Hyacintus is the personal project of Argentinean Jacinto M. Corral. Corral plays a variety of instruments including electric and classical guitar, piano, Keyboards, bass, cello, viola and midi programming. Ed Martinez and Victor Sanchez add some percussion and Ariel Sanchez plays clarinet on track 2. The music is a hybrid of instrumental styles following a progressive classical mode with no particular ethnic influences.
After a nicely orchestrated beginning, the music relapses dangerous close to a “new age” feel. But my fears about this continuing are soon squelched by the rollicking “Owerlag” track 4, which rips along with a scorching midi guitar.
There’s a bit of an avant-garde element to the tracks that follow, but also the confrontation between syrupy string synths and assertive electric guitar. This ends in one never really knowing where the music is going to end up, particularly on the first few listens.
Overall, the 13 tracks (marked as Acts), comprise of 54 minutes of well recorded music. The use of a drummer is a nice addition because all too often multi-instrumentalists resort to cold-sounding drum machines to carry the rhythm of their music.
If I can find a criticism, the melodies are too eclectic. It’s hard to pinpoint passages that act as themes, which tie the music together. Some might see the style as complex and multi-layered, others as rambling and deconstructive.
As far as songs go, nothing particular stands out. There’s a nice medieval melody found in track 8, “Walking down the Streets” but it’s surrounded by other tracks that attract you one moment, then repel you the next. Again, it seems to be the struggle between sweet new age sentiments and edgier, more progressive instrumental. The closing track, “Final” is gorgeous and powerful and ends the album on a very positive note.
As far as influences or sound-a-likes, the music resembles little bit of XII Alfonso without the vocals, mid eighties Mike Oldfield, Fonya, and the latter works of Bjorn Lynne.
All too often, pastoral instrumental albums have that problem of relapsing into a “New Age” feel. While “Elydian” certainly does that from time to time, there’s enough complexity and a variety of feels to make it enjoyable to those who like the soothing aspects of instrumental albums without becoming bored by repetition.