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Abraxas - ...Cykl Obraca Się, Narodziny, Dzieciństwo Pełne Duszy, Uśmiechˇw Niewinnych I Zdrady... CD (album) cover





4.13 | 127 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I just stated in my previous review that Prophecies is in fact not even the best output by Abraxas even though it's a great album. That honour is for this debut by the band from 1996, the one with the unpronounceable (for non-Polish people) title I usually refer to as Cykl. This one is often regarded as one of the standout neo progressive albums and I can only agree with this.

The album kicks off with a nice guitar dominated short track to warm things up apparently. Next is one of the longer songs, Tarot, the first with vocals which are sung in Polish so I don't have the slightest idea what it's about. The vocals are good, sometimes theatrical sometimes drenched with emotions. Tarot is more a vocal than an instrumental track which is a pity for an instrumental devotee like me, still a good song though. Dorian Gray shows the rough side of Abraxas that is a versatile band where style is concerned. This one goes towards heavy prog or even prog metal. Kameleon is one of the more average songs, good but actually drowning in this pool of great music, it simply doesn't stand out. Expressive vocals once again. Alhambra sets in with beautiful flute, after one and a half minute moving in a typical "Shadowland-like" rhythm (I was actually expecting Clive Nolan to start singing but no it was mr. Lassa anyway). Interesting song where the compositional aspect is concerned. Notice the piano part halfway the song for instance. Next song, Inferno, is again a very vocal track though there is also room for the guitar here. Ajudah appeals a bit less to me mainly caused by unpleasant vocals. In De Profundis these get better again albeit that also here vocals are very dominant. Highlight to me is Tabula Rasa, you could say the Pokuszenie of this album. The longest song and also the most interesting of this album. And most of all the moments of sheer beauty, in the end the feature most significant to me of Abraxas.

It strikes me that this album is actually hardly true neo. Neo progressive prog rock is more straightforward with at least 80-90% emphasis on catchy melodies. These melodies are truly present on this album, no doubt, but there are also quite a lot general progressive and even original elements present in the music of Abraxas. I also noticed this on Prophecies but it certainly is also the case on this debut. A marvelous album, highly recommended to all neo minded proggers and worth exploring by any proghead. 4 stars (4,25).

progrules | 4/5 |


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