Released: 2005, Frontiers Records/Atenzia Records
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
The bandleader of Xcarnation is Cenk Eroglu from Turkey, he is the son of an accomplished conductor, arranger and jazz pianist so early on he became involved in both writing and recording music. After several years of producing he released his first solo album 1991, his second solo album was released 1996 and after that he began to work on this project which is aimed to integrate heavy rock and electronic sounds into a synthesis of Eastern and Western music.
In 2001/02 Cenk met up with two of his favorite musicians, Pat (Mr. Mister, King Crimson) and Kip (Winger) and involves them in his project now named Xcarnation, other skilled musicians that also are involved in this project are Rod Morgenstein(Winger, Dixie Dregs, Steve Morse) and Reb Beach (Winger, Dokken, Whitesnake etc.) as well as many ethnic instrument players from Turkey.
This is musically a weird album. To begin with we have a large number of heavy metal parts and electronic parts that almost make the album border on industrial metal. Combine those elements with hints of somewhat progressive heavy rock and various ethnic instruments and the combination is done. The production focuses on the lead vocals, electronics and the Turkish instruments.
It’s quite hard to get a hold of this album with thought of all the different music styles and strange combinations. It doesn’t matter how many times I listen to GROUNDED it just feels strange. The only major positive thing with this album is the production done by Cenk. He has created a perfect production but that can’t save this album from getting low rates. He has done a great job with integrating the Turkish instruments with the rest of the more conventional instruments.
Besides producing and playing most of the instruments Cenk has also written all of the 10 tracks. He should definitely focus on producing because the material feels pretty anonymous and there are only a few songs that keep the album on a bearable level, those songs are “Personal Antichrist”, “Lucky Day”, “Willing To Wait” and “Pictures”.
The album gives a very shattered impression to say the least and I wonder to whom this album is supposed to appeal? Spontaneously I could only come up with two categories of people that’ll buy GROUNDED, Cenk’s fans or the ones that collect items with Kip Winger or Reb Beach.