German outfit Versus X have made a really strong album with their 2008 release Primordial Ocean.
4 long epic tunes, all of them complicated and quirky affairs, with a multitude of segments constantly evolving and moving; but with an emphasis on symphonic elements and strong melodies. Long instrumental passages is a key feature here, with sweeping and at times grandiose segments dominated by multi-layered synths just as dominant as more mellow passages with piano only and more driving parts with guitar riffs and organ taking the lead.
The only weakness I came across were the vocals, which seems to have a hard time following the slightly quirky melody lines in some passages.
Apart from that, this is a killer release for most people fond of bands like Genesis and Yes, and the level of complexity might make this one of interest to fans of Gentle Giant as well. http://www.progarchives.com
Track Listing: 1. The Pulse of Earth (15:45) 2. From a Distance (1:50) 3. Essentially Human (16:16) 4. Fingerprints (15:22) 5. Into the vast Unknown (23:41)
The Band: Arne Schäfer / vocals, electric & acoustic guitars - Ekkehard Nahm / piano, organ, synthesizer, bass pedals - Thomas Keller / bass guitar - Uwe Völlmar / drums, percussion