Tag Archives: progressive

O’Brother – Disillusion

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O’Brother delivered the album of the coming autumn, although it was already released back in August. Maybe that’s the reason why I only discovered this little depressive piece of prog just a few days ago.

A very timid fade-in welcomes the listener in the first song before merging into a psychedelic and dark blues song, with a touch of Muse vocals. Disillusion is a very versatile album, sometimes hard to digest, sometimes just beautiful and melancholic. The album probably won’t be everybody’s darling after a first listen, but as the run-throughs amass, the structure behind all this melodic post-hardcore, post rock and progressive tastes becomes more and more catchy.

The LP is a permanent stop and go, it sometimes attacks you from behind, sometimes even annoys you to death, and sometimes just grooves towards Armageddon. The bass in Context chases you through dark woods while the guitar gives you saving signs from a very long distance. The vocals vary between warmness, a depressive version of Matt Bellamy and even become too “90s” from time to time, which is forgivable considering the overall image.

Doom and sludge are logical consequences of the atmosphere created on Disillusion. Perilous Love combines nearly everything mentioned above; to describe it banally: this song just thrashes you in every possible way and speed. The following Path of Folly delivers a calming and slower song and gives you a moment to grasp at something for the first time during the first listening.

Oblivion is a 9 minute boulder changing its directions from straight forward post-hardcore to progressive madness and calming down for almost 4 minutes before reviving and collapsing in pain. The title song again sums up the whole dark soul of this autumn storm with its threatening beginning, its dangerous bass, a beautiful wall of sound and its brilliant change into a grooving prog song after 4 minutes. If I had to just pick one song on this album, it would be this one.

The way through this forest ends after 54 minutes. You may enjoy reentering it a few more times.

Electric Eye – Pick-up, Lift-off, Space, Time

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A nice little piece of psychedelic rock was flying trough space and time and landed on our desk. On the one hand, Electric Eyes’ ingredients are typical for the genre: warped tunes and electronic spacy sequences. On the other, the Norwegians try to build up a hard and progressive groove, which works out most of the time due to the powerful and restless drum beat throughout every song.

Pick-up, Lift-off, Space, Time starts off with 6AM, which already clearly defines the main direction of the LP, although it sometimes feels like being a bit uninspired. Geneva is one of those atmospheric songs that you may imagine being used as background soundtrack of an IMAX documentary about our dear planet Earth. Vocals and samples show up from time to time, as well as sitars and a theremin, creating an ambiance between drug trips and Star Trek.

Tangerine is the first star of this album, building up an uneasy and optimistic atmosphere at the same time, before exploding in an almost post rock like wall of destructive sound. Definitely one of the strongest moments in Pick-up, Lift-off, Space, Time, if not even the climax of this adventure.

Negative aspects? Maybe monotony. Sometimes the drum beat annoys untrained ears, which would be a problem for the whole genre. The harsh guitar sound nevertheless brings almost every song to a point in the very right moment, as for example in The Road, the shortest song with 4:10.

The forceful sound and the wall of sensory input may sometimes overcharge the listener, although this often reflects one of the major strengths of the record. The closing song is named after the band and floats nicely between Pink Floyd and Sigur Rós before putting a grooving and enjoyable end to this versatile work of psychedelic rock. Give it a try!

Motorpsycho – Still Life With Eggplant

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Prog and Psych Rock veterans Motorpsycho are back with their new studio album Still Life With Eggplant. After a huge double album project in 2012, including cooperation with an orchestra and Ståle Storløkken, this release again is more like a back to basic or classic Motorpsycho album, although this kind of vocabulary doesn’t do justice to the Norwegians variety of styles.

Still Life With Eggplant is a very diversified and, for Motorpsycho standards, even a pretty accessible LP that reminds a litte of the 2010 release Heavy Metal Fruit. But unlike the space odyssey that was built back then, it seems that the band takes us to the countryside this time, producing even a kind of acoustic summer song with The Afterglow in the end. Let’s start with the beginning however. Hell, Part 1-3 is what I would call a typical Motorpsycho song (but be careful, I missed around two decades of this band’s history): progressive and strong riffs compared with hypnotizing vocals, not to forget a jazzy outro to end this nearly 10 minutes opener.

August starts threatening before the clouds are thrusted aside and a 60s Woodstock song made in Norway takes over. The thunderstorm takes over again however, and before you realise it the song is over and you’re left behind with wet clothes. Barleycorn again stands for the band’s talent to mix deep melancholic moments with moments of hope and awakening. This duo permanently goes hand in hand, musically and lyrically.

Ratcatcher is the obligatory 17 minute odyssey, trying to hypnotise you right from the beginning before taking you on a journey through dizzying drums, psychedelic vocals and capricious guitars. There aren’t many bands anymore that design so diverting 17 minutes songs.

Still Life With Eggplant is not as strong as the comparable Heavy Metal Fruit , but if you liked the 2010 release then this is surely something for you! Also very recommendable for Motorpsycho beginners.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NqmxF_GuGE]

The Sacrificed – III

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The Sacrificed are a white metal band from Florida and III is their, you guessed it, third release, though their first release was a self-released demo that has been re-released later on as a full-length.

At this time I am only familiar with this album (second full-length on its way to me) and from what I read it is more progressive than their earlier stuff.
The album is being compared a lot to bands like Queensryche, Dream Theater, Crimson Glory, Symphony X and the likes.
Personally, I can see why but I would never compare this to Dream Theater. This band is clearly a heavy metal band, unlike Dream Theater who, at least to me, never show their passion for classic heavy metal bands.

As a matter of fact, I would compare The Sacrificed to Fates Warning. The progressive elements in their sound are similar to those found on Fates Warning records and both bands love their metal heavy.
At times I can hear some early (The Warning era) Queensryche melodies and they actually even cover Before the Storm from said Queensryche full-length.

The album has been blasting out of my speakers for the last couple days. I love every song on it and the cover song actually made me go back and rediscover the original again, that pretty much is what a good cover is supposed to do.

My only complaint, and it isn’t the band’s fault, is the lack of money spent on this release. The booklet looks cheap, the paper feels cheap, the colours look cheap, no band pictures and the production could have been better.
Back in 1988 this band/album would have sounded way better. Biggest complaint is the drum sound, just horrible! Next time just use a drum computer, those double bass attacks sound like a cheap toy AK-47 made in Taiwan. Triggers suck!

However this should not put you off, great songwriting, awesome guitarist and vocalist. They lyrics, eventhough Christian, are not preachy and I doubt the band throws bibles at the audience like our favorite black ‘n yellow fashion criminals (Stryper for those who don’t know what I am talking about).

Love it melodic and progressive? Are you open-minded?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAae2z9pulU]

Go out and get this!