Ray Van Horn, Jr. is a veteran entertainment journalist whose writing and live photography has been featured in Blabbermouth.net, Dee Snider’s House of Hair Online, Fangoria.com, Horror News.net, About.com Heavy Metal, MetalManiacs, New Noise, Music Dish, AMP, Hails & Horns, Unrestrained,Noisecreep, Impose, Pit, The Big Takeover.com, Rough Edge.com, Pitriff and others. His blog The Metal Minute won a “Best Personal Blog” award in 2009 from Metal Hammer magazine and he wrote and produced his own hard rock e-zine, Retaliate.

He has contributed essays to UK author Neil Daniels’ Iron Maiden and ZZ Top biographies. Ray’s fiction has been published in various periodicals and anthologies, including his flash fiction piece “Off the Record” for Akashic Books’ “Mondays Are Murder” noir series. His recent short stories “Before the Ball” and “Widow” were featured in subsequent editions of Alex S. Johnson’s Axes of Evil anthologies. Ray wrote serialized original superhero fiction for Cyber Age Adventures and five of those stories appear in the anthology Playing Solitaire. He was the winner of Quantum Muse’s fiction contest in 1999.

Ray is a former NHL game analyst for The Hockey Nut and one-time host of the forum “Comic Books” at ReadWave. He has done beat reporting, photography and lifestyle articles for Metromix, an affiliate of The Baltimore Sun, Carroll Magazine, The Northern News and The Emmitsburg Dispatch.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Triple Play - 9/28/14

 
Welcome back to another Sunday Triple Play!   For this week, I've selected three tracks who often get flagged as progressive artists, though they're usually lumped into more generic categories:  i.e. metal, classic rock and world music. 

Between the Buried and Me is one of the most important metal acts of this generation alongside Opeth and Mastodon and like the latter two, BTBAM sets themselves far from their peers because of their prog affinities that spices and makes sense of their brutal style of metalcore.  Colors and The Parallax II:  Future Sequence are BTBAM's masterpieces transcending their equally magnificent Alaska album from 2005, yet I'm pulling "Selkies:  The Endless Obsession" from the latter album as evidence of their early-on brilliance.  The transitions from death-tech and metalcore to a luxuriant, Opeth-bound quietus to a melodic prog finish is something to behold.  Between the Buried and Me only got better from this point forward.

ELO is one of those bands I've been a complete sucker for all my life and while Jeff Lynne's taken enough shots from the music press for his uber-love of the Beatles, The Who and other pioneers of rock, what he and Electric Light Orchestra did was transcendental in their own right.  Lynne knows how to draw more hooks than the first week of a fresh NHL season.  I can peel off more than a handful of my favorite ELO songs like "Do Ya," "Livin' Thing," "Evil Woman," "Tightrope," "Strange Magic," "Telephone Line" and "Turn to Stone."  "Nightrider" is one of those seldom-mentioned gems that feels to me like a light, airy score to a film meant for either young or adult audiences, depending on the shrewdness of the director.  It really does feel like breezing through the night with the roof top down and nowhere important to be.  While ELO was more rock-based, there's no denying the orchestral elements lumps them into a prog affiliation.

Finally is Peter Gabriel's "Rhythm of the Heat," a favorite of most of his fans and deservedly so.  This one's a slow cooker that builds itself up to a frenzy of tribal beats that need to be cranked upon climax.  Of course, Gabriel and Genesis are renowned as masters of prog rock, but Gabriel took his music into bold new territories upon his departure from his alma mater.  Sometimes that found him in commercial turf, i.e. the So album, but most of the time, Gabriel was in search of tones and techniques from around the globe to meld into his often intelligent music.  "Rhythm of the Heat" is orgasmic.


Between the Buried and Me - "Selkies:  The Endless Obsession"


Electric Light Orchestra - "Nightrider"


Peter Gabriel - "Rhythm of the Heat"

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