Issue 15 - September 19-20, 2001


Not blessed, or merciful
Apr 11, 2001
Sarf Lundin, Innit

Greetings, devoted readers, and I hope that none of you suffered serious losses in the senseless and unprovoked terrorist attacks. As you can imagine, I am still in a great state of restlessness over these acts performed with a complete disregard for human existence. I will admit that I am still unable to fully concentrate on writing a list, although I have continued to seek out the best new music and have prepared for the next installemnt, which despite the fact that my heart is focused on things other than music hopefully should make up for last week's cancellation. And now, the songs...

Anathema - Looking Inside Outside: The highly acclaimed British act's latest opus, next month's A Fine Day To Exit, is already receiving major press and is being noted as their most accomplished release to date. This song definitely lives up to the high expectations, as it has a great emotional progression.

Evergrey - The Master Plan, Different Worlds: This underrated Swedish doom-inflected progressive act is expected to have a breakthrough with their latest release, In Search Of Truth, their first to receive wide release. The latter song is a great haunting ballad, while the former is very indicative of their highly original sound. Video available at

Ayreon - The Awareness, Beyond The Last Horizon: Since many seem to know Arjen Lucassen's revolving door project through the Universal Migrator albums, I thought I would recommend two songs from the first two Ayreon releases that best display their creator's incredible talents. Both feature great vocals from frequent collaborator Edmund Reekers.

Balance Of Power - Prisoner Of Pride, Blind Man: Reader suggested melodic rock act, which while having heavy AOR influences manages to be more interesting than most of this cliched genre, and also incorporates some progressive touches, more apaprent on the former song. The latter has a memorable if a bit irritating chorus...

Brainstorm - Blind Suffering, Hollow Hideaway: German heavy power metal act whose last album Ambiguity was highly underrated, and a welcome departure from the cliches that have overtaken the genre. Both of these songs from their new album Metus Mortis have some excellent riffs in them, the former even reminding me of Nevermore a bit! Both songs available at

Dali's Dilemma - Despite The Waves, Ashen Days: Highly thoughtful progressive metal act whose album Manifesto For Futurism has been out for over a year, but I have only recently discovered. The former song reminds me of Dream Theater and has a great chorus, while the latter has some great instrumentation.

Farmakon - Stretching Into Me: One of several unsigned bands I discovered through the Opeth forum hosted by this site. This song is highly impressive, having a definite Opeth influence while adding some arresting clean vocals and explicit progressive rock influences. Available at

Fates Warning - Still Remains, So Tired: A legendary progressive rock act that continues to expand its creative boundaries with every album it makes. The 16-minute former track from last year's Disconnected, is undoubtedly one of their strongest songs ever, right up there with anything from their 1985-89 period. The latter hypnotic midtempo track is also great.

Infinity Minus One - Face To Face, At The Doorway Of Existence: Unsigned act I discovered through Progged Radio. The former track has some haunting qualities, while the latter is a synth-heavy instrumental. Unfortunately, I have no other information on the band...

Jorn Lande - Abyss Of Evil, Burn: Highly underrated vocalist who has lent his pipes to several projects, most notably being the excellent prog-metal act Ark. These are from a solo album called Starfire. The former could have easily fit on Ark's Burn The Sun release, while the latter is a raging cover of the Deep Purple classic.

Mastermind - The Beast Of Babylon, Only In My Dreams: Progressive rock act which possesses several strong musicians, most notably a guest appearance from Jens Johansson, and some powerful female vocals. Both of these songs from Angels Of The Apocalypse have some great instrumental sections, and the former has a captivating chorus.

McGill-Manring-Stevens - Addition By Subtraction, We Are Not Amused: Bassist extraordinaire Michael Manring's second album of highly captivating instrumental progressive rock/fusion this year, after Attention Deficit's excellent The Idiot King. The latter song features a guest appearance by DT/LTE keyboardist Jordan Rudess.

Mullmuzzler - Confronting The Devil, The Stranger: Speaking of Dream Theater, this is James Labrie's other songwriting vehicle, with some assists from a number of noteworthy musicians. The former song was cowritten with Shadow Gallery's Gary Wehrkamp, while the latter has a great instrumental section. Speaking of Dream Theater, sorry about the people profiting off the incredibly bad fortune of the SFNY cover...

Poor Genetic Material - Summerland, A Secret Song: Highly original German progressive rock act, discovered through one of stations at The latter song has a strange yet haunting vocal arrangement, while the former 12-minute track has some beautiful sections, and is available at Great band name!

Poverty's No Crime - Access Denied, A Matter Of Mind: German progressive metal act whose latest album One In A Million has recived some good reviews, but I haven't heard aside from some promising excerpts at their official site. Both of these songs from their previous release Slave To The Mind are highly thoughtful, with some strong Fates Warning influences.

Solefald - Philosophical Revolt, When The Moon Is On The Wave: Reader suggested extreme metal act with some eclectic influences. The latter song has a strong arrangement and uses both growled and clean vocals, while the former lives up to its name with an unexpected passage where several great thinkers are named. This song available at

Sun Caged - Scar Winter, Zombie Resurrection: An interesting project from guitarist Marcel Coenen, best known for his work in the excellent prog-metal visionaries Lemur Voice. These songs are more aggressive and feature three contrasting vocal styles, among them a female vocalist and an appearance from Lemur's Gregor Vanderloo. Both songs available at

Tribus - Blue Flame, Sanctuary: Instrumental act I discovered through Progged Radio, unfortunatelly I have no other information regarding them. Both of these songs are great improvisational-sounding progressive rock, the former having some great guitar work, the latter not to be confused with the other hundred songs of that name.

Vintersorg - Offerbacken, Rainbow Demon: Enigmatic one-man project from Sweden (not Norway as I originally thought) who incorporates folk and progressive influences in a "melodic black" content. The latter song from Cosmic Genesis has a highly memorable chorus, while the former has a strong arrangement.

Vision Divine - New Eden, Black Mask Of Fear: Italian power metal act which includes half of Labyrinth including guitarist Olaf Thorsen, and Fabio Leone in a more restrained performance than in Rhapsody's overblown neoclassical nonsense. The latter song has an addictive prechorus. New album coming soon, although I would prefer one from Labyrinth...

Thus ends this chapter. Please join me in hope that no more innocent civilians will have to die in our fight to eliminate the threat of terrorism from our world...