Leprous – Malina (2017) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Leprous - Malina - Album Cover2017 will be a good year for Progressive and Alternative Rock and Metal. And I have a feeling that some of them players will end up on the 2017 Top 10 Records list. Increased sophistication seems to be the game these days too. Away from heavy-handed djent-ism to more refined shores. So much so that some bands lose their metal chops and reinvent themselves in pop and some tastier versions of rock. The last example is the late To The Bone from Steven Wilson. And no, it did not go pop, but sports some sort of Progressive Rock of the poppy kind. Not bad at all.

To change direction like that is like taking leave from your trusty and favorite New York steakhouse and be adventurous. Try some Nouvelle Cuisine. You know, these guys serving you next to nothing on big white plates with a pretty decoration. Dishes served with paired wine in dining rooms decked out in coldly calculated comfort that chill your soul. And then they charge you a gazillion of hard earned dollars for it. Very avant-garde and for food nerds of the wealthy kind.  [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!

Haken – Affinity (2016) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Haken - Affinity - Album CoverOne of the most popular kids on the metal block these days is Progressive Metal. The style in its rocky incarnation has been around for a while, of course. Just think about old rock bands like Jethro Tull, Kansas or Uriah Heep who got famous by not adjusting to the norm. Just to name a very few.

Over the last years some sort of renaissance saw the light of day in the prog genre. Not all is good and groovy, though. Frankly, you need to beware of many bands that adorn themselves with the accoutrements of Progressive Rock and Metal. Hit a few djents, deliver some odd drum work and yell weirdly about the soundscape. And – wham – you are in business – supposedly. In short, whatever does not easily fit into the classifier nuts’ framework is called progressive.  [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!

The Gentle Storm – The Diary (2015) – Review

[Originally posted on 30 August 2015]
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RockmusicRaider Review Gentle Storm The Diary - Album CoverHere I am going to hunt for once well outside my usual haunts and dark forests of yonder badlands, lost at sea – feeling like Jack Sparrow with his compass pointing nowhere. Landing back in spice trade nirvana, creaking planks and salted beef for supper. This new endeavour all started when I heard about a double-concept album called ‘The Diary’ coming out under the name of The Gentle Storm, featuring Anneke Van Giersbergen (long time ago with The Gathering, Townsend project and solo) as THE VOICE (okay, the vocalist…LOL) and Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Stream of Passion). And I got very excited. 

With the bottomless creative reservoir of Arjen Lucassen at work for song writing and a very capable vocalist like Anneke in charge of lyrics, ’tis just gotta be good. Right? RIGHT?? And in truth, The Diary is a delight to listen to, with some slight similarities to the album Embrace the Storm of Stream of Passion 10 years earlier – but only just. Looks like they like stormy names for their productions. [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!