Has anybody else noticed the relative quiet in the progressive rock world lately? I can’t just be me. Sure, Spock’s Beard has a new album coming out soon (and it is good – I’ve heard an advance review copy), but it seems like all the “big” names are taking it easy. Of course, Mike Portnoy is currently touring with Sons of Apollo as they play their brilliant debut album, so that explains the lack of newer material from his other bands. Even Muse has been quiet lately, although they claim they’re going to record some new music this year. That still leaves me wondering what the heck has happened to Moon Safari, Mystery, or even little known band Persona Grata, whose 2013 album “Reaching Places High Above Me” was fantastic.
Where is everyone? Am I selfishly shouting to an empty room?! ENTERTAIN ME!!! Ok, I’m exaggerating a lot. I know most of these people have full-time jobs and family commitments that keep them from pursuing what they love, but I still see a bit of a genre-wide drought from the more prominent names thus far in 2018.
Maybe I’m just spoiled from the last several years of nonstop top-tier progressive rock, and I shouldn’t expect that level of quality and quantity to continue. I know some of the older names are still cranking out albums, such as the Strawbs (who neglected to send us a review copy. Tsk Tsk), but where are The Flower Kings, Transatlantic, Flying Colors (yes, I know I already acknowledged Portnoy’s tour duties, but FC started working on a new album a year ago and we haven’t heard anything since then), Ian Anderson, or even the Anderson, Rabin, and Wakeman “Yes” studio stuff we were promised?
Apart from Colin Tench Project’s “minor Masterpiece” from December, which blew my socks off (and saddened me greatly with Colin’s passing), the only other album that has grabbed me this year is the fantastic “Of Course It Must Be” from Progarchy’s very own duo, Birzer Bandana. With excellent lyrics, interesting melodies, and haunting violins, I’ve really come to enjoy this album. Ok, Steve Hackett’s live album was brilliant, but his live stuff is always amazing. Plus, it wasn’t new material, so it doesn’t count.
So are we headed into a prog recession? Are we already in a long-overdue correction? Have I missed something frighteningly obvious while I’ve been hiding behind my piles of books, computer screens, papers, and tears in graduate school?! What do you think? Let me know in the comments.
PS: You know, all my bellyaching could be soothed if a couple of Canadians would slip some ibuprofen into a certain drummer’s drink. Too far? Ya, probably too far.