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Nad Sylvan - Spiritus Mundi CD (album) cover


Nad Sylvan


Crossover Prog

3.61 | 43 ratings

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Heart of the Matter
4 stars Seventh solo album from this Swedish (US raised) vocalist, who worked with the Steve Hackett band and with Roine Stolt in Agents Of Mercy. In this release, he sets in music and renders with his voice a set of poems by the 1923 Nobel Literature awarded Irish writer, William Butler Yeats.

Contributing instrumental interest to this new Sylvan recording, we find a nice selection of well-loved prog names, including Steve Hackett and Tony Levin. On the vocal duties Nad is assisted by Andrew Laitres (The Winter Tree), resulting that collaboration in a considerable embelishment of the record in the form of harmonies & duets. Laitres lends also his sensible acoustic guitar work, which vertebrates and brings a great sense of flow to the whole album.

As for the influences, I can point to the obvious, and to the not so obvious ones. On the obvious side, we have the Phil Collins & Cat Stevens tinged vocals of the main singer. This Wind & Wuthering Genesis-like colour reaches also the harmonies, for example in track 7 The Hawk, to a really beautiful effect. It's also clearly audible an overall sound reminding of Steve Hackett's Under A Mediterranean Sky (2021), using the union of mostly acoustic sounds with orchestral arrangements in order to create historically, geographically and culturally exotic atmospheres. The perfect example of this exotic twist is given in track 2 Sailing to Byzantium, with terrific parts of piano. And coming now to the less obvious side of the influence, as soon as the album starts we are taken into an Al Stewart-like journey through time, in which the acoustic guitar leads the way, occasionally relieved by other instruments, like harpsichord, and by the band itself.

A bag of treats, waiting to be explored to the bottom.

Heart of the Matter | 4/5 |


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