Label: Sonic Vista Music (2014)
First off let me say, this is a stunning sixty-six minutes of symphonic prog styled music. Silk is the second album from Milan based quintet who go by the nameDropshard. Taking inspiration from such diverse bands as Genesis and Porcupine Tree, the twelve compositions ranging in lengths from 1:55 to 11:55 give off an urgent, pleading tone all musically wrapped up in grand sweeping symphonic arrangements. Songs will very often start off in one style only to build and evolve into something very different. Repeating musical themes is common and a couple of the shorter selections are more ambient synthesizer pieces kitted out with either sound effects or voices. One of the first things you come to appreciate is the amount of music here. The sheer number allows for songs like “Eyes” [4:28] to come off initially as a simple song, until you experience it evolving in volume and dynamics over the course of the tune. Truth be told for an Italian band, the music displays more of an Anglo influence. The instrumental virtuosity is never overly complex nor are the arrangements, instead the music is structured in a way that builds minor chord tension or anxiety that is then accompanied by major chord release. Dropshard really get to stretch out on the three longer songs that display a wonderful sonic contrast between the more plaintive side of the band and the grander more powerful side. The two extremes are tied together with intricate synth lines and it’s easy to visualize a modern reading of old school Genesis, especially on a track like “Cell 342” [8:43]. Imagine what early Genesis would have sounded like on “The Knife” if they’d had all the modern guitar crunch available to them. A track like this is complete with shifting time and tempo, extreme dynamics and every evolving drum patterns. Truly spectacular music and highly recommended to fans of Symphonic Prog.