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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Various Artists

Progressive DisDURPance

Review by Gary Hill

This sampler of German progmetal and prog bands is produced and released by a webpage that focuses on such bands. The website is Die Ultimate Review Page, . The disc, although featuring some music that is more pure prog, has been included in the prog metal category because a lot of the material fits better under that heading.

Info for ordering this disc can be obtained at the website.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 3 at

Track by Track Review
Esthetic Pale-The Approach
An old Rush styled intro, circa Caress of Steel era starts off the composition. Interesting progish layering takes over for a time, then a more modern metallic approach begins to emerge. This instrumental features solid musicianship, an entertaining arrangement and a nice keyboard sound.

Joy of Colour-Claire (A Ghost Story)
A dramatic arrangement create a tension, and minor sound effects produce a somewhat spine chilling prog texture. This texture is present on the intro and the first verse. The cut then changes gear dramatically toward more metallic tones, while still maintaining its prog leanings. This sound, and a chaotic Crimson influenced segment makes up the extended instrumental break. The original portion of the song returns as abruptly as it left. Lyrically, this is, appropriately, a well-written ghost story. Another instrumental break, this time more progish (but with metallic tones) leads back into the more metal influenced section to end the piece.

No Inner Limits-The Planet`s Pulse
An effects based intro leads to a very crunchy prog metal section. That section in turn gives way to a verse that is more traditional thrash than anything else. The instrumental break has very Maidenish guitar work. This is a strong metal cut, although perhaps a little overlong. The later portions of the piece take on very nice, slower paced textures, that are full of power.

Witchboard-The Path Of Destiny
A fairly generic prog metal intro leads to a song that is quite refreshing. This piece has quite a nice atmosphere, seeming to combine the sounds of old prog, such bands as The Fixx and prog metal into a rather raw, but considerably entertaining cut.

Beginning with a very dramatic neo-classical prog intro, eventually more metallic strains join the fray. However, those neo-classical sounds are still quite strong throughout much of the cut, bolstered by some fine violin work. In fact, the piece changes modes frequently from explosive metal fury to progressive rock beauty reminiscent of Yes, King Crimson and others. This piece also alternates textures and tones quite often, and is one of the stronger cuts on this sampler. The vocals on the tune are quite strong, seeming to combine more melodic metal vocals with Chris Squireish tones. This compoition is really a progressive masterwork that showcases the band`s writing skills.

This is prog metal with the emphasis on the prog. Although the vocals are quite potent in a metal mode, and the cut is quite solid, it is not really a standout.

Esthetic Pale-Esthetic Pale
Choirlike vocals begin this piece. This is a fine, slowly building cut and a very good prog number that exhibits elements of many bands of that genre in an arrangement that is quite strong. The piece features a very jazzy prog instrumental break.

Asarja-Time of Illusion
A dark prog intro leads into more standard progressive territory. This cut feels a bit like UK and is an accessible tune with progish elements.

Although, in general, this is quite a weak thrash tune, it does feature a very beautiful and inspired piano outro.

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