2021 THE BEST OF PROG IN PICTURES & WORDS

I am back as years before, struggling to know if I missed any albums on this list, and the answer would be a resounding yes. Every year see thousands of releases just in the prog genre alone. It’s virtually impossible to discover and hear every prog release in any given year, so I did my best to showcase the cream of the crop, but then again I must point out these are one man’s points of view and will vary from publication and reviewer abroad. My taste in music is vast so I hope you all feel I have done justice by showcasing these 21 releases.
The Un-qualified Critic

1) The Blue Door 
First full-length release by Candian Progressive jazz folk-rock act, A Gardening Club Project
CD & Digital
Melodic Revolution Records
http://gardeningclubmusicandart.ca

2) The Uncrowned King (Act 1) 
The third release by US art-rock band, Evership
CD & Digital
Self-released
https://www.evership.com
 
3) We Are The Truth
Sixth studio album by Swedish progressive rock band, Hasse Fröberg & Musical Companion
CD, LP & Digital
Glassville Records
https://www.hfmcband.com

4) Imperial
Fifth album by progressive metal supergroup, Soen
CD, LP & Digital
Silver Lining Music
https://soenmusic.com

5) Altitude
Third album by English progressive rock band, Lifesigns
CD, LP & Digital
Self-released
https://lifesignsmusic.co.uk

6) Vigesimus
Twenty Seventh release since 1994 by Mexican neo-prog band, Cast
CD, & Digital
Progressive Promotion Records
http://www.castofficial.com

7) 5.20
Third studio album by progressive rock band, Nine Skies
CD, & Digital
Anesthetize Productions
https://nineskiesmusic.com

8) Graveyard Star
Fourteenth studio release by progressive rock band Mostly Autumn
CD, & Digital
Self-released
https://www.mostly-autumn.com

9) Common Ground
Fourteenth album by English progressive folk-rock band, Big Big Train
CD & Digital Self released
LP Plane Groovy
https://www.bigbigtrain.com

10) Harvest
The third release from Greek Progressive rock band, Ciccada
CD, LP & Digital
Self-released
https://ciccadabem.bandcamp.com/album/harvest

11) The Absolute Universe Forevermore
Fifth studio album by multinational progressive rock supergroup, Transatlantic
CD, LP & Digital
InsideOut (Europe) Metal Blade/Radiant (US)
https://www.transatlanticweb.com

12) Kites
Third album by English progressive rock band, This Winter Machine
CD & Digital Self released
LP Plane Groovy
https://thiswintermachine.uk/about/

13) Presence Of Life
Seventh album by Norwegian progressive folk group, Kerrs Pink
CD, LP & Digital
Self-released
https://kerrspink.com

14) Forsaken Innocence
Eight studio by UK-based Progressive Rock band, Drifting Sun
CD, LP & Digital
Self-released
https://driftingsun.co.uk

15) Snakes & Angels
The second release by US progessive metal artist, GorMusik
Melodic Revolution Records
CD & Digital
https://gormusik.com

18) Playing House
2nd release by progressive art-rock band, Meer
Karisma Records
CD, LP & Digital
http://meerband.com

19) The Forgotten Earth
Debut solo release by Scarlet Hollow prog band bassist, Jeffrey Erik Mack
Melodic Revolution Records
CD & Digital  
https://www.jeffreyerikmack.com

16) Copeland King Cosmo & Blew, Gizmodrome Live
First, live album and second release by progressive rock supergroup Gizmodrome formed in Italy
Ear Music
CD, LP & Digital
https://www.facebook.com/Gizmodrome

17) A View From The Top Of The World
Fifteenth studio release by US prog metal pioneers, Dream Theater
Inside Out Music
CD, LP & Digital
https://dreamtheater.net

20) One to Zero
Eleventh studio album German progressive rock band, Sylvan
Gentle Art Of Music
CD, LP & Digital
http://www.sylvan.de/home/

21) Aphelion
Eighth studio album by Norwegian progressive/avant-garde metal band, Leprous
Inside Out Music
CD, LP & Digital
https://www.leprous.net

PATTERN-SEEKING ANIMALS announce third studio album ‘Only Passing Through’


PATTERN-SEEKING ANIMALS, the California-based band featuring Ted Leonard (lead vocals & guitars), Jimmy Keegan (drums & vocals), Dave Meros (bass) and John Boegehold (keyboards), are pleased to announce the band’s third studio album titled Only Passing Through, to be released through InsideOutMusic on April 1st, 2022.  The album is the follow up to the critically acclaimed 2020 release Prehensile Tales.

The band check in on the new album here:
“Only Passing Through, our third album picks up where Prehensile Tales left off but soon takes several stylistic detours as it progresses. Everyone involved made this album a lot of fun to make and we’re all looking forward to it to finally being heard.”
John Boegehold

“This new album draws from a lot of different sources and pushes all of us to bring out our best. We all had to dig pretty deep to express out the right spirit of each song.  To call it Prog would be highly inadequate. We’re all over the map and yet, there is still a very distinct sound that threads through the whole album. I’m very proud of this record and excited for people to hear it!”
Jimmy Keegan

The band will make its RoSFest debut on April 16TH. 2022
https://rosfest.org/

The album will be available for pre-order on Jan 28th, 2022

Discography
 Prehensile Tales (2020)
Pattern-Seeking Animals (2019)

PATTERN-SEEKING ANIMALS online:
http://PSAnimals1.com  
http://Facebook.com/psanimals1
https://twitter.com/psanimals1
https://www.instagram.com/psanimals1/

INSIDEOUT MUSIC online:
www.insideoutmusic.com
www.youtube.com/InsideOutMusicTV
www.facebook.com/InsideOutMusic
www.twitter.com/InsideOutUSA
www.insideoutmusicshop.com

INSIDEOUTMUSIC Spotify Playlist: 
http://spotify.com/progrockessentials

MUSIC. CULTURE. COMMUNITY. Yes Legend Jon Anderson with the Paul Green Rock Academy headlining RoSFest 2022

photo by: Steve Briggs

Since taking up the reins of RoSFest, the new Board of Directors has frequently reiterated its desire to take the festival forward for many years into the future. Its motto “Music. Culture. Community” represents the foundations on which the festival is built and the Saturday night headlining act was specifically chosen to epitomise just what RoSFest stands for by bringing together the past, present and future of music in a single performance. Jon Anderson, a rock legend in his own right, with a career spanning over four decades, will be joined on stage by young and highly-talented musicians from the Paul Green Rock Academy. In Jon’s own words “Paul Green is such a character… he’s a real sweetheart, but he really drives them. He gets them Since taking up the reins of RoSFest, the new Board of Directors has frequently reiterated its desire to take the festival forward for many years into the future. Its motto “Music. Culture. Community” represents the foundations on which the festival is built, and the Saturday night headlining act was specifically chosen to epitomise just what RoSFest stands for by bringing together the past, present and future of music in a single performance. Jon Anderson, a rock legend in his own right, with a career spanning over four decades, will be joined on stage by young and highly talented musicians from the Paul Green Rock Academy. 


Jon Anderson requires little introduction, a founding member of Yes, his entire discography includes numerous solo albums and collaborations with a whole array of artists making him one of the most prolific musicians of our time. His 15th studio album released in 2019 and aptly titled ‘1000 Hands’ due to the numerous guest appearances that went into its creation, embodies a musical journey like no other.   

The Rock Academy on the other hand is a “rock school dedicated to serious musicians” founded by American record producer, film producer, director, screenwriter, singer-songwriter, music teacher, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Paul Green.  Students aged 10-18 are selected based on their dedication to music, showmanship, love of performing, and ability to rock with actual pros.

Jon Anderson’s collaboration with the Academy dates back to 2005 and together they recently concluded an 11-city tour in the U.S.

Links:
https://www.jonanderson.com 
https://www.paulgreenrock.com/

Experimental Musician Billy Yfantis Releases The Symphonic Music Album “Cinematic Works, Vol. I”

A double album of 50 epic compositions inspired by cinematic artists such as Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore, Rick Wakeman and Vangelis

Athens, Greece – Experimental musician and author Billy Yfantis, releases his 4th solo album entitled “Cinematic Works, Vol. I”. The double album consists of 2 disks featuring 50 instrumental cinematic tracks inspired by the soundtracks of Epic movies such as “The Lord Of The Rings” and “Stars Wars”. The album is the first part of a series of cinematic music albums that Billy intends to release in the next years.

Disc 1 includes compositions that capture the sound design of dramatic, epic scenes of Fantasy Adventure and Sci-Fi movies. Symphonic Classical Music is used as a medium to create a heroic and atmospheric soundtrack for sophisticated listeners. Disc 2 continues the trip of Epic sounds and operatic influences however, there are additional tracks with Jazz and Ambient music elements to complete the puzzle of the atmospheric music soundtrack.

Promotional video (The Empire): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkU4fHC_Rdg
Promotional video (New Planet): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQFgfO4eRJc

Cinematic Works, Vol. I Track list

Disc 1
1. Hail to the King of Wrath
2. Entering the City of Gold
3. The Dragon
4. New Planet
5. Beauty of the New Land
6. Knights of the New Revolution
7. Coming by the Sea
8. The Barbarians
9. Dreaming of the King
10. Hero’s Quest
11. Exploring the Field
12. Above the Tower
13. Among the Trees
14. Flag of the New Empire
15. Preparing the Spaceship
16. Neoclassical Runes
17. Reaching the Promised Land
18. Riding the Horses of Heaven
19. Ship
20. The Battle of Sparta
21. The City of Gold
22. Royal Wedding
23. The Dynasty
24. The Kingdom of the Elfs
25. The Empire

Disc 2
26. Age of Innocence
27. At the Church
28. At the Luna Park
29. At the Movies
30. At the Opera with Friends
31. Atmospheric Sunrise
32. Beyond the Clouds
33. Beyond the Mountain
34. Chinese Beauty
35. Drama
36. Fairytale Stories
37. Family Memories
38. Happiness of Yesterday
39. In the Streets of London
40. Jazzy and Nostalgic
41. The Land of Hope
42. The Magic Ring
43. The March of the Elfs
44. The Royal Temptation
45. The Ship of the Pirates
46. The Soldiers
47. The Village
48. The Warrior’s Path
49. Trip to the Stars
50. Dreaming the Sky

Listen to the new album here:  
Napster: https://us.napster.com/artist/billy-yfantis/album/cinematic-works-vol-i  
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/6DhBVOWts2dmpeLTbF6xX9?si=_QZ3s0urRo6h81NTlM51OQ  
YouTube Music: https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_ny7cUMEuMyPKjiz86Dox1-KQ8tcdU3dcw
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/album/cinematic-works-vol-i/1594345429
Deezer: https://www.deezer.com/us/album/271619562
Tidal: https://store.tidal.com/gr/album/204337997
Bandcamp: https://billyyfantis.bandcamp.com/album/cinematic-works-vol-i

Billy Yfantis, except his solo recording career, has a very busy schedule with other related activities. On Jan. 27, 2021 he participated as a guest presenter at the   Hollywood Music in Media Awards (HMMA) by presenting the nominees/winners of the “Best World Music” and “Best Lyrics/Lyricist” awards. You can watch the whole event here:  https://vimeo.com/505567704 Moreover, later in 2021 he remixed a track from the Desert rockers Sons of Alpha Centauri which was included as a bonus 3-inch CD on the vinyl format of the recent album “Sky Island” by the Yawning Sons (project by members of the Yawning Man and Sons of Alpha Centauri). Billy Yfantis plans to experiment with new instruments and technologies for the recording of his 5th full album with a release schedule in mid-2022. Stay tuned for more information!

About Billy Yfantis
Vasileios (Billy) Yfantis holds 2 Master Degrees in Information Technology and is a Ph.D. candidate in the University of West Attica by conducting research on e-government. Billy has been working on music since the late 1990s by experimenting with tape mixing and sound design. Billy is playing digital keyboards, but prefers to express his artistic dream through the electronic sounds that come from unusual machines. He has experimented with the recording of vacuum cleaners, electric blenders and other strange sounds that have resulted in musical releases. Moreover, Billy has authored books on music, business and science while from times to times he speaks about the electronic governance at scientific conferences all over Europe.

Famous Quotes (What Others Have Said)
Krautrock legend Harald Grosskopf (Ash Ra Tempel, Klaus Schulze, Cosmic Jokers): “I always like electronic music made by younger musicians who consequently follow their personal instinct, rather than trying to copy what’s already been made in the past, in the spirit of: Whenever you meet Buddha kill him. Keep on tracking Billy!”

Tom McLoughlin (Director of the movie “Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives”): “I really dug his music!! VERY cool stuff!!”

Phil Lanzon (Uriah Heep): “I like the track ‘Waiting for the battle.’ Great riff. I can see this as soundtracks to Psycho – punk movies and the like.”

Bobby Borg, (Music Business Author, Consultant, Professor): “This is fkn bad ass music that everyone needs to hear… imagine the coolest meditation music out there and the coolest sci-fi movie soundtrack rolled into one! Stream it and trip out today.

Steve Whitfield (Producer and engineer of The Cure, The Mission UK): “This music is crying out to be used in films but at the same time it’s great to just sit back listen and immerse yourself in them without any moving images and let your imagination run wild!”

Snowy Shaw (ex-King Diamond, Therion, Mercyful Fate): “I didn’t know what to expect when I had this album sent to me by the composer Billy Yfantis. To be perfectly honest, 9 times out of 10 when people send me their new album it makes me feel a bit uneasy and awkward. Firstly because I don’t listen an awful lot to contemporary music and secondly, even less to other metal & hard rock artists due to lack of interest and I don’t wanna hurt their feelings. I don’t mean that in any rude, disrespectful or arrogant way, but I’m into creating my own music, not so much into consuming music of my peers. However, this was something entirely different. I’m not even sure it’s considered music, but it’s the kind of atmospheric and meditative type of sounds that I’ve been listening a helluva lot over the past few years to try relax and cope with my stressful, turbulent life, constantly on the verge of being burnt out. That being said, I liked it and it made me calm, mindful and sleepy. Presumably the worst kind of reaction my metalhead peers would wanna hear about their new album but in this case it’s probably the best sort of compliment one could get.”

Discography
1. Cinematic Works, Vol. I (Full album, 2021)
2. Noises from the Outer Space (Full album, 2021)
3. Entering the Solar System (Full album, 2020)
4. The Noisy Whispers Compilation (Full album, 2019)
5. The Mysterious Trip (Digital single, 2018)
6. Dust Not Found (Digital single 2017)
7. Crossing The Line (Digital single 2016)
8. The Electric Blender Session (Digital single, 2016)
9. The Missing Link (Digital single, 2015)

Check out music by Billy Yfantis here:
https://billyyfantis.bandcamp.com

Bibliography
1. Power Ballads And The Stories Behind (2021)
2. Is Prog Rock Really Progressive? (2020)
3. Hip Hop Goes Science: Volume I – Extended Version (2020)
4. Hip Hop Goes Science: Volume I (2019)
5. Metal Goes Science: The Academic Metal Bibliography (2017)
6. Disadvantaged Populations And Technology In Music (2017)
7. City Streets Of Europe (2017)
8. Punk Goes Science: The Academic Bibliography Of Punk (2015)
9. The Lost Lyrics (2013)
10. The Commercial Exploitation Of Color As A Consumer Stimulus (2013)

Find Books by Billy Yfantis here:
https://www.amazon.com/Vasileios-Yfantis/e/B00JNNL306/

Contact details:
E-mail:  [email protected]
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/billy.yfantis
Twitter: https://twitter.com/billyyfantis
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/billyyfantis

Big Big Train release new video for “Proper Jack Froster” March 2022 UK tour canceled

Today sees the release of the animated video for PROPER JACK FROSTER, the latest single from BIG BIG TRAIN, taken from the forthcoming WELCOME TO THE PLANET album. Proper Jack Froster is based on a story from Gregory Spawton’s childhood in the Midlands in the UK in the 1970s. 

Work on the video by Swedish animator Love Andreas Gson Fagerstedt began before the untimely, tragic passing of Big Big Train’s singer David Longdon on 20th November 2021. David’s partner and the band have decided that the video should still be released to help to promote the forthcoming album to the fullest extent possible.

Watch the video here: 

Big Big Train’s March 2022 UK tour will now not take place; ticket holders should contact their point of purchase for information on refunds. Prior to David’s death the band had been on the verge of announcing a North American tour consisting of over 20 shows in May and June 2022. This projected North American tour will also not be taking place.

The band will be making an announcement next year about its future, including regarding the September 2022 shows that are scheduled to take place in the UK. Ticket holders for these September shows are encouraged to retain their tickets for the time being pending that further announcement. No further comment will be made about the band’s future before next year.

As with COMMON GROUND, WELCOME TO THE PLANET sees Big Big Train retain their progressive roots but also take influence from all spheres of music. The four recent singles “Proper Jack Froster’, ‘Made Of Sunshine ‘The Connection Plan’ and ‘Lanterna’ are also included along with keyboard player Carly Bryant’s first Big Big Train writing credit and lead vocal on the captivating title track. The album is completed by the delicate acoustic ‘Capitoline Venus’, the beautiful ‘Oak And Stone’ and a pair of dazzling instrumentals, ‘A Room With No Ceiling’ and ‘Bats In The Belfry’, written by guitarist/keyboardist Rikard Sjöblom and drummer Nick D’Virgilio respectively.

You can listen to the previous singles here:

Made From Sunshine
https://youtu.be/SCJbOlUNQVs

Lanterna: 
https://youtu.be/ZJzbRZAU4xo

The Connection Plan: https://youtu.be/hQlJIdPQPu0

BIG BIG TRAIN ‘WELCOME TO THE PLANET’

Part One
Made From Sunshine
The Connection Plan
Lanterna
Capitoline Venus
A Room With No Ceiling

Part Two
Proper Jack Froster
Bats In The Belfry
Oak And Stone
Welcome To The Planet

BIG BIG TRAIN online:
www.bigbigtrain.com
https://www.facebook.com/bigbigtrain/
https://twitter.com/bigbigtrain