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SKY ARCHITECT

Heavy Prog • Netherlands


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Sky Architect picture
Sky Architect biography
Formed in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2006

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) -

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SKY ARCHITECT discography


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

3.90 | 298 ratings
Excavations Of The Mind
2010
3.62 | 170 ratings
A Dying Man's Hymn
2011
3.93 | 190 ratings
A Billion Years Of Solitude
2013
3.88 | 103 ratings
Nomad
2017

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SKY ARCHITECT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Excavations Of The Mind by SKY ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.90 | 298 ratings

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Excavations Of The Mind
Sky Architect Heavy Prog

Review by Muskrat

2 stars I never took the time to offer a review of this album, but I absolutely agree with Hygiène Mentale. Once, on a prog forum, an extremely brooding guy compared Sky Architect to BeardFish. I never understood why! If Guus van Mierlo had Robert Hanssen's bass playing, if the compositions had the class of Rikard's, I would have realized that, right? The music proposed by Sky Architect has no originality, no groove, nor does it give me any sensations. I find it just bland and boring. Maybe it's because we don't all come for the same food while listening to music? We must believe...
 Excavations Of The Mind by SKY ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.90 | 298 ratings

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Excavations Of The Mind
Sky Architect Heavy Prog

Review by mental_hygiene

2 stars Excavations of the Mind is the 2010 album by the dutch band Sky Architect. I had a lot of expectations going in, mainly that this was going to be heavy, or interesting. I regret to report that is not the case. In all 51 minutes of this record, there was not a single interesting idea. I don't want to sound like I came in with the idea that I had to critically dunk on Sky Architect. There's just a weird dissonance between what PA thinks about this album and what I heard.

The opening suite is a nice microcosm of what's in store for you. There's some mellotron and atmospheric guitar that seems to want to develop into something intense. Instead we get the opposite, this weird sparse groove with no bass at first. They hammer this to death before going into a guitar solo section. I lied, at 2:15 there's something actually cool that happens, but just for a passing glance. The way this suite has a tendency to just toss out all momentum for something somewhat different is almost as annoying as the way it lingers on the worst parts of it way too long. Part 2 is essentially the same, and it passes so fast because of how forgettable it is. There's another great psuedo-peak at the end of pt 2, which fades into a piano interlude for the entirety of pt 3. Part 4 starts the "song" part, with actual singing (it's not good... more like aimless chanting). There are some moments that verge on something that Riverside has done throughout. I almost liked this song, then the "oh no, do stop! Get me out of here" hook happened. I can understand if there's some translation issues, but this is just about the worst prog hook I've ever heard.

The Grey Legend follows, which might be one of the best parts of this album. The singing is quite hairy on this, so if there was an instrumental version, I might actually like this song. It's not singing with character or conviction, which is really what the instrumental material demands. In effect, this is a 12 minute aural smear.

Sky Architect takes a detour to St Petersburg for some reason, and really gets in deep. I like that this song at least has the conviction to go for something and develop it, even if it's a cheesy russian pastiche. The double time part with horns is another highlight of this album. There's a guitar solo, and then it slows down and ends.

Title track time. Another deceptive opening that screams "something awesome is about to happen" that literally never happens. It picks up, but the way it does it just diffuses the energy. They take this riff and hammer it to death before going into another cliche odd time part and switching immediately to acoustic guitar. The first verse has something atmospheric going, and then WHOOMP we're back into chaotic riffing mode. Then we go back to the same thing again, there's some more nice pleasant harmonies. The singer even says the name of the song, which is pretty important. He just sounds so bored and tired, and not in a good way. Some soloing happens, then it fades out without ever having said a thing to me.

I know I said the opening suite is a good microcosm for this album, but Gyrocopter is too, and it does it in 3 minutes. Cue angular piano riff. Cue addition of guitar, bass, and drums following the same riff. Repeat. Repeat again. Repeat again, but with more ride from the drummer. Follow the same groove, but then add a cool sounding guitar solo. Actually, this is the best guitar solo on this album. There's some variation in this cut time version of the riff, but then it just keeps on chugging. Then a second variation that seems to flirt with a king crimson larks-type thing. Then the opening riff again, some indecisive vocals. More repeating of the opening angular riff, but with an organ swell and make sure to turn that gain up. Repeat the ending tag twice, then do the same thing again like you didn't just do that. Then hit the final chord. End album. I could rewrite this song a million times based on this information, and you probably could too!

Somehow this album is highly rated on here, and I just don't understand why. The musicianship is there, at no point was I convinced that anyone other than the singer is not a good musician. The compositional framework of this album is its crutch and its biggest problem. It feels like there's absolutely no forward momentum, only this teetering motion between moments that should be heavy and moments that are quite boring. If you take small snapshots of this album, I could see how one could mistake this as a great album, but the lingering problem is how these parts come together. The only song that seemed to say anything consequential was Russian Wisdom, which is that they find Russia quite fascinating.

I say all of this with the intention to actually bring forth discourse on what this album is really. It's dishonest to the people who make music to just patch over glaring problems for the sake of progressive unity. I might just be alone in finding this album rather tedious, but I hope this at least brings something new to the table since this record is so acclaimed. I would love for Sky Architect to make another album, if just to have the chance to make a bigger statement. As for this album, I just can't see this being for anyone other than hardcore prog nerds.

 A Billion Years Of Solitude by SKY ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 190 ratings

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A Billion Years Of Solitude
Sky Architect Heavy Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Sky Architect third album from 2013 A billion yesr of solitude is another great complex prog rock release in their catalogue. They describe their music like this 'music from the heart with a technical edge" - I'm agree with them, all their albums are extremply complicated but with all that all fans of the genre will be pleased for sure. As I said before they embrace the golden age of prog with similarities of Yes, maybe this time the Gentle Giant is not so obvious on this album , The Flower Kings, King Crimson aswell. This is primarly heavy prog with edgy guitars but never metalic with symphonic prog all done in complicated way, nice duelings between musicians, top drumer, what else a fully enjoyble release from this dutch band. From the opening an 18 min kick ass tune - The Curious One - really they know to handle the instruments, what a piece, what a musicianship, I think not many bands from today can play like them. Nice shifting tempos, from piano to more up tempo they melted the arrangements very well and quite intresting like on another worthy piece - Elegy Of A Solitary Giant. The rest of the pieces are aswell top, long elaborated, exactly how I like this style to be. I think Sky Architect fully desearve to be known, all thier 4 albums worth to be investigated, definetly easy listning, but those used with this aproach can easly take a listen, evry album is good to great. One of the respected bands in last almost a decade in prog rock realm. 3.5 stars for sure.

 Nomad by SKY ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.88 | 103 ratings

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Nomad
Sky Architect Heavy Prog

Review by Sagichim
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars I've been a big fan of Sky Architect ever since their spectacular debut Excavation Of The Mind in 2010, but after listening to their somewhat unfocused/uninspired experiment A Billion Years Of Solitude, I wasn't so sure how this new release would turn out to be. So after a few spins of Nomad I can safely say that this is a good return to form, not only in quality but also in style, the album is closer to their two first albums than to their previous one, the songs bear a more "traditional" kind of songwriting, and by traditional I mean by Sky Architect standards, meaning complex, imaginative with lots of twists and turns. It looks like the band have worked their asses on this one, the sound is amazing, it's not your modern crystal clear kind of sound but a more organic almost vintage like. The songwriting is excellent, clearly there's been a lot of thought put into those songs, the melodies are catchy and infectious, and the whole band sounds very focused and tight, they seem to find the correct way of building tension while the music is growing and growing until it's released and flows to the next idea. They do not break new ground but instead came up with a very strong album.

Wasteland strikes you from the get go with a bang of heaviness and an odd syncopation groovy rhythm, it's just Sky Architect's way of saying hello...after everything's calms down the song can begin with as straight forward as you can get, but as straight forward as it was it changes in a second to a tight and complex frenzied jam including a heavy sound on top of their trademark odd time signature, it then builds up towards the end as the sounds gets heavier and more intense, a very good start indeed. Endless Roads (parts 1 and 2) shows the opposite and branches out more, the first part has a quirky and groovy rhythm, the second part is slower adding a beautiful trumpet, and developing further and further more with a correct build up, this is fantastic and has to be one of Sky Architect's best moments ever. The titled track continues the formula of catchy melodies and rhythms waiting to be shuffled, the middle part here is another classic, incorporating a beautiful piano melody that only getting bigger as it progresses, great sound! Dune has a very hypnotizing atmosphere with Tom Luchies mellow vocals, it's fun diving into this one, of course it doesn't end there, but shifts into a heavy outburst, man they are so good at this. Sandwalker is the lengthiest piece here, which again changes half way to something else and holds an excellent guitar solo by Wabe Wieringa. Into Singularity is another prime example of their creativity, I love the rhythm here, Chistiaan Bruin really shines on drums and may I say not only here but throughout the album, the two part piece really sums up the album nicely with a beautiful trumpet coda the ends the album.

Although Nomad is more accessible and isn't as eclectic as A Billion Years Of Solitude, I think its strengh lies exactly there, the material is focused and effective. Nomad proves that Sky Architect is one of the most consistent bands today, and after 4 albums under their belt they are in prime shape in every aspect, that's why I wouldn't have a problem recommending the album to newbies, but if you're looking for their best album I advise to go for their debut.

4 stars!

 A Billion Years Of Solitude by SKY ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 190 ratings

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A Billion Years Of Solitude
Sky Architect Heavy Prog

Review by poslednijat_colobar
Prog Reviewer

5 stars New creative peak of the band as of its release

In the best year of the prog for the decade - 2013, the Dutch eclectic grandmasters Sky Architect came out with their best album up to that date - A Billion Years of Solitude /later surpassed by Nomad/. This album suggests complete ideas of music developments and shaping of constant style of songwriting and musicianship in the eclectic field for the youngsters. The production avoids lots of flaws and inconsistencies of the early immature Sky Architect containing in the first two albums. They are playing with the tunes and tonalities here, but still are not masters with tempo shifts in VDGG/GG/Beardfish/Anglagard/Yes manner /what later will happen in their fourth effort - Nomad/. The Space rock/Post rock flavour is strongly emerging in A Billion Years of Solitude. Strong recommendation for 10s prog lovers. 4,5 stars

One of the best albums out of the best year of the decade - 2013!

 Nomad by SKY ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.88 | 103 ratings

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Nomad
Sky Architect Heavy Prog

Review by poslednijat_colobar
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Best contemporary eclectic prog band

One of my favourite bands of the 10s continues to evolve in sound and maturity to become fully complete and leading eclectic prog band in world prog-underground scene. Already big boys, the Dutches Sky Architect offer very mature production from an exceptional dimension in terms of sound and composition. Nomad is a logical evolution to A Billion Years of Solitude's style /their best album till the release of Nomad/. Nomad influences on many and different levels using a bowl full of different skills and ways of expression. With it the band completely abandons its original/initial style of heavy-symphonic type of prog and establishes itself as one of the most prolific eclectic bands full of energy and varied types of ideas. At the same time time Sky Architect continues to explore deeper and deeper the slower post-rock genre as well. All of the compositions are complex, profound and innovative. These are no more talented youngsters, but just an established eclectic band that produces complex masterpieces. They skillfully play with the tunes, tempo and tonalities. Just a great and highly recommended album!

Already within my top 10 of the decade.

 Excavations Of The Mind by SKY ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.90 | 298 ratings

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Excavations Of The Mind
Sky Architect Heavy Prog

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

4 stars Some Flower Kings inspired prog puts me right to sleep but i was pleasantly surprised by the outfit called SKY ARCHITECT from Rotterdam. They sound like the Dutch version of Haken but i actually think they have a more mature approach to their sound. EXCAVATIONS OF THE MIND is their debut release and it just scratches my prog itch in the most satisfying way. First of all it is very melodic which always takes the lead but the variations off of the melody are just so brilliantly laid out and catchy as hell. The first track on this album is an instantly addictive parade of themes and ideas that reminds me of the changes that take place on Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells." As with many bands of this type, it's usually the vocalist that forces me to make an attitude adjustment. That meaning i usually don't like them and have to adapt through several listens, but on this album i adore Tom Luchies' vox box upon first listen even though it is not the best there is to be in the prog rock universe.

While SKY ARCHITECT can certainly fit into the sea of "retro progressive rock," you know, the kind that wants to sample everything from the past creating a retro experience that will stroke every prog lover's longing for the past, this one is really above the parade of copycats that have exploded upon the prog universe in recent times. No doubt they can conjure up all the proper checking the boxes category that borrows from Crimson, Yes, Gentle Giant and especially the Flower Kings and Neil Morse territory replete with prog metal leanings that can remind of Dream Theater and Pain Of Salvation with healthy doses of Porcupine Tree and even Pink Floyd moments in the mix, but SKY ARCHITECT seems to make this less irritating and genuinely meld them into an interesting categorization of the influences and add more than enough originality to make this effort feel like a legit inventive production.

What it really boils down to with this one is the ability to hook me with catchy melodies and keep enough of a retro thing as not to alienate the listener but by adding all kinds of original and unexpected elements that stem from recognizable non-prog sources as well as many aforementioned bonafide prog sources. EXCAVATIONS OF THE MIND is quite the interesting album that despite not quite offering up the next masterpiece of the modern era, still offers a rewarding and above average take on the whole retro prog scene. Well worth a first listen and beyond. The debut album by SKY ARCHITECT has more than enough creative elements to invite me to explore their discography further.

 A Billion Years Of Solitude by SKY ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 190 ratings

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A Billion Years Of Solitude
Sky Architect Heavy Prog

Review by Stiyekton

5 stars This is an album that takes some time to "get," but it's definitely worth it. The first track, "The Curious One," is a long, space-y epic, that begins with a drum roll into a great melody that sounds like something out of a movie, followed by a lot of sound effects and overall weirdness that really sets the tone for the song and the album. The next parts of this song are loaded with great singing and Mellotrons and exciting instrumental passages. There is a quiet, slow, blues-y section towards the end of the song that is followed by an instrumental section that manages to be exciting and continue to evoke the space theme of the album with its organ and guitar playing. "Wormholes" is a really fun song that has time signature changes and atmospheric vocals, and like "The Curious One," it is definitely a highlight of the album. "Tides" is a relatively simple song, but it still has proggy moments that still flow well with the song. "Elegy of a Solitary Giant" is another long track with really interesting lyrics about occurrences in space, and the music is great as well, with an 11/8 instrumental section near the beginning that still manages to sound right, a part with a catchy but not annoying melody that is atmospheric with the vocals and low drums and what sounds like some kind of horn, a sad piano part suddenly changing to a fast guitar riff that fits the lyrics, and the well-written dark and heavy ending that fits the song perfectly. The instrumental "Jim's Ride to Hell" is not quite as memorable as the other tracks, but it has some good guitar and bass playing. "Revolutions" is another highlight of the album. It has very well-written and interesting guitar and keyboard parts as well several different time signatures done in such a way that it still feels like a fun rock song, and the military-like feel of some parts adds to both the excitement and to the song being musically interesting. The ending of the song is also a great buildup. The last track, "Traveller's Last Candle," is a dark track with mood changes and weird parts and it really feels like an adventure. The heavy section with angry guitar playing and sound effects that fades out at the end really adds to that. Overall, this is a great prog album that is definitely worth getting into.
 A Billion Years Of Solitude by SKY ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 190 ratings

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A Billion Years Of Solitude
Sky Architect Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I really enjoyed this band's debut from 2010 called "Excavations Of The Mind" but skipped their next one after seeing some not so favourable reviews. This most recent recording by SKY ARCHITECT is pretty darn good but in my opinion it doesn't match the quality of the debut which was two years in the making.

"The Curious One" has a dramatic intro that gives way to some meandering drum work and spacey sounds. Strummed guitar and spacey synths take over after 3 minutes. Reserved vocals after 5 minutes then it starts to kick in after 7 minutes instrumentally, an impressive display. The vocals will proceed to come and go as the song plays out. I like the laid back atmospheric section starting after 12 minutes, especially when the spacey sounds are added. It kicks back in before 15 minutes for a kick-ass ending. "Wormholes(The Inevitable...)" opens with vocals, drums, organ and more before it settles into a groove although this song will continue to evolve and change. Some good organ runs late before we get a big finish. "Tides" is one I like a lot with those melancholic vocals which are the focus. Water sounds end it.

"Elegy Of A Solitary Giant" opens with piano and atmosphere before it kicks into an ANGLAGARD-like section which is really surprising and well done. It changes after 2 minutes with reserved vocals and a mellow sound. It starts to build. Horns 4 minutes in which is another surprise. A calm with piano like the intro follows then it kicks back in after 5 1/2 minutes. Impressive. Piano and a mellow vibe again before 8 minutes as we get a dreamy section with more horns. It's heavier late to end it. "Jim's Ride To Hell" is a really good kick-ass instrumental with some great bottom end sounds with atmospheric synths. Check out the guitar as well. "Revolutions" is my favourite and it has a punchy instrumental passage to start that is quite impressive along with the guitar before a minute. Organ to the fore then we get a calm before 2 1/2 minutes with vocals. Some nice guitar as a new instrumental section takes over at 5 minutes, but the vocals will come and go. "Traveller's Last Candle" is a catchy vocal-led piece that changes before 2 minutes with mellotron and manipulated spoken words. A calm with melancholic synths before 3 minutes then the vocals return a minute later. I like the way it drifts along after 5 minutes then it kicks back in. Vocals are back before 10 minutes then an intense slow burn ends it all. Nice.

3.5 stars but i'll stick with the debut when I reach for a SKY ARCHITECT album.

 A Billion Years Of Solitude by SKY ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 190 ratings

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A Billion Years Of Solitude
Sky Architect Heavy Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Sky Architect - A billion years of solitude (2013)

Dutch eclectic modern progressive rock band Sky Architect really got my attention with their surprisingly sophisticated and well performed debut album in 2010. I've wondered since then why it was received with such mild enthusiasm.

This third record 'A billion years of solitude' is yet another great modern progressive rock record, but this time a bit more in line with my personal taste. There is more breathing space in the compositions (something a seventies prog listener like me would like) and the drums are playing a more constructive and lively role. The recording sounds a bit more like a live recording and the guitar has a great natural tone, especially when its clean. The composition itself has daring harmonic constructions in interesting rhythmical contexts, some chord-progressions are really original.

The band distinguishes itself from peers like Porcupine Tree, Riverside and the modern Opeth in its interesting sound pallet (even some wind-instruments), its more daring experimentation (sometimes almost avant-prog) and the absence of poppy refrains. Furthermore, the range of dynamics presented in the 18 minute opening track 'The curious one' reminds us a bit of King Crimson's symphonic sound. This is perhaps most apparent on the epic 'Elegy of a solitary giant'. To me Sky Architect has found one of the best mixes of retro and modern progressive sounds. In addition, they sound like a band playing music - an enjoyable feature often missed in modern progressive rock.

This album, though not too light, could hardly be called heavy prog because of its eclectic nature. Genres covered are symphonic prog, jazz-rock, avantprog and spacerock.

Conclusion. Sky Architect really has something original to add to modern progressive rock. Not an easy album to get into perhaps, but I think this album is great for listeners who like there progressive rock with a capital P. It even sounds mystical at times. One of my favorite modern prog records, therefore a full score is well deserved.

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

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