Progressive Metal

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Progressive metal, more commonly know as prog metal, is characterized by genre transgression and instrumental virtuosity. Its signature features are guitar driven songs that have complex time signatures and very intricate playing.

Progressive metal as a genre is associated with acts such as Dream Theater, Fates Warning and Queensrÿche, who had their heyday in the early 1990s, but progressive elements have been fused into metal virtually since the inception of metal. For instance, on their early releases, Black Sabbath would incorporate jazzy passages into their compositions, while also drawing on other genres, and many proto-metal acts also had backgrounds in progressive rock and heavy psychedelic rock. In the early to mid 1980s, some NWoBHM groups, such as Iron Maiden would find direct inspiration in progressive rock acts like Genesis, Yes, and King Crimson and incorporate progressive elements, such as complex song structures, twin guitars and changes in time and tempo into their style, while the cult band Mercyful Fate were known for blatantly disregarding the conventions of composition in popular music, opting for complex and unusual song structures.

So, progressiveness was a part of metal since the inception of the genre, but it was not until the late 1980s and mid 1990s as bands like Watchtower, Fates Warning, Queensrÿche, Psychotic Waltz, and Dream Theater that progressive metal became established as an independent subgenre. These bands would draw both on previously established metal genres, like NWOBHM, and progressive rock acts of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Especially Dream Theater would become iconic of the genre, and their instrumentation, which includes prominent keyboards, became the blueprint for many progressive metal bands to follow. The music that came out was very diverse and even symphonic at times. Not all of it was overly technical, though some bands such as Dream Theater were very technical, while others, like Fates Warning and Watchtower emphasized odd time signature. Psychotic Waltz incorporated psychedelia into their sound, and Queensrÿche began to operate with complex lyrical themes.

After progressive metal had been somewhat popular for some time, it began to take on more extreme forms such as progressive death metal, and so on. Bands such as Edge of Sanity and Atheist took prog metal to greater heights with their infusion of prog and death metal. Atheist also added a jazz/fusion sound to their music to make it true progressive death metal, as did Pestilence on their jazz-influenced Spheres. Also during this time, bands such as Opeth and Voivod changed their style to a more progressive sound. While Voivod changed in the early 1990’s, Opeth became a more progressive metal band in the late 1990’s which was probably an effect of the progressive metal movement that was going on at the time. Some already established metal acts in other genres would similarly cross over into progressive metal territory, such as Savatage, who - although having a background in traditional metal and power metal - released several progressive metal albums. In parallel with the development of progressive extreme metal genres, many power metal acts would take their music in a more progressive direction, resulting in the subgenre of progressive power metal (which is included under power metal here at the MMA) some of which, like Kamelot and Savatage, would eventually become fully fledged progressive metal acts.

Most bands in the progressive metal genre have their own unique style; whether it is more spacey, more symphonic, or more technical while others follow the Dream Theater configuration to a smaller or greater extent (these are sometimes referred to as 'traditional progressive metal' bands), but they all have an equal balance between the influences. Over the years progressive metal has gained the title of having longer songs then regular metal, and while this is mostly true, it isn’t always.

These bands are here because they are different, in a sense, than regular metal bands because they not only include metal but different genres as well, such as jazz/fusion, prog rock, and classical music, and put them all together to make an enjoyable sound. Bands and releases who include progressive elements in their music, but whose central sound is more firmly anchored in another genre are placed in that genre - for instance, Enslaved, whose style is progressive and experimental but still quite firmly based in their black metal roots, are placed in the black metal category, while mathcore and progressive metalcore bands are placed in metalcore.

Sub-genre collaborators:
  • DippoMagoo
  • Necrotica

progressive metal top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 60 min. caching

OPETH Still Life Album Cover Still Life
OPETH
4.46 | 166 ratings
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PAGAN'S MIND Enigmatic: Calling Album Cover Enigmatic: Calling
PAGAN'S MIND
4.59 | 18 ratings
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TOOL Lateralus Album Cover Lateralus
TOOL
4.34 | 111 ratings
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QUEENSRŸCHE Operation: Mindcrime Album Cover Operation: Mindcrime
QUEENSRŸCHE
4.32 | 147 ratings
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ANUBIS GATE Horizons Album Cover Horizons
ANUBIS GATE
4.50 | 16 ratings
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SEVENTH WONDER Mercy Falls Album Cover Mercy Falls
SEVENTH WONDER
4.42 | 26 ratings
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LEPROUS Coal Album Cover Coal
LEPROUS
4.44 | 22 ratings
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DARKOLOGY Altered Reflections Album Cover Altered Reflections
DARKOLOGY
4.52 | 14 ratings
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AMORPHIS Under The Red Cloud Album Cover Under The Red Cloud
AMORPHIS
4.47 | 17 ratings
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VOIVOD The Outer Limits Album Cover The Outer Limits
VOIVOD
4.40 | 25 ratings
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DREAM THEATER Images and Words Album Cover Images and Words
DREAM THEATER
4.26 | 197 ratings
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VOIVOD Nothingface Album Cover Nothingface
VOIVOD
4.30 | 44 ratings
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progressive metal Music Reviews

VANGOUGH Warpaint

Album · 2017 · Progressive Metal
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Kev Rowland


I can’t remember how we first got in touch, but singer/guitarist Clay Withrow and I have been in contact since the time of their stunning debut ‘Manikin Parade’ some eight years ago, and I have been fortunate enough to hear all their albums, of which this new release is their fifth. The first thing I noticed is that the rabbit is back, having been on the front of their third album ‘Kingdom of Ruin’, and the EP ‘Acoustic Scars’ (where he was joined with the raven from the debut). But here he seems to be way more menacing, ready for the battle that is coming as suggested by the album title. Vangough are quite a rarity in the prog field, in that firstly they are a prog metal band without a keyboard player, but also, they are a trio. Now, that’s not too uncommon in some ways, as often a trio will double up on instruments in the studio, but while Clay may have put a few guitars on the same track, all we are getting are drums (Kyle Haws), bass (Jeren Martins), guitar and vocals. Before I get into the music I must also comment on the production, which is superb. There is real separation in the music, and songs such as “The Suffering” just blow away the listener with the move from gentle acoustic notes that have been plucked and gently fade to hard riffing. It is also great to be able to clearly hear the bass and drums, and the impact they are having on the song structures. This isn’t a wall of mud turned up loud, this is finesse played with skill and care.

They have been cutting their teeth in the live environment, and it comes through on this album as it is easy to imagine all those songs moving well onto a stage. After a raucous performance at the annual ProgPower USA music festival in 2014, they set out on their first North American tour with Pain of Salvation and the following year with Fates Warning. The learnings they have taken from these tours have been invaluable, and (nearly) forgives them the four years it took from ‘Between the Madness’ to this one. Here we have a prog metal band with technical influences that aren’t afraid to shift tack quite abruptly within a song, and to be punishingly heavy when it is required or more quiet and reflective as the mood takes them.

I have been playing this album a lot since I first had the opportunity to hear it, and although I’ve never been a fan of a rock band fading out a song (as on the aforementioned “The Suffering”), it does lead into the very different “Gravity” which goes from gentle into a Muse-inspired belter so I think I’ll forgive them. I gave their debut five stars as I was so incredibly impressed, and now is the time to do the same again. Awesome. Why not pop over to https://vangough.bandcamp.com/album/warpaint and give it a listen, I know you’ll agree.

AMORPHIS Under The Red Cloud

Album · 2015 · Progressive Metal
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Kev Rowland
Formed in Helsinki in 1990, Amorphis have moved from being a death metal act to one that has incorporated many different styles and textures. A song could be “straight” death metal, but also containing flute, or a rock song could be based around a piano and acoustic guitar, with a low baritone vocal instead of a gruff death growl. So, they have become a band that are masters of many sounds, and in 2015, they kicked off the celebrations for the 20th anniversary of ‘Tales From The Thousand Lakes’. Although they were touring hard, they kept retuning to the studio to write and record their twelfth album with famed producer Jens Bogren (Soilwork, Kreator etc.) etc.) at his Fascination Street Studio in Örebro. The result of this two-month recording session was once again a heavy, melodic statement, called ‘Under The Red Cloud.’ During the recordings, the sextet was joined by some famous guest musicians: Chrigel Glanzmann (Eluveitie) played flutes on “The Four Wise Ones”, “Death Of A King” and “Tree Of Ages”, Martin Lopez (ex-Opeth) provided percussion on “Death Of A King” while Aleah Stanbridge (Trees of Eternity) sang guest vocals on “The Four Wise Ones”, “Sacrifice” and “White Night”.

The result of a band prepared to experiment, a producer who knows how to capture the best of guys prepared to play loud and hard, plus additional guest musicians, resulted in an album that is very special indeed. It is no surprise to see that they consequently toured with Nightwish and Arch Enemy on the same bill, as they are the perfect link between the two. They always maintain a high level of melody, and move between different genres (often within the same song), so that they can drop from folk metal into melodic death into metal and then even move into something softer if that is where the music takes them.

Released in September 2015, the album was viewed as a great success, with their first ever chart entry in United Kingdom and Australia, as well as their highest ever entries in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and France. In August 2016, at ‘An Evening With Friends’ at the Helsinki Festival in Huvila, the band performed a very special set list with guest musicians and friends “We were honored to take part in the Helsinki Festival in Huvila, so therefore we wanted to do something special for that particular night,” states guitarist Tomi Koivusaari. “The gig itself happened in a large tent in the very centre of Helsinki on a late summer evening. The Huvila-tent has quite long history, so there was already some excitement in the air beforehand. We wanted to invite some guests to be featured on that show - musicians we already had worked with during these years and musicians we have a huge respect for, so Sakari Kukko, Pekko Käppi and Anneke van Giersbergen joined us on that evening with friends. Originally, Aleah Starbridge was supposed to join as well, as she sang on the ‘Under The Red Cloud’ album, but sadly she passed away before that. It was surely a night to remember!”. These shows are now part of the new tour edition, as the original album »now has two additional bonus songs as well as the live tracks from Helsinki.

The live set starts acoustic guitar, violin, saxophone and piano, and one really does have to stop and realise that this is/was a death metal act. The vocals are certainly not one would expect from a band of that genre. This was a special night, and any time I can listen to Anneke van Giersbergen perform is going to be alright with me! This was already an excellent album, and the additional CD has ensured that those who haven’t already purchased this need to rush out and get it now, if not sooner.

EVERGREY The Storm Within

Album · 2016 · Progressive Metal
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UMUR
"The Storm Within" is the 10th full-length studio album by Swedish power metal act Evergrey. The album was released through AFM Records in September 2016. It´s the successor to "Hymns for the Broken" from 2014, which by many is considered a comeback album of sorts, because lead vocalist/guitarist Tom Englund reunited with drummer Jonas Ekdahl and guitarist Henrik Danhage after a lineup turmoil in 2010 meant that those two left Evergrey. Apparently the marriage is happy again though because "The Storm Within" features the exact same lineup who recorded "Hymns for the Broken (2014)".

Stylistically the music on "The Storm Within" pretty much continues the anthemic power metal with a melancholic atmosphere, that Evergrey also played on the predecessor. In fact this is unmistakably the sound of Evergrey with Tom Englund´s distinct sounding vocals in front, melodic and occasional thrash metal oriented guitar playing (the thrash metal riffs are more an influence rather than a dominant element of the band´s sound), supporting keyboards for texture, and a powerful and tight playing rhythm section. The quality of the performances is high throughout. Here I´ll have to give a special mention to Henrik Danhage´s guitar solos. He is a brilliant guitar player, and his solos on this album definitely help elevate the music to higher levels.

The songwriting is generally top notch professional too. Tracks like "Distance", "In Orbit" (featuring Floor Jansen of Nightwish), and the atmospheric title track (which reminds me quite a lot of Anathema) are among the highlights, but "The Storm Within" is overall a pretty consistent quality release. The only track which doesn´t quite reach the high quality of the rest of the material is the saccarine power ballad "The Paradox of the Flame" (a duet power balled with Tom´s wife Carina Englund). When Evergrey touch that territory is when they are worst.

"The Storm Within" features a powerful, detailed, and well sounding production, which suits the music perfectly and upon conclusion it´s another quality release by Evergrey. There´s not much development of sound, and I could have done with a few more tempo changes as most of the tracks don´t leave mid-pace, but on a whole it´s still a very professional and well sounding release, and a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating isn´t all wrong.

ATROX Contentum

Album · 2000 · Progressive Metal
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UMUR
"Contentum" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Norwegian avant garde/progressive metal act Atrox. The album was released through Season Of Mist in August 2000. It´s safe to say that the band´s debut album "Mesmerised (1997)" isn´t the most promising debut album I´ve ever heard, and I guess I´m not the only one a bit reluctant to check out "Contentum", because it took the band a fairly long time to find a label after "Contentum" was recorded in April 1999.

As it turns out Atrox have improved about 200% since the debut album and "Contentum" shows a band full of confidence, delivering intriguing music in a convincing manner. Stylistically the music on "Contentum" is probably still an aquired taste though. It´s a mix of doom and goth metal with avant garde and progressive elements. While it´s definitely metal, the guitars on the album actually only play a minor role and mostly work as a backing instrument and atmospheric keyboards and adventurous vocals are the dominant elements on the album. The strong rhythm section play some pretty great things too (the musicianship are generally on a very high level), but that part of the music also play second violin to especially the female vocals by Monika Edvardsen.

On the debut album I thought she sounded forced and out of key, but here she performs on an amazing technical level. Imagine if Kate Bush had turned into an evil and wicked singing witch from the middle east, who could also perform semi-operatic vocals and you´re halfway there. Edvardsen moans, screams, sings hauntingly beautiful clean vocals, talk/sings, use middle eastern vibrato extensively, and is more than worth the price of admission throughout the album. But she is so extreme in her delivery that it is bound to be an aquired taste if her vocals will appeal to you. So consider yourself warned. This is not music for the masses.

The material on the album are generally intriguing, dynamic, and well written, although it´s seldom instantly memorable and the complexity of the vocal lines often disturbs parts that could have been catchy. But this is obviously not music written with the primary purpose of being catchy. This is music written to be challenging both for the artist and for the listener, and challenged you will be, if you´ll hold on for the duration of the 11 track, 65 minutes long album. Personally I could have wished for a few more hooks throughout the album and at times Edvardsen´s vocals feel more like a show-off than anything that fits the songs, but ultimately I accept the premise that my musical conservatism is being challenged. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

MINDMAZE Resolve

Album · 2017 · Progressive Metal
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adg211288
So, there's this American metal band called MindMaze. I hope you've heard of them, otherwise you've been missing out on one of metal's most promising up and coming groups. If you haven't heard of them now is the time to start paying attention. Led by the brother and sister team of Jeff and Sarah Teets, they've released two albums previously, firstly Mask of Lies (2013) and then Back from the Edge (2014). The two albums showcased what can only be described as a rapid musical evolution, with the former mostly being a melodic heavy metal release and the latter being a full-on progressive power metal album. It was a good change for them to make as Back from the Edge was, at least in my view, the best power metal album of 2014. In fact the only power metal album released since that's managed to achieve the same kind of regard from me is The Fire Within (2016) by Eternity's End. I've been wondering for a long time now how MindMaze could possibly hope to top what they did with the album but now that their third full-length Resolve (2017) is here the answer to that actually seems quite simple:

Reinvent themselves again.

While the musical style of Resolve is technically similar to Back from the Edge, it's only in so far as that MindMaze are still blending the elements of power and progressive metal together. This can't be called a progressive power metal album though, because that term implies a power metal album that is progressive. That describes Back from the Edge perfectly, but right from its opening instrumental Reverie it's clear that Resolve is has been made with a different focus in mind. Call it power-progressive metal if you will. This means that the speedy riffs of power metal are still here, but are just a single ingredient in a much more complex and adventurous sound, which will also explain why they're not used quite as much as on the previous release, and the band are playing more with other ideas. The power metal certainly gives their brand of progressive metal some serious energy, the kind that many modern progressive metal albums are sadly in short supply of. I actually got pretty burned out on the genre over the last few years because most of the new releases I was hearing just didn't seem very exciting and I feel that I can safely say that if all newer progressive metal albums were delivered with as much energy, passion, and technical skill as Resolve then my burnout on the genre would never have happened. This is how progressive metal should be.

And about that technical skill, the musicianship of the band's three instrumentalists really is impeccable and they're not afraid to show it off. This is especially true of Jeff Teets who plays both the guitars and keyboards in the band. There's so many well crafted progressive ideas packed into the album that it's actually really hard to review it concisely. Exactly which tracks can be highlighted in an album that every time I listen to it I find that it takes me a little longer to pick my jaw up off the floor? All I can really say is that when even short one and a half minute long instrumentals like Sanity's Collapse stand out just as well as ten plus minute prog epics like the album closer The Path to Perseverance then there's some serious talent gone into creating the album. Every track is basically like gold dust.

Topping off all the excellent musicianship is the voice of Sarah Teets, whose vocals bring everything together into memorable songs. Her performance on the album is as rock solid as the musicianship. She sounds in full control of her abilities and brings a subtle power to her singing that often has her stealing the show. Her melodious and natural sounding voice goes hand in hand with the guitar tone of Jeff Teets to crate an altogether classic metal vibe for the band's songs. I find that a really refreshing aspect about the album actually: too many modern progressive metal acts are going down the road of overly polished productions and symphonic elements (definite respect to Jeff Teets for his use of keyboards in a truly progressive manner rather than just adding symphonic backings here and there), so what MindMaze are doing here stands out as not following the current trends, while also not being Dream Theater worship.

MindMaze always seemed to me to be at their best when they played their most progressive stuff on their first two albums, and with Resolve, their most progressive release to date, I only feel validated in that belief. This is the album I've been wanting to hear from them ever since the first time I heard Mask of Lies. It's no surprise to me how quickly the album has established itself in my regard as their best yet. It's even fair to say that MindMaze have now made three albums that each belong to a different genre. Not many bands can claim that, especially for their first three albums. What's doubly impressive is that as I've pointed out, Back from the Edge is one of my favourite power metal albums of recent years. Now MindMaze have also made one of my favourite progressive metal albums of recent years. I've even doubtful at this point if the new Ayreon album (which coincidentally shares a release date with Resolve) will be able to come close to this. So to close this review and come full circle with my opening: if you've not heard this band yet, then start paying attention right now. Resolve could very well be my album of the year.

progressive metal movie reviews

DREAM THEATER Breaking The Fourth Wall

Movie · 2014 · Progressive Metal
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rdtprog
It seems like it was just yesterday that the Luna Park DVD was released. Now it's another one from the Boston Opera House less than a year later. The show is divided in three acts. The first act is tracks from the last two albums and the song "A Trial of Tears" from "Falling to Infinity". The second act is 5 songs from the "Awake" album to celebrate his 20th anniversary and the third act is the encore celebrating again "Scene from a Memory" with his 15th anniversary. On those 2 albums, the band use the same pattern by starting to play the technical, fast and heavy songs like "The Mirror", "Lie", "Overture 1928" and "Strange Déjà Vu" and finishing with the slower and emotional songs like "Lifting Shadows Off A Dream", "Space Dye Vest" and "Finally Free".

"The Illumination Theory", the most progressive and the epic song of the last album is played with an orchestra in the second act which is the perfect fit with this song that contains an irresistible classical break in the middle. The picture is crystal clear and the camera work more satisfying than the "Luna Park" DVD. As for the sound, I had to crank up the volume very high to get the full sound. Again, I wish we could hear John Myung louder, but that's what happens on live recording, it rarely match the sound quality of a studio release. James Labrie's voice is in nice shape as well as all others members. It's another nice addition to your Dream Theater collection. 3. 8 stars.

DREAM THEATER Dream Theater - Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium Orchestra

Movie · 2006 · Progressive Metal
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AtomicCrimsonRush
I always look forward to putting this DVD on as I know I am going to get the best of both worlds; symphonic orchestrated music and full on Dream Theater prog. I agree with some reviewers that the setlist is not exactly mind blowing but it nevertheless spans the 5 year history. It is interesting the way the orchestra blends into the metal sound, similar to the Metallica S&M concert, or indeed Kiss Alive IV. It is always of interest when metal meets symphony. The DVD "Score" is very well produced, sharp editing throughout and excellent sound quality. There is nothing wrong with the visuals at all, with the band members sharing the spotlight, but the problem lies in the setlist itself. There are too many omissions and some opportunities wasted in the early part of the concert.

It opens with some deadset oddities such as The root of all evil, I walk beside you, Another won and Afterlife. It isn't until Under A Glass Moon that it really takes off showing the power of that brilliant track and Petrucci's amazing guitar solo. Later we are treated with The spirit carries on and the entire suite of Six degrees of inner turbulence; absolutely flawless and indispensable on the live stage. After an ovation the band belt out Vacant, The answer lies within, Sacrificed Sons and the masterpiece epic Octavarium that is quintessential to the band. The Encore: Metropolis Pt. 1 is a brilliant way of ending the concert to a rapturous crowd.

Disc 2 is packed with some hit and miss Bonus material including a mammoth 20th Anniversary Documentary, that has some fascinating info on the band and the way that not everything goes to plan on a tour. Portnoy has too much to say and now it is a bitter taste now he has scarpered and been replaced. The Octavarium Animation is terrific, and the live performances are always a treat including Another Day (Tokyo - 1993), The Great Debate (Bucharest, Romania - 2002) and Honor Thy Father (Chicago - 2005).

The DVD comes with high recommendations due to the visual quality, and overall package. Ignore the early part of the set and just enjoy DT at their absolute best in the middle half of the concert accompanied by masterful orchestration. A must for all DT fans and one of the best DT DVDs available to this point in time.

DREAM THEATER Live at Budokan

Movie · 2004 · Progressive Metal
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AtomicCrimsonRush
One of the first DVDs I saw of Dream Theater before the onslaught of DVDs that have come since. This is an early performance and of considerable interest as a result. These were the glory days of Dream Theater ramming prog down the throats of the hungry Budokan fans. It is an incredible performance best seen than heard though the audio experience offers much as a type of Dream Theater concoction of the best of the earlier years. The CD is good listening but the visual persentation is incredible. There are a few odd surprises scattered in the mammoth set list but the classics are here and played to perfection. Beyond This Life is a huge epic clocking 19:37, and with some dynamic lead guitar from Petrucci. The Test That Stumped Them All is always a killer track live and sounds fresh and powerful with huge bass runs of Myung and Portnoy's slamming percussion.

Endless Sacrifice is an 11 minute gruelling journey into prog excess with a wild keyboard section from Rudess. The Instrumedley to follow features some awesome musicianship. LaBrie is in fine form on soaring vocals, and shines on such compositions as the 14 minute Trial Of Tears and New Millennium. It is always a pleasure to experience a Jordan Rudess keyboard solo and it is as inventive here as ever. There are some amazing songs such as Solitary Shell, Stream Of Consciousness and quintessential Pull Me Under. The set closes with epic 16 minute In The Name Of God. So overall this is a great set with power metal and tons of instrumental breaks. It is progressive and packed to the gills with mind bending virtuoso solos and material from some of their best albums. It was the "Train of Thought" tour so there is plenty from that album as well as "Six Degrees" and "Images and Words" among others.

The special features are wonderful featuring 'Riding The Train Of Thought" a Japanese Tour Documentary of about half an hour, and John Petrucci Guitar World segment, Jordan Rudess Keyboard World, and a Mike Portnoy Drum Solo clocking 12 minutes. The Dream Theater Chronicles - 2004 Tour Opening Video is okay showing the video the crowd saw in the opening, and Instrumedley with multi-angles is lots of fun. Overall it is a fantastic DVD concert, and all Dream Theater fans must have it.

DREAM THEATER Metropolis 2000: Scenes from New York

Movie · 2001 · Progressive Metal
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Dellinger
Since this DVD is a live interpretation from the studio album of the same name, and the source material is great, of course the concert is also a great experience. Of course, having the plus of seeing the band perform is a great advantage for this release, specially given that watching this guys play is a great experience. However, one big disapointment from this release is that it misses many other songs that are included on the CD release of this live album, which I really wanted to see them perform. The performance of the songs is really great, with everyone in fine form... except perhaps LaBrie who at times can't keep to his studio performance. My favourite songs are "Overture 1928 / Strange Deja Vu", "Fatal Tragedy", "Home" and "Finally Free". Now, the video from this concert has many acted scenes from the story inserted throughout the performance, which is kind of nice for it helps to keep track of the story... however, on "Fianally Free", this scenes got extra annoying, and blocked the performance of the band throughout the whole murder part, which is perhaps one of the strongest parts of the album and one I would have loved to see them performing (well, at least the second time they play a very similar section near the end of the song we can actually see the band playing it, but still it is annoying). "Beyond this Life", is also a very cool song, specially at the beginning, but then it kind of drags on and loses some of it's spark. "The Dance of Eternity", however, is one song I still can't get into, just a bit too messy and full of fast and technical playing just for the sake of it.

On the other hand, what usually draggs this bands albums are their ballads. The one ballad I actually liked on the studio album was "One Last Time", though something kind of doesn't work so well on this release... I guess it's the vocals and backing vocals, which are kind of weaker here. However, "Through her eyes" and "The Spirit Carries On", are really upgraded here, with extra vocals from Theresa Thompson and gorgeous guitars from Petrucci.

From the extra songs, I was never a big fan of the "Mind Beside Itself" set of songs, but "Learning to Live" and "A Change of Seasons" are both among my favourite DT songs, and having them on video here is a great thing.

TOOL Vicarious

Movie · 2007 · Progressive Metal
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Earendil
Many descriptions and reviews on the internet are misleading about the content of this Vicarious DVD, and for that reason I didn't purchase it until recently. What a mistake to wait! This DVD is essential for any Tool fan and an excellent find for anyone who likes the surreal, psychedelic, and strange. The main feature of the DVD is the Vicarious short film, which is Tool's first completely CGI video. Adam Jones and Alex Grey are the two main artists behind the video, and it's a really cool experience to see their ideas merge. Anyways here are the full DVD contents:

1. Vicarious music video (9 minutes)

2. 2 overdubs of the music video with actor/comedian David Cross making hilarious commentary (18 minutes)

3. Vicarious documentary (40 minutes)

4. Footage of the storyboards from Alex Grey and Adam Jones (1 minute)

5. Footage of Alex's art gallery COSM and him talking about it (4 minutes)

Rating: 8/10

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