Sky Architect: Nomad
For the last several years now Rotterdam based Sky Architect has been one of my favourite bands. They have consistently released great album after great album and after four years we have a brand new release titled Nomad. According to the band the intention was to go into the studio and write less complex and more 'traditional' songs but after a short time the band realized that's not who they are and the song writing became more complex. After all, Sky Architect have always been progressive rock and I am glad they have kept up that tradition.
As with all their albums you need to pay careful attention as to soak in all the details this music has to offer. While there are moments of more traditional song structures the music develops in complex ways into full bore progressive rock. Although the music ebbs and flows through complex twists and turns it never seems overwrought and unnecessary. This is a completely coherent work that is best listened to in one in one sitting. The first track "Wasteland" highlights everything this band is about; stop/start rhythms, changing tempos, great grooves and fantastic musicianship all around. It's also pretty catchy which is perhaps most important. "Endless Roads" has elements of classic prog and more modern elements. The keys provide plenty of texture and atmosphere as the jerky rhythms become heavier and structurally complex in a quirky sort of way. Eventually the riffs slow down to an almost plodding pace as the keyboard embellishments further enhance the soundscape. On the title track the fast and slow pace and musical builds is balanced with melodic acoustic rhythms and a pretty catchy vocal arrangement. Dynamic shifts can also be heard in the excellent "Sandwalker", another melodic yet complex track that will keep you guessing with its superb musicianship and tight arrangements. On "Race to the Sun" some of the guitar work has a hint of fusion and again huge changes of pace is commonplace. The disc ends with the epic "Into Singularity" filled with bombastic riffs and more mellow and atmospheric segments where the flugelhorn paints a jazzy hue. You can really get lost in this track and before you know it times up.
Sky Architect is just an impressive band all around and Nomad proves a four year wait can be worth it in the end. Highly recommended!
Tom Luchies (vocals, guitars)
Rik van Honk (keyboards, trumpet, flugelhorn, backing vocals)
Wabe Wieringa (guitars)
Guus van Mierlo (bass)
Christiaan Bruin (drums, percussion, backing vocals)
1. Wasteland (8:04)
2. Endless Roads (11:21)
3. Nomad (6:50)
4. Dune (6:26)
5. Sandwalker (9:30)
6. Race to the Sun (5:39)
7. Into Singularity (11:42)
Added: October 7th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
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