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July 15, 2015

A Refresher in Prog

A friend asked on Facebook for suggestions of prog bands/albums they should check out and I ended up suggesting a whole lot of things and providing a little explanation for each one.

It was relatively quickly thrown together, and the intention was to provide a variety of listens so that they could work out the kind of thing they are into.  For my own benefit, I'm copying it across to here.  Who knows, someone else might find it useful.

I'll also add to this as I remember/hear stuff.

More accessible but still clever to listen to

Cog - Sharing Space

Ozzy prog with a heavy political element, like prog Bob Dylan

Spock's Beard - Octane

Less crazy again, not a concept album but great melodies with wicked time changes

Long Distance Calling - Avoid the Light

More post-rock than prog but ace musicianship and some storming riffs.

Maybeshewill - Sing the Word Hope in Four Part Harmony

More post-rock and more up-tempo/foot tapping, it's hard to be political with no vocals, but they use film/tv samples cleverly to get their point across.

Heavier and a bit more mental in timings...

Animals as Leaders - Animals and Leaders

Basically one guy doing all the work on an 8-string guitar, crazy timings and some genius guitaring.

Chimp Spanner - At the Dream's Edge

Lone wolf again, lots going on and some epic build-ups.

Tesseract - Concealing Fate

Just epic, a stunning concept EP, also available to watch "live in the studio" if you want to see how mental some of the playing is.

Concept and getting weirder...

Ayreon - The Human Equation

The story of a man in a coma, voices done by lots of famous metal people including Devin Townsend. All Ayreon's albums are concept and of varying degrees of weird.

Spock's Beard - Snow

SB get listed again because this is an ace concept album and they do some amazing vocal tricks.  This was when Neal Morse was still in the band and he wrote this as he was discovering his faith, which shows in the lyrics and is the stronger for it.

Concept + super heavy....

So one band is getting 2 albums here because they are about my favourite band ever, I even saw them play the whole of the first album through and the way it sweeps from melody to blast and back again is wonderful.

Between the Buried and Me - Colors

Their first concept album but has defined their style from then on.

Between the Buried and Me - The Parallax II: Future Sequence

Very Rush-style intro and much more refined than Colors, goes all over the place but still self-references throughout.

The Contortionist - Exoplanet

Noisy, complicated and driving.

That should keep you busy for a while!