(01 April 2002) The second album by the Canadian progressive
ensemble Synthology is entitled The Fairest Of Moments.
A studio project of brothers John Alarcon (keyboards, composer)
and James Alarcon (Guitars), lead vocals are provided by John's
wife Marysa Mardini. Churchill Downes plays bass on the album.
The Fairest Of Moments and the band's debut album
Between Day And Night (review under construction) are
both available from their American label
The band have announced a further album entitled A Requiem
for Twilight that will be released in early 2003.
John Alarcon's classical training is evident in the opening
sequence of the epic length track "The Falling Sky" through the
effective blending of piano and synthesizer keyboard parts.
James' guitar riffs add texture as the pace of the symphonic
piece picks up and Marysa's vocals join the mix. Likened by
some to Tracy Hitchings on the group's former album, Marysa's
voice is textured differently with a purity similar to Annie
Haslam's but in a lower range; her vocals are also somewhat
less theatrical. Backing vocals from the men adds substance
in the more powerful moments.
The album's instrumentals ("The Bridge" and "Lost In The
Cathedral") blend lush symphonic arrangements, including
woodwind and string sounds, swirling keyboard passages and
guitar. One will be reminded of the classic 70s progressive
rock textures of of Yes, ELP, Renaissance and other bands
like Rebekka and Esthetic Pale. Listeners will certainly
be reminded of Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson in John's
keyboard work, especially during the introduction to the
progressive masterwork "Through The Doors Of Time."
Marysa's vocals are mixed way up in "Seven Wonders," a
ballad-style track with classically progressive overtones
especially in the keyboard- and guitar-centred bridge. The
upbeat track "Edge Of The World" perfectly balances layers
of keyboards and guitars with Marysa's voice. A choral
style keyboard in the bridge perfectly compliments a
dynamic guitar solo.
The title track is a three part epic that runs more than
eighteen minutes with big themes that recur as the piece
develops. Sweetly sung vocals are mixed way up in several
of the passages, way above the swirling keyboard and guitar
arrangements. Instrumental and stylistic similarities to
Discoveries Best New Album 2001) are evident during several
of the passages. The final portion of the track begins with
a tremendous guitar solo supported by lush keyboard and
percussion arrangements as vocals join the mix and the
number brings the album to a tremendous conclusion.
Synthology's latest album will appeal to a broad range
of progressive rock audiences. Soundbites and further
reviews are available at the band's website and mp3.com
webspace. Click on the album cover to pay them a visit
now. With the perfect blend of classical allusions, lovely
female vocals and enduring instrumental arrangements,
The Fairest Of Moments like their debut album is
naturally a must listen!