Xytras - _Passage_
(Century Media, 1998)
by: Pedro Azevedo (6 out of 10)
Considering the excellent keyboard work found in Samael's _Passage_, the idea of a classical version of that album seemed very interesting to me. However, Xytras' (Samael keyboardist) version of _Passage_ is fun to listen to, but not much more than that. The piano lines are very good, even superb at times, and are by far the best element on this recording -- especially on "Rain", "Angel's Decay" and the enchanting "Moonskin". Xytras built this album around the original melodies, adding more piano lines, rhythm and orchestral synths. Here lie most of the problems: while the rhythm synths are effective, even if not too good, the orchestral ones tend to sometimes fail their purpose. Some songs still turn out very good ("My Saviour" was left out, by the way), but the quality of the less keyboard-based ones on Samael's version varies. As it is, this _Passage_ has plenty of outstanding keyboard work (even for those who aren't into Samael's music), and is indeed fun to listen to for a few times if you know the original versions -- but I found myself wishing I was listening to Samael's originals for most of the time.

(article published 7/6/1998)

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