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Sylvan - X-Rayed CD (album) cover





3.60 | 153 ratings

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4 stars After the release of the excellent 'Artificial Paradise', we all looked forward to a worthy follow up. After all, the band had raised the stakes and the question was if they could reach that level again or eventually surpass it. The choice to explore other paths was very understandable. The band had already created a sturdy niche of a cross between neo-prog and sympho, without disturbing the basics.

The opening track, "So Easy", gets straight to the point. The powerful, melodic sound, which characterized the former CD, is now embedded in a more complex sound layer, touching upon art rock, atmospheric rock and even progmetal. And it's all done very well.

The short and slightly dizzy, "So Much More", sounds fairly conventional, but on "Lost", they pulled out all the stops and SYLVAN presents itself as a group with balls. The super heavy guitar riffs create a threatening aura, while the keyboards give a hint of atmosphere.

Those musical tricks of the trade that one finds in bombastic melodies are used excessively during "You Are" and the link with art rock is quickly made. Now's the right time to get rockin' and to let "Fearless" blast out of your speakers. The song gradually evolves into a psychedelic trip with a PINK FLOYD style ending as its cherry on the cake. The band gives the listener a welcomed break with two easy listening songs, "Belated Gift" and "Today". The next song, "Through My Eyes", shoots you with a rush of adrenaline. Although it's less powerful than "Lost", it still makes a strong impact. It's time to get ready for a new trilogy from the band, "Given-Used-Forgotten". We had to wait a long time for this. Keyboard player Volker Sohl created fantastic classical music passages which one should really sit down and listen to. The SYLVAN of 2004 and all that the band stands for is encompassed in this one song: heavenly, drawn out melodies, richly orchestrated and beautifully performed arrangements and ingenious compositions. Where they find all this amazing material remains a mystery to me. The last song, "The World is not for Me", is fantastic and reaches all levels of the prog world.

This is yet another top album in the collections of this German band. Despite the fact that they explore new areas, they're still in line with what they were doing on 'Artificial Paradise'. There's no doubt, SYLVAN is top class

>>> Review by: Piet "Neal" Michem (9/10) Translated by Jennifer Summer<<<

Clayreon | 4/5 |


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