MICHAEL ABDOW – Séance in Black (Album Review)

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In the realm of instrumental music, where storytelling relies solely on the language of instruments, Michael Abdow‘s latest effort, a seven-track album, takes us on an epic journey through the timeless battle between good and evil. Aptly titled “Séance in Black,” Abdow‘s musical tour de force serves as a gripping narrative, seamlessly weaving emotion, technical mastery, and an evident sense of conflict into every note.

From the very first moments of the record, it becomes clear that the instruments themselves are the lyrics of this epic tale. Abdow‘s guitar work takes center stage, conveying a wealth of emotion that leaves no room for vocals. The high-note guitar riffs are like piercing screams, each note a battle cry that resonates with intensity. The give and take between the percussion and bass create a rhythmic foundation that underpins the entire album, providing the heartbeat of the story. Meanwhile, the harmonies, delicate and ethereal, serve as the guiding light through the darkness of this sonic battlefield.

The album begins its odyssey with “From the Silence,” a track that instantly grabs your attention. Abdow‘s genius lies in his ability to deceive the listener initially, starting with a single guitar softly picking notes. It’s a brief moment of calm before the storm. Just when you start to question whether you’ve put on the right artist, the song explodes into a frenzy of insanely heavy metal drums and even more powerful guitar riffs. It’s as if Abdow has summoned a thunderstorm to rain down upon your senses. His guitar screams like a warrior in the heat of battle, unleashing a torrent of emotion that grips you by the heartstrings.

As “From the Silence” unfolds, Abdow guides the listener through an ever-shifting landscape of tests and turns. It’s a musical journey that keeps you hooked from start to finish, mirroring the unpredictability of a battle between forces of light and darkness. The listener is transported on a celestial journey, carried by harmonic angels to the next chapter of this epic story.

“Séance In Black” Artwork

“Eternity” follows, opening on a somewhat slower note. Here, Abdow‘s guitar work takes on an almost mystical quality, guiding you through a darker segment of the narrative. The complex scales and riffs feel like navigating treacherous terrain, and Abdow‘s ability to make the guitar seem like it’s shooting lasers adds an otherworldly dimension to the track. “Eternity” is a testament to Abdow‘s virtuosity, showcasing his command over both the technical and emotional aspects of his instrument.

“Welcome Desolation” serves as the album’s midpoint, offering a momentary respite from the intense emotions generated by the preceding battles. It’s a calm in the eye of the storm, a period of peace that allows both the listener and the hero to regroup. Abdow layers instrument upon instrument at the beginning of this track, creating a rich and immersive sonic landscape. As the song progresses, it feels as if a divine light shines down upon the hero, infusing them with the strength to carry on, knowing that the battle is far from over.

Immediately after “Welcome Desolation,” follows “The Turning.” Thrusting us right back into the midst of the conflict. It’s as if the respite was brief, and the darkness has returned with a vengeance. However, the title of the track hints at a shift in the tide of battle. Abdow‘s musical storytelling takes a turn, reflecting the evolving dynamics of the epic struggle.

The guitar work in “The Turning” is nothing short of mesmerizing. It’s a sonic battleground where the hero faces new challenges and adversaries, but this time, there’s a sense that the tide has indeed turned. The guitar riffs, like flashes of steel, cut through the darkness with a newfound determination. Abdow‘s ability to convey emotion through his instrument is nothing short of remarkable. It’s as if the guitar itself is a character in the story, expressing anger, resilience, and hope with every note.

The album reaches its climax with “Evidence of Angels.” Here, the emotional weight of everything that has transpired throughout the battle becomes palpable. The guitar, now a weary but determined soldier, cries out for the fallen comrades who surround you. The heaviness of the music mirrors the gravity of the situation, and you can almost feel the weight of the fallen soldiers on your shoulders.

As “Evidence of Angels” nears its conclusion, something remarkable happens. Amidst the fading echoes of the guitar, you can hear faint, hallowed voices. It’s as if ethereal beings are singing to you, offering solace and guidance as the album draws to a close. It’s a haunting and poignant moment, a reminder that even in the darkest of battles, there is still hope and the possibility of transcendence.

In the end, “Séance in Black,” is a sonic journey that demands to be experienced from start to finish. It’s a story told without words, where the instruments themselves become the characters, the setting, and the emotions. Michael Abdow‘s technical mastery and his ability to convey profound emotion through his guitar work are nothing short of awe-inspiring.

With this album, he has created a musical epic that speaks to the very essence of the human experience—our struggles, our triumphs, and our enduring hope. It showcases the power of instrumental music to transcend language and touch the deepest recesses of the soul. “Séance in Black” is more than an album; it’s an immersive journey into the heart of the human experience, a battle of emotions fought and won through the power of music.

Released By: Couch Cat Records
Release Date: October 6th, 2023
Genre: Instrumental Guitar

Musicians:

  • Michael Abdow / Guitars, bass, keys, programmed beats, guitar synths
  • Shawn Deneault / Acoustic drums

Séance in Black” Track-Listing:  

  1. From The Silence
  2. Oracle
  3. Eternity
  4. Welcome Desolation
  5. The Turning
  6. Séance In Black (Part I)
  7. Evidence Of Angels

Order Séance in BlackHERE.

9.5 Excellent

The "Séance in Black," album is nothing short of phenomenal, brimming with raw emotion and showcasing an exceptional mastery of instruments that propels its musicianship off the charts. Each track is a hauntingly beautiful journey, weaving intricate melodies and powerful harmonies that resonate deeply with the listener

  • Songwriting 10
  • Musicianship 10
  • Originality 9
  • Production 9
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