Cyril is a German outfit founded in 2010. They play a blend of melodic rock and the more accessible kind of relaxed progressive rock. Keyboardist and saxophonist Marek Arnold had already been involved in bands like Toxic Smile, Seven Steps To The Green Door and Flaming Row, so Progressive Promotion Records felt confident enough to give the green light for the release of the band's debut album Gone Through Years. Besides Marek Arnold, Cyril comprises guitarist Ralf Dietsch, bass player Denis Strassbourg, drummer Litschko Clemens and singer Larry Brödel, also known as Toxic Smile's lead vocalist Larry B.
Gone Through Years is a concept album based on Time Machine (1895), a famous book by the British author H.G. Wells. The protagonist Cyril decides to build a time machine after the loss of his beloved Alice, here interpreted by Amelie Hofmann. After finishing the machine he travels back in time, but when he discovers that he can't change the past he heads for the future where he meets the Hologram of the Librarian, interpreted by Manuel Schmid (Stern Combo Meissen). He finds out that the world will be destroyed by the impact of a meteorite.
The album contains rather strong compositions; people who are familiar with the above-mentioned bands will certainly find some similarities with Cyril. Basically the music of Cyril is more melodic. During the emotional piece Sweet Alice some Latin elements have been added. This works out very well together with the great voice of Larry B. whose singing already impressed me on I'm Your Saviour (2011, see review), the latest album by Toxic Smile. Marek Arnold blends an old school style of keyboard playing with modern elements which can be heard in Through Time And Space. For those who aren't fond of brass instruments: his playing on the saxophone is flawless, but it never dominates the music. One of the most impressive compositions is Heading For Disaster having polyphonic vocals, solid keyboard lines and a nice soft middle-section.
The next song World Is Lost is also built up nicely. It contains an instrumental part that comes close to fusion, but it suits this song perfectly, which is also larded with space rock elements. My absolute highlight on Gone Through Years is Final Ending; I think guitarist Ralf Dietsch sounds great on this piece and his playing adds something special to the music of Cyril. His melodies are impressive and easy to listen to. Dietsch is a brilliant musician who excels in accessible tunes.
By releasing Cyril's debut album, Progressive Promotion Records have added another fine album to their catalogue. The melodic rock combined with progressive elements is something that most listeners will find a pleasant experience. The musicians are skilled and Larry B.'s vocals fit perfectly to this kind of music. To put it in a nutshell: Gone Through Years is a great and very coherent album that's easy to listen to. It deserves a wider audience than progressive rock fans only.
**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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