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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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5 stars "Cycl" - which apparently isn't actually the album's title (this was meant to be a self-titled album but everyone thought an extract of the lyrics printed on an early version of the cover was the album title) - is the debut album by Abraxas, and the opening instrumental "Before" presents a style that isn't too far from the more complex bits of the first Jadis album, or maybe IQ in their more light-hearted and whimsical moods (such as the opening instrumental from their demo, Seven Stories Into Eight). The next track, "Tarot", abruptly slows down the pace and darkens the mood, with brooding synthesisers creating an air of menace before guitar and drums kick in and whispered vocals deliver... something in Polish which I'm afraid I don't understand, but it seems pretty spooky whatever it is. When the track kicks into high gear I hear all sorts of influences - a shot of Middle Eastern folk, a fair slice of Marillion, and again a big slab of IQ, but Abraxas do a good job of carving out their own particular flavour of neo-prog.

Vocalist Adam Lassa helps a lot with his unique delivery, which is somewhere between an even more deranged Peter Hammill and a much less harsh and grating version of Mr Doctor (vocalist with Devil Doll), but everyone in the band contributes to this - just listen to Szymon Brzezinski's use of acoustic guitar in "Tarot", a little touch which isn't quite what you'd expect from any of their influences, and is well beyond most neo-prog Marillionalikes. And Marcin Blaszczyk's use of keyboards and flute in "Dorian Grey" are absolutely key to the atmosphere. And that's what Abraxas understand - the very best neo-prog albums out there might not be the most technically complex products of the prog scene, but what they sometimes lack in complexity they more than make up for in *atmosphere* and establishing a particular mood. It's true of Script for a Jester's Tear, it's true of The Wake, and it's true of Abraxas's debut.

Warthur | 5/5 |


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