Damn you, progressive metal bands. Damn you to hell.
After years spent satisfying myself that prog rock was the territory of drugged-out pretentious widdlers who hammered out “atmospheric” notes for 12 minutes before launching into three minutes of what could vaguely be called “a song”, I encounter so many bands that fail to fit the stereotype that I’m in danger of being wrong. This is unforgivable.
As evidence, I present to you Vangough – an Oklahoma City based three piece. They’ve just released their third album and the vast majority of tracks hover around the 6 minute mark rather than running over half a day and consisting of nothing more than an elf farting on a keyboard.
In short, ignore the “progressive” tag. Between the Madness is, simply, a damn good rock album. It’s just about heavy enough to be metal, but light enough to be enjoyed by a very wide audience. Yes, it has keyboards (it actually has a vague “8-bit computer” feel in places), but it’s also got some solid tunes which don’t overstay their welcome. This isn’t just an album that I can put on in the background and tolerate, this is an album that I can actively listen to and enjoy.
Give these guys a listen, even if you don’t class yourself as a prog fan. I think you’ll be genuinely surprised.