Here are some new albums that have been added to rotation so far this month:
Haken – The Mountain. Excellent prog with far-reaching depth and breadth. I wouldn’t pigeonhole them as a prog metal band, but when they get heavy, it’s pretty darn heavy. The really impressive thing is how the vocals are so well done and the non-heavy parts – there are plenty of them – don’t sound like they’re only there to make the heavy parts pop out.
Haken – Visions. I got this one because it seems we somehow missed the boat on it. It’s also good, although I think The Mountain is better. This one focuses more on being heavy, not that there isn’t still plenty of variety.
Prog Collective – Epilogue. Billy Sherwood’s latest effort with the usual all-star prog lineup. In my opinion, it’s a mixed bag. I liked the later tracks (“side 2”) of the album better, but maybe it was just because at that point I knew what to expect from the songs.
Ampledeed – A is for Ampledeed. This is a side project from some of the members of The Source. It was born out of some late night jam sessions and is some rather unusual stuff that can only be the result of a lack of sleep. That’s not to say that the playing is lazy or tired or sloppy, it’s just that the ideas that come up after midnight are not usually the same ones you’d think of at 6 PM.
Adeia – Hourglass. Here’s some prog metal, but with a twist… one of the band leaders is a violinist. There’s also a cellist. They make great use of this to create the effect of something like a metal band with a string quartet. The melodies are accessible but the harmonies are something of a stretch for the ears. The vocals are a mix between the clean melodic vocals and growling styles.
Regal Worm – Use and Ornament. This is some really creative and exciting eclectic prog. The sounds, instrumentation, subject matter, stories, all of it… it’s just unusual. And that’s a good thing. It’s certainly not cookie-cutter prog. Whatever that is, if it even exists.
Anakdota. There’s no album here, the band has only recorded two singles thus far. I really hope there’s an album to come, I rather liked these two songs. They’ve basically made pop music with a great sense of humor and some of the proggiest playing around. There’s no guitar player, but you won’t miss it.