My Top 10+

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ToddS
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My Top 10+

Postby ToddS » Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:41 pm

I don’t really think much about a top 10 list throughout the year while I'm listening to music unless someone bings it up, or of course at the end of the year when everyone is doing them. Several 2018 releases pushed for #1. A strong year for great music! I juggled things around several times while listening, and while my number 1 became clear, several that follow could keep juggling for a higher position on my next listen/s. It has to stop somewhere. :lol:

I didn’t include live releases, nor EPs in my top 10, but will note a few I like.

My top 10 with rambling thoughts, and links. Starting at #10.

10. Between The Buried And Me / Automata
Splitting this into 2 records by the label is just a total money grab. This is not the bands fault, and I won't penalize them for it. With that out of the way...
Some background, I couldn’t even listen to this band until Coma Ecliptic. It just so happens I heard Memory Palace on XM radio on the drive to work one morning and was blown away!
This prompted a revisit of BtBaM. This follows up that record nicely, and along with Coma, both being more musical and melodic, with less of the harsh vocals than previous releases.

There is also a Porcupine Tree vibe that pops up in these past two records that I find quite appealing. Quite the talented players certainly. I really hope they continue this direction, perhaps with even less harsh vox. Btw the first half of the song “Voice Of Trespass” could have fit right in on a DSO record. Groovy!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ja0EWloqsKo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eb-wl5E8PH8


9. Tomorrow’s Eve / Mirror Of Creation III - Project Ikaros
Traditional melodic prog-metal at its finest!
https://youtu.be/sl7amk-iWz4


8. HAGO / HAGO
There are too few heavy prog-fusion releases these days. Hago delivers in a big way!
https://hago.bandcamp.com/releases


7. Redemption / Long Night's Journey Into Day
Tom steps in and they don’t miss a beat. While I do prefer The Art Of Loss to this record personally, this is another consistently damn fine release from Nick and company! They never fail to deliver the the goods! The incredible guitar solos continue, and I love it!
https://youtu.be/ZjrM0wsEK5Y


6. Ostura / The Room
Wow! This came out of nowhere and really impresses with a style that sounds like a mix of Ayreon, Beyond the Bridge, Dream Theater, SX, Epica, Nightwish, etc. Hailing from Lebanon (what?). Great playing, and stellar vocals from several vocalist both male and female! If that wasn’t enough, the Prague orchestra puts it over the top. Great production is the cherry on top!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HP3958zgNFY


5. Orphaned Land / Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs
OL step up everything here. It’s OL at their absolute very best! Maybe their best record! It’s that good. Nuff said.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti-bSKTnN1w


4. Seventh Wonder / Tiara
Seventh Wonder releases take too damn long, but they never fail to deliver. It’s Seventh Wonder record through and through. The only criticism I don’t disagree with is the mix. Not a great sounding record, and the bass needed a boost. Sounds better through a darker sounding pair of headphones for me. In spite of the sound flaws, this is a fantastic record! It is such a treat to hear Tommy in his true element being himself here.
https://youtu.be/Raz0TKEox6A


3. Kingcrow / The Persistence
Another brilliant release form Kingcrow. What is that now 4 in a row? They take on a bit more atmospheric approach this time, but The Persistence is as good as ever! They never fail to stir my soul.
https://lasersedge.bandcamp.com/album/t ... ez-version


2. Karmic Juggernaut / The Dreams That Stuff Are Made Of
So we have the bass player from Thank You Scientist (a band I love) here, doing a bit of a twisted version of that style, along with classic prog-rock, and hints of something like DSO. The singer sort of sounds like the twisted love child of Jon Anderson (Yes), and Frank Dimino (Angel). Lol It all comes together quite nicely. Kind of hard to describe, you just need to take a listen for yourself. This got spun as much as anything else I have from 2018. Quite the unique, fun and interesting listen.
https://karmicjuggernaut.bandcamp.com/a ... re-made-of


1. Haken / Vector
Once again Haken changes things up while still sounding like Haken. From the opening dark and sinister intro of Clear you get the feeling this is something different from Haken. The Good Doctor eases you into things, followed by the excellent Puzzle Box. Next up Veil and Nil By Mouth hits with massive intensity! These 2 songs which go together as one, are just crushing and jaw dropping musically! The best thing I’ve heard all year hands down! Mind blowing stuff!

Next up is Host which is just so dark and gut wrenching that I can’t get it out of my head. A Cell Divides if another great track that ends things nicely. Well sort of ends things, as there is the hidden track Verbal Summator (which is basically an audio version of an ink blot test). This entire record is fantastic! There are references both musically and lyrically to Haken tracks from other records that perhaps connect the story. This is one of those recordings that made me get the booklet out, sit down, and go through it all. Very cool stuff!

It’s been said it’s a bit short and needed another song. While I don’t disagree, it’s an intense 45 minute listen! About 6 minutes longer than 2112 btw. We are a bit spoiled by hour+ records as the norm from Haken. I certainly am anyway. This disappointed me at first, but I got over it. What is here is just so good. There are some tracks I skip on the previous couple of releases, not so here. Love the heavy direction after the mostly lighter Affinity. I hope that continues. Brilliant as always!
https://youtu.be/2oCD4Wk1bwo


Releases just outside of my top 10. In a different year some of these make it.


Michael Romeo / War of the Worlds Pt. 1
Quite honestly this is 10b. Excellent stuff from Romeo, that could have been a SX release really. We get Romeo’s ProgPower neoclassical style with more intergrated cinematic orchestrations. Some lifted right out of Star Wars (a tribute?). Enlisted vocalist Rick Castellano is a damn fine vocalist in his own right, but I must admit that I can’t help but think how this would sound with Russell Allen singing every time I listen too it. I like Ricks voice, but thought he lacked a little power at times. Nit picking a bit perhaps, as this is excellent stuff! Romeo is his ridiculas axe master supreme self as usual!
https://youtu.be/FIxnzJeV24A


Southern Empire / Civilization
An excellent sophomore follow up to their great debut from these prog rockers out of the land of Oz. Heart felt lyrics, and great production brings it home. A 70 minute recording consisting of just 4 tracks.
https://youtu.be/cY-M_XOD2wA


Maestrick / Espresso Della Vita: Sorale
I didn't cared for their previous release, but this one is excellent! A prog power mix, though it feels like it’s from the 70s sometimes. I hear Queen, a touch of say acoustic style Led Zeppelin, and even a nod to King Crimson’s CotCK pops up. There is bit of Sepultura style tribal chants, choirs, gospel, and some orchestrations add to it all. Quite epic actually. The singer is much better here to these ears than their debut. Solid production tops it off. Quite the pleasant surprise release.
https://youtu.be/5qoW-aV5Xug
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsSeGTNwH9g
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUT00VUCtBY


Subsignal / La Muerta
A bit more on the mellow side, but still quite moving and musically excellent.
https://youtu.be/4S-hTpKJoWo


The Paradox Twin / The Importance of Mr Bedlam
Really well done groovy atmospheric neo-prog.
https://youtu.be/i7dIOR4PJFQ


Ghost Ship Octavius / Delirium
Ok I thought the debut was ok, but wow! Did I miss something or did they really stepped it up here? See Man of much Metal’s site for a detailed review. https://manofmuchmetal.com/2018/12/17/a ... number-14/
https://youtu.be/0C7YAfQ1pdM
https://youtu.be/42JzaIfYsz4
https://youtu.be/HZdsPgMz2s4


A Dying Planet / Facing the Incurable
I really dig this, but it is truly painful hearing what Troy went through here. A heart piercing listen. Troy being one of the best bass players I’ve ever heard, now physically limited. Kudos Troy for putting this out there bro! I had to put this on the back burner for a bit because of that, but spinning it several times over at the end of the year, and quite enjoying it! It’s always a treat to hear new music from the Tipton brothers. I miss the brothers big time. Troy is a good vocalist on top of being an incredible bassist. Who would have known? Eric singing a track is a nice bonus. I need more Tipton brothers music in my life. Eric as well.
https://youtu.be/9rSRAxQrmKY
https://youtu.be/aW_yb3SAF7E


More stuff I enjoyed this year


Amorphis / Queen Of Time
These guys are a bit of a mood listen for me, but they keep putting out quality release after quality release. Anneke fits in nicely as a guest.
https://youtu.be/Jg2VqUTNjsw


Arena / Double Vision
Probably the best of this current formation of the band.
https://youtu.be/qzMzoqQyhD8


Conception / My Dark Symphony
Just an EP, but it is so great to have Conception back!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR0_Sr1ON2U


Fractal Cypher / Prelude To An Impending Outcome
These Canadians are incredibly talented musicians. Some times I feel they just don’t know what they want to be musically. However this is quite enjoyable and complex music. With every listen this grows on me. Give them a try.
https://fractalcypher.bandcamp.com/albu ... ng-outcome


Judas Priest / Firepower
Never would have thought they had this one in them at this point. Quite good.
https://youtu.be/zVVrfqwA5lQ


Mystery / Lies and Butterflies
Getting a bit too sugary, but enjoyable.
https://www.therealmystery.com/sounds


Plini / Sunhead
Awesome EP from the guitar wiz!
https://plini.bandcamp.com/album/sunhead


Tesseract / Sonder
I liked how this starts out with the nice heaviness of the first 2 track, before going into their more atmospheric mode. A bit uneven perhaps, but I’m still working on this one.
https://youtu.be/jJKsmaGtrjo


Live Shows


Ayreon / Universe
A fantastic Ayreon show on a nice quality Blu-ray! It’s awesome! Just buy it!


Devin Townsend Project / Ocean Machine: Live At The Ancient Theater
Excellent quality Blu-ray, and a cool show set in the Ancient Rome theatre. This one is more stripped down from the over the top Ziltoid shows, but a must have if you are a fan. It’s been quite some time since I last played any Ocean Machine, so I quite enjoyed this.


Haken / L-1VE
While the DVD video quality is sub par, at least the Amsterdam shoot is, the ProgPower video is far better, the audio is quite good. Outside of Red Giant the set list is a pretty nice mix! Especially when you include the songs from ProgPower. The Architect, Aquamedley (rules!), and Visions from PP is icing on the cake.


Neil Morse Band / The Similitude of a Dream Live In Tilburg
I think we all know what to expect here. I enjoy this even more than the cd.


Opeth / Garden Of The Titans (Live At Red Rock)
Really well done live Blu-ray release. Video is shot really well. Enjoyable to watch. Sounds really good too, though not HD audio. At least it is lossless 16 bit PCM stereo and 5.1. I only listened to the stereo track. So while not reference A/V, still quite good. I even enjoyed the recent songs they played. They seemed to come across better live.

Thoughts, comments, disagreements welcome.
"My songs become my freedom, and my freedom turns to gold"

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Guillaume
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Re: My Top 10+

Postby Guillaume » Mon Dec 24, 2018 4:50 pm

ToddS wrote:9. Tomorrow’s Eve / Mirror Of Creation III - Project Ikaros
Traditional melodic prog-metal at its finest!
https://youtu.be/sl7amk-iWz4

**** I really enjoyed this one. Their best by far for me. As you say, trad prog metal at its finest IMO. Lots of catchy stuff to be found here, as well as crunchy riffing.



7. Redemption / Long Night's Journey Into Day
Tom steps in and they don’t miss a beat. While I do prefer The Art Of Loss to this record personally, this is another consistently damn fine release from Nick and company! They never fail to deliver the the goods! The incredible guitar solos continue, and I love it!
https://youtu.be/ZjrM0wsEK5Y

****Same comment as for TE. Their best for me. Tom's voice fits like a glove.


6. Ostura / The Room
Wow! This came out of nowhere and really impresses with a style that sounds like a mix of Ayreon, Beyond the Bridge, Dream Theater, SX, Epica, Nightwish, etc. Hailing from Lebanon (what?). Great playing, and stellar vocals from several vocalist both male and female! If that wasn’t enough, the Prague orchestra puts it over the top. Great production is the cherry on top!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HP3958zgNFY

**** Too cinematic for me, and somewhat disjointed too. Could not get into it at all.



4. Seventh Wonder / Tiara
Seventh Wonder releases take too damn long, but they never fail to deliver. It’s Seventh Wonder record through and through. The only criticism I don’t disagree with is the mix. Not a great sounding record, and the bass needed a boost. Sounds better through a darker sounding pair of headphones for me. In spite of the sound flaws, this is a fantastic record! It is such a treat to hear Tommy in his true element being himself here.
https://youtu.be/Raz0TKEox6A

**** Really good album. My #3 in prog metal this year.


Michael Romeo / War of the Worlds Pt. 1
Quite honestly this is 10b. Excellent stuff from Romeo, that could have been a SX release really. We get Romeo’s ProgPower neoclassical style with more intergrated cinematic orchestrations. Some lifted right out of Star Wars (a tribute?). Enlisted vocalist Rick Castellano is a damn fine vocalist in his own right, but I must admit that I can’t help but think how this would sound with Russell Allen singing every time I listen too it. I like Ricks voice, but thought he lacked a little power at times. Nit picking a bit perhaps, as this is excellent stuff! Romeo is his ridiculas axe master supreme self as usual!
https://youtu.be/FIxnzJeV24A

****I really like most of it, but again, a bit too cinematic at times for me. This singer is indeed excellent, but like you, I'd like to hear melodic Russ sing these songs!



Ghost Ship Octavius / Delirium
Ok I thought the debut was ok, but wow! Did I miss something or did they really stepped it up here? See Man of much Metal’s site for a detailed review. https://manofmuchmetal.com/2018/12/17/a ... number-14/
https://youtu.be/0C7YAfQ1pdM
https://youtu.be/42JzaIfYsz4
https://youtu.be/HZdsPgMz2s4

**** I'm the opposite. I enjoyed the 1st one much more than this one. But I'd need to give him a new listen, it's been a while.


Conception / My Dark Symphony
Just an EP, but it is so great to have Conception back!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR0_Sr1ON2U

**** Good stuff, nice to have them back, but really on the mellow side. I'd need more crunch!!


Judas Priest / Firepower
Never would have thought they had this one in them at this point. Quite good.
https://youtu.be/zVVrfqwA5lQ

**** Killer, my #1 or #2, not decided yet.

Hearing Aid Man
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Re: My Top 10+

Postby Hearing Aid Man » Mon Dec 24, 2018 6:54 pm

Nice list! We agree on 7 of the top 13. Hago was fighting for top 10 with me, but ended up 13.

Checking out your #2. Waiting for something major I missed. This might be it.

Funny I love the last Maestrick and skimmed the new one and never explored further. Might have to now.

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Sir Exar Kun
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Re: My Top 10+

Postby Sir Exar Kun » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:31 am

Great list, and as you have seen we touch on a lot of the same albums. I somehow missed the new Fractal Cypher, so need to check that one out....
Capitalism: God's way of separating the smart from the poor. -Ron Swanson

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Digital Man
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Re: My Top 10+

Postby Digital Man » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:41 am

ToddS wrote:
10. Between The Buried And Me / Automata
Splitting this into 2 records by the label is just a total money grab. This is not the bands fault, and I won't penalize them for it. With that out of the way...
Some background, I couldn’t even listen to this band until Coma Ecliptic. It just so happens I heard Memory Palace on XM radio on the drive to work one morning and was blown away!
This prompted a revisit of BtBaM. This follows up that record nicely, and along with Coma, both being more musical and melodic, with less of the harsh vocals than previous releases.

There is also a Porcupine Tree vibe that pops up in these past two records that I find quite appealing. Quite the talented players certainly. I really hope they continue this direction, perhaps with even less harsh vox. Btw the first half of the song “Voice Of Trespass” could have fit right in on a DSO record. Groovy!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ja0EWloqsKo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eb-wl5E8PH8



I like this band and loved Coma. I can't figure out why I didn't listen to these much this year. Perhaps the split release annoyed me, or maybe I kind of burned myself out on them getting ready for their PPUSA show a while back. I definitely need to go back to these.

ToddS wrote:
8. HAGO / HAGO
There are too few heavy prog-fusion releases these days. Hago delivers in a big way!
https://hago.bandcamp.com/releases



I have this on my Bandcamp wishlist, but I can't remember anything about it. Probably lost in all the other music on my wishlist. I need to go give this a listen.

ToddS wrote:
5. Orphaned Land / Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs
OL step up everything here. It’s OL at their absolute very best! Maybe their best record! It’s that good. Nuff said.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti-bSKTnN1w



I'm surprised this one isn't higher on your list, but I think it's just a testament to how much great music came out this year!

ToddS wrote:
3. Kingcrow / The Persistence
Another brilliant release form Kingcrow. What is that now 4 in a row? They take on a bit more atmospheric approach this time, but The Persistence is as good as ever! They never fail to stir my soul.
https://lasersedge.bandcamp.com/album/t ... ez-version



I still can't completely explain why this isn't on my list. As I think I mentioned in another post by the time my "pre-order" arrived nearly a month after everyone had it I had lost all motivation to want to listen to it. There were several bands I love that I just had no interest in listening to their new discs this year and this was one of them. This does happen to me from time to time, so I just put them on the shelf and pull them out when I'm ready. I'll count this one as a future opportunity to love and appreciate it.

ToddS wrote:
2. Karmic Juggernaut / The Dreams That Stuff Are Made Of
So we have the bass player from Thank You Scientist (a band I love) here, doing a bit of a twisted version of that style, along with classic prog-rock, and hints of something like DSO. The singer sort of sounds like the twisted love child of Jon Anderson (Yes), and Frank Dimino (Angel). Lol It all comes together quite nicely. Kind of hard to describe, you just need to take a listen for yourself. This got spun as much as anything else I have from 2018. Quite the unique, fun and interesting listen.
https://karmicjuggernaut.bandcamp.com/a ... re-made-of


Based on your list, I just added this to my Bandcamp wishlist. Will go check it out.



ToddS wrote:Southern Empire / Civilization
An excellent sophomore follow up to their great debut from these prog rockers out of the land of Oz. Heart felt lyrics, and great production brings it home. A 70 minute recording consisting of just 4 tracks.
https://youtu.be/cY-M_XOD2wA


I just picked this up a few days ago based on seeing it on a few lists. I think I was confusing this band with Southern Cross and never checked this out. Sounds like something I would like.

ToddS wrote:Maestrick / Espresso Della Vita: Sorale
I didn't cared for their previous release, but this one is excellent! A prog power mix, though it feels like it’s from the 70s sometimes. I hear Queen, a touch of say acoustic style Led Zeppelin, and even a nod to King Crimson’s CotCK pops up. There is bit of Sepultura style tribal chants, choirs, gospel, and some orchestrations add to it all. Quite epic actually. The singer is much better here to these ears than their debut. Solid production tops it off. Quite the pleasant surprise release.
https://youtu.be/5qoW-aV5Xug
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsSeGTNwH9g
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUT00VUCtBY


I listened to a little when I saw it on Glenn's list and don't remember being that thrilled with it, but this sounds like something I need to go check out.

ToddS wrote:Subsignal / La Muerta
A bit more on the mellow side, but still quite moving and musically excellent.
https://youtu.be/4S-hTpKJoWo


I like this band, but something about this release rubs me wrong. Don't really know why, perhaps how mellow it is, but after a few listens I don't want to listen to this at all anymore. I'll put it on the shelf and give it another try as I'm "cramming" to get ready for their PP show.

ToddS wrote:Ghost Ship Octavius / Delirium
Ok I thought the debut was ok, but wow! Did I miss something or did they really stepped it up here? See Man of much Metal’s site for a detailed review. https://manofmuchmetal.com/2018/12/17/a ... number-14/
https://youtu.be/0C7YAfQ1pdM
https://youtu.be/42JzaIfYsz4
https://youtu.be/HZdsPgMz2s4


I liked the first disc, but I found them incredibly boring both times I saw them live so maybe that's making me uninterested in checking this out. Sometime I'm sure I'll give it a shot.

ToddS wrote:A Dying Planet / Facing the Incurable
I really dig this, but it is truly painful hearing what Troy went through here. A heart piercing listen. Troy being one of the best bass players I’ve ever heard, now physically limited. Kudos Troy for putting this out there bro! I had to put this on the back burner for a bit because of that, but spinning it several times over at the end of the year, and quite enjoying it! It’s always a treat to hear new music from the Tipton brothers. I miss the brothers big time. Troy is a good vocalist on top of being an incredible bassist. Who would have known? Eric singing a track is a nice bonus. I need more Tipton brothers music in my life. Eric as well.
https://youtu.be/9rSRAxQrmKY
https://youtu.be/aW_yb3SAF7E


I'm embarrassed to say I somehow missed picking it up. I was aware of it and thought I bought it, but now I go look and I never did pick it up. I'll remedy that immediately!

Great list, thanks for sharing.
Güy

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introclaus
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Re: My Top 10+

Postby introclaus » Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:38 pm

ToddS wrote:10. Between The Buried And Me / Automata
Splitting this into 2 records by the label is just a total money grab. This is not the bands fault, and I won't penalize them for it. With that out of the way...
Some background, I couldn’t even listen to this band until Coma Ecliptic. It just so happens I heard Memory Palace on XM radio on the drive to work one morning and was blown away!
This prompted a revisit of BtBaM. This follows up that record nicely, and along with Coma, both being more musical and melodic, with less of the harsh vocals than previous releases.

There is also a Porcupine Tree vibe that pops up in these past two records that I find quite appealing. Quite the talented players certainly. I really hope they continue this direction, perhaps with even less harsh vox. Btw the first half of the song “Voice Of Trespass” could have fit right in on a DSO record. Groovy!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ja0EWloqsKo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eb-wl5E8PH8


I have let my opinion know on this album already a few times, but as long as the band allows the label to do something as stupid as this, they won't see my money and I won't even listen to it (because my morale compass directs me that if I listen to something I enjoy, I also have to buy it).

ToddS wrote:9. Tomorrow’s Eve / Mirror Of Creation III - Project Ikaros
Traditional melodic prog-metal at its finest!
https://youtu.be/sl7amk-iWz4


Didn't care for it. I really like Martin's voice, but this album just didn't do it for me.

ToddS wrote:8. HAGO / HAGO
There are too few heavy prog-fusion releases these days. Hago delivers in a big way!
https://hago.bandcamp.com/releases


Great disc!

ToddS wrote:7. Redemption / Long Night's Journey Into Day
Tom steps in and they don’t miss a beat. While I do prefer The Art Of Loss to this record personally, this is another consistently damn fine release from Nick and company! They never fail to deliver the the goods! The incredible guitar solos continue, and I love it!
https://youtu.be/ZjrM0wsEK5Y


I didn't listen to it.


ToddS wrote:6. Ostura / The Room
Wow! This came out of nowhere and really impresses with a style that sounds like a mix of Ayreon, Beyond the Bridge, Dream Theater, SX, Epica, Nightwish, etc. Hailing from Lebanon (what?). Great playing, and stellar vocals from several vocalist both male and female! If that wasn’t enough, the Prague orchestra puts it over the top. Great production is the cherry on top!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HP3958zgNFY


Super cool album. Agree with all you said.

ToddS wrote:5. Orphaned Land / Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs
OL step up everything here. It’s OL at their absolute very best! Maybe their best record! It’s that good. Nuff said.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti-bSKTnN1w


Second best ... :)

ToddS wrote:4. Seventh Wonder / Tiara
Seventh Wonder releases take too damn long, but they never fail to deliver. It’s Seventh Wonder record through and through. The only criticism I don’t disagree with is the mix. Not a great sounding record, and the bass needed a boost. Sounds better through a darker sounding pair of headphones for me. In spite of the sound flaws, this is a fantastic record! It is such a treat to hear Tommy in his true element being himself here.
https://youtu.be/Raz0TKEox6A


Music and performances by everyone is great. Production, lyrics both suck. The fact that there's nothing "new" here or at least something that will validate an 8 year wait sucks as well.

ToddS wrote:3. Kingcrow / The Persistence
Another brilliant release form Kingcrow. What is that now 4 in a row? They take on a bit more atmospheric approach this time, but The Persistence is as good as ever! They never fail to stir my soul.
https://lasersedge.bandcamp.com/album/t ... ez-version


Wonderful production - might be best production all year. Diego's tunes are as haunting and beautiful as ever, I was just hoping for a bit more I think, but still a brilliant disc.

ToddS wrote:2. Karmic Juggernaut / The Dreams That Stuff Are Made Of
So we have the bass player from Thank You Scientist (a band I love) here, doing a bit of a twisted version of that style, along with classic prog-rock, and hints of something like DSO. The singer sort of sounds like the twisted love child of Jon Anderson (Yes), and Frank Dimino (Angel). Lol It all comes together quite nicely. Kind of hard to describe, you just need to take a listen for yourself. This got spun as much as anything else I have from 2018. Quite the unique, fun and interesting listen.
https://karmicjuggernaut.bandcamp.com/a ... re-made-of


Will check this out!

ToddS wrote:1. Haken / Vector
Once again Haken changes things up while still sounding like Haken. From the opening dark and sinister intro of Clear you get the feeling this is something different from Haken. The Good Doctor eases you into things, followed by the excellent Puzzle Box. Next up Veil and Nil By Mouth hits with massive intensity! These 2 songs which go together as one, are just crushing and jaw dropping musically! The best thing I’ve heard all year hands down! Mind blowing stuff!

Next up is Host which is just so dark and gut wrenching that I can’t get it out of my head. A Cell Divides if another great track that ends things nicely. Well sort of ends things, as there is the hidden track Verbal Summator (which is basically an audio version of an ink blot test). This entire record is fantastic! There are references both musically and lyrically to Haken tracks from other records that perhaps connect the story. This is one of those recordings that made me get the booklet out, sit down, and go through it all. Very cool stuff!

It’s been said it’s a bit short and needed another song. While I don’t disagree, it’s an intense 45 minute listen! About 6 minutes longer than 2112 btw. We are a bit spoiled by hour+ records as the norm from Haken. I certainly am anyway. This disappointed me at first, but I got over it. What is here is just so good. There are some tracks I skip on the previous couple of releases, not so here. Love the heavy direction after the mostly lighter Affinity. I hope that continues. Brilliant as always!
https://youtu.be/2oCD4Wk1bwo


Music good, singer not good ... me no like :twisted:
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Re: My Top 10+

Postby ToddS » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:30 pm

Guillaume wrote:
ToddS wrote:9. Tomorrow’s Eve / Mirror Of Creation III - Project Ikaros
Traditional melodic prog-metal at its finest!
https://youtu.be/sl7amk-iWz4

**** I really enjoyed this one. Their best by far for me. As you say, trad prog metal at its finest IMO. Lots of catchy stuff to be found here, as well as crunchy riffing.



7. Redemption / Long Night's Journey Into Day
Tom steps in and they don’t miss a beat. While I do prefer The Art Of Loss to this record personally, this is another consistently damn fine release from Nick and company! They never fail to deliver the the goods! The incredible guitar solos continue, and I love it!
https://youtu.be/ZjrM0wsEK5Y

****Same comment as for TE. Their best for me. Tom's voice fits like a glove.


6. Ostura / The Room
Wow! This came out of nowhere and really impresses with a style that sounds like a mix of Ayreon, Beyond the Bridge, Dream Theater, SX, Epica, Nightwish, etc. Hailing from Lebanon (what?). Great playing, and stellar vocals from several vocalist both male and female! If that wasn’t enough, the Prague orchestra puts it over the top. Great production is the cherry on top!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HP3958zgNFY

**** Too cinematic for me, and somewhat disjointed too. Could not get into it at all.



4. Seventh Wonder / Tiara
Seventh Wonder releases take too damn long, but they never fail to deliver. It’s Seventh Wonder record through and through. The only criticism I don’t disagree with is the mix. Not a great sounding record, and the bass needed a boost. Sounds better through a darker sounding pair of headphones for me. In spite of the sound flaws, this is a fantastic record! It is such a treat to hear Tommy in his true element being himself here.
https://youtu.be/Raz0TKEox6A

**** Really good album. My #3 in prog metal this year.


Michael Romeo / War of the Worlds Pt. 1
Quite honestly this is 10b. Excellent stuff from Romeo, that could have been a SX release really. We get Romeo’s ProgPower neoclassical style with more intergrated cinematic orchestrations. Some lifted right out of Star Wars (a tribute?). Enlisted vocalist Rick Castellano is a damn fine vocalist in his own right, but I must admit that I can’t help but think how this would sound with Russell Allen singing every time I listen too it. I like Ricks voice, but thought he lacked a little power at times. Nit picking a bit perhaps, as this is excellent stuff! Romeo is his ridiculas axe master supreme self as usual!
https://youtu.be/FIxnzJeV24A

****I really like most of it, but again, a bit too cinematic at times for me. This singer is indeed excellent, but like you, I'd like to hear melodic Russ sing these songs!



Ghost Ship Octavius / Delirium
Ok I thought the debut was ok, but wow! Did I miss something or did they really stepped it up here? See Man of much Metal’s site for a detailed review. https://manofmuchmetal.com/2018/12/17/a ... number-14/
https://youtu.be/0C7YAfQ1pdM
https://youtu.be/42JzaIfYsz4
https://youtu.be/HZdsPgMz2s4

**** I'm the opposite. I enjoyed the 1st one much more than this one. But I'd need to give him a new listen, it's been a while.


Conception / My Dark Symphony
Just an EP, but it is so great to have Conception back!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR0_Sr1ON2U

**** Good stuff, nice to have them back, but really on the mellow side. I'd need more crunch!!


Judas Priest / Firepower
Never would have thought they had this one in them at this point. Quite good.
https://youtu.be/zVVrfqwA5lQ

**** Killer, my #1 or #2, not decided yet.


Cool to see some prog there G. :wink:
Wish for some more crunch next time from Conception as well.

Spun 1st Ghost Shipmtoday, still can’t get into that one much.
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Re: My Top 10+

Postby ToddS » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:32 pm

Hearing Aid Man wrote:Nice list! We agree on 7 of the top 13. Hago was fighting for top 10 with me, but ended up 13.

Checking out your #2. Waiting for something major I missed. This might be it.

Funny I love the last Maestrick and skimmed the new one and never explored further. Might have to now.


The KJ is pretty quirky. Interesting to see if it clicks with you.

The Maestrick is kind of hard to get a feel for listening to some of the tracks. Works better as a whole imo.
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Re: My Top 10+

Postby ToddS » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:34 pm

Sir Exar Kun wrote:Great list, and as you have seen we touch on a lot of the same albums. I somehow missed the new Fractal Cypher, so need to check that one out....


Read your list a few days back and finally got to comment. We have many in common. Hope the FC works for you. It took a few spins to click with me.
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Re: My Top 10+

Postby ToddS » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:38 pm

Digital Man wrote:
ToddS wrote:
10. Between The Buried And Me / Automata
Splitting this into 2 records by the label is just a total money grab. This is not the bands fault, and I won't penalize them for it. With that out of the way...
Some background, I couldn’t even listen to this band until Coma Ecliptic. It just so happens I heard Memory Palace on XM radio on the drive to work one morning and was blown away!
This prompted a revisit of BtBaM. This follows up that record nicely, and along with Coma, both being more musical and melodic, with less of the harsh vocals than previous releases.

There is also a Porcupine Tree vibe that pops up in these past two records that I find quite appealing. Quite the talented players certainly. I really hope they continue this direction, perhaps with even less harsh vox. Btw the first half of the song “Voice Of Trespass” could have fit right in on a DSO record. Groovy!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ja0EWloqsKo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eb-wl5E8PH8



I like this band and loved Coma. I can't figure out why I didn't listen to these much this year. Perhaps the split release annoyed me, or maybe I kind of burned myself out on them getting ready for their PPUSA show a while back. I definitely need to go back to these.

ToddS wrote:
8. HAGO / HAGO
There are too few heavy prog-fusion releases these days. Hago delivers in a big way!
https://hago.bandcamp.com/releases



I have this on my Bandcamp wishlist, but I can't remember anything about it. Probably lost in all the other music on my wishlist. I need to go give this a listen.

ToddS wrote:
5. Orphaned Land / Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs
OL step up everything here. It’s OL at their absolute very best! Maybe their best record! It’s that good. Nuff said.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti-bSKTnN1w



I'm surprised this one isn't higher on your list, but I think it's just a testament to how much great music came out this year!

ToddS wrote:
3. Kingcrow / The Persistence
Another brilliant release form Kingcrow. What is that now 4 in a row? They take on a bit more atmospheric approach this time, but The Persistence is as good as ever! They never fail to stir my soul.
https://lasersedge.bandcamp.com/album/t ... ez-version



I still can't completely explain why this isn't on my list. As I think I mentioned in another post by the time my "pre-order" arrived nearly a month after everyone had it I had lost all motivation to want to listen to it. There were several bands I love that I just had no interest in listening to their new discs this year and this was one of them. This does happen to me from time to time, so I just put them on the shelf and pull them out when I'm ready. I'll count this one as a future opportunity to love and appreciate it.

ToddS wrote:
2. Karmic Juggernaut / The Dreams That Stuff Are Made Of
So we have the bass player from Thank You Scientist (a band I love) here, doing a bit of a twisted version of that style, along with classic prog-rock, and hints of something like DSO. The singer sort of sounds like the twisted love child of Jon Anderson (Yes), and Frank Dimino (Angel). Lol It all comes together quite nicely. Kind of hard to describe, you just need to take a listen for yourself. This got spun as much as anything else I have from 2018. Quite the unique, fun and interesting listen.
https://karmicjuggernaut.bandcamp.com/a ... re-made-of


Based on your list, I just added this to my Bandcamp wishlist. Will go check it out.



ToddS wrote:Southern Empire / Civilization
An excellent sophomore follow up to their great debut from these prog rockers out of the land of Oz. Heart felt lyrics, and great production brings it home. A 70 minute recording consisting of just 4 tracks.
https://youtu.be/cY-M_XOD2wA


I just picked this up a few days ago based on seeing it on a few lists. I think I was confusing this band with Southern Cross and never checked this out. Sounds like something I would like.

ToddS wrote:Maestrick / Espresso Della Vita: Sorale
I didn't cared for their previous release, but this one is excellent! A prog power mix, though it feels like it’s from the 70s sometimes. I hear Queen, a touch of say acoustic style Led Zeppelin, and even a nod to King Crimson’s CotCK pops up. There is bit of Sepultura style tribal chants, choirs, gospel, and some orchestrations add to it all. Quite epic actually. The singer is much better here to these ears than their debut. Solid production tops it off. Quite the pleasant surprise release.
https://youtu.be/5qoW-aV5Xug
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsSeGTNwH9g
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUT00VUCtBY


I listened to a little when I saw it on Glenn's list and don't remember being that thrilled with it, but this sounds like something I need to go check out.

ToddS wrote:Subsignal / La Muerta
A bit more on the mellow side, but still quite moving and musically excellent.
https://youtu.be/4S-hTpKJoWo


I like this band, but something about this release rubs me wrong. Don't really know why, perhaps how mellow it is, but after a few listens I don't want to listen to this at all anymore. I'll put it on the shelf and give it another try as I'm "cramming" to get ready for their PP show.

ToddS wrote:Ghost Ship Octavius / Delirium
Ok I thought the debut was ok, but wow! Did I miss something or did they really stepped it up here? See Man of much Metal’s site for a detailed review. https://manofmuchmetal.com/2018/12/17/a ... number-14/
https://youtu.be/0C7YAfQ1pdM
https://youtu.be/42JzaIfYsz4
https://youtu.be/HZdsPgMz2s4


I liked the first disc, but I found them incredibly boring both times I saw them live so maybe that's making me uninterested in checking this out. Sometime I'm sure I'll give it a shot.

ToddS wrote:A Dying Planet / Facing the Incurable
I really dig this, but it is truly painful hearing what Troy went through here. A heart piercing listen. Troy being one of the best bass players I’ve ever heard, now physically limited. Kudos Troy for putting this out there bro! I had to put this on the back burner for a bit because of that, but spinning it several times over at the end of the year, and quite enjoying it! It’s always a treat to hear new music from the Tipton brothers. I miss the brothers big time. Troy is a good vocalist on top of being an incredible bassist. Who would have known? Eric singing a track is a nice bonus. I need more Tipton brothers music in my life. Eric as well.
https://youtu.be/9rSRAxQrmKY
https://youtu.be/aW_yb3SAF7E


I'm embarrassed to say I somehow missed picking it up. I was aware of it and thought I bought it, but now I go look and I never did pick it up. I'll remedy that immediately!

Great list, thanks for sharing.


Glad to jog your memory on a few of these, and maybe something new you may like as well. Let me know how it goes with KJ.
OL could have been my #2. I like it that much. Top 5 is still great, and it is as you said a great year.
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Re: My Top 10+

Postby ToddS » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:42 pm

introclaus wrote:
ToddS wrote:10. Between The Buried And Me / Automata
Splitting this into 2 records by the label is just a total money grab. This is not the bands fault, and I won't penalize them for it. With that out of the way...
Some background, I couldn’t even listen to this band until Coma Ecliptic. It just so happens I heard Memory Palace on XM radio on the drive to work one morning and was blown away!
This prompted a revisit of BtBaM. This follows up that record nicely, and along with Coma, both being more musical and melodic, with less of the harsh vocals than previous releases.

There is also a Porcupine Tree vibe that pops up in these past two records that I find quite appealing. Quite the talented players certainly. I really hope they continue this direction, perhaps with even less harsh vox. Btw the first half of the song “Voice Of Trespass” could have fit right in on a DSO record. Groovy!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ja0EWloqsKo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eb-wl5E8PH8


I have let my opinion know on this album already a few times, but as long as the band allows the label to do something as stupid as this, they won't see my money and I won't even listen to it (because my morale compass directs me that if I listen to something I enjoy, I also have to buy it).

ToddS wrote:9. Tomorrow’s Eve / Mirror Of Creation III - Project Ikaros
Traditional melodic prog-metal at its finest!
https://youtu.be/sl7amk-iWz4


Didn't care for it. I really like Martin's voice, but this album just didn't do it for me.

ToddS wrote:8. HAGO / HAGO
There are too few heavy prog-fusion releases these days. Hago delivers in a big way!
https://hago.bandcamp.com/releases


Great disc!

ToddS wrote:7. Redemption / Long Night's Journey Into Day
Tom steps in and they don’t miss a beat. While I do prefer The Art Of Loss to this record personally, this is another consistently damn fine release from Nick and company! They never fail to deliver the the goods! The incredible guitar solos continue, and I love it!
https://youtu.be/ZjrM0wsEK5Y


I didn't listen to it.


ToddS wrote:6. Ostura / The Room
Wow! This came out of nowhere and really impresses with a style that sounds like a mix of Ayreon, Beyond the Bridge, Dream Theater, SX, Epica, Nightwish, etc. Hailing from Lebanon (what?). Great playing, and stellar vocals from several vocalist both male and female! If that wasn’t enough, the Prague orchestra puts it over the top. Great production is the cherry on top!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HP3958zgNFY


Super cool album. Agree with all you said.

ToddS wrote:5. Orphaned Land / Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs
OL step up everything here. It’s OL at their absolute very best! Maybe their best record! It’s that good. Nuff said.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti-bSKTnN1w


Second best ... :)

ToddS wrote:4. Seventh Wonder / Tiara
Seventh Wonder releases take too damn long, but they never fail to deliver. It’s Seventh Wonder record through and through. The only criticism I don’t disagree with is the mix. Not a great sounding record, and the bass needed a boost. Sounds better through a darker sounding pair of headphones for me. In spite of the sound flaws, this is a fantastic record! It is such a treat to hear Tommy in his true element being himself here.
https://youtu.be/Raz0TKEox6A


Music and performances by everyone is great. Production, lyrics both suck. The fact that there's nothing "new" here or at least something that will validate an 8 year wait sucks as well.

ToddS wrote:3. Kingcrow / The Persistence
Another brilliant release form Kingcrow. What is that now 4 in a row? They take on a bit more atmospheric approach this time, but The Persistence is as good as ever! They never fail to stir my soul.
https://lasersedge.bandcamp.com/album/t ... ez-version


Wonderful production - might be best production all year. Diego's tunes are as haunting and beautiful as ever, I was just hoping for a bit more I think, but still a brilliant disc.

ToddS wrote:2. Karmic Juggernaut / The Dreams That Stuff Are Made Of
So we have the bass player from Thank You Scientist (a band I love) here, doing a bit of a twisted version of that style, along with classic prog-rock, and hints of something like DSO. The singer sort of sounds like the twisted love child of Jon Anderson (Yes), and Frank Dimino (Angel). Lol It all comes together quite nicely. Kind of hard to describe, you just need to take a listen for yourself. This got spun as much as anything else I have from 2018. Quite the unique, fun and interesting listen.
https://karmicjuggernaut.bandcamp.com/a ... re-made-of


Will check this out!

ToddS wrote:1. Haken / Vector
Once again Haken changes things up while still sounding like Haken. From the opening dark and sinister intro of Clear you get the feeling this is something different from Haken. The Good Doctor eases you into things, followed by the excellent Puzzle Box. Next up Veil and Nil By Mouth hits with massive intensity! These 2 songs which go together as one, are just crushing and jaw dropping musically! The best thing I’ve heard all year hands down! Mind blowing stuff!

Next up is Host which is just so dark and gut wrenching that I can’t get it out of my head. A Cell Divides if another great track that ends things nicely. Well sort of ends things, as there is the hidden track Verbal Summator (which is basically an audio version of an ink blot test). This entire record is fantastic! There are references both musically and lyrically to Haken tracks from other records that perhaps connect the story. This is one of those recordings that made me get the booklet out, sit down, and go through it all. Very cool stuff!

It’s been said it’s a bit short and needed another song. While I don’t disagree, it’s an intense 45 minute listen! About 6 minutes longer than 2112 btw. We are a bit spoiled by hour+ records as the norm from Haken. I certainly am anyway. This disappointed me at first, but I got over it. What is here is just so good. There are some tracks I skip on the previous couple of releases, not so here. Love the heavy direction after the mostly lighter Affinity. I hope that continues. Brilliant as always!
https://youtu.be/2oCD4Wk1bwo


Music good, singer not good ... me no like :twisted:


I get it with BtBaM. Stupid shit. I almost pushed them out of the top 10, but it’s just too good musically.
Orphaned Land - Mabool the best? Wouldn’t argue against that.
Karmic Juggernaut- I have no idea if this will be something you like. Lol let me know.
Haken :D
Thanks for the response bro.
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Re: My Top 10+

Postby Chris R » Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:07 pm

Great list
Forgot about Dying Planet as well.....oops

Good to see someone se still like Haken as while they are drifting away from someone they are moving in a direction more and more to my liking.

I'll get to my list (I promise I'll get to it this time,lol)sometime in the next few days.
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Re: My Top 10+

Postby LarryD » Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:42 pm

Nice post bro ----
We have about 4 /5 in common depending on how you look at it ................


9. Tomorrow’s Eve / Mirror Of Creation III - Project Ikaros
Traditional melodic prog-metal at its finest!
https://youtu.be/sl7amk-iWz4


***I'm super glad to see this in your Top 10 ....... this almost made it to #1 for me ......it's that good.



8. HAGO / HAGO
There are too few heavy prog-fusion releases these days. Hago delivers in a big way!
https://hago.bandcamp.com/releases


***I tried the samples when this came out ..... definitely not my ball game.



7. Redemption / Long Night's Journey Into Day
Tom steps in and they don’t miss a beat. While I do prefer The Art Of Loss to this record personally, this is another consistently damn fine release from Nick and company! They never fail to deliver the the goods! The incredible guitar solos continue, and I love it!
https://youtu.be/ZjrM0wsEK5Y


***Now this is the reverse for me ...... I like this way better than Art of Loss ........ they never fail to deliver the goods is the key here. While I wasn't keen on the thrashier direction Nick was going in, I'm glad he reeled it in some and came up with this beast....... I think adding Tom was a creative bonus for the emotional part, but Nick went in a more melodic direction this time, maybe a more proggy direction than in a thrashy direction, which suits me perfectly.



6. Ostura / The Room
Wow! This came out of nowhere and really impresses with a style that sounds like a mix of Ayreon, Beyond the Bridge, Dream Theater, SX, Epica, Nightwish, etc. Hailing from Lebanon (what?). Great playing, and stellar vocals from several vocalist both male and female! If that wasn’t enough, the Prague orchestra puts it over the top. Great production is the cherry on top!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HP3958zgNFY


***Yes !!!!!! Fought with Kingcrow and T-Eve for the longest time for the #1 spot - until you know who came along ....... great disc indeed.



5. Orphaned Land / Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs
OL step up everything here. It’s OL at their absolute very best! Maybe their best record! It’s that good. Nuff said.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti-bSKTnN1w


***We have talked about this enigma to death -- I've got the wife looking in the boxes for this to see what happens months later. Between most of us, I seem to be way out of sync with you all on this one ...... we should start a separate post on this alone. I thought OrWarrior is way better than this one ......Claus alerted me to the fact that I "might" be referring to All is One in my posts rather than OrWarrior ....... I'm so confused now....... I'm getting them both out, and seeing what's up with the whole thing......



4. Seventh Wonder / Tiara
Seventh Wonder releases take too damn long, but they never fail to deliver. It’s Seventh Wonder record through and through. The only criticism I don’t disagree with is the mix. Not a great sounding record, and the bass needed a boost. Sounds better through a darker sounding pair of headphones for me. In spite of the sound flaws, this is a fantastic record! It is such a treat to hear Tommy in his true element being himself here.
https://youtu.be/Raz0TKEox6A


*** #4 for you - would have been #9 for me technically if I didn't include live discs........ I didn't include the production in my analysis of where it should go on the list, as in the past, many a less than stellar sounding disc made it to our list despite the sound ( Binary Creed I'm talking about you ) ...... I will certainly go back to this but technically it's #9 on my list so I did like it quite a bit - but I do have some issues with the consistency of the disc as a whole.



3. Kingcrow / The Persistence
Another brilliant release form Kingcrow. What is that now 4 in a row? They take on a bit more atmospheric approach this time, but The Persistence is as good as ever! They never fail to stir my soul.
https://lasersedge.bandcamp.com/album/t ... ez-version


***We both this one at #3 !!!!!! Awesome ........


1. Haken / Vector
Once again Haken changes things up while still sounding like Haken. From the opening dark and sinister intro of Clear you get the feeling this is something different from Haken. The Good Doctor eases you into things, followed by the excellent Puzzle Box. Next up Veil and Nil By Mouth hits with massive intensity! These 2 songs which go together as one, are just crushing and jaw dropping musically! The best thing I’ve heard all year hands down! Mind blowing stuff!


***This is perfect for you as they changed it up directly into your taste ........ I know you love this band to no end, so I can't take anything away from this ..... I love the band, but they are moving out of my league into the more technical zone. I hope they go back into a more melodic area of their music instead of the cold stuff they are putting out now. Cold as in less accessible if you will ......


Releases just outside of my top 10. In a different year some of these make it.


Michael Romeo / War of the Worlds Pt. 1
Quite honestly this is 10b. Excellent stuff from Romeo, that could have been a SX release really. We get Romeo’s ProgPower neoclassical style with more intergrated cinematic orchestrations. Some lifted right out of Star Wars (a tribute?). Enlisted vocalist Rick Castellano is a damn fine vocalist in his own right, but I must admit that I can’t help but think how this would sound with Russell Allen singing every time I listen too it. I like Ricks voice, but thought he lacked a little power at times. Nit picking a bit perhaps, as this is excellent stuff! Romeo is his ridiculas axe master supreme self as usual!
https://youtu.be/FIxnzJeV24A


***Agree with everything you said about this, except substuting Russ here. Castellano is my singer of the year - and even though this could pass as a SX disc, it's not...it's Romeo on his own. If he had Russ singing on it, it might as well have been a SX disc - but it's not. I'm glad it's on your list ....... but I'm flying the Castellano flag around here until he gets his own recognition ....... :)



Subsignal / La Muerta
A bit more on the mellow side, but still quite moving and musically excellent.
https://youtu.be/4S-hTpKJoWo


***When this doesn't end up on your or my list - you know there is something strange going on here. I don't mind mellow, but I do mind pop. I think that's what is throwing most off here......



The Paradox Twin / The Importance of Mr Bedlam
Really well done groovy atmospheric neo-prog.
https://youtu.be/i7dIOR4PJFQ


***So awesome. When you played this for me at Prog Power, I knew it would be on my Top list at that moment.........



A Dying Planet / Facing the Incurable
I really dig this, but it is truly painful hearing what Troy went through here. A heart piercing listen. Troy being one of the best bass players I’ve ever heard, now physically limited. Kudos Troy for putting this out there bro! I had to put this on the back burner for a bit because of that, but spinning it several times over at the end of the year, and quite enjoying it! It’s always a treat to hear new music from the Tipton brothers. I miss the brothers big time. Troy is a good vocalist on top of being an incredible bassist. Who would have known? Eric singing a track is a nice bonus. I need more Tipton brothers music in my life. Eric as well.
https://youtu.be/9rSRAxQrmKY
https://youtu.be/aW_yb3SAF7E



*** I didn't forget about this - it's on the Top 20 list for sure........




Amorphis / Queen Of Time
These guys are a bit of a mood listen for me, but they keep putting out quality release after quality release. Anneke fits in nicely as a guest.
https://youtu.be/Jg2VqUTNjsw


***Could be their best since Skyforger for me.........



Arena / Double Vision
Probably the best of this current formation of the band.
https://youtu.be/qzMzoqQyhD8


*** #4 on my list ........yes, best of their discs with Manzi on it.


Conception / My Dark Symphony
Just an EP, but it is so great to have Conception back!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR0_Sr1ON2U


***Yes !!!!!!


Fractal Cypher / Prelude To An Impending Outcome
These Canadians are incredibly talented musicians. Some times I feel they just don’t know what they want to be musically. However this is quite enjoyable and complex music. With every listen this grows on me. Give them a try.
https://fractalcypher.bandcamp.com/albu ... ng-outcome


***Did they change singers or no ??



Mystery / Lies and Butterflies
Getting a bit too sugary, but enjoyable.
https://www.therealmystery.com/sounds


***Enough to make my Top 10 !!!!!


Great post bro !!!!!!

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ToddS
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Re: My Top 10+

Postby ToddS » Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:20 pm

Chris R wrote:Great list
Forgot about Dying Planet as well.....oops

Good to see someone se still like Haken as while they are drifting away from someone they are moving in a direction more and more to my liking.

I'll get to my list (I promise I'll get to it this time,lol)sometime in the next few days.


It seems A Dying Planet got lost in the shuffle for many of us. I’ve been enjoying it even more since posting my list.
I think It’s pretty cool that Haken comes out with a little something different with each release.
Looking forward to your list!
"My songs become my freedom, and my freedom turns to gold"

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ToddS
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Re: My Top 10+

Postby ToddS » Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:45 pm

LarryD wrote:Nice post bro ----
We have about 4 /5 in common depending on how you look at it ................


9. Tomorrow’s Eve / Mirror Of Creation III - Project Ikaros
Traditional melodic prog-metal at its finest!
https://youtu.be/sl7amk-iWz4


***I'm super glad to see this in your Top 10 ....... this almost made it to #1 for me ......it's that good.



8. HAGO / HAGO
There are too few heavy prog-fusion releases these days. Hago delivers in a big way!
https://hago.bandcamp.com/releases


***I tried the samples when this came out ..... definitely not my ball game.



7. Redemption / Long Night's Journey Into Day
Tom steps in and they don’t miss a beat. While I do prefer The Art Of Loss to this record personally, this is another consistently damn fine release from Nick and company! They never fail to deliver the the goods! The incredible guitar solos continue, and I love it!
https://youtu.be/ZjrM0wsEK5Y


***Now this is the reverse for me ...... I like this way better than Art of Loss ........ they never fail to deliver the goods is the key here. While I wasn't keen on the thrashier direction Nick was going in, I'm glad he reeled it in some and came up with this beast....... I think adding Tom was a creative bonus for the emotional part, but Nick went in a more melodic direction this time, maybe a more proggy direction than in a thrashy direction, which suits me perfectly.



6. Ostura / The Room
Wow! This came out of nowhere and really impresses with a style that sounds like a mix of Ayreon, Beyond the Bridge, Dream Theater, SX, Epica, Nightwish, etc. Hailing from Lebanon (what?). Great playing, and stellar vocals from several vocalist both male and female! If that wasn’t enough, the Prague orchestra puts it over the top. Great production is the cherry on top!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HP3958zgNFY


***Yes !!!!!! Fought with Kingcrow and T-Eve for the longest time for the #1 spot - until you know who came along ....... great disc indeed.



5. Orphaned Land / Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs
OL step up everything here. It’s OL at their absolute very best! Maybe their best record! It’s that good. Nuff said.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti-bSKTnN1w


***We have talked about this enigma to death -- I've got the wife looking in the boxes for this to see what happens months later. Between most of us, I seem to be way out of sync with you all on this one ...... we should start a separate post on this alone. I thought OrWarrior is way better than this one ......Claus alerted me to the fact that I "might" be referring to All is One in my posts rather than OrWarrior ....... I'm so confused now....... I'm getting them both out, and seeing what's up with the whole thing......



4. Seventh Wonder / Tiara
Seventh Wonder releases take too damn long, but they never fail to deliver. It’s Seventh Wonder record through and through. The only criticism I don’t disagree with is the mix. Not a great sounding record, and the bass needed a boost. Sounds better through a darker sounding pair of headphones for me. In spite of the sound flaws, this is a fantastic record! It is such a treat to hear Tommy in his true element being himself here.
https://youtu.be/Raz0TKEox6A


*** #4 for you - would have been #9 for me technically if I didn't include live discs........ I didn't include the production in my analysis of where it should go on the list, as in the past, many a less than stellar sounding disc made it to our list despite the sound ( Binary Creed I'm talking about you ) ...... I will certainly go back to this but technically it's #9 on my list so I did like it quite a bit - but I do have some issues with the consistency of the disc as a whole.



3. Kingcrow / The Persistence
Another brilliant release form Kingcrow. What is that now 4 in a row? They take on a bit more atmospheric approach this time, but The Persistence is as good as ever! They never fail to stir my soul.
https://lasersedge.bandcamp.com/album/t ... ez-version


***We both this one at #3 !!!!!! Awesome ........


1. Haken / Vector
Once again Haken changes things up while still sounding like Haken. From the opening dark and sinister intro of Clear you get the feeling this is something different from Haken. The Good Doctor eases you into things, followed by the excellent Puzzle Box. Next up Veil and Nil By Mouth hits with massive intensity! These 2 songs which go together as one, are just crushing and jaw dropping musically! The best thing I’ve heard all year hands down! Mind blowing stuff!


***This is perfect for you as they changed it up directly into your taste ........ I know you love this band to no end, so I can't take anything away from this ..... I love the band, but they are moving out of my league into the more technical zone. I hope they go back into a more melodic area of their music instead of the cold stuff they are putting out now. Cold as in less accessible if you will ......


Releases just outside of my top 10. In a different year some of these make it.


Michael Romeo / War of the Worlds Pt. 1
Quite honestly this is 10b. Excellent stuff from Romeo, that could have been a SX release really. We get Romeo’s ProgPower neoclassical style with more intergrated cinematic orchestrations. Some lifted right out of Star Wars (a tribute?). Enlisted vocalist Rick Castellano is a damn fine vocalist in his own right, but I must admit that I can’t help but think how this would sound with Russell Allen singing every time I listen too it. I like Ricks voice, but thought he lacked a little power at times. Nit picking a bit perhaps, as this is excellent stuff! Romeo is his ridiculas axe master supreme self as usual!
https://youtu.be/FIxnzJeV24A


***Agree with everything you said about this, except substuting Russ here. Castellano is my singer of the year - and even though this could pass as a SX disc, it's not...it's Romeo on his own. If he had Russ singing on it, it might as well have been a SX disc - but it's not. I'm glad it's on your list ....... but I'm flying the Castellano flag around here until he gets his own recognition ....... :)



Subsignal / La Muerta
A bit more on the mellow side, but still quite moving and musically excellent.
https://youtu.be/4S-hTpKJoWo


***When this doesn't end up on your or my list - you know there is something strange going on here. I don't mind mellow, but I do mind pop. I think that's what is throwing most off here......



The Paradox Twin / The Importance of Mr Bedlam
Really well done groovy atmospheric neo-prog.
https://youtu.be/i7dIOR4PJFQ


***So awesome. When you played this for me at Prog Power, I knew it would be on my Top list at that moment.........



A Dying Planet / Facing the Incurable
I really dig this, but it is truly painful hearing what Troy went through here. A heart piercing listen. Troy being one of the best bass players I’ve ever heard, now physically limited. Kudos Troy for putting this out there bro! I had to put this on the back burner for a bit because of that, but spinning it several times over at the end of the year, and quite enjoying it! It’s always a treat to hear new music from the Tipton brothers. I miss the brothers big time. Troy is a good vocalist on top of being an incredible bassist. Who would have known? Eric singing a track is a nice bonus. I need more Tipton brothers music in my life. Eric as well.
https://youtu.be/9rSRAxQrmKY
https://youtu.be/aW_yb3SAF7E



*** I didn't forget about this - it's on the Top 20 list for sure........




Amorphis / Queen Of Time
These guys are a bit of a mood listen for me, but they keep putting out quality release after quality release. Anneke fits in nicely as a guest.
https://youtu.be/Jg2VqUTNjsw


***Could be their best since Skyforger for me.........



Arena / Double Vision
Probably the best of this current formation of the band.
https://youtu.be/qzMzoqQyhD8


*** #4 on my list ........yes, best of their discs with Manzi on it.


Conception / My Dark Symphony
Just an EP, but it is so great to have Conception back!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR0_Sr1ON2U


***Yes !!!!!!


Fractal Cypher / Prelude To An Impending Outcome
These Canadians are incredibly talented musicians. Some times I feel they just don’t know what they want to be musically. However this is quite enjoyable and complex music. With every listen this grows on me. Give them a try.
https://fractalcypher.bandcamp.com/albu ... ng-outcome


***Did they change singers or no ??



Mystery / Lies and Butterflies
Getting a bit too sugary, but enjoyable.
https://www.therealmystery.com/sounds


***Enough to make my Top 10 !!!!!


Great post bro !!!!!!


We always seem to have several alike on these list bro! \m/

I can see this Redemption being more up your alley. I know your packing up, but If you get a chance take a fresh listen to The Art Of Loss. It’s not very thrashy really. Quite melodic too. I’m a freak for the guitar work here as well. It’s always good, but here is the peak imo.

The Orphaned Land I actually brought up because we discussed it so much. We should and will create a dedicated OL post on this soon. I have some thoughts on Mabool strengths and weaknesses as well.

Kingcrow just never fails us!

You turned me on to Haken, and I along with Troy were blown away hearing Aquarius for the first time! It saddens me they don’t do it for you any more, but I expected such upon hearing Vector and remember telling you “I doubt you like this one”.

Subsignal is just a bit too poppy this time. They still never fail to move me however.

Fractal Cypher does have the same singer. Maybe it’s just me, but he sounds a little smoother this time around.
"My songs become my freedom, and my freedom turns to gold"


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