Sunday, 28 August 2016

Solidity - Gojira - Tiles - Poem

A Progmetal special today, with some CD's I bought the last months. While all can be considered Progmetal in some way, they differ quite a bit amongst themselves and are all not from main progmetal areas like Scandinavia or the USA.

Solidity - An Abnormal Collection
Starting of in Hungary with Solidity a band I discovered through Prog Metal Zone and then Bandcamp. This band blends all from pop to electronical sounds but also metal in extreme and djenty forms. Masters of blending styles are Voyager from Australia and Solidity do not yet reach that level. At times they give the impression not fully knowing which way they are heading, but also at times it sounds very nice and they surprise you with a total blast. They sell this CD for 4 EUR or more, which is almost giving it away really. Like more Bandcamp releases sorry to see the lyrics on internet, but not in a booklet. Advice here listen to bandcamp and if feeling the same sympathy for them I felt: order your copy.

Gojira - Magma
This CD has been all over the internet, as Gojira were promoted to the premier league with their previous album L'Enfent Sauvage already. Yes they are French but  I shall say this only once. As I missed all big summer festivals this year I did not see them playing live yet. In Aardschok the question was raised if they could headline major festivals in the future. Personally I think not, as their music needs some digging in to, before appreciating fully. It is all about the riffs and the groove. No great guitar solo's filling this album, but a constant pulsing heavy beat. It seems they walk away from their more extreme past and who knows one day we see them breaking even bigger than I see possible now. Recommended for music lovers.

Tiles - Pretending 2 Run
Arriving at the softer side of Progmetal we find Tiles. They fall for me in the same category as Enchant and Shadow Gallery. Great bands who played Europe not enough, but also who I do not need to follow buying every CD. You know what you get and it is high class, but lacks some surpise. Afer a long hiatus of eight years they are back recording even a double album. Mainly due to the list of guest appearances I got interested and bought this one, Starting with a disappointment, when Mike Portnoy plays together with his son Max on one song I expected fireworks and not a lame poppy song Fait Accompli. I have this album quite a long time already, but needed time to get an idea. My final verdict is that the double album again resulted in too much music to swallow. Especially CD2 has too many fillers I think and moves very close to Yes. Still some very good songs on this album and a return of their signature sound. Final thumbs up for the artwork, with some pictures in the booklet, showing the finger to any MP3 file collectors, being as beautiful as best Rush, Floyd or Dream Theater artwork.

Poem - Skein Syndrome
Greece did it again! With several underground festivals, many bands talking positive about the fans and some huge Progmetal releases in the past (Wastefall, Need!) we now have Poem. The band is not new and even played Holland supporting Amorphis earlier this year. I needed an interview in Legacy and then the internet to get to know them. Poem play progmetal ticking all the right boxes. Good songs to start with, great vocalist, heavy enough and good instrumental base to build on. For reference or name dropping they remind me of a faster version of Soen. Best introduction to this band is YouTube. Go and search for their clip of Passive Observer. Chances are you get impressed and order this album as fast as I did after discovering them.

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