Cairo: Bret Douglas (vocals); Alec Fuhrman (vocals, guitar); Rob Fordyce (vocals, bass); Mark Robertson (piano, Hammond organ, keyboards, synthesizer); Jeff Brockman (drums, electronic percussion).
Nestled somewhere between art rock and symphonic prog, Cairo's self-titled release is a blend of melodious, synth-induced music accompanied by the rich voices of three singers. Implementing basic Hammond organ and grand piano movements into their material, their neo- progressive structure mirrored bands like Pendragon and IQ, constituting a crisp, refined sound. Certain instrumental stretches come off as elaborate and powerful throughout the album, but on the whole the material from this American band is typical of every other post-1990 progressive group. Some sharp keyboard treks and bombastic percussion is prevalent throughout the six tracks, especially on the lofty-sounding "Ruins At Avalon's Gate," a 22-minute finale that merges all of Cairo's instrumental elements into the most amicable portion of the album. Like most progressive music, the synthesizers and other accompanying keys take full precedent here, but the album slightly lacks in solidity and fails to breed any unique qualifications with respect to its genre. ~ Mike DeGagne