X-Panda, Flight Of Fancy, 2011

x-panda - flight of fancyMany bands claim to make progressive music, but the way I see it, X-Panda from Estonia (and not Latvia as I said in the first version) are one of the few that deserve to make that claim. I think it is pretty rare that an album that is in essence filled with complex rhythmic structures, jazz-fusion chord progressions and heavy guitar riffs is able to make a connection on the first spin. Must be due to the melodies! Because if these boys understand one thing, then it is how to combine all their influences into songs that you can sing along to…

So no matter how much they experiment with triplets on odd time signatures, go soloing their way over lengthy epics, or stun you with their technical abilities, they bring something special. Is it the choir they use? (think Carl Orff or Therion), is it the real life orchestra instruments they added here and there? Or because the quartet (!) infused a lot of emotion into their craft? Don´t know…

But what I do know is that this album made a big impression! It may be largely instrumental (although bass player Tamar Nugis has a wonderful voice he puts to good use in 3 of the 11 tracks), I never once did miss that. Stunning work, and an essential purchase for any serious lover of progressive music!

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