My Top 10 for 2017.

The Heart of the Prog/Power Movement

Moderators: TROY or maybe DEBBIE, Stevie WOnder, Digital Man

User avatar
LarryD
Site Admin
Posts: 6257
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 7:57 pm
Location: Rhode Island / USA

My Top 10 for 2017.

Postby LarryD » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:41 pm

Like Nos, I hear a lot of music, but I have a hard time coming up with a Top 10. This, I'm sure, is because I've become a very picky bastard in my old age, and I want music to wow the hell out of me, instead of just be there. Also, I'm not as diverse as some of you, and I tend not to move around the genres much, and I don't list any discs that are out of our genres ......like New Age, Celtic, etc ........ That said, I'm excited to see two female bands back on my list, yet I'm disappointed not to see two other bands even on my list (I'll list them at the end so you can throw shit at me) ........the cool thing about my list, is that there isn't a single disc that sounds like one of the others...... to me, that's bad ass.

I don't put these in any order except the #1 disc .......these are top 10 discs for me, and I'm too lazy to rate them numerically........I'll go from least played to most played to cover the ground ........

ODD LOGIC / Effigy -
No one ever mentions this band on a Top 10 list, much less mention them period. This is one of those bands that continually go under the radar maybe because they don't release CDs, or because they are too light for prog metal, or too heavy for prog rock. Whatever it is, this bands keeps on producing discs and finally they seem to be a complete band and want to tour. The vocals are pure class, clean and Dennis DeYoung-like (think Josh Pincus of Ice Age). The music is well thought out prog, melodic, and sometimes with a groove. I should start a new genre and call it "class prog". I love this clean style of prog, polished, slick and oily save for a growl somewhere on the disc...... great stuff.

http://www.oddlogic.band/


DAMNATIONS DAY / World Awakens -
I didn't care for their last disc, but this one blew me away. It's short, but that's ok ...... I thought the singer on this disc did an excellent job, and I hear Fates Warning all over this disc, which really helped draw me in. It has a great production, which I will use to disqualify some discs...... Slick, polished and much like Fates Warning, I'm surprised this didn't get much attention throughout the year.


CYDEMIND / Erosion -
I rarely listen to instrumentals much less put one on my best of list....... Joseph Magazine may have been the last one I put on a list. Glenn is usually on the hunt for awesome instruementals and I'm lucky to have him pointing out the best of the best (for my taste). While Widek rules me and everyone else around here, Cydemind edges them out for me because they use a violin as the lead instrument and lots of piano - plus they sound like a prog metal version of one of my all time favorite bands, Kansas. You'd swear this was Kansas on steroids. Hailing from Montreal (seems lots of cool prog bands hail from Canada), these guys just lay it out with that violin and prog metal chops from hell. If I didn't hear about this band, Widek would surely be in it's place. If you haven't heard them, check them out when you can ..... that 27:00 last track is to die for. Oh, you can only download from Bandcamp I think, again making it one of those discs that you have to buy "this way".

https://cydemind.bandcamp.com/


VOYAGER / Ghost Mile -
I should just point you to Glenn's thoughts on this band because I think we all feel the same way about this band. I think you just love them or hate them - no in between. If you love them like I do, then you know what to expect and why it's on my list. They just keep on putting out quality discs time after time, and their live shows are to die for as you know......how cool is it to have a band that you just declare awesome every time they do something ........


SEVEN SPIRES / Solveig -
It was Glenn who turned me onto this New England based band, which I've come to love .... and it was Glenn who brought them to Prog Power and I was more than happy to see them play finally. Sure, they play around here but seeing them at Prog Power made it all the more special. Adrienne Cowan, the female lead singer, is certainly the focal point here, with her multi-range octave voice, the ability to growl, be sultry, and sound like she enjoys the hell out of what she is doing. In the love setting, they brought their A-game to the venue, and they blew me away. Maybe the Satanic theme of the disc didn't appeal to some, or the growls, or just the music itself, but to me this is a cool band with a great future if they keep doing what they are doing ..........

https://sevenspiresband.com/home


VANISH / The Insanity Abstract -
Finally, this band is starting to get some attention around here. The disc is non-stop action from start to finish. Glenn put the "Tomorrow's Eve" stamp on them, but I'm more in the Brainstorm injected with Symphorce camp in the description. The singer is a dead ringer for Andy Frank in the high range, and Zak Stevens in the more aggressive range. No frills, no bullshit, just kick ass prog metal from start to finish injected with some Brainstorm and Symphorce style sounds......raw power, keyboards that remind me of Digital Ruin style keyboards, cool songs, and just plain kick ass power make this band one that I hope stays in it and puts out another quality disc like this one ...... thanks to Guillaume for pointing this one out to me.

http://www.vanish-metal.com/


THE DARK ELEMENT / Annette Olzen -
Not much more to say on this one except that it continues to blow me away. If you read Glenn's review of it ... and then read Nos' review of it, that's exactly how it sounds and how I feel about it. Annette has finally found her niche and perfect style, and this disc is the result. Part Nightwish, part Annette solo disc, part "pop" metal, this disc is as upbeat and fun as it gets without being cheesy. I hope this band tours as well so we can get to see her in her element ..... no pun intended. If this song doesn't cut it for you, the rest of the disc won't either.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tHdSv9TmdI


EVERSHIP / ST -
This band from Nashville, Tennessee release this self-titled disc in 2016, but I didn't hear it until July of this year thanks to Todd. It immediately shot right into the Top 10 list. Strangely, they play Prog Rock injected with pop rock -- sort of what Survivor might sound like if they were a progressive rock band. IN fact, the singer reminds me of Jimi Jamison (R.I.P) of Survivor. They are one of those slick, polished bands that I like with clean vocals, lots of keyboards and lots of vocal harmonies. I think only the Prog Rock guys would dig this band around here, as they are on the lighter side with that "pop rock" vibe injected into the music - but there is something col about hearing Survivor, Queen, Toto, etc - mixed in with a prog rock band that has the chops.

http://www.evership.com/


Here is where it gets interesting ............ I don't think there was any doubt in my mind what the #1 disc was going to be when I first heard this disc. It sat there, and in my mind, was destined to keep that spot until the actual #1 disc came along and just nudged it out for the reasons I explain below. So, for all intents and purposes, this "was" my #1 disc all year until the following disc below it was released......

DAYDREAM XI / The Circus of the Tattered and Torn -
I wanted this to be the #1 disc for me this year. It was, it has been, and I didn't think any other disc would come along and push it aside. Maybe it hasn't - but I reach for the other disc moreso than I do this disc, and I love this disc. This is prog metal at it's best - a concept disc full of various styles, chops from Hell, and a singer who is absolutely awesome. Normally, nothing could knock out something as awesome as this disc, and their appearance at Prog Power completely blew me away. Throw in a concept, great production, and you have all the elements of great Prog Metal. I cannot imagine this band topping this disc, and if they do, all the more power to them, but as far as pure and original Prog Metal goes, this band has it down.

So, I was torn as to which disc to make my #1 disc ...... I don't normally listen to the style of the disc below, but when something that good comes along in the genre, I'm all over it. I'm all about the Prog metal, but this disc and (singer) came along and completely took over my listening time - and it still does. I see the disc on top lists, but I don't think anyone but me will list it as #1 .......and here it is:

SORCERER / The Crowning of the Fire King -
I had owned several Sorcerer discs ......they were "good" but I mainly got them because the great and powerful Andy Engberg sings on them. Andy has been one my vocal heroes ever since the "Twilight" days.....anyone remember that band ? I'm almost positive that the great Erik Welty turned me onto Twilight, and I've been a fan of Andy Engberg ever since. Yes, we've seen him sing back up vocals in Evergrey and Therion, but we've never seen him front a band in a live setting. That is on my bucket list. When Guillaume pointed this disc out to me, I didn't really go crazy over the existence of it, because I'd owned previous Sorcerer discs, and they were just ok. Once I heard it though - things changed. As Nos pointed out in his Top 10 list, he doesn't call it "Doom Metal" he called melodic power metal slowed down a bit, and I agree with that completely. But what gets me here is the absolute greatness of Andy Engberg's vocal performance. Sounding like he did 20 years ago, Andy belts out these songs like Tony Martin did on Black Sabbath's "The Headless Cross". In fact, it's Andy's performance that brings this disc to the #1 spot - even the music is incredible melodic power metal somewhat akin to "The Headless Cross" style..... No one sings "far across the sea" quite like Andy does, and to hear him belting these songs out like it was his debut sends chills down my spine. I sometimes play this disc twice a day - and I take it to work many times a week to offset the bullshit that awaits me there...... it has to be a #1 disc. In the link below, I'd say pick this song or that song to check out it ... but they are all bad ass in their own right.........check out Sirens, Ship of Doom, and The Crowning of the Fire King if you want to know what this band is all about ....... if I'm in a metal mood, I grab this disc.... if I'm in a prog mood, I grab the Daydream disc....... I had to set this one at #1 because of the incredible vocal performance above all else. The great music that follows is a bonus.........

https://sorcererdoom.bandcamp.com/album ... -fire-king


What I failed to add originally to my post, were the 2 discs that I was surprised did not make my list ........

AYREON / The Source --
Like others, I am a bit overwhelmed by what is going on inside this disc .... with the multi-singers, various styles, concept and long run time, I just didn't have the attention span to give this disc the right amount of time needed to absorb it..... strangely, I liked this disc moreso than many of the previous discs Arjen has released, and I fear that each of his releases seem to lose me more and more ........ there is no doubting the greatness of what this man does though, so I continue to check out each and everything he touches......

THRESHOLD / Legend of the Shires --
Threshold ? check. Concept disc ? check. Glynn Morgan on vocals ? check. Great production ? check. Did it make my top 10 list ? Uncheck. So what happened ? We have discussed this to death .....in public and behind the scenes. In the end, I think it just came down to the songs not being so exciting and interesting for me....I've had to struggle through this disc at times, hitting the FF button through certain songs and thinking the greatness would follow. Nope. A few songs tell me that this disc is going to work for me, and then other songs tell me to move along and keep searching for the greatness..... It's such a let down for me to know that a disc from one my favorite bands of all time just doesn't click with me ......

User avatar
Nos
Posts: 337
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:41 pm

Re: My Top 10 for 2017.

Postby Nos » Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:23 pm

I appreciate my genius being recognized!

Cool stuff. We certainly have a couple places of agreement, and it's nice to see age hasn't completely ruined us yet.

User avatar
Guillaume
Posts: 788
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004 12:31 am
Location: Quebec City, Canada

Re: My Top 10 for 2017.

Postby Guillaume » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:39 pm

I quite enjoyed the Damnations Day disc too, while I didn't care for the 1st one.

Voyager... I can enjoy them a lot live, but the albums, only in small doses...

Seven Spires... The growling just kills it for me... Too bad, she has a good clean voice.

Vanish... A shame this band remains so unknown. This new one is excellent, at least a top 20 for me. But I'll say again that 2014's Come To Wither is even better IMO, with more Russell Allen-like vox.

The Dark Element... Far to be my fave style. Never cared for Nightwish, save for a song here and there. But I enjoyed this album, even though it got too mellow towards the end.

Daydream XI... Great singer indeed, excellent musicianship, but way too proggy overall for me. Thought it lacked catchy melodies and stuff to make me want to come back to it more often.

Sorcerer... What a killer disc! Top 2 or 3 for me, and maybe top 1 when I get to make my top something... Andy Engberg remains the most underrated singer in metal and it has been that way since his Twilight and then Lions Share days... This Twilight - Eye For An Eye album remains a classic for me.

I can't understand what's your problem with that great Threshold disc, that is fighting with Sorcerer and a couple others to be my top 2017 album.

Ayreon... I was never the biggest fan, even though I enjoyed some of the previous stuff. This one remains way too long for me to get back to it often, but I enjoyed several tracks off it.

G

User avatar
Man Of Much Metal
Posts: 1064
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:17 pm
Location: Suffolk, UK
Contact:

Re: My Top 10 for 2017.

Postby Man Of Much Metal » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:23 pm

I'm actually shocked that you don't like the Threshold disc Larry. It's another example of how subjective music can be because I adore it - in fact, I'd rank it as their best ever release. Very interesting... :D
Matt
The Man of Much Metal
The Blog Of Much Metal: https://manofmuchmetal.com/

User avatar
Digital Man
Posts: 486
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2004 2:40 pm

Re: My Top 10 for 2017.

Postby Digital Man » Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:37 am

LarryD wrote:
CYDEMIND / Erosion -
I rarely listen to instrumentals much less put one on my best of list....... Joseph Magazine may have been the last one I put on a list. Glenn is usually on the hunt for awesome instruementals and I'm lucky to have him pointing out the best of the best (for my taste). While Widek rules me and everyone else around here, Cydemind edges them out for me because they use a violin as the lead instrument and lots of piano - plus they sound like a prog metal version of one of my all time favorite bands, Kansas. You'd swear this was Kansas on steroids. Hailing from Montreal (seems lots of cool prog bands hail from Canada), these guys just lay it out with that violin and prog metal chops from hell. If I didn't hear about this band, Widek would surely be in it's place. If you haven't heard them, check them out when you can ..... that 27:00 last track is to die for. Oh, you can only download from Bandcamp I think, again making it one of those discs that you have to buy "this way".

https://cydemind.bandcamp.com/



I was going though my Bandcamp wishlist and playing some of the bands I had added, not really remembering where I heard about them. I ran across this band and holy crap, this is great. I had to go try to find out where I heard about this band, and sure enough I added it after reading your description. The description sounded like something I would like and sure enough I do. Kansas on steroids is very accurate.
Güy

User avatar
ToddS
Site Admin
Posts: 3088
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 9:38 pm
Location: New Orleans

Re: My Top 10 for 2017.

Postby ToddS » Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:44 pm

Started putting my list together today.

Cydemind, Voyager, and Daydream will be top 10 for me as well.

Evership would as well, but it was a 2016 release. Happy to see you still loving this one, as I do too. I must see these guys live.

Odd Logic, and Sorcerer will get honorable mentions.

I'm not real high on the Threshold, but Ayreon is top 10 material for me.

Some good stuff there. Cheers bro!
"My songs become my freedom, and my freedom turns to gold"

Sparky
Posts: 1089
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2004 1:33 pm

Re: My Top 10 for 2017.

Postby Sparky » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:12 pm

LarryD wrote:CYDEMIND / Erosion


Yeah I live in the middle of god-forsaken Indiana, but when something is THIS good, is it too much to ask for you to drive your ass out here, shove some headphones on me, and spin it up? APPARENTLY SO. Thanks for nothing, Larry.

(they're quite good, aren't they?)
I'll be the judge of what's good and what isn't, thank you... ;)

User avatar
LarryD
Site Admin
Posts: 6257
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 7:57 pm
Location: Rhode Island / USA

Re: My Top 10 for 2017.

Postby LarryD » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:15 am

Sparky wrote:
LarryD wrote:CYDEMIND / Erosion


Yeah I live in the middle of god-forsaken Indiana, but when something is THIS good, is it too much to ask for you to drive your ass out here, shove some headphones on me, and spin it up? APPARENTLY SO. Thanks for nothing, Larry.

(they're quite good, aren't they?)


*** I'd do it for you bro ...... but I have about as much desire to come to Indiana as I do staying here in Rhode Island ............ :wink:

Hearing Aid Man
Posts: 1362
Joined: Tue May 04, 2004 7:13 pm

Re: My Top 10 for 2017.

Postby Hearing Aid Man » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:57 pm

You FW reference finally made me check out Damnations Day. Not bad!


Return to “PM: Core”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests