Above all, I'd like to note that while the sources of inspiration of these musicians are definitely Classic Symphonic Art-Rock and Classic Prog-Metal of the seventies, the music of Syzygy is on the whole highly original and doesn't contain any direct influences. Only a very thorough listen will help you to detect three, at most four, different episodes (on both albums) where the arrangements are slightly (and only stylistically!) comparable to those in ELP ("Trilogy", 1972), Rush ("Hemispheres", 1978), and Black Sabbath ("Never Say Die, 1978), the latter of which, though, are less evident and are available only on the second album. Well, "Cosmos & Chaos" doesn't feature anything that would remind you of, proper, cosmos and chaos, as all the structures of Syzygy's music are integral and, harmoniously, stable. Although some vocals can be heard at the very end of the album, there is only one real song: Circadian Rhythm (2), which, at the same time, turned out to be the only weak spot here. The song is 'constructed' by an ordinary couplet-refrain scheme in the vein of a pure (i.e. poor) AOR, is full of repetitions, and is almost free of purely instrumental arrangements. It is annoying to hear it, as all the other tracks here, all of which, as you should remember, are instrumental compositions, are either excellent works or masterpieces. If you read this review from the very beginning, you have apparently guessed that the predominant stylistics of the album is a blend (a very organic blend, though) of Classic Symphonic Art-Rock and Prog-Metal. It is presented on Voyager, Strange Loop, Mount Ethereal, Closure, and Chaos (1, 5, 8, 11, & 12), and while the first two of them are of a moderate complexity, the other three are highly intricate and intriguing. The music is diverse and intensive, is abound in complex stop-to-play movements and a wide variety of the other essential progressive features. Three of the said pieces (5, 8, & 12) are notable for solos and passages of acoustic guitar very inventively interwoven with basic 'electric' textures, though at the helm of arrangements are usually the parts of electric guitar and Hammond organ. Generally however, "Cosmos & Chaos" is stylistically a very diverse album, even though:-) all six of the remaining compositions were performed without drums. Tautology (3) consists of varied interplay between passages, solos, and rhythms of acoustic guitar and solos of electric and bass guitars, and yet (indeed?), features some tautologies-repeats. This one, and also Theme in D Major, Cosmos, and Dante's Theme (4, 6, & 9), all of which are amazing classical guitar-based pieces, are Carl's exclusive benefit performances. Sam also showed his 'solo' capabilities on classically influenced piano-driven Poetry in B Minor and The Tone Row (7 & 10), though the latter piece consists exclusively of the piano passages not along the whole length of it, and it was Carl who added some touches to its musical palette. Recently remastered and reprinted, "Cosmos & Chaos" is an excellent album, at least. It gets my sincere recommendations with only one reservation. Please exclude the second track via programming your CD player before you listen to the album.
VM: November 3, 2003