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Tarcisio Moura
4 stars This was the first Cyan CD I bought and I must say it took quite some time to write a review. Since I found Magenta I had been curious to anything related to their members, specially Rob Reed, for he writes all their songs. And Magenta is one of the top progressive bands nowadays. So Cyan was my next target.

Well, Cyan does not sound much like Magenta. In fact it is quite different. The CD did not imediatly capture my imagination. At first I thought it was dull and I put it aside after two or three listenings. Recently I decided to give it a new shot and I was quite surprised how good it sounded! It's not the synphonic sound of Magenta, but it has many styles and shows that Rob Reed is indeed a very gifted and prolific songwriter. Not a bad song in here. Some people may complain it lacks direction, but I don't see it that way. The guy can write quite different styles and still the album does not seem patchy or confused. In fact, it is quite smooth. Reed is very good at writing fine prog songs and every tune in this CD should be heard as an independent piece. . He also seem to have a good eye (or ear) for the musicians he chooses to play with. Well, some are obvious, like Nick Barret of neo prog legend Pendragon (the guitar parts are very well done, with some amazing solos like the one in Goodbye World), but everyone involved here does a fine job.

In the end I can not rate this CD less than 4 stars. I recomended it to anyone who likes neo prog music. It has great melodies and enough musicanship and progressive elements to surprise you, in a good way. Unlike I thought before, Cyan is more than just a side project.

Report this review (#85616)
Posted Thursday, August 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Good album with similarities I feel to the PENDRAGON style.

Competant melodies and a rhythm section that keep things chugging along. THE RIVER is the pick on this album with some good interplay and variations in texture, dynamics and tempo. Throughout the album one notices that the vocal line is given too much prominence and not allowed to become one with the music.

Report this review (#91996)
Posted Monday, September 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars Cyan is a rather anonymous band. Very little review for this English band. I was a bit disappointed with their second album "Pictures From The Other Side" which deviated from their origins : beautiful and symphonic music. So, I was curious to listen to this one and discover which direction they decided to follow. Symphonic again or harder (even metal)-oriented music ?

The opener is about middle of the road between these two ways. At times it will remind you Genesis, but it is more on the hard edge then. The melody is very pleasant and their leader on the keyboards is just like he used to be : very good.

A nice surprise on this release. Guess who is holding the lead guitar in several songs ? Nick Barrett from "Pendragon". He is actually the one thanks to whom "Cyan" was able to record their first album (you can read more of this story in my review of their first album). This album, dixit Reed, would be melody-oriented. And it is definitely the case when you listen to "Valhala". I am not as positive for "Gwenan". Some sort of folkish ballad; somewhat medieval. Original but unexpected in the "Cyan" repertoire.

I have to say that "I Will Show You Life" is also a bit strange. Wind instruments, some soul/funky beat. A great guitar solo will save this track from total disaster. The weakest song of this album.

I really don't know what was going through Reed's mind while he wrote the compositions for this album. Almsot each track has a different genre. Some might say, what a great diversity ! But I am more enclined to ask for more consistency. Even within a same song, several styles will be investigated which leads to confusion. The feeling I have when I listen to "Goodbye World" ranges from brilliant (during some intrumental parts, mainly like the sublime guitar a la Pendragon...) to poor with most of the vocals (which has not been the case on previous "Cyan" albums). I really don't know what happened here.

"The River" is based on the same mould with fabulous guitar during the finale. The structure of "Home" is almost similar. An average rock ballad with a marvelous last section. Guitar again...

The closing number is some world music oriented. At this time of the album, this is really too much. As if Reed wants to tackle all the music genres he could. Unfortunately, I can not enter into his "trip".

Two stars for this "eclectic" album.

Report this review (#138479)
Posted Saturday, September 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well, maybe 4 stars is a little overdone here (3,6 is a lot closer to the truth) but that is also because I know the potential of Robert Reed is even a lot higher than I already thought with this single-man-effort Cyan. Nowadays he is active in Magenta as we know and I believe he is doing an even better job with that project than with Cyan. On the other hand, that doesn't mean we have to undervalue Cyan all over sudden, I think he just made an improvement with Magenta, no more, no less.

The creeping Vine from 1999 was his last effort with Cyan and it's a pretty worthy farewell from this (almost) decade existance. Far from a brilliant album though but don't get put off with the first few tracks, they are not too special. But the strength lies in the second half of the album and than I mean the last 3 tracks in particular. It's a pretty diverse album by the way, first track is an average neoprog track, next is more of a ballad but I got really surprised with the 3rd when I got confronted with a folky track. I didn't see that coming ! The fourth track seemed to be the lesser of the album until the last minute of it made up for a great part thanks to a tremendous guitarriff. Goodbye world is the most epical song, not mindblowing, but good/very good in quality. Mindblowing is what I would call the final guitar solo at the end of The River, to me the highlight of this album. Home (7th track) seemed the instrumental of the album at first but in the final minute the vocals played a part anyway. Last track is the title track, a worthy closer of a very nice album that gave me a bit of a headache at first for the ultimate rating but I believe in the end the 4 stars are defensible.

Report this review (#160734)
Posted Monday, February 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I have never gone through the band page of Cyan at this site and just before I review this "Creeping Vine", I clicked it and laughed with the opening passage that says Bob Reed has passion in color. He has CYAN and also MAGENTA. I don't know, his next project might be called as BLUE or RED? My experience with Cyan is not that much but from the two albums that I have, I like both of them: "Pictures from the Other Side" and this one. Musically, "The Creeping Vine" is more solid compared to "Pictures from the other Side" in terms of composition.

It's most likely you love this album .!

especially if you favor neo progressive music like Pendragon, Pallas, IQ, Arena and the like. In fact, this album sounds like Pendragon in more dynamic way. Surprisingly, the voice of Nigel Vole is quite similar with Nick Barrett (Pendragon) who sings and plays guitar in Pendragon. For me personally, I like the combination of keyboard and guitar work throughout this album as most of them are delivered at the passages with dynamic and energetic style, plus there are many catchy segments. From the opening track "Original Sin" (8:47) the band brings you to "the other world" through excellent combination of guitar solo as well as keyboard solo. The overall song is actually keyboard-driven with accentuated singing style.

"Valhala" (3:42) is a nice and mellow track with catchy melody. "Gwenan" (6:17) starts nicely with keyboard work followed with low register vocal notes, sung with solid accentuation. The song moves in traditional style which reminds me to the Scottish traditional music. "I Will Show You Life" (5:30) flows nicely from mellow to upbeat tempo with a passage that reminds me to Genesis "I Know What I Like" (well, at least you can observe how drum is played, quite similar with "I Know What I Like".) "Goodbye World" (9:54) starts with wonderful piano work followed beautifully with keyboard work. This song has a nice melody as well. I like the acoustic guitar work and vocal line. The song moves in crescendo at has its peak in the middle of the track when the tempo is quite fast and guitar plays its solo role combined by excellent keyboard.

"The River" (7:22) is another song with catchy piano solo at the opening part of the track. The first verse of the lyrics is being sung while the piano plays catchy notes at the background. It's a nice piece of music. The acoustic guitar work is also great. The guitar solo at the end of the track is stunning. But unfortunately it finishes through fading out. "Home" (4:36) is definitely an excellent track with great Floydian guitar solo. The concluding title track "The Creeping Vine" (9:30) is rich in texture especially the intro part which has variety of sounds representing something like the African jungle nuance. The vocal is nice, melodic, augmented by dynamic bass lines, Hackettian guitar work. The song moves from mellow to louder parts smoothly. It sounds solid overall.

Overall, this is I believe it's a very good album. The songwriting skill is excellent and it results into tight composition with many catchy segments throughout the album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Pecae on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Report this review (#177176)
Posted Friday, July 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars Creeping triumph

The Creeping Vine is, in my opinion, the album that stands out among the three Cyan studio albums as the best one by far. While he had already proven that he is a competent songwriter, keyboard player, guitarist and vocalist, this third album was where Rob Reed finally found his own musical expression. This album is a much more personal and unique statement than the previous two Cyan albums that were both good but also a bit anonymous. These songs are memorable and charming and lead vocalist Nigel Voyle sounds a lot more assertive here than he did on 1994's Pictures From The Other Side. On that earlier album he often sounded as if his heart was not fully in it, but here he is very different. Another distinguishing feature of The Creeping Vine is that Reed is no longer playing all of the instruments himself. There is for the first time a fulltime drummer as well as a bass player. This brings with it a band feeling that was missing on earlier releases. In addition, Reed also brings in some guests including Nick Barrett of Pendragon on guitar.

Reed is exploring various different moods and styles on this album. The framework is Symphonic Prog, but there are elements of Folk and Jazz and more inside. Also the topics vary widely; the confessions of a naughty priest in The Original Sin, Nordic mythology in Valhalla and good old-fashioned romance in the out-and-out Prog Folk of Gwenan just to give three examples. The incredible thing is that he manages - despite the many styles involved - to tie it all together into an organic unit that is strongly appealing to this reviewer. Mike Oldfield is a standing influence on Reed and during the folky/Celtic moments, the sound here reminds me of that of the very good Prog Folk band The Morrigan whose leader and guitarist Colin Masson is also strongly influenced by Oldfield's work.

The three first tracks are among the better ones for sure, but the rest of the album does not disappoint. I Will Show You Life is probably the least good song on The Creeping Vine. The "Rap"-section in this song might perhaps put some Prog fans off, but it is actually not that bad. The nearly ten minute track Goodbye World shows a strong influence of classic Genesis with lots of very good Tony Banks-like keyboard work. The closing title track is another long one. This one is more rhythmic and displays some almost New-Age/World- Music vibes and an anthemic chorus that forms a great culmination of the album before fading out to some "nature sounds".

Overall I would say that The Creeping Vine is an original and generally superb disc. This is definitely the place to begin with Cyan. Reed would go on to form Magenta and the present album remains the last Cyan album to date (and probably ever?)

Highly recommended!

Report this review (#416036)
Posted Tuesday, March 15, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Cyan's third and final album is presented in the sunny and (to my ears) rather disposable style of neo-prog practiced by the likes of Shadowland and Landmarq, and presents what you could probably see as a less spooky version of the preceding Pictures From the Other Side. (There's even another guest appearance from Nick Barrett of Pendragon!) It was shortly after this that main man Rob Reed would put the Cyan project to bed in favour of Magenta, and so fans of that band may be interested in this album for historical reasons; otherwise, I'd say this is only worth it if you were particularly taken with Pictures From the Other Side.
Report this review (#635679)
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 | Review Permalink

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