Music Reviews Progressive Metal

Opeth – Heritage

For their tenth album Opeth has taken a different approach by summoning Mikael Åkerfeldt’s 1970s progressive rock influences. Heritage is an ode and celebration of a time in rock history where technical prowess and grandiose concepts reigned. This overt homage has the signature brand of progressive fusion Opeth had always had, but this time its the forefront style.

“Heritage” lays the groundwork for the eerie mood with a soft piano ballad, but merely a calm before the storm. “The Devil’s Orchard” is the first example of Opeth’s new venture and is an immediate standout track. The song takes no prisoners with its nostalgic melody that leads up to the iconic beckoning in the chorus: “God is Dead”. Other standout tracks include “The Lines in My Hand” which as a killer bass-line that shows the band’s musical dexterity in this experimental phase in their history.

Commentary Music Reviews Progressive Rock

The Dropa Stone rips through Bardot Miami

Known for bringing in top notch music and many independent bands on the rise, Bardot has become one of the more popular music venues in Miami. I had the pleasure of coming out to see The Dropa Stone perform at Bardot Miami on Thursday September 22nd.  Bardot’s long room decor with unique artwork, stylish couches and a great sound system was a great environment to see the band.

Music Reviews Progressive Rock

Beardfish – Mammoth

Let it be known that Beardfish may indeed become the leading progressive rock band coming into the 2010s. I consider that be a bold statement because the band composes interesting songs that seem so effortless, yet consistently awesome. I jumped aboard the Beardfish bandwagon in 2009 when they were announced to be a part of the Progressive Nation Tour 2009, alongside Pain of Salvation. After giving both Sleeping in Traffic Parts 1 & 2 dozens upon dozens of listens, I knew that Beardfish was something special in the current progressive scene. Both bands would be victims of the economic downturn. Unable to find financial support to get both bands to North America, they had to pull out of the tour. Beardfish turned around with a stellar release, Destined Solitude which equaled the greatness of Sleeping in Traffic.

Music Reviews Progressive Rock

D Project – Big Face

Project D’s 2011 release, Big Face has an compositional quality that never feels like one has truly traveled through the album or have been challenged enough to warrant additional listens. D Project constantly switches gears to only to please themselves, leaving the album’s contents feeling disconnected. The album does have moments that suggest the musicians are talented, but overall, Big Face fails to truly be a work worthy of your collection.

“They” starts off with a great groove before the song finds its rightful melody before it becomes an unpredictable journey towards the end. “So Low” and “Kids Will Never Know” are uninspired, straight-ahead rock tunes that keep the album unbalanced. “Big Face” is a dated wall of sound that reaches too high and ultimately never delivers. “Anger Parts 1 & 2” and “Anger Part 3” beat the message across the head eventually becoming kitschy towards the end.

Movie Review

Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage

Not only do I write for ProgSnobs, I am also a film critic for the website Film Junk which is a  film blog and podcast. Last month I wrote a review for the new Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage documentary. Here’s an excerpt from that review:

There are three types of people in the world: people who love Rush, people who hate Rush, and the rest of the world who have never heard of Rush. Regardless, after 36 years the band has accumulated two-dozen gold records and fourteen platinum records, and are responsible for influencing many of the modern metal and hard rock bands of today. Their story, like any other band, has its ups and downs and the most interesting aspect is that they have strayed away from complete mainstream acceptance from traditional press and critical praise. Director Sam Dunn (Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey,Iron Maiden: Flight 666) has thoroughly dug through nearly 40 years of material to construct a detailed timeline of Rush’s existence.

Read the whole review at Film Junk.