Friday, 19 September 2008


Progressive metal is a genre so completely singular that neither of the component genres in its title really accurately describes the music that is tagged under it. Although you would assume it to be musically quite tricky to get your head around, it's actually one of the most staid and stubbornly oblivious musical strains in metal. It's entirely encased in a bubble of its own magnificence, where trends and fads stream past the domed atmosphere, and inside its all perfect key changes and pitch-perfect emoting. What IS tricky for the listener is the use of emotion in these songs. The genre perhaps to a lot of people would mostly sound like MIT-graduate power ballads. The tunes definitely weight themselves around a very overbearing type of emotional delivery, but what is weird is just how completely glassy and emotion-free the actual sound is. Everything sounds so flattened-out and cold and perfect, it almost creates an entirely new emotion altogether, and i think it's THIS emotion that the fantastically-ignored perennial musicians of progressive metal are truly in love with. They feel like they have to shore their autistic absence of human emotion up with lyrical cliches about self-discovery, redemption, a completely hollow kind of love. But in the glassy tinkling of their MIDI-keyboards (actual honest-to-god pianos seem unequivocably absent, instead its always the 'piano' setting of an expensive keyboard, one in a rack of many), you hear a real peace. A kind of joy at finding solace in a space where nothing ever changes, where no juddering dynamics scare or change you, where words and notes are perfect and profound and everything is about shape and form, not texture or meaning. Perfect sound forever.
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