XP8 consisting of Marco Visconti and Marko Resurreccion is Italy’s most successful alternative electro export. The band, started in 2001 as a trio including previous singer Paul Toohill, composes an airy blend of EBM, electronica, techno and trance, bringing their various visions and talents to life with synthetic vibrancy and danceable beats, crossing electronic genres with relative ease.
After having released their first demo, Forgive, on the now defunct mp3.com website, and receiving good feedbacks, they signed a deal with the Polish label Black Flames Records, who would reissue the demo on May 2004 as Forgive[n], quickly followed by the RE_Productions EP in October 2004. In several interviews though, the band seem to consider their real debut the 2005 album Hrs:Min:Sec, released on the acclaimed German label Infacted Recordings.
Over the years, XP8 made a name for themselves due to their energetic live performances: the band played all over Europe, from their native Italy to Russia, and attended prestigious festivals like the Wave Gotik Treffen in Germany. Their third studio album, The Art Of Revenge, released on January 18th 2008 once again on Infacted Recordings, immediately received good reviews.
The summer of 2008 also saw XP8 undertaking their first US tour with System Syn where they were enthusiastically greeted by rabid fans from New York to Los Angeles and everywhere between. The accompanying promo video for The Art of Revenge has also seen heavy rotation in several Italian music TV channels and even reached the 1 position in Music Box’s top 20 in October 2008.
Pushing forward even harder the following years, releasing the albums, Drop the Mask,The Art Of Revenge, X: A Decade Of Decadence and the EP Burning Down, a remix EP focused on the same-titled song, which was also chosen by the band for their third official video.
All this experience has culminated in Adrenochrome, and what is considered the band’s best and most mature effort to date. Andrenochrome is far more than just your traditional album: based on a story written by Marko in the late 1990’s and recently revised, it takes place in the not so distant future in a third recession London.
It follows two individuals, Liam Bateman and Kath Hastings. Liam is assisting Kath from being captured by various organizations for information she carries. As the story unfolds through all the twists, turns, and deception, you’ll meet a host of intriguing characters with larger than life personalities. Every track on Andrenochrome is named after a chapter in the book.
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Like any XP8 music of course, there are a lot of textures, often with a lot of instrumentals and effects going on at once; so while this album sounds good with just one listen, it just gets better and better with repeated plays. XP8 seem to always produce the kind of music that speaks to you and that you can find an easy connection to. This newest release is by far one of their greatest accomplishments. From beginning to end, it grabs you and does not let go until it finally falls to silence.
The album takes its concept and tells the story from several viewpoints. Some songs are told in more of an objective form, while others are told from a very personal point of view that can be seen as very obvious comparisons to the world we live in today. The album never truly breaks form and is able to provide several layers of meaning to the listener, making it much more than just a simple concept album. There are no throw-away tracks either. Almost every track is single worthy.
It’s really hard to put in words what an impression Adrenochrome has left on me. After listening this album, it becomes clear and it seems like all the other past XP8 albums were leading up to this moment. I think Marco Visconti and Marko Resurreccion knew all along they would make this album; it was just a question of time!
The music and the lyrics are hypnotically stunning and the vocals are perfectly performed and arranged to this music. There are verses and choruses that will stay with you and refuse to get out of your head.
This is really an album that you want to listen to all the way through every single time. Sure, there are songs that are my favorites, but the experience comes from listening to the entire thing. It’s rare when I want to do that, and also listen to it in the exact order that it’s presented. My favorites are “Getaway,” “Information,” “Going Underground,” “Hunters,” “Hostages,” and “Inside Their Heads.” Again, I love the entire album, but those are my favorites.
Adrenochrome will go down as one of those classic albums that everybody talks about, and I truly believe in that. Mellow, loud, noisy, quiet, rhythmical, epic and shockingly deep, XP8 have put out a superb alternative-electro masterpiece!
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