Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Abonos - s/t 3.5/5

Reviewed: 12-2-05


1. Bog mraka
2. Choir of an ancient kingdom
3. Izlaz
4. Misli
5. U krosnjama abonosa
6. Kapija nava
7. Duh predaka
8. Tama
9. All souls night
10. Uspavanka

I used to wonder what would happen if a band like Nightwish and a band like Blind Guardian got together to create a band that would appeal to different sides of the power metal genre. I no longer need to wonder, as Abonos (from Serbia) and their 's/t' debut come about as close as any band could possibly get! This CD truly is a worthy blend of female vocals (2 vocalists) and symphonic elements a la Nightwish, Venin Noir and Visions of Atlantis with male vocals and guitar work a la Blind Guardian, Persuader and Savage Circus. There are a few death metal vocals that creep in on 2 or 3 songs that create an occasional dark/gothic atmosphere, and I know there will be some who will label this band gothic metal based on the "beauty and the beast" vocal style, but I strongly feel Abonos leans more towards power metal.

The dual female vocal attack consists of Marija Dokmanovic and Marta Vlahovic (who both handle the keyboards as well), and Vladimir Lalic is the male vocalist and also the bass player. There are both English and Serbian lyrics, but neither language is sung any better than the other. In fact, I get caught up so much in the alternating male/female vocals that I have yet to even pay attention to which songs are in which language. I should mention that the female vocals slightly dominate, but there are plenty of male vocals for the die-hard Blind Guardian fans.

The majority of the songs are in an upbeat and crunchy manner, with dashes of speed here and there, strong orchestral parts, and there's not more than just a few slower moments present. The way the keyboards are used is very effective, as they pop up quite frequently upfront in the mix and draw your attention. Track 3 "Izlaz", track 5 "U krosnjama abonosa" and track 7 "Duh predaka" are the best examples where this is heard. There are songs where the keyboards are nicely in the background or absent though, and these tend to be the (few) faster songs that will adhere more to the Blind Guardian fans. Track 6 "Kapija nava" is the song that fits this definition most, and along with the pounding track 4 "Misli" and the short track 8 "Tama" (which might be the best song vocally), is the true highlight for me.

Despite my thrill for this CD, which is such a great combination of music and vocal styles, there are some downsides that hold this CD back from becoming truly phenominal. First off, the CD doesn't have a very good ending. It feels like the band is trying too hard to create a memorable chorus in track 9 "All souls night", and it ends up ruining the song. The many tempo changes and surprisingly evil vocals in track 10 "Uspavanka" turns a CD filled with a brilliant power/symphonic metal feel into a pure gothic metal ending. Everyone knows I love gothic metal, but this last song doesn't really fit what's heard on the rest of the CD. Finally, this is currently an independent release, and considering this, the production is good. But there are times when at a high volume the guitars become a bit muffled and/or distorted. A minor complaint due to my envisioning this CD done with a polished production, so nothing to make this a non-recommended CD. Instead, this is a CD that could very well appeal to a wide range of fans, no matter where their stronger tastes may lie.




MAIN - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z - MISC