks ("Dispossession", "Chrome", "We Must Bury You", and "Teargas"), "Tonight´s Music", and "Sweet Nurse", as some of the highlights of the album. The performances are strong on all posts, and although it´s impossible not to mention Renkse´s soft voice, and heartfelt and melancholic delivery, the instrumental performances deserve just as much praise. There is a near perfect balance between heavy loud playing and mellow softer sections, and the transitions between the two types of sections work well. Add to those elements a powerful, detailed, and well sounding production, and "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" is through and through a high quality release. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

BEARDFISH The Void

Album · 2012 · Metal Related
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adg211288
The Review Revision Project #1

Introduction: The Review Revision Project is a review series focusing on albums that I have reviewed before, likely many years ago. However even though the older review may have been well written, I have found myself no longer able to stand by its content.

---

The Void (2012) is the seventh studio album by Swedish progressive rock act Beardfish. The almost seventy minute long album contains ten tracks including the epic near sixteen minute Note. There is also a bonus track which is a piano version of the song Ludvig & Sverker. The Void is my first and so far only encounter with the music of Beardfish, despite it now being eight years since the album's release and the first time I heard it.

There may be two reasons for that. For one thing, The Void is, from what I'm led to believe, at bit of an oddity in the Beardfish discography, because it's their only release that is significantly influenced by metal music, which is my primary interest and what drew me to the album in the first place eight years ago. The second is the reason why I've selected The Void to be the first (and so far only planned) entry in The Review Revision Project series: it's that much of a grower. The original review I gave this album was positive, but it was hesitant praise. I wasn't wowed by The Void, at the time. There were a couple of tracks I really liked like the metallic Voluntary Slavery and the epic instrumental Seventeen Again, but overall I merely found it solidly crafted and enjoyable, but lacking something that would have given it that extra sparkle of an excellent record.

The problem I assure you readers, was not with the album, but with my ears. Years later, I randomly decided that I would take a fresh listen to The Void. An 'Oh yeah, haven't heard that lately' kind of thing. I couldn't especially recall what I'd specifically written about it at the time of review, but I soon realised that what I was hearing wasn't adding up with the rating I'd given it. At the time, I just left my old review and bumped the score up marginally by half a star.

Yet still, that wasn't doing The Void any kind of justice. Which brings us to today. The proper reappraisal of The Void, having finally bought the CD of it and not just relying on Spotify.

The talk of the time that Beardfish had gone metal was a bit exaggerated, as it did tend to leave one expecting to hear a fully fledged progressive metal record from the Swedes. It did at least turn out to be half true. There's plenty of metal to be found during The Void, though primarily the band remain playing progressive rock. I think some progressive rock bands occasionally sound metallic by fluke rather than design, but that's not the case here. Beardfish clearly knows they're adding metal to their sound. After all, they even put down a couple of brief death growls in the tracks Voluntary Slavery and This Matter of Mine.

However it's a mixed bag of style, not just metal. There's prog rock. There's psych rock. If you've got the bonus track there's a pure piano song too, which incidentally is actually a very good rendition of the track that brings its beautiful melody out all the more than normal. What in 2012 seemed like such a mixed bag of styles that it didn't flow too well to my ears, that were obviously in need of servicing at the time, now seems to be the very reason that The Void is not just a great album, it's one of the best albums of its year. Despite first hearing it eight years ago, it's only today that I really feel blown away by The Void. This album sure played a long game.

It saddens me to see that among the Beardfish discography this tends to be rated lower. I mean, I still haven't heard their other work, but even so, having had it really open up to me over time I can't say that I consider The Void as anything less than a progressive masterpiece, and I don't think it gets recognition as such. I certainly didn't regard it as such, at first. One chance whim to play it again changed a lot. Maybe more people should do that with The Void. They might just be pleasantly surprised.

NEAL MORSE One

Album · 2004 · Metal Related
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adg211288
One (2004) is the second of US musician Neal Morse's progressive rock solo releases following Testimony (2003) and his fourth solo studio album overall. Like with most of Morse's work after his exit from Spock's Beard the album is a Christian themed concept release, I believe being a musical telling of the Bible itself. Morse is joined by a host of guest performers, including a Phil Keaggy who shares lead vocal on Cradle to the Grave, along with a core band of Randy George on bass and Mike Portnoy on drums, who both co-wrote the album with him. The album has been released as both a standard edition single CD and a double CD with extra tracks and cover songs.

The near eighty minute long album sees Neal Morse and company doing what after several releases down the line from One could be said to be them doing what they do best. Symphonic progressive rock music with a host of influences creeping in, perhaps most notably some metal on the track Author of Confusion. This is certainly a highlight of the release, featuring several minutes of some of the heaviest material Neal Morse has ever put out before switching up to some epic symphonic prog and then again to a capella section with counterpoint vocals (previous heard in Spock's Beard with tracks like Thoughts Part 2) and eventually comes round to the metal bit again. A few stabs of metal can also be heard in the albums two main multi-part epics The Creation and The Separated Man, both of which are also highlights of the release. If there's one artist you can rely on to write an epic it's Neal Morse. Whether it's solo, Spock's Beard or Transatlantic, he's on the money every time.

In addition to the progressive rock primary sound of One there are also a couple of instances where Neal descends into more basic balladry and while this isn't as epic as his prog these tracks do serve their purpose in balancing the release, which flows really well through all the different moods and intricacies. The Man's Gone, the second track and a short offering, proves a perfect claim before the storm before Author of Confusion thunders out of your speakers. Despite the long total running time it's really not hard to get through this one (see what I did there?) in a single sitting and there's no temptation to skip the balladry. Morse has wrote some cheesy ballads in his time, but the ones here are among his better ones.

One is certainly one of Neal Morse's best releases. I personally can't believe that it took me so long to secure myself a copy of it. For a long time the only Morse solo album I owned was the equally excellent Sola Scriptura (2007). But having found myself in a prog rock mood of late (especially a symph prog mood) I finally grabbed a copy and have been spinning it a lot the last couple of days. I am also looking forward to receiving a copy of ? (2005) and The Grand Experiment (2015), the first album of his The Neal Morse Band venture.

BEASTIE BOYS Licensed to Ill

Album · 1986 · Non-Metal
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Vim Fuego
Yes, dear reader, this is a rap album review, but please bear with me, for a metal story is to follow. It is an ancient tale from far back in the mists of time. It is a tale of a hero bold and brave, and not really bright enough to know any better. It is a tale of fair maidens and slain dragons (or would be, if you think of the dragons in a metaphorical sense, and the maidens... er, would you consider random pictorials ripped from 1986 Penthouse magazines to be fair maidens?)

So “Licensed to Ill”? I really fucking hate this thing. I think this album is one of the worst pieces of shit I have ever had the misfortune to hear, but in all fairness to be able to write a fair review, I had to listen to it again. So...

Nope, 30 plus years haven’t improved it in my estimation. “Rhymin & Stealin” stole shit from Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin (hmm... maybe a little poetic justice in that?) with stupid whiny lyrics all over it, and it only get worse from there. “Slow Ride” pinches the horn riff from “Low Rider”, with something of a samba beat, and might be OK without the stupid raping over it. “Girls” is puerile, misogynistic Casio-rap. OK, the idiot party anthem that is “Fight For Your Right to Party” gets a pass. Its harmless, brainless throwaway rap/rock for white teenage boys. “No Sleep ‘til Brooklyn” is even more brainless, and shorter still on rock content, but does have quite the solo at the end. And the rest of the album, well there’s always the “skip” button. There, said it. Done. If all you’re interested in is what I think of the music, you can stop reading here.

However, I owe this album a lot. If it hadn’t been for the first rap album to go to number one in the charts, I might never have become the person I am today. “Licensed To Ill” started my quest for metal. Let’s wind back the clock to 1987. Internationally, it was the year of the Black Monday stock market crash, Ronald Reagan was slowly losing his marbles in the White House, a US politician shot himself on live TV, New Zealand hosted and won the first rugby World Cup, and Canada introduced the Loonie.

This story requires something of a cast of characters - no real names used here to protect the pathetic. There’s me, the heroic but slightly nerdy (OK, VERY nerdy) protagonist of this tale, and whose embarrassing nicknames will remain unrevealed. Next is Harry, music tragic, but the best friend you’d ever want, even to this day (See my review of Slayer’s “Seasons in the Abyss” for more adventures with Harry). Then there was Fru-Ju. The name has nothing to do with Jewish heritage or anything, It’s just his name bore a similarity to Fru-Ju ice creams. There was Nerd-gel, a ladies’ man in his own mind only. There were a few others too – Brickie or Brickman, Scummy (really unfortunate name, and given to him by someone whose own nickname was Egg), Jimmy… yeah, that’ll do before this all gets out of hand.

I was 14, going on 15, and was busy preparing for School Certificate, which were the big Year 11 exams in New Zealand, roughly equivalent to O Levels or GCSE in the UK, and whatever the US does at Grade 10. Basically, this means it’s a year where you’re supposed to work and study hard at school, but you’re starting to get interested in partying and fun. It’s that year when your parents say “the rest of your life depends on how well you do at school this year”, which generally turns out to be bullshit, but you’re not old enough to know it yet.

I had found that listening to music helped me with my studies, but I was quite puzzled trying to figure out what sort of music I really liked to listen to. I had a few Dire Straits albums, and I still rate the band to this day. I had Kevin Bloody Wilson’s “Kev’s Back”, the album with the infamous “Hey, Santa Claus” song, and I had a really badly recorded copy of Twisted Sister’s “Stay Hungry”. Otherwise, it was the radio. The problem with the radio was there was the occasional good song, followed by half a dozen shit songs, before the next decent tune. It was time to expand my musical horizons. But in which direction?

The radio wasn’t much help. I thought Michael Jackson’s “Bad” lived up to its title. U2 had lost some fucking thing they were looking for, but instead of looking in the last place they left it, wrote a song about it. Paul Simon wanted people to call him Al, but we all knew his name was still Paul. Talking Heads were on an endless road to no-bloody-where, and wouldn’t shut up about it. The song which was to Rickroll millions across the world decades later was unleashed on an unsuspecting public, who were gormless enough to make it the number one hit on 23 different charts around the globe.

A friend in need is a friend indeed, and I was a friend with needs, so I asked around. And what a useless bunch of pricks these guys turned out to be.

I started with Harry, who had the most valuable of all devices, a double tape deck. On the upside, Harry had few musical boundaries, so he gave me quite an eclectic mix tape. On the downside, Harry doesn’t have a bullshit filter. Nestled alongside gems like Quiet Riot’s “Cum On Feel The Noize”, Meatloaf’s “You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth” and Marianne Faithful’s “Ballad of Lucy Jordan” came turds like Kylie Minogue’s “Locomotion” and something or other by Icehouse.

Next I went to Fru-Ju. He listened to the radio more than anyone else. From him I got “Showing Out (Get Fresh at the Weekend)" and “Respectable” (which we renamed “Respectyourballs” in a show of high wit) by Mel and Kim (if you’re asking “who?”, then you’ll understand the problem), “Walk Like An Egyptian” by The Bangles, and “Venus” by Bananarama. Seems he was more interested in what the singers looked like rather than what they sounded like. On the plus side, he also recommended “All You Zombies” by The Hooters.

Brickie was a bit more promising. He suggested Europe, Whitesnake, and Bon Jovi. Scummy also reckoned Whitesnake was worth a listen. Nerd-gel was no fucking help. He really didn’t know anything about music. Jimmy was new at our school that year. He was what would be called a stoner now, but we had no idea back then. He suggested some weird shit – these bands we’d never heard of. “There’s this cool song called ‘Transvestite’ by Peter and the Test Tube Babies. The Dead Kennedys are really cool. And have you heard anything by Metallica?” He didn’t have anything by any of these bands, so I remained none the wiser.

And then Nerd-gel came up with a surprise. It was a tape with a crumpled aeroplane on the cover. Yep, “Licensed to Ill”. We’d all seen the riotous video for “Fight For Your Right To Party”, and here was the album it came from. Everyone got right into it. Except me. This shit was really stupid. It lived up to the witless label “rap crap” (yeah, not clever now, not particularly clever then) as far as I was concerned. Nerd-gel turned into a prick. First, he wouldn’t me borrow his tape. I wanted to hear it properly to see if there was something I wasn’t quite getting. I think he thought it made him special or something. Then he started adopting rap culture and language, and then so did Fru-Ju. It started with baseball caps and low-slung pants. The others weren’t quite so into the culture, but they all seemed to love this album. But I didn’t.

Then came the moment. Nerd-gel had some teen pop magazine with instructions on how to be a rap fan, and was reading it out to us in the corridor one lunch time. It had all about what to wear, what to say, and what you should and shouldn’t like. The uniform is pretty well known now. The language included idiotic words like “skeezing” (had no idea what it meant then, really couldn’t give a fuck now), and new definitions for old words, like “ill” (duh!). The shit you were supposed to like I don’t remember, but one of the things you weren’t supposed to like was heavy metal, and in particular, Deep Purple. That was the final straw for me. “Smoke On The Water” had been one of my favourite songs since I was a kid. At that moment, I rejected this fake, pretend “culture” this poser was embracing, and decided metal was what was important to me. What sort of dumb-assed trend needed a fucking instruction manual, for fuck’s sake? It was faux inner city/urban bullshit. We went to a small high school in a rural town in New Zealand. What the fuck did we know of life and culture in cities like New York or L.A.? It was about as urban as the Serengeti plains or the Amazon jungle. I’d like to think that I told Nerd-gel to fuck off, but I probably didn’t. Yeah, metaphorical dragon slain, but I was still a bit pathetic...

Almost immediately, I got Harry to get me copies of Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet”, and “Masters of Metal”, one of those cheapie thrown together compilations by a record label that had heard of heavy metal, but didn’t really know what to do with it. I hammered those two albums and Twisted Sister while was studying for my exams. I passed with some excellent marks, as did everyone else, except Nerd-gel. Yep, he really wasn’t too bright.

More than three decades later, I’m still living the metal life, and still exploring and enjoying metal from the world over, while the rap/hip-hop culture proved to be a five minute fad for the others. I explored Scummy and Brickie’s suggestions further. I eventually discovered the bands Jimmy had suggested. I got a bit more metal off Harry, and gave him plenty more back in return.

Nerd-gel and Fru-Ju turned into right cunts the next year at school (quote from Jimmy: “What the fuck crawled up their asses?”), and along with Scummy weren’t around for the last year at high school. Brickie turned out to be incredibly studious, and worked flat out the rest of the time he was at high school, while Harry, Jimmy, and I enjoyed ourselves, but still did enough to pass.

So what happened to this merry bunch of nerds?

Last I saw Nerd-gel, he was working in a petrol station (that was more than 20 years ago, so he’s probably moved on from that. He was still a cunt though). Fru-Ju went off to boarding school for his final year, spent his time at university drunk, or at least he was every time I saw him, and is now a manager in one branch of his family’s business. Last time I saw him he was pissed as a fart in a restaurant with some woman (his wife, I suppose?) ranting at him.

Brickie did really well at university, and went into finance. I heard he’d had some serious stress related health problems in his early 20s. Last time I saw Scummy, he was a regional sales manager for an electrical appliance supplier. Jimmy took a gap year in 1990 instead of going straight to university like I did. He still hasn’t got there quite yet. It turns out I drive past the company where he is a manager on my way to work.

Harry and I partied too hard. Even though he did a bit better than me in our University entrance exams, he went back and repeated the final year of high school. He’s now an engineer who jets round the country, servicing high tech medical equipment in hospitals.

As for me, I went to university, and took five and a half years to complete a three year degree. I have since moved on to be an astronaut, rocket scientist, spy, and movie stuntman (what? It’s my story! Ah fuck it. I meant teacher, journalist, shop assistant, farm worker, and now technical writer). I discovered an absolute fuckton of metal on my mostly merry journey through this weird old life, and I owe so much of it to one crappy yet ground-breaking rap album.

So, thank you Beastie Boys. I hate your music, but I love what you have done for me.

BEASTIE BOYS Hello Nasty

Album · 1998 · Non-Metal
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Unitron
"One two one two, this is just a test"

Hello Nasty is like no other hip hop album I've heard, it's like an exploration in various sounds and samples but always with the Beastie Boys' fun loving attitude. Its got such a busy sound with everything going on, but it's never overwhelming even with the 22 songs on the album.

The Move, Remote Control, Just a Test, Intergalactic, and Putting Shame in Your Game are probably my favorites, Just a Test especially being one of the B-boy's most underrated songs. They've got such great flow, and their rap bravado is contrasted by fantastic moody and ominous samples, and it gives it such a cool sound. The electro-rap of Intergalactic rightfully was the album's biggest hit, and it's impossible to not love the delivery of "let the beat...mmmDRRROP".

One of the strangest parts of the album are the neo-psychedelic songs that are completely devoid of hip hop, though there's a psychedelic element throughout the album. These songs include Song for the Man, Song for Junior, and I Don't Know, and they all fit in and sound great.

Hello Nasty is a bit of a grower, but once it hit, it hit. One of the best of both the B-boy's and hip hop as a whole.

metal related genres movie reviews

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.

BLIND FAITH London Hyde Park 1969

Movie · 2006 · Proto-Metal
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stefanbedna
Blind Faith -London Hyde Park 1969 dvd. An excellent concert.Quite simple concert.A beautiful day and a hundred thousand people in London´s central Hyde Park listens Blind Faith in their first big gig.Absolutely wonderful.For me the historic value of this concert.Rating 4,0 stars for me.Concert will be held 07/06/1969.Performers lineup eric clapton lead guitar,steve winwood phenomenal vocal and keyboards, rick grech on bass and of course phenomenal ginger baker on drums.This is an example of the unique combination of two large groups of Cream and Traffic rights in the Great introducetd in London´s Hyde Park.Really very interesting concert series watch it again on dvd.I highly recommend.

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 · Non-Metal
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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

ANATHEMA A Moment in Time

Movie · 2006 · Non-Metal
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Conor Fynes
'A Moment In Time' - Anathema (5/10)

First off, might I say that the rating for this work is not based on the music itself. 'A Moment In Time' is being rated here for what it is; a piece of visual media. The songs themselves are amazing, and have been commended as such on other reviews. As far as being a vessel for such beautiful music however, this DVD really comes up short. There are so many errors that make it a sloppy creation, that could have been avoided and corrected had extra care been given.

As far as the musical arrangement goes, things are really good. As well as the band performing, there is a string quartet that plays throughout, as well as a guest appearance from a talented female vocalist. The vocal passion I generally expect from Vincent Cavanagh is a bit lacking here, but that can be forgiven. There's a nice setup here, a beautiful selection of songs, so what could go wrong?

Throughout watching 'A Moment In Time,' I find myself increasingly agitated over the camera work. The camera is fixated on the vocalist, and fails to give a visual mention to either the bass player or rhythm guitarist almost at all!

Another issue is the recording of the sound. For example, during the climax of 'Empty,' the vocals drown out completely for a few seconds. For a band that's had such a high standard of musical quality, my jaw dropped at how they could ever let a DVD release come out to the general public with that sort of negligence.

Despite it's flaws and failure as a professional DVD release however, being an Anathema fan; it's hard to not at least find some enjoyment in it, and there's an CD counterpart included as well! Two stars.

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