Who would you say is the most musically talented band?

7ofnine

Well-known Member
I was listening to Hemispheres by Rush today. I still find this music interesting, and the musical talent/creativity of the band members is awesome. You can literally focus on any of the instruments and be amazed at the skill. The early stuff they produced in the prog rock era is just so varied.
It got me thinking, are there any other current bands who can match this talent and creativity.
Would be interested in any recommendations to expand my iTunes library.
 

overkill

Distinguished Member
I was listening to Hemispheres by Rush today. I still find this music interesting, and the musical talent/creativity of the band members is awesome. You can literally focus on any of the instruments and be amazed at the skill. The early stuff they produced in the prog rock era is just so varied.
It got me thinking, are there any other current bands who can match this talent and creativity.
Would be interested in any recommendations to expand my iTunes library.
I would say only a handful match or come close today. Not through lack of ability, but through lack of enough influences. The 70's rock fan was spoilt, as the bands of the late 60's and 70's drew on a wide variety of musical inspirations, blues, jazz, country, folk (both UK and US), rock and roll, even classical.

They were also schooled the hard way, and having minimal talent was soon found out on the (literal) road. Nowadays musicians tend to draw from a much shallower pool of musical ideas and the 'getting noticed by a rep' element is more important than simply 'getting it right' on the road to success.

Of the current crop I would put forward Tool, Opeth, Agalloch, Dream Theater as the main standard bearers of a more technical kind of rock.

Others doubtless, will disagree/take umbrage.
 

7ofnine

Well-known Member
Thanks Overkill. I'll check out those bands you mentioned. I'm looking for something a bit more interesting than the usual 4 minute 4/4 rock track. Rush also performed many staggeringly good instrumental tracks, such as 'La Villa Strangiato'. Their songs had variation and much to engage the interest of the listener.
 

overkill

Distinguished Member
Thanks Overkill. I'll check out those bands you mentioned. I'm looking for something a bit more interesting than the usual 4 minute 4/4 rock track. Rush also performed many staggeringly good instrumental tracks, such as 'La Villa Strangiato'. Their songs had variation and much to engage the interest of the listener.
No worries. Be aware that Opeth and Agalloch are both 'progressive death metal'. In other words you have Death metal 'singing', sorry, 'roaring' in places. ;)

However, once you get over that hurdle (should it prove to be one!) then the intricate musicianship on the highly rated albums like, 'Blackwater park', 'Damnation', 'Deliverance', and 'Ghost Reveries' by Opeth and the epic 'Mantle' and 'Ashes against the Grain' by Agalloch should reward repeated listening.
 

7ofnine

Well-known Member
Yes the singing style of Opeth and Agalloch are a bit of an acquired taste, but there's no doubting the musicianship. I like the tracks I've previewed from Dream Theater, you can really hear the influences of Rush and Yes. This is just the sort of stuff I was looking for. Thanks for the recommendations.
 

karkus30

Banned
Tool :thumbsup:

Unique in the same way as Floyd and Rush. You can tell these sort of bands because the same questions always get asked......'can you tell me a band similar to X' Same question asked about Tool.

No monster vocals either and Maynard has a fantastic voice. Live, they are the equal of Rush.

In terms of technical brilliance try Meshuggah. I can't lie to you, they are a very difficult band to like and it takes an awful lot of listening to get to first base. You will hate it for the longest time and monster vocals are unfortunately in the mix.

Other bands to try are Primus and Isis. Maybe some Symphony X which is the strangest of things to listen to.

Opeth, Agalloch and DT have been mentioned.

I have to say that I don't think DT are in the same league as Rush. They have simililar techical skills but lack the outright craft that Rush have.

Just thought I might add a couple that might appeal: Living Colour, Kings X, Pain of Salvation and Battles. None of these sound anything like Rush and they probably have a different set of musical skills. Living colour are just amazing, POS do something similar to Rush but not as well, but are often compared with them (drummer is no where near Peart). The other band that gets mentioned alongside Rush is Coheed and Cambria.
 
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pmc

Active Member
Opeth actually depress me when I watch a live DVD. I play guitar and just end up thinking 'whats the point'. I feel like a chimpanzee watching a Saturn 5 rocket taking off. It's just a whole different level of achievement.


And add Porcupine Tree to the list. Less aggressively metal vocals than Opeth. And in fact similar to Rush in many ways. A long and varied career but technical excellence being a thread all the way through.
 
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overkill

Distinguished Member
Opeth actually depress me when I watch a live DVD. I play guitar and just end up thinking 'whats the point'. I feel like a chimpanzee watching a Saturn 5 rocket taking off. It's just a whole different level of achievement.


And add Porcupine Tree to the list. Less aggressively metal vocals than Opeth. And in fact similar to Rush in many ways. A long and varied career but technical excellence being a thread all the way through.
Cheers PMC, I forgot Porcupine Tree! Of course, with Porcupine Tree and Rush there is a connection as in Lifeson plays on 'Fear of a Blank Planet'.
 

karkus30

Banned
Cheers PMC, I forgot Porcupine Tree! Of course, with Porcupine Tree and Rush there is a connection as in Lifeson plays on 'Fear of a Blank Planet'.

Apart from FOABP. PT seem a bit......hmm, not sure how to describe it, lacking somehow. Second division maybe. I saw them live and enjoyed the gig, Anasthetize was brilliant. Some of the tracks just seem like filler. They are reasonable but don't set any fires burning, a bit progressive musak.

I was going to add them to the list originally and then decided not to, I was actually thinking that you wouldn't add them, so I wouldn't :D
 

witters

Well-known Member
Have a listen to Mostly Autumn. Prog rock at it's best I'd say. Might not be heavy enough for you but still worth a listen. They have a compilation cd out at the moment called Pass The Clock which includes a most of there best stuff. All very talented musicians.
 
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HMHB

Distinguished Member
I'm struggling to think of any other than the ones mentioned above. It's a sad reflection on today's music scene. As pointed out above, bands these days don't go through the "apprenticeship" the bands used to do in the good old days! Back then, they'd have been performing live at all types of venues up and down the country for ages before getting anywhere near a record deal or the television and stardom.

You look at the old footage of the early days of Led Zeppelin and you'll see straight away that each member of the band is accomplished in the instrument (or voice) they play.
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
Someone who I've just thought of, but not to everyone's taste is Joe Bonamassa. I do like his stuff :thumbsup:
 

pmc

Active Member
Apart from FOABP. PT seem a bit......hmm, not sure how to describe it, lacking somehow. Second division maybe. I saw them live and enjoyed the gig, Anasthetize was brilliant. Some of the tracks just seem like filler. They are reasonable but don't set any fires burning, a bit progressive musak.

I was going to add them to the list originally and then decided not to, I was actually thinking that you wouldn't add them, so I wouldn't :D

You need to be careful with PT as they vary quite a bit through their career. I think I've posted this before, but anyway here's how I break it down.

Early - Space Rock
* On the Sunday of Life (1991)
* Up the Downstair (1993)
* The Sky Moves Sideways (1995)

Mid - Melancholy rock
* Signify (1996)
* Stupid Dream (1999)
* Lightbulb Sun (2000)

Late - Progressive metal
* In Absentia (2002)
* Deadwing (2005)
* Fear of a Blank Planet (2007)
* The Incident (2009)

I really like the early space rock and later prog metal stuff but find the middle 3 albums pretty meh.

Have you listened to The Incident? If you liked FOABP then I suspect you'll like that one as well.
 

karkus30

Banned
You need to be careful with PT as they vary quite a bit through their career. I think I've posted this before, but anyway here's how I break it down.

Early - Space Rock
* On the Sunday of Life (1991)
* Up the Downstair (1993)
* The Sky Moves Sideways (1995)

Mid - Melancholy rock
* Signify (1996)
* Stupid Dream (1999)
* Lightbulb Sun (2000)

Late - Progressive metal
* In Absentia (2002)
* Deadwing (2005)
* Fear of a Blank Planet (2007)
* The Incident (2009)

I really like the early space rock and later prog metal stuff but find the middle 3 albums pretty meh.

Have you listened to The Incident? If you liked FOABP then I suspect you'll like that one as well.

Yes, I have the album and went to see the gig. I don't think it's in the same league as FOABP and left me a bit cold.
 

Palladio

Well-known Member
I'm not familiar with all the Bands quoted in this thread but have been around long enough to realise that no matter how musically talented and accomplished a band may be they can be so easily b***** boringly awful to listen to.

I think the art and I choose the word wisely as I think it is an art rather than something you can practise for years and years until you can play the most complicate piece of music on this planet, is not how well you can play as to how well you can write the stuff. A good song or tune can give you goose bumps without it being played by a brilliant muscian.

At the same time that doesn't mean all these cover bands are worth their salt. The songs may sound familar but they sure ain't the same thing.

The magical element seems to be a combination of many things and also has to take into account the synergy and understanding or indeed anger between the band members which makes a huge difference.

Just my opinion after overdosing on "progressive rock" in the 70's. Thank God for Punk, Krautrock and good old Thames Delta R'n'B. :thumbsup:

On the other hand maybe The Timelords had it sussed when they released their 1989 book called The Manual (How to Have a Number One the Easy Way), a step-by-step guide to achieving a number one hit single with little money or talent. :devil:
 

karkus30

Banned
I'm not familiar with all the Bands quoted in this thread but have been around long enough to realise that no matter how musically talented and accomplished a band may be they can be so easily b***** boringly awful to listen to.

I think the art and I choose the word wisely as I think it is an art rather than something you can practise for years and years until you can play the most complicate piece of music on this planet, is not how well you can play as to how well you can write the stuff. A good song or tune can give you goose bumps without it being played by a brilliant muscian.

At the same time that doesn't mean all these cover bands are worth their salt. The songs may sound familar but they sure ain't the same thing.

The magical element seems to be a combination of many things and also has to take into account the synergy and understanding or indeed anger between the band members which makes a huge difference.

Just my opinion after overdosing on "progressive rock" in the 70's. Thank God for Punk, Krautrock and good old Thames Delta R'n'B. :thumbsup:

On the other hand maybe The Timelords had it sussed when they released their 1989 book called The Manual (How to Have a Number One the Easy Way), a step-by-step guide to achieving a number one hit single with little money or talent. :devil:

Passion plus musicianship is what it takes IMO.

One reason I like Nirvana so much is the incredible energy and passion in the music. They would never have reached the dizzy heights of musicianship that the above bands have reached but in many respects you don't need to for pop music, just produce a good tune that's catchy. Beatles and Abba had that knack.

Slightly, even more off topic:
I remember being in the 'I hate Abba club' many years ago (and I don't own any of the albums to this day), however when' The winner takes it all' was released I grudgingly agreed it was something a bit special.
 

Palladio

Well-known Member
Passion plus musicianship is what it takes IMO.

One reason I like Nirvana so much is the incredible energy and passion in the music. They would never have reached the dizzy heights of musicianship that the above bands have reached but in many respects you don't need to for pop music, just produce a good tune that's catchy. Beatles and Abba had that knack.

Slightly, even more off topic:
I remember being in the 'I hate Abba club' many years ago (and I don't own any of the albums to this day), however when' The winner takes it all' was released I grudgingly agreed it was something a bit special.

Agree on both counts, Nobody did Grunge like Nirvana. I had tickets for 2 nights for the UK tour and he went and shot himself.... also have to admit having Abba's greatest hits (The wife's, honest Gov....) and being dragged out on a Family 'do' to see Mama Mia, an absolute horrendous night, why do I hate musicals with a passion ? Oooops..Save that for another Thread)

Not sure I agree with the word "catchy". Brings to mind some terrible adverts on the Box.:eek:
 

karkus30

Banned
and being dragged out on a Family 'do' to see Mama Mia, an absolute horrendous night, why do I hate musicals with a passion ? Oooops..Save that for another Thread)

Not sure I agree with the word "catchy". Brings to mind some terrible adverts on the Box.:eek:

I really hate musicals. I think it's because it mixes visuals with music and for me that is like having a piece of Victoria cream sponge with a Vindaloo. Sister went to see it and hated it.

You know what I mean by catchy.........and it's not the shake an vac advert :D
 

Jack Hackett

Active Member
I agree with 'Rush'. A great band & each member a fantastic player ! 'Dream Theater' are amazing players but some of the material leaves me cold. I would recommend having a listen to some of the Jazz/Rock fusion people like 'Return to forever' & 'The Mahavishnu Orchestra' as the playing on some of that stuff is scary !

'King Crimson' from the time of Red are hard to beat. That album has influenced so many people & I think 'Nirvana' & most of the Seattle grunge guys would agree. If you don't know it, check it out !
 

Philly112

Distinguished Member
I agree with 'Rush'. A great band & each member a fantastic player ! 'Dream Theater' are amazing players but some of the material leaves me cold. I would recommend having a listen to some of the Jazz/Rock fusion people like 'Return to forever' & 'The Mahavishnu Orchestra' as the playing on some of that stuff is scary !

'King Crimson' from the time of Red are hard to beat. That album has influenced so many people & I think 'Nirvana' & most of the Seattle grunge guys would agree. If you don't know it, check it out !


People here will know me as a great John MCl and MO 'fan'. But I think RTF were dreadful... Not Chick Corea, just that band. The ELP of the fusion era. Their reunion gigs a couple of years ago were just as bad. (Corea excepted)


Check out this book on the MO

Power, Passion And Beauty: The Story of the Legendary Mahavishnu Orchestra : The Greatest Band that ever was: Amazon.co.uk: Walter Kolosky: Books


Phil
 

unique

Moderator
perhaps the most musically talented band of all time is the miles davis bitches brew line up, which is pretty much weather report with miles davis. it won't be everyones cup of tea, and i can imagine a lot of people not used to diverse music would hate it on first listen, but these guys probably know more about the individual instruments they play and chord structures than you would think theoretically possible

miles davis was a true musical genius, he really stretched the boundaries of jazz music and played with most of the best musicians in the umpteen decades he performed in, with a sound changing from bop in the early days to jazz funk, funk rock and even working with rappers in his later period. he alienated audiences by completing changing his style, and thought nothing of it. he made his horn sound like a guitar by putting it through a wah pedal, and upsetting a huge amount of his fanbase, but drew an overall bigger audience. his band line ups have always been a who's who of the jazz world, but the bitches brew lineup was arguably one of the most talented bands of all time
 

theimageofall

Standard Member
Hey there.

I don't normally post on forums but, seeing as you're discussing my favourite type of music, I'll add a few:

Oceansize (amazing!)
Pure Reason Revolution (1st album)
The Out Circuit
The Coma Recovery

If you're into time changes & different time signatures, with proper vocals rather than a growl (The Out Circuit & the Coma Recovery have a couple of screams, but nothing too heavy) hopefully the above will fit the bill.
 

huwg

Active Member
As a bunch of musicians I think The Mars Volta are pretty good, but they tend to get carried away in self indulgence. Their first two albums Deloused in the comatorium and Francis the Mute are probably their best. A bit like rush in places too. Certainly try before you buy though as they are pretty intense. Spotify is your friend.

I also agree with the suggestions for Primus (the claypool, herb and lalonde line up), Tool and Porcupine Tree (fear of a blank planet is good). There are quite a few groups from the 70's who have been mentioned I would add the mahavishnu orchestra in terms of technical prowess as a band. but that does not necessarily mean the music is great, just that they can play. Edit - just seen that they have already been mentioned
 
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Tom Tom

Well-known Member
In terms of great musicians with a standard tune, Van Halen. Loads of talent and a catchy song.

If you like Dream Theater then Liquid Tension Experiment will be a great listen.

It's basically them without the singer. (and at the time Jordan Rudess was not in DT)

I quite like Black Tide, (not a patch on Rush, but for kids they are talented)

(If you don't use Last FM, try it. It links tracks together quite well)
 

karkus30

Banned
Chaps, the OP question was::

It got me thinking, are there any other current bands who can match this talent and creativity

So Miles Davis etc is not want they are looking for. This is why it is particualrly difficult for the OP to find new music. :nono::nono::smashin:
 

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