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Monday, November 28, 2022

Review: XpressivE – The Head II

Label: Progressive Rock

Date: September 9th, 2018

Sometimes, but y sometimes, I like to leave my comfort zone and listen to various genres that I usually consider boring. But sometimes, only sometimes, I am so sick and tired of every day activities, job, people around that I need to step out and listen something completely different. My comfort zone is everything but new metal, progressive and grind. When I am in a depressive mood, yes I can be progressive and listen maybe XpressivE. Not just to listen, but to enjoy. And to tell you the truth, this band is absolutely unknown to me.

XpressivE is actually not pure prog, it is a pleasant mixture of several genres, but as the band like to say, they do not like to label themselves, so neither will I.

The band was formed in 1995 in Katowice, Poland. Originally, the band name was “ImpressivE”, but in 2002 they changed it to XpressivE. So far the released:

2005 – Encounter,
2013 – PreLudium (EP),
2014 – The Head (Polish Version) and
2018 – The Head II (English Version).

As ImpressivE the band was known as an instrumental jazz-rock and art-rock ensemble. So, now it is clear why XpressivE has so many layers incorporated in their sound. As already written, “The Head II” is nothing more than an English version of “The Head”. But… There is always some but…

Except obviously English lyrics, the band changed some things. Vocalist Andrzej Kwiatkowski was replaced  by Roman Kańtoch. He did a great job. With a versatile approach to interpretation, he presented himself to vide audience now when the band published an album with English lyrics. One more difference: song order.

Releasing an album in English has good and bad sides. Good: approaching a wider audience, bad: killing the charm.

Whoever is a fan of the band, have already listened to “The Head”. Whoever is the fan of the band, knows what to expect from the band. Whoever is a fan of progressive metal and has not listened to XpressivE yet, this one goes with a big stamp on it: highly recommended.

Before I started listening to this album, I did a little research to know what I am facing. And on the bandcamp I have found a beautiful sentence:

“Do you crave for a new dimension of prog-rock music? Let us lead you through mysterious corridors of the labyrinth, where XpressivE is the answer to your needs, desires and longings. Don’t be afraid and trust us.”

I was not afraid, I trusted them and I love them!