2020 is over and it’s time to present the best albums of the year. These are the best albums if you ask Martin Nygren.

1. Windom End – Perspective Views 

“If you are a fan of prog metal but nurture a curiosity about that weird scene called neoprogressive rock you could not find a better place to start. Here you have a veritable smorgasboard of syncopated parts, skillfully incorporated recurring themes, loads of rhythm changes and music that dares to be dynamic. And if you´re a fan of IQ, Arena, Pendragon and Jadis you should go to Windom Ends bandcamp and order yourself a piece of aural goodness pronto. Simple as that.” 9.5/10
2. Paralydium – Worlds Beyond
“…this is next level stuff. Imagine, if you will, a mix between “Images and Words”-era Dream Theater, the aforementioned Symphony X, the tightness of Fates Warning, a couple of spoons of swedish melancholy and a dash of djent and you´re close to what these gentlemen are doing music wise.” 9.5/10
3. Dynazty – The Dark Delight
“Each and every song on this musical triumph ranges from very good to absolutely flawless. Whether it is the Nightwish-esque “Heartless Madness”, the cocky swagger of opener “Presence of Mind”, the rousing chorus of “Threading The Needle”, the raging fury of “From Sound to Silence”, the haunting beauty of “Hologram” or the very original, western influenced “The Road to Redemption”. ” 9.5/10
4. Pyramid Theorem – Beyond The Exosphere
Blindsiding me, literally at the eleventh hour, canadian progsters Pyramid Theorem here conjures up a tasty witches brew that may be the best Dream Theater substitute I have ever heard. If you miss the DT glory days (1992-1999) here´s your fix. And they have added just the right amount of their own ingredients to acheive a unique sound. An absolutely astounding record. 9.5/10
5. Gathering of Kings – Discovery
“Gathering of Kings debut album “First Mission” made a huge splash in the melodic rock world and I can not for the life of me see a future where “Discovery” isn´t held as a classic. I could go on forever about this rag tag of musicians and singers as they all are bloody magnificent and their performances are equally good.” 9.5/10
6. Ayreon – Transitus
“One thing is certain, when Arjen Anthony Lucassen does something, he goes all in. Be it writing prog rock epics about Electric Castles, prog metal masterpieces about child geniuses or a musical that originally was going to be a feature film.
Yes. This is a musical.
Even though it is fused with hard rock and a fair bit of prog rock, this is quite a departure from the metal beasts that made up the two predecessors “The Theory of Everything and “The Source”. So if you´re looking for the heavy, gritty songs of Star One you´ll be disappointed. But never fear, as the songs themselves are compelling and incredibly well written.” 9/10
7. Rain – Singularity
“Swathes of keyboards sweeps the listeners away along with torrents of counterpart harmonised vocals as the syncopated rhythms of Edwards and Jowitt keep the listeners on their feet, laying the groundwork for the inspired guitar playing that accentuate the creative arrangements and clever lyrics. Songs like the epic “Walkaway” takes us on a musical journey that hits that almost perfect balance between adventurous musicianship and knowing winks to the much loved past of 1970s prog.” 9/10
8. PreHistoric Animals – The Magical Mystery Machine (Part I) 
Being one of this years great surprises, PreHistoric Animals (not to be confused with Pattern Seeking Animals or the Animals Without Leaders. Or The Animals, for that matter) here presents a love letter to progressive rock that is just a joy to experience. Songs like “A Good Start/What a Lucky Day” sends shivers down the spine with its harmonic awesomeness. Having not heard their debut album “Consider it a Work of Art” from 2018, this is truly a diamond in the rough. And I have to rectify listenng to their first record, stat. 9/10
9. The Flower Kings – Islands
“Islands” came about under different circumstances than their “regular” records, if you pardon the expression. So instead of spending most of the year on tour, a certain virus threw a spanner in the works. So the floral majesties had to re-think things and then hunkered down in their flower bunkers and created an album of quite some stature. Loaded with tons of swirling keyboards, soaring guitar solos from the criminally underrated Mr Stolt and heartfelt vocals from one of the best singers around today; Hasse Fröberg, this makes for a very pleasant listening experience indeed. Songs like the almost pastoral “Goodbye Outrage” is paired with the terrificly proggy “Journeyman”, once again showing all the colours in The Flower Kings palette. 8.5/10
10. Enemy Within – Fallen
A brilliant heavy/death metal band from my hometown of Skellefteå kicks of proceedings this christmas and it is a corker of an album that you really should be checking out after reading this sentence and the following quote.
“…my favorite song on the album, “The Storm of Ares” is terrific and the choirs on that particular track hints that the band that has listened to Symphony X and Queen, which of course merits praise in my book.” 8/10
11. Course of Fate – Mindweaver
12. Pattern-Seeking Animals – Prehensile Tails
13. Compass – Our Time on Earth
14. Neal Morse – Sola Gratia
15. Sorcerer – Lamenting of The Innocent
16. Sonic Desolution – Explorer
17. Arctic Rain – The One
18. One Desire – Midnight Empire
19. DeadRisen – DeadRisen
20. Heat – II