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AJALON

Symphonic Prog • United States


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Ajalon biography
AJALON progressive rock band, a three piece ensemble. The band is from Washington State in the USA. The band members are Randy George, who plays guitars, keyboards, and bass. He has worked with Neal Morse in the studio and on tour for the album "Testimony" and is currently working on a new secret project with him. Wil Henderson, the vocalist and lyricist also plays bass guitar, guitar, and various wind instruments, is the talented wordsmith for the band. Dan Lile, drummer and also various percussion instruments is the driving force with his unique and gifted playing ability.

The excellent first release from the band in 1996 is entitled "Light at the End of the Tunnel". The freshman debut showed off the bands talents and musicianship. If you heard the album, expect the new music to take you to new heights nearing perfection. If not, I highly recommend getting a copy and adding it to your collection.

The second release from AJALON called, "On the Threshold of Eternity". Appearing as guests on the album are some of the biggest names in progressive rock. Rick Wakeman, who plays keyboards for with super group, YES along withmany solo projects. Neal Morse, founder of SPOCK'S BEARD and now with a thriving solo career. Phil Keaggy, a brilliant guitarist, outstanding vocalist and songwriter, who formed GLASS HARP in the late 1960's and has many solo albums in his own right.

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On the Threshold of EternityOn the Threshold of Eternity
PROGROCK RECORDS 2005
Audio CD$11.77
$7.91 (used)
This Good PlaceThis Good Place
ProgRock Records 2009
Audio CD$7.58
$12.96 (used)
Light at the End of the TunnelLight at the End of the Tunnel
Import
Hope 1997
Audio CD$49.99
$49.98 (used)
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AJALON discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

AJALON top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.22 | 20 ratings
Light At The End Of The Tunnel
1996
2.95 | 35 ratings
On The Threshold Of Eternity
2004
3.25 | 26 ratings
This Good Place
2009

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AJALON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 On The Threshold Of Eternity by AJALON album cover Studio Album, 2004
2.95 | 35 ratings

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On The Threshold Of Eternity
Ajalon Symphonic Prog

Review by FieryEmblem

4 stars I have to say that I was very surprised to see such low rating for this album! It might not be very progressive, but I've always found many of the songs to be VERY catchy and pretty. Maybe it's the lack of originality that people don't like, or maybe it's mostly the Christian lyrics. I personally don't put any weight into lyrics, so that's not a problem for me.

I'd say that if you like accessible and VERY catchy light-prog, this album is for you! I don't usually like "simple" music, but songs like The Promised Land, Sword of Goliath and Holy Spirit Fire have always stayed in my head even though YEARS have gone between listening to this album. I can't help but sing along!

And then we have the epic closing track, On the Threshold of Eternity, which is at times VERY moving, more so than most epics composed by more popular prog bands. I don't like the word "underrated", but I'd still like to use it on this occasion!

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 This Good Place by AJALON album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.25 | 26 ratings

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This Good Place
Ajalon Symphonic Prog

Review by voliveira

4 stars 8/10

Well, this band only grow on me, and although this time I have understood that sound poppy integrate your overall sound (see the title track that closes the album), ale'm passages very Toto-esque (the instrumental Abstract Malady comes to mind), I can see that they matured throughout his career, becoming more complex.

That said, there are a lot of great special guests on This GoodPlace: Steve Hackett, Adrian Belew, Paul Gilbert, Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Phil Keaggy and Michael Manring. Wow! Not bad, huh? Despite that I really wanted to know the name of the female vocalist that stands as backing vocals on Lullaby of Bedlam and lead vocals on the epic Redemption. Coincidence or not, both songs are the best on the disc. The first is full of weight sustentadapor a strong theme and rather kick it with a stinging guitar and bass. And the second was what The Long Road Home and On The Threshold of Etenrity were not in their málbuns: an epic immaculate. One interesting thing: would Neal Morse and the other members of the Transatlantic allowed them "copiassem" the soil of All of the Above in this song? Because the guitar solo is very similar ...

4 stars.

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 On The Threshold Of Eternity by AJALON album cover Studio Album, 2004
2.95 | 35 ratings

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On The Threshold Of Eternity
Ajalon Symphonic Prog

Review by voliveira

4 stars 8/10

This band is only getting better and better, and I'm glad. Fans of Neal Morse / Spock 's Beard (like me) are not to be disappointed.

The sound is still a little poppy? Yes. keyboards are still the weak point? Yes (although our beloved Rick Wakeman - which is the "patron" of the band - offer a magnificent organ solo a la Roundabout here). But Ajalon has evolved in relation to their debut album. We have a more mature band, cohesive, intelligent - professing their faith through prog. I wanted there were more Christian bands in the genre ...

That is why I take every one I meet. Although I conclude that this album does not reach the point of a "masterpiece", is a wonderful work that deserves more prominence you have. It would be nice if they were better known and prolific - after all, look how much good stuff is here! My highlights are "Sword of Goliath", the genial "What Kind of Love" (i'm really in love for this song), "Forever I Am" and the great and modern closure "You and Me".

4 stars.

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 Light At The End Of The Tunnel by AJALON album cover Studio Album, 1996
2.22 | 20 ratings

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Light At The End Of The Tunnel
Ajalon Symphonic Prog

Review by voliveira

4 stars 7/10

Well, this was a surprise. And yes, it was better than I expected.

Like many, I came Ajalon by Randy George, best known for his work in solo career Neal Morse.Se you notice, both artists have some similarities in their music, and I'm not talking about the fact that they are Christians . Oh, and if you despise the band because they are Christians, please review their concepts of musical taste. Yes, I am a Christian, and support any Christian band that plays progressive rock and / or similar.

But I'm not giving my rating just for the "mercy" or something. Although, strangely, my first listening was superior to the others, this album still some fomra captivating. The sound is poppy and keyboards seem to have come out of the 80s, but this is a work worthy of attention than the best received here on the website.

3.5 stars, rounded up.

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 This Good Place by AJALON album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.25 | 26 ratings

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This Good Place
Ajalon Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 for sure

Ajalon is one of the progressive rock bands that are not so well treated, at least here, and I don't get it why, because have christian lyrics??, because are no so intresting, musicaly speaking as other symphonic prog bands??, I have no problems with both from above. Ajalon's third album from 2009 named This good place issued at Prog rock records is another worthy album for me. In the same level with predecesor who I really like it, this on is no less intresting. Symphonic prog well performed with some fantastic pieces like instrumental Abstarct malady, great tune with excellent musicianship, nice keyboards passages and some good guitar parts, another highlight is Not man who sounds little bit like Spock's Beard but ok in the end and the longest track from the album Redemption, nearly 20 min of good progressive rock, sometimes remind me of Magenta, maybe because of femal singer and aswell some arrangements give that impression. Not a bad album at all in my opinion, I really like it, same as predecesor. 3.5 stars for this album. I don't know if this one is their best, I'm more into On The Threshold Of Eternity, but This good place is not far. A good band that needs a wider recognition, even for some listners the lyrics are the wall between them and the band.

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 Light At The End Of The Tunnel by AJALON album cover Studio Album, 1996
2.22 | 20 ratings

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Light At The End Of The Tunnel
Ajalon Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars No holy smoke without spiritual fire

The history of Ajalon goes back to 1994 when they started to write music together. In 1996, Rick Wakeman heard a demo tape and was impressed enough to sign the band to his own Christian record label Hope Records on which Ajalon released this debut album. Ajalon is a trio consisting of Randy George, Will Henderson and Dan Lile. While far inferior to their second album On The Threshold Of Eternity, Light At The End Of The Tunnel is a good, if somewhat immature, album. The strongly religious lyrics might turn some people off, but even me (who is a committed atheist) can look past this and enjoy the music for what it is. Anyone who is able to stand Neal Morse (who made a guest appearance on the band's next album) should have no problem with Ajalon.

What we have here is a set of fine, melodic but rather low key songs. The music is progressive but not in any way original. Female backing vocals and saxophones make discrete appearances in a couple of songs, but the focus is on acoustic and electric guitars, modern keyboards, bass, drums and male lead vocals.

While enjoyable throughout, it is hard to pick out any standout tracks. The music is good but not very memorable. I would recommend starting with the very good On The Threshold Of Eternity.

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 On The Threshold Of Eternity by AJALON album cover Studio Album, 2004
2.95 | 35 ratings

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On The Threshold Of Eternity
Ajalon Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Ajalon is one of the progressive rock bands from USA that as far as I see are very underrated and very low rated aswell, I realy don't get this. On the threshold of eternity is their second offering from 2005 issued at Progrock records. Well, this not a bad album at all, realy I can't find any weak moments here, I'm not complaing about lyrics, musicaly is more then ok so to me is a winner. Symphinic prog is all about here, well performed, well sung, with at least 4 solid pieces, the instrumental opening track Anthem of the seventh day, nice flute and keybords, Sword of Goliath, What kind of love and the last two lenghty pieces. Nice arrangements, the guitarist and keybordist aswell Rand George done a good job, he was invited in many projects colaborating with Portnoy, with Neal Morse, ets, a gifted musicins who knew how to make an album full of good tracks, from more mellow passages with acustical atmosphere to a more up tempo parts. Some "giant" guests from prog music are featuring on this album, like Rick Wakeman, Nea Morse or Phil Keaggy. Musicaly is a mix of comlicated symphonic parts with more acustic and mellow parts, the result is almost great, smooth and well performed. I realy can't find those bad moments that almost all reviewers found. I like aswell the voice of Wil Henderson is warm, and has a very pleasent tone. So, not among the best synphonic prog acts you might listen, but for sure is not a bad album at all, desearve from me no less then 3 stars, 3.5 stars is much better. Enjoyble from start to finish, instrumental passages are well executed and full of intristing parts.

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 On The Threshold Of Eternity by AJALON album cover Studio Album, 2004
2.95 | 35 ratings

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On The Threshold Of Eternity
Ajalon Symphonic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 'On The Threshold Of Eternity' - Ajalon (4/10)

Let me first say that Ajalon's debut was awful. In this case, 'awful' is meant to apply to virtually every aspect of that album; everything from the sappy Christian lyrics to the production reeked of amateurism and the throwaway quality that bad bands around the world all aspire for. With that in mind, please note that my rating of Ajalon's second album 'On The Threshold Of Eternity' may be influenced due in part to the element of my surprise. While Ajalon haven't gone through an extreme makeover in the years between the first and this sophomore album, there is enough of a change here to make me reconsider a few of the nasty things I said about them earlier. First, 'On The Threshold Of Eternity' sees the band return to the studio after a number of years, and it is clear that they have picked up some much needed professional skill in their time off. Next, Ajalon's work this time around may not be so much more ambitious, but the combination of a better execution and interesting guest musicians make the album something of a recommendation, if only a numbingly lukewarm one.

As the debut 'Light At The End Of The Tunnel' outlined, Ajalon is a Christian band, and they accord themselves and their lyrics to that belief system. The debut was wrought with sappy Christian apologetics, with vocalist Will Henderson most typically found wailing about how his friends didn't understand his faith. The Christian lyrics come back again, and this time, they're more confident than ever. As a vehemently unreligious person, it is difficult to find anything to enjoy about the lyrics, particularly due to the fact that the religious concepts of salvation and redemption that Ajalon are dealing with here are approached fairly literally. While the lyrics certainly haven't improved much from the debut, virtually every other aspect of Ajalon's work has enjoyed an upgrade.

Most notably, the production has gone through a world of change. No longer do the guitar tones sound like they were plucked out of Radio Disney, and the recording has been given a depth that one could only have asked for on the debut. In essence, the sound of Ajalon has risen to be more or less on par with most other symphonic prog acts. In the time between the debut and 'On The Threshold', there have also been changes in the songwriting. Instead of shamelessly following the footsteps of Marillion, Ajalon are now more focused on paying tribute to the symphonic work of Spock's Beard now ex-frontman Neal Morse. It's not necessarily an improvement, but the uplifting tone is more fitting for the band's spiritual themes. The songwriting sounds less laughable, although now Ajalon has fallen into the trap of having a fairly static sound throughout the album; there are few retreats from the melodic, chorus-centric songwriting. The instrumental opener 'Anthem Of The Seventh Day' is an exception to this, and it starts the album off on a very strong, Celtic- inspired note. The two epics here lack cohesion, but they're also graced with a few moments that inspire thoughts of vintage prog.

Incidentally, Rick Wakeman of Yes fame gives a cameo here, as well as none other than Neal Morse himself. While this pair could have done wonders to boost Ajalon's sound, they are used fairly scarcely, and despite their star quality and talent, they are only given the spotlight for a bleak moment before Ajalon takes over again. 'On The Threshold Of Eternity' is not a good album, but it's not disappointing either. In many ways, I've been pleasantly surprised by what they have done here, yet despite their monumental improvements in some areas, the band's lackluster songwriting and overbearing Christian themes will be the death of them.

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 Light At The End Of The Tunnel by AJALON album cover Studio Album, 1996
2.22 | 20 ratings

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Light At The End Of The Tunnel
Ajalon Symphonic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

1 stars 'Light At The End Of The Tunnel' - Ajalon (2/10)

Yet another album I have found as a result of my search for hilariously bad records, Ajalon's debut 'Light At The End Of The Tunnel' was recommended to me on the basis that it was the worst symphonic prog rock album ever made. Naturally, I would reserve my declaration of such a prestigious title until after I had thoroughly digested the album. Now, while I have not yet become an expert on this style of progressive music, Ajalon's debut sits at the bottom of the barrel. 'Light At The End Of The Tunnel' is equal parts sappy sweetness and shallow depth, not unlike a child's birthday party at the local swimming pool. What may have been conceived as an earnest tribute to the work of Marillion and Yes comes out as a ridiculous example of everything that can go wrong with the style, and like everything else that's too sweet, I end up feeling sick by the end.

Ajalon's sound comes off as a bleak budget rendition of some of prog rock's most legendary and enduring acts, specifically Marillion. The classic bands like Yes and Genesis are still loved today because they were able to merge complex instrumentation with warm emotions. Ajalon cannot be blamed for the sake of not trying to tackle that goal, but the music comes across as being neither complex, or particularly moving. The band's sound and skill would not sound out of place at a rec centre or church recital. The musicians are not necessarily poor, but the performance sounds one-dimensional and there seems to have been little to no effort made to give the instruments and interesting sound. The basic clean guitar tone sounds like it could have been plucked out of a teenage pop song and the keyboards are a worse offender, sounding more like a ridicule of prog rock, rather than an honest representation of it. Whether its the soggy dramatic dialogues of the final 'epic', or the Radio Disney-worthy stinker 'To Fly With You', there aren't many strengths riding on the side of 'Light At The End Of The Tunnel'.

Vocalist Will Henderson's performance is probably the strongest aspect of the band. While his voice falls flat a few times too often, he bears a resemblance to Marillion vocalist Steve Hogarth, and he is able to lead most of these songs on passably. The lyrics are another matter altogether. Ajalon makes it blatantly clear that they are a Christian band, and their lyrics seem geared solely to either appease the religion's followers, or haplessly convert godless prog fans. If Ajalon's debut was the one representative that Christianity had to spread their influence, I would take immediately to donning the corpse paint and burning down churches. As one sappy spoken word section puts it so delicately, Ajalon "is destined for mediocrity".

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 This Good Place by AJALON album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.25 | 26 ratings

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This Good Place
Ajalon Symphonic Prog

Review by Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Ajalon: This Good Place [2009]

Rating: 5/10

My time with Ajalon's music has been an upsetting experience. I had high expectations for this band after hearing Randy George's bass work on Neal Morse's solo material, but they have turned out to be an enormous disappointment. The debut, Light at the End of the Tunnel, was an abominable piece of work replete with dull musicianship and painful songwriting. The follow-up, On the Threshold of Eternity, was a vast improvement, but that isn't saying much; while the album had some solid moments, it was also filled to the brim with horribly cheesy mainstream Christian-rock. In the wake of these two albums, I approached Ajalon's third effort This Good Place with the lowest of expectations. I was pleasantly surprised. It's quite clear that these three musicians have developed significantly during the five years since On the Threshold of Eternity was released. This Good Place is no masterpiece, but it is leaps and bounds above the sub-par material Ajalon were producing beforehand.

Although there are some standout tracks here, they don't appear until around twenty minutes in. The only notable thing about the opener "Love Is a Dream" is how mediocre it is. The songwriting here is incredibly lazy, particularly the vocal lines. "Nickels and Dimes, Marbles and Stones" is an unremarkable piece of melodic -rock with more inorganic vocal melodies, and the dry pseudo-hard-rock of "Not Man" fails to improve things. The album does an absolute 180 with "Abstract Malady." This is an excellent Dream Theater style instrumental featuring great musicianship all around. The keys and guitar play off exceptionally well, and the whole track features great melodies and motifs. The absence of Henderon's marginal vocals also helps. "Lullaby of Bedlam" is another strong track. The DT influence continues here, with great melodic guitar work and solid synth lines. The vocals even manage to sound decent. After these two strong tracks, we have the nineteen-minute epic, "Redemption." The majority of the vocals on this piece feature a female guest vocalist. This woman's voice isn't particularly special, but it is certainly better than Henderson's. This is a good prog epic, but not a great one. The first section is quite jazzy and features some good guitar work. The Celtic-themed middle section is a bit dull despite some enjoyable synths. The last seven minutes, while good, fail to be suitably climatic. Overall, though, this is an enjoyable opus. Things die down with the closing title track, which is nothing more than an unremarkable ballad.

This Good Place has given me a new level of respect for Ajalon. There are some great moments here, particularly the superb "Abstract Malady." However, the amateurish elements that have always plagued Ajalon's sound are still present here, albeit to a lesser extent. There is a coating of artificiality that covers this whole album, regardless of the musical quality. I feel little passion at work here. This is the fundamental problem with Ajalon's music; it fails to engage the listener on an emotional level. It's hard to get excited when listening to an album like This Good Place. It's inoffensive, but that's not enough to make it special. Still, the band has undeniably improved on this release. At this rate, their ninth album will be a masterpiece.

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