intro"Mirrorneuron" is the third Syrinx Call album that I review on progVisions. The first one is called "Wind in the Woods" (2015) and is featuring German singer Isgaard as a special guest. In that review I explained the Prog connection as follows: Syrinx Call is a project of flutist Volker Kuinke but the driving forces behind the music are Volker Kuinke and Jens Lueck. The latter is the partner of the German vocalist Isgaard and we know the man also as the producer of some of the Sylvan albums. And what about the appearance of Volker Kuinke on the Eloy albums “Oceans 2 - The Answer”, “Timeless Passages” and “Visionary” (and on "The Vision, the Sword and the Pyre (Part One)". The second album "The Moon on a Stick" (2018) had even the subtitle "Featuring Isgaard". I understand this in a marketing technical way, but it can also give some confusion. Not sure about the exact text but I believe the new album had a sticker with the text "Featuring Eloy". And promptly I read in a review that this was a side project of the band, Eloy. This is not true and gives Volker Kuinke (and Jens Lueck) too little credit for these wonderful albums full of beautiful melodies. Music with the recorder as the main instrument and with influences from medieval and classical music. But what about that Eloy connection? Well just read the guest musicians listing. And, not wanting to discount the other guest musicians, discover that besides one of the usual guests Jan Petersen (ex Sylvan), you also will see the names of Klaus-Peter Matziol (Eloy), Frank Bornemann (Eloy) and Hannes Arkona (Eloy). After the more folk-like/symphonic debut album “Wind in the Woods” and the follower “The Moon on a Stick”, "Mirrorneuron" is dominated even more by progressive rock elements than the predecessors.
Volker Kuinke: Sopranino-, Soprano-, Alto-, Tenor-, Bass- and Great Bass recorders, Vocals
Jens Lueck (Producer): Keyboards, Piano, Percussion, Drums, Vocals
Doris Packbiers: Vocals
Klaus-Peter Matziol (Eloy): Bass-Guitar
Frank Bornemann (Eloy): E-Guitar
Jürgen Osuchowski: 6- und 12-string acoustic guitars
Katja Flintsch: Violin and Viola
Annika Stolze: Violoncello
Jan Petersen: E-Guitar
Hannes Arkona (Eloy): Acoustic- and E-Guitar, Keyboards
Georg Kresimon: Bass-Guitar
Babis Nikou: E-Guitar, Long-necked Lute
"Mirrorneuron" tells the story of an Artificial Intelligence named Kai, who develops a function which enables him to feel empathy on his way through a severe existential crisis after encountering contradictions and a dissonance between theory and practice. Psychotherapist Mara has to put the humanoid robot back on track again, but contrary to all expectations, Kai manages to stir something in her. This ability stems from mirror neurons, nerve cells in our brains which turn us humans into empathic beings.
The first thing you will notice is that Multi-instrumentalist and producer Jens Lueck has (again) created masterful arrangements and is involving himself more than before as lead vocalist. progVisions readers who are familiar with Jens his own project Single-Celled Organism will applaud this. The new Single-Celled Organism album "Percipio Ergo Sun" has already arrived at progVisions headquarters, so expect a review of that album also. But first, we will concentrate on this beautiful Syrinx Call album 'Mirrorneuron".
You can find the following tracks on this album; "Bit By Bit", "Deceptive Illusion", "The Artic Will Die", "Breakdown", "Perfect Shine", "Merging Influences", "Big Data", "Weird Resonance", "One Step Beyond", "Mirrorneron", "I'm Gonna Buy Some Flowers", "Sweetness", "Fill The Silence", and "Silent Echoes".
The album opens with the "Bit By Bit" overture in which you will immediately notice this album has more progressive rock influences. But of course, the wonderful and beautiful recorder melodies are still plentiful present. And for the first time, while listening to this remarkable album, you will enjoy the lead vocals of Jens Lueck. A great opener. "Deceptive Illusion" has a killer line-up with Klaus-Peter Matziol on bass, Isgaard, Doris Packbiers, and Jens Lueck on lead vocals, Hannes Arkona on Electric guitar, Katja Flintsch on violin, Annika Stolze on violoncello, and of course Volker Kuinke on all kinds of recorders. The music is powerful and has a great diversity. Love the full bass sound and the use of several singers. The vocal melodies are outstanding on this album. "The Artic Will Die" is a breathtaking song with strong lead vocals of Jens Lueck, melancholic recorder melodies, and a beautiful keyboard orchestration. It is my first personal favorite song. The intensity and the atmosphere of the theme does me think of Marillion's song "Seasons End". In the next song "Breakdown" guitarists Hannes Arkona and Juergen Osuchowski are playing all kinds of Acoustic and Electric guitars. And the fine recorder melodies are all over the place, but this counts for the whole album. "Perfect Shine" has more classical influences. the combination of real violin strings and classical guitar works fine. Doris Packbiers is now singing wonderful vocal melodies. A beautiful little rest point. The instrumental "Merging Influences" with its jazzy piano parts has an uplifting recorder melody. The short track "Big Data" with its words is important for the storyline. This is followed by "Weird Resonance", another highlight with beautiful lead vocals of Isgaard and vocal harmonies in a style with a resemblance to the Adiemus project of Karl Jenkins. Jan Petersen is playing a wonderful melodic Electric guitar solo. Jens Lueck impresses me again with his fine lead vocals in the short tune "One Step Beyond". This is followed by some Eloy influences in the title track "Mirrorneuron" And yes, Hannes Arkona, Frank Bornemann, and Klaus-Peter Matziol are playing on this song. But the recorder melodies of Volker Kuinke are playing the lead in this fine track. "I'm Gonna Buy Some Flowers" has great diversity. The male and female vocal parts are combined with more powerful instrumental passages with fine drumming and guitar work. The orchestration in those parts is top-notch. Isgaard is shining again in the track "Sweetness". It is a wonderful song with amazing melodies. The melodic lead guitar of Jan Petersen is present in the penultimate song "Fill The Silence". The vocal duet of spouses Jens Lueck and Isgaard and the recorder melody of Volker Kuinke are beautiful. The album closes with a short instrumental piece "Silent Echoes" (a little reference to that famous German band) which is written by Hannes Arkona.