A Hundred Albums? Part 4


Written by: Darkside Momo
Published: 15.09.2017


Hi everyone!

Fourth article already? Well, let's tackle some proggy and avant-gardish stuff this time. Sure there's already been some (like Alchemist or Ulver) and there'll be some more too (but shhh! we'll see those later), as I generally like my music to be complex and original.
Funnily enough, there's no 'totally out-of-the-box' album here, as all are featured here on MS! ;) And honestly, this fourth selection looks like a shortened version of a classic 'prog & avant metal' recommendation list. So much for originality indeed

There's some sick stuff right here, by the way. You've been warned!

Usual disclaimer: remember these albums are albums that mattered (and still matter) to me, and while all are great in their own right, this is not really a best-of list.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Avant-proggy madness! (part 1)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Dream Theater - Awake (1994)

I was barely into metal - less than one year, with Iron Maiden, Metallica, and Sepultura as references - when I first heard this. What the heck was that? At the same time heavy and too mellow, I had a hard time computing it all. But it sure did grow on me, even moreso than the masterpiece Images & Words, and even considering this utter shit of a closer song (yes, I hate "Space-dye Vest"). Plus, I must say I have some fond memories of early 1995 when I was listened to it while playing Doom II. Fun times!

Link: Let's start with a YouTube playlist.







Ark - Burn The Sun (2001)

This wonder ranks really high in the heart of every prog metal afficionado. No wonder, as this line-up of virtuosos recorded a suprisingly digestible yet complex heavy / prog album. It's uplifting, full of 'wow!' moments (choice is yours, between awesome emotional vocals, groovy bass lines, masterful drumming, not-of-this-earth guitar solos, your name it, really), and indeed Burn The Sun is one of those albums for which the word 'masterpiece' was created in the first place.

Link: another usual YouTube upload.






Pan.Thy.Monium - Khaooohs And Kon-Fus-Ion (1996)

Huh? What the fuck is that? Dig seriously in death metal and you're bound to cross some really weird stuff. Like Dan Swanö's Pan.Thy.Monium. Khaooohs And Kon-Fus-Ion is the last album of this peculiar side-project (as evidence by last track "In Remembrance", which is nothing more than a minute of silence), and while there's no underwater sax this time, it doesn't prevent this peculiar narrative to be mind-bendingly surprising - crowd sample included. Not as over-the-top-ish as Karaboujdan might be, it's anyway a crowning achievement in tasteful musical weirdness. (And obviously, special thanks to ylside for this one! )

Link: it's here on Bandcamp!







Unexpect - In A Flesh Aquarium (2006)

Welcome to the asylum, as you're in for quite an insane ride! What a shock when I first heard this... But oh man, how I love this kind of mindfuck - it's wonderfully creative, totally crazy yet not without rhyme or reason, and... unexpected! As Demonic Tutor said in his review, it's almost like there are three bands playing at once. Just for fun, try to keep track of everything going on, but don't lose your mind in the process  !

Link: another YouTube link






Lazuli - (4603 Battements) (2011)

For once in this selection, we're in prog rock territory, with a slight world music twist and a somber edge. That's part of what makes Lazuli's unique sound - that, with the elegant songwriting and the unique sound of the léode. Add Dominique's deeply emotional singing and poetic lyrics in French, and you have all that makes an awesome band. And while my first contact with them was either "Abîme" and/or "Aimants" out of Réponse Incongrue à l'Inéluctable (both are fantastic), this '4603 beats' was a true revelation for me (thanks Ivor). A beautiful album, indeed.

Link: they're hard to find on YouTube, but here are some songs anyway!







Thy Catafalque - Rengeteg (2011)

It was with Rengeteg that I discovered Thy Catafalque and Tamás Kátai's perfect mastery of moods (ranging from contemplative to angry with all kinds of nuances in between) and mixing various musical universes (his take on avant / electro / folk / metal is absolutely unique). There are just so many beautiful and inspiring songs on that album that I couldn't choose only one if I was asked to do so.
Rengeteg was an immediate coup de coeur (yeah, instant love ) for me; and while it's probably not the bestest best Thy Catafalque album (that would probably be Róka Hasa Rádió), it seriously competes for the title anyway!

Link: Bandcamp is here for you...






Obsidian Kingdom - Mantiis (2012)

This album is weird. As creepy and weird as it's alluring. And alluring it is, with its unfolding story, its mood swings, and its oh-so-sexy sax. This is a 47 minutes ride in darkness, with brief flashs of lights. You'll find metal, ambiant, electro, jazz, all fused together to form this perfect dark gem. And yeah, it's difficult to describe, but for sure it is haunting.
(BTW, some of the Torn & Burnt remixes released the following year are pretty nifty)

Link: as usual, YouTube is the place to go.







Vulture Industries - The Tower (2013)

Gone are the Arcturus copycat days, which already hinted at some great potential. But with The Tower, we now know what Vulture Industries are about: some perfection in a not-so-extreme prog form, featuring great riffing and fantastic, emotionnaly charged vocals ("Lost Among Liars", anyone?), all with a really distinct, almost retro and of course slightly unhinged, identity. If you like your prog wandering in bizarre territories, Vulture Industries are there for you!

Link: enjoy on Bandcamp!






Lux Occulta - Kołysanki (2014)

We've tackled some pretty weird shit already, but Lux Occulta's return album is easily the weirdest, creepiest of them all. Typically the kind of lullabies (that's what Kołysanki means) that induce nightmares, actually.
Music-wise it's a really unique mix featuring folk, electro, ambiant jazz, accordion, bare hints of metal, all often minimalistic, and sung in Polish (with two songs featuring French spoken words for added impact). Never heard something similar before or since, honestly. So stop trying to fathom what it's like (you'll be off somehow), just go and experience it.

Link: here's Bandcamp for you!







Stolen Babies - There Be Squabbles Ahead (2006)

There sure was something weird going on in 2006. After Unexpect, no wonder I loved Stolen Babies - even if I discovered this gem far later, when they released their second album. Maybe a bit more accessible than the canuck septet, the wacky playfulness Stolen Babies display everywhere turned this already excellent musical endeavour to a masterpiece (and then the haunting Lifeless will crash on you and hurt you even more - believe me, that's good for you).

Link: there be Bandcamp ahead!





Previously...
Part 3
or start at the beginning here

To be continued in Part five!



 



Written on 15.09.2017 by Once your regular Hellfest reporter, now retired. I (strangely enough) listen to a lot of metal. And enjoy good beers, comics, novels and role-playing games.


Comments

Comments: 20   Visited by: 221 users
16.09.2017 - 12:35
Kuroboshi
I've never been a huge fan of avant-garde, but there are some gems in here. Pan.Thy.Monium and Vulture Industries are true gems. I'll try Lazuli methinks.
Loading...
16.09.2017 - 13:08
BloodTears
ANA-thema
So, I like all of these albums

I'll highlight especially Awake, since it's my favourite DT of all time, and Lazuli. (4603 Battements) is so underrated but fortunately some of us have had the pleasure to discover this beauty. It's one of a kind.

Pan.thy.monium was also one of the first "weird" bands I listened to. It opened up my mind to so many other things and sounds. The memories... And Unexpect (so sad they are dead now, it's unfair) and Stolen Babies. I do like the wacky music so much ahah

So, this is right up my alley.
----
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.
Loading...
16.09.2017 - 15:01
Darkside Momo
Retired
Written by Kuroboshi on 16.09.2017 at 12:35

I've never been a huge fan of avant-garde, but there are some gems in here. Pan.Thy.Monium and Vulture Industries are true gems. I'll try Lazuli methinks.

I guess you should also check Thy Catafalque if you haven't already
Thanks for reading!
----

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
Loading...
16.09.2017 - 15:06
Darkside Momo
Retired
Written by BloodTears on 16.09.2017 at 13:08

So, this is right up my alley.

why am I not surprised
I'm a bit surprised however, about Awake and you - for some reason I thought you preferred Images And Words (personally I like it a damn lot, but it would rank really close in third position, I guess. But I won't name the second right now, as it might pop in a later blog article )
----

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
Loading...
16.09.2017 - 18:29
Kuroboshi
Written by Darkside Momo on 16.09.2017 at 15:06

why am I not surprised
I'm a bit surprised however, about Awake and you - for some reason I thought you preferred Images And Words (personally I like it a damn lot, but it would rank really close in third position, I guess. But I won't name the second right now, as it might pop in a later blog article )

Obviously it's going to be Metropolis pt 2 (My favorite by far!)
Loading...
16.09.2017 - 18:30
Kuroboshi
Written by Darkside Momo on 16.09.2017 at 15:01

I guess you should also check Thy Catafalque if you haven't already
Thanks for reading!

Thanks for writing!
TC I have listened to, but I'm not very fond of the vocals!
Loading...
17.09.2017 - 01:49
Darkside Momo
Retired
Written by Kuroboshi on 16.09.2017 at 18:29

Written by Darkside Momo on 16.09.2017 at 15:06

why am I not surprised
I'm a bit surprised however, about Awake and you - for some reason I thought you preferred Images And Words (personally I like it a damn lot, but it would rank really close in third position, I guess. But I won't name the second right now, as it might pop in a later blog article )

Obviously it's going to be Metropolis pt 2 (My favorite by far!)

Nope it won't (even if I do like it a lot)
----

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
Loading...
17.09.2017 - 01:50
Darkside Momo
Retired
Written by Kuroboshi on 16.09.2017 at 18:30

Written by Darkside Momo on 16.09.2017 at 15:01

I guess you should also check Thy Catafalque if you haven't already
Thanks for reading!

Thanks for writing!
TC I have listened to, but I'm not very fond of the vocals!

Yes, I can understand that. They a bit peculiar, maybe - Personnaly, I really like them
----

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
Loading...
17.09.2017 - 03:30
Demonic Tutor
The Enemy Within
Unexpect AND Stolen Babies on top of Awake, Rengeteg and Burn The Sun, you have my full approval sir!!
Loading...
17.09.2017 - 12:35
BloodTears
ANA-thema
Written by Darkside Momo on 16.09.2017 at 15:06

why am I not surprised
I'm a bit surprised however, about Awake and you - for some reason I thought you preferred Images And Words (personally I like it a damn lot, but it would rank really close in third position, I guess. But I won't name the second right now, as it might pop in a later blog article )


While I do love Images and Words, it was raw awesomeness, I feel like Awake was perfect in many ways and it resonated more with me on a personal level. The lyrics, the melodies. It's a very deep thing Generally speaking, people seem to prefer IAW over Awake and I don't think they are that far apart in terms of quality.

Up until Octavarium, I think DT offered us pretty stellar albums and all really interesting. After that, it was more of a hit or miss for me.

So, it isn't Images and Words or Metropolis Pt. 2... I think I know which one it is
----
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.
Loading...
17.09.2017 - 13:27
nikarg
Old Nick
Neither prog nor avant is my cup of tea, but Awake is indeed an excellent album. I prefer Images And Words for the simple reason that it was my first encounter with the band and "Pull Me Under" really screwed up the chemistry of my, then adolescent, metal brain

I simply adore Thy Catafalque, Rengeteg is the first cd I bought from the band, but I have been stunned by Meta as well and I think it's my favourite.

I'll try to check out some more from your list
----
on and on south of heaven

Loading...
17.09.2017 - 18:08
Darkside Momo
Retired
Written by Demonic Tutor on 17.09.2017 at 03:30

Unexpect AND Stolen Babies on top of Awake, Rengeteg and Burn The Sun, you have my full approval sir!!

----

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
Loading...
17.09.2017 - 18:19
Darkside Momo
Retired
Written by BloodTears on 17.09.2017 at 12:35

While I do love Images and Words, it was raw awesomeness, I feel like Awake was perfect in many ways and it resonated more with me on a personal level. The lyrics, the melodies. It's a very deep thing Generally speaking, people seem to prefer IAW over Awake and I don't think they are that far apart in terms of quality.

Yeah, the lyrics and the music on the whole fit so well together. Somehow I feel it's a bit more emotional and personal - be it "Scarred", or "The Mirror", or the fantastic portraying of a pretty hard crisis of faith in "Voices"...
Written by BloodTears on 17.09.2017 at 12:35

Up until Octavarium, I think DT offered us pretty stellar albums and all really interesting. After that, it was more of a hit or miss for me.

I'll disagree as they've always been hit or miss: the first album was great (but OMG the singer was so damn horrendous), Falling Into Infinity was lame and I feel Train Of Thought is sterile all the way throught (but I know I'm the minority here)
After Octavarium... Well the only good (even great!) one was Black Clouds And Silver Linings (and tbh I didn't even listen to The Astonishing - I should at some point)
Written by BloodTears on 17.09.2017 at 12:35

So, it isn't Images and Words or Metropolis Pt. 2... I think I know which one it is

We'll see
----

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
Loading...
17.09.2017 - 18:27
Darkside Momo
Retired
Written by nikarg on 17.09.2017 at 13:27

Neither prog nor avant is my cup of tea, but Awake is indeed an excellent album. I prefer Images And Words for the simple reason that it was my first encounter with the band and "Pull Me Under" really screwed up the chemistry of my, then adolescent, metal brain

I simply adore Thy Catafalque, Rengeteg is the first cd I bought from the band, but I have been stunned by Meta as well and I think it's my favourite.

I'll try to check out some more from your list

Well Awake was my first DT album when I was adolescent too, so "Pull Me Under" didn't have the same effect on me, obviously ("The Mirror", "Lie", "Voices" and "Scarred" did that for me)

As fot Thy Catafalque, I like Meta as well, but not as much - I should listen to it again soon

Maybe you should try Ark, or for something completely different Obsidian Kingdom. Unexpect and Stolen Babies are both totally nuts, but in a slightly different way; I'd say that Stolen Babies is the most accessible of the two, as it's less over-the-top (while Unexpect can come across as being even beyond that )
----

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
Loading...
19.09.2017 - 04:57
mikeprado30
Well, I see we are somehow opposite, cause I LOVE so much Space-Dye Vest (in fact, is my favorite song inside Awake ).
----
BARDS WE ARE, BARDS WE WILL BE!
Loading...
19.09.2017 - 12:22
Darkside Momo
Retired
Written by mikeprado30 on 19.09.2017 at 04:57

Well, I see we are somehow opposite, cause I LOVE so much Space-Dye Vest (in fact, is my favorite song inside Awake ).

I should have guess that someone would love that [censored ], but color me surprised anyway!
----

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
Loading...
24.09.2017 - 14:21
ylside
My pleasure !

I have to check some of the others sometime.

Meanwhile, I wanted to share this song on the shoutbox, but since I'm commenting here (and it fits) :
Snarky Puppy - Shofukan
Stuck in my head for 2 weeks now, a really wonderful song. from beginning to end. I am sure you'll enjoy aswell
Loading...
25.09.2017 - 00:21
Darkside Momo
Retired
Written by ylside on 24.09.2017 at 14:21

My pleasure !

I have to check some of the others sometime.

Yes you do
Written by ylside on 24.09.2017 at 14:21

Meanwhile, I wanted to share this song on the shoutbox, but since I'm commenting here (and it fits) :
Snarky Puppy - Shofukan
Stuck in my head for 2 weeks now, a really wonderful song. from beginning to end. I am sure you'll enjoy aswell

great indeed, thanks for sharing!
----

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
Loading...
06.10.2017 - 14:14
BloodTears
ANA-thema
Written by Darkside Momo on 17.09.2017 at 18:19

I'll disagree as they've always been hit or miss: the first album was great (but OMG the singer was so damn horrendous), Falling Into Infinity was lame and I feel Train Of Thought is sterile all the way throught (but I know I'm the minority here)
After Octavarium... Well the only good (even great!) one was Black Clouds And Silver Linings (and tbh I didn't even listen to The Astonishing - I should at some point)
Written by BloodTears on 17.09.2017 at 12:35

So, it isn't Images and Words or Metropolis Pt. 2... I think I know which one it is

We'll see


It's funny because this article prompted me to go listen to DT's entire discography again. I've been listening to the albums and watching all their DVDs I have (like 6 lol) and it's been so fun I guess that also tells me this year hasn't been as strong in terms of progressive releases that keep me interested. I need to go back in time.

I really like Train of Thought and WDADU, their debut. I even like the singer (Charles), so we have different perspectives. Still think LaBrie is much better though. Falling Into Infinity is probably the weakest of them all, but still has interesting songs.

I also agree that Black Clouds And Silver Linings was good, the best in recent years, better than all that followed since. The Astonishing is so hard to stomach, I can understand why you haven't heard it lol Sadly, they have been decaying since Black Clouds And Silver Linings which coincides with Portnoy leaving. They might never release a good album again.
----
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.
Loading...
06.10.2017 - 20:32
Darkside Momo
Retired
Written by BloodTears on 06.10.2017 at 14:14

It's funny because this article prompted me to go listen to DT's entire discography again. I've been listening to the albums and watching all their DVDs I have (like 6 lol) and it's been so fun I guess that also tells me this year hasn't been as strong in terms of progressive releases that keep me interested. I need to go back in time.

I really like Train of Thought and WDADU, their debut. I even like the singer (Charles), so we have different perspectives. Still think LaBrie is much better though. Falling Into Infinity is probably the weakest of them all, but still has interesting songs.

I also agree that Black Clouds And Silver Linings was good, the best in recent years, better than all that followed since. The Astonishing is so hard to stomach, I can understand why you haven't heard it lol Sadly, they have been decaying since Black Clouds And Silver Linings which coincides with Portnoy leaving. They might never release a good album again.

All Dream Theater discog? Poor you (just kidding, obviously)
I like their debut album too - sort of. It's really uneven at times, but on the whole the songs are good (there's no way I can like Dominici, however)

As for their decaying, yes it coincides with Portnoy leaving, but they did produce some soulless stuff before. Problem imo, is more with what I saw somewhere else here, where it was said - I think it was Rudess - that the band didn't experiment anymore because 'that was not what the fans wanted'...
----

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
Loading...

Hits total: 2178 | This month: 712