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An accidental discovery--taking chances on new bands

Discussion in 'ProgPower USA' started by CrimsonEmotions, Sep 20, 2014.

  1. CrimsonEmotions

    Oct 4, 2007
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    After watching the PPUSA16 video, I had hit the merchandise stands with the intention of picking up several artists that were coming to next year's show. I saw the title "Voyager" at one of the stands (the one that discounted most CD's to $7), and picked it up without thinking, although perhaps I have realized it wasn't next year's band, especially since it was only $5. That realization came to me after I had already paid for it. As it turns out, Voyager was simply the name of the album, which was a compilation by a Japanese guitarist by the name of Kyoji Yamamoto. Oops.

    But nonetheless, I am always willing to try different things, and I listened to it, and was amazed at how good it was. I don't know enough about the various guitar heroes that mostly (or exclusively) do instrumentals, but I'd say the sound is similar to Joe Satriani-though not quite as emotional as Satch at his best. Nonetheless, it is still a very good collection, and one that I'll be listening too more often. Has anyone else heard of his stuff? If so, what would you recommend I try to track down?

    I love moments like that, where I can discover someone new that I hadn't known about. I've had moments like that in the past, where I picked up albums without knowing that much, and I'll mention three examples--all of which I had bought purely on the album cover:

    Iced Earth--Alive in Athens: I saw the cover of the Alive in Athens album in 2000 at an independent store in Champaign, IL, and figured "what the hell." I was hooked on that band from that moment on. I was particularly impressed by "A QUestion of Heaven" and "Dante's Inferno." In fact, discovering IE is what helped me rediscover heavy metal, a genre that I had strayed from in the 90's. Without getting into bands like IE, I might not have discovered many of the other bands that I love today, including a few below.

    Threshold--Hypothetical: I love that album cover, because it reminds me a lot of some of the classic album covers from Rush. Thus, I picked up that album, which I loved for being prog, but not too prog. In other words, it was adventurous in its sound, but didn't have the musical wankery that many other prog metal bands have. Plus, Sheltering Sky was an instant classic to my ears.

    Primal Fear--Black Sun: To be honest, I'm not sure how I came to pick up the album, because the cover was pretty good, but not as instantly accessible as the other two I mentioned. However, I figured it was worth a shot, and was blown away by the sound. Old-school metal never sounded as good as it did on that album, which was so good, I almost had tears in my eyes. This album was what Judas Priest should have sounded like with their replacement singer, rather than the hit-and-miss efforts that were Jugulator and Demolition. This album sounded brilliant, and others were just as good.

    GIven how much I was into the latter two bands (and later Virgin Steele), I knew I had to attend the ProgPower fest in 2007 when I was living in Knoxville. And thus, without taking a chance on these efforts, I might not have gone to a single PPUSA fest, let alone attended last weeks classic show. Thus, taking a chance can indeed pay off.

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