MENU
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Sylvan - X-Rayed CD (album) cover

X-RAYED

Sylvan

 

Neo-Prog

3.56 | 125 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Style-wise, this album does exactly the same with the band's previous album "Artificial Paradise" with the same quality musically. Both albums are totally different compared to the band's previous two albums album "Encounters" and "Deliverance" in terms of composition, style and structure. At first spin, I was not impressed with the music as it sounded so empty for my personal taste. Especially, if I've just listened to prog met style as this album is overall mellow in style. Surprisingly, my appreciation grew significantly after couple of spins. The first comment was an easy listening prog or just call it an ear candy prog. The more I put this CD on my player, I can see the value of this album's music. It's the same experience when I listened to CARPTREE at the first time. In fact, they both share similar music style. If you have ever liked CARPTREE you would definitely love this album. In addition to that, this album might also suit the taste of those who like late Marillion album "Marbles" or Peter Gabriel's music or Radiohead. But Carptree is the closest one. Or, put it the other way round, if you like this album you will like Carptree.

So Easy (8:19)

This track is well positioned as album opener as it has a tight and neat structure and keeps its music flows nicely from start to end with a peaceful rhythm and melodic vocals. One thing noticeable about this track is its access-ability by majority of listeners as the structure is relatively straight forward. It starts with an ambient music in the vein of Peter Gabriel with a slow-paced tempo. Vocal enters beautifully into the music and altogether create a floating nuance with vocal strong accentuation. Even though it's basically a mellow song, but it has an uplifting mood especially if I look at how the lead singer brings his lyrical part merges into the music. The children choir at the back has enriched the textures of this track. It's an excellent track. [*****]

So Much More (3:07)

This track opens with a powerful low register notes voice line with great accentuation. The music is mixed thinly with soft keyboard sound at background. It moves upward with the entrance of drum work in a slow-paced style. The beauty of this short track lies in the nuance created through a combination of melodic lyrical passage and tight musical composition that mostly played at background. [****]

Lost (7:16)

This third track opens with an ambient sound effects and chanting with soft riffs reminiscent of Peter Gabriel's music. The music enters in upbeat style altogether with powerful voice followed with simple but wonderful guitar riffs. There are excellent orchestration arranged in between musical passages that help elevate the mood. The keyboard solo performed in the middle of the track is really stunning. Basslines, unlike with previous tracks, are made tighter - reminiscent of John Giblin style. The nicest part of this track is probably during the musical riffs that sound like a symphonic music and the guitar solo at the ending part - reminiscent of Steve Rothery (Marillion). This song ends wonderfully! [*****]

You Are (5:30)

This track repeats the style of the third track "So Much More" where the lead singer demonstrates his low register notes voice delivery powerfully. The music moves steadily into higher tone that leads to a stunning electric guitar solo. The guitar fills that follow remind me to Steve Rothery's guitar style. Overall, it's a good track but it tends to be a boring track as the structure is pretty straight forward. Again, there is a very nice electric guitar solo played softly.[*** ]

Fearless (9:10)

An energetic music with upbeat tempo and uplifting mood created through heavy riffs with keyboards as main instrument combined with solid bass lines. Guitar is played as rhythm section and accentuates the composition. The lead singer sets his voice in a rocking style with high register notes. The music turns into quieter passage with a spacey mood in the middle of the track. Sound effects are used nicely and provide great musical nuance. The bass guitar is given a chance to perform its solo right after the spacey nuance with stunning guitar touch at the back and powerful vocal that bring the music to the ending part with soft guitar solo work. It's cool. [**** ]

Belated Gift (4:07)

It's totally a pop song outfit with upbeat tempo. It's a very accessible track to a wider audience as the music flows smoothly with happy beats. In some segments there are some floating nuance especially when the lead singer moves his voice into higher register notes. The short interlude part is nice combining the sounds of keyboard, guitar and bass with drum beats followed with some distant vocal style. [*** ]

Today (3:09)

Another short track with rhythm section that reminds me to the music of The Beatles. But, I have to admit that the vocal quality is top notch. When the music flows peacefully (I mean it) it reminds me to the kind of Radiohead music with much better vocal quality. Yes, overall it's a Radiohead's music. The soft piano at the back is really good. [***]

Through my Eyes (6:49)

This track opens with a musical loop reminiscent of Peter Gabriel's, followed with accentuated voice line and heavy musical riffs. It's probably the only track with a flavor of progressive metal style, performed differently because the vocal department delivers its role nicely, in an energetic way! Guitar fills in between transitions provide classical seventies prog. Composition-wise, it's a wonderfully crafted music combining modern spacey sound and heavy music riffs. It's very enjoyable. Especially with some orchestration that give a symphonic nuance. The electric guitar solo reminds me to Marillion's music. [**** ]

Given-Used-Forgotten (12:55)

It's a thought provoking title, isn't it? It starts wonderfully with a soft piano touch that features vocal in mellow style. Acoustic guitar inserts its sound at the background and helps enrich the music. The piano turns into classical and brings the music into a medium tempo style with nice guitar solo followed with floating singing style. The music turns into quieter passages with firm baselines and spacey keyboard sound and guitar fills. It flows beautifully with basslines as main rhythm section augmented with simple guitar fills. In between lyrical passages the guitar gives its solo into the music combined with classical piano touch. The howling guitar sound enters the music during quiet passage and vocal suddenly brings its full power voice followed by great music riffs, roughly in the middle of the track. It's not a complex song structurally. However, the arrangement of this song has been done meticulously with an awesome result: great music with powerful songwriting. It's a great track overall. [*****]

This World is Not for Me (8:20)

For those who love Marillion's "Sugar Mice" or "Chelsea Monday" or even some mellow tracks in Marbles album may love this concluding track as well. It's not exactly the same style and structure but they share the same slow-paced music. It's a depressive title. No doubt that the music projects a dark nuance. I like the composition of this track where it starts really mellow and moves to slow rock guitar solo after the mellow vocal part. I find some similarities between the lead singer's singing style with Hogarth's. It's an enjoyable track. [*** ]

SUMMARY

Overall, it's an enjoyable music with excellent composition: powerful songwriting, flawless performance and melodic. It's probably accessible to wider audience as the music is not complex, easy to digest and memorable. The sonic quality is excellent. Overall rating is 4+ out of 5 stars. Highly recommended. Keep on proggin'.!

Progressively yours,

GW

Gatot | 4/5 |

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this SYLVAN review

Social review comments () BETA







Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives