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Xorigin - 'State Of The Art' (frontiers records) 3/5

There is a place where AOR, prog rock and hard rock meet, and if you look at that point carefully there you will find Norwegian outfit Xorigin. Now as far as I can make out, this lot have been around for a good few years, but have only just got around to issuing their debut album. And I gotta say its not a bad effort.

Sounding like a multi band horror smash between Europe, Loverboy, It Bites, Vow Wow and Glory; State Of the Art is a nicely performed 11 song package with some great cover art work. Over all it reminds me of American melodic rock legends Drive, She Said, especially on tracks like Too Late, Crying For You and The One For Me. And that leads me to my main issue with this album. just like Drive, She Said, you know there is a damn fine hard rock band in here somewhere, but they just don't quite deliver the goods when you want them to. Everything is a little to restrained and too controlled. Where as Europe, Loverboy and especially Vow Wow really knew how to cut loose and rip it up from time to time; Xorigin just tend to play it a little too safe. While this restraint works well on softer more AOR type numbers like Said And Done and In The Blink Of An Eye, when it comes to the rockier tracks like Gina, your just wishing they would live a little more on the RAWK side and really give it more stick.

Still this IS an old metal head speaking, and over all the album is very pleasurable and contains a really nice surprise in the form of What Love is All About, which sounds like Big Generator era Yes, and is a track worth getting the album for in its own right.

In conclusion - Try before you buy, unless your a real AOR head.

For fans of... Yes, Asia, Journey, Glory, Europe, Drive She Said

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