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

2020-09-09
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

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kansas - Kansas & Song for America – The first two Kansas albums contain some of the group's best material and show a band on the way up in their formative years. Commercial success for the band would not arrive until two albums...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues