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Siiilk - Endless Mystery CD (album) cover

ENDLESS MYSTERY

Siiilk

 

Crossover Prog

4.04 | 77 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

BrufordFreak
5 stars Fans of atmospheric prog like DAVID GILMOUR, TONY PATTERSON, GIANCARLO ERRA, LAGARTIJA, EDISON'S CHILDREN, and NO-MAN (STEVEN WILSON) will love this album. It seems that each year there rises one album of pure prog ear candy, and, for me, this is this year's. Guitarists Richard Pick and Gilbert Gandil both have the intuitive, melodic, yet sophisticated, sixth sense as to when and how to play their parts--both leads and rhythm parts--masters of timing and the use of space. Uncredited background singer (though she has two leads, on "Merging" and "Green Boy") proves to be a tremendous asset wherever and whenever she is used, and drummer Attilio Terlizzi and bassist Guillaume Antonicelli are so smooth, so solid, and so polished at their craft that there is never a flaw in the foundational elements of the songs. And the compositional maturity as expressed in subtle and unexpected (yet expected, if you know what I mean) shifts and changes is extraordinary.

1. "Inner War" (5:54) opens with a soundscape strikingly similar to Giancarlo Erra's NOSOUND's LightDark album sound. I especially love the acoustic guitar work on this one--the last 90 seconds are awesome. (8/10)

2. "Endless Mystery" (5:41) a solid, steady Neo Prog song with an awesome guitar solo section in the middle. Several tracks of bluesy lead electric guitar, great acoustic guitar work (and recording!) with an amazing David Gilmour "Near the End" solo (you know the song I'm talking about?! One of the most emotional guitar solo songs ever made!) in the middle and then again at the end. (9/10)

3. "Black Old Train" (8:02) uneventful opening half; solid, even powerful instrumental mid-section. This lead guitarist has a gift that this listener has only heard in a handful of guitarists over history, Roye Buchanan, Jeff Beck, and David Gilmour being the old masters of said gift. The solos on this song offer but one chance for you to hear this gift. (9/10)

4. "Merging" (4:46) is an exceptionally well and subtly crafted song which serves as a vehicle for the extraordinary Sara Aliani (LAGARTIJA)-like voice of female singer, Catherine Pick. Haunting. (9.5/10)

5. "Escape" (4:42) another song that begins rather bucolically and then amps up after the first round of singing finishes. I love the subtle guitar work and hand drums, but it really never takes off. (8.5/10)

6. "Drifting Words" (5:30) interesting from the start, thanks to the ominous chords and background synth drone. The use of tablas is also very nice. No, it's brilliant; genius! At 1:30 Mellotron and awesome bass line and drums join in. Nice groove! The build up from here is also great. Love the alternating Mellotron "hits" behind the soloing electric guitar! A near-perfect song! (10/10)

7. "Questions" (4:42) puts on display the extraordinary instincts of both the guitarists, one strumming on acoustic and the other expressing effortlessly yet so-emotionally with the electric. Really nice piano work in support. (8.5/10)

8. "Green Boy" (8:14) acoustic guitar with awesome, haunting female vocals open this song. Total transition beginning at 1:35 to more eerie, atmospheric instrumental. Bird and walking-in-the-woods noises open as rolling bass line, synths, and sliding, delayed lead guitar play. At 3:35 fuzzed-out aggressive electric guitar strums announce a transition. This feels so much like a LUNATIC SOUL song--until the clarinet sound in the fifth minute. Piano, classical guitar, clarinet and occasional mellotron hit play over rhythmic Indian percussion track. Very moody; sad but beautiful. The final 1:30 takes us back into the woods--leaves and babeling brook noises--with intermittent synth play. Nice, surprising song. (9.5/10)

9. "Ultimate" (2:28) is a pretty, melancholy, very European sounding late night winding-down song featuring piano and harmonium, husband and wife, performing a duet. Perfect ending to this beautiful album. Beautiful song. (9.5/10)

If there is any weakness in the band's sound it is in the rather unexceptional, though solid, lead vocal performances by Richard Pick. Nothing flashy or technically remarkable, just another human voice (though not as human as the "voice from you and me" of Bob Dylan) singing his message to the world. If the instruments were as plain and ordinary as this voice, I would not be writing a review of the album. But this is not the case, as the instruments, composition, and arrangements create such a sublimely beautiful and emotionally compact portrait of the human experience that I beg everyone to seek it out.

A five star album; a masterpiece of progressive rock music and my early nod for Prog Ear Candy Album of the Year (succeeding last year's Equations of Meaning from Tony Patterson).

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |

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