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Cyan - Pictures From The Other Side CD (album) cover





3.34 | 42 ratings

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3 stars The first Cyan album was a very good surprise. Fully symphonic and indirectly revived by Nick Barrett (Pendragon). It was also a one-man work : Robert Reed playing all the instruments.

For this occasion, he decided to get a full band to release this album. He wanted to hire several guests to play on different tracks of the album. But he was so impressed by the work of Nigel Voyle that he decided to incorporate it as the lead vocalist. The band took almost a year from the first rehearsals to the final release. Shortly after, their record company broke and Cyan's early works were almost lost again.

The opening number, "The Guardian" is rather different when compared to the material available on their first album. Harder and this time fully neo-prog (while their first effort definitely ranked more into the symphonic style). I guess that the comparison with "Arena" is not far away with the mood of this song. I must say that this new approach is a kind of a disappointment. Gone the sweet melodies and soft instrumental parts. Some great keyboards of course and convincing vocals. Some Spanish acoustic breaks are also welcome; they add a spicy flavour.

"Pictures..." is almost a folk song. Delicate vocals and subtil piano bring some sort of peaceful feeling. Robert Reed's keyboard play is of course again great but melody-wise this song is a bit flat. These backing vocals are not really brilliant, to say the least.

"Solitary Angel" is a great number. Especially during the vocal parts. Very much in the style of David Surkamp from "Pavlov's Dog". Thinking that Nigel Voyle took part in the audition for Marillion after the disaster of Fish's sacking...But, unfortunately the band will decide to get Hogarth on board instead...

"Broken Man" is very much Marillion-oriented IMO (Hogarth era). I don't know whether or not it is a coincidence. "All Around The World" is a bit mellowish and the weakest track of this album. It almost sounds gospel, religion-oriented. Not really what I had expected from Cyan.

"Tomorrow's Her Today" is the most Genesis-like of this album. What about the keys ? These synths sounds are so close to the ones of Tony. But we are far from having a clone here (I already mentioned this during my review of their first album "For King And Country". Guitar also ghas a prominent role in this number. Not extremely original but pleasant.

The second epic is quite bizarre. Prog metal beat. Heavy roffs, high-pitched vocals, strong keys and a very solid rhytmic section. Somewhat "Carmina Burana" at some times. Totally unexpected I must say. It is quite unexpected to listen to a song that is closer to Dream Theater than anything else. A drastic change in their musical orientation.

This album is not a bad one but Cyan has totally recycled their great symphonic sound and delivers a totally different album. I am hesitant as to the rating. Five out of ten probably. Since the band has such a miserable exposure on PA, I will upgrade it to three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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