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CITIZEN CAIN

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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Citizen Cain biography
London, 1982; old friends Gordon Feenie (drums/flute/keys) and Cyrus (bass/vocals) of NOT QUITE RED FOX formed CITIZEN CAIN. Shortly after Tim Taylor joined on guitar. After several unsuccessful months looking for a keyboard player they decided to remain a three-piece. With the backing of KG Publications they gigged extensively and recorded several tracks in the studio, one of which appeared on the compilation album "Fire In Harmony".

Without the keys the first band was more rhythmic than melodic, nevertheless they received high critical acclaim, regularly headlined the famous Marquee club and even had a TV appearance on The Old Grey Whistle Test. In 1988, at their peak and on the verge of a record deal with Elusive Records (EMI), disaster struck. A broken arm rendered Cyrus unfit to play and the band had to split up. CITIZEN CAIN was dead and Cyrus returned home to Scotland.

Two years later Cyrus contacted old guitarist friend Frank Kennedy who, with friends Stewart Bell (drums/keys) and Dave Elam (bass), had a few songs written, mostly in the vein of their musical heroes, GENESIS, MARILLION, GENTLE GIANT and the like. Initially going by the name THE KLEPTOMANIACS, with Cyrus on vocals and flute, they played around with a few ideas. After a few months Cyrus suggested that Stewart move solely to keys and drummer Chris Colvin was brought in. They decided to adopt the old title and CITIZEN CAIN was reborn.

In '91 their first demo was recorded and received excellent reviews from most. The following year the debut album "Serpents In Camouflage" was completed but was not up to the standard they had hoped to achieve. Personnel problems had forced them into a last minute decision to use a drum machine and tensions were mounting between other members in the band due to conflicting views on how they should progress. Needless to say CITIZEN CAIN were now seeking a new drummer.

A lucky twist of fate saw their first album picked up by SI Music. The engineer of the studio where the band had recorded had a friend visiting who happened to be an A&R man for the label and he liked what he heard. This set the band in motion and in the year of their debut album's release, the prodigal drummer returned and they gigged extensively supporting the likes of PENDRAGON, THE ENID, FINAL CONFLICT and also headlining a few gigs.

Political problems still existed however and Cyrus and Stewart were forced to make a decision that could have proved disa...
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Serpents in CamouflageSerpents in Camouflage
Remastered · Import
F2 2013
Audio CD$23.54
$9.00 (used)
Playing DeadPlaying Dead
Remastered · Import
F2 2013
Audio CD$12.71
Somewhere But YesterdaySomewhere But Yesterday
Remastered · Import
F2 2013
Audio CD$14.82
$22.89 (used)
Ghost DanceGhost Dance
Remastered · Import
F2 2013
Audio CD$14.44
$15.37 (used)
Somewhere But YesterdaySomewhere But Yesterday
Import
Cyclops Records 1998
Audio CD$29.99
$6.29 (used)
Serpents in CamouflageSerpents in Camouflage
Import
Audio CD$29.98 (used)
Serpents in camouflageSerpents in camouflage
Import
Audio CD$16.98 (used)
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CLEPSYDRA "Alone" (ULTRA RARE!!!!)Citizen Cain,Shakary,Zenit,Cast,Metaphor US $34.99 Buy It Now 21h 3m
KING CRIMSON "The Compact" (VERY RARE 1st press!!) Clepsydra, Cast, Citizen Cain US $14.99 Buy It Now 21h 9m
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Raising the Stones [Remastered] * by Citizen Cain (CD, Jun-2013) US $12.25 Buy It Now 9 days
Ghost Dance [Remastered] by Citizen Cain (CD, Jun-2013) US $13.75 Buy It Now 9 days
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Citizen Cain : Serpents in Camouflage CD (1998) US $13.37 Buy It Now 24 days
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Citizen Cain : Raising the Stones CD (1998) US $13.37 Buy It Now 24 days
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CITIZEN CAIN - GHOST DANCE [REMASTERED] - NEW CD US $15.62 Buy It Now 27 days
CITIZEN CAIN Playing Dead CD (2002) PROG New 2013 Remasted PROG Scotland Sealed US $17.99 Buy It Now 28 days
CITIZEN CAIN Ghost Dance CD PROG (EARLY RECORDINGS 199?) 2013 Remasted PROG UK US $17.99 Buy It Now 28 days
CITIZEN CAIN Ghost Dance (Festival Music 201212A) Remastered CD; Neo-Prog Rock US $16.20 Buy It Now 29 days
CITIZEN CAIN Playing Dead (Festival Music 201212E) Remastered CD; Neo-Prog Rock US $16.20 Buy It Now 29 days
CITIZEN CAIN Raising The Stones (Festival Music 201212D) Remastered CD; Neo-Prog US $16.20 Buy It Now 29 days
CITIZEN CAIN Serpents In Camouflage (Festival Music 201212B) Remastered CD/2CD US $21.06 Buy It Now 29 days
CITIZEN CAIN Skies Darken (Festival Music 201204) CD; Neo-Prog/Progressive Rock US $16.20 Buy It Now 29 days
CITIZEN CAIN Somewhere But Yesterday (Festival Music 201212C) Remastered CD US $16.20 Buy It Now 29 days

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CITIZEN CAIN discography


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

3.44 | 82 ratings
Serpents In Camouflage
1993
4.05 | 120 ratings
Somewhere But Yesterday
1994
3.11 | 59 ratings
Raising The Stones
1997
3.33 | 53 ratings
Playing Dead
2002
3.92 | 152 ratings
Skies Darken
2012

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

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

2.54 | 40 ratings
Ghost Dance
1996

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

CITIZEN CAIN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Raising The Stones by CITIZEN CAIN album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.11 | 59 ratings

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Raising The Stones
Citizen Cain Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Here we have the third album from Citizen Cain (not the fourth as some would have you believe), some three years after 'Somewhere But Yesterday'. There had been quite a change in line-up as well, with the band now reduced to just a duo of Cyrus and Stewart Bell. There are no details of who plays what, just that they performed everything themselves apart from lead guitar on one song which was played by Andy Heatie. As with all five reissued albums, it has been remastered and there is a subtle alteration of the artwork, but the track listing is as the original with no additions. In many ways this is one of the band's darkest pieces of work, as they strike their own path and move somewhat away from the early Genesis feel into something that is more brooding and powerful. The bass is now much more to the fore, and taking on a greater lead role, while Stewart's keyboards have grown both in stature and layers.

The word that keeps coming to mind when trying to describe this album is "power", as although they are now reduced to a duo this is very much a band firing on all cylinders that disproves the notion that prog musicians should just sit back and not worry too much about the rock element. That is definitely disproved here as these guys belt it out, yet still have loads of time changes and switches as move through numerous styles and designs. By this time in their history Stewart and Cyrus knew each other well, and how to work together, and more than 15 years after the release of this album they are still producing great music.

Festival Music have reissued the first five albums in a remastered form, and now couldn't be a better time to discover the incredible symphonic prog of Citizen Cain. www.f2music.co.uk

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 Ghost Dance by CITIZEN CAIN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1996
2.54 | 40 ratings

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Ghost Dance
Citizen Cain Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Over the years I have had to cull my collection various times, so the filing cabinets full of press releases and band information had to go (although I did keep my complete files on certain bands), as did many of the CDs. But, I kept every photo I was ever sent, along with every cassette. Many of those bands are no longer with us so these tapes are sometimes the only thing left to remind me of what might have been, but here I am now playing a remastered version of a CD that I previously was unaware of (apparently it was released on Mellow at some point), which in turn is of a tape that I was originally sent by Stewart Bell twenty years ago. The CD contains the same track listing as the tape, which was subtitled 'The Original Citizen Cain 84-87'. It isn't easy to track down a biography of the band from these early days, but luckily I have also never thrown out any music books so by referencing the first issue of 'The Progressive Rock Directory' (written and published by David Robinson who now runs Festival Music which has released this) which came out in August 1992, I am pleased that my recollection of events is right (for a change).

Citizen Cain were originally a trio, forming in 1984 with George Scott (now known as Cyrus or Xyrus) providing bass and vocals, Tim Taylor (guitar and keyboards) and Gordon Feenie (drums, keys and flute). Interestingly, Tim and Gordon were previously both members of Not Quite Red Fox who turned a pre-Marillion Fish down as a frontman because he didn't have enough presence! Over the next three years Citizen Cain gigged a lot, especially in London at The Marquee and started to gain a reputation as a slightly different sounding band due to the way that the bass is often a lead instrument. They had one song on the famed 'Fire In Harmony' compilation, but had to split up after Cyrus was in a car crash that left him unable to play bass. After he returned to Edinburgh he then met up with the guys who would then form the basis for a new group, who went in a more symphonic and overtly early Genesis direction.

So, history lesson out of the way, what is this album actually like? Well, remember that it isn't actually an album as opposed to a collection of songs as they only officially released the one song during their existence. But, given that this originally was a set of low-key recordings from the Eighties it actually stands up well against the other material from the time. Yes, Cyrus has a distinctive voice that makes many think of Gabriel, but these guys sound nothing like Genesis with a bassline and approach that is quite different. I would be interested to hear what they sounded like in the live environment, as keyboards are an important aspect although not essential, and I am sure that Tim switched between the two during a gig as Cyrus is often playing lines that are far more than just backing. This was a powerful prog trio and one can only wonder what they would have achieved if the accident hadn't taken place.

Some people have been quite disparaging about this album which is a real shame as I believe that it definitely has it's place in the prog canon. It is something that I have really enjoyed playing, but just remember that this was early days for the band and in many ways it is totally different to the style they developed in the Nineties. So, although some may feel that this is only one for completists I would instead say that while not essential it is a damn fine listen and something I have enjoyed playing again after quite a while.

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 Somewhere But Yesterday by CITIZEN CAIN album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.05 | 120 ratings

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Somewhere But Yesterday
Citizen Cain Symphonic Prog

Review by Memo_anathemo

4 stars Do you believe in reincarnation? I do, if you don't believe me, just listen to CITIZEN CAIN and especially this album "Somewhere But Yesterday" and tell me if they are not a complete reincarnation of early GENESIS. Amazing album with a complete resemblance in composition, musical performance and voice to Genesis. Cyrus has a similar tone of voice to Peter Gabriel, and Stuart Bell plays completely similar to Tony Banks. The album itself has impressive passages, completely symphonic prog, some tracks are long and with a lot of progressive movements, that's why CITIZEN CAIN is a band that should be listened, especially for those Genesis fans.

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 Playing Dead by CITIZEN CAIN album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.33 | 53 ratings

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Playing Dead
Citizen Cain Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars It has been way too long since I last heard a new Citizen Cain album, and I see that this one was actually released at the end of last year. I also note that the X's have been dropped, so the band is again Citizen Cain and Cyrus is, again, Cyrus. The line-up has also been fluid, something that the band have suffered with over the years, but Cyrus is now not only providing vocals but also bass, as he used to years ago, and for this album Stewart Bell has not only provided keyboards but also drums, again as he used to years ago. They have now been completed by guitarist Phil Allen.

It took nearly three years to record, and much of the momentum gained from their earlier superb albums such as 'Serpents In Camouflage' has been lost, and the new album has been released on their own label whereas the reissues of their SI albums had been on Cyclops. So is this enough to be able to get them noticed again?

Hopefully the answer to that will be a resounding 'yes', as yet again Cyrus and Stewart have produced an album that will have critics and progheads alike wanting to play it repeatedly. Citizen Cain will always find themselves compared to old-school Genesis because of Cyrus's vocal style, and the fact that he can sound uncannily like Gabriel when he wishes to. But, and it is a big but, this not an album of a Genesis copyist but rather an album that takes that musical ideal and moves with it. Genesis may have become something of a parody of their former selves but CC have shown that it is possible to develop that musical style into something that is still worthy of the label 'prog'. I love the Python excerpt in 'Inner Silence'.

The underground scene isn't nearly as active as when they first came onto the scene, or even the second time, but now they are back for the third with a complex complicated album that any proghead will surely enjoy. It's time for progheads to rediscover the joys of Citizen Cain.

Originally appeared in Feedback #76, Oct 2003

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 Ghost Dance by CITIZEN CAIN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1996
2.54 | 40 ratings

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Ghost Dance
Citizen Cain Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars By mid-90's with Citizen Cain going through a period of success with good albums and sales Mellow Records made a great steal.The Italian label collected the 80's unreleased material of the band at a time when Cyrus was supported by original drummer Gordon Feenie and guitarist Tim Taylor.The recordings date from mid-80's and the title of the archival 96' release was ''Ghost Dance''.

Citizen Cain was always a very dark-sounding band and ''Ghost dance'' is the greatest proof.Although the sound of the band has always been linked with MARILLION and GENESIS, Citizen Cain did have their own style and presented much more haunting atmospheres than the aforementioned bands.Some of the guitar breaks even recalls KING CRIMSON, while plenty of the grooves have a strong RUSH vibe.Sure thing they do not sounded like the mass of Neo Prog bands of early- to mid-80's except of Cyrus' voice, who was another PETER GABRIEL copycat, alas a very good one.The compositions are characterized by the very powerful and deep bass lines of Cyrus along with Feenie's solid drumming and the diverse and sharp guitar work of Taylor.Working as a trio prevented Citizen Cain to have the richest of styles back at the time, so keyboard and flute parts are sparse.However ''Ghost dance'' presents a group full of energy, high dynamics and passion for producing top-gear Progressive Rock with rapid changes and shifting moods.

A nice archival/documental release by Citizen Cain, although I can see many fans of the band prefering their 90's period, when their sound was richer and less raw.Still this one comes recommended, especially for all lovers of the early-80's rough British Prog stylings.

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 Skies Darken by CITIZEN CAIN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.92 | 152 ratings

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Skies Darken
Citizen Cain Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars I first came across Citizen Cain in 1993 when their debut CD was released by Dutch label SI Music, but in truth they had already been active for some time before that, appearing on the famous compilation 'Fire In Harmony' back in 1985. I was immediately taken by the Gabriel- esque vocals of Cyrus, and the way that the band managed to evoke the spirit and feeling of early 70's Genesis but had brought them into the 90's. I was hooked. Over the years there were some line-up changes, and gradually the output slowed with the last release being 'Playing Dead' in 2002. Like many I never really thought that there would be another album, although I kept in touch with keyboard player Stewart Bell and often asked the question. So, it was both delight and trepidation last year when I heard that the band were recording again. I mean, after all this time was it going to be any good?

When the disc arrived I opened the booklet to see who was involved, and could see just three names ? Cyrus, Stewart and Phil Allen. Annoyingly for me there are no details about who played what, and who (if any) were the additional musicians involved. The Citizen Cain website is still under construction, and the Festival Music site just lists releases so neither are helpful in this regard. I did find a few details on one site where it states that Stewart provided drums as well as keys, Cyrus provided bass (as he did in the early days of the band) and vocals and Phil provided guitars. There is a very simple reason as to why this bothers me, as we need to give credit where credit is due as this is an absolutely stunning piece of work. To put it bluntly, this is one of the finest prog albums you are ever likely to hear.

Put it in the player and immediately the listener is taken aback by the complexity and interplay of the introduction to "The Charnal House". The maelstrom of notes and complicated inter-rhythms gives way to delicate piano and vocals, and one of the most Genesis-like passages of the whole album. Already the listener is deep inside the world of Citizen Cain, and with less than three minutes on the clock there has been musically a lot to digest. The interplay between the musicians, and particularly the way that the melodies and counterpoints are chased and are at times heavily structured and dense, contrast greatly with the simplicity of other phases of the music. And all of this within one song! Stewart's keyboards are a revelation, bringing together a multitude of sounds and styles, often layered, and he would need to be an octopus to be able to replicate this in a live environment.

By the time I got to the end of this album I felt that I had been taken on an incredible musical journey, one with a richness and passion to match anything I have heard in recent years. The only sane thing to do after listening to this is put it back on. The more I have played it the more I have fallen into the spell. So it took 10 years for this one, when's the next? 5/5 in anyone's language.

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 Skies Darken by CITIZEN CAIN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.92 | 152 ratings

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Skies Darken
Citizen Cain Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It's been ten years since CITIZEN CAIN last released a studio album and it was one that I didn't think much of. I probably wouldn't have bothered with this one except that people were saying they had made their sound darker and heavier. They had my attention. A lot of Neo-Prog bands have changed to a heavier style and for the most part it's been an improvement. One of my complaints of latter day CAIN albums have been the long length of them plus the relentless vocals. I just get so tired of Cyrus' vocals being constantly in my face even though I do like them. Just give me some moderation(haha). Well they have scaled them back some but this is still a long album at over 73 minutes.

It has this theme running through it about how man has failed to learn from past mistakes and the skies are getting darker because of it. Soon it will catch up with humanity and the storm will break. There seems to be a lot of nursery rhyme references on this record as well.

"The Charnal House" is surprisingly heavy. Love the chunky bass, and vocals arrive a minute in. It's heavy again before 2 1/2 minutes as contrasts continue. It blends into "The Long Sleep" where we get some huge bass lines. A calm with piano before 3 minutes and reserved vocals join in. It kicks back in quickly. Again contrasts continue. Spoken words late. "Darkest Sleep / Manifestations" has this marching styled rhythm as the vocals join in. It's building. A calm before 2 minutes then it kicks back in a minute later. I like these powerful sections. "Spiders In Undergrowth" features lots of piano.

"The Hunting Of Johnny Eue / Trapped By Candlelight" has a good heavy sound 2 minutes in then the vocals arrive and it's not as heavy. These contrasts continue. An atmospheric calm 9 minutes in. Great sound of drums and synths when it kicks back in. "Coming Down / The Fountains Of Sand / Delivered Up For Tea / Death And Rebirth" has a powerful intro with chunky bass. A calm with reserved vocals before 1 1/2 minutes and the piano joins in. It continues to be laid back until before 6 minutes when we get a bombastic instrumental section that ends before 8 minutes. Impressive. Spoken words late. "Do We Walk In The World ?" opens with piano as the vocals join in. Bass and drums too. Lots of synths before 4 minutes. It's heavy late as it blends into "Lost In Lonely Ghosts". Vocals follow then we get a silent calm 3 minutes in then the reserved vocals return before it kicks back in.

A good album but i'll stick with their first two studio albums thankyou. 3 stars.

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 Skies Darken by CITIZEN CAIN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.92 | 152 ratings

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Skies Darken
Citizen Cain Symphonic Prog

Review by mbzr48

5 stars When Citizen Cain's Skies Darken begins with "The Charnal House," I get the impression they have gone Metal as the aggressive attack of guitars recalls more Dream Theater or Tool than their previous Genesis inclinations. Then Cyrus comes in with his beautiful Gabriel-esque vocals and Stewart Bell with his lilting piano and keyboard work and all is right with the world. There is much of this new-found aggression on Skies Darken that at times even bring to mind Red-era King Crimson. The lyrics reveal a darker side to fairy-tales and fables, and that inspiration moves the music to this harder edge. Melodic Progressive Metal is an interesting combo in the hands of Citizen Cain (or is that Xitizen Xain?). Newest member guitarist Phil Allen fits in really well and takes songs like "The Charnel House" and "Lost In Lonely Ghosts" to another level. He has seamlessly adapted himself to the hallmark of the Citizen Cain sound, the rolling in unison instrumental sections with sudden stops and starts and slightly different modal shifts that sets Citizen Cain apart from their contemporaries. Also, Skies Darken often moves and feels like a harder edged early Genesis, and the whole fairy tales gone bad and mythological aspect of the stories they are telling just sets this release over the top for me. Recommended for sure. 5 Stars for me!

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 Skies Darken by CITIZEN CAIN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.92 | 152 ratings

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Skies Darken
Citizen Cain Symphonic Prog

Review by Progatron

4 stars It's been a while since we heard from these guys but with Skies Darken it was well worth the wait! Once again we are treated to Cyrus' brand of quirky storytelling, complete with nursery rhyme references and occasional maniacal outbursts, as in the very strong track "The Hunting Of Johnny Eue" with it's "FEE FI FO FUM" vocals or the evil snickering that appears at the end of the otherwise pretty track "Spiders In Undergrowth".

The album's centrepiece track is surely the lengthy "Coming Down / The Fountains Of Sand / Delivered Up For Tea / Death And Rebirth". This is one of those 'journey' songs where the listener is treated to different moods, tempos and approaches, all the while featuring memorable melodies that will please any prog lover - and this is the important ingredient so often missing from other releases of this genre. Although the previously mentioned "Johnny Eue" is a terrific and strong track, this one is certainly another that will give core CC fans what they really desire (they won't be let down by *any* of the tracks, actually).

Terrific writing and playing, a good sense of storytelling, instantly likeable melodies and delicious lyrics add up to a nice long album that you can really sink your teeth into - but it does not seem as long as it is. And that's a very, very good sign. It's refreshing to have an album of this epic scope where there are no 'skipper' tracks.

Only time will tell if Skies Darken will unseat Somewhere But Yesterday as the best Citizen Cain album, but at this early stage, to my ears, this is the best thing they've ever done. I've spun the disc about a dozen times in a very short space because it is just so good, and that's really saying something considering I constantly have a huge stack of cds to go through... the ones that simply aren't as good get shelved rather quickly. This is not one of those. This album is a winner. Well done, lads. Recommended!

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 Skies Darken by CITIZEN CAIN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.92 | 152 ratings

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Skies Darken
Citizen Cain Symphonic Prog

Review by Lemmings

5 stars Citizen Cain are one of the most underated neo-prog groups. They are often dismissed as "another early Genesis aping band". This is totally unfair. Apart from Cyrus's singing voice which is highly similar to early Peter Gabriel singing style (and how is that a bad thing?) their music, lyrics and general atmosphere are completely different than early Genesis. Citizen Cain's music is much darker, thick layered, dense and complicated. It is hard to sink your teeth in their music as it takes a while to get used to it but once this happens the reward is so much more fulfilling than with the current neo- prog bands. This is not for the faint-hearted but for music lovers who take their time in exploring the music with patience, and each time you listen to a song you hear new things. However the music is dark and unconforting so if you like your prog light-hearted and easy this is not for you

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