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Digital Man's Top 10 Of 2018

Discussion in 'ProgPower USA' started by DigitalMan, Dec 21, 2018.

  1. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Member

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    1) Orphaned Land - Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs

    (Progressive/Folk/Death/Oriental Metal)


    This was one of my most anticipated discs this year. An Israeli metal band singing about bringing different types of people together rather than continuing centuries of hatred is very appealing to me, especially lately. When early reviews proclaimed that it was as good as their groundbreaking release Mabool, my initial reaction was that this seemed sacrilegious and couldn’t possibly be true. Once I heard the disc, I realized why this statement was made and couldn’t help but agree. After a single listen, even though it was early in the year, I could already tell this would be at the top of my list.









    2) Amorphis - Queen Of Time

    (Progressive/Folk/Melodic/Death Metal)


    Under The Red Cloud was my top disc of 2015 and has become my favorite all time Amorphis disc. When I first got Queen Of Time I thought it was great but just a hair below Under The Red Cloud. I maintained this assertion throughout the year. However, as I was re-listening to candidates for my top 10 list, it really sunk in how good Queen Of Time really is but I couldn’t really explain why. It wasn’t until last week that I may have identified the difference. I think the difference is that the song Sacrifice is on Under The Red Cloud and that may be my favorite Amorphis song ever. In any other year, Queen Of Time would have been #1 on my list but I had to put Orphaned Land on top this year. One difference may be that Queen Of Time seemed to be a somewhat expected follow up to Under The Red Cloud, whereas Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs is way better than any Orphaned Land disc since Mabool.







    3) All Traps On Earth - A Drop Of Light

    (Symphonic Progressive Rock)


    This disc came out of nowhere and was my biggest pleasant surprise of the year. I had heard nothing about this Änglagård side project until it was released. I’m a huge Änglagård fan. In fact, if I could choose one band that best describes what I like about progressive rock, Änglagård would be that band. This is the creation of the bassist from Änglagård as well as a few other members. If you are an Änglagård fan, this is a must buy. I have no idea if Änglagård is ever going to release another disc, but I sure hope so and there isn’t anything better to hold me over than All Traps On Earth.

    https://alltrapsonearth.bandcamp.com/


    http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=10657


    4) Phideaux - Infernal

    (Crossover Progressive Rock)


    I had heard this band mentioned frequently on progressive rock forums but had never heard them until this year. I just happened to check out Infernal on Bandcamp and immediately said to myself, “holy *^%*^%$* this is good”. This is a more accessible progressive rock disc than many that while it is certainly influenced by 70’s progressive rock, it manages to sound fresh and uplifting rather than “retro”. I’ve sampled some of Phideaux’s back catalog and liked what I heard so I intend to spend more time exploring it this year.




    http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=2379


    5) Obscura - Diluvium

    (Technical Death Metal)


    This band was a new another discovery for me this year as well. I had never heard them and I can’t even remember what made me check out Diluvium but it immediatly blew me away. I can’t imagine any fan of technical death metal not liking this. There is also a very nice Cynic influence on this disc in that they occasionally use the processed vocal style from Focus which is one of my favorite all time discs. Even though I just got into this band when I heard they were coming to Denver I decided to go. I tried to get up to speed on their back catalog as best as I could before the show and really enjoyed it. This is another band I need to spend time exploring their back catalog.








    https://techno1line.bandcamp.com/album/obscura-diluvium


    6) Mystery - Lies and Butterflies

    (Neo-Progressive Rock)


    Mystery is like drinking sugar water. So sweet and how could you not like it? I’ve liked every disc of theirs I have heard and this one is no different. The focus is certainly the outstanding vocals. This type of music doesn’t have enough uniqueness to be at the top of my list, but this is another solid yet similar release from this band. While I like the disc, I don’t like it as much as most of their previous releases. I think the formula too familiar so I’m hoping for a bit more variety from them in the future.




    http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=791


    7) Spock´s Beard - Noise Floor

    (Symphonic Progressive Rock)


    Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep was the disc that got me really interested in exploring more progressive rock, an interest that has continued and grown. For some reason The Oblivion Particle didn’t do much for me so I had mixed expectations for Noise Floor. To my delight Noise Floor was great and I liked everything about it. I don’t know why, but the Neal Morse Spock’s Beard hasn’t clicked with me, but I’m all in on the Ted Leonard version.






    http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=320


    8 ) Seventh Wonder - Tiara

    (Progressive/Melodic Metal)


    This is pure melodic goodness. This one has really clicked with me in a time where I haven’t been as interested in traditional progressive metal as I have in the past. Great disc driven by Tommy’s incredible voice. Thankfully there is no narration to get in the way of repeat listens.





    9) Rikard Sjöblom's Gungfly - Friendship

    (Crossover Progressive Rock)


    I discovered Beardfish a few years ago and have been enhoying exploring their back catalog recently. This is their founder’s solo band and it’s really indistinguishable from Beardfish (RIP). Last year I discovered his previous solo Gungfly release On Her Journey To The Sun and really liked it, so I bought Friendship the day it became available. So far I don’t think I like Friendship quite as much as On Her Journey To The Sun but it’s still a solid release.






    http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=5341


    10) Ostura - The Room
    (Progressive Metal)

    When this release came out there was a lot of hype for it. However, it was nearly impossible to find. I tried to find it digitally but finally gave up and decided I’d wait it out and get it when it eventually became available digitally. I kind of forgot about the release until I started seeing it pop up on people’s top lists. At that point I decided I had to hear this. Now that I have it, I’m glad I didn’t give up completely. It was just a few weeks ago that I got it, but I kept listening to it over and over again. This really is as good as everyone says. It has everything I love about progressive metal. At a time when I’m not listening to as much prog metal as I used it, this is a release I want to keep listening to. Then I realized that while Änglagård is the band that encompases everything I love about progressive rock, the same could be said for The Room and progressive metal. It was at this point that I realized I had to push The Paradox Twin out of my top 10 to make room for The Room. If I had more time with this, it may have been placed higher than 10.





    Runner Up: The Paradox Twin - The Importance Of Mr Bedlam

    (Progressive Rock)






    This disc was always towards the bottom of my top 10 list, but kept getting moved down by other discs I liked more. I was getting ready to post my list but wanted to re-listen to a few other discs and in the end this got moved off the list but I still felt it deserved to be mentioned. It’s a great debut but after many listens there are parts that drag on and at times the vocals wear on me.





    For reference, here are other 2018 releases I considered, but just didn’t make the final top 10:


    Melted Space - Darkening Light

    Mir - Telegraph

    Gryphon - Reinvention

    Ghost - Prequelle

    Kingcrow - The Persistence

    Redemption - Long Night's Journey into Day

    The Sea Within - The Sea Within

    Royal Hunt - Cast In Stone

    Tomorrow's Eve - Mirror Of Creation III-Project Ikaros

    Greta Van Fleet - Anthem Of The Peaceful Army

    Mile Marker Zero - The Fifth Row

    Therion - Beloved Antichrist

    Subsignal - La Muerta

    Barren Earth - A Complex Of Cages

    Dynazty - Firesign

    Evership - Evership II

    Ring Van Möbius - Past The Evening Sun

    Michael Romeo - War Of The Worlds, Pt. 1

    Between The Buried And Me - Automata I & II

    Lords Of Black - Icons Of The New Days
     
    NorseBlood likes this.
  2. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Member

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    The new Phideaux is out? It has been, like, forever since the last album.
     
  3. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Member

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    Yes, and it's very good. You can listen to the whole thing on the Bandcamp link I included.
     

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