Progressive Metal New Releases: February 27, 2016

Damn, we’re getting behind here and now have to talk about 23 great albums we’ve got for you this week (sleep is definitely lacking around here!). This week has more than the usual amount of melodic prog metal including new albums from Australia’s Lamprey, Danish prog rock/metal band Isbjörg, Finnish band Amoral, Germany’s Frequency Drift, Italian bands Diraxy and Dream Of Illusion, Dutch bands Nem-Q and Seven Waters, Tunisia’s female-fronted band Persona and new albums from the U.S. including Redemption drummer Chris Quirarte‘s first solo album and the solo artist who goes by I Among You. (Damn, that’s a LOT to check out so you’d better get started now!)

This week also has some excellent heavier stuff from Canadian tech metal legends Voivod on their brand new EP, “Post Society” as well as new albums from Danish orchestral black metal band Ureas, French alt prog band Scarlean, Dutch tech metal masters Textures and three U.S. bands, Divine Realm, Echoes Of The Moon, Two Brothers and mathcore legends, After The Burial. Finally this week has some more experimental and offbeat fare from the all-improv New York based metal-infused jazz group Eighty-Pound Pug along with the all instrumental albums from As Blood Runs Black guitarist Dan Sugarman, Indian spiritually infused djent metal from The Multiverse Concept and the wildly experimental new album from the inventive Austrian duo Their Dogs Were Astronauts. As usual we’ve got soundclips/full streaming for all of these albums as well as Spotify links if available for you to check out.

(Note to bands and fans: please let us know if any albums are missing from this week’s new release schedule and we’ll gladly include them. No demos please but we will include E.P.’s if they’re available for purchase. If you do decide to purchase any of this week’s albums please do so via the links below as that does help to fund this webzine.)

After the BurialDig Deep

After The Burial - Dig Deep
United StatesProgressive Djent/Metalcore (new album from one of the leading U.S. djent bands. More stellar playing, rhythms and some of the most inventive guitar lines you'll hear these days.)

AmoralIn Sequence

Amoral - In Sequence
FinlandProgressive Metal (new album from this Finnish group whose 2013 album "Fallen Leaves and Dead Sparrows" made our top album list for that year. This time out the variety is just astonishing, from heavy to ethereal especially on songs like , "Sounds Of Home" with its beautiful chorale-like vocals and saxophone. Truly one of the leading lights of Finnish heavy prog.)

Spotify Link
Chris QuirarteMending Broken Bridges

Chris Quirarte - Mending Broken Bridges
United StatesProgressive Metal (damn, what a great surprise this is! if you don't know him, Quirarte is the drummer for the great LA progressive metal band Redemption (whose new album, "The Art Of Loss" is just releasing) and he also played with the late great prog metal band Pyrmary. His first solo album, funded through a successful crowdfunding campaign, finds him drumming and singing on this diverse album that features heavy prog, atmospheric prog rock and several quite stunning longer epics from 10-12 minutes each. He's also got a great cast of musicians from Redemption as well as several guest bassists including Randy George from the Neal Morse band. Would not surprise us at all if we end up liking this album even more than the new Redemption!)

Spotify Link
Dan SugarmanCentersun

Dan Sugarman - Centersun
United StatesProgressive Instrumental Metal (what a great surprise this is! A totally modern, heavy instrumental prog odyssey from "As Blood Runs Black" guitarist Sugarman. Simply stunning and majestic technical melodic heavy instrumentals featuring Sugarman and a few superb guest guitarist including Angel Vivaldi, Francesco Artusato and James Norbert Ivanyi. Could definitely give Animals As Leaders a run for their money.)

Spotify Link
DiraxyThe Vagrant EP: First Steps

Diraxy - The Vagrant EP First Steps
ItalyProgressive Rock/Metal (top notch melodic prog rock with occasional heavy aspects. Lots of dynamics (including some excellent guitar tones) and passionately beautiful melodic prog featuring both male and female vocals. This four-song EP promises to be the precursor of the band's upcoming full-length album.)
Divine RealmTectum Argenti

Divine Realm - Tectum Argenti
United StatesProgressive Technical Metal (what a great week for heavy instrumental metal! Divine Realm is a totally sick project from Canadian guitarist/madman Leo Diensthuber who now has a full band on his new album which will blow you away with not only his considerable technical accomplishments but also some of the most beautifully melodic soloing and phrasing we've heard in a long time. Highest Recommendation for all fans of heavy instrumental music!)

Spotify Link
Dream Of IllusionEvolution

Dream Of Illusion - Evolution
ItalyProgressive Metal (sick grooves abound on this sophomore album from this relentless band. Great vocalist and some pretty inventive guitars too.)

Spotify Link
Echoes Of The MoonEntropy

Echoes Of The Moon - Entropy
United StatesProgressive Atmospheric Black Metal (new album of creepy atmospheric heaviness from this solo artist. Lots of atmosphere and some scary black metal vocals too!)
Eighty-Pound PugWhen The Flowers Bloom In Baltimore

Eighty Poung Pug - When The Flowers Bloom In Baltimore
United StatesProgressive Experimental Jazz/Metal (we love these New York experimentalists! From what we can tell, this band has a rotating cast of musicians led by guitarist and filmmaker Alex Lozupone and cranks out wild metal infused jazz improvs that will keep you on your toes the whole time! Fans of Wynton Marsalis retro jazz need not apply!)
Frequency DriftLast

Fequency Drift - Last
GermanyProgressive Cinematic Rock/Metal (Along with Dante, this band is one of the great progressive bands on the cool indie label "The Gentle Art Of Music" Frequency Drift plays gorgeous cinematic prog featuring the beautiful vocals of Melli Mau and a harp. Not very heavy but just too cool to not promote here.)

Spotify Link
I Among YouAlien Nation

I Among You - Alien Nation
United StatesProgressive Metal (wildly inventive, ambient/tech metal from this Rhode Island solo artist. The vocal melodies are also excellent especially on rather melancholy songs like "Beneath (Breathe)" A very strong Tool vibe too from this sickly talented musician.)

Spotify Link

DenmarkProgressive Rock/Metal (Passionate heavy melodic prog from this new Danish band featuring drummer Frederik Ølund Uglebjerg (who's quirky solo album "Fugle" we reviewed HERE.) Only four songs but just some of the coolest, heavy melodic prog we've heard all year. Strong focus on writing great, memorable songs with killer vocal melodies and often underscored by propulsive pianos. These guys definitely have their own unique sound and we hope to hear a full album from 'em soon!)

Spotify Link

Lamprey - Narwhal
AustraliaProgressive Alternative Metal (Aussie solo artist who has a ton of variety on this three song EP. From alt to metalcore with some rather poppy vocals at times. The heavy opening riff on Homonculous is so damned simple but utterly memorable which is always the sign of a talented artist.)
Multiverse Concept, TheChasing Echoes

Multiverse Concept - Chasing Echoes
IndiaProgressive Instrumental Ambient/Djent Metal (this week is just fantastic for heavy instrumental music and this Indian solo artist is no exception. This is very deep stuff with a lot of contemplative elements and a strong spiritual vibe underscored by a female narrator. Lots of angular heavy djent too on this diverse and very cool debut by this talented Indian musician and composer.)
Nem-QFault Lines (Subduction Zone)

Nem-Q - Fault Lines Subduction Zone
NetherlandsProgressive Rock/Metal (new EP from this Dutch group that produces expertly crafted melodic prog metal that uses liberal doses of jazz fusion complexity with a great feel for accessible melodies. The seven-minute song "Vanity" especially is just a wonderful song with a great slowly building groove and a powerfully dramatic vocal.)

Spotify Link
PersonaElusive Reflections

Persona - Elusive Reflections
TunisiaProgressive Metal (what the heck is going on in Tunisia these days??!! Not only do we have the venerable Myrath and newcomers Nawather with recent great albums but now we have the debut album from Persona, a female-fronted band that does just what you'd hope for - produce great melodic progressive power metal featuring liberal uses of Middle Eastern melodies, orchestrations and the very beautiful voice of lead singer Jelena Dobric. Excellent!)

Spotify Link

Scarlean - Ghost
FranceProgressive Alternative Metal (debut album from this French band that has a very accessible melodic style fused with their love of modern alt prog like Tool and Radiohead. We really love this band's grooves and very cool harmonics.)

Spotify Link
Seven WatersHunter's Prey

Seven Waters - Hunters Prey

NetherlandsProgressive Symphonic Metal (new album from this Norwegian heavy symphonic band led by guitarist Michiel Leijzer and his singer wife Karen. Very cool keyboard/guitar led prog with Karen's powerful prog rock vocals taking center stage. These guys write some pretty damn good complex and dramatic instrumental sections in much of their music, especially on the rousing album finale, "Broken Images")

Spotify Link

Textures - Phenotype
NetherlandsProgressive Metalcore (sick new album from one of the leading progressive metalcore bands. Phenotype is actually a precursor to the band's upcoming album Genotype which is promised for early next year. These guys can do it all - crazy odd-times, heavy djent and a fantastic mix of melodic clean and harsh vocals. Just check out the song "Shaping A Single Grain of Sand" to see how great this band can fuse heavy angularity and majestic vocals so well. A great band that we're damn glad is producing such great shit after 13 years!)

Spotify Link
Their Dogs Were AstronautsMystery:Diary

Their Dogs Were Astronauts - Mystery Diary
AustriaProgressive Instrumental Djent Metal (new album of fantastic instrumental prog rock/djent from these two sickly talented brothers. "Mystery:Diary" continues their style of fusing some excellent, inventive heavy djent with some very beautiful and atmostpheric prog rock. You just don't expect such masterful keyboard solos like they do on songs like "Ignition." These guys can really compose great songs too - the two part "Sparks" is just a wonder of atmospheric prog (including the accordion!) and dramatic heaviness. Easily one of the most creative instrumental heavy bands around.)
Two BrothersMegan's Room

Two Brothers - Megan's Room
United StatesProgressive Post-Hardcore/Metal (these young musicians from near LA definitely have a love for Emo as well as hardcore and also know how to stretch out with some pretty inventive jams. Cool stuff and we hope to hear more from these guys down the line.)
UreasThe Black Heart Album

Ureas - Black Heart
DenmarkProgressive Gothic/Black Metal (how the HELL did we miss this late 2015 release from the amazing Ureas. If you don't know 'em they're fronted by husband and wife Per Johansson and Heidi Johansson (who both sing and play keyboards) and they've created their own, highly individual style with crushing riffs and featuring a whole range of theatrical vocals from Per and Heidi. The Black Heart Album also features some amazing guest musicians including Mike LePond (Symphony X), Reece Fullwood (Eumeria) and Michael Pitman (Xerath).)

Spotify Link
VoivodPost Society

Voivod - Post Society
CanadaProgressive Metal (new EP from what has to be the best-known underground band in prog metal. Of course the late, great "Piggy" D'Amour can't be replaced but these guys still pull out dark, sickly inventive and twisted heavy prog like no one's business. The title track here sounds like King Crimson on acid with those unreal space rock/thrash riffs and fusion inspired guitar lines that will leave you speechless. These guys have to be considered a Canadian national treasure by now!)

Spotify Link
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  1. Murielle:

    Discovering Scarlean, great album! They’re from my region, hope to see them live soon! Thank you :)

  2. Feeling, Their Dogs Were Astronauts, After The Burial, Divine Realm and Isbjörg… Interesting and emotive music.

  3. Cool to be able to start my listening session with a few LA artists…and then Narwhal, of course, because how can I resist that album art?! Thanks PMZ!

  4. backtothegarden:

    This list is loaded up with winners this week!

    I’ve had the Textures album since the day it was released, and it may be their best one yet. And that’s saying something, because Silhouettes was amazing.

    Nem-Q is solid. Right up my alley, too – solid grooves, nice dynamics, and a great vocalist.

    Lots of great stuff coming up, too. The songs I’ve heard from the new Circus Maximus and Deftones records are solid.

  5. Divine Realm’s “Tectum Argenti” is some really inspired instrumental tech-metal — crisp, clean, modern production with sick, complex grooves and excellent leads. These guys could open up for Spastic Ink or Blotted Science!

    • Prog Metal Zone:

      Oh for sure! Leo’s really going places. Now that Pomegranate Tiger is no more, it’s great to have new blood in this space!

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