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CYRIL

Crossover Prog • Germany


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Cyril biography
German band CYRIL was formed in 2010 following the demise of mainstream rock band Gabria. Denis Strassburg (bass), Ralf Dietsch (guitars), Marek Arnold (keyboards) and Clemens Litschko (drums) had been members of that band, and joined by Larry B. (vocals) they formed this new band. Cyril released their debut album "Gone Through Years" in the spring of 2013 through German label Progressive Promotion Records.

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The Way ThroughThe Way Through
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CYRIL discography


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CYRIL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.98 | 81 ratings
Gone Through Years
2013
3.79 | 33 ratings
Paralyzed
2016
2.66 | 9 ratings
The Way Through
2019

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CYRIL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Way Through by CYRIL album cover Studio Album, 2019
2.66 | 9 ratings

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The Way Through
Cyril Crossover Prog

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.

 The Way Through by CYRIL album cover Studio Album, 2019
2.66 | 9 ratings

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The Way Through
Cyril Crossover Prog

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.

 Paralyzed by CYRIL album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.79 | 33 ratings

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Paralyzed
Cyril Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars German band Cyril came into existence in 2010 when former members of melodic rock band Gabria decided to move their music in a different direction. Keyboard and sax player Marek Arnold (Toxic Smile, Seven Steps To The Green Door, Flaming Row etc.) and I have been in contacted quite a bit recently, and he kindly sent me everything he has been involved with, which means that I am now catching up their last album, 2016's 'Paralyzed'. I reviewed their 2013 debut 'Gone Through The Years' when it was released, but hadn't got to this one as it had been released while I was on an enforced break from reviewing while I was putting together a book of all my reviews from 1991-2006, but I did really enjoy that one, so was looking forward to this.

I wasn't disappointed, as yet again it reminds me very much of Nineties-style Jadis, although it is also quite different, but there is something in the melodic and laid-back approach that really works here. The vocals are spot on from Larry Br'del (Toxic Smile) and Manuel Schmid, guitarist Ralf Dietsch has a wonderfully delicate touch not too dissimilar to Andrew Latimer or Gary Chandler, Clemens Litschko is an unsung here at the back with powerful drumming indeed, while Denis Strassburg hangs it all together on bass. But what makes the real difference here is the work of Marek, who not only uses a multitude of keyboard sounds and piano, but is also provides woodwind that allows the band to have that extra element, that extra touch of class.

As with the debut, this is a wonderful melodic progressive rock album that is immediate on first hearing, yet also rewards those prepared to put in the time and listen to it carefully and repeatedly. Great stuff.

 Paralyzed by CYRIL album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.79 | 33 ratings

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Paralyzed
Cyril Crossover Prog

Review by Progrussia

3 stars On Paralyzed, Cyril continue with the melodic rock-hard rock mixture of their first album Gone Through Years. Retains the occasional use of woodwinds and mandolin that were hallmarks of its sound on the first album. Songs are maybe on the whole a tad softer, and also more expansive, but close enough. Another vocalist was added, so, two main voices now. This is catchy stuff, and not straightforward, too, although I feel that the more extended pieces get repetitive. The most extended piece, the 18-minute Secret Place is apparently a first part of a longer epic. And that's good, since on itself it doesn't stand - just a succession of different moods (and lifted from the likes of Yes and Pink Floyd) not really tied together.
 Gone Through Years by CYRIL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.98 | 81 ratings

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Gone Through Years
Cyril Crossover Prog

Review by Progrussia

4 stars Another German project involving Marek Arnold of the Seven Steps to the Green Door, Toxic Smile etc. fame. Also shares the "gruffer Phil Collins" vocalist from Toxic Smile. This one is geared towards melodic rock style, accented by an occasional clarinet, sax or a classical guitar, but also venturing towards anthemic hard rock territory. A concept album inspired by the Time Machine novel of H.G.Wells. Almost sounds as if quintessentially English (what is more English than "oh my sweet Alice"?). A very amicable, and not-as-simple-as-it-looks listen, but one that you would probably not revisit too often, for the formula of starting pleasant and folkish before going into hard rock can get old.
 Gone Through Years by CYRIL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.98 | 81 ratings

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Gone Through Years
Cyril Crossover Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I must admit I fell in love with this CD as soon as I put it on. Highly emotional, melodically rich, a labor of love and powerful debut are some of the expressions that come in mind when I tried to define this record during the few last weeks when I head it in a daily basis. Although this is their first album under this name and with vocalist Larry B., the core members of the band comes from another combo called Gabria. And that might explains how they sound so tight and the compositions are so mature and strong.

The music of Gone Through Years is a progressive music that ties different styles together with seamless precision: styles as diverse as symphonic prog, jazz, flamenco, classical music and hard rock. Their former pop rock past make the presence felt by the strong hooks and their incredible sense of melody. Still Cyril is now a full fledge prog band: all the tracks have many twists and turns, mood and tempo swings, that wonīt ever get them any pop radio time. Also, it seems that they based the album concept on H.G. Wells Time Machine book, but Iīm not really sure. Anyway, the results are absolutely awesome, with a accessible sound that it is also daring and original. They donīt remind me of any other band I know.

What strikes me more on this CD is their combination of skillful playing, exquisite compositions and clever arrangements. Nothing is overdone here: every note seems to fall into the right place every time. The use of sax and clarinet (courtesy of their keyboardist Marek Arnold) is one of the finest since Supertrampīs heyday. Ralf Dietsch is a master of both electric and acoustic guitars, while singer Larry B deliver the words with passion and conviction. In fact Gone Through Years is so good is hard to point a highlight. During the past few weeks I heard the CD from start to finish without skipping single track all the time. The production is crystal clear: perfect for the complex and subtle music they deliver.

Rating: personally, Iīd like to give this album a 5 star rating, but letīs be fair, itīs their first one and surely I hope they evolve into something even bigger. So, 4,5 stars is my final rating. This german band is a great find. If you like melodic progressive music with lots of personality, you cantīmiss this one.

Highly recommended!

 Paralyzed by CYRIL album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.79 | 33 ratings

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Paralyzed
Cyril Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German band CYRIL was formed in 2010 by former members of melodic rock band Gabria, who at that point desired to explore a style of music a bit more sophisticated than the one they had taken on in their former band. They released their debut album "Gone Through Years" in 2013. "Paralyzed" was released in the late spring of 2016, and is their follow-up production. Just like their initial CD, it was issued by the German label Progressive Promotion Records.

Those fond of sophisticated yet accessible and most of all melodic progressive rock should take note of this band and this album. While perhaps not as challenging fare as any of the classic progressive rock bands, this contemporary take on the more accessible side of the genre is well worth a listen, and perhaps especially by those who have a tendency to enjoy progressive rock of the kind that might also interest a more mainstream oriented audience.

 Gone Through Years by CYRIL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.98 | 81 ratings

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Gone Through Years
Cyril Crossover Prog

Review by Thierry

4 stars What a big surprise! Behind a rather common cover and name hides a true gem. All Genesis fans will enjoy this album. The vocals are very close to Gabriel's and Collins' but the refined melodies also echo the British band. Add a rich instrumentation (sax, clarinet, mandolin), some female vocals, a great concept and rich lyrics (inspired by Wells' "The Time Machine", more precisely a study of the emotions that the traveler experiences), a great variety of atmospheres, hints of Pink Floyd, of Supertramp and you'll have the recipe for a success. German band Cyril was formed in 2010 following the demise of mainstream rock band Gabria. Denis Strassburg (bass), Ralf Dietsch (guitars), Marek Arnold (keyboards) and Clemens Litschko (drums) were joined by Larry B. (vocals) to form this new band. What a brilliant idea! You don't believe me? Play the record to the average rock fan and watch his reaction. Wow! Highly recommended.
 Gone Through Years by CYRIL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.98 | 81 ratings

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Gone Through Years
Cyril Crossover Prog

Review by Mind_Drive

5 stars Easily overlooked but luckily revisited: Gone Through Years charmed me only at further listening - but what a spell!

Itīs innocent beauty was not the most obvious thing at first and i didnīt expect this album to appeal to me in this intimate and touching way.

This magical journey muffles you with fluffy moments flowing into epic moods of deep desire, holding unique - yet overall harmonious - soundscapes within every single song. The warm vocals (at times reminding me of Gabriel) fit perfectly into the multi-facetted atmospheres of this gorgeous composition. With every single song being memorable and full of beautiful melodies, this piece of art creates an overall positive and soothing feeling with highlights of powerful determination.

If you like dwelling in a sea of cosy desires with uplifting hopefulness, you probably wonīt be able to resist this spell for long and most likely lose your heart to this innocent little masterpiece.

4.7 / 5 electric Fluffycorns!

 Gone Through Years by CYRIL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.98 | 81 ratings

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Gone Through Years
Cyril Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Cyril was formed in 2010 by former members of melodic rock band Gabria, who had previously released a couple of albums, but decided that they need to move in a different musical direction so recruited Larry B. as their new singer. Their debut album was recorded at the beginning of the year, and is thematically based on the story of the book 'The Time Machine' by H.G. Wells. Although it is a debut, one can tell that these guys have been working together for a long time as this is polished, layered, warm, inviting, and all that one would want from a crossover album as it brings in elements from many different areas and styles, maintaining a pop rock influence but bringing in so very much more as well.

It reminds me a lot of some of the albums that were coming out at the beginning of the Nineties, and there is more than a hint of Jadis in the guitarwork of Ralf Dietsch, with some wonderfully layered keyboards backing this up by Marek Arnold (who also provides some sax and clarinet to the album, which is a nice touch). Atmospheric and evocative, this moves from gentle piano through to hard rocking guitar whilst thematically making sense at all times. "Sweet Alice" starts as an almost flamenco number, bringing forth memories of the incredible Carmen (the band that John Glascock was in prior to Tull), but it all fits within the album as a whole. Solid, enjoyable, and packed full of great ideas topped with a real sense of class, this is a great debut. Let's hope we don't hve to wait too long for the next one. www.cyril-band.de

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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