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

WISHBONE ASH Argus Album Cover Argus
WISHBONE ASH
4.57 | 28 ratings
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JIMI HENDRIX Are You Experienced? Album Cover Are You Experienced?
JIMI HENDRIX
4.49 | 43 ratings
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SPOCK'S BEARD V Album Cover V
SPOCK'S BEARD
4.89 | 9 ratings
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THE WHO Who's Next Album Cover Who's Next
THE WHO
4.49 | 38 ratings
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NEAL MORSE Sola Scriptura Album Cover Sola Scriptura
NEAL MORSE
4.48 | 36 ratings
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TRANSATLANTIC Bridge Across Forever Album Cover Bridge Across Forever
TRANSATLANTIC
4.55 | 23 ratings
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QUEEN Queen II Album Cover Queen II
QUEEN
4.42 | 63 ratings
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KING CRIMSON Red Album Cover Red
KING CRIMSON
4.36 | 98 ratings
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NEAL MORSE One Album Cover One
NEAL MORSE
4.62 | 14 ratings
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PORCUPINE TREE Deadwing Album Cover Deadwing
PORCUPINE TREE
4.36 | 74 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
4.35 | 95 ratings
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SWANS The Seer Album Cover The Seer
SWANS
4.78 | 9 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 New Releases

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Pike 318 - March 19, 2020
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Final Light
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FINAL LIGHT
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Final Light
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In The Void
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Pike 315 - Arboretum
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Am I Right
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JAMES LABRIE
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Give And Take
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Devil In Drag
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Beautiful Shade of Grey
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JAMES LABRIE
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The Art Of Fatigue
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KRAUSE
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Omnium Gatherum
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KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD
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Made in Timeland
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KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD
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The Buried Storm
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The Crone
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MOE
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Unlimited Love
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RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
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Rabbit Trail
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RABBIT TRAIL
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A Place We Cannot Go
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AN ISOLATED MIND
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Beyond Your Beliefs
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MEMBRANE
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The Mouth Of Hell Is Lit With Neon
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P.S.YOU'REDEAD
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Histories 2010 - 2016
Boxset / Compilation
EIGHT BELLS
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Timewave Zero
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BLOOD INCANTATION
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Self-Surgery
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MRS. PISS
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Back in Black
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CYPRESS HILL
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Bye Bye
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CYPRESS HILL
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Re-Entry (Feat. Mark Hoppus)
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A DAY TO REMEMBER
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Center
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SOM
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metal related genres Music Reviews

TRANSATLANTIC The Whirlwind

Album · 2009 · Metal Related
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Warthur
The return of Transatlantic in 2009 with The Whirlwind, an album-long prog symphony in some twelve parts or so, was perhaps just as surprising as their original hiatus. The project had gone into hibernation back in 2002, when Neal Morse quit it (and Spock's Beard), declaring that he felt a calling to make more explicitly religious-themed work and he didn't think it would be right to drag those band projects down that same rabbithole. Whilst Spock's Beard was able to solider on with a reconfigured lineup, Transatlantic was explicitly constructed as a supergroup of four personalities, and so didn't feel they could keep going without Neal onboard.

However, Neal's departure was not as final as it might have first appeared. For one thing, there was an extra dimension to Neal's decision which hadn't been widely aired at the time, though it would eventually become more generally known: his young daughter had been diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition, which had apparently corrected itself. Such an incident not only explains why Neal felt an intensifying of his religious feelings (because he attributed this recovery in part to prayer), but clearly would have given him ample reason to dial back on band projects with significant touring requirements associated for the sake of spending more tame with the family.

The passage of time would eventually cure Neal's need to distance himself from band projects; in his solo career he would not only put out a range of prog albums which combined his distinctive musical approach with various Christian themes, but also had a little cottage industry going when it came to putting out more straight-ahead worship music. Furthermore, as the years passed and his daughter's health troubles were more firmly in the past, perhaps it became easier to contemplate doing the odd Transatlantic project and tour, with the immediate need to spend as much time as possible together as a family being alleviated.

In retrospect, there were clues all along that Neal wasn't 100% done with Transatlantic. For one thing, Mike Portnoy of the band had also performed drums on all of Neal's solo prog albums, so it's not like he was out of contact with the rest of the group; for another, during his solo career he had been producing a steady trickle of cover versions of mostly secular songs (compiled on the Cover 2 Cover series), so it's not like he felt every single musical endeavour he turned his had to had to be 100% exclusively Christian-themed. Moreover, Roine Stolt of Transatlantic has worked in some Christian themes into his music here and there - such as on The Flower King solo album which provided the seeds of the Flower Kings project to begin with. Transatlantic might not have been the right project to do entire concept albums explicitly based on Biblical stories or Church history, but the other musicians are hardly the sort you'd expect to toss their instruments down and leave the studio in a huff if there turned out to be a religious theme here and there in the music.

As it stands, 2009 feels like it was the perfect time for a Transatlantic reunion to come together. Neal's prog solo albums were for the most part pretty solid, but listening to Lifeline - his last prog solo album before this reunion occurred - I can't help but think he might have been running a bit short of ideas, and so pivoting to a band-based project might have been the perfect opportunity for Neal to recharge his prog batteries, with collaborators to both propose their own ideas and to help refine his own.

Roine Stolt, meanwhile, had just put the Flower Kings on hiatus after wrapping up their 2008 tour commitments, and wouldn't come back to that project until 2011. Marillion had put out Happiness Is the Road in the previous year and were finding their creative reserves a little tapped - they'd do the Less Is More album of acoustic rearrangements of existing material in 2009, and then take some three years to bring Sounds That Can't Be Made to fruition - so Pete Trewavas wasn't so busy with the day job that he couldn't come around for bass. As for Mike Portnoy, he hadn't officially left Dream Theater yet, but they had completed what would turn out to be their last studio album with him, and when he did leave in the following year he cited enjoying other projects more than he was enjoying Dream Theater himself.

Clearly, then, the weather was blowing in the right direction for the good ship Transatlantic to set sail again, and this return voyage turns out to be a real treat. On Bridge Across Forever the band had found a sound in which their different musical personalities were all finding expression and which by and large sounded like its own entity, rather than "Spock's Beard By Other Means" as their debut album, SMPTe, sometimes came across. Neal Morse takes the bulk of the lead vocals, but hasn't pushed Roine Stolt out entirely here - rather, Roine is given those sections which his voice better does justice to, so both of them are playing to their strengths in that respect. In return, there's a better demarcation of duties when it comes to guitar: Neal is handling acoustic, Roine is on electric, which means that Roine's presence is better expressed (because any time you hear electric guitar - and there's some great solos there - it's Roine). Meanwhile in the rhythm section, Portnoy and Trewavas let rip with their particular skills, providing the engine which really gives the album a sense of forward motion.

As far as the overall composition goes, it sounds like another Neal Morse long piece in structural terms, but that's fine - Neal's always been a dab hand at structuring these things, and whilst there's moments here and there which sound a little bit like a Neal-ism, there's just as many which sound like a slice of the Flower Kings. More to the point, whilst parts sound like something you could imagine Neal contributing to the stew, none of it entirely sounds like his solo career, despite half the band being key musicians on those solo albums. If Neal was being the "big picture" guy here, taking everyone's contributions and fitting them into a framework, it's worked out just fine, because the mosaic that results sounds distinctly different from the sort of thing he'd cook up by himself whilst still having his fingerprints on it.

Thematically, you can certainly still pick up some of Neal's religious convictions if you've a mind to, but it's not as front and centre as in his solo work. Sure, his solo work is often very unsubtle on this point - but here he's not giving any explicit thoughts on church doctrine or delving into particular incidents from the Old or New Testaments, it's more the sort of material you might hear any cosmically-inclined, slightly hippy-ish prog band wheeling out where you can probably track where the lyricist's head was at when they wrote the words, but they're more interested in expressing broad universal themes than getting into specifics.

I've spoken a lot about Morse in this review, but that's largely because his decision to first leave Transatlantic and then come back to the project hangs so heavy above the project. As it stands, The Whirlwind ends up being the best sort of supergroup project, in that it simultaneously clearly makes best use of the strengths of the various contributors and allows their different personalities to be felt within the music, but at the same time it becomes a whole greater than the sum of its parts, producing music which shows the trademarks of all the contributors but at the same time doesn't quite sound like the sort of thing any one of them would produce on their own.

Of all the members of the group, Morse is the one who had been most immersed in producing stuff on his own rather than in band projects in the time since Bridge Across Forever, so it's gratifying to see him moving smoothly back into a band project and finding new ways to express his particular compositional style whilst at the same time embracing the opportunity to work with collaborators as equals. As far as the band as a whole goes, this really sounds like they haven't missed a beat; had Transatlantic stuck together after 2002 and produced a new album instead of Neal going off on his solo career, I can't imagine them producing something much better than this.

PORCUPINE TREE Nil Recurring

EP · 2007 · Metal Related
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Having been released five months after the album “Fear of a Blank Planet,” the 4-track EP titled NIL RECURRING was basically the leftover tracks that were written and recorded during those same sessions but for whatever reason were not deemed as viable candidates to be included on that album. This EP is just shy of 29 minutes of playing time with each track running form the 6 - 8 minute playing time. Considering these were all a part of the larger “Blank Planet” recording sessions, it’s no wonder that these four tracks sound very much in the same stylistic approach of the third phase of PORCUPINE TREE which began with the band’s critically acclaimed breakthrough album “In Absentia.”

The all instrumental title track begins the EP and has been explained by Steven Wilson that the title was sort of a joke because the subject matter of an instrumental track can only be NIL. With the help of King Crimson superstar Robert Fripp on lead guitar the album displays a fierce dedication to meaty metal guitar riffs and progressive oddball time signatures all battered and deep-fried in Wilson’s classic psychedelic secret sauce. Featuring variations on a RECURRING theme, this track exemplifies the band’s rise to fame by upping their game as key player’s in the world of 21st century prog and the band’s uncanny ability to seamlessly mix and meld all the elements that forged the band’s unique sound.

“Normal” is the most confusing because as you first listen to it you start to have a sense of deja-vous like haven’t i heard this before? It’s like one of those Dr Strange in the Multiverse moments where you swear you’ve heard it before but yet you haven’t. This track was in reality the early working of what would become “Sentimental” on “Blank Planet” only it features parts of other tracks as well ranging from “My Ashes” and “Anesthetize.” The track is as good as anything from the band’s most lauded albums but showcases a completely written mishmash of various songs that work quite well. The track features new guitar riffs and other experimental touches while cranking out the familiar lyrics heard on the “Blank Planet” version.

“Cheating The Polygraph” is the one track that i can understand why it didn’t make it onto the original album. It’s a bit too loud, a bit too eclectic and a bit outside of the parameter of the “Blank Planet” sound however this is one of my all-time favorite PORCUPINE TREE tracks with its balls to the wall alternative metal heft and diverser than normal vocal style of Wilson. Also Gavin Harrison delivers some excellent percussive duties as he showcases both his off-kilter restraint as well as pulling out all the punches for some ferocious metal attacks. Even the guitar solo is unhinged while Colin Edwin’s bass antics whizz up and down the scale more angsty than usual. The accompanying electronic ambience and space rock effects are also in fine form. This track should’ve been the next direction of the TREE instead of “The Incident” but that obviously wasn’t in the cards.

The most indulgent of the tracks, “What Happens Now” is considered the track that most wears out its welcome due to the lengthy noisy jam that comprises the latter half. The track starts off with some tasty tribal drumming and psychedelic space rock as usual in classic PORCUPINE TREE fashion complete with Wilson’s mopey vocal delivery. Once the oscillating electronic features chime in the track becomes more lively and the contrasting dynamics and build up of counterpoints becomes quite stimulating and magical. The track engages in that delectable psychedelic noodling with cool ass production gimmicks before engaging in an all out frenzy of ratcheting up the tension with subtle tempo increases, incremental shifts in agitation and a more bombastic series of explosive noisy propositions. Many consider this one too long but personally i love how it ends the EP by just going for it with NIL a f.u.c.k. to give.

It may only be an EP and probably should’ve been tacked on to “Fear of a Blank Planet” and simply called bonus tracks but personally i find this album as essential and brilliant as anything PORCUPINE TREE has unleashed onto the world. Of all the so-called EPs that the band has released (something like 15 or so) only the 1994 “Staircase Infinities” and this one, NIL RECURRING are what i would deem as essential. Originally this was self-released in limited quantities and not so easy to find but with the band’s continued popularity always increasing the entire back catalogue has seen a resurgence of reissues with the most elaborate having been released by Peaceville. What can i say? This is an excellent album in its own right and leaves me wanting more!

PORCUPINE TREE Fear Of A Blank Planet

Album · 2007 · Metal Related
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Following in the wake of the breakthrough album “In Absentia” and the following “Deadwing,” PORCUPINE TREE was riding high as the 21st century’s newest top dog prog rock band having honed their unique blend of psychedelic space rock with progressive alternative rock and metal. The band took full advantage of their new found success and engaged in massive touring as well as continuing to crank out new material with incremental leaps of sophistication. The next in line was the 2007 release FEAR OF A BLANK PLANET which parodied the well known Public Enemy album title “Fear of a Black Planet” only instead of gangstsa woes of racial problems in the USA, this concept album tackled the desensitizing nature of having our senses bombarded with stimuli in the 21st century. The album was a huge hit and critically acclaimed across the world.

PORCUPINE TREE pretty much upped its game on this release with a greater emphasis on the progressive rock aspects of their sound but the heavier metal parts were also nurtured in a similar fashion with drummer Gavin Harrison in particular displaying a much more technically infused sophistication than on his previous two albums with the band. Pretty much everything PORCUPINE TREE had achieved on “Deadwing” was ratcheted up a few more notches all the while without sacrificing the inner core of what the band was all about, namely instantly catchy and poignant melodies that transmogrify into myriad motifs and moods and highly complex composiitons. The album also added a string and orchestral backdrop as well as King Crimson’s Robert Fripp and Rush’s Alex Lifeson delivering some cameo appearances.

With only six tracks that are just shy of 51 minutes, FEAR OF A BLANK PLANET excels on variations of a themes. Strong melodic songwriting is teased out into sprawling psychedelic excursions with periodic metallic heft and electronic fueled modernity. In a way Steven Wilson delivers what i call mope prog as his middle range voice perfectly narrates the moody dark subject matter and keeps the musical procession fairly even keel and rather hypnotic with the beefy Tool-esque bass grooves and Radiohead styled detachment. The title track begins the album with an energetic guitar arpeggio but quickly showcases the layering effect of various guitar parts along with the bass and drumming variations. While it begins like a PORCUPINE TREE business as usual proposition, the track unleashes the fully power of Wilson’s fascination with metal music as well as the cool ethereal synthesizer sounds that also make the psychedelic space rock aspects stand out.

“My Ashes,” one of the few tracks not exclusively written by Wilson showcases Richard Barbeiri’s brilliant songwriting with a more melancholic tune that allows the piano and symphonic rock backing to provide some chill time before the monstrously long “Anesthetize” plays on for almost 18 minutes, making it the longest track since Wilson’s early psychedelic years on “The Sky Moves Sideways.” This track perfectly displays Harrison’s percussive overdrive with super tight drum rolls that churn out an incessant tribal rhythm while the echoed guitars and subtle sounds slowly ooze and erupt in and out of the musical procession. The track showcases an exquisite guitar presence of Robert Fripp and navigates many mood swings while it more or less nurtures a single bass groove that maintains a consistent hypnotic spell throughout the track’s run with only the moments of pure metal madness breaking the nonchalant flow.

“Sentimental” slows things down with the by then famous piano style of Richard Barbeiri that sort of takes the rhythmic swing of a polka song and adapts it to the keyboards. Accompanied by Wilson’s downer vocal style, the lyrics narrate the psychologically drama of today’s youth but the track shifts to a complementary musical motif that is somewhat contrary to the opening piano parts which is a trademark PORCUPINE TREE style of modulation shifts that this album has perfectly mastered as the band performs these musical gymnastics without missing a beat.

The album really doesn’t lose any traction as “Way Out Of Here” takes another turn to a completely different style of playing without derailing the overall mood of the album’s conceptual theme. While most albums drag down towards the end, FEAR OF A BLANK PLANET just remains engaging until the very end as the closing “Sleep Together” delivers an ominous electronic sounding gurgle as the song slowly ratchets up into a heavy symphonic rocker while maintaining the psychedelic electronica throughout its entirety with a satisfying climax of psychedelic codeine rock splendor. Yeah this album is sort of a downer but in a good way. The music sort of navigates your mood level through the bleak subject matter and walks that usual PORCUPINE TREE tightrope between monotonous psychedelic hypnotism and active progressive rock technical workouts.

FEAR OF A BLANK PLANET displayed a remarkable maturity over the slightly inferior “In Absentia” and found the band at the top of its game. It seemed though that this was the end of the road for this third phase of the band’s existence and the band was unable to match the magnitude of this album’s perfection on the following “The Incident.” This album found PORCUPINE TREE at its most calculated cleverness where the complexities were subdued in the subtleties of every cadence crafted or prosody presented. The mope rock scene had gone full fledged prog beyond anything Radiohead achieved on “OK Computer” or Grandaddy’s indie rock classic “The Sophtware Slump.” PORCUPINE TREE had slowly but surely made it to the top of the world of modern progressive rock and in its wake left three exquisite masterpieces in the first decade of the 21st century. While i prefer “Deadwing” to this one, i have to admit that this one is not far behind. Yet another triumphant achievement from Steven Wilson and friends. Although it took a few years for this to sink in completely, in the end i have succumbed to the magnanimous monstrosity that is FEAR OF A BLANK PLANET and it has easily become one of my favorite modern prog albums of all time.

PORCUPINE TREE In Absentia

Album · 2002 · Metal Related
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Slowly but surely the solo project of Steven Wilson that began as a joke and was created simply to create music inspired by the most lysergic sounds of Pink Floyd incrementally gained steam and the momentum to reach the status of international prog stardom. After Wilson turned the project into a full band experience with 1996’s “Signify,” PORCUPINE TREE had all but set its basic blueprint of mixing 90s alternative rock with 70s psychedelic space rock made all the better with elements of progressive rock mined from various sources. In many ways PORCUPINE TREE was like the more progressive counterparts to Radiohead with a very similar approach of mixing Krautrock inspired electronica, beefy guitar grooves reminiscent of the grunge era and a propensity for Pink Floyd’s space rock set to thought provoking lyrical content.

The band’s second phase culminated with “Lightbulb Sun” which found them crafting some of the catchiest crossover prog tunes of the new millenium thus showcasing the band’s propensity for delivering strong ear wormy hooks, eerily haunting harmonies and cleverly crafted space rock contrasted with a bit of alternative rock heft however the best was yet to come as the band ratcheted the aforementioned elements up a few notches and cranked out a trilogy of what many would deem three of the greatest prog rock albums of the 21st century. The first of this string of well-crafted albums came in the form of IN ABSENTIA in 2002 and with its instantly eye-catching album cover you know immediately you’re in for something a bit out of the ordinary. This was also the first album to be released on a major record label. Lava Records may not ring a bell for many but is in face in partnership with Atlantic Records and has sold over 100 million albums, so they know what they’re doing obviously!

While the next step of PORCUPINE TREE’s inevitable ascent to the top of the prog world may have been unstoppable, a couple well known factors played a pivotal role in how the band developed and upped its game. The first was the addition of drummer Gavin Harrison who played with an impressive number of artists before landing his role with Steven Wilson and friends. His seasoned approach and technical drumming prowess were exactly what PORCUPINE TREE needed to take them to the next level of technical wizardry and take them out of the dream pop-infused sorta prog camp to the whole enchilada. Add to that, Wilson acquired a taste for the world of metal music having discovered Burzum, Meshuggah and prog metal superstars Opeth. After meeting Mikael Åkerfeldt and producing Opeth’s “Blackwater Park,” the indelible mark of metal would leave its filthy little claws in Wilson’s psyche and PORCUPINE TREE would never be the same.

The differences are noticeable immediately. While IN ABSENTIA begins with some psychedelic teasers as the album starts, the opening track “Blackest Eyes” doesn’t take long to showcase the band’s newly acquired progressive metal bombast taken to the proper level of technical wizardry with Harrison’s drumming skills. The beautiful thing about PORCUPINE TREE is that Wilson never jettisoned the old to make room for the new. Like a beautiful orchestral symphony he simply added more complimentary elements to the band’s already established sound and improved what had come before as well and IN ABSENTIA presents those standards impeccably with all the attention placed on the melodic developments first and foremost and the supporting elements simply falling where they may. The result was an amazing display of prog compositional fortitude made all the better by an immaculate production job and mixing.

For the most part IN ABSENTIA is the perfect balancing act between the art of ear wormy art rock, sophisticated prog, heavy guitar oriented alternative metal and psychedelic space rock made all the more ethereal by an excellent display of electronic musical forms such as trip hop and ambient music at key moments. The tracks all stand on their own with each adding a vital element to the band’s repertoire. While the opening “Blackest Eyes” displays the band’s new love of metal, the album spends most of the time in the space rock zone with tracks like “Trains” and “The Sound of Muzak” more in the vein of material off of “Lightbulb Sun.” At this point the metal had made its debut but was used sparingly. The heavy music is let off the leash though on the all instrumental “Wedding Nails” which displayed that the band’s fascination with heavier music was not a mere fad.

While the Pink Floyd, Radiohead and Nirvana style grunge are the key ingredients on IN ABSENTIA, on the hardcore prog side of things, there is a heavy King Crimson influence at times most prominent on the proggiest track of the album “Strip The Soul” however much of the proggier elements came in the form of production with subtle contrasts between mixing the various instrumental parts. While guitar solos erupt occasionally IN ABSENTIA was still more psychedelic space rock than anything remotely metal madness. This was controlled heavy but in a good way. What the band’s biggest achievement on this album was that it featured a keen display of various musical motifs and interesting ways of crafting a series of interconnected ideas that somehow resulted in a warm organic process. Take “Gravity Eyelids” for example. It starts off as a trip hop arty space rock song and then transitions seamlessly into a a grunge-fueled Nirvana meets Radiohead sorta track.

While many have hailed IN ABSENTIA as the first prog masterpiece of the new millenium i have to disagree that there had been some fine albums already released by Spock’s Beard, Transatlantic, Pendragon and even avant-proggers Present but where PORCUPINE TREE succeeded where they did not was in the fact that a major label offered a much larger audience and therefore IN ABSENTIA did indeed become one of the best known and best selling prog releases in the early 2000s. Although this is a prog classic indeed, personally i don’t find it perfect but nearly so. While PORCUPINE TREE had mastered the art of fusing its influences and idiosyncrasies into a seamless whole on this release, the track “Prodigal” just seems like filler to my ears. It’s not a bad track but is the one that screams Pink Floyd the loudest and ultimately comes off as totally unneeded. Same for the following “.3” which delivers a lot of psychedelic noodling before finding some true substance. It should’ve been edited to half the length or deleted altogether. The track “Heartattack in a Layby” would’ve been a perfect followup downer track to pacify the feisty metal oriented “Wedding Nails.”

Overall IN ABSENTIA truly is one of the great works of the 21st century not only in terms of prog but in the greater rock universe as well. Everything Wilson and company had been working towards came to fruition on this album and made PORCUPINE TREE one of the biggest prog acts OF the 21st century. While i may not find this album absolutely perfect i certainly cannot deny its relevance, its professionalism and the uncanny strength of most of the material presented. Yes it is a bit too long at over 68 minutes and had the two weakest tracks been nixed it would’ve made this a perfect listening experience for my ears but even as it is i can’t complain too much. I much prefer the following “Deadwing” and “Fear Of A Blank Planet” which took the approach delivered on IN ABSENTIA in sheer perfection however there’s no reason to deny this first installation of the band’s peak years of its classic status. Given my preference for the following albums i had to psychoanalyze my reasoning for listening to this one less and my conclusion is that the metal and space rock elements hadn’t quite completely integrated quite yet in addition to my already presented nitpicking. Anyways, no matter how you slice it, IN ABSENTIA is brilliant prog release that signified prog was alive and well in the new millennium.

BUCKETHEAD Pike 318 - March 19, 2020

Album · 2022 · Non-Metal
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PIKE 318 - MARCH 19, 2020 16th installment of 2022 Everything played by BUCKETHEAD Total playing time 27 minutes exactly All instrumental as always! Eggs are hatching in the coop at BUCKETHEADLAND in a steady stream in 2022 as this newest release PIKE 318 is the 16th one to be released t his year. This is a single 27-minute track titled MARCH 19, 2020. Presumably this date is significant for BH and given that it’s a slow ballad rock type of PIKE in the style of 2014’s “Hold Me Forever” it’s obviously a tribute to someone important that the chicken lover has lost or it could signify an event of some sort.

Not much to say about this one. This is one of those lullaby albums with clean guitar riffs, echoey counterpoints and soft rock percussion. BH has released dozens of these types of PIKEs and honestly there’s nothing that sets this one apart in its stylistic approach other than the fact it’s a taxing 27-minute long one track PIKE. I’m serious when i say this is an assembly line of lullaby tracks that have the same chord progressions, same tones, same dynamics, same musical motifs, same cadences, same same same.

What is unique is that the title of this PIKE is a date. Don’t think that has occurred before. This is BUCKETHEAD easy listening on chill mode and at this point in the PIKE run you either like these or you don’t and anyone who has followed my reviews is quite aware that i do not! It’s not that i don’t appreciate a good chill out PIKE now and again but these are all the same! As i already pointed out these are carbon copies! And BORING! If i was a loved one who passed i would not find this inspirational at all. Write something original you lazy bum! Stop stuffing your face at Colonel Sanders and write some original music already!

After a few interesting PIKEs lately BH always feels he has to retreat to please the codeine crowd who only tune in to listen to these nauseatingly generic PIKEs that have no dynamic shifts of any sort. It’s just the same cyclical loops presented ad nauseam. Mommy, make it stop! Ugh. You better appreciate how much i suffer through some of these to bring you these reviews so you don’t have to! Ha! I know i’m being dramatic. There’s not a lot of music i don’t like but these styles of PIKEs are definitely one of them so gotta have fun with it, right? Next…

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PENDRAGON Past And Presence

Movie · 2007 · Non-Metal
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Warthur
Pendragon's Past and Presence captures a very special concert put on by Pendragon in celebration of the band's history. Recorded in Poland as a special treat for their very appreciative Polish fanbase, the concert saw a host of past members of the band making special guest appearances - with all the current and ex-Pendragon members present taking to the stage for show closer Stan and Ollie (a good call, since the song was essentially written as a goof-off piece to round off the band's sets with a happy party number, much like Marillion's Margaret).

Aside from 2AM from Kowtow (present as one of several encores), the songs here are all vintage Pendragon from their very earliest days - you have all the tracks from The Jewel and the Fly High Fall Far EP here, plus some delicious rarities otherwise only available in inferior versions on the Once Upon a Time In England compilations. Two decades have come and gone since the band recorded the versions of the songs we're most familiar with, and the additional experience really does show. Many of the songs here blow the original studio versions out of the water - even songs which sounded really excellent on the original recordings, such as The Black Knight.

I'd go so far as to say that this wonderful show is, perhaps, the absolute best way to experience Pendragon's material from before The World came out. Certainly, I would strongly encourage people to pick up the limited edition version which comes with a 2CD audio version of the show, because the audio stands up really well on there and I actually find I listen to the CD more than I watch the actual show.

NEAL MORSE Morsefest! 5015

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

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

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

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

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

PORCUPINE TREE Arriving Somewhere...

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

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.

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