Silent Sentinel [CD quality]

by Advent

supported by
Sven B. Schreiber
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Sven B. Schreiber Like its predecessor "Cantus Firmus", "Silent Sentinel" is, in my opinion, one of the most essential albums in the history of progressive rock. It's no exaggeration to state that I really adore the music of "Advent" since I discovered "Cantus Firmus" in 2006. They are from the branch of prog that's heavily inspired by "Gentle Giant", especially Kerry Minnear's contributions, and main songwriter Henry Ptak propels this great heritage in a respectful and ingenious way, adding his own vision in the form of his trademark polyphonic, endlessly meandering melodies and chord progressions, which rarely proceed as expected. On this album, there's once again some space left for the other songwriters of the band, i.e Alan Benjamin, Mark Ptak, and new member Greg Katona, who complement Henry Ptak's works seamlessly. Especially Alan Benjamin's "The Uncharted Path" is a true highlight. Favorite track: The Silent Sentinel.
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barneyspoppa Unique can tell the band and the song writer allan benjamin put their heart and soul into this album, wich makes the pay off for the listener you, all the sweeter!!
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    CD in six-panel Digipak cover, including beautiful (two-panel) gatefold cover painting by Michael Phipps and full lyrics.

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Canto XXVI (The Evil Counselors), Silent Sentinel [CD quality], Silent Sentinel [audiophile 2496], Advent (abridged), and Cantus Firmus. , and , .

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Just a quick perusal, So the lots are drawn—sober up now, as always you retain Right of first refusal, Free to sidle past—tho’ all roads lead back to Dunsinane. A fact brooks no argument, Press on, as though each step may be your last. Move along, there’s no sense standing ’round to wait For a sunken ship to self-explain. All the senses rankle, Never trust a thane bought and sold for a crude and selfish wage, While a thousand Banquos Spend their lamps in vain with swords drawn and valors unengaged. The tides bode of fire and toil, Carry on, and bear all things in good cheer. Pity the usurpers, having much to fear. (Were their fortunes left for hags to presage?) Harvest of confusion, Seeds of doubt the years o’er sown, now fully grown. In their disillusion, They know not where or whence their own flag is flown. As they rendezvous with their own petard, The Deceiver’s trickeries lain out in most stark portrayal, Michael leads his glorious, Praetorious guard Where arcane “terpsichories” do not avail. So the restoration As before, now awaits its own “wall of wood.” A defoliation Of the place where Birnam’s verges stood. As the songs of old do inspire again, Though the house be desolate and the winter’s night prolonged, ’Mid the frost and cold, there’ll be fire again— ’Tis the hour to discern weak from strong. “Maple, apple, oak, or larch?” There’s a tree assigned to you now. Shoulder up, and forward march!
Lost for awhile, thoughts at play, moving on the wings Of an ant in flight, with a stealth worthy of a dream. Flutters past, now and then, some faint reminder … Try again to decipher the stream. Like the branch in the storm that taps at the window, Moot and unresolved, the question for me … And the wind gives the lie to my lot As the moon taunts the sea.
Overcast, expecting showers later on in the day. Revise, and then consign some small resistance to Another urgent change of plans…. An hour well past re-barricades all avenues of escape, A line within a song gives no assistance to Indulge an idle pair of hands. A light repast, and resignation—hurry now, and begin … No sooner underway, I start to dream of places that I know I’ve never been. Thoughts fly west, someplace iconic (now, or some other year) … A Golden State of mind my inner boarding pass, Because I think I’m hearin’ … Voices from California, it doesn’t matter what kind as long as they’re … Voices from California, a magic place of warmth and harmony Soaring forever…. Resigned to “trial-by-solipsism,” time and place not my own, The weather mild and fair as I cross into that zone. I laugh to myself, but meanwhile a familiar theme comes to mind … Distortion, more or less, like an old newspaper re-read and left behind. A perfect day, a perfect beach where we can watch the girls for a while. The only problem is, I kinda missed the exit by 3,000 miles. Voices from California, it doesn’t matter what kind as long as they’re … Voices from California, the answer lies so many miles away. Voices from California, it never matters what time of year it is. Voices from California, another place of warmth and harmony Soaring forever….
In my room, in my place, silent and secure, I can feel my soul, myself sinking into night…. Midnight creeps circumspect Pours through the cracks in the walls And there it collects. In the cobwebs amidst the shadows Blooming like a weed of delight … And despair in a cavern The sunlight neglects.
Forward, watchman, ever forward, never look back, Timeworn contours contend from grey to black. Fortunes foretold, remnants, old romantic clichés, Night’s cold threshold…. Remember for a minute more (give or take), New yesterdays lost in its wake. Gaslight (sleep tight!) … and harpsichord, Broadwood upright (just recently restored), Authors, classics, rare and hard to find, Portraits, heirlooms, and curiosities one of a kind. And at twelve bells of the hour As one ponders the things that are passing, Autumn winds swirling ’round the clock tower Find their mark as the leaves Heed the tempter’s voice As it cuts through the trees. The night’s slumbers may bring A reminder of four final things. 1ST THING: So, how’s the tale proceeding? Will it sell? Have you thought of an end? Make resolve, break resolve, Foiled again. (My own internal Fred Astaire!) One weighs the answer Who knows the dancer. 2ND THING: Shorn of all self-exemption, Broken, silenced, reduced to a cower, Weighed and known, in that awful hour, One can’t deceive, nor self-deceive. Hear in mute prostration Of the final station. 3RD THING: Child of Circe (Lord, have mercy?), Oh, no, no … no one says that here, (Except … maybe as a curse!) Bought the plan (But then it) Hit the fan…. (But at least) I know things can’t get worse. Crossroad, highway, Extra, my way, Why remorse? Why so haunted? This is what you wanted. “Think, remember when you had the help?” But now I’ve got myself all to myself. 4TH THING: Bright beyond expectation, Through a glass once but darkly beheld, Rest assured the Director’s cut Only features all that’s fit to tell Of a role refashioned Through a season’s passion.
Pilots serve their resignations While passengers spurn all destinations But one. Sage advice seems melodramatic And can’t be heard above the static While the ladies wonder where the children Have gone. Lambs now find themselves applauding As wolves in their midst still marauding Preside. Last shot, make it far enough, For the last time. Last stop, take it, time is up For my design. “X” marks the hour when the lights go on. Oh, how long can you refuse? Don’t you know when all’s been said and done, It’s still ours to lose? Once and for all our ora pro nobises. And the houselights flicker on, To illuminate all to their standing— All once hoped for, accomplished, intended Made plain.
Now alone, themes return, music, mine the score … Each event remains, every rest leaving by the door. More than silence can ever fill, Sometimes the sense of it all Keeps haunting me still. Old polyphonies keep retaining truth’s preserve, The patience of years. And the wasting of the time still remaining’s The greatest of fears. As I ponder the moment once more And I savor the chill.



Advent's majestic new 77.5-minute near-concept album of thoughtfully composed progressive rock music, ranging in scope from extended symphonic workouts to intimate acoustic guitar duets and much more in between--featuring rich multi-part vocal segments, additional dual-guitar work within the context of larger arrangements, and expanded instrumentation that includes various vintage keyboards and with real choir.


released August 11, 2015

Henry Ptak: keyboards, mandolin, percussion, lead vocals, backing vocals

Alan Benjamin: guitars, bass, violin, mandolin, recorder, glockenspiel, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals

Mark Ptak: keyboards, percussion, lead vocals, backing vocals

Greg Katona: guitars, percussion

Joe D’Andrea: drums, percussion, lead vocals, backing vocals

Brian Mooney: fretted and fretless basses


Thérèse Ptak: solo soprano on “Sentinel’s Reprise: The Exit Interview” and “Romanitas”

Ben “BenZuda” Harrison: fiddles on “To Dunsinane”

Dan D’Elia: guest drum corps percussion member on “To Dunsinane” and “Riptide in Aeternum”

Choir members: Alan Benjamin, Amy Benjamin, Matt Brown, Kerry Chicoine, Joe D’Andrea, David Kowalski, Steven Kugelmass, Joanna Lovell, Roe McBurnett, Henry Ptak, Mark Ptak, Thérèse Ptak, Dave Rollins

Mastered by Bob Katz at Digital Domain
Artwork and Advent logo by Michael Phipps


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Advent Bridgewater, New Jersey

Perhaps a modern equivalent to the symphonic side of classic English progressive-rock groups like Gentle Giant, (early) Genesis, and Procol Harum, but with a little Tubes-style funk and the occasional jazz-rock flourish as well, Advent seeks to blend true classical-quality composition with the excitement and dynamics of rock music. ... more

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