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Boscher, Xavier: Embryogenesis

I first became familiar with French axe slinger Xavier Boscher having reviewed his album Pentagramme a couple years back. I was quite impressed with that effort so I was glad to receive for review a copy of his latest effort titled Embryogenesis. I believe this is his tenth solo effort and when you add that to his previous bands like Nebuleyes and Misanthrope his discography is quite extensive.

Unlike his last album, Embryogenesis is an instrumental piece and according to what I have read is a concept album about the start of new life. With song titles like "Blastocyst", "Cells" and the title track it is fairly obvious what the artist is getting at. The guitar work throughout the disc is excellent sometimes occurring in layers which serves to add a certain amount of depth to the songs. The opening track "Cornucopia" begins with fast guitar riffs and keyboards before breaking into mellower territory then back to heavy again. A short electronica-like section adds some variety but it is really the guitar that is the highlight here. "Illumination" starts quietly and builds with layered guitar riffs that are as catchy as anything on the disc. A pyrotechnic-like solo finishes it off with aplomb. Lush keyboard soundscapes and melodic guitar make "Female Architecture" another excellent track. Lots of change ups going from soft to heavy as well as a short jazzy interlude. The progressive metal riffs are again very melodic making the song's complexity quite earworm inducing.

The disc ends with the twenty minute epic sounding title track. For progressive music fans this one will definitely hit the spot. Big crescendos, chugging progressive metal riffage, orchestral keyboards and synths, soaring guitar work and a myriad of tempo changes and musical change ups. Some of the transitions could have been a little smoother, as is so often the case but there is no denying this is a great track as Boscher uses his entire arsenal to create an imaginative and riveting progressive piece.

Embryogenesis is an excellent progressive rock/metal work that showcases Boscher's considerable talent and song craft. I really enjoyed it.

Xavier Boscher - guitars, bass, drums, keyboards
Benjamin Masson (Nebuleyes) – lead guitar on "Cornucopia"
Loic Manuello (Darktribe, Unchained) – lead guitar on "Illumination"
Jean-Jacques Moréac (Misanthrope) – bass guitar on "Cells"
Antoine Monsch – piano and synth on "Embryogenesis"

Track Listing:
1. Cornucopia (5:18)
2. Illumination (3:51)
3. Female Architecture (7:13)
4. Timelessness Kingdom (6:41)
5. Hybrid (4:03)
6. Blastocyst (8:07)
7. Cells (4:47)
8. O Negative (9:30)
9. Embryogenesis (19:40)

Added: May 2nd 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1737
Language: english

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