[Review] Xavier Boscher – Firescapes

Xavier Boscher is a French guitarist who offers a Prog Rock with Metal influences and Fusion traits, showing his virtuosic technique. After his experiences with Nebuleyes and Misanthrope he dedicated himself to a solo career, releasing numerous albums from 2002 to today. In this article we propose the review of “Firescapes” released on November 15, 2021 and containing 8 tracks, including a long suite of over 15 minutes and three guest artists involved. The opener “Pyrotechnic” is also the longest track with over 15 minutes in length, starting with a delicate guitar arpeggio and then evolving into a Heavy sound. The phrasing between the instruments is good, the rhythmic session is solid and Xavier’s virtuoso technique is immediately noticeable, with high-level solo parts. The theme of the track is constantly evolving and the artist offers a massive sound full of ideas, where his guitar and his personal technique are clearly enhanced. Entirely instrumental, it highlights a good command of all the instruments and a high level compositional technique. An added value are the tempo changes with accelerated and intricate passages that mix, as well as the mixes between guitar and keyboard giving life to engaging melodies. “Lightning” is heavier than the previous one with a structure closer to the Metal sounds, on which the guitar of both Xavier and the first guest Julien Brière is inserted. The duet between the two artists is interesting, alternating in the solo parts without overwhelming but collaborating to the success of the sound. The rhythmic session is solid and at times tight, allowing even the guitars to perform in a good test of technique. The third track “Chuck’s Flame Will Live Forever” is a track halfway between Power and Prog Metal with pompous sounds and a tight rhythmic session. The lead guitar also offers very fast and virtuous passages, the textures are very well worked out with some intricate passages. Xavier’s technique is perceived both in the compositional and secondary phases and this piece, even if it is just over 3 minutes, is a very pleasant concentrate of technique and power. “Heart On Fire” presents the second guest Thomas Leroy who always duets on guitar this time in a more Rock song, without lacking in ideas and technique. The sounds and atmospheres of the piece are more symphonic despite the long solos that intertwine, while the rhythmic session is solid but slower than the previous ones. We have come to the shortest track of the album “Au coin Du Feu” which is a passage with acoustic guitars that intertwine creating a dreamy atmosphere. The artist is skilled in lulling us with delicate melodies where there is no lack of solo inserts but in an acoustic key, with a Jazzy touch in the finish. With “Conflagration” return to a more Metal terrain and we have the pleasure of listening to the third guest Benjamin Masson, former bandmate of Xavier. The sound mixes Fusion openings with more intricate sections with even dark sounds, the rhythmic session is constantly changing and the two artists have an exceptional feeling. With hypnotic riffs in the heavier part and high level solos they keep the intensity of the album high, the drafting and development of the theme is also good. “Thermic Vision” is another concentrate of power and accelerated rhythms that starts from Metal and then merges the personal touch of Xavier’s guitar. Even this intense and massive structure enhances the artist’s skills in all instruments, not just the guitar. Closes the album “Mercury Planet Retrograde” always with a Metal influence but which hides many sonic facets within it, passing from darker sections to more positive ones. The common thread, as always, is the guitar, taken here to a high level and leaving us with the desire to listen to this work again in the future. A record focused on the guitar where, however, the artist shows mastery of the heats with the other instruments with solid and well-constructed rhythmic sessions. The guitar technique is of a high standard from both Xavier and the guests involved and the album is enjoyable. A concentrate of virtuous technique between Prog Metal, Fusion and forays into Power Metal. Lovers of the more Heavy sounds of Prog with the guitar at the center of the project will appreciate this production that recalls the sounds of artists such as Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, with a more Metal style and personal traits.


01. Pyrotechnic (15:50)
02. Lightning (4:21)
03. Chuck’s Flame Will Live Forever (3:12)
04. Heart On Fire (4:28)
05. Au coin Du Feu (3:06)
06. Conflagration (5:21)
07. Thermic Vision (3:37)
08. Mercury Planet Retrograde (4:02)


Xavier Boscher / All Instruments

Julien Brière
/ Guitar (2)
Thomas Leroy / Guitar (4)
Benjamin Masson / Guitar (6)

Xavier Boscher |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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