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

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jeremy Cubert Project - From A to B – Back in Exposé #18, I reviewed the first Psycho-Audible release, Alpha Centauri by Zapotec. This Psycho-Audible disc features the same key players: guitarist Bill Curtis, violinist Anna...  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues