December 5, 2021

Sometimes, you just have to sit back and marvel at the talents that some people have and which marks them out as very special indeed.

To the ever growing list must be added the name of Xavier Boscher, a French musician, painter and poet. Citizen of Nice, he has been releasing albums since around 1995 which fall into several categories but mainly heavy rock, progressive rock and new-age. He is a guitarist and keyboard player of exquisite skill and precision and he has numerous albums to his name and you are most highly recommended to check him and his material out.

It seems that his work is mainly self released and is available on the usual download channels but check out Bandcamp as he also has some musical tasters for free download which will give you a start into his impressive back catalogue. Earthscapes is the thirteenth album he has released and is the second album in a planned tetralogy (I had to look this up and it means a set of four) with part one being Waterscapes which was released last year.

Boscher’s music is instrumental and he plays all instruments with guitar very much to the fore and is most certainly a master guitarist who can handle riffs and solos like any heavy metal master but is still intricate and fluid and just so much in control. Of course, there are sure to be comparisons with Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and John Petrucci plus there is an overall feel too of an instrumental Dream Theater as well as Steve Hackett and Andy Latimer so Boscher creates a rich, complex and thrilling tapestry of sound. There is a real organic feel to his work and he knows exactly how far to take a lead guitar break without ever crossing over into ego territory and each note is exactly where it should be and nothing is wasted. Yes, he can rock and heavily too but this is a real progressive rock workout with much of the work sounding like an instrumental Jadis too as Boscher does have a sound and sustain very similar to Gary Chandler and that makes him more than OK by me.

You do not have to be an instrumental fan to enjoy this album as there is so much happening as Boscher shows that when it some to a long mazy solo then he has few equals. Earthscapes is a stunning guitar led progressive rock delight and I most definitely need to check out his earlier work as will you if you give a listen to this quite splendid album.

Earthscapes

  1. Road to Happiness (3:51)
  2. Mountain of Spirit (7:15)
  3. Luminescent Forest (9:20)
  4. Carnal Cocoon (5:00)
  5. Sanctuary of Delight (4:31)
  6. Cobalt Blue Tarantula (5:27)
  7. Field of Sapphire (3:31)
  8. Volcania (8:56)