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Versus X - Primordial Ocean CD (album) cover


Versus X


Crossover Prog

3.85 | 57 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer
3 stars


This German band is rooted in 1984 when prime mover Arne Schäfer plays in the trio Vague Venture and one year later starts to sing. Their sound is a blend of New Wave and New Romantic. While the music turns into more and more progressive many changes in the line-up follow and eventually the name of the band becomes Versus X, derived from the chemistry. They began to play gigs, the reactions are very positive and in 1994 Versus X releases their eponymous debut album, followed by Disturbance (1997), The Turbulent Zone (2000), Live At The Spirit (2002) and recently (again after some changes in the line- up) the new studio album entitled Primordial Ocean (2008), the fans had to wait eight years for a successor of The Turbulent Zone, their previous studio effort.

The running time of this new CD is more than 70 minutes and it contains five compositions, four between 15 and 25 minutes along the short track From A Distance (a dreamy piece with solo Grand piano). The four long and alternating songs sound as warm and very melodic 24-carat symphonic rock, deeply rooted into the Classic Prog tradition. We can enjoy lots of howling guitar, supported by the distinctive Moog Taurus bass pedals and lush vintage keyboards (in my opinion samples) like the Mellotron, Hammond organ and Minimoog synthesizer. To me the music evoked many 'goose bump moments' like the intro of The Pulse Of Earth (intense violin-Mellotron and bass pedals) and the compelling bombastic sound featuring heavy Mellotron, fat Minimoog and sensitive electric guitar runs in Essentially Human, Fingerprints and the final piece Into The Vast Unknown (long and moving guitar solo with wonderful support of the unsurpassed Mellotron).

Listening to this CD often Skandinavian prog like White Willow, Anekdoten, Wobbler and especially Anglagard (loaded with Mellotron and frequent interplay between powerful guitar and Hammond) comes to my mind, I enjoyed it very much. But I have to admit that in my opinion the vocals don't succeed to generate the same excitment as the music, I miss power and the accent is very obvious. But it didn't disturb me, also because Versus X their music on this new CD contains a lot of instrumental parts, on those moments this promising band showcases their compositorial skills and appreciation for Classic Prog like Seventies King Crimson (violin-Mellotron) Genesis (choir-Mellotron, Moog Taurus bass pedals and volume pedal guitar) and Yes (Hammond and Minimoog runs), I have been in Prog Heaven! My rating: 3,5 stars.

erik neuteboom | 3/5 |


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