Symphony X

Need – Norchestrion: A Song for the End Review

Need – Norchestrion: A Song for the End Review

Need‘s previous record Hegaiamas: A Song for Freedom was one of my favorites of 2017. Apparently I’m not alone, as I had to fight Huck
off to review this one. As the album titles imply, Greece’s Need play pretty prototypical pretentious prog, in the vein of Mountain-era Haken and bits of Symphony X. As the tussle over reviewing it implies, they’re also really good at it,” Needful songs.

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.

Judicator – Let There Be Nothing Review

Judicator – Let There Be Nothing Review

“Thanks entirely to Eldritch Elitist‘s coverage of Judicator‘s last album, The Last Emperor, I discovered one of my favorite new-to-me bands in recent memory. After an initial good impression, The Last Emperor eventually completely won me over, and it landed in my top 10 of 2018. There’s something so pure and magical about the way Judicator combines the influences of Blind Guardian and Iced Earth into a prog/power beast that stands its own. It reminds me of what Demons & Wizards might sound like if their music was actually good.” Nothing is more.

Buried Realm – Embodiment of the Divine Review

Buried Realm – Embodiment of the Divine Review

Buried Realm play an eager, galloping sort of melodeath, with lots of speedy leads, upbeat riffs, synthesizers, and solos everywhere. It’s almost as if Blind Guardian enthusiasm and subject matter met up with Scar Symmetry’s love of ambience and melodic-yet-death-y riffs, while the vocalists from the latter act offered helpful hints here and there.” Melodeath potluck.

Isle of the Cross – Excelsis Review

Isle of the Cross – Excelsis Review

“I admire bands who chance their arm at cracking into peoples’ music rotation, especially where their intent is to chart a new path or weave existing genres in dynamic ways. Enter Jo Schneider and the band he leads called Isle of the Cross. Excelsis is their debut release and promised to be an “enigmatic journey of sonic power.” Enigmatic is the key word as I have been unsuccessful in my efforts to learn more about the band, including the country of origin. Further promoting itself as for fans of Opeth and Symphony X is a bold strategy indeed, so I turned to my first listen with great interest.” Excelsisore!

Obsidian Tide – Pillars of Creation [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Obsidian Tide – Pillars of Creation [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“I love TheKenWord, but the problem is, if you skip an hour on the AMG Slack channel, you’ll probably miss one of his 1462 album recommendations. Lucky for me, at the precise day and time when Kenny waxed on about Obsidian Tide’s new album I just happened to be lurking on the forums, and I caught the link. The young fella did himself proud with this recommendation. Obsidian Tide are an Israeli progressive metal trio, and Pillars of Creation is the band’s debut album, a seven-song, 55-minute concept album detailing a man’s journey to enlightenment.” Tides and tidings.