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Advent Silent Sentinel album cover
3.76 | 110 ratings | 8 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2015

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. In Illo Tempore (3:18)
2. To Dunsinane (4:24)
3. On the Wings of an Ant (verse 1) (2:16)
4. Voices from California (7:34)
5. The Uncharted Path (6:22)
6. Reloj de Sol (2:35)
7. On the Wings of an Ant (verse 2) (2:20)
8. The Silent Sentinel (19:11)
9. 12/12 (2:38)
10. Sentinel's Reprise: The Exit Interview (5:12)
11. Second Thoughts (2:21)
12. On the Wings of an Ant (verse 3) (2:24)
13. Full Moon and Empty Hours (1:59)
14. Riptide in Aeternum (2:45)
15. Romanitas (12:00)

Total Time 77:19

Line-up / Musicians

- Alan Benjamin / guitars, bass, mandolin, violin, keyboards, recorder, glockenspiel, percussion
- Greg Katona / guitars, percussion
- Henry Ptak / keyboards, mandolin, percussion, lead & backing vocals
- Mark Ptak / keyboards, percussion, lead & backing vocals
- Brian Mooney / fretted & fretless basses
- Joe D'Andrea / drums, percussion, lead & backing vocals

- Thrse Ptak / soprano (10,15) & chorus vocals
- Ben "BenZuda" Harrison / fiddles (2)
- Dan D'Elia / percussion (2,14)
- Amy Benjamin, Matt Brown, Kerry Chicoine, David Kowalski, Steven Kugelmass, Joanna Lovell, Roe McBurnett, Dave Rollins / chorus vocals

Keyboards include among others: Hammond B3, Rhodes, Wurlitzer, CP-70, Clavinet, Moog Source, Sequential Circuits Pro One

Releases information

Artwork: Michael Phipps

CD self-released (2015, US)

Digital album

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ADVENT Silent Sentinel ratings distribution

(110 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

ADVENT Silent Sentinel reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy, RPI, Symph, JR/F Canterbury Teams
5 stars Advent is a American band with a clear influence of the British scene playing Retro Prog with a huge influence of Gentle Giant, the pastoral music of Genesis and Steve Hackett. If you enjoy some light music with flute, acoustic guitar and Canterbury style music where jazzy passages that could remind us the more modern band Nathan Mahl, you will enjoy this. To appreciate this album you can't listen to this as a background music, because the songs are complex and intricate. The way the band has used the multi-parts vocals is one reason to make the connection to Gentle Giant, but also some song structures. There is a lot of acoustic guitar in the pure Hackett style with some symphonic parts at the end of the album with the great song "Romanitas". In the other epic song "Silent Sentinel" , there is many twists and moods including some strange cinematic atmosphere, totally brillant! The tempo of the songs are never getting very fast and when it gets a little speedier in the song "Riptide in Aeternaum", it doesn't last long. It's ironic that this Retro Prog music comes as a breath of fresh air in all those moderns Prog bands that strives for heavier music with some crunchy guitars, big drums sound and the latest keyboards technology.
Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album has such better sound recording and engineering than their previous work, 2006's Canuts Firmus. As a matter of fact, it is the clarity of the instrumental recording that makes this album so special, so engaging. Everything is a couple of steps better than their previous album--which I liked. Cantus Firmus showed so much potential. Silent Sentinel is fulfilling a great deal of that potential. The multi-voiced vocal harmony weaves are sometimes quite ingenious and complex (very similar to some of the best of GENTLE GIANT like on "His Last Voyage" or "A Reunion") but they can also be just as often sounding like the lame straightforward harmonies of the 1980s band ASIA or 1980s YES. In my opinion, the album's "weakness" and strength are one in the same: Guitarist Alan BENJAMIN's penchant (and/or reverence) for imitation of the guitar sounds and stylings of Steve HACKETT's circa 1973 (Foxtrot). His imitation is flawless, but, in my opinion, unnecessarily so. Even his acoustic guitar pieces--which I adore--are so full of Hackettisms. But the electric work is where it goes too far; there is just no need to be that true to another man's sound and style--especially a sound that was limited by 1973's recording limitations.

My favorite songs are the most scaled down: the brilliant church/Renaissance-like "On the Wings of an Ant" series "(verses 1, 2, & 3)" (2:16), (2:20) and (7:09), respectively (10/10); the acoustic guitar solo pieces, 6. "Reloj de Sol" (2:35), "12_12" (2:39), and 11. "Second Thoughts" (2:21). Song 8. "The Silent Sentinel" (19:11) is about as good as an epic GENESIS tribute or imitation gets (9/10). Song 5. "The Uncharted Path" (6:22) (9/10) captures the wonderful old-feeling GENTLE GIANT-like sound and the upbeat and humorous BEACH BOYS-like 4. "Voices from California" (7:34) (9/10) is also quite enjoyable.

The opening of the title song is about as promising as any song I've heard in a long time: awesome instrument choices (organ, harpsichord,12-string acoustic guitars, tuned percussion, occasional background keyboard washes, and, of course, eventually, GENTLE GIANT choral like multi-voice vocal arrangements), incredible chord sequences and melodies, and the incredible gentle voice of the lead singer. And this continues for a good five minutes before things start to falter or lose their focus and get a bit muddled. Actually, it's the arrival of the electric guitar at 5:20 that turns me out. The near-faultless imitation of sound and style of said guitar to those of one Steve HACKETT circa 1973 are equally--sorry to say--distracting. And then the section that begins in the seventh minute is too much like a GENESIS replication, note for note, chord for chord, and, especially, sound for sound. The KARDA ESTRA-like "mysterious interlude" beginning at 8:25 is interesting--especially for the "Entangled" sound that arises within it 75 seconds later. The return of the Steve Hackett guitar at 11:38 bodes not well for the song's further progress. It's just too Steve Hackett! The ensuing solo vocal is a nice bridge to some heavier music beginning in the fifteenth minute and continuing while alternating with some Kerry MINNEAR/ MANHATTAN TRANSFER-like vocal arrangements through the next few minutes. In short, the song "The Silent Sentinel" is a microcosm of all that is wonderful as well as all that is flawed with this beguiling Advent album. I truly love and respect the band's progress and growth. I hope that they will continue to work together and that they will continue to discover and hone their own sound. Still, this is a solid four star album--one that I can happily recommend to all prog lovers. Impeccable quality in sound, construction and melody. Pick it up and listen to it for yourselves: I am CERTAIN you will find a few gems for your self on this exciting album.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars ADVENT is an American band who have released a much talked about album this year called "Silent Sentinel". This is their third studio recording and there's been a nine year gap between each one. The music here is very GENTLE GIANT-like with plenty of acoustic moments and harmonies. They use violin, mandolin, glockenspiel, fiddle and recorder along with the usual instruments.

The album opens with "In Illo Tempore" where we can here crickets to start as light keyboard- like sounds take over. Atmosphere and more as it starts to build before it settles late and blends into "To Dunsinane" where we hear nature sounds before vocal harmonies and a strong GENTLE GIANT flavour takes over. "On The Wings Of An Ant(Verse 1)" again reminds me of GENTLE GIANT with those reserved vocals and piano. "Voices From California" is one of my favourites. Vocals and light keyboard sounds to start as it builds. It does settle back with backing vocals and intricate sounds. Great sound after 4 minutes during an instrumental section. "The Uncharted Path" has some nice acoustic work early on as piano and a full sound kick in after a minute. I'm not a fan of some of the keyboard sounds. A much better sound arrives after 2 minutes. Organ, recorder then violin follows. "Reloj De Sol" is a short piece with acoustic guitar melodies. "On The Wings Of An Ant(Verse 2)" opens with vocals and acoustic guitar as the organ joins in.

"The Silent Sentinel" is the longest piece at over 19 minutes. Again light keyboard sounds including what sounds like harpsichord. Vocals before 3 minutes. I like the haunting vibe that comes in. Vocal harmonies before 5 minutes. A nice instrumental section starts after 6 minutes then it turns dark before 9 minutes. Harpsichord-like sounds then take over. A full sound kicks in before 12 minutes followed by mellow vocals and sound before it turns fuller again. "12/12" is an acoustic guitar driven track. "Sentinel's Reprise: The Exit Interview" opens with some killer bass as vocals and harmonies kick in quickly. This is very GENTLE GIANT-like. The keys and guitar sound excellent here. "Second Thoughts" is more acoustic led music before we get the final act of "On The Wings Of An Ant(Verse 3)" which is a favourite of mine. Vocals and atmosphere lead the way. "Full Moon And Empty Hours" features more acoustic sounds and atmosphere. "Riptide In Aeternum" sounds great when it picks up before a minute with organ and that rhythm section. "Romantas" ends the album and it has a medieval sound that pops up on this album quite often. I like the electric guitar. A strange change before 6 minutes doesn't sound right to me. Vocals before 11 minutes.

Most Prog fans will eat this album up but I just can't pull the trigger on 4 stars with that almost 78 minute length and overall pleasant and safe sound.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars 3.5 stars, really. I heard about this american band only recently. I can´t really recall where I did get the info about them before getting their CD Silent Sentinel. I also did not know it was their third release, so I can´t compare to their earlier efforts. What I got here was a very fine record, well produced and recorded that shows a kind of retro prog band. Although from USA their musical roots are firmly planted on the english prog scene of the early 70´s. So be prepared for some nice vintage keyboards and strong tunes.

Musically speaking they area roughly a mix of Gentle Giant, their biggest and most obvious influence (specially the vocal parts, including some very fine multi layered ones) and Gabriel era Genesis (great guitar parts!) plus some jazz and Canterbury sound thrown in for good measure. The songs themselves are, mostly, not as complicated as GG used to be at its prime, but to me this is something good, because they are not trying to do things they are not capable of. The CD flows evenly, with the majority of the tracks keeping up the quality most of the way through more than 75 minutes of music. However, this is not easy listening music, and it is best appreciated if you listen carefully each track separately. To get it all in one sit might be too much.

Although I liked the Silent Sentinel very much, the reason I don´t give it a four star rating is because, to my ears, they haven´t really reached their full potential as songwriters yet. They have yet to come up with stronger and more original stuff to show to the world what they came for. With this CD they came very close, but it is obvious that they can do better with some more experience and playing together. The performances are impeccable and the overall sound is very pleasant. A little more passion and personality, however, would do wonders to their sound.

I´m really looking forward to listen to their next work. Very promising. Gentle Giant and Genesis fans should not miss this one. It´s very worth checking it out!

Review by kev rowland
5 stars It is safe to say, that for one reason or another Advent haven't been the most productive of bands when it comes to releasing albums, and this 2015 was only the third over eighteen years, and it is still their most recent. I first came across them at the time of their second album, 'Cantus Firmus' in 2006, and I was suitably impressed by their very English sound, mixing Gentle Giant with mid-Seventies Genesis. The core band has expanded between the two albums, growing from four to six (and misplacing their drummer along the way), but Henry Ptak (keyboards, mandolin, percussion, lead vocals, backing vocals), Alan Benjamin (guitars, bass, violin, mandolin, recorder, glockenspiel, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals) and Mark Ptak (keyboards, percussion, lead vocals, backing vocals) are still there, and they have been joined by Greg Katona (guitars, percussion), Joe D'Andrea (drums, percussion, lead vocals, backing vocals) and Brian Mooney (fretted and fretless basses) along with various guests. They have lost some of the Genesis influences this time around, instead moving more overtly to Hackett and with some very strong strides indeed towards Camel. Indeed, one can imagine 'On the Wings of an Ant (Verse 1)' coming from that band's canon, with sublime melodic vocals, delicate keyboards and guitars and delightful fretless bass.

This does not sound like an album which has been released in 2015, nor any time in the previous forty years, and definitely not from a band formed in New Jersey! Pastoral, incredibly English and complex, if one said this was a lost album from the Seventies the only snorts of derision would be from those who would rightfully say that an album as fine as this could not possibly have been misplaced for that number of years. As it is, I am somewhat surprised that I have not heard more about this album, as it is one of the finest I have come across for a very long time indeed. This contains pretty much everything I want from a progressive rock album, and it has been getting some extended repeat plays. When I next sort out my albums and remove everything I have reviewed, this is going to be added straight back on out of choice as I know I am going to keep coming back to this time and again. Complex, complicated, yet so very easy to listen to indeed. It is full of layers which makes one think of Yes, and particularly Gentle Giant (as well as the use of multiple instruments), quirky time signatures and harmony vocals abounding, this is actually an incredibly easy album to listen to and one which makes me smile.

Let's just hope it isn't quite so long until the next one, as this is a delight from beginning to end. The prog world needs to discover Advent.

Latest members reviews

5 stars There is really only one way to properly appreciate this album. And it's not while driving. Or eating. Or doing housework. Or any other distraction. No, 'Silent Sentinel' is one of those rare albums that require one's complete attention, so that not a note is missed, as each note is perfectly pl ... (read more)

Report this review (#1466243) | Posted by cirrusbay | Saturday, September 19, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Anyone concerned that modern progressive rock had become too kitsch and camp or contrarily relegated to atonal avant territory without reference to any semblance of melody would do well to dig into some of the newer lesser known acts (at least to me) like this. A great mix of austere acoustic pi ... (read more)

Report this review (#1463159) | Posted by wnelson2 | Sunday, September 13, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Essential and engaging masterpiece of eclectic pastoral prog. 93/100 If you live fast, eat metal, and spit back death growls then stop reading now. Silent Sentinel is not for you. However, if you don't mind mind boggling vocal harmonies, melodic electric and classical guitar, jux ... (read more)

Report this review (#1459432) | Posted by omphaloskepsis | Friday, September 4, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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