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Stride - Imagine

Label: Sensory
Format: CD
Released: 2005
Reviewed By: Kevin Alba

This has been one hell of a year for great Progressive Metal releases. I rank Stride’s new album right up there with the debut of Circus Maximus "The 1st Chapter" and Pagans Mind "Enigmatic Calling" which are my two other favorite prog releases of the year.

 

This band is obviously doing something right as they just opened the 6th installment of ProgPower USA which is North America’s biggest and most prominent Prog/ Power metal music festival. It is obvious with every prog review that you are gonna some how draw a comparison to Dream Theater. There are many clones out there and many bands that try to sound like Dream Theater. Stride do show a good deal of influence but the band goes way beyond just sounding like another Dream Theater. There is a great deal of AOR sound fused with this well crafted progressive metal which along with Dream Theater brings bits and pieces of Journey and Kansas to the table making things interesting. Guitar melodies add the appropriate touches to various songs.

Vocalist Gary Belin will have you thinking of Steve Perry during many instances throughout the album. With a Barry Manilow, yes I said Barry Manilow, classy piano, the balladesque 'Time' with a very rich chorus and melody line is a highlight.

Stride along with Circus Maximus (who also played ProgPower USA this year) should play a big role in the future of Progressive Metal. In a few short years I can see these bands having much bigger fan bases and possibly returning to the ProgPower stage in a higher slot.

 
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