Twelve Great American Progressive Rock Bands

NEAL MORSE BAND – SO FAR GONE

From the Neal Morse Band’s second album, 2018’s acclaimed The Similarity Of A Dream, comes this strident rocker, chock-full of Morse’s melodic flourishes and some serious chops from bandmates Mike Portnoy, Randy George, Bill Hubauer and Eric Gillette. The album was a dual concept piece based on John Bunyon’s epic 17th century religious work.

CYNIC – HUMANOID

American progressive metallers Cynic were considered truly groundbreaking with their 1993 debut Focus, but disbanded a year later. They reformed in 2006, releasing traced in the air in 2008 and Thank you for freeing us in 2015. Drummer Sean Reinart quit in 2015, resurfacing with Perfect Beings (he would later die in 2020), but guitarist Paul Masvidal returned with a new track Cynic, humanoidtheir first new song in four years, earlier this year.

COHEED AND CAMBRIA – KEEPING EARTH’S SECRETS SILENT: 3

When New York group Coheed & Cambria moved away from love wars concept that had seduced so many prog fans on the first albums, with the 2010s The Year of the Black Rainbow and 2015 The color before the sun, some prog fans wondered what was going on. However, the band is firmly back in progressive territory with a new album to come. Vaxis – Act 1: Evil Creatures. The title track from their 2003 second album is a timely reminder of why prog fans love them so much.

DREAM THEATER – HOME

For many fans, Dream Theater’s 1999 album Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory stands as their definitive work. A heavy concept piece centered on a man undergoing past-life regression therapy, it was also the band’s first record with current keyboardist Jordan Rudess. To be honest, you could tap into almost anywhere in the band’s working canon and come up with something great, but from Metropolis Pt. 2…here is Homepage.

ECHOLYNE – ISLAND

These Pennsylvania prog rockers have always done things on their own terms – look no further than 2002 me album, a single 50-minute track – sure to please progressive rock fans. Isletaken from their 2012 self-titled album, recalls the band’s ’90s sound, before they broke up in 1996 and reunited in 1999.

FLYING COLORS – OCEAN BLUE

Another title featuring the prodigious Mike Portnoy, Flying Colors or another group he formed having left Dream Theater. With Neal Morse, Casey McPherson, Steve Morse and Dave LaRue, blue ocean, the opening track from the band’s 2012 self-titled debut album deftly displays their blend of a contemporary classic rock sound and progressive rock. 2014 second nature increased the prog quota. We are eagerly awaiting a third installment.

GLASS HAMMER – TALES OF GREAT WARS

Although best known for providing Yes with current lead singer Jon Davison, progressive rockers Chattanooga Glass Hammer have been around since 1992. Davison only joined the band in 2009! We return to the years 2002 Lex Rex album, when current vocalist Susie Bogdanowicz and former drummer Walter Moore took on the main vocal duties. Tales of Great Wars captures the band’s sense of adventure, still very much present today.

One of America’s first progressive bands, Happy The Man formed in Harrisonburg in 1973, originally performing covers of Genesis, VdGG and King Crimson. Their own music was complex, with famed Arista Records boss Clive Davis declaring “Wow. I don’t really understand this music. It’s way over my head, but my head of A&R, Rick Chertoff says you’re amazing, and we should sign you, so welcome Arista.” The band parted ways with the label after two albums, with keyboardist Kit Watkins joining Camel, but reformed in 2000, with former Rainbow keyboardist David Rosenthal in the line-up, although little has been heard of. talking about the band lately.

KANSAS – ICARUS – CARRIED ON STEEL WINGS

Probably America’s best-known progressive rock band, everyone knows Kansas for their big hits. Hold on until the end, my boy and dust in the wind. Here we go back to the 1975s Masquerade album to rediscover the then sextet in top prog form, from an album that many prog fans consider one of the band’s best.

PAVLOV’S DOG – JULIA

St. Louis Pavlov’s Dog formed in 1972, led by vocalist David Surkamp and his distinctive high-pitched voice (think Geddy Lee on Helium). They released their first album, Pampered household, in 1975, where this is from, probably their most famous song (and debut opening track). Surkamp is still touring with a new band line-up, and they’re still worth checking out if they’re playing at a venue near you.

MARS VOLTA – INERTIATIC ESP

Formed by loud alternative rockers At The Drive-In, The Mars Volta surprised many of their former fans with their decidedly progressive rock direction. This, since their debut in 2003, Derobed in the comatorium, shows why they were so influential in opening up progressive music to a new audience. The band broke up in 2012, but current noise from the reformed At The Drive-In is that they will soon regroup and make new Mars Volta music.

TODD ​​RUNDGREN’S UTOPIA – THE SEVEN RAYS

Inspired by both the jazz fusion and progressive rock sounds that were becoming increasingly popular in the early 70s, Todd Rundgren formed Utopia as a vehicle for a much more progressive sound, moving away from lockers than some of his solo albums and his production work had imposed. on him. Here is the band playing The Seven Rays (which appeared on the band’s 1975 album another live) on the BBC The Old Gray Whistle Testalso from 1975.

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