1. NIGHTWISH - Harvest (5:12) Album
: Human. II: Nature (2020) Label/Distribution
: Nuclear Blast/Warnerwww.nightwish.com
Truly epic - a double album with nine tracks and a long track divided into eight chapters - awaits fans of the Finnish symphonic rockers NIGHTWISH. "Harvest" conjures up images of a forgotten saga that could have played in the Highlands with Celtic sounds and poetic lyrics.
2. DOOL - Wolf Moon (4:54) Album
: Summerland (2020) Label/Distribution
The Dutch DOOL walk ("Dool" means "wanders") again skillfully on the narrow degree between Prog and Doom. Also Rush and Led Zeppelin sneak in discreetly. This hymnic dark rock cinema is crowned by catchy melodies. So also the "Wolf Moon" can be howled at.
3. PURE REASON REVOLUTION - New Obsession (5:07) Album
: Eupnea (2020) Label/Distribution
Atmospheric keyboards, ethereal vocal harmonies, but also one or the other riff edge as well as noisy electro vibes characterize the "Eupnea" opener "New Obsession". Ten years after "Hammer And Anvil", PURE REASON REVOLUTION have found a good balance of elements from their three previous albums.
4. MRS. KITE - Man In A Shed, Part II (6:48) Album
: Flickering Lights (2020) Label/Distribution
MRS. KITE swim with their second work in the New Art Rock fairway of Porcupine Tree - with catchy melodies, complex rhythms, delicate vocal harmonies and wonderful riffs. The mere 10 Euros the Cologne-based band is charging for their album are an extremely worthwhile investment for genre fans
5. FINAL CONFLICT - Lights (5:59) Album
: The Rise Of The Artisan (2020) Label/Distribution
: Gaolhouse/Just For Kickswww.fc-music.com
FINAL CONFLICT from Newcastle offer cuddly, never banal neoprog, putting them way ahead of Arena and Jadis. Warm, soulful vocals, elegiac keyboard sounds, varied guitar playing and an elegant rhythm section create beautiful to magical moments.
6. OTHER LIVES - Lost Day (2:53) Album
: For Their Love (2020) (Release: 24.04.) Label/Distribution
: PIAS/Rough Trade
OTHER LIVES have always had potential beyond narrow genre boundaries. Their atmospheric indiefolk has Kammerprog in it. Now soundtrack qualities and Sixties Easy Listening are added, reminiscent of the Walker Brothers, Lee Hazlewood and Calexico. Lost Day" is also an artful spaghetti western.
7. EL MISTI - Kingdom (5:07) Album
: El Misti (2020) Label/Distribution
: El Misti/www.elmistimusic.com
Isn't "Kingdom" a warm, melancholy, revelling song? Yes, it is. The debut of the English band EL MISTI is also more rocky, but the songwriting creates great melodies and a certain nonchalance, including an epic art-rock finale. This is rock of US-American influence.
8. HEXVESSEL - Demian (3:38) Album
: Kindred (2020) Label/Distribution
: Svart/The Orchardwww.hexvessel.com
Only one year after the masterful "All Tree" there is already new dark and occult material from the Finns. Between 70s blues rock, occult folk, psychedelic rock and a pinch of prog, the ten new songs move, bowing to Led Zeppelin, Nick Cave, Opeth and even King Crimson among others.
9. THE DREAM SYNDICATE - The Regulator (single edit) (3:55) Album
: The Universe Inside (2020) Label/Distribution
THE DREAM SYNDICATE ride off, and nothing can stop them. From the first note they dream themselves into a jazz-rock intoxication, which despite the technoid beats could be from the early seventies. The single version covers only a fifth of the complete track, and yet the force and spirit of the whole album is apparent
10. THE THIRD MIND - The Dolphins (edit) (4:02) Album
: The Third Mind (2020) Label/Distribution
: Yep Roc/Bertuswww.thethirdmind.net
The US-Indie-Supergroup THE THIRD MIND presents a wonderful album, almost exclusively consisting of cover versions, which reaches deep into the bag of tricks of pop-historical psychedelia, but always sounds contemporary. This is proven not least by the wonderful performance of the Fred Neil classic "The Dolphins".