Progressive music sub-genre: Psychedelic/Space Rock
Official website: http://www.abarax.de/
A side project of the German band "Taste Of Timeless" which contains band members all from the same family.
ABARAX — Crying Of The Whales
Review by Easy Livin (Bob McBeath)
Whale meat again
Abarax is a side project of a band called A TASTE OF TIMELESS (ATOT), who also make excellent prog and prog influenced music. I came across ATOT and Abarax on the now defunct MP3.COM (not the current site of that name) where many of their songs were available in full , a time of writing samples of their music plus the occasional full track are still available on the bands’ own websites.
“Crying of the whales” is a concept album which “describes the imaginative truth about the whales and the reasons for their existence”. If this sounds a little corny, the band have at least largely avoided the clichéd use of whale sounds and sonar pulses (although they are there occasionally!).
Musically, Pink Floyd (in particular the guitar sound of David Gilmour), are by far the strongest of the band’s influences, although they do acknowledge the inspiration of a number of other prog bands. The female lead vocals also offer similarities to the music of Mostly Autumn, another band who wear their Pink Floyd influences on their sleeves.
The album is made up of a number of feature tracks, interspersed with shorter, generally more commercial songs. The opening “Crying of the whales, part 1” is an 11 minute epic with spoken narrative conveying an ecological message, strong melodies, and a wonderful long guitar solo. The track title is reprised at the end of the album in a similar way to “Shine on you crazy diamond” on “Wish you were here”.
“Whale Massacre” at 13 minutes, is the longest track. After a solo violin intro, we are presented with a dramatic narrative spoken from a whale's perspective, including emotive statements such as “you kill for joy”. The choruses have a requiem feel, the sadguitar being reminiscent of “Dead London” from “War of the worlds”. About midway through the track, a more distinctive rhythm kicks in, the harmonic chorus leading to another fine long guitar piece. “All these walls” is the other lengthy piece, the guitar work once again being the dominant feature.
Of the shorter tracks, “The journey” has an ambient Oldfield/Enya feel, “Journey’s end” is a powerful ballad with yet more superb guitar, and “Nature’s voice” is a commercial song with a more orthodox rock backing.
While the music of Abarax, and indeed A Taste of Timeless will never win any awards for originality, they do make excellent music with strong prog influences, and highly competent musicianship.
A solid release from a year full of disappointments in the prog scene. This is the promo version of the strongly Floyd influenced music which features 3 bonus tracks making the album 12 minutes longer. Check out the samples at http://www.abarax.de/audio.htm
1. Crying Of The Whales Part I (11:12)
2. Tears Of The Whales (2:02)
3. Salty Sting (2:42)
4. The Journey (5:53)
5. Journey's End (6:53)
6. Whale Massacre (13:11)
7. Part Of Evolution (3:09)
8. Nature's Voice (5:46)
9. Point Of No Return (6:21)
10. All These Walls (8:36)
11. Crying Of The Whales Part II (7:18)
Total Time: 73:03
- André Blaeute / vocals, acoustic guitar, e-bow
- Dennis Grasekamp / lead guitar, bass guitar, drums
- Howard Hanks / guitar, spoken words, lyrics
- Udo Grasekamp / keyboards, synthesizer, programming