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progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members.

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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Syrinx - Reification - 2003
“After long wondering through the ages.
Across the ether-impalpable support.
Where the cry is multiplied, fragmented.
Indefinable echo: Syrinx cries out.
Her voice reaches us by synaesthesia.
Reifying her cry into multiple fragments.”

This French band and CD is wrapped in a cover of thick mysterious mist. “Reification” is the first stage of a prestigious project of Metamorphic Music. This musical project will be developed over several albums. The beautiful artwork of the cover represents a woman seated on a sphere, holding a lyre with her eyes blindfolded and turning her back to the light… the nymph Syrinx who was transformed into a reed to escape from the god Pan (an episode of Greek mythology). In the booklet you can read the following:

Inspired by Heon Syrinx, this musical creation tends to restore life to she who was named Syrinx, by spreading vibrations formed by sounds and rhythms organized according to particular patterns. “Reification” represents a first stage which will later allow the mysteries of Syrinx to be progressively unveiled.
Several fragments of Syrinx message have reached us. The music resulting from their transcription has proven to be rich, complex and melodious.
Yet, as a whole it belongs to no existing style. This work inaugurates a new musical trend named “Metamorphic Music”, whose influence on the environment shall condition the listener, in order to produce a succession of exterior and interior transmutations.

The musicians:
The four musicians come from different bands. They are playing acoustic guitar, bass guitar, keyboards and drums. The name and career of each musician is unimportant. They are “transcribers”.

Considering the concept of promotion and the fact that the envelop which contained this CD was stamped in the French town Annecy, I had the strong feeling that one or more members of this band have a connection with the band Nil. Some of you will remember my review of their brilliant album “Quarante jours sur le Sinai”. And the dark atmosphere of the music of both bands confirms my assumption. But maybe I’m wrong. Indeed the musicians are not important... it is about the music.

This first album “Reification” is completely instrumental. Listening to the album is one big musical adventure. This is music for the open minded. The music consists out of rhythmical and melodic themes which develop, change and metamorphose in a subtle way into other themes.

The album is divided into five tracks with the following titles:
“Reification” (16:56), “Emanescence” (8:32), “The twentieth circle” (7:30), “Orbis Ubique” (14:41) and “The Hypostasis of the Archons” (7:04). Like I did with Nil I would describe the music of Syrinx as dark symphonic/progressive rock. But it is not comparable because of the refreshingly choice of instrumentation. Acoustic guitar, bass guitar, keyboards and drums are the primary instruments. But you can also find some delicate flute passages. It is very uncommon in symphonic and progressive rock music not to use electric guitar. The result is that not only the acoustic guitar but also the bass guitar has an important role in the music. Everything is hold together with atmospheric and/or symphonic keyboards.

Personally I get a great deal of pleasure out of this kind of dark, adventurous and often complex music. But it will not be everybody’s “cup of tea”. In a Dutch magazine I read a not so positive review. The reviewer (who probably listened to the album once!) wanted the next time electric guitars in the music. In the next edition of the magazine someone was complaining that most of the progressive music nowadays sounds the same. I find this very irritating! Adventurous music (like that of Syrinx) doesn’t get the attention it needs and later on people are complaining. Wake up reviewers, if you search a little bit you can still find beautiful gems. But you have to listen to it first. Of course not everybody likes dark symphonic music. The review I mentioned was a very bad one, because of the fact that if I had only read that review I would never have searched for this album. Just because the description was not right. The reality was slightly different; I already knew the album and was very excited about it.

My conclusion: This is an adventurous album for the open minded progfan who has a preference for dark symphonic music. Can’t wait to hear the next album.

Douwe Fledderus - January 2004.
rating - Independent release

 

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