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Sylvan Deliverance album cover
3.42 | 113 ratings | 7 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Seeking Nights (10:50)
2. Golden Cage (4:50)
3. Unconsciously (10:00)
4. Safe (4:10)
5. Those Defiant Ways (9:15)
6. Deliverance (10:20)
7. Childhood Dreams (3:50)
8. A Fairytale Ending (16:45)

Total Time 70:00

Line-up / Musicians

- Marco Glühmann / vocals
- Kay Söhl / guitar
- Volker Söhl / keyboards
- Patrick Münster / bass
- Matthias Harder / drums, producer

- Almut Brandes / backing vocals (1), spoken voice (8)
- Nick Ellsworth / spoken voice (8)
- Nick Haverson / spoken voice (8)

Releases information

Artwork: Hans-Peter Fischer with Marko Heisig (design)

CD Angular Records ‎- SKAN 8213.AR (1998, Germany)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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SYLVAN Deliverance ratings distribution

(113 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

SYLVAN Deliverance reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I bought this CD because I liked their second album "Encounters". Unfortunately, it failed to fulfill my expectations because I thought that it would be as excellent as Encounters. The music is a blend of neo progressive and progressive metal. Typical neo prog music has a strong melody in its composition. But, it does not really strong here with this album, even though there are some catchy segments I find throughout the album. This is not the best album to start with, I think. You should start with Encounters. This album suits only for collectors who really want to complete all albums from the band.

Seeking Nights (10:50) opens with an ambient keyboard sounds that depict a spacey nuance. The music enters with electric guitar that takes the melody backed with symphonic keyboard sound. The guitar style is typical neo prog music. The vocal line enters the music in a mellow style and it brings the music in symphonic style. There are some changes in musical forms but some of them are not done in smooth ways - I feel like bit disjointed between one segment to another. The voice quality is not that excellent. Some keyboard sound insertion does not fit well with the music - melody-wise.

Golden Cage (4:50) starts with a vocal line accompanied by piano touch with some classical influence. As the music flows, there are some orchestration at the back followed with guitar solo. There are minimum changes in musical forms as almost all stem from the same basic melody with straightforward structure and mundane melody - nothing special in terms of melody and compositions.

Unconsciously (10:00) starts off with an uplifting keyboard work and female voice followed with dynamic drumming and keyboard solo. The vocal enters energetically into the music, followed with keyboard sounds and soft guitar riffs. The guitar solo enters right after the end of first singing verse in symphonic nuance. The music turns into quieter passage with some female and male voices. It turns energetically with a male voice line backed with keyboard sounds. The ending part explores keyboard as main rhythm that accompanies good guitar work.

Safe (4:10) begins with repeated keyboard chords that accompany voice line. The combination of music and vocals do not seem harmonious as they produce confusing melody. Overall, it's a boring track with no catchy melody. It's loosely composed. Basically there is nothing left with me whenever I complete listening to this track. It's just gone like that - no memorable melody or nice piece of musical composition.

Those Defiant Ways (9:15) has a rather complex structure. However, there are many transitions or insertions of keyboard solos that do not seem fit with the structure - it seems everything does not sound naturally. So many changes happen in the music in terms of forms and textures so that I have lost with the tagline melody / composition created for the track. It's so confusing in terms of structures and composition.

Deliverance (10:20) starts with "supposedly" nice piano work. But what follows then is a soundscape that is continued with a vocal line. Unfortunately the combination with vocals do not produce anything that really stands out as a composition. Again, it seems not natural. I think there are fallacies in determining the choice of notes that were used to form this song so that they do not produce any compelling compositions. Even though, there are some catchy piano notes during transitions.

Childhood Dreams (3:50) starts with a nice piano work with classical influence followed with keyboard that brings the vocals into the music. A mellow track performed with no drumming. I hardly find catchy melody in here as well.

A Fairytale Ending (16:45) is the band's epic that concludes the album. It begins with an ambient style in an orchestration fashion for approximately 2 minutes. It continues with a soundscape. Acoustic guitar fills and male transitions. What is then annoying is the unstructured vocals at minute 3 that do not constitute a good composition. What is this really? It does not constitute any good songwriting at all putting this unstructured vocal lines - each voice tends to sing in its own way and when it's all summed up together they don't produce any single harmony. What a waste. Overall, actually I find many catchy melodies throughout this track. But unfortunately, those nice and melodic transitions were not crafted in such a way that are connected smoothly. It seems like a collection of loose nice segments. For example, I see that the ending part of this long track is really melodic especially with its stunning guitar work - but again, it's only part of overall disjointed segments.

Overall, I can only give a two-star rating for this debut album. I might have been too tough. But I have to be honest. It's also probably because I listened to their better album Encounters so that I expected this album on par excellent with the second album. But, don't get me wrong - this is not a bad album at all. It's just something missing - its probably the smooth connection parts or probably the composition itself is fundamentally weak. That's why, I invite any of you who have differing views with me. I will learn your views and give another chance to see this album. FYI, I have owned this album more than two years with many spins that I have made and it's still in this view. Keep on proGGin' .!!!

Yours progressively,


Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars While this does not compare well with "Artificial Paradise" you can see the humble beginnings of what was to come.

Perhaps this is especially seen in "Seeking Nights" more than on any other song. The vocals and guitar all show promise yet never quite deliver the goods to satisfaction. "Golden Cage" is a nice song with a catchy chorus. "Unconsciously" has a good riff and theatrical vocals, lots of keys too. "Safe" is all about the vocals.

"Those Defiant Ways" contrasts the heavy riffs to the light pastoral sections which feature some dreamy guitar. The title track has lots of tempo and mood shifts, I like it. "Childhood Dreams" features flute, piano and gentle vocals.The final song "A Fairytale Ending" is the longest and a real over the top song, that just doesn't work for me at all.

This is a good but non-essential record.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Sylvan is a good German band. One of my favorite from tis country. Although several German bands have a problem with their vocalist singing in English (but I really can't stand German lyrics, sorry guys), Sylvan does not have this problem.

The opener "Seeking Nights" sounds very symphonic to my ears, stratospheric at times (whatever this might means). Half-way the song will shift to a harder mood. Very repetitive background riff (KC ?) with solid guitar introduces the preparation of the bombastic finale of this long song (over ten minutes).

"Unconsciously" is more on the heavier side. Strong rhythmics and some definite Genesis sounds (late mid-seventies). There several great guitar breaks, which sounds almost Floydian (post Waters era). Music balances between heavy and very melodic. Very pleasant, I must say.

"Safe" is a very nice rock and symphonic ballad. Melody is extremely pleasant. Sounds truely pop rock, but there is nothing wrong with this since it is well performed and very nicely rendered. The chorus is very heartrending.

The next long number is "Those Defiant Ways". It only caches up during some very short intrumental breaks (twenty seconds each). That's a pity because if they would have investigated more into that direction, it would have improved this track an awful lot. As such now, it is only an average song.

My favorite track so far, is without doubt "Deliverance". I guess Sylvan tries to include most of their style in there : great instrumental passages, above par vocals, lots of theme variations : from the most quiet instants with a delicate piano background to the most bombastic once again for the finale. The highlight.

The short "Childhood dreams" is a good interlude. Very light piano play with smooth vocals. Nice in expectation of the epic song of this album : "A Fairytale Ending".

This closing number opens brilliantly with an intro a la ELP for about two minutes. It then turns into an almost pastoral atmosphere during which the story can start to be narrated. The following section is a bit weird I must say.

Vocals switch from narration parts to more standardized vocals (but briefly). I have never liked this combination very much. I can not really enter into this piece. This epic song is just a song honestly played but with no real power nor inspiration. Just over sixteen minutes of music. But lenghty does not mean per se brilliant.

This first album is above average I would say, but still it does not contain sufficient great numbers (some good guitar breaks here and there) to make it memorable. Three stars.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The seeds for SYLVAN's formation were set in 1991 in Hamburg,when three friends decided to form their own rock band.In 1995 they were named SYLVAN after the addition of vocalist Marco Glühmann.They released their junior album ''Deliverance'' in 1999,paying a tribute to all the bands,who have influenced them.''Deliverance'' is an excellent 50/50 mix between neo progressive and symphonic rock,featuring dramatic,expressive vocal lines,superb keyboard work and somewhat heavy electric guitars.Most of the songs are clocking close to 10 min. or longer,so the band can fully develop their ideas.The trully great solos are followed by long synth-led atmospheric breaks and sensitive vocal parts,sung in English.SYLVAN actually managed to create a very personal sound- a unique MARILLION (both eras),PINK FLOYD and GENESIS hybrid - with rich and well-crafted musicianship and for that reason they desrve your attention and congratulations.A highly recommended release!
Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars While neo-prog tendencies weren't anything new to Germany as bands like Neuschwanstein, Anyone's Daughter and Sirius were on par with the British explosion that occurred in the 80s Marillion led run, most of the bands were more of a clever mix of the contemporary symphonic prog upgrades and the melding of classic 70s Genesis and Camel elements to their sound. The Hamburg based team of guitarist Kay Söhl and keyboardist Volker Söhl (twin brothers) with guitarist Matthias Harder had no problem looking to the future while adopting the UK sensibilities of the past in this case meaning the 80s updated version of the symphonic prog world that splintered off.

While many begin their SYLVAN journey with the brilliant 2006 release "Posthumous Silence," the roots of the band extend all the way back to 1990 when the musical trio would form under the moniker Temporal Temptation but would soon change it to Chamäleon with artwork and a sound clearly inspired by 80s Marillion. The band was rounded off by Patrick Münster on bass and Marco Glühmann on vocals. Despite the setbacks, the band was encouraged by a lot of positive feedback as they were developing their own brand of neo-prog and the band stuck it out throughout the 90s but found it hard to get their debut released so it wasn't until 1999 that the fully formed band named SYLVAN found its first album in the form of DELIVERANCE.

DELIVERANCE contained all the essential neo-prog elements such as piano based melodies, dramatic soap opera lyrics conveying the spectrum of human emotions and compositional fortitude that found many proggy twists and turns developed around a story which seems scrapped together from the many demos that the band released in the years before this debut. All those years of paying their dues really paid off because the band, while not exactly living up to their potential as heard on future releases, developed a mature and sophisticated neo-prog album worthy of the modern day with a nice mix between Pink Floyd inspired space rock, Genesis and Marillion infused symphonic prog and outbursts of hard rock moments. Likewise the band had learned to master the art of long epic sprawling compositions with DELIVERANCE showing off four tracks over the ten minute mark and an album closer "A Fairytale Ending" nearly hitting the seventeen minute mark.

DELIVERANCE is chock full of all those beautiful melodies and atmospheric backdrops anyone could ever hope for on a neo-prog album. The band had clearly been studying their idols quite well. There are dramatic spoken word dialogues, excellent backing vocals, sound effects, a sense of compositional surprise and the art of tension building, contrast and crescendoing up to release. The complexities of these longer tracks are quite brilliant actually and they remind me more of the those Colossus Project type release that have emerged in the 21st century more than most neo-prog of the 90s. SYLVAN went the extra mile to add more dynamic elements than their contemporaries like Arena or IQ were pumping out at the same time. In fact you could say that SYLVAN was extremely meticulous in how they handled all the elements of their sound not only regarding the compositional fortitude but the dynamics, production and vocal phrasing.

While most have come late to the SYLVAN game, it's amazing how beautiful this debut album DELIVERANCE is as it reaches the lengthy playing time of 70 minutes but in its sonic wake, the listener is treated to one of the great neo-prog bands that while not exactly at their peak still deliver a passionate and well performed album. While mature for a debut, DELIVERANCE does have a few drawbacks. There are the expected runs of musical motifs that outwore their welcome particularly at the beginning of the album and there are times when Glühmann's vocals sound a bit like Elton John! However the strength of the album clearly comes from the lengthy tracks on the second half of the album and to be honest, none of the others are bad in any way. There simply could've been a better editing job. Great album even though many better ones were to come.

3.5 rounded up (since it's not getting enough love here)

Latest members reviews

4 stars This is a band of influences. The prog is there. Some would say it's Pink Floyd in the present and that's not a bad comparison. The keyboars are all around and the guitars are a good addition. For a debut they go very far in their musical abilities. The singer is very constant and in sync wit ... (read more)

Report this review (#81092) | Posted by Hét LICHAAM | Tuesday, June 13, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Surpirsingly not so much German, neither Krautrock nor Eloy. Rather a good neo progressive band with a great singer (not so strong accent when singing English) and some real neat ideas and melodies. Specially the lengthy last track on the cd about the beautiful tolkien' love story of Beren and Luthr ... (read more)

Report this review (#6656) | Posted by | Wednesday, November 19, 2003 | Review Permanlink

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