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Progressive rock

Progressive rock Stylistic origins: European classical music, Free jazz, Blues-rock, Psychedelic rock late 1960s, United Kingdom

Cultural origins: Typical instruments: Mainstream popularity: Derivative forms:

Guitar - Bass - Keyboards Piano - Drums


Large in the 1970s, moderate since the 1990s

Art Rock

Subgenres
Symphonic rock - Math rock - Space Rock

Fusion genres
Avant-progressive - Progressive metal

Progressive rock (sometimes shortened to prog rock or prog) is a subgenre of rock music which arose in the late 1960s, reached the peak of its popularity in the 1970s, and continues as a musical form to this day. Progressive rock artists reject the limitations of popular music and aspire to create music for serious listening, often alluding to the sophistication of jazz and classical music, sometimes mixing folk and world music influences in as well. It is musical dynamics, as well as the virtuosity of the musicians, which most distinguishes progressive rock. As with its counterpart, progressive jazz, progressive rock is very much a musicians form of music, designed to be analyzed and studied by

knowledgeable listeners, as opposed to many other types of rock music that are more easily used for dancing or background music. The major acts that defined the genre in the 1970s are Jethro Tull, Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Rush, Gentle Giant and King Crimson. Progressive rock is difficult to define conclusively and to everyone's satisfaction, as the above bands do not sound anything alike, nor did they necessarily appeal to the same music fans during their era of greatest popularity. Outspoken King Crimson leader Robert Fripp has voiced his disdain for the term. Indeed, in some cases the bands themselves or well-known critics would question whether one or another of the above bands fit the term progressive rock as it is now defined by the music industry, as well as many fans. There is also debate on whether the musical output of artists and bands as varied as The Moody Blues, Frank Zappa, Deep Purple, Phish, Tool and The Flaming Lips belongs to the genre. [edit]

Characteristics of progressive rock

King Crimson's In the Court of the Crimson King, released in October of 1969, is often cited as the first progressive rock work. It contained many of the elements that would mark the genre in the years to come: lengthy and articulated songs, odd time signatures, experimental use of instruments, and obscure album covers. There is probably no single element that is shared by all music that has been considered to be progressive rock. Still, there are certainly noticeable trends; these common, though not universal, features are:

Long compositions, sometimes running over 20 minutes, with intricate melodies and harmonies. These are often described as epics and are the genre's clearest nod to classical music. A very early example (perhaps the first multi-part suite to appear in prog rock) is "In Held Twas In I" by Procol Harum, clocking in at 17:30. Classic examples include Genesis' 23-minute "Supper's Ready" and Jethro Tull's 44 minute "Thick as a Brick", while one of many prominent examples by

more recent bands is Dream Theater's 42-minute "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence."

Many progressive rock songs (including most of the aforementioned "epics") are made up of shorter parts that in some cases could be songs in their own right. Yes' single "Soon," for example, is actually a five-minute excerpt from "The Gates of Delirium," which is over 20 minutes long. Often, though not always, these parts are explicitly called out on the track list of the album on which they appear, sometimes deliberately alluding to the use of movements in classical suites. For example, Yes' "Close to the Edge" is divided into four parts, Rush's "2112" into seven, Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" into nine. Sometimes, parts of what is, at least in name, the same composition appear on several different albums; parts of King Crimson's "Larks Tongues in Aspic" have appeared on three different albums in three different decades to date; as of 2006, Dream Theater's suite dealing with Mike Portnoy's struggle with alcoholism has encompassed the opening tracks of their last three albums and is not yet complete. Lyrics that convey intricate and sometimes impenetrable narratives, covering such themes as science fiction, fantasy, history, religion, war, madness, and literature. It is relatively rare for progressive rock songs to be about love or sex, and practically unheard-of for such songs to concern other pop staples such as dancing or cars. o Most progressive rock bands have also avoided direct political commentary, preferring to shade their views in fictional or allegorical settings for example, Genesis' album Selling England by the Pound is tied together by a theme of commercialism versus naturalism. (A number of notable exceptions exist, though most postdate progressive rock's commercial heyday.) Concept albums, in which a theme or storyline is explored throughout an entire album or series of albums, sometimes in a manner similar to a film or a play, often called "rock operas" (a term popularized by The Who, though they are not generally considered a progressive rock act). In the days of vinyl, concept albums were often two-record sets with strikingly designed gatefold sleeves. Famous examples include The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis, and the series of albums by Pink Floyd, starting with The Dark Side of the Moon. More recent examples include Operation: Mindcrime by Queensrche and Metropolis Part II: Scenes from a Memory by Dream Theater. Prominent use of instruments unusual in rock music, including electronic instrumentation, as well as unusual vocal styles. Perhaps the most famous example of such instrumentation is the extensive use of the flute by Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson. Keyboard instruments including the synthesizer, organ, piano, and Mellotron are very common in progressive rock, much less so (though by no means unheard-of) in other rock genres. Other examples include the use of nonwestern instruments, particularly ethnic percussion. Gentle Giant are the progressive rock band best known for their vocal style, though many progressive

rock singers such as Peter Hammill of Van der Graaf Generator take highly unusual approaches as well. o Related to this is the prominence of multi-instrumentalists such as Mike Oldfield, Ian Anderson, and Neal Morse. o Perhaps surprisingly, in the progressive heyday, the use of orchestras and choirs was quite rare among the best-known progressive rock bands; the most famous examples from the late 60s and early 1970s are probably the title suite from Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother, The Nice's Five Bridges Suite and Yes' second album Time and a Word, all of which predate those bands' most successful, and arguably most progressive, period. More usually, the aforementioned Mellotron was used to simulate strings or a choir. Less well-known bands such as Renaissance did make extensive use of an actual orchestra. Such instrumental choices, particularly the use of orchestras, have become much more common in recent progressive rock. Use of unusual time signatures, rhythmic techniques, scales, or tunings. Many pieces use multiple time signatures and/or tempi, sometimes concurrently (King Crimson's "Thela Hun Ginjeet", for example, contains passages in which some band members play in 7/8 and others in 4/4 to create an "off-balance" effect). An extremely wide dynamic range, with very quiet and very loud passages often occurring in the same piece of music. Use of compression to reduce this effect is much less common than in other forms of rock music. This is characteristic of music that is meant to be listened to relatively closely and for its own sake, as opposed to relatively casually or as background noise (as are several of the features on this list, in fact). Solo passages for virtually every instrument. This contributed to the fame of such performers as guitarists David Gilmour and Steve Howe, keyboardists Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson, and drummer Neil Peart. Inclusion of classical pieces on albums. For example, Emerson, Lake and Palmer have performed arrangements of pieces by Copland, Bartk, Moussorgsky and others, and often feature quotes from J. S. Bach in lead breaks. Sometimes these pieces are significantly reinterpreted; Jethro Tull recorded a version of a Boure by Bach in which they turned the piece into a "sleazy jazzy night-club song" (in Ian Anderson's own words). An aesthetic linking the music with visual art, a trend started by The Beatles with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and enthusiastically embraced during the prog heyday. Some bands became as well-known for the art direction of their albums as for their sound, with the "look" integrated into the band's overall musical identity. This led to fame for particular artists and design studios, most notably Roger Dean for his work with Yes, and Storm Thorgerson and his studio Hipgnosis for their work with Pink Floyd and others. H.R. Giger's painting for Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Brain Salad Surgery is one of the most famous album sleeves ever produced, although it was censored to remove a phallus. By way of contrast, Charisma Records allowed Paul Whitehead to produce evocative gatefold album covers and sleeves for Genesis and Van der Graaf Generator without interference from the record label.

The use of sound effects in compositions, otherwise known as Musique concrte. This is a particular trademark of Pink Floyd with examples including the entirety of "Speak to Me", the opening track from Dark Side of the Moon, but other bands did this too; for example, sounds of warfare can be heard throughout Jethro Tull's single "Warchild". The Mars Volta make heavy use of ambient noise on their album Frances the Mute. Exchanging of members. Though not nearly to the degree of jazz artists, there is a tendency for members of progressive rock groups to work between bands and create side projects. For instance, Jon Anderson of Yes sang on a King Crimson album, and Robert Fripp of King Crimson played on two Van der Graaf Generator albums. Drummer Bill Bruford has worked with Yes, Genesis (very briefly), King Crimson, prog supergroup UK, and many other projects. In the 1990s, a touring version of Yes that included almost everyone who had ever been a member included two full lineups who played in various combinations "in the round" during concerts. More recently, Dream Theater side projects have come to outnumber the band's own albums, involving nearly every current and former member of the band working with a bewildering variety of members of other recent prog bands.

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History of progressive rock


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Precursors
Progressive rock was born from a variety of musical influences in the late 1960s. The later Beatles and many psychedelic bands began to combine traditional rock music with instruments from classical and Eastern music. An important precursor, Beck's Bolero, composed by then-Yardbirds Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page in 1966, is a brief reworking of Maurice Ravel's "Bolro". Psychedelic rock continued this experimental trend and began to compose very long pieces, although usually without any carefully thought-out structure (for example, Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" or "1983...(A Merman Should I Turn to Be)" by Jimi Hendrix). Bands such as The Nice and the Moody Blues began deliberately combining rock music with classical music, producing longer pieces with deliberate structures. German electronic music pioneers Tangerine Dream introduced a variety of synthesisers, tape effects, and other unusual sounds in their compositions, usually in purely instrumental albums. By the mid- to late-'60s, The Who had also created concept albums and rock operas, as well as long live rock song performances although those were often in the more blues-based improvisational style also featured by contemporaries Cream and Led Zeppelin.

All these bands are sometimes considered "early progressive," or as part of a transitional genre between psychedelic and progressive, sometimes referred to as proto-prog. [edit]

First progressive rock acts


Key early progressive rock bands included The Nice and Soft Machine and the roots of the genre can be traced back to the mid-sixties. However, King Crimson's appearance in February 1969 is often seen as a pivotal moment. King Crimson were quickly followed by other English progressive rock bands, including Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Emerson Lake and Palmer (ELP), and Jethro Tull. It is worth noting that, aside from ELP, these bands began their careers before King Crimson, and changed their musical styles considerably following the release of In the Court of the Crimson King. As for ELP, they inherited their singer and bassist, Greg Lake, from the original King Crimson lineup. Progressive rock also gained momentum when many rock fans grew disillusioned with the "Peace and Love" movement. Progressive rock often distanced itself from the "smiles and sunshine" of 1960s pop music and moved towards darker and sometimes more violent themes. For example, Genesis' Trespass includes "The Knife", a song about a violent demagogue, and "Stagnation", a song about a survivor of a nuclear attack. Genesis labelmates, Van der Graaf Generator, often took an existentialist approach that bordered on nihilism, even in album titles, such as Godbluff. Progressive rock was especially popular in continental Europe. Indeed, progressive rock was the first form of rock that actually captivated countries such as Italy and France. This era saw a great number of European progressive rock bands, most notably Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM), Area and the aforementioned Banco del Mutuo Soccorso and Le Orme from Italy, and Ange and Magma from France. Of these bands, only PFM was significantly successful in the English-speaking world. Germany also had a significant progressive movement, often referred to as Krautrock. The Italian progressive rock has been considered somehow a case of its own (sometimes cited as a separated genre, as "Italian symphonic rock"): although most of the bands scored appalling success even in their home country (often releasing only one LP), today CDs of otherwise unknown groups like Museo Rosenbach, Osanna, Il Balletto di Bronzo, Semiramis etc., along with the more renowned ones, are increasingly sought by fans as true classics of the genre, and also attracting the interests of higher musical critics and universities. A strong element of avant-garde and counter-culture has long been associated with a great deal of progressive rock. In the 70's, Chris Cutler of Henry Cow formed a loose collective of artists referred to as Rock in Opposition or RIO, whose purpose was essentially to make a statement against the music industry. The original members included such diverse groups as Henry Cow, Samla Mammas Manna, Univers Zero, Etron Fou Leloublan, Stormy Six, and later Art Zoyd, Art Bears, and Aqsak Maboul. The Rock in Opposition movement was short lived, but the artists came to be recognized as some of the originators of Avant-progressive rock. Dark melodies, angular progressions,

dissonance, free-form playing, and a disregard for conventional structure are all elements that have been used to describe these artists. [edit]

Rise and fall


Fans and music historians have a variety of ways to categorize the flavors of 1970s progressive rock. The Canterbury scene can be considered a sub-genre of progressive rock, more oriented towards Jazz rock, or simply another collection of true progressive rock bands. Other bands took the genre in a more commercial direction. These bands, including Renaissance, Queen and Electric Light Orchestra, are sometimes classified as "progressive rock", "commercial rock", or "symphonic pop." Over time, Led Zeppelin and Supertramp, among others, also incorporated more unusual instrumental elements, odd time signatures, and long compositions into their work. In a similar "prog pop" vein was Manfred Mann's Earthband. A feature of The Earthband were virtuoso Minimoog solos by Mann and they were considered a top class prog act which was surprising given Manfred Mann's more well known 60's heritage. Progressive rock's popularity peaked in the mid-1970s, when prog artists regularly topped readers' votes in mainstream popular music magazines in England and America. By this time, several New World progressive rock bands had been formed. Kansas, which had actually existed in one form or another since 1971, became one of the most commercially successful of all progressive rock bands. Toronto's Rush were equally successful, with a string of hit albums extending from the mid-1970s to the present (though little of their recent work falls into the progressive rock category). Less commercially successful, but at least as influential as either band, were the Dixie Dregs, from Georgia (argurably more of a fusion band).

Yes performing in 1977. With the advent of punk rock in the late 1970s, popular and critical opinion in England and America moved toward a simpler and more aggressive style of rock, with progressive rock increasingly dismissed as pretentious and overblown. As Martin Smith once said in

a BBC interview "The whole progressive [rock] genre ground to a halt overnight with the Sex Pistols." [edit]

1980s revival
Main article: Neo-progressive The early 1980s saw something of a revival of the genre, led by innovative artists such as Marillion, IQ, Twelfth Night, Pendragon, Galahad, Pallas, and Saga. Groups that arose during this time are sometimes termed neo-progressive or neo-prog (also referred to as the New Wave Of British Prog Rock). Bands of this style were influenced by '70s progressive rock groups like Genesis, Yes, and Camel, but incorporated some elements that were reflective of the New Wave and other rock elements found in the 80s. The digital synthesiser became a prominent instrument in the style. Neo-prog continued to remain viable into the '90s and beyond with bands like Arena, Jadis, Collage, and Iluvatar. Their sound was generally similar in style and sound to neo-prog pioneers like Marillion and IQ, which differentiated them from the emerging Third Wave movement in the 1990s. Some progressive rock stalwarts changed musical direction, simplifying their music, making it more commercially viable. In 1982, the much anticipated supergroup Asia, composed of Steve Howe (Yes), Carl Palmer (ELP), John Wetton (King Crimson), and Geoff Downes (Yes), surprised (and disappointed) with their pop-oriented debut album. Top 5 single "Heat of the Moment" rotated heavily on MTV for years, while the first Asia album established a sales record for 1982. This demonstrated a market for more commercialized British progressive rock -- incidentally, the same style purveyed by North American Top-40 stalwarts such as Styx and Journey for several years. Other British bands followed Asia's lucrative example. In 1983, Genesis achieved some international success with "Mama", a song with heavy emphasis on a drum machine riff. This signalled a very commercial direction during the 1980s. In 1984, Yes also had a surprise comeback with 90125, featuring their only number one (US) single, "Owner of a Lonely Heart." Written by guitarist Trevor Rabin prior to joining Yes, "Owner" was accessible enough to be played at discos, and more recently has been remixed into a trance single. Often sampled by hip-hop artists, "Owner" also incorporated contemporary electronic effects, courtesy of producer/ex-member Trevor Horn. Likewise, Pink Floyd's A Momentary Lapse of Reason in 1987 was a departure from their traditional extended play concept albums, featuring much shorter songs and an all together much more electronic sound. Many progressive rock fans were unhappy with the direction taken by these bands, but others simply accepted the changes and enjoyed the music. Yes, for instance, enjoyed a brief renaissance during the 1980s with a mixture of old and new fans. Moreover, other

progressive rock bands like Rush arguably released some of their best material during the early and mid-1980s, due to a merge of new wave and early progressive sounds. [edit]

Third wave and prog metal


Main article: Progressive Metal The progressive rock genre enjoyed another revival in the 1990s. A notable kickoff to this revival were a trio of Swedish bands nglagrd, Anekdoten and Landberk in 19921993. Later came the so-called "Third Wave", spearheaded by such bands as Sweden's The Flower Kings, the UK's Porcupine Tree, Italy's Finisterre and Deus Ex Machina, and Spock's Beard, Echolyn and Glass Hammer from the United States. Arjen Anthony Lucassen with the backing of an array of talent from the progressive rock genre, produced a series of innovative concept albums. While not necessarily sounding alike, many of the Third Wave bands had very strong ties musically to the 1970s progressive rock acts, often to the point of sounding 'retro' in nature. One of the most commercial bands of the alternative rock movement, The Smashing Pumpkins, incorporated progressive rock into their unique, eclectic style, going so far as to release two albums dealing with the same concept, and Seattle's Soundgarden helped bridge the gap between progressive rock and the Grunge movement. Phish would often be referenced in their early albums as a technical example of progressive rock due to their unique sound and the incorporation of many elements considered to be "characteristic" of progressive rock. Their 1988 release Junta is often seen as a 1980s progressive rock landmark. In recent years, one of the more commercially viable categories of prog has been progressive metal, which mixes some of the common elements associated with progressive rock (lengthy compositions, concept albums, virtuosity) with the power and attitude associated with metal. One distinguishing characteristic is the prominence of a keyboard instrument to a music (metal) that is normally fairly guitar dominant. Several of the leading bands in the prog-metal genre (Dream Theater (U.S.), Ayreon (Netherlands), Opeth (Sweden), and Fates Warning (U.S.) cite pioneer progressive hard-rockers Rush as a prime influence, although their music shows large influences from bands such as Black Sabbath or Deep Purple as well. Tool have cited pioneers King Crimson as an influence on their work. King Crimson opened for Tool on their 2002 tour, and expressed admiration for Tool while denying the "prog" label [1]. Meanwhile, other heavy metal bands not generally considered prog-metal, such as System of a Down have nevertheless incorporated prog-influenced elements like bizarre shifts in time signatures and tempo in their music. In recent years, a number of heavily classical-influenced goth metal bands have emerged in Europe, most notably Finland's Nightwish. Though they probably do not think of themselves as progressive metal bands, fans of the genre often consider them to be such and indeed, several could claim at least

as many of the "characteristics of Progressive Rock" listed above as bands like Dream Theater. It should be noted that the term "progressive" in the early 1970s had been coined to emphasize the newness of these bands, but by the 1980s the term had become the name of a specific musical style. As a result, bands such as King Crimson which continued to update their sound were not always called "progressive", while some newer selfdescribed "prog" bands purchased vintage mellotrons in order to recreate the sound of early 1970s prog. Fans and hostile critics alike had established "progressive rock" as the permanent name of this genre, and so the connection to the usual meaning of "progressive" became irrelevant. [edit]

Influences
The work of contemporary artists such as Ween, post-rock bands like Sigur Rs and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and alternative or new prog groups like Radiohead and Muse could be said to incorporate some of the elements of progressive rock, sometimes combined with the aesthetic sensibilities of punk rock. A better example of a contemporary progressive band however is probably The Mars Volta, who are notable for intentionally fusing punk with progressive rock, two elements once polar opposites. The cult English band Cardiacs has specialised since 1980 in a kind of progressive punk sound which has influenced a slew of other bands who are occasionally described (with tongue-in-cheek) as pronk acts. Among the more experimental and avant garde musicians, the Japanese composer Takashi Yoshimatsu publicly cites progressive rock bands as a prime influence on his work, while Chicago's indie-rock band The Fiery Furnaces could also be considered progressive, blending electronic and orchestrated bits into their craft, while also expanding on The Who's mini rock-opera ethic. There are also a number of contemporary prog bands, such as Mostly Autumn that combine Celtic, and sometimes pagan, influences with earlier prog rock styles. Other bands of note incorporating progressive rock into their sound include The Mars Volta, Umphrey's McGee, Porcupine Tree, dredg, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Kayo Dot, Opeth, and Coheed and Cambria [edit]

Progressive Rock Festivals


Renewed interest in progressive rock in the 90s eventually led to the beginnings of musical events and festivals that centered around progressive rock acts. The first ProgFest was held on May 29th, 1993, in UCLA's Royce Hall and featured Sweden's Anglagard, England's IQ, Quill, and Citadel. Interest in the festival was large enough for others in the U.S.A. to start similar events. ProgDay, held at Storybook Farm near Chapel

Hill, North Carolina, first emerged during Labor Day weekend in 1995 and is planning its 12th festival in 2006. The most successful of these festivals to date is NEARfest, which held its first event on June 26th & 27th, 1999 in Bethlehem, PA to approximately 400 fans. With a diverse lineup and an ability to get big name talent, the festival eventually grew in popularity to fill a 1,000 seat venue, and later relocated to Trenton, NJ in 2002 to a venue which seated over 1,850. The festival relocated back to Bethlehem, PA in 2004 and is still active. Other current festivals of note include Rosfest in Phoenixville, PA, Baja Prog in Mexicali, Mexico, CalProg in Whittier, CA, Prog In The Park in Rochester, NY, Gouveia Art Rock in Portugal and Rio Art Rock Festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Progressive Rock
The Progressive Rock Era marked a period of experimentation that is unique in the history of rock and roll. Its music, while made with mostly traditional "rock" instruments, produced songs and sounds that pushed the limits of conventional rock and expanded the limits of what you could do musically within the rock genre. What distinguishes progressive rock from other genres in the rock world is the emphasis on composition over basic song structure. The lengths on most progressive rock songs exceed five minutes regularly, and often filled an entire side of an album (Yes' Close To the Edge, Genesis' Supper's Ready and Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Karn Evil 9). Many progressive rock bands relied on keyboards as a predominate instrument as opposed to the guitar. While traditional rock and roll is ultimately based on the blues, progressive rock tends to be based more in European classical music and post bop jazz. Gustav Holtz's Mars was a concert staple at King Crimson concerts in the early 70's and Emerson, Lake and Palmer put Copeland's Hoedown and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition in their repertoire. Because European classical music is known for grandiose instrumental passages and post bop jazz is known for improvisation, the influence they provided to the structure of progressive rock cause a division on how the movement was, and is, viewed in rock history. For example in the early 70's progressive groups such as Emerson, Lake and Palmer were viewed by both fans and critics as innovators and geniuses. A popular joke circulating during the same time period was Q: How do you spell pretentious? A: E-L-P.

Beginnings

While the period does not have an exact "starting date" many rock historians and musicians who played at that time believe that the Progressive Rock Movement was set in motion by the release of the Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967. "After Sgt. Pepper, there were no rules to follow -- rock and pop bands could try anything, for better or worse," said Stephen Thomas Erlewine in the All Music Guide. Seemingly overnight, numerous groups that would have profound influence on music in the 1970's began to form (mainly in England). Jethro Tull was founded in Blackpool by eccentric flutist Ian Anderson. The Electric Light Orchestra was the vehicle for musicians Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood to incorporate a full time string section into a rock and roll band. And a band from Manchester called Pink Floyd, released what many musicologists called the first psychedelic album with The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Even established bands of the time began to experiment with the rock sound, such as the Moody Blues, who recorded their Days of Futures Past album with conductor Peter Knight and the London Symphony Orchestra. Even the Rolling Stones also got into the act (and divided their fan and critical base in the process) with the psychedelic Their Satanic Majesties Request. While the majority of songs that were played on the radio were similar in structure to those that received airplay before this new era of experimentation began, the course was clearly set. Small college radio stations and specialty shows such as Clyde Clifford's Beaker Street (which reached most of the Northern Hemisphere) began to play selections from these albums, which intern gained enormous popularity with college students who were particularly interested in the alternative culture that was developing throughout the country.

1969-73 The Golden Era


The year 1969 saw the new experimental movement gained its common name "progressive rock" (although the origin of this is unknown). Nineteen sixty-nine also saw a new batch of bands that would eventually become the embodiment of the genre. Yes released its first album on Atlantic (although larger success would not come to the band until 1971's The Yes Album). King Crimson released In The Court Of The Crimson King, which garnered the most attention among fans and critics alike (Pete Townsend of The Who called In The Court..."an uncanny masterpeice." The era of 1969-73 proved to be the golden age of the movement, aided by an influx of new bands such as Genesis and the first progressive rock "supergroup," Emerson, Lake and Palmer featuring keyboardist Keith Emerson of The Nice, bassist Greg Lake of King Crimson and Carl Palmer of Atomic Rooster) and a new breed of FM stations who ignored the tight restrictions of AM Pop Radio in favor of a more freer format that accompanied Progressive Rock bands.

Progressive bands also were making strides in AM commercial radio. Yes hit the American Billboard Charts with a condensed version of "Roundabout" in 1972, Genesis received some mainstream airplay in 1973 with "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" and Jethro Tull grabbed stateside success with 1971's "Aqualung" remains a staple of classic rock radio. In 1973 Pink Floyd released The Dark Side of the Moon which stayed on the Billboard Chart of the Top 200 records through 1987. The movement arrived at mainstream success. However the dynamic of the music scene was beginning to change and by 1974 an antiprogressive movement had begun.

1974-76 Decline
Progressive Rock had always had it's detractors, but by 1974 there was an out and out anti-progressive movement in the form of Pub Rock. "If pub rock is anything, it is loose and unpretentious -- these were guys that played music for the hell of it...This kind of rootsy music stood in direct contrast to the glam rock, hard rock, and prog rock that dominated the British charts," said the All Music Guide. While Pub Rock ultimately did not come anywhere near the status that progressive rock enjoyed, groups like Ducks Deluxe and Dr. Feelgood, represented a back to basics approach to music that stood against everything that the movement had stood for. Pub Rock served as inspiration to and paved the road for the next musical movement that would overthrow progressive rock from the mainstream plateau: Punk Rock. Punk Rock was directly opposite to anything thing that progressive rock stood for. While Progressive bands preferred long, winding "compositions," Punk Rock were extremely short, simple songs. A classic example of this is the debut album from New York Punk legends, The Ramones, whose 1976 debut album clocked in with 14 songs at 28 minutes (Jethro Tull's Thick as A Brick, which many consider a progressive rock masterwork, takes approximately 50 minutes). Prog Rock specialized in complex, melodic sequences. Most Punk Rock groups, on the other hand only knew four chords, and the overall emphasis of the song was on rhythm. The Punks also made their displeasure with the progressive movement, which they regarded as old and self indulgent, widely known,. The single most famous example of the "punk additude" on Progressive was done by Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols who regularly wore a T-Shirt on stage saying "I Hate Pink Floyd." The message began to resonate. The Punk movement changed the landscape of music. No longer was it considered in fashion to make long, complicated compositions. The younger audience that Prog Rockers held only a few years before had now gravitated towards punk (those that didn't

were drawn to disco). Sales of progressive rock albums began to plummet. The era was coming to an end.

Epilogue 1976- Present


Emerson Lake and Palmer, after enjoying resounding success before the emergence of Punk, disbanded in 1978. Peter Gabriel left Genesis in 1975 to pursue a solo career. While the remaining members carried on, the band, under the leadership of Phil Collins departed the progressive format for a more pop oriented sound. They became one of the biggest selling acts of the 1980's. Yes, one of the biggest selling acts of the progressive rock era struggled on after the punk explosion before splitting up in 1980. The group reunited less than three years later and had a top ten hit with "Owner of a Lonely Heart," which, like Genesis, emphasized a more pop oriented format. Other groups continued to perform. Jethro Tull released jtull dot com in 1999. King Crimson reunited in 1994 (after disbanding in 1975, reuniting in 1981 and splitting up again in 1984), to record Thrax and Pink Floyd, while never quite matching the success of Dark Side of the Moon, remains one of the top concerts grossers in the music business. But there is no new blood to carry the values of the movement. While some modern bands embark on progressive-like ventures (Dream Theater, Smashing Pumpkins and Spiritualized) there is no out and out new progressive band in the national music map. Which makes what happened during its era, very special. There was nothing that sounded like it before, and nothing has sounded like it since.

A definition of Progressive Rock Music


Progressive rock ("prog") is an ambitious, eclectic, and often grandiose style of rock music which arose in the late 1960s principally in England, reaching the peak of its popularity in the early 1970s, but continuing as a musical form to this day. Progressive rock was largely a European movement, and drew most of its influences from classical music and jazz fusion, in contrast to American rock, which was influenced by rhythm & blues and country, although there are notable exceptions in the New World such as Kansas and Rush considered by many to be the finest examples of the form. Over the years various sub-genres of progressive rock have emerged, such as symphonic rock, art rock and progressive metal.

Progressive rock artists sought to move away from the limitations of radio formatted rock and pop, and "progress" rock to the point that it could achieve the sophistication of jazz or classical music. It is admired by its fans for its complexity, requiring a high level of musical virtuosity to perform. Critics have often derided the genre as pompous and self-indulgent. This is because,

unlike such stylistically consistent genres as country or hip hop, progressive rock is difficult to define in a single conclusive way. Outspoken King Crimson leader Robert Fripp has voiced his disdain for the term. The major acts that defined the genre in the 1970s (Yes, Genesis, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Rush and King Crimson) do not sound alike. There is also debate on whether bands such as The Beatles, Phish, and Radiohead belong to the genre.

Some common, though not universal, elements of progressive rock include:

Long compositions, sometimes running over 20 minutes, with intricate melodies and harmonies that require repeated listening to grasp. These are often described as epics and are the genre's clearest nod to classical music. An early example is the 23minute "Echoes" by Pink Floyd. Other famous examples include Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" (43 minutes), Yes' "Close to the Edge" (18 minutes) and Genesis' "Supper's Ready" (23 minutes). More recent extreme examples are the 60-minute "Light of Day, Day of Darkness" by Green Carnation and "Garden of Dreams" by The Flower Kings.

Lyrics that convey intricate and sometimes impenetrable narratives, covering such themes as science fiction, fantasy, history, religion, war, love, and madness. Many early 1970s progressive rock bands (especially German ones) featured lyrics concerned with left-wing politics and social issues.

Concept albums, in which a theme or storyline is explored throughout an entire album in a manner similar to a film or a play. In the days of vinyl, these were usually two-record sets with strikingly designed gatefold sleeves. Famous examples include The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis, Tales from Topographic Oceans by Yes, 2112 by Rush, Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall by Pink Floyd, and the more recent Metropolis Part II: Scenes from a Memory by Dream Theater and Snow by Spock's Beard. Aqualung, perhaps the best-known record by Jethro Tull, is often regarded as a concept album due to its recurring themes, but songwriter Ian Anderson has always claimed that the album is just "a bunch of songs".

Unusual vocal styles and use of multi-part vocal harmonies. See Magma, Robert Wyatt, and Gentle Giant. Prominent use of electronic instrumentation particularly keyboard instruments such as the organ, piano, Mellotron, and Moog synthesizer, in addition to the usual rock combination of electric guitar, bass and drums.

Use of unusual time signatures, scales, or tunings. Many pieces use multiple time signatures and/or tempi, sometimes concurrently. Solo passages for virtually every instrument, designed to showcase the virtuosity of the player. This is the sort of thing that contributed to the fame of such performers as keyboardist Rick Wakeman and drummer Neil Peart.

Inclusion of classical pieces on albums. For example, Yes start their concerts with a taped extract of Stravinsky's Firebird suite, and Emerson Lake and Palmer have performed arrangements of pieces by Copland, Bartk, Moussorgsky, Prokofiev, Janacek, Alberto Ginastera, and often feature quotes from J. S. Bach in lead breaks. Jethro Tull recorded a famous cover of J. S. Bach's "Bouree", in which they turned the classical piece into a "sleazy jazzy night-club song", according to Ian Anderson. Marillion started concerts with Rossini's La Gazza Ladra (The Thieving Magpie). Symphony X has included parts by, or inspired by, Beethoven, Holst and Mozart.

An aesthetic linking the music with visual art, a trend started by The Beatles with Sgt. Pepper's and enthusiastically embraced during the prog heyday. Some bands became as well-known for the art direction of their albums as for their sound, with the "look" integrated into the band's overall musical identity. This led to fame for particular artists and design studios, most notably Roger Dean, whose paintings and logo design for Yes are so essential to the band's identity they could be said to serve the same function as corporate branding. Hipgnosis became equally famous for their unusual sleeves for Pink Floyd, often featuring experimental photography quite innovative for the time (two men shaking hands, one of whom is in flames, on the cover of Wish You Were Here). H.R. Giger's painting for Emerson Lake and Palmer's Brain Salad Surgery is one of the most famous album sleeves ever produced.

Progressive rock compositions sometimes take the following forms:

A piece that is subdivided into movements in the manner of a classical suite. Examples are the four-part "Close to the Edge" by Yes, six-part "Hemispheres" by Rush, and the seven-part "A Change of Seasons" by Dream Theater. All of TransAtlantic's epics are multipart.

A piece that is composed of a patchwork of musical themes that could conceivably stand as individual songs, but together serve to relate a complete narrative through music. Examples are "Supper's Ready" on Genesis' Foxtrot (the "Willow Farm" section of which was played as a single), "A Day in the Life" on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles, Jethro Tull's Aqualung from the album of the same name, and "The Gates of Delirium" on Yes's album Relayer (from which the single "Soon" was taken).

A piece that allows the development of musical ideas via progressions or variations in the manner of a bolero or a canon. "King Kong" on Frank Zappa's Uncle Meat is an example.

Progressive rock's popularity peaked in the mid-1970s, when prog artists regularly topped readers' votes in mainstream popular music magazines. With the advent of punk rock in the late 1970s, and its earlier precursor pub rock, popular and critical opinion moved toward a simpler and more aggressive style of rock, with progressive rock increasingly dismissed as pretentious and overblown. This attitude has remained in place to the present day.

The early 1980s saw something of a revival of the genre, led by artists such as Marillion, Saga, and Kate Bush. Groups that arose during this time are sometimes termed neo-progressive. Around the same time, some progressive rock stalwarts changed musical direction, simplifying their music and including more obviously electronic elements. In 1983, Genesis achieved international success with the song "Mama", with its heavy emphasis on a drum machine riff. In 1984, Yes had a surprise number one hit with the song "Owner of a Lonely Heart", which contained modern (for the time) electronic effects and was accessible enough to be played at discos.

The genre enjoyed another revival in the 1990s with the so-called "Third Wave", spearheaded by such bands as Sweden's The Flower Kings, the UK's Porcupine Tree, and Spock's Beard from the United States. One of the most important bands of the alternative rock movement, The Smashing Pumpkins, incorporated progressive rock into their unique, eclectic style, going so far as to release two albums dealing with the same concept.

In recent years, the most commercially viable category of prog has been progressive metal. These bands are usually happy to be known as progressive, and produce very long pieces and concept albums. Several of the leading bands in the prog-metal genre (particularly Dream Theater) cite pioneer progressive hard-rockers Rush as a prime influence. Meanwhile, other heavy metal bands not generally considered prog-metal, such as System of a Down, have nevertheless incorporated prog-influenced elements like bizarre shifts in time signatures and tempo in their music.

The work of contemporary artists such as Ween and post-rock bands like Sigur Rs and Godspeed You! Black Emperor could be said to incorporate some of the experimental elements of progressive rock, sometimes combined with the aesthetic sensibilities of punk rock to produce music which many find challenging, innovative and imaginative. The Mars Volta is notable for intentionally fusing punk with progressive rock, two elements once polar opposites. Among more experimental and avant garde musicians, the Japanese composer Takashi Yoshimatsu publicly cites progressive rock bands as a prime influence on his work.

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The history of Progressive Rock Music (1967 - 2004)

Through this "mini guide" of the "progressive music", it is intended that you would discover the kind of music by the means of four chronicles whereby each one covers one wave of the progressive movement. They correspond to this era : end of the Sixties (prehistory), the Seventies (the golden age), the Eighties (the silver age, the birth of neo progressive rock) and at the Nineties at our days (rebirth and new progressive metal).

Research & Redaction in French by ProgLucky, CANADA (FOUNDER OF PROGARCHIVES.COM)

SPECIAL THANKS...! Improved and adapted in English by Ian Alterman (Maani), USA (FORUM MODERATOR + SPECIAL COLLABORATOR)

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The development of Progressive Rock Music

Written by

Lucas BIELA

The development of Progressive Rock Music, a difficult task

Late 60s and beginning of the 70s I would say it all began with psychedelic music, i.e. essentially Jimi Hendrix and earlier PINK FLOYD (all their stuff with Syd Barrett). Some people say that The BEATLES also had a contribution to the prog movement). Then came bands such as KING CRIMSON and YES at the end of the sixties. KING CRIMSON, along with VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR (VDGG) helped define a sub-genre of the progressive music called hard prog ('hard' referring to the tormented atmosphere of their records, however "In The Court In The Crimson King" is symphonic prog). YES were playing symphonic rock, so called because of the use of a symphonic orchestra. GENESIS were already recording at the end of the sixties but their links to the progressive rock were not yet defined. With the album "Trespass", things became clear about GENESIS. YES and GENESIS remain icons in symphonic rock music. Other bands followed their steps later : GENTLE GIANT, CAMEL among others. At the same time as symphonic rock was developing in Great Britain, many Italian bands were performing a similar type of music : BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORCO (BDMS for short), PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM), Le ORME, QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA (QVL) among others. These two countries were the most prolific as far as progressive rock is concerned.

Let's go back to England to focus on another sub-genre that comes from the Canterbury country. CARAVAN defined that sub-genre with their second album and bands like HATFIELD AND THE NORTH and later NATIONAL HEALTH followed (plus a band that didn't come from England but from USA, HAPPY THE MAN). The first GONG album ("Camembert Electrique", featuring Pip Pyle on drums who later joined HATFIELD and NATIONAL HEALTH) belongs also to this sub-genre. Daevid Allen (who later founded GONG) formed with Robert Wyatt SOFT MACHINE, a band that could be regarded as belonging to the Canterbury scene for their first three releases, but that turned to jazz-fusion (with "Third"), another sub-genre that included also later Bruford and BRAND X, and in the USA Frank ZAPPA.

So, all the beginning of the seventies, 3 sub-genres are already established : symphonic (YES, GENESIS), Canterbury (CARAVAN, earlier GONG), hard prog (KING CRIMSON, VDGG).

The 70s After Syd Barrett left PINK FLOYD, their music became softer with ethereal passages : they defined a new sub-genre, space rock. GONG were also following the same way with "Angel Egg" (but with humour), their best record to date. After The YARDBIRDS split, Keith Relf formed

with his wife Jane the band RENAISSANCE, a group that blended folk music with progressive rock. Along with JETHRO TULL, RENAISSANCE were qualified as a folk prog band. The popularity of RENAISSANCE grew after Annie Haslam replaced Jane Relf on vocals and they releases the great "Scheherazade And Other Stories" in 1975. JETHRO TULL released "Aqualung" in 1971, an album that is considered as a classic today, but I would recommend the flow-up "Thick As A Brick" as an introduction to their contribution to the folk prog scene.

Another sub-genre of the progressive rock was also developing in the seventies : art rock, led by bands such as SUPERTRAMP, ROXY MUSIC, 10 CC. These groups were playing a simpler music than in the other prog sub-genre. In Germany, a group called TANGERINE DREAM was playing a music based exclusively on electronic instruments, hence their music was called "Electronic" (or New Age"), although it may include many not electronic instruments (as is the case for Mike OLDFIELD), VANGELIS and SYNERGY belong also to this sub-genre. Many of the German bands that appeared at the beginning of the seventies were classified as "Krautrock", an additional sub-genre of the progressive rock, including GROBSCHNITT, AMON DL, ASH RA TEMPEL. A minimalistic form of the "electronic" music appeared also in the seventies : ambient. KRAFTWERK, Brian ENO, CLUSTER belong to this category. Moreover, in England a sub-genre based on improvisation and with a jazz background appeared in 1973 with the release of HENRY COW's "Leg End" (RIO, Rock In Opposition).

I forgot to mention that EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER (ELP), band that gathered members of KING CRIMSON, ATOMIC ROOSTER and The NICE released albums ("Tarkus" being regarded as their best) belonging to a sub-genre called classical prog, as they often feature a song that is an adaptation of a piece of classical music ("Pictures At An Exibition" for example). The NICE and Rick WAKEMAN belong also to this sub-genre, In North America, some groups tried to mix hard rock with progressive elements, such bands are RUSH, STYX among others (KANSAS could also be added to this category but it is also close to the English symphonic prog scene). They were called pomp prog as the intros and outros of some of their songs are "pompous".

I mentioned previously the development of a jazz-fusion scene with BRAND X (featuring Phil Collins), Bruford, and ZAPPA, the music of this latter could be considered as a unique subgenre (mix of jazz, doo-wap, rock). Another band was also strongly rooted in jazz but included also influences ranging from Stockhausen to Duke Ellington, via opera : MAGMA, who created the Zeuhl sub-genre, with a language intelligible only by them ("Kobaa").

So, at the end of the seventies you have 10 new sub-genres in the progressive rock : art rock, folk prog, classical prog, RIO, jazz-fusion, Zeuhl, ambient, electronic, krautrock, pomp prog

The 80s The progressive rock was supplanted by the "punk movement" at the end of the seventies, a "music" which aim was to prove that everyone could play music. "Punk" gave rise to the cold wave in the eighties and prog rock was reduced to what was called neo progressive (a simpler form of the symphonic prog but with much present drums), and an embryo of what became at the beginning of the nineties the metal prog . SAGA were probably the first to play this neo prog, but MARILLION, IQ and PENDRAGON are the best representatives of this sub-genre. Landmarq albums include "Misplaced Childhood" by MARILLION, "Masquerade Overture ('96)" by PENDRAGON and "Ever" by IQ.

The 90s Metal prog developed with DREAM THEATER's "Images And Words". However, in the eighties some groups were already playing a heavy metal based progressive music : QUEENSRYCHE, FATES WARNING, WATCHTOWER. Thanks to Mike Varney in the USA, who founded the prog label Magna Carta, and in Europe the Inside Out Label. Apart from metal prog. SPOCK'S BEARD were playing a symphonic prog with references to GENTLE GIANT and GENESIS and ECHLOLYN and IZZ were playing a music closer to neo prog. In the Northern Europe, a Scandinavian symphonic prog scene developed with bands such as The FLOWER KJINGS, ANGLAGARD and SINKADUS, A post RIO scene also developed with DJAM KARET, THINKING PLAGUE Some groups play jazz-fusion : KENSO, CARTOONE, DEUS EX MACHINA. PORCUPINE TREE and OZRIC TENACLES play space rock. COLLAGE, CLEPSYDRA are great bands hat are strongly influenced by IQ and MARILLION.

Thus, in the nineties you have a revival of the prog scene not only with the appearance of a new sub-genre : metal prog but also with bands playing the styles developed in the seventies.

I hope these informations will help you in your investigation.

Written by

Lucas BIELA

The genres of progressive rock music


Progressive rock (shortened to prog, or prog rock when differentiating from other... genres) is a broad and convergent style of rock music and progressive music which arose in the late 1960s , reaching the peak of its popularity in the early 1970s , but continuing as a musical form to this day. This genre music is a catalyst to raise considerably the level of musicanship among rock bands and bring a new level of depth and sophistication to rock. Popular bands

associated with progressive rock include JETHRO TULL, KING CRIMSON, GENESIS, PINK FLOYD, YES, the much-discussed newscomers ARENA, IQ, PENDRAGON, DREAM THEATER, MARILLION, PORCUPINE TREE and many other bands come from there. If you're not familiar with Prog Rock, it's a rather adventure some style of music . We hope you enjoy your browse through thirty years of progressive rock history when you visit our Progressive and related departments. Nowadays its more underground but with a very loyal following.

One of the most defining characteristics of prog is the classification of bands and artists. There are various sub-genres of progressive rock (or "prog", as it is sometimes abbreviated). People can (and will) argue for hours about whether this or that band belongs in this or that subgenre. This list below is just a simple outline of the characteristics of each sub-genre, and by NO means a strict guideline. Remember, this is not a definitive list.

SUB-GENRES

Art Rock Canterbury Scene Experimental/Post-Rock Indo-Prog/Raga Rock Italian Symphonic Prog Jazz Rock/Fusion Krautrock Neo Progressive Prog Folk Prog Related Progressive Electronic Progressive Metal Proto-Prog Psychedelic/Space Rock RIO/Avant-Prog Symphonic Prog Various Genres Zeuhl

Art Rock
This was the original name of progressive rock music. We now use this within the umbrella of Prog or Progressive Rock as category that is used to refer to explorative works by bands that cross different genres or have an experimental nature that is not specific to one genre. Some

of these bands may have had roots in other prog categories in their early years but later became more AOR or mainstream or vise versa starting out mainstream then becoming prog. These bands are considered primarily to be prog bands.

Garion81 All Art Rock artists list

Canterbury Scene
A fraternal collective of musicians clustered around the Kentish tourist town that is home to the Church of England's Archbishop, the Canterbury Scene provided the cradle for a half-dozen of the most freewheeling British bands of the post-psychedelic era. Though the direct musical similarities between Canterbury's major bands the Soft Machine, Caravan, Gong, Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers, Hatfield & the North, Egg, National Health aren't overwhelming, each featured a clever synthesis of jazz improvisation and rock rhythms with clever, intellectual songwriting tied to psychedelia. It's no wonder the Canterbury bands became so close, since many of its major figures began their musical careers in a beat group called the Wilde Flowers. Together from 1963 to 1969, the Wilde Flowers included most of the figures who later formed Canterbury's two best bands, the Soft Machine (Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers) and Caravan (Pye Hastings, David Sinclair, Richard Sinclair, Richard Coughlan). After both the Soft Machine and Caravan released their debut albums in 1968, they became popular in England's psychedelic underground. By the early '70s however, a series of fragmenting lineup changes and the subsequent formation of new bands soon multiplied the force of the Canterbury scene. Early Soft Machine member Daevid Allen formed Gong, and both Kevin Ayers and Robert Wyatt eventually left the Softs to begin their own solo careers. The musicians that led the new incarnation of the Soft Machine, including Elton Dean and Hugh Hopper, began pushing the band in the direction of instrumental jazz-rock. By the mid-'70s, many of the remaining Canterbury bands had progressed from psychedelic and prog-rock to embrace extended fusion jams with few lyrics. Many of Britain's better avant-garde or fusion musicians of the 1970s and '80s including Fred Frith, Allan Holdsworth, and Peter Blegvad also began their career playing in Canterbury bands. All Canterbury Scene artists list

Experimental/Post-Rock
EXPERIMENTAL: Experimental music is any music that challenges the commonly accepted notions of what music is. There is an overlap with avant-garde music. John Cage was a pioneer in experimental music and defined and gave credibility to the form. As with other edge forms that push the limits of a particular form of expression, there is little agreement as to the boundaries of experimental music, even amongst its practitioners. On the one hand, some experimental music is an extension of traditional music, adding unconventional instruments, modifications to instruments, noises, and other novelties to orchestral compositions. At the other extreme, there are performances that most listeners would not characterize as music at all.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Experimental Music".

POST-ROCK: The term post-rock was coined by Simon Reynolds in issue 123 of The Wire (May 1994) to describe a sort of music "using rock instrumentation for non-rock purposes, using guitars as facilitators of timbres and textures rather than riffs and powerchords."

Originally used to describe the music of such bands as Stereolab, Disco Inferno, Seefeel, Bark Psychosis and Pram, it spread out to be frequently used for all sorts of jazz- and Krautrockinfluenced, instrumental, electronica-added music made after 1994. Bands from the early 1990s such as Slint, or earlier, such as Talk Talk were influential on this genre. As with many musical genres, the term is arguably inadequate: it is used for the music of Tortoise as well as that of Mogwai, two bands who have very little in common besides the fact that their music is largely instrumental.

The aforementioned Tortoise was among the founders of the movement. After the second Tortoise LP Millions Now Living Will Never Die, the band became a post-rock icon. After Millions... many bands (e.g., Do Make Say Think) began to record, inspired by the "Tortoisesound" and were often described as post-rock.

In the late nineties, Chicago, Illinois, became the home base of many different groups. John McEntire (of Tortoise) became an important producer for lots of them, as well as Jim O'Rourke

(of Brice-Glace, Gastr del Sol and many more). Post-rock began to range from the slow, guitarbased ambience of Boxhead Ensemble to the up-tempo electronica of Stereolab.

Montreal, Quebec band Godspeed You Black Emperor! later renamed 'Godspeed You! Black Emperor' brought a political element with anti-globalization movement leanings.

By the early 2000s, the term had started to fall out of favor, while the major artists kept on making high quality recordings. The wide range of styles covered by the term had robbed it of its usefulness almost from the moment it was coined.

Closely related to post-rock is the genre known as Math rock, characterized by more percussive timbres, and more dissonant harmonic gestures.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Post-rock".

All Experimental/Post-Rock artists list

Indo-Prog/Raga Rock
The private, metaphysical relations to oneself, to the other, the symbolism of existence are connected, transfigured by the particular expression of raga, classical India music. The emotion provided by this music is not only affective. Its a real message, an aesthetic of the nature, of the divine, a virtue able to guide the listener to a state of emotional trance. In the mid-60s with the launch of international success of raga masters as Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar KhanEuropean and American artists will become more and more captivated by the dynamical relation between mystical emotion, spirituality and music. The emergence of Raga schools from everywhere (still perpetuating the ancestral musical traditions), the travels of our modern classical, jazz and popular composers to India will provoke a growing agitation for this musical universe. The emphasis on repetitive circular rhythms, ornamentation (gamaka), the use of patterns, the sense of long, endless improvisations are the central characteristics of this music in term of practice and form. Emotionally, the function on the listener is hypnotic, voluntary trying to reach him into a higher state of consciousness, modulating his perception of time. The basic conception of drone (continuous sound form) will be taken back in popular music and turned into electronic drone (for instance by the 70s Berlin underground

electronic scene). After Seventh sons first original but rather discreet effort simply called raga (1964), famous bands as the Beatles in Revolver and Traffic in their album Mr Fantasy will be seduced by the sonorities of Indian raga music, occasionally integrated sitar elements to their music. Among the most notorious artists who participate to the original dialogue between rock and Indian music we can quote many jazz musicians influenced by world elements (the guitarists Volker Krieger, Steve Tibbetts, the clarinet player Tony Scott). They are often recognised to practice a fusion between jazz rock harmonies and ragas instrumentations (tabla, sitar). Among them Collin Walcott and Alberto Marsicano were Ravi Shankars pupils. The world of raga rock can also include folk bands as Quintessance, Fit & Limo, Flute & Voice which are largely impregnated by mysticism, sonic meditation and sitar.

Philippe Blache All Indo-Prog/Raga Rock artists list

Italian Symphonic Prog


Indeed so much progressive music has emerged and continues to emerge from Italy that some people believe it belongs in its own sub-genre. Lyrics are almost entirely in Italian. Compositions sometimes follow traditional Italian arrangements and compositional style, some based on particular regions of Italy. However, Italian prog styles can, and do, also fall within all of the other sub-genres. All Italian Symphonic Prog artists list

Jazz Rock/Fusion
Sometimes includes progressive jazz. This style fuses traditional jazz arrangements, instruments, and performance style with elements of progressive rock. The result is usually instrumental jazz-rock with a somewhat more technical and complex edge. Very interesting to

listen to - especially if you are a musician who marvels at the amazing virtuosity of some of these artists. All Jazz Rock/Fusion artists list

Krautrock
Krautrock refers to the legions of German bands of the early '70s that expanded the sonic possibilities of art and progressive rock. Instead of following in the direction of their British and American counterparts, who were moving toward jazz and classical-based compositions and concept albums, the German bands became more mechanical and electronic. Working with early synthesizers and splicing together seemingly unconnected reels of tape, bands like Faust, Can, and Neu created a droning, pulsating sound that owed more to the avant garde than to rock & roll. Although the bands didn't make much of an impact while they were active in the '70s, their music anticipated much post-punk of the early '80s, particularly industrial rock. Kraut rock also came into vogue in the '90s, when groups like Stereolab and Tortoise began incorporating the hypnotic rhythms and electronic experiments of the German art-rock bands into their own, vaguely avant-garde indie rock

Krautrock can also be considered as 70's "acid" rock from Germany. A majority of bands experiment long instrumental improvisations with an important use of psychedelic effects, weird electronic sounds.

Updated by Philippe Blache (2005-09-21) All Krautrock artists list

Neo Progressive

The Neo-Progressive subgenre of progressive rock grew out of a movement in the early 1980s by a number of U.K.-based bands that focused on music that was deeper than new wave, both instrumentally and lyrically. The premier band of the genre was Marillion, who went from lengthy club tours to the top of the charts within a few years and dropped from popular favor almost as fast. Neo-Prog bands are generally influenced by early Genesis, Camel, and to a lesser extent, Van der Graf Generator and Pink Floyd. The music holds a much more lush sound than general rock, but lacks the sophistication of truly symphonic progressive bands like Yes or amel. Instrumentally, the bands tend to be characterized by a "noodling" approach that focuses on dynamic solos, and at its best, neo-prog lyrics are deep, insightful, and acerbic. Whether neo-prog is diluted progressive or adventurous pop depends on the point of view of the listener most progressive rock listeners are likely to find the genre dull and unchallenging, while fans of AOR will find the mix more interesting than most rock bands. Although all of the major bands are still producing albums, the classic era of neo-prog effectively ended when vocalist Fish left Marillion in 1987. All Neo Progressive artists list

Prog Folk
In the wake of the 60s, a Folk revival started on both sides of the Atlantic, and got quickly linked with a protest movement, not always, but often linked to more left-wing tendencies, which did not sit well with the authorities. BOB DYLAN, JOAN BAEZ, WOODY GUTHRIE, JOHN DENVER, BUFFY STE-MARIE, but also the FARINA couple Richard and Mimi for the US and SHIRLEY COLLINS and EWAN McCOLL (mentor of BERT JANSCH, JOHN RENBOURN ) for the UK and HUGUES AUFRAY in France. In Quebec, there was the Chansoniers phenomenon among which CLAUDE LEVEILLE and FELIX LECLERC were the most popular, waking up the sleepy Belle Province and stand up for itself from the English rule. The English part of Canada also brought up JONI MITCHELL, LEONARD COHEN (although he was from Montreal) and NEIL YOUNG.

As DYLAN turned electric with his Highway 61 Revisited album, much to the dislike of purists who yelled for treason, Folk Rock was born, opening the floodgates for younger artists to turn on the electricity. As DYLAN soon abandoned to style to create Country Rock with his next album, his British equivalent Scotsman DONOVAN stayed true to Folk Rock. In the US, THE BYRDS were the main promoters of the style by now, culminating with the superb Eight Miles

High track with a lengthy (for the times) guitar solo of almost one minute. But countless other bands on the west coast, such as LOVE, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE (and later its spin-off HOT TUNA), GRATEFUL DEAD, QUICKSILVER MESSENGER SERVICE, PEARLS BEFORE SWINE, and TIM BUCKLEY all started in the folk rock realm. Even San Frans SANTANA with its Latino traditional music and, on the east coast, NYs THE LOVING SPOONFUL had folk roots. Notwithstanding the immense popularity of SIMON & GARFUNKEL and their delicious harmonies, Folk Rock was appealing only to the rock public as the older generations turned their backs in folkies.

In the UK, following on their countrymen DONOVAN, many Scotsmen were very influent in exploring new grounds for folk rock: INCREDIBLE STRING BAND (led by Scots Palmer and Williamson) with their two highly influential albums 5000 Layers Or The Spirit Of The Onion & The Hangmans Beautiful Daughter and THE PENTANGLE (led by other Scots Renbourn, Jansch and McShee and their superb bassist Danny Thompson) and its incredible fusion of folk, blues and jazz style were very instrumental in developing the style to the same extent as FAIRPORT CONVENTION and THE STRAWBS who by that time were still more conventional US west-coast folk rock. The single artistes in folk rock became known as Folk Troubadours were also numerous and often presented a more progressive side of folk: AL STEWART, NICK DRAKE, ROY HARPER, TYRANOSAURUS REX (actually a duo of Steven Took and Marc Bolan) , JOHN MARTYN etc

However, the real angular album that will lead to further change of Folk Rock is FAIRPORT CONVENTIONs Liege & Lief album, that proved to be highly influential for another generation of groups: this album concentrated into electrifying seminal English traditional folk and retained that quaint Englishness taste. It is interesting to see that both leaders of FAIRPORT quit the band after this success to go their respective way: Sandy Denny to a solo folk songwriting career and Ashley Hutchings to a very traditional folk rock. By this time, most connoisseur were talking of Acid Folk, Psych Folk, and Progressive Folk, all having limited differences and no particularly drawn-out limits or boundaries, but all relying on experimental or groundbreaking adventures and good musicianship but not necessarily of an acoustic nature.

Groups like THE THIRD EAR BAND and QUINTESSENCE relied on eastern Indian music influences and, sometimes, medieval tones. Other groups like the weird COMUS, THE TREES, SPYROGIRA, FOREST, the superb JAN DUKES DE GREY (all listed in the ProgArchives) but also TRADER HORNE, TUDOR LODGE, FOTHERINGAY, MAGNA CARTA, TIR NA NOG (all of whom could also be in the ProgArchives) were out to break new ground but with less commercial success as their predecessor. By 1972, all of the glorious precursors bands were selling fewer records and had problems renewing themselves and a newer generation of groups was relying

in a more Celtic jigs or really traditional sounds. Such as HORSLIPS, DANDO SHAFT, STEELEYE SPAN, AMAZING BLONDEL, ALBION DANCE BAND and SPRIGUNS OF TOLGUS. Although JETHRO TULL had some definitive folk roots right from the start, their only albums that can be regarded as Prog Folk are 77s Songs From The Woods and 78s Heavy Horses. Ian Anderson (another Scots) was very keen in acoustical traditional songs. Some Folk Troubadours such as TIM BUCKLEY and JOHN MARTYN started turning records more and more axed towards fusing jazz and folk (a bit in what THE PENTANGLE were doing) , others became more and more electric and they started to be referred to as Singer Songwriters especially those with country rock influences.

In Germany, HOELDERLIN (and their fantastic debut album), EMTIDI, OUGENWEIDE, CAROL OF HARVEST, WITTHEUSER & WESTRUPP were exploring German folk while KALACAKRA , SILOAH and EMBRYO were indulging with Indian music. In South America, most notably in Chile, LOS JAIVAS (very bent upon Andean Indian music) and EL CONGRESSO (more Spanish-Latino folklore) were using folk in their rock, so much that some press talked about them referring it with the hateful term Inca Rock. In Quebec, the progressive movement exploded with the cultural identity and the Chansoniers tradition and this was carried out with LES SEGUIN and HARMONIUM and so many more. In France, many groups were out for folk rock such as RIBEIRO ALPS, TANGERINE, and ASGARD. In Spain, Flamenco playing a dominant role as well as Basque folk, TRIANA, ITOIZ and HAIZEA were the head of the movement once the Franco regime fell apart after his death.

There is also a very important medieval music influences dimension in some groups as the term Medieval Folk was also mentioned for a while but apparently dropped by musicologists. Among the UK groups are obviously GRYPHON, GENTLE GIANT and THIRD EAR BAND, in France: MALICORNE and RIPAILLE and in Scandinavia: ALGARNAS TRADGARD and FOLQUE.

Hugues Chantraine All Prog Folk artists list

Prog Related

Rock and Pop Bands and Artists after 1970 who were not truly prog (as that term is generally and broadly defined, even by the site), but who were clearly not mainstream or simply rock bands.

A wide subgenre that encompasses two kinds of bands/artist, that either consist of progressive artist that strayed away from their progressive roots into mainstream rock or were influenced by progressive rock.

Even though the music by these artists is sometimes unrelated it had things in common with prog music in that it was very structured and even adventurous, sometimes hard or heavy, sometimes mellow, strong melodies, good hooks are an integral part of most of the material. Sometimes these artists pioneered other rock genres.

Though most of these artist can't really be considered progressive themselves, their relation to progressive music is not to be underestimated.

Garion81 All Prog Related artists list

Progressive Electronic
Krautrock groups such as Can and Neu! integrated synthesizers and tape manipulations into their rabid experimentalism, but the two most important electronic artists to emerge from the scene were Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. Kraftwerk pioneered the concept of pop music performed exclusively on synthesizers, and their robotic, mechanical, hypnotic style had a tremendous impact on nearly all electronic pop produced in the remainder of the 20th century. Tangerine Dream, meanwhile, was indebted to minimalist classical composition, crafting an atmospheric, slowly shifting, trance-inducing sound that helped invent the genre known as space music. Other crucial figures included Klaus Schulze, who explored a droning variation on space music that was even more trancelike than Tangerine Dream, and Brian Eno, whose inventive production and experiments with electronics in a pop context eventually gave way to his creation of ambient music, which aimed to blend thoroughly into its environment and often relied heavily on synthesizers. Ambient and space music helped give rise to new age, which emphasized the peaceful, soothing, and meditative qualities of those influences while adding

greater melodicism; the progressive electronic branch of new age crafted a more dramatic, lushly orchestrated style that broke with electronic music's roots in minimalism. Synth-pop, techno, and its artier companion electronica all owed a great deal to the basic innovations of early electronic artists as well. All Progressive Electronic artists list

Progressive Metal
Progressive metal (shortened to prog, or prog metal when differentiating from progressive rock) is a heavy brand of progressive rock which is characterized by the use of complex compositional structures, odd time signatures, and other features.

Its origins can be traced all the way back to traditional progressive rock acts of the 1960s and '70s like Yes, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Genesis and Rush, but progressive metal didn't develop into a genre of its own until the mid-1980s. Acts such as Dream Theater, Queensrche and Fates Warning took elements of these progressive rock groups, primarily the instrumentation and compositional structure of songs, and merged them with heavy metal characteristics attributed to bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden. The result could be described as a progressive rock mentality with heavy metal sounds.

The genre reached its commercial peak in the early '90s when Queensrche's "Silent Lucidity" became a massive radio and MTV hit. It was not a typical progressive metal song (it is more accurately described as a heavy metal power ballad), but nonetheless it opened Queensrche's music to a whole new legion of fans, which in turn had an effect on the popularity of other progressive metal bands of the time. In 1993 Dream Theater's "Pull Me Under", a more typical progressive metal song than "Silent Lucidity" but still more accurately described as straight heavy metal, became popular on radio and MTV.

If fringe progressive metal acts are to be included, Tool would be the most popular group in the genre. Tool exploded to prominence in the mid 90s with the release of their second album, nima, and have since gone on to become one of the most popular rock acts in the world. Their eclectic mix of heavy metal, rhythmic drumming, complex structures and deep lyrics has prompted many people to classify them as a progressive metal band although their music differs substantially from traditional progressive acts (see Diversity section, below).

Progressive metal could be broken down into countless sub-genres corresponding to certain other styles of music that have influenced progressive metal groups. Two bands that are commonly identified as progressive metal, King's X and Opeth, are at opposite ends of the sonic spectrum to one another. King's X are a group influenced very heavily by softer mainstream rock and grunge, whereas Opeth's growling vocals and ultra heavy guitars usually see them cited as death metal.

A good single example of the genre's diversity is The Mars Volta, who have successfully joined progressive metal and hardcore, genres which 10 years ago were opposites of each other in every way.

Classical and symphonic music has also had a significant impact on sections of the progressive metal genre, with bands such as Symphony X and Spock's Beard fusing traditional progressive metal with a complexity and grandeur usually found in classical. Similarly, bands like Liquid Tension Experiment and Planet X have a large jazz influence, as has their progenitor Dream Theater.

GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Progressive Metal".
This article is licensed under the All Progressive Metal artists list

Proto-Prog
Rock Bands in existence prior to 1969 that influenced the development of progressive rock. The late 60's was a predominately experimental period for music. These bands were moving in a stream that eventually led to prog. The influence could have come from new sophisticated forms of writing and playing music, recording techniques, new instruments and vocal harmonies to name a few. Some of these bands became progressive rock bands themselves others did not.

Garion81 All Proto-Prog artists list

Psychedelic/Space Rock
Psychedelic Progressive: Emerging in the mid-'60s, as British Invasion and folk-rock bands began expanding the sonic possibilities of their music. These groups confined themselves to the brief, concise verse-chorus-verse patterns of rock & roll, they moved toward more freeform, fluid song structures. Just as important, the groups began incorporating elements of Indian and Eastern music and free-form jazz to their sound, as well as experimenting with electronically altering instruments and voices within the studio. Bands range from early Pink Floyd, and Djam Karet, to newer artists like Phish and Ozric Tentacles. These days, psychedelic commonly informs music space rock and space fusion.

Space Progressive Rock: Space rock tends to be jam-orientated, with synthesizer and guitar effects approximating that propulsive "interstellar traveller" sensibility of vintage science fiction films. Hawkwind is the genres key innovator. Examples: Hawkwind, Alien Planetscapes, Quarkspace, Amon Dl (the English lineup). All Psychedelic/Space Rock artists list

RIO/Avant-Prog
Rock-in-Opposition Often abbreviated RIO, this form of progressive rock relies heavily on early 20th century avant-garde classical structures. Dominated by dissonant chords, odd time meters, polyrhythms, and abstract, sometimes politically-oriented vocals, this style is often dismissed even by die-hard progressive fans. Like the other more avant-garde styles such as Krautrock, it should be listened to, and not just heard. Musicianship is extremely high, yet appreciation is somewhat low. This form of prog is best appreciated in live concert settings as the interaction between musicians is quite astounding to watch.

Avant-Prog - Avant-Prog is short for avant-garde progressive rock. This style appeared in the late 1970s as the extension of two separate prog rock sub-styles: Rock in Opposition (RIO) and prog of the Canterbury scene. RIO is a term restricted to temporal limits; Canterbury prog to geographical limits. The late 1970s onward saw the development of an avant-prog scene often functioning in the margin of mainstream prog. A host of groups and artists mainly from the USA, but also from Europe and Japan, started to write mostly short instrumental pieces that focused on complexity and stripped down instrumentation, while avoiding the pomposity and stage props of the big prog acts All RIO/Avant-Prog artists list

Symphonic Prog
Symphonic is without doubt the sub-genre that includes the most bands in Progressive Rock because for many people it's almost synonymous classic Prog, something easy to understand being that most of the classic and/or pioneer bands released music that could be included in this sub-genre, except JETHRO TULL and PINK FLOYD (who still blended some symphonic elements), even KING CRIMSON who very soon expanded their horizons to more experimental music, made their debut with a Symphonic album, "In the Court of the Crimson King" which is a cornerstone in the development of the genre.

The main characteristics of Symphonic are the ones that defined all Progressive Rock: (There's nothing 100% new under the sun) which among others are:

Mixture of elements from different genres. Complex time signatures. Lush keyboards. Explorative and intelligent lyrics, in some cases close to fantasy literature, Sci Fi and even political issues. Non commercial approach Longer format of songs

In this specific case the main characteristic is the influence of Classical music (understood as Orchestral works created from the late Gothic to Modern Classical) using normally more complex structure than other related sub-genres like Neo Progressive (That's why sometimes the borderline that divides Symphonic from Neo is so unclear being that is based mostly in a degree of complexity rather than in an evident structural difference)..It is easy to find long keyboard solos reminiscent of Johan Sebastian Bach or melodic works that could have been written by Handel.

As in any other genre, different Symphonic bands had different approaches to Classic Music, for example YES and GENESIS are mainly influenced by the Baroque and Classical periods, while EMERSON LAKE & PALMER has a predilection for post Romantic and modern authors like Mussorgsky, Rimsky Korsakov, Bartok or Ginastera, being that their sound is less melodic and more aggressive.

The peak of the genre starts in 1969 and lasts until the mid/late 70's (more precisely until the release of A Trick of the Tale), when the genre begins to blend more mainstream influences that took to the birth of Neo Progressive (a new approach for a new decade).

It is important to remember that even though the creative peak of Symphonic Progressive ended before the 80's, we can find a second birth in the 90's coming from the Scandinavian countries (specially Sweden with ANGLAGARD or PAR LINDH PROJECT) and even bands that still in the 21st Century recreate music from this period like SPOCK'S BEARD or ECHOLYN.

Before ending this short description I feel necessary to say (In order to be strictly accurate)

that the term Symphonic is not 100% exact, because these bands very rarely played symphonies and was probably used because the music that influenced the genre was performed by Symphony Orchestras, but it is so widely accepted by the Progressive Rock community that would be absurd and futile for anybody to attempt a change after so much time.

Ivn Melgar Morey, Peru 2006 All Symphonic Prog artists list

Various Genres
Albums or CD's where more than one artist is featured either as a SAMPLER or a TRIBUTE to a particular band. Examples: - Peter and The Wolf - Prog Fairytale - 1975 / The Reading Room 2000 / Leonardo - The Absolute Man - 2001 / Best Prog Rock Album in the World... Ever - 2003 / Un Voyage En Progressif Volume 1 to 8 / Kalevala - A Finnish Progressive Rock Epic.

Zeuhl
Zeuhl is an adjective in Kobaan, the language written by Christian Vander, drummer and founder of the French band Magma.

Pronunciation: zEU(h)l, while the EU are like a French E with a slight U, and the (h) is a semisilent letter which is an integrated part of the EU, totaling in a "syllable and a half".

The word means celestial, although many times it is misunderstood as meaning "celestial music", since the members of Magma describe the genre of their music as Zeuhl. Zeuhl Wortz, though, means Music of the universal might.

The genre is a mixture of musical genres like Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Modernism and Fusion. Common elements: oppressive or discipline-conveying feel, marching themes, throbbing bass, an ethereal piano or Rhodes piano, and brass instruments.

Short History of Progressive Metal


Progressive Metal: Progressive Metal is properly a mix of the progressive art rock of the 70's such as Yes, Rush and King Crimson with the basic sound of melodic Traditional Metal to produce more musically challenging and intricate sounds. The founders and most influential bands in modern Prog Metal would have to be Queensryche and Fates Warning. Both these bands emerged in the early to mid 80s with a definite Traditional style, but distinguished themselves with advanced musicianship and a penchant for elaborate songwriting. Queensryche (or their marketing department) were the first to use the phrase "thinking man's metal" as a selling point, but in fact it was Fates Warning, with their obtuse and elaborate arrangements, that were the more progressive of the two. On their transitional album "Perfect Symmetry" they created a dry, very Rush-influenced sound that was still unmistakably a metal sound, and almost all modern Prog Metal is derived from it in some measure. But no discussion of Prog can be complete without mention of Dream Theater without doubt the most influential band in the genre. DT took the basic Fates Warning approach and added layers of keyboards as well as utterly opulent, over the top songwriting that placed a premium on complexity and showy musicianship. Modern Prog Metal was born. Now it is hard to find a Prog album that does not to some degree sound like Dream Theater's defining "Images and Words" album, and equally hard to find a reviewer who can avoid making comparisons. Now that Dream Theater have moved farther and farther away from a metal sound, other bands have moved in to fill the void. And we have bands like Spiral Architect and Power Of Omens who place an even greater emphasis on highwire musicianship and incredibly technical songwriting. Like jazz and prog rock, Progressive Metal inspires its share of snobbery, and the mantle of "thinking man's metal" has sometimes been used dismissively on the rest of the metal scene. This is a genre that by its very pretensions invites animosity, and probably has as many fervent detractors as fans. Nevertheless it remains a vital and significant genre, not least of which by way of its influence on other genres, for where Prog and Power cross there are some very good bands to be found indeed. Pioneers: Queensryche, Fates Warning, Dream Theater. Notable Bands: Spiral Architect, Shadow Gallery, Power Of Omens, later Lost Horizon, Pagan's Mind, Dreamscape, Threshold, Ion Vein, Pain Of Salvation.

Progressive
Proghead. If that term means nothing to you, then you can forget about understanding the music. These fans are absolutely fanatical, even moreso than the power metal freaks, but then again, most progressive metal and power metal cross over frequently, its difficult to keep them seperated at times. I will gladly credit progressive metal, especially the material being released overseas, for helping to bring metal back from

the brink. Progressive metal freaks are taking over the internet, and the foreign bands make most of the bands in the USA look like they are beginners at the game of making music. If you don't believe me, check a couple of cd's out then come back and see if you can tell me the same. There are few things more beautiful than a good progressive metal album and an hour or so alone. Just put in the stereo, relax and let the power, the wonder, and the entire feeling just wash over you in waves, the guitar echoing in the mind. The musicianship in the progressive metal world is as high as you will find anywhere. These guys are talented. The lyrics are spellbinding, about romance, space, time, fantasy and everything in between. Sometimes the meanings are cryptic, but the lyrics are truly the highlight, and not simply "hey hey baby I love you, hey hey baby...." The music is defined by the layer upon layer of guitar, ranging from sweet guitar sounds, to a speedy crunch, but usually in that inbetween range. Most of the neo-classical guitarists are in these progressive metal bands. The vocals are identifiable, usually because they are in that screaming range that we love so very much. Very high pitched vocals, that just suit the music perfectly. The key between power and progressive metal is in the keyboard. Prog metal includes tons of keyboard, usually as a gentle backdrop to the rest of the epic surrounding it. Bands include: Queensryche, Savatage, Gamma Ray, Crimson Glory, Rhapsody, Stratovarius, Elegy, Fates Warning, Symphony X, Avalon, Kamelot, Superior, Blind Guardian, just to name a few.