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Sylvan - Artificial Paradise CD (album) cover





3.86 | 189 ratings

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4 stars "Common sense tells us that the things of the earth exist only a little and that true reality is only in dreams."

Charles Baudelaire, Artificial Paradises (1821-1867)

This was my first introduction with the German Neo-Progressive band SYLVAN. I didn't know what to expect of this band, but the good PA reviews on "Artificial Paradise" got me interested. I decided to order the CD and was literally blown away! What a great album! Even one that my wife really liked, so I guess it is also quite "accessible". ;-)

"Deep inside" is a very good opener of the album. First we hear some background noise on the background followed by a delicate piano intro later on accompanied by the great emotional voice of Marco Glühmann. Piano gets a bit more up-tempo and we get a really nice "bridge" followed by a great catchy chorus: "it's the meaning of you life, full of emotions deep inside your mind, that's the difference you deny, just share your feelings utilize your might". Beautiful!

"Deep Inside is another great track with a really catchy chorus. This seems to be a SYLVAN trademark. Once you have listened to this album a couple of times the strong melodies won't get out of your mind anymore; and that's meant in the positive way...

The 3rd track "strange emotion seems nice at 1st listen, but is actually a bit too "poppy" and for that reason it kind of starts to be boring after a while, just when the other songs seem to get only better and better. Therefore this is probably the only weakness of this album.

With "Human Apologies" Sylvan gets right back on track and this song is just as good as the 1st two tracks. Nothing to add here.

Track 5) "Timeless Traces" probably is my favourite track of this album. Starting with nice "bells" and a great bass guitar riff. Just after that the great chorus, but here played on lead guitars. Once again; what a great voice does Marco have! Very big range too; from quite low to very high and always very "clear" and absent of any "German accent". Once again another great chorus!

"I still believe" is a bit of an outstander because it's a bit heavier than most of the other tracks and "only" lasts 3 minutes and 6 seconds. Still quite OK though.

"All around the world" is another nice track and "Souvenirs" is very delicate and emotional. You only hear a piano accompanied by Marco's fine singing. I didn't think I was so special in the beginning, but my wife loves it! Once again: very emotional track!

The last track and also title track of the album is probably one of my favourite tracks of the album together with "Timeless Traces". It is also the epic of the album lasting over twenty minutes in length! Beautiful intro on guitar and hi-hat followed by a deep pumping bass. Now the delicate piano kicks in before the guitar starts with a strong kind of "metal riff". Very strong instrumental intro lasting over 4 minutes. In this track we get to hear "everything". A lot of tempo and mood changes throughout the track and even Marco is then singing, then rapping, then almost shouting and it all fits the music right. Outstanding!

All and all this is a very good album. I just have a hard time rating this album, because I think 4 stars is a bit too less and 5 stars a bit too high. As I rated "Posthumous Silence" 4 stars I will also rate this one 4 stars, because I actually now think that PS is even a bit better than AP. Nevertheless: they are both closer to 4.5 stars!

evenless | 4/5 |


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