Best albums of 2016 by Iris

Yes, I know, I’m late with this one. I was very busy with establishing this website, so I barely had time to focus on making a top 10/top 5/top whatever of 2016 albums. Well, this is not going to be a Top 10 really, this will be a list with albums released in the year 2016 that stick with me the most. Here we go!

 

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Let’s start with Frost* with Falling Satellites. Ok, if there has to be a number one album of 2016, then it’s this one! Yes, they are back after a long hiatus… And what a comeback it is! They delivered something that only Frost* can give you: Power prog in your face! A very diverse album that contains a lot of energy. But hey, what can you expect from Jem Godfrey, John Mitchell, Nathan King and Craig Blundell? Especially Craig shows what he’s capable of as a wonderful, talented drummer! I had the honour to interview him not so long ago, you can check the video interview here. I also interviewed Jem Godfrey, you can read that interview here.

 

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TILT made a fantastic album named Hinterland. You can read the full review of that album here on my old webpage Grendel Headquarters. This album can be categorized as real modern prog rock, and this band should be compared to other top class bands in the prog world/scene nowadays! I interviewed the wonderful Steve Vantsis for my Backstage with Iris show, you can listen to the interview here.

 

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Another album that stays with me is AWOOGA’s Alpha. The debut EP of a very solid band. Heavy, grungy, spacey, proggy. Four tracks that are well composed and fabricated. This band has the future, so please keep an eye on them! Go get it here (the EP download is FREE!).

 

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Something that was released in early 2016 is Mahoney with You Are The Big Bang. The first solo EP from ex-Amplifier bassist Neil Mahony. A man who knows how to make music. Solid riffs, heavy guitars and bass. This twenty minute journey deserves your attention. You can read the full review of this EP here, and you can hear the awesome interview I had with Neil here. Go get the complete EP here!

 

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Riverside made a wonderful, instrumental/ambient like double album with Eye Of The Soundscape. It’s based on recordings made between 2007 and 2015, and also new tracks recorded in early 2016. Sadly never had the time to review this beauty, but it’s something that I would give tons of proper spins over and over.

 

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What do you get when you put John Myung (Dream Theater), Ty Tabor (King’s X) and Rod Morgenstein (The Dixie Dregs) in one band? A Jelly Jam… Well, actually The Jelly Jam! This album named Prophet/Profit is their fourth studio album, and it’s a killer album. You can read the full review of this album here. I also interviewed the one and only John Myung, you can read that interview here.

 

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The Pineapple Thief delivered a splendid album with Your Wilderness. Not something that I would call 100% progressive rock, but the prog elements can be heard clearly. It also lingers to some post rock moments. An album I really enjoy listening to, and I’m sure a lot of other people will too. A recommendation! You can read my complete review here.

 

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Let’s get straight to the point with this album… Big Big Train delivered a complete masterpiece with Folklore. The music is a mixture of progressive rock and folk music. Wonderful arrangements perfectly executed by eight members and several guest musicians. You can read a full review of the album here. I also had the honour to interview David Longdon, you can listen to the interview here.

 

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CIRCA released an enjoyable album named Valley Of The Windmill. A well-produced and well-fabricated album that doesn’t bore one minute, and really deserves the term ‘progressive rock’. You can read the full review of this album here.

 

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Last, but not least, we have John Wesley with a way you’ll never be. This man knows how to make albums! Really,  I wonder how it would have been if he ‘took over’ Porcupine Tree and will tour with all the original band members (with the exception of Steven Wilson). I think he would do a great job! You can read the full review of his album here.

Thank you very much for reading! And as always, a big hug!

Iris

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