By Dr. Abner Mality

The Slyde from Canada have released what seems like the 5432nd album to be titled "Awakening". There's enough of them to reach around the world by now...

Having noted that, I must say that this four piece have captured the spirit and sound of early Dream Theater like few other bands. "Awakening" is my first encounter with them, but they have a pretty long discography. While the words "Canada" and "progressive' usually bring the word RUSH to mind, The Slyde are coming from more of that Dream Theater/Spock's Beard locale. This is prog metal that has a peppy and energetic bite to it. There are no meandering epics here...the songs are pretty tight and compact. They flow very well within themselves and also with each other, resulting in a highly listenable album.

Instrumental talent becomes immediately apparent on "Walk With Me"...lots of exciting guitar/keyboard wars, with the guitar tending to come out on top. Nathan Da Silva's vocals are very clear and feminine many points, I could easily believe that keyboardist Sarah Westbrook was doing the singing. Melody is paramount and there's an AOR feel to the choruses. But the Slyde can crank it out pretty fast and furious when they want..."These Wars" and "So Blind" have genuine shredding and headbangable moments. "Join the Parade" indulges the more straight prog side and "Back Again" ends the record with a pure AOR ballad.

The press sheet makes much of the fact that not many bands are doing this style or at least doing it well anymore, and I tend to agree. This is an album to pick up if you're into talented prog metal with good songwriting.