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Advent - Silent Sentinel CD (album) cover

SILENT SENTINEL

Advent

 

Eclectic Prog

3.78 | 107 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

omphaloskepsis
5 stars Essential and engaging masterpiece of eclectic pastoral prog. 93/100

If you live fast, eat metal, and spit back death growls then stop reading now. Silent Sentinel is not for you. However, if you don't mind mind boggling vocal harmonies, melodic electric and classical guitar, juxtaposed with keys ranging from medieval to jazz, then maybe Advent's- Silent Sentinel deserves headphone space/time in your seasoned ears.

Because of the particular sub-genres of prog, that I am partial to, 2015 has been a banner year for me prog rock wise. Anekdoten, Steven Wilson, Barock Project, IO Earth, Leprous, 3rDegree, and now Advent have all released masterpieces. And we're just 2/3's of the way thru 2015! And, IQ's "Road of Bones" was just last year. What a great bunch of albums. If you ferret your way thru the bands I just mentioned, you will notice I like good vocals, complex harmony and melody galore. Melody? She is most important to me. I like melodic prog-metal. I got reams of metal, but if music isn't melodic, then it's just noise to me.

Different strokes for different folks. Odd time signatures for everybody! Oddly enough,

I stumbled upon Silent Sentinel while hunting for Anekdoten's "Until All The Ghosts Are Gone" on the progstreaming com. website. By the way, the prog streaming site is currently streaming new albums by 3rDegree, Barock Project, I0 Earth. and Anekdoeten. All highly ranked 2015 Prog Archives albums. I digress...From the first listen on I was obsessed and I...I

I had to purchase the CD. Must have snail mail hard copy! I'm old fashion that way. I'm a casualty of the LOUDNESS WARS. Tell you the truth... I'd rather own a vinyl copy of Silent Sentinel. Bigger is better when you're over forty five, over the hill and your eyesight is failing, and the AND's are adding up so high that you can't see the bottom of your album collection. And I only have two to four decades left to listen! Maybe less then 10 years? Only the shadow knows! From here on out, I'm listening to music I'm obsessed with, and Silent Sentinel is exactly that kind of album. The kind of album I need to play on a phonograph with a diamond needle till it skips. And besides I like the artwork! As you look at the 19th century cover, keep in mind ( and I know), that Silent Sentinel's musical palette blends into the artwork, antiquifies it, possesses the purple with a doppelganger ghost out of Grandfather's nursery rime, contaminating my nightmares!. Anyway it happened like this...

Two weeks ago... 2:AM- Wading thru waves of progrockstreaming's bands, I landed on a 19th century grey-green and purple staircase winding counterclockwise into a grandfather clock...ticking. From the pendulums of "In Illo Tempore, To Dunsinane, till the very end the Silent Sentinel never fails to fascinate. Mandolins soar on powdered wings, circling glockenspiels roasted over violins on fire. Guitars sound like keyboards and keyboards sound like guitars and both remind me of music boxes.

Even though Silent Sentinel is definitely original, I'm sure discerning ears will compare with Gentile Giant, Yes and Steve Howe's classical guitar work , Genesis's "Trick of the Tale" and "Wind and Wuthering" come to mind. More the wintery feel of early Phil era Genesis then his unique vocal stylings. Instead,

think Gentile Giant vocal style and harmonies cobbled together with XTC's vocal overtones. Yet, the vocal harmonies are totally new and at times mind blowing intricate, music like an Indian summer morning- Keys leave red-orange-yellow leaves the guitar preening into an unseasonably warm wind, wrapped around chillingly odd time signatures. Advent's drummer surprises in unexpected ways - off beat fills and 13 measure drum solos. I'm not sure it was 13 measures but it felt like it, and it was resplendent. Quantum organic bass lines flux between melody and rhythm. Nice!

Silent Sentinel is a welcome house guest. An old friend. My wife and I have both agree... "A musical event!" Very pretty. Seventy seven minutes of splendid bliss! We listened to it entirely, all the way thru, from tick to tock five strait times!

Silent Sentinel was my introduction to Advent and part of me wishes the band recorded more music. Advent's self titled album debuted in 1997, followed by their 2006 release "Cantus Firmus", and now Silent Sentinel. On the other hand, I'd rather a band wait 9 years to record a masterpiece, rather then settle for mediocre every 3 years. Come to think of it, that's what Discipline does.

Best Songs- " Voices from California", "On the Wings of an Ant (verse 3)- Full Moon and Empty", "Sentinel Reprise -The Exit Interview", and the 19 minute centerpiece "The Silent Sentinel"

omphaloskepsis | 5/5 |

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