1. RICK WAKEMAN & THE ENGLISH ROCK ENSEMBLE - Ascraeus Mons (5:53)
Album: The Red Planet (2020)
It's been a long time since RICK WAKEMAN presented such a convincing instrumental prog work. The fascination with the red planet made it possible. Sound cathedrals, which are staged with fat church organ and choirs at "Ascraeus Mons", pile up like the massive mountains, volcanoes and canyons of Mars.
2. PAIN OF SALVATION - Accelerator (5:30) Album
: Panther (2020) Label/Distribution
PAIN OF SALVATION have never before been experienced as electronically as on their current concept album "Panther". Already at the opener "Accelerator" the five Swedes celebrate most modern prog metal, which elegantly avoids common genre clichés and even comes up with vocoder vocals at the end. Totally independent. Album of the month!
3. ALL THEM WITCHES
- The Children Of Coyote Woman (3:36)
Album: Nothing As The Ideal (2020) WITCHES /
Distribution: New West/PIAS/Rough Trade
"The Children Of Coyote Woman" shows the soft, accessible side of the trio ALL THEM WITCHES, which usually likes to get down to the nitty-gritty. Singer Parks performs the piece with a hypnotizing voice, guitar and drums in a dynamic interplay make the dreaming, partly anchored in traditional R'n'B, perfect.
4. THE ELECTRIC FAMILY - Sacred Land (4:23) Album
: Echoes Don't Lie (2020) Label/Distribution
: Sireena/Broken Silencewww.electric-family.de
On "Echoes Don't Lie" the cult Bremen musician collective THE ELECTRIC FAMILY shines not only with ex-members of Grobschnitt, Extrabreit and Dissidenten, but also offers a wild mixture of Kraut, Psych, Indie, Artrock and Folk. "Sacred Land" is as odd as Lou Reed or Nick Cave, Mellotron clouds included.
5. POOR GENETIC MATERIAL - Note From My Younger Self (6:57) Album
: Here Now (2020) Label/Distribution
In POOR GENETIC MATERIAL father and son are the main singers: besides main singer Philip Griffiths also his father Martin (Beggars Opera). They are joined, as in "Note From My Younger Self", by the lyrical flute of Pia Darmstädter. And as always, Philipp Jaehne (keys) and Stefan Glomb (g) create such crisp and atmospheric prog soundscapes
6. RUBBER TEA - Plastic Scream (4:40) album
: Infusion (2020) Label/Distribution
: Sireena/Broken Silencewww.rubbertea.de
The Bremen band RUBBER TEA layers well-known prog ingredients like in the "pyramid" of the Bremen Town Musicians. Here, Canterbury reminiscences, crimson-like clouds of sound and Renaissance-like singing pile up. The band also tells fantastic fairy tales, like "Plastic Scream" about an enchanted house.
7. THE PROGRESSIVE SOULS COLLECTIVE
- A Formula For Happiness (edit) (4:58) Album
: Sonic Birth (2020) Label/Distribution
: Metalville/Rough Trade
Progmetal project with roots in Freising: For THE PROGRESSIVE SOULS COLLECTIVE guitarist Florian Zepf was able to win a whole squad of illustrious guests like Kevin Moore, Derek Sherinian or Luis Conte. But also the still quite unknown Serbian singer Vladimir Lalić makes a big gesture to attract attention.
8. OSTA LOVE - We Can Do It Again (3:22) Album
: About Time (2020) Label/Distribution
: Record Jet/Edelwww.ostalove.com
On their third album, the German duo OSTA LOVE revels in elegant artpop, which radiates its feelers in the direction of indie. What at times appears so innocent, convinces with fine arrangements, from which small guitar solos and the many harmony vocals stand out.
9. ANOTHER SKY
- Brave Face (3:29)
Album: I Slept On The Floor (2020) /
Verträumte Guitars, nervous drums, big melodies and in the center the engaging voice of singer Catrin Vincent - not only in "Brave Face" ANOTHER SKY create a breathtaking sound scenery. This newcomer band belongs in HiFi systems as well as in arenas with demanding audiences!
10. DAILY THOMPSON - Slow Me Down (6:17) Album
: Oumuamua (2020) Label/Distribution
On her fourth album, DAILY THOMPSON penetrate into the realms from which Oumuamua, the cosmic object discovered in 2017 in the shape of a cigar, could come. In doing so, the band expands their horizons towards space rock, even though not so much of it is noticeable on the driving "Slow Me Down".