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Skryvania - Skryvania CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.41 | 52 ratings

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3 stars There's nothing like youthful exuberance mixed with a love for Yes/Genesis/KC.

In the magical mid 70s, a group of high school friends from the suburbs of Paris took their love of symphonic prog, abandoned their educations, named their band after a girlfriend, and really went for it. And they achieved something very nice although success was modest. They were a huge hit in the local auditoriums they played bringing hundreds to their feet cheering.

The band played a heavy symphonic rock with lots of very good wailing guitar, strong rhythm section, and good keys. Their heroes were Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, and Jimi Hendrix. They sound a little like their French counterparts Pentacle, Shylock, and Atoll but they are a young band and you can hear the sound of youth, both its good and bad aspects. But despite some clumsy moments here and there and a poor sound quality of the recording there is much to recommend. They lads practiced a lot and they can play their butts off, especially the guitarist and drummer. They can wail and their enthusiasm is so obvious. Fans of a thick saturated "wet" guitar sound will love this kid's playing bravado, he'll try anything and usually pull it off. He loves a fuzzy Hendrix sound too and often seems to be channeling Jimmy Page as he just rips it up. The bassist is no slouch either and you can hear him well always attempting something animated. Fans of vintage keyboard sounds will have fun too as they are prevalent. Their songs are pretty good from a compositional viewpoint as well, they keep it interesting and fresh. There are some vocals but they are somewhat minimal.

The generous bonus tracks serve up something really tasty. You'll get to hear these guys try and pull off parts of "Ritual" and "Close to the Edge." And yes, they do pretty good job! The Musea folks have done another fine job putting together a booklet with a very nice band history and photos. The sound is as cleaned up as possible considering this album has a reputation for awful sound quality. The sound is what I would call listenable, decent, OK, but certainly not good. I consider this album nearly essential for French prog and symphonic fans despite the sound, but if you absolutely need top notch production in your prog, you'd best pass this gem by. Humorously, the album cover is supposed to depict the band as the winged creature, driving Yes and Genesis (the rat) from their throne in order to assume their place. These guys did not have a self-esteem problem!

Skryvania is a true lost gem that is dripping with passion for symphonic rock and is a real treat. Do get a copy before it goes out of print and becomes impossible to find again. You won't regret it. 3 1/2 stars.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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