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The Progspace Editors List 2023 – Top 5 releases from our editors. Part 5

These days, music lovers get flooded with tons of new releases every year. 2023 was no exception to this and sometimes it can be hard to not get overwhelmed. We at The Progspace know how you feel! Yet we have been happy to make our personal Top 5 lists plus Honourable Mentions and share them with you.

Since our team has grown during the last year, you will see a wide range of releases in our lists, covering many different genres reflecting our personal tastes. We sincerely hope that you will enjoy scrolling through them and hopefully find some inspiration to either try something new or remember that one release you still wanted to check out.

Here's the fifth and last part of the Top 5 lists, with Bob and Dario presenting their favourites from a wide range of releases as their favourites of 2023

Listen here to the Playlist with the best of the Top 5 from Bob and Dario

Bob Smith

(Reviewer & Editor)



Ne Obliviscaris - Exul

This almost legendary bunch of Australians have been a firm favourite since I first encountered them a few years ago. Every album they have produced is a masterclass in progressive metal and their latest release is no exception. If anything, some of the material on it is their best to date. I would go as far as to say this is possibly my favourite album of the 2023. I got to see the band again later in the year and they were just as good live. I cannot get enough of Ne Obliviscaris. Read my full review here.

Website | Facebook | Bandcamp



Haken – Fauna

Having followed Haken for many years now, I have come to expect a high standard of them. Not surprisingly they have gone and done it again. Their latest album is complex in not only musical arrangements but also the cover artwork. An extra embellishment links each song to an animal, possibly one featured on the cover, so a bit of added fun. Which of course is what the band is renowned for. The final track on the album is dedicated to Richard Henshall’s father who died in 2021. Read my full review here.

Website | Facebook     



Ignea – Dreams of Lands Unseen

Occasionally, despite having a promo copy of an album, I buy it because I like it so much. Ignea’s  fourth album was one such instance. The Ukrainians mix symphonic and progressive metal with a generous helping of oriental influence. Recounting the travels of Ukrainian photographer and documentarian Sofia Yablonska, each track is tailored depending on the part of world concerned. Vocalist Helle Bohdanova is a real asset as she has the full range of growls and cleans. This album is one my great discoveries of the year. Read my full review here.

Website | Facebook | Bandcamp



Temic – Terror Management Theory

This an album packed full of melody, excellent guitar solos and brilliant musicianship. Temic are a new band on the scene, and they are creating quite a stir. I was eager to hear and review their debut album, and I was lucky enough to be able to do that. The performance by all the members is flawless, but what stands out for me are Eric Gillette's magnificent solos. If you like decent quality progressive metal, look no further. It is, without doubt in my opinion, one the best albums of 2023. Read my full review here.

Website | Facebook | Bandcamp



Pattern Seeking Animals – Spooky Action at a Distance

These guys produce albums that are subtly different from those released by their other band, Spock’s Beard. Given the freedom to write new material, the results still fall into the category of top-class progressive rock. The band aimed for some evolution on this latest release, and I think it is noticeable, albeit quite subtle at times. Months after its release, I still find myself humming or whistling tunes from it. The album’s title comes from a quote by Albert Einstein as he dismissed quantum entanglement if you were wondering.  Read my full review here.

Website | Facebook | Bandcamp 

Honourable Mentions


Of Virtue


Mask of Prospero





(Founder, Editor and Reviewer)



Lumsk - Fremmede Toner

Lumsk from Trondheim were celebrating their comeback in May 2023, 16 years after their third album “Det vilde kor” with a real monster of an album. “Fremmede Toner”, that’s 6 songs based on a collection of poems by André Bjerke, or rather his translations of famous poems by the likes of Goethe, Nietzsche, Swinburne and more… and then again 6 different songs based on the original poems. An intriguing concept to start with, put into music to stunning effect. It is spellbinding, breathtaking, masterful storytelling with an air of grandeur, gravitas and sincerity only befitting for the old masters. It is with great pleasure and delight that I dive into these six stories time and again, all told in two different musical/linguistic angles each, like revisiting a compendium of the feverishly emotional short stories from Stefan Zweig, which always feels both familiar yet exciting and fresh. These strange, foreign sounds (“Fremmede Toner”), with lots of familiar sounds like mellotron and hammond thrown in there for good measure, are a true revelation to be cherished, easily snatching the pole position for my Album of the Year list! 

Bandcamp | Facebook | Instagram




Ophelia Sullivan - Disposable Identity

Lately, I just couldn’t get enough of these distinct electronic leanings in a dark, emotional Prog environment. Luckily, there’s been an album called “Disposable Identity” that came to the rescue at the end of October. The brainchild of German composer and multi-instrumentalist Ophelia Sullivan, “Disposable Identity” is the first work to be published under their own name and it successfully merges the aforementioned electronic and Trip Hop elements with darker Post Rock and Experimental Chamber Pop vibes to an accomplished diverse and immersive experience. Probably my favorite song on the album,  ‘Rest Your Trigger On My Finger’ might pass as an odd Prog Metal experiment where the guitars have been swapped with a string ensemble and the drums replaced by odd computer beats. The culmination of eight years of work, “Disposable Identity” is an artistic masterpiece of contemporary music, where limitless compositions and meticulous arrangements transcend the mere ‘pop music’. A true revelation.

Website | Bandcamp | Facebook | Instagram



Enoch Root - Delusion

New York based project/band Enoch Root, led by mastermind Reese Ortenberg, released their debut album “Delusion” back in February. In my mini review I wrote: that might just be the antidote for all those who are missing the old, exuberantly melodic Haken sound with no stuttering 7-string guitars whatsoever. Further reference points could be the likes of The Dear Hunter, Rendezvous Point with their unfailing knack for melodic immediacy and more recently the harmonic sensibilities (and conceptual story-telling) of Soulsplitter. All those ingredients are sitting firmly among my favourites, so it’s no wonder, that with a stellar production, accomplished songwriting skills and spot-on performances, Enoch Root is quickly became a new favourite, just as the two outstanding singles, opening track ‘The Scavenger’ and the title track, promised. So now I’m very eager to see what this exciting new band still has in store for us with possible future releases.

Website | Bandcamp | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram



A Flying Fish - El Pez Que Voló - Act 1

My attendance at 2023’s Prognosis Festival in Eindhoven back in April introduced me to the boundless talents of Mexican vocal wonder Râhoola (Raúl Guerra Jiménez) during his amazing set with Vitam Aeternam. And finally, Act 1 of his crazy Rock Opera is finally here. A Flying Fish’s “El Pez Que Voló” turned out to be the wet dream of any Progger who loves Danny Elfman, Queen, Les Misérables and Oliver Twist equally, just as I expected it to be. Exceptionally exuberant, I’ll be very disappointed if this is not going to be picked to be Broadway’s next hit musical. Ok that might be a bit of a far shot, but still, the sheer talent, imagination and scope of this masterpiece simply screams to be performed on a big stage. Apparently there’s going to be 4 acts, so more crazy music abounds. Can’t wait. Has Tim Burton called yet to acquire the film rights? 

Bandcamp | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram



The Resonance Project - Ad Astra

Ever since I fell madly in love with their self-titled debut album in 2019, I’ve been wondering how the hell Californian duo The Resonance Project would follow up such a perfect masterpiece. Now the answer is here in the form of their sophomore album “Ad Astra”. To say drummer Lang Zhao and guitarist/bassist Yas Nomura have perfected their signature blend of orchestral fusion metal would be wrong, as it was already perfect on the debut. However, “Ad Astra” builds on the foundation laid out by its predecessor and adds a few new colors here and there, like the powerful guest vocals from Dino Jelusick (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Michael Romeo, Whitesnake) on album closer ‘End of Time’, additional bass wizardry from French jazz luminary Hadrien Feraud on ‘Gem’ or the orgasmic lead & solo trumpet courtesy of Aaron Janik on lead single and heavy contender for fireworks-song-of-the-year ‘Prophecy’. 8 little symphonies, providing almost 50 minutes of pure aural bliss. “Ad Astra”: a shining, polished, otherworldly gem.

Website | Bandcamp | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram

Honourable Mentions




Listen here to the Playlist with the best of the Top 5 from Bob and Dario

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.


I’m Bob, I hail from Robin Hood country (Nottinghamshire) in the UK. Rock and Metal music has played a big part in my life for many years. From playing guitar in local bands, to attending dozens of Festivals and countless concerts. I have been taking photos at gigs (whenever possible) for a number of years now, and as the camera gear has got better so have the photos. I continue to seek out new Bands and tend to prefer the more technical and heavy stuff these days. I live with my wife Sarah, who fortunately likes the heavy bands as well, and our cats who have to listen to it, whether they like it or not. Apart from gigs and photography (not just concerts) I also enjoy hill walking, films and discovering new beers (and drinking them).


Co-Founder of The Progspace. Coming from a musical family, and long time Prog and Metal lover. One of my passions is Photography and Web Design (16+ years career path), sharing this passion and creativity as a bag designer and maker. I like all things Prog, and listen a wide variety of styles within the "Progniverse", but what I enjoy the most are the creativity and "out-of-the-box" approach musicians can offer their listeners. I consider that to be truly Prog!

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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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