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XII Alfonso - Odyssees CD (album) cover


XII Alfonso


Symphonic Prog

3.25 | 33 ratings

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3 stars Over the next years and through some significant line-up changes, XII Alfonso played live several times and were glad to welcome onstage many important figures like the Payssan brothers from Minimum vital.Their program even included their appearance in the famous Baja Prog Festival in 1998.Back in France the Claerhout brothers worked hard for almost a year to present the second album ''Odyssees'', finally released in 2000 on Musea.Again the list contains some well-known guest musicians, such as Mickey Simmonds, the aforementioned Payssan brothers, Dan Ar Braz and Julio Presas.

Over an hour of dreamy and etheral Prog Rock music with strong symphonic, Folk and New Age references is XII Alfonso's proposal in an album split in electric- and keyboard-led compositions.Influences are definitely acts and artists such as MIKE OLDFIELD, CAMEL, DAN AR BRAZ, while some tracks feature excellent vocal performances by Sandrine Rouge, Judith Robert and Laure Oltra in a very poetic way.''Odyssees'' is basically characterized by its laid-back, very sensitive and imaginery soundscapes created by the Claerhout brothers with the music being based on soft piano lines, synth explorations and delicate acoustic themes with a folky vibe.There are also lot of ethnic percussions among these New Age moments.On the contrary the group gives also rise to some excellent and ultra-melodic electric parts in specific moments, these have a nice refined sound with a bit of a CAMEL approach.Organs and synths are supporting instruments in these lovely instrumental pieces, which are definitely influenced by the Classic Prog era.Again the major problem seems to be the lack of some more energetic parts, as ''Odyssees'' sounds often like relaxed Soundtrack Music than an album created by a Rock group.

The Claerhout family affair seems like one of the best in creating minimalistic but trully outlandish music landscapes and this album is another major proof.Recommended, especially if acoustic textures and really atmospheric moods are among your preferences.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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