The Forgotten Heroes of Prog Metal Thread

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Re: The Forgotten Heroes of Prog Metal Thread

Postby introclaus » Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:51 am

MJ Brady wrote:So what the OP is hoping to see is not necessarily every possible obscurity, but the GEMS of the past, and in some sort of easy couple or a few at a time, rather than the ambitious monster list?

My first offering:
Italy - Mind Key - Journey Of A Rough Diamond 2004
Image
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDoVz9CAwbk
Reviewed by MJBrady on 15 Aug 2004
Yet another upstart progressive metal band from Italy, this band aims to blend the better side of most of the genres best artists into one product. Italy has been producing a lot of prog music for years, and in the case of progressive metal, they have had more than a few really impressive releases, though few bands are able to have the staying power to exist as a band long enough to really release that one cd that will solidify their status with the fickle progressive metal community.

In the case for Mind Key, I can hear the huge influences of Dream Theater, something that really cannot be easily side stepped when playing this kind of music, for some that is an instant turn off, for others it is somewhat of a essential ingredient to why they like this style of music. Count me in the latter, providing the music has it's own identity and is played and written well. Mind Key sound very polished for a debut cd. The singer is even good, not great, but very complimentary to the bands' direction. They are also a very skilled bunch of musicians, drums and guitar stand out, with the bass and keys providing solid performances, that don't get lost in the mix.

As writers, this group can improve, a few of the songs have the kind of hooks that stay fresh in your mind well after getting aquainted with them. Yet on the high side, they are great at putting together ideas for instrumentation, with the chops to add to the effect. They are a band that stays the way of progressive music, with quite a few long songs, I do have to compliment the band for their instrumental prowess, when they are playing outside the singing parts, they have a very cohesive sound, with great drumming and guitar.
========================================================================

Mind Key - 2009 - Pulse for a Graveheart
Image
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLFa5D8d_SA
Reviewed by MJBrady on 22 Jan 2010
There appears to be some very impressive competition for the progressive metal crown in the musical boot shaped country we know as Italy. For quite some time now, many bands have come and gone, many showed great potential, recorded one release and went into obscurity. Others have taken on many new formations and have seen releases that are varied and diverse, having the sound of entirely different bands one cd to the next. Mind Key came onto the scene with their 2000 demo - Welcome to another Reality, and after that in 2004, they released their first full length cd - Journey of a Rough Diamond, which made some great impressions around certain progressive metal circles with their creation of Dream Theater styled progmetal.

A band with all the tools to be a force in the genre, they seemingly had all the necessary ingredients to push towards the upper echelons of the competitive genre. Like so many of these bands, the weakness always seemed to be a solid front singer. And just when it appeared that the band was no more, they release this solid cd here in 2009 with a new vocalist - Aurelio Fierro Jr , who has a voice from the Jorn, Coverdale style, very smooth and powerful. Most everything else on this release is of the highest quality, whether it be the guitars of Emanuele Colella the frenetic drumming of Andrea Stipa and the lush keyboards of Dario De Cicco this band shows great improvement over what was an already solid product.

In a year that progmetal was showing some signs of lag for newcomers and the lesser known bands, it was a pleasure to hear this band not only continue from where they had left off in 2004, but far surpass their previous efforts with such an altogether impressive recording. The songs have a lasting impact, with smart melodic accompaniment to cleverly assembled classic progmetal riffs. I like how the band was able to create a trademark sound by having a fine tuned blend of progressive moves, and melodic metal catchiness. No question that the band has created the cd that will define them as a band for the future, let's hope that they have not peaked, as this is a very positive step in the right direction for them.


YES!!! This is exactly what I was hoping for - in-depth reviews of albums that had an impact on your life as a power/progressive metal fan. Very well thought out reviews.

As for Mind Key I do like both albums but never fell completely in love with them.
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Re: The Forgotten Heroes of Prog Metal Thread

Postby introclaus » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:25 am

Depressive Age

Anyone remember them? For me this was one of the most “genre-pushing” bands of their time (early 90s). While only putting out 4 albums in a 5 year span this band managed to do a complete shift from technical thrash (think Coroner, Deathrow) outfit through a dark/gothic tinged prog metal (Type O meets Psychotic Waltz?) band to an industrial influenced prog act (Rammstein gone prog?), yet managed to always have a common sound that really only these guys had. I’ve never found a band sounding like them neither before nor after. Perhaps the fact that the band came from such a secluded part of Europe as east Berlin and grew up in the old communism-ruled east Germany might be why they didn’t take hints (or were constrained by the sounds of) from other contemporary bands?!

While the first two discs are many a fans absolute favorites, I actually am partial to the two final albums...

1994 - symbols for the blue times
What an incredible disc - coming across as something super unique nestled in between the prog sounds of Psychotic Waltz or Thought Industry mixed with the darkness and goth sound of Type O Negative and still with a hint of their thrash past mostly in the form of some Voivod style weirdness. Songs like Garbage Canyons, The Hut, Port Graveyard or Friend Within are out of this world.

https://youtu.be/XeObndj6ycE
https://youtu.be/X-vNRkIG2pk

1996 - electric scum
The band take another huge step forward in creating their own sound and the fact that this is to be their swan song is just ridiculous... this band could have / should have made it huge! Here they come up with an industrial sound (not too far away from that of contemporaries like Treponem Pal and early Fear Factory) but blends it with huge melodies and a very progressive mindset. As I mentioned earlier I don’t see any bands that has mimicked the sound of Depressive Age but I do think that on the new (2018) Lord of the Lost album “thornstar” there are several links back to “Electric Scum” ... either way, I can’t think of one single prog release that’s ever been as polarizing as this disc was when it came out. I remember the reviews all across Europe either stating that this was the future of prog or that this was the worst crap ever released hahahahaha- some of my friends loved DA (and in particular the two first albums) and they hated this one! For me tracks like Remember, Cairo Crabat, Toyland Hills or their incredible cover version of Bronski Beats “small town boy” still strikes something special in me.

https://youtu.be/N-TJAvBqrJs
https://youtu.be/vKqSnBcvvDc
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Re: The Forgotten Heroes of Prog Metal Thread

Postby EmptyThoughts » Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:09 am

Here are 2 bands/albums that no one has mentioned.

1) Trival Act: Mindscape
An awesome album that came out in 1997 (I believe). They were from Norway. This band was on the technical side of Prog, but very melodic as well. A Dream Theater meets Fates Warning as they had no keyboards in their sound. It was a shame as it was the only album they released...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1fgd6ZTmplo

2) Dead Air Radio: Signal to Noise Ratio
Another excellent album released in 2007. They are from the US. A very melodic, but Progressive band with a modern sound to them. Definitely worth checking out. I believe they are still active supposedly working on new music.

https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLA ... itHltBNYXw

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Re: The Forgotten Heroes of Prog Metal Thread

Postby introclaus » Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:08 am

EmptyThoughts wrote:Here are 2 bands/albums that no one has mentioned.

1) Trival Act: Mindscape
An awesome album that came out in 1997 (I believe). They were from Norway. This band was on the technical side of Prog, but very melodic as well. A Dream Theater meets Fates Warning as they had no keyboards in their sound. It was a shame as it was the only album they released...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1fgd6ZTmplo


This was a great album - there was something cool going on in Norway at that time ... several of the bands found on the "A Gathering" compilation were amazing (Trivial Act, Manitou, Tritonus, Sagittarius and of course Spiral Architect). I agree with you about the DT meets FW sound.

EmptyThoughts wrote:2) Dead Air Radio: Signal to Noise Ratio
Another excellent album released in 2007. They are from the US. A very melodic, but Progressive band with a modern sound to them. Definitely worth checking out. I believe they are still active supposedly working on new music.

https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLA ... itHltBNYXw


Interesting - I don't recall ever hearing them until now. I checked them out and I like it - will listen more. First impressions are along the lines of a lot of the "Magna Carta" bands from the early 90's (Magellan, Tiles, Cairo, Enchant...).
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Re: The Forgotten Heroes of Prog Metal Thread

Postby Chris R » Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:48 pm

introclaus wrote:Depressive Age

Anyone remember them? For me this was one of the most “genre-pushing” bands of their time (early 90s). While only putting out 4 albums in a 5 year span this band managed to do a complete shift from technical thrash (think Coroner, Deathrow) outfit through a dark/gothic tinged prog metal (Type O meets Psychotic Waltz?) band to an industrial influenced prog act (Rammstein gone prog?), yet managed to always have a common sound that really only these guys had. I’ve never found a band sounding like them neither before nor after. Perhaps the fact that the band came from such a secluded part of Europe as east Berlin and grew up in the old communism-ruled east Germany might be why they didn’t take hints (or were constrained by the sounds of) from other contemporary bands?!

While the first two discs are many a fans absolute favorites, I actually am partial to the two final albums...

1994 - symbols for the blue times
What an incredible disc - coming across as something super unique nestled in between the prog sounds of Psychotic Waltz or Thought Industry mixed with the darkness and goth sound of Type O Negative and still with a hint of their thrash past mostly in the form of some Voivod style weirdness. Songs like Garbage Canyons, The Hut, Port Graveyard or Friend Within are out of this world.

https://youtu.be/XeObndj6ycE
https://youtu.be/X-vNRkIG2pk

1996 - electric scum
The band take another huge step forward in creating their own sound and the fact that this is to be their swan song is just ridiculous... this band could have / should have made it huge! Here they come up with an industrial sound (not too far away from that of contemporaries like Treponem Pal and early Fear Factory) but blends it with huge melodies and a very progressive mindset. As I mentioned earlier I don’t see any bands that has mimicked the sound of Depressive Age but I do think that on the new (2018) Lord of the Lost album “thornstar” there are several links back to “Electric Scum” ... either way, I can’t think of one single prog release that’s ever been as polarizing as this disc was when it came out. I remember the reviews all across Europe either stating that this was the future of prog or that this was the worst crap ever released hahahahaha- some of my friends loved DA (and in particular the two first albums) and they hated this one! For me tracks like Remember, Cairo Crabat, Toyland Hills or their incredible cover version of Bronski Beats “small town boy” still strikes something special in me.

https://youtu.be/N-TJAvBqrJs
https://youtu.be/vKqSnBcvvDc


I'm hooked just on the cover of Smalltown Boy...a song I always wanted to cover

Great sound they had
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Re: The Forgotten Heroes of Prog Metal Thread

Postby LarryD » Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:38 am

I remember Trivial Act being too technical for me at the time ........ Dead Air Radio I remember owning - but I got rid of it but can't remember why. Something about the singer maybe ? During those days - everything was about the singer to me ......... :wink:

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Re: The Forgotten Heroes of Prog Metal Thread

Postby MJ Brady » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:28 pm

Image
One could spend a lot of time sifting through all the obscure Italian prog out there. Here is one:
Heart Of Sun - s/t
Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Res Amissa (3:04)
2. The Last Experiment (6:49)
3. Not Through our Eyes (7:28)
4. Evil Tree (8:35)
5. 2016 AD.NET (3:57)
6. Into the Black Hole (6:00)
7. Proxima Centauri (8:04 )
8. The Invention of God (4:51)
9. Solar Wind (8:28)
10. Sea of Tranquillity (2:39)

Total Time: 59:55
Line-up / Musicians

- Pino Tozzi / vocals
- Gianluca Ferro / guitars, programming
- Mark Vikar / synthesizer, keyboards, programming
- Davide Betelli / bass
- Sigfrido Percich / drums
Releases information

CD Galileo/Nightmare Records (2007)
singer is the same guy as Arkhe, guitarist is Gianluca Ferro, music is excellent, singing is ok, but this was a band that could have made some good music. But sadly another One and Done.
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Re: The Forgotten Heroes of Prog Metal Thread

Postby Sir Exar Kun » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:13 am

CD Galileo/Nightmare Records (2007)
singer is the same guy as Arkhe, guitarist is Gianluca Ferro, music is excellent, singing is ok, but this was a band that could have made some good music. But sadly another One and Done.


Funny that you pull this one out! It was just about 1-2 years ago that I stumbled on this one, as I am a big fan of the Arhke album so had to check this out for Pino. I didn't enjoy it as much as Arkhe, but maybe I would have dug it more 15 years ago or so..... Solid stuff, very old school for sure..... Good callout!
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Re: The Forgotten Heroes of Prog Metal Thread

Postby elendil » Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:10 pm

Not as obscure as some of the mentions here, but I am curious what the general opinion is on TOC, _Loss Angeles_ (Spinefarm, 2003). Apparently they were a melodic death metal band before this, but this album is pure prog metal. It has a strong balance between melodic hooks and complexity, emotional depth, and solid if somewhat accented (Finnish) vocals. Production values are A+. The facemelting version of "Smoke on the Water" that concludes the album (bonus track?) is alone worth the price of admission.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvNvPe-GP-c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlCd52i5hAw

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Re: The Forgotten Heroes of Prog Metal Thread

Postby elendil » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:00 pm

elendil wrote:Not as obscure as some of the mentions here, but I am curious what the general opinion is on TOC, _Loss Angeles_ (Spinefarm, 2003). Apparently they were a melodic death metal band before this, but this album is pure prog metal. It has a strong balance between melodic hooks and complexity, emotional depth, and solid if somewhat accented (Finnish) vocals. Production values are A+. The facemelting version of "Smoke on the Water" that concludes the album (bonus track?) is alone worth the price of admission.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvNvPe-GP-c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlCd52i5hAw


Apparently no thoughts on TOC...

Well, here's another band I somehow missed at the time but discovered very recently... Japan's KOREKYOJINN. They play an electrified, instrumental music that crosses neoclassical and jazz with rock and can sound at times like a mix of shred and fusion. There are also some eclectic influences in there like surf rock and RIO. Loads of unpredictable polyrhythms and the drumming and bass playing are absolutely jaw-dropping, but some fine solos too. Several albums, but I quite like 2011's _Tundra_, which is their last "real" release of wholly original music. Check out tracks "Upstream" and "Watershed." https://korekyojinn.bandcamp.com/album/tundra

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Re: The Forgotten Heroes of Prog Metal Thread

Postby GaetanL » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:27 pm

I like the TOC song you posted...
Maybe Melodic metal with a progressive touch?

The cover of Deep Purple - "Smoke on the water" is special...

Another cover from them:
Judas Priest - Nightcrawler
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6PnRpMVoec
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Re: The Forgotten Heroes of Prog Metal Thread

Postby elendil » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:34 pm

GaetanL wrote:I like the TOC song you posted...
Maybe Melodic metal with a progressive touch?

The cover of Deep Purple - "Smoke on the water" is special...

Another cover from them:
Judas Priest - Nightcrawler
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6PnRpMVoec


Fair. Not super-proggy by any means but definitely touches here and there.

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Re: The Forgotten Heroes of Prog Metal Thread

Postby gazinwales » Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:35 am

elendil wrote:Not as obscure as some of the mentions here, but I am curious what the general opinion is on TOC, _Loss Angeles_ (Spinefarm, 2003). Apparently they were a melodic death metal band before this, but this album is pure prog metal. It has a strong balance between melodic hooks and complexity, emotional depth, and solid if somewhat accented (Finnish) vocals. Production values are A+. The facemelting version of "Smoke on the Water" that concludes the album (bonus track?) is alone worth the price of admission.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvNvPe-GP-c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlCd52i5hAw


I have three Throne Of Chaos albums, they are nothing special IMO, they each had their moments though.

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Re: The Forgotten Heroes of Prog Metal Thread

Postby John Frank » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:09 am

Cool thread. I checked out multiple releases and added the Kidd Robin disc and both Ebony Ark albums to my collection.

I will add the following suggestions to the mix:

All That I Bleed - Dying to Remember
Catharsis - Pathways to Wholeness
Caveat - Red
Complex 7 – Process
GracePoint - Science of Discontent
Mythologic - Standing in Stillness
Pyramid - The Immaculate Lie
Talamasca - Ascension
Talamasca - Projection
Taramis - Stretch of the Imagination
Tears for the Dead Gods - s/t
ThanatoSchizO - Zoom Code
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Re: The Forgotten Heroes of Prog Metal Thread

Postby LarryD » Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:24 pm

John Frank wrote:Cool thread. I checked out multiple releases and added the Kidd Robin disc and both Ebony Ark albums to my collection.

I will add the following suggestions to the mix:

All That I Bleed - Dying to Remember
Catharsis - Pathways to Wholeness
Caveat - Red
Complex 7 – Process
GracePoint - Science of Discontent
Mythologic - Standing in Stillness
Pyramid - The Immaculate Lie
Talamasca - Ascension
Talamasca - Projection
Taramis - Stretch of the Imagination
Tears for the Dead Gods - s/t
ThanatoSchizO - Zoom Code



**** He lives !!!!!!!!!!! :wink:

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Re: The Forgotten Heroes of Prog Metal Thread

Postby Random Axe » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:46 pm

I humbly add to this thread Magnitude 9 - Chaos to Control

This was the first album I ordered online from hearing awful wav. files. I then got Zero Hour. I think this was 1997? I bought from Impulse if memory serves.

I've gone back and repurchased a few albums from this thread today so thank you for the reminders! Great top on Trivial Act, I'd never heard them before. Lord Bane sounds interesting but its pricy!

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Re: The Forgotten Heroes of Prog Metal Thread

Postby introclaus » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:47 am

John Frank wrote:Cool thread. I checked out multiple releases and added the Kidd Robin disc and both Ebony Ark albums to my collection.

I will add the following suggestions to the mix:

All That I Bleed - Dying to Remember
Catharsis - Pathways to Wholeness
Caveat - Red
Complex 7 – Process
GracePoint - Science of Discontent
Mythologic - Standing in Stillness
Pyramid - The Immaculate Lie
Talamasca - Ascension
Talamasca - Projection
Taramis - Stretch of the Imagination
Tears for the Dead Gods - s/t
ThanatoSchizO - Zoom Code


John, glad to see you picked up the KIDD ROBIN disc. To me that’s one of the very best of the early Qryche/Sacred Warrior style bands ... super melodic and at times going completely into hard rock territory just like bands such as Gemini, Hittman and Radakka did.

Ohhh the Catharsis album is killer too. Very much a long lost Psychotic Waltz disc :)
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Re: The Forgotten Heroes of Prog Metal Thread

Postby Sir Exar Kun » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:28 am

I humbly add to this thread Magnitude 9 - Chaos to Control


Good call on Mag9! I think they put out three discs total, and all were very solid. Corey Brown seemed to be fairly prolific for awhile, but in recent years has kind of fallen off the map. This band definitely had great chops, and Rob Johnson put out a number of solid discs in the Shrapnel / shredfest vein.
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