Sky Architect

Heavy Prog

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Sky Architect A Billion Years of Solitude album cover
3.97 | 111 ratings | 7 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Curious One (18:06)
2. Wormholes (The Inevitable Collapse Of The Large Hadron Collider) (5:52)
3. Tides (3:24)
4. Elegy Of A Solitary Giant (10:43)
5. Jim's Ride To Hell (2:27)
6. Revolutions (8:00)
7. Traveller's Last Candle (12:43)

Total Time 61:15


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Tom Luchies / vocals, guitars
- Wabe Wieringa / guitars
- Guus van Mierlo / bass
- Christiaan Bruin / drums, backing vocals
- Rik van Honk / keyboards (Mellotron, Grand piano, Hammond organ, Rhodes piano, - Clavinet, Moog synth, Wurlitzer), flugelhorn, trumpet, backing vocals
- Maartje Dekker / wineglasses on Traveller's Last Candle

Releases information

Label: Galileo Records
Release date: November 4, 2013

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
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Buy SKY ARCHITECT A Billion Years of Solitude Music

Billion Years of SolitudeBillion Years of Solitude
United States Dist 2014
Audio CD$11.12
$18.00 (used)
Dying Mans HymnDying Mans Hymn
Ais 2011
Audio CD$9.99
$18.17 (used)
Excavation Of The MindExcavation Of The Mind
Audio CD$16.88
$25.93 (used)
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SKY ARCHITECT A Billion Years of Solitude ratings distribution

(111 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SKY ARCHITECT A Billion Years of Solitude reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
5 stars 'A Billion Years of Solitude' is an album I was drawn to having been so impressed with the masterpiece debut 'Excavations of the Mind", an album that I hailed as one of the greatest of 2010, a labyrinthine musical journey that merges so many styles into its 50 minutes of prog excess. I was in awe of the virtuoso musicianship and no holds barred inventiveness throughout by Sky Architect. So I was really looking forward to more of the same on this recent release, a followup to 'A Dying Man's Hymn' in 2011, that I somehow missed. The lineup of virtuosos consist of Tom Luchies on vocals, guitars, Wabe Wieringa on guitars, Guus van Mierlo on bass, Christiaan Bruin on drums, Rik van Honk on keyboards, Mellotron, Grand piano, Hammond organ, Rhodes piano, Clavinet, Moog synth, Wurlitzer, flugelhorn, trumpet, and Maartje Dekker on the wineglasses.

Again, the sound is similar to Riverside, Haken or Pain of Salvation with smatterings of King Crimson, and Dream Theater. The jazz fusion influences are melded beautifully with metal riffs and gorgeous symphonic passages. The shimmering Hammond staccato crashes are reminiscent of modern prog on the heavier side such as Riverside. You really feel it on 'Wormholes (The Inevitable Collapse Of The Large Hadron Collider). The time sig changes on this track alone are awesome. It moves from a heavy guitar riff to some quirky jazzy guitar and squiggly little effects, impossible to describe really. Then it launches full tilt at ramming speed with a wall of guitars and keys over a relentless hammering drum and bass. The album actually starts with a brilliant epic clocking 18 minutes, 'The Curious One', and this is exceptional by any standards with spacey blistering guitar, manic keyboards, and King Crimsonish basslines all wrapped in one neat little package. 'Tides' is another great track opening with heavy distorted guitar riff and Pink Floyd verses, crystal clean vocals and I love how the riffs collide with the odd musical layers, sounding delightfully off sync. Some nice whimsical flute sections blend into a concoction of noisy overlayed keys and that guitar riff.

This is followed by piano intro and creepy effects on 'Elegy of a Solitary Giant', encompassing a wonderful guitar melody embellished by jaunty keyboards. It switches to fragmented tempo and builds into the first verse of gentle vocals and spacey atmospherics. I love how the metal guitar crashes through so brutally, and the whole psychedelic vibe is glorious. An ethereal section of horns and echoing voices leads into a piano solo, beautiful on its own with a lonely solitude. Then the heavy guitars break through with an incredible power and catchy riff over a fractured signature. There is a screaming freak out of feedback on guitar and brilliant layered lead riffs moving to the next piano solo. A spacey ambience dominates that has a dreamy lulling effect on the senses, reminiscent of the intro to 'Shine On'. The exquisite harmonies are well executed, and cap off a brilliant track that ranks as one of the masterpieces from the band.

This is followed by a shorter track, less than 3 minutes, 'Jim's Ride to Hell'. It opens with slow doomy building lead guitar and then unleashes into fuzzed guitar riffing over a spacey keyboard. Some jaunty blasts of guitar, strong percussion, and an infectious organ phrase dominate and then the instrumental comes to a conclusion. The musicianship is stunning on 'Revolutions', 8 minutes of prog inventiveness, opening with a catchy keyboard hook and some outstanding lead guitar soloing. The bass and drum rhythm complement each other with tight precision as a disordered tempo locks in. It settles into chiming guitar and the welcome return of the vocals. The lyrics are intriguing 'spare us, for us to understand that if we were to last, we'd have to rise and make a stand, we will overcome, we shall be as one spirit, revolution must save us from them so we can never last.' The lead break has a majestic quality and competes with some off beat drum and bass rhythms with shimmering Hammond, and an extended final burst of prog; simply outstanding music by any standard.

The album ends with another epic 'Traveller's Last Candle', running out to 12 and a half minutes. The track meanders along dreamily with ambient passages blurred into heavier guitar treatments and reflective vocals, until we get to the 5:50 mark when an instrumental passage takes over. The guitars are a powerful presence but there is always the keyboard layers and the darker tense moments are balanced with light melancholia. A nice touch is the sound of wineglasses played by Maartje Dekker. Towards the end of the track it moves into odd time sig and a soundscape of guitars with the epic finale feel heard on many a concept album over the years. The feel reminded me of the end of The Beatles' 'I Want You (She's So Heavy)', with loud screaming guitars, distortion and effects. It comes crashing to its conclusion capping off an incredible album.

Sky Architect are a band that somehow encompass everything that I love about prog and in a similar way to the debut, as soon as it is over I immediately want to hear the whole album from the start to end again. The powerful riffs and inventive time sig changes, along with lashings of lead guitar soloing and blasts of quivering Hammond really make this an exceptional listening experience. It is a rare thing to love an album at first listen but I was absolutely floored with this masterful album; from the moment it began it had me hooked. Sky Architect are an outstanding prog band that deserve to receive more exposure in the prog community as they are far superior than a lot of the more popular prog artists out there.


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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#1105777) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, January 03, 2014

Review by Warthur
4 stars 2013 has been a busy year for Christiaan Bruin - not only did he put out the very capable Days of Summer Gone under his solo alter ego of Chris, but he also served his accustomed role as drummer in Sky Architect for this release. Of the two albums, this is the more traditional- sounding of the two, with standard prog instrumentation and far less in the way of guest appearances and classical musical backing than Days of Summer Gone, but equally it's punchier, heavier, and like Days of Summer Gone it's a charming and instantly accessible album which will entertain most prog fans.


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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#1112012) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, January 10, 2014

Review by Second Life Syndrome
COLLABORATOR Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams
4 stars I'd be the first one to admit that I wasn't a big fan of Sky Architect. Originally, I was excited about them simply because of their style (on paper), their art, and, heck, even their supremely awesome name. However, when I heard "Excavations of the Mind" and "A Dying Man's Hymn" (dang, what is with their amazing naming ability), something ultimately fell flat for me. Well, that is no more. "A Billion Years of Solitude" has finally given me what I always wanted in Sky Architect's sound.

This band is generally very rock-based in their sound. They are definitely like a cross between Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, and other 70's prog. That's the last I will mention other groups, however, as Sky Architect has their own sound. It is richly rocky, spiritually personal, and, with this new release, I can add wonderfully spacey. Yes, I think that's what I was missing in their first two releases: a fleshed-out space rock vibe. In "A Billion Years of Solitude", the band gives us an amazing ethereal vibe involving everything from synth to horns and wine glasses (yes, you read that correctly). This personality is fresh and inspiring, and it joins Tom Luchies' vocals as being an emotional focal point of the band.

The musicians are all noteworthy in their chops ability, certainly. What impresses me the most, however, is the unity of the group. Their sound is very cooperative. Sure, there are plenty of guitar and keyboard solos, but the band is ever behind them to the point where it doesn't seem like showboating. So, this core sound is an awesome foundation for the surreal and celestially somber emotional content that this album brings. This sense of drifting, ever drifting, in the vacuum of space is palpable throughout the album. It leaves quite an impression.

I think there are some obvious favorite tracks here. The opening epic, "The Curious One" is soaked in high-tuned guitar work and funky space vibes. "Elegy of a Solitary Giant" features an amazingly eccentric groove mixed with beautiful piano and sorrowful horns. Lastly, the best song on the album is "Traveller's Last Candle". This epic set piece is structured so well with its rocky vibe that gives way to mournful keyboard interludes. It's truly outstanding, and probably one of the best tracks from 2013.

Sky Architect has made another fan. This album is awesome in every sense. I love the personality that the band has injected into "A Billion Years of Solitude", and the emotion content here has also perked my ears. If you are a prog fan, you need to hear this album.


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Send comments to Second Life Syndrome (BETA) | Report this review (#1112352) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 11, 2014

Review by kev rowland
4 stars When I first came across this Dutch band and their 2010 debut I was incredibly impressed, feeling that they were taking me back to the days when SI Music was consistently releasing great albums. But now they have stepped it up a notch and are moving quite a way from where they were before. There are still the swathes of keyboards that give a strong Seventies feel as a backdrop to much of what they are doing, but they have obviously been paying attention much more to Dream Theater and have definitely increased the note density. There are times when this is a much more metallic album than they have produced before, but they can just as easily drop into a funk groove or provide us some Riverside or Porcupine Tree touches before going off in yet another direction.

The only term that could ever be used for these guys is "progressive" as they are pushing boundaries in what they are doing, although not exactly King Crimson in approach there are definitely some similarities with their outlook. And whenever you see a flugelhorn listed in the instruments you can pretty much guarantee that you are in for something quite out of the ordinary. When Tom is singing then one wonders why they don't use him in that facility much more, then when they are in full blast as instrumentalists one wonders why they bother with vocals at all. They seem able to put their mind and skills to anything that they want to do, but also manage to keep it reigned in so that the music always still makes sense and doesn't go off onto long meaningless tangents as is always the risk.

Somehow they manage to keep this open and free, not constraining what is going on but letting the music take flight: where some prog bands want to be insular and controlling, these guys act more as conduits and move wherever they are driven. Yet another great release from the flying Dutchmen.


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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#1160499) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 12, 2014

Latest members reviews

4 stars Listening to this album every day for the past three weeks has not changed my initial opinion, though part of my motivation for so many repeat listens was due to the fact that I really wanted to rate this album higher. It's just not meant to be. The album is bookended by two epics--both of whi ... (read more)

Report this review (#1088980) | Posted by BrufordFreak | Thursday, December 12, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Listening to this album I can t understand why is so underrated . Nothing to miss from the first albums. Nevertheless this is a band from Netherlands this heavy prog (sometimes RIO ,sometimes psychedelic space rock...) sounds very much like a Scandinavian prog rock bang as Landberk ,ANEKD ... (read more)

Report this review (#1073725) | Posted by robbob | Thursday, November 07, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I saw this selling on Amazon, and I always wanted to pick up one of their first two albums. I never got around to buying the first two albums, so this is my introduction to this group. Prior to buying it, I looked at progarchives and found two negative reviews. I was surprised since there was so ... (read more)

Report this review (#1073503) | Posted by javajeff | Wednesday, November 06, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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