Tag Archives: best of 2016
The Best of 2016

Another year, another retrospective. When it comes to music this year it’s easy to stew over what we lost. Iconic names like Prince, Lemmy, and David Bowie all left us over the course of the last twelve months. But, as with pretty much any year, there is much to look back fondly on, and so we reflect back on our favorites of 2016. Of all the albums heard this year only two of them made the top 10 lists of all three contributors to the program. The consensus runner up this year is Haken‘s fourth full length album, Affinity, which also spawned a wide range of individual awards. But, there can be only one album of the year, and so…

This year’s consensus choice as When Prog and Power Unite‘s album of the year is Theories of Flight from Fates Warning! This modern progressive metal masterpiece from one of the genre’s earliest applicants completely floored us, coming in at #1, #2, and #7 on our three lists. In addition the album spawned one nod to Jim Matheos for composer of the year, two nods to Ray Alder as vocalist of the year, and a nod to “The Light and Shade of Things” as epic of the year.

During the course of our the podcast you can listen as Nick explains all his picks in detail, and follow-up with an ill and congested Joe running through his top ten of the year. Additionally, if you wish to hear Mason‘s picks explained you can do so here. Be forewarned, due to some current technical limitations on his end the audio is somewhat muddy and choppy, but it’s still always good to hear his take!

A big thanks as always to everyone who tuned in during this past year, and we look forward to the new year in a big way as, on the first Wednesday of the year, January 4th,  we kick off 2017 with our year-end wrap up spectacular. This show will be extended, as always, and will run from 4pm-10pm EST. That’s 9pm-3am UTC. As always we will be playing a lot of the music discussed here, as well as so much more. If you only tune in for one show next year, that’s the one you want!

Top 10 Albums of 2016
Nick:
10. Avantasia – Ghostlights
9. Rikard Sjoblum – The Unbendable Sleep
8. Edge of Reality – Vicious Circle
7. The Neal Morse Band – The Similitude of a Dream
6. Thank You Scientist – Stranger Heads Prevail
5. Headspace – All That You Fear is Gone
4. Dream the Electric Sleep – Beneath the Dark Wide Sky
3. Big Big Train – Folklore
2. Haken – Affinity
1. Fates Warning – Theories of Flight

Mason:
10. Hammers of Misfortune – Dead Revolution
9. Karmakanic – Dot
8. Anciients – Voice In The Void
7. Evergrey – The Storm Within
6. Haken – Affinity
5. Redemption – The Art of Loss
4. Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence
3. Dream the Electric Sleep – Beneath the Dark Wide Sky
2. Fates Warning – Theories of Flight
1. Avantasia – Ghostlights

Joe:
10. Headspace – All That You Fear is Gone
9. Circus Maximus – Havoc
8. Iamthemorning – Lighthouse
7. Fates Warning – Theories of Flight
6. Anderson/Stolt – Invention of Knowledge
5. Haken – Affinity
4. Alcest – Kodama
3. Explosions in the Sky – The Wilderness
2. Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence
1. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

Songwriter/Composer of the Year
Nick: Jim Matheos (Fates Warning)
Mason: Matt Page (Dream The Electric Sleep)
Joe: Neige (Alcest)

Vocalist of the Year
Nick: Ray Alder (Fates Warning, Redemption)
Mason: Ray Alder (Fates Warning, Redemption)
Joe: Ross Jennings (Haken)

Guitarist of the Year
Nick: Eric Gillette (Neal Morse Band, Eric Gillette)
Mason: Nick Van Dyk (Redemption)
Joe: Devin Townsend (Devin Townsend Project)

Bassist of the Year
Nick: Connor Green (Haken, Eric Gillette)
Mason: Jonas Reingold (Karmakanic, The Fringe)
Joe: Anton Dang (O’Brother)

Keyboardist of the Year
Nick: Adam Wakeman (Headspace)
Mason: Sigurd Sheie (Hammers of Misfortune)
Joe: Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater)

Drummer of the Year
Nick: Ray Hearne (Haken)
Mason: Josh Mathis (Cyborg Octopus)
Joe: Ray Hearne (Haken)

Song of the Year (Song Under 10 Minutes)
Nick: The Lamb, The Badger & the Bee (Kyros)
Mason: Let The Light Flood In (Dream The Electric Sleep)
Joe: Stormbending (Devin Townsend Project)

Epic of the Year (Song Over 10 Minutes)
Nick: The Light and Shade of Things (Fates Warning)
Mason: Let The Storm Descend Upon You (Avantasia)
Joe: Knowing (Anderson/Stolt)

Disappointment of the Year
Nick: The Astonishing (Dream Theater)
Mason: The Astonishing (Dream Theater)
Joe: Act V: Hymns With the Devil in Confessional (The Dear Hunter)

Comeback Album of the Year
Nick: The Prelude Implicit (Kansas)
Mason: Creatures Watching Over The Dead (Charred Walls of the Damned)
Joe: Kodama (Alcest)

Newcomer of the Year
Nick: Vicious Circle (Edge of Reality)
Mason: Learning To Breathe (Cyborg Octopus)
Joe: Stranger Heads Prevail (Thank You Scientist)

Album Cover/Artwork of the Year
Nick: The Seasons Turn (Lee Abraham)
Mason: Codex Atlanticus (Serenity)
Joe: Kodama (Alcest)

Top 3 Shows/Tours of the Year
Nick:
3. Avantasia (New York City, NY)
2. ProgPowerUSA (Atlanta, GA)
1. Haken & Thank You Scientist (Various)

Mason:
3. Epica (House of Blues Orlando, February show)
2. Weird Al Yankovic (Lakeland Center, Lakeland, FL)
1. Avantasia (PlayStation Theater, NYC)

Joe:
3. Jesu & Sun Kil Moon (Theatre of Living Arts, Philadelphia, PA)
2. Explosions in the Sky (The Fillmore, Philadelphia, PA)
1. Sigur Ros (Academy of Music, Philadelphia, PA)

Top Concert Video of the Year
Nick: The Theater Equation (Ayreon)
Mason: Welcome to Atlanta Live (Seventh Wonder)

Most Anticipated Releases in 2017
Nick: Ayreon, Flying Colors, MindMaze
Mason: Ayreon, Byzantine, Enchant, Iris Divine, Jolly, MindMaze, Odin’s Court, Once Human, Pain of Salvation, Seventh Wonder
Joe: Sigur Ros, Pain of Salvation, Flying Colors, Anathema