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Abel Ganz - Shooting Albatross CD (album) cover


Abel Ganz



4.02 | 181 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Abel Ganz' latest called Shooting Albatross got great reviews so far, I must admit I didn't really know the band yet but since it's neo prog I decided to check this one out. Well, I didn't really regret that decision one might say. Abel Ganz is more of an ancient neo band with roots in the eighties added with one nineties release and this latest being a sort of come back after fourteen years. And what a comeback it appears to be !

First track, Looking for a Platform starts a bit folky but also some general symphonical elements here before after some three minutes the vocals set in. These are not quite impressive I have to say but at least they are not annoying. The lyrics sound like a sort of story telling concept to me but I must admit I didn't really dive into that one to find it out. Lyrics never intrigue me too much in prog, they are a sort of necessity to me, otherwise prog would always be instrumental and that's impossible I realize. Anyway, after some more minutes the song raises its tempo singing the title of the song several times. This already proves this is a versatile epic although the chorus is the worst part of this track to me. Rest of the song proves to be a very good composition with amongst others some great piano play halfway down the song. 4*.

So Far is even more epical clocking over 23 minutes which is an impressive length of course. Also this one starts folky with same sort of flute as in the opening track. This almost makes this album by Abel Ganz a mix of symphonic prog with neo prog and a bit of prog folk. Interesting combination and it reminds me somehow of Camel's Harbour of Tears. Not exactly the same but some resemblance is there I believe. This second epic moves on with several instrumental contributions until Pallas' Alan Reed suddenly appears as the lead singer on this song. Alan is a good vocalist but I'm not a personal fan of his way of singing. On Strangers on a Train I liked his role better I have to say. But still he does a good job and many could appreciate this I'm sure. The instrumental passages (like acoustic guitar around minute six for instance) remain of very high quality. Like I said: I didn't know Abel Ganz so far but I really like what I hear from them. The thing I wonder about right now is whether this is their magnum opus or if it's their usual standard. If that last thing is the case I will check out more by this band. After listening to the rest of this lengthy track I can only conclude once more that this is another great effort. 4,25*.

Third track Sheepish is only half the length as previous but still it's almost an epic of nearly 13 minutes. This is my personal favourite of the album. But this is very personal, this just meets my taste best of the four songs but others might like one of the other epics better I'm sure. Sheepish is more of a rocking song, slightly heavier than the two previous with a blistering guitar solo halfway down as highlight followed by an impressive keyboard solo. Brilliant track. 4,5*

Ventura is another great song but it's only fair to reveal this one ends with one of those disappointing hidden tracks. I really hate those and can't appreciate this last one as much because of that. 3,5*.

But of course it can't ruin this release for me anymore. This is simply a fantastic effort by Abel Ganz that deserves much more attention by reviewers than it got so far. So check this out and you will not regret it I promise. Recommended for fans of Camel, Mostly Autumn, Glass Hammer and Mangrove. Four stars seems to me the right score for Shooting Albatross.

progrules | 4/5 |


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