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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Xavier Boscher

Waterscapes

Review by Gary Hill

The latest set from Xavier Boscher, this is truly a solo effort as he does everything here. I have reviewed quite a bit of music from Boscher in the past, and you can always count on him for quality. The guitar led instrumental sounds here range from rather pure prog to more fusion oriented and even metallic textures. While the concepts change from song to song, it always works well.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 1. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
Cataract
Hard-edged guitar brings this in with a fiery kind of fast-paced prog approach. The number is driving and pounding as it works forward. It shifts toward more of a mainstream guitar hero kind of movement from there. There is a Van Halen goes prog sort of feeling to it. Of course, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani are also valid reference points.
Nectar Ocean's Depths
A big change, this comes in with a mellower, fusion kind of groove. There is an underwater echoey kind of feeling to the sound of the cut. It has some hints of funk, too. It's a classy tune that has some great grooves and textures. Of course, the guitar soloing is killer, too. While fusion is the concept, there are some moments on this that make me think of Alan Parsons Project just a bit, too.
Atlantis
This cut still has some fusion in the mix, but overall it's much more of a metallic piece. It's screaming hot and driving. The arrangement on this is dynamic, and the cut is another that calls to mind people like Satriani and Vai.
Coral Reef
More purely fusion oriented, this still has some hard rocking sound built into it. I love the bass work on this piece. That's brought home when it drops to a mellower movement mid-track.
Hydrotherapy
I love the echoey, almost dreamy, trippy kind of vibe on display on this number. This is more built around an artsy guitar rock arrangement, but focused on the mellower melodic zones.
Abyssal
Guitar hero styled rock of the slower variety, this has some really soaring melodic passages.
Fairy Pool
Another from the harder rocking end of the spectrum. This is purely on fire and rather fierce. It wanders into metallic zones as it works its way forward.  Yet it also drops back to a melodic break.
Sea Cathedral
I love the climbing, building feeling of this number. The track has more of that Vai and Satriani kind of vibe with a hard-edged guitar sound. It has a great energy and style. Yet, it drops back for a mellow section mid-track.
Watershed
This comes in with the driving, hard-edged guitar type sound like we heard on the previous number. There is a drop back to mellower textures for a while several times along the road. There are two distinct mellower movements, and I like the one that has almost a circular music box feeling to it the best. This is one of the most dynamic pieces here and really covers a lot of musical territory. 
 
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