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Heavy Prog • Germany

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Ysma biography
YSMA is an instrumental progressive rock band from Münster, Germany. Founded by guitarist Daniel KLUGER and bass player Torge DELLERT in 2009, the quartet combines atmospheric elements and progressive rock/metal influences, always focussing on the ambience of a song as well as unconventional rhythms and parts out of the ordinary. After gaining reputation as an ernergetic live band, YSMA released their first record entitled ?Vagrant? in April 2013. The 12-track album covers the band's diverse spectrum from purely acoustic tracks to heavier pieces with a prog metal edge.

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YSMA discography

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

3.03 | 12 ratings
3.87 | 9 ratings
Fourth Wall
4.33 | 3 ratings
Memoirs in Monochrome

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

4.00 | 1 ratings
Carrots and Candles

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

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

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

YSMA Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Fourth Wall by YSMA album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.87 | 9 ratings

Fourth Wall
Ysma Heavy Prog

Review by Meltdowner
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars This year sees the second album from the German instrumental (except for some spoken phrases on Jester) Heavy band YSMA, called Fourth Wall. This one is quite interesting, it has a very gentle nature and also the occasional and sometimes unpredictable heavier side.

It starts with 'Limelight', a dark and haunting piano piece with acoustic guitar and then enters the electric piano to start 'Four Seconds West'. This one shows a nice contrast between Metal and acoustic guitar with beautiful piano. It also has a reference to Gentle Giant near the end and some very skillful bass playing.

'Thelema' is an organ-led track, featuring some heavy dueling with distorted guitar. The whole song kind of reminds me of modern RPI.

'Sun' is a guitar-led song divided in two parts with a very interesting construction: lots of guitar tracks and emotive acoustic guitar playing but also has soft flute and gentle piano. It reminds me of PFM and classic Genesis.

'A Beaver's Tale' is more about the piano, shifting again between heavy and soft moments, although it also has great guitar solos.

'Jester' is a really interesting and synchronized bass guitar and percussion display, initially with an ethereal sounding of the guitars and keyboards and then sudden heavy bursts with vintage organ. It finishes with a very nice and uplifting acoustic guitar and piano piece.

'Pseudopolis' is my least favourite track: most of it is slow math rock that sounds stale and leaves me cold, but at least the last minutes seem more interesting with a bass and lazy electric guitar solos. The ending is also funny, but you better see it for yourself.

Despite this album being very good, I don't consider it a masterpiece, but I believe they can make something even greater in the future.

4 stars

 Fourth Wall by YSMA album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.87 | 9 ratings

Fourth Wall
Ysma Heavy Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

4 stars What's the meaning of "progressive", anyways? I've seen intense forum arguments about this very question, and the sides usually come down to two ideas: either progressive music is a certain sound dating back to the 70's, or it is a nonspecific term for music and artists that change, grow, mature, and feature a few vague characteristics, such as the use of odd meters and such. My answer? What does it really matter? Bands like Germany's YSMA are progressive no matter how you look at them, and they are truly progressive (in my opinion) in that they have changed their style, taken feedback to heart, and had the balls and the good spirits to invest in themselves.

Yes, YSMA is a perfect band for the progressive label. This instrumental five-piece last released a good album called "Vagrant", an album that wandered a bit too much, as I felt the band wasn't very sure or definite in their compositions. They're back now, however, with a wonderful album called "Fourth Wall", which has surprised me in many ways. Gone are the nomadic melodies that never seem to latch onto greatness, and in has come a mature, purposeful composition style that is a delight to hear. Yes, YSMA, like the men they are, have decided to take advice and to take it to heart in the best way possible.

Very possibly, the reason behind this new success is the addition of a missing piece to the puzzle: the new keyboardist Arne Timm. His addition to the band has filled in the gaps that were somewhat noticeable the first time. Before, there were melodies that seemed incomplete or did not come 'round and tickle your spine; now, however, there is an extra layer of sound and composition that feels very complete and very, very groovy. In fact, all of the players are on fire here. Arne's keys vary vastly in tone, and they are always providing wonderful accent and atmosphere to the Haken- esque technical grooves. Fabian Schroer and Daniel Kluger provide a wide array of guitars, too, ranging from bright acoustics to rolling electric riffs. Alex Schenk more than impresses on bass, as I feel his dynamic playing is the rock upon which YSMA's sound is built, as YSMA's sound has pieces of math rock present, certainly. Lastly, Jens Milo on drums collaborates many times with Alex's bass to form some seriously delightful rhythms.

YSMA has grown. The songs are meaningful and have personality now, such as the end of "Four Seconds West". Another example, "A Beaver's Tale", delights with funkiness, or, my personal favorite, "Jester" is an absolute masterpiece where all these musicians come together into a single unit. Of course, then you have the two-part "Sun" that features some stark flute for good measure, and the ending track "Pseudopolis" that finishes this album in style.

All around, then, "Fourth Wall" is head and shoulders above "Vagrant", and I might even say that it is the best instrumental album of 2014 thus far. These guys have really come together, not only in playing, but also in composition and direction. I don't think that "Fourth Wall" is their masterpiece quite yet, but I expect that very soon. It's only a matter of time with the quality and inspiration evident in this new album.

 Vagrant by YSMA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.03 | 12 ratings

Ysma Heavy Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

3 stars How to review this album? Ysma are a band from Germany that presents an instrumental style of heavy prog. There is so much to say about the music, but it can be difficult to figure out where to begin. Well, first of all, the artwork is just sublime. It's gorgeous, and really lends itself to the music. I almost get an Incubus vibe from the art.

You know, I just found my beginning. I do get an Incubus vibe from much of the music, as well. I don't think this is necessarily purposeful, but I think it is a result of the many facets of the music. So, the grand sum of the album certainly seems to come from a deep mood like unto Pain of Salvation, a funkiness like Karnivool, and a bass-driven style like Riverside (though a strong guitar style like unto Porcupine Tree does appear now and then). These elements come together to form music that is playful but pensive, whimsical but grounded, and delicate but hefty. The music is often slow and thoughtful, but is very comfortable in the seemingly math rock-influenced portions. That is not to say, however, that this band is simply the sum of their influences. This band has some very original ideas and a certain jazziness to them that makes the music all their own.

The bass player is quite good, especially during the faster passages, while the guitarist shines more during the delicate, atmospheric tracks. Speaking of guitars, there are several styles present, from acoustic to hard rock to a more Riverside, high-tuned sound. All of them are performed admirably. The drummer seems to know how to keep the pace flawlessly, as this seems important with the good amount of noodling that takes place. Good noodling, though. I think my favorite tracks here are "The Wanderer", "Primetime Dreaming", "Clean", and "Remember Jenny Samkis". These tracks are moodier, more interesting, and very well executed.

Overall, this band has plenty to offer. Their debut could use some tightening and the musicianship could, too. However, there are some stunning passages here and there, a great atmosphere that lends itself to thought, and a oneness that you don't often find in young bands. Color me impressed.

Thanks to andy webb for the artist addition.

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