Beyond the Wall: The Hsu-Nami

a0427677185_10These guys have a unique sound, because, besides some proggy guitar work and drumming, they include an Erhu – a traditional Chinese instrument. How does it sound? Imagine the Kung Fu Panda soundtrack, but with a prog take. And equally epic.

It baffles me how unknow they are, given they’ve played in festivals, and even one of their songs was featured in the Beijing Olympics! But they seem to be working on their next album now, which I hope it’s out before year’s end. In the meantime, check the following tune – one of their finest compositions.

Post originally published on the Prog Talk FB page on 02/09/2015 by ~Sacul.

Beyond the Wall: iamthemorning

a1518259367_10As weird a mix it might sound, this duo turn their talent for making passionate, heartfelt chamber music, with their love for prog – they’ve even covered Opeth songs.

Subtle strings, pianos, and ocassional guitars flow with Marjana’s angelical voice. Currently my favorite band from Russia – even great artists like Danny Cavanagh and Gavin Harrison have praised them.

The following song is the opener to their sophomore, one of my favorite albums of last year. The prog, and even some rock, is strong on this one.

Enjoy.

Post originally published on the Prog Talk FB page on 16/09/2015 by ~Sacul.

Beyond the Wall: deafheaven

dfhvn-newbermuda-cover-f-rgbSo recently, black-metal band deafheaven announced the release of their third studio album ‘New Bermuda’. Their 2013 release ‘Sunbather’ created a lot of waves in the Metal community for popularizing what some people describe as ‘colourful’ Black Metal.

It brought divided opinions, especially from Black Metal fans who saw ‘Sunbather’s optimistic approach to the genre as bastardizing. Continue reading

Beyond the Wall: Stratovarius – Elysium

stratovarius-elysiumI was considering shoe-horning this into Frog’s ‘Length Matters’ segment, although this song’s length is laughable compared to the material in that section – however, I’d like to discuss power metal band Stratovarius’ attempt at a progressive epic: ‘Elysium’.

At 18 minutes, the song displays clear progressions in motifs and a shifting in tempo and mood to effectively convey the song’s ‘Valhalla’-esque concept. Continue reading

Length Matters #6: Dream Theater – The Twelve-Step Suite

dreamAt 57 minutes, this song spans 5 parts on 5 different albums. Beginning with The Glass Prison – which might incidentally be the best progressive metal song ever written – on Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence and ends with The Shattered Fortress on Black Clouds & Silver Linings. Some people might add The Mirror, on Awake, as a sort of prelude to the suite, but is not officially part of it. Continue reading

Length Matters #5: The Flower Kings – Garden of Dreams

image_547This 59:25 long song from the legendary prog rock band is on their fourth studio album.

If you don’t know The Flower Kings, it’s the original band of Roine Stolt, from the Transatlantic supergroup. The band was in fact created to play his solo album “The Flower King” live, but then stayed together and became one of the most iconic prog act in modern history. Continue reading