Various - Progressive DisDURPance Volume 3

Year of Release: 2000
Label: DURP
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 73:27:00

As I said about their previous compilation album, this one is well worth picking up and is an even stronger compilation. So I'm going to give this two thumbs up ? and my recommendation.

Two of the bands on this comp I've heard and reviewed before, Yoke Shire being one of them, Scythe being the other. So what I said then stands, though listening to "The Brook, The Mirror and The Maiden" again, I'm struck by just how great this track is. Why I didn't mention it in my review of Masque Of Shadows is beyond me ? it is no wonder the band have one so many awards for this album. As for the Scythe track, though, here it sounds much clearer than the MP3 of it I reviewed; though the vocals are still low in the mix.

So, about the other bands here. I can tell you that my wallet is going to be getting lighter awfully soon. There isn't a track here that I don't like. Though Body Full Of Stars' "Body Full Of Stars" is certainly different - a mix of avant-guard and dance ? mostly frantic percussion (sounds like hand percussion), some dark, heavy flute notes?well, some fuzzed guitar leads later on? it jams. Interesting stuff. But still, not a track here that I don't like. This is a remixed version of the track and only appears on this compilation (to my knowledge, though it's not on their related album Falling Angels).

In the style of some of their fellow US proggers, Agent Cooper have a very open approach to music, at least on this track, "Wasting Away." Keys are used to similar effect as in Spock's Beard, though I don't hear any Gentle Giant in their sound. Actually, they are closer to arena rock than prog rock ? maybe a nod towards Boston, actually. It is quite energetic and I like it?

Nangyala could be described as progressive country-metal ? lush progressive country-metal. The vocalist has a slight "whisky and smoke" type voice that has been heard in country music, the arrangement of "Paragon" has a metallic feel with lush keys.

With "Giants Behind The Moon", Zenobia have a somewhat Fish feel about them. The vocalist doesn't sound like Fish, though his delivery is like Fish's of late, and the music has that same kind of groove that Fish solo has (say around Suits and Sunsets). Marillion-like keys here, too. But there are other elements thrown in that make this more "influenced by" rather than "copying from."

Tunnelvision are a melodic prog metal band, hints of their brethren in their sound, with very inviting harmonized choruses. The highlight of "Reach The Moon" is the arrangement and vocals, as the music itself is just this side of generic?all those parts are in place. But, this is one metal band that get the balances right - the right instrument is up front at the right time? actually, I'm liking this more and more as I listen to it.

Take a bit of Journey, a little Dream Theater, and a little Queensryche, mix together and you get TellTaleHard. The booklet names Rush, Everon, Enchant, and Fates Warning as influences?and I'd have to agree here on "Tip The Scale", especially on the Rush, as there is a Rush-like vibe about the music. You wouldn't mistake if for Rush, but you can hear hints here and there. The percussion is, on occasion, a little too up in the mix?but maybe it's just me.

After the aforementioned Body Full Of Stars, we get Platos HalO. Vocally, you'd have to combine Anneke Van Giersbergen, Pat Benatar, and Kate Bush ? and given that I like all three vocalists, this is a good thing. Closer to Pat in that she sings a bit more lively than Anneke, but closer to Kate in that she doesn't vocalize in a rock way - voice more as instrument. But I like the music, too, which has a big-band kind of feel. These are guitars, bass and drums not trumpets and trombones, though. But you can see a big band getting into the same kind of sing-song rhythm that Platos HalO do on "In The Pink".

Transcendence are somewhat like Rhapsody and other melodic progressive fantasy metal bands, but also a bit like Royal Hunt (who also have a song called "Step By Step", as it happens). Cymbals accent the choral-like choruses (is that repetitive?), as the former peeks up above every few beats or so. Like others in the meloprogfant metal genre, Transcendence include classical elements.

Sfumato are like an instrumental Rush with their "Take 2," though there are some piano and guitar parts that are more lyrical than Rush ever get. The guitar leads are quite unlike Lifeson, closer to maybe Petrucci, but even that isn't whom I'm quite thinking of. Beautiful stuff, however.

Prototype are a heavy prog metal band with a strong Metallica influence; so much so that the vocalist sounds like a deadringer for a smoother voiced James Hetfield. Meaning the vocalist doesn't get a snarly and growly like Hetfield, but other than that, this could easily be Metallica if it were for the slight shift towards "melodic" metal (a la Angra, Rhapsody, etc.). There is a speed metal attitude to the verses, but during the bridge, it a clean, melodic guitar lines we hear. "Trinity" is not my favourite on this disk, but I do like it.

Remember George Harrison's "Within You/Without You" from Sgt. Pepper's? That wavey, sitar lead track that kicked off side two? Paranoise's "Tarana" evokes that same feel. Here the ethnic stylings are the real thing, over which the band lay heavy guitar and percussion ? and it works quite well. You'd expect the effect of listening to two clashing radio stations at once, but that is not the case.

Mystery provides the first bonus track "Beneath The Veil Of Winter's Face." One aspect of this track made me think of the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black"?but other than that, the vocalist is very Jon Anderson like, and the spaceyness of the lyrics and the delivery make them sound like?well, more like Iluvatar than Yes, but yes, Yes-like. (And there were certain moments when I thought he was going to sing, "There has to be a morning after?" - a 70s song, though the name escapes me, as does the name of the artist who sings it (Judy Collins perhaps? Or Joan Baez?)). But, I like it, but then I like Yes and Iluvatar.

Salem Hill rounds out this compilation with their "The Last Enemy" - a lush, richly composed track with hints at Yes, but of so many others. Epic prog rock this is, with the big guitar solo?piano interlude? beautiful stuff. Somewhat akin to fantasy metal, but also to the vast epics that Spock's Beard produce. One of my readers once suggested I check Salem Hill out and I've never gotten around to it. If the rest of their album is as stunning as this, I've missed out (so far) on something quite good.

If you want a copy of this compilation for yourself, and you should, you can contact DURP at either or via snail mail at DURP, c/o Markus Weis, Am Gangsteig 9, D-85551, Heimstetten, Germany, or email The cost is $15 US or 30 German marks.

Yoke Shire - 'The Brook, The Mirror, and The Maiden' (6:59) / Agent Cooper - 'Wasting Away' (3:27) / Nangyala - 'Paragon' (4:09) / Zenobia - 'Giants Behind The Moon' (5:04) / Scythe - 'Eruption: The Arrow's Point' (2:52 / Tunnelvision - 'Reach The Moon' (5:00) / TellTaleHard - 'Tip The Scale' (4:40) / Body Full Of Stars - 'Body Full Of Stars' (5:10) / Platos HalO - 'In The Pink' (5:02) / Transcendence - 'Step By Step' (4:56) / Sfumato - 'Take 2' (3:30) / Prototype - 'Trinity' (5:02) / Paranoise - 'Tarana' (3:51) / Mystery - 'Beneath The Veil of Winter's Face' (5:49) / Salem Hill - The Last Enemy (7:49)


Progressive DisDURPance Volume 1
Progressive DisDURPance Volume 2
Progressive DisDURPance Volume 3

Genre: Various Genres

Origin VA

Added: June 25th 2000
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 880
Language: english


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