|This article does not cite any references or sources. (March 2011)|
|Genres||Progressive Rock, Symphonic Rock, Progressive Metal, Neo-Prog|
|Associated acts||Temporal Temptation, Chameleon|
|Past members||Kay Söhl
Sylvan is a German progressive rock band.
Kay Söhl, the two keyboarders Volker Söhl and Matthias Harder, founded the band Temporal Temptation in the spring of 1990. By that summer the band had already played its first gig - the first live performance of the core founding members of the band. In a way it was also Sylvan’s birth. At this time the band played hard rock music and sang in German. Only a small part of their music was progressive rock.
In Autumn 1990, the band changed its name to Chameleon, a symbol of changeability, representing the long instrumental parts in their music. The cover artwork had a likeness to early Marillion covers and has never been issued. In summer 1991 Marko Heisig joined Chameleon as the lead singer and bassist. Between 1992 and 1994 the band had a gloomy and aggressive tonality to them and in this they were very different from the more rocky sounds of the previous years. In 1992 the first official demo tape of Chameleon was released. With Matthias Koops as lead singer, the second official demo tape was recorded. The title was 'Slaves' and its tracklist was 'Time', 'Slaves', 'Mirror of a Lifetime' and 'Childhood Dreams'.
In winter 1995 one of the band’s dreams was fulfilled: Marco Glühmann, an old friend who played many years before with Chameleon, joined the band. Within the same year the third and last official demo tape was recorded. The tracklist was 'Beren and Luthien', 'Golden Cage' and 'Outro'. All of these songs have merged into Sylvan's first studio album in one way or another.
In 1997 the last live concert took place under the name Chameleon. The band changed its name to Sylvan. Their first cd was recorded in 1998 and the second was released in 2000. The music of the band is progressive rock with some hard rock moments, and some melodic pop-rock elements, probably lingering from earlier in their career. Other apparent influences include psychedelic rock rock, a little Pink Floyd in the spacey elements, Marillion and Genesis.
Sylvan had engaged several different bassists until in spring 2000, Sebastian Harnack completed the band to care for the basslines permanently – just in time to join the Encounters-tour that was finished in spring 2002. The five musicians enthralled their audience not only in Germany, but on several festivals in different European countries and even in Mexico. Another highlight was the performance of "Encounters – Das Rockballet" together with the "New Dance Project".
In October 2002, Sylvan released Artificial Paradise, their third album.
Compared to its predecessors Sylvan's fourth album X-Rayed sounds rougher and darker. On this album, too, the songs all embrace a single subject: each tells a story about people who try to cope with an emotional encumbering situation. The release party in April 2004 was followed by an extensive tour throughout Germany and Europe (until winter 2005) with two outstanding events: the appearance at the Rites of Spring Festival in Phoenixville, USA, and the support of Marillion in Cologne.
Those highlights gave Sylvan important support to cope with the most stressful year in their history. Producing two albums simultaneously that couldn’t be more different entailed an enormous and almost unbearable workload. They released the first of the two albums, Posthumous Silence, in April 2006. The album subject – a father reads the diary of his apparently dead daughter and learns for the first time about her desperation – as well as the complexity of the compositions could by all means have scared potential listeners off. Instead, the music as well as the story manages to enthrall the audience instantly and to touch everybody in a unique way.
The next album is called Presets – which tries to make Sylvan's music known to a wider range of rock fans. Produced at the same time as the predecessor, Presets with its shorter and more catchy songs formed a perfect counterpart.
Shortly after finishing the work on their last two albums another major change in the band took place as founding member Kay Söhl who had been the band's guitarist for many years decided to leave the band. However at the end of 2007 Sylvan was very happy to present a new band member to the public: Jan Petersen who already had been part of the Posthumous Silence - Live Show as a guest guitarist.
- Current members
- Volker Söhl - keyboards (1990-Present)
- Matthias Harder - drums (1990-Present)
- Marco Glühmann - vocals (1995-Present)
- Sebastian Harnack - bass (2000-Present)
- Former members
- Kay Söhl - guitar (1990-2007)
- Marko Heisig - vocals (1991)
- Matthias Koops - vocals (1992)
- Jan Petersen - guitar (2007-2013)
- Deliverance (1999)
- Encounters (2000)
- Artificial Paradise (2002)
- X-Rayed (2004)
- Posthumous Silence (2006)
- Presets (2007)
- Force of Gravity (2009)
- Sceneries (2012)
- Home (2015)