Back in 2005, I had the pleasure of reviewing a album entitled Playgrounds by Swedish progressive rock band, Cross. Fast forward to 2009 when the band released a album entitled The Thrill Of Nothingness which from memory, was supposed to be released in 2007 but band leader, Hansi Cross had some health issues with his hearing. This release was made available in two editions, a standard 1 cd and a 2 deluxe cd with some extra tracks.
I was sent the standard 1 cd edition, because as Hansi told me that1cd edition contained the music he wanted reviewed. Just as with Playgrounds, the music was presented in a melodic symphonic progressive rock or as some have called it, neo-prog. I think you’d be wasting listening time trying to label a band’s style, rather than just simply enjoying the music. That’s what I did each time I listened to the album The Thrill Of Nothingness.
Joining Hansi (who handled guitars, lead vocals and additional keyboards) are Goran Johnsson (keyboards, backing vocals), Lollo Andersson (bass), and Tomas Hjort (drums). Together they make very memorable music and from hindsight, I think they bettered themselves with a superior album in The Thrill Of Nothingness.
From the opening track, "Universe Inside" the band locks you in for a fantastic aural adventure which concludes with an epic track called “Eternity”. Every song in between holds the album together. One of my favorite tracks is the first epic “Innocence” which I feel would satisfy any fan of the late 70s Genesis.
Another favorite of mine is the lush symphonic sounding progressive rock "Chameleons" which mixed in with some pop creates some beautiful and accessible music that would easily cater to melodic rock fans.
In closing, this marks the triumphant return of Cross with their best album to date, The Thrill Of Nothingness. I feel Cross is going in the right direction and I think they‘re capable of toping themselves. If melodic or neo-prog is your music of choice, then look no further. I hope the next album doesn’t take as long. Strongly recommended album that hopefully was on the top of many fan’s favorites of 2009. If I had heard this back then, I too would proudly put this album on my top favorites of 2009.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on April 26th, 2011