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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 1996 / #2 and #1

MetalCatCenturies separate my top two songs of 1996. One of them draws on folk music roots going back – what’s a long period of time? – yonks. The other is set in a distant future.

One of the innumerable glories of music is that it spans time as well as physical, political and other boundaries. Music is four-dimensional. That’s why it’s so easy to get lost in it.


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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 1996 / #4 and #3

MetalCatThe way my hit parade has sorted itself out with considerable assistance from Dark Metal Cat, it happens that today is a very proggy day. It also happens that both bands are exceptionally good at their styles of metal, ja?

So, herewith two monster bands in one post. Come to A Metal State Of Mind NOW!!! for bonus music at no extra charge.


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Full Album Stream: Vile Regression – Empires

This one is a grabber. Tiny Tiny Cakey Kitten and I are in total agreement on that point. Empires, to be released on Monday (21 July), is the splendid follow-up to Vile Regression’s 2011 debut, The Pattern Evolves.

This Irish outfit plays extreme metal, but not merely for the sake of showing off their considerable technical prowess. They explore the dark end of the prog metal spectrum and enrich it with good melody lines, glittering instrumentation, varied harsh vocal styles, nicely calculated changes of pace and emotional interpretations. In short, this is a really cool album.


Reggie’s Essential 25 Favorite Instrumentals #16 & #15

bc_rich_widow_wmd_bass_top_imageI love the power of a good instrumental song.  Sometimes they can be energizing or even relaxing depending on the band’s intent with the song.  Some bands use an instrumental song to display a different, sometimes softer side.  And, sometimes an instrumental is a collection of left over riffs and drum parts that didn’t make the final cut.  Or, perhaps they just couldn’t find the words to go with the music.  However they are composed, the instrumental song is a track I look for and hope to find on any album; though there are some bands where it’s almost an expectation.  This list is comprised of 25 word-less songs that I find essential to my music library.  I wouldn’t sweat over the exact order, but yeah the ones at or near the top of this list are definitely my favorites.  I know there are many more instrumental songs out there, but these are mine…so to speak.  This list is also limited to only three per band and only one band made this list three times.  Enjoy!

16.  Frankenstein – Overkill

Initially, I never knew this was an Edgar Winter’s Group cover from the early 70s.  I can’t remember how it was pointed out; maybe it was in the liner notes, but after giving it a second thought it did seem to sound a bit different from the rest of this outstanding Horrorscope album from 1991.  Overkill certainly held true to the original vibe, but trash-ified the songs nicely.  This album needs a remaster!

15.  Stream of Consciousness – Dream Theater

These guys make great instrumental songs and it’s one of the reasons why they are the only band to have three songs on my list.  This one appeared on the Train of Thought album released in 2003.  I saw that tour, but never got to see this song played live; at least not that I can remember.  Even today, I look to see if Dream Theater adds an instrumental on their new albums and I am glad this is still a practice of theirs.  They are quite good at it.

Roundtable Retro Review: Riverside – Out Of Myself (2003)

Riverside_coverLabel: The Laser’s Edge

Release Date: 2003

Songs: 9

Length: 54 minutes

Genre: Progressive Metal

Studio Albums: Five full-length albums, two EPs

Location: Poland



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Roundtable Review: Voyager – V

Voyager-coverLabel: IAV Records

Release Date: 2 June, 2014

Songs: 13

Length: 55 minutes

Genre: Progressive Metal

Studio Albums: Four previous albums

Location: Australia


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Roundtable Review: The Room Colored Charlatan – Primitives

Primitives-covLabel: Subliminal Groove

Release Date:  May 20, 2014

Length: 40 minutes, 8 tracks

Genre:  Progressive tech/deathcore

Studio Albums: Between Mirrors: The Quantum Immortality, 2012

Location:  Indianapolis, USA

For fans of: The Contortionist, Born Of Osiris, Animals As Leaders, Nexilva, Monuments


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Mammal’s Merry Memories: Symphony X – The Divine Wings Of Tragedy (1997)

Good memories don’t have to be ancient. They can be as recent as yesterday. This one goes back to 1997, which sometimes feels like yesterday.

Symphony X had released three albums before The Divine Wings Of Tragedy came out. It instantly became and has remained my favourite SX album. One powerful reason for its lasting appeal is the title song, which takes up more than a third of the album.

The song doesn’t have the structure to be called a symphony. Instead I call it a sustained caprice. If the term is sightly unfamilar to you, a caprice is a sudden change of mind, and it often takes the form of a flight of whimsy.

There’s not much that’s whimsical about this song. It does, however, contain any number of changes of mind — in style, melody, time signature and mood. It is an engrossing combination of acapella, symphonic, orchestral and heavy metal sounds in one glorious prog metal package.



Stream of the Week: Oneironaught – Enlist Today!

If you told me you were in a metal band and from Brooklyn, New York, I would instantly stereotype you thinking you were all about Hardcore.  Oneironaught defies that stereotype (one that’s probably just mine anyway) and boasts a wide range of progressive ecstasy.  In addition to positively progressive prowess, this 4-piece embeds a healthy dose of standard raw metal and a touch of psychedelic flair.  One interesting fact is they are mostly instrumental and definitely worth checking out.  Personally, they had me at instrumental!

Enlist Today! was released in 2013 and is available now by following the path to Bandcamp below.  Check it out and enjoy our Stream of the Week. You can follow the band on their facebook page.  Enjoy!

Retro Roundtable Review: Devin Townsend – Ocean Machine: Biomech

BiomechLabel: HevyDevy/InsideOut

Release Date:  July 21 1997

Songs:  13

Length: 74 minutes

Genre:  Unique progressive metal

Studio Albums: Too many to mention!

Location:  Canada

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