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

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Hiromi's Sonicbloom - Time Control – Japanese jazz pianist Hiromi Uehara's previous releases have all borne the name "Hiromi" and basically consisted of her standing trio with bassist Tony Grey and drummer Martin Valihora. Guitarist...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues