Archive for the 'progressive metal' Category


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Music Video: Circus Maximus – Abyss (audio only)

I’d like to get you some actual video of the band in action, but this is the closest thing I could find that is really worth posting. Here is the song Abyss off of their 2007 album, Isolate.


Review: Circus Maximus – Isolate (2007)


Progressive metal is one of those sub-genres where you really can do no wrong. The basic definition of progressive metal is metal with odd time signatures with musical influences that are virtually limitless. In this day in age, you come across many progressive bands that have their basis in alternative forms of metal, but use progressive techniques to further their sound (i.e. Sigh, Death, Atheist, Meshuggah, The Red Chord) which makes for a rich tapestry of different sounds that really get their influences from bands like RUSH, Dream Theater, and Pink Floyd amongst an assortment of others. Still, for many traditionalists, the “traditional sound” of progressive metal (if that exists) has its roots in standard heavy metal with progressive influences enfused. The modern stalwarts of the progressive metal movement starting in the late 80’s are Dream Theater who most metal and hard rock fans will know. However, an assortment of bands which have taken Dream Theater‘s lead, have offered some uncanny albums of excellent progressive music. In 2005, I had the fortune to discover one of these bands from the Norwegian scene, Circus Maximus and their debut, The 1st Chapter.

Likening Circus Maximus to Dream Theater is very easy and obvious because Circus Maximus has obviously great respect and admiration for the latter. From start to finish The 1st Chapter is an ode to Dream Theater, but to say they are copycats, or a glorified cover band would be criminal. Circus Maximus, an unknown band with an unknown group of musicians to Americans released an album that quickly gained them enormous respect in the metal community and made The 1st Chapter my favorite album of the year. In fact, I would go as far as to say that 2005’s Octavarium, a great album from Dream Theater, paled in comparison to The 1st Chapter. This year, Circus Maximus has decided to grace us with their sophomore release, entitled simply, Isolate. Does it live up to the first, or will it fall into the slump that so often happens with second records?

I can safely say that after a number of spins, Isolate is no where near being a disappointment. At first, being a huge fan of this band, I found myself being very critical from song to song and wanted another 1st Chapter, but then I realized that Circus Maximus is not Iron Maiden, and a natural progression from album to album should be expected from a band like them! I then began to focus my attention away from the 1st Chapter and realized that Isolate is the perfect follow up piece. Circus Maximus gives us yet another taste of their incredible skills, ranging from Michael Eriksen’s vocals (which one can closely compare to Roy Khan of Kamelot) to Truls Haugen’s drumwork all brought together with out of this world song structure. Perhaps what is the most impressive about Isolate, is its distance from Dream Theater‘s sound! I would never criticize Circus Maximus for writing music that can be likened to Dream Theater, but the fact that they can compose with their own sound in favor of anyone else’s is an important leap forward.

Thus far, Isolate, with its tight formations from musician to musician with catchy as hell hooks, is just as good as The 1st Chapter in every way, and even earns extra points for finding its own identity. I challenge any progressive act to write music as good as Circus Maximus; even the mighty Dream Theater, Symphony X and Pagan’s Mind cannot touch these maestros of the progressive. If you are a fan of this music, you are doing yourself a grave disservice by not purchasing this album. Give these boys international attention, they deserve it!


Top Tracks: Sane No More, A Darkened Mind, Ulimate Sacrifice
Similar Bands: Dream Theater, Pagan’s Mind, Threshold, Sun Caged, Symphony X, Kamelot

1. A Darkened Mind 05:33
2. Abyss 05:00
3. Wither 04:46
4. Sane No More 03:55
5. Arrival Of Love 04:10
6. Zero 04:50
7. Mouth Of Madness 12:42
8. From Childhood’s Hour 04:28
9. Ultimate Sacrifice 09:17

Michael Eriksen – Vocals
Mats Haugen – Guitar
Glen Mollen – Bass
Truls Haugen – Drums
Lasse Finbroten – Keyboards

Sensory Records (U.S. distribution)


Review: Abigor – Fractal Possession (2007)


As a brand new listener to Abigor, I must give longtime fans of this genre advanced warning, I will not be treating their 2007 album Fractal Possession like their previous works because I simply haven’t been exposed to them. So with that said, let’s get to the review.

Abigor is one of those black metal bands who recognize themselves as artists first and foremost. They can take music and mold it to exactly how they are feeling or what they think will sound good at that time. Their 1996 album Opus IX is referenced as being one of their best releases by their mainstay fanbase, and from the breif exposure I have had to it, I can understand why. It is a classic black metal album, but it is incredibly memorable with some wicked riffs. Now, fast forward to 2007 with their May 2nd release of Fractal Possession, and you’ll likely hear a completely different sound from them. Gone is the traditional Fisher Price recording studio, replaced by some great production that adds a high level of depth to the music. The production though, I doubt is the major problem many fans may have with this release. You see, contrary to their original sound, Abigor has instigated changes in their music that include catchy breaks, strong industrial overtones and some great progressive riffs (and on top of that having very clear production). For long time fans, this change is paramount to the disdain they may have for this release; personally, I love it!

Being a very critical fan of black metal, I have to find something in the music that seperates them from the pack. With Fractal Possession, Abigor shows some incredible songwriting that often plays like a technical progressive rock album (no, it doesn’t sound like Rush). Perhaps even more impressive, is that Abigor doesn’t fall into the trap of orientating too much death metal, too much industrial, and too much folk. Too many black metal bands these days are attempting to find a niche by absorbing over sub-genres into their music instead of simply evolving their black metal sound. Abigor on this 2007 release has created a motley sound that orientates some incredible offbeat riffs and industrial overtones, but is still undoubtedly black metal in its most basic form.

Abigor is no Darkthrone, in fact, they are the exact opposite of all the Darkthrone‘s and Gorgoroth‘s of the world. Abigor do not have to fall into the elitist Nordic black metal niche that plagues so many in the scene, it is possible to be black metal, stay black metal, and be original! Fractal Possession has made me an Abigor fan, and their traditional fans should embrace this sound, because I doubt it is going anywhere anytime soon.


Top Tracks: All of them!

Similar Bands: Sigh, 1349, Absu

1. Warning 01:53
2. Project: Shadow 05:38
3. Cold Void Choir 06:13
4. Lair Of Infinite Desperation 06:07
5. 3D Blasphemy 05:43
6. The Fire Syndrome 05:51
7. Injection Satan 04:25
8. Liberty Rises A Diagonal Flame 05:05
9. Vapourized Tears 05:10
10. Heaven Unveiled 06:39

A.R. (Arthur Rosar) – Vocals
P.K. (Virus 666, Peter Kubik) – Guitars, Bass
T.T. (Thomas Tannenberger) – Drums, Guitars

End All Life Productions


Music Video: Therion – To Mega Therion (live at Wacken)

One of the most dynamic metal bands around today (seconded only by Amorphis perhaps). They went from kick ass death metal, to symphonic masters. Enjoy Therion live!


Music video: Horse the Band – New York City

These guys are the Frank Zappa of heavy metal. Completely original, awesome, and hilarious.


Review: The Faceless – Akeldama (2006)


The “Progressive Death Metal” genre is a as niche as you can get. A genre dominated by the Swedish juggernaut that is Opeth, when one thinks of bands that fall into this genre not too many other names come to mind. However, in 2006 a band from Los Angeles, California cemented their name in the top ranks of the Progressive Death genre. That band is The Faceless. With their 2006 release, Akeldama, The Faceless instantly became a force to be reckoned with in the death metal scene as a whole. From start to finish, Akeldama does not disappoint in the least. The technical death metal aspects mixed with progressive song writing and some of the most brutal vocals I have ever heard create an unforgettable, addictive sound. The varied sounds of each song on the album are fantastic. Each song flows into the next “brutifally.” I cannot say enough about this band and this album. If you have any interest in death metal whatsoever whether its classic death metal like Cannibal Corpse or the newer variety of “Deathcore,” such as All Shall Perish, make it a point to listen to this album. Now. Go buy it.



Notable Tracks: All of them really but if I had to choose three: Pestilence, All Dark Graves and Leica

Similar Bands: Cannibal Corpse, Opeth, All Shall Perish

1. An Autopsy

2. Pestilence

3. All Dark Graves

4. Horizons of Chaos I: Oracle of the Onslaught

5. Horizons of Chaos II: Hypocrisy

6. Leica

7. Akeldama

8. Ghost of a Stranger


Michael Keene – Guitar

Steve Jones – Guitar

Derek Rydquist – Vocals

Brandon Giffin – Bass

Navene Koperwies – Drums ( Track 4 ) (of Animosity)

Andy Taylor – Drums ( Track 2 & 5 ) (of Diskreet)

Brett Batdorf – Drums ( Track 1, 3, 6 & 8 )

Sumerian Records

WarGlory’s Top 10 of 2007 (so far)


1. Circus Maximus - Isolate

2. Abigor - Fractal Possession

3. 3 Inches of Blood - Fire Up the Blades

4. Municipal Waste - The Art of Partying

5. Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos

6. Threshold - Dead Reckoning

7. As I Lay Dying - An Ocean Between Us

8. Behemoth - The Apostasy

9. Megadeth - United Abominations

10. Agent Steel - Alienigma


1. Iced Earth - Framing Armageddon

2. Aria - Armageddon

3. Kruger - Redemption Through Loooseness

4. Machine Head - The Blackening







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