What does it mean to sound progressive? I bet there are at least several ways to answer. Some of the artists work out their compositions, paying attention to even minuscule details, while others just make fun. Selected Goosebumps blog presents a collection of prog rock and prog metal albums (well, going out of these genres at ease).
1. Light Field Reverie – Another World (2020)
🇳🇿 We start our journey from New Zealand and magnificent work by the local collective, Light Field Reverie. Like a lightning bolt, it crushes the darkness and lets Another World to come.
The compositions demonstrate alliance of the guitar sound, piano and synths. No doubt, beautiful vocals by Heike Langhans make the atmosphere of Light Field Reverie complete and so attractive.
The trio touches the meaning of the life and the death, the cosmic scales through a tiny heart of the human with its feelings and loneliness. Face to face to something which lives deeply inside, one can simply dissolve in this music…
2. Aleph א – Kairos (2021)
🇵🇱 The album by Aleph א is mosaic. Plenty of particles aligned in a rows and patterns. Diverse voices, some seem familiar and the rest are total strangers.
These Poles do not hurry. Instead, the band gradually unveils its world full of surprises. You walk in, like in a strange forest, not really realizing that you are already captivated.
There’s no way back, as these songs will follow you by their catchy riffs, humble melodies and unexpected bursts. Check “Resistance”, for instance, and you will not be able to resist.
3. Qirsh – Aspera Tempora (2020)
🇮🇹 Qirsh is a septet coming from Savona, Italy. The music they create is truly versatile. I bet you’ll listen a bunch of genres and variations, all joined in unconventional way.
From easy-listening and power pop intonations, to complicated progressive structures prepared for all sort of listeners. In case you are not that familiar with progressive music, “Aspera Tempora” is a perfect starting point.
From time to time, I caught myself frozen, just being absorbed by Qirsh’ compositions. Mild whisper was leading me to a quite strange continuum, and finally I realized it’s exactly Aspera Tempora, tough times, depicted by the music.
4. Melua – Melua (2020)
🇫🇮 Let’s switch for a while to a great piece of rock. Finnish power quartet Melua has prepared their debut album, involving cool rhythms, temperate psychedelia, portion of prog, and clear vocals.
We inhale this matter and breathe. Slowly the sound wave pours into, and through the veins it comes to the cells, causing the chain reaction.
Lost somewhere in the galactic, we try to find our path, and Melua helps us to focus on this fact and our ignorance of what we are and where we go.
5. Bersærk – Sol (2020)
🇩🇰 On the opposite shore of the Baltic see, lives Danish Bersærk. Remarkable beast, and pretty interesting band to explore.
Taking good old metal in their hands, these guys apply so varied influences that we are going to get lost easily. From pop to the heaviest groovy stuff, making it melodic and abrupt, adding both vulnerability and rage, here is “SOL” at the end.
Need to mention the lyrics in Danish. This really makes a difference and amplifies the music by Bersærk!
6. Mountain Caller – The Truthseeker (2020)
🇬🇧 Another sip of progressive sound, this time beautiful and terrific.
Mountain Caller, the band from London UK, consists of two ladies playing guitar and bass, and the guy on drums. Together they are telling stories, no need to use words and cries. Just the music.
And they do it brilliantly. By jamming and going beyond the horizon, flying above the melody and working out massive riffs. Wide soundscapes are expanding in their compositions, being pierced by powerful progressive structures.
7. Perora – Time Is an Illusion (2020)
🇵🇱 This EP by Adam Wilczak of Polish PERORA continues our journey through experimental guitar sound. The release shows a deft juggling of instrumental rock, prog and post-rock elements. A good proof that no rule is needed to classify good quality music.
Here we have three compositions in the middle pace and lots of improvisations, done intelligently and thoroughly. Not sure about the title though, as the author took time to create it…
Seriously, we still know nothing about the time, and Adam reminds us about this.
8. Wolfy Mendes – Beyond Here (2021)
🇧🇷 Wandering further, we meet Wolfy Mendes, residing in Uberlândia, Brazil. He explores the guitar-driven experimentation and post-whatsoever domains.
With the “Beyond Here” album, Wolfy arrives at a continuum, where both directions are equally important. Thus, catchy riffs and patterns in his compositions give way to abstractions and portions of shoegaze, and vice versa.
This album is like a diary, or a collection of insights, which has been coming around and fading away.
Get this album via bandcamp
9. The Rare Sound Machine – Strategic Plan to Conquer the World (2021)
🇪🇸 The Rare Sound Machine is created in Spain by Alvar Diez (guitars), Jorge G. Gombau (bass), and Karim Benaissa (drums). The power trio sounds pretty much progressive while sharing the love to improvisations and involving inner feelings in the music.
To me, this EP has a certain Spanish temper. However, the sound appears to be universal, I mean that the guitar solos and incorporated patterns indicate the group’s level and their global vision.
I’d call the last piece, “Bajau Laut”, my pick out of the album. So complicated, in a good sense, atmospheric and groovy. Went headbanging not once while listening to it.
10. Plini – Impulse Voices (2020)
🇦🇺 Plini desribes himself as a bedroom musician from Sydney, Australia. For sure, you will be surprised how far this music spread out of his bedroom.
“Impulse Voices” was recorded in a company of good musicians, with a leading guitar in Plini’s hands. He is the author of all music and arrangements. Catchy solos, exquisite passages, tricks and a lot of fun, that’s what you’ll get by putting on this album.
Sometimes Plini sounds pretty mathy. Not academical though, so you can slack off a little bit, close your eyes and simply enjoy.