Chicago prog rockers hit new highs on album number two.

The Cyberiam are fronted by a singer who flirted with fame on reality TV show Popstars: The Rivals in the 2000s, but don’t be fooled; their prog credential­s are as clear as day. Connected, their second full-lengther, finds the Chicago quartet in truly fine fettle, conjuring an intoxicati­ng, easy-to-imbibe cocktail of Porcupine Tree’s attack, the melodic energy of Rush and Umphrey’s McGee groove.

The adroit playing is grand without being overly glitzy, with the spunky Moral Landscape allowing Brian Kovacs’ bass to roam free, and keyboardis­t Frank Lucas – who enjoys the tutelage of Dream Theater’s Jordan Rudess – adds vital flair. Singer Keith Semple, meanwhile, ramps up the radio-friendly appeal with finely tuned vocals that are likely to tickle fans of Coheed And Cambria. Amid the many highs there are a few dips, though, and long track times can stifle the momentum. But they’re the exception rather than the rule. ‘We all want to be, to be connected,‘ sings Semple on the title track – an anthem for the Covid era perhaps? Judging from the quality on show here The Cyberiam will be linking arms with a lot of new listeners in the near future.

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