Posts Tagged ‘progressive metal’

5 music albums I like very much

Monday, March 15th, 2010

This article proved to be harder to write than I imagined. To choose an appropriate title was already quite difficult. Going along something similar to “favourite albums”, “of all time” and such usually doesn’t hold true for me. We all change ever so slightly and what we like now may feel old and treaded in a couple of years. Hence I decided to go for a more general title.
Also, five is so arbitrary… I could easily mention 10 or 20.
Last but not least, chances are 99.9999% that your picks are different from mine. Feel free to write a comment but don’t start a flame war! *cheers*

#1 Sieges Even – The Art of Navigation by The Stars (2005)

A progressive metal concept album of the highest order. As the name implies, most songs revolve around the sea and the sound shows. Heavy, pressing sections interchange with quieter parts likes waves in the ocean.  Technically very demanding sections precede and follow grooving sections like the tide.
I’ve been listening to this for a year or longer on my digital music gadget.

#2 Queensrÿche – Operation: Mindcrime (1988)

Another classic progressive metal album – if you don’t know this one, you are missing something. A story of manipulation, love, power and misery.

#3 Fates Warning – A Pleasant Shade of Gray (1997)

Definitely not the easiest album to listen to. Many songs are rather dark and yet one of the finest achievements in songwriting by Fates Warning or rather Jim Matheos who composed all songs. He must have felt very drained when he was done with the songs. Many fans of Dream Theater without doubt will also relish the piano and keyboard parts played by Kevin Moore.

#4 Extreme – III Sides to Every Story (1992)

Different to the predecessor, III Sides to Every Story is more subtle and philosophical as the title already indicates. The sound of the latter half of the album is also much more symphonic than the previous albums “Extreme” and “Extreme II”.
Although the critics were not over the moon with this album, I particularly like the courage it must have taken the band to release such an album. Given the success and hyper-funkiness of the previous album they probably acknowledged that they couldn’t possibly beat that and decided for artistic integrity rather than quick cash.
Incidentally, many of the lyrics (in particular “Stop the World” and “Am I Ever Gonna Change”) echo my perpetual doubts about the world and make listening to the album not only  a musical discovery but also an exercise in philosophy.

#5 Yngwie Johann Malmsteen – Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in E Flat minor Op. 1 (1998)

An album of classical music but this time the electric guitar is in the lead. Regardless of what prejudices pundits of classical music may have against such a combination, Yngwie proves them wrong. I think this makes for an excellent mix and maybe an easy introduction to classical music if so you haven’t been open towards such music.

As mentioned above, I could easily have added another 5 or ten albums such as White Lion’s Big Game, 1984, Dream Theater’s Six Degres of Inner Turbulence, Toto’s The Seventh One, Symphony X’s The Divine Wings of Tragedy, Summoning’s Oath Bound, Annihilator’s Alice in Hell, Iron Maiden’s Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, Metallica’s … Justice For All and so and so on. These are all albums that make me wish I could play the guitar better than I do. I promise to practice more once I hit retirement age (if there will be such a thing in 30+ year…)