Rotterdam, Netherlands based rock group Sky Architect released their thirld album last month - A Billion Years of Solitude. Although the band is firmly rooted in the progressive genre, they do experiment at times with various effects and even a bit of jazz fusion. Meant to invoke the feeling of old sci-fi films, A Billion Years of Solitude certainly feels like the soundtrack to many movies Joel or Mike would have watched from the Satellite of Love.
The band has stated that they are on a mission to prove that progressive rock is not only beautiful, but exciting as well. I'm not really sure how exciting translates into an 18 minute opening track, but let's give them the benefit of the doubt. Our journey begins on "The Curious One" where listeners will feel like they are zooming through the stars accompanied by weird B-movie sound effects. "Jim's Ride To Hell" is a two minute instrumental track with a sharp guitar riff that the band seems well suited for. Sky Architect breaks out the jazz piano on "Elegy Of A Solitary Giant." I normally wouldn't enjoy such an addition to progressive rock music, but within the aforementioned space theme it works incredibly well.
Tom Luchies' vocals are hit-and-miss on the album. For example, on the trippy track "Wormholes" his vocals are extremely soft and seem out of place on the song. On the other hand, the emotion Luchies demonstrates on "Tides" fits perfectly into the track. The same hit-and-miss dynamic can be applied to the use of effects. "Revolutions" has some lovely blips and bleeps that sound like they are coming from the aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, while the voice effects on "Traveller's Last Candle" aren't nearly as pleasing. Listeners who enjoy classic progressive acts like Pink Floyd and Rush would be advised to check out A Billion Years of Solitude. Recommended for rock fans with a love of science fiction.
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