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Cyan Pictures from the Other Side album cover
3.34 | 54 ratings | 7 reviews | 9% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Guardians (12:00)
2. Pictures from the Other Side (6:16)
3. Solitary Angel (4:19)
4. Broken Man (6:08)
5. All Around the World (6:47)
6. Tomorrow's Here Today (7:47)
7. Follow the Flow (3:04)
8. Nosferatu (Requiem for a Vampire) (14:03)

Total Time 60:24

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Reed / electric, classical & acoustic guitars, synths (Ensonic SQ1, Korg M1, Emu MPS), Akai S100 sampler, Alesis D4 drum machine, backing vocals, composer, producer
- Nigel Voyle / lead vocals
- Christina Booth (Murphy) / backing vocals

- Andy Edwards / guitar solos (1,8)
- Ann Morgan / operatic solo (8)
- Robert Cottle / backing vocals (8)

Releases information

Artwork: Simon Laurens

CD SI Music ‎- SIMPly 54 (1994, Netherlands)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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CYAN Pictures from the Other Side ratings distribution

(54 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (39%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

CYAN Pictures from the Other Side reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars The first Cyan album was a very good surprise. Fully symphonic and indirectly revived by Nick Barrett (Pendragon). It was also a one-man work : Robert Reed playing all the instruments.

For this occasion, he decided to get a full band to release this album. He wanted to hire several guests to play on different tracks of the album. But he was so impressed by the work of Nigel Voyle that he decided to incorporate it as the lead vocalist. The band took almost a year from the first rehearsals to the final release. Shortly after, their record company broke and Cyan's early works were almost lost again.

The opening number, "The Guardian" is rather different when compared to the material available on their first album. Harder and this time fully neo-prog (while their first effort definitely ranked more into the symphonic style). I guess that the comparison with "Arena" is not far away with the mood of this song. I must say that this new approach is a kind of a disappointment. Gone the sweet melodies and soft instrumental parts. Some great keyboards of course and convincing vocals. Some Spanish acoustic breaks are also welcome; they add a spicy flavour.

"Pictures..." is almost a folk song. Delicate vocals and subtil piano bring some sort of peaceful feeling. Robert Reed's keyboard play is of course again great but melody-wise this song is a bit flat. These backing vocals are not really brilliant, to say the least.

"Solitary Angel" is a great number. Especially during the vocal parts. Very much in the style of David Surkamp from "Pavlov's Dog". Thinking that Nigel Voyle took part in the audition for Marillion after the disaster of Fish's sacking...But, unfortunately the band will decide to get Hogarth on board instead...

"Broken Man" is very much Marillion-oriented IMO (Hogarth era). I don't know whether or not it is a coincidence. "All Around The World" is a bit mellowish and the weakest track of this album. It almost sounds gospel, religion-oriented. Not really what I had expected from Cyan.

"Tomorrow's Her Today" is the most Genesis-like of this album. What about the keys ? These synths sounds are so close to the ones of Tony. But we are far from having a clone here (I already mentioned this during my review of their first album "For King And Country". Guitar also ghas a prominent role in this number. Not extremely original but pleasant.

The second epic is quite bizarre. Prog metal beat. Heavy roffs, high-pitched vocals, strong keys and a very solid rhytmic section. Somewhat "Carmina Burana" at some times. Totally unexpected I must say. It is quite unexpected to listen to a song that is closer to Dream Theater than anything else. A drastic change in their musical orientation.

This album is not a bad one but Cyan has totally recycled their great symphonic sound and delivers a totally different album. I am hesitant as to the rating. Five out of ten probably. Since the band has such a miserable exposure on PA, I will upgrade it to three stars.

Review by progrules
4 stars This almost one man band Cyan is because of this of course very interesting. But not only because he does much on his own. If that would mean he delivers a poor product I wouldn't appreciate it but this is really good neoprog, almost symphonic prog really. And that's because of the two epics that stand out much from the other songs. The shorter songs are pure neoprog but the two long ones are tremendous compositions worthy to be called classics. Especially Nosferatu is a very interesting song, handling about a vampireman, very nice effects here and great build up. The Guardians is a more regular epic, very good and also lifting the album to a high level. About the shorter songs I can say that a special attention goes to Tomorrow's here today, another great composition, very compact with lots of different elements. The other songs are far less which prevents me from giving 5 stars, so it will be 4.
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I have heard the name of this band being a neo progressikve band and only recently I have a chance to enjoy the music of the band through Pictures From The Other Side (1994) album. Looking at the year of release it's very obvious that this was issued post neo prog early years where Marillion, IQ, Pallas, Pendragon started their debut albums. Even though Marillion was said being the pioneer of neo prog music, I found many neo-prog bands that followed later until recently do-not necessary followed the music- of Marillion. Well, if they follow, it's only the music with mellow style like Chelsea Monday that only represents one of the songs from Script for a Jester's Tear and the most mellow from the album. The opening track The Guardians (12:00) is a keyboard-based composition in relatively upbeat music, combining good vocal work, keyboard solo and nice acoustic guitar fills.-from the opening track alone I can tell that the music of Cyan is interesting to enjoy and explore. I believe that those of you who claim-that you love ndeo prog you would find this opening track is nice and it has been carefully composed by the band. Actually, when I first listened to this track I was not quite impressed as it was too mellow for me while at the same time I was enjoying Redemption Origins of Ruin in prog metal vein. So, you can imagine the gap in music style and it does not seem to connect one another.

The second track Pictures From The Other Side (6:16) is not as strong as the opening one, however, it has nice melody and it uses flute in the music on top of piano. The flute solo is very enjoyable it accentuates the music brilliantly. The keyboard solo is also excellent. The next track Solitary Angel (4:19) opens beautifully with flute in ambient mood followed with low register vocal notes augmented nicely with acoustic guitar.

The stream of music flows nicely from one track to another and it offers similar style of neo prog with most of them are in mellow mode. Keyboard is the key in rhythm section and guitar fills intercept nicely in between segments. The concluding track "Nosferatu (requiem For A Vampire)" (14:03) is I think the best track offered here with varied style and tempo changes in tight composition.

Overall, this is a truly neo progressive rock album that favors those of you who love this sub-genre. For those who love keyboard-based music, you would find it enjoyable. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It sounds very nice, "Reed - almost everything, except...". But in The Guardian it's almost impossible to believe that this finishing drum sound at about 7:55 (something like that) is not drum machine, this is just too unreal and fast to be living organism called human. Even I have to admit that sometimes it sounds good, I don't like (if my suspicion is correct). Never mind, from what I saw, it'll probably be the worse choice, but music is good at all. I heard few albums and amongst them this one, but I've decided to do review right after listening this one. No waiting, no hesitating, just direct review, other failed to attract my attention, or failed to do it so much. I understand that there's something like Cyan's trademark sound, which I cannot describe, but I recognize it when I hear it. Of course, only place where I found it so far was on Cyan's CD's, but still. This one is better, it's very, very calm neo prog (don't expect Arena, not even Pendragon, maybe this can be compared to Acoustically Challenged - unplugged CD) with prominent Nigel Voyle's vocal.

4(-), dear proggers and progsters, maybe better after more listening. It's quite promising and I edit reviews quite often.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars The other side of Rob Reed?

From the formation in 1984 up until the release of the debut album in 1993, Cyan was a one- man band consisting of multi-instrumentalist Rob Reed who did everything himself from vocals to keyboards to guitars, etc. Appearing one year after the official debut, this second album was therefore the first to feature a slightly extended cast. However, just as on For King And Country Reed is still playing most of the instruments himself here. Given this fact the result is surprisingly strong, but I still feel that the songs could have benefitted from having a proper band.

Lead vocal duties on the other hand are handed over to Nigel Voyle who does a fine job even if he often sounds like a session vocalist. Pictures From The Other Side is also noteworthy for being the first Cyan album to feature Christina Murphy (now known as Christina Booth) who would later on take a much larger part in another of Reed's "colourful" musical projects - Magenta. In addition to Voyle and Murphy, a couple of guests are also featured here.

The music found on the present album is in general more dramatic and theatrical compared to that of the debut. This is especially apparent on the epic closer Nosferatu (Requiem For A Vampire) which reminds in style of Arena's Opera Fanatica from their Pepper's Ghost album. This track has a harder edge than the rest of the songs on Pictures From The Other Side. The classic Symphonic Prog sound is not abandoned, however. There are some nice Camel-like flute parts, some tasteful acoustic guitar licks and lots of Mike Oldfield-like lead guitar. In some songs one can also note some slight folky touches. I occasionally get the feeling that Reed wasn't entirely sure about exactly what direction he wanted to go in, but he still manages to produce a reasonably consistent and overall enjoyable album.

As far as I am concerned, Pictures From The Other Side is every bit as gratifying as For King And Country if not more so. While none of these albums are essential by any means, both of them are worthy additions to any Prog collection.

Review by Warthur
3 stars The second Cyan album doesn't quite manage to hit the high standards of the previous one; the compositions aren't quite as interesting (possibly due to not having been worked on over the course of the a decade like the songs on the first album!) and the production isn't quite as good - which possibly explains why Rob Reed chose to remaster and remix this material when it was put out on the Cyan compilations in 1997 and 1999. To be honest, it's more interesting for being Reed's first collaboration with Christina Murphy, who would go on to become the lead vocalist of Magenta, than it is for the actual music here, which is fairly middle-of-the-road and cliched neo-prog.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Encouraged by the positive feedback regarding Cyan's debut, Rob Reed decided to move on with a second album.He was lucky enough to meet singer Nigel Voyle, formerly of the 80's act Just Good Friends and a candidate to replace Fish on Marillion, and pass him the lead vocal duties of the upcoming ''Pictures from the other side'' album.Moreover Reed introduced to the public Christina Booth on backing vocals (named Christina Murphy at the time), the future frontwoman of Magenta, and collaborated with Ezra's guitarist Andy Edwards in a couple of tracks.Reed was always a great composer and, with so much load of his shoulders, he wrote the material of the new album in just three months, eventually released a year after Cyan's debut, again on the SI label.

Another very solid release of British Neo Prog, recalling the works of PENDRAGON, LANDMARQ and SHADOWLAND, is the result of Reed's efforts.The new singer has a very good, clear and theatrical voice, definitely an improvement over Reed's questionable ability to sing, while Booth's angelic voice is somewhat hidden by her limited role on background voices.Musically the album consists of eight, mostly long compositions (two of them exceed the 12-min. mark), filled with lyrical pomposity, melodic textures and symphonic leanings, although some slight poppy flavors are also present in the shorter tracks.Heavy use of synthesizers with both dreamy and more upfront deliveries along with some lovely guitar lines characterize the song structures, moving from melancholic, laid-back soundscapes to cheerful choruses and from dramatic vocal moments to bombastic, orchestral moves.There is plenty of room for extended instrumental themes, usually in a typical 80's symphonic mode, and the balance between accesible and more demanding parts is well kept throughout the release.A few stand-out tracks are present as well, like the pompous and melodramatic ''Solitary angel'', the impressive ''All around the world'', featuring Ann Morgan's operatic vocals and standing somewhere between CAMEL and PINK FLOYD, and the pretty great 14-min. opus ''Nosferatu'' with its grandiose atmosphere, reminiscent of ARENA.

I can tell you one thing: It is very sad to see Reed, one of most prolific composers of modern British Prog, remaining so under-the-radar during the 90's.His works with Cyan are pretty great, as this album is.An emblimatic sound of Neo/Symphonic Prog awaits all listeners eager to purchase this release.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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