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X-Panda - Flight Of Fancy CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.83 | 31 ratings

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4 stars This is a production of 70 fancy minutes really ... so much the more when considering the fact we have a debut here. Some kind of heavy progressive rock is their homeground music-wise, basically a blend of metal and fusion elements. Although the songs are made of complex rhythms there is a significant emphasis on melody to state as well. With that said, regarding prog terms this four Estonian 'expander' are successful overall when it comes to this ten songs which are included on 'Flight Of Fancy' (I do exclude the short intro). Black is exemplary - a little epic in some way, a song of multiple faces. As for the compositional aspect alone absolutely challenging.

Several guest musicians are involved, a choir is replacing orchestral strings if you will. Including diverse brass instruments they evoke some classical symphonic feeling too. Male and female vocals (Tamar Nugis, Teele Viira) are complementary, Risto Virkhausen's multi-varied guitar work is stunning featuring emotive moments and heavy riffs. Chapeau! What follows is predominantly instrumental then. The album's title track is a more catchy exemplar provided with a nice groove and some superb guitar riffs. On Journey Of A Dream Kaarel Tamra comes more out of hiding due to some solo excursions.

Obviously contrary Calm Waters is an emotional soft fusion affair, wonderful nevertheless where Revelation closes the circle with classical touch again featuring choir support and violin. 'Flight Of Fancy' appears as something exceptional, not only from a technical point of view. It's a safe bet that X-Panda is consisting of educated musicians with classical and jazz background. To get all the details and tricky rhythm changes it definitely takes time. Attributes like innovation, variety are well deserved. Those prog fans who like well thought out arrangements featuring heavy respectively shredding guitars - I would name Virgil Donati related projects as a reference for example - are headed in the right direction.

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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