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Cyril - The Way Through CD (album) cover

THE WAY THROUGH

Cyril

 

Crossover Prog

2.76 | 10 ratings

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TCat
2 stars Self-described as a melodic prog act, Cyril is a Crossover Prog band from Germany born from the ashes of mainstream band "Gabria". Founded in 2010, they have released 3 full length albums, the 3rd of which is called "The Way Through", released in April of 2019. The album is made up of 7 tracks for a total run time of 46 minutes, and the band has pretty much remained intact since the beginning. It is a concept album about a patient in a ICU unit stuck between life and death that is either in a parallel world or a coma.

"The Gate" begins with lush keyboards and acoustic guitar, but quickly comes to life with a heavy riff, swirling synths and a fast beat. After over a minute, the vocals of the dual lead singers come in, both of which are decent singers for this style of dramatic music. The music is melodic, as promised, the melodies are fairly easy to follow, but moods and textures change enough to keep everything interesting. The instrumentation has enough variety so that it doesn't get overly predictable, but the song structure is straightforward enough to keep things accessible. It is a bit disappointing that it fades out at the end when it could have continued with a nice jam. But the fade out should have been a fair warning for me. "My Own Reflection" however ups the pop quotient in the vocals that seem a bit boy-band-ish. That great pop/progressive balance that was hinted at in the first track steps to far over the pop boundary by a bit too much. The soft sax solo doesn't really work to its favor either, as you wonder if Kenny G stepped in to provide some maturity to the sound (hack/cough!). Even the twinkling piano solo won't save it. A nice level of intensity is eventually reached though and an upbeat guitar solo results from it, but it fades to schleppy symphonic synths and then ends.

"First Love [a lullaby]" has the option to either continue with the interesting sound that was established in the first track, or go with the way to poppy sound of the 2nd track. Unfortunately, it picks the latter. The lyrics are too corny and the melody is too bright and plastic sounding. For a track that is over 8 minutes, I was hoping that it would be better, but things seem to be getting worse. Also, just because the word lullaby is said over and over in a song doesn't make it a lullaby. It's actually a syrupy nightmare. Another 8+ minute track "Get Up High" follows. So does more bad sax and pop drivel. Halfway through, we get some promise as a long tense section develops into a nice heavy and even somewhat progressive interlude results, after which a nice piano section follows, but then the vocal melody returns and you remember where you started. Their heart was in the right place at least, but the melody just doesn't help retain that short-lived excitement.

"A Sign on the Road" seems to take it's inspiration from Peter Cetera in his pop years, even down to the electric piano, acoustic guitar and lounge-y sax. Ick. "The Wasteland-Home Again" is more upbeat, but needs to use less syrup. Again, not good. "The Way Through?" ends everything for the album. And, early on, all hopes that a good song might save this album are dashed, even if it is mostly instrumental. The romantic sax just doesn't work anymore.

Some pop lovers might be attracted to this album, but it is not my style. Pop and prog can go together as many other bands have proven, but Alan Parsons at least had years of experience under his belt before he did it. This is just way too slick and schmaltzy. Except for a few interesting passages, there isn't anything that can really save this album. My suggestion is to just skip this one. Even your kid sister will think this sounds dated with the creepy-old-guy sax.

TCat | 2/5 |

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