Reviews on
CROSS "Secrets"

CROSS - "Secrets"

"I was surprised at how heavy this album was,reminding me a little of ARENA. The mellotron is a nice touch,as it appears on all but the two instrumentals."Bleeding in silence" is a great way to start the record, lots of time changes, and as i mentioned earlier quite heavy,with some good riffs and guitar melodies.There is some cool drum and cello interplay(bet you don't hear that often) and a lighter keyboard solo. "Little one" is a short guitar instrumental. "The core" is one of my favourites,with wonderful guitar melodies and also a drum,piano melody.The extended guitar solo is great. "Awakening" is another instrumental with guitar and keyboards leading the way. "Changed reality" opens with cello,this song has a GENESIS feel to it, i think it's the sound of the keyboards. Another extended guitar solo is a real treat. "Pall of illusion" is another favourite of mine. I call this the magic song because for some unknown reason it takes me back to one of the special times in my life, over 20 years ago, obviously way before this record came out. There is a keyboard melody throughout this very intoxicating song. "Welcome to utopia" features time changes galore,it opens with a mellotron, ynth combination, then the drums come in, followed by two minutes of gently soaring guitar. I haven't mentioned the vocals yet, but they work very well with this great album. This song also features a too short wave of beautiful mellotron (it's always too short). The highlight of the whole record for me is the last 3 minutes or so of this song where Mr.Cross gives us an emotional, uplifting guitar solo that is hard to put into words. Bravo!"
RATING: 4 stars

"Another stunning Cross album. If you haven't discovered Cross yet, I really think you are missing something rather special"

"Cross is a Swedish band based in Stockholm led by Hansi Cross (guitars, synthesizers & vocals). They play intelligent symphonic neoprog based on a heavy yet melodic guitars and atmospheric, swirling keyboards. The other members are Tomas Hjort, whose distinct drumming often adds an even more bombastic feel to the overall sound, and Lollo Andersson (basses, taurus). To me this band was a very pleasant surprise indeed. I can't say what their earlier works sound like, but this, in my view, is a very competent release. The musicians are solid and the vocals of Hansi Cross are also to my liking. To sum this up this is an album which I can honestly recommend to any neoprog fan and also, to some extent, to those into more traditional progrock"

"An excellent piece of work!

"This trio of prog-rocksters, I assure you, is very impressive with a heavy influence of Rush but more progressive 70's style with great keyboards and guitar structures. 7 songs of downright good music and recommended for guitar enthusiasts as well"

"There is surely an intentional influence behind this album, with some mellotron, taurus pedals and other vintage keyboards, guitar sounds and arrangements that sounds as the old GENESIS. The music is loud, with a rich sound and sometimes with the addition of some harder elements as in, for instance, "The Core" which also contains a small FM edge in the vocals that can also be heard from time to time in other parts of the album. "Change Reality" has some really fine moments with luxurious keyboards mixed with deep bass pedals. "Awakening" contains a very good and long guitar solo sounding like Hackett did in the pass. Very good work here by Hansi. He does the same in "Welcome to Utopia", the last and longest song on the album clocking in at 14:16 minutes.
It's a very fine album that I Highly Recommend."

"Cross is a progressive rockband with a dark sound and actually hard to compare. They have their own style which will be appreciated by most rocklovers. Opener "Bleeding in silence" is a good example of their sound, because this song starts a bit dark and 90's, but towards the end it's a good neo-prog song with even some 80's typed keys/synths! Another worthy addition for the fans of progressive rock, although CROSS doesn't sound like your typical neo-prog act, but that's maybe the reason why you should buy this!"
(Points: 8 out of 10)

"If you like the Swedish school (bands as Galleon and Twin Age) you must listen to "Secrets" too. Nice progrock with long melodic guitarsolos and a lot of keyboards".

"The highlight comes right at the end with the long "Welcome To Utopia". A solitary synth introduces the song creating an ideal soundtrack for an imaginary film. The drums kind of settle themselves around Hansi's guitar solo. Then it's a gradual build up in the vocal department, culminating in the strongest chorus on the album. Towards the end Hansi once again illustrates what a fine guitarist he really is"

"4.5 out of 5"

"I liked this album from the first time I played it, and even after three weeks of fairly listening I'm not beginning to tire of it, quite the opposite in fact. In view of this I have no hesitation at all in suggesting that if you enjoy good progressive music that makes good use of both guitar and keyboards that you give "Secrets" a listen - the chance are that you won't be dissapointed"

."..a very good progressive record sounding a bit like Genesis directly after Gabriel left. If you like that kind of prog, don't hesitate this may be a diamond to you."

"You should listen to the 14 minutes "Welcome to Utopia". You will not be disappointed and you'll notice that Cross doesn't betry his Swedish background, a prolific nation when it comes to high quality progressive rock. Check this out!"

"Swedish multi-instrumentalist Hansi Cross has been around for a long time, offering us some outstanding symphonic gems over the years. Genesis influences are apparent in the underlying keyboard segments for "Bleeding In Silence" before the song becomes more complex once mellotron sets in and drum breaks are scattered all over the place. However, if you think Cross is merely a Genesis clone, then think again because "The Core" not only holds some King Crimson influences but
contains enough time-signature jumps to keep you busy for the rest of the year. The guitar parts in "Awakening" once again come very close to the best of Steve Hackett, with an atmosphere to be found in the A Trick Of The Tail vein. Also "Changed Reality" still has those Tony Banks arrangements, whilst the hoarse voice of Hansi complements the music perfectly.

"To my ears "Secrets" is definitly the best Cross album so far. A good mix between 70's sound and neoprogressive elements."

"The bottom line is this: if you like Spock's Beard, Flower Kings, marillion and basically any other like prog rock band, you will like CROSS, Hansi Cross's band. The music on here is fantastic - bright, colourful, with just right the edge. I wouldn't quite call Cross a prog-metal band, but there is an edge to the music - here I would have to say like Arena. Keys take the lead on the instrumental "Awakening", though the guitars are hardly shortchanged. Cross is equal adept at both, though beeing more a guitar fan than a keys fan, it's the guitar i tend to follow more closely - so, yeh, Cross is getting close to be added to my list of guitar heroes. The album closes with the 14-plus minute "Welcome to Utopia". High pitched (but not too high) Tangerine Dream-like keyboards lead us in, parping over a synth wash that take the lead only, after some slightly militaristic percussion comes in. By about two and a half-minutes, it's the singing Cross' guitar. "Utopia goes through several moods, my favourite beeing the harmonizing vocals - von Panajott guests on this track."

"This is a worthwhile album of refreshing prog, that blends history of the likes of Wind and wuthering-Genesis (and subsequent eras)/Yes (Drama-era) with more modern neo-prog, albeit in a pleasing variety of rockier guises and avoiding the usual neo-prog trap of each track sounding samey or synthy-slushy." "I'd say those who like Ines, Galleon or Tantalus but also the harder prog rock sound, would definitly enjoy the musicianship"

"The most recent album from Swedish proggers Cross is easily the best of theirs that I have heard to date. Intricate and sometimes quite menacing (check out opener "Bleeding in silence") with good musical interplay. All fans of modern prog will enjoy this album"

"Cross is Hansi (guitars, synthesizers and vocals), Tomas Hjort (drums and percussion), Lollo Andersson (bass) with with a substantial and appreciable aid of Olov Andersson on mellotron (oh yes) and other synthesizers. T of work. Some days ago I interchanged e-mails with Hansi and I mentioned to him that his style of playing guitar was very distinguishing, and I maintain it. This makes him, in my humble opinion, one of the best guitarist on the present neoprogressive scene (along with Simon Brezinsky of Polish group Abraxas). Check the solos in "The Core" and "Awakening". Perhaps this has been made before, but the work presented and displayed here is sincere and very well done. I will never get enough of works like this one."

"A very good album"

"Four years ago i reviewed the CD "Gaze" by a band called CROSS, then unknown to me. in the review I compared them to King Crimson and UK. I really enjoyed that album! Of course I wondered if "Secrets" would be as strong as "Gaze. When i heard the opening track "Bleeding in silence" i knew that nothing had changed. They even have grown! The King Crimson-sound has stayed and I also hear some influences of Genesis...just as if Tony Banks had joined the band. Beautiful! But also the rest of the material is outstanding. Especially the final track, named aptly "Welcome to Utopia", is areal beauty. It lasts almost 15 minutes and is a musical showcase of the talents of Cross."
**** (Henri)

"...with Secrets, Swedish band Cross had come up with a winner." "Four of these seven tracks clock in beyond 8 minutes, giving the band plenty of room to excercise its imagination amidst Hansi Cross's tasteful crooning and lyrical guitar work. the album's masterwork is its 14-minute closer "Welcome to Utopia", which also brings out the group's symphonic side. A solid album all around"

"Maybe it would be undescent to use the term neo-progressive rock just to label off Cross as a band. I think they have lots of more flavour spirit and momental prestigousness than the average bag of neoprog bands have"

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