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Roie Avin – The Prog Report: Essential Modern Prog Rock Albums book review

US book puts modern day prog under the microscope.

When Dream Theater’s Images And Words was released in 1992, it brought a new focus to the prog scene. Slathering metal flourishes over the traditional prog rock foundations, it showed there was life in the old dog yet. The seminal record forms the launchpad for website The Prog Report’s new book Essential Modern Progressive Rock Albums, which takes a look at the genre’s most celebrated records released between 1990 and 2016. Written by the website’s editor Roie Avin and peppered with pictures, it’s an extensive guide which includes the usual suspects – Steven Wilson, Opeth, Spock’s Beard, Marillion et al – as well as nods to some of the more lesser-known contemporary acts, such as Thank You Scientist and The Dear Hunter. And with the musician interviews, it’s a rare chance to truly go under the bonnet of modern day prog, although true aficionados may not learn much. Inevitably, you’re left pondering which acts were unfairly overlooked – Umphrey’s McGee, Cardiacs, The Dillinger Escape Plan? – but it’s fair to say this has done a pretty good job.