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THE WAY THROUGH

Cyril

Crossover Prog


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Cyril The Way Through album cover
2.76 | 10 ratings | 3 reviews | 10% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Gate (5:46)
2. My Own Reflection (6:46)
3. First Love (A Lullaby) (8:19)
4. Get Up High (8:41)
5. A Sign On the Road (4:33)
6. The Wasteland - Home Again (5:54)
7. The Way Through? (6:15)

Total Time 46:14


Line-up / Musicians

- Marek Arnold (Seven Steps to the Green Door, Toxic Smile, Flaming Row, ex-Star Combo Meissen) / keyboards, sax
-Denis Strassburg / bass
- Manuel Schmid (Star Combo Meissen) / vocals, keyboards
- Larry Br?del (Toxic Smile) / vocals
- Ralf Dietsch / guitars
- Clemens Litschko / drums
- Martin Schnella (Flaming Row) / guitars, keyboards, vocals
With:
- Guy Manning / lyrics

Releases information

Label: Progressive Promotion Records
Format: CD, Digital
April 30, 2019

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to TCat for the last updates
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The Way ThroughThe Way Through
CD Baby 2019
$14.81
$18.79 (used)


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CYRIL The Way Through ratings distribution


2.76
(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
10%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
20%
Good, but non-essential (60%)
60%
Collectors/fans only (10%)
10%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

CYRIL The Way Through reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
COLLABORATOR Eclectic Team
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.

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
3 stars German band Cyril are back with their third album, and again they have collaborated with Guy Manning, so while Marek Arnold (keyboards, sax), Denis Strassburg (bass, programming) and Manuel Schmid (vocals, keyboards) provided the music, Guy provided the lyrics and story. The line-up is of course completed by Larry B. (vocals), Ralf Dietsch (guitars) and Clemens Litschko (drums). The story itself can be found hidden under the CD, and regards a patient in hospital who finds himself floating above his body looking down on himself, and in some ways reminds me of William Golding's classic 'Pincher Martin' (yes, be amazed, he did write many more books than just 'Lord of the Flies'). Only a few guests this time, including Guy himself who provides spoken word, but there is room for Martin Schnella to provide some additional guitar, which given his relationship with many in the band is no surprise at all.

This is crossover progressive rock, multi-layered like a thick blanket. The vocals are sublime, as always, while the band provide richness beneath. Just when one thinks that it is going to be just a little too cloying something happens which provides cut through, such as a saxophone, or strident guitar, while the drumming is always far more interesting than just someone keeping the beat (this is the last appearance from founder member Litschko as he has left to spend time with his young family, and he has now been replaced by Florian Graf). I have long been a fan of Marek Arnold, as his arranging skills and deployment of a sax at opportune moments are always a wonder, and I can't be the only one who regrets the demise of Toxic Smile which also featured both him and Larry (bassist Robert Brenner actually makes a guest appearance on this album as well).

When the band are on fire, such as on "Get Up High" which contains wonderful interaction between keyboards, bass and various guitars (actually making the listener think of classic Oldfield), then the music is majestic, powerful, and totally enthralling. However, on this album that isn't always the case, and "First Love (A Lullaby)" is at least two minutes too long, and even then, the band aren't sure how to end it, so fade it out. I actually think this could well work in concert where the guitars are allowed that little more frenetic cut through, but here it just drags, and I found myself looking at the player wondering just how much longer it had to go.

Cyril provide polished layered melodic progressive rock with many pop sensibilities, and while this may not be a totally essential album, is still one I enjoyed playing. They are starting to gig as well now, so it will be interesting to see what the next one is like, as that may well change their outlook.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars German band CYRIL has been an ongoing venture for just about a decade by now, formed by members of rock band Gabria when that band folded and then going onward with a bit more progressive intent under a new name. "The Way Through" is their third studio album, and was released through German label Progressive Promotion Records in the spring of 2019.

Cyril's third album "The Way Through" is arguably the most accessible album by the band so far, with liberal amounts of melodic rock and firm, traditional AOR elements given liberal amounts of room inside their specific brand of melodic, progressive rock. Perhaps not quite as convincing as their previous productions for all progressive rock fans, but those with a strong taste for the most accessible and melodic varieties of progressive rock should still find this to be a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

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