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Syzygy - The Allegory of Light  CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.87 | 66 ratings

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Squire Jaco
4 stars "The Allegory of Light" is the second album from the Ohio-based trio known as Syzygy. (Their fist album was recorded under the band name Witsend.) These guys are all exceptional talents on their respective instruments. I love the driving, inventive drumming of Paul Mihacevich - reminds me most often of Neal Peart, though his own list of influences includes primarily jazz or fusion drummers. Sam Giunta's keyboards mostly have that Keith Emerson presence to them. And Carl Baldassarre plays most of the lead and melody lines using a wide guitar palette - from acoustic Steve Howe to near-metal John Petrucci.

I characterize most of this music as "psyche" music that shifts and bends along its path at high speed, sometimes slowing to mellow acoustic, and then accelerating again to cruising pace, showing sophistication and inventiveness all the way. Detractors have complained about the vocals and the overall lack of originality in composition. I disagree on both counts - Carl's and Paul's vocals may be a bit on the timid side, but they sing in a clear, pleasant manner, and most of the cd is instrumental anyway; and I wish reviewers would quit slamming new artists for similarities in songwriting style - Syzygy has its own unique sound, even while writing in the style of many of the 1970's prog giants (without ever copying a single riff or lick from their idols). To put this point into perspective, music critics of the late 1700's and 1800's were probably NOT complaining about the 41st symphony of Mozart, or the 5th piano concerto of Beethoven, or the 14th string quartet of Dvorak, etc.

If I had any complaint at all, it would be the absence of a prominent bass player (which is one of my favorite instruments). It's usually played on Giunta's keyboard or bass pedals, or dubbed in by Baldassarre on some tracks. These guys are so good and the musical atmosphere is so thick that you hardly notice the missing prog bass. (Note: The latest postings on their website suggest that they now have a dedicated bass player for their forthcoming album. Yay!)

My personal favorites on this cd are "M.O.T.H." (Master of the House), "Zinjanthropus" and the epic closer "The Journey of Myrrdin". Over 62 minutes of excellent music here. Recommended along with their debut Witsend album called "Cosmos and Chaos" - no respectable prog head should be without the songs "Strange Loop II" or the mighty "Mount Ethereal"!

Squire Jaco | 4/5 |


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