It’s always great to hear some good rock from Canada, and four-piece melodic Prog rockers, THE SLYDE make good on representing. ‘Awakening’ is the latest full-length offering from these fantastic underground rockers, and will get your feet tapping, my friends. Their sound is a clean dose of stadium-tinged rock in the vein of great bands like Rush and even Styx. While the intro did little to salivate the palate, opening track, Walk with Me opens with greatness and a feel-good kick to the butt of rock ‘n’ roll. The influences are apparent and don’t sit too obviously, but just enough to respectfully shine in their own way. The vocals of Nathan De Silva are reminiscent of Rush and Coheed & Cambria, but works their own charm to get the point across and complement the impressive musicianship of Sarah Westbrook’s craft on the keys, to Alberto Campuzano’s very cool sounding bass tones that sit well in the mix with a warm hue that blends well with Brendan Soares‘ quality work on the skins, laying down some killer beats.
In Silence is a great follow-up track to show off how tight and well-rounded in sound these folks are. Across the board, the track gives space to each member to shine and define their role within this sound. Great track to get to really know who THE SLYDE are. These Wars brings an up-tempo, happy vibe to the album and whilst full of energy and again some great musicianship, just felt like it was missing that little piece of edge to set it right off. Still, it remains a worthy track on the album.
Title track Awakening allows the band to take a bit more control in showing depth and precision even more with some great full force rhythm, and Westbrook’s keys shine so well here on this tech-heavy track. De Silva hits a great passage vocally here and the chorus definitely shows these Canadians mean business and know how to pull a tight groove and throw a decent punch. Whilst on a different tangent, So Blind really stands out on this album as an anthemic single, packed with fantastic vocal melody and very punk-driven beat and groove to get psyched on. You really cannot fault the band on their quest to blow minds with the determination and epic vibes their sound unleashes. This track is a truly memorable highlight and thumbs up to the vocal arrangements and kickarse time signatures on the drumming, and even packs a slight Metal feel in the close, which is very well played you cheeky little devils.
Fading opens with majesty and you can just imagine many a Pete Townshend guitar stroke, as this track punches forward with a blend of epic extravaganza that would put a smile on Geddy Lee’s dial and just launches with leaps and bounds of Prog rock textbook moves that sees a nice back and forth trade with the keys and the guitar, while drum and bass just exude a tasteful bottom end to keep this track interesting. And while De Silva lays out some more great vocal passages, the overall effort is solid.
Join the Parade carries on the rock vibe with some cool bass licks and thunderous drum patterns. Whilst tinges of funk leak into the song, the prominence here is pure rock in the chorus with the feel of this being more of a call to arms track to rally the troops and get fists in the air. THE SLYDE have certainly got no shortage of dynamic in the sound that’s for sure. Divide just lets loose with all guns blazing and the keys shred here. Vocals once again stand out great with some fantastic melodies and power in the execution. De Silva holds his own and knows how to use his range effectively without getting ridiculous. The slight Thrash in the closing rhythm is a nice touch also, while the piano outro here is a great piece in the track’s close.
The finale of Back Again offers a more commercial feel and actually works as a closing track. Packed with some nice hooks and a catchy chorus, and solid beat to keep this vibrant and end a great ride of an album. De Silva shines on guitar here, with a nice trade-off solo with the keys, all the while letting the track portray a very smooth and steady groove to take the journey home.
THE SLYDE have delivered a polished piece of work with ‘Awakening’ and more than show that there is something here to get excited about and appeal to those who love complexity and great melody in their musical stride. Definitely add this band to your collection if the classic arena Prog rock sound is your forte and you need some joy in your life. Take THE SLYDE, because you wont be disappointed.
GET YOUR HANDS ON THE SLYDE’S ‘AWAKENING’ HERE!