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Slychosis: Mental Hygiene

Slychosis is a progressive rock band hailing from Mississippi, and Mental Hygiene is their third full-length album. The band's second album, Slychedelia, received some good reviews upon its release in 2008, so fans of that one will probably also want to look into Mental Hygiene. My enjoyment is often stifled by the muddy mix and underdeveloped arrangements, but there certainly is enough worthwhile music here to make it a solid purchase for progressive rock fans.

The music here is a mix of neo-progressive rock, symphonic prog, pop/rock, and even touches of progressive metal. There are a surprising amount of distorted guitar riffs that lead me to think of harder-edged neo prog acts like Jolly or modern-IQ efforts. There are a few weak compositions here (particularly "Importance"), but most of the album is pretty strong from a compositional standpoint. Slychosis is clearly a talented group with a knack for creating memorable prog rock songs. The main problem with this album lies in the muddy production and sometimes bland arrangements. The guitars are often too prominent in the mix, the drums lack "punch", and vocals usually don't sound great either. With a more professional production, I could see Mental Hygiene being a much more enjoyable effort.

Mental Hygiene is a fairly average prog effort when all is said and done. It doesn't set out to break any boundaries, but the album is still ultimately pleasing thanks to its strong musicianship and solid compositions. If you can look past the muddy production, there's certainly some worth to be found here. 2.5 stars are deserved in this case. If Slychosis can get a professional production next time around, I have a feeling they'll cook up something truly spectacular. As for now, this one is only recommended to fans of the band.

Track Listing:
1. Geistly Suite (7:51)
2. Importance (7:34)
3. Fallen Tiger (6:53)
4. Things Unsaid (5:14)
5. Odessa (5:44)
6. Angelus Novusaum (7:26)
7. When the Fog Clears (6:01)
8. Midnight (6:43)

Added: March 23rd 2014
Reviewer: Jeff B
Related Link: Slychosis Website
Hits: 2185
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Slychosis: Mental Hygiene
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2014-03-23 11:39:28
My Score:

Slychosis is an American progressive rock band hailing from Mississippi. The four piece band includes Gregg Johns (guitars, bass, keyboards, vocals), Ceci Whitehurst (lead vocals), Clay Pell (bass) and Todd Sears (percussion, keyboards, vocals). The band formed in 2004 and released their self-titled debut in 2006. Mental Hygiene is their third album. Rush, IQ and '70s bands like Camel seem to be big influences.

The music on Mental Hygiene is in the neo-prog vein with excursions into heavy prog and symphonic rock as well. I have no problem with the music or the musicianship as they are all quite capable players but the production is another story. It is almost like there is a veil of murkiness shrouding the music which is a real shame as some of it is quite good. Highlights include the pastoral beauty of "Fallen Tiger" with Camel-like moments of grandeur and the ultra-melodic "Things Unsaid" with its head sticking vocal melody and easy going mid tempo flow. Some pretty decent guitar and synth/keyboard solos abound as well but all too often they are too low in the mix, reducing their effect greatly.

The band did come out with Fractured Eye in 2012 which I have yet to hear so I am not sure if some of the production problems that marred Mental Hygiene have been addressed. There is no doubting Slychosis have the talent and know how to write some damn fine melodies but a professional production would make the band that much better.

Slychosis: Mental Hygiene
Posted by Michael Popke, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-08-24 15:04:27
My Score:

The third album from the band once known as Karma-Kannix showcases Slychosis' schizophrenic eclecticism. With revolving male and female lead vocalists and an earthy sound that's difficult to pinpoint, this Mississippi-based band flits from influence to influence including Kansas, ELP, the Alan Parsons Project, Marillion and Deep Purple. Most notably, Slychosis can transition from IQ-inspired neo-prog to Pain of Salvation-style progressive metal within a matter of seconds. Throw in healthy doses of good ol' classic rock, and you've got an album with the potential for wide appeal. But as my SoT colleague Jeff B states, below-average production (not to mention rambling arrangements, a lack of hooks and amateurish artwork by surrealist artist Vladimir Moldavsky) will mar the Mental Hygiene experience for some listeners.

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