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Thomas Abban

A Sheik's Legacy

Review by Gary Hill

Thomas Abban's music provides an intriguing mix of modern alternative sounds and classic rock elements. His singing is dominated by a falsetto delivery that while effective, gets a bit old at times. Still, for the most part this is a very solid set. Personally I think that it's a case of less would be more. If a few of the songs had been left off the disc this would work much better. It has a tendency toward feeling repetitive. Another change that could really help would be to move one or two of the opening tracks (which are some of the best things here) to later in the disc. Still, all in all, this is an intriguing set showcasing an artist with a lot of promise.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Death Song
The picked acoustic guitar on this makes me think of Led Zeppelin a bit. The cut works to a harder rocking thing as it carries forward. There are modern elements here, but this has so much of an old school rock sound that it's almost scary.
Symmetry and Black Tar
This is a cool cut. There is a lot of modern progressive rock built into it. It's a real powerhouse tune with a definite symphonic edge. There is a lot of electronic music here, and a full drop back to a mellower prog section at the end.
Fear
While the opening mellower movement is more along the lines of modern alternative rock, the powered up driving stuff definitely reminds me of Led Zeppelin.
Aladdin
This is one of my favorites on the disc. The hard driving riff at the heart of it is so cool. There is a glam rock vibe to this with a modern edge in the mix, too. The bridge on this is packed with world music sounds. There is definitely a lot of psychedelia in the mix here, too.
Time To Think
Whistling is prominent on the mellower opening of this track. The cut powers out from there with a hard rocking abandon and the whistling returns later. This is an intriguing number that makes great use of the balance between mellower and more rocking stuff.
Horizons
I'm not really a fan of this tune. The more rocking, soaring parts work well, but the mellower stuff is a bit awkward. It also overstays its welcome. Cutting this from the set would probably make for a stronger overall package.
Sinner
A mellower cut, this has its charms. The vocal performance, a strength at first, is starting to feel the same on some of the songs by this point. While the more powered up psychedelic part works pretty well, I think I would have left this one off the set, too. It really detracts from the oomph of a lot of the music without adding much.
Don’t You Stay The Same
The energetic picked folk guitar that starts this gets things back on track. The cut continues to redeem the set with a modern alternative rock meets folk music vibe that's effective.
Let Me Tell You Something
With even more of a playful folk arrangement, this is another winner. It's a fun cut. There is a definite roots music vibe to this.
Irene
Here's another that I probably would have left off the disc. It's a good tune. It's a dreamy kind of thing. It's just too much like a lot of the rest, particularly when it comes to the vocal performance.
Lord
A bit more of a rocker, this combines alternative rock, folk music and more to create an effective musical tapestry.
Uh
I love this hard rocking jam. It's definitely one of the highlights of the set. It's a throwback to the heady days of the 1970s for sure.
Echo
World music, folk and cool rock sounds merge on this number. It's another that lands in the more effective basket. The rocking section on this is among the best musical passages of the disc.
Black Water
There is some particularly intricate guitar work on this jazzy piece. There is a healthy helping of blues built into this thing. The rocking section is pretty classy, too.
Born of Fire
Folk rock and more creates the basis for this rocker. While it's a bit samey, it's strong enough to overcome that and stand tall.
 
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