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Abigail's Ghost - Black Plastic Sun CD (album) cover

BLACK PLASTIC SUN

Abigail's Ghost

 

Heavy Prog

3.84 | 51 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars This band has matured so much since their Porcupine Tree imitation days! The chrysalis has left the cocoon and a gorgeous butterfly has emerged! Only, this butterfly is not so delicate as to have a short life; Black Plastic Sun ought to find a wide audience and make many people's favorites lists. 2009's d_letion was an awesome album--and so well made--but this is better. If I have any complaints with Black Plastic Sun it's in the of the pace, drumming and vocal range in the first three songs. Don't get me wrong, the iamthemorning-like opener, "Thereafter" (8:20) (9/10), is awesome--is perhaps the best song on the album and sets a really nice tone for the album, but it's not until the fourth song, "Bloodlust" (5:38) (9/10), that we get our first real example of the dynamic range of this band and their instrumentalists. Here is where I first become conscious of the striking similarity of lead vocalist Joshua THERIOT's vocal tones to those of Mark KING from LEVEL 42.

The wonderful 5. "Widowmaker" (5:22) (9/10) continues this venture, further broadening the band's sonic and stylistic palette (sounding remarkably like another couple of releases from this year: VOLA's Inmazes and NICE BEAVER's The Time It Takes), as does the sweet, melodic follow-up, the more swamp folk-tinged 6. "King of All" (5:23) (9/10).

The band then pulls an amazing trick with the very French-sounding 7. "Le Metteur" (7:14) a song that I find quite haunting and beautiful as it takes me back to French film themes and montages from the 80s and 90s--as well as a little of the delightful IVY sound around the turn of the century. Wonderful guitar solo worked over the Buddha- lounge drums and keyboard washes. (9/10)

8. "Protist"(4:43) (9/10) effectively dives into the depths of heavy prog while

9. "Sweet Serenity" (4:42) captures some catchy melodies in a Johannes Luley kind of way over its unusual instrumental choices. (9/10)

10. "Smotherbox" (8:51) is the first occasion on this album in which the band blatantly return to their Steven Wilson roots. Like a Steve Wilson song, it's a good song with some orgasmic lead guitar work and heavy chord chord play. (8/10)

11. "Rather Unorthodox" (3:48) is a piano-based, strings accompanied, harmonized vocal with a bit of a classic rock ballad sound and feel to it. Nice song. (8/10)

I have to admit that one of the highlights in listening to this album is in the way that I find myself quite often drawn to listen to the electronic keyboard work that might support or fill spaces in many of the songs. A really nice complementary "glue" for lots of the music much in the same way that Richard Barbieri and Jørgen Hagen supplied so masterfully for their bands, Porcupine Tree and Airbag, respectively.

The boys from the bayous have created a wonderful addition to any prog rock music collection.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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