As we have everything stored and accessible online these days, we can access any music anytime. At the same time we always wait for fresh albums and slowly start to ignore most of the older ones. Let me explain: if you are an Iron Maiden fan, you will keep going back to most of their albums, but with every new release you will spend the next few weeks or months repeating that so you be ready for the big festival, ready to sing along and to have the melody engraved in your mind. This keeps you distracted from other non-Iron Maiden releases.
As evolved apes, we enjoy familiarity and tend to connect faster and better with names we know and melodies we are familiar with, thus even the biggest of “Prog” fans still follow a band like Dream Theater and wait for every new album. After establishing themselves as the big band, DT now tend to play safe familiar music, make new “familiar” albums to keep you hooked. This is not Prog anymore, this is Business.
So if a band really wants to be Prog, it has to risk “the business”. I will showcase a few albums of bands that really risk their business to present something new. I will be glad to hear your opinion on these bands but also feel free to share your band suggestions.
First, for those who know me and know which bands I tend to consistently recommend, I will start by moving this out of the way. Pain of Salvation is one of my favorite bands, because they risk their Business and keep changing their style to something new. On the opposite side, this is not the first time I write about Dream Theater, but as much as I love their earlier work, I get quickly bored listening to their 2010s albums.
- My risky albums list
- Wolverine – Machina Viva
Wolverine evolved a lot through three consecutive albums all with top reviews. With prog rock and metal as the core, they also play with acoustic and electronic, but what keeps them separated from most prog bands is their time signature experimentation.
- Ne Obliviscaris – Portal of I
…And BOOM !! a band from Australia shook the world in 2012 coming with something as magnificent as this blend of classical and dirt damn heavy. Ne Obliviscaris followed up with two albums so far, Citadel and Urn not less experimental and still evolving.
- Grayceon – All We Destroy
Grayceon presented a blend of heavy folk I have not heard before, the Heavy is heavy and the melodies are a perfect fit with transitions from peace to destruction.
- Arcturus – Arcturian
Making a different kind of symphonic with unique vocals, but the best in Arcturus is the key experimentation in the crazy blends and unnatural rhythms. Give the album a complete listen, a lot of new elements there to expand your musical horizon.