Exposé Online banner

Abacus — Destiny
(Musea FGBG 4856.AR, 2010, CD)

by Alan K. Lipton, Published 2011-06-01

Destiny Cover art

With a self-important air and a melodic core harking back to 70s progressive kitsch (think voice and piano themes in certain Styx, Foreigner or Toto songs), Abacus’ sixth studio album isn’t for everyone. But you have to respect a band that’s broken up and reformed at least three times since 1971. These six new songs, ranging from seven to 13 minutes each, are careful studio constructions in which keyboardist / singer Jürgen Wimpelberg pays loving homage to Keith Emerson’s piano runs and synth tones, and to Tony Banks’ majestic cadences. When Wimpelberg plays the sensitive singer-songwriter, a track like “One More Embrace” gives a star-with-backup vibe, while other songs feel like full-band efforts, such as the purposeful march of the album opener “When I Depart.” That and the title track both feature a tasty interplay of busy organ against quiet classical guitar by Mario Schramme and/or Werner Schimaniak — the booklet doesn’t specify. It’s also unclear where vocalist Stefan Mageney fits in, although the massed heroic choruses are clearly the work of multiple singers. The rest of the band includes bassist Reinhard Schulte, drummer Rainer Niklowitz, and cellist Manfred Dregener. The (possibly) sampled American gospel preacher isn’t credited, although he’s critical to the title song, elevating a tale of lost love into something more spiritual. The booklet artwork by Holger Schoemann includes video game hyperrealism and battle-babe fetishism, adding a strange spin to the Christian-lite lyrical themes. But in Abacus’ epic good-versus-evil fight, it’s probably all on the angels’ side.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Abacus

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Trygve Seim - Sangam – If there was ever a time for a new jazz icon, composer and saxophonist Trygve Seim surely fits that bill. His ensemble's well received performance at the 2007 Portland Jazz Festival was a jaw-dropper,...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues