There is so much heavy, extreme, and beautiful metal music being conjured all around the world that it can be overwhelming. Fortunately, Metal Has No Borders has curated the best of the best of progressive metal released this year.
Check out our hand-picked choices below including Polish 90’s Alt-Prog, Chinese Prog Rock, and Puerto Rican Progressive Metal. More lists incoming soon including Best Folk Metal, Best Experimental Metal, and more!
Progressive Metal Album of the Year (Gold Tier)
Solum – Solum
Nostalgia is a dangerous drug, but in the same breath, the most satisfying high. The alt-metal riffs paired with confident vocalizations throughout Solum‘s self-titled record shine in a similar light as late 90’s / early 2000’s heavy-hitters Chevelle or System of a Down. Thankfully, this Polish act isn’t functioning exclusively off the styles of decades past, shown when they unearth a profound and more modern diversity deeper in the tracklisting. Elements of groovy metalcore and Opethian prog take the spotlight while proudly standing on the aforementioned alternative foundation. I’ve found an addiction building up in my brain to the razor sharp riffs, earworm vocal melodies, and bombastic dynamics displayed in this absolutely fantastic release.
Solum by Solum is awarded Progressive Metal Album of the Year (Gold Tier) for 2022
For Fans Of: Textures, Tool, Riverside…
Progressive Metal Album of the Year (Silver Tier)
Ou – One
Released via Inside Out Music
The term “progressive” sure gets passed around in music circles quite a lot nowadays, almost to the point to where it has lost its luster. In an effort to revive the unmistakable boundary-breaking quality of the term, Ou emerges. Vocalist Lynn Wu unveils a delivery that is so uniquely innovative that pioneers Kraftwerk or Radiohead would blush in envy. Her lush, yet syncopated melodies coexist in an alluring musical landscape, boasting the balance between modern grooves with eccentric ambience. A dreamy aura surrounds extremely clever songwriting, allowing for the subtle death metal riffs to find an impossible harmony with electro-pop glow.
One by Ou is awarded Progressive Metal Album of the Year (Silver Tier) for 2022
For Fans Of: King Crimson, The Contortionist, Leprous…
Progressive Metal Album of the Year (Bronze Tier)
Avandra – Prodigal
Released via Layered Reality Productions
A few years back, I gave a standing ovation to their 2019 Descender record [review], finding haven in their atmospheric Porcupine Tree-like universes. The following year, Avandra dropped the appropriate next step in Skylighting and we now arrive at Prodigal. First off, we must give severe merit to the group’s prolificity; churning out three heavily-layered full-length records within three years is no easy feat. And secondly, I absolutely applaud their gradual evolution. The way this project has gently injected a heavier edge and myriad of dynamics into their material is truly impressive. Tracks like “Dissembling the Artifice” or “Daybreak” tease growls and a new found, more aggressive identity. Nonetheless, Avandra‘s sensitive, dystopian aura still shines brightly on this new record and I am simply in awe.
Prodigal by Avandra is awarded Progressive Metal Album of the Year (Bronze Tier) for 2022
Favorite Songs: “Codename:Pharaoh,” “The Downpour,” “Daybreak”
For Fans Of: Haken, Riverside, Caligula’s Horse…