Proglodytes Picks: 2022

2022 was a year that was full of all sorts of surprises, but we got through it with the help of some amazing bands and artists. We at Proglodytes each decided to share our favorite albums of the year 2022. We sincerely hope you check out these albums and support these artists! Click on the album name to listen to and buy the recommendations.

Cedric

Miles Davis – That’s What Happened

THE Miles “comeback” band of the 80’s, featuring the likes of John Scofield (guitar) and Daryl Jones (bass). Rockin’, bluesy, and funky as hell! Just TRY to sit still!

Michael Giacchino – The Batman

Never have two notes (which make up the Dark Knight’s theme) sounded more menacing. Stay away from the shadows! The Batman might be lurking there!

Aimee Mann – Queens of the Summer Hotel

Written for a play surrounding mental health and the importance of being seen. Relatable on so many levels.

The Comet is Coming – Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam

Jazzy, electronic, groovy. It fits in multiple genres while belonging to none of them. Shabaka Hutchings (sax) establishes himself as one of this generations most important musicians.

Stephan Thelen – Fractal Guitar 3

Never have mathematics sounded so expansive. Thelen’s guitar voice has established itself as one of the most innovative in music. Each project grows more expansive, like nothing else out there.

Thomas

The Dear Hunter – Antimai

The Dear Hunter’s highly anticipated Antimai quickly became one of my favorite records from this year. From the complex, ambitious, and socially incisive storyline, to the catchy and thrilling blend of styles that can be found from song to song, Antimai is a perfect example of progressive music that isn’t just a rehash of what we’ve heard before. I had the absolute pleasure of catching this group live, and it was my top concert event for the year. Read the review here.

Major Parkinson – Valesa Chapter 1: Velvet Prison

Major Parkinson’s follow up to 2017’s Blackbox is somehow too much and not enough. It’s a double album, filled to the brim with extremely catchy pop tunes, unsettling opuses, and experimental soundscapes. Pop anthems like “Saturday Night” and “Life Forever” are simultaneously sweet and sinister. “Fantasia Me Now!” is exactly the type of surrealist dance pop I was hoping for on this album. And as a fan of 5 years or so, I truly think this is vocalist Jon Ivar Kollbotn’s best performance- he screams and snarls and growls like he’s Master of Ceremonies for our nuclear annihilation, and I really enjoy the vocal interplay with Peri Winkle as well. This album is still revealing itself to me, months later.

Bear Medicine – Dog is Love

Bear Medicine combines sincere folk/Americana with thoughtful, challenging, and even at times existential lyrics, to create a lovely blend of styles and influences. Some standout tracks: “The Wheel” is one of those songs that burrows in your soul the first time you hear it- the lyrics feel intensely personal but are also highly relatable explorations of grief and loss. “The End is Near” is bright and sunny, but with an undergirding of religious anxiety that is more than relatable to those of us who grew up in the buckle of the Bible belt. “Glitter and Shine” could be a lost Jackson Brown track, and I mean that with the highest regard. If you’re a fan of cerebral but unpretentious singer/songwriter music, check out Bear Medicine’s latest album, and while you’re at it, check out their prior work, too.

Ghost – Impera

I’ve been a fan of Ghost since I first saw them. I am unashamedly a fan of their blend of music and imagery. As a kid who grew up listening to bands like Def Leppard, Blue Oyster Cult, and The Scorpions, I can’t get enough of their metal-infused pop (with Satanic sprinkles). Their latest album, Impera, is firing on all cylinders, with numerous standout tracks and moments. Some of my favorites: the spirited “Kaisarion”, the Alice Cooper-esque “Spillways”, and the brooding “Call Me Little Sunshine”. The album’s closer, “Respite On The Spitalfields” is one of my favorite album closers I’ve heard in years. Yeah, it’s all pretty over the top, but isn’t that part of what I love about prog and prog-adjacent music in the first place? If you’re gonna go…go big and over the top. Fire and glitter and costumes.

Rylee

Sirintip – carbon

Thai/Swedish producer and singer/songwriter Sirintip released her second full length album Carbon on October 14, 2022. Just like her first release, Carbon features intricate instrumental arrangements, and densely layered vocal production with catchy melodies and thoughtful lyrics. Sirintip has become known for her blend of Jazz, Pop, Prog, Synth and Indie music, which makes for a sound that is all-her-own. Carbon does a great job of staying true to that sound, while evolving just enough to sound fresh. What really sets Carbon apart from it’s predecessor though is the album’s concept and creative process. Carbon is the result of 3 years of climate research, and self discovery which led to her decision to produce an album that encourages “A new kind of conversation around climate action.” Many of the songs incorporate musical approximations of climate data she gathered. To fully grasp what this means, I highly recommend giving the album a listen. Carbon is available now on all streaming platforms, as well as Bandcamp and via Sirintips website.

Iris

Northlane – Obsidian

The Australian band Northlane gradually caught my attention over the years, and their sixth studio album is the perfect rollercoaster ride for everyone who likes their music heavy but versatile. Northlane combines the right mixture of djent, industrial, numetal, metalcore, and even additional ambient soundscapes and passages. A must have album for people who like to explore heavier progressive music!

Thornhill – Heroine

Another heavy band from Australia that released a banger is Thornhill. Heroine is only their second studio album, but this band sounds mature enough to be on the collection shelves of every progressive metal (and hardcore) fan. A big thumbs up for the solid guitar sounds and modern grunge passages. Hopefully we will hear a lot more from this upcoming band in the near future!

VOLA – Live From The Pool

Their latest studio album Witness was in my top 3 of 2021 albums, and these gentlemen deserve all the attention they can get. This live album (which is available on CD, vinyl and Blu-Ray DVD) shows that they are a must to see live. I do recommend to watch the visual version of this spectacular pool performance because the lighting show is phenomenal!

Wyatt

Charlie Griffiths – Tiktaalika

For those who know me, Haken is my all-time favorite band. Charlie Griffiths was my primary inspiration to invest in my own Kiesel guitar. His debut solo album through InsideOut Music displays some of my favorite aspects of Haken, as well as dive into styles that you don’t normally hear from the British sextet. Charlie shows the world that he is a modern riff-master, applying his modern touch and quirkiness to thrash, power, and groove metal. Drummer Darby Todd does an amazing job providing the backbone to this epic album, and the assortment of star power on vocals (including Tommy Rogers of Between the Buried and Me) leaves each track with a unique mark. I’d say if you want to show someone an album that displays every style of metal in as digestible way as possible, Tiktaalika is a safe bet. Also, it’s a concept album about a prehistoric creature, which is a plus if you’re into that.

Envy of None – Envy of None

Formed by guitarist Alex Lifeson (Rush), bassist Andy Curran (Coney Hatch), drummer Alfio Annibalini, and singer-songwriter Maiah Wynne, ethereal/industrial-rock supergroup Envy of None released their self-titled debut through Kscope. The album is layered with synthesizers on top of rocking backbeats, and has a darkness that splendidly complements the Wynne’s whimsical vocals. From the opening track, “Never Said I Loved You,” you get a good sense of what this band has to offer—packing a hard-rock punch with layered electronics, delivered in a cinematic, yet concise manner. First single, “Liar,” is a fan favorite, as well as closer “Western Sunset,” Lifeson’s acoustic tribute to his late friend and music partner, Neil Peart. Maraton – Unseen Color Mesmerizing from track one, the Norwegian quintet combines elements of progressive rock and pop, making them one of the most melodic groups in the prog scene right now. If I could describe these guys, they combine the melodic writing of VOLA, with the rhythmic approach and vocals of Caligula’s Horse, and the delivery of Aphelion-era Leprous. It may be cliche to say, but it is quite hard to pick the best tracks on the band’s sophomore album, as each song has a hook that lives in your head for days. If you want to step away from riffs, but still want to listen to some rock that is upbeat and layered, Maraton can probably help itch that scratch.

Gavin’s AOTY

black midi – Hellfire

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