Cross - Secrets

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Progress Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 49:13:00

Swedish multi-instrumentalist Hansi Cross has been around for a long time, offering us some outstanding symphonic gems over the years. Together with new drummer Tomas Hjort and rousing bass player Lollo Andersson, Hansi has not been able to surpress his love for Genesis, as I hear snippets of Wind And Wuthering all over this new Cross album. This is already apparent in the underlying keyboard segments for "Bleeding In Silence" before the song becomes more complex once mellotron sets in and drum breaks are scattered all over the place. However once Hansi plays the synths, it's back to Tony Banks all the way! The Genesis heritage goes one further during the short instrumental "Little One" which has Anthony Phillips written all over it. However, if you think Cross is merely a Genesis clone, then think again because "The Core" not only holds some King Crimson influences but contains enough time-signature jumps to keep you busy for the rest of the year.

However, the guitar parts in "Awakening" once again come very close to the best of Steve Hackett, with an atmosphere to be found in the A Trick Of The Tail vein. Also "Changed Reality" still has those Tony Banks arrangements, whilst the hoarse voice of Hansi complements the music perfectly. The rhythm is brought to a stop to make room for a short classical, symphonic interlude before the drums settle back in. In "Pall Of Illusion" I would have loved to hear a real cello against the classical background. Now the song lacks an interesting angle to sound different.

The highlight comes right at the very end with the long "Welcome To Utopia." A solitary synth introduces the song creating an ideal soundtrack for an imaginary film. The drums kind of settle themselves around Hansi's guitar solo. Then it's a gradual build up in the vocal department, culminating in the strongest chorus on the album. Then all of the elements come together as if Anekdoten, Landberk and White Willow have made an appointment to meet on the same spot ! Towards the end, Hansi Cross once again illustrates what a fine guitarist he really is. The strange thing is that "Welcome To Utopia" stops, yet after a three minute silence we are treated to an extra 2:30 of pure symphonic instrumental delight. Talking of "secrets"!

Bleeding In Silence (8:05) / Little One (1:43) / The Core (8:21) / Awakening (5:26) / Changed Reality (8:33) / Pall Of Illusion (3:29) / Welcome To Utopia (14:16)

Lollo Andersson - bass, taurus pedals
Hansi Cross - guitars, synthesizers, vocals
Tomas Hjort - drums, percussion

Uncovered Heart (1987)
2nd Movement (1990)
Changing Poison Into Medicine (1993)
Gaze (1996)
Dream Reality (1997)
Visionary Fools (1998)
Gaze (remastered) (1999)
Secrets (2000)
Playgrounds (2005)
Secrets (remastered) (2008)
The Thrill Of Nothingness (2009)
Wake Up Call (2012)
De Capo (2014)
Gaze 2015 (2015)
Visionary Fools - mmxv (2016)

Genre: Progressive/Power Metal

Origin SE

Added: October 31st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1630
Language: english


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