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X RELIGION

Symphonic Prog • Uzbekistan


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X Religion biography
X-RELIGION was formed from the remnants of two hard rock bands of the nineties in Uzbekistan - RARE BIRD and EDGAR POE. Bassist Vitaly Menshikov (EDGAR POE), along with multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Albert Khalmurzayev, plus drummer Vladimir Badirov (both from RARE BIRD) met during a joint concert of their bands, and as a result agreed to form X-RELIGION.

The band is indeed a 'rare bird' of sorts, being not only a rock band from the unlikely country of Uzbekistan, but a progressive rock band at that. The band's sound is a unique blend of keyboard-intensive symphonic, sometimes approaching metal, and interspersed with Russian classical influences as well. The band has routinely been critically praised for the intensity and complexity of their sound, and are rarely subject to comparisons to other progressive groups.

Their discography is slim but impressive. Keyboardist Albert Khalmurzayev was already in the process of composing the 46 minute-long epic "Sodom and Gomorra XXI" as a solo effort when the band formed. While he began recording it with the support of the other two members shortly after, the album was not complete until 2001 and was released under the name X-RELIGION. The band's other release ("Dances on Gobelins") was recorded around the same time as the final tracks for 'Sodom.', but was a truly collaborative effort by all three band members.

While X-RELIGION have never officially announced a breakup, the members have all moved on to other projects since the release of 'Dances.'. Vitaly Menshikov co-issued an album with Jeremy Morris under the name JEREMY & PROGRESSOR in 2005; Albert Khalmurzayev has appeared as a member of THE FROMUZ since 2004; and Vladimir Badirov has recorded a solo album and also performs with THE FROMUZ.

Vitaly Menshikov has also been running the ProgressoR website from its outset in 1998.

X-RELIGION belong in the progressive archives because of their uniquely classical and symphonic style of music, and for their role as one of the very few standard-bearers for progressive music in Uzbekistan.

Bob Moore (ClemofNazareth)

X Religion official website

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X RELIGION discography


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

3.75 | 4 ratings
Sodom And Gomorra XXI (as Al-Bird)
2002
3.56 | 11 ratings
Dances On Gobelins
2003

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X RELIGION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sodom And Gomorra XXI (as Al-Bird) by X RELIGION album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.75 | 4 ratings

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Sodom And Gomorra XXI (as Al-Bird)
X Religion Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Underneath the name of Al-Bird it states "A solo album from one of the three of X Religion", and underneath the title it states "Progressive Symphonic Poem". On turning the CD over to find that it was a four part epic which was further sub-divided into another twenty pieces, and had been presented as a 'scenic version' as well, I was ready to fall asleep. But, and it is a very large 'but', this is a damn fine album. It has been recorded by the three members of X Religion, a progressive rock band from Uzbekistan, but has been released as a solo album. The only thing that is a pain is that although it states that it is in separate sections, and indeed these are musically quite obvious, it has been loaded onto the CD as one data track so the only way to listen to it is by playing it through in a complete sitting.

The press release mentions bands such as Pink Floyd (most definitely) and ELP (I can see where they are coming from with that one), but in truth there is a lot more going one here. There are sections that with just a small amount of mixing could belong on Chemical Brothers while at others it is quite hard rock. One of the joys of this album is that it is not just possible to deduce what is going to happen next, yet at the same time it does seem to fit together as a whole.

Musea state that the album "is as ambitious in its conception as it is successful in its production" and I wholeheartedly agree with them. Not an album that I thought I was going to enjoy but it is very good indeed.

Originally appeared in Feedback #71, Dec 02

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 Sodom And Gomorra XXI (as Al-Bird) by X RELIGION album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.75 | 4 ratings

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Sodom And Gomorra XXI (as Al-Bird)
X Religion Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Symphonic prog from an Uzbek project which later developed into Fromuz. This is the debut album from a project with in total two albums.

All music here is instrumental with vocals used as instruments. This is one fifty minutes long suite with no letups. The music is a mix of new age, fusion, a lot of Pink Floyd'ish space rock, Russian symph prog and avant-garde. Think Little Tragedies and Karfagen. A bit Fromuz is also present here. There is also a lot of Eastern folk and classical music present here.

The music ebbs and flows throughout with a lot of change of themes along the way. The first part is very Pink Floyd. The final half an hour is much more classical music.

Quality wise, this album is good. There are some great melody lines along this ride and I find this album pleasing, but not great. A good album, nevertheless.

3 stars

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 Dances On Gobelins  by X RELIGION album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.56 | 11 ratings

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Dances On Gobelins
X Religion Symphonic Prog

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Wow. Two wordy reviews, one is 1 star and another is 5 stars. I'll be closer to second one with my 4 stars.

First of all, if you can't bear electronic drums, stay away. The whole album is recorded on electronic Yamaha drumkit, so you may guess how drums sound like.That's , probably, the only flaw here - besides, I CAN understand pecularities of Uzbekistan Prog scene and overall "flat" sound of the album doesn't frighten me much, because the music itself is very good. Heavily orchestrated and arranged, it sounds like ELP jamming with DT and MAHAVISHNU...If it'd be only better recorded, it'll recieve far more positive reviews I guess. Highly recommended despite these NON-MUSICAL problems. Check it out

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 Dances On Gobelins  by X RELIGION album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.56 | 11 ratings

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Dances On Gobelins
X Religion Symphonic Prog

Review by Emperor

5 stars Paraphrasing Vasil Jalabadze, any prog head should listen to X Religion to realize that the release of their second album back in 2003 was a major event. This is one of the deepest and, simultaneously, most beautiful prog rock albums I've ever heard, a real feast for the adventurous, with ever-changing music covering a wide variety of different progressive directions: from symphonic Prog to classical music and Avant-garde. A must. By the way, the album received very favorable reviews in most prog rock and related resources on the Internet and beyond:-)!

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 Dances On Gobelins  by X RELIGION album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.56 | 11 ratings

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Dances On Gobelins
X Religion Symphonic Prog

Review by Vasil Jalabadze

1 stars Ooooh, great , there are three suggestion already and all rated by 5 Stars, BY 5 STARS. Yes, I guess, this band counts exactly 3 members, so the conclusion is not a very difficult to make up after you have listen to this tedious, disgusting and miserable album.

I would like to give it zero stars, but unfortunately I couldn't find the option how to do that. All numbers are absolutely similar to each other, no solos, the drum sounds like a electric synthesizer, there are no guitars (no electric as well as no acoustic, only Bass), no wind instruments.

Anyway, I would like to recommend this record to all Progheads, because I think all we should to know how the Progressive Rock music must not sound like!!!

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Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition.

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