Mammal’s Top 25 In-Betweener Albums: #10 – #6

The story so far: See “The rest of the same story” here and next week. The body parts of classical, jazz, prog and metal fans were stitched together to build a creature, mostly mammalian, that embarked on a quest to show metallic commonality in different musical genres. The creature described its mission differently: “Me play music, it sound like prog and metal and both of, all same time.”

 #10: Jelonek (Poland), symphonic metal
Album: Revenge
Song: Sabre Dance

Instrumental symphonic metal is just one of numerous styles in Michał Jelonek’s vast repertoire. If any musician is a genre-bender, he is. His performances have covered classical music, pop, rock, folk and hard rock as well as metal. Jelonek started his career as a classical musician, with his first full-length, solo performance being Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major. To me, the piece I’ve selected here is every bit as good Khachaturian’s famous 1942 composition.

#9: Russian Circles (USA), post rock
Album: Empros
Song: Atakla

In addition to being my favourite post rock band, Russian Circles is one of the experimental rock bands that most closely slots into the category of post metal. Wikipedia goes so far as to say the band plays “sprawling music which runs the gamut of heavy discordant metal.” The “discordant” description, which is more appropriate for math rock, is evident midway through this track. It is a deliberate element of Russian Circles’ layers-of-sound style, which also includes some solid metal guitar.

 #8 The Reasoning (UK), crossover progressive rock
Album: Dark Angel
Song: Dark Angel

The “crossover” part of a prog genre can refer to anything from jazz to blues to pure pop to metal. In the case of The Reasoning, it’s such a slick crossover into progressive metal that the band could almost be considered a prog metal outfit. With the crystal-clear voice of Rachel Jones, it crosses over farther into the domain of symphonic metal. Overall, however, it is still the neo-prog that comes through as the most pronounced part of their music.

 #7: Blind Ego (Germany), neo-progressive rock
Album: Numb
Song: Death

Blind Ego was put together as a project by Karlheinz “Kalle” Wallner, guitarist from RPWL. The band has all the credentials of a supergroup to anyone who follows neo-prog. The line-up includes Tommy Eberhardt (Legazy, Beatfreaks) on drums, John Jowitt (IQ, Arena) on bass, John Mitchell (It Bites, Arena, The Urbane, Kino) and Paul Wrightson (Arena) on vocals, and RPWL’s Yogi Land as a guest vocalist. The music should satisfy many prog metal fans. As for this song, the anti-theology lyrics may be more characteristic of metal than most prog.

 #6: Pomegranate Tiger (Canada), experimental metal
Album: Entities
Song: Star

With its sharp changes in time signature and its periodic discords, this album sounded like math rock the first time I played it. Depending on which site you check, the band has been tagged with the genre of progressive metal or experimental metal. It could also fit the tag of instrumental prog djent. I rate the album as outstanding by any measure, a strong contender for both my debut album of the year and my overall album of the year. There, that tells you how much of a hippie lurks behind my metal-loving persona.

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About ChristopherMammal

I've made it to Mammal. I still hope to be classified as Human one day. Meanwhile I have evolved enough to recognise different types of music as well as the shrieks of certain vervet monkeys who are known for their scurrilous behaviour in the proximity of unguarded bananas.

Posted on December 12, 2013, in Mammal's Top 25 In-Betweener Albums and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Fun, fun, fun 🙂
    Russian Circles is a band I’ve been wanting to listen more to, now when I’m slowly (very slowly) getting more into instrumental music. But I keep forgetting. They do have some cool bass work though.

    The song by Blind Ego sounds REALLY good. Stuck in my head immediately. Requires further investigation, preferably already tonight. So did Pomegranate Tiger actually, but will take a bit longer to really start to like it, since it’s instrumental. 😉

    Cool selection of songs!

  2. ChristopherMammal

    Thank you. It’s my pleasure to oblige, SuperSwede.

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