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The Anabasis - Back From Being Gone CD (album) cover


The Anabasis


Heavy Prog

3.49 | 42 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars World Wide Web makes it possible - THE ANABASIS are a fruitful collaboration of musicians from Europe and the United States. The complete lineup features way more than 10 members with a different stylistical background. Multi-instrumentalist Barry Thompson and George Andrade, being responsible for concept and lyrics, seem to be the masterminds who have initiated this project. I already was aware of Lee Abraham (bass) who could impress me once while enjoying Galahad in concert, guitarero Stefan Artwin of Geman prog metal band Relocator ... and Spock's Beard's Ryo Okumoto of course. This otherwise means that I came across a bunch of skilled composers/musicians here which I've never heard of before - what a pleasure! Drummer Gerald Mulligan courtesy of the Lee Abraham Band for example, who makes a really great job. Or vocalists Per Fredrik Åsly and Gordon Tittsworth which both worked with diverse prog metal bands.

Anyway, whatever the circumstances are to form just this collection of participants exactly - the result is definitely well-balanced, for what it's worth. 'Back From Being Gone' is released on US label 10T Records, offers more than seventy highly melodic minutes. A concept album which picks up rise (and fall) of empires analogous to the band name. As for the lyrical aspect the songs lead us through three episodes of the European and neighbouring North-East African history, each represented by an epic at least. Hence one can say this is even musically retrospective in some way concerning the song structure, on the other hand certainly modern sounding. In summary - not really surprising when considering the collaborator's musical background - some kind of heavy prog music provided with a symphonic and even metal edge.

The historical voyage starts with Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire - the song immediately shows the approach to embed high quality vocals - Per Fredrik Åsly is an excellent singer ... and story-teller at once. As it is suitable for an epic, uptempo rocking parts and charming balladesque moments are alternating. A rounded composition, very melodic and catchy, well placed backing vocals, you're forced to sing along after some rounds. Ryo Okumoto cares for the symphonic ambience due to a complete keyboard range featuring mellotron, organ, piano and synthesizer. Touché! Followed by damn rocking shorter tracks with a bunch of slicing guitar riffs they lead over to the next epic Vikings provided with much more dramaturgy, savage foreigners disembark on the isle of Lindisfarne and radiate fear, samples present some typical dialogues - a thrilling issue set to music.

While moving along the Nile on Egypt Caesar and Cleopatra are not far away of course, the band close the circle, pick up some motifs already placed on the opening song - the metallic guitar takes a backseat here, so this comes more in a neo prog outfit in the vein of Galahad, Enchant and similar - however a bit stretched as for my impression. This does not diminish the overall feeling though, 'Back From Being Gone' enriches my best-of list for 2011 and proves that prog music is not dead nowadays. Well I should avoid to point out any special contributor, but Okumoto's keyboard fireworks are worth trying alone. This album should be part of every well-assorted prog music collection, definitely.

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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