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Syzygy A Glorious Disturbance album cover
4.74 | 31 ratings | 9 reviews | 55% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Live, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1 - Concert DVD in 5.1 Surround Sound:
2009 3RP Festival:
1. Vanitas
2. Mount Ethereal
3. Strange Loop II
4. Dreams
5. M.O.T.H.
2010 Day of Prog Festival:
1. Darkfield
2. Circadian Rhythm
3. The Coronation
4. Beggar's Tale
5. The Sea
6. In The Dead Of Night

Total Time 1:52:59

Disc 2 - Concert CD Live:
1. Vanitas
2. Mount Ethereal
3. Circadian Rhythm
4. Strange Loop II
5. Dreams
6. Darkfield
7. The Coronation
8. Beggar's Tale
9. M.O.T.H.

Total Time 1:12:33

Disc 3 - Special Features DVD:
1. Carl Baldassarre Interview
2. The Writing of Realms
3. Mark Boals Interview
4. Band Roundtable

Total Time 1:35:33

Line-up / Musicians

- Carl Baldassarre / guitars and vocals
- Sam Giunta / keyboards
- Paul Mihacevich / drums and percussion
- Al Rolik / bass and vocals
- Mark Boals / vocals

Releases information

2012 Syzygy Music Enterprises, LLC (SME)
FHL Records

Thanks to Squire Jaco for the addition
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SYZYGY A Glorious Disturbance ratings distribution

(31 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(55%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(19%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SYZYGY A Glorious Disturbance reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
5 stars There are times, not often it has to be said, that I open a package and can't wait to get the music onto the player as I am so excited just by the content that I already know that this is going to be something special. The first thing out of the envelope was an A4 loose leaf folder which is packed full of biographies, photos, and stacks of information. There is one page just dedicated to the comments from a certain Mr. Steve Hackett who contacted the band regarding their album 'Realms of Eternity' saying "It's beautifully written and recorded and easily the best I've ever been given to listen to" and "I usually hope for a masterpiece everytime I play an unknown quantity (to me) but this is the only time the dream has been fully delivered" among other comments. Now, unlike Steve I am aware of Syzygy and Witsend but even I wasn't prepared for what was next out of the envelope, a double Digipak of their new album. When I looked more closely I discovered that was I had in my hands was a triple disc live set, with two DVDs and a CD plus a small fold-out booklet with loads of pics. I mean, for heaven's sake, this is a band that does it all on their own with no record label support, yet have produced one of the finest live releases I have ever come across. And at this point I had yet to put in on the player!!!!!

So, being the contrary person I am, I went for the third disc first which is actually the CD. Now, rock vocalist Mark Boals sings for these guys, but they are primarily an instrumental act although he does appear with them both live and in the studio, so there are always long instrumental passages which gives them the chance to stretch their wings, and they definitely take the opportunity. Classic symphonic prog, through neo-prog, fusion as they toy with jazz styles, melodic rock, great harmony vocals, keyboard/guitar interplay, it's all here as all the guys demonstrate what incredible musicians they all are. To be honest, I would have raved about this album if there was only just the one CD, let alone having two other concerts to watch, interviews and discussions etc. There are three hours of DVD and well over an hour on the CD, and if you have yet to come across this incredible band then you need to right that wrong now and visit for more information.

The only reason that I give this five out of five is that I'm not allowed to give it more.

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
5 stars I Had A Vision Of Waging A Fight ...

... when SYZYGY appeared in 2012 with this highly appraised live document. Oh, it really took time - I mean listening 20 or 30 times (in total or partially) at least - until it totally clicked. A perfect album, thus I've problems to find the right words. Man! This sounds as if they were gigging all over the year (just like Umphrey's McGee maybe, for your guidance). So much the more surprising this is, when you consider, that lead vocalist Mark Boals is not even listed as a regular band member. And I don't expect that they have post processed a lot here. Tricky compositions, musicianship and interaction is absolutely flawless, a proper sound mix - there's really nothing to gripe about, no way.

By accident - with best thanks to the progstreaming website - I came in touch with this band. The nine songs, put on the live CD, were caught in 2009 respectively 2010 on two different US festivals - fine melodic progressive rock, provided with respectable symphonic touch, though some popular and jazzy moments are also offered. Not being aware of their studio output, it's not up to me to ponder over the song selection - in any case you'll find two nice acoustic guitar driven and more mainstream oriented pieces called Circadian Rhythm and Beggar's Tale - but predominantly this is rocking with some valuable heaviness, as one would expect from an impressive live occasion.

To name some of the (very very) exceptional songs, I'll start with Mount Ethereal - originally recorded under the moniker Witsend during their very early times. They let it flow including an improv solo section, the piano and guitar appearance is brilliant. Dreams shines with polyphonic vocals, a gripping affair while continuously alternating pace and mood, heavily rocking and charming moments, this based on lengthy instrumental activity. In between they are on the way to The Coronation with some Deep Purple touch (vocals above all).

'I'm The Master Of The House You Live' - M.O.T.H. - it all starts with a little pun ... and ends with the absolute highlight lately. This extended song sums up all their qualities. The symphonic orientation, melody, trickiness, variety, joy of playing ... obviously they have the rock in their DNA ... and even more. There's a fusion touched interlude to detect due to piano and guitar solo interaction. Eh ....I think that's it for almost all the positive attributes which are on hand at the moment ... oh, wait, I just experienced a glorious disturbance ...

... I adore the guitar solos, the wonderful vocal harmonies - lyrics are provided by guitarist Carl Baldassarre by the way. With keyboarder Sam Guinta on his side he's currently writing on new studio material. Those who like to hear stuff from bands like Saga, Salem Hill, IZZ, The Flower Kings will feel comfortable here, are in good hands at least ... I'm really excited anyhow, pretty much in the same way when I stumbled upon Big Big Train's 'The Underfall Yard'. Highly recommended - you can't get enough of a good thing - simply a masterpiece!

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars US band SYZYGY was formed in 2003, but with a past history going back to the 1990's and a band then called Witsend. They released their first album as Syzygy in 2003, and six years later their so far most recent studio album "Realms of Eternity" appeared. Towards the end of 2012 their so far most recent release appeared, a massive box set consisting of two DVDs and one CD, featuring concert footage and extensive interviews with the band. And as with their previous creations, self-released through the band's own label.

"A Glorious Disturbance" is a box-set that merits a description as glorious. Good quality live video footage, excellent quality live audio footage, and a separate special features DVD with insightful and interesting sections. There's a lot of value for money here, and the sheer quality of the band shines through on all the material features. A certain fondness for sophisticated 70's hard rock in general is required, as well as a taste for progressive rock from the same decade. A band that should appeal broadly, with a possible key audience those who have Deep Purple, Genesis and ELP side by side in their music collection.

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Projects like this one always make me feel good about music! Bands like Syzygy play their music for love and they know that if they do it with quality they can release boxes like A Glorious Disturbance (2012).

Syzygy is an American band and we all know that the USA doesn't have a great tradition within Progressive music. Here's a band trying to defy that! In fact, it is a bit weird to have a band like Syzygy, that has only 3 studio albums, to release a massive triple live package with CD and 2 DVDs. But maybe because the story of the band goes back 20 years ago this makes this release a special gift for fans and for the band itself!

A Glorious Disturbance (2012) was released towards the end of 2012 and shows us the band in 2 different concerts: 3RP Festival that took place in 2009 when the band was releasing their album Realms Of Eternity (2009); and Day Of Prog Festival that happened in 2010.

The audio on the CD version was brilliantly recorded and the band formed by Carl Baldassarre (guitar and vocals), Sam Giunta (keyboards), Paul Mihacevich (drums and percussion), Al Rolik (bass) and the special guest Mark Boals (vocals), was sharp as a new knife! Syzygy plays with passion and perfection. 'Mount Ethereal' is a modern Prog classic and you can hear why in this version!

The first DVD contains the 2 full concerts. In the 2009 show they had multiple cameras filming and you can actually see how much the band enjoyed the show! In the 2010 concert they had a big screen on the stage and again numerous cameras. Both concerts are simply filmed but very professionally and you have a great sound and many details! 'Circadian Rhythm' is such an amazing song in the DVD set. To close wonderfully the DVD, after over an hour of great Syzygy material they close with 2 cover songs: 'In The Dead Of The Night (UK) and 'Burn' (Deep Purple). On the last one Mark Boals does such an amazing job with the vocals! Just amazing!

Now, the live content is just amazing and alone they are worth the box, but I admit that my favorite disc is the third one, with the special features. I always love special features on DVDs. There's a round table with the band members where they tell us their own story bit by bit. Just great! We also have a big interview with band leader Carl Baldassarre, a kind of making off with the process of writing their previous album, which is just astonishing, and also an interview with singer Mark Boals.

A Glorious Disturbance (2012) is the best business card for a band ever! If you're a fan this is a must have, if you're new to the band it's also a must have and finally if you're into Prog at all this is a huge must have! And if you ever wondered where all the great Prog bands have gone? Syzygy is your answer! So, what you're waiting for!?!?

Highly recommended!

(Originally posted on

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'A Glorious Disturbance' - Syzygy (75/100)

All but one of the guys in the present-day Syzygy have been playing together for years. From that, there's the expectation that a chemistry would form that could only be fully heard in a live performance. With that pretense, I was more than excited to experience A Glorious Disturbance, the first official documentation of Syzygy as a live entity. More than that, the band's fourth release has been lavished with the warmest praise they have ever received. As live albums tend to be seen as a fans-only product, this is quite a surprise. More than a simple live album, this is a multi-faceted experience of a band that has lingered in the shadows for far too long.

A Glorious Disturbance boasts roughly 5 hours of material; in addition to the live album, there is a 5.1 Surround-supported concert DVD and host of special features documenting the band's existence behind-the- scenes. On paper, A Glorious Disturbance sounds like an investment best suited for the established fans of Syzygy. Surprisingly, it might actually be the greatest place for newcomers to start. Everything from the pastoral leanings of their debut Cosmos and Chaos to their full-fledged progressive rock on The Allegory of Light and Realms of Eternity are thoughtfully represented, and though the emphasis is weighted towards their latter 2009 album, the setlist pays respects to Syzygy's decades-long history together. This is the best these songs have ever sounded, and I don't think there's been anywhere better to start with Syzygy than this.

If anything put Realms of Eternity above its predecessors, it was the introduction of vocalist Mark Boals into the fold. Until then, Syzygy had always felt like a band in search for a vocalist, and I couldn't have thought of a better choice. Boals is a world-class vocalist, with a dramatic presence easily rivalling the versatility of Carl Baldassarre's guitarwork or Paul Mihacevich's dynamic drumming. Most impressively, Syzygy have taken advantage of Boals' talents by re-fitting previously instrumental tracks to fit his vocals. Surprisingly enough, the vocals work better on the original instrumentals than I thought they did on Realms of Eternity. On both the live album and DVD, Mark Boals' presence cannot be denied; the re- fitted versions of "Mount Ethereal" and "Strange Loop II" are pretty incredible to hear with vocals. It's really as if these songs were meant to have vocals, and only now, with A Glorious Disturbance, has that dream been able to come to fruition.

While the Live CD portion of this set is arguably the most fine-tuned and inspired recording Syzygy have ever conjured, the DVD is more problematic. Given how strong the sound is, it's surprising how amateurish and fuzzy the video itself is. As a concert film, A Glorious Disturbance is caught somewhere between looking like a bad home video and a semi-professional get-up. When it's not mired in poor 'Movie Maker' effects, the film direction is usually aimless. There are never any effective syncs of the music and visuals. At their worst, the cameras give a glimpse of what someone from far-back in the crowd would see if they were squinting. At their best, it's what someone at the sidelines might see. It's reassuring to see the band having obvious fun when they're playing, but the video adds so little to the appreciation of their music. For instance, I've been a fan of Paul Mihacevich's drumwork from the first time I heard it, but the camera almost never gives insight into what he's doing at the back of the stage. It would have been foolish to expect this (or any concert DVD) to be the visual work of some emerging Kubrick or Bergman, but the DVD doesn't offer enough to merit it over listening to the audio alone. The cover of Deep Purple's "Burn" rocks pretty hard, though!

I'd actually recommend checking out the special features before heading onto the concerts proper. While the progress they have made from Cosmos and Chaos onward was already obvious from listening to the three records in sequence, a lengthy and passionate interview with Carl Baldassarre gives valuable insights into the mindset and stories behind each stage of their existence. Under the name Abraxas in 1979, Syzygy was originally a hard rock cover band, though it wasn't long before they felt the urge to get original. Although Baldassarre looks on each following era fondly, it's clear that he views Syzygy as being in the midst of their golden era -- and rightly so! Hearing the stories of Syzygy's development (including a strangely propitious meeting with future keyboardist Sam Giunta) brings an unexpected emotional weight to the proceedings. Regardless whether you're a seasoned Syzygy veteran or A Glorious Disturbance is your first dealings with the band, Baldassarre's interview is sure to enrich your appreciation of the band's work.

While A Glorious Disturbance is probably better off with the other special features than without, the rest of Syzygy's would-be documentary is underwhelming. It' enlightening to hear some of the isolated tracks from Realms of Eternity discussed on the "Writing of Realms" feature, but the plodding verse-by- verse, song-to-song dissection is tough to get through with all interest intact. If anything, it makes me want to revisit Realms of Eternity and keep an ear open for the troves of detail hidden in the mix. Mark Boals' much-shorter interview feels lacking in substance; for a guy whom I consider to be the keystone Syzygy needed in their sound, there's not much to be taken from the interview, other than that Boals thinks the rest of the band is pretty swell. The roundtable discussion (which I was most excited for) was most disappointing of all. Considering its length, it is fairly absent of fresh insight and information. I certainly get the impression that they (and many of their listeners) are passionate about the music of Syzygy, but I can trust their performance to convey that passion to me. In an interview, I want information, I want stories, I want unexpected insights that are going to fuel the way I approach the music. Baldassarre had some great things early on in the disc, but the rest of the special features I could take or leave.

To their credit, Syzygy's enthusiasm and live chemistry leaves me with some of the same awe I felt when listening to Yessongs for the first time. Undoubtedly, the live CD segment of this boxset is the most impressive thing the band has ever done, and further proves to me that great musicianship can only be fully appreciated when the artists are performing live. Many of the issues I've had with Syzygy's work are mitigated by the sheer passion and chemistry they exhibit live. I have no problem calling A Glorious Disturbance the most impressive live prog album I've heard since Moon Safari's The Gettysburg Address. At the same time, the other two thirds of A Glorious Disturbance are major disappointments in comparison. I'm always in awe whenever a band takes a multimedia approach for a new release, but Syzygy's decades of experience and expertise together were deserving of something far better than the amateurish quality ascribed to the video. Regardless however, when the current mindset is to avoid live albums under the impression that they offer little to an experience of a band, A Glorious Disturbance deserves to be heard (if not seen). More than that, this is the way Syzygy deserve to be heard.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Finally,our beloved band managed to release this ambitious project-a triple album,charged with 2 DVDs and a great LIVE cd...a dream that comes true,a great achievement for this extremelly talanted band-one of the surest values of the American prog rock scene -crossover prog-or I don't know how ... (read more)

Report this review (#895046) | Posted by Ovidiu | Friday, January 18, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I am in a unique position to review this CD/DVD set because I had the pleasure of attending both of the featured concerts. As a person who was there in person I can say that the DVD and the CD both do a great job of capturing the events, and they bring back some very good memories for me. This ... (read more)

Report this review (#891110) | Posted by Pink Freud | Friday, January 11, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars You never get a second chance to make a first impression; Syzygy's new DVD/CD release, "A Glorious Disturbance" delivers the goods to Syzygy fans, both visually and sonically. Beginning with the DVD package itself, the cover artwork visually invites the listener to dig deep into this masterpie ... (read more)

Report this review (#884746) | Posted by ertlk24 | Sunday, December 30, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars OK - I have to address this nagging thought that keeps recurring in my brain: "Is this the modern-day Yessongs?" Yeah, I know - my lifelong respect for that sacred live triple-vinyl album keeps shutting down any inkling that Syzygy's "A Glorious Disturbance" could possibly stand beside it. ... (read more)

Report this review (#877945) | Posted by Squire Jaco | Tuesday, December 18, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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