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SYLVAN

Neo-Prog • Germany


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Sylvan biography
SYLVAN is a German neo prog band with an emphasis on the vocals and a powerful sound driven by keys and guitar. This is prog that seems comfortable in both the neo and metal genres. With their debut album "Deliverance", the German band from Hamburg open the door to this hidden world for all of us. The music takes you onto a journey full of miracles, dreams, love, passion and fortune.

The dominant style of SYLVAN is a mix of Symphonic Progressive Rock, neo Progressive and Classical Rock including touchs of the Progressive Metal, blended together in a new and interesting way, decorated with lot of intricate keyboards and guitars sounds and grandiose musical passages in all songs. Frequently compared to group like MARILLION or IQ, SYLVAN successfully adds a new facet to Nineties neo Progressive.

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Home (Deluxe Digipack Edition)Home (Deluxe Digipack Edition)
Limited Edition
Gentle Art Of Music 2015
Audio CD$12.54
$13.72 (used)
Sylvan: Leaving BackstageSylvan: Leaving Backstage
PROGROCK 2001
Audio CD$9.13
$8.13 (used)
HomeHome
Gentle Art Of Music 2015
Audio CD$9.98
$12.28 (used)
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RANDOM HOLD Burn The Buildings LP UK 1982 David Ferguson Rikki Sylvan Art/Prog USD $9.99 [0 bids]
44m 8s
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SYLVAN shows & tickets


  • Night of the Prog X on 17 Jul 2015

SYLVAN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SYLVAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.31 | 72 ratings
Deliverance
1999
3.19 | 70 ratings
Encounters
2000
3.86 | 159 ratings
Artificial Paradise
2002
3.55 | 111 ratings
X-Rayed
2004
4.16 | 374 ratings
Posthumous Silence
2006
3.49 | 127 ratings
Presets
2007
3.54 | 141 ratings
Force Of Gravity
2009
3.97 | 346 ratings
Sceneries
2012
3.55 | 61 ratings
Home
2015

SYLVAN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.33 | 38 ratings
Leaving Backstage
2008

SYLVAN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.71 | 43 ratings
Posthumous Silence-The Show
2008

SYLVAN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SYLVAN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

SYLVAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Home by SYLVAN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.55 | 61 ratings

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Home
Sylvan Neo-Prog

Review by javajeff

5 stars I am glad that I put this in the car and have been listening to it in a heavy rotation, because it is a stunning album. My first listen was lukewarm, but now it could very well be my favorite. Only time will tell if I like it more than Posthumous Silence, but I will say it has become my second favorite from this band. If you are a Sylvan fan, this is a must buy. You may have to give this one a chance with some extended listens, but it will be worth it. If you have never heard any album from this band, then this is a great place to start. Between the new Beardfish, Steven Wilson, and this album coming out in 2015, this has become an excellent year so early on.

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 Home by SYLVAN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.55 | 61 ratings

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Home
Sylvan Neo-Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy 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.

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 Home by SYLVAN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.55 | 61 ratings

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Home
Sylvan Neo-Prog

Review by numbnuts

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 and haunting voice. I can't see the point of pigeon holing bands into prog sub genres so I won't try. If you are a genuine Sylvan fan I will be amazed if you don't like this album. Yes there are some repetitive bits but so what - I can sing along to them! Better give it a rest now as my wife is getting a bit fed up of me blasting the house! Great band, great album and has uplifted my day.

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 Home by SYLVAN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.55 | 61 ratings

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Home
Sylvan Neo-Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

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.

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 X-Rayed  by SYLVAN album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.55 | 111 ratings

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X-Rayed
Sylvan Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars In 2004 Sylvan return with their fourth studio release, ''X-Rayed'', released again on the Point label.This was some sort of a semi-concept album, not actually a story unfolding with each track, but rather a collection of songs with a central theme, refering to the inner world of different human beings, as these are revealed via ''x-rays''.

Different individuals means sound and mood changes throughout the darker of all Sylvan releases thus far, the atmospheric depth of the album seems like it demanded a turn towards of more PINK FLOYD-ian musical background with more downtempo songs and occasional bombastic moments popping up throughout the album, but all these echoes have passed through the Sylvan prisma, modern production, addition of contemporary elements like sound effects, distortions and slight electronic touches and a a rougher edge in the guitar riffs.The basis of the music still remains an artistic Neo Prog, now showered by the sporadic metallic edges, and they even seem to flirt with the PORCUPINE TREE stylings of Heavy Prog, Ambient and raw Rock blends.But then again you will find this unmistakable, cathartic electric solos akin to standard Neo Prog, while the keyboards' role remains somewhere between providing orchestral vibes and delivering either angular or melodic echoes depending on the piece.Gluehmann definitely belongs among the best singers of the genre, this display of changing moods was the best test for him to come up as a real standout among prog vocalists.

Again a Sylvan album, which can only be compared to the works of Satellite.While not belonging among the ultimate classics of the genre, it manages to keep a surprising consistency throughout, while passing through a wide range of feelings and moods.Strongly recommended, this is very fine modern Neo Prog, that doesn't say goodbye to Prog Rock's roots...3.5 stars.

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 Posthumous Silence  by SYLVAN album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.16 | 374 ratings

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Posthumous Silence
Sylvan Neo-Prog

Review by MellotronGhost

4 stars Hmmm it's all been said: This is a beautiful masterpiece of an album. However, just like that other masterpiece: "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" which has one song - The Waiting Room - that you just can't listen to. This album's equivalent track is Forgotten Virtue which is just too noisy and shouty for me. If I wanted shouting I'd watch Eastenders and listen to Whitney Houston. Anyway, putting that aside, the rest of the album is truly beautiful. The album starts with dreamy synths which build to a peak that gets so loud that it disturbs the dog! It then returns to sampled news broadcasts and a classical choir. Absolutely magic. Then straight into Bequest of Tears comprising beautiful piano. I've mentioned the noisy track and out of the 15 tracks there is one other which is called In Chains and is next. It's a bit whiny but you kind of get used to it and the majority of the song is pleasant enough. There's a nice keyboard solo in the middle - brief but very pleasant. Next is Bitter Symphony, lovely guitar and keyboard chords. The next song is Pane of Truth. It's 9 minutes of melancholic piano, cello (cello always sounds sad). The voice emotion is actually more uplifting than the music - but remember - sad songs are always the most beautiful.

Next is the 2 minute No Earthly Reason: gentle tinkly piano with synth chords. Lovely. Next is Forgotten Virtue which I've already discussed. Next is The Colors Changed. Nice piano start, cello and emotional voice so it makes your hairs stand up. A Sad Sympathy follows. This starts with atmospheric synth chords - quite dreamy and then piano and vocals start. Another lovely track. The next track is Questions which is so accessible that it seems radio friendly like Kayleigh by Marillion. Next is Answer To Life which is more about guitar and drums but it is perfectly melodic - you don't always need keys for melody. Message From The Past is back to the mounful piano and synth chords. Beautiful and yet desperately sad sounding - especially when the cello solo plays. The Last Embrace follows. Strange whispering vocals and it does get a bit shouty to be honest. The album then drifts into A Kind Of Eden which starts with birdsong and some out-of-body vocals (if you can imagine that). The album ends with the title track Posthumous Silence. This comprises mournful piano and synth chords and lovely it is too.

What I haven't mentioned is that peppered throughout the album are samples of an adult male and female arguing bitterly. We know that the album story is about a father who picks up the diary of his deceased daughter who we understand has killed herself, to try and make some sense of his loss.

Hopefully someone can explain this to me: The arguments are clearly between two adults and yet there is a news broadcast that describes how a little girl is found dead in a dumpster. So what is the relationship between the girl and the arguing adults????

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 Artificial Paradise by SYLVAN album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.86 | 159 ratings

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Artificial Paradise
Sylvan Neo-Prog

Review by Roland113
Collaborator Neo-Prog and Crossover Teams

4 stars . . . In my not so humble opinion. . .

Artificial Paradise is the third release by German neo-proggers, Sylvan. While the album sounds great, and there are some great parts to it, there are parts in between the greatness that doesn't quite grab you the way a masterpiece should.

The opening soundscape always brings a thrill to my ears, the sounds of a casino paint a perfect metaphor for the album, the search for perfect love in a world of imperfections. Lead vocalist, Marco Gluhmann's distinctive voice carries this album from the very beginning as he intones, "Desperately depressed or even deeply hopeless, this was rather simple for you." Clear and soulful, almost pleadingly he winds his way through the questioning, "Deep Inside" as he implores his muse to remember who they once were. This is the first real highlight of the album, with a strong melody and emotional, well written lyrics this song gets a full five stars.

Unfortunately, the quality of the songs kind of drop off for the next thirty-nine minutes or so. "That's Why it Hurts" and "Human Apologies" have some good moments and "Around the World" has a nice jazzy feel at times.

Yes, I just totally glossed over the middle of the album.

The good news is that the title track makes for a killer closer. We start with some of the same ambience that we heard at the beginning of the CD in a lush soundscape that builds into the song, proper. The music begins with a series of conflicting rhythms growing into an almost chaotic cacophony of noise before it suddenly resolves to a dark yet wistful avenue for Marco to once again paint the landscape of emotions. We first hear the catchy chorus here, "Different faces on the other side, in our artificial paradise, in a world full of fates and illusions, do we see them?" The song continues from there through a series of moods, growing in intensity until they reach a peak almost reminiscent of Mike Patton's ranting. Just as we get to the angry climax, the angry base drops out and we slide back into the culminating chorus, a repeat of the beginning one though full of lush keys, a female choir and a sweeping guitar solo. The effects on the choir gives it the tinge of synthesized, dovetailing beautifully with the artificial theme of the album. This song gets five stars as well.

As with all of Sylvan's work, this in an emotional album with crystal clear production and well blended music. Everyone on this album sounds good, though, no one really stands out except for Gluhmann. There aren't any individual efforts that make the album. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, just a very well balanced band. Artificial Paradise is not a perfect album, but it's a really good one with some great songs on it. The bookends, especially the title track bumps this from a mid three star rating to a four star one.

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 X-Rayed  by SYLVAN album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.55 | 111 ratings

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X-Rayed
Sylvan Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars This is the fourth album from Sylvan, but is the first that I have heard - if the others are anything like this one then I have most definitely been missing out. Here we have a band that while sitting within the progressive rock genre are one of those rare beasts, namely a band that is trying to be progressive. Each song can be a journey through different styles within itself, let alone when comparing one to another. Radiohead are an obvious influence, but there is something more melodic about Sylvan although they have the space down to a tee. It is exciting music that also is very laid back, it is music that you have to go to, music that you have to investigate and search through but the rewards are there to be heard.

The more I played this album the more excited I became about it ? there is just so much in here. Think Porcupine Tree, think IQ, even think Japan but most definitely think music that at times is quite different to anything else around. Listen to "Fearless" and one could imagine that this was the Chilli Peppers trying something different! The production is spot on, with each instrument clearly defined yet also part of an encompassing blanket of sound. When they want to rock, they can do so, but for the most part the guitars are held back. The result is one of the freshest and invigorating albums I have heard within the prog scene for some time. Progheads need to discover this.

Originally appeared in Feedback #79, June 2004

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 Artificial Paradise by SYLVAN album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.86 | 159 ratings

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Artificial Paradise
Sylvan Neo-Prog

Review by sinslice

4 stars "Different faces on the other side"

Deservedly, a while ago that Sylvan is recognized within the harsh environment of progressive rock. And so, mainly from the phenomenal Posthumous Silence. However, his first really important is this. Not as recognized as it should be, in my humble opinion.

In fact, the title track is the most daring of the group and their best suite to date. A deliberate attack on the ephemeral human society, their false hopes and egocentricity, great lyrics and excellent music composition, with reflective and other powerful sections.

Registration Glühmann voice is energetic and well used in its different facets. I also note rhythmic and imaginative guitar bass executed by Harnack. Not to mention the Söhl guitar runs, with great solos and riffs successful. Keyboards and drums accompany fine.

Deep Inside, That's Why it Hurts and Timeless Traces also stand above the rest. Although, strictly speaking, the whole album is homogeneous and has almost no waste.

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 Sceneries by SYLVAN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.97 | 346 ratings

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Sceneries
Sylvan Neo-Prog

Review by demolition man

4 stars A fabulous Neo Prog band from Germany who really do not have a weak album in their entire catalogue; a catalogue which is now becoming pretty impressive.

With Sceneries the focus, as usual, is on the vocals and Marco does not disappoint. His voice is certainly unique but I find it very appealing (despite having to read the liner notes from time to time) and it's very well suited to the overall sound that the band produce.

The guitar work is really impressive on Sceneries as is the keyboards too. The songs are finely written and the album seems to flow very nicely. This album did take several listens to fully absorb, which was something slightly different from some of the previous albums; notably Posthumous Silence and Artificial Paradise, (both absolute gems), which were instantly appealing for me. The band have obviously worked very hard to produce a piece of music that progresses their catalogue but without over-complication and without dipping their toes into a more popular direction (Presets)

I am really pleased that Sylvan have moved on from Posthumous Silence with continuing authority and greatness. Marginally I prefer Posthumous Silence but that was always going to be hard to top.

I eagerly await the next chapter from one of my favourite bands in the Neo Prog genre.

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Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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