Since we announced the Best Progressive Album of 2013 readers poll back in November you response was tremendous. For that, I want to thank every single one of you who sent the vote submissions. There have been more than 1,800 entries in total what makes this all simply great. And now – results!
The Winner: HAKEN – The Mountain (273 votes)
Even as their grasp of melody improves, Haken’s best side still comes out in the form of their proggy instrumentals. The influence of bands like Dream Theater and King Crimson are undoubtedly evident, but Haken have finally claimed ownership of a sound unto their own with The Mountain. In terms of pure ‘progginess’, Haken are already two steps further ahead than Dream Theater ever dared to venture. [Read the full review]
The 1st Runner-Up: STEVEN WILSON – The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories) (211)
Possibly the greatest thing about “Raven…” is not even necessarily Wilson’s writing and arrangement, but the musicians that he has chosen to surround himself with. More than ever, it feels like Wilson has fashioned himself a progressive rock conductor of sorts, letting some of the best musicians in the scene bring his vision to life. [Read the full review]
The 2nd Runner-Up: RIVERSIDE – Shrine of the New Generation Slaves (175)
The depth of “Shrine Of New Generation Slaves” is really outstanding, almost to the levels of “Anno Domini”, in the sense that the music brings you deep into a world, very similar to ours, but where a melting pot of emotions is an everyday thing, where social discomfort reigns, in a time where every one is closed in, and where everything happens from within and never coming from the outside. It is a very introspective album, and the flow of it almost feels like an unconscious stream of emotions, a strongly linear journey with a beginning, and with a pleasantly suffused ending. [Read the full review]
4. THE FLOWER KINGS – Desolation Rose (161)
5. BIG BIG TRAIN – English Electric II (142)
6. AYREON – The Theory of Everything (127)
7. DREAM THEATER – Dream Theater (118)
8. THE ARISTOCRATS – Culture Clash (95)
9. SPOCK’S BEARD – Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep (81)
10. LEPROUS – Coal (73)
Honorable mention goes to:
Levin Minnemann Rudess – LMR (64)
Vangough – Between the Madness (57)
La Coscienza di Zeno – Sensitivita (42)
Circle of Illusion – Jeremias – Foreshadow of Forgotten Realms (36)
OMB – SwineSong (29)
Moon Safari, Deafhaven, Seconds Before Landing, Edison’s Children, Birds and Buildings, Nemo and Fish had strong showings. There are also many albums that had single votes. Haken absolutely nailed it this year, creating an album that stands out for its innovation and linking it with some of the genre’s best. Hat off to them.
Besides being selected for the best progressive rock record of 2013, Haken are also voted in our poll for the best prog epic of 2013 with Falling Back to Earth song taken from the winning album. It pretty much sums that 2013 was that great for the UK proggers.
Finally, we are in 2014 and I absolutely have no idea what to expect when it comes to the new music (except for some already announced releases). However, we will be there to keep up with everything that shows along. Until the next time, enjoy some of the best of 2013.