Crossover Prog

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Syzygy Realms of Eternity album cover
3.85 | 60 ratings | 8 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Darkfield (10:35)
2. Vanitas (6:02)
3. Dreams (10:31)
4. Echoes Remain (5:23)
5. Dialectic (16:35)
The Sea:
6. Arranmore Isle (2:04)
7. Overture (2:42)
8. The Sea (5:22)
9. The Morning Song (3:26)
10. Variations, Part 1 (4:04)
11. Variations, Part 2 (3:15)
12. Reflections (1:44)
13. Finale (5:27)

Total Time 77:10


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Carl Baldassarre / guitars, Theremin, lead & backing vocals
- Sam Giunta / keyboards
- Paul Mihacevich / percussion, drums, backing vocals
- Al Rolik / bass guitar, backing vocals

Special guest:
- Mark Boals (Darkfield, Dreams, Dialectic, The Sea) / vocals

Releases information

2009 SYZYGY Music Enterprises, LLC
Published by FHI, Records (ASCAP) a division of SME, LLC

Thanks to squire jaco for the addition
and to proglucky for the last updates
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SYZYGY Realms of Eternity ratings distribution

(60 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

SYZYGY Realms of Eternity reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars What a pleasant surprise this album was. I did enjoy the debut but I felt it could have been better, well "Realms Of Eternity" is what I call A LOT better. Carl Baldassarre the lead guitarist and vocalist wrote all the lyrics, and considering his personal faith there is a strong Christian flavour to the lyrics. This album is the whole package though, i've just enjoyed it immensly this past week.

"Darkfield" features guest vocalsist Mark Boals who sings on 3 other tracks as well. I love this song. It's about temptation and brings in the Garden of Eden (Paradise). This is just so well done. Some guest cello in the intro and chunky bass a minute in. Yearning vocals follow. Check out the guitar 3 1/2 minutes in and the mournful synths that remind me of RUSH. Speaking of RUSH i'm reminded of Lifeson as the guitar comes in at 5 minutes. Nice bass 6 1/2 minutes in. I like the drumming late as well. Fantastic tune. Dark and melancholic. "Vanitas" is SYZYGY putting on an instrumental show early. It turns classical then kicks in around 3 minutes. Great sound right here ! Check out the drum work. "Dreams" opens with synths,piano and lazy guitar melodies. Kind of spacey actually before it kicks in around a minute. This is nice and heavy. Vocals 2 minutes in as it settles. A GENTLE GIANT vibe here. It's fuller on the chorus. Love the mournful guitar after 7 minutes. Vocals are back late. "Echoes Remain" features these beautiful acoustic guitar melodies as reserved vocals and cello join in. Lots of flute in this one as well. A mellow tune. "Dialectic" is laid back with synths early. Vocals follow and the sound gets fuller. It settles after 3 1/2 minutes as contrasts continue. Raw guitar 5 1/2 minutes in as it kicks in heavier. Nice bass and organ. I like the guitar 9 minutes in too. It turns jazzy. Great sound after 11 1/2 minutes with synths. Chunky bass 13 1/2 minutes in then it turns mellow, almost spacey with strummed acoustic guitar and vocals that sing over and over "Like seasons are inclined. We need change to help us find. How old becomes anew. And it's all because of you".

"Arranmore Isle" is pastoral with acoustic guitar melodies and theremin. "Overture" is a SPOCK'S BEARD-like tune. This is fun with the organ,fat bass and the guitar making lots of noise. Yes the drumming is incredible. "The Sea" opens with piano as a full sound comes and goes. Vocals too. Samples late. "The Mourning Song" features these strummed acoustic guitar melodies as percussion joins in then synths. Reserved vocals follow. I like it. "Variations Part 1" and "Variations Part 2" are both highlights instrumentally and the vocal arrangements recall GENTLE GIANT on part 1. Both songs are a blast with the growly bass, pounding drums and prominant keyboards. "Reflections" opens with strummed acoustic guitar as drums then vocals join in. Kind of sad yet uplifting. It blends into "Finale" where it gets fuller. Check out the bass ! Guitar comes ripping in as the drums pound it out. I like when the synths come in around a minute.The guitar solo is just a beauty as it goes on and on. It ends with the vocals passionately singing "I wonder if the tale is true. Cross the sea where i'll find you. Smiles a-waiting on the shore. Loved ones joyful evermore".

Easily 4 stars and highly recommended.


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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#228996) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Review by Man With Hat
COLLABORATOR Jazz-Rock/Fusion Team
3 stars Into the outer realms...

...of good music. Realms of Eternity is certainly a progression for Syzygy, unfortunately for me, they have progressed in the wrong direction. I don't know if the genre teams had inside knowledge when they put this band in Crossover prog (before the release of this album), but damn, did they ever hit it out of the park. Perhaps more eclectic than most crossover prog (my knowledge of crossover prog is limited at best), but there is plenty of poppy moments all over this disc. Which, for me, is a real shame. I have been a fan of the band since their debut, and eventually found their previous Witsend CD, both of which are excellent slices of prog-rock (in the sense of the progressive rock definition of art rock). In my opinion, they have rarely treaded in the crossover prog territory before this disc.

There are a couple of changes here that lower the rating on this album. First, is the overuse of lyrics. Before they were a mostly instrumental band that used vocals quite effectively. (Also, the lyrics here are very...spiritual. Not that that's a problem for me, however there are some portions of this album that put the focus on the lyrics and thus its only fair to mention.) I have never really found the lyrics to be all that great between the previous efforts (not to say they were bad...because they weren't...they just didn't shine). Secondly, and most importantly, is the addition of Mark Boals on vocals. I don't know where they found this guy, but to my ears he is as generic as they come. He sounds like you could place him in any 80s/early 90s rock band and he would fit right in with little difficulty. The vocals on the previously outings were so unique and, to a degree, naive sounding which really gave them a charm and made them stand out in a crowd, so to speak. (I assume the vocalist in question would be Carl Baldassarre...whose voice I obviously enjoy.) Bolas' vocals do not suit this music at all, and probably add an extra flavor of pop sensibility to the music (not to mention increase the feeling of commonplaceness).

Having gotten that out of the way, this disc is not a total failure. The first five songs are (almost) all classic Syzygy, containing excellent melodies and instrumental passages. The three longer songs (Darkfield, Dreams, Dialectic) are all varied and flow together well. Echoes Remain is the obligatory acoustic piece, with the regular singer in place, thankfully. While nice, its a bit too long, but does offer a nice contrast to the rest of that "side" of the album. Special mention must go to Dreams, which is my favorite song on the disc. The vocals of Bolas (finally!) meld wonderfully with the music and the backing vocals. (My guess is the reason I like this track so much is that his vocals are only a part, and thus not dominating the song, and must work together with everyone else's, rather than stand out against the rest of the song.) Then comes...The Sea. For me, this is the CD takes a nosedive. This is much more streamlined and ordinary sounding than the rest of the album, losing the special sound that only Syzygy create. It starts off well, with the gentle and acoustic Arranmore Isle. Overture is interesting as well, ramping up the rock quotient of progressive rock, with some nice organ. After this, the album goes awry with The Sea and The Morning Song (which is kind of soothing and pleasant in its own special way...if you catch my drift...). Variation (Parts I & II) offers some nice instrumental relief, but unfortunately lead into Reflections and Finale, which doesn't end on a good note. Here, more than anywhere else, the music seems to serve the lyrics, instead of the lyrics serving the music. Which is really the biggest failing of The Sea, and more importantly Realms Of Eternity.

All in all, this is a lopsided album. When its good, its really good, but when its bad, its really bad (at least by progressive rock standards). Hopefully Syzygy will continue on without Bolas and focus more on the instrumental side of their music, which they are excellent at. The band seems to have good chops and can really write a good symphonic/eclectic prog song. (As an aside I do hope this album will grow on me, and perhaps one day I'll revise the rating I will give this album.) Until then however, I will give this three stars as I would not say this is any better than good. If you are a fan of crossover prog, Neal Morse (or other Christian prog bands...if they exist), or hard/alternative rock you will probably find more here to enjoy than I did.


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Send comments to Man With Hat (BETA) | Report this review (#234702) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, August 23, 2009

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Syzygy is a US based outfit with a history going back to the early 90's, at first known as Witsend. They issued one album under the latter moniker in 1993, but prior to their second production The Allegory of Light in 2003 they changed to their current band name. Realms of Eternity is their third effort, and was issued in 2009.

I'm not yet familiar with their first two efforts, but as the band has been kind enough to provide me with reviewers copies of these as well it will be interesting to see what they have offered previously. For this third installment in their discography progressive rock of the symphonic variety is that's served though, and a pretty vintage one at that.

Long, epic compositions dominate this effort. Three of the first five compositions on this album stretch beyond the 10 minute mark, while the last 8 tracks are in fact one creation clocking in at close to 30 minutes in length. This gives the band ample opportunity to explore long, instrumental passages, and like many well known acts of yesteryear they do this in a pretty non-repetetive manner. Many themes are explored, and the band opts to either alter and evolve or move between the various segments rather than to thoroughly explore a specific passage and then leave it behind for good.

Guitars in various guises, keyboards and organ are the main and dominating instruments used, with multi-layered harmonic passages the stylistic exploration of choise. Dissonances, disharmonies and other elements from jazz and experimental music are only utilized on select occasions, Syzygy have their feet firmly placed in the classical-tinged variety of symphonic rock on this venture.

Fans of Genesis will find many resemblances in sound spread throughout this album, as far as I can tell that is the dominating musical influence for this act. They don't limit themselves to that sound, as we're also served both instrumental and vocal passages with distinct Gentle Giant tinged mannerisms. Fans of Yes and early King Crimson should also discover familiar sounding elements without much trouble, and we're also treated to a few constructions that makes a nod or three in the direction of the folk-influenced part of Jethro Tull's back catalogue.

A merry mix of vintage sounding progressive rock in other words, with clear and distinct influences easily caught. And to Syzygy's credit they rarely venture forth into replicating territories either. With a stylistic expression as heavily explored as this one brief moments where they sound exactly like another outfit are pretty much unavoidable, but I get the impression that the band has worked pretty hard to achieve as few such moments as possible.

Overall a strong effort from this US act, and one that should appeal strongly to fans of mid 70's progressive rock of the symphonic variety. I suspect many of those will regard this production as a strong candidate for album of the year 2009. Personally I won't subscribe to that notion, but it is a high quality release from start to finish; and a strong effort overall.

Highly recommended, in particular to fans of Gabriel era Genesis.


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Send comments to Windhawk (BETA) | Report this review (#242182) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars It's weird, but I hear Scorpions here (in guitars and voice), but far more progressive. It's my first experience with Syzygy and I have to say that I'm quite happy about it. Very refreshing and inspiring, makes me imagine things all the time. Very long album and this time, it's well worth of it. Well, except first track Darkfield, which is very, very repetitive, using the same pattern (Oh hell, I just hear Scorpion's Alien Nation here). Others are fine. This and few more bad symptoms that makes me feel little bit uncomfortable, but in general, it's OK album.

4(-), almost 3 star, but I hope it will be better in future.


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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#247296) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, October 30, 2009

Review by kev rowland
4 stars The roots of Syzygy can be found in Eighties cover band Abraxas which featured guitarist/lead vocalist Carl Baldassarre, keyboardist Sam Giunta and bassist Al Rolik. After the group disbanded, Carl and Sam kept working together and with the addition of drummer Paul Mihacevich they recorded their debut 'Cosmos And Chaos' in 1993 under the name of Witsend. A period of writing and raising families resulted in a hiatus but they returned as Syzygy with the critically acclaimed 'The Allegory Of Light' which featured Al as a guest musician, released in 2003. All of the vocals has been handled by the band themselves up to this point, but for the new album they felt that they needed someone else to take them to the next level and after a long search brought in Mark Boals (Ted Nugent, Yngwie Malmsteen, Uli Jon Roth, Erik Norlander etc).

Now, bringing in a heavyweight singer such as Mark means that may reviewers (myself included) would expect great things of this album even before it made it to the player. Now, I was possibly expecting even more things as I have been lucky enough to hear their earlier works so I was extremely keen to know what they had been doing in the intervening years.

Well, to say that I wasn't disappointed was something of an understatement. Musically the band aren't afraid to go back to some classic prog bands such as Gentle Giant, Yes and UK while also bringing in the AOR musicality of Styx and Journey, throwing in some more recent references such as Spock's Beard and letting the pot just swirl and mix together as it feels. This is an album that is incredibly complex, but the sheer musicality and melody means that the listener doesn't get overwhelmed by everything. Note density? Check. Keyboard/guitar interplay? Check. Abrupt changes of musical direction? Check. Strong complex palette of keyboard sounds? Check. Great vocals and harmonies? Check. Incredible album that I want to play repeatedly? Check and triple check.

This is an awesome album, every time I play it I hear something new that just takes my breath away. Play the 10 minutes plus "Dreams" and you will see what I mean ? just brilliant. If you go to their site they have a special offer on all three albums ? you owe it to your ears. www.syzygymusic.com


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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#550913) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, October 15, 2011

Latest members reviews

5 stars Imagine having an equalizer that allows you to adjust the amount of influence, style, or sound of a set list of prog bands and create a new band sound. Let's say you were to set Glass Hammer to 7 (out of 10, not 11), Dream Theater to 1, Wobbler to 1.5, Anima Mundi to 0.5, Cairo to 3, and well, ... (read more)

Report this review (#948858) | Posted by FragileKings | Wednesday, April 24, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Eternity? More like the end of the human race... Powerful and violently aggressive - in a musical sense. I don't mean to mix music with politics, but my first impression was that these cats could deal with the Taliban (add a few thousand civilians in "collateral damage:) singlehandedly. Or se ... (read more)

Report this review (#924083) | Posted by BORA | Tuesday, March 05, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I'll try not to rave too much during this review, but....really, this is something SPECIAL folks! I'll admit, I've been anxiously awaiting this cd for a few years. Their website kept us fans hanging on that there would be some fantastic new cd "soon", then it was a double album, then it was delay ... (read more)

Report this review (#225979) | Posted by Squire Jaco | Saturday, July 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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