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Ajalon — On the Threshold of Eternity
(Threshing Floor TFD0205, 2005, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2005-09-01
Randy George (who may be more widely known due to his recent work with Neal Morse) is the leader of Seattle-based Ajalon. Vocalist Will Henderson is also an important focal point for this progressive band that leans heavily upon scripture-based themes. The disc opens with the instrumental track “Anthem of the Seventh Day,” which relies on Irish melodic overtones to drive the piece. George’s heavy religious friends include Phil Keaggy (ex-Glass Harp) who makes the greatest contribution to “Holy Spirit Fire” by adding a second lead vocal and a brief but tasty acoustic guitar lead. Rick Wakeman makes two cameo appearances on “What Kind of Love” and “Forever I Am” (similar to his cameo role on the band’s second CD). The former piece features a trademark Hammond solo and spitfire Moog, making it hands-down the best track on the disc. The latter piece features a heavy solo Korg line that segues into George’s best guitar solo glide. Not to be overshadowed, Morse adds a second lead vocal to the big finale title track that shows how well the songwriting team interlocks. Lyrically the CD is less ponderous than most of Morse’s post-Spock material and it holds up on repeated replay regardless of your religious disposition. Overall the mix of the nine tracks is excellent with good separation between drums and high end synthesizes.
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