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progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members.

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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Ian Parry - The consortium project - 2000

Ian Parry’s project makes clear that labeling implies a great danger. Which features define progressive? It is difficult to say but, are some minimal rhythm or instrumental patterns enough to call something progressive?

The answer when listening to the album of Parry is negative. It is just a heavy album, and quite vulgar, even with the whole epic-dramatic paraphernalia that it tries to transmit. The innocent bait consists of some rhythm games here and to shift compasses into amalgams, movements and cuts with a pretension for innovation. Some passages invite to think of Dream Theater ("Banquet of Thieves" or the rhythm of "Metropolis part. 2"?). The rest is nothing. Songs in an anodyne style that makes them boring. Yes, quite theatrical pieces, with keyboards, piano... but not progressive. "Seventh son of a seven son", of Iron Maiden, or the piece "Perfect Strangers", of Deep Purple could be classified as progressive a thousand million years earlier than this, without being pretentious and staying relatively simple (another example would be "And justice for all..." of Metallica if one wants some rhythm games without excess). If inside an eminently heavy metal context we include a progressive section it is clear that this album is more progressive than lets say, Motorhead, but... for those that likes Stratovarius, Rhapsody or any others in that style will find this album pitiful.

The L.P aims to speak about people's daily life, of the effort that some maintain some while others survive easily. Injustice exists, my friends, and the lack of opportunities carries a trauma if one trusted on having them. As you see, an amazing new idea.

The rhythm games are traditional from progressive but they are progressive one. The album of Parry lacks development, a discursive thread, color and liveliness. The motley vocal melodies are camouflaged after a background that is nothing new and the only concession to instrumental parts are technically perfect solos that are far from being genuine or suggestive: heavy solos. Parry is hard, with certain touches a la Ian Gillan; he sings as correctly as all his guest musicians. Parry has composed the whole disk album, he has produced it, he has carried out the arrangements. However, Parry doesn't say anything to me. In fact the disk becomes monotonous and the songs come one after the other without anything to offer, all of them sounding the same, tiresome, boring. And it is not for the music style, heavy can be good and original. What is a failure is the style of Parry. Are all the songs equal? Oh, one moment! Here comes an instrumental track ("The entity")! Nothing new, some keyboards and a guitar that Yngwie J. Malmsteen would make classy with the fingernail of a toe. To give references to the titles of the songs is difficult because all of them sound the same.

It is sad because it seems that Parry has put interest in the project. The English has traveled half the world to record and mix the contributions of his collaborators, the gurus of the progressive metal genre coming from the most famous bands. Dirk Bruinenberg -drummer of Elegy-, Barend Courbois –previous six-string bass in Perfect Strangers and Vengeance-, Martín Helmantel -guitarist of Elegy-, Stephan Lill -guitarist of Vandenplas-, Arjen (Ayreon) Lucassen –colleague of Parry in Vengeance and in his own work A rock opera-, Tommy Newton -bass, guitarist of Victory and producer of "The Keeper of the seven keys", Parts I & II of Helloween-, Patrick Rondat -guitarist of Jean-Michel Jarre and solo musician-, Tamàs Szekeres -collaborator of Parry in studio and some tours-, Jan Vayne -classic pianist and studio musician- and Thomas Youngblood -Kamelot -.

It is sad and seriously bitter to conclude that the album is so tasteless, so insubstantial that there is nothing else to say.

César García - May 2000
½ - Inside Out

 

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