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Xang - The Last Of The Lasts CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.60 | 29 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I usually find very difficult for an all instrumental album to express a concept. I got this feeling es with "Camel" already ("Snow Goose").

Same applies here. This album refers to WWI and the awful episodes of the useless butchery that occurred on the French soil in the Verdun area (amongst others).

Musical genres are plenty in this album : jazz, prog metal, symphonic, neo-prog. The whole being mixed even within a song ("Sacrifice", "On Leave").

The most emotional one is "Verdun". The mother of all battles during these dark times for Europe. Hundreds of thousands of useless deaths for a military status quo. If only men could have learned from this !!!

Some "vocals" will tell us a bit about this massacre of these battles in "Sons Of The Empire" (2,5 million deaths). Battlefield noises (gun shots, sirens etc.). An apocalyptic atmosphere. Poignant but you could hardly listen to this more than five times. Works as a soundtrack actually.

This album is very far from the symphonic mood of their debut. "Mud" is almost heavy-prog-metal. Maybe to illustrate the ugliness felt by the soldiers in the muddy trenches.

I can understand that during the seven years break between their debut album and this one, their musical approach has evolved, but this is a (too) radical one. It has basically nothing to do (or very little) with its predecessor which I liked more.

There is an attempt to simulate Hendrix during "Trenches" (you know the guitar sounds imitating the fall of a bomb and then its explosion). But Hendrix is Hendrix...

Oppresive mood for "Gas". We really have the impression of wearing a mask to avoid these gases when listening to the intro during which we can hear a soldier breathing through such a device. A beautiful and symphonic (at last!) atmosphere. Peaceful theme amongst these warrior sounds. My fave out here. More in the vein of their first album.

This album goes into too many directions and lacks of unity IMO. I believe that a good storyboard with lyrics would have worked much better. It is not bad but there is no highlight either. Five out of ten. I will round it up to three stars for its subject and thanks to "Gas". I wish "Xang" had produced more songs of this caliber.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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