First Laser's Haul in Some Time

The Heart of the Prog/Power Movement

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Sir Exar Kun
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First Laser's Haul in Some Time

Postby Sir Exar Kun » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:09 pm

Been awhile since I placed a true "haul" from Ken, so felt pretty good to hit the ORDER button today.

TDW Dreamwalkers Inc - Love the song I sampled online, so very much looking forward to this. Two 22+ minute tracks plus a DVD!

Divinity Compromised "Terminal" - Don't recall much about the first album, but I know I enjoyed it enough to justify $10 on this one.

Orden Ogan "Gunmen" - These guys fill the niche Blind Guardian used to for me. Power metal with boisterous, full, sing-a-long choruses.

Adagio "Life" - I was a little hesitant at the price of $18, but saw it's almost 60 minutes of music..... Last album (albeit a long time ago) was extremely solid, so expecting more of the same.

Prospekt "The Illuminated Sky" - Too many great reviews floating around to skip this one.

Discipline "Captives of the Wine Dark Sea" - One of my favorite local Detroit bands. Can't even tell you how many times I saw them live. Blind buy.

Evership s/t - Lots of good reviews floating here, and the samples are very intriguing.
Capitalism: God's way of separating the smart from the poor. -Ron Swanson

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LarryD
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Re: First Laser's Haul in Some Time

Postby LarryD » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:11 pm

TDW Dreamwalkers Inc - Love the song I sampled online, so very much looking forward to this. Two 22+ minute tracks plus a DVD!


***I've been meaning to grab this from TLE ..... I liked what I saw online.



Divinity Compromised "Terminal" - Don't recall much about the first album, but I know I enjoyed it enough to justify $10 on this one.


***I really enjoyed the first one ...... their show at PP was very good, and their cover of Hall of the Mountain King was beyond amazing ....... I'm on this one ......



Orden Ogan "Gunmen" - These guys fill the niche Blind Guardian used to for me. Power metal with boisterous, full, sing-a-long choruses.


***I tried to get into the first one ....... it didn't last long.



Adagio "Life" - I was a little hesitant at the price of $18, but saw it's almost 60 minutes of music..... Last album (albeit a long time ago) was extremely solid, so expecting more of the same.


***I like Adagio. I like Kelly Carpenter's voice. From the little I've heard, I don't like them together for some reason ........ hopefully this will change when you get this and report back, but I'm hesitant.


Prospekt "The Illuminated Sky" - Too many great reviews floating around to skip this one.


***This, is excellent. If you have been missing your Symphony X, then miss no more. I love this one....... some seem to be having a problem with the new singer, as in he is very high pitched and some would rather hear Russ Allen singing this stuff. Well, I would too - but this isn't SX. As the disc goes on, the guy gets better and better, and before you know it, you're in love with this one ..... the guitarist is the stand out, and owes many royalties to Mike Romeo. This is just killer Symphony X meets Circus Maximus meets Pagan's Mind ....... Top 10 for me.


Discipline "Captives of the Wine Dark Sea" - One of my favorite local Detroit bands. Can't even tell you how many times I saw them live. Blind buy.


***Please report asap on this one ....... I saw Matt Parmenter at a Nearfest show (thanks Ken) and he was awesome ..... it's been some years, so I'm really curious to know about this one .........


Evership s/t - Lots of good reviews floating here, and the samples are very intriguing.


***Ok, now we're talking. This is not metal. I'm not sure what to call it, but it falls under the Prog Rock category for some reason. If you know the band Mystery, then you have a good idea of what this one is like. If you took Kansas, Queen and Toto and put them in a blender, you might be close ........ the singer is a cross between the first Survivor singer (Eye of the Tiger) and Roger Taylor (Queen) and he is awesome. It's hard to describe this. It's just beautiful melodic light Prog Rock injected with AoR / hard rock melodies and feel (thus Toto). The beauty is what draws you in. Somehow this flew under the radar around here, but it will no doubt end up in my Top 10....... The focus is on the singer and melodies........

Nice haul bro ......keep us posted...........

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Sir Exar Kun
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Re: First Laser's Haul in Some Time

Postby Sir Exar Kun » Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:05 pm

Finally through one pass on all of these (been a busy week) so here are some quick thoughts on each.

TDW Dreamwalkers Inc - Love the song I sampled online, so very much looking forward to this. Two 22+ minute tracks plus a DVD!
.


While this may not be the "Prestige Worldwide of Prog" that their website might make you believe, it is some very good stuff. Lots of different performers on here, including violins and numerous vocalists. It's definitely got a concept to it, although I have not explored it yet..... Both discs are four tracks, and are almost mirror images to each other, with disc one starting off with a 22 minute opus, and disc two ending with one. There is definitely a "light" and "dark" theme to them, with the last song on disc on seguing neatly into the first track on disc two, but neither disc is particularly lighter or darker than the other. Both trend more on the prog "metal" side rather than "rock". Only real initial complaint is that it feels like the vocals REALLY dominate the album, and there are a few passages where there was something mildly offputting about the singing..... Nothing I could quite put my finger on yet though. Closest comparison to the primary singer is Sieges Even / Subsignal, but with a slightly heavier vibe.

Divinity Compromised "Terminal" - Don't recall much about the first album, but I know I enjoyed it enough to justify $10 on this one.


$10 = no booklet. Boo. Regardless, I enjoyed this much more than I expected. Think heavier, darker Kamelot. Singer definitely has a Khan vibe to him, but musically it's got a more modern, heavier tone even than the newer Kamelot stuff. Very solid album, and honestly it got better as it went on, with the back half being the stronger side.

Orden Ogan "Gunmen" - These guys fill the niche Blind Guardian used to for me. Power metal with boisterous, full, sing-a-long choruses.


Another great one for these guys; maybe not as immediately as engaging as "Easton Hope" but darn close. If you've heard one album from them, you know what you're in for here. Power metal all the way, but with super thick, super melodic choruses that leap out of the sound system. This does not disappoint. Honestly, I'll take a new Orden Ogan over a new Blind Guardian any day nowadays.

Adagio "Life" - I was a little hesitant at the price of $18, but saw it's almost 60 minutes of music..... Last album (albeit a long time ago) was extremely solid, so expecting more of the same.


As I was partway into this album, I thought for sure this would be the best album of the lot..... (Keep reading below.) This is a different album than anything Adagio has done before. It is not thick with complex orchestrations like the first two, it is not an angry neo-classical shred fest like the second two..... Rather, it sounds like modern Symphony X (heavier side) mixed with a complexity similar to Suspyre. There's a LOT going on, but within the confines of a heavier, proggier sound than they have gone for previously. Kelly Carpenter works really well on here also, so don't be dissuaded by him. Very much looking forward to revisiting this one, as I am REALLY happy with what I heard through one pass. If not for Prospekt.....

Prospekt "The Illuminated Sky" - Too many great reviews floating around to skip this one..


And this right here is why Adagio isn't the top spot from the haul. Originality be damned, this is a GREAT disc! Symphony X songwriting to a tee, with a near-clone of Michael Erikson on vocals. How can that NOT be great?!? At first the vocals felt out of place, but after a few songs they grew on me. Definitely see this making the top 10 for the year. I need to go revisit the first disc, because while I recall being very pleasantly surprised by it, I don't recall it sounding anything like this.

Discipline "Captives of the Wine Dark Sea" - One of my favorite local Detroit bands. Can't even tell you how many times I saw them live. Blind buy.


This is an ODD album for Discipline. They typically have a dark undertone to their music which is largely absent here. Most of the songs are shorter (4 minutes) with two longer tunes bookending the album, but the songs have a somewhat upbeat, positive tone to them that is pretty foreign coming from Discipline. Not quite sure WHAT to think of it yet. I highly recommend checking out this band to any of the prog rock fans here, but this isn't the album I would point to necessarily.

Evership s/t - Lots of good reviews floating here, and the samples are very intriguing.


Take the vocal stylings of Queen and the musical accompaniment of Yes (or maybe Genesis) and mix in a blender and you get something like Evership. It's really the songwriting more than the sounds that remind me of these bands, as the vocals definitely don't sound like a Freddie Mercury clone..... Rather, they just sound like how Freddy would sing a line here and there. It's not throughout the album, either, rather just pops up for a verse here, or a line there. Musically it's not as "busy" as Yes, and that might be a drawback.... I actually wish they would let the soloing go now and then a bit more. Solid album that will take more spins to digest, as the songs are all very dense.

I already see the new Soul Secret is available, so looking forward to the next order already. Leprous and Threshold coming soon too, so I honestly think the top 2-3 albums of the year might not have even come out yet.
Capitalism: God's way of separating the smart from the poor. -Ron Swanson

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Re: First Laser's Haul in Some Time

Postby LarryD » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:35 pm

TDW Dreamwalkers Inc - Love the song I sampled online, so very much looking forward to this. Two 22+ minute tracks plus a DVD!
.


While this may not be the "Prestige Worldwide of Prog" that their website might make you believe, it is some very good stuff. Lots of different performers on here, including violins and numerous vocalists. It's definitely got a concept to it, although I have not explored it yet..... Both discs are four tracks, and are almost mirror images to each other, with disc one starting off with a 22 minute opus, and disc two ending with one. There is definitely a "light" and "dark" theme to them, with the last song on disc on seguing neatly into the first track on disc two, but neither disc is particularly lighter or darker than the other. Both trend more on the prog "metal" side rather than "rock". Only real initial complaint is that it feels like the vocals REALLY dominate the album, and there are a few passages where there was something mildly offputting about the singing..... Nothing I could quite put my finger on yet though. Closest comparison to the primary singer is Sieges Even / Subsignal, but with a slightly heavier vibe.


***I know lots of people are digging what they are hearing of this band ......... you don't sound overly thrilled with it, for a first pass ..........knowing my taste, would I like this one ???


Divinity Compromised "Terminal" - Don't recall much about the first album, but I know I enjoyed it enough to justify $10 on this one.


$10 = no booklet. Boo. Regardless, I enjoyed this much more than I expected. Think heavier, darker Kamelot. Singer definitely has a Khan vibe to him, but musically it's got a more modern, heavier tone even than the newer Kamelot stuff. Very solid album, and honestly it got better as it went on, with the back half being the stronger side.


***I had this one in my hand at The Lasers Edge last week, and I put it back. I liked the first one very much, and I loved their show at PP. I need to get this one .....


Adagio "Life" - I was a little hesitant at the price of $18, but saw it's almost 60 minutes of music..... Last album (albeit a long time ago) was extremely solid, so expecting more of the same.


As I was partway into this album, I thought for sure this would be the best album of the lot..... (Keep reading below.) This is a different album than anything Adagio has done before. It is not thick with complex orchestrations like the first two, it is not an angry neo-classical shred fest like the second two..... Rather, it sounds like modern Symphony X (heavier side) mixed with a complexity similar to Suspyre. There's a LOT going on, but within the confines of a heavier, proggier sound than they have gone for previously. Kelly Carpenter works really well on here also, so don't be dissuaded by him. Very much looking forward to revisiting this one, as I am REALLY happy with what I heard through one pass. If not for Prospekt.....


***What I heard of this one, I had trouble with. I love Adagio. I love Carpenter's vocals. But together, they just don't seem to cut it for me ....... if not for, Prospekt. :wink:


Prospekt "The Illuminated Sky" - Too many great reviews floating around to skip this one..


And this right here is why Adagio isn't the top spot from the haul. Originality be damned, this is a GREAT disc! Symphony X songwriting to a tee, with a near-clone of Michael Erikson on vocals. How can that NOT be great?!? At first the vocals felt out of place, but after a few songs they grew on me. Definitely see this making the top 10 for the year. I need to go revisit the first disc, because while I recall being very pleasantly surprised by it, I don't recall it sounding anything like this.



***Right on bro ......and great description. I agree with everything you said, and I love the disc. The vocals started off lukewarm for me as well, until I realized what the music was all about, and then it clicked. And he got better as the disc went on ........ I play this disc once a day and don't get tired of it ........





Discipline "Captives of the Wine Dark Sea" - One of my favorite local Detroit bands. Can't even tell you how many times I saw them live. Blind buy.


This is an ODD album for Discipline. They typically have a dark undertone to their music which is largely absent here. Most of the songs are shorter (4 minutes) with two longer tunes bookending the album, but the songs have a somewhat upbeat, positive tone to them that is pretty foreign coming from Discipline. Not quite sure WHAT to think of it yet. I highly recommend checking out this band to any of the prog rock fans here, but this isn't the album I would point to necessarily.


***I also had this one in my hand as well, but I can only shell out so much at The Lasers Edge at one time ....... I put this one back, and from your thoughts, it doesn't sound like I need it .............


Evership s/t - Lots of good reviews floating here, and the samples are very intriguing.


Take the vocal stylings of Queen and the musical accompaniment of Yes (or maybe Genesis) and mix in a blender and you get something like Evership. It's really the songwriting more than the sounds that remind me of these bands, as the vocals definitely don't sound like a Freddie Mercury clone..... Rather, they just sound like how Freddy would sing a line here and there. It's not throughout the album, either, rather just pops up for a verse here, or a line there. Musically it's not as "busy" as Yes, and that might be a drawback.... I actually wish they would let the soloing go now and then a bit more. Solid album that will take more spins to digest, as the songs are all very dense.


***I swore that when you heard this, you would love it to death ........ I agree with everything you said here - but when I first heard this one I was blown away by the beauty and the vocals. Todd and I could not figure out who the hell he sounded like for days, and then we both yelled out Roger Taylor !!!!! As I listen to this disc daily, I now hear Sting in his voice as well. There is something magical about the beauty of this thing that I haven't heard since Mystery ........ keep at this one, the beauty just reaches out and grabs you. I absolutely love this guy's voice .........

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Sir Exar Kun
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Re: First Laser's Haul in Some Time

Postby Sir Exar Kun » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:52 am

TDW Dreamwalkers Inc - Love the song I sampled online, so very much looking forward to this. Two 22+ minute tracks plus a DVD!
.



While this may not be the "Prestige Worldwide of Prog" that their website might make you believe, it is some very good stuff. Lots of different performers on here, including violins and numerous vocalists. It's definitely got a concept to it, although I have not explored it yet..... Both discs are four tracks, and are almost mirror images to each other, with disc one starting off with a 22 minute opus, and disc two ending with one. There is definitely a "light" and "dark" theme to them, with the last song on disc on seguing neatly into the first track on disc two, but neither disc is particularly lighter or darker than the other. Both trend more on the prog "metal" side rather than "rock". Only real initial complaint is that it feels like the vocals REALLY dominate the album, and there are a few passages where there was something mildly offputting about the singing..... Nothing I could quite put my finger on yet though. Closest comparison to the primary singer is Sieges Even / Subsignal, but with a slightly heavier vibe.



***I know lots of people are digging what they are hearing of this band ......... you don't sound overly thrilled with it, for a first pass ..........knowing my taste, would I like this one ???


I would THINK so, but I don't think it's going to grab you immediately like some of the others on this list. It's a dense album (like Evership) and I haven't given it justice. I definitely like it, but not certain how much just yet.
Capitalism: God's way of separating the smart from the poor. -Ron Swanson

ToddinMN
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Re: First Laser's Haul in Some Time

Postby ToddinMN » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:06 pm

Sir Exar Kun wrote:Adagio "Life" - I was a little hesitant at the price of $18, but saw it's almost 60 minutes of music..... Last album (albeit a long time ago) was extremely solid, so expecting more of the same.


This has been kicking my butt. Carpenter, IMO, is excellent on this. The song Subrahmanya may be the song of the year for me.


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