Xystus - Equilibrio

(DVD 2009, 120:00, Xystus Music)

The tracks:
Act 1: (43:06)
  1- Equilibrio Overture
  2- My Song Of Creation
  3- The Balance Crumbles
  4- The Traveller
  5- Shelter
  6- Last Breath
  7- Divided We Stand
  8- The Pact
  9- Conflict
Act 2: (41:04)
10- Destiny Unveiled
11- Powerdrunk
12- My Time Of Need
13- Forever Bound
14- The Message
15- Balance Restored
16- God Of Symmetry

Xystus Website        samples        Xystus Music

Dutch band Xystus released with Equilibrio a true masterpiece and not only music wise. The package, which presents the music, is fantastic. This is how every prog band should make and present a live DVD/CD box. With this release on DVD and double-CD, they capture the true spirit of a rock opera in a very professional way. The booklet includes many pictures from the show and the performers, all the lyrics and a large list of names of people who were involved in making this rock opera. It is a pity that the story, the contents of Equilibrio, is not mentioned at all in the booklet. It is the only negative remark about this masterpiece. More than 4000 people witnessed Equilibrio, an event that took place from 3-6 July in 2008 in Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Over 130 people gave a breathtaking performance. Besides the band, the show consisted of a 30-piece choir and an 80-piece orchestra. Now I regret that I did not visit Equilibrio last year. At the time, I hesitated, but I never went. The registration on DVD proves once more that I missed something special indeed. However, without knowing the story I watched the DVD with a big smile on my face. Yes, I really loved what I saw. It reminded me of rock opera Liaison De La Morte presented by Cirrha Niva in 2001, another band from the city of Den Bosch. This metal band with progressive rock influences performed the rock opera several times for a live audience. I saw it twice and loved it very much. Cirrha Niva neither used an orchestra or a choir and they never filmed the concerts for a DVD-release. Let us return to Equilibrio. The story starts with Simone Simons (Epica) sitting on a cloud playing the part of Lady Sophia. She sings very strong putting her fear of heights away in the corner of her mind. From above, she watches the whole story. Former Dutch Idols star John Vooijs, who also played Tarzan in the Dutch version of this musical, has a leading role as Primos. He makes a pact with Death, a strong role of grunter George Oosthoek (ex- Orphanage). In the end, there is a conflict between the two. Aveline is the leading female role in the show. Ex-Cats musical star Michelle Splietelhof shows that she was a good choice to play this part. Bas Dolmans plays the part of Diegu The Traveller. As a true musical star, the lead singer of Xystus plays his role. His strong voice reminds me of the singer of Kamelot. His vocal range is almost as strong as the Norwegian singer Khan. Conductor Bas Pollard took care for a fine balance between the orchestra and the band. This is unique, because most of the time the orchestraís role is one in the background. You can see that the band members, dressed in white tuxedos, really enjoyed every second of the show. I must give them a big compliment for mixing prog metal with elements of classical, musical and theatrical music. Most of all Xystus can be very proud of the way they presented the rock opera in audio and video to the public. The whole package is of a very high international level. I already found the special editions of Kamelotís One Cold Winterís Night and Within Temptationís Black Symphony real masterpieces, but we can add another one: Equilibrio, made by a couple of Dutch boys who never did anything like this before. Only the highest rating will do for this great piece of art. Moreover, the DVD has some nice extras: a photo gallery and extra footage of the making of the rock opera.

***** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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