Review – Kyros – Mannequin – by John Wenlock-Smith

Kyros have been around for well over a dozen years. Originally a solo project formed in 2009 under the name Chromology by Shelby Logan Warne whlist undertaking an undergraduate degree at Middlesex University. In 2010 Warne began writing a debut album that would be released under the name Synthaesthesia. It was as a self titled album in 2014 and was well received. However, after releasing the album Warne began to put together a band to play the material live and for future activities.

This line up was composed of Warne on keyboards, vocal and production along with another University colleague Samuel Higgins on second guitar, guitarist Ollie Hannifan, drummer Robin Johnson and bassist Peter Episcopo. Hannifan decided he wanted a leave of absence and was temporarily replaced by American guitarist Joey Frevola who eventually joined as a full time member, replacing Hannifan. After recording ‘Mannequin’, Episcopo left to be replaced by Knifeworld member Charlie Cawood.

Anyway enough history and biography, let tell you about what this album is like…

Kyros specialise in an updated progressive rock version of classic 80’s Synthpop. Which, actually, they are really rather good at performing with this resulting album, ‘Mannequin’, being chock full of some familiar sounds and styles. Think ABC, Duran Duran, Propaganda and Japan, you wouldn’t be a mile off. The music is all performed so fabulously with style and conviction that you wouldn’t think this was recorded in 2024, it sounds so much like a lost 1980’s album and I mean that as a compliment.

I really have warmed to this album the more I hear it, the songs are strong and well delivered, the production is flawless and sonically spot on. All in all, it’s a remarkable achievement from the band and is definitely on my best albums of the year list, it is that impressive musically. This release plays like roller coaster with a series of tracks with ferocious drumbeats, a fiery guitar and thumping bass lines. I am seriously impressed with it all, especially Showtime which is full on, relentless and rather hi-energy in style, Shelby’s synths are all over this track all, it is simply glorious! Illusions Inside is another fine track with heavy elements of Propaganda’s Dr Mabuse track, this song really grabs the attention, especially the excellent bass from Charlie Cawood.

Esoterica is another stunning track with a running sequence of an ambient electro beat driving the track along. Lots of intense guitar chords add to the great rhythm of the track and, again, superb heavy synthesisers are present. A great chorus adds dynamics to this excellent track and I love how it mixes up the sound, a glorious, blistering, thunderous sonic assault. It is truly remarkable stuff, seven minutes of magnificence. The End In Mind has lots of intricate and dextrous bass lines giving another powerful groove that has strong echoes of Duran Duran, especially in that luscious bass, the spirit of John Taylor is definitely present and correct here. The guitar work of Joey Favola is superb too, driving a heavy groove offset by the Sonic the Hedgehog type keyboard sounds (the Sega Mega Drive game more than the movies though). It’s a fairly long track and that gives it time to proceed through its different sections which, taken together, form a very cohesive whole.

Digital Fear is a fairly short track with lots happening musically. It takes a while for things to really kick in on this track which is good as it’s and instrumental and a great one at that. Ghosts of You is so 1980’s that it is unbelievable! It reminds me a little of Go West or The Blow Monkeys as it has that sort of swing to it, or possibly Breakout by Swing Out Sister but it is one hell of an excellent track. Liminal Space puts us in prime a-ha territory, albeit with a very heavy bass line, or maybe it’s Roxette I’m hearing here? either way, it’s mightily impressive.

Technology Killed The Kids is the album’s penultimate track and there is a more moody delivery on offer here. Another powerfully pounding track, I’m sure it will be barnstorming live. More spidery guitar lines from Joey are propelled by Charlie’s strong bass work. I love the way the sound distorts like the tape has broken down, whether this is deliberate or not I can’t say, either way it is effective. The final song Have Hope opens with a very upbeat synthesiser sound, an all round excellent sounding track with shades of Kajagoogoo to my ears.

Whilst this album is heavily reminiscent of the New Romantics, it really is more of a celebration and homage than a carbon copy for within its grooves are some very fine tracks and exciting and committed performances that are really well delivered. ‘Mannequin’ is a wonderfully expressive and exceptionally bold release that you really need in your life. If Steven Wilson can gain kudos for his 80’s sounding albums then why shouldn’t Kyros?

Released February 2nd, 2024.

Order direct from the band here:

Merch — KYROS (


Kyros – The End in Mind – PRESS RELEASE

Kyros have unveiled a brand new single and it’s an epic of nearly 8 minutes long with an incredible video which has also been created by the band. It’s the first new original music from Kyros since 2020 and marks the start of a new creative period for the band with more new music and live shows to come. The single is available on download and streaming sites now at:

Kyros – The End in Mind (

Guitarist, Joey Frevola says “The four of us have been very productive over the last couple of years writing tons of new music and spending time together as friends. Our collaborations have only gotten more fruitful and inspired as a result. ‘The End In Mind’ is our first offering of what we all agree is the best version of KYROS yet. It’s catchy, it’s got crazy playing, it talks about young people’s angst – boom. That’s KYROS”


Now in their tenth year, Kyros have released three studio albums, three EPs, a covers album and a live-in-the-studio album. The most recent studio album was the 2020 release Celexa Dreams, which showcased the band’s growth and evolution as musicians. The album featured the band’s most experimental sound to date, with electronic elements and a wide range of influences from other genres. It received widespread praise from fans and critics alike, solidifying Kyros as a leading act in the progressive rock scene. As one of the many bands that had to adapt and evolve in the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic, Kyros took their new songs to the “stage” and toured Celexa Streams across the online world. In doing so, they seamlessly refashioned their way of working to show they are progressive both in musical style and in work ethic.

But in addition to their successful studio efforts, Kyros are also known for their dynamic and energetic live performances, which have garnered them a dedicated fanbase around the world. They have toured throughout the UK, Europe and USA and have also performed at festivals such as Night of the Prog and RoSFest, as well as supporting high profile bands such as Marillion, Spock’s Beard and Vanilla Fudge.


Shelby Logan-Warne

Joey Frevola

Robin Johnson

Peter Episcopo

Review – Kyros – Vox Humana – By Emma Roebuck


Kyros (Nee Synaethesia) is Adam Warne (vocals, keyboards), Joey Frevola (guitars), Peter Episcopo (bass, vocals), Robin Johnson (drums, percussion) & Sam Higgins (guitars, vocals). They have been tipped and praised in the media and rock press in their original guise growing out of Adam’s solo project into a fully fledged band. I am not one to patronise when I say this, but, these guys are young and this is a definitive advantage in many respects. They are not shackled to the 70s golden age but they pull influences from the 80s and 90s too. Like genuine artistic magpies they are content to take all that is good from a wide range of sources and put elements of it into their music.

The music is very very full on; the influences of Haken are obvious with drummer Raymond Hearne arranging the brass on various sections. It is a sonically dense album with so much going on that what at first appears to be a simple piece has hidden depths. New Paradigm is one such track. At face value it feels like a crooner from the 40s accompanied by a piano but then evolves into a an atmospheric combination of the harmony and keyboards that becomes almost ethereal in it quality.

To counterbalance this Technology Killed the Kids II is jam packed with intensity reflecting how much technology is filling the younger generation’s lives and leaving no space to breath or be real in a real world. It has a definite ‘Prog’ feel with massive keyboard sounds and it really stands out from the first listen to the last.

The single Cloudburst has overtones of later period Depeche Mode in it combined with post modern values in the writing. It is accessible and has a great hook and instrumental breaks that could easily be played on the mainstream radio. Yet it retains its “Progginess”, I hear IQ in the guitar breaks and keyboard combination but there is no plagiarism here.


Onto CD2 and the vision darkens here, beginning with track one Mind Electric, an ominous overtone of keys and guitar that has an air of a desperate struggle between humanity and technology. The endless struggle between humanity and its own invention is the theme that runs through the album from beginning to end. Monster is another stand out track, the keyboard riff that feels instantly familiar, frenetic musical breaks simulating a struggle between the Frankenstein’s monster of the theme and the inner humanity railing against the metaphorical windmills.

This drops straight into a far less fraught piece called Hounds that lulls you into a false sense of security as you become hunted by the music and the beast itself. The closing track of the album, simply called Dilate, channels everything into a climax of tragedy and despair as we inevitably fall into a trap of our own design.


Overall ‘Vox Humana’ works very well indeed and takes the project to the next level with the song writing and sophistication. It has been carefully crafted and created with much maturity that is rare in any band.

This record is full of clever harmonies but is clever merely for the sake of being clever but, rather, because it fits the need. It really feels like it has been written and created by the band rather than just Adam getting people to play his music. Which to be honest, as good as Synaethesia was, that is what it felt like to me.

If you want something that pulls musically from the 80s and 90s and only really offers a nod to the roots of Prog rock then this is for you. It has more from the likes of IQ, IT Bites, Muse, Radiohead, Depeche Mode and Haken than anything made in 1973. It isn’t a late night chill out but is excellent driving music and it shows that the future of our music is in good hands.

Released 5th November 2016

Buy ‘Vox Humana’ direct from the band.

KYROS (Ex-Synaesthesia) To Return With New, Double Album “Vox Humana”

Multi-national Alternative / Progressive Rock outfit KYROS, formerly known as Synaesthesia — are set to return later this Fall with a release of their independently produced and engineered double album entitled Vox Humana, a follow-up to the critically acclaimed eponymous debut album, Synaesthesia, released in 2014 through GEP Records.

A culmination of approximately three years of writing, recording and mixing with efforts from all members; Adam Warne on vocals, keyboards and mixing, Joey Frevola on guitars and programming, Sam Higgins on vocals, guitars and additional programming, Peter Episcopo on vocals and bass guitar and Robin Johnson on drums and percussion, are proud to present Vox Humana as KYROS’ first professional release as a band since transitioning from a solo studio project whilst signed to GEP Records. The album also features a full live brass section with parts arranged by Raymond Hearne, more known as the drummer in the progressive metal band, Haken. Mastering of the album was expertly undertaken by Jens Bogren at the Fascination Street Studios (HakenDragonForce and Opeth) in Sweden.

Guitarist and singer Sam Higgins says, “Vox Humana has been the catalyst for a huge amount of change, and I feel that it is a tremendous step forward for us as a band. It has led us to go independent, something we decided on for a great number of reasons, but the big one is that when push comes to shove, we know exactly what we want from our music and we needed control of that. Maybe it’s naive and maybe it’s arrogant, but ultimately we need the decisions to be ours, that way the end product is something that is a true expression of our vision as a band. The end result is a concept double album, spanning a broad range of sounds, with a narrative that explores themes around what it is to be human.

Looking back, it almost seems inevitable that such an ambitious project would have a profound effect on our outlook as a band.”

Accompanying the release of the double album is the independent release of the band’s first maxi-single, entitled “Cloudburst.” This release includes the album mix of the track, as well as a special edition single edit, instrumental mix and newly written extended version of “Cloudburst.” This maxi single release also features mastering efforts from Jens Bogren.

As well as the album, we will be releasing a maxi single, inspired by the 12” singles of the 80’s. We are all huge fans of Trevor Horn, so it was an easy decision to make. Taking ‘Cloudburst’ as the single was another easy decision, the song is heavily synth- driven, and has quite a ‘poppy’ sound to it, which made it the perfect choice. Hopefully the alternate versions of the song will give people a deeper insight into the track,” Higgins commented.

The double album, Vox Humana will be released through KMG Music in November as a physical premium double-CD package available from the band’s online merch store and Amazon and digitally through online outlets such as iTunes, Napster, Tidal, Amazon MP3 and Spotify.

The maxi-single, “Cloudburst” will also be released through KMG Music as a physical and digital release within the coming weeks.

KYROS on the web:

KYROS line-up:

Adam Warne – vocals, keyboards, mixing
Joey Frevola – guitars, programming
Sam Higgings – vocals, guitars, programming
Peter Episcopo – vocals, bass
Robin Johnson – drums, percussions


About KYROS:

Not afraid to take songwriting and musical experimentation to a whole new level by pushing the boundaries. Creating fresh, new and exciting music with influences ranging from eighties pop e.g. Depeche Mode and Kate Bush through to modern post-progressive and alternative rock music such as Muse and Porcupine Tree.

KYROS (known as Synaesthesia 2012-2015) formed in 2012 in London, England and consists of Adam Warne on lead vocals and keyboards, Joey Frevola and Sam Higgins on guitar, Peter Episcopo on bass guitar and Robin Johnson on drums. The five piece came together after Adam was in need of completing the band line up to transition from a solo studio project to a fully fledged performing and writing group.

Although only having existed for a few years, the group has already released a critically acclaimed debut album and a successful limited edition EP. The debut album featured artwork designed by Freyja Dean, the daughter of legendary album cover artist Roger Dean. Songs from these two releases have received airplay on various radio stations including Team Rock Radio. On top of this, KYROS has performed a number of impressive shows ranging from festival dates in UK, Germany and USA to supporting high profile bands such as Marillion and Anathema. In 2015, the band performed sixteen dates across Europe supporting Spock’s Beard, all with hugely receptive crowds and positive reactions.

KYROS has also gained positive reactions from within the press. They received top spot in the ‘Tip for 2014’ and runner up in the ‘Tip for 2016’ awards from Prog Magazine as well as a nomination for the ‘Limelight’ category within the Progressive Music Awards. Their debut album received critical acclaim from all over the spectrum. The band has attracted interviews and article write-ups from respected journalists such as Malcolm Dome and Rich Wilson. Both gave positive words regarding the debut album and their thoughts on the future and direction of the band. Wilson described the album as being “an exceptional debut from a band who will only improve.”

In Autumn 2016, KYROS will be independently releasing a maxi single entitled “Cloudburst,” which is to be shortly followed by a double-album called Vox Humana. This album will mark the band’s fourth overall release as well as being the band’s second official album release.