Mammal’s Top 25 In-Betweener Albums, #20-#16

I call these albums In-Betweeners because to me they are not strictly prog, metal or hard rock, they draw from all of those and other genres. Genre labels continue to become blurred. Hurrah for that!

#20: Andromeda (Sweden), prog metal

Album: Manifest Tyranny
Song: Lies ‘R’ Us

Andromeda released five albums between 2001 and 2011. Over the span of a decade their music has taken on an increasingly neo-progressive rock feel. This hasn’t jarred in any way because they’ve been consistently good. Besides, neo-prog and prog metal are often very compatible bedmates. Both genres include cross-over elements, drawing from various other styles. This is why prog metal doesn’t appeal to some followers of harder metal, and neo-prog sometimes alienates the symphonic prog purists.

#19: Jolly (USA), neo-progressive rock

Album: The Audio Guide To Happiness
Song: Ends Where It Starts

This was Jolly’s second album. To me it’s as much heavy prog as neo-prog. Their new album, The Audio Guide To Happiness 2, has perhaps even a heavier flavour and has won over a fair number of prog metal fans. The band has named diverse influences, from Depeche Mode to Tool. Whatever may have inspired them, Jolly have built a solid, distinctive sound of their own.

#18: Ancestors (USA), post metal

Album: In Dreams and Time
Song: Whispers

Post metal is one of the hybrid genres you’ll find listed on both metal and prog sites, along with post rock and progressive metal. One description of both post rock and post metal is that they dispense with traditional riffs and solos, creating layers of sound instead. Both styles are often instrumental. Ancestors enrich their brand of post metal with vocals and by incorporating elements of doom, stoner and drone metal as well as psychedelic prog rock.

#17: Magic Pie (Norway), symphonic progressive rock

Album: The Suffering Joy
Song: Slightly Mad

Magic Pie may be generally considered a symphonic prog band, but they temper their sound by blending it with hard rock. The resulting music is orchestral and does use a lot of keyboard. However, it also features some powerful guitar work. It is somewhat surreal and extremely melodious… I think Devin Townsend would approve. One of the great strengths of Magic Pie is that their lead singer, Eirick Hanssen, is one of the best vocalists in the business.

#16: Unitopia (Australia), crossover prog

Album: Artificial
Song: Not Human Anymore

The “crossover” part refers to the retro aspect of Unitopia’s music. The band is influenced by the great bands of the 1970s classic prog era. At the same time, they lubricate their very distinctive sound with healthy doses of modern rock that borders very closely on prog metal. The overall label I would attach to their music is “epic”. Even power metal fans should try this band.


About ChristopherMammal

I've made it to Mammal. I still hope to be classified as Human one day. Meanwhile I have evolved enough to recognise different types of music as well as the shrieks of certain vervet monkeys who are known for their scurrilous behaviour in the proximity of unguarded bananas.

Posted on November 28, 2013, in Mammal's Top 25 In-Betweener Albums, Metal Lists and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. The Andromeda song is so good I think I have to listen to more of theirs soon. Jolly’s album is nice too, I haven’t really gotten into their sound yet, but it’s growing on me.

    I like many post metal bands, and Ancestors’ song is wonderful. Yay, I found their albums on Bandcamp! If the picture in the thumbnail is their album art, I’d never have guessed they are a post metal band. That picture to me is typical Dream Theater- styled prog rock/metal, and if Ancestors have album covers like that, I’m not surprised I’ve dismissed them (yes I do go by the cover sometimes). They should trade covers with Magic Pie..

    The last two songs do not suit my taste.
    Thank you for providing more awesome music!

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