Nad Sylvan – The Bride Said No (Inside Out Music, 2017)
Swedish singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Nad Sylvan has risen to the top of the progressive rock scene because of his solo work and collaborations with Steve Hackett and Roine Stolt. The Bride Said No is his new solo album and continues the story he initiated with the acclaimed Vampiric album Courting The Widow.
The Bride Said No still has plenty of first class symphonic progressive rock inspired by 1970s bands like Genesis and UK. However, The Bride Said No adds a music theater element and masterful vocal interplay between Nad and his guest lead vocalists Tania Doko and Jade Ell.
Nad Sylvan is a generous vocalist. His albums always provide plenty of space to the virtuoso instrumentalists that participate in his recordings. The most noticeable difference I find in The Bride Said No is that there is less mellotron than in the previous album. However, keyboard lovers don’t despair, Nad and his colleagues provide plenty of succulent synth solos and majestic keyboards throughout the album.
For prog rock guitar fans, track 5 ‘What Have You Done” is true delight. Nearly half the piece features two outstanding, hats off epic electric solos. The first is by the grand master of progressive rock guitar, Steve Hackett. The second solo is by the equally talented Guthrie Govan (The Aristocrats, Asia, Erotic Cakes). But there is more. If you manage to filter out the guitars (which is hard to do because they’re so good), you’ll notice remarkable bass work underneath by yet another master, Tony Levin.
Although Nad Sylvan’s vocals are superb throughout the album, on track 6, ‘Crime Of Passion,’ Nad stands out even more, delivering all vocal parts, lead and backing vocals. Guitars also play a leading role with Steve Hackett again, along with another regular collaborator, one of the busiest and finest guitarists in the prog world, Sweden’s Roine Stolt.
Another favorite is ‘A French kisses in an Italian Café,’ a beautiful laid back song with a trip hop beat that captivates you right away. It’s enriched with beautiful orchestrations by Nad Sylvan, Steve Hackett’s fabulous guitar, Tony Levin’s masterful Chapman stick and bass, and the delightful backing vocals.
The final song on the album is the most theatrical, with attention-grabbing interplay between Nad Sylvan and his female guest vocalists. It’s prog rock meets neosoul. This track has a hidden song. There are over 2 minutes of silence and then a pop song appears.
The lineup includes Nad Sylvan on vocals, keyboards, guitars, orchestrations; Jade Ell on vocals; Sheona Urquhart on vocals and saxophone; Anders Wollbeck on keyboards, programming, orchestration and additional sound design; Tania Doko on vocals; Jonas Reingold on bass; Nick D’Virgilio on drums and percussion; Tony Levin on Chapman Stick and bass; Doane Perry on drums; Alfons Karabuda on waterphone; Steve Hackett on guitar; Guthrie Govan on guitar; and Roine Stolt on guitar.
The Bride Said No is another captivating forward-thinking progressive rock album by the multi-faceted and talented Nad Sylvan.
Buy The Bride Said No in the Americas and other territories.
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