CD Title: Silent Sentinel
Label: Independent Release (2015)
Rating: Brilliant 5/5
This is a band that hails out of the New Jersey area and originally came together in 1989 although it wasn’t until 1997 that they released their first album. Here we are almost twenty years later and we have the release of only their third studio album entitled Silent Sentinel. But what these guys lack in quantity they more than make up for in quality. The music here is classic symphonic progressive rock with influences ranging from Genesis, Gentle Giant and ELP to plenty of traditional Italian styled symphonic prog. It’s a full seventy-seven minutes of music spread over twelve tracks which include short, mid-length and one epic song. This is music that breathes, arranged with many softer acoustic segments that feature piano or acoustic guitar which are then wrapped up lush orchestration building to huge swells of music. Advent pay wonderful homage to the classic prog sounds of yesterday, all the while writing music that feels very modern. If there is a word to describe the music of Advent I’d say Baroque given its delicate and sensitive nature. As you listen, vocal and musical counterpoint show up everywhere providing a depth and intricacy to the music even while they craft very catchy melodies. Songs like “Voices from California” [7:34] show the band comfortably adept at writing catchy Toto-like songs although I’m quite sure Toto would not have incorporated quite so many musical change-ups. Then you have “Sentinel’s Reprise” [5:12] which displays a veryWind and Wuthering Genesis vibe. It’s all great stuff. Advent avoids the need to insert heavy sounding guitars and instead rely on some brilliant instrumental virtuosity, guitars and keyboards in particular, to create powerful musical dynamics. Throw into the mix some wonderful Harpsichord, flute, vintage synth sounds and plenty of odd time signatures and you end up with what I think is a brilliant symphonic prog release that I strongly recommend you check out.