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Cyril: Paralyzed

If a band name was ever to give you less incentive to investigate further than that of German Progressive outfit Cyril, then I've yet to find it. The temptation to conclude this review of their second album Paralyzed with a few bars of the 70s football (soccer) "hit" "Nice One Cyril" tough to resist.

What else has been nagging is exactly who it reminds of. Some tinkling piano harks of Clutching… era Marillion, a few of the whale song like keys and vocals take you to Payne era Asia and, what with Cyril operating somewhere between 70s Prog traditions and the genre's current UK led revival, everything from Genesis to Haken, Yes to Lonely Robot flashing by. However, only when I checked this band's cast list and noticed the names of vocalist Larry Brödel (or Larry B) and keyboard/sax/clarinet man Marek Arnold, did it click that the similarities between Cyril and that pair's other band, Toxic Smile, are also strongly in evidence. Although Cyril are maybe not quite so blatantly Progressive.

No two man show, second vocalist Manuel Schmid adds a more accessible dimension to the sound, while guitarist Ralf Dietsch, bassist Denis Strassburg and drummer Clemens Litscko maintain the ridiculously high musical standards. Crucially however this is no simple virtuosic exercise, "Scarlet Walking" and "Paralyzed" making an impressive, expansive, yet readily engaging introduction, before the ten minute "Remember Me" stretches out and begins to illustrate the serious and varied chops this band possess; Arnold's clarinet an interesting addition to Hammond organ and the expert twin lead vocals. However that track isn't alone in showcasing how masterfully Cyril blend hooks with darting time signatures, textural changes and ever altering atmospheres. The closing "Secret Place Pt.1", which at an unassuming eighteen minute running time gently creeps into epic territory, an amazing illustration of what this band are capable of.

Oh, what the hell, they deserve it… "Nice one Cyril, Nice one son, Nice One Cyril, Let's have another one!"

Track Listing
1. Scarlet Walking
2. Paralyzed
3. Remember Me
4. Rainbow
5. Faded Snapshots
6. Peal Of Thunder
7. Secret Place Pt.1

Added: September 5th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Cyril online
Hits: 2772
Language: english

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