Six Reasons Not to Miss ProgPower USA This Weekend

By Sean Palmerston

Over the past dozen years, ProgPower USA has risen to become one of the most respected metal festivals anywhere. Striving to produce quality over quantity, the long running fest has one stage and only lets one band play at a time. Situated at Atlanta’s Center Stage venue, ProgPower USA is know for its incredible sound, diverse musical acts and distinct attention to detail. Here is a half-dozen  reasons that make this year’s festival a no-brainer should you have the means but don’t take too long to decide – less than 100 tickets remain:

6. EVERGREY Acoustic
Things kick off in grand style with Sweden’s Evergrey doing a rare acoustic set on Wednesday night. There are loads of metal bands I would never want to see play acoustic, but the idea of seeing Everygrey in this format is actually quite appealing.

5. CREATION’S END Playing Live
One of the nicest debut albums last year was by NYC’s Creation’s End. Rob Kachluba reviewed their debut album A New Beginning last November, stating that “with all this talent it is refreshing to hear that they don’t really focus so much on the actual technical wizardry of the musicianship but on the writing of great dark, brooding melodic songs and, with this being their debut, I am happy to say they nailed it.”

4. IHSAHN Makes a Rare US Solo Performance
I am not totally sure just if he has ever played the USA before, but those in attendance at PP this year will be able to witness a rare American performance by former Emperor frontman Ihsahn. Backed in concert by the equally amazing Leprous (who, incidentally, have just released a new studio album themselves via Inside Out), it should be a treat to see him playing songs off The Adversary, angL and 2010’s After.

While the band is based in the DC/Virginia area, it almost seems as if WHW are much more comfortable playing to European audiences than they are at home. The band’s one and only DVD release to date was even filmed live in Germany, for chrissakes. Well, with the release earlier this year of Fear of Infinity on Nuclear Blast it should not be long before the band starts touring regular on this side of the pond and what better way to kick that off that by playing to what is probably the most attentive crowd they could ever hope for in the United States.

2.FORBIDDEN Steps In To Shake Things Up
Bay Area thrashers Forbidden are pretty much the biggest surprise on this year’s PP schedule. A late addition, the band agreed last minute to step in for Dream Evil, who unfortunately had to drop out. They may seem like odd man out on the bill, but after seeing them play an absolutely amazing show in Toronto last year and then play even better than that on the 70000 Tons of Metal cruise in January I am confident that Forbidden will not only surprise but will also impress non-believers that get the chance to take in their set this Saturday. It’s going to be that good.

1. HAKEN Makes Their North American Debut
Out of all the bands playing this year at PP there is no band that makes me more jealous and upset that I am not going to this fest than England’s Haken. Together just a short few years, this UK band is the most exciting thing to happen to progressive metal in years. The band is unafraid to take chances, have strange breaks and refuse to follow formulas. Their experimental nature helped make their debut album Aquarius my favourite debut album of 2010 and, after just a few listens earlier today, it seems like their upcoming Visions album (set for release in October) is going to be even better than anticipated.

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Sean is the founder/publisher of; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.