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Montag, 18. Dezember 2006

Into Eternity

And here I return from the weekend with another post about one of my personal favourites.
This band definitely puts emphasis on METAL in Progressive Metal, but damn, when has anybody heard music so technical AND catchy the last time?

Into Eternity

Genre: Progressive Power/Death Metal

Formed: 1997 in Regina, Saskatchewan (Canada), active


Stu Block - Vocals (also in Omega Crom)
Tim Roth - Guitar, Vocals
Justin Bender - Guitar
Troy Bleich - Bass
Jim Austin - Drums (also in Sympathy)


Chris Krall - Vocals (2003-2005)
Scott Krall - Bass
Chris McDougall - Keyboards
Daniel Nargang - Vocals, Guitars
Jeff Storrey - Live Guitars
Chris Eisler - Live Drums
Dean Sternberg - Vocals
Adam Sagan - Drums (formerly in Halcyon(US)
Rob "Smiley" Doherty - Guitars, Growls (2003-2005) (also in Pericardium)


1999 - Into Eternity (album; reissued by DVS Records in 2000)
2001 - Dead Or Dreaming (album; reissued by Century Media Records in 2002)
2004 - Buried in Oblivion (album)
2006 - The Scattering Of Ashes (album)

As you can see, Into Eternity went through a lot of, sometimes insignificant, line up changes, so I won't focus on that too much.
Into Eternity was founded in 1997; not much is known about what was going on with them until the independent release of their first album titled "Into Eternity".
Although the production is a little rough and the songs lack the finesse of their newer material, the Into Eternity trademarks of fusioning Death Metal and Progressive Power Metal featuring modern rhythms as well as vocal polyphony were already established in that release, and they signed to DVS Records and eventually rereleased "Into Eternity" a year later.
2001, they released their sophomore "Dead Or Dreaming", an album that gained them instant media attention and a contract from one of the world's leading Metal labels, Century Media.
"Dead Or Dreaming" showcased a more mature, professional band, progressing but not changing. It isn't perfect, but it certainly showed what they were capable of.
They then released "Buried In Oblivion" in 2004, their best album in my opinion.
Receiving overwhelming reviews from all over the world, the band toured Europe with Naglfar.
That's when I first noticed them.
I had read about them, that they were THE new hot band, but I hadn't heard anything yet.
When they started their gig, they opened with the jaw dropping lead from "Splintered Visions", and I was blown away instantly. Those guys had me fascinated throughout all of their set.
They were so well-recevied that they were actually sent back for another tour with Kataklysm (which I unfortunately missed).
I then got "Buried In Oblivion", and it's definitely one of the most important releases of 2004, maybe even the whole decade. Progressive instrumental parts collaborate perfectly with blasting Death Metal parts as well as the sonic assault of the five voice singing, burning the catchiest melodies in every brain forever.
Unfortunately, they parted ways with their singer Chris Krall but luckily found an adequate replacement in Stu Block, whose vocal spectrum spans even further than Krall's.
While Into Eternity stayed publicly silent for quite a while, they recorded their latest effort, "The Scattering Of Ashes". It was released this fall, and it's another great album, although it can't live up to the expectations created by "Buried In Oblivion" (which was virtually impossible).
The vocals have gone from five voice to two voice, as well as the songs being more direct and compact; Into Eternity stated they wanted songs that were possible to recreate live.
I guess the reason for that is that they disembarked on 2006's Gigantour with Megadeth and others, the name implying the magnitude of the event.
The future looks good for Into Eternity; it'll be interesting to see what they're up to...


Into Eternity Official Website
Into Eternity @ Myspace(go here to listen to 3 songs)
Into Eternity Media Section

Videos on

-Into Eternity seem to have discovered for themselves; instead of posting all their videos here, just follow this link to them: click here

This is the song that I wrote about ("Splintered Visions"):

Bands already featured:

Cellar Door
Circus Maximus
Dream Theater
Pagan's Mind
Spiral Architect

(just search this blog or look in the archive for the band you're interested in - scroll up to the top)

Mittwoch, 13. Dezember 2006


Hey everyone!
Now, I'd like to introduce you to one of my personal favourites.
Because they released Underworld.
If you don't have it - get it.
Be sure to check 'em out if the name is new to you - especially all of those who dig symphonic stuff.


Genre: Progressive Symphonic Extreme Power Metal (yeah I guess I should go easy on the genre definitions :D)

Formed: 1997 in Montpellier (France)


Stéphan Forté - Guitars (guest on "Trance State" by Red Circuit)
Gustavo Monsanto - Vocals (formerly in Overdose(Bra)
Franck Hermanny - Bass
Eric Lebailly - Drums
Kevin Codfert - Keyboards


David Readman - Vocals (2000-2004) (also in Pink Cream 69)
Vitalij Kuprij- Keyboards (also in Artension, Mark Boals, Ring Of Fire)
Richard Andersson - Keyboards (2000-2003) ( also in Majestic, Time Requiem, Space Odyssey, EviL masquerade, Silver Seraph)
Dirk Bruinenberg - Drums (2000-2004) (also in Vulture(Hol), Patrick Rondat, formerly in Elegy, Abyss(Hol))


2001 - Sanctus Ignis (album)
2003 - Underworld (album)
2004 - A Band In Upperworld (live album)
2006 - Dominate (album)

In 1997, one year after he had graduated from the famous music school CMCN, Stéphan Forté composed his first instrumental demo Visions, which is considered to be the starting point of Adagio.
The demo alone got him endorsement deals with Rocktron (for Effects) and Godin (for guitars).
1998, he opened for Yngwie Malmsteen and got a new endorsement deal with Lag guitars.
He furthermore attracted the attention of producer Chris Tsangarides (Ozzy, Judas Priest,...).
In 1999 Olivier Garnier from CNR Music sent Forté to continue his work with
Vitalij Kuprij.
This however didn't work out, and they closed that chapter after the demo was finished.
Back in France, he gathered Dirk Bruinenberg, Franck Hermanny, David Readman and Richard Andersson to record "Sanctus Ignis", the first Adagio album.
I consider this an ambitioned effort, but it lacks maturity; this album incorporates almost no progressive elements, it's rather Symphonic Power Metal (and they "borrowed" the famous "The Mirror" - Staccato I talked about in the Dream Theater post - listen to "The Mirror" by Dream Theater and then "Second Sight"...). Nevertheless, the album was well received in France and Japan.
Forté then met the young Kevin Codfert, who he eventually asked to join the band.
It is told that Forté then had some personal issues, affecting the songwriting to be more extreme.
The result of that is Adagio's masterpiece: "Underworld".
Their most difficult and complex album, which even features a real choir recorded in Lyon, is not just a step but a bike ride forward from the "Sanctus Ignis" album - Atmosphere, aggression, emotion, blazingly fast soloing, catchy songs and the mandatory extra long track (here "Underworld", 13:25 min) - this album is quite an offering to the Prog Metal fan - and, if unfamiliar with it, he/she shouldn't go to sleep without having at least listened in first.
The only small downside of the album is, in my opinion, the guitar sound. It just lacks a little edge.
Then, Dirk Bruinenberg decided to quit his duty behind the drums for while to stabilize his personal life. He was replaced by Eric Lebailly, who had a local reputation and was asked by the band to audition.
He then played drums at Adagio's first live gig (!) and the subsequent tour. The concerts in Paris and Strasbourg were recorded and released as "A Band In Upperworld" in 2004.
Adagio then faced a small crisis: David Readman left them shortly after the tour, in Summer 2004. However. they were scheduled for the ProgPower USA V festival that year, which is known as an opportunity for Power/Prog bands from Europe to perform in front of a bigger audience in the US. So they made an annoucement and received tapes from all over the world.
They decided on Gus Monsanto, for impressing them with his performance on "Chosen".
He arrived in France on the 29th of August and gave his live debut with Adagio at a non-profit concert against child abuse. A few days later, Adagio played to a sold out ProgPower festival.
They then started working on the third full length, "Dominate".
First, "Dominate" was only released in France and Japan in the end of 2005, but was released in Europe in Summer 2006.
"Dominate" shows a movement towards more "metal" territory; the guitar sounds more aggressive (that's a plus), but the progressive elements have been dropped widely (that's a minus). The orchestration is used much less and often doesn't continue during the band playing (something that occurred quite often on the "Underworld" album). Meanwhile, Gus Monsanto's voice ( which in my opinion sounds awesome and somewhat like Tim "Ripper" Owens, definitely more aggressive than David Readman's voice) upset some Readman fans.
On the whole, it's a great album, but it didn't scratch at "Underworld"'s throne.
Apparently, the band now already has another album entitled "Archangels In Black" ready to be released soon....


Adagio's Official Website
Adagio at Myspace(go here to listen to 4 songs)
Adagio Media Section
Adagio Forum

Videos at

Stéphan Forté shows all the guitar solos on "Underworld":

Bass sweeps by Franck Hermanny on "From My Sleep ...To Someone Else":

Here's the awesome bass solo from "The Mirror Stage"! If you know "Underworld", you most likely want to see this:

Promo video for "Dominate":

Promo video for "Fame":

Photo Slideshow from ProgPower V 2004:

Bands already featured:

Cellar Door
Circus Maximus
Dream Theater
Pagan's Mind
Spiral Architect

(just search this blog or look in the archive for the band you're interested in - scroll up to the top)

Dienstag, 12. Dezember 2006

Cellar Door

After that lengthy Dream Theater post, I'll go back to some more underground, this time from Los Angeles:

Cellar Door

Genre: Progressive Metal/Rock

Formed : 2005 in Los Angeles, California (USA)


Tim Connor - Vocals, Guitar
Justin Crowell - Drums (formerly in Grimoire)
Matt Fewtrell - Bass
Bo Hrupcho - Guitar


2006 - Demo Tracks

It's not all too easy to find information on Cellar Door, but as they're a young band, that might change in the future.
They were founded in early 2005 and the line up consisted of Tim Connor, Justin Crowell and Matt Fewtrell.
In May 2006, they played their first show in that line up, adding Bo Hrupcho on guitar later.
Right now, they're working on their first full length release.
They describe their sound as "Metal meets Prog meets Anthem Rock", which fits quite well.
Be sure to check out their myspace if you're up for something original!
And be sure to keep that name in mind...


Cellar Door Myspace (also their Official Website; go here to listen to 1 complete song and 3 excerpts)

Videos at

"Omega Point" live:

"Critical Mass" live:

Excerpts from the 18-minute "The Mammoth Machine" live:




and here anoher vid from :
Cellar Door - Axis (live clip)

Add to My Profile | More Videos

Bands already featured:

Circus Maximus
Dream Theater
Pagan's Mind
Spiral Architect

(just search this blog or look in the archive for the band you're interested in - scroll up to the top)

Freitag, 8. Dezember 2006

Dream Theater

OK people, I know most of you are probably familiar with Dream Theater, but I still thought I'll cover them just to keep the list as complete as possible. Concerning the fact the Dream Theater members are entwined with a lot of side projects and other bands, I'll try to keep this one focused on DT. The respective side projects will be covered another time, otherwise this would be way too long. So here goes...

Dream Theater

Formed: 1985 in Long Island,New York (USA)


Kevin James LaBrie - Vocals (also in Mullmuzzler, James LaBrie solo band, Winter Rose, formerly in Frameshift, guest vocals for Henning Pauly on the record "Babysteps")
John Petrucci - Guitars, backing vocals (also in Explorers Club, Liquid Tension Experiment)
John Myung - Bass (also in Platypus, The Jelly Jam, Gordian Knot)
Jordan Rudess - Keyboards (also in Liquid Tension Experiment, Rudess Morgenstein Project, Vinnie Moore, Dixie Dregs)
Mike Portnoy - Drums, backing vocals (also in Rising Power, Transatlantic, Inner Sanctum, OSI, John Arch, Liquid Tension Experiment, touring drums for Fates Warning, Neal Morse, Yellow Matter Custard, Hammer Of The Gods)


Chris Collins - Vocals (1985-1987)
Charles Dominici - Vocals (1987-1990)
Kevin Moore - Keyboards (1985-1994) (Office of Strategic Influence, Fates Warning, Chroma Key)
Derek Sherinian- Keyboards (1995-1999) (also in Platypus, Planet X, Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Jughead, All Too Human, Section A, Alice Cooper, Kiss)


(as Majesty:)
1985 - Instrumental 1
1985 - Instrumental 2
1986 - Demo

1989 - Afterlife (single)
1989 - Status Seeker (single)
1989 - When Dream and Day Unite (album)
1991 - ATCO Demos
1992 - Another Day (single)

1992 - Images & Words (album)

1993 - Images And Words; Live In Tokyo (video; originally released as VHS, reissued as a DVD later)

1993 - Live at the Marquee (EP)

1994 - Caught In A Web (single)

1994 - Lie (single)
1994 - The Silent Man (single)
1994 - Awake (album)

1995 - A Change of Seasons (EP)

1996 - Fan Club Christmas CD 1996 (compil.)

1997 - Hollow Years (single)

1997 - Falling Into Infinity (album)

1997 - Fan Club Christmas CD 1997 (compil.)

1998 - 5 Years In A Live Time (video; originally released as VHS, reissued as a DVD later)
1998 - Once in a LIVEtime (live album)

1998 - Fan Club Christmas CD 1998 (compil.)
1999 - Cleaning out the Closet (Christmas CD 1999)(compil.)
1999 - Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory (album)

2000 - Through Her Eyes (single)

2000 - Fan Club Christmas CD 2000 (compil.)
2001 - Four Degrees Of Radio Edits (Fan Club CD 2001)(compil.)
2001 - Metropolis 2000: Scenes from New York (video; DVD)

2001 - Live Scenes from New York (live album)

2002 - Taste the Memories (Fan Club CD 2002)(compil.)
2002 - Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (album)

2003 - Graspop 2002 (International fan club CD 2003)(compil.)
2003 - Los Angeles, California 5/18/98 (compil.)

2003 - The Majesty Demos 1985-1986 (compil.)

2003 - The Making Of Scenes From A Memory (compil.)

2003 - As I Am (single)

2003 - Train of Thought (album)
2004 - A Sort of Homecoming (Fan Club CD 2004)(compil.)
2004 - Image and Words : Live in Tokyo / 5 Years In a Livetime (the DVD reissue aforementioned)

2004 - Master of Puppets (live cover album)

2004 - Tokyo, Japan 10/28/95 (compil.)

2004 - When Dream and Day Unite Demos 1987-1989 (compil.)
2004 - Live At Budokan (video; DVD)

2004 - Live At Budokan (live album)

2005 - Images and Words Demos 1989-1991 (compil.)
2005 - The Number of the Beast (live cover album)

2005 - When Dream and Day Reunite (live)

2005 - When Dream and Day Reunite (video; DVD)

2005 - Octavarium (album)
2006 - Made In Japan (compil.)
2006 - Awake Demos 1994 (compil.)
2006 - Old Bridge, New Jersey 12/14/96 (compil.)
2006 - Dark Side Of The Moon (live cover album)

2006 - Dark Side Of The Moon(video; DVD)

2006 - Score (video; DVD)

2006 - Score (live album)

The history of Dream Theater dates back to the time when the original line-up was working under the name of Majesty, a name even at that time too common for a Metal band (even today, there's at least 5 bands named Majesty, and over 20 bands whose names involve the word "majesty".
Berklee students Petrucci, Myung and Portnoy decided to form a band together in September 1985, and got their highschool buddy and keyboarder Kevin Moore to join , as well as singer Chris Collins.
They recorded "The Majesty Demos", already showing surprising success, with Collins departing shortly after in 1986.
While looking for a new singer, they worked on instrumental versions of songs for their first album release.
In November 1987, Charlie Dominici joined Majesty and got them signed to Mechanic Records, a small US label.
"When Day And Dream Unite" was then already recorded and ready to be realeased, but a band also called Majesty from Las Vegas forced them to change their name.
Howard Portnoy (Mike's father) suggested they name themselves after a closed down movie theater in California called "Dream Theater".
They then released the album in 1989, parting ways with Charlie shortly after.
It wasn't until 1991 that they found a replacement in James LaBrie from Canadian band Winter Rose. They were so impressed by LaBrie's performance that they flew him out to New York to record the ATCO demos, featuring "To Live Forever","Learning To Live" and "Take The Time".
ATCO immediately signed them and released the famous sophomore "Images And Words" in 1992, selling over 600.000 times during the rise of Grunge.
Orginally intended to be released on "Images And Words", "A Change Of Seasons" was released on a seperate EP. This 24-minute epic is undoubtedly one of Dream Theater's milestones. Never have 24 minutes appeared to fly by that fast.
They then tried to broaden their fanbase and released the more mainstream-sounding "Awake", turning out to be a commercial failure and being criticized by some fans. Although the album features a lot of good songs and some interesting instrumentation ( 7 string guitar, bass harmonic intro, 5/4 instrumental as well as the legendary beginning of "The Mirror", pioneering the use of simple staccato riffing in Prog Metal (and Metal in general, actually)), Dream Theater probably didn't have enough "credibility" to release such an album; the band was yet too young to enjoy creative freedom being accepted by hardcore fans.
On the other hand, the songs were still to heavy and complicated, but also too Old School for the now very grungy mainstream, so ATCO was disappointed with the sales figures.
This was the beginning of the "Dream Theater Downward Spiral": their good friend Kevin Moore left and was replaced by Derek Sherinian, ATCO went through a lot of personnel changes, so all of Dream Theater's contacts in the company were gone and the company, due to the sales figures, cut the budget for the follow-up release, "Falling Into Infinity".
This album, although not plain crap, is in my opinion the by far weakest Dream Theater album; the album apparently attempts to establish Dream Theater as a pop band, while getting rid of their trademarks such as overblown soloing, song lengths spanning over 10 minutes, odd time signatures and such. The songs are just way too slow, way too short, too simple and too soft (I know this is a Metal fan talking here, but I also enjoy some of their less heavy stuff as long as it's progressive and interesting); in one word: boring.
As if it couldn't get worse, James LaBrie suffered from a food poisoning he caught during vacation on Cuba, badly damaging his vocal chords while vomiting and jeopardizing his future as a singer. He said "I'll never forget that day. It was December 30th 1994. It took 8 years for my voice to fully recover."
The band also came to have internal problems, because Derek Sherinian, a guy always desperate for attention and always wanting to control everything, tried to dethrone Petrucci and Portnoy from being the creative leaders of the band.
Due to the stress caused by that, Dream Theater had to let Sherinian go, replacing him with the gifted Jordan Rudess they knew from the instrumental collaboration in Liquid Tension Experiment (a post about that will follow).
They then recorded what I see as their masterpiece: "Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory".
Their first concept album, was, title as well as music, a reference to the song "Metropolis Part 1: The Miracle And The Sleeper" from the "Images And Words" album; parts, riffs and rhythms from that song are constantly recurring throughout the album. Music genres and stylistic devices are blended skillfully to achieve a varied but homogeneous music experience; I mean, who has ever heard a riff that sounds somewhat like punk played in 5/4 (Beyond This Life)?
Beginning with an introduction to the story and the furious instrumental (Overture 1928) to follow, one notices later on that it's an actual overture: musical themes are foreshadowed, riffs are introduced that carry the music later on. This torrent of incredible music instantly grips every Prog fan (I've even shown it to non-DT fans - and all of them loved it!).
The inclusion of Jordan Rudess definitely had a part in that; his style, established in his earlier efforts, can also be found on that album.
Sadly, the live album accommodating that record caused problems due to a very unlucky coincidence; the album was set for release on the 11th September 2001, and the album, entitled "Live Scenes From New York", had cover artwork featuring a New York skyline against a backdrop of flames. I guess that explains it.
But the band that went through already so much wouldn't be stopped (especially since it was truly a coincidence what became evident soon) and recorded the very experimental "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence". Although the album features some really interesting ideas, I have to admit that I never really liked it, especially because I just don't enjoy the 45 minute title song. I don't really know why. I just don't.
Just one year later, Dream Theater unleashed their heaviest effort to date: "Train Of Thought".
The advance single, "As I Am" caused skepticism (I also think it's the weakest song on the album), but the full release proved them wrong. Countless solos, chunky riffs, odd time signatures, almost all songs surpassing the 10 minute duration mark: this is a true Progressive Metal release. The responses were almost 100% positive, fans hailing the energy and furiosity of the album, some even calling it the best Dream Theater release. My favourite Dream theater album is a tie between Scenes From A Memory and Train Of Thought, but I can still relate to those fans.
After extensive touring, they released a live recording from their performance at the Budokan in Japan, famous for its legendary concerts by i.e. The Beatles.
The only problem was: LaBrie's voice was in very bad condition and they almost had to cancel the show, but he took on the challenge of a 3 hour show anyway. The result is a not 100% correct but authentic live vocal performance. A focus on the Train Of Thought album, a medley of their instrumental and the keyboard/drum jam in the middle of "Beyond This Life" contribute to that recording.
After the tour, Dream Theater entered the halls of the famous Hit Factory studios in New York, being the last band to record an album before being shut down for good.
They spent unusually long in the studio, working on the songs a lot while recording.
The result goes by the name of "Octavarium", released 2005. The album is, according to the band, to focus a little more on the Pop influences and to create a varied album.
Varied it is, indeed; the first song, "The Root Of All Evil", that actually goes back to back with the last song on "Train Of Thought" (In The Name Of God), is a song unusually straight for Dream Theater, featuring a reprise of Train Of Thought stuff.
The song "I Walk Beside You" is a song that sounds a lot like U2, while the next song "Panic Attack" is a typical heavy Dream Theater song, and the following "Never Enough" sometimes reminds the listener of the band Muse.
I don't really like the album personally, but I have to say that it's a great recording. The songwriting, sound and vocals are some of the best Dream Theater ever did, but I rather enjoy them playing a lot of solos, dropping conventional song structures and playing songs longer than 8 minutes.
Again, a live album was released. but not an ordinary one: half of the set is played by Dream Theater, and for the second half, they're joined by "The Octavarium Orchestra". And for what band would it make more sense to play with an orchestra than Dream Theater? Forget those half-assed attempts by Metallica, Kiss, and the mid-90s-Rage at appearing to be sensible. This is a new dimension of a fusion of Metal and orchestra. Alone hearing "Metropolis Pt. 1" performed with an orchestra - incredible.
That release is called "Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour", released in 2006.
I guess this is where their biography stops for now, but I'm sure I'm gonna have to make revisions to it soon; especially Portnoy is a workaholic! Rumor has it he's working on another band with Porcupine Tree's Steve Wilson and Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt...


Dream Theater's Official Website
Video directory at here for some cool videos)
Audio directory at
Dream Theater at myspace (fansite) (go here to listen to 3 songs)

Videos at

Dream Theater covering Metallica's "Master Of Puppets" live:

Video clip for the song "Lie" (off of "Awake"):

Instrumedley live at Budokan:

"A Change Of Seasons" live:

Something funny: an "interpretation" of the lyrics of "Innocence Faded":

"Metropolis Pt. 1" live with orchestra:

Bands already featured:

Circus Maximus
Spiral Architect
Pagan's Mind

(just search this blog or look in the archive for the band you're interested in - scroll up to the top)

Dienstag, 5. Dezember 2006

Bobby Jarzombek Videos

Hey everybody!
Before we continue with bands, I'd like to present to you the eye catching skills of drummer Bobby Jarzombek. He and his brother Ron (guitarist) are most commonly known together for their work in Spastic Ink, and Bobby in particular for playing with Halford (the post-"Painkiller" band of the Judas Priest singer), as well as Painmuseum and Riot, and recording for acts like Demons & Wizards, Juggernaut and Rob Rock.
While most of his recording work does not showcase his full potential, some of his drum videos do:

First, three excerpts from his DVD "Performance & Technique"
(the guitars were co-written, and recorded by his brother Ron; pay attention to the cymbals behind his back!!!):

"Peppered Cancer"



Here's a clip of him recording "Aquanet" for the Spastic Ink album "Ink Compatible"(2004):

Check his website for more info!

I'll be back soon with another band post; enjoy the videos in the meantime!

Sonntag, 3. Dezember 2006

Pagan's Mind

And again from Norway (yes, Norway seems to not only harvest Black Metal crap), another great band
that is still ignored by the international metal press too much:

Pagan's Mind

Genre: Progressive Power Metal

Formed: 2000 in Skien, Telemark (Norway)


Nils K. Rue - Vocals (also in Dimension Infinite, Eidolon)
Jørn Viggo Lofstad - Guitar (also in Jørn, Beautiful Sin)
Steinar Krokmo - Bass (also in Dimension Infinite, Trivial Act, Beautiful Sin, formerly in Dimension F3H (live))
Ronny Tegner - Keyboard (also in Arvinger)
Stian Lindaas Kristoffersen - Drums (also in Jørn, Trivial Act, Kinrick, formerly in Firewind, Dimension F3H)


Thorstein Aaby - Guitars (2000-August, 2003)


2000 - Infinity Divine(album)
2002 - Celestial Entrance(album)
2004 - Infinity Divine (Re-Release w/ 2 Bonus tracks)
2005 - Enigmatic Calling(album)

Pagans Mind was formed during summer by 2000 by Nils K. Rue (vocals), Stian Kristoffersen (drums) and Thorstein Aaby (guitar). To enable their department from rather straight 80's inspired metal to a more complex and progressive direction, they added Steinar Krokmo, a bassist who drummer Stian knew from their past joint efforts with Progressive Metal band Trivial Act, and guitar virtuoso Jorn Viggo Lofstad, who was recommended by Ronny Tegner, a friend of Steinar, eventually joining Pagan's mind full-time after the completion of the recording of the first full length, Infinity Divine.

This album, produced by legendary TNT guitarist Ronni Le Tekro, was released in November 2000 on the Norwegian label Voices Of Wonder Records. While receiving good press, the label struggled with distribution, especially outside Norway.

So they signed to the German LMP (Limb Music Productions) label, in company of bands like Luca Turilli, formerly Rhapsody (now renamed to Rhapsody Of Fire), Pain of Salvation, Adagio and other more or less experimental Power Metal oriented bands from all over the world.
In January 2002, they entered the studio to record their sophomore "Celestial Entrance", which was mixed at the famous Studio Fredman by Fredrik Nordström.
This more elaborate effort, not only being a step forward sound-wise but also song-wise, grips the listener from the ultra-catchy Intro transiting into "Through Osiris' Eyes" featuring a brilliant hookline throughout the 2-Part-"Back To the Magic Of Childhood" until the almost 10-minute track "The Prophecy Of Pleiades" at the end.

The success of the album also provoked a desire among the fans for a re-release of "Infinity Divine", which was revised and then re-released by LMP in 2004 also featuring a rerecorded version of "Embracing Fear" and a cover version of King Diamond's "At The Graves". featuring guest musicians Gus G (Mystic Prophecy, Firewind, Ex-Dream Evil) and Glen Drover (Eidolon, Megadeth, Ex-King Diamond) making it increasingly interesting.

The band had already begun with the songwriting during the "Infinity Divine"-revision, took another year, and then chose about a third of the material they'd written to be released as their third album. Again, Fredrik Nordström worked on the brilliant sound.
In total, I'd say that "Enigmatic:Calling" is their best album to date. The band managed to compress their sound more as in excluding superfluous parts, as well as growing more "extreme"; on the one hand softer, on the other hand heavier.
I recommend Pagan's Mind to Progressive and Power Metal fans alike; the band already appeals to both audiences, which is no wonder, combining catchy songwriting and technicality that turns heads (especially the guitar work is top notch, to say the least).


Pagan's Mind's Official Website

Pagan's Mind at Myspace (go here to listen to 4 songs)

Pagan's Mind Fanclub Website

Pagan's Mind Tribute Myspace (set to private; you'll need to be a myspace member and be approved as a friend)

Media Page @ (Vids, mp3s & more)

Videos at

(For the official video clips refer to the media page above; the videos are all embedded there from youtube)

Pagan's Mind covering Kiss live with Power Quest (Rock n Roll All Night):

Awesome guitar solo by Jorn Viggo Lofstad at Bradford Rios

Bands already featured:

Circus Maximus
Spiral Architect

(just search this blog or look in the archive for the band you're interested in - scroll up to the top)

Donnerstag, 30. November 2006

101 Rules of Prog Metal

Hi everyone,
Most of you probably know "The 101 rules of Black Metal" and the diversions as "50 rules of hardcore", "100 rules of True Metal", 101 rules of Extreme Metal" and so on.
I actually (and finally) found: "The 101 Rules of Prog Metal"!!!
Have fun!

The 101 Rules of Progressive Metal

1. Insist that your definition of prog metal is sacred and that the only
progressive bands are the one you deem to be so.

2. Accuse anyone who disagrees with you regarding rule 1 of lacking
musical intelligence and not being a true prog fan.

3. Have contempt for mainstream music.

4. Insist that most people listen not to the music, not to the lyrics
but only the chorus and that is why prog metal is not mainstream.

5. Accuse anyone who disagrees with you regarding rule 4 of lacking
musical intelligence and not being a true prog fan.

6. When showcasing a new prog metal band to a non-musician friend, put
on the most technically difficult song, and skip directly to the solo part.

7. If your friend says that it is cool, tell him that he has grasped the
grandeur of prog and shown that his intelligence is superior to that of
the mainstream sheep

8. If he doesn`t, accuse him of lacking musical intelligence and not
being a true prog fan.

9. Renounce all contact with friend in rule 8. Racial purity isn`t all bad.

10. Make sure your drummer has a double bass pedal.

11. If he hasn`t, kick him out and get another one who has. Single pedal
is NOT prog.

12. Own every side-project a member of Dream Theater has been involved
in. Listen to approximately none of them regularly.

13. When a mainstream fool asks you what prog metal is, tell him
something along the lines of "prog is the evolution of musical
expression and experimentalism in rock". In any case, make sure that the
person in question is left with no idea of what prog metal is. He
wouldn`t have understood anyway.

14. Insist that music should always progress, although as long as you
write an album in the prog vein, you don't necessarily have to.

15. Accuse anyone who disagrees with you regarding rule 14 of lacking
musical intelligence and not being a true prog fan.

16. Refer to progressive metal as intelligent music for intelligent
people, preferably at every occasion where a mainstream group or genre
is mentioned.

17. Note that the above does not qualify as arrogance any more than
pointing out that wine is drink for the more sophisticated.

18. A song under four minutes is NOT prog. If you are stuck with a song
under four minutes, insert a phrygian solo trade-off between the
guitarist and keyboardist as long as needed.

19. If a mainstream fool tells you that shredders are mindless wankers,
tell him that "at least they can tune their guitars, har har", and walk
away defiantly.

20. Spocks Beard is NOT prog. If anyone disagrees, kill them.

21. Humming along with the melody to a prog metal song is forbidden.
Burn all albums you own with hum-along melodies.

22. Loathe all music you used to like before you got into prog. This is
not optional. When asked why, tell people that "I am into GOOD music
now, why would I go back?".

23. Accuse any prog metal musician that cuts his hair of selling out.

24. Often state that you don't only listen to prog. Jazz is a good choice.

25. you have more than 3 jazz CDs in your collection...

26. Never accept ANY Berklee graduates. The drop-outs are so much better.

27. Riffs in 4/4 are not progressive. If you happen to come up with a
cool riff in 4/4, alternate between 4/4 and progressive time signatures
like 7/8 every other measure to ensure the musical complexity synonymous
with prog metal.

28. Be able to mention 20 bands noone has heard of, not even true prog
fans. Own no releases of these bands.

29. Get an Ibanez. This is not negotiable.

30. Spend 5 hours every day critiquing other musicians on forums.

31. Spend 5 minutes every other day actually practicing your instrument.

32. Yell at people who headbang at concerts: They`re not prog enough to
get the music, what do they expect?

33. Sus4 is your friend. To ensure that your album is a true progressive
release, include at least one part where the keyboard plays ascending
sus4 chords over a single-note broken rhythm in 7/8.

34. Make sure your bandname is either a

-Silent Noise
-Tender Harshness
-Healing Gun

b)Some geeky sounding name ripped from some obscure book.



c)Random combination of at least 2 three-syllable words.

-Eternal Twilight Tranquility(Can`t get much progger than that) -Redolent Arithmetic -Evolution of Vernacular Domesticated

35. Don`t worry about if your band name makes any sense or not. Since
90% of your fanbase is from Brazil and Japan, you can safely ignore
conventional English grammar and instead focus on what`s really
important: The lyrics(see rule 36).

36. Write deep and ambiguous lyrics.

37. If unable to write deep and ambigous lyrics, include at least one of
the following phrases to ensure recognition as lyrical genius in prog

"I`m staring towards ascension divine, caught in my own revelation, a
nightly mystery of soulburning apparition"

"Mornings` gentle caress, a ray of sunlight enveloping the spirit of the
sleeper ventriloquist"

"A timid, palatable genocide, turn towards the decline of mankind, the
festering wound of ages past changes into the soul-spirit of vestigial

38. Use a non-standard instrument like violin, saxophone or kazoo,
regardless of how idiosyncratic it turns out to be. This constitutes
being prog.

39. Make sure your bass-player has as many strings as possible. Don`t
worry if he uses approximately three of the 11 strings on his custom
Carvin 30 kg bass regularly, just give him a bass solo in the middle of
your mandatory instrumental tune(more on that later)where he can really
show the extent of his instruments capabilities. Imagine the range of
scales on an instrument like that!

40. Release a live-album called "Live in Tokyo".

41. Change time signatures. Constantly.

42. Accuse anyone who does not do so of lacking musical intelligence and
not being a true progressive musician.

43. Your amp MUST be a Mesa Boogie. If a friend of yours tries to
convince you're wrong and you should check out his Marshall tell him
that his tone is thin and buzzy.

44. State that Metallica can't properly tweak the boogies. They're so...

45. Start a Dream Theater cover band with friends just starting out
playing instruments. Spend half of the rehearsal talking shit about punk
bands and how people don`t understand your music.

46. Play a shitty version of a humongously difficult DT song at a Battle
of the Bands-type contest. Metropolis Part 1 or Dance of Eternity are
both good choices, as is Erotomania.

47. When your band ends up last, shift all blame over to the judges;
hey, they have no idea what good music is! Why else would they let that
boring pop band win?

48. Talking about starting playing an instrument; always start with the
most technically difficult song you know. Remember, this is a testament
to your immense talent, so be sure to mention this on every internet
community you happen to frequent.

49. When are you able to play something at half speed very sloppy,
proudly state that you "nail" the song in question.

50. People are bound to ask for a recording of the feat mentioned in
rule 49. However, you are not able to provide it to them, because a)
your recording equipment got dissolved by digestive acid yesterday,
b)you don`t need to prove anything to people. Your word should be good
enough c) you don`t know anything about computers(even though you sit by
one most of the day), as you spend most of your day practicing your

51. Tool is NOT prog. If anyone insists they are, kill them.

52. Hate Falling into Infinity. If the feeling that you actually enjoy
FII(even the "proggier" songs like TOT)sneaks up on you during a glitch
of concentration, remind yourself that DT sold out.

53. Actually, state that DT sold out on every good occasion. This means
every time their name is mentioned.

54. Don't be John Arch. Insist that any pre-Alder Fates is 100% not prog.

55. Do not move on stage. Don`t under any circumstances forget that
nobody at prog concerts pays attention to the audience, including the band.

56. The best songs are those that are over 15 minutes, have multiple
named sections, and have solos by everyone in the band INCLUDING the

57. Accuse anyone who disagrees with you regarding rule 56 of lacking
musical inteli...Yeah, you`ve got it now, haven`t you?

58. Never ever under any circumstances say "Six Degrees Of Inner
Turbulence ruled."

59. Never let anyone tell you that Dave Weckl is better than any prog
metal drummer. If they still insist, don`t kill them, but rather put on
the Mike Portnoy drum solo from 1993`s "Live in Tokyo" vid, which still
today is the benchmark for good drumming, REGARDLESS of genre.

60. It would still be a good idea to have that gun ready, though.

61. Drummers: Huge kits are MANDATORY!!!! If all you have is a 4-piece
with 3 crappy cymbals, then you don't belong on stage. A 5-piece single
bass drum kit is the bare minimum and even that's on the edges of bare
bones. If you have a tiny kit BUY MORE DRUMS AND CYMBALS!!!!!!!

62. No, 6 toms is not enough, MORE DRUMS AND CYMBALS!!!!

63. Reform with old members and release an album intended to make up for
years of bad reception from fans (see Yes) or claim your next album will
be a return to past glory (see Queensryche). If it flops, be sure to
blame a producer or record company.

64. When someone asks you why prog metal isn`t more popular if it is so
darned good, tell them that it is because "it is over the mainstream
peoples heads".

65. Talent = Technical skill. Hail any band with lightning-speed solos
for their immense talent.

66. Publicly state that your band is non-religious, then make many
religious and/or spiritual allusions in the lyrics.

67. Stress your openmindedness. State that you like all forms of music,
except lower forms of music like pop, rock `n roll, blues, techno,
trance, rap.

68. Accuse fans of the aforementioned genres of not being openminded.

69. Get a Kurzweil. As the undisputed <<>> plays it,
you have no choice but to get one yourself, no matter what synthezisers
you actually like. ALL BOW TO THE MIGHTY 88-KEY <<>> KURZWEIL!!!

70. ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNO-KURZWEIL!!!!(Futuruma fans will know what I`m
talking about)

71. Show off with your equipment. Show off with your playing/singing.
Show off with your *ahem* length. Show off with your girlfriend. Show
off with anything you can think of. Show off with your DOG for god's sake.

72. Get a dog.

73. Play air-drums or air-guitar at concerts. This will make sure that
other prog fans recognize your immense talent.

74. Stuck in song-writing? Insert a part with a slow single-note gallop
rhythm where the singer yells "ENTER THE SUUUNNNNNNNN" several times.

75. Note that you can substitute "ENTER THE SUUUNNNNNNNNN" for either of
APPARITION DIVIIIIIINNNNEEEE". All three are suitable choices.

76. What do you mean, you haven`t trigged your bassdrum?

77. Remember, faster=more progressive. Slow songs cannot be progressive,
best example would be Pink Floyd.

78. If anyone says PF are prog, kindly refer them to rule 1 while you
prepare to do a "Varg", so to say.

79. During recording, make sure that you accuse the producer, the
recording engineer and half of your band of not playing the song
properly at least once.

80. Make sure your album cover contains either a psychedelic
computer-drawn image, a lavish painting with mythological figures, or is
illustrated by Travis Smith.

81. Write epics.

82. In case you didn`t know, epics must be about adolescency, concerning
a legend, or a deep dystopian tale where a cheesy fictional
city/world/pizza shop serves as a metaphor for this world.

83. Have racks with loads of equipment.

84. Have racks without equipment. Who is going to see them if you don`t
display them?

85. No intro for your song? Insert a single-note broken rhythm accented
on the snare, with shifting keyboard chords underneath.

86. Refuse to lend prog CDs to mainstream friends. When asked why, tell
him/her that (s)he "will understand when (s)he matures"

87. When playing ANY gig, from the lowliest bar to the most gargantuan
arena, be sure that no member of the audience will leave without having
heard every lick you are able to play.

88. Have at least 5 solo spots during a concert.

89. In case you have forgotten while reading this, prog metal is
intelligent music for intelligent people.

90. No, Marillion is not prog. I kindly refer you to rule 20.

91. BOOOM!!!

92. Buy new albums from past prog-greats.

93. When they turn out to be crap and nothing like the old albums, hit
yourself in the head with a hammer until you like them.

94. Hold that there is no bad prog, only DIFFERENT.

95. Of course, that only applies to bands you like. See Rule 1.

96. In case you wondered, Dream Theater is and will always be the
benchmark for prog metal. The more something sounds like Images and
Words, the more progressive it is.

97. Proclaim Rule 96 to people with a straight face in all seriousness.
This is not optional.

98. Have side-projects. Make sure that all side-projects consist of
pointless jamming over endless repetitions of clicheed riffs.

99. Make sure that at least one of your side-projects feature Mike
Portnoy on drums.

100. If you cannot get Mike Portnoy, get someone who sounds like him.

101. You mean you have been reading this when you could have been
practicing along to Metropolis Part II or composing a sidelong epic? For

Mittwoch, 29. November 2006

Spiral Architect

This time, it's back to Norway again for some very technical stuff:

Spiral Architect

Genre: Progressive/Technical Thrash/Power Metal

Formed: 1993 in Oslo (Norway), still active


Øyvind Hægeland : Vocals, keyboards (also in Arcturus (Nor), Manitou (Nor) )
Steinar Gundersen : Lead guitars (also in Satyricon; formerly in Lunaris, King's Quest)
Andreas Jonsson : Guitars
Lars K. Norberg : Bass, programming (also in Satyricon)
Asgeir Mickelson : Drums (also in Borknagar, Vintersorg, Ihsahn, Enslavement Of Beauty, Scariot ; formerly in Lunaris, Highland Glory)

Kaj Gornitzka - Rhythm guitars (Twisted Into Form)
Leif Knashaug - Vocals (Twisted Into Form)
Sean Malone (Guest Solo on "Occam's Razor")


1996 - self-titled Demo
2000 - A Sceptic's Universe (album)

Spiral Architect was founded in 1993 in Oslo, Norway, when lead guitarist Steinar Gundersen joined the remains of a band called Anesthesia consisting of Kaj Gornitzka (guitar), Lars K. Norberg (bass) and Asgeir Mickelson (drums).
They are influenced by bands like Watchtower, Fates Warning and Psychotic Waltz. The overall idea was to, as genuinely as possible, mix Jazz and Fusion elements with uncompromising metal.

The first official recording showcasing Spiral Architect’s music was the compilation CD "A Gathering…" in 1995, featuring the songs "Fountainhead" and "Purpose".
These two songs were also released as an independent demo in February '96 and promoted heavily worldwide through magazines and the internet. The demo caused a stir in the progressive metal undeground scene, and many record labels were interested in signing the band, but they decided to take some more time and work more intensively on the new material.

The vocals on the 1995 demo were recorded by session vocalist Leif Knashaug. In 1996, they finally found a full time vocalist in Øyvind Hægeland (ex-Manitou), who had an influence on the development of their sound, as they claim.

They then recorded their first and only full length to date : A Sceptic's Universe.

"Spiral Architect opted for a holistic approach to the art of making a record (music, text, lyrics). The album and the philosophy behind it was to reflect the rational and sceptical world view held by the musicians involved.", so they comment on the process.

Signing a contract with Sensory Records in 1997, they recorded the album in June 1998 in Texas with Producer Neil Kernon (Judas Priest, Nevermore, Cannibal Corpse and many more).

Not much has been heard from the band since, as, due to their various other musical duties, they don't find much time to work on new material. But they do emphasize that the band still exists, so let's hope for the next effort to be released soon!

For everyone who isn't familiar with their first album: check it out! It is very technical, so much that it might disturb you at first, but give it a few listens. You'll find the quality of their music hidden. At first, it's just too much at once, I guess. But the album does not only offer some stunning bass work, but also interesting song and riff structures and some of the best jazz elements incorporated in Metal. The production sounds somewhat like the first and last Cynic album "Focus", also, they seem to have been an influence on Spiral Architect. So I guess this is for anybody who likes the more complicated side of Prog Metal and Death Metal, while also fans of bands like the aforementioned Cynic and Nevermore, as well as the likes of Watchtower, will find a gem in this.


Sprial Architect's Official Website

Spiral Architect at Myspace (unofficial) (go here to listen to 3 Songs)

Clips at :

Playing some new stuff and the beginning of "Excessit":

Playing "Spinning" filmed from the drumset (watch this, it's really cool^^):

Bands already featured:

Circus Maximus

(just search this blog or look in the archive for the band you're interested in - scroll up to the top)

Dienstag, 28. November 2006

Jordan Rudess Videos

Hey everybody!
I won't limit myself to posting about bands, as I care about posting stuff that is interesting in general.
So here I'd like to introduce to to 3 videos of keyboard guru Jordan Rudess (now in Dream Theater) that I found on

Time Crunch


Screaming Head

All those tracks are taken from Rudess' last solo effort "Rhythm of Time", featuring guitarists like Joe Satriani, Steve Morse, Greg Howe and Vinnie Moore, as well as Rod Morgenstein on drums, with whom he founded the Rudess/Morgenstein Project ( "It all began one evening on the Dixie Dregs 1994 Full Circle tour in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when a sudden power failure shut down the guitar, bass and violin rigs. For unknown reasons, the keyboards remained unaffected. What followed was a spontaneous 10 minute drum/keyboard jam which inspired the creation of this project." - from

Enjoy them and feel free to leave me comments and feedback! Commenting is open to everybody!


For my second post, I'll introduce you to something a little more underground:


Genre: Progressive Modern Thrash Metal

Formed: 2003 in Cagliari (Italy), still active


Giorgia Fadda - Vocals
Fabio Carta - Vocals
Henrik ‘Guf’ Rangstrup - Guitars ( also in Sinfonia, formerly in Blu Infinito)
Marco Angioni - Bass (formerly in Motivi Per Litigare, also plays guitar in KTL)
Raphael Saini - Drums (played in several Death Metal bands as the Cagliari Porn-Grind outfit Machescazo, Melodic Death band Blu Infinito (where Henrik made a studio appearance), guest drums for Avant-Garde Death metal band Misbelieving, (formerly) Abiura, (formerly) studio guest for Mutilated Soul)


2004 - self-titled Demo
2005 - The White Noise Within

The band started out in 2003 when Henrik Rangstrup, having moved to Italy 1 year prior to founding Chaoswave for personal reasons and also plays in the Danish Progressive Gothic Metal band Sinphonia, aimed at creating a sound reminiscent of Nevermore; aggressive, harsh instrumentalisation with melodic vocals.
Indeed, the band does sound somewhat like Nevermore, although more modern and aggressive.

He then gathered together Marco Angioni, who is also a guitarist for Progressive Rock band KTL, as well as a producer (i.e. the first Misbelieving E.P.), drummer Raphael Saini, who had experience from playing with several Death Metal outfits, including Misbelieving, thus being acquainted to Marco.
According to the band, the two singers Giorgia Fadda and Fabio Carta were actually a sort of lucky pick, since they weren't known for their vocal talent (yet).

The four-track demo simply entitled ‘Chaoswave’ was the first release of the band. It was released in November 2004, distributed in around 1500 copies, and was quite well received by the press, as well as attracting the attention of Dutch label DVS Records, offering them a deal not long after, so that the debut album "The White Noise Within" could be released on a larger scale in the beginning of 2006. At the moment, the band seems to be occupied with touring. Catch them if you have the chance!

In my own opinion, Chaoswave, although sounding a lot like Nevermore and also influenced by Lacuna Coil, Meshuggah and a tad of Fear Factory, they manage to create a fairly unique sound that will certainly appeal to fans of the aforementioned bands, but also to Prog fans that prefer songwriting over musical abilities; while all the instruments are played flawlessly, there's no excessive soloing and 15-minute songs. The "progressive" part rather erveals itself in the form of sometimes very experimenal sounding vocal lines, as well as odd time signatures and interesting rhythm patterns. In general, Chaoswave's music is rather focused on rhythm, which most probably invokes common references to Meshuggah.
So if you're open to a rather modern sound and out to check out something unique, give Chaoswave a try. You won't regret it!


Chaoswave's Official Website
Chaoswave at Myspace (go here to listen to 3 Songs)
Download 2 Songs of "The White Noise Within" here!

Clips at

Chaoswave at Progpower 2006 performing a song, as far as my knowledge goes, not off the "The White Noise Within" album.

Bands already featured:

Circus Maximus

(just search this blog or look in the archive for the band you're interested in - scroll up to the top)

Sonntag, 26. November 2006

Circus Maximus

I'm gonna start off the Prog Metal Blog with a band that definitely deserves more attention:

Circus Maximus

Genre: Progressive/Power Metal

Formed: 2000 in Oslo (Norway), still active


Michael Eriksen - Vocals (also in Carnivora)
Mats Haugen - Guitar
Glen Mollen - Bass
Truls Haugen - Drums (also in Insense, played bass in Black Comedy)
Lasse Finbroten - Keyboards (also in Tritonus)

Espen Storø - Keyboards (2000-2005)


2005 - The 1st Chapter (album)

I stumbled across this band when I was trying to find bands that sounded somewhat like Dream Theater or Symphony X, and with CIRCUS MAXIMUS, I definitely found that and more.
Their first release, "The 1st Chapter" is easily the best Prog Metal album of 2005, and spans a variety from Scandinavian Pop to Death Metal. I can definitely recommend this band to any Prog Metal fan.

Biography (taken from the official band site):

The new wave of Norwegian progressive metal has found a worthy representative in Circus Maximus. Very accessible vocal melodies blending perfectly with progressive metal tunes. Norwegian Circus Maximus became a full line up in 2000, consisting of long time band-mates Michael Eriksen on vocals and brothers Mats & Truls Haugen on guitar and drums respectively. In addition the band consists of keyboard mastermind Espen Storø and Mats' old high school buddy Glen Cato Møllen on bass. The band has a wide variety of musical influences, from pop/rock to 70's Prog-Rock to Heavy and Death metal, all of which is melted together and gives the guys their unique sound. The melting pot creates a mixture of great melodies, groove, heavy riffs and weird odd time signatures. After recording 2 demos, which received rave reviews in Norway, as well in Europe and the states, Circus Maximus hooked up with Danish based metal agency Intromental Management in April 2004, and soon after got signed to the American label Sensory Records (who in turn licensed the album out to Frontiers Records for the European release). During summer of 2004, the band completed the song writing for the debut album, "The First Chapter", which was recorded in various studios in Norway, and mixed in October 2004 in Denmark at Jailhouse Studios with well-known producer Tommy Hansen (Helloween, Pretty Maids, Wuthering Heights) at the helm. The sound is impeccable, the musicianship is out-of-this-world, Michael's voice is amazing (reminding of Tony Harnell, Joey Tempest and Ronnie Atkins), and the songs are simply put outstanding. A superb mixture of classic hard rock anthems and progressive technical bits and pieces. Just listen to such awesome tracks as the upbeat opener "Sin", the beautiful ballad "Silence From Angels Above", the grandiose "Glory Of The Empire" or the 19 minute magnum-piece "The 1st Chapter". This album will for sure appeal to all fans of bands such as Symphony X, TNT, Dream Theater, Pretty Maids and Queensryche. Beware of the Circus ...

Circus Maximus Official Website
Circus Maximus at Myspace (go here to listen to four songs and watch 6 videos)
Media at Circus Maximus' Website
Clips at :
Live Pt.1:

Live Pt.2:

Part from "Why Am I Here?" @ProgPower USA:

Soloing by Mats and Lasse:

Slideshow from ProgPower USA:



Hello everybody! Welcome to my new Progressive Metal Blog!

Since I have searched the net quite a while for a comprehensive source for Prog Metal (i.e. bands, music samples etc.) and couldn't find anything like that, I will do my best to introduce all of you to some bands I enjoy and recommend, while I encourage members of Prog Metal bands that want their band featured (or people who know a band they want featured) to contact me.
All in all, I want to create a comprehensive blog for Prog Metal fans that wish to find out about bands they'd probably like and media to check out on those bands.

By the way, when I say "progressive metal", I also include Technical/Progressive Death Metal, Progressive Power Metal, maybe also Prog Rock and Fusion. To a certain extent you can be sure to find about every style of Metal here - as long as it at least includes progressive elements.
I understand that some may not like Death Metal vocals while others don't enjoy Power metal vocals or keyboards, but i want this to be more universal than just one style of music.

So enjoy your visit and send me feedback!
The first real post will be here soon!