Here are various favorites of the year lists, compiled by musicians, friends of the prog community and yours truly.

La liste des albums de Bob en 2016
1. David Bowie Blackstar
Farewell masterpiece from the late great Bowie. Not only is it essential for any Bowie fan, but the compositions are complex and graceful, the lyrics poignant. His last gift to us hit the bullseye dead on. Just, wow.

2. Steven Wilson 4 1/2
If you call these leftovers, then i'll eat them 7 days a week! Beautiful collection of brilliant tracks that didn't quite make it to his last few solo albums, along with a beautiful live version of Porcupines's Don't Hate Me. My book of Regrets is probably my favorite song of 2016.

3. Huis Neither in Heaven
Second offering of the unlikely gathering of Montreal music veterans, this is the modernized and improved interpretation of what proggers would classify as neo-prog at its best. A variety of sounds, themes and styles you rarely see, it is one of those albums you just hit the "repeat" button over and over. Michel St-Père shines brightly on guitar, Sylvain Descoteaux is simply majestic on vocals, Bassist and composer Michel Joncas has never sounded better!

4. Stick Men Prog Noir
Two Stick Men albums in my 2016 list? What can I say, these kids deliver the goods! Technically and musically perfect in every way, these three musicians have a chemistry in the studio and in concert that is just unequaled. Maybe a few quirky vocal passages that aren't my favorites, but all in all... just a formidable Crimson-esque selection of brilliantly woven musical gems.

5. Riverside Eye of The Soundscape
Featuring the brilliant guitar work of the late Piotr Grudziński, it is a collection of older, unreleased material, along with 4 new tracks, the classic Riverside sound is here, just a bit tweaked and modernized. Powerful and brilliant.

6. Glass Hammer, Valkyrie
The returne of the lovely Susie Bogdanovicz on vocals adds tremendously to this new GH album. The compositions are refined, elegant and proggy as hell. Nice new addition to their vast discography.

7. Pineapple Thief Your Wilderness
My favorite of their entire catalogue. They thit the mark on this one, featuring Porcupines's Gavin Harrison on drums. Top notch prog.

8. Marillion FEAR
A fine offering from the fine folks of Marillion. Sharp and sophisticated compositions, it features powerful and dark, dramatic lyrics. A must for any Marillion fan.

9. Haken Affinity
Splendid compositions, prog metal at its finest, inspired by Rush, Gentle Giant, ELP and the likes

10. Frost* Falling Satellites
The great and unmistakeable Frost* sound is back, with a salute to later King Crimson.

Honorable mentions...

Stick Men Midori
If you are a fan of the formidable instrumental music of the Levin/Mastelloto/Reuter trio, this one is for you big time! Featuring David Cross, this is just a beautiful double-live album that you listen with quality headphones, your eyes closed, in a comfy sofa and it will transport you to another universe! Ear candy of the highest order.

Joe Satriani Shockwave Supernova
Featuring Mike Keneally, Bryan Beller and Marco Minnemann, it features spectacular musicianship, mixed in with Satch's irreverent, offbeat compositions, I compare it to the aural equivalent of fine russian caviar, extremely pleasing but you don't want too much of it in one sitting!

Steven Wilson Transcience
For completists only. Great assemblage of Steven Wilson compositions, a perfect introduction to the mad world of Wilson for those who are not familiar with him.

Opeth Sorceress
Vintage prog sounds with a metallic edge, another album that sees Akerfeld moving away from death metal and into the proggier sounds of classic art rock.

Lemon of the year:

Dream Theater The Astonishing
Exhausting, camp, DT is rehashing and recyclying its old sounds in attempt to recapture its former glory. I tried to give it a chance but couldn't even get through half of the album on its second audition. To say it's too samey is an understatement. Uninspired and tired... I am profoundly disappointed by this double-CD of dreadful filler.

Eric's top 10 albums of 2016
2016! What a dreadful year! This is what we are likely to learn from the year as is coming to an end. David Bowie, Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, Prince (He is not prog but his influence is undeniable), Leon Russel, Glenn Frey, just to name a few, the list is too long, and if we look closer to home , Guy Nadon (Jazz), Bob Walsh (Blues) and Christian Simard (Morse Code). Some will say that demographically, it is the normality given the average age of these artists (although some left us way too early). But these artists have accompanied us over an iumportant part of our lives, they have written the soundtrack of our youth, it's like losing old friends. Moreover, it also reminds us rather dramatically, of our own mortality...
However, the year 2016 was a year with a very large number of prog rock rock CDs, and I put the emphasis on a very large number. I, myself, admit humbly, that I didn't have the opportunity to listen to everything, despite the fact that I restrict myself to some subcategories of progressive Rock !
Mentioning a special fact that characterizes this year 2016 is the tidal wave of Progressivo Italiano albums! Since the beginning of fall, not a week went by without a new CD from Italy. Italian Progers have the wind in their sails, as they say, which makes it difficult to follow this formidable current...
Some artists or groups have continued in the musical lines that characterize them, others have explored vast new horizons, for our greater hearing pleasure.

So here is my TOP TEN 2016. Let's start with mentions of honor. (No lemon prices this year, no bitter disappointment).

Jean-Michel Jarre - Oxygène 3: What a beautiful gift to highlight the 40th anniversary of the first Oxygène album on December 2, 1976, of releasing on December 2, 2016, the continuation of what is now a trilogy. Oxygène 3 is perhaps not the best opus of Jean-Michel Jarre but it's so much fun to listen again to these sounds of our youth. A little nostalgia here.
The Rome Pro(g)ject – Of Fate and Glory : Continuing on his path, Vincenzo Ricca and his guests, including Steve Hackett, Billy Sherwood, Franck Carducci and David Jackson, offer us another disc featuring formidable musicianship, while being a pleasure to listen to. It feels like a masterfully crafted suite made up of outtakes of the first.
Rob Reed - Sanctuary II: In the wake of his tribute CDs to Mike Oldfield, Rob Reed returns with the Sanctuary Suite. I really like it.
Steven Wilson - 4 1/2: At the risk of putting off Steven Wilson fans, this one receives only a mention of honor this year. It's quite good, but it's repetitive...
Neal Morse Band – Similitude of a Dream : A double album characteristic of the work of Neal Morse. A continuation of inspired harmonies, always well crafted and intensely melodic.
Opeth - Sorceress: The acoustic opening of this Opeth opus is simply magnificent. The rest of the album continues the gradual prog transformation of this Swedish band.

And now, the TOP TEN of 2016 !!

10) Qantum - Le passage: Prog rock sung in French... Not always well either... A rare formations that sing in the language of Molière. On the other hand, this second opus for this French formation is surprising. A music reminiscent of Fish-era Marillion.
9) Airbag - Disconnect: As always, influenced by the likes of Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree, this Norwegian band is back with another very solid album. The melodies are ethereal and harmonious.
8) Frost* - Falling Satellites: After a long break of 8 years, Frost* is back with a blistering new CD. This English band explores new musical horizons while remaining faithful enough to their sound of yesteryear.
7) Cosmograf - The Unreasonable Silence: This English formation explores the subject of alien abduction, a theme appreciated by science fiction lovers. The rather aggressive guitar work plays a central role.
6) Il Castello di Atlante - Arx Atlantis: In the tidal wave of italian prog CD releases, there are some that truly stand out. Arx Atlantis shines, with solid melodies, solos that hity the mark and violin work that fits perfectly in this all-Mediterranean-sounding recording.
5) Nuova Era - Return to the Castle: Another Italian formation. Lovers of medieval atmosphere will love this CD. Castle life, dragon hunting and Arthurian legends. The long instrumental passages illustrate very well the theme of this album. There is also a slight "vintage" theme that is always very pleasing to hear.
4) Submarine Silence - Journey Through Mine: Keyboardist Christiano Roversi is back with his companions in this opus where the keyboards and the guitar take up all the musical space. Like the previous two CDs, the influence of Genesis is undeniable but always pleasant to listen to.
3) Anderson & Stolt - Invention of Knowledge: I hardly imagine the pleasure and privilege of Roine Stolt to be able to compose an album with one of the musical icons of his youth! I must admit that the fusion of the sound of Yes with the music and, especially, the guitar work of the Flower Kings is refreshing for the ears.
2) Huis - Neither in Heaven: The Montreal band's evolution is going along by offering us a very solid second album, more varied in musical terms than the previous one. They have gained in confidence and experience and that is quite clear. This album is making waves in Europe and a Workd tour is planned for the beginning of 2017. I wish them the best of luck.
1) Glass Hammer - Valkyrie: I must admit that this CD plays a lot in my house since its release. And we will have the pleasure of seeing them and listening to them at the Terra Incognita Festival next May in Quebec City. This American band has abandoned some of their Yes-ish sounds for more aggressive musicianship, varied, very different from what we are accustomed to, with a few kudos to Genesis and Anathema. An excellent album worthy of the first place on my list!

What will 2017 offer us as far as rogressive Rock goes? In addition to the imminent release of Blackfield, Knight Area, Steve Hackett and Mike Oldfield CDs, the last one announcing "Return to Ommadawn" (and I sincerely hope it will live up to our expectations rather than his previous "Man on the Rocks "), a live DVD from Mystery ... Well, as usual, we can expect beautiful surprises, beautiful discoveries and the renewed pleasure of listening to our favorite music, progressive rock !!!!

Bob's top 10 albums of 2015
A very good vintage in 2015, with more great prog albums than ever, but there were just a couple that really stood way up at the top. Here are my favortes for this year:

1 - Mystery - Delusion Rain
Every time Mystery releases an album, I think that the band has reached their peak, this couldn't get any better. But I am wrong. Because every time on the following project, they simply surpass themselves, and floor me with a new album that's fresh, original, highly melodic and incredibly catchy, and Delusion Rain precisely follows that path. First album with new singer Jean Pageau, it's definitely the tightest and most cohesive incarnation of the band, they are truly on top of the prog world. Until next time!

2 - Steven Wilson - Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Always reinventing his sound from one album to the other, Steven's Hand. Cannot. Erase. has a more contemporary sound than his previous effort, the Raven, while still retaining a very classic art rock sound... kudos to the abundant and cleverly embedded nods to prog giants like Floyd, ELP, King Crimson, which made me smile every time! This post-prog gem features a great balance of heartfelt ethereal ballads and more intense melodies, as well as very fresh, original ideas and sounds. Based on the sad story of Joyce Carol Vincent, it features beautiful, poignant compositions, made even more emotionally intense by the brilliant videos accompanying the songs. Needless to say, the musicianship is stellar, the production is lush and flawless down to the most minute detail.

3 - Steve Hackett - Wolflight
One of the most prolific ex-members of Genesis, Steve Hackett as always, is surrounded by the finest musicians imaginable (in studio and on tour), to offer his fans another homerun! Wolflight offers a series of majestic, colossal compositions that just grab your attention, filled with delicious, heartfelt guitar solos everywhere. Graceful and sophisticated, but still very energetic at times, it's a beautiful masterpiece by a very classy musician.

4 - Advent - Silent Sentinel
Advent blew our minds with their 2006 album Cantus Firmus, mixing breathtaking melodies and harmonies and adding spectacularly intricate layered vocals with medieval themes. They're at it again, with the new album Silent Sentinel, every note on it is just perfect, splendid guitar work and sublime keyboard work. Mastered by audio genius Bob Katz

5 - Riverside - Love, Fear and the Time Machine
This new Riverside album is more accessible and less dark and circonvoluted than the band's initial trilogy of albums, it features great prog rock with beautiful melodies and an upbeat rhythm, while always retaining some of that Steven Wilson-inspired aesthetics from the previous albums. A very melodic and ethereal Mariusz Duda on vocals.

6 - Anekdoten - Until all the Ghosts Are Gone
Great compositions featuring their dark, melancholic, scandinavian sound rich in mellotron and flute, along with compositions like Shooting Star and Our Days are Numbered which have a heavier Early Anekdoten / Opeth style with driving sinister mellotron tones and energetic guitars.

7 - Gavin Harrison - Cheating the Polygraph
This should probably be in a jazz top ten because Cheating the Polygraph definitely is, but I add it to this list because I was absolutely fascinated how Gavin Harrison took prog rock hymns from his previous band Porcupine Tree and cleverly remodeled them into big-band fusion gems! Just a wonderful album that will surprise you.

8 - Spock's Beard - The Oblivion Particle
I must admit that there is no better match on earth than Ted Leonards's voice and the Beard's music... Beautiful prog melodies, and the eternal Ryo on keys, he is one of the most important part of what the Spock's Beard is. You'll hit the "replay" button often for this one!

9 - Aristocrats - Tres Caballeros
Oof, hang on to your sombrero, these three kids are going to leave you breathless. An instrumental rock gem, slightly reminiscent of the best days of LTE. Minemann, Beller and Govan offer a brilliant mixture of hard southern rock with complex textures and stop-on-a-dime time signatures. Awesome road music!

10 - District 97 - In Vaults
Beautiful vocals, soaring proggy riffs and rich melodies and harmonies mixes with the hard driving, sharp and edgy guitar work. Just a wonderful album from the first note to the last.

Honorable mention:
Ozric Tentacles - Technicians of the Sacred

Hypnotic and spacey are two things you expect from the mighty Ozric, but add to that beautifully elegant, ethereal, rhythmic harmonies, and you'll be hooked. Top notch production and thoroughly enjoyable compositions. Just when you thought they would run out of ideas and they were over the hill, they slap you down hard with one of their finest albums up to date.

Crushing blow of the year:
David Gilmour - Rattle that Lock

A long anticipated album that sadly, doesn't live up to the high musical standards of the legendary guitarist. It certainly has its moments here and there, but overall, a disappointing offering from Mr. Gilmour. Compared to On An Island, or last year's excellent Floyd tribute to Rick Wright, Endless River, this one just doesn't captivate my attention from beginning to end, but a guitarist is a guitarist and the instrumental portions of the album make up for the lack of inspiration of the concept as a whole.

Eric's top 10 albums of 2015
Syndrome of the blank page, when you have a hold of me!Let me introduce this Top Ten without using the eternal line "A year ends and another one begins"! How will I do it? I'll simply start by awarding the Lemon of the Year Award, then the Honorable Mentions and finally my Top Ten of 2015, for a year that was, overall, quite enjoyable and satisfying in the world of progressive rock.

Lemon Award of 2015 ... There is only one but it was a big disappointment.
David Gilmour - Rattle That Lock:

Apart from the opening track and the closing piece, both instrumental and whose music inspires some emotions, the rest of the album is rather bland and goes nowhere. I expected much better. "On An Island" (2006) was hundreds of times better.

Some honorable mentions ...
Spock's Beard - The Oblivion Particle:
A very good album by this American formation which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary. The music is at par with the impeccable musicianship of the band members but lacked a little "oomph" to reach my Top Ten.

Biglietto Per L'Inferno - Vivi, Lotta, Pensa.: The year 2015 was an excellent year for Progressivo Italiano rock! Besides this honorable mention, there are three other Italian bands featured in my Top Ten. With a touch of folk, Biglietto Per L'Inferno brilliantly uses various instruments to make the music entertaining and fun to listen to.

The Gentle Storm - The Diary: The Gentle Storm is the latest project to date by Arjen Anthony Lucassen with the participation of the wonderful Anneke Van Giersbergen on vocals. The unusual thing about this album is that we find in the box two different versions of the same music and history. An acoustic "Gentle" version and a rock version "Storm". Despite the renewed pleasure of listening to music of Arjen, we still find there the same recycled musical structures of previous albums, which decreased my interest a bit.

Comedy of Errors - Spirit: This is the third installment of this British band and it gives us, once again, some high-quality neo-prog. This is a very pleasant progressive musical journey.

My TOP TEN of 2015
10) Grand Tour - Heavy On The Beach:

This new British group consists of musicians from Comedy of Errors and Abel Ganz. A strong first album for this group. Elegant melodies make this album very enjoyable to listen to.

9) Glass Hammer - The Breaking Of The World: After the definitive departure of Jon Davison, US group Glass Hammer wasted no time to invite Carl Groves on this latest album, and of course, with the added bonus of Susie Bogdanowicz' participation, whose vocals are simply angelic. This album is up to the high standards that Glass Hammer are used to. Complex, versatile sounds with classic riffs and new ideas, everything is there for a great recording.

8) La Coscienza di Zeno - Notte Anche di Giorno: As mentioned above, the Progressivo Italiano rock well represented this year. The third effort of this Italian band offers us beautiful melodies where the violin, guitars and keyboards sublimely blend together for our great listening pleasure.

7) Lonely Robot - Please Come Home: This is the first solo project of guitarist John Mitchell (Arena, Kino, Frost*, It Bites). He wanted to experience all aspects of the production of an album, so he went all out and the result is dazzling. With a formidable roster of prog artists including Nick Beggs, Jem Godfrey, Heather Findlay, Steve Hogarth, Kim Seviour and Nick Kershaw to name a few, John has put together an album focused on musical moods rather than technical guitar work. Inspired by science fiction and the evolution of man, it includes a suite of tracks ranging from two to eight minutes, maybe short for prog epics, but comprehensive, complex and transcending numerous emotions.

6) Arena - The Unquiet Sky: The veterans of British prog music come back after 4 years with a solid album, powerful, aggressive and melodic. A remarkable achievement. Remarkably efficient prog music!

5) Steve Hackett - Wolflight: Between tours of Genesis Revisited, Steve took the time to give us a really interesting album for fans of prog music. Wolflight is a suite of music that is truly out of the box. Indeed, what fascinates me about this album is how Steve blends amazingly intricate classic 12-string guitar with the electric guitar solos that he is renowned for. He is at the top of his virtuosity and musicianship.

4) Steven Wilson - Hand. Cannot. Erase.: While many Top Ten of 2015 put him at number one, I awarded him a fourth place. Needless to say, this is a great album. However, and this is a very personal perception, the rather morbid story that inspired Steven leaves me a bit disturbed (the reason for the fourth place). I think I prefer his ghost stories (previous album and my first in 2013), which may be more whimsical. Also, musically, Steven returns to his Porcupine Tree sources with melodic constructions that have been already explored thoroughly, which decreased my interest in this album.

3) La Curva di Lesmo - La Curva di Lesmo: Another excellent italian prog album. When two giants of Italian progressive music meet, magic happens! This project is the musical collaboration of Fabio Zuffanti (Finisterre, Höstsonaten, Machera Di Cera) and Stefano Agnini (La Coscienza Di Zeno). This excellent opus offers three epic suites (one of which is a 5-part 26 minutes monster) inspired a cartoon Guido Crepax made in 1965 and starring the character of Valentina. Musically, it is quite excellent! A delectable treat for the ears.

2) Mystery - Delusion Rain: What a pleasure to listen to this sixth studio album by Mystery (seventh if you count the EP in 1992). Truly, Mystery, the Mysterons, and Michel St-Père have the wind in their sails. The arrival of Jean Pageau on vocals makes the sound Mystery so much more to the high level of quality of the band, with renewed energy. Michel's perfectionist production makes this album simply exceptional. The melodies, pleasant but always effective, transcend emotions. We do not get tired to listen to this. Kudos to our friend Sylvain Descôteaux on piano for his modest but beautiful and emotional contribution.

1) Unreal City - Il Paese del Tramonto: The first place went this year to the italian prog band Unreal City, a band composed of young virtuoso musicians. A musical apotheosis led by keyboards and supported by a discreet but highly effective guitar, it truly gives me goosebumps. A symphonic Progressive Rock executed masterfully. A complex music, Progressive pure and hard, an aural pleasure. We will have the chance to see and listen to them at Terra Incognita, the progressive music festival in Quebec in May. Progressive rock's future is in good hands!

This is my TOP TEN for 2015.
And as we say goodbye to 2015, I wish you an excellent year 2016, health, happiness, love and lots of good music! For my part, I look forward to the imminent release of the next album by Huis, featuring our friends Michel Joncas, Michel St-Père and Sylvain Descôteaux. PROG ON!

Bob's top 10 albums of 2014
No year is exactly the same and 2014 was no exception. We had our share of good stuff, great stuff and not so hot releases. Here's my review of the albums that caught my attention this year!

1 •
IQ - The Road Of Bones:
Again capturing emotion and intensity in their sound, this is a beautiful album and definitely one of their finest.

2 •
Pink Floyd - The Endless River:
When we thought we'd never hear a new Pink Song again, the band releases this collection of (mostly) instrmental pieces from their archives, it's their unmistakable sound, it features Rick Wright, and most important, it sounds great.

3 •
Huis - Despite Guardian Angels:
One of these albums that made the prog community stop in their tracks and take notice. An unexpected and captivating band that offered us a compelling, melodic, symphonic gem.

4 •
Opeth - Pale Communion:
Continuing on his path to melodic progressive rock, Mikael Åkerfeldt is again putting aside his death metal growls for beautiful composition, melancholic harmonies while still offering daring transitions from lush keyboards to energetic guitars, all wrapped-up with a splendid production.

5 •
Univers Zéro - Phosphorescent Dreams:
The pure, minimalist sound of Univers Zéro, stripped of its elaborate instrumentation of previous albums, shines even brighter. Dark and foreboding rhythms amalgamated with intense atmospheric moments. Essential.

6 •
Flying Colors - Second Nature:
A collaboration of musicians of that caliber runs the risk of turning into an ego-fest, but not Flying Colors, Second Nature surpasses its inaugural release with highly energetic and exuberant compostions, beautifully crafted, offering a variety of sound, textures and themes.

7 •
Dream Theater - Breaking The Fourth Wall:
Just a magical concert at the Boston Opera House in early 2014. Fantastic playlist and a band at the top of its game. DVD version offers a crystal-clear video recording, a very nice addition to your DT collection.

8 •
John Wesley - Disconnect:
Occasionally inspired by Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree, well written and quite enjoyable, with a guitar contribution by none other than Alex Lifeson of Rush.

9 •
Transatlantic - Kaleidoscope:
Again brilliant compositions, enthusiastic melodic prog rock, my only caveat is the heavy borrowing from previous Transatlantic and Spock's beard sounds. Well-recorded, truly the band at their musical best!

10 •
Kaipa - Sattyg:
A surprisingly varied and captivating release, the classic Kaipa sound with a nice refreshing twist.

Honorable mentions:
Discipline - This One's For England: Very good live recording of one of the best bands on the contemporary progressive rock scene. Taken from a live show at the Majestic Theater in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in 2012.

And then the not so honorable mentions:
Asia - Gravitas: Not quite prog, not quite pop, not quite good.

Yes - Heaven and Earth: Definitely passed their expiry date, the band rehashes old riffs and poppy themes in an effort that falls rather flat. The band tries to be many things but just doesn't quite reaches any of them.

Eric's top 10 albums of 2014
At the dawn of 2015, it is time to introduce my top ten list for 2014. The year 2014 started on a roll with the release of the albums of Transatlantic and Huis. The Spring season that followed, and the summer were rather quiet though. But during the fall and early winter, album releases rushed at breakneck speed. Certainly an uneven year in the release schedule with beautiful works but also some "definite mistakes" justifying my first ever "lemons of the year" list .
So I shall begin with the
"Lemon prizes" and big disappointments of the year.

Mike Oldfield - Man on The Rocks: Following the brilliant performance from Mike at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, I was expecting a comeback worthy of this great composer. Unfortunately, he did not deliver the goods at all. An emotionless, rather pedestrian poppy effort... very ordinary.

Yes - Heaven & Earth: After the departure of Benoit David and the arrival of Jon Davison, who has proven himself remarkably on vocals with the band Glass Hammer, a little stability could have been a guarantee of quality and virtuosity. But what a bitter disappointment! Insipid and pathetic! I am willing to concede that the first piece "Believe Again" is pleasant to listen to, but the rest of the album is really soulless and the brilliant virtuosity that characterizes this legendary prog band is simply not there. Too bad for those prog veterans whose path we have followed faithfully for all these decades.

In the "not quite great" category
Pink Floyd - Endless River: It is true that the expectations were very high. In announcing the imminent release of the last and final album of Pink Floyd, speculation was going wild. Good, not good, real Pink Floyd, not really Pink Floyd... The fact is that after several listenings, despite all that has been written on this album, "Endless River" is actually very pleasant to listen to. There is nothing new but it's Pink Floyd. And we love Pink Floyd, the music that accompanied our teen years and our entire adult lives, we never get tired of listening to Pink Floyd, the music is part of you and will remain with you forever.

Now for a few honorable mentions!
Anton Roolaart - The Plight of Lady Oona: Anton Roolart is known for his delicate progressive music, harmonious and melodious. The Plight of Lady Oona is no exception to the rule. One of the highlight of this album is the contribution on heavenly vocals by the wonderful Annie Haslam of Renaissance on the title track. Beautiful music for a candlelit dinner...

Kaipa - Sattyg: While Roine Stolt remains very busy with Transatlantic, Jonas Reingold and the merry crew of Kaipa have released a very strong symphonic progressive rock album. Always pleasant, it's truly a pleasure to listen to this Swedish progressive rock band.

Steve Rothery - The Ghosts of Pripyat: Pripyat is the name of a ghost city sacrificed as a result of the tragedy of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. This ghost town became a center of scientific research on the consequences of nuclear accidents is also a source of inspiration for some artists. Steve Rothery offers us his first solo album around this theme. You will find a few winks to Marillion (difficult to separate the two), but also inspired by the sounds of Pink Floyd. This completely instrumental album will pleasantly occupy a quiet and concentrated listening session.

Bjorn Riis - Lullabies in a Car Crash: Bjorn Riis is the guitarist of the Norwegian group Airbag. The guitarist has recently released a very strong solo album where we can easily distinguish his sources of musical inspiration. Indeed, we find sounds from Pink Floyd but especially Porcupine Tree, the first Floydian era of Porcupine Tree. Some will say that it borders on the "clone" but it is always nice to hear reinterpretations of the fundamental archetypes of progressive rock through new songs.

Rob Reed - Sanctuary: Let's go for a last mention with Rob Reed and his excellent Sanctuary album. While Mike Oldfield offered us a somewhat insipid album, Rob has paid a proper tribute to his idol. This is a beautiful tapestry of sounds, melodies and instrumentation worthy of the best albums by Mike Oldfield. Very pleasant to listen to ... And this is not the first time that Rob Reed gives a nod to Mike. If you listen carefully to the song Gwenan, from the album The Creeping Vine by Cyan, we hear themes inspired by Oldfield, and a bit of a precursor of the band Magenta ... something to revisit if you have it!

Here is my Top Ten countdown for 2014!
Opeth - Pale Communion (Exaequo with) Soen - Tellurian: Cannot decide between these two CDs for my top ten therefore I offer them as exaequo for the tenth slot. In both cases, a strong progressive metal rock, intelligent, complex and full of surprises. Amazing, so many musical similarites offered by Martin Lopez, former drummer of Opeth on the CD My Arms,Your Hearse right up to Ghost Reveries. This definitely falls into the realm of parallel evolution.

Quantum Fantay - Terragaia: Usually, psychedelic progressive music is a bit detached from time, space and cultural concepts. However, the belgian band Quantum Fantay offers a much more down-to-earth psychedelic album well set in our reality, in a very elegant and musically accomplished manner. A series of instrumental pieces, it goes without saying, that offers the listener a trip on our beautiful planet through the various major international musical cultures.

Spleen Arcana - The Light Beyond the Shades: Spleen Aracana is the project of a French multi-instrumentalist named Julien Gaullier. Aided by some collaborators on drums and vocals, he has put together an epic musical work consisting of three parts, the shortest being 10 minutes long. Connoisseurs of Quebec prog rock will remember the 1970 sound Indeed, the bass work and guitar sound are very reminiscent of the old Morse Code albums.Very interesting to listen!

Fabio Zuffanti - La Quarta Vittima: Progressivo Italiano rock has been quite active this year. The new album by Fabio Zuffanti is one of the best releases this year. Lots of guitars, keyboards and a whole lot of flutes and saxophones, with the participation of Gian Marco Pantera Pietrasanta. A complete work with wonderful forays into Jazz-Fusion themes. Remarkable!

Glass Hammer - Ode to Echo: This is the fourth and probably the last album by Glass Hammer with singer Jon Davison. We are all well aware of the tirades and pressures between some bands to get their hands on singers by getting them to sign exclusive contracts... This Glass Hammer CD, as you would expect, is as consistently great and at the height of all the others from this American formation. And as usual, you will find beautifully crafted, complex compositions, much to the credit of Glass Hammer, they produced better-sounding Yes-ish music than Yes itself!

RPWL - Wanted: This CD is pure Neo-Prog (yes, another one...). Such a pleasure to listen to this new CD from the famed German band. The whole album flows like a beautiful and harmonious music stream ... It will stick to your ears ...

Huis - Despite Guardian Angels: The Montreal group offered us a wicked nice surprise with this first effort. Mature, accomplished, very well arranged, with impeccable production. I enjoyed the measured (almost discrete) guitar work by Michel St-Père, still extremely recognizable, but in no way "Mysterized" the sound of Huis. This first beautiful epic, a little melancholic, will give way to completely new songs in the very near future and I am looking forward to hear their next CD.

Pendragon - Men Who Climb Mountains: Nick Barrett and the other members of the mighty Pendragon went back to their roots on this one. Indeed, following the excellent exploratory album "Passion", a bit dark and aggressive, they returned to a much more peaceful and harmonious style but still with the virtuoso guitar work by Nick Barrett at the musical forefront.

IQ - The Road of Bones: Aside from their keyboardist, IQ is nearly back to its original lineup with the release of The Road of Bones. The music and sound of IQ is really at its best on this one, hard to dissociate from their staple sound. The 2-CD version of this album offers the listener a series of beautiful compositions where emotions transcend music and soothe the soul ... this is one for the "repeat" button on the CD player.

Transatlantic - Kaleidoscope: What can one say about this exceptional album ... The apex of their work, a grand symphonic masterpiece, complex and beautifully arranged. The music is just exceptional. These formidable musicians will never stop to amaze us with their music through their epic compositions which one never gets tired of listening to. The quality of their music certainly lives up to our expectations as progressive rock fans.

And so as the year 2014 passes, we can only be happy to look forward with enthusiasm that our favorite music is strong and healthy and we can only anticipate at what's coming for 2015. The wait will be difficult, with the imminent release of the next Steven Wilson, the next Huis, Torn Apart by the excellent Franck Carducci and the next epic from Neal Morse and his band of virtuosos as to name but a few. The wheel never stops turning! Prog On!

Bob's top 10 albums of 2013
2013 again was a surprising year, with great new bands, lots of classic bands releasing many hits and a few misses... Enough for an overflowing top ten. I must mention that Huis Despite Guardian Angels would have been ranked among the top this year, but since it's officially a January 14 release, it will be featured in the 2014 top ten that's for sure!

1 • Steven Wilson - The Raven That Refused To Sing
A glowing review of this album would not be enough, so to put it simply, it's number one of my top ten this year, and if you put together all the top ten lists I made since 2005, The Raven that Refused to Sing would still rank number one out of the 90 albums. Enough said!
2 • Ayreon - The Theory Of Everything
Just when you thought Arjen Lucassen couldn't possibly top his epic body of work, there he goes again with The Theory of Everything. Gourmet symphonic metal, Arjen's music is like fine wine, more perfect year after year.
3 • Specimen 13 - Specimen 13 Echosystem
This is just a 37-minute EP, but it weighs a ton! Denis Rodier and Martin Vanier's fabulous musical project features Tony Levin, Pat Mastoletto, Trey Gunn and Marcus Reuter, giving it a brilliant Crimsonian edge, it's non-stop musical entertainment of the highest order!
4 • Mike Keneally - You Must Be This Tall
If you like the man's work, this one demonstrates Mike's exquisite musicianship with a lot of class and intensity. Splendid.
5 • Simon Collins and The Sound Of Contact - Dimentionaut
Simon Collins, son of Phil Collins offers this surprisingly amazing first album. Dimentionaut features a wide range of styles and dynamics from dark and mysterious progressive rock to nostalgic classic rock to high energy alternative to sci-fi film score-infused space rock. Brilliantly original from the first to the last note.
6 • LMR - Levin Minnemann Rudess
Mind-blowing collaboration of Tony, Jordan and Marco. What a completely original, captivating, dynamic, epic album. A must!
7 • The Tangent - Le Sacre Du Travail
You just can't go wrong with any album by The Tangent, and this one again proves that Andy Tillson is a brilliant, unparalelled musical genius. A singular collection of lush, inspiring compositions.
8 • Spock's Beard - Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep
The first Spock's Beard album featuring new singer Ted Leonard (Enchant), quite original, quite different from the classic Spock's Beard sound, but in a very good way.
9 • Touchstone - Oceans Of Time
One of those precious albums that's just a joy to listen from beginning to end. Contemporary progressive rock with a sharp edge and breathtaking vocals from Miss Kim Seviour. Glorious stuff!

10 • Riverside - Shrine of New Generation Slaves
Mariusz and the boys are at it again. Intense, dark, moving, energetic. A great Riverside album as always.

The Avengers - On A Mission
Not a prog album really, but featuring prog guru Adam Holzman (Porcupine Tree). Some of the finest contemporary jazz fusion I have heard in years. Just a perfect little gem you will listen to again and again...
Dream Theater - Dream Theater
Just missed the mark of my top ten. Accomplished musicianship, lovely melodies, great compositions, but there's this little thing that's missing. Seems they're going through the motions, it lacks inspiration and originality. But still, it's DT and it sounds great!
Rush - Vapor Trails Remixed
A rerelease of the 2002 album, the original was so bad and this remix is so good it literally sounds like a new album!
La Maschera di Cera - Le Porte Del Domani
So good to hear new material from Fabio Zuffanti's most sublime contribution to italian progressive rock! Captivating and grandiose!

Eric's top 10 albums of 2013
There we go, 2014 is at our door and we already have a foretaste of what is coming up this year, starting with Huis and their CD "Despite Guardian Angels" and the imminent release of the next Transaltantic album! What a wonderful world that we Progressive Rock fans live in! Another year ends... And another year surpassing the previous one in the category of progressive music, our music! I admit I had a lot of difficulty in compiling my TOP TEN this year because all around our little planet Earth, there was a considerable number of progressive rock artists with sensational releases this year .

But let's begin with THE GREAT FORGOTTEN ALBUM OF 2012, a CD released in late 2012, but making its way on this side of the Atlantic in January 2013:
The Rome Pro(G)ject An instrumental progressive symphonic climax with a splendid gathering of the most renowned prog artists ranging from Steve Hackett, his brother John, Francesco Di Giacomo of Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Richard Sinclair (Caravan, Camel, etc.) and Franck Carducci just to name a few. Mellotron, guitar, violin, flute, synths... In short, a monumental masterpiece that would have had its place in my TOP TEN last year.

1 • Steven Wilson - The Raven That Refused To Sing
Whew! What an album. Following the death of Steven's father, and a series of pretty grim interview, I was expecting something sad and dark. But to my surprise when I first listen... simply a fantastic album! Despite the ghostly stories, the will to live seeps through the music of these stunning compositions that only Steven Wilson has the knack to imagine. A masterful CD!
2 • Aldo Tagliapietra - L’Angelo Rinchiuso
When Aldo sings like a wise old man, we listen ... The effectiveness in which he conveys his emotions is simply outstanding. The melodies are beautiful and the orchestration, simply gorgeous.
3 • Anima Mundi - The Lamplighter
This Cuban band impresses me every time I listen to their CD. It is just pure progressive rock without a hint of Cuban or Caribbean influences… I really enjoy!
4 • Airbag - The Greatest Show on Earth
Take the influence of Pink Floyd, RPWL, The Moody Blues and Porcupine Tree, shake vigorously and what you get is Airbag. I have not found a better way to describe the music of this Norwegian prog group. Very pleasant, easy listening...
5 • Johannes Luley - Tales from Sheepfather’s Grove
We'll remember the remarkable performance of a little American prog band called Moth Vellum at RoSFest 2009. This group will disappear soon after. But in the year 2013, the guitarist of that defunct band, Johannes Luley, released a most enjoyable album featuring a wide variety of guitars, inspiring melodies and a nod to Jon Anderson and his Olias of Sunhillow project. Listen to this to the light of a candle… magical!
6 • John Young - Lifesigns
This is what happens when three virtuosos of progressive music, John Young, Nick Beggs and Martin "Frosty" Beedle, join together. An album that creeps into our minds to stay there and ends up being played repeatedly… Outstanding ...
7 • Spock’s Beard - Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep
Kudos to the rock band that keeps – despite much adversity (read: constant personnel change) – its soul. Complex music that's full of emotions. Love it...
8 • Sounds of Contact - I am Dimensionaut
Simon Collins, son of the famous Phil has managed to create a splendid album of progressive music without relying on the family's musical heritage. You will detect some influences from Steven Wilson and Anathema.
9 • Red Sand - Cinema du Vieux Cartier
We are well aware the influence of early Marillion on the Quebec-based prog band. But we never get tired listening to the music of Red Sand. Guitarist Simon Caron (probably a very distant cousin…) is always up to expectations of prog fans all around.
10 • John Hackett, Marco Io Muscio et Carlo Matteucci - Playing The History
Another homage album full covers some say but be warned, it commmands respect… When listening to classics like Jerusalem (ELP), I talk to the Wind (King Crimson) or The Great Gig in the Sky (Pink Floyd) played by John Hackett on flute with a background of pipe organ (yes, the BIG church organs), tou will be speechless. Power, finesse and emotions all on one CD!

And finally, a few honorable mentions ...
The Progressivo Italiano rock has been nothing less than bone-crushing this year. There were many Italian formations that have released albums, each more interesting than the other. In addition to Aldo Tagliapietra's CD mentioned above I must aknowledge
La Maschera Di Cera for their "The Door Del Domani" CD and also Il Cerchio d’oro for their "Dedal e Icaro" CD, and kudos to Submarine Silence for "There's Something Very Strange in her Little Room" CD and Il Giardino Onirico for their brilliant "Complesso MMXIII" CD. Delicious hours of auditory pleasure guaranteed!

Bob's top 10 albums of 2012
2012 has been a truly spectacular year for contemporary progressive rock. So much so that it should have been a top 15 or a top 20 list. Here are those that truly caught my ear.

1 • Änglagård - Viljans Öga
A whopping 18 years since their last studio album and 9 years after hearing some of the incredible new songs they wrote for Viljans Öga, this magnificent gem of contemporary prog rock has finally been released this summer. An absolute essential for fans of mellotron-driven instrumental prog.
2 • echolyn - echolyn
Hard to believe this will be their final album before calling it a day, it is definitely my favorite from their already spectacular discography. Moving, elegant, beatiful, intense... those are only a few of the adjectives that come to my mind when I listen to it.
3 • Mystery - The World is a Game
With this beautiful album, Mystery now belongs among some of the best and finest symphonic prog rock bands in the world.
4 • Rush - Clockwork Angels
The R&R Hall of Fame inductee and celebrated Canadian prog trio offered us a phenomenal album in the vein of their classic era between Signals and Hold Your Fire.
5 • Porcupine Tree - Octane Twisted
A beautiful live recording of the band's "The Incident" tour, featuring said album in its entirety, plus several classic PTree tracks. Puts you right back in the atmosphere of a live Porcupine Tree show.
6 • Flower Kings - Banks of Eden
The swedish proggers are back, with their crowning jewel! Splendid!
7 • Storm Corrosion - Storm Corrosion
Opeth's Mikael Akerfeld teams up with Porcupine's Steven Wilson to offer us this stunning, dark and ethereal collaboration. Brilliant, muted, dark and apocalyptic.
8 • Steve Hackett - Genesis Revisited II
A fabulous collection of Genesis classics interpreted in a skilled guitar-centric way, with a star-studded collection of guest musicians, wonderfully completes the first Genesis Revisited release.
9 • Anathema - Weather Systems
This year's most-talked about album, has catapulted the band into prog stardom.
10 • Karcius - The First Day
Karcius now features a vocalist! An already sensational modern prog fusion band now new and improved, the compositions on this disk are as varied as they are captivating. A must for all fans of the genre.

Steven Wilson - Get All You Deserve (DVD version)
A splendid live recording of the Grace For Drowning band, not part of my top ten only because the CD version is only available in the expensive deluxe DVD/BluRay box set.
Magma - Félicité Thösz
A long-awaited CD that did not disappoint.
Marillion - Sounds That Can't Be Made
More intense and more energetic than what they've done in many years, the band offers us a delicious and varied collection of sublime tracks including the epic "Gaza".
Saga - 20/20
A great comeback effort by the band featuring their one and only singer.
Transcend - The Mind
What a fabulous new prog band on the horizon! Fantastic Symphonic Metal stuff!

Eric Caron's top 10 albums of 2012
Long-time ProgMontreal contributor and enthusiastic prog fan Eric Caron shares his detailed list for 2012.

1 • Arjen Anthony Lucassen – Lost in the New Real
I always had a soft spot in my heart for the work of Arjen, which was my first contact with contemporary prog (I was among those misinformed folks that thought prog was dead). This double CD deserves my 1st place due to the solid SF theme, the well-crafted music and the splendid cover tracks.
2 • Astra – the Black Chord
I love the long epic tracks of this American band. A captivating psychedelic adventure!
3 • Nexus – Magna Fabulis
This Argentinian band was generous in 2012 with 2 albums. Magna Fabulis is simply excellent. Only 4 tracks including 2 epics, there are subtle hints of Tarkus and Spartacus, far-away echoes of forty years ago...
4 • Mystery – The World is a Game
Our buddies Michel St-Pèree and Benoit David have surpassed themselves yet again with this impeccable CD. Beautiful, timeless Prog Rock that ages gracefully.
5 • Steve Hackett – Genesis Revisited II
A tour-de-force from Steve Hackett, offering Genesis "covers" that don't sound like Genesis by-the-numbers thanks to a fantastic cast of invited musical guests on vocals and instruments.
6 • Karcius – The First Day
The first Karcius album featuring vocals. Excellent! The track "Water" is my favourite… With all due respect to Sly Auclair, the new bassist and singer of the band, it sounds like Sting has converted to heavy prog!
7 • Innerspace – The Village
This young new Montreal band offers us a very solid first album! A marked influence from Pink Floyd, while still being very unique.
8 • Cristiano Roversi – Antiqua
Fantastic! A soft, dreamlike fantasy. Whitout borrowing too much from Anthony Philipps' The Geese and the Ghost, it has a wide variety of melodies and harmoniers that make it most pleasant to listen to.
9 • Galahad – Beyond the Realms of Euphoria
A busy band this year as they have released two albums. The musical ambiances of this one makes it one of my year's favorites!
10 • Anathema – Weather Systems
What I love most about them is the emotional intensity of their musical ambiances.

Neal Morse – Momentum
One remains speechless at the sheer talent of this musician.
Tangerine Dream – Machu Picchu
Honorable mention for the longevity of this band formed in 1967, offering 45 years of pure musical delight. Wonderful set at the jazz fest last year.
Storm Corrosion – Storm Corrosion
Brilliant tribute to musical exploration. Half-tones are prominent, I can hear the raindrops…
Flower Kings – Banks of Eden
Always fun to hear new TFK music, it's like reuniting with old friends!
XII Alfonso – Charles Darwin
A wonderful tribute to Charles Darwin from this French band, featuring prestigious guests like Gérard Lenormand and John Hackett. A beautiful symphony with a recurring theme.

And as an added bonus, my top ten prog metal list!
1 • Aeon Zen – Enigma
2 • Threshold – March of Progress
3 • Logic Mess/Crystal Lake – Element of the Grid
4 • Heaven’s Cry – Wheels of Impermanence
5 • Transcend – The Mind
6 • Southern Cross – From Tragedy
7 • Circus Maximus – Nine
8 • Soen – Cognitive
9 • Kamelot – Silverthorn
10 • Damnation Project – Order

Bob's top 10 albums of 2011
2011 offered us some truly great albums, this year's crop really covers all aspects of prog, from the bombastic symphonic stuff to the dark and eerie contemporary psychedelia and from the trusty and dependable old standards to the cool underground, undiscovered gems.

1 • Steven Wilson - Grace For Drowning
2 • Discipline - To Shatter All Accord
3 • JellyFiche - Symbiose
4 • Opeth - Heritage
5 • Glass Hammer - Cor Cordium
6 • Agents of Mercy - The Black Forest
7 • Trurl - Do Not See Me Rabbit
8 • Yes - Fly From Here
9 • Within Temptation - The Unforgiving
10 • Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn of Events

Yves Dubé's top 10 albums of 2011
Witty and humorous PE community member Yves Dubé, shares his list of favorites for the year 2011

1 • Steven Wilson - Grace For Drowning
2 • Sanhedrin - Ever After
3 • The Decemberists - The King Is Dead
4 • Discipline - To Shatter All Accord
5 • Opeth - Heritage
6 • The Future Kings Of England - Who Is This Who Is Coming
7 • Gosta Berling Saga - Glue Works
8 • Graveyard - Hinsingen Blues
9 • Red Fang - Murder The Mountains
10 • Samsara Blues Experiment - Revelation & Mystery

Bob's top 10 albums of 2010
2010 was a bit quiet, with few albums that made major waves in the progressive community, but I've listed some excellent CDs that truly stood out for me. And I have expanded the list to include the best live performances I had the pleasure to see this year.

1 • Mystery - One Among the Living
A fantastic follow-up to the phenomenal "Beneath The Veil" album.
2 • Glass Hammer - If
Wonderful, moving melodies, splendid symphonic prog!
3 • Spock's Beard - X
Their proggiest and best effort in many years, the beard is finally back in fine form!
4 • Transatlantic - Whirld Tour 2010 DVD/CD
A fantastic recording of this long-awaited return of this prog supergroup.
5 • Univers Zero - Clivages
Dark and ethereal, brilliant!
6 • Frogg Cafe - Bateless Edge
A marvellous piece of work, a long-awaited return!
7 • Frost* - The Philadelphia Experiment
A formidable live recording of their killer set at RosFest 09!
8 • Agents Of Mercy - Dramarama
Energetic, flowery and melodic!
9 • Hamadryad - Intrusion
First album with their new singer Jean-Phillipe, magnificent!
10 • Edensong - Echoes of Edensong
A combination of great live material and new songs.

Honorable mentions
Tohpati Ethnomission - Save The Planet
Avenged Sevenfold - Nightmare
Steve Hackett - Out of The Tunnel's Mouth

Best Concerts of 2010:
1 • Roger Waters - The Wall Live at the Bell Center, October 19, 2010
2 • Steve Hackett, with Renaissance - Place Des Arts, July 9, 2010
3 • Transatlantic - Metropolis, Montreal, April 21, 2010
4 • Oblivion Sun - RosFest 2010, Gettysburg, PA, May 1st, 2010
5 • Moody Blues - Place Des Arts, Montreal, July 6, 2010
6 • Porcupine Tree, with BigElf - Place Des Arts, Montreal, May 7, 2010
7 • Mahogany Frog - Club Lambi, Montreal, September 9, 2010

Bob's top 10 albums of 2009
They say no one year is alike... and it's true of the 2009 crop of progressive albums, when anticipation sometimes leads to disappointment... but fear not, there were still some bright jewels among the gloom that was 2009:

1 Steven Wilson - Insurgentes
2 Transatlantic - The Whirlwind
3 Roswell Six - Terra Incognita: Beyond the Horizon
4 Beardfish - Destined Solitaire
5 Agents of Mercy - The Fading Ghosts of Twilight
6 IQ - Frequency
7 Riverside - Anno Domini High Definition
8 Porcupine Tree - The Incident
9 Frost* - Experiments in Mass Appeal
10 Miriodor - Avanti!

Honorable mentions
Dream Theater - Black Clouds and Silver Linings
Saga - The Human Condition
Nathan Mahl - Exodus

Yves Dubé: top 10 albums of 2009...
Witty and humorous PE community member Yves Dubé, shares his list of favorites for the year 2009.

1 The Future Kings Of England - The Viewing Point
2 Gösta Berlings Saga - Detta Har Hant
3 Contraction - Live 1974
4 Umphrey's McGee - Mantis
Miriodor - Avanti!
6 O.S.I. - Blood
7 Siddhartha - Trip To The Innerself
Steven Wilson - Insurgentes
Porcupine Tree - The Incident
10 The Decemberists - The Hazards Of Love

Honorable mentions:
Sloche - Stadaconé (re-edition)
Sloche - J'un Oeil (re-edition)

Réjean Charbonneau's Top 15 of 2009
Réjean Charbonneau of La Filière Progressive in Sorel shares with us his personal top 15 prog albums of the year 2009.

1 Gargamel – Descending
IQ – Frequency – U.K.
Porcupine Tree – The Incident
4 Wobbler – Afterglow
Steven Wilson – Insurgentes
6 Heavy Water Experiments – Heavy water experiments
7 Phideaux – Number 7
8 Lee Abraham – Black & White
9 Big Big train – The underfall yard
10 The Box – Le Horla de Maupassant
11 Blind ego – Numb
12 Steve Thorne – Into the ether
13 Syzygy – The realm of eternity
Riverside – Ano Domini High Defenition
15 Pendragon – Concerto Maximo

Honorable mention
Syrinx - Qualia

Gagliarchives top 10 albums of 2009
In order, out of their top 100 albums of the year. See their entire list at

1 Porcupine Tree - The Incident
Riverside - Anno Domini High Definition
3 Astra - The Weirding
4 Umphrey's McGee - Mantis
5 Diablo Swing Orchestra - Sing Along Songs For The Damned And Delirious
IQ - Frequency
7 The Strawbs - Dancing To The Devil's Beat
Dream Theater - Black Clouds And Siver Linings
Beardfish - Destined Solitaire
10 The Future Kings Of England - The Viewing Point
© 2009 Tom Gagliardi - All Rights Reserved.

Bob's top 10 albums of 2008
Oh what an exciting year! I feel that 2008 was a very good year, there hasn't been so much good new progressive music in a long time. Great prog rock abums from new artists and old standards alike, it was quite hard for me to come with a top ten list since so many artists were equally good... so here goes, in no particular order:

D.F.A. - 4th
Splendid! monumental! My top album of the year, prog fusion at its best.
Thieves' Kitchen - The Water Road
Elegant symphonic prog with hints of Anglagard, Spock's Beard and King Crimson.
Unitopia - The Garden
Wonderful new album with appealing melodies and beautiful arrangements.
Mahogany Frog - DO5
A magnificent album from these talented young multi-instrumentalists. It plays non stop on my iPod!
Jellyfiche - Tout Ce Que J'Ai Rêvé
An outstanding first album from this Montreal band, Mesmerizing floydian folk rock!
Magenta - Metamorphosis
A matured, graceful output from the band. Exquisite melodies and beautiful vocal work from Christina.
Martin Orford - The Old Road
Martin's wonderfully inspired and charming solo album. Hopefully not his last.
Karcius - Épisodes
A sensational follow-up to their album Kaleidoscope. More varied, more elegant, it rocks!
Ayreon - 01011001
Symphonic space metal at its best.
David Gilmour - Live in Gdansk
Gilmour lives up to his name. A beautiful, spine-tingling recording!

and very honorable mentions go to the following:

Spiraling - Time Travel Made Easy
Such a dynamic, joyous album from Tom Brislin (ex-Yes & Camel). Totally contagious and captivating.
The Tangent - Not as Good as the Book
Andy Tillson strikes again. He never misses!!!
RPWL - The RPWL Experience
Catchy prog with exceptional keyboards, vocals and guitars. Ethereal, intense and dynamic.
Asia - Phoenix
These guys can still write really good stuff, for real!
Nick D'Virgilio - Rewiring Genesis - A Tribute To TLLDOB
Surprisingly captivating, with really wild interpretation of the old classics.
Opeth - Watershed
Intense, varied, refreshing, one of Opeth's richest albums soundwise.
Edensong - The Fruit Fallen
Stunning new music from this NY-based band. Mesmerizing and elegant.
It Bites - The Tall Ships
Exceptional guitar work, clever arrangements, great, catchy melodies, brilliant!

Ken Walsh: top 10 albums of 2008 and more...
Ken Walsh, a respected member of the PE community, shares his list of favorites for the year 2008.

Marillion - Happiness Is The Road
Martin Orford - The Old Road
The Tangent - Not As Good As The Book
Magenta - Metamorphosis
Uli Jon Roth - Under A Dark Sky
Rush - Snakes And Arrows Live
David Gilmour - Live In Gdansk
Karmakanic - Who's The Boss In The Factory
Keith Emerson Band Featuring Marc Bonilla
Asia - Phoenix

Honorable Mentions:

Magenta - Live At The Point
Brian Wilson - That Lucky Old Sun
Black Bonzo - The Sound Of The Apocalypse
Pure Reason Revolution - Live At Nearfest 2007
Todd Rundgren - Arena

Top Re-Releases/Remasters of 2008:

Genesis - 1970-1975 Box Set(SACD/DVD 5.1 Remaster/Remix)
Porcupine Tree - Lightbulb Sub (DVD-A Remaster/Remix)
ELP - Brain Salad Surgery (3 Disc Special Edition w/SACD)
ELP - Pictures At An Exhibition (2 Disc Special Edition)
Return To Forever - The Anthology
The Moody Blues - Octave/Long Distance Voyager/The Present


Philip Sheppard - In The Shadow Of The Moon
Murray Gold - Doctor Who Series Three Original Soundtrack

Mike Portnoy's top 10 albums of 2008
Here's Mike Portnoy's list of favorites for the year 2008.

Metallica - Death Magnetic
Protest The Hero - Fortress
The Mars Volta - The Bedlam In Goliath
Beardfish - Sleeping In Traffic Part 2
Slipknot - All Hope Is Gone
Opeth - Watershed
Bloodbath - Unblessing The Purity / The Fathomless Mastery
Frost* - Experiments In Mass Appeal
Trivium - Shogun
Steven Wilson - Insurgentes

A few honorable mentions:
Dir En Grey - Uroboros
Cynic - Traced In Air
Extreme - Saudades de Roc
Gojira - The Way Of All Flesh

Gagliarchives top 10 albums of 2008
In order, out of their top 100 albums of the year. See their entire list at

Duty Free Area - 4th
Moth Vellum - Moth Vellum
Jannick Top - Infernal Machina
Mahogany Frog - DO5
Mats/Morgan - Heat Beats Live
Thieves' Kitchen - The Water Road
Opeth - Watershed
Planeta Imaginario - Biomasa
Magenta - Metamorphosis
Deus Ex Machina - Imparis
© 2008 Tom Gagliardi - All Rights Reserved.

Bob's top 10 albums of 2007
2007's crop was very rich and varied, some unexpected gems, some disappointments.

Porcupine Tree, Fear Of A Blank Planet
Big Big Train, The difference machine
Frogg Café, The Safenzee Diaries
Gourishankar, 2nd Hands
Phideaux, Doomsday Afternoon
Riverside, Rapid Eye Movement
Saga, 10,000 Days
Mystery, Beneath the Veil of Winter’s Face
Dream Theater, Systematic Chaos
Glass Hammer, Culture of Ascent

Honorable mentions going this year to:

The Flower Kings, The Sum Of No Evil
Spock's Beard, Spock's Beard
Symphony X, Paradise Lost
Neal Morse, Sola Scriptura
Rush, Snakes And Arrows

Mike Portnoy's top 10 albums of 2007
The drummer of Dream Theater submits his picks for the year 2007, in no particular order.

Between The Buried And Me, Colors
Machine Head, The Blackening
Porcupine Tree, Fear Of A Blank Planet
Beardfish, Sleeping In Traffic: Part One
The Dear Hunter, Act II: The Meaning Of And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, In Glorious Times
Dillinger Escape Plan, Ire Works
Blotted Science, The Machinations Of Dementia
Foo Fighters, Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace
Oceansize, Frames

I thought 2007 was really a particularly great year for music, so my year-end list would be incomplete without acknowledging a few other excellent honorable mentions as well:

Symphony X, Paradise Lost
Pain Of Salvation, Scarsick
Riverside, Rapid Eye Movement
3, The End Is Begun
Down, Over The Under
Baroness, The Red Album
Overkill, Immortalis
Megadeth, United Abominations
Rush, Snakes And Arrows
Thought Chamber, Angular Perceptions

Gagliarchives top 10 albums of 2007
In order, out of their top 100 albums of the year. See their entire list at

Porcupine Tree, Fear Of A Blank Planet
Within Temptation, The Heart Of Everything
Symphony X, Paradise Lost
Dream Theater, Systematic Chaos
Rush, Snakes And Arrows
Anekdoten, A Time Of Day
Riverside, Rapid Eye Movement
The Flower Kings, The Sum Of No Evil
Black Bonzo, Sound Of The Apocalypse
Circa:, Circa:
© 2007 Tom Gagliardi - All Rights Reserved.

Bob's top 10 albums of 2006
Again, this year saw its share of great CDs, but overall, maybe not as stellar as last year, so here is my list in no particular order.

The Tangent, A Place In The Queue
Sympozion, Kundabuffer
White Willow, Signal to Noise
Flower Kings, Paradox Hotel
La Maschera Di Cera, LuxAde
Univers Zéro, Live
Tony Levin, Resonator
Frost*, Milliontown
Paatos, Silence of Another Kind
Jadis, Photoplay

Honorable mentions going this year to:

Canvas Solaris, Penumbra Diffuse
Spock's Beard, Self-titled
Karcius, Kaleidoscope
Spaced Out, Unstable Matter
McGill/Manring/Stevens, What We Do

Lew Fisher's top 10 albums of 2006
Founder of the Progressive Music Society (PMS) and all around highly progressive person, Lew shares his top picks for 2006.

La Maschera Di Cera, LuxAde
Naikaku, Shell
Kenso, Utsuroi Yuku Mono
Omega Syndicate, Apocalypse
Uzva, Uoma
Guy Manning, Anser's Tree
Gert Emmens, The Tale Of The Warlock
A Triggering Myth, Remedy Of Abstraction
Univers Zéro, Live
Radio Massacre International, Septentrional

With honorable mentions going to:

Free System Projekt, Moyland
Blow Up Hollywood, Diaries of Private Henry Hill
Redshift, Any Given System
OSI, Free
Gert Emmens and Ruud Heij, Blind Watchers Of A Vanishing Night

Yves Dubé's top 10 albums of 2006
An active member of the progressive music community, here is Yves' take of the year 2006.

One Shot, Ewaz Vader
Wolfmother, Wolfmother
Phideaux, The Great Leap
Naikaku, Shell
David Gilmour, On An Island
Jean-Luc Payssan, Pierrots et Arlequins
Aka Moon, Amazir
La Maschera Di Cera, LuxAde
Frost*, Milliontown

With an honorable mention going to:

Umphrey's McGee, Safety In Numbers

Gagliarchives Top Ten of 2006
In order, out of their top 100 albums of the year. See their entire list at

1) The Dark Third, Pure Reason Revolution
2) Luxade, La Maschera Di Cera
3) Ewaz Vader, One Shot
4) Amputechture, The Mars Volta
5) Signal To Noise, White Willow
6) Score, Dream Theater
7) A Place In The Queue, The Tangent
8) Industrial Zen, John McLaughlin
9) Milliontown, Frost*
10) Wild Orchids, Steve Hackett
© 2006 Tom Gagliardi - All Rights Reserved.

Bob's top 10 albums of 2005
Here's my own personal top ten of the year, in no particular order (It's hard enough to come up with these favorites out of all the great prog that came out in 2005).

Miriodor, Parade + Live At NearFest
Porcupine Tree, Deadwing
RPWL, Start The Fire - Live
Glass Hammer, The Inconsolable Secret
Frogg Café, Fortunate Observer Of Time
Arena, Pepper's Ghost
Pallas, The Dream Of Men
Kino, Picture
Dream Theater, Octavarium
Echolyn, The End Is Beautiful

And also for my honorable mentions:

Nil, Novo Sub Sole
Present, A Great Inhumane Adventure
Helmet of Gnats, self titled
Kaipa, Mindrevolutions
Wobbler, Hinterland
Hamadryad, Safe in Conformity

Roine Stolt's top 8 CDs & DVD purchases in 2005
Founder of the acclaimed swedish prog band The Flower Kings, this is Roine's list of albums that caught his attention in 2005.

1) Spiraling - Transmitter
Tom Brislin's refreshing power keyboard pop.
2) U2 - How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
3) Concert For George
Clapton, Lynne, McCartney, etc. on a gorgeous double DVD concert with Harrison music from Albert Hall.
4) Neal Morse - ?
His best solo album up until now, heartfelt music.
5) Tomas Bodin - I Am
Serious production achievement from Mr Hope.
6) Cardigans - Long Gone before Daylight
Best Swedish pop album in ages.
7) Steve Vai - Real Illusions • Reflections
As close to progmetal as I can get without falling asleep, brilliant album, great singing by Stevie.
8) Paul McCartney - In red Square - DVD
Gorgeous Macca doing plenty of Beatles with an amazing, powerful and charming band.

Réjean Charbonneau's Top 15 of 2005
Réjean Charbonneau of La Filière Progressive in Sorel shares with us his personal top 15 prog albums of the year 2005

1) Stream of Passion - Embrace the storm
2) Pallas - The dreams of men
3) Arena - Pepper’s ghost
4) Porcupine Tree - Deadwing
5) Riverside - Second life syndrome
6) Pendragon - Believe
7) Spock's Beard - Gluttons for punishment
8) Magic Pie - Motions of desire
9) Red Sand - Gentry
10) Overhead - Metaepitome
11) K2 - Book of the dead
12) RPWL - Start the fire LIVE
13) Nil - Nil novo sub sole
14) Sieges Even - The art of navigating by the stars
15) Glass Hammer - The inconsolable secret
© 2005 Réjean Charbonneau - La Filière Progressive. All Rights Reserved.

Gagliarchives Top Ten of 2005
In order, out of their top 100 albums of the year. See their entire list at

1) The Mars Volta, Francis The Mute
2) Porcupine Tree, Deadwing
3) Wobbler, Hinterland
4) Nil, Novo Sub Sole
5) Miriodor, Parade/Live At Nearfest
6) Opeth, Ghost Reveries
7) Van Der Graaf Generator, Present
8) Indukti, S.U.S.A.R
9) Riverside, Second Life Syndrome
10) Dream Theater, Octavarium
© 2005 Tom Gagliardi - All Rights Reserved.

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