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

A DYING MAN'S HYMN

Sky Architect

 

Heavy Prog

3.61 | 137 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'A Dying Man's Hymn' - Sky Architect (8/10)

As a fairly rare occurrence in today's music industry, Dutch prog rockers Sky Architect followed-up their debut with something new the very next year. 'Excavations Of The Mind' was not an album I had the pleasure of hearing when it first came out, but those who did get around to hearing it were excited and impressed by the sound that this band came onto the scene with. The band's second album 'A Dying Man's Hymn' attempts to recreate the success of the first, and the result has been another grand work for proggy hard rock.

Sky Architect's sound is much alike many bands under the 'heavy prog' label; music that maintains the complexity that one might hear from many classic prog bands, but with the grit and edge of hard rock. There is a fair dynamic and variety in sounds on this album, although despite the album's rather challenging length, the record flows well and feels cohesive. The band I would compare Sky Architect with most are Swedish rockers Beardfish, although the music of this band is considerably more sombre. As I just briefly mentioned, the album's length is mentionable on its own, resting around the seventy seven minute mark. As is the case for much progressive rock, the album takes a few listens to grow on the listener, although in this case, I went from thinking it was a fairly run-of-the-mill record to thinking it a real winner. Here is a band that marries exciting performances with dynamic compositions and everything under the sun. It is a lot to take in at first, but despite the at times by-the-numbers prog approach the band takes, I often found myself surprised by what this band can do.

One of the greatest things about this band is their tightness as a band, being able to come in and cut out in unison, and sound passionate while doing it. The opening of this album is a great example, with a sample of a screaming man and woman leading the band in to playing at a fairly unexpected moment, but despite the awkwardness of the timing, it is pulled off quite nicely. The vocals of Tom Luchies here are what I would consider to be warm, but not particularly impressive; he tends to stay within his comfort zone most of the time and rarely venture much of the mid-range. The instrumentation is rich and intelligent, with a particular note on how great some of the bass licks on the record are. Sky Architect's second album has been something of a surprise to me, really. I do not often find myself excited about bands that stick within the existing borders of progressive rock, but the excellence with which this band manages to tackle the sound makes 'A Dying Man's Hymn' a remarkable album.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |

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