Syrinx Call - Mirrorneuron

(CD 2021, 62:15, Timezone Records FEM 2021-001)

The tracks:
  1- Bit By Bit (Overture)(5:29)
  2- Deceptive Illusion(4:59)
  3- The Arctic Will Die(4:19)
  4- Breakdown(6:12)
  5- Perfect Shine(3:13)
  6- Merging Influences(4:18)
  7- Big Data(2:19)
  8- Weird Resonance(5:46)
  9- One Step Beyond(1:29)
10- Mirrorneuron(4:07)
11- I'm Gonna Buy Some Flowers(7:25)
12- Sweetness(4:41)
13- Fill The Silence(6:42)
14- Silent Echoes(1:16)

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Syrinx Call is a German four piece formation, led by recorder player Volker Kuinke. Mirrorneuron is their third effort, after Wind In The Woods (2015) and The Moon On A Stick (2018). The band also features Jens Lueck (keyboards, piano, percussion, drums and vocals), Isgaard (vocals) and Doris Packbiers (vocals). In order to create a lush and varied sound Volker has invited a wide range of musicians, including Klaus-Peter Matziol (bass guitar) and Frank Bornemann (E-Guitar), known from my favourite German prog band Eloy.

The concept album Mirrorneuron tells the story of an Artificial Intelligence named Kai, who develops a function which enables him to feel empathy on his way through a severe existential crisis after encountering contradictions and a dissonance between theory and practice. Psychotherapist Mara has to put the humanoid robot back on track again, but contrary to all expectations, Kai manages to stir something in her. This ability stems from mirror neurons, nerve cells in our brains which turn us humans into empathic beings.
It is a musical journey which in part is filled with spherical and orchestral sounds, in other parts with choral accompaniment or driving-dynamic rhythms, but is also playful or melancholic - some fragile vocals here, a picked classical guitar there, then again a heavy rock riff. They are all catchy melodies between folk, melodic rock, progressive and world music.

To me this third effort sounds as a pleasant, very melodic and harmonic progressive blend of folk, rock and symphonic. Many of the 14 compositions contain laidback climates (so called pastoral prog) featuring warm vocals (male and female) and wonderful work on flutes, guitars, string instruments and keyboards. Like Weird Resonance (beautiful moving electric guitar solo in second part), the title track (twanging guitars, high pitched flute sound and tremolo driven guitar work), Perfect Shine (intense violin and melancholy female vocals), Sweetness (folky with lute and acoustic guitar solo), Fill The Silence (another moving electric guitar solo, wonderful) and Silent Echoes (short with sensitive Pink Floyd kind of inspired guitar runs). Other tracks are more dynamic. Bit By Bit features a slow rhythm with a bombastic atmosphere, embellished with howling guitar leads and a flashy synthesizer solo. Deceptive Illusions contains a mid-tempo with delicate flute work, high pitched female vocals and synthesizer flights. I'm Gonna Buy Some Flowers delivers a sumptuous eruption with a fiery guitar solo. And Merging Influences even delivers a Latin-American oriented swinging rhythm with sparkling flute and piano.

***+ Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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