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Ajalon - On The Threshold Of Eternity CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.04 | 42 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Ajalon! A great symphonic prog band with alot of uplifting soundscapes that are very reminiscent of the olden days of Yes and Gensis. Much like fellow symph-proggers Echolyn, they have managed to invent a sound truly their own while maintaining a firm stand in symphonic soil. The most impressive tracks as far as I am concerned are the first and the last; the former being a wonderful instrumental featuring soaring guitar solos resembling more of a John Petrucci vibe than Steve Howe, as well as some absolutely superb flute work; the latter is a true Prog Rock epic of sorts, nearly seventeen minutes in length that changes many times along the way, just like a good old-fashioned prog song should!

Now the bad news: this band's singer has a terrible voice for this type of music. It isn't his fault, yet I do think these guys could have benefited from hiring a vocalist to join them and actually sing rather than whine in a syrupy, sickening tone that sounds like something I would hear if I turned my radio to the pop worship channel. Also, amongst the truly great progressive songs (Anthem of the Seventh Day, Sword of Goliath, What Kind of Love, Forever I Am, On the Threshold of Eternity) are several christian pop tunes that are still enjoyable, but feel VERY out of place on the record when paired up against such wonderful calliber Symphonic Prog sojourns (Though the singer's voice suits these soft rockers much better than it does the actual prog entries on the disc).

I would have given this record a four had it not been for these shortcomings. Yes folks, the music is THAT good! Truly! If you can look past some cheesy lyrics, an even cheesier singer (who I actually became used to after a few listens) and some traditional pop songs thrown in for good measure, then you will discover what is so great about this release: The musicianship is beyond outstanding, the songs on the release that truly CAN be called progressive are some of the best Symphonic Prog works done in recent memory. Undeniably so. So, why not a four, or even a five? Well, because even these strengths cannot change that fact that Ajalon is half Progressive Rock, half Christion Pop. The two genres couldn't be farther from one another, and frankly, I would have rather the Ajalon guys left the poppy elements out of it altogether. Had they done that, this album could have rivaled the likes of AS THE WORLD and HYBRIS in terms of modern Symph Prog standards. Alas, the trio thought it was a good idea to mish-mash a pointless genre with a perfect one, and while that step alone was truly progressive thinking, the result was an album that could have been the next CttE, but was instead just another 'good try' at an epic. A shame.

Bottom line: absolutely fantastic music, but too much mainstream influence causes it to fall short on the whole. Three out of Five I am afraid is how it is going to have to stand. Definately give this thign a try, however, especially if you are wanting a modern band with the old artists' touch.

JLocke | 3/5 |


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