Digital Man's Top 10 Of 2018

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Digital Man's Top 10 Of 2018

Postby Digital Man » Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:13 pm

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti-bSKTnN1w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hurWzo01FpM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ks52bFQKIDo

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bz9uAOM4DHo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xf_4uvymwRw

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://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk8zm_5-Bs4
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.

https://phideaux.bandcamp.com/album/infernal
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://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwcocrUz1y8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bhPcrPLyKo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jypdLnySvA
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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4BsFVVPP14
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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pG2J3mjnFL4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_j1MXXqj1w
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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Raz0TKEox6A

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmfnINxMKss
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3dmQqBArO0
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.

https://youtu.be/lzQmgb1fWRk

Runner Up: The Paradox Twin - The Importance Of Mr Bedlam
(Progressive Rock)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb5nyjAFrf8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpVc4AMcD6c

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
Güy

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Re: Digital Man's Top 10 Of 2018

Postby LarryD » Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:12 am

Awesome list, and well thought out ....... as you get further and further into prog rock land, and away from metal, it's great to see the metal taking the top 2 spots.....


Digital Man wrote: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.


***So strange for me to NOT have even put this on my list .... I've been getting chastised all year for snubbing this one, and I kept going back and back and still it did nothing for me like OrWarrior did..... yes it's good, but I was expecting so much more, but apparently everyone got the memo except me that this was a better release.......




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.



***This almost made my Top 10 .... but it's definitely on my Top 20. I came late to the party on Amorphis, and Glenn got me into Skyforger, which I loved......there is something about this disc that makes it special, and we've been debating how much growling is on the disc, and I don't care either way. It's good enough to be a #1 disc, I agree.....



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.


***I agree with this wholeheartedly. And I also agree with the formula change - or at least ramp up the power level just a bit ( whatever that is for this band ) ....but the singing is undeniably what grabs me in here, along with the fantastic, sappy, melodies......



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.


***Again, my expectations may have been a bit high for this one -- but at #11, it's at least on my list ...... I use live discs on my list, so consider this a top 10 without those discs in place..... I just seem to like the back half of the disc better than the front half, and having to FF a little bit to get the payoff put this one down a bit on the list.....



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.


***Yeah baby !!!!!! awesome. Can u imagine if Glenn actually got this band to play PP and they did this whole disc live ????? :shock: :shock:



Runner Up: The Paradox Twin - The Importance Of Mr Bedlam
(Progressive Rock)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb5nyjAFrf8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpVc4AMcD6c

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.

***This is how you do catchy, atmospheric, neo-prog / melodic somthing or other ..... whatever it is, and this is how you make it sound. The singer can sing to me all day and night without ear fatigue .......

It's also great to see that the rest of your list is not only mostly metal - but all of them on my Top 10 list !!!!!! Great list, thanks for posting ......

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Re: Digital Man's Top 10 Of 2018

Postby introclaus » Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:11 am

LarryD wrote: ***So strange for me to NOT have even put this on my list .... I've been getting chastised all year for snubbing this one, and I kept going back and back and still it did nothing for me like OrWarrior did..... yes it's good, but I was expecting so much more, but apparently everyone got the memo except me that this was a better release.......


You said it yourself actually ... you think OrWarrior was their best when in fact most of us count that as their weakest album ... and the style on the new one has way more in common with Mabool than OrWarrior so of course it doesn’t sit well with you.
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Re: Digital Man's Top 10 Of 2018

Postby LarryD » Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:29 am

introclaus wrote:
LarryD wrote: ***So strange for me to NOT have even put this on my list .... I've been getting chastised all year for snubbing this one, and I kept going back and back and still it did nothing for me like OrWarrior did..... yes it's good, but I was expecting so much more, but apparently everyone got the memo except me that this was a better release.......


You said it yourself actually ... you think OrWarrior was their best when in fact most of us count that as their weakest album ... and the style on the new one has way more in common with Mabool than OrWarrior so of course it doesn’t sit well with you.



*** Is it safe to say that OrWarrior is their most progressive release ? Could that be it ?

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Re: Digital Man's Top 10 Of 2018

Postby introclaus » Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:15 am

LarryD wrote:
introclaus wrote:
LarryD wrote: ***So strange for me to NOT have even put this on my list .... I've been getting chastised all year for snubbing this one, and I kept going back and back and still it did nothing for me like OrWarrior did..... yes it's good, but I was expecting so much more, but apparently everyone got the memo except me that this was a better release.......


You said it yourself actually ... you think OrWarrior was their best when in fact most of us count that as their weakest album ... and the style on the new one has way more in common with Mabool than OrWarrior so of course it doesn’t sit well with you.



*** Is it safe to say that OrWarrior is their most progressive release ? Could that be it ?


On the contrary - besides the first two (more “oriental doom metal”) OrWarrior is the least proggy but more song/melody oriented of their albums. Mabool is full fledged prog metal if you ask me.
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Re: Digital Man's Top 10 Of 2018

Postby Hearing Aid Man » Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:36 am

10) Ostura - The Room. If I had more time with this, it may have been placed higher than 10.


This is exactly how I feel. I heard it and thought this is really good and needs more attention.

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Re: Digital Man's Top 10 Of 2018

Postby ToddS » Mon Dec 24, 2018 4:23 pm

Nice list Guy. We have a few in common. Cool to see Orphaned Land at 1. It’s a great disc. Maybe their best.

I need to check out Phideaux. I had once of their earlier releases that I though was ok. I haven’t checked them out in a long time. I keep seeing hight praise on this one.
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Re: Digital Man's Top 10 Of 2018

Postby ToddS » Mon Dec 24, 2018 4:37 pm

introclaus wrote:
LarryD wrote:
introclaus wrote:
You said it yourself actually ... you think OrWarrior was their best when in fact most of us count that as their weakest album ... and the style on the new one has way more in common with Mabool than OrWarrior so of course it doesn’t sit well with you.



*** Is it safe to say that OrWarrior is their most progressive release ? Could that be it ?


On the contrary - besides the first two (more “oriental doom metal”) OrWarrior is the least proggy but more song/melody oriented of their albums. Mabool is full fledged prog metal if you ask me.


I went back and listened to OWarrior last night, and I think it is the most ethnic of all their records. I very Oriental sounding in voice and instruments. It makes me feel feel like I’m in a synagogue service. I don’t mean that in a negative way in the least. It’s quite cool. I of course this is a part of their sound, but it’s really done up big here. I think this is certainly lighter than most any of their other release. I need a fresh listen to Mabool, but that one is proggy as well.

Larry the times we discussed UPaDM, I’m thinking we were comparing it to All Is One. No? OrWarrior is 2 records back. UPaDM sounds heavier, more proggy, and certainly better produced than OrWarrior to my ears.
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Re: Digital Man's Top 10 Of 2018

Postby Guillaume » Mon Dec 24, 2018 5:01 pm

Digital Man wrote:Seventh Wonder - Tiara
Ghost - Prequelle
Redemption - Long Night's Journey into Day
Royal Hunt - Cast In Stone
Tomorrow's Eve - Mirror Of Creation III-Project Ikaros
Dynazty - Firesign
Michael Romeo - War Of The Worlds, Pt. 1
Lords Of Black - Icons Of The New Days


I enjoyed these from your list.

But the RH is the one I enjoyed less for some reason. Maybe I didn't give it enough time though....

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Re: Digital Man's Top 10 Of 2018

Postby Digital Man » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:48 am

Guillaume wrote:
Digital Man wrote:Seventh Wonder - Tiara
Ghost - Prequelle
Redemption - Long Night's Journey into Day
Royal Hunt - Cast In Stone
Tomorrow's Eve - Mirror Of Creation III-Project Ikaros
Dynazty - Firesign
Michael Romeo - War Of The Worlds, Pt. 1
Lords Of Black - Icons Of The New Days


I enjoyed these from your list.

But the RH is the one I enjoyed less for some reason. Maybe I didn't give it enough time though....


Yes, it was weird how little talk there was about a new Royal Hunt disc. I've enjoyed the previous discs since DC re-joined, but for some reason this one didn't do anything for me. Perhaps a case of music overload. I should go back to this one sometime. As much as I like Dynazty, Firesign didn't click with me either. I think that when bands come out with a unique formula, it starts to wear thin on me after a few discs of the same thing. So maybe that's the case with Firesign or maybe I just wasn't in the right place to appreciate it this year. As usual, it will go on the shelf until I'm ready for it. Same with Lords Of Black, I love the band but for some reason I had no interest in listening to Icons Of The New Days this year, need to come back to it when I'm digging that kind of music again.
Güy

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Re: Digital Man's Top 10 Of 2018

Postby Digital Man » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:55 am

LarryD wrote:Awesome list, and well thought out ....... as you get further and further into prog rock land, and away from metal, it's great to see the metal taking the top 2 spots.....


LIsten to Obscura and then tell me I don't listen to metal anymore. :D I still listen to a lot of metal, I'm just expanding my listening to include more prog rock. Since the prog rock discs are brand new to me, they are the ones I'm really getting excited about lately. It's like there is this whole huge undiscovered genre for me. It's fun finding new things that excite you when you get burned out on previous genres.
Güy

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Re: Digital Man's Top 10 Of 2018

Postby Sir Exar Kun » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:05 am

Yes, it was weird how little talk there was about a new Royal Hunt disc. I've enjoyed the previous discs since DC re-joined, but for some reason this one didn't do anything for me. Perhaps a case of music overload. I should go back to this one sometime.


I actually forgot that even came out this year. Not that it would have made my list, anyway...... I think distribution hurt on this one, as it was not widely available or mentioned. Songwriting was solid (as per usual), but it was also the worst mix I've ever heard on DC's vocals. Usually he is extremely clear, and on this one I had a hard time understanding him in a lot of places.

Still, mad respect to the band for making BED SHEETS with the artwork available. No joke. Look it up.
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Re: Digital Man's Top 10 Of 2018

Postby introclaus » Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:02 pm

Digital Man wrote: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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti-bSKTnN1w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hurWzo01FpM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ks52bFQKIDo


Fantastic disc!

Digital Man wrote: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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bz9uAOM4DHo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xf_4uvymwRw


Love this one as well ... and I prefer it to UtRC.

Digital Man wrote: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://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk8zm_5-Bs4
https://alltrapsonearth.bandcamp.com/
http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=10657


I checked this out based on both you and Ken G liking it that much. I'm totally digging this!! Bought!


Digital Man wrote: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.

https://phideaux.bandcamp.com/album/infernal
http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=2379


I'll have to check it out next.


Digital Man wrote: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://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwcocrUz1y8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bhPcrPLyKo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jypdLnySvA
https://techno1line.bandcamp.com/album/obscura-diluvium


Yes great album - I like most of their back catalogue, but this one might actually be their best in my opinion (it's a bit more immediate and the melodies are killer) ... you cant' go wrong w Cynic worship ;)

Digital Man wrote: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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4BsFVVPP14
http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=791


I can't stand this - too sweet. Sorry.

Digital Man wrote: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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pG2J3mjnFL4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_j1MXXqj1w
http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=320


I haven't liked any of the Ted Leonard fronted discs, which is a shame as I think he is great in Enchant (okay, the last Enchant sucked as well, so ...)

Digital Man wrote: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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Raz0TKEox6A


Like it a lot, but too many things about it I just don't love.

Digital Man wrote: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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmfnINxMKss
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3dmQqBArO0
http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=5341


Will have to check it out.

Digital Man wrote: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.

https://youtu.be/lzQmgb1fWRk


You're right - this really is as good as everyone says.

Digital Man wrote:Runner Up: The Paradox Twin - The Importance Of Mr Bedlam
(Progressive Rock)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb5nyjAFrf8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpVc4AMcD6c

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.


Music is fine, but I'm with you on the vocals.
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Re: Digital Man's Top 10 Of 2018

Postby elendil » Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:00 pm

ToddS wrote:
introclaus wrote:
LarryD wrote:

*** Is it safe to say that OrWarrior is their most progressive release ? Could that be it ?


On the contrary - besides the first two (more “oriental doom metal”) OrWarrior is the least proggy but more song/melody oriented of their albums. Mabool is full fledged prog metal if you ask me.


I went back and listened to OWarrior last night, and I think it is the most ethnic of all their records. I very Oriental sounding in voice and instruments. It makes me feel feel like I’m in a synagogue service. I don’t mean that in a negative way in the least. It’s quite cool. I of course this is a part of their sound, but it’s really done up big here. I think this is certainly lighter than most any of their other release. I need a fresh listen to Mabool, but that one is proggy as well.

Larry the times we discussed UPaDM, I’m thinking we were comparing it to All Is One. No? OrWarrior is 2 records back. UPaDM sounds heavier, more proggy, and certainly better produced than OrWarrior to my ears.


To my ears OrWarrior sounds almost nu-metal-ish, and that's the reason I think of it as, along with _Sahara_, one of OL's weakest.

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Re: Digital Man's Top 10 Of 2018

Postby introclaus » Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:16 pm

elendil wrote:
ToddS wrote:
introclaus wrote:
On the contrary - besides the first two (more “oriental doom metal”) OrWarrior is the least proggy but more song/melody oriented of their albums. Mabool is full fledged prog metal if you ask me.


I went back and listened to OWarrior last night, and I think it is the most ethnic of all their records. I very Oriental sounding in voice and instruments. It makes me feel feel like I’m in a synagogue service. I don’t mean that in a negative way in the least. It’s quite cool. I of course this is a part of their sound, but it’s really done up big here. I think this is certainly lighter than most any of their other release. I need a fresh listen to Mabool, but that one is proggy as well.

Larry the times we discussed UPaDM, I’m thinking we were comparing it to All Is One. No? OrWarrior is 2 records back. UPaDM sounds heavier, more proggy, and certainly better produced than OrWarrior to my ears.


To my ears OrWarrior sounds almost nu-metal-ish, and that's the reason I think of it as, along with _Sahara_, one of OL's weakest.


Not necessarily “nu-metal” but definitely an attempt at going in a much more polished/modern direction. To me it sounds like an oriental version of Epica style power/symphonic metal. “All is One” wasn’t back to full fledged “middle eastern prog” but it was more focused and unique that OrWarrior. With the new one they’ve hit on all the things that I personally prefer about this band, and while it’s not as good as Mabool (really, not much is...) it’s a brilliant disc.
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Re: Digital Man's Top 10 Of 2018

Postby elendil » Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:42 pm

introclaus wrote:Not necessarily “nu-metal” but definitely an attempt at going in a much more polished/modern direction. To me it sounds like an oriental version of Epica style power/symphonic metal. “All is One” wasn’t back to full fledged “middle eastern prog” but it was more focused and unique that OrWarrior. With the new one they’ve hit on all the things that I personally prefer about this band, and while it’s not as good as Mabool (really, not much is...) it’s a brilliant disc.


All Is One has one of OL's best songs ever (the opening, title track), but the rest of it is a bit ho-hum to my ears - possibly just due to my finding it more predictable and less original than Mabool was at its release. So I'd put Mabool first, Unsung Prophets second, then All Is One, then El Norra Alila, then the other two. But I can see how someone new to OL *might* like their most recent albums better than Mabool due to not having the same context and familarity with their sound.

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Re: Digital Man's Top 10 Of 2018

Postby ToddS » Thu Dec 27, 2018 7:12 pm

elendil wrote:
introclaus wrote:Not necessarily “nu-metal” but definitely an attempt at going in a much more polished/modern direction. To me it sounds like an oriental version of Epica style power/symphonic metal. “All is One” wasn’t back to full fledged “middle eastern prog” but it was more focused and unique that OrWarrior. With the new one they’ve hit on all the things that I personally prefer about this band, and while it’s not as good as Mabool (really, not much is...) it’s a brilliant disc.


All Is One has one of OL's best songs ever (the opening, title track), but the rest of it is a bit ho-hum to my ears - possibly just due to my finding it more predictable and less original than Mabool was at its release. So I'd put Mabool first, Unsung Prophets second, then All Is One, then El Norra Alila, then the other two. But I can see how someone new to OL *might* like their most recent albums better than Mabool due to not having the same context and familarity with their sound.


elendil wrote:
ToddS wrote:
introclaus wrote:
On the contrary - besides the first two (more “oriental doom metal”) OrWarrior is the least proggy but more song/melody oriented of their albums. Mabool is full fledged prog metal if you ask me.


I went back and listened to OWarrior last night, and I think it is the most ethnic of all their records. I very Oriental sounding in voice and instruments. It makes me feel feel like I’m in a synagogue service. I don’t mean that in a negative way in the least. It’s quite cool. I of course this is a part of their sound, but it’s really done up big here. I think this is certainly lighter than most any of their other release. I need a fresh listen to Mabool, but that one is proggy as well.

Larry the times we discussed UPaDM, I’m thinking we were comparing it to All Is One. No? OrWarrior is 2 records back. UPaDM sounds heavier, more proggy, and certainly better produced than OrWarrior to my ears.


To my ears OrWarrior sounds almost nu-metal-ish, and that's the reason I think of it as, along with _Sahara_, one of OL's weakest.


Can't say I picked up on OrWarrior being nu-metal-ish. It's lighter, less metal with lots of acoustic instruments, and ethnic voices to my ears. I like it, but like you guys I would put it behind Mabool, and the last 2 releases as well.

I take it you are just speaking in general terms? Those discussing here aren't new to OL. I like your ranking order. Mabool was the one that got me into the band, and I wouldn't argue against it being their best. It has personal meaning for me. I love it! I am going to take a listen over the next few days to get a fresh perspective. Unsung Prophets is a fantastic record too! I don't know if I like it better than Mabool. but I like it quite a lot.
"My songs become my freedom, and my freedom turns to gold"

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Re: Digital Man's Top 10 Of 2018

Postby elendil » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:50 am

ToddS wrote:
I take it you are just speaking in general terms? Those discussing here aren't new to OL. I like your ranking order. Mabool was the one that got me into the band, and I wouldn't argue against it being their best. It has personal meaning for me. I love it! I am going to take a listen over the next few days to get a fresh perspective. Unsung Prophets is a fantastic record too! I don't know if I like it better than Mabool. but I like it quite a lot.


Yes, I was speaking in general terms! Possibly OrWarrior is better than I remember it. When it came out I gave it three or four listens but had a pretty strong allergic reaction to at least a couple of the songs. I liked the fast, whirling Middle Eastern melodies with traditional instruments from _Mabool_, and OrWarrior seemed much more... staccato and blocky, I guess.

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Re: Digital Man's Top 10 Of 2018

Postby LarryD » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:57 am

Now you guys have me wondering .... have I been talking about OrWarrior or All is One ?? I'd forgotten all about All is One, so now you have me thinking ..... damn you Claus for bringing my aging memory to my attention ........ :wink:

I know the new one isn't my favorite as it's not on my list at all -- but the recent chats I've been having with Todd and Claus about it, makes me think I'm referring to AiO instead of OrWarrior ? I keep referring to the "last" disc, which in my mind, was OR, but it's not .....thus the confusion ......

I'm hitting the boxes soon and dig out the O-Land discs and will have an OL weekend of listening ..... that will settle things in my aging mind a bit .... I hope .... :roll:


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