“Surround” (6:57) and “Weathering” (7:53) debut the first vocals on Sylvium songs, and in both cases, the voice of Richard de Geest fits into the music superbly. “Surround” starts in a more stripped down way, which did remind me of the older Scottish band, The Blue Nile, with the strong powerful voice delivering the lyrics over a relatively sparse backing. The track soon builds in intensity, but that voice remains the centerpoint. Great guitar riffs, keyboard flourishes and the continued excellence of the rhythm unit ensures a memorable track. The final track, “Weathering”, has a very gentle introduction with nice drumming, bass and another of those simple piano melodies. The voice is slightly more insistent on this track as it gently pulls you into the music. This is possibly the most memorable track on the first few listens and will certainly embed itself in your mind. The second part of the track allows the musicians to highlight their skills, before a more ethereal sound takes over to take the track out.
The Gift of Anxiety is a simply stunning album that immediately grabs your attention, and for the 41 minutes of its duration, carries you along on a wave of aural soundscapes before gently allowing you to settle back into the here and now. After a moment, you realize the next thing to do is to start the album over again. Both “One to Buy” and “The Experience will last Forever” sticker adorn the front of this release and it is an album that should fill a little space on everyone’s CD shelf.