Sylvaine – “Wistful” (2016)


Label: Season of Mist

Review by Warren Mayocchi

Sylvaine performs all aspects of her musical creations. Labeled well as alternative/atmospheric post-metal/post-rock, she has created an album which lives up to the title of ‘wistful’. There is an abundance of shoegaze in the style of this album, which makes for an emotion filled listen. There is ever a contemplative moment in the shoegaze style, and “Wistful” is full of them. “Delusions” begins the album with Sylvaine treating us to a lament sung with the pure angelic tones and musical reflections until the song proper starts. At this point a slow and heavy musical interlude builds anticipation toward the re-introduction of the vocals. At 10-minutes long “Delusions” takes time to explore various musical themes, so it sets the scene well for what follows. “Earthbound” comes next and introduces us to the screaming vocals on the highest tempo track on the album. It is like a slap in the face after the rhythmic beauty of the first track. However, the screaming helps highlight the other musical elements – which are all quite distinct on every track, everything sounds like it has a purpose. Next up is “A Ghost Trapped in Limbo”, a mid-tempo track with clean vocals, then “Saudade”, a slower piece, and then “In the Wake of Moments Passed By”. What an incredibly evocative track title! It is also a song of fractured beauty, combining gentle music and Sylvaine‘s distressed screaming. This might be my favourite song on the album – it is hard to choose it against the clean vocals though, as I feel all of the songs here complement each other. On the next track, “Like a Moth to a Flame”, the vocals become clean and soothing again – which gives the song a ambient feel. The album closes with “Wistful”, continuing with the ambience, and truly evoking a wistful emotion. “Wistful” is an emotion filled album of introspective beauty. While the screaming vocals may not be for everyone, they do make a lot of sense in the context of the album, and they are limited to two of the songs, so you can enjoy the rest of the album with clean vocals if it is your preference. Albums created by multi-instrumental superstars like Sylvaine are an extremely intriguing listening experience – almost a glance into the soul of another person as they bring complete songs to us from within.

Rating – 91/100



  1. Delusions
  2. Earthbound
  3. A Ghost Trapped in Limbo
  4. Saudade
  5. In the Wake of Moments Passed By
  6. Like a Moth To a Flame
  7. Wistful



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