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Slychosis - Mental Hygiene CD (album) cover

MENTAL HYGIENE

Slychosis

 

Neo-Prog

2.77 | 12 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Mental Hygiene' - Slychosis (5/10)

Coming from a proud line of bands that use bad puns in their name, Slychosis is a Mississippi -based act that has received some attention from listeners in the prog rock community. 'Mental Hygiene' is the band's third album, and while there are interesting ideas offered here, I will agree with other reviews I have read of this album and state that there are some things sorely lacking from Slychosis' work. Fans of brooding, melodic progressive rock should enjoy what this band offers, although expect nothing that will shake your shoes off anytime soon.

Although there is a moderate diversity and sense of dynamic here that comes along with the prog rock territory, Slychosis here sticks largely to slower tunes that range from mellow stuff, to more elaborately orchestrated material that tunes up their rock direction more. Tying all of this together are the vocals of project manager Greg Johns, who passes me as a weaker standard of Geddy Lee's (of Rush) lower register singing., although a female vocalist pops in towards the album's last track, 'Midnight'. Slychosis seems to fall into the crowd of prog bands that try to emphasize arrangements over technicality, and sometimes, the way that this act develops their sound is impressive. I found myself particularly impressed by the album's highlight, 'Fallen Tiger', which uses synthesizers and keyboardist Todd Sears' lilting vocals to create a very sorrowful soundscape. It is a real shame that some of this music is plagued by a relatively bad production, because Slychosis does do some decent stuff here as it is.

The production is by and beyond, the worst element of 'Mental Hygiene', unless you count the atrocious album cover. While some of the more symphonic moments of this album do indicate to me that there is real feeling behind the music, the production paints it in such a way as to obscure most of the details that are probably in the raw performance. It's as if a trained artist was left with murky watercolors to work with; the mixing is poor, and there is plenty of buzzing and noise where there technically shouldn't be. Generally, production is not a big issue of contention, but the problems are big enough here to notice, and especially seeing as the band are on their third album now, and decent recording technology is widespread for many people to obtain. 'Mental Hygiene' is a bland, poorly produced album to be sure, but there are enough moments where the inspiration comes through for me to withhold writing the band off.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |

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