This week on Prog-Watch there’s more great new prog rock from How Far To Hitchin’, Klone, Steve Hackett and the Genesis Revisited Band and Orchestra, the Earthling Society, and Richard Henshall (of Haken)! Also, some classic music from Joe Walsh, and Port Noir on Progressive Discoveries with Dr. Rob Fisher!

642: Variety + Port Noir on Progressive Discoveries

 

Edition 207 of Steve Blease’s Heavy Elements is now available as a podcast.

Playlist:

Star One – Earth That Was
Alarion – Chains of the Collective
Unwritten Pages – In the Name of Ishmael
Ayreon – Into the Black Hole

Epic at 11: Headspace – The Science Within Us

Archangel – Misplaced Love
Acid Empire – Into the Void

Album of the Week: Threshold – Wounded Land

Paradox
Intervention
Sanity’s End

Maiden uniteD – Where Eagles Dare

#progzillaradio #heavyelements

This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2019/10/16/david-gilmour-and-richard-thompson/

The Royal Albert Hall, London
Monday, 30th September 2019

Over the last few years there have been a couple of occasions where I’ve seriously kicked myself after missing out on iconic concerts; Led Zeppelin at the O2 and Kate Bush in Hammersmith being two that instantly spring to mind. Mainly it was down to cost, or at least, in the case of Zeppelin, just not having the buying power, but still, now I look back with regrets at having missed out on those moments of musical history. There are, however, a couple of musicians for whom money will never be an issue with, at the top of that list, being the man I hold up as the greatest musician of them all. That man being Richard Thompson.

In April this year Richard turned 70 years of age and with it was announced a celebration concert that was held on the 30th September in The Royal Albert Hall. As soon as it was announced, tickets were purchased and expectation began to ramp up, especially as guests were announced with, for me, the cherry on top of the cake being the guitar maestro that is David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. The chance to see my two favourite guitarists of all time on stage together; my oh my, it was going to be Fender heaven!

Hugh Cornwall

Hugh Cornwall

The only question remaining was what songs would be performed? Surely with a 50-plus years’ worth of genius songwriting, this was a show that could go on for weeks. In the end though, the songs chosen were a brilliant mixture of Richard’s amazing career mixed with his obvious love and admiration for his contemporaries, friends and family and all the music that they have produced as well. We saw and heard Richard’s talent in being able to effortlessly slip into different styles, from performing punk classics with school friend, and first-ever bandmate Hugh Cornwell of The Stranglers, hard rock thrash with Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü, jazz with Judith Owens and the incomparable Danny Thompson on double bass to straight down the line folk brilliance with various members of the Waterson-Carthy clan, Richard’s virtuoso playing shone through. We even got some full-on heavy metal courtesy of Harry Shearer appearing as his bass playing Spinal Tap alter ego, Derek Smalls!

Dave Pegg

Dave Pegg

As I said before though, this wasn’t just about Richard as RT, in his typically modest, humble, almost self-deprecating way, was more than content to allow those who’d come to pay tribute to him take the spotlight and showcase their own talents. As Kate Rusby, who performed the classic Richard and Linda Thompson song Withered and Died before performing her own As The Lights Go Out, explained, Richard not only was able to give artists like her breaks and exposure through support slots on his album tours but also being forthcoming with support and advice off stage that helped those performers immensely.

Danny Thompson

Danny Thompson

Perhaps most fittingly though was the obvious love and pride Richard takes in the generations of Thompsons that have and will continue to follow in his footsteps. With youngest son Jack compering the evening, we also were lucky enough to see all the performing members of his family on stage with his son Teddy, daughter Kami and their mother Linda, as well as grandson Zak Hobbs all supporting Richard beautifully and emotionally. Teddy’s duet of Persuasion with his dad was one of very many highlights throughout the show. And if his immediate family were all present, so too was The Fairport Convention family. Original member Ashley Hutchings and his 1966 diary and future members Dave Mattacks and Dave Pegg all performed excellently and even Simon Nicol, despite what must have been a nightmare day getting back from Greece in the wake of the Thomas Cook collapse, making the encore of Meet On The Ledge demonstrated the feelings that still are felt over 50 years after Ashley and Simon first invited ‘Rich’ to form a ‘folk rock outfit’ in Muswell Hill as teenagers.

Richard Thompson & Bob Mould

Richard Thompson and Bob Mould

As for highlights, wow… there were just so many. Eliza Carthy’s unaccompanied The Great Valerio, David Gilmour’s Dimming Of The Day, Dave Pegg performing Down Where The Drunkards Roll, Turning Of The Tide with Bob Mould… I could just go on and on and on. Just read the setlist below and accept it, every single performance was a highlight, a moment of musical majesty, an emotional tour de force. A celebration of the greatest musician the world has ever seen. This is a concert that will live long in the memory of every single one of the 6,000 people who were blessed to have turned out on a rainy Monday night in London to pay tribute to Richard Thompson. This was, without doubt, the greatest night of music I have ever experienced in my life.

[This review was first published on Jez Denton’s Tarka Blowpig Music blog.]

SETLIST
Set 1:

The Storm Won’t Come – The Electric Trio
Tobacco Road – with Hugh Cornwall
Peaches – with Hugh Cornwall
The Most Beautiful Girl In Hollywood – with Hugh Cornwall
Blues In My Bottle – with Ashley Hutchings, Dave Mattacks & Blair Dunlop
Jack O’Diamonds – with Ashley Hutchings, Dave Mattacks & Blair Dunlop
Down Where The Drunkards Roll – with Dave Pegg
Turning Of The Tide – with Bob Mould
If I Can’t Change Your Mind – with Bob Mould
Withered And Died – with Kate Rusby
As The Lights Go Out – Kate Rusby
The Bonnie Lass o’ Fyvie – with Marc Ellington
Fare Thee Well – with Martin Carthy
Fine Horseman – with Martin Carthy & Marry Waterson
The Great Valerio – Eliza Carthy
Hug You Like A Mountain – with Eliza Carthy

Set 2:
Beeswing – with Alistair Anderson
Madame Bonaparte – with Alistair Anderson
Persuasion – with Teddy Thompson
Ghost In The Wind – with Danny Thompson, Christine Collister & Dave Mattacks
Sweetheart On The Barricade – with Danny Thompson
Who Knows Where The Time Goes – with Olivia Chaney
House On The Hill – Olivia Chaney
Sheath And Knife – Maddy Prior
Grey Funnel Line – with Maddy Prior
Keep Your Distance – with The Rails
That’s Enough – with The Rails, Linda Thompson, Teddy Thompson, Zak Hobbs & Jack Thompson
Cry Me A River – with Judith Owens, Danny Thompson & Dave Mattacks
She Puts The Bitch In Obituary – with Derek Smalls
The Swimming Song – with Loudon Wainwright III
I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight – with Loudon Wainwright III
Dimming Of The Day – with David Gilmour
Fat Old Sun – with David Gilmour
Meet On The Ledge

LINKS
Richard Thompson – Website | Facebook

This news story was originally published here: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ProgNewsProgarchives/~3/63mf0_gKaGc/forum_posts.asp

https://www.udiscovermusic.com/news/camel-landmark-prog-albums-vinyl-reissue/?utm_source=ka&utm_medium=fa&utm_campaign=FB%3ACamel+-+Band-New+Releases&utm_term=4fa856a0-2c0f-463b-ad21-dac9a0b9f3da&fbclid=IwAR1JwLJ7AXoXQ9TLpT6ShZX72oYXWoTcZf5mL02Kw6nff7JjHjpJs7DprV0

Mirage, Snow Goose, Moonmadness and Rain Dances are all being reissued on 180g vinyl. Preorder link is at the bottom of that page. All UK covers

This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2019/10/15/refugee-refugee-3cd-box-set/

This review covers the recently released boxed set of three discs from Esoteric Recordings, comprising the sole album, recorded in 1974, for the Charisma label by Refugee, a trio of Patrick Moraz (keyboards), Lee Jackson (bass and vocals) and Brian Davison (drums). The set also includes the unreleased 1975 BBC In Concert recordings and a CD taken from a sound desk recording, previously issued in 2000.

Refugee were a very short-lived affair, introducing the Prog world to the formidable talents of Swiss keyboard player Patrick Moraz. The album, remastered here by Jean Ristori in conjunction with Moraz, was a very impressive statement featuring just six tracks, two of which were over 16 minutes in length with two further instrumentals. For an album recorded over 45 years ago this is an incredible record and the musicianship it contains puts Patrick Moraz into the upper echelons of keyboard greats like Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman. Emerson was highly impressed with the record, so much so that he taped some footage shown on the Old Grey Whistle Test of the group shot at the Marquee.

Patrick Moraz, of course, went on to replace Rick Wakeman for a while in Yes, recording the highly charged Relayer album with them, subsequently joining the Moody Blues when Mike Pinder left in the late 1970s after the Octave album. He also recorded several fine solo albums for the Charisma label, including The Story of I, which will possibly be known to many from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy using one of his melodies for Zaphod Beeblebrox.

The other two members of Refugee had previously been part of the Nice (along with Keith Emerson) and they duly found themselves unemployed again when their keyboard player was half-inched by a bigger band, but even so this set is a great and eloquent reminder of the sheer promise that Refugee had, which, sadly, they were not quite able to fulfil, for various reasons.

If you don’t know this album then I strongly recommend that you take steps to check it out as it will be a revelation to you. In fact, seldom since the ELP debut in 1970 has such powerful keyboard virtuosity been heard, especially on the longer tracks where Moraz employs all the skills in his arsenal to fine effect.

The album opens in strong style with the instrumental Papillion, right from the off Patrick’s keyboards making a significant impact, full of flair with great Hammond organ alongside sturdy drumming from Brian Davison and a pumping bass from Lee Jackson. Soaring synth lines enliven matters and this is a great opening statement of intent, calling for some serious notice.

This is followed by Someday, which features Jackson’s vocals. They are somewhat an acquired taste as he is not the world’s best singer, but he gives it some effort here and it does allow for some fine piano and synth from Patrick. The song is not too long and does not overstay its welcome, setting us up for the first of the epic tracks with The Grand Canyon Suite unfolding over its 17 minutes. It opens with alpine horn and keyboards with some nimble bass runs from Jackson and percussive flourishes from Davison before the Theme for the Canyon is unveiled. This is a very atmospheric and dynamic piece that sustains its momentum as it flows. The keyboards use many tones to convey the movement of the river through the canyon. All very impressive stuff, and for its age rather remarkable, Patrick Moraz was only 26 when he recorded this album. There are more vocals from Lee Jackson as he sings about eagles flying over the canyon walls as the river trips and falls below, all very evocative and dramatic, as is the music that accompanies which shows the skill that Patrick has at his fingers. With much of the song being composed by Patrick alone, this is a very impressive piece indeed.

Just before the 10-minute mark there is a very ELP-like part with lots of stabbing keyboard and organ sounds, drums being used to great effect before morphing into some very jazzy synth lines and more sturdy drumming to carry it along, a strong and vibrant track that shows great skill and promise. This song has it all, some fabulous keyboards sounds and sections with everyone playing at the top of their game. The sound is very clear and defined and Patrick sizzles and shines throughout, so much so that you can see why Yes came knocking for him. He is simply phenomenal here, his playing is inspired and he’s on fire. The song ends with drum rolls and the sound of the river rushing onwards, a simply amazing track.

Then we are onto a very short piece of solo keyboard and synths called Gate Crasher, very short but acts as a prelude to Ritt Mickley, named after a misunderstanding between Brian and Patrick over Patrick’s inability to express the word ‘rhythmically’ in English. It’s another instrumental that shows Patrick’s great skills, his sense of rhythm, timing and dynamics, the result being this fantastic piece of work.

The final track is called Credo and is also the longest at over 18-minutes, with an array of keyboard sounds, textures and styles, although the piano work alone is exemplary, and the synth work is also very fine.

The next CD features a short three song set from the BBC archives of a 1974 show that includes longer versions of Ritt Mickley, Someday and The Grand Canyon Suite, all of which sound glorious and show the calibre of the live shows this band were able to put on. The longer versions benefit greatly from having the room to stretch out a little more. A simply phenomenal act, it’s tragic that this was curtailed by developments outside of their control. The standout track here is, of course, The Grand Canyon Suite which has great dynamics and is a very strong piece of complex music which remains exciting throughout. There is no waste or excess flab, everything has a place and is crucial to the song unfolding, all expertly played. This must have been a real delight to witness live and no doubt blew people away with its sheer brilliance. Here it certainly shines brightly.

This great, albeit brief, CD is supplemented by the 2001 release Live at Newcastle City Hall which features most of the debut album plus three non-album tracks. These were mooted for the sadly never completed second album, again another fine display of dexterity and musicianship are on display.

This reissue is very welcome and there is much for Yes or ELP Fans to enjoy as you marvel in what was and what could have been.

TRACK LISTING
CD 1: Refugee Remastered

01. Papillion (5:10)
02. Someday (5:03)
03. The Grand Canyon Suite (16:54)
– The Source (2:23)
– Theme for the Canyon (3:16)
– The Journey (3:54)
– The Rapids (2:53)
– The Mighty Colorado (4:30)
04. Gatecrasher (1:03)
05. Ritt Mickley (5:57)
06. Credo (18:08)
– Prelude (3:41)
– I Believe, Pt.1 (2:48)
– Credo Theme (0:39)
– Credo Toccata & Song (The Lost Cause) (3:37)
– Agitato (1:36)
– I Believe, Pt.2 (1:10)
– Variation (2:57)
– Main Theme & Finale (1:36)

Time – 52:15

CD 2: BBC Radio One In Concert, 8th May 1974
01. Ritt Mickley (7:02)
02. Someday (6:34)
03. The Grand Canyon Suite (19:37)

Time – 33:13

CD 3: Live at Newcastle City Hall, 16th June 1974
01. Outro – Rick Mickley (2:55)
02. One Left-Handed Peter Pan (8:44)
03. The Diamond Hard Blue Apples of The Moon (7:01)
04. Someday (6:06)
05. Papillion (8:00)
06. She Belongs to Me (8:55)
07. The Grand Canyon Suite (18:25)
08. Refugee Jam (4:16)

Time – 64:22

Total Time – 149:50

MUSICIANS
Patrick Moraz – Mini-Moog, AKS Synthesiser, Piano, Electric Piano, Clavinet, Organ, Pipe Organ, Marimbaphone, Alpine Horn, Electronic Slinky, Mellotron, Occasional Vocals
Lee Jackson – Bass, Electric Cello, Guitar, 12-string Acoustic Guitar, Lead Vocals
Brian Davison – Drums, Tympani, Gongs, Tibetan Temple Bells, African Drums, Kabassa, Broken Glass

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: Esoteric Recordings
Catalogue#: ECLEC32685
Country of Origin: Switzerland / U.K.
Date of Release: 30th August 2019

LINKS
Refugee – Reissue Info

This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/specials/how-to-get-into-heavy-metal/

Everybody has a different taste in music. While some may prefer a classic and soothing rhythm, others may lean towards a pounding beat of a drum. If you are one of those who are fascinated by the heavy metal music genre, perhaps it is about time to get your hands into its beat.

Reset your views

The first step to get into heavy metal music is by re-aligning your views regarding this genre. In the past years, heavy metal music was stereotyped as a loud noise with lyrics full of profanities, being generated by a band composed of guys who wore all black. On the contrary to this thinking, heavy metal music is melodic but very technically challenging. Most heavy metal bands are composed of musicians playing an electric guitar, bass guitar, drums, and vocal lead. Others may even have an additional electric guitar player or a keyboard. While most heavy metal bands stick to rhythms and melodies, limiting the lyrics, others opt to write about more aggressive or controversial topics. There are even heavy metal bands that produce religious music. There is also a wide range of vocals involved in this genre, mostly requiring the lead vocal to growl, shriek, or scream. While it is initially an avenue for a lot of male performers, the heavy metal scene already saw a lot of successful female leads.

Consider your preferences

The next step after re-assessing your views towards the genre is to assess yourself in terms of your music preferences. Try to look in the past and consider the type of music you have grown to love. This is a very good basis in determining the specific heavy metal music you may be inclined to. Heavy metal music is such a wide genre that there are several types of melodies produced in this genre, depending on the particular instrument used.

  • Heavy Metal

By far, heavy metal is known to be more aggressive than rock. It is characterized by guitar solos, sometimes rhythm, other times bass guitars, without any growling in the vocals. Another branch of heavy metal is Goth metal, which typically features goth lyrics and a dark atmosphere.

  • Thrash Metal

Contrary to the melodic guitar solos of the basic heavy metal, thrash metal features guitar shredding with aggressive vocals. It is a fast-paced music with influences from punk. Over the years, thrash metal has been dominated by ‘the big four’, which are bands eloquently playing this music. These are Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax. A branch of thrash metal music is crossover thrash or thrashcore that leans more on punk rock.

  • Power and Speed Metal

Power metal, usually have a melodic streak in terms of soaring vocals and guitar shreds. The music is commonly about fantasy and mythology, which are more melodic compared to thrash metal. On the other hand, speed metal is extremely fast and considered as the most demanding heavy metal music form in terms of technicality.

  • Black, Doom, and Death Metal

The song structure of black metal has a wide range. It can be anywhere from complex to raw, with distorted guitars and shrieking vocals. Black metal sounds usually are set in a cold and dark atmosphere. On the other hand, doom metal sound is made up of either clean vocals or a growl. It is usually slow in pace, with a lyrical theme revolving around doom and despair. In contrast to doom metal, death metal is fast-paced with a complex song structure. It incorporates heavy growling. Death metal with more complex rhythmic patterns are often referred to as technical death metal. Conversely, death metal with a slower pace that incorporates the use of keyboards or piano is also known as melodic death metal.

  • Progressive Metal, Metalcore, and Mathcore

The progressive metal subgenre of heavy metal music is guitar-driven with some of the most unusual signatures such as dynamic shifts and complex playing of progressive rock. Progressive metal that infuses the sound of the piano or keyboards are often referred to as djent. Metalcore, on the other hand, is a combination of hardcore punk and extreme metal, which incorporates extreme vocals. Metalcore infused with more harmonies and vocal ranges from screaming, growling, and singing is known as melodic metalcore. Odd time signatures are apparent for Mathcore, coupled with various complexities.

Take time to listen

Once you choose a certain type of heavy metal music to listen to, take time to actually indulge in paying attention to it. Heavy metal music needs focus and attention, and there is a great possibility that you will not be able to appreciate it if you will just play it in the background. Apart from familiarizing yourself with the vocals, try to have an open ear for each of the instruments being played. Unlike mainstream pop or rock, heavy metal music doesn’t offer a groove or a beat that will instantly make you remember. It entails the need for you to listen to it a couple of times before you uncover each layer of instrument and melodic rhythm. Don’t be discouraged if at first you will not be able to understand the music at all. The appreciation for heavy metal music grows over time, but while it doesn’t happen frequently, sometimes it can be that you fall in love with it the first time.

For beginners though, here are some of the top albums that you can listen to:

  • Metallica’s self-titled album in 1991. This is considered the best heavy metal album to date, considering that most contemporary heavy metal bands emerged because they were inspired by this album. Some of the most popular songs in this album, which are truly easy to digest for those novice in heavy metal are “Enter Sandman”, “Sad but True”, “Wherever I May Roam” and “Of Wolf and Man”.

  • ‘The Number of the Beast’ album released by Iron Maiden in 1982. Heavy metal enthusiasts all claim that all the songs in this album are written perfectly, from the opening drums of the first song to its closing tracks.

  • Black Sabbath’s Paranoid album released in 1970. Apart from paving the way for the heavy metal music scene, Black Sabbath’s Paranoid album is a testament to its popularity. The perfect guitar pieces towards the end of the album will surely be an inspiration for you to lift up your guitar and strum some of those strings.

  • Slipknot’s self-titled album in 1999. This album paved the way for modern metal with all songs deemed as favorites by most heavy metal enthusiasts.

  • Rage Against the Machine’s self-titled album in 1992. This band opened the doors for heavy metal to delve into politics and socialism through their well-crafted and socially-enlightened lyrics.

Take time to watch

Apart from indulging your ears to listen to heavy metal music, it is also a good idea to take time to watch a concert, a show, or a performance of a band into heavy metal music. This is a good way to get into this type of music because you will have the opportunity to bask in the music scene atmosphere. While it is better if you do actually go into an actual live performance, you may also watch shows online. Look at how each band member put in the effort to create heavy metal music with their respective instruments. This will give you an idea of the effort they put in, and on how much effort is needed from your side if you decide to play the instrument yourself, or if you are already playing one.

Take time to play.

Try to enjoy the heavy metal music by playing your own instrument. While going to live performances and being thrown in a mosh pit sounds inviting, heavy metal music is best appreciated when you play an instrument yourself. Apart from listening into its rhythm and melody, it is best if you create your own too.

Here are some of the common instruments played to generate heavy metal music:

Electric Guitar

The electric guitar itself has many variations. While there is the typical 6-string instrument, there are also seven or eight-string guitars that offers a wider note range. However, for heavy metal, an electric guitar with high amplification is preferred. In most bands, two musicians often play the electric guitars, with one being the lead guitarist playing the guitar solos, and the other playing the general melody or rhythm. Heavy metal music also incorporates guitar shredding techniques such as finger tapping and fast scales. Guitarists who perform a guitar shredding technique usually use a guitar amplifier. On the other hand, double-cutaways in a guitar allows a musician to easily access high frets.

Bass Guitar

In contrast to the strumming of an electric guitar, the bass guitar is normally played by slapping or thumping its strings. It is made up of only four strings compared to the six to eight strings making up the electric guitar. However, like with the electric guitar, it is often played through an amplifier. The bass guitar forms the rhythm section, especially when played in conjunction with the rhythm guitars and drums, or keyboards if present. Usually, bass guitars for metal play a definitive role in the entire melody, so much so that it is often up for solos. The lower vibrations of a bass guitar will tend to move your soul. Hence, the bass guitar is and should always be present in heavy metal music because it is used to play the low-end sound that is essential to make the sound seem heavy, thus, the term heavy metal music. Like with the electric guitars, there are also a wide range of bass lines that musicians use, depending on the subgenre of heavy metal music.

Drums

The third element of a heavy metal music is the beat of a set of percussion instruments, which is normally the drums. In the past, the tone of the drums is generally not set, but over the years, musicians already learned to tune the drums in a medium or low tuning to give way to the pitch of the other instruments. Additionally. The drum sets seen today are the enhancement of the basic drum set used back in the day. More often than not, the drums set the beat and the speed of the music, along with its mood. In heavy metal music, the drums are the key in giving the overall sound a feel of aggressiveness through rapid double bass drumming.

Vocals

While not a man-made instrument, the human vocals have a key role in heavy metal music. The vocal sounds can darken the mood of the entire sound and the vocalist who specializes in doing so is often referred to as the screamer. The lyrics of the song are often sung through various scream levels. There are different types of scream such as the pig squeal which is a high-pitched scream, the death growl, which is a low pitched growl, and the normal singing voice.

Keyboards

While still generally deemed as an optional instrument in heavy metal music, the keyboards can offer a good twist. A keyboard will allow for a more dramatic sound effect in the total melody.

Do your research.

Music is ever evolving and so is the heavy metal genre. To continuously get into the heavy metal music groove, take time to do your research and continuously learn about its history, in order to find ways on how to make this genre better. If you are equipped with more knowledge about this music genre, then there is a greater possibility that you will be able to appreciate it more and be good at it too.

musician-2708190_1920

Music comes in a variety of forms and several genres. The preferences of one may greatly differ from another. Nevertheless, there is one common benefit that one gets from listening to music, and generating it. Heavy metal music is a form of self-expression. Thereby, feel free to express your mood or your emotion, or just practice your skills, through the art of music. Pick up those sticks and beat that drum or get your guitars ready for a strum.

The post How To Get Into Heavy Metal Music appeared first on Prog Sphere.

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/specials/how-to-get-into-heavy-metal/

Everybody has a different taste in music. While some may prefer a classic and soothing rhythm, others may lean towards a pounding beat of a drum. If you are one of those who are fascinated by the heavy metal music genre, perhaps it is about time to get your hands into its beat.

Reset your views

The first step to get into heavy metal music is by re-aligning your views regarding this genre. In the past years, heavy metal music was stereotyped as a loud noise with lyrics full of profanities, being generated by a band composed of guys who wore all black. On the contrary to this thinking, heavy metal music is melodic but very technically challenging. Most heavy metal bands are composed of musicians playing an electric guitar, bass guitar, drums, and vocal lead. Others may even have an additional electric guitar player or a keyboard. While most heavy metal bands stick to rhythms and melodies, limiting the lyrics, others opt to write about more aggressive or controversial topics. There are even heavy metal bands that produce religious music. There is also a wide range of vocals involved in this genre, mostly requiring the lead vocal to growl, shriek, or scream. While it is initially an avenue for a lot of male performers, the heavy metal scene already saw a lot of successful female leads.

Consider your preferences

The next step after re-assessing your views towards the genre is to assess yourself in terms of your music preferences. Try to look in the past and consider the type of music you have grown to love. This is a very good basis in determining the specific heavy metal music you may be inclined to. Heavy metal music is such a wide genre that there are several types of melodies produced in this genre, depending on the particular instrument used.

  • Heavy Metal

By far, heavy metal is known to be more aggressive than rock. It is characterized by guitar solos, sometimes rhythm, other times bass guitars, without any growling in the vocals. Another branch of heavy metal is Goth metal, which typically features goth lyrics and a dark atmosphere.

  • Thrash Metal

Contrary to the melodic guitar solos of the basic heavy metal, thrash metal features guitar shredding with aggressive vocals. It is a fast-paced music with influences from punk. Over the years, thrash metal has been dominated by ‘the big four’, which are bands eloquently playing this music. These are Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax. A branch of thrash metal music is crossover thrash or thrashcore that leans more on punk rock.

  • Power and Speed Metal

Power metal, usually have a melodic streak in terms of soaring vocals and guitar shreds. The music is commonly about fantasy and mythology, which are more melodic compared to thrash metal. On the other hand, speed metal is extremely fast and considered as the most demanding heavy metal music form in terms of technicality.

  • Black, Doom, and Death Metal

The song structure of black metal has a wide range. It can be anywhere from complex to raw, with distorted guitars and shrieking vocals. Black metal sounds usually are set in a cold and dark atmosphere. On the other hand, doom metal sound is made up of either clean vocals or a growl. It is usually slow in pace, with a lyrical theme revolving around doom and despair. In contrast to doom metal, death metal is fast-paced with a complex song structure. It incorporates heavy growling. Death metal with more complex rhythmic patterns are often referred to as technical death metal. Conversely, death metal with a slower pace that incorporates the use of keyboards or piano is also known as melodic death metal.

  • Progressive Metal, Metalcore, and Mathcore

The progressive metal subgenre of heavy metal music is guitar-driven with some of the most unusual signatures such as dynamic shifts and complex playing of progressive rock. Progressive metal that infuses the sound of the piano or keyboards are often referred to as djent. Metalcore, on the other hand, is a combination of hardcore punk and extreme metal, which incorporates extreme vocals. Metalcore infused with more harmonies and vocal ranges from screaming, growling, and singing is known as melodic metalcore. Odd time signatures are apparent for Mathcore, coupled with various complexities.

Take time to listen

Once you choose a certain type of heavy metal music to listen to, take time to actually indulge in paying attention to it. Heavy metal music needs focus and attention, and there is a great possibility that you will not be able to appreciate it if you will just play it in the background. Apart from familiarizing yourself with the vocals, try to have an open ear for each of the instruments being played. Unlike mainstream pop or rock, heavy metal music doesn’t offer a groove or a beat that will instantly make you remember. It entails the need for you to listen to it a couple of times before you uncover each layer of instrument and melodic rhythm. Don’t be discouraged if at first you will not be able to understand the music at all. The appreciation for heavy metal music grows over time, but while it doesn’t happen frequently, sometimes it can be that you fall in love with it the first time.

For beginners though, here are some of the top albums that you can listen to:

  • Metallica’s self-titled album in 1991. This is considered the best heavy metal album to date, considering that most contemporary heavy metal bands emerged because they were inspired by this album. Some of the most popular songs in this album, which are truly easy to digest for those novice in heavy metal are “Enter Sandman”, “Sad but True”, “Wherever I May Roam” and “Of Wolf and Man”.

  • ‘The Number of the Beast’ album released by Iron Maiden in 1982. Heavy metal enthusiasts all claim that all the songs in this album are written perfectly, from the opening drums of the first song to its closing tracks.

  • Black Sabbath’s Paranoid album released in 1970. Apart from paving the way for the heavy metal music scene, Black Sabbath’s Paranoid album is a testament to its popularity. The perfect guitar pieces towards the end of the album will surely be an inspiration for you to lift up your guitar and strum some of those strings.

  • Slipknot’s self-titled album in 1999. This album paved the way for modern metal with all songs deemed as favorites by most heavy metal enthusiasts.

  • Rage Against the Machine’s self-titled album in 1992. This band opened the doors for heavy metal to delve into politics and socialism through their well-crafted and socially-enlightened lyrics.

Take time to watch

Apart from indulging your ears to listen to heavy metal music, it is also a good idea to take time to watch a concert, a show, or a performance of a band into heavy metal music. This is a good way to get into this type of music because you will have the opportunity to bask in the music scene atmosphere. While it is better if you do actually go into an actual live performance, you may also watch shows online. Look at how each band member put in the effort to create heavy metal music with their respective instruments. This will give you an idea of the effort they put in, and on how much effort is needed from your side if you decide to play the instrument yourself, or if you are already playing one.

Take time to play.

Try to enjoy the heavy metal music by playing your own instrument. While going to live performances and being thrown in a mosh pit sounds inviting, heavy metal music is best appreciated when you play an instrument yourself. Apart from listening into its rhythm and melody, it is best if you create your own too.

Here are some of the common instruments played to generate heavy metal music:

Electric Guitar

The electric guitar itself has many variations. While there is the typical 6-string instrument, there are also seven or eight-string guitars that offers a wider note range. However, for heavy metal, an electric guitar with high amplification is preferred. In most bands, two musicians often play the electric guitars, with one being the lead guitarist playing the guitar solos, and the other playing the general melody or rhythm. Heavy metal music also incorporates guitar shredding techniques such as finger tapping and fast scales. Guitarists who perform a guitar shredding technique usually use a guitar amplifier. On the other hand, double-cutaways in a guitar allows a musician to easily access high frets.

Bass Guitar

In contrast to the strumming of an electric guitar, the bass guitar is normally played by slapping or thumping its strings. It is made up of only four strings compared to the six to eight strings making up the electric guitar. However, like with the electric guitar, it is often played through an amplifier. The bass guitar forms the rhythm section, especially when played in conjunction with the rhythm guitars and drums, or keyboards if present. Usually, bass guitars for metal play a definitive role in the entire melody, so much so that it is often up for solos. The lower vibrations of a bass guitar will tend to move your soul. Hence, the bass guitar is and should always be present in heavy metal music because it is used to play the low-end sound that is essential to make the sound seem heavy, thus, the term heavy metal music. Like with the electric guitars, there are also a wide range of bass lines that musicians use, depending on the subgenre of heavy metal music.

Drums

The third element of a heavy metal music is the beat of a set of percussion instruments, which is normally the drums. In the past, the tone of the drums is generally not set, but over the years, musicians already learned to tune the drums in a medium or low tuning to give way to the pitch of the other instruments. Additionally. The drum sets seen today are the enhancement of the basic drum set used back in the day. More often than not, the drums set the beat and the speed of the music, along with its mood. In heavy metal music, the drums are the key in giving the overall sound a feel of aggressiveness through rapid double bass drumming.

Vocals

While not a man-made instrument, the human vocals have a key role in heavy metal music. The vocal sounds can darken the mood of the entire sound and the vocalist who specializes in doing so is often referred to as the screamer. The lyrics of the song are often sung through various scream levels. There are different types of scream such as the pig squeal which is a high-pitched scream, the death growl, which is a low pitched growl, and the normal singing voice.

Keyboards

While still generally deemed as an optional instrument in heavy metal music, the keyboards can offer a good twist. A keyboard will allow for a more dramatic sound effect in the total melody.

Do your research.

Music is ever evolving and so is the heavy metal genre. To continuously get into the heavy metal music groove, take time to do your research and continuously learn about its history, in order to find ways on how to make this genre better. If you are equipped with more knowledge about this music genre, then there is a greater possibility that you will be able to appreciate it more and be good at it too.

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Music comes in a variety of forms and several genres. The preferences of one may greatly differ from another. Nevertheless, there is one common benefit that one gets from listening to music, and generating it. Heavy metal music is a form of self-expression. Thereby, feel free to express your mood or your emotion, or just practice your skills, through the art of music. Pick up those sticks and beat that drum or get your guitars ready for a strum.

The post How To Get Into Heavy Metal Music appeared first on Prog Sphere.

THE PROGRESSIVE TRACKS SHOW #334  (Holding Court)

Do you really have to ask what this week’s show is all about?

Well, there is some other excellent new music included…

NOTE:  This podcast has ‘a little extra’ attached.  I don’t think you’ll mind.  ;o)

PLAYLIST:

If you have comments or suggestions for show topics/ music (always welcome), feel free to contact me any time via email:  ProgTracks@KPTZ.org

And remember, you can access podcasts of any previous Progressive Tracks Show at: http://www.progzilla.com/?s=progressive+tracks (there are over 170 podcasts now!).

Most importantly, SUBSCRIBE to the podcast below, so you’ll have it delivered to your fingertips weekly! ˅˅˅˅˅˅˅˅

This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2019/10/14/antoine-fafard-borromean-odyssey/

Two years on from the excellent double CD release Proto Mundi/Doomsday Vault, Antoine Fafard returns with album number six. For his latest release he has recalled Gary Husband, solely on keyboards, and occupying the drum throne this time around is Todd Sucherman.

There’s no clue as to the origin of the album title, however if we take it that ‘Borromean’, often illustrated by three rings attached in a way so that no two are linked, but the configuration cannot be taken apart without breaking one of the rings. And ‘Odyssey’ derived from Homer’s epic poem, telling the tale of Odysseus’ ten-year journey home from Troy, an epic journey so as to speak. Might it be our three musicians have forged an unbreakable link of epic proportions?

Moving on and at this point let’s introduce the band, first up the man behind the project, composer, bassist and guitarist Antoine Fafard. Given his recent solo albums have included the crème de la crème of drummers – Simon Phillips, Gavin Harrison, Vinnie Colaiuta, Dave Weckl, Chad Wackerman, Terry Bozzio and of course Gary Husband – is surely a recommendation of his playing and compositional skills. Taking up the drum mantle this time is Todd Sucherman, not a name that will resonate in fusion circles I suspect as, for almost a quarter of a century, he has been sticks man with Styx ( 😉 ). Rest assured master drum clinician Sucherman is a formidable drummer and a worthy successor, offering his own slant to the music on the Borromean Odyssey. Last but by no means least is Gary Husband, not behind the kit, however demonstrating his monstrous keyboard skills.

Finally, before we tackle the music, a quick mention of the striking but perhaps slightly misleading post-apocalyptic artwork, which may lead those unfamiliar with Mr Fafard’s music to the conclusion that this new release must be a somewhat heavy and metallic offering. Far from it, and although there’s no shortage of oomph and power on Borromean Odyssey, Antoine has not forsaken his progressive, jazz fusion leanings.

As I’ve alluded to in the past, the beauty of instrumental music is it allows the listener greater freedom to interpret and visualise, so as the somewhat tortured and constantly changing rhythms of Invisible Pastel emerge from the speakers, thoughts return to the album’s bleak and desolate album design. The tracks initial pulse, accompanied by Antoine’s menacing scene-setting guitar theme, is short-lived and replaced by a twisted rhythmical structure and augmented by Gary Husband’s tantalisingly restrained solo. The tension is palpable and only released as the piece folds back on itself to close.

Across the album, each of the musicians is given the freedom to express themselves and all pieces feature solo passages from Antoine and Gary along with several in context breaks from Todd. How this comes about musically – I’m guessing – is I assume that Antoine charts out a detailed framework for each of the pieces and then, given the calibre of musicians who grace his releases, he allows them the freedom to interpret.

So to track two and ProgRation, which does little to relieve the tension created by the album opener, although more free-flowing, the music remains vibrant whilst unnerving. In fact it is left to the album’s intersecting atmospheric Borromean Odyssey parts I through V to offer resting, segue points to the main events. Although not jolly or whimsical interludes by any stretch of the imagination, they do however offer calming moments and, barring part I, serve to highlight Antoine’s skilful guitar work.

The aforementioned part I with it’s spacey atmospherics takes us into the killer The Seventh Extinction. Grooved by Antoine’s percussive bass and propelled by Todd’s busy, empathic drumming laying the groundwork for some monstrous solos. Note here that Gary moves onto the Rhodes for this extended break. Here’s just a little taster:

Now with five equally stunning tracks still remaining on the album, the danger here is to keep searching for more superlatives to describe each of them in turn. So here I could go on to mention Antoine’s awesome bass solo during Chemical Reactor, followed by the equally awesome synth break from Gary – and so on…

So in conclusion, track one will tell you whether this album is for you, and if not, you can simply leave the building. For the remainers, (ooops, topical word warning), what follows is 40-plus minutes of top-drawer music that demands repeated listens and rewards that process…

Count it in Mr Sucherman…

TRACK LISTING
01. Invisible Pastel (4:51)
02. ProgRation (4:59)
03. Borromean Odyssey I (0:46)
04. The Seventh Extinction (5:28)
05. Borromean Odyssey II (1:47)
06. Chemical Reactor (4:49)
07. Borromean Odyssey III (1:22)
08. Terra Nullius (5:08)
09. Borromean Odyssey IV (1:17)
10. Time Lapse (5:04)
11. Borromean Odyssey V (1:23)
12. Inspired Mechanics (5:24)
13. Trident (4:55)

Total Time – 47:13

MUSICIANS
Antoine Farfard – Bass, Guitar
Todd Sucherman – Drums
Gary Husband – Keyboards

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: Timeless Momentum
Catalogue#: TM20191
Date of Release: 30th August 2019

LINKS
Antoine Fafard – Website | Facebook | Twitter
Todd Sucherman – Website | Facebook
Gary Husband – Website | Facebook

Edition 179 of THE PROG MILL for Progzilla Radio, first broadcast Sunday 13 October, is now also available to stream on demand or downloaded as a mp3 file. Two hours of superb melodic and symphonic progressive music including a chance to win the new Drifting Sun album and the latest review from our friends at The Progressive Aspect.

Here’s This Week’s Playlist

1 Lee Abraham – Awaken (Comatose)
2 Millenium – The Web Part III (Who Can Bring Them Back to Life) (The Web)
3 Il Giardinio Onirico – Musgin (Apofenia)
4 Svante Strandberg – Red Room (The Profound Touch)
5 Drifting Sun – Within Your Bones (Planet Junkie)
6 Drifting Sun – Everlasting Creed (Planet Junkie)
7 Mayra Orchestra – Into Your Heart (Oracle)
8 Phideaux – The Claws of a Crayfish (Number 7)
9 Kaprekars Constant – The Nightwatchman (Depth of Field)
10 Camel – Lies (Nude)
11 Projekt Gemineye – Magic World (In The Year 3073 Book 1)
12 FytaKyte – Bulldozer (Meandersaur)
13 Genesis – White Mountain (Trespass)

You can hear The Prog Mill on Progzilla Radio at these times every week (www.progzilla.com/listen – via the tune in radio app and on internet radios):

Sundays 10pm – Midnight UK (2100UTC) – main broadcast
Tuesdays 0300-0500 UK (0200UTC) – For North America – Mon 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern
Tuesdays 2300-0100UK (2200 UTC) – 1500 Pacific/1800 Eastern
Saturdays 6-8pm UK (1700 UTC) – Family friendly Saturday evening repeat

Your melodic and symphonic progressive rock music suggestions for the show are very welcome. Just email shaun@progzilla.com, or message via twitter @shaunontheair or facebook.com/theprogmill

NEXT WEEK: Another Prog Mill CD Giveaway! Win the superb new album “The Rising” by ESP Project on CD