#48 Mastodon – Crack the Skye, 2009

Mastodon_Crack the Skye

Number 48 on the list of Prog Report Top 50 Prog Albums, 1990-2015, is Crack the Skye, by Mastodon.  I found it on Apple Music.

Crack the Skye is powerful, and from the first note I knew I wanted more.  The drumming is busy with great energy, and with so many vocalists on board, my ears were satisfied with harmonies, and a range of vocal colors.  The rock/metal/progressive blend, combined with the full heavy sound of the band, is consistent throughout the album.  The more I listened, the more I loved it.  I would very much recommend that you take a listen to Crack the Skye.  I am confident it will take you on an emotional and intense musical journey.

The title of the album, with its unusual spelling of the word “Skye”, was very curious to me.  I learned that Skye was the sister of drummer Brann Dailor, who committed suicide at age fourteen.  The song, Crack the Skye, as is the title of the album, is a tribute to Skye, and features vocalist Scott Kelly of Neurosis.  This powerful song examines the emotional complexity associated with loss, and I found it particularly compelling.  Of course, the title, could have so many meaning.

Crack the Skye is one of my favorite tracks.  Other favorites from this album include:

***Quintessence – the instrumental section is heavy and cool, reminds me a little of Porcupine Tree.

***Ghost of Karelia – reminds me of Tool.  Amazing depth and energy.

***The Last Baron – the last track is long and builds intensity in an amazingly effective way.  Great vocals.  I love the frantic feeling the song creates as it builds up.

Crack the Skye was new to me.  I would definitely recommend some focused listening so you can grasp the depth of this band.  Also, check out the lyrics for this album.  Super cool.

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#49 The Flower Kings – Desolation Rose, 2013

Desolation Rose

Desolation Rose by The Flower Kings is number 49 on the list of Prog Report Top 50 Prog Albums, 1990-2015.

All eighteen tracks can be found on Apple Music for streaming/purchase, and on Amazon Music Store for purchase.  By the time I listened to this album three times, I developed some definite favorites.  I particularly enjoyed listening to it with headphones, which is when I could appreciate the vocal harmonies and the sound of the band.

The harmonies are present throughout the album, and soon enough I started to hear influences like Yes, King Crimson, and even Jeff Lynne’s Electric Light Orchestra.  If you like any of these, you are sure to like this album.  If you are a Jon Anderson fan, you are sure to love Roine Stolt, with his raspy and, at time, dramatic voice.

If, like myself, you haven’t heard Desolation Rose before, listen a couple of times.  This music really grew on me and I enjoyed it more on the second and third listen, and again… don’t forget your headphones.

Some of my favorite tracks:

***Sleeping Bones – very cool sounding song, fun groove, great dark guitar

***Desolation Road – dramatic intro, melodic, great tension in the instrumental section, a variety of sounds

***White Tuxedos – just a fun song to listen to

***The Resurrected Judas – beautiful ballad, I like the instrumental build up

***Silent Masses – I just like it

***The Wailing Wall – instrumental, deeply beautiful and filled with longing

I took the time to find them on Facebook.  If you like their music, just click Like.  I did.

https://www.facebook.com/TheFlowerKings

On to number 48 on the list!

#50 Enchant – Wounded, 1996

Unknown

Album number 50 on the list of  “Top 50 Prog Albums for 1990-2015” is Wounded by Enchant, which was released in 1996.  As it was new to me, I listened to it for three consecutive times.  In general, I enjoyed listening to this album, as the songs are melodic and the vocals are amazing.

While listening to it, I felt that there was some simplicity to the music, and I was starting to want more heaviness, and more harmonic complexity.  I would have liked it to be a little darker, since I felt that too much brightness was coming through the songs.  I couldn’t really relate to that aspect of the album, that seemed consistent throughout.

Things I really liked about some of the songs:

Fade to Grey – a great instrumental section.

Pure – beautiful acoustic guitar intro, and the song is mellow.

Hostile World – I loved the cool bass riff, and fusion feel.  The song has great energy.

Distractions – I thought the melody line was interesting, and it was a lot of fun to follow along with the lyrics.

Missing – is cool and heavier in nature.

I found the album on Amazon Music, as it is available to stream for free to Prime members, with the exception of the songs Armour and Man of Our Times (Bonus Tracks).  Check it out on Amazon Music and let me know what you think:

http://www.amazon.com/Wounded-Enchant/dp/B000003ZBJ/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1452024806&sr=1-1&keywords=enchant+wounded

*Looking forward to sharing my experience listening to album number 49!