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Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. SYRINX are a four piece band from France.They had originally chosen to remain anonymous like some of the old time artists who refused to sign their art, instead allowing the art to be the sole focus. It has been revealed though that the Maurin brothers, the guitarists for NIL and THORK are the brains behind this project. The SYRINX project is concieved to be developed over several albums.

The theme of this record is Greek mythology, but check out their web site for an indepth answer to what the theme is exactly. I would describe the music as dark, atmospheric, beautiful, melodic, subtle and complex. Similar sounding artists are NIL, EXSIMIO and GUAPO. There are no electric lead guitars, but the acoustic guitar is used as the lead and is stunningly beautiful throughout. The keyboards are used a lot to create the mood and also the atmosphere. So there are lots of synth washes, and they are usually used to create a dark atmosphere, much the way mellotron is used to create a similar mood. The drumming is amazing, bringing the band TOOL to mind at times. It's hard to put into words how great the playing is on each of the five tracks.The production top notch as the sound here is crystal clear. And this means so much when you hear the acoustic guitar picking.

So put the head phones on and turn out the lights and take a trip that will blow you away.

Report this review (#99387)
Posted Saturday, November 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Syrinx is a French instrumental project formed by musicians from diverse tendencies united by the common need to create something new in an artsy manner -something they label as metamorphic music. The album "Reification" bears a patent mystic vibe to it, and that means that they successfully blend the sonic colors of their compositions with the concept behind them. Their sound is quite chiarobscure, built on main melodies, orchestrations and tonalities that seem to be born out of the misty ambiences from dew- wet forests in an autumn evening. The lyrical sections feel somewhat sinsiter, while, in contrast, the scary passages bear a melancholy texture that keeps them from becoming overtly creepy. It is incredible how the acoustic guitar, being the least loud item in the instrumentation, leads so effectively the nervous development of the main ideas and the subtly complex links between them. The organ solos, the synthesizer washes, the powerful rhythm duo, all of them have an undeniably punch to them, yet the acoustic guitars' arpeggios, leads and strums seem stubbornly stuck on the center stage. The most wonderful thing that Syrinx accomplishes is a perfectly polished sense of ensemble, but it's not their only wonderful achievement: great melodies, captivating atmospheres, efficient balance between all moods that successively build up the continumm of each track. Each compositional piece has a Spartan structure to it, but the instrumentation goes beyond playing them and becomes a real arranging tool, which sets a dialectics of extra composition. The namesake opening piece fills the album's first 17 minutes, clearly defining the band's ideology. The sonic panorama is enriched by controlled yet ambitious expansions of the basic motifs, never getting into the excessively self-indulging thing. The sense of control doesn't work opposite the musicians' creative freedom, but as a complement to it. 'Emanescence' and 'Le Vingtieme Cercle' have each a shorter room for expansion, but this small detail doesn't stop them from including a notable set of rich variations and mood shifts. The atmospheres are, in comparison to the opening track, a bit more colorful without letting go of that special mysterious vibe that is intended to fill the whole album, sound by sound, second after second. That is particularly true for the eerie interlude of 'Le Vingtieme Cercle', to put a random example. 'Orbis Ubique', with its 14 ž minute span, offers a more ambitious strcture, not unlike 'Reification', albeit digging deeper into the most somber side of the band's musical vision. Perhaps this is the main reason why it stands out as one of the definitive highlights of the album. A special mention has to go for the very, very creepy synth solo that emerges like something out of the underworld. Finally, 'L'Hypostase des Archontes' reincides on the album's overall essence, although with a more explicit dynamics, which is no doubt due to the special dose of energy provided by the rhythmic section. The drum input during the concluding climax has to be the most impressive performance delivered by Philippe Maullet, and indeed, he helped his partners to shine at their respective instruments especially for this section. This track is another amazing highlight, but this section has merits of its own. An incredible ending for an incredible album - "Reification" is a progressive classic for the millenium and Syrinx is a name to be included in any good prog collection. 4 to 4.5 stars for this album!

Report this review (#117512)
Posted Saturday, April 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars

A staggering work. The way in which all the instruments are mixed is simply extraordinary. In every moment I have the feeling that something is going to happened because these musicians know how to keep your attention.

The sound is like trying to accomplish something and they donâ??t know exactly how to go on but just keeping to square up to the situation.

I was completely impressed by the first song and I was wondering what will come next. Surprises almost everywhere on the next track also. Then I had no doubt and I said: these guys know what they are doing. Of course my intuition was right and I enjoyed every song.

It is hard to put somewhere in a certain genre this music because the sound is like taking small pieces from everything I listened to before in a way but on the other way like nothing I listened before. It is impossible to choose a highlight because every song is perfect. Even if is hard to predict the directions the prog music will have I would like to think that in the years to come the music will evolve in this direction.

On the other way this release may be hard to get in for somebody who's trying discover the progressive genre. The compositions have a certain kind of abstract approach which I find it very enjoyable.

Almost a perfect album.4.75 stars

Report this review (#123996)
Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Syrinx is a side project of mainly guys from NIL: David Maurin on acoustic guitar, Benjamin Croizy on keyboards and Samuel Maurin on bass accomplished with Philippe Maullet on drums. The alliance took place already at 1999 when they decided to create music of new form. At first they remained anonymous: ''They work together to attain a common goal which bears the name of Syrinx: thus, the name and career of each musician are unimportant'' and they named the band as Syrinx: ''Syrinx normally designs a nymph from Greek mythology. This concept does not belong exclusively to this mythology. It not only existed before it, but it exists to this very day. Syrinx, then, is the origin of this music.'' According to the band, the form of their music is Metamorphic Music fulfilling three conditions:

1) It is constructed on rhythmical and melodic themes which develop, change, and metamorphose in a subtle way into other themes. Depending on the effects intended, this process is more or less perceived by the listener. If this metamorphic construction is elaborated correctly, it can lead to the two following consequences:

2) It induces a special interior state in the listener. In fact, all music influences our movements, our emotions and our will-power, whether we are conscious of this or not. Syrinx' music is precisely conceived in this sense to operate an internal transmutation, an interior metamorphosis of the listener.

3) In the place where it is played, it creates a sort of climate: it contains in itself all that is necessary to be able to catch on progressively in the physical area where it is propagated. After the music has stopped, it still impregnates the area. A sensitive person can feel this phenomenon, even if he or she were not present at the time of its diffusion.

As far their only album of this form, ''Reification'', got published four years after the formation. Like said in conditions, the music of Syrinx is an ever changing flow that's easy to float with, but that's in a complex and dangerous way: there's a whirlpool behind the calm waters once you get into - there's no coming back! Now, think of a football team, where 's no leading player but everyone plays as a part of team, to one destination: goal. Nobody keeps the ball for himself a long but the interplay is fast with all twists and turns. Syrinx is just like a perfect and very disciplined football team. The absent of electric guitar is the most notable and 'commanding' element here, it leaves the doors wide open for the rest of the instruments here: All are as much in leading and in accompanying role, which are constantly changing like a played ball.

The flow of music is kind of slow and minimal in a way (not rhytmically or thematically), but that's only an illusion actually again for the missing leading instrument. So, all the souds and notes are well considered thus getting an extra weight on them. Every sound, every note, every pick of bass and every beat of drum is MEANINGFUL. And for this reason the listening of 'Reification' is quite an exhausting experience: it forcefully takes your full attention and doesn't leave a listener any chance to take a breath. After listening to this record I feel like after an hour of jogging or something (I have actually once listened this four times consecutively... it makes you demanding for more of it! I think I'm in quite good physical shape now, thanks for Syrinx :)

Now, imagine four random and different frequency sinusoid or cosine like curvatures that goes on... they're the players lines here. So at least one of them is always at the peak granting a wow-effect and keeping the attention while the lines below are sneakily chancing and rising a moment after into another wow. At times there comes a moments when all the curvatures are simultaneously at the peak, and that's a WOW!

Of the players I have to say that they're all absolutely stunning with all the fretless bass playing, imaginary drum patterns, wonderful guitar picking, extraordinary keyboard playing and superb compositions. Syrinx cannot be compared to any other band, any other music ever before, it's above them all. Only NIL's Quarante Jours Sur Le Sinai grants some similar moments as far as I know.

Of the songs Syrinx lighten us:

1. Reification: reify signifies to give reality to a concept. It renders palpable that which is evanescent; then essence becomes substance. This first piece gives its title to the album and characterizes the musical direction of Syrinx as well as posing the base of the metamorphic structure of the music.

2. Emanescence: an emanescence is a living contact, impalpable and ephemeral. It is a sort of soft touch, a fugacious imprint of a moment of grace. Everyone has an experience of this kind during their lives, and interpret it in an artistic, psychological, rational or mystical way...

3. The twentieth circle: this refers to the hierarchical structure of the universe that numerous traditions materialize as circles or concentric spheres. Syrinx was part of the twentieth circle (or level, plane, dimension).

4. Orbis Ubique: this is a Latin expression designing that which is spherical (orb) and that which can be found everywhere (ubiquity). That corresponds equally to the musical structure of the piece and to the nature of Syrinx.

5. The Hypostasis of the Archons: Archons is the term utilized by the Gnostics to design what the theologians called Powers, that is to say the divine emanations located two levels under the Archangels. The Hypostasis constitutes a change of state which occurred among the Archons at the beginning of our era, and which benefited indirectly to Syrinx. The Hypostasis of the Archons is also the title of one of the 52 texts found in Egypt. This archaeological discovery is considered by some as being the most important one since that of the Red Sea Manuscripts.

That just have to do with the songs because I couldn't describe these pieces musically: They're the ever changing flow, hard to separate into any parts and they change with your own feelings and mental conditions showing themself a different side from listening to listening. At first, Syrinx may sound a bit dull, again for the missing solos and vocals for example, but as you keep listening to this masterwork, you begin to realise the small details and to comprehend the unnatural flow and changes of the music. Soon you'll find this album as a prog-grug that you gonna have to get your regular dose.

Hope somebody cared to read all this nonsense of mine, but anyhow: this album is extremely recommended and it's definitely the best insrumental album I've ever heard! Now, there's a brand new album to be expected from them at any day now and I'm very exited!

Reference: Syrinx homepage

Report this review (#168263)
Posted Monday, April 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Syrinx are a modern prog quartet coming from Annecy,France.The four musicians of the band are all experienced regarding the prog field.Brothers guitarist David Maurin and bassist Samuel Maurin has played both for Thork and Nil,drummer Philippe Maullet has also been a member of Thork and Benjamin Croizy played keyboards for Nil.However this project aims to explore brand new musical horizons than those of Thork and moreover Nil.

Definitely a KING CRIMSON child,Syrinx play dark,mysterious and complicated jazzy Progressive Rock,all instrumental.All five long tracks are highlighted by an obscure atmosphere with complex breaks,acoustic passages and heavy bass lines.The drumming is often very complex certainly following a jazzy mood and synths appear from nowhere to create some more mysterious soundscapes.When the whole band jams together,the interplays are adventurous,abstract and even hard to follow,but the overall atmosphere is quite unique.Good thing is the band uses KING CRIMSON only as an influence and it's very far from the plagiarism phenomenon.Another positive: Melody is not totally absent,a few atmospheric passages hold some interest regarding this part,even some lovely flutes pop up somewhere.

This ''Réification'' debut album is a massive musical attack against demanding ears and can be a really painful or a simply majestic experience,depending on what the listener searches for.For me it's a very strong first step that deserves 3.5 stars,while the band shows great potential for even producing a masterpiece in the near future.

Report this review (#480573)
Posted Tuesday, July 12, 2011 | Review Permalink

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