Friday, October 4, 2019

review: Syberia

Seeds of Change
Metal Blade Records
4 October 2019
Sound: Syberia (Spain) is a contemporary progressive instrumental band. Stylistically, they incorporate various elements as will be explained below.
Production: The sound quality is very clear and smooth, with plenty of studio magic for a nice, contemporary feel. The drum sound is also clear, but it feels like sound replacement or programmed drumming (which amounts to the same general result).
Instrumentation: The unsung heroes of the album would be the rhythm section, but the guitar work stands on the shoulders of the rhythm section. There is a certain amount of background sounds (could be keyboards and effects) that fill out the sound. As for the guitar work itself, tremolo picking and melodic playing is an important part of what the album shows and it’s also a main attraction. With no vocalist to distract the listener, the guitar must deliver the goods.
Vocals: There are no vocals, of course.
Songs: The songs are sometimes mellow, sometimes uptempo, sometimes spacey, all done rather well.
Lyrics: There are no lyrics, of course.
Potential audience: Instrumental bands often get a bad reputation because people want a vocalist of some sort, some person onstage entertaining them by being ridiculous, funny, some person gesturing and whatnot. On the other hand, if you like melodic heavy rock, a little bit proggy, a bit post-metaly, a bit intellectual, but still song-oriented, with an effort to give you good songs, then consider this album as an invitation.
Similar bands: Russian Circles and Caspian are two bands that sound somewhat similar to this one.
Assessment: This album is rather fun. It might be good for lifting weights or jogging, but it might be nice for helping with insomnia, too. Good tunes, for sure. This band wants to give you songs for you to enjoy. In that sense, it’s a different type of instrumental album, simpler, more accessible and more melodic, not music for musicians.

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