It’s “that time” of the year, where we belatedly reveal the winners of our intensely debated Staff Picks, as well as the results of your voting! Realizing that we (read: Tyson) are a little bit late getting this out, we’ve decided to modify our slogan to “The Prog awards that don’t happen quite in the middle of the year,” since we still have a couple of weeks until the actual middle of the year. We “promise” that it’s been worth the wait though. (For those of you who didn’t notice the date on our other Proggies™ results, Taylor Swift did not actually win anything). So, without further procrastinating or derailing, we present our awards for the various categories we arbitrarily made up, as well as the results of your voting (which, contrary to reports, were not tampered with in the slightest).
I would like to say thanks for the amount of votes we received this year, which was about 10 times what we received last year.
Best Album: Änglagård – Viljans Öga
Best Song Composition: Änglagård – Ur Vilande
Best Metal Album: Stolen Babies – Naught
Best Metal Song Composition: It’s a Tie! Not only that, but Kamelot’s “Torn” only lost to these two by 1 measly vote.
- Wintersun – Sons of Winter and Stars
- Headspace – Fall Of America
Best Production: Syndone – La Bella e la Bestia
Best 5.1 Album: Storm Corrosion – Storm Corrosion
Markus: Great, weird and eclectic album, and a fantastic mix from Steven Wilson. This album was very, VERY lucky that it came out the year before The Raven That Refused To Sing.
Tyson: The surround mix on this album is fantastic, similar to the others that Steven Wilson has done.
Best Presentation: Kamelot – Silverthorn Limited Box Edition
Matt: Never before have I seen such a fine quality box with so many quality goodies at such a give away price; they must have lost money on this one for sure.
Tyson: Halfway through opening the box, this happened. I have never paid so little for a limited edition ($14), and got so much. The album itself was in a nice digipak, and it came with a libretto with the story behind the album.
Best Drumming: Marco Minneman – The Pitts Minneman Project
Tyson: If you didn’t get a chance to listen to this album while it was on progstreaming, it’s really too bad. The album is better than it has a right to be, and the drumming is, well, the best drumming of last year. At least in my opinion.
Best Percussion: Mattias Olsson – Änglagård
Markus: Just watch this video. It’s all you need to know.
Ben: See Markus’s comment.
Tyson: See Ben’s comment.
Best Reissue: King Crimson – Lark’s Tongues in Aspic
Tyson: I, for one, have really enjoyed the remasters Steven Wilson has been doing, mostly because of the 5.1 mixes of the albums. As far as reissues go, this one (as well as the others) is a huge bang for your buck, giving you a very nice sounding remaster in stereo, high definition stereo, and surround version of the album. When it came down to choosing between all of the remasters he released, we picked our favorite album.
Album We Missed Last Year (2011): Leprous – Bilateral
Ben: Bilateral just floored me. Still does, in fact. And that album art.
Tyson: See Ben’s comment. Also, they floored me.
Most Original Album: Motorpsycho
Matt: While there’s definitely much here in terms of influences, the gargantuan symphonic scale in which Motorpsycho blends jazzrock, psychedelic, classical, and symphonic prog is truly stunning.
Best Debut Album: Xanthochroid – Blessed He with Boils
Markus: Easily my favorite band to come out of the year 2012. A successful implementation of the progressive extreme metal sound pioneered by Opeth and Enslaved, yet still quite original and grand in scope. I’m excited for many more years of Xanthochroid releases.
Tyson: Boner at full mast captain.
Biggest Depends™ Moment: Änglagård – Sorgmantel (6:58 – 7:32)
Matt: I’ll never forget the moment when the mix gets incredibly wide and bombastic and me and Tyson just looked at each other, jaws dropped in awe.
Tyson: Matt lies. there was at least a little bit of school-girl like giggling.
Most Pretentious Thing: Therion’s band photo for Les Fleurs du Mal
Tyson: This gives Wobbler’s photo from Rites At Dawn a run for its money. I can’t even find words for this.
Gender Bender Performance: Riccardo Ruggeri – Syndone
Matt: I think we were pretty much all mind blown to find out one dude did all the voices, especially the female role, which we had to check the album credits multiple times over to ensure ourselves that it wasn’t a chick.
Best Vocal Performance: Tommy Karevik of Kamelot
Matt: It’s absurd that they could ever replace a singer as brilliant as Khan with someone of mind blowing caliber like Tommy. This does not happen in the real world.
Biggest Fail: Mike Portnoy’s meltdown
Markus: The Thrilla in Manila Part II! Portnoy vs. His Ailing Reputation! The rep takes a hard right in the fourth round, a few jabs…. Portnoy feints left… here comes the haymaker! And down goes Portnoy’s reputation! I’d like to thank a “brutal” tour schedule and Mike’s “inept” drum tech for making this fight possible.
Ben: I’m still trying to figure out the decision to join Avenged Sevenfold. Don’t even get me started on this fiasco.
Biggest Fail Honorable Mention: Tom Hooper’s casting of Russell Crowe as Javert
Matt: I puked many times over.
Markus: I fell asleep. Three times. In the damn theater.
Tyson: With the exception of The Confrontation, where he flirted with barely competent, Russell Crowe, while shooting for the stars, landed in the shittiest sewer in the world. However, I thought everyone else (yes, even Wolverine), did an excellent job. If there would have been a good Javert, I could probably name this my favorite musical-turned-movie. It was a little like this.