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My Top 50 of 2016

Discussion in 'ProgPower USA' started by Harvester, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. TwizstedJesus

    TwizstedJesus Member

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    Top 3 for me along with Neal Morse Similitude of a Dream & Fates Warning Theories of Flight. My list has been for the most part complete for a month. I just needed to find time to post it. Now's as good as any other time

    1. Fates Warning Theories of Flight
    2. Neal Morse Band The Similitude of a Dream
    3. Edensong Years in the Garden of Years
    4. Last in Line Heavy Crown
    5. Wolverine Machina Viva
    6. The Pineapple Thief Your Wilderness
    7. Evergrey The Storm Within
    8.Haken- Affinity
    9. Oddland- Origin
    10. Sunburst- Fragments of Creation
    11. Circus Maximus- Havoc
    12. DGM- The Passage
    13. Fractal Cypher- The Human Paradox
    14. Lords of Black- II
    15. Epica- The Holographic Principal
     
  2. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Member

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    I'm with you there. This is one of the disks that I missed until I saw it on Glenn's list. This disk is blowing me away. Even though I just got it, I'm going to have to re-do my top 10 to add this disk. I doubt it will be the top disk, but it will be up there. Love it when something comes out of nowhere and blows me away. Thanks to Glenn for this.
     
  3. engmtlhd

    engmtlhd Member

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    I've been holding off on my list until recently when I picked up a few more releases. Number 1 is easy for me but the rest is a jumbled up mess. Here goes....

    1. Gojira - Magma...easily my favorite release of the year.

    From there in no particular order...

    Circus Maximus - Havoc
    Haken - Affiniity
    Metallica - Hardwired to Self-Destruct
    Testament - Brotherhood of the Snake (maybe my No. 2)
    Blind Ego - Liquid (thanks Glenn for this!)
    Brainstorm - Scary Creatures
    Fates Warning - Theories of Flight
    Holy Grail - Times of Pride and Peril
    Steven Wilson - 4 1/2
    Serenity - Codex Atlanticus
    Dream Theater - The Astonishing
    Katatonia - The Fall of Hearts
    Hammerfall - Built to Last
    Opeth - Sorceress
     
    #43 engmtlhd, Dec 14, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  4. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Member

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    Here's my Top 10 list for 2016:

    1) Fates Warning - Theories Of Flight
    2) Lords Of Black - II
    3) InnerWish - InnerWish
    4) Edensong - Years In The Garden Of Years
    5) Watchtower - Concepts of Math: Book One
    6) Metal Church - XI
    7) Stephen Wilson - 4 1/2
    8) Kansas - The Prelude Implicit
    9) Allegaeon - Proponent for Sentience
    10) Testament - Brotherhood of the Snake

    Honorable mention: A 2015 disk that is so good it deserves to be mentioned two years in a row: Amorphis - Under the Red Cloud. I continue to listen to this all the time. It may be my favorite Amorphis disk of all time which is saying a lot since they have so many great disks.
     
  5. Oblivion Ocean

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    Here is my list

    [​IMG]


    A few notes. As I mentioned in a previous post this year was disappointing because a lot of bands that had put out amazing albums previously ended up taking a half-step back by putting out "good but not great" follow-ups. Specifically Circus Maximus, Amoral, Gojira, Dynazty, and Myrath to me put out albums worse than their previous effort.

    Also, I have drifted away from all but the major bands in power metal, so to find trick or Treat, Innerwish, and Sunburst so high on my list is surprising.

    And WTF, how did a Metallica album make my list? Seriously, I had completely written them off. While it has its flaws, Hardwired... has so many bright spots it had to make the list.

    It is noteworthy that a live album made the list, but based on how good it is and the two studio songs it was hard to deny Seventh Wonder.
     
    Kez likes this.
  6. hoodaman

    hoodaman Is it live or is it Dave?

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    My top 10 ended up looking like this:

    10. Enbound - The Blackened Heart
    09. Utopia - Mood Changes
    08. Textures - Phenotype
    07. Solution .45 - Nightmares in the Waking State, Pt. 2
    06. Evergrey - The Storm Within
    05. Witherscape - Northern Sanctuary
    04. Gojira - Magma
    03. Katatonia - The Fall of Hearts
    02. Devin Townsend Project - Transcendence
    01. Haken - Affinity

    Honorable mentions were:

    DGM - The Passage (great riffs but song structures are too same-y)
    Seven Impale - Contrapasso (Hipster prog with great tunes and a less than desirable vocalist)
    Southern Empire - Self-titled (fantastic musicianship and songwriting with trite, repetitive lyrics that detract from the rest of the experience)
     
  7. wingnuthead

    wingnuthead New Metal Member

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    Well, since I owe a ton of my musical appetites to Glenn after getting addicted to his festival many years ago, here's my 2 cents. FWIW, not a screamo lover, prefer real vocals, but some of the screamo this year worked for my middle aged ears. Some different things here than on most other lists... In no order, as my opinion changes every 2 seconds.

    Utopia - Mood Changes (total sleeper, just terrific)
    Isahn - Arktis (screaming and clean, super melodic)
    Blind Ego - Liquid (grown up musicians playing grown up music)
    The Browning - Isolation (screamo, but a great metal/EDM love child)
    Diabulus en Musica - Dirge for the Archons (for me, their best release ever. They always had potential, but this one nailed it)
    Falluja - Dreamless (Screamy, but what an amazing album... blew me away)
    Dissona - Paleopneumatic (really surprised at how much I listened to this one, great)
    Frost - Falling Satellites (nothing will ever do what Milliontown did, but Jem is back in great form, I was not disappointed)
    Anima Tempo - Caged in Memories (wow, tech metal, djenty, melodic, and huge... ticked lots of boxes for me)
    Discordia - Words in Ruin
    Gemini Syndrome - Memento Mori (if you haven't heard this, its a tragedy. Brilliant, music and the vocalist is incredible)
    DGM - The Passage (just love these guys)
    Jinjer - King of Everything (whacked out tech metal, with a crazy vocalist who screams a bit too much, but she can belt it out for sure!)
    Lucid Fly - Building Castles in the Air (another one you should listen to. Its real progressive metal, with an awesome singer)
    Monolith (from Canada) - Nexus ( Fantastic, I must have listened to it 50 times when it came out. Just listen to Psychomachia)
    Mechina - Progenitor (tech metal, some screamo, huge, symphonic, cinematic, just great!)
    Universal Mind Project - Jaguar Priest (a really well integrated effort, from beginning to end)
    Virtual Symmetry - Message from Eternity (great soundscape, huge, keyboard driven at times, great vocals)
    Crystal Palace - Dawn of Eternity (Very musical, lots of synths, solid all around, and listenable)
    Eric Gillette - The Great Unknown (totally caught me off guard. Neal Morses guitarist's solo album, crunchy, huge and totally awesome)
    Erra - Drift (metal core I guess, but I don't really know all the sub genres. Screamo here and there, but just a great metal record)
    Votum - KTONIK (different and edgy)
    Master Boot Record - C:\>CHKDSK /F (just way way out there, and different)
    Hemina - Venus (just great, fresh, and varied)


    I liked Haken, Headspace, In the Woods, Epica, Katatonia, Circus Maximus, Fates Warning, Redemption, and other regulars, but none of their work this year sucked me in the way some of the other ones on my list did.
     
    #47 wingnuthead, Dec 18, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
  8. Mardoch

    Mardoch Defender of the Universe

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    Nice to see Anima Tempo getting some love! I still love that disc. It's had incredible staying power for a debut release in January. It's also good to see I'm not the only one who loved Drift. It's quite different than their previous work, but I still found it very compelling. The tapped riffs are really something special.
     
  9. Pitiless Wanderer

    Pitiless Wanderer Active Member

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    You're the only person I've seen mention this. Such a great album....reminds me of Threshold mixed with the best elements of U2.
     
  10. The Fiddler

    The Fiddler Just Do It.

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    Spellcaster and Striker are two new bands for me on this list that are making a a great impression. Agree on your comment about the relation of Striker to Spellcaster. Was really pleased to find out that these bands also have previous releases. It's always a good day when you discover an unknown band with a back catalog – especially when these bands remind me so much of the stuff I listened to in the late 80s and into the 90s.

    Even though I do a lot of searching for this kind of old-school stuff on YouTube, it's hard to find anything yet undiscovered. If these two bands would not have been listed above, I don't know if I ever would have found them. What a bonus to have active bands reconnecting with that period in time.
     
  11. MelbCro

    MelbCro Member

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    Looking at the twitter feed, I see that Glenn has got a copy of the new Persefone album. I just want to say that I hate you very much.
     
  12. Mardoch

    Mardoch Defender of the Universe

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    Lol, no kidding. I want that album something fierce.
     
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  13. ToddS

    ToddS Member

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    Late to say so over here, but I always enjoy your list bro. Some new discoveries were found within.
    My top 10+ cross post from PM.

    01. Redemption / The Art Of Loss
    I don't get the lack of love for this one. It has the melodies, the emotions, the prog, and the metal. Ray sounds really good. Chris Poland is out of his mind on here. The othere dudes aren't too shabby either. [​IMG] Perhaps their best record imo. Kudos Nick and company. Brilliant!

    02. Haken / Affinity
    The is my least favorite haken record. That said, it is still that good.

    03. Thank You Scientist / Stranger Heads Prevail
    Groovy!

    04. Myrath / Legacy
    More commercial, but catchy as can be.

    05. Fates Warning / Theories Of Flight
    Easily their best since Disconnected, if not APSoG. Wow!

    06. Watchtower / Concepts of Math: Book One
    Can never get enough Ron. So talented its boggles the mind. If not a EP it would be higher.

    07. Protest The Hero / Pacific Myth
    More technical stuff to sink my teeth into.

    08. Karmakanic / Dot
    Beautiful!

    09. Southern Empire / Southern Empire
    Can be quite mellow at times, but feels so genuine. Some killer breaks too.

    10. Hemina / Venus
    I'm with you Stevie!


    Song/s Of The Year

    Tie
    Haken / The Architect
    Redemption / At Day´s End


    Just outside my top 10

    Blind Ego / Liquid
    Chronos Zero / Hollowlands - The Tears Path Chapter One
    Epica / The Holographic Principle
    Fractal Cypher / The Human Paradox
    Lords Of Black / II
    The Neal Morse Band / The Similitude of a Dream
    Plini / Handmade Cities
    Sunburst / Fragment of Creation


    Others I enjoyed in alphebitical order.

    Allegaeon / Proponent For Sentience
    Almanac / Tsar
    Animals as Leaders / The Madness of Many
    Avantasia / Ghostlights
    Deus Ex Machina / Devoto
    DGM / The Passage
    Evership / Evership
    Epica / The Holographic Principle
    Kansas / The Prelude Implicit
    Katatonia / The Fall of Hearts
    Flotsam and Jetsam / Flotsam and Jetsam
    Glenn Hughes / Resonate
    Graham Bonnet Band / The Book
    Headspace / All That You Fear Is Gone
    Heaven's Cry / Outcast
    Herd of Instinct / Manifestation
    Huis / Neither in Heaven
    Eden Shadow / Melodies For Maladies
    Edensong / Years In The Garden Of Years
    John Wesley / A Way You'll Never Be
    Megadeth / Dystopi
    Metal Church / XI
    Nordic Union / Nordic Union
    Noveria / Forsaken
    Odd Logic / Penny For Your Thoughts
    Poverty's No Crime / Spiral of Fear
    Pretty Maids / Kingmaker
    Soto / Divak
    Source / Return to Nothing
    Testament / Brotherhood Of The Snake
    Twelve Foot Ninja / Outlier
    Whispered / Metsutan - Songs of the Void
    Wolverine / Machina Viva


    Dissapointing

    Circus Maximus / Havoc
    Very little to love on this.

    Dream Theater / The Astonishing
    The more I listened, the less I liked this. Some cool moments, but they can't go more then a few minutes without going into a ballad. That didn't start with this record, but is beyond the pale here.

    Opeth / Sorceress
    Well, about what I expected really, but still.


    Some cool live A/V stuff

    Seventh Wonder / Welcome To Atlanta - Live 2014
    Ayreon / The Theater Equation
    Pain of Salvation / Remedy Lane Revisited
    Extreme / Pornograffitti Live 25: Metal Meltdown
     
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  14. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Member

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    Course, I post my top 10 on Twitter, and I screw up and leave off a band. Anyways, here is my updated list:

    1. Bent Knee - Say So: I missed seeing these guys at RoSFest, and regretted it. A hell of a way to enter the scene. Powerful stuff.
    2. Haken - Affinity: Not quite as strong as The Mountain, but it grows on you.
    3. Devin Townsend: Transcendence: Maybe not one of his best, but there are a lot of little details that keep me coming back.
    4. Myrath - Legacy: The band keeps rolling on
    5. Oceans Of Slumber - Winter: Deliciously soulful vocals for a metal band. Fell in love immediately.
    6. Southern Empire - S/T: I admit that I only got around to buying this after Glenn posted his list, but I expected to like this offshoot of Unitopia.
    7. Helion Prime - S/T: Catchy Sci-fi themed songs with a female lead singer. What's not to like here?
    8. Edensong - Years In The Garden Of Years: Loved these guys when I saw them at ProgDay years ago and they still hit the spot here.
    9. Lacuna Coil - Delirium: Probably their most aggressive album in years.
    10. Thank You Scientist - Stranger Heads Prevail: There was probably no beating their last album, but this is still damn good.

    Honorable mentions:

    Wolverine - Machine Viva
    Katatonia - The Fall Of Hearts
    Anderson/Stolt - Invention Of Knowledge
    Karmakanic - Dot
    Kansas - The Prelude Implicit
    Hammers Of Misforture - Dead Revolution
     
  15. zinescene

    zinescene Member

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    There's a lot of stuff on this list that I really like, some I'm meh about but the REAL shocker on this list for me was the Eternal Deformity. Never heard of them and outside of DImmu Borgir I dont listen to a lot of black metal but holy shit did I like this. The 10 minute Reinvented blew me away.

    This is what I love about the year end list, the opportunity to pick up on releases that I missed throughout the year.
     
  16. spag

    spag I am a leaf on the wind

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    I don't really have a top list for the year, but I enjoy the shit out these yearly threads. I always find a pile of albums that I wouldn't have otherwise found. I'm slowly working down Glenn's list, and have really been enjoying both the Devilment and Edensong. Devilment is just fun...catchy, chunky, but I haven't enjoyed a prog album as much as the Edensong one in a long time. Can't wait to delve further into the list.
     
  17. Fixxer315

    Fixxer315 Member

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    I've only purchased 1/10th of the albums on the list, but on the basis of the vids you provided, I'll have to check more of them out. Now, a few comments on the ones I own:

    Haken: I was amazed by their PPUSA performance, so I bought Affinity right away, and it is a damned good album.

    Testament: Just got this one over Christmas break, and it's another fine album. Not on the level of their 80s/early 90's prime or even Formation of Damnation, but better than Dark Roots of Earth.

    Dream Theater: I was tepid on this album when I first heard it, but the more I listen to it, the more I like it.

    Devin Townsend: An excellent album as usual.

    I should note one omission from the list; Metal Church, which is a fine reunion with Mike Howe. Not as awesome as the masterpieces Human Factor or Blessing in Disguise, but still a very solid album.
     
  18. Justin G

    Justin G Member

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  19. Mardoch

    Mardoch Defender of the Universe

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    Better late than never, my top 19 and some other stuff.

    Alphabetical, because on any given day this order is fluid.

    Akord - Ethereality
    Kind of like Tool but without the bullshit drug-induced mysticism. On the one hand, that's a very apt descriptor, but on the other it sells short how unique and enjoyable Akord is. It's on that edge between rock and metal, excellently written, expertly performed, and pretty unique. The next closest thing I can think of would be Caligula's Horse.
    Single:

    Full Album:
    https://akordofficial.bandcamp.com/

    Anima Tempo - Caged in Memories
    The first 2016 release I got (not counting Pacific Myth, since that was a monthly release that started in 2015). Think...well Hans Zimmer is what they mention, so think that. Lush symphonic soundscapes with powerprog goodies layered on top with some djenty bits as well. It's a tough fight for an early January release to make it onto the year end lists, but this debut has done it. They say they've got another release in store for 2017, too, which is genuinely exciting.
    Highlight:

    Full Album:


    Brutai - Born
    One of the glorious surprises of 2016! A mixture of pop and metal influences that comes out something like Soilwork and Voyager in a blender produces a disc that I haven't tired of in over 20 listens in under a month. A real year-end pleaser that's consistently revealing new things to love. A debut of incredible strength.
    Single:

    Full Album:


    Devin Townsend Project - Transcendence
    I've never previously had luck "getting" Devin's work. I get this, though. This album kind of shows Devin in a mindspace that I'm desperately trying to reach myself. Chaos reigned in somewhat, zen self-reflection and acceptance laying on top of it all. At least that's how I perceive it, and I guess that's what matters. This is an album that makes me feel things. And on top of that, it sounds freakin amazing. Pair that with his show at PPUSA this year and you've got a special piece of music in time.
    Highlight:


    DGM - The Passage
    Something about these Italian chaps always makes me smile. Up tempo, big displays of chops, soaring vocals...it's the perfect powerprog mix. This album is another notch higher in their development. They're the archetype for powerprog at this point. Not much else to say.
    Highlight:


    Erra - Drift
    Drift is a much different album to previous Erra output. The speed and aggression are not there in the same proportions, but the atmospheric elements are really ramped up. The abundance of tapped riffs also keeps me enthralled on every listen. This is a disc for which I can't fully identify the reasons I love it so much, but I still do and I still keep going back to it often.
    Highlights:



    Haken - Affinity
    It's Haken! It's retro-futuristic (more emphasis on the retro part though)! It's fucking fantastic! Literally my only complaint about this album is pacing. The end of the album takes a bit of a nosedive in that regard. Other than that? Damned near perfect for me.
    Highlight:


    Hemina - Venus
    Balancing the warm and fuzzy prog of old with the djenty touches of today is Hemina. I'm really not even sure how to describe this album. The sound is thick, almost overwhelming in spots, and the writing is superb. I just can't get enough of this Aussie outfit (which is a pattern these days...what's going on down under to fuel the prog explosion?!).
    Single:


    Ihsahn - Arktis
    Another album that makes me feel and encourages me to process my life in better ways. Ihsahn's music helps me grasp the beauty in the natural darkness of life, and since I have a naturally dark mindset this is a great service to me. Until I Too Dissolve is one of those songs that makes me stop and think about how I interact with my environs. In the Vaults is another song in particular that helps refocus my thoughts and reactions to events. Oh, right, the music itself is also fucking incredible. Ihsahn proves that he can do virtually whatever he feels like with whichever influences are speaking to him on that day and it'll come out the other side perfectly showing his vision and prowess.
    Highlights:




    Myrath - Legacy
    Myrath has upped the catchiness several notches, as if it were required. This is their most approachable work to date, and will hopefully garner them legions of fans. Their native influences shine strong, and their writing prowess stronger still. I just love these guys and hope for them all the best success. Zaher showing up on the upcoming Ayreon disc is testament to the swell they're generating, methinks.
    Single:


    Periphery - Periphery III: Select Difficulty
    I am a fanboy. Unashamed. The music these guys crank out just lights up all of my metal receptors. Aggression, beauty, complexity galore, etc. If you know Periphery you know what you're getting into here. If you don't, then it's djent at its pinnacle (imo). As the genre progenitors they are still its foremost standard-bearers.
    Highlights:
    Aggression:

    All-rounder:


    Plini - Handmade Cities
    All of Plini's releases have been good. Handmade Cities is Transdimensional Spacegoat amazing. Jazzy fusion, outright chops, and writing that's just sublime. When I saw him live in December it was a set of pure happiness for me. His music just makes me feel good.
    Highlight:

    Full Album:


    Polyphia - Renaissance
    Another instrumental album (this year has been incredibly good for them). These young chaps from Texas are cranking out music that just oozes feeling. The grooves are incredible, the writing is astounding, and the playing is impeccable. I just can't get tired of this album.
    Highlight:


    Protest the Hero - Pacific Myth
    I bought into this one at the top level when they were doing the once a month release thing, and I don't regret it a bit. It's another incredible, and more varied, block of music from these very fun Canadians. Not much to say about them that hasn't been said over their now pretty lengthy career other than that they show no signs of slowing, nor are they losing their luster.
    Highlights:



    Sithu Aye - Set Course for Andromeda
    Another block of happy instrumental progressive metal in my list! I love Sithu Aye for a lot of the same reasons I love Plini. High level playing, excellent writing, grooves galore, etc. Sithu Aye is another that never fails to make me smile. Hopefully he makes it to my area someday like Plini did this year.
    Highlight:

    Full Album:


    Sunburst - Fragments of Creation
    What if Nevermore were fronted by Roy Khan? That sorta gets you in the ballpark for this band. Blistering guitars, beautiful vocals, yes and yes. When I need music that satisfies both melody and heavy this is one of my goto discs. I haven't gotten enough of it yet.
    Single:


    Textures - Phenotype
    Technical metal madpeople. Brutality and beauty in not quite equal measures, but huge portions of each. Every time I get a new Textures release I'm not sure how they're going to up the ante over the last slab, but they get it done. As amazing as this album is it makes me wonder what the hell is coming next. These guys are just plain exciting.
    Highlights:



    Thank You Scientist - Stranger Heads Prevail
    Wow, uh...so yeah there's a lot going on here. Some rock, metal, jazz, and other stuff for good meausure. The funky grooves are outstanding. The musicianship is incredible. The whole disc just makes me want to find the list of positive superlatives and put them all on it. It's been a persistent presence in my listening despite not standing up to my usual preference for heaviness.
    Single:


    Twelve Foot Ninja - Outlier
    More crazy Aussies. These guys must be a blast to hang out with. Their music is all over the place, but somehow they tie it up into a cohesive listening experience. I'm not really even sure how to describe what it is that they do, so I'll just let the music speak for themselves. I will say that this is a more focused effort than their last disc, and that focus really pays off. It's much more repeat-listenable for me. One thing's for certain, no one else sounds like these guys.
    Highlights (also hilarious videos):




    Not Top X, but still stuff I want to evangelize:

    Andy Hauck - Autumn Fades
    His work started out djenty, and he retains some of that writing style, but mostly it's this sort of Western rock groovy thing. I enjoy this far more than I would expect to given my usual proclivities. It's fun and doesn't take itself too seriously.



    Noveria - Forsaken
    Like Symphony X and DGM had a lovechild. Very good, very fun, and full of promise for the future.


    Tactus - Bending Light
    Unabashedly crazy and disjointed djenty madness. It takes a bit to wrap one's head around, but is quite worth it to me. Quite the debut.


    S.T.E.A.M - Warp
    Djent! But so solidly executed that it always disappoints me when the EP is over. Something about the prog coming from Poland these days is just...it's for me. I'm just loving the sounds from that region lately.
    https://st3am.bandcamp.com/releases
     
    #59 Mardoch, Jan 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017
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  20. Oblivion Ocean

    Joined:
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    Thanks for the tip on Brutai, liked that tune, I am going to check out the rest of the album.

    Also glad to see I was not the only one to have Twelve Foot Ninja on my list.
     
    Mardoch likes this.

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