There are still a couple of months left of 2020, but so far, it has been a respectable year for Norwegian prog. I was being a bit skeptic in late April, when it comes to the rock side of progressive music, as so few “typical” prog groups had released anything at that time. But browsing through releases from the beginning of the year, widening my search, I did find a few bands that could fit the “prog rock”-label, though on the outskirts of this genre.
First band out was the Norwegian-Polish duo Sunset Wrecks, releasing Trickles into Gravity’s Maw in early January. An album I totally overlooked at that time, they blend different styles into their avant-gardian music like, like doom, drone, shoegaze and prog.
Next band up were Hollow Seasons, playing progressive melodic death metal, and the release of their EP As Misery Fades dropping in mid-January.
I did cover Obzene at the time, and the release of the EP The Human Condition, but browsing their social media sites, Facebook and Instagram, it seems they postponed the release, without actually releasing it. At least they dropped all the tracks on the 3-song album, eventually.
In the more avant-gardian prog rock, we saw two releases from the Norwegian label Hubro. First was Stein Urheim’s Downhill Uplift, playing avantgarde jazz-rock, with space rock elements, while Erlend Apneseth’s Fragmentarium explored prog, jazz, folk, and electronic.
The last band to drop an album in January were the Oslo-outfit Atena, who plays an unorthodox form of progressive metalcore (with a lot of influences from metalcore and post-hardcore).
The first record released this month came from one of Norway’s “big” prog labels, Apollon Records, with the quartet Aadal and the album Silver. Their music is a blend between prog, jazz, and americana.
Sverre Vegard Tveitan, better known as Ihsahn, released the first of two EPs this year, named after the county of Telemark, consisting of five tracks.
The same day Ihsahn dropped his EP, another group would release the first of their two albums. The trio Kanaan, playing instrumental psych and space rock, dropped Odense Sessions.
The third group releasing an album on February 14th was Bernelius and their Grave Dancer. Not exactly a prog band, but rather playing psychedelic and stoner rock.
Another group not necessarily labeled under prog rock was Bismarck, blending doom, psych, stoner, and black metal into their sound on The Seer.
On February 21. the progressive deathcore band Kulde dropped the album Planet:lost.
On the same date the prog and psychedelic rock/metal band Hex A.D. released an album with the far-out title Astro Tounge in the Electric Garden.
The last band to release a record in February was the instrumental progressive folk band Elds Mark, exploring Nordic sounds on their self-titled debut.
The first album released in Mars isn’t something I consider to be part of the Norwegian prog landscape, though Stian Westerhus’ on his Redundance plays a mixture of avantgarde art rock with elements of industrial and noise rock.
The progressive power metal band Imperial Child released their Compass of Evil on Mars 13th.
The Oslo-based prog metal band Mindtech published their second longplay, Omnipresence.
The one-man vaporwave project Gameshark TM adding avant-garde metal, post rock, and harsh noise wall to his music, dropped his Shark 6 on Mars 15th.
The prog metal band StoneToss from Trondheim released their debut End Point on Mars 18th.
At the end of March we saw the release of the progressive and melodic death metal band Coldflesh’ debut EP with the twisted title Phantasmagoric Realms.
The American-Norwegian psychic power pop-folk rock quartet The No Ones dropped their first longplay, The Great Lost No Ones Album.
The last band to release an album was the progressive black metal act Psalmtanic with their Psalmtanic Verses.