VARIOUS ARTISTS – Prog Around The World

  • 8/10
    VARIOUS ARTISTS - Prog Around The World - 8/10


Magna Carta
Release Date: September 22, 2009

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Has anyone ever thought about genres and just how accurate a description they give regarding the music that they are supposed to represent? For example, take Metal or Heavy Metal. What is it in a particular type of music that warrants it take on such distinction as Metal or Heavy being its bold adjective? After all, you can’t weigh music so for all intents and purposes, Light is just as valid as Heavy but for some reason doesn’t generate the same effect. Just as certain as you are reading these words here in this article is it guaranteed that somewhere along the way where Heavy or Metal appears, Headbangers/Headbanging is sure to follow?

In analyzing this term, it is quite obvious that this particular genre has a very interesting and unique way of trying to distinguish itself from the rest of the terms typically used in the world of genre designations. Now, doing a one-eighty and looking at the other side of the coin, take the term Prog or Progressive when using it to categorize a particular type of music. At least with this particular distinction the term has some actual value and validity to back it up. The term in some sense almost validates itself on face value alone. Just listen to Prog music and the better (by better, meaning music that is more technical and complex in nature, better than average musicians playing/performing, etc.) it is, the easier it is to understand the correlation between the term Prog and its true meaning. Since the term Prog has come into existence, it has been growing in popularity within the music community. The most influential reason for this sudden and ever increasing interest in Prog music is probably due to a combination of very favorable distinctions that it possesses on its own merit. Some of the other genres have too much outside interference in the way that the terms are being used to distinguish one form of music from the other.

Whether or not you are any type of fan of this genre, Prog Around the World is a great way to either introduce yourself to some incredible music, explore and broaden your present views and knowledge, or reinforce your love for Progressive music. All of this is accomplished via music from around the world on this twelve-track, sixty-one minute disc. Some of the most gifted and technically proficient musicians can be found on this CD representing their respective homelands. Of the many countries represented here on audible display, USA is represented most with three showings. The remaining countries; Brazil, Canada, France, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK are listed here in alphabetical order according to country of origin. In this eclectic list of participants for this project, there are some very unique and noteworthy candidates among them. One of the strongest performances and surely one of the most unexpected countries to be found here is Hungary with the band Age of Nemesis performing “Another Existence.”

For avid lovers of powerful drummers/drumming give Brazil’s Khallice a shot. The tune chosen to represent them is “Spiritual Jewel” and to say that the drummer in this band is your typical average drummer is like saying Mount Everest is an average mountain or that landing on the moon was no big deal. The cymbal work is mesmerizing to the point where you almost become hypnotized just focusing in on it. It has a mesmerizing effect with no safety net. As if that weren’t enough, the piano/keyboard and vocals are in a class by themselves as well. This is a band to keep one’s eyes on in the future. “Elevation” by The Hideous Sun Demons (USA) is a pretty good kick ass tune with an awesome amount of sound coming from a three-piece band. For those James LoMenzo fans out there, you will be interested in knowing that this is one of his cherished side projects when he’s not too busy kicking it with Megadeth. Another standout amongst the bunch is the UK with Ozric Tentacles doing “Armchair Journey.” This track could easily fall under another genre as you will surely attest to once you hear it. Even though it isn’t necessarily Prog per se, it is a definite treat that takes you on a journey most definitely, with each listener going to a different place willing or unwillingly. Martone of Canada and Ethan Brosh of Israel, both belonging to other genres that are Instrumental and Thrash Metal respectively, find themselves in this mix which is a bit puzzling for the most part, but make up for it with interestingly good and likeable music to offset the ambiguity.

Taking the last three bands out of the mix, the remaining nine all belong in the Prog category without any question whatsoever. However, the closing tune “Hydra” by Ola Frenning and Christofer Malmstrom (Sweden), is a great tune to end a great album with. They present a tune that unfortunately can fall under several genres at the same time so this one is up for individual interpretation. Let’s just say for grins and giggles that Prog is one category among many others that this tune falls under. So for those listeners who are fans of Prog, this CD will be something that they will want to own; while for others, it is something that they should own just for the simple fact that good music shouldn’t be passed up, especially when there is such a great variety all under one roof, in this case found all in one package or CD. Within this great mix of Prog tunes there is something within each track that makes it stand out amongst the rest.


  • George Fustos

    George was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He has engineering degrees in Chemical and Electrical Engineering. He favors Metal, Rock, Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Blues, and even some Jazz and Motown (depending on the tune). He used to dabble with the bass quite some time ago. His most influential bassists are Jaco, Billy Sheehan, Stu Hamm, Geddy Lee, and John Entwistle (RIP Ox). Band-wise he's really into Rush, Tool, early Metallica, Pink Floyd (including Waters and Gilmour as solo artists), The Who, Iced Earth, Iron Maiden, Halford, Joe Satriani, certain Judas Priest, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins (Blues guitarist), Motörhead, and a German band called Skew Siskin that Lemmy says in an interview as being "the best band out there today."

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