1.SWAPPERS ELEVEN - The Collector (5:38)
Album: From A Distance (2020)
SWAPPERS ELEVEN, a collective with 14 musicians from 9 different countries, delivers a neoprog album that sounds like it came from the same mould. You walk between epic longtracks and shorter, but not less exciting songs, like "The Collector". A strong debut of an extraordinary band.
2.SYRINX CALL - Mirrorneuron (4:08)
Album: Mirrorneuron (2021)
Label/Distribution: Flat Earth/Timezone
SYRINX CALL, the project around recorder dervish Volker Kuinke and multi-instrumentalist/producer Jens Lueck, is picking up speed. "Mirrorneuron" is a highly ambitious sci-fi eco-concept album about an AI gone emphatic. The prog factor has noticeably increased thanks to several Eloy musicians, for example in the title track with guest guitarist Frank Bornemann.
3.FREN - Time To Take Stones Away (8:41)
Album: Where Do You Want Ghosts To Reside (2020)
Label/Distribution: Self-Produced/Just For Kicks
Not too complex, but always coherent in retroprog is the debut of FREN from Krakow. The piano and electric guitar driven "Time To Take Stones Away" mainly emphasizes the harmonic side, but all in all offers a good first insight into the world of this instrumental album.
4.DAWNATION - Behind The Mad (9:16)
Album: The Mad Behind (2020)
Label/Distribution: GM Artists
The East German band DAWNATION manages the balancing act between Classic Rock and Prog, especially the progressive passages impress. Crisp, atmospheric and despite all harmonies never shy away from longer instrumental passages. Lyrically, the socio-political chaos of these days is clearly addressed, as in "Behind The Mad".
5.XIXA - Land Where We Lie (3:50)
Album: Genesis (2021)
Driving desert music from the American city of Tucson, Arizona. But "Genesis" offers more than desert rock aesthetics, because XIXA let themselves be inspired and accompanied by musicians from all over the world, so that the result is a dust-dry world music album, as "Land Where We Lie" impressively proves.
6.TAUSEND AUGEN - Mana Mana (5:50)
Album: Westend (2021)
Label/Distribution: This Charming Man/Cargo
"The title has something onomatopoeic about it: repetitive and monotonous," says bassist Max Ludwig about the song "Mana Mana". And lyrically, topics like "paranoia in a monitored world" are tackled. TAUSEND AUGEN may serve a lot on their first album "Westend". Only one thing: musical everyday fare.
7.HEAVE BLOOD & DIE - Kawanishi Aeroplane (4:45)
Album: Post People (2021)
Label/Distribution: Fysisk Format/Cargo
A track like "Kawanishi Aeroplane" is perhaps the most striking example in HEAVE BLOOD & DIE's transformation from the mighty doom hunk of past albums to today's alternative'n'krautrock institution. Rather relaxed, you then bathe in impressive creative ecstasy with the eight songs contained on the third album.
8.VOX.ELEVEN - In My Dreams (8:32)
Album: From Here To Nowhere (2020)
Label/Distribution: Wasted Life
The trio VOX.ELEVEN from the tranquil town of Saarbrücken mixes classical prog with folk, medieval music and even a pinch of black metal. The special thing about this exciting debut is its stylistic variety, which in the case of "From Here To Nowhere" even reveals itself in a single song.
9.EYESBERG - Sacrifice (6:33)
Album: Claustrophobia (2021)
Label/Distribution: Progressive Promotion
Already the idea to make a prog concept album about the tragic life of the great painter Vincent van Gogh is worth its weight in gold - or in this case orange (the artist's favourite colour). Fans of Fish or the old Genesis will be richly rewarded by the German-British formation EYESBERG, see "Sacrifice"
10.ELEPHANT 9 - Rite Of Accession (7:10)
Album: Arrival Of The New Elders (2021)
Label/Distribution: Rune Grammofon/Cargo
"Rite Of Accession" is the wildest song on ELEPHANT9's otherwise surprisingly calm new album, in which the band's earlier jam philosophy is once again served. Nevertheless, the focus of the track is the play with new keyboard sounds, which considerably expands the sound radius of the Norwegians.