Xavier Boscher is a French guitar player; bass guitarist and keyboards player and he released his very first album in 2003. On the 24th of January of this year Boscher released his 15th album called Skyscapes and now, hardly four months later Boscher already produces his 16th album; this one is called Cosmic Variations and it is a new instrumental guitar journey in a galaxy.
All seven songs, interspersed by short guitar pieces called Echo 1 till Echo 6, are packed with forceful metal tempos, “heavy” riffs, hooks, guitar melodies and impressive fretless bass guitar sounds, making this album a must for guitar freaks who cherish progressive instrumental rock and prog metal. Sea Serpent is an excellent opening track with heavy guitar riffs galore and this one sets the tone for the rest of this album for sure. Compass On Argonauts Ship is a very tightly played song featuring softer passages and lots of tempo changes. Denebola is almost a prog metal track as this one really offers the listener some really heavy riffs, hooks, and formidable top-notch guitar phrasing; indeed, making this one my personal favourite of Cosmic Variations! Pleione is a sometimes rather dark track with Boscher's excellent guitar work always at the centre of the music. Finally, Stellan is another great guitar song, packed with power, lots of variety and extraordinary melodies.
So, a great instrumental guitar album with lots to enjoy if you like e.g., Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen or other guitar “gods”, however I do not see the added value of the six short, but rather boring, guitar soundscapes called Echo....
Play it LOUD or listen to it on your headset and practise your air guitar moves!
***+ Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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