Abaddon magazine

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Monday, December 5, 2022

Review: V/A – Prog Metal Rock Compilation

Label: Prog Metal Rock Promotion

Date: January 21st, 2021

I believe this is a first for me. I’ve never reviewed a compilation. Let alone a double disc progressive metal compilation. Though I’m actually a big fan of such endeavors. Not progressive metal, but compilations in general. Even if they seem to be a medium of the past, and losing their relevance little by little every single day. Perhaps that’s exactly where my allegiance to such projects stems from. Cheering for the underdog. Or is it the simple lack of time to browse through the vast, never-ending expanse of the world wide web.

Whatever the case may be, I remain a huge fan of compilation CDs to this day. And even though I cannot be considered an attentive follower of anything with the “prog” prefix, I can still honestly say I enjoyed rummaging through the progressive underworld with this hundred and fifty minutes long release. Not to mention that just browsing through the exquisite and carefully designed graphic side is a sight for sore eyes. Great job on that! Coupled with fairly detailed information about every musical entity present on the album, the packaging is everything you can expect from a compilation, and more.

Now, about the musical content. How do I go about handling this? Mentioning a few liner notes about each of these twenty-two bands would make this review a horrible reading material. Especially since they are all dwelling within the boundaries (or lack thereof) of progressive metal. Naturally, with such a genre you cannot and should not expect a creative unison as it is usual with other forms of (metal) music. Each of these artists has a certain something to distinguish themselves from the others. Some of them are striving towards epic power metal, some even dive into the metal extremities whilst a number of acts here just follow the examples long ago set by the legends of the genre. There are also a couple of real original attempts at creation. Almost tribal connotations. Quite interesting, you must admit.

By the way, as I mentioned above, most of these acts are quite obscure. At least for me. I’ve found just two names here I’ve heard about before. Perhaps the more involved fans will recognize a few more. On the other hand, the majority here is comprised of Polish bands. Nothing all that surprising since the effort behind the compilation came from a Polish individual, lurking behind the label. However, if the focus is primarily on Polish acts, one cannot complain about the lack of geographical diversity here. There are bands from all across Europe and the Americas presented here. UK, Sweden, Italy, Argentina, USA or even Puerto Rico. Among others. A global initiative making for a decent overview of the scene.

The one thing that I can actually find a minor fault with this album is the lack of more progressive rock bands. There is an abundance of metal present, but what about the genre that almost died out a couple of decades back. There must be at least a couple of worthy representatives that could have made it to this compilation.

But, as I said, that’s just a minor fault. Or maybe an incentive to go for “volume 2”. Trust me, I’m not necessarily a fan of these genres, but even I would love to have a second edition. That’s how good this is.