Sylvan - One To Zero

Kev Rowland, Sylvan - One To Zero

I first came across German band Sylvan with their fourth album, ‘X-rayed’, which came out in 2004. I have a reviewed a few since then, but not for more than a decade so when I was offered this one, I was pleasantly surprised. Over the course of their career, they have released a few concept albums, and they have used that oeuvre again, this time providing us with the autobiography of an artificial intelligence from its own perspective over the course of ten tracks. The quartet of Marco Gluhmann (vocals), Volker Söhl (keyboards, grand piano), Sebastian Harnack (bass) and Matthias Harder (drums) do not have a guitarist as a member of the band, but Jonathan 'Jonny' Beck has taken on that role as guest for the second album, while a quick glance at the list of the others shows both Kalle Wallner and Yogi Lang from RPWL getting involved with the music as well as producing.

I have seen quite a few reviews for this album, all saying how wonderful it is, but none of these have really captured what I think is the main theme, which simply put is that it is incredibly boring. What little vitality there is has been snuffed out by arrangements and production which together combine to have everything at the same level. This was an album I was really looking forward to playing remember, but it soon became one of where I was wondering how much longer it had to run? It’s more than an hour in length, and it felt longer than that I can assure you, almost as if I was trapped at a Marillion gig. I know there is a market for this style of prog, but to me it feels like they ran through the numbers without any passion or feeling, much like the artificial intelligence in their storyline, and even listening to this a few times did nothing to change my views. That they can play is never in doubt, while the desire never to hear this again is also strong.

MLWZ album na 15-lecie