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Cyan - For King And Country CD (album) cover





3.40 | 46 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Not too colourful, perhaps

Cyan was formed in 1984 as a one-man band by multi-instrumentalist Rob Reed (also the brain behind another band named after a colour - Magenta). The initial active period of the band did not last for long however, the project was shelved after the recording of a demo and before any official album had been released. But this was not the end of the band as it was resurrected in the early 90's after Reed had received encouragement from fans including one Nick Barrett of Pendragon-fame (who would also guest on a later Cyan album). The present album was Cyan's official debut release and consisted of re-recorded versions of songs that originally appeared on the demo from the 80's plus some new songs. The style is somewhere in between classic Symphonic Prog of the 70's and the Neo-Prog scene of the 80's; Camel and Pendragon often spring to mind while listening to For King And Country.

Keeping in mind that Reed is doing everything by himself here including guitars, keyboards and lead vocals, this is really impressive. There is no doubt about his considerable talents which is proven by this and also several future releases (both under the Cyan moniker and under other names). I believe that Reed is primarily a keyboard player, and there is an emphasis on the keyboards in the sound of Cyan, but his vocal and guitar skills are clearly more than adequate (guitar sound often remind of that of Mike Oldfield). Though, while a thoroughly enjoyable listen, there is very little that really stands out as such here for me. Indeed, it is often hard to distinguish between the eight tracks on For King And Country - they are all of them good songs, but nothing here is really excellent or truly memorable. The tone is rather mellow and melancholic throughout, yet melodic.

It is interesting to speculate about what could have happened if this album had been released in the mid 80's instead of in the early 90's - would Cyan then have been a more recognized band? It is very hard for a one-man band to make it, and indeed, for the next album, Pictures From The Other Side, Reed did form more of a real band around himself. This was the right move to make, if you ask me. Regardless, we should be happy about the fact that Reed didn't abandon music after the initial demise of Cyan and came back to give us this and further albums.

While by no means truly original or very distinctive, this is certainly a worthwhile and thoroughly pleasant listen.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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