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CRYING OF THE WHALES

Abarax

Crossover Prog


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Abarax Crying Of The Whales album cover
3.26 | 42 ratings | 12 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Crying Of The Whales Part I (10:08)
2. Journey's End (7:32)
3. Whale Massacre (12:34)
4. Part Of Evolution (3:09)
5. Nature's Voice (5:46)
6. Point Of No Return (6:21)
7. All These Walls (8:37)
8. Crying Of The Whales Part II (7:19)

Total Time: 61:26

Track list of Promo version (2005):

1. Crying Of The Whales Part I (11:12)
2. Tears Of The Whales (2:02)
3. Salty Sting (2:42)
4. The Journey (5:53)
5. Journey's End (6:53)
6. Whale Massacre (13:11)
7. Part Of Evolution (3:09)
8. Nature's Voice (5:46)
9. Point Of No Return (6:21)
10. All These Walls (8:36)
11. Crying Of The Whales Part II (7:18)

Total Time: 73:03

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- André Blaeute / vocals, acoustic guitar, e-bow
- Dennis Grasekamp / lead guitar, bass guitar, drums
- Howard Hanks / guitar, spoken words, lyrics
- Udo Grasekamp / keyboards, synthesizer, programming

Additional musicians:
- André Grasekamp / bass guitar (1, 8)
- Bernd Eenhuis / additional guitar (1, 8)

Releases information

CD GFT-Cyclops #: CYCL 153 (2006)
The band states:
A "rock music fantasy" describing the imaginative truth about the whales and the reasons for their existence. After nearly 3 years of continuously interrupted research and never ending mind games we came up with this seemingly quite unequivocal thesis. The further our project advanced the clearer it became and so did the music to underplay our suggestions. Whether or not true, significant or insignificant, we thought it was the right topic and the right time. We hope you care and enjoy

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Crying of the WhalesCrying of the Whales
Import
Cyclops Records 2008
Audio CD$33.40
$36.35 (used)

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ABARAX Crying Of The Whales ratings distribution


3.26
(42 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
21%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
38%
Good, but non-essential (26%)
26%
Collectors/fans only (14%)
14%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

ABARAX Crying Of The Whales reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The subject of this CD reminds me of the album Flossenengel by fellow Germans Novalis. On that CD you can listen to genuine whale sounds, very impressive and what a shame the human race is still so cruel towards these wonderful mammals! But back to the music, before I become too emotional, this CD is mainly based upon wonderful, often compelling guitarwork (lots of great soli) with strong hints from David Gilmour. No surprise because the band mentions Pink Floyd as their main influence. The keyboards sounds pleasant, the vocals are OK, the rhythm-section does a decent job, my only negative remark concerns the compositions: these sound a bit too similar but in general Abarax has delivered a fine debut-CD with lots of good progrock moments.

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#72317) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 19, 2006

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Whale meat again

Abarax is a side project of a band called A TASTE OF TIMELESS (ATOT), who also make excellent prog and prog influenced music. I came across ATOT and Abarax on the now defunct MP3.COM (not the current site of that name) where many of their songs were available in full , a time of writing samples of their music plus the occasional full track are still available on the bands' own websites.

"Crying of the whales" is a concept album which "describes the imaginative truth about the whales and the reasons for their existence". If this sounds a little corny, the band have at least largely avoided the clichéd use of whale sounds and sonar pulses (although they are there occasionally!).

Musically, Pink Floyd (in particular the guitar sound of David Gilmour), are by far the strongest of the band's influences, although they do acknowledge the inspiration of a number of other prog bands. The female lead vocals also offer similarities to the music of Mostly Autumn, another band who wear their Pink Floyd influences on their sleeves.

The album is made up of a number of feature tracks, interspersed with shorter, generally more commercial songs. The opening "Crying of the whales, part 1" is an 11 minute epic with spoken narrative conveying an ecological message, strong melodies, and a wonderful long guitar solo. The track title is reprised at the end of the album in a similar way to "Shine on you crazy diamond" on "Wish you were here".

"Whale Massacre" at 13 minutes, is the longest track. After a solo violin intro, we are presented with a dramatic narrative spoken from a whale's perspective, including emotive statements such as "you kill for joy". The choruses have a requiem feel, the sadguitar being reminiscent of "Dead London" from "War of the worlds". About midway through the track, a more distinctive rhythm kicks in, the harmonic chorus leading to another fine long guitar piece. "All these walls" is the other lengthy piece, the guitar work once again being the dominant feature.

Of the shorter tracks, "The journey" has an ambient Oldfield/Enya feel, "Journey's end" is a powerful ballad with yet more superb guitar, and "Nature's voice" is a commercial song with a more orthodox rock backing.

While the music of Abarax, and indeed A Taste of Timeless will never win any awards for originality, they do make excellent music with strong prog influences, and highly competent musicianship.

Recommended.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#75841) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 22, 2006

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars True symphonic German band. Very ecological (remember Don't Kill The Whale ?). Main theme of their album is the defense of the whales.

Mixing politics and prog rock does not happen that much which is a good thing I believe. But as long as the concern is mother nature I see nothing wrong in doing so.

It is also a major point of interest in Germany (not the whales but environment in general). The suite "Crying Of The Whales" (two parts for a total of more than 18 minutes) is very melodic and at times "spacey" (reminds me often of Land's End).

Second part has an intro à la "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" (you would agree that there are worse references, right ?). It is the most accomplish and the best track here. The spacey moments are present as well in the mini-suite "The Journey - Journey's End". Same Land's End (early period) influences.

Vocals are not great but above average for a German band although this problem really arises in the short tracks "The Tears of the Whales" and "Salty Sting". Text is more read that sung. The longest track "Whale Massacre" is quite emotional and pessimistic. Shall we really let that happen ? Wonderful guitar solo to close the number.

Same applies to "Nature's Choice" with good vocals as well. "Point of No Return" is the most rocky song. Kansas like (not only due to its title). This is a well balanced track : instrumental & vocals perfectly combined. Same type of construction for "All These Walls" : mellow vocal intro that leads to a brilliant guitar solo. This is symphonic at his best. Maybe lacking of personality but still a very good first effort.

Four stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#104613) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions
3 stars We are here to share - so do beware ...

This ABARAX debut trys to tell the imaginative truth about the whales. The band needed 'two years of research and never ending mind games' to realize an ambitious concept with suitable lyrics and booklet pictures. So it is a flaming appeal for the protection of Mother Earth and especially the whales. The majority of the slowtempo songs is well composed and arranged with excellent vocals and guitar work - sometimes very Gilmour like. They are in a mood as if they had accompanied the whales across the ocean - combined with samples and ambient soundscapes.

The title song is to point out - split in two sections - a nice relaxed song with wonderful guitar playing. Part 1 offers a breathtaking outro introduced by the crying of the whales - excellent! 'We must live together like a man and wife' - Part 2 contains a spoken word message and closes with a reminiscence to 'Echoes'. Whale massacre' - the longest track - has a depressive atmosphere depending on the story. 'Part Of Evolution' is convincing me with the combination of a hard rock/metal guitar at the beginning followed by a simple text refrain and space/psychedelic keyboard and guitar - very good. 'Natures voice' is a nice ballad and 'Point of no return' differs to the other songs because it is a rocking piece.

'Crying of the whales' refers to Pink Floyd but has its own unique style. Recommended to fans of calm space/psychedelic or symphonic rock music - 3.5 stars.

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Send comments to Rivertree (BETA) | Report this review (#113191) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, February 22, 2007

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
3 stars A few days ago in the Forum we were talking about non original bands and while some members included most of the Symphonic new bands, I insisted that this particularity happened only in a couple of bands that almost cloned bands from the golden era, well ABARAX falls in this behavior on some songs.

The similarity and influence of PINK FLOYD is undeniable, some tracks as the opener are practically cloning, but this doesn't take a bit of merit to The Crying of the Whales all their lack of originality is compensated by their excellent musicianship, intelligent and sensitive lyrics plus undeniable technical skills.

The album starts with The Crying of the Whales, if I didn't knew this album is played by ABARAX, I could swear David Gilmour is in the guitar, but the similarities don't stop there, even when the vocals are absolutely unique and the massive use of Mellotron reminds me more of GENESIS, the spirit of PINK FLOYD is present all around, even the drumming is absolutely reminiscent of Nick Mason.

But the important issue is that the music is excellent and I can't enjoy more this initial eleven minutes of good Progressive Rock.

Tears of the Whales is much more dramatic than the previous track, the sad piano and nostalgic vocals could take tears from the eyes of most listeners, very good song even when extremely nostalgic.

Salty Sting is a very strange song,.with distorted vocals, sound effects weird chorals and fantastic organ that goes in crescendo until it morphs into a soft piano section with bird chirping and sounds of waves, honestly too New Agey for my taste.

The Journey begins with a synth and piano very sad intro, seems that due to the tragedy of the concept they have the desire to depress us, but it's still a nice song, this time with a strong Vangelis (New Age era) influence, and as in his case, don't expect dramatic variations, except for an electronic passage at the end, better than the previous one

Journey's End starts with whales crying and a tense subtle melody provided by a Gilmouresque guitar and organ, after this intro the again sad vocals enter ad begging for help, the chorus work is very nice and the PINK FLOYD oriented drums add the final touch to a beautiful ballad. The track ends with a strong guitar solo that sounds like taken from Wish you Were Here.

The tragic Whale Massacre starts with a very depressive violin intro and a very descriptive narration, the Neo Classical oriented chorus and organ add more dramatics to the already sad atmosphere, atmosphere enhanced by another slow Gilmour oriented guitar solo. Yes, every person with feelings suffers with the massacre of the whales, but we buy an album to enjoy it, not to feel guilty, and this is what ABARAX seem to pretend. The finale with organ and guitar is spectacular.

Part of Evolution begins with a distorted almost metallic guitar solo while an organ adds a baroque mood and sound effects add a special touch. I must be honest, by this point I'm totally depressed, this guys have talent, but require to be more versatile, we are not guilty of anything to be tortured with this extremely sad and repetitive music.

Natures Voice at last presents us a healthy change, even when the general atmosphere doesn't change too much, the music is far more vibrant, even though it's an AORIsh track, at least marks a change.

Point of No Return is a radical improvement, strong and full of energy, a bit of healthy pomp and a nice melody in the background, you can help a cause without taking the listener to suicide or simply take away the CD and never play it again.

All these Walls is a good song that practically summarizes everything we listened through the album , sad passages, vibrant sections,. good guitar and organ solos plus depressive vocals and leads us gently to the end with The Crying of the Whales Pt 2, more or less in the similar vein as the album opener but with less evident PPINK FLOYD references, a good closer.

Now, the album is pretty good despite it's flaws, which are lack of originality in certain passages, tracks that are too repetitive and excessive does of depression, in my case I collaborate with many animal protection groups and I'm part of the anti bullfight group, but music is my relax, not a vehicle to make me feel guilty and depressed, a little bit of energy wouldn't harm the whale's cause, by the contrary, would help it gaining more adepts.

Three stars for a good but repetitive and not so original album, due to the fact that there's no 2.5 stars option, because I believe that would be closer to my impression of the music.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#189935) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Review by progaeopteryx
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I've tried to give this quite a few spins in the CD player, but each time it comes up too short. The concept is a good one. In this case it's about our slaughter of the whales. So, it's partly an environmental and political message. The other part of this concept has to do with the warning that nature will get even with us because of our slaughtering of the whales. This is where the concept seems like it is on less solid ground, not that I am against nature for doing this. We deserve a lot of slaps on the wrist for many of our wrongdoings on this planet. I was often reminded of the Star Trek IV movie which also dealt with a similar subject.

Probably the biggest problem I have with this album is the music. Abarax is clearly inspired by Pink Floyd (the liner notes even thank them!), but they don't take a Pink Floyd-like foundation and build upon it. Instead, it sounds more like a "poor man's Pink Floyd." The music isn't interesting and it plods along at the same pace almost throughout the whole album. They did catch me with the first six minutes of the first song, but as it reached the last four minutes, they lost me. And lost me they did for the remainder of the album. What this album needs is a good kick in the pants, both musically and lyrically. In the end, it sounds amateurish.

I like the message. I thought it could have been written better, much better. The music just doesn't catch my attention and they need better "whale song" samples (like on ELO's The Whale).

Sorry, only worthy of two stars in my humble opinion.

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Send comments to progaeopteryx (BETA) | Report this review (#303138) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, October 10, 2010

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars ABARAX are a band out of Northern Germany who play in the PINK FLOYD style ("Division Bell") in fact in the liner notes they thank "PINK FLOYD for inspirations and a music style we miss so much". The theme of this record is the whale and how man seems bent on destroying it's existance. I have to say that I love the first three tracks on here, the atmosphere and soaring guitar sound so good. The second half of the album has these more straightforward songs that do little for me.

"Crying Of The Whales Part I" has lots of atmosphere with a beat and soaring guitar.Vocals join in after a minute as themes are repeated over this 10 minute track. It ends in a spacey manner. "Journeys End" opens with whale sounds as synths then guitar join in.Vocals before 2 minutes. Drums after 3 minutes then the guitar comes to the fore when the vocals stop before 5 minutes. "Whale Massacre" opens with violin as these solemn vocals join in. Guitar takes over with atmosphere. It kicks in after 6 minutes with vocals and drums.The guitar solos after 9 minutes as the vocals stop.The guitar becomes passionate after 10 1/2 minutes. Nice.

"Part Of Evolution" has a spacey start and vocals join in before 1 1/2 minutes. "Natures Voice" is one I can't get into especially when the vocals and organ lead before a minute. It does get better though. "Point Of No Return" opens with crickets? and water sounds.The music kicks in quickly, vocals too.This reminds me of AYREON. Not a fan. "All These Walls" has spoken words early and whale sounds as strummed guitar and vocals take over. It finally kicks in before 6 minutes. "Crying Of The Whales Part II" starts well with the atmosphere and random drum patterns. Spoken words and music follow 1 1/2 minutes in. Vocals followed by soaring guitar follows.

I did tire of the message here and felt the second half was much weaker than the first, but overall I liked this record.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#304105) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, October 14, 2010

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars Debut album and instantly jumping into ecological concept album ? Well, that's strange. Fortunately, I am not annoyed by it, I basically agree with the lyrics (slaughtering of seals is even more terrible), my only problem would be religious lyrics (especially strong ones, wink on Ajalon). Here, it doesn't matter. But as attention seeking they are, they fades & wears out quickly.

Pink Floyd influence is clear here, but as much as I don't like (hate would be too strong word) Division Bell, I like this album. For me, Crying of the Whales is more enjoyable than DB. Strong atmosphere in every track here, plenty of melody hooks scattered around the album, decent musicianship. CotW is not the best album, but as for combination of Prog (even if it sometimes sounds like "you heard that before") and more mainstream music (a lot of "jamming", choruses), its length, message and the whole feeling I get when listening it, this all forces me to break the line and give

5(-), fine example of Crossover Prog.

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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#549288) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
3 stars German band,formed in the small town Enger in North-Western Germany in 2003 by members of the group Taste Of Timeless.All being huge fans of the music of Pink Floyd and seeing no further releases by their favorite act,they decided to borrow elements from their style and create a band with a strong Floydian vibe.Coming up with a concept theme, after a couple of years of research around the existence of whales and some time to find an interested record label,they finally debuted in early 2006 with the ''Crying of the Whales'' album on Cyclops.

The PINK FLOYD influence is beyond evidence to say the least,from the crying DAVID GILMOUR-like guitars and the careful bass lines in the vein of ROGER WATERS to the long spacey synth explorations and the quite similar song structure.Even the vocals of singer/guitarist André Blaeute have a strong PINK FLOYD color.The musicianship of the band is good,without being extraordinary and, as said, with a definite Floydian approach.With a concept idea,which really helps the band,Abarax unfold their story through long and hypnotic electric guitar solos,plenty of space for cosmic synth-based soundscapes with also lots of powerful explosions,organ-smashed parts and symphonic passages.All this fine material is widely mixed with the lyrical parts of the album,completing the Floydian image of the band.Still Abarax remain far from anything original,just wanting to fullfill their dream of following their masters' steps.

If you are a dedicated fan of mid-70's PINK FLOYD,who is looking for more of the style,''Crying of the whales'' is the perfect album for you.Not an essential album for the rest of the prog audience,but Abarax play with heart,showcasing some nice talent both on instrumental parts and songwriting to make this album recommended.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#587447) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team
2 stars I have been listening lots of old things that I still have and re-listening my CDs too.

One of the albums that I didn't remember about is this one, Crying Of The Whales (2005) is one of them. This is the first album of the Germanic band Abarax.

I cannot say I liked it, it comes wrapped in all the Pink Floyd's The Division Bell (1994) trademarks that other 10.000 bands already did. And for my own part I never liked the original album anyway.

Far from being anything original and far, far away from being any essential work. Go for the original instead, even not being that good too.

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Send comments to ProgShine (BETA) | Report this review (#748869) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, May 04, 2012

Latest members reviews

5 stars Excellent. That is all I have to say. From the first chord, to the last one, magnificence. Crying Of The Whales, a track that reminds us of Shine On You Crazy Diamond, is linked to the last track (Crying of the whales Pt II), and can also be linked to the 2nd and 3rd tracks of the promo edit ... (read more)

Report this review (#293808) | Posted by TheOppenheimer | Sunday, August 08, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I would opt to give this a 2.5/5 rather than a 3 but I gave them the benefit of the doubt. Forward thinking enviornmental prog? If there isn't any other way to explain it this would have to be it. ABARAX seem to be at one with mother nature, or rather the whales. It makes for an interesting conce ... (read more)

Report this review (#44866) | Posted by Nacho220 | Tuesday, August 30, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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