Lee Abraham should be a name that does not need an introduction by now; this sympathetic and humble musician has been playing on several Galahad albums as a bass player, than left the band, but newly returned as their guitarist. Besides that, Lee was responsible for a few very impressive solo albums. Distant Days (2014, see review) and follow up The Season's Turn (2016, see review) were some of the finest progressive rock gems, in my opinion. His 2017 album, Colours crossed the bridge between progressive rock and melodic rock with shorter commercial orientated tracks. Now Lee Abraham returns with a new album; Comatose. Inspired by the single song concept of Galahad's Seas Of Change (2018, see review) Lee has written and produced his own single-song concept album. Comatose tells the story of a car crash victim who experiences flash backs while medical staff try to save his life.
On Comatose Lee is joined by the amazing voice of Marc Atkinson, this vocalist of Riversea and upcoming band Moon Halo has become one of my favourites, when it comes to modern neo progressive rock. Long-time friend and Credo drummer Gerald Mulligan and piano player Rob Arnold, both are present again. The backing vocals are courtesy of Diane Abraham and Galahad bandmate Mark Spencer. Lee himself handles all guitars, all keyboards and for the first time since the album Black And White, Lee has recorded the entire bass guitar parts too.
With the over eleven minutes clocking opener Numb Part One the sphere for the album is set; over smooth, slowly moving atmospheric structures, fine guitar parts and the intense voice of Marc lead you along the path of the victim. For me the combination of delicate piano playing and powerful guitar riffs and thought through melodies mark this track as an absolute brilliant start of the album. During Realisation, the angelic background vocals and acoustic guitar are presented to emphasize the way the victim feels when he realizes what has happened. Twisted Metal is a solid straightforward composition, highlighting bass and guitar. Marc continues the story of how the initial accident was about to happen. Ascend The Sky and The Sun show how beautifully Lee composes his songs, smooth guitars and delicate orchestration make these tracks real smooth progressive rock songs. With Numb Part Two, the atmosphere of the opening track returns, a bit more power and rocking as the previous two tracks we heard. No Going Back continues nice and dedicated, like the opener, this is one of my favourites on the album, not only for the immense guitar solo, but just for the overall feel of the song. Awaken? also should be considered as one of the album's highlights, both Lee Abraham as well as Marc Atkinson lift this relative short epic to spheric heights. Ending an album with such an incredible extended guitar solo makes my day, what a wonderful way to end the album.
Comatose is an excellent progressive concept, balancing both the powerful as well as the smoother melodic elements. Lee Abraham is an amazing musician who is able to create emotion and empathy trough his compositions. The additional icing comes from the best-suited voice for this album; Marc Atkinson really nailed the emotions.
***** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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