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Yossi Sassi & The Oriental Rock Orchestra – Illusion of Choice

It is interesting how Yossi Sassi & The Oriental Rock Orchestra mastered the art of composing a different kind of metal, having heart and traditions up front, but without falling too flat into yet another oriental rock album. With “Illusion of Choice” Sassi created an album that could serve as a good masterclass to this metal subgenre, but can be as well regarded as an excellent guitar axe -almost instrumental- showcase of why he has made a name for himself on the metal genre 3.5/5 ★ /Van

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Head With Wings – From Worry To Shame

Head with Wings’ – “From Worry To Shame” is brimful of emotions and humanity. The album is raw passion, delicate hope, and all-to-human pain in one graceful package. The music featured, lyrical content and impressive performance may be both challenging maybe and at times uncomfortable for the listener, but at the other end of that journey lies a reward that is more than worth the time you’ll take to familiarize yourself, and open up to these compositions. 5/5★ /Rune

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Kingcrow – The Persistence

Few times I listen to an album that I’m sure will be in my top 5 of the year. This is exactly what happens every time with “The Persistence”. Yes it is THAT good. Kingcrow is a band that without much noise in the prog world, have slowly established themselves among the best out there. 5/5 ★ Van

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Riverside – Wasteland

Riverside is back with an album that will surely end up in most, if not all, top X albums of the year. And in most of them, it’ll be right at the up. Hype? Yes. An empathic wish that these 3 musicians find their way after a tragic loss? Definitely. Lack of objectivity? Most likely. Nevertheless, “Wasteland” represents a new path for the band. One that feels right and relatable. It is an inviting narrative, feeling as if the guys were reaching out to us and letting us peek into their mourning process. And it is definitely an excellent album. 4.5★

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Lechuga – The Search Pt.3: The Hypothesis

Artists like Benjamin Lechuga deserve just more than some few lines of recognition. He (and his band of very talented musicians) deserve the attention of every prog outlet out there! This is a musician that bursts quality and dedication on every note. A flowing, eclectic but homogeneous mix of progressive elements with jazz and funk grooves that doesn’t really relate to world music: this is progressive metal of a different kind! 4.5 ★ /Van

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Arch Echo – Arch Echo

It might have taken a while, and a trip to Hannover to see them live, but Arch Echo’s “Arch Echo” definitely delivers on their promise to make complex yet accessible modern music. The work these five guys have put into this debut is admirable and witnessing the songs in a live setting gave us what we felt was missing from the album. A must-listen and, above all, a must-see progressive band.

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The Pineapple Thief – Dissolution

The Pineapple Thief’s “Dissolution” is an excellent album that present to us a current and difficult concept, which blends simple melodies with complex song structures in a masterful way. An easy to listen and very enjoyable album that seems to make an useless effort to conceal the prowess each band member show on their instruments. Out 31st Aug 2018 via Kscope. ★4/5 Van

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Lux Terminus – The Courage To Be

Not only does the musical prowess of Lux Terminus have to be credited, but their daring concept to place piano at the core of their music is bold, pioneering and absolute genius. “The Courage to Be” will leave you with goosebumps; it is a sensory journey and powerful statement that will challenge you from the start, and a must for any prog fans.

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Árstíðir – Nivalis

“With “Nivalis”, the three Icelanders of Árstíðir have created an incredibly beautiful gem of an album, regardless of genre, and a worthy follow up to their 2015 masterpiece “Hvel”. 4,5/5★”

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Lunatic Soul – Under the Fragmented Sky

Mariusz Duda has made it again, by giving us another masterpiece of progressive experimentation at its finest, fully charged by emotions and musicality. Once again he gave us the chance to witness an even darker journey through feelings and emotions, but delivering us into light again and with our chests full of hopes for what’s to come. The future is bright for us and for the polish singer/songwriter and is going to be the best story of his life. 5/5 ★

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Haken – L-1VE

“”L-1VE” is the perfect retrospective (at least aurally) on the first four studio albums and ten years of Haken. I am super excited to find out what the future holds for those six incredibly talented and equally lovely blokes. And now the wait is on for HVKEN and the subsequent touring cycle. Luckily, we have “L-1VE” to keep us company.” / 4,5/5★

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The Sea Within – The Sea Within

Roine Stolt and his troupe created a very different and enjoyable debut record, and we can only hope they stick together for a second one. Everyone brings his own experiences into the mix, and this collaboration pays off.

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Hillsphere – Florescence

Unquestionable musicianship, a good mix of ambient and more heavy sections (that could, from my point of view, use some more variety) and Tim Beimer’s excellent singing are the highlights of a solid debut.

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Ring Van Möbius – Past The Evening Sun

Ring Van Möbius has delivered one of the more exiting debut albums I’ve had the pleasure of listening too in a long time. It’s rare to hear a band that is this rooted in the classical era of progressive rock be able to create music that is clearly inspired by the grandfathers of the genre, while not becoming derivative or plagiaristic. Ring Van Möbius dances around this with ease, delivering an album that is clearly inspired, but not imitative.

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Kayak – Seventeen

Personally I would have loved to hear some of the more delicate and discreet parts, that made their early albums stand out, make their way back into the bands music. Still, it’s definitely an album worth owning if you enjoy this kind of theatrical symphonic rock.

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Gazpacho – Soyuz

Gazpacho know how to make music that not only transports you to parallel universes, through soundscapes and effects that are truly unique in the prog and art-rock genre, but to me their biggest achievement is to produce thought-provoking music with their distinctive dark but beautiful sound atmospheres. Soyuz is one of the best example of this. 5/5 ★ /Van

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ALKALOID – Liquid Anatomy

After such an engaging and challenging debut, there is no way but up for ALKALOID and with “Liquid Anatomy” they have pushed themselves beyond the confines of their respective careers in metal, elevating their compositions and songwriting and taking a deeper plunge into the progressive. It’s as though the heaviness, technicality, and virtuosity of their previous bands have met the songwriting and story-telling of bands like Rush and King Crimson. Excellent musicians making excellent music.

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Abraham Sarache – Kaleidoscope of Fears (EP)

“Kaleidoscope of Fears” is an awesome taster of what this trio have in their pockets waiting to surprise the progressive metal world. Its quality in composition, execution, sound and mix is astounding! This trio is a novelty in the progniverse, bringing in a freshness and renovated eclectic sound that deserves all your attention. And those solos… using a freaking Cuatro instead of a guitar!” 5/5 ★ /Van

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Deafening Opera – Let Silence Fall

“Seamlessly switching between classically influenced harmonic beauty and dirty rock sounds, Deafening Opera have found their niche in the progressive rock scene and with “Let Silence Fall”, they effortlessly close up to Germany’s champions league of prog bands.” 4,5/5★ /Dario

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Phi – Cycles

“Accessible yet chock full of heavy hitting polyrhythmic grooves and blistering solos, Phi not only reinvented themselves, they single-handedly forged the blueprint of a genre with six equally impressive and anthemic hits. All killers, no fillers – “Cycles” is a masterpiece!” 5/5★

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ico-2 We’re a group of Prog-lovers who started a journey to share with you our thoughts about albums, concerts, tours and festivals, the photo galleries of the Prog concerts we visit, as well interviews with upcoming or established musicians or prog-related people. Follow our Facebook page for frequent updates and news around the Progniverse.

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