Progressive Rock

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Thine – The Dead City Blueprint

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Thine – The Dead City Blueprint

“Down here at AMG, we work our asses off to bring forth “similar band” references and genre classifications, define the intentions and directions of an album, and even evaluate the recording/mixing/mastering processes of the release in order to satisfy the insatiable hunger of the AMG hordes.” And we dont always feel appreciated, so give us beer and hugs.

Ayreon – The Theory of Everything Review

Ayreon – The Theory of Everything Review

“Of all of Arjen Lucassen’s projects, Ayreon is his best known and my least favorite. Having previously given both The Human Equation and 01011001 a shot, Ayreon really was a nut I couldn’t crack. Partially this is because I think the rock opera genre of power/prog metal bands à la Avantasia or Timo Tolkki’s Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Avalon tend to lack vision; but the writers also lack the kind of talent necessary that make undertakings like Jesus Christ Superstar or Little Shop of Horrors fun and interesting.” One does not simply write a 600 word review for a 90 minute concept record from Arjen Lucassen. Click to see the epic of The Theory of Everything.

Haken – The Mountain Review

Haken – The Mountain Review

The worst thing that ever happened to London’s Haken was that someone once compared them to Dream Theater. In fact, enough reviewers compared the band to Dream Theater that on Metal Archives the only “associated act” is the unfortunate Berklee Music School graduating class of nineteen eighty-boring. “Why,” you ask, “is it a problem to be compared to DT? They have a long and storied career!” Because I am not alone in finding the band’s music to be void of creativity. It is insipid, lacking in feel, and often only an exercise in form. So when someone says to me, “Yeah, man! They’re like Dream Theater!” that’s an instant cue for me (and many others I’ve met) to shut down; to tune out; to back out of the room slowly and look for a shotgun. Still, being the daring man I am, I couldn’t help but listen to Haken‘s new album The Mountain when it landed in my box a few weeks back. Honestly, the band has such a fantastic loyalty from its fans, that I felt like I had to at least give them a chance. In general, InsideOut is a trustworthy label and they put out good material [With a few notable exceptions, of course — F.t.A.G]—so what choice did I have?

Steven Wilson – The Raven that Refused to Sing (and Other Stories) Review

Steven Wilson – The Raven that Refused to Sing (and Other Stories) Review

Steven Wilson coming up with a new album in 2013; it’s pretty much a progressive affair. As simple as that. There is nothing here that manages to stretch itself out of the canons of such a well-defined genre. On the contrary, the music on The Raven that Refused to Sing (and Other Stories) revolves around what has made prog rock what it is today: complex dynamics, a wide range of styles harmoniously compressed to form a variegated compound and digressions; lots of them.” Alex Franquelli wanders through the maze that is the new Steven Wilson release and tries not to take too many digressions himself.

Riverside – Shrine of New Generation Slaves Review

Riverside – Shrine of New Generation Slaves Review

Back in 2009 when I started this website, I was really getting back into metal and music in general, after having spent the previous year working on my own music and being really invested in learning a new language and trying to integrate into a new country. Upon having done this, I started up Angry Metal Guy with the purpose of giving myself something to do and a crash course in new music. One of the first labels I actually got a hold of was InsideOut (via Century Media) and received several very cool promos at around the same time. 2009 was actually a really good year, with several awesome releases that still stick out for me. One of these is the modern rock tinged opus Anno Domini High Definition with the slightly embarrassing acronym of ADHD. The record was modern, heavy and progressive. I was impressed and have been looking forward to the band’s follow up since.

Bauda – Euphoria …Of Flesh, Men and the Great Escape Review

Bauda – Euphoria …Of Flesh, Men and the Great Escape Review

Describing music as ‘dreamy’ can put different people on different paths of imagination. One could go on the happy path of smiling young people and major chords while another one would think of the vast and ethereal expanses of post-rock but metal is not something that crosses the head. However, on Euphoria …Of Flesh, Men and the Great Escape, Bauda actually plays some metal and attempts to achieve this dreaminess through a delicate balance. I know it sounds odd but this is definitely the kind of record that you’ll be able to grasp after a couple of listens. It needs some time to grow on you. On some occasions, it sounds spot on but on some others, I was left with a feeling of uneasiness.

Gazpacho – March of Ghosts Review

Gazpacho – March of Ghosts Review

Gazpacho has to be the worst name for a band ever. The soup itself is frankly a little on the unexciting side as it is, being a vegetable soup served cold. It’s actually Spanish or Portuguese, isn’t it? Being Norwegian, couldn’t they have chosen say, lefse or something? Not only is it tastier (Mmm, a bit of sugar and butter and I’m a Happy Metal Guy! NOMNOMNOM!), but it’s Norwegian! Like the band! Get it!? Well, anyway, needless to say I was less than stoked to actually dig my ear-fingers into this record. How could a band that can’t come up with a decent band name come up with good music? I mean, this is an existential question… really.

3 – The Ghost You Gave to Me Review

3 – The Ghost You Gave to Me Review

3 was one of my favorite discoveries of the year 2007. The End Is Begun ripped me out of my progressive complacency and reminded me that well-written, well-performed progressive rock or heavy metal, can be some of the most interesting and effective music. In a world dominated by polyrhythms and breakdowns, 3 was a refreshing blast of melody, piccolo toms and some of the most creative and unique guitar playing and song writing that I’d heard in a very long time. So I guess it’s fair to say that I have been anticipating their follow up, The Ghost You Gave to Me with no small amount of anticipation.