Another day, another run-of-the-mill Melodic/Progressive Metal band. This time it’s Italy’s PROGRESSIVE XPERIENCE come to give their take on this increasingly overflowing genre. “X” is their self-produced, self-released (through their own Sweet Poison Records) debut.
From the beginning of “Crossroads Of Mistery,” it’s clear the band’s not going to win any originality awards. They’re putting their hearts into the materially, but I’ve heard it before. DREAM THEATRE, FATES WARNING, the usual, maybe a little more on the Melodic than Progressive side. Since it is a self-production, the sound is a bit rougher on the edges than the standard for this genre, a fact which serves vocalist Giovanni Lavente the worst. There’s gentleness, soaring choruses, tight guitar solos. “Remainder Of Myself” has a neat riff operating under a keyboard melody. Speaking of which, something about the guitar solos that Marco Giovannetti and Franceso Munaò strikes a nice, appealing chord, despite being the sort that we’ve heard before. This guitarwork gives me the greatest hope for the band, as it’s really only here that they manage to take something we’ve heard before and make it interesting.
Albums like “X” are so prevalent that listening to them has become a mechanical exercise. “It’s not a bad album” or “I want to see the band develop their own individuality on the next release” or some such. Both statements are applicable, and something makes me want to like the band, but “X” is just so derivative. I can’t help but wish PROGRESSIVE XPERIENCE good luck, because with such an unremarkable sound they’re really going to need it to get any notice out there.
(Online December 12, 2007)