Spyral - Volcano

Year of Release: 2003
Label: ProgRock Records
Catalog Number: PRR080
Format: CD
Total Time: 64:44:00

Spyral (courtesy)The expression progressive rock covers a wide variety of music. As soon as something sounds out of the ordinary, people tend to call it progressive. The debut album, by the name of Volcano, of the German based Spyral surely sounds out of the ordinary with a variety of influences and musical angles. Spyral remain a bit of a mysterious band, as on their website is no background or history of the band, nor any information about their influences. So, we have only the music and the lyrics to review.

Musically I find Spyral a bit experimental, as they use different melody lines and sounds in the 13 tracks on the album. The first thing I noticed was the bass, played by Gerd Golke. Already in the opening track "The All-You-Can-Eater," it gets an important part, and throughout the album it is very present, with a very funky sound. It reminded me of Mark King's (Level 42) way of bass playing: plucking with the fingers. The vocals sound a bit aggressive at times. "Hangover" starts with some weird drum loops, by Michael Gortz, and has a subtle guitar. Richard Burmeister (guitars, keyboards) manages even to play some heavy riffs in a subtle way, while in the opening track he gives a metal edge to the song. "Magma Cha Cha" is a weird instrumental, mainly consisting of drums and percussion. The first reference to another band I first heard in "Loyalty," which has a bit of a Pain of Salvation touch in the intro, but the rest of the song could very well be played by Twelfth Night. Florian Kogel (vocals) even sings it as the late Geoff Mann would have sung it. Excellent keyboard in this song by the way. Quite different is "The Monkey Mirror," which has a strange melody and vocal line. In "The Cleaner" we hear a familiar guitar riff, although at a different speed: "Smoke On The Water" by Deep Purple.

Weird compositions alternate with standard songs (if such a thing exists) making Volcano a very diverse album. The lyrics are also worth looking deeper into, as the band tackles several topics from greed ("The All-You-Can-Eater") to computers ("Log Out") to cheating on your partner ("Loyalty") and fear ("Nothing Left To Say"). Fact is, Spyral has made a very original album with hardly any recognisable influences from other bands and well thought out lyrics. Whether you like it depends on your progressive tastes. Personally I had mixed emotions after listening to the album so check out the samples from their website.

[This review originally appeared November 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
The All You Can Eater (4:22) / Dried Flowers (5:42) / Talk In Your Dreams (3:49) / Hangover (5:17) / Hero (4:03) / Magma Cha Cha (3:04) / Loyalty (5:51) / The Monkey Mirror (3:55) / Log Out (4:08) / Kiss Of Life (4:33) / The Cleaner (6:16) / Safe & Sound (5:42) / Nothing Left To Say (8:02)

Gerd Golke - bass
Rich Burmeister - guitar
Florian "Floko" Kogel - vocals
Michael Gortz - drums

First Take Distasters (demo)
Volcano (2003)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin DE

Added: May 29th 2005
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website: www.spyralized.de
Hits: 626
Language: english


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