Tag: progressive metal

Listening Booth — Scorpions, “The Sails of Charon”

Listening Booth — Scorpions, “The Sails of Charon”

Listening Booth, Music
For Friday, here's a slab of vintage 1970s metal and progressive rock all rolled up into one beautiful, German package. Wait, that doesn't sound right. Anyway, this song is on the excellent 1977 Scorpions LP Taken By Force. It was the last Scorps record with the inimitable Uli Jon Roth. This is a promo video and thus features the horribly synced drumming you'd expect to see in such a thing. For those on Spotify, you can check out this track and most of the ones featured in my Listening Booth series by subscribing to this playlist.
Desert Island Discs — Queensrÿche, Promised Land

Desert Island Discs — Queensrÿche, Promised Land

Music
There are times in your life when an album comes along and hits you with a concrete fist. Maybe the material is just that good, or maybe the timing is just that perfect. And sometimes it's both. So it was with me and Promised Land, Queensrÿche's fifth and greatest full-length studio release. Promised Land was released in October 1994, the same autumn I started college in a strange and faraway land -- Vermont. Having left not only the town I grew up in but my sequestered suburban adolescence behind, I had a rather difficult time emotionally. Surrounded my nothing but mountains and farms, I had ample opportunity to ponder my life and my inadequacies. The word regret entered my vocabulary for the first time. Looking back on that period now I'm certain I ran headlong into a bout of depre
Listening booth — Queensrÿche, “Before the Storm”

Listening booth — Queensrÿche, “Before the Storm”

Listening Booth, Music
Here in central New Jersey, we're just hours away from the first major rains of Hurricane Irene, so this song popped into my head. It's Queensrÿche's "Before the Storm," from their 1984 debut LP The Warning. Stay safe everyone! Related articles Hurricane Irene News Update II (thedailywh.at) Post photos of Hurricane Irene preparation (nj.com) N.J. is only hours from starting to feel effects of Hurricane Irene (nj.com)
Album cover of the week: The Outer Limits

Album cover of the week: The Outer Limits

Album Cover of the Week, Music
This week we step into the world of progressive metal with an entry from Canada's own Voivod -- one of the truly excellent metal bands to emerge in the 1980s, and one that never achieved the crossover success they deserved to in the United States. From 1993, it's The Outer Limits. OK, maybe not so impressive is it? But the really cool thing about this cover is that when the album was initially released it came packaged with 3D glasses, in order to properly look at the front cover and booklet images. There is another issue of the album that ditches the 3D effect, and it's pretty neat too. The credits for The Outer Limits artwork are: Art direction: Vartan Design: Ron Larson Illustrations: Michael Langevin
2009 – The year in recorded musical performances

2009 – The year in recorded musical performances

Music
I swear that each year I have less and less time to spend listening to new music.  It seems like a losing battle anymore to keep up with all the new albums coming out, but I have to keep trying.  So rather than pontificate on the albums of the past year - as I've been known to do - I'm going for brevity in an attempt to get more done.  And I'm adding one new feature to this year's year-end music wrapup (and future releases as well), by introducing a grading system.  Here's the rundown: Dig It - You can safely part with your hard-earned money for this and not feel like a sucker. Download It - Still worth a listen, but you'll probably want to just download it and cherry-pick the best tracks. Ditch It - If you can find something of lasting value, you're a better person than I. Got
Gray Flannel Mixtape: The Best of ’09

Gray Flannel Mixtape: The Best of ’09

Music
Before I unleash my awe-inspiring year-end album wrapup, I thought I'd share with you a mixtape featuring ten of my favorite songs from 2009.  The only restriction I'm placing on myself here is that I won't be double-dipping from any artists, although some could have easily taken up half this list.  And away we go! (more…)
Album review: Queensrÿche – American Soldier

Album review: Queensrÿche – American Soldier

Music
Is there even a point anymore to comparing new Queensrÿche releases to older ones such as Rage for Order or even Empire?  It seems that to do so is unfair to the band, who clearly don't care to repeat the past.  And yet that's what has been happening for more than a decade, and in the process some bitter or resentful fans have missed out on some really good music.  Case in point, the band's latest offering - American Soldier. A look at the front and back covers of American Soldier (showing a pair of combat boots and an American flag, respectively) might give pause to some fans - has the same band who railed against war and the American government in the past turned into Toby Keith for the progressive metal set?  Not quite.  As the name implies, this is a theme album about American soldi
The apocalypse will be televised: 6 visions of the future in music videos

The apocalypse will be televised: 6 visions of the future in music videos

Music, TV & Radio
Since time immemorial, mankind has approached the future with a mixture of wonder and fear.  From primitive days to Biblical times, and even in our modern, sophisticated age we have imagined ourselves either ascending to the pinnacle of enlightenment and peace or descending into a living hell on earth. Somewhere in between those two extremes lie the visions of the future shown in music videos.  These glimpses into our possible futures show us what most likely lies in store for us - a world that is bleak and hopeless, but still has a pretty kickass soundtrack. Kiss - "All Hell's Breakin' Loose" The scenario: This is pretty much your stock "post-apocalyptic rock world" video as you'll soon see.  Dirty streets, lots of fire, and desperate women in tattered clothes are all in abundance he
In Concert: Queensrÿche at the Nokia Theater

In Concert: Queensrÿche at the Nokia Theater

Music
It's been nearly 10 years since I've seen Queensrÿche in concert, and that was for the group's ill-fated jaunt in support of Hear in the Now Frontier. That tour was canceled after the band's record label, EMI, went into the crapper. A lot has changed for the group since then, not the least of which was the departure of co-founder and guitarist Chris DeGarmo. For 2006, Queensrÿche went back to the future and released a sequel to their 1988 magnum opus, Operation: Mindcrime, cleverly titled Operation: Mindcrime II. While not quite the classic the first one was, OM:II was good enough to rekindle my interest in the group. It was that rekindled interest that brought me to see them perform at a sold-out Nokia Theater last Friday night. The theater, I must say, is a very nice ven