Monday, January 27, 2014

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Best Of 2013: Top 10 By Diego Camargo


As you're already aware, this year we did lists for the best 2013 albums. As you saw before we had done it with the readers' choice (HERE) and we even did Podcasts about it (HERE).

About our staff list, we already published the lists from our reviewers Kev Rowland (HERE), Jason Spencer (HERE) and our future reviewer Rodrigo 'Rroio' Caravlho (HERE). So it's time to move on with our fourth and final list, this time from our Editor ans website owner Diego Camargo.

Diego is attached to the Progshine brand in the internet since 2005 when Progshine was just a blog. Since 2008 he writes and publish about Prog, till 2012 in Portuguese and since then in English. A bit more about Diego and Progshine HERE.

Here it is the top 10 albums from 2013 in Diego's opinion:

1. La Coscienza Di Zeno – Sensitivitá



La Coscienza Di Zeno is an Italian band that pretty much follows the golden period of Prog that was produced in that country during the 70's. All the details are here: 2 keyboard players, Symphonic flavour, big melodies, complex but full of emotion - however, the band don't stay attached with the past and add its own originality to their second album Sensitività (2013). They pay a visit to the great bands but without copy their sounds. Great album!

Key song: 'La Città Di Dite'

2. Riverside – Shrine Of New Generation Slaves


It's a fact that Shrine Of New Generation Slaves (2013) doesn't go beyond the quality of their previous (and great) album Anno Domini High Definition (2009). But the Polish band is so good that even when they don't push their boundaries to the very limit they still have the biggest quality possible of a musical act. Till this very moment there's no Riverside album that's bad!

Key song: 'Celebrity Touch

3. Haken - The Mountain


The Mountain (2013) was something else! I hadn't pay much attention to Haken till this album. But when you hear it is impossible not like it, every detail that I like in Prog Rock is here: the vocal harmony a la Gentle Giant, longer songs - but not too long, the use of the most different instruments, the musical complexity without any useless virtuosity - always trying to find a good melody and working for the music! A must have it!

Key song: 'Cockroach King'

4. Camelias Garden – You Have A Chance


One more great surprise that comes from Italy! The country that gaves us tons of good albums in the last years (or should I say in the last decades). This is the first album of Camelias Garden, and if you ever imagined what happened to Progressive Folk, well, here's your answer!

Key song: 'Dance Of The Sun/The Remark/Dance Of The Sun (Birth Of The Light)'

5. The Flower Kings – Desolation Rose


Swedish band The Flower Kings did what Dream Theater refused to do (and because of that lost his drummer and becomes worse every day): they took a brake. Between 2008 and 2012 every musician of the band did different things. And the result? When the band got together again to release Banks Of Eden (2012) they were refreshed and new. In their new album Desolation Rose (2013) they kept the same high quality from the previous album!

Key song: 'Tower One'

6. Museo Rosenbach – Barbarica


Italy, again? Yes sir! Museo Rosenbach comes back to life after 40 years of the release of their classic (and only till now) studio album, Zarathustra (1973). Barbarica (2013) is a class of how to do Symphonic Prog. The album follows as if they had never been far away for so much time, but it doesn't sound motionless in time, sounds as a today's record with a modern production.

Key song: 'Il Respiro Del Pianeta'

7. Half Past Four – Good Things


We had to wait 5 years to listen the new album from the Canadian band Half Past Four, but it was worth it! They took everything that was great on their first album, the marvelous Rabbit In The Vestibule (2008), and amplified on Good Things (2013). To be mentioned, Kyree Vibrant's vocals are still in the top spot!

Key song: 'The Earth'

8. Jack O’ The Clock – All My Friends



Is very likely that you have never heard of Jack O’ The Clock, but this is already the third album of this American band. All My Friends (2013) is a work of good weirdness, completely different from the majority of the Progressive Rock bands from today. And on top of that is completely great!

Key song: 'A Lot Of People Are Dead Wrong Most Of The Time'

9. The Worm Ouroboros - Of Things That Never Were


Now, this was a complete surprise to me! The Worm Ouroboros is a new band from Belarus and Of Things That Never Were (2013) is their debut album. In this album the band was able to have a perfect production with great musicianship that follows a Canterbury sound. A completely surprise that I just actually heard this year!

Key song: 'Return To The Cold Sea Of Nothing'

10. Big Big Train – English Electric Part Two


I confess that the first part, English Electric Part One (2012), released by this English band was better. However, English Electric Part Two (2013) comes as a perfect complement to the story the band is telling here. Recording and production are sharp and the musicians are simply brilliant!


Key song: 'Keeper Of Abbeys'

Honorable mentions (in order):
- Moon Safari - HImlabacken Vol 1
- 
Il Tempio Delle Clessidre – AlieNatura

- Premiata Forneria Marconi – In Classic: Da Mozart a Celebration

- The Gabriel Construct – Interior City
- 
The Twenty Committee – A Lifeblood Psalm

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