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Cyan - Pictures From The Other Side CD (album) cover

PICTURES FROM THE OTHER SIDE

Cyan

 

Neo-Prog

3.34 | 40 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars The other side of Rob Reed?

From the formation in 1984 up until the release of the debut album in 1993, Cyan was a one- man band consisting of multi-instrumentalist Rob Reed who did everything himself from vocals to keyboards to guitars, etc. Appearing one year after the official debut, this second album was therefore the first to feature a slightly extended cast. However, just as on For King And Country Reed is still playing most of the instruments himself here. Given this fact the result is surprisingly strong, but I still feel that the songs could have benefitted from having a proper band.

Lead vocal duties on the other hand are handed over to Nigel Voyle who does a fine job even if he often sounds like a session vocalist. Pictures From The Other Side is also noteworthy for being the first Cyan album to feature Christina Murphy (now known as Christina Booth) who would later on take a much larger part in another of Reed's "colourful" musical projects - Magenta. In addition to Voyle and Murphy, a couple of guests are also featured here.

The music found on the present album is in general more dramatic and theatrical compared to that of the debut. This is especially apparent on the epic closer Nosferatu (Requiem For A Vampire) which reminds in style of Arena's Opera Fanatica from their Pepper's Ghost album. This track has a harder edge than the rest of the songs on Pictures From The Other Side. The classic Symphonic Prog sound is not abandoned, however. There are some nice Camel-like flute parts, some tasteful acoustic guitar licks and lots of Mike Oldfield-like lead guitar. In some songs one can also note some slight folky touches. I occasionally get the feeling that Reed wasn't entirely sure about exactly what direction he wanted to go in, but he still manages to produce a reasonably consistent and overall enjoyable album.

As far as I am concerned, Pictures From The Other Side is every bit as gratifying as For King And Country if not more so. While none of these albums are essential by any means, both of them are worthy additions to any Prog collection.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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