Metal Related Genres — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of

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.

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

WISHBONE ASH Argus Album Cover Argus
4.56 | 26 ratings
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QUEEN Queen II Album Cover Queen II
4.42 | 59 ratings
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NEAL MORSE One Album Cover One
4.82 | 9 ratings
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SPOCK'S BEARD Snow Album Cover Snow
4.88 | 8 ratings
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TRANSATLANTIC Bridge Across Forever Album Cover Bridge Across Forever
4.56 | 18 ratings
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JIMI HENDRIX Are You Experienced? Album Cover Are You Experienced?
4.42 | 36 ratings
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NEAL MORSE Sola Scriptura Album Cover Sola Scriptura
4.44 | 32 ratings
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JIMI HENDRIX Axis: Bold As Love Album Cover Axis: Bold As Love
4.46 | 25 ratings
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KING CRIMSON Red Album Cover Red
4.34 | 91 ratings
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KING CRIMSON In The Court Of The Crimson King Album Cover In The Court Of The Crimson King
4.34 | 86 ratings
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PORCUPINE TREE Deadwing Album Cover Deadwing
4.33 | 68 ratings
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KING CRIMSON Larks' Tongues In Aspic Album Cover Larks' Tongues In Aspic
4.32 | 83 ratings
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metal related genres Music Reviews


Album · 2017 · Non-Metal
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In 2017 Motorpsycho released The Tower, a double-album that was to become the first instalment in their so called “Gullvåg Trilogy” of albums inspired by the art of painter Hakon Gullvåg, whose work graces the cover of The Tower as well as the subsequent two albums (2019’s The Crucible and 2020’s The All Is One). On this album bass player / vocalist Bent Sæther and guitarist Hans Magnus "Snah" Ryan pair with a new drummer, Tomas Järmyr, who replaces Kenneth Kapstad after a 9-year stint with the band. The album also marks an evolution in the sound of the Norwegian veterans, which veers more decidedly towards heavy rock territories, bringing back some of the influences that had coloured Motorpsycho’s early albums (Hawkwind, Black Sabbath, a touch of King Crimson).

It’s a fun album, filled with groovy bass or guitar patterns that interlock to provide a solid basis for extended instrumental buildups and spontaneous jams. It’s what Motorpsycho are renowned for and indeed it is music that at its best can be transcendental, as the listener is entranced and engrossed by the dazzling playing of the three musicians. There are plenty of moments when this happens on the album, as for instance on the beautiful guitar solo that kicks in five minutes in “A Pacific Sonata”, or in the lengthy trippy affair that goes under the name of “Intrepid Explorer”. Elsewhere, more pastoral and whimsical 70s rock influences emerge from the musical cauldron of The Tower, as in the very CSYN-esque “Stardust” or on “The Maypole”. Meanwhile, the infectious combination of guitar riffs and flute melodies on “In Every Dream Home” is the most exquisitely prog moment of the album, bringing to mind the work of early Canterbury bands like Caravan.

For as much as I enjoy a free-spirited, psychedelic jam-fest, it is actually the more restrained songs like “In Every Dream Home” that Motorpsycho truly captivate me. I love the way this track strikes a perfect balance between instrumental virtuosity and structure. It gives the song a more definite identity which helps me keep my attention focused much better than on other, more free-form tracks on this album. Alas, there are not many moments on the album when this happens, which is why this record remains a bit of an acquired taste for me, and to it I prefer the other two instalments of the trilogy, The Crucible and especially The All Is One, which are less jam-oriented and more structured.

Nevertheless. The Tower remains an impressive album by the Norwegian trio that marks in great style the beginning of a new era for the band, with a new drummer and a renewed love for their heavy psychedelic rock origins. Although this may not be the most revolutionary or path breaking music to play in 2017, the songs still feel fresh and non-derivative. Most importantly, it is clear from listening to the album that the band had a lot of fun writing and playing the music, and the feeling is simply infectious.

[Review also posted on]


Album · 2019 · Non-Metal
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Released in 2019, The Crucible is the second instalment in Motorpsycho’s “Gullvåg trilogy” of albums inspired by the art of painter Håkon Gullvåg, which the band started in 2017 with The Tower and will conclude in 2020 with The All Is One. While exploring similar lyrical themes (living in a polarized society) and moving in similar musical spaces (psychedelic-infused heavy prog), The Crucible stands out relative to the other two parts of the trilogy, in a number of ways.

First, clocking at about 40 minutes, it is by far the shortest album in the trilogy (both The Tower and The All Is One are double-albums that surpass the 80-minute mark). It contains only three tracks, albeit two of them (Lux Aeterna and the title-track) are nearly 11 and 21 minute long, respectively.

Second, it is certainly the heaviest record in the trio of albums. The stoner/doom/heavy prog influences (Black Sabbath above all) that characterized Motorpsycho’s earlier records come back in a very prominent way on this album. This is different from The Tower and, especially The All Is One, which are instead proggier and more rock-oriented. This is not to say that The Crucible is lacking in prog credentials. On the contrary, the angular, fuzz-drenched instrumental acrobatics one can find on “Lux Aeterna” and “The Crucible” (the track) are reminiscent of the furious and fearless experimentation of early King Crimson. The interplay between reeds and guitars on “Lux Aeterna”, for instance, is a particularly striking Crimsonian moment. The pervasive use of the mellotron is another element that brings to mind Robert Fripp’s band. Elsewhere, the vocal harmonies conjured up by Bent Sæther and Hans Magnus Ryan remind us of Jon Anderson (listen for example to when the vocals kick in on the title-track). More generally, Yes’s musical exuberance is another reference point for Motorpsycho’s music. Yet, all these classic prog references are reinterpreted through a heavily metallic lens as well as with a distinct modern approach (Stian Westerhus comes to mind when one listens to the guitar-noise experiments on the title-track), which helps keep things fresh, contemporaneous and non-derivative.

The three tracks are well-balanced between vocal-driven parts and instrumental sections where the band loosens up and engages in long detours that have an improv flavor. There is nevertheless a sense of structure and discipline in the way these tracks are constructed, which makes them easy to assimilate and help the listener to remain focused throughout a song. This is particularly true on the two shorter pieces, “Psychotzar” and “Lux Aeterna”, while the title-track is slightly more meandering and I think it may have benefitted from some fat trimming. Regardless of your level of endurance with lengthy instrumental acrobatics, the level of playing is dazzlingly good throughout the album.

Overall, The Crucible offers an enjoyable musical ride, especially if one is a fan of extended heavy psychedelic jams, which the album offers aplenty. Often this type of composition approach relies on that special spark to light up and infuse the music with magic. And while there are moments on the album where this is certainly the case, and the listener is left engrossed by the experience, elsewhere the approach feels a bit more earthbound and tiresome, which is why I cannot give this album more than three stars.

[Originally posted on]


Album · 2020 · Non-Metal
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Motorpsycho’s new album, The All Is One, concludes the so called “Gullvåg trilogy” of albums inspired by the art of painter Håkon Gullvåg that the band started in 2017 with The Tower and continued with 2019’s The Crucible. Sporting on its cover another beautiful Gullvåg’s painting, The All Is One might just be the best progressive rock album released in 2020. Whether you agree with this statement or not, one thing is for certain: it is simply amazing how, after 30 years of career and more than 20 full-length albums, these three Norwegians are still able to create music that feels fresh and innovative and is of such a high quality. This is truly a testament to their creativity and ability as musicians that I have a deep respect for.

So what makes The All Is One so good, you ask? Two things stand out for me: how deliciously varied its 9 compositions are, and how they are perfectly balanced between creative discipline and looseness. These characteristics put the record at the top of the trio of albums that form the Gullvåg trilogy, in my opinion. The songs on this album have the same playful, proggy exploratory spirit of The Tower, but with the structure and discipline that one can find on The Crucible, giving us the best of both worlds.

There are three types of songs on The All Is One, reflecting three distinct phases in the recording process. A first bulk of songs were recorded in September 2019 at the Black Box Studio in France. These recording sessions see the Motorpsycho trio (Bent Sæther - lead vocals, bass, guitar; Hans Magnus Ryan - lead guitar, vocals; Tomas Järmyr - drums) join forces with long-time collaborator guitarist Reine Fiske (Landberk, Paatos). The songs that came out from these sessions are of medium length (between 5 and 8 minutes), follow a somewhat traditional structure and are fairly vocal-driven, without too many extended instrumental jams or detours, making them relatively easy to assimilate. Nevertheless, the music has a strong classic prog flavour, somewhat reminiscent of the US modern school of progressive rock (bands like Echolyn, but also Spock’s Beard and Neal Morse come to mind). Classic acts like Yes and King Crimson are also obvious influences, but they are re-interpreted through a modern lens that avoids the music sounding derivative. Among these tracks, the title-track and “The Magpie” stand out, containing some of the best and most memorable hooks of the album. “Dreams of Fancy” is also notable, with its classic rock feel (Led Zeppelin come to mind). “The Same Old Rock” and “Like Chrome” are instead perhaps a tad less inspired and come across a bit as run-of-the-mill prog.

Then we have the 42-minute suite “N.O.X”. This piece, recorded in November 2019 at the Oceans Sound studio in Norway, was originally written as performance music that Motorpsycho were commissioned to play at 2019 St. Olav Festival as part of its celebration of the art of Håkon Gullvåg. The suite was composed with the help of two other instrumentalists, Lars Horntveth of Jaga Jazzist (saxophones and clarinet) and Ola Kvernberg of Steamdome (violin). It is an amazing piece of music, and my personal highlight from the album. It comes in 5 separate parts (each a separate track on the album) that are interconnected and tied together by recurring motifs and common rhythm patterns. The music has a strong experimental and avant-garde feel, and encompasses a range of different styles, from krautrock and space rock (Hawkwind), to classic prog, to Canterbury prog (Caravan come to mind on the opening bars of “Circles Around the Sun pt I”), to psychedelia. The suite has everything one would ask for from a prog masterpiece: it is complex and shapeshifting while never losing focus or tension, it is filled with sublime arrangements and exceptional playing, it is groovy like hell (listen to “Ouroboros”) and it has strong dynamics, moving between hard-hitting, almost punkish pieces (“Circles Around the Sun pt II”) and dreamy, reverb-drenched meditative moments (the Pink Floydian “Ascension”). Vocals appear sparsely throughout the suite, and are often processed and used more as an additional complementary instrument than as lead instrument. Drummer Tomas Järmyr puts in a monstrous performance on this piece, but the playing of everyone involved is truly dazzling and a joy to listen to. What impressed me the most, though, is the sense of structure and discipline that transpires from the music. Motorpsycho have often indulged in extended instrumental jams on previous albums. While captivating and engrossing, I often found these jamming pieces a bit too loose, structureless and repetitive, which made it difficult to continuously retain my attention. “N.O.X” is incredibly tight and well-organized, each part flowing naturally - almost necessarily - into the next one, in a way that brings to mind classical music more than jazz or psychedelic improvs. This perfect balance between discipline and looseness is what makes “N.O.X”, and the album in general, such a fantastic piece of music for me.

Finally, the album contains three shorter songs, recorded at various times between 2018 and 2019 in Trondheim (Norway). These are acoustic pieces for guitar and voice (and synths sometimes) that are strategically placed on the album to separate the “N.O.X” suite from the other tracks. I am particularly fond of “Delusion”, a beautiful, delicate piece that reminds me of the more pastoral moments of early King Crimson. “A Little Light” is also endearing, with its simple guitar line, especially after the musical mayhem of the closing parts of “N.O.X”.

Overall, the alternation between acoustic pieces, more regular prog rock songs, and the tour-de-force of “N.O.X” gives the album a sense of progression and moving-forward that is truly captivating and naturally invites the repeated listens that are necessary to properly assimilate the sheer amount of creativity that is contained in the 80+ minutes of music on this double-album. Nevertheless, The All Is One is also a record that is very easy to instantly like as it contains enough hooks and moments of brilliance to entrance the listener on the first run. It is also notable that the doom/stoner/heavy prog influences (e.g., Black Sabbath) that Motorpsycho are known for are not so strong on this album. Overall, there is more prog and less fuzz on The All Is One, which may make it an even more palatable release for the prog community.

In short, The All Is One is an amazing piece of work. It contains some of the proggiest and most inventive pieces of music Motorpsycho have come up with in a long time. The experimental, largely instrumental suite “N.O.X.”, alone, would have made for an incredible album, but perhaps it stands out even more with the addition of the other acoustic and more standard vocal-driven tracks to balance the record. Despite some less inspired moment (“The Sme Old Rock”, “The Dowser”, “Like Chrome”), it is without doubt one of the best progressive rock albums I have listened to this year and it is highly recommended to anyone with an interest in prog.

[Originally posted on]

HEXVESSEL Dawnbearer

Album · 2011 · Non-Metal
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"Dawnbearer" is the debut full-length studio album by Finland based (but multi-national) folk group Hexvessel. The album was released through Svart Records in February 2011. Hexvessel was founded by lead vocalist Mat "Kvohst" McNerney (real name: Mathew Joseph McNerney) after he had been in and out of Norwegian progressive black metal act Dødheimsgard for a couple of years. Kvohst joined Dødheimsgard for the recording of "Supervillain Outcast (2007)", but left the band again in January 2008. He reunited with Dødheimsgard again in 2010 but left again soon after. He has also released albums with artists like Void, Code, and Gangrenator. After relocating to Finland he formed Hexvessel and the rock group Beastmilk. The latter disbanded in 2015 and some of the members (including Kvohst) continued the band under the With Grave Pleasures monicker.

So needless to say that Kvohst is quite the prolific and eclectic musician. While many of his past adventures has been in black metal related acts, Hexvessel is a very different beast and shows a completely new side of the man´s talent. The material on "Dawnbearer" is in some sort of dark and psychadelic tinged folk style. Often almost ritualistic in its expression. An atmosphere which is further enhanced by monotone repetition. It´s the work of 60s and 70s folk artists like The Incredible String Band, Comus, Forest, Spirogyra, Jan Dukes de Grey, which come to mind, but Hexvessel brings a more contemporary edge to that style. On "Dawnbearer", Kvohst is joined by female vocalist Marja Konttinen and a host of guest/session musicians playing instruments like Harmonium, Gongs, Keyboards, Dulcimer, Zither, Psaltery, Bells, Drums, Percussion, guitar, Upright bass, Bowed Dulcimer, Hand Claps, Hand Drum, Bandoneon, Mandolin, and Banjo.

The outcome is a warm and organic instrumental soundscape complimented by the paatos filled vocals by Kvohst and Konttinen (who mostly sings harmony vocals and choirs). There is an eerie and dark psychadelic tone to the music and in usual Kvohst style the lyrics follow suit and paint gloomy absurd landscapes. Some may find the lyrics too "artsy" and pretentious, but personally I think this is some damn fine dark poetry. Kvohst is quite the brilliant vocalist with a distinct sounding voice and delivery, and the many well performed harmony vocals and choirs enhance the vocal part of the music greatly too.

The material on the 15 track, 54:29 minutes long album is generally well written, but some tracks are more interesting than others and while the overall quality of the album is relatively high, the long playing time does mean that the album overstays its welcome by about 10 minutes. Highlights include tracks like the Paul Simon cover "Diamonds", the opening track "Invocation Summoning", "The Tunnel at the End of the Light" (featuring Virus frontman Carl-Michael Eide on guest vocals), and "The Death Knell Tolls".

Upon conclusion "Dawnbearer" is a strong first release by Hexvessel, featuring high level musicianship, a well sounding production, and predominantly intriguing songwriting. As mentioned above there are some tracks which aren´t on par with the best material on the album and had the band weeded out those tracks, it would have made for an overall stronger release (they could easily have left out most of the instrumental tracks on the album). As it is a 3.5 star (70%) rating is still deserved though.


Album · 2008 · Non-Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Mariusz Duda is best known for his role as bassist and lead vocalist of the Polish band Riverside which has been quite successful in creating a more metallic take on Porcupine Tree’s heavier space rock style. Having enjoyed a good run with Riverside’s first three albums, Duda did what many musicians due after a hectic touring schedule and a commitment to the never-ending world of rock stardom, namely decided to take a time out and do a solo project that would allow another perspective of the creative process to come through.

The result was the new project LUNATIC SOUL which started out as a mere self-titled album release but has since become quite a steady solo career with seven albums to date. This debut was released in 2008 after the “Rapid Eye Movement” album from Riverside and found Duda handling most of the project alone only with the help of a few lineup musicians on various instruments. The album featured ten tracks and hovered around the 47 minute mark making this one a bit shorter than some of those lengthy Riverside albums.

This album is a concept album that deals with the subject of death from different perspectives even taking things as far as featuring the song “Summerland” described from the vantage point of a deceased person. The album is dark and like Riverside albums fueled with an atmospheric haze that sounds more like a lighter version of Riverside when all is said and done which is impossible not to make comparisons considering Duda’s vocal style is exactly the same as his main band. The main difference is the absence of electric guitar and thus any metal bombast. In many ways this LUNATIC SOUL debut sounds like an unplugged version of his main band.

The instrumentation is rich with Duda playing the usual bass, acoustic guitar and various percussion. Joining Duda from Riverside is keyboardist Michał Łapaj along with several others. Like Duda’s main gig Riverside, LUNATIC SOUL reminds me way too much of Porcupine Tree and not really in a good way. While i love Steven Wilson’s unique voice and psychedelic swirls around his pop infused hooks with the extra mojo of heavy rock, LUNATIC SOUL and Riverside for that matter just seem to rub me the wrong way. Firstly Duda’s voice is not very interesting to my ears and the derivative nature of the production just makes me want to listen to a much more interesting Porcupine Tree album.

Add to that this kind of stuff is just too airy faery and sounds insincere. I’m really not sure why this light and fluffy style of crossover prog is so popular but i call this “teddy bear prog” because it’s safe and secure and like some sort of emotional security blanket for those who are afraid of the dark. Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing really horrible about LUNATIC SOUL’s sound here but on the flip side of the coin there’s not really anything to get excited about either. It’s all very predictable with Duda’s flirtation with Chris Isaak-like crooning that just doesn’t float my boat. Riverside i can handle in small doses especially the first couple albums but LUNATIC SOUL comes off as the easy listening section of the prog superstore where even neo-prog seems more daring in comparison.

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NEAL MORSE Morsefest! 5015

Movie · 2017 · Metal Related
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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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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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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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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.

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