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Syzygy - Realms of Eternity CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.93 | 85 ratings

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4 stars Syzygy is a US based outfit with a history going back to the early 90's, at first known as Witsend. They issued one album under the latter moniker in 1993, but prior to their second production The Allegory of Light in 2003 they changed to their current band name. Realms of Eternity is their third effort, and was issued in 2009.

I'm not yet familiar with their first two efforts, but as the band has been kind enough to provide me with reviewers copies of these as well it will be interesting to see what they have offered previously. For this third installment in their discography progressive rock of the symphonic variety is that's served though, and a pretty vintage one at that.

Long, epic compositions dominate this effort. Three of the first five compositions on this album stretch beyond the 10 minute mark, while the last 8 tracks are in fact one creation clocking in at close to 30 minutes in length. This gives the band ample opportunity to explore long, instrumental passages, and like many well known acts of yesteryear they do this in a pretty non-repetetive manner. Many themes are explored, and the band opts to either alter and evolve or move between the various segments rather than to thoroughly explore a specific passage and then leave it behind for good.

Guitars in various guises, keyboards and organ are the main and dominating instruments used, with multi-layered harmonic passages the stylistic exploration of choise. Dissonances, disharmonies and other elements from jazz and experimental music are only utilized on select occasions, Syzygy have their feet firmly placed in the classical-tinged variety of symphonic rock on this venture.

Fans of Genesis will find many resemblances in sound spread throughout this album, as far as I can tell that is the dominating musical influence for this act. They don't limit themselves to that sound, as we're also served both instrumental and vocal passages with distinct Gentle Giant tinged mannerisms. Fans of Yes and early King Crimson should also discover familiar sounding elements without much trouble, and we're also treated to a few constructions that makes a nod or three in the direction of the folk-influenced part of Jethro Tull's back catalogue.

A merry mix of vintage sounding progressive rock in other words, with clear and distinct influences easily caught. And to Syzygy's credit they rarely venture forth into replicating territories either. With a stylistic expression as heavily explored as this one brief moments where they sound exactly like another outfit are pretty much unavoidable, but I get the impression that the band has worked pretty hard to achieve as few such moments as possible.

Overall a strong effort from this US act, and one that should appeal strongly to fans of mid 70's progressive rock of the symphonic variety. I suspect many of those will regard this production as a strong candidate for album of the year 2009. Personally I won't subscribe to that notion, but it is a high quality release from start to finish; and a strong effort overall.

Highly recommended, in particular to fans of Gabriel era Genesis.

Windhawk | 4/5 |


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