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RPWL List Their Top 10 Favorite Influential Prog Rock Bands

Progressive rock crew RPWL, fresh off their latest LP, ‘Crime Scene’ (Gentle Art of Music), share their Top 10 list of most favourite and influential prog rock acts.



RPWL, photo by Alexy Testov

Progressive rock can be a difficult beast to tame, particularly when the music is attached to a concept, but RPWL have no issue showing how capable they are at all of this with their latest LP, Crime Scene. Released just last month via their label, Gentle Art of Music, the Bavarian art rock collective has taken this opportunity to engage with the morbid, the perverse, the grim, the evil within good, and the unpredictable diversity of human behaviour. If you know the band from their previous record, like 2019’s Tales from Outer Space, then you would know that they take the themes they select for their record very seriously, examining them from every possible perspective and diving deep into the chosen subject matter.

Featuring six dense and well-articulated new songs, this is now remarkably the quartet’s 19th proper release. They engage with the music at such an intense level that you know you are in for an experience when RPWL releases a new piece of music. It may remind you of how Pink Floyd would take on the writing and recording of a new album, engaging with the concept at such an intense level.

Speaking of Pink Floyd, they happen to be one of the most legendary and well-respected progressive rock bands. RPWL join us today for their very own Top 10 list of their most favourite and influential prog rock acts that have profoundly affected their music and career.

1. Rush

“I grew up musically in the ’80s with a lot of heavy metal and hard rock. When I first heard Rush from a friend, I was blown away by the variety, the depth, their skill, and the incredible amount of ideas and motifs in the songs. This band gave me a gateway into a genre of music that was new to me open.”

2. Pink Floyd

“What can you say about this band? Great songs and always a tight mix of theme and music. They invented the Art Rock genre and created new soundscapes. For me, David Gilmour is the guitarist with perhaps the best tone and the greatest melodies!”

3. Peter Gabriel

“Through all the decades, his music has always remained modern and timeless. Always sophisticated and high quality, you always felt a concept behind every song or album. His incredible personality is constantly felt. The tours Secret World and Growing Up are among my all-time concert highlights.”

Artwork for the album ‘Crime Scene’ by RPWL

Artwork for the album ‘Crime Scene’ by RPWL

4. Dream Theater

“Even though I haven’t been following the band for years, with Images and Words, they have redefined the genre of Prog Metal and taken it to a new level. I listened to this album over and over when it came out.”

5. Marillion

“Next to Rush, the band that pushed me from the Heavy Metal of the ’80s into a new world. Many decried them as a Genesis clone, at the time, but I was very touched by the music as a youngster, especially the album Misplaced Childhood, which I knew inside and out. I always found Steve Rothery’s guitar playing wonderful, too.”

6. Metallica

“I especially liked the first four albums, and while the band isn’t considered a prog band, they have so many polished arrangements and elements that it’s definitely relevant here for me. They, too, have redefined their genre and influenced generations of young musicians. I’ve always admired James Hetfield. His lyrics, his guitar playing, and the way he stands on stage: an incredible guy!”

7. Radiohead

“For me, the further development of Art Rock from an overall sophisticated point of view. A band that was always trying to reinvent itself and break new ground. An unbelievably high quality and touching body of work with OK Computer as one of many album highlights.”

8. Muse

“I especially like the early albums. They manage the balancing act between Rock, Art Rock, kitsch, and emotionality. This band also soon broke new ground and created a very idiosyncratic sound image of themselves. Great energy on their albums, but also live!”

9. Yes

“In contrast to many hardcore fans of the first hour, I first discovered the album 90125 and then moved into the past in the discography. At the time, I could hardly believe that it was supposed to be the same band or many of the same musicians. The overall work is outstanding! They also helped create the genre, and their radiance will probably remain forever.”

10. Genesis

“I started with the album of the same name from 1983. As with Yes, I then only dealt with the albums of the ’70s and found a firework of creativity. This band also changed my approach to music. I like their early albums as well as the ’80s albums. It’s great when a band doesn’t stand still in its development, but continues on its way, and every album sounds different.”

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