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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Dig Two Graves


Review by Gary Hill

I've landed this under progressive rock. I'm sure that's going to upset some prog purists. I'm not completely convinced that it's the right spot for this disc. The thing is, it definitely has prog tendencies, and the music is complex. It also has a tendency toward extreme metal, which is what will have the prog purists running for the nearest exits. Whatever you call this, though, it's quite interesting. It's also unique.

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Track by Track Review
As Above
Some creepy, trippy keyboard textures with ambient voices opens this. That feed begins stuttering. Then weird start and stop percussion enters as this works through the next phase. That drops away leaving the creepy music in its wake. This is just a short introductory piece to set the tone.
Track 2
This comes in out of the previous number. It quickly shifts to a hard-edged metallic stomper. It's still quite proggy with its shifts and changes. The vocals are of the more extreme variety, essentially screamed. The cut has proggier tendencies on the next section, and that features sung vocals. As the song continues parts have the screamed vocals and other parts have the sung ones. This has some pretty crazy shifts and turns and really qualifies in terms of complexity as metallic prog more than prog metal.
Starting with more of an electronic vibe. a screamed vocal heralds the jump to more metallic textures. After jamming in that vein for a time it gets into more melodic territory from there. That section is punctuated with more screaming vocals and driving metal, yet it returns to the mellower stuff from there. This thing gets pretty crazed and screaming at times. Yet there are still mellower, melodic sections to balance it out. This does get a parental advisory.
Proggy stuff brings this into being. As it drives out from there we get more extreme metal vocals. While this is the most purely metal thing here, it still has some changes that are complex enough to land in the prog zone. I have to admit that I'm not a fan of the vocals on this as they (except for a section mid-track) pretty much all live in the extreme zone, but I dig the fierce musical arrangement.
Iron Lungs and Paper Hearts
The keyboard sounds that start this have a rather creepy, moody tone to them. This works out to some fierce metallic stuff, but there are mellower proggier breaks built into it, too. This thing is complex, intense and powerful. There are both sung and extreme vocals in the mix here.
So Below
Distorted, weird piano keyboard elements open this. Other keyboard textures rise to join as the arrangement moves forward. That holds the cut for close to a minute. Then screaming hot guitar joins and leads it forward in some seriously riff-driven modes. A mellower, proggier break appears before this powers out into screaming hot metal with extreme vocals. There are female sung vocals that bring a real contrast to it. A drop to a weird computer prompt gets responses on guitar leading to a "your password has been accepted." This is fairly brutal, but still oddly proggy. Further down the road it drops to a mellower section with just the female vocals. Then a blast of sound emerges to take it forward in extreme metal fashion. The cut shifts to mellower, proggier stuff from there, and the female vocals take control. This has a real mainstream hard rock vibe as that movement drives onward.
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