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Abydos - The Little Boy's Heavy Mental Shadow Opera About the Inhabitants of His Diary CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.07 | 118 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I can understand why people think this album a masterpiece, but it is not

To start my review, I would like to point out that I know nothing about about Vanden Plas or its members. I do not know anything at all: I have never listened to any of their albums and don't even know who else is in the band besides the vocalist, with a rather suggestive name about some specific body part, named Andy Kuntz. So, this is my first experience ever with anything related to this German progressive metal band. Beside that I was very pleased with the Abydos, specially because I was able to buy it for brand new for a reasonable price.

The concept is still somewhat blurry for me. I was not able to really put my finger on it and discover everything about it completely. I DO know what the album is about because of the subtitle (after all, the subtitle of the album is The Little Boy's Heavy Mental Shadow Opera About The Inhabitants of His Diary, so it should help in sheding some light onto what it is about, right?), but as for the rest (the role of every character, how exactly the story develops, etc) I am completely clueless, what holds me from enjoying the album even more.

One interesting thing about this album is that I took quite a wile to really like it. I mean, if I did not like it when I listened it for the first time, I would not have bought it, but Abydos is one of those growers, the ones you learned to like.

For me that happened because I am not a big fan of melodic rock / metal, the kind of genre mostly used here. Frankly, some songs that I like now, like Far Away from Heaven for example, I thought were boring and stupid, as most of the first part of the album because it is mostly melodic rock / metal driven, although it having some clear prog influences.

Abydos can be clearly divided in two very different parts and, although most of the first part of the album is not exactly mind blowing, the second part is able to deliver some impressive progressive metal. There, Kuntz drops (most) of the melodic stuff and change gears straight to first-class progressive metal, what definitely is a good change. Such change can be felt starting from the song Hyperion Sunset and, although untill the song Abydos that transition is still happening, it all culminates in the last song, A Boy Named Fly, which is absolutely incredible, passing through the melodic power ballad Radio Earth.

About the songs, musicianship and other features, there are somethings i would like to state:

Abydos is definitely the album for the oneswho complain about how progressive metal is a lifeless diplay of playing abilities. The music of this album is quite simpler compared to other acts, such as Dream Theater and Pain of Salvation, and is really emotional, moody and melodic. Their music as a whole have a very nice feeling.

A good thing that I noticed here is that no one stood out too much, creating the feeling that the whole band worked as hard as they could, instead of only one guy doing everything or outshining everybody. This is maybe the result of the feeling the music has.

As i said before, the best part of this album is, in my opinion, the second. The best songs of the album all on this second half. Abydos,Wildflowersky and A Boy named Fly are absolutely amazing and are probably the reason why some people actually think this album is a masterpiece. The highlights, go exactly to those three songs.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Abydos is, without any doubt, a very good album. However, in my point of view, there are too many songs that are just average and, because of that, they pull this album's grade down. If it was a smaller album, without some of the initial songs, it would definitely be worth a better grade. However since this album is still this big, with all twelve songs, I think it deserves the 4 star grade.

CCVP | 4/5 |


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