30 times prog didn’t let us down in 2022

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2022 was also a brilliant year in terms of progressive metal and rock. In fact, there were so many prog releases and albums that were infused with progressive elements out there to discover that we thought we’d share some with you. These are the 30 times prog had our backs in 2022 and didn’t let us down…

Human By Nature – Eläimys

Crunchy and graceful alternative metal from Helsinki, Finland, who released their debut album in February 2022. We were amazed by the quality of this record, especially considering it’s a debut album. (LT)

The Resonance Project – Prophecy (single)

Lang Zhao and Yas Nomura recently released a new THE RESONANCE PROJECT single, named “Prophecy.” Even though it’s only a single, we liked it so much, it’s worth mentioning in this list! (LT)

The Omnific – Escapades

THE OMNIFIC was recently announced to join NE OBLIVISCARIS on tour in Europe. We checked out their latest album, “Escapades,” which had a late 2021 release, but we think it deserves to be mentioned here anyway! (LT)

Persefone – metanoia

There are bands that use the “progressive metal” label more as a decoration, while others really dig deep into what the genre can offer. Andorran band PERSEFONE fall squarely into the latter, as their music is as intense and turbulent as it gets when you mix melodic death metal with progressive song structures. They have been around since 2001 and have six studio albums under their belt, the last one being “metanoia,” released on February 4th, 2022, through Napalm Records. (AC)

Wilderun – Epigone

Finland has so much metal that sometimes you start to assume that other bands are Finnish too. Case in point is WILDERUN – if you were hoping you could casually bump into the band members at The Riff in Helsinki, you might be disappointed to learn that they are, in fact, an American progressive metal band. Regardless of where they are from, they are most certainly one of the most refreshing progressive metal bands in the scene these days. Their previous album, Veil of Imagination,” got them signed to Century Media Records and was literally everywhere on the metal world’s lists in 2019. If you haven’t had the chance to listen to them yet, you’re in luck because the band released their new album, Epigone,” on January 7th, 2022. (LT)

Meshuggah – Immutable

According to the Oxford Dictionary, “immutable” means “unchanging over time or unable to be changed.” That is a pretty solid description of the machinery behind MESHUGGAH. While arguably the band’s sound has evolved at least a little over the years, the day that the 5-piece released a bad album hasn’t occurred as of yet and – let’s be real – maybe never will, making MESHUGGAH perhaps the most consistent band in history. In fact, just 10 seconds of a teaser of “Ligature Marks” spurred an excited fan to make a 1-hour loop of the 10-second lasting teaser riff“Immutable,” however, doesn’t only refer to the powerhouse that is MESHUGGAH, it’s also the main idea behind the lyrics and themes on this record. (LT)

Devin Townsend – Lightwork

The new Devin Townsend studio album, “Lightwork,” released on November 4th, 2022, via InsideOut Music is, among all other fascinating things, remarkably intimate on occasion. Some say it is only a logical extension to his previous three solo efforts – Empath (2019), “The Puzzle” (2021), and “Snuggles” (2021). (JL)

Android – Another Midnight Ball

“Midnight Ball” was Hungarian prog band ANDROID‘s second official CD, released in 2011. For the tenth anniversary, the band has decided to re-record the album, re-arranged in English. This version contains five original songs and two new ones that do not have a Hungarian version. This all was bundled in “Another Midnight Ball.” (LT)

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Changes

Changes” is the 23rd studio album by the quirky Australian psychedelic rock band KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD, released on 28 October 2022. With “Changes,” KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD managed to surprise us yet again. (LT)

Disillusion – Ayam

DISILLUSION‘s bandcamp describes “Ayam” as: ‘Ayam’ offers exciting evolution rather than radical revolution, and DISILLUSION‘s new musical forms and means are most beautiful and astonishing to behold. This album is a golden ticket to join the extraordinary journey of a life-time.” We couldn’t agree more. (LT)

Amorphis – Halo

AMORPHIS was always high on my must-listen list, but it somehow took the release of “Queen of Time” (2018) for me to fully appreciate their music and dive deep into their discography. It took them a few years to unleash a new record on the world, but at last, the time has come! Their new album, “Halo,” will be released on February 11th, 2022, via Atomic Fire Records. With Under the Red Cloud and Queen of Time,” AMORPHIS have been putting out excellent records for quite some time now and “Halo” is no exception. (LT)

Charlie Griffiths – Tiktaalika

Charlie Griffiths, guitarist with British progressive metal heavyweights HAKEN, recently released his debut solo album “Tiktaalika.” With musical roots still firmly in the progressive realm, Charlie draws from his love of old-school ’80s thrash, ’90s tech-metal, and alternative rock. (LT)

Psychonaut – Violate Consensus Reality

PSYCHONAUT is a psychedelic post-metal collective from Mechelen, Belgium. Their signature sound is heavily influenced by ’70s bands like LED ZEPPELIN and PINK FLOYD, but also draws inspiration from more modern sources like TOOL and AMENRA, in short, a mix of different genres, the way we like it! (LT)

Michael Romeo – War of the Worlds // Pt. 2

Back in 2018, SYMPHONY X mastermind Michael Romeo surprised his fans with a solo album, “War of the Worlds Pt.1,” which also featured drummer John Macaluso (ARK, STONE LEADERS, Vitalij Kuprij…), bassist John “JD” DeServio (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY), and introduced singer Rick Castellano. Inspired by author H.G. Wells, alongside mighty movie soundtracks in the likes of Bernard Herrmann or Hans Zimmer, he created an epic masterpiece, including a little hint that there might be a follow-up. Having been highly anticipated since then, “War of the Worlds Pt. 2” finally saw the light of day on March 25th, 2022, via InsideOut Music. (K)

Kardashev – Liminal Rite 

In 2020, KARDASHEV, a band hailing from Arizona, practically birthed a new subgenre of metal, one which they rather befittingly named ”deathgaze,” with their debut EP “The Baring of Shadows.” Mixing atmospheric elements with brutal deathcore in nothing short of haunting and novel ways, this metal bunch is the embodiment of the sound I would reckon best fits the description of the video game monster: simultaneously soaring high across the skies, light as a feather, and wreaking havoc like a true harbinger of death. Unsurprisingly, the band’s unique blend of brutal and serene eventually stirred up the attention of Metal Blade Records, through which their new studio album “Liminal Rite” came out, on June 10th, 2022. (JL)

Allegaeon – Damnum

Over the past fifteen years, Colorado’s ALLEGAEON have built themselves a unique place in the musical landscape, forcing both technicality and melody to the forefront as they create tumultuous and riveting death metal. With “DAMNUM,” their sixth full-length, they push everything further into the extreme ,and in the process, deliver the definitive ALLEGAEON record, which while forging into new territory, takes everything compelling about the band and enhances it. (MBR)

An Abstract Illusion – Woe

Back in the day, when streaming wasn’t a thing yet, I used to go to the local metal record store and bought whatever caught my attention. Usually, this was purely based on judging a book by its cover. This seems like a dumb way to explore music, but somehow, I discovered a fair few of my favorite metal bands this way, capped by AYREON. Once in a blue moon, it happens on social media too. In 2020, American progressive metal act WILDERUN grabbed my attention with the cover of “Veil of Imagination” swarming around my news feed and I can happily announce that for the first time in 2022, my eye was stunned by the beautiful artwork of “Woe,” the sophomore record of Swedish prog death masters AN ABSTRACT ILLUSION, released on September 9th, 2022, via Willowtip Records. (LT)

Animals as Leaders – Parrhesia

“Parrhesia” is the fifth studio album by American instrumental progressive metal band ANIMALS AS LEADERS. It was released on March 25, 2022 by Sumerian Records. (LT)

Pensées nocturnes – Douce Fange

PENSÉES NOCTURNES is a true Frenchie UFO in the black metal scene and has been following a winding path since 2009, between circus, jazz, musette, tango, and classical music. The band recently released an avant-garde record named “Douce Fange.” (LT)

Mental Fracture – Disaccord

Modern progressive rock and metal band based in Israel, MENTAL FRACTURE draws inspiration from the music of DREAM THEATHER, OPETH, PORCUPINE TREE, as well as prog classics such as CAMEL, KING CRIMSON, and many more. Sounds good, no? So does their debut effort, “Disaccord.” (LT)

OU – One

One of the most interesting bits of news to break of late has been the announcement that the Beijing-based prog-quartet, OU, has signed a deal with InsideOut Music. Their international debut One was released on May 6th, 2020, and the music does indeed sound exotic, fresh, and dynamic almost to the point of being surreal. (JL)

Aquae Furtivae – Road to Square One

AQUAE FURTIVAE is a power prog metal band formed in Berlin, in 2019. The band released their intriguing debut effort, “Road to Square One,” in April 2022. (LT)

Flummox – Rephlummoxed 

Nashville’s prog-rock act FLUMMOX are back with their full-length studio effort “Rephlummoxed,” in which they continue in the musical direction of their previous EP, “In Hindsight. (LT)

Dreadnought – The Endless

Colorado quartet DREADNOUGHT returned in 2022 with their fifth full-length studio effort, “The Endless,” continuing their eclectic artistic journey of dark progressive metal canvas, where nothing is off limits! (LT)

Porcupine Tree – Closure / Continuation

Closure/Continuation” is the eleventh studio album by the British progressive rock band that probably needs no introduction if you are interested in this list: PORCUPINE TREE. It was also their first since 2009’s “The Incident” and incidentally lived up to our high expectations. (LT)

Somehow Jo – Scales And Details

Finnish progressive metal band SOMEHOW JO released their third studio album “Scales And Details” on September 16th, 2022, via Inverse Records. The album’s base material is largely the best ideas selected from the band’s jamming sessions, which they consequently worked into songs, transforming this release into an undeniably great prog release! (LT)

Numento – The Vile Entity

After winning the Tuska Torstai- band competition and consequently performing at Helsinki’s biggest metal festival, progressive metal act NUMENTO released their second album, “The Vile Entity.” There’s a reason these guys won that competition, as they certainly are rising stars in the progressive metal scene in Finland. (LT)

Star One – Revel in Time

Once upon a time, Dutch progressive metal composer Arjen Lucassen released an incredible debut album for a new project, called STAR ONE. The album was titled “Space Metal” and progheads all over the world rejoiced by its ingenuity and catchy offerings like “Songs of the Ocean” and “Intergalactic Space Crusaders.” While he proclaimed that he may never be able to capture its atmosphere in any future release, we were all surprised by the dystopian character of “Victims of the Modern Age,” which was released in 2010. After working tirelessly on Transitus for AYREONArjen Lucassen wanted to do something a little bit more straightforward, so he plugged in his guitar and started composing a brand new STAR ONE album: Revel in Time.” This progressive guitar feast was released on February 18th, 2022, via InsideOut Music. (LT)

Hällas

In April, adventure rock act HÄLLAS released another chapter, “Isle of Wisdom,” in their compelling progressive rock quest. This band never ceases to amaze us with their twin guitars and compelling guitar-heavy music. (LT)

Oddland – Vermillion

ODDLAND just released their third studio album, Vermilion,” via their new record label, Uprising! Records, on March 11th, 2022. Six years after their predominantly djenty sophomore album, “Origin” (2016), these prog magicians seem to return to the sonic realms of their debut – but with all the newfound songwriting wisdom acquired over the years. (JL)

Article by Laureline Tilkin