Cydonia - Stations

(CD 2022, 44:23, Private Release)

The tracks:
  1- Way To Cydonia(7:41)
  2- Where Is The Silence?(5:13)
  3- Union Of Souls(14:26)
         - I. Demons
         - II. Looking Through the Gateway
         - III. The Journey
         - IV. Eywa
         - V. Connected
  4- Caravan Of Slaves (live)(8:48)
  5- Already There (live)(8:11)

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Out of Freiburg Im Breisgau Germany comes Cydonia with their debut album Stations.

The album opens up with Way To Cydonia, which starts out with some very tasty keyboard and guitar interplay which combines elements of Triumvirat and even some Camel courtesy of Daniel Perrey and Rainer Dück, all anchored by very precise bass and drums, from Oliver Gerike, who also offers up some very nice acoustic guitar parts, and Dirk Fenchel. After the initial barrage, things slow down a bit making room for the vocals of Michael Bernauer. This slower section also features a fantastic guitar solo, an acoustic piano bridge and then concludes with a multi-part vocal build-up to a heavier conclusion which returns to the opening themes.

The second track is the much mellower Where Is The Silence?, which makes a healthy nod to the ballads of bands like Queensr˙che. The piano, vocal harmonies and layered synthesizer strings, as well the effect-laden guitar create a fantastic atmosphere and the song is over far too quickly.

The next track is the multi-part epic Union Of Souls, which opens acoustically before slipping into the very atmospheric second section featuring a very spacey acoustic guitar segment which gives way to a bass guitar/drum driven section which, with the introduction of the keyboards (and later guitar) immediately brings to mind The Doors. The piece then begins to build and while showing off many influences, it remains very unique and original sounding. The entire suite comes to an almost symphonic conclusion in grand tradition of neo-prog.

The final two tracks on the album were recorded live and show us that this is not just some studio-trickery band. Caravan Of Slaves opens with very middle-eastern feel and each of the bands members seem to jam around and over this central theme. The track moves through various styles and solos and eventually rounds it's way back to opening themes. The album concludes with Already There, which takes the band in a totally different direction but which features some absolutely incredible playing and concludes in huge crescendo drawing the whole album to a triumphant ending.

Stations is an excellent first album for a band which has huge amounts of potential moving forward. Keep your eyes (and ears) on Cydonia as I believe we could see great things from them in the future.

***+ David Carswell

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