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Sylvan - Leaving Backstage CD (album) cover





4.29 | 45 ratings

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4 stars Moody, ambient, atmospheric... and it's really excellent!

I actually had been playing this live set for quite sometime ago after so long I had never played the music of this band. I notice this band underwent dramatic change in their music style when they released 'Artificial Paradise' in 2002. It's totally different with their 'Encounters' album (2000) which I like it very much and represents my first introduction to the band. I felt in love with the opening track 'No Way Out' which showcase one of the best neo-prog song with killing riffs and powerful melody. When I got this double CD live set the first impression was that the music they played live represent their style of later music from 'Artificial Paradise' onwards even though there were some nuances of previous music.

The first disc captures the performance of the Posthumous Silence concept album in its entirety, while the second disc is basically the 'best of' collection of live renditions taken from the band's albums released between 2000 and 2007. The band is quite aware that their debut album 'Deliverance' is not worth being featured here. Talking about disc 2 it represents a good introduction to those of you who have not been familiar with Sylvan. Unfortunately there is no 'No Way Out' from 'Encounters' album. I cannot imagine how this wonderful track performed live.

I consider the first disc as a great performance of their concept album 'Posthumous Silence' where fans of early Marillion and Radiohead (?) would love to enjoy it. It opens with a great live vibes in a moody and atmospheric 'Eternity Ends' (2:54) which reminds me to the opening of Pink Floyd's 'Pulse' through 'Shine on You Crazy Diamond'. But instead of using bluesy guitar, this song uses atmospheric female choirs. It's really great and it sets the overall tone of the concert. The piano intro of 'Bequest of Tears' (3:05) and vocal work of Marco Glühmann reminds me to the opening concert of Peter Gabriel with his 'Here Comes The Flood' using his piano. It's a great opening, really! The basslines remarks the entrance of 'In Chains' (8:55) where the music flows in upbeat mote with nice and soft guitar riffs. This is an excellent track!

The performance of disc one represents great flow of music with excellent combination of keyboard and guitar work accompanying great vocal line. Track like 'Pane of Truth' (9:14) is really worth enjoying especially with its emotive style, great accentuation in vocal and tight basslines. The interlude sections of the music are also excellent. You can enjoy wonderful keyboard and guitar work in 'Questions' (6:58) for example. I find this disc one is enjoyable from start to finish until closing track 'Posthumous Silence' (5:38).

Disc 2 starts with a song from X-Rayed album called 'Lost' (7:32) in which the music is energetic that reminds to Encounters album. The combined work of vocal, drums, keyboard and bass is really wonderful. You can find the interlude section is wonderful where the guitar lays rhythm section combined with dynamic basslines that feature the keyboard solo. Oh man ?it's really wonderful! 'That's Why It Hurts' (7:10) from 'Artificial Paradise' follows wonderfully in the same quality as previous track in terms of performance. The band returns back to X-Rayed album with its 'So Easy' (8:19) ? another excellent song with excellent performance. You can find guitar solo in the vein of Marillion's Steve Rothery. All remaining tracks are performed excellently by the band.

Overall, this is an excellent live set that would satisfy wider audience, not only those who love neo-prog like Marillion because it's quite easy to digest the music. The other thing I need to mention is the excellent audio quality of this CD. I recommend this album to Sylvan fans or other progressive music fans. You can try disc 2 as this is the best of Sylvan. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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