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Sylvan Home album cover
3.82 | 218 ratings | 6 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2015

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Not Far from the Sky (6:30)
2. Shaped Out of Clouds (6:02)
3. In Between (10:50)
4. With the Eyes of a Child (4:19)
5. Black and White (7:14)
6. The Sound of Her World (9:23)
7. Sleep Tight (5:31)
8. Off Her Hands (3:42)
9. Shine (6:18)
10. Point of No Return (5:25)
11. All These Years (5:40)
12. Home (6:05)

Total Time 76:59

Line-up / Musicians

- Marco Glühmann / vocals
- Volker Söhl / keyboards
- Sebastian Harnack / bass
- Matthias Harder / drums

- Jonathan Beck / guitars
- Katja Flintsch / viola, violin (1,2,5,8,9,11,12)
- Annika Stolze / cello (1,3,4,7,12)
- Frederike Höhn / oboe (1,5)
- Otfried Beck / oboe (11)
- Jens Lück / programming (10), mixing

Releases information

Artwork: Tobias Harnack

2LP Gentle Art Of Music ‎- GAOM 026LP (2015, Europe)

CD Gentle Art Of Music ‎- GAOM 026 (2015, Europe)

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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SYLVAN Home ratings distribution

(218 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

SYLVAN Home reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by aapatsos
2 stars In their ninth release, Sylvan tackle the concept of "Home", in the context of an ever-changing, fast-paced world with few anchorpoints. According to their own words, it is a story about the search for "Home" through personal memories, experiences, fears, doubts etc.

Musically, there is a lot of similarity to what I know Sylvan represent: melodic, often low-tempo, easy listening progressive rock with strong references to late Marillion. Whatever connection there is to Neo-prog is not very easy to discern (at least nowadays), since their sound is polished and tuned more to radio-friendly rock music. It can be even argued that their new release can be almost in its entirety streamed in commercial radio programmes.

What does it sound like? Well, a bit of a mixed bag. There are almost 80 minutes of music, strongly focused on the above concept and overwhelming, excessive balladry. That on its own is not per se a bad thing if the melodies are strong enough to warrant 80 minutes of music; but they aren't. The trademark strong melodies of Sylvan can be found in the opening "Not Far from the Sky", "Off her Hands" and "Shine" (the album's single and perhaps best song), but the rest appears to float among simple, indifferent tunes. Volker Soehl's keyboards are the basis of most compositions and Marco Gluehmann's vocals sound a bit weaker to my ears since 10 years ago, but still generally delivering the goods. It is the duration of, and repetition in, songs like "In Between" and "The Sound of Her World" that make me skip them. The Porcupine Tree- or Riverside-like heavy passages of songs like "Sleep Tight", "Shine" and "Point of No Return" provide a glimpse of hope towards the latter part of the album but they are not enough to save it from mediocrity.

Those keen on Anathema's post-2000 turn (see e.g. "All These Years") and melodic crossover prog will probably fing much to enjoy in this release. Strong is also the more commercial, Coldplay-type feeling, which, combined with strong emotional aspects may satisfy Sylvan fans. I can see good intentions in this release, but unfortunately not much "depth", resulting in what I see as a common proposition. It is unlikely this will play on my decks apart from a few tracks; 2.5 stars.

Thanks to Freeman Promotions for the promo.

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
3 stars Sylvan are back with another concept album about the search for something we call "Home". This is the 8th studio album by a band that has been described Neo Prog, but don't let that tag fool you. The cd starts with quiet songs where the music is supporting the vocals. The band still got their love for classical arrangements and melancholic moments that has been well represented in the album "Posthumous Silence". Once again, we can find plenty of vocals/piano parts with some more upbeat and heavier parts where the guitar take a more dominant role. Many songs starts slowly and are build up into a crescendo at some point. The band spice up their delicate symphonic style with some heavy sections close to metal, but it's never too long that they get back to their main style. The album contains many highlights songs such as "In Between", "Shine" and "The Sound of her World", and my favorite was "Black and White" for the emotion level and the short original ending which looks like we're hearing the sound of a xylophone. If you like atmospheric prog rock with emphasis on good melodies and sweeping vocals, you'll have a good time listening to this one. I enjoyed the album like every Sylvan's releases, but i got a bit exhausted of listening to this 80 minutes album that put me in a mood where i am not sure i want to be.
Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars German band Sylvan has finally stamped its name on the prog scene, having defined a particular sound that is instantaneously recognizable, in a style that finds comfort in an emotional urgency that is perhaps closer to mid-period Marillion, though lead vocalist Marco Gluhmann has a resonance and mostly a delivery that is even more unique than that of Steve Hoggarth or Queensryche's Geoff Tate. Marco wails with incredible sustain and energy, hitting all the high notes in typical German precision, though I am quite sure he has a few detractors. Sylvan also is the possessor of a classic album in the person of 2006's 'Posthumous Behavior' which has installed itself into the pantheon of prog jewels. Since that colossal release, the band has replaced its guitarist on two occasions which seems not to have affected the otherwise stable line-up. The amazing double album 'Sceneries' went somewhat unnoticed which is a sad state of affairs as it was another masterpiece in my eyes. The refined style on 'Home' is perhaps a lot mellower than Posthumous, perhaps encouraged by that controversial 'Presets' recording which I still consider to represent their ultimate opus (raked in the mud by some because it followed the big opus). With newcomer Jonathan Beck wielding his marvelous guitar in a way that doesn't challenge predecessors Jan Petersen and Kay Sohl, building endless axe fortifications that give the already emotionally charged music even more depth and volume. They have opted for a heady mix of these assets, sweeping melodies and tight delivery, as well owners of a seasoned and professional rhythm duo, both Mathias Harder and Sebastian Harnack provide great musculature to the arrangements. The spotlight does remain on the exquisite Marco Gluhmann, surely one of prog's rare quality microphone wielders. Keyboardist Volker Sohl is more of an orchestral sound sculptor, relying on walls of synthesized squalls and massive doses of elegant piano, as best exemplified by the self-titled finale.

The album starts off with some sweeping strings, almost outright classical in scope and feel, which perhaps leave a sour note in the mouths of the heavier prog aficionados who are pining for another heavy release, even though it's quite evident that the group has moved on. I prefer this more cinematic approach anyway, even if it seems to conjure images of 'plasticene porters and marmalade skies' and a more psychedelic style. Some have claimed an affiliation with Coldplay which I do not see, hear or get (lots of piano now means an infatuation with Coldplay? Really? I would have opted for Mozart, Liszt or Chopin, or even Juergen Fritz, but whatever). In fact, the devout lads have never deviated from the path taken on 'Presets' and that seems to still chagrin a few out there. It's all good, the artists are in charge of their own destiny and not the fans, come hell or high water.

Sure, mini-epics like the serene 'Shaped out of Clouds', with its uber-melancholia will grate on the metal maulers but its undeniably passionate music. Ja, grandiose, magniloquent, affected music, loaded up with 'sturm und drang' that is closer to the romantics than to the head bangers altar of worship. The ending has this odd mix of James Bond-You only Live Twice and sweeping Mike Oldfield orchestration that I happen to really enjoy. The epic 10 minute 'In Between' is straight out of the Presets catalog, closely using modernisms found on a tune like the whopping 'When the Leaves Fall Down', combining monotone verse and tiki-taki drum fills that are perhaps closer to urban rap but sandwiched between harder edges than veer closely to heavy metal, showing Marco's incredible lungs and concentration at Mach One speed. The Ronald Reagan 'Open this gate' sample is followed by some crazed rifferama which clearly goes against all the marshmallow criticism levied by the inattentive. Neither plodding nor facile, this track rocks! Ja, it has its softer moments, including some brilliant bass underpinnings, slick guitar curls and delicate piano rivulets but the angst is skin deep and ardently charged. Beck shuttles along, spitting out hot little solos that spit fire, swirling synth acrobatics in tow, escorting that devilish piano. My fascination for the grand piano has matured to the nth degree, as I really 'feel' the passion exuded by the ornate ivories.

Clearly influenced by Hoggarth-led Marillion, a series of sweet and fragile songs like 'With the Eyes of a Child', 'Black & White', 'The Sound of Her World' and 'Sleep Tight' will again repulse the hard core fans of edgier prog and I cannot blame them, as it's not exactly steamroller material. All packaged together as if some kind of mini-suite, the music is lush, luxuriant and dense, the orchestrations are undeniably huge, but I like them immensely. This is resonating music, irrefutably feminine and will enchant the fairer sexed fans (of which we need desperately more of). The scorching 'Black and White' ballad in particular is gut wrenching, explosive and I daresay, armed with a rather orgasmic guitar rant. The following track has some choir crescendos and a swift pastoral turn that is effortlessly bold and charming, featuring Marco's divine wail. My new lady friend looked at me with melancholy eyes that almost made me blush, I was almost at a loss to admit such overt sentimentality, instantly erased by a celestial osculation (kiss, for you simpletons) that made me tremble with inner delight. 'The Sound of Her World' will please her and then she will please you. The cavernous and volatile 'Sleep Tight' seeks to ratchet up the tension to boiling point and get the body tremors going, Beck's guitar raunchily pushing forward like some panzer spearhead smashing through paltry defenses. The ending is pure 'mashed potato schmaltz' as early Bryan Ferry would state for the record.

Things get highly romantic with a two-pronged assault on febrile feelings with first the brief and volcanic 'Off her Hands' showing a crushing tendency to delicacy, a near lullaby, something a gentler IQ could come up with to woo the softer hearts, a delightful little rant that sets the table for a breathtaking segue. A colossal song like the melodramatic 'Shine' is quite illustrative of this collision of emotionally charged bellowing with cracking rock foundations and it finds itself cherried by an awesome axe solo to instill a coup de grace of whopping proportions. An easy progressive rock mega-hit, on par with the immense 'Chains' or even early urgent U2 when Bono was actually and credibly stunning , this is a thoroughly enjoyable high point to a rich and exalting album of really, really good songs.

This burgeoning heavier side is followed up by two harder-tinged rants that sort of bleed into each other, the quixotic and mercilessly tough 'Point of No Return' is first in line, a nasty undercurrent straight from the very onset leads to a binary guitar thrash, pummeled by some bulldozer drumming and howling vocals, all ensconced in a glorious melody and a thrilling variety of cinematographic sceneries that add power and punch, recalling the great epic moments of their huge classic album. 'All These Years' shows quirky tendencies, profound insanity and aggressive despondency, as the shrieking chainsaw guitar screeches in the foreground, Marco wailing like some bunkered madman, delirious and suicidal. The massed orchestrations are almost Wagnerian in intensity, as the singer now showcasing a high pitched lament, violin sweetness/bitterness crawling alongside, forlorn piano stating a sad 'auf wiedersehen'.

The title track serves to encompass all the previous emotions, closing the parenthesis that began with the first two tracks, infusing a return of the entrancing 'Shine' chorus and that 'You Only Live Twice' 'like melody that enhances the entire audition to unreachable heights of enjoyment.

Sensual, sexy and sensory are traits not necessarily associated with Teutonic efficiency but let me tell you, this is HOT music, almost carnal and utterly exhausting. I may choose to agree that nearly 80 minutes is perhaps too long but what woman would not want an hour and 20 minutes of good, dedicated and unselfish love making? Hmm, you may have a point, Don Juan Romeo Casanova! If you want to enjoy the manly, macho and angry Sylvan, 'Posthumous Silence' is always going to be there for you to relish and 'boys will be boys will be boy-oy-oys'. But when the lovely ladies enter the playground to see what all the fuss is about, all stitched up and hungry for love, this will get their passionate juices flowing (figure of speech of course!).

5 Love nests

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars German band SYLVAN has been around for just about a quarter of a century at the time of writing, and for the last decade or so they have been among the more popular progressive rock bands coming out of Germany, with their 2006 album "Posthumous Silence" often cited as their finest moment. "Home" is their ninth studio album, released through the German label Gentle Art of Music in 2015.

A thought that frequently struck in my mind when listening to this CD is that this specific album would be the perfect one to pull out for your wife or girlfriend if they just don't understand your fascination with progressive rock. Play it to them on a long car trip, and I suspect that those who so far have been mystified by this type of music would start comprehending it, and perhaps even start to like it themselves. Because this is an album that speaks with and to emotions as I experience it, music that speaks to the heart and the soul, with haunting emotional-laden moods aplenty. Those who find such a description alluring should give this CD a spin, especially if you tend to enjoy emotional lead vocals and music with a strong emphasis on melody in general.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars I've been listening to this album for a couple of months with increasing enjoyment with each listen. As a matter of fact, I can say that this is the first Sylvan release since Posthumous Silence to truly captivate me. Marco and crew (a much changed crew since PS) have returned to more of the elements of progressive rock while at the same time using their greatest strength to its utmost. Of course, in that I speak of the marvelous voice of Marco Glühmann doing what he does best: telling a compelling story of the challenges and pitfalls of being human in this confusing modern world. I think Marco's voice is the strongest I've ever heard it--using all of his tricks and strengths in perfect timing with the emotion of the lyrics--of each word--embellishing the music perfectly. And I really like this stripped down, simplified music mixed with elements of electronica, classical, chamber and Sylvan's usual solid rhythm section. I have to agree with one of the previous reviewers that sitting through 80 minutes while trying to remain fully attendant is challenging. (But, even sitting through the entire play through of my favorite album of all-time, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, is a challenging thing to achieve.) But the rewards of having a song from this album pass through my iPod Shuffle's random playlist is always rewarding and enjoyable. Especially as I have gotten more familiar with them. Consummate professionals with a very polished and straightforward presentation, they have the experience and maturity to employ all of the "tricks" to hook the prog listener. I love it! I love the throbbing bass! the way the grand piano is recorded to sound like a classical piano, the powerful yet succinct guitar solos, the deliberate arrangements and orchestrated sections, and, of course, the sublime voice of one of progressive rock's all-time masters!

There are no songs that I skip or dislike but I find myself really tuning in when I hear: 1. "Not Far from the Sky" (6:31) (9/10); 4. "With the Eyes of a Child" (4:19) (10/10); 6. "The Sound of Her World" (9:23) (/10); the refreshingly genius and emotion-packed 7. "Sleep Tight" (5:31) (10/10); the MARILLION-like 8. "Off Her Hands" (3:33) (9/10); the best song on the album, 9. "Shine" (6:19) (10/10); the hypnotic 10. "Point of No Return" (5:25) (10/10); and the gorgeous finale, "Home" (6:05) (10/10).

Such a polished, mature album of excellent and original Neo-Prog.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I am sitting at home (sorry I couldn't resist it!) listening to this album for the third time in succession. In my opinion this is right up there with all the other albums of this great band. Beautiful harmonies and melodies and instantly recognisable as Sylvan characterised by Marco's superb a ... (read more)

Report this review (#1372647) | Posted by numbnuts | Tuesday, February 24, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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