Lee Abraham - 'The Seasons Turn'

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Lee Abraham - 'The Seasons Turn'

The organic, modern yet traditional Progressive Rock of 'The Seasons Turn' contains material of the highest order.

Although he'd already released three highly regarded solo albums and spent time as the bassist in Galahad, Lee Abraham's stock rose significantly with the arrival of his much-lauded 2014 solo work 'Distant Days'. If those raised expectations heaped any extra pressure on Abraham then it certainly doesn't show – the organic, modern yet traditional Progressive Rock of 'The Seasons Turn' contains material of the highest order.

As with all the best solo releases, the main protagonist is clever enough to surround himself with an embarrassment of riches; vocalists Marc Atkinson (Nine Stones Close), Dec Burke (Radio Darwin/solo), Mark Colton (Credo) and Simon Godfrey (Riversea) split the five tracks between them. Atkinson, the only singer to appear twice, takes on the heavy lifting, his performance mighty on the epic, twenty-plus minute title track.

Unusually, this lengthy varied piece is placed front and centre, introducing the album in uncompromising fashion. As statements go it is a confident one; Abraham's varied guitar and keyboard work are quite stunning, although with sumptuous piano from Rob Arnold and captivating guitars from Christopher Harrison and Simon Nixon, the cherry on top would be if one-time IQ man Martin Orford came out of retirement to provide a snatch of flute-play – which is exactly what he does.

When what follows maintains the standard set by the early tracks, it starts to become impossible to ignore the lofty heights Abraham now seems able to reach. Dec Burke adds his instantly recognisable guitar signature to the more rumbustious 'Live For Today' and lilting 'The Unknown', bringing a new dimension to both, while Colton's vocal attitude proves perfect for the more immediate and melody-driven 'Say Your Name Aloud'.
The last few years have shown that Prog is – even taking into account its seventies heyday – in as rude health as it has ever been. With 'The Seasons Turn', Lee Abraham has confirmed his status as one of the leaders of the pack, something that looks set to long continue.

Steven Reid

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