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Syzygy - Realms of Eternity CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.93 | 75 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Squire Jaco
5 stars I'll try not to rave too much during this review, but....really, this is something SPECIAL folks!

I'll admit, I've been anxiously awaiting this cd for a few years. Their website kept us fans hanging on that there would be some fantastic new cd "soon", then it was a double album, then it was delayed again, then slimmed down to a single cd again (77 minutes long!)...I was honestly losing hope that this could ever live up to expectations (much less ever see the light of day!). So it could have been a bruising first listen when I got my copy (direct from the band, btw), as I was all set to give it a very scrupulous critique.

Not to worry - they nailed it.

Realms of Eternity is a 5-star cd, prog lovers. I give it 5 stars willingly, lovingly, with no regrets. LOVE it! There is some chamber (flute, cello, violin) accompaniment in spots; the album starts beautifully with it. But what I like about these guys is that you can tell that they are rockers first; yet they all possess great prog-worthy chops, as well as a unique songwriting and compositional style. Their arrangements are almost classical in format, and include plenty of odd time signatures (though perhaps not quite as jazz-fusion-y as their previous album "Allegory of Light"). Influences this time still include ELP (Giunta's keyboards), Rush, Yes and a ton of others; but some Kansas(?) too this time around, especially with the presence of drama and majesty that occupies many of these songs.

The band added a bass player (Al Rolik) since their last album. (I can't hold that small shortcoming against the band any more!) Believe me, it adds a nice dimension to the music. They also have a guest vocalist on some of the songs - I'll admit that the vocals and harmonies are stronger and better overall on this cd than on either of their two previous cd's. (Almost Styx-ish in places.)

There are many unique moments of unusual guitar layering and effects which make for very interesting listening. Baldassarre again plays a wide array of guitars with varying tones and effects, and the album has a nice sprinkling of acoustic passages to offset some of the more raucous tunes. I love Mihacevich's powerful and inventive drumming style. And I should also mention that there is some really nice album artwork throughout, including complete lyrics. The whole cd is also impeccably engineered - great sound quality, and a great package all around!

While the feature piece appears to be the 28-minute suite "The Sea" that ends the album, I feel like the true heart of the album lies in the 16-minute "Dialectic" that immediately precedes that suite. It might get lost in the shuffle as you enjoy those first four long songs that start the album (and they are admittedly fantastic!), or as you build up anticipation for "The Sea". But pay special attention to "Dialectic" - a splendid mini-epic of its own, with uplifting vocals and harmonies, a couple of great instrumental workouts, and a killer chorus melody that the band develops throughout the song. Not many prog bands are making music like this anymore - before "The Sea" even begins, you'll be ready to die a happy man (or woman!)

The band is based in Ohio, but I'd love for them to take that three-hour trip up the Thruway and play a gig here in Buffalo some time soon. Plenty of music lovers here too, guys! Congratulations to Syzygy for a great accomplishment with this cd.

(I guess I am raving a bit, huh?...;-)

Squire Jaco | 5/5 |


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