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Abstract Truth - Silver Trees CD (album) cover


Abstract Truth


Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

3.50 | 37 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars Although i'm not positive because of conflicting information regarding the two ABSTRACT TRUTH albums to emerge in 1970, i do believe "Totem" came first and SILVER TREES followed simply by the step up in quality that had developed between the two releases. Nevertheless ABSTRACT TRUTH remains a mysterious musical entity that shows a brief glimpse of the psychedelic scene ceding into the progressive rock world that was taking off at the time. This band came from the port city of Durban, South Africa where it surely caught wind of the blossoming styles of music from their faraway neighbors to the north and added their stamp of identity to them from the constant harbor activities on its shores. Unlike "Totem" which displayed a lot of tracks covering other artists mostly from the 60s, SILVER TREES is a complete set of originals but still very steeped in the 60s vibe with ample touches of folk, it adds more elements of jazz rock to the mix.

The opener "Pollution" is the perfect mix of all of the elements on board as it begins with a typical 60s folk sound but is then joined by a bombastic groovy bass line which hangs around for the majority of the album and one of its best features. It also ushers in the fluttering flute sounds and organ ambience before half way through totally shifting gears and heading into a funky guitar and saxophone solo treat. Definitely my favorite track on the album with quite the catchy hook and danceable attributes with the salsa like percussion afire. Tracks like "All The Same" remind me a bit of Cat Stevens with a ska band at first but then becomes a spaced out psychedelic rock track. Once again the bass is solid and the backbone of the entire sound. "Original Man" has a rather Jethro Tull type of progressive folk progression but unfortunately Kenny Henson lacked the vocal prowess of an Ian Anderson and leaves the track a little lukewarm.

The title track is the true psychedelic progressive treat of the album not only for an extended length of over eight minutes but for its dreamy and spaced out organ runs and early jazz-rock sounds that remind me of the earliest days of Caravan. "In A Space" sounds more like a John Coltrane tribute than anything else on the album but includes a sort of wah-wah guitar sound that adds some psychedelic touches. "Moving Away" includes harpsichord and is basically a simple psychedelic folk track. "Two" includes the same elements as well but a way more forgettable listening experience. "Blue Wednesday" has a Beatle-esque guitar lick that reminds me of "She's So Heavy" and is a catchy pop song and is another favorite of the album despite its blatant influence. "It's Alright With Me" picks up steam and ends the album with a heavier jazz-rocker but really should have been extended to build up to some sort of crescendo.

While SILVER TREES is very much an improvement over "Totem," it still sounds half-baked and needing more time to gestate its essence before a public release. While nothing is unpleasant in the least, neither is it memorable enough to compete with the flood of creativity exploding in Europe and the US at the time. The production is actually quite good for the day and the instruments deliver a warm and inviting mix of psychedelia for sure but in the end, the tracks are too poppy and tame to win over the true lysergic seeking crowds and a little too fuzzed out to be true pop hits of the day. While the jazzy touches are nice neither do they develop into something that grabs you or slaps you in the face and make you take notice. A decent album and perhaps worthy as an obscurity from an area of the world not usually associated with psych and prog but hardly one that i would call essential either.

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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