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X-Panda - Reflections CD (album) cover

REFLECTIONS

X-Panda

 

Progressive Metal

3.53 | 16 ratings

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snobb
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Some three decades ago I would probably be able to kill for album like that. "The Game" would be my glam-rock piece of the month, "Denial" could be beaten then only by (still) fresh Dream Theater music (X-Panda play similar progressive metal here, just less complex,more tuneful and better arranged (or more polished - you chose) - and significantly more theatrical).

"Rise Up To Fly" opens with orchestra's strings (for sure band owe a lot to Finnish acts like Lordi and Nightwish), "On The Way" contains interesting (for this genre) piano soloing in combination with genre trademark "crying" guitar. "First part of "Reflections" ("Inner Battle") is bombastic and full of theatrical drama, it's one among a few peaces which will probably will make happy more heavy music fans. The closer is a ballad sung in Estonian and it has true country's popular music touch (at least crossing Estonia by car each time during last three decades I can hear similar music on local radio).

So - what do we have here in total? If you don't care about modernity in your music level of "heaviness" or/and "progressiveness" is not your main criteria, "Reflections" is really well played and recorded, professionally arranged crossover album with lot of tunes and light touch of Nordic spirit. Vocals are competent, use of orchestral arrangements is very tasteful and common sound is really pleasant (incl. well-balanced sound mix).

X-Panda fortunately are not another Dream Theater clone, they demonstrate their own mix of bombastic glam-metal, folk-prog,progressive metal and characteristic Nordic symphonic heavy rock. All brew is professionally cooked and if you don't expect modern tricks and don't worry about obvious 80s-90s influences in your music, you will probably will enjoy listening to this release.Strong 3,5.

snobb | 4/5 |

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