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Topic ClosedA look at the best prog albums through the years

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AtomicCrimsonRush View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 04 2011 at 07:10
Part 44: Prog Poll through the years 2010

Top 15 - Here is the prog poll for definitive albums of 2010.

This year saw some new bands bringing out awesome debut albums, and included a heavy approach to the music. The impressive list shows a diversity of styles from many countries and proves that prog rock is well and truly alive and kicking worldwide.
 
 
 


The Results: 

Poll Question: Choose your favourite album in the list
VotePoll ChoiceVotesPoll Statistics

12 [18.75%]

3 [4.69%]

10 [15.63%]

3 [4.69%]

0 [0.00%]

The Courage of Others - Midlake6 [9.38%]

1 [1.56%]

1 [1.56%]

4 [6.25%]

4 [6.25%]

0 [0.00%]

1 [1.56%]

7 [10.94%]

1 [1.56%]

2 [3.13%]

9 [14.06%]




Others were chosen:

Bateless Edge - Frogg Cafe

Frogg Cafe Bateless Edge album cover

Coyote - Kayo Dot


Iridule - Yugen


One-Armed Bandit - Jaga Jazzist


La Buona Novella - PFM 


Time Mirror - Par Lindh Project

Pikapika Teart - Moonberry

The Myth of Dying - The Psychedelic Ensemble

Lover's End - Moon Safari

X - Spock's Beard

Spocks Beard X album cover

Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up - Oceansize





 And the Winner by 2 votes is:



Whirld Tour 2010 - Live From Shepherd's Bush Empire, London - Transatlantic

 

My Review coming soon:


In second place:

Aquarius - Haken

My Review:

***** Haken presents a turbo-charged debut of metal pandemonium and jazz infested chaos; THIS is what makes Prog great!

Haken's debut is a knockout metal virtuoso rock jazzfest. The best debut I have heard in a long time. In fact it is not easy to break this album into songs as the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. After listening to this, one may be forgiven for thinking the band are sending up the prog genre, such is the ferocity of eclectic jazz styles, however this is no doubt one of the most innovative slices of creativity I have had the pleasure to experience; heavenly headphone bliss.

The first track encompasses everything great about prog. Jazz infused insanity, with carnivalesque whimsy and all out instrumental prowess. Haken are among the fast growing prog soaked movers and shakers of today, alongside colossal titans Dream Theater, Spock's Beard, Porcupine Tree and Opeth.

The band capture a broad coverage of the genre, melancholia, psych prog, permeated with heavy metal chords and frenetic jazz blasts. Then there are the mellotron washes flowing lucidly over the soundscape, enhancing the ambience. It doesn't last long as around the corner is a maelstrom of chugging riffs or jazzy drumming to send everything off balance. It certainly isn't background music.

The band launch into frenzied machine gun riffing on guitars and at one point there are some brilliant razor edge lead breaks on the album that fly off the scale, with speed picking, high string bends and screams all played with precision and finesse.

The death metal Opeth growls are surprisingly out of place, like a fish out of water, but they present a level of dark intensity. They appear on two occasions only on the album and on both really darken the atmosphere. Overall, however there is a humorous light weight edge with light hearted flings where many different instruments are added to the syndrome, such as a banjo, accordion, xylophone and perhaps even a kazoo.

It is a fun romp getting through the album. Everything bar the kitchen sink is thrown in to the mix. I like the fact the band don't hold back in their energy and creativity and take massive risks. Not everything comes off but it doesn't matter as this is so enjoyable. You are never sure what is going to happen next. At the end of the first listen I could not recall a single melody and this is true prog in the "Tales Of Topographic Oceans" vein. You know you have heard a prog album when afterwards not one melody springs to mind. However, on the second listen a lot of pieces come flooding back. I was waiting for the death metal growls and they really infiltrate the soundscape, like another song wanting to burst through the music. Surprisingly, although the band are not focussed on death metal, they certainly are able to measure up to the likes of stalwarts such as Opeth.

At times though it may appear the band are sending up the genre, injecting so many styles into one album, but that's like Mohavishnu Orchestra meets Dream Theater with a smattering of Opeth and Spock's Beard for me, and I can't complain. The weird bass lines are totally off the scale at times even sounding like a different time sig to the guitars. The drums are chaotic in places and downright fracturing the rhythms and I love that the song is driven in different directions by off beat sporadic drumming. I was reminded of Pain of Salvation's 'Fandango' drumming style at one point. The time sigs are interchanging constantly and just when you latch onto one sig, another breaks through without remorse. It is quite amusing listening to how the time sigs shatter into one another in a tongue in cheek fashion. The bursts of xylophone are particularly funny and the accordion actually made me laugh, like a bizarre theme park ride with that jaunty rhythm you hear on a merry go round; perhaps that was the band's intention, to create a side show of prog. The music is allowed to breathe though in the ballad sections with straight rhythm patterns and a nice vocal style, so it's all not all jazz disorder.

The Neal Morse-ian reflective vocal performances are well ordered and bring the intensity down. Indeed the voice has a nice range from high octave to straight balladic. There are moments that are curiously light hearted and sound more like an amusement park side show alley than a rock song. These moments are strange and the bizarre riffs with off kilter drumming show the band are into high voltage jazz fusion styles. You might think of King Crimson in these sections or even Triumvirat, though the Hammond sounds are used at a minimum.

Favourite tracks? Well, without looking at the tracklist, I loved the first 2 songs and the last epic in particular but I really don't want to split this into sections as it's so enjoyable from start to end. And the quieter ballad songs in the middle are great to break up the pandemonium, and I quickly got used to the vocal style of Jennings.

A word about the booklet; wonderful art work throughout, and very nice colours that are consistent and thematic of the mermaid carried by the shrouded figure. It works as an iconic image for the band and of course has adorned magazines and forums to herald the entrance of Haken onto the scene. I only want to say that this is the start of something very special. It could have been a masterpiece from a band who had been producing albums for years, and rightly sounds like it too, however this is a debut! It buries a lot of new albums from bands that have become tired and devoid of creative energy. Here, Haken have created a compelling dynamic listen; a stunning debut that should be given credit where it is due. If I were to be involved in a debut, this is the type of album I would dream of. Make no mistake, this album is packed with some of the most awesome innovative prog on the planet.



Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - October 20 2014 at 02:03
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2012 at 18:23
Great work. You are the Robert Christgau of Progarchives.
A crowd of millions is waiting to give you a massive ovation:
 
ClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClap


Edited by geneyesontle - May 24 2012 at 18:24
Poseidon wants to Acquire the Taste of the Fragile Lamb
- Derek Adrian Gabriel Anderson, singer of the band Geneyesontle
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2012 at 19:47
Originally posted by geneyesontle geneyesontle wrote:

You are the Robert Christgau of Progarchives.
Woah man no need to insult
I'm so mad that you enjoy a certain combination of noises that I don't
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2012 at 20:04
Originally posted by Slaughternalia Slaughternalia wrote:

Originally posted by geneyesontle geneyesontle wrote:

You are the Robert Christgau of Progarchives.
Woah man no need to insult
 
I was just doing a compliment to him.
Poseidon wants to Acquire the Taste of the Fragile Lamb
- Derek Adrian Gabriel Anderson, singer of the band Geneyesontle
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 31 2012 at 12:24
Hi,
 
Wow ... are there two of these threads? ... I'm not sure all thes pictures is making the thread any better ... prettier with all the collors ... but ...
 
I had some numbers on the other thread that merely listed these and had no pictures ...
 
Bummer!


Edited by moshkito - May 31 2012 at 12:25
... none of the hits, none of the time ... favoritism is not an artistic merit! www.pedrosena.com
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 13 2012 at 03:17
Hi Mosh and others, Yeah I was working on this tirelessly and ran out of years Wink


so now working on detailed reviews from varied proggers of the best prog albums through the years on other thread.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 02 2013 at 21:43
Oh wait. Another crowd of millions are giving you a round of applause:
 
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Poseidon wants to Acquire the Taste of the Fragile Lamb
- Derek Adrian Gabriel Anderson, singer of the band Geneyesontle
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 29 2014 at 07:20
You're too kind! 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2014 at 00:29
Very fun read! Interestingly enough I found my opinion to deviate from the norm more the further we went along.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 17 2014 at 17:38
Part 45: Prog Poll through the years 2011


well I have yet to compile this.

Working on it...


Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - October 20 2014 at 01:55
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2016 at 02:21
Wow I forgot to finish this. Oh well. It's nice to revisit tonight
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2016 at 05:08
A "Best of 1969" without the inclusion of "Phallus Dei" and "Sea Shanties" is in my opinion questionable. Yes, these two albums were named under "others", but they should have been included right away. Both groundbreaking albums. "Sea Shanties" is the definition of hard prog and "Phallus Dei" the definition of Krautrock,though it was not the first Krautrock album; that was "Psychedelic Underground", which was the first Krautrock album but rather like a blueprint (and I mean this in a negative way like "bad quality picture"). But "Phallus Dei" came shortly after that blueprint and was much better.


BaldJean and I; I am the one in blue.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2016 at 16:28
I agree but at the time I remember PA did not include them as top albums and the poll was based on votes from the top albums. Problem is it is a popularity vote and those albums especially Phallus are an acquired taste to many. Thanks for the feedback. It's just a bit of fun to be honest. Not to be taken too seriously. Though many have. lol.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 03 2016 at 03:12
Just stopping by to say hi. Haven't darkened this thread with my presence for 9 months. Glad to see it's still about. Cheers Prog on!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 03 2016 at 09:19
All hail AtomicCrimsonRush!
"It just has none of the qualities of your work that I find interesting. Abandon [?] it." - Eno
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2016 at 01:00
Wow didn't expect that. I'll take it. Cheers.
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