Progressive Metal episode of Metal Evolution
- Hi everyone,
The VH1 Classic tv channel has been running a multi-part series called "Metal Evolution" that looks into the roots of various metal genres.
The show is created/hosted/researched by Sam Dunn, the guy who made the excellent Rush Beyond the Lighted Stage documentary.
Anyway, last week was the final episode, which focused on "Progressive Metal". Folks like Michael Giles, Bill Bruford, Steve Hackett and of course Rush talked some (actually Bruford was only on *very* briefly), as well as some of the guys from Dream Theater, Mastodon, Dillinger Escape Plan, and others I am forgetting.
The focus of the episode is on the roots and development of progressive *metal*, so it's not like it's an exhaustive history of prog or anything, but I enjoyed the episode a lot. One highlight was the jaw-dropping concert footage of Dillinger Escape Plan they showed -- the apparent ferocity of their performance combined with the music and the crowd and everything... wow.
I found it pretty heartening to hear that a lot of the progressive metal guys really like the classic progressive bands -- Genesis, King Crimson, Yes & Rush get a lot of mentions (Dunn considers Rush to be the first progressive metal band), especially Genesis(!).
All too often, bands that seem to be doing some modern form of the progressive rock thing poo all over the classic prog bands (I'm thinking of Radiohead especially), so I'm happy that guys that look and sound like Mastodon, for example, doff their caps to the elders.
Other episodes in the series have also expanded my knowledge of prog's influence. In a previous episode, for example, Steve Harris (Iron Maiden's bassist/main writer&composer) stated that he loved all the classic prog bands and strove to infuse that prog spirit into the songs he writes for Maiden. And you can certainly hear that in Maiden's music.
I will have to research some of the music played in the background of the "Power Metal" episode, as some of the cuts they played sounded like not-to-distant cousins of Magma in a really enjoyable absurd/over-the-top kind of way.
Not every episode is so prog-focused, though.
It looks like the Progressive Metal episode is being rerun a lot this week on VH1 Classic (if you are in the US and have digital cable, you probably get this channel). You can also view all of the complete episodes in the series at http://www.vh1.com/shows/metal_evolution/video.jhtml?filter=fulleps although I don't know if there are any restrictions on which countries can view it.