Exposé Online banner

Xcross — Kadath - The Dream Quest
(Ek Balam EBRCD001, 2007, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-01-01

Kadath - The Dream Quest Cover art

This ambitious concept album by Maryland duo Xcross is based on H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath,” eleven purely instrumental tracks following a brief spoken intro, alternating light and dark (and very dark) elements of progressive rock, electronic, symphonic, and floating ambient, occasionally informed by bits of jazz and world music. While many projects of this type can weigh down and become overbearing, this one certainly does not; there is a good balance between dynamics, tempos, and timbres as the storyline progresses and its various elements unfold. This is an engaging listen from beginning to end, and wisely (without lyrics or narration) the music is left to speak for itself; even individual tracks are strong taken by themselves – this is that rare soundtrack with zero filler. The credits are a bit sketchy, but the two composers appear to achieve most of their ends using synthesizers and samples, with some percussion (possibly sampled) also. Every piece of the puzzle fits together superbly, and even without prior knowledge of Lovecraft’s tome, the story is conveyed precisely through the interpretive compositions and arrangements (though a summary of “Unknown Kadath” is provided in the booklet notes). Those into Lovecraft’s work and similarly inclined purveyors of dark imagery (think Frank Herbert’s Dune for example) should definitely check this one out.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Xcross

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Stan Whitaker / Frank Wyatt - Pedal Giant Animals – This gem came out quietly toward the end of 2006, a side project by two of the primary composers of Happy the Man needing an outlet for their material, unable to wait for the stars and planets to be...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover

Exclusive Premier of a New Cheer-Accident Track

Cheer-Accident adSKiN GRAFT Records’ Mark Fischer states that “The Chicago vs New York compilation is an album in its own right… and not just some sort of a label sampler. Most of the songs on the compilation are exclusive to it." Thymme Jones of Cheer-Accident says of "War Is a Warrior," " It’s definitely not going to be on the next Cheerax album.”

We'll have a review of Chicago vs New York in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes out for that.



Print issues