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Abel Ganz - Gratuitous Flash CD (album) cover


Abel Ganz



3.26 | 64 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Though the mid-eighties' may not be a particularly notable period in progressive rock's history, the UK-fronted neo prog movement at the time spawned plenty of excellent acts to keep the spirit of the genre alive while many of its veterans descended into mediocrity. Abel Ganz is one of the lesser-known bands from this movement, but their debut album Gratuitous Flash was released right at the height of early neo-progressive rock. Like many neo-prog bands from this time period, their style borrows heavily from the likes of Genesis and Marillion, often sounding like an updated version of Trick of the Tail-era Genesis with dashes of Mark Kelly influenced keyboards and commercial songwriting. Although Gratuitous Flash won't win any points for originality, it has a sort of charm that is inevitably enjoyable for fans of the genre. By and large this is a fairly mediocre eighties' prog rock effort, but it has enough positive aspects to be worth a listen for neo-prog enthusiasts.

Gratuitous Flash is indeed a debut album, but Abel Ganz were fairly impressive musicians and composers at this point in their careers. All of the musicians deliver solid performances throughout the course of the album, and the songwriting is generally interesting and memorable. Although "Kean on the Job" is entirely disposable as far as I'm concerned, the rest of this observation is solid neo-prog from start to finish. The opening and closing tracks are actually the two biggest highlights in my opinion - both of these extended pieces really show what talented composers and players Abel Ganz truly are. Though the band makes little effort to stand out from your average neo-prog act, they deliver the goods enough to make this a fun listen from time to time.

As is typical for a production from this time period, Gratuitous Flash's sound quality is a bit thin and muddy; while I wouldn't call it a crippling deformity, it is a flaw worth pointing out. Abel Ganz doesn't leave a tremendous impact on the listener with their debut effort, but they do deliver a solid observation that should satisfy most fans of eighties' neo-prog. Though I'm left craving more originality and standout material when Gratuitous Flash finishes, this is still a good album to pull out every now and again. 3 stars are warranted for this decent debut from Abel Ganz.

J-Man | 3/5 |


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