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Ageness - Scarab CD (album) cover





3.63 | 40 ratings

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4 stars Before AGENESS fully establish themselves in early-90's,two of their stable members, vocalist/keyboardist Tommy Eriksson and drummer Kari Saaristo were members of a little-known group called SCARAB.They were found in Helsinki in 1983,at a time when all members were schoolkids,and recorded only a self-titled album,pressed in around 200 copies. Fortunately this album along with a performance of the band in Helsinki the same year were re-issued under the title ''Two Vintage Ageness Recordings'' in 1996,offering over an hour of these pre-AGENESS days.

STYLE: Featuring a violinist among the usual guitar/bass/drums/keys quartet,SCARAB had a very rich and strong sound with elements by many 70's classic prog rock acts.Their sound goes easily from keyboard-based symphonic prog to excellent guitar/violin-driven heavy rock and despite the short duration of the tracks,all of them feature interesting arrangements with fine interplays and a good dose of complexity.Melody of course is not absent at all,on the opposite it seems to be one of the band's main aims.The production and mix of the recording helps the listener enjoy the album at its full view.

INFLUENCES/SOUNDS LIKE: Speaking of violin can easily bring KANSAS to your mind and actually some tracks in here with an evident hard rock flavor have this influence.The major influence however are GENESIS of 75'-78' period along with YES,with Tommy Eriksson having lots of TONY BANKS-like moments in the album.The album reminds me a lot of THE FLOWER KINGS at times.

PLUS: Excellent production for such a low-budget album.Often we speak about long compositions in prog rock,but SCARAB proove that you can also produce fantastic progressive music in a limited duration time.Awesome work in violins,viola and keys while Tommi Toivonen has also some trully memorable moments with his guitar.A band who knows how to filtrate their influences under their own umbrella.An album which defines why progressive music wasn't exactly dead in the 80's.

MINUS: Very mediocre vocals which at times sound a bit hilarious.I don't like that much the acoustic parts of the album,where the vocal problem is more obvious.

WILL APPEAL TO: Both modern and vintage prog rock fans,no matter you like symphonic,heavy,hard or eclectic rock music.

CONCLUSION: It would be a crime if this album was to be heard only by the owners of the initial limited copies.Fortunately,SCARAB were reborn after the AGENESS name,leading to the re-issue of this great album.A very young and talented band,who back then decided to write and perform their beloved music,forgetting whether it was in fashion or not.Hurry up and order your copy!4 shining stars.

apps79 | 4/5 |


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