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XorigiN - 2011 State Of The Art

ALBUM: State Of The Art
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2011


LINEUP: Johannes Støle - vocals, keyboards * Daniel Palmqvist - guitars, keyboards * Daniel Flores - drums, production

TRACK LISTING: 01 Can't Keep Running * 02 Crying For You * 03 In A Blink Of An Eye * 04 Too Late * 05 Gina * 06 This Is It * 07 The One For Me * 08 Said And Done * 09 Matters Of The Heart * 10 What Love Is All About * 11 Mend My Heart



Another of the joint Norwegian/Swedish projects to rear its head is the duo XorigiN. Well, trio - if you factor in the contribution of drummer and producer Daniel Flores. The two principle characters are singer Johannes Støle, recently reviewed here with Slaves To Fashion, and guitarist Daniel Palmqvist, a member of Swedish outfit Murder Of My Sweet, also (coincidentally) featuring Flores. Stole and Palmqvist both attended MIT in California during 1999, and struck up a musical rapport. That rapport has carried through into the modern day, with the duo exchanging musical ideas on what is a superb AOR/hard rock outing which screams power! From my listening perspective, I'm hearing similarities to other Swedish bands like Elevener and Grand Design, which can only be a good thing.. surely..

The Songs
There are some gorgeous songs on 'State Of The Art', and the arrangements are superb. Crushing guitar work, aerial combat keyboard work, muscular drums and harmony vocals that fill in all the spaces. Highlights are numerous from the boisterous opener 'Can't Keep Running', the semi-ballad 'In The Blink Of An Eye' which truly is lovely, sort of like Frontline meets Bad Habit. 'Crying For You' is pure AOR, just listen to that chorus for evidence. My vote for best track could possibly be awarded to the keyboard dominated 'Too Late', much like Elevener on steroids. However, I think the winner is further on in the album.. Check out the punchy 'Gina' moving in the same space as modern-day Journey.. 'Gina's got a dirty secret..' I wonder what that's all about. 'This Is It' is an industrious and busy track, well worthy of repeat plays for sure. Earlier I was talking about 'the winner' further on the album. Well, 'The One For Me' is that track. A simply stunning song, with guitar melodies underpinning this throughout. Again, a comparison to a heavier version of Elevener can be made. The plaudits continue on 'Said And Done', the tasty 'What Love Is All About' which surges along on a melodic fibre-optic circuit without skipping a beat or a light beam. The closer 'Mend My Heart' is the obligatory power-ballad which confirms XorigiN as genuine contenders for rookies of the year.

In Summary
Though this outfit has more progressive rock/metal credentials courtesy of their history, 'State Of The Art' is an undoubted square-pegs for square-holes fit in terms of the AOR/melodic rock genre. Along with the two other August releases on Frontiers (Work Of Art and Toby Hitchcock), XorigiN makes for an unprecedented triumvirate for the Italian label, perhaps their best trio of simultaneous releases ever. Whatever the reason, XorigiN makes for a safe and guaranteed bet, one that the fans should be listening to and buying on CD without question. Definite Top 10 material for mine.

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#1 | gdazegod on September 11 2011 05:12:38
YouTube Video:
#2 | gdazegod on September 11 2011 05:13:46
YouTube Video:
#3 | englandashes on September 22 2011 12:22:23
Been enjoying this album this week, on the track 'Blink of an Eye' really reminded off Chicago mixed with Brian McDonald from his MTM release some years back. The rest of the album is very good!
#4 | george_the_jack on December 22 2011 15:34:18
A fabulous album, very much in the vein of the new Work Of Art release.Another winner for the year 2011!
#5 | swazi on July 22 2012 17:52:02
I have been a little slow to buy this disc, so I am now hearing it for the first time. And I agree, really great Melodic Rock!

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