12 Prog Albums We Can't Wait To Get Our Hands On Before The End Of 2016!

Albums 2016

When it comes to new releases, prog fans have already been spoiled for choice this year, and there’s even more still to come. Here are 10 of the hottest up-and-coming releases due out this autumn and winter. Are your favourites among them?

DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT - Transcendence (out September 9)

After the success of 2014’s Casualties Of Cool and the epic Z2, the creative Canadian is back with a new release that’ll blow your socks off. But don’t think for one second that Devin Townsend’s gone all hippie dippy; he says the title reflects the way he tackled this album as a band project rather than a dictatorship!

GONG - Rejoice! I’m Dead! (out September 16)

Gong’s first post-Daevid Allen studio album will boldly carry on the band’s psychedelic prog tradition with Knifeworld’s Kavus Torabi at the helm. Also available as a very limited deluxe CD package, this new release is billed as a celebration of Allen’s life. The visionary himself posthumously appears on a couple of tracks too.

STEVEN WILSON - Transience (CD version) (out September 16)

Originally released as a limited edition vinyl pressing last year, this Steven Wilson-curated anthology reached number three in the UK vinyl charts. Now released on CD for the first time, this 14-track collection of the musician’s more accessible material includes newly re-mastered songs, a reworking of Porcupine Tree’s Lazarus and the CD-only bonus Happiness III.

TESSERACT – Errai EP (out September 16)

Last year’s Polaris was TesseracT’s biggest and most diverse release to date and they haven’t finished experimenting with it yet. Errai contains re-imagined versions of the album tracks Survival, Cages, Tourniquet and Seven Names. It’ll be out on clear vinyl and also as part of a special 2CD tour edition of Polaris.

KANSAS - The Prelude Implicit (out September 23)

Sixteen years after Somewhere To Elsewhere, Kansas are back with 10 brand new studio tracks and an augmented line-up. Although The Prelude Implicit is their first recording for more than 30 years without founding vocalist Steve Walsh, guitarist Richard Williams is promising that the album is still “quintessential Kansas.”

MARILLION - FEAR (out September 23)

The much anticipated new album from the band that grace the front of our latest issue. Featuring a mere six tracks, three of them gargantuan epics, the album paints a bleak picture of the modern world which prompted us to run with the coverline “You’re all f**ked!”. Still, if anything’s going to per you up, its album already being described by people here at TeamRock as they best ever!

VANGELIS – Rosetta (out September 23)

When rumours of a new Vangelis album hit the internet earlier this year, fans couldn’t believe their luck. Rosetta is the Greek electronic composer’s first studio album for many years and has been inspired by the 12-year space mission of the same name. The release date coincides with the culmination of the mission.

OPETH – Sorceress (out September 30)

Hotly-anticipated follow-up to 2014’s critically acclaimed Pale Communion. The retro-inspired Sorceress embraces Mikael Åkerfeldt’s passion for 70s jazz and classic British prog with 11 brand new recordings that even contain references to The Wilde Flowers, The Moody Blues and Jethro Tull. It’s also Opeth’s first release on their brand new imprint, Moderbolaget Records.

STEVE HILLAGE - Searching For The Spark (out October 21)

A massive, career-spanning 22 CD box set that begins with 1969’s Arzachel, recorded when Hillage was in Uriel, all his solo works and the very first System 7 album. Plus a wealth of live discs and four rarities discs featuring a raft of pre-solo career demos. A must for any Hillage fan.

PINK FLOYD – The Early Years Box Set 1965-1972 (out November 11)

Bumper deluxe box that collates all the ‘Floyd’s pre-Dark Side Of The Moon recordings into a beautifully-packaged 27-disc collection. The Early Years… includes previously unreleased material, rare filmed footage, vintage flyers and replica singles. Selected highlights will also be available on the double album The Early Years – Cre/ation.

THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination box set reissue (out December 2)

Fortieth anniversary edition of The Alan Parsons Project’s Edgar Allan Poe-inspired debut featuring narration from Orson Welles and guest vocals from Arthur Brown. This very special package will include previously unreleased tracks, exclusive artwork and 5.1 mixes, as well as a coffee table book and vinyl.

LONELY ROBOT - The Big Dream (release date TBC)

Despite a few delays, John Mitchell’s (Frost*/Kino) second conceptual outing under the Lonely Robot moniker is now almost complete and should be out later this year. The 11-track continues the interstellar theme from Mitchell’s debut with the titular astronaut exploring a strange dreamlike world. Craig Blundell (Frost*/Steven Wilson Band) reprises his role on drums and Kim Seviour will make a guest appearance on a bonus duet.

Natasha Scharf
Deputy Editor, Prog

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.