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Sky Architect - A Dying Man's Hymn CD (album) cover


Sky Architect


Heavy Prog

3.63 | 156 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Andy Webb
Special Collaborator
Retired Admin
5 stars Astral melody, the return of an incredible talent

Sky Architect was easily my favorite new band of 2010, along with the British band Haken. The obscure Dutch band released their debut, Excavations of the Mind, in 2010. It was easily one of my absolute favorite albums of the year. The band had such an incredibly fresh and inviting sound, fusing so many different styles into a truly invincible chasm of beautiful music. On the outset their music seemed like a choppy, harsh blotch of heavy progressive rock. However, when delved into not even that deep, the band revealed themselves as an incredibly talented group of not only humbly proficient instrumentalists, but also supremely gifted composers, crafting some of the most inventive and inviting stuff I had ever heard. Only a year later, the band returned with another studio offering, A Dying Man's Hymn. Again a concept album, the band truly returns in full glory, with an even more mature and complete set of songs and incredibly wonderful album to be offered. The band returns with a new fervor, fleshing out their album with much more energy and an incredibly new diverse sound. This album will certainly carry out for me as one of the best albums of 2011, and is a superb effort by this wonderfully talented group of Dutchmen.

Similar to the last album, the first listen was that of peasant mediocrity. I like the music, but was at first unimpressed. Also similar to the last album, even before my first listen was complete, I began to again realize how truly genius this group of musicians are. The album isn't really a grower; I was just too cold to accept the simple beauty of the music. The effortless harmonies, soaring melodies, and incredible rhythmic quality really give this music a superb charm. Rik Van Honk's use of numerous classic keyboard instruments gives the music wonderful color, contrasting heavier parts with soothing Mellotron or growling Hammond, and the guitar melodies harmonize the bass lines and keyboard runs with amazing grace and dexterity. The vocals have a slightly dissonant quality and really accent the superb music's atmosphere. The instrumental aspect of the music has an oddly appealingly jagged feel, as if they purposefully all play just minutely off as to make the music and interesting display of dissonant grace.

The band is able to traverse through all the feelings of the sonic spectrum, transporting the listener through heavy sections and effortlessly transitioning to light melodic sections, upbeat pieces, and so much more. This album is truly redolent of everything that is good about progressive rock, progressive composition, and music in general. It is full of every wonderful musical quality taught in a classroom, as well as full of tasteful experimentation, with the band, while staying in the bounds of music theory, advancing what a band can really do in a musical situation, utilizing various tones, keyboards, harmonies, and rhythms to make a wonderfully unique musical experience.

Overall, I can't really express how much I adore this band and this music. Throughout their two albums of material, they have shown me in plenty of detail how wonderfully amazing they really are. This album, in my opinion, is even better than their debut, which I think is a marvelous masterpiece. The band has matured in every way; the production, composition, lyrics, and so much more just seem so much more professional and unique to me, showing this album to be a truly spectacular display of progressive music. I think will easily top the charts of best albums of 2011, and is truly a masterpiece. 5 stars.

Andy Webb | 5/5 |


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