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Sylvan - Presets CD (album) cover





3.52 | 168 ratings

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2 stars I have to say that from the five Sylvan albums, only "Artificial Paradise" and "Posthumous Silence" were of interest to me. So, as usual with this band, I approached this new effort with some circonspection.

Don't worry, the opener "One Step Beyond" has nothing to do with the great Madness song (might have been funny though!). It's a pleasant but repetitive song. As usual, Marco is very good (he is really holding the band together, IMO).

"Signed Away" is a dull song, but there will a lot of these type here like (at random) "On The Verge Of Tears", "Cold Suns", "Heal" etc. The best possible comparison for this album is some late Marillion releases. Most of the songs are completely uninspired, dull and pointless. This boring feeling will prevail almost throughout the whole lenght of the album (and it lasts for over an hour!).

The mellowish mood is present at every corner (although CD's have no corners). But even when being mellowish, Sylvan also achieved to be noisy at times (which is a performance).

When not noisy, they reach the bottom of what I am able to bear with "Words From Another Day". OK, it is the shortest one here. There is no need to depict this "work" track by track. It is almost like we are confronted to a one and only song. I can tell you, it is quite a challenge to listen to this for more than sixty-two minutes ! And "Hypnotized", although slightly better than average, won't hypnotize me and have me deviate from a tremendous poor feeling about this album.

If I had to vote for the best song, it would be without any doubt "For One Day". Very Bunnymen oriented (you know, Echo & The Bunnymen this great and influent band...). "Transitory Times" is also a bit more melodic than the rest.

Would the longest song save this album ? It started with a nice keys intro, but I cannot say that I am overwhelmed with an incredible feeling when listening further on this song. Then, all of a sudden, at precisely minute three the track kicks a bit and becomes very melodic and full of flavour for about two minutes. There will even be an attempt to sound as Crimson for a moment ! At this time, this song is virtually going nowhere. At times, the melodic chorus comes back as a fresh breeze, but it is really not enough to make this song a good one. Very average, I would say.

On previous releases, the good guitar play from Kay Söhl was a good support for Marco's vocals. Nothing as such here. On top of that, Marco sounds pretty much uniform all the way through. I have been bored to death while listening to this album. I will rate it two stars, but three out of ten should be a max on my scale. I have reached the end of the album with a feeling of relief. At last, it is over.

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |


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