Band Website: www.ajalon.net
Label: Threshing Floor Records
Label Website: www.progrockrecords.com
Release Date: 2009
By now the story of Ajalon’s discovery by Rick Wakeman is pretty well known. The benefits that accrue from such high-profile name-dropping speak for themselves. The band’s talent has easily acquitted them with fans and critics alike. With their third releaseThis Good Place, Ajalon make another move to win over more fans. The band hails out of the American Pacific Northwest and consists of Randy George (guitars, keyboards, bass, Bodhran), Wil Henderson ((vocals) and Dan Lile (drums). George of course will be familiar to a large number of prog fans due to his participation in many Neal Morse projects, but in fact all three members have performed with a wide variety of other artists from Steve Hackett to Adrian Belew.
This Good Place is made up of seven tracks, all but
one of which are over six-minutes long, the longest being the epic length “Redemption” [19:06]. Ajalon’s music is best described as
melodic symphonic prog with a liberal sprinkling of folk or acoustic influences. Track one “Love is a Dream [7:15] starts of with
an almost southern rock or country feel and is one of those songs that displays little in terms musical change-ups but is rather a
song that lyrically needed seven minutes to convey it’s message. Track two “Nickels and dimes, Marbles and stones” [4:54] is the shortest
and most radio ready piece boasting a strong melodic hook. Starting with track three is where we begin to see the proggy influences
come to the fore as the songs become more musically complex or multi-part. In fact the fourth cut “Abstract Malady” [6:44] is an exciting
instrumental track that features loads of fusiony style playing with loads of notes cascading into one another and a myriad of musical
change-ups. The three part “Redemption [19:06] shows Ajalon at their most symphonic especially in terms of arrangements as they move
from acoustic sections into louder more grand musical moments and then back again. The final track “This
All in all Ajalon’s This Good Place is a very satisfying play with a little something for every symphonic prog fan. It’s the kind of disc you’ll want to go back to over and over again. Fans of bands such as Barclay James Harvest, Moody Blues, or Strawbs will I think find much to enjoy here.