Progressive Rock

Haken – Affinity Review

Haken – Affinity Review

Haken have rapidly become one of my favorite bands in the world. Since my introduction with 2013’s The Mountain I’ve retraced their steps back through Visions and Aquarius – both slightly uneven stylistically and in terms of quality but with truly exemplary moments – and eagerly devoured their revised versions of older tracks on their 2014 EP, Restoration. I’ve seen them live twice and would be seeing them again in a month but for some pesky exams which will impact my future. It was therefore with great enthusiasm that I sat down with their fourth album Affinity.” Warning: fanboys may drool uncontrollably.

Yer Metal Is Olde: Amorphis – Elegy

Yer Metal Is Olde: Amorphis – Elegy

Amorphis has a special place in the hearts of everyone involved with Angry Metal Guy. In fact, it was the review of 2009’s awesome Skyforger by AMG Himself that got the ball rolling for your favorite group of opinionated miscreants. As for myself, the Finns had a profound personal effect on me as well.” And now their older stuff is OLDE!

Oceans of Slumber – Winter Review

Oceans of Slumber – Winter Review

Oceans of Slumber is walking a very unique path. A combination of melodic death, doom and black metal influenced by the Century Black roster from about 1998, Winter blends that with a sadboy metal and alternative rock base. The album is beautiful, mysterious, and oddly chaotic. It’s also really good.

Obsidian Kingdom – A Year with No Summer Review

Obsidian Kingdom – A Year with No Summer Review

“Catalonian prog-rock quintet Obsidian Kingdom caught my ear with Mantiis, an ambitious and cinematic debut that I’ve come back to often since its 2012 release. The album bordered many genres, but its kaleidoscopic diversity was more than a gimmick; Mantiis felt like a truly complete experience, complete with groovy death riffs, Floydian ambience, acidic snarls, and heartfelt synth-piano ballads. As the band like to say, it’s “hard-to-classify,” and just when I got my hopes up for more of the same, A Year with No Summer comes along to cleverly sidestep them.” The summer wind came blowing in from across Catalonia.

Headspace – All that You Fear Is Gone Review

Headspace – All that You Fear Is Gone Review

“As you may have noticed, we’re prog wusses at AMG. We look favorably on innovation, strong atmosphere and where progressive isn’t a synonym for purely technical. Enter Headspace. Comprising high profile musicians such as vocalist Damian Wilson of Threshold, keyboardist Adam Wakeman of Ozzy’s band (and son of the Yes legend) and Lee Pomeroy, of note for his work with almost everyone ever (including Steve Hackett), the line-up is experienced and successful. ‘Supergroups’ are, however, plagued as strong personalities pull the music in various directions, often devolving into vain wankfests.” The curse of the supergroup continues.

Hexvessel – When We Are Death Review

Hexvessel – When We Are Death Review

Hexvessel came into my life in 2012 and filled a void in my soul I didn’t even know existed. You see, I didn’t have any Finnish psychedelic forest folk in what passed for my miserable existence, and only when I tasted of its rich goodness did I realize how much I always subconsciously hungered for it.” And the fire still burns.

Steven Wilson – 4½ Review

Steven Wilson – 4½ Review

Steven Wilson is one of music’s best producers and, as I ranted and raved last year, quickly becoming one of progressive music’s best songwriters, as well. Hand. Cannot. Erase. was, as I’ve just recently written again, a triumph. However, like all triumphs—yes, all of them—part of honing in on the “triumphant” is knowing when to edit. That doesn’t always mean that what was cut was bad, of course, and is Steven Wilson and his trusty (and ridiculously talented) backing band knocking out 37 minutes of excellent leftovers.” Yeah, I guess you should probably just expect a lovefest.