A Young Person's Guide To Magna Carta Prog
Magna Carta Records has gone where few dared tread by compiling some of the most wicked prog rock this side of the Pleiades. From Israel to Hungary, America to Sweden, the only thing more diverse than the musicians on this record is the music itself.
Do us -- and yourself -- a favor: Give it a listen. Now.
Don't be conventional. Be ... progressive!
"Moron Face" -- Dave Martone
With a title like "Moron Face" it HAS to be good! Guitarist Dave Martone is one tough Canuck whose killer chops and screamin' shredding is like a catapult flinging a million sonic syringes into your brain. Steve Vai? Who's Steve Vai? (Jeff Beck/Michael Jackson guitarist, Jennifer Batten, guests on the track.)
"Another Existence" -- Age of Nemesis
"Another Existence" is the best song Dream Theater never wrote. This Hungarian prog metal band hops from mid 1970s Rush musical dynamics to classic metal flavoring a la Iron Maiden -- kicking a*s all the way.
"Holes" -- Liquid Trio Experiment
"Holes" is a 21st Century melding of Keith Emerson's 1970s organ mastery with all the musicianship inherent in latter-day Genesis epics. LTE (Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess and drummer Mike Portnoy, with Peter Gabriel/King Crimson bassist Tony Levin) contains a boatload of musical twists and turns, a nod to vintage prog and just the right amount of R&B "pocket."
"I Don't Wanna Die" -- Derdian
Italians practically defined melodramatic progressive rock. So it's no surprise that Italy's Derdian would unleash "I Don't Wanna Die", a passionate, symphonic production that's akin to Vivaldi on Viagra! Add liberal doses of Chopin, Elton John, and Faith No More and this turns extra potent. (If you find yourself continuously spinning this song in excess of four hours, consult a physician.)
"Ancient Land" -- Ethan Brosh
The grungy, evocative guitar-driven instrumental "Ancient Land" is as exotic as its title suggests. Guitarist Ethan Brosh is a musical sponge who perfectly evokes the Middle Eastern vibe of his native homeland Israel.
"Intuition" -- Lemur Voice
Ah, now what prog-rock collection would be complete without a little odd-time excursion from the Dutch? These guys do it all and do it in style. They even float superb vocal melodies on top of the complex rhythms. Jan Akkerman take note!
"Armchair Journey" -- Ozric Tentacles
No need for illegal substances when Britain's Ozric Tentacles' psychedelic jam "Armchair Journey" is within earshot. This trippy, danceable (yet rockin') dreamscape takes you to parts unknown -- to the very limits of inner and outer space. You'd better buckle up and take out some insurance: we're not responsible for your brain being fried.
"Spiritual Jewel" -- Khallice
What do you get when you combine elements of Kansas, Megadeth and Genesis? Brazilian band Khallice (pronounced Ka-lee-say) answers this question with mind-numbing certainty in their full-throttle composition "Spiritual Jewel."
"El Terrible" -- Stripsearch
At first blush, there's nothing particularly damaging or depraved about this Stripsearch. Yet, keep listening to the avant power-trio's "El Terrible" and it's a reeeeal mind-screw. Drummer Josh Freese, guitarist Michael Ward and bassist Mike Elizondo pick up where Mahavishnu Orchestra left off! Elevating deflowering to an artform.
"Elevation" -- The Hideous Sun Demons
It's fitting that members The Hideous Sun Demons (guitarist Toshi Hiketa, bassist James LoMenzo, and drummer Ray Luzier) backed "Diamond" David Lee Roth: their music is flawless, brilliant and some of the toughest stuff on the planet. Their crushing instrumental gem, "Elevation", is the result of intense, pressurized musical interplay.
"Lion Snake" -- Anthropia
France's Anthropia moves from funk metal and Goth to symphonic rock, Mediterranean folk, and Baroque metal inside one song. What's also not widely known is how Anthropia is able to seamlessly weave all of these musical elements together. Take a listen to "Lion Snake" and maybe you'll figure it out. Then you can tell us!
"Hydra" -- Ola Frenning, Christofer Malmström
Hydra? This shred-fest is more like a frenzied shark at feeding time. But, hey, some of the most dangerous, toxic materials in the world are invisible to the naked eye. "Hydra", born of the hyper-imaginations and smoking fretboards of Swedish guitarists Ola Frenning (Soilwork) and Christofer Malmström (Darkane), comes with a warning: don't inject to much of the stuff.