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The Cyberiam

Connected

Review by Gary Hill

I have reviewed quite a bit of stuff from this act in the past. This new album is a very strong entry in their catalog. I'd say that it's a nearly perfect album with only part of one song that doesn't work all the well for me. As strong as this is, there is a good chance it will make my "best of 2021" list. If you dig your prog with metallic tendencies, you are sure to find plenty to enjoy here. This is one of (if not the) best albums the band have ever done.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
Interrogation Room B
Extremely mellow elements bring this in with an ambient sense. Eventually some acoustic guitar rises up in the mix. Vocals with a distant, distorted, sort of production come in over the top of this arrangement. The cut works outward from there into a building prog rock concept. The instrumental break that ensues later is pure prog goodness with some definite hints of Dream Theater in the mix. The tune works through a number of shifts and changes. At times I'm reminded of the prog era of Rush to a large degree. There is some exceptionally cool instrumental work on this thing.
The Moral Landscape
This has a harder rocking sound, but it's every bit as prog oriented. That said, there is definitely a metallic edge to the piece. I dig the seeming climax later that gives way to a mellower return that builds from there. As it is reinvented it really drives out with a lot of ferocity. It's a bit of a screamer.
Wakeup Call
Melodic, but hard rocking, prog is on the menu here. There is some tasty guitar soloing at play.
Sunset on Mars
There is some space control radio chatter at the start of this track. The cut comes in from there and starts building outward with style. This is a mellower, more melodic, but every dramatic prog arrangement as it gets going. There are some cool twists and turns on this. There are definitely metallic moments. We get a drop back to more radio transmission stuff before a guitar screams out in a killer solo. More radio chatter takes over at the end of the song.
In SaN1tY
Frantic, high energy prog jamming opens this in style. There is a real Rush meets Dream Theater sort of vibe to it. It drops to a mellower, more melodic, but still driving (listen to that bass) groove from there. The vocals eventually come in over the top of that in an arrangement that has a sense of madness about it. This is packed full of twists and turns. It's a real powerhouse that has some definite metallic leanings at times.
Be Connected
This track is a much more melodic and perhaps even mainstream number. It has proggy and jazzy elements, though. I wouldn't call this a ballad, but it's definitely not as hard rocking as some of the other music here is.
Wilde Things
There is a lot of Rush in the opening movement of this. The cut works to more of a modern take on classic prog textures for much of the song. It works back to the Rushish jam later, though. There are some real powerhouse twists and turns. Parts of this make me think of Yes a bit. Still, there are more Dream Theater like portions further down the road, too.
Miles Away
For some reason this song makes me think of Godsmack (the mellower side of that) to some degree. I'm not completely sold on the vocals here. This is an intriguing cut with some intriguing twists and turns. It definitely works better as it keeps exploring and turns more purely prog based. At nearly ten-and-a-half minutes of music, this is the epic of the piece. It has a wide ranging musical tapestry to go with that extra time, too. They do a great job of making up for any weakness the track might have had early before it's over.
Bigger Questions
Another classy prog rocker, this has some intense music in the mix. There are some really soaring moments. It manages to have some hooks alongside all the powerhouse prog. The instrumental movements on this thing are so strong. There are hints of things like Dream Theater, Rush and Yes in the mix. Yet, overall this tune is unique and original in sound. I really dig the vocal arrangement on this tune a lot. There are mellower movements, but the tune turns toward the metal end of the spectrum for a time later. The cut makes and effective closing to a particularly strong album.
 
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