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CD Reviews

Sky Architect - 'Excavation Of The Mind' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ba/c9/4d/570_skyarchitectexcavationofthemind_1284747277.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 17, 2010    
 
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An album that you need to digest and immerse yourself in.

Sky Architect are a new five piece band from the Netherlands, although having listened to the album before I did some research I had them down as Swedish, who appear to have formed while at Music College.

For young guys they certainly have homed in on the classic sounds of the 70’s albeit injecting this with some very modern style Prog riffs as by their own proclamation they are striving to revive and reinvent the progressive style and sound of the 70’s. Bold claims from a group of young guys, but you have to take your hat off to them and say that they’ve done a pretty good job, albeit with some reservations.

As their promo says their style is symphonic, complex, dynamic, versatile and ambitious but at times I couldn’t help thinking that they become a little overwrought and complex with that feeling of being a bit too clever for their own good. As a Prog fan I’m certainly not adverse to a change in time signature, but you can have too much of a good thing.

That aside, there is a great deal to enjoy on this album and as a debut it’s very impressive, so take a bow Tom Luchies (vocals, guitar), Wabe Wieringa (guitar), Rik van Honk (keyboards, backing vocals), Guus van Mierlo (bass) and Christian Bruin (drums, backing vocals).
By way of comparisons, there are many. How about, Spock’s Beard, The Flower Kings, Kaipa and Beardfish and that’s just in the opening instrumental track, ‘Charter’. The following song, ‘Chime’ brings RPWL to mind both musically and vocally but the vibe changes to an early Genesis/Beardfish style thanks to the robust Hammond Organ sound. Lovers of analogue synthesisers will love the solo on this track.

Elsewhere, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Porcupine Tree and Pain of Salvation influences fly from the speakers and at times it can be a tad dizzying to keep up with all that’s going on as they change from the plaintive to the downright odd and heavy at the stroke of a plectrum.

The album certainly demonstrates real talent and as they hone their craft and try not to cram too much into every song I expect big things from Sky Architect. It’s an album that you need to digest and immerse yourself in, background music it is not. However, perseverance has its rewards and I’d recommend checking these guys out if you have a leaning towards eclectic and vibrant Prog.

A good new band that has bags of potential.

Gary Marshall

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