ABEL SEQUERA (XTASY) – Soundscapes [feat. Pete Lesperance, Michael Vescera] (2023)
“Soundscapes” is the title of the debut album / project of ABEL SEQUERA, drummer of AOR / Hard Rockers XTASY, also for melodic metal act DEATH KEEPERS led by talented Michael Vescera, who also contribute here with his amazing vocals.
This is a mammoth project featuring more than 50 musicians from all the world, including Derek Sherinian (SONS OF APOLLO), Pete Lesperance (HAREM SCAREM), Mike Lepond (SYMPHONY X), Diego Tejeida (ex-HAKEN), Mats Haugen (CIRCUS MAXIMUS), Magnus Henriksson (ECLIPSE), Roland Grapow (MASTERPLAN), Philip Bynoe (Steve VAI), Andreas Blomqvist (SEVENTH WONDER), Tony Hernando (LORDS OF BLACK), just to name a few.
Despite the number of participants, ”Soundscapes” is avery coheshive piece of melodic progressive metal / rock, very well mixed & produced. At places brings to mind DREAM THATER, at others ASIA, then some ALLEN / LANDE, AXEL RUDI PELL, etc – there’s many musical references.
The pearl of the album is the melodic metallic last epic track ‘A Place Called Home’ where Vescera shines at the mic, but there’s also other 5 singers, such as Marina LaTorraca (Frontiers signed band PHANTOM ELITE), and Johny Giner (POWER QUEST).
The entire album is quite entertaining with unexpected tempo shifts and twists.
The aforementioned ”A Place Called Home” a favorite, but also ”Above the Summit” featuring Mats Haugen (CIRCUS MAXIMUS), Pete Lesperance (HAREM SCAREM), Daniel Palmqvist (BEYOND THE KATAKOMB), Carles Salse (XTASY, SINERGIA) on guitars, bass player Alex Romeu (FIRE OF REVENGE), keyboardist Kyke Serrano, and Paul Logue (EDEN’S CURSE, James LaBRIE) on spoken words.
Another strong cut comes with ”Wreck of Souls – The Storm”, with terrific ivory work from Derek Sherinian (SONS OF APOLLO), Carles Salse (XTASY) & Mike Abdow (FATES WARNING) on guitar, Miguel Pereira (WITHEM) on bass.
Impressive debut from ABEL SEQUERA who not only veers from the AOR / hard rock of XTASY but a wide spectrum of genres & styles. Intelligent songwriting, great performances and top production / mix is what you’ll find here.
Hope there’s other in the making soon.
01 – The Beginning Of The End – The Departure
02 – Beyond Known Frontiers – Traveller Companion
03 – In The Steps Of Pioneers – Old Paths To Discovery
04 – Wreck Of Souls – The Storm
05 – Saghillie Illahie – The Island
06 – Above The Summit – The Rapture
07 – Maat – Cosmic Order
08 – Tabula Rasa – A Place Called Home
Abel Sequera – Drums