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

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OPETH Still Life Album Cover Still Life
OPETH
4.47 | 167 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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LEPROUS Coal Album Cover Coal
LEPROUS
4.44 | 23 ratings
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ANUBIS GATE Horizons Album Cover Horizons
ANUBIS GATE
4.50 | 16 ratings
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PAGAN'S MIND Enigmatic: Calling Album Cover Enigmatic: Calling
PAGAN'S MIND
4.48 | 18 ratings
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SEVENTH WONDER Mercy Falls Album Cover Mercy Falls
SEVENTH WONDER
4.42 | 26 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
4.28 | 198 ratings
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OPETH Ghost Reveries Album Cover Ghost Reveries
OPETH
4.27 | 131 ratings
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progressive metal Music Reviews

BUCKETHEAD The Elephant Man's Alarm Clock

Album · 2006 · Progressive Metal
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siLLy puPPy
As the year 2006 rolled on, the strange artist known as BUCKETHEAD was releasing multiple albums per year with his 17th overall solo offering THE ELEPHANT MAN’S ALARM CLOCK as the first of three for the year. Yet another album recorded in The Slaughterhouse with Dan Monti and Albert lending a hand in the production process as well as Del Rey Brewer contributing some of the songwriting of the all instrumental three quarters of an hour long plus experience. There are a few scant words uttered by Bootsy Collins. As any true BUCKETHEAD fan knows, there are a gazillion different styles of his playing ranging from the sappy slow and melodic resulting in utter gagdom all across the spectrum to the most convolutedly complex weirdness every recorded, at least on Earth. THE ELEPHANT MAN’S ALARM CLOCK has become one of the more popular albums in BH’s early egg laying days for it fits on that wide spectrum somewhere in the middle of the extremes with highly accessible melodic approaches nestled in all of the avant-garde weirdness we’ve come to expect.

The combo effect of funk and metal has always proven to be a strong suit for Mr BH and there is plenty of both on this energetic release that provides ample amounts of head banging fury along with the expected avant-guitar solos while funk bass rules the roost for significant chunks of playing time and bandmate from Praxis in the form of Bootsy Collins even makes a cameo appearance on “Bird With A Hole In The Stomach” where he adds a monstrosity of a space bass solo at the end. An unusual feature for BH at this point anyway is the four part “Lurker At The Threshold” which is a dedication to H.P. Lovecraft. While it may sound like a prog behemoth in writing, all four tracks clock in under ten minutes and go through several BH styles such as slow and mellow melodic introducing features that slowly ratchet up the temp ladder with funk guitar, heavy distorted riffing and guitar solos.

The track “Droid Assembly” is worth mentioning as it has that classic detached groove that i could totally envision BH doing his famous dance to. The electronica based drum sound is followed by a series of angular avant-garde-isms that create a unifying factor of danceability while avant-prog guitars and bass lines flounder all over the place. The cutely named “Fizzy Lipton Drinks,” a reference to the 1971 film “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” starts out with an industrial metal type of groove but quickly becomes one of those riff and solo numbers but also jumps into an avant-parade of strange riffs, grooves and guitar squealing as if a pig were sacrificed in the making of this production. Unfortunately the track ends with an annoying bout with silence before a *hidden track* appears. I hate these but was a very nought-y thing to do in the early years of the millennium. After enduring a forced period of meditation we finally get a total funkified only affair with Bootsy Collins making a return and BH adding some counterpoint guitar licks which goes on for a few minutes allowing the two to really get down and dirty.

THE ELEPHANT’S ALARM CLOCK is yet another excellent album in the early BH years when he was only getting started releasing multiple albums per year. While many tout this one as one of his absolute best, i find it a little repetitive at times and doesn’t come close to the mind blowing diverse elements and avant-grooviness of album’s like “Monsters And Robots.” After all, “normal” is for mere bands that didn’t obtain their strange and otherworldly powers in chicken coops. This album is nonetheless a great introductory work to BH’s overall early works and a mandatory edition for those more into his less adventurous and more in tune with melodies and established rock and metal elements in music. It’s certainly an excellent album even if it doesn’t rank high in my own personal world but one thing IS for sure and that is that it is indeed a captivating listen throughout its entirety.

BUCKETHEAD Inbred Mountain

Album · 2005 · Progressive Metal
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siLLy puPPy
At the closing of the year 2005, the artist known as B-U-C-K-E-T-H-E-A-D released his 16th studio album INBRED MOUNTAIN on Travis Dickerson’s fledgling label TDRS Music and continues the mega weirdo hybrid experimentation procedures that had been occurring throughout the chicken lover’s heeeeeeeeestory

Experimental music expanded after “Kaleidoscalp” and much furr-thurr into the wEEEEEEIIIIIIIIIIrd and wild musical west as guitars gallop, bass lines bounce, percussive drumbeats detonate and riffs raucously reverberate around a series of sensational sonic possibilities

It’s just WEEEEEIIIIIIIIIIRRRDDD i say! Funk guitars mix it up with metal. Flamenco prances where it doesn’t belong. DJ electronic percussion beats get all dope in the most inappropriate ways while strange new hitherto possibilities

come

across

as

freakin

WEEiiiirrr D D D

! 1 ! ! ! 2w19 ! ! 1 ! !1 ! !

everYthing CANbhrd hear

there are nursery rhymes: 3 blind mice (1ST track] there is traditional metal chords and riffs [evREEwear) there is funk and soul there is

Basically this is a brilliant excogitation of many elements of music intermingled and forced against their will to perform unthinkable acts together that should be illegal in many states and provinces around the globe but the laws simply haven’t kept up with the perverted masterminds of musical prowess who insist on forcing different musical genres to get it on in the most unorthodox procedures and in the process create a vortex into unthinkable alternate realities

OMG! Love it i do but not his best, but excellent non the incest (INBRED MOUNTAIN woo hoo ˙©†´

oh and BANJOS occur….. yes they occur in strange fashion . sTRANge inDEEd inDID in.Idoh4

OPETH Watershed

Album · 2008 · Progressive Metal
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voila_la_scorie
“Watershed” is a crucial turning point in the musical trajectory of Opeth. A major line-up change saw the departure of long-time guitarist Peter Lindgren (since before the debut) and drummer Martin Lopez (since the third album “My Arms, Your Hearse”) and the recruitment of drummer Martin Axenrot and guitarist Fredrik Åkesson. Keyboardist Pir Wiberg who joined the band for the previous album “Ghost Reveries” remained on board.

With “Watershed”, Mikael Åkerfeldt and company developed the band’s two sides even further. The death metal side shows its fastest and most aggressive-sounding ever in the songs “Heir Apparent” and “The Lotus Eater”. However, Opeth’s progressive side, which I felt really began to broaden on “Ghost Reveries”, pushes the envelope even further hear, and in fact, I feel there are hints of the album “Heritage” that would come three years later.

The album opener is the surprising all-acoustic track “Coil” which includes not only some beautiful woodwinds with the acoustic guitars but also the guest vocals of Nathalie Lorichs, the girlfriend of Martin Axenrot at the time. A lovely though curious first track, the album’s real worth for me lies in the next two tracks, “Heir Apparent” and “The Lotus Eater” which, as I stated above, not only includes some of Opeth’s fastest, most aggressive metal to date, but also some fabulous progressive parts that go beyond what the band has managed before. Just listen to that funky dual keyboard passage with the groovy wah-wah guitar and drumming!

“Burden” is a classic, seventies type of heavy and slow number with harmony vocals and an organ. It’s almost so perfectly written that I feel it’s too much like stuff I’ve heard many times before on much older albums. Nevertheless, it gets some pretty good ratings on Opeth song ranking sites. “Porcelain Heart” is the third killer track for me. Slow and heavy and showing more technical playing in parts, it’s both haunting and brooding.

The last two tracks seem to me like the band is trying to decide where to go next. “Hessian Peel” is more like several short songs stitched together to take us on a journey that includes progressive acoustic-type music as well as heavy metal with death vocals. I might add here that Mikael’s vocals sound deeper and more sinister on “Watershed” than they do on most older recordings. It took me time to warm up to this track but I can finally appreciate and enjoy it. The final track, “Hex Omega” though is a little of a disappointment. I feel it has no solid direction and even after many repeated listens, I can’t keep my concentration on the song if there are any distractions. The one impression that remains is the sparseness employed in one part, which I recognize from a couple of tracks on “Heritage”, except that I rather like them on that album. Here I think the album is left to close with a song that begs the question, “Where are we going now?”

So here we see an all new Opeth (two new key members) taking bold steps but still keeping their death metal sound but for the last time. As history has shown, no future albums over the subsequent ten years ever included any death metal, but instead saw the band plough full onward with their progressive rock styling.

BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME The Parallax II: Future Sequence

Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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voila_la_scorie
This album has been a real treat to listen to and it has remained on my iPhone ever since I brought it home a couple of months ago. I had heard of the band Between the Buried and Me before and at some point I decided to give them a listen. I don’t remember why “The Parallax II: Future Sequence” became the album I checked out on YouTube, but when I gave a quick ear to some random parts and heard the aggressive and technical playing along with the shouted vocals, I figured this was an album to keep for the right time, for when I was ready for it. A year or so later, I found my music preferences leaning towards the extreme metal persuasion, and before long the album finally joined my collection.

I was prepared for the fast and highly technical playing. I was prepared for the heaviness and the brutal vocals. I did not in any way expect the remarkable progressive side of the band. Clean vocals, beautiful melodies, acoustic guitar, synthesizers, and rapidly changing music; it was all such a treat. I almost considered that the album would be better without the emphasis on the aggressive side, but then the progressive side would probably not shine so brightly.

I can’t speak for any other albums by Between the Buried and Me, not just yet anyway, but this album keeps pulling at my attention. There’s so much happening in the songs here, so much creativity and all of it coming at ultra-high paces so that the music keeps changing like a person with hyperactive disorder on speed. If you’re not paying attention, you’ll miss something. The music is mainly divided between the two main approaches of technical metal and progressive rock but there are so many little things that get added that crop up unexpectedly and make the listening experience that much more entertaining.

The opening track, “Goodbye to Everything” features strummed acoustic guitar and clean, melodic vocals. It sounds like a modern British prog band might have come up with this. However, “Astral Body” begins to sound more like something from the Devin Townsend Project, especially once the screamo vocals come in at 1:53. The guitars and drums play some wonderfully complex music like Dream Theater. There’s some clean guitar with a style that makes me think of System of a Down for some reason, even though I’m not so familiar with their music. “Lay Your Ghosts to Rest” is ten minutes long and largely speedy, technical, heavy music with shouted vocals. Catch how from 5:43 to 5:45 the jaunty but brief guitar riff sounds like it’s coming through a transistor radio. After over six minutes of pummeling aggression, the song slows down to a waltz with clean guitar and vocals. “Extremophile Elite” is another long progressive/aggressive technical track which at 4:23 abruptly changes to an orchestral bit that sounds like a score from a Tim Burton movie before going back to the heavy technical music at 4:53. “Autumn”, “Parallax”, and “The Black Box” are all very short tracks that are transitional pieces between the longer tracks.

“Telos”, “Bloom” and “Melting City” form a wonderful suit of three segued tracks that speedily cover such an array of aggressive music but also includes a laid back part that reminds me of Pure Reason Revolution in “Telos” and an rushed technical/progressive take on 50’s twelve-bar blues based rock and roll in “Bloom”. “Melting City” concludes with a wonderful bass-led instrumental section that slowly builds to a climax when the vocals return. These three tracks make up such an amazing display of this bands talent. “Silent Flight Parliament” is the longest track at over 15 minutes and continues to be packed full of head-spinning technical, progressive metal/rock. The album wraps up with “Goodbye to Everything Reprise”, a track with a very suitable slow closeout.

You’ll need to be one to handle the speedy, technical and aggressive side of the album before you can appreciate and enjoy what “The Parallax II: Future Sequence” has to offer. But if you can take that side of the band, then this album will continue to reward after several listens. Prepare yourself by listening to Dream Theater, Devin Townsend, Haken, and maybe just a little uneXpect.

AT WAR WITH SELF Acts Of God

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
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UMUR
"Acts of God" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US, Indiana based progressive rock/metal act At War With Self. The album was released through Free Electric in April 2007. At War With Self was founded in 2002 by multi-instrumentalist Glenn Snelwar (also known for his work with Gordian Knot) and is essentially a one-man project. Glenn Snelwar handles guitars, mandolin, bass, keyboards, E-Bow, programming and vocals on "Acts of God", but he is helped out by a couple of guest musicians too.

The music on "Acts of God" continues the progressive rock/metal style of "Torn Between Dimensions (2005)", but is ultimately a rather different sounding release. It´s still predominantly instrumental progressive rock/metal with dynamic use of clean/acoustic guitars, keyboards and occasionally heavier guitar parts and solos. The big difference here is in the drum department, where only some tracks feature "real" drums. On most of the tracks the drums are programmed, and as a consequence the music loses some of it´s otherwise organic sound (the sound production is actually more organic than the case was on the debut album). The drums sound like they are programmed (although I´m told that´s actually not the case) which also makes the whole listening experience less band oriented and more one-man project sounding (it was the other way around on the debut album).

The music style is very hard to describe correctly as there are elements from jazz rock/fusion, progressive rock/metal, instrumental guitar music, ambient/atmospheric new age and latin music, featured on the album among other things.

As mentioned above "Acts of God" is predominantly an instrumental release, but there are actually quite a few vocal tracks on the album too, which is good for the variation of the album. It´s obvious that Glenn Snelwar is a skilled musician and everything is delivered with tight precision and with the right amount of adventurous ideas, but the compositions themselves are for the most part slightly unremarkable. "Acts of God" is pleasant and interesting enough while it plays, but the material generally doesn´t stick, and that´s a bit of an issue. Even the vocal tracks just plod along without any recognisable hooks or memorable choruses.

Just like the case was on the debut album, I find myself listening for technical details and other performance related features, instead of just enjoying the music for what it is, and that´s always a sure sign that the actual compositions lack something. It´s not a terrible release by any means, but it´s not really great either, so a 3 star (60%) rating isn´t all wrong.

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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