(A Billion Years of Solitude )
Dream Theatre, Porcupine Tree, King Crimson
Sky Architect is a five piece band hailing from Rotterdam, Netherlands. Their third release, A Billion Years of Solitude, is a well crafted complex progressive record. The first track, "The Curious One" is an 18-minute opener where the band throws in everything but the kitchen sink. The track is loaded with Hawkwind and Porcupine Tree homages coupled with a space rock vibe and some pretty intense lyrics. The keyboards fit very well ebbing and flowing throughout roller coaster of intensity. There are a few sections that tire a bit where intentional out of key vocals make for some uneasy moments. Overall the epic tune maintains its dark and haunting appeal and the high points far exceed the inconsistent moments.
One of the heavier tunes on the album is "Tides," we like the contrast and brevity in this song. Eventually it bleeds into refreshing acoustic guitar weaving back into more complex guitar and keyboard arrangements. "Elegy of a Solitary Giant" is a 10-minute excursion into space filled wonder accompanied by other worldly intriguing lyrics. There are moments of Pink Floyd and again moments of drawn-out unneeded extensions. The overdone drama is quite typical of the genre and just something our writers take in stride when reviewing progressive works.
The heavy space rock instrumental, "Jim's Ride to Hell" is a vibrant tease and lasting about two minutes. "Revolutions" is another complex tune that features flurries of back and forth between intense keyboards and intricate guitar work. The last track, "Traveller's Last Candle", is a powerful ending filled with more interwoven guitar and keyboard mastery lasting over 13 minutes. A strong ending and one of our favorite tracks on the album.
A Billion Years of Solitude certainly does not lack effort and intensity. Overall it is an impressive work from a very promising band that clearly has been influenced by the upper echelon of the progressive genre. While there are moments where Sky Architect sounds like a finely tuned progressive cover band, the atmospheric moments and infusion of the space rock elements do add originality and texture that will intrigue you to keep this one in heavy rotation. - 3/30/2014
Standout Tracks: Traveller's Last Candle, Elegy of a Solitary Giant