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CYCLOTHYMIA

Numen

Neo-Prog


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Numen Cyclothymia album cover
3.88 | 71 ratings | 16 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (6:48)
2. Some Faith (5:09) - not on LP
3. A Cosmic Prayer (7:05)
4. Cyclothymia (14:53)
5. Lady of the Winds (5:38)
6. Footprints (9:30)

Total Time 49:03

Line-up / Musicians

- César Alcaraz / vocals
- Marcos Beviá / guitar
- Manuel Mas / keyboards
- Víctor Arques / bass
- Gaspar Martínez / drums

Releases information

CD Mylodon Records - MyloCD115 (2019, Spain) With a bonus track

LP Mylodon Records - vMRV003 (2019, Spain)

FLAC download - bandcamp.com

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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NUMEN Cyclothymia ratings distribution


3.88
(71 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
20%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
32%
Good, but non-essential (29%)
29%
Collectors/fans only (18%)
18%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

NUMEN Cyclothymia reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
4 stars Here's a Spanish 90's Neo-Prog band with a sound heavily influenced by the British Neo-Prog scene of that time with an emphasis on melodic songs structures, a more than adequate vocalist and solid instrumentation. This album is supposed to be their darkest album, but it doesn't sound that dark to me. "A Cosmic Prayer" show some beautiful keyboards and piano parts, a clear Marillion influence at the end of the song. The title track is a 14 minutes epic that starts slowly with some nice keyboards/ piano lines and a Pink Floyd guitar style passage. Then there is a break with electronic music that brings things down before getting back to a faster pace. "Lady of the Winds" is in a more lighter mood that strand out for the first time for his Spanish influence with some acoustic guitar and also for the female chant "La La La".... This is recommended to the Neo-Prog fans that enjoy solid melodies, 3.5 stars
Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
3 stars Numen is a Neo-prog band founded in 1992 from Spain. The band went on hiatus from 2000 to 2013. During their time together, they have released 3 albums including the album "Cyclothamia" which was released in March of 2013. Their line up has remained the same from their first album, except for current guitarist Marcos Bevia. The other band members are Cesar Alcaraz doing vocals, Manuel Mas on keyboards, Victor Arques on bass, and Gaspar Martinez on drums. This album is available on CD, vinyl and download. The album is made up of 6 tracks with a total run time of 49 minutes.

"The Man with the X-ray Eyes" start off the album with a song in 2 parts. There is long instrumental introduction with a good mix of keys and guitar, each contributing a lot to the song. After 2 minutes, the vocals start. The vocals are decent enough, but they have a bright feel to them as does the music, which has a definite neo-prog sound with a touch of a symphonic feel provided by the synths. Where the first part is upbeat, the second part is slower with a more romantic style. The vocalist and the guitars add a nice bit of emotion. The lyrics have a dark undertone to them, but seem to be tied to religion or spirituality.

The next track is not available on the vinyl version. It is a slow ballad style track called "Some Faith". With this ballad, the vocalist's accent is quite strong, but the delivery is still quite appropriate for the neo-prog style. The variation in melody keeps things from being standard, but other than that, it is quite a straightforward song. "A Cosmic Prayer" shows that the lyrics aren't necessarily religious as they are spiritual as connected to the universe and the Earth. The melody and the music don't seem to be as interesting this time around as they don't seem to connect very well, almost like they are stumbling over each other. The guitar and synth solos that come along later are okay, but the high pitched synths are a bit annoying and sound dated. The meter is also a standard 4/4 meter, but broken up in a way that give it a more complex feeling.

The title track "Cyclothymia" comes next, and appears to be the centerpiece of the album at over 14 minutes long. It begins with a synthesized piano and vocals to a slow and pensive style. The melody is nice enough, but soon that high pitched synth comes in for a short time that pierces the ears and soul, not in a good way. Between the stanzas of this first vocal melody, there is an atmospheric break led by the guitar and some spacey effects. There is a combination of later "Marillion" and "Pink Floyd" influences, but overall, the band is not quite convincing enough to pull the sound off that well. At least they do show some promise with their ideas, the execution just isn't quite there yet, especially for a track of this size. Around the minute mark, the attitude of the music darkens somewhat as electronics surround the sound effects of sirens and heart monitors. Halfway through the track, the music suddenly gets more upbeat and dramatic as the extended instrumental section continues. At 10 minutes, things move to a slower rhythm and there is a nice guitar solo before the vocals come in with a different melody. Symphonic effects from the synths and the vocals are much more emotional in this part of the track. It all ends with a nice piano solo.

"Lady of the Winds" begins with a haunting sound of a child singing "Rain, Rain Go Away" before a lush instrumental intro brings in the vocals. The lyrics seem to be a dedication to someone's daughter. The return of child vocals singing "La la la"s also support this. The song is mostly straightforward, driven mostly by keyboards and synths with an acoustic guitar solo stuck in there. The last track is "Footprints" and is another long track just over 9 minutes. It is introduced by a flowing combination of piano and guitar, the rhythm is a standard beat and the vocals are soft and emotional. The melody and feel of the song is quite simple. Things later become more atmospheric, but there is what sounds like a march cadence with electronic percussion that sounds out of place. Things intensify a little as the guitar builds things up. The music doesn't really accomplish a climax like it wants until a guitar solo comes in after another vocal section. The track doesn't quite move one as much as they were trying to do. Again, the and shows a bit of a weakness pulling off the authenticity of a longer track, almost like they are in a hurry to get it over with, thus losing the believability they need to generate the emotions that they are striving for.

So, overall, the album has it's high points and low points. There are places that the music soars, and other places where it doesn't quite reach the pinnacle the band wanted to achieve. They do have their hearts in the right place, and there is some promise, but, at times, the music is a bit clumsy and not quite believable. It's also not heavily progressive, but there are elements in there that definitely make it a neo-prog style that approaches a symphonic prog feel at times. Anyway, it is decent, but far from perfect. There is definitely a lot of promise here though for future endeavors.

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Reviewer
3 stars According to the great god which is Google, 'Cyclothymia -- or cyclothymic disorder -- is a relatively mild mood disorder. In cyclothymic disorder, moods swing between short periods of mild depression and hypomania, an elevated mood. The low and high mood swings never reach the severity or duration of major depressive or full mania episodes. People with cyclothymic disorder have milder symptoms than occur in full-blown bipolar disorder.' Numen state this isn't a concept album as such, although it does explore moods which may become a burden and torment. Numen released their debut 'Samsara' as long ago as 1998, but were dormant for a long period, getting back together when discussions were held the fifteenth anniversary of that release, and this is the second since then, following on from 2014's 'Numenclature'.

The musicians on the album are C'sar Alcaraz (vocals), Marcos Bevi' (guitar), Manuel Mas (keyboards), V'ctor Arques (bass) and Gaspar Mart'nez (drums), but this was the first album to feature Bevi', who replaced Antonio Valiente, and I note according to the website he is no longer in the band and neither is Alcaraz. However, they are continuing as a trio with additional musicians. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens here on in, as the vocals are a key part of this neo progressive/ crossover unit.

The album is very songs based, with little real room for the band to spread their wings musically, and there are times when they could add some freshness and life into the music as can become a little cloying and almost suffocating. They have been heavily influenced by later period Marillion, which isn't exactly a high point in my opinion, yet also bring in elements of Pink Floyd which manage to rescue it somewhat. There are times when the band seem to be struggling, and instead of creating a moment of reflection it is almost as if the band don't know how to move to the next stage. Solid and interesting without ever being indispensable, this is a melodic album which is well-produced and played but never really moves into top gear.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Once again I'm confronted with an album that has been garnering a lot of high praise from other reviewers that falls shockingly short of the expectations laid out before me. The song structures are simple, I hear little virtuosity from the instrumentalists, the Neo Prog "hooks" used to try to win over the listeners allegiance feel so scripted and cloying as to make me wonder if the players had any fun at all in laying down these tracks, the sound engineering is quite flawed--which might be made possible by the dated instruments chosen to transport the band's ideas and sound (especially the keyboards), and the music laid down to support the vocal sections is often rather dull and anemic.

The opening song, 1. "The Man with The X-Ray Eyes" (6:54) opens strongly--as a great instrumental--but then takes an unexpected turn toward homogeneity with the entrance of the AMBROSIA-like vocals. Why he gets so melodramatically emotional in the second verse I have no clue but it's too much, over the top, for me. (12.75/15)

2. "Some Faith" (5:01) opens with solo electric piano before lead singer César Alcaraz enters. Synth washes and lead electric guitar make appearances before drums and bass join at the end of the second minute. Nice section after the first guitar solo, but then it becomes Disney soundtrack (I'm reminded of the original Aladdin film). The lead guitarist shows some flair in his final solo around the 4:00 mark. (8.5/10)

3. "A Cosmic Prayer" (7:04) opens with some cool keyboard sound and fast cymbal play before a series of power chords enter to introduce a series of chords. When the song's rhythm and tempo is finally established, the strangely effected vocal enters. It often feels out of sync with the instrumental music--as if it doesn't even belong to this song. The music is so purely rock 101 support and the vocal so mismatched. At 3:35 there is an instrumental interlude that is nice--with pleasant guitar and synth soli and interesting chordal and tempo changes--but then we have to go back to the anemic main theme. (12/15)

4. "Cyclothymia" (14:30) The title song and album's longest epic hits all the right buttons but lacks excitement and soul. It's prog-by-the-numbers. It opens with ominous solo electric piano arpeggi (supported by background synth washes). César enters singing in a lower register. This is better though still wobbly and having trouble with pitch and pocket. Nice FIXX-like guitar chord play between the vocal sections in the fourth minute. Though there is a distant electric guitar soloing nicely in the background of the second verse, the music is just so soulless. The instrumental middle section starting in the seventh minute is nice--some power and creativity expressed here both musically and with added samples and tapes--but then it shifts into a disappointing and overly simple piano- and organ-based URIAH HEEP-like section at the eighth minute. It does recover its allure a bit once it reverts to slower tempo, and then as the music builds and fills with the emotionally-delivered final verses. Kind of SYLVAN-like here. nice finish. (24.5/30)

5. "Lady of the Winds" (5:31) opens with child singing "rain, rain, go away, come again some other day" before VANGELIS-like theme opens the instrumental music. Vocal enters dully and with pitch issues at the end of the first minute. Nice instrumental support, but this vocalist is not up to the task of professional enhancement of the music he is given. Music takes and odd direction in the fourth minute, kind of campy, before Spanish guitar solo. Were there no singing or lyrics to this song, it would be free to explore some exciting instrumental expression, but, as it is, the song is like a classic rock support for the vocal. The new AMBROSIA? (8/10)

6. "Footprints" (9:27) opens with piano and some oddly effected electric guitar establishing a rather ominous, almost sad, emotional tone. When César enters with a frail, warbly voice, I am suddenly confused: what kind of emotion is the band trying to convey here? It's a nice, engaging musical foundation--not unlike Chilean prog band AISLES--but unpolished. At 3:40 there is a clean break and switch into more spacious instrumental section. This is nice. With the climax of "Cyclomythia" and the instrumental opening of "The Man with the X-ray Eyes," this is the best part of the album. When César rejoins, they almost make it work, but then things just fall apart after the music leaves the hard-driving guitar-based section to become more theatric for it's climactic end. (16.75/20)

This album shows potential but the sound, song constructs, vocals, and energy injected into the music all need improvement. I wish the band could benefit from some different input from other producers to bring this same music up to modern standards.

C/3.5 stars; a nice addition to a prog lover's music collection--especially if you like Neo Prog or prog-related acts like Ambrosia and Journey.

Review by friso
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The neo-progressive genre has lots of bands releasing albums and very few top tier bands. Numen is a neo-prog group from Spain with an honest bid for that short list of stronger neo albums of the year 2019. Stylisticly I would place the band the closest to Pendragon because of the mild progressive leanings, the generally uplifting vibe and plain vocals by a not-too-gifted, yet very motivated singer. Also the production gave the band an above avarage and full-bodied sound.

The fifteen minute title song 'Cyclothymia' stands out as much darker than the other songs and makes for the most interesting listen. Other highlights on the album are the keyboard solo's by Manuel Mas who really has a knack for finding sweet spots with sound and melody Take for instance his moments early in the titlse song and his atmospheric twist in 'A Cosmic Prayer'. Some of his chord progressions are well crafted. The guitars of Marcos Beviá are clearly inspired by Gilmour and Hackett, yet his lines sound more like improvisations than thought out melodic lines. Still some very competent playing. Vocalist César Alcaraz is a singer most will easily sympathize with, but I guess his pronounciaton of the English lyrics and his obvious hardship in performing the material is this record's main weakness. This together with lyrics that are better not given too much attention. All compositions have some great ideas and I especially like the darker twists of Numen. The overal quality of the album is fairly consistant and it has a pleasant playback and lenght. The album cover looks like one of those heavy psych albums of the late sixties and I guess this album is as much a slightly flawed masterpiece as most of the albums it resembles. That won't bother most listeners of the neo-prog genre, because listeners of Pendragon, Marillion and early Arena will surely find something to enjoy here! Three and a halve for this one.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Today we have in our hands "Cyclothymia", the third studio album by the Spanish neo-progressive band NUMEN, which was released by the Chilean label Mylodon Records in March of last year 2019. A year ago, so this review is quite belated, but hey, the thing is that every expression here poured is gen ... (read more)

Report this review (#2307450) | Posted by Numaios | Friday, January 17, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The Spanish formation Numen is by no means a newcomer, after all the band has existed for over 25 years. The first output was in 1998 with the album "Samsara", followed by "Numenclature" in 2014 after a long break. Now her third work "Cyclothymia" has been released on the Chilean label Mylodon Rec ... (read more)

Report this review (#2306564) | Posted by Milotxa | Tuesday, January 14, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The third album from this Spanish band. The band is a quintet with a lineup of drums, keyboards, guitars, bass and vocals. I have been a long term admirer of this band and my reviews of their two albums can be found somewhere else in this blog. Neo-prog is their genre. Sort of..... OK, it ... (read more)

Report this review (#2306356) | Posted by Marcello64 | Monday, January 13, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars If we can express something firmly, it is that Spain does not fade as far as progressive rock is concerned. And it is that there are few Spanish groups that have generated valuable contributions to this musical phenomenon, a situation more than interesting, taking into account the well-known fluctu ... (read more)

Report this review (#2305725) | Posted by GregLineker | Friday, January 10, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The band Numen Coming from Alicante was founded in 1992. Cyclothymia is his third studio work, preceded by Numenclature (2014) and the debut Samsara (1998). With Cyclothymia or prior to its launch, there were a number of changes: first, guitarist Antonio Valiente was replaced by the current M ... (read more)

Report this review (#2305146) | Posted by Stefan Lukas | Wednesday, January 8, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is the third album of this Spanish Prog band coming from the warm coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. Their two previous albums left me a good impression since I am a newprog follower and they hit the right buttons to take notice of them. Despite of the fact that Antonio Valiente left the project, ... (read more)

Report this review (#2304536) | Posted by Peter Angus | Sunday, January 5, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Another return! That of the Spanish quintet NUMEN, originally from ALICANTE in the south-east of SPAIN and who had published his first album "Samsara" in the last century, exactly in 1998. Important thing to explain this renaissance, the group was put to sleep for thirteen years from 2000 to 2013. ... (read more)

Report this review (#2304403) | Posted by CosmicMan | Saturday, January 4, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Long time ago I discovered this Spanish Prog rock band that was very useful at that moment to be interested in a style I didn't know at all. Almost 20 years after that encounter, I've bumped into them again. I must say that the feelings have been the same as the first time. With Cyclothymia, it' ... (read more)

Report this review (#2301751) | Posted by JellyFish | Saturday, December 28, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Wow! I thought this Cyclothymia was a metal prog album, but I was wrong. The cover is simply an symbolic extension of the main track. Track number 4 is the best track without any doubt. 14'30' of sincere music with a thrilling message. All the elements involved reinforces the idea of highs and l ... (read more)

Report this review (#2288023) | Posted by PereJoan | Wednesday, December 18, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It's been a long time since I've heard this Spanish band from Alicante, a city next to the Mediterranean Sea. At that time they called my attention due to the treatment of their musical ideas. After several years, I've come across them again. After listening to their first two albums, I must say ... (read more)

Report this review (#2201462) | Posted by Bernardo de Toledo | Friday, May 10, 2019 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Spanish prog band Numen was born as a four piece formation in 1992, in 1998 Numen released their debut CD entitled Samsara, a concept album about all the things that surround the man as an integrating part of Cosmos. This first album got very good reviews all over the world, but two years later ... (read more)

Report this review (#2190065) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Friday, May 3, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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