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CROSS

Crossover Prog • Sweden


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Cross biography
The career of this Swedish band spans over 8 albums (including a mini-symphony cd) released between 1988 and 2004. Their music has evolved from smooth, floydian like to dark, almost Crimsonesque proportions over the years. Their style could generally be described as heavy, complex neo-prog with a strong emphasis on melody. The band was founded by ex-VON LYX guitarist Hansi Cross whose highly emotional guitar work (sometimes reminiscent of Steve Hackett's) gives the band a sound approaching that of IT BITES. As for Cross' vocals, they are slightly reminiscent of Dave GILMOUR's.

Their first three albums - which are grouped on the compilation disk "Dream Reality" -offer a mixture of long epics interspersed with a few pop songs; they are mostly reminiscent of PINK FLOYD and TWELFTH NIGHT, and perhaps to some extent GENESIS circa "Wind and Wuthering" but with a heavy approach. The following four albums (starting with "Paradox") are heavier, darker, and somewhat akin to RUSH, ECHOLYN or ANEKDOTEN. They feature long melodic guitar solos with spacious keyboards but also bear enough time signatures to remind you of KING CRIMSOM. Their latest release, "Playgrounds", is a bit more tame and spacey.

Not essential but the first three albums may interest you if you're into GALLEON or GRAND STAND. The heavier sound of their later albums will appeal more to fans of ANEKDOTEN, LANDBERK and MORTE MACABRE.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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CROSS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CROSS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.25 | 8 ratings
Uncovered Heart
1988
3.14 | 13 ratings
Second Movement
1990
3.00 | 9 ratings
III- Changing Poison Into Medecine
1993
2.58 | 10 ratings
Gaze
1996
3.00 | 13 ratings
Visionary Fools
1998
3.49 | 18 ratings
Secrets
2000
3.57 | 30 ratings
Playgrounds
2004
3.83 | 32 ratings
The Thrill Of Nothingness
2009
3.84 | 66 ratings
Wake Up Call
2012
3.75 | 16 ratings
Da Capo
2014

CROSS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CROSS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

CROSS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.07 | 8 ratings
Dream Reality
1997

CROSS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.67 | 3 ratings
Paradox
1995

CROSS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 III- Changing Poison Into Medecine  by CROSS album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.00 | 9 ratings

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III- Changing Poison Into Medecine
Cross Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Unfortunately at a time when Hansi Cross was dreaming for a career within the prog community, his main collaborator Benny Hadders was thinking of quiting not only from Cross but actually from music.Under these circumstances the third album, and this was going to be a really long one, started with Hadders as the drummer, but had to be completed with a couple of guests sitting on the drum stool plus some programmed percussion.By 1993 Cross listed himself and Tai as the only regular members of the band and ''Changing poison into medicine'', the new album, featured several guests on keyboards, guitar, bass and voices.LyxVax was again the running label, on which the album was released.

At least the direction of the band was the proper one, I guess that the emerge of a few full-blown Prog acts from the area (Sweden was one of the greatest contributors in Prog Rock's 90's revival) had something to do with the fact.Of course Cross had no intention to sound like a Retro Prog band, but they had now refined the familiar influences and decided to divide the album in long and emphatic proggy compositions and some Pop tracks, which still hold interest from a progressive point of view.''Changing poison into medicine'' can be properly labeled as a Neo Prog album, there are some strong insprations from 75'-77' GENESIS throughout the album to go along with the modern qualities, plenty of synthesizers, propulsive rhythms, instant melodies and a slight AOR/Hard Rock pomposity.But the tracks sound pretty well balanced, the material is memorable, some keyboard and guitar passages are trully fascinating, while the symphonic elements begin to become clearly detectable in several tracks.Hansi was always a talented man and by producing a 75+ min. album he secured that some of the material would be really great, cause this work is not extremely consistent as a whole.But the longer pieces are cool with dramatic atmospheres and dreamy instrumental parts, even if a richer sound is missing, while the short ones contain some nice ideas and rockin' themes.

Period Prog by Hansi Cross on this one, more or less a Neo Prog album with melodic, light symphonic and pompous orientations and an evident AOR essence.Still an improvement over the pair of Cross' initial works, featuring series of impressive melodies and a few enganging instrumental leaks.Recommended, especially if the poppier side of Prog is your thing.

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 Second Movement by CROSS album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.14 | 13 ratings

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Second Movement
Cross Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

2 stars Hansi Cross along with Benny Hadders opened a new studio, the Progress Studio, to work on Cross' albums.For their second work ''Second movement'' Christian Andre received a full-time membership on keyboards and Jonas Olson returned to help on bass.While all tracks were more or less finished, Cross and Hadders met Tai, a singer who played in the past with Andre, and he was given the chance to sing about half of the written material.The recordings were finished with Idde Schultz on backing voices and Egba's Ulf Adåker guesting on sax.Another private CD by the group, which was released in 1990.

During the first half of the album the main weakness of Cross' early days is again apparent.Despite their love for Prog music, the group insisted on delivering Hard Rock/AOR-oriented material with minor progressive values, fronted by the raw vocals of new singer Tai, the either melancholic guitar lines or the dynamic riffing and the cinematic keyboards.Typical sound of the time, often with an Arena/Glam Rock attitude and characterized by full energy, compact songwriting but no evident signs of personality.Very standard material for fans of the style.Towards the end the album will be saved from falling into total cheesiness.''Fanfare song'' is all instrumental, featuring a great combination of symphonic and orchestral synthesizers with a couple of nice guitar solos and the long ''Fire'' eventually sees Cross trying to come up with a real Prog Rock composition.The general atmosphere recalls ENCHANT or Belgians NOW, a nice piece of Neo Prog and FLOYD-ian textures, passing through very melodic soundscapes, catchy grooves, surprising breaks and light symphonic orientations in the keyboard/piano lines, featuring also some good singing and flashy keyboards, although the production is far from great, as during the whole release.The closing ''Yearning'' comes as closest as it gets to PINK FLOYD, a cinematic instrumental outro with DAVID GILMOUR-like interrupting guitar soloing and spacey effects.

Decent material, but not exactly that good to be warmly appreciated.Cross seem to reach the right path at the end of the album, but there is still some distance to go.Recommended to fans of AOR-friendly Prog...2.5 stars.

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 The Thrill Of Nothingness by CROSS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.83 | 32 ratings

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The Thrill Of Nothingness
Cross Crossover Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

4 stars It can be a bit of a discouragement when certain bands just don't get the attention they deserve. It's so frustrating, I'll admit. I'll try and try to support and share a band, but sometimes people just don't pay attention. Or maybe they don't connect. Like I said, it's frustrating.

Cross is such a band. I've tried at every opportunity to get some chatter going about them, but to no avail. Cross' 2012 album "Wake Up Call" is simply of the best that year, and there were many reasons why. I feel that this 2009 album "The Thrill of Nothingness" also captures those same feelings I had. Cross is band that utilizes some rather unique ideas. They combine a psychedelic, airy atmosphere of keys with hefty drums, strong bass guitar (seriously amazing stuff), and very pointed and direct lead guitar. The guitar, especially, is very deliberate and strongly performed. However, all of this is mixed with a vocal style that is reminiscent of The Beatles. I'm not sure that is the correct correlation, but it's the first one that comes to mind. The harmonization is what really spurs that in my mind, I think.

So, then, Cross, having existed since the late 80s, has a firm foundation. But they are always experimenting with backwards-sounding riffs and melodies, spacey elements, and downright freaky structures. I think that it what caught my ear, as they are just different.

"The Thrill of Nothingness" is not as good as their newest album, for sure. However, it's close. The album has a bit more of a "sameness" between tracks, but that may just be because "Wake Up Call" features such different compositions. That said, this album is fantastic. It is fast paced, synthy, and lyrically profound. It is delicate, lush, and hovering, if you will. The instruments are definitely the focus on this release, but that's just fine as the instrumental passages feel rather inspired for the most part.

So, while this release is not as catchy or as perfect as their newest release, it still contains amazing hooks, as in "Chameleons"; excellent instrumental passages, as in "Innocence"; and a pensive, delicate nature, as in "Eternity". Do yourself a favor and listen to anything from this band. Cross is an exceptional band that is criminally unknown.

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 Wake Up Call by CROSS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.84 | 66 ratings

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Wake Up Call
Cross Crossover Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

5 stars What an incredible album! I can't think of enough to say about this band and their off-kilter style of prog rock. Sure, it's psychedelic and melodic; it's rockin' and a little weird, too. Yet, it remains one of my favorites for 2013!

This band has been around for a long time, but that doesn't keep them from bringing the modern prog sound. They seem to have influences such as Pink Floyd and the Beatles, as well as neo-prog in general. Those are just guesses, but you can pick them out pretty easily. It doesn't matter, though, because these guys have their own sound. Imagine the beautiful harmonies of the Beatles mixed with psychedelia and the strong guitars from neo-prog bands. That is Cross in a nutshell, and it's a great combination. This band deserves more attention, and I think this album will end up as one of my favorites for the year.

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 Wake Up Call by CROSS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.84 | 66 ratings

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Wake Up Call
Cross Crossover Prog

Review by robbob

4 stars Well.

Cross: a swedish prog. band.A mix of symphonic and neo prog rock music.

Long time composing and playing.

We can feel that in this album:Wake Up Call

This is now a band with experience,solid ,credible.

Maybe in comparison to modern prog rock (the music of Big Big Train,Gazpacho,Anathema for example) today's Cross music is not very original....but is nice,well composed,good arrangements....good songs..solid.

This album shows a mix of concepts :Symphonic prog of Genesis (Phil Collins era -75-80) with mostly Neo-Prog of their fellows of Sweden GALLEON and British Pendragon.

Long beautiful songs.

Falling Beyond and Waking Up my favourite songs.

A very enjoyable album.

4 to 4,5 stars.

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 Wake Up Call by CROSS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.84 | 66 ratings

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Wake Up Call
Cross Crossover Prog

Review by Ursa Minor

4 stars There is no doubt that Hansi Cross can write catchy tunes, take the opening track "Human Resolution" and track three "Falling Beyond" on this CD, both tracks are over nine minutes in length but both possess choruses that are memorable and appealing which are enhanced by Hansi's fine vocals, which is a great rock voice with no accent These two tracks are divided by the short and pleasant instrumental "Remembrance" which features initial acoustic guitar and then quiet keyboards. The fourth track "Racing Spirits" is also an instrumental which sounds mysterious and sinister in parts. This leads into the longest track on the album, the 18 minute piece "Waking Up" which is a mixture of all things that is good about prog music, there are quiet sections dominated by acoustic guitar which give way to excellent keyboard and guitar solos, there is also some nice violin thrown in for good measure before a long run off leads into the bonus track "Now". I understand this track dates from 2001 and was written by Hansi Cross for the Swedish band Spektrum and now appears as a bonus on this album. Guests on the album are Jock Millgardh (lead and harmony vocals), Mats Bender from Introitus (keyboards), Lizette Von Panajott formerly lead singer with Spektrum (voices), Stefan Damicolas from Brother Ape (harmony vocals) and Hannah Sundkvist and Sabina Cross on violins. The album is symphonic in parts but has its rockier moments and is certainly more raucous than "The Thrill Of Nothingness", no doubt a fine album worth a solid four stars. My only complaint about the album is the artwork, green writing on a green background makes it almost impossible to read the lyrics and the credits and has given me some eye strain, but never mind about that, buy the product and enjoy another album which continues the high quality that is expected from Swedish prog bands.

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 Second Movement by CROSS album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.14 | 13 ratings

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Second Movement
Cross Crossover Prog

Review by maryes

3 stars This second I work of the Swedish band CROSS entitled "Second Movement", it pleased me even certain point, because, although it cannot consider a "masterpiece." the disk pleased in the sense that in spite to be classified in the category Nep-Prog, and to really have plenty elements of the style, it presents some variations, at least interesting, in relation to other styles of progressive as for instance the keyboards presence (eventually in duets with the guitar) playing in a timbre that simulates a brass orchestra, as in the case of Track 1 "Emergency" and still of Track 7 "Fanfarre Song" that approximates them of Symphonic-|Prog. Besides those two tracks it would like to highlight the Track 8 "Impregnable eyes" that presents a brilliant opening in the best style of Heavy-Prog or Prog-metal , however , there is no continuity in the development of the theme, although the track is very good. However, the disk left me with the clear impression that they could have conceived a more elaborated work in the sense of taking advantage of this easiness in "flirting" with other styles and in that way to please more fans of other styles of progressive music . My rate i 3 stars.

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 Playgrounds by CROSS album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.57 | 30 ratings

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Playgrounds
Cross Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is CROSS' ninth studio album released in 2004. Quite a few guests on this one mostly helping out with vocal harmonies, but there is some guest sax and violin as well.

"Let The Play Begin..." opens with keyboards before the bass and drums join in as a full sound arrives. Vocals after a minute as it settles. I like the guitar before 3 minutes that solos tastefully.The synth solo after 4 1/2 minutes is interesting.It then settles with some lazy guitar before kicking back in with vocals. "Deja Vu" has some low end to it as bass and drums lead early on. It does lighten as this instrumental plays out. Heavier again before 3 minutes then the guitar starts to solo slowly. "A New Beginning" opens with keyboards and atmosphere as reserved vocals join in.The guitar cries out after a minute and continues until about 2 1/2 minutes when the tempo picks up and vocals join in. Some smooth sax 8 minutes in. Atmosphere ends it.

"The Battle Of Thalyma" opens with a heavy beat and synths standing out. Guitar before a minute but it's the synths that dominate on this instrumental. "...And Enter The Game" opens with synths and a heavy beat. Vocals join in quickly. Not a fan of the lighter harmonies here. Guitar and keyboards lead the way though. "Fjarilshonung" is less than a minute of acoustic guitar and mellow instrumental music. "Mesmerizing Enterprize" ends it with over 15 minutes of sand moving music. Powerful start with synths and drums then the tempo picks up. It settles as the vocals arrive. Nice guitar after 3 1/2 minutes. The tempo and mood continue to shift. A calm with vocal melodies 8 1/2 minutes in. Then it builds back up very slowly.

A pretty good album overall.

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 Visionary Fools by CROSS album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.00 | 13 ratings

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Visionary Fools
Cross Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is the seventh studio album from CROSS released in 1998.This Swedish band is led and named after Hansi Cross who's name has popped up often over the years in various projects.The keyboards and guitar usually lead the way with those ever-present vocals which are average at best.

"The Riddle" opens with synths before settling with acoustic guitar as vocals, bass and drums help out. Mellow stuff. Guitar after 4 1/2 minutes as the tempo picks up. "White Lies Dark Truth" is more uptempo and brighter. Vocals and some great sounding bass lines after a minute. Synths lead for a minute but they trade off with the guitar the rest of the way. "Deep" is a short atmospheric instrumental.

"In A Questionable Mark" features these pulsating synths with vocals leading early on. Nice bass 1 1/2 minutes in.The guitar is prominant briefly 3 1/2 minutes in. Organ late. "The Earl Of Doncaster" is an instrumental that opens with some chunky bass. Piano and synths follow then guitar 1 1/2 minutes in. "Walls" is mellow with laid back guitar and vocals. "Pain" opens with gusto but it settles back quickly with vocals. Some raw guitar after 1 1/2 minutes. "New Dimensions" is the longest track at over 12 minutes.This one is pretty good as we get changes in mood and tempo with some good guitar and synth work. Organ too in this one. A pulsating rhythm late. Good song.

3 stars but just barely.

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 The Thrill Of Nothingness by CROSS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.83 | 32 ratings

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The Thrill Of Nothingness
Cross Crossover Prog

Review by snelling

4 stars The Thrill of Nothingness marks the latest chapter in the Cross saga, and I would say this is the strongest Cross album to date. Its funny, I dont think frontman Hansi Cross realizes just how good they are when they go acoustic, because it is so rare and brief when they do. But those brief and rare moments are wonderful.

For the most part, the album is heavy, with big chords, and emotional melodies. Hansi's electric guitar playing is excellent, with touches of Andy Latimer and Allan Holdsworth. The one thing that would make this album stronger is a great vocalist. Hansi's voice is probably similar in quality to Steve Howe's. However, much of the album is instrumental.

The first six tracks are very much in keeping with the high quality of 'Secrets' and 'Playgrounds'. No complaints there, (especially 'Innocence' with its powerful chord progressions.) But, then comes.'Eternity', which is easily my favorite Cross song to date. This is a wonderful track, carrying an almost magical Genesis-type feel. A wonderful way to close the album.

The limited edition includes a disc 2, 'The Thrill of Somethingness', which is just about as good as disc one. A bit more variety on this one perhaps, and like the first disc, quite consistantly good. My only complaint is that music of this calibre needs a singer to match.

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