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Xang Destiny Of A Dream album cover
3.77 | 33 ratings | 9 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Revelation / Gaïa (7:26)
2. Misgivings / Guernica (4:51)
3. My Own Truth (5:22)
4. The Prediction (7:03)
5. The Dream (3:32)
6. Bitterness (10:24)
7. The Choice (8:12)
8. The Light (13:18)

Total Time: 59:28

Line-up / Musicians

- Vincent Hooge / keyboards
- Antoine Duhem / guitars
- Matthieu Hooge / bass
- Manu Delestre / drum

Releases information


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XANG Destiny Of A Dream ratings distribution

(33 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

XANG Destiny Of A Dream reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
4 stars A really strong debut CD from a French band, formed in 1995, called XANG. Their all instrumental album shows a band of excellent musicians who plays progressive rock that is sometimes close to progressive metal. It's complex, sometimes quite, sometimes loud and always very intriguing, like a mix between ARENA, DREAM THEATER, FLAMBOROUGH HEAD, GENESIS, IQ, LANDS END, MARILLION, PENDRAGON, RUSH and SPOCK'S BEARD, but all instrumental. It's very hard to do an instrumental album that keeps the listener's attention throughout the whole album. I think that XANG has succeeded though with their strong guitar riffs and melodies. The CD also has a beautiful 24-page CD-booklet. I had heard a lot about XANG in discussions on Internet before I got the album. All the rumours had been unanimous that this is a great album, and all I can do is join them in their praise. XANG have made their exit from the old Millennium in a worthy way. Eight tracks of total instrumental perfection! Recommended!
Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Good to excellent musicianship but I am wondering on the purpose to acquire this except to encourage them to further on their music. The music is mainly guitar-driven and is also very instrumental, and the musicianship is more than adequate. Not that the music on this album is particularly inventive, groundbreaking or adventurous, but it is pleasant. Not much more, though!

These guys actually were a bright hope once they got this album out, but what has happened to them?

Review by The Prognaut
4 stars "... The future that can be predicted is of little importance. What really matters is what is really desired out of ones life. Every wish is already within yourself, it only requires strength of will to reach your aims. We all have a destiny that cannot be evaded, we sometimes believe that we have escaped it but fatality has a way of finding you. Everyone is free to call life and all its tribulations as you want. For myself I have named it XANG." That's the way this extraordinary French band introduces its first production: "Destiny of a Dream", an impressive instrumental work of exceptional quality and freshness.

The first track - "The Revelation", introduces musically and lyrically in such a way, that your musical appetite is immediately stimulated. With a very distinctive progressive seal, the XANG sound has among its main attributes, an impressive guitar, sometimes virtuous, sometimes very deep and sensible, the solid keyboards recreate electrifying and very pleasant atmospheres.

Constant changes in the rhythm and tempo are present all along the album, "Destiny of a Dream" is a well balanced work, not only if you think in each song individually, but also if you consider the whole album. "Bitterness" (Track 6) with a very hypnotic rhythm, is an example of all this virtues. From then on, the album reaches its climax, together with "The Choice" and "The Light", they offer 32 enjoyable minutes of music at its highest level.

It's not my intention to define XANG in terms of other bands, that most likely lead me to a bad approximation. XANG is a beautiful sound built around its magnificent guitar, in a very intelligent manner, because it leaves plenty of space for the rest of the instruments, there are many parts in which the keyboards and the rhythm base simply shine.

It's worth mentioning the quality of the recording and the artwork, simple but well selected images in black and white that fit perfectly with the whole message the band is trying to convey. If you have the chance to have the CD, don't even hesitate.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An excellent symphonic progmet instrumental album

I purchased this album right after the release date in 1999 as one of prog sites claimed this debut album of four-piece band from France was excellent. No regret at all as the music produced through this album has fulfilled my expectation. It's a keyboard based instrumental music with progressive metal as the main character of the music, augmented with some flavors of symphonic, space, jazz and classical music. I believe that fans of Dream Theater, Symphony X, Threshold, Arena, Marillion may accept this album if they can tolerate music without vocal. The keyboard sounds are really powerful and bring the music into various stages of emotion. The guitar produce simple and sometimes heavy riffs with stunning guitar solo during interlude or as lead melody of the songs. Keyboard and guitar in some segments play in alternate and intertwining style in some segments.

First of all, why I listen to this album?

Yeah .. what caused me to have some more spins recently? It was triggered by an email from a prog rock fan in France who plans to visit Java, Indonesia for the fifth time. He shared similar tastes with me about The Flower Kings and The Tangent which he recently saw the latter played live (Uhm .. I envy on him! - having the luxury that I never have . seeing prog band "real" live). He also likes Indonesian prog band Discus and also offered me a copy of Magma CD for his upcoming visit to Java. Yes, we will meet and I always enjoy meeting prog fans discussing or having a chit-chat about prog music, while sipping a cup of capucino of course. France? Well, right after that information exchange I remember having a collection of XANG CD and it clicked me to have some more spins. And, this review is dedicated for him and also YOU, the readers of this site.

How the music is like?

"The Revelation" (7:26) opens with a spacey-ambient music style using keyboard in slow tempo. It turns into faster tempo with keyboard faster punches followed with soft guitar riffs and drumming. The music flows energetically featuring guitar as lead melody augmented with inventive keyboard at the back. Drums fill the gaps during transitions with multiple toms and snare combination. Structure-wise this track has multiple forms as it was composed altogether with the situation by which this song was intended. As the statements that accompany this track in sleeve notes: "I spend my youth forging my will testing myself, using my days to build my dream .". So is the case with the music: it flows through various emotional stages. Overall, it's an excellent track combining intertwining work of keyboard and guitar.

Second track "Misgivings" (4:51) is an upbeat track with keyboard as main melody, played in alternate with guitar (mixed thinly - unlike some prog met bands who usually mix guitar work so rough and heavy). Yeah, the guitar work is truly stunning. Mood- wise, this is probably an uplifting one with some passages performed through complex arrangement combining drum, bass, guitar and keyboard works. As the statements in the sleeve that accompany this track "surviving is the hardest bent with the weight of years to come", this track serves the purpose really well. AN excellent track.

"My Own Truth" (5:22) is structurally more straightforward as compared to the first two tracks. It offers us with stunning guitar solo as the music flows from start to end with solid bass lines and soft keyboard work that emphasizes the symphonic nature of this track. Unfortunately, this track ends up in a fading-out fashion that I don't personally favor. Nevertheless, it's a good track.

Piano solo opens the fourth track "The Prediction" (7:03) continued with guitar solo. What amazes me though is the transition piece where drums and piano work together producing great music. It flows right away to a symphonic style with orchestral arrangement, keyboard dominating the music in relatively complex arrangement. It's a wonderful segment as the music is so uplifting and full with emotion. It suddenly turns into quieter passage with piano solo for a minute and the music increases into complex arrangements with amazing keyboard work augmented with drumming and basslines. Guitar solo ends up the song beautifully. Really great. Structurally, it has many forms and styles during the span of overall track duration.

Track 5. "The Dream" (3:32) is different - it starts with nice music loop like the sounds of electric drumming and when it stops it continues with piano solo with classical music influence. The whole track is basically an exploration of beautiful piano work. It's a piano solo with touchy notes.

"Bitterness" (10:24) continues the saga with a symphonic opening through the work of keyboard as rhythm section while the electric guitar as lead melody. The music moves into faster tempo using guitar as riffs and keyboard as melody followed with a great combination of keys, bass and guitar that lifts the music up into more dynamic style. The drumming part with multiple toms and high hats produce good listening experience. The music flows into double solo using keyboard and guitar that produce the same notes. As the name implies it's a dark song with sort of introduction statements printed at the sleeve: "We trust not naïve but unsuspecting to make ourselves to believe that nothing can happen .". Right after the middle of track the music goes into quiet passage exploring howling guitar sound with a back ground of keyboard / mellotron sounds. It's a multi-form structure track, I would say. The music is very enjoyable as it brings us to many emotional stages. Excellent composition!

"The Choice" (8:12) opens with drum work followed with stunning guitar solo and solid bass lines in slow tempo. I can sense that sometimes the guitar sound produced is like David Gilmour style. The long guitar solo is then continued with piano and keyboard solo for a while. The music then turns into faster tempo with more complex arrangements combining guitar and keyboard in symphonic as well as progmet veins as the guitar riffs are heavy this time. Another excellent one.

"The Light" (6:20) concludes the album with the opening part using keyboard in classical music style. It reminds me to the music of Dutch's EKSEPTION. Guitar solo continues the music with keyboard as rhythm section and drums give dynamic sounds during transition. The music moves in crescendo with intertwining guitar and keyboard work. I like parts where the keyboard sounds turn into vibraphone sounds. Right after this track there is a long silent followed with a hidden track at approx minute 11 that comprises keyboard effects and acoustic guitar work.

How may I suggest YOU?

The music of XANG is I think accessible to vast majority of progressive rock fans especially those who love progmet. But, I also recommend those who love symphonic prog to have this album. It's recommended. Despite all excellent compositions, musicianship and overall performance, I think this album has weak point as well. For me the drum sounds were mixed inappropriately as they sound bit light while in progmet music the drum should be mixed heavier. Overall sonic quality is good but not excellent. However, it does not reduce the musical quality of this album.

Progressively yours, GW

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars XANG are an instrumental band from France who were introduced to me by tszirmay.They have included a little written blurb (about life) for each song making this a concept album of sorts.The synths on the first two songs really dominate the sound at times, which didn't impress me much, but the guitar really takes over the rest of the way thankfully.

"The Revelation" opens with synths galore for 2 minutes before we get cooking with drums and guitar and they sound incredible. A nice heavy sound follows then more synths. Well, they've made it abundantly clear with this first song that they sure know how to play ! "Misgivings" has a nice mellow intro before the guitarist fires off some energetic solos. Synths start to dominate until we are treated to some beautiful guitar melodies. The drumming gets pretty heavy. "My Own Truth" is one of my favs. I love the drumming with the guitar playing over the top. Some heaviness after 3 minutes, this guy can sure play guitar. The song fades out.

"The Prediction" opens with keys as some tasteful guitar comes in. The song really builds to a powerful melody before it stops and rebuilds to a fast paced synth led song. "The Dream" features piano melodies throughout. "Bitterness" is another highlight. An uptempo tune with synths and drums dominating. The mellow passages are excellent with some good guitar. It gets very pastoral after 6 minutes. Beautiful. It sounds like mellotron before guitar takes over. "The Choice" is an excellent guitar driven track.The guitarist lets it rip as the tempo speeds up with drums and synths following. Great tune. "The Light" opens with organ.The guitar is like ear candy it's so well done. There is a gap of silence before the song ends with some spacey sounds.

I thoroughly enjoyed this album especially the guitar playing. Favourites are "My Own Truth" , "Bitterness" and "The Choice".

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This is an all instrumental album featuring a high level of technicity, loads of keyboards, wild guitar and strong melodic parts. You get all these flavours in the opening number "The Revelation". I bet you! What a revelation indeed! This is an excellent number, very close to the "Genesis" sound of course but played with great feeling.

None of the tracks are weak on this album (except maybe "The Dream", a smooth piano tune).

One of the most complex number is "The Prediction". Starts delicately and turn into some heavy sounds and furious rhythms to close a great introduction part. Some "Watcher" riffs and pleasant synthesizers for the finish. The word "pleasant" is probably the one that fits better to describe this album.

Global mood of this album is truely "Genesis" oriented. But an all instrumental "Genesis". Quite good I must say.

"Xang" was moved from the Neo-prog into Cross-over without any major reason IMO.

Actually the band flirts more between symph and neo-prog than anything else (just listen to "Bitterness", my second fave, which holds some nice and inspired guitar work). Same applies to a fantastic : "The Choice". Gorgeous keys all the way through (with some "Watcher" textures again) and a very skilled guitar break to finish this excellent number.

Same mood for the closing "The Light". This is the only negative comment : the whole of this album sounds a bit too much of the same. Should have been more diversified to justify the four stars rating.

Three stars then...

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Having gotten acquainted with Xang with their impressive sophomore album "The Last of the Lasts" (one of my Top 10 favorites from 2007), I couldn't help embracing great expectations concerning their debut effort "Destiny of a Dream". It became clear to me that this band had it all figured out about the purpose of following an eclectic progressive rock approach, although this particular release shows the band more obviously inclined toward classic symphonic prog and neo-prog. You can hear evident traces from Yes, ELP, UK and "Criminal Record-era" Wakeman, as well as abundant stylish arrangements that hint at the standards of modernized symphonic prog. At times, the hard-driven guitar passages state a prog-metal oriented vibe, while other times 8a few times), the drummer moderately indulges in jazzy undertones. The instrumental arrangements somehow give preferential room to the keyboard inputs; together with the guitarist's penchant for showing his own strength, the bassist also delivers virtuosic lines here and there in a very Myung-meets-Geddy Lee kind of way. 'The Revelation / Gaïa' kicks off the album with a clear ostentatious stance, filled with convenient punch and robust agility. The Howe- meets-Beck guitar phrases state powerful dialogues and connections with the Jonson-meets-Emerson keyboards. The keyboard parts in 'Misgivings / Guernica' are more focused on the Wakeman Heritage: at this point, I notice confluences with bands like Tempus Fugit and pre-"Excelsior!" Mastermind. 'My Own Truth' leans closer to the neo-prog chiaroscuro of IQ, with DT remembrances during the final section; it is such a pity that the fade-out has to get in so soon, since I feel that a more expanded display might as well delivered a more conclusive climax. Anyway, this is a highlight of the album - I have no doubt about it. 'The Prediction', through its various sections, shows the most recurrent air of mystery in the entire album: it starts quite serene, indeed, shifting gradually toward an expectant mood; then, in turn, it lands on an explicitly explosive motif that feels partially creepy. The band really takes full advantage of the 7 minutes occupied by this pompous number - yet another highlight. 'The Dream' is a piano solo piece consisting of an evocative reprise of one of the motifs from the preceding track. This is a momentary repose among the consistent energy Xang is so recurrently fond of. 'Bitterness' retakes that special mixture of neo-prog's agility and prog-metal's hard rocking vibe that was so efficiently delivered in a few previous tracks - the melodies' lyricism and rhythmic dynamics are just impressive. 'The Choice' features the lead guitar more than any other track in the album: it carries a bluesy trend, incorporating an interesting 13/8 interlude that states an effective break as a preamble for the powerful climax. The album's last 13 minutes are occupied by 'The Light', a catchy piece that reminds us of the melodic developments comprised in 'Misgivings / Guernica' and 'The Prediction', almost matching the latter's pomposity. It actually lasts 6 ¾ minutes; after minutes of silence, a weird combination of acoustic guitar chord progressions and noises of airplanes states the real closure. "Destiny of a Dream. is a very good album that in many ways anticipates the superior sophomore album "The Last of the Lasts". Among the new prog bands from France, this one should be more appreciated by all members of the prog Internet community.
Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars First, an official disclaimer: this is one of my favorite prog discs ever, certainly in my top 20 all-time, so take note that I am grossly biased having listened to this masterful recording over and over again ad perpetuam since its arrival. I anointed the follow up "Last of Lasts" with equal lavish praise, so I am a fan. Even though I unabashedly prefer the mellower , more pastoral melancholic side of prog, I was also raised on a steady diet of hot, searing , sweaty rock , so it should come as no surprise that this excellent hard prog group from the north of France remains one of my little pet/protégés, a rambling bruising instrumental outfit that can really lay it on thick, with an abrasive and mellifluous guitar courtesy of the incredible Antoine Duhem (straight from the Lifeson school of riffs and solos), suggestive keyboards from Vincent Hooge who throws in a few oblique organ forays and tons of razor- sharp synth solos , all held down by the prolific Matthieu Hooge (Vince's bro?) and the tremendously agile drumming of Manu Delestre. From the opening "La/The Revelation" , the unending roller coaster ride goes unabated , swerving in all directions, great riffing, stop on a dime arrangements, constantly huffing, puffing, spewing and devastating the aural landscapes with well thought out interventions, not one boring second on this puppy! . Strangely, while there are no vocals, there are some lyrics, which make this rather brainy exercise even more appealing, giving the listener the ability to imagine the story via the music only. Darn brilliant, if you ask me! "Misgivings/Le Doute" is another highlight, with some fascinating rhythms, dive-bombing guitar runs, machine-gun percussion and that solid bass buoying everything down tight. "My Own Truth/Ma Verité" provides a heavy symphonic background for some added instrumental mischief, with both synthesizers and fretboards simply ablaze with inspiration and steadfast drive. A ravishing Duhem solo ignites the deepest passions, sparkling fiercely in the sonic tornado. "The/La Prediction" is a contrast-laden epic with calm almost minimalistic piano musings clashing suddenly with more cerebral sections, featuring hooting six-string howls, some fine ensemble playing, stupendous heavy drumming and another rousing synth solo, brimming with folly and a Duhem blast that spells mayhem. "The Dream/Le Songe" is a brief piano interlude that clearly resonates the simple beauty of a lull after the storm, where time and space suddenly disappear into oblivion leaving only weightless introspection. "Bitterness/Amertume" is the first monster cut, clocking in at 10 minutes plus and rewards the delirious listener with a majestic romp that slowly builds from a gentle symphonic awakening into a blossoming adventure , replete with melancholic inflections despite the strong rhythmic guitar groove, wailing synths whistling the pain of regret , bass booming in tandem and full- fisted drum patterns. Antoine Duhem radiates again with a series of world class solos full of gritty suffering, precise yet evocative highlights that remain forever etched in one's brain's sensory boards. A brief e-piano/cymbal duet mid-section keeps the tension in place, rebuilding the tonal melancholy into a gloriously exploding finale. This is a riveting, deliberate piece that is surely among the finest prog instrumentals ever recorded. "The Choice/Le Choix" continues as an extension of the previous brilliance, with a more mid-tempo guitar led assault, Duhem weaving some bending guitar notes, here sounding more like a cross between Holdsworth and Latimer. There's some playful and restrained group playing until they all simply take the tune into muscular overdrive, zooming along at breakneck speed, lobbing heavy riffs, shredding nicely into the boiling cauldron. Out of the blue, an organ announces a change of direction and the rifferama begins anew in a different expanse, an oblique at times Holdsworthian solo burning incandescent. Incredibly creative stuff, really, I cannot imagine someone not liking this. The nearly 7 minute finale "The Light/La Lumière" (though its listed at 13 minutes, it has some dead air and noodling towards the end) starts off with some imperial church organ (sounds like Wakeman's 6 Wives of Henry VIII there for a moment!), a luminary guitar blazing away, controlled shining at all costs, unending peaks and valleys in terms of intensity, always veering near the outer fringes of insanity, at times harsh and then warm and glowing. Rarely has instrumental prog shown itself so versatile, fun, exhilarating, aggressive, melodic and moody. Packaging is interesting reading, this being obviously musicians with day jobs (Manu is a university teacher !) whose passion for ace prog is clearly expressed in their discography. First-rate prog that will definitely upgrade your collection's scope and quality. 5 shining etoiles.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This French quartet was born in mid-90's in Cambrai, near the French-Belgian borders, giving life to an idea of keyboardist Vincent Hooge and drummer Emmanuel Delestre.The two were joined by Vincent's brother Matthieu on bass.After a long time spent in guitar players' rehearsals Xang finally found their fourth member on Antoine Duhem.In 1999 the first album of the band ''Destiny of a Dream'' sees the light, marking thie first ever release of the Swiss label Galileo Records.

A full hour of well-crafted, highly energetic and deeply melodic instrumental Progressive Rock is the type of music Xang had chosen and they did it quite well to say the least.This is an album with a very modern sound, plenty of technique thrown in as well as catchy grooves and flashy solos.It comes as an all instrumental version of late-ARENA, CAIRO, CRYPTIC VISION, MAGELLAN and the likes, maybe with a touch of DREAM THEATER at moments, creating soundscapes full of intricate melodies and demanding interplays.''Destiny of a Dream'' is an extremely tight release with a superb coherence from start to finish, filled with balanced compositions flirting with Heavy/Neo Progressive Rock due to melodic guitar textures and the strong amount of grandiose synthesizers surrounding, but the changing climates are also endless, making it a quite challenging work.Nornally I would get bored with an album having a similar style all the way, but Xang's performance is really inspiring, professional and really enjoyable.

This is some very cool modern instrumental Progressive Rock by our French amis, where Symphonic Rock meets Melodic Prog meets Heavy Prog in series of challenging compositions.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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