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Sylvan - One to Zero CD (album) cover





4.06 | 164 ratings

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5 stars One to Zero' is their new album which becomes the tenth of their career. It is a concept album that tells the first person story of an Artificial Intelligence. Sylvan's new album opens with 'Bit By Bit'. An up-tempo intro that evokes ambient music, but seasoned with sounds reminiscent of robots and computers. Then we have the beautiful keyboards and Glühmann's voice that then adds to the whole band and gives way to a dynamic and fluid instrumental section that is well achieved.

Encoded At Heart' begins with a grand piano and Glühmann's beautiful voice that is only accompanied by piano and drums in a track that will captivate you with the singing that the German vocalist proposes and that closes with an emotional guitar solo.

On the third track comes 'Start Of Your Life' which starts with a very eighties guitar with strong and vigorous drums and a repetitive but effective rhythm. It's not the best of 'One to Zero' but it doesn't ruin or tarnish what you've heard before.

'Unleashed Power' also begins with piano, but is more intrusive and emotional. It's more melancholic than 'Encoded At Heart' and the accompanying guitars on the fourth composition are cleaner, less effects-laden. Not only that, but there is a warmer and yet sadder feel to the song.

We close the first half of the album with 'Trust In Yourself', which is introduced with a synthesizer that emulates very soft trumpets and accompanies Glühmann's voice. After a few seconds, the guitars come in with a bang, very aggressive. The chorus is fabulous with Katja Flintsch's violin and the other members creating a solid aural slab.

In the second half of the album we are greeted by 'On My Odyssey' a very epic song with a guitar that for the first time takes centre stage being very colourful. Not only that, but the violins and bass build a very effective duo. The piano and synthesizers are not mere extras, they all have their moments and their spaces to fill the melody. Everything works, nothing is out of place, it's a perfect song.

A very dramatic piano greets us on the seventh track entitled, 'Part of Me', which continues in that sad tone adding to the strings and vocals. Not only is it, we have a drum kit that appears next, extremely solid with bass lines that give balance to the composition. The song then moves from sorrow to the despair you hear in the song and Glühmann's singing.

'Worlds Apart' is a track that builds from the vocals, with instrumentation that embellishes the song. Again we have that sad and desperate duality.

The penultimate composition, 'Go Viral' has an electronic and metal sonority, with certain echoes of Muse with a keyboard and guitar that fill the spaces in a dynamic track that contains an extremely metal instrumental section, which is well constructed and adds two solos, a piano and a guitar solo that leads to the closing.

The album closer, 'Not a Goodbye', begins in the same rhythm as the previous two tracks, however it is the guitar that takes the lead role. In a captivating atmosphere and a step-by-step construction of a composition that adds piano, guitar, bass and drums. It's not extraordinary, we won't have big, intricate instrumental passages. But there is an effort to make it all sound original, fresh and not repetitive. A song that lasts 10 minutes, but it's short.

Sylvan didn't create a mind blowing album, it's not that progressive rock full of layers, arrangements, solos, moments of individual or group talent, but it conquers. This is thanks to the compositional and emotional approach that conveys joy, sorrow, drama and even despair. All this is achieved mainly in the voice of Marco Glühmann, who is the main protagonist of this album. But the German band doesn't get a perfect or top mark, they even pass with the minimum mark, here there is no Genesis, Pink Floyd or King Crimson and it shows.

Very good album, one of the best of the year.

Maurus9 | 5/5 |


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