Issue 30 - January 10-11, 2002


cheating the polygraph
Apr 29, 2001
dead between the walls
Written January 10-11, 2002

Greetings, devoted readers! Sorry for not being able to deliver a column last week, as some of my sources are becoming increasingly unreliable and there aren't as many new releases out there, seeing that this is the least active period of the year.

Anekdoten - Book Of Hours, Kiss Of Life: Reader suggested Swedish prog act with three albums to their name. The latter song has a great rhythm and a strong chorus, while the latter ten-minute selection from Nucleus begins with a long instrumental section and features some absorbing keyboards.

Armageddon – Sleep Of Innocence, The Juggernaut Divine: It is a minor travesty that Embrace The Mystery, one of my biggest sleepers of 2001, is only available on Japanese import. The latter song is heavy enough to satisfy fans of their earlier melodic death release Crossing The Rubicon (latter song from it available at, and also has an amazing lead break at 2:20 and killer chorus.

Artension - The City Is Lost, Into The Blue: One of many acts to receive the dreaded “neoclassical” tag, this band reminds one of Symphony X, especially after hearing Vitalij Kuprij’s epic keyboard solos…the former song is a great showcase for his talents and has a memorable chorus. New album Sacred Pathways out now.

Braindance - Resurrection, Resurgence: Reader suggested New York act who describes their sound as “progressive darkwave”, sounding a bit like a progressive Paradise Lost. The latter song, available at, has some excellent guitar/keyboard accompaniment. Interestingly enough, all songs on their album Redemption begin with an R.

Consortium Project - Sentiment In Sanctuary, Mirror Image: Power metal side project led by Dio soundalike Ian Parry, whom I’ve always thought of as a great vocalist in an average band. Both of these songs are better than most of the Elegy I’ve heard, and the former has a great chorus. Anyone know who else is on this album?

Godgory - Sea Of Dreams, Holy War: The name suggests unlistenable corpse-obsessive death metal, but I found these songs to be surprisingly good when I heard them, the former being an atmospheric instrumental and the latter being an effective doomy track.

Into Eternity - Elysium Dream, Absolution Of The Soul: A promising Canadian act best described as progressive melodic death, at times they sound like Queensryche meets In Flames. Both the clean and growled vocals work well in the song’s context, and the latter song has a great riff. Both songs available at

Katatonia - Quiet World, Scarlet Heavens: A pair of songs from this band’s extremely rare Saw You Drown ep (which I don’t actually own), possibly the best of their many short-length releases. The latter song features assistance from Dan Swano, is ten minutes long, and has incredible atmosphere. The latter song is a shorter and sparser offering.

Lanfear - Turn The Tide, Eight Silent Chambers: Reader suggested progressive metal act who has released one album, Zero Poems. After hearing these songs and reading a review at Progressive World, I’m quite impressed. The former song has a great intro and chorus, while the latter has a complex arrangement and arresting vocals.

Limbonic Art – Beyond The Candles Burning, In Mourning Mystique: Reader suggested keyboard-heavy black metal act. The latter song from their highly praised debut Moon In The Scorpio is among the more successful epics (close to 15 minutes) in this genre I’ve heard, while the former has great symphonic keyboards.

Nightingale - The Game, Drowning In Sadness: I can’t seem to get enough of Dan Swano lately, and this is easily my favorite of his many projects (though if Odyssey had been a full album, that might change!). Both of these songs from their third album I have great keyboards (especially prominent on the latter), highly emotive vocals, and strong arrangements.

October Tide - Twelve Days Of Rain, All Painted Cold: Melodic death project founded by two members of Katatonia following their temporary breakup. Both of these songs from Rain Without End are worth hearing, the latter having a great lead riff and the former having strong atmosphere. Both songs available at

Pain Of Salvation –Chain Sling, A Trace Of Blood: A pair of songs from Remedy Lane, and a continued sign of evolution in progressive metal’s most enigmatic act. The latter song is among the most lyrically depressing to date, which is saying something in itself, and of course the music is equally powerful. The latter song shows their strength in creating great songs from offbeat influences rare even in the prog genre…

Payne's Gray - The Cavern Of Flame, Nyarlathotep's Reception: Reader suggested band playing a darker variety of progressive metal, these songs hailing from a hard to find album Kadath Decoded, based on Lovecraft’s works. Both of these songs feature great keyboards and weird arrangements, sounding a bit like Dream Theater on an acid trip.

Planet X - Brunei Babylon, King Of The Universe: Instrumental supergroup featuring Tony Macalpine and Derek Sherinian, both of their albums are highly recommended even if you’re not a Dream Theater fan. The latter song has an amusing intro and great playing from all involved, while the former has exactly what you would expect from these talented musicians…

Poverty's No Crime - Just A Dream, Distant Early Warning: The German prog-metal act’s current album One In A Million has received some encouraging reviews (and Slave To The Mind was great), but I haven’t heard anything from it until now. The former song has a strong arrangement and great chorus, while the latter is a faithful and effective translation of the Rush classic.

Rakoth - Gorthaur Aulendil, Return Of The Nameless: With LOTR blowing away everyone who has seen it, I had to include at least one Tolkien inspired song this week! J This is a promising Russian extreme metal act, and the latter song effectively weaves together folkish and heavy sections. Former song available at

Sculptured - Between Goldberg, Apollo Destroys Apollo Creates: Reader suggested avant-garde metal act. The former song has a strong arrangement with a clever use of a horn section (!), while the latter is a lengthy instrumental that changes from a dissonant to more melodic arrangement halfway through, echoing its title.

Soul Cages - Freezing, The Light Of Day: Reader suggested progressive rock act whose songs are heavily atmospheric and contain delicate and highly emotional vocal arrangements. The latter song from Moments has a great keyboard intro, while the latter has a strong chorus with both male and female vocals.

Summoning - Runes Of Power, Our Foes Shall Fall: Back to Tolkien again, as this band has released several concept albums based on Middle Earth, these appearing on their latest Let Mortal Heroes…although usually described as black metal, these songs are closer to orchestral metal with growled vocals, the latter having a powerful instrumental arrangement. Former song available at

Time Machine - Evil Eyes, Eyes Of Fire: Reader suggested Italian power/prog metal act. As with nearly all of this country’s metal, the band has its weaknesses to the common clichés of the genre, but also features great guitar-keyboard interplay. The latter song has an especially good instrumental section.

Devin Townsend – Bastard pt. 1, Funeral: After being convinced of this man’s innovative songwriting gift on Terria, I had to check out some of his earlier work. Both of these songs are from Ocean Machine, regarded by many as his greatest album. The former has a strong chorus, while the latter features the same expansive yet brutal feeling that marks his best efforts.

Vanden Plas - Beyond Daylight, End Of All Days: The German progressive act’s new album sounds promising, and a bit more progressive than the melodic rock leaning Far Off Grace. The latter song has excellent keyboards from Gunther Werno, and the former title track is a strong eleven-minute epic.

Ved Buens Ende - You That May Wither, Those Who Caress The Pale: Reader suggested avant-garde metal act. I don’t really know that much about this band, but these songs are worthy of inclusion here. The former song from Written In Waters has a strange but effective arrangement, and the latter is a powerful instrumental.

Thus ends this chapter. I got my Dream Theater tickets, and I’m planning on doing an all-DT issue in celebration of Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence, perhaps the week before its official release.