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16 highlights out of 55 releases in total: Week 20/2024 delivered big time!

Releases of the Week 20/2024 with PreHistoric Animals, Öz Ürügülü, i Häxa, Vitskär Süden, Lucidity, Shokran, Intervals, Sithu Aye, Soften the Glare, Parabellum, Olim, Pallbearer, Matrass, Inner Landscape, Jinjer & Ayreon
16 highlights out of 55 releases in total: Week 20/2024 delivered big time!

The 16 highlights out of 55 releases in total: PreHistoric Animals, öz ürügülü, i Häxa, Vitskär Süden, Lucidity, Shokran, Intervals, Sithu Aye, Soften the Glare, Parabellum, Olim, Pallbearer, Matrass & Inner Landscape plus two live documents from Jinjer & Ayreon!

Listen and subscribe to our weekly updated Spotify playlist where we feature all the highlights as well:

PreHistoric Animals - Finding Love in Strange Places

16 May, 2024

After all these extreme metal highlights lately it’s high time for a beautiful prog rock album to claim the spot of “Album of the Week” (or, appearing first in our list), don’t you think? Luckily, Sweden’s PreHistoric Animals released their fourth studio album “Finding Love in Strange Places” on May 16 and even though we already published a full review of it from our contributor Alex, I can’t help but give them another shout out at this very hopefully not so strange place. Their vibe is unique and addictive, their harmonies and melodies are gorgeous as ever and they’re never neglecting the songwriting and the groove and the riff. And on a nerdy side-note: is there a better theme to bookend this edition of the Releases of the Week with two amazing Sci-Fi Prog Rock albums? I don’t think so. (Also check out our full review by Alex right here!) Dario

öz ürügülü - Della Morte dell​’​Artista

17 May, 2024

Holy mother of weird music, the Swiss ensemble öz ürügülü just dropped the hottest shit this side of the quadrant with their new album/EP “Della Morte dell​’​Artista”. Everytime I hear crazy stuff like that I tell myself that I really gotta dig deeper to find more like it, but then it takes another year until I find anything else like it. The High Castle Teleorkestra or Ultraphauna might be recent examples of such exhilarating madness, all in their very own unique way. Psychedelic oriental avantgarde jazz metal might or might not begin to describe it. Listen for yourself. It’s gonna be hard to beat this year when it comes to this kind of totally ridiculous stuff. I love it. It might appear a bit psycho, but this kind of music is truly a stairway to aural heaven for me! Dario

i Häxa - Part Two EP

17 May, 2024 | Pelagic Records

Berlin based record label Pelagic Records is known for its extraordinary collection of post metal and related things in their stable. Every now and then, there’s a real surprise among the releases they put out, and the mysteriously named i Häxa is certainly one of them. Their previous EP, “Part One”, came out in February and already had me intrigued, but now the follow up, aptly titled “Part Two”, I’m completely and thoroughly enthralled and enraptured by the sounds the London based duo is able to conjure. Even more so since I found out that they are able to reproduce them live (with a six-piece live band), as documented in an in studio playthrough of the complete EP that you can find on Pelagic’s YouTube channel. Especially ‘The Well’ is a rare gem of shining, aching beauty, maybe even the most beautiful thing I’ve heard since A.A. Williams’ ‘The Echo’. Can’t wait for “Part Three”. Dario

Vitskär Süden - Vessel

17 May, 2024 | Ripple Music

Diving into some darker stuff, yet staying in the broader ‘rock’ territory, Vitskär Süden from Los Angeles offers seven haunting soundscapes on their third album, “Vessel”. Martin Garner’s voice might channel the center of the attention, but the meticulous, precise arrangements certainly play an important role in conveying atmosphere and supporting the stories that are being told. After the equally compelling “The Faceless King” (2022), Vitskär Süden establish that Swedish sounding name further as a compelling, unique voice when it comes to dark, atmospheric rock. Dario

Lucidity - Escherian

17 May, 2024 | Inverse Records

In the 20th year since their formation, Finnish melancholic proggers Lucidity release their 3rd album – “Escherian” – taking us on a protagonist’s journey during which he desperately tries to escape a parallel reality. The character’s story of experiencing the same moments over and over again can also be taken as a metaphor for our modern times and people moving forward without questioning the direction, even though they tread the same path day after day. Music-wise, Lucidity give themselves time to develop the narrative, building up strong tension curves between calmer, sometimes mystical, and heavier, guitar-driven parts, connected by a certain melancholy and fluid song-writing. The use of different key instruments, like Hammond organ or piano, as well as a well-placed mix of clean and harsh vocals adds more variety to their offering, finding its creative climax during ‘In The Presence’ when they melt Progressive Death Metal with jazzy interludes. While Escherian is not one of these releases that caught me immediately, it left me curious enough to return, and grew with repeated listens. All-together an amazing discovery. Katha

Shokran - Duat

15 May, 2024

That was already quite a bit heavier compared to the first three, wasn’t it? But are we ready to get really brutal now? Then you might enjoy a trip to ancient Egypt with Shokran’s “Duat”. Twelve tales about Amon-Ra, Isis, Osiris, Anubis, Horus, Thot, Set, Imhotep and more told with a perfect balance of modern progressive death metal and djent heaviness and an unfailing knack for catchy hooks that manage to steer clear from any metalcore cheesiness for most of the time. Refined with some blistering solos, this is a genre highlight for sure. Dario

Intervals - memory palace

17 May, 2024

The first time I encountered instrumental guitar music project Intervals was in 206 during one of the “Plintervals” tours, where mainman Aaron Marshal shared a backing band with his Australian guitar colleague Plini. Now even though I have to admit that I always liked Plini a tad more, since I seem to connect with his music deeper emotionally, the music of Intervals has always been a care-free happy place, even more so on the new album “memory palace”. It’s a very nice palace to visit when you just want to forget about your daily worries with some feelgood music. Try it, you might surprised by the result. Dario

Sithu Aye - Kindness EP

17 May, 2024

Staying in the mood and scene, Scottish guitarist Sithu Aye is back as well with a sweet little EP called “Kindness”. And truth be told, it is a very fitting title for this prime example of this particular style. His name is Sithu and he records happy progressive metal tunes (one of the most succinct Facebook-bios btw), and other than happiness, this kind of light-hearted fusion/proggy djent exudes not only that, as far as I’m concerned the “Kindness” vibes in this scene (not only musically, but also as far as the musicians themselves are concerned) are always extraordinarily strong. So yeah, there you have it, it’s quintessential modern guitar music, soothing the soul and inspiring kindness. What a vibe! Can we get more of this? Dario

Soften the Glare - EP III

17 May, 2024

Yes, we’re keeping things instrumental and we got a few more cool EPs to highlight. Soften the Glare’s simply “EP III” title, well, EP is easily not only the jazziest of all the EPs this week, but of all the releases as such. Ryan Martinie’s bass takes up a central role in the music of Soften the Glare and the addition of some brass and strings to the trio sound here and there makes for a wonderful enhancement. This is for the jazz fans among the proggers. Dario

Parabellum - Principium EP

17 May, 2024

More trios, more EPs, more instrumental music. Parabellum from Brighton in the UK is not the first band I discovered through them supporting one of my favorite bands without a chance of me even attending that concert or tour. Just like when Consider the Source supported Panzerballett on a US tour and that led me to discover the middle eastern sci-fi fusion trio from New York. The name Parabellum I picked up from a bill they shared with fellow Brightonians Azure (who also dropped a stellar new album in the meantime). The “Principium” EP is their first release and I surely hope it won’t be their last, as they know how to craft dense, energetic instrumental music and give their songs a thrilling dramaturgy through clever songwriting. Definitely a name to watch out for in the future. Dario

Olim - Because

17 May, 2024

And now for the obligatory black metal album you might think. But Olim’s “Because” is so full of melody, just not from the vocals at all. That’s the department of the guitars here. The anguished screams blend in so well with the overall sound though, that the overall sound might even appeal to someone who’s not too fond of harsh vocals. Steeped in atmosphere, this Canadian one-man project ticks all the right boxes if you’re looking for some truly epic, atmospheric post black metal. More of that unexpected, synth-drenched bonus track would be nice as well though. Dario

Pallbearer - Mind Burns Alive

17 May, 2024 | Nuclear Blast

It is not unusual for doom metal bands to change their style, and gradually turn their music into something more mellow. Paradise Lost and Anathema are well-known examples of this, but many other bands have made a similar progression. One of those bands is Pallbearer, who entered the scene with a crushingly heavy debut in 2012. With each album, they have taken some of that heaviness away in favor of a more melodic approach. On their fifth album, “Mind Burns Alive”, the band have even reached the point where one might ask if this is still metal.

Honestly, I don’t consider that question to be relevant. Pallbearer are still making great music, and the overwhelming sense of melancholy hasn’t left the building. On the contrary: by taking a more vulnerable approach, it only hits harder. Surely, some people are going to be disappointed with “Mind Burns Alive”, because it’s another step into a direction that metal purists do not enjoy. On the other hand, it opens new creative pathways for Pallbearer, and should appeal to a more progressive audience. If you enjoy some sadness in your music with soft vocals, beautiful guitar leads and the occasional doom riff, this album has a lot to offer. Lykle

Matrass - Cathedrals

17 May, 2024 | La Tangente

Last minute French progressive post metal highlight #1, Bordeaux edition: “Cathedrals” is the debut album by Matrass and it’s truly an accomplished one with lots of atmosphere, variety, excellent songwriting and a stellar sound. Don’t miss out if post metal is your thing! Dario

Inner Landscape - 3H33

17 May, 2024 | Klonosphere Records

Last minute French progressive post metal highlight #2, Lyon edition: Inner Landscape’s version is significantly sludgier compared to Matrass, but not any less atmospheric. “3H33” is a debut album as well, so one might almost suspect a sudden Nouvelle Vague of French post metal. I’ll definitely keep my eyes and ears open towards my Western neighbors. Dario

Jinjer - Live in Los Angeles

17 May, 2024 | Napalm Records

One of the most impressive careers in metal over the last decade or so, Ukrainian ambassadors Jinjer have perfected their technical groove metal not only on studio albums, but especially live; the quartet is such a tight unit, that one of their frequent live concerts is always a highlight. Almost always on tour for the last years, the duration of their second live album “Live in Los Angeles” is 1 hour 19 minutes, exactly the same length as their first one (“Alive in Melbourne”), but with some choice cuts from the latest studio album “Wallflower” (2021) sprinkled into the setlist, like the dynamic lead single ‘Vortex’ for example. In this impeccable form of their lives, Jinjer will continue to tear up live venues all over the world. A glimpse of what to expect can be found on “Live in Los Angeles”. Dario

Ayreon - 0101101 - Live Beneath the Waves

17 May, 2024 | Mascot Label Group/Music Theories Recordings

How to follow up a masterpiece? Don’t settle for something small, think big, go bigger. “Metropolis Pt. 2” (1999) – “Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence” (2002)… “The Human Equation” (2004) – “01011001” (2008). “6°” (at least Disc 2/the title track of it) already got its grand live appearance (complete with orchestra) for “Score” (2006). But I dare say, an Ayreon live event with a plethora of world class singers (not to mention the extraordinary instrumentalists) is still a rarer occasion and the audio document of the “Live Beneath the Waves” shows that took place in September 2023 at the 013 in Tilburg (NL) is full of cheesy space prog metal highlights to put a big smile on your face if you’re into that kind of stuff (some of which we chronicled in our live review right here). To relive the full experience (or dive into the full audio-visual bliss for the very first time if you couldn’t make it to the shows), the Blu-ray version is of course recommended. How the audience didn’t manage to stay in tempo for one second while clapping along to the intro of ‘Liquid Eternity’ is still beyond me though… (Also: behold the amazing cover artwork photography from our very own Matthias Kirsch!) Dario

More releases for 17 May, 2024

  • Botanist - Paleobotany
  • Passage - Crystal
  • Incendiment - The Indepted EP (May 16)
  • Lucassen & Soeterboek's Plan Nine - The Long Lost Songs (Music Theories Recordings)
  • Meanwhile Project Ltd - Sir Mandrill (Kapitän Platte Records)
  • Cognitive - Abhorrence (Metal Blade Records)
  • Marty Friedman - Drama (Frontiers Music)
  • Göden - Vale of the Fallen (Svart Records)
  • Celestial Season - Mysterium III (Burning World Records)
  • Nocturnus AD - Unicursal (Profound Lore Records)
  • Anarchÿ - The Spectrum of Human Emotion
  • Goblyns - Hunki Bobo (Crazysane Records)
  • Wolfen Reloaded - The Ghost from Within (Fastball Music)
  • Hell:on - Shaman (Archivist Records)
  • Ancient Settlers - Oblivion's Legacy (Scarlet Records)
  • Duft - Altar of Instant Gratification (Scarlet Records)
  • Necht - The Prophecy of Karnifor
  • Elvellon - Ascending in Synergy
  • salt on sunday - a docket of votive offerings
  • High Noon Kahuna - The Place is Haunted
  • Ape Vermin - Andromedas Colossus
  • Merging Cluster - Peak Ephemeral Light (MaRaCash Records)
  • Ufomammut - Hidden (Neurot Recordings)
  • The Last of Lucy - Godform (Transcending Obscurity Records)
  • Claire Cross - Sleep Cycle
  • Observers - Tales of the Skyrock (May 15)
  • Hemotoxin - When Time Becomes Loss
  • Colin Bass & Daniel Biro - More
  • Svrm - П​р​о​щ​а​н​н​я
  • So Totally - Double Your Relaxation
  • Jack Ire - In Disarray (May 18, Bobaleephus Records)
  • Hyeena - Proxima
  • Jeff Kollmann - 2023 A.D. (Deko Entertainment)
  • Demon - Invinvible (Frontiers Music)
  • Danny Elfman - Percussion Concerto & Wunderkammer
  • Nospūn - Opus (Instrumental Version) (May 19)
  • Lite - Strata (Live) (I Want The Moon Records)
  • ufoufoufo - Re:Mihael Kehl (Remaster)
  • Tarja - Best of: The Living Dream (Tarja's Personal Favourites)

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About the Author


Co-Founder of The Progspace - Dario discovered the world of Prog upon hearing "Shine on you crazy diamond" for the first time at the tender age of 12 around the turn of the millennium. Coming from a musical family and brought up with classical music, this seemed to be the logical next step. Attended the school of from 2002, delving into both directions: catching up with the history of already more than 30 years of progressive music as well as always staying up to date with the newest prog sounds. He loves meeting like-minded people and enjoying live music at a concert somewhere in Europe.


Passionate metalhead and concert visitor since the 90s - While the taste has changed and broadened over the years, the mesmerizing effect of music remained. Always searching for new musical treasures, but also digging a lot through older favorites, which are clearly rooted on the proggy side of the wide metal spectrum. Happy about the chance to spread the word for our beloved music at The Progspace.


Lykle is the black sheep in the Progspace family. Coming from a background of gothic, doom and black metal, he joined the Progspace team to share his expertise about the dark side of progressive music. He enjoys these gloomy sounds from the Spanish Costa del Sol, where he works as a manager in the big tech industry. He has a special appreciation for Finnish melancholy, counting bands like Sentenced, Insomnium and Ghost Brigade among his favourites.


Colin is a progressive metal drummer who currently plays with Ashbreather and Vicarious Reality. His introduction to prog was through his father with the likes of Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, and Rush back in 2007. As the years went by, he would eventually work on his taste to get into more extreme forms of prog, and now adores bands like Opeth, Persefone, Atheist, BTBAM, Serpent Column, Slugdge, and countless others.

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