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(36:06; Progress Records)
Here is the final album from Cross, containing five songs (one an instrumental). Although much of the recording had been completed at the time of Hansií death, it was still down to his bandmates and friends to complete the album as fitting tribute and memoriam to him. I do not know what had been finished, or even if it had been agreed that Nad Sylvan would be involved as although Hansi had used other singers in the past it was also not unusual for him to undertake all the vocals himself. But to be honest none of that really matters, as this does sound very much like a Cross album, and not one which was completed after his passing. Playing this reminded me very much of Harry Chapinís ĎThe Last Protest Singerí which was released in almost identical circumstances, with the band completing the album after Harry had died in a car crash, yet that sounds as if it fully belongs in the canon and is one of my favourite albums of his. The same is true here. I am sure that one of the reasons behind that is the dedication of those involved to ensure they were producing a worthy tribute to their friend. They were determined to produce something which would accurately reflect what Hansi would have wanted, to the best of their knowledge and ability. Hansi provides vocals, guitars, and keyboards, but there is also another singer, another guitarist, and another keyboard player, yet it is not possible to hear the join. All those involved have ensured everything has been completed in the way Hansi would have wished, yet also kept it bright and fresh. The result is something that still has neo-prog roots, yet also moves into a more symphonic style. There are times when we get more harmony vocals than I would have expected, but they are tasteful and not out of place with the album as a whole. The guitar is still providing that choppy lead, with keyboards right behind, with his old friend Thomas Christensen providing wonderfully warm bass. This is a great tribute to Hansi, who stares up at us from the rear of the booklet and is also a really enjoyable album. Many progheads will not previously come across Cross, so use this album to discover a great musician and band, with an album which is really enjoyable throughout.
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