64 releases overall, 8 handpicked highlights: this is the Release Week of March 24, 2023!
Another week that crashes the 50 releases mark easily. If bands and artists continue like that, 2023 will be another record breaking year as far as releases featured here on The Progspace are concerned. But as long as we find amazing, diverse highlights like the new albums and EPs from Exploring Birdsong, Karfagen, Micheal Krumins, Spectral Lore, neànder, Within Progress, Autumn Tears & Ihsahn, we don’t mind at all! Bring ’em on! Dive into our weekly updated “RotW-Playlist” on Spotify and let us know your favorites of this massive week: https://theprogspace.com/rotw-playlist!
Exploring Birdsong - Dancing in the Face of Danger
Rejoice! UK trio Exploring Birdsong are finally back with a new EP! Ever since the release of their fantastic debut EP “The Thing With Feathers” about four years ago I’ve been craving for more of their addictive piano driven modern prog. And “Dancing in the Face of Danger” delivers all that I’ve hoped for in spades – and more. Luscious vocal harmony arrangement, tight, intricate grooves from the excellent rhythm section and the occasional Tigran Hamasyan piano djent outburst thrown in for good measure. Now the only thing missing for complete bliss is a couple more songs to make this a full length release, but for now, this will have to suffice. Lots of awesomeness squeezed into twentyfourandahalf minutes. Now imagine a full album of it.
Karfagen - Passage to the Forest of Mysterious & Birds
After we were Exploring some British Birdsong it’s off to the Birds in the Ukrainian Forest of Mysterious! Keyboard maestro Antony Kalugin is back not even three months after his last outing with Sunchild (“Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream”), with an epic album of what I gather to be his main project/band, Karfagen. On the Limited Edition double CD (available via Bandcamp and UK Label Caerllysi Music), you will find the brand new “Passage to the Forest of Mysterious”, 6 tracks, two of them epics, plus the single version ‘Birds of Passage and the Enchanted Forest’, which clocks in at just a second short of 10 minutes compared to the 19 minutes of the full version. On Disc 2, there’s an instrumental “Director’s Cut” of the 2020 Karfagen album “Birds of Passage”, with lots of new arrangements and surprises. All in all, this is a huge package of superb music, lots of value for little money and another must have for any progressive rock fan!
Michael Krumins - Infinity
Michael Krumins might be mostly known to a prog audience from his involvement as a guitar player for his fellow Norwegians from Green Carnation – and those who were lucky to catch him on their concerts last autumn – especially the (too) short “Acoustic Verses” tour in Northern Europe, know that he is a true virtuoso on the strings. Touring with Green Carnation, goth metallers Sirenia and world music collective Nutopia has led him around the world, and also in his private life he is a true nomad who has lived in Germany, The Netherlands, Mozambique, and on an Aegean island. Now resident in Athens, the multi-instrumentalist has distilled all those influences into his first solo album, “Infinity”. The mostly string-based instrumental songs blend sounds from the Mediterranean and Middle East, sometimes have a driving force, then create a droning ambient only to calm down to atmospheric soundscapes. The melancholic sound of a Greek bouzouki gives way to flamenco – the variety in styles on the album and even within the songs is almost infinite. Krumins has created a captivating journey, World Music in a true sense.
Spectral Lore - 11 Days
Ayloss is a very productive musician with many active projects, so he has two or three releases each year. Spectral Lore is probably his “main” group, a very respectable name in the atmo/progressive metal circles.
This is not only a music release but also “a statement of protest against the policies of the European Union regarding refugees and migrants”. Thousands of people, including children, have died during the last decade on the Aegean sea, trying to escape wars or in the hopes of a better life, and find themselves victims of push-backs and violence. A real event where three men survived for eleven days on a ship rudder is the inspiration for this EP.
It includes four haunting tracks that keep you engaged at all times. The blastbeats and growls add a layer of desperation and anger, and there are ambient influences throughout. At the very least, this EP is worth a purchase as all income from the digital version and 50% of the physical editions will be donated to pro-refugee organizations and causes. An amazing claustrophobic painted cover, and guest appearances from Nate Collins, Odile Aurora Strik and members of Yovel and VOAK complete this release.
neànder - odèm / yola des goz EP
Just in time for their several times postponed “Eremit” tour, starting in Dresden on April 13, Berlin based heavy instrumental horde neànder dropped a little two track EP called “odèm / yola des goz”, providing 10 minutes of top notch instrumental post/sludge epicness to whet your appetite for the upcoming live gigs! Where are you going to see them? The Munich date on April 24. is already highlighted for the South German chapter of The Progspace!
Within Progress - Shellac Live Session EP
To tide us over until the release of their second full length album, Greek newcomers have prepared a little live in studio EP “Shellac Live Session”, with three songs from their The Progspace Awards winning 2021 debut full length album “Inner”, performed live in the studio. The sound is absolutely crystal clear and the performance flawless. These guys belong on stage, I’m sure they’d be able to turn a few heads and make lots of new fans if they were given the opportunity to open for an established prog metal band on a European tour. Fingers crossed that this is gonna happen soon!
Autumn Tears - Guardian of the Pale
Easily the release with the most musicians involved, neo classical/soundtrack project Autumn Tears is back with “Guardian of the Pale”, a full on Autumn Tears project, after last year’s monumental double album “Widowing/Possessing” in collaboration with Zeresh. The double album features 16 songs with 9 world class singers trading lead vocal duties and a whole host of choir vocalists and a full blown orchestra. Initiator and main composer Ted Tringo once more knew exactly how to get the most of the unique timbres of all the singers involved which makes for an interesting, varied listen, if you wish to dive into more classical soundspheres for a change. If you’re looking for traditional rock instrumentation however, this is not where you’ll find it. If the absence of electric guitars and a drumkit doesn’t bother you though, you should risk a listen.
Ihsahn - Fascination Street Sessions
Even with ‘only’ two proper new prog metal songs (plus a little swedish pop cover version featuring Katatonia’s Jonas Renkse), Ihsahn’s “Fascination Street Sessions” EP is a worthy highlight of this massive release week. A collaborative effort with long-time producer Jens Bogren, those two songs are undoubtedly another display of Ihsahn’s superior songwriting skills. His last full length album was released five years ago already (2018’s “Ámr”), so after a couple of EP’s (“Telemark” and “Pharos” in 2020 and now the “Fascination Street Sessions”) it’s high time for the master to come forth with another full length album don’t you think? Well, he’s been posting a lot of studio updates here and there, pointing at various projects. So either way, I’m sure there’ll be plenty more Ihsahn music in the future, and it’s gonna be at least as awesome as ‘The Observer’ and ‘Contorted Monuments’. I somehow don’t think he’ll settle for less.
More releases for 24 March, 2023
- Ne Obliviscaris - Exul (Season of Mist) Bandcamp Read Our Review
- Arhios - Miscible Bandcamp
- Mono - Heaven, Vol. 1 (Pelagic Records) Bandcamp
- Woe Unto Me - Along the Meandering Ordeals, Reshape the Pivot of Harmony (M-Theory Audio) Bandcamp
- Shores of Null - The Loss of Beauty Bandcamp
- Marianas Rest - Auer (Napalm Records) Bandcamp
- Imaginaerium - The Rise of Medici (Crime Records) Bandcamp
- Kinetic Element - Chasing the Lesser Light (March 20, Melodic Revolution Records) Bandcamp
- Metasphaera - Metasphaera Bandcamp
- Scorched Moon - Obsidia (March 22) Bandcamp
- Illuminated Void - Veriditas (March 20, Altrusian Grace Media) Bandcamp
- Floor Jansen - Paragon
- Leprethere - Tarnished Passion Bandcamp
- Nick Llerandi - Noe II: The Shrike EP Bandcamp
- ApoxiomeN - Ilium Bandcamp
- The Adekaem - All the Dreams Bandcamp
- Timelapse Aurora - In Defeat, I See the Future Bandcamp
- Matt Geary - Ghost in the Western Trap? Bandcamp
- Lankester Merrin - Dark Mother Rises (Black Sunset/MDD Records)
- Acid Johnson - Metaphysical Mumbo Jumbo
- Basil’s Kite - Shooting Tsars Bandcamp
- A Road to Damascus - Darker Places (Prime Collective)
- Amplifier - Hologram EP (March 26)
- Spaceships - Ruins (Friend Club Records) Bandcamp
- The Black Cat's Eye - The Empty Space Between A Seamount And Shock-Headed Julia (Tonzonen Records) Bandcamp
- Aphotic - Abyssgazer Bandcamp
- Maze of Sothoth - Extirpated Light (Everlasting Spew Records) Bandcamp
- Back to R’lyeh - The Break Bandcamp
- Choir - Songs For a Tarnished World (Total Dissonance Worship) Bandcamp
- Liturgy - 93696 Bandcamp
- Endless, Nameless - Living Without (Silent Pendulum Records) Bandcamp
- HIRS - We’re Still Here (Get Better Records) Bandcamp
- Keep of Kalessin - Katharsis Bandcamp
- Void of Light - Enshroud EP (Trepanation Recordings) Bandcamp
- BABYMETAL - The Other One
- Hanging Garden - The Garden (Agonia Records) Bandcamp
- Dawn R’ayd - To Know the Light (Prosthetic Records) Bandcamp
- The Silversound - The Silversound (Cheersquad Records & Tapes) Bandcamp
- Les Dunes - Les Dunes (Kapitän Platte/Apollon Records) Bandcamp
- Sire - III: Silhouettes Bandcamp
- Angerot - The Profound Recreant Bandcamp
- Yevabog - Between Two Fires (March 21, Sliptrick Records) Bandcamp
- Las Trumien - Głód zabijania Bandcamp
- Cera Maven - Sequences EP Bandcamp
- Secret Machines - The Moth the Lizard, and the Secret Machines Bandcamp
- Excalion - Once Upon A Time (Scarlet Records) Bandcamp
- Serpentine Cerberus - At the End of an Age (March 22) Bandcamp
- August Burns Red - Death Below
- Franck Carducci & Mary Reynaud - Naked
- The Turin Horse - Unsavory Impurities (Reptilian Records) Bandcamp
- Ov Sulfur - The Burden ov Faith (Century Media Records)
- Cécile McLorin Salvant - Mélusine (Nonesuch Records) Bandcamp
- Depeche Mode - Memento Mori Bandcamp
- Stabbing Westward - Hallowed Hymns EP Bandcamp
- Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon - Live at Wembley Empire Pool, London, 1974
- Black Country, New Road - Live at Bush Hall (Ninja Tune) Bandcamp