Abacab - Mal De Terre

(CD 2009, 79:19, Musea FGBG 4800)

The tracks:
  1- Ne Joue pas avec le Feu(6:05)
  2- La cite de Gaia(5:59)
  3- Non retour(4:08)
  4- Ne me derangez pas!(4:10)
  5- Zap infos(2:55)
  6- Les trios couleurs(7:22)
  7- La source(11:06)
  8- Etrangers(5:21)
  9- El dorado(4:55)
10- Hackers(5:16)
11- Restez sous vos abris!(7:01)
12- Les pantins(8:08)
13- Les enfants de Gaia(6:47)

Abacab Website        samples        Musea records

French band Abacab almost needed eighty minutes of music on their second effort to tell the story of a future world, de-humanized by television, decadence and pollution. However, one never gets the feeling that the album lasts too long. The band has been influenced by other French prog acts like Ange and Mona Lisa, but also by Pink Floyd and Dream Theater. Moreover, Abacab sometimes takes elements from jazz rock and world music. This mixture of several styles resulted in a very creative album. Mal De Terre (the suffering earth) got me focused right from the start. Not everyone likes singing in the French language, but I always felt attracted to bands as Ange, Mona Lisa and Atoll. The lyrics and the theatrical way of singing always played an important role in those bands.

Abacab took over the same style in a very positive way. The only problem with the French language is that I can hardly understand the storyline. I only had one year French, too little to understand the meaning of the lyrics. However, the short soundscapes in between several tracks do help. Good examples are the voices of German Nazi’s, the voice of George Bush in Non Retour and the news flash on Zap Infos, but of course, the music matters most. Abacab consists of Thomas Boulant (guitar and vocals), Arnaud Catouillart (guitar and vocals), Guillaume Wilmot (keyboards), Alexi Wilmot (Bass guitars) and Yohan Lampis (drums), all excellent musicians as you can experience throughout the album. They are all talented on their instruments and they all lift the music to a very high level. Even the vocals, usually the weakest point on most progressive rock albums, are no problem at all. Abacab has a fantastic lead singer who, without doubt, can replace Christian Décamps when he retires from Ange. Mal De Terre has become a very strong album and the more you play it, the more new elements you will discover in the music. I think that every prog head should try this one out. Maybe you also get hooked to the music of Abacab. I certainly did!

**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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