I have a lot of respect for musicians who choose to play all the instruments themselves instead of going the band route. Sometimes it works while other times it can sound like a mess. The latest one man band project I have listened to is French musician Xavier Boscher's new disc titled Pentagramme. He does have some guest musicians adding a couple of guitar solos and some vocals but for the most part this is all Boscher.
I must confess this is the first I have heard the name which is rather surprising considering this his is eleventh solo album. Before his solo career he was involved in a number of bands including Horresco Referens, Misanthrope and Nebuleyes.
On Pentagramme you will find bits of metal, alternative and progressive rock mostly with a melancholic twist that I found really quite riveting. Boscher is an excellent guitarist and has a fine voice, very rich and full bodied. The lyrics are in in French so unfortunately I cannot say what these songs are about.
The first track "Le corps des femmes" begins with solemn acoustic guitar and brooding synths. The guitar riffs give the song some heft adding a layer of heaviness and the catchy guitar solo absolutely soars. There is a dreamy quality at work here especially the clean sounding guitar and pleasing vocals. The somber "Métronome céleste" is another mood laden piece with keyboard layering and acoustic guitar playing a prominent role. A tricky drum pattern and heavy riffs highlight the catchy "La lune rouge" and the guitar etched soundscapes in the album ending "Les voyageurs du temps" is probably my favourite song on the disc.
Xavier Boscher has been a nice discovery as I found Pentagramme to be an impressive slice of moody rock and metal. I think fans of progressive music will find plenty to enjoy.
1. Le corps des femmes
2. Métronome céleste
3. La lune rouge
6. Géométrie intime
8. Les voyageurs du temps
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