THE SLYDE - Awakening

The Slyde - Awakening

10 songs
40:10 minutes
***** ****
(self-released)

Bandpage

The Slyde, a progressive metal band from Toronto, have released a couple of EPs between 2009 and 2011, and then things became quiet due to some line-up changes. Now they are back with their first longplayer, aptly titled Awakening.

As The Slyde are Canadians and playing progressive music, parallels to Rush seem to be in order, especially since Nathan Da Silva’s vocals remind somewhat of Geddy Lee’s. Guitar, bass and drums also go in a direction that remind of the early Rush albums. Sarah Westbrook’s keyboard skills add influences from Dream Theater to Haken, and bass player Alberto Campuzano used to play with Annihilator and currently is a member of War Machine, which explains the heavier moments of The Slyde’s music.

Despite the songs’ retro flair, they still manage to sound fresh. The balance between melodies and tempo is just right, and occasionally the band allows itself to let it all out, as for instance on These Wars, where they have been inspired by Meshuggah, although The Slyde of course don’t sound as extreme. There are a couple of standout tracks on Awakening. In Silence is finest power rock with progressive structures. The title track comes with a great vintage sound. The dynamic Fading is quite catchy and also deeply rooted in the Seventies. Only towards the end there are a few criticisms. Divide is in itself a strong track but ends with a lengthy piano outro, and the concluding ballad Back Again is too quiet for my taste, even though the band insisted on making a video clip for exactly that track.

It’s a shame that a talented band like The Slyde hasn’t been signed to a record label yet. You can actually hear how much the band like to play their music, which is full of good vibes that infect their audiences instantly. Awakening is a thoroughly entertaining affair, especially for fans of Rush and early Dream Theater. And yet The Slyde are more than mere copycats, as repeated listening will reveal a ton of ideas that have been put into each and every track.

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