When I think of progressive metal, images are conjured up in my head of big frizzy hair, bizarre guitars created with such craftsmanship that they might have been forged in the very fires of Vulcan himself, people with the virtuoso ability of a musical deity, exercising their pious ability in a frenzied, exuberant 11 minute solo of musical vomitus, under undulating polyrhythms, as greasy hordes of long haired, overweight geeks in black t-shirts raise a single rock fist in unity, their acne riddled faces clear with resolve for once, that they are near something great, on the main nerve now, pulsing with it.

Maybe you can tell by my tone of chagrin, but I don’t care for the likes of Symphony X, or Dream Theater. I don’t want to know exactly what it really is, or what it really means, though some bands do get it right (King Crimson in their later incarnations was not only talented, but decent as well). But it’s not all about a shower of high pitched distortion on the top third of the guitar, or some Bach solo played over a heavy metal drum beat. The aesthetic part of music is very important to me; it’s what makes it listenable, loveable, and not just appreciable. Call me a pussy, but that’s why I’d rather listen to some Nick Drake before the warbling inflections of yet another Yngwie Malmsteen progeny...

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