Slyde -
New World Sympathy / Feed The Machine

(CD 2013, 44:17, MAPL)

The tracks:
  1- New World Sympathy
  2- Take Us Away
  3- The Downward Spiral: Save Us From Ourselves
  4- Lies
  5- Lament
  6- Feed The Machine
  7- Stand And Fight
  8- Mediate
  9- Pull The Trigger
10- Global Empires Fall
11- Cries Of The Earth
12- Without The Machine/Lament Reprise

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Slyde are a Canadian band inspired by European melodic metal, Japanese video game music and rock. The band's performances already made name, although they promote themselves without the mediation of a record company, which deserves a compliment in my opinion. Slyde consist of Nathan Da Silva (guitarist, vocalist), Sarah Westbrook (keyboards, samplers), Nicholas Favretto (bass) and Brendan Soares (drummer). The lyrics of their songs reflect today's society. Basically this album is a compilation of the two previously released EPs Feed The Machine (2011) and New World Sympathy (2012).

I have taken the first sentence of this review from the information sheet, and since I'm not familiar with video game music whatsoever, I was curious to find out what kind of music I was going to listen to. Well, it appeared to be a strong kind of modern rock that tends towards the musical style of Karnivool, mixed with progressive elements and plenty of room for impressive guitar and keyboard parts. I'm quite sure that many people who play Japanese video games will find some connections with this music, but I have to admit that I didn't recognize it at all.

New World Sympathy is an accessible mini-album containing four compositions that show how they have grown musically compared to the music that was recorded a year earlier on Feed The Machine. Da Silva has a very pleasant voice to listen to and the seemingly easy guitar and keyboard passages are perfectly balanced. Lies, the final composition of this EP, starts as an electronic kind of Muse piece, but it changes into a powerful protest against the government. The vocals are heavier and darker and hopefully this song is an indication of the path Slyde are going to follow in the future. The remaining eight compositions differ from the others by a brighter atmosphere and while listening attentively, I noticed a difference in singing.

However, the second EP Feed The Machine is worthwhile either; it holds two short atmospheric instrumental parts and numerous solo spots for the guitar and Sarah Westbrook's amazing keyboard sounds. I would recommend all prog rock devotees to listen to her playing; she's really excellent. Listen for instance to the album's final song Lament's Reprise and you'll know what I mean. This release shows how a band can evolve.

It's a bit of a shame that these two EPs didn't appear in reverse order. I think it would have been better to listen to Feed The Machine first and then continue with New World Sympathy, which contains the more impressive music. It would provide a better understanding of how these musicians have developed. Nevertheless, I was impressed by Slyde's modern rock larded with progressive elements. I sincerely hope that some record companies will knock at their door to provide worldwide promotion. They have a lot of potential and I think we'll hear more from this band in the near future.

**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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