*prognotes – Vektor’s Terminal Redux

Wikipedia has this to say about space opera: “Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, and often risk-taking, interplanetary battles, as well as chivalric romance”. While this definition is certainly accurate, it also downsizes one of the grandest, most expansive sub-genres of science fiction out there. Beyond the insane amount of terrible space opera (see Sturgeon’s Law for why this shouldn’t bother you), it has some of the most memorable and well thought out settings in science fiction literature (and beyond, but we are not getting into this discussion). Funnily enough, it also has some ties to metal: several albums draw on the space-oriented themes of the sub-genre to create their oppressive, rust-tinged settings, replete with beasts from beyond space and time, sentient spaceships and more.

However, this year we were treated to the best space opera setting in the history of metal with Vektor’s Terminal Redux. If by some insane reason you haven’t listened to this album yet (seriously, go listen to it RIGHT NOW), let me by way of an introduction tell you that it’s everything that progressive thrash should have been and wasn’t. It’s truly diverse, with choirs, technical tricks and much more to vary up the huge amount of riffs, and focuses on delivery and composition rather than just blistering displays of technicality. And, on top of all of that, it’s a concept album. It tells a classic space opera story: an outcast finds great (internal) power, returns to claim dominion, achieves stellar success, literally, only to realize that it all means nothing in the wake of the vastness of space and time. Along the way, we are treated to some of the most fleshed out characters in a concept album, complete with competing, interstellar empires, brutal enforcers, uncultured masses and a technology that changes everything, for better or for worst. And so, this album basically begs for a *prognotes post and here we are!

Small note for this specific post: it is highly recommended to listen to the album while reading these lyrics. Some of the sounds, instruments and progressions on the album only make complete sense when experienced via the lyrics (you’ll get a good example for this very soon, on the first track) so while it’s always advised to listen and read at the same, it’s doubly true here. Let us begin!

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To: Playlist Swap // 8/19/16

Even a cursory glance of our biweekly “What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To” posts (last week’s update here) will reveal that there is a great deal of variety among our staff’s musical tastes. Due to this, we brainstormed the idea of “Playlist Swap,” another biweekly segment that takes place between playlist updates. We randomly select two of the participants from each update, have them pick their favorite track from each of the nine albums in their grid and then send the list over to the other person to listen to and comment on. Within these commentaries occurs praise, criticism and discovery, and we hope that you experience a few instances of this last point as well. This week’s post has Scott and Jimmy 2 duking it out again, in what will surely be a battle for the ages: