Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Lee Abraham - Vektor

Two new strong recommendations in very different areas: from Progressive Rock to Sci-Fi Progressive Thrash Metal.

Lee Abraham - The Seasons Turn
I saw Lee Abraham playing once live, during the infamous Winter's End Festival in Stroud. At the time he was promoting the Black & White album with former BBT vocalist Sean Filkins singing live as well as big part of the album. This immediately shows one of the strenghts of Lee, he knows people. On this latest album he gets some help from Dec Burke, Simon Godfrey, Robin Armstrong, Mark Atkinson and others. All these people represent what I liked over the last 10 years in British progressive rock. It did not take long to realize, that the songs and the performances are all top notch. We go from an epic opener of almost 25 minutes, to uptemo rockers, a ballad to an epic closer of just over 16 minutes. I have no real favorite yet, but hearing Simon Godfrey again on vocals makes me realize that Tinyfish was among the very best prog bands of this century. Lee Abraham himself takes care of electric and acoustic guitars as well as some keys. While on previous album Distant Days he sung the title track, he now stays with some background vocals only. A superb album and to me the best in progressive rock this year (but Frost* is on it's way).

Vektor - Terminal Redux
Begin 2016 quite some people got disappointed by Dream Theater's long Sci-Fi concept album. Main reason was it lacked metal in decent percentages. For those people Vektor comes to the rescue. Terminal Redux is a 77 minute Sci-Fi album full of metal. Actually I believe that some people might consider this album too metal. Their Thrash metal is crazy fast, while still very technical.  Black metallic vocals from David di Santo might be another hurdle for some. Not for me though and after investing several sessions reading along the lyrics I am convinced we found a winner. This album is not to be played on the background  while reading the newspaper. It demands and deserves full attention. Every time I play it I hear new things. Also now that I start recognizing the melodies, the calmer breaks come more to the forefront. Short instrumental Mountains above the Sun, Power ballad Collapse and the surprising Pink Floyd On the Turning Away inspired middle part of closing epic Recharging the Void. With an album this impressive the wish to see them live is always there. So far they only had festival slots in Holland, which means reduced time and sound. This week they announced a headline show in Little Devil this summer. I shall not miss that one!!

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