Sylvan are back with a new album called “Home.” It’s been a few years since their last album “Sceneries” which was nothing short of a masterpiece. Since then they lost guitarist Jan Petersen. So with new Jonathan Beck on board, the band have the additional task of topping their last album. “Home” is a very good album that has elements of the last few albums, but it just can’t quite compete with “Sceneries.” But there’s no shame in that!
Having said that, it certainly is on par with their last concept album “Posthumous Silence.” Like that album, not only is “Home” a concept album but it also has the flawless transitions from song to song. That fluidity is one thing that makes Sylvan a cut above the other modern prog bands out there.
The album starts with the symphonic opener “Not Far from the Sky” which sets the tone for the album with gentle piano parts and full on orchestral bombast. Songs like the next one, “Shaped Out of Clouds,” feature the same orchestra treatments plus the all-important vocals of Marco Glühmann. Marco has always been the key to the band’s sound. He has that big voice needed to pull off these emotionally charged songs.
The album has a couple of “epics” in “In Between” and “The Sound of Her World.” In particular, “In Between” really is the centerpiece for “Home.” It has all the elements that Sylvan is known for, big melodies, lots of hooks and even a sample of Ronald Reagan! It’s all part of the lead character’s rediscovery of long lost childhood memories. It’s an interesting tale of questioning one’s past to make peace with the present and potential change the future. Sylvan have definitely released one of their better albums and it’s an album that reveals more with each listen.