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Prog Rock Guides / What is Progressive Rock ?(engl)

A definition of Progressive Rock Music

Progressive rock (often shortened to prog or prog rock) is a form of rock music that evolved in the late 1960s and early 1970s as part of a "mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility." The term "art rock" is often used interchangeably with "progressive rock", but while there are crossovers between the two genres, they are not identical.

Progressive rock bands pushed "rock's technical and compositional boundaries" by going beyond the standard rock or popular verse-chorus-based song structures. Additionally, the arrangements often incorporated elements drawn from classical, jazz, and world music. Instrumentals were common, while songs with lyrics were sometimes conceptual, abstract, or based in fantasy. Progressive rock bands sometimes used "concept albums that made unified statements, usually telling an epic story or tackling a grand overarching theme."

Progressive rock developed from late 1960s psychedelic rock, as part of a wide-ranging tendency in rock music of this era to draw inspiration from ever more diverse influences. The term was applied to the music of bands such as King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Soft Machine and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Progressive rock came into most widespread use around the mid-1970s. While progressive rock reached the peak of its popularity in the 1970s and early 1980s, neo-progressive bands have continued playing for faithful audiences in the subsequent decades.

Musical characteristics

Form: Progressive rock songs either avoid common popular music song structures of verse-chorus-bridge, or blur the formal distinctions by extending sections or inserting musical interludes, often with exaggerated dynamics to heighten contrast between sections. Classical forms are often inserted or substituted, sometimes yielding entire suites, building on the traditional medleys of earlier rock bands. Progressive rock songs also often have extended instrumental passages, marrying the classical solo tradition with the improvisational traditions of jazz and psychedelic rock. All of these tend to add length to progressive rock songs, which may last longer than twenty minutes.

Timbre (instrumentation and tone color): Early progressive rock groups expanded the timbral palette of the then-traditional rock instrumentation of guitar, organ, bass, and drums by adding instruments more typical of jazz or folk music, such as flute, saxophone and violin, and more often than not used electronic keyboards, synthesizers, and electronic effects. Some instruments – most notably the Moog synthesizer and the Mellotron – have become closely associated with the genre.

Rhythm: Drawing on their classical, jazz, folk and experimental influences, progressive rock artists are more likely to explore time signatures other than 4/4 and tempo changes. Progressive rock generally tends to be freer in its rhythmic approach than other forms of rock music. The approach taken varies, depending on the band, but may range from regular beats to irregular or complex Time Signatures.

Melody and Harmony: In prog rock, the blues inflections of mainstream rock are often supplanted by jazz and classical influences. Melodies are more likely to be modal than based on the pentatonic scale, and are more likely to comprise longer, developing passages than short, catchy ones. Chords and chord progressions may be augmented with 6ths, 7ths, 9ths, and compound intervals; and the I-IV-V progression is much less common. Allusions to, or even direct quotes from, well-known classical themes are common. Some bands have used atonal or dissonant harmonies, and a few have even worked with rudimentary serialism.

Texture and imagery: Ambient soundscapes and theatrical elements may be used to describe scenes, events or other aspects of the concept. For example, Leitmotif is used to represent the various characters in Genesis' "Harold the Barrel" and "Robbery, Assault and Battery." More literally, the sounds of clocks and cash registers are used to represent time and money in Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon.

Other characteristics

Technology: To aid timbral exploration, progressive rock bands were often early adopters of new electronic musical instruments and technologies. The mellotron, particularly, was a signature sound of early progressive bands. Pink Floyd utilized an EMS Synthi A synthesizer equipped with a sequencer on their track "On the Run" from their 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon. In the late 1970s, Robert Fripp, of King Crimson, and Brian Eno developed an analog tape loops effect (Frippertronics). In the 1980s, Frank Zappa used the Synclavier for composing and recording, and King Crimson utilized MIDI-enabled guitars, a Chapman Stick, and electronic percussion.

Concept albums: Collections of songs unified by an elaborate, overarching theme or story are common to progressive rock. As songs by progressive rock acts tend to be quite long, such collections have frequently exceeded the maximum length of recorded media, resulting in packages that require multiple vinyl discs, cassettes, or compact discs in order to present a single album. Concepts have included the historical, fantastical, and metaphysical, and even, in the case of Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick, poking fun at concept albums.

Lyrical themes: Progressive rock typically has lyrical ambition similar to its musical ambition, tending to avoid typical rock/pop subjects such as love, dancing, etc., rather inclining towards the kinds of themes found in classical literature, fantasy, folklore, social commentry or all of these. Peter Gabriel (Genesis) often wrote surreal stories to base his lyrics around, sometimes including theatrical elements with several characters, while Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) combined social criticism with personal struggles with greed, madness, and death.

Presentation: Album art and packaging is often an important part of the artistic concept. This trend can be seen to have begun with The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and played a major part in the marketing of progressive rock. Some bands became as well known for the art direction of their albums as for their sound, with the "look" integrated into the band's overall musical identity. This led to fame for particular artists and design studios, most notably Roger Dean for his work with Yes, and Hipgnosis for their work with Pink Floyd and several other progressive rock groups.

Stage theatrics: Beginning in the early 1970s, some progressive rock bands began incorporating elaborate and sometimes flamboyant stage theatrics into their concerts. Genesis lead singer Peter Gabriel wore many different colourful and exotic costumes in one show and frequently acted out the lyrical narrative of the songs, and the band used lasers and giant mirrors synchronized with the music. Yes incorporated futuristic stage sets designed by Roger Dean, including massive spaceship props and complex lighting. Yes also performed 'in-the-round', with the band on a round stage set up in the middle of the arena. Jethro Tull released rabbits on stage (see here). One of ELP's many stage antics include Emerson's "flying piano" at the California Jam concert, in which a Steinway grand piano would be spun from a hoist. Pink Floyd used many stage effects, including crashing aeroplanes, a giant floating pig, massive projection screens, and, in 1980, an enormous mock brick wall for The Wall performances. Rush incorporated lasers and film backdrops into their stage show. Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention used a giant giraffe prop and did improvisational comedy skits. Marillion's former lead singer Fish wore a jester costume inspired by the band's first album, Script for a Jester's Tear.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

The development of Progressive Rock Music

Written by Lucas BIELA

The development of Progressive Rock Music, a difficult task

Late 60s and beginning of the 70s
I would say it all began with psychedelic music, i.e. essentially Jimi Hendrix and earlier PINK FLOYD (all their stuff with Syd Barrett). Some people say that The BEATLES also had a contribution to the prog movement). Then came bands such as KING CRIMSON and YES at the end of the sixties. KING CRIMSON, along with VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR (VDGG) helped define a sub-genre of the progressive music called hard prog ('hard' referring to the tormented atmosphere of their records, however "In The Court In The Crimson King" is symphonic prog). YES were playing symphonic rock, so called because of the use of a symphonic orchestra. GENESIS were already recording at the end of the sixties but their links to the progressive rock were not yet defined. With the album "Trespass", things became clear about GENESIS. YES and GENESIS remain icons in symphonic rock music. Other bands followed their steps later : GENTLE GIANT, CAMEL among others. At the same time as symphonic rock was developing in Great Britain, many Italian bands were performing a similar type of music : BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORCO (BDMS for short), PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM), Le ORME, QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA (QVL) among others. These two countries were the most prolific as far as progressive rock is concerned.

Let's go back to England to focus on another sub-genre that comes from the Canterbury country. CARAVAN defined that sub-genre with their second album and bands like HATFIELD AND THE NORTH and later NATIONAL HEALTH followed (plus a band that didn't come from England but from USA, HAPPY THE MAN). The first GONG album ("Camembert Electrique", featuring Pip Pyle on drums who later joined HATFIELD and NATIONAL HEALTH) belongs also to this sub-genre. Daevid Allen (who later founded GONG) formed with Robert Wyatt SOFT MACHINE, a band that could be regarded as belonging to the Canterbury scene for their first three releases, but that turned to jazz-fusion (with "Third"), another sub-genre that included also later Bruford and BRAND X, and in the USA Frank ZAPPA.

So, all the beginning of the seventies, 3 sub-genres are already established : symphonic (YES, GENESIS), Canterbury (CARAVAN, earlier GONG), hard prog (KING CRIMSON, VDGG).

The 70s
After Syd Barrett left PINK FLOYD, their music became softer with ethereal passages : they defined a new sub-genre, space rock. GONG were also following the same way with "Angel Egg" (but with humour), their best record to date. After The YARDBIRDS split, Keith Relf formed with his wife Jane the band RENAISSANCE, a group that blended folk music with progressive rock. Along with JETHRO TULL, RENAISSANCE were qualified as a folk prog band. The popularity of RENAISSANCE grew after Annie Haslam replaced Jane Relf on vocals and they releases the great "Scheherazade And Other Stories" in 1975. JETHRO TULL released "Aqualung" in 1971, an album that is considered as a classic today, but I would recommend the flow-up "Thick As A Brick" as an introduction to their contribution to the folk prog scene.

Another sub-genre of the progressive rock was also developing in the seventies : art rock, led by bands such as SUPERTRAMP, ROXY MUSIC, 10 CC. These groups were playing a simpler music than in the other prog sub-genre. In Germany, a group called TANGERINE DREAM was playing a music based exclusively on electronic instruments, hence their music was called "Electronic" (or New Age"), although it may include many not electronic instruments (as is the case for Mike OLDFIELD), VANGELIS and SYNERGY belong also to this sub-genre. Many of the German bands that appeared at the beginning of the seventies were classified as "Krautrock", an additional sub-genre of the progressive rock, including GROBSCHNITT, AMON DÜÜL, ASH RA TEMPEL. A minimalistic form of the "electronic" music appeared also in the seventies : ambient. KRAFTWERK, Brian ENO, CLUSTER belong to this category. Moreover, in England a sub-genre based on improvisation and with a jazz background appeared in 1973 with the release of HENRY COW's "Leg End" (RIO, Rock In Opposition).

I forgot to mention that EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER (ELP), band that gathered members of KING CRIMSON, ATOMIC ROOSTER and The NICE released albums ("Tarkus" being regarded as their best) belonging to a sub-genre called classical prog, as they often feature a song that is an adaptation of a piece of classical music ("Pictures At An Exibition" for example). The NICE and Rick WAKEMAN belong also to this sub-genre, In North America, some groups tried to mix hard rock with progressive elements, such bands are RUSH, STYX among others (KANSAS could also be added to this category but it is also close to the English symphonic prog scene). They were called pomp prog as the intros and outros of some of their songs are "pompous".

I mentioned previously the development of a jazz-fusion scene with BRAND X (featuring Phil Collins), Bruford, and ZAPPA, the music of this latter could be considered as a unique sub-genre (mix of jazz, doo-wap, rock…). Another band was also strongly rooted in jazz but included also influences ranging from Stockhausen to Duke Ellington, via opera : MAGMA, who created the Zeuhl sub-genre, with a language intelligible only by them ("Kobaïa").

So, at the end of the seventies you have 10 new sub-genres in the progressive rock : art rock, folk prog, classical prog, RIO, jazz-fusion, Zeuhl, ambient, electronic, krautrock, pomp prog

The 80s
The progressive rock was supplanted by the "punk movement" at the end of the seventies, a "music" which aim was to prove that everyone could play music. "Punk" gave rise to the cold wave in the eighties and prog rock was reduced to what was called neo progressive (a simpler form of the symphonic prog but with much present drums), and an embryo of what became at the beginning of the nineties the metal prog . SAGA were probably the first to play this neo prog, but MARILLION, IQ and PENDRAGON are the best representatives of this sub-genre. Landmarq albums include "Misplaced Childhood" by MARILLION, "Masquerade Overture ('96)" by PENDRAGON and "Ever" by IQ.

The 90s
Metal prog developed with DREAM THEATER's "Images And Words". However, in the eighties some groups were already playing a heavy metal based progressive music : QUEENSRYCHE, FATES WARNING, WATCHTOWER. Thanks to Mike Varney in the USA, who founded the prog label Magna Carta, and in Europe the Inside Out Label. Apart from metal prog. SPOCK'S BEARD were playing a symphonic prog with references to GENTLE GIANT and GENESIS and ECHLOLYN and IZZ were playing a music closer to neo prog. In the Northern Europe, a Scandinavian symphonic prog scene developed with bands such as The FLOWER KJINGS, ANGLAGARD and SINKADUS, A post RIO scene also developed with DJAM KARET, THINKING PLAGUE… Some groups play jazz-fusion : KENSO, CARTOONE, DEUS EX MACHINA. PORCUPINE TREE and OZRIC TENACLES play space rock. COLLAGE, CLEPSYDRA are great bands hat are strongly influenced by IQ and MARILLION.

Thus, in the nineties you have a revival of the prog scene not only with the appearance of a new sub-genre : metal prog but also with bands playing the styles developed in the seventies.

I hope these informations will help you in your investigation.

Written by Lucas BIELA


The genres of progressive rock music

Progressive rock (shortened to prog, or prog rock when differentiating from other... genres) is a broad and convergent style of rock music and progressive music which arose in the late 1960s , reaching the peak of its popularity in the early 1970s , but continuing as a musical form to this day. This genre music is a catalyst to raise considerably the level of musicanship among rock bands and bring a new level of depth and sophistication to rock. Popular bands associated with progressive rock include JETHRO TULL, KING CRIMSON, GENESIS, PINK FLOYD, YES, the much-discussed newscomers ARENA, IQ, PENDRAGON, DREAM THEATER, MARILLION, PORCUPINE TREE and many other bands come from there. If you're not familiar with Prog Rock, it's a rather adventure some style of music . We hope you enjoy your browse through thirty years of progressive rock history when you visit our ‘Progressive’ and related departments. Nowadays its more underground but with a very loyal following.

One of the most defining characteristics of prog is the classification of bands and artists. There are various sub-genres of progressive rock (or "prog", as it is sometimes abbreviated). People can (and will) argue for hours about whether this or that band belongs in this or that sub-genre. This list below is just a simple outline of the characteristics of each sub-genre, and by NO means a strict guideline. Remember, this is not a definitive list.

SUB-GENRES

Canterbury Scene

A fraternal collective of musicians clustered around the Kentish tourist town that is home to the Church of England's Archbishop, the Canterbury Scene provided the cradle for a half-dozen of the most freewheeling British bands of the post-psychedelic era. Though the direct musical similarities between Canterbury's major bands - the Soft Machine, Caravan, Gong, Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers, Hatfield & the North, Egg, National Health - aren't overwhelming, each featured a clever synthesis of jazz improvisation and rock rhythms with clever, intellectual songwriting tied to psychedelia. It's no wonder the Canterbury bands became so close, since many of its major figures began their musical careers in a beat group called the Wilde Flowers. Together from 1963 to 1969, the Wilde Flowers included most of the figures who later formed Canterbury's two best bands, the Soft Machine (Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers) and Caravan (Pye Hastings, David Sinclair, Richard Sinclair, Richard Coughlan). After both the Soft Machine and Caravan released their debut albums in 1968, they became popular in England's psychedelic underground. By the early '70s however, a series of fragmenting lineup changes and the subsequent formation of new bands soon multiplied the force of the Canterbury scene. Early Soft Machine member Daevid Allen formed Gong, and both Kevin Ayers and Robert Wyatt eventually left the Softs to begin their own solo careers. The musicians that led the new incarnation of the Soft Machine, including Elton Dean and Hugh Hopper, began pushing the band in the direction of instrumental jazz-rock. By the mid-'70s, many of the remaining Canterbury bands had progressed from psychedelic and prog-rock to embrace extended fusion jams with few lyrics. Many of Britain's better avant-garde or fusion musicians of the 1970s and '80s - including Fred Frith, Allan Holdsworth, and Peter Blegvad - also began their career playing in Canterbury bands.

Source:http://www.allmusic.com

All Canterbury Scene artists list



Crossover Prog

Crossover Prog contains progressive rock music that, though 100% progressive, may have a musical connection to popular music-- whether it be the lack of emphasis on extended compositions, or an influence from mainstream music in addition to classical, jazz and folk. Compositions, however, still exhibit a high degree of sophistication, sometimes outright complexity, and the musicianship and virtuosity is often on a par with established Prog acts. Much like their kin in the established prog sub-genres, these groups will incorporate many major parts of what defines prog rock: the fusing of rock with the structures and discipline of more traditional musics, the use of syntheisizers and new technologies, intelligent thematics, and the expansion of the form.

The defining characteristics of Crossover Prog are a pop music influence that is largely vacant in typical prog rock. Songs tend toward shorter, more concise presentations though still reach beyond the typical verse, bridge, chorus pattern. The harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic structures may be more easily digested in Crossover while not losing the musical integrity that a prog listener expects. Whereas Prog Related bands are generally commercial groups with certain prog elements or players that were involved in prog acts, Crossover Prog artists are predominantly progressive with elements of popular music.

The most representative examples for this genre include The MOODY BLUES, SUPERTRAMP, DREDG, CINEMA SHOW, RADIOHEAD.

- written by micky (Michael) and Chus (Jesus)

All Crossover Prog artists list



Eclectic Prog

The term 'eclectic' in the context of progressive rock describes a summation of elements from various musical sources, and the influences and career paths of bands that take from a wide range of genres or styles. While progressive music can be, in a larger sense, eclectic, the 'Eclectic Prog' term is specially meant to reference bands that trespass the boundaries of established Progressive Rock genres or that blend many influences.

Eclectic Prog combines hybrids of style and diversity of theme, promoting many elements from different sources. The Eclectic category recognizes bands that evolved markedly over their career (in a progressive, evolutionary way), or have a plural style without a clear referential core.

The basic features lie within the music's variety, rich influences, art tendencies and classic prog rock elements. Among the representative bands are KING CRIMSON, VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR, and GENTLE GIANT.

- written by Ricochet (Victor)

All Eclectic Prog artists list



Experimental/Post Metal

This group represents bands which belong to neither of the first two groups and achieve their progressiveness by being substantially more experimental and/or artistic than their peer ... including the whole movement of Post Metal.

Experimental Progressive Metal
Obviously this style is related to the style "Avant-Garde Progressive Metal" defined in the second group (Extreme/Tech Progressive Metal). The main difference is that the bands listed here are less technical/quirky and generally more calm/mellow than the Avant-Garde bands. Some are very close to Post Metal - an obvious example is MAUDLIN OF THE WELL who later turned into KAYO DOT who can be described as the Post Metal counterpart of SIGUR RÓS (Post Rock).

Art Metal
These bands all are more artistic than their peer. They're all experimental to a certain extent, but not as openly as the bands of the previous style. Some, but by no means all of them are sticking closer to traditional, non-prog forms of metal, but the level of sophistication in their music is much higher than that of their non-prog peer.

Post Metal
This style is the metal counterpart to the style of "Post Rock". One common definition of Post Rock is "Music which uses Rock instrumentation for Non-Rock purposes". This also applies to Post Metal: The heavily distorted guitars - which are a trademark of Metal - are often use for texturing/layering rather than riffing, creating calm and mellow music. This doesn't mean that there is no traditional riffing at all ... but even then it happens at a slow pace and is often interspersed with extended calm and mellow parts.

Post Sludge Metal
The first bands who successfully implemented the style originated in a genre called "Sludge Metal", which could also be called "Post Hardcore". Typically these bands feature extremely aggressive vocals (usually in the "growling" style) combined with extremely reduced and mellow music ... still the use of heavily distorted guitars and the slow and drawn out riffing known from "Stoner Metal" and/or "Drone Metal" make this a sub genre of Metal.

Eclectic Post Metal
Eventually other sub styles emerged ... some bands simply removed the vocals and thus the "Sludge" component (RED SPAROWES), others added Jazz elements (KAYO DOT, CALLISTO).

**Written by MikeEnRegalia**

All Experimental/Post Metal artists list



Heavy Prog

Heavy Prog defines progressive rock music that draws as much influence from hard rock as it does from classic progressive rock. In simple terms, it is a marriage of the guitar-based heavy blues of the late 1960s and 1970s - artists such as Cream, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath - and the progressive/symphonic movement represented by King Crimson, Yes and Genesis.

The electric guitar, amplified to produce distortion (or 'overdrive') is a crucial element, providing the 'heavy' tone required for this aggressive style, and later for the British and North American heavy metal of the late 1970s and 80s. The primary rock format of drums, bass and guitar with keys and/or vocals on top is represented strongly in heavy prog. The presence of the Hammond organ with its deep, intense rumble was also common among harder progressive groups such as ATOMIC ROOSTER. Although certain other acts, such as King Crimson and Jethro Tull, utilize a heavy guitar, bass and keyboard sound, the bulk of their work over the years puts them in a different category.

Bands that represent Heavy Prog would include RUSH, PORCUPINE TREE, THE MARS VOLTA, URIAH HEEP, TEMPEST, BLACK WIDOW, DR. Z,ATOMIC ROOSTER, WARHORSE, BIRTH CONTROL, TILES.

- written bt Atavachron (David)

All Heavy Prog artists list



Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

The private, metaphysical relations to oneself, to the other, the symbolism of existence are connected, transfigured by the particular expression of raga, classical India music. The emotion provided by this music is not only "affective". It's a real message, an aesthetic of the nature, of the divine, a virtue able to guide the listener to a state of emotional trance. In the mid-60's with the launch of international success of raga masters as Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan.European and American artists will become more and more captivated by the dynamical relation between mystical emotion, spirituality and music. The emergence of Raga schools from everywhere (still perpetuating the ancestral musical traditions), the initiatic travels of Western minimalist-modern jazz composers (Terry Riley, Don Cherry...) to India will participate to a growing interest for this musical universe. The emphasis on repetitive circular rhythms, ornamentation (gamaka), the use of acoustic stringed patterns, the sense of beatific endurance and lenghty improvisation are the central characteristics of this music in term of practice and sound aesthetism. Emotionally, the function on the listener is hypnotic, voluntary trying to reach him into a higher state of consciousness, modulating his perception of time and space. The basic conception of "drone" (continuous sound form) will be taken back in popular music and turned into "kosmische" electronica (70's Berlin underground). After Seventh sons' first original but rather discreet effort simply called "raga" (1964) and Malachi's holy music (1966), famous bands as the Beatles in "Revolver" (1966) and Traffic in their album "Mr Fantasy" (1967) will be seduced by the sonorities of Indian raga music. They occasionally incorporate sitar elements to their music. Among the most notorious artists who participate to the original dialogue between proggy rock and Indian music we can notice many jazzy formed musicians influenced by "world" elements (the guitarists Volker Krieger, Steve Tibbetts, the clarinet player Tony Scott). They are often recognised to practice a fusion between jazz rock harmonies and raga's instrumentations (tabla, sitar.). Among them Collin Walcott and Alberto Marsicano were Ravi Shankar's pupils. The world of "raga" rock can also include psych folk / drone-y bands (Quintessance, Fit & Limo, Flute & Voice, GHQ, Pelt...) and which are largely impregnated by mysticism, sonic meditation and sitar.

Philippe Blache

All Indo-Prog/Raga Rock artists list



Jazz Rock/Fusion


  1. The roots of jazz rock can be traced back to RnB influenced soul-jazz artists such as Les McCann, Grant Green and Jimmy Smith, and young British jazzers who were forced to use electronic instruments because the local club's acoustic instruments were reserved for the older established jazz musicians. Probably the first jazz artists that released recordings that mixed modern rock (circa 60s) with jazz were Larry Coryell, Jeremy Steig, Charles Lloyd and The Soft Machine. Meanwhile rock artists such as Cream, Grateful Dead and The Jimmy Hendrix Experience were getting a lot of publicity and fame with their lengthy improvisations based on blues rock and psychedelia. These rock artists had an impact on Miles Davis who then brought a lot of media attention to this new jazz rock genre with his Bitches Brew album. From there the genre grew and exploded into a million different directions. One of these directions was brass rock as exemplified by bands like Dreams, Chicago, BS&T and If. These bands combined elements of jazz, rock and classical music with arrangements for brass and woodwinds.

  2. Jazz Fusion is jazz that is strongly influenced by other styles of music. Jazz fusion is an ambiguous term that provides the first level sub-set down from Jazz. Jazz rock is a sub-sub set from jazz via jazz fusion. The ambiguity comes from an American tendency through the 90's and until now, to freely interchange jazz rock and jazz fusion, when in fact the latter term covers most hybrids of jazz fused with other forms of music. The other styles of music that might be combined with jazz to create fusion might include traditional music from around the world, RnB, rock, electronic music and pop music and jazz from Africa, Latin America, India and other places. One of the earliest examples of the use of the term fusion comes from the Indo-jazz fusion of Joe Harriet and John Mayer. Some of the more popular early practitioners of fusion would include Weather Report and Herbie Hancock's Sextant. A few years later Shakti appears on the scene and expands the boundaries of fusion further, foreshadowing the World Fusion movement of the 90's.

  3. Nu jazz grew out of the British acid jazz scene of the late 80s and early 90s when DJs would play sets that mixed soul-jazz, drumnbass, instumental hip-hop, dub regaae, blaxploitation soundtracks, early psychedelic rock and early instrumental progressive rock. Three main elements make nu jazz different from traditional jazz and fusion. First of all there is less of an emphasis on instrumental virtuosity in nu jazz, plus more use of electronics and studio trickery that emphasizes sound textures. Finally, nu jazz tends to use more modern rhythms such as drumnbass, hip-hop, post-rock, and various mixtures of world beat rhythms. Progressive nu jazz artists such as Bugge Wesseltoft , Nils Petter Molvaer and the Esbjörn Svensson Trio (E.S.T.) combine complicated compositions with modern rhythms to create new unheard of soundscapes. Nu jazz is strongly related to other genres, particularly the more progressive live electronica jam bands. Sometimes it seems the only difference between the two genres is what country the artist is from or what scene they came up through. Nu fusion goes some steps beyond nu.jazz and is strongly related to other genres, particularly the more progressive live electronica jam bands.


Only the most progressive nu jazz, jazz-rock and fusion artists are listed on Progarchives. All artists have elements of progressive rock in their music (ie Jean Luc Ponty, Bill Bruford or David Sancious) or they represent the most forward-looking and progressive element in their genre (ie Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock or Weather Report).

Dick Heath
John 'Easy Money'
Martin 'Alucard' Horst

All Jazz Rock/Fusion artists list



Krautrock

Krautrock (also called "Kosmische musik") is a German avant-garde / experimental rock movement that emerged at the end of the 1960's. It was intended to go beyond the eccentricities developed by the wild psychedelic rock universe of the US, by giving a special emphasis to electronic treatments, sound manipulation and minimal hypnotic motifs (continuing the style of "musique concrete" and minimalist repetitive music but within a more accessible environment).

Krautrock put the emphasis on extended and ecstatic instrumental epics, neglecting the format of conventional psych-pop songs. The term Krautrock was first used by the British music press in a very derogatory way. The term rapidly found a better reputation in underground music circles and finally gained a certain popularity (thanks to the Brain-Festival Essen...)

The Krautrock movement is widely associated with notorious bands such as Popol Vuh, Amon Duul, Faust, Neu!, Ash Ra Tempel, Agitation Free, Guru Guru, etc. With their own particular artistic expression, these musical collectives provided rocking psychedelic incantations, mantra like drones, melancholic lugubrious atmospheres, long and convoluted collective improvisations, binary repetitive drum pulses, fuzz guitars, feedback, primitive electronic noises, hallucinatory ballads, and garage blues rock trips. Krautrock can be described as an anarchic, intense, acid, tellurian, nocturnal, spacey, dark and oniric "adventure" through rock music.

The most consistent years of the Krautrock scene cover a relatively short period from 1970 to 1975. After their first spontaneous, hyperactive and psychedelic efforts, the bands generally split up or declined into other musical sensibilities, more in line with mainstream rock or with ambient soundscapes.

Each region develops its particular musical scene, interpreting differently the Krautrock musical structure. For instance the Berlin school focused on "astral" synthscapes, weird electronic experimentation and acid jams (Ash Ra Tempel, Agitation Free, Mythos, The Cosmic Jokers, Kluster...), The Munich scene offered fuzzed out (Eastern) psych rock mantras with some folk accents (Popol Vuh, Amon Duul, Gila, Guru Guru, Witthuser & Westrupp...). Cologne and Dusseldorf underground scenes focused on happenings, political rock, electronics, pulsating rhythms and clean sounding Krautrock (Floh de Cologne, La Dusseldorf, Neu! Can...).

This musical cartography is correct in the absolute but naturally reveals some variations and exceptions. This intriguing and freak 'n' roll 1970's German scene enjoyed a rebirth in recent years thanks to a large number of reissues (of long lost classics) published by several independent labels (Spalax, Garden of Delights, Long Hair Music...) as a direct result of Krautrock's musical inspiration of modern post rock bands. There are actually some neo psychedelic rock bands who try to hold up Krautrock, and who notably find a major place to express themselves during the historical Burg Herzberg Festival in Germany.

Philippe Blache
December 2007

All Krautrock artists list



Neo-Prog

Neo-Progressive rock (more commonly "Neo-Prog") is a subgenre of Progressive Rock that originally was used to describe artists strongly influenced by the classic symphonic prog bands that flourished during the 1970s. At the beginning of the neo-prog movement, the primary influence was early to mid-70's Genesis. Debate over when Neo-Prog actually came into being often takes place, with some asserting it began with Marillion's Script for a Jester's Tear in 1983. Others contend it began with Twelfth Night at the dawn of the 80s, while some even suggest the popular symphonic prog band Genesis gave rise to Neo-Prog with their 1976 album, A Trick of the Tail.

If one analyses the progressive movement just before 1980, then some albums which heavily influenced the Neo-Prog movement easily come to mind: Steve Hackett - Spectral Mornings, Genesis - Wind & Wuthering, Genesis - And Then There Were Three, Genesis - Seconds Out, Saga - Saga, all the Camel albums between Breathless and The Single Factor included, and some Eloy's albums, especially Silent Cries And Mighty Echoes.

This new form of progressive rock originated in the UK, and is most strongly associated with bands such as Marillion, Pendragon and IQ; and while theatrical stage antics were a part of the live performances of many artists exploring this subset of the progressive rock genre it's the musical elements that are key to the genre; typified by the use of atmospheric guitar and synth soloing with symphonic leanings, with a tendency towards floating synth layers and dreamy soloing. An additional trait is the use of modern synths rather than vintage analogue synths and keyboards. The main reasons for Neo-Progressive artists to be separated from the ones exploring Symphonic Prog in the first place are the above, as well as a heavier emphasis on song-form and melody than some of their earlier symphonic counterparts.

As time went by other artists appeared that also deviated from the norms created by the classic wave of progressive rock artists in the 70's. The late 70's had given the world punk music; the 80's gave the world new wave; and the 90's grunge. These, as well as other forms, had a tremendous amount of influence outside of the progressive rock realm. The advent of the modern synth also inspired artists like Tomita, Vangelis and Kitaro to explore dreamier musical works.

These and other forms of more or less newly made musical genres influenced artists exploring progressive rock as well. Although many artists did so within the framework of 70's progressive rock, more and more artists developed a sound and style so heavily influenced by these more recent musical developments that categorizing them within the existing subgenres of progressive rock became increasingly difficult.

While the Neo-Progressive genre initially consisted of artists exploring a modernized version of Symphonic Prog, these days artists coined as Neo-Progressive cover a multitude of musical expressions, where the common denominator is the inclusion - within a progressive rock framework - of musical elements developed just prior to and after 1980. The Neo-Progressive genre in it's refined form thus covers a vast musical territory, to some extent covering all existing subsets of progressive rock and also searching out towards genres as different as new age on one side and punk and metal on the other.

Opening paragraphs written by Stonebeard, Cygnus X-2, Greenback

Revised, edited and refined April 2009 by windhawk, The Doctor and E-Dub

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Post Rock/Math rock

POST-ROCK:

The term post-rock was coined by Simon Reynolds in issue 123 of The Wire (May 1994) to describe a sort of music "using rock instrumentation for non-rock purposes, using guitars as facilitators of timbres and textures rather than riffs and powerchords."

Originally used to describe the music of such bands as Stereolab, Disco Inferno, Seefeel, Bark Psychosis and Pram, it spread out to be frequently used for all sorts of jazz- and Krautrock-influenced, instrumental, electronica-added music made after 1994. Bands from the early 1990s such as Slint, or earlier, such as Talk Talk were influential on this genre. As with many musical genres, the term is arguably inadequate: it is used for the music of Tortoise as well as that of Mogwai, two bands who have very little in common besides the fact that their music is largely instrumental.

The aforementioned Tortoise was among the founders of the movement. After the second Tortoise LP Millions Now Living Will Never Die, the band became a post-rock icon. After Millions... many bands (e.g., Do Make Say Think) began to record, inspired by the "Tortoise-sound" and were often described as post-rock.

In the late nineties, Chicago, Illinois, became the home base of many different groups. John McEntire (of Tortoise) became an important producer for lots of them, as well as Jim O'Rourke (of Brice-Glace, Gastr del Sol and many more). Post-rock began to range from the slow, guitar-based ambience of Boxhead Ensemble to the up-tempo electronica of Stereolab.

Montreal, Quebec band Godspeed You Black Emperor! - later renamed 'Godspeed You! Black Emperor' - brought a political element with anti-globalization movement leanings.

By the early 2000s, the term had started to fall out of favor, while the major artists kept on making high quality recordings. The wide range of styles covered by the term had robbed it of its usefulness almost from the moment it was coined.

Closely related to post-rock is the genre known as Math rock, characterized by more percussive timbres, and more dissonant harmonic gestures.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Post-rock".

MATH ROCK:

Math Rock is a genre that emerged in the late 80's and that was influenced by both the intricacies of progressive and avant-garde rock - King Crimson, Frank Zappa, Henry Cow - and 20th century composers such as Steve Reich and John Cage. The music is characterized by complex structures, angular melodies and constant abrupt changes in tempo and time signature. The name Math Rock is a term that grew out of the Chicago scene and the artists working with engineer Steve Albini in an effort to describe the new style.

The basic building blocks of Math Rock can be traced back to the late 60's and 70's where Progressive Rock artists were making more elaborate compositions than the standard rock bands and were experimenting with song structures. Early Avant-garde groups like Massacre, and artists such as Captain Beefheart and John Zorn were highly influential to Math Rock bands and traces of their music can still be heard throughout the genre. Another big influence to the Math Rock approach was Slint with their album "Spiderland" which showcased many techniques that Math Rock bands will follow in the future. Punk also had significant impact on the sound of Math Rock bands. Other notable influences are: Post-Rock, Heavy Metal, and Jazz.

Although there are Math Rock bands in different countries around the world, most reside in the United States, the Midwest in particular, and tend to be divided by regions: Pittsburgh bands (Don Caballero, Six Horse) Chicago bands (Shellac, U.S. Maple), Ohio bands (Keelhaul, Craw) Louisville bands (June 44, Rodan, The For Carnation, Crain), and San Diego bands (Drive Like Jehu, Tristeza) among others on both coasts. Japan was also an important country in the Math Rock genre with bands like Ruins and Zeni Geva.

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Prog Folk

In the wake of the 60's, a Folk revival started on both sides of the Atlantic, and got quickly linked with a protest movement, not always, but often linked to more left-wing tendencies, which did not sit well with the authorities. BOB DYLAN, JOAN BAEZ, WOODY GUTHRIE, JOHN DENVER, BUFFY STE-MARIE, but also the FARINA couple Richard and Mimi for the US and SHIRLEY COLLINS and EWAN McCOLL (mentor of BERT JANSCH, JOHN RENBOURN ) for the UK and HUGUES AUFRAY in France. In Quebec, there was the "Chansoniers" phenomenon among which CLAUDE LEVEILLE and FELIX LECLERC were the most popular, waking up the sleepy "Belle Province" and stand up for itself from the English rule. The English part of Canada also brought up JONI MITCHELL, LEONARD COHEN (although he was from Montreal) and NEIL YOUNG.

As DYLAN turned electric with his Highway 61 Revisited album, much to the dislike of purists who yelled for treason, Folk Rock was born, opening the floodgates for younger artists to turn on the electricity. As DYLAN soon abandoned to style to create Country Rock with his next album, his British equivalent Scotsman DONOVAN stayed true to Folk Rock. In the US, THE BYRDS were the main promoters of the style by now, culminating with the superb "Eight Miles High" track with a lengthy (for the times) guitar solo of almost one minute. But countless other bands on the west coast, such as LOVE, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE (and later its spin-off HOT TUNA), GRATEFUL DEAD, QUICKSILVER MESSENGER SERVICE, PEARLS BEFORE SWINE, and TIM BUCKLEY all started in the folk rock realm. Even San Fran's SANTANA with its Latino traditional music and, on the east coast, NY's THE LOVING SPOONFUL had folk roots. Notwithstanding the immense popularity of SIMON & GARFUNKEL and their delicious harmonies, Folk Rock was appealing only to the rock public as the older generations turned their backs in folkies.

In the UK, following on their countrymen DONOVAN, many Scotsmen were very influent in exploring new grounds for folk rock: INCREDIBLE STRING BAND (led by Scots Palmer and Williamson) with their two highly influential albums "5000 Layers Or The Spirit Of The Onion" & "The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter" and THE PENTANGLE (led by other Scots Renbourn, Jansch and McShee and their superb bassist Danny Thompson) and its incredible fusion of folk, blues and jazz style were very instrumental in developing the style to the same extent as FAIRPORT CONVENTION and THE STRAWBS who by that time were still more conventional US "west-coast folk rock". The single artistes in folk rock became known as Folk Troubadours were also numerous and often presented a more progressive side of folk: AL STEWART, NICK DRAKE, ROY HARPER, TYRANOSAURUS REX (actually a duo of Steven Took and Marc Bolan) , JOHN MARTYN etc.

However, the real angular album that will lead to further change of Folk Rock is FAIRPORT CONVENTION's "Liege & Lief" album, that proved to be highly influential for another generation of groups: this album concentrated into electrifying seminal English traditional folk and retained that quaint Englishness taste. It is interesting to see that both leaders of FAIRPORT quit the band after this success to go their respective way: Sandy Denny to a solo folk songwriting career and Ashley Hutchings to a very traditional folk rock. By this time, most connoisseur were talking of Acid Folk, Psych Folk, and Progressive Folk, all having limited differences and no particularly drawn-out limits or boundaries, but all relying on experimental or groundbreaking adventures and good musicianship but not necessarily of an acoustic nature.

Groups like THE THIRD EAR BAND and QUINTESSENCE relied on eastern Indian music influences and, sometimes, medieval tones. Other groups like the weird COMUS, THE TREES, SPIROGYRA, FOREST, the superb JAN DUKES DE GREY (all listed in the ProgArchives) but also TRADER HORNE, TUDOR LODGE, FOTHERINGAY, MAGNA CARTA, TIR NA NOG (all of whom could also be in the ProgArchives) were out to break new ground but with less commercial success as their predecessor. By 1972, all of the glorious precursors bands were selling fewer records and had problems renewing themselves and a newer generation of groups was relying in a more Celtic jigs or really traditional sounds. Such as HORSLIPS, DANDO SHAFT, STEELEYE SPAN, AMAZING BLONDEL, ALBION DANCE BAND and SPRIGUNS OF TOLGUS. Although JETHRO TULL had some definitive folk roots right from the start, their only albums that can be regarded as Prog Folk are 77's Songs From The Woods and 78's Heavy Horses. Ian Anderson (another Scots) was very keen in acoustical traditional songs. Some Folk Troubadours such as TIM BUCKLEY and JOHN MARTYN started turning records more and more axed towards fusing jazz and folk (a bit in what THE PENTANGLE were doing) , others became more and more electric and they started to be referred to as Singer Songwriters especially those with country rock influences.

In Germany, HOELDERLIN (and their fantastic debut album), EMTIDI, OUGENWEIDE, CAROL OF HARVEST, WITTHEUSER & WESTRUPP were exploring German folk while KALACAKRA , SILOAH and EMBRYO were indulging with Indian music. In South America, most notably in Chile, LOS JAIVAS (very bent upon Andean Indian music) and EL CONGRESSO (more Spanish-Latino folklore) were using folk in their rock, so much that some press talked about them referring it with the hateful term Inca Rock. In Quebec, the progressive movement exploded with the cultural identity and the Chansoniers tradition and this was carried out with LES SEGUIN and HARMONIUM and so many more. In France, many groups were out for folk rock such as RIBEIRO ALPS, TANGERINE, and ASGARD. In Spain, Flamenco playing a dominant role as well as Basque folk, TRIANA, ITOIZ and HAIZEA were the head of the movement once the Franco regime fell apart after his death.


There is also a very important medieval music influences dimension in some groups as the term Medieval Folk was also mentioned for a while but apparently dropped by musicologists. Among the UK groups are obviously GRYPHON, GENTLE GIANT and THIRD EAR BAND, in France: MALICORNE and RIPAILLE and in Scandinavia: ALGARNAS TRADGARD and FOLQUE.


Hugues Chantraine

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Prog Related

Progressive rock is not a separate universe in music, it's a genre among many others, a voice in the chorus and as part of a biggest scenario has points of contact with other musical genres.

Prog Related is the category that groups bands and artists that:

- Without being 100% Prog, received clear MUSICAL influence of this genre, OR

- Are widely accepted as MUSICALLY influential to the development of Progressive Rock by the community, OR

- Blend characteristics of Progressive Rock with mainstream elements creating a final product that despite not being part of the genre is evident that are close to Prog.

We specify the word MUSICAL because simple performance of a determined instrument in a Prog or mainstream band is not justification enough to include an artist, no matter how virtuoso he/she may be, Prog Archives has to evaluate their compositional work because the music is what determines the characteristics of a band or an artist.

Prog Related bands are not considered part of the genre but they have contributed in some form in the development of Progressive Rock, the inclusion of a band is exceptional and only after verifying that it's a contribution for the better understanding of Prog among the members and visitors instead of a source of confusion for the community.


Iván Melgar Morey

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Progressive Electronic

Born in the late 60's after the expansion of avant-gardist, modern, post-modern and minimalist experimentation, the progressive electronic movement immediately guides us into a musical adventure around technologies and new possibilities for composition. As an author or a searcher, the musician often creates his own modules and electronic combinations, deciding his own artistic and musical action. The visionary works of Stockhausen, Subotnick, John Cage ("concrete" music, electro-acoustic experimentation), La Monte Young, Steve Reich, Terry Riley (minimal, micro-tonal music) express a vision of total reconstruction in the current musical world. Luminous works such as "A Rainbow in Curved Air" (1967) and "Silver Apples of the Moon" (1967) bring an inflexion on opened forms and new ways to explore the essence and the physical aspects of sounds (through time and space). "Static" textures, collages & long running sounds, the power of technology previously exposed in ambitious classical works will have a major impact in "popular" electronic music.

After the artisan & innovative uses of magnetic tapes, feedback, microphones, etc., the instrumental synthesis, the elaboration of global sound forms and the psycho-acoustic interactions will be sublimated thanks to the launch of the analog synth. A great improvement happened in 1964 with the appearance of the first modular synthesiser (Moog). This material (or "invention") brings the answer to the technological aspirations of many musicians, mainly after the release of the popular "Switched on Bach" (Walter Carlos) and Mother Mallard's portable masterpiece (pieces composed between 1970-73).

At the beginning of popular essays in electronica, the pioneering technologies (in term of recording and sound transmission) will not be abandoned. For instance, "Tone Float" (1969) by Organisation (pre-Kraftwerk), "Zwei Osterei" & "Klopzeichen" (1969-70) by Kluster and "Irrlicht" (1972) by Klaus Schulze will carry on the domestication of the electric energy and the use of refined harmoniums, organs and echo machines. During the 70's decade, European groups & musicians such as Eno, Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream will make their name in the music industry thanks to an abundant use of analog synthesisers and original electronic combinations. After weird, mysterious experimentation on conventional acoustic & electric instruments, Kraftwerk enjoyed huge success in popular music thanks to "mechanical electronic pop music". "Trans Europe Express" (1977) and "The Man Machine" (1978) figure as two commercial classics. The German spacey electronic scene launched by Tangerine Dream with their outstanding "Alpha Centauri" (1971) and Cluster "I" & "II" (1971-72) will have echoes everywhere, starting from the Berlin underground electronic scene (the Berlin School) with Klaus Schulze ("Timewind" 1974), Michael Hoenig ("Departure from the Northern Wasteland" 1978), Ashra ("New Age of Earth" 1976), Conrad Schnitzler's buzz-drones and repetitive electronics ("Zug", "Blau", Gold" 1972-74) . After several innovations always from Germany we notice the dark, doomy atmospheric manifests of Nekropolis (Peter Frohmader) in "Le culte des Goules" (1981), Asmus Tietchens in his colourful and engaged "Biotop" (1981) and the semi-ambient "Hermeneutic Music" (1988) by Lars Troschen (sound sculptor and synthesist).

In France, the "hypnotic" and "propulsive" electronic essays of Heldon ("Electronic Guerrilla" 1974) and Lard Free ("Spiral Malax"1977) introduce an inclination for industrial, urban and post-modern sound projections. The French "avant gardist" Philippe Besombes takes back the inspiration of " concrete music" (Pierre Henry.) and mixes it to a hybrid rocking universe (published in 1973, "Libra" figures as a true classic). Bernard Xolotl in "Prophecy" (1981), "Procession" / "Last Wave" (1983), Zanov and Didier Bocquer will follow the musical path anticipated by Klaus Schulze in his kosmische electronic symphonies.

At the end of the 70's until the debut of the 80's Albums as "ambient 1: Music for Airports" (Brian Eno), "Cluster & Eno", "Deluxe" (Hans Joachim Roedelius side project called Harmonia) will announce the emergence of the famous ambient movement, musically characterised by gorgeous shimmering atmospheric textures.

During the 80's, Maurizio Bianchi will be searching for absolute "haunted" soundscapes, partly satisfied thanks to sound collages, manipulated tapes and sonic synth attacks ("Symphony for a Genocide" 1981 and recently the mesmerising "A.M.B Iehn Tale" 2005). Before him, the 70's Italian specialists had been (among others) Francesco Cabiati, Francesco Bucherri, and Francesco Messina for representative, modern and spacey orchestrations. Albums such as "Mirage" (1979), "Journey" (1979) and "Prati Bagnati del Monte Analogo" (1979) gain the attention of the public through their floating, large electronic suites.

Young contemporary bands and artists in electronic experimentation took their inspiration from the 70's "kosmische" analog synth psychedelica of Klaus Schulze, Conrad Schnitzler, Tangerine Dream, etc. In the spaced out synthesisers spectrum, modern Japanese artists as Yamazaki Maso (noisy avant garde experimentor who contributes to the Kawabata's projects named Andromelos, Christina 23 onna) or Takushi Yamazaki (Space Machine) are key figures. The minimal, moody / lysergic epic soundscapes of Omit (Clinton Williams), Cloudland Canyon, Astral social club or Zombi also contribute to the renewal of the "cosmic" synth genre. Many modern electronic artists have taken an original musical direction, surfing on post-krautrock ambient waves (Aethenor), on spherical "abstract" ambient minimalism (Pete Namlook, Biosphere, Robert Henke) or on trancey, (post) industrial drone hypnosis (Alio Die / Amon / Nimh for the italian side and Andrew Chalk with his respective projects Mirror, Monos and Ora).

To sum up things, the progressive electronic subgenre is dedicated to intricate, moving, cerebral, intrusive electronic experiences that get involved in "kosmische", dark ambient, (post) industrial, droning, surreal or impressionist soundscapes territories.

Philippe Blache

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Progressive Metal

This category represents the core movement of what is called "Progressive Metal" in the literal sense. Throughout the years many new styles of progressive metal emerged more or less independently of the original Progressive Metal bands. Separating these styles from the core movement helps to prevent the definition of Prog Metal from "watering down".

Progressive Metal: The Early Years
Progressive Metal emerged in the second half of the 1980s. The first bands were essentially attempting to combine influences from classic prog rock of the 1970s (bands include YES, GENESIS, KING CRIMSON) and the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal - bands include DIAMOND HEAD, IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST).

Classic Progressive (Proto-)Power Metal
These bands were staying close to a style which would eventually be evolve into "American Power Metal". This type of Power Metal is not to be confused with the European style which emerged with bands like HELLOWEEN a few years later and would lead to a second wave of Progressive (European) Power Metal bands in the late 1990s.

Classic (Eclectic) Progressive Metal
This style came to full bloom in the 1990s. The NWOBHM influence is still present in the music, but it's not the main ingredient anymore - in fact one of the trademarks of this style is that it draws from a broad range of influences which all seem equal in proportion. The resulting music is very diverse, making it difficult to describe or pin-point. But it's always melodic and often symphonic, and generally not too explicitly technical - although bands like DREAM THEATER are often accused of being too technical and virtuous there are many bands which take technicality to yet another level.

Progressive Metal: The 1990s
In the 1990s American Power Metal continually lost its dominance over the core movement of Progressive Metal. Instead eclecticism and melodic/symphonic elements became the dominant attributes. DREAM THEATER quickly established themselves as the most popular band of the genre, which also led to them becoming a reference in terms of style. Every new Progressive Metal band was compared to them, similarly to neo prog bands being compared to MARILLION, or new Prog Rock bands of the 1990s being compared to SPOCK'S BEARD.

Modern (Eclectic) Progressive Metal
These bands and albums represent the "heart" of Progressive Metal. They managed to refine their music compared to the beginnings in the 1980s, yet they managed to stay true to the style they had defined with their early albums - at least at the beginning of the 1990s. Of course there were fluctuations - some bands are more technical, some are more symphonic, some albums are more experimental, some are spacey ... but they all maintain a balance between the influences, and that's why they're listed here.

Modern Progressive Power Metal (American Style)
In a way these bands revived the music which had sparked the Progressive Metal movement in the 1980s. In the meantime the musical environment had changed a lot, for example neo-classical elements had been made popular by one Yngwie J. Malmsteen. This was influential for most Progressive Metal bands which were rooted in Power Metal.

The following bands can largely be attributed to American Power Metal, although some are borderline to the Eclectic/Mainstream Progressive Metal bands.

Modern Progressive Power Metal (European Style)
These bands have even more neoclassical elements, the most extreme example being RHAPSODY who can be called "Classical Metal", which doesn't qualify as being prog for many people. Nevertheless their music is quite demanding to play and contains many elements of serious classical composition and form, which is a strong indication of progressiveness. The following list of bands is quite diverse ... despite of them all being related to European Power Metal they really sound very, very different.

**Written by MikeEnRegalia**

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Proto-Prog

The denomination Proto Prog comes from the combination of two words, Proto from the Greek The earliest,. and Prog which as we know is a short term for Progressive Rock, so as it's name clearly indicates, refers to the earliest form of Progressive Rock or Progressive Rock in embryonary state.

These bands normally were formed and released albums before Progressive Rock had completely developed (there are some rare Proto Prog bands from the early 70's, because the genre didn't expanded to all the Continents simultaneously

The common elements in all these bands is that they developed one or more elements of Prog, and even when not completely defined as part of the genre, they are without any doubt, an important stage in the evolution of Progressive Rock.

Generally, Proto Prog bands are the direct link between Psyche and Prog and for that reason the Psychedelic components are present in the vast majority of them, but being that Progressive Rock was born from the blending of different genres, we have broadened the definition to cover any band that combined some elements of Progressive Rock with other genres prior to 1970.

Some of these bands evolved and turned into 100% Prog, while others simply choose another path, but their importance and contribution in the formative period of Prog can't be denied, for that reason no Prog site can ignore them.

Iván Melgar - Morey

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Psychedelic/Space Rock



Psychedelic Progressive Rock

Progressive rock music has its roots in the mid 1960's psychedelic cultural phenomena. During that time British Invasion and folk-rock bands began to expand the sonic possibilities of their music. These groups started slowly to abandon the brief, concise verse-chorus-verse patterns of rock & roll, and moved towards more free-form, fluid song structures. Just as important, the groups began incorporating elements of Indian and Eastern music, and along them the free-from principles of free jazz were included to the psychedelic sound, emphasising spontaneous emotions over calculated and estimated construction of music. Also experimenting with electronically altering instruments and voices within the studio using new technology was part of the style. Acid rock groups like THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE and CREAM stand as descriptive and also popular examples of the path from psychedelic sunshine pop towards more aggressive and strong rock expression, culminated especially their improvised live performances.

The boundary of classifying where the amount of experimentalism and artistic content of their music justifies term 'progressive' is probably a thin red line. The early 1960's psychedelic prog pioneers listed to the Prog Archives are mostly found from the Proto-Prog section, (unless the band had a longer career like PINK FLOYD), and among these early psych related are bands like THE BEATLES, THE DOORS, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE and VANILLA FUDGE for example.

A music being classified as psychedelic progressive rock may contain the elements described before with varying combinations, but also the artistic perspective of progressive rock. The evolvement of the psychedelic depth within progressive context could be seen for example in the 1960's recordings of ARCADIUM and BABY GRANDMOTHERS. A good example of the Continental European early 1970's progressive psych rock could be the album by group AHORA MAZDA, and from Britain JADE WARRIOR's early records fusion both psychedelic rock and ethnic music. Two groups producing vintage music today in the tradition of 60's/70's style and sound could be THE SPACIOUS MINDS and ACID MOTHER'S TEMPLE. As the psychedelic movement was a large cultural phenomenon, it is difficult to fence psychedelic progressive rock into a one tight category. Psychedelic progressive rock has been developing to various different directions, which have been classified as their own genres and sub genres.


Progressive Space Rock

In the late 1960s space rock emerged from psychedelic rock with the result of quasi binovular twins. The bands began to assimilate krautrock elements like repetitive hypnotic beats and electronic/ambient soundscapes. The typical instrumentation includes the synthesizer which generally offers bubbling tones and spacey patterns provoking a gliding flow. Guitars are played with glissando technique and delay/echo effects in preference. Reggae/dub elements are to detect here and there. Space rock is often coupled with the use of drugs and a mind-expanding approach, similar to krautrock. Several bands combine their live performances with a trippy lightshow using random fractals. Albums are mostly provided with at least one long meandering jam based on a main theme, loops and slight variations respectively ups and downs in waves.

You will often take notice of stories, pictures and album/song titles referring to cosmic themes. HAWKWIND's live album 'Ritual' is said to be the ultimate space rock album because of the collaboration with sci-fi author Michael Moorcock. His lyrics are performed by a narrator and underlaid with synth elements. PINK FLOYD can be treated as pioneers of spacey music during the band's early phase, for example some songs of 'The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn' or the live recordings of 'Ummagumma' with the stirring 'Careful With That Axe Eugene'. GROBSCHNITT's epic 'Solar Music' is counted among the space rock classics too. UFO, which released the extraordinary album 'Flying - One Hour Space Rock' in 1971, stands for those rock bands which were influenced by this style at least for a while. Another often mentioned band is GONG which offered some groundbreaking genre albums in the early period.

A space rock community is existing in nearly every country more or less. Swedish bands are known for a brisk exchange of musicians among each other. The 'Strange Daze' festivals from 1997-2000 showcased the American space rock scene. Japan is an unexhaustible reservoir of psychedelic and space prog output. Some other representative bands of the style are ORESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE with the focus on long grooving improvisations, QUARKSPACE and OZRIC TENTACLES emphasizing more electronic elements or VESPERO and HIDRIA SPACEFOLK with a significant ethnic component. Other groups like ESCAPADE and THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS are standing for an avantgarde style whereas the sound of SUBARACHNOID SPACE or KINSKI is provided with transitions to the post rock genre.


Interfaces with other prog genres

As psychedelic culture influenced largely the whole western pop culture scene, psychedelic elements can be found from the other prog genres too. Psychedelic Folk / Acid Folk is a large and delightful sub genre, and in Prog Archives these bands can be found from the PROG FOLK category, earliest of them being PROTO-PROG similar time. As an example group, FAIRPORT CONVENTION with SANDY DENNY released few albums, which combined traditional folk music with psychedelic elements, and their long song 'A Sailor's Life' with real interactive improvisational playing had a big influence on psychedelic folk groups like THE TREES. Some psychedelic oriented folk bands also played music outside from the Anglo-Saxon frame of reference, like Italian AKTUALA, blended Middle-Eastern folk music to their records, and British JADE WARRIOR was seeking influences form Japanese and African music. Groups like THE THIRD EAR BAND and QUINTESSENCE experimented with elements from eastern and Indian music, which kind of bands are found more from the genre INDO-PROG/RAGA ROCK. Instead of European roots these artists take their elements from raga, classical India music. During mid-60's RAVI SHANKAR brought raga to success in the Western Christian industrial countries, and it's qualities were adopted to psychedelic culture, as both raga and psychedelia focus on the state of emotional trance. Example record from this genre could be SEVENTH SONS album 'Raga' from year 1964.

In Germany the groups which were influenced by the British psychedelia, formed their own genre called KRAUTROCK. The early 1970's groups of this genre represent the progressive acid rock sound of Germany, experimenting long instrumental improvisations emphasizing use of psychedelic effects and weird electronic sounds. Examples of these groups could be AMON DÜÜL, ASH RA TEMPEL, CAN, GÄA, NECRONOMICON and YATHA SIDHRA. PROGRESSIVE ELECTRONIC style emerged from Krautrock, and some of their most influential artists like TANGERINE DREAM and KLAUS SCHULZE started with very psychedelic musical style, also being part in the evolvement of 'space rock' sound.

In addition of these genres and examples, psychedelic elements can be found from many other genres of progressive rock. The psychedelic cultural explosion had an immense influence to the western popular culture, and hints of it can still be heard also outside the field of progressive rock music scope, for example in the stoner rock music, or in the collective techno rave parties carrying the legacy of the audiovisual attack 1968 PINK FLOYD concerts.


Space rock definition by Rivertree, April 2009
Other text by Eetu Pellonpää October 2006/April 2009


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RIO/Avant-Prog

Rock in Opposition

What is Rock in Opposition?

Rock In Opposition - or RIO for short - is the name of a short lived movement that has gone on to define a genre of music, and which is now applied to musicians whose careers hadn't even started when the first RIO festival took place in London in 1978.

Festival

In the 1970s Henry Cow had, like other more left field bands, enjoyed greater popularity in mainland Europe than they did in the UK. They toured extensively and made contact with similarly inclined bands, most of whom were working independently and had no distribution or realistic opportunity of touring outside their native countries. The idea of Rock In Opposition was to create an independent network of like minded performers that would not be dependent on the largesse of major record companies for their survival.

===written by Chris Gleeson===

Four like-minded bands were invited to play at the Rock in Opposition festival, alongside Henry Cow, on 12th March 1978, at the New London Theatre, Drury Lane in London. The British Arts Council helped the funding of the festival with a £1000 grant.

The Rock in Opposition slogan "The music the record companies don't want you to hear" was altered very slightly for the flyer advertising the first Rock in Opposition concert.

The five initial Rock in Opposition bands:

Henry Cow (England)
Univers Zero (Belgium)
Etron Fou Leloublan (France)
Samla Mammas Manna (Sweden) - at the time they recorded as Zamla Mammaz Manna
Stormy Six (Italy)

This festival generated a lot of interest around the world at the time within the media, as nothing like this had been done before. This somewhat surprised the members of the bands involved and so it was decided to reconvene at Sunrise Studios in Kirchberg, Switzerland in December 1978, to decide on the future of the movement. Henry Cow as a band, had disbanded by this time (some of the members went on to form Art Bears), but two of the former members of Henry Cow, Chris Cutler and Fred Frith (and likely others) still participated in the discussions in Kirchberg.

The decision was to continue with the movement, but it was decided to keep membership of new bands to a minimum and to also make sure they adhered to some key elements:

A) That of musical excellence. This depending on our collective evaluation of same - a source of much fruitful discussion.
B) That of working actively outside the music business.
C) That of having 'a social commitment to Rock'
Groups who only record or only perform could qualify but they should have a permanent continuity of existence. The total number of members should remain small.

Note: the above list is written by Chris Cutler himself.

Three new bands were elected:

Art Zoyd (France) - who had previously toured with Univers Zero and had members of Univers Zero perform on their albums
Art Bears (England) - who consisted of former members of Henry Cow: Chris Cutler, Fred Frith and Dagmar Krause
Aksak Maboul (Belgium) - who had former members of Univers Zero as well as Chris Cutler and Fred Frith amongst them

===written by James R. Yeowell===

They had many disagreements in that meeting about the purpose of the group, and its meaning. They eventually came up with a plan to continue their joined concerts. They organized three more festivals and cooperative record distributions but eventually the RIO group dissolved, leaving behind a legacy that would be picked up by newer bands and the RIO member bands.

RIO therefore, is not a particular sound, but rather an attitude towards creating music. The original bands did not have much in common in terms of sound. Today however one can define a band as RIO if it follows a certain musical path, similar to that of one of the founders. This way, bands like Miriodor or Ensemble Nimbus can be said to have been influenced by Samla Mammas Manna; a band like Sotos or Zaar can be compared to Present, or Univers Zero.

====written by Assaf Vestin===

Date of RIO festivals:

12 March 1978 at New London Theatre, Drury Lane, London, England (set up by Henry Cow)
26 April 1979 to 1 May 1979 at Teatro dell'Elfo, Milano, Italia (set up by Stormy Six)
28/29 September 1979 in Uppsala, Sweden (set up by Samla Mammas Manna)
Bruxelles, Belgium (set up by Univers Zero)

So what do these bands sound like?

As already stated, all of the bands involved within the Rock in Opposition movement had an avant-garde side to them, some more so than others.

Henry Cow took influences from contemporary classical and chamber music, as well as jazz fusion (such as Miles Davis) and when Dagmar Krause (a German by birth) joined, many of their vocals sounded like the Lieder music of Franz Schubert and also had a Bertold Brecht style to them. All of their music was scored, yet used complex time signatures, free improvisation and often used experimental tape manipulations.

Univers Zero took influences from contemporary classical and chamber music, such as Igor Stravinsky, Anton Webern, Albert Huybrechts and Béla Bartók, but generally were darker than Henry Cow in sound and had much less of a jazz influence.

Etron Fou Leloublan took influences from French music hall, jazz and the burgeoning punk scene. Their music was generally comedic in nature and very difficult to listen to, especially on their debut album.

Samla Mannas Manna/Zamla Mammaz Manna took their influences from Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart and also had circus music influences. Again, their music is humorous and wacky in nature.

Stormy Six took their influences from folk music (their debut album was released in 1969, years before the RIO scene was thought of) and their lyrics were generally political and sang in Italian. They were perhaps the least avant-garde of the bands involved in the movement, but they were one of the most vocal, arranging their own RIO festival.

Legacy

Firstly, to quote Chris Cutler:

"In its ten minutes of fame, RIO verified something, it set a ball rolling, it made things happen that made other things happen. In that sense, it was a success. Without it, someone else would have had to have invented it. Of course, the more complex issues were abandoned. Perhaps they could not really have been faced. We raised them though; they are still in the file labelled: Unfinished Business."

The Rock in Opposition movement ended in 1979 with a fizzle, but its legacy is very strong. So much so, that a Rock in Opposition festival took place in Carmaux in France in April 2007. None of the original bands performed, but many associated bands and musicians did, including Chris Cutler who performed with former Slapp Happy and Henry Cow member Peter Blegvad.

The bands and musicians present at the RIO festival in April 2007 were:

Magma (actually a longtime associated band that played alongside Univers Zero in the 1970s)
Faust (who toured with Henry Cow in their earlier pre-RIO days)
Peter Blegvad (with Chris Cutler)
Present (an offshoot band of Univers Zero, set-up by former Univers Zero drummer Daniel Denis)
Zao
Mats/Morgan Band
Guapo
NeBeLNeST (a French chamber rock band)
Salle Gaveau (a Japanese chamber rock band)
GMEA

As well as the above festival, many bands influenced by the original Rock in Opposition bands continued to be formed in the 1980s to the present and the scene is perhaps more popular now than it ever has been.

Many independent record labels have also been formed because of the Rock in Opposition movement, including Recommended Records/ReR Megacorps, RecRec (an offshoot of ReR in Switzerland), ReR USA (the US branch of ReR), ZNR Records, AYAA (a French off-shoot of ReR), Cuneiform Records and Crammed Discs (set-up by Marc Hollander of Aksak Maboul).

===written by James R. Yeowell===

Noise/Brutal Prog

In the last 20 years Japan has boasted one of the most exciting and innovative Avant-prog scenes in the world. Widely, the scene finds its characteristics defined by harsh unrelenting compositions factoring exceptional displays of musicianship. While influences have been amassed from far and wide - with the likes of Captain Beefheart and John Zorn - the most direct influence can be linked to Keiji Haino (guitar, vocal, percussion [on occasions]). His works range an embodiment of rock, free improvisation, noise, psychedelic, minimalism etc. The archetypal sound and structure [deconstruction maybe a better term] of the Japanese Underground scene was founded with Haino's improvisational rock group Lost Aaraaf (1970) - later continued with Fush*tsusha. To this day Haino's influence is still widely recognized throughout the scene, with his involvement with many of the leading musician from numerous bands: Ruins, Ground Zero, and Altered States. Evolving into the formation of Knead and Sanhedolin. Upon a thorough investigating of the scene, one finds deep interconnections between bands, lending to a communal type atmosphere [not too far from the Canterbury scene]. While generally closeted to the outside world, Japan's impact on the worldwide Avant-prog scene has been remarkable. John Zorn has played a crucial roll in the globalization and distributions of Japanese music with his personal label Tzadik, detailing the 'New Japan' movement.

The mid 80's saw the principles of Japanese Avant-prog firmly planned, with the formation of the power duo Ruins ('85). Lead by brainchild Tatsuya Yoshida (drums, vocal, keyboard, guitar), Ruins plays an intense fusion between punk and progressive rock. Yoshida's drumming was highly influenced by Christian Vander (Magma), honing in on the remarkable technical capabilities, while lacking some of the more emotional entities. Yoshida is infamous for his infinite collaborative work, some of his other bands/collaborations include: Akaten, Tairikuoto vs' Sanmyakuonns, Seikazoku, Musica Transonic, Sunkick, Koenji Hyakkei, Knead, Soft Mountain, Zubi Zuva, not to mention the numerous collaborations with John Zorn [the list goes on].

Round the same time ('86) as Ruins, world famous noise rockers 'Boredoms' escaped from the underground, fronted by the ever-charismatic Yamatsuka Eye [better known as simply eYe today]. From the word go 'Boredoms' crafted a raw, eccentric form of punk styled noise, fixating on the humorous side of life. Over the years 'Boredoms' sound evolved tremendously in to a mature mix between Avant-prog, psych, krautrock and noise. With a line-up of three percussionist, plus eYe, their sound revolves intensely on the rhythmic textures. Once again ties with John Zorn are present, entailing eYe's involvement with the Naked City projects. Yoshimi P-We (percussion, vocals, guitar) later went on to form the solely female band OOIOO, which can be paralleled as a subdued 'Boredoms' with subtle complexity.

Ground Zero [now defunct] formed under the guidance of turntablist/guitarist Otomo Yoshihide and stands as one of the most famous groups from the Japanese underground scene. Forming in 1990, Ground Zero's sound deviated from the classic Avant-prog scene. Their compositions were generally a profound mix of sampled/recorded sounds, noise and improvisation. Otomo Yoshihide is just as prolific a musician/composer as Yoshida, playing with a huge proportion of the underground scene and numerous American contemporaries. Both Nasuno Mitsuru (bass, vocals) and Yoshigaki Yasuhiro (drums) from Ground Zero went onto form Altered States - who were a cross between Art rock and Avant/free Jazz.

While large proportions of the scene are defined by harsh dissonance, there is also a more refined branch influenced by Jazz and RIO. Tipographica, were a great example of this, with their delicate blend of RIO and Canterbury, focusing on a fusion between improvisational jazz and contemporary classical. Their saxophonist Kikuchi Naruyoshi went on to form 'Date Course Pentagon Royal Garden' whose album is sometimes hailed as the Japanese 'Bitches Brew'. Alternatively 'After Dinner' portrays the softer, pop-orientated RIO, in vain of 'Art Bears'

Today the scene is still taking quantum leaps. While many of the original bands are still active, new generations are keeping speed with new innovative revelations. With the likes of OOIOO, Le Silo and Pochakaite Malko the scene is far from its creative ends.

===written by Adam Rutter===

Thanks to the RIO/Avant-prog team for their collaborations with this definition.

All RIO/Avant-Prog artists list



Rock Progressivo Italiano

Indeed so much progressive music has emerged and continues to emerge from Italy that some people believe it belongs in its own sub-genre. Lyrics are almost entirely in Italian. Compositions sometimes follow traditional Italian arrangements and compositional style, some based on particular regions of Italy. However, Italian prog styles can, and do, also fall within all of the other sub-genres.

All Rock Progressivo Italiano artists list



Symphonic Prog

Symphonic is without doubt the sub-genre that includes the most bands in Progressive Rock because for many people it's almost synonymous classic Prog, something easy to understand being that most of the classic and/or  pioneer bands released music that could be included in this sub-genre, except JETHRO TULL and PINK FLOYD (who still blended some symphonic elements), even KING CRIMSON who very soon expanded their horizons to more experimental music, made their debut with a Symphonic album, "In the Court of the Crimson King" which is a cornerstone in the development of the genre.

The main characteristics of Symphonic are the ones that defined all Progressive Rock: (There's nothing 100% new under the sun) which among others are:

  • Mixture of elements from different genres.
  • Complex time signatures.
  • Lush keyboards.
  • Explorative and intelligent lyrics, in some cases close to fantasy literature, Sci Fi and even political issues.
  • Non commercial approach
  • Longer format of songs


In this specific case the main characteristic is the influence of Classical music (understood as Orchestral works created from the late Gothic to Modern Classical) using normally more complex structure than other related sub-genres like Neo Progressive (That's why sometimes the borderline that divides Symphonic from Neo is so unclear being that is based mostly in a degree of complexity rather than in an evident structural difference)..It is easy to find long keyboard solos reminiscent of Johan Sebastian Bach or melodic works that could have been written by Handel.

As in any other genre, different Symphonic bands had different approaches to Classic Music, for example YES and GENESIS are mainly influenced by the Baroque and Classical periods, while EMERSON LAKE & PALMER has a predilection for post Romantic and modern authors like Mussorgsky, Rimsky Korsakov, Bartok or Ginastera, being that their sound is less melodic and more aggressive.

The peak of the genre starts in 1969 and lasts until the mid/late 70's  (more precisely until the release of A Trick of the Tale), when the genre begins to  blend more mainstream influences that took to the birth of Neo Progressive (a new approach for a new decade).


It is important to remember that even though the creative peak of Symphonic Progressive ended before the 80's,  we can find a second birth in the 90's coming from the Scandinavian countries (specially Sweden with ANGLAGARD or PAR LINDH PROJECT) and even bands that still in the 21st Century recreate music from this period like SPOCK'S BEARD or ECHOLYN.

Before ending this short description I feel necessary to say (In order to be strictly accurate) that the term Symphonic is not 100% exact, because these bands very rarely played symphonies and was probably used because the music that influenced the genre was performed by Symphony Orchestras, but it is so widely accepted by the Progressive Rock community that would be absurd and futile for anybody to attempt a change after so much time.

Iván Melgar Morey, Peru 2006

All Symphonic Prog artists list



Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

This category contains a very broad range of bands. Most of them have one thing in common: technicality. Their music is very demanding to play and to listen to. The word "Extreme" has been added to the name of the category because most bands which are based in extreme metal genres (Thrash Metal, Death Metal, Black Metal) are also quite technical and/or achieve their progressiveness by making their music exceedingly complex.

The Early Years
There were few bands in the 1980s or early 1990s which can be attributed to this category. This is mostly due to the fact that the genres most of these bands are rooted in didn't exist yet. Even the bands listed as Avant - which aren't based on a fixed genre like Thrash or Death - needed these fixed genres as an influence. There are a few though - most notably WATCHTOWER and ATHEIST (Thrash), CYNIC (Jazz-Fusion/Thrash) and PESTILENCE (Black Metal).

The Modern Phase
This phase begins in the late 1990s. Thrash Metal and Death Metal had existed for about 10 years, Black Metal for about 5 years and bands were looking for new ways to express themselves. Similarly to the classic Progressive Metal bands of the 1980s they picked their favorite style of metal and added progressive elements - only this time it wasn't NWOBHM but a more extreme kind of metal instead.

It's slightly different for the Tech/Shred and Jazz-Fusion subcategories: Although the musicians of these bands often had a background in extreme metal they left the extreme elements behind and replaced them with other "things" ... often elements from Jazz-Fusion, but sometimes also from Classical music or classic Prog Rock / Prog-Fusion. A good example for such a transition is the late Chuck Schuldiner who not only turned his band (DEATH) from a standard Death Metal outfit into the first Progressive Death Metal band (as can be heard on "The Sound of Perseverance"), but also released a brilliant album under the band name CONTROL DENIED which wasn't Death Metal at all.

Avant-Garde Prog Metal
In a way this sub category can be seen as the counterpart to "RIO/Avant-Prog". All these bands are very experimental in an avant-garde fashion ... their music is difficult to "process" for people not used to this level of "quirkiness". Often weird and unusual instrumentation is used, or instruments used in unusual ways which defy the laws of tradition.

Progressive Thrash Metal
The name pretty much says it all. Technicality is an inherent property of Thrash Metal, so in order to achieve progressiveness the bands must add other elements to their music - usually experimentation, Jazz influences or a more epic and complex approach to songwriting.

Progressive Death Metal
This is not to be confused with "Technical Death Metal", a non-prog genre. Like explained in the previous category technicality alone is not enough to achieve progressiveness.

Progressive Black Metal
Black Metal is not a very technical genre - at least the original, "old-school" Black Metal is inherently non-technical and lo-fi. Typically the bands listed here are much more technical than the usual Black Metal outfit and/or add avant-garde elements to the music, or a more epic approach to songwriting.

Progressive Technical Metal
This category is quite similar to Progressive Metal Fusion - Jazz elements are frequently used, but not to the same extent. Usually this type of music is instrumental (exceptions confirm the rule), and it's a lot less weird than the Avant-Garde Progressive Metal bands. Often these bands try to make their composition as difficult to play as humanly possible (CANVAS SOLARIS said that in interviews).

Progressive Metal Fusion
These bands are applying Jazz-Fusion to Metal ... the results can turn out quite differently depending on which type of Jazz-Fusion is applied to which type of Metal.

**Written by MikeEnRegalia**

All Tech/Extreme Prog Metal artists list



Various Genres

Albums or CD's where more than one artist is featured either as a SAMPLER or a TRIBUTE to a particular band. Examples: - Peter and The Wolf - Prog Fairytale - 1975 / The Reading Room - 2000 / Leonardo - The Absolute Man - 2001 / Best Prog Rock Album in the World... Ever - 2003 / Un Voyage En Progressif Volume 1 to 8 / Kalevala - A Finnish Progressive Rock Epic.

All Various Genres artists list



Zeuhl

Zeuhl is an adjective in Kobaïan, the language written by Christian Vander, drummer and founder of the French band Magma.

Pronunciation: zEU(h)l, while the EU are like a French E with a slight U, and the (h) is a semi-silent letter which is an integrated part of the EU, totaling in a "syllable and a half".

The word means celestial, although many times it is misunderstood as meaning "celestial music", since the members of Magma describe the genre of their music as Zeuhl. Zeuhl Wortz, though, means Music of the universal might.


The genre is a mixture of musical genres like Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Modernism and Fusion. Common elements: oppressive or discipline-conveying feel, marching themes, throbbing bass, an ethereal piano or Rhodes piano, and brass instruments.

All Zeuhl artists list

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