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SLYCHOSIS

Neo-Prog • United States


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Slychosis biography
SLYCHOSIS is a progressive rock band hailing from Mississippi in the US. The band was formed by Gregg Johns, the band's primary songwriter and vocalist. The original lineup include James Walker on bass and vocals and Todd Sears on drums and vocals. This lineup released the self-titled debut in 2006. Following the release of "Slychosis", Todd Sears left the band and was replaced on drums by Jeremy Mitchell.

The band also added Chip Griffith on saxophone and wind controller and with guest vocalist Ceci Smith, the band released "Slychedelia" in 2008.

The band's music is sometimes heavy, sometimes spacey and sometimes includes a modern symphonic sound, and they cite such diverse influences as GENESIS, HAWKWIND, GONG, BLACK SABBATH, CAMEL and GENTLE GIANT, among others.


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Mental HygieneMental Hygiene
CD Baby 2012
Audio CD$5.32
$40.06 (used)
Fractured EyeFractured Eye
CD Baby 2012
Audio CD$9.17
$14.10 (used)
SlychosisSlychosis
Slychotic Studios 2006
Audio CD$14.50
$5.44 (used)
SlychedeliaSlychedelia
Slychotic Studios 2008
Audio CD$16.59
$41.38 (used)
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SLYCHOSIS discography


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

3.04 | 9 ratings
Slychosis
2006
3.21 | 14 ratings
Slychedelia
2008
2.77 | 12 ratings
Mental Hygiene
2010
3.04 | 8 ratings
Fractured Eye
2012

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

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SLYCHOSIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Fractured Eye by SLYCHOSIS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.04 | 8 ratings

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Fractured Eye
Slychosis Neo-Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Fractured Eye' - Slychosis (6/10)

"Fractured Eye" is the fourth album from US prog act Slychosis, a band I first came across with their 2010 album "Mental Hygiene". Taking a trick or two from Rush's synth-heavy 80's era, Slychosis' sound is certainly rooted in progressive canon, but it's often focused on melody. These formalities now aside, I cannot say I had been too impressed with "Mental Hygiene", remembering it as a poorly-produced album that only realized their potential partways. My first impression regarding "Fractured Eye" is that things have improved on virtually every front for Slychosis this time around. They have yet to find a distinct voice for themselves, but this fourth album has made it clear that this band is capable of much more than I first thought.

While I would never call Slychosis 'poor', "Mental Hygiene" did leave me wanting in a few places, and left no impression under than the thought that they were in need of a stronger identity. "Fractured Eye" still contends with this, but the execution has been largely polished up. Keeping in mind the comparison to 80's era Rush, Slychosis are fairly typical of US neo- prog, relying on keyboards more often than not. "The Sphinxter" devotes its first few minutes to a quirky symphonic overture that at frst conjures impressions of The Residents, although this strange charm is trade off for a more conventional take on songwriting throughout most of the album. "Elegy for Christy" is another song that stnads out, an instrumental with some beautiful lead work Although quite mellow, Slychosis conjure some powerful emotional energy here.

The majority of the album unfortunately focuses in on the melodic songwriting they explored on "Mental Hygiene", albeit with a more polished sense of production and performance. For a band that makes melody such a hot spot in their style, Slychosis' melodies are rarely memorable. They are pleasant to hear, but they never seek or challenge the listener. The vocals on "Mental Hygiene" never stirred me too much, and I feel the same is true for "Fractured Eye"; although Tony White and co. are decent singers, it sounds like they attempt to emulate the styles of certain prog greats, particularly Rush vocalist Geddy Lee.

The last three songs on the album are actually re-recorded tracks from the band's first album, presumably done as a result of Slychosis' much improved execution and sound. The mini-epic "Samuel" is one of the album's best cuts, despite technically not being fresh material. Complete with an interesting sci-fi concept and lethargic dialogue that dead-rings out for the narration on Rush's "The Necromancer", the ambition is tuned up here, and hearing some of the band's older compositions, it makes me wonder why they decided to focus in on a more conventional approach to songwriting. The execution is where Slychosis have really started to tighten up their act on "Fractured Eye". While Slychosis do not yet leap out beyond their like-sounding contemporaries, there has been a noted improvement in the time between the albums. Even so, they will need to find a stronger individual voice before I can recommend them wholeheartedly.

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 Mental Hygiene by SLYCHOSIS album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.77 | 12 ratings

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Mental Hygiene
Slychosis Neo-Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Mental Hygiene' - Slychosis (5/10)

Coming from a proud line of bands that use bad puns in their name, Slychosis is a Mississippi -based act that has received some attention from listeners in the prog rock community. 'Mental Hygiene' is the band's third album, and while there are interesting ideas offered here, I will agree with other reviews I have read of this album and state that there are some things sorely lacking from Slychosis' work. Fans of brooding, melodic progressive rock should enjoy what this band offers, although expect nothing that will shake your shoes off anytime soon.

Although there is a moderate diversity and sense of dynamic here that comes along with the prog rock territory, Slychosis here sticks largely to slower tunes that range from mellow stuff, to more elaborately orchestrated material that tunes up their rock direction more. Tying all of this together are the vocals of project manager Greg Johns, who passes me as a weaker standard of Geddy Lee's (of Rush) lower register singing., although a female vocalist pops in towards the album's last track, 'Midnight'. Slychosis seems to fall into the crowd of prog bands that try to emphasize arrangements over technicality, and sometimes, the way that this act develops their sound is impressive. I found myself particularly impressed by the album's highlight, 'Fallen Tiger', which uses synthesizers and keyboardist Todd Sears' lilting vocals to create a very sorrowful soundscape. It is a real shame that some of this music is plagued by a relatively bad production, because Slychosis does do some decent stuff here as it is.

The production is by and beyond, the worst element of 'Mental Hygiene', unless you count the atrocious album cover. While some of the more symphonic moments of this album do indicate to me that there is real feeling behind the music, the production paints it in such a way as to obscure most of the details that are probably in the raw performance. It's as if a trained artist was left with murky watercolors to work with; the mixing is poor, and there is plenty of buzzing and noise where there technically shouldn't be. Generally, production is not a big issue of contention, but the problems are big enough here to notice, and especially seeing as the band are on their third album now, and decent recording technology is widespread for many people to obtain. 'Mental Hygiene' is a bland, poorly produced album to be sure, but there are enough moments where the inspiration comes through for me to withhold writing the band off.

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 Slychosis by SLYCHOSIS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.04 | 9 ratings

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Slychosis
Slychosis Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Mississippi-based band,fomed as Karma-Kannix in 2004 in Jackson by multi-instrumentalist Greg Johnns along with bassist James Walker from the local cover band Final Spin.This band released ''Explorations In Inner & Outer Space'' in 2004 with a sound close to Classic Rock with Heavy Metal and prog elements.The band was soon to be re-named Slychosis with Final Spin-drummer Todd Sears on board and the new line-up recorded the eponymous debut at Slychotic Studios,released indepedently in 2006.

While Slychosis sound a lot like 90's MAGELLAN, not only musically but also in the vocal arrangements,their sound is more varied.There are definite influences by bands like GENESIS,RUSH,KANSAS and HAWKWIND to be traced here and there,yet the album sounds very fresh and modern.Back to vocals,these are rather mediocre with no particular color and the band tries to cover this disadvantage with plenty of distorted lines and voice effects,which often work well.Musically the album is tight with no dead moments and lots of energy.Some tracks are close to Symphonic Rock with nice use of moog synths,melodic guitars and decent arrangements,while others will remind you of HAWKWIND with spacey electronics and sampled voices.There are plenty of Heavy Rock/Prog numbers as well with groovy guitars and a combinated organ/synth department,well-played and quite energetic.Gregg Johns,responsible for both the keyboard and guitar work as well as the main arranger of the band,uses a variety of keyboards,even some mellotron can be found on a couple of tracks,while his guitar style can be jazzy,melodic,powerful and groovy,depending on the track.The result is closer to a collection of tracks than a really coherent album with links between the tracks.

''Slychosis'' is a decent debut,which has more than plenty to offer to the listener with all these different sounding compositions.Yet a better vocalist and a more specific style would certainly help the band for a push.Recommended.

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 Mental Hygiene by SLYCHOSIS album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.77 | 12 ratings

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Mental Hygiene
Slychosis Neo-Prog

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Slychosis is a progressive rock band hailing from Mississippi, and Mental Hygiene is their third full-length album. The band's second album, Slychedelia, received some good reviews upon its release in 2008, so fans of that one will probably also want to look into Mental Hygiene. My enjoyment is often stifled by the muddy mix and underdeveloped arrangements, but there certainly is enough worthwhile music here to make it a solid purchase for progressive rock fans.

The music here is a mix of neo-progressive rock, symphonic prog, pop/rock, and even touches of progressive metal. There are a surprising amount of distorted guitar riffs that lead me to think of harder-edged neo prog acts like Jolly or modern-IQ efforts. There are a few weak compositions here (particularly "Importance"), but most of the album is pretty strong from a compositional standpoint. Slychosis is clearly a talented group with a knack for creating memorable prog rock songs. The main problem with this album lies in the muddy production and sometimes bland arrangements. The guitars are often too prominent in the mix, the drums lack "punch", and vocals usually don't sound great either. With a more professional production, I could see Mental Hygiene being a much more enjoyable effort.

Mental Hygiene is a fairly average prog effort when all is said and done. It doesn't set out to break any boundaries, but the album is still ultimately pleasing thanks to its strong musicianship and solid compositions. If you can look past the muddy production, there's certainly some worth to be found here. 2.5 stars are deserved in this case. If Slychosis can get a professional production next time around, I have a feeling they'll cook up something truly spectacular. As for now, this one is only recommended to fans of the band.

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 Mental Hygiene by SLYCHOSIS album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.77 | 12 ratings

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Mental Hygiene
Slychosis Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars US outfit SLYCHOSIS was formed in 2004, and while initially based around the compositional ideas of main man Greg Johns it would appear that the last few years have seen this project develop towards a more true-to-life band format, with the others members chiming in with their ideas in both the lyrics and music departments. "Mental Hygiene" is their third full-length production, and was issued by the Russian label MALS Records in 2010.

On "Mental Hygiene" Slychosis explores a rather varied musical landscape, with something of a basis in symphonic art rock of the less complex variety, and initial effort Geistly Suite arguably the most true-to-life progressive escapade. I'd suspect that fans of neo-progressive rock might be a key audience for this act, even if that expression in itself isn't covered to any great extent: This due to Slychosis venturing off into progressive metal, pomp rock and hard rock territories frequently, and as many neo acts have a similar approach I suspect this crowd might be one who'll find it easiest to enjoy a stylistic diversity of this nature.

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 Slychedelia by SLYCHOSIS album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.21 | 14 ratings

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Slychedelia
Slychosis Neo-Prog

Review by Raff
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Judging by the lavish packaging of "Slychedelia", with distinctive, surrealistic artwork by Russian-born artist Vladimir Moldavsky, it is hard to believe that the album is a completely independent production. Unlike the self-titled Slychosis debut album, it is more of a solo project by mainman Gregg Johns than a real band effort. While such projects are all too often misfires, I am glad to say that it is not the case with this particular album. Even though Gregg Johns is responsible for playing all or most instruments on half of the tracks, the results are decidedly superior than on other productions of the same kind.

When handling all the instrumentation by himself, Johns makes use of programmed drums, a presence that is almost impossible to ignore. Luckily, their artificial, often soulless, sound is not as overpowering as on other albums I have recently heard, mainly because the other instruments effectively manage to capture the listener's attention. Johns also avails himself of modern technology to add interest to his compositions - the 'vocaloid Miriam', a software imitating single or multiple female voices, is used to great effect on a number of tracks, especially the album's 'epic' (in tone rather than length), "Crimson Fields of Glory". He also manages to successfully reproduce instruments such as the harp and the bagpipes, which are not exactly a staple of rock music.

The ten tracks featured on "Slychedelia" are all rather complex in their own way, with frequent changes of pace and lively interaction between the instruments. Gregg Johns is an adequate singer at best, although his vocals appear rather sparingly and do not detract from the overall musical fabric of the compositions. Not surprisingly, the strongest of the vocal tracks, "Cosmic Irony", features guest vocalist Ceci Smith, whose intriguingly androgynous voice carries the song's almost poppy melody with conviction. The other 'conventional' song , "Metaphysical Fitness", is a mellow, spacey ballad with a distinct Pink Floyd vibe and interesting guitar and sax parts.

The real strength of "Slychedelia", however, are the instrumentals. The 8-minute-plus "Flag of Dimbu", based on some epic, sci-fi concept, is the longest item on the album - a five-part tour-de-force on which Johns plays all instruments, built around a thunderous, keyboard-and-drum main theme and featuring multilayered synths, eerie electronic sound effects, and clean guitar with more than a touch of Gilmour inspiration. On "Harps of Space", the distinctive sound of the electronic harp complements the deep rumbling of the organ and the gentle tinkling of the piano, with some . weird chanting appearing here and there. More spacey, trippy vibes grace the multi-part "St Johns' Wood", with some interesting guitar-piano interplay, and Afterlife, which alternates sparse, soothing passages with harsher-sounding riffs. The album is brought to a close by "Crimson Fields of Glory", a compelling piece inspired by Scottish history, permeated by the haunting sound of electronic bagpipes and austere, military drumming, with the spoken vocals of Todd Sears echoing over a background of eerie electronic noises.

"Slychedelia" might take repeated listens to be fully appreciated, though it is definitely worth the effort. Innovative it may not be, but does nonetheless make good use of a wide range of influences without sounding overly derivative. This a disc that manages to blend modern and classic stylings with a good measure of success, and one that will be appealing to many prog fans. However, it is to be hoped that Gregg Johns will revert to using a real band for any future Slychosis recordings, and dispense with the programmed drums. A solid effort, worth 3.5 stars.

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