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Defiling the court of the Crimson King

By That Guy and Kopite

In the Court of the Crimson King is often regarded as the birth of Prog Rock. It's not. But it probably is the first quintessential Prog Rock album. It was THE Prog Rock album (until Dark Side of the Moon came along, but second place to Pink Floyd's masterpiece is still awesome). To this day, King Crimson is royalty in the genre. Now, a question to all the Prog Rock fans who are reading this, how many of you knew that?

Many might think that question's redundant. But then again, there are metalheads and then there are 'metalheads'. If you think you've done enough by head-banging at concerts, wearing black all the time, filling up your Facebook pages with swear words and Children of Bodom references, then you belong to the latter group. It's quite alright to list Prog Rock as your favourite genre. Telling people Metallica is your favourite Prog band is not. Yes, that has happened.

Prog Rock is a very vague genre. The best categorisation these writers can offer is that it possesses influences from everything from Jazz to Metal to Folk to the sound of people dying. It's recognisable for its total disregard for song structure, its complex aesthetic rhythms and its inherent sense of being superior to all other genres of Rock. It is not bounded by any conventions of tradition, morals or common sense -using complex time signatures and seemingly arbitrary change of keys in the song. Because of all this, it's always been a pretty hipster genre. The biggest Prog bands never cared for popularity. It was always about pushing creative boundaries and subconsciously telling their fans that they aren't here to just give the fans what they think or want from the band.

This brings us then to the very self-satisfied group of people who are fans of this genre. Progressive Rock is meant to transcend the barriers of musical experience and allow the listeners to experience, rather than just to listen. Kinda like its second-cousin Psychedelic Rock. True fans of Prog Rock are usually few and far between, especially owing to the fact that you can't violently shake your head up and down to it. But there seems to be a growing legion of people who will profess their love for the genre and then cringe when songs like Firth of Fifth are played.

Honest admission from us: there are a mind-boggling number of genres and sub-genres in metal and we would be lying if we said we could list them all. You like a song, enjoy it. Don't just try to up your cred by saying you are the extensive encyclopaedia of the Prog Rock history.

Needless to say we aren't either. Rush, Dream Theater or Porcupine Tree are not the only Prog rock bands out there. Bands like ELP, King Crimson, Supertramp, Moody Blues are little known bands from this genre who helped shape it.

By now, some of these “fans” are rushing over to the Facebook page to flame at us. But hold on and think about why progressive rock was born - to experiment and break musical boundaries. So instead of claiming Dream Theater as the best prog rock band in the world, be open to the genre. Listen to what made the genre into what it is. Breaking conventionality has always been a major point of progressive rock and being stuck to one album by one band is very redundant.

For starters head over to centre for a band which rightfully claims a centre spot when it comes to progressive. Progressive rock is a huge treasure trove for the music lover, so be ready to explore it to find awesome masterpieces.

Cycling on the Moon:

The tale of a few Armstrongs

By Ibrahim and Bareesh

If your name is Armstrong, it's probably a bad week for you. Then again, if you're Bangali and your name is Armstrong, you're probably used to the mockery and abuse that your peers fling at you so this week can't be that much worse than usual.

The original Moonwalker, Neil Armstrong sadly passed away on the 25th of August. This guy was just insanely badass. He went to the moon on a rocket that was operated with a computer less powerful than your cellphone. He was the first person to step out into the low gravity abyss and lay his feet on the moon. Along the way, he smashed several urban myths about space that existed at that time. The first being that aliens lived on the 'dark side of the moon', but more importantly, he discredited the myth that actual moon stones could evolve animals (Although unconfirmed, reports suggest that tests have been carried out on Mitt Romney. No coherent brain activity could be discerned).

Speaking of stones (or lack thereof), another Armstrong made the news this week for unfortunate reasons. Cycling legend Lance Armstrong was accused of doping by the USADA for the millionth time and was stripped of seven Tour de France titles. After fighting to keep his name clean for so long, and always succeeding at it, Lance finally decided that it wasn't worth the effort and that the USADA could do whatever the hell they wanted and decided to not contest the charges anymore. Think of it what you will, but this guy was a legend. Perhaps he just was THAT good, battling cancer and winning races.

And then there are the many many people who really should not be allowed out in public, who inhabit cyberspace and spew ignorant, misinformed, and downright stupid garbage, as often as they can. “RIP Armstrong. It's sad how they took away your titles,” or “RIP Neil Armstrong, lead singer of Green Day”. Yes, people have been posting that all over Twitter. And the sad part is, they aren't joking. Get your facts straight people, before you end up inadvertently disrespecting anyone. Continuing with bad days for Armstrongs though, Billie Joe has a new Green Day album coming out soon. If it's anything like 21st Century Breakdown, well, that's a rant for another day. Bad albums are best not discussed here. What we can say is that Neil was a very accomplished man and he did the Armstrong name proud, just like a certain Louis Armstrong before him. 'What A Wonderful World' it is because of them.

Before we continue off track as we are going, we'll end this article here. Respect, Lance. You're better than the treatment you're getting. Rest in Peace, Neil. We know you're somewhere up in the night sky.


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