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Xaal - Seconde Ere CD (album) cover





3.85 | 29 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars XAAL were a three piece instrumental band from France who put out two very good albums in the nineties. This their final one is a powerful, dark and spacey affair with Rio / Zeuhl / Jazz references, in fact I was surprised at how MAGAM-like it is in places. Like the debut there are two guest horn players adding to the sound. One is Alex Ferrand who plays sax here. He's actually a good singer too and has sung on both MAGMA and OFFERING studio albums.That reminds me that on XAAL's debut they had the Guillard brothers on horns who played in both MAGMA and WEIDORJE.

"Rah" opens with this dark and powerful atmosphere as drums and other sounds come and go. I'm thinking of the band PRESENT here or UNIVERS ZERO.These angelic vocals come out of nowhere 4 1/2 minutes in and they disappear just as fast. It then kicks in heavily with guitar. A calm 6 minutes in and it turns haunting a minute later. Great sound when it kicks back in at 8 minutes. A very MAGMA-like rhythm here as guitar plays over top. "Jamis Tranquille" features some beautiful guitar and bass. I'm reminded of GORDIAN KNOT here. It builds 2 1/2 minutes in until they're rocking pretty good at the 3 minute mark.The tempo picks up before 4 1/2 minutes and we get a big finish.

"Al Abad" is dark as the guitar slowly comes and goes. It stays 1 1/2 minutes in with light drums and bass. Sax before 2 1/2 minutes takes the guitars place and leads for about 5 minutes then the guitar returns replacing the sax. The guitar is screaming before 9 1/2 minutes. "Piege" opens with drums and other sparse sounds follow. It kicks in before 2 1/2 minutes with guitar leading the way. The tempo picks up 4 1/2 minutes in and this sounds so much like MAGMA as the guitar plays over top. "Force" opens with synths,drums and fat bass lines (MAGMA-like).The guitar before 2 1/2 minutes sounds amazing. The guitar backs off before 5 minutes as synths take over.

Easily 4 stars.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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