XT - Saved By The Blood

Published Tuesday 5th June 2018
XT - Saved By The Blood
XT - Saved By The Blood

STYLE: Hard Music
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 169639-26659
LABEL: Talking Music
FORMAT: CD Mini-album

Reviewed by Andy Shaw

XT is the project of veteran Swedish guitarist Björn Stigsson and vocalist Sonny Larsson. Releasing their debut album in 1992, two further albums followed through the '90s before they went their separate ways. 'Saved By The Blood' sees the pair working together for the first time in 20 years. They have gathered a band from across the Swedish hard rock scene with members of Jerusalem on bass and keyboard and the drummer from Modest Attraction making up the five-piece band. There is a mix of influences that make up the sound on this record from the melodic to classic '70s hard rock all laced with a good dose of blues. As the title suggests, the theme of the album revolves around our salvation through Christ with the lyrics telling the story culminating in a trio of tracks covering "The Last Supper", "The Crucifixion" and "The Resurrection". Opener "Watchmen" provides a gentle introduction leaning on the melodic side with a picked guitar intro, falsetto vocal and smooth, laid back guitar solo. The next two tracks pick up the pace and we see the heavier end of the spectrum on "I Will Follow You" with thick layers of distortion and a fast, technical guitar solo again complemented by the strong falsetto vocals of Larsson. There is good variety in the arrangements with the use of strings on "What's Going On" and "The Last Supper" adding a symphonic feel. "The Crucifixion" is an expansive and progressive track clocking in at 12:39 and offering the full range of influences from synth strings to heavy distortion to melodic solos. As you would expect from a group of musicians with their level of experience, the songs are well constructed and executed with precision with a strong message being conveyed throughout. On listening to it you certainly wouldn't know that they hadn't worked together for 20 years. If you are into melodic, mid-tempo rock with catchy riffs and powerful lyrics then this is definitely an album to search out.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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