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X(C)yrus (Scott) - bass & vocals Gordon Feenie - drums, keyboards, flute, b/vox Tim Taylor - guitars, keyboards
Sorry, the year of the album release is indicated by me myself, because it consists of the songs recorded in different studios and in the years of their early activitiy, somewhere in the middle of the decade completed by 1987, when the mission of the very first incarnation of Xitizen Cain, which, unfortunatelly, went unnoticed in those "dark ages" for the Prog of the '80s, came to an end. In reality, the first edition of that album was made surprisingly well by the Italian quite obscure "Mellow" prog-label in 1996. And true, what a nice surprise! Maybe even for Xitizen Cain themselves, who must have forgotten of these underrated yet very worthy songs. However, I'm almost sure that this Italian release has been ignored purposely, for it is not known, whose was that idea (though Xyrus himself said some thanks for that reissue on booklet pages, and now "Ghost Dance" is restored in the band's discography), because a very weak, just a poor unimpressive copy of Marillion's style, bonus track Nightlights from their second album was for some reason introduced as "the very first (!) Xitizen Cain demo". How to understand that, as this description of Nightlights was published in the booklet of their chronologically last CD-edition "Serpents..." made by "Cyclops" in the early 1998, - almost two years after CD "Ghost Dance"! Thus, it is a wrong description regarding the "very first demo", but not only in that context. There is another "moment of truth": Nightlights (with co-title As the Wheel Turns) were written by an excellent keyboardist and (not so good) drummer Stewart Bell, the most important person regarding the "second incarnation" of Xitizen Cain in the early '90s (read also some words on that theme lower). But it is well-known that Bell got to know the band's founder Xyrus Scott approximately at the same time. And the stylistics of Nightlights is open "Bell's" (more in detail I will return to this song in the next review), and, written in the early '90s, it has absolutely nothing to do with the early period of Xitizen Cain. Maybe Stewart Bell, who, as the main composer now playing even more prominent a role than Xyrus, thinks that Xitizen Cain "was born" when he joined it? I'll ask him on that through e-mail. And please Stewart, in advance excuse me, if my supposition does not correspond to reality.
Oh! - about "Ghost Dance". It consists of eight songs from the earliest period of Xitizen Cain, as you already know. The "Mellow"-people have found these tapes by themselves, and after remastering a highly raw sound quality they reissued these songs as a full-blooded album, one of the most obscured and underrated yet very original prog-works of the '80s. As to the stylistics of this album, it is very different from the band's other production of their second phase. There are lots of various electric and acoustic giutar themes, and the solo-passages from bandleader bassist / vocalist Xyrus are simply outstanding. His voice here also resembles Peter Gabriel, though not quite as much as on the future albums. Musically this album sounds more like as a mixture of prog-metal with symphonic progressive, because here there's not much of keyboards or flute parts (made correspondingly by guitarist and drummer).
Summary. So, this is quite innovative, one of the most original albums of the decade made by young musicians. Finally, you can ask me, why I call them Xitizen Cain. Just look at the back of their latest new CD "Raising the Stones" booklet, or, that's even better, visit their homepage: http://homeusers.prestel.co.uk/xcain/, where you won't find the word Citizen in general. Possibly, the band name was changed after comparisons from some critics of them with Orson Wales' film of 1941 of the same name ("Citizen Cain").
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