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My Top Ten For 2019

Discussion in 'ProgPower USA' started by MeTuLHeD, Feb 4, 2020.

  1. MeTuLHeD

    MeTuLHeD A Member To Remember

    May 26, 2002
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    In front of my computer monitor...
    They're unranked simply because that's not how I do music. I may listen almost non-stop to something for days and then not listen for a week. What's in the rotation from one day to the next is all about what I'm in the mood to listen to. However, some discs DO get more spins than others. So from that I can parse a list of my favorites. That said, here goes nothing. :D

    The Top Ten

    Sweet Oblivion - Sweet Oblivion - I am truly amazed this did not make more people's lists. Yeah. I know Tate has well and truly burned the prog metal bridge and pretty much spit in the face of the fans who made him quasi-legendary. And yes, I read Simone's horror story about the making of this recording. However, this is honestly the best music Tate has recorded in years. The fact that he just threw some vocals on it while in his tour bus makes the production work Simone did all the more amazing. A great disc which I have listened to over and over.

    Darkwater - Human - There's little to nothing I can add which hasn't already been said. Just a great sounding prog metal disc. Period.

    Arch Echo - You Won't Believe What Happens Next - A swirling whirling blender mix of prog rock/metal and jazz fusion instrumental music. Think Liquid Tension Experiment and The Dregs walking through a dark alley together and getting mugged by a djent band. It's crazy virtuoso next level playing...while still retaining a strong sense of melody. Just when you think it's pure musical chaos, the hook comes in and anchors the song. Crazy good stuff.

    Noveria - Aequilibrium - I liked these guys from their first disc. The potential for greatness was always there. But something just fell into place on this release. The playing. The vocals. So much intensity. This disc puts the POWER in prog/power. For lovers of SX and DGM, this is a must buy. In fact, this sounds for all the world like a heavier/darker DGM. Hardly surprising I suppose as the band has close ties to DGM and the bass player actually plays in DGM.

    Divided Multitude - Faceless Aggressor - Another band I've long had a soft spot for...the potential was always there. But with the addition of Jan Griefstad - arguably one of the most powerful vocalists in the entire scene - this band has rocketed into the big leagues.

    Stephen Taranto - Permanence - Stephen who? Well, Taranto is half of the prog metal guitar duo The Helix Nebula whose debut took the prog scene by storm back in 2014. This is his solo effort and what a ride it is! Prog shred djent metal fusion with those dense chords that are the hallmark of the new gen prog bands. Musically hyper-kinetic with so much packed into one song that it's almost impossible to keep pace. If you love prog, then you will eat this up...guaranteed. There has not been a day since this has been released that I have not played it at least is that good. It's rare indeed when two instrumental discs make it into my top ten. But both this and Arch Echo are so good that it just had to be. File this under 'Best Shred You've Never Heard'.

    The Ferrymen - A New Evil - I love the songwriting and arranging here. And Ronnie's voice is just icing on a killer melodic/power/trad metal cake. The man wails and just takes this one over the top.

    Paladin - Ascension - This band came out of nowhere and blew me away. I first heard of them on Garrett Peters YouTube channel when he covered a solo from this disc. Immediately grabbed a copy. Absolutely amazing combination of power, thrash and melodic death metal. For my tastes, the production is a just a little harsh with too much fizzy top end on the guitars. But the songs and the music are so good that it just overrules any objections.

    Edge Of Forever - Native Soul - Late in the year comes the AOR/melodic rock disc of the year. Through his work with Frontiers Music, Alessandro Del Vecchio has established himself as the godfather of AOR. And with this recording, his band have become the flag bearers of the genre.

    The Dark Element - Songs The Night Sings - I'm with Harv on this one. It's one thing to write a great riff. It's another to play a blazing solo. But it's something entirely different to write great songs with hooks that stick in the brain and play on an endless loop. And this disc is positively FILLED with 'em. If success is the ultimate revenge, then Annette is enjoying some sweet payback right now. Symphonic metal in top form.

    The Almost Top Ten

    I Built The Sky - The Zenith Rise - More new gen prog. The brainchild of Australian guitarist Rohan Stevenson. Jaw-dropping musicianship. Fantastic guitar playing with finely tuned songwriting/arranging skills. Jordan Rudess has been hyping these guys, and rightly so. Killer stuff.

    Herman Frank - Fight The Fear - In a year without a new Primal Fear release, this is the next best thing.

    Turilli-Lione Rhapsody - Zero Gravity (Rebirth And Evolution) - I had almost zero expectations. But these may well be the best songs they have ever written together. Less cheese and more symphonic grandeur than old school Rhapsody. And until you've heard this cranked up on a powerhouse stereo system, you just have no idea how epic the production really is here.

    Queensrÿche - The Verdict - Great music in their signature style. As a long time fan of their early music, I could not be happier.

    Lance King - ReProgram - Lance has always turned out some great stuff. This is no exception.

    Age Of Artemis - Monomyth - The Angra worship is strong with this one.

    As I Lay Dying - Shaped By Fire - One of the pioneering metalcore bands comes roaring back. If Judas Priest - Firepower was the comeback disc of 2018, this is the comeback disc of 2019. A full encyclopedia of heavy riffs on one disc. These guys should teach a master class and call it Killer Riffs 101.

    Aerodyne - Damnation - Get in the wayback machine and enjoy the NWOBHM revival...courtesy of this powerhouse Swedish band. Seriously, it brought back memories of listening to The Friday Rock Show or Metal Shop back in the day. Modern production values only serve to make the music that much more powerful sounding.

    Steel Prophet - The God Machine - These guys have been plugging away for so long now...but to be honest I've always thought they were pretty generic. However, the addition of R.D. Liapakis (Mystic Prophecy) on vocals has given these guys an incredible shot of adrenaline. Smoking!

    There were others, but I must stop. I haven't the energy for a Top 50. LOL!
    Mardoch and Assault_Attack like this.
  2. Assault_Attack

    Mar 23, 2005
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    East Of Echo
    Nice list as I have several of your picks in my top ten list also.

    I never heard of Divided Multitude until now. But with Jan Griefstad on voc. I need to check out, Thanks

    Rock On'

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