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‘Only’ 50 releases this week, but 8 amazing highlights!

Releases of the Week 22/2023 with Dirt Poor Robins, Lars Fredrik Frøislie, Einar Solberg, Anubis Gate, Red Cain, Klidas, Nightmare Scenario & OK Goodnight
‘Only’ 50 releases this week, but 8 amazing highlights!

The release week of 02 June 2023 had the following amazing highlights on the menu: two art pop gems with Dirt Poor Robins & Einar Solberg,  two prog metal bangers with Anubis Gate & Red Cain, a prog rock synth fest with Lars Fredrik Frøislie, Italian sax prog with Klidas, some proper Nightmare Scenario dark ambient sounds from BTBAM‘s Dan Briggs & finally a modern prog smorgasbord with OK Goodnight! You also can find all this and more in our weekly rotated Spotify playlist, so go on and subscribe now for automatic updates:

Dirt Poor Robins - Prelude to Firebird EP

31 May, 2023 | self-released

My favorite cinematic singer/songwriter power couple discovery of last year, Dirt Poor Robins is back with a new, fiery EP! “Prelude to Firebird” is a glimpse of what we can expect towards the end of summer (a full length concept album called “Firebird”), and the four songs on it prove once again, how and why Neil and Kate DeGraide have built up an impeccable reputation over the last 15 years or so with a sound, that’s both crystal clear and up-to-date but also always a bit vintage, just overall impressive being a DIY home production always. And of course their limitless songwriting talent, that draws inspiration from bygone pop eras such as the 1920s as well as classical and orchestral music, all presented in a progressive singer/songwriter rock sound. Not to mention stellar vocal and guitar performances. I really can’t wait for the “Firebird” to soar now. Can you? Dario

Lars Fredrik Frøislie - Fire Fortellinger

02 June, 2023 | Karisma Records

The unofficial, non-existing award for best keyboard performance of the week goes to Mr. Lars Fredrik Frøislie without a doubt. The Wobbler-mastermind has assembled four stories (“Fire Fortellinger” in Norwegian) of varying length (two around 6  ½ – 7 minutes, two around 16 ½ – 17 minutes), but not of varying quality on his debut solo album. The array of analogue keyboards, synths, Spinets, Fender Rhodes, Clavinets etc. is vast. The compositions are always thrilling and intriguing, combining influences from Italy’s 70’s prog scene, British Rock and Metal from the 60’s/70’s and subtle hints from Norway’s 90’s black metal, all awash with Renaissance, Jazz, Folk, Psychedelic sparklings to top it all off. With Frøislie not only handling the keyboard instruments, but also drums and vocals, he has Nikolai Hængsle (Elephant9, Needlepoint and more…) joining him on some of the most iconic bass models on this stellar debut solo outing that is hands down one of the most exciting Progressive Rock albums of the year so far. Dario

Einar Solberg - 16

02 June, 2023 | Inside Out Music

Perhaps the album that will divide the prog world the most this year, if it wasn’t for some other certain masked band/project (no, not Ghost…), Leprous mastermind Einar Solberg has finally gone ahead and done the thing many prog metal fans accused every Leprous album to be ever since “Malina” 6 years ago: recorded a solo album. It’s called “16”, features 11 high class art pop songs with his distinctive, emotive vocals and a whole host of cool guest performers/co-songwriters with Cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne, Star of Ash, VOLA’s Asger Mygind, Ben Levin (ex-Bent Knee), Magnus Børmark of 22 and Gåte fame, Ihsahn of course and last but not least, Agent Fresco’s Tóti Guðnason on the final cinematic epic ‘The Glass Is Empty’. Those who didn’t like the direction of the last couple of Leprous albums won’t find much to their liking here probably. Anyone open to taking in 70 minutes of atmospheric art pop awesomeness is going to embrace it for sure. My current favorite is ‘Where All The Twigs Broke’ feat. Star of Ash with its dark, orchestral ‘Signal to Noise’ Peter Gabriel vibe. So gorgeous that I’m willing to forgive Einar the fire/desire rhyme, I mean at least it’s an internal rhyme, so it’s ok I guess. Please just don’t do it again, ok? Dario

Anubis Gate - Interference

02 June, 2023 | No Dust Records
ANUBIS GATE - Interference cover

Denmark’s Anubis Gate is one of those bands who’ve been at it relentlessly ever since their debut album that came out in 2004, almost two decades ago, with one high quality album after another, regardless of the fact that it seems they’ve been lurking on the threshold of a bigger ‘breakthrough’ of sorts since like forever. Their gradual change from the proggy/doomy Maiden sounds on the first two albums towards broader melodic influences both from the past (Pink Floyd) and contemporary pop sound with the tasteful inclusion of electronic beats here and there proved to give them a distinct, unique edge over the last couple of albums, and on the brand new, ninth studio album, “Interference”, the five Danes strived to further diversify, yet also solidify their very own Anubis Gate sound to staggering perfection. My personal highlights include the mid-tempo double strike ‘Ignorance is Bliss’/‘Number Stations’, the metal homage to 90’s/early 00’s King Crimson ‘Dissonance Consonance’ as well as the fantastic title track, while others might prefer some of the more fast paced tracks. Will “Interference” bring Anubis Gate finally some sort of wider commercial breakthrough within the (prog) metal scene? Time will tell, highly deserved and long overdue it would be in any case. (Read Marcel’s full review right here!) Dario

Red Cain - Nae’Bliss

02 June, 2023 | self-released

Fantasy and metal normally go well together, and also inspired Canadian progmetal band Red Cain for their third album “Näe’bliss”, which is an homage to Robert Jordan’s epic “Wheel of Time”. While the opening track ‘Fisher King’ is clearly rooted into powermetal because of the anthemic singing and straight rhythmic, the following ‘Blight’ turns heavier and moves more into modern progmetal fields, with complex rhythm patterns and sophisticated guitar runs. Over the next tracks, they come up with elements of melodeath, symphonic-, prog- and powermetal, melted together by the expressive vocal performance of singer Evgeniy Zayarny, who convinces with his full tone and an impressive range. Funnily enough, my favorite track is the mighty, instrumental ‘Sightblinder’, which could easily appear on a Paul Wardingham record, slighty followed by ‘The Great Hunt’ and the earlier mentioned ‘Blight’. Even though some transitions feel a bit stumbling, most of “Näe’bliss” is well written, varied and dynamic, telling the stories about a common “good” against an “evil” antagonist in a great way. Katha

Klidas - No Harmony

02 June, 2023 | Bird’s Robe Records

After two art pop gems, two prog metal beasts and a prog rock synth fest, it’s Time to get a bit weirder, don’t you think? How about some (mostly) relaxed, (mostly) instrumental sax prog from italy? Klidas released their debut album “No Harmony” through Australian Label Bird’s Robe Records and the punky vibe of the energetic outbursts in between all the laid back psychedelic sounds only adds to its unique charm. Dario

Nightmare Scenario - In the Event of Emergency

02 June, 2023 | Hogweed & Fugue Records

I remember really liking the darkness on Nightmare Scenario’s debut EP “Beyond What Is Real” back in 2019, but somehow I missed the release of the first full length album, 2021’s “The Chord of Living Flesh”. And now, I almost missed the sophomore record of BTBAM’s Dan Briggs’ solo project, “In the Event of Emergency” too. Luckily I didn’t (thanks @Colin for your throrough research every week!). With Nightmare Scenario, Dan Briggs explores dark ambient realms, and the new album continues that path in a mesmerizing fashion, relentlessly pulling you into this disturbed underground world. This is not easy listening, soothing, ambient sounds, it’s demanding and might bring you to deep hidden corners of your mind. All the more fascinating! Dario

Ok Goodnight - The Fox and the Bird

02 June, 2023 | De Ligma Records

This week’s last minute addition to the Highlights is a classic case of ‘judged too quickly after hearing the singles once’: Boston’s Ok Goodnight’s sophomore effort defies classifications and now that I’m nearing the end of my first spin of “The Fox and the Bird” I simply can’t get enough of it’s wonders, as it meanders from acoustic alternative pop/rock to orchestral avantgarde djent (or something like that) and back again, seemingly touching every corner of the prog world in the process. And the astonishing thing about it is: they never cease to sound catchy as hell. A fairy tale about animals, mountains, drought and rain, told in 13 diverse movements, constantly swaying from incredibly complex and heavy to smooth acoustic fusion singer-songwriter pop and, as I said, everything in between. The instrumental and vocal performances are absolutely off the hook and I can’t wait to see Ok Goodnight to see the modern prog world by storm. The closest sound-alike I could think about would be if Exploring Birdsong suddenly acquired a metal big band orchestra or something to that effect, and that sounds like music to my ears. Absolutely stunning! Dario

More releases for 02 June, 2023

  • Kodiak Empire - The Great Acceleration (Bird’s Robe Records)
  • Pupil Slicer - Blossom (Prosthetic Records)
  • Pendragon - North Star
  • Aurora Dream - RUBIT
  • Moral Collapse - Divine Prosthetics (Subcontinental Records)
  • T-Square - Vento de Felicidade
  • Aeffect - Theory of Mind
  • Unfurl - Ascension
  • Falcon Arrow - Patterns in Noise (June 01, Tern and Crow)
  • Hills Like White Lions - Meander
  • Wytch Hazel - IV: Sacrament (Bad Omen Records/Metal Blade Records)
  • The Immortal Samsara Travelers - Hanging Gardens in Glacial Apocha
  • Monah - Utopija (May 31)
  • Koningsor - Death Process (Silent Pendulum Records)
  • Rival Sons - Darkfighter
  • Owls & Eagles - Patience Vol. 1 (June 01, Moments Fest Records)
  • Sleeping Mountain - Sleeping Mountain EP (June 01)
  • Scarnival - The Hell Within (Kernkraftritter Records)
  • Project: Roenwolfe - Project: Roenwolfe
  • Killhall - Skullsplitter (Inverse Records)
  • Akilla - The Gods Have Spoken
  • Endless Exam - Voice of Passion and Agony (Inverse Records)
  • Avenged Sevenfold - Life Is But a Dream…
  • Coffin Prick - Laughing
  • Solarium - Aube/Nocturne
  • Thantifaxath - Hive Mind Narcosis (Dark Descent Records)
  • Autrest - Follow the Cold Path
  • Bríi - Último Ancestral Comum
  • Hellwitch - Annihilational Intercention (Listenable Records)
  • Gorgeous - Sapsucker
  • A Fool’s Errand - The Art of Leaving Things Behind EP
  • Isua - Abandon
  • Risin’ Sabotage - Macabre (Interstellar Smoke Records)
  • Atlases - Between the Day & I (Lifeforce Records)
  • Vulture Feather - Liminal Fields (Felte Records)
  • Weep - Life in Shades of Grey EP (Liminal Dread Productions)
  • Necrofier - Burning Shadows in the Southern Night (Season of Mist)
  • Spagyria - Arcane Arts
  • Omnium Gatherum - Slasher EP (Century Media Records)
  • Foo Fighters - But Here We Are
  • Protomartyr - Formal Growth in the Desert (Domino Recording Co)
  • Karfagen - Dragon Island (Director’s Cut)

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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.


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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