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SYLVAN

Neo-Prog • Germany


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Sylvan biography
Founded in Hamburg, Germany in 1998 (started in 1990 as "Temporal Temptation")

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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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)

3.41 | 98 ratings
Deliverance
1999
3.24 | 93 ratings
Encounters
2000
3.84 | 202 ratings
Artificial Paradise
2002
3.59 | 142 ratings
X-Rayed
2004
4.16 | 501 ratings
Posthumous Silence
2006
3.51 | 161 ratings
Presets
2006
3.56 | 179 ratings
Force of Gravity
2009
3.93 | 410 ratings
Sceneries
2012
3.83 | 197 ratings
Home
2015
4.17 | 55 ratings
One to Zero
2021

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

4.30 | 48 ratings
Leaving Backstage
2008

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

4.67 | 57 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
 One to Zero by SYLVAN album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.17 | 55 ratings

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One to Zero
Sylvan Neo-Prog

Review by FredStock

3 stars Firstly I'd not listened to Sylvan before trying this album. I'd not even heard a song. I had just seen the name mentioned across the usually prog rock forums and websites and thought I should give it a go.

I have to admit I often struggle with modern progressive rock and tend to lean more towards the classic prog of the 70s so I am making a concerted effort to give these current acts a chance and have them change my mind. This album being the first of a few I am going to review. I am pretty useless at reviewing but I needed to find something to do and I'm always critiquing/discussing music with family and friends and thought I'd give it a go. I must add that I will listen to an album a minimum of 5 times to give a fair review (A must for progressive music in my view).

So Sylvan are a German progressive rock band that supposedly show influences of Pink Floyd, Marillion and Genesis according to Wikipedia. Sounded right up my street from the outset.

The bands German roots come across strong with the accent on the vocals. A nice voice, although I have to say personally I struggle with most of these European bands and the accents. But that is just me and I can appreciate this will not be an issue for most.

The album has a running time of around 65 minutes and is a concept album. Apparently not their first concept album. I shall have to explore. I have read that this album is "an autobiography of an artificial intelligence born into the problems facing contemporary society." I can't say I picked that up from listening but I'm am definitely a sucker more for the music than the lyrics, so no surprises there.

The first track "Bit by bit" is great. I'm hearing a touch of early Riverside here and each member of the band is given a chance to show what they can do. About 5mins in there is a cool, dark metal riff which I love. I nice tune and sets the tone for the album nicely.

A beautiful slow piano part starts the second track with the track building all the way to the end. The highlight of the track being when the guitar guitar solo kicks in around the 5min mark. The vocal choirlike chants are very catchy here, especially after a couple of listens.

On to track 3, "Start of Your Life". I can't say I love this track. It has a more pop like vibe. The intro guitar riff doesn't quite do it for me although the riff itself is ok, I think the production may be the problem here in that its taken the raw guitar driven sound away from the riff and I have to say I'm not as big a fan of this particular track.

So onto track 4 "Unleashed Power". The start of the track certainly doesn't appear to match the title of the track from the outset. The title gives the impression of a more heavy technical number, but here we have a very mellow piano driven song and it remains that way throughout the whole 7 and a half minutes. Nothing wrong with it though. Some lovely clean guitar soloing tones and licks in there. A solid track.

Trust in Yourself. More of a heavy edge to parts of this track. This track has a beautiful break down later in the song with a lovely violin part. There's great wacky and interesting sounding guitar solo towards the end of the track which is probably the first time I found anything different/unique about Sylvan's sound. I just wish they had made the solo a little longer and maybe had seen the track out with it.

On My Odyssee. Some super cool guitar playing on this track. Probably my favourite on the album. I love the way the guitar soloing sees out this track. Again, very early Riverside. Its a shame this style of guitar playing isn't used more throughout the album, although I must say it probably makes you enjoy it more when it actually comes in.

Part Of Me. Another slow starter. Very nice orchestration here and probably the best guitar solo on the album. Great guitar tone and the atmosphere is spot on.

'Go Viral' is a much appreciated change from the usual piano intro. About 3mins in we get to a nice heavy metal-like guitar riff/instrumental section which I enjoy very much every time I listen to the album. Here you get a cool synth solo again, similar to that in the opening track. I like this track very much.

'Not a Goodbye', another slow starter, this time not piano, but some delicate guitar picking. Pleasant enough. But the highlight of this track again has got to be the guitar soloing toward the end of the track. The album ending as it begins with an unearthly like space sound.

All in all this album is a good album. Not one that has changed my mind on modern prog though. Its an album I will for sure listen to again but I cannot rate higher than a 3 stars. This album cannot be put in with the classic albums such as "Selling England by the Pound" or "Thick as a Brick", so not a masterpiece at all. And for me I wouldn't quite put it in the 'excellent additions' either. So 'Good' but not essential seems a fitting place for this album. Possibly a down side to the album is the way most of the songs can be very similar in how they are constructed. Slow piano intros, mostly mellow with a build up the end. I also find modern progressive rock, can often sound like it wouldn't be out of place on the Eurovision song contest. Now, that could just be down the the European accents maybe. And in parts this album has that sound for me.

I have to say I hear nothing that really resembles Pink Floyd or Genesis here. But I can may be hear a bit of Marillion in there, particularly in the guitar soloing. The highlight of this album is clearly the guitar work for me. Like I said earlier, I really am a music over vocals kind of guy and I appreciate I haven't mentioned vocals on this album very much. I want to add, the vocals do their job without ever standing out. This meaning they also don't stand out in a bad way either which is a positive as prog vocalists can often fall short for me.

A decent effort. I shall listen through their back catalogue for sure.

 One to Zero by SYLVAN album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.17 | 55 ratings

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One to Zero
Sylvan Neo-Prog

Review by Michael919

4 stars An enigma for me

I really struggled with this one. Honestly, if it wasn't sitting atop the 2021 board since its release, I probably wouldn't have given it as many listens to let it grow. Why didn't it click initially? Because there are too many little parts (see second track) that turned me off and kept me from really enjoying the REALLY good parts.

I am new to Sylvan. I gave Home a few spins a while back, but I couldn't get past the theme of the concept album. It's too disturbing for me to enjoy, having a teen daughter and a friend who is having challenges with his.

One to Zero starts off with a 5* track with Bit by Bit. What a great opener! It has so much of what I enjoy in my preferred prog bands of the past 30 years.

My aversion and attraction to this album rears its head in the second track, Encoded at Heart. Marco's voice is beautiful, and that is my problem: It can be too pretty. Too adult rock or new country sounding. At times. These times make me want to move on to something else, it's just not my thing. On this track, I am loosing interest, and then the chorus with Porcupine Tress sounding harmony kicks in. Bang, got my attention again and the ending is very nice.

Unleashed Power is also a roller coaster, rotating between very brief 3 star moments and great, longer, 5 start segments, like around 4:40

Trust in Yourself also has that adult pop rock sound intermixed quickly with great stuff and fantastic atmospherics with keys and guitar and violin at 3:20 or so, with faint, Porcupine Tree vibe. Very good tune in the end.

On my Odyssee starts with nice orchestration and interesting folk-like vocals, then, darn, more adult pop for a moment, but then coolness with harmonies and mellotron just before the 1 minute mark, then more cheesiness (to me). Get me off this roller coaster. Then at 1:45 the quite cool chorus kicks in, more orchestration and a cool interlude with guitars and keys and violins'ok, I'll stay on the ride a little longer. Very nice finishing jam

Part of Me starts with very beautiful, melancholic piano. Very nice. Nice, fitting vocals here. Guitars with Chorus and Delay and keys take over and more Porcupine Tree like awesomeness follows, from the harmonies to the atmospherics. The magic start at 3:23. Wow! Repetitive, pedal tone guitar riff with gentle ride symbol and a mirage of other instruments create a progressive and wonderful soundscape. This is worth the price of admission. It kicks into a cool, heavier section with delay laden vocals before fading and moving back to earlier themes and a nice closing guitar solo.

Worlds Apart opens with a nice, melancholic chord progression and layers of coolness before breaking into a chorus that once again flirts with something a little too pretty for my taste before returning to a darker vibe again. Creative and nice sounding vocal layers at the end.

Go Viral starts with a very cool, retro, video game sounding, synth section that is dark and brooding. You just feel that it could explode at any point, and it does, into a lovely guitar and key driven riff before switching into the first verse. The cool riff that following the into returns to be a nice backdrop to the pre-chorus. There's a nice, short piano and atmospheric interlude at 2:53 and then'..WHAM! A heavy metal jam launches, reminiscent of Tool, with a synth drone tone in the background, once again like a Steven Wilson recording, following by a guitar and keys solo and then just guitar. Very tasteful. Back to the heavy jam and then a seamless shift back to a verse, pre-chorus and chorus. Well done. Bravo!

Not a Goodbye begins with an interesting beat and building up of keys and guitars right into wonderful chorus guitar arpeggio section and the first verse. The repetitive guitar arpeggios through parts of this track are reminiscent of something from KC's Red or Steven Wilson's Ancestral. Wonderful jams ensue. Album ends with similar sounds as it begins. Full circle.

So there we have it. I think the very positive parts are enough to make me think very highly of this album. My aversion to some parts is my own problem and one that may fade with more listens. Nevertheless, I can't give this a 5- star rating until I get past that. But that's just me. It really is a good album, almost great.

 One to Zero by SYLVAN album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.17 | 55 ratings

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One to Zero
Sylvan Neo-Prog

Review by alainPP

5 stars SYLVAN is releasing its 10th album 'One to Zero' on a lifelong concept of artificial intelligence in an attempt to save the world from humans. Sylvan is the Teutonic metal prog with a voice, melodies, rhythms, epic, sensitivity and a birth since 1998, neo prog between Arena and RPWL, further a little from Pink Floyd, Marillion or Eloy. A variation of keyboards, a melodic guitar, Marco in the voice and surges of adrenaline to give in sophisticated rock art far enough from instrumental flights. Sylvan is a flagship group, so let's read below to shed some light on our lantern.

"Bit By Bit" with rhythmic intro, atmospheric progressive rock, nebulous on the sounds of computers; melody, a Marco voice at the height of his art, energetic breaks and the eternal PORCUPINE TREE or ... SYLVAN in the background; synthesizer and Moog behind due to an angry guitar, in short it follows with "Encoded At Heart" a long romantic ballad on the grand piano, text to save the world; bass which provides the musical framework and it continues to rise mid-tempo, backing vocals, SAGA guitar to the Floydian guitar solo, robotic air hovering for a sensual slap; it continues with "Start Of Your Life" and its synthetic hypnotic rhythm, groove, pop when I say that the decade of 2020 will be! Guitars come to offer a reshaped 80's tune, innovative between SOEN, PARADISE LOST and SIMPLE MINDS; edgy, simple but concise and perfect. "Unleashed Power" for a frank cut with crystalline piano, intrusive keyboards and the sensitive, emotional, sprinkled voice of Marco; melancholy melody, the one that makes you cry for joy, that sends you into the ether; Intimate then atmospheric heavy piano bringing in fact a soothing electric solo. What guides on calm and catchy "Trust In Yourself", based on musical breaks; Marco again at the center of the title; gentle break with strings and cello by Katia Flintchs; pleasurable, orgasmic solo, crazy on the central base and synthetic metronomic final.

"On My Odyssey" with violin and bass dub, extreme sounds; memorizable chorus for traveling, progressive variation with abundance of instruments, folk violin and percussion, the guitar à la AL DI MEOLA sending very far, Spain, South America I don't know, but the final rise puts Marco's voice in full phase with the instruments; title of frightening sensitivity; "Part Of Me" with this melancholy piano again for one of the emotional centerpieces, plaintive violin, depressive voice filled with hope, hypnotizing latent air; 1/3 break on a symphonic climb à la MARILLION, it rises, it climbs, it cascades down just on the voice and the piano and it sets off again without firing a blow with emotion. "Worlds Apart" first piano and title to give free rein to the voice, I who adore the instruments and the voice like yet another instrument I am out of the game; but pleasantly offside because you have the most beautiful melody sung, bewitching; fairy or mermaid voice games at the end. "Go Viral" for the electro-acoustic intro at MUSE, it takes off suddenly, AI finally takes control; a tune with lockers based on keyboards making the voice leap, making a headbanger, it's been a while; break at the SUPERTRAMP for a few moments to give yourself an end of the world riff; heavy drums, nervous then airy guitar, crystalline for a time before returning to the end of the pandemic, of our life ?. "Not A Goodbye" yes it's not over! Its heavy synthetic metronomic, hypnotic guitar, MOTORS tune suddenly (remember "Airport"), memory atmosphere with one of the most beautiful voices undoubtedly for a dantesque symphonic finale; nothing extraordinary just associations of notes, climbs, flights; a limited hard prog solo shows that Jonathan is very good; the riff is somewhat reminiscent of AYREON for the mix of genres, the end in two parts for the 80's oldies sequence; title of reset with buzz, after a digital suicide where the man takes the reins.

Okay, I'm not hiding, I love SYLVAN; but if the album had been flat I would have said so; here simplicity and emotion, destruction and hope, intensity and diversity, prog rock, neo prog, hard rock touches, symphonic, this group touches everything is wonderful. On CD, Vinyl gatefold and digital, produced by Kalle Wallner and Yogi Lang who also threw a few notes on it, album potentially in the top, keep it for said.

 Deliverance by SYLVAN album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.41 | 98 ratings

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Deliverance
Sylvan Neo-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars While neo-prog tendencies weren't anything new to Germany as bands like Neuschwanstein, Anyone's Daughter and Sirius were on par with the British explosion that occurred in the 80s Marillion led run, most of the bands were more of a clever mix of the contemporary symphonic prog upgrades and the melding of classic 70s Genesis and Camel elements to their sound. The Hamburg based team of guitarist Kay Söhl and keyboardist Volker Söhl (twin brothers) with guitarist Matthias Harder had no problem looking to the future while adopting the UK sensibilities of the past in this case meaning the 80s updated version of the symphonic prog world that splintered off.

While many begin their SYLVAN journey with the brilliant 2006 release "Posthumous Silence," the roots of the band extend all the way back to 1990 when the musical trio would form under the moniker Temporal Temptation but would soon change it to Chamäleon with artwork and a sound clearly inspired by 80s Marillion. The band was rounded off by Patrick Münster on bass and Marco Glühmann on vocals. Despite the setbacks, the band was encouraged by a lot of positive feedback as they were developing their own brand of neo-prog and the band stuck it out throughout the 90s but found it hard to get their debut released so it wasn't until 1999 that the fully formed band named SYLVAN found its first album in the form of DELIVERANCE.

DELIVERANCE contained all the essential neo-prog elements such as piano based melodies, dramatic soap opera lyrics conveying the spectrum of human emotions and compositional fortitude that found many proggy twists and turns developed around a story which seems scrapped together from the many demos that the band released in the years before this debut. All those years of paying their dues really paid off because the band, while not exactly living up to their potential as heard on future releases, developed a mature and sophisticated neo-prog album worthy of the modern day with a nice mix between Pink Floyd inspired space rock, Genesis and Marillion infused symphonic prog and outbursts of hard rock moments. Likewise the band had learned to master the art of long epic sprawling compositions with DELIVERANCE showing off four tracks over the ten minute mark and an album closer "A Fairytale Ending" nearly hitting the seventeen minute mark.

DELIVERANCE is chock full of all those beautiful melodies and atmospheric backdrops anyone could ever hope for on a neo-prog album. The band had clearly been studying their idols quite well. There are dramatic spoken word dialogues, excellent backing vocals, sound effects, a sense of compositional surprise and the art of tension building, contrast and crescendoing up to release. The complexities of these longer tracks are quite brilliant actually and they remind me more of the those Colossus Project type release that have emerged in the 21st century more than most neo-prog of the 90s. SYLVAN went the extra mile to add more dynamic elements than their contemporaries like Arena or IQ were pumping out at the same time. In fact you could say that SYLVAN was extremely meticulous in how they handled all the elements of their sound not only regarding the compositional fortitude but the dynamics, production and vocal phrasing.

While most have come late to the SYLVAN game, it's amazing how beautiful this debut album DELIVERANCE is as it reaches the lengthy playing time of 70 minutes but in its sonic wake, the listener is treated to one of the great neo-prog bands that while not exactly at their peak still deliver a passionate and well performed album. While mature for a debut, DELIVERANCE does have a few drawbacks. There are the expected runs of musical motifs that outwore their welcome particularly at the beginning of the album and there are times when Glühmann's vocals sound a bit like Elton John! However the strength of the album clearly comes from the lengthy tracks on the second half of the album and to be honest, none of the others are bad in any way. There simply could've been a better editing job. Great album even though many better ones were to come.

3.5 rounded up (since it's not getting enough love here)

 Home by SYLVAN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.83 | 197 ratings

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Home
Sylvan Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

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.

 Home by SYLVAN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.83 | 197 ratings

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Home
Sylvan Neo-Prog

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.

 Home by SYLVAN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.83 | 197 ratings

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Home
Sylvan Neo-Prog

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

 Home by SYLVAN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.83 | 197 ratings

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Sylvan Neo-Prog

Review by javajeff

4 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.
 Home by SYLVAN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.83 | 197 ratings

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Sylvan Neo-Prog

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.
 Home by SYLVAN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.83 | 197 ratings

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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.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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