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4 stars There is no doubt that Hansi Cross can write catchy tunes, take the opening track "Human Resolution" and track three "Falling Beyond" on this CD, both tracks are over nine minutes in length but both possess choruses that are memorable and appealing which are enhanced by Hansi's fine vocals, which is a great rock voice with no accent These two tracks are divided by the short and pleasant instrumental "Remembrance" which features initial acoustic guitar and then quiet keyboards. The fourth track "Racing Spirits" is also an instrumental which sounds mysterious and sinister in parts. This leads into the longest track on the album, the 18 minute piece "Waking Up" which is a mixture of all things that is good about prog music, there are quiet sections dominated by acoustic guitar which give way to excellent keyboard and guitar solos, there is also some nice violin thrown in for good measure before a long run off leads into the bonus track "Now". I understand this track dates from 2001 and was written by Hansi Cross for the Swedish band Spektrum and now appears as a bonus on this album. Guests on the album are Jock Millgardh (lead and harmony vocals), Mats Bender from Introitus (keyboards), Lizette Von Panajott formerly lead singer with Spektrum (voices), Stefan Damicolas from Brother Ape (harmony vocals) and Hannah Sundkvist and Sabina Cross on violins. The album is symphonic in parts but has its rockier moments and is certainly more raucous than "The Thrill Of Nothingness", no doubt a fine album worth a solid four stars. My only complaint about the album is the artwork, green writing on a green background makes it almost impossible to read the lyrics and the credits and has given me some eye strain, but never mind about that, buy the product and enjoy another album which continues the high quality that is expected from Swedish prog bands.
Report this review (#696293)
Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well.

Cross: a swedish prog. band.A mix of symphonic and neo prog rock music.

Long time composing and playing.

We can feel that in this album:Wake Up Call

This is now a band with experience,solid ,credible.

Maybe in comparison to modern prog rock (the music of Big Big Train,Gazpacho,Anathema for example) today's Cross music is not very original....but is nice,well composed,good arrangements....good songs..solid.

This album shows a mix of concepts :Symphonic prog of Genesis (Phil Collins era -75-80) with mostly Neo-Prog of their fellows of Sweden GALLEON and British Pendragon.

Long beautiful songs.

Falling Beyond and Waking Up my favourite songs.

A very enjoyable album.

4 to 4,5 stars.

Report this review (#796825)
Posted Monday, July 30, 2012 | Review Permalink
Second Life Syndrome
5 stars What an incredible album! I can't think of enough to say about this band and their off-kilter style of prog rock. Sure, it's psychedelic and melodic; it's rockin' and a little weird, too. Yet, it remains one of my favorites for 2013!

This band has been around for a long time, but that doesn't keep them from bringing the modern prog sound. They seem to have influences such as Pink Floyd and the Beatles, as well as neo-prog in general. Those are just guesses, but you can pick them out pretty easily. It doesn't matter, though, because these guys have their own sound. Imagine the beautiful harmonies of the Beatles mixed with psychedelia and the strong guitars from neo-prog bands. That is Cross in a nutshell, and it's a great combination. This band deserves more attention, and I think this album will end up as one of my favorites for the year.

Report this review (#955047)
Posted Monday, May 6, 2013 | Review Permalink

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