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3 stars English version of their album Centurie which has obviously Nostradamus' prophesies behind as a concept. Those fellows having some problem with the sound Polish language (like me) I'd certainly recommend this edition, although the vocals are not entirely free of accent. The musicianship is great on here and the compositions are mainly in a mellow or lush vein, although there are some more dynamic and rocking ones as well like in the second track. Third one Velvet is actually a very nice mellow captivating one, but nothing really special in terms of Prog.Kuznia is a quite typical more heavy NeoProg song. Maybe the positioning of the tracks has been done a bit unlucky since the more rocking tracks are all in the second half of the disc.

It's probably for a NeoProg album not really a bad one. But since this sub-genre is generally not my favorite one, it cannot hit so much my attraction. But good anyway (3 stars!)

Report this review (#36297)
Posted Sunday, June 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I am pleased to start 2008 with a review of a very good album.

This excellent Polish band had the good idea to publish an English version of their great "Centuries" album. I guess to get more exposure as some Italian bands did it in the early seventies ("PFM", "Banco"). And I can only be very happy with this.

Even if the language barrier didn't prevent me to be laudatory about their first two albums (rating the Polish equivalent with five stars) it is always good to be able to grab some of the wordings from an album. Being a French native speaker, Italian holds some similarities at least, which is absolutely not the case with Polish of course.

The only noticeable difference are the English texts. Adam Łassa, their expressive lead vocalist might not be as convincing but he remains very, very emotional.

I can only recommend this version of the great "Centurie" album. At least you'll be able to discover a hidden jewel from PA. IMHHO, they were rather important for the development of "Riverside". Just listen to this album and you will know where their roots are.

If ever you would like to get a more detailed review, you can read the one for the Polish version of this album in the appropriate entry.

This English version holds one unreleased song. A very good cover of one of the most beautiful prog song : "ITCOTCK". The flute break is truly superb and most of the song is played with an upbeat tempo and a harder edge which is rather good.

Four stars for this album. Emotion is higher on the original.

Happy new year to the proghead community.

Report this review (#157363)
Posted Tuesday, January 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Abraxas is one of an interesting line-up of Polish neo progressive bands. The one they come closest to in my opinion is Believe, a band that appeared on the scene after the break up of Collage. I feel both bands are somewhat less romantic sounding than Collage, Satellite, Albion and Quidam and both have a rougher edge on their music at times. Biggest difference with Believe is the more frequently appearing guitar solos by Abraxas. But there is one thing all these Polish bands have in common and that is the highly melodic element in their music.

In fact Abraxas is a versatile band because they mix all kinds of emotions in the music, they play ballads (Velvet) just as easily as pretty heavy tracks (Kuznia). Like Quidam they can play flute in a beautiful way (Excalibur !) and even the oboe is used. This album has songs in all sorts also where length is concerned (just about everything in between 1 and 12 minutes) and almost all songs are worthwhile. Highlight is probably Pokuszenie where beautiful passages are alternated with progressive moments, here the band really shows what they are capable of.

This makes the choice for the rating pretty easy this time. Four stars is the only logical outcome even though this isn't even their best album (3,8).

Report this review (#252453)
Posted Tuesday, November 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars ABRAXAS are a Neo-Prog band out of Poland who up until this album have failed to really click with me. Even this one I would rate as a low 4 star album, but there is enough here that makes this an enjoyable listen.This is basically the English version of their "Centurie" album. I must admit getting a real kick out of the bonus track which is a cover of KING CRIMSON's "The Court Of The Crimson King". Even if the vocals are with an accent that is such a majestic track.

"Spiritus Flat Ubi Vult" has an interesting intro with reserved but theatrical vocals along with a beat and synths. It's fuller 1 1/2 minutes in.Excellent sound here. Some fat bass too. I really like the vocals. "Michel De Nostre Dame-Mistrz Z Salon" opens with organ as synths, acoustic guitar and drums join in quickly then vocals. It gets fuller then settles back as contrasts continue. It kicks into an uptempo melody before 5 minutes then settles right down before 6 1/2 minutes to end it. "Velvet" is mellow with fragile vocals then it gets fuller with aboe joining in as well as bass. It settles right back with vocals. "Excalibur" opens with keyboards and reserved vocals. Aboe follows. It picks up 2 minutes in with some nice guitar to follow. Flute 3 1/2 minutes in then it settles with atmosphere and reserved vocals after 4 minutes. Flute too. It kicks in heavily after 6 1/2 minutes .Nice.

"Kuznia" is a short piece that is beat driven and vocals come in around a minute. "Czakramy" opens with gentle guitar and synths as reserved vocals join in.Some vocal melodies follow then the vocals return. It gets fuller after 2 minutes then settles back as contrasts continue. Some beautiful stuff here. It builds to a heavy sound late and I like the vocal expressions too. "Pokuszenie" kicks in beautifully before 1 1/2 minutes then settles back quickly with vocals. Flute after 3 minutes. A calm with whispered words before 5 minutes. It then kicks in heavily with guitar. It settles again and check out the soaring guitar that goes on and on. "Nantalomba" opens with synths and atmosphere. Aboe joins in then acoustic guitar. It's fuller 1 1/2 minutes in and vocals follow. Lots of atmosphere late.

Barely 4 stars but I wouldn't feel right giving it 3 stars so...

Report this review (#377559)
Posted Monday, January 10, 2011 | Review Permalink

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