1988: More metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music... (other albums of the 80s also accepted)

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1988: More metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music... (other albums of the 80s also accepted)

Postby GaetanL » Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:07 pm

I don't want to start a genre war so you can replace the word "progressive" by "complex" if you prefer...

Some metal bands in the list may have started before 1988 to add a progressive element to their music. I also included in the list their 1988 prog metal album... But I think we clearly see a progressive tendency truly starting in 1988...

Crimson Glory - Transcendence
Deathrow - Deception Ignored: Never heard the full album yet... See the post by Claus: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10893
Fates Warning - No Exit
Iron Maiden - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
Metallica - ...And Justice For All
Queensrÿche - Operation: Mindcrime
Sieges Even - Lifecycle
Voïvod - Dimension Hatröss

Other 1988 prog metal albums that should be included in the list?

I had this post in my mind since a long time... I think it is the right time to post it after the post by Claus about Deathrow - Deception Ignored
Last edited by GaetanL on Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 1988: Metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music...

Postby Chris R » Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:05 pm

I would actually say Operation Mindcrime was a slight step back as far as progressive elements from Rage for Order,especially with all the futuristic and even proto electronic/industrial influences leaking in.While Mindcrime was a monster and loved,it was more for it being a concept album,with Suite Sister Mary being the true epic prog moment on this,as to me the music was a bit more straight foward as opposed to Rage..

And I also think the Prog element in Maiden went as far back as Piece of Mind with To Tame a land,and then became much more apparent with the addittion of synths on Somewhere in Time
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Re: 1988: Metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music...

Postby GaetanL » Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:45 pm

Chris R wrote:I would actually say Operation Mindcrime was a slight step back as far as progressive elements from Rage for Order,especially with all the futuristic and even proto electronic/industrial influences leaking in.While Mindcrime was a monster and loved,it was more for it being a concept album,with Suite Sister Mary being the true epic prog moment on this,as to me the music was a bit more straight foward as opposed to Rage..

What you say is totally acceptable. I guess it depends how much progressive points you give to OMC for the fact of being a concept album.

Chris R wrote:And I also think the Prog element in Maiden went as far back as Piece of Mind with To Tame a land,and then became much more apparent with the addittion of synths on Somewhere in Time

I agree. But I see "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son" as the first Maiden album progressive as a whole (or at least more than 50%)



Again, 1988 is not the first year. I wanted to show the progressive tendency starting with more metal bands in 1988.
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Re: 1988: Metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music...

Postby GaetanL » Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:56 pm

I have just realized that Iron Maiden - "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son" was released before Queensrÿche - Operation: Mindcrime (about 1 month earlier from what I read on Metal Archives).

I always thought Mindcrime was the first metal concept album ever... I guess I was wrong... Maybe now I'm still wrong because a metal concept album came out before "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son"?
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Re: 1988: Metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music...

Postby gazinwales » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:38 pm

Rage For Order is/was far more progressive than Mindcrime and anything else in the QR catalogue.
Yet OM always seems to be referred to a as prog metal masterpiece, without having anything really prog/complex about it.

Also agree with Chris about PoM, besides the Dune song, listen to Where Eagles Dare, pretty progressive song.

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Re: 1988: Metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music...

Postby introclaus » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:02 pm

GaetanL wrote:I don't want to start a genre war so you can replace the word "progressive" by "complex" if you prefer...

Some metal bands in the list may have started before 1988 to add a progressive element to their music. I also included in the list their 1988 prog metal album... But I think we clearly see a progressive tendency truly starting in 1988...

Crimson Glory - Transcendence
Deathrow - Deception Ignored: Never heard the full album yet... See the post by Claus: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10893
Fates Warning - No Exit
Iron Maiden - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
Metallica - ...And Justice For All
Queensrÿche - Operation: Mindcrime
Sieges Even - Lifecycle
Voïvod - Dimension Hatröss

Other 1988 prog metal albums that should be included in the list?

I had this post in my mind since a long time... I think it is the right time to post it after the post by Claus about Deathrow - Deception Ignored


You can easily include bands such as Toxik, watchtower, king diamond, target, heir apparent, secrecy (well, their demo at least) , Anacrusis, King’s x ... and I’m sure there’s a lot more I forgot about.
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Re: 1988: Metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music...

Postby GaetanL » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:29 pm

About Queensrÿche - Rage For Order, I say at least as progressive as Operation: Mindcrime if not more. I wrote on my website that RFO is my first classic prog metal album. It was released in 1986. Not much prog metal albums in that year. On this post I wanted to focus on 1988 and talk about the progressive tendency more obvious we see in that year for metal bands.
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Re: 1988: Metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music...

Postby introclaus » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:43 pm

GaetanL wrote:About Queensrÿche - Rage For Order, I say at least as progressive as Operation: Mindcrime if not more. I wrote on my website that RFO is my first classic prog metal album. It was released in 1986. Not much prog metal albums in that year. On this post I wanted to focus on 1988 and talk about the progressive tendency more obvious we see in that year for metal bands.


Okay here are some 1988 albums:

Target - master project genesis
King diAmond - them
Kings x - out of the silent planet
Anacrusis - suffering hour
Mekong delta - music of Erich zaan
Coroner - punishment for decadence
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Re: 1988: More metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music...

Postby LarryD » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:41 am

I agree on pretty much what everyone said here -- although I have no problem getting into another " what is / was prog and what is / wasn't " ....... :) I love those posts..... I think I love it more when I read someone write - " here we go again with the Progressive debate " ...... hehehehe .....

So let me start off by saying that the original post was set at 1988 - and I agree with Gaetan about adding in Operation: MIndcrime onto that list, even though as some have said - it's not a very progressive disc in the sense of the disc structure, but I'll go with the concept thing, and "Suite Sister Mary" is definitely the most proggy on the disc, and one of the best songs they have ever written ...... I will also say that Rage for Order is way more progressive that OM in every sense of the word, but that's not we are here for - just had to throw that in to start some shit ......

That said - King Diamond's "THEM" must be added to that list as Claus said - and few people consider that disc a prog metal disc - I'm sure the King himself didn't want to make it as such, nor would he admit to that to this day - but the music structure, the guitar passages, and the concept alone screams Progressive in every way ......

Heir Apparent's "One Small Voice" was released in 1989, but it was an important disc at that time that followed the likes of QR and FW in every way ........

Seeing Fates Warning's " No Exit " on that list just brings back so many good memories of music during that time - one of my favorite musical time frames ever.

Excellent post Gaeten - keep em coming .............

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Re: 1988: More metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music...

Postby Sir Exar Kun » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:10 am

I agree on pretty much what everyone said here -- although I have no problem getting into another " what is / was prog and what is / wasn't " ....... :) I love those posts..... I think I love it more when I read someone write - " here we go again with the Progressive debate " ...... hehehehe .....


Oh for f&*k's sake..... Here we go again..... This conversation is like Groundhog Day, somehow..... :)

I think there were a number of bands that likely felt the need to challenge themselves, and their listeners, during the late 80s as the glam / hair metal scene really started to explode. Creating the more complex, technical, proggy music created a definite separation from the hair bands that were starting to populate the scene.

Alas, I really didn't get into this genre until the early 90s (FW Parallels, DT I&W) and worked backwards, so didn't have a good perspective on the origin of prog metal as it actually took place.....

RfO is absolutely the proggier of the two albums (still one of the most "progressive" metal discs of all time), but Operation: Mindcrime took the whole concept to a new level via the use of the full length video, and the "mystery" concept that they promoted with the disc. Sure, the songs are largely more straightforward, but the concept itself and the way it was marketed definitely was unique. I'd say it was ahead of its time, but no one else has ever really done anything comparable.

How about Savatage at this same era? They went from "Hall of the Mountain King" which had some obvious classical influences bearing on the sound, to "Gutter Ballet" which really brought in a more progressive songwriting style, to "Streets" which was the closest thing to Operation: Mindcrime at the time (maybe King Diamond would be the only one closer, albeit very different musically).
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Re: 1988: More metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music...

Postby GaetanL » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:34 am

Sir Exar Kun wrote:How about Savatage at this same era? They went from "Hall of the Mountain King" which had some obvious classical influences bearing on the sound, to "Gutter Ballet" which really brought in a more progressive songwriting style, to "Streets" which was the closest thing to Operation: Mindcrime at the time (maybe King Diamond would be the only one closer, albeit very different musically).

This is a good one. "Hall of the Mountain King" was released in 1987 and "Gutter Ballet" in 1989. I changed the post title to include also other albums of 80s, not only 1988.
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Re: 1988: More metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music... (other albums of the 80s also accepte

Postby Sir Exar Kun » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:37 am

This is a good one. "Hall of the Mountain King" was released in 1987 and "Streets" in 1989. I changed the post title to include also other albums of 80s, not only 1988.


Slight correction: "Gutter Ballet" was 1989, "Streets" was 1991.

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Re: 1988: More metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music... (other albums of the 80s also accepte

Postby GaetanL » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:45 am

Sir Exar Kun wrote:Slight correction: "Gutter Ballet" was 1989, "Streets" was 1991.

You are right, I mixed-up "Gutter Ballet" with "Streets". I edited my post.
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Re: 1988: More metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music... (other albums of the 80s also accepte

Postby GaetanL » Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:43 pm

Now that other metal albums of the 80s are accepted and not only 1988, here are another albums of bands not mentioned yet:

Dream Theater - When Dream And Day Unite (1989)
Holocaust - The Sound Of Souls (1989)
Mercyful Fate - Melissa (1983)
DBC - Universe (1989)

I have a review of these albums on my Website.
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Re: 1988: More metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music... (other albums of the 80s also accepte

Postby elendil » Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:30 pm

1984 also has a claim on being a special year. You could argue that it was the year of the first full-length progressive metal album: most likely QR's _The Warning_. But Warlord's _And the Cannons of Destruction Have Begun..._ might have a claim to the title, as does Fates Warning's _NIght on Brocken_. All three came out in fall '84, apparently.

(Some people say the first prog metal album was King Crimson's _Red_ (1975). But _Red_, while hard rock, was not metal IMO. I would say the same of Rush, although the normally purist Metal-Archives feature Rush. If _2112_ is metal, so is _Red_.)

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Re: 1988: More metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music... (other albums of the 80s also accepte

Postby introclaus » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:52 pm

elendil wrote:1984 also has a claim on being a special year. You could argue that it was the year of the first full-length progressive metal album: most likely QR's _The Warning_. But Warlord's _And the Cannons of Destruction Have Begun..._ might have a claim to the title, as does Fates Warning's _NIght on Brocken_. All three came out in fall '84, apparently.

(Some people say the first prog metal album was King Crimson's _Red_ (1975). But _Red_, while hard rock, was not metal IMO. I would say the same of Rush, although the normally purist Metal-Archives feature Rush. If _2112_ is metal, so is _Red_.)


Yeah I would also go w QR’s ep (or The Warning if it has to be a full length) as the first prog Metal album.

As great as that Warlord album was, I never thought of it as prog Metal.
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Re: 1988: More metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music... (other albums of the 80s also accepte

Postby elendil » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:00 pm

introclaus wrote:
elendil wrote:1984 also has a claim on being a special year. You could argue that it was the year of the first full-length progressive metal album: most likely QR's _The Warning_. But Warlord's _And the Cannons of Destruction Have Begun..._ might have a claim to the title, as does Fates Warning's _NIght on Brocken_. All three came out in fall '84, apparently.

(Some people say the first prog metal album was King Crimson's _Red_ (1975). But _Red_, while hard rock, was not metal IMO. I would say the same of Rush, although the normally purist Metal-Archives feature Rush. If _2112_ is metal, so is _Red_.)


Yeah I would also go w QR’s ep (or The Warning if it has to be a full length) as the first prog Metal album.

As great as that Warlord album was, I never thought of it as prog Metal.


It's a reach, to be sure. A bit proggy in places, though.

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Re: 1988: More metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music... (other albums of the 80s also accepte

Postby Sir Exar Kun » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:56 am

1984 also has a claim on being a special year. You could argue that it was the year of the first full-length progressive metal album: most likely QR's _The Warning_. But Warlord's _And the Cannons of Destruction Have Begun..._ might have a claim to the title, as does Fates Warning's _NIght on Brocken_. All three came out in fall '84, apparently.


I don't see any of these as progressive, personally. "The Warning" had a couple of progressive tracks (Roads to Madness, NM156 to an extent) but overall was a pretty straightforward metal album, albeit perhaps a little ahead of its time. "Night on Brocken" certainly didn't have any progressive elements, despite being Fates debut..... "Awaken" and "Spectre" also both introduced some proggy elements, but were still pretty much straightforward metal. "No Exit" was the first to really go all out.

If I had to pick a single one, I'd lean towards "Rage for Order" as the first prog METAL disc. No doubt King Crimson and Rush both laid the foundation for much of what became prog metal, but as already said..... Neither were METAL. Queensryche really is the first to blow the doors off completely with a full-length disc that stretched the boundaries completely. Certainly, if you hold that disc up nowadays against more technical prog metal ala DT, Haken, etc it doesn't sound remotely similar, but 1986 it was decades ahead of its time.

Again, just my two cents.
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Re: 1988: More metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music... (other albums of the 80s also accepte

Postby elendil » Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:26 am

Sir Exar Kun wrote:I don't see any of these as progressive, personally. "The Warning" had a couple of progressive tracks (Roads to Madness, NM156 to an extent) but overall was a pretty straightforward metal album, albeit perhaps a little ahead of its time. "Night on Brocken" certainly didn't have any progressive elements, despite being Fates debut..... "Awaken" and "Spectre" also both introduced some proggy elements, but were still pretty much straightforward metal. "No Exit" was the first to really go all out.

If I had to pick a single one, I'd lean towards "Rage for Order" as the first prog METAL disc. No doubt King Crimson and Rush both laid the foundation for much of what became prog metal, but as already said..... Neither were METAL. Queensryche really is the first to blow the doors off completely with a full-length disc that stretched the boundaries completely. Certainly, if you hold that disc up nowadays against more technical prog metal ala DT, Haken, etc it doesn't sound remotely similar, but 1986 it was decades ahead of its time.

Again, just my two cents.


You know, I've never actually heard _Night on Brocken_, so I was just going on the FW label. Ha. I do think their next two albums are somewhat proggy (and excellent), though perhaps not far enough to be considered "progressive metal" as a genre. _RfO_ is a perfectly reasonable choice for first progressive metal album. It all depends on where you draw the line.

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Re: 1988: Metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music...

Postby LarryD » Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:46 am

I would actually say Operation Mindcrime was a slight step back as far as progressive elements from Rage for Order,especially with all the futuristic and even proto electronic/industrial influences leaking in.While Mindcrime was a monster and loved,it was more for it being a concept album,with Suite Sister Mary being the true epic prog moment on this,as to me the music was a bit more straight foward as opposed to Rage..


*** I would agree with this wholeheartedly ...... Rage for Order is much more proggy in musical structure than OM. I think we all just called it a prog metal masterpiece because everything from The Warning to OM was ........ I'm in the camp that RFO was the proggiest thing QR ever put out ........

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Re: 1988: More metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music... (other albums of the 80s also accepte

Postby LarryD » Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:55 am

Funny though - on most "best metal bands of the ____", RUSH usually appears on them as being a metal band. I believe we have had many discussions on whether or not Rush is actually a metal band - And "Moving Pictures" does show up on many "best metal discs of the 80s" lists....... If that is the case, and the masses are right, or at least we are wrong, then I'd have to say that "Moving Pictures" was the first prog metal disc of the 80s.......and if we actually do agree that Rush is metal, then we'd have to go back to the 70's and start debating that as well .......

But, for the sake of not getting into that debate again - I'm going with Queensryche / The Warning, as the first true progressive metal disc of the 80s.......1984.

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Re: 1988: More metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music... (other albums of the 80s also accepte

Postby Digital Man » Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:40 pm

I think whether something is metal, rock, progressive, etc. is not a binary question that can only be answered TRUE or FALSE. I didn't typically consider Rush a metal band however there is no denying that lots of their songs had heavy elements that could certainly be considered metal. So yes, Rush did have metal and progressive elements to their music so by that definition they were doing progressive metal before anyone else, but I never considered them a progressive metal band. They are definitely progressive but always had elements of both rock and metal.
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Re: 1988: More metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music... (other albums of the 80s also accepte

Postby AllMediaReviews » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:43 pm

I posted an albums release date Calendar about 1988 a few months ago here.

Death - Leprosy
it may not be "progressive" but certainly was technical.

Helloween - Keeper of the Seven Keys II
more Power Metal of course, but it shares some qualities certainly was an influence on a lot later progressive metal.

There's certainly other progressive stuff from 1988 that was mostly mentioned before in this topic (No Exit, Mindcrime, Out of the Silent Planet, Transcendence).

I would add albums from Giraffe, Jane's Addiction and Marillion certainly fall under the "progressive" umbrella.

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Re: 1988: More metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music... (other albums of the 80s also accepte

Postby introclaus » Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:22 pm

AllMediaReviews wrote:I posted an albums release date Calendar about 1988 a few months ago here.

Death - Leprosy
it may not be "progressive" but certainly was technical.

Helloween - Keeper of the Seven Keys II
more Power Metal of course, but it shares some qualities certainly was an influence on a lot later progressive metal.

There's certainly other progressive stuff from 1988 that was mostly mentioned before in this topic (No Exit, Mindcrime, Out of the Silent Planet, Transcendence).

I would add albums from Giraffe, Jane's Addiction and Marillion certainly fall under the "progressive" umbrella.


While Death and Helloween both had influences in their music from prog at some point in time, it was later on than this.

Marillion: yeah but they never were metal.
Giraffe: I know you’re a big Kevin Gilbert fan but I think it’s too far fetched to call Giraffe anything but aor...
Jane’s Addiction: what do you consider prog metal about them? To me it’s funky rock with minor hard rock tendencies and some alternative “pre-grunge” influences.
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Re: 1988: More metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music... (other albums of the 80s also accepte

Postby LarryD » Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:49 pm

I'm going to second Claus' nominee for King Diamond / THEM ..... 1988. No one out there considers this a prog metal disc, but one listen to the song structures and the guitar work of the great Andy LaRocque is all it takes. I think it's not only King's best, but Andy's best showing as well - the guitar on this disc stays in my mind to this day.

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Re: 1988: More metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music... (other albums of the 80s also accepte

Postby Chris R » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:13 pm

Rush indeed considered metal for the.longest time...I think they "lost" that genre designation sometime in the 90s.
I consider then metal even though Signals "really" pushes the threshold of what the bar is for metal with the productions (I just call it the best album ever recorded...)

So with that said,I have to probably consider 2112 the first proto/prog metal album as it was the heaviest thing they had ever recorded till their last 3..even the vocals had a metal style intensity


Marillion always seemed to get lumped into the metal category in the 80s,probably because there really wasn't any category to put them in,classic prog was dead,neo prog didn't exist..and at times Rothery displayed some shred chops...
A few points though they did approach the prog metal threshold ...listen back to back White Russian then to DT When Dream and Day Unite and tell me how the latter wasn't influenced by the former..

Then again Saga was an obvious influence of Dream Theater and they are definitely not or never have been considered metal(even though Crichton had a lot of metal styled chops )
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Re: 1988: More metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music... (other albums of the 80s also accepte

Postby Chris R » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:14 pm

LarryD wrote:I'm going to second Claus' nominee for King Diamond / THEM ..... 1988. No one out there considers this a prog metal disc, but one listen to the song structures and the guitar work of the great Andy LaRocque is all it takes. I think it's not only King's best, but Andy's best showing as well - the guitar on this disc stays in my mind to this day.

Definitely agree 100%
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Re: 1988: More metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music... (other albums of the 80s also accepte

Postby MidKnight » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:58 pm

For me, I agree 100% with all of this but the cd that does it for me is King Diamond " Conspiracy " - There is not one wasted note on that entire journey :)
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Re: 1988: More metal bands starting to add a progressive element to their music... (other albums of the 80s also accepte

Postby Tom C » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:20 pm

Man, I miss these discussions/debates. :D They're so much fun.

Lots of interesting and insightful comments here.


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