Monday, December 30, 2013

My personal Top-10 Prog- Orientated Rock albums of 2013. (Part.2)

Yesterday I wrote the first part of my Top-10 Prog-orientated Rock albums of 2013, and now it's time for Part.2. I want to remind you that there is no order in the list, it's just the10 new albums which I think were the best from all those I've listened during the year.

 STEVEN WILSON: The Raven that Refused to Sing
 Steven Wilson is one of my most favorite musicians/composers in the last decades, as a solo musician or with any of his bands (Porcupine Tree, Blackfield etc). This year he released his third album as a solo artist entitled 'The Raven that Refused to Sing'. Here Steven Wilson is surrounded by some excellent musicians, and the result is really impressive! The performance of this line-up really does miracles at some parts. The album inludes 6 songs, and has a total running time of almost 55 minutes. It is highly recommended not only to the fans of Steven Wilson or Porcupine Tree, but to all those who can enjoy a really well-structured album with a very high quality in all kinds of technical aspects.

COMEDY OF ERRORS: Fanfare & Fantasy
The story of the Scotish band 'Comedy of Errors' starts way back in 1984. Their first period was not worth mentioning with only a couple of demo's before disbanding. But they re-appear in 2011 with the very good album 'Disobey' which was actually their first official release. This year they released their second album entitled 'Fanfare & Fantasy' which is a really excellent work! Their style can be categorised as Neo-Prog, with many melodic lines, and strong influences from Marilion's first period, but also Pendragon among others which comes to mind upon listening to the album. But that doesn't make 'Fanfare & Fantasy' less enjoyable to the ears of the listener. It is a wonderful album filled with beautiful melodies. Highly recommended to the fans of Neo-Prog, but also to all those who like soft & melodic compositions, but without being cheap and cheesy! 

VERBAL DELIRIUM: From the Small Hours of Weakness
 And here's another Greek band in my Top-10, which was again a huge surprise for me. Although 'From the Small Hours...' is Verbal Delirium's second album I have to admit that I had never heard of them before. But from the first moment I understood that here we have a very serious piece of work, from a group which most probably will have even more to offer in the future. The style of the album fits its cover very well. It is dark, melancholic and romantic on many occassions.(But in some other cases it can be characterised as experimental).
 The jewel of the album is without any doubt the song "Sudden Winter" which is one of the best songs I've heard in the last years. There is enough pluralism when it comes to the organs as well, with Trumpet, Saxophones, Flutes and Mandolines being some of them. (Except of course the 'classic' guitars, drums, bass and piano).  In a few words, I believe it is an album worth buying to say the least! 

MOON SAFARI: Himlabachen Vol.1 
Re-discover the child in you! This surprisigly good album comes from the Swedish band 'Moon Safari' and it's their 4rth work since their debut album 'A Doorway to Heaven' which was released in
2005. Since then the band "grew up" musically, and this last work of them can be concidered as one of their best. They always were in close terms with another (famous) Swedish band, 'The Flower Kings', and this album was mixed and mastered by Flower King's bass player. The difficult-to-read title is the name of the hill close to the place which the members of the band grew up. The album open with the song 'kids' which most probably will make you think of your own childhood.
Their strongest aspect in my opinion is the vocals, which are rather mellow, and  match their melodic sound perfectly. Another very important aspect in their sound in the use of keyboards, and especially the unique sound of organ and 'Moog' synth.
 Moon Safari's album was another big surprise for me, and that's why I included it in my list.

TRIDDANA: Ripe for Rebellion
And my top-10 list will close with the less Prog band of all. But I was long expecting this album to be released, and when it did, it was as good as I was excpecting it to be.
There are many intersting facts about this band. Fact No.1: They are from Buenos Ayres (Argentina). Fact No.2: They sound like Braveheart, assuming that he was a Heavy Metal musician and not a Scottish hero. Fact No.3: It might sound like blasphemy, but the singer's voice is the closest voice I could ever imagine to the great Ronnie James Dio.
 So, what we have here is an Argentinian band which is playing a very heroic and powerful Heavy Metal, filled with the sound of  bagpipes, and a really great singer who knows how to use his voice.
 So if you are into heroic tales, or intriqued by legendary battles, then this band might be perfect for you! :)