With his many solo releases and work with ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett, Nad Sylvan's been a busy guy in recent years. The Regal Bastard is his latest album for InsideOut Music, and third installment of his 'Vampire Trilogy' that started with 2015's Courting the Widow. As always, Sylvan sings and plays many instruments on the album, but has plenty of help from notable folks such as Nick Dâ€™Virgilio (drums), Tony Levin (bass), Guthrie Govan (guitar), Jonas Reingold (bass), Steve Hackett (guitar), Anders Wollbeck (keyboards, production), as well as some guest vocalists. With Nad's 'Peter Gabriel-meets-Fish' vocal style, much of The Regal Bastard has an obvious Genesis & Marillion flavor to it, but the album has a modern twist to go along with that vintage feel.
The lengthy "I Am the Sea" kicks things off in fine fashion, Sylvan's velvety vocals gliding over sumptuous keyboards and tasty guitars, while "Oahu" contains some of the albums best synth work, and will thrill any '70s prog lover. "Who (Always Been Without You)" shows that the singer can write a catchy hook, this proggy pop tune containing a wealth of memorable melodies and grooves, while "Meet Your Maker" is a snappy slice of funky prog, again, quite accessible and memorable. The epic title cut is pure prog rock majesty, piano and synths kicking things off with expert percussion before Nad's emotional vocals carry you through many twists and turns. "Leave Me On These Waters" is a mellower piece featuring mainly Sylvan's vocals, piano, and synths, and "Honey I'm Home" is joyous instrumental prog, acoustic guitars, synths, and of course a brief but sizzling Hackett guitar solo. Rounding out this release is the more pop based "Diva Time" and the ominous, folky "The Lake Isle Of Innisfree", easily one of the more intriguing tracks on the album. It would be interesting to hear Nad doing more folk based material like this, which comes across like Genesis' more pastoral works and perhaps a bit of the Strawbs.
There you have it, another extremely solid album from vocalist Nad Sylvan, who seems to be on quite a roll these days. The Regal Bastard is a worthy addition to his growing catalog.
01. I Am The Sea
03. Whoa (Always Been Without You)
04. Meet Your Maker
05. The Regal Bastard
06. Leave Me On These Waters
07. Honey I'm Home
08. Diva Time
09. The Lake Isle Of Innisfree