It’s not easy, oh it’s not, when you live most part of your life in only one country. There’s nothing wrong with that, but when it comes to knowing where places are and understanding the different cultures, it’s complicated.
It’s easy for most of us being familiar with USA, England, Italy or even Brazil, the place I was born.
So when you find out that some band comes from.. Estonia, well, you really can’t imagine what kind of music it will be. When you discover that they play Progressive Metal/Progressive Rock, it really comes as a shock, initially. Not because of any prejudice, but because you never imagine such places to have any different music and only because… you’ve never heard of any band or just a couple of bands that come from that place.
Now that I’ve explained this little thing, I just need to say that it doesn’t matter from where X-PANDA came. The things that matters is when Flight Of Fancy (2011) starts is how good it is. And it is!
The little ‘Intro’ comes most as some piece of sound to deliver the first real song ‘Black’ that starts when we think, well, another Progressive Metal band. But that’s a mistake. X-PANDA mix more than only that, they deliver a sound full of details where orchestral parts and very good keyboard driven layers by Kaarel Tamra are really important, maybe the one thing that keeps us with Progressive Metal in our heads are the guitars parts from Risto Virkhausen, that most of the times play heavy syncopated riffs, but he also plays alot in the ‘solo’ field, where the guitar is soloing most of the time with nice melodies. So, no, I don’t count X-PANDA as a Progressive Metal band in the end.
One nice thing about Flight Of Fancy (2011) is that every track has a little text that explains a bit of every song before going into each lyrics. I just love that kind of stuff and very few albums have that in their booklets.
Most of the album is instrumental, they’re all great, a big mix of this guys’ influences, but with personality, but I really would like to have more vocals, Tamar Nugis (he’s also the bass player) has a very good voice and ‘Black’, ‘Siren’ and ‘Revelation’ prove that.
A very solid first album with a great psychedelic cover and an amazing production, Karl-Juhan Laanesaar drums sound like real drums, which is a problem for me in the big majority of new albums. My only complain is the lenght of the album, in my opinion almost 70 minutes is a bit too much.
I highly recommend the record and if you’re not sure yet jump on their Bandcamp page and check out 2 tracks of the album http://x-panda.bandcamp.com/album/flight-of-fancy.
On top of all that? The band is working on their second album that will be released around mid 2013.