Welcome to five prog bands you must hear this month...
In our ongoing mission to promote grass roots progressive music of a wide variety of styles, plus to further integrate the magazine and our digital presence, we're now introducing people to the Limelight and Prog Around The World bands for each issue, via the website, and through our social channels.
In case you're unaware, every issue Prog Magazine runs four Limelight features every issue - these are normally up and coming bands taking their initial steps on the ladder to success. And, as its title implies, Prog Around The World shines the spotlight on a band from other shores that we feel is deserving of your attention.
Obviously you can read these features in the magazine, Here we'll be précising the information for you but more importantly giving you links to follow and music that you can actually listen to while you check the bands out.
Remember, it's these bands who represent the future of progressive music. Your support is essential. Enjoy...
Polyphia - the liberated Texan collective mixing genres and cultures like they’re papier-mâché
Hailing from Plano in Texas this genre-bending quartet released their fourth album, Remember You Will Die in October, bringing in a host of hugely diverse vocalists, guest musicians and producers into their established instrumental world.
“You have to take those risks and I'm just so glad that it worked out well, because it so easily couldn’t have," says guitarist Tim Henson.
LINE-UP: Tim Henson (guitars), Scott LePage (guitars), Clay Gober (bass), Clay Aeschliman (drums)
CURRENT RELEASE: Remember That You Will Die is out now via Rise Records
D_Drive - meet the Japanese instrumentalists balancing technicality with melody across songs where “every instrument is the main character”
Japanese quartet D_Drive formed back in 2004, but it was when they signed to Marshall Records in the UK that the rest of the world began taking notice. the band recently released their second album for the label, Dynamotive.
“We try to fully understand the intention of each other’s ideas and complete the songs whilst also honouring the creative vision," says guitarist Seiji. "It’s all about freedom of expression which, I think, is where our similarities with prog lie. We like to think there are no boundaries; we just convert ideas into music and play.”
LINE UP: Yuki (Guitar), Seiji (Guitar), Toshi (Bass), Chiiko (Drums)
SOUNDS LIKE: Marty Friedman and Steve Vai battling like Kong and Godzilla across a vast city skyline, with a dash of driving classic rock for good measure
LATEST RELEASE: Dynamotive is out now via Marshall Records
Exist Immortal - Brighton-based prog-metallers provide an insight to their most authentic record yet
Brighton-based prog metal quartet Exist Immortal fuse catchy melodies and a tehcnical, progressive approach with a mix of clean and harsh vocals, with the emphasis on the former, rather than the latter. The band have just released their latest self-titled album through Seek & Strike Records.
“It’s a much better representation, because we’ve got over the insecurities that we’ve had. We understand what we want to do now," says singer Meyrick de la Fuente of the new album.
LINE-UP: Meyrick de la Fuente (vocals), Kurt Valencia (guitars), Mikey Gee (guitars), David Billote (bass), Charlie Bines (drums).
SOUNDS LIKE: Self-assured progressive metal with an added dose of infectious positivity via soaring choruses.
CURRENT RELEASE: Exist Immortal is out October 14 on Seek & Strike.
Hekla - Icelandic cellist and theremin player takes listeners on a spooky journey.
Iceandic theremin virtuoso Hekla entrances listeners with her haunting new album, Xiuxiuejar, her music takes on an eerie quality, drawing listeners into a dark and unsettling world.
“The album’s title comes from the Catalan word to whisper,” Hekla says, “but the music was January inspired. There is no sunlight in Iceland in January, so it’s not very cheerful.”
LINE-UP: Hekla Magnúsdóttir (Hörður Bragason and Óttarr Proppé)
SOUNDS LIKE: A haunting soundscape, vibrating with eerie high pitches and deep, grinding notes.
CURRENT RELEASE: Xiuxiuejar out now via Phantom Limb.
Ghost Toast - the forward-thinking instrumentalists who are finally putting Hungary on the prog map.
In a sea of melodic rockers and Tool wannabes, Ghost Toast stand out. The quartet formed in 2008 in the town of Debrecen, and across their four albums to date they’ve become experts in polyrhythmic instrumental prog. On this year’s Shade Without Color, they blast out incalculable time signatures, the intricacy and lunacy interrupted by post-rock segues, cellos and samples.
“Here in Hungary prog’s not really that popular,” admits János Stefán, bassist and co-founder of Ghost Toast. “It’s mostly underground and, even then, it’s not ‘classic’ prog like Pink Floyd or Jethro Tull. Alternative rock and metal are currently the base of a lot of bands doing this kind of thing here.”
LINE-UP: János Stefán (bass), Bence Rozsavolgyi (guitar), Zoltán Cserős (drums, drum programming) János Pusker (cello, keyboards)
SOUNDS LIKE: Polyrhythmic instrumental prog metal with a dash of post-rock.
CURRENT RELEASE: Shade Without Color is out now on Inverse Records.