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Sunday, January 27, 2008

What is Progressive anyway? 3/5 - Dream Metal

Part: 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

Dream Metal

The source of my interest in thrash metal was to be found in my social life. I went to concerts, bought some records and listened to them with my friends, but when I think of it I cannot say that much of the music was great. I didn't listen to it so much, when I was alone and I never wore the metal uniform (jeans, T-shirt with a death metal band and long hair). Maybe it was my religious background (I still go to church on Sundays) that kept me from “giving my soul” to this music. At least I think that deep inside I could not really accept the message about death, destruction, despair and Satan that many of the bands we giving through their songs. I suppose Metallica and Megadeth were (and still are) quite innocent compared to some of the bands I listened to. I can still listen to both of them when I'm in the mood.

My first encounter with prog was Queensrÿche . No, it wasn't Yes as you may have thought (looking at my last blog entry). I'll come back to Yes later. I suppose you cannot put Queensrÿche firmly in the prog category since much of their material, in my book, is nothing but sophisticated rock. At the same time they had enough stuff that veered (progressed, if you will) away from the mainstream rock/metal to consider putting them in the prog camp. Anyways in 1991 I bought "Empire" because of the interesting looking cover and, lucky me, I liked what I heard. I didn't immediately go and buy “Operation Mindcrime”... probably because of Metallica's “Black Album” that was released the same year as my discovery. Metallica completely blew me away with their new style and everything else had to wait...

Queensrÿche and especially Metallica, with their change from thrash to heavy rock, were good for me in the sense that they helped me open my mind to many new bands and styles. I didn't completely abandon my taste for harder side of Metal, but I enjoyed it less and less... Some years later I bought what was to be my last album in that genre. Pantera's “Far beoynd driven” was brutal and after some spins I thought to myself, what am I listening to? Why does everything have to be so extreme? Do I really like this? The answer to my doubt were of course that I had grown tired of the aggression. The music and the lyrics didn't bring me anything that I was in need of.

During the same year (1994) Dream Theater released “Awake”. I probably would have missed if it wasn't for friend who came to the rescue. I'm not sure why, but he just seemed to draw the rabbit out of the hat every time I needed some inspiration in my world of music. The first Dream Theater song I heard was “Lie”, and that was all I needed. Here was a group that was heavy yet melodic, played their instruments to perfection but didn't sound synthetic. Their lyrics had a message Far beyond the simple aggression, that was so prevalent in other bands. For me DT was pure and simple Dream Metal.