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Sylvan - Posthumous Silence-The Show CD (album) cover




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erik neuteboom
4 stars


After their acclaimed CD Posthumous Silence (2006) we can enjoy the DVD version including the entire tracklist, added with Bonus Features (like the studio 2005-2006, behind the scenes, interviews and the pleasant bonustrack Artificial Paradise).

The start of the concert is impressive: a strong build-up, lots of tension, a huge curtain between the fans and the band with projections about the dark story, swelling music then fragile piano, melancholical vocals and intense cello and finally a bombastic eruption, the curtain is let down and finally the band appears, the fans freaks out! Sylvan their sound on Posthumous Silence alternates between progressive pop, melodic rock and neo-prog in which singer Marco Gluhmann is the central member. On stage Marco feels like a fish in the water, I like his voice and presentation with 'dosed theatricals', especially in Forgotten Virtue and The Last Embrace, great! Sylvan plays ticht and enthousiastic, the tracks are performed with passion and a very professional attitude, the sound is excellent and the lightshow is wonderful, just as it should be on a DVD! The long final song is the titletrack, everybody is happy and I enjoy the howling guitar runs and the bombastic overtones, the band is treated on a standing ovation when the concert is finished.

I am sure the fans who bought the CD will be delighted with this strong and entertaining DVD version of Posthumous Silence.

Report this review (#180988)
Posted Thursday, August 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Posthumous Silence was a superb album and now we have a live DVD of the entire album. Given that PH is a 5 star album, it is difficult to give this DVD anything else.

You get the entire album played live. Well videoed, you get the feel of a relatively intimate concert with a powerful atmosphere. The sound quality is excellent as well.

Some really nice touches include Marco kneeling in front of guest guitarist Jan during one of the excellent guitar solos and the opening behind a curtain with superb video projected onto it.

The bonus track of 'Artificial Paradise' is a real plus - one of my favourite tracks by the band - 18 minutes of superbly executed progressive rock.

There are a couple of negatives, but mainly because I am not a German speaker. The interviews with the band have subtitles, but there are none for some other elements (such as the band commentary). However, these are minor points. There is no "chat" between tracks so not being a German speaker does not detract from the concert as a whole.

If you don't want the DVD, you can also get the 'Leaving Backstage' double CD which includes more tracks as well as all the tracks on this DVD, but best of all is to buy both as a package from the band itself! As a way of celebrating 10 years of Sylvan this is a 'must buy' and I cannot help but give it the five stars it deserves.

Report this review (#184732)
Posted Saturday, October 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Per my review of IQ's Subterranea Live a week ago, there's something so special about a concept album performed in it's entirety. When I discovered that Sylvan were going to release a live DVD of their highly acclaimed album Posthumous Silence, I was extremely excited. It's the first Sylvan disc that I ever bought and it remains my favorite...and among the most emotional and heart wrenching concept albums that I've ever heard...especially from the viewpoint of a father.

Intense is the best way to describe this performance. Very unassuming when the show starts off with images being flashed against a mesh screen draped in front of the stage, and with keyboardist Volker Sohl, vocalist Marco Gluhmann and a lone cello player occupy the stage. When the drapery falls then it's time to prepare yourself for Posthumous Silence. Enough has been said about the music from this album, and the band performs it flawlessly. Initially, I was a bit distracted with the lyrics appearing at the bottom of the screen, but found it useful to follow along and better understand the story.

Gone is original guitarist, Kay Sohl, but in his place is Jan Petersen and extra guitarist Guido Bungenstock--both gentlemen perform their tasks brilliantly. The rest slices through Posthumous Silence with fire and grace. Marco, especially, is captivating and really gives 110% as he just pours out his emotions while bouncing back and forth between the dialogue of the father character and the deceased daughter. This carries over to the highly enthusiastic crowd as women are literally in tears towards the sets finale of A Kind Of Eden and the title track.

Bonus features include a performance of the epic Artificial Paradise, plus behind the scenes footage of the recording of both Posthumous Silence and Presets. The latter is interesting to watch, but does warrant my only complaint, and that is it's not dubbed for non-German speaking viewers. You get the overall idea, but miss out on some important bits and pieces. There are interviews with the band and those have subtitles...which is VERY helpful in an interview format.

That aside, it's not enough to go any lower than 5 stars. It's a performance so stirring that I literally had goosebumps. Additionally, it shows me just how skilled they are as musicians. Bassist Sebastian Harnack and drummer Matthias Harder were very impressive working as the rhythm unit (with Harder sounding a bit like Gavin Harrison of Porcupine Tree at times). I haven't purchased a live prog DVD that comes close to it so far in 2008. Completely brilliant!

Report this review (#186834)
Posted Saturday, October 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars I just watched this concert for the 3rd time and figured I would post a review of it. The show itself is of their wonderful album "Posthumous Silence." Sylvan is a very talented band and their sound is anything but retro. Although classified as neo prog, they have a modern sound which has evolved over their career and it is only getting better with each release. I am a huge fan of well done concert DVDs, the key words being "well done." I did not have the highest of aspirations when I first watched this only because Sylvan isn't exactly the most well known band, even in the prog genre. That usually translates to a lower end production of a DVD release...I couldn't have been more wrong!

This DVD is a top notch production and top notch all the way around. I was really blown away by it. The sound is fantastic, the visual effects during the show were incredible and the emotion of the music itself was outstanding! The band pulled out all the stops in making this concert experience immensely enjoyable, not only for those in attendance, but also for the video viewer. Marco Gluhmann is a fantastic lead vocalist and performer. His vocals are spot on and delivered with great control. The emotion conveyed by him really adds to the experience. All of the other band members were great as well. The keyboard player Volker Sohl stood out as the glue holding everything together while the David Crowder look alike drummer Matthias Harder seemed to have everything under control at all times. Apparently this was the first live performance of new guitarist Jan Petersen but I would have never known otherwise. And finally bassist Sebastian Harnack has that cool vibe as he plays the funky bass lines but not ever trying to steal the show.

I have yet to watch the special features with full attention but it looks as if they spent a lot of time getting everything ready for this show. The stage was custom made and they take you through all the time consuming details. For whatever lengths they went to, they should be pleased with the end result of this DVD. Awesome job by our German friends, VERY well done! Highly recommended to everyone, even if you are not familiar with Sylvan or this concept album. 5 stars for this DVD concert performance!

Report this review (#214614)
Posted Saturday, May 9, 2009 | Review Permalink

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