Proglodytes Playlist is a curated list of songs that I’ll add to each week. Most of them will feature new(er) bands, because the most important mission at Proglodytes is to share currently active, progressive leaning groups with the world, but occasionally I will include older songs as a tribute or a commemoration of an anniversary.
On this week’s Proglodytes Playlist:
Gabriel Kahane: “Empire Liquor Mart (9127 S. Figueroa St.)”
I first heard this last year in 2019, and I think it’s one of the most powerful pieces I’ve ever heard. This week, it was repeating in my head for some reason. From the description: “On March 16, 1991, thirteen days after the Rodney King beating, Latasha Harlins was shot and killed during a dispute over a bottle of orange juice. She was fifteen. Her killer received no prison time.” Gabriel Kahane memorializes Latasha in this incredibly moving performance. While I like the recorded version, the Apartment Sessions version is just next-level. I get choked up when I focus on different passages- this latest time, it was the line “Nobody reads from the Book of Job at the church where me and my grandma go”. This song is cinematic, emotional, passionate, and above all, “progressive” in the truest sense, although few, if any outlet, would likely define it as such.
A few years ago, my brother sent me the song “Compendium” from Elder’s album Lore. I was instantly hooked. It managed to take the elements I love from doom/psych metal (deep, heavy riffs) and combine them with what I love about progressive metal. Over the last few years, they’ve managed to do a lot of sonic exploration, and I think their new album Omens is going to be an amalgamation of sounds and influences, from what I’ve read and heard. Clocking at around 10 minutes, “Embers” is a powerful, heavy, and contemplative sonic journey.
Leprous: “The Sky Is Red”
OK, so, I guess this is a music playlist? But, I had to share (again!) this video of Baard Kolstad playing through “The Sky Is Red” from Leprous’s latest album, Pitfalls. The song is one of my favorite tracks from the album, and there is a lot going on in the song, on every instrument. But being able to see Baard play (murder) the drums on this very intense song is really a marvel to behold. Baard has made a name for himself as of late as one of progressive metal’s most interesting/exciting drummers, and this video is evidence to convince any skeptic. The video is around 11 minutes long, but the song and the drumming keep you hooked until the very last second.
Myrkur: “Leaves of Yggdrasil”
Myrkur is the musical project of Danish multi-instrumentalist Amalie Bruun. Her past albums have managed to successfully blend black metal with traditional Scandanavian folk, all with an intense wall of sound. Her forthcoming album, Folkesange, is a departure from the heavier elements that we’ve heard, as she takes Scandanavian folk music and attempts to frame it in modern times. The result of this pivot towards folk can be heard in the mystifying, haunting “Leaves of Yggdrasil”.
What are you listening to? Share below in the comments.