[Review] Xavier Boscher – Waterscapes

Xavier Boscher is a French multi-instrumentalist, who in his long career has been a member of several Metal bands (Continuum, Nebeleyes and Misanthrope) as a guitarist. Since 2002 he has released a large amount of solo albums, the latest of which “Waterscapes” released on November 20, 2020 via Orfeo’Lab. Containing 9 medium-length tracks, it is available on Digipack and Digital CDs, entirely composed, played and painted by the artbook by Xavier Boscher. The opener “Cataract” starts off strong with massive guitar riffs and a solid rhythm session and the track that develops over Xavier’s solo and virtuoso inserts. The artist immediately catapults us into his sound concept made of elaborate rhythms and virtuosity on the six strings, a beginning of impact. “Nectar Ocean’s Depths” is softer than the opening track, but more intricate and developed on a more Jazzy style, demonstrating Xavier’s technique. Guitar virtuosities intertwine with keyboards giving life to an elaborate theme and with valuable sound interlacing, softer but technically of a high level. “Atlantis” begins with the synth that dialogues with heavy guitar riffs, returning to a more aggressive and Heavy terrain. The rhythm session is solid and developed around elaborate tempo changes on which synth melodies and guitar solo inserts are drawn. An excellent test of mixed technique with power without ever falling into banality or virtuosity for their own sake. “Coral Reef” presents a synth hypnotic layer on which the lead guitar is inserted with melancholic melodies on a slow and linear rhythmic session. The bass creates deep lines and in the middle of the track also gives us a short solo, to then return to the main theme and guide us to the end with a prolonged guitar solo. A soft and dreamy clean guitar arpeggio characterizes the intro of “Hydrotherapy” which for the entire duration of the piece focuses on guitar layers. Delicate and soft this track has a very high emotional charge, cradling our feelings until the end in a very pleasant and relaxed way. “Abyssal” is back again with the full instrumentation, remaining however in a dreamy and soft territory, despite the solo electric guitar. Here too, the artist manages to awaken positive feelings with expressive delicacy, making the guitar play with a poignant softness, another concentration of technique. In “Fairy Pool” Xavier unleashes some power that had been dormant in the previous tracks, with heavy guitar riffs and a powerful rhythm session. With a very articulated structure in the first part it presents a more choral and less solo sound, sophisticated and rich in sound textures. In the second part an excellent guitar solo takes the stage that guides us to the final, less virtuous but still impactful. A majestic organ introduces us to “Sea Cathedral” and then again unleashes power with massive riffs and a solid rhythm session. The solo guitar comes into play immediately, even here less virtuous but more of a whole, stratifying and alternating solo phrases with engaging riffs. Closes the album “Watershed” also released as a stand-alone single one month after the release of the disc. Characterized by layers of guitar and a structure halfway between the powerful and the softer traits, it best summarizes the sound concept of Xavier. An excellent closing that concludes in the best way this pleasant chapter of Boscher’s discography. An album focused on Xavier’s solo evolutions on guitar, showcasing a high level technique and a remarkable mastery of the instrument. Even struggling with the other instruments that make up the album the artist shows an excellent technique, playing everything himself with precision. A listening recommended for lovers of Prog sounds centered on guitar virtuosity, while remaining a sliding disc and not just a monothematic one, also creating a valuable musical ensemble.

Tracklist

01. Cataract4:04
02.Nectar Ocean’s Depths3:13
03.Atlantis6:41
04.Coral Reef3:39
05.Hydrotherapy3:41
06.Abyssal5:08
07.Fairy Pool3:54
08.Sea Cathedral4:53
09.Watershed4:32

Lineup

Xavier Boscher All Instruments

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

Orfeo’Lab |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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