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ABYDOS The Little Boy's Heavy Mental Shadow Opera About The Inhabitants of His Diary
SPV/Inside Out (2004)

You may have already gathered from the title that this is a concept album but what you probably don't know is that it is only part of a bigger story that its author has written as a play for theatre.

Who is the author? Who is the musician behind this epic? If the name Vanden Plas means anything to you then it will mean something that VP vocalist Andy Kuntz is the man behind this project. Andy is joined by fellow VP member Andreas Lill on drums plus Stefan Glass and Michael Krauss (both keys & guitars).

The range of styles incorporated into this album are wide - ranging from Vanden Plas type progressive metal ("Coppermoon") to Pink Floyd style prog ("You Broke the Sun") to piano plus orchestra numbers ("Far Away From Heaven"). Mr Lloyd-Webber beware!

I'm not too sure about the opening instrumental that sounds like a drum solo helped along by a grand piano - but it doesn't last for long. "Hyperion Sunset" must be mentioned for its heavy guitar riffing and distorted vocals during the choruses. "God's Driftwood" uses the very famous Puff Daddy riff - oh sorry I mean Led Zeppelin riff - as a repeating reference.

Title track "Abydos" opens with vocals only with ominous drums and brass soon joining in. The track features many changes of pace - piano plus vocals to epic kitchen sink choruses. The Dream Theateresque "Wildflowersky" precedes closing epic "A Boy Named Fly".

What about the project name I hear you ask? Well all right then - "Abydos" is the place where ancient Egyptians worshipped the god Osiris and is regarded as the birthplace of theatre.

The songs require a bit of patience but overall a thoroughly enjoyable trawl through the inhabitants lurking in the little boy's diary.


Review by Phil Berisford

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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