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Lee Abraham - Distant Days CD (album) cover

DISTANT DAYS

Lee Abraham

 

Crossover Prog

3.90 | 82 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars Although Lee first came to prominence with the release of his second solo album 'View From The Bridge' in 2004, he is probably best known by many as being bassist with Galahad between 2005 and 2009, playing on 'Empires Never Last' and the live 'Resonance' DVD as well as numerous gigs. He released 'Idle Noise' with Steve Kingman in 2008, then followed that with 'Black and White' in 2009, since when he has been performing live as well as working with other artists. But after a gap of five years he is now back with his fourth solo release, 'Distant Days'. On this he is joined by Gerald Mulligan (Credo) on drums, and other members of his core live band Chris Harrison on guitars, Alistair Begg on bass/Chapman Stick and Rob Arnold on keyboards. Jon Barry and Simon Nixon added their guitar talents and Lee was delighted to welcome Robin Armstrong (Cosmograf) on acoustic guitar and Dave Phillips on backing vocals while he also had numerous other guests including Karl Groom (Threshold/Shadowland), Dec Burke (Darwin's Radio/Frost*/Brave New Sky/Solo), Marc Atkinson (Riversea/Nine Stones Close/Mandalaband/Solo), John Young (The John Young Band/Lifesigns) and Steve Thorne (Solo)

This is one of those albums where the writer wants the listener to really pay attention to the lyrics, which here deal with topics such as childhood, the oppression of Government authority and the cause of the recent global recession. As Lee says, "Some of the lyrics may sound heavy going, but I wanted to cover subjects that everyone could relate to, especially here in the UK. Recently, we have had a lot of scrutiny of our Government's behaviour and how it goes about governing us. I also take a look at the financial institutions that are also largely to blame for the recession we're just trying to sort out. But rest assured, there's happy stuff in there too!"

It kicks off with a mighty bang with the commercial prog metal of "Closing The Door", which mixes tempos and moods with plenty of strong guitars and swirling keyboards. In many ways this is a great opener as not only does it set a mood and a level of expectation, it also showcases many of Lee's ideas as although it is prog metal, there are times when it is strongly neo, while there is also room for a much more reflective element even though that can be tempered by a kick ass guitar solo. The use of different singers works well, and isn't the distraction that it can sometimes be, just because they all fit in so strongly together and there is always very much a band feel and direction as opposed to a 'just' a project.

One band that I kept being reminded of at different times when playing this was Asia, as not only are the harmonies spot on but there are loads of great hooks and the production is second to none. This just doesn't feel like an underground release on the artist's own label, but rather something that has had some serious money and time put into it. Closing number "Tomorrow Will Be Yesterday" is one of the two epics, and is the longest at fifteen minutes, starting with some beautifully reflective and delicate piano, but it soon becomes something that is far more bombastic and with real presence, although the piano is never too far away.

Overall this is a real delight, and I only hope that it isn't five years until the next one. For more details visit www.leeabraham.co.uk

kev rowland | 4/5 |

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