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Versus X - Versus X CD (album) cover


Versus X


Crossover Prog

3.05 | 15 ratings

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3 stars Overlooked German band with great love for 70's progressive rock,led by (professional chemist)Arne Schaefer,also leader of the side-project APOGEE.They were formed at the dawn of the 90's by Schaefer and druumer Stefan Maywald,who were members of the new wave band ''Vague Venture'' .Keyboardist Ekkehard Nahm saw Scahefer playing at a solo concert and meant to be the third member of the band's early years.The Frankfurt-based trio recorded their debut in 1994 with Schaefer playing basses,guitars and handling the vocals.

As Schaefer is a devoted fan of PETER HAMMILL,plenty of the material is song-based without lacking in instrumental intensity.Actually most of the tracks have a good balance between song-based stuff and instrumental passages.The music is not complex overall.''Versus x'' is based on grandiose pianos,obscure synths and strong guitar riffing and melodies with a somewhat symphonic touch at times,while Schaefer delivers a few sensitive solos as well in a style adapted by the Neo Prog bands.However,VERSUS X are a progressive rock band who respect themselves,so some nice interplays are also scheduled with Nahm's beautiful piano battling Schaefer's guitars from time to time,offering the most interesting moments of the album (especially on the all instrumental self-titled track).What I would also notice is that their music is quite recognizable,despite being influenced by most of the legendary 70's bands.

Unfortunately one reason for their easily recognizable sound is Schaefer's vocals.This section seems to be a painful issue for the band throughout their career.Schaefer tries to be dramatic and expressive,but the heavy German accent doesn't help at all.That is a pity,as the vocal lines and harmonies are quite interesting,but Schaefer is not the right person to support them in my opinion.

For fans who don't care much about really good vocals,this would be a fine experience.The album contains strong guitar work and some lovely pianos,often in the classic 70's spirit and has a distinctive vintage feeling,despite the use of modern equipment in general.3 stars are a fair rating I think...

apps79 | 3/5 |


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