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Abydos - The Little Boy's Mental Shadow Opera (CD)

The Little Boy's Mental Shadow Opera
by Thodoris Pantazopoulos at 20 September 2004, 8:03 PM

I had no idea who Abydos were and I suppose neither do most of you. Strange band name, a Bal Sagoth wannabe album title and a strange little figure on the cover complete the puzzle this infamous band sets. As a person though, (and sequentially as an editor) I want to know who am I dealing with, so after a short but effective research through the mighty Metal bible I discovered that Abydos is nothing more than Vanden Plas's vocalist Andy Kuntz's side project.
It's under strong doubt how many of you were touched by my latest ''discovery'', but I believe that all of us who claim to be fans of the German prog band and hold their discography's majority in a salient place among other records, should be interested more or less about the Abydos treat.
Though, a side project, don't think that it gets far away from the German quintet's known style. The main difference is that it's not so heavy and I think that the whole album mostly flirts with softer forms of Rock and partly Progressive Rock. Nevertheless, I found myself at (scant) times thinking ''wow this could belong to The God Thing (1997) or maybe Beyond Daylight (2001)!'' Besides, it's not so easy to cut off the musical ''habits'' and stigma of a band that within it you reached manhood in the (heavy) musical scene (although Mr. Kuntz has participated in many leading roles back in the early 80's for musicals like Jesus Christ Superstar, Rocky Horror Show, Evita and Nostradamus).
As I already mentioned, The Little… is targeted towards more classical and clement forms of Rock. Keyboards hold a main role within the album and the guitars are used in a more melodic way rather than to dynamite the atmosphere. So, don't expect ear-dropping solos and generally guitar frenzy situations that'll make you pee your pants from enthusiasm. You can rely on the intense and complete technical drum play for some boost but this is just it. Imagine the softer moments of Vanden Plas along with some Queen adjustments, a few ''thievish'' glances in the U.K. Prog Rock scene with bands like IQ and Marillion and you have the main idea behind this album.
Even if you can handle a non-eruptive record and you're open to more relaxing hearings you possibly won't be thrilled by Abydos. There might be some interesting moments like Silence and Hyperion Sunset but the album is tiring and doesn't offer emotion strong enough to retain the listener's interest. And that's not due to ''castrated guitars'' nor Andy Kuntz's rather just sympathetic voice but in the deficiency of solid compositions. You know, this undertaking reminds me a bit of James LaBrie's Mullmuzzler meaning that both are vocalists in Prog Metal bands and they've decided to occupy themselves with simpler music than that of their main bands. But the similarities stop right here. As you understand, it's aimless (and globally known) to say who's got a better voice and as for compositional abilities, I will only say that if I had the chance to rate any of the Mullmuzzler albums it wouldn't get below 4.5/5.
The sworn fans of Vanden Plas should check this album to see what's behind it and how far an individual member go can go. Personally, I will wait for the band's new studio album as this one cannot even stand as an appetizer.
\[C.E. Note: The album's title is causing some conflict with the magazine's script thus I had to shorten it + The album's cover will refuse to show up which probably also has to do with the album's name…We'll try to fix it shortly]

3 Star Rating

The Inhabitants Of His Diary
You Broke The Sun
Far Away From Heaven
Coppermoon (The Other Side)
Hyperion Sunset
God's Driftwood
Radio Earth
Green's Guidance For a Strategy Adventure Game
A Boy Named Fly
Andy Kuntz - Vocals
Andreas Lil - Drums
Stephan Glass - Guitars & Keyboards
Michael Krauss - Guitars & Keyboards
Record Label: InsideOut Records


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