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
4.39 | 171 ratings
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TOOL Lateralus Album Cover Lateralus
TOOL
4.34 | 113 ratings
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LEPROUS Coal Album Cover Coal
LEPROUS
4.44 | 24 ratings
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PAGAN'S MIND Enigmatic: Calling Album Cover Enigmatic: Calling
PAGAN'S MIND
4.48 | 19 ratings
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QUEENSRŸCHE Operation: Mindcrime Album Cover Operation: Mindcrime
QUEENSRŸCHE
4.32 | 149 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
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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
4.46 | 18 ratings
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VOIVOD The Outer Limits Album Cover The Outer Limits
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4.39 | 26 ratings
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DREAM THEATER Images and Words Album Cover Images and Words
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4.28 | 199 ratings
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progressive metal Music Reviews

SOUL ENEMA Of Clans And Clones And Clowns

Album · 2017 · Progressive Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Although founded all the way back in 2001, the humorously named Israeli band SOUL ENEMA has only released a mere two albums beginning with 2010’s debut “Thin Ice Crawling” and at long last the follow up has emerged in 2017 in the form of OF CLANS AND CLONES AND CLOWNS. Main man and founder Constantin Glantz readily admits he is the utmost perfectionist when it comes to creating his music and just like the debut, the listener is treated to an equally compelling eclectic musical ride with every element ratcheted up a few more notches. Glantz is the only common thread between the two albums and all other performers are completely new to the SOUL ENEMA scene. While the debut had five full time musicians and four guests, OF CLANS AND CLONES AND CLOWNS still has five core musicians but has a whopping eight guests including Arjen Lucassen of Aeryon fame providing a cameo guitar solo on “Eternal Child” and fellow Israeli Yossi Sassi providing the unique sounds of his bouzoukitara on “Aral Sea II - Dustbin Of History.” The album took a staggering seven years to make and and therefore leaves no “i” undotted and no “t” uncrossed. This is a project of passion, a labor of love and despite the trials and tribulations involved in the making, turned out to be another resounding success.

Due to all the attention paid to every little detail, OF CLANS AND CLONES AND CLOWNS comes off as a slick and serious project where every idea and composition is careful crafted and placed in the proper place as to create the perfect musical flow of ideas and energies. The emotional gamut runs from the apocalyptic “Aral Sea” three part suite to the silliness of the title “The Age Of Cosmic Baboon” and other moments of desipient amusement. Much attention is paid to the production as well and despite being rather complex and multi-layered, the album retains an organic spontaneous feel that surprisingly doesn’t sound overproduced at all and contains no excess fluff added for fluff’s sake. Right from the beginning track “Omon Ra,” SOUL ENEMA displays the same eclectic fusion of several genres all stitched neatly into a nice musical collage of styles and sounds. The heavy metal guitar riffs overlap with other polyrhythms including Middle Eastern sounds and symphonic prog style keyboard assaults. The diversity of the tracks keeps the album interesting with Noa Gruman’s vocals adding a more diverse range than her than her predecessor on the debut. Likewise there are many more elements lurking around every corner and at times even reminds of how The Beatles would layer contemporary rock over more traditional styles of music with one example of how “Spymania” takes its Vaudville tinged prog metal and allows a more traditional anachronistic musical form to emerge as the heavier parts fade out.

So many elements going on here it’s impossible to describe them all. The common thread is that much attention is paid to catchy melodic hooks that take on crossover prog possibilities. The heaviness alternates between full-fledged progressive metal riffing to calmer melodic rock to simple piano runs. There are many ethnic influences as well with tracks like “The Age Of Cosmic Baboon” sounding completely exotic with Middle Eastern rhythms and percussion with the added mystic flair of the sitar. The mix of the rhythmic elements with the atmospheric is utterly fascinating as they seamlessly weave around each other in perfect unison. Heavy guitar parts can abruptly shift to a more symphonic prog segment with folk fueled flutes fluttering away as one melodic segment cedes into another. The pace is perfectly set for each part to connect to what has already occurred and what is yet to come. While most tracks have a metal or rock feel in nature, some like “Last Days Of Rome” bring good old-fashioned piano rock to mind with artists like Carole King coming to mind although with a zillion other elements tacked on in crossover prog fashion of course! “Dear Bollock (Was A Sensitive Man) is another exotic sounding track with Glantz showing off his Japanese shamisen playing skills and although there are metal riffs added for bombast, it comes across as a mad rush down the silk road of some sort.

Despite the parade of ideas floating around on any given track, the three part suite “Aral Sea” is perhaps the most progressive rock in feel with three long suites that feature a diverse rotisserie of moods and represent the ultimate demise of the famous sea that went from Garden Of Eden fertility to the dusty barren wasteland it is today due to human carelessness. The suite begins with “Aral Sea I - Feeding Hand” that tells the tale of the fertile life giving sea that demands respect in exchange for provisions with heavy rock guitars, melodic piano runs and Noa Gruman providing one of her most dramatic vocal deliveries. “Aral Sea II - Dustbin Of History” picks up the pace a bit adding a bit more eclectic polyrhythms in a more Middle Eastern feel but quickly turns to sadness with dynamic electronic effects and heavy metal riffing suddenly simulate the once productive sea being siphoned of its life giving vitality. This second suite installment has a unique Far East vibe due to the presence of Yossi Sassi providing the unique sound of his bouzoukitara adding a truly exotic flair as the Middle Eastern meets metal riffs dance around one another. “Aral Sea III - Epilogue” has the expected ending of demise but performed with an interesting intro of discordant piano and percussion and ultimately sang out by Gruman’s powerful vox box. This finale has Sergey Kalugin of the Russian prog rock band Orgia Prevednikov making a cameo on acoustic guitar.

Glantz is an excellent self-promoter as he describes this album as a creative diverse rock / metal album that explores vast melodic and rhythmic territories that takes elements ranging from ABBA to Zappa, from King Crimson to King Diamond between East and West and way beyond in a true progressive fashion. While those words are delivered in a slightly cheeky way, they actually ring true as well as Glantz is interested in making progressive prog instead of the factory line varieties. With more elements than the periodic table, SOUL ENEMA delivers an outstanding sophomoric epic journey that takes the best elements of prog, rock and the entire Putumayo World music catalogue and runs away with it! It truly is impressive and adventurous without ever getting weird for weird’s sake. It remains completely accessible while dishing out unorthodox exaltation. While “Thin Ice Crawling” was a major step in achieving something great, OF CLANS AND CLONES AND CLOWNS actually fulfills that mission and one of the best albums of the year that i’ve heard so far. It is fearless as it shamelessly throws the sensual and the bombastic in a cage together and let them duke it out. The result is a not a musical death match but rather a triumph of sonic cooperation that demonstrates the possibilities of musical genre blending when proper care is taken to the details. Unlike the debut album, this one at over 72 minutes doesn’t wear out its welcome by the the time the last tracks finally crank up. This album is quite the accomplishment. Bravo!

SOUL ENEMA Thin Ice Crawling

Album · 2010 · Progressive Metal
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siLLy puPPy
The peculiarly named SOUL ENEMA is the brainchild of the restless and productive spirit of the Russian born Constantin Glanz turned Israeli whose fascination with electric musical elements has made him a cu’ri’o'so in layering various elements together since the band’s inception all the way back in 2001. Despite having formed at the turn of the millennium, here it is 2017 and Glanz has created a mere two albums with entirely different cast members. THIN ICE CRAWLING which finally emerged in 2010 is the debut that garnered international attention in the progressive rock / metal crowds for deftly packaging up ample doses of melodic rock that unfold in very experimental ways and in the process incorporate all kinds of genres and styles often leaving the listener in the dark about just how in the world to categorize this eclectic cauldron of simmering extravagance. In the days when carbon copy clones are creeping in with a quickening pace as progressive rock and metal burgeon in popularity, once in a while a rare musical creation comes along that effortlessly stands out from the crowd with a sound so distinct and original that it manages to sweep away all the competition in its ambitious and unpredictable sonic peregrination.

While melodic hard rock with outbursts of heavy distorted metal riffing are ubiquitous trademarks on THIN ICE CRAWLING with an emphasis on the catchiest yet quirky melodies possible, the other musical elements are a total grab bag as SOUL ENEMA crafts a clever path through which metal and rock mix and mingle with European folk, jazz-fusion, Middle Eastern, Oriental and other elements which gleefully play together like musical United Nations poster children that somehow flirted with the theatrical flirtatiousness of Broadway all the while juxtaposing elements in reckless manners that find doves of peace coinciding with weapons of mass destruction. At this stage SOUL ENEMA consisted of main man Constantin Glantz on keyboards, sound effects and male vocals, Max Mann on bass, Oleg Szumsky on drums and the feminine beauty of vocalist Irina Sherr whose mezzo-soprano presence adds a stabilizing effect to the beastly guitar riffs of Yevgeny Kushnir and jittery keyboard fluctuations of Glantz. In addition to the regular cast members are a few additional performers adding various ethnic percussion instruments alto sax. Although no credits are given i’m sure there are violins as well.

THIN ICE CRAWLING is a true delight to sit through from beginning to end (although an adventurous listen). Having taken several years to construct and perfect, this album delivers a string of infectious melodic developments all decorated with some of the most unorthodox twists and turns that while remaining totally logical in how they connect, never fail to surprise in how they are connected. In many ways THIN ICE CRAWLING comes off as an Aeryon type album with a perfectly balanced tightrope act of sensuality, bombast and Vaudeville type charm. At times one element may dominate, at times they alternate and at times they all play together seemingly on recess from the lessons learned from the school text books that have been ossified into the orthodox rulebook. Surprise and sense of adventure is what SOUL ENEMA playfully conjure up on this hour plus listening experience. In retrospect SOUL ENEMA makes me think of a less frenetic, more melodic and incredibly structured form of Unexpect as Irina Sherr’s female vocals along when the violin led folk aspects dominate while the frenetic keyboards with the heavy guitars clearly bring Arjen Lucassen’s many projects to mind.

As SOUL ENEMA emerges from their slumber seven long years later with their long-awaited followup “Of Clans And Clones And Clowns” which perfects many of the musical aspects laid down on this debut, THIN ICE CRAWLING is not to be missed as it is every bit as addictive as the followup and despite Glantz being the only connection between the two albums, there is a very cohesive feel between the two releases thus demonstrating Glantz’ talents as a conductor who can eke out the potentials of his musical ensembles that he strings together quite well. As the main songwriter and arranger it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise however making a large group of musicians perform so well is equivalent to herding cats in a string factory. THIN ICE CRAWLING is an utterly brilliant piece of work that dexterously agglutinates a ridiculous amounts of styles and influences ranging from the melodic hooks of ABBA to the prog workouts of King Crimson and Frank Zappa with enough classical and metal to expand the possibilities even further. My only complaint is perhaps there’s too much of a good thing and a couple overlong tracks like “Unholy Ghost” and the lugubrious piano laden “Outro” (although i love the craziness after the silence) which fit in thematically don’t hold my interest as much by the time i get to the end. Still though, this is a minor quibble and overall this debut album is impressive even if somewhat exhausting in one go!

DARK MILLENNIUM Diana Read Peace

Album · 1993 · Progressive Metal
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UMUR
"Diana Read Peace" is the 2nd full-length studio album by German progressive metal act Dark Millennium. The album was released through Massacre Records in 1993. Dark Millennium was formed in 1989 and disbanded in the mid-90s after releasing two demos and two full-length studio albums. They started out playing death metal with doomy sections and occasionally progressive structures, but "Diana Read Peace" doesn´t feature much which indicate that Dark Millennium just the year before released the death metal oriented debut full-length studio album "Ashore the Celestial Burden (1992)".

Instead we´re treated to an adventurous and occasionally gothic take on progressive metal with a few nods towards thrash and doom metal. The atmosphere is dark, melancholic, and at times even alien, as if the band have visited places other people don´t dare to, and have found inspiration in that. Some tracks are not as complex as others, but there are some very progressive structured tracks on the album. The best example os probably the 9:45 minutes long "Brotherhood Sleep... Back to Treasureland".

The musicianship are on a high level, even though lead vocalist Christian Mertens is probably an aquired taste. He sometimes sound a bit out of tune, and his vocal lines are not that memorable and generally not very melodic. He sounds a bit strained when he does his more raw vocal parts too, and considering how strong his growling vocals were on the debut album, it´s a bit of a mystery why he would chose to sing in a vocal style like this on "Diana Read Peace". Development is almost always a positive, but in this case it´s a step down the quality ladder.

"Diana Read Peace" is a relatively well produced album, and as mentioned especially the instrumental part of the music is very well delivered, but the adventurous songwriting is sometimes a bit too adventurous for it´s own good, and sometimes it feels like Dark Millennium had a thousand individual ideas for each track, and some parts and transitions between parts therefore come off as disjointed from the rest of the track.

So upon conclusion "Diana Read Peace" is an album that leaves me a bit biased as I hail the adventurous nature of the album and the high level musicianship, but at the same time I have some issues with the vocals, and with the core songwriting (the album is also a bit too long featuring a playing time that exceeds the hour mark). "Diana Read Peace" therefore ends up falling in the catagory of being more interesting than actually good, but I´d still say a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.

OPETH Still Life

Album · 1999 · Progressive Metal
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Vim Fuego
Really and truly, what is the deal with this band and this album?

Opeth’s “Still Life” is fawned over almost universally, inspiring gushing reviews where critics fall over themselves in pursuit of the most lyrical platitudes. And for what? A dark concept album following a tale of unrequited love? A reinvigorating breath of fresh new life for a stale metal scene? A melodic progressive death metal masterpiece? The answer is none of the above.

What does progressive even really mean? It conjures up thoughts of widdly, boring songs which fill the entire side of an old vinyl LP, pretentious, self-indulgent musical masturbation which milks every last drop of tepid hope from a terminally bored audience. By that definition, “Still Life” is most definitely a progressive metal album.

There is the odd growl, but it’s hardly backed by death metal. Most of the time it’s hardly even metal. This album is littered with acoustic interludes and ooo-woo vocals. It doesn’t really offer much of a contrast from the metallic parts, because both are flat and grey. Even at full volume, this is still background music, inoffensive pap which slides in one ear and straight out the other. The band is castrated by it’s misguided attempt to transcend metal.

There might be song titles, but they don’t really matter, because there are no highlights. There are no bottomless depths of depraved mediocrity either. “Still Life” is just that- a flat-lined corpse.

The whole thing is just ditch water dull. And no, not a cool flooded ditch, sweeping along tree stumps and unlucky sheep with dirty, roiling depths raging down it’s course while threatening to burst it’s banks. No. This is stagnant, stinky green ditch water, so putrid even mosquitoes won’t lay eggs in it, instead looking for somewhere less torpid.

DREAMSCAPE Revoiced

Boxset / Compilation · 2005 · Progressive Metal
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martindavey87
After 2004's 'End of Silence', Dreamscape went back to re-record a number of songs from both of their first two albums with current vocalist Roland Stoll. The result, 'Revoiced', is a fantastic slice of progressive metal that pretty much negates the bands earliest releases, but also offers up some of their most definitive work.

Musically similar to Dream Theater (which prog metal band doesn't get that cliché thrown at them?), Dreamscape display dazzling instrumental abilities, with great interplay between guitars and keyboards, and a strong sense of melody that means that even the heavier moments still feel graceful, without being overbearingly brutal.

The production is fantastic, and really gives everyone ample space to shine, and Roland Stoll's voice is a much better fit for this band than his predecessors. Songs like 'Thorn in My Mind', 'Alone', 'Winter Dreams', 'When Shadows Are Gone' and 'She's Flying' are all fantastic examples of prog metal, and really demonstrate how gifted this German five-piece is.

The melodic tendencies of the band make this a more accessible release if you're an old-school prog fan looking to dabble in some prog metal, but find yourself deterred by the more heavier stuff. Overall, 'Revoiced' is an exceptional progressive metal album, that serves as a great starting point if you're new to Dreamscape.

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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