The violin has a firm place in prog over the years whether it’s Kansas within the prog rock realm or of late with Ne Obliviscaris. While Montreal’s Cydemind use a violin prominently in their music, they don’t really sound like either of those bands. In fact, they sound more like if Tim Charles of Ne Obliviscaris joined Dream Theater…if they were an instrumental band.
While the band are all virtuosos, they don’t overplay necessarily. Yes the music is tight and quite technical at times, the band also understand the importance of the almightly riff and build their songs off of riffs rather than just soloing all over the place.
The first two tracks are great examples. “What Remains” works because of a great riff. “Tree of Tales” is also a groove oriented riff laden track, though not as good as its predecessor. Like any self respecting prog metal band, Cydemind have 2 epics on the album. One is the excellent “Derecho” which starts off with a beautiful acoustic oriented part, before getting really moody and then yes a bit apeshit. Great track.
The title track, however, is the true epic of the album, clocking in at over 27 minutes and yes it does cover a LOT of ground. But again, the band are great musicians and understand that they need to hold your attention for 27 minutes. The song reminds me a bit more of Haken (think “Visions”) which isn’t a bad thing necessarily.
While the whole band are great at what they do, there’s no denying that without violinist Olivier Allard, they might not sound as unique as they do. The only real downside is that over the course of this album, you might feel a sameness to it all. Without vocals, it is very challenging to make sure the listener stays engaged. But overall, Cydemind have an excellent album on their hands with “Erosion.”
1. What Remains
2. Tree of Tales
4. Red Tides
5. Stream Capture