Mark’s Quick Review:  Pi Mezon’s – A Lone

Mark’s Quick Review: Pi Mezon’s – A Lone

Buy Now from Amazon US

So this album showed up in my mail a few months back. I looked at their bandcamp site and saw that it was a Finnish band so I was cautiously optimistic thanks to all the great prog Finnish bands I had heard already.

I was not to be disappointed. The album pushes all my buttons. Mostly melodic, above average vocals, and percussion that works impossibly well.

The opening track reminds me a lot of Riverside, but the comparison ends there. The album splits off into their own sound and it takes you on a wonderful journey.

This album is for fans of melodic progressive rock and especially for fans of Cosmograf and Riverside.

This album was featured it on our podcast.

PREVIOUS BAND RATING:0 Stars (0 / 5)
ACCESSIBILITY:3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)
HEAVINESS:2 Stars (2 / 5)
MELODIC:3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)
ARTWORK & PACKAGING:3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)
DRAMA:4 Stars (4 / 5)
OVERALL RATING:4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

ALBUM HIGHLIGHTS: Request Here

Key:
These ratings are just attributes and may not have correlation to the most important: OVERALL RATING

PREVIOUS BAND RATING
0: Never heard of them or debut album.
1: Someone recommended. I give them another shot.
2: Some good moments in the past but never put together an album I really liked.
3: Some 4 or 5 star songs but albums can be hit or miss for me.
4: I like 80% of their songs and probably went to see them live.
5: I would, and probably have gone on a plane to see them live.

ACCESSIBILITY EXAMPLES
1: Weather Report
2: Zappa
3: Genesis – Selling England by the Pound,
4: Marillion – F.E.A.R
5: Kino – Picture

HEAVINESS EXAMPLES
1: IQ – Seventh House
2: Discipline – Unfold Like a Staircase
3: Porcupine Tree – In Abstentia, Shadow Gallery – Tyranny
4: Vanden Plas – Chirst 0, Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory
5: Opeth – Black Water Park

MELODIC EXAMPLES:
1: Opeth – Black Water Park
2: Vanden Plas – Chirst 0, Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory
3: Porcupine Tree – In Abstentia, Shadow Gallery – Tyranny
4: Discipline – Unfold Like a Staircase
5: IQ – Seventh House

OVERALL RATING:
1: Will Never listen to again and deleted under no circumstances should you buy this
2: Not my thing maybe one redeeming song.
3: I like parts of this and I would check them out if they were near me.
4: I would get in the car and road trip to see this album live
5: I would get on a plane to see this performed live

See if our likes are similar See my Last.fm Page

https://www.last.fm/user/mon40/library/artists

Hello

Hello from Italy.

I’m listening now PROGROCK through RuneAudio distro and of course Raspeberry Pi.
Good stuff for my ears. Cool!!!

Ciao

Review: Queensryche – Condition Human

Review: Queensryche – Condition Human

Band: Queensryche
Album: Condition Human
Reviewer: Nick from When Prog and Power Unite
Audio Review

Queensryche Website

Buy on Amazon

Queensrÿche is one of the few bands around in which I cannot find myself easily separating the intra-band politics and history from the music. In 2012 the band had a very ugly and public split with long time vocalist Geoff Tate. The resulting legal battles led to multiple years of two competing entities using the name “Queensrÿche” while releasing new music and touring. Those issues are settled now, with Geoff Tate changing his band’s name to Operation: Mindcrime, and the remaining members retaining the name Queensrÿche, who have just released their 2nd album without Tate, Condition Human.

Many fans had put a lot of stock in the previous self-titled album. The band had been making statements of all the creative energy that had been put on the shelf for many years, and how excited they were to go out and prove themselves. What they delivered was an EP length collection of sonically horrible songs that were a return to the metal genre, but not necessarily a return to great metal music. Many fans pointed to the fact that the album was certainly better than the bands previous effort, Dedicated to Chaos, and this I certainly will not argue, however the lackluster album combined with the bands unwillingness to stand behind the material on tour had me writing them off as a modern and relative act.

With the release of Condition Human, my opinion on that is beginning to change. For starters, listening to the album doesn’t make my ears bleed. In fact, it sounds rather good. Scott Rockenfield’s drums and Michael Wilton and Parker Lundgren’s guitars in particular cut through very clearly in the mix. While the bass is certainly more subdued, every other instrument stands out very well. Then of course, is the music itself. It no longer feels like metal for the sake of metal, and I dare say it actually stands out at times as Queensrÿche having a distinct sound again.

This is seen most notably on the album’s closing and title track, “Condition Human”. Not only does the song show what the band can do moving forward, but it also nods at the early days in a more tactful manner than anything on the prior album. On the flip side the band still finds itself making not so tasteful references to days gone by. The second track, “Guardian”, may as well be called “Revolution Calling II”. Not that the musical structures are similar, but when you match the primary chorus line of a  song from 25+ years earlier, it makes one ask, “Why?” The bigger issue at times is Todd la Torre’s vocals. Now I understand that he naturally sounds a bit like that man he’s replacing, but he sounds so much like a youthful Geoff Tate at times that I can’t help but feel it’s being done intentionally, either by his delivery technique or studio wizardry. While this certainly allows for familiarity for old listeners, it also limits their ability to carve out an identity moving forward. For a band that fought for years in court to move away from their former singer, it’s as if they retain his shadow in the band now. That issue aside, Todd’s vocals are powerful and consistent, and for that reason are a very nice addition to the modern Queensrÿche lineup.

As nice as the vocals may be, they are not the biggest part of Queensrÿche‘s resurgence with this record, not by a long shot. The biggest improvements have been driven by more interesting guitar parts and the songwriting. The previous album often sounded like a bunch of underdeveloped riffs made into short three or four minute songs.  On this record, the emphasis on simply being metal was put in the back seat, and the songs were given a chance to breathe as a result. Even a shorter track like “Eye9” seems to be far more developed than most of its contemporaries on the previous effort. As for guitarists Michael Wilton and Parker Lundgren, there isn’t much to say other than they’ve upped their game on Condition Human. The Queensrÿche album saw a return to solos, unisons, trade-offs, and stand out lead work, but there has been improvement across the board on this album. There isn’t a track that goes by without some sort of guitar work standing out and adding to the song.

One man that’s gone without mention so far is bassist Eddie Jackson, and that’s not without reason. As he has done for much of the band’s history “Edbass” manages to provide a great backbone, with a nice tone and nothing too flashy. He doesn’t standout much on the album, but with all the amazing guitar work going on he does a great job of complementing what Wilton and Lundgren provide, and not creating a “too many cooks in the kitchen” scenario.

One man that’s gone without mention so far is bassist Eddie Jackson, and that’s not without reason. As he has done for much of the band’s history “Edbass” manages to provide a great backbone, with a nice tone and nothing too flashy. He doesn’t standout much on the album, but with all the amazing guitar work going on he does a great job of complementing what Wilton and Lundgren provide, and not creating a “too many cooks in the kitchen” scenario.

There have been a lot of albums since 1994’s , and I’ve enjoyed most of them to some extent or another, but as a creative force I’ve never seen them as anything other than a shadow of themselves since that album. 21 years later, may be the album that re-establishes this band. It was especially refreshing to see the band correct the blatant audio issues with the last album, and put so much time into the writing. A major test going forward for the band will be to see if they go out and play these songs, and stand behind them. They replaced an iconic vocalist, and the fan base has been very accepting of Todd la Torre, which is quite a feat. They’ve been given the chance to resurrect their career and their image, and I hope that this particular phoenix doesn’t find the chains of nostalgia clasping around its neck, because I want more albums like from .

There have been a lot of Queensrÿche albums since 1994’s Promised Land, and I’ve enjoyed most of them to some extent or another, but as a creative force I’ve never seen them as anything other than a shadow of themselves since that album. 21 years later, Condition Human may be the album that re-establishes this band. It was especially refreshing to see the band correct the blatant audio issues with the last album, and put so much time into the writing. A major test going forward for the band will be to see if they go out and play these songs, and stand behind them. They replaced an iconic vocalist, and the fan base has been very accepting of Todd la Torre, which is quite a feat. They’ve been given the chance to resurrect their career and their image, and I hope that this particular phoenix doesn’t find the chains of nostalgia clasping around its neck, because I want more albums like Condition Human from Queensrÿche.

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