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Album Review: Stay Lost by Sianvar

Experimental/post-hardcore supergroup Sianvar will release their highly anticipated debut full-length Stay Lost on August 5th via Blue Swan Records. The group consists of Will Swan (Dance Gavin Dance), Donovan Melero (Hail the Sun), Sergio Medina (Stolas), and Joe Arrington & Michael Franzino (A Lot Like Birds).

With expectation duly raised it’s hard not to go into Stay Lost with some preconceptions. Whatever they are this album has something for everyone, especially someone who like Coheed and Cambria. The similarities are stark and obvious from opener and title track ‘Stay Lost’ through to ‘Stay Scared’. Does that make it a bad album? Not at all, does it detract from your overall enjoyment? Slightly.

There’s moments like the heavy and expansive guitars on ‘1100 Days’ that make you think Sianvar might be something special. Like much of the album it takes you on a sonic ride of complex guitar riffs and emotive lyrics – thunderous and at times challenging it certainly wouldn’t be for the faint hearted. Second track ‘Omniphobia’ sets the tone for the abrasive complexity early doors and although it stands out as one of the more instantaneous tracks it’s a challenge that the casual listener would have difficult stomaching.

With the tone of Stay Lost set as ‘difficult’ it gets pretty hard to get on board with the album. The emotion behind ‘Anticoagulant’ threatens to be beguiling yet it just seems too much. ‘Foxholes And Deities’ gets bogged down in a torrent of guitars without really having direction and by the time you get through to ‘Coordinate Love’ you find yourself struggling to stay engaged with the album.

‘BedRoots’ and the aforementioned ‘1100 Days’ are the bright spots of Stay Lost. The former hits the mark perfectly in combining the complexity the band rely on so much with an infectious hook. Essentially it is what the rest of the album needs to be. It is as if Sianvar have aimed for a Coheed and Cambria sound and landed in their most complex and difficult style.

Stay Lost is by no means a bad album. If progressive and experimental post-hardcore is your thing, then this is right on the money. If you’re a Dance Gavin Dance enthusiast, then this will be essential. For the listener that isn’t invested in Sianvar, this might just be too much of an ask.

AD Rating 5.5/10

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