What got me into progressive rock originally wasn't the strange song construction, or the unusual time signatures and songwriting tactics that challenged conventions—my appreciation for those would come later. The thing that did get me hooked, as I discovered bands like Yes and King Crimson, was that there I could find grooves like nowhere else: bass-heavy, intricate-yet-simple constructions that gave these bands an edge, steering towards what would become heavy metal. They provided an anchor point for my less-developed taste, and from there I grew to appreciate the whole package, delighting in all the nuance the genre had to offer... and I still cannot, under any circumstance, pass up a good prog-rock groove.

By way of example, I've got one here for you today, packaged into French progressive trio Lizzard's song "Avalanche" -- we're premiering the lyric video right now, from their new album Eroded:

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The song's first half shows off vocalist Mathieu Ricou's captivating range, as well as the subtler skillsets of the band, as it weaves through a quiet, pensive landscape humming with tension—then, a few minutes in, the groove I spoke of arises, making use of syncopation and a nifty bass lick to get heads nodding as it it pushes the song to a crescendo.

The fascinating instrumental intricacies here are masked—but not overshadowed—by show-stealing vocals and drumming like titanium clockwork. This arrangement gives the song a sense of fist-in-your-face impact that balances out the progressive aspects, as if the payload has been slimmed down to the lethal minimum to bypass defenses. It's still got an unorthodox sound and structure, but the payoff here can be universally appreciated.

Besides being a compelling visual aid for the track, this video should serve as a strong reminder to find time for the full album, which is releasing today and full of the same sharp, proggy goodness found here.

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Eroded releases today, February 19th 2021, on Pelagic Records.