Sylvan is a German orchestral rock act whose music reflects the leafy, pagan-y images suggested by their name. This is an incredible melodic band whose sonic ambitions contain elements of space and psychedelic predecessors. The latest, "Sceneries," is a two-disc, 90-minute, five "chapter" pastoral - and if you're one of those folks for whom such things makes you guffaw in "Spinal Tap" fashion, well, you wouldn't get it, anyway. For the enlightened, this is a mesmerizing, chiming, gorgeous and beautifully written record that will surface again in a few months when it's time for my always-anticipated Year-End Best Of chart.
- RICK KOSTER