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Prog Issue 106

Since its arrival at the tail end of the 60s progressive rock has offered the world some of the most fascinating music ever heard, in varying guises over the years. Prog magazine brings you the stories behind the people who create these astounding sounds and amazing music, be they the classic originators such as Genesis, Pink Floyd and Yes, to the 80s revivalists such as Marillion and IQ, all the way through to those musicians today who have done so much to help rejuvenate the genre such as Muse, Radiohead, Steven Wilson, Opeth and Anathema. In depth and behind the scenes stories of classic albums and tours sit side by side with widespread coverage of what‘s happening at today’s cutting edge of progressive music.

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2 min
ed’s letter

It’s not the ideal way to start your first issue of the year, but alas, we say goodbye to one of the greatest – if not THE greatest – drummer the prog world has ever seen: Neil Peart. Sadly, Neil succumbed to glioblastoma on January 7, and although he retired from Rush, the band he was solely linked with during his life, in 2015, I’m sure I was among many fans who hoped that one day we might see the great man and his two long-standing bandmates and friends back onstage together in some way. Now, of course, that will never be. Like many of you, I was stunned by the news. I don’t mind admitting that on Saturday morning I put on my old vinyl copy of Fly By Night,…

4 min
bloody well write

READERS’ QUESTION TIME? The thud of Prog hitting the doormat is always a happy sound! Issue 105, with articles on Floyd, Flower Kings etc, and a review of Trail Of The Dead’s new album (wish the review had been longer), has already been greedily devoured. I really enjoyed the feature on Jethro Tull’s superb 40th anniversary edition of Stormwatch. The article was very interesting and informative. But I was hoping Ian Anderson would be asked if the excellent 40th anniversary series was going to continue and whether Tull’s A would get the same treatment this year? (Hopefully with Steven Wilson’s input again.) Alas, the question wasn’t raised. This got me thinking about an interesting feature that other magazines have had, and may still do for all I know. They invited readers to put…

1 min
tweet talk

JOHN PETRUCCI @JPetrucci Spent yesterday mourning the loss of one of the greatest drummers of all time… Truly heartbroken. There has been no greater influence on me as a musician than Rush and no greater inspiration as a lyricist than Neil Peart. What a tremendous loss MS AMY BIRKS @Amy_l_Birks When Amy met Amelie… well at least that’s what I’m calling her anyway. Love her! Can’t wait to find the perfect place for this beauty CRAIG BLUNDELL @craigblundell New Year’s Resolution #6: Block anyone that calls their instrument or a stage an ‘office’. It’s not big, it’s not clever and it’s not an office FLOOR JANSEN @FloorJansen_ Happy New Year everyone! 2020 will be an exciting year for @NightwishBand & me! Hope to see you all soon! #HappyNewYear #2020 #newalbum #worldtour MIKE PORTNOY @MikePortnoy I actually had an extra Betamax player and sent it…

1 min

Neil Peart, what a sad loss. So many heroes have gone recently, like Chris Squire, Keith Emerson and Bowie. Rush have been a consistently excellent band, but from the period of 2112 to Signals, they released a body of work that is simply staggering. Neil didn’t just keep time: his style of drumming, like Keith Moon’s, was like a lead instrument. That is before you add on the thrilling concepts and writing he brought to the band. He seemed a lovely guy that had tragedy thrown his way. He managed to write about his tragic experiences and loss in such a poignant fashion in the book he wrote as he took off around the US to find answers and to heal. His legacy? That there are people yet to be born who…

4 min
katatonia return from the grave with city burials

Dark prog denizens Katatonia will release their 11th album, City Burials, this April via Peaceville Records. Recorded during 2019, the LP follows the first official cessation of activities in the band’s three-decade history: a one-year break that vocalist and co-founder Jonas Renkse believes has rejuvenated them. “We’d been doing the band for such a long time we thought we might all focus on something else for a while, and see if we still have the drive and the hunger to do Katatonia,” he tells Prog. “As it turned out, we all missed it very much. This isn’t a comeback, because we only had a break for a year! But it’s good to recharge. Me and Anders [Nyström, guitarist] did the [death metal side-project] Bloodbath thing; I also became a dad again,…

1 min
neil peart passes away at 67

Rush drummer Neil Peart died on January 7, aged 67, after an unannounced three-year battle with brain cancer. He’d brought the Canadian trio’s career to an end in 2015 when he retired, citing damage caused by years of his “athletic” approach to playing, and his desire to spend time with his family. Reports suggest he was diagnosed with gliobastoma in mid-2016. Rush bowed out after a career-spanning 35-date tour. “Honestly, people don’t realise the sacrifice you make as a touring musician,” Peart told sister mag Classic Rock in 2017. “Being away when children are growing up and when your partner needs you around, it’s wrenching. Your family and friends, their lives continue and you’re not part of them.” Their last studio album, Clockwork Angels, was their 19th and released in 2012. Peart had…