1. FISH -
Weltschmerz (6:42) Album
: Weltschmerz (2020) Label/Distribution
: Chocolate Frogwww.fishmusic.scot
FISH's famous last words ... They reveal a disillusioned view of the state of the world. The warrior with the grey beard is tired, but he complains once again what is wrong on our planet. No farewell with a popping cork and Drambuie, but rather a quiet, thoughtful "Goodbye". Album of the month!
2. CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX - Lost (8:11) Album
: Ellengæst (2020) Label/Distribution
: Season Of Mist/Soulfoodwww.crippledblackphoenix.net
On their eighth album "Ellengæst" CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX reinforce the gothic rock influences and partly remind of Siouxsie And The Banshees. On "Lost" (central line: "We are lost as humans") Belinda Kordic duets with anathema singer Vincent Cavanagh - the accompanying video is downright shocking
- Sorry And... (6:57)
Album: Divide Et Impera (2020) Label/Distribution
: Opal Arts/Andromeda Relix/Just For Kicks
RØSENKREÜTZ convince on their second album with tasteful melodic rock on the border of prog. This ballad is one of them, which has its quiet moments refined with strings, but picks up speed in the dynamic in-between parts. A fine guitar solo completes the whole thing.
4. CODE 18 -
They Took It All (5:57)
Album: Human Error! (2020) Label/Distribution
: Unicorn Digital/Just For Kicks
The debut album of the Canadian formation CODE 18 is about two nations fighting over water resources. On "They Took It All" this relentless struggle is reflected. The unsmoothed prog goes to the point and is demanding. But there is a lot to discover, including virtuoso guitar and Hammond solos
5. MOTHER'S CAKE - Hit On Your Girl (edit) (4:14) Album
: Cyberfunk! (2020) Label/Distribution
MOTHER'S CAKE still mix prog and psych with funk and heavy rock, but on the current album "Cyberfunk!" their ambitious crossover is even more beatlesque. Which does not change the fact that the Austrian trio has produced a funky hit with "Hit On Your Girl".
6. MILDLIFE - Downstream (6:20) Album
: Automatic (2020) Label/Distribution
: Heavenly/PIAS/Rough Trade
The Pink Floyd influence is omnipresent on the second MILDLIFE album. The guitar at the beginning of "Downstream" reminds of "Another Brick In The Wall, Pt. 2", while the end sounds like "Sheep". Nevertheless this spacy number has enough independence thanks to prog touch, flute interlude and light bossa groove
7. THE BEAUTY OF GEMINA - Naked (4:20) Album
Skeleton Dreams (2020) Label/Distribution
THE BEAUTY OF GEMINA, the Swiss alternative rockers with a penchant for dark waves, have shed their skin. Dark elegance has remained, but now guitars or lost piano sounds are at the centre. In "Naked" nightmares are transformed into music, with Michael Seles voice reminiscent of the bluesy Chris Rea.
8. FLARES -
40.000 (5:07) Album
: Spectra (2020) Label/Distribution
The groovy opener sets the direction for the new FLARES album: Here you are a passenger on a space-rock journey with post-rock and shoegaze elements plus soft vocals and speech parts that deal with topics such as increasing alienation, loneliness and the search for meaning.
9. LEGACY PILOTS - The Squad Is Back (6:02) Album
: Aviation (2020) Label/Distribution
: Klangwerk/Just For Kickswww.legacypilots.com
For the second album of his LEGACY PILOTS project, the Hamburg-based musician Frank Us won prog stars such as Marco Minnemann and Jordan Rudess. The result is a range of songs between ELP and Toto. "The Squad Is Back" shows the strength of the album's instrumental numbers.
10. DAYS BETWEEN STATIONS
- Another Day (9:38) Album
: Giants (2020) Label/Distribution
: Days Between Stations/Just For Kickswww.daysbetweenstations.com
DAYS BETWEEN STATIONS, the prog duo from L.A., serves up a retro organ, guitars that push the boundaries of prog to the point of madness or into floppy spheres, and through guest musician Billy Sherwood (b, dr) a rhythm fraction reminiscent of Yes. All this comes together in the wonderful ballad "Another Day".