January 11 this year was a busy day, seeing as Sylvium was due to headline at the Celebrate 2014! gig at Starsound in Utrecht.  Busy as we ever were, not just due to learning a whole new setlist, but also a new song planned for the recording of our second album. And new songs that aren’t recorded yet, simply because they’re still a work in progress, are always a tough cookie.

Even though it was to be a happy environment with two other superb bands, Adeia and Minor Giant, I’d not have the best of weeks and so the drive to Utrecht wasn’t a fun one.

Setup and rolling our gear in after all arriving at two in the afternoon kept my mind off of things as I focused on making sure my amp was set up, seeing as Adeia’s guitarist Wabe was using the speaker cabinet. The whole affair of this gig set up by Freia Music and Layered Reality Productions made this day become one where I had enough opportunities to be distracted by my band mates, our crew helping with the setup and the other bands talking to them about their love for music and other things.

After devouring the Chinese food that was ordered in, we moved into the rehearsal room ( where we work out all our material as well) and started getting ready to do the gig. Whereas I usually watch the venue fill up with people, I decided to distance myself this time and remain as zen as possible. I wasn’t feeling comfortable and I was afraid it was going to show on stage. Taking the time to remain backstage calmed me significantly. I eventually moved out into the venue to enjoy what the other bands had in store that night.
Adeia took the stage first, blowing me away with their massive sound and their unique position that they hold in the Dutch Progressive Metal scene. Not a lot of prog metal bands can incorporate a classic sound that well, but Adeia have proven otherwise.

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Minor Giant was up next, playing a stunning set of music best described as the Dutch Transatlantic. After the loud set by Adeia, this was a welcome change in sound, as well as a joy to behold two keyboard players instead of one!
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Then, it was our turn!

And just then, Antal keyboard rig decided to break down.

As Antal sat down to fix his computer ( from which he triggers his soft synths), we waited for about fifteen minutes as we were unable to get any sound out of his rig. But finally, Murphy’s sense of humor ended along with the suspense that was killing us and soon we were on our way into the setlist.

140111-03 Sylvium 038 [Gijs Koopman]         140111-03 Sylvium 003 [Richard de Geest]

The new setlist proved a golden one, with the first half a combination of songs from ‘The Gift of Anxiety’ and two tracks from the ‘Purified’ EP. The crowd was enthusiastic about the songs played and confidently we continued.
The new song, Fade In/Out, was up next. Responses were positive, although we’re still working out the arrangements on that track as we speak to keep it as tight as possible. But we got through it! We ended our set with ‘Heaven’, ‘Weathering’ and ‘Falling’ before setting off into the night once more.


140111-03 Sylvium 039 [Antal Nusselder]          140111-03 Sylvium 019 [Greg Geurtsen] 140111-03 Sylvium 011 [Ben van Gastel]         140111-03 Sylvium 047 [Band] 140111-03 Sylvium 048 [Band]         140111-03 Sylvium 033 [Gijs Koopman, Ben van Gastel, Richard de Geest]

The gig was a marvellous thing to do. Even though I’d had a crap week, performing that night was the required exorcism, so to speak. I’ve been been told by Tom, our esteemed friend who is currently cutting the footage shot at the gig for a DVD ( and is also the lead vocalist of Mind:Soul, a great band you should all check out!), that the footage looked awesome. Beside that, the review we got on progwereld by Mario van Os was so positive, it had me smiling for days. So on to the next gig!


Sylvium album: The Gift of Anxiety

The official release date for Sylvium’s first album: The Gift of Anxiety, is September 13th 2013.

Sylvium: the Gift of Anxiety

However, record label Freia Music is offering the option of a pre-order at a reduced price. You can choose to have it sent to you after its release, or pick it up at the CD presentation on the 13th of September at Parktheater, Alphen a/d Rijn. Tickets are available here. Sylvium will be playing alongside The Aurora Project and main act Galahad.

Apart from that, Freia Music is also offering the  limited option to order all Sylvium’s music at once.

Sylvium catalog

Dutch music store Free-Record Shop and online multi-store Bol.com are also offering the new Sylvium album.

I have been absolutely blown away, but definitely in the best way ever. The Sylvium mixes landed themselves in my mailbox and blew up my speakers. Hell yea, this sounds superb! Can’t wait to get this out to you all!

Another beginning: Sylvium (the Gift of Anxiety)

Sylvium, Dutch prog rock band

Progdreams II came and went on the 19th of may 2013, a pleasant little festival that brought me Beardfish, District 97, Spock’s Beard and Sound of Contact. All amazing bands that played my socks off that night and put a big smile on my face.

That night, through a mutual friend, I met Wouter. Wouter was this friendly and enthusiastic progrock lover with whom I had a great chat about our favorite music. After my friend suggested I send him some of my music sometime, we exchanged our names on Facebook and later that night after I came home, I sent him the link to my Bandcamp page.

He brought me in contact with Ben van Gastel, a guitarist living in the west of Holland and before I knew it, Ben sent me a message saying he was impressed with how I sang and wanted to see if we could collaborate on a song for his band Sylvium, who were busy at the time recording an album. After a couple of drinks and discussing where this could lead, we decided to take a dive and see what we could come up with.

The songs had already been written, but since Sylvium was without a vocalist, I was free to write whatever I felt fitted the concept of fear. ‘Weathering’ was the first one finished and after recording a demo take of my vocals at my home, the band became more enthusiastic than I had anticipated. Eventually the idea to have another song with vocals came up, which became ‘Surround’.

Although intended to be only a collaboration, the band was extremely pleased with how both songs came out and how the band sounded with two guitarists and added me to their lineup. Right now, as I write this, I am in the process of working out what parts to play, programming my effects unit and getting some extra equipment that I need for gigging. I’m certainly quite excited that our first gig will be on the 13th of september in Alphen a/d Rijn, as we play next to The Aurora Project and Galahad. It’s going to be blast 🙂

Galahad, Sylvium, The Aurora Project, prog rock concert poster