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Xenn - Offworld CD (album) cover





2.99 | 16 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars XENN from Poland was formed by former ABRAXAS guitarist Luq Swiech who enlisted former ABRAXAS bassists Rafal Ratajczak and Bagin (Chapman Stick). Add a drummer and guest vocalists as well to fill out the lineup.The music here sounds nothing like Neo-Prog as it is dark and very atmospheric with plenty of loops, shakers, devices, samples, tambourine, synths, bells and more. I was so surprised at how good this album is considering the low ratings here, lets just say I wasn't expecting much. By the way this sounds nothing like ABRAXAS.This is a concept album set in 2070 and I have to give the band credit for the liner notes and pictures as they went all out on this one-off recording.The cover art is even better when you open it up to include the back cover.

"Offworld" is my favourite. It opens with sampled words followed by bass then reserved vocals. It kicks in before 1 1/2 minutes. Great sound as the contrasts continue. "Chinatown" opens with water sounds and voices. It turns darker with spoken vocals. Singing before a minute as voices and atmosphere continue. It kicks in after 3 1/2 minutes. Nice. It settles back 5 minutes in to the end. "Dark Matter" is the longest track at just over 10 minutes. Spacey blips to start as the atmosphere rolls in. Drums and bass follow. Vocals 3 1/2 minutes.The intensity stops before 8 minutes then the atmosphere comes in and builds. "Hiperprzesrton" has some cool sounding vocals in Polish that are deep and almost spoken. It's dark and atmospheric. Regular vocals kick in briefly at 1 1/2 minutes then back to the cool ones. "Land" is different from the rest. In fact it reminds me of Kevin Ayers of all people. It's a catchy little ditty that gets fuller 2 minutes in.

"Chandelier" has relaxed guitar, bass and jangling sounds early on. It kicks in before 1 1/2 minutes with vocals. Nature sounds after 3 minutes as it settles with lots of atmosphere. It kicks back in before 4 minutes with plenty of percussion then vocals. "Antares" is a short atmospheric piece. "A Postcard From Offworld" opens with spoken words before intricate sounds including guitar come in. We get voices and atmosphere too. "Xennomorph" opens with atmosphere as a door creaks open followed by a beat then spoken vocals before a minute. Female vocals before 2 1/2 minutes before the spoken male vocals return. "The Dawn On The Chandelier" is another short atmospheric piece that ends with the sound of crickets and blends into "Mesmerized" where vocals, bass, drums and more are added. "Dancing River Bar" is catchy with spoken vocals,piano and percussion standing out.

On all of these tracks we get a lot of different sounds happening, much more than I describe. Easily 4 stars and a great headphone album.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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