The second album by German instrumental progsters A Cosmic Trail, "II: Mistral" is marketed by its label Pure Prog as a progressive metal album.
This is not completely wrong, but there is more to the album's seven tracks than pure progressive metal. Granted, there are plenty of metal elements in the form of chucking riffs and distorted guitars accompanied by pounding drums. However, there are just as many atmospheric and mellow passages on the album as there are heavy ones, as A Cosmic Trail draws on other genres, such s jazz fusion and psychedelic rock as well as, of course, progressive rock. Much like the music on Yes' "Tales from "Tales from the Topographic Oceans", the tracks on "II: Mistral" have the form of massive auditive vistas with multiple layers and moods, ranging from the dark and bleak to the more uplifting.
This album is more than progressive metal, and it has just as much in common with the likes of Yes, Genesis, and King Crimson as it does with, way, Opeth or recent Enslaved. Still, there are enough metal elements on this album that, if you like progressive rock and also happen to be a metalhead, there should be plenty of good stuff for you on "II: Mistral".
(review originally posted at metalmusicarchives.com)