Cymoryl - Strange Evocation

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Musea
Catalog Number: FGBG 4449
Format: CD
Total Time: 60:07:00

It's always nice to see some of the other countries of the world contributing to the Progressive Music scene, and Cymoryl is from France and labeled as a Progressive Metal band. While the term Progressive Metal is certainly debatable, I'd have to say outright that the band has its roots firmly placed in the Progressive Rock style. The label also cites influences as diverse as Yes, Jimmy Hendrix, and Dream Theater. While I don't hear the Hendrix sound or influence they speak of, I do hear some of the Yes influences and with regards to Dream Theater, I'd attribute the guitar chord structures only to that influence.

That being said, Cymoryl plays highly dramatic, symphonic, progressive rock music with a guitar sound that leans towards the metal style / sound. The music itself is not based on a metal sound, and I feel that this moniker is totally misleading. The music is certainly guitar driven, but with a large complement of soft keyboards, but in the end it's the vocals that are the standout of this music. With songs averaging 7-8 minutes in length, including two 9-minute songs, and a 17-minute song, this band certainly has a lot to say and uses the vocals as a springboard. While the song base structure leans toward a prog rock style, the metal guitar style adds a bit of power to the sound, and the singer is clearly schooled in the Neo-Prog style, giving this band an almost unique blend of all of the progressive music genres. Ranging from the soft, quiet passages to the dramatic keyboard-driven prog rock style songs, to the metal guitar-driven songs, the band mixes it up quite well giving the listener quite the dose of listening pleasure. The songs are well written, and the lyric sheets are quite full of stories to be told. Overall, the band clearly has its sound base in the progressive / neo-progressive genres, and as with lots of Musea bands, the guitar sound is based on a metal style. This in itself does not classify this as Progressive Metal to these ears.

If the listener doesn't mind this blend of styles, the next hurdle to get over would be the uniquely-toned singer, Alain Puget. His unique tone reminds me of straining, young Dennis DeYoung (Styx) minus the glory and the power of that voice. His tone is also nasally, and thin and makes him sound like he is straining at every turn. Alain clearly belongs in a soft, Neo-Progressive based sound, but here he has been placed into an awkward position, and can't quite keep up with the dramatic music that he fronts. He sounds strained most of the time, cannot reach some of the higher notes he attempts, and his thin, nasally tone keeps his voice behind the music instead of at the forefront. It is certainly an acquired taste for sure.

The production is adequate, but the tone is dry in sound, and the overall result is a thin sound somewhat akin to Puget's thin voice tone. The recording is average, and if a band is going to have a metal-influenced guitarist in the band, the sound could at least "sound" metallic, instead of the distorted, dry, thin sound of this guitar. The vocal production is about the only standpoint, and I'm not sure this is a good thing considering the tinny tone of the singer.

Cymoryl clearly has something going for itself, if nothing other than good songwriting, and very good musicianship. With a better sound, and more powerful singer, this band could make some noise. As it is, in a picky progressive music lover's world, this disc will probably go unnoticed except for the occasional blurb that it exists at all.

Similar Bands: Crises

Futile Things (7:18) / (I. Strange Evocation - Part One) (3:03) / (II. Strange Evocation - Part Two) (5:46) / My Duty (9:24) / Lunacy (7:46) / Exile (7:33) / Eternal Being (9:15) / Soldier Of Shame (8:51)

Jean-Christophe Panza - guitars
Frederic Allegre - keyboards
Alain Puget - vocals
Renaud Boyer - basses
Marc Santiago - drums

Strange Evocation (2003)

Genre: Symphonic Prog

Origin FR

Added: January 1st 2003
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Artist website:
Hits: 816
Language: english


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