“X” marks the spot in space and time but means much more for Spanish symphonic metallurgists.
A concept album about aliens may signal a set of clichés but this group throw such notion out on album number ten – cue “X” in the title – and let it loose on cosmic playground. Proudly wearing their harmonic influences on a collective sleeve, the Spaniards tap in the very heart of sci-fi panache with much more abandon than 2013’s "Ars Musica" offered, which makes the chorale bombast of “Beyond The Stars” an integral part of the celestial scope.
As orchestral sweep and piano ripple add progressive nuances to the pounding likes of “Abduction” and memorable melodies move a story forward, the robot voices in “Imperial Earth” become extra. Yet extra is the key to it all, the band unashamedly venturing into “Bon Voyage!” where gospel and rock opera meet, with no fear of getting detached from heaviness – having dipped “I Want To Believe” in overt emotionality. As a result, the theatrical finale of “There’s Something In The Skies” may be an ultimate realization of the quartet’s 20-years-plus scaling the heights of guilty pleasures: that’s the spot the “X” marks: something not unknown, but familiar and loved.