Coming from the Netherlands, Sky Architect is a five-piece progressive rock band revisiting and reinventing the early prog sound for this new millennium on their debut effort Excavations of the Mind. Invoking the likes of King Crimson and Gentle Giant, Sky Architect pushed their prog through the modern filter of The Flower Kings and Porcupine Tree. The result is quite magical, complex yet entertaining, with a certain bit of perplexing innovation (take note of the fourth track Deep Chasm Part 4: Chasm).
If anything, Sky Architect has learned well from their early prog forbears: never be dull and, wherever possible, keep your listener a tad bit off balance. The singular deftness and daftness of The Deep Chasm suite or Russian Wisdom do just that. You want to keep listening because it's all very intriguing and, if by some dumb reason, you step out of the room you're sure to miss something, possibly something important. While the arrangements are clever, complex, and necessarily inventive, Sky Architect seems to go to great lengths to include every prog musical device they can conjour up. Sometimes the shifts are abrupt as in the late three minutes of The Grey Legend. I'm wondering if Sky Architects packs so much 'stuff' into a song just to prove that they can, or it's merely the method in their musical madness. Regardless, the skill and accuracy by which they pull it off borders on near (schizophrenic?) genius. Brilliant stuff!
Sky Architect's Excavations of the Mind is a grand progressive rock experiment, and the listener is invited to observe and validate the experience. Everything here requires repeated listens, maybe even with headphones after a glass or two of red wine. Strongly recommended (with or without the wine).