Friday, December 15, 2017
the Top 10 Progressive Rock / Metal Albums of 2017
If you are looking for a bunch of noodling prog then you are reading the wrong blog. But noodling is not progressive because that along doesn't bring progress to your sound. Bands that stick to the same formula and just shred...also not progressing. So these bands all made albums that thought out of the box and took their sound some where else. They to have some very precise playing and some guitar solos too, but I need dynamics and songs that make me want to return to them. This list is by and large ranked according to what LastFM said I listened to the most , but might have the most deviance from this all of the lists I have done so far. I also added why the band beat out the band below them in case you were wondering, just like you are wondering why I have images of hot girls over these lists, it's just images that this music makes me think of of represent the feeling of the music. Prog is normally the lest sexual of all genres, but oh well it's my fucking blog.
10-The faceless - "In Becoming a Ghost"
Representing the modern metal core side of progressive heavy music. These guys have found a decent balance of showing off and writing something for the vocals to make sense of over. So this album is a hug improvement over the last one.
9- Elder -"Reflections of a Floating World"
The guitar heroics really take the spot light three and half minutes in. The layered production is very lush and it's clear these guys are not far removed from progressive rock.< Six minutes in and you are getting more surreal passages no quite Pink Floyd like in their trippy endeavors , but a slight hint they are wanting to steer the ship in that direction. They punch back in strong and you can already tell this album is going to be filled with interesting guitar tones. Why they beat out the Faceless, well it just flows better, the whole scene the Faceless comes from makes it feel a little stiff, this feels more natural.
8-Shores of Null- "Black Drapes of Tomorrow"
This Italian metal behind often finds themselves falling close to black metal if we are still referring to new Enslaved as black metal. This is the band's second album and it is very cleanly recorded. The mix is impeccable. The vocals are the first thing that is very different. The are a tightly harmonized baritone that I can understand why someone might compare it to Alice In Chains. They do drop into a lower goth like tone.The gruff vocals that eventually come are not as interesting as the sung vocals. One of the more unique metal albums I have heard this year which is why it trumps Elder
7- Apocalypse Orchestra- "the End is Nigh"
Folk metal can too happy and basically just drinking songs or they try to over do it and it turns into nu-metal with folk instrumentation. This band from Sweden, seems to have all of that balanced out pretty well. This is progressive in the sense it steps beyond the normal boundaries of folk metal or doom metal and takes you on more of a journey. It trumps Shores of Null, because I think the vision of this album is more focused.
6-Solstafir - "Berdreyminn"
I am a sucker for band's taking bizarre artistic turns like Disco era Kiss and New Wave era Alice Cooper. I like even the glam rock days of Celtic Frost. So this a weird shift for the Icelandic band to sound like the Cure and Neurosis colliding, is fine by me. So what you have is a very wide range of melodic dynamics and here is where the progress is made. It beats out Apocalypse Orchestra because the songs are more concise and draw you in.
5-Junius- "Rituals For Accretion of Light"
There are large doses post-rock flirting with the more rock side of metal in it's drive. They are generally very emotionally charged with a darker undercurrent. In the few places where they return to their Deftones fixation it is balanced out by synths or wandering out of the normal song structure. They beat Solstafir because they are darker and better song writers.
4- Mastodon - " A Cold Dark Place"
Taking another step away from being a metal band, this e.p is comprised for tracks left over from sessions from their past two albums, though according to Hinds the songs were written when he was going through a difficult break up which might explain the undercurrent linking them. I was more impressed by this than "Emperor of Sand" and think it goes more places emotionally and is more progressive.All reasons this also beats out Junius.
3-Pain of Salvation-" In the Passing Light of Day"
Prog rock in it's most conventional form is no longer my bread and butter like it used to be, I think because their idea of heavy and mine never align and the cheese filled wanking seem to be the mission of the day. That is not really the case with these guys, and while a ten minute song opening the album feels over indulgent to me the song is not half bad despite the heavy drama on the spoken word section. This is not their best album, but it is better than what most of the so called prog rock bands are putting out these days. Beat out Mastodon because it cover s wider scope.
2- Leprous- "Malina"
Not sure why I didn't cover this album, I guess I thought main stream metal culture would be covering this enough.It is however a solid album like Muse but from the perspective of Scandinavian metal. More compact and marginally less pretense than Pain of Salvation is what puts them here.
1 Igorrr- Savage Sinusoid
This project from France is collective that would like be beyond categorization, and while they can be broken down to the death metal sum of their parts they progress beyond metal and throw a collage of electronics and operatic vocals at you. I just trusting Last Fm on this as the top three albums are pretty neck and neck.