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Syzygy - The Allegory of Light  CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.87 | 66 ratings

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4 stars US band Syzygy can trace it's root back to the 1990's, back then known as Witsend. Their first album was released under that moniker in 1993, and was a fine effort as far as debut albums go with it's blend of Genesis and ELP inspired material.

10 years later they resurface as Syzygy, and with a new album called "The Allegory of Light". In the decade that has gone by since their initial effort these three musicians have evolved quite a lot, first and foremost in the composing department. The songs are for the most part tighter and better assembled, the use of both subtle and stark contrasts to enhance the moods are much more of a distinct trait this time around, and the sonic palette utilized have expanded greatly.

The bombastic ELP-like bursts and the atmospheric, richly layered passages rather similar to vintage Genesis is still very much a part of the musical territories explored on this album, but this time around notable influences from other greats of the 70's are added in as well. Gentle Giant first and foremost, quite a few quirky, shifting themes have more than a passing nod in that direction. Harder edged, distorted guitar layers with Frippian attitudes is another addition to the songs this time around, while several folk-tinged segments brings both aforementioned Gentle Giant as well as Jethro Tull to mind. Those better versed in 70's prog will probably find a few other acts that have inspired the material at hand here as well, and with a few hair metal touches added in final track Journey of the Myrrdin as well as guitar shredding popping up on a few select occasions throughout, the end is a rather eclectic collection of tunes.

The main negatives about this production is the fact that many of the songs may sound just a bit too much like the bands mentioned above. The compositions as such may be innovative as a whole, but the individual parts used to construct it will more often than not sound a tad to derivative. Personally I don't mind though. The mellow, emotional track Forbidden is the only time I feel Syzygy manage to achieve perfection on this production though, but many other efforts here are pretty close. Towards the end of the album I start to loose a bit of interest though. The raunchy rocker Light Speed feels a bit out of place here, and the aforementioned Journey of the Myrrdin was too broken up for my personal taste even if containing quite a few stunning themes and passages.

All in all this is a strong album as I perceive it, and those who'd like to desire a veritable smorgasbord of 70's inspired progressive rock with eclectic attitudes should get quite a lot of enjoyment out of this effort.

Windhawk | 4/5 |


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