Category Archives: prog

Peter Gabriel – 3 / Melt

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Album cover for Peter Gabriel 3 / Melt

Oddly, Passion was the first Peter Gabriel album that spoke to me. Although So eventually connected with me, his earlier records never did. With that in mind, I’m revisiting 3, an album whose supposed greatness always eluded me. As I listen with fresh ears, this album feels like Gabriel’s attempt to balance the head that ruled his earlier work and… Read more »

DVD: Rick Wakeman – The Six Wives of Henry VIII: Live at Hampton Court Palace

Label: Eagle Rock Entertainment Released: October 13, 2009 When you combine Rick Wakeman with a celebration of the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII’s ascension to the throne of England, things are bound to be a bit over-the-top. Not to disappoint, Wakeman comes out in royal robes with six “wives” in period dress and the whole thing happens right in Henry’s… Read more »

Review: Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats – Meet the Meatbats

Label: Warrior Records Released: September 15, 2009 Fans of Chad Smith’s other endeavors, the funk/punk of Red Hot Chili Peppers and the generic hard rock of Chickenfoot, will find his Bombastic Meatbats project to be a surprise to say the least. It owes more to 70s fusion artists John McLaughlin and Herbie Hancock and jazz-oriented prog than it does to… Read more »

DVD: Jethro Tull – Live at Madison Square Garden 1978

Label: Virgin/EMI Released: October 20, 2009 Jethro Tull live in 1978? Haven’t we already heard that? The ill-timed Bursting Out was from European dates of the same tour and that immediately begs the question, of all the live Tull recordings sitting in the vaults, why release yet another form the Heavy Horses tour? Depending on your feelings about progressive rock,… Read more »

Review: The Mars Volta – Octohedron

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Label: Warner Bros Released: June 23, 2009 Straightforward. Subdued. Accessible. If Octohedron had been recorded by just about any other band, those words would never cross anyone’s mind. However, the Mars Volta has pushed the boundaries of their music and their mania time and again, leaving the expectation that each album will be a further exploration of psychedelic insanity. This… Read more »

Review: Spirits of the Dead

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Label: White Elephant Records Released: September 29, 2008 Even those who love prog rock often understand that its shortcoming stems from putting the head before the heart. While no genre in rock can compete with prog’s technical prowess, it’s still often dismissed as self-indulgent and lite where the true spirit of rock n roll is the exception, not the rule…. Read more »

Review: Fun Machine – Sonnenhuhn

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Label: BNS Sessions Released: February 24, 2009 Story problem: If King Crimson and ELP were together heading south at 75 mph, Art of Noise was heading north at 102 mph and Hawkwind was heading west at, well the speed of the Silver Machine, what would you call the force where they met? Answer: Fun Machine. If that isn’t enough in… Read more »

Review: Grayceon – This Grand Show

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Label: Vendlus Records Released: November 11, 2008 Symphonic metal seemed like a good idea, but every time someone gives it a try, we either get Metallica’s S&M, where classical is merely superimposed onto metal, or Dragonforce, where we get all the soul (or lack thereof rather) of classical dummied down for the average rock fan. It should work, but it… Read more »

Review: Omni – Ghosts

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Label: Faux Pas Records (buy it at the band’s site) Released: May 2008 If you have any doubt that Radiohead has been tremendously influential on today’s rock scene, take a look at all the bands that have inherited Thom, Johnny and company’s particular take on Brian Eno. It’s everywhere from indie rock to post-metal and Omni is no exception. While… Read more »

Review: Microtia – Distance is Oval

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Label: Exigent Records (available through Released: July 15, 2008 Microtia clearly loves the Mars Volta, but the Mars Volta they are not. Of course, that’s not the worst knock in the world. Trying to play TMV’s game and not fully succeeding is kind of like being a guitarist that isn’t as good as Hendrix or a sax player that… Read more »