Kings X

Scardust – Strangers Review

Scardust – Strangers Review

“I have a strange relationship with progressive metal. On one hand, I feel like the vast majority of prog is made up of decent song ideas separated from one another by fancy time signatures, self-indulgent experimentation, and other forms of needless wankery. But on the other hand, I proudly claim progressive titans Symphony X and Nevermore as my two favorite bands of all time. Those bands had a way of making their immensely complex compositions seem deceptively simple — a hallmark of a good prog band in my book. To me, progressiveness is really just the amplification of — or an embellishment upon — what a band already does well. Thus, my view that much of today’s “prog” music is really just embellished nothingness. On that cheerful note, enter Israeli progressive metal band Scardust.” Prog for dummies.

Retro-spective Review: Damn the Machine – Self Titled

Retro-spective Review: Damn the Machine – Self Titled

Here’s another overlooked and underrated gem for those of you searching for new (but old) listening material of high quality. Damn the Machine was the creation of original Megadeth guitar-wiz Chris Poland following his dismissal from Camp Mustaine. Though they only managed to release this self-titled opus, the quality is such that most listeners will ardently wish they’d been more prolific. Forsaking his Megadeth-era roots, Poland steered DTM into thoughtful, progressive metal waters with hints of jazz-fusion sprinkled (sparingly) throughout. He was also wise enough to surround himself with some seriously talented musicians (including his brother Mark on drums) and the result is nothing short of phenomenal. Not overly fast nor crushingly heavy, it successfully walks a fine line between balls and brains and echoes such better known acts as Queensryche, latter day Fates Warning, Black Album-era Metallica and even Kings X.