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

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Happy Family - "Flying Spirit Dance" Live – It's rare that I'll devote an extensive review to cassette, let alone to a demo cassette - but this band is so special that I feel compelled to sound out their praise far and wide. Happy Family are...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues