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Versus X - Disturbance CD (album) cover

DISTURBANCE

Versus X

 

Crossover Prog

3.37 | 33 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

infandous
3 stars A very good, if not exactly excellent album. This band in general gives me a sense of some decent hobbyists making prog albums in their spare time. I think Arne is a chemist by trade, so this may be an accurate description of this band. Judging by the time in between releases, it does seem that this is not a full time gig for any of the members (but that is certainly not unusual in the modern prog scene).

Having said all that, I like this album quite a bit. The first song is, so far, the best Versus X song I have heard. It has a very nice, if quite long, development of themes and melodies and the most understandable and well written lyrics of any of their songs. The vocals I've never had a problem with. They are not particularly great, but they are not bad by any stretch. The are considerably better than many neo-prog bands I've heard, though I'm not sure this band is really neo-prog (they are certainly NOT crossover, which is what they are categorized under here......I can only assume that the people who put them in that category never listened to any of their albums after the debut). In any case, the standout for me is the piano playing of Nahm. I love his playing and I think he really gives this band some character and a sense of technical proficiency. Because, I must admit, they don't come off as the most technically impressive band I've heard. But that doesn't mean they are not good, far from it. I've heard far worse prog albums for sure. But I'm making this sound worse than it is I think.

The second track is much slower paced and darker, and I think takes a bit too long to develop and doesn't really do much when it does. The lyrics are more obtuse and it's more obvious that he is not a native English speaker, and they are quite dreary as well. But it has interesting bits. Probably the only one I find to be a bit too long and not quite on par with the other two tracks. Not a bad song overall though.

The final epic track (I suppose they all are pretty epic in length, if not scope) is the most traditionally prog in its development, even containing a somewhat uplifting finale. It features a number of changes as well as faster paced material mixed with slower paced sections. Overall, a very good song.

This is not one of the best bands in prog music, no doubt. But there is something I really enjoy about their dark, fairly technical compositions. The lyrics are often hard to understand, but that is not a big issue for me. Shaffer's vocals are nearly without an accent (except on the pronunciation of certain words) and are pleasant enough in a nondescript yet competent fashion. So for myself, this was an excellent addition to my collection. To others, I would say this is good but non-essential. So 3.5 stars then. Rounded down, because really in the scope of this site, this band doesn't stand out nearly as much as a lot of others. Neo fans in particular may want to give it a listen though.

infandous | 3/5 |

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