April 2022 says goodbye with a massive release week
We cracked the 40 releases mark again this week! Plus 5 highlights from Dario and 1 highlight from Colin! What do you need? Heavy rock? Norwegian post prog? Classic italian prog rock? Classic swedish prog rock? Electronic fusion from Belgium? Or a death metal split EP? We’ve got it all! Dive in!
The Prize - The Prize (April 27)
Mid-week hard rock mayhem: french/belgian supergroup of sorts The Prize dropped their self-titled debut album on Wednesday already – and a total banger it is, as expected! Powerhouse vocalist Maggy Luyten (Ayreon, Beautiful Sin, Beyond the Brige, ex-Nightmare) teamed up with French jazz metal trio Mörglbl to churn out 52 minutes and 42 seconds of blistering hard rock of the highest caliber. Not the proggiest highlight by far for this week, but all the aspects like quality, musicianship and overall attitude and fun of this project are just so exuberantly awesome, that I simply have to highlight it! Enjoy, have fun and rock on!
Delvoid - Swarmlife
Could it be? Is it just me or are Tool slowly becoming another The Flower Kings? Ok ok I admit, that comparison might only make sense in my head. But hear me out. For a long time already, I consider most side-projects that feature members of The Flower Kings to be more interesting than the OG itself: Kaipa, Karmakanic, Transatlantic, you name it… As for Tool, a similar thing has been happening for some years now with bands that are obviously very much influenced by the legendary US band: Karnivool, Proghma-C, Prisma (CH), Soen, Wheel etc… I seem to enjoy all of them a lot more than the music of their big idols. Same goes for the Norwegians of Delvoid, who are dropping their third full length “Swarmlife” today. Check it out if you like your post rock/metal proggy, your prog rock/metal posty and don’t miss out on our Progtalks episode with singer Alex Delver. TURN THE LIGHT OFF AND LISTEN!
Alex Carpani - Microcosm
Blasphemy? Heresy? Kicking your album off with a version of King Crimson’s song of the century ‘Starless’ is quite bold for sure. French-italian keyboardist/solo artist Alex Carpani does exactly that on his newest album “Microcosm” – and his version has only programmed drums at that. What might sound like an instant failure turns out to be quite the opposite though. Apart from the early ending after not even five minutes, I can’t find much fault with this cover version of one of the best compositions of all time to be honest. But, what’s even more important of course, the following 11 original compositions manage to keep up the quality, presenting some high energy prog rock tunes of a rather classic sound, but with a fresh twist. High class guest musicians like current Yes vocalist Jon Davison, David Jackson (Van der Graaf Generator)and Theo Travis (The Tangent) taking turns on various saxophones or violinist David Cross (King Crimson) indeed add their magic, but rather adding to a musical quality that is already existing than being a desperate attempt in making something mediocre interesting. This is by no means an instrumental affair though, but luckily Alex’s voice is a very pleasant one, that fits the sound of the music perfectly. Very much recommended for fans of classic prog rock.
Kaipa - Urskog
When it comes to progressive rock, with a peaceful healing quality, I couldn’t think of a better or more consistent band than Kaipa. “Urskog” is their ninth album after the reunion in 2002, and their 14th album overall. The line-up is still as top-notch and super-group-ey as it gets with Per Nilsson (Scar Symmetry, Meshuggah) on guitars, Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings, Steve Hackett) on basses and Newcomer Darby Todd (Devin Townsend, Gary Moore, Martin Barre and more…) on the drums. The voices of Patrik Lundström (Ritual) and Aleena Gibson complement each other as brilliantly as ever. But Kaipa wouldn’t be Kaipa without mastermind Hans Lundin and his expansive, evocative, uplifting synths. Interview coming soon here on The Progspace, until then, listen to the beautiful sounds of “Urskog”. Full review by Cees here.
Glass Museum - Reflet
Something different to round out my 5 highlights of the week: Belgian piano/drums duo Glass Museum is exploring experimental paths combining elements of electronic music, jazz fusion and (contemporary) classical (piano) music into one one very coherent and polished amalgam of sounds. It’s a soothing, calming and overall just very reflective listen aptly titled “Reflet” (French for “Reflection”). If your musical appetite is whetted by the thought of a piano/drums duet with electronic flourishes, Glass Museum might just be the right thing for you!
Mortal Incarnation / Bedsore - Split
Now here’s a type of album I never expected to review. Split records don’t always hit the spot for me, but when you have 2 death metal bands write a 15-minute prog epic each, you know it’s bound to be good! The first piece “Shapes From Beyond the Veil of Stars and Space” is from Italy’s Bedsore, and this song in general is hands down one of the best epics I’ve heard so far this year. If you’re craving that old school prog death vibe from the likes of Phlebotomized and Edge of Sanity, you won’t be disappointed with this track. The second piece “In the Perpetual Torment of Recurrence” is from Japan’s Mortal Incarnation, and they really hit the nose with that proggy death doom sound. Cavernous, brutal, and raw riffs à la Epitaphe to close off this epic collab record. With a vinyl release soon to come through 20 Buck Spin, you know I can’t say no to that!
More releases for 29 April, 2022
- Inanna - Void of Unending Depths (April 25, Memento Mori)
- Valon Vinter - Unveiled Dimension (April 27) Bandcamp
- Beyond the Structure - Scrutiny (April 28, Vicious Instinct Records)
- Moozoonsii - Inward (April 28) Bandcamp
- Darkfield - Reanimated Voices (April 28) Bandcamp
- Allt - The Seed of Self-Destruction EP (April 28) Bandcamp
- Reflections - The Fantasy Effect Redux (April 28) Bandcamp
- The Gathering - Beautiful Distortion (Psychonaut Records)Read Our Review
- Sonisk Blodbad - The Shores of Oblivion (Apollon Records) Bandcamp
- Cyberpunk Machinery - Postmodern Dystopia Bandcamp
- Dischordia - Triptych (Transcending Obscurity Records) Bandcamp
- The Spirit - Of Clarity and Galactic Structures Bandcamp
- Sammary - Monochrome Bandcamp
- Dissolve Patterns - Dissolve Patterns (Brucia Records) Bandcamp
- Pyrithe - Monuments to Impermanence (Gilead Media) Bandcamp
- Enneade - Withered Flowers and Cinnamon (Vallis Lupi) Bandcamp
- Yumi Sakata - The Inner Monomyth Bandcamp
- Enragement - Atrocities (Rising Nemesis Records)
- Cro! - Buah! (Spinda Records) Bandcamp
- Post-Mortem - The Monumental Pandemonium (Great Dane Records) Bandcamp
- Helms Alee - Keep This Be the Way (Sargent House) Bandcamp
- Tenderton - The Chateau Bandcamp
- Lament Cityscape - A Darker Discharge (Lifeforce Records) Bandcamp
- Groop - Groop (Mock Records) Bandcamp
- And Hell Followed With - Quietus (Hollowed Records) Bandcamp
- FES - With Regards From Home (Small Pond) Bandcamp
- Kalt - Hybris Bandcamp
- Devil Master - Ecstasies of Never Ending Night (Relapse Records) Bandcamp
- Throwe - Forfald (Drown Within Records) Bandcamp
- The Void Among Us - We Choose Violence EP
- Meander - Time Uncounted EP Bandcamp
- Heriot - Profound Morality EP (Church Road Records) Bandcamp
- Mildlife - Live from South Channel Island (Heavenly Recordings) Bandcamp
- Kodiak Empire - Silent Bodies (Bird’s Robe Records) Bandcamp
- Geometry of Chaos - Soldiers of the New World Order (Wormholedeath Records)
- Marco Ragni with Bjorn Riis - Anything You Want (May 01) Bandcamp
- Shob feat. Olivier Leani - Cosmic Panic! EP (May 01) Bandcamp