I think this probably came to my attention via Amazon Recommend, in which case, thank you, Amazon.
First listen, I was rather underwhelmed. I thought it was okay, but nothing particularly special. After another couple of listens I started to think it was bit better than okay. And now, a few listens later (I've kept going back to it), I love it. It's hard to pin it down. There's a folkiness to it at times; there's an air of world music to it now and again; there's strings and woodwind and brass; there's pop/rock - a bit of everything. There's even a rather lovely ballad accompanied by an acoustic guitar with the sound of crickets chirruping in the background.
So, a real grower with a good mix of styles and tempos which slowly works its magic. So glad that I took the chance on this, and equally glad that I didn't review it after only a couple of listens.
I have just listened to a musical composition that goes further than just pleasing the senses. It is full of beauty and grace and manages to combine musical styles that are quite disparate and deliver a musical release that beguiles, bewitches and enthrals. This is music that will stand the test of time and could become a legacy for this superb band. Abel Ganz has delivered what is bound to become a highlight of this already impressive musical year, I implore you to go henceforth and purchase this musical marvel! - See more at: http://www.ladyobscure.com/albums/abel-ganz-abel-ganz/#sthash.38rb9neJ.dpuf
Abel Ganz is very much as its self-named album title suggests...this is Abel Ganz. It's hard to argue otherwise as the band have changed and evolved over the thirty odd years that they have been around, this album is purely a natural evolutionary step in their history. What that change hasn't done is lose the essence of their sound and it is evident is the quality of the musicianship and song writing and indeed with the sound itself. The album is very much a work of two halves--one that represents an epic, five piece suite called 'Obsolescence' preceded by the gentle but purposeful symphonic opener, 'Delusions of Grandeur'. The second half of the album delivers a more intimate and largely acoustical tone reminiscent of the likes of Anthony Phillips with some songs having a subtle but tangible flavour of Scottish folk and country. In all truth a summary of the album in a paragraph is something of a challenge, this record has so much diversity and breadth, it really has to be heard, and heard again. 'Obsolescence' is Abel Ganz at their most progressive and it bears many of the elements of the original project from 2011. It’s a journey piece with a delicate opening segment which finished with the bluster and bang that an epic tune should deliver. Part 1 – 'Sunrise' is a charmer which wraps around you like a warm blanket. Vocally the band from the off are showing the listener their strength with a strong harmony lead by the excellent voice of MacFarlane resonating over a beautiful guitar and piano.
This is an accomplished album from the Weedgie Progmeisters...the Ganz! I had been mildly aware of them back in the 80s but like Pallas, Marillion and a few others of that time I paid little heed. Is 'accomplished' good though? (plenty of accomplished but dull albums out there)- Well most certainly! From the glorious opening instrumental `Delusions of Grandeur' this is a revelation of an album, round every corner a surprise, with pedal steel guitar, brass and wind contributions and bursts of heaviness all sewn into a freshly produced album that would serve as an excellent introduction to Prog, but it also elevates Abel Ganz as a band (in my case it also serves as a reaffirmation of that genre making me ask myself why I've neglected it so long!). From the enigmatic cover to the last track this is great work. There isn't a bad track and plenty of good bits! Glad Denis made it happen!
This is a really wonderful album. It has so much in it for lovers of progressive rock, or indeed lovers of great music. There are some lovely melodies throughout the album, weaving their way in and out with pastoral moments, rockier guitar moments and some lovely keyboards. The lyrics are thoughtful and interesting, sung really well. It has a wistful feel in some places then opens up to a more symphonic approach. More listens reveal more and reward more. Love it.