Image © Lion Music 2009
X Anima: Pelle Händén and Jade Ell
Image © Lion Music 2009
(07 June 2009) Imagine Evanescence mixed with Enigma goes Kate Bush. X Anima is new original music, with beautiful melodies, perfect grooves and excellent sound design. It's all a creative combination of pop, rock andelectronica with elements of symphonic mixes. It's dark, light, fantasy, heaven and hell. Their debut album is entitled Inside Warrior (Lion Music (Finland) LMC263, 2009). Jade Ell's vocals on this album are indeed reminscent of Kate Bush. The band are headquartered in Sweden.
Inside Warrior has not only new and innovative music but also keenly individual and inspired songs. The lyrics tell stories of mysteries in modern times, such as the mind of a serial killer, the phenomenon of poltergeist, Jonestown, the power of the spirit and mind and the life after death. By uniting a voice which is ranging from an airy sound to rocky--sometimes almost operatic--combined with electronic synthesizers, a mean electric guitar with heavy riffs and ethnic sounds. Xanima has created music, which in their own classification could be called art rock/electronic.
X Anima started as a project in February 2007. At first it was created in cyberspace, but later on it turned into a live band with excellent musicians turning the story of X Anima live. Jade Ell (vocals and piano) is a true live artist, having performed at many different venues in Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Holland and the United States. She is both her own artist as well as an established songwriter, and her songs have been recorded by many international artists. Last year, she had songs reaching #1 in Mexico, Brazil and the USA with the Mexican pop act RBD. Return to Musical Discoveries later this year for a planned feature on the vocalist's solo work.
Pelle Händén (keyboards and synthesizers) started out in the 80s making several solo albums and scores. He has also produced and worked with such artists as Björn J:son Lindh and Janne Shaffer amongst others. Together with the female vocalist Magoria, he made the album The Divine Child which sold 80,000 copies in Russia. He did the Astral Dance album in collaboration with artists and musicians Magoria and Bjorn J:son Lindh and the Universal Intercourse album with Regina Lund and Lia Shapiro. Today he has a very active collaboration with the East German born artist and vocalist Leon, now living in Sweden.
The Inside Warrior album is comprised of twelve songs and its varied tracks run just over 50 minutes. Although the album began strictly as a studio project, a live ensemble has been formed to promote the album. X Anima is Pelle Händén (keyboards, programs, composer, sound, premix and production), Jade Ell (vocals, lyrics, piano, glockenspeil, accordion), Jan Hellman (bass), Fredrik Söderström (drums), Erik Bernholm (guitars) and Emeli Jeremias (cello). The dynamic material on the recording is certain to be superb in a live setting.
Less than one minute into opening rocker "The Deed And The Damage," Jade Ell's vocal allusions to Kate Bush begin. An album of great diversity, electronically arranged tracks like "Caged," "Soaring" (think Balligomingo!), "Short Sighted" and the upbeat "Into The Lens" include lush multi-layered vocal work and are reminscent of Enigma or Delierium. The electronic melody in "Reality Remains" borders on pop.
X Anima can rock alongside Evanescence and Scandinavia's greatest metal bands including Epica, After Forever, Within Temptation and Nighwish although Jade's vocals are less operatic. "Poltergeist," "Exodus" and "Born Into The Skin" are stunning examples of their strength. Standouts "The Essence Of Being" and title track "Inside Warrior" are both radio-friendly rockers. The album concludes with the lushly arranged "So Fragile." Jade's vocals are sensually delivered--listen for the Kate Bush allusions--clearly leaving the listener longing for more.
X Anima seem to have surfaced remarkably from nowhere but are certain to draw a strong following from enthusiasts of Evanescence, Kate Bush and Scandinavia's female fronted giants Epica, Nightwish, Within Temptation and After Forever, to name just a few. The professional experience of the band's two founders builds on their former work as individuals and with other projects. Jade Ell's vocal work on this recording has extremely strong allusions to Kate Bush, moreso than on the artist's prior solo albums. Her vocal work will to broaden listeners interests and help them
stray further from female singer songwriter to explore the rich arrangements, gothic textures and progressive rock romantacism of X Anima.