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Mean Deviation: Four Decades of Progressive Heavy Metal [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Jeff Wagner , Steven Wilson
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  • Taschenbuch: 364 Seiten
  • Verlag: Bazillion Points Publishing (23. September 2010)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0979616336
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979616334
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 24 x 17 x 3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 132.655 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Mean Deviation Revered former Metal Maniacs editor Jeff Wagner analyzes the heady side of metal in this exhaustive narrative history of a relentlessly ambitious musical subculture. Beginning with the hugely influential mid-1970s efforts of Rush and King Crimson, Wagner unfurls a huge tapestry of sounds and styles, including Queensryche, Fates Warning, and Dream Theater; extreme prog pioneers Voivod and Celtic Frost; Norway's post-black metal avant garde acts Ulver and Arcturus; and the 1990s global movement that spawned Ayreon, Pain of Salvation, and others. Fighting a tide of tradition and conservatism, progressive metal has proven to be one of the most viable, malleable...


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5.0 von 5 Sternen tolles buch 16. November 2012
Von pcyco
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf

super produkt und sehr informativ.
trotz nicht all zu grosser englischkenntnisse ist es leicht und flüssig zu lesen gewesen.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A metal phobic's review 22. April 2011
Von Snorkapotamus - Veröffentlicht auf
Before I review "Mean Deviaton: Four Decades of Progressive Metal," I have two disclaimers: First, metal has always frightened me. Second, the author Jeff Wagner is a friend of mine.

Accordingly, I opened the cover of Mean Deviation: Four Decades of Progressive Metal like a polite dinner guest forks up something fishy and gelatinous.

From the prologue, where he describes the evolution of "sex and violence" to "sax and violins," I relaxed and knew I was in for a treat. Soon I was munching away on old faves like King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Yes, Rush and old Genesis, which I was delighted to learn provided the foundation for decades of prog metal to come.

Jeff serves up rich portions. As a metal neophyte I could digest only a few pages at a time. It didn't take long, though, to get hungry again, and a day didn't pass where I didn't enjoy at least a taste of Mean Deviation.

One day when I was about halfway through the book Jeff and I were in the car somewhere and the name Ron Jarzombek popped into my head. Ron Jarzombek, of course, has played an instrumental role in the history of progressive metal, and appears frequently in the book. I mentioned to Jeff that I was waking up to the name Ron Jarzombek and thinking through the day Jarzombek this and Jarzombek that, saying things like "Honey would you pass the Jarzombek" and "Ow, I Jarzombeked my toe." Jeff chuckled and said, "That's funny. I'll have to tell him that."

This blew my mind, because reading Mean Deviation I assumed that Jeff had gotten most of his quotes and data from magazine articles or the internet or something. In fact (as he clarifies in small print about 10 pages from the end of the book) he interviewed all these prog gods personally.

He knows the people. He owns the albums. He lives the life. He thinks the thoughts. He wrote the book.

The day I finished Mean Deviation I no longer feared metal. I went online and bought three albums from Jeff's 50 recommended list. I like two of them.

Jeff Wagner is the prog metalssiah. His book is a bible because it is the final word on progressive metal. For now. Until metal progresses again. When that happens, and it already has, look for Jeff. He is there, listening, thinking, and taking notes.
11 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The Bible of progressive metal 8. Dezember 2010
Von Justin G. - Veröffentlicht auf
With Mean Deviation: Four Decades of Progressive Heavy Metal, former Metal Maniacs editor Jeff Wagner has penned the definitive analysis of progressive heavy metal in all its myriad forms. Starting with a look at early progressive artists like King Crimson, Black Sabbath and especially Rush, Wagner takes readers on a journey of progression that has some unexpected detours. Obviously, attention is paid to "the big three" of Fates Warning, Queensryche and Dream Theater, but equal emphasis is placed on the influential early works of Celtic Frost and Voivod. Wagner also devotes chapters to Watchtower's early "math metal," progressive thrash, innovations in the early Florida death metal scene, progression in the Swedish death metal scene, avant-garde Norwegian black metal offshoots, the Japanese progressive scene, the ProgPower and NEARfest events, and just about any kind of heavy metal where boundaries are being pushed to new extremes.

King Crimson, Black Sabbath, Rush, Fates Warning, Dream Theater, Queensryche, Celtic Frost, Voivod, Watchtower, Sieges Even, Anacrusis, Believer, Atheist, Death, Cynic, Borknagar, Arcturus, Sigh, Diablo Swing Orchestra, Therion, Pain of Salvation, Devin Townsend and Opeth are but a sampling of the bands Wagner covers in Mean Deviation, and for every band you're already familiar with, it seems like there's at least one you haven't yet discovered.

Taking a potentially controversial stand, Wagner makes it clear that there's a LOT more to progressive metal than Dream Theater worship. This is probably Mean Deviation's "line in the sand." We all know that there are scores of bands who are essentially playing music in the Dream Theater mold. Wagner makes it clear that while these bands may be playing what is known as Progressive Metal, there's very little about their music that is truly progressive. This may come as a shock to those expecting to read a book about bands like Circus Maximus, Manticora and Empty Tremor.

With a pace and style similar to Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal by Ian Christe (who edited this book), Mean Deviation is informative, enlightening and eminently readable, never getting too dry or clinical in its analysis of a genre that is by definition quite complex. Wagner's narrative as an obvious fan of the music ensures that while it is a painstakingly-researched book, it's also a labor of love and a real tribute to the artists it covers. The book includes plenty of quotes and inside information from the genre's heavyweights as well as some of its more obscure figures. It also features photos, cover art and interesting checklist-style appendices, not to mention an introduction by Porcupine Tree mainman Steven Wilson and illustrations by Voivod's Michel "Away" Langevin.

Progressive metal disciples are often seen as outsiders, even among metal fans. Mean Deviation is at once a validation of our love for this kind of unconventional music as well as a challenge to broaden our horizons even further. If you're a fan of progressive metal, Mean Deviation is your new Bible. Buy it. Read it. Then read it again, this time with a highlighter to note the bands Wagner covered that you aren't familiar with.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Mean Deviation 31. März 2011
Von Joe Henzler - Veröffentlicht auf
Having known the author for a few years, I was eager to dive into this book. Beginning with the pioneering acts of Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Rush and many others, Jeff Wagner begins the journey of progressive, and Progressive metal. Being a big fan of Rush, I knew this book would be very enlightening. Having never really plumbed the depths of King Crimson, or fully listened to the vast catalogs of Yes and Genesis, I prepared myself to explore a family tree that would reveal a whole new world of music.

As a metal fan at heart, I really appreciated learning about so many different bands, artists, genres and sub-genres that exist in the world of progressive music and heavy metal. The book is eye-opening in the fact that aside from the early groundwork, so many bands have contributed to the evolution of the music we all love. Even the mighty Black Sabbath were part of the progressive movement of heavy metal. The author covers a lot of time and focuses on core groups of bands and time frames and even countries that have been driving forces behind progressive heavy metal.

I had heard of the band Watchtower, but never knew how much they influenced others. I had listened to Celtic Frost in 1986, but even though I was not into that type of music at the time, this book makes any metal fan appreciate the progressive metal that was evolving at the time. That is the real beauty of this book. Jeff Wagner takes you back in time, and makes you remember things like: Yeah, I remember them, that album cover was totally cool, they had a video, I used to have that album on cassette or even vinyl! As a DJ at my college radio station, a metal show of course, I got exposed to some of the music the author covers. Any fan of progressive or heavy metal music will find familiarity in this book.

Even if you are a fan of The Big Three: Queensryche, Fates Warning and Dream Theater, Wagner will throw even more challenging groups and music at the reader. It will make you want to seek out and listen to music you may not have heard before. Norwegian Black metal may not be your thing, but when you peel away some of the stereotypes, you will find beautiful folk metal, acoustic music, metal riffs, and all the legend and myth that makes metal music appealing. Exploration and being daring enough to produce, record, perform and play progressive heavy metal was challenging for so many artists. From King Crimson to Rush to the Big Three, and across Europe and Scandinavia, Mean Deviation provides just that; a deviation from the usual heavy-metal and hard rock pathway. The influence and contribution of Voivod alone was very intriguing. Never heard of Cynic? You will, and this book will actually school you on who did what, where and why.

The book ties everything together nicely. Wagner even shows how some bands who one might think have nothing in common have shared the same stage or produced each other's albums. The book flows through time and hovers over specific bands, people and geographical regions just long enough to give the reader a healthy dose of heavy metal and progressive rock history. However, I feel like I have so much music I need to acquire to continue the journey. That is part of being progressive, right? Not settling for one specific style or genre or mode. Not staying in one place. My musical heroes have progressed, and so will this reader.

Joe Henzler
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Enjoyed it thoroughly, finished it quickly 8. Januar 2011
Von R. K. Foster - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
A good and insightful read, spanning the whole breadth of the "progressive" genre, up until the present day. I've enjoyed Jeff Wagner's writing back from the Metal Maniacs days, and I had a feeling that he would release quality material. I would recommend this to anyone who's even marginally interested in bands of this mindset. Two gripes, however:

1.) While there were quite a few quotes from luminaries of the genre, I would have perhaps like to have seen some more.
2.) If Jeff Wagner had used the word "clutch" one more time, I would have been tempted to make my way up to VA to punch him in the arm.

But really, these are just minor and personal things. Go read it!
7 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fantastic book for anyone interested in good music 27. November 2010
Von Downstream - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
This is an impressive book on the history of intelligent music which (for the most part) has flown completely under the mainstream radar. I've been amazed by how many new discoveries have been unearthed for me in this. If you are like me, and can never get enough new music - and you appreciate bands as diverse as Thought Industry, Opeth, The Paper Chase, Mono, Neurosis, Rush, Voivod, Ayreon, Porcupine Tree, The Gathering, Cynic, Ween, Death, Kevin Gilbert, Atheist - this book is for you. The production is very good too, with high quality paper/print/photos. Top notch all around.
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