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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

Sylvan - Posthumous Silence - 2006
cd cover

    

The opening door from the father's dark room is giving sight to a barren and destroyed earth.
Naked of people and naked of light, this is all that remains of us;
we, who have failed to understand and to save our only child ...

After the releases “Deliverance”, “Encounters”, “Artificial paradise” and “X-Rayed” this “Posthumous silence” is the fifth album of the German band Sylvan. It is also their first concept album. The band was ready for this next step in their career. These guys are serious about their music, so I was very curious about it and was looking out for “Posthumous silence”. The album will surprise you with 70 minutes of beautiful and touching music. Catchy melodies and emotionally intense atmospheres are combined with some hard bits. The band will blow you away with this masterpiece!
Current line-up:
Marco Glühmann – vocals; Kay Söhl – guitar; Sebastian Harnack – bass; Volker Söhl – keyboards; Matthias Harder – drums.

The album has a framework of longer songs that are told from the perspective of the main character Violet the daughter ...

“A man sits bowed in his room, surrounded by shadows of the past. In his trembling hands he holds the only thing that remains of his daughter – her dairy, which is now only his burden. And as he begins to open her bequest, he starts on the last and definitely most difficult journey into the life of his child …”

... and shorter tracks that tells the story from the point of view of the father figure. All parts are seamless connected and woven into a piece of music that counts for more or less 70 minutes. The story of the father and the daughter could also be a metaphor for humanity (us) and the planet earth.

There are tracks (“In chains”, “Forgotten virtue” and “The last embrace”) that have some hard bits who shows the frustration of the main character. Hard guitar riffs and emotionally sung vocals. On the other side there are beautiful, often classical theme's, emotionally and intense atmospheres with catchy vocal refrains (“The colors changed”) and soaring guitar solo's. There are a lot of layers in the music with delicate keyboards and atmospheric samples. In the track “Questions” all those things are combined together into one song.

I like the classical influences you can hear in the keyboard orchestration. Sometimes the dark atmospheric parts reminds me of the “Brave” album of Marillion.

For me the absolute highlight of the album are the two last tracks “A kind of Eden” ...

“Pleasant warmth is surrounding Violet, now that she drops the chains. Now that she can finally leave the unloved world behind and is about to vanish into nature, she can write the last lines of her dairy. And in her last words she begs her father for understanding … she writes, that she forgives him and she writes, that he should let her go, let her reach her paradise: “I’ll cry the tears for you, oh Dad, but let me reach my Eden” … and this is how her dairy ends …”

... and “Posthumous silence”.

“Silence in the room as her father – frail and sunken – drops down the book and the sorrow falls due like a moral guilt. But though he’ll shed his tears, he will let her go … Now that no decision is left for him and he is naked of everything that once meant his life, the consequences are also reaching his world. Everything that once told her life is now fading into oblivion and darkness. Everything he once created and lived do not mean anything no more; also this place that is meant to be bound to his daughter for ever, is fading … and only dust remains …”

Emotionally seen this is the climax of the album. Beautiful melodies, strong and emotional vocals sung with a lot of passion and of course a soaring guitar solo in the end. The orchestration of the last track is breathtaking.

This music gave me the goosebumps on my arms, shivers ran through my spine and tears were filling my eyes. I always knew that the band had it in them and someday would make that perfect concept album. Well here it is! “Posthumous silence” is by far the best album of the band. The perfect concept album that can easily compete with an album like “Brave” of Marillion. The album grows every time you listen to it. Well what can I say more. One of the best albums I have heard this year!

Douwe Fledderus - May 2006
rating - Progrock Records

 

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