Xang Destiny of a Dream (1999, Galileo Records) Galileo Records P.O. Box 30 9126 Necker SWITZERLAND Xang, a prog metal band formed in France in 1995, builds melodic, instrumental, progressive hard rock around crunchy guitars and soaring keyboards on their first full length CD Destiny of a Dream. The sound of crunchy guitars and keyboards mixed on equal footing recalls the sound of Dream Theater, but Xang's songwriting focuses more on melody and songs rather than flashy individual chops of the musicians. The music climbs through grand passages of dueling guitar and keyboards, and alights softly in quiet passages with clean piano and delicate guitar work. The solid but not innovative chord progressions often build underneath extensive guitar and keyboard solo passages that occasionally drag on a little too long. The melodies shared by guitar and keyboards retain listener interest well and fill the traditional role given to vocals, a difficult songwriting task in instrumental rock. A paragraph of ethereal and occasionally inane poetic themes in the liner notes accompanies each song. The music remains largely free of such stuffy prog trappings, save perhaps for the lo-fi sampled intro to "The Dream." Destiny of a Dream sounds clear and grandiose, with tight crunchy guitars, a perfect guitar sound for progressive metal, and many different keyboard textures effectively conveying various moods. The mix occasionally favors the bass guitar over the drums, and those two rhythm section instruments competently back the band although they lack more prominent roles in the music. Xang's debut CD Destiny of a Dream shows songwriting skill and elegant performance in majestic instrumental prog metal centered around guitar and keyboards. Reviewed by Scott Andrews [sha3u@Virginia.edu] More Info:
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