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Tracklist: 1. The Revelation 7:27 2. Misgivings 4:50 3. My Own Truth 5:22 4. The Prediction 7:04 5. The Dream 3:34 6. Bitterness 10:23 7. The Choice 8:11 8. The Light 6:18 + "Hidden Track" 7:00 (2:00, in fact: see review) All tracks: by Xang, except 5 (by Vincent Hooge & Manu Delestre) & "+" (by Antoine Duhem). Line-up: Manu Delestre - drums Antoine Duhem - guitars Vincent Hooge - keyboards Matthew Hooge - bass Produced by Xang & Patrick Becker ("Galileo Records"). Recorded & mixed by Yves Descarpigny at "Enson" studio, France. Mastered by Bob Katz at "Digital Domain", USA.
Prologue. Xang's debut CD "Destiny of a Dream" was the debut release by "Galileo Records" as well. As far as I know, the second album by this band will be released within the next few months.
The Album. It was refreshing to listen to the debut Xang album. The slight traces of Rush and Rick Wakeman's influences can be heard only on a few compositions on the album and, furthermore, only episodically. In other words, although the music of Xang isn't unique, it is, nevertheless, in many ways original. The ProGduct of a true inspiration, "Destiny of a Dream" is a very interesting work and by all means. Only two compositions on the album are completely out of its stylistic concept: The Dream (track 5) and "Hidden Track". In fact, the latter sounds in the end of the same track 8, which happens five minutes after The Light is 'faded'. While these five minutes are filled with nothing else but the quiet of silence, "Hidden Track" itself contains only a few passages of acoustic guitar. (This kind of a musical joke is rather diffused, as you know.) The Dream also consists of the parts of only one instrument, which is the piano. The piano passages are, however, very diverse and intriguing. Here and there, they remind me even of Classical Academic music. (Keep in mind that the contemporary Academic music can be not only classical, but also avant-garde.) All of the other tracks on the album were created within the framework of a unified stylistics, which represents a blend of Classic Symphonic Art-Rock and Prog-Metal. And these are seven out of eight tracks, indeed: The Revelation, Misgivings, My Own Truth, The Prediction, Bitterness, The Choice, and The Light (tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, & 8). I think it's not a necessity to describe each of these pieces separately, as the arrangements that are featured on all of them were created by the same principal 'scheme'. Which, though, is typical for all of the profound (i.e. Classic) performers of Progressive Music. In short, the music of Xang is filled with most of the essential progressive ingredients, while I was itemizing them in most of my recent reviews (and not only). So this time, I'd better name those progressive ingredients that aren't featured on "Destiny of a Dream". These are the use of a 12-tone compositional scale along with the traditional one and improvisation-like solos (i.e. improvisations that were thoroughly composed). However, there are a few details on the album that must be mentioned especially. The second half of The Choice (track 7), which features a unique combination of the slow Doom-like riffs of electric guitar and powerful chords of Church Organ, reminds me of a wonderful Gothic romance. While most of the Prog-Metal parts on the album were performed from mid-tempo to fast, The Prediction, My Own Truth, and Bitterness (tracks 3, 4, & 6) contain a few slow episodes that are typical for Progressive Doom-Metal. The Light (track 8) is marked with the grandiose Classical Academic music-like intro and outro. The album's opening track The Revelation contains the excellent solos and passages of organ as well. Apart from The Dream, the piano passages, all of which are beautiful and truly symphonic, are also featured on The Prediction and Bitterness (tracks 4 & 6). Misgivings (track 2) - is the only composition on the album, which was performed very fast almost entirely.
Summary. It is amazing to know that such a killer album as "Destiny of a Dream" was composed and performed by young musicians. What is more, all of the band members are real virtuosos, who, by the way, are able to demonstrate their skills by no means only in the studio. All in all, I feel (at least at the moment) that Xang's "Destiny of a Dream" will be my favorite album among all of those ones that were released by "Galileo Records" until now.
VM. March 25, 2002
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