DPRPoll 2015

Introduction

The poll for 2015 has become the victim of circumstances. We had to miss the invaluable support of a team member with the epxerience of running the poll for years and had to focus on his studies so someone else had to take over. Our web service provider told us they were stopping their hosting services and we had to find a new server. Then the team member to write the following story and the other teammember writing this introduction were overwhelmed by external, personal circumstances. So in risk of making a bit of a fool of ourselves we still find the need to publish the results of the DPRPoll 2015. With of course a million apologies!

Different Questions, Different Techniques

For the first time in many years, we changed the number of questions. Less questions because we got the idea it simply took too long for people to enter the poll. Less options for most questions because we noticed people were leaving a lot of options blank.

Besides simply having to enter artists and titles, we also introduced the option to search through a list of entries we provided plus the answers other people had typed in themselves, hoping to make things easier for you. In the database we could see when people had selected an item and when people had entered the artist and title themselves and apparently, you thought this was a good idea!

Below are the results. For each section there is a list of the top 10 to 15 entries with the score and votes. The scores for a top 10 were calculated by giving all #1 entries 10 points, #2 got 9 points, etc. For a top 5, #1 got 5 points, etc. The number of votes is the number of individuals who votes for that entry, no matter on which spot.

Participants

There were 466 entries from 44 different countries, up 25% on the 2014 poll.

Thank you to all who entered their results, your participation is greatly appreciated and reflects the international nature of prog, and our readership.

While the top five countries are the same, the order is significantly different, with entries from the US putting the country in top spot.

The strong result will go some way to making the US feel better, having failed to qualify for both Euro 2016 and the Eurovision Song Contest.

The Netherlands lost its crown, the UK slipped into the bronze medal position, and Canada and Germany switched places.

This is, of course, subject to no nation being suspended by WADA.

While the age of the participants was not recorded, we believe 100% of respondents were between the ages of 5 and 100!

Best albums

In total 326 different albums got at least one vote, showing just how many prog albums were released in 2015. However, considering there are now around 185 sub-genres of prog, perhaps it's not so surprising.

# artist title score votes
1 Steven Wilson hand.cannot.erase 884 225
2 Riverside Love, Fear and the Time Machine 460 145
3 Spock's Beard The Oblivion Particle 236 83
4 Anekdoten Until All the Ghosts are Gone 219 65
5 The Neal Morse Band The Grand Experiment 196 65
6 Mystery Delusion Rain 181 55
7 Steve Hackett Wolflight 175 61
8 Hasse Fröberg & Musical Companion HFMC 147 38
9 3RDegree Ones & Zeros: Volume 1 137 34
Arena The Unquiet Sky 137 47
11 Gazpacho Molok 135 44
12 Echolyn I Heard You Listening 117 41
13 Beardfish +4626-Comfortzone 110 35
14 Nad Sylvan Courting the Widow 95 40
15 Lonely Robot Please Come Home 88 33

Almost half of the participants in the poll had Steven Wilson's hand.cannot.erase in their top five, making it this year's resounding winner. Although it couldn't erase the level of IQ's victory in 2014, which featured in 60% of the entries.

Wilson, and his band Porcupine Tree, have taken the top spot every other year since 2005:

  • 2005 - Deadwing
  • 2007 - Fear Of A Blank Planet
  • 2009 - The Incident
  • 2011 - Grace For Drowning
  • 2013 - The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)
  • 2015 - hand.cannot.erase

While second, Riverside's Love, Fear And The Time Machine was comfortably ahead of third, with votes from one in three respondents.

Sitting at number three in the charts is Spock's Beard, who managed to hit number two with their previous album in 2013.

Ex-beard, or is it ex-Spock, Neal Morse reached number 5, his best result as a solo artist since 2005.

The rest of the top 10 is occupied by some predictable names: Anekdoten, Mystery, Arena and Steve Hackett.

Perhaps the only dark horses in the top 10 are Hasse Fröberg and 3RDegree.

Nad Sylvan (ex-Unifaun and current Steve Hackett vocalist) and Lonely Robot (the new project of workaholic and Frost*, Arena and It Bites member John Mitchell) both achieved the top 15 with their debut albums.

Also remarkable is that two projects of the German musicians Markus Roth und Achim Wierschem are in the top 25: Horizontal Ascension and Marquette. We love the unexpected in lists like this, giving attention to unknown bands was one of the reasons for starting with DPRP!

David Gilmour was at number 20, which could be considered a good result or a bad one, depending on your perspective.

Best DVDs

In total 38 DVDs received votes, 34 of which got more than 1 vote. Many respondents didn't put an entry in, so it looks like the blank DVD wins. The large difference in numbers between albums and DVDs does raise the question whether people still find DVDs interesting and are still buying them. Is it a dying format?

Musically, the big winner was Rush, repeating their 2005 and 2011 wins, with votes from 30% of all participants.

# artist title score votes
1 Rush R40 Live  291 138
2 Anathema A Sort of Homecoming 251 117
3 Roger Waters The Wall 222 102
4 Flying Colors Live at the Z7 201 90
5 Neal Morse Morsefest 2014 Testimony and One Live 138 70
6 Gazpacho Night of the Demon 124 62
7 Kansas Miracles Out of Nowhere 108 52
8 Steve Hackett The Man, The Music 100 52
9 Lifesigns Live in London, Under the Bridge 62 33
10 Knight Area Hyperlive 53 29
11 Katatonia Sanctitude 52 27
12 The Aristocrats Culture Clash Live! 50 28
13 Pagan's Mind Full Circle 43 20
14 Landmarq Roadskill, live in the Netherlands 37 21
15 Solaris Martian Chronicles live 36 19

Best artwork

In spite of his prog-like paintings, it was another bad year for Dali.

# artist title score votes
1 Steven Wilson hand.cannot.erase 272 112
2 Spock's Beard The Oblivion Particle 119 60
3 Riverside Love, Fear and the Time Machine 96 49
4 Arena The Unquiet Sky 88 36
5 Mystery Delusion Rain 64 30
6 Anekdoten Until All the Ghosts are Gone 57 26
7 David Gilmour Rattle That Lock 50 23
3RDegree Ones & Zeros: Volume 1 50 20
9 The Gentle Storm The Diary 42 18
10 Gazpacho Molok 41 18
11 Steve Hackett Wolflight 37 22
12 Anathema A Sort of Homecoming 36 15
Karnataka Secrets of Angels 36 15
14 Nad Sylvan Courting the Widow 35 22
The Tangent A Spark in the Aether 35 16

In this section, it is mostly the same albums as in the top 25 'best album' section, with Steven Wilson again taking top spot. Some people would probably say that this album's artwork is OK but not a winner, which would hint towards people voting for their favourite albums in this category as well instead of looking at the artwork itself.

Spock's Beard and Riverside swap positions here, David Gilmour makes the top 10 and Anathema hit number 12, doing better than they did in the musical section.

Best newcomers

The clear winner here was John Mitchell's new project, Lonely Robot. This obscure new artist obviously has a future in the genre.

# artist score votes
1 Lonely Robot 27 27
2 Dave Kerzner 18 18
3 Grand Tour 15 15
4 Native Construct 13 13
Earthside 13 13
6 The Gentle Storm 10 10
7 Anderson Ponty Band 9 9
8 Marquette 8 8
9 Horizontal Ascension 7 7
10 Bruce Soord 6 6
Exovex 6 6
12 KoMaRa 5 5
Nad Sylvan 5 5

Nad Sylvan, who is one rank higher than Lonely Robot in the best album list, only got five votes here. Maybe people assumed he wasn't a newcomer. Earthside got 13 votes as best newcomer, but only four votes for best album.

Forgotten

This section has a clear winner, for an album we missed reviewing, and it's The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise. Just think, had we reviewed it, it wouldn't have won. You're welcome.

# artist title score votes
1 The Dear Hunter Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise 20 20
2 Horizontal Ascension Horizontal Ascension 6 6
3 Iron Maiden The Book of souls 5 5
4 Ghost Meliora 4 4
13 Circles Embryonic 4 4
Vanden Plas Chronicals Of The Immortals: Netherworld II 4 4
Anderson Ponty Band Better Late than Never 4 4
Aeneas New Renaissance 4 4
David Gilmour Rattle That Lock 4 4
10 Amadeus Awad Death is just a feeling 3 3
Toto XIV 3 3
12 Rush R40 2 2
Flying colours Second Flight 2 2
Kauan Sorni Nai 2 2
IQ Live on the Road of Bones 2 2
Martigan Distant Monsters 2 2
Gorgeous T.E.D Songs from the goldilocks zone 2 2
Ed Bernard Polydactyl 2 2
KoMaRa KoMaRa 2 2
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Asunder,Sweet and Other Distress 2 2
La Fabbrica Dell'Assoluto 1984 - L'Ultimo Uomo d'Europa 2 2
Earthside A Dream in Static 2 2
La Curva di Lesmo La Curva di Lesmo 2 2
Nightwish Endless Forms Most Beautiful 2 2
Mindgames Paradox of Choice 2 2
Fjieri Words Are All We Have 2 2
Aguas Tonicas Saturno Swing 2 2
The Enid The Bridge 2 2

Rating for the DPRP website

There was an average rating of more than 8, so most of readers seem to be confident with the content and presentation of the DPRP website.

We're already looking forward to the 2016 poll! Without the external circumstances that have plagued us getting this posted, if possible...