Welcome to Prog's Tracks Of The Week. Eight brand new and diverse slices of progressive music for you to enjoy.
A massive well done to UK prog metallers HeKz, whose engaging Too Far Gone certainly enegaged with a lot of you, pulling in hover half the votes last week, followed by Finnish prog metal outfit External and fellow Finns Amorphis.
The premise for Tracks Of The Week is simple - we've collated a batch of new releases by bands falling under the progressive umbrella, and collated them together in one post for you - makes it so much easier than having to dip in and out of various individual posts, doesn't it?
The idea is to watch the videos (or listen if it's a stream), enjoy (or not) and also to vote for your favourite in the voting form at the bottom of this post. Couldn't be easier could it?
We'll be bringing you Tracks Of The Week, as the title implies, each week. Next week we'll update you with this week's winner, and present a host of new prog music for you to enjoy.
If you're a band and you want to be featured in Prog's Tracks Of The Week, send your video (as a YouTube link) or track embed, band photo and biog to us here.
So get watching. And get voting at the bottom of the page.
STEVEN WILSON - THE HARMONY CODEX
Steven Wilson's seventh solo album The Harmony Codex is released today. As one might expect half the prog community have been up in arms about it for the past few weeks, which means they'd not even heard the whole thing. Such is the way of the world these days. There's certainly some of the proggiest stuff Wilson's done for a few years on the album, such as the near ten-minute long title track, a slow-building keyboard-led affair featuring a voice over from Wilson's wife Rotem.
The video for The Harmony Codex was a project we worked on over a period of six months," epxlains Miles Skarin, who directed the video and does all the live visuals for Wilson and Porcupine Tree. "Drawing inspiration for the concept from Steven’s short story, we started the project by building a 3D model of London, that included hundreds of buildings and landmarks. We wanted to create an alternate reality version of London, so we added a unique under/overground train system and stations that wrap around the skyscraper, which acts as the centrepiece of the video. We aimed for the video to evoke the same dream-like paranoia and feelings of the characters from Steven’s short story, so many of the visual designs in the video reflect this, as they sport a realistic yet otherworldly aesthetic. You will notice that many of the London landmarks in particular look familiar on first glance but they are not the same - this was completely intentional!"
EARTHSIDE - PATTERN OF REBIRTH
Cinematic US prog rock quartet Earthside will release new album Let The Truth Speak through Music Theories Recordings on November 27, eight years after their 2015 debut album A Dream In Static. The new album sees the band working with a variety of musicians and Pattern Of Rebirth features a powerhouse vocal performance from Fire From The Gods singer AJ Channer.
"I am huge fan of prog bands and when this collab was presented I had to jump on it," says Channer. "I want to send mad love to Earthside for their genius and allowing me to express myself on this track. This one was for my Dad; a real OG and top shotta. One love.”
“He’s a socially conscious soul who passionately takes a stand without taking a side," says Earthside's Jamie van Dyck of Channer. "He’s a unifier, and he will call out BS or injustice no matter who’s in the wrong or who’s being wronged. And in addition to us loving the warmth and character of his voice in his work with Fire From The Gods, we felt conviction in inviting his message into our music and the greater message of this album."
MANZANERA MACKAY - NEWANNA
To the delight of Roxy Music fans, guitarist Phil Manzanera and saxophonist Andy Mackay have once again joined forces for an new instrumental album, AM PM, which will be released through BFD/The Orchard on October 13. Don't go expecting the smooth art rock of the parent band however. As this track Newanna shows, the pair are on a far more experimental path which they describe as a "saxophone and guitar-heavy, ambient."
"I had an urge to do some spontaneous instrumental music," explains Manzanera. "I rang Andy Mackay and asked if he would be interested in working on an album together, he was, and thus the AM PM album was started. After the discipline of working on song structures, it was very liberating to just try and find solutions to unstructured bits of music.
"It’s like starting out on a journey with no idea of where to go and then ending the journey in a beautiful location. The music has turned out to be nothing like we could have pre-written and difficult to categorize except to say it’s really a musical expression of our two brains still interacting 50 years on."
UNPROCESSED - THRASH
Young technical German prog metal quartet Unprocessed certainly display their prowes on new single Thrash, which of course, is not thrash at all, although they're not afraid of packing a punch musically when the mood takes them. The band will release their third album ...and everything in between on December 1 and have also been announced as support to TesseracT on their upcoming EU and UK Tour in Jan/Feb 2024 with Callous Daoboys opening.
"Thrash is the ultimate composite of everything Unprocessed has ever created, ranging from the styles of our tracks Covenant to Gold, while adding brand new never explored elements to our style. This new direction will hopefully create a moment for modern guitar playing and the innovation of new playing styles. With vocal hooks reminiscent of bands like Linkin Park, Thrash lyrically deals with the odd effects of a fever dream and its twist on reality of the person experiencing it.”
KYROS - ESOTERICA
UK synth proggers Kyros have returned with a bit of a beast in the thumpingly epic new song Esoterica, a track which mixes the ambition and epic feel of Pink Floyd with a dark pop sensibility you might get from Depcehe Mode. This is also the first Kryos video to feature new bass player Charlie Cawood, also know for his work with with The Anchoress, Anathema, Knifeworld and the Mediaeval Babes among others.
"I'm very excited to be joining the brilliantly talented members of Kyros for the next stage of their sonic adventure," Cawood, who replaces the recently departed Peter Episcopo, says. "Shelby, Joey, and Robin have welcomed me kindly, and I can't wait to share the stage with them. Will this bold new endeavour yield miserable triumph or glorious failure? Let's find out together."
AIRBRIDGE - THAT SMALL STEP
Fans of the 80s progressive rock revival will no doubt delight in the appearance of another new album from Airbridge. Openings is the band's third album and will be released on October 13, some 40 years on from the band's Paradise Moves debut album. Guitarist and vocalsit Lorenzo Bedini is still in the band who now also feature drummer Dave Dowdeswell-Allaway and Jason Crompton on piano, trumpet, synths, and harmonica.
The vocal-led That Small Step, while not truly representative of the prog on the rest of the album, is still one of the most striking tracks on Openings. "It's a song about enlightenment, letting go, inevitability, and beauty," explains Bedini. "Amassing more than 20 individual vocal tracks to form an a capella song redolent of a choral piece, this song features Trudi Brunskill as the female vocalist who Dave describes as having the ‘sweetest voice, beautiful phrasing, and breath control'."
TREVOR RABIN - OKLAHOMA
It would be fair to say that news of former Yes guitarist Trevior Rabin's first vocal-led solo album for over 30 years, Rio, has been meant with much excitement, as have the two singles thus far released, Big Mistakes and Push. Oklahoma mixes Rabin's trademark prog with touches of country and also music from his native South Africa, along with a killer hookline and chorus.
“In 1995 I wrote the germ of a lyric inspired by the devastating bombing in Oklahoma," Rabin expains of the new single. "It traumatized the entire nation and will always be a dark day for the country. Thirty plus years later I believed the time was right and ok to tackle the song I had written. It’s dedicated to family and friends who lost loved ones.”