Crimson Glory – Transcendence
Approaching progressive metal from a fast-paced, power metal angle, Crimson Glory’s seminal second album is a full-on metal assault with it’s opening two tracks, Lady In Winter and Red Sharks, providing a welcome kick to the nuts.
So far, not so progressive we hear you cry!
Well, it’s true, Transcendence often smacks of straight-up American heavy metal but its progressive nature subtly reveals itself, the band enhancing progressive metal’s standing via lyrical concepts and rapid-fire tempo changes.
“In Dark Places”, the album highlight, is a progressive metal updating of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” and “Burning Bridges” takes the slow burn approach to epic balladry; consummate musicianship backed up by vocalist Midnight’s powerful, classic metal delivery.
If released today, Transcendence‘s classic metal stylings and adventurous compositions would still turn heads, its ability to stretch minds and bang heads proving as formidable as ever!
Pestilence – Malleus Maleficarum
Before they became a progressive death metal force to be reckoned with, Pestilence kicked thrash firmly in the a-hole with their debut album, Malleus Maleficarum!
A vicious onslaught of repulsive death/thrash, Pestilence were already on the path to hellish enlightenment when they recorded this astonishingly abrasive beast of a debut album.
Death metal classic Consuming Impulse may have been a year away but Pestilence were already barrelling their way in the right direction, keeping one foot in thrash metal’s comfortable and recognisable living quarters while the other made a bolt for the exit, heading into the unknown darkness of death metal’s fertile beginnings.
One of the crowning achievements of death/thrash and no mistake!
Sieges Even – Lifecycle
Where to begin when discussing one of the finest moments in progressive thrash history?
Sieges Even may have gone on to become a more considered, melodic progressive metal act but their debut was a beast of technical/progressive thrash, powered by the almost falsetto delivery of Franz Herde.
Comparisons with Watchtower remain rife but to dismiss Lifecycle as a mere clone of Control And Resistance would be missing the point. This was an era of exploration and of pushing boundaries, which is exactly what Sieges Even were doing from the outset.
Sure, both bands were influenced by the prog giants of the 70’s – alongside the thrash boom led by Metallica – but Sieges Even took everything that much further, splicing the DNA of prog and thrash to create a new, extreme, version of both. The results were extraordinary, dazzling the mind with a series of labyrinthine structures that were brooding, malevolent and practically beyond judgment!