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ABASH

Heavy Prog • Italy


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Abash biography
ABASH is an Italian band from Puglia that was formed in 1998 on the basis of the interest for a "new wave" of Salento's ethnic and popular music (like Tarante and Pizzica). Looking for their own musical identity, Abash tried to blend African obsessive and tribal rhythms and Oriental melodies with Italian traditional folklore and rock. The result is a very peculiar and atypical "Mediterranean progressive rock". Their first album "Salentu e Africa" was released in 2000 and was self-produced. The second one "Spine e malelingue" was released in 2004 for the label "Rai Trade" and here the progressive influences are even more accentuated. This album gave them the chance to perform live all over Italy. Their third album "Madri senza terra" was released in 2006 for the label "Il Manifesto" and distributed in Italy by the chain of bookshops Feltrinelli. The present line up feratures the "smile and soul of the band" Annarita Luceri (vocals); Maurilio Gigante (bass and vocals); Luciano Toma (piano and keyboards); Luciano Treggiari (percussion); Paolo Colazzo (drums) and Daniele Stefāno (guitars).



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
accepted by the hard..err.. heavy prog team. Kudos to Andrea P. for finding this gem of a group.. and all his hard work for the site.



Discography:

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AbashAbash
Import
Dragon 2010
Audio CD$18.99
$4.99 (used)
Madri Senza TerraMadri Senza Terra
Aerostella
Audio CD$9.95
$32.96 (used)
JazzJazz
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Dragon 2010
Audio CD$118.81

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ABASH discography


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

3.52 | 5 ratings
Salentu e Africa
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Spine e malelingue
2004
4.17 | 18 ratings
Madri senza terra
2006

ABASH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ABASH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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ABASH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Madri senza terra by ABASH album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.17 | 18 ratings

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Madri senza terra
Abash Heavy Prog

Review by Nightfly
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Madri Senza Terra, released in 2006 is my first encounter with Italians Abash but I'm very pleased to have discovered them. They're a six piece comprising of the typical bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals and drums line-up with the addition of a dedicated percussionist, not too common in prog bands.

The most striking thing about Abash is the beautiful vocals of Annarita Luceri, whose pure and emotive voice with a considerable range to boot really marks her out as something special. She soars over the music which mixes neo prog touches, rock and metal with not only Italian folk, but Arabic influences as well making Madri Senza Terra quite an original album. The songs capture beautiful acoustic elements like on Marān Athā to heavier pieces such as Niuru Te Core. The addition of a dedicated percussionist is made good use of and makes good sense to capture the rhythmic feel of the middle eastern influences, none more apparent than on Salente E Africa, whilst the drums drives things along, for the most part keeping it simple. Strong melodies reveal themselves but it took a few plays before they really took hold. Despite sitting in the heavy prog sub genre here on PA many of the guitar riffs are of a more metallic nature but the diversity of influences and musical styles excludes them from being considered a prog metal band.

The standard of musicianship is high on a consistently strong album that if anything improves in the second half with tracks like Otranto 14 Agosto 1480, with some strong instrumental interplay and Annarita really soaring to some breathtaking highs, setting a high benchmark that for the most part they manage to attain.

Although released in 2006 Madri Senza Terra was re-released in 2010 so should not be too hard to track down and it's well worth the effort.

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 Madri senza terra by ABASH album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.17 | 18 ratings

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Madri senza terra
Abash Heavy Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I was drawn to this band when I read Marty McFlyīs review of this album. it seems quite good, and I was intrigued by the strange combination of Italian prog, heavy guitars (bordering the metal) and arabic rhythms, but thatīs exactly what you get here. Abash comes from Puglia, Italy, and this part of the country might have a strong arab influence over the years, for their music sounds quite natural and convincing, even if the combination seems odd. But it does work. Madri Senza Terra is their third offering and shows the group in great shape and inspiration.

While the instrumental parts are very effective and obviously having excellent musicians, the bandīs strongest point is their singer Annarita Luceri: her voice is simply beautiful, strong and capable of singing virtually everything, from slow poignant ballads to the heaviest rockers without losing its beauty and uniqueness. A great find. Of course all of that would not work as a whole if they didnīt come up with good songs to match their brilliant musicanship, but fortunatly they are able to write very good stuff. Not only all the tunes are very good, but quite varied too, showting how versatile they can be both in songwriting and in perfoming the material.

The mixture of several sources is very well balanced, with further elements like folk and a little jazz added here and there for good measure. But the fine melodies, the eastern rhythms, the crunching guitars and prog keyboards are the key to understand their sound. Of course Luceriīs voice steals the show every time she opens her mouth. However, their instrumental prowness should not be taken for granted, enhanced even further with the help of the right production and a very strong tracklist. There are no real highlights nor downers, but if you want just one song to show all their potential in one, then go straight to their second track Niuru Te Core. It quite sums up their proposal in just five minutes of power and beauty.

Conclusion: a very nice surprise!! One of the most interesting albums I heard this year and a great promise in the already strong italian prog scene. Very original and still very familiar. Great tunes and nice perfomances. If youīre a fan of melodic prog 9with a little edge on it), then you cannot miss this one.

Rating: 4.5 stars. Highly recommended!!!

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 Madri senza terra by ABASH album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.17 | 18 ratings

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Madri senza terra
Abash Heavy Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars Wow !!! Abash's third album really has this wow factor in abundance.

Abash was/hopefully still is a band who combines RPI with heavy prog, African and Arabic rhythms. They are in this respect a much softer and a female vocals version of the likes of Myrath and Orphaned Land. Well, not exactly copycats, but the Middle East music comes thick and fast on this album.

The instruments used here is acoustic and electric guitars, Hammond organs, piano and other keyboards, bass, drums and some local instruments. The basis though in this music is a mix of Italian pop/rock, folk rock, heavy prog and RPI. That and Annarita Luceri's excellent vocals. Her vocals fits the music like a hand in a glove. She is in her own right a superb vocalist. That makes this music both pastoral, very symphonic, a bit heavy and folky.

The music too is superb. Most of the songs here are superb with the five minutes long Niuru Te Core as one of the better Italian songs I have ever heard. My only gripe is the lack of one or two really excellent songs. But besides of that; this album hits every base.

This is a truly superb album which deserves a lot more attention than it currently gets.

4.5 stars

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 Salentu e Africa by ABASH album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.52 | 5 ratings

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Salentu e Africa
Abash Heavy Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Female vocals lead Italian prog.

Abash is a new name to me and a new found small gemstone in my view. This is their debut album. To this date, they have released three albums.

The album starts with some spoken words which is from Africa. The theme here is supposed to be Italy meets Africa. And indeed, Abash's sound is very much somewhere between Africa, the Middle East and Italy. The lines drawn meets somewhere above Cyprus, I guess...... But let's not get too much bogged down in maths and geometrical structures.

Much of the first half of this album is spent somewhere in Northern Africa. The title track Salentu e Africa is a good example. But the music also takes a detour to England and the neo-prog scene there and also gets a tinge of AOR. In short; this album is a pizza where all kinds of meat and vegetables is put onto the base which is a mix of prog metal and neo-prog. The basis is a mix of Dream Theater and Magenta, I would say. The musicians and the vocalists (both male and females) is doing a good job.

The quality is very good throughout with a lot of interesting melody lines and rhythm structures. My only gripes is the lack of a couple of killer tracks, althoug the title track is a great track. This is an impressive debut album from a band which deserves a lot more attention and respect than they have got so far.

3.5 stars

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 Salentu e Africa by ABASH album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.52 | 5 ratings

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Salentu e Africa
Abash Heavy Prog

Review by progadicto

4 stars Really interesting music bet by this Italian band leaded by female vocals and full of powerful and epic moments.

Perhaps the music is half way between hard rock and heavy metal, the tracks are totally enjoyable for "classic" prog fans because their solid rhythmical sections, awsome vocals and impressive guitar solos. The music is very atmospehrical because the constant references to african rhythms based on percussions. So, we are in front an album that sounds like many other bands of the heavy prog genre but with some elements (such as the constant interest in epic sections) that makes a big difference creating a singular sound.

Some of the highlights:

-Salentu E Africa: Nice piece with heavy riffs and proggy keyboards. Very powerful and raw.

-Pizzica Mascia: The more jazzy and african influenced track.

-Simu Pacci: The most quiet but proggy track of the album. Great epic moments.

-Scanzala: Another well done track full of jazzy and prog sections with some nice atmospherical moments.

-14 agosto 1480 (Otranto) I and II: Such a pair of songs full of epical moments and and astonishing grand finale...

4* to incite all of you to listen this adictive release...

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 Madri senza terra by ABASH album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.17 | 18 ratings

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Madri senza terra
Abash Heavy Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars Quite a positive support of this album by previous reviewer Andrea attracted my attention. And what I heard pleased me. Even it took me many listens before I was able to write anything. But this is typical for RPI music (simply music from Italy connected to this, because this is not exactly RPI as we know it, however nor it is exactly Heavy Prog), I'm impressed, I'm glad by the discovery of so good music, but I'm unable to find words.

It's like something in this type of music was preventing me from writing and forcing me just to listen to beauty sound of it.

Maybe it's the part of this magic. Well, this music is big mix of many different ingredients. Mediterranean sounds (which for amateur in this matter like me means easily Arabian-Middle Eastern) with keyboards driven classic Prog from region of Italy. Emotional, melodic and ever- changing (so much that it's still interesting, even it's 4th listen in a row).

4(+), it's hard to be interesting, when there is so many music wanting to attract your attention. But within their competitors, Abash manages to stay almost at the top.

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 Madri senza terra by ABASH album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.17 | 18 ratings

BUY
Madri senza terra
Abash Heavy Prog

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Abash is an Italian band from Puglia that was formed in 1998. Looking for their own musical identity, they tried to blend African obsessive and tribal rhythms and Oriental melodies with Italian traditional folklore (especially Salento's ethnic and popular music like Taranta and Pizzica) and rock. The result is a very peculiar and atypical "Mediterranean progressive rock". "Madri senza terra" (Mothers without land) is their third album and was released in 2006 for the label "Il Manifesto". It's really a mature and interesting album, with a good artwork and a paper sleeve package... It's a kind of concept album where the character of "the mother" becomes a metaphor for love, peace, land, roots, tradition... On the cover are printed the following words: "The roots, the land, the mothers / It's there the spirit, the truer and deeper way of living / Pure instinct, perennial love, blood and sweat / Music from the heart without borders"...

The opener "Intro (Madri senza terra)" is a short track that features only an evocative melody sung without words by Annarita Luceri in a way that reminds me of Noa and an "exotic" recitative part that leads to the "heavier" "Niuru te core" (Dark heart) where you can appreciate the contrast between aggressive guitar parts and more relaxed moments, between the raw vocals of Maurilio Gigante and the beautiful melodic voice of Annarita singing the "poetry of a red sunset / red like blood "... The lyrics, in dialect, are about parents' love for their children in a dark and difficult world.

"Salentu e Africa" was the title track of Abash's first self-produced album and this is a new powerful version... Here every now and again the voice of Annarita reminds me of Teresa De Sio while the song has a strong "ethnic flavour" with Mediterranean rhythms and "Plato and Marrakech" inside the heart. Words and music invite you to "jump and beat on the drum"...

"Madri" (Mothers) is one of my favourite tracks on this album... The beautiful voice of Annarita sings "I'm your strength, your spirit / your memory, your coherence / I'm your mother, your root / your shelter, your comforter... With my voice I sing a war anthem to the world / That does not listen to me and dies / swept away by the waves...". In the beginning the melody reminds me a little bit of Mecano's "Hijo de la luna" but then the music develops in an original way and the band showcase a great musicianship with keyboards and guitars in the forefront.

"La corsa di Assan" (The run of Assan) is about an African boy running away from his land animated by a "thirst of hope and justice". Tribal rhythms and evocative keyboards passages here are intertwined with a sweet lullaby giving the image of a desperate dream... "Here I am / Flying over the sea / Like a black angel / With spread out wings / Over your cities and your dirty miseries / I will blow my wrath / I'm the black power / Africa won't lend its hand anymore / And my dream will be a land / saved by the cry of God..."

"Canto alle nuvole" (Song to the clouds) is a song of universal love and hope, hope that "poetry and love will change the world"... On an evocative musical carpet the voice of Annarita sings "I will be the music for your song to the clouds / Fire that melts the snow-fields / With words that nobody will never listen to anymore..."

"Oltre" (Beyond) is delicate and sweet, featuring good harmony vocals inviting you to listen to the dreams and the silences of the night...

"Otranto 14 agosto 1480" is another great track with strong traditional influences... The lyrics, in dialect, are about an attack of the Saracen pirates against the city of Otranto in 1484 and the music tries to describe it.

"Marān Athā" (Come, lord Jesus) features a delicate guitar arpeggio and flute... Lyrics are an Aramaic prayer. Excellent the instrumental finale...

"Non gridate pių" (Do not scream anymore) was inspired by "Il dolore", a poem by Giuseppe Ungaretti... It's a mix of modern sounds, heavy rhythms and dreamy vocal passages... "Stop killing the deaths! Do not scream anymore / If you want to listen to them / If you hope to live!..."

"Scale fino al cielo" (Stairs to the sky) is another great song of peace and hope with a strong Oriental flavour featuring a good "heavy" guitar work...

On whole "Madri senza terra" is a very good album, without really weak moments. Abash are not stuck in the past and their personal way to blend progressive rock and ethnical influences is absolutely interesting... This work is a must have if you want to experience something musically fresh, full of poetry and an amazing female voice...

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Thanks to micky for the artist addition.

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