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The next generation of prog metal?

Discussion in 'ProgPower USA' started by skyrefuge, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. skyrefuge

    skyrefuge Member

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    Once upon a time in Chicago, there was an instrumental post-metal band named Pelican. They did pretty well for themselves. Following them rose a band named Russian Circles. Russian Circles took Pelican's instrumental metal in a less-sludgy and more-prog direction. They did pretty well for themselves too, if 300,000 views of the following YouTube video is any judge:

    This brings us to the real focus of this post. The night after Gamma Ray played in Chicago, I was back at the same club (the doorman recognized me, yay!) to complete the prog half of the ProgPower equation. On the bill were four local bands who all surely have heard of Russian Circles: all instrumental, all with a prog-metal influence, all with highly-active drummers, and from my mid-30s old-man perspective, all kids. And all quite good.

    While "prog metal" is an entirely-fitting description for these bands, they're clearly coming from a different place compared to most ProgPower prog-metal bands. Since they're instrumental, they're pretty close to the Canvas Solaris/Scale the Summit sphere, but I feel like this style has been developed independently, almost from the ground-up, without the chains connecting them to 80s metal that define most long-running prog-metal bands today. From that perspective, I find it strange to envision bands like this playing at ProgPower, but getting a band like Russian Circles would sure be an interesting direction to go in, and would be a good way to attract a different audience.

    These four bands together show that this is a new sub-sub-sub-genre coming together here, and since I was one of two or three people at this show who wasn't a band member or girlfriend of a band member, I figured these dudes deserve some publicity.

    If you've only got time/interest in one song, watch the Russian Circles clip if you aren't familiar with them, since they're still the top of the heap. But every one of the following bands seems quite promising.

    Sioum is the most artsy and atomspheric (lineup is drums/guitar/keyboards, with keyboards acting as bass guitar), Seppuku Survivor is the most jammy (perhaps with a Latin influence?), Fathoms is the closest to traditional prog-metal (two guitars!), and Weye has a guitarist heavily into looping (like Russian Circles).

    Sioum:
    Seppuku Survivor:
    Fathoms:
    Weye:

    To any Chicago locals, I highly recommend seeing any and all of them live, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better value for your dollar in concertgoing.

    Speaking of, Sioum is playing Tuesday at Reggie's for $8 with Clad in Darkness (black metal) and Austaras (Agalloch-styled dark metal?); other cities would kill to have local metal shows with bands of this caliber.

    Neil
     
    #1 skyrefuge, Feb 27, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  2. AeonicSlumber

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    Probably shit like this:

     
    #2 AeonicSlumber, Feb 27, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  3. TychoCelchu

    TychoCelchu Member

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    This is right. I think what you're describing is two trees in the musical forest. They have different sets of roots, but they are close enough that some of the newer branches are starting to intertwine as they grow.

    As time goes on, styles of music that would've had largely separate fanbases are more and more likely to mix audiences. Along with that does come an instinctive tendency for each side to view the other, because it's new to them, in the frame set by their own musical world to that present. I don't see any need to use the word 'prog' to describe these bands, but nor do I think it's incorrect to do so. You seem to indirectly acknowledge that here.
     
  4. dcowboys311

    dcowboys311 Member

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    Lots of cool bands in this style but lots of boring ones. I'm not so sure I'd call it the new prog-metal...it seems more like the natural evolution of the post-rock explosion of the late 90's. A lot of the early bands in this style had members coming from some of the more 'mathy' bands in hardcore like Botch and you can definitely hear some of those influences in the music.

    That Sioum track is really good. Thanks for the rec.
     
  5. ApolloFC

    ApolloFC Sax-Man

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    Agreed. With that, the Russian Circles wasn't that bad.
     
  6. skyrefuge

    skyrefuge Member

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    Yeah, exactly. Said another way, they're two kids from neighboring families who could almost be twins, while the parents are quite different from each other and there is no obvious relation between them. Until some research reveals that the two kids actually share the same great-great-great-grandfather (who was named Rush? Or King Crimson?), but the family tree diverged significantly before reconverging on these kids.

    Yeah, there's certainly a bit of tribal barrier to overcome, that's why I'm here to play matchmaker at the school dance, convincing the guy from the chess team to dance with the girl from the drama club, because they really have a lot more in common than their stupid cliquish friends are telling them.

    Yep, it's useful when speaking to this audience to call it 'prog'. :) But the interesting thing about the four bands at this show was that *they* all labelled themselves "progressive" in some way in their bios, and the show was advertised as "progressive metal". This is in contrast to Russian Circles, who I haven't really seen adopt the "progressive" tag, even though their music is quite similar. So maybe "progressive" is less of a dirty (nerdy) word to this younger group.

    Neil
     
  7. skyrefuge

    skyrefuge Member

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    Yeah, not "the next generation of prog-metal" as in "direct descendants of Dream Theater", but rather a new line brought in to carry on the family tree given that Dream Theater is post-menopausal and has stopped producing viable offspring. :D

    Yeah, certainly.

    So it's interesting looking at last.fm where you can see that the artificial tribal divisions are still quite strong. Despite having many sonic similarities, Russian Circles and Scale the Summit have entirely different lists of "similar bands" (which are generated by tracking what other music fans of these bands listen to).

    For Russian Circles, it's Red Sparowes, Pelican, Mono, Baroness.

    For Scale the Summit it's Exivious, Alaurm, Jeff Loomis, Zero Hour.

    Yeah, StS is certainly more "prog" than RC, and RC has more post-rock than StS, but they're a LOT more similar than their fanbases would lead you to believe. First commonality I found was Cloudkicker (#85 on StS's most-similar list and #53 on RC's)

    Neil
     
  8. Diabolik

    Diabolik Member

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    you cant go off of youtube hits to figure out what is popular. Look at how many views Snakes on a Plane trailer got online compared to who went and paid money for it.
     
  9. Cheiron

    Cheiron Member

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    I don't think that those are comparable. And if they are, then its quite accurate to say that the trailer was very popular (which it was).
     
  10. Cheiron

    Cheiron Member

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    Did Weye bother to tune their guitars before playing that song? That is some terrible stuff.
     
  11. Jasonic

    Jasonic Doom On!

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    :popcorn:
    THIS IS GONNA GET GOOD!!!

    I saw Russian Circles open for HIGH ON FIRE once.
    I think I left to get a funnel cake.
     
  12. dcowboys311

    dcowboys311 Member

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    They aren't.
     
  13. Diabolik

    Diabolik Member

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    It actually is. Neil likes to toss around data that he sees on a few sites and acts like it is "law". Just because something gets lots of views does not mean that a bunch of them were clicked by accident. How many times have you been on your tube and clicked another video and it was bad and within seconds you backed out of it? Or if that clip got 300,000 views....why is it that no one really has heard of them? You cant base clip counts for how popular something is. There are so many other factors that go into it also. Such as clicking by accident, someone saying "check this out" and you go there and it isnt something you like, or something terrible that you may have used as an example. You just dont know.
     
  14. dcowboys311

    dcowboys311 Member

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    Nobody's heard of Russian Circles???? Really???

    Russian Circles has ex-members of These Arms are Snakes and Botch. Russian Circles has toured with bands like High on Fire, Baroness, Coheed and Cambria, Boris, TOOL, and Minus the Bear. Russian Circles usually headlines at least one tour a year and does pretty good ticket numbers.

    Pretty good for a band nobody's ever heard of.
     
  15. BenMech

    BenMech student of the d'eh

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    Brian - Consider the audience here. If it doesn't fit into a designated box, it's obviously crap for loser teenagers
     
  16. Jasonic

    Jasonic Doom On!

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    Hey, I have heard of them.
    I just personally do not care for them.
    I am admittingly not a huge fan of instrumental bands. Sorry.

    I agree with Bob though that Neil likes to throw around the numbers.
    Though of course in the Agalloch thread when we came back with numbers, it was met with every push-back in the book.

    What's good for the goose has got to be good for the gander.

    Anyhow, yeah, this band does seem to be getting more popular each year.
    Just nothing to hold onto for me personally.
    Its the type of music that seems like a major chore to listen to.

    Call me simple minded (And I am sure you smart-asses will), but I should not have to invest a lot to listen and enjoy music, which is my problem with this genre.
     
  17. skyrefuge

    skyrefuge Member

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    WTF? This is what you took away from my post? You, who are never at a loss for an opinion when it comes to local bands and the local metal scene? You have not a word to say about any of that, the actual content of my post?

    Instead you somehow interpreted my main point to be an attempt to prove that Russian Circles is a mega-popular band? :guh:

    I simply went on YouTube to find a video of that song, was actually kinda surprised with how many views it had, so I just dropped that detail in my post. No agenda beyond that. What made you think popularity-claims were an important part of my post?

    THAT SAID,

    What are you saying? That Russian Circles isn't popular? Because neither you, nor your two friends that you use as a proxy for the worldwide music community, have heard of them?

    Are you saying that pre-teens obsessively send links to a Russian Circles video with the caption "LOL watch this its hilarioussss!!!"?

    Have you discovered that Russian Circles is the next generation of Rick-rolling?

    Their 4 million plays on last.fm are also mostly accidental?

    The crowds that pack their concerts are all just holograms?

    Is that what your point is?

    Neil
     
  18. dcowboys311

    dcowboys311 Member

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    For a lot of these bands, that's exactly it. I find that RC are pretty damn good at keeping my interest though.
     
  19. TychoCelchu

    TychoCelchu Member

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    Well, I've been hearing about them since 2006. I couldn't think of a way to mention it without unintentionally coming off as a "I heard of them before..." snob, so I left it out. But there it is. (I didn't hear about them from metalheads but from hardcore kids, which goes along with one of your points.)
     
  20. CladInDarkness

    CladInDarkness Under A Blackened Sky

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    See you tonight perhaps?
     

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