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Xang - Destiny Of A Dream CD (album) cover

DESTINY OF A DREAM

Xang

 

Crossover Prog

3.76 | 22 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Having gotten acquainted with Xang with their impressive sophomore album "The Last of the Lasts" (one of my Top 10 favorites from 2007), I couldn't help embracing great expectations concerning their debut effort "Destiny of a Dream". It became clear to me that this band had it all figured out about the purpose of following an eclectic progressive rock approach, although this particular release shows the band more obviously inclined toward classic symphonic prog and neo-prog. You can hear evident traces from Yes, ELP, UK and "Criminal Record-era" Wakeman, as well as abundant stylish arrangements that hint at the standards of modernized symphonic prog. At times, the hard-driven guitar passages state a prog-metal oriented vibe, while other times 8a few times), the drummer moderately indulges in jazzy undertones. The instrumental arrangements somehow give preferential room to the keyboard inputs; together with the guitarist's penchant for showing his own strength, the bassist also delivers virtuosic lines here and there in a very Myung-meets-Geddy Lee kind of way. 'The Revelation / Gaļa' kicks off the album with a clear ostentatious stance, filled with convenient punch and robust agility. The Howe- meets-Beck guitar phrases state powerful dialogues and connections with the Jonson-meets-Emerson keyboards. The keyboard parts in 'Misgivings / Guernica' are more focused on the Wakeman Heritage: at this point, I notice confluences with bands like Tempus Fugit and pre-"Excelsior!" Mastermind. 'My Own Truth' leans closer to the neo-prog chiaroscuro of IQ, with DT remembrances during the final section; it is such a pity that the fade-out has to get in so soon, since I feel that a more expanded display might as well delivered a more conclusive climax. Anyway, this is a highlight of the album - I have no doubt about it. 'The Prediction', through its various sections, shows the most recurrent air of mystery in the entire album: it starts quite serene, indeed, shifting gradually toward an expectant mood; then, in turn, it lands on an explicitly explosive motif that feels partially creepy. The band really takes full advantage of the 7 minutes occupied by this pompous number - yet another highlight. 'The Dream' is a piano solo piece consisting of an evocative reprise of one of the motifs from the preceding track. This is a momentary repose among the consistent energy Xang is so recurrently fond of. 'Bitterness' retakes that special mixture of neo-prog's agility and prog-metal's hard rocking vibe that was so efficiently delivered in a few previous tracks - the melodies' lyricism and rhythmic dynamics are just impressive. 'The Choice' features the lead guitar more than any other track in the album: it carries a bluesy trend, incorporating an interesting 13/8 interlude that states an effective break as a preamble for the powerful climax. The album's last 13 minutes are occupied by 'The Light', a catchy piece that reminds us of the melodic developments comprised in 'Misgivings / Guernica' and 'The Prediction', almost matching the latter's pomposity. It actually lasts 6 ¾ minutes; after minutes of silence, a weird combination of acoustic guitar chord progressions and noises of airplanes states the real closure. "Destiny of a Dream. is a very good album that in many ways anticipates the superior sophomore album "The Last of the Lasts". Among the new prog bands from France, this one should be more appreciated by all members of the prog Internet community.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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