1. HAKEN - The Good Doctor (3:54) Album
: Vector (2018) Label/Distribution
With their fifth and to date most compact album "Vector" HAKEN once again assert their claims to the progmetal throne. They have increased in hardness and theatricality, but at the same time deliver killer refrains en masse. "The Good Doctor" covers all important characteristics of the band in about four minutes.
The Australian Modern Progger CALIGULA'S HORSE deal with art and creativity from the perspective of four protagonists on their concept album "In Contact", which was already released in 2017. "The Hands Are The Hardest" evolves from a more poppy starting point to a great anthem.
3. VOLA - Ghosts (3:57) Album
: Applause From A Distant Crowd (2018) Label/Distribution
: Mascot/Rough Trade
The Danish quartet VOLA around Asger Mygind (voc, g) delivers with their second album "Applause From A Distant Crowd" fresh impulses for Progmetal. The band plumbs the extremes and regularly follows aggressivejent-riffs with conciliatory melodies. "Ghosts" is one of the most catchy tracks.
4. THEODORE - Floating (8:21) Album
: Inner Dynamics (2018) Label/Distribution
: United We Fly/H'Art
The Greek multi-instrumentalist THEODORE could not have titled this track from his current album more appropriately. In fact, everything is flowing here, and Theodore pulls the listener into a maelstrom. Whereby it does not concern a torrential flood, but rather a body of water that begins calmly and swells steadily.
5. BLACK PEAKS - Aether (6:31) Album
: All That Divides (2018) Label/Distribution
BLACK PEAKS' second album is a conceptual work about the current political upheavals in the world. The language of the British band is that of the alternative Progmetal. It's brute, fast, dynamic, virtuoso. But also the change to atmospheric passages (like in "Aether") is a trademark of the band.
6. DAILY THOMPSON - River Haze (4:48) Album
: Thirsty (2018) Label/Distribution
: Hänsel & Gretel/MIG/Indigowww.difymusic.com/daily-thompson
The Stoner-/Desertrock formation DAILY THOMPSON moves Joshua Tree to Dortmund and sounds more American than some bands from the States. Listen to "River Haze" from the third longplayer "Thirsty", which compresses Kyuss and Monster magnet to a lump of ultracool matter.
7. THUMPERMONKEY - Veldt (5:22) Album
: Make Me Young, Etc (2018) Label/Distribution
The London alternative artrock quartet THUMPERMONKEY never made it easy with their bulky, spherical and often massive sounds. Even "Veldt" (influenced by the late Scott Walker) is not immediately inviting. This is head music that has a physical effect - and which ultimately fascinates.
8. JAIL JOB EVE - Dangerous Eyes (4:44) Album
: The Mission (2018) Label/Distribution
: Hänsel & Gretel/MIG/Indigowww.jailjobeve.de
Women's power is very popular in blues and hard rock. In addition to the Blues Pills and WolveSpirit, the Osnabrück-based group JAIL JOB EVE is also convincing. Their album "The Mission" has a cool comic cover and a rich production. "Dangerous Eyes" captivates with a distinctive organ, a pithy guitar and a female rock tube!
CRYSTAL PALACE from Berlin have been in business for more than 25 years and have mastered various reshuffles during this time. On "Scattered Shards" (a concept work about fear and self-doubt) the band around Yenz Strutz has further modernized their sound. The title song mobilizes all new art rock reserves, including a great guitar solo.
These days the first two (of altogether three) albums of the Neusser Neoprogger CHANDELIER will be re-released. The second album "Facing Gravity" is rightly regarded as the best work of the band that broke up in 1998. "Cuckoo" is at first under the sign of the formidable singer Martin Eden, develops into a powerful uptempo prog and back again.