The Slyde - Awakening

(CD 2018, 40:30, Independent Release SLY002)

The tracks:
  1- Awaken(0:37)
  2- Walk With Me(3:01)
  3- In Silence(4:39)
  4- These Wars(4:50)
  5- Awakening(3:51)
  6- So Blind(4:20)
  7- Fading(3:54)
  8- Join The Parade(4:39)
  9- Divide(4:48)
10- Back Again(5:31)

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For me there is no doubt, the best band I ever have seen and heard was a Canadian band. Ever since the early mid-seventies I turned into a loyal and devoted follower of Rush and just for that reason bands with a Canadian heritage always get my attention and perhaps they also are one step ahead of the others, in my head.
Together with AHDOMN (2018, see review), the amazing album of Jupiter Hollow, the for me, unknown band The Slyde was presented to me. After several spins, I never expected to have to write another review about a fairly unknown band that totally blows me away.

The Slyde, formerly simply Slyde is a true progressive band, with impressive quirky arrangements, aggressive edges, and ominous lyrics. Quoting their bio “The result is a thought provoking, high-octane album for fans of Rush, Dream Theater, Haken, Coheed And Cambria, and Megadeth. Driven by Nathan Da Silva's elegant vocals, Sarah Westbrook's powering keyboard skills, and the powerful rhythm section of Alberto Campuzano and Brendan Soares, the band are to catch the ears of any technically minded melodic progressive rock fan”. That is something I only can agree to, musically the progressive rock elements are well presented, but also a little twitch towards the alternative scene can be heard. Nathan 's vocals remain in the higher areas; reminding of a young Geddy Lee, but sometimes fellow country man Nick Karch of the band Bolus also comes to mind.
Musically the arrangements are impressive and challenging as well as very catchy; listen to Walk With Me or These Wars. Both tracks with refined technical escapades that go hand in hand with accessible and “stick in your head” vocal parts. But also the powerful tracks In Silence and Awakenings, fusing powerful riffs with delicate vocals that make the compositions challenging for the die-hard progressive metal fan as well for the more melodic orientated fan. Both tracks hold great guitar solos and nice and delicate contrasting keyboards. With So Blind and Fading the line of thorough progressiveness, fine rhythmic grooves and dedicated vocals continue and remain at the same high quality as the previous tracks. The electronic start of Join The Parade indicates a song, that although very suitable on the album, still differs a bit. The doubled vocals sound amazing during this song and both bass and drums are highlighted on this one. Divide might be the toughest and heaviest track on Awakening, nice heavy guitars, with a fine nasty edge give Divide a slightly punky feel. The recognizable vocals are the glue between the varied compositions, binding everything together. Back Again has the intention to be an epic track, nicely building the tension, über catchy vocal melodies (for the Dutchies; Hello Kensington) and definitely the track if you want to experience The Slyde's music for the first time.

A while ago I read a conversation on social media, where progressive rock fans were complaining; “no interesting music is released the last couple of years”. I would recommend them to listen to this young band and I am sure they will change their mind. For me this is just an amazing band, with an amazing album.

****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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