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jueves, 14 de abril de 2016

Sky Architect - A Dying Man`s Hymn (2011)

Les dejo el segundo disco de estudio de una banda holandesa que ya hemos presentado anteriormente. Sin ser tan buen álbum como "A Billion Years of Solitude", el disco que hemos presentado oportunamente, no deja de ser in muy buen rock progresivo digno de mención, con un sonido fresco y acogedor, con su estilo tan Flowers King fusionando tantos estilos diferentes..

Artista: Sky Architect
Álbum: A Dying Man`s Hymn
Año: 2011
Género: Rock progresivo / Progresivo ecléctico
Duración: 77:13
Nacionalidad: Holanda

Lista de Temas:
1. Treebird
2. Melody of the Air - Expositio
3. The Campfire Ghost's Song
4. Woodcutters Vile
5. Melody of the Air - Explicatio
6. The Breach
7. Hitodama's Return
8. Melody of the Air - Recapitulatio
9. A Dying Man's Hymn

- Christiaan Bruin / Drums, Vocals (background), Engineer
- Tom Luchies / Guitar, Vocals
- Rik Van Honk / Synthesizer, Keyboards, Vocals (background), Engineer, Mastering, Grand Piano
- Guus Van Mierlo / Bass Guitar
- Wabe Wieringa / Guitar, Producer, Engineer, Mixing

Segunda registro de estudio de esta banda progresiva holandesa, cuyo primer álbum fue de los 10 mejores del estilo en el 2010.
Un grupo de gran talento, no sólo de buenos instrumentistas sino también (y más importante) como compositores. Una vez más un álbum conceptual, en una mezcla de momentos acústicos y eléctricos, suaves y pesados, en un disco que es quizás un poco demasiado extenso, y quizás tengas secciones bastante inconexas entre sí. Hay muchas ideas aquí, y cada canción ofrece muchas aristas, algunas que casi llegan a la perfección y en otras que quedan a mitad de camino, siendo un resultado algo desparejo pero con grandes momentos, yo disfruto al menos un poco de cada canción, pero hay sólo una o dos canciones que me gustan de lado a lado.

Pero ello no quita que no sea un gran álbum, salvo que podría haber sido mucho mejor, si lo hubiesen pulido un poco más, con más detalle. Pero los elementos que lo hacen una banda que sobresale están allí y por algo lo traemos al blog cabezón.
Sino me creen escuchen un poco más...

Y vamos con algunos comentarios en inglés antes de pasar al disco.

Astral melody, the return of an incredible talent.
Sky Architect was easily my favorite new band of 2010, along with the British band Haken. The obscure Dutch band released their debut, Excavations of the Mind, in 2010. It was easily one of my absolute favorite albums of the year. The band had such an incredibly fresh and inviting sound, fusing so many different styles into a truly invincible chasm of beautiful music. On the outset their music seemed like a choppy, harsh blotch of heavy progressive rock. However, when delved into not even that deep, the band revealed themselves as an incredibly talented group of not only humbly proficient instrumentalists, but also supremely gifted composers, crafting some of the most inventive and inviting stuff I had ever heard. Only a year later, the band returned with another studio offering, A Dying Man's Hymn. Again a concept album, the band truly returns in full glory, with an even more mature and complete set of songs and incredibly wonderful album to be offered. The band returns with a new fervor, fleshing out their album with much more energy and an incredibly new diverse sound. This album will certainly carry out for me as one of the best albums of 2011, and is a superb effort by this wonderfully talented group of Dutchmen.
Similar to the last album, the first listen was that of peasant mediocrity. I like the music, but was at first unimpressed. Also similar to the last album, even before my first listen was complete, I began to again realize how truly genius this group of musicians are. The album isn't really a grower; I was just too cold to accept the simple beauty of the music. The effortless harmonies, soaring melodies, and incredible rhythmic quality really give this music a superb charm. Rik Van Honk's use of numerous classic keyboard instruments gives the music wonderful color, contrasting heavier parts with soothing Mellotron or growling Hammond, and the guitar melodies harmonize the bass lines and keyboard runs with amazing grace and dexterity. The vocals have a slightly dissonant quality and really accent the superb music's atmosphere. The instrumental aspect of the music has an oddly appealingly jagged feel, as if they purposefully all play just minutely off as to make the music and interesting display of dissonant grace.
The band is able to traverse through all the feelings of the sonic spectrum, transporting the listener through heavy sections and effortlessly transitioning to light melodic sections, upbeat pieces, and so much more. This album is truly redolent of everything that is good about progressive rock, progressive composition, and music in general. It is full of every wonderful musical quality taught in a classroom, as well as full of tasteful experimentation, with the band, while staying in the bounds of music theory, advancing what a band can really do in a musical situation, utilizing various tones, keyboards, harmonies, and rhythms to make a wonderfully unique musical experience.
Overall, I can't really express how much I adore this band and this music. Throughout their two albums of material, they have shown me in plenty of detail how wonderfully amazing they really are. This album, in my opinion, is even better than their debut, which I think is a marvelous masterpiece. The band has matured in every way; the production, composition, lyrics, and so much more just seem so much more professional and unique to me, showing this album to be a truly spectacular display of progressive music. I think will easily top the charts of best albums of 2011, and is truly a masterpiece. 5/5 stars.
Andy Webb

Hailing from the Netherlands, Sky Architect have literally burst onto the prog music scene and grabbed quite a lot of attention with their debut release Excavations Of The Mind. This was quite an achievement considering the numbers upon numbers of great prog band's that don't get any love from the audiences!
One of the most important reasons of why that particular album became a hit was the vast amounts of different sounds and styles that Sky Architect experimented with at the time. Fusing classic Yes/Genesis sound with modern metal bands like Dream Theater and Pain Of Salvation, plus let's not forget the jazz rock/fusion references on The Deep Chasm multi-part suite. The reason why I mention the debut album is because A Dying Man's Hymn is not at all as impressive in comparison.
The band has polished their sound and improved their lengthy compositions by making them even more exciting for their prog audiences. But ultimately this album didn't make much of an impression upon my first few revisits. The overall sound is not that heavy, instead moving even closer to the classic prog arrangements while completely abandoning Jazz Rock fusion and especially Metal. This time you'll hear clear references to Gentle Giant and even Pink Floyd but most of these moments feel out of context with the compositions and begin to remind me more of prog-by-numbers imitators of the retro-prog scene like Phideaux and the Flower Kings than the ground breaking new band that I heard on Excavations Of The Mind. The fact that this record is almost 30 minutes longer than it's predecessor may imply to some that Sky Architect had quite a lot to say while recording it, but ultimately I would have enjoyed the material more if it wasn't expanded to epic proportions upon every arising opportunity. If you're expecting fun and short moments like Gyrocopter or Russian Wisdom then you'll probably feel a bit underwhelmed by this album since almost 90% of the material keeps itself in a slow-moving pace with only a few rare bursts into the unexpected. It's this factor of spontaneity that I feel is lacking here and ultimately drops the overall quality down a whole notch for me. Well, it's actually that and the complete lack of standout compositions. Every tune has at least one minute or two minutes of gorgeous music embedded into it but it just doesn't add up to much when I look at the big picture.
Is A Dying Man's Hymn a bad album? No, far from it! The music is great, especially if you're a fan of the retro prog music. Is it an excellent album? No, because it basically brings nothing new or interesting to the table while still managing to entertain us during it's hefty play time. The good, but non-essential rating seems pretty clear-cut to me.
Alexander Peterson

As a fairly rare occurrence in today's music industry, Dutch prog rockers Sky Architect followed-up their debut with something new the very next year. 'Excavations Of The Mind' was not an album I had the pleasure of hearing when it first came out, but those who did get around to hearing it were excited and impressed by the sound that this band came onto the scene with. The band's second album 'A Dying Man's Hymn' attempts to recreate the success of the first, and the result has been another grand work for proggy hard rock.
Sky Architect's sound is much alike many bands under the 'heavy prog' label; music that maintains the complexity that one might hear from many classic prog bands, but with the grit and edge of hard rock. There is a fair dynamic and variety in sounds on this album, although despite the album's rather challenging length, the record flows well and feels cohesive. The band I would compare Sky Architect with most are Swedish rockers Beardfish, although the music of this band is considerably more sombre. As I just briefly mentioned, the album's length is mentionable on its own, resting around the seventy seven minute mark. As is the case for much progressive rock, the album takes a few listens to grow on the listener, although in this case, I went from thinking it was a fairly run-of-the-mill record to thinking it a real winner. Here is a band that marries exciting performances with dynamic compositions and everything under the sun. It is a lot to take in at first, but despite the at times by-the-numbers prog approach the band takes, I often found myself surprised by what this band can do.
One of the greatest things about this band is their tightness as a band, being able to come in and cut out in unison, and sound passionate while doing it. The opening of this album is a great example, with a sample of a screaming man and woman leading the band in to playing at a fairly unexpected moment, but despite the awkwardness of the timing, it is pulled off quite nicely. The vocals of Tom Luchies here are what I would consider to be warm, but not particularly impressive; he tends to stay within his comfort zone most of the time and rarely venture much of the mid-range. The instrumentation is rich and intelligent, with a particular note on how great some of the bass licks on the record are. Sky Architect's second album has been something of a surprise to me, really. I do not often find myself excited about bands that stick within the existing borders of progressive rock, but the excellence with which this band manages to tackle the sound makes 'A Dying Man's Hymn' a remarkable album.
Conor Fynes

3.5/5 stars again fully desearved
The natural follow up to the worthy previous album is A Dying Man's Hymn released in 2011. With this album Sky Architect established as one of the most intresting, open minded prog bands from today. Compose and played on same coordonates as their first rlease, A Dying Man's Hymn is a winner for sure. I like this one little more then debute. The melodic neo/symphonic arrangements combined with little more edgy parts, are quite enjoyble and very complicated gaian. gentle Giant comes in mind on lots of passages, quirky as hell, The Campfire Ghost's Song or Melody of the Air - Explicatiofor example are killer, long elaborated music with great potential and impressive duels between musicians. The music of Sky Architect is no easy listning, and as I said is needed repeted listnings to fully appreciat their talent and implication in both albums. Quite great band that for sure needs a wider recognition. Again fine art work. 3.5/5 stars.
Bogdan Olariu

When talking about Heavy Prog, there are two major branches: bands approaching the progressive metal, sometimes merging with the other genres called "modern", and bands looking to the past, whose sound evokes progressive rock and hard rock seventies . Sky Architect easily falls into the second group. These Dutch already has two albums in their curricula, and is the second of them, A Dying Man's Hymn, I now I review. I hope to soon hear his debut Excavations of Mind.
The influences here are clear: beyond the big names in prog classic (I hear enough of Yes and King Crimson here) soaked with a touch of jazz, you can clearly hear the references of Scandinavian bands that "revived" the prog as Änglagård and The Flower Kings. There is a strong emphasis on instrumental, which I have to thank, because the vocals are one of the low points of the album.
I say "one of" because the production lacks a bit of quality. Sometimes it all sounds too technical and cold, lacking a sense that we approach music. I like the profusion of themes discussed here, progressiveness, yet all I sometimes sounds distant. Not to mention the anti- climactic end: the songs are longer concentrated in the middle of the album, and the two shorter the pen. This would not be such a problem if the penultimate song had a little more of this "thrill" described by me.
Still, this is a great value. I have a soft spot for bands who drink seventies influences so much as Sky Architect has not gifted me with a masterpiece somehow won me over. So give a reasonable 4/5 star rating.
Vinícius Oliveira Rocha

Well..., now I can declare Sky Architect is a really good band of heavy prog.
I didn,t like too much their first album(i was sorry that this European band with so good musicians seems to be a poor imitation of USA psychedelic heavy prog bands :Pain Of Salvation and Deadsoul Tribe )
But this album shows an unique sound,unique heavy prog,very good quality heavy prog.
Very good songs, arrangements......some RIO sometimes (KC style).
Yes is a satisfaction to listen to this album ..with very original compositions in the line of the great heavy prog rock of Europe such as Anglagard(sorry they are death now) Anekdoten and Porcupine Tree.
So in my opinion first album was an experiment.This one is the start of a great future(I expect)
4 stars(near 4,5)
Robert Sargent

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Este espacio se reserva el derecho de publicar sobre cualquier tema que parezca interesante a su staff, no solamente referidos a la cuestión musical sino también a lo político y social.
Si no estás de acuerdo con lo expresado podrás dejar tu comentario siempre que no sea ofensivo, discriminador o violento...

Y no te confundas, no nos interesa la piratería, lo nuestro es simplemente desobediencia civil y resistencia cultural a favor del libre acceso al conocimiento (nuestra música es, entre otras tantas cosas, conocimiento).