Upcoming albums wot I iz rather excited about!

I listen to all sorts of music, and indeed listen to music as much of the time as I possibly can, but I do think it’s fair to say that majority of my listening in recent years has been to music that has the word progressive tagged on it somewhere. Said progressive tag spans a wide range of heaviness though.

The first couple of months of 2015 are already shaping up to provide some killer new albums from some of my favourite progressive bands, and the plan is that I keep this post up-to-date with impending releases that I’m looking forward too hereon.

Beardfish – +4626-COMFORTZONE – 12th January 2015

Beardfish still hold the crown as my most scrobbled band. They’re my favourite modern “traditional” prog rock, with a sound definitely anchored in the prog rock of the 1970s, but with more than enough contemporariness to make them sound like their own band. Their sound is anchored on twin guitars but also awesome Hammond organ as multi-instrumental lead singer Rikard Sjöblom switches readily between guitar and keyboards (which is why I’ve hankered after a Nord Electro 3 keyboard for a while). Their last album, The Void,  was released in 2012 and marked their heaviest sound to date, bordering on progressive metal at times.

Apparently the new album is all about addressing the inner self.

Sylosis – Dormant Heart – 12th January 2015

Two great albums on the same day … what am I going to do!? I’ve posted about my love of Sylosis before. Definitely at the other extreme of the progressive spectrum, Sylosis are progressive thrash metal, and I’m totally open about my fanboi adoration of Josh Middleton’s guitar playing. Their last album Monolith was released back in 2012. Apparently this new one is their “most pissed off album” lyrically, and so definitely something to scare the neighbours with when I’m out washing the cars! It’s also the first album with their new drummer, Ali Richardson, who’s sharing his time between Sylosis and his other awesome deathcore/metalcore band Bleed from Within.

Steven Wilson – Hand. Cannot. Erase. – 2nd March 2015

I absolutely adored Steven Wilson’s previous album The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories) from 2013 and, if you need a very special endorsement of something I listen to, Mrs ® Andy liked it too! Steven Wilson has his hands in lots of things across the progressive spectrum, including his solo albums, various collaborations, and also production including most of Opeth’s recent albums. Also of course there is/was his band Porcupine Tree, currently on hiatus. I’d characterise his solo albums as the best of contemporary prog rock though, whilst he composes all the music, practically his well established band make a clear creative stamp through their performances too. Just like The Raven That Refused to Sing, this new album is firmly anchored on a particular concept – in this instance the idea/reality that some people can disappear but be literally missed by no one!


Sylosis – Mercy

Sylosis have just released their first new song in a while, Mercy, ahead of their new album which is due out in January. To say I’m excited is an understatement! Take a listen if you like brutal progressive metal very much at the thrash end of the speedo played by a band who are always technically spot on!

Sylosis are actually one of these bands that I happened upon when they supported another band I saw live. That headline act was DevilDriver, and I’m not going to lie – I now rank Sylosis and another of the supports, Bleed from Within, well above DevilDriver in my list of favourite bands. Bleed from Within were below Sylosis on the bill, and then interestingly the drummer from Bleed from Within subbed-in for the drummer in Sylosis owing to his unavailability, with less than 24 hours notice! He nailed the drum part, and has since joined Sylosis officially, whilst also remaining in Bleed from Within too.

Anyhow, this rather boring post is about to get worse, with me going a bit fanboi about the lead singer/guitarist of Sylosis, Josh Middleton. You know the sort … artistically talented in numerous ways! I consider him one of the fastest and most accurate guitarists out there, and his ability to play hugely complex things absolutely perfectly live without even appearing to try is second to none! I did find his recent video about how to play fast cleanly rather frustrating though … basically practice lots very carefully and really focus on cleanness. He’s an artist and illustrator too, doing various bands’ stuff, and that transfers into a clothing business too. Yep … I do have one of his t-shirts! Seems like he’s a clean living vegan, posts cat pictures on Instagram and he always comes across as a nice guy in interviews. Maybe I should hate him in a fit of jealousy whilst I play my guitar crappily!?