1. JOE BONAMASSA - Molly O' (6:05)
album: Redemption (2018)
Blues rock giant JOE BONAMASSA pulls out all the stops on his most personal album to date, "Redemption". The 41-year-old effortlessly brings together classic rock, hard rock, rock'n'roll and blues. With the mighty mid-tempo roller "Molly O'" he also enthuses the fans of Led Zeppelin.
2. CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX - Nebulas (5:35)
Album: Great Escape (2018)
Label/Distribution: Season Of Mist/Soulfood
Once again CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX are a reflection of Justin Greaves' state of mind. One almost feels like discovering a few light emotions on "Great Escape", as in "Nebulas". But CBP are still CPB: melancholic, angry, cynical, tender, aggressive, thoughtful - and thus impressive.
3. BEAK> - Brean Down (3:51)
Album: >>> (2018)
BEAK> offer on ">>>" a successful mixture of late 60s psychedelia and Krautrock with less electronic influences than before. Portishead man Geoff Barrow and his comrades-in-arms have finally found the sound they've been looking for for so long on their third album. Relaxing and exciting at the same time.
4. AARON BROOKS - I'm Afraid (2:51)
album: Homunculus (2018)
label/distribution: Gentle Art Of Music/Soulfood
The classical songwriting school. AARON BROOKS, ex-singer of the disbanded psychedelic rocker Simeon Soul Charger, surprises on "Homunculus" with David Bowie and Elton John influences. But also prog, indie and theater rock creep in. "I'm Afraid" shows the chamber music side with string quartet.
5. FINALLY GEORGE - Way Home (4:57)
Album: Life Is A Killer (2018)
Label/Distribution: NNK/Just For Kicks
Georg Hahn usually composes for commercials, games and viral clips. Under the name FINALLY GEORGE, the Hamburg native is pursuing his prog and art pop preferences on "Life Is A Killer". Songs like the melancholic "Way Home" appeal through dreamlike melodies and a cinematic production.
6. DAMANEK - Ragusa (5:15)
album: In Flight (2018)
Only one year after the first strike Guy Manning presents the second DAMANEK album "In Flight". He garnishes the mixture of prog and jazz rock on "Ragusa" with a pinch of pop, but also doesn't shy away from big gestures. This is how progressive music should sound: forward-looking and at the same time preserving traditions. (RELEASE: 12.10.)
7. KINGCROW - The Persistence (7:06)
Album: The Persistence (2018)
Label/Distribution: Sensory/The Laser's Edge/Alive
Italian progmetallers KINGCROW have been in business since 1996. So it is obvious that they called their seventh album "The Persistence". Strong melodies, sophisticated riffs and atmospheric keyboards create a harmonious overall picture - listen to the exciting title track.
8. PHIDEAUX - The Order Of Protection (two) (4:30)
album: Infernal (2018)
Label/Distribution: Bloodfish/Just For Kicks
The US progger PHIDEAUX Xavier finally delivers the conclusion of his trilogy started in 2006 (see article in the issue). The singer and multi-instrumentalist makes himself more accessible here and takes us on a pleasant sound journey full of wonderful melodies and songs, embedded in lovingly designed arrangements.
9. BIG RED MACHINE - Melt (4:02)
Album: Big Red Machine (2018)
BIG RED MACHINE is an exciting project by Bon-Iver-head Justin Vernon and The National guitarist Aaron Dessner, who explore a special approach to making music with a large group of guest musicians: You stop by, contribute what you do best, and at the end there are fascinating songs like "Melt".
10. SHERPA - Descent Of Inanna To The Underworld (7:40)
Album: Tigris & Euphrates (2018)
Label/Distribution: Sulatron/Broken Silence
After their rather open-hearted debut "Tanzlinde" (2016) SHERPA show both lively light and slowly sneaking darkness on their second album. The track "Descent Of Inanna To The Underworld" is exemplary for the dynamic changes that the Italians virtually celebrate.