Some people believe that chakra, a Sanskrit word meaning "circle," refers to an energy center, a place where the physical body and the "mind" meet as one, where things like aural sensations become visceral stimulations in certain parts of our bodies. If that all sounds like a bunch of seduce-you-spiel, New Age malarkey (see: Sting's Tantric sex stories), think about the last time a song just grabbed you right in the crotch (was it Donna Summer's fake orgasm in "Love to Love You"? Maybe Robert Plant's fake orgasm in "Whole Lotta Love?"). Point is, music is made to move people, and in the case of metal, it's always seemed to move that part of us that dwells deep in our guts, ready to roar, stomp on the gas pedal, and mow down everything that pisses us off. "Prog metal" taps the same primal rage but is tempered by a cerebral pit stop that serves to remind us why we're pissed off first. Los Angeles "post-rock/post-metal" band The Red Sparowes are so intellectual, so adept at cramming thousands of years of philosophy between epic, experimental soundscapes, that they're not even prog — they're post-prog. They're post-everything. The band's latest album, 2006's Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun (Neurot), tells the story of the tragedies China suffered during the rule of Mao Zedong, and one of the shorter track titles is "Millions Starved and We Became Skinnier and Skinnier, While Our Leaders Became Fatter and Fatter." So put down that beer, metal man — this music isn't going for your liver. It's coming straight for your head.
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