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SKY ARCHITECT

Heavy Prog • Netherlands


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Sky Architect biography
Wabe WIERINGA [guitars], Rik van HONK [keys], and Chistiaan BRUIN [drums] developed what became SKY ARCHITECT while at the Rotterdam Pop acadamy. The trio was primarily instrumental but later recruited singer/guitarist Tom LUCHIES and bassist Guus van MIERLO, fleshing-out a formidable and multi-layered group of young prog rockers.

"They make music from the heart with a technical edge" says their bio, and it's an apt description of the quintet's carefully constructed and utterly professional material. Their 2010 debut 'Excavations of the Mind' on Galileo Records embraces both golden age greats like GENESIS and YES as well as peers The FLOWER KINGS, K2, and PORCUPINE TREE.

A solid new offering from a very worthy group that will widely please those who like their symphonic rock with a heavy edge and occasional sense of humor.

- Atavachron (David) -

Sky Architect official website

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Billion Years of SolitudeBillion Years of Solitude
United States Dist 2014
Audio CD$11.24
$17.45 (used)
Dying Mans HymnDying Mans Hymn
Import
Ais 2011
Audio CD$8.48
$18.17 (used)
Excavation Of The MindExcavation Of The Mind
PROGROCK RECORDS 2010
Audio CD$14.99
$35.36 (used)
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SKY ARCHITECT discography


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

4.00 | 226 ratings
Excavations of the Mind
2010
3.60 | 136 ratings
A Dying Man's Hymn
2011
3.92 | 112 ratings
A Billion Years of Solitude
2013

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

SKY ARCHITECT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 A Billion Years of Solitude by SKY ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.92 | 112 ratings

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A Billion Years of Solitude
Sky Architect Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars When I first came across this Dutch band and their 2010 debut I was incredibly impressed, feeling that they were taking me back to the days when SI Music was consistently releasing great albums. But now they have stepped it up a notch and are moving quite a way from where they were before. There are still the swathes of keyboards that give a strong Seventies feel as a backdrop to much of what they are doing, but they have obviously been paying attention much more to Dream Theater and have definitely increased the note density. There are times when this is a much more metallic album than they have produced before, but they can just as easily drop into a funk groove or provide us some Riverside or Porcupine Tree touches before going off in yet another direction.

The only term that could ever be used for these guys is "progressive" as they are pushing boundaries in what they are doing, although not exactly King Crimson in approach there are definitely some similarities with their outlook. And whenever you see a flugelhorn listed in the instruments you can pretty much guarantee that you are in for something quite out of the ordinary. When Tom is singing then one wonders why they don't use him in that facility much more, then when they are in full blast as instrumentalists one wonders why they bother with vocals at all. They seem able to put their mind and skills to anything that they want to do, but also manage to keep it reigned in so that the music always still makes sense and doesn't go off onto long meaningless tangents as is always the risk.

Somehow they manage to keep this open and free, not constraining what is going on but letting the music take flight: where some prog bands want to be insular and controlling, these guys act more as conduits and move wherever they are driven. Yet another great release from the flying Dutchmen.

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 A Billion Years of Solitude by SKY ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.92 | 112 ratings

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A Billion Years of Solitude
Sky Architect Heavy Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams

4 stars I'd be the first one to admit that I wasn't a big fan of Sky Architect. Originally, I was excited about them simply because of their style (on paper), their art, and, heck, even their supremely awesome name. However, when I heard "Excavations of the Mind" and "A Dying Man's Hymn" (dang, what is with their amazing naming ability), something ultimately fell flat for me. Well, that is no more. "A Billion Years of Solitude" has finally given me what I always wanted in Sky Architect's sound.

This band is generally very rock-based in their sound. They are definitely like a cross between Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, and other 70's prog. That's the last I will mention other groups, however, as Sky Architect has their own sound. It is richly rocky, spiritually personal, and, with this new release, I can add wonderfully spacey. Yes, I think that's what I was missing in their first two releases: a fleshed-out space rock vibe. In "A Billion Years of Solitude", the band gives us an amazing ethereal vibe involving everything from synth to horns and wine glasses (yes, you read that correctly). This personality is fresh and inspiring, and it joins Tom Luchies' vocals as being an emotional focal point of the band.

The musicians are all noteworthy in their chops ability, certainly. What impresses me the most, however, is the unity of the group. Their sound is very cooperative. Sure, there are plenty of guitar and keyboard solos, but the band is ever behind them to the point where it doesn't seem like showboating. So, this core sound is an awesome foundation for the surreal and celestially somber emotional content that this album brings. This sense of drifting, ever drifting, in the vacuum of space is palpable throughout the album. It leaves quite an impression.

I think there are some obvious favorite tracks here. The opening epic, "The Curious One" is soaked in high-tuned guitar work and funky space vibes. "Elegy of a Solitary Giant" features an amazingly eccentric groove mixed with beautiful piano and sorrowful horns. Lastly, the best song on the album is "Traveller's Last Candle". This epic set piece is structured so well with its rocky vibe that gives way to mournful keyboard interludes. It's truly outstanding, and probably one of the best tracks from 2013.

Sky Architect has made another fan. This album is awesome in every sense. I love the personality that the band has injected into "A Billion Years of Solitude", and the emotion content here has also perked my ears. If you are a prog fan, you need to hear this album.

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 A Billion Years of Solitude by SKY ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.92 | 112 ratings

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A Billion Years of Solitude
Sky Architect Heavy Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 2013 has been a busy year for Christiaan Bruin - not only did he put out the very capable Days of Summer Gone under his solo alter ego of Chris, but he also served his accustomed role as drummer in Sky Architect for this release. Of the two albums, this is the more traditional- sounding of the two, with standard prog instrumentation and far less in the way of guest appearances and classical musical backing than Days of Summer Gone, but equally it's punchier, heavier, and like Days of Summer Gone it's a charming and instantly accessible album which will entertain most prog fans.

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 A Billion Years of Solitude by SKY ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.92 | 112 ratings

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A Billion Years of Solitude
Sky Architect Heavy Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

5 stars 'A Billion Years of Solitude' is an album I was drawn to having been so impressed with the masterpiece debut 'Excavations of the Mind", an album that I hailed as one of the greatest of 2010, a labyrinthine musical journey that merges so many styles into its 50 minutes of prog excess. I was in awe of the virtuoso musicianship and no holds barred inventiveness throughout by Sky Architect. So I was really looking forward to more of the same on this recent release, a followup to 'A Dying Man's Hymn' in 2011, that I somehow missed. The lineup of virtuosos consist of Tom Luchies on vocals, guitars, Wabe Wieringa on guitars, Guus van Mierlo on bass, Christiaan Bruin on drums, Rik van Honk on keyboards, Mellotron, Grand piano, Hammond organ, Rhodes piano, Clavinet, Moog synth, Wurlitzer, flugelhorn, trumpet, and Maartje Dekker on the wineglasses.

Again, the sound is similar to Riverside, Haken or Pain of Salvation with smatterings of King Crimson, and Dream Theater. The jazz fusion influences are melded beautifully with metal riffs and gorgeous symphonic passages. The shimmering Hammond staccato crashes are reminiscent of modern prog on the heavier side such as Riverside. You really feel it on 'Wormholes (The Inevitable Collapse Of The Large Hadron Collider). The time sig changes on this track alone are awesome. It moves from a heavy guitar riff to some quirky jazzy guitar and squiggly little effects, impossible to describe really. Then it launches full tilt at ramming speed with a wall of guitars and keys over a relentless hammering drum and bass. The album actually starts with a brilliant epic clocking 18 minutes, 'The Curious One', and this is exceptional by any standards with spacey blistering guitar, manic keyboards, and King Crimsonish basslines all wrapped in one neat little package. 'Tides' is another great track opening with heavy distorted guitar riff and Pink Floyd verses, crystal clean vocals and I love how the riffs collide with the odd musical layers, sounding delightfully off sync. Some nice whimsical flute sections blend into a concoction of noisy overlayed keys and that guitar riff.

This is followed by piano intro and creepy effects on 'Elegy of a Solitary Giant', encompassing a wonderful guitar melody embellished by jaunty keyboards. It switches to fragmented tempo and builds into the first verse of gentle vocals and spacey atmospherics. I love how the metal guitar crashes through so brutally, and the whole psychedelic vibe is glorious. An ethereal section of horns and echoing voices leads into a piano solo, beautiful on its own with a lonely solitude. Then the heavy guitars break through with an incredible power and catchy riff over a fractured signature. There is a screaming freak out of feedback on guitar and brilliant layered lead riffs moving to the next piano solo. A spacey ambience dominates that has a dreamy lulling effect on the senses, reminiscent of the intro to 'Shine On'. The exquisite harmonies are well executed, and cap off a brilliant track that ranks as one of the masterpieces from the band.

This is followed by a shorter track, less than 3 minutes, 'Jim's Ride to Hell'. It opens with slow doomy building lead guitar and then unleashes into fuzzed guitar riffing over a spacey keyboard. Some jaunty blasts of guitar, strong percussion, and an infectious organ phrase dominate and then the instrumental comes to a conclusion. The musicianship is stunning on 'Revolutions', 8 minutes of prog inventiveness, opening with a catchy keyboard hook and some outstanding lead guitar soloing. The bass and drum rhythm complement each other with tight precision as a disordered tempo locks in. It settles into chiming guitar and the welcome return of the vocals. The lyrics are intriguing 'spare us, for us to understand that if we were to last, we'd have to rise and make a stand, we will overcome, we shall be as one spirit, revolution must save us from them so we can never last.' The lead break has a majestic quality and competes with some off beat drum and bass rhythms with shimmering Hammond, and an extended final burst of prog; simply outstanding music by any standard.

The album ends with another epic 'Traveller's Last Candle', running out to 12 and a half minutes. The track meanders along dreamily with ambient passages blurred into heavier guitar treatments and reflective vocals, until we get to the 5:50 mark when an instrumental passage takes over. The guitars are a powerful presence but there is always the keyboard layers and the darker tense moments are balanced with light melancholia. A nice touch is the sound of wineglasses played by Maartje Dekker. Towards the end of the track it moves into odd time sig and a soundscape of guitars with the epic finale feel heard on many a concept album over the years. The feel reminded me of the end of The Beatles' 'I Want You (She's So Heavy)', with loud screaming guitars, distortion and effects. It comes crashing to its conclusion capping off an incredible album.

Sky Architect are a band that somehow encompass everything that I love about prog and in a similar way to the debut, as soon as it is over I immediately want to hear the whole album from the start to end again. The powerful riffs and inventive time sig changes, along with lashings of lead guitar soloing and blasts of quivering Hammond really make this an exceptional listening experience. It is a rare thing to love an album at first listen but I was absolutely floored with this masterful album; from the moment it began it had me hooked. Sky Architect are an outstanding prog band that deserve to receive more exposure in the prog community as they are far superior than a lot of the more popular prog artists out there.

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 A Billion Years of Solitude by SKY ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.92 | 112 ratings

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A Billion Years of Solitude
Sky Architect Heavy Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars Listening to this album every day for the past three weeks has not changed my initial opinion, though part of my motivation for so many repeat listens was due to the fact that I really wanted to rate this album higher. It's just not meant to be. The album is bookended by two epics--both of which rank among my favorite songs of the year--but the other songs in between fail to rate as highly--they lack anything really special to attract me back in. The two epics, however, "The Curious One" (18:06) (10/10) and "Traveller's Last Candle" (12:43) (9/10) are intriguing for their fresh and rather unique flow--including the blending of some quite unusual styles, from THE TEA CLUB to TANGERINE DREAM to AMPLIFIER to ANUBIS to world music and to I'm-not-sure-where, but it's fun. A group I discovered with their debut and knew I wanted to keep an eye out for their next works--which I have--and I'm glad I have. They have grown and improved. It's just that there's still room for more. (Improvement, that is.)

Solid 4 stars. Give a listen; see what you think!

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 Excavations of the Mind by SKY ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.00 | 226 ratings

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Excavations of the Mind
Sky Architect Heavy Prog

Review by sinslice

4 stars Locked between these walls of eyes

Successful and intelligent mix of acoustic and electric, with good dose of heavy and melody. Often, as in this case, I agree with the ratings. Excavations of the Mind is a qualified, well- executed and emotional album. Contains the freshness and variety of musicians trying to convey your own style, in a stage of full inspiration, but at the same time mature enough without unnecessary extravagance.

Proof of this is the boldest pieces here: Deep Chasm, The Grey Legend and Excavations of the Mind. They contain complex passages and good change of direction, very well composed and coordinated according to the lyrical message.

Instrumentally the band sounds dating and stable, with no great displays of virtuosity independent. The main voice is distinctive and characteristic, no rudeness misplaced.

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 A Billion Years of Solitude by SKY ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.92 | 112 ratings

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A Billion Years of Solitude
Sky Architect Heavy Prog

Review by robbob

5 stars Listening to this album I can t understand why is so underrated . Nothing to miss from the first albums. Nevertheless this is a band from Netherlands this heavy prog (sometimes RIO ,sometimes psychedelic space rock...) sounds very much like a Scandinavian prog rock bang as Landberk ,ANEKDOTEN, Anglagard...with touches of 70 ies King Crimson. So a very technical prog rock in the lines of the seventies heavy prog rock. So these guys didn't have a reverse step as the many of last ratings or reviews may show. This album is a really piece of art in the heavy prog, space rock or RIO line . So all my applauses to this new album of Sky Architect.

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 A Billion Years of Solitude by SKY ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.92 | 112 ratings

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A Billion Years of Solitude
Sky Architect Heavy Prog

Review by javajeff

3 stars I saw this selling on Amazon, and I always wanted to pick up one of their first two albums. I never got around to buying the first two albums, so this is my introduction to this group. Prior to buying it, I looked at progarchives and found two negative reviews. I was surprised since there was so much positive buzz about their other releases. I saw it at progstreaming and gave a listen. I was hooked on the first track an knew that I had to get it. I do not know what the two negative reviews were about, but I heard all of the ingredients of a prog rock release that I enjoyed the most. It had some space rock, some experimental, some eclectic pieces, and lots of heavy prog. I highly recommend this album for every prog collection.

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 A Dying Man's Hymn by SKY ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.60 | 136 ratings

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A Dying Man's Hymn
Sky Architect Heavy Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars again fully desearved

The natural follow up to the worthy previous album is A Dying Man's Hymn released in 2011. With this album Sky Architect established as one of the most intresting, open minded prog bands from today. Compose and played on same coordonates as their first rlease, A Dying Man's Hymn is a winner for sure. I like this one little more then debute. The melodic neo/symphonic arrangements combined with little more edgy parts, are quite enjoyble and very complicated gaian. gentle Giant comes in mind on lots of passages, quirky as hell, The Campfire Ghost's Song or Melody of the Air - Explicatiofor example are killer, long elaborated music with great potential and impressive duels between musicians. The music of Sky Architect is no easy listning, and as I said is needed repeted listnings to fully appreciat their talent and implication in both albums. Quite great band that for sure needs a wider recognition. Again fine art work. 3.5 stars.

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 Excavations of the Mind by SKY ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.00 | 226 ratings

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Excavations of the Mind
Sky Architect Heavy Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars for sure

Sky Architect from Holland was a very nice and pleasent surprise for me when their first album issued in 2010 Excavations of the mind pop in the musical market. Deeply influenced by giants from the '70s like Gentle Giant, Genesis but also incorporated some elements from "newer" generation of band let's say Spock's Beard, Sky Architect meleted those influence in a really pleasent, highly complex prog rock album full of intresting moments. This is the type of prog rock music that needing repeted listnings to fully catch the whole atmosphere. In some parts the instrumental sections are absolutly complicated to the extremes like opening 20 min pieces Deep Chasm, amazing musicianship and overall ideas, the complexity of the passages can envy every already established prog band in this field, impressive really. The title track is another highlight. The band combined very eficient Gentle Giant complicated moves to the symphonic parts of Genesis and added some more of their own to really created something worth investigated. Very strong album, not many bands pretend to have such skills and ideas, but Sky Architect really manage to come with a very enjoyble melodic yet very complex pieces of prog. Nice art work.3.5 stars

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Thanks to atavachron for the artist addition.

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