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Amon Ra: We Never Said Goodbye

The roots of German/American band Amon Ra date back to the early '90s but they didn't release their first album Precarious Balance until 1998. They even toured with Saga which certainly helped to spread the word across Europe and they had every intention to release a follow up but that never happened, that is until now. Seventeen years later we have their sophomore effort We Never Said Good-bye.

Band members include Thomas Wenzel (guitars, bass, triangle, claves, mini guiro), Lothar Hermann (drums, bass, choir, keys, guitar, percussion) and Scott Balaban (vocals, choir, keys). Original band members Dierk Neldner (piano, keys) and Gerry Boiciuc (bass) help out as guest musicians.

This in one of those albums that is so undeniable catchy its hard not to be reeled in by all the great melodies. The first track "Master Of Strings" starts in a calm fashion with theatrical lead vocals before the heavy riffs break out. Orchestrated keyboards and razor sharp guitar complete the picture. The band traverses gentler soundscapes and heavier sections with equal aplomb. The second track "Time Will Come To Your Rescue" begins with stark piano chords and lovely string orchestrations. The guitar is extremely catchy as is the head sticking sing along chorus. "The Long Dark Road" incorporates more acoustic guitar and softer arpeggios while still getting in some heavier riffs. The guitar work is incredibly catchy. Speaking of catchy, perhaps "Where When And Why" is the catchiest of the bunch. The vocal harmonies remind me of the great American band Shadow Gallery while the guitar and piano venture back and forth as the band serves up an excellent slice of heavy neo prog. Throughout the disc the stellar musicianship and great melodies had me hooked right from the start. They also dig into a bit of pop here and there and even get into tango flavoured rock in the upbeat "Tango Mortale". The jazzy pop flavoured ballad "Should Have Known Better" with its gorgeous guitar and vocal arrangement is another great track.

It's always nice discovering new music, especially when it is of such a high quality. Here's hoping the band doesn't wait quite so long until the next one.

Track Listing:
1. Master Of Strings (5:31)
2. Time Will Come To Your Rescue (9:30)
3. The Long Dark Road (4:52)
4. Where When And Why (6:30)
5. Until The Morning Comes (4:35)
6. Rocket Man (3:28)
7. Slipping Away (6:13)
8. Karma Machine (5:47)
9. Tango Mortale (7:02)
10. Should Have Known Better (4:40)
11. Dance Of Duty (5:42)
12. The Great Metronome (7:27)

Added: July 2nd 2016
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1833
Language: english

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