[Review] The Cyberiam – Connected

The Cyberiam is an American project comprised of some of Chicago’s most accomplished musicians, offering Heavy Prog sounds with good melodic traits. In 2018 they released the first self-titled album, followed by an EP and a live album, while on August 6, 2021 the second album “Connected” was released. Contains 9 medium to long length tracks for a total of over 72 minutes of music. Available on CD and Digital, mixing was done by Keith Semple, mastering by Prog legend Andy Van Dette, and a 12 “x12” companion booklet with a futuristic good artwork by Brian Kovacs. The album opens with “Interrogation Room B,” which features a short intro with atmospheric sounds that soon give way to a melodic acoustic guitar and mellow vocal. With the entry of the instruments the piece develops with a Prog theme, at times with more Heavy passages, well developed and with an elaborate structure. The sometimes intricate rhythmic session is typical of the Progressive repertoire, creating the basis on which to develop valuable melodies that immediately immerse us in the atmosphere of the album. The instrumental part presents pleasant intertwining between guitar and keyboards, with virtuous forays of drum and bass, closing in a high-level sound in crescendo. “The Moral Landscape” features harder guitar riffs and killer bass lines, the vocal is warm and expressive and best suits the various evolutions of the track. Tempo changes are one of the strengths, alternating heavier moments with symphonic openings, where all the artists involved express their skills on instruments and vocals. The melodic refrain is one of those that remain etched in the listener’s mind, just as the whole piece is engaging. The instrumental section offers good overall ideas, without favoring any particular instrument, with the return of the sung the piece closes with the last verse. With layers of acoustic and electric guitar that overlap begins “Wakeup Call,” symphonic and with softer melodies than the previous one. The carpet of keyboards, the more delicate electric guitar inserts, as well as the vocals that mix Pop style with Progressive Rock show another facet of The Cyberiam sound. The band is skilled in creating songs by mixing sounds with a personal and modern style, giving life to something fresh, which always manages to amaze the listener, even by deviating from the genre to which they belong. “Sunset on Mars” begins with voices reminiscent of those of space missions, making it appropriate with the title, and then the electric guitar and a rhythm percussive session come into play. The bass creates deep and elaborate lines, the punctual and precise vocal adapts to the tempo changes that at times give a harder touch to the track. the keyboards here are closer to the 70s sounds, always interpreting their fresh and modern sound. We are in the central part of the disc and this is one of the best sections, a song that best summarizes the musical ideas proposed by the band. Here too the changes are a strong point, just as the vocal creates parts that remain etched in the mind. The instrumental section offers a valuable electric guitar solo, with the return of singing this excellent piece closes, congratulations to The Cyberiam. “In SaN1tY” is the shortest track on the album, despite the 5:30 minute length, characterized by a start closer to Progressive Metal sounds. The theme develops between electronic sounds and other more traditional ones, including a 70s organ, which mix together creating a valuable combination. Each section of the record presents something different from the other, showing the many ideas that the band has and that they skillfully exploit. The more symphonic vocal counterbalances the harder sounds of the guitar, a work that does not lose intensity with the passing of the minutes but always remains intense. Here we are at the track from which the album title was born: “Be Connected,” which features an intro with atmospheric sounds and a delicate piano arpeggio. The vocal enters, warm and expressive, and then with the passing of the minutes the other instruments are added, giving life to a more delicate and symphonic section. After a series of elaborate tracks, this one has a more linear structure, without neglecting some instrumental spaces and a good guitar solo in the central part. The finale reserves us a duet between keyboards and guitar that guides us to the end of the piece. “Wilde Things” returns with a more Heavy style, especially in the guitar riffs, sweetened by the tempo changes and the melodic vocal. Here, too, tighter moments alternate with others that are softer with continuous tempo changes that keep the listener’s attention high. The instrumental part gives space to the individual technique of the musicians with phrasing between all the instruments that together give life to a very interesting section of the album. In the finale it increases the intensity with powerful guitar and keyboard riffs with a surprise ending that highlights the heavier sounds. “Miles Away” is instead the longest track on the album with over 10 minutes in duration, and begins with a more atmospheric style, while referring to the Prog. The sounds are darker, and the phrasing between the instruments is enveloping and with the entry of the vocal they take the listener into another dimension. With the passing of the minutes and the theme that develops between instrumental sections and sung parts, the band offers very elaborate sound plots. Here too we can listen to passages and changes that are very valid and well composed and performed, the second part of the piece is mainly instrumental and enhances these elements. Closes the album “Bigger Questions” which maintains darker features, mixing them here with more symphonic parts, creating something original. The voice is in fact melodic, and we can find in the music a concentrate of the sound concepts that the band has in its repertoire. Pleasant keyboard inserts and sudden accelerations, ending the disc with a long-lasting track that keeps the level high. Enriched as always by precise and surprising tempo changes, with a very intense finish that certainly tempts the listener to listen to the album again in the future, leaving a good feeling. A good listening and another chapter of quality for this band, which confirms the good heard in previous releases. The ideas are well developed, with sung parts and instrumental sections that intertwine and create a well usable work. Recommended for all lovers of Progressive sounds with Heavy and Symphonic traits, with a look to the future of this genre and personal characteristics. Definitely a fresh and modern album, which takes its cue from the past to create its own current and refined sound.

Tracklist

1. Interrogation Room B (09:37)
2. The Moral Landscape (05:55)
3. Wakeup Call (06:03)
4. Sunset on Mars (08:43)
5. In SaN1tY (05:29)
6. Be Connected (08:43)
7. Wilde Things (07:17)
8. Miles Away (10:21)
9. Bigger Questions (09:12)

Lineup

Keith Semple / Vocals, Guitars, and Misc. Sound FX
Brian Kovacs / Vocals, Bass, and Misc. Sound FX
Frank Lucas / Keyboards and Vocals
Tommy Murray / Drums and Vocals

The Cyberiam |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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