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Slyde - 2013 - "New World Sympathy & Feed the Machine"

(44:11, ‘Slyde’)


1.  New World Sympathy 3:36
2.  Take Us Away 4:08
3.  The Downward Spiral 4:58
4.  Lies 5:12
5.  Lament 1:19
6.  Feed the Machine 3:46
7.  Stand and Fight 3:58
8.  Meditate 1:41
9.  Pull the Trigger 4:07
10. Global Empires Fall 4:32
11. Cries of the Earth 1:47
12. Without the Machine / Lament Reprise 5:07


Mathan Da Silva – vocals; guitars
Sarah Westbrook – keyboards; vocals
Brendan Soares – drums; vocals
Nicholas Favretto – bass 

Prolusion. The Canadian band SLYDE was formed back in 2009, and has released a number of EPs since they started. They also have two full-length albums to their name, one album that collected their initial EP with some material that was released in 2010, and now "New World Sympathy & Feed the Machine", a collection of their EPs from 2012 and 2011 respectively, which was released on CD in 2013.

Analysis. As far as progressive rock goes, Slyde is a band that many will see residing at the very outer edge of this universe as far their particular style goes. You won't find many pointers back to the golden age of progressive rock on this production, if any, nor will you find an extensive amount of similarities to progressive metal either. That the music tends to be energetic, melodic and with certain anthem qualities to it will also disqualify the band from a progressive rock point of view in the eyes of many. The key issue here is to place them within the correct context, as Slyde belongs to a category of bands that have fans both inside of and outside of the progressive rock universe. Vibrant but dampened staccato riff barrages with distinct melodic orientation in energetic and pacey compositions summarize the dominant aspects of Slyde's music fairly well. As far as progressive rock is concerned, we also have sudden shifts to acoustic oriented passages as part of the proceedings, often with acoustic guitars and lead vocals as the key or even sole details in those, this structural effect adding a progressive sheen to the proceedings. When the riff-based excursions feature delicate piano motifs as a light toned, frail contrast to the driving intensity of the guitars, or the band’s highly distinct synth textures, with a sound and expression that probably reveal a certain passion for playing computer and video games, we're also dealing with a band that has a bit more going for it than a generic alternative rock band. As a Canadian band, certain similarities to old heroes Rush doesn't come as a surprise here, although the references to this influential trio are occasional and subtle at best. But when pondering upon artists with a similar style, one name that popped into my head fairly often was The Mars Volta. While I'm not an expert in this particular part of the progressive rock universe, I suspect that the overall intensity and – to some extent – the light toned, melodic lead vocals of Slyde may be the parts that have the strongest similarities to this quirky US band. As Coheed And Cambria is a stated influence by Slyde itself, I suspect that they are a much more important pointer as far as style and expression go, and in one specific song, Lies, adding Muse to the name dropping department here appears to be a logical choice as well. Energetic, melodic and catchy progressive rock it is then, with references towards the alternative rock inspired parts of the progressive rock universe as far as possible sources of inspiration go. And personally I think Slyde is a very good band as far as this type of music goes. The songs tend to be on the short side, which helps maintain momentum, but even so this is an album that manages to grab and maintain interest very well indeed. The performances are tight and well mapped out. I suspect, this is one of the old fashioned bands that, at least to some extent, try out material on an audience before recording it, but even if this isn't the case this is a collection of songs that come across as well developed.

Conclusion. Slyde explores a type of progressive rock that appears to be inspired by bands just as much connected to alternative rock as to progressive rock as such, with bands like The Mars Volta, Coheed And Cambria and Muse as likely sources of inspiration. Slyde's take on this type of music is accessible, energetic and melodic, with singalong qualities and a feeling that the potential audience for this band is a well-sized one. An album easy to recommend to those who enjoy accessible music that blends alternative rock and progressive rock in a high energy, melodic package, and I suspect that fans of bands like Muse and Coheed And Cambria in particular should enjoy this album.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: July 2, 2014
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