Into the Everflow: The Progressive Metal Thread

CiG

Deformed Urban Pustule
May 22, 2015
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After looking around it didn't seem like there was an active progressive metal thread and the most recent one was from 2009. You guys know the deal with these genre threads.

TBH I mostly wanted to just post this somewhere relevant to the genre:

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I had forgotten about Seer's Tear being back together, looking forward to new music from them.
 
They have some recent jam footage on their Youtube page, but mostly they update on FB which is kind of annoying, since the video function sucks balls.
 
The big 3 for me will forever be Voivod, Psychotic Waltz (great thread name, BTW) and Fates Warning and none of those bands sound anything alike which goes to show how multifaceted prog can be. While all of those bands still knock me sideways, Psychotic Waltz in particular have always been a standout. Awe-inspiring guitar playing on all four (soon to bn five, hopefully) albums.



Unreal.
 
To count the bands from this genre I really like (at least parts of their discographies), I need less than two hands:

Atrox
Fates Warning
Madder Mortem
Mekong Delta
Psychotic Waltz
Sieges Even
Voivod
Watchtower

With the exception of Madder Mortem, Psychotic Waltz and Watchtower, my discographies of these bands are incomplete and of those albums I do own, there are also some I don't feel inclined to revisit ever again. What all of these bands have in common (maybe with the exception of Sieges Even's "Life Cycle" and Watchtower's "Control and Resistance") is that they all sound very different from each other. And both Mekong Delta and Voivod have had a very specific/unique sound more or less throughout their entire career.

Thinking about it, I could also add Soul Cages to my list, though I only have got their first two albums, out of which I like the second one ("Moments") much more.

Way back in the late eighties/early nineties, I'd have included Dream Theater in my list, but apart from the fact that I never liked them as much as any of the aforementioned bands, I stopped buying their albums after "Falling into Infinity" (which I found totally boring) and haven't listened to them for more then two decades. Well, I did revisit "Awake", "A Change of Seasons" and "When Dream and Day Unite" once for the year polls resp. the song survivor game (has the latter already been finished?), but right now, I don't see myself listening to them again. (I know: never say never.)

In the middle of the nineties, I'd also have included Shadow Gallery in my list. Way back then, I enjoyed their first three albums a lot, but nowadays, they leave me cold. I still remember that I was really euphoric the first times I listened to their debut, especially the guitar solos, but when I revisited it two years ago for one of the year polls, it did do nothing for me.
 
Well, I did revisit "Awake", "A Change of Seasons" and "When Dream and Day Unite" once for the year polls resp. the song survivor game (has the latter already been finished?)

HBB either forgot about it, or dropped it when he realized 20% of the active participants in that song survivor were Omni alts.
 
What do you think of bands like Symphony X and Adagio?

I know you didn't ask me but I'll answer anyway. I would honestly love Symphony X if songs like Out of the Ashes were representative of their style. I can really get behind this kind of fluid, classically tinged USPM and it helps that Russell Allen is a killer vocalist too. But anytime I sit down and listen to one of their albums in full I always find it full of boring chuggy parts and awkward un-transitions between parts. SX make late-career Dream Theater look like master songwriters.

I like what I've heard of Adagio, which is just Underworld IIRC. It basically takes SX's sound and pushes it even more in a power metal direction which is essentially what I wish SX would do. I should check out more of their stuff, though they seem like one of those bands that got badly racked by constant lineup changes.
 
I'm looking at Adagio's discography on RYM and their latest album is tagged as djent lol. I can barely contain my excitement to hear this.
 
HBB either forgot about it, or dropped it when he realized 20% of the active participants in that song survivor were Omni alts.

The former first, but when I remembered it after the fact, I made a conscious decision to abandon it.

EDIT: I've heard something from Archangels in Black and I remember it being like some godawful mixture of Pantera and Dropkick Murphys, with Dream Theater songlengths and prog-wank.
 
What do you think of bands like Symphony X and Adagio?
Difficult to say. As for Symphony X, I might have heard some songs on different compilation CDs, but I have no specific memories of what they sounded like, so you may feel free to post/recommend some songs I should give a try. As regards Adagio, you might do the same - as long as the songs are better than the one posted above.

On another note, in my quest for a fifth album allowing me to participate in the 2007-albums poll, I went through the RYM-list and checked - among other stuff - several albums tagged as progressive metal, but I didn't find anything I'd like to include in my list. Of course, maybe I simply checked the wrong albums - don't ask me which ones, because I didn't take notes -, but I didn't notice anything special about the music, at least not something which made me want to hear more.
 
Difficult to say. As for Symphony X, I might have heard some songs on different compilation CDs, but I have no specific memories of what they sounded like, so you may feel free to post/recommend some songs I should give a try. As regards Adagio, you might do the same - as long as the songs are better than the one posted above.

Okay man I'll do exactly that. Some choice cuts by Adagio (one each from their first three albums):







(I can't vouch for anything after the 3rd album.)


Symphony X, a song each from my favourite albums of theirs:







("Through the Looking Glass" might be my favourite Symphony X song in general TBH. I feel like they were really channeling late 70's/early 80's Rush here.)
 
Thanks for your suggestions. Judging by the songs you posted, it seems that Adagio sound a bit rawer/heavier than Symphony X, which might explain why I liked their songs better. While I could imagine giving at least one or two of them an 8/10-rating, I doubt I'd listen to one of Adagio's albums regularly over a longer period of time. There were some parts in their songs I really liked (e.g. the first minute of "Chosen"), but there were other parts which went in one ear and out the other. More than once, I thought that I might like the music better without the keyboards, or at least without some specific keyboard sounds. There was e.g. an instrumental part in the last Adagio-song starting at about 3:20 which sounded really cool, but the keyboard-sound used from 4:04 to 4:26 didn't fit, at least not for me. And I don't like the keyboard-sound used e.g. at 2:49 in the first Symphony X-song or in "The Accolade" from 1:30 onwards and later on again (even though it's just in background). Some parts in songs from both bands reminded me of Shadow Gallery or Dream Theater, especially the keybaord sound(s). Since I did enjoy the music of these two for a couple of years in my life, I could imagine having enjoyed Adagio and Symphony X about the same at that time. However, if I compare their music to Fates Warning's "The Spectre Within" or Psychotic Waltz's "A Social Grace" or "Into the Everflow", it lacks the warmth and the atmosphere I find in the music of the latter. Even though I don't listen to them very often, I can still feel the joy I felt when I listened to them for the first time. Seems like some musical preferences change over the years, whereas others remain the same.
 
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I'm a big fan of The Shadow Theory album Behind the Black Veil. A supergroup with Devon from Psychotic Waltz on vocals featuring members of Threshold and Pain of Salvation, the album seemed to fly totally under the radar. Very cinematic sounding, at times horror prog.