Bar-Do Travel

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In many cases, bands that are considered progressive metal have a strong '70s and '80s fixation and sound like they are oblivious to the alternative rock of the '90s, 2000s, and 2010s. Their music combines elements of power metal with elements of progressive rock, and their influences are likely to include Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Ronnie James Dio, and/or Queensrÿche, along with Pink Floyd, ELP, King Crimson and/or Rush (a logical band for prog metallers to be into because Rush were part of both hard rock and progressive rock). But not all prog metal bands maintain a stubbornly pre-'90s mindset. There are also the bands that combine prog metal with alternative metal, which is what Proghma-C do on their first full-length album, Bar-Do Travel. During the course of this 73-minute CD, one hears a long list of influences. Pink Floyd and King Crimson are influences, but there are also elements of everyone from Neurosis, Meshuggah, Candiria, Tool, and Godflesh to Radiohead. This Polish band appreciates '70s progressive rock, but Proghma-C also have the downtuned guitars, chugging riffs, and punk influence of alt-metal; no one will mistake Proghma-C for Dream Theater clones. And while there are some vicious, head-crushing outbursts on Bar-Do Travel, this 2007-2008 recording is fairly melodic most of the time; actually, Bar-Do Travel is moody and atmospheric more often that it is flat-out brutal. Now for some good news and some bad news. First, the bad news: this is a mildly inconsistent album that -- for all its ambition and good intentions -- occasionally misses the mark. A few of the tunes meander and never go anywhere. The good news is the "occasionally" part; most of the material is a creative success. So while Bar-Do Travel isn't a perfect album, it has more ups than downs and illustrates Proghma-C's ability to blend to prog metal and alt-metal with exciting results.

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