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Versus X - The Turbulent Zone CD (album) cover


Versus X

Crossover Prog

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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
2 stars See my review on Disturbance as this sounded to me as a carbon copy of that album therefore making this one even more purpose-less. The main f;aw I can think of is that all of those songs sound all the same and therefore are interchangeable . I like the sound of the band enough to start listening but I soon get lost by the the sheer content and quality of the music : it just fails to catch my attention very long and the piano makes nothing easier as it is so present on every tune.
Report this review (#7616)
Posted Thursday, February 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars VERSUS X new album "The Turbulent Zone" contains only four tracks, but three of them are +13 minutes long. Although the length of the songs they are managing to keep it interesting throughout the entire album.

VERSUS X comes from Germany. Their music is a blend of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR, GENESIS and KING CRIMSON, but there are also influences from many of the other big progressive bands such as King PINK FLOYD, SPOCK'S BEARD and YES. The result is a complex progressive rock with lengthy instrumental passages and many mood and tempo changes. The bass player Jörg Fischer is a magnificent musician and so is the rest of the band.

This is a magnificent album with many highlights. Recommended!

Report this review (#7617)
Posted Friday, March 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars At least in terms of style little had changed here compared to their previous effort, now there's one track more listed and running times are between 6 1/2 and almost 22 min. The Schäfer/Nahm duo has been now supported by the new rhythm section Jörg Fischer and Uwe Völlmar which works slightly more efficient than the previous one I have the impression. The lyrics are still telling rather interesting stories one can find notes about on their website. Musicianship is flawless and the moderately complex compositions are an enjoyable listen. There's little apparent difference in quality compared to 'Disturbance' and I just say once again that fans of epic Prog should check out this band. Listen to the samples provided on their website and if you like what you hear start with any of the two albums. If you still like their style you might get the other as well. Not an essential one but certainly a very good work (***1/2 really)!!
Report this review (#110012)
Posted Wednesday, January 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Awesome album.

You must add Anekdoten and maybe IQ in the atmospheric rock moments to compare their style of prog. rock.

That´s the fantastic thing about this album .It is difficult to find this product very simmilar to the music of all the bands named

Impossible not to concentrate in their original and dreaming melodies when you play it.

The long tracks are in the exact lenght to close all the musical ideas this band want to plasmate.

The instruments participation is very equilibrated

5 stars

Report this review (#125688)
Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.5 stars really.

This is a long overdue review on my part, but I figured I'd get this one done before I move on to the next album.

For the most part, this is a band that seems to be definitely a part time project. The time between albums bears this out. Still, this album sees the band sounding considerably more sophisticated than the first two albums and the previous live album. This is due largely (if not entirely) to the addition of a new drummer who fits the bands style far better than the previous one (who was still quite good), and a new bass player who is leaps and bounds better than the previous one.

The music is still in the same style, symphonic prog with a neo-prog sheen (why this band is listed as crossover prog is beyond my comprehension.........they do not fit that category's definition as given on this site in any way, shape, or form). However, everything seems more precise, more tight in execution. The first track, a 21 minute epic, is probably their best yet instrumentally. The first few sections are taken up by the vocals, which carry some interesting melodies and culminate in the chorus (this band doesn't really have traditional versus and choruses and bridges, but that is not unusual in prog). The entire second half of the song, about 11 minutes, is given over to the best instrumental ensemble playing Versus X has ever delivered. Great dynamics and variety, and showcasing some of their most complex and interesting melodies and progressions to date. All in all, a fantastic song.

The next track is a bit mellower, but features an incredible acoustic guitar melody that dominates the song. Some very interesting vocals over this lead into a heavier section towards the end that develops the initial guitar melody further. Fantastic drumming during this part of the song.

The next two tracks are something of a let down after the two excellent opening tracks, though both have things to like. Strange Attractor is a fairly disjointed song that actually reminds me a bit of Van der Graaf Generator in the way it jumps all over the place. Many of the transitions seem odd and forced and the song definitely doesn't flow very well. Still there are some good instrumental moments within, but the vocal melodies never really seem to work and certainly don't stay with you after it's over.

The Hostile Sea is the track most similar in sound to their previous album, and considering it was performed with the previous lineup it's easy to understand why. This one has a long melodic theme that is worked through in the first half, followed by some instrumental development of that theme, which is then resolved back to the end of the original melody sung over floating synths to create a very ambient conclusion. A decent song, but not particularly memorable or one of their best.

So two great tracks and two not so great tracks. I'm going to give this a 3.5 out of 5, because it is quite good, but probably not essential. This is a second or third tier band when you come right down to it, and only really of interest to neo prog fans that lean toward the more symphonic and somewhat more complex side of that genre. Personally, I really enjoy this album and this band and I'm not really a fan of much neo prog, so this band probably fits more squarely in the symphonic prog category. Worth checking out if you are digging deep into the obscure corners of progdom.

Report this review (#182588)
Posted Tuesday, September 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars Their previous album "Disturbance" simply pushed all the right buttons for me, and while this is in the same sort of style it's not clicking with me at all. Most prefer this album to "Disturbance" though, so I guess i'm in the minority once again.

"Cutting The Veil" has a good powerful intro of synths, drums and bass. It settles with piano then vocals. A calm with piano before 4 minutes. Reserved vocals are back then it picks up as the tempo continues to change.The focus is on the vocals but there are some long instrumental passages in this almost 22 minute opener. "Between The Phases Of The Night" opens with piano,bass and drums then the vocals arrive as it settles. It's building 3 1/2 minutes in as the guitar joins in.The tempo picks up too then it all levels back.

"Strange Attractor" is melancholic to start and reserved vocals and piano join in.This is tough going unfortunately. It's better when the tempo picks up. It's heavier after 3 minutes. Sampled mellotron after 5 minutes too. It settles back with almost spoken vocals before 7 minutes. Not a fan. It builds again as themes are repeated. "The Hostile Sea" is led by piano early as vocals join in. Drums and relaxed guitar follow before 2 minutes.The tempo picks up a minute later. It settles back as the song continues to shift gears. Great sound 12 minutes in with mellotron, guitar and drums.

So overall a pretty good 3 star album.

Report this review (#296982)
Posted Wednesday, September 1, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Third album from their catalogue named The turbulent zone issued in 2000 at same Musea is almost in same league with previous one. Again the musicianship and performance, overall sounding is excellent and to me is a very good one in every aspect. Opening with a very leghthy pieces Cutting The Veil very much sounding and aswell in manner of composing with previous 3 pieces from Disturbance, is avery solid and full of captivating moments for sure, the keybords, drums and bass are awesome here, at least for me. The rest of 3 pieces of the album are aswell great, no weak moments here, complex , elaborated eclectic prog. Versus X I see doesn't have many fans, but I think this band needs attention, specialy for the instrumental arrangements and passages offered, who I found them very enjoyble and tight. I like a lot this band, specialy previous album who was a killer one IMO, this one is quite near. 4 stars again without hesitation.
Report this review (#753387)
Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2012 | Review Permalink

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