TPM Top 30 Songs of 2018


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Even though progressive music is more album-based, the song can sometimes still be king if it is good enough.  This past year had tons of great songs.  Take a look at my top 30 songs of 2018.  Oh, and please ignore the annoyingly off-center Spotify links (I can’t believe there is no way to alter their location).

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30. Argyle – “Cool Hand Luke 2”

Argyle and the Smoothskins released a fascinating album in 2018, and this song has popped up in my playlist time and again for its smooth grooves and addictive melody.

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29. Midas Fall – “Evaporate”

Midas Fall specializes in abstract electronic soundscapes, and this song’s blunted atmosphere and progressive trappings amaze me every time.

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28. Mike Kershaw – “The Fear Quartet”

Mike’s latest is fantastic through and through, but I really loved the first four tracks, collectively known as “The Fear Quartet”.  It is unabashedly chaotic and kinetic, creating tension and a crazed response in my head.  It’s brilliant.  Go to Bandcamp to hear the other three parts.

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27. Sevendust – “God Bites His Tongue”

Sevendust produced an excellent album last year, but this provocatively titled track takes the cake with awesome riffs and a strong chorus.

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26. Anima Mundi – “New Tribes Totem”

Anima Mundi’s latest album is an abstract mind trip, and “New Tribes Totem” is a big part of that.  Its haunting, intoxicating rhythms are grey and hypnotic.

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25. Saul Blease – “If I Were God”

Saul’s “The Great War” is visceral and raw, and “If I Were God” descends into philosophical despair about the state of humanity.  It’s amazing.

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24. Gazpacho – “Sky Burial”

I’m not sure Gazpacho has every produced a song that is more glorious and towering than this beast.  “Sky Burial” launches into something really special in the second half.

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23. Electric Mud – “Deadend Mind”

That roaring bass and those electronic rhythms are only part of why I love this Electric Mud song.  The transitions are seamless and really mature.

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22. Dead Letter Circus – “Ladders for Leaders”

DLC writes catchy songs, and this one grabbed my mind the most off their new record.

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21. Sleep in Heads – “Pacifying”

I love the slow intro and the huge airy feelings, and the vocal harmonies impress me every time.

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20. Stupid Cosmonaut – “Post Human”

Quite Vangelis in inspiration, “Post Human” is dark and subtle, and I wouldn’t change anything about it.

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19. The Paradox Twin – “Planeta”

The groove on this song is one of the most memorable of the year.  The Paradox Twin debuted strongly in 2018, but this single is a real knock out.

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18. LEAH – “The Quest”

LEAH’s music is beautiful and theatrical, but this title track borders on being a progressive metal epic with tons of transitions and a very enjoyable song structure.

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17. Frequency Drift – “Electricity”

Frequency Drift came out with their guns blazing this year, offering music that is as spellbinding as the videos they also produced.  “Electricity” is simply a stunning part of that.

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16. Riversea – “Strange Land”

Riversea’s newest offering is emotional and wonderful, but this song really tears out my heart when I hear it.  The feelings of despair and confusion, and the longing for a home, are all something that really strike me deeply.

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15. Dam Kat – “Try To Love”

Dam Kat’s debut is dark and poetic, and this two track song adds grit and blackness to that.  Be sure to go to Bandcamp to hear the second part.

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14. Borealis – “The Ghosts of Innocence”

This is my favorite Borealis song ever.  The gigantic ending and the emotional vocals won me over immediately.

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13. Jet Black Sea – “The Overview Effect”

Expressing some of the most vividly human details I’ve ever heard, Jet Black Sea’s “The Overview Effect” moves and wisps in emotional and colorful fashion.

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12. Haken – “Host”

“Host” is one of Haken’s most interesting songs yet.  With more subtlety and jazziness than I thought possible even from them, they have created an abstract masterpiece.

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11. Albion – “You’ll Be Mine”

The title track from Albion’s latest is melancholy goodness, from the eerie vocals to the elongated instrumentation.  I can’t get enough.

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10. Auri – “The Space Between”

I listened to this song more times in 2018 than I can count.  The breezy electronic atmosphere and the fantastic chorus just beg for replay.

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9. Riverside – “Wasteland”

I loved Riverside’s new album, but the title track has this special Wild West sound to it that really bolsters the ominous nature of the lyrics.  It’s definitely one of my favorite songs on any of their albums.

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8. Dead Can Dance – “The Invocation”

DCD’s latest is best heard as a whole, but that did not keep me from listening to this specific track dozens of times.  The chilling and hypnotic rhythm is really something.

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7. IO Earth – “Hold On”

The song starts out in intimately vulgar fashion, and only gets more extraordinary and cinematic from there.  IO Earth can really make some huge musical sounds, and “Hold On” displays that in full force.

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6. Zoungla – “Day Moon”

Zoungla offered plenty of different types of music this year, but “Day Moon” fused the dub direction with Vangelis influence to make a masterpiece.

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5. Lux Terminus – “Effusion”

Lux Terminus produced several gravy tracks on their debut, but this song especially grabs me with the sidewinding grooves, gorgeous keys, and jazz inspiration.

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4. A Perfect Circle – “Talktalk”

My love for APC is no secret, and especially for their new album.  “Talktalk” is about as raw and sincere as one can get, and the biting lyrics deliver social commentary that knows no fear.

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3. Ostura – “Duality”

Ostura’s sophomore album is huge, but “Duality” is the biggest part of it all.  The humongous, glorious ending is one of the most memorable moments of 2018 for me.

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2. Amorphis – “The Golden Elk”

Can I be honest?  Any track on “Queen of Time” could be right here.  I had such a time figuring out which one I liked best.  The Middle Eastern vibes, the strong chorus, and the overall energy of this song won in the end.

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1. Oceans of Slumber – “The Banished Heart”

This is my favorite song of 2018.  Nothing can top the enormous vocal melodies, the superbly cinematic structure, and the desperate emotions.  It’s simply stunning in every degree.

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