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Sylvan - Posthumous Silence  CD (album) cover

POSTHUMOUS SILENCE

Sylvan

 

Neo-Prog

4.14 | 348 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars So far, Sylvan could hardly please my ears during their fourth albums preceding this one.

This one is a concept album. The explanation of this "concept" being outlined as follows on Sylvan's official web-site : "It tells the story of a father, who discovers for the first time the life of his lost daughter through her dairy. He gets to know the chains and fears, her search and the consequences of her actions. Those who let theirselves drag deep into the story, will realise, that the life of the daughter is strongly correlated with our own fate and that the responsability of the father is perhaps ours as well".

As far as I am concerned, this is a bit short to call this a concept. And to elaborate seventy minutes of music around this might lead us to some disenchantment. Let's check about the musical content.

After a dull introduction (one would have expected something imposing) "Bequest Of Tears" is a great and very quiet song. Very spacey and Floyding. It is not really thier style, but I have to say that when they produce songs like this, I find it rather interesting.

This joy will be short, since we are back into the heavy sounds so typical for Sylvan". "In Chains" holds more heavy-metal features than prog ones. I have mentioned several times that I really appreciate the vocals for Marco, but when playing these type of songs, his subtle and pleasant work is turned into almost growling tones which are not my cup of tea. Fortunately, this long song will also feature a good and true prog passage. Very nice guitar break (but I have already stressed this positive charateristic about the band). But the heavy metal style is back for the last third of this long song.

As in any concept album, we'll have some transitional tracks. Actually, there are five of these on this work. The first one being "Bequest", the second is "Bitter Symphony" which is again a very peaceful (but short) moment.

It flows nicely into the longer piece from "Posthumous Silence" : "Pane Of Truth" which is an excellent track. Starting very slowly and displaying a very pleasant melody. It will be more tortured for a while (two minutes) but it will be followed by a gentle and light instrumental section (really great). As far as I'm concerned, it might well be one of the best Sylvan song (of not the best one). A jewel, sincerely. We can feel all the passion of Marco again in his vocal parts. I would have hoped a bombastic finale, but not this time even if the orchestration tends to provide it. A great track.

The third song conveying the concept is "No Eartly Reason". Again very pleasant and aerial. Keyboards reminds me a bit the intro of "Tubular Bells" and adds a nice scary mood to this work.

We are back again in the heavy metal genre witht he boring and tasteless "Forgotten Virtue". I wonder how a band can switch from great to poor with such an easiness...

"The Colors Changed" is a good number again : almost symphonic at times. What a contrast with "Forgotten". It is very welcome of course. This average track will be brought to another level thanks to a fabulous and Floydian guitar break. Actually, I can compare this characteristic with Mostly Autum's album "Inspired By The Lord Of the Ring". There as well, several average songs were saved by a fantastic guitar break fully inspired by David (Gilmour). Thanks again, man (Davis, I mean).

"A Sad Sympathy" is the forth interlude. Again spacey but not on par with the other ones. Just an intro for "Questions". A melodic song only preturbated by some girls shouts (maybe the daughter mentioned in the explanation of the concept). It is another good moment of this album. I wouldn't be as positive for the next one : "Answer to Life". Flat and boring.

The last inter-connection song (or main theme) is another very quiet moment. As the fourth one, it is a bit sub-par with the first three ones. The last numbers of this album are rather useless. "The Last Embrace" is another dull heavy-metal song while "A Kind Of Eden" is a mellowish and monotonous ballad like Marillion (post-Fish of course) could have released. Soulless and uniform.

The title and closing number is saved by (guess what?), yes another vibrant guitar solo combined with a very romantic vocal part from Marco. One of the very best moment of this album (but it last for about 2'30").

IMHHO (in my humble and honest opinion) this might well be the best Sylvan album so far. At least it is the one I prefer. It could have been better if only several songs had been cut of. There is no need to release a seventy minutes album if only forty are good ones. I don't beleive we would have lost of the "concept".

PS : Sylvan annouces on their web-site that of September 1st, they will perform the whole of this album during an "elaborate stage show" (their words). It will take place in Hamburg, Germany.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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