Songs To Watch: an instrumental spotlight


cheating the polygraph
Apr 29, 2001
dead between the walls
I'm including this part of my weekly music recommendation column here as a followup to the thread regarding instrumentals. Most of these are progressive rock and or metal, though I have included a wide sampling of many genres, and these should satisfy anyone's taste for heavy instrumental music.

The Words Unspoken: My second instrumental spotlight. Because the first one is not archived on Ultimate Metal, I will rewrite most of it here.

Shadow Gallery – second half of Cliffhanger II: not one per se, but some of the most mind-blowing playing you’ll hear all year…

Andromeda – Chameleon Carneval: a superb showcase for this young band’s talents, one of the most impressive debut albums in a long time.

Ice Age – Musical Cages: In addition to this piece, Liberation also features several shorter and effective instrumentals between songs.

Derek Sherinian – Rhapsody In Black, La Pera Loca: His solo album features guests ranging from Zakk Wylde to well known session musicians like Simon Phillips and Steve Lukather.

Madsword – Living Hexadecimal: Amazing seven-minute instrumental from this Italian band’s superb debut (and only) full-length…

Ambeon – Fate: Awesome atmospheric instrumental piece from Arjen Lucassen’s latest release.

Gordian Knot – Singularity, Redemption’s Way: Sean Malone’s followup to the acclaimed instrumental album will reunite him with two Cynic members, and include prog luminaries Bill Bruford and Steve Hackett.

Adagio – Immigrant Song: Stephan Forte’s neoclassical reinvention of the Zeppelin classic.

In Flames –Man Made God: Excellent instrumental from the Jap version of Colony that showcases why this band have become the ambassadors of melodic death.

And Oceans – TBA In A Silver Box: The experimental black metal band reaches out on this electronically-tinged piece, which sounds like it could fit on a science fiction soundtrack.

Iced Earth – Transylvania: You probably paid extra for Horror Show partly because of this cover of the Maiden classic.

Attention Deficit – RSVP, Low Voter Turnout: Bass wizard Michael Manring teams up with Alex Skolnick and Tim Alexander on this innovative instrumental album.

Tiles – Ballad Of The Sacred Cows: This piece carries the spirit of Rush at their peak and is full of shifts and surprises.

Porcupine Tree – Voyage 34: Excellent extended-length experimental piece with a trippy atmosphere, several different versions have been released.

Nightwish – Moondance: Rousing instrumental piece from Oceanborn displaying some of Tuomas Holopainen’s eclectic influences.

Ozric Tentacles – Xingu, Waterfall City: Spaced out weirdness from the prolific British cult instrumental prog experimentalists.

Marcel Coenen – Independence Day: Instrumental solo album from the former Lemur Voice guitarist.

Platypus – Partial To The Bean: 10-minute piece from the DT side project featuring John Myung and Derek Sherinian. Liquid Tension fans should enjoy this…

Ulver - Hallways Of Always: The always unpredictable Garm offers up a few staggering electronic pieces on his latest opus Perdition City.
I'm glad you mentioned Marcel Coenen. FDucking amazing musician...I prefer the track Fusion though, because it is an uncamoflauged, up-front show off technical exercise (or ego-wankfest fretboard-masturbation, if you will) that dusts almost every other player out there.
Also, that Gordian KNot is spectacular. I've had it for years now and it never gets old....
on that note, maybe I missed it, but why no mention of Textures by Cynic? Or 1776 by Iced Earth? or even Orion by Metallica, back when they were legally allowed to have "Metal" in their name?