With its first album "Deliverance" recorded in 1998, SYLVAN opens the door to a secret world. The music played by this band from Hamburg takes you to a journey filled with miracles, dreams, love and passion. The album consists of eight superb tracks which enchant the listener with their excellent construction and elegant atmospheres. Fantastic vocals, unforgettable melodies, dazzling guitar parts and cascades of keyboards notes show that the music of this group is based on an ever-changing palette of sounds and emotions. Reaching rarely attained standards within progressive rock, the powerful and expressive vocals is not the smallest asset of those nice German. Frequently compared to groups like MARILLION or IQ, SYLVAN successfully adds a new facet to the gem of Nineties neo Progressive. And, during the masterpiece called "Encounters" (2000), their tone is a little tougher, but still remains melodious and easily understandable. This album of maturity includes three compositions, one of whom is more than 40 minutes long ! Hard to do better than that ? Well... "Artificial Paradise" (2002) is quite mature and both stylistically and qualitatively at the level of a SPOCK'S BEARD or IZZ. A local comparison could also be made with RPWL, without anyone objecting to it. Conclusion ? No doubt, one of the revelations of 2002 !... The fourth album "X-Rayed" (2004) reveals a noticeable evolution in the musical composition process: you'll still find all the SYLVAN trademarks (Powerful and suggestive vocals, melodic and powerful guitar riffs, an impressive rhythm section, floating and suggestive keyboards sounds and parts, straightforward and nevertheless sophisticated choruses...), but you'll also notice unusual sequences, based on atmospheres, meditative and gloomy moments: it's not so far from RADIOHEAD or NO-MAN ! Doubtlessly, SYLVAN remains a surprising and fantastic band... Eleven years and six albums after its beginnings, SYLVAN has become a true landmark on the current Progressive rock scene. The seventh opus "Force Of Gravity" (2009) is the continuation of "Posthumous Silence" and "Presets", while bringing an electric dimension not unlike the polish musicians of RIVERSIDE. The arrival of a new guitar player might be the cause here... Let's also note that singer Marco GLUEHMANN has never been that much expressive and captivating. All in all, here's surely of of the real contenders for the 2009 title !