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Sylvan, Nad: The Bride Said No

Acclaimed vocalist Nad Sylvan continues to keep busy, as he juggles regular studio & live work with Steve Hackett in addition to a burgeoning solo career. The Bride Said No is his latest solo effort for Inside Out Music, and follows 2015's very strong Courting the Widow release. Again handling the bulk of the instrumentation, Sylvan as always likes to include a selection of top notch guest stars, and here we see appearances by such luminaries as Steve Hackett, Guthrie Govan, Roine Stolt, Tony Levin, Jonas Reingold, Nick D'Virgilio, Doane Perry, Sheona Urquhart, and Anders Wollbeck, among others. Sylvan's rich 'Phil Collins-meets-Peter Gabriel' styled vocals permeate the album, the songs themselves a mix of vintage '70s inspired symphonic progressive rock and whimsical, dreamy pop.

Fans of Genesis or The Flower Kings will instantly gravitate towards tracks such as "The Quartermaster and "The White Crown", two upbeat prog songs littered with vintage sounding keyboards, intricate rhythms, and Sylvan's majestic flair. On some of the more lush, pop flavored material, such as "What Have You Done" and "When the Music Dies", Nad shares vocals with Tania Doko, Jade Ell, and Sheona Urquhart, and the results are quite enchanting, driven to even great heights thanks to some stunning guest guitar solos, Govan especially mesmerizing on the emotional "What Have You Done". The darker, more dramatic "Crime of Passion" features huge orchestral swells and heavy riffs, while the hear 20-minute title track slowly builds in intensity, as prog & funk collide (just listen to Levin's bombastic bass grooves cook!) before eventually morphing into full on symphonic prog glory. As we've seen many times in recent years, there is a few minutes of silence about three quarters of the way through this epic, and then in comes the catchy pop ditty "Black Sheep" to close out the song and the album.

Once again Nad Sylvan and his all-star friends have delivered a fine set of prog & pop with The Bride Said No, an easy album to recommend and one that's sure to become a favorite to many here in 2017. Well done.

Track Listing
1) Bridesmaids
2) The Quartermaster
3) When the Music Dies
4) The White Crown
5) What Have You Done
6) Crime of Passion
7) A French Kiss in an Italian Cafe
8) The Bride Said No

Added: July 2nd 2017
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artist Facebook Page
Hits: 2419
Language: english

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Sylvan, Nad: The Bride Said No
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2017-07-03 00:25:24
My Score:

Suffice to say most of the progressive rock world has heard the name Nad Sylvan. He has come into prominence with his recent bands and solo albums and contributions to other artists such as Steve Hackett and his Genesis Revisited albums. It has been a long road for Sylvan who has been making music since he was very young. After being in several bands over the years he formed Unifaun in 2008 and the word got out. Here was an artist that needed to be heard. From there it was on to Agents of Mercy with Roine Stolt, accidentally I might add and then his fourth CD Courting The Widow was a major breakthrough released on InsideOut. The album was one of my favourites of 2015 and made my end of the year top ten list. Now it is time for his latest opus titled The Bride Said No. If you enjoyed the last one I can't imagine you not finding this worthy your time.

The album is immaculately produced and recorded and Sylvan still sticks to his '70s influenced prog but this time the sounds are a bit more modern. The short opening track "Bridesmaids" features gently building keyboards and effects leading directly into "The Quartermaster", just a fantastic track. Chopped guitar rhythms, big slicing chords and a nice keyboard melody plants an earworm almost immediately. Sylvan's Gabriel inspired vocal inflections are certainly a nod to the past but there are modern elements as well, a seamless blending of past and present day sounds. Another ear catcher is next with the excellent and slightly wistful "When The Music Dies". The lead and backing vocals are simply divine. Jaunty orchestrations, heavy riffs and great keys highlight the heady "The White Crown". Again, the vocal melodies, both lead and background are head turning. On the softer "What Have You Done" soaring guitar solos from Steve Hackett and Guthrie Govan are more album highlights. The music builds to a crescendo as the second solo ends with aplomb followed by an outro of mellow vocals and piano. Then there is the deliciously smart pop of "A French Kiss In An Italian Café" before the disc ends with the title track, a mostly mid paced offering with a lush string arrangement that contrasts nicely with some heavier moments where Jonas Reingold's bass and Sylvan's keyboards tear through the soundscape.

Another great release from our good folks at InsideOut Music.

The players:

Nad Sylvan (lead and backing vocals, keyboards, guitars, programming, orchestration)
Tania Doko (vocals)
Jade Ell (vocals)
Sheona Urquhart (vocals, saxophone)
Steve Hackett (guitar)
Guthrie Govan (guitar)
Roine Stolt (guitar)
Tony Levin (Chapman stick, upright bass, electric bass)
Jonas Reingold (bass)
Nick D'Virgilio (drums, percussion)
Doane Perry (drums, percussion)
Anders Wollbeck (keyboards, programming, orchestration, additional sound design)
Alfons Karabuda (water phone)

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