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Abel Ganz - Shooting Albatross CD (album) cover


Abel Ganz



4.02 | 181 ratings

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4 stars Never the most prolific, or indeed successful, of the 1980's neo-prog set, Scottish rockers Abel Ganz were last heard of over 16 years ago with their underwhelming 'The Deafening Silence' album, a release that sought to add a smooth pop-sheen to the group's keyboard-heavy, Marillion-and-Genesis-inspired sound. Now, over a decade-and-a-half later, the group are back with 'Shooting Albatross', a lengthy, carefully-crafted modern prog opus that ignores the mistakes of 'The Deafening Silence', wipes away that ill-advised commercial ingredients, and, somewhat surprisingly it must be said, finds Abel Ganz very much at the peak of their powers. Featuring just four songs, 'Shooting Albatross' is an instrumentally-impressive, atmospheric album filled with layers of shining keyboards and hazy synths, as well as several stylistic nods to the bands Scottish roots. Even former lead-singer Alan Reed(Ex-Pallas) makes a surprise return, sharing singing duties with the sonically-similar Stuart MacFarlane on the epic, 23- minute long 'So Far', which is by far the strongest track on the album. That's not to say the rest of the material on 'Shooting Albatross' is lacklustre; far from it. The remaining three tracks all exhibit the fluid Ganz-style, though as a whole the album seems to be touched by an overall feel of bittersweet melancholy, as if the band themselves have realised that the days of Abel Ganz may be numbered. On the strength of this thoroughly-satisfying and highly-impressive comeback return though, the perceived end of Abel Ganz may be some time away. Alongside the group's popular 1988 album 'The Dangers Of Strangers', 'Shooting Albatross' must surely mark as one of this minor group's finest recordings, showing that there is still much life left in the old, 1980's-style neo-prog beast. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2011
stefro | 4/5 |


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