ABEL GANZ – Shooting Albatros (review)

1. Looking For a Platform (15:06)
2. So far (23:31)
3. Sheepish (12:55)
4. Ventura (14:38)

Year: 2008
Label: Abel Records

With a bit of luck Abel Ganz would be listed among such „brands” as Marillion, IQ or Pendragon. Unfortunatelly their career hasn’t progressed this way and today in Poland (and probably not only in Poland) they’re almost unknown. It’s worth mentioning here that Alan Reed, once a member of this Scottish group is today a frontman and lead singer of Pallas and you’ll read some more about him later in this review,

„Shooting Albatros” is an album recorded after more than a 14-year break!! What’s this band like after long time of silence? It’s absolutelly great! Their new album includes four tracks but they last for more than 60 minutes altogether, they’re complex and multi-layered. Long and instrumental pieces dominate much of the album, there are some fine keyboard lines, some great acoustic guitar work and all this embellished with soft sounds of electric guitar. The band underline their roots, many a time they draw on Scottish folk and I must admit that the overall effect is very interesting and folk-tinged pieces are real highlights of the album. The greatest piece is an almost twenty-three minute long composition entitled „So Far”. This is an exquisite composition that encapsulates all the things that are the best in Abel Ganz. This suite is a story of „American dream”, which at the same time retells in a sentimental way the history of this country (of course just the outlines). There are some fragments about discovery of America and the Vietnam War. To my mind „So far” is one of the most interesting progressive suites recorded over the last years. I must stress that vocals recorded by Alan Reed add greatly to the overal impression. His distinctive voice, delicate but at the same time very strong, fits perfectly to instrumental sounds included on the album. Masterpiece. The album is completed with „Looking For a Platform” and „Sheepish” which are in a similar, softly sounding style, and „Ventura” including loads of acoustic guitar work.

If you love early Marillion, IQ or Pallas you should definately look for this album. It’s just perfect for you. Brilliant melodies, easy to listen to compositions make that you will keep returning to this album.


Piotr Michalski
translation: Gosia Michalska

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