Band: Lee Abraham
Band Website: www.leeabraham.co.uk
Label: Edge of Life Records
Release Date: 2014
Lee Abraham got his early prog inspiration from the likes of Dream Theater and Spock’s Beard. That resulted in a couple of solo efforts before he signed up with Galahad. In addition to that gig he’s also involved in a prog cover band and a more pop oriented side project. Distant Days is Abraham’s fourth solo disc and like his previous Black and White features not only his talents (guitars, keyboards, vocals) but those of Gerald Mulligan [Credo] (drums), Chris Harrison (guitar), Rob Arnold (keyboards) and Alistair Begg (Chapman stick, bass). Then as previously he also calls upon Karl Groom, Marc Atkinson, Robin Armstrong, Dec Burke, John Young, Steve Thorne, Jon Barry, Simon Nixon and Dave Philips to help complete the musical vision. Stylistically this is modern melodic prog with hints of the symphonic genre in arrangement.
There are seven songs on Distant Days the shortest being 4:35, four between six and eight minutes and two over ten. Prog fans familiar with the work of Galahad, IQ or Darwin’s Radio will know what to expect here. The tunes tend to be song based with the complexity coming more from the instrumental arrangements. Tunes will start and stop, even changing time and tempo all in very smooth fashion. Usually this musical change-up serves the purpose of an extended bridge or middle eight before we return to the song’s original melody. The longer songs obviously feature more musical segments or motifs linked together. Guitars are the instrument of choice for solos with keyboards more often offering up layers of string or synth orchestration providing the symphonic aspect to the music. The sound is lush and full, grand even. The use of different vocalists tends to make each composition truly unique standing on its own. While the guitar develops some gritty, bottom end from time to time, other than “Misguided” [4:35] this not at all a heavy record. Abraham chooses instead to let the guitar “sing” even in its heavier moments and in that regard it’s not unusual to hear some acoustic guitar as well.
Given the ample musical and stylistic variety on Distant Days this is a disc that will have plenty of shelf-life. The overall musical feeling is a pleasant one, hummable at times and yet providing just a little bit of crunch from time to time. Fans of the bands mentioned or even Pink Floyd or Tinyfish will find some fine music on display here. Lee Abraham has crafted another winning solo disc.