Syzygy - Realms Of Etermity,
The roots of Syzygy can be found in Eighties cover band Abraxas which featured guitarist/lead vocalist Carl Baldassarre, keyboardist Sam Giunta and bassist Al Rolik. After the group disbanded, Carl and Sam kept working together and with the addition of drummer Paul Mihacevich they recorded their debut ‘Cosmos And Chaos’ in 1993 under the name of Witsend. A period of writing and raising families resulted in a hiatus but they returned as Syzygy with the critically acclaimed ‘The Allegory Of Light’ which featured Al as a guest musician, released in 2003. All of the vocals has been handled by the band themselves up to this point, but for the new album they felt that they needed someone else to take them to the next level and after a long search brought in Mark Boals (Ted Nugent, Yngwie Malmsteen, Uli Jon Roth, Erik Norlander etc).
Now, bringing in a heavyweight singer such as Mark means that may reviewers (myself included) would expect great things of this album even before it made it to the player. Now, I was possibly expecting even more things as I have been lucky enough to hear their earlier works so I was extremely keen to know what they had been doing in the intervening years.
Well, to say that I wasn’t disappointed was something of an understatement. Musically the band aren’t afraid to go back to some classic prog bands such as Gentle Giant, Yes and UK while also bringing in the AOR musicality of Styx and Journey, throwing in some more recent references such as Spock’s Beard and letting the pot just swirl and mix together as it feels. This is an album that is incredibly complex, but the sheer musicality and melody means that the listener doesn’t get overwhelmed by everything. Note density? Check. Keyboard/guitar interplay? Check. Abrupt changes of musical direction? Check. Strong complex palette of keyboard sounds? Check. Great vocals and harmonies? Check. Incredible album that I want to play repeatedly? Check and triple check.
This is an awesome album, every time I play it I hear something new that just takes my breath away. Play the 10 minutes plus “Dreams” and you will see what I mean – just brilliant. If you go to their site they have a special offer on all three albums – you owe it to your ears.