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X-Panda - Reflections CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.53 | 16 ratings

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4 stars X-Panda is a five piece band from Estonia and this is their second album. I haven't heard the first but I understand it is more instrumental. Influenced by Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree and Nightwish, on this album there sounds like a Muse influence as well; I'm not sure if the first album had that or not. The tracks on this album are mainly divided between more catchy shorter tracks and longer experimental cuts. With the exception of one track, all the vocals are in English. "The Game" is an anthem-like melodic rocker that is single material. Good song, even contains an instrumental middle section where the tempo slows down. "Denial" is the longest track. It contains a string section. Very symphonic and not very heavy. The vocal part begins with just strings and keyboards but later the whole band joins in. The vocal melody in the middle reminds me of Muse. Nice fretless(?) bass work near the end before a ripping guitar solo.

"Hit And Run" is very electronic sounding with a darker, mysterious vibe. Some vocal effects which compliment that vibe. Less electronic and more rockin' in the middle section. Ends with more Muse-like vocal melodies. "Slaves Of Lies" starts out cinematic and symphonic before going into the main part of the song: symphonic metal with verses that groove. "Rise Up To Fly" is another track which is single worthy. Catchy song which is very Muse sounding. "On The Way" is a great jazzy instrumental. Revolves around a great melody on electric guitar. Halfway the tempo picks up and we are treated to a synth solo. The title track is divided into two parts. The first, "Inner Battle" starts out dramatically with orchestral and symphonic sounds, then the band joins in. Later just acoustic guitar and symphonic atmosphere, then vocals and piano. Eventually goes back to full band again with guitar solo.

Part two is called "Silent Friend." Opening with sprinkling piano and symphonic backing. After the first vocals comes a folky flute part; later it comes back as the music turns into a kind of jig. The last track is a ballad sung in Estonian. Overall a really good album. The music here is not extremely heavy or complex. I would recommend this to someone who enjoys both Dream Theater and Muse. I will give this a 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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