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XII Alfonso - The Lost Frontier  CD (album) cover


XII Alfonso


Symphonic Prog

2.86 | 30 ratings

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3 stars 'The Lost Frontier' is the first album of the French band 'XII Alfonso', led by the founding brothers Phillippe (guitars) and François Clairhout (keyboards programming), with guest musicians among them the well known French ( Britain) guitarist and band leader 'Dan Ar Bras'.The record is a concept album inspired by the 'Wall Of Hadrien'.

The album is mostly instrumental apart from three vocal tracks featuring singer Caroline Lafue and evoking 'Mostly Autumn'. The tracks are linked by sound snippets that evoke the history of the 'Wall Of Hadrien' and it's region : riding horses,roman soldiers in a tavern (?),a descent into a coal mine, a train, evoking together with the titles more or less the history of this part of Scotland.

'XII Alfonso' plays on this record a gentle form of melodic prog with celtic influences.The melodic material is quite poor, most tracks lack tension and over the top the programmed synth layers sound thin and cheasy, especially the bag pipes 'imitation' on 'Back to Northumberland'. The best moments on the record are the acoustic tracks like 'Lazy day in Haltwhistle ' or ' Another day in Haltwhistle' for solo acoustic guitar, reminding Anthony Phillipps athmospheric playing or 'Wheels of change' with a jazz influenced solo lead guitar and nice flute playing. The weakest tracks are 'Heath ' & 'Revival' approaching new-age muzac.

Alucard | 3/5 |


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