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Abraxas 99 album cover
3.72 | 83 ratings | 7 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. 14.06.1999 (2:58)
2. Czekam (1:42)
3. Jezebel (6:49)
4. Szaleństwo Przyszło Nocą (0:17)
5. Spowiedź (4:21)
6. Anatema, Czyli Moje Obsesje (7:30)
7. Pętla Medialna (3:37)
8. Noel (5:11)
9. `37 (1:16)
10. Medalion (6:10)
11. Iris (6:40)
12. Oczyszczenie (4:30)
13. Moje Mantry (3:08)

Total time 54:09

Line-up / Musicians

- Adam Łassa / vocals
- Szymon Brzeziński / guitar, keyboards
- Łukasz Święch / acoustic guitar, backing vocals
- Marcin Błaszczyk / keyboards
- Rafał Ratajczak / basses
- Mikołaj Matyska / drums

- Anja Orthodox / vocals (5)
- Joanna Kalińska / vocals (6,10)
- Dorota Dzięcioł / vocals (8,12,13)
- Krzysztof Ścierański / fretless bass (3)

Releases information

Artwork: Waldemar Malak

CD Metal Mind Productions ‎- MMP CD 0102 (1999, Poland)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ABRAXAS 99 ratings distribution

(83 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

ABRAXAS 99 reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "99", Abraxas' third and final effort, shows the band exploring the harder side of their neo-prog style while basically maintaining the same vein as their preceding album "Centurie". In order to make myself clear to the reader's eyes, let me say that what Abraxas achieve here is parallel to what Arena has been doing from "The Visitor" onwards, that is, enrich the basic neo-prog with lots of almost-metal stuff and remarkable synth-based electronic ambiences here and there. There are many numbers when the Abraxas guys get really harsh, even aggressive, as it is properly exposed in the opening title '14.06.1999', and later on in the catchy 'Spowiedz' and the explosive 'Petla Medialna' - the latter including some electronic avant-garde schemes in its first half. On the other hand, the majestic 'Jezebel' (admittedly my personal fave track from this album), the slightly exotic-oriented 'Medalion', and the mini- epic'Anatema' are well-constructed pieces that will surely remind the listener of the dramatic romanticism that had prevailed so overwhelmingly in "Centurie". 'Noel' and 'Iris' (two other mini-epics, both quite "schizophrenic" actually) state a kind of compromise between the new coming metallic rock element and the dense neo stuff inherited from their previous two albums: together with 'Jezebel' and 'Anatema' they make the album's peak, IMHO. Funny how the last two numbers are slow symphonic tracks, with spoken, almost whispered lyrics: vocalist Lassa seems to lay low as a hidden prophet in the wings while the guitar leads and synth layers steal the limelight. After the display of energy that had been showed during most of the repertoire, 'Ocztszczenie' and 'Moje Mantry' take the listener's heart to a realm of introspective reflection. Actually, let's pay attention to a fact: this is the Abraxas album with the largest quantity of tracks, yet it is also the one that contains (or seems to contain) a lesser amount of lyrics. Lassa's theatrical singing is there, but not as prominent as it used to be, which seems to indicate that (maybe) there was some kind of divorce between the instrumentalists and the vocalist, or at best, that the band couldn't find a way to complete and integrate the vocal and instrumental parts in a more balanced manner. After all, this was the group's farewell album, and that surely means the band was consciously heading for their curtain call. Anyway, all things considered, despite the slight signals of incompleteness in this album's repertoire, "99" is an excellent opus, one of the last neo- prog classics for the 90s, and as such it should receive a 4 star rating.
Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is their final record and they go out swinging with their heaviest effort.

I must confess to being shocked the first time I heard "14.06.1999" . Knowing these guys were a Neo Prog band I wasn't prepared to hear such a heavy instrumental. Well heavy for them. This is my favourite song on the record and the guitar and drum work is excellent. "My Awakening" consists of spacey synths, ending with a monologue in this less than two minute tune. "Jezebal" is another highlight for me, the majority of the song is fairly ambient with reserved vocals and synths (after the 2 minute intro of mainly drums), but the calm soundscape is broken at about the five minute mark with soaring guitars.

"Confession" is an excellent tune that is quite dark and heavy with lots of guitar, drums and background synths. "Anathema, My Obsessions" opens with a synths and a gentle guitar melody for a minute.The song gets heavy with some soaring guitar and there is great guitar throughout. "Noel" is another good mid-paced song with the drums, vocals and guitar standing out. "Locket" is my second favourite, the vocals and synths sound dreamy and some good guitar tops it all off. The first half of "Iris" is a really good instrumental but the second half is a let down. "Purification" opens with some powerful church organ and the female vocal melodies are a nice touch. "Above" is cool with a beautiful guitar melody as the drums pound away. The guitar on the final song "d.i.r.t." is fantastic.

There is enough good material on this record to recommend it, although it's too inconsistant to give it four stars.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars This is unfortunately the last studio album of this very good Polish band.

Sometimes at the edge of metal music, catchy melodies aren't forgotten here. Adam Łassa is still so passionate (especially when he is signing in his mother language). The opening track for instance is one of their wildest song, but these perfect and harmonious vocals add such a great balance.

There will be several breaks to these heavy and metal sounds, like the short and spacey "Czekam" for instance. Another of the very good song of this album is "Jezebel". A sweet instrumental intro is preceding one of the most vibrant vocals part you can imagine. This is a tranquil song, full of simplicity. Mostly instrumental : aerial keys combined with such a wonderful and melodic guitar break. Shivers down my spine when I listen to it. My fave here. Almost seven minutes of pure joy.

But this album IS pure joy. "Spowiedz" is another of their very catchy neo metal song full of harmony, with an upbeat tempo. Another very good composition as "Anatema" which starts on a spacey mood but soon turns out into a solid and extremely vigorous track. But, as usual, these vocal lines are so incredible. Adam is really a fantastic lead singer, but his band mates don't fall shy. "Abraxas" as a whole is a very interesting band even if I have difficulties to swallow "Petla Medialna".

The music played by Abraxas should have placed them high in the prog rock family. But they might have started their career too early, when it was very difficult for a Polish band to export their music. But IMHHO, they opened the way to modern Polish prog (together with Collage). They should also be recognized as such. Bravo for this, gentlemen!

After all, this album holds so many great melodic songs of which "Medalion" is just one more (even if the final part is rocking alright), that you can't consider this work as close to prog metal. And even if I know that lots of progheads are not very keen on the neo sub- genre, I strongly advise them to do an effort and listen to this great band. Original and mighty music but combined with passion and feeling.

Yes, you'll get all of this with "Abraxas" even if "Iris" sounds not so good. Somewhat too synthetic to my taste. But the closing instrumental number is brilliant again. Melancholic guitar break and whispering vocals...Such a magnificent way to close this excellent work.

Four stars for 99.

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 01. 14/06/1999

Introduction full of voices, but since the band is Polish, all the vocals are so different and also extremely interesting. What follows is an instrumental and discharged with a certain weight. The band (as you would expect) draws on the Neo-Prog, the one that always has cold keyboards and sounds that seems comes out directly from 80's, but here the thing is not so exaggerated. The voice of Adam Lassa is very good, sometimes melodic sometimes torn, when accompanied by weight of the band.

02. Czekam

Marcin Blaszczyk opens the track with an organ, one of those that was bequeathed by Peter Banks (Genesis), school of 9 out of 10 Neo Progressive bands. Followed by the keyboards a constant 'beep' as one of those hospital machines that measure the heartbeat of the person until he check only feature. And ends with a short speech.

03. Jezebel

The drums of Mikolaj Matyska takes shape and contour in the introduction of the 3rd track, closely followed by the grave bass of Rafal Ratajczak showing sometimes some 'slap' bass lines. Vocals are quite beautiful, the Polish language (not sure if it's some dialect) as strange as it may sound, makes things even more beautiful to me. After the half's paraded a fretless bass solo that if I am not mistaken is the guest Krzysztof ?cierański and is a sensational solo.

04. Szaleństwo przyszło Noca

Only a spoken intersection, but which has yours strength.

05. Spowiedz

The melody of the guitar riff is constant and the drums here is cool, simple and functional. The female vocals are heard for the first time on this album at this moment, as if they had a story to tell but I'm not entirely sure if they do. Beautiful guitar riffs.

06. Anatema, Czyli Moje Obsesja

This intro is totally Pink Floyd, guitar and keyboard perfectly alike, Wish You Were Here (the album) made school, you know. The guitars full of harmonics and somehow very heavy. By the half of the song the band comes in in a melodious and beautiful melody full of details of keyboards and synthesizers.

07. Pętla Medialna

Almost an 'industral' sound, electronic rhythm and synthesizers, mark the beginning of the song. Is like as if they were workers at some factory, or claiming something. They sound a little bit like Dream Theater here.

08. Noel

After some light sounds the song is played in a broken time signature, but with melody. After a series of poems follows a heavier part, but short-lived. Then the drums accelerates but the sound itself does not. Vocalizations and a nice keyboard in the end.

09. '37

'37 begins with the hiss of an old LP and an orchestra, to give the impression of an old sound (maybe that's it that the name of the song refers, the year of 1937).

10. Medalion

A discreet percussion opens the track, followed by beautiful keyboard arpeggios, bass always deep, guitars up here and there, and the beautiful vocals. The song also has a lot of lines between his verses and instrumentals. And a beautiful guitar solo, melody and virtuosity. And a strange end.

11. Iris

Together with the strange end of the previous track a crazy space sound comes in, full of 'blips' and 'blops' of the synthesizer, a keyboard riff and syncopated to break the tension. I found a bit of Marillion here. After a brief verse ... surprise! Infernal silence of crickets and a lullaby. And stops the music with what started it, the old war orchestra.

12. Oczyszczenie

Excellent keyboard line, an extended melody, just thought it might be more madness after this open line, but this is the line of the band, instrumental tense / sad, with many spoken vocals.

13. Moje Mantry

The band closes the album with guitar melodies, those normally used by David Gilmour and with beautiful female vocals in the background.

This Polish and unknown band's a pleasant surprise, going along in the Neo Prog genre, but with a lot of influence of the 70's.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Abraxas certainly don't embarrass themselves with this swansong album which takes a rather harder and heavier approach to neo-prog than their previous albums - or, indeed, most other neo-prog acts at the time. Darker and murkier than the preceding two albums, 99's comparatively brief compositions (by prog standards) flow past almost without the listener noticing, immersing you in a mysterious netherworld of the band's creation at their best but unfortunately being a little forgettable at their worst.

Adam Łassa's vocal performance doesn't seem quite as compelling or immediate as on the previous albums, and some may question some aspects of the production (I think it's intentionally murky but I admit that it could just be murky), but aside from that the band's high standards are upheld throughout. Abraxas may not have have a particularly long and prolific career, but I think any band could look back on a back catalogue such as theirs with pride - they really never made an album which wasn't at least worth a listen. At the same time, I don't think they ever quite matched their excellent debut album.

Latest members reviews

3 stars An uber-smart band outsmarts themselves. Abraxas returned with their final album in 1999 and named it 99. And that is all I know about them. This and that they have split up and are legends in the Polish prog scene. I do not know their other albums. But I know their sound. A crispy clean so ... (read more)

Report this review (#455703) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Wednesday, June 1, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This was to be the last studio album by this Polish neo-prog group. It clearly withdraws a little from the rather pure neo-prog sounding predecessor album Centurie. Here the music is presented with a rougher edge. The guitarist is also much better on this album than on the previous one where his ... (read more)

Report this review (#41760) | Posted by geezer | Friday, August 5, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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