Abydos - Abydos: The Little Boy's Heavy Metal Shadow Opera About The Inhabitants of His Diary

Year of Release: 2004
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD 180
Format: CD
Total Time: 70:18:00

Start with heaping spoonfuls of Firehouse, Queensryche, Dream Theater, and Ayreon. Pour in a concentrated blend of countless different eighties bands. Add ice for crunchiness. Add fruit for tartness. Use a small chunk of chocolate and a dash of vanilla to give the cocktail extra bitterness. Throw these items in a blender. Hit crush to break down the contents. Stir and let the mixture emulsify. What remains should pretty much taste like an icy mug of Abydos.

The singer?s voice is quite similar to James LaBrie. It is so close that you may think it?s him. After awhile, it becomes apparent that the singer?s voice is an octave or two lower. It turns out this is no new kid on the block. The individual responsible for the vocals is long-time front man and lead singer of Vanden Plas, Andy Kuntz. While these similarities to LaBrie may not be so apparent on his other titles, it sure is here.

It turns out Abydos is Andy?s premiere solo album. The title chosen for this project goes back to the rumored birthplace of theater. People had gone to worship Osiris at the burial site of Abydos. Plays were performed to show honor and respect. It was a means to get on the good graces of this god. Theater has been an important aspect of Andy?s life, so he decided that this would be a fitting name for the project. No child?s play will be found on this release. The music is much more than one could expect from a solo effort. This is no casual undertaking and it is quite obvious a lot of labor went into making the album.

Joining Andy on the album are Stefan Glass and Michael Krauss, who each contribute some guitars and keyboards. Andreas Lill is borrowed from Vanden Plas to fulfill drum duties.

The strength of the album is Andy?s vocals and the fact that every track is done a little differently. The start of each new track reawakens your awareness and draws your attention back to the heart of the music. The tracks work together as a cohesive bunch to sustain a theme. While the pieces each make a whole, they work fine independently as well. The album is based on a play Andy wrote with autobiographical influences.

There are many highlights on the album. "Silence" should appeal to fans of Queensryche while "Far Away From Heaven" is a complex cut comprised of elements from Firehouse and Savatage. "Green?s Guidance For A Strategy Adventure Game" is a dead-ringer for Ayreon. "Hyperion Sunset" combines the beat of Magellan and the keys of Herbie Hancock as well as various Nu Metal influences. This piece is hard to explain and intricately designed. It is one of the better tracks on the album. "God?s Driftwood" and "A Boy Named Fly," which also mix styles and beats, are top contenders as well. Ultimately, if one had to choose just one song, "Radio Earth," which has tinges of Styx, Moody Blues, Queen, and even a tad of Jimmy Buffett, is probably the best song. Such a range is covered throughout the album that there is surely something to meet everyone?s likings.

Abydos is a major achievement in Andy Kuntz?s career. While it may have slipped in under the radar, it is essential to any fan of progressive music.

The Inhabitants Of His Diary (1:12) / You Broke The Sun (5:39) / Silence (6:55) / Far Away From Heaven (5:32) / Coppermoon (The Other Side) (5:09) / Hyperion Sunset (4:46) / God's Driftwood (6:10) / Radio Earth (5:38) / Abydos (7:25) / Green's Guidance For A Strategy Adventure Game (1:17) / Wildflowersky (8:28) / A Boy Named Fly (12:03)

Andy Kuntz - vocals
Stefan Glass - guitar, keyboards
Michael Krauss - guitar, keyboards
Andreas Lill - drums

Abydos: The Little Boy's Heavy Metal Shadow Opera About The Inhabitants Of His Diary (2004)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DE

Added: September 19th 2004
Reviewer: Joshua "Prawg Dawg" Turner
Artist website: www.vandenplas.de
Hits: 1653
Language: english


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