Welcome back to The Elite Extremophile’s Topg 50 Prog Albums of 2022. In case you missed it, Part 1 can be found here.Continue reading “Top 50 Prog Albums of 2022, Part 2: 25-1”
Album Review: Elder – Innate Passage
Band: Elder | Album: Innate Passage | Genre: Heavy psych, Progressive rock, Post-rock | Year: 2022
From: Boston, USA (originally); Berlin, Germany (currently) | Label: Armageddon Records (USA), Stickman Records (elsewhere)
Elder is a big enough name in the world of progressive rock and progressive metal that I figured I could probably safely exclude the “For fans of” section from my header. Their sound is a distinctive mix of heavy psych, progressive rock, and stoner metal that is (usually) smart, technical, accessible, and expansive.Continue reading “Album Review: Elder – Innate Passage”
Top 50 Prog Albums of 2021, Part 1: 50-26
Welcome to the first installment of The Elite Extremophile’s Top 50 Prog Albums of 2021. This article will cover places 50-26 on my list, with the top half set to follow on Thursday.
As I always say, I’m sure there are some excellent albums not included in my list. This site is a one-man operation (in relation to reviewing, that is; my editors, Kelci and Dan, have been tremendously helpful), and I simply cannot listen to everything that gets released. I also have my personal biases against some rather popular trends in prog, which affected the composition of this list. But if you’ve got recommendations, do not hesitate to shoot them my way.
As I referenced in my Scheduling Note back in November, this list only addresses albums put out between January 2021 and November 2021. Next year’s list will cover December 2021 through November 2022.
Though it felt as if it started off fairly slow, 2021 wound up being a very strong year for progressive rock and metal. Finalizing this list took longer than usual, especially nailing down the specific order.Continue reading “Top 50 Prog Albums of 2021, Part 1: 50-26”
Album Review: Dream Theater – A View from the Top of the World
Band: Dream Theater | Album:A View from the Top of the World | Genre: Progressive metal | Year: 2021
From: Boston, USA | Label: Inside Out Music
Well, it’s been two years. Time for a new Dream Theater album. A View from the Top of the World is the too-many-th release from these prog metal stalwarts. After the passable but unremarkable Distance over Time, I wasn’t really expecting much from these guys. Then again, I didn’t get into them until I was in college, after their prime, so I’ve never really expected much from them.
Dream Theater has their very specific sound, and with the exception of the bafflingly terrible The Astonishing, they have been super consistent and predictable. Everything is always masterful from a technical standpoint. However, it often comes off as soulless, and I frequently point to Jordan Rudess and John Petrucci as some of the most masturbatory musicians in the notoriously onanistic field that is prog metal. Much of their output over the last two decades has been uninspired, but now and again we have gotten the occasional flash of brilliance.Continue reading “Album Review: Dream Theater – A View from the Top of the World”
Album Review: Elder – Omens
Band: Elder | Album: Omens | Genre: Progressive rock, Stoner metal | Year: 2020
From: Boston, USA (Originally); Berlin, Germany (Currently) | Label: Armageddon (US), Stickman (EU)
For fans of: Mastodon, Tool, Pink Floyd
Buy: Bandcamp | Amazon | Apple Music
Over the last few years, Elder have established themselves as one of the most interesting acts in progressive rock. Their albums Lore and Reflections of a Floating World deftly blended prog and psychedelia with a stoner metal backbone, and their 2019 EP The Gold & Silver Sessions saw heavy incorporation of krautrock and jam band influences.
The recording of Omens, Elder’s fifth full-length release, marked several major changes for the band. The most obvious of which was that the band underwent their first-ever lineup change to introduce a new drummer and guitarist/keyboardist. The band also relocated from Boston to Berlin, and the press for this record leading up to its release emphasized this state of change. Sonically, the most obvious change over previous releases is the widespread incorporation of synthesizers. Overall, though, Omens doesn’t stray that far from Elder’s typical sound; all in all, they’ve just added a few baubles. Continue reading “Album Review: Elder – Omens”