The seeds for Vargton Projekt started 2006 when Mats Hedberg (BFH) contacted Morgan Agren (Frank Zappa/Mats Morgan band) to collaborate together after hearing his drumming on a Fredrik Thordendal (Meshuggah) album. First intended to be an instrumental album Hedberg invited Bjorn Jansson (Tears Of Anger, Ride The Sky) to put some vocals on selected tracks. Additional participants include Keyboardist Hans Lundin (Kaipa) and Lion Music chief Lars Eric Mattsson performs some guitar solos.
As the title, ProgXprimetal, might suggest this album is experimental progressive metal with emphasis on the guitar of Hedberg and drums of Agren. However, from the outset you may wonder about the latter. Agren's drumming, to these ears, only came to the forefront in the latter half of the work. Mostly, the album is a fusion of rock, metal, some near eastern influences (thanks to Hedberg's sitar use), and lots of simply avant garde experimentation. You here some of this early on Jaipur, an eclectic arrangement highlighting Hedberg. The Birka Trilogy, in the first part, gives hints to Agren's participation and prowess, but seems more another showcase for guitar. Largely the music of ProgXprimetal is quite intellectual, more geared to the technician than to the sofa relaxing listener. Yet Vargton Projekt can be accessible as on the friendly and spirited Allegro Vivace.
The real power of Hedberg and Agren begin with Outrott and continue to the end. The vocals are gone, and both musicians seem to allow more freedom of creativity and expression in the arrangements. Experimentation, fusion, and real technicality are at a premium here. Most notable are Vargton and Tokeri 1 & 2.
Perhaps the strangest portion of ProgXprimetal was the inclusion of vocals on several tracks. The music so eclectic and experimental that Bjorn Jansson seems to spend most of his time trying to catch up or simply trying to figure out what to do. I'm not sure the vocals were all that necessary.
Vargton Projekt's ProgXprimetal is rather challenging experimental progressive metal, not exactly easy listening or conventional. But it is creative and engaging.