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Abacab - Mal de terre CD (album) cover




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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This second effort from French outfit Abacab will probably surprise a few listeners. And for starters: They don't sound very much alike Genesis, despite their chosen name.

Dramatic and often heavy sounding atmospheres are prevalent features on this production, where a heavy and at times rather primitive hard rock sound courtesy of the guitars is the main feature. The vocal delivery caters for most of the dramatics, in what some refer to as a French tradition - utilizing theatrical effects in the vocal department.

Blended into this foundation are lighter and more subtle elements - wandering and plucked guitar patterns, lighter, floating synths and atmospherioc guitar soloing - all of these features with a distinct vintage Neo-Prog nature to them. Guitars and bass tends to add in elements from funk too, while the organ supplies vintage sounding elements when needed.

This makes for an innovative overall sound at times, but also deeply contrasting escapades that doesn't manage to add up as a whole. Some really good tracks and a few rather horrible ones. The long playtime of the CD ensures that this won't be much of a problem though - those who'd like to check out this album will get good value for money even if some tracks most probably will be skipped.

Report this review (#245091)
Posted Sunday, October 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Abacab's lates release from this year named Mal de terre is again a good album, remaining on same cordonates, musicaly speaking. The music is again something between prog metal with some good passages and some jazz moments. Instrumentaly speaking the music has some good crunchy riffs, intristing keyboards DT similarities and above all some jazz arrangements are added this time to give a certain groove to the album. The music is good, but the vocals , I need some time to get used too, not bad, but same like old french bands Ange or Mona Lisa, same theatrical aproach. The album shows a little improvement over the first, but don't expect to something realy over the top, the melodic side of the album is very well arranged, when jazz meets prog metal in a great manner, some amazing synth parts and beautiful piano interludes, give to the album an aura of great musicianship, a thing that I'm agree, but overall I said is not something really impressive. A good album with good pieces, but falls in the category of not essential release, because the amalgamation is present here, from heavy prog to prog metal, from jazz to neo , Abacab doesn;t have a precise target when comes to compose a piece, but in the end a pleasent album who desearve 3 stars for sure. The album has 79 min, that means almost an hour and a half of prog music, the listners will say if is too much or the best for prog music. The story behind the album is what world becomed in a jungle of TV and computer society. The decadence of our world and how people manage to survive in these conditions. As final point of the review is something I don't undersand here, from all 13 pieces, why is incorporated here 4 pieces from previous album, Ne me derangez pas, Zap infos , Les 3 couleurs and Le source, I didn't find anything related to that anywhere, not even in the booklet of the CD, and seams to me that sounds almost the same with the first version on the previous album, so why puted again on second album, when were enough pieces for second album, why filled with more 4 pieces that already were on first album, strange. Anyway a good album, but the band is quite unpopular in prog circles and needs a little more exposure. Both albums are available at Musea records. Great cover art btw.

Report this review (#255693)
Posted Saturday, December 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
3 stars Thoughtful topics of the album they mean ? Fine, if you ask me. I can't understand the words, but mere mood and melodies on this album are enough to tell me what's going on. Dark album, most of the time. Because this is, after all, where we live. In darkness. It's music that is, for me, on the verge of my interest. I though this will be direct hit, instant love, but no, no, this time, average ratings were true and I was wrong.

I can listen it from time to time, rarely, if I stumble over it by accident, but not so memorable music, not dark enough, no "light" at all, something in between, beyond my reach and over the hills and far far away (what?). It's like collection of separated, minute long pieces that does not hold together so well. There are ideas, interesting to be honest, distinct bass guitar line (as opposing to typical electric guitar sound, yes, this sound is typical for me), even lead guitar takes the place for itself.

3(-), It's a mess, not making sense to me. Maybe bad listener, maybe bad album. Probably neither, because of what I said previously. However, I can't rate lower, because that would be unfair. Don't take me bad, it's not average album, definitely not. It's only that there are perfect pieces/elements mixed together badly, in a way I don't like and can't rate well easily.

Report this review (#262446)
Posted Monday, January 25, 2010 | Review Permalink

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