Header

XAAL

RIO/Avant-Prog • France


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Xaal picture
Xaal biography
With only two albums in their curriculum vitae, released in a 2-year span, it's incredible how the French power-trio XAAL managed to leave such a rich testimony for contemporary prog rock. Formed by guitarist Jad AYACHE, bassist Nicolas NEIMER and drummer/percussionist Patrick BOILEAU, XAAL offered an exciting, stylish mixture of KC-meets-CAMEL oriented sound (not unlike their legendary compatriots of SHYLOCK) and RIO at its least inscrutable (imagine PRESENT with a more patent dynamics and a bit less sinister), craftily seasoned with noticeable touches of jazz-rock. The trio decided to increase their sonic spectrum via the help of guests - on wind instruments mostly - for some extra colors, but all in all, the threesome were exclusively responsible for their own sound's core.


The paradoxes of mixing roughness and sophistication meet an amazing fruition in XAAL's two only albums, "On the Way" [a.k.a. "En Chemin"] (1992) and "Seconde Ere" (1993). It is a general consensus that the rough aspect is more pronounced in the latter album, sadly their last one for good.

Recommended to fans of King Crimson's legacy, RIO with a more accessible vibe, as well as lovers of psychedelic-oriented prog (NeBeLNeST) and jazz-rock with proggy twists (BRAND-X, RETURN TO FOREVER, TRIBAL TECH). Those nostalgic of SHYLOCK and PULSAR are potential lovers of XAAL, too.

Bio written by Cesar Inca




Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
French tradition of King Crimson influenced band such as Shylock, Nebelnest etc...



Discography:
En Chemin - 91
Seconde Ere - 95

XAAL MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

XAAL forum topics / tours, shows & news


XAAL forum topics Create a topic now
XAAL tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "xaal"
Post an entries now

XAAL Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to XAAL

Buy XAAL Music


Seconde EreSeconde Ere
Musea 1993
Audio CD$18.71
Right Now on Ebay (logo)

More places to buy XAAL music online Buy XAAL & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for XAAL DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

XAAL shows & tickets


XAAL has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

XAAL discography


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

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

3.68 | 21 ratings
En Chemin
1991
3.90 | 21 ratings
Seconde Ere
1995

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

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

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

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

3.07 | 5 ratings
Xaal
1990

XAAL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Xaal by XAAL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1990
3.07 | 5 ratings

BUY
Xaal
Xaal RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sagichim
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars For a very long time I thought Xaal have released only two albums, the 1991 "En Chemin" and the 1995 Seconde Ere. But a few years ago when I talked about them with a friend of mine who was working for a few years in a small record store, he said he wasn't that impressed by them. Well...being a stubborn douchebag I asked what's not to like about them?? So he said it is difficult for him to get passed that first 10 minutes song. Hmmm....But they don't have a 10 minute song as an opener I answered. He bet me 5$ and pulled out a CD with a cheap cover art. At first I thought "Yay Xaal have released a new album!" but when he played it to me I understood it is a demo tape or an EP, not only because of the sound quality but also because of the material itself. So apparently this is one of Xaal's first recordings ever and it was released only on cassette. After paying him that 5$ he gave me that bootleg CD for free.

This EP contains 5 songs. 2 songs that were already released in different versions, each in every album they have, and 3 unreleased songs. The whole thing is clocking at 37 minutes which is a priceless addition for anyone who already likes this band. The sound quality is not so good but it's definitely listenable and shouldn't turn off anyone who's interested in this.

Their style here is a little incoherent but it resembles their first album. There's just a little bit of everything here, Zehul, Fusion, wicked Crimson outbursts and other experimental jamming The album opens up with "Exordex", a 10 minute song that is worth having this EP alone. This track takes all those influences and efficiently mix them together. Although It starts as a harmful eclectic fusion jamming it doesn't hold any solos just yet. The band is moving from one idea to the next very smoothly, it has a good flow and it is well constructed. Little by little you're having a feeling that the band is not showing all their cards, the music is getting more and more sinister and they are getting out of the fusion sound into a wicked Zehul territory. Slowly it gets more intense and fast it's like the band is in a trance, each one of them is notable for his playing, this is simply superb and turned out to be in my top 3 songs by the band. "Piege" would resurface 5 years from now and appear on their second album. This is a primal version of it but it's not so far from the later version, the song is already complete at this stage, the difference is in the execution, the band had 5 years to practice and it shows, I prefer the later version on Seconde Ere. "Byblos" would appear in the following year on their debut. Once again this is a primal version and it is just slightly different, the ideas are there but it is executed a little differently. Although it has some very good ideas it was never a favorite of mine, for an 11 minute song it is not so coherent. The first half is good but later it just doesn't hold up. "Crepuscule " is something entirely different, something we are not used to hearing from the band. It's a 2.5 minute song done with only acoustic guitars and some tablas, something I would expect from Amon Duul II, only here it is nothing special. The closing track "Xenophee" is a slow paced tune, I wouldn't call it mellow but it's definitely tranquil, evolving on one melody which they are investigating. Unfortunately it doesn't reach any heights and it is closer to their mediocare light fusion attempts on their debut.

So here are the first steps of a very talented band with a very unique sound and a good mixture of styles, and although it's far from perfect they show a lot of character, something that not every talented band has. This would mainly appeal to fans of the band looking for some rare recordings. As I said this is worth having for the first track alone, the rest is of course overall good too. After investigating a little further, there's suppose to be other rare recordings as well but they would be almost impossible to track down. 3 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Seconde Ere by XAAL album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.90 | 21 ratings

BUY
Seconde Ere
Xaal RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sagichim
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars Xaal (or should be pronounced as Zal) are basically a french trio formed in the late 80's led by Nicolas Neimer on bass, Jad Ayache on guitars and synths and Patrick Boileau on drums. Both their albums and one EP included other musicians to spice up their sound and ideas, mostly by trumpet and saxophone. I don't think their RIO/Avant tag is justifiable, it could be very misleading to those who don't connect with this genre, they are really much more Crimsonian Zehul fusion than anything else. Their first album was actually a cross between those genres but it seems that here, in their second album they have decreased their fusion influences and mostly concentrated on much more heavier Zehulic sound, reminding me often of Crimson, Magma (without the vocals) and a little bit of Univers Zero for the atmosphere. Xaal really takes all those influences and efficiently mix them together to come up with something that is really their own. It's not really fusion, you can't really call it Jazz and it is certainly not metal, it is simply modern progressive rock that doesn't scatter to all directions but is focused and directed straight between your eyes.

Seconde Ere is not only relatively short but it also hits the target it's aiming for. It's recorded better than before and that's the reason it sounds fresher and definitely stronger. The material is precisely written and confidently executed. The album is strictly instrumental, but doesn't hold any complex or sophisticated arrangements, on the other hand what it has to offer is effective arrangements mostly leaning on improvisation, good ones too.

Nicolas Neimer has a punchy and grainy kind of sound, he uses a fretless bass and he's a very competent player, soft and caressing at times but can also be very fierce like a lot of Zehul bass players (Paganotti comes to mind here). Just check out his beautiful intro on "Jamais Tranquille" very tasteful and classy, I would rank this as one of my favorite fretless bass lines. Jad Ayache doesn't carry the endless soloing sin, his solos are in the right place and in the right lenth. On top of it he has all kinds of beautiful and imaginative leads, check out "Piege" for its cool minimalistic guitar intro lead. And finally Patrick Boileau on drums can be very jazzy but also very angry and violent, like a storm coming out of nowhere. Together they are not trying to sound polished at all, like almost every metal band that embraces that perfect production where every beat is on the spot. Instead they are very loose and I wouldn't be surprised if this was recorded live in the studio.

For some people the creation of the universe could have happened to the sounds of "What A Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong but others (cynics) might say it's this album's frightening opener "Rah". It opens up with a deep and low sound almost like a volcano is about to burst, then three notes appear and the tension is starting to build on top of them, it then calms for just a few seconds with a devine choir, like the lord is looking down smiling upon what he has done but then everything goes to hell with the album's first violent attack. Another thing about Xaal is the contrast they have in styles and sometimes within the same song. For example "Jamais Tranquille" (or maybe should have better been called The Great Flood) have a beautiful first part as I've mentioned before but then looses it when the mighty tornado is unleashed staring the three french men, it's like somebody has pissed them off. They are taking no prisoners on this one and simply demolishes everything, it's definitely my favorite piece here. On the other hand "Al Abad" starts with a mysterious calm haunting atmosphere and then continues to a long jazzy improvisation including guiar solos and a saxophone paddling in the arabian ocean.

"Piege" is another highlight adopting once again the fusion between quiet and aggressive, some good motifs and an effective change between different moods leaning on a remarkable bass work. But it seems Xaal have saved a lot of energies for the closing track "Force". A violent and aggressive coda that destroys the earth completely, nothing can stand in the way of those drums, having no problem keeping up with the already possessed guitar player featuring a manic guitar solo on top of that solid and punchy bass line. An end that leaves you wanting for more.

It seems Xaal have achieved the goals they have set for them selves and now can secretly vanish away without anyone noticing. This last recording catches them in great shape and is recommended to anyone who likes the more disturbing, aggressive but sensitive side of Zehul. A well deserved 4 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Xaal by XAAL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1990
3.07 | 5 ratings

BUY
Xaal
Xaal RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars French act Xaal carried a decade of history, starting back in 1986 originally as a trio with Laurent Imperato on guitar, Patrick Boileau on drums and Nicolas Neimer on bass, exploring the Jazz Rock territory in the style of Jeff Beck.Two years later Xaal begun writing original compositions with the arrival of Stéphane Jaoui on keyboards and later Jad Ayache on guitars.Some of them would eventually end up in the first self-titled cassette release of the group from 1990.

The sound of Xaal on this work was emphatic guitar-driven Progressive Rock with big time KING CRIMSON influences as well as some PULSAR/CARPE DIEM-hypnotic textures.Good instrumental compositions that are characterized by an alternating guitar mood between strong FRIPP-ian acrobatics and smooth tremblings along with a very deep bass work.There is also a good amount of KING CRIMSON-esque solos to be found throughout except the heavy and groovy parts.But the sound of Xaal goes beyond this major influence.The arrangements are often colored with hypnotic synth breaks, elegant flutes and even Fusion-esque keyboard solos, the later not being a very succesful choice due to their plastic sound.Xaal were actually very good in producing different atmospheres and the more dynamic and sharp parts are usually followed by textures in a very light Fusion style.

A versatile and very rare cassette of all instrumental Prog/Fusion/Jazz Rock by a band with huge potential.Notice that both ''Piege'' and ''Byblos'' made it later on the pair of official albums Xaal released.Strongly recommended if you come across a copy...3.5 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Seconde Ere by XAAL album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.90 | 21 ratings

BUY
Seconde Ere
Xaal RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by maryes

3 stars Before beginning my review, it would like to emphasize that I am not an admirer of the R.I.O style, with some rare exceptions among which I can detach the Swedish band Samla Mammas Manna, however, the the French band XAAL, gets me to please in many aspects, and the main of them is the beautiful arrangements form. I can cite as an example in the second albun entitled "Second Ere" which I considere superior to first "En Chemin" the track 2 Tranquille" that after a beginning with drums that remind World-Music, it "disembogues" in a beautiful passage where is a "dialogue" between a fingered guitar and the fretless bass to drive the music to a theme that mixes KING CRINSOM with JEFF BECK, still detach the track 5 " it Forces" in approximate molds of the Jazz Rock, very similar RETURN TO FOREVER, PASSPORT and MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA (this last citation due to the "very crazy" guitar solo in the Jonh Mclaughlin's style. My rate is 3 stars!!! Leaving clear that same not finding the disk essential he deserves figures in my collection!!!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Seconde Ere by XAAL album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.90 | 21 ratings

BUY
Seconde Ere
Xaal RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars XAAL were a three piece instrumental band from France who put out two very good albums in the nineties. This their final one is a powerful, dark and spacey affair with Rio / Zeuhl / Jazz references, in fact I was surprised at how MAGAM-like it is in places. Like the debut there are two guest horn players adding to the sound. One is Alex Ferrand who plays sax here. He's actually a good singer too and has sung on both MAGMA and OFFERING studio albums.That reminds me that on XAAL's debut they had the Guillard brothers on horns who played in both MAGMA and WEIDORJE.

"Rah" opens with this dark and powerful atmosphere as drums and other sounds come and go. I'm thinking of the band PRESENT here or UNIVERS ZERO.These angelic vocals come out of nowhere 4 1/2 minutes in and they disappear just as fast. It then kicks in heavily with guitar. A calm 6 minutes in and it turns haunting a minute later. Great sound when it kicks back in at 8 minutes. A very MAGMA-like rhythm here as guitar plays over top. "Jamis Tranquille" features some beautiful guitar and bass. I'm reminded of GORDIAN KNOT here. It builds 2 1/2 minutes in until they're rocking pretty good at the 3 minute mark.The tempo picks up before 4 1/2 minutes and we get a big finish.

"Al Abad" is dark as the guitar slowly comes and goes. It stays 1 1/2 minutes in with light drums and bass. Sax before 2 1/2 minutes takes the guitars place and leads for about 5 minutes then the guitar returns replacing the sax. The guitar is screaming before 9 1/2 minutes. "Piege" opens with drums and other sparse sounds follow. It kicks in before 2 1/2 minutes with guitar leading the way. The tempo picks up 4 1/2 minutes in and this sounds so much like MAGMA as the guitar plays over top. "Force" opens with synths,drums and fat bass lines (MAGMA-like).The guitar before 2 1/2 minutes sounds amazing. The guitar backs off before 5 minutes as synths take over.

Easily 4 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Seconde Ere by XAAL album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.90 | 21 ratings

BUY
Seconde Ere
Xaal RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Recorded in 1993 but only released by Musea Records two years later, when Xaal had already broken up, "Second Ere" is an outstanding elegy for a band so young and that has done some great input for the 90s progressive scene in such a short time. Going for a deeper exploration of the eclectic approach to zheul, jazz-rock, heavy psychedelia and Crimsonian vibe delivered in "En Chemin", this sophomore effort puts a special emphasis on contrast between the aggressive and subtle sides of Xaal's music. This second age is one of a tighter focus on two main sources, approaching the writing and arranging procedures from there. With greyish synth layers properly adorned with percussive touches and soaring guitar nuances we witness the start of 'Rah', leading shortly after to a pulsationally based section that reminds us of Magma-meets-Present. The presence of Arabic undertones helps to maintain some mysterious aura for a few climatic passages. The exotic vibe is enhanced on track 2, 'Jamais Tranquille'. Its rhythmic cadences and harmonic developments brings us to North African landscapes; the bass guitar's phrases add an exquisiteness to a wall of sound that, halfway through, augments its tense intensity on the wings of the guitar lines. This harder section sounds like a lost piece from King Crimson's Red era as if performed by cuya cadencia rítmica y armonías sobregrabadas de guitarras nos remiten a paisajes Shylock trying to emulate Primus - believe me, I couldn't come up with a better analogy to complete this description, my apologies. With its 10 ½ minute timespan, 'Al Abad' is the longest piece in teh album. Returning to the Arabic textures, 'Al Abad' starts on a heavily contemplative note, reminiscing of early 70s Weather Report: the serene sax lines provided by guest Ferrand reinforce this impression. The guitar solo that follows in not as jazzy: sounding more like a mixture of Steve Hillage and Chris Karrer, it sets a hard psychedelic tone fluidly framed in the overall fusionesque structure. 'Piège' starts with a languid cadence tha resembles the preceding track, but the level of tension is noticeably higher due to the rhythm duo's tribal spur and the agile, neurotic lead guitar's phrases. It's just a matter of time that the band shifts into a more extrovrted section, which is when the bands makes a powerful jazz-rock statement weirdly augmented by spacey synthesizer ornaments. I feel like the potential climax is not completely capitalized, since the abrupt ending comes a bit too early to my taste. This factor is properly resolved in the closer 'Force', a piece that finds the band (once again) revitaliazing the heritages of Shylock and avant-prog-jazz (a bit of Magma, a bit of Potemkine). The guitar solo is infinitely electrifying, very McLaughlinesque. The presence of guest horn players helps to reinforce the track's rhythmic structure, with the drummer also finding some room to let his individual proficiency shine. It is a real pity that this album didn't even reach the 40 minute mark: too short, indeed. Anyway, when you look back in the eraly stages of te hso-called 90s prog revival and focus on a appreciation of Xaal's discography, you might as well label them as the missing link between the avant-side of 70s French prog and the sonic achievements of current French bands such as Taal and NeBeLNeST.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 En Chemin by XAAL album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.68 | 21 ratings

BUY
En Chemin
Xaal RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars XAAL were an all instrumental band from France who put out two great records in the nineties. There is a mixture of Rio, Zeuhl and Jazz in this their debut, and more than once I was reminded of both CAMEL and KING CRIMSON.This seems to be some sort of a concept album as there is a little written blurb with each song to read, but the concept is vague to say the least. The music though is crystal clear. Cool to see the Guillard brothers here on horns, they've both played in MAGMA and WEIDORJE.

"L'Enfant" has such beautiful sounding guitar melodies (Latimer-like) with light drums. As bass comes in 4 1/2 minutes in the song changes with uptempo, passionate passages coming and going. The drumming is fantastic ! "Ballade" is a good uptempo song with the focus on the guitar and drums with sax and trumpet adding some flavour. "Le Jardin" opens with the birds singing as an intricate guitar melody with bass comes in. Drums follow as the guitar gets more aggressive. I'm reminded of CAMEL a minute in. "En Chemin" is quite a ride as it opens with piano, bass, drums and guitar. The tempo changes often and the song gets intense 3 minutes in before changing completely 4 minutes in to a jazzy little number. Synth-guitar and light drums as the song builds after 5 minutes.

"Talisman" opens with some beautiful sounding guitar as bass and light drums come for the ride. The guitar is more raw after 4 minutes. "Le Vieux Chasseur De Papillons" opens with lots of atmosphere that lasts for 2 minutes before some tasteful guitar comes in. Great sound 5 minutes in. "Ascension" has a dark and heavy intro with Fripp-like guitar that slowly grinds out angular melodies. The song stops completely 2 minutes in and restarts with a different guitar melody as the song continues to unfold. The wind is blowing to end it. "Byblos" is dominated by guitar and drums before a blistering guitar solo 3 1/2 minutes in. We get an atmospheric section 2 minutes later with some synth-guitar before a climate change 8 1/2 minutes in of horns and drums. The final track "Final" is less then a minute long. It sounds like someone breathing hard and then yelling as drums pound to a dramatic ending.

Just an excellent release with amazing instrumental work that should satisfy Zeuhl, Rio and Jazz lovers alike.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Seconde Ere by XAAL album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.90 | 21 ratings

BUY
Seconde Ere
Xaal RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Yukorin

4 stars Sensational follow-up from this mysterious power trio. 'Though unsatisfyingly short in length it's a dizzying object lesson in RIO, zeuhl, and jazz. All instrumental, with a great flair for melody and tension this is, to my mind, real progressive metal. Similar to Japan's Happy Family.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 En Chemin by XAAL album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.68 | 21 ratings

BUY
En Chemin
Xaal RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Xaal's first album was quite a revelation for the prog scene in the early 90s. The mixture of Crimson trend, jazz-rock and regular melodic symph prog that the band developed across this album's repertoire felt really amazing, regarding that it was really mature for a debut and for such young musicians. Also, you will find lots of energy in the trio's performances and a clever use of complexity in the arrangements: at times, that complexity is enhanced by the use of some RIO-inspired tricks, like dark ambiences and subtle dissonant textures. "En Chemin" is really great, from beginning to end. The opener 'L'enfant' is related to the KC-meets-Camel aura that Shylock recreated and mastered some time ago. 'Ballade' goes to the fresher vibes of funky-jazz, with the added intervention of a duet of sax and trumpet that helps the basic trio to fulfill properly the joyful demands of the basic jam. 'Hkunk's Garden' retakes the path of track 1, only including some exotic flavors in the main theme; just to keep the logic working, I guess, the title track, track no. 4, displays a predominant jazzy colorfulness just like track 2 did, but this time, including some disturbing adornments in the interlude that may remind the listener of some sort of accessible RIO. 'Talisman' is driven softly and tastefully through the trend of fusion, portraying a patently modern sound, like some sort of Tribal Tech without a background of digital synths. After a mysterious and subtly dense guitar-synth intro, 'Le Vieux Chasseur de Papillons' follows a similar path to that of the title track: the energetic climax that is built up before the closing reprise of the intro theme shows how powerful this trio was. 'Ascension' finds the band exploring seriously and deeply their taste for accessible RIO: the darkness of the motifs and counterpoints is elegantly achieved, although perhaps a little more strength could have been used here. But strength is what is not missing at all in the 11-minute 'Byblos', which installs a "Red"-era KC vibe on a solid jazz-rock basis during the first part. Then comes a languid interlude based on aleatory guitar and synth layers, from which the dissonant fire of the second part emerges in a majestic way. This time, the use of guests on brass instruments serves as a vehicle for RIO mannerisms, helping to build up a climax. This is the richest number in the album. The frenzy of the 1-minute 'Finale' sounds like a funny impersonation of the release of inner demons: a surprising, joyful way to end a great album.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 En Chemin by XAAL album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.68 | 21 ratings

BUY
En Chemin
Xaal RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really

In the lenghty French prog tradition of heavily Crimson inspired bands (such Carpe Diem, Shylock and recently Nebelnest), came out in the early 90's Xaal, a guitar-lead trio that gets some help either from a keyboardist on some tracks and some brass section in other (and both on the second last track). Clearly this instrumental trio was at the top of their game and from these years, there were not many new generation groups that were able to top them.

Starting out on three very familiar APP notes, the album is a conceptual piece about a Child's way to his destiny and the tricks, traps and other obstacles of life on his road to fulfilment. Yes, these guys have clearly heard some King Crimson, but they are jazzier than the Fripp boys, but there are ever-so subtle hints of Magma also.

Not everything is perfect on the album, most notably the weak KB on the closing moments of the title track but on the whole, the album holds its own without ever being really brilliant either. The climax of the album comes with the second-last 11-min Byblos (and its incredible middle section where the brass section is contributing to the madness that Alamaailman Vasarat would make theirs a decade later, and the incredibly violent Final.

Not an easy listen for casual progheads, partly due to the instrumental nature of their music, Xaal's first album is certainly worth a spin, but nothing absolutely essential either.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Thanks to Sean Trane for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.67 seconds