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 | 28 ratings
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QUEEN Queen II Album Cover Queen II
QUEEN
4.46 | 56 ratings
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WISHBONE ASH Argus Album Cover Argus
WISHBONE ASH
4.58 | 19 ratings
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TRANSATLANTIC Bridge Across Forever Album Cover Bridge Across Forever
TRANSATLANTIC
4.61 | 15 ratings
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JIMI HENDRIX Axis: Bold As Love Album Cover Axis: Bold As Love
JIMI HENDRIX
4.49 | 23 ratings
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THE WHO Who's Next Album Cover Who's Next
THE WHO
4.48 | 21 ratings
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PORCUPINE TREE Deadwing Album Cover Deadwing
PORCUPINE TREE
4.36 | 61 ratings
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NEAL MORSE Sola Scriptura Album Cover Sola Scriptura
NEAL MORSE
4.44 | 26 ratings
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PORCUPINE TREE In Absentia Album Cover In Absentia
PORCUPINE TREE
4.31 | 74 ratings
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RIVERSIDE Second Life Syndrome Album Cover Second Life Syndrome
RIVERSIDE
4.30 | 81 ratings
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RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS Blood Sugar Sex Magik Album Cover Blood Sugar Sex Magik
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
4.57 | 11 ratings
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KING CRIMSON Larks' Tongues In Aspic Album Cover Larks' Tongues In Aspic
KING CRIMSON
4.30 | 71 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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The Woods
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Sower Of Wind
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ROSETTA
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metal related genres Music Reviews

THE MISFITS Walk Among Us

Album · 1982 · Metal Related
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UMUR
"Walk Among Us" is the official debut full-length studio album by US punk act the Misfits. The album was released through Ruby/Slash Records in March 1982. I write official above because "Walk Among Us" is actually the third album recorded by the Misfits. "Static Age" (recorded in 1979) and "12 Hits from Hell" (recorded in 1980) were just shelved (the former was released in 1997), and therefore "Walk Among Us" ended up being the official debut album by the Misfits.

The material on the 13 track, 24:56 minutes long album was recorded over the course of various sessions during 1981, but finished in January 1982, where Glenn Danzig remixed and overdubbed (additional guitar tracks) the previously recorded material. Some additional vocals were also recorded and the live track "Mommy Can I Go Out & Kill Tonight?" was mixed to be included on the album.

Stylistically Misfits established their unique sound from the get go. A combination of 50s rock´n´roll, punk, and horror themed lyrics and imagery (which is apparent from song titles like "Vampira", "Night of the Living Dead", "Devil´s Whorehouse", "Astro Zombies", and "Braineaters"). Dubbed horror punk by some. While some tracks like the above mentioned "Mommy Can I Go Out & Kill Tonight?" are pretty raw and touch hardcore punk territory, the material is generally pretty melodic and sing along friendly (examples of that are "I Turned Into a Martian" and "Skulls"). Danzig´s "Elvis meets Jim Morrison" vocal style is rather distinct sounding and provides the material with an original sound.

The recordings are rather raw sounding and occasionally near lo-fi demo quality, but there´s something really charming about the sound, which suits the music perfectly. The rawness and filth of the sound just go hand and hand with the 50/60s horror movie themes and makes perfect sense. Upon conclusion "Walk Among Us" is a great debut album by the Misfits and while it sounds quite immature at times, and the playing is pretty raw and on occasion maybe even sloppy, the band managed to establish a unique sound with their debut album. Only the greats do that. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

DEEP PURPLE Deep Purple

Album · 1969 · Proto-Metal
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DEEP PURPLE’s Mark I lineup lasted only two short years but the band still managed to record three full albums, tour extensively and release a handful of singles, one of which “Hush” from the debut album “Shades Of Deep Purple” becoming a surprise hit and hitting the top 5 on the American Billboard charts. And consequently, due to that very success, the band members were constantly under pressure to repeat the pop hit formula however the musicians themselves wanted something else entirely. And such was the nature of the music business which meant that there had to be a middle ground between the ambitious progressive rock fusion with classical music and the more simplified pop hook tracks that could generate some income for a poorly managed Tetragrammaton Records that would soon fold and be absorbed by Warner Bros.

Despite the short time playing together, the band had evolved quite a bit since their nascent recordings in early 1968 and by the time the quintet of Rod Evans (lead vocals), Ritchie Blackmore (guitars), Jon Lord (keyboards, organs, piano), Nick Sempler (bass) and Ian Paice (drums, percussion) had reached their third album simply titled DEEP PURPLE also called DEEP PURPLE III, the band had unknowingly hit upon one of the great sounds in all of rock music. It’s just that they didn’t know that quite yet and would have to go through a few changes before superstardom would come knocking at their back door. Graced by an eerie amalgamation of characters on the Hieronymous Bosch cover art, so too does the music on this third installment of the DEEP PURPLE universe imbibe the many nectars of the musical world and because of that remains the band’s most diverse and unique albums of the entire multi-decade canon.

The album was preceded by the non-album single “Emmarretta” which was hoped to generate enough interest to promote the album but the single failed to match the success of “Hush” and fell by the wayside rather quickly and likewise the third album sold rather poorly which prompted the dualistic talent of Jon Lord and Ritchie Blackmore to think about the changes that were needed to take the music to the next level, that of a more streamlined hard rock approach. This was a tumultuous time as the duo had to assemble a new lineup of DEEP PURPLE behind the scenes while carrying on the business as usual as they toured the US after having finally found some modicum of interest in their native UK. It was decided that Evans didn’t have the vocal chops to take the music to the next level, an unfortunate limitation made all the clearly on this third album where the music had evolved into more progressive heights but the vocals didn’t and kept the album from reaching the pinnacle of its potential. Likewise friction existed with Simper.

While steeped in both the 60s psychedelia blues rock riffing and classical expressionism, DEEP PURPLE III served as more than a transitional album for the Mark II lineup just around the corner but rather allowed the band to go hog wild experimenting with all kinds of different sounds possibly hoping throwing enough spaghetti against the wall that something would stick. The introductory “Chasing Shadows” prognosticates the DEEP PURPLE to come with a heavier guitar presence than on the previous two albums. Blackmore was clearly coming to fruition as a top tier guitarist and was beginning to display more ambitious speedy solos as well as a wealth of wah-wah effects which made it clear the heavier side of rock was where this band was heading. Likewise Ian Paice’s drumming skills were finally let off the leash as he delivered a powerful bombastic African rhythmic fusion style present on the opening track that pummels the senses in an almost Santana like freneticism.

With bands like King Crimson and The Nice upping the ante in more adventurous arenas for rock, DEEP PURPLE were hot on their heels and on this third album demonstrate remarkably how they easily could’ve gone the progressive rock route in lieu of the less angular hard rock that they opted for. While “Blind” seems to revert to a couple years prior with a distinct Procol Harum type of softness clearly rooted in the 60s, Lord manages to crank out some stellar classical piano runs and Blackmore unleashes his own guitar tricks. This track in retrospect shows how the two main members were quickly outgrowing the limitations of the current lineup. Likewise the Donovan cover “Lalena” also keeps the band firmly placed in the 60s sound complete with those period organs. The album doesn’t really come to life until the excellent instrumental “Faultline” cranks out the backmasking as a rhythmic instrument and serves as an intro for “The Painter” which cranks out a killer blues rock riff and organ mix that start to sound a bit like the Mark II stylistic shift but anchored into the past by Evans’ relaxed vocal style. Paice is phenomenal in how he can produce a mood solely with his percussive drive.

Likewise “Why Didn’t Rosemary?” and “BIrd Has Flown” both display a mature sound for the band’s rhythm section as the guitar, bass, organs and drums have found their own spaces that inch even closer to the Mark II style. It now becomes obvious that Evans had to go as you can imagine Gillan screaming out a more sophisticated singing style complete with more emotive utterances. The cream of the crop for DEEP PURPLE III is the almighty progressive closer “April” which which was Jon Lord’s dream come true as far as the perfect classical and rock hybridization. While the band had structured their compositions to include classical interludes and underpinnings, “April” went all the way in creating a perfect harmonizing melodic construct of classical music mixed with progressive rock that even included a complete string section to accompany the rock aspects. This sort of style was en vogue at this point in early prog nascency but nothing The Nice cranked out approached the magnanimous nature of this beautiful piece. Even Evans seems to have stepped up to add some of his best vocals on the album and what a fabulous way to end this phase of DEEP PURPLE before the change.

While the Mark I lineup continued to play, Blackmore and Lord were already rehearsing new material with new lead singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover leaving Evans and Simper in the dark about the numbered days and unfortunately the two found out through the grapevine and didn’t exactly exit on good terms. While Evans would go on to sing lead for Captain Beyond and Simper would start Warhorse, the true winners were DEEP PURPLE themselves which under the Mark II lineup would become superstars and one of the most popular bands in rock history. The Mark I phase is certainly a precarious time for the origins of one of rock’s most celebrated musical talents and although these early albums are hardly perfect, they were quite innovative for the time and despite the uneven quality of the tracks and inferior talent of certain members still managed to crank out some timeless music. Whether its for historical curiosity or for the love of early proto-prog and metal, then sampling the 60s nectar of this phase of DEEP PURPLE is mandatory and this third installation of the Mark I lineup is perhaps the band’s most accomplished. Essential? Not really, but a fascinating album nonetheless with certain moments that are mind blowing.

ARENA Double Vision

Album · 2018 · Metal Related
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The uncertainty of ARENA continuing after the departure of vocalist Rob Sowden left fans wondering if the band would ever return with new material but after a six year absence the band recruited Paul Manzi as the lead frontman and put all doubts to rest that ARENA was still in it for the long run. Three albums in after their comeback in 2011 with “The Seventh Degree Of Separation” the band returns in 2018 with the 9th studio album DOUBLE VISION and no this is not a collection of Foreigner covers! After the comeback, ARENA beefed up the heaviness and toned down the progressiveness becoming more of a crossover prog act than the bona fide powerhouse neo-prog outfit that they had evolved into leading up to “Contagion.” Unfortunately the following “The Unquiet Sky” continued to tamp down the progressiveness and focused more on tightly delivered melodic rockers that only added touches of atmospheric rivers of synthesizers and eschewed lengthy grandiosity and virtuosic outbursts.

DOUBLE VISION comes three years after “The Unquiet Sky” and after all the negative feedback regarding that album, the band wisely revived more of the progressive aspects however they also kept the heaviness churning and in fact create one of the most rockin’ albums of the band’s existence. While bassist John Jowitt rejoined the band for “The Seventh Degree Of Separation” he quickly departed and was replaced by Kylan Amos. DOUBLE VISION enjoys the same lineup as “The Unquiet Sky” which allowed the current lineup of Clive Nolan (keyboards, backing vocals), Paul Manzi (vocals), John Mitchell (guitars, backing vocals), Kylan Amos (bass) and Mick Pointer (drums) to conjure up the organic chemistry needed to perfect all the proper elements to make this third phase of ARENA’s career as vivacious and relevant as the first two. In that regard DOUBLE VISION definitely steps things up from the rather lazy predecessor that pretty much sounded like a “Seventh Degree Part 2”.

First noticeable difference between DOUBLE VISION and the other two Manzi led albums is that his vocals have improved remarkably. It almost sounds as if he’s been taking voice lessons in order to improve not only his dynamic delivery but he has expanded his vocal range and covers more diverse grounds. Same goes for the compositions themselves. While the band not only beefs up the prog factor, there was obviously more attention paid to crafting more addictive melodic hooks that develop into a larger frame of pleasantly unfolding prog fueled rock that wends and winds through six strong tracks that culminate in the grand finale, the whopping almost 23 minute long epic “The Legend Of Elijah Shade” which consists of six parts strung together to create one of those delicious slices of overweening pompous prog that true believers will eat up like kids in a candy store.

Now granted, ARENA are not interested in deviating from their established neo-prog style that they have been changing subtly throughout the band’s near quarter century career. The strength is in the almost impeccable consistency that sticks to the playbook and only tweaks it enough to create a few unexpected twists and turns but the real bravado is in the excellent melodic developments and how they are strewn together in a series of soft and revolving heavy passages that result in synth-laden, guitar heavy crescendoes. DOUBLE VISION, while not deviating from the established playbook, does however crank out seven stellar tracks that not only rock the house but implement the proper dosages of holy progginess with all that excellent delivery of piano runs, keyboard glides and atmospheric haziness that Nolan so judiciously generates.

Out of the three albums that have featured Manzi, DOUBLE VISION is the best one yet and finds the band effortlessly melding the many phases of ARENAS existence into one beautiful album that includes the more sophisticated compositional prowess of albums like “Contagion” but also some of the melodramatic Marillion inspired 90s sounds from “Immortal?” Add to that the heightened awareness of casting the proper metallic spell and the perfectly placed bombastic parts in conjunct with the synthesized streaming operatic moments amount to ARENA’s best album of the decade. True that nobody will find any surprises not already included int he ARENA playbook but when an album contains no weak tracks and each one is constructed so uniquely and placed in the proper sequence which amounts to such a glorious listening experience then who really cares if this is the most original album ever to hit the prog scene. Sometimes high quality over originality wins the day and DOUBLE VISION certainly made the quality a top priority. A triumphant return to form!

ARENA The Unquiet Sky

Album · 2015 · Metal Related
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After the six year gap between 2005’s “Pepper Ghost” and the 2011 return with “The Seventh Degree Of Separation,” ARENA debuted a new lead vocalist in the form of Paul Manzi after the departure of long time frontman Rob Sowden. Also rejoining the cast was bassist Jon Jowitt who had left the band way back after 1998’s “The Visitor.” While ARENA enjoyed a brief period of stability around the turn of the millennium, the band’s eighth album THE UNQUIET SKY found yet another lineup change. While band founders Clive Nolan (keyboards) and Mick Pointer (drums) were still at the helm directing the band’s every move as well as long time guitarist John Mitchell, THE UNQUIET SKY found yet another bassist with Kylan Amos after Jon Jowitt left the band once again. While the band didn’t take six years to release a new album, they were in no hurry either and THE UNQUIET SKY wouldn’t emerge for a full four years after the predecessor.

THE UNQUIET SKY pretty much continues the exact format as “The Seventh Degree Of Separation” which found the band ramping up the heavy rock aspects to make the updated version of the band with Manzi as the vocalist a louder more rockin’ affair. The album starts off with an elaborate cinematic soundtrack type of intro which gives a clue to the inspiration behind the album’s content. While the overall themes are multifaceted, the story is based on a short horror story by M.R. James titled “Casting The Runes” and the 1957 film version titled “Night Of The Demon.” The timeline is in the Victorian times and the album also nods to the rock operas “She” and “Alchemy” due to Manzi’s involvement in the latter. ARENA performs in the usual theatrical and moody manner that they always have with Clive Nolan’s eerie keyboard touches haunting every cadence and providing the atmospheric generator as the canvas on which to paint the melodies and rhythmic drives of the heavy guitar, bass and drums.

Overall it’s really hard to distinguish THE UNQUIET SKY from “The Seventh Degree Of Separation” as the album seems to carbon copy every aspect and the band had fallen into a comfort zone with little desire to expand beyond the previous album’s newly established harder edge rock tracks. Once again ARENA implements a series of shorter tracks that emphasize strong melodic hooks that constitute simpler constructs although with just enough progressive mojo to keep it from being booted out of the progressive rock club. If random tracks from this one were mixed with the previous album and shuffled together it would be virtually impossible to distinguish which belonged on which album therefore THE UNQUIET SKY fails to distinguish itself in any significant way save the rare overtly cinematic touches such as the introductory track. While the band perfectly checks off all the boxes that make ARENA the band they are, what’s missing here is some sort of interesting deviation from the status quo.

To my ears this album sounds like one of those bonus albums that was tacked on to deluxe packages, a trait that has become more common especially in prog circles like IQ and other neo-prog bands. An album that is perfectly listenable and basically gives the fans a double dose of what a particular album dishes out. If this had been released the following year after “The Seventh Degree Of Separation” and marketed as a sort of “Part 2” then this might have been more acceptable but after a four year absence in which to craft something more stellar, THE UNQUIET SKY does fail at wowing the aural sensibilities. Nevertheless there is nothing bad at all about this album. It effortlessly cranks out twelve well-crafted tracks that weave pleasant melodies, dynamic outbursts of heavy rock alternating with piano led slower moments and the expected storyline that revolves some melodramaticism excavated from long ago. Unfortunately despite all the exact same traits as its predecessor, everything seems a little watered down and showcases ARENA in a slow but sure decline.

ARENA The Seventh Degree of Separation

Album · 2011 · Metal Related
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With the loss of vocalist Rob Sowden, it’s no wonder ARENA had to step back for a while and decide if the band should continue or not. After all, Sowden’s distinct vocal flare is what made ARENA, well ARENA, right? Well not so fast there. After a presumably restful break with some soul searching for the next move that the band should embark upon if any at all, ARENA returned six long years after 2005’s “Pepper’s Ghost” with not only a new vocalist in the form of Paul Manzi who came out of nowhere but also found the unexpected return of bassist John Jowitt who had left the band after 1998’s “The Visitor.”

While the band never officially broke up and continued to tour, the new lineup was the perfect reset button and ARENA did the wise thing and didn’t try to find a vocalist who would merely mimic the previous while pretending everything was just the way it was before. Au contraire. ARENA reinvented themselves for the seventh album aptly titled THE SEVENTH DEGREE OF SEPARATION which continued the ARENA tried and true tradition of cranking out an album’s worth of nebulous concepts concerning life, death and the ethers that bridge the two all set up in emotive musical drama with instantly addictive hooks laced with progressive touches.

In fact, the changes had already begun on “Pepper’s Ghost” as the band ramped up the heavier elements with harder guitar delivers, increased tempos with a more heavy rock edge than any of the album’s that preceded. THE SEVENTH DEGREE OF SEPARATION simply picked up where that album left off stylistically speaking as if six years were just an illusory chunk of time. However, despite the attempt to just pick up where things left off, the notable differences in vocalists dictated that things were not the same and it sounds like every attempt was made to allow the music to adapt to Manzi’s vocal abilities rather than the other way around.

Continuing the heavier aspects, ARENA opted to tamp down the more complex aspects of the progressive side of things which didn’t sit well with many a fans and for many this was a clear decline and disappointment for one of the premiere neo-prog bands of the 90s. The tracks are more clear and concise with not a single one extending beyond the eight minute mark and most hovering around four. In a nutshell, THE SEVENTH DEGREE OF SEPARATION is much more a hard rock album than a progressive neo-prog album but that doesn’t diminish the effectiveness of its rich tapestry of melodic weaving and excellent mastery of vocals, guitar oriented riffing and Clive Nolan’s unworldly talent for casting the perfect atmospheric projections on his keys.

Conceptually, THE SEVENTH DEGREE OF SEPARATION tackles the subject of death by exploring Frigyes Karinthy’s theory from which the album title gets its name only ARENA changed the original six to the number 7. Karinthy was a Hungarian author and postulated that all people are only six or fewer social connections away from each other. I guess he wasn’t taking hermits into account but i digress. As with all ARENA albums, the thematic presence is loosely defined, nebulous to the core and is meant to fire up the imagination rather than cast an iron clad tale into literal form. Once again the music perfectly matches the imagery and despite the more accessible musical compositions works quite well in tandem.

While the obligatory bloated progressive elements are removed and replaced by a series of catchy pop hooks, the tracks whiz by fairly smoothly, all connecting for a nice album ride to the near hour completion. In some ways, Manzi reminds me of Geoff Tate of Queensryche in his vocal style only without the multi-octave range but his vocal phrasings and voice signature in general makes this connection. Likewise, the progressive metal of early Queensryche also seems to have at least made a marginal impact as some of the tracks have similar chord progression and atmospheres however these are subtle references and THE SEVENTH DEGREE OF SEPARATION stands up on its own two feet.

For finicky prog purists, this one will surely disappoint. It seems to purposely eschew any meandering sections that point to the perfect prog escapism but rather nurtures the melodic constructs into shorter and to the point rockers. But despite the decomplexifying touches, this is still prog rock through and through and there are healthy doses of time signature deviations, stellar atmospheric overcasts that glaze the Genesis inspired soaring guitar licks and emotive rock opera styled melodramatic effects. Just don’t expect an album like “Contagion.”

What’s clearly missing is any sort of standout performances by Nolan as the keyboards have taken a back seat to the more ramped up guitar, bass and drum parts. Despite the new direction, i find THE SEVENTH DEGREE OF SEPARATION to be quite the addictive album based on the strong melodic hooks alone and the fact that they are augmented by a heavy rock bombast makes it all the stronger. I can totally understand why some fans jumped ship at this point but i find this new phase to be just as appealing as what came before but then again i crave change rather than relish complacency any day.

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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