Progtopia Archives

Plenty of famous and not-so-famous prog rock bands have done instrumental songs here and there on their albums, but very few bands have eschewed the use of a vocalist altogether. The Annapolis, Maryland-based foursome Contra (Alex Peters [guitar], Charles Rupertus [bass], Matt Baros [keyboards], and Brandon Wildman [drums]) have been going without a singer since their inception as a jam band a few years ago, and they’ve created two concept albums – The Epic… from 2010, a Tolkien-esque fantasy tale – and Blue Planet Chronicles, released on June 15th. The unique sound the band creates through swirling guitar arpeggios, dynamic percussion, and atmospheric accompaniment envelops listeners and allows them to envision whatever worlds they can imagine. Host Mark Ashby, a fellow Marylander, spoke with drummer Wildman about the beginnings of the band, the challenges in conveying a story concept without any lyrics to guide the listener, and the – in his words – nerdiness that is a key factor in his creativity, as well as much more. You can find the band online on Facebook ( and MySpace (

Featured songs/excerpts:
“Eternal Dawn”
“A Tale of Deception”
“Ice Age”
“Ad Infinitum”
“Fate of Man”

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(originally posted 12 June 2012)

Direct download: Progtopia_010_Contra_Theyre_Pros.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:42pm EDT