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Syzygy - Cosmos and Chaos (2013) 20th Anniversary Compendium CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.33 | 8 ratings

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3 stars Now this a really unique affair! In 2013 the band celebrated the 20th anniversary of their debut 'Cosmos And Chaos', and - without question - this is a valuable cause to release something special for the progressive rock community. Hence they do us the favour to provide a retrospective which features re-mastered, re-performed and even re-discovered band material, summed up by the motto 'Music For The Ears, Mind & Soul'. Alongside with the disc comes a nice book, just a compendium if you will, offering some interesting informations and neat personal insights. This is signed by the musicians on top of it, who are Carl E Baldassare (guitar) and Sam Giunta (keyboards) in particular, as they are founding members as well as the main composers, but also drummer Paul Mihacevic and Al Rolik (bass), who are longtime companions in the meanwhile.

What should one expect from an anniversary statement in terms of the music? Neither a remake of their fantastic live album 'A Glorious Disturbance', that figures, nor really new song material as such. So much the more we are going back to the band's start basically, this related with the fact that they had a kick off under another moniker, namely Witsend. The two previously unreleased songs Opus No. 1 and Opus No. 3 are of the rarest and earliest type hereby, and concerning the timeline there's another leap of 10 years backwards to accomplish. Former members Gary Priebe (bass) and Roman Zmudzinski (drums) are involved on this occasion. Here they are proving compositional and technical skills at any rate. The sound quality though, while being recorded on cassette tape, is obviously lacking of fidelity.

The song titles by the way are pointing to their classical and symphonic tinged roots, I'm quite sure. And it goes on in this way with some miniatures, which means short solo works on guitar and piano, and then going over to some duets and later on to several common debut album excerpts.which are showing the band in full power. Finally it's a real benefit to add two live cuts from 2010 to the collection. The compositions are shining in all its glory, featuring five musicians (a singer is on board too) in top form. As for that I strongly recommend to get in touch with 'A Glorious Disturbance'. However, this nicely packed anniversary compilation is a must have for fans either way, and surely a good starter if you are going to become aquainted with the early creative period of this band.

Rivertree | 3/5 |


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