Progressive Rock

Birth – Born Review

Birth – Born Review

“As I listened to Born by Birth, it became clear I was witnessing another throwback progressive rock band being, well…born; one which harkens back to a bygone era of English prog majesty; less identified by the harder-edged, complex compositions of early Rush and more by the extended jams and intricate, less metallic instrumentation of King Crimson, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Genesis. These were the bands I’d fallen in love with during my earlier sojourns, and it’s clear the Birth boys feel similarly.” Born too late.

Philosophobia – Philosophobia Review

Philosophobia – Philosophobia Review

“Philosophobia: fear of the study of knowledge, right or wrong, values—an idea so very counter to the typical academic prog attitude, yet it also plays right into certain stagnant streams of progressive metal. Philosophobia does not question or push the boundaries of the question “what is prog?” Instead, it wholeheartedly embraces older ideas, leaning into the namesake phobia to make the past the present definition. No doubt conceived in earnest, this international crew of talented musicians has finally emerged with their debut outing, long after guitarist Andreas Ballnus (Perzonal War) and drummer Alex Landenburg (Mekong Delta) first conceived these ideas over a decade ago.” Olde progressions.

All Things Fallen – Shadow Way Review

All Things Fallen – Shadow Way Review

“We all have a type. Deep down inside, my type often reflects as moody, noodly, groove-kissed prog. So, when I see a promo that promises all of those things, I can’t help but shove it in my ears and hope for the best. Enter All Things Fallen who presents as a supergroup of sorts, boasting members of Pain of Salvation, Darkwater, and Almah—a little digging reveals it’s more of a supporting cast coalition. A little less ego can go a long way in collaborative projects, so smaller names are not exactly a bad thing.” Manbun-core.

My Diligence – The Matter, Form and Power Review

My Diligence – The Matter, Form and Power Review

“Allow me to be contrite for a moment. Three and a half years ago I casually dropped a 3.5 rating on My Diligence’s second album, Sun Rose. I’m not too proud to tell you that, after circling back to the album many times since, I definitely had my overrating cap on. At best Sun Rose was a 3.0, more likely closer to a 2.5. But I was somehow smitten at the time and threw caution to the wind. I’ll admit it now: I was too enamored of the strong songs, and ignored the chaff. Now here we are with The Matter, Form and Power, and I am determined to approach this stoner-prog platter with open eyes and an even keel.”” Doom Diligence.

Gramma Vedetta – The Hum of the Machine Review

Gramma Vedetta – The Hum of the Machine Review

“It’s been some time. A devastating trifecta of moving homes, work fuckery and family shit closed down my writing faculties for a little while, but I’m very pleased to return to this lovely little blog. Perhaps as a regression to each writer’s humble beginnings, I asked Steel Druhm to assign me a promo of his choice for my restoration. I suspect that Gramma Vedetta’s new album called The Hum of the Machine was his interpretation of a homecoming gift, leaning into my strong preference for progressive music.”

Moon Tooth – Phototroph Review

Moon Tooth – Phototroph Review

“I wrote a gushing review of New York rockers Moon Tooth‘s supercharged 2019 sophomore album Crux, copping some flak amongst the readership in the process. Moon Tooth scratch the modern hard rock meets prog metal itch nicely, and third LP, Phototroph, comes with plenty of anticipation. The heavier rock stylings of their earlier material is smoothed over, squarely placing Moon Tooth in metal adjacent hard rock territory. And listeners not enamored with their previous work, especially Crux, will find nothing here to change their minds. I imagine the Moon Tooth fanbase will continue to swell and their profile rise, however, this will be a divisive effort amongst the AMG community.” Moon bite.

Pure Reason Revolution – Above Cirrus Review

Pure Reason Revolution – Above Cirrus Review

“It’s great to see a new album from Pure Reason Revolution just two years after their last, the up-and-down, nearly-amazing Eupnea. We were also gifted with a reissue of their brilliant The Dark Third back in 2020, so they’ve kept some momentum going upon their return from their 2011 hiatus. Now Jon Courtney and Chloë Alper return with a fresh album and one more band member – Greg Jong, who was in the band until prior to the release of The Dark Third way back in ’06. Above Cirrus is therefore this version of PRR’s first release.” Bear market.

Tranzat – Ouh La La Review

Tranzat – Ouh La La Review

Tranzat won me over before I even heard a single note, their pétillant persona piquing all the “must listen” bones in my body. On a scale of swell to swole, these proggy French funnymen are decidedly swell-diddly-umptious. Not only have they provided a boy-band-meets-bowling-league cover art for our supreme enjoyment, but also they have adorned their merch page for Ouh La La with silly posters, silly shirts, and reasonable prices. You can even send them your own shirt (or turtleneck or polo) that they will gladly screen print for you. Perhaps for this third outing, Tranzat has finally coordinated with a highly supportive label.” Prep-core.

JIRM – The Tunnel, The Well, Holy Bedlam Review

JIRM – The Tunnel, The Well, Holy Bedlam Review

The Tunnel, The Well, Holy Bedlam: one of the coolest album titles so far this year. It comes to us courtesy the psychedelic spaced-out minds of JIRM, known as Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus until 2018’s Surge Ex Monumentis album. Now here they are four years older and wiser but presumably just as high, with their fifth album, and with a title like that (and some cool song titles as well) I’m intrigued despite my tepid thoughts on their last one.” Holy Batman.

Guild of Others – Guild of Others Review

Guild of Others – Guild of Others Review

“Too many bands today make progressive music for the sake of being progressive, prioritizing meandering exploration over songcraft, and this is akin to a chef filling a bowl with flavorful seasonings and serving it as a full meal. Guild of Others seem intent on dishing out hearty meals seasoned with proggy goodness, their promo even going so far as to quote prolific music critic Martin Popoff, who is supposed to have said, “Guild of Others accomplish the near impossible, and that’s make progressive metal that is accessible.” Let’s see if there is any truth to these words, or if they’re merely promospeak.” Guild to last.